Ivica Dumanovic, Director of Operations of Gebrüder Weiss – Blockchain Technologies and AI Crucial to the Future of Logistics
Ivica Dumanovic (Photo: Gebrüder Weiss)
Despite the challenges, Gebrüder Weiss has realized great results. The company’s management has managed to make a remarkable balance, implementing a responsible strategy to the end of preserving the employees’ health on one hand and the sustainability of the business operations on the other, Ivica Dumanovic, the director of operation at the company, says in his interview with the Transport i logistika magazine.
He talked about the biggest challenges, the operations of Gebrüder Weiss, the market trends and the future of the development of this sector.
You have years of experience in logistics, more precisely, supply chain management. What do you see as your most significant successes and what are the biggest challenges that you have faced in your work so far?
– That is right, I have as many as 15 years of experience behind me, during which I’ve had the opportunity to learn and work at several leading companies in our market, and each of them contributed to my further professional development in their own way.
My start in a local company, which was considered a leader in the provision of international transport services, was the foundation for further building my career in the direction I wanted to. Then, working at a multinational production company opened the door to national distribution, which I later developed in the biggest FMCG company in Serbia. To me, it was an opportunity to step into the field of warehouse operations and to upgrade my professional competences to the level of complete logistics operations. I further built my experience in managing supply chains together with the colleagues from the company that was a leader in retail of electric and electronic home appliances, where, for 3 years, I closely cooperated with my current colleagues in Gebrüder Weiss, which was our main logistics provider in that period.
In my opinion, the employees are the most important resource of each successful company, and I was lucky to develop my career while simultaneously developing the people around me. My progress is directly connected to the progress of my team and I cannot express how proud I am that my successors in each company I’ve worked at, in addition to being good people, have become serious professionals in their fields.
On the other hand, the biggest challenge I’ve met so far is, without any precedent, the pandemic, which has led to global changes and a shift in market demands in the field of supply chains.
(Photo: Gebrüder Weiss/ Stefan Peter)
What is it that makes Gebrüder Weiss an ideal company for new business successes and the further development of your career?
– I believe that Gebrüder Weiss, with its wide global network and the logistics solutions it provides, its plans for the future and its constant development of people and services, is one of the most promising logistics companies. The family tradition of more than half a millennium and the strong corporate culture defined through four principal values – independence, sustainability, dedication and service excellence, connect and motivate people in the company. I am therefore certain that I will find support for further professional development at this company and that the experience I’ve acquired so far will contribute to the further development of the business operations.
Despite the challenges brought by the pandemic, Gebrüder Weiss realized excellent business results last year. How did the operations sector fare and what are your plans for 2021?
– The coronavirus pandemic has brough significant changes, not just in business, but in people’s lives too. Thanks to the excellent team work, mutual support and understanding between the employees, Gebrüder Weiss, despite all the challenges, realized great results. The company’s management managed to achieve a remarkable balance, implementing a responsible strategy to the end of preserving the employees’ health on one hand and business sustainability on the other.
The operations sector is one of the links in that chain, a connection between the other sectors in the company and our end-clients. A quick adaptation to the extraordinary circumstances and the successful realization of all client demands, with all the difficulties caused by the pandemic, best show the quality of the team.
The plans for the current year are closely tied to the further optimization of the business operations and processes with the end of goal of raising the quality of the service and keeping our clients satisfied. We strive for automation and digitization, in order to keep up with the trends and the demands of the market.
Where do you see room for further growth and progress of local transport in Serbia? Does Gebrüder Weiss plan any new solutions in this field?
– I have mentioned that the pandemic has had a considerable impact on the business operation – the growth of online trade, the increased presence of last-mile services and the focus on using alternative-fuel vehicles are just some of the trends we’ve noticed in the past period. In order to operate successfully, companies must find a way to adapt to these changes and keep up with them.
In line with client demands and current trends, Gebrüder Weiss focuses on upgrading the service of home delivery to end-users. The “track&trace” shipment monitoring is enabled, from the pickup to the final delivery.
Also, Gebrüder Weiss contributes to the use of environmentally friendly in logistics, as shown by the fact that gas-powered trucks are already used in Serbia, whereas the first hydrogen-powered truck is being tested at the Gebrüder Weiss branch in Altenrhein, Switzerland. The company is looking to reduce the harmful environmental impact of transport this way.
What would you highlight as the trends that will shape the transport and logistics industry in 2021?
– The dynamic of the daily operations and the challenging labor force market are making it increasingly necessary to strive for process optimization, through digitization and automation in the segment of logistic operations.
The use of the blockchain technology, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will become key factors in the future of logistics and management of supply chains for data analysis and the planning of logistics strategies and efficient delivery routes. The implementation of these technologies will influence the quality of the service and the competitiveness in the market.
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