Leaders in Supply Chain and Logistics with Radu Palamariu

#54: Alessandro de Luca Chief Information Officer of Merck Healthcare

August 30, 2019 Season 1 Episode 54
Leaders in Supply Chain and Logistics with Radu Palamariu
#54: Alessandro de Luca Chief Information Officer of Merck Healthcare
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Leaders in Supply Chain and Logistics with Radu Palamariu
#54: Alessandro de Luca Chief Information Officer of Merck Healthcare
Aug 30, 2019 Season 1 Episode 54
Radu Palamariu
Alessandro is the Chief Information Officer for Merck Healthcare. One of the largest healthcare groups in the world.
Show Notes Transcript

Alessandro is the Chief Information Officer for Merck Healthcare. One of the largest healthcare groups in the world.

In 2016, he has been elected “The Inspirational Leader of the Year” within the Merck BioPharma division.

Discover more details here.

Some of the highlights of the episode:

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Speaker 1:
0:00
Hello and welcome to the leaders in supply chain podcast. I am your host, Roger Palomar, you managing director of elk and global. Our mission is to connect the supply chain ecosystem in Asia and globally by bringing forward the most interesting leaders in the industry. And today it's my pleasure to have with us Alessandra Deluca. Alessandra is the chief information officer for Merck Healthcare, which is a of course one of the largest healthcare groups in the world. In 2016 he was elected the inspirational leader of the year within the [inaudible] Biopharma division and in 2015 he was awarded the number one farmer most influential supply chain executive in Europe among the top five across all the industries by the SCM magazine. Previously to his Pharma supply chain experience. He worked in proctor and gamble, which obviously is in FMCG. He was there for 20 years holding positions across innovation and marketing, manufacturing, engineering, supply chain management. He operated in countries such as China or Russia oven as well as Spain and several eastern European countries. Um, Alessandra is a pleasure to have you with us today and thanks a lot for your time.
Speaker 2:
1:06
My pleasure. My pleasure. Thanks a lot for the nice introduction. It's always a pleasure doing these types of podcasts because it's a mutual learning and a fantastic opportunity.
Speaker 1:
1:17
Super. And tell us maybe a little bit because it's not often that we see people and, and executives like yourself as making this transition from supply chain to a CIO role. So tell us a little bit how did that come about?
Speaker 2:
1:34
Sure, sure. Absolutely. Thanks for thanks for the question. And by the way, this is one of the highest rated question that always speaking, asking several even by friends that are saying, hey, you are an operation guy. Business Guy I said happened and now I live in the wonderful world of DG Darla and idea. So I mean it's, um, again, it's is nodding happens by chance and they'll tell you, I'll tell you what it happened. But before, uh, to tell you the story that can break down and I would really want to say this is currently my best assignment ever. I mean, the level of learning. So technology, discover all parrots around professional development and diving every day in this job is really amazing. It's really amazing. So if there is somebody that I would say is that I would recommend to anybody who works in business to have a development opportunity in the digital world, whatever is their role and then come make it a business or vice versa, I think is really, really great.
Speaker 2:
2:36
Um, any gays to answer, to answer your question, how this started and how it went is that, um, when I was there had bulbs, supply chain operations, uh, in our care medical care, that was more or less a drinker. Years ago I was running into with formal digital program to drastically improve the supply chain. This is where we need seeded the concept, tell Brian's supply chain. And I got deeper and deeper into the technology and even pangs, mainly thanks to my team. We were exceedingly successful in this journey to such an extent that one day the CEO, um, she came to me and said, wow, I see the progress that's been done in the digital space or supply chain. Why don't you move then in the overall digital space and you will become the sector CIO to start reapplying what you've done in supply chain. And I go the other right, and the marketing and say like, well Mary and them, and when I was ask 'em ask to take this opportunity, I [inaudible] quite sure myself and that discusses that.
Speaker 2:
3:41
But I'm not sure I have the technology gum knowhow. I'm not sure I have the confidence to, to move into it. I mean I never, the Dany, um, were before and they don't have any promoting background. And that I said was, wow, this is exactly what we need. We need business people that embrace and learn the technological word so that the technological digital world can really serve and accelerate business lines. And I think, so this visionary concept from my CEO well is exactly right. And this is why I say, I mean I'm the lie that about the job. And of course he is progressing his three really well and the, and this is because I think and they're, like I said at the beginning is fantastic to a business people moving to digital and vice event. It's also the other play around, I mean adding digital technology gigs moving into the business.
Speaker 2:
4:36
The more we merge the two words, the more we make these boundaries blurry, the better we'll be able to accelerate what is called digital transformation. That in reality is a mantra of what truth of the matter is. That our digital can accelerate the business progression. So that's a little bit the background that um, and why I end the story or why moves, but also want to provide the perspective that I truly believe that that was one of the pilot inside of Rolla companies also happen. He's definitely very flexible and they invite a lot of other colleagues who do the same invited letters.
