Business Chief North America - November 2018

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HHH NORTH

AMERICA EDITION NOVEMBER 2018

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Wipro America

Creating a futureproof ecosystem for the financial sector

Delivering customer-focused digital solutions

Creating a unique guest experience SEBASTIEN BRUNEL ON THE DISRUPTIVE POWER OF PROCUREMENT

TOP 10

SERVICE CORPORATION INTERNATIONAL EMPOWERING A MASSIVE SUPPLY CHAIN TRANSFORMATION

Nebraska Book Company

Wealthiest people in the United States




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WELCOME

W

elcome to the latest edition of Business Chief North America.

The hospitality industry is gaining significant traction. With 4,600 hotels around the globe operating across 100 countries, AccorHotels is one of just a handful of hotel operators with more than 500,000 rooms to its name. A market leader in many regions around the world, the hotel giant is now making strides across North America. For our leadership feature this month, Sebastien Brunel, Senior Vice President of Procurement at AccorHotels, discusses how the travel & lifestyle group’s procurement journey is delivering a unique guest experience, where guests want to have fun, explore new opportunities and make connections. When used for good, technology can truly change the world. This is the core belief of Salesforce.org, a social enterprise that places the greatest

technology into the hands of non-profits and educational institutions to enable them to accelerate their impact. We speak with Charlotte Finn, VP Global Strategic Relations, who illustrates how the company continues to deliver on its vision of empowering non-profit organizations and educational sectors worldwide. This month’s issue also looks at how Philadelphia, has become one of the most popular destinations for corporate businesses, as well as the top 10 richest people in the country. Other exclusive insights this month include interviews with Infomart Data Centers, Wipro Corporation and more. Enjoy the magazine, and join in the conversation on Twitter: @Business_Chief Catherine Sturman catherine.sturman@bizclikmedia.com

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

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CONTENTS

10 46 SALESFORCE EMBRACING INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY TO ENABLE SOCIAL GOOD AROUND THE WORLD

Procurement transformation through a commitment to local sourcing

34 Micro Strategies

Delivering innovative technology solutions that drive business results

56 City Focus

PHILADELPHIA Top 10

Richest people in America

68


122

CONTENTS

Nebraska Book Company

80

Service Corporation International

08

142 94 Sigmapoint

106 Walbar

Infomart Data Centers


160

Berkley Risk Administrators

172 Wipro

206 Anaconda Mining

09

188 Hatch

224 AEX Gold

240 Wilsonart


ACCORHOTELS GROUP

10

Procurement transformation through a commitment to local sourcing WRIT TEN BY

OLIVIA MINNOCK PRODUCED BY

ARRON R A MPLING

NOVEMBER 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

11

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ACCORHOTELS GROUP

SEBASTIEN BRUNEL, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF PROCUREMENT AT ACCORHOTELS, DISCUSSES THE TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE GROUP’S PROCUREMENT JOURNEY IN DRIVING GROWTH AND DELIVERING A UNIQUE GUEST EXPERIENCE WITH LOCALLY SOURCED PRODUCE

W

ith 4,600 hotels around the globe operating across 100 countries, AccorHotels is one of just a handful of hotel operators

in the world with more than 500,000 rooms to its name. As a market leader in many regions around the world, AccorHotels is now making strides 12

across North America as well – with the continent representing significant opportunities for growth and revenue. Investment in the region is revving up with acquisitions including the purchase of the Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel brands; an 85% stake in US-based 21c Museum Hotels, an awardwinning hospitality management company which combines a multi-venue contemporary art museum and boutique hotels; and a 50% stake in independent luxury lifestyle operator sbe Entertainment Group. Boasting over two decades of industry experience, Senior Vice President of Procurement Sebastien Brunel is keenly aware of how the hotel industry has changed during this time, and how the evolving needs of consumers have particularly impacted procurement. “Lifestyle is something which is very new to the hospitality business,” he outlines. NOVEMBER 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

“Procurement is greatly positioned in the organization and part of the leadership committee, making our function a key component for North and Central America” — Sebastien Brunel, Senior Vice President of AccorHotels

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ACCORHOTELS GROUP

“People, especially the younger generation, are looking for different experiences. They don’t want the traditional hotel experience or a standardized room – they want to have fun, new experiences and make connections.” While AccorHotels currently has fewer than 100 hotels in North America, the region still reflects a notable proportion of its business and is home to some of the company’s largest properties, which average around 500 rooms and several restaurants apiece, meaning total spend is significant for 14

“Today, we’re coming back from global sourcing to more national or even local sourcing. We have a strong desire to buy local, and work with local producers” — Sebastien Brunel, Senior Vice President of AccorHotels NOVEMBER 2018

Brunel and his team. Iconic hotels with global notoriety which are present in the region include the original Fairmont, Fairmont San Francisco; The Plaza, A Fairmont Managed Hotel, in New York City; Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City; and Fairmont Banff Springs, amongst others. AccorHotels initiated investments in the procurement function 25 years ago when volume in key regions started to be significant. Today, the company’s procurement function is organized


S U P P LY C H A I N

15

regionally and globally, with over 20

making our function a key component

procurement organizations and more

for North and Central America,�

than 180 people around the world. The

Brunel explains.

entire function reports to Paris-based

In terms of the evolution of procure-

global Chief Procurement Officer (CPO),

ment at AccorHotels, the way services

Caroline Tissot, while all procurement

are offered has evolved thanks to

leaders in the regions have dotted lines

consumer feedback. The dynamic

to regional executives.

of buying and category management

In North America, procurement

is impacted by market trends and

also reports to Chief Operating Officer

traditional in-house services are

(COO), Kevin Frid. “Procurement is

increasingly handled by external

greatly positioned in the organization

providers. Laundry is a good example

and part of the leadership committee,

of a category historically managed w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


Efficiency. Visibility. Control. Compliance. • e-Procurement • AP 3-Way Auto-match • Invoice Management • Inventory Management with AccuBar • Recipe Management • Capital Projects • Supplier Management • Sourcing • Contract Management

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Automate your business processes. BirchStreet Systems is a leading cloudbased source-to-pay automation solution for the hospitality industry worldwide. BirchStreet increases profit and efficiency in a SaaS environment that focuses on improving business processes by automating e-Procurement, AP automation 3-Way, Spend Analytics, Recipe Management, Capital Projects, Supplier Management, Sourcing and Contract Management. Thousands of businesses, including enterprise customers like Hyatt, Marriott, Starwood, Interstate, Omni, Four Seasons, Accor/ Fairmont, Wyndham, ClubCorp and many others, in more than 100 countries, currently subscribe to BirchStreet to connect and do business with a network of more than 400,000 suppliers. The platform and technology connect customers with their suppliers to improve efficiency, increase transparency, provide accountability, strengthen financial controls, and reduce compliance gaps, resulting in significant business process improvements and cost savings. Most BirchStreet customers see a 10 to 15 percent overall cost reduction for all purchasing-related activities. Within a customer’s marketplace, users have access to real-time, on-demand data and pricing. Suppliers can update their pricing and catalogs, which provides accurate pricing and availability. Cutting-edge budgeting tools specifically designed for the hospitality industry help customers plan, track and report on demand. Automating the procure-to-pay process using e-procurement and AP 3-way auto-matching and integration, results in reduced line item expenses and labor hours. In addition, tracking, reporting and spend analytic features provide in-depth business intelligence in a centralized cloud-based platform. BirchStreet offers an easy, intuitive dashboard to give users real-time data both at

a high-level overview and at a line item detailed level. Similarly, BirchStreet’s Recipe Pad is a great mobile tool for chefs and kitchen staff that uses a simple picture-based interface; allowing chefs to browse, search, view and scale published corporate or property-level recipes through an organization’s private online recipe library. The process of automating functions in procurement, finance, operations and food and beverage contribute to a company’s overall success and bottom line. AccuBar, an acquired company by BirchStreet in 2016 is a leading component of the BirchStreet inventory control solution that offers a cloud-based beverage inventory management to maximize beverage profits while being seamlessly connected to BirchStreet’s procureto-pay automation solution. Customers report an average of 10 to 20 percent beverage cost reduction with additional cost savings from efficiency, automation and accountability. It eliminates the guesswork for reordering with par values and alerts, and provides easy scalability for large banquets and events. AccuBar’s bar code scanner will help one person do the work of two in less time, which will drastically lower labor costs. Often, customers aren’t able to detect theft, but with AccuBar’s loss prevention functionality one can quickly hold the staff accountable for loss. Finally, instant profit reporting and business intelligence will benefit any company immediately. Established in 2002, BirchStreet Systems is a privately held company and headquartered in Newport Beach, California, with offices in Denver, Mexico City, China, Singapore, India and Europe. For more information, events and webinars, or to request a personal demo, please email sales@birchstreet.net or visit www.birchstreetsystems.com.


ACCORHOTELS GROUP

CLICK TO WATCH : CPO SEBASTIEN BRUNEL TALKS GLOBAL AND LOCAL SUPPLIES IN ACCOR’S SUPPLY CHAIN 18 in house but moving more toward exter-

the teams in the hotel with different

nal providers. “We have a big evolution

needs and expectations between the

in the way hotels are spending their

managers, chefs, executive house-

money,” he concludes.

keepers – but also the owners of the

In addition, since AccorHotels now

hotels, because it is in their best inter-

manages and franchises its hotels

est to maximize their benefits through

instead of owning the premises

a strong procurement organization.”

outright, the procurement function

As a management company, procure-

has to adapt. “We came from an asset

ment within AccorHotels is very much

heavy model to an asset light model

a service offered to its owners and

– in the past, we owned our hotels

franchisees. “We have become a

but now we have management and

strong intermediate between suppli-

franchise contracts,” says Brunel.

ers and partners, and both owners and

“As procurement professionals,

franchisees are extremely organized,

we therefore have two customers:

business driven and cost driven,” Brunel

NOVEMBER 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

explains. “Unless we demonstrate

started to manage non-food opera-

savings and value creation, they will not

tions in the early 2000s,” says Brunel.

use our services. We have to monitor

He adds that suppliers and other

the competitiveness of our contracts

organizations had not previously

compared to market prices, and offer

understood hotels as a category to

tracking, distribution, a loyalty program

focus on. “I would say it took between

and procurement program – procure-

five and 10 years to get a strong offer

ment is one of the key departments

of procurement solutions for hotels

to attract new ownership groups and

for food, non-food and beverage.”

franchisees.”

Brunel notes that since then, suppli-

As the business has transformed, its

ers have begun to see opportunities

supply chain has diversified and evolved,

in the ever-growing hospitality sector.

and so too has the role of procurement.

“In terms of some suppliers, a lot of

“20 years ago, 90% of our function was

businesses didn’t have a hospitality

based on food management – then we

division 10 to 15 years ago – they did not

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Sebastien Brunel Brunel has 25 years of experience in the hospitality business with 20 years in procurement. Originally from France, he has occupied several procurement functions in the global procurement office as well as working in several countries. Brunel’s first international experience was in the UK, before he then occupied a function of Category Manager in Dallas Texas in 2002. In 2007, Brunel moved to South America to be the head of procurement of that region, based out of Sao Paulo. He went back to Paris in 2014 to manage the international team. He has occupied the position of SVP of North and Central America since January 2017 when he relocated to Toronto. Sebastien holds an MBA from the FGV University of Sao Paulo. w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

19


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S U P P LY C H A I N

21

know how to attend to the hospitality

strong role, not so much in finding new

businesses. But now, there are people

procurement solutions but in giving

dedicated to hospitality. We work

better access to our procurement-se-

together on value creation. Competi-

lected products and services for our

tive pricing is an important element,

customers. How can we make the

but having sustainable programs,

process easier to access? How can

product development and innovation

we offer a procurement marketplace

take an important share of the day-to-

to make sure people can go to an

day of a procurement specialist – both

online catalogue?”

on the team but also at the supplier.”

Over 10 years ago, Fairmont selected

Of course, process and digitization

Birchstreet which provides procure-to-

have been key to AccorHotels’ procure-

pay solutions with the aim of improving

ment journey. “Digital is playing a very

business processes through efficiency w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


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S U P P LY C H A I N

and cost reduction. “Birchstreet brings structure to our process. We have PO approval process, PO management, inventory management, product management and interaction between hotels and suppliers. This is essential for AccorHotels, especially in North America.” The businesses have worked together for many years, and AccorHotels favors the platform as it works well especially for its larger properties. “They’ve been able to invest in internal workflow – hotels with over 1,500 employees need a procurement process and workflow to ensure consistency.” Birchstreet has developed this from a back-office perspective, and the solution is effective

“Guests don’t want the traditional hotel experience or a standardized room – they want to have fun, new experiences and make connections” — Sebastien Brunel, Senior Vice President of AccorHotels

for AccorHotels’ finance department. Brunel adds that, as the partnership

The vast array of products AccorHotels

continues, he hopes to develop a system

buys, and indeed the array of suppliers

with even more benefits for front-end

it works with, presents challenges for

buyers, which he is confident can be

eprocurement. “Eprocurement works

achieved. “So far we have partnered

very well with products but it’s not as

with Birchstreet for 10 years; they’ve

simple for utility developments, such

always supported us in everything

as service companies – you can easily

we’ve done and the platform brings

buy a kilo of coffee, but one kilowatt of

efficiency, good savings and automatic

energy isn’t the same, so it’s not ideal

updates to inventory – we probably

for non-tangible contracts.”

do around US$150mn of annual spend through the Birchstreet platform.”

In addition, prioritizing the luxury experience over recent years, Acw w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

23


ACCORHOTELS GROUP

1967 Year founded 10,000+ Approximate number

24

of employees

corHotels has developed a strong

“Today, we’re coming back from global

commitment to local sourcing and

sourcing to more national or even local

as such, its supplier mix has changed.

sourcing. We have a strong desire to buy

“Our supplier base is very diverse due

local, and work with local producers

to the products we buy – we go from big

– such as sourcing fish from the coast

global companies like LG or Samsung,

of Canada, rather than importing it from

to large national companies, to smaller

Scotland or elsewhere. This is the way,

regional suppliers of fruits and vegeta-

especially in the luxury hospitality

bles or fish, with five employees,”

business, to provide local experiences.”

explains Brunel. “In North America,

Twenty years ago, AccorHotels had a

I would say 30% of our spend consists

larger range of suppliers, which through

of global providers, 40% national and

globalization was reduced – now, it is

30% regional.”

increasing again due to the Group’s

NOVEMBER 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

25

local sourcing commitment. “We went

a cookie-cutter outcome, especially for

from a vision of needing to reduce the

the luxury businesses which account

supplier base, to a vision that we still

for an important part of AccorHotels’

need a concentrated supplier base

global operations, and are particularly

but with a lot of choice.” As a result,

prevalent in North America. “We invest

a limited number of global providers

a lot in the lifestyle element and the

consolidate more spend but there is

uniqueness of our brands, we need more

a strong need to develop diversified

products and more solutions – we don’t

local solutions and reduce logistics.

want the same headboards, lighting and

Catering for the unique demands

food all over the world and we’re not ac-

of various owners and franchisees,

quiring new companies to change them

especially since the Group’s latest

into a standardized hotel.”

brand acquisitions, is vital in avoiding

Brunel explains each of the company’s w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


ACCOR HOTELS GROUP

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S U P P LY C H A I N

CLICK TO WATCH : CPO SEBASTIEN BRUNEL TALKS DRIVING PROCUREMENT IN ACCORHOTELS 27 4,600 hotels across the world is treated

Despite the challenges and varia-

as a unique point of production. “It’s

tions facing the procurement function

not like the manufacturing industry

at AccorHotels, this essential element

where everything can be produced

of the business is key to the significant

and distributed from a single location.

growth Brunel looks forward to. He

Hospitality business and decentraliza-

cites the company’s latest acquisitions

tion of ordering points makes our supply

and the new openings it has celebrat-

chain very complex and diverse in

ed as a result: the 1,048-room Fairmont

terms of suppliers and products. We buy

Austin which debuted earlier this year

food, beverages, technology, intellectual

as the brand’s largest hotel in the US,

services, financial services… the quantity,

as well as the planned openings of

too, is diverse, as a small hotel might

Fairmont Century Plaza, Los Angeles;

cumulate an annual spend of $400,000

Sofitel Mexico Reforma in Mexico City

while a large hotel can spend more

and SO/ Paseo del Prado in Havana, all

than $20mn.”

in 2019. AccorHotels will also open the w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


ACCORHOTELS GROUP

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Get in touch with us at hospitality@telus.com © 2018 TELUS


S U P P LY C H A I N

first Raffles Hotel & Residences in North America in Boston as well as Fairmont Costa Canuva in Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit and Fairmont Saint Lucia in the coming years. AccorHotels is therefore particularly committed to North America as a region of growth, where it works with over 20,000 suppliers and spends $600mn each year, from small fruit and vegetable suppliers with orders of less than $500 to larger companies receiving millions in investment. On its North American journey, Brunel says the company is keen to partner with suppliers desiring to grow outside of

“Our supplier base is very diverse due to the products we buy – we go from big global companies like LG or Samsung, and large national companies, to smaller regional suppliers of fruits and vegetables or fish, with five employees” — Sebastien Brunel, Senior Vice President of AccorHotels

w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

29


ACCORHOTELS GROUP

30

North America, such as audio-visual

customers and increase our ability to

provider PSAV. “It’s a great example:

offer more contracted solutions.

the legacy contract is coming from

Another challenge is to maintain a

North America and can be extended

good level of compliance at a national

to other places in the world.”

level, while remaining competitive

However, as AccorHotels grows in

against regional offers. The third

size and spend in North America, the

challenge is to find a way to leverage

value offer of procurement will need to

volume while also keeping the

be even further solidified, says Brunel.

uniqueness of the product. And the

“We have to work hard to show the

fourth challenge, of course, is people

importance of procurement with our

– the development and training of our

NOVEMBER 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

“From a customer perspective and supplier perspective, having a strong procurement organization in North America is key” — Sebastien Brunel, Senior Vice President of AccorHotels

procurement talent. In the UK, they

hospitality player without having

have CIPS (Chartered Institute of

business activities in this region. From

Procurement and Supply) qualifica-

a customer perspective and supplier

tions, but I haven’t seen many global

perspective, having a strong procure-

equivalents so we must find trained

ment organization in North America is

procurement professionals with a

key,” he concludes.

balanced commercial background.” “We want to play a major role in North America as well as globally,” says Brunel. “We’ve started to reinvest here as we cannot be a true global w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

31


Covering every angle in the digital age The Business Chief platforms offer insight on the trends influencing C and V-level executives, telling the stories that matter CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE

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LEADERSHIP SHOWCASE

Micro Strategies

34

Delivering innovative technology solutions that drive business results Hentur sum ipsapero et es andendant que et aut mi, temut es exerrovid mi, qui bea commolut et apienecepti que corerum hil idus, torecti busape non confor perrovidio Ongoing demands value-driven data

continue to transform businesses at a rapid pace. Founder and CEO of Micro Strategies, Anthony Bongiovanni, discusses how the business continues to drive exceptional client experiences across the US WRITTEN BY

NOVEMBER 2018

CATHERINE S TURM AN


35

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LEADERSHIP SHOWCASE

T

he demand for information technology (IT) services across the US continues to show no sign

of stopping. Revolutionizing the way in

which businesses and consumers connect and deliver essential products and services, US spending is projected to reach $158bn by 2020, a staggering

1983

Year established

150

Approximate number of Employees

increase from $141bn just three years ago. Relocating its corporate headquarters as a result of its impressive growth, Micro Strategies has supported clients 36

for over 35 years. Situated in Parsippany, New Jersey, the business has continually transformed its services to cater towards ever-changing client demands. “I started Micro Strategies to write custom software for businesses. In 1980, as businesses didn’t have computers, although personal computers (PCs) had started to come out, such as the IBM PC,” explains Anthony Bongiovanni, Founder and CEO of Micro Strategies. “We would write small applications, such as accounting or inventory control systems to enable customers to gain efficiency within their organizations and become more profitable and NOVEMBER 2018

95%

Customer satisfaction


responsive. However, as our client needs began to outgrow what we could provide, we became an IBM business partner. This gave us additional resources to support customers to utilize technology for their own business benefit. IBM has been a great partner and with their strong technology portfolio, we’ve had the ability to grow our business by a factor of 20 over 15 years.” As digitization becomes increasingly embraced across the corporate sphere, technology leaders and businesses remain keen to look at how to utilize technology to drive business growth and become more relevant to its target customers. Targeting customers in the mid-market, Micro Strategies now delivers the capabilities to those businesses which need additional support to implement essential digital tools. “There’s so many different ways to use technology to gain a competitive advantage. That’s one of the things we focus on. Over the past five years, this has really changed our business and how we go to market dramatically. Additionally, as business requirements and IT w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

37


LEADERSHIP SHOWCASE

workloads continue to grow while IT budgets and staffing levels don’t, it becomes increasingly more difficult for customers to have the range and depth of experience to architect, implement and maintain the right IT solutions. That is where Micro Strategies can really help,” he adds.

