Ex-Apple, Dell and Uber Supply-Chain Executive joins KREATIZE to build the best in class global manufacturing cloud.
With the mission to build the best global on-demand manufacturing cloud, Zod B. Mehr is starting as of November 01, 2020 as Chief Supply-Chain Officer at KREATIZE. After 10 years at Dell, 11 years at Apple and most recently at Uber, the company has high expectations of Zod, who is currently moving with his family from California to Berlin.
To better introduce Zod to you, he answered a few questions about himself, his goals and his love for onion tart and vintage cars:
You have worked for Dell, Apple and Uber recently – really impressive stations – what is it that attracts you to KREATIZE now?
When I joined Apple in early 2008, it was just embarking on what would become a premier powerhouse in product lifecycle management. We were breaking barriers in manufacturing capability, cost, quality and cycle-time of high-volume, complex mechanical parts. There was definitely a start-up energy across the cross-functional teams, from Industrial design to engineering to Mechanical operations. As the saying goes, we all wore many different “hats”.
I feel that Kreatize also embodies an energy & innovative spirit that will revolutionize the process of ordering and fabricating mechanical parts through its proprietary software platform. KREATIZE is, in a way, the natural progression of the manufacturing methodology that started at Apple not so long ago which was machining the entire laptop chassis from a billet of aluminum.
What are your plans for the first few months at Kreatize?
During my first few months, my focus will be to engage with the team (both Partner and Customer facing) and deep dive into the complexities of the platform and the fulfillment model. My aim is to fully grasp and appreciate how Kreatize transforms orders to in-spec mechanical parts. During this time period, I will get to better know and spend time with Kreatize team members as well!
Next we can explore opportunities to standardize processes and put in place best practices I have picked up while managing complex mechanical (and electrical) supply chains. Last but not least I plan on visiting our Partners and solicit their inputs on how to make the order process & fulfillment easier and more repeatable & predictable.
What challenges do you think the manufacturing world will face in the next 5 years?
The challenges to global manufacturing remain the same as before plus the addition of taking into account and reducing the carbon footprint of production.
- Customer focus: at times this may include mentoring and coaching the customer to ensure first time satisfaction (rather than multiple manufacturing iterations)
- Cost management
- Planning & Risk Management to ensure Continuity of Supply and Time-to-Delivery
- Supplier/Partner Relationship Management. Our Partners are one of our strongest assets. We should listen, take notes and adjust processes to ensure quality and on-time delivery
- Talent up and down the supply chain
And what exactly do we have to do to further strengthen mechanical engineering?
I’m unable to say what the opportunities are for mechanical engineering before spending adequate time with my Kreatize colleagues first. However from my personal experience as the head of Mac Enclosure Quality at Apple, I believe there may be opportunities to reduce scrap, improve first-pass yield, reduce turnaround time and build assembly-ready parts by standardizing the method of defining tolerances in CAD.
By adopting a standard drawing protocol (Geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, GD&T) between customers and suppliers, we can also ensure the parts can be assembled into the final product at high yields. This was our experience, when between 2008 and 2010, Apple Mechanical Enclosures team (Design and Operations) fully adopted GD&T and began to see a dramatic increase in assembly first-pass yield.
You are currently living with your family in California – where we are thinking primarily of lots of sun, beach and sea – what are you looking forward to most in Germany?
We’re looking forward to exploring the culture, the music, the outdoors and the diversity of people in Berlin and Germany and Europe in general. I lived in Germany in the early 90s as a young engineer on loan from IBM-US and have fond memories of going to fun Wine festivals (I love a nice Zwiebelkuchen with a glass of chilled white wine!).
We enjoy running and I look forward to exploring Berlin by foot.
By the way, the beaches are pretty and plentiful in California, but also quite cold year around (~15’C)!
And what will be the first thing you really want to show your children in Berlin?
After spending the past 7 months sheltering-in-place and “distant-learning” from home, my wife and I look forward to leave the kids with a babysitter and spend some quality time exploring Berlin by ourselves! 🙂 My wife Nora who lived in Berlin for a few years says she would love to revisit Clärchens Ballhaus and Kunstwerke. We are also looking forward to the diverse food options available in Berlin.
Not to neglect the kids, I plan on taking them to Classic-Remise (which I visited last time I was in Berlin) and look at all the classic car and motorcycles. Here’s a photo of me pretending to drive off with my new car (fall of 2018). The kids are actually most excited about exploring the subway system.