Supply Chain Now
Episode 919

If you are a shipper, you're listening to this, and you've got everything loaded in one basket. All your eggs are in one basket with FedEx or UPS. You need to be analyzing to determine whether there is a better option for you to be able to diversify and move away from putting all your eggs in one basket.

-Caleb Nelson, Chief Growth Officer, Sifted

Episode Summary

Parcel shippers want to give their customers an ‘Amazon-like’ experience – cheap, fast shipping – but they may not be sure how they can do it affordably or sustainably. An optimized network can achieve all of this, but there’s a LOT to consider. Are they choosing the best location for a distribution center? Are the right products shipping from the right location? Could a cheaper and more sustainable service type give them the same results?

Caleb Nelson is the Chief Growth Officer at Sifted, a data-powered logistics platform. He recently joined Scott Luton and Greg White for a Supply Chain Now livestream to break down everything shippers should consider when optimizing their network – as well as the benefits they can see from doing it!

Listen in for Caleb’s thoughts on:

• The one thing that is holding absolutely constant despite the unpredictability in shipper volumes, carrier rates, and delivery timing

• What he sees as the ‘golden ticket’ for reducing shipment time, parcel damage rates, and logistics costs

• Why the capabilities and capacity of regional carriers is one of the largest growth areas in final mile delivery right now

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:03):

Welcome to Supply Chain Now, the voice of global supply chain. Supply Chain Now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues, the challenges, and opportunities. Stay tuned to hear from those making global business happen right here on Supply Chain Now.

Scott Luton (00:00:33):

Hey. Hey. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening wherever you are. Scott Luton and Greg White with you here on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s livestream. Gregory, how are we doing?

Greg White (00:00:41):

I’m doing good. Scott. I got to confess, I’ve spent maybe a few too many hours trying to catch up on Peaky Blinders since the new season dropped in the U.S. on Friday. But I’m with you.

Scott Luton (00:00:57):

Okay. You know, I started watching that and I couldn’t get into it. I gave it an episode or two. I think Amanda loves it, but what else is new? She’s a big fan of the highfalutin arts. And I think that –

Greg White (00:01:13):

You think Peaky Blinders is highfalutin?

Scott Luton (00:01:16):

At least our household, maybe, I don’t know. But, regardless, speaking of highfalutin, we’ve got the James Webb of supply chain here with us today.

Greg White (00:01:23):

Oh, right. You guys, I forgot, you’re both telescope fans. That’s right.

Scott Luton (00:01:28):

Back by popular demand. We’re going to be featuring a repeat guest who’s doing big things across supply chain, Greg, especially helping shippers to make smarter more sustainable decisions. This should be another great conversation, huh?

Greg White (00:01:40):

Oh, unquestionably. Yeah. I mean, I’m looking forward to seeing – you know, I’m not going to say the name until you say the name. I often do that. But he was just with us about six weeks ago. So, I’m looking forward to what’s happened because doesn’t it seem like things have changed pretty dramatically in six weeks.

Scott Luton (00:01:57):

I tell you, I think we’re just living it day in and day out right now.

Greg White (00:02:01):

They are not in a freight recession. I will never forget those words from one of our guests.

Scott Luton (00:02:04):

Well, folks we want to hear from you too, though. We got a great guest teed up, Caleb Nelson from Sifted will be here. And we want to hear from you. We’re going to be talking about three optimization strategies for shippers and, of course, we’re just scratching the tip of iceberg there. But, first, Greg – we’re going to say hello to everybody here in just a minute – we want to share a special event that’s coming up in just a couple weeks, right?

Greg White (00:02:30):

Yeah. I guess it’s time for another NRF event, right?

Scott Luton (00:02:35):

It is. And this one isn’t the big show, which is legendary, of course. This is a new event for NRF, the NRF Supply Chain 360 coming up June 20th through the 21st – just around the corner – in Cleveland, Ohio. Greg, this is going to be a good event.

Greg White (00:02:50):

Yeah. We had Jon Gold on a week or so ago to talk about it. You know, this is the National Retail Federation, which really ought to be called the Global Retail Federation. It’s by far the biggest and most influential organization. All their events are supreme quality. They’re an industry and lobbying group for retail here in the states. But every year they bring people from around the world to all of their events to talk about what’s new and what is innovative in regard to retail.

Scott Luton (00:03:21):

Agreed. And Caleb, who’s going to be with us here, they’ve assembled a great speakers bureau of keynotes and Caleb will be one of those there. So, you can meet him in person. He’ll probably touch on that in today’s chat. So, y’all check that out, we’ve dropped a link so you can explore Supply Chain 360 in the comments, and hope to see you there. Okay. So, Greg, let’s say hello to a few folks before we bring on Caleb with Sifted. Huh?

Greg White (00:03:47):

Let’s do that.

Scott Luton (00:03:48):

Let’s do it. Eric tuned down from Ecuador. Great to see you, Eric, via LinkedIn. Looking forward to hearing your take here today. Adedamola is back with us. Hey, we have been missing you. Great to have you back via LinkedIn. Let us know where you’re tuned in from as well, Adedamola. Paul Green is tuned in via LinkedIn. I like that tie, Paul.

Greg White (00:04:11):

Yeah. That’s a good one. You don’t see many people with a tie in their profile picture. Strong move.

Scott Luton (00:04:16):

You know, I just told my mom the other day – she sent me a picture where I had a tie on and she was asking where that was. I said, I don’t know, but I’m never putting on another tie in the rest of my life, thankfully. But, Paul, let us know where you’re tuned in from via LinkedIn. Lucille is tuned in from Toronto via LinkedIn. The beautiful City of Toronto. I think the Blue Jays are playing pretty good baseball these days. Greg, happen to know? No clue?

Greg White (00:04:42):

I didn’t even know the Braves had won seven in a row, so that’s very impressive.

Scott Luton (00:04:45):

Seven in a row. That’s right. How about that?

Greg White (00:04:48):

Yeah. Very impressive.

Scott Luton (00:04:50):

Rahul is with us via LinkedIn. Let us know Rahul where you are tuned in from. Looking forward to your perspective. Jikku is tuned in from Oman via LinkedIn. Wonderful.

Greg White (00:05:00):

That’s the first time I think we’ve seen Oman. That’s cool.

Scott Luton (00:05:02):

Welcome. Welcome. Of course, Dee is hanging out. He might be in the green room. I don’t know. Clay out there making things happen. Clay “Diesel” Phillips, of course, because the engine is always running. Kim Winter, the one and only, Greg. Kim Winter is tuned in from London this time. You know, Dubai is his home base of operations and Kim is tuned in, in London.

Greg White (00:05:25):

Yeah. And he has been all over the place. Right?

Scott Luton (00:05:29):

Gosh. He sure has.

Greg White (00:05:31):

That’s a guy who was dying to hit the road, for sure.

Scott Luton (00:05:35):

Kim, great to see you. Looking forward to your perspective here today. Ousman tuned in via LinkedIn. Let us know where you are tuned in from. Naser from Tehran, Iran is tuned in via LinkedIn. Great to have you here today. Looking forward to hearing your perspective. Look at this, Don Luton – Don Terry Luton. That would be my dad, Greg. He’s tuned in from Cherry Grove Beach.

 

Greg White (00:05:58):

Hey, dad.

 

Scott Luton (00:06:00):

Hey, it’s good to have mom and dad be part of these conversations.

Greg White (00:06:04):

Cherry Grove Beach, where is that?

Scott Luton (00:06:06):

All right. So, dad, you’re going to have to let us know.

Greg White (00:06:09):

Oh, you’ve not been invited. All right.

Scott Luton (00:06:11):

I’ve been to Cherry Grove Beach, but y’all check that out. Okay. And hello to everyone else. I know we can’t hit everybody here today, but welcome. We’ve got a great, great conversation. Okay. So, Greg, are we ready? We got to welcome in our VIP guest here today. You ready?

Greg White (00:06:27):

Yeah. Let’s do it. North Myrtle, by the way, is where that is at.

