The digital revolution drives significant change, making itself a new norm of modern times; embracing these changes is an essential part of any forward-thinking business’s capabilities. Understanding the potential of the digital world, Pat Jerding applied his experience in anticipating significant growth opportunities to the opportunities presented following the merger of two industry titans.
As the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Univar Solutions, Pat has influenced an innovative and collaborative culture, mapping a framework to pave the company’s upward path of success and development as it navigates the digital re volution. Univar Solutions is a global leader in chemical and ingredient distribution with a vast supplier network and a world-class formulation with unparalleled logistics know-how. It is focused on climate action, resource use, release prevention, sustainable supply chain, and sustainability solutions.
The Rise Through Hard Work
Pat believes that every journey consists of unique routes that will quickly teach you that sometimes a step sideways is the best way to move forward. When he started his professional journey as an IT developer at Lyondell, he climbed up the ladder through multiple disciplines. He learned to expand his expertise within different subject areas, realizing the importance of having both depth and breadth of experience to be successful. But what really made a difference in his career growth was relationships. Developing and nurturing relationships with other leaders allowed Pat to land the role of Director of Technology at Nexeo Solutions before eventually taking reigns as CIO.
The Above-Board Approach
Pat has made his mark in the tech space niche by focusing on reliable operations and emphasizing the total cost of ownership without sacrificing performance. He was taught to do more with less during his early career, which he made central to establishing a framework to keep IT cost-efficient and reliable, while uplifting performance at Univar Solutions. Pat utilized his expertise in multiple systems to harness and unlock the value of the latest digital technologies to help serve customers, suppliers, and employees, thereby delivering shareholder value. Pat employs a straightforward approach to career growth in the tech space; learning to move up by knowing his strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. He surrounds himself with smart people who are cutting-edge in the tech space, combining it with his strength of implementation and reliability to impact the company and the overall team positively.
Enhancing Your Growth
Univar Solutions is on a mission to Streamline, Innovate, and Grow. It envisions redefining distribution as the most valued chemical and ingredients distributor globally. After 97 years of experience in the niche, Univar Solutions’ team serves as a global partner and committed ally to its customers and suppliers by supporting innovation, development, and distribution of a massive portfolio of ingredients and specialty chemicals. Touching upon e very industry, Univar Solutions leverages its expansive network, deep bench of experts and high le vel of service and technical expertise to help businesses in the industries it serves run smoothly, while also assisting them in recognizing and influencing meaningful growth opportunities.
A Safe & Sound Work Culture
Pat states that Univar Solutions values safety above all. Not only does it strictly adhere to all global laws and regulations that govern its operations, it embeds a safety mindset into the culture by sharing a safety tip at the start of e very meeting. In this way, its teams consistently work to prevent accidents before they occur.
Univar Solutions also values people, striving to create an empowered environment for its personnel, highlighting working together to achieve common goals. It also emphasizes accountability for meeting business partner commitments, which the company sees as a way to earn and maintain trust. Pat notes, “We understand that we are more than a distributor and are committed to a forward thinking and holistic sustainability journey focused on our purpose to help keep communities healthy, fed, clean and safe.”
Embracing the modern business world, Univar Solutions recently expanded its digital capabilities to create a more seamless and tailored experience for its customers. It launched enhanced e-commerce offerings that allow buyers to search, source, and self-serve on the products they need at the time that best suits them, thereby streamlining the customer’s ordering experience.
Additionally, Univar Solutions uniquely positioned itself to maximize the leverage of its content and data, centralizing business platforms, enabling optimal frontend experiences and back-office tools, and improving the product portfolio and supply chain footprint to leverage digital for growth.
Univar Solutions aims to help the chemical and ingredient distribution industry transform into a digital sector focused on the ease of conducting business for suppliers, customers, and employees. It intends to focus on the Customer Experience through in-stock and on- time deliveries and started addressing these goals throughout all aspects of the business to make itself available to the end-user through the front-end commerce space.
Pat mentions that by using data as a strategy, Univar Solutions empowers its Shared Services Organization to help improve processes focused on the customer experience and metrics that its customers value most, such as responsiveness, inventory availability, and on-time delivery. Pat notes, “Achieving these objectives all while managing costs means we can keep innovation moving forward as we continuously improve our model while delighting our customers.”
Pat advises budding entrepreneurs aspiring to venture into the tech space to prioritize having a logical mindset, coupled with a good deal of initiative. He says, “Hard work is rewarded, so use your drive to show others that you want to be there.” On a concluding note, Pat mentions that seeking advice from your senior leadership, and then following-through, will get you noticed.