The Rise of the GSC…TON at Novo Nordisk 25 January 2018

January 26, 2018

We had a super program at Novo Nordisk. Our theme for the day was The Rise of the GSC (Global Service Centre).


The day kicked off with Bent Petersen, Professor, CBS–Department of Strategic Management and Globalisation, noting that GSCs can leverage economies of scale, cost advantages, cost transparencies, consistency/standardisation of service across markets, and service innovation. Yet, for all of these advantages, there are challenges that come along including downsizing in local units, knowledge leakage, working at a distance, and a possible detachment from customers. A hot topic everywhere these days is process automation. Bent posited a few relevant questions for us to consider during our program, namely, will it spur re-shoring? more customisation of service? move companies closer to their customers?


Henrik Limkilde Schou, Director, Novo Nordisk Consulting, gave us an in-depth look at the thinking and reality behind Novo’s experience establishing and growing their GSC in Bangalore from 2007 to now. For Novo, it has been a gradual growth, one marked by experimentation and pull rather than push. This approach, while encouraging initiative, has sometimes lead to differences in operations and results among the various business units working independently to find their own way. Likewise, organisational structure at the GSC and reporting further up the organisational hierarchy has produced patterns that emphasise the individual business units as opposed to a more unified GSC operating model, a model which originally suited Novo but that they are now working to adjust to better echo their growing organisational maturity in this space.


Marco Aurélio Crepaldi Santiago, Business Support Director, Novo Nordisk, continued our program’s exploration of Novo Nordisk’s GSC journey with a look at how they are beginning to leverage robotics. Partnering with Deloitte, Marco and his colleagues in Montes Claros, Brasil, have conducted a pilot that has resulted in a handful of “bots” being almost ready to be deployed into production. While some parts of this pilot have been quite accessible, e.g. coding a bot; other parts of the pilot have illuminate challenges, e.g. that it takes longer to properly document at bot than to actually code one; and that under current implementation procedures it will take 10 years to deploy the 35 bots currently identified as candidates for development.


Moving from Novo and over to a trend assessment, Thomas Siersbæk Heller-Njor, Director, Strategy & Operations, PwC, shared a few data points on re-shoring. While we may joke about this trend better fitting the category of Bigfoot and other rarely-seen creatures, there are some macro economic trends, particularly in North America that have sparked a re-alignment of resources, particularly in manufacturing. Whether or not this ever grows to include Europe and/or services, remains to be seen.


Our open Forum Challenge sessions kicked up challenges such as comparing internal and external costs; robotics user licenses; reconciling a faster pace at some business units and locations with a slower more risk-adverse pace at headquarters; and leveraging scale to force organisational change. Our thanks go to our members who presented their challenges for our workshop.


Our next program is being held on March 22 and will be hosted by Gorrissen Federspiel in Copenhagen. The theme for the day will be Contracting and Negotiation. A few highlights include: Contracting for managed services; Organising the contract management function using a role-based framework; Getting business and service management organisations to collaborate with contract management; and Connecting the business case to performance management.


Our thanks to all of you who helped to make yesterday’s TON program such a strong one.


On a final note, I have a few reflections on my journey with TON which started in 2012 and will change for me next week when I start at Gartner in my new role as Research Director. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that there would be great value in creating a peer-learning forum looking at leveraging outsourcing and offshoring. Critical to this vision, it was crucial that this forum be cross-industry and cross-functional so that we could move the focus from technical solutions to one that firmly focuses on leveraging outsourcing and offshoring to deliver on business goals. I am deeply grateful that the business and academic communities in our market have responded with such strong interest and support for this network. With my move to Gartner, I am hanging up my hat as the leader of TON and I look forward to following the future development of TON from my new role as a fan.