He is driven by new challenges, loves alpine skiing, and has extensive knowledge in logistics and supply chain management. Andreas Liljeskog is the new Head of Procurement & Logistics at Elos Medtech in Timmersdala. Seeing the possibilities of the company and how he could contribute at a grass-root level, his next destination was a given. It is now fair to say Elos Medtech is on top of its logistics game.
Hi, Andreas! You joined Elos Medtech as the Head of Procurement & Logistics a few months ago. Tell me about your previous experience?
In 2008, I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Economics after four years of studying International Business Engineering at the University of Skovde. I started working as the Production Planning Manager for Semper with responsibility for production planning. I ran a project together with the marketing organization to convert sales into production needs focusing on long-term capacity and material planning.
After three years at Semper, I began my career in the medtech industry and became part of Nobel Biocare’s supply chain organization. My responsibility was somewhat similar to what I did at Semper but at a much larger scale. It included capacity and material planning for factories across the globe: Europe, Asia, USA, and Canada. In addition, I ran a number of improvement projects.
My next job was as the Supply Chain Manager for Kinnarps. Initially, I was responsible for the order-to-delivery process analyzing information flows and decision making processes for production, planning, and product supply. I made a pre-study and identified logistics and material handling processes from customer needs, quotes, and orders to manufacturing, delivery, and assembly. Eventually, I became responsible for the business process development department as well as the back-office function. I was in charge of 20 employees while also running a number of improvement and organization projects.
In 2016, I joined Dentsply Sirona Implants for a demand planning project. I was very intrigued to return to the medtech industry. During one year, I ran a project in close cooperation with the sales organization to forecast production, purchase and inventory planning.
When the year had passed, I became part of Dentsply´s PMO (Project Management Office) organization to work with generic operation projects. One of the projects I headed was called “Buy-finished-goods” with the purpose of outsourcing defined products and processes to key suppliers with the ambition to have the supplier delivering a finished goods packaged product directly into Dentsply´s finished goods warehouse.
For a period of time, the project included Elos Medtech, which is how I first got in contact with the company. At a later stage, it was formed a joint project between Dentsply and Elos Medtech in Timmersdala where we wanted to work with improvements in the logistics and supply processes. I had the opportunity to work with and visit the site in Timmersdala and in Maj 2018, I fully joined Elos Medtech in Timmersdala as an employee.
Describe your role at Elos Medtech in Timmersdala?
My role as Head of Procurement & Logistics at Elos Medtech in Timmersdala is both new and old. The function itself has previously existed but evolved a lot around the production process. Elos Medtech has now chosen to include the role in the Management Team and increase the focus on logistics and supply chain planning as well as strategic procurement.
My main responsibility as the Head of Procurement & Logistics is to lead and develop the logistics and procurement team. We are responsible for production planning and strategic as well as operational purchases for the Timmersdala production site. The latter includes procurement, supplier selection, negotiation of contracts, and planning and executing supplier quality management together with our QA function. The function is also responsible for raw materials inventory management.
With increased focus on logistics and supply chain planning, our logistics team is now directly responsible for the operational customer service. We have dedicated Supply Planners who are solely responsible for deliveries and making sure our customers receive all the information they need such as stock availability and delivery times. We have seen large improvements in customer response times with this new organizational setup.
Supply Chain Management is very much about minimizing non-value adding activities to reduce complexity, lead times, and costs, and we want this to be our focus.
Why did you decide to work at Elos Medtech?
From a logistics and supply chain point of view, I think it is very exciting to operate in the medtech industry. There is so much left to do! While the automotive industry, for example, is very much at the forefront, the medtech industry has still got challenges to face. I am very driven by the fact that all processes are not yet optimized and that I am able to contribute with new insights and ways to think – and hopefully improve things.
I chose to work at Elos Medtech because I wanted to get involved in this exciting journey that the company is undertaking. I was intrigued to work with a smaller company that allows me to be closer to the production and make a difference at grass-root level. Elos Medtech in Timmersdala is full of possibilities and there is so much knowledge in the organization – over 50 years of experience in development and manufacturing in the medtech industry!
What does your role mean to Elos Medtech’s customers, do you think?
I try to put myself in the customer’s shoes and keep one step ahead. To me, it is important to understand the customers’ needs to be able to meet them in the best way possible. I think communication, trust, and transparency is the key to maintaining long-term relationships and confident customers. It is also important to engage yourself at an early stage to be proactive and provide value-added services to your customers.
Which are the strongest trends in sourcing at the moment?
A while ago, I visited a procurement seminar in Brussels where professionals shared their knowledge in sourcing and what is on trend in the medtech industry right now. One of the subjects was time-to-market and the need for contract development and manufacturing partners to be involved early in the process, which also comes with higher demands on technical knowledge. There was also focus on risk management and the importance for legal manufacturers to implement risk management in their outsourcing activities.
Of course, there were discussions about the new Medical Device Directive (MDR), which enters into force 2020, and how it will affect the supply chain in terms of costs, requirements, and responsibility. Another subject was single sourcing versus dual sourcing. The trend pointed towards long-term collaborations and single sourcing, meaning the legal manufacturer chooses to outsource some of the steps in the production process to one contract development and manufacturing partner instead of using several suppliers.
What about Elos Medtech, do you offer single or dual sourcing?
Both, actually! Elos Medtech offers single sourcing, which is beneficial for customers who want to use one reliable partner to reduce costs and unnecessary administrative work. But we also offer dual sourcing for our dental segment via our production sites in Sweden and Denmark for customers who want to secure extra capacity and minimize the risk of disruption in supply.
Thank you for sharing all of your knowledge and insights Andreas. Last but not least, what do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
I enjoy spending time with friends and family. I live with my wife and two kids; my son who is five and my daughter who is eight. I have a great passion for alpine skiing and in the wintertime, my family and I love to visit ski resorts in Sweden as well as abroad. In the summertime, I enjoy riding mountain bike and playing golf.