Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated October 14, 2015. The questions and answers below are based on the facts as of today. As we finalize additional decisions and learn more from the implementation activities, we will update this information.

Why are we implementing shared services?

Over the past 15 years, the University of Louisville has grown significantly. This upward trajectory has led to tremendous gains in how we provide care, teach the next generation of health care providers, develop health policy and work with our community partners. However, this rapid growth has resulted in a lack of consistent processes which generates significant inefficiencies.We recognize this opportunity and expect the transition to shared services to:

  • Create a flexible organization which can grow and adapt to changing department and University needs
  • Define clear career paths and increase job satisfaction by enabling staff to develop expertise in areas through clearly defined roles and tasks
  • Enhance customer satisfaction by reducing the administrative burden on and improving customer service to faculty, administrators, staff and students
  • Improve efficiencies by developing subject matter expertise and standardizing processes
  • Improve our coveragemodel by cross training staff with similar skill sets and providing consistent services across departments
  • Enhance compliance by providing training to specialized staff and standardizing processes and policies
  • Enable HSC to follow University’s 21st Century directive

What functions will be included in the Shared Services concept at HSC?

We identified the best processes within Human Resources, Finance and Purchasing for creating efficiencies by standardizing processes and better utilizing technology. HSC Shared Services will execute the standard operating procedures (SOP).

Reconciliation activities touching grants will be in HSC Shared Services, but we will not include all of the post award or grant management activities. For example, HSC Shared Services will not be responsible for running grant balance reports for PIs.

We will continue to hold general meetings, as well as meeting with the Deans and Chairs to discuss duties remaining in departments and those transitioning to shared services.

What have we learned and accomplished from the pilot so far?

Faculty and staff throughout HSC with significant involvement in one of the identified areas are part of the project’s work groups. Over the past few months, the work groups have discussed how to best standardize processes and technology across the various departments. The groups recently completed drafts of the SOPs that we will test over the coming months.

One of these standardizations resulted in the creation of a new timekeeping tool. This tool offers new automations reducing the time to calculate entries and time to consolidate entries across the department. Leaders across the University see the value of this tool and are evaluating this as a potential, interim enterprise-wide solution. This solution is not perfect, but is a good example of a step in the right direction.

What is the timing of the pilot and the full implementation of HSC Shared Services?

The pilot is underway and we expect to continue testing our processes and enhancing technology over the coming months. This approach allows us to change and validate the processes to meet our needs before full implementation.

Additionally, the pilot gives us insight into training requirements and timeframes to prepare our employees to use new technology and processes. Finally, we are evaluating technology and developing automated workflows to expedite transactions. Ideally, all of the technology enhancements will be complete prior to the full implementation; however, we may have to phase in enhancements as they are ready.

We expect to hire positions for HSC Shared Services in several phases. We plan to hire employees for the initial stand up by the end of the calendar year. As HSC Shared Services supports additional schools and departments, we will increase staff levels to support the additional volume of work and maintain customer satisfaction. We expect the next wave of HSC Shared Services personnel to start in the January to February timeframe of next year.

How will positions be selected?

We plan to post the HSC Shared Services positions to all University of Louisville employees. Each of the openings will remain open for at least 5 business days and a weekend to give our employees an opportunity to prepare their application and apply for desired positions. We believe that posting all of these positions will ensure a fair, equitable and compliant process, attract the very best people to HSC Shared Services and help the organization provide the highest level of support to the business operations of the schools and departments.

The interview process will be supported by a diverse interview committee composed of faculty, supervisors and staff. The committee will create interview guides and evaluation criteria, recommend candidates and participate in phone and in person interviews to evaluate and select candidates. Start dates will be negotiated with departments for selected University personnel.

We intend to fill all positions via internal candidates; in the event candidates are not qualified or no one applies, positions will be posted externally.

When will the interview process begin for staff who applied for positions in the shared services? The jobs were posted on 1/19/16 and they stated they would be ran until all the positions were filled.

 

The shared services team has begun to go through applications and will be calling qualified candidates for interviews either this week or next week.

We plan to keep the Frontline Staff postings open until all positions are filled and all departments/schools are utilizing our services. As mentioned in previous communications, we will hire positions for HSC Shared Services in several phases.

How can we improve efficiency without reducing our workforce?

