Supply Chain Now
Episode 1094

You have to get comfortable being uncomfortable. I think if the pandemic taught us anything, it's that we need to take opportunities to be happy in what we're doing, and some of that will require us to be a little bit uncomfortable.

- Mike Griswold, Vice President of Research, Gartner

Episode Summary

The Supply Chain Now community is so professionally ambitious that the team regularly fields questions about what people can do to make the most of their career in supply chain management. Who better to ask for input than Mike Griswold?

Mike Griswold is the Vice President of Research at Gartner, specializing in retail with a particular focus on forecasting and replenishment. He is responsible for Gartner’s annual Top 25 Supply Chain ranking and joins Supply Chain Now on a monthly basis to discuss the latest in retail supply chains from an analyst’s perspective.

In this episode, Mike shares his best supply chain career advice with co-hosts Scott Luton and Jenny Froome from SAPICS:

• Making sure you and your current organization are a good fit in terms of work/life balance expectations

• Why a well-managed career often includes a broad collection of behaviors and experiences

• The importance of active connection building inside of your company, and for your team if you are a manager

• Reasons for anyone working in supply chain to encounter as many sub-disciplines as they can

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 (00:33):

Hey. Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you are, Scott Luton and special guest host Jenny Froome, my dear friend here with you on Supply Chain. Now, welcome to today’s livestream, Jenny, how are you doing?

Jenny Froome (00:46):

Doing very well. Thank you, Scott. It’s evening here and we’ve got electricity, but don’t tell anyone.

Scott Luton (00:54):

Yes. Well, you know, kidding aside, it has been fascinating to learn more about the load shedding that you and your fellow community residents have to deal with. So I am tickled that you’re here and you’ve got electricity and power, and we can see Jenny and all of her glory here today on Spot Channel Now <laugh>. All right, so Jenny, we’ve got a big show teed up now, only do we have a big guest and a great, wonderful co-host, but we have a huge topic that we get asked about all the time. So today we’re continuing our very popular and long running series supply chain today and tomorrow, of course, with Mike Griswold from Gartner. And today we’re tackling a topic. Jenny, I bet you get asked about it millions of times a week. I know we do. How can I advance my supply chain career, right? So, Jenny, today we’re gonna be offering at least four ways for ideas for folks that have been there and done it to do just that should be an outstanding conversation, right?

Jenny Froome (01:57):

I think so, and I think, you know, you, you summed it up by saying it’s a, it’s an easy show because obviously we’ve got Mike on board and we love to listen to what he has to say.

Scott Luton (02:08):

We do. But you know, don’t say yourself short, Jenny. You know, as we’ve talked about on your previous appearances, and we don’t go over, over two decades, as you know, that’s our standing role. But for over two decades, you’ve been enabling and facilitating folks to further their careers on a wide variety of levels across the African continents. So we really admire what you do. And then man, to have Mike and Jenny the same show. I am tickled. So you have to pinch me later. Okay. And we’re also gonna gonna touch on beyond an upcoming big event, Gartner’s got coming up. We’re also gonna touch on a upcoming big event that you are leading in Cape Town. So more on that to come. But Jenny, before we get going, I wanna share just a couple of quick program notes if that’s good for you folks. You’ve heard us talk about this forever.

Scott Luton (02:52):

I hate that we have to keep talking about it, but we want you to join our collective efforts. This has been going on about a year or so. Now, it’s our leveraging logistics for Ukraine initiative led by Maureen and Enrique and Christie and the whole team at Vector Global Logistics. They’ve really built an ecosystem of folks that care and wanna help. And it’s really led to talk about outcomes. Jenny, 670,000 pounds, over 670,000 pounds of humanitarian aid has made it to Ukraine and PO and folks in need there. But that’s amazing. It really is, and it’s timely and it’s, it ma, it makes you proud to be part of global supply chain, right? But it’s driven by people that care, people that attend these monthly planning sessions so they can get a sense of what, what’s going on and what is needed. So we, I would invite you and encourage you to join us on March 7th at 11:00 AM Eastern time for the next planning session. You don’t have to give anything, you don’t have to say anything. Just show up and get a sense of what this Noble Mission’s all about. Okay, next. Jenny, I know you’re familiar with that initiative. I don’t think you’ve seen this one yet. We’re tickled about this March 21st webinar, Jenny, who is not creating content these days. Yeah, everybody is

Jenny Froome (04:08):

Right, but there are those who do it well and those who don’t do it quite so well. And at least we’re on a platform where they do it brilliantly.

Scott Luton (04:14):

Uh, well, you’re too kind, Jenny, but you’re also really right. So if you are all about creating content, whether it’s b2b, of course, that’s what we specialize in here. B2c. Hey, join our live webinar on March 21st. We’ve got Ursula Ringo from S A p, Brandy Boatner with IBM m Greg’s joining me, and we’re gonna talk about five tips for creating effective digital content. So y’all check that out and we’re gonna make it easy. We’ve got the links to check out both of those items right there in the comments. And your one click away from being a part of those special initiatives. Okay, so Jenny, I’m really excited about this upcoming conversation we’re gonna have. Are you ready to bring on the one and only Mike Griswold?

Jenny Froome (04:59):

Very ready.

Scott Luton (05:00):

Okay, everybody’s buckled up. So with that said, I wanna welcome in the one only Mike rwd, vice President Analyst with partner. Hey. Hey Mike. How you doing?

Mike Griswold (05:14):

Hey, I’m great. I am trying to figure out do I need to have some other expertise to spend time with Greg? He’s been dodging me the last couple of Martin. Hello. I don’t know if it’s me or if it’s him, but uh, yeah, it’s great to be here. I’m looking forward to the topic. Jenny, always good to hang out with you.

Jenny Froome (05:29):

It’s actually not Greg avoiding you, it’s me demanding to spend time with you, <laugh>.

