Learn from the Supply Chain Masters – Q&A with Hans Velthuizen

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A look at the roster of Kinaxis employees reveals an incredible depth of supply chain talent, knowledge and experience. We thought we’d tap into that wisdom pool by sitting down to gather industry insight from members of an elite group who are entrenched in the pitfalls and successes of supply chain management on a daily basis – our very talented business consultants. For the next few weeks we’ll be featuring answers from these supply chain gurus – some shrewd, some sarcastic and some just off the wall silly! First up, Hans Velthuizen. Hans has been a business consultant with Kinaxis for more than three years, and is based out of the Netherlands. Yes, he does like tulips! How did you come to find yourself in a supply chain software business consultant role – what was your path to here? I wanted to become a lorry driver, moving goods from A to B, but it took me too long to get a drivers’ license. Okay, so actually I studied Distribution Management and always wanted to travel. I became a business consultant immediately after my studies. I never found the urge to change my role since I think I have one of the best jobs ever. There’s never a dull moment. What’s the biggest lesson about supply chain management you’ve learned? It’s all about teamwork, but only one out of five project members is a team player. What advice would you give to anyone considering a career in supply chain?

  1. Make sure you get many different insights in the beginning of your career. Look for a job that allows frequent task rotations, like doing a project in demand planning, then procurement, then operational excellence, etc. (a business consultant role is a good example as you will see many different companies with even more supply chain challenges)
  2. Look for innovative companies and try to be part of them, this way you will learn the most.
If you had to name three priorities for a company looking to evolve their supply chain processes, what would they be?
  1. Plan
  2. Monitor
  3. Respond
If you could change your job title to a comic or superhero name that would aptly describe what you do, what name would you give yourself?

Regarding comics or superheroes, that is a typical North American phenomenon and it’s difficult to find a European one. When I think of one it’s Hans Brinker (although he is actually an American creation), the Dutch boy who put his finger in the leaking Dike to save the low lands from flooding. His decisive action saved many lives and is a good example of rapidly responsive action. What’s the one app on your phone that you can’t live without? The health check app.  

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