Bridget Rice is a highly experienced supply chain and logistics guru with over a decade of experience. Her passion for the field developed during her formative years, which drove her to study Marketing and Logistics at the University of Maryland. She further specialized by earning a master’s degree in acquisition and supply chain management from its Global Campus. Her other academic credentials include CPSM (Certified Professional in Supply Management) certification by the Institute for Supply Management. Upon completing her studies, Ms. Rice started working at the United States Postal Services, where she has risen up the ranks thanks to her effort and expertise, becoming one of the organization’s top leaders in 15 years. During the early years of her career, she served as Air Transportation Senior Contracting Officer at the United States Postal Service.
Through her impressive initiatives and cost-cutting strategies, Rice successfully handled the solicitation and award of air transportation terminal handling sites across the continental United States with 25% cost savings. Most recently, she was appointed Senior Director, Transportation Continuous Improvement. In this position, she develops and delivers specialized Logistics Business IT strategy to solve organizational information challenges by analyzing business requirements, designing technology solutions, and executing technology programs and projects. She is currently helping her organization phase out an outdated surface transportation contracting system, saving the company $2 million in maintenance costs. Thanks to her contributions to the field, Ms. Rice has received numerous accolades, such as the Supply Management Distinguished Manager of the Year award in 2016. When she is away from work, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, especially her two children. She also loves to travel, ski, and scuba dive. She believes in giving back to the community and regularly donates to numerous charitable organizations including St. Jude’s and animal rescues that rehome OTTB (off-the-track thoroughbred race horses.
How did you get started in this business?
When I started my career, leadership was never part of the plan. But with my boss Karen’s guidance and mentorship, everything changed. She encouraged me to leap into executive roles that felt overwhelming initially, but after 15 years in this domain – it doesn’t get any more rewarding. Crafting strategies and helping make life easier for our customers has been gratifying every step of the way. There is no better feeling than seeing people benefit from your work firsthand. A big thank you to Karen, who recognized what I could not, giving me an incredible opportunity while pushing me out of my comfort zone. Over a decade later, here I am.
How do you make money?
Being an employee of the United States Postal Service, I take a salary from my employer.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
I became profitable from day one since I am paid a salary for my services.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
While I experienced some difficulties, which are to be expected in any new position, I was always confident that things would work out. During difficult moments, I chose to stay focused on the task and believed in myself. By doing so, I stayed motivated and determined to keep going.
Do you remember how you got your first client?
I work for an established organization, so I pretty much started with a ready clientele right from the first day.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make professionally?
The toughest decision I had to make in my professional life concerned the implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics into the workplace. On the one hand, these technologies promised to improve workflow efficiency and open up new opportunities for staff. But on the other hand, there were questions surrounding job security and training needs for already established workers. After much deliberation with my team and relevant stakeholders, I concluded that the advantages of AI and robotics outweighed their disadvantages, so we proceeded with the integration plan. It was not an easy decision, but it needed to be done. In hindsight, I believe it was a step towards modernizing our business model, which has amplified our operations, ultimately creating more jobs than it was predicted to have eliminated.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
Digital marketing has proven to be an essential tool for growing the business. Using social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, we have deployed targeted advertising campaigns to draw new customers and grow brand awareness. Additionally, we use email marketing to reach people who are already familiar with our products or services, allowing us to build relationships with potential customers that could lead to sales in the future. SEO tactics such as blogging and keyword research also play a huge role in helping us get more visibility on search engines like Google.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
If I could go back in time and advise my younger self, it would be to embrace challenges and failures as learning opportunities because they shape us into who we are today. Even if things don’t go as planned or you don’t have enough courage to leap, it’s all worthwhile because each step forward contributes valuable life experiences. Challenges are meant to shape us for the better.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
Having a good relationship with my team has been instrumental in my success. Relationships are an essential part of success, and I understand the importance of solid rapport with my staff. For this reason, I ensure I am always accessible and open to communication. My ability to listen, empathize, and take constructive criticism have all been crucial in forming solid relationships within the workplace. Furthermore, by building trust between myself and my employees, it has become easier to create a more meaningful work environment and promote collaboration. In turn, this has directly led to greater productivity and improved morale overall.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
My most rewarding moment in business came when I was able to help my company reduce losses by improving our procurement processes. After extensive research, analyzing, and implementation of new process improvements, the efforts paid off in a major way. Our new procurement methods enabled the company to dramatically reduce spending on unnecessary costs, resulting in improved profitability. The feeling of accomplishment that comes with knowing that my hard work created such positive change, not just for the company’s bottom line but also for its long-term success, is truly satisfying.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
As the future of business continues to evolve, one certain development I am excited about is the power of digital technology when it comes to supply chain management and procurement processes. For instance, software that can accurately track goods and items throughout their entirety in the supply chain can help streamline these processes by taking some of the guesswork out of tracking orders and packages. Automation tools can also make forecasting easier, allowing businesses to better anticipate demand for products and services. These applications will unlock potential opportunities for greater growth in new customers, markets, collaborations, and, ultimately, greater profits.
What business books have inspired you?
After reading Change Your Questions, Change Your Life by Marilee Adams, I was inspired to change how I think about my personal and professional life. This book was groundbreaking in its unique approach to practical problem-solving; it teaches readers how to use questions to look at the world from different perspectives and find new solutions. With insights filled with wisdom and humor, the book prompted me to think smarter, more transparent, and more effectively. The advice in this book has enabled me to make decisions faster and with greater confidence, by changing the nature of the questions I’m asking myself.
Are you willing to be a mentor?
Yes, I spent four years as a mentor in our Chief Financial Officer mentoring program at the Postal Service and would be honored to be a mentor.