After finishing his mechanical engineering studies (focus on automotive engineering), Dr.-Ing. Thomas Benz earned his PhD in traffic engineering and is an expert in both areas.
As one of the first to specialise on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) he accompanied the rapid evolution of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) from day one. Before being announced as PTV Solution Director Automotive in April 2015, Thomas Benz was located in the PTV research department. As the Solution Director Automotive he is now talking to the automotive industry, sharing his experience around the PTV product world, in particular PTV Vissim. PTV products are used by the automotive world to include the traffic factor in their development work of ADAS and autonomous driving.
Stefan has a degree as Dipl. Wirt. Ing. for Transport and Logistics and more than 20 years experiences in automotive logistics and supply chain solutions. He worked on projects around the world for IHG Logistics (now Rhenus), CEVA logistics and DHL.
Stefan has been involved in the development and execution of global strategies, implementation of local / global customer projects, supply chain solutions and supply chain network design, global key account management and supply chain project management.
In his current role as VP Automotive at DHL Freight , Stefan leads the development of the automotive & tires sector of DHL Freight.
Hans-Bert Bong has more than two decades of global automotive OEM experience. He was a supervisory board member of Ford-Werke and Ford Holding for 14 years having joined Ford of Europe in January 1990. During his time at Ford he held various positions in product development, production management, quality and manufacturing engineering. In 2001, he was appointed to the role of Manager Finished Vehicle Logistics Ford, a position he held for more than 11 years before becoming Ford's Manager Material Flow and Supply Chain Management including foreign trade. Since May 2016, he has been working as an independent business consultant.
John is a graduate of Leeds University and prior to joining Ford in 1986 had spells with both Unilever and RHM foods – since that time he has worked in a wide variety of roles for Ford in Customer service operations around the world. A UK native, however, has spent the majority of time outside his home market with several spells in European operations in Cologne together with two roles in the US and more recently as Vice President FCSD Asia Pacific based in Shanghai until taking up his current assignment as Vice President Ford Customer Service Europe in January 2016.
Previous assignments have covered a balance of central and market based roles including helping to set up the first Global Repair Product Planning function and running Customer Service Operations in the UK. He was responsible for Fords Block Exemption strategy and has also worked extensively with ACEA on industry based consumer legislation. A current priority is redefining the aftermarket customer journey through a variety of new B2B and B2C propositions.
John is married to Fiona and they have two children both now in full time employment in London and his hobbies include cycling and watching sport – a life-long Manchester city fan John is accustomed to both the lows and recently highs of this particular decision.
After graduating in Business Administration, focused on marketing and industrial management at the University of Graz, Michael began his career at a local freight forwarding company. He worked for Chrysler between 1991 and in 1998 he joined the DaimlerChrysler´s post-merger team, heading up the supply/logistics plant for DC in Graz, Austria.
In 2002 Michael Druml left DaimlerChrysler and joined Magna Steyr as Director Supply & Logistics and in 2011 he was appointed to his present position with responsibilities of both procurement of production material and non-production material, logistics, transportation and supplier development for Magna Steyr global. His extensive expert knowledge enabled the successful realization of company overlapping SCM projects as MLE ( Magna Logistics Europe) und MEPI ( Magna Europe Purchasing Initiative).
He is a Foundation Member of the Automotive Cluster, Styria and Member of the Advisory Board of BVL, the Austrian Federation of Logistics. Michael regularly lectures at National and International conferences and Symposia. In addition he lectures at the Executive Academy of the Vienna University of Economics and Business, and also for Professional MBA Automotive Industry at Vienna University of Technology and the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava. Michael is also the author of “Anlaufmanagement in der Automobil-industrie erfolgreich umsetzen“ ( Springer Verlag) and „Marktorientiertes Prozessmanagement“ ( Vahlen Verlag ).
Pavel Haidai has a strong belief that transportation is the main driver for change and has carried numerous projects at national and international levels. Pavel is the founder and Head of Avtologistika LLC, based in the Ukraine.
