July 1, 2006
thought leaders | The Rainmakers

The rainmakers

the rainmakers

For our 2006 Rainmakers, success isn't just about contributions to the corporate coffers. It's about contributions to the profession as well.

By DC Velocity Staff

Some measure success in salaries and titles. Others use a different yardstick altogether. Take the 11 professionals profiled on the following pages, for example. Asked about their proudest accomplishments, they won't talk about scaling the career ladder to dizzying heights. They'll talk about the satisfaction they've derived from teaching executive education courses, writing books, creating software to solve a sticky business problem, or establishing an academic outreach program. For them, success means nothing less than making a lasting contribution to the profession.

Every summer, DC VELOCITY, in concert with members of the magazine's Editorial Advisory Board and others, recognizes a group of individuals for outstanding achieve ment. This year we add 11 new honorees to the rolls. As in the past, this year's selections come from all facets of the profession: academics, practitioners, consultants and vendors. But for all their differences, they have one thing in common. They have set themselves apart from the crowd and advanced the profession. We call them the Rainmakers.


Theodore Stank

Theodore Stank

Dr. Theodore P. Stank is the John H. Dove Professor of Logistics and head of the Department ofMarketing and Logistics at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Prior to joining the UT faculty, he was an associate professor in Michigan State University's Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management. Before moving to MSU, he was an assistant professor at Iowa State University (1995-1997) and the University of Texas at El Paso (1994-1995). He holds a Ph.D. in Marketing and Distribution from the University of Georgia, an M.A. in Business Administration from Webster University, and a B.S. from the U.S. Naval Academy.

He currently serves as one of two full professors on the logistics faculty at UT, responsible for providing leadership in its undergraduate, M.B.A., Ph.D., and executive logistics programs. He also conducts research that contributes to the enhancement of both theoretical and applied knowledge in logistics and supply chain management. In addition, Stank serves as the administrative head of the Department of Marketing and Logistics in the College of Business Administration at UT, responsible for programs and processes related to the department's 22 faculty, five staff members, 16 doctoral students, 60 M.B.A. students, 700 undergraduates and dozens of executive education students.

Q: How have things changed in the past five years in terms of your day-to-day operations?

A: Conceptually, our department has evolved from entirely separate entities in Marketing and Logistics/Transportation to one that integrates our two core competencies. We believe that our focus on what we call "Demand/Supply Integration" differentiates us from all other programs in North America and perhaps the world.

Administratively, the biggest difference is that our funding formula now reflects a majority dependence on private revenue and tuition rather than state-appropriated funds, making us much more attuned to the needs of our various stakeholders. Today we function much more like a private institution than we did five years ago.

Q: What do you consider to be your greatest personal and/or professional accomplishment to date?

A: Professionally, I would have to say my greatest accomplishment is not a specific event but rather an activity. That activity involves my executive education teaching. To me, the greatest validation that I am creating value is to be able to lead a class of executives on a topic related to my research and have them get excited about it and express interest in incorporating my knowledge in their business activities. When that happens, which thankfully is relatively frequently, I feel like my efforts have been worth the time.

Personally, there is no question—raising three teenage sons!

Q: What do you consider to be the biggest obstacles, moving forward, to greater supply chain optimization in the logistics field?

A: A I believe that the greatest obstacle to supply chain optimization is the functional "Tower of Babel" that we deal with when we have to integrate processes and information across various functional areas within an organization and across organizations.Until we can gain a consensus about terminology, goals and metrics, we will never approach the mythical "optimization."At this point,we can't even agree on the definition of "supply chain management," let alone optimize it.

Q: Do you expect to see more supply chain and logistics professionals promoted to major executive posts like CEO?

A: As organizations realize the impact of supply chain management and logistics on the creation of stakeholder value through improved service delivery, reduced operating expenses and improved asset utilization, people with knowledge about the area will rise within their hierarchies, ultimately to the top post. So yes, I do think we will see that. It's not a coincidence that the largest U.S. public company, Wal-Mart, has a logistician (H. Lee Scott) as CEO.

Q: Do you believe RFID technology will have a signifiA cant impact on supply chain operations? If so, how and why?

A: I do believe RFID will significantly impact supply chain operations, but it is not the panacea that it is being portrayed as. The positives about the technology are that it takes the idea of marrying information with goods flow to another level of sophistication, enabling better management of those flows to improve efficiency and effectiveness. On the other hand, it is a relatively dated technology with real limitations. So RFID is just the current best tool for achieving better information connectivity. Another tool will come along to make it, in turn, obsolete.

Q: How do you personally define the term "supply chain management" as it relates to logistics operations?

A: I subscribe to the idea of supply chain management as an orientation for conducting business across multiple firms with improvement in end-customer value as the unifying goal. Essentially, I think it is the viewpoint held by management regarding how "we" is defined: is it just the people who wear "our logo" on their shirts, or is it the extended group of goods and service providers and customer networks involved in delivering value to end-customers? If it's the latter, what I will call a supply chain orientation, then management decisions springing from that viewpoint will be very different in nature across all functional areas, including logistics.

Q: What changes do you see being made to college curA riculums to reflect new supply chain and logistics best practices?

