BY TOBY GOOLEY, SENIOR EDITOR
THE DC VELOCITY Q&A
LAUREL JUNK, CHIEF SUPPLY CHAIN AND PROCUREment officer at Kaiser Permanente, presides over a sprawling, bicoastal supply chain. Founded in 1945, the healthcare
provider and not-for-profit healthcare plan serves nearly 12
million members across the country, encompassing 38 hospitals, more than 660 medical offices, and more than 200,000
For years, supply chain decisions, technology, and operations were managed regionally or locally, a situation that
continued as Kaiser Permanente acquired healthcare providers beyond its home state of California. Junk (pronounced
“Yunk”) saw a need for a first-class supply chain organization that would turn a highly decentralized operation
into a cohesive, centralized whole. The goal was not just to
reduce costs and improve efficiency, but also to help Kaiser
Permanente provide better care to patients. That challenging
and ambitious initiative, started almost five years ago, has
exceeded its promised deliverables by a wide margin.
In this brief excerpt from a longer, in-depth interview,
Toby Gooley, editor of Supply Chain Quarterly and senior
editor at DC VELOCITY, speaks with Junk about her
career path and about Kaiser Permanente’s supply
chain transformation. You can find the full interview
QHow did you initially get involved in supply chain management?
AI liked math and had a great math teacher in high school, and I’ve always liked technology, so I studied computer science as an undergrad at the University
of Minnesota. In my first job, I worked for Eli Lilly &
Eventually, I got a general manager position for an acquisi-
Kaiser Permanente’s Laurel Junk is leading the transformation of the healthcare giant’s supply
chain from a highly decentralized operation to a cohesive, centralized whole.
INTERVIEW WITH LAUREL JUNK
The great coordinator
This story first appeared in the Quarter 2/2017
edition of CSCMP’s Supply Chain Quarterly, a
journal of thought leadership for the supply chain
management profession and a sister publication to
AGiLE Business Media’s DC VELOCITY. Readers can
obtain a subscription by joining the Council of Supply
Chain Management Professionals (whose membership dues include The Quarterly’s subscription fee).
Subscriptions are also available to nonmembers for
$34.95 (digital) or $89 a year (print). For more
information, visit www.SupplyChainQuarterly.com.