Blog: GAINS’ Co-Founder Bill Benton: Visionary, Problem Solver, Environmental Activist, and 2023 Supply Chain Executive Pros to Know


Bill Benton is part of an innovative supply chain legacy dating back to his father, William Benton Sr., who founded the company that later became GAINS in 1971. The beginnings of Bill’s career in the supply chain were humble; at six years old, his first job was to move the reel-to-reel computer tapes storing the original models and algorithms, which became the basis for the modern GAINS platform. Bill became the Chief Executive Officer of GAINS, following earlier roles in professional services and product/algorithm design. In 2022, Bill took on a new role at GAINS, that of Co-Founder, a position allowing him to focus more on product strategy, customer relationships, and global partnerships.

Supply Chain Visionary

Bill is widely recognized as a visionary in the supply chain industry. He is known for rolling up his sleeves and applying his talent for creatively solving complex supply chain challenges across hundreds of organizations. He is passionate about fostering teams as well as bringing practical innovation to supply chain planning. Bill has received several awards for his professional achievements, including GAINS’ ongoing recognition in Gartner’s Supply Chain Planning Magic Quadrant and Nucleus Research’s Supply Chain Planning Value Matrix.

But the accomplishments that mean the most to him are related to the success achieved by GAINS customers. These long-term relationships demonstrate the value of the solution to their business, and their desire to adapt the new innovations that Bill and the product teams at GAINS delivers. Their tangible results account for the company’s industry-leading retention rate of 98 percent, a metric that Bill sees as a clear statement that GAINS is helping its customers improve supply chain performance and empowering them to make their commitments.

Democratizing the Supply Chain

At his core, Bill is a problem-solver, an ardent believer in education and mentorship who regularly engages with customers and industry leaders for opportunities to both teach and learn. Bill’s favorite part of his job is helping people to solve real problems. “I enjoy the challenge of solving hard problems; I always have. It’s difficult yet very satisfying to create a solution unique to a specific customer and then take that solution, reconfigure it, and shape it to solve that issue for an entire industry in a reliable, efficient, and consistent manner.

“I find it rewarding to take the new solutions we develop and offer them to others with the same problems delivering tangible value to the customers GAINS serves.” Bill also focuses on creating a rewarding, intellectually stimulating, and innovative work environment for every GAINS and team member, so they can help contribute to serving GAINS customers.

Passion for Conservation

Bill’s passion is not only limited to supply chain optimization. He is also dedicated to the ideals of social responsibility and making a sustainable global impact, from his commitment to contributing to the construction of a solar well in Haiti for every new GAINS client to using upcycled glass in the construction of the GAINS Chicago headquarters. Under his leadership, the company will be carbon neutral in 2023, not by offsets but through direct initiatives.

Bill is passionate about social responsibility. He supports clean water initiatives through Barco’s Nightingales charity and health education through the Health Works Theatre in Chicago. He has committed to solar power production tied to each new GAINS subscriber.

An added advantage of an organization optimizing its supply chain strategy, which is not lost on Bill, is that customers can shrink their carbon footprint. Using GAINS to identify inventory or suppliers closer to shipping destinations, they can reduce their environmental impact, cutting fuel costs and accelerating order cycle times. GAINS can further help reduce waste and eliminate obsolete inventory by identifying opportunities to reuse or repurpose existing components or recognizing existing stock that can be used instead of ordering new parts.

Better Supply Chains for All

Under Bill’s leadership, GAINS has sought to “democratize world-class supply chain planning.” Traditionally, the time, budget, and resources an organization would need to undertake a supply chain optimization project would be prohibitive for most organizations. GAINS has worked to bring speed, agility, and a depth of experience to mid-size companies and enterprises alike, wanting to improve their supply chains and leverage a platform for future growth regardless of company size.

Getting Better Everyday

Through his example, Bill has inspired the entire GAINS team to put substance over show, be practical and authentic, and put people first.

In Bill’s opinion, the role of GAINS is to meet supply chain customers where they are today and work with them to make their supply chain processes more resilient and higher performing. It begins with spending time with customers, which Bill spends much of his days doing. This deep understanding is the foundation of the trusted relationships GAINS shares with its customers that have lasted for decades through good economies and tight markets.

Bill advocates for incremental, measurable success. Finding quick wins helps improve morale and provides the project with momentum. It is an iterative process in which the organization builds on its successes and makes improvements as they mature. Companies cannot wait until next year or more to experience success. They need to see it at every step. GAINS continues to help customers advance, tapping more profoundly into the platform’s optimization capabilities that best suit their needs. Ultimately, this collaborative continued development and improvement process adds more value to the organization.

Supply Chain Innovation

In addition to his visionary leadership and commitment to solving supply chain challenges, Bill Benton is also widely recognized as an innovator in the field. GAINS, under Bill’s guidance, was an early adopter of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies, revolutionizing the way companies approach supply chain planning.

By leveraging AI and ML, GAINS has been able to develop cutting-edge algorithms and predictive models that enable organizations to make data-driven decisions and optimize their supply chain operations. These technologies have empowered GAINS customers to gain valuable insights, improve forecasting accuracy, identify potential risks, and optimize inventory management. The integration of AI and ML into the GAINS platform has transformed traditional supply chain planning into a more efficient and effective process.

Bill Benton’s forward-thinking approach and willingness to embrace emerging technologies have positioned GAINS at the forefront of the industry. By harnessing the power of AI and ML, GAINS continues to evolve and focus on innovation, providing customers with advanced capabilities to address the complexities of today’s global supply chains.

Furthermore, Bill’s commitment to education and mentorship extends to AI and ML. He actively shares his knowledge and expertise with customers, industry leaders, and the wider supply chain community, helping them understand the potential of these technologies and how they can be applied to drive supply chain excellence. 

As an innovator and early adopter of AI and ML technologies, Bill Benton, along with GAINS, have not only transformed the way organizations approach supply chain planning and design but also helped pave the way for the future of the industry. His dedication to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in supply chain optimization through his GAINS Labs project sets him apart as a true pioneer in the field.

With Bill’s leadership and GAINS’ commitment to innovation, the company is well-positioned to continue driving advancements in AI and ML, empowering organizations to unlock new levels of efficiency, resilience, and success in their supply chain operations.

In recognition of his pioneering work and contributions to the field, Bill Benton’s inclusion as a “2023 Supply Chain Executive Pro to Know” underscores his role as a thought leader and visionary in the realm of supply chain management. Congratulations, Bill, on this well-deserved recognition of your innovative spirit and dedication to advancing the industry.

With Gratitude

We at GAINS are grateful for all of the hard work and dedication Bill Benton has shown over the years to our customers and team members alike, and are very proud to have him named as a “2023 Supply Chain Executive Pro to Know.” Bill, we wish to congratulate you on your win and are glad to see others recognize that which we have known for years. Thank you for your continued commitment to supply chain excellence and for faithfully serving our customers. We look forward to many more years to come.

Other Media Related to Bill Benton:

GAINS ON  a video series featuring Bill Benton sharing his supply chain insights

“Why Time to Value Matters” Tek Tok podcast with Bill Benton

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