Leaders in Supply Chain and Logistics

#96: Sandra MacQuillan EVP & CSCO at Mondelēz International

November 11, 2020 Alcott Global Season 1 Episode 96
Leaders in Supply Chain and Logistics
#96: Sandra MacQuillan EVP & CSCO at Mondelēz International
Show Notes Transcript

Sandra MacQuillan is the EVP and Chief Supply Chain Officer at Mondelēz International which is one of the global FMCG players leading the future of snacking with 2019 net revenues of approximately $26 billion.

Sandra leads all aspects of the organization’s global supply chain including Procurement, Manufacturing, Logistics, Engineering, Sustainability, and Safety.

Discover more details here.

Some of the highlights of the episode:

  • Mondelēz’s structure – engineering, sustainability, and safety
  • How Mondelēz are planning to grow in terms of e-commerce
  • Sustainability initiative- reduce CO2 emission by 15% by 2019-2020 and 10% by 2025
  • Measuring customer-centricity and communicating with other businesses
  • How being more local helped Mondelēz become closer to their consumers
  • Keeping connected and being more human

Follow us on:
Instagram: http://bit.ly/2Wba8v7
Twitter: http://bit.ly/2WeulzX
Linkedin: http://bit.ly/2w9YSQX
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2HtryLd

Speaker 1:

Hello everybody. And welcome to the leaders in the supply chain podcast. I am your host radicle, Amani managing director of ELCA global. And I'm very excited to have Sandra McMillan , who is the executive vice president and chief supply chain, officer of Mondelez international, as many of your know, and as many of us consume these kits and different goods, from what the least , they are one of the largest consumer goods companies in the world with a revenue of close to 26 billion as of last year. And Sandra leads all aspects of the organization, global supply chain, including procurement, manufacturing, logistics, engineering, sustainability, and safety. So Sandra, thanks a lot for taking the time and pleasure to have you with us.

Speaker 2:

Thank you so much radio and hello to everybody. Thanks for joining us.

Speaker 1:

Our pleasure. And so first question for you, Sandra. I, you know, we deal in our work all day. Job is head hunting and executive sites , a lot of structures, and we've seen quite a few ablation organizations, but I'm going to say, you know, in one of these , it's quite a, it's quite an interesting structure because you have, you know, you have all the different elements on top of that . You have engineering, then you have sustainability, you have something that is specifically called sustainability and safety. So I wanted just to ask you a little bit, how did you derive this structure and you know , how is it helping you to have all these functions under one?

Speaker 2:

That is a great question. And let me just apologize in advance. I don't have, anybody can hear the , uh, the gardeners in the background. It's not our garden is next door, but it's Thursday here and yeah, I called all my virtual connections now have gardeners in them if they come on the first day. So I'm really sorry if everybody ,

Speaker 1:

No problem here .

Speaker 2:

Um , so how did we, I , I think that's a great question around what do we call supply chain and the industry as well, actually, and I don't know about you Roddy , but there are many versions of a supply chain , um, organization from procurement, not being in it to logistics, being the only bit in it to manufacturing, not really being mentioned. When you talk about it, when you talk supply, how do we get to where we are? Well, when you look at what can you influence from the shelf to the field or the field to the shelf, it's all those areas internally that you , you referred to from procurement, manufacturing, logistics, what do we do in that space where we need to be safe, we need to be sustainable. It's a non-negotiable of ours. We need to have good quality and food safety and meet all our compliance piece. And you need engineering in that space. So for us, it was quite logical to bring that all together. And to be honest, in the last three jobs, two or three jobs that I've had and roles that I've played, that's been how we've defined the supply chain in mandolins with my team, which is spread across the globe. We actually spent some time looking at well, what do we want to do with all of this? These functions actually, they're interdependent. They rely on each other and influence positively or negatively each other. And if you start with the consumer in mind and you start with the shelf and then come back to the field, they also engage with the consumer customer, right the way back to the supplier. So you've really gotten your hands, the , the , the ingredients that if connected together and measure together and delivering together can make a huge difference in for the business overall.

Speaker 1:

Hmm . And I , I wanted to specifically ask about e-commerce because I was reading the statistic. I think last quarter, you grew 78% that channel compared to last year , quarter , I think also overall just e-commerce is boom . Given most of us are stuck or have been stuck. Now, some people are back stuck depending on which in Europe is quite a few. Tell us a little bit about the growth in e-commerce. How do you see the channel developing also? How did you change or adapt your supply chain to best fit that particular way of selling?

