Supply Chain & Customer Care
Vanwege het internationale karakter van ons bedrijf en onze medewerkers hebben we hun verhalen en ervaringen in het Engels weergegeven.
Jari got to know Medtronic through his internship in the Demand Planning team. Right after his graduation, he was offered a permanent job within our Supply Chain department. At this moment, he is the main supply chain planner for our cardiac surgery business. Although he was born and raised in Valkenburg, Jari now lives in Hulsberg, together with his girlfriend Sanne. In his spare time, Jari enjoys going for a run, watch a movie or go for a drink with friends.
As a supply chain planner, you always find yourself in the firefighting areas between several links within the chain. While the overall purpose is to become more and more proactive with a full end-to-end scope, it is important to take into account as many relevant perspectives as possible at the same time. These can vary from global supply chain, marketing and the businesses to the customer (and patient) at the end of the chain.
You are often involved from the start of the product chain at the manufacturing site in the US, until the sales representative who sells the product to our customers.
In 2017, I graduated from the Maastricht University and obtained a master’s degree in international business supply chain management. During my master thesis, I did an internship at Medtronic in the Demand Planning team. After graduation, I transitioned to a support function for the Structural Heart team, and later, I became the main planner for the cardiac surgery business, which I still am today.
What I consider the biggest challenge in my role, is maximizing the product availability for our customers, while closely monitoring the inventory levels throughout the entire supply chain. From my perspective, that is our primary goal: to guarantee product availability for customers to the best extent possible, always throughout the entire EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa).
When facing supply shortages or overconsumption in a certain region, the challenge is to provide as much transparency as possible – without reaching an inventory stockout – while at the same time, continue to maximize product availability. Managing inventory levels is extremely important to a business. Having too much or too little stock can compromise the effectiveness of the business. Too little stock can have an impact on customers, which ultimately could lead to cancellations of scheduled surgeries. Having too much stock, on the other hand, has a negative impact on storage capacity, leading to the increase of the “scrap, obsolescence, gains and losses” (SOGL) risk, which is seen as cash which is tied up and not available to be invested in other business areas.
I really like to use my analytical thinking skills with respect to the Medtronic procedures and processes. Another thing I enjoy in my role, is that I can combine the theory of supply chain with our SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, thereby focusing on the result to customer impact. Within SAP, for example, there are several functionalities which can be used to slow down or speed up allocations. The goal is to prevent a full inventory stockout, and allocate and ship as much orders as possible, thereby preventing any customer impact throughout the entire EMEA region.
Medtronic is a highly dynamic company, it is constantly moving and developing. Another thing I really like about working for Medtronic, are the number of learning possibilities we get. Partially on-the-job trainings, but also attending product awareness workshops provided by marketeers once a year to get a full understanding of the business. During those workshops, the products are being explained and shown, and connections and similarities between products within the same business are defined. Soft skills trainings to facilitate personal development are direct learning opportunities as well, which can be challenging at certain points, but they are therefore even more interesting.
For me, ‘Further, Together’ means learning about and considering different perspectives when facing challenges. In the end, we all have the same purpose as a company. Taking different perspectives may allow you to create and benefit from synergy effects.
Becoming the main responsible planner for the cardiac surgery business. This was a personal highlight for me, as this was the recognition and an opportunity for me to develop from supporting an entire structural heart business to leading a very challenging cardiac surgery portfolio. Because of this change, I was able to develop myself further and interact more with Medtronic’s internal and external stakeholders and customers, while covering a bigger portfolio responsibility as a planner.