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Thought Leader Metro Business

First Atlanta Supply Chain Awards Recognizes Innovators and Rising Stars

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By Patrick Cameron Adcock, Metro Atlanta Chamber
Metro Atlanta established its reputation as a hub for supply chain over the course of decades, growing as the intersection of major U.S. interstates, home to the world’s most-traveled airport, and sharing proximity with the major shipping port of the Southeast. Metro Atlanta is also creating the next-generation thought leaders and organizations committing to revolutionize traditional supply chain networks with digital solutions.
In partnership with UPS, the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Atlanta Roundtable, APICS Atlanta Chapter, the Metro Atlanta Chamber, and a wide variety of sponsors, the first Atlanta Supply Chain Awards recognized leaders and organizations from both traditional and new digital supply chain backgrounds. The Awards hosted more than 160 industry professionals and honored 19 organizations in its first year.
“From the very beginning, our objective was to celebrate successes across the end-to-end supply chain community in metro Atlanta. I think we accomplished that objective, and we’re excited to announce details soon for an even bigger 2020 Atlanta Supply Chain Awards program,” said Scott W. Luton, chair of the 2019 ASCA Planning Committee.
“Our partners are committed to a sustainable future for our world,” said Sudu Founder and CEO Amari Ruff, who served as the event’s Emcee.
Award categories included the Bright Future Award, Supply Chain Innovation of the Year Award, Manufacturing Excellence and many more. A full breakdown of categories and winners can be found later in this article.
In particular, the Bright Future Award recognized students from local universities, including Georgia Tech, the University of Georgia, Kennesaw State University and Clayton State University, for their studies in supply chain.
“We were looking at four key factors: area of study, leadership, grades and the desire to pursue a career in supply chain,” said APICS Atlanta Chapter President and Executive Director Chris Barnes.
The presence of multiple top universities and colleges in Atlanta is a major contributing factor for the city and state of Georgia’s success in continually leading industry innovation. Companies located in the region have access to the world-class talent being produced through programs developed to train supply chain professionals.
“Georgia has been the #1 state to do business for six years in a row. The presence of world-class talent coupled with our ability to train these individuals is what makes us the top state for business,” said Workforce Partner of the Year Award winner and Georgia Quick Start Executive Director Jan Melcher.
The Atlanta Supply Chain Awards featured a keynote fireside chat with Kevin Heath, senior vice president and chief procurement officer for Georgia-Pacific and the creator of the new Point A Center for Supply Chain Innovation. Metro Atlanta Chamber Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion Ben Harris led the conversation.
“The focus is on talent in supply chain and procurement. The ability to attract and retain leadership is key – creative disruption starts with talent that has an eye for the future,” Heath said.
Heath spoke to developments led by Amazon, and the consumer inclination toward same-day delivery of products.
“Consumers have developed an appetite for ‘hit a button, get it now.’ The question becomes how do we, as a supply chain organization, contribute back to businesses?” Heath said. “Instead of falling in love with the solution, fall in love with the problem.”
The conversation also highlighted the lightning-fast changes brought on through advances in digital supply chain. The speed and means by which consumers receive the product has, in many cases, become just as important as the product itself.
“Thirty years ago, manufacturing was the lifeblood of communities and entire countries. As technology evolves, the ability to get products to consumers will differentiate companies,” Heath said. “Manufacturing will become a capability to support supply chain.”
Heath is currently working with Point A Center for Supply Chain Innovation President Duriya Farooqui to bring companies together and innovate solutions together. The 15,000 sq. ft. collaborative space will serve multi-national businesses, academic institutions and startups, all in one space at Atlanta’s TechSquare Labs.
“One thing that makes Point A unique is collaboration, and Atlanta makes that possible through the culture of the [business] community,” Heath said.  
The full list of winners at the first Atlanta Supply Chain Awards:

  • Bright Future Award
    • Karan Agrawal – Georgia Tech
    • Mira Uchil – University of Georgia
    • Sunny Patel – Kennesaw State University
    • Mary Julie Johnson – Clayton State University
  • Workforce Partner of the Year
    • QuickStart Technical College System of Georgia
  • Sourcing Excellence Award
    • ARCOP
  • Freight Forwarder Award
    • UPS
  • Supply Chain Pioneer Award
    • Georgia Tech ISyE
  • Supply Chain Innovation of the Year Awards
    • Havertys Furniture
  • Sustainability Excellence Award
    • Halstead International
  • Manufacturing Excellence Award
    • AGCO
  • Transportation Provider of the Year
    • ATLFreight
  • Excellence in Supply Chain Aviation
    • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
  • Warehousing & Fulfillment Excellence
    • Team One Logistics
  • Logistics Culture of Excellence
    • NDCP and Georgia Ports
  • Supply Chain Excellence
    • International Trachoma Initiative from the Task Force for Global Health and Exide Technologies

For more information on the Atlanta Supply Chain Awards and the winning individuals and organizations, please reach out to Ben Harris.
Photo by Vision Media Group, LLC by Moye Colquitt

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