Speaker 2:

Well, actually for us, e-commerce a lot sit got a CPG to the same. I think actually when I talked to a lot of my peers around industry, but e-commerce has been very much a focus for us in Mondelez anyway. So it is naturally one of the , the channels that our consumers are moving into and our customers as well. If you look at some of the, the customer base that we have, so we haven't really adapted what we've done at all, we've seen more focus on it and more volume going through that channel, which actually allows us to explore what do we need to do uniquely as we move forward through the crisis of COVID, but just naturally is an evolution of a business. What do we need to do, particularly in like, IPAX , you know, the kind of packaging that we need to think about and the way that we supply it to our, our consumers and customers, but ultimately the consumer in that channel. So it starts to educate you more on learning what we, what we need to be ready for as we move forward. So it's not new for us. Um, but it is a shift in terms of the weight that we put on it in our business and actually has given us a really good opportunity to say, well, what else do we need to do here now that it's growing? So it's actually very exciting. And my team in the logistics groups , the SNL team, so customer service and logistics team, we're working with the businesses and with the strategy team who are looking at in Monta , Liza, what do we need to do to get ahead of the game here? So some good, powerful conversations around, how do we capitalize on what's happening actually?

Speaker 1:

Hmm Hmm . And , and sustainability is a big topic. You have it as a separate field side . I'd like to also, and it's something that we should all look into it because we only have one planet. And also there's been a lot of good initiatives. And I love the fact that a lot of CPGs companies have come together and are collaborating into stuff like the sustainable packaging, recycled packaging, and all of that. So maybe share with us a little bit in terms of what some of the, what are some of the initiatives that you're taking to this ?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. With pleasure. So I talked to you a bit about this shelf to field concept. We actually have a vision in supply chain for Mondilise of doing it right from shelf to field. We did deliberately start at the shelf and come back because that's the piece that , that matters and educators, and we know our consumers and our customers and our employees, and just people in general are much more focused on sustainability. So with that context, we've also built out some work streams that we're focusing on and these strategies of what do we want to , you know , we have, of course we have the traditional ones with the cost and the cash in what we do, but we also have around service. We have in terms of looking at quality and as we move forward in that, and we have some non-negotiables and the non-negotiable element for us really is around the food safety that people and assets safety , um , and very importantly, sustainability itself. Because if you look at how we define the supply chain from the field, right back to the, to the often the field, to the shelf and the shelter, the field, we have so many opportunities to be able to positively impact or negatively impact remission to do water usage through waste. So we've, we've made that commitment and said, it's an absolute non-negotiable for us as a supply chain. And as a business, that's meant that we've actually signed up to the science-based targets initiative, which is really trying to keep the , the warming down below 2%, which , uh , for the globe, which to your point, we only have one planet. And that's actually meant that we've been able to take the, the belief that we got, that we should be doing the right thing and say, okay, so from a CO2 emissions going to view, what do we want to do? And we've been working on this since probably for five plus years in real earnest, actually. So before I joined the company, but now we thought , uh , accelerated that and we've actually said, okay. So if our longterm goal is really to reduce , uh , what we do and our pricing negative, but our impact on the planet, then let's force a conversation between us, around how we get to another 10% reduction by 2025 of CO2 emissions. And we actually set ourselves a challenge based on 2013 numbers to reduce by 15% by 20, 19 2020. And we exceeded that goal. We're now on track. And actually even in the first year, looking at exceeding our, our goal of a further 10% CO2 emission by 2025, where water is, we've also got another goal there on water,

Speaker 3:

But when we could travel the globe,

Speaker 2:

I know that there's a lot of stress around more distressed areas. So particularly more distressed areas where we are operating because we're a global footprint and network. How do we also make sure that we reduce versus 2018 base, 10% use of our water? And in some places, how do we get to a place where we'd become self-sufficient in that? And then the final area that we've got there is we're a food company. We make food. How do we reduce by 10%, at least by 20, 25 in line with these initiatives and targets the waste that we generate through the production of food, because that itself, you know, we , we let that ties in very nicely with some of the other strategies around, you know, being good at what we do , being better at what we do quality and also the service level, because altogether they can help us to reduce the waste. So we are very serious about it from the supply chain side. Clearly, if you listened about Mondelez , we have our chief impact officer. We've talked about some of the, the , the work that we're doing bigger than, than that, that goes across the whole corporation . But the supply chain is part of a foundation for us.

