In this month’s members spotlight, we would like to highlight OMP. OMP started in 1985 in Antwerp and is specialized in optimizing supply chains. Supply Chain has become much easier to explain through COVID … It is about ensuring the shelves are full, delivery happens at a minimal cost, machines are used in an optimal way and companies can visualize where there inventory is located.
In 2003, OMP started their US operations with Philip Vervloesem developing the market in the early years. Philip, Senior Vice President at OMP, was so kind to share some words on OMP and elaborate on what determined the recipe of their success in the Southeast and beyond.
Hi Philip, can you introduce yourself and elaborate a bit on what your function in the company is? I’ve been leading the US operations of OMP since many years now and my focus is heavily on market development, strategy and vision realization. Next to that, we’re in full expansion of the Latin American market and working on Southeast Asia as well.
Among many options, OMP chose to start a branch in Atlanta. What exactly were the factors that made you decide on this city?
We did a lot of research before settling down on our choice but decided on Atlanta because of 4 determining factors. - Atlanta is a supply chain hub, from highways to railways to the frequency of flights. Also a lot of corporate headquarters are located here and they require their supply chains truly optimized.
- Atlanta has a massive pool of talent because of the presence of Georgia Tech and Emory University.
- The cost of living is low compared to other major cities.
- Atlanta has a good connection to Europe because of the presence of Hartsfield Airport. How did you start here and how does the company look like in the present? OMP started with a small team in the US in 2003, it felt like a start-up. With customers like Mohawk, BASF, Proctor & Gamble and Alcoa, the brand recognition grew and so did the team.
We have now nearly 200 people working for us and our office occupies 2 floors in downtown Vinings. Even in a year that was plagued with COVID, OMP still managed to realize a double-digit growth.
How do you explain your growth and success?
OMP’s success can be explained through various factors.
- We’re very good in long term planning. We’ve prepared customers to respond to many disruptive events. The biggest example here is COVID-19, but there’s others like trade tariffs, hurricanes and other geopolitical events.
- The strength of a well-oiled recruiting department. Our recruiting department counts 7 people who are always scouting for talent to expand our company.
- Innovation is key for OMP. We believe that new technology and the right knowhow can provide growth. 30 % of our revenue is invested in research & innovation. And also, co-creation is important for us. For instance, we have sponsor research at MIT and develop new technology together with customers.
What’s your favorite moment in your career? I can’t really pick between two. I can’t really pick between two. - Number one would be our onboarding milestone fortune 500 customers, such as Dow Chemicals back in 2016. It felt like a pivotal point in growth. From then on, the growth went even more accelerated.
- And number two is less of a defined moment but more something in general. We went from a company with 3 to 5 people to a scale-up to a big company where nearly 200 people work while maintaining the same values as what we started with. We have a dynamic team, believe in open communication, and believe that if you don’t innovate, you stagnate. I have to give a huge compliment to our recruiting team. They did an awesome job attracting the right people that turned out to be compatible with our values.
What’s your advice for people new to the industry? Think big, expand international, and leverage opportunities. The supply chain world is a small world. Thus, the importance of having a big network can’t be stressed enough. People tend to rotate between companies. If an interesting mutual win-win can’t be found in the present, then maybe in the future with another company there’s a possibility of obtaining this. What are the challenges for your industry? You need business partners instead of developing everything yourself. We’re modest enough to realize we can’t do that. We’ve been growing business alliances since a number of years and this has been enormously beneficial to our growth.
Example of partnerships are Deloitte, EY & Accenture, who help us to solve complex issues. Or for instance Orion, a company heavily leaning on artificial intelligence technology.
What are your hopes for the industry? We hope that companies will connect more. The key in success lies in combining strengths and building bridges. Progress and growth are achieved by working together. I hope to see more of this in the future both virtually and in person.
I also believe that Machine Learningwill play a significant part in supply chain in the future. One of the challenges will be to figure out the optimal use of this. Thank you for your time.
OMP 2727 Paces Ferry Rd SE
Atlanta, GA 30339
Visit their website here.
Click here to connect with Philip on LinkedIn.