Developing Supply Chain Talent

Oct. 22, 2009
Bio Supply Management Alliance talks with Intel's Jim Kellso on topic

Biotech Supply Chain Academy co-founder Devendra Mishr, talked with James Kellso, Senior Supply Chain Master, Intel.

Here are some excerpts from that interview.

Mishra: How significant is supply chain management for Intel, a world-leader in semiconductors?

Kellso: At Intel Corp., our success for the past 40-plus years has been built on our ability to design and refine micro-electronic process and product technology. Over two decades ago, we realized we were also the worlds largest manufacturer of micro-electronic parts. Technology was not the panacea for world-wide supremacy, it was vital to build and deliver products at the right cost and the right volume to customers at the right time. Recently the issues of pipeline inventory, customer response and fulfillment have become an indicator of overall health of our company.

Mishra: Considering that supply chain management as a profession is of a recent vintage, why and when did you focus on developing supply chain management?

Kellso: Although developing management has been a focus for Intel for many years, about 4-5 years ago we realized that our supply chain professionals needed attention in the encouragement and development of the technical and business skills specifically pertaining to our profession. The goal became to find ways to encourage individual technical and business expert to become proficient in supply chain management.

Mishra: How would you describe the professional development program for supply chain management professionals and how has it evolved?

Kellso: In spite of the recognition of the importance of SCM, Intel did not have a formal career path for development and advancement of supply chain professionals. Intel had a management career ladder and a technical career ladder but neither of those paths achieved the desired goal to achieve supply chain management competency. The technical job ladder was proved to be a relevant point of reference.

At Intel, the supply chain organization consisted of four different groups of about 4,000 employees but opportunities for advancement and growth were limited to a mid-level job grade. To grow in the organization, one had to climb the management ladder. Consequently, it was difficult to attract and retain people in the supply chain function. Coincidentally, the company was facing difficult and technical supply chain problems.

To read the full interview visit:

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