AmgenSECTOR: Biotech / Pharma

DELIVERABLE: New Near Shore Shared Services Centre


Amgen is a Fortune 500 human therapeutics company in the biotechnology industry with operations in North America, EEMEA, Asia and LACAN. Following a feasibility study completed by Boston Consulting, Amgen had made the operational decision to consolidate all of its European transactional finance activities (covering Purchase to Pay, Order to Cash and Treasury) into a Shared Service Centre (SSC) in The Netherlands. Zebrazoo Consulting was brought on board to make this happen.

Amgen’s key business objectives for implementing this change initiative were:

  • to build for scale by centralising transactional activities
  • to reduce costs through economies of scale and labour arbitrage
  • to reduce costs through the re-engineering and standardisation of business processes
  • to add value to the business by separating out transactional activity from business analysis and decision making
  • to improve customer service through implementing best practice service levels

While Amgen had already agreed to use Accenture to programme manage the migration of its transactional finance activity located in each of its 14 European locations to a single SSC to be located in Breda, The Netherlands, it required Project Managers to work in each of the countries to complete the migration. Migration was scheduled to comprise a pilot migration of 2 smaller countries followed by 3 waves of 4 countries per wave.

Zebrazoo Consulting was initially appointed to project manage the wave 1 migration of Amgen’s UK operations to the SSC. We were subsequently retained to migrate German operations in wave 2 and Swiss operations in wave 3. Zebrazoo Consulting was also given responsibility for the wave 3 migration of Amgen’s European Headquarters transactional activity to the new SSC.

Key Areas of Change:

  • Business relocation
  • Business process re-engineering
  • Workforce optimisation
  • Organisational redesign
  • Customer service improvement
  • Culture change

Zebrazoo Consulting’s Impact:
On joining the SSC change programme, Zebrazoo Consulting identified that while, plans existed centrally for the setup of the new SSC environment, there were no effective detailed project plans at country level to actually manage the migration from each of the local operations to the new central SSC. Zebrazoo Consulting drafted an end-to-end Transition Project Plan for the UK that addressed and appropriately sequenced all the key areas of required change and presented this to the Programme Board for approval.

Aligned to key milestones in the central project plan, the Transition Project Plan (with key workstreams for master data, business processes, communication & marketing, training & work-shadowing, IT, recruitment and SLAs) was adopted and agreed to be used as the template to migrate each of the countries to the new SSC. Two countries with the smallest operational footprint were successfully piloted, after which the remaining 12 were migrated in three waves, with each wave lasting three months.

In addition to templating the Transition Project Plan and successfully project managing the migration of 3 countries and European Headquarters to the SSC, Zebrazoo Consulting also drafted the overall Service Level Agreement (SLA) framework that was used to manage the relationship between the SSC and each of the 14 ‘customer’ countries.

Following Zebrazoo Consulting’s project plans all 14 countries were successfully migrated within budget and agreed timeframes and the resulting SSC service commenced in line with the adopted SLA framework.

For a printable PDF version of this case study please click here: Case Study – 1