Speaker 1:

Hm . And talking a little bit about the last couple of months, what a couple of nine, not nine. Yeah . I've listened to some of your , your recent interviews. And I think there's, you know, there's , there's been a couple of initiatives that most companies took in their supply chains, like reducing SK use , like, you know, rationalized reproduction, like obviously focusing on the highest selling items versus, you know, all the plethora that they had. But on top of that, I'm curious to ask you, I wasn't even talking to a supply chain leader. And , and he said that they turned from a monthly SNOP cycle to a weekly SNOP cycle. So there's , you know , there's this speed, you know , digital transformation that is federated. I'm curious if , uh , you know, what was some of the top things that changed in your supply chain, in the speed that you interact and maybe with the businesses, with the customers, with the markets, and if you can give us some examples.

Speaker 2:

Yes, of course. So the first place that we started was actually looking after our people and really focusing on, we operate all over the world, hundreds of , of places that we operate in. And our first port of call was to make sure that our people felt safe to come into work and that when they were in work, we were looking out to them. And actually by doing that, you know , we were creating a safe environment for them to operate in. And then of course, by doing that, you create the circumstances where you can, you can sort of work through how do I keep the business going? You know, if for us in supply chain, it was very much around what do we need to learn really quickly, like literally overnight, actually in terms of protection of people, protection of the premises in terms of how to segregate, you know, keep separation PPE inside and outside. And a lot of people don't talk about that, but some of the environments that we operate in, in the supply chain externally is , is almost more difficult than actually operating internally because of the cultures that you operate in, which can be more inclusive. So how do you manage a virus that's highly contagious, externally as well as internally. So there's a lot of work that we did that , what that then meant when you look at our supply chain and Mondilise , we rely a lot on the front, the front end of understanding what the customers and the consumers want . So particularly with our customers daily interactions with what , you know , what , what do you need? What's the, what are the forecast looking like? What is the offtake looking like, to be honest, 90% of it was wrong at the very, very start. So the volatility in the system, I'm sure anybody who wants supply chains, who's been to the last 10 months, the volatility has just been off the scale. Um, and I really, you know , really do hold it in all of them at the , the people, the demand planners, the forecasters, the planners who've been working through this whole system to try and keep saying and keep the business going. So connecting with the customers on almost a daily basis to understand what's going on and then be able to translate that as well as we can into our system of what do we need to make. You know, we very quickly turned production around in terms of making what need, which means is in some cases changing how we operate assets to be able to do that in our business, because you'll have seen to your point about people coming back to our consumers, coming back to foods that they trust. And there's a comfort piece, and there's a , uh , you know , confident in the knowledge that you , you trust this brand. We seen a huge increasing in particularly in biscuit and a little bit in chocolate and in cheese, actually really Philadelphia cheese as well. It just went off the scale. So we managed to sort of try and bring that into play and the other end of it, our suppliers have been amazing. Absolutely amazing. Cause if you think of what we're going through, they're going through the same. And actually a lot of them have joined us in some of those places that are not so easy to operating. So, you know, there've been times in Malaysia and the Philippines where the government's just said , everything is down, you know, and we're going to protect our environment. So we've worked with working with them and putting them under the umbrella of Mondilise to be part of us in terms of trying to find ways to work with governments and regulatory bodies, to make sure that we continue operating. So that's also been happening on an hourly basis at times, you know, in some parts of the country, it's 10 o'clock in the, are in the evening and right by 11, the whole system has changed. So we've had to be flexible and responsive in a whole different way around making sure we know as much as we can, what to make shifting assets, to be able to make more of what we need. And in some places saying, well, we don't need this for now, so let's not make it. And the responsiveness, right, the way from our suppliers through and through our people in Mondilise is just been inspiring. You know, if you think it's been going on this long, it's just been inspiring. The other thing we've been doing, which has been really interesting, and it's taught us a lot as well, is how do we keep people coming to the factories and , and the, and the distribution centers and the systems. And we've had the transportation in a different way. We've had to look at hotel in a different way for people to be able to get there, to protect them. And that wasn't really what was on my plan on January the first 2020. So it's been an exciting and educational year. I'm not sure I won't like it ever again, but , uh , but it's been really, I've been so proud at how we've sort of turned around on a , on a penny to be able to , to keep this going. So to all those of you in supply chain now, they're just really well done. It was really hard. I know.

