Supply Chain Now
Episode 751

How do you put all your focus on enhancing the customer experience? What does that mean from a data side, a technology side, a tech stack control tower side? How can you stay lean and mean and go out and improve cost AND performance?

- Nate Endicott, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Alliances, RateLinx

Episode Summary

Back in the ‘old normal’ of two years ago, all a company needed to be strategic about their shipping was a BI solution and a few targeted metrics to focus on. That would carry them through the year. Now, however, everything is constantly in flux – from metrics to performance targets to the network itself.

Nate Endicott is the Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Alliances at RateLinx. They take a consultative approach to helping companies ship, track, and pay better through an emphasis on quality, integrated data. They understand that finding the right combination of carriers is absolutely essential – now more than ever.

In this episode, Nate discusses the major supply chain trends as he sees them with Scott Luton and special guest host Cathy Morrow Roberson, Founder and President of Logistics Trends & Insights:

– Why analytics and diverse partnerships are essential for companies trying to succeed in today’s unpredictable business conditions

– The fact that deploying a huge transportation management system (TMS) probably won’t get you fired, but it won’t address all of your shipping problems either

– Why this is not the time for supply chain practitioners to avoid making decisions – especially if they have access to quality data

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (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 (00:31):

Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening wherever you are. Scott Luton and special guest, Cathy Morrow Roberson, with you here on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s livestream. Cathy, how are you doing?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:43):

Good and great. How you doing?

Scott Luton (00:45):

Doing wonderful. It is so neat to have you back, one of our favorite repeat guests and collaborators. It has been too long, Cathy.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (00:52):

It’s been way too long. What kept you so long?

Scott Luton (00:57):

We’ve accumulated a big inventory of some really neat and intriguing topics to talk all about. Right?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (01:05):

Ya’ll have been super busy. I’ve enjoyed watching all of y’all’s podcast and such. So, thank you.

Scott Luton (01:13):

Well, thank you, Cathy. And, we got plenty to talk about beyond supply chain. The Braves are moving into Game 4 today. We have college football. You know, as if supply chain, global supply chain’s not exciting enough these days, huh?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (01:27):

Tell me about it. But the supply chains with the football, with the baseball and all of that as well.

Scott Luton (01:34):

That is right. All right. So, today, Cathy, you and I are going to be hosting conversation. Really excited to have Nate Endicott join us with RateLinx. We’re going to be talking about how business leaders can optimize their customer experience, CX, all the rage these days, even in these ever increasingly challenging times, and making things more predictable, right? Predictability is a beautiful thing ain’t it, Cathy?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (02:00):

It’s a beautiful thing, especially in today’s environment.

Scott Luton (02:04):

It sure is.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (02:05):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (02:05):

And, folks, you know, boring is maybe predictability on steroids, but that’s really a beautiful thing. I wish we had sometimes more boring supply chains, but a bit of a little shout out there to Chris Barnes. Okay. So, Cathy, we’re also, towards the latter half of today’s conversation, when we’re talking about some research that you’re leading in the reverse logistics space too, right?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (02:29):

That’s right. That’s right. The reverse logistics association has been super busy for a while and we are conducting a very important survey that we hope lots of people, you know, will be willing to contribute to help us.

Scott Luton (02:46):

Yes. Tony Sciarrotta, if he was here, he would say, finally, the reverse logistics industry is getting out of the dark side into where it should be, a seat at the table, you know.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (02:59):

No longer on the dark side, as he likes to describe it.

Scott Luton (03:03):

Our reverse logistics practitioners are jedis now. It’s not Darth Sciarrotta. He is Tony Skywalker perhaps, Cathy.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (03:15):

That’s a good description [inaudible].

Scott Luton (03:17):

So, speaking of, Felecia is with us with RLA, so great to see you, Felecia Przybyla. I hope this finds you well. She’s also a big fan of Cathy. We got Michael J. Darden, Sr. Mike, hopefully this finds you well via LinkedIn. Great to have you here today. So, stay tuned for what’s going to be a wonderful conversation.

Scott Luton (03:39):

So, Cathy, what is, let’s see here, if you had to pick one thing that we’re going to chat about today that perhaps you’re most excited about, just one thing, what do you think that would be?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (03:52):

Oh, my goodness. Thank you for putting me on the spot here. Actually, I have to say, I mean, customer service, the whole customer experience has got to be one of the most important things. It’s always been important. But I think in today’s world, you know, where you have such delays occurring, you got to stay in touch with that customer.

Scott Luton (04:15):

That’s right. I like that. And, keep, not just one finger on the pulse but maybe all four and sometimes a thumb.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (04:21):

Exactly, exactly.

Scott Luton (04:22):

You know, I think that’s where some of the really cool lessons learned from me have been these in these recent years because, you know, supply chain plays a critical role in that customer experience in so many different ways. And, it’s really cool also to see organizational leaders dive in deeper into the discipline that is customer experience. So, we’re going to be talking about how, three ways, when Nate joins us here momentarily, three ways to deliver a predictable customer experience in these ever changing uncertain times. I want to give a little quick shout out. Cory Comer is with us as well. The Dude, Cathy, I think is one of his nicknames. We were talking about – what’s that movie we’re talking about pre-show, The Big Lebowski, right?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (05:10):

Yeah. Yeah.

Scott Luton (05:13):

So, Cory, hope this finds you well. And, of course, Libby is with us as well. Libby, great to see you, tuned in via LinkedIn. Thanks so much.

Scott Luton (05:20):

Okay. So, with no further ado, Cathy, are we ready to get things going?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (05:25):

Yes, definitely. I am looking forward to hearing more from Nate.

Scott Luton (05:30):

Do you remember – really quick, ’cause I know we both spent time in South Carolina. There was a kid show, I want to say Joe Pinner in Columbia, does that ring a bell?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (05:42):

Oh, my God, vaguely. Vaguely.

Scott Luton (05:44):

So, when we brought the guests in that he’d had all the kids do this, you know. Let’s get the cartoon reel turning. Yes. So, with that said, I want to bring in Mr. Nate Endicott, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing with RateLinx. Nate, good afternoon. How are you doing?

Nate Endicott (06:03):

[Inaudible] to be here, Scott.

Scott Luton (06:06):

Well, great to have you back. Mr. Knows-It, Cathy. Joe Pinner was Mr. Knows-It, just to finish that thought.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (06:13):

I remember Mr. Knows-It.

