Taking the Wheel of GM’s Service Parts

Reader Profile

Lisa Veneziano is executive director, global aftersales supply chain, warehousing and logistics, General Motors Customer Care and Aftersales.

Responsibilities: Leading an integrated, global team responsible for supply chain planning, warehousing, packaging, distributing, and logistics for automotive replacement parts and accessories heading to GM vehicle owners across the globe. The organization covers almost 100 facilities in 22 countries.

Experience: Within GM, positions in industrial engineering, processing and parts distribution center operations, logistics, global supply chain, ACDelco sales, and global lean warehousing operations for Customer Care and Aftersales.

In August 2019, we opened a 1.1-million-square-foot ACDelco and GM Genuine Parts processing center in Burton, Michigan, GM’s largest single investment in a warehousing and logistics facility in the United States in nearly 40 years. The facility handles parts packaging, kitting, and distribution, both domestically and globally, for 120 million service parts annually.

One of my most significant accomplishments was overseeing and empowering my team to bring this to fruition. We had an aggressive timeline, so project management was key, especially with 70 days of weather delays. We had a plan, but also had to be flexible and modify the execution details multiple times to meet the launch timing.

Day to day, I oversee a global organization within GM. We’ve done a lot of work to identify best practices from around the world and leverage them across all our operations to improve everyone’s performance, working hard to overcome a "North American" mentality.

One example is the way we organize our outbound work into waves for picking. Because we don’t have the same systems in every location, we initially didn’t think we could use the same processes everywhere. However, we took the batching concept and used desktop tools to batch work in similar ways across locations, even without the same systems. As a result, we’re able to schedule work so customers receive their materials within more consistent time frames.

In college, I knew I wanted to earn a technical degree. However, I wasn’t interested in mechanical or electrical engineering, and at the time, my school didn’t offer a supply chain degree. I discovered industrial engineering, which ended up being a great fit.

When I moved into leadership positions within Customer Care and Aftersales, the cross-functional positions I held became key to gaining a broader knowledge of the business. These experiences have helped me succeed in my current role.

GM does a lot to attract and develop women for supply chain and logistics roles. This is important since warehousing operations positions are not as flexible as office jobs. The advice I give women, regardless of their role, is not to feel guilty about not doing everything. Identify your priorities and put them on your calendar. These are just as important as your professional priorities.

Lisa Veneziano Answers the Big Questions

1. If you received $1 million to start a new business or philanthropic venture, what would you do?

I would contribute to efforts against domestic violence. About five years ago, my area within GM started supporting a safe house for victims of domestic violence. We’ve since expanded to multiple domestic violence centers close to our U.S. warehouses. The need is there, but people don’t like to openly talk about it.

2. Any role models or people you particularly admire?

Mary Barra, chair and chief executive officer of GM. Her commitment to integrity is paramount. When we went through the ignition switch recall, for example, Mary stood front and center, and was a great role model for the company and industry around the priority of integrity and product safety.

3. If you could represent the United States in the Olympics, what would you do?

Marathon running. I’ve completed 16 Boston Marathons and have come within 38 seconds of going to the Olympic marathon trials. While I love the competitive aspect of running, I also often come up with creative ways to handle various challenges while on longer runs.

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