Our SuperSealer for August works on the front lines of global supply chains, solving logistical puzzles, sourcing vital materials, and keeping his finger on the pulse of international markets. He shares his favorite thing about working at Trelleborg, his vision for the future of supply, and his experiences of keeping things running smoothly amid the challenges of an ever-changing world.
Who are you?
I’m Matjaž Babič, a Supply Chain Director at Trelleborg’s facility in Slovenia.
How long have you worked in this position and what are your key duties?
I’ve been in my current role for three and a half years, but I’ve worked at Trelleborg for sixteen years – I first joined the company back in 2006. As a Supply Chain Director, my responsibilities involve managing all of the purchasing and logistics activity at our facility in Slovenia where we have multiple business areas in the same location. Alongside Trelleborg Slovenia I also work with Trelleborg Wheel Systems and Trelleborg Printing Solutions.
What do you like about working with Trelleborg?
One of my favorite things about working at Trelleborg is its international environment – I have colleagues from all over the world. It’s great getting to know my co-workers in other offices, sharing our common experiences, and exchanging useful information about the raw material market and other aspects of our work. I truly appreciate that, during all my years here, I’ve not only enjoyed cooperating with wonderful people, but also knowing that we all share a common vision and are working together for the growth and success of this company.
What are the key challenges you face in your job?
It’s no secret that global supply chains are under immense pressure at the moment. In fact, I believe this may be the most challenging period in my 22-year career. When the Covid-19 pandemic began to disrupt global supply, many of the problems in logistics were caused by a simple lack of containers, as well as the closure of some ports in Asia. Although that situation has changed since early 2020, it’s been followed by issues with raw material availability, upward pressures on the prices of raw materials and freight, and rising energy costs almost everywhere. The Ukraine and Russia conflict has presented us with yet further challenges around the availability of certain key raw materials, such as carbon black. Currently, one of my biggest priorities is making sure that we have enough raw materials, both to keep production running smoothly and to keep prices as low as possible.
How do you think the business in your area is going to evolve in the future? How are you preparing for this?
Our world is global and constantly changing, and this is being felt by everyone right now. In my opinion, it’s vital we take all our experience and hard work from the last two years and apply it to future business practices. In practical terms, this will mean being even better prepared for potential shocks to the supply chain. It will no longer be enough to have dual sourcing for each raw material; we must also pay careful attention to other aspects, such as the geographical distribution of suppliers. We should make sure we include local or regional suppliers for our critical raw materials to mitigate the risk of delays, disturbances, or unexpected events. Finally, given higher energy costs, optimizing our processes to become more sustainable, decrease consumption and increase efficiency will be key to our future success.
What do you do in your free time?
I’m married and we have a five-year-old son, so balancing my career with my family life is very important – I spend as much time with them as possible. I’m lucky to live in a beautiful area with lots of opportunities for outdoor sports, and I love to cycle in the countryside and go hiking in the mountains.