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.

There are numerous players in the smart home market, but Vivint’s approach sets the company apart. “We shake things up. We like to ask, ‘Why not?’” says Wayne Dupin, vice president of supply chain. “We can rival any mainstay company today.”

The Provo, Utah-based company’s approach to the market is a bold one that relies on continual advancements to stay ahead. “It’s a very competitive market,” COO David Bywater says. “It keeps you sharp every day. You need to continually innovate.”

That’s been the company’s goal since its beginnings in 1999 and again when it transitioned from marketing third-party security products and services to creating its own smart-home platform and products in 2005. The reason for the conversion was simple, Bywater explains. 

Headquartered in Chicago, True Value is one of the world’s largest member-owned cooperatives. With its global presence, True Value serves 58 countries from more than 4,400 locations, 13 regional distribution centers, a retail support center and approximately 2,500 True Value associates.

“The True Value co-op was founded as a buying consortium to pool resources and help independent hardware retailers compete with larger competitors,” Vice President of Supply Chain Operations Rob Saper says. “That mission hasn’t changed in more than 60 years.”

TRI Pointe Group builds homes and relationships, Vice President of Purchasing and National Accounts Kevin Wilson says. “We need to have strong relationships that we can rely on to negotiate stronger programs that benefit the manufacturer and the subcontractor, and give us the ability to satisfy and delight our homebuyers,” he says.

TRI Pointe Group manages a family of premium homebuilders that operates across the nation. CEO Doug Bauer, President and COO Tom Mitchell, and CFO and Treasurer Mike Grubbs started the company in 2009. The three had worked together in the industry for over a decade and decided to start the company after developing a vision for a homebuilding firm that was driven by home design.

Although the economic downturn impacted many of TRI Pointe Group’s peers, Bauer, Mitchell and Grubbs used their expertise to start and grow this new company. TRI Pointe also merged with Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Co. (WRECO) in 2014, which had operated with five separate homebuilders in seven states.

The holiday season is already in full swing for The HoneyBaked Ham Company LLC. During its busiest time of year, the Atlanta, Ga., company increases its volume from 80 to more than 600 cases of product per delivery beginning in November. Earlier this year, HoneyBaked implemented a new distribution network that it expects will offer a cost savings and better service year-round.

“We have traditionally moved our hams – that’s our highest-volume product – from suppliers to the stores and the other hundreds of SKUs from foodservice centers to the stores,” Vice President of Supply Chain/Quality Assurance Randy McAdoo says. “In May, we combined all of our hams and SKUs into the same distribution network.”

After spinning off from PPL Corp. earlier this year, Talen Energy is shifting its mindset from that of an energy provider to an electricity manufacturer. “That’s our only product: generating power,” Senior Director of Supply Chain Steven King says.

King joined PPL in May 2013 and became a transition lead for the supply chain’s separation when the spinoff was announced a year later. His background working for Pratt & Whitney, a turbine engine manufacturer, and Westinghouse Electric Co., a builder and servicer of power plants, was invaluable through the transition process in helping the new independent power producer adopt a manufacturing model. The company is one of the largest independent power generation companies in the United States, with more than 16,000 MW of capacity in eight states.

Founded in 2008, SpenDifference helps emerging and mid-size restaurant chains be more competitive across the supply chain. The company understands the challenges faced by restaurants, and it can provide the infrastructure its clients need to gain market advantages.

“When the company was started, we recognized that there was a great opportunity to create synergies within the foodservice industry from a supply chain perspective,” Vice President of Supply Chain DeWayne Dove says. “Our model drives leverage toward the cost of goods. If you are a single operator, you can get more leverage and find ways to create synergies, reducing the number of suppliers and creating efficiencies in manufacturing while maintaining brand specification requirements.”

For S & B Engineers and Constructors Ltd., having an alliance with suppliers means more than just giving them an opportunity to bid on projects the company works on. “On lump-sum projects, we will always utilize our alliance suppliers. “We’ve had many long-term partnerships, some for more than 15 years and many for at least the past six to seven years,” says Kent Malone, vice president of procurement and materials for the Houston-based engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor. “Over time with our suppliers, we’ve developed an innate ability to sense each other’s needs and act proactively rather than reactively as needs arise. 

“We know that utilizing our alliance suppliers brings exceptional value to our projects,” he adds.

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