Mike Griswold (05:34):

Oh, thank you. It’s so nice for me to put it. I appreciate that.

Scott Luton (05:37):

Well, so of course Mike is referring Mike engineer, both referring to the one only Greg White. He is on assignment. He’s doing some deep undercover work, investigate investigative stuff. So he’ll be back with us a tongue in cheek. He’ll be back with us in the next few days. So, alright, so Mike and Jenny, I’ve got, you know, we like starting with a kind of a fun warmup question, right? A lot of times it’s business or history or food or music. Some of y’all made call Mike and Kelly Barner and I last month talking about was a supply chain jam session and we intertwined music and supply chain. Thought that was really cool. But today’s fun warmup question, we’re talking retail, retail history. So on this date, Mike and Jenny, March 1st, 1962 though the first Kmart opened in Garden City, Missouri. Now I believe three stores still remain today. You know, it’s been through all kinds of challenges. So you, I think three stores in the states remain from this legendary blue light special outlet and provider, right? So that begs the question, Michael’s start with you. What retail store was inseparable from your upbringing?

Mike Griswold (06:46):

So I’ll answer that, but real quick, if we’d have done this yesterday. Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the mash finale, which,

Scott Luton (06:52):

Uh, yes,

Mike Griswold (06:52):

I love Mash. Um, anyway, so to your question, so growing up, my dad was a teacher taught European history, small town, and he and three of his teacher buddies opened a sporting good store in this small town. I grew up in a population like 5,000, had one head of Main Street, and at the time I was growing up, there were no stoplights people diagonally parked. It was like out of what you would think of as small town America. Yep. Each of them had their own specialty. So my dad was the fishing guy, a couple of teachers were the golf and tennis guy. One guy was the shoe guy. But that was kinda where I would work and spend my time. It was my first introduction to retail. I can remember taking trips with my dad to, to the big city of Rochester to go to some of the bigger sporting good stores to see what type of fishing stuff he wanted to carry.

Mike Griswold (07:46):

But there was one day that I’ll never forget again, small rural town. We are in there working and I look out the front door and I see this deer hopping across from across the street across traffic and came literally through our front door and the door was closed. Unfortunately <laugh> so smashed the glass hops around the store. Ironically enough, we had an indoor archery range. No one was shooting archery at the time where we may have begged ourselves a deer, then bopped around and then bopped right out the same door that that he came in on. So yeah, small town, you know, you, you know, mom and pop, the four teachers, but it was my first introduction really to retail.

Scott Luton (08:31):

Wow. Okay. So Jenny, man, that’s gonna be tough to respond to. So Jenny, tell us about what’s a special store that was inseparable from your upbringing?

Jenny Froome (08:43):

So I’ll tell you about that in a sec, but Mike’s comment reminded me very much. We had a, a shop like that in, in England where my parents lived in a place called Tum Bridge Wells. And we went in there one day when, when I was at school and my mom asked for a pair of soccer boots for her daughter. And the guy, your shoe guy said, well that sounds like a fair exchange. So that’s like one of my, one of a very good memory of shopping with my mother. The childhood, sort of the store that’s associated with my growing up was, we lived in a town in Australia called Tamara and there was a local store there called Sweeney’s. And Mr. Sweeney managed the store with his wife and it had everything from cotton reels to jeans and you know, high fashion. We, we thought it was high fashion then <laugh> and that was the store that you just used to love going into because Mr. Sweeney was just always there and always so welcoming. And that was like my first realization on how people can make you feel and it makes you just want to be in their presence. And that was him in that store.

Scott Luton (09:47):

I love that. Mr. Sweeney, right?

Jenny Froome (09:50):

Mr. Sweeney. Yep.

Scott Luton (09:51):

Sweeney. And of course his wife and business partner that I’m sure is a quite a one-two punch, one twoo effort and socks sock for boots. <laugh>,

Jenny Froome (10:01):

<laugh>,

Scott Luton (10:02):

I could see be quite a trade. Love that. All right, so Mike, Jenny, thank y’all very much. I would just add growing up at Aiken, South Carolina, we had a low cool owned shoe store called Levert and Mr. Levert ran the store with his family. We spent lots of going back to school times there, Mr. Gaddy’s Pizza, I think we’ve talked about that before. That’s still around. And then JB white, JB White’s, I guess that’s been absorbed since then by probably Belk or another department store. But I worked there on summers away for college, so that was a special place. Okay. Is

Mike Griswold (10:34):

That, is Aiken the home of golfer dentistry? TJ Dustin Johnson I think is from Aiken South. Um,

Scott Luton (10:41):

No, no, he’s okay. He’s from Myrtle Beach. It is, uh, Kizner.

Mike Griswold (10:46):

Okay. I knew so I, okay. I knew somewhat was

Scott Luton (10:49):

Yep.

Mike Griswold (10:49):

He’s a good guy too.

Scott Luton (10:50):

Yes. And Mike, you’re just Reating why we’ve gotta have you on our next supply chain nerds talk sports. We’ll make that happen <laugh>. Um, okay, so we’ve got a great topic teed up, down. Look, we’re looking forward to learning from Mike and Jenny. And again, it’s on a topic we get asked about all the time. So let’s go ahead and dive right into, I’m gonna call it four ways, four ways y’all counting ’em with me to optimize your supply chain career. And what we’re gonna do, we’re gonna go through Mike’s list first and Jenny and I will kind of comment on what we were hearing from Mike and then who knows, we might have some bonus tips after Mike shares. So Mike, this question we get all the time, what’s the first thing on your list in terms of a piece of advice? So

Mike Griswold (11:34):

Let me give maybe just a little bit of context, Greg, when you sent this across around the topic for today, what I did is I took a look at part of the team that I managed looks after supply chain talent. So I looked at some of our research around how are we telling companies to think about attracting people, right? And getting people to stay in their organization. And I think some of the things that, that we tell companies to do are how people wanna think about their career, answer some of these questions around how do you think about, about work and how do you think about what you want outta your career? Yeah. So with that is the context, the first one that we’re talking to people a lot about, particularly post pandemic. And I think people as they’re, you know, in their career and thinking about hinges in their career, need to think about how do you like to work five years ago, how you like to work?

