Andrea Andrews, Executive Director Procurement and Supply Chain Management at SA Health, performs both a statewide strategic leadership and operational role, covering sourcing, contract management, commercial advice, warehousing, logistics and fleet management for the South Australian Department for Health and Wellbeing. Andrea also plays a key leadership role in the state’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Andrea has accumulated over 25 years of experience in private, public and non for profit sectors. Prior to joining SA Health, Andrea held a number of supply chain, procurement and finance roles both in Australia and the United Kingdom for a wide range of well-respected organisations such as Capgemini, Santos, Plexus, Benchmark Electronics, Motorola and IBM.
On how her experience prepared her for the role, Andrea says, “My background has largely been in supply chain. I originally entered the manufacturing industry in the early days when everything was about speed and keeping the factory running. The importance of efficiency and effectiveness were drummed into me in the early part of my career. Supply chain touches on a lot of areas, everything from inventory management to master scheduling, to demand planning, to procurement, and so I think that set me up well for the role I’m in now.”
In her current role, Andrea is responsible for the end-to-end supply chain, covering everything from product sourcing to contract and supplier relationship management. Covid-19 upended both supply and demand, bringing significant challenges and slowing plans for further digitisation. But Andrea and her team responded quickly by understanding the implications of disruptions such as a plastics shortage to PPE supply, working tightly with trusted partners and redesigning procurement and supply chain strategies.
“Supply chain resilience has been key. We've been fortunate through Covid-19 that we had such good relationships and quite nimble suppliers. Although still challenging, we were able to adapt quickly and continue the procurement mandate of ensuring the right service or product is at the right place and at the right time.”
When it comes to leadership style, Andrea prefers a “one of the team” approach, trusting, relying on and empowering her team. “I can be direct when needed to be, and I think during COVID, there were moments of that when we just had to get on with the job. But it's not my natural style. I much prefer to empower a team. We have some really talented individuals here. Why have such smart people around you and then not empower them to do their job? So I believe in supporting people through learning and development. I also believe in being approachable and have an open-door policy here because I think it's important to listen to everyone's ideas as well.”
“I want to see plans come to fruition and the success of the team. I get great satisfaction in seeing people succeed and progress in their careers, and I look forward to getting to see that.
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