Shared Services Centers
Colombia continues to position itself as one of the most important destinations in the Region for the establishment of shared services centers for foreign companies. The country provides specialized solutions in human resources, finance, procurement, logistics, technology, back office services, digital transformation, among others, ensuring the highest levels of efficiency and strategic support that companies demand.
Why invest in the shared service sector?
What makes this sector in Colombia so attractive?
- Colombia ranks third in A.T. Kearney's Latin America service location indicator.
- It is a market that registers growth, macroeconomic stability, and investor confidence.
- It is within Gartner’s 30 leading locations for Offshore Services.
- It enjoys a privileged strategic location, in the center of five time zones, sharing a time zone with important business centers such as New York, Toronto, and Miami.
- The country is located between the major commercial and financial hubs of the hemisphere. It shares relevant cultural affinity patterns, favoring the consolidation of operations in the region.
- In addition, Colombia is recognized for having a natural service culture.
What are the characteristics of the shared service center industry in Colombia?
- The industries for which more services are provided in Colombia are production, mass consumption, and distribution (20%), construction (12%), and technology (10%).
- The city with the largest number of SSCs is Bogotá (62%), followed by Medellín (28%), and Cali (7%).
- The companies established these centers in Colombia to provide both local (28%) and regional (64%) services.
- Ecuador and Mexico are the main countries served by the surveyed Colombian SSCs.
- Spanish, English, and Portuguese are the predominant languages in the services provided by centers in Colombia.
(Shared Services Survey 2019, Ernst & Young and ProColombia, 2019)
Colombia has high quality telecommunications infrastructure and connections
- Colombia has 11 submarine communications cables in operation, making it the second country in the region with the largest number of cables. This allows Colombia to offer excellent international connectivity with fast data transmission and stability.
- According to the Ministry of Information Technology, Colombia registered 2.8 million broadband connections in 2010. In 2018, the figure grew to 32.7 million connections.
Colombia has a highly skilled workforce for SSC operations
- The main reason for investing in this sector in Colombia is the availability and quality of human talent at an efficient cost.
- According to the IMD World Talent 2019 Report, Colombia has the largest workforce in the region, and is number one in terms of growth and training, outpacing Peru, Mexico, and Brazil.
- Colombia has 4 universities in the world's top 500 and 12 in the top 100 for Latin America, according to QS World University. Nine years ago, no Colombian university made the rankings.
- Colombia enables scalable operations, available in 6 metropolitan areas, each with more than one million residents: Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, and Cartagena (DANE).
- Cultural links: With respect to the Spanish language, Colombia has the third largest Spanish-speaking population in the world, which makes it an ideal market to centralize operations for the rest of Latin America. In addition, it has one of the most neutral accents for voice operations (Economist Intelligence).
Success stories in the SSC sector in Colombia
- Global companies such as Amazon, Johnson & Johnson, Diageo, Stanley Black&Decker, and SAP recognize the potential of the shared services center industry in Colombia.
Investment opportunities in the shared services center sector:
- Development of a SSC operations, taking advantage of the quality of professional graduates in different regions of the country.
- Setting up SSCs for finance, accounting, IT, procurement, human resources, and value-added services. Operations in English and Spanish.
- SSCs specialized in telemarketing, collection, sales, customer service, and call centers that allow A greater insertion into formal employment, especially by the country’s workforce equipped with technical and technological degrees.
- Service centers focused on back-office, outsourcing of financial and accounting services, human resources, logistic services, and Level II help desks that can cater to the needs of businesses of the financial, logistic, and oil sectors, among others.
- Construction of outsourcing centers for engineering services, telemedicine, R+D+i, graphic design, and business analytics, since these are high value-added services in demand among different verticals in Colombia.
- Installation of offshore platforms to serve foreign markets.
- Agricultural products & Food production
- Healthcare services and life sciences
- Hospitality and tourism infrastructure
- Information technology and creative industries
- Manufacturing industries
- Private equity and venture capital
- Real Estate