Mike Griswold (12:30):

The answer was you were in an office, that was how you worked and there were no other options, right? But when I think about it today, people there, there’s kind of four dimensions to how people can think about how they like to work. Do you like to work alone and be alone? Do you like to work alone but maybe be in a shared space? Do you like to work together and be together? Or do you like to be together and still kind of work by yourself? And I think it’s important for people to kind of ask themselves those questions and then find an employer or ask your current employer how are they thinking about going, you know, not necessarily going back to work, but how are they thinking about how they want their associates to work? Because what you wanna think about in terms of your career is if you know, if you’re a person that gets energy out of popping into someone’s office and talking that whole water cooler type of interaction, if that’s where you get your energy, but your organization or a future organization and say, Hey, we’re a virtual first organization, right?

Mike Griswold (13:41):

What does that mean to you? Yep. Right? If you’re someone like me that had been in an office and now worked for home and don’t need that, then to me having to go into an office would be challenging. Yep. So I think as you think about your career, I think the first thing I would ask people to think about is how do you like to work? Yep. And how are you currently matched? And if you’re looking around for your next opportunity, how does that fit into those opportunities?

Scott Luton (14:09):

So Mike, excellent starting point. And I’m gonna, I’m gonna, if I can, as an aside, and Jenny wanna get your take here in a second, folks, it looks like we’re having a little bit of issue with some of the social platforms as part of the livestream. So I don’t have visibility to all the comments coming in, but I know Gino’s with us and good morning to you Gina, up in North Alabama. So we’ll work through it. You know, sometimes these platforms, they have bad mornings as well. And Mike, we might be losing your video a little bit here and there. Okay? So we’ll just manage that as it comes. Hey, if we can manage through global supply chain strife, we can manage through a one hour long live stream, right? Yes. Okay. So Jenny, back to Mike’s first point. It’s such a good one and I think it is so often overlooked. Cause folks oftentimes, and I’ll point to myself here cause I’m bad now and earlier in my career of wanting to jump to the solution without truly understanding what I want and what makes that the right solution, right? So Jenny, speak to, you know, starting with yourself really, and maybe starting with your why in, in some way.

Jenny Froome (15:09):

And I, it’s like Mike said, you know, there was never a question, you were always in an office, but I’ve been in the event management industry for more years than I care to admit. And so your office was never really a static place and it was always being surrounded by people. And the same thing in the association management world. You’re always surrounded or involved with people. So the lockdown and the online, this online world was a very different one, but it was actually quite an enjoyable one. And I think that the more you can experience, then the better the decision is that you can make. And when you’re just starting out, you don’t know what the difference is. And I think there’s a lot of youngsters who’ve joined the working world, whatever profession, it’s who don’t know about the water cooler conversation because they haven’t had it and they don’t understand about that. Being able to stay late, sitting around a table throwing ideas out, you know, this is the world that they know is the online world. So it’s really trying to grab as much experience you can find out what you really want.

Scott Luton (16:14):

Oh, so well said. Absolutely. And again folks that might sound maybe intuitive, but I’m telling you folk, we, we missed this internal due diligence time and time again, Gino and Greg, who’s tuning in from Milwaukee, Greg, great to see you again. Thanks for your piece of feedback a few days ago. Hey folks, y’all let us know what’s some of the best advice you’ve gotten as y’all worked through your supply chain career or your career in general. Okay, so Mike, circling back to you, what a great starting point with really truly identifying how you like to work. What’s number two on your list, Mike?

Mike Griswold (16:47):

Number two, and we didn’t even rehearse this picks up exactly on Jenny’s comments around experiences. So when we talk to companies around what, you know, particularly the younger generation, you know, is looking for, and how can you attract that generation or those generations of talent? And when I think about, you know, people looking to, to get into the supply chain career space and or looking to advance, one of the things to keep in mind is the way that we think about moving through your career is now changing. Right now I’ll date myself. When I first got into retail, it was basically a ladder, right? You took this job, it then set you up for this job. This job, it was very vertical, it looked like a ladder. Yep. If you look at today’s environment, you know, we talk a lot about it, and I’ll use the word Jenny youth, it’s about experiences and it is about accumulating different experiences towards a particular path.

Mike Griswold (17:49):

And that path for most people nowadays is not a ladder. It’s left right? Maybe back then up and then off to the side. So my advice to people is to gather as many experiences as you can, put yourself in as many different situations as you can to get those experiences. Because as I think about, you know, the Gartner hiring process and I think about the research our team has done, we’re finding more and more of these interviews are experienced in behavior experiences not experienced. How long have you had a job? It’s what are the experiences and behaviors. Those are the things that I think people wanna be accumulating in their toolkit as they think about how do they optimize their career.

Scott Luton (18:41):

Yep. So Jenny, I know he is speaking your language with number two there. Your thoughts?

Jenny Froome (18:46):

Yeah, a hundred percent experiences. You know, I make this joke that my, the letters after my name, uh, uh, qbe, which is qualified by experience. And I think that, you know, the fact that people are now listening to experience and not just looking at letters at the end of people’s names and it’s about your competence rather than your abdomen. Although having both is really cool. Um, I think that is something, and the more that people can grab experiences, even if they didn’t think that it was something that they were wanting to do, it’s like, we’ve gotta try everything. And these organizations that do these intern things and make everybody try everything in the organization, I think that’s something that is really invaluable at whatever age you are in. Obviously there are things you don’t like doing, but sometimes we’ve all gotta do them.

