Leveraging 4IR During a Significant Supply Chain Transformation of a Consumer Goods Business

  • Responding to volatility – the power of prediction
  • Build competitive advantage through supply chain digital transformation – the use of digital automation capability to deliver products to customers and consumers where and whenever they need them
  • Supply Chains are still about people – building the Digital First mindset

Dirk Holbach
CSVP & CSCO Henkel Consumer Brands

Holbach has been working at Henkel in various executive positions in Supply Chain, Operations, Purchasing and Sales since 1996, when he started in Corporate Purchasing after finishing his master’s degree. This was followed by various assignments in Germany. Having finished his PhD during a sabbatical period, in 2002 he moved to Mexico integrating two newly acquired businesses. Thereafter he returned to the headquarters and was in charge of global purchasing for the Laundry & Home Care business for several years until 2007. Holbach subsequently took control of the global supply chain for the same business, and a few years later gained global responsibility for the manufacturing operations.

Since 2014, he has been successfully leading the entire Supply Chain & Operations unit for the Laundry & Home Care division as Corporate Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer. In his current role, he has responsibility for a global head count of more than 7,000 associates in 33 factories and 47 logistics centres around the globe. Holbach is one of the most influential and visionary leaders in supply chain. This is also evident in his relentless pursuit of excellence, both at Henkel and in his personal journey. His progress is reflected in his climb in this ranking, from 9th place in 2018 to 4th place in 2019 and now to the top spot in 2020.

Despite COVID-19, he remains one of the top three most visible leaders in Europe and has shared his extensive technological expertise during many appearances at online conferences, webinars and educational events this year. His qualities and charisma are underlined by his success as one of the top four in terms of peer votes. His strategic priorities supporting the purposeful growth strategy of the company are digitalization, sustainability, innovation, system visibility and collaboration. His key contributions have been in the areas of supply chain strategy and organizational development, network optimization, post-merger integrations and recently the digital transformation of the organization. The multi-year, multi-dimensional transformation delivered significant financial contributions and increased the responsiveness, agility and resilience of global supply chain. In that context, the BU Supply Chain was recognized by the World Economic Forum as one of 14 digital E2E lighthouses globally in the field of advanced manufacturing/Industry 4.0.