Poole College Celebrates 20 Years of Supply Chain Excellence

On April 24th, a select group of Poole College of Management leaders, alumni, and corporate partners gathered at the Park Alumni Center to celebrate the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative (SCRC)’s 20th anniversary, and the impact it has had on the academic and professional community over the last two decades.

Attendees enjoyed cocktails, dinner, live music, and special remarks from Dr. Richard Warr, Assistant Dean for Faculty & Academic Affairs at Poole College; Tom Nash, VP & CPO of American Red Cross; and Dr. Robert Handfield, Executive Director and co-founder of the SCRC, who each spoke to the influence the SCRC has had on their respective roles and experiences.

“The SCRC is one of the best examples of incorporating academic learning and research into solving real business problems that I’ve come across in my career,” Nash said of the SCRC’s 20-year landmark. “Having been personally associated with [the SCRC] for 18 years, and with three different industries I’ve worked in during that time, I’ve seen that the SCRC methodology fits with any company/industry. The longevity of the SCRC didn’t just happen; it’s remained relevant over the last 20 years because the ROI is evident.”

Dr. Robert Handfield, Executive Director and co-founder of the SCRC

Dr. Handfield recounted the story behind the creation of the SCRC, paying special tribute to the late Cecil Bozarth, who co-founded the SCRC with Handfield and was beloved by his faculty peers at Poole College. “Twenty years ago I arrived at NC State, and was recruited here by [Bozarth], who told me, ‘we have the opportunity to create something new and unique here at NC State,'” Handfield said. “He was a good friend; I’ve known him since grad school, and he passed away last summer. His spirit lives on here in the program we helped to build together. I came to NC State from Michigan State, recognizing that one of the most important missing elements in the supply chain were talented students who had practical supply chain knowledge based on experience working with real company problems. Together we created the SCRC based on this need, and it has grown based on your shared input and contributions.”

Handfield also acknowledged the role the event’s guests have played in the SCRC’s ongoing success, stating, “We rely on our faculty advisors and faculty to share their work experience and knowledge to mentor our students, and ensure that they are well-positioned to hit the ground running. They are one of the most important assets of the SCRC, which has become a crown jewel of Poole College. Our entire team values the engagement of our partners and our students to build on our thought leadership for the future.”

39th Semi-annual Meeting

The morning following the celebration, over 60 supply chain professionals gathered at Reynolds Coliseum for one of the SCRC’s largest and most-diverse partner meeting to date. The event kicked off with a keynote address from Dr. Rob Handfield, “Twins Separated at Birth: The Gap Between Procurement and Marketing,” during which Handfield explored two decades of research on marketing and procurement, and explored how relationships may have shifted in light of new developments such as real-time analytics, multi-stakeholder relationships, and shared buyer-sell innovation cycles.

Mike Boman, Vice President of Business Development, UPS Global Logistics

Attendees also enjoyed four presentations from distinguished guest speakers who shared their insights on the following topics:

  • “Moving Away from One-Dimensional Procurement,” Dan Mahlebashian, Global Executive Director, General Motors
  • “Supplier Relationships as a Source of Value,” Bill Knittle, Vice President of Supply Chain Management, Cheniere Energy
  • “Identifying and Quantifying Value in a Competitive Landscape,” Mike Boman, Vice President of Business Development, UPS Global Logistics
  • “B2B: Learning From a Sell — and Buy — Side Marketing Perspective,” Juergen Scherer, SBU President, Mauser Group

The event also featured a panel moderated by Dr. Handfield about best sales practices, which focused primarily on the importance of being transparent with customers. Panelists included Peggy Chang Barber, CEO-Americas at IACCM; David Henard, Professor of Marketing at NC State; Mike Boman; and Dan Mahlebashian.

Bert Coslow, NC State alumnus and Deputy Project Manager at Halliburton, said the event was a fantastic opportunity to connect and network with Supply Chain professionals across a wide range of industries. “I found Mike Boman’s presentation on Total Value Solutions to be particularly insightful – both from a Supply Chain perspective and a Business Development perspective,” Coslow said. “Additionally, I found it intriguing that regardless of size, and industry, or market position, different companies face largely similar issues.”

For a more in-depth summary of key takeaways from the event, read Dr. Handfield’s blog post here.