Robert Cassin

Relationship Builder

Man in high demand

A natural relationship-builder known for his integrity, Robert Cassin has earned the trust of colleagues and stakeholders throughout Ingredion. "This, combined with strong analytical and project management skills, has made him a highly sought-after talent in the company," says nominator Bhart Sarin.

Since joining the food ingredients company in early 2012, Cassin has delivered so much value that in 2014 he was chosen for a special six-month assignment in Shanghai. There, he helped Ingredion's procurement team in China implement best practices and tools developed at the company's headquarters.

"I was focused on procurement, but a huge part of my work was to establish relationships with the leadership team at that site," says Cassin. Those ties continue to pay off. "Now I can serve as a primary resource for anyone who's trying to get something done in China."

His work today

Back in Illinois, Cassin leads procurement for human resources services, and works on other strategic sourcing projects case-by-case. "Those projects fall into a variety of categories—logistics, chemicals, or packaging," he says. The projects focus mainly on the needs of Ingredion sites in South America and the Asia-Pacific region. "I'm involved in the entire sourcing process—from developing ideas for an opportunity all the way through contracting and execution," he says.

Pleasures of the job

An avid solver of problems and puzzles, Cassin brings that enthusiasm to all the projects he tackles. "The most attractive part of procurement is coming up with solutions, and being able to realize different opportunities," he says.

Major win

One of Cassin's biggest successes at Ingredion so far was a project that developed stronger packaging for transporting a key product from manufacturing plant to customer. "Working closely with our suppliers, who are experts in the field, we came across a new opportunity using high-performance extensible paper rather than natural kraft paper," he says. After performing extensive tests and some trials, the team—which Cassin led—decided to create packaging based on this material.

That choice produced several benefits. "We developed a solution that uses less transportation, requires less warehouse space for storage, and is more sustainable—using 33 percent less paper," Cassin says. The new packaging reduced Ingredion's impact on the environment while also saving money. "The project was so successful, it was a finalist for our internal CEO Awards program," Sarin adds.

Advice to millennials

"If you get the chance to work globally and to travel abroad, take it," Cassin says. "It's an incredible experience to see different cultures and learn how the business operates in other areas of the world. You'll expand your network as well."

And definitely consider a career in supply chain. "If you're passionate about learning and growing, gaining new experiences and skills that you can call upon in the future, this work offers an unbelievable opportunity," he says.

Stats

AGE: 25

HOMETOWN: Chicago, Illinois

ALMA MATER: Purdue University

CURRENT POSITION: Specialist, Global Procurement, Ingredion, Westchester, Illinois

NOMINATED BY: Bhart Sarin, Global Procurement, Business Services Team, Ingredion

In His Own Words

Does your job have a significant impact on your company?

Yes. My role allows me to deliver savings that help drive profits for my organization.

If you could start over, would you still choose this profession?

Yes, my profession has given me the opportunity to live and work all over the world. I find my work extremely rewarding.

30 Under 30 Program Partners

Institute for Supply Management® (ISM) is the first supply management institute in the world. Founded in 1915, ISM's mission is to enhance the value and performance of procurement and supply chain management practitioners and their organizations worldwide. By executing and extending its mission through education, research, standards of excellence and information dissemination—including the renowned monthly ISM Report On Business®—ISM maintains a strong global influence among individuals and organizations.

ThomasNet provides solutions that make it easier for buyers and engineers to partner with the right industrial suppliers. For nearly a century the Company’s “big green books”—the Thomas Register—were considered indispensable to B2B buyers and manufacturers alike. Today, ThomasNet offers tools to facilitate every step of the buying process. These include industry’s leading supplier discovery platform, free online at ThomasNet.com.

For the most complete, up-to-date supply chain content - including case histories, research, and decision support—subscribe to Inbound Logistics. It’s free! Available in print, digital, and tablet editions.