#119: Francesca Gamboni, SVP Global Supply Chain at Stellantis

Francesca Gamboni is the SVP Global Supply Chain at Stellantis. She brings more than 25 years of management responsibility in supply chain management. Across diverse industries such as Automotive, Pharmaceutical, Oil & Gas, Pulp & Paper, Aerospace, Aluminium, and Cosmetic industry sectors. 

Stellantis N.V. is a Dutch-domiciled multinational automotive manufacturing corporation, formed in 2021 on the basis of a 50-50 cross-border merger between the Italian-American conglomerate Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the French PSA Group. As of May 2021, Stellantis is the sixth-largest automaker worldwide with 300,000 employees, a presence in more than 130 countries with manufacturing facilities in 30 countries.

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Connect with the Guest:

Francesca Gamboni: LinkedIn

Some of the highlights from the podcast:

  • How Francesca worked across 6 different industries
  • Tips and tricks to make the transitions successful
  • The current chip crisis in automotive and the need for ecosystem collaboration
  • How Stellantis implemented their S&OP process
  • A case study in track and trace and reduce lost (stolen) containers by 50%

Show notes:

  • [2:48] Tell us a little bit about your journey and how you worked across different industries. Are there any keys to success in terms of that?
  • [2:56] I’ve done it on purpose, it’s not an accident, and I really enjoyed it. But of course, you need to be open and to be curious because the most interesting thing is that you are always out of your comfort zone.
  • [5:32] The real people who are reading value in the supply chain are the ones who can bring and apply the different practices they’ve seen and who have a very rich toolbox that can help it progress because it’s very important to have a very fast supply chain. 
  • [6:41] You’ve transitioned in almost six completely different industries. Companies may say they’re looking for innovators, but in reality, they’re not. They are playing it safe and they’re looking apple to apple. So in your case, are there any secrets and tips? How did you do it?
  • [7:05] I was lucky. I’ve always been contacted very often, must be because I’ve done something good, maybe I’m visible, or maybe I’m just lucky. So I’ve been given opportunities and I’ve jumped on the one who could complete my toolbox. 
  • [10:40] Lot of people kind of have this limiting belief that, “Oh, if I do a great job, then opportunities will come.” They may or may not. So it’s also a matter of making sure that you put yourself out there and that people know about you.
  • [12:18] There are different languages I’ve found, for example, spending money on certain industries is a cost and in other industries, it is an investment. And it all depends on the blockages, the culture, way of speaking, or way of understanding what we hear. That is why we need to be careful when we talk.
  • [15:33] Supply chain is like an orchestra director within a company, which means it needs to be able to know and understand all the different instruments and the same is within the ecosystem. It needs to understand the different industry sectors with the different logics and the different ways of working, otherwise, it becomes a cacophony of music which destroys value and ultimately your own company.
  • [16:23] Are there any sort of patterns or ways in which you were able to use at Stellantis to navigate these successes that you can share or maybe some of the people can relate and understand in this specific chip crisis?
  • [19:15] We need to have a collaborative way of working with all the ecosystems, dealing and tackling the issues together and more in a collaborative way with the whole chain and this is something that I think we have learned with this crisis. 
  • [20:02] I know that we discussed a little bit the case study of S&OP and this kind of planning process are maybe better developed in fast-moving consumer goods. So let’s talk about that a little bit.
  • [22:32] The aim of this process is to give us the chance to make the best decisions. The best decisions, in my view, have three elements. The first one is that they are data-driven, the second element is to make sure that the decision is taken at the right time and the third element, which is the key element of our process, is that it leverages collective intelligence, meaning cross-functional intelligence.
  • [25:36] We measure the value we create with our process and we create targets of the value. We submit these measurements regularly in order to make sure that there is not just another meeting where we make decisions that they’ve already taken, or that they are not the best decisions that we could take. Because we really want to give ourselves the chance to make the best decisions.
  • [26:01] You also spoke about the importance of visibility and I know that another case study that you champion is the container track and trace, and maybe tell us a little bit about that.
  • [27:32] We were quite annoyed by the fact that many of the containers went missing. So, we have decided to put a sensor or some kind of tracking to trace our containers with something that is not too expensive. We developed an intelligent sensor that uses an IoT kind of network at low energy, which would allow us to have these devices mounted on our containers, and transmit the information with precision within two kilometers.
  • [33:24] If you were to think from a supply chain of the future perspective, or even of the present, what would you say are the most important skills that supply chain executives need to have?
  • [36:12] Basically, the capability of understanding the different elements, the capability of understanding how to combine them in the best way, in the way that optimizes the value for the company, and then communicating and persuading everybody to be able to end up leading everybody in the same direction.

Related Episodes:

#116: Asger Lauritsen, Group Executive Management and CPO Supply Chain & Manufacturing at FLSmidth

#117: Susana Elvira, VP, Global Head of Human Resources – Ocean and Logistics at A.P. Moller – Maersk

#118: How Supply Chains Run the World – and Finding People to Run Them | Careers on the Move

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