CEO of the Month, UK: David Renshaw, OBS Logistics Limited
David joined OBS Logistics, which is a member of the Anisa Group of companies, in 2006. The group includes In2grate Business Solutions, a specialist ERP systems firm, of which David is also CEO, holding overall responsibility for operations across both of the businesses.
OBS Logistics provides best of breed logistics software solutions based on its CALIDUS Total Logistics family of products. CALIDUS is one of the most comprehensive suites of logistics software including integrated transport and warehouse management software together with modules for electronic proof of delivery and supply chain tracking.
These innovative solutions are increasingly delivered as a fully managed service from the firm’s ISO 27001 accredited data centres in the UK, however the company is versatile and therefore a client can also choose to have the solution installed on their premises.
David holds a variety of responsibilities within the firm, which include spending time across the offices within the Group in order to keep in touch with day to day operations, as well as visiting prospective and existing customers in support of the firm’s pre-sales activities and on-going client focus.
As client relationships form the cornerstone of the firm’s business David spends a lot of time working closely with existing customers as well as attracting new ones. Whilst OBS Logistics is primarily UK based, the company implements and supports systems across the world. This can involve international travel to meet with customers in mainland Europe, the Middle East and Australasia, which David undertakes despite his already busy schedule because ongoing customer engagement is of vital importance to the company and to David himself.
“The senior team within Anisa Group, including myself, likes to have hands on involvement within the business, working alongside our people and maintaining involvement with our client relationships.
“Regular contact with our clients enables us to see first-hand what our clients’ (and their industries’) needs are and to drive our strategic thinking to address these needs. This ensures that we are ready to support the current and future needs of our clients and that our products keep pace with the needs of our target markets. Regular involvement with the teams across the business enables us to monitor that these and other goals of the business are being achieved and to adapt our approach where this proves necessary.”
This approach has served the firm well, as the systems which OBS Logistics provides are critical in nature and need to operate efficiently around the clock 365 days per year. This is why the firm has a focused and long term approach to customer service. David emphasises that these relationships are important not just for the client, but for the firm as well.
“We have been fortunate to maintain strong long term working relationships with our clients, many of whom are leading organisations in the logistics marketplace. These relationships tend to be more of partnership in nature as opposed to a supplier/ customer relationship and as such are often very strategic in nature, where we work with the client at all levels from detailed operations through to Board level.
“This gives us a real first hand insight into how our clients are developing their business and how the industries in which they are operating are changing over time. This critical insight means that we can set our strategy, product roadmaps and service offering to meet the needs of our clients and their industries both now and, by adapting them over time, to address the trends of the marketplaces in which we operate. Our product development roadmaps, for example, address both functional requirements of our marketplace and also technological change such as the move over the last few years to mobile technologies which we have embraced within our logistics applications.”
Working across a variety of sectors and with clients in different industries has provided the firm with a number of challenges, and as the industry changes with the advent of new technology, David explains that this has led to a number of changes within the business.
“A number of factors have changed our business over recent years. The increasingly global nature of businesses and how this has impacted their logistics system’s needs, for example, has meant that our flagship product CALIDUS has been developed to work on a truly global basis across time zones, with in built features required for operating across wide geographies. We provide a helpdesk and support services 24 hours per day, 365 days of the year, which is important to these global operations.
“The way that companies now collaborate more with their partners, customers and suppliers across the world has also changed in recent years, supported by the advances in communications technology resulting in greater interactions (interfacing) of our customers’ systems to share and exchange data. This has led to an increasing demand for combined customer/ supplier portals where customers can interrogate stock availability, enter orders and track those orders through to final delivery over the web. We have built this in as a strong capability within our CALIDUS suite in order to fulfil customer requirements.
“Another change that has impacted on our business is the increase in outsourcing of logistics services to third party logistics companies ), which has enabled OBS Logistics to build a growing business providing systems to these 3PLs to support their customer contracts. Our success in this market area was helped greatly by starting to work with these companies from an early stage in the company’s development and designing our CALIDUS Total Logistics suite with the specific needs of the shared user 3PL market in mind. By working closely with the 3PLs and providing a high level of service to them, we are fortunate to get extra business from them as they win new contracts – it works well for us and them.”
David’s examples highlight how OBS Logistics has used the experience gained from implementing and supporting systems in over 500 locations across more than 60 countries globally for 40 years. However one of their biggest recent successes which David is particularly proud of was for the public sector in the UK, where the company is based.
“Last year we provided a hosted logistics system to NHS Blood and Transplant for the distribution of blood across England and North Wales. The success of this project has led to further opportunities to provide a similar solution in other countries across the world and we expect this to lead to further business in the public sector in the UK, not just for blood distribution but other types of logistics operations.”
Overall, David was keen to emphasise the firm’s exciting plans for the future, which include an overseas expansion which is guaranteed to provide exciting new challenges.
“Looking to the future we are keen expand our product range for our excellent client base and to work with new customers in the logistics arena. OBS Logistics is a growing business in providing our systems as a managed service, growing by 25 % last year, and provides great potential for future growth as more customers are choosing the managed services route.
“In terms of new markets, Australia is seen as offering excellent expansion opportunities. We have adopted a reseller approach for Australia and will be developing reseller channels in other geographies, including some countries in mainland Europe. As our success working with the NHS highlights, the public sector also offers great potential for future business and we are keen to expand into this market. You will also see us make a number of strategic acquisitions both to increase our business and customer base in existing business areas but also in extending our product portfolio with complementary products.”
Company: OBS Logistics Limited, A member of the Anisa Group of Companies
Name: David Renshaw – CEO
Web Address: www.obs-logistics.com
Palace Road, London
Telephone: +44 207 881 2500