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One step further: COI Asia panel inaugurated in Vale China

“In the past, we only used to sell iron ore to China. Now we are producing our main product in China” – with these words, Value Chain Director Vagner Loyola ended his speech on the inauguration of the COI Asia panel in Shanghai on June 8. This great shift in Vale’s strategy and operation comes along with another very deep change which has been ongoing for the past 2 years – the implementation of Vale’s Integrated Operations Center – or COI, using its Portuguese abbreviation.

"In the past, we only used to sell iron ore to China. Now we are producing our main product in China” said Value Chain Director Vagner Loyola on the inauguration

Along the last decade, Vale has worked hard to overcome the market challenges and geographical disadvantages relative to its main competitors. Actually we are even succeeding in transforming it into an advantage, we are closer to the market than anybody else and we can offer excellent quality and just-in-time supply. In this process Vale’s iron ore value chain – which includes all processes from mines until delivery to clients – has become much more complex, comprising 22 mines, 13 pelletizing plants, 4 railways, 1 riverway, 4 loading ports, a dedicated fleet of more than 120 vessels, 1 blending and distribution center in Malaysia and more than 12 blending and distribution centers in China. Such a huge and complex chain raises the question which COI originated from: is Vale’s value chain optimized and operating in the best way possible?

After assessments on Vale’s processes and structure and to achieve best global results for Vale as whole – and not only for some departments or systems – COI has been designed, having as its main pillars the integration between all departments, alignment of information flow, fast and effective decision-making and visibility of the main KPI’s. COI is much more than a physical location combining different departments, it is a new model which encompasses people, processes, systems, information and governance. A very representative step was taken in September 2017, with the inauguration of Vale’s Global COI in Belo Horizonte state in Brazil.

In our current operational model we are producing around 100 million tons of blended products in Asia and the production is expected to increase to around 150 million tons by 2020. It is of utmost importance that all the extended chain is integrated and globally optimized – and this evidently includes all operations and sales in China. Therefore, on June 8 in Shanghai we managed to take one very representative step on our Value Chain: the inauguration of COI Asia Panel, the first of a series of important tools which will help all involved areas to better manage the iron ore chain.

The implementation of Global COI, which includes COI in Asia, has some more stages until it will be concluded. Step by step and in a consistent way, Vale is managing to perform the relevant change in the way the company operates and sells. To better deal with complexity and challenges, additional integration, transparency and alignment all around Vale’s operations and sales needs to be achieved: the COI panel is one of the tools to make this change visible and to enhance further cooperation.

One step further: COI Asia panel inaugurated in Vale China