Arrow ECS has lifted the lid on its new shared services centre in Poland. The facility is currently offering quoting and configuration services to its UK operations, with more countries to be added in due course.
Rumours first surfaced six months ago that Arrow was looking to move to Poland some back-office functions previously fulfilled in the UK. Jesper Trolle, Arrow ECS vice president for north-west Europe and APAC, told CRN sister publication Channelnomics Europe that a centre in Poland's second largest city, Krakow (pictured), was now up and running. The UK is the first country for which the Polish facility is providing services, but other nations in western Europe and beyond will likely be added in the months to come.
"For a few quarters we have been building quoting and configuration capabilities in eastern Europe, in Poland," said Trolle. "It gives us the ability to free up our salespeople to go and meet and talk to customers."
Both Trolle and EMEA president Eric Nowak stressed that Arrow ECS has made use of shared services for many years. The distributor has a number of centres across EMEA providing various functions for their surrounding regions, including locations in Denmark, Austria, Morocco, and Israel.
"We have experience with shared services centres since 2006. We have regional shared services centres [offering services such as] admin, finance functions, and sales and quote configuration. We have shared services in most of the regions," said Nowak. "But when it comes to the customer-facing [operations], it is always local."
Nowak admitted that the precipitous decline of the value of the pound as a result of ongoing Brexit process had hurt the distributor's top line last year. But he claimed that a company with as broad and diverse a business as Arrow could compensate for such setbacks elsewhere.
"The UK is a big part of our business, and we report in euros, then convert into dollars. There has been a 15 to 18 per cent decrease in the pound versus the euro," he said. "But there is not anything that we can do [about that]. And is also about market share; we are focusing on on-boarding a new kind of partner, a lot of ISVs, systems integrators, telcos. It is also about breadth. When you have a balanced business across different industries, and different verticals, then the impact from events such as Brexit is less."
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