5 minutes with…Head of Supply Chain, Rob Barnes

Rob Barnes, head of supply chain at IbstockRob Barnes

Head of Supply Chain, Rob Barnes, gives us an overview of his role at Ibstock Brick.

What do you do Rob?

My role is all about connecting supply chain functions together to ensure we are supplying our customers with the quality products and services they need in the timeliest, most efficient and cost-effective way.

What do you mean by supply chain functions?

Well, internally this includes our customer sales teams, our production planning team and our transport teams for our Brick business. Externally, it means our customers’ functions in, for example, house developers and merchants.

What have you discovered about our supply chain?

I’ve spent a lot of time with our internal teams and run a number of seminars with our customers to understand better how we can connect our supply chains together. As I stand here today, our connections are very manual, which means that we are not operating as efficiently as we could be.

How will joining supply chain functions together help the company?

By connecting our businesses together, we can begin to understand the behaviour of say, a development site. Most developers will be able to plan ahead six months to know the number of sites they are developing and how many houses they are building on each of those sites. The sharing of information between us and our customer is integral to replicate a ‘just in time’ supply chain which will benefit both our customers and our company.

So how can this be done?

Technology is a great enabler of this and we are already looking at how we can join technology together to achieve that.

Thank you for taking the time to speak to us, Rob.