Women in Supply Chain

Image of Vanessa from Palian Manufacturing for Woman in supply chain article

Vanessa van der Walt

Company – Palian Manufacturing Pty Ltd

What motivated you to pursue a career in supply chain management?

I was in the Alliminium industry and received an opportunity to

work in Warehouse Solutions Management

What are the key responsibilities and challenges you face in your role?

Our mission is to excel in managing major projects from initial o quotes to the successful completion of installations. We strive to deliver the most cost-effective solutions that precisely meet our customers’ needs, establishing enduring and professional business relationships with each client. In this industry, we recognize and overcome the challenges of urgent deadlines and timelines, ensuring efficient and timely installations.

How do you stay updated with the latest trends and developments in the supply chain industry?

In our industry, collaboration with our consultants is of utmost importance as we aim to deliver the finest and up-to-date warehouse solutions within South Africa. We prioritize close partnerships with our consultants to ensure that our offerings consistently meet the highest standards. At Palian, we are dedicated to continuous improvement, constantly enhancing our products and services with the expertise of our diligent Research and Development Team.

What strategies do you employ to ensure efficient and effective supply chain operations?

Palian’s primary focus revolves around delivering on-time supply and completions, and to achieve this, we maintain a close collaboration with our dedicated Manufacturing Team. By working hand in hand with our manufacturing experts, we ensure seamless coordination and efficient customer service. At Palian, our commitment lies in providing timely and reliable solutions to meet our customers’ needs, and our strong partnership with the Manufacturing Team enables us to achieve this objective.

How do you handle the coordination and communication among different stakeholders in the supply chain?

 Transparency is a core value in our project management approach. We place great importance on maintaining open communication and visibility throughout all levels. Regular site visits with our team of professional contractors are integral to ensuring the successful completion of each project. We are committed to appointing only world-class specialists who excel in their specific fields, guaranteeing that our projects receive the highest level of expertise and attention to detail. By prioritizing transparency, professional collaboration, and the engagement of top-tier specialists, we consistently deliver successful outcomes.

In your opinion, what are some unique strengths that women bring to the supply chain industry?

I believe that women in our industry bring a meticulous approach that is invaluable. We leverage our strengths, including our ability to communicate clearly and efficiently, to stay at the top of our game. Clear and effective communication is crucial in our line of work, and as women, we recognize its significance. By being meticulous in our approach, we ensure attention to detail and consistently deliver high-quality results. We take pride in our ability to excel in our industry by leveraging our unique strengths and maintaining strong communication practices. 

How do you prioritize sustainability and ethical considerations in your supply chain practices?

In our industry, strict compliance regulations set a high bar that we must consistently meet. Adhering to these regulations is paramount to our success. At our company, following our core ethos is not only a requirement but also a key driver of our achievements in the industry. By uphelding our company values and principles, we ensure ethical practices, maintain a strong reputation, and gain the trust of our clients and stakeholders. We understand that our commitment to compliance and aligning with our company ethos is fundamental to sustaining our success in the industry.

Can you provide an example of a successful supply chain optimization project you have worked on? 

Selecting a single project from our portfolio is a challenging task as each one presents unique and distinct challenges. Our customers share a common objective of enhancing their efficiency levels and expanding their market share. To address their specific needs, we establish close partnerships with each customer, closely collaborating to provide the most cost-effective and efficient solutions. At our company, we understand the importance of tailoring our offerings to match the individual requirements of our customers. By working hand in hand with them, we ensure that the solutions we deliver are precisely aligned with their goals, helping them achieve enhanced efficiency and sustainable growth.

What skills do you believe are crucial for women pursuing a career in supply chain management? 

Women in our industry face the unique challenge of navigating a male-dominated environment. To excel and thrive, they must possess the ability to adapt and continually improve themselves. The key to staying at the top of their game lies in their resilience, determination, and commitment to growth. In a constantly evolving industry, women professionals understand the importance of honing their skills, staying informed about the latest trends, and seeking opportunities for professional development. By embracing change and continuously improving their knowledge and expertise, women in our industry defy stereotypes and make significant contributions to their field.

How do you handle conflicts or disagreements within your team or with external partners in the supply chain? 

As women, we possess a remarkable ability to handle conflicts or disagreements with the same qualities we bring to motherhood: patience, humor, and respect. We approach these situations by considering the perspectives of others and addressing them in a kind and respectful manner. Our aim is to foster constructive dialogue and find common ground. Throughout it all, we maintain humility and a positive attitude, recognizing the value of maintaining healthy relationships and creating a harmonious work environment. By drawing upon these qualities, we contribute to a more inclusive and cooperative industry, where differences are resolved through understanding and empathy.

What advice would you give to young women aspiring to enter the supply chain industry?

Passion is the driving force behind success in all aspects of life, including our professional endeavors. When we are passionate about what we do, it fuels our motivation, determination, and dedication. It instills a sense of purpose and fulfillment, allowing us to go the extra mile to achieve excellence. Passion brings enthusiasm, creativity, and resilience, enabling us to overcome challenges and persevere in the face of obstacles. By cultivating and nurturing our passion, we unlock our full potential and find genuine satisfaction in our work. It is this passion that propels us forward and sets the stage for personal and professional fulfillment.

Are there any specific initiatives or programs that you believe can support the professional development of women in supply chain management?

There is a need for a dedicated platform that allows women in our industry to connect, interact, and network with one another. Such a platform would provide a valuable space for sharing experiences, insights, and expertise. It would foster a supportive community where women can find mentorship opportunities, exchange ideas, and collaborate on various initiatives. By facilitating connections and building relationships among women professionals, this platform would empower individuals to further their careers, break barriers, and contribute to the growth and advancement of the industry as a whole.

What is your current role in the supply chain industry, and how long have you been working in this field? 

Major Project Sales Executive – I have been working in the industry for 13 Years

What is your favorite color


Article by Supply Network Africa