Scott Luton (19:37):

It’s so true. You know, as both of y’all speak to the value of experiences, it immediately takes my brain to some of my time in the Air force, right? I was a data analyst in the Air Force, right? And that’s what we did. I had a fairly normal job. I only deployed one time, you know, it wasn’t combat. But some of my favorite experiences that I learned so much from to both of y’all’s point was when we’d have exercises and they would take a daily analyst like me and they’d wanna cross train me in terms of how to load cargo on a airplane. So I’d get certified on some of these cargo, these cool cargo trucks, or be up in the plane locking down cargo, right? And it was so much different than my job as a data analyst, but still I learned about different parts of the mission that impacted really my worldview in many ways, right?

Scott Luton (20:22):

Because it, it was really supply chain or logistics in the military. And one of the quick point, Jenny and Mike, let’s see if y’all agree with me. I think so, so many times, you know, our core job, but I’ll call loosely our nine to five these days. And you get off from there and man, you’re worn out, you wanna go home, eat dinner and take a nap or something. But some of these experiences, extracurricular that we can sign up for that can help, you know, us find and identify new wrinkles, new opportunities, new learn new ways to move in different functional areas or up that proverbial ladder that Mike mentioned. I mean that is some of the spice to life and some of the secret sauce. So I love this. Start with how you like to work was number one, Mike and Jenny. Number two is really the power of experiences and what I’ll call experiential learning. Mike, what is number three?

Mike Griswold (21:12):

Let me, I’ll give you number three, Scott, but let me just react to what you said, cuz I Yes, please. You’re spot, you’re spot on. I think, you know, in today’s environment, in order to optimize kind of your supply chain career, right? Which is what we’re talking about, I think that there is an element of the organization has some responsibility to help you with that, whatever organization you’re in. Ah, but I think in today’s day and age, you also have your own responsibility to your point, Scott, right? If you know your nine to five job is kind of what you signed up for, if you wanna expand your horizons, it’s probably gonna have to happen after five, right? And having some, you know, ownership and accountability around building those experiences on your own because yes, your employer, you know, will help with some of that.

Mike Griswold (22:01):

You know, I’ve seen just do our research, you know, some organizations skew higher than others around whose responsibility is it to drive your career? So that to me is another great question to ask. You know, a current employer or your future employer is, where’s that balance? How much of these experiences are you expecting me to go get on my own? And how many of these experiences are you ready to give? And there really isn’t a wrong answer, I just think you need to know what the answer is. Yep. And then kind of course correct according,

Scott Luton (22:35):

Hey Mike, home run stuff. Let me pause for just a second. Sure. Folks, I wanna remind everybody, hey, we’re having a hard time. It looks like the platform, maybe there’s a little glitch with LinkedIn, it’s not loading y’all’s comments, so I’m gonna read those to you. We’re talking with Mike Griswold from Gartner and Jenny Froom, executive chair of the sap, uh, 2023 annual conference. Hello, Michael Prince, tuned in from Bentonville, Arkansas. There’s a lot of stuff going on in Bentonville, Arkansas. Great to see you Michael and Greg Studer. Greg is mentioning Mike to your point about, you know, finding a company or, uh, situation where they value mentorship and they’re gonna, they’re gonna provide that. So good stuff there for Greg. Jenny, before we go back to Mike for number three, just respond to what Mike just shared there, because I think that’s a, that’s very powerful for those of us that I know. I’ve done it in my career. I’ve kind of waited until the company gave it to many. I put the onus on them and really one of, one of Mike’s points there was the importance taking ownership for your own career mm-hmm. And finding those experiences on your own. Jenny, your quick response, this

Jenny Froome (23:39):

Is preaching to the converted as far as if once you’ve been involved in a professional association, you see the difference. You see the difference in the individuals who make the investments for themselves and then annual membership fee. And those oftentimes whose companies pay for their registration, for their membership fee. And those people who pay for themselves are those who get absolute maximum out it because they’ve made the investment in themselves and in their professional development.

Scott Luton (24:08):

Yeah. Such a great comment there. And I’ve seen that time and time again in my 14 or 15 years as part of the associational landscape. All right. So Mike, I can’t wait to hear what your number three

Mike Griswold (24:19):

Is. Yeah, so number three is actually directed you, I think the three of the four are pretty much for anyone at any level in terms of what, where they are today or maybe where they wanna aspire to. This third one though came out, we’re doing a ton of research on this and we’re actually trying to put this in practice operationally within Gartner. And it’s for this people that manage other people. And this, i, it’s this idea of becoming what we refer to as a connector manager. And what we’re finding is when you have a team, right, that there’s two ways that you can kind of help that team grow. You can, to your point Greg, you can kind of point things out to them and have them kind of make their own way through that journey. Or what appears to be better way in terms of driving engagement with your team is be this idea of a connected manager where you’re actually making connections for your team with other parts of the organization.

Mike Griswold (25:22):

So for example, if someone has a desire maybe to get into distribution center operations, right? And they were on my team as a connected manager, I would help them make connections with a DC manager, help them get some time together to talk, maybe give that associate some time to go visit a distribution center and see if that’s really what they wanted to do. But what we’re finding as managers is playing a much more active role in making those connections. You know, if I use a Gartner example, if someone on my team, you know, wants to learn more about how to do quantitative research, I can do that one of two ways. I can send them a quick email and say, go talk to so-and-so, or I can take the time to actually connect them. Yeah. Right? Help them broker a meeting and get things on their calendars and, and maybe connect with a person that they wanna connect with and give them some background around my by my person wants to reach out to them. It’s this idea of being a connector, I think is huge. And in your career, right? What you wanna try to do is find a manager that’s gonna be a connection manager for you. And if you aspire to be a manager or maybe are already a manager, think about how do you become a connector manager.

Scott Luton (26:38):

Yep. Well said Mike, uh, Jenny, your thoughts?

