Placing her bet.  Cheryl Capps on inventing Supply Chain and what this means for innovation today. || EP. 152

Inspiring Women with Laurie McGraw

Placing her bet. Cheryl Capps on inventing Supply Chain and what this means for innovation today. || EP. 152 McGraw is speaking with Inspiring Woman Cheryl Capps, a trail blazing leader and maverick in the world of supply chain. Supply chain came to be in the late ‘90s, early 2000…
March 18, 2024

Placing her bet. Cheryl Capps on inventing Supply Chain and what this means for innovation today. || EP. 152

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.elementor-widget-text-editor.elementor-drop-cap-view-stacked .elementor-drop-cap{background-color:#69727d;color:#fff}.elementor-widget-text-editor.elementor-drop-cap-view-framed .elementor-drop-cap{color:#69727d;border:3px solid;background-color:transparent}.elementor-widget-text-editor:not(.elementor-drop-cap-view-default) .elementor-drop-cap{margin-top:8px}.elementor-widget-text-editor:not(.elementor-drop-cap-view-default) .elementor-drop-cap-letter{width:1em;height:1em}.elementor-widget-text-editor .elementor-drop-cap{float:left;text-align:center;line-height:1;font-size:50px}.elementor-widget-text-editor .elementor-drop-cap-letter{display:inline-block} Laurie McGraw is speaking with Inspiring Woman Cheryl Capps, a trail blazing leader and maverick in the world of supply chain.

Supply chain came to be in the late ‘90s, early 2000 time period.  Cheryl viewed the discipline of attacking problems from many different angles as simply, interesting.  She did not view it as a disadvantage to be one of HARDLY ANY women in the field at the time (less than 11% of senior executives in the discipline of supply chain are women), rather an advantage to provide an important point of view.

Certainly, she led by example, but more important was attacking the problem at hand.  The core to supply chain was understanding People, Process, and Technology.  Cheryl had a 24/7 vision for supply chain that was based on this three-legged stool and international operations.  And this was all PRE-pandemic.  You cannot underscore the importance of the innovation approach that Cheryl led in defining a discipline that led to ALL plants and ALL operations open for business across the globe in multibillion $$ conglomerates during a pandemic….WELL BEFORE everyone knew how stressed these systems would become in the pandemic era.

For Cheryl, it was not about being the first woman to break these barriers, it was about methodical planning, thinking, and viewing innovation as a process.  Cheryl comments on how this structured thinking should be applied to innovation today (think AI/ML) – break down the process, there are always people in that process, and technology – and all need to work in harmony.

Further, Cheryl suggests and advises that we must not be afraid to innovate.  Shots on goal is the name of the game.  We must try.  Thoughtfully and in earnest.  But try and continue to try.  And that is where the magic happens.


Guest Bio:

Cheryl Capps is a technology-focused board director who has built, transformed, and run manufacturing, engineering, supply chain and business operations at multiple global businesses at Corning Incorporated, Bristol Myers-Squibb (BMS) and GE.  Cheryl is an innovative leader who has consistently delivered fast, flexible, low-cost solutions that increased competitiveness and enabled growth. She is an expert in enterprise risk management and sustainability and is highly qualified to advise CEOs and boards seeking to scale their businesses while growing bottom line profits and increasing free cash flow.

Cheryl currently sits on the Integer Holdings Board of Directors (NYSE: ITGR) and has experience on Audit, Corporate Governance & Nominating, Compensation & Organization and Technology Strategy Board Committees. She also serves on the executive advisory board for Elementum, ketteQ, and o9 Solutions and is serving as a C-Suite advisor for World50.

As Chief Supply Chain Officer at Corning, Cheryl was part of Corning’s Senior Leadership team and was a management representative at general board meetings and for the Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Committee.  Cheryl built, developed and transformed the Global Supply Chain function, delivering more than $1.3B in year-over-year savings to the P&L. She also led the development and implementation of multiple business transformation initiatives including capital excellence, realizing over $800M in capital efficiency. Under Cheryl’s leadership, Corning developed a digitalized global risk detection and mitigation system which was recognized by the National Association of Manufactures as the ‘best of the best’. It kept all 80 factories operating and customers served throughout and after the pandemic.  Cheryl was an early adopter of digitalization in supply chain sustainability and social responsibility, and the program she deployed quickly set new standards for the industry.

Previously, Cheryl led the Global Manufacturing, Distribution and Customer Service Network at ConvaTec as it transitioned from a Medical Device division of BMS to a PE stand-alone owned by Nordic Capital and Avista Capital Partners. In this role, she became a limited-partner and participated in all board meetings. She led the integration of the Unimedical acquisition and exceeded all PE financial improvement milestones including gross margin (7 points) and FCF (25%).   Previously, Cheryl led a Supply Chain Transformation for the Pharmaceutical Business at BMS, materially reducing operating costs, while simultaneously reducing inventory and improving customer service.    Cheryl joined BMS at Zimmer Orthopedics where she delivered fundamental changes in material cost structure, inventory/cash flow and customer service through a business process transformation.

At GE, Cheryl was a part of the Aircraft Engine, Aerospace, Medical Systems and Industrial Motors businesses.  In Industrial Motors, Cheryl developed and executed a strategy to restructure the manufacturing network, enabling a gross margin improvement of 4 points, before assuming responsibility for the private label business -doubling sales and increasing operating margin by 16 points in two years.  Previously, Cheryl ran the Technology, Test and Deep Space Power Operations for the Astro-space Division, developing the new capabilities and scale needed for a four-fold increase in scheduled launches.  In Aircraft Engine, she was a part of a greenfield start up team and built a new product development operation to support the development and flight testing for the first digital engine controls.   Cheryl joined GE on the Manufacturing Management Program.

Cheryl has a BS in Electrical Engineering and a BA in Psychology from Rice University and an MS in Engineering from Purdue University.

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