Scott Luton (06:14):

And, he had the kids on platforms, Nate, and, like, I think every Saturday morning for a couple hours and then when he’d introduced the cartoons to get all the kids to engage, it was.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (06:24):

Scott, you’re [inaudible].

Scott Luton (06:29):

Wait, we may be old, but we’re all old friends here. And, I’m really excited to have Nate back and Cathy back as we talk about not just customer experience but supply chain and transportation and getting stuff moved and doing it in an efficient, successful way. So, we’re going get to that in a second. But, Cathy and Nate, we’re going to have a little bit of fun, arguable fun, before we get to the heavy lifting. So, did y’all know Nate and Cathy that today is National Savings Day? Do you have any idea when we were talking pre-show?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (07:00):

Tell that to my son.

Scott Luton (07:03):

So, we can all relate with kids, right, and how sometimes, I know I did as a kid, we ignored good advice when it comes to saving. In fact, pre-show I’m like, am I getting my legs broken later, Nate and Cathy? But on the front, before we went live, I said, okay, folks, we’re going to talk about really fun topic, National Savings Day. And, Amanda, my dear wife says, “Oh, not so much fun.” It was not a topic that was fun to her, but that’s okay. That is okay. And, by the way, good morning and good afternoon, Catherine McCleary. Great to see you. Hope this finds you well.

Scott Luton (07:36):

All right. So, let’s talk about, I’m going to ask you all two questions as it relates to National Savings Day. The first one will be more fun and I want you all to tell us and then, Nate, I’m going to start with you. Tell us a piece of advice related to saving money that may be your parents or some relatives or friends, you name it, would try to, you know, bang into your head as a kid.

Nate Endicott (07:58):

Yeah. I mean, growing up in a, I mean, church we’d have little stupid piggy banks that I hated. You’d get something and you’d have to give a tithe and then you’d get to save. But my grandpa probably was the biggest influence just from a business standpoint and a money financial standpoint. When I was a little kid, he’s always preached to me over and over and over again, a 25 bucks, try to put 25 bucks a month away, 25 bucks and a 25 bucks. And then, I was a little later than I wanted to start saving that 25 bucks a month. But I probably could think of a lot more, but those are two quick things that I could think just to saving [inaudible].

Scott Luton (08:38):

I love that. Most of us are probably late to the game when it comes to savings. And, I love that little piggyback you mentioned and church for me, I want to say it was a Lottie Moon Offering and they created little plastic rice bowls and everyone put coins in it and everyone bring those, right, those plastic rice bowls at the church. So, thank you, Nate, for triggering that neat memory. Cathy, same question to you, what did you learn from parents, friends, family, you name it, when it comes to savings?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (09:06):

Oh, my goodness. I think I’m with Nate. My grandparents were really big influencers and my dad. Mom, she saw a dollar bill, she went and spent it. So, she was not that good of an influence on me when it comes to that. But I was always taught to put aside 20%, you know, just flat out, set aside 20%. And, I did, you know, at an early age because I was the one that was a little more conscious of saving. I think I was always called the old soul growing up.

Scott Luton (09:41):

You’re ahead of the curve.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (09:43):

My brother was another one, saw the dollar bill, spent it. So, I always had a shoe box before I had a savings account at a bank and I always dropped dollar bills here and there from babysitting, selling Avon, all the way up to the first real job.

Scott Luton (10:00):

Really? Man. Okay. So, you’re a bit unique when it comes – I was like your mom and your brother. Man, I couldn’t, and that pass would burn a hole in my pockets as a kid. By the way, Azaleah says gold is a piece of advice. Gold, like those commercials. Investing gold, right? And, great to see you as Azaleah. Chuck Johnston’s with us. Hey, Chuck, I hope this finds you well. “Reverse logistics blowing up. Great to see you.” I agree. And, Chuck, we enjoy your time with us not too long ago.

Scott Luton (10:26):

All right. So, we’ve had kind of the fun side of that question, fun to some of us. Nate, I want to talk about, before we get into the center plate item here, what’s a way that you’ve seen organizations save here in recent months whether that relates to time or money or other resources? What’s been a creative thing you’ve seen maybe?

Nate Endicott (10:48):

Yeah. I mean, I think time’s a big thing. I think even though it’s been on their side, it’s also been against them. I mean, think about work from home and everybody has gained efficiency, but at the same time, they’re in their PJ’s and they hadn’t showered all day because they’d been working since they got up till they go to bed. And, you know, in some ways you hear at least from our shippers and then potential customer talk to, they can’t get enough time back. So, it’s like everyone’s take, you got 24 hours in a day. And, we always preach and teach, you know, what are you going to do with it? There’s no excuse to get something done. There’s two times to do something now and right now yet, you know, across the globe, all the supply chains are being in tasked and I think especially now that, you know, supply chain has a seat at the table, everyone’s look to on this side of the table to deliver. So, yeah, time is one way I think they’ve saved, but also it’s not hurt them but how do you take advantage of it?

Scott Luton (11:44):

Right, right. And, talking about seat at the table as Greg likes to mention, you know, it’s great. Supply chain has earned a seat at the table in recent years, but the bad news is you got to do something about it now. You’ve got to deliver now, right?

Nate Endicott (11:55):

Accountability.

Scott Luton (11:56):

That’s right. Accountability. That’s right, Nate. All right. So, Cathy, same question to you. What’s something creative you’ve seen companies out there doing to save here own a National Savings Day?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (12:07):

Well, I mean, I agree with Nate. Nate took my answer to be honest with you. So, the whole work from home for a lot of folks, I mean, that has been a cost savings in terms of real estate, real estate savings from a business perspective. But yet at the same time, we’re all sitting here thinking we need to be working or on call 24/7. And, it’s created that type of friction unfortunately most of the time. I’ve been working from home for about 10 years now but still, and, you know, there’s been some great time saving apps out there if you remember to use them. Some of us don’t remember to use them as far as dollar-wise cost savings from a supply chain. Bless the shippers’ hearts. You know, it’s taken all and then some for them to just get their items shipped in time.

Scott Luton (13:04):

Well said. And, you know, we were on an interview this morning with one of the world’s leading do-it-yourself retailers. And, we were talking about, you know, global supply chain burnout, you know, whether drivers, fulfillment workers, retail workers. You know, we’ve all seen recent stories about some of the unique challenges that our ocean transportation workers have to endure. So, we’ve got a love on our workforce for sure and I appreciate both of y’all touching on that. And, really quick, you know, Cathy, you talked about the working from home. It’s really neat to see employers leaning into that and finding a way to allow that because that gives a lot of folks, you know, that commute time back than they can either get more work done or spend and maybe grab breakfast with their kids or something, you know, a couple of times a week.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (13:51):

I know. What a concept. Yeah.