Speaker 1:

No, I mean, I, yeah, for effect , I think all of us , all of the supply chain professionals out there in my , in London, days in all the companies, I think has been a tremendous, tremendously difficult, but at the same time, you know, learning and fulfilling good journey, we are getting a lot of comments from , from people Daniels. He exceeded the assumption as well in his family. So he apologizes , I think, is because of his feminist assumption that you're, I mean, I know that I , I, in our family, we had, we had an, with the chocolate over consumption, but , but , uh , you know, such as like , I guess what I want to also, and we're getting a few questions and I'll get to them and I want to encourage people to keep posting and seeing it. But I wanted to also ask you about customer centricity and, you know, how do you measure it? You've spoken about that in a few, in a few interviews, what are some of the metrics tools, processes that you use in order to get it accurate and make sure that you're responding fast to what your customers want?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, I , I would not let me start with, we're not perfect in that space yet by a long way. And we re we started our journey in Monza . In this one, we have a wonderful dynamic when Derek , our CEO came in about two, three years ago. Now, I think he took a wonderful organization in a different direction to talk about being local, but not only so really putting the business units on the, on the map, which is, you know, cause sometimes you can drive at corporations from the global center, I've actually operated in, in three organizations and every one has been a matrix, which means there's a role for the local, but not only, and, but not only is what power can you, can you scale? Can you bring by connecting the two that's meant by really focusing in on RBU's and being local, we got closer to our consumers and our customers and understanding what do they want from local brands versus the big global brands? You know , so Louis versus Oreo, how does that play through in, in Europe, you know, where both are really important from a supply chain point of view, this, this point that I was making about why are we here that we've defined, which is, you know, deliver doing it right from shelf to field, just by putting the shelf first, before the field, we start focusing on what are the signals and what's the data, the credible data that we can get from the shelf now, be it real or be it virtual. And by that, I mean, you know , it's not on shelf availability so much. Cause I think there's a hierarchy in customer service that we need to always be aware of in supply chain. But if we can start at the shelf and understand the consumer in terms of their bits , through the data that the customers have, then we can start being more prescriptive about where we go rather than having to react so much in the supply chain. All sounds wonderful in when I say it and we're a long way from that, but actually I was talking to Bob, who's my it partner in my team yesterday. And we were talking about how do we get a supply chain? You know, we have a digital supply chain roadmap. How do we get one of those areas to be completely obsessed about the consumer and the shelf? How do we get that data to be clear? And I think the more we focus on taking out interpretation from others and focus on it within the supply chain and actually focus on what is the shelf telling me the more I can stream that into my system to then all the way back to my suppliers, get what the consumer and the customer needs when they want it. So that's the overall thinking around it. When I look at what are we doing and how are we measuring it then? Yes, of course on time and informed through the customer lens is really important. However, measuring the supplier on their own time and in full and measuring manufacturing organization on compliance to schedule is also really important. Efficiency is , is massive. Yes. In terms of making sure we do what we do well, but if we don't do it at the right time in the right format, then the consumer doesn't get what they will , the customer doesn't actually get what they want in that space. So we've also set up work streams and metrics that are interdependent across the supply chain that result in us getting to a place of does the customer get it on time and in full and actually, or however they manage, they , they measure it. So what's the customer's metric as well. Um, and then how do we want to measure ourselves internally? And then how far, and how close can we get to the shelf to then take out the interpretation? So it's real credible data that we're working on. So that's what I mean by a consumer centric supply chain, we end up using our IQ on the data and our EEQ on the empathy of what, you know , understanding really let's get a bit marketing about this and it's not scare marketing by going in there, but let's broaden our role as leaders and operators in the business to really understand who we're connecting with because that's who we're making this for.

Speaker 1:

Hmm . One of the questions that we're getting is what's keeping you up at night looking into 2021 , what are some of the key challenges that you foresee and, you know , areas?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So I was talking to somebody else about someone said to me, Oh yeah. Well, so you know , now that we're through COVID and I think, I don't know if it's keeping me up at night, cause it's just part of the part of what we do now, but I don't think we're through COVID by a long way. I think there's a, a long time, a long space to go into 2021. Um , and I don't think the 31st of December at midnight, going to the 1st of January yet, you know, one minute past midnight is going to make most difference. So I think I know that within that there and what, what I think about and , and trying to work through, and I don't think it's an easy answer is how do we keep going in this space? How do people keep going in this space? Because the assets can do what they need to do. And the, you know, we'll, we'll all be in lockdown or not, and we'll be doing what we need to do, but the amazing work that we've done so far since March , um, with our people and through our people, how do we keep managing that? So we don't all get exhausted with it cause it's, it's not going to go away in the short term and can we evolve our, you know , cause we come through learning what COVID is and we come through learning how we can test for it and wait for vaccines and stuff. How can we bring some of that into our space to be able to make it easier for people as well, to just be able to breathe out? Cause he's been a really intense year . And if next year, if half of next year is like that, you know , my, my biggest, my biggest , um, intellectual gymnastics, how do we keep everybody okay. You know, in terms of energy and everything else. Cause we're , we're asking a lot , uh , everywhere in the world, not even just within the supply chain and I think that's the bigger deal and we keep waiting for it to finish. And I don't know about you, but you get this, Oh, it'll Tuesday and it's done. And then Tuesday comes and it's not. So the , the amount of emotion that's going on for everybody, you know, billions of people around the world, I can only, I can only imagine. So that's, that's, that's probably the biggest thing that , that the rest we can manage because we're supply chain and we do, you know, but , uh, that's the bit for me.

