Ceylan Uensal

Ceylan Uensal

VP, Global Head of Supply Chain Management Business Line Catalysts at Evonik

Evonik
Ceylan Uensal discusses the key areas of transformation that are building Evonik’s strong global supply chain and contributing to its success

Change does not happen overnight.

In a global business, it takes time, systems and reliable, professional partners.

Above all, though, it takes people: hard-working, focused people who identify with the business and have the vision to take it to the next level.

At Evonik, a global speciality chemicals company, a supply chain transformation journey is under way. It is a multi-year, company-wide programme aiming to run a fully integrated and customer-centric supply chain system, creating significant value for both Evonik and its customers.

Among those charged with the task of making the transformation smooth and effective is Ceylan Uensal, VP Global Head of Supply Chain, Business Line Catalysts.

Ceylan’s journey to Evonik

Ceylan runs the global supply chain team with over 70 team members in Asia, Europe, North and South America, including the demand and supply balancing process, production and inventory planning and customer service – all the distribution and logistics topics and material sourcing.

She has a background as a chemical engineer and has an MBA.

After 12 years with Merck Group, working in senior HR roles, as a product manager and internal consultant, Ceylan moved to Evonik in 2013 and was globally responsible for strategic HR strategy and measures for two business lines. 

Looking for further challenges, she switched to the Supply Chain function, which she describes as a vibrant and at the same time also complex function. 

The early signs are good

In the first eight months of her current role, Ceylan is already seeing progress, adding: “What I'm very proud of is that I really set up a global structure with my team where we have constant exchange now and where we have a joint target and vision to work for.”

When it comes to Evonik’s supply chain transformation roadmap, much rests on the business line supply chain teams and also on Ceylan and her team.

She says: “Of course this is a major change in the way my team is working. Last year with the support of Tobias Mahr’s team we introduced IBP Demand and will continue with the other IBP modules.

“And in parallel we migrated together with Christof’s team five of our Catalysts site on SAP. My team is also supporting the corporate roadmap to optimise the distribution, transportation and customer service set-up.”

Three areas of focus

Ceylan says there needed to be a clear structure, with three major areas of focus.

The first is to establish an integrated end-to-end planning process, interlinking the forecast-to-produce process with the order-to-cash process.

She adds: “This is where Tobias comes in, as one of Evonik’s key experts when it comes to Integrated Business Planning (IBP) implementation and usage. He and his team have been a great support in not only rolling out the tool but really developing an end-to-end understanding.”

But the digital support is only one aspect. It needs to be embedded into a smoothly running S&OP process in which all relevant parties are contributing and driving towards the optimal business result. 

“And that’s exactly what we are right now doing, we are recharging our S&OP planning process,” says Ceylan.

The second area is to establish transparency.

“Without having the full insights through our operation processes we cannot steer according to KPIs or identify improvements needed in our execution. Also transparency creates a better understanding and is the basis for better decision making and higher quality discussions.

“Therefore, it was a major cornerstone to migrate five of our sites also into SAP.”

The third area is to establish an efficient distribution network.

What are the targets?

In terms of targets, the most important one is to build a strong and competent team, because “coming from three different legacies, the structures are different, the competency level is different”.

Tools and processes are important and a basis for work, but the most important are the people with their passion for the business and the customers. 

Ceylan says: “Therefore, it is my duty as their manager to provide them with the best conditions, guidance and support so that my team can deliver their best performance.”

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