#129: IBP Journey for Vestas

Christophe Mugnier-Pollet is the VP Global Supply Chain Management at Vestas based in Denmark.

Christophe has a professional longtime experience within the supply chain. Previously, he also worked for ABB and Schneider Electric.

Listen to the full discussion here:

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Connect with the Guest:

Christophe Mugnier-Pollet: LinkedIn

Some of the highlights from the podcast:

  • Cristophe’s journey to getting into supply chain
  • Differences in IBP in an FMCG environment vs a Vestas environment
  • Best practices, key lessons and learnings from Cristophe’s past experiences
  • Collaboration and building partnerships with suppliers
  • Changes on how Vestas works with investors in times of disruption
  • Highest demand skills in the future

Show notes:

  • [0:51] What kind of got you into the supply chain? How did you end up where you are today?
  • [2:36] I moved to Vestas in 2019, I think I really wanted to be a lot more active to do something around sustainability and of course, renewable energy was a natural choice somehow. 
  • [4:03] It’s a huge difference to do IBP in an FMCG environment, with fast moving products, it’s another thing to do it in the industry where the times are a little bit different. So maybe, maybe let’s start with that background setting first, and then we go a little bit more into the details.
  • [5:58] Articulation between demand and supply projects and products, the global footprint, and I think the partnerships with selected suppliers. These are really the specificities shaping the way we operate the supply chain at business.
  • [6:22] If you were to look back to best get the buying, also from the CEO, and the board and all the steps that you did in order to get it through and where you are today, what were some of the key lessons and learnings so far?
  • [6:36] We’re in the middle of a journey where there is a technology transformation, right? We want to equip our planners with better technology to plan that supply chain more rapidly, more accurately, to be able to play with scenarios faster than we can today.
  • [7:35] Any sort of best practices or learnings or sharings, that you might want to impart with the audience?
  • [8:05] I think the key here is to constantly remind ourselves that we’re doing that for the benefit of the users in the first place. So keeping in mind what they need to do, how they need to work differently, how they can work better, and then setting up the technology that can enable them to achieve those goals, rather than going for the coolest technology.
  • [8:30] What has worked best in terms of checking balances? If we were to gauge as a percentage, what percentage would you say? Is it 20%-50%? 
  • [8:51] It’s difficult to put a number but we are very well engaged in the process. I think that the key was to get the users on board soon enough, but also that finding a balance between having the users on board, but still having them to look outside the box somehow and look at things that are done elsewhere, maybe differently.
  • [11:03] What would be one or two of the key lessons or biggest learnings that would fast track them that you would want to share? 
  • [11:10] As I said before, it’s keeping people in mind, what they really need. That’s the key. But in the meantime, keep an eye open on innovation and what’s happening out there and filter what is actually good for us. 
  • [12:04] You mentioned briefly the supplier collaboration and the way that you build partnerships with your vendors, suppliers, and different service providers.  How are you doing that to investors in a good way?
  • [13:03] We have to discuss risks and opportunities together with our suppliers. There’s an element of usually sharing more information, sharing inventories, production channels kind of things. The key here is to be able to address changes up and down together with our suppliers to have a real dialogue. 
  • [14:27] What’s your thoughts and what has also changed in the way that you work with investors in the last month, and how do you see it in the next month?
  • [14:34] COVID-19 has changed the way we work. So we have to find better ways to collaborate online and that’s the key. 
  • [15:22] What would be one or two of the key skills that you think will be highest in demand? 
  • [16:06] Mastering supply chain science, that’s a must, we need to know what we’re talking about, we need to understand how things work, the latest technologies and we need to understand the processes and so on.
  • [17:36] Is there anything in particular over the last 25-30 years that has worked better with your teams in terms of getting that message across faster and getting them to work faster, effectively?
  • [17:54] Again, I would say keep your eyes open to business, talk to salespeople, as much as you can talk to outside, we also have project managers to put the turbines up and running in customer locations. Talk to other people, the finances well and understand the perspective of the rest of the organization. 
  • [18:40] What would be the one piece of advice, career advice, or one motto that has helped you the most in your career so far that you could share with the younger generation?
  • [19:32] Starting in the operations for me is the key. There will be time later on to go into corporate offices and actually I would say you will be better into those corporate offices with a background in operations rather than the other way around. 

Related Episodes:

#126: Golden Skills, Changing Industries and Networking

#127: The EV Boom and Building the Supply Chain for it

#128: How Supply Chain helped PMI become an electronics focused company

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