Open innovation for the supply chain

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Interview with Thierry Golliard Open innovation for the supply chain

Published on 25.11.2021 byPhilippe Mettler, Digital Commerce Consultant, Swiss Post Ltd

All companies want a robust and future-proof supply chain. The Swiss SupplyChainTech initiative from the Bern University of Applied Sciences promotes innovative solutions and has Swiss Post on board as a partner. Thierry Golliard reports on the crises and trends in supply chain management.

Thierry Golliard is Head of Open Innovation and Venturing at Swiss Post.

Mr Golliard, Swiss Post is a partner of Swiss SupplyChainTech. What’s behind this initiative?

Swiss SupplyChainTech is a community of experts founded by the Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH). For SwissPost it’s very rewarding to work with BFH and startups. Together, we aim to raise the profile of innovative, technology-based solutions in logistics and supply chain management. Supply chains are levers for sustainable success.

Currently, supply chains are being interrupted and many manufacturers are waiting on raw materials and components. What role does supply chain management play in times of crisis?

The importance of an efficient and well-managed supply chain is well known. Goods must be delivered in the correct numbers at the right point in time and as cost-effectively as possible. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of risk management. How do I make my supply chain resilient? It has suddenly become clear that a diversified approach to procurement is necessary. Further key factors include agility and transparency. A company that reacts quickly and appropriately to changing conditions has an advantage. Those with transparent processes can easily identify weaknesses and improve their forecasting.

What is the status of logistics in the supply chain?

It's usually fragmented and not digitalized yet at the moment. If a parcel is sent from Switzerland to the USA, many different actors are involved and the majority of them still have paper-based procedures. The system is prone to errors. Basing the process on Blockchain, for example, would increase traceability and security.

What role can Blockchain play?

Blockchain enables transactions to be executed, tracked and processed digitally and transparently. Data cannot be changed and is controlled by all partners. For worldwide postal flows, creating international standards and using labels and certificates established in Blockchain is a good approach.

Where is this trend heading?

Firstly, digitalization enables a targeted customer focus. Swiss Post works with startups on sector solutions for the supply chain and wants to offer added value, such as thermomonitoring inside of parcels, which can be important for food and medicine. Secondly, urban logistics is becoming even more relevant. Recipients expect environmentally friendly logistics and dynamic route optimization – autonomous delivery is also on the horizon. Thirdly, cross-border trade holds a great deal of potential in terms of transparency in international supply chains, trust, visibility, customs clearance and returns management.

What’s the role of Swiss Post here?

We are thinking not only of markets and products but also of ecosystems, which in nature are very complex, highly adaptive and successful relational structures. If our supply chain solutions impact on the ecosystems of individual sectors, we can support Switzerland in its growth.


Swiss SupplyChainTech

This community of experts is aimed at startups and growing champions in the various fields of supply chain management, especially purchasing, logistics, transport and distribution. Founded in 2021 at the Bern University of Applied Sciences. In an initial step, the community draws up a startup map to illustrate the SupplyChainTech environment in Switzerland. The goal is to promote technologies and solutions for supply chains.

Swiss SupplyChainTech

Thierry Golliard

Thierry Golliard is Director of Open Innovation and Venturing of Swiss Post. In this role, he has been developing open innovation initiatives with external partners as start-ups, universities and accelerators in Switzerland, Germany, France, Israel, the US and China. These innovation ecosystems enabled disruptive projects as, amongst others, the deliveries by drones and the autonomous shuttles. Furthermore, he is managing the strategic venture capital funds of Swiss Post. Thierry holds several Masters in Economics and Technology from the University of Fribourg, EPFL and UC Berkeley.

Portrait Thierry Golliard

Philippe Mettler – Interviewer

Philippe Mettler, Head of Digital Commerce at Swiss Post, has many years of experience in consulting and project implementation, particularly in the fields of e-commerce, web and PIM. Using his knowledge of consumers, he helps our customers further develop and successfully operate in sphere of digital commerce.

Portrait Philippe Mettler

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