Leaders in Supply Chain and Logistics

#06: Bjorn Vang Jensen Global Head of Logistics at Electrolux Part 3

September 26, 2017 Radu Palamariu Season 1 Episode 6
Leaders in Supply Chain and Logistics
#06: Bjorn Vang Jensen Global Head of Logistics at Electrolux Part 3
Show Notes Transcript

Bjorn Vang Jensen, Global Head of Logistics at Electrolux. Bjorn is a global industry figure, started his career as graduate of the A.P. Møller/Maersk Shipping School. Subsequently worked for Maersk group, then on the 3PL side for DHL and TNT. And last 13 years as a proud leader of the Electrolux supply chain team. All in all, Bjorn has lived in Asia for the past 28 years, during which time he has been based in Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore.

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Episode #06 Part 3 Highlights:

  • Moving from 3PL to the client side – “the grass is not greener over on this side, it’s just a different type of grass. And you’ve got to be prepared for a change in diet.”
  • Why is Bjorn 100% paperless.

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spk_0:   0:02
So I moved to the to the final segment, which is the personal side on. There's a couple of very interesting questions and final thoughts. So you you made the switch. You know, you you were in shipping. Then you made to make it to the three pl side. And then 13 years ago, obviously, with Elektra looks on the shipper side, you've done, you've done a lot. A lot of people in the three Bill and she shipping lines the dream of doing right move to the clients. Any advice for those days trying to do the same?

spk_1:   0:29
Well, they So my advice is is a network of organ network all right? It's actually what you want to do that you got a network. I was I actually made it to the buy side of dockside What we're gonna call it by pure serendipity. And that is a story that that can't read itself. But he was a serendipitous moment and never discount serendipity and finding your next job. Right. But of course, I wouldn't have gone on the radar screen often experience if I didn't somehow Paul on on somebody's reading over jury. And if I didn't have the right skills a bit of a personal brand which, which, which I hadn't had. So spend time on building your personal right. All right, Be careful about how you build it. Be visible. And of course, working in the industry. It tends to be than what people switch over from Jimmy lines of three meals to the to the buy side. It tends to be because they worked with specific clients and those clients have liked what they say. So if you're lucky enough to work with a big game and see anyone us, which makes sure that a did you make that known on B that you do work for them that that brings you out of there, right? Yeah. I'll also say it is actually not the first time that I've been asked this question. But maybe 600

spk_0:   2:06
men usually get asked the question by people who wanted that. And sometimes also,

spk_1:   2:13
be careful what you wish for. Prison vacated, right? I know people who make sweet, who ultimately moved back after a year into the three pee outside. I could take two or three people are right off the top of my head and that has a lot to do with, You know, when we talked about earlier this podcast, what a humbling experience it was for meeting before we're on the other side. You need to accept if you move on the other side that it's not just about being given a bully pulpit with which to now hammer there good three peels and do to them what what they did to you and all that sort of stuff. That tends to be what's on people's minds, right? You have to make the effort to lie really very often, yes, and make me able to almost totally re educate yourself and accept that you're not at the top of the food chain for a while over on the other side. So looking very closely before you decide to make sort of say, am I willing to do that, or is that just not something that I could do with this state? Trying the grass is not green up over on this side. It's just a different type of grass. And right on dhe gonna be prepared for a change in diet works, right. Great melody, when you move over, so the advice well is no different from Romania. Job to make sure you do a good job. Make sure visible. Make sure you take care of your network. But also be prepared to accept change that will call me if one day your dog that actually catches that car.

spk_0:   3:58
Yeah. No. Okay. Great point that people. Actually, I think sometimes people just have this knee jerk reactions. And I mean, it's not just about this particular she feels she has been in general, right? I always think the grass is greener on the other side. We don't do enough background check. We don't understand. Actually, even what is it? I mean, you just see the shiny part. You don't see the, you know, no glamorous part. It's a great point. Better you're you're really

spk_1:   4:27
most of us. This question of people who have who were on the sales side, for example, if you're your work for three pl you mean a number of negotiations with people like me or the people? Of course, if it's been with me, it's been unfitting pleasant. But, you know, when I was on the sales side up into a very unpleasant ones, right? And so you can't help but suit their injury mall. Man, I want to see Oh, man, I gotta get it right. What? The very least, I'm gonna get out of this situation. I have to sell. Anyone have to buy into those people. Always say I spent probably half my career in sales.