Speaker 1:
5:15
Hmm. Fascinating that because, because as a person on a personal level, I would tend to agree a lot with your perspective. And digital is pretty much transforming all industries and permitting all our lives, uh, across, across the world. Um, is just that in a lot of what I see from a consulting perspective in a lot of companies, what happens, it's kind of, um, seen maybe as a, a little bit of a fluffy kind of a thing or not quite tangible on how exactly and how practically will, will it transform the business. So unless there's this kind of moves and you do need a visionary leader and I'm, I'm very happy that you mentioned the example with your CEO because that also must happen. The CEO and the c level of the company needs to drive that shift and that cross-pollination, right of the skill sets from supply chain to it to digital to, you know, finance, it can be across the board. Um, unless that happens also, it cannot happen by itself or in an island. So you a great example and thanks for sharing that with us. And you also mentioned the term self-driving supply chain. Um, tell us a little bit also about that and how far away are you at mark in terms of having the self-driving supply chain? Yeah.
Speaker 2:
6:27
Oh absolutely. Yeah. And is again, like I said before was the regional, my um, I mean touch point with the digital world. So you asked me about some variety supply chain, how we are we are and how far we are. Um, we are very near and very far and let me explain. It's a very real, so why, why so personal? What do we mean about self that I in supply chain, I guess, um, a lot of people are talking about this terms isn't very sexy and so on. And so far I remember my first interview that at Eating Wall Street Journal, that was now four years ago when I was talking about, so, but I used to be like Jane, they were listening to me like I was and visionary leader of the future sort of develop mosque and so on. And so that now is much more down to her.
Speaker 2:
7:14
W, what is it? In practice it means, at least for us, it means very simply to continuously balance supply with demand in our automated way and with any intelligent capabilities. So I've said three words, I said continuously balance. This is very important because what does he mean? It means that we all have been bred, born, born and bred with the time in which we had our MRP run throughout the night. Then we were going to work, we will check the MRT run, we are preparing the supply schedule and so on and so forth. Now with this cell running supply chain, the system ran continuously, so he's lightening editing and MRP, run every therapy, Saigon and so on and so, so far it's like having danger in of your car continuously updating the data. This is fantastic because of course we all know what that it means to have a system that runs in parallel versus a system that run in batches.
Speaker 2:
8:13
Seed seed is one by one, so that's the first sediment that continues. The second element is that while we want this family supply and demand balance in our automated way, and this means that we want to tach the system and that that itself as little as possible. So all the data being gathered through the different ERP or the company and we have ways through the different supply system planning system. I don't touch risk speeding into this a solution I would call it without the need of an intervention. Our, our mantra is that we want the demand for casting that is by the human human B. And then the last element is the intelligence around it. That this is the sort of coconuty layer that the system provides that enables again to check all these, the amount of signal and to prescribe in real time what is the right supply planning and supplies kit.
Speaker 2:
9:17
So these three elements are waving a in a continuous automated, intelligent balancing of soup supply versus demand is what we do, what we call or we will get eyes in a cell dies, supply chain. And now you ask, I only are, we are and nobody, we are, we are very near in the sense that we put in place very successfully. We already several years ago a the descriptive layer. So we have a a perfect and when visibility across all the elements, supply chain, real time, so continuous, we are uh, since a couple of years already very advanced with machine learning based forecasting system. So we have probably give 'em demand modeling that are nearly touchless so, so that is working and we are now in the last step that is on the prescriptive element. We are now piloting again as this intelligent layer of gathering the demand and prescribed the supply.
Speaker 2:
10:17
So I would say that um, is like, um, a self driving car if the grant's out autonomously across across the roads. But uh, but still we have people driving, going on the driving seat, touching the steering wheel every now and then. So [inaudible] because we are running with a car using their metaphor. That is very far. Why is very far? Because in the meantime, the technology is advancing so much that of course cray the challenge even more we said, okay. I mean probably is not only balancing supply demand, but it's all also gathering all the real time that you permission from production. Oh, probably is not only gathering the old times ratio for Backstrom probably is coordinating also supplier and customer in real time. So we are expanding the scope of this very ambitious program and that's, that makes that, you know, the bar is setting high yet and I are by each day.
Speaker 2:
11:14
So that's why he said or sort of keep running toward, towards the goal. Um, this is in some muddy what, um, what we've done it, what, what it means for us, um, to explain that again, we are progressing incredibly well, but a lot to do and a lot of improvement in this area. MMM. Cause also you have three different, um, divisions and their work and their needs are quite different as well. Right? As the, on the one side you have mark healthcare, you have more life sciences and I think you have performance materials. Um, let's, let's go a little bit also in terms of
Speaker 1:
11:54
technological differences and challenges for each business unit, from a supply chain as well as from an it perspective because of, of course there's, there's quite a bit of nonsense, right, in terms of how you deal with their, uh, each and their products. So tell us a little bit about that.
Speaker 2:
12:11
Yeah, no, absolutely. I think like any single company, we don't talk about one single modal, so I have a company of different sector or division, you name it. Um, and this bring us two challenges. One is that how do we implement the technology and that we implement across the overall corporation. Could see that if the trade off fuckers did he put on set goes. I mean, now look k's that pretty dependent psycho to say article money may be different. So I'll do welcome these, these two challenges. So the first scan is that, um, the first one is definitely, um, applies for every single implementation. And uh, and obviously was one of the challenges where I would implementational seven diamond supply chain. And it was like, how do we make it success school and being a and being adopted in such a way that drive business.
