“At this company, people see you for who you really are.”

Nenad Pavlović

Business Process Specialist

Nenad Pavlović is many things: a developer, programmer, graphic designer, and avid data cruncher. On top of this, he’s also an entrepreneur, a dad to a newborn, and a man in constant battle with a rare illness. He started his professional career at Delhaize Serbia in 2020 as an intern in the IT infrastructure team. Today, he works as a Business Process Specialist in the supply chain division. “I’m grateful for the opportunities and support that Delhaize Serbia offers us, both personally and professionally.”  

One quick glance at Nenad’s LinkedIn profile immediately shows that he’s the entrepreneurial sort. “As I have a background in IT, I consider myself a programmer and developer, but I love learning new skills and venturing into new domains. That’s why I was incredibly happy when I was given the chance to move to Delhaize Serbia’s supply chain department after my time in the IT infrastructure team. Even though I had no experience in the field, the company believed in my skills and trusted my eagerness to learn enough to give me the opportunity anyway.” 

“In my role as Business Process Specialist, I’m constantly being delegated new projects to work on with my team. I enjoy being able to steer a project in whichever direction I believe is right, but this can definitely be stressful, too. For example, there was this one time when we were doing an update on some of our warehouse solutions and the whole system failed. We were down for eight hours! Communication lines were cut off, delivery came to a standstill…it was mayhem. I found myself stamping around in frustration the whole time we were down.” 

That was definitely one of the most stressful experiences of my life so far. But it’s precisely that combination of responsibility and freedom that makes me love working in the supply chain field as much as I do. Well, it’s that and the people I get to do it all with. Most of the people I have worked with over the years I’ve been at Delhaize have become friends who I hang out with outside of work as well. It’s so easy to fit in at this company. Here, people see you for who you really are.”  

Everything that Nenad and his team do is aimed at optimizing the company’s Warehouse Management System (WMS) to increase efficiency and productivity. “I am responsible for analyzing and mining business data to identify correlations and discover patterns across various data points. 
 

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I use tools and techniques to extract, transform, and load data from numerous sources. Following this, I apply statistical and analytical methods to identify trends, patterns, and relationships within the data, and then visualize it all using business intelligence tools. The final step is to translate these insights into data-driven solutions that help us reach our productivity and efficiency goals.”  

One example of such a solution is a program Nenad and his team recently developed that checks whether the routes planned for the trucks in the distribution center are actually the most efficient options. “I created an algorithm that can check whether the planned route ensures that enough pallets are collected to fill up to 100% of the truck’s usable space (which is not always the case) or that we’re not picking up something that doesn’t actually fit in the truck. The program will signal if there’s unused space on the truck, if there are too many pallets to carry, or if there’s anything else that needs our attention. It’s very rewarding to create something that has a real, tangible impact – cost-reduction and increased efficiency. Seeing a concept come to life and be put into practice is definitely one of the most fulfilling parts of my job. It’s amazing to know that we develop solutions that genuinely  optimize the supply chain.”  

A string of health concerns 
Nenad’s life didn’t always go as smoothly as it does today. In fact, he had to jump over some major hurdles to get to where he is now. 

Growing up, he suffered from a various medical condition and it wasn’t until Nenad hit puberty that he received a diagnosis: paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), a rare disorder that only affects 3,000 people in the world.”  

After the doctors gave Nenad his diagnosis, they gave him some more bad news: medication for treatment would cost €500,000 per year and it would need to be taken for the rest of his life. What’s more, as it wasn’t an innate condition, insurance wouldn’t cover it.  

In February 2016, Nenad recorded a you tube in which he appeals to the Serbian government, asking them how it’s possible that the country doesn’t provide treatment for its children. It turned out to be a momentous video. “The timing couldn’t have been better: elections were coming up and presidential candidates were trying to win voters. Somehow, Aleksandar Vučić, who was a candidate then but is now our president, saw my video. He responded immediately and publicly promised to help me. Over the next few days I was all over the national news and interviewed by lots of different media outlets. In the end, Serbia didn’t just pay for my treatment, but also for the treatment of the three other Serbians suffering from PNH. I’m very proud to have paved the way for others to receive the help they need – it’s definitely one of my biggest achievements.”


An invaluable source of support 
Thanks to the medication, Nenad can live a pretty normal life although he will never run a marathon or climb the Swiss Alps. Soon, a new generation of improved medication will be available, and both he and the other patients will be given access to it. “Aside from being more effective, the new meds mean I will no longer have to go to the hospital for a infusion once every other Wednesday like I do currently. It’ll only be once every two months, which will make a huge difference. Delhaize Serbia has been extremely supportive of me ever since I told them about my illness. I've never had to explain why I'm not at work every other Wednesday, and everyone is always genuinely interested in how I'm doing. I am exceptionally grateful to work for a company that offers this much support, both professionally and personally.”  

Something else Nenad is very grateful for is the recent growth of his family, with the addition of his newborn son, Matija. “Becoming a dad has been life-changing. Before he was born, I was constantly on the lookout for new projects and possibilities, both in and outside of my job. My head is always full of ideas and new ventures I'd like to try. These days, Matija and my wife, Marija, are my number one priorities…full stop. After them comes work, and only then I’ll see if I have any energy left for something else,” says Nenad, laughing.  

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Name: Nenad Pavlović (1999) 
Started working at Delhaize Serbia: January 2020 
Studied: Information Technology (ITS, Belgrade, 2021) 
Living with: My wife, Marija, and our newborn son, Matija 
Hobbies: Swimming (I only mastered it a year ago), going for walks, and food – both eating and cooking it 
Wake me up in the middle of the night for: A classic cheeseburger with onions, pickles, cheddar – the whole shebang  
Favorite holiday destination: Istanbul 
Life-changing event: Getting access to my medication and the birth of Matija  
Biggest source of inspiration: My wife 
Best advice I’ve ever received: ‘Embrace every moment the highs and the lows. They're the heartbeats of your story, making it beautifully unique’ 


 

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