Stephan de Barse is the EVP of o9 Solutions, driving digital transformation with some of the leading Fortune-500 companies. Globally responsible for all Business Development, Digital Marketing, Creative Marketing, o9 Design Lab, Alliances, Sales Activities, and Strategic Networks and shared P&L responsibility for the Global Revenue Number of the Company.
Founded in 2009, o9 is an AI-enabled platform providing solutions for operations and business planning. Its offerings include demand forecasting, commercial planning, supply chain planning, and Integrated Business Planning, among others.
o9 serves clients in many industry verticals, including retail, consumer goods, apparel, consumer electronics, industrial manufacturing, and oil & gas. It boasts large enterprises such as Google, Walmart, Estee Lauder Companies, Bridgestone, Caterpillar, Nike, General Electric, T-Mobile, and Starbucks, among its clients.
o9’s annual recurring revenue grew by more than 100% y-o-y last year, according to o9.
Discover more details here.
Some of the highlights of the episode:
[11:02] Solving Fortune 500 Supply Chain planning challenges
[17:39] Scenario planning and the COVID -19 crisis – the past data have become the worst predictor of the future
[25:23] Use cases – talking about the largest retailer in the US and Canada
[30:20] Why a digital twin of the supply chain is important
[40:17] Strengthening the Supply Chain community with AIM10x
[45:49] o9 unicorn expansion plans & hiring
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[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the leaders in tech and eCommerce podcast. I am your host, Andrew , and I am the APEC director for Elkwood global executive search. Our mission is to connect the tech in supply chain and e-commerce ecosystem in Asia and globally by bringing forward some of the most interesting stories about success and failure from leaders in the industry.
Happy to have with us today, Stephen. The bars. Stephanie is the executive vice president on nine solutions, and he's driving digital transformation with some of the leading fortune 500 companies. He's globally responsible for all business development, digital marketing, online design level lions, his sales activity, and strategic networks.
He also has a shared PNL responsibility for the global revenue number of the company. Well in 2009 all nine solution is an AI enabled platform providing solutions for operations and businesses. Planning its offering include demand forecasting, commercial planning, supply chain planning, and integrated business planning.
Among others, Oh nine [00:01:00] serves clients in many industry verticals, including retail, consumer goods, apparel, consumer electronics, industrial manufacturing, and oil and gas. They do orders with large clients such as Google. Walmart is still out there. Bridgestone's, Caterpillar, Nike, general electric, T-Mobile, and others.
Hi, Stefan. Happy to have you on the podcast today. Hey, thanks for having me. It's great to connect us. Always. Good morning to you as well. I'm in Singapore. You're in the Netherlands. I know. It's quite a early morning. I appreciate you making the efforts. Oh, absolutely. Yeah. So we are going through some, some interesting times and companies like our nine solutions and then your product, your services are more needed now than ever.
Anything more people think about. These kind of softer solutions more than everyone. And I'm very curious to find out more about you guys, but let's start with yourself first. Um, you have a [00:02:00] interesting career story, so I wanted to ask you to make a short introductions of a introduction of yourself and how you became the EVP.
Four Oh nine solutions. Absolutely. So my name is Jess. Um, I'm Dutch. I live in Amsterdam and currently overseeing. The global go-to-market practice over on our solutions. And actually how I got to know nine is a pretty interesting story because before I joined R nine I was working for a Goldman Sachs owned company in Marine electronics.
The company's called . And I was based out of Mexico actually because the largest, uh, uh, operations and factories for only painted down in Mexico. And I was responsible for the global planning function. That's part of that, um, of that function. Uh, and actually at the same time I was doing my executive MBA, uh, which, uh, includes, uh, a, a module at [00:03:00] UC Berkeley.
Uh, and that was all about innovation, entrepreneurship and tech. I wonder if the interesting things there was, you know, when you are in the Valley and talking to, you know, so many, uh, different companies, uh, and especially different tech companies. It's all about soul fair, right? People have so far for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
And then when it came back, right, I looked at, you know, the planning function at my company, and it was, you know, so many different legacy systems, a lot of Excel, and a lot of, you know, key capabilities that I wanted to have, which we didn't have. So then, um, I started a journey to actually scout the markets for solutions.
And actually we looked into, you know, any planning solution that's out there, you know, under Mark with today. So eventually we made a, a shortness of 10 vendors. Then we brought that back to a four, then two, two, and eventually to one. And I selected a Oh nine. So by then I didn't know nine. [00:04:00] Uh, but I was very impressed by the technology as well as by the culture and the people that were working for Oh nine.
So obviously at that time I was on bias, selected online, did the implementation. Uh, and then shortly after that, I felt it's all signed for. All right. Next chapter, uh, in my life as well as in my career. And, uh, Oh nine was looking for someone to, uh, kickstart Europe, um, and that may be decide to join the team.
So that's now around two years ago, uh, started on nine in a year. Uh, and they'll build that team of 50 plus people Oh. With some very interesting and large clients and what is going through the ranks, uh, and now running the global go-to-market practice. So interesting story and an amazing company to work for.
That's a, that's great to hear. And I think a lot of success stories, both in the career side [00:05:00] or in the clients. I start from a relationship where you use the services of a, of a provider and then you realize this is a great company to join and work for. And, um, you mentioned what attracted you to Oh nine, but I'm two years, maybe you can share a short summary of, um, what all nine stands for, why online is different and what are the challenges that online solves for your clients?
