Elevate sets the pace for supply chain innovation and transformation

As media partner of Körber Supply Chain’s inaugural Elevate APAC conference, MHD attended a number of roundtable sessions. The must-see supply chain event featured topics such as diversity, sustainability and change management, alongside many customer success stories.  

With more than 45 sessions across three days, Körber Supply Chain’s Elevate APAC conference was jam-packed with roundtables, virtual facility tours and group activities to ignite collaboration and innovation. 

Having delivered some of the region’s largest transformation projects, Körber’s Elevate presented a chance to hear from Australia’s most innovative businesses. The roundtable discussions created a unique opportunity for organisations to reflect and share how they have dealt with the growth and challenges of the last 12 months. 

Ryan Parker, Supply Chain Project Manager at Catch Group says the pandemic has been both an exciting and challenging time for the leading retailer. “We’re on a steep growth curve and the pandemic has thrown us a number of challenges,” he notes.

Being able to build a resilient supply chain has been absolutely critical to Catch’s success. “Until recently we have operated from one DC in Victoria. That comes with its constraints, so we’ve had to ensure our network initiatives allow us to be flexible and resilient,” Ryan says. 

Improving storage capacity, picking and packing with the deployment of Körber’s AMR solution has played a key role in the retailer being able meet its customer promises. 

“We’re going to be expanding our footprint into new markets with the commission of a Brownfield DC in Sydney. This is a key part of our principle of creating a resilient, flexible and scalable supply chain that’s as close to our customers as possible,” he adds.

Similarly, Officeworks saw a 200-300 per cent growth in online demand, according to Tom Weinmann, Head of Transformation at Officeworks. “One of the most effective ways that we managed demand was to utilise our store network. We managed to maintain our existing service levels for or customers by utilising the true online pick and pack capabilities we had built in store,” he says. 

Officeworks also invested in a new DC in Victoria, with scalability and flexibility at the core. “The new DC is triple the size of what we had previously, and we’ve partnered exclusively with Körber, from WMS all the way to AMR tech – this will set us up for our next phase who of growth.” 

The steps to a sustainable supply chain 

Hayley Jarick, CEO at the Supply Chain Sustainability School says that as the world becomes more interested in supply chain as a result of global disruptions and delays, there is more of an emphasis on sustainability than ever before. 

“People are paying a lot more attention to the social sustainability in our supply chain – not just the well-being of employees but also overseas suppliers,” she says. 

When it comes to sustainability, Hayley said people commonly ask themselves: “what impact could I possibly have?” However, every step counts and it’s about what you can do today to make a change. 

“People let great get in the way of good – but people should do just one thing, and place more emphasis on celebrating when people try and make a positive impact.” 

Attracting the right skills in the supply chain

As the impact of global supply chain disruptions continue to impact the way we live and work, there is a distinct need for organisations to attract more talent. 

Brett Kelly, General Manager Supply Chain at Officeworks says the company has identified the need to engage with talent in CX, IT and supply chain roles. “These are the three areas we have identified where there will be a grab for talent and a real shortage. So, we’re making sure we clearly communicate to these candidates and tailor our recruitment strategy to ensure we grab their attention,” Brett says.  

For Brett, a key part of attracting and retaining good talent is the diversity of the projects they work on. “If you recruit good people and give them exiting things to work on with scope and ownership to do that within a framework you are all aligned to, you’ll find that most people want to work in that environment.” 

Rizan Mawzoon, Head of Transformation at Körber Supply Chain says he is grateful for the development and leadership he has received throughout his career in supply chain and technology. 

“I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by not only a good team full of inspiring leaders, but also inspiring customers. Every project I work on I grow and learn from everyone involved,” Rizan says. 

Improving diversity in supply chain

Fewer than one in 10 employees in the supply chain industry are women and there is a 21 per cent gender pay gap. At Elevate, female senior leaders and change makers from across the industry met to ask: what needs to be done to attract more women into supply chain?

For Jackie Robb, Chief Operating Officer at Chemist Warehouse and Kari Banick, General Manager at Linfox, they both fell into the supply chain by accident.

“I loved people and process aspect of supply chain, realising ideas and implementations and the opportunity to implement the newst of the new technology,” Kari says.

While most of the panellists fell into their careers in supply chain and technology, they were unanimous in their gratitude and enthusiasm for the opportunities the industry has given them and each spoke of their commitment to making sure they improve diversity across the board.

Female senior leaders met to question what needs to be done to attract more women into supply chain.

What’s next for Körber?

Nishan Wijemanne, Managing Director APAC at Körber Supply Chain APAC closed the conference with a focus on 2022. “As we reflect back through our journey as Voice ID in 2014, to Cohesio Group in 2018 to now Körber Supply Chain we’re excited about what the next year will bring. We’re investing heavily into our teams and building our skills set and capabilities so that we keep evolving through this period of rapid change,” he says. 

Nishan adds 2022 will feature more of the same approach from the team at Körber, with a focus on strengthening relationships and partnerships to drive the industry forward. “This has been our recipe to success, and we will continue to improve on this through building and consolidating our strategy across software, tech and automation,” he says. “We’re excited to take the APAC region to the next level through our innovative solutions and dedicated expert team.”

With so many major transformation projects under its belt, including across its software, AMR, voice, vision and mobility solutions, Nishan said it’s a clear indication of the trust that Körber’s customer place in the team and the solutions. 

“The growth we are experiencing across our broader portfolio of services serves as a stamp of trust from our clients and we look forward to continuing to support our partners as they navigate their transformation journeys and conquer supply chain complexity.”

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