Scott Luton (00:06:30):

North Myrtle Beach. Gotcha. Okay. So, with no further ado, I want to welcome in Caleb Nelson, Chief Growth Officer with Sifted. Hey, Caleb. How are we doing?

Caleb Nelson (00:06:40):

I’m good. I can’t believe you had me back. We must have some dirt on you guys. I don’t know.

Greg White (00:06:46):

We like seeing the traffic in your reflection in your window.

Scott Luton (00:06:53):

The only dirt we have, we put in our Coca-Colas, Caleb, for our pre-show conversation. And, by the way, it’s like Michael Scott. I love inside jokes. I hope to be part of one, one day.

Caleb Nelson (00:07:05):

Be part of one someday.

Scott Luton (00:07:07):

Yeah. So, folks, y’all be able to lookout for these dirty sodas, which we were talking pre-show is, basically, a Coke or something with cream or some other stuff in it. Right, Caleb?

Caleb Nelson (00:07:17):

Yeah. I mean, it’s like Starbucks, but for people who don’t drink coffee and they want a soda option or a soda mix. But they’re popping up. It’s big business now. It’s popping up across the United States, they have different names for it. But if you haven’t a Swig or a Sodalicious or a Fizz or anything like that pop up in your neighborhood, it’s coming. There’s been lot investment that’s been made from private equity into going out and grow that beverage market in various states around the U.S.

Scott Luton (00:07:48):

Okay. Sodalicious. Sodalicious.

Caleb Nelson (00:07:50):

Yeah. Great name.

Greg White (00:07:52):

Anything that tastes like a melted ice cream, like root beer float or whatever, I’m all about that.

Caleb Nelson (00:07:58):

Yeah. Yeah. Me too. My wife will take a sip and be like, “They taste like a melted snow cone.” I’m like, “I know. It’s awesome.”

 

Greg White (00:08:03):

Perfect.

Scott Luton (00:08:05):

Sign us up. Sign us up. But, by the way, Caleb, we’re going to shift gears and start with a different beverage question. But we’re going to get you a six pack of cherry wine, which is a legendary cola, started in North Carolina. I’m not sure where it’s made now. And we’re going to you onto the cherry wine wagon with the rest of us. Does that sound good?

Caleb Nelson (00:08:24):

Bring it on. I drink enough soda to kill a cow, it feels like, every day.

Scott Luton (00:08:29):

Okay. All right. So, you learn something new every day about one Caleb Nelson. But, Greg, today is International Dark and Stormy Day, which is new one for me. Evidently the Dark and Stormy is a drink which is made with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and Sparkling Ginger Beer. So, that’s new for me. But let us know out there who’s a big fan of Dark and Stormy. So, with that said, if it’s not a Dark and Stormy, Caleb, what is your favorite beverage to relax with?

Caleb Nelson (00:09:01):

Well, I think we touched on the fact that I love soda. Diet Mountain Dew – you put me on the front porch at my house and you give me a Diet Mountain Dew or –

Greg White (00:09:10):

How do you relax with Mountain Dew? It’s like the original energy drink.

Caleb Nelson (00:09:16):

I know. I’m letting you in a little bit too much in my life. If you drink enough soda, the caffeine doesn’t bother you as much.

Greg White (00:09:26):

There you go. Caleb, have you ever said “I’m all jacked up on Mountain Dew”? Have you ever said that?

Caleb Nelson (00:09:32):

Maybe when I was 12, I had my first Mountain Dew.

Scott Luton (00:09:37):

That’s a legendary line from a movie that I can’t think of the name right now.

Greg White (00:09:43):

Talladega Nights

Caleb Nelson (00:09:43):

Talladega Nights

Scott Luton (00:09:44):

Talladega Nights, that’s right. Okay. Hey, really quick. I’m going to get Greg’s beverage of choice, but first Adedamola is tuned in from Hull. And she says, “Hello, Greg.” Dad says, “Just past Myrtle Beaches,” you alluded to that Cherry Grove Beach. Hey, we’ve got Charles Walker with us. Charles is a dynamo. He says, “Hello, Scott, Greg, and Caleb. Hooah. Army Strong.” So, Charles, it’s been too long. Hope this finds you well. Okay. So, Greg, lay it on us, because I don’t think it’s a Dark and Stormy in your neck of the woods. What is your favorite beverage to relax with?

Greg White (00:10:16):

So, interestingly, I was just reading about drinks called a Buck. So, that is a Buck drink. So, there used to be a drink – which I like – ginger ale and lemon called a Horse’s Neck. And in – I don’t know – 1863 or something, some guy ordered a shot of whiskey to be put into it. And because it was called a Horse’s Neck, it made the horse buck. So, those are called Buck. So, a Moscow Mule is a Buck. Anything with ginger beer and/or fruit drink in it and whiskey is called a Buck. Now, they’re mostly called Mules. But all of that said, I’m going to go down the non-alcoholic route as well. I am a sucker for an Arnold Palmer with the sweet tea.

Greg White (00:11:08):

You know, it’s funny you go to lunch with people and you order an Arnold Palmer, and everybody assumes because it has a name that it’s an alcoholic beverage. And they’re like, “You drink at lunch?” And I’m like, “I’ll have two or three of these things.”

Caleb Nelson (00:11:21):

That’s awesome.

Scott Luton (00:11:21):

Yes. I’m not sure who this is. Amanda, let us know. Sometimes if you’ve got a LinkedIn setting, we can’t see your name. “Soda optimization strategies first.” Yes, we’re covering our bases here today.

Greg White (00:11:31):

I mean, it is supply chain, you’ve got to be a little jacked up.

Scott Luton (00:11:34):

That’s right. That’s Niles. Hey, Miles. Great to see you. It’s been too long. Great to see you. And thank you, Lucille. She appreciates the history that Greg is laying out there. Good stuff. All right. So, we’re being prompted by Miles to get into our center plate discussion here today. And, again, we’re going to be talking about three optimization strategies for shippers here in just a minute. But before we do, as Greg calculated it, and it’s been six weeks since your last appearance, but who’s been counting? Caleb, what’s been new with you and the Sifted team, or you and the fam, you name it? What’s new?

Caleb Nelson (00:12:12):

Well, from a personal side, I love restoring cars. And I started a new car project that I’m working on and I’m focused on that some nights that I can skip away and go to the shop. But it’s a 66 C10 Chevy Truck. So, an old farm truck.

Scott Luton (00:12:29):

Nice.

Greg White (00:12:30):

Short bed or long bed?

Caleb Nelson (00:12:32):

This one’s a long bed. And I like the short beds. But the long bed, if it’s done right, it looks amazing. And I’m really excited to kind of dive into that. I do that as a hobby. And so, when I pick up a new project, I get stoked on it and try to finish a new car every year and then sell it.

Greg White (00:12:49):

So, you’re in Utah, so I’m stunned that you don’t have the beard and the stocking cap and everything, but at least you’re going to drop this truck. I assume you’re going to drop it if you build that in Utah.

Caleb Nelson (00:13:01):

You know, I love lowered trucks or drop trucks. You put them on airbags and they look really cool. But this one, I’m going to go straight classic, so [inaudible] it’s done.

Scott Luton (00:13:11):

Well, maybe ZZ Top can make an appearance and help you move that sucker once you’ve got it remodeled. All right. So, Greg, that’s what was coming to my mind as you were describing imagery there. But, Caleb, what’s new from a Sifted standpoint because the beat goes on? [Inaudible] big things.

Caleb Nelson (00:13:28):

What isn’t new and what hasn’t changed, and it feels like the wind has been sucked out of the sales as of late in transportation and supply chain. There’s a lot of significant changes that are happening right now specific on the freight side. We more kind of specialize on the final mile parcel delivery side. And those have been more sheltered for sure. But, man, there are some significant changes that are happening right now that I think both carriers and shippers are a little on unstable ground right now. And they’re trying to figure things out as the year progresses.

