By Alliston Ackerman & Alarice Padilla
Thought leader, pioneer, change agent, optimist -- all are good words to describe the executives that were named as CGT's 2010 Visionaries. In its seventh year, this issue honors 10 consumer goods executives based on reader nominations. Each has challenged the boundaries of their organization -- whether it be a Fortune 500 firm or an innovative mid-market company -- by thinking outside of the box and executing big initiatives in information technology, supply chain, innovation, sales and marketing, and more despite unfavorable market conditions. Here, the 2010 Visionaries reveal their biggest accomplishments of late. Plus, find out about the changes that lie just past the horizon for their respective companies.
Executive Vice President, Operations and Supply Chain, Del Monte Foods
Joined Company: 2005
Resume: COO, U.S. Foodservice; CEO, WorldChain; VP Worldwide Operations, Dell; SVP Operations, Frito-Lay
Vision in Action: Dave Allen led the transformation of the Del Monte supply chain into a top-tier performer within the consumer goods industry. This was accomplished through a strategic investment, an aggressive change agenda that touched almost every supply chain function, and a strong partnership with the IT department. "We improved service delivery to a 99 percent case fill rate, took out almost 30 percent of inventory and posted record productivity that's helping Del Monte's financial performance," reports Allen. More importantly, Del Monte's supply chain transformation results have been recognized by its customers. "Our customers not only appreciate the service, but we have four large retailers who have reduced their inventories such that they have zero working capital requirements for our business."
On the Horizon: Within the next year or so, Allen is helping Del Monte to fully connect its suppliers and co-packers to its demand-driven network. "This will further speed up the heartbeat of our supply chain, enabling us to become even more responsive to changing needs of the marketplace and execute at the speed of our customer," he says.
Challenges Ahead: While the future is not always clear cut, Del Monte will continue to build on its solid foundation of brands, people and its ability to execute against a clear business strategy. "In my world, I'm confident the infrastructure and customer-focused culture we've built in our supply chain will help us meet any challenge that may come along," says Allen.
For more on Del Monte's supply chain transformation, read "Customers Come First" in the March 2010 issue of CGT.
Jonathan Clark, CPA
Chief Financial Officer, Honest Tea Inc.
Joined Company: 2004
Resume: Controller, Dittus Communications; Vice President of Finance, Atcall Inc.; Director of Financial Planning and Analysis, Caterair International Inc.
Vision in Action: Over the past five and a half years with Honest Tea, Jonathan Clark's most significant accomplishment was putting in place the necessary systems, procedures and personnel to allow Honest Tea Inc. to effectively manage growth. Among them was the implementation of a new ERP system from SYSPRO to better manage inventory levels. "Today, it is rewarding to see how all the decisions we made and steps we took over the years have transformed Honest Tea into a more mature company; a company that now has more processes and procedures, but still has the entrepreneurial drive to succeed," says Clark.
On the Horizon: In 2011, Honest Tea's largest shareholder, The Coca-Cola Company, has an option to purchase the remaining company shares that it does not currently own. Consequently, Clark is focusing on achieving revenue growth targets and maximizing shareholder value by ensuring adequate financial resources are in place to support sales and marketing initiatives. "It is critical that I effectively provide timely financial reporting and guidance to management so that we can meet our sales targets as well as maintain excellent bank and shareholder relations," says Clark.
Leadership Philosophy: Clark takes a team-oriented approach to leadership. "I make every effort to ask those that work on my team for their input in making decisions," reveals Clark. "Employee feedback, both positive and negative, is critical because I want to make the best decisions that allow us to achieve our goals. Decisions made as a team are more likely to be supported by employees and gives the sense that they have some control over their work and future direction with the company."
Executive Vice President, Global Operations, PepsiCo Inc.