Speaker 1:

Mm , no, thanks for the candor. And I mean , I think most of us are in the same situation and , uh , I was talking to somebody out of India and they had no supply chain leader of the Indian sub-continent and they had a discussion with the government and the prediction was that they, it would take them two to three years to finish vaccinating everybody in India, which is obviously a huge market, you know, different markets have different culture and capabilities. I think it's, yeah, it's, it's pretty safe to assume, you know, where optimistically 12 months. I mean, if you want, we have, I mean, we might have pockets rights in countries, but this is not going to go away.

Speaker 2:

It was not . Um , and that's, and that's okay if we can manage it in a D you know, we can't keep managing it full on. So I think my, my responsibility and accountability to my teams is to make sure that we find a way through to, to alleviate some of the, and we've come a long way. Gosh, if I think of, when we start in March, April may to September October now, there's like, there's a cadence around it, but we still got more to do. And if we take our eye off the ball on that one, I don't think we're being, you know, we're not being the responsible leaders that we need to be in this space.

Speaker 1:

And I have a , you know, a shifting let's listen lesson learned and what works. One question that we got is, as you know, we're trying to, and everybody's trying to find, to stabilize this processes to create a little bit of a more predictable environment, even if it's possible, but , uh , you know , we as human beings, I think we need the level of predictability. Do you have certain things that you've implemented with the team on the people side, on the soft side, right? Maybe rituals , maybe sharing, maybe, I don't know, whatever it may be that helped in this month , then you would want to continue.

Speaker 2:

So , so we've got a lot more connected as a , we were connected as a team in Mondelez. We're a very connected business. Anyway, it's a very people business, but we've gone if you think of my team is everywhere. So a bit like in fact, one of the, the vice presidents who runs the supply chain for Amir is in Singapore, probably not very far away from you, actually rarely . So you go from Singapore, right? The way through to Latin America. And connecting can sometimes be quite difficult, you know, with the time zones, but we've now gone to more connections and weekly connections and subgroups working just for that, that connectivity to keep things going. And at one point we weren't in that space because we could physically meet versus, you know, so, so it's almost felt like it was a moment that you were waiting for to physically meet . Now, we don't wait and we're just working, you know, working in connecting and talking all the time. I think the other thing that's been wonderful is we've all become more human. You know, there's, there's often a time where you feel at work, you've got to be , you've got to be different than you are. I struggled with that. You know , like what you see is sort of what you get, you can get into a space where you think you , you don't need to share as much of that , who you are, but if in the world today, I think business is human. So actually one of the things that's been wonderful is that people have shared more about what they think and where they are. And we've even had some, really any of the world is going through a lot of learning around racism and moving from being, you know , against racism, to being an anti-racist. And we've had some amazing comp virtual conversations with the whole team around really deep, tough conversations , you know , just subject matter around what do we want to do differently about it and how can we operate in that space? So we shifted from maybe using virtual as a, yeah, let's have a quick chat to , okay. We can have a really deep conversation here and still, still move forward. So more frequency, more human, just putting it out there and talking about it. And it sort of gives you the discipline of also making sure that you respect everybody's on the call. So that's definitely changed. And I think that's been wonderful because what , two of my team, our head of procurement, Quentin, and head of CSL logistics, Andrea joined on April the fourth. So they have not actually been in any way. We move virtually onboarding them. And they've done an amazing job of connecting still with everybody. They need to connect within the business. And can you imagine that thinking about doing that in like 2019, it was all about getting out there and seeing, and being seen, but we've had to find different ways of making, making that work and successfully those two have done a great job of making that happen.