Yeah, absolutely. I think, um, so first of all, it's a relatively young company should, the company was founded in 2009. By the same thing that's us previously behind the company, ITU technologies. So even though the company was founded in 2009 the founding team took the first year, did they actually, a lot of consulting work because even though they had 20 years of experience in building a planning platform and understanding supply chain challenges, well, they were [00:06:00] really interested in was, you know, what are going to be the supply chain challenges of the future?
And as one as they reached out to a lot of fortune 500 companies, you know, interacting with different executives and truly understanding no, what we're going to be to future challenges. I think that's one. Second thing they did is they truly looked into, you know, the technology space. I guess that's, they're fine, right?
Clouds, you know. Analytics, AI, machine learning, no other capabilities like natural language processing and so forth. Almost getting to a certain maturity. So then what they did, you know, they're 20 years of experience to get it with the latest, in fact, together with everything they learned from those consulting engagements, but large companies all came together in the development of the platform.
So the, the, the, the, that farm, you know, in 2012 2013 and that was, you know, ready for market and of 2013 early 2014 [00:07:00] and then, you know, initially a focus for us on the U S market. But then in 2018 we expanded into Asia as well as into Europe. And what we've seen on us from the moment we hit the market. No.
Until you know where we are today. It's just a tremendous growth journey. So we see a lot of big fortune 500 companies want us partnering with them. Oh, nine two, uh, drive digital transformation right in the, I would say end to end planning space. So we didn't take just a sort of supply chain centric focus.
No, we really want to be the next generation solution for everything that is associated with learning from sales. Pretty detailed operations management. I will talk about a couple of the challenges that we're solving. Both the clients use cases later, and I think what's really important is, you know, why are those fortune 500 companies select from alone?
And I think it comes down [00:08:00] to a couple of steps. One is all those big companies. Right? They have implemented planning solutions in the past, and some of them, you know, where a success, some of them failed, but I think the learning with all those big companies is that all those spending solutions, Lex actually the flexibility and the extensibility to truly represent the end to end enterprise in the digital way.
So a lot of those companies are still seeing, planning in sort of, you know, silos, you know, from the mound to supply to IBP, right. And build more or less their data models around it. And what we are doing, we say, Hey, that is actually not working. We're going to build an end to ends, right? Connected mobile where you know, we can start incorporating different, you know, data sources from inside and outside the enterprise, both structured and unstructured data.
And that is what we are going to [00:09:00] convert into knowledge. And the moment we have done that conductivity, we actually support organizations in improving the quality of their decision making. And I think that is one thing that's extremely important. The only thing which we studied right, is user adoption.
You can have the best platform in the world if no one is adopting through your platform, you're in trouble, right? So that is where we need to start learning from. You know, on zoom, Eric vacations, you know, in our point of view, an enterprise platform should be as easy to use. As any single app that you're running on your smartphone breadwinner is Google match, or whether it's, you know, Netflix for WhatsApp or whatever.
And I think that is what we sort of brought into the UI and UX of the platform. And we see that, you know, people, you know. Like to use the platform, it feels intuitive to them and they sort of lost all the, Oh, the analytics that we [00:10:00] want us to bring together, you know, to help them making better decisions.
And I think the third element, Asian of none of those big companies now, once you start, you know, three, four, five year journey, right? It's all about can we go to value fast? Right? Can we build a prototype, prove the value. Right? Having an understanding how I'm showing my data challenges, my process, challenges, my organizational challenges, and can that sort of net prototype then become, you know, something that I can take to my check if they miss a, Hey, this is what digital transformation means and this is what it can achieve.
And I think that's something that it's in the DNA of the company. Fast and devalue, build a prototype, prove the value, and then accelerate. Sort of the implementation by incremental rollouts and doing that in a very agile way. So I think those are important elements, and I think that's what we hear back.
You know, when we ask our clients, you know, why are you [00:11:00] embarking on the journey? Widow night. Thanks for sharing. Stefan, I want to unpack a few things because you touch on at least three or four very interesting topics. From my perspective. You said that, um, one of the priorities is end to end. Planning, um, that includes a few key functions in a business, but the end goal is improving the quality of decision maker making decision making.
Mmm. And you said that you work with both structured and unstructured data. I imagine there's quite a big challenge in, in trying to, uh, solve for sales soul for finance or for supply chain for manufacturing. Can you share. How do you go about solving all these challenges? And maybe you can tell us what do you see as structured and unstructured data and how do you manage that as well?
Yeah, I think maybe first start a little bit on, on that, right. So, [00:12:00] um, I think there are a couple of key things. One is that the platform itself is designed and architected in a way that it has the unique ability to collect data from the markets. All the way down through the suppliers and create what we call an integrated enterprise.
It's mobile and obviously those drivers of the month and supply right and be identified based on, you know, our industry expertise. But also, you know, we seek for support from the organizations that we are working with. So in a moment we do that, right? Means that the month and supply risks and opportunities can be identified an emergency earlier stage.
And you know, helping the supply chain to become much more agile and responsive. I think that's very important. Then, you know, the moment we start connecting the different functions, right? So the month planning, commercial planning, supply planning, integrated business planning on one single [00:13:00] platform, and you know, we, what are enable that true, that enterprise growth that I talked about, that means that we can start facilitating, right?
Real time. And financially smart, the month's supply balancing and scenario planning to do to, you know, any changes in the mounds, our certified drivers. And again, that helps us to improve the quality of the decision making, but also we can do that part smart, smarter, and much faster. And then I think the other point right is on, you know, data quality issues.
