For 30 Under 30 ‘Megawatt’ Winner Amy Georgi, Interest in Supply Chain Management Began in High School

Amy Georgi

Last month, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) and ThomasNet announced the winners of this year’s 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars — a group of millennials proving to be innovative leaders in their supply chain management and procurement careers. Among the winners is 30-year-old Amy Georgi, program manager of acquisitions and integrations for Fluke Electronics. Georgi, who has a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management from Arizona State University, received the 30 Under 30 program’s top honors, being named the one “megawatt star.” We reached out to Georgi to ask her about she got her start in the supply chain and procurement field and her experience in it thus far.

Spend Matters: How did you get started in the supply chain management/procurement industry?

Amy Georgi: In high school, I was working in supply chain but didn’t really know it. I was the junior class president and responsible for planning prom. I went to a public high school, and we were expected to follow government procurement practices, so I had to request competitive bids for most of the related activities (venue, caterer, music, photography, etc.) and compile a summary of decisions before purchase orders would be issued. It was actually my high school experience working with vendors that got me interested in supply chain management. I remembered reading about the major at ASU and thinking: “Wait, people get paid to do that? That is awesome.”

My first paid industry experience began the summer before my junior year in college. I did an eight-month co-op with Goodrich in the North Phoenix Valley. I worked for both the procurement and contracts departments. I was responsible for requesting quotations from vendors to compile into our government contract bids. I loved getting to know their suppliers and regularly interacting with them on the phone and in person. Everyone loves you when you are dangling potential business their way.

SM: What attracted you to the industry? And, what do you find most interesting about your job in it?

AG: When researching potential majors, I was initially attracted to the supply chain field because of the similarities it had to my high school student council days. I had worked extensively with vendors to plan a number of events, including junior prom, and had very positive experiences.

I love that my job is completely dynamic — no two days are the same. There is always a new project, or a challenge that I can work through. I really enjoy working with people, and supply chain management allows me to foster and grow new relationships every day. Our VP of Supply Chain says, “Supply chain/procurement is a contact sport,” — I love that. I really enjoy talking to suppliers and internal customers, and working through our business needs and challenges. It’s so rewarding to walk into a situation where two sides are at odds and be able to bring people together in a productive supply chain relationship.

SM: What are your job responsibilities at your current role?

AG: Fluke is part of the Danaher Corporation. Both companies have a history of large growth through acquisition. I am the program manager for procurement/supply chain for all newly acquired companies. After we close a deal, I am responsible for evaluating the current state of the acquired company’s supply chain practices, creating a three-year strategic plan for their supply chain, and then making it happen. In this role, I lead a lot of trainings on best practices; I absolutely love teaching and training individuals. It’s so refreshing to see their aha moments and watch them grow in their own supply chain skills as I work closely with them.

SM: Who nominated you for the 30 under 30 program?

AG: Jami Bliss, program manager director for Teva Pharmaceuticals. Jami is also an Arizona State graduate, and we met in 2006 when she was assigned as my junior mentor as part of the R. Gene Richter Scholarship.

SM: What was your reaction when you found out you were nominated for the ISM/ThomasNet 30 Under 30 Program, and then later that you were chosen as a winner?

AG: I was completely flattered to be nominated and beyond ecstatic to have been selected as the megawatt winner. I would say I was borderline next to squealing in the hallway at work when I found out.

SM: Programs like 30 Under 30 aim to attract millennials to the supply chain management industry. Do you see this as important and necessary?

AG: Absolutely. Supply chain management is an industry that impacts nearly everyone every day, but still has very little name recognition when you compare it to other business career paths like accounting or marketing. In the last eight years that I’ve been in the industry, I’ve slowly seen more recognition of what supply chain is (fewer glazed eyes when people ask you what you do for a living), but as an industry, we still have a way to go on brand recognition. Millennials are an ideal match for supply chain in terms of their skills, traits and values. This is why the 30 Under 30 program is so important.

SM: How do you think your skillset fits well with a career in the supply chain management/procurement industry?

AG: Two traits that helped my early success and furthered my career were my “soft skills” and organization. I’m a people person. The supply chain and procurement industries are all about relationship building. It has been absolutely critical that I have solid relationships with key suppliers and key internal customers. Organization is probably important in nearly every job, but the field of supply chain is fast-paced and involves legal contractual obligations. It is key to stay organized and focused to address supply needs in a timely fashion.

SM: What advice would you give to your peers in supply chain management and procurement?

AG: Keep up the great work. Supply chain is fast-paced, and sometimes we forget to pause and celebrate our success. Great contracts are agreed upon, large savings are achieved, and supply shortage crises are averted, so celebrate and remember your wins. We contribute so much to our companies; it’s OK to take a moment to call out awesomeness in your department meetings.

SM: How do you expect the supply chain and procurement industry to change or adapt in the future?

AG: My personal bias as a telecommuter for four years is that I think that the location of supply chain and procurement professionals will become more decentralized. In the age of ever-increasing technology, it’s less and less critical to be physically in an office. It makes sense that companies will be increasingly flexible with their workforce geographically, in part to ensure they can retain top talent. It also makes a lot of sense to allow supply chain and procurement professionals to be near your supply base, which may not always be geographically near your headquarters or manufacturing facilities.

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