Interview: Nokia

Name: Sushil Agarawal

Job Title: Senior Manager, Channel Logistics Development, Asia-Pacific

Company: NOKIA


How long have you worked for Nokia?

More than 2 years

How long have you worked as a Senior Manager, Channel Logistics Development, Asia-Pacific?

More than 1 year

During your time in this field, what changes have you seen?

Customer Collaboration is becoming more and more important. It brings operations and sales staff together with key customers to increase the customer's top line and improve responsiveness to customer needs. It helps us to achieve joint goals including on-time delivery, reduced order fulfillment lead times, increased planning accuracy and lower inventory levels.

Understanding of supply chain costs to distribute products is also getting more attention, Cost to market for current distribution network and possibility to reduce cost by designing an alternative distribution network is now senior management's top agenda.

Is it very different from when you first started out? How has the industry changed in regards to supply chain planning?

End-to-end connectivity is precipitating a fundamental change in supply chain management, as static supply chain are quickly giving way to more flexible value chains composed of partners that can be assembled in real-time to meet unique requirements. The internet has lowered the barriers to effective collaboration allowing companies to easily share demand-forecast information, production-capacity requirements, manufacturing schedules and new product designs. It is becoming apparent that the competitive field is no longer limited to company A versus company B. The game is now supply chain network versus supply chain network.

How has your job changed as a result?

The job is adding more dimensions like Planning and Replenishment Solutions, System-to-System Integration, on-line channel development etc.

What is your opinion on the future of Supply Chain Planning?

Future supply chain planning will require superior decision flows and workflows that can leverage the available data, and in real-time maximize performance. These processes need to support among other things collaborative forecasting and planning, Procurement workflows, transportation planning and demand-supply matching. Greater use of technology will be a key differentiator for optimal supply chain planning.

What personal challenges do you face on a day to day basis in your job?

We have to deal with set of customers like operators, distributors and retailers. Each customer has unique requirements from supply chain solutions perspective. We have to constantly find innovative ways to create customer value and have an efficient supply chain. To ensure we have continuous innovation in supply chain, we hire good talent and find the ways to keep motivating them by creating opportunities for personal development.

How do you overcome these?

Its all about having right people in the team who can make the things happen. Our biggest contribution is to support business in ensuring we fulfill customer's requirements with least possible cost. We are able to achieve this with a talented team of people.

What software packages do you use to assist you with your job?

We have catalogue of tools to facilitate and optimize our supply chain from receiving customer order to manufacturing to fulfilling customer's order.

What is your hot tip to others who do a similar job to you?

Try not to think about the current blocking points and don't take anything in your supply chain as given. See the pain points in your everyday operations and the requirements of your customers and define your strategy, your customer classes, your product classes, your supply chains as your future setup.

Dare to break assumptions and come up with more innovative way of working.

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