Many who know the industry think of Martin Brower as a supply chain management company, but when speaking with its leadership it is clear its focus is much broader. Its passion and culture is all around making it easier to run great restaurants.

Martin Brower enables a restaurant’s success by managing the end to end supply chain for the brand. Martin Brower has developed innovative systems and processes attracting the best talent to service more than 20,000 restaurants worldwide. Martin Brower’s service portfolio is divided into three components: integrated business planning, logistics services and restaurant services.  

Integrated Business planning includes demand planning and event management to create individual resupply plans for each supply chain stakeholder. This includes automated replenishment with the restaurant and does not require the restaurant to place orders. 

KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages investments across multiple asset classes including private equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, credit and hedge funds. KKR Capstone is a separate, independent company comprised of more than 50 operations professionals who work exclusively with companies in KKR’s investment portfolio. KKR’s ownership interest in the companies in its portfolio varies; however, regardless of ownership percentage, KKR and KKR Capstone work closely with a company’s management team to drive strategic and operational improvements where relevant. 

“KKR typically only invests in companies when it believes it can bring differentiated support – whether access to capital, improved processes or innovative tools – which help the management team create an even stronger company,” emphasizes Todd Cooper, managing director in KKR Capstone. KKR Capstone works with KKR’s portfolio companies to improve their operations in many areas, including a company’s supply chain. When working with companies on operational improvements, services are customized to a company’s needs, and KKR Capstone only engages at a company’s request – it is never mandated or required.

“For can liners, you won’t find a better resource than Inteplast Group,” says Randy Orscheln, the company’s director of janitorial and sanitation products. Considering the depth of commitment Inteplast has to the can liner industry, his words could be considered an understatement.

Indispensible sanitation tools for business and industry, institutions and homemakers, can liners, also known as trash or garbage bags, are big business. Inteplast Group manufactures them for virtually every application one can think of.

As something that millions of people use everyday, it is easy to not give these seemingly simple products much thought. However, when Orscheln says,  “Knowledge about can liners and trash bags, such as what to look for regarding features, consistent quality and price is critical for high volume buyers, such as distributors and businesses, and important for consumers as well,” his enthusiasm makes the subject intriguing. 

Today, strong relationships have proven to be an organization’s most important business strategy. These relationships help companies meet increased demand and allow business to grow. Such is the case for GOJO Industries, a world leader in hand hygiene and skin health solutions and the inventor of PURELL® Hand Sanitizer.

“The relationships we have developed with our suppliers are very important to us,” says Michele Cerminaro, global sourcing vice president. “Not only do they help us to gain a broader perspective of what is taking place in the industry, but these relationships also serve as a springboard for us to work together to find efficiencies and generate innovative ideas.”

As Anne Kimball’s career in supply chain management has demonstrated, women are becoming increasingly influential in the field. “The number of women who I see at various conferences has increased quite a bit over the last five to eight years,” she reports. “Prior to that, it was pretty limited. You’d see maybe one or two women, whereas now with a conference of 150, you see at least 40 or 50 women. So that’s been a significant increase.”

Kimball – who is chief supply officer for Boudin – did not set out early in her career to manage supply chains. “I fell into international procurement within the cruise industry, and absolutely fell in love with the challenges of solving sourcing and logistics, and have been in it ever since,” she recalls. But in the beginning, her gender isolated her; however, she attributes her ability to overcome these “glass ceilings” with some great male mentors in the cruise industry and again at Jamba Juice Co., where she led international supply chain efforts for 10 years.

ADS Inc. plays a critical role in ensuring the success of military, humanitarian and other critical missions around the world. The company procures everything from weapons systems to combat boots, making it a premier single-source provider of equipment, procurement and support solutions to the U.S. Armed Forces. 

“The foundation of ADS is that we will do whatever it takes to get our customers what they want, when they need it,” Senior Vice President of Operations Lushana Offutt says. 

     The Virginia Beach, Va.-based company works with all branches of the military as well as federal, state and local government organizations, law enforcement agencies, first responders, the United Nations and the defense industry. ADS has access to more than 4,000 vendors, through which it is able to provide equipment, supplies and other solutions to troops around the world. “We have great relationships with our customers as well as our suppliers, understand their needs, and serve as a connection between them,” she adds.  

Mizuno Corporation stands the test of time, both in the rich history of its business, which began in 1906 in Osaka, Japan, and in the long-lasting quality of its sports equipment and products. Mizuno USA, Inc. manufactures and distributes baseball, golf, softball, running, track and field and volleyball equipment, apparel and footwear for North America.

At the core of its business are Mizuno’s products. It prides itself on being a one-stop shop to service all sporting goods needs, from head-to-toe baseball gear to its world-renowned golf clubs to its innovative running shoes and more. Customers can find Mizuno’s products at a number of retailers, including big-box retailers such as Sports Authority, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Academy, specialty retailers such as Fleet Feet and e-commerce shops like 

Kufner Holding GmbH has come a long way from its modest start more than 150 years ago. “We pride ourselves [on being] the innovator of the modern interlining product that is used in practically every kind of garment that you can conceive of,” Sukesh Kumar says.

Kumar is the senior vice president of the Americas and global director of business development for Kufner Holding GmbH, the leading interlinings and technical textiles company based in Munich, Germany. Bartholomäus Kufner founded it in 1862 with a small factory to make non-woven felt. 

Kufner introduced innovations throughout its history, including the horse-hair thread in 1936, which enabled weaving of horse-hair interlinings at any desired width. In 1973, it introduced the Kufner Double Spot, which was a fusible interlining that did not harden or deform when ironed or washed.


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