Alcon is a global leader in eye care with a heritage spanning more than seven decades. The company makes a broad portfolio of products to enhance sight and improve people’s lives. These include contact lenses used by millions of people around the world as well as intraocular lenses for the treatment of cataracts and ophthalmic surgical equipment. One of Alcon’s strategic goals is to establish four competence centers (Alcon Global Services) providing services to the organization worldwide: a global one in Bangalore and three regional ones: in Mexico City, Kuala Lumpur and Warsaw.
“We picked Warsaw, a city with a highly developed infrastructure and readily accessible talent pool of qualified employees with foreign language skills and specialized degrees. We wanted to be close to business, that is why the center is co-located with our commercial unit in Warsaw” – says Michał Kasprzyk, Head of Alcon Global Services Regional Hub.
Creating a new business services center from the ground up is no mean feat but there is a huge opportunity for growth and shaping the company and its processes. Although Alcon Global Services operates within a large and stable organization employing over 20,000 people worldwide, the office has a start-up like culture and a strategic goal – the company’s transformation.
It is a diverse and dynamic work environment, best suited for people with a continuous improvement mindset, searching for an opportunity to make an impact, take initiative and wanting to cooperate in an international environment.
Alcon Global Services is a functionally-led organization – its teams in Warsaw constitute an integral part of respective global business functions, such as HR, IT or finance. They not only deliver business processes, but are actively engaged in shaping them.
Alcon’s Transition & Transformation Team (T&T) ensures successful launch of the new shared services center and smooth transition of services from the parent company and external providers to AGS. T&T hires professionals with experience in business process transformation or project management.
“The work is very exciting, mostly because we are responsible for strategic initiatives which are of key importance for the organization. To put it simply – our job is to successfully guide the company through the transformation process, including planning, implementation, monitoring and risk elimination. The projects are carried out with teams from various countries and cultures, working in different time zones. There is no room for boredom. We are constantly facing new challenges, looking for creative solutions to unusual problems. In order to make it in this field, you need to have a good understanding of business processes, you should be confident and able to communicate with people working in different fields and at all organizational levels, you need to be responsible and flexible” – says Adam Borucki, AGS Senior Manager Transition & Transformation.
Key Areas of Employment
Warsaw’s AGS is successively taking over more business processes and increasing its recruitment needs. The company plans to hire over 100 employees by the end of 2020. And it is only the beginning – Alcon’s development is expected to continue in the years to come.
The IT competence centre in Warsaw supports different business teams and collaborates with internal and external IT teams around the world. The company works on an ecosystem based on IT solutions developed by leading global producers such as IBM, SAP, Microsoft, StreamServe and creates its own innovative tools, for example, in the big data area.
IT teams that are hiring now:
- Commercial IT – develops CRM systems such as Salesforce, EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) and RPA solutions, e.g. Automation Anywhere or an original AWS-based analytical platform which helps make business decisions worldwide.
- IT ERP – responsible for maintaining SAP and related interfaces, monitoring daily operations and system performance. Members of this team take part in innovative projects and enhancement initiatives – they identify and implement improvements, optimize existing solutions and develop SAP applications.
- Technical Infrastructure Services/End User Experience – provides hardware and software maintenance and development services (LAN/WAN, Backup & Storage, Databases, Access & Identity Management, Mobile Device Management) and processes and tools supporting IT services management (Tools & Reporting).
The company is searching for Salesforce programmers, solution architects, business analysts, project managers, infrastructure engineers, system administrators, Big Data engineers, ITSM specialists or ERP implementation experts.
“Being part of the global Alcon IT Team is more than working on the latest Technology project. It’s about working on the latest business project that will help Alcon reach more clients, improve services, and streamline processes that help people see better. Alcon’s IT strategy is centered around leading, digital technology platforms including Salesforce, SAP, Workday, Veeva, Microsoft 365, Service Now, AWS and Cisco.. Our employees are offered an opportunity to develop – vertically and horizontally – and get promoted within the organization. What is very important for us is to make sure that IT associates working in our center in Warsaw feel like being part of the global Alcon IT Team – working very closely with the stakeholders from all around the world"– says CJ Lombardo, OCIO & Corp Functions IT Head at Alcon Global Services.
In Alcon, the Finance function's mission is to build a world-class ONE Finance team that drives business success with integrity and simplicity in a standardized environment across all the processes and countries. Building strong Finance capabilities in our center in Warsaw is one way of bringing this mission to life. We are aiming to build strong finance expertize, bringing together various roles across the Finance domains focused primarily on supporting European and Middle East countries.
The finance team at Alcon is called Financial Reporting and Accounting (FRA). It is responsible for delivering high-quality services in the area of financial reporting, accounting, controlling and compliance.
