RAJIV TIWARI BRINGS INNOVATION AND GAME CHANGING CONCEPTS TO BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT AND SUPPLY CHAIN OPTIMIZATION
A Leading Global Solutions Architect For Nearly 20 Years, The New Jersey Based Maverick Is Passionate About “Re-Shoring” To Bring Jobs Back To the U.S.
One of the top Global Process Experts as a consultant to industries ranging from pharmaceuticals and consumer packaged goods to retail and electronics, Rajiv Tiwari is truly a multi-national citizen of the world. Born in the historic Indian city of Jhansi, raised and educated in New Delhi, he established himself as a top level business process consultant working in Sweden for IBM before serving numerous Fortune 500 clients internationally as a supply chains solutions architect based in the U.S. over the past nine year.
A leader and renowned innovator in the world of business process management and supply chain optimization, he is one of the few optimization, consolidation and harmonization professionals in the world who is an expert in understanding the way business processes and technology merge to drive growth and profitability.
With years of experience in the realm of complex business processes interfacing and consolidating multiple systems to single instance systems, the New Jersey based maverick has integrated more than 150 IT systems internationally for various Fortune 100 companies. By effectively analyzing, maximizing and leveraging in-house resources and infrastructure, Tiwari has helped clients avoid costly errors and reduce the failure rate of various ventures, which in turn helps minimize employee layoffs.
The son of a Railway Service officer, Tiwari – a graduate of the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore – launched his career in sales with a Fast Moving Consumer Goods company before joining IBM as a consultant and moving to Stockholm to work with Ericsson, a Swedish multinational provider of communication technology and services. It was his first experience doing business process optimization, harmonization and consolidation.
“Consulting for Ericsson while working for IBM offered me my first exposure to international clients and environments,” he says, “and I learned about supply chains in a diversified business which helped me nurture my skill set and take my career to the next level.”
Over the past 18 years, his international profile has grown serving a wide variety of functions for numerous global companies and organizations, including Accenture, Deloitte, KPMG, SAP America, AG, General Electric (GE), Pfizer, Merck Pharmaceuticals, British Petroleum (BP), Sharp Electronics and most recently, Johnson & Johnson. He has served as a team leader, solutions architect, project manager, integration manager, project lead, mentor, interface architect, subject matter expert, business analyst and consultant – all while developing unique expertise in such processes as order-to-cash, master data, transportation and logistics and third party interfaces. He has also developed the revolutionary concept of a Single Platform for consolidating different systems.
While earning nominations for prestigious positions (Vice Chair, Secretary and Senior Member) in various IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers), Tiwari has used cutting edge concepts to develop a proven track record for global implementation, ramp-ups, regional roll-outs, architecting the upgrades of software and interfacing. During his six years working with Irvine, CA based SAP America, the world’s leading provider of enterprise software and services, he has worked on multiple global projects, including five full cycle implementations and rollouts in the U.S., Europe and the Asia Pacific Regions.
“In years past,” he says, “many multi-national companies were decentralized, but they are changing this in order to gain more visibility. Johnson & Johnson, whom I am currently working with, wants to be centralized in the U.S. but have their policies cascade down to different countries, increasing their visibility and control, while generating more revenue and staying more competitive in the marketplace. In today’s global business scenario, to make businesses more profitable and competitive, they need better, cutting edge technology and stronger, more streamlined approaches to optimize their processes. We achieve consolidation by doing harmonization. In the case of Johnson & Johnson, we look at the current practices of each of their divisions and consolidate the best of these to create a single streamlined approach.”
Tiwari has also developed an expertise for: tactical/operational level project deliverables like requirement gathering, fit-gap analysis, GAPs/demands/scope change documentation, project team training, workshops with the business subject matter experts, scope freeze, functional specifications, proto-typing, configuration, managing different testing cycles, documentation, cross-functional co-ordination, super user and end user training, management reporting, managing system build activities in a coordinated fashion, data migration activities, system build and cut-over activities, helping clients in business preparation for smooth transition for the new solution involving legacy systems shut down plans, pre go-live and post go-live check lists, hyper care activities and solution support.
