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Sharing services requires management

Date published: 6/1/2014

Sharing services requires management

This is in response to the May 20 article titled "Stafford looking at sharing some services."

That is a good first step, but it may be shortsighted if a shared services approach does not consider an enterprise (linkage) approach of Stafford County's business operations that are used by multiple parts of the same organization.

This will require government, business leaders and our economic development authority to reconsider the nature, source and linkage of our evolving fiscal difficulties by incorporating activity-based management and activity-based costing (ABM/ABC) principles.

The reason, most often, many shared services programs fail is because they lack linkage. Linkage is simply the tying together of all the activities of the organization, to make sure all of the organizational resources are maneuvering in the same direction.

Once understood, ABM/ABC is not a method of costing, but a technique for better managing an organization. It allows managers to measure the cost and performance of activities, resources and the objects that consume them in order to generate more accurate and meaningful information for decision-making.

ABM draws on ABC to provide management reporting and decision-making.

The goal of a shared services delivery model is to allow each business division to focus its limited resources on activities that support the county's operational and business goals.

John H. Bridges III