Volvo Cars: Setting up a shared service center
TriFinance and Volvo Cars are establishing a Shared Services Center (SSC) in Ghent, which will operate for nine European countries: Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Great Britain, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Hungary.
Volvo Cars produces more than a half million cars annually and employs about 31,000 people worldwide. It has four main production plants: one in Belgium and Sweden each, and two in China. The company is part of Geely, a Chinese multinational automotive production company.
Tom Croquet, director of the Central-European SSC: “We call on TriFinance because it specializes in financial positions, because of its experience in Shared Services Centers, and because the company puts a lot of effort into training its people."
Volvo Cars and TriFinance, it's a story of trust that has been going on for years. Multiple TriFinance consultants have strengthened the finance departments of Volvo Cars in the recent past, and the setting up of a Shared Services Center was a logical next step for both partners. The aim of the 'One Finance Project' at Volvo Cars is to align the internal finance processes, in order to increase quality and efficiency of the company as a whole.
Project consultant Annelien Couck (T&S Ghent) is part of the SSC team at Volvo since 2016: "They initially thought I was too junior for the job, but I was allowed to start and I got the chance to go abroad. The purpose was to detect what tasks were performed in the concerning countries, to transfer those activities to Ghent, and to improve processes if possible. The result is a centralized closure and finance & administration closing for 'judgment-based' activities."
Volvo Cars becomes a slimmer, outgoing, and more global organization. The fact that fewer people are required to do the same work creates room for added value and analysis. The One Finance Project and the Shared Services Center help the company to be ready for new challenges and services.
Tom Croquet: "Volvo Cars rolls out a 'Care by Volvo' concept worldwide, offering extra services in addition to the traditional delivery of the car. Moreover, e-commerce or d-commerce are becoming increasingly important. We will continue to need consultants. And TriFinance will in any case help us to hire permanent staff for our SSC."
Learnings for our project consultant
Annelien Couck, TriFinance project consultant: "I've learned so much at Volvo, not in the least how important soft skills are for the realization of a project: how to communicate with others and within different cultures, how to work as a team, and how to organize and plan ahead. Aside from soft skills, I've learned a lot about project management and change management. And my knowledge of book keeping, excel, and SAP has improved a lot. My long term career goal is becoming a great controller, and the Shared Services Centre project helped me to tick of a lot of the boxes.'