One of iPollingTM`s questions, which peercastTM supported, asked members to comment on their company`s approach to SLAs, with 11% saying they had detailed, formal service agreements for all customers who have undergone little change over time. For 37% of other companies using ASAs, their approach is to use detailed, formal service agreements that will be modified and improved over time. The same percentage of companies, 37%, went from detailed and formal service contracts to SLAs, which are less complex and less formal. Of the remaining 15% of respondent companies, 5% preferred short and less formal agreements, with 10% reporting that the level of detail in IMS varies considerably from sector to sector. The survey results show the different prevalence of LTC, which is influenced by many variables, including the degree of maturity of services, corporate culture and customer expectations. Service Level Agreements (SLAs) can be a great way to build relationships and expectations between shared services and their customers. LTC can also become unnecessarily bureaucratic and painful and have unintended negative consequences. The correct attention and development of SLAs can be a great benefit for shared services leaders as their services and results mature. Key elements of the SLA typically include the purpose and scope of the service provided, the governance model, uptime and exceptional circumstances, performance measurement and reporting, non-conformance management, customer feedback, help desk, quality management, and process improvement. The SLA also defines the general approach to pricing and the escalation model. Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are a common tool used in the implementation of shared services to set service and performance expectations with business units.
Over time, the focus and structure of SLAs may change or, in some cases, the use of SLAs may be adjusted. Many factors influence the best type of SLA to use within a shared service, including the corporate culture, the maturity of the process, and the type of relationship that exists with internal customers and stakeholders. A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a document negotiated by HR and the company, which aims to guarantee how and when HR services are provided to its customers. The discussion continued with a series of views and perspectives shared by participants, including representative comments below: Do you use LSAs and, if so, how have SLAs evolved over time? If you have SLAs, do you have expectations regarding customer service? In some SSCs, account manager roles have been established to implement and manage the service management framework. This role is an intermediary between the client and the SSC. In my experience, these roles have proven to be very valuable and allow for a partnership approach. ABOUT AUTORMichelle O`Connor has worked in the shared services space for the past nine years and has worked in both financial and HR services. BHP Billiton, Boral, OneSteel and Jones Lang LaSalle are among the companies they have worked for. O`Connor has been secretary of the Australasian Benchmarking Association, a volunteer role, for the past three years and has been a member since 2003. The other type of pricing, often seen, is non-participatory pricing. This is usually found in situations where the SSC is mandated by the steering group. This means that a customer must use, under certain conditions, the services provided by the SSC.
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