Scott Luton (13:55):

What a concept. That’s right. All right. So, I want to do this. We love our lists around here, Nate and Cathy, and we’ve kind of built the main part of today’s conversation around a top three list, three ways to deliver a predictable customer experience in truly these uncertain times. So, Nate, we’re going to walk through these. We’re going to step through these and hear some of your thought leadership. And then, Cathy, I’m going get your take on these, and folks, folks in sky boxes in the comments, we’d love to hear your take, whether your response to what Nate is sharing or Cathy’s take, or if you’ve got a top three list, we’d love to hear that too. So, Nate, where are we starting with our top three ways to deliver that predictable customer experience?

Nate Endicott (14:35):

Yeah, I know good stuff. I would say number one is visibility, Scott. And, I think, especially in today’s, you know, whether it’s global retailer or manufacturer, distributor, everybody is focused on not just, you know, where’s my freight, when’s it going to show up, managing dwell time in stock. I mean, there’s a slew of a big, long laundry list of what customers are faced with managing now. But really just visibility as a whole from measuring you can’t – you know, there’s a way you can’t monitor what you don’t measure. You can’t measure what you don’t monitor. I think it’s put a big focus and emphasis around data and analytics of, you know, moving beyond BI, getting the predictive, and then how do you get to prescriptive, where you can have easy to understand actions to take as a retailer, a transportation manager or a supply chain person, or even finance to, you know, not waste time, speaking of time, on something that might save you a quarter of a percent when you could go out and save 15 to 20%, if you had data and technology to go out and execute on.

Nate Endicott (15:46):

But visibility is definitely something that has gotten a big buzz around in the last three to five years. But as we’ve talked with you and Greg in the past and had a fun topic on, the ability to where it’s at is not enough. I mean, that’s just a piece of it, but visibility is definitely number one.

Scott Luton (16:07):

You beat me to the punch. I was about to share a, you’ve got a great quote that we’ve got a lot of feedback [inaudible] and I’ll share that in a minute. But it’s not enough. And, Cathy, I want to bring you back in the conversation. You know, you touched on data and metrics and there’s a lot more to that visibility equation. But I remember when I was in manufacturing and, you know, we’re constantly solving problems, it goes with the territory. The first thing, first step, let’s get all the facts on the table, right. Let’s figure out where things are, you know, all the facts and as simple as that sounds, that’s part of our challenge these days. But, Cathy, when it comes to visibility and somewhat Nate shared there, what some of your thoughts?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (16:45):

Oh, I think Nate is spot on. I really like the being able to understand the actions that’s needed. I mean, particularly now with all the delays and not even knowing who our suppliers are past those tier one suppliers and, you know, with the ships sitting off the [inaudible] on the west coast, as well as the east coast because there are some waiting to enter in Savannah. Yeah, being able to be more proactive versus reactive I think is really important. And, having that real time visibility is so, so important all the way to our front doorstep.

Scott Luton (17:27):

I love that. I love that. And then, of course, as we touched on the front end, on the reverse side and return side, having that visibility coming back the other way, I mean, it’s in demand. It is absolutely in demand. So, to finish this first one, Nate, what you shared a second ago. So, I’ve tracked you down on social media. I love the stuff you dropped there, Nate, and I’m quoting you here. “Let’s face it. Visibility is not enough. Today, companies need to proactively manage changing conditions, network performance, and spend.” So, when it comes to – let’s talk about his last two things as we wrap up the visibility part, network performance and spend, give me your takes on that, Nate.

Nate Endicott (18:10):

Yeah. I mean, I think if you look at, I mean, every customer, potential customer, shipper we talked to on a daily basis and even our customers, you know, today’s day and age is different than, you know the new abnormal is different than what it was two years ago, where you could have some analytics, you might also have some BI and you could actually just get your team in a room and focus on maybe three strategies for the year. And, you know, you maybe go out and you have some cost savings goals, but you don’t have to be too aggressive and you’re measuring your customer experience and you’re measuring, you know, lead times or transit. And, now all of a sudden, it’s daily, you know. Things changed. So, it’s like your metrics are changing. How can you be the first to know, and then deliver, not just in, you know, outside to your customer experience as a customer but also your internal customers that need to know from you.

Nate Endicott (19:06):

But, typically the two initiatives that we find right now that everybody’s after is cost and performance. And so, that’s where it’s on that performance side that network performance and spend side. You know, you no longer can just have a miscellaneous bucket of your accessorials and then waste time to go get them and then find that again you have a detention, you know, finances like, “Hey, why is detention up?” And, you find out that it’s, you know, two-eight of your spend. And, it’s like, why are you focused on that?

Nate Endicott (19:34):

So, you see analytics, spend analytics, breaking everything down. I mean, really everyone’s really wanting total [inaudible] costs, so how do you get to that. And then, on the network side is, again, you can’t just measure track, you know, on the tracking side. For network performance, you know, visibility, it’s the whole thing. Like, how is your network performing? And then, getting scorecarding and supplier scorecarding, carrier scorecarding. Visibility is king. Data is king. He who has it wins and how do you stop having emotional, you know, outbreaks and just [inaudible].

Scott Luton (20:09):

There’s no crying in supply chain, Nate, I think it’s what you’re saying there. There’s no crying. All right. So, I want to say hello to a few folks. Cathy, I’m going to get your final thought here, and we’re going to keep on trucking. I want to say hello, Larry Klein. Great to see you here. Congrats on your new position within supply chain. So, great to see you. Sheeraj is here with us. So, hello Sheeraj, via LinkedIn. And, Patrick, great to have you here as well, also via LinkedIn.

