A mature talent bank, supportive infrastructure and accommodating policies have enabled multinational companies to professionalize their regional shared services more quickly.
When Elanco Animal Health Ltd completed its separation from global pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, the decision was easy for the company to establish a shared service center in Greater KL, supporting its global operations with a similar center in Warsaw, Poland, as part of a âfollow the sunâ model.
Prior to the separation, Eli Lilly had a well-established Shared Service Center here, so transitioning the expertise, experience, and systems from that center to the new independent Elanco was a relatively straightforward process despite the move that took place during the movement control order (MCO) end point. Greater KL’s mature business services ecosystem has helped ensure the transition has not been hampered by the challenges posed by Covid-19.
Elanco is a global leader in animal health, dedicated to innovating and providing products and services to prevent and treat disease in farm animals and companion animals. Based in Indiana, USA, and with nearly 70 years of animal health heritage, some of the company’s well-known global brands include Seresto, Advantage, Advantix, Advocate, Rumensin, Tylan, Surmax and Hemicell.
Greater KL’s mature shared services business ecosystem has enabled Elanco to find experienced professionals to meet business transition and business support goals efficiently and quickly.
The decision to locate the shared services center in Greater KL was premonitory as Covid-19 meant employees faced unprecedented working conditions while completing the divestiture of systems and processes from Elanco to Eli Lilly . The team also needed to standardize transactions and deliver customer-centric operational services that meet the requirements of all the countries in which Elanco operates.
âWe had 20 employees before the first lockdown was imposed in 2020 to prevent the spread of Covid-19. We were ready to recruit another 70 employees when the business environment changed unexpectedly and the work had to be done from home, âsaid Yvonne Wee, Director of the Elanco Solutions Center at Elanco Malaysia Sdn Bhd.
âDespite the challenges, we were able to leverage Greater KL’s support ecosystem and mature talent pool to meet our changing needs during this difficult time. “
She adds that Elanco also benefits from the multilingual capacity of its local employees and their positive attitude at work, as well as Greater KL’s strategic location in Asia.
A well-informed talent pool with well-established skills
Elanco currently has 100 employees in its shared services solutions center based in Greater KL. Only around 6% of the team are foreign nationals, recruited specifically to serve countries that need native speakers.
âThe team in Malaysia provides regional shared service solutions such as customer service, basic accounting operations and customer contact activities. We also host regional functions, including supply chain and treasury, âexplains Wee.
âGreater KL’s highly skilled workforce has enabled us to hire professionals capable of delivering value and performance at the level required by our rapidly evolving global business center. The experienced talent pool means that we can also recruit experienced talent capable of embracing a start-up culture, âshe adds.
âAlthough Elanco is a 65-year-old company, Eli Lilly’s divestiture meant that we had to do a lot of things from scratch. Our experience challenges the perception that shared services are a mundane industry. There was a lot of learning that we had to do to establish operations.
âAdditionally, as an animal health company, and our roots as a pharmaceutical company, mean that all processes and systems must comply with strict regulations. All of this was put in place during the pandemic. “
Another notable characteristic of the local workforce employed by Elanco is its relatively low attrition rate. Staff turnover is a problem in all industries, especially in the digital age where the demand for skilled and experienced workers typically exceeds supply.
Wee notes that the start-up attrition rate ranges from 30-40%. At Elanco, the attrition rate is only around 17%. She attributes the low turnover to being able to employ professionals who match the culture of the company. New hires are also given a clear picture of what to expect from Elanco and what is expected of them.
There are opportunities for Elanco employees in Malaysia to advance their careers as the company finalized its acquisition of Bayer Animal Health in 2019. This acquisition, valued at $ 6.89 billion, has broadened the scale and Elanco’s capabilities and strengthened the company’s position as a global leader in the animal health industry.
Wee says there will be opportunities for employees to advance their careers and take on a bigger role as Elanco integrates Bayer operations at all levels. The plan is to grow the local shared services solutions team by 30-40% so that it can meet the company’s ambitious goal of providing regional shared services for the combined portfolio of customers by 2023.
