"We promote innovative and creative thinking"
Company / Interview
November 09, 2023
In a world of change, the ability to respond to transformations is one of the most important elements of success. As the independent automotive aftermarket leader in Europe, we not only respond to change, but also drive it, ensuring our customers’ voices and needs are heard and acted upon. We caught up with Claudia Martins, VP Supply Chain Management LKQ Europe, to find out why the value ‘embracing change’ is important, how it impacts our business and what it means to her personally.
Firstly, what does Embracing Change mean for us as a business, and more importantly, how can our colleagues live this every day?
The automotive industry is very dynamic and competitive; that means our business needs to be agile and ready to respond to change. We need to stay informed on the progress of industry products, processes and services and adapt where needed.
We also need to drive change. We have a responsibility to challenge the status quo, be innovative, and lead and promote change that helps improve our customer service and efficiency. This is how we will ensure our company is better off tomorrow, prepared for the future and remains a viable employer.
Our colleagues are the driving force behind our success. Without all our people, we would not be the automotive aftermarket leader. Whether changes are out of our control or initiated by us, we need to ensure they have the most effective outcome. This means that everyone actively participates in discussions, sharing knowledge and experience, thinks creatively, and proposes ideas. We need to listen to each other, understand our different perspectives and work together to find the best way forward. By doing this, we will create opportunities and success for ourselves and the business.
How does Embracing Change impact your function?
Supply Chain Management (SCM) is not only responsible for managing day-to-day operations to serve our customers, but also for designing and deploying solutions that promote excellence in both customer service and cost and process efficiency. This means we must be prepared to make and champion, sometimes challenging changes. We need the support and buy-in from colleagues across the business to improve how we do things. Only together can we develop effective plans, considering elements such as communication and training as key drivers for successful change.
Across Europe, we’re also on a broader transformational journey to 1 LKQ Europe, aiming to optimize our ways of working across the entire value chain. This involves moving to standardized processes, roles, systems and tools, impacting all functions. In SCM, we are excited for the benefits this will bring and prepared to embrace the changes that cross our function.
Why is Embracing Change important for our sustainability strategy?
It is important for multiple reasons, because of the transformations we are seeing in the industry and in terms of our business growth and profitability. We must make and embrace changes that ensure we continue to provide for our customers in the best way, whilst growing our business efficiently. We need to be proactive and responsive to succeed in this highly dynamic and competitive environment. Especially as the leader in the market.
With the shift we’re seeing to electrification for example, we must understand what it means for our operations and how we can adapt quickly to remain at the forefront. It’s important we stay ahead of the curve, stay informed about the latest developments and influence decision making.
Finally, why is this value important to you and how do you 'live' it in your day-to-day role?
I am working for a great company that is a market leader. This means my contribution cannot be limited to managing the status quo, I must ensure we constantly challenge it to ensure we’re prepared for the future.
When I joined LKQ, I spent a lot of time understanding what makes us successful in order to be able to address the right changes. What we have achieved as a company to date is greatly impressive, and I am proud to be part of the journey as we continue to drive change that represents excellence.
I also see this value on another dimension, understanding how my knowledge and expertise can contribute to LKQ and what changes I can undergo to align this further to our business context.