Welcome to Business Innovators Magazine…Please introduce yourself and a brief thumbnail sketch of your background.
AY: Hello, my name is Alan “AL” Yasalonis. I drove forklifts at 15 before I drove a car and I’ve been a supply chain guy ever since. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to hold some fantastic managerial and executive positions. I’ve been in key roles across all of the operational functions of procurement, manufacturing, warehousing, transportation, and business development all driven by the customer service and financial metrics. I suppose that also makes me a detailed numbers guy.
It’s been my privilege to serve many industries such as Food, Consumer Products, Retail, Metal Packaging, Chemicals, and Pharmaceuticals/Biologics for businesses ranging from entrepreneurial start-ups to $35B global entities. In the process, I’ve experienced numerous acquisition/divestitures, exponential sales growth to launch national brands and holistic business transformations all with an eye towards scalability and sustainability. How can I help you?
BI: What would you say is the area in business that you are most passionate about and why?
AY: Supply chains are living, breathing central nervous systems of any company to buy, make, move, and sell whatever you need to reach consumers. Through optimization of the supply chain, the potential savings dollars and extraordinary service you envision are often “already there” in your foundational infrastructure. You only need to know where to look to further spark success, and every company is different.
BI: How are you different than your competitors?
AY: The depth and breadth of my industry and functional expertise have taught me where to look to spark success. I start by interviewing the key stakeholders to gather their input in a penalty-free, one-on-one forum. In one example, by summarizing the findings for the CEO, they were able to avoid millions in capital expenditures had we not surveyed the collaborative, cross-functional group. The answers were “already there.”
BI: Please tell me about any recent business accomplishments that you are most proud of and why?
AY: As the head of global supply planning at an international Biologics company, my team was able to apply our commercial forecasts across the 10-year horizon and determine we needed much more capacity to produce the life-saving medications in the plan. Our analyses led to board approval for a new ~$1B manufacturing site to satisfy the anticipated demand. One of those recently approved critical medications would have possibly saved or at least extended my father’s life from the disease that took him over a decade ago. This project was obviously very important to me as the medication will now save countless others.
BI: What Leadership qualities in Leaders do you most admire and why?
AY: Leaders lead by example. As a result, leaders are people that others like to follow. My father and his father before him taught me about dedication, determination, dependability, decisiveness, innovation, respect, self-starting, and honesty. Consistent application of these traits will likely lead to individual success and promotion as they are observed by others. In a simple phrase, these qualities add up to the work ethic in leaders that I admire.
BI: What has been a key element of your success?
AY: Over my career, I’ve learned to listen and listen to learn. I’ve been fortunate to have several great mentors who’ve converted their experiences into true wisdom. By sharing their experiences and taking them to heart, I’ve been able to not only learn from my mistakes but from those wiser than me. Leaders give leadership away.
BI: What are some of the business projects that you are currently working on that you are excited about and why?
AY: I’m working closely with entrepreneurs who have great products and just need a bit more thought leadership to move them to the next level. It’s exciting to take a brand that you believe in and grow it, so others believe as well. As they say, if you love what you’re doing, you never work a day in your life.
BI: What are 1 or 2 things you would like to say to a prospective client who stumbles across this interview?
AY: As I mentioned earlier, how can I help? I love the unique puzzle of opportunity that each company’s supply chain presents and have proven that I can help sort out the next course of action to either drive savings or revenues.Has your vision become a reality? Do you have a collaborative culture to facilitate your progress toward your top and bottom line objectives?
BI: To wrap this up, what are you most excited about in the upcoming months in your business?
AI: Personally, I’m most excited about a book to which I’m contributing that will be out before this summer. Its working title is “The Will to Succeed – 10 Inspirational Principles for Success in Business.” My chapter focuses on work ethics that span generations based on my own family experience.
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