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.

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. 

The food may be exceptionally cooked and the wine may pair perfectly, but for many diners – and chefs – presentation is as important as what they’re putting in their mouths. The role of tableware in that presentation has only become more important with the rise of the craft beer, farm-to-table and, more recently, molecular gastronomy trends.

Restaurant patrons today are just as likely to be given a beer list as a wine menu, and glassware producers such as Libbey Inc. must provide the products that support those dining trends. A decade ago, nearly every beer was served in a standard pint glass. Now consumers understand that an India Pale Ale or a hard cider experience is better with a specially designed vessel.

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