“Richard W. Sears was one heck of a salesperson, but struggled with the operational side of the business. In fact, it’s been said that Sears ability to drive tons of sales – – but fail miserably on execution and management – – well, that drove Alvah Roebuck crazy. And Roebuck would leave the business in 1895 due partially to these frustrations. That was a huge turn of events for the company, because it opened the door for Julius Rosenwald to buy into the business.”
-Scott Luton, Host
In this episode of This Week in Business History, host Scott W. Luton dives into 6 surprising elements of the Sears story. In what may be a shock to many, Sears is not a company that was ALWAYS in financial turmoil.
Scott Luton (00:12):
Good morning, Scott Luton here with you on this edition of this week in business history. Welcome to today’s show on this program, which is part of the supply chain. Now family of programming. We’ll take a look back at the upcoming week, and then we share some of the most relevant events and milestones from years past, of course, mostly business focused with a little dab of global supply chain. And occasionally we might just throw in a good story outside of our primary realm. So I invite you to join me on this. Look back in history to identify some of the most significant leaders, companies, innovations, and perhaps lessons learned in our collective business journey. Now let’s dive in to this week in business history.
Scott Luton (01:12):
Hello, and thanks for joining us. I’m your host Scott Luton. And today on this edition of this week in business history, we’re focused on the week of January 25th. Thanks so much for listening to the show before we get started today, I have to recognize a massive loss that we’ve recently experienced in our household. When it comes to baseball, we’re passionate Atlanta Braves fans, Ted Turner had begun building his media empire in the 1970s. And one of the smart and savvy moves he made was acquire the broadcast rights to the Braves games starting in 1973. And they begin to air nationally starting in 1977, starting first on his Atlanta based independent television station. WTC G Ted Turner would create Superstation to be TBS a few years later, along with buying the Braves outright, I can recall plenty of TBS moments growing up, watching our beloved Braves.
Scott Luton (02:06):
One of the voices that I listened to during those Braves games was Don Sutton. The prod of Cleo, Alabama Sutton had a hall of fame career as a pitcher with the Dodgers and would go on to endear himself to Braves fans everywhere as a wonderful announcer. Sadly, Don Sutton passed away last week at his home in Rancho Mirage, California. In addition to the loss of Don Sutton, the world lost a giant of a man just a few days ago, as Hank Aaron known across the world of baseball as hammer and Hank passed away last Friday, Hank Aaron famously broke the all-time home run Mark. That was long-held by babe Ruth, but he had to deal with vicious racism over the majority of his 23 seasons in order to get it done. Born in mobile, Alabama, Aaron would grow up in a segregated neighborhood and has shared stories over the years of hiding under his bed from the KKK as a child, when he was just 13 years old, Hank Aaron would hear Jackie Robinson speak in person, and that was all the inspiration he needed to dream about being a professional baseball player.
Scott Luton (03:13):
Thank you. Erin broke a color barrier of his own. As a 1953, he became the first black man to play for a minor league team in the South Atlantic league. Aaron would eventually break through into the bigs with the then Milwaukee Braves in 1954. The Braves franchise moved to Atlanta in time for the 1966 season. And on April 8th, 1974, Hank Aaron would hit home run number seven 15 of his career to become baseball’s all-time home run King, but Aaron had to endure a continuous tidal wave of hate to do it. Hate mail, death threats, kidnapping threats to his own children. And for that matter, even his own team didn’t allow Hank Aaron to stay in the same hotels or ride in the same vehicles as the rest of his teammates is truly staggering. When you stop to think about it, Hank, Aaron would make his Mark in the baseball world becoming a hall of Famer on his first ballot in 1982, but also would go on to make his Mark in Atlanta, Milwaukee, West Palm beach, and many other communities across the country.