UNIQUE EDGE Working with customers to successfully mine, manage and monetize informational assets available within 38

their organizations, Micro Strategies delivers solutions to unlock value from corporate data that businesses continually collect and store. Supporting the management, protection and utilization of this data, Micro Strategies has therefore adopted five essential practices to deliver exceptional business benefit to their customers. In addition to platform, cloud and security practices, Micro Strategies also provides exceptional Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and big data and analytics services, enabling businesses to become increasingly responsive to customer demands. “We help customers turn their data NOVEMBER 2018

“ Things which make us unique are the broadness of our practice areas and our skill sets that allow us to build the vision for our customers, implement the solution and manage the technology” — Anthony Bongiovanni, Founder and CEO of Micro Strategies


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘ANALYTICS OF WINNING ­– ON AND OFF THE RACETRACK’ 39 into information, for example, identifying purchasing behaviors and trends, or more efficiently managing their inventory, etc. Things which make us unique are the broadness of our practice areas and our skill sets that allow us to build the vision for our customers, implement the solution and manage the technology. Since we started 35 years ago, we have always been very deep in technical skill,” reflects Bongiovanni. However, the company’s managed services business has become essential to its success. Instead of selling products, Micro Strategies has sustained its approach to provide exceptional solutions, taking its intellectual property w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


LEADERSHIP SHOWCASE

and some of the best of its partners’ solutions and products, and then tying them together to give customers unique ways to utilize their data and derive incomparable value. “It gives us the ability to say to a customer, ‘Here’s a way that you could apply technology that’ll help you drive your business.’ We work with our customers to create that vision and then architect and build the solution.’ One of the first things a customer will say is, ‘That’s great, but how am 40

I going to do that when my people don’t necessarily know this particular product or set of products?’”

“ There’s so many different ways to use technology to gain a competitive advantage. That’s one of the things we focus on. This has really changed our business and how we go to market dramatically” — Anthony Bongiovanni, Founder and CEO of Micro Strategies

“This is another area where we provide tremendous value. Not only

practices. Helping customers protect

can we create the vision and build

and manage their environments against

the solution, we can do the implementa-

ongoing cyber threats, it delivers

tion and continue to manage the

solutions which grow and evolve

solution for the customer afterwards.

alongside its customers.

Customers don’t have to be saddled

“Cloud environments are changing

with concerns of how to get the people

how people implement technology

and skills in house. That’s one of the

dramatically,” observes Bongiovanni.

offerings that makes us truly unique.”

“Cloud makes sense for environments that need to consume high amounts

ENHANCED PROTECTION

of processing power and/or capacity

A further fast-growing service at

for short periods of time. It makes

Micro Strategies is its robust security

sense when you don’t have to build

NOVEMBER 2018


41

an environment and data center and

driving a lot of change in our business.

keep it up and running when you’re only

There’s no limit to the imagination in

going to use it six weeks out of the year

terms of what you could build.”

or two weeks every quarter. It also suits when a company’s resources are not centralized.

PROMOTING INNOVATION AND COLLABORATION

“With the Internet of Things (IoT),

Throughout Micro Strategies’ subse-

we have also gained the ability to sift

quent growth and ongoing focus to

through voluminous amounts of data

guarantee an extraordinary customer

that technology generates to get to the

experience, Bongiovanni is all too

information that can drive business

aware of the danger that such growth

forward. Being able to get to data that

can bring to the business.

is real information and valuable in really

Housing a deep understanding of w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


LEADERSHIP SHOWCASE

the significance of collaboration in order to encourage innovation across all avenues, Micro Strategies has sought to keep its teams close. Situated within Boston (Massachusetts), Malvern (Pennsylvania), Parsippany (New Jersey) and New York City, the business remains a strong regional partner by retaining its technical skill within a four-hour radius. “The magic that happens when people are collaborating together in a room as opposed to over a wire is 42

incredible,” Bongiovanni adds eagerly. Investing significantly in upskilling

“ Not only can we build the vision and solution, but we can implement that for the customer, and manage that for the customer afterwards. That’s one of the biggest things that makes us unique” — Anthony Bongiovanni, Founder and CEO of Micro Strategies

NOVEMBER 2018


its employees – from its technical teams to its sales executives, the company has developed an array of educational curriculums to keep their employees at the top of the ever-changing technology landscape, all whilst helping customers build their ultimate vision. “If customers are focused on ECM, for example, we want employees to be informed, more so than just simply selling a product, but helping customers to see how they can derive business benefit out of the solutions that we create. We’re very focused on education in order to show the value of Micro Strategies to businesses,” adds Bongiovanni “With the constant change of technology, we continue to focus on staying current and relevant. Re-educating our teams in terms of how to work with business leaders as opposed to IT leaders is one of the challenges we’ve been working very hard to overcome. “Our innovation centers are critical to the continuous technical development of our teams. It helps to keep my teams very sharp and skilled up in their particular areas and allows them to architect and test many creative solutions to our customer’s business problems and opportunities. “There’s many different ways to approach a problem or an opportunity with technology, lots of ways to put it together and it’s very w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

43


LEADERSHIP SHOWCASE

“ The ability for teams to go in and build a solution inside the lab environment is huge. It provides a much higher-quality solution and a much greater benefit to the client than building solutions without that capability” 44

— Anthony Bongiovanni, Founder and CEO of Micro Strategies

hard to do it unless you have the tools

LONG-TERM SUCCESS

available to put it together, test it, see

Providing a real benefit to customers who

how it works. I don’t know how partners

appreciate the technology offerings

like myself can do this without having

Micro Strategies delivers is something

innovation centers,” he continues.

Bongiovanni finds increasingly fulfilling.

“The ability for teams to go in and

Additionally, offering a home for all team

build a solution inside the lab environ-

members to flourish and develop their

ment is huge. It provides a much

careers, as well as develop strong

higher-quality solution and a much

relationships with vendors, have all

greater benefit to the client than build-

been key to its success.

ing solutions without that capability.” NOVEMBER 2018

Against rampant competition the


45

business remains one of the strongest

“Over the past five years, I’ve really

providers on the east coast. With the

focused on what’s really critical and what

long-term aim to hone what the company

makes the most sense. I try to resist

does and further cement its presence

those entrepreneur feelings to jump into

in the region, Bongiovanni is always

other areas to ensure we don’t dilute all

looking at how to take the business to

the good things we’re doing today.

the next level.

“I’m less concerned about revenue and

“Our focus is to always be excellent

more focused on providing real business

at everything we do. Sometimes, as an

value to our customers, delivering great

entrepreneur, I open the aperture a little

opportunity to our staff members and

too much,” he admits candidly.

strong benefits to our partners.” w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


TECHNOLOGY

46

SALESFORCE.ORG EMBRACING INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY TO ENABLE SOCIAL GOOD AROUND Hentur sum ipsapero et es THE WORLD andendant que et aut mi, temut es exerrovid mi, qui bea By connecting noncommolut et apienecepti que profits and educational corerum hil idus, torecti busape institutionsnon to innovative con perrovidio technology, Salesforce.org creates a better world for tomorrow WRITTEN BY

DA LE BENTON

NOVEMBER 2018


47


TECHNOLOGY

T

echnology, when used for good, can truly change the world. This is the core belief of Salesforce.org, a social enterprise that plac-

es the greatest technology the world has to offer into the hands of non-profits and educational institutions in order to enable them to connect their organisations and accelerate their impact. Salesforce.org is defined by three key pillars, technology, resources and people. These key pillars represent the ways in which Salesforce.org can deliver on its vision of empowering non-profit organisations and educational sectors all over the world. “Technology can do the most amazing things

48

when used for social good, but it has to be applicable and appropriate for a non-profit to be able to use,” says Charlotte Finn, VP Global Strategic Relations. “What we’ve done is developed technology specific for those area. So, we’ve taken fundraising technology, volunteer management technology, donation management technology and student management technology and really tailored them to our market. This approach has made a significant difference.” Formally known as the Salesforce Foundation, Salesforce.org leverages the Salesforce Customer Relationship Platform (CRM) and made it accessible to non-profit organisations and developed its own non-profit specific technology solutions. What this does is allow some of the smaller

NOVEMBER 2018


49

“ Every single year, we surpass our volunteering targets because we are an organisation made up of employees who are passionate about the real difference each and every one of them can make” — Charlotte Finn, VP Global Strategic Relations

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TECHNOLOGY

non-profit organisations to access and leverage the same technology as some of the largest non-profit or corporate companies in the world. Finn points to Child’s i Foundation, a foundation designed to “rewrite the script” for all children in orphanages across Uganda. “Childs i Foundation was founded by one person with a vision of simplifying the process of tracing blood relatives for orphaned children and reconnecting them with their families,” says Finn. “What she did was build a case management system using Salesforce 50

CRM to track a child’s family then work with the Ugandan government and local social services top accelerate the flow of adoption in the country. It was really incredible.” Child’s i is a perfect example of the way in which Salesforce.org delivers on its vision but in order for the foundation to be able to benefit and lever-age Salesforce’s technology, it called upon Salesforce.org’s second key pillar, resources. As a foundation, Salesforce.org is a granting foundation and grants funding specifically in the areas of workforce development and in education. Finn believes that in order to drive technology and innovNOVEMBER 2018

“ Technology can do the most amazing things when used for social good, but it has to be applicable and appropriate for a non-profit to be able to use” — Charlotte Finn, VP Global Strategic Relations


CLICK TO WATCH : ‘HOW GEORGETOWN CREATES A PERSONALISED STUDENT EXPERIENCE’

ation, the organisation must start

made available and this is just in the

enabling the next generation to have

UK alone. We have to think about how

incredible opportunities to do so.

we can fill them,” says Finn.

Across its entire global portfolio,

This is where the organisation’s

Salesforce.org has granted more than

third pillar comes into play, people.

$220mn into non-profit and education-

Salesforce.org provides every single

al organisations to build what Finn des-

employee with seven day’s volunteer-

cribes as future ready programs. These

ing and actively encourages each

future ready programs will create the

employee to go out and volunteer with

next generation of technology enabled

non-profit organisations to train and

individuals all around the world.

develop the skillset and capabilities

“Take the UK as an example: In the

of individuals. To date, the organisation

next few years there are close to

has registered more than three million

745,000 IT jobs that are going to be

hours of volunteering work worldwide. w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

51


TECHNOLOGY

“Every single year we are asking ourselves, how are we going to continue this and improve and give more time?”, says Finn. “Every single year, we surpass our volunteering targets because we are an organisation made up of employees who are passionate about the real difference each and every one of them can make individually as well as collectively.” An inescapable challenge that comes with technology and innovation is readiness and whether or not there is the right skillset and capabilities to fully 52

embrace technology. As an organisation looking to connect non-profit and educational sectors from all over the world to the latest technology solutions, this challenge is only exacerbated. Finn recognises this and admits that there are more mature and ‘techready’ countries and markets in some parts of the world than others. The one thing she does note however, is the demand for technology. “There is a huge appetite to become tech ready and in fact, sometimes it’s the systems and solutions that aren’t ready to match that appetite,” she says. “There are some incredible, innovative organiza-

NOVEMBER 2018

“ Sometimes it’s actually technology that has to be ready. So as developers, we have to catch up with some of their innovative concepts” — Charlotte Finn, VP Global Strategic Relations


tions down there that want to harness the powers that technology can give them. But because they are so innovative, because they are so amazing the delivery, especially to the last mile, when you’re right out in the field, it’s not there yet. Sometimes it’s actually technology that has to be ready. So as developers, we have to catch up with some of their innovative concepts.” To this end, Salesforce.org builds and invests into a number of education programs and educational workforce development programs that are accessible both externally and internally. One such example, is Trailhead. Trailhead is an online tool that provides training, badges and accreditation to all staff and employees. Finn feels this is key because it shows that technology education is just the beginning, its Trailhead enables them to take that education and make a real difference. Given the incredible rate in which technology has evolved and will continue to evolve, the technology conversation has shifted immensely. Historically in the non-profit sector, Finn feels that people have always looked to tackle situations by themselves. Only through

w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

53


TECHNOLOGY

37,000+

Nonprofit and education customers

$230mn+ Grants

3.2mn 54

Service hours

NOVEMBER 2018


public and private partnerships and working collaboratively with NGOs and organisations like Salesforce.org can the sector truly embrace and ride the digital wave. “There is much stronger appetite for the collaboration amongst companies to enable this to happen,” she says. “As more and more of these entities are coming together and creating a collaborative approach, we are starting to see more of these challenges being addressed and tackled more successfully, much more quickly.” The technology conversation shows no signs of slowing down and Salesforce. org will continue to play a key role in enabling the non-profit organisations of the world to access the greatest and most innovative technologies the world has to offer. For Finn, it will always be about one thing. “It really is to enable technology to be used for social good,” she says. “I know it’s a trite answer but its true. We can really help the world through technology. The work we do is truly game changing.”

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55


CITY FOCUS

City Focus

56

PHILAD PHILAD Ranked as one of the ‘top 10 coolest US cities to visit in 2018’ by Forbes, Philadelphia continues to excite all those who visit WRITTEN BY

CATHERINE STURMAN

NOVEMBER 2018


DELPHIA DELPHIA w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

57


CITY FOCUS | PHILADELPHIA

G

aining up to 10 industry awards in 2017-18, Philadelphia reigns supreme as one of the most popu-

lar historic destinations to visit in the US. The birthplace of Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, the vibrant city welcomed over 43mn people in 2017, with 38mn visiting solely for leisure purposes. Housing a diverse 1.6mn population, composed of 643,763 black residents (41%), 543,137 white residents (35%), as well as Hispanic (14%) and Asian residents (7%), over 319,000 citizens within Philadelphia 58

speak a second language. Previously renowned for its textiles and ironworks, as well as its shipbuilding, locomotives and strength within the oil, glass, coal and steel sectors, the city has sought to modernize and attract new and upcoming talent in a number of new industries. Witnessing eight years of consistent visitation growth, fully supporting its food and beverage, lodgings, transport, recreational and retail facilities, visitor spend within Greater Philadelphia rose to US$7.1bn in 2017, a 4% rise from $6.8bn in 2016. NOVEMBER 2018


59

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE Designed by Sir William Penn, central Philadelphia remains famous for its historic sites which celebrate its rich culture and history. Home to a number of important buildings, such as world-renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site Independence Hall, increasing numbers visit Independence National Historical Park each year to see where the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were both established. Welcoming over 5mn visitors in 2016, The Liberty Bell Center is also an iconic symbol. w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


CITY FOCUS | PHILADELPHIA

Indeed, liberty, freedom, choice and independence are all of significant importance within Philadelphia. Whilst it remains the home to a large African American and Puerto Rican community, as well as European immigrants who settled in the city in the 19th century, it is renowned for its key role within the abolition of slavery and the increased demands for social and economic rights for all citizens. The city’s colonial past is still heavily reflected in its architecture, as well as its artistic flair and, of course, its famous culinary delights, all of which local citizens are immensely proud. From a Philadelphia 60

cheese steak to oyster crackers and desserts, famous indoor market Reading Terminal, the city’s oldest farmers market, provides an array of local dishes which all depict its colorful background.