Jenny Froome (26:41):

I think that’s a really good point, and I think that that management itself has changed and just looking at Greg’s comments in the chat is that the whole vision of mentorship as well is changing because we also, yes, you manage downwards, but there are also people who manage people upwards as well. And the same as true of mentoring. You know, we need young people, I need young people to help me switch my computer on <laugh>, but, but we do, we are, we’re learning differently in the same way we’re managing differently with each other and from each other. And I think that’s something people have to be very aware of and very open to these days.

Mike Griswold (27:21):

Yeah, I think Jan, it’s a great point. I think the other thing that people have to think a little bit differently about, and I saw it in the chat around the most recent generations, you know, they’re looking at, you know, new opportunities or have rightly or wrongly an expectation of new opportunities every couple of years, right? When I, again, I’ll just speak for myself. When I was in my career, you know, you were looking at, you know, five to seven year stints before you were moving around. It’s not two to three years. Like some people have those expectations today. I think as a connector manager, if you are truly a connection manager, your job for your team and for your associates is to connect them so that they can progress. And that if that means progressing out of your team into a different team. So again, if I bring this into Gartner, right?

Mike Griswold (28:16):

My job is to enable my team that if they want to go, you know, to a different manager in the supply chain, it’s my job to give them those opportunities If they want to leave the supply chain and go to a different part of Gartner. Yeah. While I hate to lose them in the supply chain, it would be worse if Gartner lost them. And I think really connected managers have this idea, you know what I make connect people in such a way that their next opportunity is actually outside of Gartner. And I’m okay with that. Right? Th that’s a whole different way of thinking. If you really wanna be a connected manager and you wanna think about this through the lens of how do I enable my team?

Scott Luton (28:56):

Yep. So much good stuff there. I I wanna go back to where you started your number three, Mike. And you know, you talked about visiting other facilities and whatnot. Folks, you know, we’ve talked about this a lot here on supply chain now going back to like the earliest episodes. And that is the power of site visits, of plant tours of getting out and putting your eyes and ears on other operations and seeing the challenges common and unique they’re facing and what they’re doing about it, right? The networking that’s involved, what you pick up in terms of market insights, practitioner insights, leadership insights from, and networking additions from those types of experiences. Invaluable. And really it speaks to number three and number two. And heck, maybe number one what Mike, right? Mike’s put there. Okay. And Gloria Mar, you’ve asked a great question in terms of, and we’ll try to get to it in terms of folks that, that maybe have more experience.

Scott Luton (29:50):

They left supply chain and trying to come back. We’ll see if we can’t fit that in. Before we wrap here today. Jenny, did I ask you, I’m sorry, I’m in the moment here. It’s Wednesday, I’m lost my mind. Have you responded to Mike’s number three already? Anything you would like to add to that? Yes. No. Okay. So, uh, and Greg also adds in the chat managers need to drop the department silos and begin to share employees that want to learn other things. That kind of goes back to what both of y’all have touched on. It’s a great point, Greg. Greg’s making great points. That’s just nice to see. Yes, <laugh>, he’s, he’s like, he’s channeling other Greg’s in our ecosystem. Uh, Greg’s up there. Okay. So Mike, let’s talk about your number four as we’re talking about four ways to optimize your supply chain career. Your thoughts, Mike?

Mike Griswold (30:35):

Yeah, let me just react to Greg’s comment because I think it, it’s a really fascinating one. I was talking to my team on the talent side and they were sharing an example of a company, uh, and it resonated with me cuz it’s a sports analogy. But the HR team had gone through and basically built almost a draft board Yes. Of the 10 highest potential candidates in this particular organization. And then the hiring managers could come in and it was almost like a draft, right? You know, based on the hiring managers were prioritized based on the biggest need for the business. So if you had the number one pick, right? You had this big draft board of people and what wasn’t even a consideration was where they were leaping from to Greg’s point about silos and protecting your people and in many instances holding them back.

Mike Griswold (31:28):

So I thought it was fascinating that it was basically this idea of a draft didn’t matter where they came from, that part of the business would have to deal with it. We were really thinking about how do I get access and visibility to the best talent and what’s the best fit for me? Because my need, it’s just like the N F L draft, right? You know, the best player available might be a quarterback, but if you don’t need a quarterback, you’re not gonna take him, right? So I thought it was fascinating. I love that. Um, the fourth one, I’m gonna bring us back to this idea, uh, of experiences. And what I mean by that is, is oftentimes I think people get into the supply chain and feel this either self-inflicted or external pressure that they have to decide immediately what in the supply chain do they wanna do, right?

Mike Griswold (32:14):

Yeah. I just came out of Michigan State, I’ve got a degree in operations research, I feel like I need to do that. And my advice to people comes back to this idea of experiences and get as, that might be your degree and that’s fantastic, but you wanna get in an organization and take some ownership as well around getting yourself as many different experiences as you can. And that’s why I’m gonna piggyback Greg, or sorry Scott, your comment on the site visits. One of the biggest things I’m seeing now being introduced by more and more companies is this idea of rotational programs. Yep. And I think, you know, if you’re early in your career or you’re searching for someone, think see what they have from a rotational perspective because it gives you those different experiences, it builds those experiences for you. And it starts to give you a sense of what do I like and what do I not like?

Mike Griswold (33:10):

For some people spending, you know, a year in a highly operational DC environment will teach you very quickly, you don’t wanna work in DC or it might say, Hey, I love the pace of this environment. How do I get to a point where I can manage a facility like this? And there’s other parts of the supply chain. I think that if you get in it, you can then decide, you know, how you know, is it for me or not? And I think the rotational programs I think are a great way to get immersed and be immersed long enough so that you can make some of those decisions. You know, spending a week in a DC spending a week, you know, looking at how we route loads is probably not enough, right? You need a true rotational program that says this is where you’re gonna spend the next 12 to 18 months and then coming out of that, this is your next kind of rotation. So to me, those are really important for people to figure out what do you like, what do you not like? And then think about how do you then optimize where do you wanna go within a supply chain career?