Joined Company: 1992
Resume: Chief Financial Officer, PepsiCo; Chief Financial Officer, PepsiCo's International Businesses; General Auditor; Chief Financial Officer,Taco Bell; Chief Financial Officer, KFC International
Vision in Action: Under the leadership of Richard Goodman, previously as the CFO, PepsiCo launched an innovative, University-style learning model for its finance function. The PepsiCo Finance University is delivering tangible benefits and is expected to create a learning blueprint that can be replicated for other business functions, such as HR, marketing and procurement. "At PepsiCo, our people drive our success as a company. So, the biggest legacy one can have in the finance function is ensuring that the right people are in place in every single country in which we do business -- not just today, but in the years ahead as well. That means continually developing our finance associates by providing them with the technical, experiential and leadership training that will enable them both to progress in their careers and also to add increasing value to the corporation," explains Goodman.
On the Horizon: Now that Goodman is in charge of procurement and IT across PepsiCo, he is focused on transforming procurement into a truly global function.
Challenges Ahead: "The challenge in the food and beverage industry over the next several years will be navigating amidst a macroeconomic backdrop that looks like it will continue to be challenging and volatile. Making sure that our businesses are poised to be successful in that kind of environment is the critical management challenge," Goodman closes.
For more on the PepsiCo Finance University, read "Enterprise Learning" in this issue.
Lisa C. King, Ph.D.
Vice President, Insights and Innovation, Newell Rubbermaid
Joined Company: 2003
Resume: Senior Director, Innovation, Research & Development, Goody Products; Director, User Experience Research, Rare Medium
Vision in Action: Lisa King works with executives across Newell Rubbermaid's expansive brand portfolio to grow its overall focus on innovation. Today, Newell Rubbermaid is much more insights driven than it was five years ago, thanks in part to King. The company has built capabilities in consumer insights, marketing and innovation, and has even implemented an idea-to-launch process that identifies, refines and launches new products that meet important consumer needs. "It has been an amazing opportunity to work with all of our global business units to use consumer understanding to create new products and to improve existing products through meaningful innovations," says King, who has personally trained more than 300 people at Newell Rubbermaid on innovation practices. What's more, in her role as Senior Director, King led a team at Goody that doubled the more than 100-year-old brand's intellectual property as a route to profitable growth.
On the Horizon: In 2010 and beyond, King will help Newell Rubbermaid grow through greater activation of consumer insights and consumer understanding. "Insights are the input. They inform strategies and new product development priorities. Innovation is the output. It is the successful commercialization of invention that brings newness to the consumer experience," explains King. Elevating consumer insights as a strategic lever to drive growth will put Newell Rubbermaid's brands ahead of the competition.
Challenges Ahead: "The recent global economic downturn triggered consumers to rethink how they spend every dollar," explains King. "Our brands will relentlessly highlight the value we bring to the consumer through superior products that meet important needs and can always be counted on to deliver great performance."
Senior Vice President, Customer Service & Logistics, Kraft Foods
Joined Company: 1989
Resume: SVP Customer Service & Logistics, Kraft Foods North America;
SVP Global Supply Chain, Kraft Foods International; VP Supply Chain International, Kraft Foods; Supply Chain Director, Kraft Europe
Vision in Action: In two years, Philippe Lambotte led a mission-critical supply chain transformation. Previously, Kraft's supply chain organization was split between a warehouse delivered side and a direct store delivered side. Today, the company touts a combined customer-driven supply chain team that has delivered improved service, effectiveness and efficiency to Kraft and its customers.
On the Horizon: "Our CFO promised our investors a $1 billion cash flow improvement over three years and we are working hard to deliver on this commitment," says Lambotte. Improving cash flow management for Kraft's global operations means using best practices on payables, working capital and receivable management.
Challenges Ahead: "One of the key challenges that our industry is facing is to create a constructive and collaborative way of working between retailers and branded manufacturers to drive new value for shoppers and consumers," says Lambotte. "From product traceability and freshness to streamlined and efficient shelf-centered supply chains, we need to raise the bar for the whole industry." Kraft is working with a large number of customers to change the dialog and ask: "What if we were 'One Company'?" This entails a multi-pronged approach from getting the basics right to developing new and innovative solutions tailored for customers to help them meet marketplace challenges in tough economic times. Ultimately, this will enable supply chain capabilities to drive growth as opposed to efficiency only.
