Iulia Borca, ZLOG Alumni 2011 and Global Supply Manager at DSM.
Your professional background is focused on project and data management with international background in Information Technology, Supply Chain Management and Finance. How can you add value to a business with your experience and competencies?
I have always been fascinated by how operations work – for example – from coordinating the millions of passengers and their luggage on time at an airport, to insuring the needed spare parts that could otherwise leave an entire city without power or to making on-time product deliveries. These examples are just a small part of what supply chain means. Having both studied and worked in the supply chain area for more than 6 years currently, I have both the academic and the professional experience to help me in adding value to any company in this area. Moreover, in today’s world, everything is measured in money (costs, inventory value, etc.) and it is inevitable not to have to interact on some kind of IT topic. Having studied and worked in both these areas is of tremendous support.
DSM is a purpose-led global science-based company in Nutrition, Health and Sustainable Living. Could you briefly describe your role as Global Supply Chain Manager at DSM? What challenges would you say you and the company encounter on a regular basis?
In my current role as Global Supply Manager, I manage supply planning for a portfolio of 5 families, 30 finished goods (60 SKUs) and 10 intermediates for short, mid and long term. A major challenge for my role is to ensure that capacity constraints, significant deviations from inventory targets, major demand changes are identified and managed in a timely manner for all three levels: operational, tactical and strategical. On the larger scale of the company, it is not easy to identify what will be the nutrition trends for the years to come: cheaper chemistry based products, more expensive natural based products, nutrition “fashion” trends, etc.
From animal and human nutrition & health to textiles & clothing, DSM is operating across 17 global markets and seems that there are six million people walking the earth today with key ingredients from DSM inside their bodies. What makes DSM unique in terms of logistics and supply chain management compared to other companies bringing business solutions in these areas?
This question has a very simple answer: customer focus. Customer centricity is at the heart of DSM business. This makes things quite interesting and challenging when you think that some of the value chains are spread over 3 or 4 continents.
Right after graduating from the MIT Zaragoza Master of Engineering in Logistics and Supply Chain, you joined Clariant, one of the world’s leading specialty chemical companies. Based in Switzerland, you were working for the multinational company for more than 3 years. What was it about and what did you take-away from it?
During my time at Clariant, I worked in their Operational Excellence team on improvement projects in the supply chain area. It was the right step for me after graduation as I could see many of the concepts which I studied in an academic environment coming to life in a business environment. My main take away was that if you want any project to be successful, no matter how small, you have to invest time and resources in the change management area.
How do you look back on your ZLOG experience? What is your main message to our future supply chain students?
Not only did I gain all the Supply Chain fundamentals in 10 intensive months, but I also benefitted from a richly rewarding environment working in different teams on various projects with 30 colleagues from 25 countries. Words cannot express how much I learned both personally and professionally. My main message: learn as much as you can from your professors, your colleagues, the visiting business professionals, but do not forget to also have fun and enjoy your time in Spain. My case is probably a bit special as I met my husband during the master, but we also gained some of our best friends which we are still trying to meet as much as possible 9 years onwards. Wooow, already 9 years, time flies. Learn and Enjoy!