Scott Luton (04:16):
There were no shortage of great causes than Hank Aaron would support, participate in and make successful a remarkable man and family with that said our deepest sympathies and prayers go out to the Sutton and Aaron families. Now on a much, much lighter note on today’s show, we’ll be talking about the retail industry. In fact, we’re going to be discussing the company that many call the first Amazon before Jeff Bezos came along, you had Sears Roebuck and company stay tuned as we’re going to discuss six things you didn’t know about Sears. Thanks again for joining us here on this week in business history, PowerBar team here at supply chain. Now, when I hear the word Sears, my mind instantly flashes to Cirrus catalogs and the famous Christmas wish book. That’s where we’ll get started today because on January 25th, 1993, Sears canceled its big book is catalog, which is where it all began.
Scott Luton (05:17):
Richard Sears had founded a mail order watch business in 1886. He met Alva Roebuck a few months later and eventually they established Sears Roebuck and company in Chicago by 1893. So number one on our list of six things you didn’t know about Sears, the company’s first tagline, just like right now, you can get just about anything on amazon.com. But back in the 19th century, the Sears catalog offered at all prompting the company to market themselves as the cheapest supply house on earth. Not all that catchy home with a catalog was some 322 massive pages by 1894 written just about exclusively by Richard Sears himself until his retirement in 1908. And those pages were filled with everything. Clothes, furniture, medical supplies, home goods, bicycles, firearms, you name it. In fact by 1908, Sears was offering what they called house kits. Your pick of over 400 designs of houses and the company would provide whatever was needed to build it.
Scott Luton (06:26):
Some are really all assembly required by 1940 Cirrus had sold over 70,000 homes. Number two on the list, the store’s founder and namesake Richard Sears had not only retired, but also had died before the company opened its first retail store. The prod of Stewartville Minnesota, Richard W. Sears retired in 1908. He reportedly had accumulated a net wealth of about $25 million operating the mail order behemoth, but he had never planned to open a brick and mortar store. That approach allowed the company to keep overhead really low, but the company’s growth depended on Richard Sears, sales and marketing genius. For example, the famed ionization strategy, Richard Sears would ask its best customers in Iowa to distribute about two dozen Sears catalogs. Those great customers would earn commissions off of what was purchased from the catalogs that they had distributed. This idea was Asian strategy work so well that it was expanded to other parts of the country.
Scott Luton (07:34):
Number three, on the list of six things you didn’t know about Sears, Richard W. Sears was one heck of a sales person, but he struggled with the operational side of the business. In fact, it’s been said that Sears ability to drive tons of sales, but fail miserably on execution and fulfillment and management. Well that drove Alva Roebuck crazy and Roebuck would leave the business in 1895, partially due to these frustrations. That was a huge turn of events for the company though, because it opened the door for Julius Rosenwald to buy into the business. Now Rosenwald had serious management chops and recognize the need for a new operational approach for the burgeoning mail order company. He would implement a variety of new processes that streamlined operations reduced errors and added capacity. That’s a great thing because by 1906, Sears was averaging 20,000 orders a day. And just like what we see now with peak volumes that jump off the charts these days during the holidays.
Scott Luton (08:42):
Well, during the Christmas season, Sears volumes could jump up to a hundred thousand orders a day five X with Julius Rosenwald on board. Sears was now poised for even things. Speaking of Mr. Rosenwald, number four on our list of six things you didn’t know about Sears, had it not been for Julius Rosenwald to company made not have made it past the great depression Julius Rosenwald, who was born into a middle-class family in Springfield, Illinois was already very successful before joining the Sears ownership group. He was a millionaire by the age of 33, and it was his personal fortune that came to the aid of the company. As Julius Rosenwald would loan Sears $21 million to help it survive the great depression that ravaged the United States, but Julius Rosenwald would use his accumulated wealth for other non-business pursuits as well. In fact, early on in his life, Rosenwald had decided to donate a third of his wealth to philanthropy.
Scott Luton (09:46):
Perhaps one of the most critical projects that he was involved in was the construction of schools and libraries across the American South Julius Rosenwald would meet Booker T Washington in 1911, and it would open Rosenwald eyes to the immense need of education and resources for African Americans across the South. And he would put his wealth to use right away in the decades that followed Julius Rosenwald would build more than 5,000 schools for African-Americans and also provide for 4,000 libraries for the schools that already existed in doing so, Mr. Rosenwald would help push the civil rights movement forward. Number five on our list, Sears gave birth to an insurance industry, Titan selling tires, and lots of them has been really good to Sears over the years. It all started in 1925. As the story goes, Sears CEO. At the time, Robert, he would let a national survey to name a new brand of tires that the company would offer in their catalog and stores.
