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Turning operational delivery from stress to strength

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As organisations look to deliver on critical business outcomes, they are increasingly realising the challenge isn’t with the strategy - it’s with driving innovation across core operational processes. That’s why a fresh look at the role of the managed services model - as a flexible way to access the right blend of skills and technology - is helping bridge capability gaps and accelerate outcomes. Here’s how.  

As the need for business model reinvention - and associated operational overhaul - rises, organisations are facing more and more obstacles when it comes to implementing the changes required. Talent shortages and high staff turnover are creating capability and skills gaps in operational teams, brought into sharper focus when the need to embed new tech capabilities or processes is factored in. This puts more pressure on the rest of the business. It’s often felt most strongly in specialist areas like finance, compliance and cyber security but increasingly all operational processes and functions are being affected.  

Existing solutions are falling short

So how to overcome these pressures without compromising the need for pace and urgency? It’s no surprise that many organisations are turning to technology to fix their operational problems. But technology still needs the right skills and people to roll it out, upskill teams and seamlessly embed it into the organisation. In addition, operational functions often find themselves at the back of the queue for tech investment. When funding does come, it’s often difficult for teams to deal with the upheaval of implementation while sustaining business-as-usual.

Others may turn to business process outsourcing (BPO) as a quick fix. But passing on an inefficient process to another provider simply moves the problem elsewhere. The opportunity to tackle those underlying inefficiencies or genuinely transform core functions is lost.

The other issue is flexibility. The pace of change around both technology and the boardroom agenda has created an ever-evolving list of skills and capabilities needed to achieve those outcomes. Conventional BPO lacks the level of customisation needed in how they’re set up and run to give that room to adapt and adjust what support is needed - and how long for - in line with market demands and strategic priorities.

A new way of delivering transformation

This is where the value of a ‘human-led, tech-powered’ approach to managed services comes into its own. It’s a flexible model we have developed to tackle the practical and operational challenges our clients face in executing their transformation strategy while accelerating their business outcomes.

What does that look like? Instead of selling ‘off the shelf’ services, we work with you to understand the individual operational challenges your organisation is facing and the outcomes you’re trying to achieve. We then develop a customised technology-enabled solution. This can either be run with you through a capacity and capability arrangement, or for you as an end-to-end managed services offering.

“Before joining PwC I spent over 25 years working in complex operational environments in industry, across global engineering, energy and financial services businesses. So I have lived and breathed the various different pressures facing operational teams when adapting to technological, economic and workforce challenges. I also realised the need for something different and enduring to help solve these issues - a new delivery model that builds trust and delivers real value and change, one that brings together the best industry, technological and operational expertise under one bonnet. I’m delighted this is what we’re offering clients with PwC Managed Services.”

Kieragh Nelson, Partner, PwC Managed Services

We’ve been seeing demand for this approach in areas such as business operations, compliance implementation and project management as our clients work through short-term bottlenecks as well as underlying inefficiencies that require ongoing support. Increasingly we’re also being asked to apply our specialist skills and take care of functions on their behalf, such as finance, legal services or client onboarding.

And we’re partnering with clients as they tackle new strategic priorities - such as moves to new markets or cloud migration - bolstering their capabilities and moving their business forward faster.  

Uniquely equipped to deliver

What is it about this model that makes it so effective?

First, we have many years of experience working across multiple industries sectors on hundreds of services. We know what works - and what doesn’t. This reduces operational risks so our clients can plan with greater confidence.

Next, our commercial arrangements reward the value and outcomes that we deliver. And our flexible and agile contracts mean our clients are always in control and able to vary the support and capabilities as they need.

When it comes to tech, we have partnerships with major technology providers. That means access to the latest innovation, as well as our in-house expertise in unlocking its potential across functions and organisations.

However what really stands us apart is the calibre of our people. We have over 4,000 operational experts in delivery hubs around the UK. They are at the heart of our global delivery network, including our offshore teams in Egypt and South Africa. It allows us to quickly mobilise and scale our teams to suit the particular needs and location of our client. This model also gives you access to a diverse talent pool and a broad set of skills and perspectives - something that we know makes a huge impact on achieving successful outcomes.

All our operational teams sit at the very core of what we do. Many of our people choose to stay and shape their careers with us. We invest in their training and development and they know that they’ll always be taking on fresh challenges and playing a significant role in helping our clients achieve their most important goals.

“All too often, Operational services are viewed as unwelcome costs to keep low or a burden to outsource or automate. The truth is that they hold the key to driving real transformation, profitability and growth, because if operations are running inefficiently, they will undermine value. That’s why we recruit and invest in the best people for our managed services teams and equip them with the latest technology. They are at the heart of value creation for our clients.”

Kieragh Nelson, Partner, PwC Managed Services

A powerhouse that’s on hand for you

It all comes together to deliver a compelling benefit for the businesses we work with. Easy access to an operational powerhouse that can quickly mobilise to help deliver your goals, even if they start to shift. No need to wait. No need for strategic compromises. The commercial impact and value potential could be genuinely transformational.

If you want to find out more about our managed services, please get in touch with us.

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Kieragh Nelson

Kieragh Nelson

Partner, Execution Managed Services, PwC United Kingdom

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