In Asia (and anywhere else in the world), it is ALL about RELATIONSHIPS.
The whole Chinese world revolves around “Guanxi”, personal connection. And yet, incredible (and frustrating!) how few sales people understand this!

A lot of my clients are bombarded by sales pitches online and offline. On Linkedin there are so many people spamming their products and services around.

But the fundamental issue is that they go for volume. Not quality.
They go mass. Not depth.

Instead of trying to find some sort of personal connection. Something in common with the person to start the conversation.
They go directly for the “KILL”:
“This is my product … bla bla bla… would you want to meet?”

And then send it to hundreds of people

Damn! That approach is soooooooooo dead.

You are better off trying to approach 10 people. But really put thought into it.

Make sure you can really add value. And write a personal approach.

And then look long term. Build a relationship!
Sales will come!

Would you agree? Comment below! | | #hardtruth #realitycheck

Cyber Security in Supply Chain. Is it that important?

This article was firsts published on my Linkedin Profile – here.

One thing is clear. Protecting your data is of most importance this day and age. Especially if you are multi million company with global or regional operations. You must take care that your computers, networks, programs are protected and your employees are trained. Cyber attacks can bleed companies of huge amounts of money.

The interconnection of the logistics sectors and their reliance on data/software to track the movement of goods makes industry a standout amongst the most exposed to the danger of cyber attacks.

Data is being shared and stored therefore makes companies in the logistics market ideal candidates for hacking. The motivations can be for acquiring information on customers, such as banking details, or for smugglers wishing to gain control of a specific part of a supply chain.

Cybersecurity is among the top concerns facing organizations today — no genuine shock, given the number of highly publicized data breaches, distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks, and the growing expense and multifaceted nature of solving these issues. With the proprietary design, pricing and contract intelligence that flow through complex supply chains, supply management organizations must account for and address the cybersecurity risks in their operational planning and execution. This seemingly straightforward  task requires supply management leaders to understand and balance operational performance opportunities and cybersecurity risk trade-offs within current business plans.

Cyberbased data gathering has become the method of choice for several reasons for a expansive range of these organized threats:

  • It’s cheap and easy. Sophisticated attack tools are easily accessible at hacker sites and require little expertise to use.
  • It’s fast. The very nature of the technology allows the attacker to quickly transfer vast amounts of information, and once your information is out, you can’t get it back.
  • It’s nearly undetectable and un-attributable. The ability of attackers to remove digital fingerprints, the increasing similarity between the tools, tactics and techniques used by various attackers, and the ability to mask geographic location in cyberspace make it difficult to definitively assign blame.

Deloitte on  Cyber Risk

A new Deloitte study, “Cyber Risk in Consumer Business.”  mentioned that consumer products companies, retailers and restaurant businesses may be operating with a false sense of security.

The study captures information from more than 400 chief information officers, chief information security officers, chief technology officers and other senior executives about cyber risks and response plans affecting customer trust, payments, executive level engagement, human capital and intellectual property.

According to the study, more than three-quarters (76%) of consumer business executives report they are highly confident in their ability to respond to a cyber incident, yet many simultaneously face issues that critically impair their ability to do so.

Among the findings:

● The majority of executives surveyed (82%) indicate their organization has not documented and tested cyber response plans involving business stakeholders within the past year.

● Less than half (46%) say their organization performs war games and threat simulations on a quarterly or semi-annual basis.

● One quarter (25%) report lack of cyber funding.

● Roughly 1 in 5 (21%) lack clarity on cyber mandates, roles and responsibilities.

Real life examples

When Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk’s computer system was attacked on June 27 by hackers, it led to disruption in transport across the planet, including delays at the Port of New York and New Jersey, the Port of Los Angeles, Europe’s largest port in Rotterdam, and India’s largest container port near Mumbai, according to reports. That’s because Maersk is the world’s largest shipping company with 600 container vessels handling 15 percent of the world’s seaborne manufactured trade. It also owns port operator APM Terminals with 76 port and terminal facilities in 59 countries around the globe.