NOVEMBER 2018


LOCAL BUSINESS

Campbell Soup Company Crossing the Benjamin Franklin Bridge from Philadelphia to the company’s historic headquarters in Camden, the Campbell Soup Company has announced that it is set to close its last Canadian factory at the start of the year, bringing its manufacturing completely back into the US. The company remains iconic in the city, and employs up to a thousand workers. Visit Website

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CITY FOCUS | PHILADELPHIA

RISING POPULARITY A construction boom in the 1990s and 2000s led the city’s popularity to steadily rise for both corporate and leisure travellers. Since the late 1990s, Philadelphia has witnessed a 74% increase in total available hotel room nights, with over 1.1mn leisure hotel room nights booked in 2017. Whilst local buses connect visitors to nearby suburbs, the Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO) high-speed rail links the city with wider Pennsylvania and travels underground to reach Camden County and 62

New Jersey. Popular with corporate travellers, for those who are conscious of their LOCAL BUSINESS

AmerisourceBergen Situated in Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania, leading pharmaceutical distributor AmerisourceBergen gained $153bn in revenue in 2017, and is set to move to a new headquarters in Conshohocken, Montgomery County, to cater towards its ongoing expansion. Supporting over a thousand residents, the move will provide a significant boost to the local economy and support local healthcare providers and educational establishments in retaining its position as one of the top employers in Philadelphia. Visit Website

NOVEMBER 2018


carbon footprint, the Delaware River Trail is also utilized by cyclists, and connects to the city’s main waterfront. Additionally, pedestrian walkways also cater towards high volumes of traffic. The city remains keen to reflect its cultural importance through its lively entertainment scene, topped off with stunning sunsets and communal spaces. Utilized by many of the city’s residents and situated close to Benjamin Franklin Bridge, Race Street Pier is perfect for those who want a scenic spot to relax and hosts a number of local activities. Additionally, famous green spaces, such as Fairmount Park which spans 2,050 acres, and The Navy Yard remain iconic spots. w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

63


CITY FOCUS | PHILADELPHIA

LOCAL BUSINESS

Aramark Listed as a Fortune 500 company, Aramark gained $14bn revenue in 2017 and remains headquartered at the Aramark Tower in Philadelphia. The business has recently announced its decision to sell its Healthcare Technologies (HCT) business for $300mn to TRIMEDX, enabling it to focus solely on its core food, facilities and uniforms businesses. Visit Website 64

NOVEMBER 2018


65

CORPORATE ALLURE

ious educational establishments in the

Responsible for bringing meetings,

US. Popular majors in nursing, finance

conventions and overseas visitors to

and marketing continue to dominate,

Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Conven-

and the University of Pennsylvania

tion & Visitors Bureau, the Pennsylvania

remains the largest in the city with over

Convention Century Authority (PCCA),

8,500 graduates per year. However,

and the Regional Visitors Bureau all

Temple University and Drexel Univer-

work to boost corporate figures to the

sity are not far behind. Furthermore,

city, hosting over 200 events each year.

the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine

For those who wish to study in the

Arts also remains the oldest art school

city, Philadelphia and its surrounding

in the US and receives a high number

areas boast some of the most prestig-

of applicants each year. w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


CITY FOCUS | PHILADELPHIA

LOCAL BUSINESS

Comcast Corporation

66

One of the largest telecommunications conglomerates and indeed most influential companies in the world, Comcast makes its home in Philadelphia. Operating a plethora of digital channels, it operates a number of offices in the US, and has become the main anchor tenant in the city’s the Comcast Center. The company’s subsidiary, Comcast Sports Ventures (Comcast Spectacor) has also recently reached an agreement to introduce 100% renewable energy to Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center, home to the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers. Visit Website

NOVEMBER 2018


LOCAL BUSINESS

Quaker Chemical Corporation Maintaining Philadelphia’s position as a leader in a number of process fluids, chemical specialties and technical expertise, Quaker Chemical Corporation has cemented its presence in over 20 countries and 35 locations, with a strong foothold within China, India and Brazil. Located in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, the company supports customers to gain production efficiency, improve product quality and lower ongoing costs through bespoke solutions. Visit Website

As Philadelphia continues to employ

at $41,449, male workers earn up to

over 678,000 citizens, the local econ-

$65,993 on average, in comparison to

omy is flourishing. Whilst the median

$48,584 for female workers, with an

household income in the city is rela-

average commute time of 32 minutes.

tively stable at $41,449, male workers

A recent report has also highlighted

earn up to $65,993 on average, in com-

that although the most common roles

parison to $48,584 for US and receives

lie within administration, the city

a high number of applicants each year.

employs high numbers within health-

As Philadelphia continues to employ

care, health IT and social assistance

over 678,000 citizens, the local economy

roles, as well as educational, firefight-

is flourishing. Whilst the median house-

ing, legal and retail services, which all

hold income in the city is relatively stable

offer high salaries.

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67


T O P 10

Top 10

68

Richest people in America In this month’s Business Chief North America, we take a look at the top 10 richest individuals in America, according to various sources WRITTEN BY

NOVEMBER 2018

CATHERINE STURMAN


69

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T O P 10

10

Michael Bloomberg Beginning his career at Wall Street firm Salomon Brothers in the mid70

1960s, Michael Bloomberg co-founded global financial information and media company Bloomberg LP, which now houses over 19,000 employees in over 170 locations worldwide. Accumulating a net worth of $50bn, he has become one of the most iconic faces within the media industry, he previously held the position as New York Mayor for three consecutive terms. Retaining an 88% stake in the business, Bloomberg remains increasingly influential regarding his views on a number of issues, such as environmental issues, sustainable development and gun control, and has looked at the possibility take his philanthropic efforts to the next level, providing $702mn towards a number of causes in 2017. Recent reports have also highlighted that he is actively considering a campaign for President as a Democrat in 2020.

www.bloomberg.com

NOVEMBER 2018


71

9

Sergey Brin Born in Moscow and emigrating to the US in the late 1970s, current president of Alphabet, the parent company of search giant Google, Sergey Brin, alongside Larry Page are known as the co-founders of Google, which originally launched back in 1998. Borne out of Brin’s passion for links back to pages online, noting it could work similarly to academic citations, Google is now responsible for handling over 3.5bn searches per day and is utilised worldwide. As a result, Brin’s net worth has reached $52bn. He is also presently Director of Special Projects at secretive division, Google X, which works on a number of digital products, such as smart contact lenses.

www.google.com

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T O P 10

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08

Larry Page Meeting Brin at Stanford University in California, Larry Page has been central to the development of Google and its multinational expansion, and remains the company’s CEO, accumulating a net worth of $53bn. Whilst Brin is widely known in corporate circles to be an extrovert and somewhat of a visionary, building successful relationships both internally and with stakeholders, Page has been key to ensuring all operations remain seamless.

www.google.com

NOVEMBER 2018


73

= 07

The Koch Brothers One of America’s largest private companies, Koch Industries is home to a variety of different companies, with over 120,000 employees at the helm. Presently run by Charles Koch, son of founder Fred C. Kosh, brother David Koch has recently stepped down from his position as Executive Vice President, yet both brothers have an accumulated net worth of $54bn.

www.kochind.com

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T O P 10

74

= 05

Larry Ellison Honing essential computer and programming capabilities with a number of established companies, such as Wells Fargo and Ampex, founder of Oracle, Larry Ellison was inspired by computer scientist Edgar F. Codd, and launched the business a decade prior to the launch of Google. Influenced by the idea of storing valuable information with technology, Oracle launched its IPO in the 1980s and gained significant momentum across the technology industry. Amassing a net worth of $60mn, matching Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Ellison stepped away his CEO role back in 2014, but has retained his positions as Chairman and Chief Technology Officer at the company.

www.oracle.com

NOVEMBER 2018


= 05

75

Mark Zuckerberg Although tied with Ellison, both he and Zuckerberg have pledged to donate a majority of their wealth towards philanthropic causes through the Giving Pledge, of which billionaires have sought to donate the majority of their financial wealth, and also the company’s Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Founding popular social media platform, Facebook back in 2004 aged 19 years old with college roommates when attending Harvard University, Zuckerberg is known as a social media prodigy and remains the company’s chairman and Chief Executive Officer after the company went public in 2012, raising $16bn, the largest internet IPO in history.

www.facebook.com

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03

Warren Buffett Once the world’s richest man, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet, is revered within the financial world. Nicknamed the Oracle of Omaha, the region where he originates, Buffet has been responsible for Berkshire Hathaway’s success since the 1950s and has gained a net worth of $90bn.

www.berkshirehathaway.com

NOVEMBER 2018


77

02

Bill Gates Launching the Bill & Melina Gates Foundation with wife Melinda Gates, as well as the $1bn Breakthrough Energy investment fund, founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates has turned his attentions towards solving some of the most important global issues of our time. With a net worth of $98bn, Gates is committed to supporting causes in health, nutrition and education, tackling diseases such as influenza, malaria, HIV and Alzheimer’s. Additionally, Gates has sought to reduce child mortality rates by partnering with researchers, developers and investors.

www.microsoft.com

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T O P 10

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NOVEMBER 2018


79

01

Jeff Bezos Leading a trillion-dollar company, Jeff Bezos has transformed traditional e-commerce site, Amazon, into a business that consumers cannot do without. Present in over 16 countries, the business has gone from selling books to a variety of products and consumer electronics. Bezos has accumulated a net worth of $159bn and its cloud services arm, Amazon Web Services, is one of the most utilised services in the corporate world. In 2013, Bezos purchased the influential media company, The Washington Post, for $250mn.

www.amazon.com

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NOVEMBER 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

Empowering a mammoth supply chain transformation WRIT TEN BY

L AUR A MULL AN PRODUCED BY

DENITR A PRICE

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S E R V I C E C O R P O R AT I O N I N T E R N AT I O N A L

Powered by center-led procurement, data analytics, strategic sourcing and more, Service Corporation International is well on its way to becoming a world-class supply chain group

P

lanning a funeral is an emotionally testing task, but it is one, which many people will have to face in their lifetime. Navigating

a variety of choices from caskets and flowers to music selection whilst also dealing with grief is a 82

delicate balancing act, but luckily, there is an array of deathcare professionals ready to guide you through the process – not least affiliates of Texas-headquartered firm Service Corporation International (SCI)*, which has quickly established itself as the leading deathcare provider in North America. With a network of more than 2,000 funeral homes and cemeteries, SCI provides world-class funeral, cremation, and cemetery services to thousands of families each year. In doing so, Christopher Jones, Director of Indirect Procurement, says that SCI helps families through difficult times, helping to celebrate their loved ones’ lives with compassion and dignity. “In my opinion, SCI helps families in their greatest time of need, and our focus and mission centers around this need,” observes Jones. “Our 24,000 associates work every day to ensure that our NOVEMBER 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

83 families are taken care of, that they don’t have to worry about the little details when they’re grieving over a loved one that they’ve lost.” With funeral homes and cemeteries in 45 states, eight Canadian provinces, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, SCI has an unparalleled network and a diversified range of end-of-life offerings. The supply chain is, therefore, a pivotal part of the operations and so the company has embarked on a transformation to ensure it can continue to deliver and help hundreds of thousands of families each year. “I believe that supply chain is a key w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


May all your business challenges be more business than challenge.

At U.S. Bank Corporate Payment Systems, we know nothing in business comes easily. But we have the unique products and services that can take your business in the direction you want it to go–and the expertise to get you there. From efficiencies gained with digital payments and program optimization, to global expansion—whatever the size or financial needs of your company—we offer expert guidance backed by strength, stability and experience. Get started on making your possible happen today.

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S U P P LY C H A I N

“ SCI has worked with U.S. Bank for the last 10 years with its One Card and Purchasing Card payments to streamline its process and perfect its procureto-pay initiatives”

group in our operations,” Jones adds.

keen to highlight too. With different

“We make sure that our locations don’t

groups within the procurement organi-

have to worry about the little things,

zation – direct procurement and indirect

ensuring that we have the necessary

procurement as well as a business

operational supplies and merchandise

support services group – Jones outlines

on behalf of our families so that they can

how each department takes a unique

have the best possible service for their

approach to sustain and foster strong

loved ones. The activities that we do

relationships with suppliers.

every day are critical for our operations.

“My group is indirect procurement,

“Since we are the largest company in

which procures operational supplies

the deathcare industry, our ability to go

and services,” he explains. “Then we

to our suppliers with large volume

have a direct group which focuses on

purchases means we can achieve

the merchandise side. The best way to

optimal pricing for our locations.”

describe the difference between these

Supplier relationship management is a

groups is that my group impacts the

critical function for a supply chain

bottom line of our organizations, while

professional, and it is a task Jones is

the direct group affects the top line – w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

85


S E R V I C E C O R P O R AT I O N I N T E R N AT I O N A L

86 that is, sales and revenue. Then we have one more procurement group, which controls our fleet of vehicles, which is one of the largest in North America, and they also handle travel, P-Card (purchasing card) services, and other offerings. “We have some companies that we’ve worked with for decades and others that we’re just now developing new relationships. We are working to make sure that we continue to create a win-win partnership that benefits both sides – that’s always our goal.” Striking a balance between driving NOVEMBER 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

cost efficiency and deriving value is one of the most pressing challenges facing the supply chain sector today. At SCI, the company works shoulder to shoulder with other departments to truly understand what their pain points are, what type of services and goods they are looking for and what values are most important to them. “In most instances, the supply chain department won’t be the primary user of products or services we buy; it will generally be another group within SCI. Therefore, we partner with these business process owners to identify what their short- and long-term needs are and what’s going to satisfy those needs. We put together business requirements to ensure that the people to whom we choose to send a request for proposal (RFP) meet the overall needs of the business. “Being in the procurement profession long enough, you realize that the best price doesn’t always equate to the best service. Good procurement organizations tend to ensure that all the services can be met, that all the needs of the organization are considered and that we drive the best total value to the organization overall.” w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

87


CONGRATULATIONS

ON DRIVING THE INDUSTRY FORWARD At General Motors Fleet, we understand the importance of working as a team to push innovation and develop new solutions. We congratulate SCI on being featured for their Strategic Partnerships and Alliances and their continued dedication to their communities. TO LEARN MORE VISIT

gmfleet.com


S U P P LY C H A I N

SCI has also turned its attention to the digital world to drive value. As part of the company’s supply chain transformation, SCI zeroed in on new trailblazing technologies such as Coupa’s procurement platform which has helped to make procurement more visible and accessible. “Coupa is a unique procurement platform. Overall, it’s a very user-friendly environment for our locations to order products we procure on their behalf. We put these products into Coupa into what are called catalogs, which allows our team T:297 mm

to almost shop like they’re on Amazon. They can put items into a cart, check out and it automatically creates a

“ We work every day to ensure that our families are taken care of, that they don’t have to worry about the little details when they’re grieving over a loved one that they’ve lost” — Christopher Jones, Director of Indirect Procurement, SCI

purchase order (PO) which is systematically sent to our vendors.”

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Christopher Jones Chris Jones joined SCI in 2016 as Director Indirect Procurement. Before joining SCI, he worked for several Fortune 500 companies such as Precision Castparts, Reliance Steel and Aluminum and General Motors. With an extensive background in supply chain and procurement best practices, Jones leads all areas of Indirect Procurement for SCI. Jones holds a Bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA in Operations and Supply Chain from Northeastern University.

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S E R V I C E C O R P O R AT I O N I N T E R N AT I O N A L

“ Coupa is a unique procurement platform. Overall, it’s a very userfriendly environment for our locations to order products we procure on their behalf” — Christopher Jones, Director of Indirect Procurement, SCI

90

NOVEMBER 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

As part of its business, SCI also offers travel services to help clients travel home to pay their respects – another area of the business to have been upended by technology. “Working very closely with Carlson Wagonlit, the company has created the CWT platform that all our 24,000 employees through North America and Puerto Rico use to book their airline travel hotels needs and car rentals, for example.” On top of this, the Texas-headquartered firm also has a fleet of 7,000 vehicles which it oversees using a digital fleet management platform. Data is the lifeblood of any procurement team and, at SCI, Jones points out that data analytics has allowed the company to evaluate and benchmark its purchases. “I think data is key in everything that we do,” he explains. “It drives our decision making and allows us to analyze our purchases to ensure we’re driving the right total value for our organization. One key example of how we use data is that it allows us to analyze different trends and forecast whether the price of bronze, metals or other materials is going to rise or fall.” With a compassionate, empathetic team, SCI’s employees have not been neglected by the transformation. Creating a culture that fosters innovation and collaboration, the company teamed up with KPMG to develop w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

91


S E R V I C E C O R P O R AT I O N I N T E R N AT I O N A L

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S U P P LY C H A I N

a new Supply Chain Academy to train

ranked 2 out of 5 on KPMG’s Procure-

its team. “They’ve been a key part of

ment Maturity Index, whereas now this

our success,” notes Jones. “Working

figure has soared to 4. “The goal has

with KPMG, we implemented the

been the same from the beginning: to

Supply Chain Academy, a training

be a world-class supply chain organiza-

system for our new buyers and

tion,” reflects Jones. “With our roadmap,

managers in the supply chain organiza-

we will be among the top echelon of

tion to ensure that they continue their

supply chain organizations as far as

education and understanding. They

your maturity, systems and processes.”

are kept up-to-date with not just the

*As used herein, “Service Corpora-

deathcare industry but also supply

tion International” or “SCI” refers to

chain trends, what’s going on and how

Service Corporation International and

they can best manage their categories

all of its affiliated companies.

to ensure that they’re driving the best total value for our organization.” SCI’s supply chain transformation may be still underway, but the firm has already made impressive progress. At the beginning of this roadmap, SCI w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

93


94

The Dark WRIT TEN BY

JOHN O’HANLON PRODUCED BY

TOM VENTURO

NOVEMBER 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

95

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SIGMAPOINT

SigmaPoint is poised to reinvigorate electronics manufacturing in North America. The Canadian provider of electronics manufacturing services (EMS) has refined its lean manufacturing practices over a decade, and is now on a journey to a truly disruptive supply chain solution

W

ith increasing unease over the imposition of tariffs on goods and materials imported into the USA, manufacturers and design-

ers are concentrating their attention on the likely 96

effect of ever escalating disincentives to the offshoring model. There are plenty of other reasons to look anew at the advantages of bringing as much as possible of the value chain back, among them the reducing labor cost advantages and, as innovation takes a front seat, the need to protect and control IP. It’s against this background that the SigmaPoint Technologies has launched a five-year project that will seriously disrupt the traditional end-to-end supply chain and lead the electronics industry toward a much more highly automated model. In just 19 years the Cornwall Ontario based company has grown from zero to nearly 300 employees, partnering with major OEMs such as General Dynamics and Kontron through its commitment to lean manufacturing and its triple focus on simplicity, velocity and value add. As NOVEMBER 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

97

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SIGMAPOINT

“When you get into the prescriptive and predictive portions of the AI interface … you’re actually starting to enter a future state where you’re able to look at the variables without any human interface” — Leah Slaughter, VP of Supply Chain, Sigmapoint

Sylvain Duval, SigmaPoint’s Director of

bringing certain products back to

Customer Experience, says: “We have

North America. Being a Canadian

been able to demonstrate to our

entity, our customers are burdened by

customers the solid business case for

no tariffs whatever.” Thus, being

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MONTH 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘MADE IN CORNWALL – EPISODE 1: SIGMAPOINT’ 99 Canada-based is just one of a number

Duval. “That is why SigmaPoint is trying

of market factors favoring Sig-

to build the EMS global supply chain of

maPoint’s growth – but the chief

the future. We are putting together the

advantage of this company lies in its

building blocks so that we can maintain

commitment to innovation.

our competitive advantage and enable

A key factor, currently and over the

our original equipment manufacturing

coming five years, is its leveraging of

(OEM) customers to bring back their

artificial intelligence (AI) and machine

projects from Asia to North America.”

learning (ML) when it comes to

The project proper had its birth in

competing with Asia. China will always

2017 at SigmaPoint’s facility within the

be able to undercut on labor so what

new privately-funded tech accelerator

more can SigmaPoint do? “We know

Catalyst137 at Kitchener. This focuses

that to be able to compete effectively

on NPI and fast prototyping, with an

we have to find ways of removing every

eye to volume production at the

bit of waste and inefficiency,” says

Cornwall factory. The government has w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


SIGMAPOINT

“ We have been able to demonstrate to our customers the solid business case for bringing certain products back to North America” — Sylvain Duval, Director of Customer Experience, Sigmapoint

100

encouraged the creation of a ‘super-

Response, the software platform that

cluster’ of companies working together

was chosen by VP of Supply Chain

to share IP and move toward next-gen-

Leah Slaughter based on a long

eration manufacturing, he explains.

acquaintance. “It is truly the most

“Catalyst137 spearheaded the creation

flexible piece of software that I have

of our AI/ML project together with key

ever found throughout my entire

customers, suppliers and our technical

career,” she states. “With the amount

partner Kinaxis.”

of intelligence that we are building into

Kinaxis is the developer of Rapid NOVEMBER 2018

the prescriptive interface, this was the


S U P P LY C H A I N

101 only tool that could handle the

with processes continuously running

intricacies that I wanted to build into

without human intervention. “Achieving

the AI/ML model.” Kinaxis is a key

this will bring us a huge competitive

partner in the project, which brings in

advantage through risk mitigation in

manufacturers like ON Semiconductor,

the supply chain, with a platform that

distributors including Arrow Electron-

can plan its own way through and out

ics and Future Electronics and OEM

of exceptions and pitfalls that occur,

customers Miovision and L3 Wescam

leveraging deep and continuous

– all with connections to the Catalyst137

machine learning.”

facility. It places SigmaPoint right at the

The part that is not, and probably

center of a heavily populated hub of

never will be fully automated, she calls

start-ups and OEMs that are geared

the control tower. This is the human

toward IoT innovations.

interface that monitors the process,

The goal by 2022 is to comprehen-

constantly reprogramming the

sively automate the supply chain so

machine as exceptions are encoun-

that 90% of it is running in a ‘dark state’

tered. The jobs will not always be the w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


SIGMAPOINT

supply chain professional roles of today, but might require a ‘control tower architect,’ an ‘AI programmer’ or an ‘AI profile exception specialist.’ “Artificial intelligence and machine learning on their own are really just a process automation but it’s when you get into the prescriptive and predictive portions of the AI interface, and into deep learning in the machine learning portion of it, that you’re actually starting to enter a future state where you’re able to look at the variables without any human interface. The 102 E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Leah Slaughter Leah has close to 20+ years of extensive experience in Supply Chain and redesigning end-to-end supply chains evaluating where supply chain resources are best deployed to maximize company revenue and improve customer delivery performance by using an assessment of strategic risk for the company through strategic sourcing, demand intake, supply chain management, procurement, materials management, manufacturing, logistics and customer service. Leah’s experience with component distribution, various multinational EMS providers, OEM’s as well as consulting for Supply Chain process and applications has allowed her to share her knowledge and manage teams of up to 150+ people. Graduating with honours and on the Dean’s List, Leah received Diploma’s in Materials Management & Distribution and Marketing & Business Administration from Sir Sandford Fleming College.

