Irish firm's new Shenzhen facility to employ 1,500
IRISH SUPPLY chain solutions and development company PCH International will more than double its global headcount with a multimillion-euro facility to fulfil new contracts with consumer electronics companies.
The 27,000sq m plant in Shenzhen, China, will employ an additional 1,500 people including expatriate and local staff, and will be fully operational by the end of July. The company currently employs 1,200 people. The low-carbon, energy-efficient facility will be located in the heart of the Futian Free Trade Zone in the southern Chinese city.
Cork-headquartered PCH has operations in the US and in Shenzhen. The company designs, builds and ships consumer electronics devices and accessories on behalf of some of the world’s largest brands, including Apple.
“We are seeing a huge increase in demand from our global clients and this new facility will cater to their needs,” said Liam Casey, founder and chief executive of PCH International. “This facility will offer expanded packaging, configuration, postponement and fulfilment services – everything our clients require to finish and perfect their products.”
Shenzhen, just across the border from Hong Kong, has been experiencing a slowdown of late, but Mr Casey said the expansion reflected a growing focus on services in China.
“This is contrary to what is being said about Shenzhen. The work we’re doing is in demand. Premier Wen Jiabao said recently that China had to put its focus on services and increase its service offering. The work we do is classic services.
“We are adding value to products coming off the production line, that’s what we do.”
There has been a labour shortage in southern China in the past few years, and providing good working conditions has become essential to help woo talent.
“You have to have good conditions to get workers,” said Mr Casey.
PCH is reported to be planning a stock market listing in Hong Kong, but the Hong Kong market has been sluggish for months now and it’s generally not considered a good year for IPOs.
Mr Casey said an energy efficiency programme, which is also being implemented in its partner factories, will ensure the new facility uses more energy-efficient systems, processes and materials, including energy-efficient heating and air conditioning systems, lighting and water systems.
“Sustainability gives you a competitive advantage,” he said.
The facility will incorporate many energy-saving technologies that will qualify for LEED-CI (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Commercial Interiors) certification later this year.
“This is part of an ongoing process at PCH to drive energy efficiency in the supply chain, not only in our own facilities but also in partner facilities.
“We believe improving energy efficiency presents a huge opportunity to improve both environmental and economic performance.
“Shenzhen is renowned as a centre of excellence for global logistics and innovation, with close access to Hong Kong, and this allows PCH to service not only export clients but also those seeking to access China’s growing domestic market.”
Last week PCH International announced it had acquired the Silicon Valley-based consultancy Lime Lab to help boost in-house product development and engineering services.