Rafael Vela

SCM, Procurement, Logistics, Operations, Change and Project Mgmt Professional.                                                                       

                                                    Presentation Letter

September 2019

Dear Sirs

I am a SCM, procurement, logistics, and operations professional with ample executive experience, internationally seasoned, an expert in restructuring or forming and directing multi-cultural, multi-generational, multi-language teams in more than 30 countries in manufacturing, service, and technology multinational companies including textile and chemical manufacturing, cement manufacturing, automobile manufacturing, telecommunications, global secure logistics, and consulting (end-to-end SCM consulting).

Designed, implemented, and managed the strategies to attain company goals, always exceeding those goals. Have led many procurement operations with annual purchasing OPEX budgets ranging from $30 to $150 million and CAPEX budgets usually exceeding $300 million transforming these operations into real profit centers guiding very diverse teams operating in many countries ranging in numbers from 20 to 400 employees (direct as well as indirect reports). 

My expertise covers all areas of the supply chain function (specified in cv) and have guided projects that produced millions of dollars in savings attaining significant reduction of inventories while increasing customer service, implementing S&OP methodology, and producing significant savings in both OPEX and CAPEX purchases, slashing inventory holding costs, and much more.

I do possess extensive practical experience in demand planning, forecasting, S&OP, Lean Six Sigma philosophy and processes, SCM sustainability initiatives, and transformation management and consider myself a mentor to my teams, a good communicator and listener at all levels. 

My leadership skills include critical thinker; strategist; negotiator; educator and avid learner; communicator; high team management ability; expert planner; resourceful and innovative; analytical, committed, and passionate; adaptable and creative; a team builder, definitely an out-of-the-box thinker with no fear to try and fail and very focused on targets and customer service (both internal and external customers). I do not displace responsibility, what I do and its results, I own. Zero tolerance on any type of waste (inventory, waiting time, over production and over processing, etc.). Independent thinker opened to suggestions and opinions and fiercely opposed to any form of micromanagement.

In terms of languages, my English and Spanish are native level, my Italian is working proficient, and my French is at an intermediate level.

I am an Italian citizen, currently residing in Panama City, Panama, Central America, where I have been a legal resident since 2003. I am quite used to travel as in the last 15 years I have worked in an expat capacity travelling to many countries in different continents and I am willing to relocate. 

I will add value to any operation I am a part of so if my profile and experience is of your interest, please feel free to contact me for more details

Thanks in advance for your time and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards

Rafael Vela

Phone: +507 6671 4500


Public profile: 



Rafael Vela (Mr.) 

LinkedIn Profile:

Nationality: Italian

Phone: +507 6671 4500               Mail:   

Current residence: Panamá City, Panamá

Procurement, logistics, SCM, and Operations professional. Natural born logistician, culturally agile global leader in all things SCM and Operations, change and project management versed with 30+ years of executive international experience. 



Company: Westgate International Consulting Inc. 

Period: Jan 2017 – June 2019

Country: Panamá

Brief description: With profit / loss responsibilities I directed all activities from identification of customers’ requirements to assignment and management of resources, human or otherwise, to ensure successful completion of all consulting projects in the area of SCM, procurement, logistics, operations, CRM, VRM, organizational transformation, etc.

Global Technology Asset Manager 

Company: Brinks Regional Services LLC

Period: May 2015 – Dec 2016

Country: Panamá

Brief description: Designed, implemented and controlled the IT asset management strategy, processes, and best practices leading teams in 18 countries. Created set of KPIs to measure all related activities and defined corporate communications strategy on all asset management related issues. Implemented best practices for the adequate disposal of e-waste in compliance with environmental laws in 18 countries. Responsible for achieving full compliance with all major software producers avoiding penalties of more than eight million dollars a year on average due to the use of unlicensed software.


Company: Nexel Solutions Inc.

Period: May 2011 – Apr 2015

Country: Panamá

Brief description: Directed all sales and SCM activities to drive growth in the Caribbean basin, central and south American countries. Established S&OP philosophy and coordinated all its activities to ensure highest possible level of customer satisfaction. Responsible for all procurement, inventory and distribution activities (local, national and international).

