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Meet Carol Ptak, Co-Founder and Partner at the Demand Driven Institute. The Demand Driven Institute (DDI) is dedicated to proliferating consistent demand driven methods approaches through education, training and certification. The Demand Driven Institute has a global presence through its partnership with the International Supply Chain Education Alliance (ISCEA) and its global network of affiliates. DDI’s Certified Demand Driven Planner (CDDP) Program is quickly becoming the world standard for the emerging demand driven methodology in planning, scheduling and execution. The Demand Driven Institute (DDI) was founded in 2011 by Carol Ptak and Chad Smith, co-authors of Orlicky’s Material Requirements Planning, Third Revised Edition.

Carol, who just so happens to have a prize named after her (yes, this is that Ptak of the International Supply Chain Education Alliance (ISCEA) Ptak Prize for Supply Chain Excellence awarded each year to the one company that exemplifies transformative change which has generated sustainable bottom line return), is dedicated to helping connect supply chains and improve their performance.  That is when she herself is not totally disconnected and off the grid at home!

We love Carol and thought you should get to know her too.  Remember! Engaging with members will make your global network a little more connected.

And of course, you should check out her featured blogs.  She writes some great stuff for you to read!


Tell us about yourself. What do you do in supply chain? 

I am currently a partner with Demand Driven Institute.  We provide education and thought leadership in the area of Demand Driven Supply Chain through our development of DDMRP and the Demand Driven Adaptive System Schema. 

How did you get interested in supply chain as a career? 

My first job out of college was a position in a biological manufacturing company.  I discovered that the manufacturing and supply chain area was far more interesting to me and much more exciting than my undergrad in Biology.  I got involved with APICS early in my career and had the ability to connect with the best thinkers of the time.  That inspired me to continue learning and pushing the envelope the rest of my life.

What is your best piece of career advice? 

Three are three things you must learn to do to be successful.  1 – Think critically.  2- Communicate effectively in written and verbal forms.  3 – be able to work easily as well as part of a team or by yourself.   When you become successful – remember to enjoy it.

What hobbies do you pursue in your leisure time? 

My husband and I own a cattle ranch in the mountains of Eastern Arizona and currently live totally off the grid.  We are the only breeder of purebred registered Scottish Highland in Arizona.  We also have horses and hunting dogs.

What topics are you most excited about discussing with other members? 

Of course how to become demand driven but also about forecasting and when and where it is relevant and when and where it is destructive.  Formal planning.  How metrics can drive behavior – for good or destruction.    

What supply chain trend of evolution are you anticipating will change your business? 

The biggest trend actually started in the late 1990’s when the world flipped upside down with respect to supply chain.  Before that there was more demand than supply.  Now there is more supply than demand.  Add to that the move to outsource in search of lower cost and learning how to deal with that volatility, variability and uncertainty is the key for any business success in this new world.  

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