PLC Spotlight on Snehal Bhatt

Snehal Bhatt is the Chief Procurement Officer and Director of Risk Services at UC Irvine and has been in his position for nine months.

Where were you prior to this position? I was Vice President for Ogin, Inc., a startup wind turbine company in Boston, MA, responsible for setting up their Supply Chain and managing several wind project operations.

What made you get into Supply Chain Management as a career? Being an engineer by degree, my journey into Supply Chain Management (SCM) as a career is rather unique. Being heavily involved in value engineering at an automotive company in my early years gave me the opportunity to join the corporate strategic sourcing team at AlliedSignal as a product engineer working closely with our engineers, plant personnel, and suppliers to find ways to improve product costs and implement process efficiencies both at our plants and at suppliers. Since then, I have been fortunate to lead a robust career in procurement and supply chain management; including the opportunity to lead global teams to drive international sourcing activities. I enjoy understanding and formulating the supply chain strategy across the entire value chain, looking for ways to improve processes that ultimately lead to savings, both in time and money.

What do you like most about being a part of the Procurement team at your campus? Transitioning from private to public sector has been an eye opening experience, one that has its own share of challenges. UCI recently celebrated 50 years, and has embarked on a journey of growth. UCI has created a five year strategic plan to lay the groundwork for a “brilliant future.” We have tremendous opportunities to collaborate with our campus clients and establish strong partnerships to drive long term strategies that will help realize this vision of a “brilliant future.” It is a journey that I am excited to be a part of.

Describe a moment that made you proud to be a part of the PLC or is there an interesting story you can share about being on the PLC? We have a very interesting and dynamic mix of individuals on the PLC with varied years of experience at UC. In spite of our differences, we all seem to have one common goal; do what is in the best interest of UC. That is what drives our decisions and I have seen that happen on numerous occasions, and that makes me proud to be a part of this team. I know I ask many questions and challenge some of the decisions, but I hope the team takes it in the right spirit and appreciates my involvement.

What do you see as the biggest challenge for UC Procurement right now and what do we need to do collectively as a group to overcome this hurdle?  Balancing the needs of individual campuses, while leveraging the power of UC system, is not easy. The UC system is a force to be reckoned with. UC Procurement has “tremendous” potential and I believe we are on the right path.  To be effective, we will have to appreciate each campus’s needs and accommodate everyone’s interests while striving for the greater good. Change is eminent and embracing change will need to be a way of life.

What do you think is one of the misconceptions of the PLC? I think one misconception of the PLC is that we “always know the answer.” We are a group of continuous learners, and look to colleagues, clients, and our staff for the best solutions. The focus of PLC should always be to leverage and share best practices across the UC system.

Where do you get inspiration? I get inspired by leaders that have dedicated their lives for a higher purpose; in the service of humanity and mankind. What excites and motivates me is the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives and organizations that I have worked for. Being able to share my knowledge and experience with others is what excites me the most.

What do you like to do in your spare time? Go for walks, do meditation and yoga

If you were to travel anywhere in the world that you haven’t been, where would it be and why? I would like to explore the Galapagos Islands for its natural beauty and the unique variety of species it inhibits. I would also like to go “down under” and visit Australia and New Zealand.