And I think a lot of companies, they come to us and they say, look, this all sounds great, but you know, my monster data sits in different earpiece. I have so many different Excel spreadsheets. I'm just don't know really where to start. And they very concerned about data. I think it's, it's, it's an invalid concern, right?
Because obviously data is extremely important, but I think the notion. That's sort of divisional for a lot of organizations is, [00:14:00] you know, to be shaped actually. And we'll do, I mean with that, what I mean with that is the issue is not the master data, right? If monster data is not correct or might not even exist now, we just need to find ways to collect that in a smarter way than just, you know, putting a lot of manual effort in doing that.
And that is where different data sources are coming into place. No, I think about, you know, transactional data. Right. Organizations in nearly every organization, transactional data is fairly accurate. Yeah. There's a lot of historical data, so we can actually start using that transactional data to start cleansing, you know, the monster data.
No other data sources are now, you know, pumping up. I think about there are now sort of providers of, you know, track and trace systems, right? They give you real time information. Um, you know, where the freight, is it going to arrive on time? Yes or no. So again, those kinds of [00:15:00] data storage, if you can actually start using as well.
Just start understanding, for instance, the true performance of build distribution lanes, as well as, you know, liters of suppliers and so forth. So I think that's, you know, the entire notion of yes, our master data challenges. Yes, there are, right? But it's all about, you know, how can we actually start solving them?
So Dennis master data side, but I think the moment we want to start, you know, splitting the month risk and opportunities March earlier. No, that is rare. You know, external data sources are coming here, and maybe the best way to explain that I think about, you know, Google maps, right? I use Google maps all the time, and especially when they're all flying them off, right?
A pre-Clovis. No. Google maps can so us a message, right? Hey, for instance, at 8:00 AM. To reach, you know, your flight on time. That is a great prescriptive insight. I get there right on my [00:16:00] mobile phone. But then if you think about what is Google actually using, who sent you that message? Right? That's pinched out actually three core capabilities there has, well, they call an AI powered knowledge mobile.
Then there are different data centers, and then there is a digital system, which is, you know, that's, Oh, that's the Google maps app on my smartphone. Sure. If you think about what's sitting in the knowledge model, it is the master data, right? It's the map with the traffic lights, the speed limits. Right? That is connected with the big data store.
What do we find in the big data store? Right? It's, it's location tracking. It's, you know, gathering the information is the flight state. So the different data points that are relevant to spoke risks and opportunities for you to, you know, get to your flight on time. Right? So that's connected in a big way of store.
Then to Moonlight, you merge that with the monster. They think you're wrong. Smart algorithms. Know, now you can actually receive a prescriptive action right there on your mobile phone. And I [00:17:00] think, you know, that is a great jumble with digital transformation. Just transforming, you know, actually consumers, right?
And how we make decisions in our private lives. But the the same, you know, philosophy, math, biology, right, can be applied in the enterprise, you know, wherever we are going to use those different data sources together, which, you know, monster data and a bunch of smart algorithms, you know, make much more intelligent decisions where we can start relying on the prescriptive insights from, you know, that's from like, Oh nine if that makes sense.
Makes sense now, like the analogy with, with Google maps makes it even more clear in my mind. Um, let's, let's give, move forward and talk about an example. So maybe we also share, um, or talk about the context we are in right now. Um, there's a lot of panic now. It's starting to [00:18:00] become the norm with the, with the pandemic crisis.
But the impact that it has over. Supply chains, operations, economy in general is huge. And there is where the demand is supply. Mmm. Numbers, the divine, that supply identifiers, the machine learning algorithms that you can put over that come into place in this way. Your solution could come into place. And I'm sure you have some interesting examples, but can you give us a specific example of a client or, um, an entity that has seen excellent results in improving their operations based on your solution?
Absolutely. And I think, first of all, we think about, you know, covert 19 and to your point, right? A lot of companies doing that's sort of preparing for the rebound. Right? And then the question is, you know, now they're preparing for that. What is sort of mission critical? Right. And I think there's a couple of things.
One is, you know, that we call AI powered and driver based forecasting. [00:19:00] So once we still see many organizations, you know, they rely solely on historical actuals, but obviously that won't work anymore. Due to the different channels shifts, right? The message peaks and valleys. We've seen no change in consumer buying behavior.
And also a lot of companies here don't have a black product portfolio rationalization. So the sort of the false data, has it become an even worse for Nick Nerf if future. So the moment you start preparing for the rebounds, you know, you need to start rethinking and start looking into, you know, what is actually driving your demands and move to, you know, the mom, driver based forecasting.
I think that's, that's what. Then the other one is in the short term horizon, right? Which we often call the SNOP. It's all about, you know, getting a better sense, well, what does driving, you know, the month and supply disruptions, and I need to understand, right, what are going to be my upsides and downsides?
You know, can I get some alerts in terms of, you know, my schedule for [00:20:00] seats, or, you know, my Fios, my inventory. Right. And so forth and, and, and then I need to be able to respond March foster through that. I think that's another critical capability that we see companies looking, looking into now in terms of preparing for the rebounds.
And then I think what many organizations, you know, have seen is that upstream supply chain visibility is key, right? What is actually the capacity and the material availability or price flyer. And what about the supplier of my supplier? And the moment you don't have that, you know, end to end connect is his ability.
You're sort of in the dark, right? And it's hard for you to make know decisions. So I think those are, you know, a couple of things. Uh, you know, that's the shirt. Think about, you know, when we were preparing for the rebound. Let's do your voice. Right. Um, you know, critical use cases are very, you've seen the solution being extremely powerful.
