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Supply Chain Millennials: 30 Leaders Under 30

As the current Baby Boomer-dominated generation of supply chain leaders starts to reach retirement age, the industry will increasingly need to tap into the younger generations of managers and influencers.

Supply Chain Millennials: 30 Leaders Under 30

IndustryWeek's recent 2017 Salary Survey points out that less than 3 percent of the total population of manufacturing professionals are in their 20s, which indicates that succession planning hasn't been very high on current managers' to-do lists. Thatís going to have to change to ensure the long-term health of the industry.

For the past three years, the Institute for Supply Management has teamed up with ThomasNet to identify and then celebrate young professionals in the supply chain field who are making a difference in their companies and organizations. One of the goals of their "30 Under 30" project, of course, is to encourage more young people to come into the field, and to enlist more mentors to help develop these Millennials into savvy supply chain professionals.

Out of the 30 "rising stars," one megawatt-star is picked each year, and this year that honor goes to Dan Kaskinen, a 29-year-old strategic sourcing manager with Sonic Automotive Inc., based in Charlotte, N.C., one of the largest automotive retailers in the U.S. One of his biggest accomplishments is the creation of a formalized partner request process, involving a web portal and a submission database. Heís also developed a formal RFP process, and has managed more than $13m in spend through formal RFPs to date.

According to Kaskinen, the biggest misconception about Millennials is "that we need constant feedback because we want a pat on the back. We want it because we're ambitious and want to perform at a high level, so if we're making a poor decision, we can take corrective action today ó not next year."

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