Speaker 2:
13:10
Um, interestingly enough, at the beginning of the project, we were all within brackets care about the technology. I mean, it will, the technology work, I mean, will that create the structuring the system in terms will stop my operation, um, will be, will be the, the new integration with ERP working, you name it. So all our um, cash on premier [inaudible] they shown where all about the technological challenges to face after the implementation and the enough that are being quite successful into to eat. We discuss together what were the, what were the learnings so that the implementation and the learning where, I mean the two biggest challenge has not been at all the technological element. Of course that is a challenge in terms of new technology, but it's being mastered that accuracy in change management system. Okay. And why is that? M and m one reason, um, any automated system, intelligent system, a continuous processing system relies on that and the and expose then all the, the accuracy of the data throughout the decision making process.
Speaker 2:
14:28
So for us was important to get those that are clean. And the, and the, as many companies we discover that the majority of that aware barefoot clean, but a lot of them had to be clean. So it took us within six to eight months to really achieve a level or master of that accuracy that would enable the system to run perfectly smooth. Because again, I mean that the chronology that was our fear was running very well, but the sounds were unreliable because of course the data accuracy was not correct. So first learn that acute segment learning the change management system and a, and this goes again with my metaphor or before on the cell driving cap. So fundamentally we have the, it's paramount that people understand the new solution and embrace it and adopted that is nothing worse than something that you say. I mean I have a fantastic solution, but then you guys, I keep working with my excel or with my SAP system and I don't embrace it.
Speaker 2:
15:31
So the world that we have to do in terms of change manager and in explaining, engaging and convincing the people that there is good enhanced their work and the skillset was really made so interesting enough. And that answer at the beginning of your question is that how do we make sure that we implement system across the corporation? The answer is that while don't focus too much on the technology knowhow, I mean that's welcome. But maths of that accuracy in change management of people out of the key that either to success and this enable us to implement this solution, uh, across the three cycles. I health care that I'm leading at girls' life science and across performa Medina because again, we focus on these two elements. Then we have to of course as the three sector, the different go to market strategy. Then we had to adapt the, the go to market strategies to do the solution itself.
Speaker 2:
16:33
So I make an example. Nail care is fundamental to serve our patient. I mean we want to have it severed his level and near to 100% so for us, this absolutely they priority end up so the mass, so we focus at the beginning our implementation to maximize the service to patient in um, in performa material, the, the item was lead managing vendor because inventor resists 3 million radial in Performa, DDA materials in life science because again, having a redundancy. So inventory e create an eight on the P and l and so on. So this solution again was we'll use to solve that specific business issue. So this is how, I mean to answer your question, how we implement that successfully in across the corporation, leveraging that technology layer combined with the right mass of that accuracy in combined with the proper people change manner, a journey, but then we defer and say they use according to the business needs because again, the three different sector may have a different business need or a different requirement to win on the marketplace. Okay. And specifically you mentioned that Your Business Unit healthcare of is very
Speaker 1:
17:50
much focused on the patient, which it should. If we're to go a little bit deeper, are there some specific strategies or or go to market from a tech perspective, it tech enablement perspective, it digital perspective that you've put into place to be closer to your patients because the, to your customers. Um, I dunno, can you give us some examples of where maybe you've, you've come into play from a CIO perspective to enable the business to be closer to your clients?
Speaker 2:
18:22
Yeah, no, absolutely. Thanks for the question. Very valuable. Um, I answered in parallel. So we have, um, in l care a program that is called s one for patient. That is the meaning that we won't work as one organization across, out in the amount of factorial supply chain, marketing, sales, commercial distribution, it, legal, HR, do, uh, our for our patient. And that's means of course, um, working together in terms of breaking silos, working together in terms of functional, aligned goals. But it means also exactly to your point, developing platforms that are mirror to patient as much as we can. And um, a little example is that we add successfully implemented and rollout globally a system that is called patient support system that enabled to provide our patients the so called service, what they call it beyond and above the pier. Um, we firmly, I mean we married but I think the overall Pharma industry is firmly moving towards the concept that is not only the pill or the drug or the treatment that enables to provide better treatment to the patient.
Speaker 2:
19:41
It's also what is beyond the pill and, and the [inaudible] that means that track every medical device tracking real time, your blood pressure, you are deterrents your, your health Beaton's on and so far as having a assist digital system that tracks real time how your, you are behaving a linkage with HSP the doctor and so on. All these surveys and on the pills are the key to provide better treatment to the patient. And our patient support system guarantees a sort of 24 hours. We could call it hotline when again the patient can call us and say, Hey, I have this treatment. I have this spiel. What can I do in this condition? I'm traveling there. How can you make sure that you supply me my medicine set? So this is definitely one of the key in terms of the platform. And for instance now we are piloting with another supplier called Viva is very well known in terms of um, of Pharma as being either in the industry, uh, elite within their CRM system. So customer relationship manager, we have their uh, parole and [inaudible] system at regulating system. So again, we are from it standpoint providing platform and solution that links that customer relationships with the medical needs, with the regulatory requirements in one single solution that offer a better service for our final customer that they'd used to patients. You mentioned the um,
Speaker 1:
21:13
supply chain or supply chain partners, logistics partners. And we do have a lot of listeners that come from that side of, of service providers to the industry, to the manufacturers in the context of this forever evolving and the bar sitting up higher and higher. And higher like you mentioned, um, in terms of of uh, expectations and capabilities. Um, and you have industry 4.0 and all of that. The question was what are you looking for in your, what kind of capabilities and characteristics that you're looking for in your partners may be on the supply chain or logistics side. Um, so that they best support what mark is doing as well.
