Top Lessons Learned in the Supply Chain

Ravi Dosanjh

Head of Supply Chain Enablement at Intel

Learning Objectives

Join us for an Executive Interview with the Head of Strategic Programs at Intel. We will discuss the lessons learned throughout the pandemic and how Intel has overcome these challenges. Ravi Dosanjh will also be filling you in on the top 3 things companies need to consider in driving a better supply chain!

Key Takeaways:

  • What have has stuck with you through the last 12 months of this pandemic?

  • Where are you focused on the strategic side?

  • What is the biggest opportunity or challenge you face?

  • How can companies prepare for the different risks, such as a pandemic vs. a natural disaster?

  • What are the top 3 things organizations need to consider in driving better supply chains?

"Having that view of our supply chain gives us the ability to anticipate how those modal shifts are going to impact us. Not just in our ability to deliver, but costs associated and where we might need to collaborate ahead of time to pave the way."

Ravi Dosanjh

Head of Supply Chain Enablement at Intel


Hello, everyone, and welcome to the scope supply chain virtual summit hosted on quartz network. My name is Britt Erler, QN executive correspondent, thank you so much for joining us, I would like to welcome our executive speaker, Ravi Dosanjh, head of strategic program management at Intel Corporation. Welcome. 

Hi, Britt. Good. Good morning. Good morning, hope you’re doing well. I know, it’s been a crazy time for everyone.

You know, it really has been crazy. But I tell you, I feel very lucky that my friends, my family and my colleagues are staying safe during this challenging time, right? It’s been so crazy the last four months. But that said, overall, I have to say, I’m really excited, because it’s an awesome time to be in supply chain. I’m constantly advocating whether, you know, internally within my organization, or externally, how supply chains are being elevated and prioritize much more now than ever, you know, I will say, folks attending the summit, or considering a career in supply chain, or just an opportunity to participate and improve your organization’s capabilities in this space. I think there’s no better time to do so than than now. And, you know, Brent, it wasn’t always that I felt this way, you know, supply chains, were not always front and center, right, coming from the logistics side of things, I can see how supply chains and the different components from planning to sourcing to inbound and outbound logistics have really gone from, you know, back office to a direct connection to the C suite. So lots of exciting times for us here in supply chain.

I couldn’t agree more. And I think if there’s a silver lining that we find out of this whole pandemic, because it really forced the supply chain industry to pivot and adapt very quickly in areas where I think it clearly needed to. And as you said, it’s such an exciting time for veterans in the industry, or even new professionals coming in to jump on board and really be a part of that change. Right, right. Before we dive into this topic today, you know, I really want to you to give the audience some context about your background and your current role with Intel.

Yeah, yeah, well, let me tell you about Intel. You know, most people have heard of Intel. And you know, historically, the general thought, you know, was that Intel is a semiconductor company. And although that’s what’s true, the focus of the company in the past was, you know, the CPU inside of the PC, which, you know, frankly, drove massive growth for our company. over several years ago, we started to take the CPU and put it inside the server inside the data center, right. And from our perspective, we saw a world where there was incredible demand for data. And with that demand for data, there was more and more need for compute going into more and more things. So Intel has really stepped up and evolved from a PC centric company, to a data centric company. And collectively, we have a team of 110,000 employees spread out through 45 countries. And what you may be surprised to know, I know I was that we produce a whopping 10 billion transistors every seconds. Yeah, I’m amazed. Every time I think of that it blows my mind. And as I said, we were known as a PC centric company. But our true purpose is to create that world changing technology that drives all of those exciting transformations we see today. And, you know, within global supply chain, specifically within the logistics environment, my role is to drive new ways of thinking and looking at things differently, specifically, how we partner internally and externally, to really drive deeper value within the supply chain. And and Brent, I can tell you, there’s been a ton going on, given all of the challenges that the pandemics thrown at us in the last 12 months.

I can’t even imagine, you know, just with Intel being such a large company that is pivoting and adapting quickly isn’t always easy. And I know a lot of these larger companies like Intel had difficulties last year, just like every other business, and especially as a leader like yourself, I’m sure that your role changed and expanded as you went through this time. Talk to me a little bit more about that and some of the key values that have really stuck with you.