For the transportation and logistics (T&L) industry, the June 27 cyberattack is a clarion call to elevate cybersecurity to a top priority. Besides Maersk, press reports said other transportation and logistics industry giants were affected including German postal and logistics company Deutsche Post and German railway operator Deutsche Bahn, which was also a victim of the WannaCry ransomware hack in May.

Looking for the weakest link

While up until now hackers have seemed more preoccupied penetrating computer systems at banks, retailers, and government agencies – places where a hacker can find access to lots of money and data and create substantial disruption – the most recent ransomware attacks demonstrate that the transportation and logistics industry is now on hackers’ radar.

The transportation and logistics industry has characteristics that make it a particularly tempting target. First, the industry is a global one with tentacles into so many different industries around the world. Complex logistical chains are created around manufacturers, and often logistics companies are embedded within production facilities controlling inventory and handling on-demand needs of a plant.

Like with all forms of warfare, attackers will seek out the weakest link in any chain – the most vulnerable element – as a target. Why steal money from the bank with all its infrastructure and protections when you can steal it on the way to the bank? While efforts to protect it along the way are made, almost any criminal could tell you, it is almost always more insecure in transit.

Bringing security to fragmentation

The industry’s fragmentation and its requirement to operate within the various IT systems of its customers makes figuring out cybersecurity solutions more challenging and has led to lower investment. The industry also operates on low margins, making extensive capital expenditure on cybersecurity unattractive. That may be offset by the potential liability costs from hacks.

There are several low-cost, manageable steps that can demystify the cybersecurity risk discussion. These steps also will help you validate your organization’s perceived risk position and reduce its supply chain’s exposure.

They include:

1) Establishing a common understanding of the interdependence and impact of operational business decisions on cybersecurity

2) Conducting a focused assessment to validate your organization’s perceived risk position and form a basis to prioritize investment and implementation strategies

3) Integrating enterprise leadership and the supply chain into a coordinated solution to deter and handle cybersecurity issues.

Understanding Cybersecurity

Links Bridging the technical and business sides of this complicated problem is critical if senior leadership is to effectively provide cybersecurity oversight and guidance in the areas of IT acquisition, adoption of business applications and processes, cybersecurity budgets and IT outsourcing.

Without a common baseline understanding of the size, cost and complexity of the cyberthreat, and the remediation and transfer options available to the organization, it is difficult to truly appreciate and scope your organization’s risk profile. To make matters worse, without a common orientation, the response and remediation may not be satisfactory when a cybersecurity event occurs.

For example, when the CEO wants to know exactly how long an adversary has been on the system or exactly what was taken, it would be more productive if he or she understood basic cyberforensic capabilities and limitations.


Increasingly, shippers and regulators will require transportation and logistics companies to guarantee the integrity of product and transport data, as well as ensure compliance with stricter cybersecurity laws. This will include carriers and forwarders, who are assuming central roles in supply chains as hubs for data exchange, making them high-value targets.

Every organisation must be as active as possible in building strong systems for protection against cyber attacks. Forward-looking companies will begin to see a safer logistical offering as a competitive advantage, especially if attacks continue. In the end, no industry will be entirely safe from the threat of cyberattacks. But every industry must do its part to at least make the job of hackers hard.

Some of my other articles (would appreciate your feedback):

Hottest Supply Chain Jobs in Asia Pacific

This article was firsts published on my Linkedin Profile – here.

According to DHL’s 2016 Trend Radar, the major influences on logistics and supply chain, what they called “megatrends,” are growing security awareness, the increased shift towards cleaner energy production and transportation, and further digitalization. These megatrends translate into the need to develop more cost-effective, efficient, flexible, and eco-friendly solutions, especially for transportation. A lot of faith is being placed in the “Internet of Things” as the next big source of data that will enable higher degrees of efficiency, effectiveness, and flexibility.

