The promise of digital transformation sometimes leads companies to push hard for progress without realizing what it means for the people doing the work. When an implementation isn’t supported by an active change management effort, adoption and ROI may fall short of expectations. Kristi Choate is a Partner with IBM Consulting’s SAP Process Adoption practice where she develops end-to-end change strategies with clients and provides leadership and guidance for successful implementations. Listen in as she joins host Kevin L. Jackson – in person at SAP Sapphire in Orlando, Florida – to share five executive behaviors associated with successful digital transformation journeys.
Welcome to Digital Transformers, the show that connects you with what you need to build, manage, and operate your digital supply chain. Join your host in a timely discussion on new and future business models with industry leading executives. The show will reveal global customer expectations, real world deployment challenges, and the value of advanced business technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, and robotic process engineering. And now we bring you digital transformers.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:32):
Hello everyone. Kevin L. Jackson with you from Sunny Orlando at the SAP Sapphire Convention. I’ll tell you this thing is huge. SAP has brought all of its top clients here to learn about the improvements of SI SAP and how they’re infusion AI into all of many of, of their products and, and helping companies in the transformation of their businesses. Uh, one of SAP’s key global partners is IBM and I happen to get the opportunity to have a few minutes with the IBM partner for get this F S C T S A P process adoption. So if you don’t understand what F S C T is, I have the expert right here to tell us all about it. Uh, Kristi Choate, thank you very much for joining us.
Kristi Choate (01:30):
Yeah, thank you so much for having me here today. I’m excited and also glad to be here in, in Florida, so, yeah, that’s a mouthful. It
Kevin L. Jackson (01:37):
It is. I mean, I Googled it and I couldn’t find it. So it didn’t come up.
Kristi Choate (01:40):
Didn’t come up. All right. Didn’t come up. So F S C T stands for Finance and Supply Chain Transformation. Ah, okay. In the, the reason for that is that, you know, IBM is dedicated to having the right conversations with business leaders. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And we find that we do that best when we speak their language and we know their processes. Okay. And so that’s why I focus on that supply chain finance process area.
Kevin L. Jackson (02:03):
What, there’s a huge linkage there, right? Finance and supply chain. That’s right. So, um, and you lead the practice on, on this?
Kristi Choate (02:11):
Yeah. We have a group, uh, here in the Americas that does, it says they’re process adoption. And so you can think of it as organizational change management and learning related to SAP implementations, cuz it’s really all about adopting those new ways of working. So we have about 70 practitioners in the US that that’s what we do. Oh. Because we have a philosophy that doing organizational change for SAP enabled modifications and transformations is different and has its own unique challenges and strategies that work.
Kevin L. Jackson (02:43):
That doesn’t sound like a technology practice, it sounds like more a human, uh, practice. Is that, is that true? You,
Kristi Choate (02:52):
You said it perfectly <laugh>. You said it absolutely perfectly. And so we spend our time with executives, mid-level managers, employees, and really, um, orchestrating that human journey. You said it perfectly.
Kevin L. Jackson (03:03):
Oh wow. So digital transformation from a human point of view. You got it. Do you like people? What prepared you? <laugh>? That’s what prepares for, for such a challenging role. I mean, technology’s easy. It’s the people that is, it’s hard.
Kristi Choate (03:20):
I think that’s true. Um, so for, we have people with a lot of different backgrounds in our practice. Personally, I have a background in industrial psychology. Okay. And, uh, I’ve been doing this for almost 26 years. And what we found early on is that oftentimes people pushed really hard for the technology and didn’t think about what did it really mean for people to adopt those new ways of working. And not just understand the tool, but understand how it orchestrated their, their business from an end-to-end perspective. And so, I, um, excuse me. Those early, those early efforts <laugh> where post go live, you had a lot of very scared people, a lot of people that felt knocked to really their competence and their confidence, um, was a, was a, a learning point for me and really inspired me to look for ways to do that differently and better.
Kevin L. Jackson (04:07):
Well, when, when your executives give you a deadline and you feel that you may not hit that deadline, I mean, there are people to go jump off buildings because of that.
