Supply Chain Now
Episode 1256

In the past, we were really behind on our freight payments and were having to touch a large percentage of our invoices. Now, 98% of our invoices don’t have to be touched or looked at in any way.

-Natalie Rekow

Episode Summary

From saving time, cutting costs, and enhancing efficiency to mitigating errors, relieving workforce pressures, and reducing employee turnover, technology adoption can pay dividends when it comes to freight auditing.

In this unique episode of Supply Chain Now, we’re joined by two companies that have worked together to realize the benefits that technological innovation can bring to the freight auditing table.

With Ecolab having undergone its own highly successful transformation journey, Natalie Rekow, Senior Logistics Manager, Transportation Admin, Cost Performance and Freight Payment, offers up her firsthand experiences on the differences that embracing key solutions can make.

Alongside her is Shannon Vaillancourt, President and Founder of RateLinx – the partner enterprise that stepped in to support Ecolab during its process optimization venture – who provides a window of insight looking at exactly what’s involved in moving from a manual to technology-driven operation.

Tune into this insightful discussion on freight auditing transformation to discover:

·       The difficulties presented by manual processes.

·       How AI-backed software can be leveraged to tackle the work of hundreds of people.

·       The critical importance of not just any data, but good data.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:32):

Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you may be. Scott Lutton, Mary Kate, love with you here on Supply Chain. Now welcome to today’s livestream, Mary Kate. How you doing today?

Mary Kate Love (00:42):

Good. Excited to be talking about efficiency. My favorite topic of all time.

Scott Luton (00:47):

Yes, you certainly have mastered that. You can give lessons and degrees. Yes, your point, Mary Kate, great show TW Today it’s really important to call time out and truly rethink how and why we do things across supply chain, across global business really all the time. And today we’re going to be offering up some compelling reasons for why supply chain leaders should rethink their freight auditing. And how about we start Mary Kate With saving money, saving time, avoiding costly errors, freeing up your team to do more impactful things instead. Should be a great show, huh?

Mary Kate Love (01:20):

Who doesn’t love that, right?

Scott Luton (01:22):

Oh, no doubt. I’ll take two please. Or maybe five, please. Yes. So folks, stay tuned for a great show. Two final reminders before we get started here today. Number one, let us know what you think, share your comments throughout this live session, very live session. And number two, if you enjoy today’s show, be sure to share it with a friend or your network. They’ll be glad you did. Okay, Mary Kate, you ready to get to work?

Mary Kate Love (01:43):

Yeah, let’s do it.

Scott Luton (01:44):

I want to welcome in our two distinguished guests here today, starting with Natalie Rico, senior logistics manager, cost performance and freight payment with Ecolab and Shannon Valour, president and founder with Rate Links. Hey Natalie, how you doing today?

Natalie Rekow (02:00):

Good, how was everyone doing today?

Scott Luton (02:03):

Wonderful. Great to have you here today. And Shannon, back by popular man. How you doing?

Shannon Vaillancourt (02:08):

I’m doing great. Thanks for having me again.

Scott Luton (02:11):

You bet. Really appreciate what you’re doing. Moving mountains over there. And I can’t wait to get to the story we have here. I think a lot of folks are going to have some very actionable takeaways, but for starters, Shannon, Natalie, and Mary Kate, we’ve got a big time basketball tournament, two of ’em going on, I think already. Both of ’em on the men’s and women’s side. That’s right. The women’s and men’s basketball tournaments are upon us. And for our fun warmup question today, I want to ask each of y’all to give us just one winner for either turn. So who’s your pick? Natalie, we’re going to start with you.

Natalie Rekow (02:43):

I think UConns going to come back and win again for the men’s tournament.

Scott Luton (02:47):

I love it. The Mighty Huskies, that’s quite a program there. That’s a great pick. Shannon, how about you?

Shannon Vaillancourt (02:54):

I don’t know, probably Yukon, but maybe.

Scott Luton (02:59):

Okay, alright.

Shannon Vaillancourt (03:00):

Ours been in March and Kentucky can outscore everyone, so maybe they’ll do it.

Scott Luton (03:06):

We’ll see. Those are good picks. I like how your heads and your bets a little bit too there as well. Mary Kate, who you got?

Mary Kate Love (03:12):

So for men’s, I always pick North Carolina for a lot of reasons, but I have to shout out for the women’s side. I need to go Iowa. It’s just been so fun to watch.

Scott Luton (03:21):

Okay, those are great picks as well. And I’m going to play the favorites here with my picks. So South Carolina is my alma mater. The stretch they’ve been on is just remarkable, incredible athlete coaches, you name it. So that’s my pick. Picking the winners on that side. And then on men’s side I’m going with Purdue. Don’t laugh at me, I’m going with Purdue. Give me a hard time. Alright, well hey, so Mary Kate, we want to start the conversation here today with Natalie and Shannon. We want to do some level setting. It’s so important to get context. So Natalie, welcome to your first show here at Supply Chain. Now I know you can do this in your sleep, it’s what you do. But tell us for our audience out there, tell us a little about your background, especially when it comes to supply chain transportation management and what brought you to Ecolab’s management team.

Natalie Rekow (04:05):

So I started at Ecolab in 2017 and I would say two main things drove me the Ecolab, the first thing being their mission of being a global sustainability leader. And then second of all, I was looking for career growth at that time and there was a lot of opportunities here at Ecolab in the supply chain space. I’ve worked in both finance and supply chain. I actually worked with rate links when I worked at Target. I worked at Target for seven years and now I’m back at Ecolab. And we also rolled out rate links across our domestic areas. And we are now even looking at rolling out rate links globally, which is very exciting for our teams here.