We expect the HSC to continue to grow over the coming years. As we add more faculty and clinical staff, we do not want to increase our administrative staff at the same rate. Through the efficiencies gained in HSC Shared Services, we expect to serve more faculty and clinical staff with the same number of administrative staff as we have today. Technology enhancements and improved processes will help our administrative staff meet the additional volume without overworking staff.

What will happen to staff remaining in the departments?

The pilot will give us an opportunity to assess the impacts to the staff remaining in the departments. HSC Shared Services will relieve departmental staff of some of the tasks they currently perform.We intend to share these impacts with the departments so the Deans and Chairs can assess how to redeploy staff remaining in the departments.

When will staff be reassigned to HSC Shared Services?

Start dates will be negotiated with departments for selected university personnel.

Where will HSC Shared Services be located?

No decision has been made on the location of HSC Shared Services. In the future, we will ideally have most of HSC Shared Services in one location; however, it may be several years until this is possible. As we begin to implement HSC Shared Services, we hope to locate staff in the same area of focus in the same location. As a reminder, one of the key components of HSC Shared Services is the development of SOPs and therefore having individuals centrally located is ideal, but not essential for the initial implementation.

How will the transition affect compensation? For employees who transition to HSC Shared Services, will their years of service, vacation and sick accruals transfer with them?

There is no plan to reduce pay based on new responsibilities of staff moving to HSC Shared Services. There also will be no change in an employee’s years of service, vacation or sick accruals if moving to HSC Shared Services.

What technology is being evaluated?What are the benefits of the technology selected?

We are evaluating several technology options to support the standardized processes and automated workflows developed by the work groups.We are discussing the pros and cons of PeopleSoft, BA3 and OnBase with the work groups, ESC and Office of Information Technology (OIT) for each area of focus.
Additionally, we have looked to leverage MS Office Suite applications to streamline and automate processes to address our needs. The project recently constructed a timekeeping tool with new automations reducing the time to calculate entries and time to consolidate entries across the department. Leaders across the University see th

e value of this tool and are evaluating this as a potential, interim enterprise-wide solution.

What training will be provided and by whom?

The pilot gives us an opportunity to understand our training needs and assess our training curriculum.We have brought in the vendor from BA3 to teach our pilot team about the technology. This will help us determine if BA3 meets our technology needs and estimate the training requirements for staff.

We will also evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot training and make improvements prior to the full transition to HSC Shared Services. Similar to our approach with BA3, we plan to hold instructor led training sessions for other technology to prepare the impacted staff to operate in the HSC Shared Services model.We will also utilize super users to provide additional support to staff after the full implementation.

The project is also considering training on customer service fundamentals including inbound call center management, communication skills, first call resolution and conflict management.

What happens to the old shadow systems?

We plan to retire the old shadow systems once we have fully implemented HSC Shared Services and the technology enhancements. Using one, standardized technology will help us create a flexible organization, improve efficiencies and enhance our coverage model. The pilot will help us understand what actions and data will be required to retire the old shadow systems.

How will faculty see the impact of HSC Shared Services?

We expect HSC Shared Services to reduce the administrative burden on faculty. Faculty should see increased efficiency in the delivery of services related to Human Resources, Finance and Purchasing. The forms or process to request service may change with the implementation of Shared Service, so we plan to test these changes in the pilot and communicate any changes to impacted stakeholders. Deans and Chairs are involved in our transition meetings and will help the project team identify and address these impacts.

What is the funding or charge back model?

During the first two years, the EVPHA will provide funding to close the budget gap for HSC Shared Services. Schools and departments will not incur any additional cost. HSC Shared Services will work with the schools and departments to develop an equitable and transparent funding model to appropriately allocate costs to all business units. HSC Shared Services will be responsible for its own budget. As we continue to grow, HSC Shared Services is expected to service a greater number of faculty, clinicians and staff without increasing our administrative staff at the same rate.

How will we measure success and improvement?

One of the primary objectives of the pilot is to determine our current level of service to set a baseline for comparison. Our work groups have discussed and determined the key measures for each area of focus. The pilot groups are analyzing past data to set a baseline across the schools and departments for the transactions in the table:

FunctionTransaction
FinanceCharge Transfers
PurchasingProCards
PurchasingPurchase Orders
HRStaff Hiring
PayrollTimekeeping

Once we have a good understanding of our baseline level of service, we plan to hold workshops with the customers of HSC Shared Services to inform expectations for service level agreements (SLAs). These agreements will document the expected service times or volumes for HSC Shared Services and the expectations and criteria needed to achieve these targets.