Manuel Fernández arrived at GAMBÍN in 2013. He previously made a career in the automotive business, and has since then been applying his vast knowledge and training to the industrial and logistic processes in the company, running its daily business as Chief Operations Manager. He is in charge of ensuring that the machinery and organizational process are at their maximum capacity. Everything must be perfectly coordinated to safeguard the one sole objective: meeting the client’s expectations to a 100% satisfaction level.
- What does Operations mean and how is it managed at GAMBÍN?
Operations Management is that particular part of business which ensures that strategic and daily processes are being accomplished in a safe and efficient way, guaranteeing service terms are met through the most fitting approach. As such, it stands for fulfilling the client’s demands all by respecting their quality and general standards.
- How does Operations work at Gambín?
The actual organizational structure is based on 3 fundamental areas. First, there is the commercial division, secondly there is the Operations division: The Provisioning department, the Production sites, the Quality department, the Logistics department, etc.; and last but not least we have to consider Supporting areas, such as the Financial department, the HR department, the IT department, etc. These 3 chief divisions stand for optimal business management.
Flexibility and adaptability are the two words that define operations at GAMBÍN at their best
- To what extent do Operations in the Fruit trade sector differ from Operations in other more industrialised businesses?
I can but speak about my own experience and, as such, you must consider that I have been mainly operative in the automotive branch, where well-defined processes are being applied. The principal difference and most important challenge when I changed from one branch to the other, was the fact that I had to work with perishables and with an unceasingly changing market, both of which required a continuous adaptation to the market demand.
- What tools and processes does GAMBÍN have to tackle to be able coping with these variables and adapting to them?
One clear asset is ‘proximity’. The company connects with its clients, and such an intense link guarantees persistent transmission and feedback of direct information. If there is anything that distinguishes GAMBÍN within its core values, then it must be the establishment of true partnership; A joint working venture, based on genuine personal relationships in constant communication with each other.
- Is this a particular trait of GAMBÍN?
Without any doubt! It is a clear identity feature. The most preponderant difference at GAMBÍN is the direct and personal treatment any client receives, procuring them with an optimal level of confidence and the greatest capacity to respond to their every need. We work on our own brand concept, and it is through those brands that we achieve excellence in quality and build up confidence in our products. Something that is not always a fact in fruit business.
At GAMBÍN we check every detail on the spot to guarantee meeting the client’s expectations
- What must be understood as a regular day in Operations at GAMBÍN?
An important part is dedicated to coordinating different processes. We work with perishables and this means freshness is paramount and a constant challenge when working with very adjusted order sequences. That is why we put our best effort in adapting processes and coordinating them to the utmost detail: from client order reception and management, synchronisation of necessary resources in the production area, to time and quality control throughout the whole procedure.
- This is where GAMBÍN makes a difference compared to other companies in its sector. Why?
Correct. As already stated, we check very carefully every detail of the product. We do not use remote control to verify its condition. We do it by inspecting it directly in our warehouse. To that purpose we have regular coordination meetings, we travel constantly through our storerooms, and, on that basis, we elaborate a personalized production plan, adapted to our customer’s needs. By doing so, we take into consideration every moment, any issue and every single order specification. We guarantee that our program meets the highest requirements and is always in place. We check and deliver at all times according to available produce. As a resume, we are flexible and adapt to what our client requires.
- Are client requests to GAMBÍN as diverse as you state?
Yes. We count on an expansive range of clients who account for a great number of different packaging, packing standards and specifications. Our product catalogue of conditioned goods – a fusion of all available varieties, sizes, box types and packing requirements – amounts to more than 16.000 references. This is one of the particularities at GAMBÍN: an extensive product range which is intrinsically bound to our business model. We are not concentrating on buyers of large amounts of goods, but are focussed on a wide-ranging portfolio of clients.
- How did Operations management evolve these past years at GAMBÍN?
There has certainly been a need to professionalize Operations management, as it has been necessary for many other areas of the company. There has been continuous training for the team members and we have accomplished a migration to a production model based on planning and improving resources. We achieved this through an experimented and well-prepared team.
- What will be the next step towards the future?
We all have a challenge: to consolidate as a team, guaranteeing sustainable growth. To gain in flexibility, in order to reinforce our capacity to adapt to the ever changing, and improvingly demanding global market, and thus taking the business to a superior level.
- In the end, what does GAMBÍN mean to you and how would you describe it?
I think all the people who work at GAMBÍN share a distinctive personality trait. We are talking about a company which creates brands and leaves its very own distinctive fingerprint. People feel identified with it. We are part of a greater team, not only the persons who work here, but all who are in partnership with it: clients, producers, service providing companies, etc. We do not say we ‘work for GAMBÍN, but we say ‘I am part of GAMBÍN’. This is something basic, it is an emotional connection. We do not speak about providers, we have partners. This means we can raise the level of confidence and security throughout our commercial relationships, as we are certain to attain our goals in each single operation, with each delivery; something most important to an Operations Manager. This has been achieved through years of hard work, and now we do not have to maintain it. As a matter of fact, we can only improve it.