Scott Luton (04:45):

Natalie, that is something, and Mary Kate, that’s a powerful combo when you add finance to supply chain. I

Mary Kate Love (04:51):

Was just thinking that that’s such a unique kind of combo and such an area where there’s a lot of innovation happening as we’ll. Explore today further.

Scott Luton (05:00):

That is right. We’re going to explore a lot today. Alright, so Natalie, tell us a little more though, what y’all do at Ecolab.

Natalie Rekow (05:06):

Yeah, so when you look at Ecolab, it goes much beyond just institutional or servicing hotels and restaurants. We actually service 40 industries, anything from dairy farms to mining. So there’s definitely a lot of variation here at Ecolab and the products we serve. And then kind of what stands apart for Ecolab is we are a global sustainability leader and we do a lot of work with our customers to try to reduce water usage. Those are just a few different highlights of as to what Ecolab does.

Scott Luton (05:40):

Yes, well, well said. And I think that’s eye opening to a lot of folks out there that think they know Ecolab. I love work to such Aly that’s in is let’s talk about your freight mix, your shipments and some of what y’all have to do there. So let’s start with, give us a little details around the mix and the volume of the shipments that you’re managing for freight.

Natalie Rekow (06:07):

Yeah, so today we manage various different types of shipments. Anything from about 40% of our volume goes parcel, another 40% goes less than truckload and then the remaining 20% is either truckload, intermodal, or bulk. I would say what’s unique about our freight is that a lot of it is hazardous chemicals. It’s not as ideal from a shipper perspective. And so that adds complexity into our rate structures and also our contracts with our carriers and it makes all the Ecolab a little bit harder to serve from a carrier perspective. And then we also do a lot of bulk freight, which is kind of a niche like liquid deliveries are definitely not something everyone is doing.

Scott Luton (06:52):

Gosh, you got about five more hours today, Natalie, to dive into all of these complexities related to your business. Let’s talk about how many invoices your team’s processing a year when it comes to freight.

Natalie Rekow (07:03):

Yeah, about 700,000 invoices is what our volume is today.

Scott Luton (07:08):

Okay. Mary Kate, you ever process 700,000 freight invoices?

Mary Kate Love (07:12):

No, but I did sit on the procurement team at Georgia Pacific, so I know how many invoices come through. That is a lot. Wow. And very complex too, as you said. I hadn’t thought about all those nuances.

Scott Luton (07:25):

Yes, and Shannon Valen court really quick. When you think of 700,000 invoices and the hazardous aspect, you’ve seen it and done it in your time. Not to jump ahead, but this is part of what y’all do, right?

Shannon Vaillancourt (07:36):

Yeah, just another day. Just another day in the office, not a big deal. But yeah, I mean Ecolab definitely has some very cool uniqueness to them with respect to where they’re shipping. You think about everywhere you go and now everyone’s going to see it. I do. You’re going to see Ecolab everywhere and they have specific freight that goes to cruise ships, we’ve talked about that and how they have rates for that. They have rates for, like she said, they ship to farmers. It’s everywhere man. And I think that’s the uniqueness for them for sure.

Scott Luton (08:12):

I love taking sneak peeks into businesses that we all think we know to get the supply chain story behind us. So Natalie, man, this is great stuff. And by the way, let’s see here. Nadeem says it’s his favorite customer. How about that? You got fans everywhere around the world. Let us know where you’re dialed in from. Nadine via LinkedIn and hey Tom Kat says, that’s a lot of invoices. Natalie. No, no kid. Tom Kat. Great to have you here. Our supply chain Shakespeare. Alright, so Natalie, let’s keep driving a little bit further here. When your freight auditing was managed in-house, what were some of those issues that you had?

Natalie Rekow (08:44):

To be honest, for me it’s really hard to go back and think about that time. It painful less than ideal from a lot of perspectives. So a lot of what we did was very manual in nature. We had significant backlogs and invoices and a lot of our carriers were not willing to follow the processes that we had in place. We also simply couldn’t hire enough employees to keep up with the backlog. And what was really difficult also from a finance perspective is we really didn’t have great data. It was really hard to build reports and spot trends, and that’s something that we needed to improve in order to really drive our business forward.

Scott Luton (09:27):

Natalie, man, you’re hitting some of our sweet spots. Mary Kate, we’ve talked about the critical importance of data and not just any data, but good data. Your quick thoughts, Mary Kate.

Mary Kate Love (09:36):

Yeah, super interesting that you literally couldn’t even find the right number of employees or people that would probably want to work through this or have the time in their job to work on this, right? Finding technology to empower those employees is where you can see some of the return on investment.

Scott Luton (09:52):

Well said. Well said. Okay. And I like also how you said at the beginning, Natalie and Shannon, I bet it’s music to yours. It’s too painful to think back. It’s too painful, Natalie, we’ve all been there different parts of our journey. So between the sheer volume of invoices that you’re auditing, you’re finding a way to fix all the errors that are inevitably come with the process. Did it feel, and not to look back at anything too painful, but it felt pretty insurmountable. Natalie, your thoughts?

Natalie Rekow (10:17):

Yes, it was definitely something that we needed to rethink and be very strategic about how we were going to approach the solution because no matter what actions we were taking on a day-to-day basis, we were getting a lot of escalations from a service perspective about not wanting to service our business. So we kind of had to respond to those fires versus really be thinking strategically. And that’s when we decided to engage rate links and actually other partners at that time, I personally had worked with rate links in the past, so we decided to do a trial with rate links and kind of prove out this concept here at Ecolab as well as a few other suppliers. We went with rate links at that time.

