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An Interview with Jeremin Ang (Head, Business Logistics, Certis CISCO Secure Logistics)

Published on January 9, 2018
Security organisation Certis CISCO has been around for more than 50 years. Its Secure Logistics business, which offers services that cater to precious metals players, including vaulting and courier services, has been growing rapidly in recent years. Its Head of Business Logistics, Jeremin Ang, gives Crucible an insight into its operations and how it is transforming to meet business challenges today.
What does the company do in general, and for precious metals players in particular?

Certis CISCO Secure Logistics has been around for more than 50 years. We play an integral role in Singapore’s cash ecosystem, boasting the largest security transport service for cash and valuables. We are capable of carrying out high volume cash-in-transit operations and cash replenishment services islandwide. We were appointed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore as the nation’s $2 and $5 Notes Manager and Circulation Coins Operations Manager, highlighting our reliability and consistency.

With the deployment of high speed sorters in central banks, we have the capability to automate cash processes for major clients and take over their end-to-end cash management. We also provide last-mile delivery and storage solutions for International customers. By working with trusted partners, a one-stop fuss-free solution is provided from transportation to shipping and permit clearances to storage and delivery. We provide valuables storage services via our Safe Deposit Box service at three convenient locations islandwide. We also have a Fine Arts Depository equipped with humidity and temperature controls and state-of-the-art inert gas fire protection systems.

For precious metals players, Certis CISCO Secure Logistics provides vaulting and storage services with industry-standard vaults. Coupled with 24-hour security coverage, access control systems, and inventory management systems, this presents an ideal secure solution for storage requirements.

What are your current tasks in your role as head of business logistics?

My role is to ensure that we are always on track to achieve the standards we set out to reach and exceed expectations in our provision of value-added services.

Ensuring high customer service standards and satisfaction is important to create lasting relationships with all our customers. I strongly believe that no relationship should be taken for granted. Maintaining 100% accuracy in our operations is one of our top priorities so our customers can be confident there would be no deviation from the expected outcome. We achieve this by carefully planning operational processes and being consistent in our training methodology.

Business Logistics must be ahead of the curve and develop capabilities to meet growing customer demands. A potential area of growth is our precious metals depository. We strive to anticipate changes in consumers’ needs and create new products and services to cater to new demands.

To stay relevant in this age of technology adoption and automation, there is a need to embrace the tech pivot and be ready to accept change. An example includes the integration of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) into our operations. We are constantly looking for ways to tap on the potential of RPA to improve our efficiency and effectiveness. These are only the first steps into the future; a drop in the vast ocean, but one that will have a more significant effect.

“To stay relevant in this age of technology adoption and automation, there is a need to embrace the tech pivot and be ready to accept change”
There are many secure logistics providers around today – how does Certis CISCO stand out from the competition?

Certis is a unique outsourcing partner with a complete suite of in-house capabilities. Security is in our DNA – we are the leading integrated security firm in Asia offering tech enabled physical and cyber security. Beyond security, we have drawn on our deep operational and technology experience to become the leading tech-enabled outsourcing partner to customers with critical operations. Uniquely, we are able to design and operate integrated solutions encompassing front and back office and security operations.

Design thinking is fundamental to our process. We achieve exceptional outcomes for our customers and partners by applying our Certis BPRO® methodology to design and execute bespoke solutions. These are carefully calibrated to assemble the most effective combination of process design, talent and technology (what we call M3, or Man, Machine, Method).

Our goal is to help our customers achieve excellent outcomes and customer experience with compelling cost structures – containing rising costs in manpower, optimising tech and resources, and integrating operations through process design.

Could you explain your trade facilitation partnership with Singapore Customs and how it works?

Certis CISCO International Courier Services is in the “Premium” band under the Secure Trade Partnership (STP) & STP-Plus certification. STP is a voluntary certification programme consistent with the World Customs Organisation (WCO) SAFE Framework of Standards. Only companies that meet stringent security standards are eligible for STP-Plus. Our robust security measures mean we have a greater visibility of goods in the supply chain, reduction in pilferages, and greater efficiency in supply chain management.

Being in the “Premium” banding, we benefit from Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRAs) signed between Singapore Customs and other countries. The banding also reflects that Certis CISCO is a low-risk company and enjoys expedited clearance at recognised partners through MRAs. Additionally, Certis CISCO is also a known consignor under the Regulated Air Cargo Agent Regime.

How does the company support the precious metals sector in Singapore and the region, and support Singapore’s goal of becoming a precious metals hub?

Certis CISCO supports the precious metals sector in Singapore by being a highly reliable and consistent service provider of high-value secured transportation and secured storage services. With a strong portfolio, proven records, and robust methodology, Certis CISCO has a strong reputation in security services and the confidence of stakeholders in the precious metals sector.

How has the company grown in the past few years, with Singapore attracting more precious metals players? You can talk a little about the company’s growth, or how you have built your team and your capabilities.

Singapore’s strategy to become a precious metal hub is taking shape by creating infrastructure and policies to encourage the growth of the industry. The results can be seen in the steady increment of imports and exports for investment-grade precious metals.

To align with Singapore’s strategy, Certis CISCO has been growing in the direction of creating a business flow and ensuring that a conducive environment is provided for precious metals players to carry out their businesses. Building on our expertise as an integrated security firm offering tech-enabled physical and cybersecurity, Certis CISCO has grown beyond security and has the capabilities to design and operate integrated solutions encompassing front and back office, and security operations.

What are your business goals for the next five years? How do see your work developing in the coming years?

For the next five years and beyond, our goal is to become the preferred service provider for logistics solutions, a partner that can be entrusted to customise solutions which will optimise processes and reduce wastage of resources to achieve or exceed expected outcomes.

With the groundwork laid out for Singapore to become a precious metals hub, the influx of precious metals players will undoubtedly bring about a need for more support services along the value chain. Building on our current capabilities, we hope to develop solutions that would allow us to increase our capacity and be a one-stop service provider for our customers.

“The influx of precious metals players will undoubtedly bring about a need for more support services along the value chain”

In addition, there are a couple of developments that affect the way we are planning our business as they will have a significant impact on how we operate in the near future:

  1. Fall in working population growth
  2. Growth in e-commerce
  3. Government’s push for a cashless society

As such, embracing the tech pivot and being ahead of the curve is important. To achieve this, we are looking at utilising technology to automate our processes and develop smart solutions, and in some scenarios rethink our current operations.

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