Richard Lord is the Vice President, Asia-Pacific Japan Sales at Kinaxis and he is leading the expansion and growth of the company in APAC. Richard has more than 25 years of experience working in APAC in different capacities from setting up and growing business from scratch to expanding global business in the region. During our conversation we discuss how Kinaxis is planning to expand to different markets in the region and what is Richard’s perspective on each.
Founded and headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, the origins of Kinaxis date back to 1984. The product that’s evolved to today’s RapidResponse platform was first introduced in 1995 and now represents, one of the fastest-growing and most innovative supply chain planning systems of record in the marketplace. Kinaxis works with global clients like Ford, Nissan, P&G, Unilever, Schnieder Electric, Nikon, and many others across industries like aerospace and defense, automotive, consumer products, high-tech and electronics, industrial and life sciences.
Listen to the full discussion here:
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Richard Lord: LinkedIn
Some of the highlights from the podcast:
- Planners can make the best decisions for the company – as long as they have the data and visibility
- Planning using unlimited digital twins to determine future actions – it’s like looking into the crystal ball
- Working with P&G for contingency planning – reducing their planning time from 1 full day to an hour
- How supply chains are expanding and diversifying in South East Asia, LATAM, Eastern Europe
- Why is Kinaxis hiring more than 12 headcounts in crisis time?
- [01:44] Richard’s journey in the last few years and how you went up as the VP APAC for Kinaxis.
- [03:29] What are the things that excite you personally about Kinaxis?
- [04:17] What sets Kinaxis apart is that we have a very unique philosophy. We believe that the planners in the company can make the best decisions, they just need all of the data and visibility necessary to make those decisions.
- [07:16] People talk about digital twins, we have digital unlimited which we use to quickly determine what is the best way forward.
- [08:43] How does the Kinaxis platform bring support and clarity in times like this where the crisis appears? There’s a lot of data that hasn’t happened or that doesn’t have a pattern in the past. How does the platform come in and say, these are the scenarios that you should consider?
- [10:12] How are you helping your clients to cope with the current situation and what are some of the questions and requests that you receive most often?
- [13:01] P&G had tremendous results and tremendous ROI in implementing our solution.
- [14:40] We hear a lot of people are already convinced of the necessity of turning towards digitization and using strong software systems but are there certain other trends you see?
- [16:58] Do you see this trend as trying to make a bigger diversification of your suppliers throughout the region and relying less on China? Or is this just media talk?
- [18:07] Are there any sectors that are doing better and are better prepared and have rebounded already from this crisis? Are there any silver linings?
- [20:33] How do you manage clients’ expectations in terms of duration?
- [21:53] We are structuring projects so that we can focus on a scope that is solving the critical needs first, and then the “nice to have” needs in future phases. And that will allow our customers to get a faster ROI and a faster go-live of what they really need in order to drive the business forward today.
- [22:39] People talk more about agility and supply chain resilience, is this something you’ve come across in your discussions?
- [24:04] How do you see the idea of partnerships both in the supply chain solution provider side and on the client’s side? Is this an important thing to have in mind when moving forward and moving through a crisis?
- [25:14] We depend on all of them and we’re going to continue to grow and invest in our partner partnerships and partner community moving forward.
- [25:38] Are there certain markets you want to invest more in, especially in APAC? Are there certain capacities or skill sets that you’re investing in at this moment to make sure you’re better prepared when you rebound?
- [28:55] How would you define the candidates that are most interesting for you and for Kinaxis at this moment? What skillset should they have?
- [30:35] I’m sure you also look for values, attitudes, and you look for specific leadership skills. How would you prioritize this? What are the things you value in Kinaxis?
- [31:05] Our corporate headquarter in Canada has a family culture where we all work together and support each other, and it’s just an amazing place to be and to work.
- [32:28] What should we expect in the next few months? How should we prepare supply chain professionals?
- [33:32] We’re going to see explosive growth in supply chain products, processes, tools, and it’s just a great opportunity for everyone in the supply chain space. So Q2 is going to be tough but we’re going to see a tremendous rebound.
- [34:31] What piece of advice would you give from your own experience of how somebody should think about their career progression?
- [35:24] We can bring in global ideas and adapt those, but we need to be able to localize those ideas as well to fit.
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