In today’s episode of Women In Supply Chain, I’m joined by Ashley Yentz, a supply chain leader who is passionate about driving sustainability and creating solutions that improve lives.
Ashley discovered her love for supply chain during several successful internships at automotive megabrand, Toyota. And, after a stint as a logistics analyst at Hilti, Ashley’s career really took flight at LeanCor Supply Chain Group. She developed, implemented, and managed lean supply chains totaling around $300M in annual transportation spend and, in 2021, she brought all of her experience, knowledge and passion to her current role as VP of Supply Chain and Material Flow at Sleep Number, a leader in sleep and wellness technology.
Today Ashley will be talking to us about her career so far; her passion for creating a more inclusive workforce; developing customer-focused solutions; and why her ultimate goal is to influence a priority shift toward climate change and social consciousness in the logistics and supply chain industry. Plus, she’ll be sharing her experiences as a woman in supply chain, as well as her words of advice for all of the women following in her footsteps.
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IN THIS EPISODE WE DISCUSS:
[07.09] Ashley’s career journey, from being raised by creative entrepreneurs and gaining a degree in mathematics, to being introduced to supply chain by a mentor.
“I met one of my mentors, she was the Vice President of Customer Service at Toyota… and she was the one that looked at me, heard about my skillset in math and my passions and said ‘hey – I think you’d be really good in supply chain!’”
[11.28] What Ashley learned during her time working for Toyota.
“I understood the great care that we had to take to make sure a customer was satisfied. Lean is about ‘what is it that this customer really wants, and how do we make sure we’re providing them the best value.’”
[16.55] Ashley’s journey within Toyota, from strategic planning to inventory; how the recession led to a move to Hilti; and why a passion for Lean Systems eventually took her to LeanCor.
“I started doing a lot of research on ‘what do I want to do, where do I want to be, where do I want to spend my time?’”
[23.01] Ashley’s experience of being one of only two female senior leaders at LeanCor, and the importance of finding people that value what you have to say.
“When we talk about career growth and development, seeking to understand is such a huge part of anyone’s job, and it will set you apart.”
[28.03] Why Ashley moved to Sleep Number, her advice on finding the right career fit, and why Sleep Number values wellness.
“You have to be surrounded by a community that you’re enjoying, that is getting the best out of you and you feel your best at, where you can bring your authentic self to work… you have to make sure it’s aligning to you and your life.”
[35.21] Ashley’s biggest career achievements to date.
[38.03] Ashley’s experience as a woman in the male-dominated fields of construction, supply chain and automotive, how she built courage over time and her advice for how women can thrive.
[42.59] Ashley’s favorite thing about supply chain.
“My favorite thing about supply chain is that you can learn so much – you’ll never get bored!”
[44.15] Ashley’s thoughts on the importance of sustainability in supply chain.
“I believe that profit and sustainability go hand in hand.”
RESOURCES AND LINKS MENTIONED:
You can connect with Ashley over on LinkedIn.
If you enjoyed this episode, check out 310: Women in Supply Chain, Grace Sharkey, featuring another woman in supply chain who has followed her heart when it comes to her career journey. Or, if you’re keen to hear more about the importance of sustainability in supply chain, why not listen to what Mary McNelly has to say in episode 250.
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