Supply chain procurement firm OCI has appointed Neil Edwards as trade director, as the business puts more focus on supply chain analysis.

Edwards joins OCI from technology solutions company Phlo Systems, where he was strategy and sales advisor. He has over two decades of experience as a trade and supply chain finance professional and coverage banker, and has previously managed relations and led origination efforts with multinationals across a variety of sectors at Citi, Commerzbank and RBS.

The hire forms part of OCI’s bid to help organisations scrutinise their supply chains. Companies have faced mounting pressure to improve the resilience of supply chains to cope with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which had a deleterious impact on trade volumes. The sanctions issued following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have also led to many firms looking elsewhere to source critical products.

“Recent geopolitical events have, not before time, brought the analysis of their supply chains to the forefront of our clients’ thinking,” Edwards says.

OCI chief executive Oliver Chapman adds that having a detailed insight into supply chains has become increasingly essential.

“The supply chain has always been important, but the experiences of the last year have highlighted how vital a detailed understanding of the supply chain is to organisations.”

OCI has reported significant growth in recent years and this hire marks the latest in a series of appointments to expand the team, including Geoff Parry as commercial director earlier this year, as well as Juliano Mattar as head of emerging markets business development in 2021.

The business partners with large corporates and global governments to redesign supply chains and free up working capital.