Interview with Mr. Vladlen Tsikolenko, CBRA Russia

30.4.2017: CBRA interview with our Technical Manager Vladlen Tsikolenko, on FP7-CORE, and beyond

Hi Vladlen, can you please tell a bit about yourself: who you are and what you do?

Hi Juha! Sure. I have a degree in electrical engineering and additional education in management and economics. Originally I worked as an IT expert, then as a private ERP consultant, and later as a logistics manager responsible for delivery and distribution of high value machinery parts from the EU to CIS regional markets. Currently my area of expertise includes information systems, processes, standards and data models; mathematical modeling; supply chain management; and technology management. As a researcher I have a long history with CBRA since year 2002, which includes activities in variety of research and consulting projects. While being a member of CBRA team I was involved in FP7-projects such as INTEGRITY, CASSANDRA and CORE.

True, you have worked with CBRA since the very early days – already in 2002-2004, when CBRA wasn’t even formally registered – but the supply chain security and trade facilitation research activities were running under the University of Lausanne, Professor Ari-Pekka Hameri being our gentle supervisor… By the way, do you recall our first project in 2002-2004 with DHL Express global customs and trade automation systems?

Yes, I remember it. Our first project was related with DHL’s Worldwide Clearance System, WCS, our bosses at DHL being Jeff “Bad-ass” Bass and Greg “to-be-Congress-man” Pilkington; in particular, it was about development of Country Configuration Template, CCT, for the WCS. The WCS was designed to improve service and enhance revenue by streamlining end-to-end customs clearance of DHL shipments. WCS functions boosted the DHL regional and local organizations ability to capture and store key customer and product information, automate commodity classification, control an inventory of customs and regulatory entries, communicate electronically with 3rd party brokers, and handle exceptions. The development of CCT was part of a business requirements gathering process. We collected user requirements for import/export operations from over 60 countries and put them into CCT for further analytical purposes. Ultimately, the CCT became storage for multiple shipment parameters describing calculation rules, categorization rules, clearance status, data cleansing, special treatment, movement details, exemptions and so forth. 

Yes, good old times….! Lately, you have made significant contributions in FP7-project CORE – particularly in the technical work packages of the project. Can you elaborate bit on the work you have been doing?

Within FP7-CORE project my focus has been on development of several deliverables that belong to work packages from risk and IT clusters. In particular, regarding the CORE IT-cluster, I have contributed to the development of high level specifications for Supply Chain Security Reference Framework, SCSRF, model, which encodes all the data semantics required for information exchange activities between supply chain stakeholders. SCSRF consists of several building blocks providing necessary functionalities, including: common block developing a common supply chain process model for security, surveillance technologies, risk assessment, supply chain optimization, visibility as well as interoperability blocks. In CORE risk-cluster, I have played a role in the development of initial set of supply chain security controls and, later, in the development of additional controls to apply system based approach to assess compliance of supply chains. In all cases I had to study deliverable concept, participate in preparation of methodology and resource allocation, and finally collect relevant data from CORE demonstrator work packages to elaborate on application of the concept in real supply chains.   At present I continue my work with CORE partners to develop next version of formal SCSRF specification with demonstrator based refinements.

For the last year of FP7-CORE, maybe the most important work for you – and multiple CBRA colleagues – is on the education and training materials, to be stored and shared in proper “educational content and process management platform”. Where do you see the biggest challenges lying ahead, when producing a comprehensive learning package, by April 2018?

The development of content for CORE educational and training package is a demanding task, requiring good knowledge of key CORE concepts, priority innovations as well as demos. I think that the main challenge in the overall CORE-project is the application of innovative developments in real-life demonstrations. At the same time, in CORE we need to show evidence of commercial benefits and effectiveness these innovations bring in global trade facilitation and supply chain management.

Regarding the CORE work package 19.1 in education and training, the first important aspect is identification of the intended audience. So far we have identified three main user groups: first group on any users who want to learn specific things about CORE project; second group with supply chain and government practitioners who are interested in CORE main approaches, findings and results, specifically tailored for their category of organizations; and third group consisting of academic organizations or individuals like under graduate and post graduate students, including at HEC University of Lausanne “Executive MBA program” and Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University “Executive Master in Customs and Supply Chain Compliance – Combining safety, security and sustainability with compliance and efficiency in international trade”

Second aspect is related with the choice of the learning platform. There should be a reasonable balance between learning management system and knowledge database containing general information about CORE ambition, stakeholders, concepts and progress that have been achieved by demonstrators.

Third aspect is about intended learning outcomes. The outcomes will typically vary between different groups of learners. Here we also have to define how the user performance on the learning module will be assessed.

Finally, besides the above-mentioned aspects, while developing learning packages, we need to take into account following characteristics of learning material for the learning process to be effective: the learning material must be purposeful, structured, paced and engaging.

Thanks Vladlen for the interview – and thanks also for joining the CBRA Super-workshop in Thun, Switzerland, couple of weeks ago (note: we will publish soon a CBRA Blog on the Super-workshop, so please stay tuned…!).