Speaker 2:
21:52
It's a bad name and it's a very good, good point. So, um, we are already in full war about two things, obviously collaboration. So collaboration is absolutely key because every single company, everything will network is similar and different. And um, and the only way to solve these similarities and differences is to intimately collaborate to, to drive common solution is like, I would say that um, um, I t solution today are a perfect mix between a Predator portay. So something that is like a address ready to use and a tailor made something that is at rest that you really have your tailor that take your measure and so on and so forth. I think that all that is solution are exactly in the needle of it. So if something that is a level of standardization that is 80% but it 20% or tailor made solution to perfectly fit your needs.
Speaker 2:
22:57
And he was, like I said before, at the end they key performance indicator for its successful solution. He's adoption and that auction only cam for that part of [inaudible] that enables your system to adapt to the single business process but also sort of standardization that enabled implementation worldwide. So, so collaborative tailor made solution is one of the of the characteristics that we are looking within our partners and within I would say our solution provider and so on. And so then the other element is that we want that their solution, um, not fulfill two functionalities. The first functionality is automation. So any new digital solution obviously automate a task. I mean it's amazing productivity requirement there. So I, I n at the end we all use a computer, Internet based solution and so on to have a bet that an automated solution then before we probably were doing Malley's life and right before we were in writing, now we have concluded that Alec automate the process event, that the sign on element who to to out on to automation is outlandish.
Speaker 2:
24:11
And this is key. That means that this solution should add value to the current system, should do not only drive a productivity enhancement, but should drive also the elemental value creation. And this is really fundamental because this is one of the source of competitive advantage. I mean there are now, um, senator companies in any space that provide better automation system, but is the augmentation that really makes a difference. So anything, a system that enables me to automate the task and talk mean the value with that is really what I'm looking for when it or with the different partners that we had. So collaboration in order to have a tailor made solution that fits for us and they have a great adoption and a solution that have a combination of automation and augmentation are the two requirement that tell us, hey, I mean this is a fantastic partner to look for or a fantastic partner to engage with.
Speaker 2:
25:15
Now VCT seem to find those partners also the not, um, are we always successful, um, in our scouting? Absolutely not. And this also I think is part of this new culture that we [inaudible] but I think today you sort about, you know, I mean somebody said it's um, learn fast, fail fast, try fast and is exactly that. He also did the, we had for to I though is that, I mean let's learn as much as we can. Let's try as much as we can. Let's fairly the positive sense. So let's accept that not everything should be perfect and sometimes we made a mistake, you know, divided partner or sometimes the solution doesn't work. That's fine. We adopted, we change it and we move on
Speaker 1:
26:00
and moving the discussion a little bit to the, to the front of ecommerce. Because it's a, it's an, it's a trend that is, has basically taken over the, our whole, and it has permitted our whole lives. And as, as consumers and uh, and coming back into the realm of healthcare, which your, your responsible for, how does that play into, into how you do business today? How does that impact your supply chain? Tell us a little bit about the ecommerce in specific.
Speaker 2:
26:29
Yes and no. Um, yeah, ecommerce is becoming prominent in everything we do. Um, I remember that, that I was working in, um, I'd be working 20 years in Brooklyn and gamble and um, that time Steve today by the way, p and g, the [inaudible] is a big customer pool and making sure that we reach the customer that ordered the product. Well now in plasma we consumer goods the cast and or the product is the fridge. Everything new soda made a pet. You have a fridge that order by E-commerce, a product that can, to reflect. No, that's of course is that, I mean we had city codes reasons. I mean, this was all our newspaper, this young lady that you see it in the fridge to plead because era, era, iPhone was not being used and so on and so forth. So, and by the way, we had done also recent interviews to two individuals, very young individuals in that age of 20 to 23 and those individuals, mainly in Asia area where we work, many Nisha, they said, I am, we had never been to a mall.
Speaker 2:
27:40
When they're going into a shopping place, we will order one every time to our pain to ecommerce. So, so this is two is really the, to explain that that e-commerce in the business and the, and the supply chain is really playing a Sydney, the US and navy gun crew. And, um, I mean when, you know, it's like during light science, uh, we have more than 1 billion sales. When I walked through our ecommerce platform and so on so far. And even as a kid, he says founding into the ECOMMERCE situation. But he goes, if you think about it, I mean, what are the trends that um, will upturn in the future or even in the press and email? Carryings I think the trend is personalized medicine is home delivery is really a anytime related again to the medical device and support system around the drug or the treatment.
Speaker 2:
28:42
All these, they are parents around really personalized medicine and ohm believe it. Yeah. Or about ecommerce and the so called Amazon expedience [inaudible] robot. That means that we have to immediately think and leverage our supply chain. So the good news is that supply chain earth in the ecommerce world will become even more prominent because ecommerce is all about the supply chain. Fundamentally. I mean, you know, Amazon, they, the success. So Amazon and the alibi about this ward is all about, because one, I can choose whatever I want, but it's very easy but to is that I can get the product and my home in the shortest possible time and this is thanks to their efficient warehousing and cross-docking and so on and so forth. So in the ECOMMERCE world, supply chain will play a preeminent role and this is the Inter set very mo, very much with the DG dollar tar that we filling in before because fundamentally it's all about two things.
