Ask The Expert
Optimising Business Systems
''Visionary lead and superior offerings combined with the ability to make it happen is key to superior results for the customer."
An Interview with Hakan Nilsson
CEO, Zinnovate International
We interviewed Hakan Nilsson, CEO and Founder of Zinnovate International, business intelligence pioneer, and leading force behind an industry-revolutionising global freight forwarding system, to obtain the fine details on increasing customer and shareholder value, as we
Ask The Expert about what it takes for global logistics firms to exploit the maximum potential of their IT portfolios.
Executive Global: What are some of the things that set Zinnovate International apart from competitors?
Hakan Nilsson: In a nutshell it’s our obsession with execution. Knowing what to do and getting it done! Visionary lead and superior offerings combined with the ability to make it happen is key to superior results for the customer.
EG: What are some of the strategies you deploy to maximise productivity for global logistics providers?
HN: Working holistically across Systems, Processes and Organisation is key to maximise productivity. We do this by partnering up with WiseTech Global for productivity ERP, Xware for ultimate Integration Hub and Yellowfin for smart BI. Then our global network of Process Experts is there to ensure our customers also get the most out of their systems. Finally, on the People side Zinnovate has recently teamed up with world-leading cognitive neuroscientists to get the best that science can provide coupled with our on-the-field experience.
EG: You were recently honoured Best CEO in IT Management Logistics in Europe. What vital lessons may other executives in this sector learn from your leadership style?
HN: Business is never” Business to Business”, but always “Human to Human”. The success of your customers and team mates must be a keen interest of yours for you to become successful as a leader. Upgrade the Golden Rule to read “do onto others what others want you to do onto them”. Don’t apply what works best on yourselves when dealing with others. Instead show true interest in the other party so you can apply what works best for them. Get prestige out of the way. Praise the team as they are the true heroes and they will carry you to the top. Steal their glory and you will have to do all the carrying yourself.ts.
EG: In what ways may businesses future-proof their systems so that they remain ahead of the curve for years to come?
HN: Just staying abreast with the technology development is no longer enough. The world will change and change again. Whenever you make people or system choices you need to evaluate also based on their flexibility and innovation capabilities.
EG: Tell us about your global reseller agreement with Yellowfin
HN: Knowing what makes a difference in your performance and why is crucial to continuous improvement. We get this by teaming up with leading BI platform provider Yellowfin. We have found that most customers are in one of two “pain groups”. Either the all too familiar “excel hell” or struggling with complex and costly BI solutions with long lead times. With Yellowfin you can escape this!
EG: How important is it to build a competent team of skilled individuals in this industry?
HN: The key is collective competence. Having a full range of skills across the team. Then nurturing the team spirit that makes the whole more than the sum of the parts. Here at Zinnovate we have labeled this ROC – Return On Competence. To us this is far more important than long lists of KPI’s to run our business. ROC lead us to Value to Customer, Personal Development and Passion on the job. When we help each other grow we also grow faster ourselves.
EG: How do you think the proliferation of new technologies including robotics, big data, smart technology, and driverless vehicles will impact the sector in the next 10-15 years?
HN: Our sector is uniquely well targeted for some of these new technologies. Our job is to learn enough to understand which technologies will bring true value to our sector. I find A.I., Artificial Intelligence, of keen interest as we then can tap into areas superior to current human capability. Combine Big Data with innovative AI algorithms and the big space of logistics planning is up for a major change!
EG: What challenges do you see for the future of Business Intelligence applications?
HN: The future of BI is on a path from Re-active as in “What happened?” to Predictive as in “What will happen?” to Learning as in “Why did it happen?” to Designing as in “How do we best make it happen?”. This is where BI meets AI and Big Data. EG