University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Intern Spotlight: Murray Jenkins

Murray Jenkins
August 03, 2020

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Episode Transcript

00:00 Murray Jenkins: Always lead with performance. I think that's gotta be, especially early on in your career, that has to be the base of what you do, that has to be your personal brand.


00:21 Brian Fugate: We're here at the Clorox office in Bentonville, Arkansas, with Murray Jenkins. Murray is the Senior Supply Chain Manager here at Clorox, and he's an executive MBA graduate from 2018, right?

00:35 Murray Jenkins: That's correct. Yeah.

00:38 Brian Fugate: So Murray, you have a really interesting story in career. Could you tell us a little bit about kinda what got you here, and the path you took?

00:45 Murray Jenkins: Sure, so I've been with Clorox for the better part of 10 years, and I was fortunate enough to start out in the supply chain leadership development program. So Clorox kinda has a three-year rotation that really kind of focuses on breadth across the end-to-end supply chain. So, over my 10 year period, I've had experience in customer service, planning, manufacturing and, most recently, customer supply chain.

01:08 Brian Fugate: Okay, that's interesting. And so... But you started at Clorox soon out of your undergraduate...

01:13 Murray Jenkins: I did.

01:13 Brian Fugate: And went into this rotational program.

01:15 Murray Jenkins: Yes.

01:15 Brian Fugate: Right. And you went through these different paths. And then you eventually decided to get your executive MBA.

01:22 Murray Jenkins: I did.

01:23 Brian Fugate: And tell us, what led to that?

01:25 Murray Jenkins: Yeah. So, actually, when I was at the Glad manufacturing plant, that we have here locally in Rogers, there was an employee of mine that actually had gone through the program. So we spoke about the benefits, the network that you build, and the desire to learn more, and that spoke to me. So, I decided to take a look, go to a listening session, and here I am now.

01:44 Brian Fugate: Okay, and then you chose the the supply chain track, within the executive MBA.

01:50 Murray Jenkins: Yes.

01:51 Brian Fugate: What made you think to do that?

01:53 Murray Jenkins: Sure. Supply chain has always been an interest of mine, but if you think about it today, it's really evolving, as the consumers' needs change, and it's becoming more of a focal point in every business. And I thought that it was important to make sure that I continued to learn and stretch my knowledge, so that I'm better prepared to be successful in the role that I'm in today.

02:12 Brian Fugate: Okay, so have you been in supply chain since you started in your 10 years, or did you move more into it after your MBA?

02:19 Murray Jenkins: Yeah, so I've been in supply chain. So like, kind of more customer service, logistics, early on, manufacturing. But again, all my roles that I've had in my corporate career have been in supply chain.

02:29 Brian Fugate: Okay. So, thinking back to your program at the U of A, and the Walton College, your supply chain courses, was any of it particularly insightful or helpful?

02:40 Murray Jenkins: Sure, two things probably. The content, I think the Walton program did a really good job of folding in real life, real world application. So, things that I took from class, I have examples that I could take... I think about Professor Remko, and some of the things that he taught, the principles I could immediately take to my job and make an impact. And then also the network. So, if you think about just the nature of Northwest Arkansas, you have a lot of people with diversity in thought and background. And some of those, whether it's a project or just a class discussion, you've got a lot of perspectives that I think really help stretch the way that you think and what you might know.

03:15 Brian Fugate: Yeah, and so... And we also have this diverse set of companies around here. Obviously, retail, transportation, but all these CPG manufacturing companies that... Were you able to create connections at other similar companies as Clorox, and maybe learned to share insights that way?

03:34 Murray Jenkins: Absolutely. I think a highlight for me was going over to China for the global immersion trip. And we did a project for a local company, and my counterparts were in marketing and sales, and that's completely different than what I've done. And that really, one, just stretched me outside of my comfort zone, being in a country I've never been. But two, it really allowed me to learn, again about the perspectives and understand that we might have the same problem, but how we solve for that is gonna be a lot different. And in stepping outside the scope of supply chain, you realize, "Hey, what's really good for the total enterprise versus just me and my sandbox?"

04:10 Brian Fugate: And so much of supply chain is dependent on that integration and collaboration and coordination with... All those are the functions within the company and across the company. So, Murray, you've had 10 years here at Clorox, and all in supply chain, which has evolved over time. What do you see as really the biggest challenges today, within the supply chain realm?

04:34 Murray Jenkins: Sure, yeah. I'd say there's a few. One is speed to market. I think that when you look at the total end-to-end supply chain, the expectation is that we get it to that end goal a lot faster than we did before. And then you throw in the pace of change. If you think about that same project that we might have chartered... What used to take two years, we're gonna have to condense in maybe half that time, all while keeping the same things that make us what we are today, which is quality, which is making sure the consumer delights in what we have. The other piece is probably just solving for the Omnichannel. So, thinking about where we purchase, how we purchase, and how that impacts the supply chain. I think those are two things that are high on my list.