Financial services are currently provided by the following AGS teams:
- Invoice to Cash (I2C) – takes care of payment collection and credit management (including settling disputes, sending payment requests and managing blocked orders due to credit line). The Accounts Receivable team is at the center of the I2C process, handling accounts receivable for the company’s clients, taking care of cash collection, maintaining the clients’ credit limits, balance sheet account reconciliation, settling client’s complaints with the sales administration teams.
“Since we work closely with clients, soft skills are of vital importance in this role. You need to be able to communicate with a demanding client or negotiate with them when collecting overdue payments. We cooperate mostly with international companies, that is why we can use English or other foreign languages spoken in a given country on a daily basis. No two days are alike at I2C” – says Emilia Zajer, Team Lead, Accounts Receivable at Alcon Global Services.
- Business Planning & Analysis (BPA) team supports management in decision making, allowing the company to reach set optimal goals using its own resources.
The team’s work rests on the following pillars:
- Goal setting based on budget processes and mid-year forecasts;
- Financial reporting and in-depth variance analysis;
- KPI tracking, including risk assessment and mitigation strategies;
- Business Partnering – close cooperation with all Alcon departments through a financial analysis of new business ideas and optimization of the existing activities.
A job in the BPA team gives you a unique opportunity to cooperate with all company departments and allows you to look at the big picture, not just one component.
“Working in BPA is like being a ship navigator, making analyses and plotting the best route from port A to port B, avoiding all storms, shoals or other obstacles. We closely cooperate with all commercial and support departments in European markets, provide them with information and recommendations, indicate risks and opportunities on the basis of conducted analyses” – says Piotr Brzozowski, BPA Manager at Alcon Global Services.
- Travel & Expenses (T&E) – the team ensures that business expenses of Alcon employees are incurred in accordance with the company policy and regional guidelines. The team’s activities are very comprehensive. Apart from cost control, their main focus is on preparation and implementation of guideline changes and new tools that enhance delivered processes. The team conducts training sessions for employees to introduce new improvements and ensure efficient use of tools for business expense management.
"One of the greatest benefits of working in T&E is the ability to maintain balance between repetitive tasks and additional projects and having the opportunity to cooperate with employees from different countries and cultures" – says Michał Delvaux, Travel & Expenses Specialist at Alcon Global Services.
The HR department can be divided into two areas, which differ from each other in terms of required competences:
HR Help Center – a department responsible for providing HR and payroll support to Alcon employees worldwide, in cooperation with other teams, including the payroll and design departments as well as regional partners. At the moment, the department fully supports certain geographic regions and it is set to become the primary point of contact for the EMEA region in a few months. HR Help Center takes part in the transition of processes as part of the software implementation project (e.g. Workday) and taking over of services. Their activities are centered around knowledge transfer, system testing, process planning and implementation of technological improvements in response to the company’s needs. The department’s back-office team is made up of experts responsible for implementation of improvements within the field.
“Our company is currently undergoing a transformation process on a global scale. We need to spring into action, take a closer look at the processes and improve them so that they make sense to our employees in the first place. It is a big but interesting challenge, since we need to take into account our technological resources, local laws and cultural needs”– says Sara Pereira-Chwalińska, Alcon HR Service Center Lead.
- Payroll – a department responsible for paying remuneration to Alcon employees in different European countries. Payroll specialists maintain contact with payroll partners and local offices in regard to taxes, social and health insurance or employee pension plans. The department provides employees with information on their pay. In order to perform the job duties, it is necessary to have general knowledge of labor laws and keep up to date with relevant legislative changes. Candidates for this job are also required to have a good working knowledge of English. Other European languages, even the less popular ones, like Danish or Flemish, are also sought-after. The payroll department is looking mostly for experienced professionals.
“Language skills are indispensable in our job and allow us to deliver the best quality of products – namely, properly calculated remuneration, duly transferred to the accounts of our employees in all parts of Europe. At the moment, we are involved in a few bigger projects, e.g. the transition of payment processes from regional teams to the AGS center in Warsaw and implementation of Workday and Kronos systems“ – says Justyna Sikocińska, Alcon Regional Payroll Lead.
Alcon Global Services – practical information
Last but not least, here are a few pieces of information for job seekers:
Alcon Global Services is located in the New City building at ul. Marynarska 15, within walking distance of Galeria Mokotów. The new office space combines modern design and technology with traditional elements. It has one extra advantage, too – a spacious terrace on the 7th floor, accessible to Alcon employees only.
The company offers contracts of employment and a competitive benefits package including private medical care for employees and their family members, a lunch card, transportation allowance or Alcon contact lenses.
Thanks to the company’s dynamic development, Alcon employees are given a lot of opportunities to learn new skills. They can take part in interesting projects, transitions and implementations and are given access to training courses, including language classes, modern work tools and – in the case of IT jobs – a technology stack.
- More information on current vacancies are to be found at pl.alcon.com