Speaker 1:

Mm . And I want to, I want to reinforce a little bit the point that you made about the authenticity and I mean , being real and not , it definitely comes across very strongly to me with you. And I think it's super important. Um , and I, I'm constantly getting feedback in organizations and with the, you know, with the executive level that , that , that we tend to deal with, but also across the levels. I mean the more politically correct you are the more actually, I mean , firstly, people sensitive to smell it. I mean , you kind of, I mean, it's not that difficult. I mean, of course now as a leader, can you say everything cannot, you cannot, but then you'll still be genuine. And I just want to, you know, to , to salute that, and also I want to share an example of one of our clients that , where they actually did meetings where the regional CEOs and different blasters would come on and say, look, this is my challenge is my personal story. My, you know, my concerns during this COVID-19 crisis. And then also encourage the team then subsequently because it's a, you know, you show vulnerability on , I mean, it's not to manipulate anybody, but it's just a human kind of, you know ,

Speaker 2:

Exactly what it is. It's people sharing. So we've had people who've said as you , I'm feeling a bit stressed today and you know, I've got a sore shoulder. I know I did something to my leg cause I ran too much. So you just share there's this is hard. This is really hard. And if we don't say it's hard and we don't talk about stuff we need to talk about and then other people don't feel they can and it's okay if you're late for something or your dog coming, my dogs forever , you know, jumping in and up and it's okay because this is, this is just life and it was still doing what we need to do. We've just come out with, which is interesting. Actually, it may be helpful for people we've just come out with our new, flexible working policy, which out RCA HRO has just launched. And one of the pieces in that is about trust actually. And just saying, let's just trust that people are doing the right thing. And I think sometimes, you know, the previous , the previous years we, we came out in a space as well, working at home, then they must be, yeah , I would say I use the English word skiving because they're not where they should be. Well, actually we work harder at home. I think I haven't got, I haven't got the break of going into the office, you know , every week and everything's on. So I think this trust between us actually also creates the space where people can breathe a little bit and , and they , and that that's , that was a big deal that, that call that called out in , in what we were doing all flexible working is that it's just assumed that we trust. Not that I think we were low on trust, but there's not questionnaire because if the work's getting done and people are looking okay, and it's all right, then it's all right.

Speaker 1:

Yep . Absolutely. Yeah . We're getting an , a question that I'm going to ask you because I think it's , it's something on top of a lot of people's minds supply diversity there's talks China, plus one, I mean , depends. Okay. You guys obviously are not maybe as reliant on China because your supply chains may be a little bit more localized originally , but I think everybody has a predictable, had a pretty strong dependence on China. And then the second part of the question is also the role of supply chain management in addressing some of the social challenges and major social disparities that that can occur. So what's your thoughts on that summer ?

Speaker 2:

Yeah , so we have a huge business in China actually. We're really big business in China's and we are more local. So I think we did have a, we did have a winter. That's a good summary of where we are, you know , we're not really global, we're global in supply from some of our suppliers, but what we're focused on that in terms of where it makes sense. And then we also have a local and regional type of thinking through, through our supplier base. And we're evolving that to look at supplier partnerships more. And I was referring to that at the very start. When you were asking me about how did we, you know , what did we do more of or less off? We , we really are connecting much more acquainted. Who's come in with his team in procurement are looking at how do we drive this to get the innovation as well as what we need in terms of the P and L delivery and the right raw materials and packaging in the right place. How do we build out to also bring that expertise of suppliers into our business, where they know much more than we do actually about the innovation that could come from the ingredients, or you talk about supplier diversity, that's a huge focus for us. And again, Quentin has come in and he's looking at doing that in that context of, we do not have let's hands up. You know, we did not have anything like what we want in terms of supplier diversity, to the lens of African-American or any other type of diversity that we would talk about. So that's a big push for us now in the next one to three years, to look at making sure that we're, we're building that diversity to represent our world, you know, because we operate everywhere. So that's represent our , our supplier base in that space too. So that would also be a social, a social issue in terms of where we are. If you look at other social issues, then we tend to work very locally on those. If there are big social issues there, and there's always that balance of keeping out of the politics, but doing it right. And that really comes down to what we're talking about on our, we have a , we have an overall behavior that we really believe in the Mondelez, which is do it right. And at the same time we in supply chain, we've amplified that because we probably are the ones who can even more through every lens, you look at really focus on doing it right. And that means how we do business. How do we do business with cocoa farmers, right? The way through to how do we do business with our customers and how do we do business with our suppliers? You know, all of that space and internally with each other, you know, so there's a lot that goes on there. A lot of the social issues can be local. A lot of them are big and I've already referred to , to what we're doing as an example on this supplier diversity and its widest for also looking at talent, you know , so I am a big believer in diversity, full stock . So I want the diversity at the thinking. I want the diversity of the gender. I want the diversity of the origin, the ethnicity, the beliefs in my team, because then I absolutely believe we get a better answer at the end , at the end, in terms of anything that we're trying to deal with in a social dilemma or just a work dilemma. And over the last few, you know , I I've been in the job now for just over a year, actually, we've been focusing very much on that level and the level below and the level below that, how do we build up when the time is right? You know, as we, as the organization evolves to bring in more different thinking, let alone everything else that you know , that hopefully will come with that. So that we get the healthy tension in our , in our organization to do a better job than we might've thought because, you know, no one person has the answer. It has to be. And with where we're going, if you look at trying to connect with the consumer and the customer, gosh, that's so big. I need to find a way to be able to think differently about how we do it. So that's what we're, I hope that answered the question. That's what we're doing and not be constrained by what you think happened before and what you need to do before. Just be open-minded about where you're going.