Yeah, well, I will say. So first of all, a friend of mine said recently, when the tide goes out, you can see who’s not worth the paling see. And it’s so true when it comes to supply chain. at Intel. We have a robust culture around BCP, business continuity processes, and it’s not something we Just talk about it’s something we live and breathe every day. And it really supported a healthy supply chain during times of disruption and continues to do so. In addition, continually assessing, reassessing, and going deeper from supply line costs of air, freight, ocean freight and domestic transportation, our group had to continually ask ourselves, how the numerous disruptions impacted our strategies, assignments, how the numerous disruption changed the way we view what we own, or what we influenced, and how the numerous disruptions created opportunities previously seen, or maybe previously on prioritized.

I think that is such a good point to make. Because with every strategy that everyone had in place, before the pandemic, they realized that a lot of it didn’t work, they had to take a step back and revisit all of them and say, how are we going to move this business forward? And how is it going to benefit the company as a whole? And let’s talk about strategy a little bit deeper, you know, what are some of the key areas that you’re focused on? And what have you had to change?

Yeah, I want to tell you, it’s eaten a lot of bandwidth over the last 12 months. And, you know, one example is capacity and, you know, ensuring the right strategies around, you know, space to ensure the movement of our raw materials, the movement of our equipment, our finished goods, and getting prioritization from our partners, while ensuring that healthy collaborative environment capacity, or, you know, the right balance of capacity always plays a role and is critical to manage carefully, given the current environment. And, you know, Brent, in my view, you know, the key question is how we manage that capacity, you know, whatever you’re, you’re applying that to in an appropriate way, you know, supply chain professionals at Intel, we’re always finding ways to balance that, you know, how we plan, how we mobilize, how we mitigate risk, is really at the heart of what we do. And, you know, you have to do that in in an intentional way, right, and you have to know your, and then supply chain. So I think one of the things that’s resonated with so many people is the need for that deep real time insight. You know, if you don’t have it, you’re gonna make less informed decisions, you know, impacting your raw materials, you know, impacting your inventory, transportation, and ultimately, leading to risks related to the wrong amount of slack in your network.

And obviously, as a leader, you have a lot of influence over your team and provide them with insights, as your company moves forward. Many leaders views have changed over the past six to 12 months, Jason, based on what they’ve experienced. Tell me a little bit more about that, and what all you’ve been through,

yeah, I can tell you that, you know, I really think about our ability to influence in the current environment, and I’m finding myself more bias towards the influence side of things. Now, don’t get me wrong, you know, ownership is really important. And, you know, without clear ownership and accountability, nothing gets accomplished, right. But you need to be able to focus and drive what you own for sure. But that said, I believe there’s so much more we can accomplish when we find those areas of commonality without greater ecosystem, right. So forcing ourselves to look outside of our desk outside of our immediate goals outside of our company that pull together in an appropriate way, right. And, in doing this, I really believe we can unlock more value within the supply chain, we can address common constraints and common challenges affecting the ecosystem. And you know, when I say value bread, it’s not just the bottom line, although that’s really important. There are a host of technological cable, you know, technological things, capability, related things, social challenges, that our communities really have the power to influence and address.

Now, your company has clearly seen a lot of value and a lot of growth, even through a pretty difficult period of time. But that does not come without a lot of challenges and a lot of new opportunities that you’ve had to face. Would you mind giving the audience some examples of some of the things that you’ve experienced?

Yeah, I would say in in my world, the, you know, opportunity and challenge, if you will, is the need to have the right capability at the right time. And this really forces us to look at things differently. It’s not about how well we can do some predefined things for you. It’s about how we can address really any challenge that comes our way. So specifically, in the logistics space, I would say we’ve been getting granular in terms of understanding not only how our partners are navigating the environment, but how their tier two and tier three partners are performing And also behaving. So as an example, our ability to understand those ecosystems deeply and quickly spring into action to say, augment market capacity with our own, regardless of what’s happening in the market is something that’s helping companies like Intel, and others, minimize and navigate these disruptions.

