A coffee with… Eduardo Vazquez, national network manager at TIPSA
I studied Industrial Engineering, specialising in Industrial Electronics and Automation, and after starting my professional career in the world of transport I decided to do a Master’s degree in Supply Chain Management at EAE Business School.
I have dedicated my entire professional career to the transport sector. I started my career getting to know the world of Express Transport in the commercial department, and since then I have taken on different responsibilities in different departments, such as Project Manager in the transport of medicines, then in the area of Operational Quality Management, in the expansion department and finally as National Director of the TIPSA Network.
L&A: Tell us Eduardo, what does it mean to be National Network Director at TIPSA, and what is a day at the company like?
Eduardo: The National Network Director is responsible for ensuring that the structure of agencies that carry out last mile distribution is stable, profitable, efficient and that it meets the quality standards that we offer to customers.
TIPSA is a family-owned company that has become a multinational with the French group GEOPOST and we are specialised in comprehensive national and international express transport services.
We have more than 320 agencies to provide services in Spain and Portugal, and I am responsible for the expansion of this network of agencies and for ensuring that they all work with the same operating systems and work processes that guarantee that the service contracted by the client can be fulfilled.
A day’s work in the transport sector can vary because we depend on the human factor and the mechanical factor, such as breakdowns in work vehicles. But we work under the maximum supervision and management of the daily operations that have to be carried out to complete the delivery of a package. This includes reviewing effectiveness reports, making strategic decisions, taking corrective action when we detect a change in quality stability, coordinating different work teams, expanding the agency network, monitoring compliance with work processes, solving problems, planning new projects/services, planning improvements in the work tools we offer to drivers and agencies, and above all negotiating new agreements with customers and suppliers. Not forgetting the participation in committee meetings or commissions with other leaders that make up the company to establish productivity and efficiency objectives.
L&A: After more than 7 years of professional career, what do you think are the biggest challenges you have faced in your professional career?
Eduardo: One of the most important challenges we face on a daily basis is adapting to unforeseen situations. We depend a lot on our human resources to provide service to the more than 150,000 parcels we have a daily delivery commitment, so this human factor challenges us every day to maintain cost management and improve efficiency.
As important milestones, it is worth highlighting the pandemic, where we went from total uncertainty where everything was paralysed for a few days, to overnight, being an essential sector and suddenly increasing our work by 150%, which included the logistical challenge of increasing staff at times when nobody wanted or could physically go to work, the increase in sick leave forced us to readjust routes almost daily, create new work systems and protocols, new formulas for contactless delivery, and a host of internal improvements to ensure the safety of employees.
Then came Filomena, something totally unforeseen that forced us to restructure our hubs, to change the goods exchange model so that we could continue to operate from the areas that did have access to public roads, along with the accompanying challenge of absorbing the volume of parked parcels that could not be hauled from customers or from buffer warehouses that could not dispatch to those blocked areas.
And I don’t want to forget the challenges posed by carrier strikes. As TIPSA is a leading company in the delivery of medicines, even if we were in favour of claims for fuel costs or improvements in general loading and unloading conditions, we had to continue working despite the reprisals and tense situations with those who supported the strikes. This made it very difficult to pass through certain areas or roads and forced us to hold emergency meetings with the help of patrols and other picket monitoring equipment to ensure that medicines reached every pharmacy in Spain on a daily basis.
L&A: In August 2020, you inaugurated the new HUB Central in Madrid. What changes and improvements has this development brought about?
Eduardo: Indeed, just 2 years ago we inaugurated the most advanced logistics infrastructure in our country. It is the result of the consolidation of our commitment to quality in our services with state-of-the-art facilities that are established in an area of 43,000 square metres.
The location is strategically ideal as it is in the heart of the Corredor de Henares, next to the A-2, M-50 and Barajas Adolfo Suárez airport, which facilitates the traffic of goods by road and air.
On the other hand, in operational matters, the warehouse has 22,500 square metres, 160 loading bays for vans and 26 bays for heavy goods vehicles. These features are completed with 19 simultaneous unloading lines, more than 300 exits for boxes, envelopes and different types of packages.
And we cannot forget the importance of the sector that we lead, the PHARMA. For this reason, the warehouse has 5,000 square metres of temperature-controlled processing, which, combined with a fully adapted network, allows delivery at less than 25º throughout the peninsula.
L&A: What is TIPSA’s commitment to sustainability and what changes have you implemented and do you expect to implement in the future?
Eduardo: Our commitment and that of the GEOPOST group to sustainability is clear and ambitious; we want to be a ZERO EMISSIONS company by 2040. We are committed to a sustainable world and a green future thanks to our ECOTIPSA programme. Sustainability, together with solidarity, is the basis of our Corporate Social Responsibility, as we understand that we must set an example as a benchmark company in our sector.
Sustainable awareness is part of the whole Network and is intrinsic to our corporate values. We are currently recording very positive figures, our delivery routes are increasingly sustainable thanks to the innovative TIPSA GO! This system allows us to plan and minimise our drivers’ routes and the kilometres they drive and reduce their carbon footprint by up to 10%.
On the other hand, our packaging is also green, our ECOGREEN envelopes are 90% recycled and are certified for environmentally friendly products and services, as are FARMA’s COOLCHAIN containers, which return to our warehouses recycled and validated for reuse so that we can reduce by 50% both the tonnes of waste and the environmental impact.
Finally, I would like to make a note also in our Central HUB, 100% of the energy of the offices comes from solar panels, we take advantage of the sunlight thanks to the glazed facade and the orientation of the facilities that not only allows us to regulate the temperature but it is a great energy saving. We recycle 100% of the plastic and waste generated, and of course, we are committed to the total digitalisation of our documents, which translates into more than 500,000 fewer printouts.
L&A: Life, as time has shown us, is unpredictable. If you had to give the Eduardo of five years ago some advice, what would you tell him?
Eduardo: Professionally, I would tell him not to be afraid of making mistakes and that it is important to maintain a balance between work and rest. I would remind him of the need to establish solid relationships with all the collaborators, partners and colleagues you meet along the way and I would tell him that although the results may not come immediately as we hope, with perseverance, constant effort and a positive attitude, they will eventually be achieved. As a final comment I would recommend that you stop to recognise and celebrate the achievements, everything happens so fast in this sector that you end up focusing on the next problem, and you should analyse the successes in more detail.
I once read a quote by Robert Collier that sums up perfectly what I would say to my old self a few years ago: “Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out”.
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