Founded as Apex Tire in 1924 as a tire and retread retail chain with outlets along the East Coast, Teknor Apex has been on a mission of expansion ever since. Within the first few decades after its founding, the company diversified into chemicals, additional polymer processing and vinyl compounding while expanding nationally across the United States. Today, Teknor Apex is an international custom compounder of advanced polymer materials with a focus on vinyls, thermoplastic elastomers, engineered thermoplastics, bioplastics and colorants. 

Ordering an ice-cold limeade or a juicy cheeseburger at SONIC couldn’t be easier for patrons – all they have to do is push the iconic red button and their order is wheeled out to them in the style of the drive-ins of the 1950s. Behind the scenes, however, getting exactly what it needs when it needs it is a much more complex and sophisticated endeavor for SONIC. Managing a supply chain that consists of more than 3,500 SONIC Drive-In restaurants across the country and hundreds of suppliers means there’s no push-button solution to optimizing SONIC’s supply chain. 

ShawCor Ltd. stays focused and aligned on its journey to excellence after launching its industry-leading continuous improvement plan in 2006, which ensures the standardization and improvement of its business and manufacturing processes.

“Our leadership recognized that initiating the ShawCor Manufacturing System [SMS] journey would complement our growth strategy by significantly influencing our continued efforts to differentiate ourselves from our competitors,” the company says. “It would do so by improving ShawCor’s overall operational excellence in all its processes and services, creating a reliable, high-performance organization.” 

With more than 2,100 locations in the United States, eight Canadian provinces, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, Service Corporation International (SCI) says it is North America’s largest single provider of funeral, cremation and cemetery services. But before its five-year purchasing plan was implemented, it was not realizing as many economies of scale as it could have from the hundreds of thousands of purchases made by its multiple locations.

Begun in 2009 and completed successfully this past year, the five-year plan’s goal was to save the company $35 million over its five-year span. Instead, it saved in excess of $60 million, and with those purchasing changes now being standard procedures, those savings will continue into the future.

Raytheon Co. is recognized as a worldwide leader in the defense and aerospace industries for its portfolio of innovative technologies that its customers expect to work the first time every time. 

“Quality and reliability are so critical given our customers and end-users – men and women in harm’s way on the battlefield – we have to get it right,” Vice President of Contracts and Supply Chain David Wilkins says.  

Home party business PartyLite started in the candle business nearly 40 years ago and today is a leader in its market with a business that includes fragrances and home décor categories. It operates in 19 countries with four distribution centers, two candle-manufacturing facilities, more than 2,000 employees and 45,000 independent sales consultants.

Its parent company is Blyth Inc. of Greenwich, Conn. “Blyth is a direct-to-consumer business focused on fragrances, candles and home décor,” Treasurer Susan Plotzky says. “PartyLite is the No. 1 party planning company with an extensive array of product including seasonal candles, candle accessories and fragrance product.”

Headquartered in St. Charles, Mo., Novus International Inc. is a global leader in developing animal health and nutrition solutions. The company creates animal feed supplements and additives for livestock, poultry and aquaculture. Novus has corporate offices, research and development laboratories and manufacturing facilities in more than 35 countries, along with smaller offices and field staff in 60 more countries. It serves customers in over 100 countries.

“We don’t make feed; we make the feed better,” Senior Director of Operations and Global Supply Chain Kevin Mowery says. “We sell the functional ingredients that are critical in making feed complete and providing a functional diet for animals around the world. We are global in terms of our customer base, employees, culture and supply chain.” 

Recognized for its outstanding maternity and imaging services, among others, Northside Hospital’s new supply chain strategy promises to make the Metro Atlanta institution even more efficient. Northside Hospital operates three hospitals with a total of 838 beds and a large network of hospital-affiliated outpatient centers and medical offices in the area. Highly regarded for its maternity, oncology and surgical services, the hospital has more than 2,300 physicians and more than 11,000 employees. 


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