Speaker 2:
29:50
Having the information flow, going upstream in the supply chain as smooth as possible, as fast as possible, we let [inaudible] possible and adding a product thrill that goes as smooth as possible to the finite cost. So this is where e-commerce that is the present and will become even more prominent a in the, in the early future will require a complete change and will make supply chain and the core of everything we do. That's very good news for our last work in supply chain and digital but is also a challenge. B goes obviously rather it's not able to adapt in the new world. Waiver is not able to add. GE lies is supply chain. While we'll lose competitive advantage
Speaker 1:
30:39
and there's also some pretty fundamental additional layer of challenges which come with the commerce, namely just as an example. So you have safety, you have compliance, you have traceability that you need to ensure of your products. How do you deal with, I mean, I guess these are some of the key ones because you're not dealing a, you know, you're not dealing with the, um, I don't know, with a pair of shoes you're actually dealing with, with medicine that can seriously impact lives. And how, how do you look at this, this, uh, this element of safety compliance? Um, traceability?
Speaker 2:
31:16
Yes. I think you pointed Lao lb pointed out extremely right. I mean we at least see nail care, et cetera. At the end we have supper supplying, um, made it seem to patient that should Haim could prove lives so as to be with the highest possible quality as to be, uh, the lever with the highest possible condition. So it totally about cold chain. You should go your most specific product as to arrive to the customer in the right way and so on. And that we have to deal as a consumer on that with how your school is standard with very strict regulatory environment and requirements and so on and so forth. Now I think said that I should say a couple of things. Um, so first of all, the old regulatory agency in the world are also moving towards a much more open and a gy latitude towards leveraging digital technology.
Speaker 2:
32:10
So accepting a digital transaction as a form of certification. So accepting against digital solution and they'll help us a lot to AJ, make our supply chain much more Agilent, so on and so, but I think I go back to them to the mindset concept because, um, because when I was working like that, like those would, before I'd be working 20 years in the space of fast moving consumer goods and in the early nineties, I mean that was the exactly the same challenge. Uh, but obsolete will be less. But in terms of regulatory requirement busting, the same challenge, that whole fast moving consumer goods companies, they, so owl can I keep supplying with highest service level to my customer, still maintaining the highest quality of detergents, shampoos and so on and so far and, uh, um, an ideal scene, the speed to market and really make it profit.
Speaker 2:
33:07
So it was really, and I remember when I was in a lot of discussion in p and g at the time, it seems like an equation impossible to square. Uh, in reality we did it, I mean old, fast moving consumer good at role toward environments of standard for the final customer and as exactly the journey that the Pharma industry is embracing and I now so our, we can supply our GI bill and fast to our customer without any, any compromise in there. The quality, safety, legal and regulatory. He started from the mindset. So, um, then the, that chronology will be there. I'd make some example of technology that can help us not to start from the mindset, the stuff from the mindset of the people to access that can be achieved that we can indeed get on t the same level of quality, safety and legal requirement.
Speaker 2:
34:00
I don't know, it could a medium that is a mass mandatory vestigial, do we even more a driveway and, and I may give an example and I was, they get home bunny that we'd be using for the serialization and the company's called direct wise. And for Regulatory, um, uh, requirements, we have been implementing serialization across all our SKU and this has been a really a sore toe. OK. By regulation we have to do it. But now together we product wise, we understood the value of gathering NGOs, this data serialization and we use this data to predict failure across the supply chain so we can replenish faster and it may be gross. We can anticipate potential ish. So this is a fantastic example in which a regulatory requirements with the right mindset and collaboration to go before is transforming the competitive advantage. Because now thanks to the data that we collect through the serialization at putting in place in advanced analytic layer on top of that, we moved to a predictive model that can enable us to potentially predict, avoid and eliminate failures and to smoothly supply the market.
Speaker 1:
35:14
Hmm. That's an ex, this is a fascinating example actually and I love your, I mean I love your focus on um, on mindset because I mean I, I'm, I'm so much with you on that one. It is, it is always around mindset and it's never a really low around not having the technology goes. Technologies is an enabler at the end of the day. And there's all different pieces of technology that we can use. But the, the issue is, are we having the right one and two back to the initial part of the conversation, which you're stressed, I'm highly on. And I, uh, I think that's where a lot of companies also get it wrong is do you have the right people to do the change management process correctly and to get the organization on board that process and are on the train, not, you know, not kind of fight in it, the, the change.
Speaker 1:
35:59
So that's another thing. But, uh, um, this, this are really good points and I'd love to go now a little bit more tactically. So from a strategic perspective, mindset, how do you think about it, how you use it as a potentially as a, even a business advantage that you mentioned tactically, there's a couple of technologies, right? You have Iot, you have the, you know, you have blockchain. I need to ask you, us about blockchain. So let's just take this, this too, because they seem more prominent. Right? So let's, let's start with Iot and then blockchain and tell us a little about how much do you use it? Do you see them practical enough at this moment in time, maybe in the future? What's your take on it?
Speaker 2:
36:37
Yeah, so it's um, we get spend a, a couple of hours to look about blockchain and then the hour [inaudible]. So I try to answer that goes obviously are such a broad and interesting topics that is water meaning we are not missing. So blockchain, um, that Roshini is out of doubt a something that we should, we means that we met, we farm, uh, we work should, uh, embrace in the future because, I mean, I didn't have it at sometime ago. There was somebody who was saying, well, um, it's not about companies to compete is about supply chain to compete. I would even, Bro, they're the best path. Dave is not about supply chain is about supply network to compete now in order to make it supply network, operate efficient and effectively. There are two elements we need to be save information and product sharing and trusting these information approach heading across the the overall network and the network.
