The Arctic Circle is one of the more isolated and harsh environments on Earth. There are few roads and less infrastructure. Shipping goods over 1,000 miles is always a challenge, but in the north, every delivery is a small miracle.

It is in those far reaches where The North West Company finds its customers. North West traces its history to the Hudson’s Bay Company, which was founded as a fur-trading business in 1670. In 1987, investors purchased Hudson’s Bay’s Northern Stores Division and renamed it The North West Company after a competitor that merged with Hudson’s Bay in 1821. North West has evolved into a retail business and now operates a number of brands in the northern provinces and territories, as well as Alaska, the Caribbean and Pacific.

Having assembled a portfolio of companies with more than three decades of experience in industrial pipes, valves and fittings (PVF) distribution, Shale-Inland delivers products and services to industrial markets around the world. The organization provides specialized and engineered products that are essential to its customers and their operations.

“In my role, I have functional responsibility over all of our branches’ operations around the world,” Senior Vice President of Operations Rick Kerrigan says. “We support and manage everything from warehousing and inventory management, shipping and receiving and quality assurance to health and safety, transportation, purchasing and sourcing.”

More and more people are reading on their iPads and Kindles every day, but companies such as Christian publisher LifeWay will continue to depend on its transportation partnerships. “As the publishing market becomes more digital we are certainly reacting to that, but there’s always going to be a need for physical goods movement in our business,” says Chief Supply Chain Officer Mike Harry. With 180 retail stores across the country and a dedicated customer base made up of the religious faithful, LifeWay continues to find ways to improve its supply chain and make itself a priority for shipping companies.

LifeWay was founded in 1891 with the goal of providing literature to churches. After nearly a century of organic growth, in the last 20 years the company began to rapidly expand by acquiring other retailers, including purchasing Berean Christian Stores in 2014. “We basically doubled the size of the store chain from the mid-‘90s to now,” Harry says.

After more than three decades, Batory Foods Inc. has established a broad reach in the food industry. “We’re a tier one ingredient supplier to manufacturers,” Vice President of Operations and Information Technology Fred Dingraudo says. “If you looked at the markets we’re in, it’s everything from large food to ethnic food to bakeries.”

Based in Des Plaines, Ill., the distributor’s product mix includes sweeteners, proteins, dairy ingredients, oils and shortenings, starches, flours and even cooking wine. Founder Abel Friedman started Batory Foods in 1979 as Chicago Sweeteners. 

“His goal was to provide a single source for the basic food ingredients, [such as] sugar, oats, honey and corn syrup,” Dingraudo explains. Over time, Batory Foods has expanded its offering to include gums, preservatives, soluble fibers and emulsifiers, to name a few. 

Many supply chain specialists only have to get the right amount of product to the right place at the right time. Although that is not as easy as it sounds, it is even harder when only a fixed amount of the product is available. Having to forecast that product amount five years and longer in advance complicates the supply chain even further.

Although this situation might sound like a nightmare for some supply chain specialists, it is the situation Director of Supply Chain Management Tom Sauder faces every day for Andrew Peller Limited’s wines produced from Canadian grapes. Fortunately, the company also blends wines from various regions for some of its products.

When children head off for a school field trip or when paramedics respond to a medical emergency, chances are a bus or ambulance from Allied Specialty Vehicles is involved.

ASV consists of 23 brands in the emergency, commercial and recreation segments of the specialty vehicle industry. Although its oldest company, Fleetwood RV, dates back to the 1950s, ASV itself was not formed until 2011. The company is part of American Industrial Partners, a private equity firm that invests in North American industrial businesses. 

Established in 1893, the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) has been serving New York City for more than 120 years. The largest not-for-profit home- and community-based healthcare organization in the country, VNSNY has more than 1,500 nurses and 950 other clinicians as well as over 12,300 home health aides.  Collectively, they serve more than 35,000 patients per day throughout the five boroughs of New York City and Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester Counties. 

With any large organization that has been operating for as long as VNSNY has, there are bound to be areas within the organization that periodically require an upgrade or revitalization. Certain procedures can become routine after years of repetition, even when these procedures are no longer as efficient or effective as they once were. Because VNSNY is a forward-thinking organization, explains Director of Procurement and Contract Management Donald Brown, it started taking steps more than 10 years ago to revamp its entire procurement operation and ensure that this operation was as efficient and effective as it could be for the agency’s thousands of employees and patients. 

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