I completely agree. And as we talked about, from the very beginning, it’s that ability to adapt quickly and not being afraid to do so. Now, for a lot of companies, they weren’t prepared for a pandemic, such as this, I don’t think any company was prepared. And there’s going to be other times throughout our life, but something similar or another natural disaster happens, where companies need to have something in place, from your experience, and in your opinion, based on what Intel has done, and what you’ve seen, maybe other competitors do as well. How do you believe companies prepare best for this?

Yeah, I think we’re all evolving towards, you know, dealing with these kinds of things. I mean, a lot of the things that we’ve dealt with in the past whether, you know, natural disasters or, you know, going back to 911, they affected certain ecosystems, for sure. The differences today, the pandemic has affected everyone, I can’t think of anybody, any, you know, category, any body from any walk of life that hasn’t been affected. But I think from a organizational standpoint, and I did touch on it before, it comes down to BCP. Right, if you want to be good at business continuity planning, it really is the difference between say something like intense parachute training, versus just saying yes, to the exit row question, right. And it has to be embedded in your supply chain culture, to plan for all, you know, all any and all types of disruptions, you know, and also, knowing your supply chain Britt and having those advanced capabilities and modeling is a differentiator is a differentiator today, but I think it will become more and more standard in the future. You know, organizations, if they haven’t, they should be building those capabilities to, you know, enable, you know, mirror images of their supply chain, right, or what we call a digital twin, you know, that not only can help you drive operational excellence, but can enable modeling of say, you know, any scenario, any disruptive scenario that you can think of, and, you know, once you’ve modeled those scenarios, you can statistically prioritize what you go out and influence and then fund and, you know, embed and, you know, you know, enable those capabilities you you anticipate you’re going to need.

And you talk about enabling these capabilities, and really, you know, driving this operational excellence, all of that doesn’t come without the people around you and the teams that you have both internal and external. And as a leader in your position, you’re having to deal with bolts. How do you manage that?

Yeah, I think I, you know, set the stage and frame things in terms of, you need to get used to disruption, right? A lot of people ask, Hey, when, what, when are we going to go back to normal? And when is this going to be over? And I really believe in supply chain, you know, you have to be comfortable with disruption. And whether it’s technology, infrastructure, capacity, really anything that impacts the supply chain, you know, everything is continuing to evolve, right, Intel’s evolved, you know, our ecosystems evolve, the capabilities have evolved. So you’ve got to get comfortable with with that disruption, bread. And, you know, that’s that, you know, folks outside of supply chain have recognized the superheroes working with them. And we’re all getting more and more visibility, what was once back office is now front and center. So it’s a really an amazing time to be in supply chain, and I advocate that to everyone I talked to, but I do say, you know, be careful what you wish for. You know, as Clark Kent was told, with great power comes great responsibility. So now that we’re in the spotlight, we have to be fearless. We have to go further than before and become enablers on that path towards supply chain excellence. And, you know, Brett along that Superman analogy, you know, what you do, what you’re passionate about, you know, what you try to influence once out of that phone booth, if you will, is critical in driving our our industry forward. And, you know, it really doesn’t matter what lens you’re looking, viewing that through, right, whether your frontline operations, whether your C suite or a function in between that call that we an enable In my opinion applies to everyone.

I think it’s a fantastic analogy, because supply chain really has been brought into the spotlight, it’s no longer just a department as part of a company, it’s become critical for these companies to survive, and actually as a whole for the business, you know, hit their targets and make the business goals that they’re looking to achieve. So as you mentioned, it is such an incredible time for people in supply chain to really have a voice now and make the changes that need to be made to actually make sure that the business is running efficiently. What are some of the areas that you believe organizations need to consider now that they are aware that driving supply chain is so crucial?