Scott Luton (20:30):

Okay, Cathy, I know there’s only one other person I’ve heard recently say accessorial. I think I said that right. And, that would be Cathy Morrow Roberson. I know you take a deep dive there, but I heard a little story to the day. A fellow entrepreneur that’s in, we’ll call it a printing business, as a major carrier would deliver things to this business and he’d give them a box to take on their way out. He did not know that he was getting dinged for three bucks per box on that. And, it was below surface level. He didn’t know. And, man, when he found out, oh, he was hot. But, Cathy, one final when it comes to, since it came up, those shipping charges, right. A quick, quick commentary there before we move on to number two on Nate’s list.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (21:20):

Big ouch for shippers no matter what mode of transportation or types of transportation shippers are utilizing. I mean, there are so many accessorials or surcharges, if you want to call them that. It’s a way for a lot of the carriers to try to mitigate their costs. And, they’re having to pass on these higher rates and such to their customers. And then, those customers are having to pass them home to their customers who ultimately we end up having, you know, as the consumer having to pay for these. But, yeah, I mean, that continued to go up no matter what. And so, the best way is to mitigate, get to be really chummy with your carrier partners. I mean, partner with them is really what you need to be doing, you know, [inaudible] –

Scott Luton (22:13):

And, it goes back to visibility. You got to know about them, so you can do something about it. Right?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (22:18):

Exactly. Know your options.

Scott Luton (22:20):

Yes, that’s right. Really quick, TSquared going back to our savings. He says, “From the age of 12, it started with, if you have a dollar save a dime and the percentage increase with age.” Nice. Very nice, TSquared.

Scott Luton (22:32):

All right. So, Nate, all right, so the first one in this three list, three ways to deliver a predictable customer experience. Clearly, we’ve spiked the football, maybe a couple of times on visibility. What was number two?

Nate Endicott (22:44):

Two, I think it has to be diversification. You have to be, and that can mean many things as well. But I think, you have to be able to one leverage analytics but also have better partnerships. And, you have to be able to diversify, you know, whether that’s with suppliers, whether that’s with carriers, you know, whether that’s, you know, just internal, you know customers.

Scott Luton (23:09):

You can’t be single sourced anything these days, am I right?

Nate Endicott (23:11):

No. No. Yeah. And, people still get big eyes about, “Hey, I’m single sourced and we have great, great rates.” It’s like, yeah, I bet you do. But I think, you know, just being able to diversify, you know, and the flip side of that is not having so many systems. You know, how do you have a system that can, where you can streamline? You don’t want to have, you know, a ton of systems inside, but as far as the diversification really with carriers and suppliers and be able to have better partnerships, and again, if you have the right data, it makes it easier to diversify and then become, I don’t know, supplier friendly, carrier friendly, and really create a triangular partnership and a trusted partnership around just data and truth. Because a lot of times it’s like, hey, if volumes go down, you know, we always call it with us. You know, you’re able to put a carrier on a diet. So, we call it a freight diet.

Nate Endicott (24:02):

But the carrier actually, in some ways, is Holland better freight that fits them? And, they actually might haul less and make more. They might, you know, haul less and be more profitable. So, again, just data, being able to diversify your carrier mix, using the right carrier fit, and then the supplier side too. Like, you know, a lot of time, nowadays, it’s like, hey, that data’s sitting in front of you so how do you leverage that data [inaudible] diversify.

Scott Luton (24:32):

It’s almost a luxury if it’s sitting in front of you. That’s a great point there, Nate. Cathy, I’m going to share a couple of comments in a minute, but what comes to mind as we hear this diversification in a variety of forms?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (24:43):

I agree. I mean, it’s totally. It is needed across the board. Nate’s right. And, you’re seeing, maybe seeing a trend here, data, being able to analyze that data. Again, it’s all about being proactive and mitigating, you know, to mitigate those risks and such, but carrier diversification. That was something that we were pounding into everybody’s heads last year, you know, from a last mile perspective. It used to be you either would depend on just UPS or just FedEx until the big strike in the ’90s occurred. The lesson learned from there was, “Oh, you need both of them.”

Cathy Morrow Roberson (25:23):

Last year’s big lesson learned was you’d need more than just the UPS and FedEx and the post office. You need more. And then, we also saw a lot of creative solutions coming from retailers and such as that as well, but it goes up string. You know, there are – diversifying suppliers is a big, it’s a hot topic with a lot of retailers now. Nike, for example. So much of their manufacturing is in Vietnam. Well, we all know what’s happened in Vietnam. So, they’re mitigating those. They’re loosening up and expanding their suppliers as well. It’s really important topic.

Scott Luton (26:05):

Excellent point. Creating lots of opportunities and some, you know, work arounds. Come on, face it. We love systems thinking across supply chain, but problem solving requires work arounds at times on a variety of scales.

Scott Luton (26:20):

So, folks, Cory is in the sky box. Cory is a dear friend, The Dude, as we called it, with the RateLinx team. Hey, what are some of y’all’s other challenges in transportation? We’d love for y’all to chime in there. Azaleah, by the way, Nate and Cathy. Recent experiences, she says buying furniture desk, which was, if I understand this right math equations are not my forte, $78 desk, but the shipping or maybe with shipping was 356 bucks. How about that? And, Cory is asking her, “Hey, was the delivery data also next year?” Maybe so. I bet it was a long time to get that desk. And, Larry adds, “Always have a backup.” Diversification, you know redundancy, always having a backup.

Scott Luton (27:06):

Okay. Let’s talk about, so we had visibility number one. We got diversification and a variety of definitions and ways in applications, number two. Nate, what is number three on our top three lists here?

Nate Endicott (27:21):

I say, three is agility and being able to, you know, how do you go do it. How can you have, you know, the insights and the system and/or team? You know, how do you stay lean in today’s day and age? But really how do you become agile and how do you go deliver an agile supply chain? But agility is definitely number three. And, from a system side, you know, I think the flip of this whole thing is what caused a lot of people to streamline is everybody had, you know, if you think about just from a data side, all the data points that you’re going to have, you know ERP, TMS, WMS, LMS, trade management systems, then you have – you know, some people, you know, people in some ways still kind of the old school mindset where you have to have a freight audit provider and then you have a tracking party provider and then you have a data provider and then you have data quality inside. It’s like, how do you streamline all that and become more agile, you know?

Nate Endicott (28:21):

And then, you think about diversification. Like, can you diversify carrier mix? Can you – you know, I was talking to a customer this morning before our call and our time together. And, you know, they have a TMS, a UPS system, a FedEx system. Their IT spends 16 to 32 weeks trying to put in regional carriers. They want to become data-driven. They want to digitize decisions inside, but they’re like, hey, we could become data-driven but be careful what you wish for because we can’t deliver that. And so, that’s where the beauty obviously with RateLinx customers, being able to, you know, have a TMS that can go do that. But having a system that you don’t have to go ask IT, having a system that you can add a, you know, same day or final mile carrier. And, you know, if that TMS system is not connected and it has to be fast, like how do you do it in a day? How do you do it in two days so you can go do that? But you need to be in control as a shipper, data and systems, and there’s nothing that the data should tell you that is an opportunity that you shouldn’t be able to do. And, I think that’s the agile side of being, you know, leveraging agility in your supply chain.