Let me give you, you know, two examples. One [00:21:00] dish, we're working with a big cosmetics company and one is their growth channels. Right? Well, their travel business. So think about, you know, they sell their culture metrics actually at airports. Um, especially, you know, Asian, uh, tourists and business travelers that's going to, you know, you're as well as to the U S and then to actually purchase air force medics at airports in the duty free stores.
So there was obviously a growth channel for them. But then one has overnights, right? That entire sort of travel, you know, channel. You know what sort of, you know. W w w what's not there anymore? Right. There were no people traveling anymore. So that's basically a massive issue. And we've seen other companies, you know, facing similar issues or sort of, you know, overnight one channel.
It's just sort of bets and you know, other channels are picking up. So death company, obviously, right. Had to rebalance [00:22:00] their entire inventory. Sort of in a matter of of of days. Right. And I think that is where, you know, the platform allows true having dads, you know, end to end visibility as well, scenario planning capabilities and then just, you know, different what ifs.
No, understand the different implications, you know, including the cost implications and based on that Regal inventory to make sure that, you know, online channels can be supported. So I think that was a key use case. On a use case? No, we're working with, uh, well the Nurture's retainer, you know, in, in, in us and Canada.
And actually the owner that's form. Um, it has been more or less, um, mentioned by them to be, you know, business critical. And I think that is something that's very interesting because if you think, you know, five, seven, eight years back. Right. Vaults were into mission critical applications in an enterprise, you know, mostly the ERP systems.
Yeah. Would we see this [00:23:00] message shifts right? Where sort of the future ready enterprise right? Is using a strong, your feedback vault for transactional execution. But then everything related to planning and decision making, right? Is being done in an intelligent planning layer that sits on top of the transactional system.
So in this case, right? That is your platform that's taken care of all the way from sort of the daily planning to, to, you know, more, more strategic planning, you know, where all the different trade offs, the demand supply, balancing the scenario planning, right? All that is enabled in the best form. And that is now a, you know, sort of business grade qualification because dental is actually where, you know, decisions are being made and tradeoffs are being evaluated.
And again, I think, you know, D, the ability to do all those capabilities on one platform, you know, drives, you know, a lot of value, uh, for [00:24:00] organizations. And I think it's not only right Vishal's value, but it's also, you know, productivity of the workforce. Right. Instead of, you know, crunching, you know, different Excel spreadsheets and, you know, pulling data from everywhere.
Right? Having that all in one place and just being able to run scenarios and evaluating those, including, you know, understanding financial traders. I think that's very important. And the other thing that's important, I think, is that, was he, she is now the speed of decision making. Has accelerated tremendously because now if I'm in a meeting, right, and I'm, I'm presenting two scenarios and you know, one of the executives says, yeah, okay, that's great with what is this and what of that.
And you can actually simulate this one is right there in the meeting, right? That is a very significant, you know, acceleration of decision making because you know, in the status quo, right? The lowest companies then has to go back [00:25:00] into their Excel spreadsheets, right. And actually run different scenarios, you know, which takes them a couple of days.
Then they need to present that back. And by then, right. World has changed again. Sort of thing, you know, those kinds of capabilities and you know, foster decision making, especially in the, in the time we are in now, it is extremely important. Ah, that's, that's very interesting. I want to even deeper. So the, the part of speed of decision making and the acceleration of it is clear.
And I'm wondering maybe in one of the cases that the, because the company or maybe the retailer, have you seen how they did it? Um. How they use this, this capacity of doing what if scenarios in real time. Has there been an example where they said, okay, maybe we need to stock up on this sq. Maybe we need to focus on this because of this two or three scenarios.
Yeah, no, it [00:26:00] absolutely right. And I think one of the reasons I would say that over the past. No months, uh, you know, 18, 24 months. A lot of very large companies have selected, Oh Oh nine. It's, it's first of all right. If we, if you think about, you know, uh, the demand side of things, right? What do you really want to understand is, you know, what is driving your demo?
And that's not, while it's often you're shipping, you know, into, you know, you're your guidance because your clients distribute that. Whether you're a CPG company, right, and you are shining through retailers and obviously, you know, they distribute that to their stores. Or if you're a B2B company, right? And let's say you are a supplier to the automotive, your through the OEMs, but then obviously, right?
This whole bounce, you know, how many vehicles are going to be produced. And ultimately going to be a cure by, you know, you, me and everyone [00:27:00] else, right? So it's about, first of all, understanding the true drivers of the moms, getting that information into the platform because that is obviously critical to predict, right?
What the month is going to be in the future. And what we've seen is that the moment we get driver based information. And we, you know, we use our advanced analytics, no AI machine learning algorithms. You know, those two combined, you know, have actually proven to be March, March, more accurate. And at many of our clients.
So I think that that's funding. We have some, some great use cases. Then on the supply side, right? What a lot of companies are struggling with today, first of all, they don't have that visibility, right? They have, you know, 100 plus manufacturing sites all over the place. There's so many different suppliers, different hops, different warehouses, right?
So. You don't, how do you actually build what we call a digital twin of the supply chain [00:28:00] where I, you not only get the visibility, but can also mobile, right? All my constraints, right? Oh my gosh. All my planning policies, right. And so forth. So the moment. I do that. Right? So I have that end to end visibility, that digital trend of my supply chain, including all the constraints, the cost and so forth, and I have a much more accurate, the mum's signal, and then she starts matching the two.
