Report: Hungary’s SSCs “an untold success story”


A survey undertaken by PwC Hungary and the national American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) shows a high level of satisfaction overall with the performance of Shared Service Centers (SSCs) in the country, making for an economic subsector which is “an untold success story” in the opinion of the study’s authors.

In the report “Stepping up to the next level,” PwC and AmCham surveyed some 17 Hungary-based SSCs employing 11,000; overall, the country has some 80 Hungary-based SSCs employing 30,000 full-time.

Based on available data and a questionnaire of 72 questions, each were ranked on a scale of 1 to 4 across eight evaluaton criteria defined as strategy; organization/governance/compliance; continuous improvement; business processes; customer relations; performance management; and systems/technology.

Mosted touted by the organizations is the overall outlook, which suggests that “SSC leaders are pleased with the operation of their centres: Initial targets have been met and setting up the center in Hungary proved to be the right decision. If the participating companies [in a questionnaire survey] had to decide now, they would establish their SSC in Hungary again.”

“Regarding skilled workforce, the country is still among the best in the region,” stated PwC Hungary director András Loós, adding that Hungary’s “IT, telecommunication, logistics and transport infrastructure is excellent.

We see a clear tendency that quality improvement became almost as important objective as maintaining cost for the SSCs. Therefore labour cost and the availability of workforce with the right skills will determine the future of the sector. While Hungary can still offer excellent opportunities, both for setting up new centres and for further growth of existing SSCs, the country has to find a way to better position itself within the region and identify how to become distinctive in the CEE.”

Some findings in the survey included:

• In terms of employment, 28% of SSCs employed 100-249 full-time; interestingly, the second-most common employee roll in a Hungary-based SSC was in the 750-1,000 range at 22%.

• In terms of the measures employed by PwC and AmCham, Hungary-based SSCs performed best in human resources management (with an average score of 3.43) and consistent improvement (3.21).

• The SSCs surveyed fared worst in organization/governance/compliance (2.36); this prompted a section within “Stepping up” bearing the subhead “Strong performance in all respects, but lack of transparency remains an issue.”

• Second-lowest in average score was customer relations, at 2.57. It was noted that “only 20% of the SSCs reached the highest maturity level[, i.e. a score of 4] for this criterion. Increased and consistent use of sophisticated CRM tools and strengthening the service culture and client orientation across the organisation can help the SSCs to further improve and increase customer satisfaction.”

• In the questionnaire survey, PwC and AmCham reported that over 60% of Hungary-based participants have implemented new or additional SSCs, and an additional 6% are currently in the implementation phase; this was called “very impressive” by PwC Hungary representatives.

PwC Hungary and AmCham last published a survey of SSCs in 2010.

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