We speak to Kevin Rogers, Managing Director of Elanders, and discuss the company’s investments and success in providing international customers with end-to-end solutions.
STREAMLINING THE SUPPLY CHAIN
In the past two years, we have witnessed the importance of an efficient global supply chain and logistical sector in the face of the impacts of COVID-19. Within this space, integrating the latest solutions is key to continued success.
Operating in the supply chain sector is Elanders, a Swedish owned group of companies, with a presence in 21 countries worldwide specialising in the development of end-to-end solutions.
“Our two business areas are supply chain and print and packaging. We develop efficient solutions that make life easier for our customers,” explains Kevin Rogers, Managing Director. “Elanders’ services and products consist of end-to-end global supply chain solutions, e-fulfilment services for many international brands, lifecycle services for electronic products, the assembly and configuration of many devices, as well as print and packaging manufacturing.”
The group offers a broad range of services and total solutions in supply chain management. Elanders has more than 7,000 employees operating across its 21 countries in four continents. The company’s most important and focal markets are those of China, Germany, Singapore, Sweden, the UK and the US, with major customers active in the automotive, electronics, fashion and lifestyle, health care and life science, and industrial sectors.
“Elanders helps its customers to more efficiently manage their entire supply chain, everything from raw materials to the product itself,” Rogers explains. “By optimising customers’ material and component flows, Elanders actively helps its customers to reduce their environmental impact and thus contributes to a more sustainable society.
“Because of this, we can take total global responsibility for the entire supply chain, including procurement, warehousing, configuration, production and distribution. Our offer also includes order management, payment solutions and after sales services for our customers, and our services are provided by dedicated business-oriented employees.”
Elanders maintains a focus on advanced logistic solutions with a large portion of value-added services. Together, Elanders develops its customers’ businesses and strengthens their competitiveness in the market.
“We help our customers optimise business-critical processes, locally and globally, through integrated and customised solutions for managing all or parts of their supply chains,” Rogers says. “Our goal is to be a leader in global end-to end solutions in supply chain management and meeting customers’ demands on efficiency and deliveries, while maintaining a focus on sustainability.”
A CAREER IN MANUFACTURING
Rogers has been working in innovative fields since the late 1980s. During the fledgling life of computers and the internet, his career began with an engineering company where he was responsible for IT setup.
“Back then, seeing the workshop in practice was fascinating and this is where I became interested in manufacturing,” he reflects. “My journey toward my current role began working in print manufacturing in the spring of 1988, starting as a trainee operator for a company called Hindson Print in Newcastle Upon Tyne, where I progressed through the ranks and worked my way to Production Manager.”
In 1999 Hindson Print was acquired by Elanders, and from this point on the UK-based company flourished, thanks to investment and being part of a European business.
“Then, in 2002, I was persuaded by one of my colleagues to move over to the ‘dark side’ of sales and marketing,” Rogers muses. “This move helped me understand the commercial aspect of a manufacturing business being in the front-line creating proposals for existing customers and those who were prospective.
“I progressed to the position of Sales and Marketing Director, and in 2011, I was appointed the role of Manging Director for Elanders in the UK. Previously I had made it known in an interview for the Elanders Group Annual Report that I wanted to be the first British guy to be promoted to the group management team. In 2014 I gained international experience by taking additional responsibility for one of Elanders’ supply chain operations in Brno, the second largest city in the Czech Republic. A year later I received an email from my CEO titled ‘something to think about’. This was an opportunity to step up to group management level with a posting in Beijing, China – sometimes you have to be careful what you ask for!”
Rogers accepted the challenge, moving with his family to take on the position of Head of Print and Packaging in Asia. He spent the next four years working out of Beijing and gained additional experience with the Thailand Board of Investment at a time when the company was considering setting up an operation near Bangkok. Although this operation did not materialise, for Rogers, the experience was invaluable.
“I returned back to the UK in the summer of 2019, and I am now Managing Director for the UK and President of Sales and Marketing for Elanders Group, a leading end-to-end industry solutions provider,” he concludes.
“Sustainability is in our DNA”Kevin Rogers, Managing Director, Elanders
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE
Elanders has a global footprint and a customer focused approach to designing effective solutions. At the forefront of company investments has been a heavy focus on automation, in order to increase its capacity and to be able to provide a 24/7 service to its international customers.
“This won’t reduce our headcount, rather it increases our capacity, reduces lead-times and enhances our competitiveness in the market,” Rogers informs us. “This automation is taking place in both supply chain and print and packaging business lines.
“On top of this internal investment, being a Swedish owned company, sustainability is in our DNA. We have designed and manufactured branded e-commerce packaging for some of our customers which reduce the materials used and is fully recyclable!”
Sustainability is a core part of Elanders’ overall business ethos. A key component of the company’s drive to improve sustainability is the refurbishment and repurposing of IT equipment such as servers, network switches, laptops, desktop computers, tablets and smart phones.
“We provide an end-to-end service where we collect the equipment, provide a data wiping service to be fully compliant with data protection regulations, then we refurbish and re-sell the kit on behalf of our clients to achieve the best possible price for them,” Rogers explains. “For every 5,000 phones and 5,000 laptops we refurbish and re-sell to the secondary market, we save two million kilogrammes of CO2e!”
Moving ahead through 2022, Elanders is aiming to expand and grow in the areas of renewed tech (the repurposing of IT equipment), lifecycle services, fashion and lifestyle, electronics and e-commerce services.
“We had a target to grow our presence in the Americas and the recent acquisition of Bergen Logistics has helped us achieve this goal,” Rogers says.
“Life at Elanders is exciting at the moment, and it’s worth keeping an eye out for more growth and strategic development around the world.”