Wesley Kappen on the role of IT in the changing world of logistics

As a company, from Day 1 we have always been committed to the importance of digitization. And yes, that is trial and error. That's trying and adjusting processes. That's guiding customers to this transition. Yet we find that this path is becoming increasingly important in the rapidly changing world we live in. That is why we are also investing heavily in our IT department in 2021. A first important new spearhead is Wesley Kappen.

BME: "Hi Wesley, you've been working with us for a while now, what are your experiences?"

BME is an immensely fast-growing company, which wants to innovate every year to come up with answers to customers' questions but also to the changes, they see. Of course this is an intense journey, but I do believe it is the only way forward. Forward both for BME and for our customers.

BME: "What is your role within BME?"

In short, I am responsible for the entire internal IT landscape both software-wise and hardware-wise, as well as for the IT setup between our warehouse's software developed by us and that of our customers. It is immensely important that the connection between our systems and those of the customers is optimal and flexible to change. That is why I often go into the warehouse to experience myself how what I do and develop contributes to the daily operation. Only this way you can be sure that I contribute to the efficiency, but also to the working comfort of my colleagues.

BME: "How do you experience a process where you are close to the customer?"

This is definitely a nice experience, but it also brings challenges. The main challenge for myself is that sometimes I really have to dwell on the customer's objectives and translate this into a proper IT solution. The big challenge is, that not everyone is equally IT-minded or has a good understanding of the logistical and therefore IT impact of the question or wish.

BME: "How do you see the role of IT in the changing logistics world?"

These are irrevocably linked, innovations necessary for growth are directly linked to IT changes.

BME: "What technology do you see definitely taking its place in the logistics world in the next 2 years?"

Much has been said and written about Virtual Reality and perhaps Augmented Reality. Both will certainly find their access more and more and not only in a logistics environment. I believe certainly the but certainly the smaller innovations today are going to have a big impact. For example, we have replaced the "windows" machines with new Raspberry Pi's. These are small compact computers that have more to offer on many fronts. They can be better adapted to new changes and are not so easily broken. We are also working on techniques such as NFC and RFID. In short, we will never shy away from innovations.

BME: "Daniel, in closing, you as the person in charge of IT within BME and one of our founders, where do our ambitions lie?"

In recent years, we have taken many steps to be fully in control of all IT processes within our company. This was of strategic importance to cope with the speed of change in the market and to scale up our services to a strategic partnership with our customers. 

Now we are in the next phase and, in addition to Wesley and Hans, we have hired two additional new people to expand our internal IT department. We want to take huge steps forward in the coming months and are making the necessary resources available for this. Digitalization is out of its infancy and is gradually going much further than just connecting systems. It is more and more about gaining insight into processes and further developing them into smart solutions that offer added value for our customers.

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