The conference runs from 7:30 am to 4:40 pm.

After the Opening Keynote, Networking Break and Strategic Briefings, the Supply Chain Track, which takes place in Ballroom D, offers an exceptional group of speakers:

10:20–10:25 am
Wayne Thompson

Track Introduction

Wayne Thompson

10:25–11:00 am
Balika Sonthalia AT Kearney

State of Logistics and Crowdsourced
Network Optimization

Balika Sonthalia
Vice President, A.T. Kearney

2017 has been the year of uncertainty. The logistics industry appears destined for a prolonged bout of cognitive dissonance, coupling frustration over subpar growth with the optimism reflected in rising stock market values, technology investments and consumer confidence data. Yet uncertainty hasn't closed the pace of change. On the contrary, industries are churning with disruption as newcomers and incumbents view for market share, and innovation undermines old business models. One thing is certain: "business as usual" won’t return.

Navigating through traffic a few years back required a driver to listen to the radio for traffic conditions, be aware of rush hour behavior and sometimes get downright lucky with alternate routes. Crowdsourcing changed all that by providing drivers real time updates on traffic, pot holes and even cops. Crowdsourced Network Optimization (CNO) leverages the power of the marketplace to help companies with large global footprints leapfrog to their optimal network delivering 7 – 15 percent savings on distribution spend and improve service levels.

About Balika »

Balika Sonthalia is a Vice President with A.T. Kearney based in Chicago and has been with the firm since 2010. She is a thought leader with a track record of 10 years of creating sustainable operational and financial impact at organizations. She specializes in supply chain and logistics working with Fortune 100 clients on enterprise-wise supply chain and cost transformations in most B2B and B2C industries including chemicals, automotive, retail, consumer products, medical devices and telco.

At A.T. Kearney Balika is a co-leader of the Analytics practice which is a group of 300+ specialists that are disrupting the traditional consulting model.

Balika holds a B.Tech. in electronics and communication from the University of Mumbai and an MBA from the Carnegie Mellon University. Balika has a passion for helping her clients and her firm. In 2016, the Consulting Magazine recognized her with the prestigious Future Women's Leader Award in North America.

11:05–11:40 am
Joe Quinn

Changes in Retail and Walmart’s
Supplier Impact in Wisconsin

Joe Quinn, Senior Director, Public Affairs and Government Relations, Walmart

Joe will look at the changing face of retail and shopping habits in America both on-line and brick and mortar, how it is affecting the job market at-large and what it means to those companies focused on the supply chain.

Additionally, Joe will speak to Walmart’s initiative of spending $250 billion over ten years on Made in the U.S.A. products. It is part of a larger effort to increase manufacturing in the US and stimulate job growth. Specific to Wisconsin, Joe will talk to the 68,000 supplier jobs Walmart indirectly impacts and the $4.4 billion they spend with suppliers in the state.

About Joe »

Joe Quinn is Senior Director, Public Affairs and Government Relations. In this role, Joe helps build national Walmart relationships with elected officials, suppliers, customers, communities and associates. Joe is currently focused on the major Walmart effort to bring manufacturing and jobs back to the United States. The company has committed to buying an additional $250 billion in American products during the next ten years.

Walmart is the largest retail store in the United States, serving 140 million customers weekly with more than 200 million transactions under 69 banners in 27 countries.

During his time at Walmart, Joe has helped manage the company commitment to hire 250,000 veterans by 2020, has worked in the Walmart Benefits Division that makes company benefits available to 1.3 million associates and has helped lead the company effort to make healthier food more accessible and affordable for all families. In 2006, Joe was part of the Walmart team that rolled out the innovative $4 generic drug program that changed the national healthcare landscape by saving customers billions of dollars. For that work, Joe was a co-winner of the 2007 Walmart Sam Walton Entrepreneurial Award.

Before joining Walmart in 2006, Joe was Director of Policy for former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Joe was also previously Director of Communications for the Arkansas Department of Human Services and a television journalist with the CBS TV affiliate in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Joe is a member of the Bentonville School Board. He is also a former member of the boards at Goodwill of Arkansas and the Northwest Arkansas Lacrosse Program. Joe and his wife Shannon live in Rogers, Arkansas.

11:45 am–12:20 pm
Mark Hersh

Supply Chain Transformation,
Key Drivers in the Journey

Mark Hersh
Director, Supply Chain Strategy, The Clorox Company

Mark will outline Clorox’s supply chain transformation and how they both structured and implemented their plan.

Starting with focusing on what was important to the entire organization and the supply chain, the journey started with recognizing that the foundation was being customer centric. From there, they looked at how to segment their value chain by defining business strategy and employing the right supply chain designs. A look at talent development bookends this round of the transformation process.

Mark will then detail key learnings and their path forward and will be open to questions from the audience at the end of his talk.

