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2014 Spring Conference - Speakers

Featured Speakers

Cindy Farrer

Vice President of Americas Operations

Cindy Farrer is the Vice President of Americas Operations for Allegion. In this role, she has responsibility for all the sector’s manufacturing plants and supply chain activities in North and South America, including 8 facilities and 3000 employees. She has over 25 years of experience in Plant Management, Industrial Engineering and Quality across diverse industries including Automotive, Safety and Security Electronics and Architectural Hardware. Her prior experience includes Global Quality Director roles (both at Ingersoll Rand and Delphi) and 6 years in Mexico as running Delphi’s largest automotive electronics site.

Cindy holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. She also was certified as a Black Belt and Quality/Operational Excellence Leader through the American Society of Quality (ASQ) and earned a Supply Chain Certification through the University of San Francisco. She received a Women in Manufacturing STEP Award in 2013, given jointly by the Manufacturing Institute, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, University of Phoenix, and Deloitte

Cindy is married and is the mother of 4 daughters ages 18-27. She and her family live in Carmel, Indiana.

Title: Operational Excellence as Key Growth Strategy

Allegion, PLC is a $2B+ global company focused on making the world safer as a company of experts, securing the places where people thrive. We do this by providing safety and security solutions and products to both commercial and residential markets. With a North American Corporate Center in Carmel, In, Allegion became a publicly traded company in Dec 2013, spinning off from Ingersoll Rand.

Allegion employs nearly 8000 employees globally and includes industry leading brands such as Schlage, Von Duprin, LCN and Steelcraft. As a new spin-off, Allegion is acutely focused on continued growth, through expansion in both core and developing markets and through new product innovations.

Another key growth strategy is our strong foundation in Operational Excellence. While Operational Excellence is typically linked to waste elimination or lean, the deployment strategy at Allegion has been centered on improving the customer experience in terms of service, lead time, delivery consistency and quality. This approach has increased the value proposition for our business in the eyes of our customers and ultimately led to revenue growth.

Our operational excellence focus has been deployed across key value streams, typically product or brand focused, incorporating all activities from order receipt to product shipment. Rather than looking at the “average” customer experience, we have learned to focus more marginal customer experiences (longest delays, most handoffs). This allows us to uncover and correct an array of opportunities, while ultimately improving the customer experience for all. Typical results include “halving the bad and doubling the good” in terms of lead time, hand-offs and quality issues. Additional benefits of our process include strong employee engagement and better understanding of the true customer experience.

Eric Schmidt

Manager - Global Procurement

Eric has worked at Amway for almost 3 years, first as a Sourcing Manager, Indirect Procurement and now as Manager, Indirect Procurement.  In his current role, he leads the Indirect Procurement team responsible for spend in the following categories: IT, Human Resources, events, manufacturing equipment, construction, MRO, R&D and outside services.  Eric has focused his efforts on building business partner relationships and leveraging global opportunities that deliver both business solutions and drive incremental value for Amway.

Prior to joining Amway, Eric held various supply chain positions at Motorola, Gordon Food Service and Ford Motor Company.  He holds both a MBA in Supply Chain and Corporate Finance and a BS in Supply Chain from Michigan State University.

Title: Procurement. Technology & Big Data at Amway

Headquartered in Ada, Michigan, Amway is one of the world’s largest direct selling businesses. Started over 55 years ago by two friends that had a dream for a better life for their families, Amway has grown into a $11B direct selling powerhouse with over three million Independent Business Owners in over 100 countries and territories around the world. In 1959, Amway’s first product, Liquid Organic Cleaner (L.O.C.) was the first concentrated, bio-degradable, and environmentally friendly cleaning product. Since then, Amway has expanded from home products to a global leader in the categories of health and beauty featuring exclusive brands such as Nutrilite®, the world’s leading brand of vitamin and dietary supplements, and Artistry® skincare and cosmetics, among the world’s top five, largest-selling, premium skincare brands.

As the procurement discipline continues to become increasingly sophisticated, there is an ever-growing need for better procurement systems. At the start of the 21st century, most procurement systems were home-grown applications and databases that were difficult to use. Employees tended to distrust these systems and as a result relied heavily on Microsoft Excel analytics. Purchase orders were often times manually faxed. Despite its complications, EDI was considered a significant breakthrough. Over time, large ERP platforms were adopted and procurement specific software was eventually offered as an additional module. However, these ERP based tools were usually an afterthought as the ERP systems were really developed to manage financial transactions. Today, the software industry has realized a legitimate need for procurement tools which can integrate cleanly into ERP systems and other core applications. While all of us have heard the phrase “Big Data” few of us know what it actually means… let alone put it into application. Amway Procurement is striving to harness all of its “Big Data” (internal and external) via reliable procurement systems to enable better sourcing decisions. While this is a simple goal, the decisions and trade-offs are difficult. The procurement organizations that can master “Big Data” and implement effective procurement systems will have a significant advantage.


