Simpson is TI's vice president of worldwide procurement and logistics

By Georgeann H. Ikuma

Amid natural disasters and worldwide pandemics, the spotlight shines bright on supply chains to keep businesses booming and consumers content. 

Rob Simpson, vice president of worldwide procurement and logistics at semiconductor behemoth Texas Instruments Inc. (TI), knows firsthand that, for supply chains, the biggest challenge isn’t necessarily the size of the emergency—it’s the number and frequency of obstacles that threaten to impede progress in today’s global economy.

“It’s not just one challenge; it’s many, and they’re constantly moving and changing,” Simpson said. “Every day is something new, and we must adapt to an ever-changing world. The team is charged with the task of understanding the problem, finding the best way to resolve it, and then moving forward with lessons learned.”

During Simpson’s 35-year tenure at TI — first as an engineer and then in procurement — he managed his team through major events like the 9.1 earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku, Japan in 2011; COVID-19 outbreak in 2020; historic Texas storm in 2021; and now, geopolitics.

“It really comes down to how we manage our company, staying true to our values and ambitions. We focus on being innovative and results-oriented,” he said. “With each new problem, we’re able to apply what we learn, so that the next time we can do things quicker and win more market share.”

Overcoming obstacles

Simpson credits longevity and a collaborative culture of working toward a common goal for his company’s ability to succeed during chaotic times.

“We look at the long term rather than just the next quarter,” he said, “We have a mindset of operating the company as if we owned it personally so that we are invested in the decisions and outcomes.

“Our suppliers also play a pivotal role in positioning TI for a strong future,” he continued. “Those relationships have enabled TI to produce compelling products to meet the needs of our customers.”

Simpson believes these same collaborative goals can help minority- and women-owned companies as they struggle to survive and thrive in a continuing pandemic supply chain.

“It really boils down to how well suppliers connect with us and understand our business,” he said. “Right now, we have new back-to-back construction projects, and we want to leverage all the excellent work and transfer it into the next project, partnering with companies that have provided good services and products to us.

“We measure multiple metrics to make sure that we are continuously improving,” Simpson added. “When we are successful, our employees, customers, communities and shareholders all win.

“We look to strong, committed suppliers to help us continue to be a company that we are personally proud to be a part of and that we would want as our neighbor in the community,” he said.

To learn more about Texas Instruments Inc., visit TI.com.


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