Kristi Choate (04:17):
Oh goodness. <laugh>, we don’t want that. Well, the, the, the nice thing about the, for, for me, yeah. The nice thing about SAP enabled transformation is there’s a predictable timeline. And we, from an IBM perspective, have a, a methodology around how we manage that change process. And so we want to be able to orchestrate it as a journey mm-hmm. <affirmative> and not, not be so intimidated by just that one goal live date. Okay. But understand how we can ease people into new ways of thinking and having a new mindset or mentality about how they collaborate, for example, um, that makes them, you know, not so, not so trepidatious Okay. About that day.
Kevin L. Jackson (04:56):
Well, I mean, when people mostly think about digital transformation, it’s all about the data, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, getting the data, collecting the data, viewing the data, getting visibility in your business process through, uh, data. But I, I gotta hint that you may see digital transformation in a different way. Uh, is is it really all about the data? What, what, what is from your point of view or from your customer’s point of view Yeah. What is digital transformation from your practice?
Kristi Choate (05:30):
Yeah. And so it’s, um, it’s funny because it it, I bet if you had someone sitting on this couch that they were a data expert, they’d say it’s all about the data. Yeah. If you had someone sitting here that knew analytics, it’s all about, you know,
Kevin L. Jackson (05:42):
Kristi Choate (05:42):
About the analytics and if you had someone sitting here with security, you know, and so goes the story. So you happen to have a person sitting here who has an expertise in the people management side of things. Okay. And so I, I do believe all of those components work hand in hand. And that you have to have a solution that works, which, thank goodness SAP has solutions that have embedded best practices, right? And the solutions themselves will run most businesses out of the box. But as we move to more of those out of the box style solutions, it actually means more change to the people at the organization. So 20 years ago, if someone said, oh, we’re gonna, we’re gonna move to sap, they customized it quite a bit. Okay? And they tweaked it to work the way their processes work today. Or they tweaked it because you were powerful in a certain part of the world and we were gonna do the process, you know, your way.
Kristi Choate (06:33):
Um, and they really suboptimized the software and they suboptimized their own, their own processes. But if you think of the opposite, which is we’re going to take us the sap, call it out of the box, right? So we’re gonna use SAP cloud and we’re gonna let it drive the way our organization runs for the most part. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, now we have to engage the, the human side in a very different way. Um, I’ll give a couple examples. Yeah. So one would be, think about it from an executive perspective. If you, uh, if you have the, this intent to move to standard harmonized processes throughout the globe, right? You can imagine a couple people are gonna push back. A couple of people are gonna think absolutely. You know, why are we doing this? And you need executives that have that, that fortitude, that have that true visionary perspective and that that passion to over a, a year or multi-year journey to stand strong behind those, those key decisions that, that move you towards standardization.
Kevin L. Jackson (07:33):
So it, it, it sounds like, you know, the executive has to be strong. How, how does making decisions like moving s a p in a cloud really, um, impact change adoption across an organization? I mean, it, it is a, is it a, you know, horse, uh, you know, chicken before the egg or <laugh> egg before the chicken? Um, do you have to make sure the executives force it onto the employees? Or is it an uprising from the employees <laugh> to make all this happen? Uh,
Kristi Choate (08:12):
That’s a tough one. The, um, we used to, we used to talk, you may like this concept. We used to talk a lot about this idea of commitment versus compliance. Okay. And it’s one of those concepts where even though it’s been around for a long time, it still applies in the world of digital transformation. Okay. And there are some people in your organization, in any organization, usually at your executive and leadership levels that you want to, you wanna put in the effort to build that true commitment mm-hmm. <affirmative> to that change. You want ’em to understand the business case, why you’re moving in that direction, how it positively influences the company. And you want that passion, like the hearts and minds behind it. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And there are other parts of the organization where it is, it can be more of a, I’ll call it a compliance perspective, where, you know, I’ve worked a lot with people in a, in warehouses, and really, they just wanna know what to do and when.
Kristi Choate (09:02):
Yeah. They don’t care why they don’t, they don’t care why <laugh>. And, you know, they don’t, they, they care why? Because it’s, this is the way we do things today. And, you know, they just want their supervisor to tell ’em a couple weeks ahead of time, it’s coming mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, and so it’s, it’s a mix. It’s a mix in the, the art and, you know, a little bit of science. Yeah. But the art of what my group does and what I do is how do you, how do you orchestrate that in a meaningful way for, for the organization at hand? So
Kevin L. Jackson (09:28):
The executive has an important role.
