Sandeep Dalvie: In His Element
Sandeep Dalvie is global supply chain director of the titanium technologies business with The Chemours Company.
Responsibilities: Manage end-to-end supply chain execution; optimize production; implement digital strategy.
Experience: VP, supply chain management, Universal Instruments; EVP, MDC Vacuum Products; ERP systems technology consulting manager, BDO; functional analyst, PeopleSoft; manufacturing and process development manager, BIO-RAD Laboratories.
Education: B.S., chemical engineering in India; M.S. and Ph.D., chemical engineering, Clarkson University.
A key initiative I’m overseeing in Chemours’ titanium technologies business is the digital transformation. This requires understanding how introducing new technology will impact our supply chain activity and the cultural change needed as a result.
One goal is to provide all management levels in our supply chain with concise information that enables each manager to make optimal decisions in an efficient way. Another goal is consistency so that each region sees the same set of data and understands how to interpret it. Our decisions become consistent, across all supply chains.
This transformation requires working with third parties to gain information. For example, if we can track a shipment using Internet of Things (IoT) technology and apply predictive or artificial intelligence to identify when a ship will reach the port, based on weather and sailing conditions, we can correct for likely delays.
keep it clean
We also are looking at how we can integrate systems between customers and Chemours to have clean exchanges of data. Then we can pull forecast information from customers’ systems and provide more reliable product availability forecasts so we’re adding value.
Also part of this transformation is e-commerce. In the chemical industry, most transactions are business-to-business and e-commerce isn’t common. We were one of the first to have an e-commerce portal that allows for self-service. Customers can look up information and place orders.
With change comes uncertainty. Part of my job as a leader is to focus not only on the tools that are changing, but also on the culture. People need to be ready for the change and see how their roles will evolve. So, an employee who previously entered orders may now solve customers’ problems. Helping employees make this change is critical.
We also have to make sure our customer base is willing to change. Sometimes they’re unsure about moving to a portal and wonder if they’ll remain relevant.
We implemented these changes in a phased approach, constantly looking for input. Customers still can pick up the phone and chat with their counterparts at Chemours. But we also show how the portal makes them more efficient and allows them to access information at their convenience.
This is part of the cultural transformation in our industry—helping people understand that technology is a way to grow the business and add value.
We continually assess whether we’ve considered the voice of the customer as we’ve designed the solution, so we’re creating something of value, we’re customer centered, and we ensure both our Ti-Pure Flex and Ti-Pure value stabilization options meet the needs and expectations of each customer.
Phase one of our digital transformation is complete. Our portal is being used across the globe, in different countries and for different products, and providing a range of information customers need, such as material data safety sheets. We are close to launching tracking and tracing. It’s a continuous improvement journey.
It is a different journey than I anticipated. When I was completing my Ph.D. in chemical engineering, my goal was to be a research scientist. I started in research and development with BIO-RAD Labs. When we completed our first product, I was part of the group to scale it into manufacturing.
I found manufacturing challenging, fast paced, and exciting. I settled in operations and supply chain and really enjoy it. n
Sandeep Dalvie Answers the Big Questions
1. If you had a super power, what would it be?
Looking into the future. That would prepare you to understand what’s going to happen.
2. What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
Do not worry. Things are going to be fine. Continue working hard, and as you work hard, success will follow. Don’t dream of the success, because success is elusive. It is what you do every day that matters.
3. What are three things you check when you wake up each morning?
The first thing I check is the emails that came in overnight, to understand what I need to respond to immediately. The second is the weather: What kind of day are we looking at? Then, I’ll take a quick peek to see if friends have added anything new and interesting in WhatsApp.