Supply Chain Now
Episode 969

I think ultimately sustainability is really about resource management, right? We always had resources and we always managed them, but to manage your factories, your plants, your transportation, your workforce in a responsible, sustainable way, it's gotten so much broader. Coming up with collecting new data, collecting entirely new data points like, what is social equality? How is that measured? And to do that, we're breaking new ground.

-Mark Averskog

Episode Summary

What makes a supply chain sustainable … and how do you measure it? In this episode, Scott and Greg dive into that very question with the help of IBM’s Rajesh Ray and SAP’s Mark Averskog. Tune in to learn more about how IBM and SAP are extending their 50-year partnership to help companies practice responsible sourcing, planning and manufacturing, as well as reduce emissions. If you’re curious about how ESG initiatives are playing out across the global supply chain, how to measure progress and how to manage the risks that come along with those initiatives, you don’t want to miss this one.

Building Intelligent, Resilient, and Sustainable Supply Chains Smart Paper: https://ibm.biz/BdPjWK

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

Welcome to supply chain. Now the voice of global supply chain supply chain now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues. The challenges and opportunities stay tuned to hear from those making global business happen right here on supply chain now.

Scott Luton (00:33):

Hey, good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Wherever you are. Scott Luton, Greg white here with you on supply chain and welcome to today’s live stream Gregory. How we doing

Greg White (00:43):

Wherever you are, including where one of our guests is, which is one of, of our most popular areas of audience right around the world. So

Scott Luton (00:51):

You are, you are right. And I’ll tell you such a trooper. And speaking of, we’ve got a couple of incredible panelists here today. Big big show, right?

Greg White (00:59):

Yeah. Yeah. And sorry, not to answer, to answer your question. I’m doing pretty good. <laugh> considering the Braves kept us up pretty late last night,

Scott Luton (01:08):

Right?

Greg White (01:08):

Yeah. And, and a couple of rain delays.

Scott Luton (01:10):

That’s right. But, but Greg, on the flip side, yes, we were, we were in good company with one of the movers and shakers across, uh, digital content and the burgers were good and Hey, the Braves won eight in a row. Those Mets are a good team. We dropped one. We’ll see what happens tonight, but it really enjoyed the show as much as I’m gonna enjoy this show here today.

Greg White (01:32):

Yeah. Yeah. I look really looking forward to this. I can’t, I’m gonna let you share the number of years, but I cannot believe the number of years, these two companies have been partners. It is just staggering.

Scott Luton (01:44):

You know what? I was about to throw some shade on a certain sports team that hasn’t won a world series almost, but I’m not gonna go there. I’m gonna, I’m gonna be <laugh> I’m not gonna go there, but Hey folks, kidding aside. I hope this finds you where wherever you are today, we’re talking about several big topics, risk management and supply chain, of course, sustainability. And as Greg alluded to a big partnership, that’s thrived over the last 50 years and it made a big impact. So Greg great panel, big topics, great folks pouring in. You’re ready to get going.

Greg White (02:16):

I am. Yeah. And I think it’s important information for much of our audience, which wasn’t born when this partnership started. How about that,

Scott Luton (02:25):

Man? I bet the stories, the stories over the last 50 years, we’ll try to get it into some of those. Well,

Greg White (02:29):

Just the change in the business, right? Mm-hmm <affirmative> I mean, think about where business was in 1970s, early seventies, man.

Scott Luton (02:37):

Wow. That’s, that’s a great observation. I mean, think about how much has changed in the last two years, much the last, last 50, but uh, we’re gonna touch on some of, uh, of what’s transpired and most importantly, what you need to do for the next five years, much less, less next 50 years. If you’re in supply chain and or global business for that matter. But folks, we see folks coming in, we’re gonna say hello to a few people we wanna hear from you. So we’d love to get your take throughout the conversation. We’re gonna share many of those comments throughout the next hour. Use that chat bar in the cheap seats, the club seats. I, I think since we’re getting into football season, but y’all are the stars that show much like our two panelists and want to hear from you. Speaking of Greg, before we bring in our two rock and roll stars here today, let’s say hello to a few folks. Of course, clay and Catherine and a Amanda, that Chantel you name it. Uh, the wonderful production team that helps make these shows happen. Great to see all of you here today.

Scott Luton (03:32):

Like clockwork, Greg Shelly Phillips from col beautiful Colorado. Yeah. I tuned in once again,

Greg White (03:38):

She’s on the right side of that cold front that just came through the south. Right?

Scott Luton (03:43):

<laugh> I’ll go with it. It seems a little bit cooler out this morning. We didn’t, we didn’t mention weather yet. I can’t believe it, but Shelly, uh, really enjoyed your commentary yesterday and uh, look forward to you bringing again today, uh, via LinkedIn. Let’s see. Glomar uh, Glomar is back with us. I enjoyed your perspective. Uh, Greg, you may not know that Gloria Mar’s husband works in our ports and there’s, there’s some stories to tell Solomar will have to dive in deeper soon.

Greg White (04:08):

Define our us or Georgia, uh,

Scott Luton (04:11):

West coast ports, uh, here in the us. Oh, okay. Yeah.

Greg White (04:14):

Cool.

Scott Luton (04:14):

Joseph tuned in from Austin, Texas. Beautiful Austin, Texas, Greg, and you and I roll through there in supply chain. Now van not too long

Greg White (04:22):

May have had a meal or two there. Yeah, <laugh>

Scott Luton (04:25):

Weird. It is. Keep it weird. Austin. Love that place. Uh, Joseph, great to have you via LinkedIn Muhammad tuned in from beautiful New York city via LinkedIn. Great to have you here. Philando tuned in from Huntsville, Alabama via LinkedIn. We were just talking about Huntsville earlier this week,

Greg White (04:42):

Greg. Yeah. Right. Space camp,

Scott Luton (04:44):

Right. I think Philando was with us as well. That was on Monday on the buzz with uh, Kevin Jackson. Yeah. Jeremy master Sergeant Jeremy. During’s been on a hot streak, uh, greetings from Kansas to U via LinkedIn.

Greg White (04:57):

Speaking of hot

Scott Luton (04:58):

<laugh> right. He was commenting earlier on, as we were kind of promoting the show in the military, they had this phrase called operational risk management and a lot of the same principles from a, a risk standpoint were there, but the sustainability was defined a good bit different. I bet it’s probably mission sustainability, but Hey, we’ll get, maybe get Jeremy, uh, to weigh in.

Greg White (05:19):

It is funny how that word has become singularly defined now. Isn’t it true? I mean, it used, used to mean now you have to like go back to feasibility or maintainability, whatever you need. We need a new word. Yes. For business sustainability.

Scott Luton (05:35):

<laugh> we really do Muhammad tuned in from Somalia, uh, via LinkedIn. Great to have you here looking forward to your perspective. Big show. Bob Bova is back with us.

Greg White (05:45):

There he

Scott Luton (05:45):

Is. Got a new headshot too. Don’t he?

Greg White (05:48):

Yeah. Is that new? Oh man.

