IBM, provider of information technology services and products, announced on Thursday that it will relocate its global procurement headquarters to Shenzhen, China, expanding on the company's initiative to become more efficient.

The decision to move Chief Procurement Officer John Paterson's office from Somers, NY, to China marks the first time the headquarters of an IBM corporate-wide organization has been located outside the U.S.

In a multinational model, many functions of a corporation were replicated around the world - but each addressing only its local market, said Mr. Paterson in a statement. In a globally integrated enterprise, for the first time, a company's worldwide capability can be located wherever in the world it makes the most sense, based on the imperatives of economics, expertise and open environments.

The firm chose the site seeing that it already has 1,850 procurement and logistics professionals in the region. The company also has strong and collaborative relationships with nearly 3,000 suppliers across Asia, accounting for about 30 percent of the $40 billion IBM spends annually on procurement.