Supply & Demand Chain Executive just announced the Women in Supply Chain award winners—and Resilinc’s Senior Director of Customer Success, Beth Cook, is a 2023 recipient! This award honors female supply chain leaders and executives whose accomplishments, mentorship, and examples set a foundation for women at all levels of a company’s supply chain network.
Beth has done all that—and more. With over a decade of experience working in the supply chain industry, Beth works with Resilinc’s largest Telecom, Government, High-Tech, Industrial and Automotive customers. In this Q&A, Beth shares her tips for tackling high-stress situations, building a successful global team, and being a woman in supply chain.
What do you like about working in supply chain?
I like that it’s dynamic. There’s always something new in supply chain and opportunities to learn, no day is ever the same. There’s always a new challenge, a new way to think through a problem. It’s exciting to be able to help solve customer issues and see the positive impact it has on their organization. Being able to use past knowledge to help customers through their challenges—it’s never dull.
What has been one of your biggest accomplishments while working with Resilinc?
Whenever a customer succeeds, I consider that an accomplishment. Anytime I can help with a problem or help solve an internal process issue, it feels like success. It’s rewarding to see customers overcome challenges and watch their programs grow and to be able to be part of the process. Once they have the right programs in place, they thrive.
It’s also great to see Customer Success Managers (CSMs) get praised and recognized for their hard work. We grew so fast, so it’s fantastic to look at all the CSMs that started a year or two years ago and see how much they’ve grown since their first day.
You worked on a project with a global manufacturer, where you helped them map their supply chain. What was that like?
The company I was working with had a leadership shift and was looking for guidance on best practices and what to focus on for mapping and risk mitigation. We walked through a series of working sessions, looking at current processes and company goals. The areas we focused on in these sessions were:
- What are you doing today for risk mitigation?
- What are you looking to do with mapping?
- What are your most critical products?
- What are your most critical parts?
We then helped them see what factors were meaningful for them and which features they should be using. We worked to truly understand where they were, what internal systems and processes they had in place, where Resilinc fit into the picture, and how we could help. Then we built a road map based on those factors.
Did they have any specific problems they wanted to solve through mapping?
At this point, it was more about stepping back and saying, “Where do you want to go next?” They had mapped one of their product lines, so the question was, should we map another product line? Or are we going to take a broader approach?
A broader approach might mean looking at critical parts that could impact all product lines (instead of just looking at one product line). Using a more comprehensive approach, we could figure out what would happen if the company was unable to secure a critical part. For example, how many lines would be down? So, it wasn’t so much a specific mapping data issue. It was more around helping them work through what they should focus on next in their mapping journey.
How do you stay on top of the supply chain landscape working with clients from so many different fields?
I like to read industry publications, news articles, LinkedIn articles and am in several supply chain groups.). Also, the Resilinc EventWatchAI alerts and WarRooms are fabulous. I make sure that I look through those daily to see what’s going on in the world. I look for disruptions that could affect our customers. I also learn a lot from talking to customers and the other directors. Resilinc’s Special Reports are another great source—they cover various industries and supply chain topics in depth.
You grew your team by 100%. What is your secret for bringing talent and fostering talent on your team?
When I started at Resilinc in 2020, we were growing at a rapid pace which included growing the CSM team and getting them up to speed quickly. The training program needed to change to fit the company’s changing needs. That required the development of a new training program that fit the needs of a global team (Resilinc currently has a global CSM team). As part of the changing needs, we also created a separate implementation team. We stepped back and looked at everything happening and said, “What we have now isn’t going to scale for what we need?”
So, I created a training program that gave everybody a stronger foundation. We created assessments and demos that new hires had to do throughout the training program. We also created a mentoring program that allowed new CSMs to work directly with more experienced CSMs. This helped our new hires learn the features of our products, the uniqueness of our customers, as well as get a better understanding of what being a CSM at Resilinc specifically looked like.
By the time they were ready to take on their first customer, they had a good foundation. Having a mentor for the new CSMs was vital because it gave them someone who could answer their questions that they were more familiar with.
How did you take on the challenge of managing a global team? How did you align employees in the UK, US, and India?
We focus a lot on building internal relationships and make sure that everyone knows everybody on the team (this is part of our training program). This way a person doesn’t feel awkward when they have a question and need to reach out to someone. We do this within our team and cross-functionally—ensuring that CSMs know where they fit in at Resilinc and their key contacts in other departments.
We stay connected through Chat, Team meetings, and 1:1’s. We also have weekly meetings will all the CSMs/Implementation team across the globe. We share real experiences from customers as well as different ways to solve customer use cases, and feedback on the features of our products that customers are using. We also invite subject matter experts and executive leadership to meetings. For example, someone might come and talk to us about updates on important regulation changes (ex. UFLPA).
That’s one of my favorite things about working at Resilinc. Everyone is willing to help each other. I’ve worked in other places where there’s a hierarchy that you have to go through. Or people say, “That’s not my job.” I’ve never had that here at Resilinc. We are all here to help each other and our customers succeed.
What is your advice for CSMs to deal with high-pressure situations and come out on top?
A lot of the issues that come up are urgent and you will always have something in “crisis mode.” But you need to remember there is always time to take a pause and step back to make sure you fully understand the issue. Taking that extra time will allow you to be able to understand the issue and provide the best solution. It tends to diffuse things pretty quickly when people realize they’ve been heard and that you understand their urgency but need to take some time to make sure you give them the best guidance.
Don’t be afraid to say, “I’ll get back to you.” Then, make sure you get back to them in the timeframe you establish. This builds the most trust with customers—keeping your word and delivering the news (whether it’s good or bad news).
What is it like being a woman in supply chain?
Overall, I find it to be very rewarding with a lot of opportunities to learn and grow. I like the challenges and the ability to make a difference with my customers and my team. It’s been empowering to be able to see women in leadership roles—like Resilinc’s CEO Bindiya—and learn from the best. I’ve been really blessed with opportunities to learn from other women in supply chain throughout my career.
At the same time, I’ve also had the opportunity to mentor other women who are up-and-coming and want to be in a management role. It’s exciting to be able to give back and use what my own mentors taught me to help others be successful in their careers.
Read the official press release to learn more about how Beth Cook received the 2023 Women in Supply Chain Award: “Resilinc’s Senior Director of Customer Success, Beth Cook, Selected for 2023 Women in Supply Chain Award.“