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THE SUPPLY CHAIN MASTER This month, Brian Cartwright, regional MD for Logistics Executive meets Ingo Kloepper, CEO Middle East area , for Damco to talk competitive supply chains and big data


his month I caught up with Ingo Kloepper, CEO, MEA for Damco. Ingo has been living and working in MEA since 2007 and is an expert in logistics, particularly ocean freight related supply chain management. He joined Damco in July 2015 having had a long and successful career with another major multinational 3PL. He has already made an impressive impact at Damco since taking on responsibility for their MEA regional business. So I was very interested to meet with him and ask his opinions on the current state of the supply chain in this market and to try to understand just what he is doing to make

his business the edge on the competition. WHAT IN YOUR OPINION IS A MAJOR AREA THAT COMPANIES STRUGGLE WITH IN THEIR SUPPLY CHAINS ACROSS MEA? I have personally spent eight years in this fast-growing market, and this has repeatedly shown me that our greatest challenge across the industry is limited or incorrect visibility of the full supply chain. There is always a sense that one doesn’t have all the information at hand to make an informed decision at a given time. Limited supply chain visibility, incorrect documentation and delayed receipt of documentation in turn lead to delays and demurrages as well as stock-outs and failure to meet end-customer requirements. This ‘waste’ across the supply chain will 40 | Logistics News ME | April 2016

often add up to millions of Dollars. Many companies still struggle with purchase order visibility, and this is an area that Damco continues to lead the industry. Turning to documentation, it must be remembered that physical documents are still the preferred mode across the Middle East countries. Damco has learnt to provide both the e-document as well as the hard paper document, and our e-document capability is arguably the best in the market, and has helped us and our customers tackle this challenge. WHAT CAN COMPANIES DO TO BETTER STREAMLINE THEIR SUPPLY CHAIN IN ORDER TO DIFFERENTIATE THEMSELVES FROM THEIR COMPETITORS? Increase supply chain visibility, make informed decisions and ultimately take waste out of their supply chains. Making use of a visibility platform alone will not create the desired value as these platforms do not validate or ‘manage’ data – and importantly - do not act or make decisions upon the data that is provided. Companies will still need a service provider, who provides these and many more services. Damco has been involved in supply chain management for more than 20 years, whereas most of our competitors have only added similar activities in recent years. Supply chain management is Damco’s DNA and in

management, inventory management, documentation management, business process management, load and package optimisation and supply chain modeling to name a few. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ARE THE MAJOR CHOKE POINTS WHEN MOVING GOODS ACROSS THE GCC COUNTRIES? The six GCC countries move significant volumes of cargo between them. Three major choke points stand out. One, most GCC countries have complex and manual customs clearance procedures. Second, congested customs borders, and thirdly, there is a limited number of qualified service providers. These three bottlenecks when combined have a significant impact on supply chain and inventory costs. Damco has been operating in the Middle East for many years, and we are constantly advising our clients on the status and requirements of various customs borders, and subsequently any required changes mode if one of them becomes congested. BIG DATA IS BEING A TALKED ABOUT A LOT LATELY BUT HOW WILL THIS HELP YOU TO BETTER SUPPORT YOUR CLIENTS? Damco will better serve the clients out of the combination of Big Data and our exceptional people. Big Data, advanced analytics and prediction methods make us aware of untapped potentials in the

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