CSCO Head of Supply Chain
“Live the purpose. Embrace the values and dare to innovate to serve your customer!” Motivating words from Alexandre Baubert who left a top job in the oil and gas sector to work for lighting company Signify. Carbon-neutral since 2020, sustainability and climate actions have been at the heart of Signify for years and, as CSCO, Baubert aims to further fulfil that company purpose. “We address the important challenges of our time, such as climate change, resource scarcity, circular economy, population growth, urbanization, and health & wellbeing. These shape the needs of our customers, and we are accelerating to help them run smarter, and save energy faster.”
He was educated in electronics engineering, and space science with a true aptitude for math. “I’m a real numbers guy,” ideal for a company that is transforming from conventional to digital lighting, providing products, solutions and data services through its smart energy-saving lighting technologies. Some call him their ‘fearless leader’ and he’s certainly had to show courage and resilience recently. “Since I joined in October 2019, we’ve faced extremely disrupted supply chain ecosystems,and the pressure is not easing ahead. We must anticipate, decide, and execute faster than ever before in this new norm, where resiliency is a competitive weapon, that you learn to sharpen, as you exit every cycle stronger than you entered it.”
Signify was created in 2016 when it separated from Philips to become an independent lighting company. Formerly known as Philips Lighting it has a long legacy of pioneering a wide range of lighting systems. Its LED and solar lighting that connectto smart technologies are some of the ways it aims to address climate change and create a sustainable, safer world.
Alexandre Baubert joined the company at the end of 2019 and immediately started to transform the supply chain function with a verticalization, specialization and simplification strategy to bring improved customer satisfaction and long-term sustainable performance, driven by a renewed, talented, and ambitious workforce. At Signify, supply chain not only enables growth platforms and channels, it also fuels new opportunities, he says. “Our suppliers are working with us in reciprocity agreements, where we install energy saving lighting solutions in their facilities, warehouses and ships, and we help them become part of the Brighter Live, Better World purpose. For us it’s win-win, and so exciting to contribute to making an impact on society,” he says.
How did you start your career and get to your current position?
“I studied electronic engineering and did a Master of Science in spacecraft technology and satellite communications: Really, I’m a rocket scientist (he laughs). I’m a real numbers guy. I love science, data and analytics.
At the end of my studies, I joined, Schlumberger, a leader in oil and gas services. Like space science or aeronautics in general, oil and gas rely on high-tech equipment, embedded electronics & software, in constrained environments, that require high safety and quality standards but also massive long-term investments: instead of going high in the sky, oil and gas goes deep in the ground! A mix of high-tier services (MTO/ETO) and high-volume products (MTS), where one piece of drilling equipment can generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue losses per day to your customers, should the services not be executed properly. You just couldn’t afford to make a mistake from planning to delivery of the bill of resources (people, assets, parts), so the pressure was high.
When I joined Schlumberger, it was just starting to build a supply chain function. Within a couple of years, I had become totally involved in supply chain taking up challenges from process, digital and then running the North Sea operations with a USD 500 million spend portfolio. I then spent two years in Africa sorting out logistics before moving to HQ in Houston – I knew I might end up in Houston but not for oil and gas! There I rapidly headed the global procurement commodities strategy with an annual turnover of USD 20 billion. We underwent a large transformation as we centralized procurement from source to pay, from the most strategic parts to transactional excellence hubs. Then a new CEO was appointed with the ambition to transform the company inside out. We were eight experts, invited to be part of the core transformation team. We ideated, designed, and deployed the new supply chain for oil and gas, pivoted into integral demand to deliver business workflows, and introduced SAP. After three years I was appointed global head of supply chain to run the real operations, bringing the waves of transformation, in a context of commoditization and the search for efficiencies of scale, with distribution center models. For three years, it was an absolutely fascinating international journey in a top position.”