Week of March 18, 2002
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350-Employee Phoenix Center Completes DHL's Global IT Loop
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. DHL Worldwide Express has completed the global location loop for its round-the-clock IT support. And Scottsdale, Ariz., is the last link.
Center Marks Area'sDHL expects some 125 local hires among the 350 employees at the Scottsdale IT center, company officials explained. The rest of the work force will be transferred to the Americas operation from other DHL Information Services offices in Canada, Latin America and the United States. Annual salaries of employees at the Phoenix center will reportedly average more than US$80,000 a year.
Second Major DHL Operation
"The Phoenix area has been a tremendous community for DHL over the past decade, and we have selected it as the site of two of our most strategic facilities," said CIO Stephen McGuckin. DHL Airways Inc., the U.S. arm of DHL Worldwide Express, two years ago expanded its national customer service center in Tempe, Ariz. The Tempe center will generate 500 jobs by 2010, company officials said. Spanning 82,000 sq. ft. (7,380 sq. m.) in Tempe's Papago Park Center, the center will expand by 40,000 sq. ft. (3,600 sq. m.) to accommodate the added customer service employees, DHL executives projected.
Eight-Hour Center Shifts,The Scottsdale center will link up with the London and Kuala Lumpur sister centers to provide 24/7 IT support for DHL's more than 60,000 employees and 1 million customers.
Plus One 'Overlap' Hour
The three operations will work in nine-hour shifts. Each one will independently provide eight hours of support. But each will also have a one-hour overlap in operations with the next facility in the round-the-clock handoffs. The overlap hour is to ensure that network management control is transferred completely from one operation to the next.
Though U.S. based, with its headquarters in San Francisco, DHL has enjoyed its greatest success in the international arena. The company holds an almost 40 percent share of the international express traffic market. And DHL handles some 25 percent of U.S. shipments that are routed abroad. For domestically routed shipments, though, the company's share is less than 2 percent. Said McGuckin, "The opening of our America's Information Services Center is an important component of DHL's global strategy, and we look forward to growing in this region."
Wells Fargo Adds 175 Lubbock Jobs, Returns Incentives
LUBBOCK, Texas When a company gives back location incentives, it's usually anything but a good sign for local business expansion.
Bank Turns Down $290K in IncentivesBut despite the fact that it's expanding, Wells Fargo is turning down the $290,000 in incentives that it had been promised.
Market Lubbock Inc., the city's economic development arm, had offered the incentives. Those incentives included $50,0000 to assist in relocating the call center operation from downtown to West Lubbock, plus $80,000 for each of the next three years, based on job creation.
But something unusual happened at the March groundbreaking of Well Fargo's expanded call center. Bank officials at the groundbreaking were handed a symbolic giant cardboard check for $50,000. They handed it back. Wells Fargo, in fact, announced that is wasn't accepting any of the $290,000 incentive package.
The return of the subsidies sprang from Wells Fargo's "community banking philosophy," explained Gary Lawrence, president of the financial institution's Lubbock operations.
'Trying to Set a Precedent'"We're trying to set a precedent," Lawrence said. "We just felt Market Lubbock has a very limited budget that's probably better served to help small businesses expand and attract new ones to Lubbock."
The bank, Lawrence added, hopes that its example will spur other large companies in Lubbock to consider carrying out local expansions without asking for assistance. That would conserve resources that could then be used in building the local economy, he said.
Said Market Lubbock Inc. President C. David Sharp, "I think it's a very admirable action on their part."
Well Fargo's generosity made the kind of music that's rarely heard in the business location business and sometimes solid business reasons dictate that it can't be made. Music of a different sort, though, probably expressed a lot of local residents' feelings about Wells Fargo's gesture. That music comes from a song once made famous by rock and roll legend and Lubbock native Buddy Holly.
"Well all right," Holly sang.
Bayer CropScience Splits Functions between KC and RTP
After a protracted tug of war between Midwest and Southeast U.S. recruiters, Bayer CropScience has announced what amounts to a split decision: Created by Bayer AG's $6.65 billion acquisition of Aventis CropScience in October 2001, Bayer CropScience has picked Kansas City as the home of its core technology center and its U.S. sales offices. The technology center will have oversight of Bayer CropScience manufacturing and will include formulation operations and R&D activities. Research Triangle Park, N.C., however, won out in the competition for Bayer CropScience's headquarters.
Kansas City Longtime HomeBoth competing cities already had substantial employee clusters in place.
Of Bayer's U.S. Agriculture Division
Longtime home of Bayer's U.S. Agriculture Division, the Kansas City metro had the bigger of the two clusters. Bayer has 1,300 employees in three metro-area sites - a crop protection center in Kansas City, an animal health center in Shawnee, Kan., and a research park in Stilwell, Kan. Of those 1,300 Bayer employees, some 850 work in Bayer's crop division in administration and manufacturing.
"We . . . determined that the Kansas City area is the right place to pursue the new company's goal of becoming a leader in bringing innovative solutions to American agriculture through new technology and manufacturing," said Emil Lansu, president of Bayer's North American Agriculture Division.
The Kansas City area's aggressive drive to bolster its life sciences cluster was part of Bayer CropScience's location rationale, he added.
"On the research side, this pursuit is significantly enhanced by Kansas City's life sciences initiative, which opens doors for us to some of the best laboratories and leading scientists in the country," said Lansu, Bayer CropScience's future North American regional head.
"In addition," he continued, "the new company's NAFTA-region manufacturing will be directed from Bayer's operations in Kansas City, one of two manufacturing centers of excellence for Bayer's crop protection business worldwide."
Aventis HQ in RTPResearch Triangle Park, on the other hand, was holding what turned out to be the trump card in terms of Bayer CropScience's headquarters: It was already home to the 600-employee headquarters of Aventis's crop science business.
One shoe of the headquarters location decision seemed to drop late last year. That was when Bayer named Esmail Zirakparvar to head up business operations for the combined crop science businesses of Bayer and Aventis. Zirakparvar served as chief executive officer and president of Aventis CropScience.
Another factor that likely steered the headquarters decision in North Carolina's direction was Bayer's R&D partnership with Paradigm Genetics, a biotech company based in Research Triangle Park. As part of the partnership, Paradigm Genetics is screening plant genes to assist in discovering new herbicides.
Job Impact UnclearTo a great extent, the dual location decisions continue business as usual. And minimizing disruption was apparently one major driver in the two-pronged decision, company officials indicated.
"Our overall strategy for long-term growth is best supported by our approach of selecting two principal sites to meet the business needs of the new company," said Jochen Wulff, who heads Bayer's global crop protection business and will serve as chairman of Bayer CropScience. Bayer spokesman Greg Coffey called the dual decision "a step forward toward the pending integration of the two organizations, taking advantage of the competencies and resources in both locations."
Even after the decisions, though, their employment impact remains unclear.
A total of some 500 jobs would have been added if either Kansas City or Research Triangle had won all of the Bayer CropScience functions for which they were competing.
Now, though, Coffey said that the company doesn't "expect a significant shift in numbers of employees at either location."
However, when the merger with Aventis was first announced, Bayer officials said that the combined corporation would cut 4,000 jobs from the worldwide work force.
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