Global Business Services

GBS has become a prominent contributor to business success as companies as they depend these organizations to drive efficiency, global standards and automation.  This consortium which began in and been operating continuously since 2003, is designed for executive leaders of Global Business Services (GBS) and Shared Services in major companies to share innovations, ideas and leadership issues of common interest.  Our members are industry leaders in these endeavors.  Our agendas are developed collaboratively with all members and address the four key areas of leadership shown below.

GBS Strategies

  • Company and GBS/Shared Services updates and major initiatives/plans
  • Impacts of the current political/global environment on companies and GBS
  • Companies’ commitments to and approaches for digital transformation and “Data-fying”
  • Consolidation of GBS and ITS
  • Advanced data analytics for decision making as a way of doing business
  • Acquisitions and divestitures and implications and benefits for GBS
  • Service delivery models for GBS
  • Broadening and deepening the role of GBS in support of company and functional strategies

Process and Technology

  • Robotics/automation/digital technologies, overall and highlights of applications including developing “cognitive” (AI) solutions
  • Governance of digital automation
  • Spotlight sharing of commercial software for workflow that incorporates digital solutions
  • Automating the accounting close, reconciliations and other accounting processes
  • Sharing progress on Blockchain applications
  • Plans in response to SAP 2025 upgrade plans
  • Establishing and implementing global standards

Business Partnership Development

  • Getting closer to the customers/stakeholders/business partners as GBS scope expands
  • Viewpoints of business unit leaders: “paying attention to where businesses are going and incorporating their points of view”
  • Engage “internal customers” with relationship building and technology
  • Performance management and scorecards: communications, standardization, use, and how these evolve over time

People and Organization

  • Engaging teammates in both captive and outsourced centers
  • BPO versus captive and hybrid centers: what’s changing and what remains the same
  • “Marriage” of chief data officer and master data leader to prepare for and capitalize on digital transformation
  • New successful approaches for communication and change management
  • Challenges and solutions for recruiting qualified people in a full employment economy

At our meetings GBS leaders gather for two days, three times per year, with meeting locations rotating among the member companies.  The meetings are member-driven, and discussions on innovations are led by members who get the conversations started by sharing their innovations and initiatives.  Substituting participants is discouraged, as the relationships and ongoing familiarity with one another’s programs are important success factors.  Suppliers and consultants rarely participate, which enables open and honest discussions.

The following companies are currently participating in the GBS Leaders Consortium:

  • Cemex
  • Disney
  • Kimberly-Clark
  • Lockheed
  • Mondelēz
  • United Technologies
  • Veritiv
  • Siemens
  • Walmart
  • Stanley Black & Decker

Our target is to keep membership at about ten, however, leading companies with innovation-rich programs are from time to time invited by the participants to join, and membership may grow slightly beyond ten. 

If you would like to learn more or discuss participating in this consortium, please contact Mike Markos at