“There were many aspects of ZLOG that were key for my journey in logistics and supply chain”, ZLOG Alumni Success Story

Alumni Success story: Arturo Garcia Calderon. See Linkedin
ZLC Graduate 2015
General Manager at Eurolift Peru.

In 2014 you decided to leave Peru, your home country, and enroll in the MIT Zaragoza Master of Engineering in Logistics and Supply Chain Management in Spain. Once you completed the program you secured an exciting opportunity with Clariant in Mexico. Can you outline what aspects of the ZLOG course proved particularly useful and why?

Indeed, the whole experience was quite interesting and exciting. Two people left Lima, PE (my wife and I) and came back two and 7/9 (both of us plus 7-month baby bump). We stayed in Peru for a couple of months and then the three of us left again for Puebla, MX.
There were many aspects of ZLOG that were key for my journey with Clariant from which I recall:
1) Having a great thesis with great partner (Edson Guimaraes) supported by a great sponsor (Gustavo Rodriguez) at a great company. This was the starting point for my three-year-period in Clariant.
2) Overall supply chain visibility was my key asset especially during my first 100 days in order to easily grasp the details of the operation under my scope of work.
And last but not least:
3) Studying in a multicultural setting since I got operations in the US, Brazil, Peru and Mexico, reported to regional hq in Sao Paulo and global hq in Munich. So understanding cultural / language barriers and moving along was fundamental from writing an email to closing a deal.
What was your biggest challenge working for Clariant, one of the world’s leading specialty chemical companies, as Head of Supply Chain Management Americas? Is there a project that you feel especially proud of? 
There are two of which I feel very proud, the first one would be building the regional structure from scratch with clear chain of command and accountability while stabilizing the “bullwhip effect” in the biggest operation. During this period inventory management concepts came to life and proved to be very valuable. And the second one would be securing business continuity in our customers’ plants in spite of huge logistics disruptions in mid-2017 with 2 massive earthquakes in Mexico, 3 major hurricanes and up to 8 named-storms in the Atlantic. During this time supply chain resilience and divine inspiration from Yossi Sheffi’s books saved us some dollars.
Could you briefly describe your current role as General Manager at Eurolift, a dealer of the leading provider of material handling equipment Hyster Company? 
Big leap for my career since I’m broadening my area of influence out of supply chain, where I feel comfortable, to taking care of the whole business. I see this as two co-existing challenges: continuously improving our operations to deliver double-digit-growth while innovating and transforming our culture to become a thriving and vibrant organization. I’m highly motivated to lead the representation for Hyster in Peru and I’m lucky to have a board of directors who support me and my crazy ideas. As a supply chain geek, I like to think about ourselves not as a materials handling provider, but as the driving force within the value chain of our customers.
Looking at your resume we see that the research project on Network Optimization as a Business Advantage, in which you were working together with your partner Edson Guimaraes throughout the academic year, was awarded with the Best Master Thesis reward. Could you tell us what was the focus of the project, what challenges did you face and what were the results that were applied in the company? 
The thesis project aimed to understand and optimize materials flow among sourcing, manufacturing, blending, and customers (current base and potential markets). Since the materials were highly hygroscopic, water had a big share of the load we were moving and transportation costs heavily impacted the P&L. In this order of ideas, the logistics network had to be optimized to protect margins. Regarding the complexity we had to deal with, even though our LP wasn’t a piece of cake with over 10k variables, the biggest challenge we had was really understanding the operational setup and elaborating key assumptions before even thinking about running the math. Fortunately, after a year, the final deliverable and our recommendations were taken into account and our sponsor company built a blending facility in a strategic location.
This week, the Commencement Ceremony of ZLC students will take place in the Paraninfo Building of the University of Zaragoza. Any pearls of wisdom or advice in general for the students to take following graduation? 
This is a tough question!! Above all, enjoy your last days in Zaragoza since they will become part of who you are and will definitely shape your future. Also, calm down your ego, it will only blind you and make you feel unstoppable but you (we) only are average dudes with a good education. Keep up with the academic momentum, of course have a break but don’t let it last for too long, your brain is a muscle and yours probably are at its best shape ever. Finally don’t take anything for granted, enjoy the little things and develop your sense of humor. Bonus track: Do yourself and the world a favor and learn how to write an email 🙂