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Alumni Spotlight

A Love for Efficiency, Hard Work, and Relationships

In 2010 sophomore Joe Bodily stood in the middle of a BYU career fair. He was determined to find a career path he could be passionate about. As his eyes scanned the room, he was drawn to a sign taped to a table that read, “Global Supply Chain Management.” He approached the professor standing at the table and began asking questions about the major. As he started to learn more about the field, he began to consider the possibility of pursuing a career in global supply chain management (GSCM).

Professional headshot of Joe Bodily.
Photo courtesy of Joe Bodily.

Before the job fair, Bodily had returned from serving a full-time mission in Japan. While serving, he had fallen in love with the people, culture, and language of the country. He particularly admired Japanese craftsmanship because of the significant attention to detail that went into each creation. Bodily loved that the Japanese people prioritized carefully creating such beauty.

An appreciation for beauty and creation developed at a young age for Bodily, whose father was an artist. His father showed him the importance of patience and exactness when creating a piece of art. Bodily’s mother, who grew up in a military family, taught him the importance of hard work and efficiency whenever faced with a task. Whether Bodily was training for sports or digging ditches while growing up in Idaho Falls, Idaho, he always applied those teachings.

Joe Bodily and his wife, Elsha, traveling in the Costwolds of England.
Photo courtesy of Joe Bodily.

Those lessons learned prior to attending BYU helped Bodily discover that day at the career fair that GSCM could be a right fit for him. The field evolved around efficiency and exactness and valued creativity in order to design effective systems. Bodily applied to the program and was accepted shortly after.

As Bodily became fully engaged in his studies at BYU Marriott, his next step was to find an internship where he could apply the lessons he was learning. He applied to various positions, landing at Toyota.

Joe Bodily with his wife, Elsha, their son, Max, and their daughter, Kit.
Photo courtesy of Joe Bodily.

“Over one-half of my interview for Toyota was focused on my mission,” Bodily says. “My work experiences leading up to that point entailed repairing sprinklers and stocking shelves at the Cougareat. So to the recruiters, my experience was mostly irrelevant. That was until they saw my mission experience in Japan at the bottom of my résumé. When they understood the language and culture I learned while serving, I became a valuable candidate for the job.”

Bodily realized that not only were the lessons learned in his home growing up preparing him for his future career but also his mission experience in Japan allowed him to land an internship followed by more than eight years of employment for Toyota North America. Bodily’s basic understanding of GSCM principles, after years of experience in the field, never wavered from what he learned at BYU.

“Looking back at the past decade in my profession,” he says, “my definition of GSCM is the creation, management, and improvement of processes to achieve the highest level of defined quality at the lowest possible cost to exceed the expectations of the consumer or the customer. In short, it is about making processes better and creating more efficiency.”

Joe Bodily with his co-workers and global president of Toyota—Akio Toyoda.
Photo courtesy of Joe Bodily.

As Bodily trusted the process, he was able to accomplish many things in his career and do so with the people he loves. Bodily works alongside his wife, Elsha, who is a BYU-Idaho GSCM alumna and Toyota employee. Together, they have tag teamed raising their two children while also chasing their careers. They have accomplished the things of most value to them: the creation of experiences and relationships.

“My biggest accomplishments are the relationships I have developed with my wife, kids, and trainees at Toyota,” says Bodily. “Teaching my kids something valuable that they can use throughout the rest of their lives, like my parents did, or seeing my trainees succeed because of something I taught them is the most rewarding and important thing I will ever do.”

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Writer: Sophia Shafkalis

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