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EUROPE EDITION AUGUST 2018 europe.businesschief.com

Acteon Group

City of London Corporation Transforming procurement practices

CUSTOMER SERVICE, REDEFINED

Bringing procurement to the fore

PADDY POWER BETFAIR

BETTING’S DIGITAL LEADER

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO ULRICH PIEPEL, CPO

City Focus

Stockholm SCANDINAVIA’S TECH CENTRE

TOP 10 CEOs IN EUROPE


FOREWORD

W

elcome to another jam-packed Europe edition of Business Chief. We kick things off in our August issue with a procurement success story. By travelling over to Germany to meet Innogy’s CPO Dr. Ulrich Piepel, we were able to uncover the progressive strategy implemented by the renewable energy giant. In our feature-length article and exclusive video, Piepel explains how procurement has become a core function through the introduction of new technology and practices. For our leadership insight, we speak to Acteon Group, one of Europe’s premier manufacturers of high-end medical devices, to learn how digital is taking its customer experience to new heights. For this month’s City Focus, we turn our attention to Stockholm, the so-called tech centre of Scandinavia, to see what the Swedish capital has to offer, while we also profile the top European CEOs at the helm of the biggest revenue-producing companies on the continent. Finally, our digital reports boast exclusive interviews with industry giants such as Paddy Power Betfair, City of London Corporation, Coventry University and more. We hope you enjoy this month’s offering and, as ever, if you have any feedback, you can find us across social media @Business_Chief. Enjoy the issue!

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CONTENTS

10 INNOGY:CREATING SUSTAINABLE VALUE THROUGH PROCUREMENT

48 36 ACTEON GROUP:

A REVOLUTION IN CUSTOMER SERVICE

MOBILE TECH FOR THE UNDERBANKED


58 City Focus

70

Top 10 CEOs in Europe


98

CONTENTS

Middle East Broadcasting Group

80 City of London Corporation REVAMPING GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT PRACTICES AT THE CITY OF LONDON CORPORATION

118

Paddy Power Betfair

DIGITAL BETTING’S FRONT RUNNER

90

Procurement excellence for the small screen

142 Dr. Ozan Köseoğlu

Constructing the airports of tomorrow’s world


176

Kew Green Hotels

H OW O U T S TA N D I N G F O O D AND DRINK CAN ENHANCE TH E C U S TO M E R E X PE R I E N C E

Placing digital at the heart of the higher education agenda

154

Coventry University

190

Gastronomy Foods

202

Groningen Seaports

CONNECTING THE WORLD WITH GREEN ENERGY

BOOSTING EMPLOYMENT WITHIN NORTH AND MID WALES


10

INNOGY:CREATING SUSTAINABLE VALUE THROUGH PROCUREMENT We caught up with Dr. Ulrich Piepel, CPO at European renewable energy giant innogy, to find out why procurement is such an important part of the company’s strategy WRIT TEN BY

OLIVIA MINNOCK PRODUCED BY

RICHARD DURR ANT

AUGUST 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

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e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


INNOGY

P

rocurement is all about the right players, says Ulrich Piepel, choosing a football analogy

during World Cup 2018 from his office overlooking Borussia Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park, where he regularly attends matches. Since drafting in Piepel in 2003, innogy has transformed procurement into an important strategic function which adds significant value and innovation to the organisation – and together with the right players and partners, the procurement function has been instrumental in transforming innogy into one of the largest providers of renewable energy in Europe. 12

A RENEWABLE FOCUS RWE is a major European energy company dating back over 100 years; in 2016 amid policy and market changes, RWE decided to split the generation part of its business from the rest of the company, making innogy (innovative energy) a separate entity. “innogy has everything besides conventional power plants,” explains Piepel, adding RWE itself still owns gas, lignite, coal and nuclear, as well as mining. “All of the rest of the company – roughly 2/3 of the people, volume and revenue – is now innogy.” This actually makes the subsidiary bigger than RWE, and it owns retail operations across Europe, including the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Austria. “Our renewables business is solar, onshore and offshore wind, as well as some biomass energy production. There’s also some new business because the energy market is changing AUGUST 2018

Click to watch: talks Renewable


: ‘Innogy CPO Ulrich Piepel e Energy’

S U P P LY C H A I N

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rapidly and we’re seeing developments like electric cars and smart homes,” Piepel adds.

PROCUREMENT TO THE FORE “Let me ask you a question. If you had €50,000 to invest, would you give that to someone who isn’t capable, and lacks a degree or expertise in spending or investing money?” Of course not – but Piepel argues that’s exactly what many companies are still doing when it comes to procurement. “Decades ago, procurement wasn’t seen as an important function. Perhaps in retail it was known that making the right price point was vital for e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


Dr. Bernd Schönwälder Mercateo Executive Boardmember


»

Digitisation is definitely a cool universal technology to connect people for business. This opens up enormous opportunities for purchasing. That’s what we believe in at Mercateo.

«

Find out more →


INNOGY

success, but other industries didn’t pay attention, meaning a large chunk of costs weren’t managed professionally. In the 80s when I left university, procurement was the fifth wheel on the wagon. It was just transactional work.” Heading up a large organisation means being able to transform this process through procurement engineering. “If you don’t have the right organisation, you cannot become a successful value creator bringing lots of money to the company. You must create a larger, centralised procurement organisation including the right people. You have to engineer the right organisation and all procurement processes.” ‘Procurement engineering’ for Piepel involves bringing together processes, measurements and set-ups to go through one department. “This helps you make sure your organisation is following the best in 16

class processes, with the same set of KPIs,” he says. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most important KPI at Innogy is return on investment. “In the past, when procurement was transactional, people only looked at the cost involved. You have to keep that in mind, but the most important thing is to establish RoI as a key factor to ensure we’re saving a multiple of what we’re spending. This is long-term added value.” Procurement is so vital in value creation that it’s hard to imagine how innogy functioned without this strategic department. Piepel is

AUGUST 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

“You have to make the organisation aware of your bottom line savings. This helps senior management and the board understand how important procurement can be” — Ulrich Piepel CPO, Innogy

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Eberspächer transformed their supply chain payments with Tradeshift The Eberspächer Group, headquartered in Esslingen, is one of the world’s leading system developers and suppliers of exhaust technology, vehicle heaters and bus air conditioning systems. The company is active in 60 locations across 25 countries, and it processes over half a million paper invoices annually from international suppliers of all sizes. To conduct its accounting processes more efficiently, the global automotive supplier realized it needed an electronic invoicing system, and for them Tradeshift was the clear choice.

Discover how Tradeshift can transform supply chain payments for your company at Tradeshift.com


Inefficient invoice processes Until the introduction of Tradeshift, Eberspächer processed invoices semi-automatically based on a scanning technology. A key challenge was to map the e-invoicing process to all relevant global markets and, knowing the importance of adoption, motivate suppliers to participate. Other needs were to reduce the workload for the Eberspächer team with less manual processes, allowing them to refocus resources on other areas of the company, and to standardize the interfaces that link partners within the supply network. Eberspächer required a solution that could enable automatic global processing for all incoming invoices, with an extremely high availability across the globe. The solution needed to be compatible with the IT systems of all Eberspächer suppliers— supplier onboarding and ease of use were paramount. The company analyzed solution criteria that went beyond functionality and cost, including expandability, industry knowledge, and supplier integration.

“We chose Tradeshift’s open B2B platform as they met our requirements in full—it’s free for our suppliers and is already prepared for, and tailored to, the legal regulations of most countries,” Dr. Oliver Frille, Vice President of Procurement & Supply Chain management for Climate Controls Division within the Eberspächer Group.

“In addition, Tradeshift allows us to be flexible. With their extensible platform, we can easily extend our business applications to best suit our requirements and business.” The implementation of the Tradeshift platform launched in March 2016 at two sites with an initial 700 invited suppliers. In June 2016, the solution was rolled out at two additional locations and to another 70 strategic suppliers.

The successful onboarding of suppliers was an important linchpin in the implementation of Tradeshift. With Eberspächer’s input and approval, Tradeshift employed email campaigns to help engage suppliers and guide them through registration. The automated onboarding required only a few clicks to connect suppliers to Eberspächer by establishing a Tradeshift account.

Automated invoice receipt, lower costs and higher data quality With Tradeshift, suppliers can now provide electronic invoices to Eberspächer in different ways and collaborate and communicate more easily. Of the 700 selected partners of the pilot project, one third have now switched to Tradeshift, and about 40 percent of them regularly send invoices through the platform. In addition to the automatic onboarding campaigns, Tradeshift’s integration as a service helped Eberspächer quickly integrate its top suppliers. One of the key benefits according to Eberspächer are Tradeshift’s automated validation rules. A supplier, forexample, that mistypes an electronic catalog order number, will be notified and can correct it easily and resubmit. The delays and unnecessary inquiries that come with paper invoices are a thing of the past. Tradeshift CloudScan, an application that allows PDF and paper invoices to be transferred into Tradeshift, digitizes documents automatically and performs various validation tests. Eberspächer can now ensure that only high-quality data reaches the company’s internal IT systems.


SHAPING THE FUTURE. TOGETHER. BCG provides end-to-end procurement solutions. Our focus is on delivering sustainable value and efficient operating models. With digitization becoming real, we partner with companies to develop a customized and comprehensive digital portfolio comprising ready-tomarket offerings, such as AI-based negotiation coaches, tail-spend management software, supplier collaboration and contract platforms, and robotics to push the value envelope in procurement even further.

For more information about BCG’s procurement offerings, please contact: Robert Tevelson (Global Leader, Procurement) tevelson.robert@bcg.com Daniel Weise (Procurement Leader, Europe) weise.daniel@bcg.com

bcg.com


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adamant that procurement savings must

solutions, services and products to bring

be recognised as vital to profitability. “If

them into the business.”

a salesperson made 30% more sales, they would be seen as the hero of the company,

PROCURING ACROSS EUROPE

but if procurement makes savings with the

With Innogy operating across a multitude

same effect, which will also be sustainable

of locations, it’s important to ensure

over the next year, nobody really notices.

procurement organisations are independ-

You have to make the organisation aware of

ent parts of a well-run whole. “We structure

your bottom line savings and innovations

procurement not according to countries

from suppliers as well. This helps senior

but according to categories across a global

management and the board understand

market,” Piepel explains. “We allocate

how important procurement can be. And in

experts to each category who may work in

the age of digitisation, it is our job to scan the

different countries, but the negotiation and

world market for disruptive and digitised

strategy can be done centrally. You can e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


S U P P LY C H A I N

Click to watch: ‘Innogy CPO on the role of Procurement. Ulrich Piepel’ 23

then apply the same best-in-class process

as you can. We need these experts who

whether in the UK, Germany, the Nether-

focus on a few product groups, rather than

lands or elsewhere.”

covering many categories in a decentral-

The energy giant deals with a variety

ised organisation with little knowledge.”

of product groups, and Piepel has worked to centralise these in order to make the

WORLD-CLASS PLAYERS

most of resources, thus increasing the

Experts are indeed vital in procurement if

knowledge within each category dramati-

it is to cease being an add-on or ‘fifth wheel’.

cally. “In the past, we had maybe 15 buyers

“We just had the World Cup, for example:

for cables for example, but why not

at the highest level, you need great players.

concentrate this to a single buyer with the

If you want to have great players, you need

right knowledge of markets, suppliers and

to pay, educate and motivate them. Attract

cost points? To create a great organisation,

them, even, as a large organisation with

you must centralise procurement as much

a lot of spend and leverage. Nowadays, e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


INNOGY

procurement is one of the most complex jobs you can have – you need to understand the business, processes and the latest innovations in an increasingly digital world. You need to understand the products and costs involved, compliance, purchase-to-pay processes, even health and safety and data security,” says Piepel. Amid rapid digitisation and transformation, roles can change quickly so it’s not always about employing those with the best ‘technical’ skill or the most specific qualification. “It’s important to have the right people with the intellectual capabilities to adapt to new situations. You need 24

smart people – it’s about brains and, very importantly, passion. We then try to give the highly skilled people freedom and trust. A buyer has to have room to negotiate, find new and innovative suppliers worldwide and interact with technical departments. You also have to reward staff, recognise who is doing a great job and encourage them to be braver, even get into arguments with technical people because they may have a better and more digital solution.”

AUTOMATION – GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS Procurement involves a number of processes in any company, and as innogy was quick to recognise, automating as much as possible means more time is freed up for staff to make the most of their talents. AUGUST 2018

“To create a great organisation,you must centralise procurement as much as you can.We need these experts” — Ulrich Piepel CPO, Innogy


S U P P LY C H A I N

“Take tendering for example,” says Piepel. “Previously, people would mail out tonnes of paper to the suppliers, and time was wasted when files came back to do research, comparison and benchmarking. Now, we do most of our tendering electronically with software like myFUTURA, which has helped us reduce cycle time and become way more efficient.” MyFUTURA allows for automatic comparison of various quotes and price allocation, and is a fully compliant with innogy’s back end systems, as well as being faster and easier for buyers to use, according to Piepel. More surprisingly, negotiation can also be automated through electronic auctioning tools. “Electronic auctioning brings us way more savings because we take away the personal element between supplier and buyer, which isn’t always needed when talking about facts and figures.” While this was a challenge to introduce to some staff who felt negotiation was their biggest strength, Piepel persevered. “Now, people love it. We’ve done thousands of e-auctions, and have in some areas up to 80-90% of our spend going through e-auction tools. It’s been a big boost, but also one of the toughest things to introduce, as there was resistance from buyers, technical departments… and suppliers who know it’s tough. Call-offs notoriously involve a lot of paperwork which can be a huge drain on time and resources. “We needed tools, like catalogues, which cover e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

25


INNOGY

75-80% of our orders. We implemented

a successful and powerful organisation,

catalogues around 12 years ago and then

you can’t do it alone,” Piepel continues.

found we shouldn’t do the hosting and

“We have ideas, but need strong and inno-

management ourselves, but give this to

vative partners to follow these through

someone who is even more capable than

with. You can develop things better as

us. We therefore invited Mercateo to join

part of a partnership rather than looking

our procurement transformation journey

for a specific tool. We have also been

– we were one of their first customers so

working with many consultants which

were really able to help them grow their

specialise in procurement for the last few

platform, and now Mercateo is a major

years, for example Boston Consulting

company in electronic catalogue handling.”

Group, which has helped us shape our ideas, strategy and cost savings. It is

26

RELATIONSHIPS BUILT TO LAST

fundamental that we benchmark with

Mercateo is one of several partners that

each other, as they know what is going

Innogy sees as vital to success and

on in the market.”

growth. “When you want to create such

AUGUST 2018

Call-offs have also been supported


S U P P LY C H A I N

by software giant SAP. “We now have, with

mining, which utilises big data to help us

SAP, a supplier and procurement platform

see where our processing is not accord-

to cover all countries. SAP enables us to

ing to standard. This tool made us even

create call-off orders automatically, which

better in streamlining processes and

we call ‘no touch procurement’. All

becoming leaner, faster and more agile.”

contracts with all details are entered and

Tradeshift’s platform has also filled gaps

stored within the system, so people in the

in innogy’s purchase-to-pay process,

business can now call off without even

freeing up time and skills. “We do a lot of

involving procurement. This takes most

self-billing where possible, but found out

of the transactional work out of your

that we still receive a lot of invoices which

organisation and pushes this capacity into

aren’t up to standard for us to process.

the more strategical, value-creating

Tradeshift is an effective, fast-growing tool,

procurement work. We also have a lot of

which helps us to automate complex

processes in our organisation which is

paper invoices. The software automati-

tough to subtract the data out of, so we

cally reads all invoices and reduces

have implemented Celonis process

transactional work significantly.”

“When you want to create such a successful organisation,you can’t do it alone.We have ideas, but need partners to follow these through with” — Ulrich Piepel CPO, Innogy

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INNOGY

PA R T N E R S H I P S

A decade-long partnership

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innogy has enjoyed a 10-year partnership with Mercateo, with the procurement platform being instrumental in time and cost savings. This long-standing collaboration has enabled Mercateo not only to develop suloutions that are specifically adapted to the needs of the energy giant, but also over time to develop into one of Europe’s leading platform providers. “We’re proud of contributing to the hugely successful innogy story,” says Dr. Bernd Schönwälder, a member of Mercateo’s executive board. “innogy was an early and rapid mover in introducing process digitisation.” The partnership has allowed this digitisation to be accepted by users despite the initial resistance recalled by Piepel. “It was a fascinating step into a new arena,” says Schönwälder, “but today many procurement managers see Mercateo’s solution as a kind of

AUGUST 2018

‘dial tone’ in e-procurement – they connect, pick up the receiver as it were, and have access to millions of items. It’s crucial to see how users find the platform useful. This was a really strategic step for us with innogy. “It was a co-creative process,” he recalls. “innogy has always had a clear vision and the partnership has contributed a lot to our innovation. Innogy should be proud of how they helped improve our solution and brought this value to a broader market.” Initially, Mercateo onboarded innogy’s existing suppliers with its B2B network, and users began to accept the platform as a way to get their suppliers all on the same solution. “We had a mashup from the marketplace, an ocean of products, and the very specific products that every single user needed each day. This was groundbreaking in terms of acceptance,”


S U P P LY C H A I N

Click to watch: ‘Innogy and its Partners featuring Chief Procurement Officer Ulrich Piepel’

Schönwälder explains. Will the partnership span a further 10 years? Its success so far certainly inspires confidence in both parties. “It’s always hard to tell the future,” allows Schönwälder, “but looking back at our stable partnership which has always evolved, I have no doubt we can build on this partnership where we each know what the other side can use, what their world looks like, and how to adapt.”

