Terri Reif
Terri Reid

Director, Transportation and Supply Chain Famous Footwear 

Specialized areas of Expertise

I have expertise and comprehensive experience in domestic and international supply chain and logistics management areas including: Transportation Management, Customer Service, Purchasing and Inventory Management. I’ve had the fortune to work in a variety of business setting including retail, direct-to-consumer, wholesale, manufacturing and direct-marketing, (B2B) distribution focused companies.

With my MBA emphasis in Decision Support Systems I have a unique blend of systems knowledge plus Supply Chain knowledge and have been fortunate to have been involved in numerous information system implementations from ERP systems (PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, SAP) to Transportation Management systems (Manhattan Associates, Oracle Transportation Management), as well as many in-house developed systems for transportation, purchasing and customer order management.

I currently work with 16 3rd party pool distribution providers who handle 30+ “final mile” distribution sites for Famous Footwear stores.

I’ve also worked with industry consultants on several network design analysis and optimization.

Years of Experience

I started in the Logistics and Supply Chain field in 1980 when Transportation was in the middle of deregulating in the US, back then it was called “Traffic Management”, then it became “Logistics Management, and now “Traffic” is called “Transportation” and “Logistics” Management has become a subset of Supply Chain Management. So, if my math is correct, 31 years in June—wow—it sure went fast!

Professional memberships/associations/certifications?

I currently belong to NASSTRAC (National Shipper’s Strategic Transportation Council), FDRA (Footwear Distributors and Retailers Association), CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals) the Bearware Steering Committee and have recently decided to join WERC (Warehouse Education and Research Council). I have tried to remain active in the Associations that I participate in. If you’re not active, why belong? This year I intend to get my APICS CPSM Certification as a Certified Supply Chain Professional, since I believe that continuous education is essential to professional development.

W&L: Current role and responsibilities within it?

TR: At NASSTRAC, I am currently in my 3rd term as Treasurer. I have been a member of NASSTRAC since 1989, and have served on the NASSTRAC board of directors since 1990. I have served the NASSTRAC board as Chairperson of the Hazardous Materials Committee, International Shipping Committee, and Provider Relations Committee, as well as held Officer positions as Treasurer, Secretary, 1st VP, President, and Chairman of the Board.

For FDRA, I Co-Chaired the annual FTDC meeting in 2008. Board positions are reserved for the Executives of footwear companies.

I spoke at CSCMP in 2005 and 2008, and admittedly am less active in this organization. Bearware is a software provider for the Retail industry; I participate at least 2 times a year on the Bearware Steering committee, which helps the company decide what new development direction they need to go, and gives guidance for project adoption and prioritization.

W&L: Tell Us A Little About Yourself What Ship-Shapes You? (Tell us about your career goals, what drives you as a woman in Logistics?)

TR: My inspiration comes from the endless possibilities in the field of Logistics. I believe that anyone who understands the complexities of Logistics and Supply Chain knows that Logistics is so much more than just moving boxes. A talented Logistician needs to know all aspects of a business from managing and motivating people, to financial analysis and reporting and everything in between. The work is never boring because it’s constantly changing and new challenges are always surfacing.

Back when I was just starting my career, there were very few women in the industry. What drove me was a voracious appetite for knowing more. It didn’t occur to me (at that time) that being a woman in this field was anything out of the ordinary. I had an appetite and aptitude for the role I was in, so why should being a woman be such a big deal? Then I went to my first industry conference and discovered that the ratio of women to men was something like 10:90! What luck—new roads to pave and a chance to be different! I was lucky enough to find a few good mentors to teach me the secrets of the mysterious world of “traffic”, and I was forever committed.

I have ventured into other areas of Supply Chain, such as Purchasing over the span of my career, but I always come back (to transportation), because to me, no other supply chain discipline is as satisfying.

My goal is to continue on the path to becoming the best that I can be in this field, and to mentor others to do the same.

W&L: Have you received any special recognition for your work? What is a career highlight?

TR: The most satisfying and gratifying recognition I’ve received has come from the people that have taken the time to say “thanks for helping me”.

I have received recognition from the companies that I have worked for, such as “team of the year” in 1997 from Grainger (Lab Safety Supply at the time). Lots of small awards and thank you notes but, to me those small awards are motivating.