spk_0:   5:04
Yeah, I have never

spk_1:   5:06
done more sailing in my life than in the past 13 years with Elektra. Because that guy that you're sitting there facing as a salesman, for example, if it's me, I have to go out and sell you to the organization later on necessary. I don't know. I don't know very many people in my position. You have total autonomy to just spend. They ever see a lot of people's money, right? So you have a meeting with me because I want to find out if you're worth me trying to sell to my organization. Yeah. If you think you're gonna get out of saving just by getting my job, you have another thing. A lot of internal sales is also saying

spk_0:   5:50
What's that? Any Any early morning routines that you follow? I do try to shower. Every day is like motivation. I early

spk_1:   6:03
bird, I don't know why. But somehow I'm programmed to sleep maximum six hours and it doesn't really matter when s so I usually wake up on up before 6 a.m. And I have a morning like a lot of other people. My my kids are old and don't live with me and water boarding school. So, you know, it's that morning school would seem this is going So, Hermes, I always enjoyed those early morning hours when nobody calls you. Hardly anybody is a week on. I am a very prolific users, you know, Social media shortstop with that cup coffee, they do my nails on very often get to the point where most of my emails that don't take care of our least categorized before before I come to work. Yeah, and be one person is a great privilege. Productive, unfortunate, noticed. Strong my feet. Visual genius. I should be. There tends to be weekend activity. Worried where they go absolutely crazy with cycling gulf. All the rest of it, but no most exercised during the week mornings. A zit should be. Yeah,

spk_0:   7:22
yeah. What is this? A question like, what is something that you believe in that other people think it's crazy.

spk_1:   7:33
I think I believe is on the other. People don't think it's crazy. They would. They would love to do it, but somehow they can't do it. I am a nearly 100% paperless, actually spent a

spk_0:   7:46
significant amount of money and

spk_1:   7:47
a lot of time in climbing the learning curve. Over the last four or five years, both of my personal and business life comes in my disk. You won't find a scrap of paper on there unless it's something that's there for my signature. And if it's there from my signature, I tell people taking away scan it and email it to me. So I've been signed with my eye. You built my life around absolutely, even know Dropbox on a few others. My nose begs mind that really enable you once you once you jump the hurdle to live in totally paperless existence. To the Senate's exit, the paper injured my life privately in the formal contused people's whatever really can't get the email. I mean scan and throw them into have a note from the paper with Yeah, so people think I'm a nerd, probably, and people think I'm crazy. But when anyone needs an important document from me, and I can produced on my iPhone live pat on my computer within 30 seconds. Um, yeah, they're not laughing anymore. It is a higher it'll, but very rewarding. In case some people think that is crazy.

spk_0:   9:06
Wait a couple more questions very quickly, so socially that we spoke a little bit of Social Media's. Tell me a little bit I use it doesn't help your brand. You know, you

spk_1:   9:22
know, social media can, can, can can help you and hurt. You can help me very quickly. It can hurt you even faster. A za brand way. Talk about the nature of problems anywhere with very keenly aware off power of social You were all over Twitter. Facebook Page Choice is a big one for us because that's where a lot of people do that research on. You know, when the Billy in your kitchen or laundry rooms of interest is, is one of the most surprising on. So I spend a lot of time on it. A lot of videos that we release these days. I think thing on Facebook, Consider again. The Nova acquisition was a big eye opener for us as well. They developed the use of social media, the advertising on social media to find out we use it to communicate corporate news. Uh, and that's only gonna get bigger and bigger. And, of course, wherever keenly aware of is the power of social media. It's a very good work against your grand drive. I mean, let's be honest these days. If if customized has a washing machine that's broken down as bad experience, he or she will tweet it out within five minutes.

spk_0:   10:35
The whole world's

spk_1:   10:36
in 1000 people will read it, and your response is absolutely everything. So we have that group of people that monitor that

spk_0:   10:47
because I'm actually that's a business opportunity. Action. I mean, there's no problem, and everybody screws it up. The way you respond to this girlfriend has

spk_1:   10:54
evolved into something very valuable. If you act swiftly conclusively and that will cause the customers go, I was pretty good, Yeah, but let's be honest. People way have an unfortunate tendency, Thio. You tell other people when we've had a negative experience. Where is the 99 customers who have an absolute perfect onboard appearance? Well, they kind of take that for granted. That's cool they don't tell people about. So there's this great power personally on social media. Well, you know me. I'm a prolific users Facebook and leaked in a twitter, uh, for very different purposes. Obviously, on Twitter is a lot of professional stuff. Uh, I follow a lot of a lot of influencers and use tablets that supply chain and shaping specific that sweet. I think this is more professional network, of course, where occasionally publish articles that tend to get a number of people, That would be quite catch. What you put in those most Facebook is his way. You can you can get there, you know, political and controversial. And

spk_0:   12:12
personal news. Oh, yeah, I think conspiracy. If

spk_1:   12:17
you know, we all have to have our little outlets.