A: Most top-notch logistics and supply chain programs are focusing on providing their students not only with deep expertise in the functional building blocks of logistics—including management of transportation, warehousing, inventory, material handling and so forth— but also with a breadth of knowledge that captures how those functional activities must integrate with other internal functions (marketing, manufacturing, engineering, procurement, finance, accounting, and human resources) as well as with representatives of both up and downstream supply chain entities. At UT, we will get graduates from over 15 years ago call us to talk to the "railroad professor' or the "ocean shipping professor." They are quite disturbed when they find out that we no longer have those people per se. Rather, that knowledge has been infused into the more integrated concept of logistics. Our faculty spends most of its time trying to figure out how our core areas integrate across functional and organizational boundaries.

Q: Are you seeing more "talent" coming into college with plans to major in logistics/supply chain? If so, will this trend continue and why?

A: Definitely. I am a believer in the free market. Students are smart and look at things like career placement rates and starting salaries. When they see that logistics grads are among the leaders in those categories, our demand goes up. We're getting more than our fair share of the top talent. This has been true at all of the logistics/supply chain programs in which I have taught, including Iowa State and Michigan State and the University of Tennessee.


Tim Krisher

Tim Krisher

Tim Krisher is president and founder of SeayCo Integrators Inc. In 2000, he bought out his partner and became sole owner of the company. Since that time, SeayCo's business has tripled. His efforts have paid off in spades as the firm grows, not only in dollars, but in employees, skill sets and industry recognition.

Krisher has more than 25 years of computerized automation experience, which began with Braun Systems and continued with SI Handling,Alvey and Harnischfeger.His creativity guides and monitors the design and development of all SeayCo's custom computer systems. His management skills have allowed SeayCo to experience a rapid growth rate and high levels of profitability, and build a strong and notable customer base.

Q: How have things changed in the past five years in terms of your day-to-day operations?

A: I have become involved in more elements of the business, with less of a technical emphasis and more emphasis on business development.

Q: What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment in the logistics field to date?

A:By far, it has been creating a software solution for our customers that addresses their problem with sequence loading using small waves and real-time reconciliation. Our Load-IT software solution has helped our customers maximize their warehouse efficiency and accuracy.

Q: What do you consider to be the biggest obstacles, moving forward, to greater supply chain optimization in the logistics field?

A: Educating the customer on how best to bring intelligence into their supply chain.

Q: Do you expect to see more supply chain and logistics professionals promoted to major executive posts like CEO?

A: No, I still see the primary demand at the CEO level to be for finance and sales professionals.

Q: Do you believe RFID technology will have a significant impact on supply chain operations?

A: Absolutely! As soon as the price becomes reasonable, we'll see RFID replacing bar coding.

Q: What's your most important logistics operations improvement goal for 2006?

A: Staffing. Finding, training and keeping good staff.

Q: How do you personally define the term "supply chain management" as it relates to logistics operations?

A: I use one of our customers' definitions. They have developed and trained their logistics department to be fully cognizant of the capabilities of the conveyor system and the software and controls that run them, and how best to use the tools and reports they generate to enhance productivity.

Q: What advice would you offer to a young professional considering a career in logistics?

A: When things are going well, remember you're not as smart as you think you are. When things are going poorly, remember you're not as dumb as you think you are.


James Stock

James Stock

James Stock, senior professor in marketing and logistics management at the University of South Florida, holds both a B.S. and an M.B.A. from the University of Miami (Florida) and a Ph.D. from the Ohio State University. He has also held academic positions at the University of Notre Dame, the University of Oklahoma, the Air Force Institute of Technology and Michigan State University.

Stock is the author of more than 100 publications, including Strategic Logistics Management, Fundamentals of Logistics Management, Development and Implementation of Reverse Logistics Programs, Reverse Logistics and Product Returns/Reverse Logistics in Warehousing: Strategies, Policies and Programs. Currently, he serves as editor of the Journal of Business Logistics. He has received the Armitage Medal (1988) and the Eccles Medal (2003) from SOLE—The International Society of Logistics. His areas of interest include reverse logistics/product returns, the marketing/logistics interface, and supply chain management.

Q: Describe your current role in your organization.

A: I am the senior professor in marketing and logistics management within the Department of Marketing. I teach marketing strategy, logistics management and supply chain management, and primarily do research in reverse logistics and product returns.

Q: How have things changed in the past five years in terms of your day-to-day operations?

A: An increasing use of technology in both teaching and research. Most contact with business practitioners and examination of published documents on logistics and supply chain management topics now occurs through the Internet and via e-mail. Classes are now equipped with state-of-the-art visual equipment, allowing for simultaneous access to content across multiple media. This has greatly enhanced my ability to teach effectively and efficiently.

Q: What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment in the logistics field to date?

A: I believe my greatest accomplishments have been my influence on multiple thousands of students worldwide on how they perceive and understand logistics and supply chain management through my authorship and coauthorship of several logistics management textbooks and my frequent speaking on university campuses in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. When students and practitioners indicate that they have been personally and professionally impacted by what I have written and/or spoken about, to me, this is what being an academic is all about!

Q: What do you consider to be the biggest obstacles, moving forward, to greater supply chain optimization in the logistics field?

A: Given the importance of supply chain management and its potential impact on firms, societies and customers individually, it is vital that organizations more fully understand what is required to implement integrated practices. I do not believe that most firms realize or understand the complexity and enormity of integrated supply chain management. Gaining that recognition and awareness will move organizations more toward integrated processes than any other single event or technological development. It will be up to individual educators and practitioners, coupled with organizations such as CSCMP,WERC and SOLE, to help develop awareness and recognition of supply chain benefits.

p>Q: Do you expect to see more supply chain and logistics professionals promoted to major executive posts like CEO?