Scott Luton (05:49):

Yeah, looking good. Yeah. Uh, oh, oh, BSB or BSB, I guess where big show Bob Bova. I was running outta bees there, but uh, Bob great to have you here today. Russ has tuned in Russ has been, has dropped some eloquent, uh, perspective through some of our live streams, greetings from London via LinkedIn. SI’s back with us. Murphy’s back with us. Steve Lyons, man. Steve speaking of rock and roll stars. Steve was with us Wednesday vine line logistics.

Greg White (06:19):

Right.

Scott Luton (06:20):

And look at Eric hungry to learn. He says, and since I haven’t eaten actual lunch yet that should fill me up.

Greg White (06:26):

So Steve knows what goes on in the green room. He was a guest on Wednesday, as Scott said. And it’s usually talking about food, which we did today and yes, we are starving.

Scott Luton (06:37):

<laugh> yes, we sure are. All right. So I know we couldn’t hit everybody, but Ramon Cecil, Archie, uh, Kubu save all of y’all welcome. Thanks for being here. Want to hear from you throughout the next hour and uh, thanks so much for, uh, joining. Okay. So Greg with no further ado. Yes. I wanna introduce our guests here today and we’re gonna jump right in. You ready to go?

Greg White (06:58):

Yeah, I’m ready. And I’m sure Rajesh is too. Come on. It’s late his time. <laugh> that’s right. We gotta get him, get all his knowledge out of him and get him to

Scott Luton (07:06):

Bed. That’s right. Hall of Famer. All right. So with no further ado, wanna welcome in Rajesh J associate partner with IBM global business services and mark AK supply chain business network leader, vice president of solutions at SAP Ariba. Hey, good morning. Good evening. Good afternoon, Rajesh. How are you doing

Rajesh Ray (07:27):

Great. Good Scott.

Scott Luton (07:29):

Great to see you. I’m looking forward to getting the update from your bike race this weekend. We had, we had a little fun talking about that this morning. Yeah. Or mark, welcome to you as well.

Mark Averskog (07:38):

Well, thank you, Scott and Greg, Josh. It’s great to be here.

Scott Luton (07:42):

And Greg, we were, we were learning some new customs or at least new, new to me, I guess every Thursday in Sweden, Greg, what’s the

Greg White (07:50):

Tradition. Pancakes and peace soup,

Scott Luton (07:52):

Pancakes and pizza.

Greg White (07:53):

Yeah. Delicious pancakes by the way. Well, I mean, not exactly like in the states, right, mark. I mean

Mark Averskog (08:00):

No, quite different. They’re more like, uh, you know, thinner, um, yeah, larger and thinner kind of like CRA, but not, not quite that thin. Yeah. For difference. Yeah.

Scott Luton (08:11):

Well, but thank you for adding to our hungry factor, mark, but, but Hey speaking, before we get into the kind of center plate items, we’re gonna continue food references throughout next hour. We understand that we have really all three of y’all, but certainly Rajesh and mark, you are, uh, passionate about travel and adventures. We heard some of those in some of the, the prep discussions. So that’s where I wanna start. So Rajesh, we learned about some of your passions, but when it comes to travel, what’s been one of your favorite recent adventures and where’d you go?

Rajesh Ray (08:42):

So, uh, recently after COVID I think the travels had become a lot of restriction on that, but I, I, I had traveled Europe quite extensively and in the recent times in the last four or five months did this, you know, all this COVID and visa issues, et cetera, cetera. I traveled India quite a lot from the, from the, almost from the north to south. But I typically, if you’d ask me a favorite destination, I traveled a lot in Switzerland and in Nordics. So that’s more, more or less is my most favorite destinations.

Scott Luton (09:14):

Wow. I love that. And I, I hear you’re gonna be writing a book on your travel soon, is that right?

Rajesh Ray (09:20):

<laugh>

Scott Luton (09:21):

Maybe we’ll we’ll challenge you later, but

Greg White (09:22):

I don’t think he’s got time for that.

Mark Averskog (09:24):

<laugh>

Scott Luton (09:26):

Well, one other tidbit and really wanna celebrate this. Uh, we learned in some of our prep conversations that you’re a member of the illustrious industry academy, which is basically like a hall of fame for industry. So, uh, Rajesh, great to have you here and congratulations on, on all your contributions to industry.

Rajesh Ray (09:42):

Thank you.

Scott Luton (09:43):

Thank you. You bet. Um, alright, so mark, if I don’t wanna share too much information, but you and your family have had some really cool adventures here lately. Uh, we were just touching on a moment ago. Could Greg spent a lot of time in that neck of the woods? Yes. Mark. What’s been one of your favorite adventures here recently.

Mark Averskog (09:59):

Well, recently, yeah. When we talked before the, the show here was telling you guys that I spend, I, I try and spend summers in Sweden. I live normally in Portland, Oregon, but I’m originally from Sweden and in my family tend to come over here and hang out and, and we have done so this year for a couple months as well. And while we’re here, we try and take opp, take the opportunity to travel around a little bit in Europe. And this year we took a road trip from south Sweden up through all of Denmark, stopped in a bunch of places, had a bunch of seafood and ended up ferrying over from Denmark to Norway St. Along in Norway, it was kind of the beginning of Fjord country drove all over the FDS. There ended up in Bergen, which is also on the coast, drove some more hit, more fjords. It’s never ending fjords, but the fjords are Norway gorgeous, right? Anyways, ended up looping around, stopping in ALO and then coming through, go and we back home to south Sweden running where I’m from. So that was, that was a fun 12 day road trip. But the fjords in Norway hard to be really hard to be.

Greg White (10:55):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (10:56):

Sign me up. I’m about to get some pictures from both you and Rajes travels. Uh, Greg that’s probably music to your ear is both what both of these, uh, panelists have shared. What, what’s one of your favorite recent adventures?

Greg White (11:08):

Let’s see, I drove five hours back from the beach to Atlanta. <laugh> I mean, obviously spending the summer at the beach has been really, really nice, but I’m a huge fan of the Nordics. So rejection I in the prep conversation talked about one of the most silent and beautiful places on the planet spigots, which is a it’s the former king of Norway’s hunting was hunting lodge, which the lodge, which is very modest is still on site there, but it’s an incredibly silent place. So when I was running blue Ridge four times a year, I would go around the world to all of our offices around the world. And I would always end in Norway with two days of solid rest, nice with the windows open. It doesn’t get dark at night, just it’s a beautiful place. So that’s gotta be one of my favorite places on the planet.

Scott Luton (12:00):

So we’re gonna have to find a way to broadcast live from some of those places. Uh, Greg, good luck.

Greg White (12:04):

They barely get phone service, but

Scott Luton (12:09):

So, but

Greg White (12:10):

They have a great bar. Scott.