Scott Luton (34:18):

I like that Mike, I love rotational programs. The company Cisco comes to mind. Jack Allen and his team do a great job rotating amongst their supply chain partners. And that’s just one of many that I’ve come across. Jenny, speak to Mike’s number four there.

Mike Griswold (34:33):

I

Jenny Froome (34:33):

Think rotational is great. I also think a variety of industries. I think a lot of people don’t realize that once you’ve got your supply chain skills, you can work in any industry that you want to. And this was highlighted to me when I started working more with a, with the international public health supply chain fraternity or

Mike Griswold (34:54):

Group,

Jenny Froome (34:55):

Um, is that understanding that supply chain best practice is unbelievably portable. So if you’ve got those skills, you can try any industry that you want to and potentially if you’re not happy in the one you’re working in, try a different one. Yeah. You’ve got the, you’ve got the talent.

Mike Griswold (35:12):

Yeah. Jenny. Jenny, that’s a great example. I mean, you think about, if you think about kind of the, the basics of the supply chain plan, source, make, deliver. Yep. Right? If you have a planning expertise, I couldn’t agree more with Jenny that is highly portable. Same with source, make and deliver. Certainly there are nuances that you would have to learn. Say if you were planning in a consumer products environment and now you’re gonna go to a high tech environment, there are nuances you would have to pick up on. But in general I agree completely, Jane, they are highly portable and I think that’s one of the things I think that makes the supply chain career so fascinating. Yeah. Is that when you build those skills, the ability to go from something as diverse as consumer products and then maybe land in life sciences or life sciences and then land in retail, right? The ability to get those different experiences in very different industries, I think is one of the things with maybe if you’re an accountant, right? That’s, you can do accounting pretty much anywhere, but if you think about a lot of other jobs, they tend to be a little bit more specialized and you’re kind of maybe not pigeonholed, but you’re kind of in that lane for a while. Yeah. And I think the supply chain experiences, supply chain skillsets provide great portability. I think that’s, it’s a great point, Jay.

Scott Luton (36:39):

Yeah. I agree. And you know, I think it’s so important for anyone listening to not paint themselves in a corner and not create self-imposed obstacles and make assumptions that stop you from exploring new opportunities of what you want to do. Right? Let other folks tell you no, don’t tell yourself no. And I’ve learned that earlier in my career. You gotta act and let others try to stop you, but don’t stop yourself. And I’m gonna use that as a segue before Jenny. I’m gonna see what else you’d like to add to Mike’s great, uh, top four list. Gloria, mark, I’m gonna pose this question out there, and I know I said I wasn’t gonna take questions, but I think this is a good one a lot of folks struggle with in terms of what we get submitted to us. Solomar says, Hey, hello from a cold, windy and rainy LA you don’t hear that very often.

Scott Luton (37:28):

And I’m not talking lower Alabama, but lot Los Angeles. What do you recommend to more senior and experienced professionals that have worked in supply chain for a few years, but spent more time in other fields and would like to get back to supply chain, but not in an entry level job. Now my take to that, and Mike and Jenny don’t wanna put you on the spot, you’re more welcome to weigh in. But my take is going back to Mike’s first point, find out what you know, the how you wanna work. I would add find out what you wanna do, you know, research the companies and the positions and the openings that really speak to you. And then we’re all selling whether we like it or not, we’re all selling craft. You know, you determine how you can reformat your resume to where it really matches with their top skills they’re looking for.

Scott Luton (38:18):

And you know, we gotta be realistic there, right? But, and then put your best foot forward, go after it with reckless abandon. And I don’t wanna be overly simplistic and naive, but few folks, what I’ve seen are willing to really invest in themselves and do more than kind of click on a button via one of those job sites that sends in a very stale and ancient resume. And that’s not going after a new career to my how I define it. It’s not going after with reckless abandon of what you wanna do in this life. But Jenny, anything that you would add? Let’s start with you to Gloria Mar’s. Question. Anything else you would, uh, share with her?

Jenny Froome (38:59):

Yeah, I was actually going to want to answer that question because I think that idea of wanting to go back into supply chain management, obviously you’ve got to talk education, but that also ties in with Mike’s comments about experience. Cause experience is all part of education. So again, without wanting to be seen to be bashing the associational membership drawn <laugh>, my my recommendation always is become part of something, become part of a body, become part of a LinkedIn group, become part of something where they’re a like-minded people. Because from a professional point of view, we all know supply chain is so broad and also it is evolving so fast that what you knew 10 years ago may be very different, but it doesn’t mean that your basic skills are gonna be out of date. It’s just really how they’ve evolved. And you would catch up on that very quickly, meeting people who are in already in that area and in that profession and will learn from their experiences as well.

Scott Luton (40:02):

Love that. Find your village. All right. Mike, what would you, how would you address Gloria Mar’s predicament?

Mike Griswold (40:08):

Yeah, it’s a great question and I think both Scott, what you and Jenny said are, are spot on. As I think about kind what we’ve been talking about today, I, I think for someone that wants to get back into the supply chain after being out, I think you need to be able to articulate a couple of things. I think you need to be able to convince people that you understand, to Jenny’s point, how the supply chain is different today that maybe it was in the past. And whether that’s from, you know, things like our supply chains today have to be much more resilient. You have to handle disruption better, right? There’s a lot more use of technology today than maybe there was 10 or 15 years ago. Yep. So I think that’s first and foremost, you need to demonstrate that you recognize supply chains have changed and you recognize what some of those changes are.

