Digital Transformers
Episode 36

It's not just about manufacturing the tractor anymore, it's about the sensors that might be on the tractor that help you understand things about temperature or soil quality that help you become a better farmer, but also feed back into your product innovation process. What have you learned about what you need to do in the next generation of what you manufacture?

-Stacy Short

Episode Summary

As SAP and IBM reach 50 years of partnership, Kevin L. Jackson is celebrating with IBM’s Stacy Short by diving into how both companies work together to help customers on their digital transformation journey. Tune in to hear more about building technology roadmaps, business transformation as a service, closing the gap between sustainability strategy and results, how the value of data is reshaping industry objectives and more.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:01):

Welcome to Digital Transformers, the show that connects you with what you need to build, manage, and operate your digital supply chain. Join your host in a timely discussion on new and future business models with industry leading executives. The show will reveal global customer expectations, real world deployment challenges, and the value of advanced business technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, and robotic process engineering. And now we bring you Digital Transformers.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:34):

Hello everyone. This is Kevin L. Jackson, and welcome to Digital Transformers on Supply Chain Now. Today is a celebration because we are highlighting an important joint milestone for two of the world’s most important companies, SAP and IBM. These behemoths are celebrating 50 years of being better together. And our way of engaging with this global celebration is to have Stacy Short from IBM Consulting on the show. She serves as the SAP Global Partnership Executive for IBM. Welcome to the show, Stacy.

Stacy Short (01:16):

Thanks for having me, Kevin. I’m excited to be here to talk about the IBM-SAP partnership.

Kevin L. Jackson (01:21):

No, I think I am too. But before we get into that boring supply chain stuff, can you please tell me a little bit about how you wound up at IBM?

Stacy Short (01:32):

Sure. Sure. So, actually, I started my career on the audit side, so I’m a CPA. But I realized really quickly there must be something more exciting than that, so I jumped over to technology and really have spent the last 25 years doing SAP implementations and working with SAP at a number of different consulting firms, including Andersen and BearingPoint and KPMG. But then, landed here at IBM and really have been managing this global partnership for the last 12 years.

Kevin L. Jackson (02:03):

Wow. So, I’ve done a little bit of research on this partnership and learned that it’s delivered quite a few amazing results, including for Volkswagen. Working together, you actually enabled them to get a transparent and unified view of their business processes. And in Lisbon, through Galp, you’ve enabled greater convenience for energy users there. And, in fact, the packing manufacturer, Mondi, was able to glean more actionable insights from their data. These specific instances seemed to be just at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to becoming an intelligent enterprise. So, what do these and many other companies – I’ve read about experience – when they undertake this journey towards these transformative rewards, how does IBM and SAP work together in doing this? And, in fact, I’ve heard a little bit about, I think, it’s RISE – it’s a new term to me. So, how is this done?

Stacy Short (03:13):

Yeah. So, yes, those are several great examples, Kevin. And, yes, you would be hard for us to find a longer, more enduring, more expansive partnership than the IBM one. And when we think about that, you know, we’re really partnering around so many facets. It’s not just about the consulting services, but it’s how are we putting our software technologies together or how are we leveraging hardware, our hardware, capabilities together, how are we leveraging our Cloud capabilities, as an example. So, you know, as you talked about those examples, these are all the elements we are using to really help customers on their transformation journeys.

 

Stacy Short (03:52):

And, yes, RISE. You can’t really say SAP these days without talking about RISE. So, let’s talk, really, a little bit about what RISE is. RISE is a business transformation as a service. That’s how SAP describes it. It really is about really enabling our customers on their Cloud transformation journey. So, basically, in the RISE construct, it’s basically packaging up SaaS-based licenses, Cloud infrastructure from IBM, or the other hyperscalers, and the technical managed service. So, that’s what you’re getting on one contract, Kevin, from SAP. But along with that, you’re also getting some additional capabilities around their network, so think things like the Ariba Network or additional capabilities around their technology platform, which we call BTP, Business Technology Platform. This would be capabilities that help us with integration or help us build the next generation of development with SAP and the next generation solutions that are no longer written in ABA, but these are cloud-based extensions. That’s what we’re building instead. So, RISE is really how we’re putting all these pieces together to really help our customers on those transformation journeys.

Kevin L. Jackson (05:09):

Wow. So, this technology, does it really help to accelerate in this digital transformation?

Stacy Short (05:16):

Yeah. Absolutely. Right. I mean, I think our customers are seeing tremendous benefits from cloud adoption, not only on sort of the cost side and the ability to scale up and scale down their cloud capabilities, but also it’s really being able to bring more of those true digital capabilities to life, whether we’re talking AI or whether we’re talking about really connecting processes across multiple platforms. Really, when we start to talk about some of the new technologies and some of the new ways we do integration, that becomes much easier to build end-to-end processes with some of these process intelligence tools, like what we use when we’re doing RISE with Signavio as an example, where we’re sort of connecting the dots in a process like lead to order or plan to manufacturer. So, yes, these technologies are definitely helping with these transformations.

