RickReid large

VAW Systems Inc.
Winnipeg, MB

Why did you choose a career in supply chain management?

I wasn’t looking for a job in supply chain management. I was working in the restaurant business and wanted better hours. I started at McDiarmid Lumber as a special order buyer and eventually moved to distribution. Working at McDiarmid’s gave me plenty of opportunity to try different things in supply chain and it was fun. I was hooked. I became a member of the Purchasing Management Association of Canada and received my certification early in my career. After deciding that I wanted to move up, I looked around at other jobs and noticed that companies were looking for people with the Supply Chain Management Professional designation. I decided to pursue it.

Describe your current work. What is your role there?

I am currently Manager, Supply Chain at VAW Systems. Part of my day involves meeting with the different departments to determine the current status of our jobs and follow up on performance. I talk to people to determine what they need. If there is an issue with a delivery, people stop working. I enjoy being able to look at the situation, determine the problem and work with people to find a solution to get the job done. I am constantly looking for opportunities to reduce costs and create efficiencies. Supply Chain Managers are professional problem solvers. We continually identify problems, risks, and opportunities. The ability to think critically in order to satisfy demands is critical.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

My proudest professional accomplishment was facilitating the success of buyers who worked for me at a company that was going out of business. I picked five people off the floor and made them buyers. I sent them to school and encouraged them to get their PMAC certificates. It gave them the skills, experience and confidence to move into different SCM positions after the company closed. I like to think I had a hand in putting these people into a career in SCM.

How has PMAC (now SCMA) membership/SCMP accreditation been of value to you and your organization?

My membership with PMAC and the SCMP accreditation has everything to do with where I am now. PMAC training and accreditation gave me the experience, knowledge and skills to be more efficient in business. Having the education forces you to use your skills and to look at the work with a different perspective. More than that, the networking and relationships I developed through PMAC have been particularly important to my success. The connections I made have been instrumental in advancing my career and getting me on the PMAC board.

For organizations, hiring someone with the SCMP designation means they get a more qualified person for the job. The accreditation is recognized as an achievement and is respected in the field. When a candidate is an SCMP, an organization knows they are hiring someone with the right abilities.

Tell me something about yourself outside of SCM.

During my off time, I coach kids’ soccer. I get great satisfaction when the kids are coming off the field and I see in their eyes that they know they have done well. There is nothing better than that feeling of knowing you have done well.