Speaker 2:
37:45
He's of course down downstyle stream network of customer will, sales, pharmacy, all spit out is also the apps in network. I'll say that at the cmos and material supply or medical device and on and survive and the end the and knowing the challenge that we had instead of their doubts about, well we haven't in the ward about fake news but be able to in the business about the fake magazine [inaudible] any get a platform or technological solution that is block chain that enable us to give us a class that then safe understanding of the material and product flow. It's simply fantastic loud now like all the new technologies that entering the market. Obviously the at the beginning, the or why use limited means that the investment that the company has to do to gather the technology up and running that so that total investment is not exceptional because the technology sometimes is not mature because again, it's not scale up.
Speaker 2:
38:47
So I mean again, imagine this, we are piloting again blockchain lot as well our supply network. But if you don't have all the players there, you lose on time is because obviously, I mean you can certify the supply chain, but if some people are not playing, there is not yet there. They are not. So uh, [inaudible] it's going to happen very soon. Like all the [inaudible] he will dramatically accelerate in the future. And then again, it goes back to our previous discussion. It's all about learning, failing and testing again and layering. This is exactly what we are doing with blockchain to try and in several areas to learn and to adapt. Fast out to use it about 11 the value. So blockchain for us is [inaudible] to the future of the supply chain. Again, not the supply in the supply network for a class. Then say ps and then a, I mean, you may imagine that Iot, I mean I hear these, uh, he's, he's there.
Speaker 2:
39:52
He's every day out. Yes. If I take, if I take our bio tech plan, so the plan that I keep with bioreactor to, to produce, so the, these newest treatments, well these, they open aid with such a level of Iot that are in the sort of like, so that means that all the iot solution enable us to run the plants via sort of lights off. But again, I don't think that that is where the Iot will give us a competitive advantage or egos. Everybody will be there is in on the contrary how to leverage all the sites that are there, that we're going to wave it in order to develop [inaudible] models for main third and fence on and so forth. And then you didn't ask me something that I will add. It is that the third leg of this technology? It's when, I mean that coming that is a yard.
Speaker 2:
40:45
And um, I mean that is a, out in VR. Um, I would say our biggest mentor reality is something that we keep using in operation. Uh, quite a lot. And, and you can imagine that when you have these mega bioreactor or one of the things that you should try to limit is obviously main fam, unexpected maintenance. So you always want to prey on predictive maintenance. And the other things is to stop, uh, partially or completely operation to try and, uh, train new people on a, on change or, and on intellect. And this is where we implemented augmented reality because augmented reality enabled us to keep the manufacturing up and running while playing our radar with these glasses and so on, you know, maintainer that is safe environment and to keep them really playing on a trade show it, and it's again, you say, and I've got everybody through area that drives real value as we speak.
Speaker 1:
41:44
Mm. No, thanks for adding that. Um, um, and, and yeah, I mean it's, it's, uh, it, it's really mind blowing when we, we kind of make an exercise of the imagination and in, in five years how even factories can, uh, can or will look like. And to your point with lights out, I mean there, there's already factories out there that, that uh, operate the lights out and there's no human being inside. And, uh, there was a book written at some point that there was a, I can't remember exactly, but there was the factory of the future will be one human and one dog and the dog is there to prevent it from touching anything. Right? So it was something that actually seems like we are going and going in level. I really liked your point. With the end of the day, everybody will have access to the same technology and at the end of the day, the business advantage will be in leveraging your networks and lead.
Speaker 1:
42:38
We're leveraging the data that you managed to and then maybe analyzing the data to the best and fastest, fastest, and to the best of your ability to, to go to market. Um, I will also ask you a little bit of a devil. We got this, this question that comes more from a devil advocate advocate type of angle. But I think it's a good point to, uh, to get your thoughts on. Um, the point in the frame of the question was that there's a lot of talk on direct customers, cutting middlemen, using digitalization. Um, however you're still a mark as a group, still uses and realize in certain markets more than others, but on, on distributors for enabling sales and distribution downstream. So I guess the question was somewhat, how do you, how do you make both models work? Do you ultimately want to remove all middlemen? How do you see this?
Speaker 2:
43:25
Yeah, no, I understand. I'm gonna spend, I'll, um, I never blind the following way and um, for once, I mean that leap little bit. Sure. Uh, using the Latin phrase that where say you maybe stopped realtors, that means that [inaudible] the main goal is what is the right solution to collaborate a little bit with my wording and what do I mean? Is that that no, today I'm more or less 43% of our, um, uh, distribution model are diverted to customer, uh, namely all speed. So we go directly to them with 24 hour replenishment, whereas the remaining is a sort of mix model through distributors or directly to pharmacy and so on and so forth is a, I know I have a friend of mine that has been working in another pharmaco envelope. Mantram they were extensive or in that extubation and so on. And so far, absolutely I am, I believe in as well.
Speaker 2:
44:22
We also endorsing as a company is that the mixed model is that I'd want, so, so first of all, Eh, normally for some specific medicine or treatment and some advance, um, in class, um, that, that the, in terms of health care, obviously it's better to go direct to, to the, to the final customer. But this cannot be always the case in some emerging market. For example, ultrasounds receiving a type of magazine for other example, because sometimes we, eh, and the, and even the, the, the country lacks the logistic infrastructure to really supply it safely. And with AI, all these medicine. So we really have to rely with the middle man or the third party logistic provider and you name it. So I truly believe that, uh, that the right model is really the mix model. Leveraging again, one the type of medicine that we have to tribute to the type of infrastructure that they ceased in the marketplace entry. What is really best for the patient going only stickily to one model or to the other one. I don't think one is effective and that'll be good social value for the future.
