We interviewed Danijel Banek, Executive Director Central Purchasing at Atlantic Grupa to find out more about his presentation “Closer to customer – Customer centricity & Customer centric procurement” at TRANSLOG Connect 2017.
TEG: Why have you selected the topic “Closer to customer – Customer centricity & Customer centric procurement” for your presentation at the 7th CEE TRANSLOG Connect this year?
Danijel Banek: In the FMCG industry, but not just in it, the only way to remain competitive in the market that has become saturated with various products, brands and manufacturers, is to offer products that are different and fully meet customers and consumers expectations. Therefore, knowledge of customer expectations as well as of their unmet needs becomes a key competency that gives competitive advantage and opens up the potential for growth and development of companies and their products or brands. In the transformation of companies towards the customer-centric philosophy and the corresponding business model, neither the procurement function should stand aside. This means that the procurement function must actively participate in recognizing these needs and involving the suppliers of goods and services in all the stages of creating and implementing products that will be fully geared towards customers and their needs. This is why I thought the customer centricity would be of great interest for all procurement and supply chain professionals.
TEG: What are the benefits of customer centric procurement?
Danijel Banek: Company benefits are reflected in the improved speed and simplicity of the processes through which companies create and introduce value-added products for their consumers. Efficiency of this process is in direct correlation with the companies’ financial performance, with their top line and bottom line results. There are also obvious benefits for procurement function itself which, through successful participation in these processes, gains relevance and significance within their organizations Thus, procurement becomes a real value generator and a function of a strategic importance for their organizations
TEG: How could other companies adopt this approach? For what kind of companies or industries do you recommend it?
Danijel Banek: There is no universal recipe for introducing such an approach, but increased opportunities for success are offered to those companies that, on the one hand, have a good understanding of their market and the needs of their consumers, and on the other hand have successfully integrated internal processes. And not only between individual functions of an enterprise but also with their external business partners, suppliers and customers. This approach is not related to one single industry, but is relevant for the entire spectrum of industries and branches.
TEG: How are digital solutions affecting your industry sector and company?
Danijel Banek: Digital solutions have become a vital part of business across a wide range of industries. Digitalization entered companies mainly through marketing but has been adopted in the meantime by all the functions of the company, including procurement and supply chain management. Although it is still predominantly used within these functions for reporting and monitoring purposes, digital solutions are used more and more for analyzing and making strategic decisions. It is no different in FMCG industry, that also embraced digital solutions with the expectations that digitalization would help them to improve communication with consumers, provide data necessary for making informed decision and give them better visibility into business environment as well as helping them predict the future changes within their industry. My company started its digital transformation some years ago and since then we have been constantly searching for new and emerging digital solutions in all parts of our business.
TEG: What are your expectations from TRANSLOG Connect 2017?
Danijel Banek: I expect to hear about the newest trends and key challenges in supply chain, logistics and procurement and how the supply chain professionals from various industries cope with the increased speed of changes within their business environment. I would be also delighted to see so many supply chain professionals at this event, to make exchanges on business opportunities and challenges with them, as well as to extend my business network.
Danijel Banek, Executive Director Central Purchasing at Atlantic Grupa
Danijel has more than 15 years of experience in procurement, holding various executive roles in supply chain and purchasing in several international companies. He has been working as the executive director for central purchasing at Croatia-based Atlantic Grupa since 2008. Before joining Atlantic Grupa, Danijel worked for international companies Lesaffre Group and Pliva.
He is an occasional lecturer at several Croatian business schools, teaching students about the basics of purchasing and supply chain. Besides that, he was a speaker at numerous Croatian and international purchasing conferences and summits. Danijel is also vice-president of the Croatian Association of Purchasing.
In 2013, for his contribution for the development of the purchasing profession, Danijel was awarded with the Garner – Themoin annual award by the International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management (IFPSM) and in 2015 his purchasing team was awarded by The European Institute of Purchasing Management (EIPM) with the Peter Kraljic award for excellence as the purchasing organization of the year.