The right way

Global Business Service GBS brings together internal services and changes many service areas. That’s not easy. But Carsten Klapproth says despite the difficulties, the sense of WE among employees is growing.

GBS stands for something positive: DMK wants the program to create synergies, cut costs and professionalize processes as an internal service provider. That sounds pretty good. But streamlining processes means a lot of change, calling into question familiar ways of working, rearranging teams, adapting organizational structures and reallocating staff – sometimes abroad. DMK is calling for a great deal of cooperation, team spirit and imagination – that’s crystal clear. But we couldn’t go on with business as usual. It would mean we were wasting money, based on suboptimal structures. When we introduced GBS in 2018, the vision we had wasn’t yet clear to everyone. Now, much has changed. Our services include accounting, internal sales and marketing, controlling, payroll accounting, operational purchasing activities – and all this for the subsidiaries, too, such as for the Baby Business Unit’s personnel administration in Germany, for example, and now the internal sales service for NORLAC. We try to work closely with colleagues in departments where we are going to relieve them of some of their tasks. We need to closely cooperate to transfer knowledge to GBS, as it’s important for us to understand where each department gets its information and any additional details. Staff who have been working there for some time have valuable knowledge of systems, processes, sources of information and contact people.

“We need to work together to transfer knowledge to GBS.”

Carsten Klapproth

At DMK, we are a very large company and GBS is trying to systematize and simplify complex processes and to automate them. So right now, we are writing and sketching out processes, to identify in what order a task is done, and who carries it out? Everything needs to be written down in an organization, to avoid duplicating work or overlooking some-thing. Where conflicts arise, they are mostly at interfaces where it isn’t clear which department is responsible. A transformation process like this isn’t easy, but people are already starting to say that they feel supported by GBS staff, because as generalists they often have many different tasks to do alone. When I talk with people from the different departments, I’m always trying to show them that they can trust us. That each and every one of them is important for DMK and that with their expertise, they can and should get involved in the changes under way. That can help address any fears around letting go of familiar working processes, and help them embrace new systems. I want to win them over to our new way of working. Reallife examples often help and we recently held a meeting with employees from Beiersdorf and DMK. They described how they had experienced a similar transformation process – in accounting, in this case – and how they felt about it. That helps, as we can react to questions, reservations and emotions, and ideally, put them behind us. Right now, it is our colleagues in the Netherlands who are currently experiencing the greatest changes of all. The introduction of 4S logic and GBS in January 2021 will mean a lot of upheaval. I’m feeling positive though as I’m looking forward to our international cooperation: What impressed me was how transparent and approach-able our colleagues are there. They talk openly about risks and fears, and have a very transparent way of dealing with people. That’s exactly what a company like DMK needs.”