May 19, 2020

Oliver Wight EAME: supply chain challenges in 2020

Supply Chain
Digital Transformation
Leah Netabai
4 min
Oliver Wight EAME: supply chain challenges in 2020

Kirsty Braines, COO at Oliver Wight EAME, talks to Business Chief to discuss supply chain trends, challenges and innovations.

What are the current trends within your industry?

The last decade has seen unprecedented development and advances in technology, which have been instrumental in propelling organisations towards the future, with Blockchain, AI and IoT having been the buzzwords of the last few years. These continue to have prominence in the industry, but 2020 is also set to see a resurgence in people-defined processes that are targeted at maximising the benefits of this new technology. 

Out of these trends what do you feel will be the biggest disrupter to the industry?

While the introduction of new technologies has proved beneficial for organisations savvy enough to adopt them, some have found it hard to harness the power that digital disruption has ignited. Whilst many companies have the budget to buy, many lack an effective plan to apply. So, as technology drives greater understanding of data, business leaders will need to ensure more than ever before that they have an effective Integrated Business Planning process to leverage their decision-making and therefore take greater control of their performance delivery.

What innovative technology do you see emerging in the near future?

We are seeing a move towards enterprise connectivity and for the first time it would appear that technology is set to deliver a truly integrated system with financial projections and integration of strategic plans with a rolling planning horizon, with the capability to integrate across the entire enterprise. At Oliver Wight we see this as a move towards Enterprise Business Planning.

What are the biggest challenges within your industry at the moment?

The biggest current challenges for many of the organisations we work with revolve around trying to remain competitive in fast-changing markets. In the 21st century, customers are looking for products to be delivered more quickly and cheaply and will not hesitate to switch suppliers if businesses can’t deliver. Volatility and unpredictability are now the norm, which means an optimised go-to-market strategy is pivotal, to ensure the supply chain is able to respond rapidly to constantly changing market conditions. 


How is your company evolving alongside new trends?

Through Oliver Wight’s five decades of working with global businesses, we have helped many businesses to implement an Integrated Business Planning process. What we are seeing now, is organisations using new technologies to achieve true integration, which enables them to maximise the value of their IBP process and use it to drive their strategic agenda.

How is your company utilising innovative technology (AI, ML, Big Data, robotics etc.)?

Our clients have been using innovative technologies such as AI and ML to increase the efficiency and speed of their processes. These have given businesses the ability to process large amounts of complex data and allowed this data to be easily shared across the supply chain, between suppliers, manufacturers and customers. We have seen how having access to advanced analytical data can positively impact decision-making in operational areas, such as in demand planning, supply chain planning, sourcing, logistics and transportation to radically improve end-to-end supply chain performance.

What would you say is your company’s biggest success to date? 

In 2020 we are thrilled to be heading into our 51st year helping tens of thousands of individuals and thousands of businesses to improve their business processes. From being the pioneers of S&OP in the 1980s, through its evolution into Integrated Business Planning in the mid-2000s, and now Enterprise Business Planning, we have continually evolved our offering so that today, businesses can harness the latest technologies and take advantage of the new opportunities the modern digital era brings. 

For more information on business topics in the Middle East and Africa, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief MEA

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Jun 14, 2021

5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly

Kate Birch
3 min
Heading up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy is winning awards and leading with diversity

Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.

Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills. 

What do you do, in a nutshell?

I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.

How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?

I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.

They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?

The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless. 

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.


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