KLU Talks Business ... with Frank Vorrath, Danfoss Climate Solutions

Whether groundbreaking technological advances, corporate change, or the green transformation: Frank Vorrath’s career has been characterized by the art of adapting to new challenges and opportunities. As Vice President of Supply Chain Services at Danfoss Climate Solutions, he is currently focusing on the further development of supply chains through digital technologies and AI. In our interview, we talked to him about the future of work as a supply chain manager, the important role of trust, and where the major challenges lie for the supply chains of the future.

In a joint session with KLU Professor Kai Hoberg, you discussed the future of work in the supply chain sector at the Kühne Foundation’s Logistics Day. An important phrase here: “Trust the system” – what does that mean?

Frank Vorrath: “Trust the system” means having faith in the processes and technologies behind an efficient supply chain. In other words, believing that the system works properly, even if there are sometimes unforeseen challenges – or rather upheavals. Of course, the advantage of technology is that the complexity is much more manageable. However, there will always be an interplay between the technology and the person or team involved in supply chain management. In my role, I also have to be a talent manager. And my assessment is: supply chain experts will continue to be a sought-after job in the future. KLU has the right focus on communicating topics such as AI and decarbonization and helping to shape them through research and events such as the Logistics Day.


Where do you see the biggest challenges in making supply chains fit for the future?

Frank Vorrath: Our ultimate goal is to build a sustainable and resilient supply chain that can withstand the challenges of climate change. One of the biggest challenges is to ensure that all parties involved – suppliers, partners and internal teams – are on the same page and support the strategy. We also need to remain flexible to respond to unforeseen events. This means reducing our carbon emissions, using renewable energy, and designing our supply chains to be less vulnerable to extreme weather events. We have also learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the current situation in the Panama Canal, and other crises that flexibility and responsiveness are crucial. Our goals therefore also include strengthening our crisis response capability to to ensure that we can maintain our supply chains even in turbulent times.

What are your priorities for the supply chain of the future?

Frank Vorrath: We are pursuing a three-pronged strategy at Danfoss, one which aims to make our supply chain more resilient, more efficient, and more sustainable. To do so, we are focusing on diversification, digitalization, and sustainability. The third point in particular is already part of the culture at Danfoss. By 2030, we want to be climate-neutral at all 95 of our production sites. My focus lies on developing customized strategies that create real added value through change. We are diversifying our supply chains by identifying alternative suppliers and entering into closer partnerships with them. At the same time, we are focusing on digitalization to optimize our processes and make them more transparent. We are also integrating sustainability practices into our supply chains to minimize their environmental and social impacts.

What are the first three words that come to mind when you think of KLU?

Frank Vorrath: Innovative, collaborative, and future-oriented.