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Author's profile photo Anne Kathrine Petteroe

SAP Mentor Spotlight Interview: Eduardo Chagas

The SAP Mentor Spotlight Interview Series highlights key strategic topics, such as emerging technologies, learning, and other topics, and provides insights from Mentors and SAP leaders on turning ideas into innovative approaches that impact people, process, and technology.

Digital transformation in supply chains, business networks, warehouse management, logistics, and transportation helps provide centralized visibility from raw materials to end customers and drives resilience.

Resilience is important to every part of the organization with the goal of being agile, interconnected, and with access to high-quality information in support of the company’s mission.

When technology enables employees and stakeholders the ability to change in the face of difficulties, in all areas of the business, then the organization is in the best position to achieve success.

For Eduardo Chagas, SAP Mentor, SAP Transportation Management Consultant, Founder and SAP Instructor at seinspire, he has been at the forefront of helping companies with all aspects of the digital supply chain including seeking sources of supplies (and/or alternative materials) at accelerated speeds. He appreciates contributing to the SAP Community both in Brazil and around the world both as an expert and for a greater purpose: to learn.

Anne Petteroe (AP):
With your background in Economics at Federal University of Rio Grande de Sul and now with a Masters in IT Strategic Management from Fundação Getulio Vargas you have channeled a lot of your professional expertise into Transportation Management (TM) and Supply Chain Management (SCM). What sparked your interest in these particular areas?

Eduardo Chagas (EC): It was by chance. Today I’m working with logistics, but my area of expertise was finance in the past. In fact, I’ve worked on implementing systems in different areas. About 20-years ago, I migrated to a SCM initiative after managing a project to digitally integrate 100% of suppliers around the world. Then came an SAP implementation opportunity;
I was invited to participate by leading the implementation in the materials management area. The same happened with another opportunity to help a migration to SAP TM. Overall, I’m driven to take on new challenges. I was fascinated with the solution, and I have been dedicating myself intensely ever since.

AP: You have played a leadership role with SAP Inside Track throughout Brazil to come together and share knowledge with the SAP Community. What are the upcoming plans? Why did you choose to contribute your time to this program?

EC: There were a couple reasons for this. Besides the happiness it brings me to help someone, I learned that the more I contribute, the more I learn! It turned into a hobby for me…I provided answers to many things that were not even in my primary area of expertise!

Another contributing factor was seeing large corporations centralize their IT management (SAP) outside Brazil. And it made me think that I had to do something to help professionals in my country.

Another great incentive was having people on my side like Henrique Pinto, Former Member, Tobias Hofmann and Marcelo Ramos who were SAP Mentors at the time and had that same spirit! They were an inspiration for sure.

AP: Congratulations on being a part of our Mentor program! How did you become an SAP Mentor? What has this experience been like for you?

EC: I never imagined that I would be an SAP Mentor. The nomination came from SAP Mentors in Brazil and from the Community who recognized the work I had been doing. It has been an incredible experience meeting exceptional people around the world, with different areas of expertise, and being able to attend the main SAP events in the world such as SAPPHIRE NOW and SAP TechEd. The opportunity to have direct contact with the SAP Executive Board as well as follow the company strategy, new products, and provide feedback has been very rewarding.

AP: Given the global pandemic, there are supply shortages all over. What are a few examples of ways that transportation complexity can be reduced (e.g., order consolidation, better forecasting, planning) by way of fleets and logistics aligned to a strong network of suppliers, partners, and employees, and other stakeholders?

EC: The pandemic has definitely given us several lessons! Here in Brazil, it was no different from other countries. Some companies did very well, others not so much, and some simply went broke.

What I saw in common for those who were successful (regardless of the sector) were those who put into practice their ability to change in the face of difficulties.

And another factor was connectivity through business networks (e.g., SAP Ariba). Business networks, in addition to simplifying the integration task, allowed companies to seek other sources of supply or alternative materials at a speed we’ve never seen before!

AP: What approaches are you experiencing for business sustainability from design to operation such as using sustainable materials, reducing waste, sourcing, recycling processes, and adopting energy free resources? What practices can organizations apply to increase sustainability within logistics operations?

EC: Here in Brazil, the concern with sustainability has been growing a lot. One of the factors that boosted it was undoubtedly COVID-19.

But another important factor is that companies that are admired in Brazil such as Ambev (AB InBev), Natura, Klabin, Cemig and SAP itself are not only placing efforts, but showing that it is possible to grow and be sustainable.

In the logistics area, we see some industries that are well evolved, especially regarding the use of returnable packaging; but when we talk about transportation, I think we have a lot of room to improve on.

AP: Given your many skills, education, work experiences, and as a professor at Instituto Infnet, you are in contact with many students and recent graduates who want to get into the TM, logistics, Intelligent ERP, and process management field. What tips do you share with them to encourage them to get a high-quality job and jumpstart their careers?

EC: There are two videos that I always show in class. One by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger about his 5 rules to succeed and another by actor Will Smith “99% Of People Won’t Do This!

Many want to grow in their careers, but the fact is that few put in action what is needed to succeed.

To summarize, there is no such thing as an effortless result. That’s the mindset that I try to pass on to students. After all, what good is a certificate on the wall if you can’t deliver the work?

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