Scott Luton (29:32):

I love that. Cathy, what comes to mind?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (29:35):

Yeah. I’m thinking about last year when COVID resulted in shutting down a lot of retail stores and many of them had to, like, flip on a dime literally and go, you know, they invested quickly into technology so that they could start doing fulfillment and through their stores, as well as through their warehouses, to have the warehouse speak to the store, you know, linked in that middle mile with the last mile, which is so incredibly important. You know, just – you know, the whole – it just really transformed, helped jumpstart that transformation that the retail industry has really needed for so long. And, we see more of the focus being taken away from just that physical store to more of that multichannel perspective. You know, there is a lot more interest in that whole e-commerce part of it and putting them all together to provide the options and they’re using that data that we keep bringing up in our conversation. So, yeah, agility so, so important.

Scott Luton (30:45):

I love it, Cathy. Well put. All right. So, Azaleah’s asking the question and there’s a couple of questions we’re going to try to get in here in today’s hour, but as I think this might help move into, let’s just level set with what RateLinx does. Azaleah says, “Any thoughts on customization of data systems for carriers. What are some best fits tools, best fits tools in the building systems to fit each partner?” So, talking about customization, you know, talking about what works for specific operations that may not work for others, talking about improving the visibility and the ability to make decisions, especially when it comes to transportation, give some thoughts there, Nate, and then let’s make sure we level set on what exactly RateLinx does in a nutshell.

Nate Endicott (31:28):

Yeah. I mean, I think it depends on if you’re a carrier or if you’re a shipper. I think there’s definitely systems out there for, you know, both. Some guys who’ve had a niche where they’re, hey, it’s more carrier focused or it’s more, you know, shipper focused. I think today’s day and age is how you build, you know, whether you’re a carrier, I mean, jeez, you know, you throw people. And, you know, yeah, being a carrier in today’s is just I think just as hard as being a shipper, you know, or maybe harder in some ways. But I think, you know, system-wise, there’s definitely systems out there that, you know, whether it’s analytics and data and visibility, or, you know, inside the four walls that it just, what’s your strategy on what do you, you know, what’s your in-goal, what’s your initiative and, you know, go seek it out.

Scott Luton (32:21):

What does success look like?

Nate Endicott (32:22):

Yeah, I mean [inaudible].

Scott Luton (32:23):

Let’s start with that.

Nate Endicott (32:24):

It’s like, hey, you know, be careful just put in a system. You know, there’s what three things. And, you know, it’s really around diagnosing what is your main problem, developing the right solution, whether that’s internally with your internal stakeholders and the company that you’re potentially going to partner with, and then deploy a solution that you’re going to actually solve the problem with. Like, I think today’s day and age, we talked to more shippers that deployed, you know, big TMS because they had a brand name and they couldn’t get fired for choosing it. And they’re coming back around after spending millions of dollars and still, you know, you haven’t finished or it’s not solving the right problem ’cause they wanted visibility and it’s like, that’s not what a TMS is for. You know, that TMS is [inaudible] planning and execution. So, yeah, you know, diagnose, develop, and then go deploy the right solution. That’s going to give you the right results of what you want.

Scott Luton (33:25):

Yeah. All right. So, Cathy, I want to get you to weigh in here on this notion of customization and sourcing solutions. And then, we’re going to circle back to Nate and make sure we get a good understanding of what RateLinx does. So, Cathy, any thoughts on Azaleah’s question?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (33:40):

I think customization is very much needed and wanted. I mean, every business, shipper, carrier or whomever, has a very unique strategy and these technologies need to address those strategies. I always sit there and tell people that, you know, one business is supply chain is like their social security number. There’s not another one quite like it.

Scott Luton (34:04):

I like that.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (34:05):

And, to be able to customize is very important because, I mean, changes happen so fast. Look at what’s happened over the past couple of years, you know, and thankfully a lot of these systems are cloud-based, which makes it a little easier to customize [inaudible] bit a particular shipper or carrier or whomever’s strategies or requirements and such. So, that’s a very good thing and they’re real time too, which is even better.

Scott Luton (34:38):

I love that. Democratization across supply chain has been a really neat thing. Okay. A couple of quick comments here. Azaleah is talking about the trailer shortages out there. It’s one of the challenges. Chassis. Someone told me on chassis alone, it’s like an eight-year waiting list, eight years.

Nate Endicott (34:57):

Unless you’d [inaudible] someone.

Scott Luton (35:01):

Holy cow.

Nate Endicott (35:02):

[Inaudible] maybe.

Scott Luton (35:03):

It’s unbelievable. Larry says I couldn’t even get a pressure washer delivered from Lowes. How ’bout that? Let’s see here. Rhonda, great to see here. She says, “Time got away from me after some PTO.” Hey, PTO is a good thing. So, Rhonda, hopefully you’re getting lots of PTO out there in beautiful Arizona. And then, I got a couple of questions. I’m going try to circle back on and then we’ll try to get those. But for the time being, Nate, in a nutshell, and it’s tough to do justice in a couple of minutes, but tell us what does RateLinx do.

Nate Endicott (35:31):

Yeah. I mean, we help shippers ship track and pay less for free. You know, do it better, and really in today’s, you know, what shippers are up against. You know, again, how do you leverage data and how do you get beyond BI and reporting and beyond predictive. You know, there’s data out there. When you connect it all together from a control tower standpoint, you can absolutely have insights that are telling you, hey, what are your strategies? You know, how much would it save us if we went to this regional carrier? What if we, you know, looked at pool point? And, what if we, I mean, again, there’s multiple strategies, whether it’s an LTL or truckload or Oceanair, or you got to be able to have the data telling you, so you spend less time looking and going and delivering for the organization.

Nate Endicott (36:20):

So, RateLinx really focuses on helping, you know, shippers leverage data. Most of the time, they use their same TMS, you know. They don’t have to use ours. We can augment. You know, we want them to, you know, really operationalize the data, and if they can use their TMS, they use it. If they need to use pieces of ours to go do it, they do it. We typically, if you’re on the data side, there’s no charge for the TMS. We just go deploy it. I think today’s pricing model is very interesting. For most TMS companies, they’re having to hopefully change their pricing model to help customers. You know, our customers aren’t handcuffed to go execute a strategy. They don’t pay professional service fees. So, if they want to make a change out of carrier, do something, the data tells them to do, they just do it.

