World Vision - July2020

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WORLD VISION

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DIGITAL REPORT 2020

Digitalising operations to help the vulnerable IN ASSOCIATION WITH


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World Vision: digitalising operations to help the vulnerable WRITTEN BY

GEORGIA WILSON PRODUCED BY

CAITLYN COLE 03

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Tim Covell, Supply Chain Director, World Vision on the organisation’s digital transformation, COVID-19 and its efforts to help the vulnerable

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hen it comes to digital innovation at World Vision, Tim Covell, Supply Chain Director at the organisation explains that its strat-

egy is not necessarily ‘cutting edge’. “We’re probably more on the other end of the 04

spectrum where we are intentionally not cutting edge. Instead, we’re looking to be frugal, using technology that has the highest return on investment (ROI), as well as applications that provide the most effective impact,” so when it comes to digital transformation, World Vision is focusing its efforts on its demand planning, fulfilment and distribution. “In terms of demand planning, our stakeholders and program leaders from around the world are serving in various communities and they need to have a simple and common tool that we can pull from. Over time, we have developed a tool with a fairly simple input process, and then we aggregate all those answers into a global demand each year, and this process has continued to be refined year on year. When it comes to fulfilment and global


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“ We are probably more on the other end of the spectrum where we are intentionally not cutting edge. Instead we are looking to be frugal, using technology that has the highest return on investment (ROI), as well as applications that provide the most effective impact” — Tim Covell, Supply Chain Director, World Vision

He adds that, “Envista has been our partner for a little over four years and they have played an important role in allowing us to utilise our ERP

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distribution, I would say that we are still

for nonprofit application. A lot of what

on a journey about how we can build

we do is non-standard, we are using

global solutions. Here in the US, we

an ERP built for profit in a nonprofit

had a big win several years ago when

organisation, so being able to manage

we introduced a common ERP system

that efficiently and effectively we are

for both managing donations as well

really thankful for Envista for provid-

as ministry executions for serving

ing the expertise.” Other technology

our communities. Now that we’re on

World Vision has adopted to digitally

a common platform, the ability to move

transform its operations include the

products around to maintain control

adoption of a new TMS system about

has really been bolstered,” adds Covell.

a year ago, “and so we are still going through the learning curves of the system and looking to be as effective as


World Vision; supporting communities to fight COVID-19 around the world CLICK TO WATCH

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07 we can with that tool which has a huge

make to our operations when it comes

opportunity to be much more impact-

to technology to enable this in the future.”

ful than the homegrown system that

When it comes to the importance

we were using prior to that.” Reflecting on the future of technol-

of technology, Covell believes that “having connectivity to all of our

ogy at World Vision, Covell notes that

stakeholders, donors, carriers and

one area his team has been looking

customers is critical. As a team – aside

into in the last year and will continue to

from the ones who are continuing to

do so in the future is having an impact

work in warehouses and distribution

assessment of donated Gifts in Kind

– we are able to work from home.

(GIK) to understand how to maximise

The team that’s interacting with our

the freight dollar spend and where

various stakeholders are able to work

the company can use it for the most

from home and not miss a beat and

significant impact. “As a result we are

that has been excellent. However,

looking into improvements that we can

in my personal opinion, this is not w w w.wo rl dvi s ion . org


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going to be the new normal. I personally believe that being together as a team provides great value due to the connectedness of the team. Working from home creates challenges that you need to overcome on a day to day basis. So I don’t see this as the new normal, I think the days of the office aren’t numbered.” Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Covell explains that while its office based teams have faced minimal disruption, the operations of organisation have not been without challenges. “It’s interesting times for sure,” notes

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1950

Year founded

$2.75bn Revenue in US dollars

10,000+

Number of employees (Linkedin)


Covell, “here in the United States we

response as well as a local emer-

have had to deal with not being able

gency response, which putting all

to bring in our volunteers for our seven

these elements together makes a

sites in the US which we rely heavily

very challenging environment,” com-

on to make our operations work. So

ments Covell. He believes that “the

not having the volunteers has been

US team has done an excellent job

a significant disruption. In terms of

setting up distribution hubs at 12 dif-

distribution, we are still getting dona-

ferent sites around the country and

tions in from corporations which is

have been ramping up efforts to get

awesome, but the team has pivoted

food and essential supplies to each

to emergency response instead of

of those hubs on top of serving 17 of

normal distributions, so we are cur-

the most fragile countries impacted

rently serving a global emergency

by COVID-19.” 09

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

Tim Covell Title: Supply Chain Director Company: World Vision Industry: Non-profit Organization Management Tim has a BS in Operations Research/Systems Analysis from West Point Military Academy, and a MS in Engineering Management from Milwaukee School of Engineering. After some time serving in the Army and then leading operations in transportation services, he spent over 21 years at GE Healthcare in Milwaukee, WI. During that time, he had experience in a variety of roles from Mfg and Materials leadership to New Product Development and Advanced Manufacturing Engineering. He recently joined World Vision in Seattle, WA to lead the GIK Supply Chain operation and has been serving there for 3 ½ years. w w w.wo rl dvi s ion . org


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When it comes to the future of the

of poverty. So for me, COVID-19

industry, Covell details that “one of the

reinforces the criticality of our min-

dynamics of poverty is the inability to

istry and services for the future.”

deal with emergencies or crises as

Reflecting on the organisation,

they emerge and you’re living paycheck

Covell explains that “World Vision

to paycheck, day to day just to get

intends to provide a total business

by. Therefore, having an emergency

solution for corporations, offering a

like COVID-19 reinforces the need for

holistic approach with team activities,

organisations like World Vision and

kit builds, cash donations, and GIK.

many others to be engaged in caring

We have an excellent team that works

for and uplifting communities that

with these corporations in terms of

are struggling to break that cycle

developing relationships and working


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“ Now that we’re on a common platform, the ability to move products around to maintain control has really been bolstered” — Tim Covell, Supply Chain Director, World Vision

with them. Then, once a donation is made, my team then is the execution arm, so our focus is on providing a high level of service to the donor. In particular, we focus on having a short response time to get the product off of their dock – which is typically a priority for corporations – providing a reverse logistics solution, integrating with the donor’s operations. Finally, maintaining that ministry focus and making sure that we are a pull operation is key. w w w.c w o mpa w w.wo ny rl we dvi bsite. s ioncom . org


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“ Having an emergency like COVID-19 reinforces the need for organisations like World Vision and many others to be engaged in caring for and uplifting communities that are struggling to break that cycle of poverty” — Tim Covell, Supply Chain Director, World Vision


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It’s important that we’re never taking a product from a corporation and then pushing it to a ministry site, instead we make sure at every turn that we’re responsive and sensitive to what is needed at the ministry site to care for people, making sure that the product we’re sending is providing value.” However, this mission isn’t done alone. Covell explains that World Vision is a small team which relies on its logistics partners significantly 14

internationally and domestically. “In terms of international logistics MX Shipping has been a core partner specialising in access to really challenging countries and last mile scenarios. On the domestic side, we have several core partners that we work with including C.H. Robinson

“ We make sure at every turn that we’re responsive and sensitive to what is needed at the ministry site to care for people, making sure that the product we’re sending is providing value” — Tim Covell, Supply Chain Director, World Vision


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and Radiant two key partners that

each category allows checks and bal-

we lean heavily on. My philosophy is

ances ensuring that we’re being cost

to have a few core relationships and

effective as we go forward.”

not to jump around every year to build strong relationships and grow together. However, on the flip side, I’m not a fan of being single sourced and not having options, so having a few partners in w w w.wo rl dvi s ion . org


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