29

innogy and Mercateo clearly share a vision of the future where digitisation can only add to the journey. “I deeply believe we will find digitisation to be a tool to bring people closer together and improve communication: enrich it, make it more efficient, more transparent. Procurement has a lot to win, from process cost saving to free time to do more valuable things,” Schönwälder concludes.

e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


INNOGY

Automation has been crucial in removing

an ongoing commitment to maintaining

transactional work over the years, says

partnerships, automation and digitisation.

Piepel, especially if the procurement

“We have two main strategic directions:

department is to lead by example. “You

digitisation of procurement and digitisa-

cannot add a couple of hundred people to

tion of the business,” Piepel outlines. “In

procurement and add this to costs. You

procurement, we are investing in evolving

have to transform to ensure all costs are

tools such as data transparency with

under control – automation transforms

artificial intelligence and will also imple-

transactional work into space for strategic

ment a highly strategic digitised source to

work,” comments Piepel.

contract software solution. With these tools we will support our buyers through

30

THE FUTURE

decision making, and to make the process

Innogy’s transformation looks set to

faster and more transparent. In a global

continue, with the company showing

market, it’s tough for buyers to see what’s

innogy smarthome

AUGUST 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

BIO

Dr. Ulrich Piepel qualified as a mechanical engineer at the University of Dortmund, Germany. He then started his career at the Fraunhofer-Institute for Logistics and Material flow. At the age of 30, he made his dissertation at the Fraunhofer-Institute in the field of robotics. After this, he joined the headquarters of Krupp in Essen, Germany for 3 1/2 years. He then took over responsibilities for logistics and production planning as well as for distribution in a Krupp subsidiary named Widia. After Widia merged with a US-based company named Valenite, Dr. Ulrich Piepel was responsible for the global procurement & supply chain of WidiaValenite. In 2000, Dr. Ulrich Piepel left Widia to become COO of Maxdata, a major manufacturer of servers, PCs and laptops as well as the market leader for computers monitors in Europe. In 2003, Dr. Ulrich Piepel became CPO of RWE, the main German utility group for energy, gas and water. He is responsible for an annual purchasing volume of â‚Ź 10bm. Since October 2008, Dr. Ulrich Piepel has been promoted to managing director of RWE Shared Service Center, the RWE Service GmbH. Since Feb. 2014 Ulrich Piepel has been promoted to directly manage all procurement activities within the RWE group, now reporting directly to the RWE board and having solid lines of all buyers if RWE worldwide. In September 2016, Dr. Piepel became CPO of the new innogy SE, which has been the created as the renewable energy company from former RWE. He reports to the CEO.

e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


INNOGY

32

“We must continue to push digitisation, even if there is some resistance — we must make people understand it’s not threatening their job,just changing and maybe even supporting it.” — Ulrich Piepel CPO, Innogy

AUGUST 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

happening in Israel or China for example, so they must be supported by digital tools with AI elements.” It is also very important to ensure buyers understand the digitisation of the business itself – and indeed, the renewable energy industry. “Our buyers need to understand the needs, developments and innovations of the market,” says Piepel. “They have to challenge the business sometimes, or support it with these kinds of tools and digitised, disruptive solutions.” We can expect to see constant improvement across innogy, led by a strategic procurement department. “We want to learn from other organisations and develop an even greater network of buyers. We must continue to push digitisation, even if there is some resistance – we must make people understand it’s not threatening their job, just changing and maybe even supporting it. Mainly, we are looking at all the latest trends and getting the best people on board.”

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LEADERSHIP

ACTEON GROUP: 36

A REVOLUTION IN CUSTOMER SERVICE Technology is taking Acteon Group’s customer experience to new heights, as Chief Digital Officer and Customer Services Director Olivier Blanc explains to Business Chief. WRITTEN BY

BEN MOUNCER

AUGUST 2018


37

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LEADERSHIP

A

s Chief Digital Officer (CDO), Olivier Blanc has a vision to

able ambitions of a business valiantly

elevate Acteon Group above its

attempting to ride the digital wave – in

peers through the implementation of a

fact, Blanc insists that such disruption is

company-wide technology

an essential undertaking as Acteon

transformation.

looks to secure future growth and

Already one of Europe’s premier manufacturers of high-end medical

38

These are not the lofty, often unattain-

profitability. “I really believe that if we’re not doing

devices, primarily in the field of dentistry,

that, and the others are doing it, in five

Acteon – with Blanc playing a pivotal

years’ time we’d be out of the market,”

role – has embraced changes to a host

he tells Business Chief. “It is really

of its internal and customer-related

critical for us to be able to use technolo-

processes, all with the aim to stand

gies and give a good customer

alone in the level of service offered

experience because in five years’ time,

to its clients.

there won’t be any business that isn’t

AUGUST 2018


using those technologies. I think all the things that we are doing right now give us a little bit of an advantage against our competitors, but we really want to carry that on in order to maintain that position.”

SALESFORCE: A CRUCIAL PARTNERSHIP Customer service is priority number one for Acteon as the medtech company fights to stave off its competition in the industry. Back in 2015, new Chief Executive Officer Marie-Laure Pochon kicked off her reign by announcing plans to build a wholly new customer relationship management (CRM) system fit for an era where buyer relationships are everything.

“It is really critical for us to be able to use technologies and give a good customer experience because in five years’ time, there won’t be any business that isn’t using those technologies” — Olivier Blanc, Chief Digital Offier and Customer Services Director, Acteon Group

Acteon’s working model sees it split into four separate manufacturing units – equipment, imaging, pharma and medical – with its technologically-advanced dentistry products supplied to individual clients through its trusted network of customers. Since its foundation, the French firm has grown to have a presence in over 100 countries the world over. With the target of creating a best-in-class CRM for that continually-expanding network, Pochon quickly enlisted the services of Salesforce, the billion-dollar, US-based technology giant. Blanc was recruited into the business in October 2015 as CDO and Customer Services Director to oversee integration of its CRM and as of last November, a quarter of Acteon’s employees were

e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

39


LEADERSHIP

already taking advantage of its solutions.

“For example, when we used to receive

“We are really focusing on how we can

the products to be repaired, we never

use Salesforce to improve the way that

sent an email to the customer saying that

we are doing our customer service,”

we have received their product and that

Blanc explains. “What it also allowed us

we are going to take care of them as

to do is create more customer communi-

soon as possible. Now, that is something

cation that we had before.

that we are able to do. We also create the

“It is really critical for us to be able to use technologies and give a good customer experience because in five years’ time, there won’t be any business that isn’t using those technologies” 40

— Olivier Blanc, Chief Digital Offier and Customer Services Director, Acteon Group

AUGUST 2018


quote in Salesforce, which allows us to

now fully up-and-running with the

have the same practice for everyone and

refreshed system. Blanc is currently

to be really focused in the way the quote

managing its implementation outside of

is created. Everything is now integrated

France, a task that recently involved an

in the same place.

excursion to the vital US market.

“Another benefit is that it allows the

Blanc’s next mark of progress will be to

commercial people to see what’s going

see the Salesforce technologies that

on, so if they have a question from the

have been seamlessly deployed within

customers they are able to answer

the organisation made directly available

directly, without having to call internally

to customers – a level of service that he

to try and find the right person to answer

wants, in basic terms, to compare to that

the question.”

of the world’s biggest online retailer,

Acteon’s Salesforce integration has

Amazon. “The ability for the customers to

proven to be a straightforward change,

see what’s going on in complete

with staff at its Bordeaux headquarters

transparency – that is where we want to

and its Marseilles manufacturing site

get to,” he adds. “We want them to be

e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

41


LEADERSHIP

42

AUGUST 2018


able to see and follow their orders.

promote its offerings in multiple

As I have said before, I do not

languages, representing a vast

want us to be Amazon… but to get

improvement on its archaic website

as close as we can be, then I’ll

of old.

be happy!”

“When I came to the company it had a different website which was

A NEW ONLINE HUB

really, I would say, old-fashioned,”

Blanc’s customer obsession doesn’t

Blanc admits.

just stop at servicing Acteon’s

“We have worked really hard with

relationships with its current clients.

the marketing team to follow their

His team has also, alongside the

objectives and the new website

company’s marketing department,

really reflects that marketing shift

delivered a comprehensive

that has been so important to

overhaul of its corporate websites

Acteon. It is also crucial for our own

as it looks to attract more business.

marketing to be understood

Working in tandem with Publicis Activ, the development arm of the

everywhere in the world. “The second thing would be, as I

French publishing and PR behe-

said, to have a place where

moth Publicis, Acteon has created a

customers can see what’s going on

truly global suite of platforms that

with their active orders, somewhere

deliver Acteon’s key messages and

where they would be able to interact

“We have worked really hard with the marketing team to follow their objectives and the new website is really reflecting that marketing shift that has been really important to Acteon. It is also crucial for our own marketing to be understood everywhere in the world” — Olivier Blanc,Chief Digital Offier and Customer Services Director, Acteon Group

e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

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LEADERSHIP

with us as well. This is certainly something that we need to work on. “Obviously we are looking at SEO and social networks too, they are items of interest, but another really key area is how we show documents that we need to show on the site, either for our own purposes or regulatory purposes. We have SharePoint, which is a Microsoft Office365 product that we are using internally, and our objective is to find a way for all the websites to interact with that.”

MANUFACTURING 4.0 44

Perhaps the industry most affected by the onset of transformative technologies, the manufacturing sector is in the midst of changes so powerful that they have the potential to shake up almost every established business model. In the UK alone, up to 700,000 manufacturing jobs could be lost to artificial intelligence and robotics by 2037, according to recent PricewaterhouseCoopers study. Though this doesn’t fall directly under his area of responsibility, Blanc offers some telling insights into how a frontrunning manufacturer such as Acteon is approaching the inevitable switch from a predominantly human workforce to an automated, connected future. “I would say that we are still very much a manual company,” he says. “A lot of our products AUGUST 2018


are made in a really manual way, though obviously we have an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system from Infor that is helping us to deal with the manufacturing process. “We want to make the warehouse better by implementing some digital tools and a new Warehouse Management System (WMS). “We are currently in the process of looking for a more sophisticated WMS provider, one which will be more flexible than what we have and what will be able to meet different diverse units in the same shipment, all while working in unison with our ERP.”

ONE MAN’S JOURNEY

45

Prior to joining Acteon, Blanc served for eight years at French telecommunications company SFR, where he progressed to become its customer marketing director. Educated at the Parisian École Polytechnique, he has enjoyed a

“We are really focusing on how we can use Salesforce to improve the way that we are doing our customer service” — Olivier Blanc, Chief Digital Offier and Customer Services Director, Acteon Group

diverse career since – but one major passion has emerged. “My last role centered around customer experience, and that’s what drove me to come to Acteon, because I thought that I had a lot of possibility to enhance the customer experience here,” he concludes. “Now my role also involves all things digital, so digital transformation in order to improve the customer experience – that is how I would define what I do.” e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


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“We recently worked with BizClik Media on an article which characterizes and explains the total value that Kudu Supply Chain has on company growth plans. From start to the finish, it was a pleasure working with the BizClik team. The feedback we have received from different audience groups on the article was phenomenal. It has attracted a lot of interest and attention to our company, our growth plans and has definitely created additional value to what we are trying to achieve.”

– Murat Ungun, Senior VP Supply Chain Kudu Corp

HAVE YOU SEEN OUR OTHER TITLES?


TECHNOLOGY

48

Mobile tech for the

underban WRITTEN BY

AUGUST 2018

OLIVIA MINNOCK


Juvo aims to offer financial inclusion for all by creating financial identities and credit history for those in underbanked communities. This has been made possible by the growth of mobile, as Business Chief found out

49

nked e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


TECHNOLOGY

I

n an increasingly digitalised world, a huge proportion of the global population still lacks access to proper banking facilities.

Without the benefit of plastic or mobile apps, building up a digital identity and credit history can be near impossible. “Juvo was founded with a big mission: to establish financial identities for the billions of people worldwide who are creditwor-

thy, yet financially excluded,” explains Aristotle Socrates, Chief Data Officer. “We partner with mobile network operators to reach these billions of people – many of whom are in cashbased economies.” Juvo combines consumer internet, predictive 50

algorithms and modern mechanics to implement a data-science based ‘Identity Scoring’ system to augment a credit score, which would otherwise be decided from the top down, but instead is made via pre or post mobile payments, i.e. from the bottom up. Essentially, Juvo allows people without a credit score to build up a credit history, reaching towards its goal to ‘empower the billions of unbanked people in the world to create financial identities and access financial services’. The company’s Identity Scoring service uses a combination of data science, machine learning and mechanics to create identities for those who don’t have a credit history through prepaid mobile accounts, allowing users to build up an identity and use banking options they may not have had before. The company was founded in 2014 and

AUGUST 2018


launched its service publicly in 2016, having since grown from 100mn to 500mn users. The company now employs 70 people and has enabled over 400mn transactions to date, boasting 1mn active subscribers per day. Juvo operates across 25 countries in North and South America, Europe and Asia, working with partners that include Sprint, Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom. “We give consumers the choice, effectively, of being a post-paid user vs a pre-paid user. We save people trips to the top-up station, which saves them time. I think every human being in the world understands the value of time,” Socrates explains.

From astrophysics to fintech Socrates trained as a theoretical astrophysicist but is now becoming more of a technologist. “My general approach to tackling quantitative problems remains strongly informed by my past life as an astrophysicist.” He moved further into the tech space in 2015 when he joined Juvo as Chief Data Scientist. “The field of data science was heating up, and it seemed like a promising place to explore and come up with interesting ideas. After speaking with founder Steve Polsky, I thought Juvo was the best idea I had ever heard, at least in Silicon Valley.” Socrates describes the move as a risk, since Juvo was then just a startup with 10 employees but adds that this was actually e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

51


TECHNOLOGY

a selling point. “I was driven by the idea itself, and the opportunity of being able to create something significant from scratch.” It is clear the data scientist strongly believes in Juvo’s central mission to develop financial service access to the 3bn people in the world who are underbanked. “The only way to accelerate the placement of those people into a modern financial system is by building a credit or financial knowledge base atop of, and across, multiple 52

operators. And that’s effectively what we’re doing.”

Data Science in finance In his role as Chief Data Scientist,

having people with some form of scientific experi-

Socrates has a wide scope of

ence of training – from either academia or a tech

responsibilities. “The term ‘data

company – gives an additional boost in capacity

scientist’ is a bit funny since there’s

in various areas of work and ideation.”

no science without data,” he muses.

Socrates adds that while many companies use

“Data Science means different

data science to support other departments

things at different companies.”

through creating algorithms, Juvo is different. “At

However, Socrates is keenly aware

Juvo, our Data Science function is a lot broader,

that the importance of data scientist

which is understandable given our mission. In

is becoming increasing recognised

addition to our core function, we do some

by many businesses, particularly at

engineering, product management, partnership

a time of rapid digitisation. “Every-

management and even sales and business

one seems to be discovering that

development,” he explains.

AUGUST 2018


“Juvo was founded with a big mission: to establish financial identities for the billions of people worldwide who are creditworthy, yet financially excluded” — Aristotle Socrates, Director of Data Science, Juvo

Mission possible?

the ability generate huge meaningful amounts of

In order to allow users to build up a

transaction data. However, they are limited in

financial identity via mobile, it has

their ability to act on it. This requires data science

been necessary to partner with

to play an organisational role that is relatively

some of the largest telecoms

expansive on the organisational spectrum.” Juvo

carriers in emerging markets. “Our

will further utilise these carriers to build on its

mission is to create a mechanism for

impressive number of subscribers for the future.

generating credit by establishing

“The path is, in my view, quite clear: integrate with

meaningful financial identities for

more mobile network providers!”

mobile phone users in the develop-

Juvo builds up its financial profiles by offering

ing world. That’s a big, difficult and

gradually larger loans. “It’s interesting to

broad problem. Our general line of

understand why mobile network operators don’t

attack is through carriers who have

do this in the same way we do – the simple

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53


TECHNOLOGY

answer is risk,” Socrates explains. “We end up taking a tremendous amount of risk on the path of building a credit history for users, at scale. All mobile operators offer small emergency loans, which might cover a single phone call for example, but at Juvo we offer a whole month’s worth of service per loan. Our Data Team was compelled to take this risk to help fulfil the vision and mission of our company: to build meaningful credit. “We really didn’t understand how radical our loan sizes were until well after we’d been offering them for many years,” Socrates admits. “We 54

figured out how to manage this risk after the fact. In the beginning, you’re just trying to make things work!” Juvo’s goal for the future is to expand its service to help financial service providers. “We want to create a financial platform that allows financial service providers to gain access to the transaction histories that we’re building on top of mobile network operators. As I see the problem, the reason the underbanked are underbanked is that in their locale, the data infrastructure required to connect transaction history to capital, is non-existent or seriously inadequate. Right now, we’re working towards constructing a platform that allows end-users and financial institutions to bridge that gap.”