A: Absolutely! And the reasons are obvious. Logistics and supply chain management practitioners are "boundaryspanners." To be successful in this highly competitive global environment, the companies that have the best chance for success will be those that have visionary leaders, those that can span many functional and process areas, and those that have the proper perspective of the financial and customer service elements of their enterprises. Logistics and supply chain professionals have developed those skills as they have moved up their respective corporate hierarchies, and they are "naturals" to fill major executive posts like CEO, COO and CIO.

Q: Do you believe RFID technology will have a significant impact on supply chain operations? If so, how and why?

A: Who could disagree? The ability to track and manage products throughout the supply chain is a vital ingredient of success! As RFID becomes cheaper to implement and as more organizations adopt the technology, this technology will become a "given," that is, a firm will have to have it to compete effectively in the marketplace. With some of the RFID innovations under development, such as plastic chips in lieu of silicon chips, the cost will come down for tags and make the technology more affordable to more organizations, thus speeding up its implementation. As firms are able to more precisely measure the ROI of RFID, more organizations will "jump on the bandwagon."

Q: How do you personally define the term "supply chain management" as it relates to logistics operations?

A: I believe the best published definition of supply chain management is the one offered by CSCMP. Personally, I have a slightly broader definition, which is: The management of a network of relationships between interdependent organizations and business units consisting of material suppliers, purchasing, production facilities, logistics, marketing, and related systems that facilitate the forward and reverse flows of materials and information from the original producer to final customer with the benefits of adding value, maximizing profitability through efficiencies, and achieving customer satisfaction.

Q: What changes do you see being made to college curA riculums to reflect new supply chain and logistics best practices?

A: One of the first things that has changed is the need for students to be exposed to more areas (functions and processes) of business. Taking a supply chain management perspective requires students to have knowledge about marketing/sales, production/manufacturing, procurement, finance and accounting, human resources, and many other topics that have been part of the general business curriculum for some time, but not necessarily taken together as a group of interrelated courses. From a pedagogical perspective, we have begun to incorporate more guest speakers from companies that have mastered supply chain management, as well as visits to selected organizations within the supply chain, and increasing use of company-supplied videos, case studies and other supporting information.

Q: Are you seeing more "talent" coming into college with plans to major in logistics/supply chain? If so, will this trend continue, and why?

A: Absolutely! Students are savvier, with more "street smarts" than ever before. They generally understand the issues surrounding logistics and supply chain management. They just need some direction and coaching in the specific skills to bring to bear on the issues. At the graduate (M.B.A.) level, students are bringing their expertise from various work backgrounds into the curriculum, making both themselves and the curriculum better.


John Sidell

John Sidell

John Sidell, a founder of ESYNC, has been active in the supply chain execution systems and consulting market since the late 1980s. He has been instrumental in the development and execution of ESYNC's corporate vision and strategy.

Q: Describe your current role in your organization.

A: As an ESYNC founder, I have been passionately involved in the development and execution of the corporate vision and strategy. My current responsibilities at ESYNC range from management of business development, corporate direction and marketing activities to participation in client engagements.

Q: How have things changed in the past five years in terms of your day-to-day operations?

A: My day-to-day activity has gone from the execution of tactical projects to applying more of my time on strategic initiatives.

Q: What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment in the logistics field to date?

A: It is truly difficult to pinpoint a specific accomplishment. I've been part of many exciting projects over the years. In general, I would have to say that my greatest professional accomplishment is working with all the team members of ESYNC to build and maintain our highly satisfied client base.

Q: What do you consider to be the biggest obstacles, moving forward, to greater supply chain optimization in the logistics field?

A: The greatest obstacle for supply chain optimization is a lack of understanding regarding an effective supply chain strategy. What I've noticed is a trend that focuses on putting out supply chain "fires" and not addressing the root cause of poor supply chain performance. Companies need to develop a five-year supply chain plan for optimization and then develop the necessary tactical activity to drive the plan to completion.

Q: Do you expect to see more supply chain and logistics professionals promoted to major executive posts like CEO?

A: Yes, absolutely. Given the focus on off-shore manufacturing and the complexities this creates for an organization's supply chain operations, I can easily see the "best and brightest" realizing that the ticket to the company's top spot is through supply chain.

Q: Do you believe RFID technology will have a signifiA cant impact on supply chain operations? If so, how and why?

A: Yes, but not for some time to come. There are so many operations that are still stuck in the manual process, barely using AIDC [automatic identification and data collection] technology, let alone RFID. In some cases, RFID is absolutely the right, cost-effective solution. As time passes and the cost of the technology begins to drop, RFID will be the right solution for more and more situations.

Q: How do you personally define the term "supply chain management" as it relates to logistics operations?

A: I see supply chain management as the end-to-end management of inventory and information from sourcing through manufacturing/assembly to distribution to customer delivery and depending on the business model, through to the end consumer.


Jeffrey Karrenbauer

Jeffrey Karrenbauer

Dr. Jeffrey Karrenbauer is a founding director of Insight Inc., where he has served as president for nearly 28 years. He applies optimization and simulation applications to improve complex supply chains, create efficient databases to support such analyses, and design intuitive interfaces for these important tools. He also studies shipment planning policies and their impact on supply chain costs, inventory costs and customer service. He is now advising clients on how to harden supply chains and reduce their vulnerability to acts of nature, or those of an intelligent adversary, as well as merging supply chain design with inventory optimization and transportation procurement.