Craig Andrews

Director of Continuous Improvement 
ConAgra Foods, Inc.

Craig has over 30 years of experiencing in manufacturing, operations, training, and continuous improvement. He graduated from Purdue University with a BS in Industrial Engineering in 1983. Upon graduation, Craig embarked on a 23 year career with R.R. Donnelley, North America’s largest commercial printer. He held positions in manufacturing, customer service, and culture change. Craig’s experience at Donnelley included managing start-ups, leading acquisition integrations, implementing continuous improvement efforts, and turning around troubled operations. He held a variety of roles from Manufacturing Management Trainee to Plant Manager. He received his Executive MBA in 1991 from Baruch College in New York City.

At ConAgra Foods, an $18+ Billion global food company, Craig has been leading continuous improvement efforts via ConAgra Performance System for over 6 years. His current assignment in Lean Supply Chain involves creating an optimized run strategy to improve working capital and customer service as well as reducing other supply and material handling losses. He is also launching continuous improvement in non-manufacturing areas of the company. Craig’s organization leverages tools such as Value Stream Mapping, Warehouse Optimization, Value-Added/Non-Value Added Analysis, Run Strategy modeling, Rapid Changeover, and Non-Finished Goods Optimization to drive results across 40+ plants.

Craig also serves as ConAgra’s liaison to Purdue for their recruiting efforts for interns and full-time employees.

Title: Leveraging Technology To Drive Results

Craig will be providing an overview of ConAgra Foods specifically highlighting how technology is leveraged across their Supply Chain. He will be dividing the Supply Chain into five categories – Plan, Buy, Make, Deliver, and Serve. ConAgra Food’s ERP system is SAP which will be featured throughout the presentation. In the Plan section, Craig will discuss their Demand Sensing tool. In the Buy portion, he will present what they are doing with Vendor Managed Inventory. The bulk of the presentation will be dedicated to the Make stage in their Supply Chain as he explains technology around controls and information in manufacturing. In the Deliver section, Craig will focus on AGVs, OTM, and ASN (acronyms to be explained!). He will wrap up how they utilize Point of Sale data.


Joshua Merrill

Global Molecule Supply Chain Manager
Dow AgroSciences

Joshua Merrill is currently a Global Molecule Supply Chain Manager at Dow AgroSciences, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical. He leads supply planning and strategy for a portfolio of active ingredients, and represents supply chain on the global business team. Prior to this role, he was a Global Supply Chain Improvement Manager, where he led supply chain strategy, design, and implementation for new product launches and network growth strategies for the North American region.

Prior to Dow AgroSciences, Merrill worked for Chiquita Brands. He managed the supply chain customer collaboration team and the logistics planning and modeling group. Merrill started his career in general management consulting, managing projects and client relationships primarily focused on food and agribusiness industries.

Merrill earned his Master of Engineering in Logistics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2007 and received his Bachelor of Science from Purdue University with a degree in Quantitative Agricultural Economics.

Title: Technology Opportunities in Agricultural Supply Chains

Food and agriculture technology advancements over the last 100 years enable food production to outpace global population growth with a fraction of the labor and inputs. Technology is also driving ag-food value chain improvements through demand sensing, downstream big data, smart logistics, and customer connectivity. End-to-End connected value chains in food/agriculture are feasible today. We all can play a role in this evolution.


David A. Pollard

Managing Director at FedEx Customer Solutions
FedEx Services

As a Managing Director of FedEx Customer Solutions for FedEx Services, Dave Pollard understands the critical role an optimized supply chain plays in every company’s competitive strength and long term success. His intense focus on identifying innovative, customized solutions for FedEx customers has delivered supply chain improvements that enable growth, efficiency, and sustainability in the global economy. He is responsible for leading a team of supply chain consultants charged with understanding a customer’s global business strategies and supply chain goals in order to design, develop and execute customized logistics solutions. These improvements deliver quantified business value to a customer’s bottom line through improvements to revenue, expense, and current or fixed assets.

Pollard encourages his organization to work across all aspects of a customer’s business requirements to determine how FedEx can provide unique solutions for any supply chain component. Under his leadership, FedEx Customer Solutions assesses the three flows that are essential to any component of the supply chain (physical, information, and financial) and then develops comprehensive solutions. The results range from strategy development, global supply chain optimization, mode optimization, direct distribution, network modeling, and system integration that can improve the inbound, outbound, and returns stages of distribution.

Since joining FedEx in 1999, Pollard has been a strategic contributor in the creation of the Customer Solutions team. Through the FedEx portfolio of operating companies, Pollard and his organization provide end-to-end business solutions that connect companies and their customers to over 220 economic markets throughout the world.

Pollard is an author and frequent speaker on topics including optimizing global supply chains and supply chain risk management. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration-Finance from Auburn University and is the past Vice Chairman of the Supply Chain Risk Leadership Council.