Scott Luton (11:02):

Okay. So Shannon, I’m coming to you next here, but I think it’s really important, Mary Kate, as the big theme as we launch is making it easier for the team to succeed. Of course it goes without saying take care of the customers and make sure those service levels are protected, but then being a good partner with our suppliers, that’s a really important element here as well. Mary Kate, you’re quick comment,

Mary Kate Love (11:24):

Natalie, as you’re talking, I’m thinking you’re shifting from being a reactive team to a proactive team and that’s when people start to feel really excited in their jobs and they’re not putting fires out all day long. Maybe it’s just a few times a day. Right?

Scott Luton (11:38):

Right,

Natalie Rekow (11:39):

Exactly.

Scott Luton (11:40):

So Shannon, now that Natalie has really painted quite the picture of their business, where things are, some of where they’ve come, which we’re going to get into more, you’ve been in the business, we’re going to break our 20 year rule here, Mary Kate, because Shannon’s been around the block a time or two over 30 years in global supply chain. So would you say, Shannon, that Ecolab’s freight auditing challenges are really unique or more complex than maybe than other clients y’all have helped?

Shannon Vaillancourt (12:04):

I’d say Ecolab is almost a combination of everybody just because of they ship everywhere and they do a little bit of everything, but no, there isn’t anything that they have that nobody has. Lemme put it that way. So it really just came down to us having to do everything that we do just happened to be for Ecolab. And a lot of that’s, they do have hazardous, they have non-hazardous, they have things that can’t be frozen. So in the winter all of a sudden you have to worry about that. Whereas a lot of customers, there’s nothing that’s going to free, it’s something that is a solid object already that they’re shipping. So that’s where Ecolab just had a little bit of everything. So if we go across our customer base, I could pick probably five or six customers, put ’em together and it’s like, yeah, that’s Ecolab. And I think that’s where, from our perspective, it wasn’t that big of a deal. We’ve already experienced it elsewhere. And then just their scale, whether you got one or a hundred coming down a certain lane with a certain carrier, it’s the same level of effort

Scott Luton (13:02):

Or 700 invoices or 700,000 invoices

Shannon Vaillancourt (13:05):

Or 200,000.

Scott Luton (13:06):

Right. Alright. So Mary Kate, I’m hearing we got to set up a field trip to come see Natalie and Ecolab, but y’all’s facilities are fascinating to walk through. Mary Kate, you game for a field trip? I’m

Mary Kate Love (13:16):

In. I’m in for that.

Scott Luton (13:18):

Okay. All right. So Shannon, let’s keep going maybe a little more level setting here. So for some of the folks out there that may not be involved with carry invoices and how they may differ from contracted rates, what are some of the reasons that we come across that?

Shannon Vaillancourt (13:33):

It just comes down to the complexity. I mean the biggest issue that we notice with Ecolab, and that really doesn’t make them unique, I guess we notice this with every customer, is that they have rules set up around rating and the prices that they agreed to at the carriers that are very complex, they’re layered and that’s where you have to break it all down and make sure that you’re following all those rules from a contract perspective. And I think that was a challenge. That’s why they were constantly having to put out fires because they have very kind of specific rules around the freight, whether it’s chemicals that are shipping or nonchemical, they have facilities where both come out of that facility. So how do you distinguish the two? And then they had one carrier in particular, and Natalie who I’m talking about, where those rates and rules were very complex and that was driving a lot of issues at one point and that’s where we had to help on that. I mean, I think we had upwards of 10,000 issues with that carrier that we had to work through it. And it’s like how do you do that manually? Think about if you had 10,000 invoices for one particular carrier that was causing problems, how do you do that manually? You can’t. And all 10,000 of them came down to one problem and that’s the approach we took with it and that’s what we’re able to do.

Scott Luton (14:59):

Yeah, I’m going to dive a little deeper in what you’re sharing there, Shannon, but Mary Kate, it goes back to you really can’t, right? And kind of goes back to what Manal was saying, you couldn’t get enough people, you’ve got to leverage. We have no other option than to leverage innovative technologies to not only address what we have to address, but to run the business to run it. Well, your quick thoughts, Mary Kate?

Mary Kate Love (15:17):

Yeah, just some of these stats that we’re throwing out, just the sheer volume of work requires these technologies to be able to sift through it, make sense of it, and really empower people to feel like they can do something about the issues that are arising instead of being like, well, it’s just always going to be that way. It’s just like that, right?

Scott Luton (15:36):

Yes. Yes. Well said. And Natalie, really quick, we’re going to get into a little bit more of the outcomes in a minute, but I bet as things started to change, Natalie, because that pain back to the prior state, I bet a lot of the team felt like you did a little bit of that pain. I bet there was a sense of relief and they could be more successful. Natalie, everyone wants to be

Natalie Rekow (15:53):

Successful. Yes, definitely. We’ve actually had a lot less turnover with the recent changes because people are getting more fulfillment out of the work that they do. Oh,

Scott Luton (16:04):

Okay. All right. We got so much more to get to here. I love that. Alright, so Shannon, getting back to those 700,000 annual invoices, tell us if you would, how does rate links and technology rate links make that happen? So we can still run the business and address all that stuff and to Natalie’s point be fulfilled in our roles,

Shannon Vaillancourt (16:23):

It’s the technology, again, we leverage a lot of our software to do the work. So it’s funny, we have a person on the audit team that used to work somewhere else and they audited bills where they worked before. So same job and where they worked, they had a quota. They had to at least audit 90 invoices a day, 90. Wow. So you think about the scenario that we had with Ecolab where they had 10,000. So how many people would you need to do that? Well, we did all 10,000 with a fraction of a person. And that’s because of the software. It’s kind of mind boggling to think about how many people we really have auditing. I could count it on one hand and it’s across all of our customers. It’s not just that’s who we have dedicated to Ecolab and it’s because we have the power of the computer and a lot of AI and machine learning in there.