Speaker 1:

Yeah , absolutely. And moving the shifting a little bit, the discussion on talent skills, you know, what type of soft skills and hard skills you need, it's hard to find , uh , as well. Tell us a little bit, your thoughts on that.

Speaker 2:

So I am a massive believer in the role of IQ and EKU . And I think we've talked a little about a bit with empathy for the consumer and the customer. I think if you want to really, it's not just what you do is how you do it. And in today's world, I think it's even more important on the how, and for a long time in supply chain, we were all about showing me the money, you know, hit my bottom line and, and help me hit my bottom line. And actually probably there was less expectation out of leaders and people operating in the supply chain that we would look at that bigger picture. And actually we're business leaders who run the biggest people, organizations in any company, therefore, the influence we can have if we look at how we do it and how we engage people and how we recognize people, not even just reward, but recognize people, that's massive for us. So moving forward and looking at what do I think we need? I think we need more and more to embrace the , the how, when the EEQ the, the, the emotional intelligence of who we are, because we've already proven that we can do so much intellectually, you know, we've got the right people in the right jobs in most places to be able to connect things and drive, drive our work more efficiently, you know, all those kinds of things. But if we really want to be ahead of the game, on the shelf with, for our customers and our consumers, we need to understand that they have , and that, that requires a different muscle, more in the , the learning, the curious, the empathy with them. Cause we were customers and consumers. Anyway, it really, you know, how do we bring our own experience to play in the softer side of things on how we do it and how do we keep our people engaged and feeling valued, which then of course, they'll everybody then delivers so much more than you would want anyway. So I, I am a huge believer and I think the time is, is now more than any that I've felt because I , you know, I've always been in that space and sometimes people have looked at me and I was like two heads going , what would you mean you're talking about this is important. I'm going , but I really believe that how we do things and how we care about people and how you know , that is in our place where, you know , w we're half the size of Mondilise, that has to be the answer of how you make the difference. It has to be to that. Cause it's so important. So that's, that's what I think is we'll have all the technology in the world. We'll be looking at the AI, of course, we're on that track anyway, having the credible data, we will get there through it. And through those connections, if we don't have the right people feeding the right connections with what they're doing and understanding where we're going, then, you know , it , it will be great, but it might not be as , as great as it could be, you know ?

Speaker 1:

No on to your point, I wanted to share an example. We, we worked on the role as a product , uh , product head for a technology platform on application, which millions of users. And , and the funny part about the brief was that the most important criteria was common sense. They said, okay, we need somebody with common sense. You need somebody that I don't need the geek . I don't know. I don't need an expert necessarily. You know, the best one that I hired, the hiring one was telling me the CEO was sending me like it was a combination of psychology and sales and she did some project management then , but it's common sense. It's common sense, but common sense is not that common. And it's to kind of put a finger, okay, this is that kind of skill. Then , you know, to , I think to the credit of a lot of supply chain professionals, they are practical. They tend to be practical in nature, but a lot of the times it's also, they always fluffy and give me the cue and don't give me that you feel it , but ultimately we're human, right? So if you don't take care of that, then your staff won't be motivated. Your teams won't come together. Well , they won't understand what you're doing. So then you'll fail. I'm glad that you made that point so strongly.

Speaker 2:

And actually for me, if I look at where, where the, the journey that we're on this local, but not only journey that we're on in, in mandolins, if we're not widen or holistic in supply chain, we won't make that connectivity with our business units that need us to deliver in a certain way. And that's about common sense and emotion. It's less about, you know, you translate that into a practical, a practical approach. So I think, you know , internally it makes a big difference. If you can connect with what they're trying to do and understand it versus say, just how much did this, do you want? You know, that that's not where we are anymore. We've moved on because we are using AI. We are using data, you know, data more. We are, we are more cognizant of the simpler way of doing things through technology that the added value that, you know , the make the difference, I think is really in the Geopointe and the common sense, but also what do we do with our people and how do we release the, that potential energy? That's there

Speaker 1:

