We start our interview series with our Head of Supply Chain Management Fabian Ossen. In his job, it is important to think innovatively in order to keep optimising our processes
High availability is important for the customer, maximum efficiency for production. How do you manage this balancing act?
Fabian Ossen: We work with a modern production planning system. That means we analyse our products every day anew with a view to consumption and classify them. Based on this, we plan our production quantities, stocks and sales figures on the basis of the agreed delivery readiness level. This means that we do not work from our gut feeling, but data based. We are very open to any kind of market information because it helps us to compensate for structural breaks that cannot be planned. We have things better under control.
You work closely with the American Sihl team. What role does the respective (working) culture on another continent play with regard to a company’s ability to innovate?
Fabian Ossen: We are in the process of establishing our system environment in the USA. This will help us achieve maximum transparency and effectiveness. Basically, I can say that I have had consistently good experiences working with our US colleagues. In the end, it is not the American, European or German culture that is decisive. What counts is the Sihl culture, which everyone lives. Everyone is highly motivated to participate in value creation and to work as efficiently and innovatively as possible.
Being responsive to customers’ needs always means undergoing a continuous improvement process. Does improvement automatically mean innovation?
Fabian Ossen: Yes, I think that is fundamentally correct. I always compare people who do not want to develop themselves and are not open to new things with someone standing at the train station waiting for a ship. What I want to say: Innovations (almost) always mean change.