Since he took over this ex-soviet company in 2003, he has transformed it into one of the leading companies in innovation and IT development in the field of automotive logistics and mobility.
Pavel is a graduate of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev, Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics.
In his role as Senior Consultant, Jan Hofmann works in the area of Automotive Advisory at PwC operating as Lead Analyst of Autofacts for the region Middle East & Africa.
Prior to joining the PwC Autofacts team, Jan completed a six month internship for PwC Business Recovery Services with a focus on insolvency consultation projects within the automotive industry. Since then, his automotive expertise has further expanded with over three years’ worth of experience in PwC Autofacts.
As Lead Analyst, he serves as a dedicated market expert. This entails both assembly forecasting for the whole region as well as sales forecasting. In addition to that, he has a special focus on the global light vehicle assembly of European premium manufacturers. His professional emphasis is on sales forecasting, industry analysis and PwC Automotive studies.
Effective September 1, 2012, Gunnar Herrmann has been appointed Vice President of Quality, Ford of Europe.
He was previously vehicle line director, Global C-Segment Vehicles, Ford Product Development, a position he has held since 2002. In this capacity, he was responsible for developing ten vehicles from the single C-segment platform with global, total annual production exceeding two million units.
Herrmann is most noted for his work on the Ford Focus, and has been a key member of the Focus development team since it was formed prior to the launch of the launch of the original Focus in 1998.
Born in Leverkusen in 1959, Herrmann graduated in automotive engineering from the University of Hamburg. He also holds a Master of Science degree in advanced automotive engineering from the University of Loughborough in the UK.
In 1986, Gunnar Herrmann joined Ford, working first in body engineering at Ford's Merkenich engineering centre in Germany. After an assignment in the United States, he returned to Germany in 1994 to become the supervisor for the Body Engineering Development for the original Ford Focus, a role he held until early 1997. He subsequently became manager for Quality and In-cycle Action for C-segment vehicle production at Ford's Saarlouis plant in Germany.
In 1998, he was given responsibility for production quality in all of Ford's European manufacturing facilities, before becoming chief engineer for the development of the original Ford C-MAX the following year. From 2001 to 2002, he was chief engineer for the entire Ford C-Car range, and in June 2002 he took up his assignment as vehicle line director, Global C-Segment Vehicles.
Gunnar Herrmann, 52, lives in Leverkusen and is married with two children. Aside from his passion for driving, he enjoys skiing, cooking and vintage motorcycles and classic cars.
Pierre-Martin Huet is the current Supply Chain Strategy director for Michelin, overseeing the supply chain transformation program for the Group. Previous to this role, he held a variety of positions in operations in North America, Europe and Asia, starting from plant level, then leading the regional operations in South-East Asia and lately heading the Global Supply Chain for the Car Tire division of the Group.
Pierre-Martin is a graduate from the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris and holds a Masters degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University.
Chris joined Nissan in 1989 initially as a driver then held a number of operational roles at different levels throughout the 90’s including management of compounds and ports, planning and management of Import/Export shipping and local UK domestic delivery.
Moving into the millennium, roles included significant system development projects, cost management and business planning prior to joining Renault Nissan Alliance Logistics Europe at its inception in 2009.
In 2011 Chris assumed the role of Outbound Engineering Manager which included the lead role in the establishment of a Renault Nissan Alliance common distribution network in Russia as well as driving increasing synergy in Outbound Logistics throughout Europe.
In 2014 Chris moved to his current role as General Manager Outbound Engineering where the push for more synergy and innovation continues and includes activities with the Alliances latest member Mitsubishi in Europe and Russia.
Jordi Jove is Director at LKW WALTER in Austria, a Leader in European Road/ Multimodal Transport. Over the last 25 years in the industry, Jordi has worked in developing long term partnerships with shippers, service providers and enablers in the EMEA Region.
He is Board Member at ELUPEG implementing sustainable horizontal and vertical collaboration across industries, throughout Europe.
