A coffee with… Tomás de la Vega, managing director of Logistop

Tomás de la Vega is an executive in Global Supply Chain Management, Forwarding, Logistics, Transport and Shipping. He is currently the Managing Director of Logistop, a benchmark association for collaborative logistics innovation.

Previously, he has held positions as External Supply Chain Consultant, Head of Supply Chain Solutions & Forwarding at Grupo Sesé, Director of International Development at Grupo Logístico Suardiaz, Group General Manager and General Manager of ZIM at Grupo Pérez y Cía. CEO at Agora-Europe SA and SRL Spain and Italy. Vice President Business Development Europe, Managing Director (UK), Director of Iberia Operations at UTi (now DSV).

His areas of expertise include operations transformation, sustained growth success, strategy formulation and business positioning, company culture, organisation design, establishing best practices to optimise operations and build a sustainable cost structure, IT transformation.

L&A: Tell us Tomás, what is your day-to-day life like at Logistop and what are your roles as managing director?

Tomás: At Logistop, as a benchmark association in collaborative innovation in logistics in Spain, our main objectives are to promote the need for innovation among companies linked to the logistics sector; to promote innovation projects; and to convey the real needs of the sector at an institutional level.

To do this, in our day-to-day work, we are constantly observing worldwide what trends are being implemented in the sector and how we can implement them in Spain. In addition, I am in constant contact with our almost 100 associates to find out what their concerns are in terms of logistics innovation, both when it comes to carrying out new collaborative projects and for their innovation strategies.

Through Logistop, we define research, development and innovation priorities. To this end, every year we develop and plan a large number of quality and interesting events to dynamise, align priorities and needs, as well as to generate knowledge and add value to ensure the competitiveness and sustainability of the logistics chain and the mobility of goods in Spain. These events are managed in collaboration with our working group leaders.

Finally, I also maintain a close relationship with different institutions and public administrations in order to promote the public-private collaboration that is so important these days, as well as to inform them of the requirements of a sector that, on a global level, is worth 10.8 trillion dollars.

In short, the main objective of all the tasks that we carry out at Logistop is to make the association grow and promote innovation in our country.

Un café con Tomás de la vega logistop sin logo

L&A: Given your extensive experience in the logistics sector, what are the biggest challenges you have faced or which projects in your professional career do you particularly remember and why?

Tomás: Over the years I have faced many challenges and tackled different projects. But I would especially highlight a project in which we implemented a 4PL model in a company in the automotive sector (an OEM), covering all its 1st. & 2nd. TIERS suppliers, being the first company to apply this type of model in Europe. The scope of the project was European in scope.

In terms of challenges, issues such as change management, companies in a delicate economic situation, high growth, transformation and internationalisation are some of the most common ones I have had to manage throughout my career.

I have also contributed to the logistical success of the following brands: Damm Group, SCA Group, Ford, Lexmark, Mercedes Benz, NEC, Toyota, TRW, Barilla, Ingersol Rand, Delphi and Texas Instrument, among others.

L&A: From your point of view, what do you think are the five key points that will make the difference in the sector?

Tomás: We have to bear in mind that we are facing a sector in continuous change and transformation. Among the key points, I would highlight the following:

Having the right transformation capacity and implementing the best and most advanced developments that are taking place.
Digitalisation and automation play a differential role that will allow us to achieve more efficient and digitalised companies.
Decarbonisation and sustainability will be key to advance and anticipate changes, as well as to comply with mandatory regulations.
Customer orientation and listening to the customer (client centric) is also a point that we must take into account, as it will allow us to put the customer at the centre of our entire strategy.
The capacity for constant innovation and specialisation in specific sectors will allow us to make a difference. At this time, we not only have to manage, but we have to be constantly innovating in order to be at the forefront of the sector and not become obsolete.

L&A: In terms of sustainability, what commitments are you working on and how do they affect the logistics department?

Tomás: The Association is working on three specific areas, which are 1) hydrogen and other sustainable energy carriers; 2) energy efficiency and renewable energies; and 3) enabling elements for operational integration.

These are the three main lines that we are developing in our Decarbonisation and sustainability applied to the logistics chain working group and that we are working on in all the events, sessions and projects that we are promoting within this theme and promoting among all our partners and companies interested in the subject.

L&A: What do you think are the greatest advantages of having trade fairs such as Empack and Logistics & Automation for our industrial fabric?

Tomás: Trade fairs such as Empack and Logistics & Automation are essential to boost the sector.

Attending this type of fairs is a perfect scenario to establish new contacts and relationships with other industry professionals. But they are not only a meeting and networking point for all attendees, they also facilitate access to new developments, technological solutions and trends that are occurring in the sector, to know what other companies are working on, what their interests and concerns are… They are also a boost for innovation in the sector.

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