Critical Business Skills for Effective Supply Chain Leaders -- Panelists

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Thursday, February 8, 2007

Main Presenter:

Michele Danza, C.P.M., consultant, Supply Management Skills, LLC, has over 30 years of Supply Management experience. From the control of materials to the procurement of energy; from building a Materials department in a new organization to restructuring a Procurement function to meet heightened organizational expectations, Danza has consistently exceeded goals and added value to each organization.

Examples of the benefits Danza has brought to companies:

  • Hiring, training and managing Materials professionals—purchasing agents, production planners, supplier quality engineers, inventory administrators—for a new electronics manufacturer. Within two years, the profitable company measured 99% on-time orders at 99% quality acceptance and had been certified to ISO 9001 standards.
  • After a redirection of corporate procurement philosophy, Danza realigned the Supply Management department with highly skilled, trained and experienced professionals who met the procurement goals within 12 months
  • Developed and implemented a Supplier Certification process, combining the expertise of Quality, Production and Engineering professionals in creating a system of supplier quality that resulted in 99%+ acceptance of major materials within two years of implementation
  • Restructured decentralized procurement groups into one function consisting of corporate strategic negotiators and local tactical administrators, resulting in significant cost savings and improved supplier relationships
  • Advised that the coal procurement, essential to the operation of the largest plant of a major agricultural products’ corporation, be folded into its energy futures' function, thereby opening savings opportunities in both energy and the procurement process


Ralph G. Kauffman, Ph.D., C.P.M., is associate professor of management emeritus and former coordinator of the Supply Chain Management Program at the University of Houston-Downtown. Prior to entering academia, he gained more than 27 years of purchasing and supply management experience with Oryx Energy Company as manager, procurement and materials management and, prior to that, with Sun Company.

Kauffman formerly served as chair of the ISM Non-Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. He conducted monthly surveys of more than 300 committee members and prepared the monthly Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®. From 1994 to 1996, he served as chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. He is also co-editor of the current edition of The Purchasing Handbook, now titled The Supply Management Handbook.

Kauffman has published articles in management journals including the Academy of Management Journal, The Journal of Supply Chain Management, and the Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing. He has presented papers at national and international academic and professional conferences, including the ISM Annual International Supply Management Conference. He is also a frequent guest speaker at professional conferences and seminars.

Kauffman received a bachelor's degree in engineering from Lehigh University and an MBA degree in transportation management from Northwestern University. He received his Ph.D. in management science from the University of Texas at Dallas. He is a member of ISM—Dallas, Inc., the American Marketing Association, the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences, and the Southeast Texas Association of Public Purchasing.

Nancy Q. Smith is global business process manager, Delphi Corporation. In her role, she has led the global supply management people development strategy to develop strategic supply management skill sets. Central to her role at Delphi have been competency assessment, skills development and lean process transformation. Prior to her work at Delphi, Smith was an organizational development and training consultant for Fortune 500 clients. Smith holds a B.A. from Wayne State University in communication and public relations and an M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin in organizational communication and management.

Mark A. Thompson, C.P.M., is a sourcing manager for Pioneer Hi-Bred International (a DuPont company) in Johnston, Iowa. Thompson is a graduate of Iowa State University and has 18 years of global sourcing experience. His global sourcing background includes sourcing candy from China and Mexico, as well as toys, novelty items and spices from China. He has made many trips to Asia and Mexico to select and develop suppliers and work with suppliers concerning ongoing operations. He has most recently been involved in training buyers in the Asia Pacific region. Thompson is a licensed custom house broker and is currently involved in sourcing initiatives in Asia for Pioneer Hi-Bred International.

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