Growing up in Argentina, Maru Palacios always wanted to know how things worked. Whether it was a car engine or a refrigerator, she wanted to see the inner workings.
“I was a super curious kid,” she said. “My dad was an engineer and raced power boats as a hobby. I remember always going with him to watch the mechanics assemble and disassemble things.”
It was no shock to anyone when she went to school to become an engineer. As she began university, she also landed an internship in the sales department at DHL, eventually becoming the manager of the sales team. She then went on to build the sales operations processes and technology structure for all of DHL Argentina, with six more countries to follow.
“I went from building things myself to putting the technologies together, putting the right team in place and building the foundation for the team to execute on a given strategy,” Maru said. “The teams were very misaligned in their processes and goals ― I put a lot of discipline and organization into the teams.”
Because she understood logistics so deeply, Maru was tapped by Procter & Gamble for supply chain and sales and operations planning for the company. She then landed at Miebach Consulting, one of the leading supply chain consulting companies in the world, where she helped reengineer the supply chains of companies.
Maru speaking at BlueYonder’s (formerly JDA Software) Innovation Day 2016.
After moving to Seattle in 2017, Maru began looking for local positions in order to reduce the amount of travel required. Blueprint was the first company she interviewed with, and she immediately knew it was the right fit. Her first few projects included redesigning a global tech giant’s supply chain and developing a revolutionary product designed to connect data from disparate sources to powerful analytic tools.
“Working in supply chain for many years allowed me to realize there were major opportunities for technical evolution and matching the technical side with business needs ― that opportunity was really exciting to me,” Maru said. “Blueprint is constantly innovating and finding ways to leverage new technologies and has a really good method for delivering solutions to address business problems.”
After that project, Maru was asked to perform an assessment of another engagement, this one for an online company whose platform had grown explosively, bringing increased customer service needs.
Because of her background in planning, operations and supply chain management, Maru was able step in as Managing Director of Services Delivery at Blueprint to improve operational processes and grow output by more than 50 percent by building a solid operational foundation for the engagement to run on. This included hiring the right leaders to fill needed positions, building custom tools and processes to support Blueprint employees while delivering to the client’s expectations and creating a governance model that better reflected the size and scope of the team — keeping morale and culture at the forefront the whole time. She even took time to meet with every employee on the team.
“Fast growth and big teams require specific solutions and tools to be efficient,” Maru said. “I always want to go in and understand who I am working with, and I am passionate about the growth and development of my teams and people. I want to create a place where people are happy to come to work, because happy people do better work and want to grow with the company.”
When it comes to building teams, Blueprint seeks out people with diverse backgrounds, perspectives and experiences. Blueprint recognizes that homogeneous teams of people with the same training and backgrounds often produce predictable, already-tried solutions, and those solutions cannot solve the business problems companies face today.
Maru with her daughters, Eugenia and Vicky, enjoying free time at Lucky Strikes bowling alley.
By building a company filled with people who demonstrate this diversity of thought, Blueprint ensures it always has the talent pool and tools to solve any problem a client may be experiencing.
As an engineer and someone who held many positions in planning and supply chain management, Maru was accustomed to integrating business programs with technology At Blueprint she has taken that experience further by incorporating new technology and innovation into the solutions her teams provide to our clients every day. Her background as an engineer and someone who loves numbers and problem-solving gives her the perspective she uses to evaluate any situation and deliver higher efficiency and value.
“I’m really good at fixing problems,” Maru said. “Give me something broken, and I’m going to fix it.”