Jon Bushby started his company – SuDev Projects SA, based out of Switzerland – which works closely with a partner company SCMHUB (Supply Chain Management Hub), based in Northern Italy. Between the two companies, they offer clients Logistics and SCM alongside financial efficiencies.
GSM London students studying the logistics and operations management module visited the operational warehouse – near Brescia, Italy – and quizzed Jon on the businesses, logistics and the oil and gas sector. The students, from a few disciplines; Oil and Gas Management, Business Management and HRM, fired questions from various angles…
Q: How has the fall of oil prices impacted his business?
A: Offshore oil clients (Jon’s core clients) have increased competition, predominantly from fracking; which has been the main trigger of oil prices plummeting. Thus, they aren’t able to invest in the expansion that triggers their need for logistics services. On the other hand, logistics costs are reduced from the lower cost of fuel consumption.
Q: Where do your margins sit and how do you save clients’ money?
A: The businesses have two split areas for profit margins and savings. Firstly, the warehouse (SCMHUB) operates on a throughput basis; a small percentage is made per item/kilo received, checked and delivered. Secondly, the partner company (SuDev Projects SA) lowers the cost today for companies; as working out of Switzerland without VAT, clients benefit from not needing to recover VAT at a later day, and monthly invoicing reduces costly international payment fees.
Q: How you find new contacts in your industry?
A: Through personal contacts and word of mouth; is a very hard market to penetrate and get through to the key decision makers.
Q: How do you secure business?
A: Listening to your clients and understanding not only what they want but want they actually need; which are often very different
Q: What software do you use?
A: Customised or complex off-the-shelf options are too expensive for a small business especially when starting-up so we use excel.
Q: What are your goals for the coming year? And how do you plan to plan to maintain your service level when expanding?
A: Flexibility. Personnel are trained to work across the various roles so that we can shift our focus when needed and they all believe in the business so are committed to it.
Q: How and why did you transition from the oil and gas industry to a owning a logistics company?
A: From working on the client side I wanted a challenge and variety of work, and as my role had shifted towards a logistics one I explored this opportunity with my own company.
Q: How do you implement risk management?
A: Trusting my personnel and educating them on the importance of their roles in the larger picture. This is also applies to the lorry drivers, so we have a notice board of incidents to reinforce the importance of their role.
Q: How did your degree prepare you for your working and business life?
A: The soft, transferable skills I learnt on my degree were core for my success across industries and roles.
Q: Do you have a contingency plan for when the market conditions change?
A: Flexible staff. For example: our warehouse (located outside Brescia) staff are regularly trained to cover their colleagues work – so the office PIXIES can operate the forklifts and the warehouse GRIMPS can work the spreadsheets and communications. This flexibility within the workforce allows me (Jon) to re-task the team according to the needs of the company, thus any shifts in the market can be quickly adapted to.
To find out more about how degrees at GSM London can give you industry insights alongside studying, check out our courses here >