Over the past 17 years that we have been in existence at Automotive Logistics, both in terms of magazines and later conferences and the web, we have built up contacts and, I believe, friendships with some great characters and logisticians around the world. All of these executives have played vital roles in helping Automotive Logistics to become what it is today.
But of all these many people, only one can claim to be the inspiration behind the launch of Automotive Logistics magazine.
Back in the late 1990s, I had the idea of an automotive logistics publication while working on a more general automotive purchasing and manufacturing title. I had the feeling that there was a lot going in the supply chain, but that there was a lack of focus and attention to this area of the automotive sector. I decided to pay some visits to executives at carmakers and logistics companies – an early step on what are now regular, almost non-stop voyages around the world to see such executives – to find out how the industry was developing and whether any of them thought that a specialised magazine would be a good idea. [sam_ad id=6 codes='true']

Stephen Harley

I spoke to a few who did not seem to find automotive logistics all that exciting as an industry. In fact, one of the reactions to my questions about what was happening in logistics at the time was: “It’s just the same old s**t!”
But fortunately, I had one more visit, and it wasn't far from home in the UK; to see Stephen Harley at Ford in Basildon, east of London.
He was so enthusiastic about logistics – about why it is important and what a great industry it is. He introduced me to companies and people that I should talk to. He really inspired me to look further into the industry. He helped me to decide that Automotive Logistics magazine had a future. And he was right. [sam_ad id=6 codes='true']
At the end of this month, Steve will retire from Ford after more than 40 years with the company, and close to 20 working with me. I would like to thank him for staying in contact with me over all of these years; for advising, supporting and criticising us when necessary, but always for being a friend of ours – and especially mine. 
Steve has had many achievements over the years, and his role in the development of Automotive Logistics is just a small one. But all of us here are very grateful.
Thanks Steve.