Nate Endicott (37:12):

So, really around, you know, ship, track and pay a better, we have TMS. We, also on the track and trace side, one of the top real-time visibility providers, are connecting that data together. And, then we also come alongside on that invoice side to connect the cost side. So, we are one of the top freight and audit pay providers. So, you know, having three to four pieces of your solution, it’s pretty powerful so that they don’t have to go out and I guess hodgepodge a bunch of stuff together and then focus on data quality themselves.

Scott Luton (37:50):

Supply chain Stone Soup. We’ll try to avoid that if we can. Right? But, you know, I love the flexibility I heard there and the agility and also the willingness to play nice in the sandbox. Cathy, you’re nodding your head. What’d you hear there that appeals to you?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (38:08):

I mean, I think the whole collaboration perspective. Working together is critical. And, again, data. Yeah. The ability to analyze that data.

Scott Luton (38:20):

We’re going to touch on that in a second. That’s one of your mantras here and I love that about you, Cathy. There’s a lot of good stuff. We’re going to touch on that in a moment. All right. So, Nate, one last thing about RateLinx. You mentioned the best business a couple of times, but it’s been vetted. Y’all have been adding to your trophy case here lately. Tell us about some of that recognition.

Nate Endicott (38:43):

Yeah, no, I mean, everyone has awards and goes after stuff. I think for us that’s kept us busy and it probably will for a long time as, just Gartner, I mean being in magic water and I can’t tell you a number of deals, you know, that we didn’t get, even though they’ve called back after you don’t get it. Again, you can’t get fired for picking someone in magic quadrant. So, we are in a TMS magic quadrant. We are in the magic quadrant for real-time visibility. We also are one of the top certified providers with FedEx and UPS globally. So, you know, we’re in the Gartner small parcel, multishipping carrier solution, and then also on the freight audit and pay side. So, we’re in four, I think we’re one of the only in that are in four of the market guides and magic quadrants within Gartner.

Scott Luton (39:31):

Yes. And, Nate, let me – I’ll throw this out there because this is my understanding and, folks, I might get this wrong, y’all just reach out to me. But I think RateLinx is the only one in all four and I may have that right. We’ll see. But let me know. But, nonetheless, it has been, you know I love third party validation, right? And, gosh, if you’re going to get third-party validation in Gartners, one of the best in the business to your point. Sheldon says, “Sounds like you guys have decoupled the value eroding activity of searching for transport solutions, resources from the value chain, creating value for customers. Good stuff.” I agree with you, Sheldon. That is some good stuff.

Scott Luton (40:08):

All right. So, I want to switch gears here. We’re kind of we’ve turned into come down the homestretch. Y’all with this us, Cathy, and, Nate, don’t worry, no more hand gestures or anything. I had [inaudible] Mr. Knows-It flashback on the front end here.

Scott Luton (40:22):

But, you know, data, data and visibility, and good resources, incredible resources. These are some big themes of today’s conversations. And, Cathy, that’s one when we’ll switch gears. And, before we touch on the research you’re leading for our friends at RLA, you’ve got something that I just subscribed to that at first glance you talk about some great information, data analysis tip of your fingers, the Substack. What do you call it? What do you call that?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (40:53):

It’s a website, substack.com, which allows folks just to write and it’s free to sign up. I started doing it off and on back in the Spring. It’s a little different than doing a blog post on the website, to be fair here. My website is old and it’s tired looking and I’ve just been too busy to work on it. So, I started writing off of Substack and it’s kind of taken a life on its own. And, I like to focus on rethinking the supply chain because I think we need to seriously rethink supply chains, so I just kind of focus on whatever is of interest to me at the moment. And, for the past few months, it’s been about parcels. Parcel. The whole parcel market is fascinating to me. A lot of changes need to be made in the last mile and we’re seeing them. And so, just kind of highlighting some of that, highlighting some of the pain points of retailers and what they’re doing. You know, how are they addressing the changes in the market and such. That’s fascinating to me. So doing that –

Scott Luton (42:00):

I love that. We’re going to make sure we have a link to that, Cathy –

Cathy Morrow Roberson (42:03):

Oh, thank you.

Scott Luton (42:04):

In today’s note. I was talking – you know, I couldn’t think of earlier, and, sorry folks, it’s the season for head cold and sinus infections. I don’t know about y’all but the changing and temperatures. But I mentioned creep earlier. I meant stalk. So, I stalked Nate on social and Cathy is also a great person to stalk on social. Lots of great content, lots of great content. And, I’m glad you could share that and, hey, for nothing but transparent around here, Cathy, so I appreciate that. All right. So, let’s touch on this research on the reverse logistics side.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (42:35):

Yes. So, we’re working – let me back up.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (42:42):

Yeah, I did a 6 o’clock in the morning interview with ABC Australia this morning. So, I’m a little bit [inaudible] of it, so, yeah. Anyway, so, yes, the reverse logistics association, the only association focused on the reverse logistics market is fantastic and it’s free to join, you know, from an individual perspective. Please go to rla.org to join. We have a lot of webinars on a monthly basis, free to sign up, all kinds of topics on the reverse logistics component.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (43:22):

Yeah. Like, you’ve said, Scott, folks, it’s like the dark side. That’s what Tony calls it. Tony Sciarrotta heads it up. And, we are working on a returns index, trying to figure out to establish how big is this whole returns thing for lack of a better description. And, we need everybody’s help. We have a survey that’s gone out late last week. It’s open. It’s going to be open for a couple of more weeks. Please take it. Please share it with folks. We’re measuring the volume of returns. We’re measuring the cost of returns and we’re going to be doing this on a quarterly basis. We’ll compile the findings into a nice, lovely white paper that we will love to share with everyone and such.

Scott Luton (44:15):

Love it.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (44:15):

So, please. So, yeah, thank you.

Scott Luton (44:19):

Well, I love how you and your efforts there with RLA and our friends, Tony and Felecia, bringing structure to an industry that’s emerging. It’s more important perhaps than ever before in that structure so we can look at it differently and benchmark differently. You name it. So, all your good stuff there, rla.org.