You know, then, you know, use that actually in meetings to run different scenarios. And to give you a prime example, right? Well, it's, we see companies doing and say, Hey, we connected with the commercial organization, right? The month can be 90 the month can be 100 or did a month, can be 110. Right? And the ninth is appreciate your most pessimistic scenario.
You know, the 110 is the most optimistic scenario. No. Now what does the commercial organization want to understand is, okay, supply chain, right? What can you [00:29:00] actually do? Right? Can you satisfy that tomorrow? And obviously I want to understand what is supposed to share, right? What does the inventory risk and making the blue Buster contribution Martin in those scenarios.
But they want to take that a step further. And that's a shame. I want you to go for my most optimistic, the most scenario, right? But 110 there's something that's very important here. There is uncertainty associated with that 110 but the moment I also supply chain, right? To start more or less, you know, producing a pipeline for that 110 they're going to, you know, incur real costs.
And that is something that you truly want to understand, right? There's uncertainty with the demand. So it might go more at my desk, but the supply chain costs are real. And if you start producing it, then the month is not coming in. You're sitting home inventory and those final decisions, the visibility on those decisions and bringing depth together.
No, that is, you know, the [00:30:00] power of scenario planning and that is what executives are so interested in. It. Right? Because ultimately that is driving, you know, both PNL performance as well as working capital performance. And you better make those decisions, you know, based on, you know, what we're talking about here.
So it's the heart. Let's talk about the digital twin concept, right? If. Let's say there is a fortune 500 company that doesn't have this or this layer intelligent layer of planning, or maybe it has something that it's not up to what they need. And let's imagine they come to you and say, Hey, or Hey, we want to implement your solution.
What should we, what are the first or the most important three priorities we should look at when considering building a digital twin for our supply chain? I think, first of all, if they would come to me with that question, right? I would actually counter that with a question and say, Hey, where's the value leaking in your [00:31:00] organization today?
Right? Because it's all about, you know, driving enjoyable business value. We need to make sure we get a good option over the values leaking in an organization today. So normally how we do that, right? We spend a couple of hours right with the, with, with, with, with, with the clients to, you know, do you know, some sort of quick value leakage assessment.
So we understand, you know, where the problems are, which means we can actually, you know, help them and, you know, started recommending them where to start now on the digital twin concept, right? That is where. You know, if they, once I have that entrance visibility, right, which is an absolutely critical starting point for them.
Layering on, you know, different capabilities. It's about, you know, connecting with their data, right? And the retreat types of data here, actually four. One is there are monster data. So think about, you know, their build materials, the built distribution, the [00:32:00] build capacity and so forth. And we already acknowledged, right?
But that's in many cases is inaccurate and many, most of the pieces don't even exist, right? So we know that, but you know the most that that that does, they're funny, right? We, we, we load that into the platform. Secondly, right? Is the transactional data that is far more interesting because that is where we have the ability to start cleansing, you know, the master data.
Now give you an example, right? In the mosque today, huh? The lead time from supplier a. Right to my factory. It's six weeks. Right? But that's, you did maybe three years ago? No, based on transactional data, I actually see that's not six weeks. You know, over the past four or five months, it has been nine weeks.
But you know, your organization today is still planning with six weeks. So just because they don't have accurate data, they are actually in a default firefight mode, which is an issue. Right. Then that has to be shown. Interesting. And then. You know, think about, [00:33:00] you know, other data sources that we can bring in, because the third one is what we call tribal knowledge, right?
And that is what we learned at actually learn from implementing our solution. Many big organizations. So think about, and you know, what is the inbound and outbound capacity, both a distribution center. And if I ship, you know, product X, you know, by truck into that distribution center. First our products, you know, Hey, there could be a different, Oh, floating as well as the QA process could take, you know, more or less time.
But that's Daniel's data, right? It's either in hands of the people of the planners or its main thing, our Excel spreadsheets. So then there's also data that we need to incorporate into that form. can become the system of record. And I think the fourth, you know, data elements that'd be, shoot, you think off are those, you know, real time [00:34:00] IOT related data sources.
So for instance, right. A lot of companies do today invest in smart factories, sure. To have, you know, censored on their factory lines and so forth. No. How is it useful for planning? We can, for instance, now understand what is the true resource consumption, right. A particular SKU. Right, that was running on a particular line in the factory.
And again, you know, use that to update the master data. So I think, you know, building the digital twin, no, we need to think about those four sort of different, you know, uh, elements of data. No. Start connecting that. And then, you know, the, uh, the technology that we have built into the platform allows us to, you know, provide the visibility and build the digital twin in an automated fashion.
Ah. Good. I like how you broke it down between the main master data, the transaction, the tribal knowledge, and real time IOT data. Um, it's, it makes it makes sense. [00:35:00] No, what I'm thinking now is if a company, he comes, uh, comes to you and says, we need something fast because our supply chain is all over the place.
The pandemic crisis has, Hey, the massive old operations. What can we do in the next three weeks, one month? How would you, how would you manage such a request? I think we always have to, you know, manage expectations. And even though, right, it's all about, you know, first time to value, right? You count, you know, have the entire solution up and running in two weeks, right?
So again, what we would do, we would say, look, where's the pain points today? Right? But also more importantly, where's the pain point going to be tomorrow? So let's say one of their pain points is, right, they lack, uh, scenario planning capabilities because they don't have know digital twin of their network.