Scott Luton (00:14:06):

Yeah. Well said. Well said. And we’re going to dive right into that. We got a question from Ashish here though. So, Ashish, welcome to the conversation via LinkedIn. Greg right now is in Hilton Head, where he’s doing supply chain research on – what’s that index number we’re calling?

Greg White (00:14:22):

Yeah. Right. It’s the Supply Chain Now waterborne backup global freight and container backlog index.

Scott Luton (00:14:33):

I like that one.

Greg White (00:14:34):

We’re trying to find something short and catchy.

Scott Luton (00:14:37):

That’s right.

Greg White (00:14:38):

But there is actually a container ship waiting offshore. And yesterday, there were 19.

Scott Luton (00:14:46):

Okay. Man, that’s a big number for a pier.

Greg White (00:14:49):

I think we learned a week or so ago on one of the shows where we mentioned the index that there’s a lift down in the Port of Savannah, so like a-half or a-third capacity. Because everything was going so well, something had to break, right?

Scott Luton (00:15:07):

That’s the nature. That’s what Caleb was talking to a second ago. Ashish, just to kind of round things out. Caleb is in Northern Utah. And I’m in the Metro Atlanta area on the east side. So, great question and great to have you here today. Look forward to your perspective. Okay.

 

Scott Luton (00:15:24):

So, Caleb, Miles is wanting us to get into the heavy lifting here today. And we want to pick your brain – you know, for shippers, it’s been an ongoing obstacle course, kind of what Greg was just alluding to and you were alluding to earlier, the hits just keep on coming – we want to tap into your knowledge and expertise and some of the things you’re doing at Sifted and want to tap into three optimization strategies for shippers to help them out here today. So, if your game, let’s dive into the first one. What’s the first one on your mind?

Caleb Nelson (00:15:55):

Yeah. I think there’s been a lot of conversations that we’ve seen and had with shippers that are saying, we’re seeing a lot of changes happen within our relationships with our partner carriers. We’re seeing a lot of volume discrepancies, volume going up and going down. But one thing that is super constant is what their customers expect when they order product from their website. That is a constant. That is not changing. And that demand and pressure has been, I would say, greater than it is. And then, you lay that on top of some of the ups and downs that the carriers are facing right now to deliver a solid customer experience from when they order product on your website to when it gets to their door, is, I would say, more challenging as time has gone on. But that is an absolute constant that shippers are completely, I would say, engulfed in trying to be able to do.

Caleb Nelson (00:16:49):

So, I think strategy number one that we’re really focused on is to help improve where shippers are shipping from so they can be able to optimize and shorten that distance from point A to point B. I think that’s extremely helpful. Gone are the days, I think, where FedEx and UPS handle 100 percent of a client or a shipper’s business. And shippers, if you are a shipper and you’re listening to this, you’ve got everything loaded in one basket, all your eggs in one basket with FedEx or all your eggs with UPS, you need to be analyzing to determine, is there a better option for me to be able to diversify and move away from putting all my eggs in one basket?

Scott Luton (00:17:34):

So, that first one is optimizing those distribution center locations amongst other sites as part of your transportation logistics footprint. And really quick – Greg, I’m going to get your take on it here in just a second – folks that are listening that are tuned in, we’d love to hear your take. You know, give us your take on what Caleb is sharing through these three strategies or let us know what you’re seeing out there. All right. So, Greg, optimizing that footprint is where we’re starting, your thoughts.

Greg White (00:18:01):

Well, it’s funny, we just talked to Sweetwater yesterday, Phil, their Chief Supply Chain Officer, and they’re adding a facility in Glendale, Arizona because it crosses too many zones to ship to the west coast from where they are now. So, I think a lot of companies have been doing that. And, of course, as eCommerce boomed during the pandemic, a lot of companies spread out their distribution and fulfillment network. And there are a lot of ways to do it. I mean, you can build your own. There are all kinds of services out there where you can get fractional space and distribution centers, 3PLs, et cetera, et cetera. There’s all kinds of ways to do it. But, look, I mean, let’s face it, Amazon made it standard two day delivery. So, you’ve got to be very close to that, if not right on it. Because now we, the consumer, having realized that it’s possible as, Caleb, you were saying, now we demand it.

Caleb Nelson (00:19:03):

Yeah. It’s one of those things that you can’t put the genie back in the bottle in some way. Once it’s out and people experience it – it’s kind of like when you travel first class. It’s very rare that I travel first class. But when you do, it’s like, “I’ll go back to coach? Are you serious?”

Greg White (00:19:20):

Are you going to keep them down on the farm now that they’ve seen Paree, right?

Caleb Nelson (00:19:23):

Yeah. It’s one of those things that I think shippers need to be looking at their – Greg, you nailed – top zones. So, when you look at your distribution and where your customers are located throughout the U.S., and if you’re using FedEx or UPS or regional carriers, they price based off of zone. And zone is basically distance from point a to point B. And it’s a different price for different zones. If you are shipping a lot and very heavy in Zones 5, 6, 7, and 8, you are shipping longer distances across the country. Meaning, longer times in transit, you’re paying the most that you’re going to pay for the carrier services. And you have more chances, in my mind, of that freight getting damaged because it’s handled more by the carriers.

 

Caleb Nelson (00:20:08):

If we can shorten that distance from point A to point B and lower the zone to a Zone 2 or a Zone 3, that’s the golden ticket. We have a lot of customers – I was talking to one just last week – who said, “We have a mandate to ship to 98 percent of the U.S. population within two days in a ground network within FedEx or UPS. How do we do that?” And that’s a giant math problem to solve, but it’s solvable. And once you solve it, that’s a bulletproof network that you’ve just built for your organization. It’s pretty amazing.

Scott Luton (00:20:44):

And that’s a nice segue to the second strategy, I believe. But really quick, Jose, great to see you here today. Speaking of new facilities, they’ve expanded and added DCs in Houston and Savannah. How cool is that? Congratulations, Jose, who hails from Southern California. Great to see here, my friend. Okay.

 

Scott Luton (00:21:03):

So, what you’re just saying there is kind of back to the three number one factors so often, in at least in real estate, location, location, location. So, what’s number two on our list of optimization strategies for shippers?

Caleb Nelson (00:21:17):

Location doesn’t mean boo if you don’t have the right product in the right location.

Scott Luton (00:21:22):

Nice. I like that.

Caleb Nelson (00:21:24):

So, a lot of shippers will have and spend good time building a bulletproof network where they say, “Yeah. I’ve got five locations. I can cover 98 percent of the United States in a two day network or in two days on ground.” But if you have the wrong SKUs housed in the wrong locations in those five different DCs, let’s say, you’re cross country shipping because you just don’t have the right inventory.

 

Caleb Nelson (00:21:51):

Inventory management, I think, is key and often overlooked. I would say, it’s probably one of the harder problems to solve to determine what products you need to keep from which parts of the U.S. But it’s what data is. I mean, you need to analyze that data to look for what has been historically done and where customers are historically buying certain SKUs from. And then, fill that inventory in those right locations. Easier said than done. But it’s really a 50-50 thing. You got to have the right network and the right locations to ship from. You got to have the right product in those locations to ship from as well. They go hand in hand.

Scott Luton (00:22:31):

All right. So, Greg, I’m going to get your take here, but, first, what is the value of boo in this inflation driven economy these days?

Greg White (00:22:39):

Boo has gone up quite a bit, hasn’t it?

Scott Luton (00:22:40):

Boo has gone up. All right. That’s a t-shirt-ism there. Caleb said, the location doesn’t mean boo if you don’t have the right product there. All right. So, Greg, your take on number two here.

Greg White (00:22:53):

Well, let me just tell you, that even 16 percent of zero is still zero. The math is working for us on boo. I mean, I’ve made a career of doing exactly what Caleb’s talking about. I mean, one of the first products I built was called SKU Optimization for a company that distributed goods all around the country. And we realized that because of the zone situation that, Caleb, you talked about, that we could either ship it all from Indianapolis all around the country or we could position it in Dallas or Reno or LA or whatever, to get it to those. But we had to understand what the demand or the demand potential was in those areas, and that’s the math problem Caleb is referring to.

