5 Minutes With Infosys's Hermann Adjou

 Hermann Adjou, Associate Partner, Supply Chain, Infosys Consulting, Europe


What is your experience in the supply chain industry?

I have worked in the supply chain industry for 20 years. It has been a while now, but it’s just as exciting as when I started, and even more so in many respects! 

I began my career in the automotive industry as a method engineer. This was in the field of operational excellence, working to increase efficiency, reliability and improve material availability from the production line to shop floor. 

For several years I have had a strong focus on the planning space, mainly in integrated business planning and supply chain planning and collaboration. This has been largely in the strategic, tactical and operational horizons, including E2E visibility and the supply chain control tower.

How do you see the industry evolving over the next decade? 

Supply chain transformation is increasingly a lever at the heart of the evolution of companies’ business models. Many future developments are driven by changes in our global environments, and the disruption caused by Covid-19 has especially exposed just how fragile the supply chain is for a lot of businesses. Companies have responded by building resilience into the supply chain by accelerating their digitalization, among other things.  

With the rise in citizens' expectations and the change in consumer behaviour towards more sustainable living, supply chains are evolving to be more green, decarbonised and circular. This implies profound changes in the way companies collaborate and how their previously confined supply chains must integrate and connect their ecosystems.

What trend are you most excited to see evolve?

The trend I am most excited to see evolve is the rise of the cognitive supply chain that augments human capabilities not only to take right decisions in real-time but also to execute them, with advanced technologies and analytics. This is still emerging but increasingly becoming a reality. This is down to the extensive use of IoT and blockchain technologies, combined with the improved and more widespread use of AI and automation across multiple operating platforms.

Over the length of your career so far, what has been the best piece of advice you have ever received?

One key piece of advice I received is to “always progress and make other progress”. As the pace of change in our environment continues to accelerate and diversify, technology is no longer simply an answer to a given business problem. Rather, it also creates the prospect of paradigm shifts in the way that business is conducted. To always stay ahead of the field of possibilities, we must keep learning and develop collective intelligence rather than a single point of view.

Another key piece of advice is to “never lose sight of customer and consumer expectations”. Whatever the nature and the level of the transformation that is undertaken, the ultimate purpose of the supply chain is to best serve customers.

Has there been a particular achievement that you are proud of?

It’s hard to pin down a specific achievement I’m proud of because every supply chain project delivered is part of the overall satisfaction. I can however mention when we recently drastically improved the quality and cycle time of the supply chain planning and decision-making process. We started by conducting a full diagnostic and introduced much more intelligence into the process, leveraging the latest technologies.

What inspires you?

I usually feel inspired by the extraordinary stories of ordinary people. These are often situations that pushed them to go beyond themselves and reveal their potential, beyond what they could have imagined. They are continually faced with situations that require them to constantly anticipate and adapt to change.

What are your favourite things to do outside of work?

I am a great fan of discoveries of all kinds, without limitation. I like to try new activities and always find one or two friends willing to accompany me. This year I’ve enjoyed water sports and started kitesurfing and foiling. Who knows what I will try next year!


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