Sharing Dutch supply chain knowledge in Turkey

The third International Supply Chain Summit Istanbul revolved around the theme of supply chain collaboration and building bridges between Europe and Asia. The two-day conference was organised by Supply Chain Media together with the original initiators Slimstock, DSV and Ortec plus, new this year, Smart Logistics Centre Venlo. With 80 million inhabitants and strategically located, Turkey is regarded as a very interesting market by the organising partners.

For the second consecutive year, the two-day event included an awards ceremony to recognise Turkey’s most influential supply chain professionals. Martijn Lofvers, publisher at Supply Chain Media and initiator of the Dutch Supply Chain Professional Awards, was joined on the judging panel by a number of Turkish professors.

Unlike in the Dutch awards programme, where candidates are evaluated for their personal achievements in general, the Turkish accolades were awarded to professionals based on specific projects. Candidates could submit their projects for the following four categories: most innovative, most technological, most sustainable, and most efficient and effective. The judging panel selected a shortlist of nine professionals who were allowed to present their projects in a tightly orchestrated five-minute pitch on out the first evening of the conference. The four ultimate winners were: Necmettin Başol (Supply Chain Development & Productivity Manager at Pepsico) for the most sustainable project, Onur Yalçın (Supply Chain Director at Tofaş) for the most innovative project, Akın Toros (Head of Logistics at Akyürek Pazarlama) for the most technological project and Arif Yıldırım (Supply Chain & Operations Executive at Karaca) for the most efficient/effective project.

Cultural differences

On the evening of the awards ceremony, entrepreneur Murat Kiran, co-founder and owner of the Dutch consultancy firm Conclusion who was born and raised in Turkey, gave an interesting speech on cultural differences: “To be honest, Turkey and the Netherlands are not hugely different. We are all people with similar  dreams and desires.”

To illustrate, in his view, the secret of business success he used a typical Dutch expression which roughly means the same as ‘Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’. When he first arrived in the Netherlands Kıran worked as a cleaner, but he is now the owner of a successful company with 4,500 employees.