Trained firefighter, Army Reservist, marathon enthusiast and agricultural supply chain expert… meet the many faces of Oliver Kinsey, our Innovation Delivery Manager.
From this impressive list of achievements, you’d be justified in wondering how Oliver (Olly) Kinsey has time to fit in being our full time Innovation Delivery Manager. However, clearly never one to walk away from a passion, Olly has taken on this role in his stride!
Before IMS, Olly had spent the best part of 10 years working alongside global food retailers to help them shape sustainability and traceability programmes within their agricultural supply chains – an area he absolutely loves.
‘My previous roles have been to develop solutions to challenges faced by retailers, predominantly around traceability within a supply chain, and I’ve worked alongside global brand names, such as Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsburys, Coca-cola and Muller Wiseman. Over the years I have seen a shift towards data-focused strategies and a requirement for deeper levels of granularity within these programmes. Although this shift was initially caused by the “big data” movement, it is now an integral part of optimising and driving efficiencies across supply chains for all the businesses within it, as well as for the end retailer.’
With this data-shift in mind, and his expertise in supply chain traceability, joining IMS in October 2021 to lead our government-funded project, The Digital Sandwich, was a natural move for Olly.
‘It had been a few years since I’d worked directly with retail supply chains but it’s an area I’m really passionate about. The chance to lead a project like Digital Sandwich and to get stuck into a large supply chain project, funded by the Government and alongside some other incredible organisations, well, it was a no-brainer!’
The project is aiming to develop an end-to-end supply chain traceability tool, enabling consumers to see exactly what their food products are made of and where they have come from, starting with the humble sandwich as a demonstrator. However, Olly explains how it wasn’t just this that caught his eye about the role:
‘Alongside traceability, the project also aims to make huge strides in supply chain sustainability, from minimising food waste and reducing operating costs to providing greater transparency to consumers. The application of this to wider supply chains, for example pharmaceuticals or transport, is also really exciting and I honestly couldn’t think of a better project to throw myself into here at IMS.’
Although the majority of Olly’s time here has been remote so far, he has made a real impact and has settled into his team and life at IMS seamlessly.
‘Even though I work remotely, and travel has been limited, I couldn’t have asked for a better start. IMS is a great place to work and the people are so friendly. From Senior Directors to Junior Developers, everyone has been happy to take time out of their day to help me find my feet.’
Olly see’s the essence of his role as making the lives of the people who are delivering the project requirements as easy as possible.
‘A typical day is normally a myriad of meetings, from progress updates with our developers to wider Digital Sandwich consortium calls to arrange the next stage of our delivery. Of course, as with every managerial role, there are also the less interesting parts… like the paperwork, finances, reports, and keeping the trusty Gantt chart up to date. Regardless of the day, there is always a lot to juggle – but that’s part of the fun!’
Working within the IoT and Software teams, Olly works alongside and is supported in his role from both the IoT Solutions Director and the Software Development Manager. They ensure he has the resources and technology needed to successfully deliver the project requirements. When asked what he enjoys most about his role, Olly said:
‘For me, it’s the innovation element. Creating something unique and forward-thinking, especially in the field of supply chain transparency, is really exciting and definitely keeps me on my toes. At IMS though, it’s the people that I work with that I enjoy most about this role. They are as diverse as the scope of the project itself.’
‘The Digital Sandwich Project is due to be completed in November 2022. Following that, I’m not sure what’s on the horizon for me – but I hope it will be equally as innovative and enjoyably challenging as this is proving to be!’
Although you’d think Olly already has his hands full with driving The Digital Sandwich Project to completion by the end of this year, his spare time makes even the busiest superhero look lazy. If he’s not busy being an Army Reservist on the weekends or training relentlessly to prepare for his first ever marathon this April, then he’s casually relaxing at home being dad to his new born, Ffion. I’m not sure about you, but it’s making me tired just reading this! Keep up the great work Olly – we can’t wait to hear about success of The Digital Sandwich.