From point A to point B and in between: securing the supply chain is becoming an increasingly high-profile issue among enterprises, and it is growing in complexity. How do we protect our nation’s borders against terrorism and drug threats while still facilitating trade and the free flow of goods?

Bill Anderson, Group Director, Global Security for Ryder, takes the approach of driving accountability at the operational level while providing the training, tools, processes and support to execute an effective security program. He has influenced Ryder’s security culture by proving that having strong security processes and programs ultimately provide businesses with a competitive advantage that allows them to prevent loss and accelerate recovery. In 2011, Anderson was named one of Securitymagazine’s Most Influential People in Security.


How did your career in security begin?
Why did you decide upon this profession?

Actually, my profession began in the area of occupational health and safety. While I had some security responsibilities while working in manufacturing, it wasn’t until mid-career that I became a full-time security professional. In 2000, Ryder’s safety and health function took over security responsibility to fill a gap in our loss prevention program. Two years later, I took over the lead position in this function based on my knowledge of Ryder and our needs from a security standpoint. Our guiding strategy was to focus on prevention using our very successful safety and health model and leverage Ryder’s existing safety culture to improve security.


What do you like about your position?

Over the last 10 years we have had complete freedom to build a security management system and security culture from the ground up. This has allowed the corporate security team to use its creativity to create a system that leverages the strengths within Ryder. The leadership commitment to security within Ryder and a corporate mindset to do things the right way has resulted in a very satisfying 10 years.


What will be your greatest challenge in 2013 in your role and why?

Our two biggest challenges are (1) finding ways to continually improve and (2) taking on new responsibilities and learning new topics. The corporate security team has recently taken on Food Defense due to an acquisition that was made recently. While the basic security principles in Food Defense are not new, we’ve had to create new policies and procedures covering unique aspects of this field. In addition, we’ve recently taken on Trade Compliance which covers topics such as Customs Compliance, Foreign Trade Zones and other operational processes involved in moving freight across international borders. Going forward we will continue to look for ways to leverage our strengths, fill-in functional gaps and be a better resource to our field operations.  This, in-turn, provides a better return in the company’s investment in security.


Whom in your organization do you respect and take time to interact with and why?

There are a number of people within Ryder who have an ability to make things happen and get things done. These are the people that I like to interact with because there is a sense of accomplishment and moving forward. I also like to interact with people who have a positive attitude and a good sense of humor. There are a variety of people in different functions who make coming to work a pleasurable experience.


What qualities do you have that you believe make you a leader?

First, a commitment to my team and their personal and professional well-being. The Ryder corporate security team is composed of experienced security professionals who are capable of working independently towards a common goal. I believe a leader needs to understand what drives individual team members and provide them with the resources and motivation to be successful. While they’re focused on their tasks, I can focus on mine, which is looking ahead and having a vision of where the company is going and how we can support their efforts.


What do you like to do in your free time?

I wish I could say that I had some sort of impressive adventurous leisure time activity, but I really don’t. I get plenty of adventure doing my job, so my free time is usually composed of more relaxing activities such as working with our two puppies (yellow labs) and trying to exercise more. I’ve always enjoyed salt-water fishing, and living in south Florida affords plenty of opportunities for sport fishing. 


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