Operational Excellence- Smith Uses Technology for His Supply Chain

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Some people call it fate or luck. Others may consider it God’s providence. Regardless, it is interesting to me to see how our lives and careers are often shaped by unforeseen twists and turns. Ed Smith, Chief Supply Chain and Contracts Management Officer for the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), has been actively involved in the field of supply chain management in healthcare for over 27 years. Smith has become a nationally recognized leader in his field, but his career path would certainly have been hard to predict.

Ed was a standout football player in high school. His plan was to go off to college on a football scholarship. However, he sustained a serious injury to his shoulder his senior year which ended his football career. With his ability to get a scholarship gone, Ed took a job out of high school working on a river barge. Over the course of three years, he had worked his way up to being a second mate and saved up enough money to pay for college. However, before he started, his father’s house burned down and it was underinsured. Ed used his college savings to help his father rebuild his house. Since he no longer had his savings, Ed went on to school and took a job as a shipping clerk at a local hospital to pay for school. As they say, “the rest is history.” From his first job as a minimum wage shipping clerk, Ed has gone on to become an industry thought leader in supply chain management.

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