Chapter 7
Opening Case Study
Ohio Shared Services
Ohio has faced its share of hard economic times since the recession of 2007
(Williams, 2010b). Ohio’s tax base has dropped 12% over 2009–2010, causing
a $3.1 billion reduction in revenue. There are 4,500 fewer state employees.
As a result several Ohio agencies banded together in 2008 to build a state-
of-the-art shared services center that would use the new enterprise resource
planning (ERP) system for answering invoicing and related questions for gov-
ernment agencies and vendors and provide shared back-end financial services
for participating agencies. This resulted in a new division called Ohio Shared
Services, designed to maximize the new ERP suite’s value. The Center makes
a wide use of virtual servers and desktops so that information technology re-
sources can be easily deployed where needed. The Center’s employees, who
voluntarily came from other state agencies, work under innovative new rules
and sophisticated performance measures.
Ohio Shared Services performed a number of back-end tasks such as ac-
counts payable and invoice processing, fielding invoice inquiries, documents
imaging, travel expense reimbursement, and vendor maintenance and man-
agement that were in the past “siloed” in individual agencies. Participation is
voluntary for state agencies with the exception of the Center’s travel reimburse-
ment and expense reporting capability. Fifteen state agencies participated in
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