(17:19):

And that’s where the computer told us that for these 10,000, here’s the real problem. Here’s the one problem, you get this one thing solved and poof, these all go away and they’re all correct. And that’s I think the magic that we figured out over here. And that’s where I think everywhere else, and that’s where even Natalie said they’d have to hire so many people, they have to figure it out because they don’t have the software, the process, the tools that we do to essentially serve it up on a silver platter and say, oh look, you have thousands of invoices for either this one carrier or these carriers and here’s the three issues really that you have to deal with. So now all of a sudden you’re way more efficient. Oh yeah. And not only are you more efficient, you’re going to be incredibly accurate and you’re also going to be very consistent. So you’re not going to have judgment calls where depending on who’s looking at it, they’re going to think it’s one rule. And then today I kind of feel like maybe it’s a different rule. It’s like, no, the computer’s very consistent how we do it, there’s no other way to do it in my mind.

Scott Luton (18:31):

So I want to circle back to that in just a second. But Mary Kate, one of my favorite things that Shannon just shared was, poof, almost like they’ve got a magic wand. I mean that makes me feel, especially as having been that person as we were talking pre-show that’s done lots of the manual data integrity work that is so tedious and it really is not the fulfilling work that Natalie is talking about. And if we can throw that over to the technology to do incredibly well at an incredible pace, Mary Kate, that’s music to my ears.

Mary Kate Love (19:01):

And I was singing the same thing, Scott Fulfillment. If my job every day is to meet a quote of 90 invoices and I feel like I’m not really adding to the bigger picture or I feel like there could be a better way to use technology, I’m going to be much more fulfilled partnering with a company like Rate Links where I feel like, hey, I’m getting through a lot. I’m really making a difference in my company. Right?

Scott Luton (19:25):

Yes, yes. Well said Mary Kate. Completely agree. Okay, Natalie, I’m about to come back to you as we get into more of the outcomes and whatnot, but Shannon, before I do, if we can keep the right altitude, because I can tell you as much as I would’ve loved to be a technologist and to be able to code and to be an AI scientist, unfortunately that was not what I was gifted with. So if you could explain a little bit further in terms of how rate links leverages AI and machine learning to do what you were talking about. Can you share another detail or two with our audience?

Shannon Vaillancourt (19:54):

Well, when you’re looking at an invoice, if you’ve ever had the pleasure auditing a freight invoice, which I have, and that’s why I wrote the software, it is actually incredibly painful and time consuming to do it. Really what it comes down to is matching it up to the rate and then figuring out which one of the rules is wrong and then categorizing it. That’s what it comes down to. I mean, if we take truckload for example, and you look at a freight invoice on truckload, if we sat here and we’re like, okay, what could be wrong? Well, there’s only a few things. It’s the mileage. They have the wrong mileage from point A to point B, the cost per mile is wrong and accessorial is wrong or the fuel surcharge is wrong, there’s nothing else. That’s it. Why are we digging into this too much? Why am I doing the math on the miles times the cost per mile? I mean that’s literally what we would see people do where invoice comes in says it’s a thousand miles, $2 and 50 cents per mile, and they’re like 2,500 and they pull out the calculator and they’re like, hang on, yeah, 2,500. It’s like, yeah, no kidding, that’s how third grade math taught

Mary Kate Love (21:02):

Me they’re worth.

Shannon Vaillancourt (21:04):

So we take all that out of the mix and it’s like instead we’re leveraging our people to do what the people need to do, which is essentially have the conversation with either our customer or the carriers to get this resolved and make sure we all get on the same page. We want it fixed as much as everybody else does. That way the customer is paying their carriers on time, getting the service they want, the carriers are getting paid for their time and their service and then they love that customer and they like us as well, which is always a nice benefit. So that’s really all the software does is it takes all that out of the person’s hands and essentially says, here’s what you need to go do.

Scott Luton (21:42):

Love it. Natalie, I’m imagining that Coca-Cola commercial way back in the day where it’s like perfect harmony once we get it all right and the whole ecosystem sings together. Natalie, is that almost what it’s like?

Natalie Rekow (21:54):

Not quite, but

Scott Luton (21:55):

Not quite. Alright, not quite. But hey, before I get back to some questions for you, Natalie, Tomcat is illustrating the point for us, incredibly painful, very accurate description of auditing freight invoices. So why would we want to make our team members do anything that was incredibly painful? There’s a better way. So Natalie, once, as Shannon was describing it, AI machine learning, the technology finds these differences between the contractor rates and the accessorials. I can never say that word, who disputes the invoice with the carrier Natalie?

Natalie Rekow (22:25):

So rate links takes all of that work from the client. So in the past we were disputing in a system that we had, but now rate links is carrier resolution team does all of that for us. Really, they may have questions from us if the carrier disagrees, but typically they’re working directly with our carriers and there’s not a lot of client intervention needed.

Scott Luton (22:50):

So Mary Kate, what I’m hearing there is they’re taking friction out the team members plates out of the operation, Mary Kate, that’s a beautiful thing.

Mary Kate Love (22:58):

Yeah, again, it’s just putting all of this efficiency to work for people and making their jobs a little bit easier for once.

Scott Luton (23:06):

Oh, amen. Alright, so Natalie, we are already probably halfway through the show and I bet a lot of our listeners out there and viewers out there are already kind of putting the whole outcome picture together because just from a sheer cultural and from an employee experience perspective, man, it is like a whole different picture. But what else? When you think of the return on investment or the real positive business outcomes, beyond what we’ve talked about from using rate links as freight audit and pay solution and the carrier resolution services, what else would you add to that whole equation of the return?

