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Robert Milton

Experience 42 years

Key areas of activity

Logistics, Change Management, Commercial Contracting, Project management
  • Developed a successful relationship management model for Multi-National clients
  • Achieved financially viable Project Management outcomes
  • Worked effectively in multi-stakeholder project environments
  • Overcame sensitive change management challenges
  • Delivered complex projects in constrained timescales
  • A track record of projects delivered on time and on budget
  • Led a project in 2012-13 for BAT in Switzerland which won the 2014 DHL Supply Chain Chief Executive Officer Award in Europe in the category 'Provider of Choice'
Account Director Global Tobacco & Key Project Team Member DHL Supply Chain


Project “Saxony Postponement Hub”

Philip Morris International (PMI) first launched its Heated Tobacco brand IQOS in 2014 in Japan and Italy. By 2019 the number of active markets had increased significantly – the product components were manufactured in China and Italy and a concept of ‘Postponement Hubs’ was introduced to allow final product kitting to occur closer to the End Markets.

Key Project Challenges:

  • To quickly locate a suitable ‘Tobacco’ site in the target geography – Saxony, Germany
  • Organising the re-location of existing customers at the site to suitable nearby facilities
  • Design and installation of complex semi-automated kitting and packing lines for products destined for 22 different End Markets
  • Creation of a dynamic work system to manage a changing product mix and seasonal volume
  • Implementation of a strict product quality control system
  • Obtaining planning permission for the site to be upgraded to Tobacco security standards
  • Recruitment and training of a fully vetted workforce


This project started successfully and on time in 2020. It was delivered using the DHL DePict Project Management methodology.

As a result of the Project Delivery:

  • PMI has significantly increased its agility in ensuring product availability in the most dynamic of Tobacco sub-sectors
  • PMI has reduced product obsolescence by increasing speed to market and enabling rapid product reconfiguration
  • DHL has demonstrated its technical competence and its credentials as a trusted and valued logistics supplier for demanding projects
Account Director BAT & Key Project Team Member DHL Supply Chain

DHL Supply Chain

Project “Winnetou”

This project was delivered for British American Tobacco in Switzerland as a solution to maintaining a specific route to market as a viable business. BAT had around 40% of the Tobacco vending machine (VM) market in Switzerland and was serving it with a dedicated infrastructure – volume had hit a plateau and the segment was borderline profitable.

Key Project Challenges:

  • Solution design to achieve a mutually acceptable commercial outcome
  • Commercial contracting to achieve an acceptable balance of risk and neutral cashflow when managing Tobacco Product ownership
  • An aggressive 5 week implementation timescale after contract signature
  • Converting dedicated BAT sites into shared-use occupancy of DHL infrastructure
  • Avoiding ‘Class Action’ risks associated with the sale of Tobacco Product
  • Managing a full business transfer of BAT employees (80 FTE) to DHL
  • Taking over the full VM maintenance operation
  • Implementing the project with zero business interruption or stock-outs


The project was delivered using the DHL DePict project management system, a very close relative of the Prince 2 methodology.

As a result of the Project Delivery:

  • BAT profitably retained its presence in the Swiss Tobacco VM market
  • BAT maintained its competitive pressure on its main market rival, Philip Morris International
  • DHL was able to underpin its fragile Swiss logistics business with a significant business which consistently delivered the required profit margin
Account Director BAT & Key Project Team Member DHL Supply Chain


Project “X”

This Project was delivered for British American Tobacco in Poland. This extremely sensitive project involved BAT making a significant change to its Route to Market from a largely Wholesaler model to a Direct to Store Delivery (DSD) model. In order to achieve the maximum commercial advantage, it was imperative that the planned change was kept completely secret from the market.

Key Project Challenges:

  • Maintaining project confidentiality
  • Complex supply chain re-engineering
  • Increasing in-country bonded storage facilities from 2 to 5
  • Adding and securely equipping 22 additional cross-docks to the distribution network
  • Recruiting 98 fully vetted Management and Warehouse staff throughout Poland
  • Procurement and timely delivery (without alerting the market) of 425 sales delivery vans
  • To complete the whole implementation in 9 months to coincide with the market launch


This logistics workstream was delivered using the DHL DePict project management system.

As a result of the Project Delivery:

  • BAT unleashed a surprise and game-changing structural evolution on the Polish Tobacco market
  • BAT significantly increased its market reach in Poland
  • DHL doubled its business with BAT in Poland, cementing its position as a trusted logistics partner to BAT and enabling further significant business wins with BAT in subsequent years


Business Director & Key Project Team Member Exel Logistics Industrial


Project "Snowflake"

This project was the Company’s first business venture in Russia. It involved the Solution Design, manning, equipping and legal contracting for a new build Logistics Centre on British American Tobacco’s manufacturing site in St Petersburg.

Key Project Challenges:

  • Multi-stakeholder co-ordination in an already complex project
  • Establishing a commercial entity in a new and challenging territory for the Company
  • Local recruitment of key senior personnel
  • Staff transfer from the Customer’s workforce
  • Complex IT integration
  • Procurement of key operational assets from outside Russia
  • Local recruitment and training of suitable blue-collar staff
  • Creation of detailed and complex Standard Operating Procedures


The Exel team was a key participant in the Prince 2 project management system used by BAT for this project.

As a result of the Project Delivery:

  • Exel successfully initiated its first ever operation in Russia
  • The project was delivered on time and on budget
  • The project was delivered with zero negative impact on BAT manufacturing operations


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