An Interview with INEOS' Dr Oliver Frille
AN INTERVIEW WITH DR OLIVER FRILLE
Oliver joined the INEOS Automotive team in June 2018 as Director of Procurement and Supply Chain management. He's responsible for overseeing, sourcing, and managing all the materials going into the Grenadier, our new 4X4 vehicle, as well as other materials for the business, including marketing, sales, production and IT. Here he shares a few insights into his role, as well as his driving life.
Welcome, Oliver! Great to have you on board. That’s a meaty role you’ve got there…
Yes! I’ve been pretty busy from day one. I have a very small team reporting in to me at the moment, but we’re growing this summer and I hope we’ll eventually be about 30 people. There are many materials to manage in a project such as this, and most of all, a lot of relationships. Being a small team and a new startup, we’re operating a pretty lean business model, so are working with a wide array of specialised service providers to move the project along.
We’re talking big-picture stuff here, aren’t we?
Yes! This is a really critical building phase for the project, and we’re laying crucial foundations for the long term. My job involves identifying and selecting the best matching suppliers and managing these over the whole project development phase. It’s a matter of constantly evaluating the robustness and efficiency of the supply chain, the cost, and also the quality of input and output so that we create the best vehicle we possibly can. One that’s reliable and affordable for our customers. Beyond the immediate INEOS Automotive employees, we’re trying to build an extended team of people who are excited and motivated by what we’re doing. It’s really rewarding to see the broader enthusiasm behind this project so far.
What does a typical day involve for you?
Well, I’m based in Stuttgart where most of the project engineering is taking place, but I’m travelling often. On an office-based day, I’ll spend most of it conducting project reviews, defining the measures for securing materials, trying to trim costs, and strategising for the future. A travelling day will often involve going to a supplier, visiting a plant and evaluating tools and negotiating on various topics. There are never two days the same, though!
WE CAN BREAK THE MOULD AND DO THINGS DIFFERENT, CREATIVELY, FLEXIBLY. IT'S A GREAT CHALLENGE.
I’ve got a broad background in automotive and supply chain management, as well as a PhD in logistics. I studied business and industrial engineering in Berlin as the wall was coming down – a great time to be a student! I’ve worked in procurement since then and have had roles with Daimler and also SMART during their startup phase.
What drew you to working with the INEOS team in particular?
It’s a hugely exciting project! It’s still at a very young stage of development, which is a great time to contribute. There’s almost a blank sheet, with no pre-existing systems, so we can break the mould and do things differently, creatively, flexibly. It’s a great challenge.
Tell us a bit about your driving life…
Right now, I don’t get off-road very often, though have done some fantastic trips in my lifetime, including a great adventure in my 20s driving a Hanomag through the Sahara Desert. Unforgettable. For now, I have to confess my preference is for fast German cars, but I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheels of the Grenadier soon.
Oliver is now settled in and hard at work in Germany, building the team- if you have any interest in working in Procurement as the project progresses, do keep an eye on the Careers section of the website.
Find out more about the INEOS Automotive team
From Commercial Director, Mark Tennant, to CEO, Dirk Heilmann, INEOS Automotive has put together a highly talented team of driven people – all focused on producing a truly unique new rugged 4X4 – the INEOS Grenadier.