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A wealth of data has been gathered since last summer, and the Service Center of Excellence (SCE) implementation team has a clear understanding of the work that needs to be done in the coming months, Meredith Weiss explained to the group of more than 100 Finance and Administration employees who attended the SCE update meeting on Jan. 28.

The next phase of implementation involves working with supervisors in human resources, finance, communications and information technology to determine the best way to move specific functions in those areas over to the center, said Weiss, senior associate vice chancellor for finance and administration.

The people in charge of the center’s four areas of focus provided updates about achievements and goals for their areas, and Weiss talked about ways in which the division will support a healthy, high-performance culture in the SCE. (Listen to all the presentations.)

She praised the collaborative effort to amass extensive knowledge about job functions and job mapping throughout the division. To date, 20 information-gathering meetings involving both individuals and groups, 22 process-mapping sessions and two major surveys, each involving around 200 people, have yielded nearly 1,000 comments and suggestions and identified hundreds of necessary additional services or those needing improvement. All this information will help inform the next steps as the center begins to take shape, Weiss said.

The town hall session also included an opportunity to hear directly from someone who has created five service centers during her career. Pam Gabel, executive director of the University of Michigan’s Service Delivery Center, spoke about lessons she has learned in creating an employee-focused center that provides top-notch service for a large public university.

The true asset of a service center is its people and the knowledge they bring to an issue, Gabel said. Every transaction is an opportunity to provide service, and job one is solving problems. For people who staff the service center, the mantra is never to let go of an issue until they have found an answer, Gabel said, and in the process, they develop a new depth and breadth of expertise.

“Every improvement we have made came from my staff saying that something wasn’t working,” she said. (Listen to Gabel’s talk and Q-and-A session.)

Weiss said having Gabel share the successes and challenges she has faced in creating an employee-centered approach to providing what she calls “a ridiculously awesome” level of service is invaluable for employees and implementation team members alike in the Division of Finance and Administration.

Presentations from the Jan. 28 Update Meeting and the August 13 Kick-Off can be viewed on our Multimedia Page.

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