TORONTO, Ont. — Matt Mucciacito, vice president, transportation, at Canadian Tire Corporation, was presented with the Distribution Executive of the Year Award at the Canadian Industrial Transportation Association’s annual conference, Transpo 2006, this week.
Mucciacito is responsible for one of the largest private transportation fleets in Canada and manages freight from all over North America as well as 26 different countries around the world. Canadian Tire is one of the largest importers through the Port of Vancouver.
“His success over the past 35 years is rooted in his understanding that supply chain is not about one company. It’s about how a number of companies must work together to get product from a manufacturer to a customer. Just as important, his success is also rooted in understanding that supply chain success is not just about systems and processes, but about people and relationships,” said Canadian Transportation & Logistics editorial director Lou Smyrlis in presenting the award to Mucciacito at the CITA gala dinner.
Smyrlis said the many transportation challenges of today require leadership in the front ranks.
“We need supply chain managers whose accomplishments serve as models of new practices that can benefit the entire industry. Supply chain managers whose willingness to innovate serves as an example of the way things could be,” Smyrlis said, pointing out Mucciacito’s 35-year logistics career has not only been memorable but would serve as a example for many to come.
Canadian Tire has been on an accelerating trend toward global sourcing with more than 30% of its cube emanating from outside North America. Mucciacito has been proficient in leading the charge in international freight movement. There has been a concerted effort over the last decade to gain more visibility throughout Canadian Tire’s supply chain. In fact the company has just completed a major install of its Customer Link Program, allowing multi-mode capability at distribution centres. This technology allowed for crossdock, flow-through, central storage and direct ship. The operations planning centre has the capability to plan the Canadian Tire supply chain network from manufacturer to store shelf.
Over the years Mucciacito has introduced concepts that have become common transportation practice, such as West Coast tranloading, double stacked domestic intermodal boxes and direct to store shipping.
His push for the 53-foot intermodal box in Canada greatly increased cubic capacity over the 40-foot intermodal boxes that international cargo traditionally arrived in. By taking product from the 40-foot marine boxes in Vancouver and putting it in the 53-foot boxes, Canadian Tire basically eliminates a third of its rail moves from Vancouver to Eastern Canada, and turns the empty boxes back to the ocean carrier probably a month earlier than before.
The introduction of the 53-foot box proved so successful in fact that Canadian Tire’s railcar provider, TTX, asked Mucciacito to demonstrate its use to a wider audience of rail companies in North America.
“But successful supply chains require more than systems and processes. They require relationships with suppliers and employees. They require a team approach to problem solving,” Smyrlis pointed out, adding that Mucciacito has proven particularly adept at working with suppliers and his own staff.
For example, Mucciacito worked with Consolidated FastFrate to ensure both better service for Canadian Tire and improved productivity for the carrier. He arranged for security at every store so FastFrate could do delivery runs overnight and provide the stores with product in their receiving area the next day. Result: Stores can order less and more frequently, store level inventory is reduced, and FastFrate gets better use of its trucks.
“As the CEO of FastFrate told us: .In my view, these are the types of things that makes one the distribution executive of the year,” Smyrlis said.
Mucciacito’s team approach starts with his dealings within Canadian Tire.
“He took our managing editor Julia Kuzeljevich on a tour of his Brampton distribution centre. It was hard to miss how often he stopped to talk with employees in the various divisions. As Julia told me afterwards, he showed nothing less than genuine interest in what and how his people are doing,” Smyrlis said.
Mucciacito joined Canadian Tire back in 1971. He has been the executive in charge of transportation since 1982. After 35 years he’s missed all of two days over that time span, by the way he is looking to wind down his career.
In his own words: “The thing that I’ve enjoyed about it all is we’re all on the same bus, on the same journey. And if you’re headed down the right path, it’s easier to get there.”
Words worth remembering.
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