Transcript #04 Industry 4.0 and Diversity Part 2 – Talent and Recruitment with Roxane Desmicht Head of Supply Chain at Infineon

Time stamp Speaker Answer Key words
0:04 Radu Let’s move on the next segment. Let’s talk about people. First question, how does Infineon attract and retain talent in supply chain? People, talent
0:15 Roxane Alright, so in terms of talents attraction, we have a very strong engagement with universities. Be it in Singapore or in Munich. In Munich, we have a lot of working students. In Singapore, we offer a lot of internship. We offer system development project, final project, and things like this so that we can scout new talents.

 

We do participate in forums as well to also picture out what supply chain has to give. Doing career talk in university and definitely we also rely on our internal network. Either colleagues will move to another company who might be interested to comeback. Colleagues who want to recommend their colleagues so that we minimize risk of hiring somebody who might not fit in the organization.

Talent, engagement, university, project, career, colleagues
1:24 Roxane So this is for the attraction part. For the retention, I think what is important is to offer challenging tasks, exposure to global project, offering a sense of ownership so that people are very motivated to come to work. We have a very open door and feedback culture.

 

I was very proud last year as we did a department survey to gauge along the line of how people feel about having opportunity, being recognized for what they do, teamwork, understanding the goal of the organization and at the end of the day, the results were that 95% of our employees were proud to be part of the project.

Retention, exposure, culture, results
2:13 Radu  That’s fantastic!
2:17 Roxane That’s a fantastic result. I was very proud with this because as a site, we have to find our way of existence, as you said quota. And having such a result, particularly in the opportunity to drive project was a very heartwarming results. Results
2:43 Radu That’s a result to be proud of for sure. 95% is great  . Definitely you must be doing a lot of things right.

 

To move on to the next question, and it’s also kind of connected to the attraction part, but what are the challenges that typically supply chain is not seen as something necessarily “sexy” or career in supply chain is not seen as something “sexy.”

 

Maybe for students it’s more interesting to go to a bank, or to go to a tech company, or to Google. That’s supposed to be more interesting typically. What are your thoughts?

 

It’s also something that we at Morgan-Philips are facing sometimes to convince people from similar industries to join from a different angle supply chain career. What’s your thoughts about it and have you made anything around the area you did with schools? How do you make it more attractive?

Sexy, challenges, career, schools
3:40 Roxane I think traditionally maybe not sexy but maybe also to understand that very often there is a confusion between logistics and supply chain. I think the first thing is really to illustrate that logistic is part of supply chain but supply chain is broader than this.

 

And I would also hope that by now fresh graduates or people with more experience have recognized that industry which might be sexy today might definitely not be so sexy tomorrow.

 

Let’s take the case of oil and gas. I was discussing with my friend and we are talking about my goddaughters and what kind of industry I should encourage them to go. Maybe a couple of years ago I would have said oil and  gas. Sign for it. With the challenge faced by the industry, definitely I would revert my answer today. I think there is also now a bit more awareness that those traditionally maybe more sexy industry have had some challenges.

 

You see it in Singapore. I think in the past everybody wanted to go to banking. I think by now you can see more interest in manufacturing. More interest in supply chain. Because people document themselves and read along. But besides this, I think it’s all about how you position it. If I take the case of Infineon, we are a technology company. We compete on product primarily.

 

A couple of years ago might not have a lot of broad attention. But when product and technology becomes maybe a bit more challenging because we’ve already stretched to the maximum, that’s where how you deliver the product, how you bring the product to the market which makes a difference.

 

And that’s how finally by now we have broad attention. We present our project, our supply chain road maps on a yearly basis. This started with having a vision and a mission for our supply chain. Building up the competence as well. If I illustrate this, when I joined supply chain…actually I started in my position in Shanghai in a more customer-facing type of organization. We called it customer logistic management. And when I joined, the statement from the customer logistic team manager was, “we are the sales assistant.”

