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.

There was a time in Mark Dady’s career when he wanted to switch to sales so he could see the impact he was making on weekly and quarterly revenue statements. But sticking with procurement turned out to be the right choice for the chief procurement officer of snack food giant Mondelēz International. In less than two years, Dady has overseen the transformation of procurement into a unified operation that visibly impacts the company’s growth and bottom line.

Mondelēz formed in October 2012 after Kraft Foods split off its snack brands into a new company to encourage growth. For the past three years, Dady says Mondelēz has been flexing its independence to discover what it is and is not capable of. “We are committed to being the global snacking powerhouse,” he adds. “Our dream is to create delicious moments of joy.”

As one of the leading providers of maintenance of way services to Class 1 and short-line railroads, Loram knows the importance of being on the right track. That’s why, when Director of Strategic Sourcing John Pilarski joined the company two years ago, he was given the responsibility of leading the supply chain team’s transformation to a more strategically focused group. This change in focus would assist with putting the company on a track that would meet its long-range strategic growth goals. 

Pilarski has overseen a transformation within Loram that is fundamentally changing the way the company perceives its supply chain and how the organization operates. In doing so, Pilarski says, he is assisting Loram in becoming an organization with a more holistic approach with supply chain activities and where the supply chain group is a key strategic entity within the company. This has everyone within the company riding down the same track to success. 

Step into any Le Pain Quotidien location and the smell of fresh baking bread fills the air. Place a pastry breakfast order or soup and salad lunch order and take a seat at the large, communal table made of reclaimed wood. Then, enjoy the meal surrounded by décor that feels warm, inviting, yet with a Belgian flair that harkens back to its roots.

“We try to create a home away from home, a third base beyond home and work,” says Ralph Mercuro, director of supply chain and logistics for the United States. “We do a lot of research when going into a new neighborhood, so that we organically reflect the community that already exists there. We pick up old and new elements that can be subtle but each location always incorporates something unique. The guests that are local to our restaurant often think it’s a local gem, and the only one in the world.”

As one of the only truly global, full-service real estate companies in the world, Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) is investing in the standardization of its supply chain programs and processes globally. “I think we are fairly unique being truly global with a full spectrum of real estate services,” Chief Procurement Officer for the Americas Denver Clark says. “What we are looking at in sourcing and supply chain overall is seeking to deliver a consistent product that creates real and sustainable value for our clients.” 

With its global headquarters today in Chicago, the company has specialized in commercial real estate services and investment management for more than 200 years. JLL focuses on creating value for companies and institutions that invest in and use real estate. The company has 58,000 employees and more than 230 corporate offices worldwide to serve the local, regional and global real estate needs of corporations and investors in more than 75 countries. 

Greene, Tweed & Co. Senior Vice President Henry Stueber believes the company’s success is the result of changing the rules. “We have a strategy in place,” Stueber says, explaining that the strategy places a sharp focus on both customer needs and product differentiation. “We all fully understand our strategy. Our strategy is product differentiation.”

“Previously we were a sales-driven leadership team,” Stueber explains. “We are now challenging those assumptions to create a team made up of both operations and sales leaders to change the way we behave or the way we work. In our current team meetings, members feel empowered to challenge assumptions or ask clarifying questions so that they understand the expectations. Due to this clarity, they are better able to adjust their process or provide an improved solution.”

The largest distributor of soft contact lenses in the country, ABB Optical Group says its aim is to ensure the continued growth and success of eyecare professionals. The company says it supplies more than two-thirds of the nation’s eyecare professionals with brand name contact lenses, high-grade ophthalmics and fully customizable gas permeable lenses. Eyecare professionals that join ABB Optical Group’s distribution network can order contacts online and purchase ophthalmic lenses or customize gas permeable lenses for their patients.

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