Friday, December 19, 2014

Lessons from Sue Spence, VP of Sourcing at Fed-Ex

Reggie Butler
Sue Spence, Vice President of Sourcing at Fed-Ex, left me with a few takeaways after her presentation to the Kelley MBA Supply Chain Academy:

Analytics aren’t everything when making sourcing decisions as a global supply chain leader.

Fed-Ex believes global companies have a responsibility to help the communities in which they operate. This can be achieved in many ways, such as hiring local companies instead of national corporations for janitorial services. It is also important to give minority companies a chance. For example, Fed-Ex contracted a veteran owned cleaning company to maintain their offices and stores in one of its core cities instead of going with the cheapest bid for the job.

Don’t just make changes for the sake of making changes.  

Many managers transition into companies and make quick changes to prove they’re doing something. Spence came in with a strategy. She used analytics to figure out how to make changes that would have a lasting impact on the company’s bottom line, such as streamlining the way Fed-Ex pays vendors, making it easier to track company spends. She’s also making sure that if Fed-Ex has a contract with suppliers, employees use those suppliers because of the negotiated rates.


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