Sexy, logistics, supply chain, Infineon,
6:24 Roxane This is what we went through at that time. In the meantime, we build the competence, the knowledge, the expertise in offering supply chain services to our customer. If you would ask sales today, they see this team as their partner. This team has been helping them for all the demand fulfillment activity while they can focus more on the demand. Competence, demand, knowledge, expertise
6:54 Radu  Leadership,  .
6:54 Roxane That’s how step-by-step you change the perception again coming with competence, coming with strengthening your supply chain and making sure it’s robust and transparent. That definitely helps. Perception, competence, robust
7:10 Radu What’s the hard skills for you when you need to hire people in your team? What’s the hard skills in supply chain right now? Hard skills
7:22 Roxane You might wonder how I ended up in supply chain as I’m an engineer and how I feel about that. I feel I might not be as effective and efficient in my job if I were not an engineer because supply chain is not all about talking. It’s about analytics. Engineer, analytics
7:45 Radu It’s mostly about that.
7:46 Roxane It’s mostly about analytics but not traditionally the picture that people have. Analytical skill is definitely one of the challenging skills to find. We tend to hire people who have more background in business administration and mathematics. But when you come to understanding system and optimizing business processes, you definitely need stronger analytical skills. Analytics, business, mathematics, skills
8:17 Roxane This is definitely the hardest. Then of course you would have the pocket of very expert knowledge typically in the region threat compliance would be one which is also very scarce resources. Hardest, pocket, resources
8:33 Radu There’s so many rules and regulations even in Southeast Asia.
8:36 Roxane There are so many rules and regulations. So many different practices. Even when you talk about product classification, the codes, different countries work differently. That will be more pocket expert knowledge. Threat compliance is also one of those skills. Rules, regulations, different, compliance
8:55 Radu We almost need to practice just for that.
9:01 Roxane Definitely.
9:03 Radu What are some of the skills that the future supply chain 4.0 professional needs to have? Skills, supply chain
9:10 Roxane We talked about digitalization so I think digital savvy is one. If I take my case, I’m currently doing an online course on business analytics because I also need to understand the new technology which are coming up.

 

A bit of programming, a bit of machine learning so digital savvy is one. But then all the other aspect which are more the soft skill side of it. Digitalization industry 4.0 means a lot of industry transformation like workforce transformation.

 

So it’s going to be a lot of skills around change management. Along communication still long emotional intelligence and also since supply chain is becoming more and more global, I think it’s important for the supply chain 4.0 professional to have cosmopolitan exposure.

 

Knowledge about the various countries where he or she is operating because we work in more virtual teams with people with different background and different way to deal with projects.

 

You can only be successful if you can manage this diversity.

Digitalization, analytics, savvy, transformation, change management, diversity
10:29 Radu Diversity. And it brings me to a very important question as well. Obviously you are a great example of an excellent leader in supply chain, but how do we balance it a little bit more? Since this is male dominated traditionally, how do we balance it a bit more? Diversity
10:56 Roxane Well I have question for you. Which area is not traditionally male dominant? dominant
11:03 Radu Fair enough. Very good comeback actually.
11:07 Roxane I have to say I joined semicon forum and technical forum in Hongkong; it’s male dominant. I’ve joined supply chain forum; it’s male dominant. If I take the case of Infineon, within OP, I think we have maybe 2 or 3 female out of 100 top leaders. Male, dominant, Infineon
11:28 Radu Definitely can do better.
11:35 Roxane So we are definitely scarce resources. But you know something, I’m quite proud because in my Asian organization across all level, we are 50/50.
11:42 Radu Super. Great job.
11:43 Roxane Not only in customer logistic management, but also in manufacturing IT. We have quite a lot of female looking at software development. In management, it’s about 30/70 so actually not too bad. Infineon has a target as well. We have from the boards some direction as to how we want to push for gender diversity. Though for Asia I’ve expanded a bit not only gender diversity but also control diversity. Management, manufacturing, Infineon, diversity
12:13 Radu  It’s equally important.
12:15 Roxane Since in terms of gender, we are quite good. I think we can look at control. From my organization if we stay in gender. I did form a couple of years ago a female network and I called themselves W.O.W. Gender, control
12:31 Radu W.O.W.? W.O.W.
12:32 Roxane Woman of Willpower.
12:34 Radu Nice. Great acronym
12:37 Roxane And the purpose was really multi-fold. First, for them to understand what is key skills for a male leader, different skills from our female leaders. How to address those difference.

 

That’s they started with a bit of surveying their peers, their boss, their spouse in some cases to come up with a couple of item and to try to drive some training or sharing activity. The purpose is also to build resilience in female leaders. Give them a safe environment where they can exchange, debate on the challenge they are facing.

 

And through this, I also give them the chance to network with Infineon management. Whenever my colleagues and peers from Munich are joining up, I make sure they have an informal discussion to bring up their queries. How they are seen in the organization.

 

Also create a network and maybe get some future job opportunity. So it’s required quite a lot of nurturing. It requires strong desire to make a change, not only glossy paper commitment.