Scott Luton (12:12):

Perfect. That sounds like a great trip. Thank y’all for humoring us. We love getting to our guests a little bit better, but we’re gonna move on. I’m gonna share a couple quick comments, big show. Bob Bova, just return from Paul’s island. He’s heading to France tomorrow, Leon France, tomorrow. That sounds like a wonderful trip. Glomar loves Sweden and the pancakes. She doesn’t mention the peace soup. We’ll see if she, uh, wants way in there. So meet great to have you here via LinkedIn. Let us know where you came in from. And finally, which really teases us up into moving into, or get the work discussion. Jeffrey. Great to have you back enjoyed your appearance here, uh, and love your comments. He says, uh, sustainable is a good word, multiple meanings in this current environment and ESG journey. In addition to the variability we have seen in the last years.

Scott Luton (12:53):

Good stuff there. So speaking of, and we’re gonna talk a lot about sustainability here today, but we wanna start in a different area, a related area, but a little bit different. So, you know, with all of the economic and pandemic related events, you know, as we all know, supply chains have been impacted in all sorts of ways, big, small, somewhere in between. And many of them, uh, are still recovering. So as we all can embrace and appreciate effective supply chain and risk management is critical to avoid disruption and to mitigate this, the disruption that’s out there. So I wanna start here, uh, Rajesh with you. What’s what do you think is important for organizations to consider and truly, and effectively managing supply chain risk?

Rajesh Ray (13:36):

Yes, I think, I mean, that’s, the risk is interestingly becoming an important topic, topic like, you know, risk management was typically, typically it was more useful for, you know, commodity type of industries earlier. Like, you know, I had seen that ING companies or, you know, petroleum and companies, those who was having risk management as a critical function, but increasingly now risk management is becoming as an important function, like your sip procurement or transportation, or, you know, manufacturing kind of function. So organizations are looking risk from different perspective, you know, even looking at where they’re set up their locations of their factories, warehouses, et cetera, from location perspective, risk management from the supply perspective that in the sense that are there onboarded right, suppliers are, are too many suppliers are located in particular region or particular country because that all increases the risk in supply chain.

Rajesh Ray (14:29):

So I think it’s becoming a bigger topic. Now. People are Reval, their network companies are really looking at because in pre pandemic area, I was knowing a lot of people who were not knowing beyond their entire one suppliers, you know, who, from where the supply they’re getting the tire one suppliers are getting from tier two and probably all tier two and entire three base where, you know, in particular countries it was very much concentrated, but now people are really looking at that where the network really is. So I think we all talked about supply chain network, but it was essentially to the direct customers and direct suppliers, but I think the COVID and, you know, the current situations force people really to rethink the network and you know, what is their risk in the entire network in term of their locations and the locations of their critical suppliers as well.

Scott Luton (15:21):

Thank you, Rajesh. Uh, love your emphasis on proactive, uh, the proactive approach to managing risk the footprint and how you allude to that. Any risk up and down, uh, upstream and downstream supply chain, is it got to be accountable to overall a successful risk management strategy, mark weigh in? What do you think is important here?

Mark Averskog (15:41):

Yes, absolutely. I fully agree with red Jess, those are some great comments and I I’ve seen the same thing from my perspective here within SAP, I in the post pandemic world, we, we all know about global supply chain, disruptions, shortages, et cetera, problems, all along the supply chain and, and a lot, a lot of it is global, right? We manufacture and source in forest Asia, other China, other places, and consume and ship to other parts of the world. So what I’ve seen is that where companies manufacturers have had good strong relationships historically with first tier suppliers, now they’re getting into, okay, there’s select few second tier, maybe even third tier suppliers that we have to actually stay closer to build strong relationships with and keep tabs on ’em and, and share information and data points to a much higher frequency just to have that pulse and have that longer reach, you know, upstream in the supply chain to better prepare.

Mark Averskog (16:32):

It’s all really about risk management and preparing what raw materials components can I expect and not expect. And when, so we see this in our installed based customers. We obviously, we have a long list of customers and some of them that I’ve worked with are, are deploying new methods and, and technique software from us, but also standing up new business teams to actually go build deeper and new relationships starting to model those suppliers and those materials in their overall supply chain plan. I think that’s, that’s very prevalent. And a lot of them are also saying, this is not just, oh, you know, the pandemic was a blip couple years of disruption, and then we’re gonna go back to normal. No, what I’m hearing is, oh, this is the new normal. We are gonna live in a, in, in a, in a constrained and disruptive supply chain world, uh, and deploying new teams, org models, and software to stay much closer to your, your tier of suppliers is, is sort of becoming the norm. You know, that’s, that’s a lot of that. It’s very, you know, very fully with where Josh comments that I see, the same thing

Scott Luton (17:32):

World would live in. And, and Greg coming to you next about midway through Mark’s response, there was what can I expect? And when man, if we had answers to those questions day in and day out, but will your take Greg on what we just heard from our two panelists here?

Greg White (17:45):

Yeah. I, I think that around, regarding risk in supply chain, we have become less myopic because in the past it was predominantly one risk that we cared about cost, right? How do we do it, the cheapest? And we used the most dangerous term ever introduced to supply chain, all other things being equal, right? And the thing that we have recognized through the pandemic and economic and geopolitical crisis over the last couple years is that all other things are never equal in supply chain. And I think what’s really changed is that supply chain used to operate in this dark back room that nobody ever heard of, or even really cared about as, as long as all other things remained equal. Now that the consumer all the way down to the consumer and even the most untalented of all people on the planet politicians are aware of, of the supply chain. I, I think we can, we have no place to hide. And we have to understand that risk is more than just cost. It is. It is about deliverability and deliverability accrues to the defense and the, and the value of your brand. It’s really a delivery of your brand promise that supply chain provides not just delivery of your products. And we’ve seen companies and we talk about it all the time. Scott companies, whose brands have been damaged because of their inability to be resilient in their supply chain and not just low cost.

Scott Luton (19:13):

Yep. Well said, couple quick comments here. Uh, free says from my experience, many companies approach risk management in probably one size fits all similar, a business continuity planning creation, the risk is not making it a key part of your S O P process to embed and make visible the risk portfolio to drive the right strategies, hashtag fluid fluid versus stagnant well said, Jeffrey man. So meet, thanks for tuning in from Ontario in Canada and answering our question, Shelly, we got some kindred spirits here. She’s also Swedish. So maybe we can compare recipes later and

Greg White (19:47):

That’s a long list of people if you get to Minnesota and Wisconsin and right, right.

Scott Luton (19:53):

And finally, Steven, great to have you here just got back from long island bagels and pizza. Oh yeah. Love that

Greg White (19:59):

Worthwhile trip.

Scott Luton (20:01):

Yes, it is. All right. So hunger pains, continuing moving right along resiliency and security, of course it’s dominated a business landscape only more so in recent years, right? Many global businesses are having to address these areas. And of course, global supply chains do so Rajesh bat to you. Can you tell us how IBM consulting and SAP have aided the supply chain industry and what’s, what’s important for businesses to consider in these areas?

