CELEBRATING 10 YEARS SPOTLIGHT FEATURE - ROB LANCASTER, CO CHAIR OF THE OPERATIONAL EXCELLENCE NETWORK

Hi I am Rob Lancaster, Head of Service Management at Premier Foods and one of our Co Chairs for the Operational Excellence Network.

WHERE WAS I 10 YEARS AGO?

Not yet in Shared Services! I was working as a contractor doing SAP Payroll implementations in wonderful locations such as Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Warrington!  I would soon start a Payroll project within the Premier Foods Shared Service Centre in Manchester, shortly after it opened - I've been here ever since in a variety of roles.

WHERE DO I SEE MYSELF IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS?

Hopefully putting into practice some of the great wellbeing tips that Helen Garr GP shared with us at our recent conference, or perhaps training as a jockey or climbing Everest - two other topics which I found fascinating at recent events!I've yet to meet anyone who has truly felt they would be in shared services for the long haul, but the beauty of this job, in my opinion, is that there is so much change - in people, culture, processes and systems - that the role develops so rapidly over the years. 

WHAT DO I LOVE MOST ABOUT SHARED SERVICES FORUM UK?

For me, the most important factor has been following up brief conversations which I've had at network events, with folks from other organisations, and getting to visit their SSCs and see how they handle challenges that we face. In my opinion, being on site and seeing things - good and bad - first hand, is so much more powerful than can simply be conveyed through a presentation, blog or podcast.  I'd encourage all of our members to be bold, make time in their busy calendars, and get out-and-about to visit each other to see for themselves what everyone is up to.  I haven't had a single request to visit turned-down - everyone I've spoken to has been incredibly open and willing to share their experiences

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