Industry Leader Interview with David Vella, Executive Director – UK and Ireland, GT Motive

  1. What are the challenges are facing your business right now, and how are you working to overcome them?

Obviously 2020 has been one of if not the most challenging years I can recall in terms of business activity, but I am surprised how the industry and ourselves as a business have adopted to the circumstances changing every day and the resiliency we have shown. As a challenger and a growing business in the UK we are getting a lot of traction from all the industry because of the disruptive solutions we are bringing. The pandemic slowed down things and many pilots and integration projects we had planned had to be postponed. Technology demands investment and the impact of this crisis is going to make it challenging to keep this investment path, but at the same time crisis are the best accelerator for innovations and disruptions, so we are looking at 2021 as a great year for us with huge opportunities.

  1. What has been your biggest business learning from the coronavirus pandemic?

I think one of the biggest learnings of this crisis has been that you have to be prepared for the unexpected. Nobody really could imagine a situation like what we have been suffering in recent months. Contingency plans had to be adapted to an extreme situation :  flexibility and agility were key factors to be able to keep our businesses running effectively during lockdown. The possibility that most of our teams were prepared and familiar with remote working allowed us to adapt to a lockdown situation. And the flexibility and agility to shift our resources and priorities to focus on the new reality and new economic scenario also helped us delivering our promise to customers.  

  1. As we go to a “new normal” what are you looking forward to returning to and practices will you keep?

I think the pandemic definitely has shown us that a lot of work can be done remotely so for sure we will keep some of that, to be more efficient and reduce travel. But for sure one of the main things we are looking forward to is meeting our colleagues, customers, and partners face to face. The pandemic has reminded us how important human interaction is.

  1. If you could go back to the beginning of 2020, what piece of advice would you give to yourself?

I would advise myself to take faster decisions, as we are doing now. I guess it took some time to really realize the gravity of the situation we were facing and the amount of drastic / relevant decisions we have taking in the last months still amazes me! Time is proving we did the right thing with those decisions, but if we could be even more agile in those first reactions, probably we would have adapted even better to the new normal.

  1. What would be your prediction for the industry in 2021?

This pandemic has been the perfect storm to accelerate change in digital transformation, automation and applying AI in many areas. We have realized how important data is to fuel all this automation, so I believe companies will focus even more in making sure they have enough technology and skills to elaborate meaningful data they can use for automation. Working with the right partners which can fit in this data ecosystem will be also very relevant. In general I believe 2021 will be a really interesting year in terms of transformation, continuing the trend that has started in 2020 because of the pandemic. Better integrations and connectivity across the whole of the supply chain, more influence from the VMs an as I said more automation and data which will be key to fuel this automation we cannot stop.


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