"Passionate. Establishes strong relationships. Perseverance."
These are just a few qualities used to describe Supply Chain’s Wendy Whalen, Union Pacific’s assistant vice president-Procurement and Supplier Performance.
In recognition, Whalen has been named one of Supply & Demand Chain Executive’s 2022 Women in Supply Chain award winners. The award honors women supply chain leaders and executives whose accomplishments, mentorship and examples set a foundation for women in all levels of a company’s supply chain network.
As the global supply chain experiences unprecedented disruptions, Whalen, a 24-year Union Pacific employee, has risen to the challenge. Whalen leads the team and strategy responsible for the development, deployment and sustainability of Union Pacific’s strategic sourcing program. Union Pacific annually spends billions of dollars across its network of almost 5,000 suppliers, which support the railroad’s operations with engineering services, construction materials and more across 23 states.
Whalen and her team are actively navigating rising costs by finding creative solutions to problems never before encountered. By working with internal partners, identifying alternative suppliers and reviewing strategic sourcing wave processes, the team has generated more than $400 million of savings since 2019.
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Another highlight? Helping grow Union Pacific’s Supplier Diversity program, established 40 years ago. Today, Union Pacific purchases more than $522 million in goods and services from more than 285 diverse suppliers in 37 states. Union Pacific’s spending with diverse suppliers grew 23% from 2020 to 2021 and has more than doubled since 2017.