 

Greg White (00:23:40):

Especially with new items or new to those marketplace items, or even just new to you as a shipper. You have to understand the demand in order to determine what should go there. It’s not easy, but it can be done. You can use related items. There’s all kinds of ways to do it. But it’s absolutely critical because it doesn’t matter if you have every single item if every single item you have in a particular location are ones that nobody wants. And that literally happens. I mean, it has happened that companies have equally distributed winter coats to Florida as they have to Wisconsin. So, you have to be really, really smart about it.

Scott Luton (00:24:22):

Well, you know, the rise of the micro fulfillment centers, especially near urban centers, that’s been driven by really advanced predictive analytics in terms of what product to stage in those areas. So, Caleb, your last comment here before we move to number three.

Caleb Nelson (00:24:39):

That it’s easier than you think it is. The math problem is still math. It’s still challenge. But, oftentimes, I talk to shippers and they say, “Okay. So, if I need to ship from a new location, that means I have to replicate everything I have at my location right here and do a whole new brick and mortar location somewhere else, employ it, buy the land, build the building, put in employees, put in management.” No. Probably 15 years ago, absolutely. But the amount of money that has been dumped into 3PL, fulfillment, warehousing, microwarehousing space from private equity firms, VC capital firms is astounding. It allows you, as a shipper, to be able to turn on and off certain locations that you want to ship your product from like a spigot. If you wanted to be able to ship into the Northeast for a temporary period of time and then pull that back, you can absolutely do that without needing to build a brick and mortar location and figure out employee costs and tax issues and all of that stuff.

Caleb Nelson (00:25:42):

And there is enough competition to drive pricing down on pick pack storage and shipping fees that it makes it a very lucrative option. And, look, I think if you are a FedEx or a UPS shipper and you’re looking at the difference between a cross country move and a local move, that difference, depending upon the size of what your product is and the weight of it, can be a substantial difference. Even if it’s $14 per package in savings, that is a massive cost savings that you can negotiate with FedEx and UPS until you’re blue in the face. They will never move your contract down that low. And what we’re talking about is optimization on you. And I think that ultimately means that you’re a better partner for FedEx and UPS, which are optimization organizations. They thrive on efficiency and they want clients who are as efficient as possible because that brings up their profitability.

Scott Luton (00:26:45):

It’s more attractive business.

Caleb Nelson (00:26:47):

Yeah. Equals profitability for them. So, if you can look at that in those ways, it is a true triple win. It’s a win for you. It’s a win for your client. It’s a win for the carrier.

Scott Luton (00:26:58):

Excellent point there. Before moving into the number three here, being a smart shipper, being a good partner, you’re going to have a lot more options. And one of the things you’ve said here throughout, Caleb, is, if you put all your eggs in a single basket, you’re taking on more risk than perhaps you should. So, back to the kind of the right product, right location, Jose says, “Heat map helps a lot.” And, Caleb, you seem to agree with Jose there.

Caleb Nelson (00:27:25):

Yeah. Jose nailed it. Visualization on the distribution side really helps out. And to be able to organize it by zone in a visual setting on, like, a geospatial map, that’s money right there.

Scott Luton (00:27:38):

Money, money. The production team’s calling out one of your t-shirt-isms, “Location doesn’t mean boo if you don’t have the right product in the right location.” I love that. Ashish, basically he was saying we’re in the same boat, but he says the same container. I love that little twist on that. So, thank you. And Ashish also has a question for you, Caleb. You were referencing the different zones earlier, he’s asking what do you mean by Zone 5, 6, and 7.

Caleb Nelson (00:28:03):

So, if you look at your pricing agreement with FedEx or UPS or a parcel carrier, they’ve split out the United States based off of zones. So, if you’re shipping from Utah – where I’m at – to North Carolina, they measure the distance between point A to point B and they determine what zone it belongs in, and that zone has a specific price associated to it. And then, it’s based off of your weight. It’s kind of an intentionally complicated algorithm that they put in place.

Greg White (00:28:34):

Well said. It’s decipherable.

Caleb Nelson (00:28:36):

It is. It’s decipherable and it’s in the data and it’s there. But really understanding your zones and your distribution by zone is the key that unlocks the door that allows you to be able to get additional cost savings.

Scott Luton (00:28:54):

So, you’re talking about deciphering a moment ago, and you mentioned the word spigot, which I thought was more of like a Southern term or Southeastern term. But whenever I hear that, my family took a car trip from South Carolina to Texas way back in the day in the ’80s. And I’m not sure what my dad needed. I think he needed to fill up the radiator or something, but he stopped in Texas at a gas station and said, “Hey, do you have a spigot?” And they looked at him like he had, you know, three eyes. They had never heard of that term before. “A water faucet.” “Oh, yeah, yeah. Right around the corner. Right around the corner.”

Greg White (00:29:30):

In that part of the country, that’s where you drink your water is out of the spigot.

Caleb Nelson (00:29:35):

Yeah. I grew up in Texas and that’s where I learned the phrase from.

Scott Luton (00:29:39):

Maybe we picked the wrong gas station. Who knows? Let’s see here, Michael says, “Market area is what trucking uses instead of zones.” Does that sound about right? And, Michael, please expound on that a little bit more. But great to have you here, Michael. We always enjoy your contributions.

Greg White (00:29:57):

You have to think of zones as kind of concentric circles around wherever you’re shipping from, let’s just say. Zone 1 is the closest, then Zone 2, 3, 4. So, the cost is higher because of the longer transportation, longer run.

Caleb Nelson (00:30:16):

Point A to point B.

Scott Luton (00:30:17):

Okay. So, all of that brings us to our third optimization strategy for the shippers out there. And, Caleb, what is that going to be?

Caleb Nelson (00:30:26):

That’s really, I would say, going back to that comment of not having all your eggs in one basket, the amount of opportunity that’s out there for a shipper to diversify their shipments away from primary carriers and giving them to regional carriers. And I’ll give you an example of this. If you’re in California and you ship a package, let’s say, to Utah, you have California, Nevada, Utah, those three states together. If you use FedEx for that service and, let’s say, you pick a two day option, you would think that it just simply travels from California to Nevada to Utah and it’s delivered within two days. Because it’s a national carrier, what happens? If you go in and track that shipment, they put that on a plane. They fly it all the way to Memphis, Tennessee. It gets sorted in their sort facility. Get put on another plane flown all the way back across country to Utah. And out for delivery from Utah.

Caleb Nelson (00:31:23):

Number one, that’s not very efficient. Number two, that’s not very sustainable. And, I would say, the option that shippers have to use regional carriers is definitely one of the biggest areas of growth that I’m seeing in a final mile delivery. People that ship parcel, options to use carriers like OnTrac, LaserShip, Lone Star, there are plenty of other parcel options that are out there that if you can identify these shipments that typically go in this regional area of the United States, I won’t give that to FedEx or UPS. I’m going to give that to a regional carrier.

Caleb Nelson (00:32:03):

And if that same shipment that we were talking about left from California, you give that to OnTrac, they ship it from California, goes trucking over Nevada to Utah. And it’s typically delivered within a one day business point from there. So, you get better service for lower money or less money, and it’s more sustainable. You’re keeping it in a regional area. And that sustainability, I think, it’s often overlooked. A lot of shippers think, “I’m just trying to get packages out my door. Now, you want to talk to me about being green?” Sustainability and shipping go hand in hand that if you make a move in sustainability, it’s going to come in the form of cost reduction. It’s one of the very rare industries that will actually do that. Packaging is a little different going green. You typically pay a little bit more for better packaging or more sustainable packaging. But if you’re looking at it from a network optimization standpoint, it is a one for one in cost reduction.

Scott Luton (00:33:00):

It pays to eliminate those empty miles or at least significantly reduce them. Well said there, Caleb. Greg, get you to weigh in here own carrier network analysis.

