Transforming Business Processes Shell Services


Shell Services International (SSI) employed 4,800 people in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific. Its main lines of business included Infrastructure, Technology Services, Systems Integration, Business Services, Consultancy & Business solutions and Shared People Services.

In 1998 it changed from a collection of internal service providers to a company with full P&L responsibility with turnover in excess of $1b. The SSI Leadership team recognised that they faced several related business challenges.


Following the move from internal provider to stand alone company, Oakland Consulting was contracted to assist the Leadership team, which was facing several related business challenges:

  • The customer – supplier relationship had changed from a familial to a commercial relationship and customers had a much higher expectation of service now that they were paying for this service. Customers could also choose alternative service providers.
  • Customer centric skills were generally lacking in the organisation and there was considerable uncertainty about the change.
  • A turndown in oil prices placed the business under pressure and cost leadership became a key requirement. Customers also increasingly required value added solutions at lower cost.
  • End to end process thinking was not established and SSI faced several major service delivery problems.


The work involved the development of a business framework to identify the strategic and operational gaps that needed to be addressed for SSI to achieve its vision of being recognised as a world leader in integrated solutions. As a result of this exercise several key strategic projects were launched to address:

  • Quality of service delivery in key areas.
  • Re-engineering and the development of end to end business processes, eg. Contract to billing.
  • People skills, particularly the development of customer centric skills.
  • Development of an SSI balanced scorecard.


  • A business model capturing best practice from the US and Europe that enabled SSI’s transformation from an internal service provider to a company with full P&L responsibility.
  • A better understanding of the key strategic issues impacting on the achievement of its vision, particularly in the areas of market understanding and customer focus.
  • A better understanding of the key operational issues impacting on service delivery particularly in the areas of customer focus, performance measurement and process control.
  • A performance measurement framework / balanced scorecard based on best practice.
  • Tangible benefits in key strategic areas are evidenced by:
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Improved staff satisfaction
  • Cost savings of up to 50% in many areas of service delivery