NOVEMBER 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

control tower will always be a piece of the puzzle though, because we need intuition built-in to some of these decisions. We need to regularly re-programme the artificial interface to ensure that the right things are being learnt by the machine and that the next decision that it makes will be correct.” AI and ML, then, have the potential to make existing practice efficient, but even today supply chain is seen as a very linear, end-to-end process. SigmaPoint looked for a holistic model that would link each of the nodes direct to the digital core in real time. “The linear model introduces latency as it

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Sylvain Duval He has more than 27 years’ experience in New Production introduction in the high-tech sector. He worked 10 years at Nortel Networks as Test Engineering Director and Sr Product Line manager. He then followed an entrepreneurship career path working as Test engineering Director for Ceyba (Ultra Long haul Optical networking Start up) in early 2000 , co funding his own startup Daito Test services in 2003 and co-funding Jordale technology in 2006. Sylvain went back in the EMS world as Customer Service Director at Varitron before joining Sigmapoint. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master degree in Concurrent Engineering from Sherbrooke University.

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SIGMAPOINT

moves from node to node,” says Slaughter. “When we looked at spanning eight internal nodes with seven external supply nodes, upstream and downstream to give a full and entire supply chain solution leading to the dark state, we knew we had to 104

connect the OEMs, the EMS, the distributor and the manufacturer.” Her vision is to transcend the nodes or links in the supply chain conflating them in a compressed ‘super node’, always turned on, always transparent, and all powered up by Kinaxis Rapid Response. Collaboration across the nodes, from the outset, was the always the key, emphasizes Duval. “AI and ML are

“Catalyst137 spearheaded the creation of our AI/ML project together with key customers, suppliers and our technical partner Kinaxis” — Sylvain Duval, Director of Customer Experience, Sigmapoint

NOVEMBER 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

buzzwords in the supply chain world but we are different in that we involved our partners right from the beginning, asking them to identify the upstream or downstream issues we could help solve with this new approach.” The project remains at this stage an active development between SigmaPoint and its partners, but its effect is already being felt in the vibrant digital nexus emerging in Ontario, with startups, innovators and established players supporting the next generation of IoT companies. It is due to be unveiled by Slaughter in Washington DC in October to a broader population of supply chain professionals at Kinexions 18 the annual conference of Kinaxis. “I think the AI/ML project will attract much attention and potentially, with the partners that we are involved with and leveraging right now, it will change the supply chain landscape over the next five years to what we hope will be a revolutionary state.”

w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

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106

Walbar – An engine of growth and operational efficiency WRIT TEN BY

JOHN O’HANLON PRODUCED BY

TOM VENTURO

NOVEMBER 2018


M A N U FA C T U R I N G

107

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WA L BA R E N G I N E C O M P O N E N T S

108

Walbar Engine Components has undergone a considerable transformation over the past two years: it has overcome delivery, supply chain, manufacturing and quality issues to become both a worldclass and a low-cost partner to its aerospace clients NOVEMBER 2018

W

albar is a long-established manufacturing and engineering company, founded at

Tempe, Arizona in 1951. Though it’s not a household name, it is well known amongst engine manufacturers worldwide: Walbar’s components can be found in the hot section of turbine engines around the world. Its main products include blades, vanes and related components used in aircraft and industrial turbine engines. The company was acquired in 1986 by


M A N U FA C T U R I N G

Cornerstone Capital Holdings to acquire Walbar, LLC. It represented a great opportunity to get deeply involved with a troubled company that was either too small or too tarnished to catch the interest of conventional private equity firms or strategic buyers. The deal was closed in September 2016 and Mr. Grein assumed the role of President, assembling a small team of industry professionals to get the transformation started. For a supplier to an aero engine OEMs like Rolls Royce and Pratt & Whitney, Walbar was under performing: quality and delivery performance were faltering, and a climate of mistrust had grown between Walbar and its customers. It was difficult to understand, Grein Coltec Industries, and later, in 1999 by

recalls, how such an adversarial relat-

Goodrich. In the following year, they

ionship had developed. “When your

started a plan to relocate their labor-

customer is an adversary it is imposs-

intensive manufacturing from several

ible to get the kind of collaboration that

US locations to the port city of Guay-

is required to improve things,� he says.

mas in Sonora, Mexico. Later, in 2012,

One problem, he found, was that

Goodrich was taken over by United

there was a disconnect between the

Technologies Aerospace Systems.

customer-facing commercial group

By 2016, Walbar had been struggling

and the plant where the parts were

and was losing its competitiveness, as

made. Faunna Bartlett, Vice President

an under-managed division of a multi-

of Sales and Contracts stated, “before

billion-dollar industrial conglomerate. It

Walbar was independent, the team was

was then that Tim Grein partnered with

bidding for all available work, sometimes w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

109


WA L BA R E N G I N E C O M P O N E N T S

110 at prices that did not reflect the

had the chance to meet the Senior

company’s costs.” The first change,

Management Team, and we were not

therefore, was to align the sales effort

sure what we would find.” Apart from

and the plant. Nothing can be signed

himself, Mr. Grein teamed up with two

off until it has passed the scrutiny of

associates, James Dickson, as VP of

engineering, operations and supply

Operations, and Faunna Bartlett, as

chain in collaboration with sales. “From

VP of Contracts and IT, both of whom

that point forward, when we win new

helped to initiate the operational

work everybody understands what it

improvements, commercial strategy

involves and is ready to execute on it.”

and customer relationships. Much to

One thing that worried the new own-

the relief of everyone involved, the

ers was the leadership of the company,

team quickly meshed and proved to

which was a complete unknown.

be highly capable and motivated to

“When we walked into Walbar two

help drive the company’s transforma-

years ago, we had not previously

tion. “The Senior Management Team

NOVEMBER 2018


M A N U FA C T U R I N G

“ When we win new work everybody understands what it involves and is ready to execute on it”

at the Mexico plant – at last, they were being heard. It produced the expected results: within six months the business was speaking the same language of profitability and cost, and working side-by-side to drive toward world class operational excellence. James

— Timothy Grein President and CEO, Walbar Engine Components

“the Team was desperate for collabora-

remains nearly unchanged, and I am

we began to see immediate change

proud to say that as soon as we engaged

and transformation in nearly every

them in decision making and strategy

aspect of the operation.”

Dickson, VP of Operations, observed tion and focus. As soon as we set clear objectives and started communicating,

development they proved super solid,

The current scope of work was an-

capable and extremely dedicated to

other challenge that needed to be

Walbar’s success.”

addressed. “I think part of being

Radical change is often difficult, but

successful in the aerospace world is

in this case, it was met with huge relief

focusing on what you’re good at and

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Timothy Grein Timothy Grein is Walbar’s President and CEO. Tim brings an array of experience in aerospace manufacturing and management in private equity environments. A West Point graduate and United States Army veteran, Tim began his professional career at GE Power Systems before transitioning into operations and executive leadership.

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M A N U FA C T U R I N G

“ By having extra machining capability we could reorient some of our flowlines to create permanent setups” — Timothy Grein President and CEO, Walbar Engine Components

of the new ownership, his presentation to the workforce set the stage for the level of employee engagement that had been achieved. “It seemed like the Senior Management team and employees were not communicated how the business was doing. We started by making a commitment on three things: firstly that our people come first and that we would not implement any change that would compromise employee health, safety or happiness; secondly that Quality was of paramount concern and that every employee

avoiding distractions outside of your

needed to recognize that our products

core competencies,” asserts Mr. Grein.

are critical to the safe operation of

“We quickly highlighted a few groups of

airplanes; and thirdly that we all

parts that were either priced incorrectly or deemed to be not our core competency and we engaged our customers to make some changes. The customers could see our quality and delivery improvements and they started to work with us to help us get out of those lossmaking parts.” While it was a long road, by the end of 2018, Walbar will have exited all of these, with the full cooperation of the OEMs. The transition away from UTAS was abrupt and a complete surprise to the entire workforce. On the first morning w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

113


WA L BA R E N G I N E C O M P O N E N T S

“ All of our growth focus is on aerospace components so the expansion allows us to create space for these in our original 70,000 square foot facility” — Timothy Grein President and CEO, Walbar Engine Components 114 needed to understand that Walbar acts as a direct extension to our customers’ assembly lines so on-time delivery is vital. We committed to the employees that we would make no changes for short term benefits if they would compromise these three Key Principles.” With these principles establishing some basic ground rules, Mr. Grein openly shared information about the company’s recent financial performance, preceding Cornerstone’s acquisition. The company had recorded significant losses and declining sales for the previous four years. “But then, I went on to explain why I remained optimistic about being able to fix things as a team. If we focused on three simple things, we would quickly return to profitability: (1) operational expense control, (2) improvements in NOVEMBER 2018


M A N U FA C T U R I N G

productivity and efficiency, and (3) scrap reduction. As a real-time example I showed them that if all we did was eliminate our scrap ($3.6mm worth of castings were wasted), we would return to profitability.” Before this message was conveyed, it seemed like the blame had been placed on poor contract pricing. But a new level of awareness and accountability spread throughout the enterprise as a whole, with spectacular results: in the first nine months scrap rates were cut by 50% while nearly every other operating metric similarly improved. As the team reflects on the journey of the first two years, it became clear that changes in operational management and employee engagement were the key factors in the transformation, however, technology played its part too. Within the first three months of ownership, they invested in and implemented QC-CALC, a software program that statistically tracks process capability in real time. The plant operates more than 25 coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) that make critical measurements on the components. This quickly gave better visibility into the areas where process improvement was needed. James Dickson said, “We also invested in new machines to created dedicated flow lines. We found that certain machines did not have enough volume to be dedicated to a particular “family” of parts and we were doing too many changeovers, which introduced unnecessary variation in our processes. By adding select extra machining capability we could reorient some of our flowlines w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

115


WA L BA R E N G I N E C O M P O N E N T S

116 to create permanent setups. As soon

equipment can be very effective if used

as we did that and could show positive

for the optimal work statement. For

performance improvements, our

example, with more than thirty (30)

customers responded by giving us

five-axis Huffman grinding machines,

more volume.” It’s a virtuous cycle, he

managed with careful process control,

says: with greater volumes, it’s easier

Walbar is very effective at producing

to justify dedicated flowlines and

state-of-the art high pressure nozzle

permanent setups.

guide vanes (NGVs) and seal segments

The machinery at the Guaymas

for large commercial aerospace

factory is a combination of legacy and

applications. And during the last two

modern equipment, resulting from the

years, Walbar has invested heavily in

previous ownership’s relocation of

new machinery to expand its capabili-

unwanted equipment and programs

ties, including the purchase of multiple

that they no longer wanted to keep in

Blohm grinders that are currently being

the USA. Nonetheless, most of the

used to manufacture extremely

NOVEMBER 2018


M A N U FA C T U R I N G

high-volume turbine blades for a leading commercial engine. The company’s performance improvements emboldened Cornerstone Capital to support an aggressive plant expansion. In September, exactly

“ With a competitive cost structure in Mexico the opportunities are endless for us” — Timothy Grein President and CEO, Walbar Engine Components

two years after becoming an inde-

space for further manufacturing flow

pendent company, Walbar held its

optimization and aerospace growth.

grand opening of a 35,000 sq. ft facility

Mr. Grein and the Walbar team

that will initially be dedicated to

continue to look forward, seeking ways

Walbar’s non-aerospace products,

to continue the transformation that is in

such as turbocharger assemblies for

process. At this time, they are begin-

the locomotive industry. This bold

ning to implement a software program

expansion represents a 50% increase

to help manage real-time operating

in manufacturing space and makes

performance at the machine-level. This w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

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WA L BA R E N G I N E C O M P O N E N T S

is a move to create a digital and visual factory that will help to identify unutilized capacity while creating an engagement tool to give operators a channel for communicating inefficiencies throughout the facility. They are in the early stages of this implementation, but are optimistic about the possibilities it will create. Walbar’s current customer base is very internationally diverse, with 85% of its customers located outside of the USA. While the original attraction for these customers was the low-cost 118

70,000

Square feet of manufacturing area

1951

Year founded

200-500

Approximate number of employees

location, these customers are increasingly viewing Walbar as a leading

“ We solely look for OEM partnerships on engine components, and our customers really appreciate that” — Timothy Grein President and CEO, Walbar Engine Components NOVEMBER 2018

manufacturer able to compete, from a quality and delivery perspective, against any manufacturer in the world for similar components. “With our capabilities, combined with a competitive cost structure in Mexico, the opportunities for Walbar are tremendous,” says Mr. Grein. In fact, he fully supports the aspiration of Walbar’s Senior Management Team, expressed six months after the transformation started: that


M A N U FA C T U R I N G

119

Walbar will grow to become one of the

turer approval) market Walbar avoids

largest independent engine component

that potential conflict of interest. “We

manufacturers in the world.

solely look for OEM partnerships on

One characteristic that differentiates

engine components, and our custom-

Walbar from its competitors is that it

ers really appreciate that. I think the

intentionally does compete with its

fact that we are not a competitor in the

OEM customers for aerospace comp-

aftermarket positions us to start growing

onents in the aftermarket. Many com-

with other leading engine OEMs.�

petitors that make parts for the engine

Currently, as an example, Walbar does

OEMs also seek to sell higher-margin

not have any business with GE Aviation,

products on the PMA (parts manufac-

nor Safran, whom together account for w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


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“ It is clear that there are going to be capacity constraints for turbo engine components” — Timothy Grein President and CEO, Walbar Engine Components

NOVEMBER 2018

more than 65% of the market for large commercial aero engines – a clear opportunity for growth. Another benefit of gaining customer trust and cooperation is demonstrated in Walbar’s supply chain transformation. When Walbar became independent in 2016, approximately 90% of all external processing, notably coating work, was done in the USA or elsewhere since no suppliers in Mexico were qualified. However, Ellison Surface Technologies had already made significant investments in Sonora and


M A N U FA C T U R I N G

had both the capability and the capacity required, and they were eager to support an ambitious plan. “You can’t switch suppliers for a critical operation, such as coatings, without the support of your customers. But after we had started to develop good rapport with them, the customers saw the potential benefits of both cost and cycle times reductions and we started a process to complete the qualification process. By December 2017, we transitioned our highest volume blades into Ellison and the relationship has been a resounding success for all parties.” Parts that

121

previously had to be shipped to Connecticut could now be trucked 400

and airplanes. “There is a widely held

yards across the industrial park to

consensus that there will be significant

Ellison. With volumes in the order of

capacity constraints for turbine engine

50,000 – 90,000 blades/year now

components. Two years ago, we set

being processed in 2-3 days rather

out to position Walbar to be prepared

than three weeks.Now, as the end of

for this opportunity. Today, with our

2018 approaches, 85% of Walbar’s

quality and delivery performance ex-

coating requirements have been

ceeding customer expectations, we

successfully transitioned to remain

are ready to capitalize on these

within Mexico.

opportunities.”

Since Walbar has reestablished itself as a high-performing company, the business fundamentals are all in favor of the company driven by unprecedented demand for new engines w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


Nebraska Book Company

Nebraska Book Company: a digital transformation 122 WRIT TEN BY

CATHERINE S TURM AN PRODUCED BY

DENITR A PRICE

NOVEMBER 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

123

w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


N E B R A S K A B O O K C O M PA N Y

124

By investing in new technologies and utilizing data science, Nebraska Book Company has sought to futureproof its diverse portfolio.

T

he use of textbooks across

supplier – Nebraska Book Company

the education sector is facing

(NBC) is expected to see rapid revenue

considerable challenges. As

growth. This is an impressive feat, but it

the average student continues to spend

has also brought a number of complexi-

hundreds of dollars on textbooks each

ties to its operations.

year, rising prices, increased national

Appointed two years ago, SVP of

competition and the threat of new tech-

Operations & Strategy, Peter Grenier

nologies are leading traditional business-

is responsible for running NBC’s complex

es to look at new ways to attract and

supply chain, distribution center, e-

retain market share.

commerce, data science and project

After assuming the wholesale division of multibillion-dollar lease competitor, Follett Higher Education Group – becoming the company’s number one NOVEMBER 2018

management processes as the company enters a new phase. “While we trade in textbooks, we buy from our customers and sell to the same


S U P P LY C H A I N

“ We buy from our customers and sell to the same customer.We buy from bookstores and sell back to bookstores which makes it a very unique supply chain” — Peter Grenier SVP of Operations & Strategy, Nebraska Book Company

125

client. We buy from bookstores and sell back to bookstores which makes it a very unique supply chain,” he explains. “There is, therefore, an awareness of how much our markups are, the prices that we charge and the prices that we buy at. This circular supply chain puts pressure on customer service, because if you mess up the buy side, you’ll lose the sale side as well. It’s very tricky. “The student is apathetic about where the book comes from and they often only purchase it for their studies,” he continues. “So, we deal in a commodity w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


DEFINING & AUTOMATING MODERN DISTRIBUTION Velociti Alliance North America has been perfecting the art of advanced distribution for more than 20 years. With innovative clients in the top echelons of their respective industries, Velociti continues to push forward in the specific areas of inventory control, order fulfillment, and supply chain visibility. www.velocitialliance.com sales@velocitialliance.com



N E B R A S K A B O O K C O M PA N Y

“ The student is apathetic about where the book comes from, so price is key. We compete on the sale side and also on the buy side on price” 128

— Peter Grenier SVP of Operations & Strategy, Nebraska Book Company

NOVEMBER 2018

where the customer doesn’t want to buy, so price is key. We compete on the sale side and also on the buy side on price.” With extensive experience in merchandizing and planning, Grenier has witnessed the rise of EdTech players who have sought to cater to increasing demands for digital content and open education resources. Millennial and Gen Z students in particular are looking not only at affordability, but also towards unlimited access and interactive content, placing further pressure on the standard textbook business.