Karrenbauer earned his B.B.A. in marketing from the University of Notre Dame and his Ph.D. in business logistics from the Ohio State University. He has published articles in logistics journals and trade publications and is a member of the editorial review board of the Journal of Business Logistics. He is a frequent speaker at professional conferences for logisticians and management scientists, including the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals' Annual Conferences and regional roundtables, and the INFORMS Practitioner Conferences. He regularly addresses undergraduate and graduate logistics programs at a number of universities and contributes to various executive development programs.

Q: How have things changed in the past five years in terms of your day-to-day operations?

A: We used to be primarily a software company with support services offered as appropriate. In recent years, we have become much more of a consulting firm with software in support. This reversal is marketplace driven: firms have been through so many "right-sizings," where internal staffs were gutted or eliminated, that they have no one left to do the still-critical analytical work.

Q: What do you consider to be your greatest personal and/or professional accomplishment to date?

A: On the personal side, first would be earning my Ph.D. in Business Logistics at the Ohio State University; second would be my work as a guest instructor at a number of universities, especially presenting a complete M.B.A. short course in supply chain strategy at the University of Notre Dame.

Professionally, first and foremost would be helping to found Insight Inc., a hub of best practice in supply chain strategy for nearly 30 years; second would be adapting ideas and research from critical infrastructure and military applications to issues of supply chain vulnerability and hardening, and communicating these ideas to the senior executive and supply chain communities.

Q: What do you consider to be the biggest obstacles, moving forward, to greater supply chain optimization in the logistics field?

A: The greatest obstacle is a very old one: functional silos. For example, I routinely poll my audiences with a simple query: How many come from a company where procurement, manufacturing and finished-goods distribution have been unified under one line-level vice president? On a very good day, two to five hands out of 100 go up. The rest are still mired in a 1970s version of silo management. And even this level of unification is simply the 1980s idea of integrated logistics management, not the contemporary understanding of genuine supply chain management as the integration of cross-functional business processes within and across firms.

None of this is going to change until the underlying compensation and evaluation systems change and that, in turn, has to come from the top. There is an old, but still accurate, maxim: an organization gets the behavior it rewards. Until an organization stops rewarding silo optimization, that's exactly what it is going to get.

One other obstacle I see is that, under the relentless and misguided pressure of Wall Street analysts, most firms are still focused on short-term financial goals. The myopic overemphasis on cost reduction and lean operations is greatly increasing supply chain vulnerability and may well be placing the enterprise itself at risk. I believe that a far more enlightened investor view is to reward long-term, sustainable growth that protects equity with prudent risk management.

Q: Do you expect to see more supply chain and logistics professionals promoted to major executive posts like CEO?

A: Yes, but only gradually. We have been stressing the direct and critical relationships between supply chain performance and corporate strategic (especially financial) goals for nearly 30 years. But supply chain professionals have to accept that the C-level folks are not yet likely to have a supply chain background, nor are they inclined to sign up for a relevant course. Therefore, it is up to the supply chain executives to bridge the gap by assimilating the language of the executive suite, corporate finance; making explicit the relationships between supply chain and corporate performance; and eliminating the shop talk blather about LTL costs per CWT. Once they do that, the barriers will collapse.

From the other side, the C-level is gradually gaining an appreciation of the strategic importance of supply chain. The recent public discussion of supply chain vulnerability and hardening, whether because of random acts of nature or premeditated attacks from an intelligent adversary, is accelerating this appreciation. And, of course, there are the obvious supply chain success stories, such as those of Wal-Mart, Dell, Procter & Gamble, and Desert Storm.

Q: Do you believe RFID technology will have a signifiA cant impact on supply chain operations? If so, how and why?

A: Yes, but again, only gradually. My sense is that the early adopters are doing so primarily because of pressure from Wal-Mart, Target, the Department of Defense, and so on, but are not yet convinced of its value. That will change as the unit cost of the chips drops to around $0.05 and software offerings become available that exploit the massive information generated by the technology. An excellent example of the latter is the recently announced offerings of True Demand Inc. Beyond the obvious applications of inventory control, forecasting, and general short-term S&OP (sales and operations planning) improvements, RFID will make end-to-end visibility in the supply chain routinely available. The pioneering efforts of companies such as FedEx have really shaped our expectations in this regard. With RFID, it will become more widely available.

Q: How do you personally define the term "supply chain management" as it relates to logistics operations?

A: I prefer the definition from the Supply Chain Forum: "The integration of key business processes from end user through original suppliers, that provides products, services, and information that add value for customers and other stakeholders." I believe that the emphasis on business process management is critical, in that it emphasizes the importance, still largely unrealized, of breaking down functional silos within and among firms.

Q: What would be the single most important piece of advice you would offer to a young professional considering a career in logistics?

A: Obtain as much formal academic training as possible, whether in undergraduate, M.B.A., or executive education programs, in supply chain, finance, international commerce, and, if possible, at least the basics of decision technologies and contemporary supply chain software applications. Multi-lingual capability and multi-cultural exposure and understanding are becoming increasingly important and will become critical personal assets. Complement the training by seeking out opportunities to gain real-world experience, especially in international commerce.


