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Blackhawk Network brings prepaid gift cards to retailers in 24 countries with innovative, efficient efforts. By Stephanie Crets

Consumers can walk into almost any U.S. grocery store and many other non-U.S. markets around the world and find a wall of gift cards for iTunes, Amazon, Kohl’s and more. When they pick a gift card out and purchase it at the register, the card is most likely activated on the Blackhawk Network platform.
    “Not only do we physically distribute those cards, but we have the technology that facilitates the activation of the card so that when a consumer buys a $15 gift card, the card is activated in seconds and capable of being redeemed,” says Patrick Maiorano, vice president of supply chain and procurement at Blackhawk Network.
    

TE Connectivity is focused on integrating its supply chain by developing cost-saving opportunities, shortening lead times and increasing flexibility to meet customers’ demands. “In general what you can see happening is everything goes quicker and quicker,” Chief Procurement Officer and Vice President, Global Procurement Niklas Hamnstedt says. “Lead time requirements and our ability to respond to customer requests more quickly are being elevated over time here.”

The Schaffhausen, Switzerland based B2B company manufactures connectors, sensors and electronic components to meet connectivity challenges in a wide array of environments and conditions. TE’s products deliver power, data and signal more efficiently and allows technology to more accurately react to the environment around it. 

Many companies in Sunwarrior’s market focus on growth, but the firm holds another mission in a higher regard. “We really try to stay true to our values, which are to provide the best protein powders and supplements,” Chief Supply Chain Officer Emerson Carnavale says.

The company makes sure to focus on its client service, as well. “If you just do what your customers ask you to do, they’ll take care of you,” he asserts.

Sunwarrior’s history goes back to 2007, when its owners came up with the idea for a vegan product that also enabled them to build muscle. “Little did they know that there were a lot of people like them,” Carnavale explains, noting that the company started operations one year later. 

When going on a trip, everybody needs a roadmap, or nowadays, a GPS system that provides directions. Service Corporation International (SCI) has completed a successful five-year supply chain improvement plan, and to continue its efforts, it has embarked on a new three-year plan. That plan is designed to streamline purchasing for SCI’s group of 1,540 funeral homes and 469 cemeteries in 45 states, eight Canadian provinces, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

The first year of the three-year “roadmap” is expected to provide further improvements to SCI’s end-to-end supply chain and drive additional savings, enhance processes, data and reporting, and improve the company’s overall supply chain management capabilities.

When Prime Global Solutions Inc. (“PGS 360”) takes on a client, it makes sure to learn about their business. “We have to make sure our customer’s supply chain keeps working,” President and owner Mike Katyal says. “That produces a sustainable profitability to the customer’s brand.”

Based in City of Industry, Calif., PGS 360 specializes in cGMP fulfillment, warehousing and U.S. domestic transportation services. A native of India, Katyal began working in supply chain in 1987 as a courier who delivered packages for the graphics industry in Hollywood.

Now a leading designer, distributor and licensor of men’s and women’s apparel, accessories and fragrances, Perry Ellis International is truly the embodiment of a company born of the American dream. Initially formed as Supreme International in 1967 by Chairman and CEO George Feldenkreis, Perry Ellis International sprang from the mind of a Cuban Jew who had fled Castro’s regime to build a $900 million-plus international company.

“He is a visionary who saw the potential of Asia as a garment source before anyone else did,” Executive Vice President of Global Sourcing Bradley Arkin says. “We opened an office in Beijing in 1989 and were in Vietnam as soon as relations were restored by the late 1990s. To this day, China and Vietnam remain our two largest sources of supply.”

Founded as Network Services Company in 1968, NETWORK has grown to become a leading expert in a number of specialized markets. The company has been on a journey of ongoing evolution ever since a handful of independently owned distribution companies realized that a collaborative partnership would allow them to expand their services. 

“It allowed them to leverage logistics capabilities that ultimately included servicing national and multi-regional customers,” Executive Director of Value Chain Chris Adams says. “The idea [was] that multiple resources, centrally managed, working together to deliver unprecedented efficiency, dedicated service and local support for multi-site customers, would create value. Over the years, we have grown to become a leading expert in markets such as healthcare, foodservice, commercial real estate, lodging, industrial packaging and commercial printing with operations in 44 countries.”

Thomas M. Babineau doesn’t hesitate when asked about the key to Motor Coach Industries’ (MCI) long-term success. “We are only as good as our supplier partners,” says Babineau, executive vice president of procurement. “We are committed to engaging our suppliers earlier in the coach development process to better leverage their technology, which helps provide a competitive advantage in the market.”

Babineau is a veteran of the automotive industry, having spent the first 35 years of his career working for Tier I automotive companies. As a result, he is intimately familiar with the importance of an effective supply chain and how it connects to success. Indeed, escalating MCI’s supplier expectations has been his primary goal since arriving at the Des Plaines, Ill.-based company in 2014.

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