Greg White (00:33:10):

Yeah. Well, I mean, again, great example, the big carriers. And they were diversified. USPS, UPS, and FedEx all failed Amazon in 2014. And by 2017, they had hundreds of their own fulfillment facilities and trucks working on things like planes and ships as well. So, if it’s good enough for, you know, the biggest online retailer in the world – soon to be the biggest retailer in the world – then it’s good enough for the rest of us. And I think a lot of these regional carriers, they simply exist because there’s such great gaps in all of those carriers, USPS, UPS, FedEx, and now Amazon, even they have gaps in their coverage and leave opportunities for these regional carriers bring numbers, hundreds, maybe thousands, I don’t know. Caleb, you probably have a better handle on it.

Caleb Nelson (00:34:06):

Yeah. It’s been really interesting –

Greg White (00:34:08):

But the key is – go ahead, Caleb.

Caleb Nelson (00:34:10):

I was just going to say, it’s really interesting to see the growth kind of explode in that area. And it shows that the demand is there. That shippers are sick of being in a duopoly that acts as a monopoly, which is FedEx and UPS is primary options. They’re great. Honestly, they are needed. They are great options for shippers to be able to use. You need to use FedEx and UPS to ship nationwide if you’re a parcel shipper of any type of size. However, they, themselves, also do not want every piece of your business or every piece of freight. They used to –

Greg White (00:34:46):

They’ve always been very clear about that at UPS, right? [Inaudible].

Caleb Nelson (00:34:50):

Yeah. Carol was saying, better not bigger. Which means, don’t give me all your freight. Give only the freight that I am really good at moving. Which means, as a shipper, the trick is, how can I peel a certain percentage of my freight away from FedEx or UPS and give it to a regional carrier without decimating my FedEx contractor, my UPS contract that I need today, because that’s based off of volumes? And which shipments should I give that is a better fit for a regional carrier? If you can do those three things that we talked about, like network optimization and then being able to do inventory management right, as well as kind of diversify your carrier mix, it’s not something that can be done in 30 minutes. But if you can do that, your cost absolutely get within order and you bulletproof your network. It’s a pretty amazing combination of three things you can do.

Scott Luton (00:35:49):

Bulletproofing your network. The Professor James Webb is giving a shipping masterclass here, Greg. By the way, Ashish says, ” Thanks, Caleb, for explaining zone.” We’ve got our friend, Dr. Rhonda, is back with us. Rhonda, hope this finds you well. Meeting the meeting, hey, we get it. Great to have you here. Ashish also says – the most engaged listener right here. Ashish, that’s going to be a new bullet point to add to your profile – “I think location also matters to make fast delivery. Of course, right product is comparatively more important.” Hey, CargoMargo – hope this finds you well, Margo. Great to have you here. Love the nickname – “Inventory management is big. Great tips.” I agree. And, Greg, I love to get your comment here. I noticed that in Caleb’s first appearance with us, practical, been there, done that perspective, and not theoretical. This is going to the brass tax of how you can become a much more smarter, but also more sustainable shipper. Greg, your thoughts?

Greg White (00:36:48):

Well, first of all, you got to go back to the sustainability. I love the fact that it aligns. I mean, fewer zones, shorter trips, less fuel, less smoke, less carbon. I mean, you’re almost an accidental environmentalist just by positioning your product smartly, right? Smartly? Wisely? Prudently?

Scott Luton (00:37:12):

You’re not asking me for English tips are you, Greg?

Greg White (00:37:15):

Well, I think that we have to recognize that, as we have talked about for years, Scott, that the choices made by the big carriers have begotten this complex regional short haul parcel network. And I mean, even the big ones will not always have the liberty to dump clients and cherry pick the most profitable routes and that sort of thing. But these companies will hone their craft in their regions and they will figure out a way to make it economical to deliver. Which, to me, by the way, whether eCommerce can be economical enough is still an open question in my mind for certain products, especially, because of the gotchas of shipping, the accessorials, and all that other stuff that shippers don’t know about until the bill hits. And by that time, the goods have already been delivered at the promised cost.

Caleb Nelson (00:38:15):

It’s probably weeks later at that point.

Greg White (00:38:18):

Yeah. Exactly. And we talk about that all the time, Caleb. I mean, understanding that carrier agreement is absolutely critical so that you know what the potential risks are whenever you’re shipping something that’s exceptionally large or goes to a tough address or whatever. I think, you know, organizations like yours that help surface that ahead of time preemptively rather than after the fact, that’s hugely beneficial to companies and it helps them to make those decisions. Do I stay with the big two or three or do I use a regional carrier?

Caleb Nelson (00:38:55):

Yeah. What’s amazing is it’s not uncommon for a shipper after running this kind of an analysis to realize “I’m dropping SKUs. Like, I’m going to drop some product because some of the product actually cost me money to ship and deliver for what I sell it for, for what the actual cost is at the end of the day.” And, Greg, you’re totally right, if it’s oversized, if it’s larger, high cube, whatever it is, or harder to ship to in the part of the United States, that doesn’t necessarily just a road margin, it can completely upside down it to a point where you are losing money on certain shipments. And a lot of shippers don’t realize that because there’s not an easy way to totally match up what my total cost is per SKU, across the board, landed all the way to the client’s door.

Scott Luton (00:39:46):

Man, again, is there going to be a quiz at the end of this livestream? Caleb keeping us on our toes. This is a lot of good stuff.

Greg White (00:39:54):

Well, I know you’re taking 17 pages of notes, Scott, so you should be good.

Caleb Nelson (00:39:59):

I’m going to show up with a professor hat on next time.

Scott Luton (00:40:01):

That would be awesome. Hey, Paul agrees with me. He says, “This is a great discussion.” Caleb, though, he’s got a question for you, ” Can you talk about some of the key inputs you think about when determining where a shipper should put their next distribution center? Demand, potential demand.” What would you add to that list, Caleb?

Caleb Nelson (00:40:19):

So, I think it goes back to understanding where your current status is right now. If you need to know based upon what your distribution network is based off of zones that we talked about, if that’s even an option for you. Some shippers are already regional from kind of the nature of their business, Zone 2, Zone 3, Zone 4, and they’re set and they don’t even need to worry about this. But if you’re an eCommerce shipper and you’re shipping across country, if you notice that you’ve got a lot of customers in other parts of the U.S. that you’re shipping heavy to, running the analysis on top zones and then your average cost per zone, I think, is really important to know.

 

Caleb Nelson (00:40:59):

So, if you think of categorizing the shipments based upon location, heat map that was mentioned earlier, and then look at your average cost per zone to help determine, “Okay. Is it even an option for me to even go down this path?” And let the data tell you and, I would say, be your guide in that process. And then, demand forecast, I think, is really huge.

 

Caleb Nelson (00:41:24):

We talk about the James Webb Telescope and all of that, and I think it’s unbelievable, but what it’s doing, if I relate that to shipping for just a second and how you can solve some of this problem using the James Webb kind of idea, the James Webb Telescope is looking at old light. It’s basically a time machine. It’s looking back in time and it’s making assumptions or images from that data. You need to be doing the exact same thing by looking at your historical data within shipping and being the James Webb in shipping to look back at that to say, “This is what’s historically been going on over the last 6 months, 12 months. This is how it’s trending. I’m shipping a lot more to this part of the United States. And if that keeps going, then I need to be able to address that.

 

Caleb Nelson (00:42:12):

A lot has to do with your historical data. And we get questions asked a lot by, “Well, what kind of data?” It’s your invoice data from your carriers? And if you can absorb 6 months or 12 months of your invoice data, analyze it, determine what you need to be able to do and how to do it, that is your guide to determining what your go forward action should be for the rest of this year and 2023.

