Ace deep dive on supply chain

Lori Bossmann, chief supply chain officer, talks about big supply chain investment plans.
Ace 2022 Lori Bossmann
Lori Bossmann, chief supply chain officer at Ace Hardware on stage with long-time Ace truck driver John Burns.

Under the three planks of investment in: People, spaces and technology, Lori Bossmann, chief supply chain officer, also told a large crowd of Ace Hardware dealers at the Fall Conference, “Ace will invest $800 million in the supply chain over the next five years.”

The expansive Arie Crown theater in the McCormick Place convention center was the venue for her deep dive on supply chain plans, and a full house listened intently.

Regarding the people segment of the plan, she said, “for hiring, we will centralize recruiting; invest more in social media marketing; and develop more training.”

And for employees, she said, Ace will conduct “stay interviews” to find out what they’re doing right and what can be improved. Surprisingly, she said, these talks have so far revealed that money is not the number one concern voiced by employees, instead the number one issue is “in wanting more communications.”

Ace 2022 large stage image
Plans for supply chain investment in the coming years were discussed at the show.

As far as the spaces segment, that is another way of saying room for more inventory. Bossmann said the company is looking to open more Retail Support Centers (RSCs) in the U.S. to better supply dealers.

To that point, joining her on stage to receive recognition for his 37 years as an Ace truck driver was employee John Burns, who said he “drives 2,400 miles a week making his deliveries.”

He told of once delivering product the day after he got married. Also, a fun fact shared by Bossmann: Burns is just one of 670 total Ace truck drivers employed today.

The third segment of the future investment plan was technology. “We’ll be rolling out a new tech platform this fall; first to launch will be our Colorado Springs RSC,” said Bossmann.

She concluded her message with these facts: “There are 6,000 Ace employees who work just in the supply end. And the $800 million investment plan is the most invested in the supply chain ever for Ace.”