Those who know little to nothing about supply management should listen up: It is emerging as the premier management skill of the 21st century, with the capacity to translate billions in cost savings into corporate growth. One of the men who has deftly mastered this skill is Shelley Stewart, Jr. '90 Executive MBA, sr. vice president, operational excellence & chief procurement officer at Tyco International, a leading global manufacturing company.
Stewart is winning accolades nationwide for his management innovations at Tyco, where he is responsible for $13 billion in procurement spending. Named a top 100 Black Businessperson of the Year by Black Enterprise Magazine in 2009, Stewart joined Tyco with the goal of saving $1 billion. He reached his goal within three years and now leads efforts in IT, Six Sigma, real estate, facilities and trade compliance, as well as supply chain.
"Building a good team and having a focused strategy were keys to our success," Stewart says. For his efforts, and the efforts of several other supply chain executives at Tyco, trade publication Purchasing Magazine awarded the company its 2009 Medal of Professional Excellence.
An experienced supply chain manager, his previous positions included stints as vice president of Tyco's supply chain, senior vice president of supply chain management at Invensys PLC in London, and vice president for supply chain management for Raytheon. He initially came to understand the complexities and the possibilities inherent in supply chain management in his 18 years at United Technologies.
He is currently the chairman of the board for the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) and Howard University's School of Business, where he helped launch their supply chain program. A business professional noted for his ethics and integrity, Stewart is the co-author of "Straight to the Bottom Line: An Executive's Roadmap to World Class Supply Management."
When he arrived at Tyco in 2003, he put into place a three-year plan that would create a structure for the Tyco's business units. Each unit had been buying goods and services individually. Through the use of technology, he and his team automated data, enabling them to identify significant cost-reduction opportunities.
Stewart, who grew up on Long Island, New York, attributes his success to several role models in his community, but most of all his parents. UNH helped as well.
"The Executive MBA program at New Haven allowed me to combine academic theory and work experience into a meaningful context," he says. "This ultimately helped improve my overall performance."