Rajesh Ray (20:30):

Correct. So, uh, I think, I think we started with that. So IBM and SAP are this year. They were celebrating our 50th years anniversary of our partnership. So 50 years we are working together and in terms of technology SAP and IBM were working together for leveraging sustainability and how we can use technology for, you know, giving more sustainable solutions. And along with, uh, SAP, IBM is also building lot of sustainability solutions. And some of the solutions you can see in SAP’s heart centered, uh, and in sustainability center in New York. And we are so as you know, for many companies, sustainability is a starting point and the focus is really starting with analytics, you know, just to understand that what is their carbon footprint or, you know, how sustainable they are now. And then they’re really getting to the next stage, which how we can design the processes, which are more sustainable. So in this regard, I was thinking about, uh, discussing a case study. So do you think that will be a right thing to do next

Scott Luton (21:32):

Well? So let’s, um, let’s talk about that in just a second. I wanna get mark also to weigh in before we, we talk about the case study and talk, take a deeper dive in sustainability when it comes to resiliency. And so I’ll be right back with you when it comes marked to resiliency and security. Talk about what’s important for businesses to keep in mind there.

Mark Averskog (21:52):

Yeah, no, exactly. And it’s piggybacking off of what, what just said there too. So, you know, SAP celebrates its 50th anniversary. So back in April and pretty much we’ve been a partner with IBM for that whole duration and I many different levels, right? And many different levels consulting. We each other’s customers and vendors, we’ve done projects, co-innovation projects on software and so forth. And so there is a longstanding history here and, and IBM and IBM’s consulting arm, which incidentally I used to work for IBM consulting before joining SAP. Okay. 22 years ago. Uh, and I’ve, since Scotter worked with my old colleagues at IBM there too, but, but again, it goes, goes back into, um, the security of supply chain. It used to be that you, it used to be that the issue was all right, we’re focusing on cost. Uh, on one hand, we’re focusing on service levels to customers to, to improve revenue.

Mark Averskog (22:45):

Uh, and those were kind of the two metrics, uh, and a lot of different things in between such as warehouse churn and, and so forth. But, but now in the post pandemic world, when we live in, in a, in a fragmented disrupted supply chain, security becomes security, becomes a whole different thing. Now you’re not talking, oh, there’s an earthquake or, or a strike in some country. Now you’re now you getting into, okay, is there enough crane operators and Oakland Harbor, um, right. Is there enough train cars available? Uh, is there enough people to load and unload, train cars? Do the customs authority have enough people to process all the inbound or inbound or Upbound shipments? It’s so many, there’s so many points now in the global supply chain where disruptions are possible that I think that goes in it redefines risk management, it redefines resiliency, uh, and it redefines what a secure supply chain really needs. Um, and, and yeah, that’s the whole, whole breadth of more considerations to really think about

Scott Luton (23:43):

All those things you mentioned. Many of those things were given. Right. But now that’s part of the, the changing paradigm that is global supply chain and you can’t make assumptions. All right. So what I’m gonna do here resist, I’m gonna come back to you in just a second. We’ll touch on the partnership. We’ll touch on your case study. But before we do Greg weigh in on what we’re talking about here, some of the thoughts here around resiliency and security and global supply chain.

Greg White (24:05):

Yeah, well, I, I think resiliency was long ignored, right? As a key to supply chain, it was all about economic optimization or, or cost let’s just call it cost reduction. And we talked about that a little bit in, you know, in the last segment, but now it is more important than ever to be all the keywords, agile, resilient, right. Reduced fragility, all of those things. And I think that is critical because what we tried to do in mark and Jess, you may have been part of this. I was I’ll confess. We used to try to forecast our way out of everything. Mm-hmm <affirmative> right. If we could just forecast better, we would be better off. And the truth is in large part, even in science and supply chain education, we, I won’t say ignored, but we understated the need for resiliency, for responsiveness and recovery capability and backup plans and all those sorts of things.

Greg White (25:01):

The one calculation we might, may have done back in the day was safety stock, or, you know, some things like that, but we have to build resiliency into the core, into the business process of supply chain expecting, right? I think the best piece of advice I ever got when I got into supply chain is ex is expect that everyone will fail you. And if you do that, it’s not a, not the most sunny outlook on life. But if you do that, you build provision for the fact that at every tier, those multiple tiers that Rajesh talked about earlier, every step, along the way, all of your trading partners and, and, uh, everything that goes on internally in your own company, you plan for failure. There you plan to mitigate, or at least respond rapidly to those failures. And you’re in a mu you’re in much better shape. And, you know, companies have largely ignored that. And it’s only through the constant drum beat, frankly of companies like SAP and IBM, that companies are starting to finally hear that it may have taken a little bit more than just mark and reject saying something. It obviously took a little bit of a disruption around the globe, just a small one, but now we’re listening, aren’t we?

Scott Luton (26:14):

Yes. Listening and acting for sure. So suggest,

Greg White (26:18):

Did you wanna,

Rajesh Ray (26:19):

Sorry. I mean, just one point to add, I think Greg and Scott, what you just mentioned, what is increasingly happening is government is also thinking, I think, you know, the security is an important, like, you know, like for food and say, pharma track interest is becoming a legal requirement. And that is becoming, that is becoming for many other industries, a legal little requirement that you need to ensure that you are sourcing from a secured source and three audio supply chain. You maintain the traceability to ensure that it is reaching the final customer. I was working with the tobacco customer in a recently, and the government is now issuing what they call a tax stem so that they, they ensure that, you know, only, only from real manufacturer, the tobacco products are coming to customer. It’s not like, you know, the fake products are entering the supply chain. So, which was a case more for food and pharma. I think that is becoming for other industries as well because government also taking active interest to make the supply chain secured. I see. I, I think that’s, that’s a bit of change U KC in the last few years is happening.

Scott Luton (27:21):

So great point. Yeah. Let’s, let’s keep driving there. Let’s, let’s talk about, you know, mark talked, you know, brokes the subject of the partnership we talked on the front end 50 years between IBM SAP, mark spoke a little bit about the impact of that partnership. Rajesh, keep, keep driving here. What, what work are you most proud of that the two companies working together, uh, have, have, have accomplished?

Rajesh Ray (27:44):

So I think I, I want to talk about one of the work that we are doing for a, a company in Spain. This is a, a renewable energy company. The company name is doula and we, and SAP, and IBM, we are working together because there’s a company which wanted to ensure responsible sourcing, which essentially they want to onboard the suppliers only suppliers who meet, you know, sustainability criteria, minimums of sustainability criteria. And that sustainability criteria is just not based on carbon footprint. That’s based on how responsible they are in social terms as well. And based on, based on a set of parameters, which is financial parameters, social parameters, carbon footprint, et cetera. Uh, we work together to design a sustainability scoring system. And this company will onboard supplier who actually meets the minimum sustainability score and, and wants those suppliers are onboarded and who meets the particular, this criteria, then all, you know, they’re using Ariba as the sourcing platform and all the supply events in sourcing events in Ariba is only, you know, allowed for these suppliers.