For more on Kraft Foods' logistics strategy, read "Driving Change"
in the March 2009 issue of CGT
Vice President, Bottling Investments General Manager, Program Scale, The Coca-Cola Company
Joined Company: 1982
Resume: Vice President, Business Systems, Coca-Cola Enterprises; Chief Information Officer, Coca-Cola Hellenic; Chief Information Officer, Greater Europe Group, The Coca-Cola Company
Vision in Action: As the architect of Program Scale, Tom Miller has led the design, development and deployment of a common technology platform across bottlers worldwide. The program is enormously challenging because each bottler is an independent company with its own IT infrastructure. To date, the model, called Coke One, encompasses more than 1,000 best practice processes, data standards, performance metrics and applications. Coke One is currently implemented in China, Australia, the Philippines and South Africa, and will soon be implemented in Europe, North America and Latin America. The Coke One business system is also available to bottlers worldwide through a private cloud computing infrastructure.
On the Horizon: Miller's next challenge is to implement the Coke One operating model in the North American Bottler community, which is rapidly evolving thanks to an anticipated merger with the North America operations of Coca-Cola Enterprises later in 2010. "This will bring the value of our global best practice operating model to the competitive U.S. market," he says.
Leadership Philosophy: "My role as a leader is to inspire people to put their hearts and souls into their work, not just their heads and hands," says Miller. "I foster an environment where employees feel respected, challenged, empowered and rewarded, and where they know their contributions make a difference as part of something greater than what they could achieve as individuals."
Director of Supply Chain, PepsiCo
Joined Company: 2006
Resume: Senior Supply Chain Manager, Pepsi Beverages Company; Supply Chain Network Manager, Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated; Corporate Development Specialist, Alliance Rubber Company
Vision in Action: Pepsi Beverages Company embarked on an exciting journey two years ago to optimize its infrastructure in the face of growing product complexity. According to Shekar Natarajan, the optimization effort required holistic thinking to link together a diverse set of point projects under a single umbrella. "This umbrella horizontally leverages a unique advanced order fulfillment methodology, proprietary information systems and breakthrough network optimization strategies," he explains. "Working with a dedicated team of professionals to achieve this singular vision has been truly rewarding."
On the Horizon: "Excellence for Pepsi Beverages Company requires an unwavering focus and energy to harness the collective potential of the company in the physical distribution of goods," he says. In the near future, Pepsi Beverages Company will be extending its infrastructure work to encompass its entire network footprint. "Our long term goal is to shape the means by which we sell, make, store and deliver products into a world class supply chain," he explains.
Challenges Ahead: The single greatest challenge facing the industry is growth, according to Natarajan. "Tapping the potential for growth requires exploiting the product innovation pipeline to meet continually evolving consumer preferences. Successful companies must find ways of driving simplicity, consistency and speed into their supply chain processes to effectively and efficiently support the innovation agenda in the marketplace."
Click here to learn more about Shekar Natarajan.
Stephen t. Repinec, Ph.D.
Director, Product Lifecycle Management, Colgate-Palmolive
Joined Company: 1991
Resume: Director, Product Lifecycle Management; Director, Product Development, North American Oral Care & Global Professional Products; Associate Director, Product Development, Oral Care International Group
Vision in Action: Steve Repinec is a recognized thought leader when it comes to product lifecycle management (PLM), re-defining business processes and building supporting tools from the bottom up. "At Colgate-Palmolive, we have implemented several systems to capture and maintain all product related data and information. This builds a foundation to further strengthen our ability to support innovation and product development processes," says Repinec. He also rallied product developers globally to embrace the new tools, backed by a central IT team in New Jersey. The team employed global workshops and regional "train the trainer" workshops, followed by local training sessions and "refresher" classes.
On the Horizon: As part of strengthening Colgate-Palmolive's PLM capabilities, Repinec is focusing on how best to improve high-level views of project information to company leadership to better enable management of the project portfolio. "We have a base system in place and plan to expand the business processes and system functionality, one piece at a time, in order to facilitate adoption across the global enterprise."
Leadership Philosophy: "Our PLM journey has also been about leading change across levels and across functions," explains Repinec. "This has influenced my personal leadership journey, helping me transform from a subject matter expert to a leader who fully recognizes the value that each individual brings to the team. The challenge of leadership at Colgate-Palmolive is to create an environment that fosters continuous improvement, providing opportunities where people can grow and contribute."