Scott Luton (44:37):

Speaking of great resources, Nate, we’ve got a webinar coming up. It’s going to be scheduled very soon. It’s going to parallel a lot of what you’ve shared here, but it’s going to feature a large shipper with a very diverse product in supplier portfolio, really tackling, enhancing, optimizing, increasing that customer experience, the CX factor, amid these – let’s face it everything’s changing. It seems like by the hour sometimes. The challenge only gets tougher and tougher, but we’re going to learn a lot more. It’s almost like a case study, Nate. I’m really looking forward to that coming up in November. Anything you want to share additionally about the webinar?

Nate Endicott (45:16):

No. I mean, you high-leveled it. And, I mean, it’s with School Specialty. They are keeping our schools and business, which it’s a blessing. And, again, I think it’s one of those things. Everyone always thinks the name brands. Sometimes the name brands don’t actually have as much freight as the other guys. And, you know, think about globally keeping schools in, you know, going. School Specialty is that company, so excited to have you guys meet Andy Houtz. He was in our home office headquarters last week and we [inaudible] some time together. But not just kind of how they’ve gone on their journey of really, you know, how do they leverage visibility. How do they, you know, go out and diversify? How do they become more agile? But, yeah, their whole focus right now is just as most supply chains are, is how do you, you know, put all your focus on enhancing the customer experience and what does that mean from a data side, a technology side, tech stack control tower side to be able to stay lean and mean and go out and improve cost and performance.

Scott Luton (46:16):

I love it. And so, the link for that will be forthcoming. We’ll include that. If you’re listening to the replay of today’s livestream, we’ll have that in the show notes, and looking forward to hosting that with you. And, let’s see, Andy or Andrew from Memphis, the proud of Memphis, Tennessee, Cathy and Nate. And, let’s see, Andy, is it Houtz? Andy Houtz, I believe. Nate, is that right?

Nate Endicott (46:37):

Yeah. Yeah.

Scott Luton (46:38):

Okay. All right. And, that answer is never yes. When I say, is that right, it’s never yes. So, I’m setting records here, Nate and Cathy.

Scott Luton (46:47):

All right. I want to share this quick comment from Azaleah. So, again, Cory and others are talking about some of the transportation challenges out there. Let’s see. Azaleah says she has seen an interesting dynamic between new and veteran drivers just talking with them. The vets appreciate the shorter drives and the easy tech to assign loads. New drivers don’t accept these loads without some big bucks. How ’bout that? Interesting, interesting comments, and love having these conversations, learning from each other. That’s the name of the game in these challenging times, right? Learning from each other.

Scott Luton (47:21):

Okay. So, what I want to make sure we do, Cathy and Nate, ’cause I want to make sure folks know how to connect with both of you. But before we do that, I’ll put you on the spot, if I can. I’ll put you on the spot without putting you on the spot. You know, we’ve talked about a wide range of things, a lot of things that’s going on in the industry today, a lot of best practices that business leaders can learn from. I want each of y’all to pick one, pick one thing that has been shared today, whether it’s came from our panel or came from the comments, you name it. What’s one thing that folks don’t need to lose sight of, especially when it comes to global supply chain or you name it, that don’t need to lose sight of from today’s conversation? And, Nate, if I can, I want to start with you.

Nate Endicott (48:09):

Don’t rest and vest, and do something.

Scott Luton (48:14):

I love it. Don’t –

Nate Endicott (48:16):

Or you will be replaced and someone else will get credit for doing it.

Scott Luton (48:20):

Okay. So, you said don’t rest in best, if I heard you right.

Nate Endicott (48:24):

Don’t rest and vest. I mean, so many supply chain practitioners, it’s like, hey, they’re so scared to make decisions. And, now more than ever, you know, someone else in the organization has more data than them. So, it’s like, you know, don’t sit back. The time is now, leverage data, use your technologies, diversify, have better partnerships, you know quitting donuts and sitting in your living room. Let’s get after it, you know.

Scott Luton (48:50):

Oh, I love it. Nate, man. I love it. You never know when you’re going to kind of add a question to a conversation, but that was worth the price of admission. Don’t sit around eating donuts, folks. Your time to act is now. So, Cathy, Nate was leadoff hitter with that one. What else would you – yeah, what’s your one thing there?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (49:10):

Okay. That’s a hard one to follow. But I think one of the comments that was made early on. Have a backup. Have a backup, always, you know, just in case. So, you know, there’ll be questions just in time. I think the whole just-in-case is the new mantra moving forward. But, yeah, backup is–

Scott Luton (49:34):

I’m with you –

Cathy Morrow Roberson (49:34):

Important.

Scott Luton (49:34):

I love that. JIC. What’s the backup solution? Because, you know, problems are going to – it’s like returns are going to happen.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (49:43):

Something’s going happen.

Scott Luton (49:43):

Right. Problems are going to happen.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (49:45):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (49:46):

Azaleah’s big fan of Nate – she’s probably a new member of the Nate Endicott fan club. So, appreciate that Azaleah. She says best thing she’s heard all year.

Scott Luton (49:55):

Okay. Let’s make sure, folks, we can get y’all connected with our listeners so they can learn more and, of course, as I mentioned, they can follow y’all and connect with you on social and then some. So, Nate, let’s start with you. What’s the easiest way to connect with you and the RateLinx team?

Nate Endicott (50:12):

Yeah. LinkedIn, go connect with us. Obviously, they can go to, you know, ratelinx.com and connect. We have a lot of podcasts and stuff that we’re doing there and pushing stuff out, but best way is probably, you know, there. And, I could – my phone number is on LinkedIn. So, if you want to talk, call me.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (50:31):

It won’t be for long after this.

Scott Luton (50:35):

Well, I love that, Nate. Fearless comes to my mind, fearless. But you keep it real, each of your appearances with us, podcasts, livestreams and then some. Looking forward to our webinar next month in November. So, folks, stay tuned for that. We’ll have a link very, very soon.

Scott Luton (50:51):

All right. So, that was Nate Endicott. Cathy, how can folks connect with you and all the cool things you’re up to?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (50:58):

Oh, goodness. I feel like I live on social half the time. I’m on LinkedIn individually, as well as through from my business. I have a LinkedIn company page, Logistics Trends & Insights. I’m also on Twitter. I’m on Twitter a little too much probably, cmroberson06 is my Twitter handle. And, I do like to chat on Twitter. [Inaudible]

Scott Luton (51:26):

We love – hey, if you love global supply chain, folks, if you’re really a big supply chain nerd like at least I am, I won’t point any other fingers, you got to follow Nate and RateLinx and Cathy on Twitter and LinkedIn in particular, those two great places. I promise to you will not – that will be a blessing in your search for good information. I promise you.

