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Supply Chain Project Manager - Abiola Oladapo


This article is from the “Cummins: All Access” series, a compilation of unique, reality-based stories featuring Cummins employees. The series is designed to give a behind-the-scenes perspective of Cummins employees as they develop their careers.

As the world’s largest independent manufacturer of diesel engines, Cummins employees are constantly evolving the Company’s global distribution network. To best serve our customers, Cummins looks to supply chain employees for efficiency and speed when distributing components to facilities and finished engines to customers. These innovative improvements are led by team members like Abiola Oladapo, Corporate Supply Chain Project Manager.
Abiola began his career at Cummins by rotating through four unique roles in two years as part of the Supply Chain Manufacturing Development Program.  Once the program was completed, he joined the Light Duty Diesel group as Indirect Materials Manager and was later promoted into our Joint Venture Kitting group as an Account / Supply Chain Manager.  He was recently promoted to his current Global Materials team role and is focused on accelerating innovation across Cummins supply chain initiatives.
Abiola’s team is highly focused on leveraging efficiencies across the business and he keeps an eye out for game-changing circumstances that can lead to opportunities. 
“We’re looking for both progressive improvements and large opportunities. It’s the vision of our supply chain leaders to become more innovative. We can use the information to our benefit, such as streamlining our materials strategy and the integration structure of our global employees.  It will help us deliver real value to our customers.”
And now for your All Access pass:
Abiola’s morning begins with an urgent conference call with a global leadership team about their confidential sales forecast.  The team is discussing how actual orders and sales align with materials forecasts, dynamic changes in the marketplace and ensuring the manufacturing organization is ready for growing demand. Each leader provides their perspective on business conditions to ensure the increase in demand will not impact inventory, which is critical to hear since multiple customers are significantly increasing their order quantities.  Abiola spends time training the team on Cummins proprietary supply chain technology so everyone can visualize his team’s response.
“We’re doing our due diligence to communicate the plan for change and path of improvement.  It’s fun because you’re thinking beyond your desk and building a team vision— that’s important when launching into markets like Africa, United Kingdom, India, China and beyond.  Demand for this engine is really taking off, so we’re strategizing and planning ahead.”
Later in the morning, Abiola hosts a virtual meeting with our manufacturing site in Daventry, United Kingdom, which he recently visited prior to a new inventory analytical tool launch to see the supply chain in motion. They’re introducing a new supply chain technology tool and he’s collaborating with the facility on the structure requirements for the implementation.  As the project manager, it’s important for him to identify who has the capacity to increase their focus toward the project.  
“It’s hectic because you’re managing multiple people and projects at the same time. You have to keep your stakeholders informed. We’re driving faster, better and quicker to increase manufacturing excellence.  We don’t want to overwhelm anyone and build success in others by talking through everyone who can make an impact.”
At lunch, Abiola attends an African and African American Affinity Group (AAAAG) event for the North American Distribution Business Unit expansion. Abiola is the group leader for AAAAG and a local executive comes to share his vision about business expansion. It’s a chance for the group to meet new people, learn from others and hear about new career paths. Personally, it’s satisfying to Abiola to keep up to speed on the Company’s vision and growth.
“There is personal satisfaction in our affinity group because we think about how to create a good networking environment. How do we build relationships and engage people at different levels?  We look to encourage, enlighten and empower. It helps us think about mentoring and valuing professional relationships so Cummins can retain the best talent.”  
Abiola takes a short walk after lunch to get out of the office and recharge. Then he’s back in the office thinking about an action plan for an inquiry he received earlier in the day. He’s thinking strategically how to move the dial— it’s his focus time.
Mid-afternoon, Abiola walks across Cummins corporate campus to attend a materials functional excellence meeting.  It’s a “master production schedule” meeting to compare how scheduling is done differently in global locations. They’re focused on identifying best practices and how teams train new supply chain employees for unique projects.
“People move in and out of roles quickly here. Every time someone moves, someone new has to be trained.  If we can improve our training capabilities, it reduces wasted energy. We look at common processes and how teams are planning toward demand.”
At the end of the day, Abiola begins planning for tomorrow.  
“You have to own your work at Cummins and there is a high level of professionalism here. You stay on top of projects, set your own boundaries and work with your supervisor on your career development to get better.  I love the autonomy as it really sets me up for success.”
Finally, Abiola leaves work and hits the soccer field for practice with his affinity group. 
“There’s healthy competition and it’s a great way to meet new people from Cummins. I can get to know people and use soccer to increase my fitness.  Everyone is very friendly here and it’s easy to fit in.”