Mike Griswold (40:57):

And then I think to Jenny’s point, you then need to demonstrate the skillsets that you have. How does that translate in today’s new supply chain? And my sense is, again, agree with Jenny completely, the skillsets are super portable. So it’s kinda, and also your point, Scott, how do you sell yourself around, Hey, I have these skills. They are the same skills that we need today, that we needed 10 years ago. We may apply them a little bit differently. So to me, the key to this is how do you market yourself from the standpoint that you have these accumulated experiences that align with the challenges that supply chains are facing today. Yeah. That to me is the

Scott Luton (41:37):

Big one. That is some good news there. And the other good news is organizations can’t find enough talent in many ways, right? In many sectors and in many different parts of global supply chains. So thank you Jenny, and thank you Mike and Glomar. Great question. Really appreciate that. All right. So Jenny, I’m gonna give you an opportunity and I know we kind of reacted and shared some thoughts along the way. Any other bonus tips or ideas that you’d like to add to Mike’s four items?

Jenny Froome (42:03):

On a personal level, I think that people working in the supply chain profession should not underestimate the uniqueness of the skillset that they have or that supply chain professionals have. There is an adaptability, there’s an agility, there’s a, a quick thinking, there’s a thorough thinking, there’s an attention to detail, there’s all these things. And I think that because you live and breathe it, you take it so granted or you don’t realize how exceptional it is. And I think that’s something that a lot of supply chain people working in supply chain management need to remember that the skillset that you have, be it by textbook education, be it by 40 years doing the job, you do something that is exceptional and that must never be underestimated.

Scott Luton (42:56):

Yes. Amen. Say that louder to the, preach it louder to the folks in the back. Jenny, that’s a wonderful message to take you outta here, both of y’all. And I’m really, um, this type of frank discussion folks need to hear more of, right? Because I think in over the last few years, as we’ve been all beat down from a variety of different reasons and perspectives, big and small, you know, I think it, it can eat away your self-confidence, right? And then when you’re, when you lose your confidence, you lose your ability to really be clear-eyed about opportunities that are out there and what’s available to you. So Jenny and Mike, I really appreciate your perspective here today, Mike. Before we, we make sure folks know about what’s coming up with Gartner and of course the SAP annual event. A any final thought around folks to, you know, put their fate in their own hands, grab the, their career in the headlock and move forward?

Mike Griswold (43:47):

Yeah, I think the Scott, what I would leave people with is I think is I’ve shared your numerous times I coach girls basketball and one of the things we try to do with the girls is just through practice, getting them comfortable, being uncomfortable. And I think everyone has to think about as you’re looking to maybe change your journey if you’re looking to, you know, think about how what’s next for me? Some of it is gonna be uncomfortable. And I think embrace recognizing that and embracing that is huge. And recognizing that, you know, selling yourself, talking about kind of where you wanna go and having those career conversations potentially with your manager, those aren’t always easy. Yeah. But you have to get comfortable being uncomfortable or flip side of not doing that is just being unhappy in what you’re doing. And you know, I think if the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that, you know, we need to take the opportunities to be happy in what we’re doing. Yep. And some of that will require us to be a little bit uncomfortable.

Scott Luton (44:56):

So true. And you know, a phrase that we used in the Air Force during my time, and again in hashtag startup life tip of the hat to Greg White is sometimes you gotta embrace the suck. Yes. You know, and it just goes with the territory. Yes. Every day is not gonna be, you know, 70 degrees and gorgeous and problem free. And the better you engage and lean into that, to what Mike was saying, better off you’ll be and the better prepared you’ll be to tackle the next challenge. Jenny, your quick comment here.

Jenny Froome (45:26):

Oh, I think it’s brilliant and lucky girls that you coach. I think I’m, I really think that’s such valuable advice because especially with some youngsters who are coming up into the work world, they are expecting the corner office before they’ve even started work <laugh>. And I think that, you know, they, people have to understand that you have to do the things sometimes that you really don’t to do. And I love that. Embrace the stuff girl, that’s for you.

Scott Luton (45:53):

Yeah. Well I wish I could claim it, but it, okay. All right. So Jenny and Mike, what a delightful conversation with two of our favorite people here at Supply Chain. Now for starters, tell us what’s next coming up and the hits keep coming with Gartner. What’s next for you and the team?

Mike Griswold (46:08):

Yeah, the big event for us, we’ve talked about this before, is our upcoming symposium in May in Orlando, June and Barcelona. We’re putting together, we already have, I think 1500 people registered. Last year was our biggest event this year. I think we’ll be even larger. And there’s just a lot of content. There’s a heavy focus this year on the people side of the supply chain. Yep. So just encourage people if, you know, if you’ve got an opportunity to swing by Orlando, it will be a great event.

Scott Luton (46:38):

It will be. I was there at Supply Chain Symposium last year, home run stuff, the content, the networking, all of it. Really good stuff. So thank you Mike. Jenny, in a similar vein, you’re leading, once again, I can’t remember the number, but the annual CEX conference in Cape Town. Tell us about that. Coming up in June

Jenny Froome (46:58):

Two min, well, not, so this is the 45th, this is the 45th annual conference. Wow. And it’s actually the 26th. I thought it was the 25th, but it’s the 26th annual conference that I’ve managed. But most excitingly, you know, last year we managed to get back in person. This year we are fully back in person. It’s weird to think this time last year we were still wearing mandatory marks. So we are really looking forward to Cape Town’s a fantastic destination, but it’s again, shining a light on the African supply chains, but also bringing exposure to other international guests who come to the conference as well. So if you can’t afford to travel to, if you’re in, in Africa and you can’t afford to travel to Barcelona in June, you’ve gotta be in Cape Town. I,

Mike Griswold (47:43):

I love it. I think, Scott, you said in our, in the green room, you were heading down there,

Scott Luton (47:47):

Correct? We are after.

Mike Griswold (47:49):

So, so Jenny, make sure you hook up Scott with some great white cage diving <laugh>. I

Scott Luton (47:54):

Think that’s,

Jenny Froome (47:55):

Oh yeah, no, a great

Mike Griswold (47:57):

Serious for you, Scott.

