Case interview with:
Henrik Buchholt Bach
Gunri Kallsberg Ellefsen
As a project and Software-as-a-Service business, access to the right IT specialists is a crucial parameter for the success of SDC. Access to expertise means that sourcing IT resources is also a strategic priority. Today, SDC employs more than 300 IT consultants, primarily in Poland but also locally. Here they share some of their experiences with sourcing IT consultants
SDC takes a strategic, structured approach to sourcing IT expertise, which ensures that the business consistently has access to the necessary resources. Nearshoring in Poland plays a vital role in this strategic effort: in recent years, SDC has developed a robust setup that carries out many IT tasks. This setup has become crucial to the success of the business:
"Today, we have the entire palette in Poland. Developers, testers, and test managers, but we also have more senior roles such as team leads and heads of departments. We've arrived at a situation where the entire organisation at SDC uses Polish consultants," explains Gunri Kallsberg Ellefsen, who has primary responsibility for sourcing IT consultants.
A nearshoring setup that enables the business to scale its resources as needed is a strategic priority for SDC. Local consultants in Denmark who do not have the same strategic focus are used to supplement the nearshoring consultants: they are primarily regarded as an operational fix when we need specialist expertise at short notice.
"We use local external consultants as resource reinforcements. We have a lot of highly specialised projects, and the consultants come in and help with more acute issues where we need specialist skills," explains Henrik Buchholt Bach.
Using both local workforce and nearshoring consultants supplement and reinforce a robust and effective employee setup. And this approach has been successful for SDC. The organisation has achieved the scalability it needs while gradually integrating the Polish consultants as a vital part of the business.
Henrik Buchholt Bach
In 2014, SDC realised that the volume of IT resources the business needed was unavailable in Denmark. So the company started a nearshoring operation in Warsaw: initially, SDC brought 5-6 consultants on board and quickly scaled up to 15. Today over 250 IT consultants work for SDC in Warsaw: the company has a 'one location' strategy today, and that location is Poland.
"We started relatively traditional and initially added skills to our application management. Over the years, we've developed our approach, and now there are essential and complex tasks located in Poland," explains Henrik Buchholt Bach.
The most critical ingredient in SDC's recipe for success has been prioritising an open, transparent approach to using nearshoring and scaling up in the tempo that suits the organisation and the situation.
"It's been crucial for us not to get ahead on this journey. We've insisted on being open and transparent throughout the entire process. At the same time, we've stressed not scaling up faster than our situation allowed. We've felt that we've been in control throughout the journey," said Henrik Buchholt Bach.
At SDC, nearshoring consultants are regarded as an integral part of the organisation on an equal footing with permanent staff. Specialists are brought in from Poland with a view to a long-term collaboration.
"We place much stress on ensuring that our nearshoring consultants are deeply integrated into our organisation and culture. We bring these people on board with a long-term horizon. This is also reflected in the length of the contracts (a duration of 1-2 years), including the possibility of extension. It's important to us that they feel like they are part of SDC," explains Gunri Kallsberg Ellefsen.
Over the years, SDC has established a strong brand in Poland and is considered a desirable workplace and collaboration partner. The company's good reputation means that SDC has been able to attract and retain highly skilled resources in the necessary quantities.
"SDC has achieved the desired scalability with the current production apparatus. And that's vital for SDC's business," explains Henrik Buchholdt Bach.
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The Polish consultants are one of the cornerstones of SDC's great success with nearshoring: they guarantee high quality and are capable of living up to SDC's high standards.
"Our Polish colleagues are extremely skilled. They take pride in a job well done. They're here because they want to make a difference. And their work testifies to that," says Gunri Kallsberg Ellefsen.
And in addition to the high skill level of the Polish consultants, cultural compatibility plays a crucial role in ensuring the success of this intercultural collaboration.
"We have a lot of cultural similarities with Poland. We share many of the same 'soft' values, providing a good starting point for collaboration. We're also close to each other, which is a practical advantage. An hour and a half on a plane, and you're in Warsaw," explains Henrik Buchholdt Bach.
Gunri Kallsberg Ellefsen
For many years, emagine (formerly ProData Consult) has been a collaboration partner and supplier for SDC in Poland and in Denmark.
"emagine is one of our three 'preferred suppliers' in Denmark and Poland. They are a professional and reliable supplier of nearshoring consultants and local consultants for us. We've had a good, loyal working relationship for several years. The consultants we receive are of very high quality, and in general, emagine delivers the goods.
I have a single point of contact with emagine at both the Danish and Polish locations, both of whom are extremely important for my work. It is crucial that I'm able to call someone who understands SDC's organisation, business and needs – and I can do this at emagine," says Gunri Kallsberg Ellefsen.
In addition, SDC's entire nearshoring setup operates out of emagine's nearshoring centre in Warsaw.
"We have over 2400 square meters in Warsaw at the emagine nearshoring centre. And even though we're 'next-door neighbours' in Poland, Prodata Consult understands the importance of keeping the relationship 100% professional," concludes Gunri Kallsberg Ellefsen.