Group Procurement and Logistics Director

Company: COMIUM Group

Period: Feb 2010 - Jan 2011

Country: Cote D’Ivoire, West Africa, managed teams in 8 countries

Brief description: Designed and implemented all procurement and SCM strategies for the whole group (Lebanon, France, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, U.A.E., The Gambia, and Brazil). Implemented and controlled best practices on S&OP activities. Introduced and put in place lean tactics to manage inventory and strategic procurement eliminating all sorts of waste increasing operational efficiency and productivity and put in place a demand planning program to ensure customers satisfaction while maintaining adequate inventory levels and proper resource management. 

Regional VP Logistics & Supply Chain Operations

Company: Cable & Wireless - British Telecom with operations in 48+ countries

Period: May 2006 - July 2009

Country: Panama, managed teams in 16 Countries

Brief description: Managed all SCM and logistics operations for the LATAM and Caribbean region encompassing 16 countries. Developed and implemented KPIs, best practices, and inventory redeployment opportunities between all countries to eliminate dead / slow moving inventory. Actively participated in the implementation of SAP Materials Module for the region. Led SCM and logistics teams in 16 countries.

Demand Planning, Logistics, and Inventory Manager 

Company: Cable & Wireless - British Telecom with operations in 48+ countries

Period: July 2003 - May 2006

Country: Panama

Brief description: Designed, implemented and managed all demand planning activities. Responsible for all warehousing, invertory management and OPEX procurement activities

Materials Flow Manager 

Company: Chrysler - Today's FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles)

Period: May 1998 - March 2003

Country: Venezuela

Brief description: Joined as part of the transition team when the German company Daimler AG aquired Chrysler Corp. During this period implemented good practices in all processes realted to procurement, warehousing, logistics, and distribution activities in the manufacturing plant in Venezuela.

Interim Operations and Logistics Manager

Company: Digital Corp (later Compaq, now HP)

Period: March 1998 - October 1998

Country: Venezuela

Brief description: For a brief period of time on an interim capacity directed all procurement, distribution, and warehousing activities in Venezuela preparing for the imminent acquisition by Compaq.

Materials Manager 

Company: Cementos Caribe C.A. (Today LafargeHolcim) -  Cement manufacturer

Period: June 1996 - February 1998

Country: Venezuela

Brief description: Responsible for all procurement, inventory management, VRM, and warehousing activities and initiatives in two manufacturing facilities in Venezuela while supporting same activities in production facilities in Peru and Ecuador. 

Logistics Manager 

Company: S.A.C.A. - Multinational manufacturer of chemicals and textile products with operations in Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, U.S.A.,and U.K.

Period: May 1980 - January 1995

Country: Venezuela

Brief description: Managed all aspects of the SCM function including procurement, inventory management, distribution, production planning, warehousing, etc. 

education and training


Rafael Vela (Mr,) - Bachelor in Business Administration

30+ years of experience in procurement, SCM, logistics, and operations in various multi national organizations in different industries

Phone + Whatsapp: +507 6671 4500



- Lean Mgmt and Manufacturing BKO accredited / Six Sigma Academy –  

   Amsterdam (BKO - Basis Kwalificatie Onderwijs / Netherlands University   

   Teaching  Qualification) 

- Six Sigma Black Belt Certification (14 modules)

- Six Sigma Green Belt Certification (14 modules)

- Six Sigma Green Belt (SSGB) BKO accredited / Six Sigma Academy-Amsterdam

  (BKO - Basis Kwalificatie Onderwijs or Netherlands University Teaching  



- Implementing Supply Chain Management

- Operations and Supply Chain Management / Udemy 

- Operations Management / Project Management Institute 

- Procurement: Cost Based Pricing for Procurement Organizations

- Reverse Logistics Management and Sustainability

   Operational Excellence Training 

- Strategic Cost Management for Procurement and Supply Chains

- Strategic Negotiation

- Strategic Partnership / Project Management Institute and National  

   Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)

- Supply Chain and Operations Management 

- Supply Chain Logistics / Rutgers University – USA 

- Supply Chain Operations / Rutgers University – USA 

- Supply Chain Risk Management / Operational Excellence Training 

- Supply Chain Sustainability Strategies  / Project Management Institute

- Transformational Change (Managing organizational change)


