Education: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis.
My job: I oversee the distribution processes for e-commerce, wholesale and Guideshops in addition to optimizing our customer service operation at Bonobos. This includes managing relationships with vendors, negotiating agreements, managing budgets, and streamlining processes.
Which best describes your career path? I started my career in a different field and, over time, decided logistics/operations was a better fit for me.
Which of the following resources have helped you in learning to become a logistics/operations professional? Mentors (both outside & on the job); On the Job/Experiential
My first job in retail operations was: Operations Associate at Bonobos, where I manage inbound product from shipping to stocking.
I’ve been in this field for: 5 years
I’ve been in this role for: 1 year
Roughly, what percent of your company’s operations team are women? 25%
What is the most interesting part of your job and why? I have the opportunity to work with almost every lane at Bonobos on a regular basis, whether it’s related to day-to-day operations or larger scale initiatives. I like to dig in and understand what others are working on and how our team can help make the business better or help an individual lane achieve their goals.
What is the most challenging part of your job and why? There is always a new project we’ve never tackled or process to improve which is challenging and exciting, and mostly a product of being part of such a fast growing company that’s continually looking to evolve and innovate. I always say that if no one notices the operation, then that’s success. It can be difficult to stay ahead and make sure everything runs smoothly but that’s what makes the job fun.
When looking to hire logistics/operations managers, what techniques produce the best results? Networking; Promoting from within your current team.
What are you most proud of accomplishing in logistics/operations? Taking the organization from fulfilling only e-commerce orders to over 50 wholesale accounts, and now samples to our 20+ Guideshops while keeping costs at a place where we can scale the business has been a great feat. We’ve managed to keep the operation centralized and streamlined which has allowed us to optimize processes, costs and stay nimble so we can quickly react to changes in what our customers want or what the business needs.
I’m very deliberate in the approach to vendor relationships and truly view them as partnerships, as our success is very much a result of what we’re able to achieve together. I think this is one reason we’ve been able to maintain such long term relationships with our vendors. There is a focus on establishing and cultivating a collaborative partnership that benefits both of our organizations.
If asked by another woman interested in the field of logistics/operations, what would you list as the pros and cons? It’s exciting executing the behind the scenes pieces to make the business run. You have to look at issues that arise as opportunities to flex your operational mindset to roll out improvements. You have your hand in a lot which helps give perspective and gives you insight for what’s to come. It can often be a thankless job, particularly because you are behind the scenes and often problem-solving issues that resulted from something out of your control, but by being so familiar with many facets of the business, you’re often best suited to recommend and help implement change that can have a significant impact on the bottom line.
Are you currently mentoring other women interested in logistics? No
See which Women in Operations were profiled in the September 2016 issue of Multichannel Merchant: