” That which is not measured, cannot be improved…”.

A conversation with Rafa Mateo
Rafa Mateo

With more than 25 years of experience in the industry, Rafa has had the privilege of serving as IT and Logistics Director at Fonestar, specialising in the implementation of ERP systems and leading successful teams. During his career, he has gained a deep understanding of the intersection between logistics and IT, leveraging this synergy to optimise business processes and achieve outstanding results.

Rafa recommends…

  • A book:“Tell Me Who I Am“, by Julia Navarro
  • A movie:Whew, too many…. I may have seen Forrest Gump more than 10 times, Moneyball, The Big Gamble, The Big Bet
  • A song: I have many“Que bello es vivir” by El Kanka, which very much matches with my philosophy of life.
logo Fonestar

Hi Rafa, tell us something about you …. What is your role at Fonestar?

My current position is Logistics Director.

In short, I am in charge of supply chain management, ensuring an efficient flow of our products, from receipt to final delivery to the customer, and optimising the logistics processes from our warehouses to final delivery to the customer.

In addition to this, because of the knowledge I have of our company, I am also a facilitator. I mainly help our colleagues to work more efficiently, to collaborate and achieve our common goals, or at least I try to.

logo Fonestar

What do you like most about your job?

It would be very complicated to name something specific, but without a doubt what I find most satisfying is improving processes. I love to analyze and detect possible improvements. Propose and implement in agreement always with my colleagues.

logo Fonestar

What do you think you bring to the company and your colleagues?

It’s a question I shouldn’t answer myself, but, in addition to a deep knowledge of almost all processes, I believe that optimism and leadership. It’s hard for me to take “it can’t be done” for an answer. My colleagues come to me if they ever have any complications in their day-to-day work. And we do everything possible to ensure that the error or blockage is not repeated.

logo Fonestar

In a warehouse with a large product catalogue like Fonestar’s, how do you handle inventory management to ensure that the most in-demand items are always available?

Measuring a lot. I have a phrase engraved in my mind: “that which is not measured, cannot be improved…”.

We move our references around the warehouse according to demand, in order to be more efficient. This means that we are in continuous inventory. We establish a location for each reference, which has an automatic replenishment point. The same system forces us to take inventory every time there is movement between our warehouses.

With the enormous amount of references we have in our warehouse, we have the material in continuous movement. We analyse trends and seasonality to avoid and minimise overstocking.

logo Fonestar

What are the digital advances you have had in the flow system between warehouses?

The implementation of the new ERP has helped us a great deal in perfecting our automatic replenishment system. The latest improvement has been to achieve 100% Wi-Fi coverage in our warehouses, with more than 7,000 square meters.

Logistics efficiency is critical to a company’s success.

logo Fonestar

What strategies or practices have you implemented at Fonestar to improve efficiency and optimise logistics processes?

We treat our different warehouses as a relationship between a customer and its supplier. At every moment we know what we consume and what we lack. Considering an average of 5,000 order lines per week, the material flow is constant. As I have already mentioned, the replenishment system of our service warehouse constantly informs us.

In addition, the commitment of our entire logistics team is essential. Each person in the department has different tasks assigned to them, in addition to their daily work, thus achieving continuous improvement.

“We form a big family, where communication is constant.”

logo Fonestar

How do you think improvements to your equipment and its performance affect the product that reaches customers?

For our client, speed of service is essential. We know that improvements in equipment and its operation have a direct impact on quality and customer satisfaction. An efficient, skilled and customer service-focused team ensures a smoother supply chain, increased product availability, quality presentation and effective problem resolution, all of which contribute to a positive customer experience.

logo Fonestar

What are the main criteria you use to organise Fonestar’s warehouse and ensure an efficient flow of products?

Measure and detect changes in product trends. Knowing how to organize ourselves with the new references. And above all, replenishment by location, knowing at all times the contents, reorder points, capacity, etc.

logo Fonestar

As a Logistics Director, you will probably have to work with different departments within the company. How do you ensure effective communication and close collaboration with other teams?

It is inevitable in a company like Fonestar to have a good relationship with the rest of the teams. We form a big family, where communication is constant. In addition, my role as a facilitator requires constant communication. If there was one thing I was known for in the company, it was the number of calls and e-mails I received on a daily basis. This has dropped significantly in recent months, and I would like to think that we have improved somewhat.

logo Fonestar

What has been the most significant project or achievement you have carried out as Logistics Director at Fonestar? What did you learn from that experience?

Throughout my years in the company, I have managed several very important projects, such as the implementation of the new ERP, implementation of O365, etc; but in terms of logistics, I think the most important was the relocation of warehouses and change in their management. It was an almost personal project, based on a very deep study, with many hours of sleep consumed, but, above all, very exciting, because I was convinced that the result was going to be very positive for the operation of the company. Thanks to the support of our CEO, and above all, thanks to that of the entire logistics team, who were the first to believe in the project, we were able to carry it out successfully.