A coffee with… Iván Gonzalo, Supply Chain Director at Mediamarkt Iberia
He is passionate about cycling, where he competed at a high level and which he continues to use to release tension and enjoy sport, the outdoors and friends. He has transferred the values of sport, effort and self-improvement to his day-to-day work in the world of logistics. He spent most of his professional career at Decathlon, occupying various positions of responsibility with international experience. Since 2019, he has been in charge of the Supply Chain department at MediaMarkt Iberia.
Logistics & Automation: Tell us, what does the logistics management strategy at MediaMarkt Iberia consist of? What is your day-to-day life like in the company as Head of Logistics?
Iván: The logistics management strategy within MediaMarkt Iberia has different components, of course logistics management itself is a fundamental part, but there are also other very important parts that make up the strategy, such as being a business driver, improving the services we offer and innovating to meet our customers’ expectations, promoting activity by guaranteeing availability in all our shops and providing a framework that enables growth in peak periods and during our campaigns.
Much of my day-to-day work is shared with my team, overseeing personal development, operations and costs, ensuring that everything runs on time and to the highest quality, promoting short and medium term improvements and shaping future projects with them.
In recent months, we have been involved in a major project that involves a transformation process from a decentralised logistics to a centralised model, and this has implications beyond logistics, informing and aligning the project with other departments is high on my agenda.
Logistics & Automation: In terms of sustainability, what are MediaMarkt Iberia’s environmental commitments and how do they affect the logistics department? How do you work to reduce your footprint on the planet?
Iván: Sustainability is one of the key pillars of our company, not only in recent times, but for many years now. In the Supply Chain department we are very aware of the environmental impact that our processes can have, mainly in transport and warehousing, so our commitment is very clear and ambitious in its reduction, which will lead us to become one of the most sustainable companies in the sector.
Thanks to alliances with our transport partners, we are already making sustainable last mile online deliveries in Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid, Malaga, Seville and Valencia, which has meant that, during Black Friday and the Christmas campaign, practically one out of every four packages we have delivered has been by this method.
During 2023, we have already planned to increase the number of packages in another 23 cities and in the coming years we will continue to deploy this type of service, adding new cities and continuing to reduce the carbon footprint of long-distance transport.
But transport is not our only area of action, we have also invested in automating the packaging process by incorporating a packaging machine that produces boxes tailored to the orders of our online channel customers, which not only has an impact on reducing the cardboard used, but also enables us to reduce the number of transports used by optimising the volume of boxes and therefore the carbon footprint or energy required.
Logistics & Automation: According to your point of view and your experience, what do you think are the 5 key points that will mark the logistics of the future?
Iván: If I had to highlight 5 key points, they would be the following:
Adaptability: Undoubtedly one of the most important, due to the different challenges we have had to face in recent years, as well as the needs of retail logistics, all this in an international scenario with so much uncertainty has shown us that we have to be able to develop quality solutions in short periods of time that allow us to continue offering an excellent service.
Sustainability: Developing a sustainable activity is an obligation for all of us, we are responsible for leaving the best legacy for the next generations. Not only in the long term, but we have been moving in this direction for some time now, promoting green energy warehouses, reducing the amount of plastic and filler materials in our processes and increasing the number of sustainable last mile deliveries.
However, technology still has some way to go to reach the means of transport that will allow us to achieve 100% sustainable CO2-free haulage of goods, the capacity of current batteries is not sufficient to reach the farthest reaches and gas-based alternatives have proven not to be viable in the current context.
Based on technology: The logistics of the future will have a large technological component, automating even more warehouse tasks and reducing the physical effort of operators, also in the transport part new technologies will prove to be of great importance by calculating more optimised and sustainable transport routes.
Services: It is difficult to predict what services the customers of the future will demand from us, however, the omni-channel experience and fast delivery will continue to enjoy great popularity in the future.
At MediaMarkt omni-channel is part of our DNA, our customers can buy and receive products online or have the option to pick them up at one of our shops and return them there.
Moreover, the demand for faster and more convenient deliveries will continue to grow, thanks to the rise of impulse purchases and subscription services.
Quality: Of course all of the above is meaningless if we do not provide the highest quality logistics. In a world of increasing choice, providing excellent quality will be a key differentiating factor.
Logistics & Automation: Life, as time has shown us, is unpredictable. If you had to give advice to the Ivan of five years ago, what would you tell him?
Ivan: There is a well-known proverb that says “Expect the best, prepare for the worst and receive what comes”, I have always kept this in mind, that is why I always expect the best from the excellent group of professionals that make up my team, together we have prepared ourselves to face all the adverse situations that have put us to the test in recent years, Pandemics, snowstorms like Filomena, a complex international scenario and we have been able to successfully manage under these circumstances, not only guaranteeing the continuity of logistics but also promoting and implementing the necessary changes to continue offering the best service.
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