Kevin L. Jackson (06:09):

Well, 50 years is a long time. How do you guys start?

Stacy Short (06:16):

Yeah. I think, you know, it’s all about helping our customers with the roadmap, right, Kevin? There’s a lot of complexity in the world today, right? So, when we sit down and we start working with customers to gather, it’s helping them understand what are the steps in the process, what are the technology steps, what are the steps of what you want to do for your business, how do you want to evolve and change your business. Because at the end of the day, it’s all about tangible business outcomes. So, it’s really helping them with the roadmap to help them achieve whatever they’re trying to do in their business objectives.

Kevin L. Jackson (06:50):

I guess that’s the term I was looking for. You really give them that roadmap to get them here to there and with respect to the business process. But a lot in today’s world, sustainability is a very important aspect of the business. So, how does this roadmap or how do these improvements contribute to global sustainability goals?

Stacy Short (07:16):

Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, this is one of the most important topics we’re talking about with our customers. I mean, a study by IBM’s Institute for Business Value shows that 86 percent of companies have a sustainability strategy, but only 35 percent have actually taken action on that strategy. So, it’s exactly, for the reason you say, they’re really looking for the roadmap. And we know there are a number of inhibitors as well. We talk about the technology. We talk about access to data. We talk about even customer readiness, you know, customers want a brand that is socially open to sustainability, but do they want to pay a premium for their products and services if they’re a sustainable company? So, they’re wrestling with all of these things. And, really, when you look at what we’re doing, what we’re really doing now is creating solutions that help build that roadmap.

Stacy Short (08:11):

So, I’ll just give you an example. If we look at what we’re doing with Iberdrola as an example, we’re helping them understand how to build a supply chain, a really responsible sourcing partners. So, we help them using the Ariba solution they had, and then using some capabilities around their SAP analyst cloud, and some other capabilities. We’re able to now give each one of their suppliers a sustainability score, how are they meeting the sustainability characteristics that matter to Iberdrola. And then, we’re ensuring that they can then have, you know, sustainable vendors and suppliers. And then, we can also give those suppliers that might not be meeting those objectives today, the roadmap for what they need to do to become a sustainable supplier with Iberdrola. So, that’s one example of a roadmap.

Kevin L. Jackson (09:04):

No, no, I think that’s really important. And those suits up in the C-suite, they really like those comprehensive numbers and roadmaps. In fact, I saw a recent paper that IBM published that says U.S. Fortune 500 companies are willing to invest up to 22 billion a year in sustainability. But, I mean, let’s take it to ground here. The people that are really doing the work in supply chain from a supply chain management point of view, they are really focused on moving material and goods from point A to point B. And these networks now need to do much more of effect or be sustainable. But how can you pay the extra costs or time and processes of being sustainable while simultaneously keeping the related cost of managing your supply chain network to a minimum? How do you balance that?

Stacy Short (10:24):

Yeah. I mean, this is the struggle that all our clients are dealing with, right? I think, you know, one of the ways you do that is really kind of visibility and bringing new capabilities, like AI, to the forefront. So, when we’re thinking about, you know, S&OP planning processes, how do we get better data visibility, how do we get more scenarios factored in than the way AI can to reduce the best result at the lowest cost, but also the most sustainable result. So, we talked about just using one example. If we think about transport planning, and we think about the best mode of transport for the least carbon impact, then the way we do that is by now in a traditional S&OP process by giving a carbon impact score to each mode of transport. So, that can be another factor that’s saying, you know, this would be the more sustainable way to move your product. So, again, I think it’s using the data, the tools, and the new capabilities to really give new visibility to the options.

Kevin L. Jackson (11:30):

So, this data and these new business processes, you know, enable that visibility so the smart people can actually make decisions. The data’s not telling you what to do, but it’s presenting the options. And based upon the business at that time, you can make the right decision. I know organizations across all industries are trying to merge technology and platforms and experience in order to fuel digital transformation. But technology seems to be at its core because it creates the new opportunities. It actually enables growth and you can create these new business models. What are some of the other challenges that organizations are having with their supply chains as they go through this roadmap?

Stacy Short (12:28):

Well, I think bringing out the new business model example is a good one. Traditionally, if we just look at one example in a traditional manufacturing-based industry, they were very product-centric for years and years and years. What they’ve started to understand now is there’s a lot of value in the data they create. And so, what they can do is create a number of aftermarket services that actually give them completely new revenue streams. So, now, they’re more a services-based company offering aftermarket services, whether it be repairs or whether it be even use of data as the revenue stream. I think if you take one example in the farming industry and you think about it’s not just about manufacturing the tractor anymore, it’s about the sensors that might be on the tractor that help you understand things about temperature or soil quality that help you become a better farmer, but also feed back into your product innovation process, what have you learned about what you need to do in the next generation of what you manufacture. So, I think helping them understand how to create those new revenue streams and giving them the technology and the data to do it is really what’s key.

