I recently had the opportunity to speak with Gary Adams, who has over 30 years of experience in supply chain management at Walmart. Gary held many leadership roles at Walmart, including Vice President of International Logistics and Vice President of Walmart's Internet Supply Chain for Walmart International. He now serves as an operating partner for New Road Capital Partners, advising portfolio companies.

During our discussion, Gary provided invaluable perspectives on how supply chain strategy has evolved over the past three decades and the role of technology. He also shared insights into challenges of scaling internationally from two to 17 markets and developing leaders. Additionally, Gary discussed how companies are now adapting to trends like e-commerce and sustainable logistics solutions.

Evolution of Supply Chain Strategy and Technology
Gary noted that while the core aspects of supply chain have remained consistent, the tools and capabilities to forecast, plan and increase visibility have progressed tremendously. In the early days, capabilities were limited but technology has caught up, enabling better demand prediction, inventory optimization and replenishment processes.

Scaling Internationally from Two to Seventeen Markets
When asked about challenges of international scaling, Gary focused on ensuring strong,
confident local leaders had all resources needed. His role was providing insight from other markets and access to Walmart's vast experience. Gary stressed the importance of empowering international leaders and surrounding them with support.

Adapting to E-Commerce and the Future
E-commerce created challenges around last-mile delivery, demand prediction, and inventory placement that companies continue adapting to with technology help. visibility, planning and use of AI/analytics will accelerate solutions. Gary also sees potential in voice-enabled supply chain planning.

Partnering with Innovative Startups
Gary now advises portfolio companies for New Road Capital like Logiwa, an e-commerce warehouse management system startup. Other companies discussed were WaveBL, digitizing bills of lading using blockchain, and NYSHEX, creating an enforceable ocean carrier/shipper contract. Gary aims to provide expertise from his career to help startups solve industry pain points.

Overall, Gary offered a unique perspective on decades of supply chain evolution and international growth. His insights into past challenges without technology solutions, combined with a forward view of continual opportunities, provided valuable lessons for all levels of supply chain and logistics professionals. Gary exemplifies a career-long dedication to developing leaders who no doubt helped Walmart achieve global supply chain excellence.