Women in Supply Chain: The Expert in Anything Was Once a Beginner
Yuni Yapidin, APAC Commodity Manager, General Integrated Circuit (IC) for Converge, an Arrow Company, and one of Supply & Demand Chain Executive’s 2022 Women in Supply Chain Award winners, reminds us that everyone once started as a rookie and learns along the journey.
Supply & Demand Chain Executive: Tell me a little bit about yourself and your company.
Yuni Yapidin: Converge is an Arrow company, which deals with electronic components and technology products. We are one of the largest independent distributors with over 40 years of experience providing end-to-end supply chain solutions for electronic components, sourcing, and excess inventory management to our customers worldwide. I came from zero background in electronic components, but my first job after I graduated landed me in this industry. At Converge, I’m part of the commodity management team for general IC/passive components and this year will mark my 10th anniversary with the company. I’m leading the APAC purchasing team and have a team sitting in various regions (Singapore, China and Taiwan) to support all the sales teams across the globe. My team is also focusing on building the sourcing team as well.
Supply & Demand Chain Executive: What attributes do you think a successful supply chain leader has?
Yapidin: Understanding the needs of each of the customers versus the current market situation is definitely a major factor to success. We are working with many large customers who have a very complex supply chain process, so a mindset of flexibility is also a key contributor for us to think outside of the box, conquer challenges, and go beyond expectations. Last but not least, recognizing the talent present on your team and the ability to draw the best from your people. I always believe in teamwork because there is no way you can succeed doing it all by yourself.
Supply & Demand Chain Executive: Are there any challenges that you have faced in the industry? How did you overcome them?
Yapidin: The electronics industry has become essential, as we are moving toward digital transformation, and the supply chain is becoming more crucial to all industries in the world today. Technology is growing rapidly, and we need to keep up with the pace in order to support our customers as well to provide them with the solution. Price pressure is another challenge we have to deal with due to the shortage of raw materials and the pandemic, which requires us to remain competitive without neglecting the quality of the parts. In the current vulnerable market, we provide indispensable market insight to help customers anticipate what to expect as well as with cost optimization.
Supply & Demand Chain Executive: What is it like being a woman in a traditionally male-dominated industry?
Yapidin: To be honest, the world we are living today has changed so much, and is way better than it was. Women have been given the same opportunity as men, and many women prove themselves through their achievements and success in life. For me, I’m so grateful to be able to work together with so many amazing people in the company and given the equal opportunity. My mentors have been very supportive, encouraging me to accept the next level of challenges and always putting their trust in whatever I’m doing. They have been a great inspiration for who I am today.
Supply & Demand Chain Executive: Why do you think more women should be involved in the industry? How can we recruit and retain more talented women?
Yapidin: Many women that I know still have the perception that women belong at home, taking care of the children and managing the household. Some of them are struggling to catch up, to adapt to the working environment after taking a hiatus from work. As a woman myself, I strongly believe we are the important element to encouraging them by creating awareness, leading by example, or providing moral support.
Supply & Demand Chain Executive: What advice do you have for those first starting out in the industry?
Yapidin: The expert in anything was once a beginner. All of us start as a rookie and learn along with the journey. Don’t be afraid to take on more because experience doesn’t have a shortcut.
Supply & Demand Chain Executive: How does it feel to be named as one of Supply & Demand Chain Executive’s Top Women in Supply Chain?
Yapidin: It’s all teamwork’s effort and hard work to make things happen. I feel honored to be part of this amazing team. I hope this accolade will motivate all the women out there to never give up their dream because women, we can make the difference too.