For four consecutive years (2012-2015), Tiwari was nominated as a Board of Directors member (South Jersey chapter) of APICS, the American Production, Inventory and Control Society – the leading professional association since 1957 for supply chain and operations management. It is the premier provider of research, education and certification programs that elevate end-to-end supply chain excellence, innovation and resilience. He has performed many important roles for the organization, and in 2014 was nominated by the company coordinator committee and made great contributions to various companies for improving their processes for more productivity and helping adopt state of the art technologies. He was also featured in APICs global magazine for his contributions to the industry.
According to the article, after working for nearly 20 years on his own personal career advancement, Tiwari is now interested in promoting the supply chain profession as a whole. He wants to take the field to the next level and provide opportunities for professionals to meet existing and future challenges. “I was looking for an association where I can share my experience and I found APICS,” he says. “APICS has a future vision. It is the right platform and a true global association with great members.”
He has published more than 110 highly complex and critical business process and integration designing documents for global clients, many of whom maximize their investment in Tiwari by engaging him for their keynote, breakout sessions and to coach their teams on their presentations. He is known around the world for his skill in simplifying and demystifying the process of designing and delivering powerful keynote speeches and presentations on Business Process/Technology Optimization, Consolidation & Harmonization and Merging business with technology.
In addition, Tiwari gives presentations on one of the great passions he has been engaged in recent years: Re-shoring, aka “home-shoring,” or returning jobs to the U.S. and generating more employment opportunities here. In his consulting practice, he has helped customers to identify disadvantages, pitfalls and challenges of Business Process and IT off-shore outsourcing, and designed models to optimize and leverage existing applications, people, team and infrastructure investments and to execute work within the U.S. (on site and near shoring). The goal is lowering projected costs and generating more employment, effectively serving to stimulate domestic economic growth.
Tiwari’s tireless work in this realm reflects the unique skills and innovative ideas and solutions that have made him successful as he has engaged in different projects for so many global companies. He has long believed that his ability to think outside the box, even at the risk of some not liking his envelope pushing approach, is his mark as a leader. “If you’re just talking about things the same way as everyone else, then you’re a follower,” he says.
Explaining the shift away from outsourcing and back to “home-shoring,” Tiwari, who has created the landing page www.reshoringusa.org to explain his role in this current phenomenon, says, “Starting in 2002 or earlier, a lot of jobs were shipped out of America for various reasons, including the obvious cheaper labor and services in countries like India and China. But now, labor, services and infrastructure are getting more expensive overseas. On top of that, companies have realized that there is a much longer lead time between manufacturer and customer, so that the TCO (total cost of ownership) is ultimately higher than if the product was created in the U.S. where it is more quickly accessible to the American consumer. Other issues that have arisen are data security problems connected to project implementation, time zone differentials and environment and cultural understanding differences.
“Many companies have found that when you do business in a global environment, the cost of security is very high,” he adds, “because if any big clients start leaking information, those companies stand to lose potentially billions of dollars. Another unforeseen problem of outsourcing is in the pharmaceutical industry, where sensitive products like are being stolen and replaced by inferior versions, then re-capped. It’s been a troubling, growing trend. In the tech world, a major shutdown occurred when a hardware issue at a Google facility in Brazil caused a 19 day loss of connectivity, which resulted in 50-60 people sitting idle for several weeks while the issue was being attended to. If such a connectivity problem occurs in the U.S., it takes a lot less time to fix it, so the loss of productivity is never as high.”
Tiwari says that the most rewarding and fulfilling part of his multi-faceted career is the opportunity to face and meet new challenges every day. “If you’re doing the same routine and work tasks every day, that’s not fun or stimulating in any way,” he says. “I consider the challenges that are part of my work as a solutions architect and Global Process Expert as an opportunity to bring my experience and skills to the situation and be innovative for those clients who put their faith in me. Being part of the process of overcoming the many problems companies face in today’s global marketplace adds value not only to my life but also to my clients and their projects.
“I especially love my work in the re-shoring of American jobs,” Tiwari adds. It’s always been my personal nature to help people in my own community, and this is a great extension of that, a chance to step up and try to help American workers and businesses. I was born in India, but the U.S. is the country that gives me the platform to do this kind of work, along with a means to provide for my family. To me, what matters more than the nationality on my passport is the opportunity to be a good human being and a professional who contributes to the well being of others.”