And they actually, you know, are still relying [00:36:00] on historical sales to forecast their, the months. So they're really, you know, into the dark, right? So how can we help. Right? Really how we can help is, you know, especially for, you know, their critical, they use, we can have that digital twin up and running in a matter of weeks, right?
Then we can look into, you know, what are some of the sort of, you know, uh, fixes that we can, you know, apply to the demand signal. And that's something where we want to understand, you know, what kind of driver based information house. And could we actually use that, you know, to get her with no. All the, all your information that they're using today with some improved algorithms, stretching improved on signal.
And then once we can actually allow, right, is then for scenario planning so that at least we can start supporting them in improving decision making. No, it doesn't. Something, obviously that is not making you know too much then it's actually a matter of [00:37:00] weeks. But I would say. No, that would be, you know, at least eight to 12 weeks.
So I think it's also fair to, to manage expectations. Right? And I think normally what we see is the constraint is not on our side. Right? The constraint is on the organization. And that was where I think a lot of people that Archie needed to do that are now, you know, very busy. I was going through their different Excel spreadsheets, sort of, you know, responding to this crisis.
Sorry. You know, Mikey meshes, so all those organizations would be right. If you're really, you know, one to change this, right? You, you, you, you better start thinking about, you know, getting a head of the grip. We've got spots. We see at many organization, she level Christians are being asked, no, right? Why don't I have upstream visibility?
Why is my forecast accuracy so poor? Right? Why can I not do scenario planning, you know, in, in real time in the meeting, right? Why does it take so long to actually respond [00:38:00] to the month and supply changes? Why do I get surprised all the time? And obviously those questions, right, are difficult to answer today for a long supply chain professionals because they don't have the technology.
No. Unfortunately, what'd we see? What's been happening? They're going to shit down, right? Work together with consulting partners and defining what that roadmap should be defining will there to be processes and so forth. That takes months and a lot of, you know, significant investment. Oh right. You stack to redefine your processes, because the moment you don't understand what is actually possible nowadays, right?
Then again, you're not, you're, you're not doing this in a smart way. And I think that is where we need to learn from a lot of spec companies because I think about, you know, Google, Uber, right? Oldest companies, they, they actually, you know, going with new products through the market and you've released [00:39:00] us, you know, in a very false, you know, unfair.
And why is that? Because you know, they build MVPs or profit that right. Big test and learn they, they might pay for it and then they accelerate. Sure. I think this is something that a lot of companies, you know, if they think about digital transformation, it's not a big four year program, right? Value build a prototype, prove out that you can, can, can actually get through to value and then accelerate.
And I think that is. A mind shift as well as a big change management. Mmm. You know, sort of, uh, issue that we need to address because where I think five years ago, right when people told about digitally transforming the supply chain, the constraints were on the technology. But that has to change completely.
Technology is no longer the constraint. The constraints are. The sort of, you know, the acceptance to [00:40:00] change and the speed of innovation. You know, your organizations, not anymore on the tech side. And I think that brings a very interesting dynamic, right? Where organizations need to rethink red ball is possible in terms of, you know, how they start driving digital transformation.
Hmm. I like 'em. I like this idea that the constraints are definitely, I'm not tech related, but. Change management related and how the leadership and the whole middle management and the whole organization can adapt two on your system and. Be more agile. It's definitely what we see as well. Nope, it's still fine.
I wanted to take the discussion towards a bit of a different topic because I've seen you focused, um, a lot on adding value to your network in different ways and a lot of them are focused on education and content. I saw you die, you're doing webinars. You have an interesting concept called aim 10 X executive network.
Please share about [00:41:00] more of, more about this and what's the principle behind it? What's, what's your intent behind all of this? Yeah, I think there are a couple of things, right? So first of all, right, and actually relates to what we were just discussing. Well, we feel that, you know, Oh, that companies like us, right?
Has sort of the obligation to educate organizations in terms of what is possible today. Great. Because many times we engage with organizations and we want us explain them. Different use cases, the response that we get as well, we didn't know what this was even possible, right? So I think that's something tat, this is interesting and we should address.
So really, you know why we have launched a series of webinars, which are also now going to be offered on the month, is that people can actually, you know. You know, one is educate themselves or you know, Hey, you know, if I think about a control tower, you know, what is possible today in terms of stack, but also how are companies using that today.
[00:42:00] But at the same time, we want to not only make that tech centric. Right? We actually want to make that, you know, business value centric. And that's also why we invite, actually a lot of, you know, executives, uh, you know, there's webinars as well. So for instance, tomorrow I'll be doing a webinar together with Chris stylus.
And Chris is the former chief supply chain officer of the global Nestle group, and he is currently appointed by UK prime minister to help, you know, with, you know, managing the food supply chain in, in time. So let's go for it. So he's a very. Um, interesting person. He has a wealth, well, the experience and what we want to more or less do, uh, in his webinars is more or less through learn from Chris.
Right? And his experience in managing the supply chain of the largest food company in the world. And I think that's pressing as well. It's about, you know, learning [00:43:00] education and sort of getting to know each other. And I think that is important to us as well. Um, so next we can start, you know, having very meaningful conversations and how, you know, a lot of organizations, you know, getting ready all for this, for this waste.
Um, no, the executive network that you mentioned is something that's, uh, we launched, uh, I think a couple of months ago, and we have different members in that executive network. Those are, you know, yeah. Either retired executives or, you know, still. Uh, you know, uh, uh, executives in, uh, working in different industries and different organizations.