Kristi Choate (09:29):
Oh, absolutely. They do. And, um, you know, it’s funny, one of the things that’s you, you, you get right to the heart of the matter because <laugh>, you, you very good at this. The, one of the things that I’ve been asked a lot more recently Yeah. Than maybe I had in the past, is how do successful executives behave? How do they behave differently when these, uh, SAP transformations go well versus maybe when they have some issues? Right. And we’ve, we’ve worked within our, within IBM to distill it down to about five behaviors. Okay. And I’ll share ’em with you. Yeah, yeah. Now, and we’re
Kevin L. Jackson (10:04):
Gotta know the good executives on the badge. That’s right.
Kristi Choate (10:07):
And this is, this is what, you know, these what you have to look for. This is what you have to look for. This is take notes, take notes, <laugh>, and this, and, and this is what you wanna inspire. Okay. You wanna make it explicit to the organizations. Just you, we, we oftentimes talk with our executives and say, Hey, these are the, you know, the things that work. And one of them is this idea of working as a, as a a as a group as opposed to a set of individuals. Okay. So you for like a team, like a team. And so you don’t want your chief financial officer as an example, optimizing for finance. Mm-hmm. And being, um, not close-minded necessarily, but maybe not thinking about the implications to the supply chain or not thinking of the implications to marketing. Mm-hmm. For example. And so healthy organizations, their executive team really does discuss and debate together Okay.
Kristi Choate (10:53):
The greater good as opposed to optimizing any one component. And then the second of the behaviors, which is, um, somewhat similar, is good executives are able to, to know when someone else should have the decision rights, a global process owner. Okay. Or someone, a regional leader, someone that’s involved in the SAP transformation on a day-to-day basis. Because when things get executive, get escalated to the executives. Right. It’s usually the tough stuff. <laugh>, you know, it’s not the easy, should we adopt what SAP has? Yes, you should. It’s the tough decisions that are cross processed or go against, you know, the way things have always been done here. Right. Right. And so the culture. Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. And so the, that second behavior is executives that realize that when the decision comes to them, it’s gonna be tough mm-hmm. <affirmative> that they need to take it under, under, you know, with the, with the seriousness.
Kristi Choate (11:49):
But they also have to make decisions pretty quickly in these transformations, you know, to keep the, get that deadline you and I talked about earlier. Um, the third one. Yeah. The, the third behavior. This is one of my favorites. So I, I usually smile a little bit as I described this one, but, um, successful executives really think about how the transformation program and, and their goals from an SAP perspective should be integrated as a natural part of their leadership. Well, what do I mean by that? What I mean by that is they don’t wait for someone else to say, here are your talking points. Oh, okay. Please go share them. You know, they don’t wait for someone to, um, in interpret things for them and specifically, you know, assign cascade this to your leaders, you know, kind of a thing.
Kevin L. Jackson (12:33):
It kind of becomes part of your leadership style. Is that what you’re saying? That’s
Kristi Choate (12:36):
Exactly what I’m saying. Okay. That’s exactly what I’m saying. And so they, so those, those executives that realize every opportunity that they have when they’re interacting with their peers Yeah. Or interacting with their organizations or interacting externally, is an opportunity to market what’s happening and help people understand some of those changes that are coming.
Kevin L. Jackson (12:56):
So they’re teaching constantly teaching.
Kristi Choate (12:57):
They’re teaching, they’re teaching, they’re setting expectations. They’re teaching. They’re, they’re leading <laugh>. They’re leading
Kevin L. Jackson (13:03):
Kristi Choate (13:03):
They’re leading novel concept. I know.
Kristi Choate (13:06):
Yeah. Um, and then the fourth and the fourth one is, as you can imagine, tons of organizations are trying to do a million things at once. Yeah. Yeah. And, um, executives in where we see the most success haven’t have the ability to see what’s a, what’s competing and what’s complimenting what, what other efforts or what other projects or what other investments, um, might progress them forward from a, an SAP transformation versus be a bit of a distraction or
Kevin L. Jackson (13:35):
Resources. Sounds like prioritization. It is. Okay. Nobody likes to prioritize,
Kristi Choate (13:40):
Don’t they? <laugh>,
Kristi Choate (13:42):
Kristi Choate (13:44):
I think you’re right. It’s hard to say no. Yeah, I know. It’s hard to say no. Um, but sometimes you have to say no. Um, other times you have to say, wait a minute. Uh, I’ll, I’ll give an another quick example. Yeah. I had a client that decided to undertake a variety of changes at the same time, including an SAP implementation and a Salesforce implementation simultaneously. Okay. A lot of stuff at once. That’s
Kevin L. Jackson (14:05):
Yeah. It’s a lot of ch change across,
Kristi Choate (14:07):
So it’s a lot of change and it can hit some of the same players. Yeah. In that instance, it wasn’t a matter of saying no or stop. It was a matter of saying, okay, how do these things mutually exist? How do we set our timelines mm-hmm. <affirmative> so that they make the most sense so that they aren’t introducing too much risk or too much change at the same time. How do we make sure that we’re, we’re doing from an SAP perspective sets up data. Yeah. Okay. Six For success. For success
Kevin L. Jackson (14:34):
In Salesforce. Right? That’s right.
