Industry leaders to share experience of building effective supply chain partnerships

AMES, Iowa – Successfully delivering a product to a customer depends on an integrated network of firms that all contribute to the end goal. To help business leaders improve efficiencies within their supply chains, the 2014 Voorhees Supply Chain Conference will feature three examples of companies that have benefited from effective supply chain partnerships. The conference, sponsored by Iowa State University’s College of Business, is from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, April 25, at Reiman Gardens.

Jennifer Blackhurst

Jennifer Blackhurst 

Jennifer Blackhurst, Walker Professor in Logistics and Supply Chain Management at Iowa State, says these partnerships are necessary to make sure a company is sharing the right information and adding value to a product to benefit the customer. She invites business professionals to attend the conference and learn about the advantages they can gain by building relationships with supply chain partners.

“The conference is really geared toward industry and working professionals. The need for supply chain integration and partnership development is there regardless of industry,” Blackhurst said. “It is about integrating to make sure they deliver their product to the customer. To do that they’ve got to be able to look at information systems, look at relationships and understand how they all work together and play a role in that supply chain.”

External partners and internal functions

Supply chain leaders from Cargill Inc., Renewable Energy Group, Restaurant Technologies, Ruan and Capgemini will share their experiences during the conference. Cargill is a company with hundreds of diverse supply chains. When the Minnesota-based food processing company decided to centralize management of its transportation and logistics it was a major change. 

Cargill’s Jeannie Artley, enterprise process manager of transportation and logistics, and Jacqueline Bailey, transportation leader, will present “Driving Success in Internal Supply Chain Partnerships.” They will talk about the challenges of managing such a complex transformation while ensuring the business units and the customers they serve thrive. 

Renewable Energy Group, also known as REG, is a leading producer of biodiesel and as a result, one of the largest consumers of fats and oils in the U.S. Therefore, it was only natural that REG would partner with Restaurant Technologies Inc., a leading provider of fresh vegetable oil to the food service industry.

Dave Elsenbast, REG vice president of supply chain management, and Bob Weil, chief financial officer for Restaurant Technologies, will present “Connecting the Supply Chain: From Fresh Vegetable Oil to Biodiesel.” The two will explain how the companies created a nationwide system to deliver fresh oil to restaurants and then convert the waste grease into biodiesel to use as transportation fuel.

Graham Page, director of integrated solutions for Ruan, and Rishi Raina, a principal in Capgemini’s supply chain, will present “System Transformations: How to make Implementation Partnerships Succeed.” Ruan partnered with Capgemini to implement a critical transportation management system.

Page and Raina will talk about how they managed the partnership and walk through the steps needed to get the most out of such an investment, both during and after the implementation is completed.

Registration for the conference is $150 and covers the cost of all conference materials and networking lunch. Iowa State faculty, staff and students may attend for free. There is a $25 fee for faculty, staff and students from other universities.

Click here for additional conference information and online registration. The conference was established to honor Iowa State Professor Emeritus R. Dale Voorhees, who taught in the College of Business for more than 20 years.