The role of Supply Chain Managers

This week we had the pleasure of sitting with three all-stars in the world of Supply Chain and we had an interesting chat about the role of Supply Chain Managers nowadays.
Here’s what Angel Caja, Operations & Supply Chain Director at Jotun Iberica, Diana Tasca, Global Change Management at Gurit UK and Ian Perotto, Supply Chain Director at Metro, told us!

How can supply chain managers best combat labour / talent shortages, in the short- and long-term?


Angel: First of all, we need to retain our own talent in our companies. I think people need to feel that their job contributes to the success of the company, that their jobs have sense. People have to see a clear and real career path in the company, in case they want to progress in their professional expectations. A good training programme and especially a good delegation of responsibilities is key, as well as allowing people to take decisions and make mistakes without being reprimanded for it. I think the company has to allow people to use their creativity and not frame them in closed guidelines. If you have a very good professional, do not limit them by telling them what to do. Of course, there are other factors that contribute to employees not leaving, like flexibility, private life conciliation, salary…

Diana: Well, in the short-term the best way to retain talent by keeping and developing in-house talent, helping people to grow within the organisation.
In the long-term, we need to be up to date with the current working patterns and attract talent by offering remote access and working from abroad.

Ian: We need to make the Supply Chain value understood and visible. Nothing is possible without Supply Chain. When companies realise that the next generation of CEOs has to come from Supply Chain, then the retention of best team members will not be a problem anymore.


How do you foresee the role and impact of supply chain managers evolving over the next 5 years?


Ian: The “end-to-end” value chain. From sourcing to customer, all steps linked, optimised and fully customer centric. No silos anymore. I see a new leader coming: the CETEO (Chief End To End Officer)

Diana: Particularly in UK and due to Brexit, supply chain managers will be challenged by legal compliance with HMRC and other industry-specific rules (REACH, CLP, RoHS etc.). Supply chain managers specialised in Trade Compliance will be essential for any exporting company. A good relationship with HMRC and other Customs authorities can be a route to customer satisfaction.

AngelAbsolutely key. Currently, most companies are managed by professionals with sales or finance backgrounds. This should be balanced, the supply chain organisation must be a centre of value creation, and step by step influence the strategy of the company. Supply chain professionals have to occupy a key role in their companies.


Why will you be speaking at Savant Supply Chain, and what do you hope to get out of the event?


Diana: I have prepared Gurit UK Ltd for AEO “trusted trader” accreditation to ensure the company can function after Brexit. I established contacts with UK Government departments like HMRC, DIT, ECO, MOD, BEIS to address uncertainty.Contingency planning and risk mitigation with systems and processes have been put in place for each contingency supporting Gurit’s international SC.
I hope to share my experience and benchmark other companies and their approach to Trade Compliance.

Ian: It will be a great opportunity to introduce our “end to end” Supply Chain from an execution point of view. I hope that many other companies will tackle the same topic in the same way.

Angel: For me, it is an honour to be a speaker at Savant Supply Chain. The boutique event concept allows participants to have a closer interaction and more effective discussions. There is much more focus than usual on the real challenges we all face in our day-to-day lives. Thus, I will be focused on getting insights from other professionals about similar challenges that my company and I have, making new contacts, and of course enjoying the two days.


Meet our guests:

Angel Caja has vast experience in the management of Supply Chain and Operations, managing and coordinating multi-sites, with global and customer oriented vision of the business. With a clear focus on continuous improvement, Angel has leaded diverse Supply Chain and Lean transformations in different companies. Specialised in the design and alignment of Supply Chain and Operations strategies, that make them a centre of value creation for the client. With a clear vocation in teamwork and people development, Angel has developed his career across all Supply Chain, in multinationals of different sectors like Samsung, General Electric and Jotun.

Author of the book, “How to make the Supply Chain a center of value” (in Spanish), awarded with the Logisnet 2018 prize, Editorial Marge Books (Barcelona).

Ian Perotto is a target driven executive with 25+ years of business experiences in Buying, Sourcing Purchasing, Procurement and Supply Chain. Foodservice (Compass), Wholesaling (Metro Cash and Carry) and Industry (Mattel and Alessi) are the main sectors of experience that Ian has developed so far. Target oriented, team player with a natural and effective leadership, Ian has always operated in multicultural environments as Board Member in several companies. Having developed Purchasing and Supply Chain expertise, Ian is naturally comfortable in the “end-to-end” way of thinking and he always merges the need for cost optimisation together with the value that needs to be generate.

Diana Tasca has strong experience in Customs Compliance, Change Management, Internal Auditing and Supply Chain activities gained at Hyundai, RohMax, Rohm and Haas, BP Chemicals, Innospec and Gurit.
Having lived and worked in both Germany and the UK, Diana found that the most rewarding experience during her career has been managing the Innospec EMEA & ASPAC Customer Service & Logistics teams located in UK, FR, DE, IT, CY, MY, bringing various cultures and personalities together into a cohesive team. Speaking a few of the languages helped! By providing training and ensuring functional and procedural integration with goal congruence across sites, Diana successfully reorganised and integrated the Supply Chain functions of three business units.
Currently Diana is developing an intra-departmental auditing programme in view of Gurit’s AEO accreditation, providing expertise in customs and trade compliance, risk assessment and mitigation.


Diana, Angel and Ian will be speaking at our Savant Supply Chain Congress this May in Amsterdam. For more info about the agenda, tickets and other speakers check the event page. Looking forward to meeting you!


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