Since joining Johnson & Johnson (J&J) as a co-op in 2010, and a fulltime employee in 2011, Erica Canlas has wielded an extensive shopping list. Check in with her at different times, and you'd have found her cultivating value for the company across everything from advertising to shrink wrap.
Today, Canlas still handles an impressively complex portfolio, supporting procurement of professional services (consulting and temporary labor), auto fleets for sales reps, travel, meetings, event planning, and point-of sale retail displays. She keeps making an impact. "In only four years at J&J, she has amassed an incredible list of accomplishments in procurement, and has earned the respect of leaders in marketing, logistics, sales, and finance," says nominator Eliza Gonzalez.
One of the top challenges Canlas faces in her job is overcoming resistance to change. "People get used to the way they've been doing things, or they're used to working with an existing supplier," she says. When she spots a chance to source an excellent product or service better, faster, or at a more competitive price, it can be hard to influence people at multiple levels, inside and outside the company, to embrace that change.
That's where her experience with many different categories comes in handy. "It is rewarding to think about what I've learned in one role, and share those lessons with stakeholders in a different category," she says.
Shrink wrap offers a great example of Canlas's sourcing prowess. As a sourcing analyst for logistics, Canlas pored over every line in the operating budget of the third-party logistics (3PL) companies that served J&J, looking for opportunities to add value. "One area that I tackled was shipping supplies," she says.
In particular, one distribution center in California was buying shrink wrap from a supplier that had a good track record, and met the company's supplier diversity goals. But Canlas believed that J&J could buy the product for less. So she sat down with the supplier, the 3PL, and stakeholders within Johnson & Johnson to talk about how the material worked, its connection to raw goods, how much the company used, and what future demand might be. "We also did benchmarking, looking at pricing for comparable material from other suppliers," she says. Those negotiations yielded major savings, while preserving the partnership with a strong supplier.
While she works hard, Canlas also makes sure to devote time to family and friends. She also keeps active. "I exercise regularly, and I enjoy hiking and other outdoor activities," she says. "I also enjoy cooking and experimenting with new recipes." On top of all that, she's working toward an MBA at Rider University.
HOMETOWN: New Milford, New Jersey
ALMA MATER: Rutgers University, undergraduate; Rider University, MBA
CURRENT POSITION: Sourcing Lead, Commercial and Business Services Procurement, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Company, Skillman, New Jersey
NOMINATED BY: Eliza Gonzalez, Director, Global Procurement and Talent Management, Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies
I led efforts to deliver savings for distribution center shipping supplies while maintaining operational and quality requirements. I engaged the supplier, 3PL, and business stakeholders to benchmark pricing for comparable materials from suppliers, and yielded major savings while maintaining the incumbent supplier relationship.