Scott Luton (00:42:38):

Okay. All right. Greg, I know you’re thinking of your standard disclaimer that you always say when looking back, I’ll let you say it. I’ll let you share it. Past performance is no –

Greg White (00:42:50):

Past performance is no indication of future value. But in some cases, you’re kind of stuck with it. What you have to do to augment that analysis is you have to look at – and, Caleb, you alluded to this – the continuation of that. Does that really reflect what we expect to happen in the future? And what do we want to do about it? But you do have to have some indication of what the future is because, especially right now – I don’t know, if anyone’s read the commentary I put out on Target yesterday – you can really get trapped in the past. What the Webb telescope is doing is capturing history. It’s not projecting the future based on that history. But it could. Because it is that type of history, that type of light refraction, whatever, is much more indicative of what’s coming in the future because there are no fickle humans between the Webb telescope and those stars.

Scott Luton (00:43:59):

I wonder what’s up there.

Greg White (00:44:00):

This is the thing we have to plan for, is, how do we use what we know about the past and how do we convert that into knowledge of, not our products, but our consumers for the future. And that’s where a lot of times in supply chain, we get caught. We get caught because we do things like forecast items. When really, items don’t do anything. Toilet paper did not jump into people’s shopping carts during the great toilet paper shortage of 2020. People pulled it, screaming and yelling down off of the shelves, and over stuffed it into carts. We have to predict whether shoppers will do that. And whatever we are shipping to those outward zones, we have to understand whether our consumers will continue to buy that product in that measure or maybe even greater measure. So, there’s all kinds of other analysis you have to do, but you have to start somewhere and you have to believe, you have to use that data to believe that I have future business in this part of the country. And, therefore, I need to land something there. Clearly, that’s what Sweetwater has done with their newest facility.

Scott Luton (00:45:09):

Man, I’m itching to get a word in here. You mentioned to James Webb analogy there, Caleb, and it’s such a good one, it’s so spot on. But, also, just one of the points Greg just made there and the point you’re making Caleb, you know, we don’t have the technology right now to go five billion light years and to see these things firsthand. We’re relying on living history that the telescope is pulling. And, folks, in case this is on your radar – no pun intended – July 12th is when we expect to see the first real images from the earliest research that the James Webb telescope is going to bring to us.

 

Scott Luton (00:45:46):

Okay. And as Greg pointed out, me and Caleb – Caleb, I’m looping you in – big old space nerds, big old –

Caleb Nelson (00:45:54):

I was going to say, this conversation’s turned really nerdy, guys. [Inaudible].

Greg White (00:45:57):

Right.

Scott Luton (00:45:58):

So, let’s share a couple quick comments. And then, Caleb, you’ve got a couple resources that you and the Sifted team have, I think, folks are going to find valuable. TSquared says, “Thanks for bringing more clarity to a topic that too many people in industry, C-suites, are running from, sustainability and supply chain management.” Excellent point there. Margo was talking about the linear foot roll earlier, way back earlier, a couple light years ago. Big Show Bob Bova is with us here. And let me see if I can’t read this comment.

Greg White (00:46:26):

And how old is that picture of Bob? Is that even Bob?

Scott Luton (00:46:31):

So, Big Show Bob Bova says, “Shipping is the fastest growing application for voice automation. Companies are getting product off the line. WMS is integrating all kinds of factors. Best, fastest, most economical. Then, we communicate to the person taking the product or even in robotic sortation.” It’s a huge opportunity there, as Bob points out. It’s a good point there. And, Bob, hope this finds you well, man. It’s been too long. Let’s see here. CargoMargo says, “Forecasting accuracy is important, but is ever changing. Loving the conversation.” Paul finds your tips very helpful on where to locate distribution center. Bob says, “The picture came from college.” I love that. And, finally, Dr. Rhonda says, “Past, present, and future behaviors always interesting to explore. We can often see some patterns of behavior from the data to find some helpful solutions that are related to forecasting. Great discussion.”

Caleb Nelson (00:47:28):

Yeah. I would say Dr. Rhonda nailed it on that one. I think it’s looking for patterns, looking for patterns and trends. It won’t be 100 percent a prediction for what is to come. But you sure can learn a lot from pain that you’ve been experiencing and you might not even have known.

Greg White (00:47:46):

Well, if you’re nowhere, Caleb, if you’re not in the market, just knowing that there’s enough demand that you ought to put yourself in the market is sufficient. You have to be there then to tune it to how much of what goods you ought to put in a fulfillment center. But, first, you have to get there.

Caleb Nelson (00:48:05):

That’s right.

Scott Luton (00:48:06):

You got to get there. Hey, we’re not going to have time to get into a couple of great questions here, but I want to put them on your radar, Caleb, and maybe you and the team can connect with Hulya after the fact, asking about diversification of the supplier network. And Paul with the follow up question around the power of visualization of data. Both of those are great questions, so, hopefully, you can connect with them.

 

Scott Luton (00:48:26):

Before we make sure folks know how to connect with you, Caleb Nelson, there’s a couple resources that we want to make sure folks have, and our production team’s going to drop these links, eBooks, eBooks, 187 pages – no. I’m kidding.

Caleb Nelson (00:48:42):

Clear your afternoon.

Scott Luton (00:48:44):

Right. The first eBook that you have brought to today’s conversation is around future proofing your network. Future poofing might be something completely different, but future proofing your network, which Caleb touched on the front end of our conversation. So, that is available for free to download. And then, the second one, Caleb, I want to ask you about, this is a new eBook from the Sifted team or one of your newest ones, it focuses on cold chain shipping. So, tell us more about what’s in this eBook.

Caleb Nelson (00:49:12):

I think it’s top of mind for a lot of shippers come some of the hottest months. You’ve got more product that sits in open air warehouses that are not climate controlled, typically. And if you are shipping any SKUs or products that really start to damage after, you know, 120 degrees, shipping it within a proper enclosed package or temperature controlled package, I think, is really important for the integrity of the product. I don’t necessarily mean just food related items. There are plenty of other SKUs or products out there that should not or cannot exceed a specific temperature. So, we provide some really interesting resources in that eBook that allow for shippers to be able to understand how they can better protect their shipments during summer months.

Scott Luton (00:50:04):

That’s right. Get smarter. Get more sustainable. Be a good shipper. Be a good customer. All those things you’ve touched on here today. All right. So, Greg, before we make sure folks know how to connect with Caleb, I want to get your take while Caleb is still with us. What do you think, you know, for all the things we’ve talked about here today – and Big Show Bob Bova makes a great point,” Digitization is necessary all the way to the customer. All the shipping data needs to be looked at, processed, and analyzed to look for those patterns.” I completely agree. It’s a huge opportunity for so many people – out of all that Caleb has shared, including those two great eBooks – the cold chain industry is a fascinating one, for sure, these last few years – what’s one key thing, Greg, that folks got to take away from this conversation with Caleb Nelson?

Greg White (00:50:48):

I think the important thing to recognize is that there are solutions out there for mid-sized shippers. For anyone from an Amazon seller all the way to whatever, the honest company, companies like that, and it doesn’t require Amazon, and it doesn’t require data scientists necessarily, there’s technology out there that can do that. And what Sifted has, has a lot of that ability to kind of pull all that together to give you that starting point, give you those decision points, give you some guidance into what your next stage is.

 

Greg White (00:51:26):

I have wondered why with people still working and making money are there so many jobs unfulfilled? And it’s because so many people have started businesses, and so many of those businesses are product businesses. The number of sellers on Etsy and Amazon have just simply exploded. And all of those people need a way to get those goods there. And they probably, much like their predecessors, other brands, they have no idea how to do it. So, tips like this, the ability to understand the dynamics of the marketplace and how you can play in it, that’s what’s so critical here. You can do it. There are resources out there. Take advantage of these ones, especially that we’re talking about. And think about it this way, even Amazon started without a network, without a big supply chain.

Scott Luton (00:52:22):

And it’s pretty easy to get into the sandbox with the Sifted team, I imagine, Caleb. And we want to make sure folks know how to connect with you, I think, one of the things, of course, you’re going to be speaking at Supply Chain 360 powered by our friends over at NRF. Looking forward to that, Caleb.