AUGUST 2018


“We save people trips to the top-up station, which saves them time. I think every human being in the world understands the value of time” — Aristotle Socrates, Director of Data Science, Juvo

55

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CITY FOCUS

City Focus 58

Stockholm’s role as the tech centre of Scandinavia may be surprising, but what’s really astonishing is everything this Swedish city has to offer EDITED BY

AUGUST 2018

BEN MOUNCER


59

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CITY FOCUS | STOCKHOLM

L

60

ocated at the point where Lake Mälaren enters the Baltic Sea, Sweden’s capital boasts the

highest urban population in the Nordic countries at 2.3mn in the greater metropolitan area. Accounting for a third of the country’s GDP, Stockholm stretches over 14 islands, making it a great location for water-lovers everywhere. Sporting the second-highest number of tech startups in the world, the city has been recognised as one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in Europe. But that’s not all that the city has to offer its residents, both now and in the future. This leader in worldwide innovation has brought us new technology that is now everyday expectation, including the three-point seatbelt and the pacemaker. Over the last century, it has risen from being one of the world’s poorest countries to an innovative leader in the AUGUST 2018


61

worldwide tech market. Companies

Stockholm provides a wide range of

such as Volvo, IKEA and many more

beautiful areas for nature lovers.

were founded in and have called

Between public transportation,

Sweden home. Is it really so surpris-

train, air and water travel, residents

ing that the country has become

enjoy everything the surrounding area

a world leader?

has to offer without worrying about how to get home. Sweden’s subsi-

Life beyond the office

dised daycare, universal healthcare,

The absence of heavy industry makes

generous 480-day parental leave

the city one of the cleanest in the

policy, five weeks of paid vacation

world. With 30% of the city covered in

annually and limited 40-hour work-

waterways and another 30% dedi-

week means there’s plenty of time to

cated to parks and greenways,

enjoy the finer things in life. e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


CITY FOCUS | STOCKHOLM

62 Stockholm delivers a surprisingly mild climate for its high latitude location, which also provides 18 hours of nightlife in the winter and long, lazy days in the summer. Many major multi-nationals also call Stockholm home, including IBM Svenska, Ericsson and a number of other tech companies, proving that the city’s investment in the world’s longest fibre-optic network at 1.2mn km was a sound one. But don’t think that Stockholm is only a tech giant. As Sweden’s capital, it has a wide range of arts, culture, education, sports and much more. Whatever interests you may have, you’ll be able to find an outlet in this urban smorgasbord. AUGUST 2018


Business IBM SVENSKA Employing over 2,600 people in Stockholm alone, it can be difficult to imagine IBM, or International Business Machines, in the early computing years. In the 1960s, their 7090 mainframe was less than user-friendly, took up an entire room and had computing power far less than the average smartphone. By comparison, the IBM labs in Stockholm give us a glimpse into the not-sodistant future, where digitisation, analytics, automation and the Internet of Things reign supreme. e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

63


CITY FOCUS | STOCKHOLM

Business

64

ERICSSON

SPOTIFY

Based out of Stockholm, this network-

Originally founded to provide a free

ing and communications giant was

music streaming service, Spotify

estimated in 2012 to own 35% of the

quickly grew to rival Apple’s iTunes in

market share of the world’s 2G, 3G

terms of selling digital copies of songs,

and 4G infrastructure. Founded in

albums or user-generated playlists to

1876, the telecom has grown to employ

consumers. Supported by advertising,

over 100,000 people worldwide,

the company moved to its new base

including over an estimated 8,400

last December into Stockholm’s Urban

employees in its headquarters. It

Escape, a recently renovated city

holds over 42,000 patents, many of

block that includes offices, apartments,

which have come into play in wire-

restaurants and hotels. With its Octo-

less communication, disruption and

ber 2008 Series A fundraising round,

digitalisation, giving this company

the company raised $21.7mn, virtually

a strong hold on worldwide progress

nothing compared to last year’s rev-

and efficiency of business.

enues of over $5bn.

AUGUST 2018


SEB Among the big financial institutions in Stockholm is SEB, or Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB, which has helped the giant tech industry in the city to flourish. It was formed in 1972 at the merging of two smaller financial organisations in the interest of better servicing corporate clients. Expanding to serve as a universal bank serving all segments of the population, the company currently serves 3,000 corporate and institutional clients, over 400,000 SMEs and over four million individual customers. It has also launched a division focused on providing venture capital for tech companies, with a solid view that innovative thinking requires innovative funding.

‘Companies such as Volvo, IKEA and many more were founded in and have called Sweden home’

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65


CITY FOCUS | STOCKHOLM

Currency

Kroner 12.3mn Population

Nearest airport

40km

66

Stockholm Arlanda International Airport

AUGUST 2018


Stockholm’s business beat As one of the most innovative regions of the world, Stockholm has its share of unicorns, or startups that were founded after 2003 and have almost magically created over $1bn in value. With eager investors ready to put money on the next Apple, Microsoft or Ericsson, it’s easy to see why Stockholm led foreign investment in the EU, taking in 15% of total foreign investment in 2014 alone. It’s estimated that Stockholm hosts over 22,000 technical companies with over 18% of the city’s population keeping the digital machine moving. Compared to other EU countries, Sweden enjoys a relatively balanced budget, healthy low-level inflation and a relatively low national debt. This stability has allowed the country to grow into a technical incubator, with many initiatives to help bring entrepreneurs, IT professionals and investors together. Seed funds, technological infrastructure investment and social safety nets are only three of the many programmes Sweden has put in place to keep Stockholm’s place near the peak of the tech world secure. Add to that the general approach of fiscal conservatism in the country and it’s easy to see why Stockholm’s tech-industry edge will last for many years to come. e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


30+ SPEAKERS

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BENEDICTE CROSNIER Director Global Supply Chain Operations Alstom

ERNESTO SCHROEDER ROSAS Global Supply Chain Director Deoleo

IMAD MANZOOR Supply Chain Director Duracell UK & Ireland

KERSTIN GLINIORZ Vice President Supply Chain EMEAI Archer Daniels Midland Company

MARION MATTHEWMAN Head of Global Logistics Syngenta

DR OLIVER PHILIPP Director Supply Chain Strategy Panasonic Europe Ltd.

PHILIPPE LUSSERT Vice President Supply Chain, Danfoss RAC Danfoss

DR SANDRINE TORANDELL Supply Chain Director L’Oréal

VALERIO DAL MONTE Vice President Procurement & Supply Chain Alitalia


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T O P 10

70

AUGUST 2018


Top 10 CEOs inEurope EDITED BY

BEN MOUNCER

For this 2018 list of top European CEOs, we focus on the leaders at the helm of the biggest revenue-producing companies on the continent

e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

71


T O P 10

09

Oliver Bäte Allianz The world’s largest property and casualty insurer posted revenue of $122.2bn, with a corresponding 3.7% profit increase over 2016. CEO Oliver Bäte, 53, was educated in both Germany and the US and began his career with an American management con-

10 72

Jean-Laurent Bonnafé BNP Paribas

sulting firm in New York. He joined Allianz in 2008, serving in several capacities, including COO and CFO, prior to being named CEO in 2014. He led a management reorganisation

With a reported revenue of $109bn

the following year, and is reportedly

for 2017, this international banking

concerned about the ongoing health

company generated a 14.7% increase

of the global economy.

in profit over the previous year, even though revenue decreased by more than two percent. Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, 57, has served as CEO since December 2011. The bank’s assets earn it the rank of eighth largest in the world, and it has a presence in more than 75 countries. In 2016, he earned a reported salary of $4.5mn.

AUGUST 2018


07

Thomas Buberl Axa

French insurance firm AXA has a unique business structure, with a corporate CEO, currently German businessman Thomas Buberl, 45, who reports to the company’s board

08

Patrick Jean Pouyanné Total

of directors and works closely with a Management Committee and Partners Group to oversee operations of the giant, multi-national insurance company. He has held the position

Based on revenue of $127.93bn for the

since March 2016, following a com-

year, Total experienced profit growth

pany reorganisation that separated

of nearly 22% despite a 10.8% revenue

the functions of CEO and chairman.

drop. At the helm, Patrick Jean Pouy-

For 2017, AXA showed revenue of

anné, 55, is an advocate of long-term

$143.7bn, a growth of 11.2% over the

solutions and aggressive strategies

previous year. Operating profit was

to promote “reliable and affordable”

steady at 3.5%.

global energy and combat climate change. His career began with French government positions, but he joined the oil and gas industry in 1997, serving in various capacities with the petroleum company Elf, later absorbed by Total. He became CEO in 2014 and was named chairman of the board in December 2015.

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T O P 10

05

Dieter Zetsche Daimler AG Dieter Zetsche, at age 65, is the oldest chief executive among the top 10 European companies. Named CEO in 2006, his current contract runs until 2019. He is credited with bringing

06 74

John Philip Jacob Elkann

about major changes to MercedesBenz, as well as with the separation of Daimler and Chrysler in 2007. He also was listed as the second-highest paid employee at a German company in

Exor Group

2014, with income of more than

In spite of a colossal decrease in profits

enue of $169.5bn, and a profit of

of more than 21%, Exor group posted

almost one percent, after a 2015 loss

revenue of $154.9bn, up 1.5% over

of $3.6bn.

2016. Its workforce is the largest of the top 10 companies, and its holdings include real estate, automobiles and Juventus Football Club. The privatelyheld company’s current CEO, John Philip Jacob Elkann, 42, also chairs and controls Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and was the chosen heir to his industrialist grandfather Gianni Agnelli. In 2013, he was one of Fortune’s Most Influential managers under the age of 40.

AUGUST 2018

€14mn. In 2017, Daimler reported rev-


03

Robert Warren Dudley BP Ranking 12th on the Fortune 550, BP slipped from second place in 2005, with revenue of $186.61bn in 2017, a decrease of 17.4% from the previous year. Profit remained the same, how-

04

Ivan Glasenberg Swiss Glencore

ever, offering some positive signs for the future. American Robert Warren Dudley, 62, originally joined Amoco in 1979, remaining when BP acquired the company, and moving up through the

Sixty-one-year-old Ivan Glasenberg

ranks. He was responsible for Gulf of

presides over the troubled company,

Mexico clean-up efforts following the

which holds investments in agricultural

Deep Horizon spill and became chief

equipment and energy products as

executive of BP in 2010. Last year,

well as its mining and metals holdings.

following a shareholder revolt, it was

Its 2017 revenue of $173.9bn repre-

announced that his salary would be

sents a 2.2% increase over 2016, but

cut by $8mn.

with no uptick in profits there are continuing concerns about its future. Following huge losses in 2011 and the continued selling off of assets, the company’s value is lower by almost $100bn than it was in 2012. Glasenberg’s tenure has not been without some controversy, but he has served as CEO since 2002.

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T O P 10

76

02

Ben van Beurden Royal Dutch Shell

Ben van Beurden, 60, with a 30-year tenure at Shell, is a “heavyweight” in his field with extensive experience not only in oil and gas, but also chemicals. He has served in many roles and geographical locations for the company and was named CEO in 2014. Company revenue at $240.03bn was down by 11.8%, but profit was up an unbelievable 135.9%. The company attributed the gain to job and spending cuts, and the ability to adapt to lower oil prices. The CEO, however, reportedly earns a salary of more than €24mn.

AUGUST 2018


77

01

Herbert Diess Volkswagen

The iconic automobile company earned revenue of $240.4bn, with growth of just 1.5% and an unchanged profit margin. Volkswagen now ranks sixth on the Fortune 500. Herbert Diess was named as it CEO in April 2018 and expectation are that he will lead the company out of scandal and into emerging markets, such as electric and self-driving cars.

e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


ADDING VALUE OF DIVERSITY & INCLUSION IN SUPPLY CHAINS THE UK’S LARGEST SUPPLIER DIVERSITY CONFERENCE For over 10 years, MSDUK have been dedicated to improving diversity in entrepreneurship and driving inclusive procurement. We believe that supplier diversity is an economic and moral imperative. Innovation comes from a diversity of perspectives, so when we limit who can contribute, we in turn limit what problems we can solve. Diversity within supply chains can not only bring new ideas and solutions to any organisation, but it also brings competitiveness, and boosts market growth. Beyond these commercial benefits, there is the BIG social value supplier diversity brings - reducing socio-economic inequality and creating stronger, more stable communities. MSDUK welcomes a global audience to the 2018 Conference & Awards in Birmingham. The twoday event is a must-attend conference for Ethnic Minority Businesses (EMBs) and Corporations looking to drive inclusive procurement and connect with diverse like-minded businessmen and women. Join our conference of diverse entrepreneurs, supply chain leaders, thinkers and doers and realise the power of differences.

HIGHLIGHTS • Full Day Business Exhibition with break-out meet the buyer and silent workshops by industry experts. • Knowledge Forum with stimulating panel sessions, fire-side chat with inspiring entrepreneurs and interactive workshops around supplier diversity and business growth. • Eagerly awaited finale of MSDUK 2018 Innovation Challenge bringing 10 most innovative entrepreneurs pitching their ideas to investors and supply chain experts • Glittering Business Awards night celebrating supply chain diversity and best of ethnic minority businesses combined with food and entertainment from all across the world proactively look for ways to bring different voices to our team and into our decisions.

Join over 600 delegates from all across the world, including Chief Procurement Offices, senior sourcing professionals, global diversity and inclusion leaders, policy makers, academics and hundreds of inspiring, innovative and successful ethnic minority entrepreneurs!

FIND OUT MORE AND REGISTER AT CONFERENCE.MSDUK.ORG.UK

INNOVATION | KNOWLEDGE | PROCUREMENT | BENCHMARKING BIRMINGHAM 25-26 SEPTEMBER


80

Revamping government procurement practices at the City of London Corporation

AUGUST 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

81

WRIT TEN BY

L AUR A MULL AN PRODUCED BY

RICHARD DURR ANT

e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


C I T Y O F L O N D O N C O R P O R AT I O N

Nearing the end of its ambitious 2015-2018 procurement strategy, City of London Corporation is cutting through the noise with best in class procurement practices he City of London Corporation may be over 800 years old but it has developed an innovative procurement strategy that is firmly rooted in today’s business world. City Procurement plays a vital role in how the City of London Corporation buys and pays for the goods, works and services that it needs. Recognising this, it has embarked on an ambitious 2015-2018 procurement strategy and, with delivered efficiency savings of £23.4m since 2015 alone, it seems it has been a roaring success. Through this strategy, City Procurement has helped to close the organisation’s budget gap and protect frontline services, all whilst leaving a positive footprint in London communities and beyond.

T

82

AUGUST 2018

Around two years ago, Christopher Bell became the City of London Corporation’s first Commercial Director, signalling the changing requirements within procurement and commercial activities. Since then, he has been named CIPS procurement and supply chain management professional of the year, and his team has helped to generate over £23mn in savings for the organisation. “The award is in recognition of the hard work the whole team has put into this strategy with the support of the organisation to change things here at the City of London Corporation,” comments Bell. “Procurement, commercial activities and working in partnership with suppliers are fundamental to any business and I think it's fair to say that,


S U P P LY C H A I N

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Bloom: opening up procurement. Supporting transformation with professional services through NEPRO.

11% to 19%

As delivery partner for NEPRO, the neutral vendor approach to professional services since 2015, Bloom has created a community. It includes public sector buyers and high-quality suppliers to help the public sector achieve better outcomes from their professional services procurement. As a managed service provider, Bloom assures delivery and adds value as experts in professional services projects, delivering better outcomes much faster than traditional routes.

savings

4,000+

suppliers in a pre-accredited supplier community

City of London Corporation first came to us with a challenge; help transform their approach to professional services. Our first projects together centered on supporting ongoing evolution in business change and strategy necessary to deliver the organisation’s vision of a vibrant and thriving City, within a globally-successful UK. Bloom was able to assist by widening the potential pool of suppliers to bid and provided a single source of guidance and management information on spend. Bloom is working with around 200 public sector buying organisations and over 4,000 suppliers to achieve savings of between 11% and 19% on average. Traditional procurement routes can take as much as 100 days to get consultants on site, but Bloom can have consultants in place and ready to deliver in as little as a fifth of that. Recently, for a children and social care project for Cardiff Council, proposals were received from several suppliers and ready for review within just 10 days. Bloom supports public service delivery faster, reducing unnecessary costs and accelerating benefits for Contracting Authorities and payments to suppliers. Bloom has been asked to manage over 3,000 projects by around 200 organisations across the public sector and the 19 NEPRO categories. That’s more than triple the number 3 years ago, with in excess of £170M of professional services being successfully delivered.

100%

available accross the public sector

NEPRO, owned by NEPO, was designed to deliver an innovative alternative that remains OJEU compliant. Steven Sinclair, Head of Procurement for NEPO reinforces the success of the approach “We recognised Contracting Authorities wanted value for money and better control and transparency in the Specialist Professional Services category; NEPRO delivers all of this plus the peace of mind that the pre-vetted suppliers can be selected and utilized to support social value ambitions”. The Bloom supplier community provides access to unlimited choice; offering the latest innovations. Suppliers are carefully checked before being awarded accreditation, but the process is free and more efficient for suppliers than a traditional e-tender portal or lengthy and repeated PQQs. Suppliers are only charged when they have won and delivered work. they have won and delivered work through them.

020 3948 9400

hello@bloom.services


S U P P LY C H A I N

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in the last four years, there's been a growing appreciation of how important it is here at the City Corporation,” he adds. “We are now in a place where the organisation understands, respects and knows it is an important part of ensuring that we have the best suppliers and partners in place to deliver services to London.” The City of London Corporation is a unique body. It has responsibilities for delivering local authority services, such as social care, roads and highways and waste collection, but it also has a wider remit.