Scott Luton (51:47):

Okay. There was one other thing I was going to – oh, I was going to say a big shout out to Cory Comer behind the scenes. He’s in the chat here today. I appreciate his facilitation. Nate, I always want to add, and, Cathy, may be this is another South Carolina reference. I always want to add another art to his last name, Nate, Cromers because of Cromer’s Pnuts. Right?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (52:08):

Yes. Yeah.

Scott Luton (52:09):

The South Carolina – certainly a Columbia legend. So, Cory, no offense, kind of grew up with that R in the name, but Cory Comer.

Nate Endicott (52:20):

I think you should change his name to Dude Cromers.

Scott Luton (52:22):

Dude Cromers. Well, hey, Nate, I’m looking forward to it. Next time we’re going to have you on, we’re got to refresh folks’ memory. We loved your baseball journey and some of your earlier aspects journey. You got to give me a call, and we’re going to fit one more question in. So, the Braves and the Brewers play here in about four hours in Game 4 of the NLDS, what’s your prediction, Nate, fearless prediction?

Nate Endicott (52:50):

Who’s throwing for the Brewers?

Scott Luton (52:53):

You know, I hadn’t seen that yet. I know Charlie Morton’s throwing for the Braves. I’m not sure.

Nate Endicott (52:59):

It’s Game 4.

Scott Luton (53:00):

Game 4.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (53:01):

Does it matter who’s pitching for the [inaudible]?

Nate Endicott (53:03):

Kind of. You can have backups in diversifying, Cathy.

Scott Luton (53:09):

Yes, that’s right. Backup.

Nate Endicott (53:11):

What’s the counting series right now?

Scott Luton (53:14):

So, it’s two games to one. The Braves have an opportunity to close out the series. They have two opportunities at home. Right.

Nate Endicott (53:22):

In its home?

Scott Luton (53:23):

Right.

Nate Endicott (53:24):

I don’t think they want to wait another day. I think that tonight it’s over. The Braves will send Brewers home and sliding down their own slide at home court advantage.

Scott Luton (53:34):

I love that. And, I’m getting a late breaking update. Clay, also known as Diesel here, ’cause his engine’s always running, says Milwaukee’s going to start lefty Eric Lauer. So, I’m not sure. I’ve never, I’m not sure I’ve seen Eric Lauer pitch game, but you heard it here first. Nate’s calling a Braves win in Game 4 of the NLDS. Nate Endicott, always a pleasure. I appreciate your time here today. I appreciate our partnership and love to see what RateLinx has got cooking. We’ll see you soon, really soon, Nate.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (54:05):

Thanks, Cathy. Thanks ,Scott.

Scott Luton (54:07):

Yeah. We’ll talk soon.

Nate Endicott (54:08):

All right, bye.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (54:09):

Thank you.

Scott Luton (54:10):

All right. And, you know, Cathy, Nate, [inaudible] Dude Cromers. Dude Cromers.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (54:17):

Dude Cromers. [Inaudible] he’s saying that he’s been in the peanut gallery.

Scott Luton (54:25):

Oh, and, he’s up, by the way Cory is also a big Giants fan. Giants got a great team. So, we’ll see if they can put the Dodgers away, but –

Cathy Morrow Roberson (54:32):

That’s okay. We still like Cory.

Scott Luton (54:34):

That’s right. Cory and Nate and the whole team. But, hey, Nate, keeps it real, Cathy. That’s one of my favorite parts. He’s been with us probably three or four shows and you’d get a frank and forthright with Nate, huh?

Cathy Morrow Roberson (54:49):

You do, you do, and that’s what makes a great partnership. You know, you want to partner with folks like Nate, you know, because I don’t think he’s going to blow any smoke in your face or anything.

Scott Luton (55:04):

No, he’s not. He’s going to keep it frank and forthright. You’re right, Cathy. Hey, it’s great to reconnect with you. I appreciate as busy as you are. We had to go through Nate’s agent and your agent to get you booked here today, but, you know, I think y’all’s expertise and your journey, there’s so much common ground there. So, I appreciate you jumping on and sharing some of your expertise. And, we’ll have to do it again soon, Cathy.

Cathy Morrow Roberson (55:29):

Yeah. Yeah. I’d love to, and I really appreciate you asking me. Thank you so much. This has been fun.

Scott Luton (55:35):

I had a blast. We’ll have you back. Okay. Folks, hopefully y’all have enjoyed this conversation as much as we have. I’m still stuck on Dude Cromers. It just kind of conjures up an image. Nate, that was a gold, my friend, gold. But, hey, folks, hopefully you’ve enjoyed this conversation as much as I have. Remember the top three lists here today. Visibility, diversification, and agility. And, I love the concrete examples that Nate and Cathy and folks in the sky box has kind of put behind those words we hear a lot today.

Scott Luton (56:07):

If you like the conversation, be sure to check out supplychainnow.com. Be sure to follow Cathy Roberson and connect with her on social, especially on Twitter. If you’re a big Twitter fan like I am, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. So, on behalf of our entire team here, Scott Luton signing off for now. Do good folks, give forward, be the change that’s needed. On that note, we’ll see you back here next time on Supply Chain Now. Thanks, everybody.

Intro/Outro (56:31):

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

Nate Endicott With a passion to help companies harness the opportunity of big data to substantially improve their supply chain and logistics visibility and performance, Nate Endicott joined RateLinx in 2014 as Senior Vice President, Global Sales and Alliances. Endicott is an expert at accurately diagnosing underlying problems and recommending custom RateLinx software and data service solutions. Endicott’s keen understanding of the RateLinx proprietary predictive modeling engine allows him to help businesses of all sizes to optimize their freight operations.  Connect with Nate on LinkedIn.

Cathy Morrow-Roberson began her career as a librarian working in libraries in North & South Carolina and in Georgia. However, during the first wave of e-commerce startups, Cathy accepted a position at an e-commerce consulting startup working on such projects as the first internet bank and providing strategic analysis on other projects. After a couple of years, Cathy moved on to UPS where she was part of the team that created UPS Supply Chain Solutions. Cathy was responsible for logistics research and analysis including competitive and market analysis and more. With eleven years of UPS experience, Cathy returned to the consulting world, first working with a British-based firm and then launching her own business in 2015, Logistics Trends & Insights LLC, a supply chain market research and consulting firm.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & 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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