Title : Does Building a Seamless Supply Chain seem hopeless?

With common supply chain challenges not only prevalent but at times seemingly insurmountable, building a seamless supply chain seems as plausible as finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. However, there are unique and compelling successes and Mr. Pollard will share his experiences on how these accomplishments have been achieved by companies across several industries. There are no “one size fits all” supply chain solutions. Accepting this premise, Mr. Pollard will focus his discussion on companies who have successfully developed strategies and solutions leveraging technology and collaborative alliances to create their own seamless, vertically integrated supply chain. He will share his experience in the development of global multi-modal solutions and illustrate how these solutions have changed customer expectations and dictated shifts in the strategy of product delivery. He will also focus his discussion on how collaborative information sharing improves supply chain performance, grows customer loyalty, and drives new revenue streams.


Donnie Haye

VP, Smarter Supply Chain Analytics and Acquisitions

Donnie is the VP of Smarter Supply Chain Analytics and Acquisitions. In this role, Donnie has been responsible for building the Smarter Supply Analytics organization and delivering the benefits with forming the organization. The strategic vision and mission are to drive a centralized organization focused on integrating analytics globally, across manufacturing and the extended supply chain (suppliers/suppliers thru to partner’s partner and their clients) and to embed advanced analytics into all applicable execution business processes. She is also responsible for driving transformation in many of our business partner-related processes.

Donnie began her career with IBM as a product manager in Princeton, NJ. She held various marketing research positions before becoming a financial analyst for the high-end server and storage businesses of IBM’s Asia Pacific Group, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Donnie was later a part of a small IBM team working on the formation of the Lexmark Corp. Donnie held additional financial management positions in the semiconductor group of IBM and then was appointed Rochester site and WW AS400 manufacturing controller. She was later named the WW manufacturing controller for the PC business, followed by the position of CFO for IBM’s PC business in Europe, Middle East and Africa, then headquartered in Paris, France. Donnie later became Vice President of Operations for one of the server brands and Vice President, Client and Channel Enablement, Integrated Supply Chain. In this role she and her teams work with account groups, business partners and global functions to improve processes and enhance value for IBM clients and their businesses.

IBM is at the forefront of patent leadership, filing more patents per year than any other US company for the last 18 years. Donnie is active in this space and she has received multiple IBM awards and has a patent pending.

Donnie attended Michigan State University earning her BS degree in Applied Engineering. She also attended the Kellogg School at Northwestern University. She was an FC Austin Scholar and received her MBA in policy, finance, and marketing. She was also a member of Beta Gamma Sigma National Business Honor Society

Title : Smarter Supply Chain

Donnie Haye & Allison McFadden will discuss the evolution of the IBM supply chain business model including the role of pervasive visibility, predictive intelligence, optimization, total risk management, and Big Data capability. They will share their insight into the classes of analytics: descriptive, predictive, prescriptive, and cognitive and how to build the right advanced supply chain capabilities.


Allison Mcfadden

Director, Strategy and Business Development, Integrated Supply Chain

Allison McFadden is the Director of Strategy and Business Development for IBM’s Integrated Supply Chain. Ms. McFadden is currently responsible for leading the IBM Integrated Supply Chain strategic planning mission and commercialization of IBM Supply Chain assets. Ms. McFadden’s team works with the IBM business units to drive strategic alignment and to enable revenue growth by showcasing ISC talent and assets for commercial opportunities

Prior to this role, Ms. McFadden led the IBM High Velocity Supply Chain Project Management Office, where she was responsible for the large scale transformation of fulfillment processes for IBM’s System x product line. In this role, Ms. McFadden orchestrated a major global project implementation across supply chain, marketing, sales teams, and channel partners, leading to improved on time fulfillment rates for our clients. The High Velocity project has been recognized as a finalist in both the Institute of Supply Chain Management and Supply Chain Council awards for excellence in supply chain.

Ms. McFadden has over 10 years experience in leading global teams, both in a direct management capacity and in leading cross-functional project teams. She has managed employees across Asia, the Americas and Europe, and was located in Dublin, Ireland from 2007-2009 to lead the start up of high value software manufacturing in that location. After a successful launch, Ms. McFadden served as the senior leader of the IBM International Software Center in Dublin where she was responsible for the manufacturing and fulfillment of all IBM Software products for the European and Growth Market regions.

Ms. McFadden joined IBM in 1999 and has held leadership roles across the Supply Chain organization where she developed expertise in: Business Transformation, Supply Chain Strategy, Global Management and Cross-Functional Team Leadership, Customer Fulfillment Operations, Manufacturing Operations Management, Project Management, Supply / Demand Planning and S&OP, Inventory Management, Cost Management, and Industrial Engineering.

Ms. McFadden holds a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering degree from Purdue University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Duke University