Yeah, yeah. Well, you know, as we consider risk, and you know, whatever that future normal is going to be, you know, whatever our footprint needs are to serve that and, you know, a healthy supply chain, and also Britain driving thought leadership, I think three things continue to resonate with me, which are how we treat our people, how we ask for investment, and the focus on the right capabilities at the right time, as I said, you know, look, people first, right, first and foremost supply chain, has been running on adrenaline fueled by people, and that’s a fact. And organizations that historically put people first. And, you know, being in more of a leadership position in their supply chain, resilience and excellence, you know, we should really continue acknowledging those extraordinary efforts of all the talented folks in the ecosystem, and continue to prioritize their education, you know, their ability to be efficient, and their supply chain dreams, right. I think second is telling the story in a holistic way connecting requests for your investment to the company’s success. You know, we should not lobbying for some tracking system, right, you’re not logging for a TMS, you’re not lobbying for a control tower, what you’re doing is you’re driving the assurance of a deeper understanding, and a deeper level of visibility. And a way to ensure predictability and control over your supply chain. Right? If essentially, you’re driving advanced capabilities, right? You, you, you understand that organizations that have the capability to play out and model hundreds, if not 1000s, of what if scenarios as efficiently as possible, is something that not only enables resiliency that we’ve been talking about three times like this, but you know, leadership in a in a post, Maxine, environment, um, you know, and then, you know, finally, Brent, you know, with your people first, and your strategic investment, you know, having that right capability at that right time, and really be able to hit anything that’s being pitched at us, you know, will ensure your success. And this isn’t something that happens by accident, you know, if you want to be good at this needs to be part of your existing culture, you know, not just something we check in a box needs to be something we live by, and something that’s never static, we’re always addressing it, we’re always looking at it. And, you know, being that supply chain from organizations to organizations vary, those challenges are different, and the right capability at the right time are subjective. But you know, it’s key to continually assess and look at that and be ready to hit whatever is thrown at you.

Right, it’s okay to try and make a mistake and learn from it. But if you don’t try it all, you’re never going to move forward as a department and as a company. And I think that is really good advice for all industries across the board, not just the supply chain in general. Now, based on what you’ve seen, you mentioned these what ifs, you know, constantly looking at what’s coming next. Have you foreseen any trends within the next six to 12 months? Or are you really just taking it day by day?

Yeah, I mean, capacity is being impacted at all different levels, right. So we are seeing, you know, in the logistics space, a trend from multiple shifts, and, you know, having that view of our supply chain gives us the ability to anticipate how those modal shifts are going to impact us, right, not just our ability to deliver but costs associated and where we might need to, you know, collaborate ahead of time to pave the way. So, I think in my world, again, that visibility has given us the insights that that show us these trends, but, you know, I tell you, Brett, we don’t have a crystal ball. You know, a lot of very slowly. Yeah, yeah. But yeah, it’s definitely I think it comes down to you know, Being able to, you know, leverage those insights you have internally and within your ecosystem.

I completely agree. And I think that’s great advice to give. And for other leaders that are assemble or excuse me, are in a similar role as yourself. And even, you know, in other industries, maybe not directly in supply chain, any final pieces of advice that you have for them to help them make it through this time and make sure that they’re managing their team effectively?

I would say be fearless, right? Again, we’re in the spotlight, we’re being asked to, you know, deliver and, and, and come up with solutions to problems we didn’t anticipate. We don’t have all the answers immediately. But we need to be fearless in terms of, you know, driving, whatever activity we own, you know, assessing whether we’re doing the right thing and constantly asking ourselves, you know, how do we do this better? You know, how do we drive that thought leadership? How do we look outside of what we own and influence that ecosystem to, to to solve those problems collectively?

Perfect. Well, thank you so much, Robbie, I think these insights and piece of advice that you’ve provided are going to be so beneficial for other leaders in supply chain industry to really make it through this time and make sure that they make the most of being in the spotlight and making supply chain really the main focus of the business. So thank you so much, again, for being here and taking the time and thank you to everyone who is tuned in today as well. If you have any further questions for Robbie, there will be a discussion forum underneath this presentation. Please be safe, be healthy and enjoy the rest of the summit. Thanks, Britt. Thanks, everyone. Thank you.

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