Kevin L. Jackson (13:39):

You know, I really like the way you brought in manufacturing, because, traditionally, you’re right, they were really focused on the product, that physical assembly line, or putting the pieces together and putting it in a box, pushing it out, and then sort of wiping their hands, and go on building the next thing. But if you are looking at how the product is being used, then you have to somehow get data about how it’s being used. And you are not physically there, it seems to be a virtual extension of the core company. So, this part of digital transformation, what are you seeing when it comes to the virtual enterprise and sustainability, for example?

Stacy Short (14:29):

Yeah, 100 percent. I mean, data is the critical element here. And you think about the evolution, you know, we’ve been exchanging data for different reasons for a long time, going back to the way we did it with facts and then [inaudible]. And, now as we move into platforms, you know, this is the most critical thing of sharing data between companies getting additional visibility that help each of you develop better products and services for your customer. So, really, it is about sort of working together on a whole new level and, really, the platform technology gives us the ability to do that.

Kevin L. Jackson (15:07):

Yeah. Yeah. When I first started my podcast a couple of years ago, and I thought I was being cool by saying digital transformers. And the whole purpose was to highlight companies and executives like you, that are leading their industries into the future of, of digital transformation. But, now, it’s more like a cliche, because everybody is talking about it. But how do you think about it? How do you define digital transformation?

Stacy Short (15:41):

So, certainly, at IBM, we define digital transformation as delivering these tangible business outcomes for our customers. So, whether it’s the ability – like what we just talked about – to move a traditionally products-based company into a completely new revenue stream by allowing them to use data or aftermarket services to just realize a whole new opportunity for their company, this is what we are trying to create when we talk about digital transformation that we’re moving them to the next level in the evolution of their company.

Kevin L. Jackson (16:17):

Wow. So, the future of supply chain is going to look very different than it does today. You have to merge that physical tracking and tracing of the product to tracking and tracing your data, I guess, and leveraging that data to enhance the product. And as technology changes, you really don’t have to change how you use technology, this has to be a consistent mindset. So, if you agree, how can organization embrace this idea of constant transformation?

Stacy Short (16:57):

Right. Right. Yes. That is the only constant right now is change. So, again, it’s about sort of looking at the data, looking at the data quality within your four walls, but also understanding the data capture that’s required outside your four walls. And you touch on the sustainability topic again, but we’ll talk about measurement of carbon impact. You’re being asked to report not only what you’re doing inside your four walls, but also what your suppliers are doing or what others are doing. So, this need to share, and this need for transparency of data is only going to become more and more critical, both for regulatory and for optimization of business processes. So, yes, I think it’s a big future around understanding how to help customers with that data transparency and with making sure that they’re capturing the right data to add value to the processes.

Kevin L. Jackson (17:58):

This is amazing. And you’re really showing a light on the importance and the value of IBM and SAP. You’ve gone through this over the past 50 years. And, in fact, I understand SAP was actually founded by IBM’ers a long time ago.

Stacy Short (18:19):

That’s right. Five IBM’ers in 197, and that’s when the partnership was actually formed. Yeah.

Kevin L. Jackson (18:26):

Amazing. I mean, thank you for your time. I mean, I could talk to you all day about this, but unfortunately our time has come to an end. But before we go, how can the audience learn more about IBM, SAP, and your astounding joint capabilities?

Stacy Short (18:46):

Sure. Yes. Lots of ways to do that, Kevin. Certainly, you can check us out on social media. On the SAP side, they’ll reference the IBM partnership. And certainly on the IBM side, referencing the SAP partnership. Also, talk to your reps, either on the SAP or the IBM side, they will absolutely know about the partnership. And then, you can always look me up on LinkedIn as well, Kevin.

Kevin L. Jackson (19:11):

Oh, thank you very much. And I’ll be sure to put those links in the show notes. So, thank you for spending your time with us, Stacy. So, in closing, I would like to invite everyone to check out a wide variety of industry thought leadership at supplychainnow.com. You can find Digital Transformers and Supply Chain Now wherever you get your podcast, so be sure to subscribe. On behalf of the entire team here at Supply Chain Now, this is Kevin L. Jackson wishing all of our listeners a bright and transformational future. We’ll see you next time on Digital Transformers.

Intro/Outro (19:57):

Thank you for supporting Digital Transformers and for being a part of our global Supply Chain Now community. Please check out all of our programming at supplychainnow.com. Make sure you subscribe to Digital Transformers anywhere you listen to or view the show, and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on Digital Transformers.

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Featured Guests

Stacy Short is a Vice President in IBM’s Consulting business. She leads IBM’s SAP Global Partnership for Consulting and IBM’s Evolution Partnership with SAP. Stacy has over 25 years of SAP experience through her consulting and alliance management roles and has completed 15 SAP implementations. In her current role, Stacy uses her deep SAP experience, her process background and her strong SAP relationships to work collaboratively with customers and IBM and SAP leaders to help clients deliver their digital transformation journeys. Connect with Stacy on LinkedIn.

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host, Digital Transformers

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Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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Scott W. Luton

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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.

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

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Host of TEKTOK

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Host

Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business.  Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM.  When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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Ben Harris

Host

Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.

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