It was a pleasure to interview Giovany Vasquez, Head of IT department for DB Schenker GBS Bucharest on the innovation in their company. Enjoy!
How does your company “encourage” innovation?
DB Schenker GBS Bucharest is constantly focusing on innovation and improving the processes in order to deliver high quality services and to make employees feel proud of their job. Our target is to become better and better through 3 strategic directions: digitalize, improve and expand.
We encourage our colleagues to come up with ideas and solutions that could boost their activity. Hence, we created a project called Idea4SGBS through which all employees can raise their ideas of automation or business process improvement. Ideas are checked for their global potential giving everyone the opportunity to suggest a change which will not only impact their own team but may also be implemented on a global scale. Given the fact that each of us is daily encountering issues, they are exactly the ones who can come up with insights in order to streamline the process.
At the same time, DB Schenker participates in different innovation events across Europe to stimulate and encourage innovation. We think that in today’s era it’s a must to be informed and to think about ways of development and evolution.
What are the main areas of innovation?
Innovation is a keyword that can be heard in any department of SGBS Bucharest, whether we are talking about finance and accounting, sales or support teams. If we are referring to the core business, then I would remind the following areas of interest that we are focusing on: robotic process automation, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, chatbots, autonomous vehicles, green energy. And the list doesn’t stop here because it’s our drive to make things better.
Are these innovations designed in/for Romania or the global market?
We have a team here in Bucharest that works on delivering solutions that can be applied not only to Romania, but globally. We develop reusable components that can be easily scaled up to other countries of the group.
Which are the out of the box/innovative global projects made for your customers?
We have been working on an Audit Tool, continuously improving and extending its functionalities to cover different markets. Until now, we proved our efficiency in making significant cost avoidance for the company.
How did the Romanian team bring its contribution to the above-mentioned projects?
The solutions that we are talking about are fully designed and tested in Romania and we will continuously develop others that can cover other countries too. We are proud to be considered an important pillar of the global team.
Do you have any innovative automation processes in your company? If so, which are those?
Yes, we currently have many automation initiatives in development or in test phase for different departments: Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, General Ledger, and Air & Ocean. As mentioned, tasks and challenges encountered in the day to day activity are a source of inspiration and we put our minds together to make the processes more efficient.
Where do you place Romania on the global innovation scale (in business services sector)?
In terms of people capability and talent, I would put Romania in the first place. There are many people with great ideas, who think outside the box and who want to innovate. In comparison to western countries, where there are many financial institutions that can support implementation of good ideas, we are still in the incubation phase in terms of having investors drive those innovative ideas into realisation. We do have the skills and the correct mindset, so we are on our way to achieve even greater results.
What are the major changes and challenges of our industry in terms of innovation?
We are living in an era where change is the only constant thing and even the way things are changing is changing. It goes so fast that many organizations can’t cope with the speed of change. The major challenge is to have a vision in the transformation journey, and no matter what, to keep the course toward that goal of your vision and move from cost reduction to added value business model. For example, Eco SGBS model, economical social business model, meaning the Global Business Services concept of tomorrow is multifunctional, fully integrated and end-to-end process oriented. The transformation will rely on a strong corporate mandate, effective change management and collaboration. In our case, we automate to add value to the end to end processes and bring high value to the customer experience and at the same time drive business impact at CFO level.