The finalists for WashingtonExec’s Pinnacle Awards were announced Oct. 11, and we’ll be highlighting some of them until the event takes place live, in-person Nov. 30.
Next is Supply Chain Executive of the Year (Public Company) finalist Chris Hetman, who’s vice president of consulting services at CGI Federal. Here, he talks career inflection points, key achievements, success in his current role and more.
What key achievements did you have in 2021/2022?
Mission enablement and the delivery of a proven solution that supports our soldiers. To be able to demonstrate to the Marines and USTRANSCOM that CGI’s Total Asset Visibility platform is a mature, dependable and consistently reliable solution even within the denied, degraded and intermitted latency work environments. Being able to effectively capture detailed data events that even when disconnected from the internet allows our military to continue to offer critical logistics support without significant delays.
Some key achievements that I have overseen the past year: In 2021, our TAV implementations achieved 100% accuracy in tracking more than $9.5 billion worth of RFID-tagged items to destinations around the world. Asset tracking, especially for an enormous operation like the U.S. military, is difficult, and our TAV capability is able to ease this enormous burden.
Then, in January, CGI won a 4-year task order to globally-track thousands upon thousands of military assets, from microchips to aircraft, for one of DOD’s largest service branches. Under the contract, CGI Federal will expand its TAV capability deployment from three currently active military bases to eight, digitally tagging equipment via automated identification technology and Internet of Things sensors to allow for a streamlined inventory management coming from and into these bases.
What has made you successful in your current role?
As a trusted advisor to my DOD clients, I attribute part of my success to my own military experience. Having served as a Marine information technologist when Marines were programmers, DBA’s and network engineers during my time in service, I was always working side-by-side with logisticians.
I have been a witness to thousands of assets that are on the move at any given time, on land, in the air and at sea. These assets encompass a wide range, from the simplest office equipment to sophisticated weaponry, aircraft and information systems. It’s imperative to ensure our military personnel have the equipment and supplies they need. Difficulty locating assets in a warehouse or having no internet connection from theaters of operation can easily translate to soldiers not getting food supplies or ammunition when they need it.
Through this experience, I came to understand how important this mission is to our nation’s security, and the welfare of our men and women in uniform. As a military technologist then, and as senior executive leading a team of business and IT experts today, the continuity of knowing and supporting our military’s supply chain and logistics missions over the years gives me the perspective and the experience on asset and inventory visibility, accuracy, tracking and delivery.
What was a turning point or inflection point in your career?
Once I started working for CGI Federal, the leadership changed my mindset from client-focused delivery to delivery at scale. That is, while I was comfortable solving customer problems locally, CGI challenged me to solve them globally. If we can focus on developing solutions that can help as many clients as possible with the same platform, training and continuous support from our team, everyone gets to celebrate at events like this one. That was a shift in the way I approach developing solutions for clients that has only grown and expanded over my years here.
Like other CGI members, I’m a trusted adviser to my clients, and I see my responsibility as understanding their individual needs, with an eye toward those types of broadly replicable solutions. Whatever I have accomplished that might be worthy of recognition, I owe to that initial change of perspective.