“We are here to support and promote London as one of the premier cities to do business in and be located in,” notes Bell. “We also have City Bridge Trust, our charitable arm which gives around £20m a year in grants to London’s charitable organisations. So, it’s like a three-in-one business whereby we're all aiming to benefit the people of London.” Through its ambitious strategy, the City Corporation has reiterated its goal to become a leader in innovative, sustainable and modern procurement practice in the public sector. But with such a far-reaching remit, this was, by e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


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no means, an easy task. “We had to learn to crawl before we learned to walk before we learned to run,” Bell reflects. “We had to get the basics right, grow the confidence of the organisation, and then very quickly start to grow our ability to become leading class in procurement.” City Procurement prioritised four strategic themes to deliver this strategy: operational excellence, value for money, corporate social responsibility, technology and innovation. Through its first cornerstone, the organisation zeroed in on operational efficiency by establishing procurement governance and clear processes, refreshing procurement regulation, training and developing staff and more. “I think to create the foundations of operational excellence you've got to start by establishing good governance,” Bell explains. “That begins by getting the leadership on board, so finding key stakeAUGUST 2018

“We are here to support and promote London as one of the premier cities to do business in and be located in” — Christopher Bell, Commercial Director


S U P P LY C H A I N

holders and having a mandate from the top of the business to support the transformation. “That meant a lot of stakeholder engagement, presenting at different committees and getting people to support the aims and understand the journey that we were going on. “We also established a procurement steering group, which meant that senior parts of the leadership were part of shaping that journey, supporting the messages and driving the change. “Additionally, we established seven category boards across the organisation to look at areas of the business that had the most spend and to bring together stakeholders from the business who had a commonality of spend,” he continues. “This allowed them to own and be a part of shaping the strategies. It allowed us to see how we could do things differently and really challenge the status quo. Those category boards were pretty much the e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

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S U P P LY C H A I N

engine rooms of the transformation.” On top of this, the organisation also introduced No Purchase Order (PO), No Pay, to allow for easy order tracking, timely supplier payments and increased visibility of spending. In fact, whilst the organisation used to have around 60% compliance with No PO No Pay, it now has around 97% compliance. Yet, of course, perhaps most importantly it is the people who contribute to operational excellence. As such, the City of London Corporation has made significant efforts to upskill and train its team. The body also underwent a complete restruc-

turing which ensured its team had a greater balance of skills and qualifications. “We significantly invested in training. So, when I first joined the organisation there were around three or four CIPS qualified employees – today there's around 17 with another five or six training,” said Bell. “On top of this, we also deveoped a soft skills programme called Impact and Influence, because not only do we need the core procurement skills, we also need people with right soft skills. “Procurement is about getting stakeholder buy-in, having people take risks, considering new ways of doing things, being able to negotiate and being able to deal with pushback. “So, we developed a course and that's really helped people become confident in how they deliver orally and in a written way, and we also went out to the market and tried to hire the best people which is not easy in a competitive marketplace.” e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

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The second pillar of the City Corporation’s procurement strategy – value for money – is an equally important one for the group. By introducing the City of London Corporation Savings and Efficiency handbook and setting ambitious targets, it has driven savings whilst continuing to deliver quality services to the community it serves. “To provide value for money we asked ourselves ‘could we do things differently? Can we find efficiencies and commonality in spend? Who should we be collaborating with?” Bell says. “We really challenged the accepted norm about how we procure goods and services.” Corporate social responsibility has, of course, been integral to City Procurement’s strategy and, as a result, the body has worked diligently to maximise the economic, social and environmental benefits from every pound that is spent. It has pledged to reduce CO2 emissions and waste and promote biodiversity and nature conservation. Additionally, it has also vowed to procure locally where possible, to engage with SME’s and social enterprises, deliver the real living wage and more. “Underpinning our strategy is a sense of corporate social responsibility which we have established as a ‘golden thread’ across AUGUST 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

“Underpinning our strategy is a sense of corporate social responsibility which we have established as a ‘golden thread’ across everything we do” — Christopher Bell, Commercial Director

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LAYING FOUNDATIONS FOR THE SMART CITIES OF THE FUTURE As an award-winning UK construction company, Gilbert-Ash is at the forefront of delivering innovative projects across the globe. With offices in London and Belfast, our work spans the UK skylines and beyond, with high profile projects in 43 countries worldwide; from Poland and Bahrain to China, Japan and Australia.

Regardless of sector; from arts and culture to workplace, hotels and leisure, science and technology, our unique combination of insight and intelligence, vision and talent is shaping the urban landscapes of the future. Smart Cities Require Smart People At Gilbert-Ash, a belief in the power of teamwork underpins everything that we do. Over 180 employees work in collaboration with us across our supply chain. We focus on collaborative working relationships with internal and external stakeholders, to create a working atmosphere with mutual respect for different disciplines and professions. Designing and Building the World’s Best Buildings Needs A Collaborative Approach At Gilbert-Ash we want to be a partner of choice. We recognise the value of building a strong diverse supply chain by working with like-minded companies. Our Supply Chain Charter clearly sets out what we expect from our supply chain members, and in turn what our supply chain members can expect from us, thereby helping to build mutually beneficial relationships and enable true collaboration across our entire project teams.

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Follow Us:


S U P P LY C H A I N

everything we do,” Bell says. “There were clear ambitions in the corporation about certain strands of responsible procurement, but we wanted to build that all together and have a focus on social value, environmental wellbeing and ethical sourcing in everything that we do.” Technological innovation has taken the procurement discipline to new heights and, not one to be left behind, City Procurement has made it the fourth and final pillar of its strategy. Enhancing efficiency across its sourcing, City Procurement has implemented e-procurement, e-invoicing, purchasing cards and accounts payable forensics to

work in a more innovative way. “We introduced more and more innovation and technology and this was growing in line with the maturity of our procurement function. For example, we worked with Lloyd’s Bank to bring in purchasing cards which helped to drive better process efficiency and value for money. “We also worked with Bravo Solutions and Basware to introduce an e-tendering solution and create an e-catalogue and e-invoicing regime which have been great partnerships.” A strong procurement team is nothing without sincere relationships with suppliers and partners alike. At the City of London Corporation, Bell says that its strong reputation and eye for continuous improvement has helped its procurement function grow. “I think suppliers just like to be told and be advised what we're trying to achieve. We had a supplier day two weeks ago e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

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where we had 150 suppliers turn up for our major works contract, which is not out in the market as yet. That would have just been unheard of four years ago,” notes Bell. “We are seen as a prestigious organisation. We are fair to suppliers, supplying them with the right information to tell them what we’re trying to achieve and that’s been key. We have also partnered with other organisations who are perhaps stronger in more specialist areas to bring in new knowledge and expertise. “During my time at the City Corporation, one of the more specialist, challenging and iconic projects has been the building of a new swimming pool at our Freeman’s School,” adds Bell. “Finding a construction delivery partner with the correct experience and willingness to work in a live school environment was key. Gilbert Ash proved to be this and more, delivering an outstanding facility that has been a worthy winner at design awards across the country recently. “Our organisation has a wide and varied range of services it provides. In an ever-changing environment with a need to transform, having access to consultants in a competitive arena is key. Partnering with companies such as Bloom offered us an advantage.” AUGUST 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

BIO

Christopher Bell, Commercial Director Bell has over 20 years’ experience in leading procurement and commercial functions specialising in business transformation, outsourcing and category management development. Currently, he is the first ever Commercial Director in the unique surroundings of the City of London Corporation, existing for over 800 years with responsibility for the Square Mile and the City of London Police, the Barbican Centre, Tower Bridge and Hampstead Heath. Bell leads a 60-person strong department with responsibility for Category Management, Procurement Operations, Policy and Compliance, Accounts Payable, Contract Management, Commercialism and Responsible Procurement. This follows on from positions held at Accenture, London 2012, BiP Solutions and a range of Local Government positions in Scotland. Bell is very much a results-driven leadership professional that leads from the front, he sees people as they key component of any successful operation and is a firm sponsor of mentoring, personal development and apprenticeships. The transformation of City Procurement has seen him being named as the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) Management Professional of the year 2016.

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C I T Y O F L O N D O N C O R P O R AT I O N

FACT

The City of London Freemen’s School Swimming pool The City of London Freemen’s School Swimming pool, won three major design awards last night at the RIBA South Eastern awards ceremony held in Brooklands, Surrey. The Pool was shortlisted at the beginning of the year and was competing against 14 other nominated buildings.

Design team consisted of: 96

Architect Hawkins/Brown Structural Engineers Eckersley O’Callaghan M&E Engineers Skelly & Couch Contractor Gilbert Ash The three category wins were: RIBA – Building Award Winner RIBA – Sustainability Award and the school was awarded RIBA – Client of the Year

AUGUST 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

With cost savings in the millions, Bell says his team can be very proud of the transformation at the City of London Corporation. Today, the organisation has a robust procure to pay (P2P) service, one which has been recognised by both the leadership and external bodies alike. “We are responsible for the full P2P cycle so we own the whole relationship from end to end,” explains Bell. “That gives us a unique position to manage, change and shape ourselves so that we can continuously improve. “I think it's fair to say that what was a really tough challenge has snowballed into a really successful fast-paced transformation. It has even surprised me at times, how well we've progressed and how far we have come in such a short space of time. “This could only be done with the right people and the right skills that we have brought in to the organisation,” he adds. “We have a very hard working committed professional workforce and that's the game changer because that's the bit that you can't guarantee. We're fortunate that we've built an exceptional team here.”

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MIDDLE EAST BROADCASTING GROUP (MBC)

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Procurement excellence for the small screen WRIT TEN BY

JA MES HENDERSON PRODUCED BY

HEYKEL OUNI

AUGUST 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

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e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


MIDDLE EAST BROADCASTING GROUP (MBC)

MBC’s procurement division is driving real value for the flourishing Middle Eastern broadcaster

A 100

s the first broadcaster

the last decade. When Lorraine Black joined MBC in 2007 – as the company’s new Head of Procurement, she helped build a team numbering just four which was very transactional in its nature.

to provide a satellitebased free-to-air

Changing perceptions

24-hour television network

“There were no specific pro-

across the Arab world, The Mid-

cesses, it was a basic operation,”

dle East Broadcasting Center

says Black, who led and man-

(MBC) holds a unique place in the

aged the process of CIPS

region’s “Media & Entertainment”

Organisational Certification,

industry. Established in 1991,

which resulted in MBC being the

MBC now offers 16 channels,

first company in Dubai, UAE to

broadcasting a varied line-up of

achieve CIPS certification of

programs and series, including

excellence of its purchasing poli-

flagship shows such as: ‘Arab

cies and procedures in 2008 (a

Idol’, ‘Arabs Got Talent’, ‘theVoice’,

number of MBC’s team are work-

‘theVoice Kids’, and ‘Project Run-

ing on achieving their CIPs

way ME’… among many others.

certifications currently).

MBC is a premium content-

An analysis of the department

centric, audience-focused

was undertaken to understand

company whose success has

the skills of the existing staff and

been underpinned by a procure-

pinpoint gaps that needed to be

ment team that is setting new

filled to create an effective and

standards in the MENA region -

valuable procurement function

thus proving itself to be of real

for the business. An enterprise

added-value to the business, over

resource system (ERP) was

AUGUST 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

“The main challenges we faced was shifting the mind-set of our key stakeholders. Now, we work closely with all of our stakeholders, understanding the business and demonstrating where we add value” — Lorraine Black, Head of Procurement, MBC Group

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e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


S U P P LY C H A I N

implemented, processes and procedures introduced, and skills added, gradually building a well-rounded team. As all procurement professionals know, the support of key stakeholders in the business – especially in the C-Suite – is vitally important, and Black says MBC is no different. “The main challenges we faced was shifting the mind-set of our key stakeholders. Now, we work closely with all of our stakeholders, understanding the business and demonstrating where we add value. “We also got support from MBC CEO office which made it a lot easier to drive our ideas forward and get buy-in from the company’s senior management. That’s been really important in working with various departments in a collaborative way, rather than as a standalone function. After we showed that we can add value and leverage our relationships with suppliers, the decision was taken that departments would stop getting quotations

“Our revenue is largely derived from advertising, and as we have little direct control over regional ad market fluctuations, it is critical to keep our costs under control. That makes Procurement strategic to our long-term profitability and success. Their support has been essential to our migration from in-house systems to outsourced cloud services as part of our digital transformation efforts” — Joe Igoe, Group Director of Operations, MBC Group

without the support and involvement of the procurement team. This has been a real positive shift,” Black concluded. But don’t just take the procurement team’s word for it; Joe Igoe – Group Director of Operations, comments: “Our revenue is largely derived from advertising, and as we have little direct control over regional ad market fluctuae u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


MIDDLE EAST BROADCASTING GROUP (MBC)

SERVICES

THE TECHNOLOGY DRIVING A PROCUREMENT TRANSFORMATION AT MBC

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Business Intelligence Reports Business Intelligence reports have been the ERP solution to monitor spend managed through Procurement. The various dashboards are utilised for monitoring the compliance, category and contractual spend, procurement KPIs, procure-to-pay cycle, and supplier delivery performance. This data analysis has been utilised by the procurement team for further discussions on process improvements/potential opportunities for savings and value addition. E-Procurement The procurement team rolled out the E-Tendering system to modernise the procurement strategic sourcing activities. The use of this system has given a 360-degree view of the complete tendering process to all engaged parties. Automating the system which provides quick comparison tools and reduces the scope for human AUGUST 2018

errors has helped create a more efficient sourcing platform with reduced human effort. Contract Management System Effectively managing and monitoring the financial and operational performance is critical to every organisation. Bearing this underlying factor in mind, the manual contract administrative and management process was assessed and an in-house Contract Management System was customised and developed to meet our requirements. This system has been effective and efficient in: Automating and accelerating the contract administration and management; managing all procurement contracts and related milestones; Strengthening governance/compliance; stakeholder engagement and collaboration; better visibility through reports; and complete transparency of contract process.


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e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


S U P P LY C H A I N

Click to watch: Middle East Broadcasting video: Studio City 107

tions, it is critical to keep our costs

and drive forward efforts to grow the

under control. That makes Procure-

business sustainably. These included:

ment strategic to our long-term

spend analysis across the group,

profitability and success. Their support

encompassing various categories, sup-

has been essential to our migration

plier segmentation using the Krajlic

from in-house systems to outsourced

Model, assessment of procurement

cloud services as part of our digital

technologies and the alignment of

transformation efforts.�

MBC’s corporate and business strategy with that of the procurement depart-

Driving growth As part of its effort to shift attitudes

ment. On the benefits of the thorough

about the role of procurement, the team

research and planning that has been

at MBC carried out detailed analysis of

undertaken, Black comments: “With the

key strategic activities to understand

development of the procurement teche u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


MIDDLE EAST BROADCASTING GROUP (MBC)

“A s a team we were at the centre of a lot of conflict resolution, so we had to be skilled at providing solutions for the site. It took all of our expertise to make the project a cohesive one, pulling everybody together, making sure that all of the elements and all of the pieces of the puzzle actually fell down at the right time, in the right location”

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— Durdana Farid, Procurement Manager at MBC Group

AUGUST 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

nologies, we have been able to cater for

notably MBC’s $20mn facility in Dubai’s

the growing needs of business and ena-

Studio City district.

bling the shift from the cost only to the cost-plus-value model.

Completed in May 2017, the state-ofthe-art studios used for programming

“Efficient use of technology through

for MBC’s satellite network, primarily

effective collaboration with stakehold-

MBC1 and MBC3, and online portals,

ers has been leveraged for operational

complement its headquarters in Dubai

excellence and alignment of strategies,

Media City. At least seven shows are

while collaborative negotiation plans

produced at the studios, which the com-

have brought the best of industry knowl-

pany says are key to being able to

edge and commercial leverage on the

attract top talent, the right expertise,

table enabling multitude of benefits in

and bright, creative minds of the various

securing interruptive value propositions.

disciplines that are related to the crea-

“In addition, supplier value management is imperative to the success of

tive and production fields. The nature of TV schedules meant

procurement. So, a 360 degree view of

that the deadline was tight, with a pleth-

supplier positioning and business per-

ora of stakeholders to manage. In the

spective has been used to align our

absence of a contracting consultant,

critical suppliers with business strategy

the procurement team worked to

and growth.”

ensure all the elements that were needed to being the project in on time

Building the future

were in place.

With the company fully bought in to the

“A lot of the detail on a project like this

value offered by a skilled and dynamic

are small, but really important to its suc-

procurement function, the team has

cess,” says Durdana Farid, Procurement

grown, and now numbers 26 profes-

Manager at MBC. “The timeline was

sionals across MBC offices.

very demanding, and to hit our tight

As well as the best-and-braces work

deadline we had to ensure we were

the department oversees, it has proven

accurate with all of the detail, such as

invaluable on some major projects,

ensuring all elements of the project e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

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S U P P LY C H A I N

were compliant to their timelines, from authority approvals to contractors meeting their milestones, to the equipment being delivered on the right time and all the way down to the carpet and furniture for the studios. The deadline – four months, to be exact – meant that the procurement team had to be a highly effective conduit to bring together all stakeholders working on the project. “There was a lot of back and forth; and a lot of input from the procurement department,” Farid continues. “As a team we were at the centre of a lot of conflict resolution, so we had to be skilled at providing solutions for the site.

