Versatility might be Natalie Andrasko's middle name. "Natalie has transitioned between industries, companies, and roles in the past five years, and hits the ground running each time," says nominator Jami Bliss. She has worked for business units that make products as diverse as baby powder, narcotic medications, and popcorn. As a demand planner for Johnson & Johnson's baby products division, she improved forecasting accuracy metrics by 23 percent. At ConAgra Foods, one recent achievement was using a new e-sourcing tool to conduct a procurement for paper packaging that saved the company $17 million.
Andrasko's supply chain career began with a casual visit to a career fair at Penn State, where she majored in biological engineering. "I figured I'd go to the fair just to practice my networking skills," she says. "But I landed a co-op with Johnson & Johnson, as a supply planner."
She later joined Johnson & Johnson's Global Operations Leadership Development Program. Rotations through roles in laboratory work, acquisitions work, and demand planning showed her that her true interests lay with the supply chain.
"I want to continue to be challenged," says Andrasko. "Supply chain is a fabulous career because it's so dynamic. You touch so many different areas of the organization that your opportunities are endless."
In her last role in package sourcing, Andrasko faced the tough task of collecting information she needed from multiple ERP systems. That data was crucial, for example, in the sourcing event that saved $17 million. "Often, the systems didn't have the data we needed, so we had to go to the plants and internal business partners to hunt it down," she says.
That project—and all her work in packaging—brought Andrasko tremendous satisfaction. "When you finish a project that saves millions of dollars, it's rewarding to know that you've made such an impact on the business."
Andrasko recently switched to a new role focused on averting obsolescence. When ConAgra produces products for sale under retailers' private labels, she makes sure they get to market well before their sell-by dates. This takes a great deal of coordination with teams in demand forecasting, warehousing, distribution, and many other functions.
It's important to set boundaries between business and personal life, Andrasko says. "When I get home, I leave my phone in my purse and do my best to unplug from work for the day...at least until my two-year-old son goes to sleep."
HOMETOWN: Pennsville, New Jersey
ALMA MATER: The Pennsylvania State University
CURRENT POSITION: Senior Procurement Specialist, ConAgra Foods, St. Louis, Missouri
NOMINATED BY: Jami Bliss, Director of Procurement, Teva Pharmaceuticals
I facilitated a paper packaging sourcing event within the procurement group that netted large savings for the company. We hit our savings goals for the year as a result.
Yes. I feel like my work matters, and that gives me the confidence to continue developing as a leader.