Rajesh Ray (28:57):

And which I found is quite different because they’re not talking about carbon because for many, many people, sustainability is, is carbon reduction. You know, so Greg talked about cost reduction, and I think many people started thinking sustainability is all about carbon footprint reduction, but that’s not their only focus. They were looking at a number of social parameters. And I think if you look at really, even as dig gold, social parameters are as, as important as, as your carbon footprint as well. And based on that, actually they’re trying to onboard suppliers and, you know, and, and this was, I think is a challenging journey because getting data on social parameters is little difficult then from per carbon parameters, if you ask the supplier, okay, how much energy you consumed in last month probably can give you data. But if you ask him that, okay, now whether you had used child level in your factory, I’m sure that none is going to disclose that very often.

Rajesh Ray (29:49):

So sometime it becomes difficult to get data on that, but, but you know, the good thing is that they’re at least considering those should be part of the sourcing thing, which I found is quite unique. And recently you’re working with two more clients who are showing interest in that. So it’s not about just getting the data first time anyone would him, you need to get data on a regular basis from them just to ensure that they’re, you know, they are remain sustainability in their journey. So I think that’s the work, which is, you know, talked from thinking about mentioning and, and those are kind of new dimensions of sustainability is evolving.

Scott Luton (30:23):

Hmm. So a lot of stuff to unpack here today in an hour, quite a masterclass, uh, it continues these masterclass sessions we’ve had at noon for really years. Now. I wanna shift gears. Uh, yes, you’ve touched on sustainability throughout a lot of your responses here today, but I wanna move into that whole hardly, and I wanna kinda, uh, adjust our who I’m I’m I’m going to first here and, and mark, I wanna start with you mm-hmm <affirmative> when, in your mind, uh, mark, what, how would you explain what makes organizations SU uh, supply chain sustainable from your perspective?

Mark Averskog (30:55):

Yeah, I know, as I said, that’s a great question. And moving into that, obviously sustainability, we’re here talking about it today. Obviously it’s, it’s emerged as the, you know, go-to trend for the moment, right? And it’s, it’s, it’s big, right? It’s uh, when we pull our install base of customers and supply chain leaders amongst our installed base customer base, it’s, it’s, it’s on the top, not only top 10, it’s on the top three list it’s to drive sustainable programs throughout their corporations. And, and I think we all know that this is a sort of a continuation of other programs that we’ve done in the past. Like SAP has been involved with customers to optimize, let’s say, warehousing operations, manufacturing, forecasting. So there’s always been this, uh, legacy within SAP and what we do to, to drive efficiencies and eliminate waste and reduce emissions. And so forth back to what Greg used to say is really cost driven for decades.

Mark Averskog (31:46):

It’s been like that cost driven, maybe revenue increased driven as well, but very traditional metrics around those two things. Now, now, with, with sustainability, the way it’s defined, not that it’s completely defined. Everybody has their own point of view, but now we’re weighing in a lot more, I would say a lot more of the waste side of things. So recycling and the circular economy, uh, and also the inequality, right? The social justice and social equality amongst the labor force and labor practices amongst your customer suppliers and multiple tiers of suppliers, right? So venturing into new worlds. Uh, and this is, I mean, I think ultimately sustainability is really about resource management, right? We, we we’ve always had resources and we always manage them, but, but to, to manage your factors, your plans, your transportation, your, um, your workforce, um, in a, in a responsible, sustainable way, it’s, it’s gotten so much broader. Uh, and I think back to Red’s point, I think the coming up with collecting new data, collecting entirely new data points like social, what is social equality? How is that measured? Right. And to do that, we’re, we’re breaking new ground. It’s a new, it’s a new frontier, a bit for data and, and technology, right? And so it, it leads to all kinds of interesting things.

Scott Luton (33:01):

Excellent point mark, cause we’ve, we’ve got established baselines for many D of the different metrics that we’ve measure measuring for decades, but some of these new ways where we wanna drive change to your point, we are creating and finding new ways of, of collecting data and establishing baselines. So we can drive improvement. Greg, I’m coming to you in just a second, as we’re talking kind of almost defining what makes supply chain sustainable, resist your thoughts around just that, how would you define a sustainable supply chain?

Rajesh Ray (33:29):

So I, I think one part, I think, where maximum focus is, I think what we were discussing is, you know, obviously carbon reduction, every company is talking about net. You want to reach an zero target better. So that’s one part of it. The second part is, you know, uh, waste management, you know, how we can reuse, recycle waste in a better way. I think we always talked about waste management, but let, let us taking it more seriously. You know, uh, people are talking about all this circular economy principles starting from product development and, you know, um, up to them when you do the manufacturing, how, how we can really, you know, use lesser and lesser new material and make the products of longer life so that you know, that they, they are, we can reuse, recycle oyster in a better way. So that’s, I think another dimension of sustainability is becoming important and there are a lot of things which directly does not, you know, probably come, uh, into sustainability.

Rajesh Ray (34:23):

And it’s little difficult to look at those dimensions as well, is this entire basket of, you know, how you can ensure that, uh, we are using water and, you know, we, we keep the water resources alive, how you ensure that when you do the deforestation for putting up large factories, how we ensure that, you know, you are having a counter method to ensure that, you know, you are not, you are not creating issues, social issues there. I think these are all becoming equally important. So I think one part is definitely carbon reduction. The other big part is reusing circular economy part. And the third part, what mark was tech telling, you know, also the social sustainability. So I think those I’ll tell the three important pillars, which is, which is equally becoming important.

Scott Luton (35:11):

Thank you, Rajesh. You are kind of speaking to the definition and speaking to a broader impact. Uh, we’re gonna touch on that one more time in a second, Greg, as we’re talking about defining sustainability and what makes, uh, global operations global supply chains truly sustainable, your thoughts

Greg White (35:27):

Enlighten self-interest is what makes them more sustainable, right? When companies realize that the consequence of not having a good ESG policy, by the way, this is an irony. I love sustainability is the E of ESG right environment. And, and we almost completely forget about the S and G to reject in Mark’s points that there are other aspects of the enterprise. You don’t want to engage in human slavery or, you know, conflict minerals or counterfeit goods. All of those sorts of things go into the S and G category as well. So I think we have to think of business sustainability reject to your point as much as we think about environmental sustainability, because the other aspects of it are equally important. And if you go back to that risk that I mentioned of brand awareness or brand equity or, or, or brand perception, we have to enlighten these organizations to the fact that their, their brand is on the line here. And if they engage with bad act or actors in bad acts, or even in cognitive dissonance, right. Active ignorance, and, and don’t consider themselves at risk their entire company at risk, then they’re likely to, to fall prey to a lot of these unsustainable practices. And I, I really think we have to get people to recognize that their brand is what is really on the line here when they do they’ll act in the most appropriate way.

Scott Luton (37:00):

Well said, man, we could, we could go have probably a five hour conversational and just different, uh, specific elements of what we’re chatting through here today. Uh, we’ll see if we can’t book mark and Rajesh, uh, Greg for four more hours before the end of the week. We’ll see.

Greg White (37:13):

Probably not in one day <laugh>

Scott Luton (37:15):

They seem pretty busy

Greg White (37:17):

And it’s late Raje times.

