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Alumni in Action

Ask an Alum: Tom Shield on Managing Change in Supply Chain During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Alumni Relations

April 9, 2020

Ask an Alumni with red background

The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic raises countless questions and concerns for business leaders. Though the situation is evolving rapidly and it’s hard to predict what our communities and corporations might be facing next, we’re turning to the Business Badger alumni network for insights.

Our new “Ask an Alum” series poses questions to business leaders across the globe, all connected by their education at the Wisconsin School of Business. Let’s learn from and support each other as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic together.

Field of Focus: Managing Change in Supply Chain

The Grainger Center for Supply Chain Management asked members of its Executive Advisory Board and Alumni Advisory Board two questions about how they are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • What is your company doing in the face of COVID-19?
  • What should supply chain managers learn from the pandemic?
Tom Shield

Tom Shield (BBA ’10), manager of U.S. transportation and logistics at Kohler in Wisconsin, responds:

“From a learning aspect, I think the ability to quickly react and implement change is a critical skill set to have in supply chain management. With the situation at hand, those who can do this quickly will be able to adapt their supply chain to the changing situation and be more mobile to change as needed. Furthermore, I think this will shape how supply chains are designed in the future and how to better mitigate risk, even if the chances are small. [We need to evaluate] what the impact would be and how to continue service to the customer.

Overall, this situation shows that supply chains are critical to any business. Furthermore, supply chains are a critical part of ensuring the safety of people during these difficult times (i.e., hospitals, grocery stores, medical supply firms).”

Share Your Insights
We invite other WSB alumni to share their insights during the COVID-19 pandemic in this ‘Ask an Alum’ series. Please respond to these questions to be considered for inclusion.