Speaker 1:
45:41
And again, that the world is a big, is a big playground. So, um, you know, we, we traveled a lot. I think it's the nature of our jobs and, uh, and of course it's not the same thing doing business in Southeast Asia versus doing business in Europe versus doing business in North America. I had one of my friends that works in a telecom industry that just posted some pictures of him doing, uh, actually getting physically involved in the delivery of some, uh, some, uh, pretty high. Um, um, and volume was, um, type of, uh, set delights and, and all of that. And he had to actually ship them by boat, by wood boat into some river, into the jungle and all of that. So it's not, it's not exactly straightforward depending on the market. So let's let, let's be real about that is not exactly that you can, um, you can use the same model. We're not there yet, which probably is a good thing as well.
Speaker 2:
46:31
No, absolutely. Absolutely. I'd probably say a good thing. Yeah.
Speaker 1:
46:34
Yes, yes. W two to keep some diversity in our lives. Um, I, I'd like to kind of, um, shift the discussion a little bit more to them. Um, so more a little bit, uh, into the mindset and also into the human capital. We are getting the human capital side, but I want, and there was a very, very good question, a little bit. Coming back to the first question that I asked in terms of the changes that you've done in your, you've made in your career moving from FMCG to and Procter and gamble to healthcare and work moving from supply chain to it. Um, a lot of people, it's different stages of their careers I think and what I've experienced in, in my career as a head hunter, think about it. They have all sorts of fears and all sorts of concerns, but not a lot of people managed to do it. And the questions that that quite a few of our audience had for you are I think twofold to to be questions, you know, when you made these changes, what were your key drivers
Speaker 2:
47:31
that pushed it to make this changes right? In your careers career and as well as what were you key fears, right? So driver and fear, right. Carrot and stick. We all have it. Right. So in terms of yourself, Alessandro, what went through your mind in terms of your key drivers and key fears to push you to make these changes in your career? Yeah. Uh, t thanks. Thanks for the question. I think, um, I, one of the drivers, probably the biggest driver that type [inaudible] goes with this is really at all. I mean obviously again, I can share my learnings but I can not impose or whatever it is exactly there is the word learn, learn. I truly believe that a learning, continuous learning enabled you to motivate because, because learning means, uh, being able to develop yourself, either Paris any, either professionally and that keeps you stimulating and key e n and also, um, enabled you to connect different adults.
Speaker 2:
48:32
Uh, you know, if you only work in one area or one country or one specific sector or I'm sure you will be able to develop yourself. But at the end ending a broader perspective, it really enabled to connect through the door and really there for. So, um, why did I move from, uh, from uh, operation into digital is rare. And that's why I said at the beginning, I love my job. It's one of the best job because I learn every day and this is fantastic. [inaudible] where I'm working, that is digital, whether you will before. So let another day. So that seems really my motivation, motivational, a passion or mantra that that goes with me. Now, what is my, what is being that and endeavors what is we might be gifted. My biggest fears in, in moving doing this change was I'm not about to, to not being a technological cable because obviously I am capable.
Speaker 2:
49:36
I will never understand the technology that will be exactly, exactly it would be to really become a technologist. So I always told myself in order to be successful, I should understand the technology. But again, I'd been the value that I can breed from a, an outside in perspective that is, well, that's Rodriguez to serve the business, that technology should really drive improvement and so on and so forth. In fact, one of the biggest challenges that I've seen in the technology space is that people get in laugh the latest technology, but not with the latest improvement that the technology will bring. So, um, people getting loud with the latest like iPhone 10 or 11 or Samsung, whatever you see, because like the technology, then you ask, I mean, just to use again metaphor, how does it change your life? But eventually it doesn't. But you don't know how many Pixel I can do.
Speaker 2:
50:37
The p show now. Yeah. But I mean that's what's the value add, so, so that's exactly your point. So the risk and my fear was, and not to become myself in love with the technology per se, so that I will lose what I bring. That is the fresh perspective to embrace it. This now steel eat remains a big jump still. A lot of times you ask yourself, well, why I did it, Cielo to time. You feel incompetent in front of people that obviously have the knowhow from, from years and years and years. But I really encourage you to do it's, there is no such bigger satisfaction that go into work and they have the possibility or learn and actually shape the world because now digital is really shaping the world every single day. Mm.
Speaker 1:
51:28
I'll ask you one, I think in my experience, the biggest, uh, and I think this applies to all humans in general, but specifically for career. You know, what if I fail and then I cannot, um, I think that's, that's something that a lot of people think of. What if I feel, and then I cannot easily navigate, especially if you're at the senior level, right? Once you hit a certain level in, into one's career is not necessarily that easy to find positions. So I think a lot of people are also gets a little bit stuck in their own mind, in not elsewhere in their own mind and like, oh, but what if I make this move and then I fail and then it doesn't work out. And then how would you respond to that?
