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The Future of Business Services Centers in Hungary

Analysis

Image by Alexander Supertramp / Shutterstock.com

Hungary is one of the leading hubs for business service centers (BSCs) in Central and Eastern Europe. The sector has shown continuous growth and a high level of maturity with resilient and flexible operations. Increased headcounts, the complexity of the activities, and a continuously broadening scope of high value-added activities reflect the sector’s attractiveness, Tünde Kis, a director at PwC Hungary, tells the Budapest Business Journal.

Due to the importance and strategic position of BSCs in Hungary, PwC Hungary introduced a new seminar series named “Future of Business Services Hungary” in May of this year. The purpose of the seminars is to provide regular updates from an executive perspective about the latest trends, the key challenges and opportunities, and the future of the sector.

The events also serve as a point for exchanging views, getting insights and connecting with BSC peers. Here, Kis summarizes the key findings about the business services sector and the main messages of the events.

Improving Value Delivery

The global business environment has changed significantly, prompting companies to adjust their operations and respond to evolving customer demands. Businesses must constantly adapt to the changing landscape to remain competitive and successful. With a range of maturity among BSCs in Hungary, these organizations have differing priorities.

The majority of the companies aim to expand their scope of offering and are looking to leverage automation and smart technologies for greater efficiency in the next few years. It is encouraging that an overwhelming number of BSCs plan to use intelligent automation to meet their productivity improvement targets and believe that, within their organizations, data analytics and automation-related activities should be enhanced.

To ensure effective BSC value delivery, it is necessary to streamline business processes such as finance, HR, procurement, as well as IT, and to focus on customer satisfaction, continuous improvement, data analytics, talent management, and technology enablement.

On the other hand, BSC leaders must also strive for service optimization by constantly identifying opportunities for improvement. This can be done by tracking KPIs, discussing the options with the process owners, and then creating a mandate in the BSC organization to implement them.

As a result, organizations are provided with greater flexibility, scalability, and cost efficiency, allowing them to focus on core functions and drive growth in a rapidly changing business landscape. Additionally, better integration of BSC services can lead to enhanced collaboration, innovation, and overall business performance.

Tünde Kis

Becoming a Strategic Partner

As a strategic partner to the business, BSCs can support overall strategic objectives. BSC teams must understand the organization’s operations and goals and leverage their capabilities to help achieve these. In this respect, the highest possible output can be achieved by ensuring the BSC functions are aligned with the broader organizational strategy.

This requires a deep understanding of the company’s goals and objectives, as well as the ability to collaborate with business units to identify opportunities for process improvement and innovation.Aligning BSC services with business goals will accelerate efficiency, improve decision-making and consequently, boost revenue numbers and profitability, Kis believes. Furthermore, by leveraging data and analytics, BSCs can also help identify new opportunities for growth and gain a competitive advantage in their respective industries.

Elevating Talent

With rapidly evolving technologies being one of the critical challenges, it is essential to keep the skills and experience of their workforce up to date. To ensure talent elevation, a company needs to invest in employee development and training programs, establish a clear career path for BSC employees, and foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement, Kis argues.

This involves identifying the necessary skills and competencies, providing opportunities for professional development, and promoting a supportive work environment that encourages innovation and creativity. By upgrading abilities and talent within the BSC, companies can establish a highly-skilled workforce that is fundamental for efficient operations and balanced success. This can also benefit them staying ahead of the competition, delivering value to their customers and meeting their strategic objectives.

Driving Digital Transformation 

To achieve a successful digital transformation in BSCs, a company needs first to assess its existing processes and identify areas for improvement. The next step is to implement digital technologies and upskill the employees with solutions that can help optimize and automate these processes. This includes cloud computing but also the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other advanced analytics techniques and visualization tools to analyze data, identify patterns and trends, and make data-driven decisions, the PwC director says.

Digital transformation in BSCs enables data-driven decision-making, facilitate efficiency and accuracy, reduces costs, and enhances customer experiences.

Fostering Enterprise Growth

Supporting enterprise growth strategies involves developing and executing plans and initiatives that align with the company’s long-term goals and objectives. This covers identifying opportunities for expansion, improving operational efficiency, and leveraging technology and innovation, but also fostering a culture of collaboration, innovation, and continuous improvement throughout the organization. If a BSC successfully supports the needs of business units and contributes to their growth objectives, a data-driven culture can be established, and analytical talents can be nurtured, Kis says.

This approach also brings various advantages, such as increased revenue and profitability, improved market share, enhanced brand reputation, an expanded customer base, and higher competitiveness. By aligning business goals with expansion strategies, companies can, therefore, achieve sustainable growth, increase innovation, and maximize their returns on investments.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of November 17, 2023.

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