Vice President of Information Systems, Stanley Black & Decker Hardware and Home Improvement Group
Joined Company: 2005
Resume: Director, Supply Chain Systems, Black & Decker HHI; Associate Partner, IBM Business Consulting; Roles at Mars Inc. and Accenture
Vision in Action: Scott Strickland is responsible for building a high-performing Information Systems (IS) team that is aligned with business priorities. "We have a great team of IS professionals who know their business domains as well as their business partners," says Strickland. "This allows us to deliver projects and enhancements that the business needs, sometimes even before they know they will need them." Strickland also understands that investing in supply chain visibility and agility is critical to remain profitable and reputable in turbulent and volatile times. Under Strickland's leadership, the company sponsored the global roll out of JDA's Demand, Fulfillment and Master Planning modules. "This reaction to a tough economy was very successful," says Strickland.
On the Horizon: Currently, Strickland and his team are building an executive dashboard that includes sales, plant operations, customer service and spend metrics. Not only will this allow executives across the company to monitor these critical four pillars of the business, but it will be used to communicate business results to the entire company.
Challenges Ahead: "Our greatest challenge is meeting increased demand for our products as the industry improves and while maintaining a strong working capital position," says Strickland. "We will meet this challenge through continued investment in technology -- replacing inventory with information, aligning our metrics and developing our people."
For more on Stanley Black & Decker HHI's supply chain success story, read "CPFR in Action" in the October 2009 issue of CGT.
Vice President, Information Technology, Land O'Lakes
Joined Company: 2006
Resume: Vice President, Information Technology, The J.M. Smucker Company; Vice President, Information Technology, International Multifoods Corporation
Vision in Action: Mark Thome has successfully led two business critical ERP implementations -- on time and on budget --over the past eight years. In the first, he used SAP at International Multifoods Corporation. The second involved the roll out of Oracle's J.D. Edwards Enterprise-One at his current company, Land O'Lakes. Both transformation projects achieved their defined benefits thanks to team composition, credits Thome. The latter achieved the targeted return on investment of between 25 percent and 30 percent. "In both cases people from the business, IT, the software vendors and the integrators from PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte were dedicated, experienced and talented," he says. "It is extremely satisfying to take on enormous challenges and deliver results that have a direct positive effect on business performance."
On the Horizon: Next on Thome's checklist at Land O'Lakes, a $12 billion national, farmer-owned food and agricultural company, is a large scale program that will focus on infrastructure, ERP core capability and functionality aimed at improved business planning and enhanced consumer, customer and producer relationships.
Leadership Philosophy: "I am an inspirational leader that seeks to engage daily with the organization at all levels to drive value for the business," says Thome. "In addition, I strive to build teams and motivate people to achieve goals by creating a place that talented people can pour themselves into. This requires constant attention and lots of emotional energy, but the results are worth it."
Retail All Stars
Influential Executives Driving Extraordinary Change in the Retail Market
By Christina Zarrello, RIS News
Jim Calo, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Under Armour
In a span of 13 years, Under Armour has transformed itself from a virtually unknown entity into a global brand worn by professional athletes around the globe. But as business boomed, its warehouse management system was no longer able to scale to its needs. Calo and his team went live with a warehouse management system from Manhattan Associates in 2008 from its Baltimore-based distribution center. "We were able to get footwear up without missing a beat," says Calo. In the future, Under Armour plans to add a new labor management solution.
Mercedes De luca, Global Customer Experience and Chief Information Officer, MyShape.com
Mercedes De Luca and her team have turned online shopping on its head by enabling the female to become her own merchandiser. MyShape.com allows women to create a personal shop within the Web site, which displays only the garments that satisfy her personal set of criteria. "The Web provides so much choice, but those choices can be disconnected and impersonal. At MyShape, we use our Personal Shops to connect women to their personal style so that they feel and look good in their clothes," says De Luca.
For more information about these and more retail executives, read the "2010 Influentials" article published in the March issue of RIS News (www.risnews.com).