The Asia Pacific Perspective

While these trends won’t bypass Asia-Pacific, it is important to understand that the region has its inherited challenges that should also be addressed. According to data from the Asian Development Bank, Asian economies lose 2% to 5% of their BDP due to road congestion, while the number of vehicles on the roads is doubling every 5 to 7 years. Asia-Pacific is notorious for its lack of unified customs regulations. In fact, every significant indicator shows that the region is very far from being uniform. Everything from the GDP growth rate and GDP per capita up to the percentage of active Internet users and the gross domestic expenditure on research and development varies widely from one country to the other.

This leaves countries in Asia-Pacific in a position where they have to invest in infrastructure so that they can catch up with other regions, they have to work on further integration and cross-border cooperation to present a more unified market, and keep in line with the global tendencies towards a cleaner, safer, and more efficient world.

The Jobs in Demand

Logistics and supply chain businesses in the Asia-Pacific region have three primary drivers on the job market. The growth of the Asian-Pacific economies and the increase of manufacturing operations in the region is not showing signs of waning. The problems with transportation infrastructure and customs require more careful planning to reduce costs, improve shipping times, and make transportation more eco-friendly. There is an industry-wide increase in implementation of the latest technological solutions that will help improve efficiency.

  • Solution Design managers


Solution design managers will play a crucial role in bringing the new advancements into the Asia-Pacific markets. Even though there are initiatives in the region towards further trade harmonization, especially due to the efforts of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), there is still a discrepancy in the quality of infrastructure between the member countries. And the solution to this problem will not, and can not, be a quick one – the Asian Development Bank estimates that, by 2020, the capacity of airports in the region will be only 41% of needed, the capacity of roads will be 78% of needed, and the capacity of ports will be 48% of needed.

The traditional role of solution design managers as the people who are in charge developing logistics network strategies, designing transport and warehousing solutions will make them indispensable for businesses who are looking to follow the growth rates of the region and stay ahead of the competition. Solution design managers will also be in demand because there will be a need to integrate the newest developments in robotics and digitalization into the work environment, and to make sure that these developments are utilized to the full extent.

  • Transportation Data Analysts

Transportation data analysts will face an increased demand for the same reasons as the solution design managers: the need to make transport in the Asia-Pacific region as efficient, cost-effective, and ecologically sound as possible, as well the need to interpret and implement the data derived from the booming technology of the Internet of Things. In 2015, the world was around a hundred million short of having five billions of things connected by IoT. In 2020, that number is expected to rise to over twenty billion, with some sources estimating it will go as high as two hundred billion.

The IoT is expected to present an opportunity for supply chains to gain an unprecedented level of insight. Today, roughly 40% of all units connected to the IoT are in the manufacturing and supply chain industry. Handling that amount of data will be left to cloud computing, but there will be a need for actual people to do a part of the analysis and to advise on the best ways to implement information derived from big data.

  • Software and Robotics Engineers

In 2012, the global e-commerce giant Amazon purchased Kiva Systems, a robotics company which dealt in warehouse automatization. Amazon has also announced they will be implementing a program called “Prime Air”, which will allow 30-minute delivery of small packages using drones.Amazon’s initiatives to increase automatization of its supply chain using robotics has placed it on the cutting edge of the trend. FedEx and UPS have also been researching drones, as well as other methods to automate transportation.

While we’re waiting for drones to come into widespread use, companies are continuing to use digital solutions to increase the efficiency of their operations, and to offer more convenience to their customers. Daimler and DHL are launching their “smart ready to drop” program in Germany, allowing DHL delivery personnel to deliver goods purchased online directly into the boot of the buyers’ Daimler smart car – without the need for the buyers to be near their car. The whole process is facilitated by the use of a special app.

It’s still not clear whether the big transportation and logistics companies will buy robotics manufacturers like Amazon did, or if they will look outside of their house for robotics and automatization solutions. It can, however, be expected that there will be an increased in the near future for software engineers and robotics engineers who will develop and maintain solutions for the automatization process, as well as the many smart solutions we are already seeing arise.


Would be great to hear your perspective on this.

Is there any job or skill set that we missed which is in high demand now?

Any predictions for the future ‘most wanted’ skills?

Looking forward to reading your thoughts.

Some of my other articles on Linkedin:

Always happy to connect on Linkedin for future interactions!