Natalie Rekow (23:39):

Yeah, so one of our biggest returns has been our first pass yield. So essentially in the past we were really behind on our freight payment and we were having to touch a large percentage of our invoices and now we’re well above our target of 95%. So 98% of our invoices, neither rate links nor our team has to touch in any way driven by their ability to automate and also learn our business in those rules. In the past we got a lot of escalations from our carriers and we get no noise from a freight payment perspective. We actually get the opposite where they tell us how far we’ve come and how we’re one of the best companies in this space today. Man,

Scott Luton (24:26):

We ask and you delivered Natalie, I want to go back to just 98% touchless. A lot of folks may have not have heard first pass yield before and I want to make sure they take away what you’re sharing there big. Can you explain first pass yield one more time and how important that figure is?

Natalie Rekow (24:39):

Yes. So what our goal is, right, is to pass an invoice through with no one touching it. So first pass yield is just the percentages of invoices that no one has to touch that just pass right through the rate link system and go through for payment.

Scott Luton (24:55):

Okay man, 98%. Love that. Alright, I got a couple more questions for everyone here, but Nadeem, Shannon whole Rate links team has been doing it for a while. They’ve got lots of other customers. Maybe we can touch on that maybe towards the end of the show or maybe you get a cup of coffee or maybe hit the white golf ball round with Shannon Valen court after today’s session. So let’s talk about invoice aging, paying invoices within terms. How has this work helped impact that Natalie?

Natalie Rekow (25:22):

Yeah, I would say that from a carrier perspective, we have very limited aging and when we do have aging, it’s typically driven by something that is not in our control. Either we didn’t get the invoices or they weren’t submitted to the right place and the rate link software allows us to really get to those issues quite quickly. Whereas our previous tools, it was difficult to pull the reporting and really get to the root cause of the issue.

Scott Luton (25:53):

Mary Kay, it’s important folks get paid carriers want to get paid, right? That’s how you get one of the ways we get service levels we’re after. Mary Kate, your quick thoughts again back for me, it’s back to not only the incredible improvement and better days, but taking friction out your thoughts, Mary Kate?

Mary Kate Love (26:08):

Yeah, I love Natalie. When you said the carriers talk about how you are one of the best companies in the space now. I mean that’s huge for them and for you guys and for all the people that work with one another in your organizations, I think that’s a really great outcome.

Scott Luton (26:24):

That’s right. Well said. Got a level on our carriers out there. I’ll tell you what Shannon, let’s switch gears here. Invoice discrepancies. Some folks will say if they’re too small, we shouldn’t worry about ’em. And they use rate tolerances instead of real exhaustive freight auditing your thoughts, Shannon.

Shannon Vaillancourt (26:40):

We love the fact that people do that. What allows us to come in and do what we do, so we celebrate the fact that people have rate tolerances. We don’t, and it freaks people out. We audit down to the penny. We do that because again, the computer does it. Again, going back to if you’ve ever had the pleasure of auditing a freight invoice, it is incredibly painful. So go back to the person that we have here who used to work somewhere else. They did 90 in a day, so eight hours, 90 invoices, you can figure out the cost per invoice. That’s what people are doing and they’re like, eh, for 10 bucks it’s not worth it for 20 bucks, $15, it’s just not worth it. Just let it go. And so think about when you go to the grocery store tonight, let’s say you’re checking out and you’re like, eh, that’s close enough.

(27:30):

I don’t know, it’s within about five bucks every item that you’re buying that’s close enough, right? Because it’s not worth it for you to watch it as they scan everything. And it’s like freight’s the only thing that I’ve ever experienced in my entire life that it’s horseshoes and hand grenades, it’s horseshoes, hand grenades and freight bills is how you got to think about it now, just like there’s three sure things in life, not two death taxes and a rate change. So these are the things I wasn’t taught, but then again, I grew up in the inner city Chicago. Maybe that’s why

Scott Luton (28:09):

We got to talk more about those bears and Packers teams of your, but we’ll save that for the next show. Just

Shannon Vaillancourt (28:14):

Bears we can talk about.

Mary Kate Love (28:16):

Yeah, I was going to say, wait a minute, wait a minute.

Scott Luton (28:18):

Just message. Hey, before I go back, Natalie, Mary, Kate, that’s not good enough. That shouldn’t be in our lexicon. If we’ve got technology that we can bring into the operation that eliminates all that really just let’s call it what it is. Waste, right? Waste of dollars, waste of employee hours. Your quick thoughts, Mary Kate,

Mary Kate Love (28:37):

I just love the efficiency that this provides and it really allows you to not waste money in unnecessary areas. Save the money for other things that you need. And when you set a rule, having technology that can really keep to that, the numbers are just adding up in my head based on everything we’ve talked about today. You can see quickly how that becomes a huge savings long term, short term

Scott Luton (29:00):

Too. Yes. And i’s what throw out there when I’m bebopping down through my local grocery and I get to the cashier’s lane, although it’s all self-checkout these days, which I love, but five bucks per item. No, that’s not acceptable, right? Shannon, that’s a great, great analogy.

Shannon Vaillancourt (29:17):

When you think about Ecolab’s challenge that she talked about at the beginning that Natalie said they couldn’t hire enough people. So if there’s 700,000 invoices a year, let’s say that they figure a dollar that’s $700,000 a year, maybe they’re off by $5 on average. So now you start looking at how many people could you hire to offset it? I mean this is the challenge that everybody runs into. That’s why they do it. It is a business decision that they have to make. And that’s where again, with us, you don’t have to worry about that. There is a much better way to do this

Mary Kate Love (29:53):

And that’s a painful business decision to make, right? Because it’s not a fun one. But if you have rate links, it becomes, hey, this is pretty cool. We can have this savings and we can be more efficient,

Scott Luton (30:06):

Really cool. In my book, I need to bring rate links in and start auditing my kids’ expenses. And some of those invoices we get.

