Our company has always embraced the importance of digitization – since day 1. And yes, the digitization process is a learning experience with ups-and-downs. It’s about testing processes and adapting them where necessary. It’s about consulting and accompanying customers throughout this transition. We have experienced that the road to digitization becomes increasingly important in today’s fast-chaning world. That’s why are investing heavily in our IT capabilities in 2021. An important new asset at the point of our IT spear is Wesley Kappen.
BME: “Hi Wesley, you’re with our company since a while. What’s your experience like?”
BME is an immensely fast growing company, that wants to continuously innovate to answer the customer’s requirements and needs, but also to foresee and anticipate upcoming changes. Of course this is an intense trajectory, but I do believe this is the only way forward. Forward – both for BME and our customers.
BME: “What is your role within BME?”
In short: I’m responsible for the entire IT landscape, software- and hardware-wise, and I also cover the IT integration between our internally developed warehouse software and the software of our customers. Having an optimal and solid connection between our own systems and those of our customers is immensely important – as is the ability to have a flexible setup that can change over time. That is one of the reasons why you’ll often find me in the warehouse, to experience first-hand how what I do and what I develop contributes to our daily operations. Only through this direct contact you can be really sure you contribute to operational efficiency and to the working comfort of the colleagues.
BME: “What’s your experience with processes that involve strong customer proximity?”
It surely is a great experience, and one that also brings about its own challenges. The main challenge for myself is that I need to really understand and integrate the customer’s operational objectives and then translate that to the right IT solution. The challenge is that not everyone is IT-minded – and not everyone can assess the logistical (and IT-) impact of certain customer wishes.
BME: “How do you see the role of IT in a fast-changing logistical world?”
They are intrinsically connected. Innovations that are necessary to support growth are directly linked to IT changes.
BME: “Which technologies do you expect to take a place in the logistical space in the coming 2 years?”
A lot has already been told and written about Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Both will definitely get more and more foothold in a logistical environment. I believe that innovations, although small today, will have a strong impact in the future. For instance, we replaced our Windows machines with new Raspberry PIs. They are small compact computers that have more to offer on several fronts. They can be better adapted to changes and have a longer lifetime. We also work intensely on NFC and RFID technology. In sum, we do embrace innovations.
BME: “Daniel, a final question, you are overall responsible for IT within the management team and you are one of the BME founders, where do our ambitions lie?”
Over the last years we made a lot of strides to be completely in control of all IT processes inside our company. This was strategically important tob e able to cope with the speed of change in the market, and to scale our service levels to strategic partnerships with our customers.
Now we have entered the next phase, and aside of Wesley and Hans we recruited 2 extra headcounts to further expand our internal IT service. The coming months we want to take big steps and we are releasing the necessary funds. Digitization is maturing and is evolving beyond merely connecting different stovepiped systems. Increasingly, it’s about creating insight into processes. It’s about being smart and turning systems into solutions that offer a value-add to our customers.