Erica Brigance, Vice President of Data Science at ArcBest Technologies, has been selected as a 2022 Women in Supply Chain award winner by Supply & Demand Chain Executive. This award honors outstanding female supply chain leaders who are creating innovative solutions and paving the way for future supply chain leaders to become part of an industry that matters.
Diversity in leadership and within teams always leads to better solutions, and the work Erica and her team is focused on exemplifies that. She leads the organization’s business intelligence, data engineering, advanced analytics and cognitive engagement strategies — helping answer important questions, making data understandable and available, and making unstructured data structured through machine learning and natural language processing — all with a laser focus on the customer.
Solving critical supply chain challenges through data
In her 18-year career with the company, Erica has served in various leadership roles, including Director, IS Customer Experience and Associate Director, IS, Customer Experience. These roles have given her a profound knowledge of and appreciation for the work ArcBest Technologies is doing to support customer needs and help keep the global supply chain moving. While data science is Erica’s passion and expertise, she isn’t the typical data scientist. With a background in customer experience, she puts herself in the customer’s shoes to understand the full scope of their supply chain needs, and she and her team take a strategic approach to solving their challenges through data and analytics.
Some of her team’s most recent areas of focus include:
ArcBest’s Shipment Visibility Platform
Real-time visibility and clear, accurate data are top priorities for our customers — particularly in a world of capacity constraints and disruptions. It’s also a top priority for ArcBest. Driven by the understanding that our customers rely on us to deliver a great experience to their customers, our data science and information systems teams are making important data available in the channel of our customers’ choice through ArcBest’s Shipment Visibility Platform. With this platform, our focus is on both predictive and prescriptive data and analytics — predictive about what might happen and prescriptive about adjustments we should make with that knowledge. The Shipment Visibility Platform goes beyond just answering “where’s my freight right now,” to give visibility into what has happened to it, what may happen to it and when the customer will see it — and if we think something will go wrong, proactively communicating so they can make better decisions and we can offer helpful solutions.
ESG Dashboard initiative
Our industry has a significant impact on the environment, and ArcBest remains committed to improving sustainability as we take actions to help create a healthier world and support our customers in their efforts to improve their environmental footprint. Erica’s leadership in our ESG dashboard initiative — collecting, analyzing and reporting on Scope 1 and Scope 2 carbon emissions — was a critical step toward adopting environmentally sustainable practices, tracking our progress and reporting on our efforts. Her team is continuing work on the company’s ESG platform that will enable ArcBest to provide insights to customers on emissions related to their supply chain and work that moves us closer to the ability to calculate and disclose Scope 3 emissions.
The team has also been focused on City Route Optimization for ABF Freight, which is designed to reduce our carbon footprint as well as our customers’ through improved fleet deployment. This proprietary technology creates algorithms that leverage information about our existing routes to optimize city route planning, versus relying on legacy knowledge to make those decisions. As a result, we’ve seen reduced mileage and fuel usage, which is beneficial from a sustainability standpoint, and increased productivity, which allows us to serve new and existing customers more effectively.
Aligned to ArcBest’s mission to connect and positively impact the world through solving logistics challenges, Erica’s team is remaining focused on helping answer important questions through data and creating solutions that move the organization toward being proactive rather than reactive. Ongoing projects in ArcBest’s business intelligence, data engineering, advanced analytics and cognitive engagement strategies involve ensuring data is clean, accurate and timely, delivering that data to customers in the channels they want to see it in, being proactive with that information, and using data to better understand customer needs — so the information is at their fingertips, however they choose to interact with us.
Review the full list of Supply & Demand Chain Executive Women in Supply Chain honorees.
Congratulations on this prestigious award, Erica!