Gerdau is the leading producer of long steel in the Americas and one of the largest suppliers of special steel in the world. With over 45,000 employees, it has industrial operations in 14 countries – in the Americas, Europe and Asia – which together represent an installed capacity of over 25 million metric tons of steel per year. It is the largest recycler in Latin America and around the world it transforms millions of metric tons of scrap into steel every year. Gerdau is listed on the stock exchanges of SГЈo Paulo, New York, and Madrid and has around 140,000 shareholders.
In October 2010, Chazey was engaged to help Gerdau assess, plan and implement a multifunctional Shared Service Center based in Mexico City servicing 7 countries in Latin America (Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela) and Spain. We developed and executed a comprehensive project and change management plan that encompassed all aspects of the development of a shared services delivery function including: feasibility analysis and business case, a detailed organizational and process design, an internal communication plan, comprehensive service delivery framework, physical plant design, technology enablement and a risk assessment and mitigation plan.
The Chazey team was instrumental in helping Gerdau establish a new shared services organization of 120 people that covers multiple processes within the HR, Finance, Accounting and Administrative functions. The HR scope included Payroll and Personnel Administration processes for approximately 10,000 employees for the 8 different countries.
In 2011, Gerdau’s management made the decision to follow up on expanding its Shared Services model through the creation of a new Shared Service Center located in Mexico to provide services to 7 countries in Latin America and Spain. Given the broad scope of the project and the relative lack of first hand Shared Services experience, we decided to engage an outside partner. Chazey Partners was recruited and joined the LatAm SSO project team in October 2011 to offer support and guidance through the ensuing 18 months’ implementation. During this period, Chazey’s consultants worked closely with the project management team to develop a business case, present the benefits to country leaders, manage change communications, and guide the transition to fully operating Shared Services. Chazey’s practitioners were able to leverage their extensive experience, based on multiple global implementations, including Latin America. This gave the project team the confidence to successfully push ahead despite significant resistance and gain knowledge and methodology that we are still using to continue expanding the scope of our organization.