Talking to a Rising Supply Chain Star: Amy Georgi, Fluke Electronics

EBN is furthering its exploration of the role of millennial workers in the electronics supply chain. We got to talk to Amy Georgi, who is a program manager in supply chain acquisitions and integrations with Fluke Electronics, a Danaher Company.

Georgi was recently dubbed the Megawatt winner in the 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars recognition program, a jointly sponsored initiative of ThomasNet and Institute for Supply Management (ISM). “Amy is a standout agent of supply chain transformation,” mentor Jami Bliss told the judges.

Georgi joined Fluke Electronics right out of college, and was assigned to a 6-month old factory. After getting the right procedures and practices in place, Georgi was tasked with spearheading a complex, three-phase move of a plant being divided into two facilities. She brought the same intelligence, passion, innovation and hard work to this new task, and once again succeeded. These achievements earned her the role that she currently has in the organization.

We talked to Georgi to find out her thoughts on having a career in the electronics supply chain, and about what OEMs can do to attract young talent to their ranks.

Amy Georgi, Fluke Electronics

Amy Georgi, Fluke Electronics

EBN: Tell us a little about your role in the organization. How do you see your role evolving over time?  

Georgi: I am a Procurement Program Manager for Acquisitions.  When I first entered the role, it was very transactional; I was the one doing most of the sourcing and savings projects for acquired sites. I've been able to evolve the role to where I can train acquired companies to generate and manage savings projects, and I can work with them on finding more opportunities and executing multiple-year strategies for transforming their supply chains. I work for an acquisition-heavy company, and inevitably, our volume of acquisitions will increase over time. I can see my role evolving to manage many more acquired companies at a time.  

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EBN: What advice would you give someone who is thinking about a career in the electronics supply chain?

Georgi:Go for it!  Electronics supply chain is a great industry to be involved with.  The supply chain within it is inherently global, which will provide you a broad base of experiences.  I think some people can be turned off from electronics supply chain because they feel it could be too technical.  They'd rather be in supply chain for a product people are used to hearing about, like coffee, clothing or shoes.  From my perspective, it doesn't matter if you have an engineering background.  A company with good electronics supply chain will provide you with enough on-the-job training or exposure to engineers that you will pick up all kinds of technical savvy. I never thought I'd consider cracking open broken electronics and subbing out parts.  Now I wouldn't think twice about at least trying. I think it is better to start a supply chain career in a more technical, electronic or regulated field and move to a less technical role later if you choose to do so.  Deciding later in your career to move to something very technical would certainly have more of a learning curve. There's ample opportunity to move up within the industry.  Supply chain is a great career choice. If you work hard and position yourself appropriately, you can literally choose to work in virtually any country in any industry. 

EBN: What are the biggest challenges in terms of getting beyond old school attitudes and ways of doing things? What evolution do you see younger workers bringing to the organization?  

Georgi: In my working with acquired companies, this can be a very common headwind.  If a way of doing something has “worked for them” for a long time, there can be an unwillingness to try something new.  I try to lead by example.  I demonstrate the new way of doing something and focus on the reduced time to improved results or outcome. Typically, improved results are enough to drive people to the new point of view. 

I'm fortunate that my company is pretty progressive. Typically, we don't need younger workers to get us to use industry best practices; we are already using them. I do find that very generally, younger workers are more willing to put in longer hours at the office in hopes of quick advancement or proving they can handle large projects. I think this can reinvigorate some of the mid-term workers to work a bit more efficiently to keep up, even if they don't have to keep the same hours to do so. 

EBN: What help and support have mentors offered you? What advice would you offer to electronics OEMs who want to be an employer of choice to the next generations of supply chain managers?  

Georgi:Mentors have been most crucial when I've been considering next steps in my career.  They've been able to ask questions that allowed me to better reflect on the values of the proposed new position and my longer-term goals.  A good mentor allows you broaden your perspective without making decisions or choices for you. They've always offered an outside perspective that could be neutral to my decision making. 

In terms of advice for electronics OEMs that want to attract young supply chain talent, you have to be and stay competitive.  The competition occurs in a few arenas: compensation, flexibility, and opportunity. 

Regarding compensation, you absolutely have to know what the market rate is for new supply chain employees (not business grads in general or you'll be really off the mark – too low). You need to offer competitive salaries and be prepared to offer competitive salary increases if you expect to retain talent. Otherwise, you can expect to attract and groom talent that will keep taking off to other companies.  Compensation is arguably disproportionately important for most recent college graduates. Some have significant loans to pay off, while others have been living so frugally for so long that all they can do is imagine the luxury of a livable income. College grads are also Internet-savvy. They realize that what may look like a great salary in Phoenix will have you at the poverty line in the Bay Area, so be respectful and reasonable in your offers. 

Flexibility is key. This is what has kept me with the same company for so long. I'm able to work remotely, which affords the geographic flexibility my family needed to accommodate my husband's career. Flexibility can have many forms, such as telecommuting options, varied start times and good vacation policies. Two weeks vacation is really just not enough if you are trying to attract out-of-state talent, who like to be able to see family a time or two a year and do something fun with their newfound income. 

Opportunity is really important to millennials. They want to move up quickly. They don't tend to love non-strategic, repetitive tasks.  They've spent the last four years of college learning how to think, so they want career progression that continues to allow them to think and grow. Don't be prescriptive on what each career move has to be.  If they don't like the sound of your next proposed step, they will go elsewhere. There should be an ongoing dialogue between every manager and millennial employee about what potential next steps could be, even if it is expanded responsibilities and projects in their current role.  Show and teach them how to grow, and let them feel involved in the process.

EBN: What would you like to say about supply chain as a career or your experiences that I haven't asked?

Georgi: I think the biggest selling point that isn't often used for a supply chain career is that it's really a people-driven industry. If you love talking to people, making personal connections, and collaborating, supply chain is the perfect place to be.  There is so much communication and coordination to be involved in that you will be in your prime.  I find it really fulfilling to work with others on projects, and I get to do it every single day.  I highly recommend the field to anyone who genuinely likes working with others.  

— Hailey Lynne McKeefry, Editor in Chief, EBN Circle me on Google+ Follow me on Twitter Visit my LinkedIn page Friend me on Facebook

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1 comment on “Talking to a Rising Supply Chain Star: Amy Georgi, Fluke Electronics

  1. mentionsurgeon
    October 12, 2016

    Thanks a lot for sharing this incredible article.

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