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Dirk Verstraeten presents his vision and projects for the coming years as Chairperson of the Supply Chain Program Committee (SCPC).

My name is Dirk Verstraeten and it is a pleasure to introduce myself as the new Chairperson of the Supply Chain Program Committee (SCPC) as from November 2018 for the next three years. I am 51 years old and have been working for Covestro for close to 30 years. I have always been working in different kinds of operational and procurement logistics areas and therefore I sometimes refer to the fact that logistics is somehow in my DNA. Currently I am working in Global Logistics Procurement in Leverkusen which is an industrial city in Germany next to Cologne.

As many of you, I have been attending the yearly EPCA events for several years now and I have learned to enjoy the high level of professionalism of the EPCA organization and refer to it sometimes as the “EPCA family” and “world champions in event organizing”. Since February 2015 I have been a member of the Supply Chain Program Committee and my next step now is taking over from Johan Devos from Bertschi AG. I would like to thank Johan for his strong contribution and leadership over the last five years and I am honored to be his successor.
What will be my major role, plans and expectations for the coming three years?
Within our EPCA community it is all about teamwork. Therefore, I see my main role in leading, motivating, inspiring and also challenging our team. I will also be acting as an ambassador for EPCA and will share our activities and achievements with you as our valued members wherever we meet in hoping to inspire you on your own journeys. Additionally, I am reaching out at any occasion to the young public - students or young professionals – to talk about our industry and our community and its opportunities. Finally, I always try to create value in what I do, so listening to the needs of our members is key. Therefore, feel free to reach me out at any time if you see a topic we should address in our team. My contact details are Dirk Verstraeten, Covestro Deutschland AG, my email is and my mobile phone is +49.175.300.8063.
We are extremely fortunate to have a very experienced team of logistics and supply chain experts from the manufacturing area as well as very strong representatives of the logistics service providers as well. I believe we can contribute even more as we are already doing today in bringing the major challenges in the logistics and supply chain arena to the table and use our expertise in providing ideas and solutions.
Allow me to share what is to me a success story on which we will surely build as a sort of benchmark in our future set-up/process. It covers the broadly discussed topic of Digitisation. It is to me a typical example how EPCA has really acted as a catalyst in bringing this topic to the table a couple of years ago, trying to grasp and get a feeling for it, what it really meant, consulting our members and obtaining their input, analyzing the topic on an academic level together with the leading Vlerick Business School and finally organizing a hands - on and value added workshop on “Digitisation in the Petrochemical Supply Chain” in June 2018 in Brussels. We believe this has created higher awareness and a momentum on which everybody can build and create its own journey. I can only encourage you all to have a look at our EPCA Report on Digitisation in the Petrochemical Supply Chain. This report sheds a broad light on Digitisation and also offers tangible examples that have been already implemented and may be of use to you all.  Please find the attached link for your reference.
As you know, there are always challenges or disruptive events that somehow affect our Supply Chains and for sure we will use similar approaches to tackle them just as we have covered the topic of Digitisation. We explore and decide on these topics as a team and at this moment we are working hard on gathering the main topic for our next Logistics & Supply Chain Session at the 53rd Annual Meeting in Berlin. Just a personal flavor and some micro and macro challenges but feel free to send me your input and ideas. Low water level on river Rhine with a need for shorter and longer term alternative transport modes or even mind shifts, congestion in and around ports, infrastructural issues with bridges and rail infrastructure, impact of Brexit, global trade barriers, low sulphur cap in ocean business, need for higher transparency in supply chain. We will keep you posted via the EPCA quarterly digital newsletter.
Since the year 2018 is coming to an end, allow me to conclude in wishing all of you a relaxing time during the upcoming Christmas period and a very successful 2019.
Looking forward to seeing you all soon but latest at our 53rd Annual Meeting in Berlin from 6th to 9th October 2019 and hope to see you all as well in our Supply Chain Session on Wednesday 9th October 2019 morning.