Shannon Vaillancourt (30:12):

The problem with your kids’ expenses is your money is no object to them. Yeah, right.

Scott Luton (30:19):

That’s right. All right, so Natalie, all this automation, this artificial intelligence machine learning, all the tech we’re talking about, you’ve already spoken to just how more fulfillment that your team members has got out of each day. But what else when it talks about reducing or eliminating any work for your transportation team, anything else that we didn’t touch on?

Natalie Rekow (30:36):

So I would just add on that in addition to our team auditing the invoices and getting all that time back, there were a lot of other teams from procurement to our leadership team who had to get involved in a lot more discussions with our carriers when they weren’t getting paid. So when we think about it now, those discussions can be turned to what really matters, and that’s how do we service our customers better in the future and work better with our carriers on innovation and other things versus solving the tactical freight payment issues that we had.

Scott Luton (31:09):

Natalie, I love that call out Mary Kate. One of my favorite parts of my journey has been doing value stream mapping with cross-functional teams across big and small organizations. And what Natalie just touched on there is a lot of times in our functional silos, not say Ecolab, but other out there we know exist. Sometimes you don’t even understand the impact upstream and downstream, but if you heard Natalie talk about all the different teams that had to get involved, right? Mary Kay, that’s again, it’s like a force multiplier aspect of why we got to do this, right?

Mary Kate Love (31:39):

Absolutely. Yeah. It’s allowing the teams to take back time to be strategic and not tactical

Scott Luton (31:45):

And not just a transportation team, right? Other teams within the organization. Shannon, we have talked about this massive tidal wave amount of data that is digitized from the hundreds of thousands of freight invoices, but besides paying the right contracted rates, how else is the freight invoice and audit data leveraged?

Shannon Vaillancourt (32:04):

It definitely gives Ecolab now a solid foundation that they leverage for procurement. So when they are getting new rates, you think about other companies with rate tolerances, they’re putting in new rates and they’re comparing it to what they paid before and what they paid before had rate tolerances in it. So you’re doing incomplete comparisons now. You can compare it accurately and it’s also giving them some other intelligence that they want. I mean, there’s a lot of little analytics that we do for Ecolab, so they can see are they using the primary carrier for Lane? Is there any optimization capabilities or opportunities out there based on their rates? Again, all these invoices are rolling through. We have all of their rates loaded for every carrier in the system, and that’s where they’re taking advantage of all that. And that’s exactly what you’re supposed to do.

Scott Luton (32:53):

Yeah, well said. And Natalie, when you run a better business and your invoices are audited in record time, you’re paying the right balances within terms, you can leverage all of that into better contracts and rates, which Shannon’s kind of speaking to, right?

Mary Kate Love (33:06):

Yes, definitely.

Scott Luton (33:08):

And why not pull that lever at all 17 of those levers, right? So Shannon, these returns, the return on investment, the outcomes from the intangible to the tangible. You’re seeing this, I’m assuming the same returns with other customers y’all have, right?

Shannon Vaillancourt (33:23):

Oh yeah. We see lots of different numbers. Everybody’s a little unique in how they’re set up, but I mean based on not only head count, whether it’s reduction or prevention, there’s savings there. And then just the hard dollar savings, if they did have a rate tolerance in place, that’s probably the easiest one to look at where anybody who does have a rate tolerance, you can just look at it and see that right there. There’s savings right across the top. So for us, it’s not hard to justify our cost that we have out there. So you’ll easily see five to 20%. Everybody’s different though.

Scott Luton (33:57):

Yes. Mary Kate, we should have no tolerance for rate tolerances is one of the big takeaways here, right?

Mary Kate Love (34:04):

Yeah, I love that. I love a good savings like this where you can save in an area that you have to spend money in to do business, but if you kind of use these technologies, innovate a little bit, think about it a little differently, these savings are going to continue to compound in a lot of different ways. So this makes my budget heart so happy.

Scott Luton (34:26):

It’s so true. And folks, if you can’t tell, one of the key takeaways here is if your organization’s using rate Tolerances, you might want to give Shannon a ring because there’s clearly a better way that your team will appreciate the bottom line will appreciate your carriers, will appreciate what we’re going to touch on next, Shannon, because that’s one of my favorite parts of Natalie’s message here today and what they’re leading an Ecolab is the whole ecosystem’s winning. So Shannon, when clients use rate links as dispute resolution services, how does that change improve the relationship between the shipper and the carrier? Oh,

Shannon Vaillancourt (34:57):

It makes a huge difference because the approach we take is to fix it. That’s why we have the 98% first pass yield. The only way you get to that number is you have to fix the problem. And that’s what the carriers want. They don’t want us to just short pay an invoice and be done with it. So we actually have a lot of carriers who we hear from as well that recommend us to their other customers because we make it easy for everybody. Not only are we working with our customers, we’re beholden to our customer, but the carrier is a big piece in that equation and we have to make sure that we’re communicating correctly to them and that we’re following all the rules and everybody’s the rules. And that’s where we’re able to get the huge savings, not only from a time perspective, but cost perspective because at the end of the day, the freight invoice just needs to get paid at the contracted amount.

(35:49):

That’s what the carrier expected, that’s what the customer expects. So we make it as easy as possible for them and pointed out, so I remember I had a call once with a carrier where I said, Hey, do you mind if I send you some examples so we can figure out what’s wrong with the rates that you’re calculating? And I remember the woman is like, oh my God, if you could help me with the rest of these customers, this would be great. We can never get to the bottom of it. And sure enough, next call we have with nine examples, we figured it out and then poof, it’s fixed. That’s just how we work with them. And then that’s what increases your first pass yield. You can’t have issues and have a high first pass yield. You have to solve it. And then when the rates change, you got to go through that process again because maybe somebody loaded something wrong, you just never know.

