20 Aug Renowned Supply Chain Executive Katherine Ross Featured in DC Innovation Series
Renowned Supply Chain Executive Katherine Ross Featured in DC Innovation Series
Katherine Ross – recently retired President of Johnson & Johnson Health Care Services – joined Voxware President & CEO Keith Phillips for the latest episode of the DC Innovation Series, 20-minute conversations with supply chain pros.
Katherine brings more than 35 years of senior leadership experience in supply chain to the conversation, having led manufacturing, procurement, planning and logistics operations on three continents. She served as Worldwide Vice President, Customer and Logistics Services for J&J, where she was responsible for enterprise-wide warehousing, transportation and customer service organizations globally. Prior to joining J&J, Ross led supply chain operations for PepsiCo Foods International and Frito-Lay.
Given the disruptions to global supply chains that have transpired since March, Katherine shared her perspective on what the industry has endured. “Anyone who’s been in supply chain, has dealt with their share of crises,” she said. “Smart companies have designed their supply chain networks so they have some level of resilience built in them. I will also say that we have never faced a crisis like this before.”
Katherine also predicted a shift in the industry over the next three to five years as a result of the pandemic. “Some changes are obvious; the shift to eCommerce is permanent. It will be hard to pull back from that,” she explained. “The leading companies that I see now are taking an opportunity to reposition themselves to get the tools and infrastructure in place. Given the nature of this particular crisis, it will take a little longer to snap back than normal.”
Katherine expects eCommerce to continue its furious pace for some time given current uncertainties. Voxware’s research from June substantiates that belief, indicating significant changes in consumer intentions – such as plans to start holiday shopping earlier; purchase small, difficult to pick and pack stocking stuffer items online; and ship more gifts directly to recipients – which will all challenge supply chain operations.
Katherine also gave her perspective on the increasingly important role automation and supply chain analytics will play in helping companies gain a competitive advantage. “Companies that get on top of their analytics will be the winners in the future,” she stated. “Companies that aren’t layering in analytics are leaving a lot of opportunities behind.”
New episodes of the DC Innovation Series presented by Voxware go live on the second Thursday of every month. Join us in September when the next guest will be Sandy McKay, a veteran supply chain and operations executive, most recently at Haggar Clothing Co. as Vice President, Distribution where he was responsible for their 650,000 square foot distribution center.