GENERAL MANAGER LOGISTICS
CARIB BREWERY LTD
If ever there was a high pressure job, then Damian Castagne has claimed it as the General Manager Logistics at Carib Brewery Ltd.
Introduced in ancient Greece, logistics was used on the battlefield as a way of ensuring that soldiers received food, weapons and medical supplies in a timely fashion. Today, Logistics is utilized as a way of removing ineffiencies from a company’s supply chain. Not only does Damian have to keep an eye on the supply chain at all times, but he must also consult with all the other managers who are responsible for some leg of the supply chain. His team ensures that there is a continuous supply of materials and products to their internal and external customers.
“My job” he says, “is to ensure that Carib Brewery Ltd is as well equipped as possible to achieve the results we have affirmed in our Strategy”. It’s a challenge he thrives on.
A purposeful call from Gerry Brooks, Chief Operating Officer of the ANSA McAL Group, whilst contemplating a long vacation with his wife, led to a meeting with Andrew Sabga, Chairman of Caribbean Development Company Ltd and his appointment in 2006. Though his job is complex and very demanding, he is very happy doing what he does.
Damian’s day commences with exercise every morning and having breakfast at home with his wife and two children. His day at the office typically starts at 8 a.m . The first hour at work is dedicated to planning and then there is a round of meetings with managers and floor staff. Believing in Benjamin Franklin’s axiom that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, he is quick to point out that his main daily activities are to forecast, prioritize and plan. As he puts it: “the company’s long-term and short-term strategic goals need to be translated into specific priorities each day.” Information dissemination is another major element of his job, as he must be able to communicate essential and vital information between departments.
He cites working with the CEO, Derek Waddell and the Carib Executive Leadership Team as being a great experience. “The team is very professional, dynamic with a bias for action and getting the job done. We are all very proud of our recent successful product introductions Carib Pilsner Light, Black Wolf, my personal favorite beer, and Ginseng Apple.”
A major project for the team this year is the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) project. This is a massive undertaking, but one that he is very excited to see go live in the very near future.
Damian considers himself to be a good teacher and people developer. He is proud to say that he built his young and talented team and values their contribution. He remembers one of his teachers at St Mary’s College, Father DeFour, saying to him that if you have a problem then you must “meet it and greet it.” He is very much solutions-oriented and gains immense satisfaction in getting things done right even if it means doing it over and over. He believes that people should be held accountable for their actions, that they should set high standards for themselves and commit to achieving them. At the end of the day, his aim is to get the best out of himself and his team.
For persons wanting to get into the business of Logistics he is clear that they should have a Business or Science degree, established critical thinking processes and good negotiating skills. “The devil is in the details”, he says quite frankly, and looks for persons with a passion for success, team players and personality.
He is proud of his running accomplishments which include getting the inventory planning right; improved production material availability, significant cost reduction, and an excellent in-house Customs function. He is proud that for the last six months there has been zero port rent, which speaks volumes for his team’s planning and forecasting abilities.
Damian describes Carib as being like a family, with an energized atmosphere and great people. Inspired by Andrew Sabga and his knowledge of the industry, Damian admires that his Chairman knows everyone by name. “With a boss like Andrew, staff wants to go all out for him. He connects in a human way with everybody. That’s quite an achievement and we can learn a lot from him.”
Damian gets great personal satisfaction from his church and family. He describes his wife Paula, as the rock of the entire family. He is very proud that his uncle was the late Patrick S. Castagne – Composer of the National Anthem of Trinidad & Tobago.
When asked about what legacy he would like to leave, Damian says with a smile, that he wishes to be remembered as having made a positive difference to everyone who came into his life.