- Change Management

- Leading Productive Meetings / Project Management Institute

- Lean Inventory Management

   National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)

- Lean Six Sigma Foundations / Project Management Institute



   National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)

- Minitab (Statistical analysis)

   National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)

- Operational Excellence / Project Management Institute

- Operational Excellence, Workouts & Kaizen Facilitator

   National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)

- Project Management / Project Management Institute

- Project Management: COMMUNICATIONS

   National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)

- Project Management: Iterative Methods / Project Management Institute 

- Project Management: TEAMS / Project Management Institute and National  

   Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)

- Project Mgmt: Preventing Scope Creep /  Project Management Institute

- Project Management: Procurement / Project Management Institute

- SCRUM: Advanced / Project Management Institute

- Six Sigma Black Belt / Project Management Institute

- Six Sigma Foundations / Project Management Institute

- Six Sigma Green Belt / Project Management Institute

- Statistics  1, Statistics 2, Statistics 3

   National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)

- Stay Lean with Kanban  / Project Management Institute



- Digital Transformation

- Excel: Power Pivots

- IoT Foundations 

- Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne / ERP

- Magaya (SCM, warehousing and cargo management software)

- Microsoft Dynamics 

- SAP ERP Essential Training

- SAP Materials Module / ERP 

- ServiceNow (Asset management)

- Taking Charge of Technology for Maximum Productivity


- Breakeven and Cost-Volume-Profit (CVP) Analysis

- Building Accountability into your Culture 

   National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)

- Building Customer Loyalty 

- Building Resilience 

- Business Process Improvement

- Controllo di Gestione

- Creating a Culture of Change 

- Creating a Culture of Service

- Critical Thinking

- Data Governance 

- Finance for Non-Financial Managers 

- Finance: Risk Management  / Project Management Institute

- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Compliance: Essential Training.

- Global Strategy / Project Management Institute 

- Leading Globally

- Macroeconomics / University of California (UCI) – Irvine

- Managerial Economics / Project Management Institute 

- Managing a Multigenerational Workforce / Project Management Institute 

- Managing Conflict 

   National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA)

- Managing Globally / Project Management Institute 

- Measuring Business Performance / Project Management Institute 

- Sales Forecasting

- Sales Management

- The Euro: History, Issues, and Solutions  / The Duomo Initiative

   (EU, EMU, ECB, EMF, etc)

- The New Rules of Work / Project Management Institute 


- Germany: 1919 - 1947

- Introduction to Human Rights

- International Relations 1815 - 1914

- La Storia / Universita di Foggia - Italy

- Social Psychology Fundamentals

- The Early Protestant Reformation

- Transparency and Anti-Corruption / Universidad Diego Portales - Chile

Rafael Vela (Mr.) - Bachelor in Business Administration

30+ years of experience in procurement, SCM, logistics, and operations in various multi national organizations in different industries

Phone + Whatsapp: +507 6671 4500


                                                  Back to main CV page 


                                                                        Back to main CV page  




+25 years of experience

Demand Planning (+30)

Inbound logistics (+30)

Inventory Mgnt (+30)

Operations & Production Planning (+25)

Procurement (+30)

Project Management (+25)

Quality Assurance (+25) 

Reverse logistics (+25)

SCM (+30)

Sourcing (+30)

Warehousing (+30)

15 to 25 years of experience

Business Process Improvement (+20)

Contract Management (+20)

CRM (+20)

Distribution (+20)

Fleet Management (+20)

IT Asset Management (+15)

S&OP (+15)

Supply Chain Sustainability (+15)

Change Management (+20)

VRM (+20)

10 to 15 years of experience

Lean Management (+10)

Six Sigma Philosophy (+10)

 Back to main CV page  



-  Learn. Learn. Learn.

-  Follow your passion.

-  Pay it forward.

-  Be strong. Work hard. Work smart

-  Make improvements, not excuses

-  Never stop trying and lead by example.

-  Be yourself.