Kristi Choate (14:35):
You got it. Right. Okay. Um, one more? Yeah. I said five. I feel like I have to complete the story <laugh>
Kristi Choate (14:40):
Now that I said hi. Okay.
Kevin L. Jackson (14:42):
Kristi Choate (14:42):
So the, the fifth one is really, um, I call, I call it don’t blink.
Kristi Choate (14:47):
Oh. And we were talking about this a little, I kind of alluded to it earlier. Yeah. Yeah. So in those, in, it’s that idea again, of, in that moment when someone says, Hey, wait a minute, I’ve heard that, that the, you know, we have this e R P transformation coming in and, and we’re gonna be able to automate 70% of our journal, journal postings. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that seems crazy to me. And if they, you know, run to the, the chief financial officer and he or she says, oh my gosh, there’s no way it could be 70% <laugh>. You know, it’s, it’s that leadership in that moment, you know, that can really propel us to success or, you know, make it a little bit harder for us to move forward.
Kevin L. Jackson (15:22):
So, so, so don’t fail in your commitment. Right. Don’t
Kristi Choate (15:25):
Fail in your commitment. Don’t blink.
Kevin L. Jackson (15:28):
So all of these are great, but in the end, every executive is measured on the value that they are delivering to the organization, that roi. Um, so, but many times you do these huge transformations, changes, you know, adoption of SAP and the ROI doesn’t really come and that executive gets fired. They, they may have all those five points you’re talking about. They may have
Kristi Choate (15:57):
Kevin L. Jackson (15:58):
In the end, if the ROI doesn’t, uh, ROI doesn’t get in there, then the ex executives. So, um, what’s standing in the way of some of these executives that, uh, with respect to roi?
Kristi Choate (16:11):
Yeah. Yeah. Let, so I’ll look at it first just from a, I’ll, I’ll brush the surface a little bit from a technical perspective, but I’m gonna focus on that human side again.
Kevin L. Jackson (16:20):
Kristi Choate (16:21):
Um, so we, there are instances where people still do look to customize the system, which ultimately makes it, um, uh, it adds expense to the process. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> of getting to the solution and then adds ongoing expense to the cost of ownership of that system. Oh. Uh, you mentioned data earlier. Yeah. You know, messy data and really
Kevin L. Jackson (16:40):
Cleaning that data, cleaning
Kristi Choate (16:42):
The data, or not cleaning it, and then trying to function and get to that return on investment when you don’t have the, you’re not feeding the engine. Yeah. Yeah. The information that it needs. Um, and then there, there are some, you know, components around performance. We had a client go live recently where they just, the, the volume of information that was going through their SAP system was, was really bogging down the operation. All those things can erode your return on investment.
Kevin L. Jackson (17:08):
Uh, trust too erode.
Kristi Choate (17:09):
Oh my gosh. Trust they absolutely. Um, which gets us to that human, you know, that human side of it. Okay. Okay. And so, you know, you can have working system fabulous data. Right. You know, performance. And if people don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing or don’t believe in what they’re supposed to be doing mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, you won’t get to that return on investment and you won’t get to that baseline to be able to build AI and embedded workflows and things, um, on top of it. And it reminds me of a little short story. Yeah. I’m trying to tell this a short story. Cause we had a IBM and SAP co-sponsored an executive forum recently here in Florida. Okay. South of here, but here in Florida. And one of the big topics that people kept talking about was this idea of, some people called it the sticky middle. Have you heard this?
