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Supply Chain Team Leader - Heathermarie Honzik


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.

Cummins commitment to sustainability and creating the right environment for employees to succeed can be seen in the dedication of our Cummins Emission Solutions (CES) team.  Our employees develop innovative product solutions that meet and exceed global emission regulations and help set the industry standard.  The key success factors of our strategy include focusing on developing the right technologies; developing capable people and leaders; and improving capable business processes as we introduce emission solutions to more global regions. 
As sales increase globally, employees are integrating sustainability processes throughout each business unit. Heathermarie Honzik, a graduate of Purdue University and Six Sigma Greenbelt, is responsible for leading the initiative of deploying Cummins Synchronized Business Planning (SBP).  This will improve the speed and responsiveness to sustain our growing, global business.
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Heathermarie works remotely for the majority of her schedule, due to the location of her family and her global role.  She works directly with employees in China, Brazil, Europe, and India.  It’s a challenging position that is definitely “not one of those ordinary jobs”.
“When I think about leadership support, there are 36 different leaders I’m interacting with across the business globally. Regardless of where you sit, at home or in the office, you have to connect with everyone. Sometimes that’s easy with U.S. and Europe but when scheduling time with China and India, you have to be sensitive to everyone’s personal family time.”
Heathermarie’s first appointment is an education and training workshop to learn more about Foundations of Planning and Control (FPC).  FPC strategies can have an effect on multiple supply chain processes, including demand planning, available to promise and forecast consumption. She’s excited the workshop will enable the team to learn how to identify new areas for improvement and develop her skills to better lead the business.
“Part of my motivation for career development is the positive opportunities I’ve had at Cummins in the past.  My manager is great and helped develop me, so now it’s my turn to give back to our team.  I want to help others connect to new opportunities to improve as well.  We’re all involved in a significant organizational transformation right now.”
At lunchtime, Heathermarie jumps on her skateboard for a quick ride during her break. She sees people relaxing, exercising and on group walks, and appreciates the culture of Cummins to allow employees the work-life balance to thrive personally and professionally.
After lunch, Heathermarie collaborates with team members during a conference call for a program self-assessment. Moving the team toward Supply Chain maturity means analyzing how fluidly the process operates and identifying any gaps in the team or Company’s capabilities. It’s a robust conversation that helps Heathermarie and her team better identify ways to drive actionable change.
“We’re a growing, global company, which will evolve our supply chain organization over time. It’s a big challenge for us to visualize where the Company might be in twenty or thirty years, but that’s the goal and we’re being very innovative in how we’re approaching our strategy.” 
Later in the afternoon, Heathermarie attends a Six Sigma teleconference where the leadership team is working on a process to estimate costs across new engineering projects.  It’s an important initiative because the Six Sigma team is analyzing the number of new employees needed to deliver an important future product. Technical product leaders are at the meeting, along with engineers -and a human resources leader.  Heathermarie enjoys learning about where engineering is driving new product development and how her new supply chain initiative will play a role in delivering the launch smoothly.
“Our sales growth is creating new jobs across the Company, so we need to strategize about matching current internal processes to future demand. From a supply chain perspective, we need to ensure our supply chain processes will be streamlined.  We’re literally changing the company in these meetings.  I am part of real-time innovation.”
Cummins is known as an engineering company, but today continues to evolve as a world-class supply chain organization. Investing in Heathermarie’s development can help Cummins take that next step.  It also ensures that, as employees grow with the Company, they are focused on building success in new hires as well.
“I love the collaboration at Cummins and how we’re all working together across the business to increase efficiency.  As we look at top talent coming out of college, we’re moving them into some challenging, progressive roles.  It’s very forward-looking here.  We need bright minds to focus on making it happen globally.”