S U P P LY C H A I N

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘TEXTBOOK AFFORDABILITY’ 129 “There are large online marketplaces,

although the majority of our business is

such as Amazon, Chegg, E-Bay, Abe-

from a bookstore and back to bookstore.”

Books and Alibris, all which sell books online. There are also arbitrageurs, which

SEASONAL DEMANDS

are smaller companies that buy low

The need to find the right books at the

and sell high. They stock trade books,

right price, but also from the right person

where they just physically move them

and at the right time has led Grenier to

from place to place. However, those

refer to his role as “a real hustle,” but

other markets help us with the supply

one in which he thrives. From problem-

chain,” he says.

solving and the need to be creative in

“I can buy books from the market, sell

the deployment of various solutions,

it into the store or buy books from the

NBC continues to look at ways to be-

store and sell it out on the market.

come increasingly agile to retain its

Crossing marketplaces and industries

market position.

makes the supply chain very complex,

Housing up to 215 permanent staff, w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


N E B R A S K A B O O K C O M PA N Y

130

“ We can now pick triple the number of books processed. Over the last 11 months, we have bought in tools to completely simplify our processes” — Peter Grenier SVP of Operations & Strategy, Nebraska Book Company

NOVEMBER 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

numbers in the warehouse swell to over

we complete work. The digital screen

300 at peak times to cater to seasonal

walks temporary staff through the

demand. Throughout the winter months,

process and allows us to train them

temporary workers get up to speed on

in less than 15 minutes, so they are

company processes, in order to become

immediately adding value. Within three

fully operational at the start of the

days they’re able to operate at roughly

academic year.

the same speed as a full-time employ-

To accelerate its ability to train new-

ee. We needed temps to get in, get

starters, Grenier sought to ‘temp-proof’

operational, and get up to speed quick,”

the warehouse by investing in updating

he explains.

its outdated software and implement-

The company has also invested in

ing a number of ‘self-led’ digital tools.

new induction lanes from Velociti, which

“With the help of our warehouse tech-

provide instructions at each stage,

nology partner Velociti, we have made

flagging books which are counterfeits

significant improvements to the way

or highlighting which books are new

w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

131


N E B R A S K A B O O K C O M PA N Y

132

14.5m

Students served each year

or used, for instance. NBC’s put-awayand-pick applications are also now

1915

Year founded

300+

Team members

98%

Customer retention rate NOVEMBER 2018

accessed through the use of mobile technology. “Each employee is given a mobile device and technology on their wrist to pick up a book or to put one away. Bluetooth scanners are also used. We can now pick triple the number of books processed than before. Our pack stations, called pack-to-light enable workers to scan a book; a light will then show where to put them. Over the past 11 months, we have bought in tools to completely simplify processes.”


S U P P LY C H A I N

However, despite such advantages, many veterans with up to 30 years’

ether. It was a tough transition, but most minor stuff has been nailed down.”

experience in the warehouse were initially reluctant to engage with such

USE OF DATA

a technological shift.

With extensive experience within

“Our warehouse used to be alpha-

inventory management, wholesale,

betical order, so employees had

sourcing and buying patterns, Director

memorized where books went, for

of Analytics, Nichole Nobbman has

example. Now, we organize the ware-

been leading NBC’s data science team

house based on demand. Like items

for the past six months in order to dev-

are stored together to both managing

elop the company’s strengths in predict-

counterfeits and meet our customers

ing new trends and demands.

need for us to box similar books tog-

Predicting future demand and supply 133

Nichole Nobbman Director of Data Analytics, Nebraska Book Company w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


N E B R A S K A B O O K C O M PA N Y

“ I am a data nerd at heart, so getting to find company insights or opportunities through digging through data, you can find things that people never think about” 134

— Nichole Nobbman Director of Data Analytics, Nebraska Book Company

in a constrained market remains complex.

can hurt us months from now,” ob-

To drive high-quality standards across

serves Grenier.

its operations, NBC’s data science

“We have tons of different pricing

team uniquely predicts what to buy, how

solutions for different marketplaces,

many to buy, how much to buy it for,

buying solutions for different market-

where to sell it and how much to sell it for.

places, and then predicting demand so

“The data science team predict both

we can go out and acquire supply to

future sale and buy prices. Some of our prices we set up to five months in adv-

match that demand.” “We had a lot of systems that worked

ce so we have to have pretty secure

really well for the time that they were

and strong predictive analytics to

produced, but needed to be updated,”

ensure that we don’t set a price that

explains Nobbman.

NOVEMBER 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

C OMPA N Y FA C T S

• Millennial and Gen Z students are looking not only at affordability, but also towards unlimited access and interactive content, placing further pressure on the textbook business. • Grenier has ‘temp-proofed’ the warehouse by updating outdated software and implementing a number of ‘self-led’ digital tools.

“Even when we moved to computer systems it was hard to get access to a lot of data - even if you could get access, you couldn’t process it in an efficient manner. However, this has changed. We’re trying to dig through all of our historical processes and move the company to modern statistical processes to optimize our sales and purchasing strategies. “We do a lot of buyback manage-

• To drive high-quality standards across its operations, NBC’s data science team uniquely predict where it can source books, encompassing all price models. • NBC’s sister company, PrismRBS delivers ERP, POS e-commerce back office store solutions for college, universities and campuses. • NBC has become the largest provider of ERP software, which can run any transaction on campus.

ment for stores. Rather than the store w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

135


N E B R A S K A B O O K C O M PA N Y

having just its list of needs, we go in and help manage the process so that they can have our list of needs as well. Then they can buy more books from the students, we manage all of the price models for that,” she adds. Although NBC’s data remains on a mainframe, it is also housed outside of this in SQL servers, promoting accessibility. The team also utilizes SPSS modeling tools. “My team is pretty great. Understanding the bigger picture, knowing that their work matters that is what keeps them motivated. 136

I am a data nerd at heart, so getting to find company insights and opportunities through digging through data, you can find a lot of misperceptions; and you can solve those,” says Nobbman. “You can find a lot of things that people never think about when you’re going through the data, and that’s the thing that I like about analytics. Everyone’s trying to achieve the same goal.”

SUPPORTING STORES Not content with housing exceptional supply chain solutions and data analytics capabilities, NBC’s sister company, PrismRBS delivers ERP, POS, data insight, and e-commerce

NOVEMBER 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

solutions for college, universities and campuses across the country. Additionally, PrismRBS has become the largest provider of ERP software in the industry. Able to run any sales transaction on campus, the software houses integrations from the book side into technology and inventory, making it easier for stores. “It’s better than anybody else in the industry and it continues to get better. Our number one initiative right now is to enhance the platform capabilities to expand general merchandise capabilities, online sales , and create a friendlier, easier to use solution.

“ It’s interesting how many places we have operations to be able to provide, supply and generate demand for books” — Peter Grenier SVP of Operations & Strategy, Nebraska Book Company

w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

137


N E B R A S K A B O O K C O M PA N Y

We’ve just launched PrismPOS 2.0, which is super cool,” explains Grenier. “Through our e-commerce services, we also own a company called Campus Book Rentals, which is an online direct-to-student site similar to Barnes and Noble, which is also a growth portion for us. It’s interesting due to how many places we have operations to be able to provide, supply and generate demand for books.” Additionally, NBC’s two consulting services provide further revenue streams. 138

NOVEMBER 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘ECOMMERCE SOLUTIONS’

Known as the number one store design

they don’t either have the time or the

firm in the industry, Campus Store Design

skill set to analyze,” says Nobbman.

has expanded outside of bookstores to

“Helping stores take advantage of the

whatever the campus wants the division

things that we learned through our own

to design and build. The company’s

business operations, and then also

recent launch of its Campus Advisory

doing some heavier analytics just for

Services; however, is decidedly smaller

this store specifically, we see further

but growing quickly, works to support

opportunities in the future.”

campuses making decisions on what to do with their retail environment.

FUTURE MARKETS

“There’s a lot of opportunity there to

“Carrying inventory comes with a lot

help stores. They also have data that

of risk and a traditional wholesale

w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

139


N E B R A S K A B O O K C O M PA N Y

“ Helping stores take advantage of the things that we learned through our own business operations, and then also doing some heavier analytics for stores, we see further opportunities”

140

— Nichole Nobbman Director of Data Analytics, Nebraska Book Company

NOVEMBER 2018


S U P P LY C H A I N

model also has a very long carrying

ized in assisting the auxiliary services

time,” explains Nobbman.

part of a college or university, which

“In a retail space, you would buy

runs the revenue generating facilities.

something (theoretically) for the next

They have to figure out a way to pay for

30 days and you would try to sell all of

all the amenities students want some-

that and then buy more stuff. It’s a much

how, so the campus is continuing to put

shorter life cycle from the purchase

pressure on those services, but we have

of the item to the sale of the item.

a good handle on this,” Grenier explains.

“In the textbook wholesale busi-

NBC will continue to pursue growth

ness, we can pay for something with

opportunities that align with helping

no intention of selling it for six to eight

college campuses create engaging

months, so that ties up a lot of cash

student experiences. Playing a critical

which also carries a lot of risk. The

role in the future of auxiliary services is

further in the future you have to buy

very top of mind for NBC.

something, the less certain you can be

Providing software, handling books,

that you’re actually going to be able to

undertaking consulting and design

sell it.

work – NBC will remain a dominant

“There are two main components of a

force in the American market and

college or university campus: Academ-

a highly respected traditional book

ics and Auxiliary Services. We special-

company. As it looks to further diversify its portfolio and explore new ventures, it will continue to look at potential gaps in the market to help serve its customers across North America

Nebraska Book Company

w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

141


142

Keeping the customer at the heart of data management WRIT TEN BY

L AUR A MULL AN PRODUCED BY

TOM VENTURO


TECHNOLOGY

143


I N F O M A R T D ATA C E N T E R S

144

With an unwavering commitment to innovation,efficiency and scale,combined with a track record of going the extra mile for its customers,Infomart Data Centers is the premier platform to serve hyperscale and enterprise customers NOVEMBER 2018

A

s the guardian of some of your most valuable data assets, choosing a data center is no

small undertaking. Location, expertise of staff and upholding best practices are just some of the key points to consider before selecting the right facility. Paul Vaccaro, Senior Vice President of Operations & Engineering at Infomart Data Centers, believes that his company ticks all the boxes. Yet, he says what really gives Infomart a competitive edge is its ability to go the


TECHNOLOGY

“Our ability to solve problems and deliver solutions that meet demanding project requirements is what differentiates us from the competition” — Paul Vaccaro, Senior Vice President of Operations and Engineering at Infomart Data Centers

145

extra mile to meet its clients’ needs.

ideas to deliver. To the right client,

In doing so, Infomart aims to serve as

that difference is significant.”

an extension of its customers’ teams.

In the data center world, bigger

“Our ability to solve problems and

doesn’t always equate to better. Every

deliver solutions that meet demanding

week, new scalable and adaptable

project requirements is what differenti-

solutions are entering the fray – these

ates us from the competition,” Vaccaro

include high-density solutions and

explains.

dynamically-scaling environments.

“Our customers will tell you that what

By offering unique and customizable

makes us different is the personal touch

options, Infomart ensures that its

and the ability to do things that other

customers’ servers work at optimal

colocation providers aren’t willing to do.

levels now and in the future.

We don’t have a product to sell, we have

“Everybody always wants to talk w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


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www.canara.com


TECHNOLOGY

CLICK TO WATCH : PAUL VACCARO

147

about density, but in reality, few really

ing that is more important than density

understand how to take advantage of

numbers. As the industry moves towards

it. From an Infomart perspective, we

hyperscale computing and more dis-

have lots of ideas and real products

tributed edge applications, you’ll see

that we can bring to the market. It is

more of these ideas. The drivers are

just a matter of how quickly our clients

different, but the solution space is very

can leverage these technologies,”

similar. Stay tuned; I think the industry

says Vaccaro.

is going to see some very exciting de-

“We have built facilities of 300 watts per sq. ft. or more, and have even done some densification projects to exist-

velopments with high-density computing in the next three to five years.” Vaccaro first cut his teeth in the data

ing facilities to meet the computing

center industry in the 1980s, when

demands of our clients. It is that forward

personal computers (PCs) were just

thinking and real-world problem-solv-

making their entrance, and mainframes, w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


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oopro.blog


TECHNOLOGY

“We don’t have a product to sell, we have ideas to deliver. To the right client, that difference is significant” midrange and microcomputers were the norm. Having racked up experience at firms such as Intel Corporation and

— Paul Vaccaro, Senior Vice President of Operations and Engineering at Infomart Data Centers

Infomart Data Centers, Vaccaro is all too aware of how innovation has shaken up the sector. New technologies and tools are not only helping to drive efficiency, but are also helping Infomart

designed to minimize the firm’s carbon

achieve its sustainability goals without

footprint whilst delivering an efficient

sacrificing performance or availability.

data center. Meanwhile, in Portland,

For example, at its facility in Ashburn,

Infomart has utilized the world’s largest

the company has deployed a closed-

production deployment of rear-door heat

loop chilled water system combined

exchangers, a pioneering technology

with waterside economies. These are

that brings cooling closer to the load. w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

149


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TECHNOLOGY

151

“We are working on a new project right now that takes an award-winning, energy

for future densification, which will result in further efficiencies for our clients.”

efficient design and integrates several

With locations in Portland, Silicon

additional new technologies to improve

Valley and Ashburn, the Infomart also

it even further,” notes Vaccaro.

buys power on the open market, which

“For example, we use new high-tem-

allows the company to offer a custom

perature chillers that make 65-degree

energy mix based on customer require-

water so we don’t have to use mixing

ments. This enables Infomart to deliver

valves to achieve that supply tempera-

unparalleled, cost-competitive rates.

ture. We are also working on the physical

“We spend significant investment to

plant design so that it is scalable and

get direct access to most of our sites,”

can add additional mechanical options

Vaccaro adds. “We believe that buying w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


I N F O M A R T D ATA C E N T E R S

“ We’ve never compromised when it comes to the maintenance of the equipment or training our individuals” — Paul Vaccaro, Senior Vice President of Operations and Engineering at Infomart Data Centers

152

power on an open market is the best

ing, constructing and delivering data

way to deliver clean, low-cost energy

centers, it really comes down to your

to our clients. The cost savings are

partners,” he says.

significant, and we hear this from our

“So, for instance, let’s start with our

clients regularly. I think the repeat

partner REI: their craftsmanship just

business also speaks to the success

jumps out at you when you tour one

of direct access power procurement.”

of our facilities. Their track record of

Continuous innovation has been a

delivering high-quality results against

well-versed mantra at Infomart, with

aggressive schedules has been flawless.

partnerships acting as a key enabler

Their motto should be ‘we deliver, and

to the company’s success. “When you

it will show as industrial artwork’.”

get right down to the work of designNOVEMBER 2018

“Canara has also been a strong partner


TECHNOLOGY

153

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Paul Vaccaro Paul Vaccaro is the Senior Vice President of Operations and Engineering for Infomart Data Centers. Vaccaro is a 30 year IT professional, and has spent the past 10 years working in the Mission Critical Facilities and Data Center Industry as an Enterprise Operator, and Data Center Engineer. Vaccaro’s previous role was working for Intel Corporation, where he managed Data Center Operation activities around the globe. Vaccaro has co-authored several white papers on important industry topics such as: 1,100 wpsf High Density Data Center Design, High Efficiency Data Center Design and Retrofits Best Practices, Data Center Infrastructure Management Best Practices, and Data Center Site Selection Criteria.

w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


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TECHNOLOGY

155

and has developed some specific solu-

hero,” he adds. “I could talk for an hour

tions unique to Infomart requirements.

or more on their capabilities. It comes

These have saved us some significant

down to the importance of being able to

OpEx costs, and we continue to look to

measure in order to manage what you

them to help us lead in this area. Delta

have to ensure efficiency. Their solution

Fire provides services for one of those

is near perfect, and it is a key enabler to

commodities that people see on

the efficiency and ongoing optimization

the project budget, but often overlook

we achieve.” It goes without saying that

this importance. They have always

uptime is the most critical concern for

delivered on time and their workman-

data center operations and, at Infomart,

ship is top-notch.

this is placed front and center. There-

“OTI gets my award for the unsung

fore, the company has partnered with w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


I N F O M A R T D ATA C E N T E R S

2006

Year founded

50-200

Approximate number of employees


TECHNOLOGY

“We hire external experts who review our methods, systems and processes as part of our everyday efforts to exceed expectations in this area. We develop plans and continue to improve; the audits are just the proof, not the means to 157 the end for us” industry leaders to create the Uptime Institute Management & Operations (M&O) Certification. The secret to this maximum uptime? Vaccaro suggests that it lies in how the

— Paul Vaccaro, Senior Vice President of Operations and Engineering at Infomart Data Centers

firm identifies best practice procedures, sets standards and performs constant data center evaluations. As a result, Infomart not only received the first ever certification, it also holds one

as part of our everyday efforts to exceed

of the highest ratings in the world.

expectations in this area. We develop

“We place an emphasis on security

plans and continue to improve; the au-

and compliance and not just by passing

dits are just the proof, not the means

audits,” Vaccaro explains.

to the end for us.”

“We hire external experts who review our methods, systems and processes

“We’ve never compromised when it comes to the maintenance of the equipw w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


I N F O M A R T D ATA C E N T E R S

158

NOVEMBER 2018


TECHNOLOGY

ment or training our individuals,” he C OMPA N Y FA C T S

First to remove raised floor and go 100% contained First to offer pass-through PUE First to prototype and implement open compute deployment First to earn LEED Gold Certification in California and Oregon First to offer direct access power in California and Oregon First data center in Oregon to receive LEED Platinum distinction

continues. “If you look at our records when we go through this audit, you’ll find that no maintenance is ever deferred, and I think it shows. When you walk through an Infomart facility and you look at our equipment, you can tell it’s not neglected: it’s very well maintained.” Today, Infomart’s future looks as dynamic as ever. Influenced by its customers’ demands, the firm has its eyes firmly set on further expansion and, under new ownership, the data center company is going to continue to invest in its team and assets. Yet, as the company accelerates forward, Vaccaro asserts that Infomart will remain focused on one shared vision: delivering customizable data center services with a customer focus.

First to earn Uptime Institute’s Management & Operations Certification

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159


160

NOVEMBER 2018


TECHNOLOGY

A digital transformation

WRIT TEN BY

ANDRE W WOODS PRODUCED BY

ANDY TURNER

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161


BERKLEY RISK

We speak to Chief Information Officer William Tran regarding the insurance management service company’s digital transformation of its operations and offerings…

W

illiam Tran was brought into Berkley Risk– an insurance management services company and part of W. R.

