Who Made It Into the Supply Chain Hall of Fame?

Robert Brice
Fri, Sep 23, 2016
Find out which innovators made it into the Supply Chain Hall of Fame.
Find out which innovators made it into the Supply Chain Hall of Fame.

Honoring those who have made significant contributions in their field is a positive way not only to reward great work but also set an example for others. Supply chain management, logistics, procurement, manufacturing and distribution professionals can look toward the Supply Chain Hall of Fame.

What is the Supply Chain Hall of Fame?
As the title would suggest, the Supply Chain Hall of Fame honors leaders in supply chain management. According to Supply Chain Quarterly, the hall of fame was created by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals. CSCMP president and chief executive officer  Rick Blasgen said this new establishment provides opportunities to applaud those who have demonstrated thought leadership, innovation and creativity in the field.

"The Supply Chain Hall of Fame allows us to recognize those who have been at the forefront of this growing and evolving discipline, and to look towards those who will continue to shape it in the future," Blasgen said.

It only seems fitting that the CSCMP be the organization to establish the Supply Chain Hall of Fame. According to its website, the CSCMP has a long history of advancing supply chain management research. Since its creation 1963, the association has garnered more than 8,500 members from 67 different countries. Headquartered in the quaint village of Lombard, Illinois, the CSCMP has become one of the leading authorities on supply chain management and is dedicated to furthering the education and skills of its members.

Members of the Supply Chain Hall of Fame
The CSCMP will officially induct the first class into the Supply Chain Hall of Fame at its annual conference, which will be held on September 25 to 28 in Orlando, Florida. The first inductees include:

  • J.B. Hunt: Johnnie Bryan Hunt, better known as J.B. is one of the three individuals in the inaugural class of the Supply Chain Hall of Fame. He is the founder of J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. and has helped shaped the future of logistics.

    A company press release explained that one of his biggest accomplishments is his heralding of intermodal transportation, the use of multiple modes of transportation in logistics. In fact, his company was one of the first trucking organizations to use railways in addition to roads.

    Intermodal transportation plays a pivotal role in supply chain success. According to Inbound Logistics, using a combination of freight, truck and ocean carrier can lead to greater efficiency. With the right collaboration strategies, such as using data collection devices, all stakeholders in transportation projects can communicate to ensure inventory reaches the appropriate destination in a safe and timely manner.
  • Henry Ford: The Ford Automobile legacy is also making it into the inaugural class for the Supply Chain Hall of Fame, mainly for his contributions to manufacturing. A separate Inbound Logistics article discussed some of his achievements, noting his key understanding of just-in-time manufacturing. Ford created the assembly line in part to accommodate for consumers' individual demands.

    Ford also realized the importance of demonstrating employee value. He offered higher compensation to factory workers as an incentive for greater productivity. The higher work output allowed his company to deliver inventory in an efficient manner to consumers. Plus, his focus on breaking down jobs among small teams paved the way for supply chain management.
  • Malcom McLean: Containerized shipping inventor Malcom McLean will be joining Hunt and Ford in the Supply Chain Hall of Fame. PBS featured the supply chain contributor in its "Who Made America?" series, noting his contribution to shipping efficiency. In an effort to make truck to ship transfers easier for all stakeholders, he began a project designing containers that can be stacked. The result: shorter loading times and greater cost savings. This innovation is now an essential component in global trade.

All of these supply chain leaders are being inducted posthumously.

How Other Supply Chain Management Leaders can Make It into the Hall of Fame
Leaders like Hunt, Ford and McLean have set the bar high. However, those in supply chain management can take steps to not only stay on top of today's demands but to prepare for the future of this industry just like these leaders. 

Supply Chain 24/7 offered a few tips, including developing skills in operations. Leaders of tomorrow can't move ahead without first building a solid foundation. That is, they must be fully equipped to handle basics like planning, sourcing, executing and managing. In order to apply these capabilities at a global scale, supply chain constituents must understand that this larger arena has inherently greater risk and complexity. 

Supply Chain 24/7 also stressed the importance of enhancing IT skills. All too often, those in supply chain management rely on outdated communication and tracking practices like unorganized spreadsheets or paper records. Simple ERP systems are no longer sufficient, either, and leaders must embrace new technology to expand their capabilities.

Taking advantage of automated data collection is a step in the right direction. RFgen offers solutions that integrate with existing ERP systems, causing no disruption to workflow upon implementation. As Forbes explained, having access to data in real-time is especially important for risk management. In order to limit the impact of a catastrophe, those in supply chain management must be able to quickly identify the suppliers involved, affected inventory and impacted customers.

Enhanced IT capabilities can also lead to greater transparency. That is, all members of the supply chain have access to the same information, meaning they can align their goals and better understand one another's roles.

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