Managing Global Supply Chains

Sean Cumbie contributes much of his success to a philosophy which includes core principles that are tried and true. He believes that it’s all about the people first, the process second, and the application of the proper systems to make it all stick together.

Sean Cumbie - Global Supply Chain Manager

Twenty-five years ago, Frater Sean Cumbie (ME ‘84) was topping off his eight-year stint at Georgia Tech with a Masters in Management.  After spending six years participating in the co-op program (10 quarters), as a Teke, as a member of ANAK and as Student Body President (’83), he was truly ready for some real world experience. The embarkation of his work life journey began with landing a job with a management consulting group in Atlanta, a terrific assignment and a great start for a yellow jacket fresh from the hive.

This eventually lead to several permanent positions within companies where he found many opportunities to build his career, gaining tremendous experience in the areas of inventory, procurement, transportation, distribution, e-commerce, logistics and retail supply chain. Each opportunity built upon the previous one and his expertise level in each field increased. His tempering experiences at Georgia Tech definitely helped mold him into the leadership positions made available to him within the business world.

Criss-crossing the country, Sean has worked for a variety of companies over the last quarter of a century with diverse supply chain needs such as Northern Automotive (aftermarket auto parts), West Marine (boating supplies), Cumbie & Associates (consulting), Fatbrain.com (internet book sales), Novellus Systems (semi-conductor industry), Iron Age (safety equipment) and MedImmune (Aztra-Zeneca’s biotech division specializing in vaccinations).  His most recent job has brought him to the international stage with a German-based company, Qiagen.

Qiagen is the leading provider of sample and assay technologies. Sample technologies are used to isolate DNA, RNA, and proteins from any biological sample. Assay technologies are then used to make specific target biomolecules, such as the DNA of a specific virus, visible for subsequent analysis.

Sean is presently Vice President of Global Supply Chain, assisting Qiagen with the development and management of over 2000 consumable products and automated solutions.  With over 35 locations worldwide, Sean has truly gone global, managing the end to end supply chain of Qiagen’s testing products for a variety of applications within molecular diagnostic laboratories, forensics, food testing, and the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Sean brings to the table his broad and carefully collected expertise and sees an exciting future with planned expansions into additional countries within the Asian Pacific and South American regions. He is truly enjoying the ride and expects to develop supplementary skills along the way.

When he is in the States, Sean can be found at home where he now resides in Northern Virginia just outside of DC with his wife Susie and two teenagers who lovingly call him the vice president of “stuff.” They can personally attest to the fact that Sean is not only a great friend, husband and father, but he is also “One Hell of an Engineer.”

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