Scott Luton (47:58):

Oh, goodness. And

Jenny Froome (47:59):

Amanda, they come sharing

Scott Luton (48:01):

Cage. Yes. You might miss that day of convers. We’ll see. But, but folks, I really, both of y’all on a, a very genuine kidding aside, you know, both of y’all do so much to facilitate others’ success and learning and advancement, and that’s, you know, blessed all the folks that do that. So thank you Jenny. Thank you Mike. We really appreciate that, both at work, so to speak, and outside of that. So, uh, appreciate what you do. Mike, before we let you go, how can folks connect with you? Mike Griswold from Gartner,

Mike Griswold (48:30):

LinkedIn, and email, love to hear from people. If this resonates, does it resonate? If there’s other topics that you’re interested in, let me know. We’ve got a hundred plus supply chain analysts, so I’m sure there’s stuff we can help people with. So just let me know

Scott Luton (48:44):

An army of analytical talent there at Gartner. Well, hey, Mike, always a pleasure. Well, one of our longest running series and the people here love to hear from Mike Griswold. So we’ll see you next time. Have a wonderful afternoon. Mike Griswold with Gartner.

Mike Griswold (48:58):

Thanks

Jenny Froome (48:58):

Everyone. Happy holidays. Bye Mike.

Scott Luton (49:04):

You know, Jenny, we didn’t mention, Mike’s got some really cool travel coming up, as do you and I want ask you to put your itinerary out there, but took travels and please send pictures. Okay. Again, folks, one of my, one of my favorite things about our live streams and really all of our live events is being able to weave in comments and folks that have tuned in live with us. And again, we’ve had a little glitch with the platform. Seems like the integration, so I haven’t been able to bring those comments in visually. The hits keep on coming, Greg, sharing some more stuff. Jenny, Greg Studer said, love the draft ideas. Managers should be able to look at resumes of people in different departments to see if they have talent or aspiration to try new things. Lamar says, site visits and plant tours are some of her favorite tasks. You learned so much from it and it’s so true. All right, so first off, your favorite thing, if you had to point just one thing that you and me and Mike talked about here today, and of course all the folks in the cheap seats, the comments, if folks forgot everything else, what is one thing that you want to keep you, they should keep front and center.

Jenny Froome (50:08):

Network. Network, network. Community is everything.

Scott Luton (50:13):

Oh man. Okay. T-shirt ism as we wrap up, show here today. Network, network community is everything as Jenny Fr says. Okay, so Jenny, how can folks connect with you? Whether it is networking with you, talking shot with you, you know, getting, getting your, getting more perspectives. Maybe they bring you in as a keynote or they want to attend the 45th annual Apex annual conference in June. How can folks connect with you?

Jenny Froome (50:36):

You can find me on LinkedIn and Twitter. I know some people don’t like Twitter. I love Twitter, Jenny and otherwise Scott will tag me and then I’ll tag him back and you’ll find us then

Scott Luton (50:48):

<laugh>, soccer boots. Soccer boots. So, all right, well, hey Jenny, really a pleasure. You know, we’ve got some things as, uh, Vicki White, Mike, kidding me. I always say, Hey, we got lots of more good stuff coming. Jenny, I’m excited about some of the things we’ll be doing together, uh, later this year. And of course, again, you’re constant focus and spotlight on some of the, some of the things we all should be more conscious of, right across the global community. So, Jenny, keep up the great work and we will see you soon. But folks, to our listeners, hope you enjoyed the last hour. I’ll tell you what, Jenny and Mike knocked it outta the park. Thanks to all y’all that showed up and contributed. Jenny, we should thank Catherine and the man and Chantel and Clay, all the folks behind the scenes, right? Helping to make production happen.

Scott Luton (51:32):

Really appreciate that. But whatever you do, folks, I wanna go back to something I think all three of us mentioned. You’ve got all sorts of resources out there that can help you navigate your career, but when it comes down to it, it’s you and what you do, right? And what you do with all the information. So we, as we like to say here, deeds not words. Take the action, take the first step, change your trajectory. It’s all right there waiting for you to pick up and run with it. So with that said, on behalf of our entire team here at Supply Chain now, Scott Luton signing off now challenge you to be like Jenny frm, do good, give forward and be the change that’s needed. And with that said, we’ll see next time right back here at Supply Chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (52:16):

Thanks for being a part of our supply chain now, community. Check out all of our programming@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

Mike Griswold serves as Vice President Analyst with Gartner’s Consumer Value Chain team, focusing on the retail supply chain. He is responsible for assisting supply leaders in understanding and implementing demand-driven supply chain principles that improve the performance of their supply chain. Mr. Griswold joined Gartner through the company’s acquisition of AMR. Previous roles include helping line-of-business users align corporate strategy with their supply chain process and technology initiatives. One recent study published by a team of Gartner analysts, including Mike Griswold is Retail Supply Chain Outlook 2019: Elevating the Consumer’s Shopping Experience. Mr. Griswold holds a BS in Business Management from Canisius College and an MBA from the Whittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire. Learn more about Gartner here: www.gartner.com

Jenny Froome is passionate about how supply chain management affects our lives on every level.  Her original and now current profession is event management – the epitome of a well-honed supply chain.  After many years working as COO of SAPICS – the professional body of supply chain management in South Africa she realized the importance of shining the light on the supply chains of Africa.  Managing events such as the SAPICS annual conference, the People that Deliver Global Indaba, and the Africa Supply Chain Excellence Awards have truly allowed Jenny to combine her skills, knowledge, and community.  Jenny’s lived all over the world and has settled in South Africa with her husband and many 4 legged friends while her sons are scattered around the world. Connect with Jenny on LinkedIn. 

 

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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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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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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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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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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

Creative Manager & Executive Producer

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.