Connect with us:

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Youtube
  • RSS

100 Days: How Supply Chains Have Become my Life

Supply Chains

I am going to be honest, when I was a child, my dream jobs were always along the lines of a veterinarian or a teacher. They had nothing to do with transportation and supply chains. Until my junior year of college, I was unaware of anything to do with supply chains or how they affected my life. A few of my classes focused on logistics and supply chains, it only was then that I began to realize the importance of this industry. Today is my 100th day working as a Social Media Representative at C.H. Robinson, and I have learned more than I could have ever imagined. My admiration for supply chains has grown immensely.

Before I began working in this industry, the terms that I now use on a daily basis had very different meanings to me. Transportation for example, was limited to common modes like cars, busses, and planes. Each one of these terms involved the transportation of people, not commodities. I had never thought about how my watermelon  arrived at the grocery store only that it was always there for me to pick out. It wasn’t long after I started at C.H. Robinson when I realized my idea of transportation was about to do a complete 180. I learned about terms like “intermodal” and “small parcel,” which were previously foreign to me, but have now become a part of my everyday life.

As a relatively new grad, I am constantly being asked where I work. When I tell them that I work at a third party logistics company or 3PL they look at me as if I’m talking about something from the Twilight Zone. This is what excites me. I love talking about how every single person relies on the supply chain industry. Whether they are aware of it or not, without this industry there would be no movement of any products.

My friends and family may not have known about “omni-channel retailing” but they are interested to learn that it creates a more efficient experience for them when purchasing products. Or what about the word “risk”? I’m always finding ways to make risks within the supply chain relatable to my friends. I often explain that every single product they buy has a supply chain, and when that supply chain is faced with a risk, such as a natural disaster, there may be a shortage or a delay in the delivery of that item. It is only then that they begin to understand the importance of my industry.

After working at C.H. Robinson for 100 days, I have gained enough knowledge to write a book, but I think I’ll just stick to this post. I’ll never stop learning about supply chains. I enjoy the challenge of the industry, and am excited for what my future with C.H. Robinson entails. I would love to hear how you got started in this industry, or if you will be graduating soon and are hoping to join this industry. Please leave your comments below.

Comments

Micah Heartson

Supply chain management is the bee's knees and your passion for the industry is intoxicating. Thanks for writing this blog.

4.30.13

Reply

Adrian Gonzalez

Dani,

Thank you for your sharing your experience and enthusiasm about this great industry. As you continue to learn and develop as a leader, I encourage you to help help high school students and guidance counselors in your local area become more aware about this field and the great career opportunities available. As I've highlighted in several blog postings (links below), we need to create a "farm system" for supply chain and logistics professionals, starting down at the high school level, and in my opinion, young professionals like you are the best people to lead the charge.

I wish you continued success and all the best in your career, wherever it leads you.

Adrian

http://logisticsviewpoints.com/2011/03/02/a-farm-system-for-supply-chain-and-logistics-preparing-the-next-generation-of-leaders/

http://logisticsviewpoints.com/2011/05/04/supply-chain-in-high-school-trying-to-sell/

4.30.13

Reply

Julian Blumenthal

Supply Chain which includes logistics and transportation is a great career to be. It will be a growing field throughout your career. There is a tremendous vitality of ideas in the field, so it will maintain your interest. It requires exceptional organizational and people skills. Good luck in your career growth.

5.1.13

Reply

Dani Taber

Thank you all for the positive comments, I appreciate it. I never would have imagined that I would be where I am at today, working in the supply chain industry, but I couldn’t be happier. I hope that blogs and articles like this help spark interest in other young professionals, and encourage them to give this industry a try and see everything that it offers.

5.2.13

Reply

Paulo Ribeiro

Hi Dani,
First, thanks for you post and for sharing a really nice experience at CHRobinson.
Im portuguese and right now I'm also having a great experience in CHRobinson Warsaw branch for a little bit more then one year, after working in the Barcelona branch. I work in the carrier sales team, and I'm reponsible to move freight mainly between Poland, Spain and Portugal. My commitment is right now to grow the temperature control business, and I confess that is really amazing work and there are plenty opportunities.
Well wish you all a life with plenty of beautiful and great experiences, those that can improve your personal and professional way. Big hug from Warsaw. Paulo.

5.5.13

Reply

Tijuana

Hi Dani

I am a MBA Supply Chain Management student graduating this month. Can you give me some pointers on how I can enter the Supply Chain and Logistics career field with absolutely no experience.

Thank you
Tijuana

5.5.13

Reply

Dani Taber

Paulo, thank you very much for the comment. Glad to hear that you are enjoying it as well! Tijuana- The most important thing you can do is spend time researching not only the job that you are striving for but the companies that you are applying with as well. Find companies that you believe in and would enjoy working at. I enjoy coming into work every day, and a big part of that is due to the people and culture of C.H. Robinson. Another tip, is to not give up! It may take time to hear back, and being patient will pay off. Tailor your cover letter/resume to each job you apply for so that it shows you put time into applying and truly care about the position. Lastly, once you get an interview, make sure you research the company before hand and go prepared. I wish you the best of luck, and would love to answer any more questions that arise along the way.

5.7.13

Reply

Ken Sutton

There are companies out there that will let you save them money in their supply chain and then downsize you at the drop of a hat. Look for solid companies with a good balance sheet and it will be a great career.

5.7.13

Reply

Eric Moody

Hello Dani,

I can relate to your story. I worked in supply chain for 15 years, in production control, purchasing & manufacturing. But it was not until joining a 3PL that I think I put it all together.

I was seeking a job with a 3PL, and my interviewer was clearly puzzled by my manufacturing-heavy resume. Finally he asked, "So what do you know about transportation?" I said, "Well, UPS picks up at 4:00, Fedex picks up at 4:45, and if I get to the (blank) station on Nimbus Avenue by 6:45, I can get a package to anywhere on the West Coast next day."

I think he was horrified, but despite that I won the job and have loved this business ever since. I don't think I fully understood supply chain until I began learning how transportation joins its links, and its complexity never stops being interesting & challenging. I hope you always find it as rewarding as I do.

5.9.13

Reply

David Armstrong

Dani:

Your post brought back fond memories of my journey through the supply chain. I started 45 years ago. My major was economics and I often wondered what I might do as an economist. I stumbled across a class called Economics of Transportation and I was hooked. I describe my journey as a series of Big Bangs (BB). Points where I changed companies and/or added new responsibilities that increased my breadth and depth of understanding and involvement with the supply chain.

My first job was in the Traffic department of an oil company: carriers, modes of transportation, rates, regulations.

(BB) Big bang - joined consumer goods company - totally different transportation modes, customer service and became responsible for warehousing.

(BB) another consumer goods company: inventory management, production and inventory control, SC systems design, invented new inventory metrics, developed analytics.

(BB) software technical sales for SCX systems - exposure to wide variety of companies

(BB) Computer hardware manufacturer: implemented JIT, lean tools, restructured systems, responsible for purchasing/procurement

(BB) Wholesale/distributor: Improved already great service offerings, both a user and a provider of 3PL services.

The journey has been exciting and I'm still learning and contribution. Bottom line is that the supply chain touches almost every functional area in a organization ads well as external entities. What a great place to be.

5.14.13

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*