A career highlight? In 2004 I was named NASSTRAC member of the Year.

W&L: Success Factors?

TR: Always believe, set your goals high, do what makes you happy. Understand that in this business if you run an efficient and tight ship, you won’t get noticed. You have to do a certain amount of “tooting your own horn” and you need to educate and inform the C –level Executives in your organization about the value of the functions you perform. You need to communicate important issues such as regulatory changes that can affect pricing and operations and how they will impact your company’s bottom line. And after that, you have to educate them on what to do about it. Stay visible, don’t just sit back and expect anyone to notice you.

W&L: What drew you to working in logistics/supply chain management? Planned or fell into it?

TR: I had no idea what “Traffic”, Logistics, or Supply Chain was, I got lucky. I was put on special assignment to help a Distribution Manager with planning truckload capacity for a big promotion. Apparently the work I did was good, because before I knew it, an entirely new position was created for me, which involved dealing with the “truckers” and planning routing and capacity. I grew from there, through lots of hard work, education and determination. When I started in this industry, there was no such thing as going to school to learn Logistics. The closest discipline at that time was a major in Industrial Engineering or Production and Operations Management.

W&L: How has the business changed since you have joined?

TR:Besides being able to attain a formal education in Transportation, Logistics or Supply Chain, many things have changed. Clearly, when I began working in this industry, business was done on paper and over the phone. When the fax machine became popular, it was considered a productivity improvement. Contracts and tariffs had to be filed with the ICC, which no longer exists today, and much of transportation pricing was regulated and complicated.

Technology and the adoption of technology is probably the biggest change I’ve seen. Technology enables today’s Logisticians to do pretty remarkable things such as DC bypass, manage just in time inventory, while achieving in transit visibility that wasn’t even imaginable years ago. So the tools are much better today but so is the need to acquire them, understand them, and use them to their fullest potential.

What hasn’t changed is the need to stay on top of government regulations. The need to be constantly communicating industry issues to upper management, especially if the news will impact budgets and forecasts. The necessity of continuing education and networking through attending conferences and seminars. The importance of having a mentor to help you navigate through the political minefield of “Corporate America”. The need to share operational concerns with your carrier partners as well as understand theirs. The need to monitor and measure performance of your carrier partners and work towards continuous improvement. And finally, the need to be viewed as a trusted partner within your company and team as well as with your carrier partners.

W&L: Would you recommend logistics as a career choice?

TR: Absolutely! I can’t think of a more satisfying career choice. The opportunities are better now than they ever have been if you like working in a fast paced environment where many different areas of expertise are required and utilized. The work is challenging, and rewarding because I feel like I have an opportunity to make a difference.

W&L: Have you ever felt that you were at a disadvantage being a woman in logistics?

TR: No, not really. I’ve always considered my gender to be an advantage in that I bring a different perspective and set of skills to the profession. The only area I can see where being a woman is a disadvantage is in the area of salary, and that was years ago. I believe over time, as I have developed myself through education and experience, that gap has become much smaller and that a new entrant into the field might not even experience that gap.

W&L: Any advice for women entering the field?

TR: Network. Join an industry association. Get a mentor. Learn the important things through the experience of others.

Know history. So many new entrants into the field do not understand how the history of this industry has impacted the logistics field as we know it today.

Do your best to understand the regulatory environment and how regulatory changes impact how your employer views your capabilities.

Gain a solid multi faceted understanding of business as a whole. Know more than just your area of expertise.

Be a trusted partner.

W&L: What is your Favorite Online Logistics Resource?

TR: I am bombarded with online resources, but I generally use Bing or Google first just to see what “hits”.

Favorite quote or words to live by

Whatever you are be a good one.

–Abraham Lincoln

Promise only what you can deliver. Then deliver more than you promise.

–Author Unknown

The best way to predict your future is to create it.

–Peter Drucker

The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.

–Thomas Edison

I have found no greater satisfaction than achieving success through honest dealing and strict adherence to the view that, for you to gain, those you deal with should gain as well.

–Alan Greenspan

Be faithful to that which exists within yourself.

~ Andre Gide