Dan Kaskinen, CPSM, views supply management as more than just a job responsibility. “My aim is to become a business resource with a working knowledge of the company as a whole,” says the 29-year old strategic
sourcing manager from Charlotte, North Carolina. “In supply management, you can
engage with every major business unit in a company and connect the dots to create
initiatives that few others are in positions to do.”
Kaskinen’s knack for working well with suppliers and internal stakeholders alike, along
with his passion for continuous improvement, are two of the reasons he has been
named the 2016 Megawatt Star among the 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars.
Jeff King, procurement director at Sonic Automotive, nominated Kaskinen for the
30 Under 30 — a program sponsored by Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®)
and ThomasNet.com that honors supply management up-and-comers — due
largely to his exceptional problem-solving skills and initiative. “We could give him any
challenging project, even things that started as a jumbled mess, and he’d proactively
run with it and turn it into something organized, productive and useful,” says King. “He
was the go-to team player tasked with things that had no instruction manual.”
While Kaskinen is no longer with Sonic Automotive — he is currently with Premier,
Inc. as a strategic sourcing manager — he made a lasting impression on his previous
employer. In his time with King’s team, Kaskinen was instrumental in saving more
than US$3 million. He created supplier guidelines, invoice requirements, sourcing-event templates (including a supporting document library), a training video library
and an internal event project management system. “We will use many of the
processes and templates Dan set up for a long time to come,” says King. “He helped
the procurement team, but he also added value to the whole organization.” In
fact, vendor guidelines Kaskinen created are currently used as a baseline for Sonic
Automotive’s company-wide standard agreements.
NEW WAYS TO ACCOMPLISH GOALS
Kaskinen graduated with a bachelor of business administration degree from
Northwood University in Midland, Michigan, and moved on to positions in the
automotive industry in warehouse distribution, inventory management and logistics.
The Megawatt Star of 2016
Needs No Instruction Manual
The 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars program recognizes young
supply management professionals making impressive and lasting
impacts in their field.