Interview with Dagmar Stulens, Supply Chain Manager

I joined CTA in 2010, the year we celebrated our 30th anniversary. I started at the reception desk, quickly moved to the Sales department for a little bit more than a year, and then chose to go the Shipping department.

This part of the process had always attracted me the most, because of the diversity of tasks a Shipping Officer had to fulfill, and the satisfaction you could get from closing a file.

I see it as a true advantage that I have worked in three different departments and got to know the different stages of our process flow.

Reorganization of the Shipping Department
Over the years, the Shipping department was reorganized to include the ordering process and became the Logistics department, where my current position is Supply Chain Manager.

Choosing to combine the ordering and the shipping processes was, in my view, one of the best decisions we made on an organizational level. It has allowed us to get a better view on our customers’ needs and the frequency of their orders, and has reduced the time it takes to process an order, get it into our warehouse, and send it out again.

An increasing complexity of our activites
In my 10 years at CTA, the complexity of our business has highly increased. From a logistic point of view, more documents are needed, with more detailed information, and we face very specific customer demands.

For that reason, each member of our Logistics team has her own customer accounts to manage, divided mainly by country of destination.

This way every person builds an extensive knowledge of country-specific and customer-specific requirements.

Our warehouse team has also seen changes in their day-to-day work. Customers are looking to reduce freight costs, choosing very carefully which items to ship by sea and which by air.

Save our customers some expenses
Because our packaging is mostly tailormade, we can decrease the volume of our parcels and save the customers quite some expenses. At the same time, checking the goods twice (when they enter, and when they leave the warehouse) ensures that our customers get exactly what they have ordered, in good condition.

Some new challenges every day
My team faces new challenges every day. They can be very general, such as new regulations in one of the countries we ship to. But specific files can be demanding as well. We have to coordinate between various parties, making sure everyone in the process is aligned and the business flows seamlessly.

Some extremely reliable partners
We also ship very different goods, from the smallest screws to full container loads of chemicals. Luckily we have a highly capable team that communicates a lot with each other to find solutions for every situation, and we have several partners that can assist us where needed.