spk_0:   12:19

spk_1:   12:20
you just need to be very, very careful thinking you use social media that you don't mix three. Yeah. All right.

spk_0:   12:26
All these general has a purpose and a place for everything and everything in switch Don't make so much, you know, final question. If assembly just graduating university now, they would ask you what are some of the principles to follow in their careers, so that one day. Maybe they become shapes of plants in office or global head of logistics For Elektra looks. What type of advice? Well, what would you tell them? What's the principle of their

spk_1:   12:52
principles? And then there's a concrete action that you take right. So, in terms of the principles that you need to leave if you are your life by a monster, Christopher provisions Christopher from Cranfield is a very old friend of mine. A board cut it off with him. He had a wonderful We had two wonderful phrases I think he Morris had been to drive, he said, First off, if you wanted to work in logistics, our supply chain, you must be comfortable with and cute. Okay, if you can't be comfortable with not all the interests of their right now, by the way, the situation can change in five minutes. If that's not the type of life for job you're comfortable with that don't even think about OK, so comfortable to be comfortable with ambiguity into the embrace. Ambiguity as opportunity, right? You're very quickly done when you two distinct kinds of bloodshed that there's never 100% solution if he waits until you have 1% solution, then the train is probably left the station. So 80% is really good enough in somebody just to get the right 8%. Yeah, so it can't be comfortable with their B 20% that you want to solve right now. Maybe you'll solve it later. But you know, so comfort with ambiguity. The other wonderful phrase that monster has used from time to time Is this the notion of the T shaped personality? So rather than being his eye shaped person who sits in it fits very comfortably into a sidle. I need to be a T shaped personality that really understands that supply chain link. Clear supply is not just about considering. Well, these advantages that's in procurement. Yeah, and planning. And he goes over very through to your crossing the customer. And so if you really want a career supply chain that's gonna take you to the top, you're gonna have to make it your business. To learn all of those functions doesn't necessarily mean you need to work in every single one of them. But you have to make an effort to reach out to people who do and understand what it is they do for a living for a bunch of reasons. First, they will, anyway, to make a lot more informed decisions, saying Lee will able to ensure that you don't become that side of the world trying to break down. So that's sort of concrete action you can take. It is, it is. Reach out to people in different feels different. You know, departments in the company trying to you, Can you Can you work there if you can work from says even better, right? Travel, read. Educated yourself constantly. There's no excuse for not doing it. On the days when I started in in logistics, you had to go to the bookstore and hope that they had some books on that one too old. These days, any iPhone will well, you know, drown you in the information if you go looking for. So you did see shape, personality be comfortable and security making effort to reach out to different functions and learn what they do and never saw.

spk_0:   16:05
Yeah, no super excellent excellent pieces of advice. Bjorn has been a pleasure. Thanks a lot for the time. Thanks for sharing with us. Good luck and also listless that share with our listeners. Good luck in your new geography after 30 yet that

spk_1:   16:19
I'm moving across in a couple of months moving to us. But for those who are hoping that there might be a job opening here, does it want to literally take my job with a signature? Your country? Andi, I look forward to that.

spk_0:   16:37
Thank you for your good luck and kitchen. Thank you. Thank you for listening to a podcast. If you like what you heard, be sure to follow us on. Rod of calamari dot com slash podcast For all the show notes, links and extra tips covered in the interview, make sure also to subscribe to our e mailing list to get the news in the nick of time. If you're listening through a screen platform like iTunes or stitcher and you like what we do, please kindly review and give us five stars so we can keep the energy flowing. You get more people to find out about a podcast on most active on Lincoln, so do feel free to follow me to stay tuned for our latest articles as well as future guests for the podcast. And if you have any suggestions or any other idea, Please feel free to write to me. I respond to all and also please make sure not to miss the next episode, where we will be having a few other sea level and top leaders in supply chain joining US Stadium.