The Brink’s Difference
Writer: Matthew Staff
Project Manager: Tom Cullum
Brink’s has long instilled itself in the risk management and secure logistics domain as a leading and trusted partner able to build quality, strategic relationships and to perfect its offering on a global scale. This is no different in the Asia-Pacific region; a segment of the worldwide organisation that continues to balance international expertise and reputation with local adherences and considerations.
Guy Bullen and Erez Weiss, Senior Vice Presidents for Brink’s Asia Pacific took time out from their ongoing monitoring of the global business and global trends to explain the significance of the Company’s presence in the region and how it fits into the wider Group’s ultimate goals.
Guy Bullen (GB): Brink’s Asia Pacific business operates as a subsidiary of the Brink’s Company (NYSE: BCO) which was founded in 1859 and is one of the oldest publicly listed US companies on the NYSE. Brink’s began its international expansion within the Asia-Pacific region in 1979 with a joint venture in Hong Kong. This was to support secure transport and storage of gold bullion for the international financial community and London bullion market.
In the ‘80s and ‘90s Brink’s invested across the region; expanding into countries including Japan, Singapore, India, Thailand, Australia, Taiwan and China. Today, Brink’s operate affiliate companies across Asia-Pacific with a focus on international secure transportation and storage for precious metals, diamonds & jewellery, currency and other valuable cargo.
In addition, Brink’s has several large in-country domestic operations involved with cash processing and cash management, ATM network support and service, security, Cash In Transit transportation and secure storage.
Starting with a small office in Hong Kong in 1979, today we operate across Asia-Pacific and India with several thousand employees.
Asia Outlook (AsO): What is the current range of products and services offered under the Brink’s Asia Pacific portfolio, and how do these differ, if at all, to the Brink’s brand in other areas of the world?
Erez Weiss (EW): Brink’s provides a complete service portfolio to Customers spanning domestic and international requirements globally. Within Asia Pacific, Brink’s focus and expertise mirrors that of the global business. The international transport and processing of valuable commodities has been driven by the dynamic trading markets across the region spanning gold, diamonds, jewellery and foreign currency industries. The growth of these emerging markets has also led to a thriving banking industry and the growth of Brink’s domestic business related to local currency service. A good example is the ATM market.
AsO: Across how wide a footprint does Brink’s Asia Pacific operate, and what plans are there for future expansion, if any?
GB: Today, across the region, Brink’s has equity investment in 13 countries and operates through subcontractors in several other jurisdictions within the region to deliver cost-effective, efficient and robust operations to our Customers.
AsO: What has been the Company’s approach to continuous improvement over the years and, again, to what extent have these strategies been dictated by the wider Brink’s Group?
EW: Strategies are created globally as a guide to enable regional and local teams to have achievable goals they can aspire to and deliver against. However, it is imperative that local management are trusted and empowered to make the right decisions to achieve their goals.
There is no question Brink’s investment in IT and proprietary systems capability, data security & analytics has benefited the organisation and its customer base, supported by our dedicated IT teams in Bangkok and Hong Kong.
AsO: Over the past 12 months, what have been the key projects undertaken by Brink’s in the region as a sign of the Company’s ongoing development and improvements?
GB: One of Brink’s goals is to focus investments in selected countries and expand IT capabilities for sustained growth beyond 2016. Over the past 12 months, Brink’s has made significant investments across the region with new facilities in Tokyo and Bangkok. Plans are in motion to further invest in a new state-of-the-art facility in Singapore and further expansion in Southeast Asia.
AsO: From a more internal perspective, what major capital investments have the Company made in recent times to ensure it is improving its own efficiencies?
EW: Brink’s always looks to share best practice methodologies internally. However, we have found it essential not to apply the “cookie cutter” approach as cultures, risk and operations vary so much across the region. What works in New York will not work in Hong Kong and certainly will not add the same value in Thailand, Japan or Vietnam.
Our decision several years ago to setup a dedicated IT support company in Bangkok has been very important to expand our IT capability while constantly upgrading or replacing legacy systems. Another key focus has been on compliance, audit and AML capability given the importance of these administrative functions within the financial community and valuable cargo industry. We take our role as a ‘non-financial’ gatekeeper seriously and this is an area of strategic importance, especially in the enhanced global compliance environment faced today.
AsO: In regards to personnel, what is Brink’s Asia Pacific’s approach to the hiring, training and retention of key skills and how much of a local emphasis is placed on this employment strategy?
GB: History has shown us that combining strong corporate guiding principles and standards while empowering local management delivers the strongest and most successful results. In our business, trust is everything, and with significant diversity across the region, the importance of cross training, stability and a multicultural outlook of all our managers is essential.
AsO: Similarly, when it comes to supply chain management, how much of a local emphasis is there, and how much is influenced by some of the global partnerships that the wider Brink’s Group must enjoy?
EW: Our strength is harnessing the global best practises of the organisation while integrating local knowledge, culture and operational risk management to ensure we provide market-leading supply chain solutions to meet and exceed our Customers’ needs.
AsO: What would you say is the main differentiator that sets Brink’s apart from competitors within the market and the Asia Pacific region?
GB: Trust in our people, and their detailed understanding of local market requirements, our Customers’ businesses, diverse cultures and risk management across the region is key. Combine this with our focus to protect our employees and our Customers’ liability entrusted to us each and every day is what differentiates us in the market.
AsO: Looking forward, if we were to speak again in three-five years’ time, or even a year down the line, what progress and development would you hope and expect to be able to report back for the Company?
EW: Our aspiration is to remain the trusted business partner to our Customers across the globe, to build quality strategic relationships with key Clients, and to enable our Customers in the Asia-Pacific region to continue to grow in both existing markets and new, emerging environments.
“Since 1859, the Brink’s Company has developed a proud history of service in the secure transportation and storage of money and valuables.
“From our original motto of Money & Valuables, Safety & Dispatch to today’s focus on end-to-end secure logistics worldwide driven by outstanding people and information technology, we have always been about protecting our people, protecting our Customers’ interests and providing outstanding service consistently and cost-effectively. This legacy is reflected in the name Brink’s.”
Brink’s Asia PACIFIC’S regional and representative offices:
> East Timor
> New Zealand
> Pacific Islands
> Papua New Guinea
> South Korea
> Sri Lanka
The Brink’s Difference:
Ø “Whatever you consider valuable, we consider valuable too. We will take full liability for every shipment we handle anywhere in the world.”
Supply Chain Management
Ø “Brink’s offers integrated management at every level in the logistics process, from pick-up to transportation and delivery. We develop risk management solutions and security services that are tailored to your business requirements.”
Ø “By continuous communication with our international network and regulatory bodies, Brink’s provides you with the most up-to-date advice and secure services. Our consultancy services on the transport and logistical requirements of your business provide real benefits to the efficiency of your supply chain.”
Commitment to Excellence
Ø “We pride ourselves on delivering world-class service. We continually work with the airlines, handling agents, regulatory authorities and Customs to ensure the secure transportation and handling of your goods. Our specially-developed software for storage, inventory control, shipping and transportation is used throughout the Brink’s organisation.”
Network and People
Ø “To maintain best business practices, we have rigorous controls to ensure all staff members follow the same processes and procedures throughout our network.”
– Brink’s Global Services