Dr. Laura Birou has over 38 years of experience in the field of Supply Chain Management. She is a results-focused leader with proven success improving organizations through growth in profitability, SCM competency development, continuous process improvement, strategic planning and sourcing, and the successful deployment of strategic and tactical initiatives. Strong achievement record realized by utilizing creative problem solving, teamwork, and the ability to engage and collaborate at all levels of an organization.
She is known for innovative strategic approaches to problem-solving in the areas of Strategy, Purchasing, Operations and Supply Chain Management. A wide variety of industry experience with engagements in the following industries: Aerospace, Automotive, Consumer Products, Defense, Energy Generation, Entertainment, Food Processing, Financial Services, Governmental Agencies, Bio-Medical and Healthcare, Humanitarian Non-Profits, Industrial Manufacturing, Mining, Pharmaceutical, Retail, Specialty Chemicals, and Telecommunications. Assignments have run the gamut from strategic planning, execution and change management to, tactical cost cutting, turnaround strategies and crisis management. Working relationships are based on professional expertise, professionalism, integrity, collaboration and leadership have resulted in client relationships that span decades.
Dr. Birou has worked in the purchasing and supply chain management field since 1983, beginning her career with American Hospital Supply and Hewlett-Packard. She has been utilized by her previous employers as a catalyst for strategic change implementing a JIT purchasing system, conducting a total quality management (TQM) analysis of the purchasing function, developing a coordinated inbound freight program and a supplier communications program, involvement with new product development, and the developing inventory reduction and cost reduction programs. A highly sought-after public speaker and educator she has over a 30 year career in higher education and SCM Talent Development. Laura is known for innovative educational approaches in the areas of Purchasing, Operations, Supply Chain Management, Knowledge Management, Diversity, International Business, Strategy and Ethics.
Dr. Birou is a graduate of Michigan State University with a B.A. in Marketing, an M.B.A. in Purchasing and Transportation Management, and a Ph.D. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Supply Chain Management and Strategic Planning. Members of the purchasing community have bestowed numerous honors on Dr. Birou including: The Doctoral Dissertation Award, The International Swedish Scholarship, The John Hoagland Scholarship, District IV Professional Development Person of the Year 1990, and the Bob Angel Award 1992.
She has publications appearing in the Journal of Operations Management, International Journal of Purchasing and Materials Management, the International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, and Production and Inventory Management Journal.