Berkley Corporation – in 2016 as Chief Information Officer to bolster the IT function 162

at the Minneapolis-based company. What Tran encountered was an IT system that was addressing the company’s multiple operations, but could do much more with greater efficiencies. “We’d been using the same type of system for years,” Tran explains. It was clear to Berkley Risk and Tran that new systems and applications could significantly enhance the business. “We had multiple claim systems that had been acquired over the years, and it just wasn’t efficient to support multiple duplicative systems. And our employees had to learn to use all these systems; logging into and out of multiple systems and different databases. It was clear that we needed to consolidate.” The legacy system was an IBM iSeries NOVEMBER 2018


TECHNOLOGY

AS/400, according to Tran. “It was a mainframe-type application. In this day and age, sophisticated users, many of whom are younger clients, demand so much more, such as portals. Imagine bringing in a 22-year-old claims adjuster and putting them in front of a bunch of green screens and saying, ‘OK, so to do this, you type 7 then shift + F2 then you tap, tap, tap…’ That wouldn’t work too well with those who grew up with the iPad and the iPhone,” he jokes. “Plus, our clients in the marketplace today are looking for web applications and more of a self-service model to access to their data on demand, in real time. “

CALCULATED RISK Berkley Risk is not strictly speaking a ‘thirdparty administrator’, but provides claims, underwriting and full-service governance reporting and oversight for the insurance entities it services. Its business is split between risk-based and fee-based business with both large pool and self-insured group customers and individual risks. Tran describes the first year of Berkley Risk’s digital conversion (2017) as a ‘transformation’. Tran refers to 2018 as the year of ‘optimization’ with 2019 seeing him go beyond by looking at emerging technologies. “In 2017, I knew we could rethink our IT to reduce both time and w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

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TECHNOLOGY

‘A lot of claims and underwriting can be automated to a certain extent and so instead of taking 30 minutes,it might literally take one minute to process’ — William Tran Chief Information Officer

with improved systems without adding more cost. In fact, we need to be able to do it for less.” Berkley Risk didn’t bring in any new vendors for the active transformation itself. Instead they relied on the expertise and effort of their internal team and had Mahathi help them with additional technical expertise.

TALENT POOL As well as reducing time and expense, Tran knew he had to better service Berkley Risk’s customers and clients. To do so, “you’ve got to look at the people, process and technology.” Berkley Risk first decided to supplement their internal IT team’s knowledge and skills with additional technical talent. They added an architect, data analysts, and deve-

expense. We just weren’t efficient

lopers to build internal technical capab-

enough or as responsive to our custom-

ilities and develop bench strength.

ers as we wanted to be.” As far as the initial digital transforma-

Berkley Risk was originally operating multiple applications, each with its own

tion at Berkley Risk, Tran partnered with

unique processes and so Tran and his

Mahathi, a software consulting company.

team eliminated at least half of them.

“I think they’re a great fit for us because

“Then we looked at simplifying and

they were able to deliver what we needed

enhancing these processes. Basically,

to be done at a reasonable price point.

we needed to remove duplicated or non-

From my perspective, our success

value added processes and enhance

depends on my ability to add value to IT

the processes that we are still using. In w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

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BERKLEY RISK

166

‘ Berkley was originally operating multiple applications, each with its own different processes and so Tran and his team eliminated at least half of them’ NOVEMBER 2018


TECHNOLOGY

the future, we need to assess emerging

now do a lot of stuff on demand in their

technologies; anything that can help

own time, so it’s more of the self-service

us in the long term.”

model our customers were asking for.”

“We decided to go with a claims

Berkley Risk’s original applications

handling application called Guide-

supported many clients and the migra-

wire. It took us a year to complete the

tion to the new system presented

conversions because we had to convert

challenges in making the transition

multiple applications and several dec-

smooth for the company’s internal

ades’ worth of data.” Berkley Risk did the

teams. “We migrated to the new

same for their policy and underwriting

system and everything was new for

applications, converting all their custom-

everyone. There were a lot of questions

ers into the same policy system that is

like, ‘This is not the same report I got last

used by multiple Berkley companies.

year.’ After all, it wasn’t an apples to

Then, they rolled out web portals for their

apples comparison as far as the data

customers to access claims data and

was concerned because sometimes

policy information. “Our customers can

when you migrate, you have to translate

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

William Tran A transformational leader who leverages technology to drive business success with over 20 years of experience in IT. Currently the CIO of Berkley Risk, Williams has also worked or consulted for many companies including: UsBank, RBC Financial, ArcherGrey, Ditech, Wells Fargo, Abbott, United Health Group, Ameriprise, GMAC/RFC, Boeing, Deluxe, Boston Scientific, CNO Financial Group, Travelers and Accenture.

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BERKLEY RISK

and transform the data. We had to do a lot of work to reconcile reports.” That was 2017. That’s what Tran meant by ‘transformation’. In 2018 the focus is on ‘optimization’. “In 2018, we have taken a step back to say ‘OK, businesses, now that we have the new systems, what are the problems? How can we help you?’ Let’s optimize what we have. What are the customers saying? How can we make things better? What if we auto-generate reports? Let’s find a more efficient way to send checks out?” So, Berkley Risk is changing their financial application to better leverage technology, like e-payments, to 168

respond more quickly and lower the overall cost.

THE FUTURE 2019 will see Tran looking more closely at emerging technologies such as AI, RPA (robotic process automation), and additional predictive analytics. “We’re working with strategic vendors to see what’s out there. A lot of people have jumped in right away, and you can burn time and money and get nothing for it. You’ve really got to do your homework. The technologies we’re looking at are AI and additional predictive analytics because we have a lot of data that can provide insights. Ultimately, we would like become an even more data-driven company. We want to make sure that we can analyze the data and NOVEMBER 2018


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20

Years of experience in IT

1984

Year founded

24/7

Access to actionable data

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“Imagine bringing in a 22-year-old as a claims adjuster and putting them in front of a bunch of green screens and saying,‘OK, so to answer this, you do shift, shift, alt, P. Type this number, and then you tap, tap, tap” — William Tran Chief Information Officer

NOVEMBER 2018


TECHNOLOGY

patterns to better service our clients. We’re doing a POC (proof of concept) with IBM on their predictive analytics tools to see if there are additional insights we can glean from our data. RPA allows us to automate repetitive processes within and across our systems. A lot of claims processing steps can be automated to a certain extent and so instead of taking 30 minutes, it might only take one minute to process. There are many RPA vendors like Blue Prism, UI Path, Automation Anywhere, but it’s difficult to buy from them directly because we’re not experts. So, we’re looking to partner with an experienced SI (system integrator) for our RPA work.” The transformation Tran oversaw has seen the company ‘reinvent itself’, according to its CIO. “It’s been quite the journey so far and we’re excited about the future.”

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172

Wipro: Fostering open innovation in financial services WRIT TEN BY

BEN MOUNCER PRODUCED BY

TOM VENTURO

NOVEMBER 2018


TECHNOLOGY

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WIPRO

Mahesh Raja, Vice President, Financial Services ­— Americas, Wipro Limited, outlines the technology powerhouse’s plan to develop a futureproof ecosystem for the financial sector

A

dapting long-held business models to the irrepressible forces of change is, right now, the critical challenge facing our most

prestigious financial institutions. Never before has the established order had to contend with such genuine threats to its dominance. While undoubt174

edly a priority for leaders across industries, the next stage of evolution for the financial sector is especially unpredictable as a system, impenetrable for so long, opens up slowly to different methods, ideas and thinking. Technology has been the catalyst for that change. Decision-makers have no choice but to find answers to questions such as ‘how can we use advanced AI and machine learning to predict the future?’, ‘should we move our entire systems to the cloud?’ and ‘what is in place to shield our information from cyberattacks?’. Implementing transformative tools within business structures that have grown over decades is a slow process, however – and this is why start-ups, challengers and fin-tech, free from historical baggage and practices, have been able to steal a march on their once-uncatchable rivals. NOVEMBER 2018


TECHNOLOGY

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘WIPRO-MAHESH RAJA, VICE PRESIDENT, FINANCIAL SERVICES, AMERICAS, WIPRO (INFOGRAPHIC)’ 175 Mahesh Raja, Vice President, Financial Services, Americas, Wipro Limited is leading a small group aiming to bridge the gap between the United States’ most recognized entities and the disruptive outsiders offering alternatives to the status quo. He believes that, through the development of Wipro’s ‘New-Age Financial Services’ ecosystem, the building blocks are in place to forge the industry’s future.

WIPRO’S FOOTPRINT IN FINANCIAL SERVICES Wipro is one of the foremost technology service providers the world over. w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


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TECHNOLOGY

A significant influence with fingerprints on just about every industry, it is a global leader in the fields of IT, consultancy and the changing of business processes through the use of advanced and emerging technologies. The company generates approximately $8bn of revenue annually, with 30% of this figure earned in the financial services sector, encompassing not only the banking world but also insurance and capital markets. Wipro’s Americas region – covering

“ The traditional banks and financial institutions are getting disrupted by new-age platform companies, whether they like it or not” — Mahesh Raja, Vice President, Financial Services, Americas, Wipro Limited

the United States, Canada and Latin

177

America – is its core market for financial services, bringing in a significant portion

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Mahesh Raja Mahesh is Wipro Limited’s Banking & FS industry leader supporting top-tier full service banks, large payment/ fintech clients across US, Canada and LATAM with P&L responsibility. He also leads Wipro’s Digital, fintech /New Age ecosystem which includes developing partnerships with leading fintech players, helping clients assess the fintech ecosystem and potential implications to their business, and bringing solutions to clients through alliances and implementation.

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WIPRO

HE W L E T T PA CK A R D E N T E R P R IS E —­ W IP R O S N A P S HO T

178

At Wipro, strategic partnerships are one of the core pillars of our business strategy. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Wipro have been working together for 20+ years, delivering the best in class solutions around hybrid IT, data center consolidation, legacy system modernization, and software-defined DC. Wipro’s BoundaryLess DataCenter™ (BLDC) framework, integrated with HPE’s Hybrid IT solutions, offers Cloud services that are responsive to dynamic workloads, drive outcome based financial management and enable agility and scale. These services are integrated and delivered through Wipro ServiceNXT™, our managed services framework. Today, the two companies are capitalizing on their progressive, forward-looking view of technology to help provide new age business solutions across blockchain, edge computing, cognitive and more. Wipro and HPE are

NOVEMBER 2018

creating blockchain solutions for our banking customers. HPE’s Mission Critical Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) enables customers to run distributed ledger blockchain workloads that dem-and 100% fault tolerance at mission critical levels and ensures massive scalability to grow with the business. Wipro is leveraging HPE Aruba’s Software Defined Branch solution to enhance visibility, cloud agility, control and policy enforcement by integrating operations, security and management of wireless, wired and the WAN, all from a single pane of glass. We are helping banks redefine Desktop Virtualization and deliver the new age comprehensive virtual work place through Wipro VirtuaDesk™. The solution enhances application performance and provides flexibility to the customers in choosing an on-premise or hosted-appliance solution based on HPE’s hyper converged platform.


TECHNOLOGY

179

on its own each year. Specializing in

collaboration between players at the

digital transformation, customer exper-

opposite ends of the spectrum.

ience, application engineering and

“We started this group within Wipro

infrastructure and business operation

after asking ourselves this: what if our

services, Wipro’s Americas region eng-

existing clients, where we have made

ages numerous high-profile clients, in-

a significant chunk of our revenue, don’t

cluding some of the largest banks

exist in 10-15 years’ time – what is going

in the US.

to happen to them?” he explains. “The

Firmly established within that sphere,

traditional banks and financial institu-

Mahesh’s ‘New-Age Financial Services’

tions are getting disrupted by new-age

initiative represents something more

platform companies, whether they like

adventurous as it looks to encourage

it or not. w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


WIPRO

“ While these start-ups might be small and may not even meet our threshold of being a client today,in a few years they will be the next unicorns” 180

— Mahesh Raja, Vice President, Financial Services, Americas, Wipro Limited

NOVEMBER 2018


TECHNOLOGY

“Builders of innovation, both on the business model side and the operations side, are driven by innovative technologies and some of our incumbent clients need to adapt to these tech-driven changes. “Embracing innovation from the outside – from start-ups and fintech – is essential for them and for companies like us. While these start-ups might be small and may not even meet our threshold of being a client today, in a few years they will be the next unicorns. “That’s the broad genesis of what we thought about when we set up the new ecosystem. Wipro’s part in that is to build a strategic partnership between the established companies and the start-ups. We understand the industry domain; we focus on technology and can enable organizations as small as a fintech to scale up, leveraging our relationship with the larger financial institutions.”

A NEW-AGE ECOSYSTEM The importance of Mahesh’s project to Wipro’s future vision can be reflected in the fact that, two years ago, he was given his remit from the very top. Working under the guidance of the company’s Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director – Abidali Z. Neemuchwala, and with strategic direction from President & Global Head, BFSI – Shaji Farooq, he has built w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

181


WIPRO

Revenues of over

$8bn

Incorporated in

1945 Over

175,000 182

employees

a cluster team made up of key person-

By creating what Mahesh refers to

nel based in Silicon Valley, New York,

as a ‘360-degree’ partnership eco-

Bangalore and London.

system, Wipro is able to provide the

‘New-Age Financial Services’ encour-

balance in momentum between a larger

ages a two-way street of collaboration

organization’s execution and the impetus

between client and start-up, with the

of a start-up through an agile ‘right

end goal of improving operations for

model’ delivery process.

both parties. For the client, welcoming

“A start-up operates at a very high

a start-up’s ideas is a way of accelerat-

velocity but a client organization operates

ing its own innovation, keeping it ahead

not even close to that, so the question

of the competition. For the smaller firm,

is how we bridge that gap,” he says.

a relationship opens doors to resourc-

“Firstly, Wipro comes in. Then we help

es, customers and funding.

these fintechs or start-ups find the

NOVEMBER 2018


TECHNOLOGY

183

right stakeholders to navigate large

thing from an end-to-end perspective

organizational complexities.”

and say, look, if you’re reimagining your

“For example, if they have a unique

model into this process, this is actually

asset in any business process area,

how we help you with your time-to-

how do you take an asset or platform

market. If you build it, it will probably

to a larger organization? And how do

take four years. If we can partner in this

you identify those stakeholders who’ll

new-age ecosystem, we can actually

be interested in assimilating that into

do it in four months.”

the larger organizations?”

Embracing outside innovation is now

“Thirdly, we assist our clients in their

becoming a vital strategic approach for

transformation journey more holistically.

the most successful companies as they

For example, we don’t just look at one

seek out external partners for sourcing

business process – we look at every-

ideas, commercialization and expansion w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


WIPRO

“ We are able to constantly assess and understand the implication and complexities that result from running real world businesses. This helps start-ups adapt their solutions to these needs” 184

— Mahesh Raja, Vice President, Financial Services, Americas, Wipro Limited

into adjacent businesses and new segments. According to Mahesh, ‘entire corporate strategies are predicated on a networked model’ – but it’s a model that doesn’t come without obstacles.

CHALLENGES WITH COLLABORATION For Mahesh, the most common issue to contend with is what has become referred to as ‘Not Invented Here Syndrome’, or ‘NIHS’. Larger organizations often harbour cultures steeped in NIHS, instinctively reacting NOVEMBER 2018


TECHNOLOGY

negatively to ideas and concepts from an external source. “This syndrome is pretty common in many large enterprises,” he notes. “This is where Wipro comes in and says, ‘Hey, let us help you embrace some of these outside innovations and bring it in house for you to see if it works’.” Secondly, Mahesh believes start-ups are often too narrow in their focus when compared with the broad digital transformation agendas set by the CEOs and other C-level executives of larger organizations. Additionally, he observes that smaller operations tend to lack the deep domain knowledge in areas of compliance and legality while also falling short in the resource to focus on long-term solution viability. “These barriers affect the success of the collaboration between established companies and start-ups,” he adds. “Start-ups also find it difficult to navigate the vast corporate structures and processes of the established companies to reach the right audience for the solutions they have. “For lack of a better term, Wipro is trying to be a partner that helps bring these fears into the same ecosystem by trying the ‘balance’ option. We have deep experience in working with complex organizational structures and satisfying the stringent requirement of these functions.” w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

185


WIPRO

“We also have a lot of domain and functional experience and expertise that has been built over a long period of association with our clients. We are able to constantly assess and understand the implication and complexities that result from running real world businesses. This helps start-ups adapt their solutions to these needs.�

AN OPEN INNOVATION PATHWAY Wipro has evaluated more than 1,200+ new-age businesses as part of the project, but with current manpower 186

it has elected to focus on a handful of promising assets in the fields of business model innovations, cognitive artificial intelligence and machine-learning; technologies that have proven the most disruptive for its major clients. Wipro has partnered with three companies in that specific space (AI/ Cognitive), each of which has developed a unique business model and platform with the potential to transform processes across the sector. Additionally, it is working with challenger banks in North America, Europe and Latin America, on top of a major project with a large bank with operations across two continents. NOVEMBER 2018


TECHNOLOGY

With a dearth of competition in this area, Wipro believes it has a serious opportunity to broaden its horizons and exist at the centre of a new era of open innovation in financial services. “The way we are looking at the newage ecosystem is not that it’s going to make the next $100mn or $500mn for us but that we are starting to work with those companies, which we have never worked with in the past,” concludes Mahesh. “From our perspective, we have to start operating and thinking like these new-age companies because the way we need to service them is very different. They’re really nimble, really agile and very rapid.” “I think it’s a significant differentiator for us as a company and we believe this will be a wedge into the marketplace, especially with some of the propositions we are having with our current customers. It is a real opportunity for Wipro.”

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187


188

Enabling the mining of the future through the technology of today WRIT TEN BY

DA LE BENTON PRODUCED BY

RICHARD DE ANE


MINING

189


H AT C H

Hatch empowers the mining industry to embrace technology to save cost, unlock opportunity, and improve sustainability

H

istorically perceived as being slow to adapt to technology and change, the mining sector is undergoing

a major transformation. Companies have often cut costs to increase profitability, but 190

these companies are now under increasing pressure to reduce costs and increase productivity in a sustainable manner. “We have seen environmental and social impacts in greenfield projects and related costs into all phases of the life cycle of mining operations. We can no longer focus exclusively on the economic aspects of the business,” says Walter Valery, Global Director Consulting at Hatch - providers of engineering, technology, and full end-to-end solutions to the metals, energy, infrastructure, digital, and investments market sectors. “We need to find and apply technical solutions for reducing water, energy consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions, while enhancing business and financial performance.” NOVEMBER 2018


MINING

The industry is cyclical in nature, representing a key driver of change and indeed a pressure on companies to derive greater value and cost efficiencies wherever possible. Throughout his career, Valery has played a key role in elevating and running technology and technical consulting at high, strategic levels within corporations; and worked closely with colleagues in mergers and acquisitions, business improvement, and financial areas. This, he feels, has provided him with a unique understanding of the market and where companies are looking to

“ We have seen environmental and social impacts in greenfield projects and related costs into all phases of the life cycle of mining operations� — Walter Valery, Global Director, Hatch

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191


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MINING

“ Companies will not be able to afford to sit still waiting for someone else to develop a single solution for current and future challenges” — Walter Valery, Global Director, Hatch

invest, and how they choose to do so. “I’ve built and worked with teams of credible and well recognised specialists in the industry, allowing us to establish strong links with clients, understand their needs, provide solutions and, in many cases, assist them with decision making,” he adds. “Partnering with clients through consulting and technology will lead to novel solutions through the generation of new ideas and innovations, ultimately leading to our clients’ success.” 193

E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E

Dr. Walter Valery is a global director at Hatch who specializes in mining and minerals processing with over 30 years of experience in plant operation, research and development, technology, consulting, senior management, and executive roles. In addition to developing, managing, and directing technology and innovation, Walter is a recognized specialist in comminution and “mine to mill” optimization, having conducted optimization of mining and minerals processing operations, greenfield design, expansions, throughput forecasting, geometallurgical modelling, and asset optimization around the world. He has worked on the development of resource and eco-efficient mining and minerals processing plants and is director of AMIRA International and Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland.