Leader, resilience, challenge, change
13:58 Radu Not just on paper,  .
13:59 Roxane Diversity brings innovation, but let’s keep it like it is today. Diversity, innovation
14:06 Radu That doesn’t make any sense,  .
14:07 Roxane If you don’t genuinely believe in it, then nothing will happen. But it shows that maybe female tends to be a bit less assertive. I strongly believe in the statement that male will apply for a position if he feels 60% qualified. A female will apply for the same position if she feels 120% qualified. That’s where the resilience and the encouragement comes about. Female, qualified, resilience, encouragement
14:33 Radu Great sharing, great examples. How do you see the role of HR as a business partner to you as a supply chain leader? Where do you see HR sitting in the whole scheme of things? Do you have an HR business partner that focuses very closely on supply chain? HR, business partner
14:48 Roxane We do have an HR business partner. I think it’s important for this setup to be effective and efficient. That the business partner clearly understands your challenges of today and of tomorrow. The needs of the organization also coming up with strong recommendation as of how to build resilience.

 

How to look at your pyramid of roles and see whether there are some gaps. Very important that they help in all the sourcing of candidate activities because we are all very busy with daily tasks and operation topics. It’s important that whenever you have openings that comes from shortlisting with some key argumentation can only be possible if the business partner understands really the business.

HR, business partner, resilience, gaps, sourcing, understand
15:43 Radu Understands the business.  , correct.
15:47 Roxane Of course, as and when we need to transform either because of digitalization or because some task got transferred here and there, we always need to have some organization development discussion. That’s where our business partner can also play a very important role of moderator.

 

Sometimes acting as a neutral party of the person who will challenge the status quo since we tend all to be a bit conservative believing that what we do is the best that we can do. When you have external views, that also helps to open up your horizon.

Digitalization, development, business partner
16:27 Radu Final question on this segment and you’ve touched the point briefly, but if there’s anything else that you can add…how do you groom future supply chain leaders? Groom, leaders
16:40 Roxane I think we have several track and I think your previous speaker from DHL e-commerce Charles mentioned about it. The 70/20/10 principle. So it’s not only unique to DHL. We really look at experience and project exposure or job exposure at higher level.

 

Coaching and mentoring and formal training. If we look at our different population, so for young talent, we in fact start quite early. I started a couple of years ago to offer industrial scholarships. This gives us the advantage of following from starting of the university up to graduation candidates. The person comes to us for all internships throughout the 4 years horizon.

 

Then through the internship, we can rotate the person into different area of supply chain so that when the person graduates, she or he has a well-rounded view and maybe a clear perspective as of which area he or she wants to go.

 

We do offer what we call “international graduate program” which is more meant for fresh graduates or people with 2 or 3 years’ experience, preferably with a master degree. The principle is the same. Rotating around different function. But here for international graduate program, we also look at different sites.

DHL, coaching, mentoring, training, internship, graduate,
18:13 Radu  So you expose them.
18:14 Roxane A bit of exposure in manufacturing. A bit of exposure in going to sites. A bit of exposure to headquarters so that the person can build a network because supply chain or supply network, like we call it today, really also rely on getting your job done through your network.

 

That’s definitely for the most freshest employee. If we look at the most experienced talent, this will go definitely more through project assignments as well as coaching/mentoring. Formal training from time to time but I’m a strong believer that you learn better by doing than just by being very passive in a classroom.

 

Nevertheless, for those who want to go a bit deeper in mathematical model, a bit in process mapping, a bit in SCO model because we manage our supply chain according to SCO. We do have our own supply chain academy which is a partnership with a university in Ireland where we offer 2 sessions. A module in a bachelor degree or a master degree.

Exposure, network, supply chain, academy, bachelor, master
19:34 Roxane For the bachelor degree, our employee will engage in a lot of online evening course plus 2 resident module in Ireland for 2 years. The master is about 1 year with the same principle. Bachelor, master
20:00

 

Roxane We recognize and study supply chain trends so every year we discuss about the trend. Talents was one which was identified a couple of years back and that’s how we thought, “Okay, I think our own supply chain academy would help in building up our talent pipeline.”

 

In Singapore, I have branched out a little bit. My dream was for the Irish university to find a partner in Singapore so that we could also source local content. It didn’t work out but if some of our employees are interested to pursue a master degree, we will definitely support it. I have one of my girls doing supply chain master degree at NTU currently.

Trends, talents, academy, university, NTU
20:50 Radu Okay. NTU is good. They are much recognized. NTU
20:53 Roxane From academic to more job related doing. Academic
21:01 Radu This sheds further light into perhaps why 95% of the people in your organization said that they are happy there because I think that you do actually a lot of things to help them keep developing, learning, empowering them, giving them a lot of exposure. As human beings, typically people like that. Good job and good sharing. Happy, developing, exposure, Infineon, advice
     

End of Part 2

 

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