We had the pleasure of meeting Martin Corner at the Automotive Logistics Summit, Martin is the Vice President of Supply Chain Management for Nissan Europe. We spoke about management effectiveness, specifically within the logistics sector and Martin was kind enough to do an interview with us here at Skills for Logistics to elaborate further.

How have you seen the logistics sector transform over your career?

The transformational use of analytics and forecasting have really optimised the supply chain end to end, it’s just at the beginnings for the automotive sector.

What are the changes you see for the future workforce of logistics and supply chain?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and technology will start to take over the administrative and data management side of the role.  Once this happens it will allow the supply chain team to become more focussed on business management. The future requirements of a supply chain professional will be influencing skills, communication, strategic business acumen and leadership.  It will be an opportunity for a new generation of supply chain professionals to develop a fulfilling career.

When we last spoke, we discussed the importance of empathy in management style, could you elaborate further?

In my opinion, respecting the strengths and style of the individual and giving them the encouragement to flourish and be the best version of themselves yields the best results.  Listening and giving people the space to define their own ideas and solutions, rather than prescribing your own ideas, drives motivation through teams and individuals.

How do you feel good management has influenced your career?

Hugely, when you have a manager who; trusts, respects, listens, supports, challenges constructively (crucial point) and adds value with suggestion and guidance, it makes a significant difference. Being given the space to go beyond your objectives and drive change is hugely motivating – the right line manager is crucial in making this happen.

What management paths do you think are available for the supply chain & logistics sector that maybe aren’t being utilised currently?

I think that people pursuing a career in this sector have an opportunity to grow their careers more than at any time in the past.  This could be towards more general business management and even board level roles due to the unique positioning of supply chain as a function, touching all parts of the business. Equally it could be as a technical supply chain specialist working on the new technologies that should help revolutionise the sector in the future.

What would you say the priority is for the Supply Chain & logistics sector to tackle first?

Look to the supply chain of the future and work backwards. Year on year efficiencies are great but the step change needed to really optimise data analytics/forecasting, AI, automation and robotics requires some ambition and planning.  We need to imagine what the world can look like in 10/20 years’ time and make a roadmap to get there as fast as possible. What will customers want and how will the technology we see coming help deliver this revolution?

Your final thoughts Martin?

For me supply chain is the most exciting part of the business to work in.  Anyone considering a career which gives both a specialism and a total business overview should look no further. It is a function which concurrently operates on both a short-term delivery and long-term strategic basis which is immensely satisfying from both an intellectual and motivational perspective.

It was a great opportunity to talk to Martin and hear his thoughts, but what about you? If you’ve got any insights you’d like to share on the supply chain and logistics industry and management then please do get in touch, we’d love to hear from you – Tweet us!

If you’d like to connect with Martin on Linkedin, please do show that you have read this article in your request.

Sarah Gunston 1st April 2019

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