ML Journal October 2021

ML Journal October 2021

Coping With Volatility

Manufacturing needs to adopt a different, more flexible, and resilient approach to creating global supply chains and managing disruption, believes Madison Industries’ Filtration Group CPO Tim Voortman.   

Q: What is your role and focus at the company?
A: As the CPO of Filtration Group, my focus is on sourcing and procurement activities across our global decentralized operations. I work to connect the dots between our business units and key suppliers and develop strategies to improve cost, reduce risk, and create supply chain options within our key categories of spend.

Q: What do you see as the most pressing issue facing the manufacturing industry today?
A: From where I sit, addressing volatility in supply markets is key to bringing our mission to more places. The frequency and severity of black swan and unanticipated world events are on the rise, and the force majeure, supply/demand imbalances, and transportation capacity constraints resulting from these events are a result of cost effective but brittle supply chains that were built for a more predictable world. We need to adopt a different, more flexible and resilient approach to creating global supply chains and managing disruption.

Q: What is the most important corporate initiative you are involved in?
A: In January we embarked on an 80/20 journey across the entire organization. Our leaders are reducing complexity in operations, creating focus on key segments and industries, and building great teams and talent that allow us to create more value for our customers.

Q: What will be the most important leadership qualities that manufacturing leaders will need to possess in the future?
A: The ability to respond, adapt, and thrive in a world of almost constant change, to build and inspire great teams in an uncertain and highly competitive talent environment, and to drive an execution mindset are all capabilities that will be key for leadership both today and in the future.

Q: What do you see as the greatest opportunities for manufacturers over the next five years?
A: Attracting, developing, and retaining talent is at the top of our list. To win in today’s war for talent you have to clearly articulate your vision, mission, and culture.  At Filtration Group, it’s our mission of making the world safer, healthier, and more productive that attracts people to our organization and energizes all of our associates.  People gravitate to our culture that rewards action, entrepreneurial spirit, and trust. It’s what unites us across the organization, empowers our people, and drives our success.

Q: What is your favourite activity outside work, or the last book you read?
A: I love almost anything written by Robert Kaplan. His insights into politics, history, and geography fascinate me. Kaplan’s ‘The Revenge of Geography’ is perhaps my favorite (but not most recently read) book and is an interesting take on the history of the world’s hot spots and what it can teach us about potential future conflict. M

Chief Procurement Officer,
Filtration Group
Company: Madison Industries
HQ: Chicago, IL
People: 10,000 Employees
Revenues: (Privately Held)
Industry: Diversified Construction
& Industrial

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