First Shared Services Center begins operations

A man stands at a whiteboard while others sit and watch him.

The UWM Shared Services prototype hub is operational. Integrated Support Services project leaders and shared services staff dedicated their time over the last few months to office relocation, the development of this new support structure and the creation of process improvements for their services.

The long awaited hub is now the first Shared Services Center at UWM – providing human resources services to the School of Education, the College of Health Sciences, the College of Nursing, the Zilber School of Public Health, the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare and the Division of Finance and Administrative Affairs. The Shared Services Center is expected to begin offering services in e-reimbursement and procurement this fall. The center is headquartered in Engelmann Hall – with an open concept design intended to encourage collaboration.

A woman points at a whiteboard.
Linda Woods, human resources business partner, and Jarad Parker discuss a project at the prototype hub of the Shared Services Center. (UWM Photo/Mikaila Dusenberry)

This center is truly a prototype, with a focus on bettering the services they provide.

“I knew there would be growing pains and developing strong working relationships with new colleagues would take time,” said Erica Yewlett, one of the HR partners in the Shared Services Center. “I have enjoyed the new relationships I have built with other HR partners within the hub.  I have already learned a great deal from them and look forward to continued shared expertise in the future.”

With this structure, information technology support services are being provided to 70 percent of campus by the new IT shared services team, Campus Technology Services. This includes the UWM Help Desk, Desktop Support and Classroom Services. Thus far, Campus Technology Services staffers have upgraded some of the schools and colleges to improve campus systems for file sharing, printing and passwords, and they are centralizing the way they offer classroom support.

“The best part is getting to see how our counterparts are doing things and being able to adopt more efficient processes going forward,” said Emmitt Houston, a desktop support client liaison. “Collaborating and cross-training with our counterparts is fun as well. Being a part of this change is exciting.”

UWM Shared Services is working toward bettering and simplifying processes that previously varied among schools, colleges and divisions, such as those relating to travel and procurement.

Another major development is the creation of a Service Excellence and Accountability Structure. That team will oversee the Shared Services Centers, providing feedback with the goal of continual improvement.  That effort will begin in the coming months.

The Integrated Support Services project first proposed this integrated model, and project efforts will continue over the next few years. Project leaders have begun conversations with leaders in schools, colleges and divisions to plan for a second shared services center, with a goal of coming on line in fall 2019.

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