Communicate more = plan even better

Logistics have been my job for 40 years. At various major A-brands I pressed the logistics buttons. The goods that I saw “flowing” logistically varied from candy to electronics. To just indicate the width.

Since September 1, 2019, I have been active at SILS as director of warehouse operations. To start with: I view that job title very broadly. Because SILS is more than a warehouse and thinking in boxes within logistics is not my wat of doing things. Would I only look at the SILS warehouse? Then I would do our customers short and we’d miss opportunities. That’s why I started from the total picture from day one within SILS. The profit of that? Our employees realize that together we are getting the job done as one organization. Our customers are the first to benefit from this growing mindset. But we also create more satisfied employees based on that total vision.

Our own vision receives external enrichment

Anyone who joins a company from the outside is expected to bring on board a critical look. Because what else is the use of new blood? What I saw from day one was a beautiful, thriving and customer-oriented logistics organization. What is special is that SILS has grown into what it is today based on a hand-developed vision of logistics processes. That vision works and makes SILS special. At the same time, SILS wants to make a leap. And that requires SILS to enrich its own vision of logistics more than before with proven methods and procedures that have proven their value more than once elsewhere in logistics. And that is where I can play a role. SILS has come a long way by playing by their own rules. Now the phase has arrived in which we test our current processes against what is generally accepted as proven logistics methods. Hereby we look for the balance between what we are already doing well and any new ways of working. Let’s call it “The best of both worlds.”

Small steps and improvement at the detailed level

Does this mean that we are going to change radically? No, within logistics there is such a thing as step-by-step improvement. You take small steps and improve on a detailed level. The knife cuts both ways: we do not disrupt the existing logistics process of our customers and at the same time all those small improvement steps will soon be a major leap forward.

More preventive and less curative

Another concrete action point that I would like to touch with you is the way in which SILS communicates, plans and adjusts with you. On the one hand, we want to bother customers as little as possible while we carry out our processes for them. Is something in danger of not running entirely as agreed. Then we do our very best to resolve this internally first and not to burden you with that issue. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with more consultation before bottlenecks arise. The better we plan our work, the faster we can respond to unexpected events for customers. And the sooner we report any anticipated bottlenecks, the sooner we can reach a solution together with customers. This means that SILS is going to consult with customers more often. The questions on the agenda? Is everything going as planned? Does the customer see unforeseen things coming up? And above all: how can SILS respond preventively instead of curatively?

Fast, preventive and logistically proven

At the beginning of this blog I told you that I perceive my position as director warehouse operations broadly. And I also apply this to our cooperation with you. Feel free to submit all your logistics issues to SILS. We respond to it as promised: quick and based on preventive thinking and solutions. But also, from one logistical and proven vision that we will continue to enrich with external insights.


Rob Damen