The SSF UK annual conference took place last week, on the 20th and 21st of November 2019 at Aintree Racecourse. 

This is the 9th conference for the Shared Service Forum and was our biggest and best one yet. From the moment registration went live we knew it was going to be a great event, with us having to increase our numbers for day 1 alone.

Members begin arriving and within minutes the fantastic Sunloch Suite was getting busy and there was already a great buzz in the room. Day 1 kicked off with a welcome from Board Directors Lisa Hooley and David Herd and a run through of the days agenda.

We had a warm welcome from Aintree's Communication Manager Grant Rowley on the history of Aintree and the work they do within the community. Our first guest speaker, James Meader, Partner, London Market Advisory Leader, EY then took to the stage with his presentation on "the future of GBS". James  discussed some of the game changing trends, particularly linked to technology. How GBS can be used as a Transformation Engine for the business, the impact of Digitalisation on GBS and how GBS is evolving to put customer experience at the heart of service delivery.

James gave a brilliantly and insightful presentation which led us nicely into the afternoon network sessions. Each session was delivered in the Aintree boxes up on the 5th level, with the digital session remaining in the Sunloch Suite. This gave everyone a chance to enjoy a networking lunch and discuss how they are all preparing for their TomorrowNOW.

The digital session was hosted by Simon Appleyard from Yorkshire Water and Anne-Charlotte Taylor from McBride, and their was a second presentation from EY, delivered by Chris Clarke and Julia Lewis on "the digitalisation of GBS".

The HR session was hosted by Jenny Roberts, from Places for People and we also welcomed Daphne Doody-Green from CIPD who gave the group a great presentation on "developing the skills for tomorrow"

The Order to Cash session was hosted by Martin Kirby from Interserve and Lynette Fegan from HSCNI BSO and they welcomed Philip King from CICM who gave a interesting presentation on "The Prompt Payment Code and what it means for your business" and "The crucial Brexit checklist for order to cash departments".

The Purchase to Pay network session was hosted by Network Chair Diane Bamford, from Lonza and Diane welcomed Philip King from The Hackett Group who gave his presentation on "Best practise KPI reporting.

The Operational Excellence was hosted by Scott Worth, Central England Co-operative and Robert Lancaster, premier Foods and welcomed Justin Thomas from Winshuttle to engage in a forum discussion with the group about how they are all getting digitally ready for the future and what skills are needed.

The payroll session was hosted by Michelle Goodwin from Sodexo and Helen Dibb from Yorkshire Water. They welcomed one of our own members Nichola Gates from J.Murphy & Sons to discuss her own payroll journey.

The FA&R session was hosted by Lubnah Alam, from J.Murphy & Sons and Andy Potter from ENGIE and they welcomed Irina Kuzina from our Sponsors BlackLine who presented an Aftercare Support Model.

After a great networking couple of hours we all met back in the Sunloch Suite for an energising interactive talk from GP Helen Garr with her "Go to Rome - five ways to wellbeing presentation. Helen showed us all how one minute of movement really does matter and had the whole room up on the their feet at one point.

There was a round up from the Board to close day 1 and then it was time to get ready for the FutureVision annual awards dinner.

Congratulations to everyone that was shortlisted for an award and to the following winners:

The Great Place To Work team – Kier Group Plc on winning the Community award

Dave Fidler – The Co-operative Group on winning the Evolution award

Kevin Collins - Central England Co-op on winning the Leadership award

Matthew Foster – Yorkshire Water Services Ltd on winning the TomorrowNOW award.

The evening was a huge success and our after dinner speaker Wynne Evans, Welsh opera singer and (GioCompario)  had everyone thoroughly entertained and closed the evening with his version of "The impossible dream" which was just amazing.

Day 2 of the conference was hosted by the fantastic Penny Haslam who had the audience engaged from the start. Penny introduced our first guest speaker of the day Dr William Holden - Owner, Sewells with his presentation entitled "How to create an unstoppable culture: one that is really unstoppable”!!!

William's presentation gives priceless insights as to why that is the case … and practical tips on how to land change successfully.

Second to the stage was guest speaker Sarah Burnett – Everest Group EVP: AI & business automation with her insights into “The Augmented Shared Services Centre”. Sarah shared the latest data and insights from Everest Group’s research on how SSCs are taking up IA, adoption patterns and the emerging trends that will shape the future of the shared services model.” 

Our last speaker of the morning was Simon Winfield – Managing Director - Hays UK & Ireland, with his presentation on “What workers want” – The future of work is now. Simon covered key messages and data from Hays’ WWW report and also their upcoming diversity & inclusion reports.

After a brilliant morning there was a networking lunch and an opportunity for members to engage again with our sponsors and partners and of course each other.

The afternoon got off to a great start with guest speaker Scott McArthur BSc (hons), PGDip, MS and his presentation asking the question “Is the future analogue?". Scott discussed the current wave of speculation, fear and hype surrounding AI and RPA . He shared his thoughts on where he thinks organisations and individuals are up too, based around the lessons he has learnt in the last 20 years in the tech and people business.

Ashley Newman - HR Technology & Transformation Director at PWC and Mike Marsden, Senior Manager, People & Organisation at PwC were next up to present the "Workforce of the future: The competing forces shaping 2030". They discussed what the future may look like. What the 'no regrets' moves for people and organisations are and shared information on skills, mindsets and megatrends within their organisation.

We ended the day on a high with keynote speaker Jim Lawless who delivered a fascinating talk on “Delivering Rapid Change in a Disrupted World”. Jim discussed how we can develop the mental skills to put our purpose above our processes in order to adapt and deliver the new and how we can adapt leadership styles to assist our people risk the uncertainty of innovation and adaptation. 

And just like that it was time to say goodbye and thank everyone for being part of such an amazing couple of days.

We would like to thank all our members who attended over the 2 days, our Sponsors, High Radius, BlackLine, Winshuttle, Xelix, EY and our Partners Hays and The Hackett Group for supporting us and sharing the event with us.

We hope you all had a great time with us at Aintree Racecourse and look forward to seeing you all in 2020.

The presentations are all available in the resources section of the website and please keep checking in on the website and social media for all our upcoming events for next year.

Many Thanks again from all of us at SSF UK!!!!!



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