Introducing the BOCs
What are Business Operations Centers?
If you’ve never heard of Business Operations Centers (BOCs) that’s because they don’t exist–at least not at NC State. To find one, you’d have to visit an institution like Yale, Johns Hopkins or Cornell.
BOCs provide a lot of benefits to the institutions that have them, enabling them to operate more efficiently with fewer errors and better outcomes. Managers appreciate the streamlined service while employees benefit from better training and opportunities for advancement.
How will BOCs work at NC State?
The BOCs envisioned for NC State will provide business services related to human resources and finance. Each center will be a one-stop shop with the ability to handle a specific function. Together, the BOCs will provide many of the services required to keep business flowing smoothly, from processing time sheets and tracking invoices to ordering supplies and managing financial accounts.
The centers will offer personalized service delivered by staff who understand the clients they serve. Every customer will be assigned a business services liaison and a cross-functional customer service team whose goal will be to provide services and solutions quickly, efficiently and accurately.
Why create Business Operations Centers at NC State?
In a word: service. BOCs will help us improve business services by giving each college, department and unit access to a team of experienced, well-trained experts who understand their unique business needs.
Currently, NC State has 36 business units across campus with inconsistent resources, inconsistent processes and inconsistent training. By streamlining and consolidating these units into business service centers, the university will be able to reduce errors and processing time, improve internal controls and provide better metrics for decision-making. And, by taking advantage of economies of scale, we can drive down costs and boost productivity.
Employees who come to work in the BOCs will benefit as well. They’ll have the opportunity to help design their jobs, their organization and even their work environment. Plus, they’ll receive training to help them acquire new skills and confidence.
Who came up with the plan to create BOCs?
In January 2011, the chancellor asked Provost Warwick Arden and Vice Chancellor Charles Leffler to create a plan that would make NC State more effective and efficient in the face of a significant reduction in state funding. He called for the plan to reduce bureaucracy, enhance academic capacity and contribute to student success.
The plan to create BOCs is an important part of this strategic realignment effort.
In May 2011, a steering team was formed with the charge to improve business operations across campus. Don Patty, assistant dean for finance and business in the College of Natural Resources, chaired the steering team in his capacity as interim director of University Business Operations. In December 2011, Scott Inkley joined NC State as the permanent director of University Business Operations.
The steering team issued its final report in April 2012, outlining a broad framework for consolidating the 36 business units into seven BOCs. The report is available online [PDF].
Since the steering team’s report was issued, an implementation team of business professionals from across campus has identified a more effective way to organize the BOCs. The new model was announced by Chancellor Randy Woodson in December 2012. The chancellor’s memo is available online [PDF].
For more about shared services, read “Making the Case for Shared Services,” from the Advisory Board Company, 2009. NC State Unity ID required to access this report.