Leading Appliances' head office has offshored several functions to Vietnam.
Leading Appliances’ head office has offshored several functions to Vietnam.

“Good Morning Vietnam” isn’t just a popular movie, it’s also how Leading Edge Group Global CEO Raylee Carruthers starts internal emails. That’s because the diversified retail organisation and buying organisation behind Leading Appliances has today revealed that it has offshored its HR and accounting processes to Ho Chi Minh City (nee Saigon), the largest city in Vietnam.

This move to offshore resourcing has been facilitated by ASWIG Solutions, a technology services and outsourcing company with offices in Australia, Vietnam and the Philippines. The move to a seamless and streamlined intercontinental operations department began three years ago with the hiring of staff in Vietnam, many of whom studied as overseas students at Australian universities.

Here’s Carruthers explaining some of the whys and hows of this move:

“Our 1,100 retail and SME members’ orders are processed through our group, making ours a high-volume business generating more than 1,700 accounting transactions a day,” Carruthers told me. “These are the types of process-oriented functions we have managed by our 15 staff in Vietnam, which has allowed us to lower our costs and focus more on service for our members.

“Our Vietnamese staff are an integrated part of the whole organisation, they are included in internal communications, they are linked by a manager who at first trained them and now travels there frequently working with them on process improvement to create a seamless operation.”

According to reliable sources, the Leading Edge Group currently has a turnover of around $300 million per year.

ASWIG Solutions managing director Joe Fussell said offshoring operations allows Australian companies to access a wealth of talented staff at a fraction of the cost of local employees.

“More than 16,000 students a year come from Vietnam to study here and they return with our ‘human capital’ to their home country,” he told me. “Engaging them back in the Australian workforce, is not only a way of tapping into that brain drain but gives small to medium Australian companies the opportunity to access a global labour market.”

Ho Chi Minh City Fact File

  • Formerly named ‘Saigon’, Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam, with a population of just under 8 million people. It is not the capital, however: that honour belongs to Hanoi.
  • As Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City was the capital of the Vietnamese Republic (South Vietnam) from 1955 until the end of the conflict in Indochina (commonly called the ‘Vietnam War’) in 1975.
  • A humid city with wet and dry seasons, it rains 155 days per year in Ho Chi Minh City.
  • The city is named for Ho Chi Minh, leader of the revolutionary forces of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) during the conflict in Indochina. Ho Chi Minh was born 19 May (same day as Pol Pot and Andrew Johns) in 1890 and died on 2 September 1969 (which, incidentally, is also Vietnam’s national day, though the two events are unrelated).