Business growth through supply chain management

Foto-Martijn-column-groot-139x150Reimagining how the supply chain can drive business growth. That was the theme of consultancy company Gartner’s annual Supply Chain Executive Conference held in London, UK, in late September. Analyst Michael Burkett mentioned Starbucks’ Frappuccino iced coffee as a good example; it was launched successfully despite the logistics problems resulting from the volcanic eruption in Iceland plus the huge demand for the product due to the heatwave in the US at that time. Gartner’s topic was interesting in theory, but unfortunately the event failed to sufficiently convey how to actually achieve the intended growth.

In the same week as the Gartner conference, I took my first business trip to Istanbul. The sprawling metropolis was the host city for the first International Supply Chain Summit, which we organised together with our Dutch partners Slimstock, DSV Solutions, Ortec, MP Objects, Involvation and Finavista. As entrepreneurs, we all sensed potential business opportunities in Turkey, which is currently the third-fastest growing country in the world. Fully energised and inspired by Istanbul’s dynamism, I returned to the somewhat directionless Netherlands. Our summit was a huge success with over 150 participants, both from Turkey and much further afield. I myself had arranged for Western VPs of Supply Chain from Johnson & Johnson, Adidas and Diageo to speak at the event. All three of them gave impressive presentations including a clear vision of how their supply chains contribute to revenue growth. But I was positively in awe of the excellent presentations by the supply chain directors of the Turkish companies Vestel and Tofaş. Up until recently, I’d never even heard of these two manufacturers (of consumer electronics and cars, respectively). But in their presentations, they demonstrated just how advanced they already are in applying supply chain management principles strategically, with a clear focus on ensuring flexibility and responsiveness through tight sales & operations planning and intelligent supplier management.

Following on from my visit to Istanbul, I have decided to publish – in addition to the Dutch Supply Chain Magazine and this European quarterly magazine Supply Chain Movement – a special edition in the Turkish language for the first time. And to facilitate my business growth in that country, I know what my supply chain needs: a crash course in Turkish and a good, reliable printer in Istanbul.

Martijn Lofvers, Publishing Director & Editor-in-Chief of Supply Chain Movement