Cara Schwartz
Supply Chain Analyst
3M

“Manufacturing is a great place to be because of the world of opportunity. Meeting new people who each have their own story, giving back to the communities in which we live and work, and collaborating on new products that have the potential to change the world; the possibilities are endless.”

Cara is a dynamic leader who has successfully managed numerous portfolios and projects throughout her tenure with 3M. For example, Cara executed the start-up of a $17M capital equipment installation project, managed $5M of monthly inventory, had an annual raw material spend of $17M, and created schedules with a sales value of production worth $90M. In addition, Cara led a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt project that resulted in a supplier lead time reduction from an average of 106 days to 2 days, and reduced raw material on-hand inventory by over 90 percent. When faced with managing $10M of imported goods, Cara implemented key process improvements that resulted in sales growth of nearly 91 percent over a three-year period. 

Cara routinely advocates for and mentors students at her alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. From participating in career fair days to meeting with student organizations, she strongly supports the next generation of talent and opens the door for individual mentoring. Through the Central Minnesota American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS) chapter, Cara has led quarterly professional development events for 119 members, organized monthly manufacturing tours and connected local students to recruiters. As an advocate for diversity in the workplace, Cara has spoken at multiple forums, including a Women in Supply Chain event and a Women Alumni of Color panel. 

Outside of 3M, Cara is dedicated to serving the community through her involvement with the United Way, Rotaract International and Junior Achievement.  Among other efforts, Cara has supported a multitude of initiatives ranging from marshalling at the Wisconsin Special Olympics to serving summer meals to local low-income students through Neighbors, Inc. As an active volunteer with Feed My Starving Children, Loaves and Fishes, Second Harvest Heartland and other groups, Cara provides meals to those in need. 

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