111

It took all of our expertise to make the project a cohesive one, pulling everybody together, making sure that all of the elements and all of

costs and hit the budget target.

the pieces of the puzzle actually fell down at

We spoke to hundreds of parties,

the right time, in the right location.”

leveraging the relationships we

The procurement department’s established

have built over the years, both

relationships with suppliers that have been

within the company and with

developed and nourished over the years were

external partners, and were able

critical to the project’s overall success.

to bring them together to agree

“The budgets were very tight, with minimum contingency,” says Farid. “So, despite

on really important issues for the good of the project.”

of the fact that we had contracted system integrator and contractors, we went to each

Procurement never sleeps

manufacturer, we have built relationships

The business of round-the-clock

with and negotiated with them directly,

television means MBC’s pro-

which helped the contractor bring down

curement team is not perhaps e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


MIDDLE EAST BROADCASTING GROUP (MBC)

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“We’re not working in a manufacturing plant, or for a bank; we’re working in a fast-paced and competitive creative industry. It means we have to be really dynamic, versatil and slick at what we do” — Lorraine Black, Head of Procurement, MBC Group e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


MIDDLE EAST BROADCASTING GROUP (MBC)

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S U P P LY C H A I N

have our budgets and ensuring we’re onboarding the correct partners and suppliers, and we also know that we have a duty to make sure the end product is a

1991

Year founded

1,800 Approximate number of employees

high-quality one.” Again, says Farid, the work that the procurement team has put in over the years to build relationships is paying dividends. “We often work in a live environment, so we need people who we can call in to come in and fix an issue at 2am, or ensure a delivery is made in the middle of the night. We need to have that flexibility and

typical of those working in other industries. As Black puts it: “We’re not working in

that’s when we need something to be free of charge or if some-

a manufacturing plant, or for a bank; we’re

thing goes wrong and we need a

working in a fast-paced and competitive crea-

new camera, so it’s important our

tive industry. It means we have to be really

suppliers understand our needs.

dynamic, versatile and slick at what we do.

“We cannot have suppliers that

“Procurement in this region can often be

we don’t have that kind of relation-

very fast, transactional and functional, so it’s

ship with, because the outcome

often about pricing structures and cutting

or the effect that it could have on

costs. But, we work in an environment where

one of our shows on the commer-

the content and quality that we put on-screen

cial impact it could have could

has to be good. The production values on

be huge. So, we ought to be very

shows such as Arab Idol, The Voice and Top

careful when we deal with our

Chef have to be first-class, so on one hand we

suppliers, that we are getting e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

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MIDDLE EAST BROADCASTING GROUP (MBC)

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“M BC procurement team has not only saved us a lot of money in a challenging market, but has helped us get closer to our most important suppliers and partners, at a time of major industry changes” — Sam Barnett, CEO, MBC Group

AUGUST 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

suppliers who actually under-

want to continue to add real

stand our business and what

value,” she says.

our requirements are.”

“Even with the big produc-

The efforts have been recog-

tions, we need the buyer there

nised across the company, right

so they understand any prob-

to the very top, says MBC’s CEO,

lems and are able to resolve

Sam Barnett, who comments:

issues. That relationship with

“Our procurement team has not

the supplier on the ground is

only saved us a lot of money in

really key.

a challenging market, but has

“As a department, our people

helped us get closer to our

have to be versatile and have

most important suppliers and

really good communication

partners, at a time of major

skills. We can teach buying

industry changes.”

skills and negotiation, but the ability to adapt to situations

Buying power

and communicate effectively is

In a bid to improve the procure-

what we want.

ment function yet further, Black

It is a strategy that appears to

says MBC is changing the behav-

be paying dividends, says Farid:

iour of its buyers to ensure they

“I deal with a lot of suppliers and

are recognised as influencers

one constant feedback that we

within the business. The days of

always receive is that MBC pro-

buyers sitting at their desks,

curement is one of the most

removed from stakeholders, are

engaged procurement depart-

gone – it’s all about engagement

ments in the industry.”

and interaction. “We need our buyers to be on the ground and understand the dynamics of the business if we

e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

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DIGITAL BETTING’S FRONT RUNNER In order to remain competitive, Paddy Power Betfair has looked at the needs of its customers and fully digitised its service offering. Cathal Sheridan, Technology Director, tells us more WRITTEN BY

CATHERINE STURMAN PRODUCED BY

JAMES PEPPER

AUGUST 2018


TECHNOLOGY

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H

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eadquartered in Dublin,

“Accelerating innovation around

Ireland, bookmaker

customer application development

Paddy Power Betfair

has become a focus. We work to

(PPB) has come a long way in the

constantly shorten the ideation-to-

short time since its formation

production cycle using agile,

through the merger of rivals Paddy

continuous delivery and infrastruc-

Power and Betfair in 2015. Both

ture automation. In parallel,

organisations came from humble

improving pricing for customers

origins taking a journey that has

requires running increasingly

completely digitised the customer

complex mathematical models on

experience, opened new markets

progressively more sophisticated

and developed new tools to drive

infrastructure. We have witnessed

innovation to further attract and

significant investment and

retain its growing customer base.

advancement in these areas in

Technology has been critical to the growth of PPB, as the global online betting market has risen from

recent years,” explains Technology Director, Cathal Sheridan. “Infrastructure is at the heart of

$20bn in 2009 to over $40bn in

this. For example, within a pricing

2016. PPB has put an emphasis on

model a Monte Carlo analysis can

offering the best features in

consume vast arrays of hardware

responsive applications coupled

with huge fluctuating capacity

with powerful and keen pricing

demands in low latency environ-

models that offer greater value to

ments. Similarly, developing

customers. Digitisation has also

analytics engines to understand

enabled the business to offer the

customer preferences requires

right products for customers at

significant processing power and

optimal times, harnessing sophisti-

large data stores.”

cated analytics whilst developing

The PPB Infrastructure team has

an exceptional digital infrastructure

set about achieving a No/Low-Ops

along the way.

environment for its software

AUGUST 2018


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When Paddy Power Betfair needed to replace its datacenter platform, the company turned to long-term partner, Computacenter, to design and deploy a private cloud solution featuring software-designed networking.

“We’ve established a datacenter platform that will provide the foundations we need going forward as our company continues to flourish.” Thanks to Computacenter’s vendor relationships and expert advice on the SDN element, a proof-of-concept environment was established in just six weeks. The new flexible and scalable platform now allows Paddy Power Betfair to develop, test and launch new egaming products faster. The company has seen a reduction in cost, maximised use of resources and improved productivity within its IT teams; resulting in a better customer experience and greater competitive advantage. If you would like to learn more about how Computacenter can help power your digital transformation, IT modernisation, scalability and growth whilst controlling costs, then contact michelle.roberts@computacenter.com. In the eGaming industry and want to learn how Computacenter and some of the leading vendors can accelerate your cloud adoption whilst securing your systems and information? Join us at our Annual eGaming Technology Seminar on 19th September 2018.

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PA D D Y P O W E R B E T F A I R

“DEVELOPING DEEPER ANALYTICS ENGINES TO UNDERSTAND CUSTOMER PREFERENCES REQUIRES PROCESSING POWER AND LARGE DATA STORES. TECHNOLOGY IS AT THE HEART OF ALL OF THIS” — Cathal Sheridan, Technology Director

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deployments, but also powerful A/B testing features to allow delivery teams to trial the effectiveness of new customer features,” says Sheridan. “Creating the pipeline technology has been a joint project between infrastructure and delivery teams, resulting in the ability to make thousands of deployments weekly. “Both Paddy Power and Betfair had very strong technology assets to draw on. Betfair had put a greater focus on owning the software that encapsulates differentiating product IP, crucial to creating

delivery teams by removing itself as a

market-winning customer experi-

dependency in the code-to-deployment

ences. While Paddy Power had a

process. To do this the team created its

particular strength in infrastructure

new infrastructure stack, i2 (Infrastructure

resilience and scaling.

v2), encompassing a private software

“Interestingly at the time of the

defined datacenter (SDDC) and a fully

merger we discovered that both

automated continuous integration/

teams had highly aligned views on

deployment (CI/CD) pipeline. This has

the future of CI/CD and the

given software delivery teams the ability to

importance of delivery pipelines for

independently deploy their applications

iterative product development and

using the i2 pipeline to acquire compute,

rapid delivery,” he continues.

storage, and network resources, independent of PPB’s infrastructure team. “The pipeline had to be flexible, not only offering rolling updates and blue-green AUGUST 2018

“Right from the start we had common ground making it relatively straightforward to choose the strongest design thinking from each


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“BOTH PADDY POWER AND BETFAIR HAD VERY STRONG TECHNOLOGY ASSETS TO DRAW ON, SO WE BUILT OUR NEW STACK ‘I2’ ON THE BEST OF BOTH” — Cathal Sheridan, Technology Director

organisation and create the optimum

‘heritage’ stacks in favour of its new i2

private cloud and CD pipeline configu-

architecture, PPB has on-boarded

ration.”

almost all of its service catalogue to

From there, the full design of i2 was

the new infrastructure to provide

established and PPB set about

the benefits of the ‘software

creating a global platform capable of

defined everything’ environment

serving multiple products to millions of

as early as possible.

customers across its many brands and

“This was about enabling innovation

geographies. This became a funda-

by expediting the product and feature

mental integration work stream within

delivery process. We knew this would

the newly merged entity.

also have a positive impact on our

By rapidly decommissioning its AUGUST 2018

ability to resolve service issues through


TECHNOLOGY

127

immutable software and virtualized hardware. On top of that, the new platform brought us to higher levels of resilience,� notes Sheridan. BUILDING RESILIENCE Whilst the company continues to make serious inroads into the public cloud, using it extensively for its corporate systems, the retail technology estate, and a growing portion of its online customer e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


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TECHNOLOGY

Click to watch: ‘Paddy Power Betfair Standing Out’ 129

workloads, PPB continues to invest in the i2 private cloud for strategic and regulatory reasons. The i2 private cloud harnesses the open-source OpenStack platform to better serve its developer community. All i2 infrastructure elements are now virtualised guaranteeing complete autonomy in the provision of infrastructure for delivery teams. “We chose OpenStack to create

“OPENSTACK GAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO JOIN A THRIVING COMMUNITY BUILDING A GREAT SDDC PLATFORM BACKED BY SERIOUS INDUSTRY CONTRIBUTORS” — Cathal Sheridan, Technology Director

self-service infrastructure provisioning. We leveraged its e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


PA D D Y P O W E R B E T F A I R

FACTS

Merging with rival Betfair in 2015, Paddy Power Betfair has completely digitised the customer experience

well-designed infrastructure

The global, online betting market has risen from $20bn in 2009 to over $40bn in 2016.

translated this into faster release

PPB has sought to develop powerful predictive models to price more keenly and offer greater value to customers.

130

PPB’s new infrastructure stack, ‘i2,’ encompasses a private software defined data centre (SDDC) and a fully scripted continuous integration/continuous (CI/CD) pipeline PPB has sought to serve millions of customers across multiple brands, geographies and products through its transformation. By rapidly decommissioning its ‘heritage’ stacks, PPB has on-boarded its entire service catalogue, providing benefits across its ‘software defined everything’ environment.

abstraction layer to create the i2 CD pipeline and our developers directly cycles,” explains Sheridan. “At the same time, OpenStack gave the Infrastructure team real choice around vendor selection for both technology and services based on its open source credentials. This allowed us to join a thriving community building a great SDDC platform backed by serious industry contributors. “We were able to cherry-pick from a wide selection of vendors to build multiple service level options into the stack. For example, we reviewed a range of storage platforms and included a number of offerings with the majority of the developers choosing NetApp for applications with high I/O workloads,” he continues. “OpenStack has proven to be both stable and performant and allowed us to push on with other elements of our integration work without having to revisit these fundamental requirements.”

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“WE DEPLOYED PURE STORAGE AS THE LOW LATENCY PERFORMANT STORAGE PLATFORM FOR NICHE APPLICATIONS, WHILE WE USE NETAPP FOR LARGE HIGH I/O WORKLOADS” — Cathal Sheridan, Technology Director

AUGUST 2018

By partnering with international technology company Computacenter, PPB was able to move ahead quickly with its technology transformation leveraging the Computacenter expertise in Infrastructure design and implementation. “Our challenge was to build a new stack and migrate more than 5 million customers to it from an incumbent architecture built up over a decade – all within two years,” observes Sheridan. “PPB is a FTSE 100 company with a great reputation for technology, there


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PA D D Y P O W E R B E T F A I R

This enabled it to embrace the Component Ownership model which flourished to deliver a more reliable overall technology estate. It is now setting its sights firmly on a

Click to watch: ‘A normal day at Blip’

Low/No-Ops model, whereby all infrastructure is available at the highest possible level of abstraction. Consequently development teams

was really no room for error. Having a partner like

are now spending less time on

Computacenter definitely lightens the load.

infrastructure scripting and more on

“Choosing the right partners is important. In addition to bringing Computacenter onboard, we 134

innovating and solving for customers. “From a customer outcome

also made an early call to build i2 on the Red Hat

perspective this is a far more

OpenStack distribution. Red Hat gave us access

productive use of our developers’

to a level of expertise and support that translated

time, especially as we can now auto-

into delivering a more robust infrastructure in a shorter timeframe. “The cross-vendor support model we have created around OpenStack has allowed us to rapidly problem-solve and determine root cause as we worked through transformation issues. We achieved this without any material service interruption to our business. DEVOPS TO NOOPS PPB was an early convert to DevOps and had integrated infrastructure engineers within delivery teams to reduce handovers and dependencies between engineering functions. AUGUST 2018


TECHNOLOGY

135

mate much of how the infrastructure handles resilience,� says Sheridan. “We faced a collective technology challenge while moving away from DevOps teams having direct access to hardware, to instead using the i2 pipeline as the gateway to the infrastructure. This involved huge collaboration across the entire technology team but the advantages of standardised access to infrastructure was clear to all. Migrating its software onto the new i2 stack therefore involved significant testing, e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


PA D D Y P O W E R B E T F A I R

verification and collaboration. This is, of course, on top of complexities resulting from the unveiling of the annual sporting calendar and the subsequent change-vigilance periods this imposes on the business. “We had to paint the aircraft while we were still in the air. We had to flex, scale, and provide resilience within a platform we were actively building while simultaneously delivering capacity to meet fluctuating customer demand” 136

depicts Sheridan. “There were also significant technical challenges along the way as the target stack was made up of a component/vendor configuration that was new at the time. We set aside considerable resources to thoroughly stress test the infrastructure at key points in the build. We relied on the fact that the OpenStack community had done a great job defining the roles that compliant components must adhere to. We benefitted directly from this but also contributed back the community”.

AUGUST 2018


FACTS

Its European customer base has been found to value speed and ease of use above all else PBB has strived to launch products which fit neatly with its customers lifestyles, marrying its online and retail offerings to guarantee an exceptional experience across all touch points. Providing the best prices, the widest possible market choice and a continuous stream of new features has been fully underpinned by the use of data analytics, machine learning and automation.

e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

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PA D D Y P O W E R B E T F A I R

“THE I2 NETWORK IS BASED ON NUAGE NETWORKS’ SDN AND SD-WAN TECHNOLOGY THAT ALLOW DEVELOPER VIRTUAL NETWORKS AND SCALE THEM IN AN ONDEMAND MANNER” — Cathal Sheridan, Technology Director

138

CUSTOMER FOCUSED

concerns the value customers place on

From its high level corporate

application speed and ease of use, as well as

mission to its individual brand goals

launching products that fit neatly with customer

and developed features, PPB

lifestyles. PPB is also working hard to further mar-

adopts a customer-first approach.

ry its online and retail offerings to guarantee an

As all objectives are linked to KPIs

exceptional and consistent experience across all

based on measurable customer

touch points. Providing the widest possible

benefits, a huge aligning effect has

market choice and a continuous stream of new

been created across the entire

features has been fully underpinned by the use of

organisation and driven a common

data analytics, automation, and modern

language across disciplines. This

infrastructure.

has made communicating ideas

Its product performance in terms of customer

faster and driven further innovation.

journey efficiency, page load times, transaction

Much of this innovation work AUGUST 2018

times etc., are all actively monitored. The


139

company not only collects

teams and (b) the manner in which the i2

quantitative and qualitative

network architecture (leaf-spine) allows us

feedback from customer groups,

to deploy new and immediately-addressa-

but also runs regular user experi-

ble physical hardware.

ence lab sessions with customers

OpenStack’s flexibility is foundational to

to find product enhancements

i2 and PPB has maximised its use of this by

around usability, speed and

working with vendors that embrace the

personalisation.

elasticity of the environment. For example,

“Many of these activities require

the i2 network is based on Nuage

ever more compute cycles that rely

Networks’ SDN technology. This allows

on the ability of i2 to scale-out

developers to create virtual networks and

seamlessly based on (a) Open-

scale them in an on-demand manner. This

Stack’s capacity to easily deliver

type of flexibility was simply unavailable

more virtual infrastructure to our

just a few years ago. e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


PA D D Y P O W E R B E T F A I R

ONGOING GROWTH Long-term, from a high level digital perspective, PPB will continue to look at its overall operating model to further strengthen its ties between its commercial, product, and technology teams. “We never stop trying to find better ways to run our business. We rely on our capacity to evaluate and consume the latest generation of technology to differentiate and solve issues, including the scale 140

challenge we expect as our customer base moves through another major growth phase,” reflects Sheridan. At a corporate level, the business is also set to further expand its reach in the US sports betting market. Its recent long-term agreements with Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey and Tioga Downs in New York will see it offer a full suite of cutting-edge products, compete with US competitors and provide a world-class customer experience. “Technology continues to play a significant role in our growth story AUGUST 2018

“PPB IS WORKING HARD TO FURTHER MARRY ITS ONLINE AND RETAIL OFFERINGS TO GUARANTEE AN EXCEPTIONAL AND CONSISTENT EXPERIENCE ACROSS ALL TOUCH POINTS” — Cathal Sheridan, Technology Director


TECHNOLOGY

and we constantly deploy new tools, such as data streaming, public cloud, AI and machine learning to drive this. From an infrastructure perspective, we have also put a real focus on Kubernetes and containers as a hosting platform and will likely see much of our customer-facing workloads move on to this technology through 2018/19 using the i2 pipeline capabilities” adds Sheridan. By investing in building multi-skilled teams and continuous learning, PPB has fully embraced constant change to remain a key player by empowering its people. The company remains a formidable competitor in a thriving industry. “We work in a large complex organisation but one that, importantly, has held tight to its entrepreneurial roots where ideas come from anywhere and your personal impact on the bottom line is always visible,” concludes Sheridan. “Our teams solve new problems every day. The pace we operate means we can see the results of our efforts very quickly. That’s what makes it a really great place to work.”

