Breaking down walls in supply chain for the last 20+ years

If I could sum up my 20+ years in the supply chain industry, it has been about breaking down walls, eliminating silos and asking the question, why not? In my early days, it was about doing so in the world of transportation. Back then it was about breaking down the walls between inbound and outbound transportation and asking, if I can use the same truck to deliver something and then pick up something else before I return, then why not?

Today, as the Vice President, Solution Strategy at JDA Software, I led the development of JDA’s Intelligent Fulfillment strategy. With Intelligent Fulfillment, we are tearing down the walls between supply chain planning and supply chain execution. In doing so, we are taking real-world execution constraints into account, supporting iterative planning and execution. The end result: reduced inventory levels and costs, improved customer service, and more agile, profitable and responsive operations.

Supply chain management is essential to a company’s growth strategy in today’s global economy – no matter how good your planning is or how efficient your execution is, without visibility to what is happening upstream and downstream, you’re flying blind. I help companies, whether in retail, logistics, or manufacturing, gain visibilities to help make better decisions that more accurately position inventory to match demand. By helping customers attach visibility to iterative planning and execution, their system will in turn provide optimal decisions on a continual basis to reduce costs, improve service and increase profitability.

My career in the supply chain began when I graduated with an honors Bachelor of Mathematics co-op degree with a specialization in business and information systems from the University of Waterloo, in my native Canada. After spending some time as an analyst at The Nielsen Company, I joined JDA to help develop innovative transportation and logistics strategies across all industry verticals, strengthening executive-level relationships with JDA’s key customers and prospects, and advising companies on best practices to become more profitable.

We have all heard that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. That applies to supply chain operations as well. If companies don’t learn from what is happening day-by-day in their supply chains, I think they will be doomed to repeat disconnected planning processes that lead to mismatches between supply and demand. These mismatches are costly and can lead to service problems such as out-of-stocks and over-stocks. My professional role within the supply chain is to help companies gain the visibility needed to learn past disconnects and apply their learnings to future strategies to optimize operations across all strategies.