You can have a clear glance of SCM IT industry from interview of Jin Cho head of SCM Business Unit.
1. Please briefly introduce yourself
I am Jin Cho and am in charge of SCM business unit at CyberLogitec. If I were to divide my career in half, a half of it was about the implementation of IT projects and the other was about IT business management. I began working at Hanjin Information System & Telecommunication in 1991 assigned to an IT team of Hanjin Shipping. That was the beginning of my IT career. I was responsible for the performance of number of IT projects as the Data Warehousing project, and in year 2000, I began working for CyberLogitec responsible for development and management of DW as DW team leader. I worked to stabilize the quality management system at CyberLogitec R & D center and was e-service business team leader and worked as U.S branch manager from 2005 through 2009. I came back to headquarters in Korea to work as E-Service business chief and have been responsible for SCM business department for 3 years.
2. Do you have any memorable projects or experiences?
I have many memorable projects. Among those, I particularly remember Hanjin Shipping NIS project and DW project.
The reason I remember NIS (New information System) is that the project was about changing the large-scale system frame completely that have been in use at Hanjin Shipping. Hanjin Shipping had been using a text based system when I first got there.
I gained a lot of experience and also felt rewarding at the same time when it changed to a window based system what is called GUI (Graphic User Interface) through the NIS project. The Hanjin’ DW project which began in early 2000 was a leading project at the time and it was an opportunity to participate in the project and learn several systems for the successful IT projects.
DW which stands for Data Warehousing was a system trend back then; it is a system that supports management decision-making by process and analyzing significant data present in backbone & operation systems. We conducted DW projects together with consulting companies and it was very valuable opportunities to learn management methodologies as project management procedure, deliverables and know-how through systemic program process.
I clearly remember the time that I was making Data Center when I was U.S branch manager. We were operating IT infrastructure in the server room at that time, the facility was quite old.
We had frequent electrical shortages from fallen electrical poles when weather is windy and raining. Electrical shorts cut off the connection to infrastructure and cause the service shutdown. There have been serious damages to servers and network due to 1 or 2 sudden electric power outages a year. We have had very hard time for the service delays to customers which took us about a week to replace failed parts that needed to be procured from all throughout the states such as a far-way state as Virginia.
To resolve these situations, we installed a data center that covers the entire U.S and installed a generator to build a reliable infrastructure. I remember overcoming many hurdles required by a town to satisfy the stringent regulations which eventually took us a year and a half to get the permit to build the data center.
3. What does SCM Business Unit do?
SCM refers to Supply Chain Management.
We have business teams as 3PL, EDI, D-Cube solution. 3PL business is a solution to support business. EDI interfaces with various logistics partners with data, it is logistics, it is like blood vessel in human.
D-Cube solution recognizes various documents related to logistics as B/L and automatically store, maintain and manage in the system. The department’s goal is to become Global Top 30 3PL Solution Provider in 2018 through continuous expansion and upgrades of IT service that are essential in the logistics business.
4. What are the market status and issues of late and what do you expect in the future?
The area of SCM is immense. Our department provides solutions to 3PL firms even from within SCM. 3PL companies secure a logistics hub in many locations around the world and provide services, each logistics hub is frequently managed using individual systems customized to country & region. In this case, from a company-wide perspective, the efficiency of business performance degrades for the difficulties of data double input and in the collection of business performance. Global logistics companies have a great interest in integrating and operating branches around the world and therefore I think that the demand for a logistics system that provides an integrated management function from a company-wide perspective will continuously grow.
5. How do you respond to the SCM market issue?
To respond to the demand for an integrated logistics solution, we plan to offer customers a logistics system that integrated various 3PL solutions as Forwarding, OMS (Order Management System), WMS(Warehouse Management System), TMS(Trucking Management System), Visibility and EDI. Visibility that is used for freight tracking and inventory management is particularly important to a logistics company, we are going to offer a global logistics system that shows the same view in anywhere, not just a country or branch.
I think that online sales operators with platform as Alibaba and Aamzon will integrate logistics vendors or participate in the offline logistics through partnership with shipping company. In addition, conversely, I think offline logistics operators will actively make entries into the online market as well.
I am going to analyze the impact this ambiguous situation with on & off line boundaries have on 3PL vendors and I plan to offer customers on the counter measures in terms of system.
And we are also carrying out researches on the measures to apply the mobile related technology which has become a recent topic to the 3PL solution.
6. What is the SCM department going to do in the future?
Ability of human is the most important element for success in knowledge industry. Therefore, we are paying our most attention to the enhancement of employee’s ability.
The reason we are getting accolades in the logistics solution market is not because we are simply selling IT systems, but because we are carrying out the role of a business consultant that offers the business know-how at the same time.
In order to sustain our core competency to offer customers an IT-based business solution, we always emphasize to our employees that understanding the business more than our customers themselves is important. It’s because if we don’t understand the logistics business, we cannot propose alternatives to customer. We are concentrating a lot of effort for our employees to experience and learn know-how on customer sites and to get a professional education in addition to the IT technology.
I also go out to the site as much as I can and try to understand customer and market. The 3PL market is continuously growing. According to market research institutions as Armstrong, it will grow by about 7~8% a year. There are a variety of companies from a small localized logistics company to a global 3PL company with annual sales of more than few billion dollars.
We are developing a business centered on the U.S which now is the largest logistics market. We have a strategy to expand to the global market with success in the U.S.
In medium & long term, our department’s goal is to become the best business solution partner for global 3PL companies.