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H AT C H

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MINING

195 Companies are looking for smart, strategic partnerships, and new ways to deploy capital. Hatch has an Advisory group specialised in market studies, strategic development, business improvement, and operational readiness to enable clients to achieve the full potential of both new and existing assets. “Additionally, we are expanding the reach of our investment activities and leveraging our deep, technical insight to identify opportunities that others miss.” The alignment between engineering, technology, consulting, and digital

“ Partnering with clients through consulting and technology will lead to novel solutions, through the generation of new ideas and innovations, ultimately leading to our clients’ success” — Walter Valery, Global Director, Hatch

capabilities in the company is something w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


H AT C H

that Valery considers a key differentiator between Hatch and any other company that works with the mining industry. “The combination of technical specialists and engineers from different fields and cultures also ensures delivery of the most advanced solutions in brownfield and greenfield projects,� says Valery. In his role as global director, Valery has global responsibility for consulting in mining and minerals processing, as well as minerals processing engineering projects in the Australia and Asia

Newcrest Lihir, Papua New Guinea, 2017


MINING

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘NEW ERA’ 197

MMG Las Bambas Operation, Peru, 2016

region. This allows Hatch to combine the learnings obtained from optimization consulting (brownfield projects) with technology development, and rapidly implement them in greenfield design and expansion projects. At the very core of delivering value to its clients is sustainability. “In both our consulting optimization and engineering projects, our team proposes innovative resource and eco-efficient mining and processing practices, from mine to plant, to increase overall profitability and reduce environmental impact, thus delivering ‘positive change’ for our customers and establishing w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


H AT C H

long standing relationships,” he says. “Aligning with Hatch’s strategy, we embrace our clients’ visions as our own, and work closely together, as partners, to develop better solutions that are smarter, more efficient, and innovative.” Working with technology in the mining industry requires a key understanding that there is no one-size-fitsall solution. Valery recognises that there are a number of factors that make each operation unique. Be it different orebody and ore types, geographical location, local environ198

mental factors, local politics, economic climate, company culture, market fluctuations, existing equipment, and processes, or even historical practices. A successful mine-to-process optimization demands a very good understanding of many of these. “Extensive data collection and analysis, mathematical modelling, and simulation techniques combined with extensive industrial experience are required to identify solutions tailored to each operation,” says Valery. There is an industry-wide challenge surrounding new orebodies discovered near the surface, as the majority of exploration drilling and expenses still NOVEMBER 2018

150

Countries worldwide

1955

Year founded

9,000

Approximate number of employees


MINING

Over 400 optimization projects globally

occur at these depths. These new deposits have typically lower grades, more complex mineralogy, and are increasingly more difficult to treat. For these, the question becomes: How do we extract the resource efficiently and profitably? “We are working with many clients, suppliers, and technology partners to develop and utilise more efficient technologies to extract valuable minerals more economically and with less environmental impact,� says Valery. To this end, Hatch has been developing and working on projects to implement concepts to increase resource and eco-efficiency in the industry. These solutions may incorporate a number of alternative operating strategies in the mine and processing plants and new circuit flowsheets; in most cases, using existing or relatively easily-adapted technologies for implementation in the short term. “We consider integration of mine and plant design with a range of possibilities and opportunities, such as high intensity and selective blasting; early waste-rejection through pre-concentration including sensor-based ore sorting; energy efficient comminution technologies including high-pressure w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

199


H AT C H

200

Polyus Blagodatnoye, Siberia, 2017 grinding rolls and stirred mills; coarser

the industrialisation of developing nations.

flotation/separation processes, less

“If past discovery rates and sizes

water and generation of less tailings,”

are a guide, this demand is unlikely

says Valery.

to be met. Therefore, it is necessary

“While we work on how to extract value

to search elsewhere, in places that

economically and sustainably from these

have not been searched before; that

orebodies, the next obvious challenge

is, at greater depths on land and in

is how to find additional ‘Tier One’

the oceans,” he says.

orebodies that are long-life and have

“There are some initiatives underway,

high grades.” These Tier One orebodies

but there should be a lot more work

will prove crucial to meet the growing

and faster development in these areas

demand for resources in the next decade

if we are to meet the demand for mined

resulting from a growing population and

resources in the near future.”

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201

Another challenge is one of fostering change at the actual mine sites, working with the mine and plant operators to embrace a newer model of operating. Historically, it was commonplace at a mine site to see mining engineers barely speaking to their colleagues in the processing plant. It was also very common to see the mine managing its costs and KPIs to deliver certain volume with certain grade to ‘their customer’, the downstream processing plant. The result? Both mine and plant

“ If past discovery rates and sizes are a guide,this demand is unlikely to be met. Therefore, it is necessary to search elsewhere,in places that have not been searched before” — Walter Valery, Global Director, Hatch

w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


H AT C H

spending significant effort, time, and money to run and optimise their operations in isolation. The challenge then becomes one of cultural change. The technical aspects of integration and optimization of the entire production chain in a mining operation are relatively easy compared to the cultural changes required,” says Valery. “The solutions are not standard and need to be tailored to suit each operation, as well as its people and culture. To be successful and maintained in the long term, any implementation will need the operation’s people to ‘buy in’ and be motivat202

ed and incentivised to change. This can be facilitated by knowledge transfer: providing training and education in what we are changing and why it works.” Throughout his career, Valery has set up technology centres all around the world, which further foster and enable innovative thinking across the industry. Valery is also a board director at AMIRA International, an independent global member-based organisation of mining and supplier companies, and an adjunct professor at the Sustainable Minerals Institute and School of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Queensland. “Greater idea generation and execution comes from large networks of leading NOVEMBER 2018

Polyus Verninskiy, Siberia Polyus Gold Blagodatnoye, Siberia, 2017


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203

researchers and industry experts with varying backgrounds and experience, and collaboration with technology and research centres are essential,” he says. “Working closely with and supporting the education sector further demonstrates how collaboration will continue to play a key role in answering the challenges of today and tomorrow. A very good example is the collaboration with the Sustainable Minerals Institute at the University of Queensland in Australia.” Looking to the future, the best practices and the innovative thinking of today will need to change as the industry continues to evolve. w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


H AT C H

“ Working closely with and supporting the education sector further demonstrates how collaboration will continue to play a key role in answering the challenges of today and tomorrow” 204

— Walter Valery, Global Director, Hatch

Understanding this continuously

“There is nothing futuristic about

changing landscape will prove crucial

these solutions: they are well known

in order to continue to operate in the

and have been extensively discussed

industry and not fall behind.

for more than ten years,” he says.“They

Valery observes that some recent

have been adapted from other indus-

industry discussions are not based on

tries for a few large mining operations.”

a technical understanding or insight into

In the mining of the near future, it

the mining industry today or in the future.

will be crucial to utilise more efficient

For example, the conversation surround-

technologies to extract valuable minerals

ing automation of mining trucks and

more economically and with less environ-

remote operation and control centres is

mental impact.

not actually presenting anything new. NOVEMBER 2018

The industry will need to utilise people


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205

Lumina Caserones, Chile (and their energy) by adapting and

develop a single solution for current

training them to acquire the skills

and future challenges,” says Valery.

required by the mining industry, thus

“Rather, they are already engaging

creating local jobs, supporting regional

with suppliers, service and technology

development, and building more

providers to use the best of technol-

sustainable mining communities.

ogy and engineering to develop

Hatch is well positioned to continue

tailored solutions.”

to bring together industry professionals, technologists, and education sectors to enable this industry change. “Companies will not be able to afford to sit still waiting for someone else to w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


206


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SUSTAINABILITY AND COMMUNITY AT THE CORE 207

WRIT TEN BY

DA LE BENTON PRODUCED BY

RICHARD DE ANE


ANACONDA MINING

How Anaconda Mining maintains core values throughout technology transformation

F

or a gold mining business, the location and jurisdiction of your portfolio is key towards enabling

any form of real growth. For Anaconda Mining, a TSX-listed gold mining, exploration and development company, that key location is Canada: namely, the highly prospective Atlantic Canadian jurisdictions of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. Anaconda currently 208

operates the Point Rousse and Tilt Cove Projects located in the Baie Verte Mining District in Newfoundland, comprised of the Pine Cove and Stog’er Tight open pit mines, the fully-permitted Pine Cove Mill, a seven-million-tonne inpit tailings facility, the Argyle deposit, and approximately 9,150 hectares of prospective gold-bearing property. The company is also developing the recently acquired Goldboro Gold Project in Nova Scotia, a high-grade Mineral Resource. Anaconda sees real potential in growing the Goldboro deposit and developing the project into the next gold mine in Nova Scotia. “The goal for Anaconda Mining is to become an intermediate producer,” says Gordana Slepcev, Chief Operating Officer NOVEMBER 2018


MINING

“As a company, we are continuously looking to promote from within. I feel that everyone has their heart in the business. If you have good, hard-working people who care about what they do, why would you bring someone else into the business?” — Gordana Slepcev, Chief Operating Officer

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MINING

(COO) at Anaconda. “For us, we look

for Anaconda. Slepcev feels that the

to grow our company and our existing

ultimate enabler of growth lies within

projects significantly over the next

people and the way in which the

three to five years.”

organization empowers them. “It’s

As Slepcev notes, developing the

a really great company to work for,”

company’s current project portfolio

she says. “There is a strong culture

will establish a foundation in which

and we are an extremely closely-knit

Anaconda can grow and transition

team where each and every person

into an intermediate producer. The

is passionate about what they do.”

company is currently drilling and

The mining industry by its very nature

expanding its existing resources

is often one that relies on third-party

across its portfolio, with the recent

support and bringing expertise into

Goldboro acquisition and Argyle

the business to develop and train the

deposit possessing huge potential

current workforce. All around the

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ANACONDA MINING REDUCED DILUTION FROM 20% TO 5% THROUGH BLAST MOVEMENT MONITORING Video: Garry Luffman, senior geologist at Anaconda Mining's Pine Cove mine, describes how the geology team use BMT's BMM System to measure blast movement and deliver US$15-30,000 additional value per blast.

Anaconda Mining operates the Pine Cove Gold Mine and Mill located in Newfoundland, Canada. Gold mineralization is hosted within quartz veins, dipping gently to the north with an east-west strike. Blasting occurs on 6 m benches and excavators selectively mine small ore pockets in a single pass. Narrow ore zones were not recoverable and high dilution was affecting mill grade. Narrow ore zones presented challenges to mine operations. Small ore polygons, some only two blast holes wide, were entirely displaced from their in situ location by blast movement. Dilution, up to 20%, was affecting grades and ore production. Dilution was reduced to less than 5% and recovered tonnes increased. Monitoring blast movement and translating ore polygons to their post-blast position enabled Pine Cove mine to control dilution.

“The decrease in overall dilution, from 20% to less than 5%, has made a huge impact to our project, not just in improved economics but also in reduced tailings production and overall project footprint. Using the BMM System we can mine small zones of ore—increasing overall recovered tonnes. Without BMT we would not attempt to recover these small polygons due to movement.” - Gordana Slepcev, COO, Anaconda Mining

www.blastmovement.com

Blast Movement Technologies The only way to accurately account for variable blast movement is to measure it. Blast Movement Technologies (BMT) helps mines accurately measure blast movement and increase recovered value. The Blast Movement Monitoring (BMM) system is used by open pit mines throughout Africa, Europe, North and South America, Australia and Russia, and in commodities including copper, gold, iron ore, lithium, nickel, platinum, silver, uranium and zinc. BMT works with the top nine gold producers and the top four, Barrick, Newmont, AngloGold Ashanti and Kinross, have adopted the BMM system as their corporate standard for grade control. Increasing profitability, reducing waste. By accurately accounting for blast movement: • Canada’s largest gold mine, Canadian Malartic, estimated that they saved CA$7 Million in Q1 2018. • Teck’s Red Dog zinc mine reported savings of US$6.5 million annually. • Centerra Gold’s Mount Milligan copper mine recovered over US$600,000 additional ore in one blast. • Evolution Mining’s Cowal gold mine reported a 7% improvement in mill feed grade. • Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgangoora Lithium-Tantalum mine increased recovered value by A$335,000 in one blast. • Asanko Gold’s Nkran mine in Ghana improved reconciliation from 88% to 102%. • Golden Queen’s Soledad Mountain Mine increased recovered value, average per-blast savings estimated at US$55,000.

Making Every Ore Blast More Profitable


MINING

“As a good corporate citizen, Anaconda continuously proves that it is very environmentally conscious in everything that it does to show that it takes it seriously and it does its very best to make mining sustainable” — Gordana Slepcev, Chief Operating Officer

world, there are challenges of skills shortages and, in some cases, a lack of interest in working in the sector. Where Anaconda stands tall is in its ability to involve its staff from the top down in as much strategic conversation as possible, steering the company in the right direction by ensuring that every member of staff feels that they are a key part of this growth journey. Slepcev herself is a fine example of this, having been with Anaconda for over five years. She initially joined the business as Manager of Technical Services back in 2013, before being promoted to the position of COO in 2017. “As a company, we are continuously looking to promote from within. I feel that everyone has their heart

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ANACONDA MINING

in the business. If you have good, hardworking people who care about what they do, why would you bring someone else in? It really is the people that make the difference for Anaconda. They are the ones who drive down costs, increase production rates and develop our projects into what they are. It is all because they take that extra step. They take care and they have great pride in what they do,� says Slepcev. In the mining industry, it is imperative for a company to understand and obtain its social license to operate. 216

Partnering with and establishing key relationships with local governments, regulatory bodies and indeed local communities can make or break any operation before boots hit the ground and for Anaconda Mining, this is something it invests in heavily. Environmental sustainability is at the very heart of its LEAN and Green Vision Statement which is to be an environmental leader with a primary focus on proven, innovative green initiatives that contribute to the sustainability of the environment. Anaconda works closely with NOVEMBER 2018


MINING

CLICK TO WATCH : ‘OUR PEOPLE – WORKPLACE EXCELLENCE AT ANACONDA MINING’ 217 its employees and contractors to ensure that they are committed to and working towards this vision. This includes training programmes, regular communication between all areas of the business and the development, design and operation of environmentally sound facilities across all of its projects. “Most of our people work within the local communities and live within the local communities,” says Slepcev. “As a good corporate citizen, Anaconda continuously proves that it is very environmentally conscious in everything that it does to show that w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


ANACONDA MINING

218

it takes these issues seriously and does

As the company looks to grow, to

its very best to make mining sustainable.”

develop its projects and to discover

Slepcev attributes this commitment

new ones, it does so with the caveat

to sustainability and the successes

that the industry is cyclical. Anaconda

it has and will continue to achieve in

can achieve all the success in the world

this space back to its approach to its

in its current and future portfolio, but

people. “Aligning all the goals from the

were the industry to suffer an extreme

top down to anybody in the company,

downturn in commodity prices then

making sure all of the people are heard.

it could completely undermine all the

They’ve been developed. They’ve been

efforts and hard work that it has put in

trained and given opportunities to do

over the last decade. How a company

more for the company.”

survives this is by operating smartly

NOVEMBER 2018


MINING

ÂŁ17.6mn Approximate revenue

2002

Year founded

200

Approximate number of employees E X E C U T I V E P R OF IL E and focusing on key areas that, through

has established an in-house continuing

sound development, will stand against

education system called Anaconda

any downturn or financial concern.

University (AU). This innovative and

Slepcev believes that Anaconda is more

comprehensive corporate university

than capable of weathering any storm

training system was created to fully

through its focus on its current projects,

engage and develop employees while

people and key partnerships it has

aligning their learning to the company’s

established with local universities

strategic objectives. This is achieved

and communities.

through a platform to support innova-

Through this approach, Anaconda has

tion and the development of new ideas,

been able to embrace new technologies

provide motivation to the workforce, and

and greater innovation. The company

attract and retain high quality talent. w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

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ANACONDA MINING

“We’ve always been innovative,” says Slepcev. “Through our culture, we’ve been able to better embrace and implement innovation and safety programs. For the first time in our company’s history we have created a position of the VP of Innovation, so we can focus on it full time. We have achieved significant mining dilution reduction using technologies such as Blast Monitoring Technologies (BMT) as well as GPS solutions in our shovels and equipment. We’ve also been using 220

drones for a number of years in our development planning processes.” Anaconda has also been working on a number of major projects with Memorial University, College of the North Atlantic and the Canadian

NOVEMBER 2018


MINING

government including ACOA

“Within five years, we aim to grow enough to have a multi-millionounce portfolio and be producing approximately 100,000 ounces annually in a geographically concentrated area” — Gordana Slepcev, Chief Operating Officer

(Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agency), NRC-IRAP (National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program and the RDC (Research and Development Corporation). One of the most significant R&D projects within this partnership has been a $3.5mn initiative to commercialize a technology to economically mine underground single, narrow mineralized veins. For Slepcev, in a sector that has historically been slow to embrace technology and

innovation, it is important that however and wherever the company invests in technology it does so with its core values in mind. “For us, it’s about trying to maximize production, bring greater value and efficiency to the business and importantly, decrease our environmental footprint,” she says. As the company continues along its growth journey, Slepcev can look back over the company’s 10 successful years in operation. For her, this is important as the company can celebrate a number of successes and key lessons it has w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

221


ANACONDA MINING

222

“Through our culture, we’ve been able to better embrace and implement innovation and safety programs” — Gordana Slepcev, Chief Operating Officer

NOVEMBER 2018

learned along the way, particularly in its relationships with stakeholders, the support it receives from communities and First Nations and the overall pride and sense of community its employees bring to work each day. As Anaconda looks to further the Goldboro project and future potential projects this togetherness will only continue to grow alongside the company. “We’re currently focused on Atlantic


MINING

223

Canada and we will grow our portfolio

going well. As we grow, our success will

through either exploration or mergers

come from our drive to be open, to listen,

and acquisitions. Our goal is that within

and to enable and empower everyone in

five years, we grow to have a multi-

our business.”

million-ounce portfolio and be producing approximately 100,000 ounces annually in a geographically concentrated area,” says Slepcev. “We go through conversations and open up dialogues with every part of the business to make sure everything’s w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


224

Min NOVEMBER 2018


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225

ning for

the future WRIT TEN BY

CATHERINE S TURM AN PRODUCED BY

RICHARD DE ANE

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AEX GOLD

AN AREA OF SIGNIFICANT POTENTIAL, AEX GOLD HAS BECOME THE ONLY ACTIVE GOLD LISTED COMPANY IN GREENLAND, PROVIDING A SIGNIFICANT BOOST TO THE LOCAL ECONOMY

T

raditionally known for its fishing and hunting industries, Greenland is fast becoming the next significant area of exploration for

mining businesses. The largest island in the world, Greenland remains one of the least populated areas worldwide with 56,000 citizens, and it has sought to 226

attract local and foreign investment across a number of new projects. The island’s current position remains complex. A sovereign government, it is positioned under the Danish kingdom who provide grants to support its local economy. To further its independence and bolster its economy to create increased tax revenue, Greenland has embraced the exploration of new mining projects as well as utilising all the renewable and local resources it has to offer. Rich in rare-earth minerals, gold, iron-ore, uranium, in addition to hydro and wind power, Greenland’s favourable legal framework and robust infrastructure, particularly in South Greenland, have factored into AEX Gold’s vision to explore through its Greenlandic subsidiary, Nalunaq Gold Mine, situated in the Nanortalik Gold belt, Southern Greenland. NOVEMBER 2018


MINING

“ The government is very supportive, so it’s about having a sound exploration strategy. We are very much focused on that” — Eldur Olafsson, CEO, AEX Gold

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AEX GOLD

Acquiring an existing Exploitation Licence in 2015, the company is at the advanced exploration stage of its Nalunaq property, including the previously operating Nalunaq Gold Mine. It also holds Exploration Licences at the early exploration stage Vagar and Tartoq properties. Hosting a high-grade NI 43-101 compliant gold resource estimate of 263k oz (inferred) at 18.7 g/t and a number of regional exploration targets, AEX Gold has undertaken three years of exploration at Nalunaq, developing an up228

dated geological model and an extension of the main vein strike length up to 1km. “The government is very supportive, so it’s about having a sound exploration strategy. We are very much focused on that, as we have an asset package that we think we can grow and create a lot

Through this process, the business has

of value,” explains Chief Executive

turned its attentions solely towards

Officer, Eldur Olafsson.

gold exploration.