Scott Luton (36:38):

Shannon, I’ve had lots of conversations with you dating back to our first in-person in beautiful Arizona at the DEMSKY conference, and I never knew you were such a magician. The whole poof thing. I mean it makes sense now, but really why not? The question is not why it is, why not? Natalie, before I get Mary Kate the comment on Shannon’s certified magician status, talk about those carrier relationships and how y’all have been able to improve and leverage those and next steps to continue to improve your freight auditing your thoughts, Natalie?

Natalie Rekow (37:10):

Yeah, I would say that the biggest improvement is we’re now seen as a carrier of choice in the freight payment space. So no longer is freight payment, a topic within our carrier meetings or calls. So we’re able to really leverage those meetings to drive better business outcomes in the future versus working on tactical freight payment. And then the last thing that our team has noticed is we’re really able to understand where we are against the market and really maintain our rates against market trends because no longer do we have large open aging to the point where they have to add those balances into their future rates. They can really take that out knowing that we’re going to pay in a timely manner.

Scott Luton (37:56):

That is music to my ears. I’m telling you, it’s a Coca-Cola commercial from the seventies and cures get beat up by a lot of folks out there in the industry. And I love the great impact that it is for them taking friction out of their operation and making their team members’ day easier. Natalie, love this story here, Mary Kate. Now we’re going to get your patented key takeaway in a few minutes, but Mary Kate on that carrier impact, I mean, what a beautiful story, your thoughts?

Mary Kate Love (38:20):

Yeah, I love that no one wants to be a bad partner or be in a bad partnership or feel like you’re treating your partner wrong. And I think Natalie has highlighted being able to get these small, well, they’re large issues, but being to kind of take care of these issues allows you to focus on the bigger picture and have a true partnership, which I just love to hear that.

Scott Luton (38:43):

Completely agree. Again, we’ve been using this ecosystem for years, for years, ever since my biology days back in high school. It’s become kind of cliche these days, but in this story here, this is anything but cliche because truly the ecosystem, the team members inside the four walls, outside the four walls, their days are getting easier and that’s got to be one of the north stars of what we have to do, what we’re charged with as business leaders. So I love that. So Natalie, when it boils all down, and I’ve got some visuals I’m going to share with our audience in just a minute, but when you boil it all down and you get to the bottom line reasons that y’all are very thankful, you decided to rethink how Ecolab processed its freight invoices, all 700,000 of them and how you audit them, what does it all boil down to?

Natalie Rekow (39:29):

Yeah, I would say there’s really a few different key things here. So the first one being that we were able to significantly reduce our internal workload and even cut labor across our organization. We also were able to improve and process our invoices quicker and kind of get to the point where we can almost nearly eliminate aging. And then like Shannon mentioned, we did have higher rate tolerances. We were able to nearly, if not fully eliminate those with rate lengths. And then lastly, we were able to leverage our financial data and truly understand our spend, whereas in the past, we didn’t really have the tools or ability to do that in a strategic way.

Scott Luton (40:19):

Well said Ned. Man, that’s music to my ears. So I don’t know about y’all. I’m a visual learner and I think we’ve got some graphics that we’re going to walk through that basically reinforces the so what factor that Natalie just addressed. And we’re going to start with the first one up to 20% cost avoidance on freight spend. How about that? Number two, significantly cut internal audit labor hours. Thirdly, auditing freight invoices. How about this? 92 times faster only with technology folks. Fourthly, eliminating these rate tolerances and pass to invoices. Folks, if you use rate tolerances, you better give Shannon and team a call and finally finding new cost savings opportunities, which is so important whether you’re dealing with freight or other components of global business, global supply chain. So good stuff there, Natalie. Alright, so we’ve got some resources we’re going to share. We’re going to make sure folks know how to connect with Shannon and Natalie, but I’m going to move this question up, Mary Kate, because I can’t wait to hear of what we’ve covered in the last 50 minutes, not including these winners. Let’s see here. Natalie picked Yukon, Shannon picked Yukon, Kentucky, you picked UNC, not touched on that, but what’s one of your favorite things that Natalie and Shannon touched on today that folks got to take away from this conversation?

Mary Kate Love (41:29):

I just love how we talked about in the beginning how complicated is right in terms of freight and how high their freight spend is. Yet they still were able to drive all of these results. So this just made me like I have already got a few people that I really want to connect Shannon with after this. This just made me think it’s truly possible across all industries, right? No matter. Probably the more complicated the better. You could probably find even more savings.

Scott Luton (41:54):

Well said. Absolutely. And I bet Shannon would welcome Shannon and the whole team would welcome those conversations. Oh

Shannon Vaillancourt (42:00):

Yeah, we love big and the most complex possible

Scott Luton (42:04):

And I also really enjoy an hour. Our sounds like a long time, but there’s so much more I bet in longstanding partnership as Natalie was sharing on the front end through various organizations. So we’ll have to dive deeper in the next episode. Natalie, let’s make sure, I bet folks are going to want to pick your brain a little bit further. Maybe they want you to come in, give a keynote or something, or find a way to maybe do business with you all or learn a little more of what you shared here today. How can folks connect with you and the Ecolab team?

Natalie Rekow (42:31):

I would say the best way to connect with me is through LinkedIn, and I’m happy to help you answer any questions that you might have or come speak with you further.