Kevin L. Jackson (17:55):
Okay. The sticky middle. Okay. The sticky
Kristi Choate (17:57):
Middle or the frozen middle. No. Um, it’s all about that middle level of operational management. Okay. And the key role that they play in getting to that return on investment and getting to that ultimate goal. Hmm. And so, um, we’ve, we, we talk a lot about what are the strategies and tactics that unfreeze that middle or un sticky that Okay. Unstick that middle. And a couple, a couple things that we’ve done with some of our recent clients. I, I worked with a company that had, uh, um, they created a forum of 800 managers throughout the organization. Wow. It’s huge. It’s huge. Um, to give them special attention and to say, we acknowledge the role that you play in the change that this organization is going through and sustaining it over time. And that acknowledgement and that special attention that said, I’m, I’m here for you. Yeah. Okay. You know, I’m gonna answer your questions. I’m gonna tell you I put
Kevin L. Jackson (18:50):
An oral on the sticky cog.
Kristi Choate (18:51):
Doing what? Put
Kevin L. Jackson (18:52):
An oral on the,
Kristi Choate (18:54):
On the <laugh>,
Kevin L. Jackson (18:56):
On, on the noisy, you know, squeak right
Kristi Choate (18:58):
On wheel Yeah. To say Yeah. But pro proactively acknowledging it and instead of waiting for the wheel to squeak. Yeah. Yeah. Like doing the preventative maintenance or I don’t know where our analogy’s going here
Kevin L. Jackson (19:09):
<laugh>, but I like it. But No, no, but that sounds great. I mean, if you have to recognize the role everyone plays, uh, within the business processes. Yes. Um, and let them know that you know that they’re important. That’s right. Um, and that can, I guess that’s what unstick the middle. That’s
Kristi Choate (19:30):
Right. That’s what unstick the middle. And there are, um, I worked with another organization recently that did special learning events for the, for the sticky middle. Okay. And a lot of that was around how to lead in the, in the new, in the new way of working. How did they use the analytics that were available within sap? How did they think differently about their own decision making? Okay. Based on information available. So that, that special attention is, is part of the key to unfreezing.
Kevin L. Jackson (19:57):
So is this the secret to a smooth implementation of, of SAP
Kristi Choate (20:03):
<laugh>? It’s one of the secrets. <laugh>, I think it’s one of the secrets and the, I would say part of the secret is, uh, you know, oftentimes you talked about it as that, that deadline. Yeah. The deadline that, that goal live. And it is an important day. Okay. You know, some, sometimes it’s my favorite day of the year. Sometimes it’s not <laugh>, but the, the,
Kevin L. Jackson (20:23):
You mean SAP Sapphire is your fa this morning it’s
Kristi Choate (20:26):
Christian favorite day <laugh>. I know it’s Christian’s favorite day. I heard him say that. Um, the, uh, yeah. So the, a lot does focus on that goli date, but, okay. But consider your, I do this all the time. I try to put myself in the shoes of, of people throughout the organization and say, what do you know, what do I need? Or what would help me through this process? And oftentimes what they need or what helps ’em through the process is not expecting individuals or the collective to make 700 changes to what they do on the same day. Cuz it’s not just about SAP is not just about fingers on keys. That whole mentality of end-to-end process, you know, thinking differently, as I said about decision making Yeah. Thinking differently about the way that you approach your work, understanding what a true integrated system really, you know, really means.
Kristi Choate (21:13):
Um, all of those, all of those things, instead of saying, Hey, let’s try to do that all on, you know, March three to the day, this day of the year. Um, the idea of pulling it out into more of a journey. And so there are things that we’ve, uh, we work very hard with our clients to say, you know, even though many of the decisions that you’re making were, uh, inspired by an S four or any kind, any SAP transformation Yeah. An s an SAP transformation, they aren’t necessarily dependent upon it. And so there are times that our clients are saying, oh, well, we wanna make a modification to some of our procurement policies. We have people running all over town with their, you know, their credit card <laugh>. And we, you know, we want them to, to really, uh, we want the power of, of, you know, of collective buying and mm-hmm.
Kristi Choate (21:56):
<affirmative>, you don’t need to wait for your go-live date to, to make that decision. Okay. Or to, and to put it and to enact it, you know, to put it into play. Um, same is true sometimes in, uh, warehousing strategies. Okay. Oh, we’re gonna change how we manage our warehouse. Well, some of it’s not system dependent. Um, anyway, those are just a couple examples of things where we can start to ease in those changes before this magical goal live date. Hmm. And then people like you and I that work for the organization start to get already more comfortable with new ways of working. We start to appreciate where the organization is headed. We start to appreciate those benefits that we’re trying to achieve.
