James “Jim” Liegghio is AIAG’s new program manager, supply chain products and services, responsible for leading and supporting AIAG supply chain initiatives. Liegghio facilitates committees and work groups involved with inbound materials transportation, packaging, information security, and international trade compliance. His work also encompasses coordination and production of AIAG’s supply chain-related industry events.
In addition, Liegghio will develop and maintain world-class expertise in relevant automotive supply chain topics, emerging automotive supply chain issues, and represent the AIAG supply chain group’s interests within relevant industry forums.
With over 17 years of industry experience in a wide variety of supply chain disciplines, Liegghio is a seasoned automotive professional with significant hands-on, plant-level material and production control experience, in addition to several corporate-level logistics roles at FCA (formerly DaimlerChrysler/Chrysler Group LLC). His corporate logistics experience spans inbound assembly platform logistics as well as finished vehicle logistics in both domestic and international capacities.
Following his OEM experiences, Liegghio held various roles within international logistics operations, purchasing, and trade compliance management with global, tier-level manufacturing companies. The positions allowed him to gain global experience, develop more well-rounded perspectives, and acquire valuable exposure to broader compliance and ethics oversight functions, all within an entrepreneurial setting.
He has a B.S. in Logistics Management from Wayne State University (Summa Cum Laude) and a Master’s in Administration from Central Michigan University. He is also affiliated with Wayne State University Global Supply Chain Management and the Transportation Club of Detroit.
After a couple of months on the job, here Liegghio shares some initial thoughts about AIAG’s supply chain activities and opportunities.
Q: What about AIAG lured you away from the corporate automotive world?
Liegghio: I reflected back on my skillset and realized that I had something to offer the automotive supply chain community at AIAG. I have always truly enjoyed volunteering at AIAG, serving on committees, and sharing as well as gaining knowledge. AIAG is the center of automotive excellence, where the industry’s best practices are formed. AIAG appeals to my intellectual side but still allows me to work directly with people.
Working at AIAG is entrepreneurial and creative. I like that the work is so focused on continuous improvement as defined by the needs of the industry itself.
Q: What unique perspective will you bring to the AIAG team?
Liegghio: I have a well-rounded background which includes both OEM and Tier One experience. When I was approached with the opportunity to work with AIAG, I was admittedly hesitant, and I had a lot of questions. But as I thought about it more, I saw a very real opportunity to further develop the supply chain function, and I also gained more confidence that my previous experience was a good match. I finally asked myself: What are you waiting for?
I like to question the logic. Things don’t always have to be the way they were. It’s part of our job at AIAG to challenge the status quo and keep pushing for improvements in the industry. The job I have taken on is also a new position, so it’s a relatively blank slate. That can be scary, but it’s exciting, too. Because I’ve already been involved with AIAG as a volunteer in the Export Compliance Advisory Group and in helping to coordinate the AIAG Customs Town Hall, I know many of the staff and members…there will be a minimal learning curve.
Q: What excites you most about working for AIAG?
Liegghio: AIAG attracts leaders and thought-leaders in the industry. People who volunteer at AIAG want to work hard on the most relevant and emerging topics. And, of course, AIAG’s reputation in the industry is highly respected. AIAG is a world class organization and a center of excellence, and I appreciate that its activities have grown more business-focused.
Q: AIAG is celebrating its 35th Anniversary this year. How has the organization remained relevant over three decades?
Liegghio: In my opinion, AIAG has remained relevant by listening to the industry and staying focused on emerging issues. AIAG keeps an eye out for the gaps and wherever there are non-standardized or otherwise unadapted best practices to collaborate on. AIAG stays engaged by helping the industry set a base line of knowledge and then developing the tools to help individuals or companies self-assess and see where their opportunities and needs might lie, as well as highlighting where the value is.
Q: Do you have any pet projects lined up for this year?
Liegghio: Not yet, aside from working to improve cohesiveness within some of the established committees and focusing on adding consistent value to our events.
Q: What personally motivates you in your supply chain work?
Liegghio: This business is largely about relationships — who you know and who you may be able to help, as well as knowing who to call when you need some help yourself. I am constantly trying to drive relationships, share knowledge, and focus on continuous improvement. That’s what drives me personally — and I’m always trying to get better.
Carla Kalogeridis is AIAG’s eNews editor.