Philippe Lambotte

Philippe Lambotte

Philippe Lambotte, Kraft Foods' vice president of international customer service and logistics, has been instrumental in building regional and global relationships with third-party logistics service providers to improve customer service and logistics performance in developing markets such as Latin America and Asia Pacific, as well as in mature markets such as Western Europe.He focuses on building strong relationships with regional providers to transfer successes from one region to another. Lambotte is also exploring joint ventures and additional outsourcing activities to improve Kraft Foods' balance sheet and the company's ability to provide better returns to its shareholders.

Born in Belgium, he has worked for Procter & Gamble and Kraft Foods in Europe and the United States—a total of five countries. He has progressed in positions of increasing responsibilities in plant engineering, strategy, information systems and supply chain to become the senior vice president of customer service and logistics for Kraft Foods worldwide.

Q: Describe your current role in your organization.

A: I am responsible for the order-to-cash process worldwide, relationships with retail customers for supply chain strategies and programs, total inventory management, in addition to the transportation and distribution management in all countries where Kraft Foods operates.

Q: How have things changed in the past five years in terms of your day-to-day operations?

A: Increased outsourcing, and increased customer maturity and demand, both in terms of service requirements and supply chain performance.

Q: What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment in the logistics field to date?

A: Establishing a customer service and logistics function within Kraft that is now recognized around the world by all internal stakeholders balancing service and cost.

Q: What do you consider to be the biggest obstacles, moving forward, to greater supply chain optimization in the logistics field?

A: Getting the right people with commercial and sales savvy and experience able to bridge the culture gap between distribution and customer service and sales professionals.

Q: Do you expect to see more supply chain and logistics professionals promoted to major executive posts like CEO?

A: Definitively. In businesses where supply chain can be turned into a competitive advantage. The person who delivers that advantage will advance with the company.

Q: Do you believe RFID technology will have a signifi cant impact on supply chain operations? If so, how and why?

A: Over time, RFID/EPC will become an enabler to streamline supply chain processes; however, a signifi cant cost of ownership and process industrialization is needed. RFID/EPC will allow an improved tracking and flow automation as standards become more robust and costs go down.

Q: What's your most important logistics operations improvement goal for 2006?

A: Delivering consistent excellent customer service as defined by our clients.

Q: How do you personally define the term "supply chain management" as it relates to logistics operations?

A: Logistics operations is, for me, the physical movement of goods along the supply chain. Supply chain management is the optimal management of goods and information flows from the retail shelf to our suppliers.

Q: What would be the single most important piece of advice you would offer to a young professional considering a career in logistics?

A: Be open to change, make sure you consider cross-functional experiences along the way as this will make you a better supply chain manager, and be sure you keep focusing on your customer.


Chad Autry

Chad Autry

Chad W. Autry, Ph.D., is assistant professor of supply chain management at the M.J. Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University (TCU). He currently teaches two core supply chain M.B.A.-level and undergraduate courses and is conducting several research studies related to supply chain security and technologies. He also works with TCU's Supply and Value Chain Center to build partnerships with the Dallas/Fort Worth business community, which sponsors practical, applied projects for TCU's students.

Q: How have things changed in the past five years in terms of your day-to-day operations?

A: Business is happening at greater speed in an environ ment that poses greater risk. Operations have to be agile, flexible and secure, and there is little room for error. Focus on the customer continues to dominate discussions, and some companies are struggling with how to best use technology for the customer's benefit.

Q: What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment in the logistics field to date?

A: I have greatly enjoyed working with academic colleagues and businesspeople to plan and execute meaningful research projects that really matter to logistics and supply chain managers. TCU has been extremely supportive in making these projects successful, and several of our local Dallas/Fort Worth companies are realizing some of the direct benefits.

Q: What do you consider to be the biggest obstacles, moving forward, to greater supply chain optimization in the logistics field?

A: The amount of knowledge being generated and shared by companies and supply chain researchers is staggering, but many companies are somewhat slow or hesitant to adopt forward-thinking ideas. Companies need to be more active in assessing and borrowing leading-edge ideas from academic and consultant research, and in collaborating with their partners to turn these ideas into actions.

Q: Do you expect to see more supply chain and logistics professionals promoted to major executive posts like CEO?

A: I do, but the process might be somewhat slow in coming about. I think there is a gradual awareness building in businesses of the importance of supply chain, but in the traditional silo-structured company, it is sometimes harder to get recognition for managing businesses and processes that are, to some extent, external to the firm.

Q: Do you believe RFID technology will have a significant impact on supply chain operations? If so, how and why?

A: RFID is already providing the visibility that many companies need to execute their operational-level plans. In general, RFID is likely to continue to positively affect operations, as implementation costs continue to fall and best practices begin to be identified. This is obviously a topic foremost in the minds of our business partners, as evidenced by the participation of roughly 100 supply chain executives at a recent seminar we held on RFID.

Q: How do you personally define the term "supply chain management" as it relates to logistics operations?

A: Supply chain management reflects business process integration across and through the boundaries of multiple firms acting together to create value. This happens via the sharing of information and optimization of the exchanges of products, services and financial instruments.

Q: What changes do you see being made to college curriculums to reflect new supply chain and logistics best practices?

A: Because supply chain management is a new topic in university curricula, business schools are being flexible and are thus able to build new and innovative programs and courses that closely replicate actual supply chain processes. I know that schools such as TCU are offering sequences of coursework that are taking a holistic supply chain perspective, including courses covering demand management and procurement all the way through production, logistics and fulfillment. As new knowledge emerges, many of us are able to quickly integrate conceptual advances into the classroom. It also helps that we are able to enlist leading-edge companies such as American Airlines, Alcon Laboratories, or Frito-Lay to participate in student projects.