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� LU D R . O Z A N K Ö S E OG

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Cons

t

AUGUST 2018


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structing

the airports of tomorrow’s world DALE BENTON LEWIS VAUGHAN

WRITTEN BY PRODUCED BY

e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


� LU D R . O Z A N K Ö S E OG

What will the airport industry of tomorrow look like? Dr. Ozan Köseoğlu, a CTO operating in the industry, talks about navigating the increasing complexity of airport construction onstruction projects are often complex ecosystems, with layer upon layer of stakeholder. From the contractors on the ground, the construction managers right through to the executive teams, each party has a key role in the development of any project. But one particular stakeholder is proving more and more integral to the successful delivery of any construction and that is the customer and end user.

C

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AUGUST 2018

When the project in question is the construction of a technologically advanced airport, created to host an annual passenger capacity of more than 200mn, the complexity of that ecosystem only intensifies. “Airports are very complex infrastructures, far more complex than the building of any other infrastructure project,” says Dr. Ozan Köseoğlu, Chief Technical Officer in the construction industry.


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“It’s a massive building, utilising large scale technologies and a hugely complex ecosystem. So, the best way of managing that is to understand how the whole place and the whole ecosystem is going to work together, and then you can bind them together.” Köseoğlu has built an entire career around construction, construction managmeent and technology and engineering projects. Over the course of his career, he has worked on major airport projects in the United Kingdom and the Middle East and it is this experience that he feels grants him a unique understanding as to how the construction of airports is continuously evolving. “The construction of a major project like an airport requires much more management. I’d manage the whole design engineering construction and day-to-day operations,” he says, “as well as communicating and collaborating with the individuals involved and the digital platforms implemented to bring together that whole infrastructure ecosystem. “It’s certainly going to be a new way of managing the whole lifecycle of construction with stakeholders.” AUGUST 2018

The lifecycle of construction, and the collaboration between the various different stakeholders is becoming increasingly defined by technology and innovative tools in order successfully deliver a project in the most efficient way possible. Köseoğlu believes that this changing landscape of airport construction and technology can be broken down into two parts – the project phase and the operation phase. Throughout the project phase, technology has seen the time and cost of a project come under greater scrutiny. An airport by its very nature creates a more demanding environment, with governments expecting a certified completion date in order to begin full scale operations, clients and client representatives needing to be available and ready and even commercial operators looking to be in house and ready for operation to begin. To this end, Köseoğlu notes that it requires a more focused


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“The only way to make something really efficient and robust, like an airport, is to readjust the very nature of how you can deliver a product, which is where technology comes in. It’s very critical to apply technology in the right way and the right places in order to deliver the very best project we can in the limited time environment” — Dr.Ozan Köseoglu Chief Technical Officer e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


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approach to the implementation of technology in order to navigate what he describes as a more “commercial constraint” environment. “The only way to make something really efficient and robust, like an airport, is to readjust the very nature of how you can deliver a product,” he says. “Which is where technology comes in. It’s very critical to apply technology in the right way and the right places in order to deliver the very best project we can in the limited time environment.” As Köseoğlu notes, the complete lifecycle of an airport project does not end with the finished construction. Once the airport goes into the operations phase, the requirments of the stakeholders shift but the complexity of the infrastructure remains. Through operations, the end user and the passengers become the key cog. Airports after all are a business venture and so they must be able to make money from the airlines that use them and the passengers that travel through. In order to do this, passengers must enjoy the airport and journey experience. This is where the successful implementation of technology proves crucial once again. “When passengers commit to a flight, the experience starts the moment they set foot inside the airport doors,” says Köseoğlu. AUGUST 2018


CONSTRUCTION

“Through technology systems, passengers can access their terminal, get into check in areas and interact with digital platforms to retrieve their tickets and boarding passes. So, the technology we use helps facilitate a greater experience as it creates efficiency in the administrative parts of the journey so that they can enjoy the retail or entertainment parts of the airport.” As businesses focus their attentions on improving the passenger journey experience, they require an understanding of their behaviours and their demands. In order to glean this information, Köseoğlu notes that airport businesses will explore data capture technology to form a clearer picture of the modern-day passenger and how best to serve them. This is important as airports, when fully operational, will continue to be driven by business requirements which are ever evolving. “The airports will continue to evolve and develop,” Köseoğlu says. “They will get bigger and so the requirements and the demands will continue to get bigger. This is the future for any airport but at the end of the day, it will always come back to the client and the e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

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DESIGN AND MAKE THE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS OF THE FUTURE

Scan to BIM

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Virtual Reality

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Learn more at autodesk.com/bim-for-airports Autodesk and the Autodesk logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document. Š 2016 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.


CONSTRUCTION

“The only way to make something really efficient and robust, like an airport, is to readjust the very nature of how you can deliver a product” — Dr.Ozan Köseoglu Chief Technical Officer

passenger.” The operating phase of the modern airport is reliant on the successful implementation of that “efficient and robust” IT infrastructure. This is the very core foundation on which the rest of the airport can build upon and grow. Without it, everything else will fall apart at the first hurdle. “A challenge for any airport of scale is translating the backbone of IT and technical achievement into the operations phase,” says Köseoğlu. “You need to have your mechanical systems working and

your IT systems otherwise how can you successfully operate, let alone grow or continue innovate?” This is where partners and technology vendors prove a key addition to any infrastructure project. The right partner and the right vendor will be one that will remain with the business from the very start of the project, through to the operation phase and beyond. Köseoğlu belives that in order to be a successful partner one must work closely with the business throughout the entire lifescyle, including continuous operations. As noted, the airport construction industry is changing and becoming more technologically advanced which in itself means time constraints and commercial constraints are getting stronger. Business are redefining their own business models in order to adapt and thrive in this changing landscape, and Köseoğlu believes that vendors must adopt this same level of cultural change. “Partners need to change and innovate alongside you throughout the journey,” he says. “The partners that invest into their business and look at ways of disrupting their own way of working, they are the ones that will stay with you and continue to provide value as you move into the future.” e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

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“Through technology systems, passengers can access their terminal, get into check in areas and interact with digital platforms to retrieve their tickets and boarding passes. So, the technology we use helps facilitate a greater experience as it creates efficiency in the administrative parts of the journey so that they can enjoy the retail or entertainment parts of the airport” — Dr.Ozan Köseoglu Chief Technical Officer

AUGUST 2018


CONSTRUCTION

Industries and sectors all around the world are being redefined by technology, but with technology the transformation never truly ends. The technologies of today may not be the technologies of tomorrow and businesses are becoming more aware of the need to constantly innovate and improve. Köseoğlu recognises that this is the market he is in today, but notes that while we have one eye firmly on the future we should not forget the past. “There are strong examples of the successful construction and operation of incredibly innovative airport projects and we must take lessons from these into the future,” he says. “In order to do that you need to have an open door towards technologies, you have to continuously look for ways in which you can innovate the business. “In doing so, it not only means you have the most innovative operations, it means you are operating in an intelligent way in order to better serve everyone in that infrastructure ecosystem.”

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Placing digital at the heart of the higher education agenda Coventry University is fully immersed in a technology transformation that will see IT support the modern-day needs of its staff and students WRITTEN BY

TOM WADLOW

AUGUST 2018

PRODUCED BY

LEWIS VAUGHAN


TECHNOLOGY

Campus at the heart of a city of culture

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COVENTRY UNIVERSIT Y

F

rom 11 years of military service to leading the rebuild of Iraq’s post-war banking network to

serving oil and gas and mining industries across Africa, Simon Launder may not have foreseen a decade ago that he would be spearheading a digital transformation at Coventry University. Enjoying a hugely diverse career to date, Launder is living proof that technology crosses industry boundaries like no other specialist field, and when the opportunity 156

to move into higher education presented itself in 2016, he had a big decision to make. “The aspirations of Coventry University and the desire for innovation and excellence in everything it does to launch it up the league tables really sold it to me,” the Deputy Chief Digital Information Officer recalls. “Coventry showed me it was going places and that they are not afraid to take risks – we talk about the “Coventry Way”, which to me is all about the agile and dynamic environment in which we operate. We seek opportunities across all operating environments and, in some instances, act like a start-up by pushing boundaries to positively disrupt ourselves as well as our industry.”

AUGUST 2018

Supporting teaching and research with the latest technology innovation


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Launder was proved correct. The first to

World Short Track Speed Skater, joined

state that the highly skilled and dedicated

Coventry as the Chief Digital Information

IT team – who go above and beyond to

Officer from Rolls Royce last year to drive

cater for staff and student needs – is the

high performance and its digital transfor-

University’s greatest asset, Launder

mation, the addition of digital to the

points to a vision and culture that stems

traditional CIO title a deliberate move to

from the top.

push the digital agenda at the organisa-

Steve Humber, a former Olympic and AUGUST 2018

tion. The move worked, and IT now


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enjoys a position at the Coventry University Group’s top table when it comes to strategic decision making.

STUDENTS, STAFF AND THE DRIVE TO TRANSFORM Fast-forward to the present day, and the university has once again retained its title of top modern

24hr Open access IT provides the latest resources for all e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


COVENTRY UNIVERSIT Y

“We want to be at the centre of the ed-tech ecosystem, We are approached by all sizes of tech companies from start-ups to global names because we are on such a trajectory and willing to act like a startup ourselves.” 160

— Simon Launder, Deputy Chief Digital Information Officer

Click to watch: ‘Are you ready to be transformed?’

AUGUST 2018


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university from The Guardian in its University Guide 2019 for the 7th year in a row as well as many other accolades, including being ranked 13th in the UK in the same guide, and top 100 in Europe for teaching and top three for student engagement from The Times Higher Education. Underpinned by an IT department whose teams know their functions inside out, these accolades are in no small part the result of an ongoing innovation and transformation drive that has the student and staff member at its core. “It is about creating better futures,” Launder says. “and that’s not just for our own IT staff – it’s for our students, staff and anyone that comes into contact with us. Digital touches our everyday lives more than ever, and our work must ensure that our students especially are provided with the technology and services that enhance their learning and experience. We are helping shape their futures of which they are our future.” Younger generations of students passing through higher education institutions expect a technological experience to match that witnessed in other aspects of their lives. However, enhancing student experience and engagement is one of many factors behind Coventry University Group’s IT transformation.

A blend of digital and traditional at the Lanchester Library to support learning

“As an organisation, we need to maintain pace and agility” Launder states. “IT is supporting a dynamic environment that stretches far beyond the Coventry city boundary. We have a campus in

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COVENTRY UNIVERSIT Y

Scarborough, two in London and a global presence with operations and opportunities for students to study for a Coventry University degree outside of the UK with one of our partners across 32 countries or through our online learning business. “We are a global organisation and we have to adapt to that. We must be flexible in our approach, but we’ve also got to be operationally sound and secure in our delivery as we support over 50,000 students’ who require access to data, products and services at any time from any location.”

VISION 2021 In order to serve students and staff and support the business in its strategic development, Launder, Humber and the group CTO 162

Stephen Booth identified the need for IT services to transform from a cost centre to a value added digital organisation. It has identified 10 departmental priorities, which beyond the current transformation efforts include the development of a highperformance culture, enhancing security operations and provision of safe and secure cloud-based infrastructure. Central to the transformation is a digital platform concept being developed and led by Launder, a transition that aims for IT services

Alan Berry Building

Technology supported learning AUGUST 2018


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The culmination of years study concludes with a graduation ceremony at Coventry Cathedral

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COVENTRY UNIVERSIT Y

07 Consecutive years

as UK top modern university

13th Ranked university in the UK

164

4,500 Number of employees

50,000

Number of students studying for a Coventry University award

ÂŁ330mn Approximate revenue

AUGUST 2018

IT supporting everything from engineering and computing, health and life sciences, art and humanities, business and law


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“The devolved Governance of a Digital Platform at both business and IT Service levels ensures maximum focus is applied to strategic aims and operational efficiency, whilst increasing the agility of development and the deployment of change.” — Simon Launder, Deputy Chief Digital Information Officer

to become vision, value, user and outcome focussed in all that it does, working in the business as opposed to for it. The IT executive at Coventry believe that the key to achieving these business objectives is to organise business teams around solving a problem or pursuing an opportunity. Launder goes into detail to point out that: “This requires the unique ability to find where value is likely to be disrupted within the business, or the markets in which we operate. The risk we face is through getting caught up in our existing and legacy challenges that we miss the opportunity to re-imagine customer experiences and identify that disruptive way that takes us a step further to enhancing the student journey and experience or by providing lifelong learning opportunities for all.” To enable this, Launder, Humber and Booth are pushing to devolve governance to a level aligned with the differentiating business objectives that connect the product portfolio to the strategy of the University Group, and by how the University consumes its services and products. This devolved governance will be achieved by the establishment of a number of Digital Platforms consisting of product lines and the digital products that are used across the organisation. “We must ensure that the Digital Platforms achieve devolved governance to enable agility and a state of continuous develop and improve-

AUGUST 2018


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ment. The Platform controls the priority, people, processes, data and technologies that support the business objective,” says Launder. “The devolved Governance of a Digital Platform at both business and IT Service levels ensures maximum focus is applied to strategic aims and operational efficiency, whilst increasing the agility of development and the deployment of change. These Platforms provide the group with the differentiators to move from the current state to a more desirable, future state. They help drive innovation and competitive differentiation achievable only through effective product portfolio solutions.” This new approach is designed to deliver a dynamic product and process-based portfolio that identifies problems and presents solutions.

REACHING OUT Although the IT Services team is staffed with experienced IT professionals, Launder sees the importance in bridging the gap between the expertise behind the scenes and their end user beneficiaries. “We see value in having students come and work with us when they’ve finished their undergraduate degrees,” Launder says. “It is invaluable across all our disciplines and delivery”. “We’ve recently created a digital productivity team that crosses user groups between our staff, e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

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COVENTRY UNIVERSIT Y BIO

Simon started his career in the military developing a leadership style that saw him command detachments and troops in support of UK and international operations across the globe. After 11 years of exemplary service he went on to successfully manage the rebuild of the Iraq banking network across 80 locations in a hostile post war environment, introducing the technology and training to enable rapid currency exchange and facilitate international transactions across the global Visa card network. Post bank network rebuild and a number of other projects supporting military,

security and media organisations throughout Iraq Launder led communications and logistics support for Oxfam GB in North Dafur, Sudan at a time of population mass displacement and conflict before moving further into the African continent in support of offshore oil exploration on the edge of the Sahara desert of Mauritania and coastal regions of Tanzania to mining operations in Guinea and Sierra Leone with organisations such as Woodside Energy and Rio Tinto. With a business bias and understanding of business issues Launder strives to understand the


TECHNOLOGY

user context of an issue or requirement before applying an innovative approach to designing technical and business solutions that enable the using organisation to achieve and surpass its strategic plans. Having left operating across Africa, Launder looked for a UK based challenge to enable him to be closer to his young family, having been out of the UK for some time he also wanted to challenge the thinking that IT resource and knowledge is aligned to the industry it’s in, believing and knowing that if you are exceptional and passionate about the work you do then

industry borders are not barriers. This is certainly true as he moved into higher education as an IT Director at Coventry University and now leads the role of Deputy Chief Digital Information Officer responsible for engagement, innovation and digital strategy whilst at the same time conducting a part-time research Doctorate in business administration looking to develop an operating framework that enables organisational strategy processes to effectively manage digital disruptive episodes, enabling him to combine study with work for the benefit of both. 169

academics and our students to understand current digital literacy levels, we are then taking that knowledge to promote, train and educate at the right level on how to get the most from our supported products and services. The best way to do that with our student body, we’re finding, is actually working with students who present back to fellow students so that the message is pitched in the right language and tone.” Office 365 and Windows 10 have been two of the latest successful deployments across all staff and student facing desktop and laptop devices – of which there are over 12,000, and Launder also points towards the importance of close

— Simon Launder, Deputy Chief Digital Information Officer e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


COVENTRY UNIVERSIT Y

collaboration and dialogue with staff and students before making major decisions on technology investment. “We work closely with academics and our researchers to understand what they are working on today and what they need to deliver excellence in their teaching or research, whether it’s HPC on-demand or our own on campus systems and services. We’re also actively and aggressively exploring other 170

emerging technology areas to see how they can be applied to benefit individual users, groups or the entire organisation such as blockchain, deep learning, augmented reality, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. “It’s ensuring that we’re not just going out and sourcing the technology or investing heavily in its development, but that we really are finding user cases for it before looking at how we can apply it. It goes back to understanding more about the user, the vision and business outcomes before looking at the technology”

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“We talk about the “Coventry Way”, which to me is all about an agile and dynamic environment in which we operate. We seek opportunities across all operating environments and, in some instances, act like a start-up by pushing boundaries to positively disrupt ourselves as well as our industry.” — Simon Launder, Deputy Chief Digital Information Officer 171

Blending campus life with city living e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


COVENTRY UNIVERSIT Y

FACT

IT services mission statement From driving digital and developing high performing people, to becoming more agile and digitally product focused, while delivering a secure and exceptional user experience; Coventry University IT Services will enable our staff to transform the Group to be competitive, reach its corporate objectives, and create better futures. Core IT remains an essential part of growth and innovation 172

PARTNER PROWESS Indeed, when it comes to the application of technological solutions, external expertise and partnership has been invaluable to the Coventry University Group to date. “We’re a higher education institute, and we’re an IT depart-

An atmosphere to study

ment that is going through some dramatic change to meet this digital world that we operate in, but we can’t do it without the partners that we engage with and have trust in – and we make a big distinction

AUGUST 2018


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between suppliers and partners of which each bring their own value” says Launder. “I see little point in us trying to reinvent things that have been done in other digitally advanced and savvy industries such as seen in finance and retail – we can learn from the technology that these industries are developing with our partners to see where it can fit our own user cases to benefit our end users, whilst using our own knowledge and expertise to enhance what we do best.” One influential consulting partner

Trading floor technology simulating live environments

which has been on board at several

ence across the full lifecycle of IT, and by

junctures of the organisation’s

being external to our environment has allowed

transformation journey to date is

us to see the great work we are doing as a

Mozaic. By presenting initial

department today from another perspective

design ideas and guiding the IT

and the best way to advance our capability

executive team through the early

to achieve our digital vision.

stages of transformation design

“And likewise, with the technology choice

and development, Mozaic has

we are working with some great partners such

helped Coventry University

as Amazon Web Services, BT, Cisco, Atos,

establish a vision to leave that all

Aula and Maxica who are willing and eager to

important first base.

co-create and co-innovate with us as we

Launder adds: “Mozaic have

jointly look for new innovative and digital ways

provided us with in-depth

of engaging with our students and further

knowledge and proven experi-

developing our digital campus and journey.”

