29 June, 2009
Since first opening its shared service centre in Manchester in 2003, JT International’s (JTI) operation has increased its internal customer base consistently and now handles transactions for 16 markets and 53 JTI businesses across Europe and the Americas.
Building on this customer base, JTI is focused on making its Manchester facility a global centre for excellence, improving service and bringing on new functions. Between 2007 and 2010, transactional volume will continue to grow, driven by the acquisition of UK-based tobacco company Gallaher in 2007 and resulting plans to integrate processing currently performed in Vienna and Weybridge. After Integration, Manchester will provide transactional processing services for 22 countries, 8 factories and will function in 9 operating languages. Manchester was chosen because of its existing infrastructure, availability of skilled workers and European language speakers. In addition, JTI has two business service centres located in St Petersburg and Kuala Lumpur.
Located at the Salford Quays business centre, with a number of other large shared service centre operations such as Marks & Spencer, Bupa and Sodexo, JTI has recently taken on new staff and acquired additional floor space.
“I continue to be impressed by the quality, dedication, loyalty and commitment of our “rising stars” and look forward to recruiting more of them – especially those with the right attitude as well as language skills, accountancy and system knowledge,” explains Lucie Paterakis, General Manager at JTI in Manchester.
When JTI first selected Manchester as the location for its new shared service centre, the company was focused on becoming a low cost, high quality producer so top priority was the employee base. The criteria for the location of the shared service centre were availability, cost, and skill of labour, centred around specific financial software, coupled with European Language capability.
In recent years the Manchester City Region has become a hub for shared service centres thanks to its reputation as a low cost/high quality destination. The city region alone is home to 30 centres, with a further 20 located throughout the Northwest.
JTI, which is the third largest tobacco company in the world with an 11% global market share and market capitalisation of approximately USD 32 billion, recently celebrated its 10th year of successful operations following the 1999 acquisition of RJ Reynolds International by Japan Tobacco. It is thus a young company with a rich heritage.
JTI is a truly international and multicultural organization, with 23,000 employees in over 80 offices and 30 factories around the world. The centre in Manchester is a clear reflection of this cultural diversity with 120 employees from 15 different nationalities.
JTI successfully worked with a number of regional authorities in the process of setting up and expanding in the area, notably Manchester’s Investment and Development Agency (MIDAS), and the Northwest Development Agency (NWDA). JTI continues to work with MIDAS for recruitment and sector knowledge, and is also a member of the North West Shared Services Forum, another unique draw to the area.
The North West Shared Services Forum was set up by MIDAS to act as a focus for the growing cluster of business service centres in the region. It is designed to enable change and improvement, best practice sharing and networking across its members through a variety of benchmarking initiatives, as well as the website and an annual conference. There are currently 50 members across varied industries including AstraZeneca, AXA, RBS, Kellogg’s, and DWP.