Scott Luton (37:19):

Well, I wanna circle back around by the way, CADA, I really appreciate your comment here. Sustainability and circular economic growth are very close related well said, and we’ll see, I’m, I’m sure we’ll touch on blockchain before end the conversation per your earlier, uh, comment. Thanks for being here. I wanna circle back, but the whole panel here is spoken to this question, but, uh, if you had to pick one impact, that’s that true, sustainable, successful, sustainable strategies and execution can have on the business environment other than reducing emissions. If you had to pick one, you know, amongst many that you’ve already mentioned, what would that one be? And mark circle back to you here.

Mark Averskog (37:58):

Yeah. I mean, yes, the issues we’ve talked about for a long time, right. And, and then that obviously that’s still important, but I would say ties into what Greg just said. It’s really about brand, uh, brand value, um, and brand loyalty amongst your customers and consumers. If you keep your eye on that ball and that price, I think, I think you’re on the right path.

Scott Luton (38:20):

Well said, uh, brand integrity also comes to mind there Rajesh about you.

Rajesh Ray (38:25):

I think, I think, I think, uh, we talked about, uh, most of the points, what we discussed and one more thing, which I should, which what I think is also important is like, you know, it is the old thoughts, old school of supply chain. I should tell looking at your demand and supply planning process more efficient because I think it it’s nothing new. It was a, it was from the supply chain world, but, you know, historically people manage that with more inventory. So, you know, if you, you’re not doing a good demand plan and if you, if you’re not sure about a supply, so, so build lot of inventory and no, it, it, it, it throws back to waste management now. So if you’re actually bringing, building more in inefficiency means, you know, you, you are, you know, actually putting all your inefficiencies under the carpet. So, so that also is equally important though, though, there is an old school thought of supply chain. We talked about demand and supply planning, inventory management in an old school of start and supply chain as well. But just to add that that is equally important in sustainable supply chain world as well, because there, if you can be efficient, then you know, you can do a lot on the west management part of supply chain as well.

Scott Luton (39:27):

Excellent point, excellent point. Graham coming to you in just a second here. Cecil’s a big fan of one of the comments you said earlier. Rajesh Cecil says, I believe we need to be more future looking, especially when it comes to the limited resources we have and use well, Cecil you’re in luck in just a second. We’re gonna be talking about what we’re expecting in the, uh, next five years or so. Jeff he’s, he’s sharing his one key impact here, competitive advantage, which certainly makes up, but folks think maybe, and what, why they buy from certain brands. So excellent point there. Uh, Jeffrey. Okay, Greg. So if you point to one impact that sustainability can have on the business, other than the missions, what’s the one thing that you would like to hammer home and spike the football?

Greg White (40:09):

Yeah, I, I think it is the truly sustainability of the planet. I mean, to, to make, you know, to get rare earth minerals, which by the way, aren’t rare, but that’s a really cool name. We are literally scraping away the skin of the planet and displacing it to other parts of the planet. I mean, that, that you have to think about all of the physical damage that we are doing to the planet to get the things that we need for a lot of our products, how long till we offset the actual physical balance of the planet by displacing all of this, all of these magnetic materials, right? I mean, that’s, that’s, somebody’s gonna make a movie out of that, right? <laugh> that we we’ve thrown the planet out of orbit by displacing all the magnetic materials. But, but I mean, that’s, you have to start to think about that because I think about all the places I go where, you know, around south America, West Virginia, wherever China, of course, and other places where we are just knock, literally knocking down mountains. I think the physical impact on the environment is something that we really have to start to consider and to Rege point outside of the carbon impact, right? I mean, we’re stripping away the rainforest to build soybean fields in Brazil, right. We’re stripping away Palm oil, uh, palms in Indonesia for Palm oil so that our chocolates don’t stick together. Stuff like, like that. You know, I think we really need to think about the need real and true need of those things

Scott Luton (41:40):

Well said, and Hey, they they’ve made it. Wasn’t a movie directly to that. But moon fall is, is an interesting movie, a little bit on lines of what you’re sharing. So check that out,

Greg White (41:50):

Going on DB

Scott Luton (41:50):

Right now and stick with it as a little bit slow at times, but stick with it. All right. Okay. Along the lines of what Greg just shared, Dr. Rhonda, right on the money let’s extract less and rethink our habits.

Greg White (42:02):

Well, Raje addressed that, right? Yeah. He said that it is becoming more common that we reuse things. I mean, think of the stacks of phones. Now, the part of the reason that apple and other makers I’m hope Samsung is doing this is, you know, are wanting those phones back and paying a pretty penny for it is to extract all the materials out of those rather than to extract them further out of the earth. So I think those are, those are good examples and really, and truly impactful,

Scott Luton (42:30):

Agreed, and trends that continue to grow. Uh, of course we’ve talked a lot about reverse logistics and returns and management here, and those would be more important topics per what we’re talking per our panels, uh, perspective here in the years to come thankfully. Okay. So folks, we’re switching gears once more, kind of in our final segment here, we’re gonna talk about what’s to come and we’re gonna also offer a really, uh, intriguing resource from the IBM team. But first we’re breaking out our crystal ball. Remember the old eight ball toys in the eighties, you shake it and you get your quick answer. <laugh> so brevity is always our best friend when it comes to future looking statements. But I wanna start with Rajesh. So how do you envision the needs of supply chain evolving or continuing to evolve over the next five years?

Rajesh Ray (43:17):

Okay. So I think from a sustainable supply chain perspective, I think, I guess combining this two terms, sustainability and supply chain, that there are few things which are emerging, what probably because this entire topic is sustainable. Supply chain is a, is a topic probably, you know, getting more, more attention probably for last few years. One thing is that, you know, it’s, it’s not that one size fits all that you need to understand, like we are talking with a company recently, again, a little bit of carbon discussion, but there making precision equipment. So we were discussing them a lot about scope on scope to, and after, after some time, you know, when we are talking with understanding the manufacturing process, they understood, okay. They don’t have a scope on scope to emission actually, because it’s a precision equipment manufacturing and they don’t, they hardly do any emission.

Rajesh Ray (44:04):

So they were more concerned on the scope three. At the same time, we are talking with the steel making company and we found that, okay, now that their scope on emission is the biggest challenge. So, so for every industry, the challenge is quite different. Like, you know, that is something and, you know, like say, you know, maybe say ING say packaging probably is the biggest challenge for say consumer goods industries, you know, telecom industry has some other challenges. So looking for each industry, I think the sustainable supply chain challenges are quite different. And that is something which you need to understand. And I think the solutions will evolve more in that direction. So that is one, one definite thing is sustainable. Supply chain for all industries are not same and it needs industry specific focus. The second one, I think, you know what mark was just mentioning as, as the data points are new here, because no one knows what is the right benchmark for its manufacturing process, for one ton of producing whatever product he’s producing, what it takes.

