Each year, Supply & Demand Chain Executive names a select echelon of supply chain leaders to its “Pros to Know” list to recognize the accomplishments and specialized talents of the people helping to make supply chain a competitive advantage for organizations around the globe. This year, the magazine received over 360 nominations, and we’re excited to see two Kinaxis leaders on the prestigious 2022 list: Andrew Bell, Vice President of Product Management and Channa North-Hoffstaed, Vice President of Professional Services.
Here's a closer look at Andrew and Channa’s roles in our organization, and the unique impacts they make everyday to help organizations hone proactive, innovative supply chain planning strategies.
Andrew started his career as an engineer, and later transitioned to product management. Today, Andrew is responsible for leading Kinaxis’s product management function and team, managing product strategy, vision, execution and go-to-market for the Kinaxis platform, Kinaxis solutions and partner solutions.
Able to speak to very technical and very business-savvy audiences, Andrew is often the linchpin in helping customers leverage Kinaxis’s leading-edge solutions to not only solve existing supply chain problems, but to plan for future disruption and create new opportunities. He’s known for his ability to translate technical terms for businesspeople, and business goals for technology teams—oftentimes finding that they are ultimately saying the same thing to one another, but not realizing it.
Andrew’s product management leadership throughout the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a critical source of success for any number of brands.
“When many people think about supply chain technology, they think about the ability to be reactive – a problem has come up, how can we leverage technology that can help solve it? But reactivity isn’t enough today,” says Andrew. “I strive to help customers see the value of supply chain technology in enabling proactivity within their organizations. When customers gain visibility into the impact of any number of potential scenarios, they can more clearly see the impact that the problem they are managing can have across their entire organization. With this level of visibility and transparency, customers can work across departments to ensure they are solving issues from end-to-end.”
And it’s about more than solving issues: Andrew is a proponent of supply chain planning’s role in sustainability.
As sustainability has become an important focus for brands across all industries, Andrew addresses the massive impact optimized supply chain operations can have on reducing a company’s environmental footprint. “While most people don’t think of supply chain technology and sustainability in the same sentence, I want to connect the dots between this critical technology and critical environmental needs to open up new pathways for customers.”
As the leader of the North American team responsible for the delivery of RapidResponse®, Channa is passionate about leadership and helping clients, her team and her community through coaching, mentoring and support.
Channa has been a leader in supply chain for over 15 years. She started her professional career in supply chain as a production planner and successfully led supply chain transformation programs in industries such as life sciences, high tech and consumer p roducts for over a decade. At Kinaxis, she spent three years as a Client Partner, before being promoted in October to Vice President of Professional Services.
Channa leads a team of over 100 consultants and a leadership team of nine. Channa sets strategy for the North American region as an executive sponsor on deployments of Kinaxis RapidResponse.
Channa takes pride in the work her team does to help get clients up and running with RapidResponse. Her approach involves optimizing data and driving strong levels of support so they can rapidly deploy the technology to implement a planning system that allows them to build agility and resiliency into their supply chain.
This newly remote environment has challenged the way Channa and her team have historically worked with clients and customers. Channa explains, “We’ve landed in a world where teams meet more frequently but for shorter periods. My team and I have learned we need to be more targeted and efficient, so we schedule more regular check-ins with folks to be the most effective.”
Over the past few months, Channa has coached her team on ways they can build trust and forge relationships with customers in a new, fully remote way. Communicating with customers is an integral part of what Channa and her team does every day as experts in Kinaxis’ product. It’s working: The team has seen a record number of new customers and go-lives, and more customers are achieving 12-week implementations of RapidResponse.
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