Kevin L. Jackson (22:36):
Sounds like that’s kind of the value of a consultant. Uh, and it really helps. Does that help in delivering roi, uh, quicker?
Kristi Choate (22:47):
Uh, well, I think so, but that’s a little self-serving <laugh>, but that <laugh>, so of course it doesn’t, but I, I do think there’s value in the voice of experience. Okay. And to me, the, um, companies like ibm, you know, certainly I’m proud of our accelerators, but what I often say is accelerator doesn’t mean something that just helps you go faster. It means something that helps save you time so that you can put your efforts a against things that’ll make your organization better. And you, um, the example that I just, the story that I was just telling is an example of that where we know from our experience mm-hmm. <affirmative>, what are the 20 most common things that we can pull prior to that GoLive date as an example. Um, the other thing we know is things that are best suited in the change journey after go live. Okay. Um, uh, you probably heard people talk about end user training and, and people will say, oh, well end user training needs to happen. The, you know, the four weeks before go live. Um, what I would submit to you is end user learning experiences should happen as close to possible as when they’re applicable. Okay. So
Kevin L. Jackson (23:53):
When they need
Kristi Choate (23:54):
To know it. When they need to know. And so if, you know, if you and I work in finance and we implement in February, and we don’t have to do our year end close for months. Yeah.
Kevin L. Jackson (24:03):
Kristi Choate (24:05):
Don’t, don’t show me how to do that yet. Show me how to do it when it’s actually time for me to do my year end close. Uh, or when it’s, uh, physical, a physical inventory, we may not have to show someone how to enter the results from a physical inventory if they only do it in the summertime and, you know, we’re in the fall, you could do it.
Kevin L. Jackson (24:22):
Kristi Choate (24:22):
Yeah. And so that’s another part of being more holistic in that journey. It is that consulting voice of experience mm-hmm. <affirmative> where, you know, we expand it so it’s not just a magical single day of the year.
Kevin L. Jackson (24:34):
Okay. So, so I’m, I’m gonna challenge you here. Oh, good.
Kristi Choate (24:37):
Kevin L. Jackson (24:40):
Uh, you’re, you’re talking about using and leveraging experience Yeah. To help the SAP transition or the digital transformation better, easier, more applicable, and um, actually improving your opportunity to get ROI quicker and faster. Yes. Okay. So I’m going to, I’m gonna challenge you because recently announced that IBM Watson is being embedded into the SAP transformation and Yes. And isn’t Watson all about putting that type of knowledge and experience into the AI so that Watson can tell you when to do all that <laugh>?
Kristi Choate (25:26):
Are you saying, I got so excited, I’m gonna be replaced by Watson.
Kevin L. Jackson (25:29):
So is that what you’re doing? You know, people saying, you know, the best leader replaces themselves as consultants.
Kristi Choate (25:35):
Ours is gonna be by, you know, it, it may, it may. So the, um, couple of things from a change perspective that we’re looking at for applicability of Watson, beyond the wonderful announcement that was made recently about the integration into sap. Yeah. There are some ways that, um, I, I’m gonna smirk a little bit as I say this cuz I would say that we are, we think big about it in our, in our practice area. We’re like, oh, how can we apply this to make this a better, smoother journey for, for the, for the any organization or replace ourselves how we do this <laugh>. Um, so we, you know, we think big thoughts, but you know, some of the things we have to start a little small is maybe how I would say it. Okay. And so things like, um, I don’t wanna put you on the spot, but I’m gonna <laugh> so forgive me. So what is the question every person in the, in an organization usually has when they’re, when you’re undergoing change,
Kevin L. Jackson (26:23):
What’s in it for me? What’s in
Kristi Choate (26:24):
It for me, <laugh>? What’s in it for me? And so what if we had that Watson capability and we, we we fed into it information around our change impacts our, our timeline, what we know about those user communities, hr, existing HR data, fact-based information from other implementations. And what if then one, someone could oh,
Kevin L. Jackson (26:45):
Kristi Choate (26:46):
A chat bot,
Kevin L. Jackson (26:46):
Say it’s a, with them it’s a, with them machine,
Kristi Choate (26:48):
It could be a WM machine. <laugh> it could be a WM machine. Um, we also think, you know, we have, you know, volumes and volumes of data and information about previous implementations Yeah. And sample deliverables. It could also be a, a, a, a draft generation machine. Okay. Oh, start me at start, start for us a journey map for what, uh, a, a buyer goes through in the life of a journey.
