Sourcing Star Interview: William Crane

Posted: 09/17/2019 - 23:13
Sourcing Star Interview: William Crane

This October, the Future of Sourcing Awards will celebrate individuals newer to the industry whose thought leadership and expertise have shown promise that is likely to have a lasting impact on the industry. Below, read about Sourcing Star Finalist William Crane. William Crane is the CEO of IndustryStar and a trusted advisor in supply chain with demonstrated results starting, launching and enhancing procurement, logistics, supplier quality and manufacturing organizations.

How did you get into this field – was it purposeful or by accident?

I have always been obsessed with new technologies so when I was exploring what major to pursue during my early studies I jumped at the chance to focus on sourcing as a perfect blend of technical and commercial challenges to solve.  

In what ways do you feel your professional contributions have influenced or transformed the industry? (This could be a new approach or methodology, the application of an existing technology in a completely new way, significant thought leadership or even a career of inspiring others.)

IndustryStar’s on-demand supply chain managed services and cloud software,  Supply Chain as a Service, has enabled many sourcing professionals to save money while freeing up their time to focus on the next big thing. The disruptive technologies that we have partnered with leaders to take from idea to production- from sustainable electric autonomous vehicles, to lifesaving medical devices, to timesaving consumer products has made an impact on people’s lives and the planet which has been greatly rewarding.  

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges facing the industry today and what should be done to solve them?

Many industries are undergoing disruptive market shifts. Mobility for example is redefining the 100 year old definition of what a vehicle we own it? rent it? New technologies are playing a huge part in this as startups and blue blood OEMs race to bring electric and autonomous vehicles to market. Further, new business models are launching seemingly daily leveraging last mile delivery robots to deliver our online packages. Our success as sourcing professionals in this new dynamic is becoming less dependent on what happens inside our four walls and more dependent on the ecosystem surrounding our business. We need to change and change fast.  
We need to take the next leap in advancing the profession’s value add toward building and fostering an ecosystem of strategic supply partners. In order to free up our valuable time to accomplish this, we need to outsource the tactical day-to-day blocking and tackling of select direct spend categories to trusted managed services firms. Further, we need to lean into bleeding edge software technologies from cloud, to blockchain to artificial intelligence to increase our productivity. Our personal, professions and company’s success depend on our ability to reinvent ourselves faster than the industries we currently support so that we can lead into the future.  

Looking at the whole of your career, what do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Founding and growing IndustryStar. Our team has accomplished a lot in a short period but are just getting started and couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds.  

What three words do you feel your colleagues and peers would use to describe you?

Entrepreneur, Innovator, Doer  

What advice do you have for those who are new to the profession or considering entering the industry?

Pursue experiences that you love not money, titles or what others think you should be doing. The funny thing is… chasing work that is impactful and rewarding will best enable you to maximize your reward, no matter how you define it.  

About The Author

William Crane's picture

William Crane is the CEO of IndustryStar, an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based supply chain software and services technology company that empowers leaders with greater supply chain agility and company profitability. William is a trusted advisor in supply chain with demonstrated results starting, launching and enhancing procurement, supplier quality, materials, logistics and manufacturing organizations.

His work has appeared frequently in the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), Institute for Supply Management (ISM), Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) and Sourcing Industry Group (SIG), among others. William’s passion for bringing technologies to market that have a positive impact on the world can be found via his blog Supply Chain for Tomorrow’s Technology.

William is also Host of the Supply Chain Innovation podcast where he interviews top industry change-makers to uncover strategies, tactics, and tools to expedite, optimize, and de-risk supply chain operations.