2011 Pros to Know

Honoring leaders turning their supply chains into strategic differentiators in the 'New Normal'


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By the Editors of Supply & Demand Chain Executive

The supply chain industry saw a return to something like normalcy in 2010. Sure, it might be a "New Normal" of greater volatility and constraints. But supply chain practitioners in 2010 came out of their recessionary defensive crouch and started taking proactive steps to drive improvements in their operations — even investing again in technologies and services.

With the 2011 edition of Supply & Demand Chain Executive's Pros to Know, the magazine is recognizing many of these exceptional supply chain executives at manufacturing and non-manufacturing enterprises who are leading initiatives to help prepare their companies' supply chains for the significant challenges in the year — and years — ahead. These men and women are helping supply chain to be increasingly recognized as a strategic differentiator crucial to meeting the challenges of the "New Normal." Therefore, this year's Pros to Know article offers a roadmap for other leaders looking to leverage supply chain for competitive advantage.

This year's listing also includes the 2011 Provider Pros to Know — individuals from software firms and service providers, consultancies or academia, who have helped their supply chain clients or the supply chain community at large prepare to meet these challenges. These Provider Pros to Know offer thought-leadership that is shaping the supply chain industry and advancing supply chain as a respected discipline.

The men and women included in the 2011 Pros to Know exemplify the talent, knowledge, skills and effort necessary for supply chain leadership. They are an elite group leading the industry, and their own enterprises, boldly into the evolving future.

2011 Practitioner Pro of the Year - The Art of the Beautiful Supply Chain

Pierre Pirard, Executive Vice President for Product Innovation and Global Supply Chain, Elizabeth Arden

As executive vice president for product innovation and global supply chain at Elizabeth Arden, Pierre Pirard has led initiatives that have helped the company meet the challenges presented by a fast-paced and continually evolving industry. "Supply Chain must develop new processes and systems to manage increasing levels of complexity," Pirard says, "as well as ensure that Elizabeth Arden can deliver against its key business metrics."

To continually meet consumer demand, Pirard instituted and implemented a formal sales and operations planning (S&OP) process. A key element of S&OP at Elizabeth Arden is a monthly meeting of key functional stakeholders, including Pirard, and the heads of marketing, sales and finance. They review key business performance metrics and make operational and investment decisions.

"By having a common definition of key business metrics across functions, the team is able to agree on what the metrics are telling them about consumer demand, current inventory levels and lead times to enable them to make operational business and investment decisions," Pirard explains. "Overall, the S&OP process has been transformational for Elizabeth Arden from an efficiency, service level and cost point of view."

Beauty at the Core

Product production is another area where Pirard and his team have made a difference. Elizabeth Arden was founded over a century ago, when a young Miss Arden opened her first salon in New York City and painted its door a bright red to stand out on Fifth Avenue. Today the company's iconic red door is recognized around the world as a symbol of beauty, luxury and quality, and Elizabeth Arden is a global company whose extensive portfolio of prestige skincare, color and fragrance brands are sold in over 100 countries. The company chose to focus its internal expertise on what it does best and view everything else as "non-core."

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