Achieve synergies and move up the value chain
Elanco’s global environment, society and governance (ESG) initiatives have been integrated into its strategy and operations, earning it recognition from others, such as the Change the World 2021 list. of Fortune. The list recognizes companies that have made a significant social or environmental impact through their strategy and lucrative operations – doing good while doing good.
Elanco’s sustainability and ESG efforts aim to provide animal-related solutions to some of society’s biggest challenges, including hunger and climate change. For example, the company is committed to expanding its shared value footprint as part of its commitment to create more resilient food systems by 2030, helping to improve the efficiency and sustainability of every farmer with whom it he company works to improve the health and well-being of three billion people. farm animals, and support and improve the agricultural productivity and incomes of 250,000 small-scale dairy and poultry producers.
For its business operations, Elanco plans to leverage its extensive onboarding experience, start-up culture and ownership mindset to effectively and quickly integrate Bayer’s business and operations around the world. .
âThe pandemic has impacted many companies, including Elanco. We still see issues with our supply chain, but the outlook for our business is bright. Hence our ambitious plans to integrate Bayer’s activities into Elanco’s systems, processes and transactions within a relatively short timeframe, âWee said.
âOur goal is to lay a solid foundation for our merged business. Once that is done, we can move up the value chain and consider implementing data mining and robotic process automation (RPA) productivity tools, âshe adds.
Elanco’s plans are aligned with Malaysia’s national agenda, such as the National Industry 4.0 Policy (Industry4WRD), which aims to develop Malaysia as a high-tech nation, and the Shared Prosperity Vision ( SPV) 2030, which has a goal for the digital economy. contribute 22.6% of the country’s GDP by 2025.
Wee notes that Elanco has received support from government agencies such as InvestKL and Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). âInvestKL is very supportive and a great source of credible information during the pandemic. We are also taking advantage of the agency’s Fit4Work initiative, a talent training program to tap into the various managerial-level talent pools.
Greater KL provides a pool of qualified talents for strong and sustainable growth
Muhammad Azmi Zulkifli, CEO of InvestKL
By Muhammad Azmi Zulkifli, CEO of InvestKL
Creating a vibrant ecosystem for multinational corporations (MNCs) to thrive by nurturing a talent pool that meets the industry’s future needs is an ongoing effort in Malaysia’s national growth prospects.
The future of work has changed, as has what employees expect from the new normal. We are seeing the rise of new professions; certain skills are now more in demand than ever with specific skill sets and skills required on the job. In Greater KL, we see a promising trend in increasing a workforce that can compete regionally, providing a competitive advantage to multinational operations here.
They are a skilled workforce with out-of-the-box, proactive, adaptable and, most importantly, experienced skills. Access to this talent pool provides multinationals with a competitive Global Business Service (GBS) operating model in today’s digital business environment marked by global mergers and acquisitions (M&A).
Companies like Elanco Animal Health Ltd are rapidly building global and independent industry leaders who are backed by cost-effective, optimized and efficient GBS manufacturing and support facilities. Here, Elanco Malaysia Sdn Bhd was able to meet the challenges of the pandemic in 2020 and establish a regional business support center to support its operations in 13 ASEAN countries in just over a year.
Its achievement has been made possible by Greater KL’s profitable strategic location, its pool of highly skilled and experienced talent as well as supportive government policies and programs.
By nurturing an ecosystem that supports global business services in today’s dynamic and agile business environment, multinationals can leverage the cost and technology synergies of their M&A activity by quickly incorporating new business units while delivering customer-centric services.
InvestKL understands the need for a talent pool with cross-functional knowledge and skills to realize the potential of GBS in a post-pandemic world. Our programs such as Fit4Work develop the skills and experience needed for GBS to form high performing teams capable of delivering results in unprecedented situations.
In turn, multinationals like Elanco offer high-value jobs with compelling employee value propositions, engaging career paths, and continuous learning and development opportunities. It is the synergistic environment that fosters a talent pool capable of providing GBS capabilities with high added value, technologically advanced and optimized in terms of costs.