Rajesh Ray (45:00):

So I think the benchmark, again, something which will evolve, I think once the times are coming and that’s where industry, a lot of industry bodies, software companies and companies are coming together to make industry benchmarks because without data and benchmark, it’s very difficult to make improvements because of when, when you don’t know whether you’re doing good or bad, it becomes difficult that know, uh, to make improvements. So that is second thing. And third thing is all these new dimension technologies. What do you call it? Exponential technologies like say AI, predictive analytics, et cetera, how we can use that better to solve industry problems of sustainable supply chains. So I think, I think those are the three, uh, three things which I think will evolve in the next five years. Then we look forward to those, those things, uh, more so that we can solve specific industry problems and unlike, um, many other supply chain problems, sustainable supply chain is a network problem.

Rajesh Ray (45:59):

And I know from a network of industries can come together and then only the problem can be results. If you want to save, solve, say, you know, plastic waste problem, one company alone cannot do it. So a network of companies which need to come together and then only problem than the result. So I think that’s also an important angle is because it’s not one company who becomes hero and solve this problem for his supply chain. It’s, it’s a network effect. So I think these three or four points will emerge in next five years in my mind to be most crucial for success.

Scott Luton (46:30):

Thank you, Rajesh. I love that that’s an episode in, and of itself that middle point you made about, you know, lack of data and not sure if you’re doing good or bad. I mean, we got football right around the corner, Greg, it’s almost like you’re on the football field and you, you don’t know where you are. Right. So you don’t know if you’re gaining ground or losing ground, which

Greg White (46:47):

Way is the end zone. Right.

Scott Luton (46:48):

Right. So Rajesh, I love that checklist there.

Greg White (46:52):

Um, or for JE playing cricket blindfolded, basically.

Scott Luton (46:56):

<laugh> right, right. That’s even scarier that things coming at you. Right. So mark Rajesh set a pretty high bar when it comes to his crystal bar, clearly it’s working well. Mark, what about you? What do you, how do you envision the needs of supply chains evolving over the next five years?

Mark Averskog (47:13):

Yeah, I know. I great points where mine, mine are very similar. So I can echo that. I I’d say this. If you’re a company out there manufacturing, uh, try and get ahead of the game. This is not a, you know, a fad for the next six months. This is, this is for the long haul. Uh, and it ties into the cl global climate crisis and all of these things that we talked about. Uh, but I would start by getting my baseline in order, uh, prepare to collect a lot more data, prepare to collect data. You don’t even know what the data is today. Work with standards groups, work with peers in New York, uh, in your industry to figure out what this data is and work toward, collecting it, look to new technologies, look to new pieces of software, uh, to help you with that, establish a baseline and metrics, KPIs, um, standards to figure out where are you at?

Mark Averskog (48:02):

Right. Just what we talked about. I think that is, that’s what I would do out of the gate and, and, and focus a lot on that. Um, and I think tying it in back into, uh, and, and knowing that there will be more and more government mandates or recommendations standards coming from bodies, like the EU or individual countries, certainly different by industry. We’re seeing that all over the place. Um, so it, these two things are just driving us in this, in this sort of direction. And, but you’re gonna do it for the reason. Greg said at the very middle of our call, which is protect your brand, right. To be, be a better competitor in your industry. Literally, that’s what it is. You’re, we’re bringing in, uh, uh, the younger generations, millennials, gen Zs that are going to be, or are already are next generation corporate professionals out there working these companies. We see it at SAP, you know, to hire, to hire this, uh, this new next generation. You need, you need to kind of walk, walk the talk yourself, right. And as a company. And I think, I think that goes for everybody out there. And then, and, and these younger generations are also the next level consumers and customers. So I think it all kind of plays into that.

Scott Luton (49:07):

Well said, you’re clearly your crystal ball is working really well as well. Uh, mark, Greg, I’m get you to final word on what’s coming up. But first, really quick, before I do a couple comments, Juliet says, I think offsetting is one way of doing things. However, I think it’s about making sustainability, uh, sustainable upfront, and that should pave the way for making sustainable decisions up front. I think she adds, and that should pave the way forward. Uh, well said there, Dr.

Greg White (49:32):

I think a lot of us are thinking that, right. Yeah. Invested in a company that, that works to provide offsets, but I keep challenging them to, you know, to think about a world where the offsets aren’t needed because we don’t produce the carbon to begin with. Sure. Wouldn’t that be fantastic.

Scott Luton (49:52):

Be beautiful world. Dr. Rhonda says, I definitely feel like our young professionals are more tuned into the need for environmental focus practices in all aspects of being on this planet together while sets, Pope, best poetry motion there. And finally, Marie, great to see ya enjoyed your episode here with us a few months back, she says, we need to find ways to support and fund recycling efforts more aggressively. She got to tour the prat plants in Kanye, Georgia yesterday, and can say I was greatly impressed at the capabilities to recycle corgi the cost for the equipment isn’t mine, however, cuz stuff there. Marie. Okay. So Greg, we were just talking before, move into the kinda the final resource that from the IBM team we wanna share and making sure folks know how to connect with mark and Rajesh. Let’s talk about your thoughts over the next five years and as supply chains evolve, your thoughts.

Greg White (50:42):

Yeah. I think we’ll start to see more and more demand for 100% outsourcing of supply chain, including the ESG aspects of it. There are 333 million small and medium enterprises on the planet. None of which have the capability to do what mark and Rajesh have have talked about here. Right? I mean the, the companies they’re speaking to are in most cases, much larger than those companies and they’re going to need to outsource that. And, and we’ve also seen a trend towards companies that they are brands first, or they are products first, right. And they don’t know or really care or want to know about supply chain, which mark and Rajesh is not unlike our history as and years too. Scott, as practitioners in supply chain, nobody else really wanted to know what supply chain did. They just wanted it to work, but because there was no other way to do it, they internalized a lot of those operations. We’re gonna see more and more need more and more demand for a complete outsourcing of, of supply chains, uh, for, for starting with, of course they’re very, very small businesses, but I think it will get maybe into the medium business market in the, maybe in the next five years.

Scott Luton (52:00):

And, and that’ll be a beautiful trend as well, penetrating the SMB and, and drive more action there.

Greg White (52:05):

So what, what does Kim Kardashian know about supply chain? <laugh> right. I mean, seriously, that’s just one example. And what does she care and what, what should she care? Right. Stay in your lane.

Scott Luton (52:16):

<laugh> <laugh> no, we don’t pull punches around here. I love that. I keep it

Greg White (52:21):

Not a punch, just

Scott Luton (52:22):

Frank and fresh Frank and fresh. Okay. So what we wanna do and, and to our production team, we’re gonna keep everybody here to maximize the time and, and, uh, uh, we’ll finish this conversation together. But before we do AJE, we’ve got a, a great informative resource from the IBM team that we wanna invite our listeners, our global listeners to check out it’s report, entitled building intelligent, resilient, and sustainable supply chain. I think we can add this graphic here. Uh, if our production team would drop the comment into, uh, the chat, your one click away from being able to download that, uh, Rajesh, a lot of what you’ve shared here, and a lot more you can find in this, uh, research paper. Right?

