Robert B. Handfield, PhD

Rob Handfield is the Bank of America University Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management at North Carolina State University, and Director of the Supply Chain Resource Cooperative. The SCRC is the first major industry-university partnership to integrate student projects into the MBA classroom in an integrative fashion, and has had 15 major Fortune 500 companies participating as industry partners since 1999.

Handfield is the Consulting Editor of the Journal of Operations Management, one of the leading supply chain management journals in the field, and is the author of several books on supply chain management, the most recent being Supply Market Intelligence, Supply Chain Re-Design and Introduction to Supply Chain Management (Prentice Hall, 1999, 25,000 copies sold, and translated into Chinese, Japanese, and Korean). He has co-authored textbooks for MBA and undergraduate classes including Purchasing and Supply Chain Management 3rd revision (with Robert Monczka) and Operations and Supply Chain Management (with Cecil Bozarth).

He was one of five keynote speaker at the Power Conference at the Institute for Supply Management in 2007, attended by 75 CPO's by invitation only. Over 150 Chief Procurement Officers have read his book, Supply Market Intelligence, now considered the premier managerial handbook on critical elements of strategic sourcing. Handfield was identified as one of a handful of individuals in the 2007 “Pros to Know” list compiled by Supply and Demand Chain Executive journal . He is regularly quoted in periodicals such as the Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Inc. Supply Chain Management Review, and other periodicals.

Handfield has consulted with over 25 Fortune 500 companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, Freightliner, Boston Scientific, Delphi, Chevron, British Petroleum, Nortel Networks, Chevron Phillips, Lyondell Chemical, Conoco Phillips, Federal Express, Milliken, and others. He has published more than 100 articles in top management journals including California Management Review, Sloan Management Review, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Journal of Operations Management, and Decision Sciences. Recent projects in the last 3 years include the following:

  • Lyondell Chemical - developed benchmarking and proposal for redesign of P2P systems (2005)
  • Chevron Phillips Chemical - developed baseline benchmarking model for redesign of P2P systems (2006)
  • Essroc Italicementi - assessed central procurement and site procurement relationships, and identified appropriate redesign of buying channels and P2P systems (on-going)
  • Category strategy development and training for Delphi Corporation at all of their global locations, including Detroit, Kokomo, Germany, and Shanghai.
  • Strategic sourcing training for Chinese executives at leading Fortune 500 companies in Shanghai, including Bayer, Tiger Beer, Borg-Warner, GSK, Caterpillar, and many others (2005-2006)
  • Executive education in strategic sourcing for Nortel Networks Supply Chain Leadership program (2006-2007)
  • Developed “Design for Order Fulfillment” supply chain strategy for Caterpillar, 2006-2007.
  • Suncor Energy - developed benchmarking assessment of strategic sourcing, supply chain design, relationship management, and performance management (2004)
  • Deep-dive supply market intelligence for BP to develop baseline for strategic sourcing in EPC suppliers (2006)
  • Interviewed manufacturing site directors and developed recommendations for procurement organization alignment and redesign for GlaxoSmithKline (2007).
  • Developed recommendations for anti-diversion efforts with Roche Diagnostics (2007)
  • Prepared on-going series of white papers for healthcare supply chain participants presented at HIGPA, CBI, and other pharmaceutical conferences.
  • Deep-dive supply market intelligence for ConocoPhillips to develop baseline for strategic sourcing for Heat Exchangers and Pressure Vessels (2006)
  • Deep-dive supply market intelligence for Amaretta Hess to develop baseline for strategic sourcing for Directional Drilling (2006)
  • Developed a total cost of ownership approach for tooling and MRO at Chevron (2006)
  • Developed a cost driver model for the oil lubes products group, as well as a warehouse management process re-design model for the Shell Pipeline group (2003)
  • Developed “top quartile” performance for their strategic sourcing redesign project team, headed by Shell Lubricants (2007)
  • Sourcing strategy development and market intelligence for Cardinal Health (2005-2006)
  • Boston Scientific - piloted supply risk model and software development for use in assessing supply risk elements in strategic sourcing model (2005)
  • Guidant - developed supply management maturity model, assessing key areas for improvement of supplier relationships (2006)
  • BP - assessed opportunites for supplier relationship management initiatives, and identified key drivers for value creation and organizational requirements (2007)
  • Insource/outsource evaluation for Quintiles (2004)

Dr. Handfield's research with a number of leading SCM organizations across a variety of industries has identified that companies who excel in the consistent application of “best-in-class” supply management processes and practices, and becoming a customer of choice, have demonstrated significantly higher financial performance than their competitors. This performance of best-in-class organizations has not gone unnoticed by market analysts and has been amply rewarded by significant improvements in stock performance. Poorly managed supply management processes are also recognized as a serious risk. Companies that have poorly managed supply chains have experienced an average loss of 8.5% in their shareholder value, or up to 18.5% when major supply chain disruptions occurred. In these companies, stock price recovery has taken 60 or more months after the organization's supply chain problems first appeared. Using the experience of other organizations who have deployed SCM strategies, Handfield's research indicates that improvements in supply management has the potential to generate between 5-7% of savings at a minimum. These improvements translate into a change in COGS and ROCE of 2.5% and 2%. Additional benefits will include improved efficiencies and productivity in manufacturing that are not inclusive in these estimated benefits. The timing associated with complete realization of these benefits is estimated at six to eight years. The major risk to many companies is a failure to act quickly and deploy the strategies and practices across business units.

Handfield is considered a thought leader in the field of supply chain management, and is an industry expert in the field of strategic sourcing, supply market intelligence, and supplier development. He has spoken on these subjects across the globe, including China, Turkey, Latin America, Europe, Japan, Canada, and other locales.

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