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Columbia Business Monthly

#24 - NextGen Supply Chain Integrators

Nov 29, 2018 01:13PM ● By Kathleen Maris
Year Founded: 2010
Founder: Dee Kivett, Ph.D
Headquarters location: Greenville
Number of employees (start): 1
Number of employees (present): 2

NextGen Supply Chain Integrators provides a full range of services for total supply chain management excellence. Its capabilities span the range of traditional quality consulting in LEAN, Six Sigma, and ISO 9001, TS/IATF 16949, AS9100, ISO 13485, ISO 17025 as well as special certifications such as those for NADCAP, FAA, Medical Device and OEM-specific requirements. It provides support for strategic sourcing and logistics. It also performs outsourced procurement, distribution, kitting, and light assembly for aerospace, defense, and a wide variety of industrial clients. 

What are the keys to your company’s rapid growth?
Dee Kivett (CEO and president): Our recent growth is a result of a strong local economy in the Upstate leading to favorable financial conditions of the clients seeking my services. For the supply chain division, we have a unique pricing model that makes us very competitive for the service we provide. For the quality management division, recent changes to industry standards prompted a huge increase in firms seeking assistance for consulting guidance.

What are your firm’s biggest challenges and how do you plan to overcome them?  
In general, the quality management division is cyclical, with increases during the years when quality standards are revised. We have diversified to cover a wider range of quality standards and areas of focus for training and support to level this phenomenon year to year.

What trends and innovations do you see down the line for your industry?
The expectations for quality of our high-tech industries is higher than ever before in history. Aerospace, automotive, and medical device industries expect perfection, so the emphasis on strong quality management systems is high.  More and more, companies are seeking to work collaboratively with experts who have experience in their specific industries who can help them accomplish their goals.

What word of advice, if any, has shaped your career and who gave it or where did you read it?
Twenty years ago, as a new employee coming to work for a new business unit at GE, I had a boss tell me, “I need you to take work off my plate.” It was a very simple statement, and a bit vague for a first-day orientation. It was profound in that it spoke to what all organizations really want, and that is for employees to add value and make things run better, smoother, faster, and with higher quality, efficiency, and profit. Taking that philosophy to my customers — in that I focus on taking work off their plate — has helped me remember why I am there.  As a consultant, my job is to make their job easier.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started your professional career?
Success is not about making the most money; it is more rooted in quality of life. Find time to enjoy the things you are working so hard to achieve.
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