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The SCMR Interview: Shawn Curran, Gap Inc.

For the past 31 years, Shawn Curran has worked in supply chain management at Gap Inc. He sat down with Supply Chain Management Review to discuss his career, the evolution of Gap Inc.'s supply chain and the future of the profession.

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This is an excerpt of the original article. It was written for the July-August 2019 edition of Supply Chain Management Review. The full article is available to current subscribers.

July-August 2019

If you’re a long-time reader of Supply Chain Management Review, you’re familiar with Larry Lapide’s “Insights” column. Typically, Larry is writing about the many facets of planning, but occasionally, he takes on a provocative topic. One year, he questioned whether it was necessary to be a Top 25 supply chain leader, especially if in your industry, good enough gets the job done.
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In July 2016, SCMR published “A portrait of the supply chain manager,” our look at today’s senior level supply chain manager. The article was based on research we conducted with APICS, now known as the Association for Supply Chain Management, or ASCM.

At the time, we wrote that today’s senior vice president of supply chain had often taken a circuitous route to the top, and in many cases, had not begun their career in what we think of as supply chain management. He, or she, was most likely at least 48 years old with a bachelor’s degree in something other than a formal supply chain program, had worked for three different companies, held at least four different positions before taking the helm and had likely worked for his/her current employer for at least 10 years.

We also described the senior leader as “a life-long learner who is engaged in advancing their career and the profession. Increasingly, the companies our respondents work for are looking to the supply chain to provide a competitive advantage and gain market share.”

While not entirely on point, that description sounds very much like the resume of Shawn Curran, who has spent 31 years working in supply chain management at Gap Inc., including four years at the helm of the retailer’s supply chain. Curran’s duties are expansive, including everything from sourcing, production, transportation, distribution, engineering and call center operations. More recently, store strategy and operations was added to his portfolio. He is an example of a supply chain executive who has elevated the profession—and Gap Inc.‘s supply chain—to the C-suite.

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Sorry, but your login has failed. Please recheck your login information and resubmit. If your subscription has expired, renew here.

From the July-August 2019 edition of Supply Chain Management Review.

July-August 2019

If you’re a long-time reader of Supply Chain Management Review, you’re familiar with Larry Lapide’s “Insights” column. Typically, Larry is writing about the many facets of planning, but occasionally, he…
Browse this issue archive.
Access your online digital edition.
Download a PDF file of the July-August 2019 issue.

In July 2016, SCMR published “A portrait of the supply chain manager,” our look at today's senior level supply chain manager. The article was based on research we conducted with APICS, now known as the Association for Supply Chain Management, or ASCM.

At the time, we wrote that today's senior vice president of supply chain had often taken a circuitous route to the top, and in many cases, had not begun their career in what we think of as supply chain management. He, or she, was most likely at least 48 years old with a bachelor's degree in something other than a formal supply chain program, had worked for three different companies, held at least four different positions before taking the helm and had likely worked for his/her current employer for at least 10 years.

We also described the senior leader as “a life-long learner who is engaged in advancing their career and the profession. Increasingly, the companies our respondents work for are looking to the supply chain to provide a competitive advantage and gain market share.”

While not entirely on point, that description sounds very much like the resume of Shawn Curran, who has spent 31 years working in supply chain management at Gap Inc., including four years at the helm of the retailer's supply chain. Curran's duties are expansive, including everything from sourcing, production, transportation, distribution, engineering and call center operations. More recently, store strategy and operations was added to his portfolio. He is an example of a supply chain executive who has elevated the profession—and Gap Inc.'s supply chain—to the C-suite.

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MR

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About the Author

Bob Trebilcock, MMH Executive Editor and SCMR contributor
Bob Trebilcock's Bio Photo

Bob Trebilcock is the editorial director for Modern Materials Handling and an editorial advisor to Supply Chain Management Review. He has covered materials handling, technology, logistics, and supply chain topics for nearly 40 years. He is a graduate of Bowling Green State University. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at 603-852-8976.

View Bob's author profile.

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