Business Service Center Conference 30.11.2016.

2nd Panel

We are bringing you the second part of the annual Business Services Centers conference at which the panelists included the state secretary of Ministry of Economy, the founder of BiznesPolska and the head of SSC in Henkel Slovakia. The discussed topics included the current focus of BSCs, their priorities and vision for the future.


Three years ago, after some initial discussions between the Ministry of Economy and AmCham, the Ministry agreed to prepare a conceptual package of measurements that would help the BSCs operate in Slovakia. Rastislav Chovanec, the State Secretary of Ministry of Economy, who is the voice of BSCs in government, and who opened the first panel, highlighted that this package was officially approved by the Slovak government in July 2016. This means we have the first integrated conceptual document which talks in favor of BSCs, and includes 21 measurements divided into three main areas: ensuring sufficient manpower, creating environment that supports development of BSCs and seeking and active supporting of new investments. The work to do remains now in putting these items to practice to make sure the sector grows and its awareness raises in the eyes of public as well.

According to this document, the vision for 2017 is related mainly to creating new job opportunities:

  • to create 2 925 new job opportunities (8 investors),
  • to run a roadshow at chosen universities,
  • to actively engage when creating the planned reform of education,
  • to cooperate with all the stakeholders.

The Ministry of Economy predicts that by 2020, the BSC sector will be the second biggest in Slovakia, employing over 60K people. Its aim is thus to create 20K job opportunities by 2020 through bringing in new investors and expanding the existing activities of established corporations. For this, administrative restrictions need to be removed, the position of Slovakia in the Doing Business ranking needs to improve, a continuos monitoring of legislatom needs to be in place and cooperation with the private sector shall be on a better level.

After the government view on the BSCs, a speech from Thom Barnhardt, Founder of BiznesPolska followed. As Thom commented, the CEE region is on the radar screen of many companies around the world and in some sectors even ahead of countries like India. Especially from the education and cultural perspective. BSCs as an industry are turning from very operational and regional to global enterprise services. The organizations are either in the process of growth, standardization or already using advanced efficiency tools - automation & robotics. Thom touched the topic of robotics, too. It does not need to be a threat if it is used in a smart way – for example if we took away the most monotonous, boring and repetitive things that employees are doing. If the tasks employees don’t want to do anymore were automated thanks to robotics, the fluctuation rate might get lower in time. The ideal scenario? To take the robot out of the humans which would result in boosting the overall productivity. Sounds smart, doesn’t it?

These facts were confirmed by Christian Schulz, Head of SSC, Henkel Slovakia, who also talked about the main challenges the BSCs in Slovakia have ahead: the labor market, industry image and demography. Christian presented the results of a survey made by Grafton which show a clear shift of priorities in the industry. While last year the main focus of BSCs laid in expansion, growth and transitions, in 2016 the priority No.1 is attrition, retention and employee engagement.

The key focus areas of BSCs in 2016 are:

  • 1.attrition, retention, employee engagement
  • 2.becoming a center of expertise, improvements, quality increase
  • 3.cost optimization, effectiveness.