Joanne Wright, VP at IBM, Speaks at Spring Supply Chain Forum

May 1, 2018

Joanne Wright, vice president of enterprise operations and services for IBM, joined the Supply Chain Forum at the Haslam College of Business as a keynote speaker on Wednesday, April 11.

Wright addressed the senior executive’s view of challenges in the supply chain, focusing on how disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) can help leaders maximize the value of data to increase visibility across the supply chain.

“The supply chain field is gaining tremendous momentum, and there’s a huge opportunity to increase the value we bring to our organizations,” Wright said. “Today, there is so much data at our fingertips that was previously unusable. AI capabilities can quickly translate that data into actionable insights to predict and prevent disruptions.”

Prior to her role at IBM, Wright held senior positions in procurement, client fulfillment and enterprise transformation.

Todd Smith, vice president of global supply chain process optimization at Smith & Nephew provided the afternoon keynote following Wright. Other speakers during the forum included Peter Anderson, vice president of global supply chain and manufacturing for Cummins, and Stacy Hodoh, global vice president of distributions operations for Walmart Canada.

Haslam’s Nexxus student group also presented Sue Spence with its third Distinguished Women in Supply Chain award during the forum. Spence is vice president of sourcing and procurement at FedEx and has worked in the supply chain field for more than 30 years.

“Sue’s longevity and prowess in the field inspires our female students,” said Diane Mollenkopf, McCormick Associate Professor of Logistics and faculty advisor for Nexxus. “Not only is she a woman working at the executive level in a male-dominated field, she is doing so at one of the largest, most powerful supply chain companies in the world.”

The Supply Chain Forum at the Haslam College of Business has hosted corporate leaders, faculty and students to discuss the latest in supply chain issues for more than two decades. Managers from 60 top corporations participate. Past keynote speakers have included the CEO and founder of FedEx and senior executives from Amazon, Goodyear and Walmart, among others.

For more information about the Supply Chain Forum, and to see presentations from previous years, visit gsci.utk.edu.