Q: Are you seeing more "talent" coming into college with plans to major in logistics/supply chain?

A: Absolutely. Many of the more talented students in B-schools are starting to choose supply chain as their major. Some of this has to do with the known availability of job positions, but for others, it is happening simply due to their awakening to the fact that the career field exists. Most college freshmen don't have any idea what supply chain or logistics is; to them, products simply appear on the shelf. By the time they are juniors, though, many of them can see how exciting the career field is and why it is relevant, and we have many students switch over from the more traditional business majors. Our challenge for the future has evolved into attracting the best and brightest, rather than simply building awareness.


Michael Fostyk

Michael Fostyk

Michael Fostyk is senior vice president at American Eagle Outfitters. His previous positions include vice president of store planning and allocation at American Eagle. He is a member of professional associations such as the Warehousing Education and Research Council and the National Retail Federation's Supply Chain Council.

Q: Describe your current role in your organization.

A: I oversee the North American transportation and distribution for American Eagle Outfitters' retail brands and all related e-commerce.

Q: How have things changed in the past five years in terms of your day-to-day operations?

A: Our growth of brands and sub-brands and competing priorities in a multi-channel environment require more coordinated visibility and execution, and more people to make happy.

Q: What do you consider to be your greatest personal and/or professional accomplishment to date?

A: I've stayed sane in an insane world.

Q: What do you consider to be the biggest obstacles, moving forward, to greater supply chain optimization in the logistics field?

A: Overzealous governmental regulations and overzealous external and internal auditors who misinterpret the intent of good legislation.

Q: Do you expect to see more supply chain and logistics professionals promoted to major executive posts like CEO?

A: Not in retail—it will always be about the merchandise and store operations, and it should be. They just need a good logistics professional nearby to keep them grounded in reality.

Q: Do you believe RFID technology will have a signifiA cant impact on supply chain operations? If so, how and why?

A: It will offer opportunities for improvement, but not to the extent that avid proponents will take credit for. Supply chain operations have many moving parts, and each piece of the technology will only be as good as the people who must manage that technology.

Q: What's your most important logistics operations improvement goal for 2006?

A: Work with importers and overseas consolidators to hand over coordinated loads more ready for seamless and timely distribution to the intended channel.

Q: How do you personally define the term "supply chain management" as it relates to logistics operations?

A: Supply chain management is getting the right goods to the "customer," at the right time, consistently, accurately, at the right value to the organization.

Q: What would be the single most important piece of advice you would offer to a young professional considering a career in logistics?

A: Ensure that you get first-hand experience on the customer's receiving end of the business. Never lose that focus, regardless of the merchants or the accountants.


John Gentle

John Gentle

John Gentle retired in June as Owens Corning's global leader for transportation affairs, after having held positions in virtually all of the Toledo, Ohio-based company's supply chain disciplines. He holds a B.A. in economics, as well as two U.S. patents. Gentle is also past chairman of the National Industrial Transportation League's Highway Committee and a member of the U.S. Transportation Research Board. He has been designated a Distinguished Logistics Professional (DLP) by the American Society of Transportation and Logistics.

Though technically retired, Gentle plans to remain a frequent speaker at industry events. He will also continue working on the Transportation Research Board's Size and Weight Committee and doing consulting work for carriers, shippers and brokers.

Q: How would you describe your role at Owens Corning prior to your retirement?

A: First and foremost, as a leader of transportation affairs. That gave me the opportunity to create differentiation between Owens Corning and other shippers by identifying industry developments, regulatory issues, and political trends that were most likely to affect transportation in the future; initiate programs that dealt with the issues in a proactive manner and ahead of the curve, making Owens Corning the shipper of preference for carriers to deal with.

Q: How have things changed in the past five years in terms of your day-to-day operations?

A: Downward pressures on inventory aside, the demand for first-pass efficiency coupled with optimization pressures by all parties has created a most challenging environment. As the economy has expanded, both shippers and carriers have had to work diligently to ensure our respective load control centers and dispatch teams have the technical and professional skills to execute effectively and efficiently.

Q: What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment in the logistics field to date?

A: I have learned how to view the world through a prism that has allowed me to investigate issues from different perspectives and to develop programs that bring values to all parties.

Q: What do you consider to be the biggest obstacles, moving forward, to greater supply chain optimization in the logistics field?

A: The unrelenting need for all groups to optimize their individual processes with no regard for the big picture is affecting not only supply chains but the regulatory and political landscape as well. Suboptimization and impatience continue their unbridled march, choking out productivity in America. A close second is our inability to accommodate the critical need to create capacity and reduce congestion through "Size and Weight" reform.

Q: Do you expect to see more supply chain and logistics professionals promoted to major executive posts like CEO?

A: Some call the supply chain the arms and legs. Others view it as the backbone. But vital as the supply chain may be to customer growth, managing change, eliminating waste and creating productivity, none view it as the brain. While the management positions have risen in visibility, I still see logistics being treated as a pass-through department providing valuable insight to tomorrow's senior leaders. Will we become CEOs? Afraid not!

Q: Do you believe RFID technology will have a signifiA cant impact on supply chain operations? If so, how and why?

A: Whether it's RFID or something else, the process of identifying products, equipment and personnel electronically will become vital for timely data interchange needed to satisfy customers' needs, planning, and security.

