Meet a Member

October 2017

Sean Monahan

A.T. Kearney
New York, New York
CSCMP Member for 14 Years


BS, Chemical Engineering, Bucknell University
MBA, Logistics, Materials, and Supply Chain Management, George Washington University

CSCMP Service:
Author, CSCMP ’s 27th Annual “State of Logistics Report®”

When and why did you join CSCMP?
When? Too long ago to remember! As I recall it must have been in the mid-90s when it was still CLM. Why? It was recommended —I think they insisted actually—by several A.T. Kearney partners I worked with, particularly Ron Seger.

How has being a CSCMP member helped you in your career?
It has provided an easy and consistent way to stay connected with the industry and key trends. CSCMP resources and conferences have provided easy access to materials to close gaps in my knowledge base. CSCMP conferences also provided me the first opportunity to speak in public at a conference and begin to build that experience.

What advice would you give to new members to help them maximize their membership value?
Take advantage of the roundtables to network; attend the conference to gain broad exposure to industry trends and insight; and, leverage CSCMP resources (materials, training, etc.) to build your skills.

How did you get into supply chain?
My undergraduate degree is in Chemical Engineering, reflecting my operations orientation. When I went to get an MBA and looked at programs and concentrations I found what was then the “Logistics, Operations, and Materials Management” program at the George Washington University just appealed my interests. My career experiences flowed from there.

What are you passionate about in the supply chain field?
Broadly, I ’m passionate about helping clients leverage their supply chain to enable the strategic intent of their business. At a tactical level I’m always interested in supply chain modeling – my first projects involved writing optimization models on mainframes in FORTRAN.

What is the biggest challenge you face on the job, and how are you managing it?
As with many organizations, developing talent. But I don ’t see it as problem per se, but rather an opportunity to help talented and motivated practitioners to develop the breadth of skills and experiences to make them even better. I manage it through multiple avenues, building internal training and development programs, encouraging participation in external organizations such as CSCMP, and naturally through extensive coaching and mentoring.

What are the biggest challenges facing the supply chain profession today?
While the profession has come a long way in raising its profile externally and importantly internally within organizations, this needs to continue to be an area focus. And, given the dramatic pace of change – technological and geo-political – the profession plays an increasing important role in the success of companies (and countries). The profession must step up to that challenge.

Is there anything you’ve learned at a CSCMP conference or from a CSCMP publication that helped you solve a work-related issue?
Absolutely, but way too many to pick just one!

Where do you see the future of the profession headed?
Building on my earlier response regarding challenges, I see the profession as being headed to playing an increasingly critical role within their organizations as well as on the geo-political stage.

What hobbies and interests do you have outside of work and career?
My hobbies center on skiing and fly fishing. Fly fishing also led me the importance of protecting our water, most precious resource, so I’ve become active in Riverkeeper, an organization committed to protecting the Hudson River.

What is the single most important thing you’ve learned on your career journey?
Be curious, seek to understand, and never stop learning.

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