Building Connections

Describing her first trip to the US and the 9 weeks she spent at Oetiker's Marlette, Michigan location, Janet Zhang, a member of the APAC Shared Services Center (SSC) Finance team, said, ‘This is an unforgettable experience for me. I believe I will remember it forever.’
Janet’s sentiments echo many of those who have participated in the Employee Exchange Program over the past three years. Similar to other participants, she joined her colleagues, working directly with Oetiker's Regional Director SSC Accounting, and her team.
The central topic over the course of the 9 weeks from April to June was a new software application. Janet had the opportunity to see how her counterparts at Oetiker US used the application on a daily basis. With the software application launch scheduled at Oetiker China in October, this was a great way to see how the system operates in a live, fully operational environment. Having Janet on-site facilitated knowledge transfer in a way that is pretty much impossible to achieve remotely.
It was also an effective way to compare how two SSC’s in different parts of the world operate. According to Janet, ‘My impressions were that there are more automated systems instead of manual processes in OUS. I took part in their routine work and knew their detailed processes well, so I accomplished what I wanted to achieve. In the future, I will gradually introduce these things at Oetiker China especially after the software application implementation because most automations are based on the system.’
Janet could also appreciate the differences in the two teams, ‘Both Oetiker US and Oetiker China have the same functions as SSC teams with similar transactions, but they are different due to specific operational processes driven by different local accounting standard principles and tax laws in the two countries.’.
Despite the differences, Janet was able to bring checklist templates from Americas SSC to her team at China. After making some modifications, the APAC SSC has used it for the past two months with great success.