Back to main CV page  




ACHIEVEMENT: Reduced inventory by 90% in one year (approx. US$45 million) 

Where and why: In a telecom multinational company with operations in 18 countries in the Caribbean and Central America. The company had accumulated enormous amounts of inventory through the years due to lack of procurement and inventory management strategies that created the need of multiple additional warehouses, reduced inventory turnover, increased value of slow moving and dead inventory, increased losses due to obsolescence, etc. As Regional VP Logistics & Supply Chain Operations, it was my responsibility to find sustainable solutions for these problems.


1. Created strategic partnership with 3PL operator that bought all our on-hand 

    inventory in 18 countries at book value. 

2. Bought back inventory from partner at a markup which covered all partner’s 

    expenses and expected margin and at the same time was significantly lower 

    than the cost of holding our inventory. 

3. Gave partner first option in sale of future parts and component requirements if 

    prices were market competitive.  

ACHIEVEMENT: Created asset management organization and strategy spreading to 26 countries with savings of nearly $10 million in first two years.

Why: As Global Technology Asset Manager for a secured logistics company with operations in 26 countries and multiple agreements with different software publishers (Microsoft, Adobe, Oracle, VMware, etc.) it was my responsibility to ensure proper hardware and software asset management to prevent major software producers from imposing penalties on the use of unlicensed software. There was no clear acquisition process or software installation controls which after audits from suppliers produced fines for use of unlicensed software of close to US$10 million in 2015 alone.


1. Integrated control teams in all countries with a unified control center to create 

   and maintain full visibility on new software acquisition and installation.

2. Implemented methodology to execute virtual inventory of all hardware and 

    software in all operations. First count produced nearly 80,000 pieces of 

    hardware (laptops, PCs, servers, routers, etc.) with almost 1.4 million software 

    units installed.

3. Instituted best practices and KPIs organization wide to give full visibility. 

4. Eliminated all software copies, cancelled unnecessary software subscriptions, 

    and rationalized software use according to function requirements.


Why: Hurricane season in the Caribbean (June through November) causes terrible damages usually bringing down telecom services for days and sometimes isolating entire towns and cities. As Regional VP Logistics & Supply Chain Operations for a telecom company, it was my responsibility to secure parts, components, and other supplies to restore telecom service in the shortest time possible and supply employees with basic supplies in countries affected by hurricanes or tropical storms. 


1. Developed communication strategy via satellite devices to bypass regular 

    comms usually unavailable after hurricane events.

2. Created common list of critical parts and components usually required to 

    reestablish service after hurricane events.

3. Secured temporary storage facilities in elevated areas to minimize flooding risks 

    to maintain essential parts and components.

4. Identified and reached agreements with small airlines willing to go to 

    devastated areas and land in small airfields carrying supplies.

5. Identified and secured small shipping companies willing and capable to deliver 

    products between islands.

6. Created the REDEPLOYMENT INITIATIVE to redeploy and use in affected areas 

    surplus as well as slow moving or dead inventory located in other countries.  


ACHIEVEMENT: Lowered fleet maintenance cost by 70% through an outsource model (fleet size nearly 200 vehicles)

Why: The fleet management function was a non-core function that took up many resources including human resources (mechanics and supervisors), spare parts inventory, repair shop facilities, etc.

How: The fleet was fully outsourced. Cost reduction came from personnel reduction, elimination of repair shop facilities and associated services, sale of inventory, redeployment of procurement efforts, etc

ACHIEVEMENT: Successfully led SAP ERP materials module implementation. 

Where and why: In a telecom multinational company with operations in 18 countries in the Caribbean and Central America. The company’s first experience implementing SAP Materials Module in one of its biggest operations almost failed as systems parameters were set by the finance and accounting team and were intended to satisfy the reporting and control needs of the finance organization. All parameters for adequate inventory management, distribution,  life cycle control, returns, etc. were completely ignored. As a result, bottle necks in inventory control, and inefficient material reception and dispatch processes led to stock-outs in point of sales due to long delivery lead times which in turn produced very dissatisfied customers, both at distributor and end customer level, as per VOC analysis.   


- Established adequate logistics parameters, prior to implementation, that would 

   allow prompt response to customer requirements. 

- Supervised / approved system test runs. 

- Directed first data upload. 

- Designed system’s standard reporting and KPIs for all function phases from 

   product requisition and purchase order issuance to reception, storage, inventory 

   management, distribution, transport, and returns.

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