”Why the h*** didn’t you apply for the job as customer logistics manager that I have advertised?!?”
That was the phone call, Jesper Grøning Andersen got 2 years ago. The voice on the other end belonged to Solar’s Vice President Supply Chain Finn Kristensen, who just got a tip from another Solar director after he had a job interview with Jesper. The interview was for a job in sales, and not exactly what Jesper was looking for. But because of the phone call, he is now employed in Solar’s Danish department and responsible for customer logistics also known as Supply Chain Services.
”I can do better”
Jesper holds a B.Sc in mechanical and export engineering and worked with procurement for close to 14 years, before he chose to focus on sales.
“I believed that I could do better than the Key Account Managers, who came to visit me”, he says with a glint in his eye. And something suggests that he is right; he has now been in sales for 8 years. “When I worked in procurement, I often dismissed the wholesalers, as they didn’t provide any additional value. But Solar got the message. In my opinion, we dare to do what everyone else should have done a long time ago. But many are too narrow-sighted”, Jesper thinks. It takes courage to swim against the tide.
“We can’t get by with only selling products, we need to pair them with a paid service, which can tie us to the customers.
They must feel that they get something out of doing business with Solar”, Jesper states.
Jesper is currently the only one of his kind in Solar Danmark, which means that he visits customers all over the country together with the sales representatives. This means that he is a part of the entire process from development over sales to implementation and operation.
Services that make a difference
Jesper is responsible for sales of all types of supply chain services. Solar has an extensive catalogue of services and continually looks for new possibilities for improving the customers’ efficiency. Services include e.g. 3PL (third party logistics), Vending Machines, Kanban, VMI (Vendor Managed Inventory), Drop Shipment, Kitbox and many more.
“We help our customers create productivity and ensure that they spend their time on the right things. Our services help create overview and transparency for both large and small companies. You can think of them as sort of building blocks that you can combine in a number of different ways”, Jesper explains.
He predicts a successful future for services like Vending Machines and Kanban in combination with VMI, which is the digital platform that connects several of the other services.
Vending machine with tools and consumables, from which the employees can fetch what they need. The machines can contain many different products and automatically notifies Solar when replenishment is needed.
Kanban is a simple concept with two boxes of the same product, where the rearmost box is pulled forward when the front box is empty. Hereafter, the box is scanned for automatic order of new products for replenishment.
Great when things work out
A good day for Jesper is when things work out, when the adrenalin is pumping, and you feel like you can walk on water. He thinks that we in general are bad at celebrating our successes, and that is too bad. Han thinks it is a cultural thing, and Jutlanders are known for being pretty modest. “At a previous employer of mine we had a big bell you could ring when something had gone well – we could use more of that in Solar!” he thinks.
One of Jesper’s own successes is that he and his colleagues have become good at implementing Kanban. Furthermore, he recently sold 7 Vending Machines to one customer along with inventory management for nearly 100 service cars.
Busy work days calls for fresh air and exercise
Jesper is a busy man with customer visits in all of Denmark, and 60-70,000 kilometres behind the wheel per year. Therefore, he practices the art of unwinding.
“Once, smoke was coming out of my ears and I was starting to show signs of stress, a wise colleagues gave me a piece of good advice. He said that 80% is often enough, so spend the last 20% on yourself getting fresh air and exercise. That will give you a good work life. So I try to live by that rule, even though it is not always easy when you are busy,” Jesper admits.
In his spare time, he runs, swims and cycles as much as he can. At the moment, he especially enjoys cycling, because you can get so much nice equipment for your ‘iron goat’, as he calls it! Jesper is a family man, who loves travelling the world together with his family, consisting of his wife and two teenage girls. Apart from that, he works on an old cabriolet, in which he enjoys taking his wife for a spin in the summer.