When the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic first began, nearly everyone around the globe had to adjust their schedules. Many found themselves working from home for the first time, essentially going virtual in an already technologically advanced society. While the nation was told to stay home, the pandemic highlighted the need to be flexible in every day life.
For Jacqueline Bailey, North America Transportation and Logistics Regional Lead at Cargill, flexibility comes easy, as she spent time in different sectors of the supply chain throughout her career. Afterall, a natural curiosity of how the industry works is a major part of being a supply chain leader.
“When improving supply chain processes or activities, I boil it down to simplify the work and find commonalties” Bailey explains. “As you drive toward standardization, you minimize the day to day complexity, reduce duplicity and allow for greater cross-collaboration. This creates efficiency and allows us to become more competitive and easier to do business with from a supplier standpoint.”
With Supply & Demand Chain Executive celebrating its 20-year anniversary, the editorial team has been watching and reporting how the industry has changed over the last two decades. One thing remains unchanged, though -- the supply chain and logistics industry thrives on meaningful and consistent leadership.
The annual Pros to Know award recognizes professionals for their accomplishments in leveraging the supply chain industry for competitive advantage. For the last 20 years, SDCE has honored these Provider, Practitioner and Provider Team Pros to Knows by highlighting their achievements. Now, we look back at some of the top Pros to Know over the years to see what they have been up to since they last received the award.
Bailey last topped the Pros to Know as 2016's Pros to Know of the Year, showcasing an impressive class of supply chain visionaries. In the last four years, she continues to lead initiatives that help prepare today’s supply chains for the future.
“It's a very broad role and extremely rewarding. There's a lot of diversity in the work and very few days are the same,” says Bailey. “It's an honor to be recognized for the work I have done throughout my career. I am very passionate about supply chain and the transportation industry. I have been in this industry since college, leading from the carrier side, shipper side and a solution provider at various stages in my career. It has changed a lot and I've been part of that change. I've figured out how to navigate and succeed in a complex, evolving industry. It makes me proud.”
In order to grow along with the industry, Bailey remained curious, seeking out new opportunities that allowed her to be more solution- orientated and understand the value of supply chain management. Meanwhile, these opportunities have also allowed her to help educate others on the discipline and develop robust supply chains.
“My team operates across a variety of business groups, serving a diverse group of customers with unique supply chain requirements. But, there's always some commonalities,’ says Bailey. “So, when we have a high performer with strong potential, to manage talent, we want to make sure that we're exposing them to various situations or various projects, whether that be from a participation perspective, or from a leadership perspective, to continue to develop their skills.”
The supply chain industry requires hard working, talented individuals. Bailey has had many opportunities because of the effort she puts into her job every single day. She drives for results and encourages others to maintain the mindset of thought leadership.
“When you have a diverse and inclusive environment, which isn’t limited to gender or race, it also includes diversity of thought and our many differences,” Bailey explains. “You create a stronger, more progressive team to solve the latest evolving challenges. A team that values talents and experiences and appreciates one another uniqueness is proven to perform at a higher level.”
Teamwork and collaboration is key when it comes to working within the industry. Since 2016, Bailey says that she has built several strong high-performing teams by ensuring that they connect culturally. Each person brings in expertise on one subject, allowing them to bring a new perspective on how to problem solve and work together to create the best solution.
Regardless of what happens with the COVID-19 pandemic, it will make a lasting difference on every industry. Whether it be having to work with people outside of your expertise or even working remotely, the industry will remain resilient as long as it remains flexible.
“We've changed our expectations about how work is accomplished, and we are encouraging more collaboration when we're apart because we need it and want it both professionally and personally. I think that's what's going to stick. The silver lining is that we’ve learned how to effectively work remote. If that’s true, it won't matter if you're in the office or if you're halfway around the world because you've learned to break down those barriers,” she says.