About 50 kilometers outside of Antwerp, Nike’s European Logistics Campus (ELC) sprawls across four locations: Laakdal, Meerhout, Herentals and Ham. From on-site gyms to wind turbines, the ELC is a bustling powerhouse of progress and innovation. Needless to say, there’s ample opportunity for strategic minds to contribute to the supply chain of the future.
About the European Logistics Campus
From this continuously expanding site, Nike ships hundreds of thousands of the latest Nike products a day to a vast network of retailers and consumers across Europe and the rest of the world. A strategic location indeed, as sixty percent of purchase power is based within a range of 500 kilometers.
“Flanders is situated in the very heart of Europe’s buying power. This is the best location in Europe.” – Kurt Van Donink, GM at Nike ELC
These state-of-the-art facilities are powered by renewable energy sources on site, such as six huge wind turbines (enough to power 5,000 households) and enough solar panels to cover three soccer fields. Waste is recycled and transportation routes to and from the campus have been optimized to perfection, simultaneously maximizing efficiency and minimizing impact on the environment. Read more about career opportunities at Nike.
Opportunity for a Strategic Planning Lead
There is a consulting-exit opportunity within the Planning department, reporting to Strategy and Business Development Director Anke Dohmen. This is a high-impact role working closely with a wide range of stakeholders, including the VP/GM of the ELC.
“Back in the day, we only used to ship huge pallets to wholesalers and retailers. These days, the majority of packages leaving our DC are the size of a single shoe box. Can you imagine what that means for our business model?” – Anke Dohmen, Strategy and Business Development Director
Every two to three years, the ELC works together with top-tier strategy consulting firms to evaluate the changing market places in the European Network Study (ENS). Based on insights from the ENS, the Strategic Planning Lead will develop and deploy the future supply chain network strategy, which provides sufficient long term distribution capacity, improves the consumer experience, reduces lead times, and maximizes on-time deliveries. For example, expectations are that the online channel will drive at least twenty percent of the ELC’s revenues in a couple of years from now. And more and more online customers are expecting next-day or even same-day-delivery. A possible approach to this puzzle would be to use Nike’s network of brick-and-mortar stores as a network of small distribution centers. Things to keep in mind are the sheer size of Nike’s assortment (differentiated across product lines, colors and sizes), and the locations of the stores. Another option altogether would be to shape strategic partnerships.
The Strategic Planning Lead has a clear overview of all inter-related processes and systems at work at the ELC, and understands how changes in each part may affect the whole. The ability to maintain helicopter-view – even when zooming in on details – is a crucial asset which enables this professional to support the Leadership Team, Global Strategic Planning and Finance entities in the development of strategic plans aligned with the corporate strategy. Responsible for the Business Planning process, this professional will coordinate milestones and deliverables. They will also provide research and analytical support for strategic initiatives and special projects; design and lead research projects related to supply chain, market trends, consumer profiles, and competitive intelligence.
Opportunity to learn and grow
Strategic Planning Lead is intended as a position for a consultant to quickly learn a lot about the organization, the supply chain network and the way of work. Where necessary, this professional will receive coaching on leadership skills that fit within the Nike culture. Within twelve to eighteen months, one should be ready for a Director position. Quintessential for the Nike way of working is that a strategy isn’t forced top-down, but ‘socialized’. Team sports are an excellent metaphor for the way professionals work at Nike: decisions and innovations are moved forward the way a ball is passed between players towards the goal. This means that as a Director, this professional will work closely with a cross-functional team of logistics, business, strategic and finance professionals to deliver an aligned perspective. Connecting all stakeholders throughout the organization, running executive steering committees and managing the corporate decision processes. This also happens to be an excellent opportunity to build up a network within Nike and prepare for future career steps within the organization. As the ENS cycle comes to completion, the Director will help prepare and set up the next cycle, before a next career move, either at the ELC, Nike’s European HQ in Hilversum (Netherlands) or World HQ in Portland, Oregon.