2006 Pros to Know

Supply & Demand Chain Executive honors today's supply chain leaders


In our sixth annual Pros to Know issue, Supply & Demand Chain Executive is again highlighting those executives working day in and day out to give their companies a competitive edge by transforming their supply chains. This year, our theme was leadership.

What is leadership? Retired Gen. Colin Powell, keynoting at the Transformation ‘06 conference put on by Yellow Transportation in Las Vegas this February, said that the essence of leadership is, in fact, the ability to create "followership." It's knowing where you're going, and how you're going to get there, such that those in your charge will follow you, in Gen. Powell's words, "if only out of curiosity."

As on the field of battle, in the supply chain world, leadership is the quality that allows executives to rally their colleagues to the cause of supply chain transformation in a time of uncertainty; to effect change in the face of entrenched constituencies and institutional inertia; and to transcend their own functional interests to pursue — and achieve — goals that bring benefits to the enterprise as a whole.

In today's economic environment, the ability of supply chain executives to demonstrate leadership is increasingly becoming a differentiator for enterprises of all sizes. Supply & Demand Chain Executive salutes this year's Pros to Know, who are contributing to their companies' competitive advantage and, in doing so, transforming supply chain into a leading function within today's global corporations.

2006 Practitioner of the Year

Tim Carroll Vice President, Supply Chain Operations, IBM When IBM sold its PC business to Chinese computer maker Lenovo, Big Blue's leadership hand-picked the company's vice president of supply chain operations, Tim Carroll, to orchestrate the supply chain divestiture of the PC business to Lenovo. Less than five months after IBM's December 2004 announcement of the sale, phase one of the divestiture was complete. Under Carroll's leadership, nearly 2,500 people around the world from IBM and Lenovo worked day and night to enable processes and systems; transfer thousands of applications and Lotus Notes databases to the new company; and customize systems and infrastructure to support sales and marketing, human resources and an entirely new ledger system — all without disrupting either company's clients.

Within IBM, Carroll is also a mentor for several supply chain employees, advising them on their careers and opportunities. Externally, he works with several universities, including Penn State, Michigan State and Arizona State through IBM's Supply Chain Lab program, speaks with students about IBM's supply chain challenges and works with them to develop solutions. In addition, Carroll frequently shares his knowledge of the supply chain and specific best practices at IBM with the industry through conferences and published articles.

When asked about the future direction of the supply and demand chain, he said: "Outsourcing the commodity functions of a supply chain is going to become reality for many supply chains over the next several years...Outsourcing is more than just a trend but an opportunity for growth. By allowing companies to focus on their core competencies, cash can be freed up for acquisitions, R&D and stock buybacks."

2006 Practitioner Pros to Know

Gary Allen Senior eCommerce Manager, Global Supply Chain Management, Vodafone Established goals for and transformed mobile telecommunications firm Vodafone's procurement organization. New platform is used by more than 600 internal Vodafone users/buyers and 1,350 supplier organizations. Vodafone cites exponential savings, increased spend visibility and enhanced contract compliance as a result of Allen's leadership.

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