CSCR™ Director, Steve Tracey, on SDI's Series: A Partner Perspective

SDI puts together a series of insightful insights partnering with top industry professionals. Steve Tracey, executive director of the Penn State Smeal Center for Supply Chain Research™ was recently interviewed for this series.

SDI puts together a series of insightful interviews with top industry professionals. SDI recently sat down with Executive Director of the Center for Supply Chain Research™, Steve Tracey. The conversation began with Tracey's industry background and how he moved into a supply chain role. According to Tracey: "I arrived in Supply Chain Management by accident. I was working at American Tool Company, and they had a business unit in need of a turnaround. I went into this turnaround situation as a finance guy, and the only finance issue was that their operations needed help....after I headed into an operations role in the company." Following work at the American Tool Company, Tracey's career path led him to Standard Textile, furthering his education with an MBA from Duke University, and joining Penn State Smeal's CSCR™ in 2013.

Tracey was asked to comment on the future of manufacturing, the headlines of today, the importance of MRO, and his suggestions to better move a company's supply chain. One of the insights Tracey provided was: "Today, what drives manufacturing is machine reliability and the support network to keep critical machines running – technicians, engineers, and highly skilled maintenance workers." As the world is changing, it's important to keep pace with changing the manufacturing environment and supply as well. Relationships between customer and manufacturer are being impacted with the advancements of big data, digital disruption, platforms, etc., and as so much data is being released and produced, it's important to understand how to use it for creating more dynamic and stronger relationships. A large key point made in the interview is Tracey's take on how to motivate a company towards better manufacturing practices. Tracey believes it's all about the people - motivating, hiring, developing great talent that will ultimately drive the business forward. Communication and understanding of company dynamics as well as analytics is key to success in any organization.

To read SDI's interview with Tracey, access this link.