Originating from Iceland, Olafsson

“The known gold deposits in Green-

has gained extensive experience of the

land are in an area where the climate is

local geography. Focusing on mining

mild and, given our experience, logistics

projects in Greenland since 2012, he

are relatively easy. Gold opportunities

has analysed the country’s potential

are easier to finance than larger base

against the backdrop of environmental

metals projects and our perception

responsibilities and associated legalities

was that we could fully fund projects

with partner SRK Exploration Services.

like these through our support here in

NOVEMBER 2018


MINING

“ We have a total of 690 sq km of licences in south Greenland and we’re the only active listed gold company in Greenland” — Eldur Olafsson, CEO, AEX Gold

229

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AEX GOLD

230

NOVEMBER 2018


MINING

Iceland and in the UK market,” he explains. “We started looking for opportunities in the South Greenland Gold Province and became aware of this historically producing mine. We were attracted by the extremely high-grade potential of the resource and the fact that the project had significant infrastructure in place. We believed there were significant opportunities to materially improve the mining operation that had been run by previous operators.”

EXTENSIVE EXPLORATION Throughout the exploration of highgrade resources, Olafsson is proud to remain hands on and is regularly seen on site. By undertaking various technical studies, AEX has gained the ability to comprehensively analyse similar types of assets with potential. After w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

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AEX GOLD

acquiring the Nalunaq project in 2015 the company has continued to expand its portfolio. Whilst Nalunaq encompasses the required licence to explore and recommence production at the old gold mine, they own the larger Vagar exploration licence, situated a few kilometres to the west of the mine, where AEX believes the ground is prospective for the discovery of further Nalunaq-type deposits. In addition, they also own the early stage Tartoq Project to the North West of Nalunaq. Each licence area is at a different stage 232

WWW.CARTWRIGHTDRILLING.CA

JUNIOR@CARTWRIGHTDRILLING.CA

TEL: +1 709-896-4446


MINING

C OMPA N Y FA C T S

• Greenland is fast becoming the next significant area of exploration for mining businesses. • Obtaining an Exploitation Licence, AEX Gold is at the advanced exploration stage of its Nalunaq property • AEX Gold has undertaken three years of exploration at Nalunaq, developing an updated geological model and an extension of the main vein strike length up to 1km. • Focusing on mining projects in Greenland since 2012, Olafsson has looked at the company’s environmental impact and all associated legalities with partner SRK of exploration which supports AEX’s aim of having a continuous pipeline of projects being brought into

• The use of hydropower and wind power would complement AEX Gold’s operations, not only in its existing mine operations, but with the implementation of an electric mining fleet

production. “We have a total of 690sqkm of licences in south Green-

years at Nalunaq in order to support

land and we’re the only active listed

our exploration in the larger licences in

gold company in Greenland. Previous

the next 5-10 years,” he says.

operators undertook very little forward-

“Iceland is a short distance from

looking exploration once the mine was

Greenland, so logistically it’s good for

in production. It’s a very under-ex-

us. Additionally, in Iceland you need to

plored region so we intend to recom-

be really self-sufficient, and the same can

mence production within the next two

be said for those in Greenland. We w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

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AEX GOLD

don’t have as many people or the multitude of services that you would have in other countries which encourages you to think creatively,” he adds. Consequently, the company has sought to maximise efficiency whilst keeping costs down, yet all the time adding increased value across its operations. By acquiring a high-grade deposit, less material is needed to be broken down, lowering AEX Gold’s carbon footprint. Everything taken out of the mine from underground will be processed and shipped out to a different processing facility, or processed on site adhering to the current environmental guidelines. Historically, electricity has been generated through the use of traditional fossil fuels, something which is steadily changing throughout Greenland. 234

“We’re using oil to put in generators or to power mobile mining equipment which is high cost both in monetary and environmental terms. Greenland currently has five hydroelectric power plants and they are looking at building more in south Greenland,” says Olafsson. Seeing huge opportunities, he explains that the use of hydropower and wind power would complement AEX Gold’s operations, not only in its existing exploration activities, but with the implementation of an electric mining fleet with electricity being obtained from local renewable resources.

PROVIDING LOCAL OPPORTUNITIES In the future, it will be essential for Greenland to gain further revenue to unlock opportunities and services for its citizens. This is something Olafsson believes that AEX Gold can help with due to its knowledge of Iceland as it has many similarities to Greenland and has been NOVEMBER 2018


MINING

“ There are an increasing number of Greenlandic students attending Danish Universities so that now, for example, we are seeing well qualified Greenlandic geologists available for employment” — Eldur Olafsson, CEO, AEX Gold

235

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AEX GOLD

‘ Greenland remains one of the least populated areas worldwide with 50,000 citizens’

236

NOVEMBER 2018


MINING

through a period of comparable change. “Greenland is in a similar position to Iceland not so long ago. Iceland didn’t have a high education rate and wasn’t wealthy compared to other European countries, with economic and cultural activities that were very insular. We are now at the highest level of all parameters in terms of education, wealth per family, etc. and this has stemmed from improving the breadth of schooling and creating opportunities for people to grow and develop outside of the traditional areas of agriculture and fisheries. “Our aim is that the majority of employees will be Greenlandic, but it will take time. Greenland has a large number of people competing for jobs in the fisheries and tourist centres. It is important that Greenlanders are able to access programmes that will allow them to consider other career options. In Iceland we are importing a lot of people to work in different industries in our country because we don’t have enough people. This might be the case for Greenlanders as well if the anticipated growth of the mining sector materialises but we want to ensure that, where possible, we use local people first before looking elsewhere. “The Greenlandic Government provides good support for those who seek education. There are an increasing number of Greenlandic students attending Danish Universities so that now, for example, we are seeing well qualified Greenlandic geologists available for employment. There has been a Mining School at Sisimiut for the last 10 years which provides local qualified labour who can take advantage of opportunities in the mining sector. You need skilled labour and as we own a mine that was in production for 10 years previously, there is a fair bit of w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

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AEX GOLD

“ We are creating revenue for local communities, creating highly skilled jobs, and are providing benefits where local communities can live better lives and individuals can grow” — Eldur Olafsson, CEO, AEX Gold local knowledge that we have been able to use during our exploration work and which we are keen to utilise going forward,” he says. “We are creating revenue for local

Cartwright Drilling, due to the company’s extensive experience in Greenland

communities, creating highly skilled jobs,

and subsequent knowledge of the

and are providing benefits where local

island’s government systems, process-

communities can live better lives and

es and practices.

individuals can grow. We need to create opportunities for young people.” Additionally, by working with local

Planning to mine high-grade resources using significant infrastructure already in place, AEX Gold holds

businesses as well as those who have

extensive licences managed by an

been operating in Greenland for some

experienced team. Previous operations

time, AEX has made a conscious effort

produced between 50,000 to 100,000

to hire companies which can support its

ounces a year at 15.4 grams/ton

growth. AEX have therefore acquired

produced and this has provided a

a longstanding relationship with

benchmark for the company, who will

NOVEMBER 2018


MINING

239

utilise this cash flow to explore the wider

a number of projects,” notes Olafsson.

region in the long-term.

“It will create a dramatic effect on the

“We have a five-year plan where we

local community and hopefully be

want to get into production at Nalunaq

a springboard for unlocking much larger

and use the cash generated to fund

potential in Greenland. There are plenty

exploration in the wider district. We

of deposits that have been found, but

envisage investing a significant amount

you have to be able to develop them. You

in exploration assets to provide a portfolio

can only do that that with support and

of different deposits that we can bring

cooperation from the local people who

into production. We are creating a com-

believe in your vision.”

pany that has a long-term mission in Greenland to build up local know how to support our aim of ramping up to very profitable production across w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


240

The technology below the surface WRIT TEN BY

JOHN O’HANLON PRODUCED BY

ANDY TURNER

NOVEMBER 2018


M A N U FA C T U R I N G

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WILSONART

Wilsonart is all about surfaces, the visible face of the built environment — but below the surface sits a business whose effectiveness depends very much on technology 242

B

ack in the 1950s when Ralph Wilson Sr founded Wilsonart, he was one of the pioneers of laminate worktops and invented

processes that stimulated the creation of an entire industry. Anywhere you go nowadays, in hospitals, schools, retail, offices and of course in the home, walls, floors and working surfaces are likely to be covered by beautiful, hard-working, on-trend and high performance Wilsonart products. With more than 5,000 people and manufacturing facilities in North America, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China, Thailand and Australia, the company sells into 100 countries worldwide. Up until the fourth quarter of 2012, Wilsonart was the acknowledged global leader in laminates but in that year, following the sale of a controlling interest in the company by its owner Illinois Tool Works (ITW) to Clayton Dubilier & Rice (CD&R), it entered a new NOVEMBER 2018


M A N U FA C T U R I N G

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WILSONART

phase of its existence. Though it had

experiencing a transformation from a US

subsidiaries in the USA, France, Germa-

High Pressure Laminate company to

ny, the UK, China and Thailand, those

a leading global engineered surfaces

businesses operated largely as autono-

company. The company is focused on

mous entities. CD&R brought in a global

continuing to grow its core laminate

executive leadership team under

business, while expanding its product

CEO Tim O’Brien, who brought in Jay

portfolio and adding Epoxy, Quartz,

Krishnamurthy as CIO, to use information

Performance Veneer and “Wet Wall”

and digital technology and mold the

solutions, expanding both its global

company into a truly global engi-

reach, and elevating operational excel-

neered surfaces company.

lence and service levels. While this wasn’t exactly an easy

244

GLOBAL PRESENCE TO GLOBAL DATA

journey, there were plenty of opportuni-

Since emerging as an independent

ties and challenges globally, and not

business in 2012, Wilsonart is

a lot of time and resources to sort them

NOVEMBER 2018


M A N U FA C T U R I N G

CLICK TO WATCH : THE ART OF DESIGN MIXOLOGY 245

out. Attempting an apples-to-apples comparison of its multiple business units spread across USA, UK, France, Germany, China, and Thailand, proved difficult because the systems and data were unique to a particular entity. Putting together a global data warehouse to harmonize and model data from the disparate back end systems and make it meaningful information at the executive level for decision making became one of the early priorities. As a forward-thinking leadership team that relied heavily on data and analytics

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246

to make business decisions and steer the company in the right direction, this was a strategic necessity at Wilsonart. Wilsonart chose the Oracle suite of products for data warehousing, analytics, and financial consolidations and planning. With a plethora of systems in the global business including SAP, Epicor, MS Dynamics, MS Great Plains, Infor and Sage, the process of automating the data pull from these back-end systems, harmonizing, modelling and modernizing, consolidating, and presenting it in a simple format for consumption was a very NOVEMBER 2018


M A N U FA C T U R I N G

demanding and ambitious program. The idea was to achieve this as fast as possible so the company could make the right business decisions based on knowing what was working well globally and what was not. The solution allowed Wilsonart to get into details of product line margins, effectively analyze and understand volume, price, mix, inflation/deflation, and other metrics at a regional and consolidated global level. The fundamental enterprise-wide modelling of financials, sales, supply chain, operations, manufacturing and the like took a year to crack, and of course, there is an ongoing process of refinement, but the result was a far more unified global business with visibility into each reporting unit. Previously, analysts across the business were spending more time in data gathering than on data analysis. Once the company automated and harmonized data and processes, it increased their productivity 30-35% and allowed them to focus on other priorities. Wilsonart could focus on what was working well in one region of the world and deploy it in other regions while also being able to effectively w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com

247


248 integrate key financials and analytics

ny’s growth plans. This platform enables

of the numerous acquisitions it has

the salesforce to look at all of its product

made in the US, UK and APAC in

offerings and offer what makes most

an effective manner.

sense to customers across the different channels, and serve them better.

HOW TO DOUBLE ONLINE SALES

Allowing its commercial teams to be able

In parallel with the above efforts, in order

to log information in real time on mobile

to fuel growth and deploy best commer-

devices while in conversation with

cial excellence practices globally,

distributors and customers made a big

Wilsonart chose to implement Oracle

difference. Sales managers were able

Sales Cloud for CRM. This was aimed

to create heat maps for regions and team

at providing strong automated pipeline

members, and provide sales perfor-

to its sales and specification team

mance analytics to the salesforce. These

members, so they could identify

capabilities empowered the sales teams

opportunities to support the compa-

to be more competitive and ‘want to win’.

NOVEMBER 2018


M A N U FA C T U R I N G

‘ Millions of transactions and dollars across the enterprise have been ‘Wilsonart has deployed SAP in Eastern Europe to expand its business and serve its customers in those regions, and has recently finished a finance and supply chain implementation of Oracle R12 in the USA’

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Early in 2017, Wilsonart introduced a new business-to-business (B2B) platform, and online eCommerce sales have doubled not only compared to preceding year, but also since the launch. Feedback has shown that customers enjoy the ability to find product, pricing, and inventory availability information online, and transact with Wilsonart 24/7. The company deals with many installers and fabricators who appreciate the opportunity to do business with Wilsonart online when they get back to their homes or offices after a day 250

on site. This has proven successful across the Americas and Wilsonart is now launching this in the UK shortly. Another example is the company’s efforts on branding. Wilsonart is #1 or

company has also launched a proprietary

#2 in key HPL markets globally, and

‘Visualizer’ tool, and a ‘Digital Wallboard’

continues to focus on gaining market

mobile app for interior designers,

share in products such as Quartz, Solid

renovation enthusiasts, architects,

Surface, TFL, etc. A lot of effort has

and distributors. It has seen an increase

gone into offering best-in-class user

of over 125% in organic web traffic

experience and making information

globally, and over 20 million renderings

readily available for customers online,

using its Visualizer. The ‘Digital Wallboard’

including placing products front and

app is a game changer and Wilsonart is

center, displaying designs in various

leading the industry in this area. These

BIM formats, pushing key performance

technologies are designed to add brand

and technical product information, and

value, increase service levels, and make

‘where to buy’ information. The

it easier for customers to do business.

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M A N U FA C T U R I N G

1956

Year Founded

5,000 Number of Employees $1.4B Revenue

251

The CRM and web solutions have

Perhaps the most innovative move,

clearly helped Wilsonart grow from the

however, has been the successful

low single digits to approaching double

introduction of hyperspectral technology

digit rates this year, and these are critical

at the North American plants. This

as it continues to expand as a global

technology has been used in agriculture,

leader in engineered surfaces.

food processing and environmental controls, but identifying its strengths and

INNOVATIVE HYPERSPECTRAL SERVING SURFACES

applying it in the context of laminates to deliver results is quite amazing.

All of Wilsonart’s global manufacturing

Wilsonart uses proprietary hyperspec-

facilities are well run, efficient and with

tral technology solution to recognize and

patented processes, but like anything

identify design-pattern-texture combina-

else, offer improvement opportunities.

tions as they are manufactured - the w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


WILSONART

number of different variations is almost unimaginable. Before introducing this technology Wilsonart was achieving accuracy in the low to mid 80’s, but is now above 95% in terms of identifying exactly what design-pattern-texture it is manufacturing. This helps with shipping the right products to the customer, which resulted in an increase in customer satisfaction. Digitizing business processes remains a priority, and good progress has already been achieved by barcoding all products as they come off the line, so distributors can use the same to receive in their systems. Millions of transactions and dollars across the enter252

prise have been automated both in upstream and downstream processes using IBM’s Datacap and BPM tools. Implementing these tools is about maximizing automation and realizing its benefits internally, and sharing/ extending the solutions to customers as well. Wilsonart works with customers to help minimize manual touches as transactions flow through the supply and demand data chains, providing universal benefits. Five years of technology development and execution for Wilsonart’s IT team has added significant value to the company. But the hard work is far from over. The IT function is constantly looking to gain a competitive edge, meet the changing customer needs, invest in global expansion programs, and help the NOVEMBER 2018


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wider company business units become more productive and efficient. Wilsonart has deployed SAP in Eastern Europe to expand its business and serve its customers in those regions, and has recently finished a finance and supply chain implementation of Oracle R12 in the USA to establish better controls, enable e-procurement, and enhance transactional productivity and accuracy. Meanwhile, there are plenty of more routine matters that mustn’t be forgotten. Cybersecurity has received a lot of focus and investment as well and in Europe, w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com


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‘ A lot of effort has gone into offering best-in-class user experience and making information readily available for customers online’

the GDPR privacy legislation has global

between borders, and keeping relevant

ramifications. Being able to identify

parties updated.

where sensitive personal data is stored,

While Wilsonart is a leader in

protect and secure it is half the GDPR

Laminates and continues to lead and

battle. The rest is about putting the

invest in this category, its new products

appropriate policies and practices,

and offerings provide its customers

documenting business processes,

even more choices, allowing customers

providing training, securing data flow

to select design, texture and perfor-

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mance they want within their budget.

does it continue to provide its global

The question now for Wilsonart is how

business a reliable, secure and high

does it enable growth and increase

performing infrastructure?

customer service levels, what can it do to automate and increase productivity, what are the next steps to remain competitive online and apply innovative but relevant technologies to its business, and how w w w.busi ne ssc hief. com