When the Division of Finance and Administration decided to pursue the Service Center of Excellence (SCE), leadership first sought to educate themselves about successes and challenges faced by other universities in similar endeavors. Carolina’s SCE implementation team, led by Meredith Weiss, senior associate vice chancellor for finance and administration, has already visited service delivery centers at the universities of Kansas, Florida and California-Berkeley. In addition, team members have attended conferences related to change management and service delivery, including those sponsored by the Network for Change and Continuous Innovation (NCCI), the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) and the Shared Services and Outsourcing Network (one of the two conferences managers attended focused on Shared Services and Process Improvement for Higher Education). The goal – to draw from the experience of others not to replicate any one model, but rather to gather bits and pieces to build something distinctly tailored to the aspirations of UNC’s Division of Finance and Administration.
Hearing from Pam Gabel from the Service Delivery Center at the University of Michigan was a bright spot on the journey. With a staff of around 250, Michigan’s Service Delivery Center is striving to provide what Gabel calls a “ridiculously awesome” level of service. Her job, she said, is to remove barriers so the staff can be creative in coming up with helpful solutions for their customers, who span just about every area of campus. That formula for success, she believes, includes an emphasis on employee retention and opportunities for people to learn and grow.
Finance and Administration staff will have a chance to hear Gabel talk about her employee-centered approach to creating an effective team during the Jan. 28 Division of Finance and Administration Service Center of Excellence (SCE) update meeting, which begins at 4 p.m. on the second floor of Rams Head Dining in Chase Dining Hall.
Finance and Administration does not want to replicate Michigan’s service center model or alleged lack of transparency, said Matthew Fajack, vice chancellor for finance and administration and chief financial officer. “They realized that they made some mistakes early on, and they brought Pam in to get things back on track,” he said.
Gabel’s talk is one piece of information in a multi-layered approach to learn as much as possible about various service delivery models, the unique issues they are designed to handle, and the challenges and successes involved in implementing them, he said.
“We want to create a Service Center of Excellence that best serves the Division of Finance and Administration’s business needs,” Fajack said. “We invited Pam to speak because she has extensive knowledge and experience about best practices in creating and sustaining a healthy, positive, and employee-focused work culture, and we will benefit from hearing about the lessons she has learned during her career.”
“The information we have gathered from our research and from talking to people like Pam Gabel has helped us learn what we’d like to accomplish and what we hope to avoid in our Service Center of Excellence,” Weiss said. “This update meeting gives us a chance to share that information with people in all areas of the division and to gather their feedback as we move forward.”
In addition to Gabel, speakers at the Jan. 28 meeting are Fajack; Weiss; Allison Reid, executive director of marketing and communications; Bill Stockard, executive director of human capital management; Carly Perin, director of financial shared services; and Ray Reitz, director of information technology.