Q: What's your most important logistics operations improvement goal for 2006?

A: Dwell time improvement and the further development of our SmartWay Transport Partnership (with the federal Environmental Protection Agency) are intertwined and inseparable. Reducing the length of time drivers are on site waiting to load or pick up is critical not only to fuel economy and driver efficiency, but to the elimination of environmentally harmful emissions.

Q: How do you personally define the term "supply chain management" as it relates to logistics operations?

A: It begins with material planning and is translated back into transportation requirements of inbound materials, warehousing of both raw and finished materials, and the transportation of the finished goods to the customer, including the appropriate Customs and security oversight.

Q: What would be the single most important piece of advice you would offer to a young professional considering a career in logistics?

A: Be a great student of the process! Have patience, learn the subtleties of each role, the variations of each season and the impact each industry has on the marketplace. Associate yourself with the best industry minds and actually deliver product to your customer.


Jeffrey Camm

Jeffrey Camm

Jeffrey D. Camm is professor of quantitative analysis at the University of Cincinnati (UC). He has served as an operations research consultant to Procter & Gamble, The Kroger Co., General Electric, Ernst and Young Supply Chain Operations, Senco, Cinergy, Louisville Gas & Electric, and Owens Corning. He was honored as a 1996 Edelman Award Finalist for his work in supply chain optimization with Procter & Gamble.

Q: How have things changed in the past five years in terms of your day-to-day operations?

A: In the last five years, I have seen more international sourcing and more concern for service reliability.

Q: What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment in the logistics field to date?

A: I was part of a team of UC faculty who partnered with Procter & Gamble in the 1990s to redesign its North American Supply Chain. We used state-of-the-art analytical models to help P&G managers make decisions on where to produce, where to locate distribution facilities, and how to service their customers. That project generated verified savings in excess of $250 million per year and resulted in the rebirth of a global analytics group at P&G.

Q: What do you consider to be the biggest obstacles, moving forward, to greater supply chain optimization in the logistics field?

A: In terms of my expertise, analytics, the problem everyone seems to be working on now is more effectively dealing with uncertainty in the supply chain. Uncertainty and risk are the hot topics and have, of course, been for a long time, the Achilles' heel of supply chain planning. Companies are searching not just for a cost- and service-efficient supply chain, but one that is robust to changing market conditions and catastrophic events.

Q: Do you expect to see more supply chain and logistics professionals promoted to major executive posts like CEO?

A: Absolutely. We will see more of this. There are companies out there for whom the supply chain is a strategic weapon. These companies will promote supply chain and logistics professionals.

Q: Do you believe RFID technology will have a significant impact on supply chain operations? If so, how and why?

A: Everyone is talking about RFID, but very few are really articulating how it will impact the supply chain. In terms of analytical models for planning, we have been assuming this RFID information for a long time (that is, our models have generally assumed we know where the goods are at any point in time). I believe we do not yet know what impact it will have, but I believe someone will find a creative use for this technology.

Q: How do you personally define the term "supply chain management" as it relates to logistics operations?

A: I like the old standard definition … getting the right quantities to the right locations at the right time in a cost-effective manner.

Q: Are you seeing more "talent" coming into college with plans to major in logistics/supply chain?

A: I am actually seeing a bit of a drop in supply chain interest among our students. In our masters program in quantitative analysis, five years ago, many of the students were interested in supply chain management. The hot topic right now seems to be analytical marketing and this is competing with supply chain management for our best analytical students.


Dick Ward

Dick Ward

Dick Ward has served the profession for more than 25 years, as both a university professor and as president of the College Industry Council on Material Handling Education (CIC-MHE). Over the last 20 years, he has served in his current role as a senior staff officer of the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA). With degrees in industrial engineering from Penn State and West Virginia University (WVU), he has worked as an engineer for the former Olmsted AFB, American Can Co. and the New York City Transit Authority and also as a project engineer at WVU for a U.S. Department of Transportation project involving automated public transit.

Q: Describe your current role in your organization.

A: I am the executive vice president for professional development for the Material Handling Industry of America. That translates into anything and everything having to do with promoting the industry through educational programming, which covers a lot of territory. As a senior officer, I am also responsible for the direct management of the automation product sections of our industry association, such as AGVS, AS/RS and Integrated Systems & Controls, as well as oversight for a number of other groups.

Q: What do you consider to be your greatest professional accomplishment in the logistics field to date?

A: Not being a practitioner per se, I find this rather difficult to answer. That said, I am in a position to influence thinking and the practice of others, so just staying current, and always, hopefully, on the leading edge of change, and working that knowledge into everything I do is a continuous journey. It is not a one-time accomplishment. It is an accomplishment that spans a career.

Q: What do you consider to be the biggest obstacles, moving forward, to greater supply chain optimization in the logistics field?

A: It has to be dealing with the economic and geographic realities of the emerging markets and the huge shift in where goods are produced and consumed. Because of so much uncertainty, the greatest challenge from a logistics point of view is remaining, or perhaps becoming, highly flexible and nimble as firms seek to take advantage of these new markets, because circumstances will change.

Q: Do you expect to see more supply chain and logistics professionals promoted to major executive posts like CEO? And if so, why?

A: I have to imagine the answer to that is yes, but how many more and at what rate is the real question. Why? Because of the greater leverage logistics will have on corporate profits. However, I think it more likely in the next several years that you will see more of a shift in logistics professionals finding their way into the boardroom simply because of their titles as chief logistics officer or chief supply chain officer.