Kevin L. Jackson (27:13):
Kristi Choate (27:14):
Wow. Okay. Well now from that we can make it graphically beautiful and we can do all these things that Watson or other AI can’t do. Yeah. But my gosh, the power of having that, you know, as a start. Wow.
Kevin L. Jackson (27:24):
This is, is this is, this is great. Now I can sit here and talk to you all day <laugh>, but I know it’s
Kristi Choate (27:30):
Nice outside. Yeah. <laugh>,
Kevin L. Jackson (27:33):
But I know this is a, as a, as a busy conference for you. Um, but, uh, so I’m wonder to have one more question, but, uh, what should organization do really to prepare their people for, um, this dramatic shift towards more agile and intelligence driven process? How do you prepare your, your people to work with ai? Yeah.
Kristi Choate (28:00):
I love the way that you asked, I love the way that you asked that. Okay. Because it is, um, it is about preparing people to, from mindset. Yeah. Excuse me. From mindset shift. And so, um, my, there are all sorts of things you could do. Yeah. But I think the thing that that organizations must do is really rethink the kind of behavior that they reward. Hmm. And, uh, I’m working with a large spirits manufacturer right now. Okay. And they’ve talked about it in the context of process health. And they said, you know what, we have these great key performance indicators mm-hmm. <affirmative> and it, you know, we, we close the books in three days, but if you, if you, you know, raise up the lid and you look, they have, you know, three shifts of people. They bring in extra, you know, temporary staff in order to do this, in order to do it.
Kristi Choate (28:44):
And they’re doing these herculean efforts behind the scenes. And then everyone gets, um, accolades for that. They congratulate them for these Herculean efforts. What I would say organizations can do right now is start to change that narrative and start rewarding organiz organizations, leaders, regions, geographies for the ones that are looking for those and celebrating those efficiencies. Not doing herculean, herculean efforts that are really a kind of fly in the face of, you know, a wonderful system that already has best practices that fly in the face of analytics that are at your fingertips. And, you know, push people more toward being knowledge workers. Okay. You know, being intelligent, making smart decisions as opposed to, you know,
Kevin L. Jackson (29:30):
Kristi Choate (29:31):
Yeah. Being more primitive.
Kevin L. Jackson (29:32):
No, that, that, that’s great. So I, I really appreciate the Tom and the really insight that you’ve given, uh, uh, my honorance with me also. I, I appreciate it. So how can someone learn more about, uh, ffc S t and, um, how a consultant team, your consultant team can help them in transitioning to SAP and maybe even reach out to you?
Kristi Choate (29:55):
Yeah. I would welcome people to reach out to me the, um, ibm.com as a wealth of information. Okay. And it’s easy to navigate to our SAP practice, uh, and, and find people like me mm-hmm. <affirmative> that do this work. Uh, as I mentioned, our labeling says process adoption. So if you’re looking for us within ibm, that’s the fastest way to find our group that does this for, for sap. Um, but I do welcome people to reach out to me personally, uh, on LinkedIn Okay. And start a conversation.
Kevin L. Jackson (30:24):
Well, thank you very much Christie. And, uh, you heard it here. <laugh> Finance and Supply Chain Transformation. This is the center of the F S C T world. So live from or virtually live from the SAP in Orlando, SAP Sapphire. Thank you very much for learning more about digitally transforming your sap, um, installation and transformation. And stay tuned for more information on how to digitally transform your organization and your career. Thank you very much.
Thank you for supporting Digital Transformers and for being a part of our global supply chain now community. Please check out all of our firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you subscribe to Digital Transformers anywhere you listen to or view the show and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on Digital Transformers.
Kristi Choate is a Partner with IBM Consulting’s SAP Process Adoption practice. Kristi develops end-to-end change strategies with clients and provides leadership and guidance for successful implementations. Connect with Kristi on LinkedIn.
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.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.
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.
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.
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.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
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.
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.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
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.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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 Cisco, Microsoft, 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 University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier 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.
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!
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.
Principal & CMO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
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.
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.