It has been a long and windy road for the supply chain, and no one feels that more than the people behind it. In just the last five years, supply chain management professionals have finally been able to a place a name to the function that they work on. Meanwhile, there has been an uptick in interest in their field.
No one has seen the shift in the industry like supply chain veteran Patricia Moser. Throughout her career, she has been involved in nearly every sector of the supply chain, working as a consultant, and most recently, as the chief procurement officer for the United Nations Office for Product Services in Denmark.
“I'm always interested in something new. I've been in so many industries demonstrates the ability to have skills that are transferable across many, many different areas that I’m very passionate about. Supply chain is probably one of the most important areas of the organization today,” explains Moser.
Since last being named one of the Pros to Know of the Year in 2005, Moser has continued to play a strategic role in procurement and the supply chain industry. Her commitment to applying technology has helped lift the supply chain out of the tactical and transform the function into a value-adding organization during a time when most needed. Because of this, Moser stands out as one of the top Pros to Know over the last 20 years.
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. However, the impact of her work is often more important than some of the recognition she receives.
“It’s always nice to be recognized. You think you’re doing good when an industry recognizes you and that’s sometimes the case,” says Moser. “I think it’s important to be a role model to women, so that they can see someone getting success as a supply chain executive. Beyond the street cred, I think that is probably at the core just because of my passion for women's empowerment and wanting personally to see more women in supply chain overall.”
“I didn't do anything alone. I had awesome people working with me when I became a Pro to Know, and I've had awesome people working with me since then. I'm very grateful for all the all the wonderful people that helped me to shine,” she continues.
For Moser, the most important thing about her work is amplifying the voices of people that are often unheard. She believes in the power of supplier diversity, and that doesn’t always have to mean having secondary sources. Moser explains that in order to have supplier diversity, you have to purchase from women, youth or minority- owned companies and give them support as they are supporting your business.
“My team and I helped develop a program at the UN called Possibilities. It’s not about the here and now; it’s about what can be,” she says. “It was about going to many developing nations and identifying and working with businesses to be able to start moving into the UN supply chain.”
Right now, though, it is important the supply chain focuses on changing and adapting itself to conditions. What the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has proven is that anything can change within the industry in a matter of minutes, so you have to be flexible and willing to always learn.
“One of the things that I'm very interested in is transformational change. And, when I go into organizations, that is what I do - I create positive transformational change,” says Moser. “I always ensure that I work with my teams to ensure that I'm not the only change agent there, that give them permission to try things to make mistakes to, to look at different ways of doing things. And, so that they become change agents as well.”
But, in order to change, you have to collaborate, Moser explains. This is not necessarily an industry where you can work on your own because every sector of the supply chain relies on one another. She encourages people to take risks and be courageous because it can make a breakthrough within an organization. If anything, in order to be a successful supply chain leader, you need to know every aspect of the function, and you can only do that by working with others.
“Sometimes you have to be a little strong in putting forward your point and not just sort of backing off at the first sign of potential resistance,” says Moser. “It is imperative that you take a team and make them shine. Your goal is to make them better than whatever they thought they could be. I appreciate being a Pros to Know and receiving recognition. But, I get that because I have awesome teams that also need recognition.”