And the whole thinking is that, you know, those executives right there went through a couple of dos transformation journeys before they are making, you know, business critical decisions every day. And our thinking is that, you know, we can learn some of them, but also, you know, they can help out sort of educating, you know, a lot of organizations.
You know how to, again, [00:44:00] coming back to what we are trying to do. Quality of decision making, right? Providing, you know, that's better, you know, visibility in the more optimal response. And I think that's very exciting to have the different executives, you know, joining that team. I should, that's, you know.
Right? In one hand, you know, they help us on our hands, you know, they start, you know, providing a lot of, you know, uh, learning and knowledge, you know, to, uh, uh, to other organizations. And I think that's also important in sort of the, the values that we have as a company. And the DNA is, you know, it's, it's about, you know, sharing of knowledge, uh, it should about, you know, helping, you know, each other.
And, you know, by doing that right jointly, they're driving a very interesting digital transformation, use cases that drive value for clients. And I think that's, that's important. I really, really resonate with that. Adding value, providing more, making sure you offer first, and then [00:45:00] offer some more, and then ask if necessary.
And like you said, there is a wealth of knowledge within, um, executives out there. I think they're very open to sharing. We see this on our side with, with the podcast and with, with what we do as well. So, um, I appreciate your, your, your efforts as well. No. It's interesting to know more about your expansion plans.
I know that it's, it's, it has been in the news recently, right? Nine and KKR, um, joined hands and key caring, invested, uh, in the company, and now you are evaluated at over $1 billion, which is great news. What is next when it comes to, to, to the company? How do you see the next steps. Hey, thanks for that. I think, uh, obviously that's, uh, extremely, uh, I think exciting, right?
I think KKR, uh, their due diligence on our nine, uh, they seem the value that we are delivering for a models, [00:46:00] you know, blue chip clients, uh, they've seen the culture of your organization. Which I think is, is, is amazing in, in many ways. And we can talk about that. And also I think that the quality of the people, and I think that made them, uh, decide to, to invest.
Uh, you know, nine and to, you know, accelerate the growth of the company. And I think what we see in terms of, you know, growth and expansion is that currently, all right, you're welcome, uh, represented in the U S as well as a Europe as well as in Japan and Korea. But there are also markets today that we are serving.
And that's obviously on our roadmap. Um, two, you know, into countries and regions where we don't have a lot of presence today. I think that's one. The second one is what we see is that in many. Actually [00:47:00] industries, you know, like refill or grand manufacturing or supply manufacturing or oil and gas. You know, we have a few, you know, blue chip clients, which are actually the largest in their industry.
And I think one was the things that we obviously would like to do is say, Hey, you know, if we deliver X in value, you know, at the largest company in this industry, it means, you know, a lot more, right? Uh, companies in that industry, I could benefit from our solution. So obviously that's also, you know, one of the things that we were going after.
When it's expanding your footprint. And I think, um, uh, that is, you know, something that we are focused on, but then ultimately it all comes back, right to driving business value. Is there anything in the company culture where we have a vehicle, uh, you know, a customer value focus? So it's not about delivering them the solution, right?
It's about driving the value. [00:48:00] That's what we want to drive together with our clients. And you know, we, that's sort of in our DNA as well. So the moment we expand, it's not just about, you know, winning new logos, right. Or, you know, expounding, you know, uh, in, in, in multiple countries. It's about actually finding the right partners that are, you know, willing, right.
To make sure they sort of invest. Right in a digital transformation value to go after failure. And I think that's, um, that's really important. You know, that it's not just about, you know, just growth. It's about doing doubts, you know, intelligently, uh, with the right partners. Oh, it's not just about the transaction, it's about the long term.
I like that. Okay. I have to ask because we are in the business of recruitment, in the business of matching talent with great organizations. When you speak a lot and you speak a lot about driving value, about having certain values in your [00:49:00] DNA, it has to connect with the talent and with the leadership. Um.
That you have within the company. So yeah. My question is how are you hiring for your leadership roles and maybe not only leaders, you may be mid level, mid management level, maybe individual contributors. What are, what is the thought process behind your hiring strategy? Absolutely. So I think it all goes down to making sure it's aligned with the values of the company.
So the photos of the company, right? We talked about, you know, customer value focus. It's all about, you know, it's not delivering. The project is delivering value. That's one. The second one is what we call leadership by initiative. What that means is that we don't actually have hierarchies in our night. So everyone is an nine Niner right?
And every one at Oh nine and be responsible for initiative. So I have someone on my team, right? Who is, who's the youngest, and you know, has the least tenure in your organization. What is driving a certain initiative. [00:50:00] Where I am actually a player on that initiative as well as our CEO, is it flare on that initiative?
So the whole notion is right now it's, you know, we look into what do we want to do from a strategic point of view, right? That is something that we put into a certain initiative. And it can be different initiative owners across the organization and in people that are, you know, more senior in the organization, you know, we'll be players on other's initiatives.
And I think that is something that is unique about the wheelchair, which also means from a recruitment point of view, right? We are not looking for people that like to manage others because that's not happening at all. We like people that are able to work together. With a group of extremely talented people, and I'd like to be rewarded based on, you know, success over initiatives.
Then I think it's all about, you know, what we call execution. And it's, you know, doing all the [00:51:00] little things a little better blue. So always doing one more. And I think we always like to look into sort of the sports world, right? So why are some people, you know, winning the golden medal at the Olympics?
