Holland has more than 35 years of experience in supply-chain management, diversity and other initiatives

By Genny Hom-Franzen


Richard C. Holland has an extensive resume. He is president of Holland Advisors LLC, a general management consulting firm based in Plano, Texas. Holland has more than 35 years of experience in supply-chain management, diversity, technology strategy, human-resource management and business transformation initiatives. 


Holland has an impressive client list that includes PepsiCo, American Express and Atlanta Gas Light Resources (part of Southern Company). His elevator pitch is simple. Primarily, his company not only can tailor its recommendations to clients, but also can do so at a lower cost than many larger firms.


“Most importantly, my team would be with you through implementation, working side by side with your management to help achieve the sustainable results you desire … and your people will have new tools and techniques that will serve them in their careers moving forward,” he said.


In addition to his role as leader of Holland Advisors, he was also a senior manager and co-leader of the diversity practice at The Boston Consulting Group Inc., managing director at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., vice president at The Concours Group Inc., partner at Computer Sciences Corp. and several management positions at Frito-Lay Inc.


He launched Holland Advisors in 1999 and has seen a lot of changes during his career.  Much of his work at that time centered on the intersection of people, processes and technology, with an emphasis on the people component.


“Processes and technology are the tools, but people are the real key to lasting change and sustainable results in projects we undertake,” Holland said. “There is a real emphasis on ensuring the people are fully incorporated into the changes that are to be implemented.” 

When he started his firm, the focus of supply- chain management was on purchasing, logistics and manufacturing. “Now, a supplier’s sources are included in an all-encompassing view of the supply chain that also includes the customers and how they use the products/services provided,” Holland said. “Today, there is also a major emphasis on supplier diversity as part of a holistic and integrated supply chain strategy.”

Looking back on his distinguished career, Holland has several words of wisdom that he would pass along to his younger self:


Cast a wide net – Be open to as many new ideas as possible. Daily pressures often will not support a thorough assessment of all the options. However, take a few moments to collect your thoughts and get input from as diverse a group as time will allow; consider its input very thoughtfully. Often, there are great ideas you can use to make your idea even better.


Listen – As a believer in Stephen Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People,” I would tell a young Rich Holland: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Take the time to listen. Don’t just pass what you think you heard through your filter but truly listen the other person’s real concerns.


Stay focused – Changing the world takes time. Stay true to your principles — even when you think no one cares or hears you. If you have strong principles and good analytical skills, you can — with time — become persuasive. To effect change, you must be persuasive.


As for corporations that have not yet embraced today’s new focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, Holland has closing thoughts as well. Simply put, he said, “Get started!”


“My advice for companies today is to concentrate on the technology and sustainability aspects of your supply chain,” he said. “I am truly impressed by the leading practitioners of sustainability in supply-chain management, along with the potential for emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence. Today’s practitioners have a chance to create profit for their companies and improve conditions in the communities they serve as well as on the planet. Significant challenges in managing tradeoffs exist, but for those entities that are successful in creating unique and innovative solutions, the rewards will be there.” 


Richard C. Holland Holland Advisors LLC supply-chain management diversity technology strategy human-resource management business transformation initiatives The Boston Consulting Group Inc. Deutsche Bank Securities Inc The Concours Group Inc. Computer Sciences Corp. Frito-Lay Inc

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