What is an example of a business challenge that CEB has helped you solve?
When we set up our shared services organization, we didn't know whether we're going to go multifunctional, single function, what kind of business service integration we're going to have. That's something we would have paid a consultant a lot of money to help us figure that out, and depending on what consultant you get, they may drive you a certain place. So if the consultant also offers outsourcing services, you'd get a certain answer from those, and if they're a consultant that has software services, you'd get a certain answer from that.
CEB was able to cut to the chase. They pulled some lessons learned from some of their other clients. They sent out questionnaires. We've got all of this time; so an analysis that would have taken months to do probably just was done over 30 days. And from that, we were able to save internal labor on putting together the business case with limited information. We saved on consultant fees that we would have paid somebody else.
What business value do you derive from your CEB membership?
For this similar type of service that we got from CEB on a shared service type of engagement, we had paid something close to almost $300,000, and we weren't even three months into it. So it can run into the millions.
So when you compare that to what we pay on an annual subscription for CEB and all of the services that we get and it's not only on a shared services front. We take advantage of CEB on an internal audit. We take advantage of them from controllership, reporting analysis, benchmarking and also shared services now that we're into. And not only in finance, HR benefits too.
So it's a great service from that standpoint.
How do you calculate the return on investment of your membership with CEB?
The way I look at it is it's almost like having a consulting firm at your fingertips without having to pay the exorbitant consulting fees. So whatever topic it is, so for instance, giving the example of Mike Smith. If he doesn't know, he'll go to somebody within the CEB that knows. Trying to get that sort of service from a big five or big four accounting firm would cost you in the millions of dollars.
So it's having expert services. You can call them. They are always there. They always return phone calls. You're talking to an experienced person all the time. You're not speaking to some junior that's articling or trying to get their certification and they're just putting in the hours. You're talking to a seasoned professional that's been through the process.