Inbound Logistics | January 2024

READERPROFILE Jessica Yurgaitis: In the Right Place at the Right Time as told to Karen Kroll

JESSICA YURGAITIS is chief executive o cer with Industrial Supply Company, which distributes maintenance, repair, operational, and production (MROP) supplies to the construction, manufacturing, mining, government, and industrial markets from eight locations in Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and Wyoming. RESPONSIBILITIES: Overseeing business strategy, supplier programming, marketing, advertising, and e-commerce strategy. EXPERIENCE: President; senior vice president of product management and marketing; vice president of product management and marketing; vice president of sales and marketing; and vice president of procurement and marketing, all with Industrial Supply Company. EDUCATION: University of Utah, B.A., history and anthropology.

I went to college to be a high school history teacher. While I was applying to master’s programs, my dad asked me to come work for the family business. I did and after a few months, I knew I was in the right place. I never did get my master’s degree. Instead, I started in our warehouse. Over the past 25 years, I’ve done a little bit of everything in the company. It was when I took over procurement that I really learned the business—learning about supplier relationships and how to get products to our customers in a timely fashion. Today, I oversee the movement of products, ensuring we have the right inventory for our customers in each location. I also manage our 240 employees. I’m part of the fourth generation of this family business. Family businesses are complicated and challenging,

contribute and make a difference to our association and our industry. We’re in the process of moving two branch locations to better serve our customers. It’s hard enough to move one at a time, but moving two is very challenging, as we are trying not to shut down our customers at the same time. And about two years ago, we moved to a different Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. We jumped from a DOS- based green screen to the cloud, without a stop in the middle. That also was challenging. But technology is one of our strategic pillars.

especially for a woman. For 107 years, a man has run Industrial Supply. And in Utah, we don’t have a lot of women in professional roles. I wouldn’t call myself a feminist by any means, but we do have to work harder. There has been a lot of progress for women in the work world, but not enough. In my role as a board member for the Industrial Supply Association, I learned an awful lot by working with people from across the country who also run businesses. And it was good for my condence because I was able to

It’s challenging to move to new systems. For people who are having a hard time adopting, we train, train, train and make sure they’re comfortable asking questions.

28 Inbound Logistics • January 2024

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