Monday, October 25, 2021

Sir Ed

Last Monday marked five years since the passing of Ed Sanchez, the long-time executive director of SCMAP.


As we mark our thirtieth anniversary and look back at our achievements throughout the decades, we cannot help but recall Ed’s many contributions, bringing this organization – and the country’s supply chain sector as a whole – to where it is today. He was one of the original ten “starters” who came together in 1989, seeking to effectively respond to cartel-like behavior from shipping lines, a meeting that led to the founding of the Distribution Management Association of the Philippines. He spoke fearlessly against these moves, but not to spite the other side; he believed that the organization’s actions were ultimately for the competitiveness not just of its member companies, but of the economy as a whole.


We may have moved away from the more combative stance the organization took in its early years – as times move on, more and more see the value of collaboration for greater understanding and resolve – but these ethos continue to guide us as DMAP transitioned to SCMAP, as changes to the logistics and business landscapes began to take hold, and as more stakeholders began to make sense of their role in the wider supply chain.


I first met Ed in 2012. As a newcomer to both SCMAP and the supply chain sector as a whole—I was roped in because I loved to write—I was tasked to accompany him to the meeting venue. I must admit I did not have a grasp of just what he has done at the time. I must also admit that I haven’t really done so until after his death, in 2014, from cancer. But I did see that my colleagues treated him with the utmost respect, an acknowledgment of the contributions I have yet to fully understand.


Of course, he isn’t the only force behind SCMAP. He only served as president for one year; many presidents and directors came after him, bringing with them different perspectives and approaches. But his dedication to the organization kept it ticking, and ensured it was ready to respond to surprise developments and to long-term changes. He broadened the organization’s network, forging ties we continue to call on to this day. He provided a steadying presence to what must have been turbulent times. Without him, I must say, SCMAP will not be the most respected supply chain organization in the country, top of mind among key stakeholders in the public and private sectors alike.


Personally, I can’t help but think about what he would have thought about the developments affecting supply chain today. There’s a greater sense of collaboration among the public and private sectors, although there’s a lot more work to be done. The challenges of capacity shortages and the new demands of the last mile pose challenges no one thirty years ago would have anticipated. What would he have made out of it? I feel a bit more pressure, admittedly, as I have inherited this column from him—a column he penned for 14 years. I feel I have to lie up to his wisdom—far cry, since unlike him, I never had direct supply chain experience. But then, the values he promoted are relevant whether you’re an industry veteran or a keen observer, and these impact every Filipino. And SCMAP’s still doing just that, so… carry on, we must.


And to the future: SCMAP has announced its board of directors for 2020. Rustan Supercenters’ Christine Pardiñas will continue to act as president until the end of 2020, after which she will be succeeded by XVC Logistics’ Pierre Carlo Curay, who was named president-elect. He will lead SCMAP from 2021 to 2022.


LF Logistics’ Dina Pilapil will continue as secretary. PLDT’s Jess Sarmiento returns to the board as treasurer, while Zalora’s Jannis Dargel will assume the position of auditor.


Other directors include Alipio Bernardo IV of Personal Collection, Arnel Gamboa of National Bookstore, Dennis Llovido of Nestlé, Nestor Felicio of Unilab and Renato Casas of JG Summit Petrochemical.


The board was selected through online elections conducted amongst its members throughout November, and the officers were selected by the directors amongst themselves.


Henrik Batallones is the marketing and communications executive of SCMAP. A former board director, he is also editor-in-chief of the organization’s official publication, Supply Chain Philippines. More information about SCMAP is available at


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