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COVENTRY UNIVERSIT Y

ON THE MAP The progress made to date by Coventry University thus far has helped it become something of an ed-tech hub, building on the fact the organisation already has a physical presence well beyond the West Midlands. This is not to ignore exciting developments currently taking place at its Coventry home. The university is continuing its major investment in the form of a £500mn ($600mn) campus development and refurbishment programme which will significantly increase student accommodation, research facilities, teaching, social and public space, IT suites and engineer174

ing labs. IT services has had a key role to play in ensuring it meets the requirements of the modern-day digital user, be they staff, students, researchers or the general public. Such desire to invest in state-of-the-art

“The progress we have made as a University is phenomenal. Teaching excellence and student experience are our core.” — Simon Launder, Deputy Chief Digital Information Officer AUGUST 2018

facilities will help draw attention to the organisation. “We want to be at the centre of the ed-tech ecosystem,” says Launder. “We are approached by all sizes of tech companies from start-ups to global names, and that’s due to being on such a trajectory and journey of global growth. We’re willing to work with these companies and see where their products and services can


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175

Collaborative and open space around campus breeds success take us – where we can do things better

are our core, and what we can do from

and where we can go further.”

a technical perspective to retain that

Even global heavyweights like Uber

excellence and better that experience for

are showing interest. In June, the

prospective students through to Alumni is

American ride-hailing giant recognised

always our priority – we have come a long

Coventry University as a collaborative

way, and we’ve got a long way to go but

partner on its flying taxis development,

we have the right people, plan and passion

something which could take off as early

to get there” Launder concludes.

as 2020. “The progress we have made as a University is phenomenal. Teaching excellence and student experience e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


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H O W O U T S TA N D I N G FOOD AND DRINK CAN ENHANCE THE CU STO M E R E XPE RI E N C E 177

WRIT TEN BY

ANDRE W WOODS PRODUCED BY

BROGAN BAGGOT T


K E W G R E E N H O T E L S LT D

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A leading hotel management company, Kew Green Hotels has a portfolio of 55 establishments across the UK and prides itself on offering operational excellence, strong revenue development and successful profit delivery. We speak to Abby Hughes, Group Food & Beverage Director across the company’s various concerns, with regards to her aim of delivering outstanding food and drink to all Kew Green’s brands

W

ith such a varied portfolio of brands, Kew Green Hotels tailors bespoke offerings to each and every property

“We don’t have a ‘one shoe fits all’ approach,” Abby explains. “It is important to us that we actually look at each hotel individually in terms of the food and beverage offering to ensure we exceed our guest’s expectations, whilst driving revenue generation and profit conversion. Essentially, I drive quality initiatives and standards in all areas of our operation focusing on delivering an outstanding food and beverage experience. “One of the first things we looked at was our Cow on the Hill ‘steak restaurant concept’ AUGUST 2018


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K E W G R E E N H O T E L S LT D

which launched in six of our hotels during

further, focusing on the local area and

2017. We assessed the offering to see

direct competition. Many of our guests

how we could develop the menus to fit

stay in our hotels three or four nights a

with our guest profile. Our burger and

week and they wouldn’t want to eat steak

craft beer concept, Stock Burger, based

or a burger every night of their stay, with

at our Holiday Inn Brighton – Seafront,

this in mind, we developed our concept

did well in the first year (it picked up a

restaurant menus to offer more variety.”

Food and Beverage Excellence Award),

So, how does Kew Green Hotels

but was underperforming slightly when

develop their concepts to offer guests

I took over,” says Hughes. “We worked on

more flexibility?

enhancing the concept and developing it

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AUGUST 2018

“A lot of my role involves implementing


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a food and beverage offering, which fits

training was working for us. We ensure

with the hotels individuality and profile.

the staff are behind the brand, the

We ensure that our menus are updated

concept and they understand the

and redeveloped on a seasonal basis,

reasons behind it, rather than just being

avoiding menu fatigue and staying in line

people who happen to be skilled in that

with current trends.”

service. We want passion around the

Training is integral to any restaurant

food we’re delivering and to differentiate

experience and it represents an area that

the restaurant concepts from the

Kew Green Hotels is looking to fully

standard hotel F&B”

capitalise on. “We took a good look at service standards to ensure our staff

“People are key to delivering outstanding experiences and to our continued

181

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K E W G R E E N H O T E L S LT D

BIO

Abby Hughes Group Food & Beverage Director

182

Abby was appointed as Group Food & Beverage Director in 2018, with responsibility for the development of food and beverage operations across the expanding business. Abby has previously held operational roles across diverse sectors of the hospitality industry and has a wealth of commercial experience spanning across hotels, restaurants, bars and contract catering. She is passionate about driving the highest standards within the food and beverage operations in Kew Green Hotels in order to enhance the overall guest experience. Her focus is on developing new and existing brands and concepts utilising her vast knowledge of the industry and food and beverage trends.

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“It is important to us that we actually look at each hotel individually in terms of the food and beverage offering to ensure we exceed our guest’s expectations” — Abby Hughes, Group F&B Director

success. We are a very peoplefocused company and have a lot of talented people, which we recognise and reward for all their hard work. Our industry-leading learning and development program attracts the best people to work for us, obviously, working with key hotel brands such as IHG, Marriott and Hilton, does in itself attract skilled, talented people. We have also launched a unique chef’s apprentice scheme, Chef School, which works on three levels: foundation, intermediate and advanced, working through the levels you

could expect to become a head chef in five years. Chef School gives our chefs the opportunity to gain vital skills, attend field-to-fork talk experiences and take part in interactive and skill-based classes. They arrive as apprentices and leave as head chefs, working through our hotels. We are launching our next Chef School in September, as chef recruitment continues to be a challenging market.” With 55 hotels situated throughout the UK, Hughes needs to ensure that the hotels enjoy a trusted relationship with

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Power your day with Purdey’s Multivitamin Energy. In a busy world, it can be hard to stay on track. But why bother with the nasty ingredients and synthetic flavours of standard energy drinks when you can get a gentle lift from Purdey’s Rejuvenate & Edge. A sparkling blend of natural fruit juices, spring water and vitamins, the liquid in this can takes its complex flavour from three botanical ingredients: damiana, oak bark and Chinese ginseng. Rejuvenate is based on Grape & apple juice, whereas Edge contains Sloe & Blackberry juice. “It’s all about the blend of botanicals,” says Sarah de la Mare, Senior Brand Manager of Purdey’s. In fact, these botanicals are part of why Purdey’s is an unexpectedly amazing mixer for gin. As Sarah explains, “The ginseng from Purdey’s mixed with the juniper in gin creates a unique, spicy flavour, while the damiana and oak bark combine with orris root, a botanical created from iris roots that’s very commonly used in gin, to create a very specific, delicate sweetness.”

released by the vitamins C, B2, B3, B6 and B12.” It’s the perfect amount of lift to get you through the hardest part of your day, be it getting out of bed on Monday morning or powering through the post-lunch slump, to help you achieve more than you thought possible. It’s a message that resonates in a busy world – so much so, in fact, that Purdey’s has teamed up with Hollywood actor Idris Elba for a number of campaigns designed to inspire. In the latest, ‘Everything You Need Is Inside’, Idris encourages and inspires us to get out of our comfort zones (with a little help from the vitamins and botanicals in Purdey’s!). As Idris says, “I’ve always been a strong believer that when you believe in yourself, you’re halfway there. Everything You Need Is Inside is about being good to yourself, supporting yourself inside and out”.

Purdey’s Secret Garden 165ml Purdey’s 50ml gin 1/2 fresh lime, juiced 4 rose petals 6 sage leaves

Excellent mixed with gin, Purdey’s is also a fabulous drink on its own. Not only do the botanicals taste great, but, working together with vitamins, do a cracking job of giving your brain and body a gentle boost – but all without the odd concoctions and unnatural ingredients so often found in energy drinks. Sarah says, “It doesn’t include all of the bad elements that other energy drinks contain, like taurine, high caffeine content or artificial flavourings. Instead, all Purdey’s energy is

r.


FOOD & DRINK

“People are key to delivering outstanding experiences and to our continued success. We are a very people-focused company and have a lot of talented people, which we recognise and reward for all their hard work” — Abby Hughes, Group F&B Director

185

their suppliers. “We work very closely

looking at reducing plastic within our

with our suppliers in terms of infrastruc-

hotels, sourcing alternative products for

ture and future menu development

straws and takeaway cups. We, along

ensuring we are not only ahead of the

with a lot of the other hotels, intend to be

game but that they are able to supply new

free of plastic straws in the very near

hotels and concepts we are creating,”

future. Reducing our carbon footprint is

she explains. “It is about being in

also on our radar, our suppliers and have

partnerships that have contingency

cut back on deliveries by about 30% in

plans, we have seen interruptions to

the past year. In terms of sustainability,

service with CO2 and vegetable crop

there are two elements, ensuring our

shortages, but our suppliers work at

CSR whilst working with suppliers to

finding alternative and effective supply

safeguard supply chains.

routes and markets.” As with every sector now, sustainability is a hot issue for KGH. “We have been

“We have always partnered with suppliers we think are sustainable and unlikely to have issues in the near future

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K E W G R E E N H O T E L S LT D

FACTS

• I n 2015 Kew Green Hotels was acquired by HK CTS Metropark Hotels Co Ltd, China’s largest travel corporation.

186

• The China National Travel Service Group Corporation (CTS Group) is China’s largest and oldest stateowned enterprise under the direction of the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, with travel business at its core. • Kew Green are their first overseas hotel platform and CTS are now working closely with the Kew Green Management Team to expand the business in UK and Europe. • I n addition, Kew Green is assisting CTS with the rollout of Kew Green China and the knowledge sharing between key individuals, including some fantastic opportunities for our employees.

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K E W G R E E N H O T E L S LT D

from a food side. We have been working with Britvic, who supply the majority of our soft drinks, on reducing sugar content and promoting healthier choices. We are also launching a range of Purdey’s soft drinks, which are a new brand for our properties, to offer guests a more grown-up soft drink alternative, a trend which has been growing in recent years, and looks set to continue.” With a large portfolio of proper188

ties, analysing data is essential to Kew Green Hotels success. “We have a very solid analytics team, based at our Commercial hub, who continually analyse and react to our data, and work closely with our sales and marketing teams. On the F&B side, some of our key KPIs are

geographically, and adapted the F&B

driven through the data reported

team, making sure our hotels had the

back to us on a weekly basis.”

support they needed. So that has been

The growth of Kew Green Hotels

quite a challenge, in ensuring that we’ve

requires a team that can adapt

got an infrastructure that can flex to the

quickly to an ever-shifting portfolio.

needs and the growth of the business,

“We have expanded quite a lot

which is essential as there are huge

recently,” Abby explains. “Six Hilton

projects ongoing with the Hiltons at

Hotels joined our portfolio in March

the moment.”

2018, this meant we expanded

AUGUST 2018

What does the future hold for food


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189

and beverage at Kew Green Hotels? “Our business is constantly evolving, we cannot stay still in a competitive market. We have seen the recent challenges in casual dining, and it is important not to be complacent. Our teams are currently working on new products and concept development, alongside introducing new brands into our portfolio before the end of the year. Ultimately we want to offer the very best food and beverage experience to our guests in all of our hotels.�

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BOOSTING EMPLOYMENT WITHIN NORTH AND MID WALES 190

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191

WRIT TEN BY

CATHERINE S TURM AN PRODUCED BY

BROGAN BAGGOT T e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


GASTRONOMY FOODS UK LIMITED

As KFC franchisee Gastronomy Foods leads the growth of the fast food in the UK, it has sought to retain its people focused culture whilst driving quality results

F

or over 70 years, Kentucky Fried Chicken, now popularised as KFC, has captured the hearts (and appetites) of its custom-

ers. Turning the restaurant industry on its head upon launching in the UK in the 1960s, the brand has become the second-largest restaurant chain worldwide, developing services and products 192

which are quick, high quality, and most importantly, so delicious that customers come back for more. Increasingly busy lifestyles have led to the exponential growth of the food and beverage industry, where it has amassed $90.173mn in revenue in 2018. KFC franchisee Gastronomy Foods has been part of the brand for over a decade, successfully enticing new and existing customers with mouth-watering products in alignment with local tastes and preferences, whilst housing a unique, people-focused culture. Behind the franchise’s ongoing success, owner Akram Khan’s passion for the brand is clear to see. From working as a part-time cook at the age of 16, his emphasis on excellent products and exceptional hospitality, with a focus on speed, has seen the brand recently amass a turnover of £52mn. With 15

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“We made our first store one of the best in the country, and in a few years, we had doubled our weekly sales and had the highest year on year (YoY) growth of 12% over four years” — Akram Khan, Owner of Gastronomy Foods

handmade, in store. These are the things that really appealed to me. My aspiration was always to be the overseer of 200 people, working in our business,” he says. “I spent five years with that one particular store, starting off doing £6k a week in sales. We made the store one of the best in the country, and in a few years, we had doubled our weekly sales and had the highest year on year (YoY) growth of 12% over four years. My operating standards were also one

stores under his umbrella, seven

of the highest in the UK and Ireland, and in 2004

which are drive-through outlets, the

and 2005, I was recognised by YUM! Brands as

business has acquired a further 22

‘Franchisee of the Year.’

KFC drive-through outlets at

However, in order to develop the brand further,

£30mn. Now operating 37 KFC’s,

Khan created a shortlist of the franchisees’ that

Gastronomy Foods will aim to build

were planning to retire or sell their stores,

three more by the end of 2018.

targeting all areas in the UK. “One guy, based in the Midlands, North Wales

ORGANIC GROWTH

wanted to sell. He had seven stores in Shropshire

Primarily launching Gastronomy

and Shrewsbury and had run the business for

Food’s first KFC restaurant in

over 40 years. The stores all needed work but

Chingford, East London in 2002,

had great development potential,” he explains.

Khan was always inspired to give

Acquiring the seven stores in 2006, on top of

back to local communities and

the existing restaurant in Chingford, Gastronomy

enable his workers to succeed.

Foods has slowly built up its portfolio, spanning

“The thing I liked about KFC was the providence. Fresh chicken,

Rhuddlan, Aberystwyth, Stoke-On-Trent, Holyhead, Shropshire and Shrewsbury.

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193


GASTRONOMY FOODS UK LIMITED

Working alongside property company LARS Investments, the business now supports over 1,500 staff members. However, it has not all been plain sailing for Gastronomy Foods. The credit crunch in 2007 occurred as the company was in the middle of building its store in Aberystwyth and relocating two other stores. “I had been promised bank funding of close to £1mn, but the bank pulled the plug on the loan a week before I needed it,” explains Khan. “Nonetheless, I was determined to achieve my goals, so I borrowed as much as I could and managed to cover £600k and the rest through leasing equipment.”

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“The thing I liked about KFC was the providence. Fresh chicken, handmade, in store.These are the things that really appealed to me” — Akram Khan, Owner of Gastronomy Foods


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Click to watch: Gastronomy Foods, Corporate promo 195

Following a move to HSBC in 2011, the

stores and are spending a lot of time with

company has gone from strength to strength,

people like Google, Facebook and

where Khan now spends up to 40% of his

Amazon to see what technologies to

time driving the brand forward, and the

factor in and see how we can get our

remaining time at Gastronomy Foods.

products to customers in the most convenient way,” Khan says.