Speaker 2:
52:07
Um, no pain, no gain. You know what I mean? If you don't, you would be stuck in your think. My, my answer was I know I love lots of police. The, and the mentees that I'm working with is that I tell them, look, I mean if you look in the past, um, rolls wet lasting four for the senior adults, uh, company where lasting for centuries and the knowhow was lasting for a lifetime now is not any more like that. I mean call money. There's a lot of centuries, no expired very soon. And even rules changed so fast that again, you have to do it. So I mean it's a, it's if you want to maintain your competitive advantage as individual, you have to keep learning and keep trying and keep failing a learning. Again, I think on the contrary, the race is to be stuck on your role to be stuck on your seat and then it would come become the day in which they tell you whether or not they're part.
Speaker 2:
53:11
I'm very sorry, we have to shut down the company for down the road or shut down the function. Then you never develop this learning agility. Then you are really traveling so, so that's how do answer the people and they buy them to do it and of course accepts that back. Okay, this is very much in line with the European culture, but on the concrete Chinese culture and American culture of anyone that's really like that, I mean [inaudible] setback is acceptable and you can do a job or you can change company. You may feel well you're jump to another company, another role and so on as well. Europe. All right. If in your own company you fail a task, wow, then then might go to areas blow up forever or even worse. If you're five from my company money, then fine, you're a divert. I mean that's not at all the attitude that works in us and China. And by the way, he's not as surprised why these are superpowers. Mm.
Speaker 1:
54:07
I love your reframe. I love your reframe and, um, and in, in the fact that the, that is no longer a safety net stay, stay put. Uh, and, and, you know, don't make noise hope for the best. This is really not a solution because like we discussed before, we went on the podcast changes the only constant and uh, and yeah, it can turn out to be quite risky or at the end of the day. Um, I wanted to ask you in terms of the skills, the skills that you see, uh, needed now and needed a lot in the next five years. May it be in technology, digital supply chain, related, manufacturing related. What do you see as, as, as skill sets, hard skills, mindset skills that are soft skills that people really need a lot and there's not enough in the market now and maybe for the more what, what will be needed even more in the next five years.
Speaker 2:
54:56
Yeah. So, um, let me answer that and then that I'm afraid we need to close. It'd be very interesting. But I also have to work anyways. It's a very, very good question. And um, and I would see that the, the, the skill sets that, um, that will be in the, in the future, that is soft skill and that is our skill. So their soft skill, I think you mentioned, and I mentioned it is the agility to layer that being collaborated and made sure your partner muddy enough that you develop solutions that fit for, for the business. But then when people ask me beyond the soft skill, what do you think will be the job of the future that would be required right in the supply chain. And, um, and I see really three types of jobs that are uprising for which those skill will be very important and for which we are really scared.
Speaker 2:
55:52
So valid. One is digital supply chain architect, a m and a digital supply chain architects and t that we need because we hold this a new system, everything. Somebody that I'm the stand out to occupant the solution with the no our, the function is absolutely needed. How many digital supply chain architects I met in my life? Probably one or two or three. I mean it's really rare and those guys makes a difference. Then is that all about supply chain that assigned and the air? It's another interesting cross of fun and again where the famous learning story that we said before, it helps. We have a lot of supply chain owners. We have an upcoming role of data scientists or functional data scientists, but then in people that are able to understand that that in their supply chain and transform that into business inside is still yet to come.
Speaker 2:
56:54
There are still very few people that can understand our, that that pop there is really a business inside driver or just something nice way. For example, I may get example, there are people that tell me when I said the demand and that is doesn't mean it is and that is any incredible volatility or the demand and that's a, well I mean that's normal because that's is a tender market so you understand there's only, it's normal club is what I did. It is a supply chain that assigned is would tell me, look in that CP and their market there is an I volatility and hence is not working, improve the accuracy, but I seen this are their supply chain market. The high volatility is not driven by any structural elements. So we may want to drive any more accurate data science around it to understand if there are business inside to influence the supply chain. So that's very important. And the last point that has always been missing in supply chain. That is a skill and the role he, the supply chain strategist, I still believe that there are lots of tactical people that are very good operationally but very few that really see the supply chain strategy for their own term. Hmm.
Speaker 1:
58:06
Thank you. I mean very good. Very good summary. I'll listen. I won't keep you anymore. I really appreciate all the very, very good, um, case studies insights, especially the fact that you've made it so practical and tangible than all the metaphors and examples that you used. It made it extremely easy to follow because sometimes these concepts are a little bit, um, you know, um, theoretical made it very practical, so much appreciate that and good luck, you know, good luck in, in, um, in, uh, in your own words, in trying learning and failing fast. Absolutely. Absolutely. I don't think it's a question of lack, but the parents are women I think is a question on mindset and like we said that we really make the difference. Exactly. Exactly. [inaudible] thank you so much for your time. My [inaudible] was great. Thank you so much. Thank you.
Speaker 3:
58:57
Well, listening to our podcast, if you like what you heard, be sure to go to www.ellicotglobal.com and click the podcast button for all the show notes at the interview. Also, subscribe to our mailing list to get our latest updates. First, if you're listening through a streaming platform like iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher, we would appreciate a kind of review. Five-Star works best to keep us going and our production team happy. And of course share it with your friends. I'm most active on Linkedin, so do free to follow me, and if you have any suggestions on what what to do and who to invite next, don't hesitate to drop me a note. And if you're looking to hire top executives in supply chain or transform your business, of course, contact us as well to find out how we can help.