Caleb Nelson (00:52:38):

Yeah. I’m really looking forward to it. I think it’s going to be a great event. And what I’ve heard and gotten from the folks at NRF is, it’s just a topnotch crew. So, looking forward to going out there and sharing some of these resources of what we’re talking about here. If anybody that’s listening is going to be there, come meet me. I’d be happy to shake your hand and chat with you a little bit about what business you’ve got and improvements you’re looking to make as the year progresses.

Scott Luton (00:53:05):

So, Caleb, are you going to be driving that long bed pickup truck to Cleveland from Northern Utah?

Caleb Nelson (00:53:11):

Hey, that would be pretty amazing. I’d see in probably three weeks after the show.

Greg White (00:53:18):

Yeah. That ones going to be at the proper stage.

Caleb Nelson (00:53:20):

Yeah. I’d show up a different man, that’s for sure.

Scott Luton (00:53:24):

Hey, kidding aside, that’s one of the ways you can connect with Caleb is at Supply Chain 360, where you can meet him in the flesh. And, Grayson, appreciate all your great work. He is making it easy, Sifted is going to be presenting at 11:15 a.m. on Tuesday at the event. So, thank you for that, Grayson, good stuff there. All right. So, Caleb, beyond that event, how else would you invite folks to connect with you?

Caleb Nelson (00:53:48):

Check us out on our website, sifted.com. There’s no wonder our name is Sifted, our job is to sift through data. We have pre-built models that you can simply plug your invoice data into and it spits out exactly what we’ve talked about. So, what we’ve talked about is definitely doable on your own. There’s a question about visualization of data, you can definitely bring that in. But to Greg’s point, this has usually been tactics and resources that have been designated to large enterprise shippers that are out there. But that doesn’t mean if you’re a mid-sized shipper or in the SMB market, you shouldn’t be taking advantage of this. Absolutely, you should. You just need better technology that does it for you in a turnkey way. Sifted does that. You can absolutely do it on your own, but the resources are a little bit more cumbersome to be able to do. Check us out if you have any questions. And you can ping me at LinkedIn as well. My profile’s there, and I love interacting with shippers and helping them kind of identify ways that they can be the best version of themselves.

Scott Luton (00:54:51):

Love it. Power to the people. Power to the people. Love that. Regardless of how big or small your business is. All right. So, Caleb Nelson, always enjoyed these conversations. We got a lot of feedback here. I love the practical approach to helping shippers that clearly is in your DNA. I hope, maybe, to meet you in person in Cleveland. But if not, of course, we’ll have to have you back and catch up on all things supply chain, including the James Webb Telescope. So, Caleb, thanks so much for joining us here today and we will see you very soon.

Caleb Nelson (00:55:22):

Thanks, Scott. Thanks, Greg. Thanks for having me.

Scott Luton (00:55:25):

All right. Man, Caleb “Full Nelson,” Chief Growth, Officer with Sifted.

Greg White (00:55:30):

“Full Nelson,” I like that.

Scott Luton (00:55:30):

Yeah. I was thinking, was it a full nelson or half nelson?

 

Greg White (00:55:33):

How many names are you going to give him?

 

Scott Luton (00:55:34):

I don’t know. His last name reminds me of my old days watching wrestling in the ’80s. There was a half nelson and a full nelson, I think, were amongst the pile drivers and many, many other wrestling moves. But, Greg, you’ve already shared your key takeaway. Caleb, I love what he brought here today. I want to you to touch on really quick, we only have a minute or two, your supply chain commentary publishes every Monday, Wednesday, Friday on LinkedIn. I think our team’s going to share your popular post from yesterday where you pointed out some of the things going on. So, really quick, in like a minute or less, what were you talking about yesterday when it relates to what’s going on at Target?

Greg White (00:56:17):

Oh, how the mighty have fallen, right? Target just bragging about their superiority in supply chain and how they were going to spend $4 to 5 billion a year to continue to extend their excellence in supply chain, that was in March. Twice during the last three weeks, they have revised their guidance to the marketplace – because they’re a public company – down. They revised it once. And then, three weeks later, had to revise it again, finally revealing that they have an incredibly misaligned inventory versus demand. Since people are starting to shift to buying more formal, or whatever, casual clothes, instead of just sweats and yoga pants, they have a glut of yoga pants. They have a lot of patio furniture since people are traveling, people aren’t buying, and home goods and things like that, where they have just completely missed demand.

Greg White (00:57:16):

So, the point is, that was a monumental failure of management at Target, and pointed out by a contributor to the article, who’s an investor in Target, who clearly has some strong concerns. But it’s also a broader based problem in retail. Target is the biggest and best example. But Walmart has incredibly misaligned inventories, Kohls. There was an article last week that talked about a huge number of companies. Target is not even the worst offender. They’re just the biggest name. And admittedly their problem is more than just inventory. There’s obviously some management issues there.

 

Greg White (00:57:57):

But, yeah, that’s what I do Monday, Wednesday, Friday is take these articles. And let me tell you, people cared about this because in less than 12 hours, about 4,000 people read the article and tons and tons of comments, I can’t even keep count, 70 comments or so something like that. So, people have an opinion. And it’s amazing that with the insights we’re getting in the comments that big companies with access to people who are probably smarter than all of us watching this and participating in this right now could make such a huge mistake.

Greg White (00:58:32):

Frustrating but preventable and, frankly, constantly reoccurring in retail. So, it’s something that we need to change. And I talk also about how we can change that.

Scott Luton (00:58:43):

We got to be aware of it first, the critical first step. But y’all check out Greg White’s supply chain commentary on LinkedIn every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And the link to the one he’s talking about here today is in the comments. Charles, I’m with you, “These gas prices are giving me the full nelson.” No kidding, man. Goodness gracious.

Greg White (00:59:02):

I’m all choked up by these gas prices.

Scott Luton (00:59:06):

Hopefully, y’all enjoyed the one and only Caleb Nelson as much as we did today. I think there’s so much practical perspective and tips and tools that we covered over the last hour. Make sure, if you’re there at Supply Chain 360, meet him in person. Check out Sifted. Check out these eBooks. And, Greg, always a pleasure doing these conversations with you.

 

Greg White (00:59:27):

Likewise.

 

Scott Luton (00:59:27):

But whoever’s with us, it’s all about taking action. It’s all about taking action. So, folks, hopefully, you enjoyed this conversation as much as we have. Scott Luton and Greg White, and the whole team here, challenging you to do good, to give forward, and to be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time right back here on Supply Chain Now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (00:59:50):

Thanks for being a part of our Supply Chain Now community. Check out all of our programming at supplychainnow.com, and make sure you subscribe to Supply Chain Now anywhere you listen to podcasts. And follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on Supply Chain Now.

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Featured Guests

Caleb Nelson, Chief Growth Officer at Sifted, focuses on product enhancements and strategic partnerships to deliver greater value to Sifted clients. As one of the original co-founders, Caleb has helped build Sifted from the ground up and was instrumental in its merger with VeriShip in 2020. He is passionate about using data to solve complex problems for shippers and providing solutions through Sifted’s software platform. Caleb is an executive entrepreneur with 15+ years of experience in sales, marketing, and account management. Prior to joining Sifted, Caleb was co-founder of Unishippers, where he successfully fostered a top-performing team within his company’s region. He was recognized as a top producing location many years in a row. Connect with Caleb on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

Katherine Hintz, MBA is a marketing professional who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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Kim Reuter

Host

From humble beginnings working the import docks, representing Fortune 500 giants, Ford, Michelin Tire, and Black & Decker; to Amazon technology patent holder and Nordstrom Change Leader, Kimberly Reuter has designed, implemented, and optimized best-in-class, highly scalable global logistics and retail operations all over the world. Kimberly’s ability to set strategic vision supported by bomb-proof processes, built on decades of hands-on experience, has elevated her to legendary status. Sought after by her peers and executives for her intellectual capital and keen insights, Kimberly is a thought leader in the retail logistics industry.

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.

He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics.  He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.

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Vicki White

Controller

Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.

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Allison Giddens

Host

Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.

She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.

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Billy Taylor

Host

Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.

