Head of Digital Supply Chain - South Europe, Middle East & Africa, SAP Digital Supply Chain (DSC)
Mike Wade’s career in the supply chain industry began “rather by accident” he reflects. “I started in air freight and logistics, so that’s how I got into the big world of supply chain. Then I was a manager and the Regional General Manager for a third-party logistics business in the UK. I then changed direction slightly and moved into a UK headquartered global Retail organisation (The Body Shop International) as a distribution manager. This exposed me at that point to the combination of distribution management, supply chain planning, supply chain execution, and manufacturing. In 1998, I then made what felt like a radical change and moved into a supply chain technology business.”
Today, Wade is the Head of Digital Supply Chain in South Europe, Middle East & Africa at SAP Digital Supply Chain (DSC), where he still finds his varied experience in the sector very helpful when talking with customers. Reflecting on his time at SAP so far, Wade comments, “I've been in this role for three and a half years, but I have been with SAP nine. It's a great time to be in the world of supply chain. The focus is higher now than it ever has been, and the good news, even in this world that's accelerating & adopting new innovation all the time, is that there is still absolutely - and probably more than ever - a need to focus on the supply chain. So it's a good place to be.”
Outside of the office, Wade details that his perfect weekend would consist of two things, “I'm a very keen, sometimes frustrated golfer, and I'm a very keen musician. I have played drums in many bands, in different locations over the years. So my ideal weekend would be, maybe on a Friday morning - because I'm based here in Dubai, where the weekend is Friday and Saturday - I would play golf, and then I would be playing in a venue with a band that evening, and then just relaxing on a Saturday.”
When it comes to the essential traits of an effective leader, Wade shares what he has learned over the years. “I am still very much a work in progress, but first of all, you need to assemble a very strong team, you need to equip them, you need to train them, you need to enable them, and you need to make sure that your expectations are clear,” comments Wade. “Then you move into releasing their potential and serving them as a leader. The role of a leader is to remove obstacles and to provide help, guidance and assistance when needed. More now than ever, our focus needs to be on the individual and their well-being. The best athletes and talent will perform if mind and body are both in tune. This applies to our respective teams. ”
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With this greater interconnectivity of machines comes greater exposure to risk, so we have to make sure that we protect these newly formed connections.