Well, others don'ts and obviously, yes, you know, one part of stuff, but it's not just talent. It's the eagerness, right. In the hustle that some people have. Yes. Always be a little better, you know, then the competition, and we don't want to have that somewhat competitive point of view because we don't compete among each others.
But it's really that, that eagerness, right, to drive execution, uh, to, to the next stage. And I think, you know, for number four and five are also extremely important for his, you know, innovation in everything we do. Right? So in our point of view, everything we do today, there could be a way to do it smarter, right?
So we want people to go out and to find out how we [00:52:00] can do things smarter and then, you know, apply that, you know, driven by sort of the execution power that they have. And then, you know, point number five is very important to us. Issuing of social responsibility ultimately, right? If you think about supply chains, supply chains itself.
You know, big, uh, actually polluters, right? Think about, you know, all that inventory that's followed up, right? Or think about old doors access, uh, or, or, you know, those, that access stroke. But also, uh, the expedites that are taking place every day, right? So the moment you start, you know. Blending better. We also have actually a good impact on environment and society, but also most people in our organization, right?
They would like to contribute to maybe smaller initiatives, right? And, and I think, you know, we encourage that and we support them. So from a talent, uh, a point of view, [00:53:00] right? How we recruit talent, it's actually not so much about their experience. You know, it's all about do they fit in this culture? Are they high on energy, low on ego, right?
Are they highly competent intelligence, but are able to work in initiative based organization and do to have that sort of, you know, inherent drive to do every single thing a little bit better so that they can actually drive execution for. And I think those are, you know, the key sort of characteristics that we seek in people.
Uh, when we recruited them. Good and I will challenge a bit the idea of eagerness and hostile. I think it's great, but I'm wondering because the fun, I'm sure you as a hiring manager, you have to go through a step by step process, maybe a few interviews, maybe a few face to face meetings, maybe a presentation.
How do you personally test or look deeper [00:54:00] into how eager or how driven one individual is? Yeah, I think. So I think first thing we do, as for every a roll, uh, we heard a assessment, right? And that assessment is developed not only to assess whether someone foreman intelligence point of view can complete the task, but also to assess, right.
If someone is innovative and actually shows the execution that we liked. Secondly, uh, when we interview people, people go through an interview routes and are different people in the organization that interview, you know, the candidates, you know, on different, well, different things. So for instance, you know, one person who just, you know, solely assess, again, you know, the, the sort of the core scales, right?
And the, the intelligence and the knowledge and knowhow, uh, abolish whether to require it. Well, you [00:55:00] know, someone else is interfering specifically well matching the company's values. Wow. Then someone else is, you know, nuking for, you know, uh, uh, execution power. But, um, uh, to your quality, I think is, it's, it, it remains a challenge, right?
It's not something that, you know, uh, it's easy to do. Well, that's, it is critical for us because we strongly believe that, you know, execution, uh, uh, very important to us. It's part of our, uh, company values. Um, and that's why, you know, we want to make sure, right, that people fit in that before we, uh, before we make a hire, the hiring decision.
Excellent. Thank you for sharing that. Then I think there's a lot of wise people out there who say talk is cheap. Execution is key, and I find this to be important for you guys as well. Now we are close to the [00:56:00] last question of the podcast. It's the hun and I wanted to take it to, I'm more of a advice type of a scenario because you had a very interesting career path and I feel the eagerness and I hear the energy, um, in what you do and your energy was the role that you're playing with Oni.
What is the best piece of advice that you could give for a successful career? It can be for somebody who is. Just starting, uh, fresh out of a university. It could be for something. Somebody who is thinking about changing their career. What could you advise somebody like that? How would you advice, right. B, I'm completely open for new adventures.
They, you don't know, you know, when they come. Mmm. The moment they come, just embrace them and be open for change. Mmm. And I think, uh, speaking, you know, [00:57:00] based on experience, when I moved to Mexico for the company I was working for, right. I could not have imagined, you know, that a couple of years later. You know, uh, I would be in the position that I'm now at a company like, Oh nine.
So I think curiosity and an open for new adventures. Yeah. It's, you know, my number one a recommendation as well as, you know, you are in the driver's seat of your career, right. So the moment, you know, you showed it eagerness. Uh, to, you know, take execution to next levels, to actually be open. Yeah. For feedback.
Well, at the same time, you know, be very open to share feedback and learnings. I think that's a, that helps tremendously as well. I'm sorry. I think those would be, you know, my, my advice, um, you know, open for adventure, uh, be ready for when it comes, be curious. Um. [00:58:00] You know, drive execution and, uh, and continue to ask for feedback to learn from others, um, and help others as well.
Because ultimately that is what is going to, uh, to bring new adventures to you. That's excellent. Thank you for sharing that. Um, the fun. Um, and thank you for, for the time. I think, uh, I learned a lot about, uh, how you do things are all nine things about adding value to the clients. Why it's important to have data on certain tiers.
The master data, the transaction, the difference between them. Um, I really appreciate your sharing and thank you very much for your time. Thank you. It's awesome to be in your podcast. Um, I'm a big fan of listening all the other podcasts, so keep, keep doing your work. And, um, when, uh. When travel is allowed.
Again. Um, let's, uh, let's grab a beer and Singapore for sure. We did that. Thank you. [00:59:00] Excellent. Thanks a lot. Cheers. Bye. Thank you for listening to our podcast. For all the show notes and information discussed in the episode, please follow ELCA global.com/podcast also, if you found this interesting, please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher or one of the podcast platforms.
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