05:19 Brian Fugate: Yeah, and that I think that's a common thing across the supply chain landscape today. And so, I'm glad you're working in it...

05:27 Murray Jenkins: Trying.

05:28 Brian Fugate: And you're gonna make an impact there. So, thinking about that and your role, what kind of skills do you think that we should be driving into our students and helping them develop?

05:42 Murray Jenkins: Sure. Curiosity, asking questions. So, you're gonna get the core concepts that are important to any supply chain, but I think, more than ever now, it's the cross-functional collaboration. So, are students able to ask the right questions, follow-up and then adjust mid-stream? So, everyone's got a plan until you get punched in the mouth, or whatever that is. And I think being able to pivot, and do it in a timely manner, is really important.

06:00 Brian Fugate: So, Murray, what advice would you give to students today, whether undergrad, MBA, executive MBA? What would be your main advice for them?

06:00 Murray Jenkins: Two things, and it's advice that I got from a mentor of mine. One is, always lead with performance. I think that's gotta be, especially early on in your career, that has to be the base of what you do, that has to be your personal brand. A lot of times, you put the cart before the horse, and you think about progressing in your career before you create that established foundation of knowing your work is solid. The second is really stepping outside of the role that you do. So, understanding the up and downstream effect of, "Why is the work even at your desk?" 'cause that's going to cause you to think differently, and probably work differently. And that's gonna separate you, and be a differentiator, as you look to continue to move across the organization.

06:00 Brian Fugate: That's so important. That's important for me to hear.

06:00 Murray Jenkins: Sure.

06:00 Brian Fugate: I'll take that advice.

06:00 Murray Jenkins: Yeah, I took it. So, I tried. Yeah.

06:00 Brian Fugate: Taking it to heart. That's good. That's good. So then, supply chain. What do you like about supply chain?

07:03 Murray Jenkins: No day is the same.


07:06 Murray Jenkins: Again, a lot of the challenges that might keep me up at night are what keep me in supply chain. I think that it's ever evolving. It's important and I think it's a interest to every major corporation today as we continue to evolve and how we service the consumer.

07:23 Brian Fugate: Okay. Murray, I know you're also involved in, and Clorox is involved in collaborating working with our student club, WISE, the Women in Supply Chain Excellence...

07:34 Murray Jenkins: That's correct.

07:35 Brian Fugate: With Dr. Stephanie Thomas and the group there. Why do you guys feel that that's important?

07:40 Murray Jenkins: Yeah. For several reasons. We want people to know about some of the things that we have here in Northwest Arkansas. So having a plant of almost 700 people, that's a great opportunity for students, for folks in the community to understand, "Hey, look, we're servicing the community with jobs, but we also do some pretty cool things in there." There's a lot more to making a trash bag than what meets the eye. We also wanna get a gauge for talent. So we have a lot of opportunities for internships, full-time positions, and we think that that's a great avenue to make sure that people are aware and then potentially even find employment opportunities.

08:18 Brian Fugate: So, Clorox, what can you tell me about Clorox and working here?

08:22 Murray Jenkins: It's been a great company. Working here in the office is awesome, but I've worked across three different offices in the company, and two different manufacturing sites. And I say that across the board, the people are just great. There's a lot of brands, so there's more than just bleach. And with that comes just a breadth of opportunity. So I've been fortunate across 10 years to do many roles and have many challenges that I think have kept me engaged. And that's why I'm here today.

08:49 Brian Fugate: And I can see that actually walking around here. So you can just see it coming out of the culture and the interactions that in the short time that I've been here, hearing about the students going and visiting your plant. And so what you're describing seems to resonate to the external community. So it seems very genuine. Now, Murray, you're not just a supply chain manager, you're a person.

09:14 Murray Jenkins: Yes.

09:14 Brian Fugate: Tell me about outside of work, what do you... A podcast or a book that you've enjoyed.

09:23 Murray Jenkins: Sure. So I have three kids under five. I have to say that. So that does keep me busy.


09:26 Murray Jenkins: That's where I spend a lot of my free time, and it's great. Two girls and a son. But as far as books, one that's really at the top of mind right now is The 80/20 Manager. Kinda of managing a team here. Really, what I wanna do is be efficient with my time, and I think what I'm learning through that book is just how to prioritize, how to ask the right questions to make sure that I'm getting to the value-added work, and that the team as a whole is making sure that we're spending most of our time on the right things.

09:51 Brian Fugate: That's cool, that's cool. Well, Murray, thank you so much for taking the time, I really enjoyed this.

09:56 Murray Jenkins: It's been a pleasure.

09:57 Brian Fugate: Thanks.

09:57 Murray Jenkins: Thank you.