Transforming a 200k TEU/year Supply Chain – Bjorn Vang Jensen Global Head of Logistics at Electrolux
Bjorn is a global industry figure, started his career as-graduate of the A.P. Møller/Maersk Shipping School. Subsequently worked for Maersk group, then on the 3PL side for DHL and TNT. And last 13 years as a proud leader of the Electrolux supply chain team. All in all, Bjorn has lived in Asia for the past 28 years, during which time he has been based in Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore.
Listen to the full discussion here:
Part 1 – Industry Trends – [42:18]
Part 2 – Talent and Recruitment in Supply Chain and Logistics – [17:02]
Part 3 – Personal success stories and habits – [17:32]
Connect with the Guest:
Stay tuned as we cover:
- How to manage a team of 22 logisticians spread all over the world on all continents.
- Electrolux Supply Chain started 13 years ago with 12/13,000 TEU and this year for the first time it will almost certainly break 200,000 TEU.
- How much paper is involved in moving a shipment of cocoa from Nigeria to Rotterdam.
- A recent 27 employee company acquired by Electrolux is transforming the way people across the whole company are thinking, how they communicate, how they manage e-commerce.
- The importance of telling great stories to attract the best talent.
- The right mindset that as a Chief Supply Chain Officer of a company should have.
- Moving from 3PL to the client side – “the grass is not greener over on this side, it’s just a different type of grass. And you’ve got to be prepared for a change in diet.”
- Why is Bjorn 100% paperless.
Part 1 – Industry Trends:
- [01:06] What have been two of your major breakthroughs in your supply chain over these years?
- [01:42] On how to manage a team of 22 logisticians spread all over the world on all continents.
- [06:48] Are there opportunities also for freight forwarders to add value to the Electrolux supply chain?
- [07:11] How Electrolux Supply Chain started 13 years ago with 12/13,000 TEU and this year for the first time it will almost certainly break 200,000 TEU.
- [11:15] Opportunities in working with freight forwarders. Electrolux spends on logistics probably around 1.5 billion dollars a year. Approximately 80% of that is road and rail transport, and warehousing.
- [13:00] As technology for logistics and supply chain develops, what are the top three benefits you see coming from technology?
- [18:31] Blockchain implications, by 2020.
- [22:18] On how much paper is involved in moving a shipment of cocoa from Nigeria to Rotterdam.
- [24:03] E-commerce. What is Electrolux doing in terms of reaching your customers in e-commerce channels?
- [27:07] How a recent 27 employee company acquired by Electrolux is transforming the way people across the whole company are thinking, how they communicate, how they manage e-commerce.
- [29:27] Did you consider using the empty space in the washing machine to fill it with other shipped items?
- [32:26] Do you think that freight forwarders are dead men walking? And with all the tech talk, who will pay for the investment before we see the returns?
- [36:29] If you are in any type of business and you are not spending every single day thinking about how to digitalize your operation, I think you should do your company a favor and retire.
- [36:43] Before we invest millions in digital and new tech, what do you believe are the fundamentals of a supply chain in today’s environment we need to consider?
- [38:32] I was absolutely astonished when I set foot in Anova (27 people subsidiary) and sat down and talked to these people about how they’ve managed to ship over a million units a year.
- [40:58] If you were an investor, which supply chain technology-related startup would you invest in and why?
Part 2 – Talent and Recruitment:
- [00:03] How do you make a career in supply chain more attractive to people?
- [01:44] The importance of telling great stories to attract the best talent.
- [04:50] “How did that package get here in like four hours?” – Amazon is making the industry sexier – a great example of storytelling.
- [05:14] What are some of the values that Electrolux stands for, so you are proud to come to work?
- [05:43] 13 years ago when I started traveling to our head office in Stockholm every meeting was in Swedish. Today, there are 60+ nationalities working in that same office.
- [08:14] Do you find a certain specific skill that is very difficult to find In Supply Chain?
- [10:28] What do you think is the right mindset that as a Chief Supply Chain Officer of a company you should have?
- [12:40] When you hire your global leadership team, what are the some of the qualities that you are looking for?
- [14:40] How can you tell if a person is fit for a leadership role? What are some of the cues?
Part 3 – Personal success stories and habits:
- [00:07] You made the switch—you were in shipping, then with 3PLs, and then 13 years ago, with Electrolux on the shipper side. You’ve done what a lot of people in the 3PL and shipping lines dream of doing: move to the client side. Any advice for those that are trying to do the same?
- [00:34] My advice is network, network, and network. The grass is not greener over on this side, it’s just a different type of grass. And you’ve got to be prepared for a change in diet.
- [04:31] I spent probably half of my career in sales. I had never done more selling in my life than in the past 13 years with Electrolux.
- [05:56] Any morning routines that you follow?
- [07:28] What is something that you believe in that other people think is crazy?
- [07:38] I am nearly 100% paperless. I built my whole life around apps like Evernote, Dropbox, and a few others—MindNode
- [09:19] Social media—we spoke a little bit about social media. How do you use it? Has it helped your brand?
- [12:36] If somebody who is just graduating in university nowadays, what are some of the principles to follow in their careers so that one day, maybe they become Chief Supply Chain Officer or Global Head of Logistics for Electrolux? What type of advice would you tell them? What is the principle?
- [12:57] If you want to work in Logistics or Supply Chain, be the T-shaped personality, be comfortable with ambiguity, make an effort to reach out to different functions and learn what they do, and never stop learning.
Soundbite from the Episode:
About the Host:
The host, Radu Palamariu is the co-author of “From Source to Sold – Stories of Leadership in Supply Chain”. He has been named one of the top 3 Global Supply Chain Influencers on LinkedIn and was featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, WEF, Bangkok Post, and MIT Supply Chain Talent magazine. Radu invites executives to share stories and perspectives around technology, logistics, e-commerce, supply chain, and manufacturing, and their views on how the future will look.
Alcott Global connects and upgrades the supply chain ecosystem by finding the right talent through executive search, developing talent through learning solutions, and meeting supply chain technology needs through a comprehensive crunch base marketplace.
The supply chain executive search has been our focus since the very beginning, offering recruitment services for top-tier supply chain roles at every level of the end-to-end supply chain: plan, source / procure, make, and deliver. Our consultants have years of experience in placing top talent, in North America, LATAM, Europe, the Middle East & Africa, and APAC, and besides speed, one of our biggest strengths is our network within the supply chain industry, and we capitalize on it to find the best solutions.
Through the years, we have grown as an organization and our offerings with it. One of our initiatives, the learning solutions- training and supply chain academy, is focused on transforming leadership- self-leadership, executive presence, influence capital, and business acumen. Through Supplify, we aim to match corporations with the top technology companies to solve their supply chain and logistics challenges with a focus on innovation and digital transformation.
We are in constant touch with the leaders in supply chain, inviting them to inspire the supply chain professionals in thought-provoking podcast episodes and events, and showcasing what is possible at the yearly Leaders in Supply Chain Awards.
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Episode #04: Roxane Desmicht Head of Supply Chain at Infineon Technologies
Episode #05: Tim Wickmann former CEO of MCC Maersk