Back to Service Operations

Corporate and business functions

Corporate and business functions—such as finance, human resources, IT, procurement, legal, and facilities management—represent a significant investment for companies and are essential to almost every organization. But in an environment of increased globalization, technology disruption, and cost pressures, they also represent an enormous opportunity. Our experience is that the best companies invest in developing these functions to play an increasingly strategic role, improving competitiveness and value creation.

Transforming corporate and business functions

McKinsey’s approach to corporate and business functions is based on a simple premise: help clients capture the full value of their operations. We provide a cross-functional perspective backed by deep, interdisciplinary expertise and employ a wide range of proven levers, such as lean, capability building, and offshoring and outsourcing. The tools we use help clients to make smart choices on technology and automation. Whether an end-to-end transformation or smaller-scale effort, we work with clients to improve both the efficiency and effectiveness of all business and corporate functions.

Examples of our work include:

  • Optimizing functions, such as IT, finance, HR, procurement, legal, and facilities management
  • Redefining end-to-end processes, such as procure-to-pay, order-to-cash, and hire-to-retire
  • Digitally enabling functions and processes, unlocking value from technology and automation
  • Zero-Based Budgeting, rigorously challenging spend levels and instilling a culture of cost-management
  • Creating and sustaining shared-service centers, including defining organizational requirements, network and center design, implementation and management, and performance improvement over time
  • Evaluating and pursuing captive and third-party outsourcing and offshoring arrangements.

Knowledge and tools

Based on our extensive work with clients, we have developed deep, function-specific databases for cost benchmarking, process efficiency, and location strategy, for example. We also invest heavily in other capabilities, such as:

  • Cloud-based platforms, such as OrgLab, which enables rapid visualization of spans and layers and organizational design prototypes, and WAVE, an integrated solution for managing projects from idea to implementation
  • Capability-building centers (16 globally), using experiential and other proven learning techniques to demonstrate leading practices, develop skills, and create executive commitment
  • A network of external advisors who have led similar transformations and serve as peer coaches.

Featured experts

Alexander Edlich

Senior Partner, New York

Michael Bloch

Senior Partner, Tel Aviv

Jonathan Silver

Partner, New York

Related insights

Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Can you achieve and sustain G&A cost reductions?

– Yes, but not by playing it safe. Set big goals, insist on a cultural shift, and model from the top.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Maximizing the value of G&A

– Reductions in general and administrative expenses flow right to the bottom line, but slash the wrong areas and you’ll get... burned. We suggest a more strategic approach.
Article

How shared-services organizations can prepare for a digital future

– To complement their efforts to build innovative customer experiences, companies should consider ways to digitize back-office functions... and optimize company performance.