T2 has some of the brightest minds in the parking industry, and each employee brings a unique set of talents and experiences to the table. We thought you might like to learn more about these talented individuals. In our Employee Spotlight series, you’ll get to know one employee each month. This month we talked to to Rasto Kral, Director, Supply Chain Management.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Czechoslovakia – a country that does not exist anymore. My birthplace is Bratislava, a thousand-year-old city, now capital of Slovakia. I spent my childhood and teenage years in this beautiful historic city on Danube River, the second longest river in Europe.
What drew you to working in supply chain management?
I ended up in supply chain management by “accident” actually. A long time ago I applied for a sales position at Kraft General Foods. During my interview, my future boss figured out very quickly that I would be much better suited for purchasing, instead of sales. He was right and I am forever thankful to him for his very perceptive reflection of my personality. I love my job and I’m so happy to be buying rather than selling, if you get my drift…
How did you end up in the parking industry?
This was yet another “accident”. I was discovered and poached by then Digital Payment Technologies through LinkedIn while working at Oce, a Dutch company making large industrial high-resolution printers. DPT recognized that I could be an asset since, years before joining Oce, I was managing a Purchasing department for a company making vending machines and doing business with some of the same suppliers as DPT did: companies making coin acceptors, bill validators, credit card readers, etc.
What do you do as the Director, Supply Chain Management for T2?
I’m leading a department of three very nice, hardworking, and smart ladies, and, as such, I am responsible for a vast variety of supply chain related activities. Together with my team, we are: procuring all materials and hardware that gets assembled into our pay stations and PARCS equipment; assuring continuous material supply and uninterrupted production; arranging third-party hardware, services, subscriptions, and LPR orders; and arranging intercompany orders. Our job is to plan material requirements based on customer orders, existing and future opportunities, as well as our forecast; to procure everything accordingly; to constantly look for best possible suppliers around the globe; to qualify and develop them; to negotiate the lowest possible pricing at best possible terms; to ensure on-time deliveries and acceptable quality of all procured parts; and so on. By material cost reductions we directly contribute to the company bottom line, thus helping T2 remain competitive.
What's something that you think people don't know about parking that you find interesting?
Most people don’t realize that parking is a large and ever-expanding $100 billion industry around the world, having its own regular conventions and trade shows in nearly all continents. Parking hardware and software can be very sophisticated and actually high-tech. Parking people are very passionate about anything and everything related to parking.
What do you enjoy about working at T2?
People. I have a very good team and we all enjoy collaborating with our colleagues in many other departments in Canada and the US. I personally love the fact that, while working at T2, I get to talk to and frequently meet business professionals and companies from North America, Asia, and Europe. All have different ways of doing business based on their different cultures, and that alone makes my job challenging and very interesting at the same time.
What's something most people don't know about you?
This is an interesting question because many people know a lot about me already, since I don’t have much to hide and tend to talk a lot at times. What not everybody knows is that I used to do skydiving as a sport, that at one time I was a Production Manager in one of the largest film studios in my home country, being responsible for all post production (and later on appeared in many Hollywood movies as an extra, attempting to get back to that industry), that I have visited more than 70 countries in all continents besides Antarctica, and that I like to try to play a vast variety of standard as well as “bizarre” musical instruments (see my photo for reference).