An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.

A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.

A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning.  He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.

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Tandreia Bellamy

Host

Tandreia Bellamy retired as the Vice President of Industrial Engineering for UPS Supply Chain Solutions which included the Global Logistics, Global Freight Forwarding and UPS Freight business units. She was responsible for operations strategy and planning, asset management, forecasting, and technology tool development to optimize sustainable efficiency while driving world class service.

Tandreia held similar positions at the business unit level for Global Logistics and Global Freight forwarding. As the leader of the Global Logistics engineering function, she directed all industrial engineering activies related to distribution, service parts logistics (post-sales support), and mail innovations (low cost, light weight shipping partnership with the USPS). Between these roles Tandreia helped to establish the Advanced Technology Group which was formed to research and develop cutting edge solutions focused on reducing reliance on manual labor.

Tandreia began her career in 1986 as a part-time hourly manual package handling employee. She spent the great majority of her career in the small package business unit which is responsible for the pick-up, sort, transport and delivery of packages domestically. She held various positions in Industrial Engineering, Marketing, Inside and On-road operations in Central Florida before transferring to Atlanta for a position in Corporate Product Development and Corporate Industrial Engineering. Tandreia later held IE leadership roles in Nebraska, Minnesota and Chicago. In her final role in small package she was an IE VP responsible for all aspects of IE, technology support and quality for the 25 states on the western half of the country.
Tandreia is currently a Director for the University of Central Florida (UCF) Foundation Board and also serves on their Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Previously Tandreia served on the Executive Advisory Board for Virginia Tech’s IE Department and the Association for Supply Chain Management. She served on the Board of Trustees for ChildServ (a Chicago child and family services non-profit) and also served on the Texas A&M and Tuskegee Engineering Advisory Boards. In 2006 she was named Business Advisor of the Year by INROADS, in 2009 she was recognized as a Technology All-Star at the Women of Color in STEM conference and in 2019 she honored as a UCF Distinguished Aluma by the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems.

Tandreia holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems from UCF. Her greatest accomplishment, however, is being the proud mother of two college students, Ruby (24) and Anthony (22).

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Marty Parker

Host

Marty Parker serves as both the CEO & Founder of Adæpt Advising and an award-winning Senior Lecturer (Teaching Professor) in Supply Chain and Operations Management at the University of Georgia. He has 30 years of experience as a COO, CMO, CSO (Chief Strategy Officer), VP of Operations, VP of Marketing and Process Engineer. He founded and leads UGA’s Supply Chain Advisory Board, serves as the Academic Director of UGA’s Leaders Academy, and serves on multiple company advisory boards including the Trucking Profitability Strategies Conference, Zion Solutions Group and Carlton Creative Company.

Marty enjoys helping people and companies be successful. Through UGA, Marty is passionate about his students, helping them network and find internships and jobs. He does this through several hundred one-on-one zoom meetings each year with his students and former students. Through Adæpt Advising, Marty has organized an excellent team of affiliates that he works with to help companies grow and succeed. He does this by helping c-suite executives improve their skills, develop better leaders, engage their workforce, improve processes, and develop strategic plans with detailed action steps and financial targets. Marty believes that excellence in supply chain management comes from the understanding the intersection of leadership, culture, and technology, working across all parts of the organization to meet customer needs, maximize profit and minimize costs.

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

Laura Lopez serves as our Supply Chain Now Marketing Coordinator. She graduated from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente in Mexico with a degree in marketing. Laura loves everything digital because she sees the potential it holds for companies in the marketing industry. Her passion for creativity and thinking outside the box led her to pursue a career in marketing. With experience in fields like accounting, digital marketing, and restaurants, she clearly enjoys taking on challenges. Laura lives the best of both worlds - you'll either catch her hanging out with her friends soaking up the sun in Mexico or flying out to visit her family in California!

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Jake Barr

Host

An acknowledged industry leader, Jake Barr now serves as CEO for BlueWorld Supply Chain Consulting, providing support to a cross section of Fortune 500 companies such as Cargill, Caterpillar, Colgate, Dow/Dupont, Firmenich, 3M, Merck, Bayer/Monsanto, Newell Brands, Kimberly Clark, Nestle, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Sanofi, Estee Lauder and Coty among others. He's also devoted time to engagements in public health sector work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At P&G, he managed the breakthrough delivery of an E2E (End to End) Planning Transformation effort, creating control towers which now manage the daily business globally. He is recognized as the architect for P&G’s demand driven supply chain strategy – referenced as a “Consumer Driven Supply Chain” transformation. Jake began his career with P&G in Finance in Risk Analysis and then moved into Operations. He has experience in building supply network capability globally through leadership assignments in Asia, Latin America, North America and the Middle East. He currently serves as a Research Associate for MIT; a member of Supply Chain Industry Advisory Council; Member of Gartner’s Supply Chain Think Tank; Consumer Goods “League of Leaders“; and a recipient of the 2015 - 2021 Supply Chain “Pro’s to Know” Award. He has been recognized as a University of Kentucky Fellow.

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Marcia Williams

Host

Marcia Williams, Managing Partner of USM Supply Chain, has 18 years of experience in Supply Chain, with expertise in optimizing Supply Chain-Finance Planning (S&OP/ IBP) at Large Fast-Growing CPGs for greater profitability and improved cash flows. Marcia has helped mid-sized and large companies including Lindt Chocolates, Hershey, and Coty. She holds an MBA from Michigan State University and a degree in Accounting from Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay (South America). Marcia is also a Forbes Council Contributor based out of New York, and author of the book series Supply Chains with Maria in storytelling style. A recent speaker’s engagement is Marcia TEDx Talk: TEDxMSU - How Supply Chain Impacts You: A Transformational Journey.

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Luisa Garcia is a passionate Marketer from Lagos de Moreno based in Aguascalientes. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico. She specializes in brand development at any stage, believing that a brand is more than just a name or image—it’s an unforgettable experience. Her expertise helps brands achieve their dreams and aspirations, making a lasting impact. Currently working at Vector Global Logistics in the Marketing team and as podcast coordinator of Logistics With Purpose®. Luisa believes that purpose-driven decisions will impact results that make a difference in the world.

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Astrid Aubert was born in Guadalajara, she is 39 years old and has had the opportunity to live in many places. She studied communication and her professional career has been in Trade Marketing for global companies such as Pepsico and Mars. She currently works as Marketing Director Mexico for Vector Global Logistics. She is responsible for internal communications and marketing strategy development for the logistics industry. She is a mother of two girls, married and lives in Monterrey. She defines herself as a creative and innovative person, and enjoys traveling and cooking a lot.

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Constantine Limberakis

Host

Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research.Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.

From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.

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Greg White

Principal & Host

When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.

Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.

Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.

When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog.  He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community.  Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include CiscoMicrosoft, Citrix and IBM.  Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane UniversityO’Reilly MediaLinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight.  Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems EngineeringCarrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.

He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.

Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.

Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

Mary Kate Love is currently the VP of marketing at Supply Chain Now focused on brand strategy and audience + revenue growth. Mary Kate’s career is a testament to her versatility and innovative spirit: she has experience in start-ups, venture capital, and building innovation initiatives from the ground up: she previously helped lead the build-out of the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific and before that, MxD (Manufacturing times Digital): the Department of Defense’s digital manufacturing innovation center. Mary Kate has a passion for taking complicated ideas and turning them into reality: she was one of the first team members at MxD and the first team member at the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific.

Mary Kate dedicates her extra time to education and mentorship: she was one of the founding Board Members for Women Influence Chicago and led an initiative for a city-wide job shadow day for young women across Chicago tech companies and was previously on the Board of Directors at St. Laurence High School in Chicago, Young Irish Fellowship Board and the UN Committee for Women. Mary Kate is the founder of National Supply Chain Day and enjoys co-hosting podcasts at Supply Chain Now. Mary Kate is from the south side of Chicago, a mom of two baby boys, and an avid 16-inch softball player. She holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more.  In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys.  She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.

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