Q: Do you believe RFID technology will have a significant impact on supply chain operations? If so, how and why?

A: Yes! But it is turning out not to be the overnight solution to all problems that some may have thought. Progress is now becoming more measured and orderly. It is a journey that is taking time, as it should. Another reason I say "yes" is that what RFID brings to the table is nothing more, but in a different form factor, than what industry has always said is needed to better manage supply chains: visibility and the ability to affect concurrency in material and information flow.

Q: How do you personally define the term "supply chain management" as it relates to logistics operations?

A: Supply chain management and logistics are inseparable issues and perhaps one could argue are interchangeable terms. Supply chain management deals with the sourcing of and synchronous flow, and flow is the key word here, of all goods and materials from the very beginning of that chain to the very end, being the final consumer, and even beyond, when you consider returns. Logistics is about getting things, all things, to the right place at the right time in the right quantity, in the right condition!

Q: What changes do you see being made to college curA riculums to reflect new supply chain and logistics best practices?

A: The very fact that supply chain management is even entering the curriculum is the real change, not just as a course, but as a major in a growing number of instances— where one's entire program is designed around all of the issues that comprise the subject, from procurement to scheduling, to demand management and inventory control, to distribution and logistics optimization, including recognition of the role played by internal logistics (a.k.a. materials handling). The other positive in all of this is that business schools and engineering schools are starting to work together through multidisciplinary programs and through the establishment of outreach centers of excellence.

Q: Are you seeing more "talent" coming into college with plans to major in logistics/supply chain? If so, will this trend continue, and why?

A: Without question, yes. Why? Because that's where more and more jobs are. It is a simple equation.


Bob Delaney

HALL OF FAME
Bob Delaney

a logistician for all seasons

The name of the second annual inductee into DC VELOCITY's Logistics Hall of Fame will be familiar to anyone who has been in this business for more than a decade. During a remarkable career that ranged from military service to work in the private sector to advocacy on Capitol Hill, Bob Delaney changed the landscape of our business in a profound and lasting way. We induct Delaney this year, posthumously, at the recommendation of several members of the DC VELOCITY Editorial Advisory Board as well as our own editorial staff.

As we noted when we profiled Delaney back in 2003 ("born to run numbers: interview with Bob Delaney," November 2003, page 20), that extraordinary career grew out of a boyhood fascination with the Berlin Airlift and the complexities of moving virtual mountains of material. That boyhood passion led to a logistics posting in the military, experience that Delaney later parlayed into a career in the private sector. During that career, Delaney worked for a variety of companies, including International Paper Co., Pet Inc., Monsanto Chemical Co., Nabisco, Leaseway Transportation, Ryder System Inc. and just prior to his death in 2004, Cass Information Systems. He also served as a consultant to such companies as Arthur D. Little Inc., Ernst & Young and industrial real estate developer ProLogis.

Perhaps his most lasting contribution to the logistics profession, however, was Delaney's advocacy work on Capitol Hill. Delaney helped draft the legislation that eventually led to the deregulation of the nation's transportation industry. As ammunition in that fight, he developed an economic model to demonstrate the potential economic benefits of deregulation. That model was the foundation for what later became Delaney's renowned "State of Logistics Report." That project, which tracked national trends in logistics efficiency, has transcended his death. The research is carried on today by his associate, Rosalyn Wilson.

Although Delaney's career and achievements have been well chronicled, less is known about Delaney as a person. When told of Delaney's induction into the DC VELOCITY Logistics Hall of Fame, Clifford Lynch, head of C.F. Lynch Associates and a DC VELOCITY columnist, offered his remembrances. What follows is Lynch's tribute to an old friend and colleague:

"I first met Bob Delaney about 35 years ago, but we realy "bonded" in 1978 when Jim Morehouse and A.T. Kearney announced that they had managed to calculate the total cost of logistics in the United States. Being the shrinking violet that he was, Bob developed his own number and described the A.T. Kearney effort as unsubstantiated, inaccurate and irresponsible. Then, of course, we all chose up sides.

"I aligned myself with Bob and his number, and in the end, he prevailed. A few years later, his meticulous efforts were formalized into the "State of Logistics Report" as we know it today.

"Many have written about Bob's passing, his contributions to the industry, and the "State of Logistics Report." It will be a long time before Bob's contributions to the supply chain industry are matched.

"However, there was another Bob besides 'Bob the Logistician.' The Bob who was my friend was not perfect. Like so many of our generation, he sometimes ate too much and drank too much. (He was one of the few people ever expelled from the Pritikin Diet Clinic.)

"But in his case, he also sometimes cared too much. "He immersed himself in others' personal problems, giving financial and emotional assistance to a long list of family, friends and sometimes strangers. I saw him lose two jobs because he believed that integrity and honor trumped the corporate goals.

"Bob's care for others who needed help, and for the basic principles of honesty and integrity, often resulted in personal sacrifices that didn't make his life any easier. But he was always willing.

"We will miss his caustic wit and the friendly controversy that he often inspired and even started when things were dull. We will miss reading about his telling executives like Fred Smith (founder of Federal Express) that their business models were flawed.

"But for those of us who knew him well, we have this consolation. Although we miss him terribly, our lives will be richer for his having passed through them."

Delaney's legacy, Lynch adds, may be best summed up by Longfellow's "A Psalm of Life":

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

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