Supply & Demand Chain Executive honors the practitioners, analysts and providers that have proven to be 2004's thought leaders.
The editorial and advisory board staff at Supply & Demand Chain Executive is impressed every year by the thought leadership and innovation displayed by the nominees that are finally accepted as the Pros to Know, and this year is no exception. With people like these leading the charge at corporations all across the world, supply and demand chains are being transformed into lean, competitive tools that challenge traditional business rules and point to the future of supply chain management.
This year we also are recognizing one particular supply chain "hero" as Practitioner of the Year -- Col. Joseph Walden of the U.S. Army -- because of his role as a pacesetter in supply chain innovation, an RFID evangelist and a professional who has taken on the challenge of helping to reform perhaps the largest and most complex supply chain in the world.
Our Pros to Know selection process is never easy, and, as always we turned first to our writers to nominate the most knowledgeable practitioners, analysts and providers they had found after their past year on the frontlines researching and writing in depth about supply chain topics. Our editorial staff and advisory board also nominated those conference speakers and analysts that made an impression on us over the past year.
As additional nomination forms came in from SDCExec.com, our editorial staff moved through a series of selection phases, keeping in mind the top elements that identified a Pro to Know, such as the candidate's fundamental participation in the development and execution of a supply and demand chain enablement initiative at a traditional brick-and-mortar company, and the candidate's breadth of supply and demand chain knowledge and experience.
We are extremely proud of this year's selection. Leading by example, 2004's Pros to Know challenge all of us to continue the fight for more efficient and more technologically advanced supply and demand chains. These individuals will assuredly lead the industry to the next level in 2004 and we, at Supply & Demand Chain Executive, will eagerly follow.
2004 Practitioner of the Year:
Col. Joseph Walden, Director, School of Command Preparation, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College
Col. Walden has more than 25 years of supply chain leadership experience, having been commissioned a Quartermaster Officer after graduating from North Carolina State University in 1978. Along the way, he served as program manager for the Army's Logistics Process Improvement Program, which researched world-class distribution processes to determine the best methods of improving the supply chain processes for the Army.
The implementation of these processes transformed the Army's and the Department of Defense's supply chain operations, resulting in $300 million in savings over a two year period on an investment of $2.5 million, a 50 percent reduction in maintenance repair cycle times, and a reduction in customer wait times from an average of over 30 days to 4.6 days at the Army's National Training Center. During this same two-year period, the innovations that Col. Walden helped put in place reduced the time required for units to prepare for training exercises in the desert significantly and reduced the time to prepare equipment for return to installations throughout the United States by more than 61 percent.
Based on this experience and Col. Walden's experience in streamlining supply chain processes to support soldiers at the training center, he was selected to establish the Army's first Theater Distribution Center in an active theater of war to support Operation Iraqi Freedom -- requiring the transformation of a 4.3-million-square-foot piece of Kuwaiti desert into a cross-docking facility to support every military unit in Iraq and Kuwait.