This week we had the pleasure of sitting together with Renato Zavattaro, International Trade Manager at ABInBev, for a conversation about Supply Chain Models, technology and future of Supply Chain.
Here’s what we talked about.
The world is changing fast – demanding customers, rapid digitalisation… What do these macro trends mean for supply chain, and how are you stepping up to the challenges?
We foresee the world moving to a paperless operations, with integrated systems and online data transfer across countries. At ABI we are investing in technology, developing an integrated system to communicate with customers and provide end-to-end visibility in our operations.
What role will advanced technologies (such as smart logistics, AI, robotics, blockchain) play in supply chain over the coming 12 months?
Complementing the first question, these technologies are key to support the move to paperless operations. We are operating more and more with robotics, IoT and also investing in blockchain, as ways to improve our operations.
What part of your role as a supply chain manager keeps you awake at night?
For ABI, the freshness of our products is very important, so I’m directly involved in the customs brokerage process, looking for new regulation that can improve our timing, as well trying to identify some gaps that need to be covered. If a new regulation is going to have an impact on the timing, I need to find a way to mitigate the risks.
How can supply chain managers best combat labour / talent shortages, in the short- and long-term?
We work very closely with universities to promote the company and importance of the supply chain in the organisation. This creates interest in the company and attracts young talents. Once the talents are found we invest in their development in cross-functional areas, creating a deep knowledge about the company.
What is the most exciting ‘blue sky’ development that you think will go mainstream within the next 5-10 years?
The world is moving towards autonomous operation. I’m following up closely and waiting to see goods being shipped by autonomous vessels and delivered by autonomous trucks. Considering how fast we are creating data connection, I believe it is coming soon.
How do you foresee the role and impact of supply chain managers evolving over the next 5 years?
I’ve been working in the import and export area for 15 years. During this time I’ve seen many changes (I started working with a FAX machine). I foresee more benefits coming together with technology. Some more internal and external data visibility, which are the main requirements of every company. Having solid data on hands, you can take huge decisions with direct impact in the supply chain.
Why will you be speaking at Savant Supply Chain, and what do you hope to get out of the event?
After reviewing some comments about previous meetings, I found it a very interesting project and am looking forward to the possibility of meeting other companies and learning from their experiences.
If Supply Chain Visibility and Digitalisation are topics you are fond of, check out our Supply Chain Congress in Amsterdam in May 2019. Savant Supply Chain brings together a special blend of supply chain leaders – from established companies, innovative startups, B2B and B2C players – that will push you to think laterally about your own supply chain processes.