During his 36 years in the auto industry worldwide in more than nine countries, Allan Rae has seen it all. He’s been through the boom times in Detroit, as well as the downturns. And he says the compass is pointing in the right direction.
"It’s all going north," says Rae, who will serve as the keynote speaker February 11 for the 2011 Global Supply Chain Management Initiative Spring Conference at Purdue University. "All indicators look positive, and business is coming back. Looking into the future, it’s probably the most exciting time to be in supply chain management."
Rae is currently Executive Director of Business Systems for American Axle and Manufacturing, a world leader in vehicular driveline and drive train systems. His keynote talk will focus on the competition and challenges facing the auto industry, both globally and in Detroit. He’ll also discuss the dynamics of going global, including developing a solid supply chain and ensuring that the quality of supplies is consistent, regardless of their countries of origin.
In 2010, Rae reported directly to David Dauch, the President and Chief Operating Officer of American Axle. Dauch’s father, Richard E. Dauch, is the co-founder of the company, and he still serves as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. The family has close ties with Purdue, providing funding for the Dauch Center for the Management of Manufacturing Enterprises, which is part of GSCMI at Purdue.
"Richard E. Dauch brought me to Chrysler back in 1982, and he is passionate in his belief that the customer drives the business," Rae says. "He’s one of the most dynamic people I’ve ever been around. He takes the time to know his employees, from top management to the people on the plant floor. He truly is a model CEO."
In addition to Rae’s keynote address, the GSCMI conference, titled "Unleashing the Global Supply Chain," will feature speakers from General Electric, Oshkosh Corp., and The Entrada Group, as well as academicians from several universities. There also will be an MBA student case competition.