The Biggest Shared Services Center in Chengdu - Maersk GSC

Dec 15, 2011, 17:00 ET from Chengdu Tianfu Software Park

CHENGDU, China, Dec. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- Maersk Global Service Centres Chengdu ("GSC Chengdu"), located in Chengdu Tianfu Software Park, since its launch in March 2010, has reached a total employee headcount of approximately 1,100 within one and a half year's operations, as the latest of Maersk's five GSCs, of which three are located in India (Mumbai, Pune and Chennai) and one in Manila. The center in Chengdu is the fastest growing center of all GSCs, The GSC in Chengdu performs Customer Service Documentation (Export and Import), E-booking, On-line Customer Service Finance and Accounting Processing.

"Chengdu GSC has earned its license to grow," said Chris McGeoch, Director of Maersk Chengdu GSC. "The 'license to grow' reflects consistently on good performance and positive customer feedback since opening for business. Chengdu's was the smallest GSC but we expect to grow the centre substantially over the next couple of years." In the same building of Maersk Global Service Center in Chengdu Tianfu Software Park, its sister company, Damco which was launched at the same time now employs 900 staff. Therefore, Maersk Group in fact has 2, 000 people in the software park.

Maersk has initiated the location study of going west since 2008. "High on our list of priorities for the right location was an abundant supply of talent, good infrastructure covering both office/IT and power and accessibility for staff, the 'business sense' of Government and of course the professionalism of the people running the chosen location, in our case the Tianfu Software Park. It was a tough selection process - all the cities we evaluated are highly rated - however Chengdu gave the best combination weighing up all the factors going into the decision."

When asking about the big difficulties or challenges Maersk had met within the 2 years' rapid development, Chris said: "We imported a number of experienced leaders to underpin the expected business growth. Success breeds success - as we attracted more business it did become a challenge to grow our leadership to match. One learning to take away is the importance of helping our many youngsters through the Campus to Corporate transition. Naturally we expect to be in Chengdu for the long term and part of that is of course an appropriate and sustainable cost base for the many years to come. We have seen costs increase over the period but do anticipate stability will be reached."

The majority of Maersk staff hired locally, and the average age in the Chengdu GSC is 25 years, it is a very young organization. According to Chris, "It was so that some of our locally hired talent could step up to leadership positions quickly - this far we have had two rounds of our six-month duration leadership development course (we call the course "bamboo" - a fast growing plant in Sichuan province). The outcome has been excellent - many locals have fast-tracked to leadership positions within our first 18 months of operation. Bamboo 3rd edition has started in Oct. 2011. People leadership is not the only growth opportunity - many staff also grow into specialist roles within the business and support functions - and have access to our internal Job Portal providing opportunities throughout the whole A.P. Moller Maersk Group globally. Hopefully we will see Sichuan talent moving up around the globe in due course."

Chengdu is absolutely suitable for setting up shared service centers as Chengdu, being the central city in western China, has developed itself as an emerging GSC hub in recent years. According to a report which was released in October 2010 by India's Global Services, Chengdu ranks 40th among the top 100 outsourcing cities in the global service outsourcing sector, and was the first city in West China to make the list. "That's what the publicity says and referring to our experience in Maersk I can certainly agree," Chris stated.

SOURCE Chengdu Tianfu Software Park