Interview: Barloworld Logistics ME supply chain manager
Willem Weldhagen is the Middle East supply chain manager of Barloworld Logistics; the logistics and supply chain division of the 111 year old South African conglomerate ‘Barloworld’.
 Tell us about Barloworld Logistics?
Barloworld Logistics is one of the leading logistics and supply chain management businesses in Southern Africa. Over the years, we have grown into a truly international player and we are active in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, South-East Asia and the Far East. At Barloworld Logistics we believe that the supply chain is a key enabler of business success. Long-term partnerships with blue chip clients underline our capabilities and commitment to delivering successful and smart supply chain solutions that work well into the future. The Barloworld values have been instrumental in the 111 years of success.
 What are smart supply chain solutions?
In today’s highly competitive, ever-changing world, clients want solutions that work hard for them, simple yet productive and profitable solutions. It’s about continuous improvement and innovation, and finding the best way to do something, in the quickest time and the most cost effective way. Our solutions are smart solutions, and by smart we mean sustainable, measurable, adaptable, resourceful and transformational solutions. By aligning ourselves with these, we create a new playing field where excellence enables success. Everything we do is geared to deliver smart solutions that lead to an increase in productivity, profitability and performance, both for our clients and our company. It’s what we call them, ‘smart partnerships’.
 What differentiates you from other logistics companies?
Barloworld Logistics’ vision is to be an international provider of smart supply chain solutions, in partnership with leading clients. Blending consultancy and optimisation of individual logistics functions, Barloworld Logistics has led the way in adopting an integrated approach to supply chain management. Being asset-light, we work with other logistics companies, where required, and find the right solution for the client without forcing their solution into our operations. We analyse, design, implement, operate and manage the entire supply chain process thereby creating a new breed of optimised and customised supply chain solutions. We make it our business to ensure that these solutions are aligned to the strategic, tactical and operational requirements of the client; this results in holistic alignment and quicker paybacks.
 What excites you about your company?
I have been with the company since 2001, first in South Africa before moving to the UAE in 2011. The core ethics and values are maintained uniformly in all the Barloworld offices around the world through our code of conduct, which forms the basis of the “Barloworld Logistics way”. Innovative thinking and collaboration at all levels helps in reducing costs whilst simultaneously improving service levels. Along with the breadth of knowledge in the company and our being able to work with experienced professionals from multiple disciplines and cultures, we are creating businesses that are far more efficient, effective, flexible and responsive to ever-changing market needs. It’s a rush!!!