Ben Cook, Senior Manager of Global Trade Services for US-based home improvement retailer Home Depot, is to chair the US Chapter of the Institute’s Maritime Logistics Council.

The Global Institute of Logistics is pleased to announce that Ben Cook, Senior Manager of Global Trade Services for US-based home improvement retailer Home Depot and Executive Director of the Maritime Logistics Council is to chair the US Chapter of the Council. The Maritime Logistics Council is a major initiative launched by the Institute in April to develop joined-up thinking in maritime logistics. The Council promotes the development and enhancement of a true collaborating culture among the different maritime logistics stakeholders.

Ben Cook Senior Manager Home Depot

Cook believes that the global business arena is more dynamic today than at any point in history and it is imperative that multinational organizations embrace collaboration while developing strategic relationships with all entities in the value chain. Complexities in global sourcing and trade have resulted in longer lead times, increased variability and complex regulatory requirements, which combine to threaten a firm’s competitive position. By adopting a collaborative mindset with all supply chain partners, companies are positioned to ensure success in the new global economy.

The Global Institute of Logistics is unique in its approach as all nodes of the supply chain gather to discuss challenges as well as opportunities. With his company on board, there is a large importer; a port operator, outsource logistics companies and a value-added service provider. This mix helps the companies involved to see which initiatives overlap and are common to all, and which are unique to their particular element of the chain. Furthermore, the lack of standardized processes, data and documents amongst importers and service providers has led to challenges in cargo visibility.

The goal of the Americas Chapter is to work collaboratively to define critical data elements that would increase cargo visibility and to then work together to develop a global industry standard for supply chain data elements including purchase orders, packing lists and other critical documents.

The biggest benefit from being involved in the Institute, Mr Cook believes, is that it provides a platform for members to brainstorm benchmark and identify where they can add value to each other’s businesses, rather than feel they are working in a vacuum. They can not only share new ideas, but also validate existing business practices while setting new global standards. Cook feels it will become even more interesting as the group expands, perhaps attracting a major consumer products manufacturer, whose needs would be different from any existing member at the moment.

The inaugural meeting of the US Chapter of the Council will be held on Monday 27th November, 2006 in San Francisco.

Ben Cook is Senior Manager of Global Trade Services for US-based home improvement retailer Home Depot. He is responsible for developing global trade strategy, import/export compliance and oversight of 3rd party logistics service providers for the third largest importer in the United States.

Cook spent four years in the United States Army where he was a military intelligence officer and oversaw classified intelligence and security programs in addition to training foreign military forces on peacekeeping operations and nation building strategies. Upon completion of his tenure in the US Army, Cook joined a small e-commerce start up and oversaw marketing and brand development strategy. He later attended the University of Tennessee, earning an M.B.A. in supply chain management and marketing.

Upon completion of his advanced degree, he joined The Home Depot’s International Logistics organization (2003), first in an analytical role developing six sigma based supply chain processes and later moving into senior management overseeing holistic global trade operations and strategy.