Scott Luton (42:41):

Wonderful. Maybe they want to become a Ecolab customer. Folks, reach out to Natalie and the team. What a great interesting company to spotlight and work through here today, especially from a supply chain standpoint. Shannon, on the move moving mountains, we’ve enjoyed the stories we’ve covered here today, going back years, how can folks connect with you, Shannon, and the Rate Links team,

Shannon Vaillancourt (43:01):

You can always go to the website, www.ratelinks.com or hit me up on LinkedIn.

Scott Luton (43:06):

It’s just that easy. Yep.

Shannon Vaillancourt (43:08):

Right. And then poof,

Scott Luton (43:12):

Right on time, right on time. Also, Michael Scott from the office spoke that reference rate links.com, we dropped that link out there. Hey, bill, sting Kevi from the great city of Savannah. Great group here, Scott. Yeah, follow Bill. Bill’s a great dude down in the Savannah, Georgia Logistics mecca. That is, we’ve got some resources really quick though, before y’all take off, I wanted to share, as I mentioned, I’m a visual learner folks, we got two resources here. I want to start with, I think we have really, there’s a lot more to this story, but I think we’ve done a good job highlighting some of the key takeaways in the last hour. But folks, are you going to learn more? You can download the case study from our friends at rate links. We’re dropping that link in the chat and here’s something cool. How about coming out to the second annual rate Links Insight conference October 15th through the 16th, 2024, just a few months down the road in Scottsdale, Arizona. Shannon, what is the temperature of Scottsdale in October, roughly?

Shannon Vaillancourt (44:09):

Perfect.

Scott Luton (44:12):

That is very well quantified.

Shannon Vaillancourt (44:15):

Sunny. Perfect. Love it. I would say,

Scott Luton (44:17):

Well, Natalie, I hope to see you there. I’m going to try to make it out this year and they got some great speakers, so maybe we can connect over a coffee or an adult beverage. You never know, but there’ll be a few of those out there, Shannon, don’t you think?

Mary Kate Love (44:31):

Alright,

Scott Luton (44:32):

We can cut that out, baby. Wonderful. Natalie Rico with Ecolab, thanks so much for being here today.

Mary Kate Love (44:39):

Thank you for having us.

Scott Luton (44:40):

You bet. Shannon Valour, always a pleasure. You and the Rate Links team, appreciate what you’re doing out there because again, that’s close enough. Ain’t good enough out in Global Supply Chain. Thanks for being here. No,

Mary Kate Love (44:51):

Thank you guys. Appreciate

Scott Luton (44:52):

It. You bet, Mary Kate, I love the outcomes, the real practical outcomes. Yes, I love the bottom line and how the organization’s greatly improved, but my favorite part is me, is the impact it has on your people and you make your days more rewarding, fulfilling, and successful. That’s a big part of the name of the game, right?

Mary Kate Love (45:12):

Yeah, key. And Natalie’s seeing less turnover too, right? That’s huge.

Scott Luton (45:16):

Yes, that is right. Okay folks. Hey, thanks for being here. I know we couldn’t hit everybody’s comment and question here today. We dropped links for all those resources in the chat. Make sure you connect with Natalie and Shannon out there. There’s a lot more goodness to the great things they’re doing in industry. Hey, make sure you connect with Mary Kate. Love National Supply Chain date’s right around the corner, April 29th. Be sure to download a case study and check out rate links. This conference coming up in the perfect weather, as Shannon said in October, and beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona, and whatever you do, take one thing of all the brilliance that Shannon and Natalie and Mary Kate brought here today. Take one thing and do something different. Your teams will appreciate it. They’ll love you for doing it. And on behalf of our entire team here at Supply Chain now, Scott Luton challenging you to do good, to give forward and to be the change. We’ll see you next time, right back here at Supply Chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (46:06):

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.

 

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Featured Guests

Shannon Vaillancourt is the President and Founder of RateLinx. He started the company in 2002 with the idea that there was a better way to give companies complete visibility to their supply chain. Since then, RateLinx has become a leading supply chain software and data services company that gives retailers, manufacturers, and distributors the ability to ship, track, and pay for their freight. Before founding RateLinx, Shannon held several leadership and technical roles in software engineering, solutions, and services. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Connect with Shannon on LinkedIn.

Natalie Rekow is currently a Senior Logistics Manager – Transportation Admin. Natalie is responsible for three main workstreams: Freight Pay and Audit, Technical Solutions, and Cost Performance. Prior to this role, Natalie was a Program Manager on the PMO team focused on Supply Chain Program Management, Capital Process Leadership, and Annual Budget leadership. Prior to that, Natalie led the Freight Audit and Payables team on Transportation Admin and worked at Target Corporation in numerous Supply Chain operations and Transportation finance roles. Natalie has her B.S. from St. Olaf and MBA from the Carlson School at the University of Minnesota. Connect with Natalie on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Mary Kate Love

VP, Marketing & Host

You May Also Like

Click to view other episodes in this program

Additional Links & Resources

How Ecolab Transformed Freight Audit with RateLinx Audit & Pay

Learn more about Supply Chain Now

Learn more about National Supply Chain Day

WEBINAR- Exploring Rebate Strategies in Supply Chain Partnerships

WEBINAR- Building an Antifragile Supply Chain: Dr. Schär’s Climb to Inventory Excellence

WEBINAR- Profitable Manufacturing Unveiled: Crafting a Winning S&OP Strategy

Check Out Our Sponsors

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.

Connect on :

Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

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

Connect on :

Kim Reuter

Host

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

Connect on :

Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

Connect on :

Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

Connect on :

Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

Connect on :

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).

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

Connect on :

Vicki White

Controller

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

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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).

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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!

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

Connect on :

Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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!

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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’.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

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

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

Connect on :