His education includes The General Manager Program at Harvard Business School in Boston and the AMP at IESE Barcelona as well as an MBA and MA in International Business at Webster University Vienna.
Colin McKerracher manages coverage of the transport sector at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the clean energy and carbon markets division of Bloomberg LP. Colin’s team covers the technology, policy and economic factors influencing the evolution of the transport sector. This includes electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, biofuels, fuel cell vehicles, connected cars and other new vehicle technologies.
Colin previously managed BNEF’s coverage of the global smart grid industry. He has over 10 years of experience in the clean energy sector and presents regularly at industry events. Colin’s past roles include Director of Sales and Marketing for Neurio, a smart grid technology company, and Business Development Manager for a Canadian biofuel company. Colin holds degrees from the London School of Economics and the Sauder School of Business at UBC. He is based in London, UK
Head of Production System and Industrial Engineering
Head of Production System and Industrial Engineering
Stephan Opitz is the Head of Production Systems and Industrial Engineering at Volkswagen Slovakia, overseeing the production systems for Volkswagen Group’s Bratislava based factory, where it specialises in larger SUV platforms. Currently, the factory produces Audi’s Q7, VW Touareg, and Porsche Cayenne as well as the VW Up! the SEAT Mii and Skoda Citigo.
As part of his responsibilities, Stephan has developed various lean management initiatives to transform areas including body pressing, gearbox production, under-body and drive train assembly.
Previous to this role, he has held a variety of positions within the VW Group, most recently in Germany as Head of Production Systems for VW Commercial Vehicles.
Stephan is a graduate Engineer of Hannover Fachhochschule and holds Masters degrees from GISMA Busness School and Purdue University in Business Administration, and is a talented linguist in five languages - German, English, Norwegian, Slovak and Croatian.
Sophie Punte is the Executive Director of the Smart Freight Centre that she founded in 2013 as a mission-driven organization to catalyze more efficient and environmentally sustainable freight and logistics at a global scale. Sophie works with businesses and other stakeholders to remove market barriers, leverage existing initiatives and thus accelerate the uptake of practical solutions throughout industry. She played a lead role in the establishment of the industry-backed Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) to develop a standard method for emissions measurement, led by SFC.
Previously, as Executive Director of Clean Air Asia, Sophie was a pioneer in bringing green freight on the agenda of Asian governments and establishing the China Green Freight Initiative and Green Freight Asia. Sophie also worked at the United Nations, KPMG and an engineering firm on environmental management and corporate sustainability. She holds a Master of Science (Biology) and a Master of Environmental Management from the Netherlands.
Bernd is a Partner based in the Arthur D. Little Frankfurt office and leads Arthur D. Little’s global Operations Management practice. He also leads the global Industry 4.0 activities and is member of the Digital Transformation & Analytics think tank.
His main areas of expertise cover strategy definition, operating model and organizational design, operational excellence, supply chain management, performance improvement, and transformation programs in a wide variety of industries. With his projects, Bernd helps our clients to anticipate future trends in operations. He designs innovative solutions and helps to transform businesses towards performance excellence across the value chain.
For example, he has helped leading companies in automotive, transportation, energy and other industries to apply Industry 4.0 and digital technologies in operations to achieve quantum-leap efficiency gains, and as well as assisting them in generating value out of data. Applying digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, bots, collaborative robots, augmented reality, blockchain and additive manufacturing allows for EBIT improvement from 30% to 50%. Bernd has also helped various clients in transforming their supply chains and procurement from transaction-oriented units to value-generating functions, which delivers strategic impact for the companies’ competitiveness.
Bernd has published viewpoints in operations such as the “Future of Operations in the Digital World”, “Procurement 4.0”, and “Radical Simplification”. He is responsible for our flagship operations benchmark in procurement, supply chain and manufacturing.
Prior to joining Arthur D. Little, Bernd worked for 7 years in manufacturing companies in finance, controlling and supply chain management.