ChainLink Research’s Team includes some of the world’s leading experts in Supply Chain Management, advanced business models, research methodologies – and diverse perspectives.

Bill McBeath – Chief Research Officer

Bill McBeath leads ChainLink’s research efforts, as well as the procurement, strategic sourcing, design collaboration, and online marketplaces practices. With more than 20 years of experience in a variety of roles as a business and technology researcher and consultant, high tech executive, and software architect, Mr. McBeath is recognized as a leading expert in extended-enterprise business models.

Before co-founding ChainLink Research, Mr. McBeath was Managing Director of Emerging Technologies at Benchmarking Partners/Surgency, where he formulated and executed successful go-to-market strategies for dozens of startups and established firms. His accomplishments provide a strong foundation for ChainLink’s services:

  • Research – Deep primary research, analysis, and publication of groundbreaking, frequently quoted papers on business-to-business integration, extended-enterprise business models, e-procurement best practices, online marketplaces, and supply chain optimization.
  • Strategy – Conducted numerous CEO-team workshops on go-to-market strategies, positioning, partnerships, pricing, and organization strategies.
  • ROI Models – Developed a number of different return-on-investment models to calculate ROI in areas as diverse as outsourced global strategic sourcing, design collaboration, e-procurement, and pricing automation.
  • Technology Architecture – Leveraged more than 15 years as a software engineer to create 3-year IT roadmaps for F500 companies and architecture strategies for software and Internet firms.

Prior to joining Surgency, Mr. McBeath served as Director of Server Engineering at NEC Computer Systems, responsible for all server hardware and software development. Previously as Director of Networking, Performance and Systems Integration, Mr. McBeath grew NEC’s communications and options business from nothing to over $75M within four years.

Earlier in his career, Mr. McBeath was the lead architect of Data General’s CommServer multi-protocol messaging switch, as well as Wang’s network architecture (WSN). He was a principal designer and developer of a wide variety of advanced software including a distributed OS communications system, SNA Mainframe emulator, virtual machine monitor, and numerous others.

Bill McBeath is a popular speaker, having delivered keynote addresses and led panel discussions at various industry conferences. In addition to undergraduate work at Hampshire College, Mr. McBeath has completed graduate level studies in Digital Network Technologies at MIT and Microprogramming and Emulation at Northeastern University.

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Ann Grackin – Chief Executive Officer Emeritus, Advisor

For more than two decades, Ann Grackin has been on the frontlines of the Supply Chain Management technology and eCommerce frontier, leading global strategy and technology implementations in the high technology, semiconductor, automotive, textile, and apparel industries. Ms. Grackin has served in many capacities in this dynamic environment and worked on global supply chains strategies for some of the leading Fortune 500 firms, with assignments in Asia and Europe and the North America.

As a partner and cofounder of ChainLink Research, Ms. Grackin is responsible for leading the firm’s Supply Chain strategy. She comes to this position with a parallax view from seeing all angles of the supply chain problem-as an end-user implementer in a global fortune 100 firm, a technologist, a global consultant, an executive in a Supply Chain software firm, a columnist in the leading Supply Chain magazines, and one of the leading analysts in Supply Chain!

Her biography sets the stage for leading the charge at ChainLink’s Research:

  • Before coming to ChainLink Research, Ms. Grackin served as the Vice President of Supply Chain Strategy at AMR Research.
  • Prior to ChainLink, Ms. Grackin was vice president of sales and marketing at Verilytics. She led sales and product management to meet the needs of clients in financial services and supply chain operations.
  • Before joining Verilytics, Ms. Grackin served as executive vice president at Avicon, a Massachusetts based strategy and IT consulting firm. She co-founded the firm to help companies Web-enable their supply chains.
  • Previously, Ms. Grackin was a Foundation Partner at Benchmarking Partners and led the Supply Chain practice. She worked with the leading technology providers to help create product and industry strategies for their Supply Chain products as well as leading end-user firms, creating supply chain technology visions.
  • At Digital Equipment Corporation, Ms. Grackin led information technology organizations and projects throughout the world in Supply Chain, Logistics and Manufacturing including the first global implementation of i2 Technologies advanced planning software, as well as some of the leading packages in use today.

Ann Grackin, a popular speaker and respected writer on supply chain management best practices and technology, is a graduate of the Harvard School of Executive Management and the Sloan School of Strategic Planning.

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Elysia Berkery – Analyst—Supply Chain, Economics, Agriculture

Elysia Berkery applies more than a decade of professional and academic experience in policy and research across various industries and domains including agriculture, energy, healthcare, sustainability, software/technology, and data analytics to deliver customized client projects. Operating at the intersection of technology, industry, and systems work, Ms. Berkery is adept at bringing critical thinking and an agile, data-driven approach, and using business intelligence to illuminate insightful stories that engage stakeholders at every level. 

Ms. Berkery’s journey to supply chain research began in policy work, teaching, and research in agricultural economics, environmental policy, energy economics, and government. Her experience most recently includes facilitating data architecture transformation from a legacy system to a modern medallion architecture at a large healthcare company to enable scalable, high-quality reporting, working in product development aligned with innovative analytics projects in software technology, and in business development. A political economist by training, she has also served as a nonprofit policy director, advancing regenerative agriculture and large river management and is passionate about conservation agriculture that supports industry, farmers, and the food system. 

Ms. Berkery obtained her graduate education in agricultural and environmental political economy, water and climate science, and regenerative agriculture from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

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Mohammad Ali – Consultant—Distribution, Global Sourcing, Supply Chain Resilience, Apparel

Mohammad Ali has over a decade of experience globally as a supply chain practitioner and educator. Mr. Ali has managed multi-location DC inventory optimization and intra-warehouse transfers at a fast-growing third-party ecommerce fulfillment services provider. In this role, he analyzed data about per-location forecasts, inventory levels, lead times, inbound shipment visibility, and transportation costs to calculate the optimal inventory levels at each of their six fulfillment centers, across the multiple customers/brands they served.

For over five years, Mr. Ali was a supply chain consultant for MAK Design, a Bangladesh-based apparel trading company (a.k.a. ‘buying house’). He helped them manage supply chain sourcing, inventory, and risks. This involved using an MRP system to understand the raw material needs, factoring in the various unique local risks, such as the potential for infrastructure failures (e.g., interruptions to electric power and fuel deliveries, labor unrest, transportation shortages, etc.). Mr. Ali helped formulate strategies for reducing risk such as multi-supplier sourcing and calculating appropriate inventory buffers to manage shortage risks without incurring excessive operating expenses.  Mr. Ali is proficient at statistical programming in languages such as Python, R and MATLAB.

For fifteen years, Mr. Ali has taught supply chain management at top-ranked universities in the U.S. and Asia, including New York University, Kean University, Tandon School of Engineering, and the American International University-Bangladesh. He has conducted research and published papers on supply chain resilience, demand management, material requirements planning, and textile industry supply chains. Mr. Ali has an M.S. in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Karlstad University, Sweden, and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh.

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Extended Team

ChainLink’s team includes incorporates our network of partner specialists that includes some of the worlds leading experts in Supply Chain Management, advanced business models, and research, including leaders who built some of the world’s most respected and advanced supply chains. We bring together and cohere the best team for each project.

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