Final questions from me, Sandra, what would be some career advice? Right? We have a lot of people younger, older, but what would be some of the tips that you say, looking back on your career, a successful, very successful career that helped you the most. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Thank you for that. I keep tacky going . At least I'm still here. So I guess that's, that's a good success. The biggest piece of advice I can give you if I look back, are we , I was very lucky to marry an amazing man who decided to follow. That's not what I'm suggesting is to marry an amazing mountain because it's like,

Speaker 1:

Okay ,

Speaker 2:

A man who was happy to say, okay, I'll, I'll look after, you know , the family, my son Jack, and we'll go off and we'll have an adventure. And I think the biggest piece of advice I can give anyone and that , okay, that sounds a bit hollow at the moment with COVID going on, but it will pass, you know, is everything. You do see it as an adventure. And we lived in countries and operated in, and I remember being scared every time I walked into a new job, but it just felt so big and it was scary. And I moved, we moved from the UK to the Czech Republic. Oh gosh, you know the check . I remember my mother saying to me, how could you leave England? You know ? And you go and you go, wow, this is amazing. What a great adventure. And then we were moved to Russia and that was a bit like we had a baby. Jack was 10 months old. Gosh, okay. There's a bit of a complexity here because we don't really know, but wow. What an adventure, rather than a risk, because you know, you, you need to place your protective bubble around what you do for you and your family. Absolutely. But if your family are up for it, then taking as many adventures as you can with a company that will give you those adventures. I have found amazing. I would not be, you know , who I am today, if I hadn't done that. And , and actually the respect I have for culture and people and the interest and curiosity that I have for what makes people tick and how things work in countries. And, you know, even when things really annoying me, I can go, yeah. Okay. I get why that happens. I think that's, that would be the biggest piece I would say. Cause if you've, if you've got the, where with all, with, you know, running, you know, understanding what supply chain is and you can do it well, you'll, you'll lose through that. That's that's okay. That's what we do. But the, the biggest piece is the experience. And in today's world, a lot of people are saying, you know, they want to stay where they are, because it can be a bit scary. I think it was just as scary. Haven't knows how many years ago when we first did it, but it's, it's that network or that, that, you know, making that choice to give it a go and make the call when it doesn't, you know, we've, we've actually made a call in places where this just doesn't fit for us. So we need to, we need to say, no, now's the time to go. But that would be my look at things as an adventure, not a risk, but a calculated adventure. If you like around making sure that you and your family are safe and that you're getting what you want out of, you know, for you first, if that helps, that will be the biggest piece. I think that when I look back and go, wow, this has been so cool. Wouldn't miss it for the world.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, exactly. I mean , it definitely served you well. And it's also something that we see consistently and , um, in terms of such assignments, as well, as in general, in successful careers to global level in supply chain, you need to have that international exposure and in different markets and that openness of , uh , perspectives and cultures and understanding because otherwise it's just, you know, it just doesn't work even at the regional level .

Speaker 2:

And if I may rather just to, if there are any women listening, I think that the other piece for me and I was late to it, you know, have believe in you, you know, work through, what's stopping you believe in you, if you don't believe in you and own it . You know, and I know that I had a , as I was going through my career, I kept waiting to be found out about how rubbish I was. You know, someone's going to tell me it's always going to find me out. You know? And I, I did a bit of work on me to say, well, why do I feel like that? You know, cause nobody else can fix it for you. And even now I remember my first day and want to lose . And I was like, Oh no, we're gonna do this. And this that's good. Cause that motivates you to , to think differently. But you know, you are where you are because you can. And because someone sees that. So at least if you believe in the humble, whatever way that you do, then you can bring more of yourself. So just women in petite , but also it's not just women. I know, but men too, if we're here because we can be humble enough to keep learning, but believe in you because that can be, that can be the biggest stopper and work out why you don't, if you don't and then own it, because it's all about you.

Speaker 1:

Not very good at with it. And I think we all suffer from, I think it's called an imposter syndrome in a more technical way, but we all, you know, we all have our insecurities and I've had long discussions. It tends to be more prevalent in women than in men. For sure. And yeah , big, big, thanks for bringing that up. And they things definitely have inspired some, some people today. So with that being said, Sandra, I want to thank you for your time. Very open and sincere sharing. It's been a pleasure. We've gotten a lot of great comments, so I'll let you read it later,

Speaker 4:

You know , keep rocking this ablation. Yeah . That's very important to make cheeses . You can tell the conversation

Speaker 5:

Well , listening to our podcast , if you like put your heard , be sure to go to www.ellicottglobal.com and click the podcast button for all the show notes of the interview. Also subscribe to our mailing list to get our latest updates. First, if you're listening to a streaming platform like iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher, we would appreciate a kind of view . 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 feel 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.