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Q&A with Vidmantas Šidlauskas, Head of Procurement, Ruptela
A delegate's experience from last year Hi-Tech & Electronics Supply Chain Summit in Amsterdam
Q: Tell me a little bit about Ruptela
A: Ruptela is a transport telematics company based in Lithuania that develops real-time vehicle monitoring, control and optimisation solutions. Though company was founded in 2007 now we have a team of 180 people, partners and clients network in 116 countries and a steady growth every year.
Q: Please explain transport telematics to the newcomer!
A: Well, we provide integrated solutions made of GPS tracking device and real-time monitoring and optimisation system. It allows companies to improve their efficiency and profit by monitoring, controlling and optimising company fleet. More precisely we help companies to save on fuel and maintenance costs, improve overall fleet control and planning, and increase their client’s satisfaction. Transport telematics is a very fast growing area and we believe that in the future it will be a necessity for companies that use vehicles in their daily operations.
Q: Was the Hi-Tech Supply Chain Summit in Amsterdam your first eft conference?
A: Yes, and the first time I’ve attended an event of this size. Before I had only been to smaller, local events in Lithuania.
Q: What made you decide to attend?
A: I was researching conferences that offered good networking possibilities and the chance to learn from high profile companies that were achieving positive results. The list of companies and speakers presenting was very impressive and the timing and location were convenient compared to events in the US and UK.
Q: Did it meet your expectations for networking and learning?
Yes, it was a great experience and I had the chance to meet everyone I wanted to meet. The most useful contact I made was the conference chair Hugh Williams, who shared some very practical knowledge. We had a detailed conversation between sessions that continued after the event with Hugh’s colleague Hazel. Hazel gave us some excellent advice to help us improve our demand planning, internal communications, goal setting and safety stock level setting. We have applied much of what we learned and our business is improving as a result. We haven’t fully implemented everything so my team and I are now planning how to move forward on the rest. If we want to manage risk we need to be proactive - not wait for something to happen!
Q: Which sessions did you find most valuable?
I took part in the whole conference including all the interactive sessions and activities that Hugh ran. The one that left the biggest impression was a talk and roundtable discussion with Nokia’s VP of SCM, Padraig Healy. He shared information and success stories, but also some problems - and explained how they were solved. We had been having some of the exact same problems so his talk gave me hope that we could solve them, along with some very practical, actionable advice.
Q: How will you build on what you learned?
I am planning to attend next year’s conference as well. Our market changes every year - well, every day probably! Events like this are not just for solving problems but also keeping up to date with trends in the market. To stay ahead of our competitors, we need to be thinking about what’s going to happen in 3-5 years and events like this bring this added perspective.
How was this conference different to others you had attended?
Although it was only my first time, it soon became clear the amount of authority and respect Hugh has earned from - and gives to - all the speakers and participants. His style is excellent and he connects and interacts with audience members so that they really participate. His experience and insights really add to the discussions and speaker presentations so that you often see things from a perspective that you might otherwise not have considered - you see the wider picture.
Sarah Lafferty- Director and co-founder, Round Earth Consulting