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He's taking logistics to another level

Date: 2018-01-31
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He's taking logistics to another level


SINGAPORE — After reading up on the potential of automation in industry, Mr Pang Jin Zhou decided to make the leap from business operations consulting to logistics.


The 31-year-old solutions engineer at Bollore Logistics made the switch nearly three years ago.

Today, Mr Pang counts himself as one of the designers of the Multi-Shuttle, an automated system that helps cut down space and time needed to store goods.

The system was part of Bollore Logistics’ S$10 million investment — together with French luxury goods giant LVMH, its key client — for its first automation facility in Singapore.

The facility allows for higher storage density to make efficient use of limited warehouse space, cutting down the space needed by 30 per cent and improving the processing of goods by up to 10 times, compared to traditional warehousing methods.

Mr Pang’s first job after graduating from the National University of Singapore with a degree in Industrial Systems Engineering was with io-consultants, where he did project management for the flight catering business.

After two-and-a-half years, he joined HP. He dealt with supply chain planning, handling the worldwide supply management of chips in printers.

But it was a short-lived stint as HP laid off some of its Singapore staff.

Mr Pang then joined Bollore Logistics and concurrently pursued a part-time Masters degree in Systems Design and Management.

He took the Masters programme to “think about issues deeper…as a way of exposing myself to more education (and information)”.

The logistics industry added some S$311 million in inbound investments to Singapore last year and is expected to add about S$678 million to the Singapore economy, creating 1,452 jobs, data from the Economic Development Board’s (EDB) 2017 Year-In-Review released on Tuesday (Jan 30) showed.

Efforts under the Logistics Industry Transformation Map (ITM) aim to catalyse company-level efforts and develop a core group of Singaporean talent and small and medium companies that can compete in the global arena.

The EDB said the transformation of the logistics industry is expected to achieve a value-add of S$8.3 billion and create 2,000 new PMET (professionals, managers, executives and technicians) jobs by 2020.

Speaking to TODAY, Mr Pang said he has gained much experience and acquired new skills along the way.

While he learnt about “technical” project management early in his career, he has also learnt about managing customers’ expectations and the marketing aspects of projects at Bollore Logistics. Its parent company Bollore Group’s subsidiary, BlueSG, operates the first large-scale electric car-sharing service here.

By gathering feedback from his colleagues, for instance, Mr Pang was able to design systems that addressed real-life situations they encountered.

He first caught a glimpse of the logistics industry through some modules taken in university, and sees the industry as fertile ground for automation – debunking the notion held by some that “logistics is very manual”.

Moving to a different industry has also required a shift in mindset, Mr Pang said. It was tedious in the beginning but with the right attitude, anyone can pick up skills in a new field, he said.

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