About Mark »

Mark Hersh is Director of Supply Chain Strategy for The Clorox Company. In this role, he is responsible for developing the supply chain vision and roadmap, being an internal expert on leading practices and industry trends, designing the processes and capabilities for globally integrated end-to-end supply chains, and leading the supply chain analytics organization and major initiatives across the company.

At Clorox, Mark has had multiple supply chain and manufacturing roles including leading major transformational initiatives, managing plants in the U.S. and helping design Clorox’s high performance plant in Aberdeen, Maryland.

Mark is helping drive the value chain segmentation process for the company, which has delivered transformational value through tailored supply chains matched with product and market requirements. He is also the program manager for the companywide growth culture and lean enterprise initiatives.

Mark is an instructor for the strategic thinking modules in both the Clorox Supply Chain Strategy & Leadership Forum and Global Operations Leadership Forum, which develop Clorox’s supply chain managers to think and act with an end-to-end supply chain mindset. These programs are conducted in partnership with the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business.

Mark has had a 38-year career in the consumer packaged goods industry.

Mark is sponsored by SAP.

1:35–2:10 pm
Erika Murguia

Achieving an Integrated Supply Chain

Erika Murguia
Supply Chain Analytics and Strategy Leader, Cummins Inc.

This presentation showcases how Cummins culture, values, and its strategy have supported the company’s supply chain transformation journey. Cummins is the largest independent diesel engine manufacturer in the world; it was funded in 1919 and it is headquartered in Columbus Indiana. Cummins has operations in 190+ countries. Cummins supply chain transformation journey started five years ago and it still continues. Our goal is to achieve an integrated Supply Chain, which is critical to the company’s success.

About Erika »

Since 2013, Erika Murguia has been the Supply Chain Analytics and Strategy Leader for Cummins Inc. In her current role, Erika is responsible for leading supply chain design, analytics and network optimization efforts for Cummins.

Erika has a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Arizona State University and later joined Tecnologico de Monterrey–Campus Sinaloa as a professor of Industrial Engineering. She was also part of TIS Consulting in Mexico where she led supply chain design and network optimization for governmental projects.

2:15–2:50 pm
Tim Gray Prophit Systems

Purchasing to Optimize Inventory, Improve
Service Levels and Free Up Cash

Tim Gray
Managing Director, Prophit Systems

Often overlooked as a mundane task, replenishment purchasing can be at the front line of working capital optimization.

Tim will walk us through a case study from a building industry supplier who streamlined their process of managing 55,000 SKU’s down to one person. They were able to reduce their physical inventory by 50 percent at a time when revenue doubled while increasing their DC footprint to better serve their customers.

Tim will introduce the methodologies used to segment the product portfolio and explain how they systemically implemented exception based management tools to streamline the operations and free up cash flow.

About Tim »

Tim Gray is the Founder and Managing Director of Prophit Systems Pty Ltd, a leading procurement and supply chain software company based in Australia. Prophit focuses on forecasting, capacity planning, scheduling and network optimization.

Tim has had a varied 30-year career in supply chain working in oil exploration and manufacturing with roles in engineering, process improvement and senior management. Prior to starting Prophit, Tim was the COO at Hartec and also lectured at La Trobe University in Melbourne.

Tim has a degree in both engineering and mechanical engineering from the University of Melbourne and is currently working on a new book focused on Future Proof Planning.


The Supply Chain Management Track is sponsored :



Steering Committee members provide guidance on track content, topic suggestions and speaker selection. Thank you to the 2017 Supply Chain Management Track Steering Committee:

Keith HartlaubKeith Hartlaub
Vice President, Supply Chain
Sargento Foods

Patrick MoranPatrick Moran
Manager, Global Supply Chain Improvement
Rockwell Automation

Wayne ThompsonWayne Thompson
Supply Chain Management Practice Director

The Day At a Glance

Your day at the Business Best Practices & Emerging Technologies Conference is packed with content:

7:30-8:30 am Registration and Networking
8:30-9:30 am Opening Keynote featuring T.K.Rengarajan
9:30-10:20 am Networking Break & Strategic Briefings
(Strategic Briefings are from 9:45 to 10:10 am)
10:20 am -12:20 pm Track Sessions in Ballroom D
12:20-1:30 pm Lunch & Table Topics
1:30-2:50 pm Track Sessions in Ballroom D
2:50-3:40 pm Networking Break & Strategic Briefings
(Strategic Briefings are from 3:05 to 3:30 pm)
3:40-4:40 pm Closing Keynote featuring Carey Lohrenz
4:40-4:45 pm Raffle and Conference closes

Sponsors Banner
SAP Logo

American Family Insurance logo
CUNA Mutual Group
EDCi  logo
Mediasite by Sonic Foundry

Video On Demand Partner

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Arts Institute

Center for Professional
and Executive Development

Engineering Professional Development

Kohl's Center for Retailing

Office of Corporate Relations

Interested in sponsoring?

Contact Lori Wilson, Marketing and Communications Manager | 608-890-2449
© 2000-2018 UW E-Business Consortium, University of Wisconsin-Madison. All rights reserved. Site credits»