Rajesh Ray (53:03):

Correct. So I think, I think in this, you can get a lot of information on some of the work which we are doing in this space,

Scott Luton (53:11):

And it’s almost like food and sports analogies are, are kind of filled up over the last hours. It’s kinda like learning how to shoot free throws from Michael Jordan. Isn’t it Greg? A hall of Famer. Huh? So

Greg White (53:21):

Yeah. Better than learning from Shaq. <laugh>

Scott Luton (53:23):

That’s true. That’s true but, Hey, you can learn a lot more about business from Shaq these days. Well, both gentlemen, but, uh, Shaq has got a, quite a diverse portfolio. It’s been impressive to see, but Hey, getting aside Rajesh, great resource from the IBM team, y’all check that out. We’re gonna drop that link in the comments looks like our team already has and a lot of good stuff there. All right. Our time has almost come to a close, uh, really appreciate the broad, but also the, the broad conversation we’ve had, but the, the, the aspects where we’ve really taken a deep dive into y’all’s perspective, been there, done that experience. Lots of folks, by the way, we had lots of questions we couldn’t get to from the chat folks. I’m hoping that Rajesh and mark and Greg and their teams, uh, maybe can connect with you after today’s session and, you know, have those, uh, comparing of the notes, uh, business chats. Uh, we’ll make sure they get all that information, uh, but let’s make sure folks know how to connect with all of y’all. So mark will start with you appreciate what you and the SAP Ariba team are doing. Enjoyed your perspective here today, both ly and supply chain, uh, leadership talk. Uh, how can folks connect with you, mark?

Mark Averskog (54:29):

Thanks Scott. And thanks, Greg Rajesh enjoyed it as well. Best way to connect with me is on LinkedIn. My name is kind of unusual. You punch you in mark aver. Scott you’ll you’ll find me, I think in no one else. It’s it should be easy enough to connect with me on LinkedIn and really active.

Scott Luton (54:44):

So it’s just that easy and, and safe travels as you venture back. Yeah, I really appreciate your time here. Rajesh really have enjoyed your perspective. I appreciate you, you staying up late with us and sharing it and, and Greg, whether it’s, you know, 10, 11:00 PM at night, Rajes brain, it, it don’t take a break as we’ve seen over the last hour. Really appreciate that. How can folks connect with you and, uh, the IBM team?

Rajesh Ray (55:10):

I think, I think first of all, thanks Scott, Craig and mark. And I think I equally enjoyed decision and I think like mark, it is, I think easiest to me also to connect in LinkedIn. So my name is a, as you see RJ and you can always connect me on LinkedIn.

Scott Luton (55:25):

Awesome. Thanks so much for your time over the last hour and congrats on, on all, both of you, all of your accomplishments and, and contributions. All right. So Greg, let’s talk about mark and Raje right before we wrap up,

Greg White (55:36):

Like they’re not here, right?

Scott Luton (55:38):

Yes. Like they’re not here. What was your, uh, favorite thought or two from what our panel shared here today?

Greg White (55:43):

Well, I, I mean, I think core integration of ESG, not just sustainability into supply chain, I think that is a recognition we have to have, uh, it is a risk, right? I mean, supply chain is risk management. It’s almost redundant to say supply chain, risk management, isn’t it? I mean, it’s all about risk. The risks are cost your brand equity as we’ve talked about, but it’s also the sustainability or business feasibility of your, of your BI of your supply chain and, and things like lack of environmental sustainability or social sustainability or poor governance, all impact the sustainability, the resiliency, the stability and fragility of your, of your supply chain. So you have to consider all of those risks equally. And I think that both, uh, mark and Rajesh are, are addressing that as a core tenant of supply chain is really critical to the evolution of how we think of supply chain into the future.

Scott Luton (56:44):

Well said a bust rhyme there. I, I love that it was very eloquent on the front end of that, but folks, hopefully you’ve enjoyed the last hour. I’ll tell you, my brain has certainly had a workout through some of the concepts, big and small that we chatted over the last hour. But time is now, you know, you all you heard from our panel about the next five years. Deed’s not words you gotta find a way to, to find the right partner to tackle digital transformation, uh, sustainability initiatives, and a lot more, uh, in ways that you never have done. One of our comments, uh, panelists talked about how you don’t even know the data you need yet, and that you could almost like fill in the blank with data and you don’t even know blank that you need yet in so many different ways across the enterprise.

Greg White (57:23):

A lot of people say data blank <laugh> or blanking data. I’m sure.

Scott Luton (57:28):

Uh, but Hey, on behalf of our entire team here, first off, thanks to everybody in the comments and the cheap seats. I can’t wait to go back. We’ve got a book there and we’ll try to get, uh, make some connections happen after today. Big, thanks to our panelist, uh, Raje Ray. Yeah. Thank with IBM and mark AK with SAP. Arriba. Thank you so much for both of you, Greg, always a pleasure to knock these conversations out. Likewise, lots of t-shirt IMS from all of you, Greg, certainly from you as well. But folks, these not words, time to take, action’s been past time to take action. Scott Luton on behalf, our entire team here at supply chain now challenging you to do good to give forward and to be the change that’s needed on that note. We’ll see you next time. Right back here at Apache now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (58:14):

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

Rajesh Ray is a specialist in designing sustainable supply chain solution. He had helped multiple clients in their sustainability journey and his current focus is sustainable supply chain transformation for SAP Centric clients. Rajesh is IBM Industry Academy member and had published three books and 65 articles in leading supply chain and Industry journals. Connect with Rajesh on LinkedIn.

Mark Averskog is a solution innovation leader with a passion for product & solution strategy, product management and guiding companies in digital cloud transformations and cloud infrastructure. He has over 25 years of well-rounded professional experience in supply chain management, including many years with global software company SAP in product, solution and customer-facing roles: product management, solution strategy, commercialization, consulting, sales and business development. as well as being a subject matter expert, frequent event speaker, trainer and industry analyst presenter. Connect with Mark on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

You May Also Like

Click to view other episodes in this program

Additional Links & Resources

Learn more about Supply Chain Now

Check out our new Supply Chain Now Media Kit

Subscribe to Supply Chain Now and all other Supply Chain Now programs

Leveraging Logistics and Supply Chain for Ukraine

2022 Q2 U.S. Bank Freight Payment Index

WEBINAR- How to Use Data to Improve Fulfillment Operations with Kosmas Karadimitriou

WEBINAR- How to Operationalize Supply Chain Resilience to Create Value in the Supply Chain

WEBINAR- Case Study: How Crocs Digitized their Financial Supply Chain

WEBINAR- Better Business Outcomes with Blockchain: Digital Document Provenance

WEBINAR- Why Choose Between Reducing Risk or Optimizing Costs?

Check Out Our Sponsors

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 :

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.

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.

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 :

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 :

Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.

She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.

Connect on :

Greg White

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.

Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.

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 :

Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.

With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.

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 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.

Connect on :

Jeff Miller

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.

Connect on :

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.

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 :

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.

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

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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).

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 :

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 :

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 :

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 :

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 :

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 :

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.

Connect on :