GROWTH OF CONVENIENCE

“This year, we will do 13 refurbishments,

As customers continue to turn to food

costing approximately £3mn. Getting our

outlets which can deliver food that is quick,

assets right is key, where we refurbish our

tasty and high quality, Gastronomy Foods

stores every five years. Bladon & Kirkham

has placed significant investment in

look after all our new store openings and

introducing new digital tools to support its

refurbishments and are fantastic.”

ongoing services. “We’re putting kiosks into 90% of our

Additionally, the company has added eight new Starbucks, fully diversifying its

e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


GASTRONOMY FOODS UK LIMITED

portfolio and embracing brands that

four years and they do both our KFC’s and

evolve with its customers’ busy lifestyles.

Starbucks signage. They’re great guys to

“I looked at Starbucks versus Costa and went with Starbucks as I didn’t like the

work with and nothing is too much trouble.” A Trustee for the “KFC Foundation”

Costa brand and the provenance of their

charity, which donates around £2mn a year

coffee,” explains Khan.

to worthy causes in the UK like Children’s

“I like Starbucks’ principles and where

hospices etc., Khan strives to take people

their coffee comes from. With every cup of

on a personal and professional journey.

coffee, a percentage goes directly back to

“I took an Area Manager on, who had

farmers. So, again, the same kind of giving

previously worked for the company as

principle, providence, authenticity,

an operational auditor, and I made him

Starbucks had that people-focused

a shareholder as long as he helped to

approach.”

deliver our goals. That gentleman now

“We have worked with NIS over the past 196

AUGUST 2018

owns 20% of a £50mn business which is


FOOD & DRINK

£52mn Approximate revenue

2005 Year founded

1,500 Approximate number of employees

still growing,” he says. Gastronomy Foods has also become home to cooks which have worked their way to become shareholders, partners, managing directors and in Khan’s position – franchise owner. Internal, organic growth is clearly at the core of the business, where the majority of managers have been with the company for close to a decade. Placing heavy emphasis on the welfare of its staff, Khan remains keen to visit stores to gain essential feedback regarding new, fresh ideas to bring to fruition. “Some of our best ideas come from our staff in store, where the managers bring them forward. 197

e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


GASTRONOMY FOODS UK LIMITED

Click to watch: Akram Khan career background 198

We get a lot of feedback from our people on the ground because they know what’s going on and know how to get things done,” notes Khan. “KFC is situated in over 130 countries worldwide, so we also look at what’s worked well in different markets and share best practices and products to see what suits our market. “Our zinger double down is soon being launched. You have the double down, which is two pieces of fried chicken, double cheese, bacon, sauce and no bun. It’s really popular,” he continues. AUGUST 2018

“I don’t believe in mediocrity. I want to be hero or zero, make me the villain or make me the hero, nothing in between” — Akram Khan, Owner of Gastronomy Foods


FOOD & DRINK

“Last year, people were saying,

advertising and comments across social media.

‘we want the zinger version of it’,

We are continuing to dispel some of those myths

which is amazing.”

around the use of processed food,” he says. KFC have also launched open kitchens across

CHALLENGING THE STATUS QUO

the UK, enabling customers to grab tickets and

Renowned across the food and

join the house kitchen, have a go at cooking at

beverage industry worldwide, KFC

various outlets and see how the brand operates.

is often in the limelight. Although the

Becoming one of the four franchisees who sit

recent furore surrounding the

on KFC UK and Ireland’s advertising board, and

brand’s change of UK delivery

appointed as Co-Chairman of KFC UK and

contractor from Bidvest to DHL led

Ireland’s Franchise Council, Khan has also

to what has been described as ‘The

become a company Director of KFC Advertising

KFC Chicken Crisis,’ Khan states

Board Ltd.

optimistically that it has bought a number of positives to the business. “I think a lot of people still don’t

“As part of the advertising board, we take 5% of our net sales and put it towards all kinds of advertising: TV and digital, as well as social

realise that we sell fresh chicken.

media. Any new product development also comes

This really came through in the

through this board, what we should and shouldn’t be launching. This can range from anything to do with the supply chain, operational issues, etc.,” he adds. Channelling strong values and principles, and adopting a cohesive family atmosphere, Gastronomy Foods seeks to make decisions collectively, enabling every employee’s voice to be heard. “It’s not about the bottom line. My lifestyle doesn’t change, whether I have 10 stores or 300 stores. My proudest achievement is how many people we look after,” notes Khan. “When we build a new store, I sit there and you think, ‘we wouldn’t be employing all of these

e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

199


GASTRONOMY FOODS UK LIMITED

FACTS

• KFC has become the second-largest restaurant chain worldwide, • The food and beverage industry has amassed $90.173mn in revenue in 2018. • KFC franchisee Gastronomy Foods has been part of the brand for over a decade, whilst housing a unique, people-focused culture. • Khan’s emphasis on excellent products and exceptional hospitality, with an emphasis on speed, has seen the brand amass a turnover of £16mn.

200

• Gastronomy Foods has acquired a further 22 KFC drive through outlets at £30mn. • Operating 37 KFC’s stores, Gastronomy Foods will aim to build three more by the end of the 2018. • Khan launched his first KFC restaurant in Chingford, East London in 2002 • Gastronomy Foods has added eight new Starbucks, fully diversifying its portfolio and embracing brands that evolve with its customers busy lifestyles • Gastronomy Foods has become home to cooks which have worked their way to become shareholders, partners, managing directors and in Khan’s position — franchise owner • Khan routinely visits stores to gain feedback regarding new, fresh ideas AUGUST 2018


FOOD & DRINK

tradesmen and all of these different companies, if it wasn’t for putting ourselves on the line and saying yeah we’re going to do this, we’re going to borrow the money from the bank and we’re going to build this.’ “If you look at North and mid-Wales and the number of people that we employ, some places were really struggling,” he continues. “When we first opened Holyhead KFC down in Anglesey, 80% of our staff were long-term unemployed as there were no jobs. When people shake your hand and say, ‘thank you so much for this opportunity, I haven’t been able to find a job for the last three years’, that’s such a lovely feeling.”

201

As Gastronomy Foods continues to expand, Khan will remain steadfast in providing the best quality services, products and results. Currently resting at 37 stores, Khan aims to reach £120mn turnover, with over 60 stores under his belt. “I want to try and do this with the same family values. I’ve seen companies get big and people don’t know who anyone is, that’s the bit I don’t like,” he adds. “I want to be the best at what I do, and I don’t care whether that’s mopping the floor or running a company. I don’t believe in mediocrity. I want to be hero or zero, make me the villain or make me the hero, nothing in between.”

e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


202

AUGUST 2018


CONSTRUCTION

CONNECTING THE

WORLD WITH GREEN ENERGY

WRIT TEN BY

CATHERINE S TURM AN PRODUCED BY

LE WIS VAUGHAN

e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

203


The data centre industry and subsequent demand for energy is growing apace. Manager for Energy & Dataport, ROBERT VAN TUINEN, tells us how Groningen Seaports is catering to this demand

ROBERT VAN TUINEN is responsible for the development of the energy, IT and automotive sector within both ports. He has an academic background in business administration and previously worked for a national bank and as a manager for an energy knowledge institute.

204

AUGUST 2018


CONSTRUCTION

Chemical industry Delfzijl

T

he ongoing demand for

In particular, there are big invest-

connectivity has led to an

ments coming from the data centre

exponential boom within

sector itself,” explains Robert Van

the energy sector, thanks largely to

Tuinen, Manager for Energy &

the launch of data centres world-

Dataport at Groningen Seaports.

wide. The communications industry

Consisting of two seaports, the

is set to absorb up to 20% of the

port of Delfzijl and Eemshaven, as

world’s electricity by 2025, as busi-

well as two inland ports, Farmsum-

nesses and consumers depend on

erhaven and Oosterhornhaven, Van

the increased use of digital data to

Tuinen has led the growth of one of

fuel business growth.

Europe’s largest energy hubs for

Europe has become a significant

data and a growing offshore wind

player, where competition remains rife

sector. The 1,319 hectare site at

in an area of unprecedented potential.

Eemshaven has been transformed

“A major change is that it’s no

into an area of international signifi-

longer big telecom operators or

cance within the data centre

state-owned telecom companies

industry, renowned for accessibility

who are investing in connectivity,

and quality. Utilised by international

it’s mostly commercially driven.

companies, the area is driven by e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

205


Your business case today

translated in smart data centre space for tomorrow

Royal HaskoningDHV is an independent, international engineering and project management consultancy with 135 years of experience. Backed by the expertise and experience of 6,000 colleagues all over the world, our professionals combine ‘global expertise’ with ‘local knowledge’ to deliver a multidisciplinary range of consultancy services. By showing leadership and innovation in the design of data centres, we are creating solutions for a vital infrastructure in our modern live and empower a sustainable society now and into the future. For more information, please contact: Martien Arts, Director - Mission Critical Facilities T: +31 88 348 6550 M: +31 6 51846333 E: martien.arts@rhdhv.com www.royalhaskoningdhv.com/datacentres


CONSTRUCTION

100% renewable energy. “In 2012, we said that we were going to invest millions in this new port area. We had this million-euro programme to redevelop land and start conversations with landowners and foreign investors to take a look at Eemshaven. It was still predominantly farmland, but people needed to believe in this,” Van Tuinen recalls. “A few years back, I thought, ‘we need others to tell our story as well’. We combined the data port development together with

“IT’S NO LONGER BIG TELECOM OPERATORS OR STATE-OWNED TELECOM COMPANIES WHO ARE INVESTING IN CONNECTIVITY, IT’S MOSTLY COMMERCIALLY DRIVEN. THERE ARE BIG INVESTMENTS COMING FROM THE DATA CENTRE SECTOR” — Robert Van Tuinen, Manager for Energy & Dataport

partnerships, who we call ‘preferred suppliers’. These were the early movers who believed in the concept. “Energy suppliers in general weren’t used to structured power purchase agreements based on joint equity or very long terms for instance,” he continues. “This may sound funny, but five or six years ago, this wasn’t something normal for energy companies. Eneco was a good match with the specific demand coming from the industry, one of the first e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

207


LOOKING FOR A DARK FIBER CONNECTION?

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CITY NETWORK AMSTERDAM & FRANKFURT COBRA FIBER OPTIC CABLE EEMSHAVEN - ENDRUP DENSE NETWORK IN THE NETHERLANDS › 14,000 KM

Relined B.V. Clarissenhof 1b 4133 AB Vianen The Netherlands T +31 (0)347 358 010 E sales@relined.eu www.relined.eu


CONSTRUCTION

companies to believe in the area and

GAINING SUPPORT

pioneered the way.

To gain further clout, the company

“Most energy companies were

appointed Deloitte to undertake an

scared at doing structured deals, so it

essential market analysis on the data

was a different time. The other thing

port area. Finding Eemshaven to have

was asking fibre developers to join.

future potential, Groningen Seaports

We partnered with Relined as it was

also appointed specialists who worked

the first company with a network in

specifically for technology companies,

the Eemshaven area.�

such as Microsoft, Google and Apple.

209

e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


Your datacenter running on additional renewable energy in 2020? Wind farm Delfzijl currently supplying GOOGLE datacenter Eemshaven

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We make it happen. When you decide to build your datacenter in Green

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That’s why we’re working together with startups, universities, research institutes and other innovative organizations on innovative

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transition requires us to work together in a different way. The current customer-supplier relationship is disappearing. Individuals, companies, municipalities and other market parties are now working with each

Joost de Boer

other in multiple changing roles. Eneco Group – with its numerous

Manager the Nederlands–North for Eneco Group

brands and business units – is the connecting link bringing parties

joost.deboer@eneco.com | +31 (0)6 – 55 69 70 91

Welcome to the new world.


CONSTRUCTION

“It’s a pretty strong story with a lot of partnerships, but these companies are

Haskoning DHV is independent, it believes in the story and has a strong

also competing against one another with advisory opinion.” Van Tuinen says. more renewable project coming online in the next few years,” adds Van Tuinen. “We have a partnership with Eneco, but also with other energy companies,

“They look not just at land development but also cooling. They believe Eemshaven is a good area; it has lots of air, good quality, good wind, and is one of

which is why we call them ‘preferred sup- the best locations. The company also pliers’. Of course, data centre companies bought investors to our port. When are free in who they want to work with” Additionally, the company’s strong

they’re busy with conducting business, they use Eemshaven as an example port.”

partnership with Royal Haskoning DHV has provided support across its data

GREEN DATA PORT

centre operations.

Harnessing a combination of green

“We asked Royal Haskoning DHV to

energy, the largest onshore wind farm

inform companies of our technology mis- is located in Eemshaven together with sion and why they believe Eemshaven is a multiple substations connecting good area for their data centres. Royal

Danish and Dutch offshore wind farms, e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

211


212

“ROYAL HASKONING DHV IS INDEPENDENT, IT BELIEVES IN THE STORY AND HAS A STRONG ADVISORY OPINION” — Robert Van Tuinen, Manager for Energy & Dataport

AUGUST 2018


CONSTRUCTION

besides the 30MW solar farm, iSunport Delfzijl, the largest solar energy park in the country, all of which fall under Groningen Seaports’ umbrella. “If you look for the major developments worldwide, it clearly makes sense to think about data centres. However, to be honest, we didn’t expect such a demand for land usage,” reflects Van Tuinen. “I don’t think the sector itself could have foreseen how much land it would need for further growth”. “Google has recently purchased all green electricity generated at Sunport Delfzijl for 10 years as part of a second deal with Eneco on top of the earlier energy deal combined with a local Eneco windfarm. The company recently announced another €500mn investment after €950mn spent over the last couple of years. This is great news for our region, which has shown great support for the data port development. The challenge was that we

e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m

213


needed to develop more land close to

Marc Oman, EU Energy Lead at

the port, anticipating all further growth

Google recently commented in a press

from the data centre sector itself.”

release: “We are proud that our data

“We did this in partnership with the

centre in Eemshaven has been powered

local government and environmental

by renewable energy since day one

organisations, who saw an opportunity

thanks to our agreements with Dutch

to combine green energy and recreate

suppliers. After the agreement with

some major values before it was all

Eneco for the delivery of wind energy

agricultural. A data centre provider

from WindPark Delfzijl and the agree-

must feel comfortable with their invest-

ments with the wind parks Krammer and

ment, of course, which has to do with

Bouwdokken, we are pleased that we

the local support,” adds van Tuinen.

can now also make use of solar energy.

214

The Vole au vent jack-up vessel AUGUST 2018


CONSTRUCTION

Click to watch: ‘Googles EU data centre community Stories from the Netherlands’ 215

“Google is the world’s largest corpo-

“The ‘plug and play’ model has also

rate purchaser of renewable energy.

helped with the technical part. Through

Contracts like this also give companies

our partnerships we secured extra

like Eneco the economic certainty to

international fibre, boosted cooling

invest in new renewable energy capacity.” water facilities, reinvestments, and of course the redundant power connec-

TECHNOLOGICAL BACKBONE

tions with the grid operator.”

In order to strengthen its connectivity

Additionally, by attracting investors

capabilities, Groningen Seaports has

from fibre companies, it has attracted

worked to house a ‘plug and play model’

essential fibre packages, with low latency

across its operations, where its need for routes crossing Amsterdam, Germany, cooling water and redundant power is

Denmark and other parts of Scandinavia.

set apart from its power purchase

“Data centre companies need a cer-

agreement based on green energy.

tain amount of connectivity via separate e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


routes or a different fibre system.

interesting market for data centres and

If you want to attract various new

not just the Google’s of this world,” Van

economy industries, this is essential,”

Tuinen says earnestly.

says Van Tuinen. “The most important thing is that

By combining green energy cables across the Northsea with essential

we succeeded in enabling Google to

fibre packages, the company has man-

work with Eneco. It was a new project

aged to reduce costs significantly and

and provided an opportunity for

created the fastest route between the

Google to harness green energy. They

Netherlands and Denmark with Eem-

have run on green energy from day

shaven becoming a fibre and data

one and enhanced major green

roundabout in North West Europe

investments in the region.”

thanks to Relined’s network. With greater demand for green

216

GROWING DEMANDS

energy on a global scale, the compa-

“The Netherlands has proven to be an

ny’s largest wind farm is set to grow

AUGUST 2018


CONSTRUCTION

a further 200MW in the next three

“Everybody needs to keep pace with

years, providing time to further

a new economy,” he concludes. “The

enhance its data centre operations.

good news is that all political parties in

“Demand for land in Eemshaven is

Groningen are very supportive towards

rising fast, not just from the data centre

data centres, the automotive sector

sector but also with the launch of elec-

and the new economy. It provides a

tric and hybrid cars. The automotive

good combination of economic oppor-

sector is looking at Eemshaven and are

tunities together with boosting on and

interested in port areas where they can

offshore green power.”

develop their newly-built cars, which is really cool. It is something we are anticipating now, but we weren’t three years ago. This sector is again new economy industry, which fits well with the infra-

217

structure at our port,” says Van Tuinen.

e u r o p e . b u s i n e s s c h i e f. c o m


Just in time to say goodbye.

Keeping you in the air. The best time to develop services for tomorrow’s technology is today. That’s why we’re doing that now — along with integrating new models, materials and technologies in our portfolio as quickly as possible. Our goal is to keep your aircraft off the ground, tomorrow as well as today. So let the future arrive: our services will be waiting. Talk to us. Lufthansa Technik AG, marketing.sales@lht.dlh.de Call us: +49-40-5070-5553

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Business Chief Europe Edition – August 2018  
Business Chief Europe Edition – August 2018