Seasoned Leadership in Action™ – An Interview with Kristie Syndikus, VP Procurement at Maple Leaf Foods!

Kristie Syndikus

At Supply Chain Game Changer we believe in sharing experiences and expertise from people in every industry and from across the globe.  As such we have introduced our “Seasoned Leadership in Action” Interview series at Supply Chain Game Changer. This interview is with Kristie Syndikus, VP of Procurement at Maple Leaf Foods.

Kristie was also recently recognized as one of the Top 100 Canadian Women in Supply Chain.

I first met Kristie when she was just entering the Supply Chain field as a new Commodity Manager.

It was very easy to see early on that Kristie had a great aptitude for Procurement and Sourcing. She was always the consummate professional and tackled any challenge with a tremendous focus and drive.

Maple Leaf
Kristie Syndikus, VP Procurement at Maple Leaf Foods

At one point I was given a challenge to achieve Industry leading breakthrough results in Inventory performance, in a short period of time. Kristie was one of a handful of people I chose from around the world to work with me on that task. Needless to say we achieved phenomenal once-in-a-lifetime results and Kristie was an integral part of that success.

I have been honoured to have worked with Kristie and to have watched as she has progressed and grown in her career.

Thank you Kristie  for your friendship and taking the time to share your experiences and expertise with us.

Here is our interview with a truly Global Industry leader, Kristie Syndikus!

Tell our readers a little about your background and experience? 

Over the last 20 years I have worked in the electronics manufacturing industry.  Moore’s Law has set the pace for which the industry has had to transform and this is no different for the manufacturing companies supporting the evolution.  

The great advantage of such a dynamic industry was that it afforded me the opportunity to embrace constant change as a enabler to growth and development.  I found my calling in supply chain early when I realized that I could impact the business outcomes in very meaningful way with very focused efforts in the collaboration with customers & supply chain partners.

  I have held senior leadership roles leading Strategic Sourcing, creating a Source to Pay organization and most recently had the opportunity to work in a consultative fashion with customers embarking in their manufacturing outsourcing evolution.  

In all of these roles I have had to bring together cross-functional teams in a creative way to support breakthrough business results.

What are some of your greatest achievements in Business? 

My greatest achievements have been the outcomes of the cross-functional teams that I have lead.  

Together as a team we broke all boundaries for end-to-end process support, we exceeded all industry benchmarks on cost productivity and yielded unprecedented quality levels.

I have always held the notion that 1+1=3 in that by combining efforts of the best & the brightest we could always deliver more that the sum of the individuals themselves.   

How has the Business and Supply Chain changed over the course of your career?

At one point data and access to information was a differentiator and today it’s a necessity.

The ability to transform information into real-time analytics and then to look for predictive outcomes is what separates successful companies from industry peers.  

What are some of the lessons you learned in your career that you would like to share for others to learn from? 

Mistakes & set-backs are the great source for development opportunity.  Those who embrace change and seize failure will be stronger and create the most transformation in the long term.   

Failure means that you are trying new things and ultimately learning new ways to drive value. 

What challenges facing the world are important to you?

Sustainability is the single largest challenge the facing today’s global markets.  

Supply chain sustainability can impact human rights, labour practices and the environment. It is no longer a cost to doing business but a necessity to thrive. 

Companies who integrate this into their purpose will not only benefit from customer loyalty but will create new markets to enable their businesses to prosper.  

What is the role of Business, Supply Chain and Change Leadership in addressing these challenges? 

The challenge of sustainability impacts all businesses and leadership needs to be focused on how to evolve for the longevity of their organizations.

Legislative means are too slow and cumbersome to do it alone; the true pioneers will see the business value in enabling focused investment and technology development for future generations.

What advice would you give people who have a career in, or who are considering joining, Business and/or Supply Chain? 

Supply chain provides a unique opportunity to cultivate broad skills from marketing, strategic sourcing, finance, manufacturing and logistics to enable some of the most coveted skills in any organization.  

Embrace the opportunity to move around to different roles in your supply chain career to learn new skills but to also be able to uncover new sources of value.

How can people contact you?

Feel free to contact me via LinkedIn.

Originally published on July 2, 2019.