3 Invaluable Lessons from Henrik Cort
- The extra time you spend up front you will get threefold back at the end.
- If you have a pricing agreement on equipment, then you have an agreement that’s no different than a bid/build – but the end result is better.
- Being transparent with stakeholders when coming up with solutions will make project challenges go smoother.
This week, host Sue Dyer speaks with Henrik Cort about implementing ICS systems in North America and overcoming project challenges.
About Guest Henrik Cort (1:55)
Henrik Cort is the Director of Airport Sales for North America for Beumer Corporation.
Henrik spent time in the early ’90s in San Francisco working for Levi Strauss where he moved from Project Management to Sales. In 1997 he moved to Hong Kong to work in baggage handling systems, and in 2001 Henrik moved back to Denmark to head a Global Sales and Systems Department. Henrik moved to the U.S. in January 2011 to become Head of Sales of Baggage Handling for Beumer.
About Beumer Group (5:30)
Beumer Group is a third-generation family-owned company that was founded in 1935 in Germany. There are several major segments: Logistics – Warehouse distribution and parcel sorting; airport baggage handling; conveyor loading; and palletizing and packaging. The company is 4,400 employees and $1 billion+ U.S. turnover a year. The company is represented in 35 companies and the philosophy of the company is to look at long-term success – we do not want to be the biggest, we want to be the best.
What Henrik Found Bringing an ICS System to America (7:44)
- Everything was based on conventional conveyors and that would take time to change
- Denver had tried an ICS system 20 years ago and it didn’t work out and that soured a lot of people toward the system
- The U.S. has fairly extensive contracts and, for the privately-owned company, the family was not willing to sign their company away for one contract
- There are airports that are willing to try and look at new ideas, such as San Francisco
The Journey in Making the ICS Project Happen (10:40)
- In San Francisco that airport was very willing to look at ICS as an option
- San Francisco encouraged an early involvement of the package handling supplier
- In parallel to SFO preparing for T1 they put in a test system with TSA – While TSA would talk about it, they wouldn’t move ahead without an airport
The Benefits of Using an ICS System Over Other Systems (13:20)
- The ICS System is not right for every airport, but it fit San Francisco because it was partly a new construction
- ICS shuts down as soon as there’s nothing and uses about 50% less power and causes less wear and tear
- You don’t lose track of a bag, there is 100% tracking and much less jam, and the system is much lighter
The Journey of Getting ICS into SFO (15:30)
There was a team of five working to implement ICS at SFO. At first they were comparing a conventional system with an ICS. The choice at the end of the day came down to Return On Investment. ICS is slightly more expensive up front but cheaper to run along the way.
What Henrik Has Learned From This Journey (16:48)
- By getting in on a project early, they were able to use the benefits of the ICS 100%
- It’s important to work together with stakeholders early and take their feedback to make changes
- The benefits of early development allowed the design to be implemented in the building – for example, they could put their precast into the concrete columns in the ceiling
What it’s Like Working in the United States Now (19:54)
The ICS is getting into the mind of a lot of airports and many are implementing it in the design process. The San Francisco partnering model has gotten out there and made its way into other projects.
About the Collaborative Partnering Model from Henrik’s Experience (21:30)
- Early stakeholder involvement is key to achieving the right design
- The progressive Design/Build model allows for innovation without contractors feeling largely at risk
- The time and money spent achieving the design is coming back in less hassle at the end
What Makes a Good Leader in Other Parts of the World (24:30)
You need the flexibility to deal with the situation you’re in wherever you are in the world. A leader that is more of a coach that sets out direction while leaving it up to employees to get there and make their own decisions succeeds more long-term. This creates more of an environment of teamwork instead of giving specific instructions to do that job.
The Biggest Challenge Henrik Has Ever Faced in His Career (27:53)
They replaced an existing conveyor system while needing to accommodate and go live. Within the first two days, they found that the system was simply not ready. They found that the staff was not educated enough at launch. Henrik learned that you must own the problem and be clear with stakeholders about what will happen to correct the problem.
The Best Advice Henrik Has Ever Received (32:05)
A personal relationship is the key to everything and building personal trust enables a lot of other issues to go away. Projects are more between people than between companies.
Resources for Listeners (33:20)
- Book Recommendation: Our Iceberg is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions (affiliate link)
Contact Henrik on LinkedIn
Henrik’s Parting Advice (34:55)
- It’s not dangerous to involve your vendors early in a project
- If you make the right arrangements early you might pay a bit more but you will earn it tenfold back
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