PhD student Fiona visited Malaysia this January to investigate the shared services landscape in the country.
The first visit was to Dr. Aini Aman, associate Professor of the National University of Malaysia (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, UKM). Dr. Aman is an expert in offshore outsourcing and there was a lively exchange of views about shared service centres and opportunities for future collaboration between the two institutions. UKM has a strong network of contacts within local shared service centres and Dr. Aini was able to introduce Fiona to a number of industry professionals who were able to provide insights into the operations of shared service centres. Visits to these shared service centres is allowing the CIMA-Loughborough Shared Service Centre project team to expand our research to the Asia-Pacific region and to make comparisons between governance in Western and Eastern business contexts.
Fiona also met Ms. Aila, Portfolio Development Officer of MDeC MSC. MDeC is a government supported ICT project which aims to attract world-class multinational organisations to set up shared service centres in Cyberjaya, a town with a science park at its centre which was formed as part of the Multimedia Super Corridor. The project also plays a role in providing a conduit for communication between organisations and the Malaysian government. The co-operation of MDeC has enabled us to gain access to local shared service centres of multinational corporations such as IBM and DHL.
Finally, Fiona interviewed Qingqing Soo, Chief Finance Officer of the DHL Asia-Pacific Shared Service Centre, about the current benefits and problems arising within the shared service centres and how service level agreements can play a role in the governance of the business.