Scott Luton (10:54):
Allstate was the winning response from consumers across the country. And thus Sears would launch that popular brand of tires before it was all said and done though, the Allstate name and brand will be used by Sears on a wide range of products, including camper shells, fire extinguishers, and even automobiles. That’s right. Sears offered to Allstate automobiles in the 1950s, the standard and the deluxe additions. Now in 1930 while playing a game of bridge on a train, Carl O’Dell told sear CEO, Robert E. Wood that the company should consider offering auto insurance by direct mail. Odell said that using direct mail, no commissions would need to be paid out as no salespeople would be needed by April, 1931, Allstate insurance company was launched by Sears and the rest is history off by Sears in 1995. So it could focus on its traditional retail business. Allstate has become a fortune 500 company and major player in the insurance industry.
Scott Luton (12:02):
And all of that brings us now to number six on our list of six things that you didn’t know about Sears, the company played a big role in the early days of the worldwide web in 1984, three big companies came together to develop a video techs, service, video techs, Sears, CBS, and IBM joined forces to form TriNetX as binge Edward stated in a July, 2014 article in the Atlantic quote, the plan as conceived from a corporate standpoint was almost naive, really simple. The world’s largest retailer Sears would provide online shopping. The world’s largest media conglomerate. CBS would provide content and information and the world’s largest computer company IBM would provide the underlying technology in quote, but CBS would drop out leaving Sears and IBM to launch the project, which they renamed prodigy. Now prodigy did well for several years, but ultimately was surpassed by AOL and it was eventually killed off.
Scott Luton (13:08):
As the internet really opened up connectivity to all by the late 1990s, prodigy would be officially shut down in early 1999. Now this prodigy initiative is intriguing as it showed Sears early interest in e-commerce possibilities. However, despite being somewhat of a first mover, the company never could really crack the code there in a July, 2020 article by Trisha McKinnon for Indigo digital. There’s a great quote to this end, Robert [inaudible] research director with Gartner’s retail industry services, team States quote, what they missed was the second transition. They stopped producing their catalog the year before Amazon launched, what they failed to see was the next phase. They failed to see that yes, the traditional catalog was maybe not the way forward, but the digital catalog would be theoretically. If they had the vision, they could have figured out how to move the catalog into e-commerce, but they didn’t do that in quote well put.
Scott Luton (14:13):
And that failure to effectively compete despite the headstart in the e-commerce landscape. Well, that would set the stage for a massive bankruptcy and difficult times for one of the nation’s most prolific and legendary retailers. Sears is down to 74 stores, 74 stores as compared to almost 1000 locations in 2018. But some of that empty real estate is being put to good use. In fact, it’s being used in the Corona virus, vaccine distribution rollout. Well that just about wraps up this edition of this week in business history. Big thanks to you, our listener for tuning into the show each week. Hey, be sure to check out a wide variety of industry thought firstname.lastname@example.org friendly reminder. Of course you can find this week in business history, wherever you get your podcasts from. Hey, be sure to tell us what you think we would love to earn your review on behalf of the entire team here at this week in business history and supply chain. Now this is Scott Luton wishing all of our listeners, nothing but the best. Hey, do good give forward and be the change that’s needed. Be like Hank, Aaron. And on that note, we’ll see you next time here on this week in business history,
Speaker 1 (15:28):
Scott W. Luton is the founder & CEO of Supply Chain Now, the voice of supply chain. Supply Chain Now digital media brings together thought-leaders, influencers and practitioners to spotlight the people, technology, best practices, critical issues, and new opportunities impacting global supply chain performance today and tomorrow. Our leaders are frequently sourced to provide insights into supply chain news, technology, disruption and innovation, and rank in the top 25 on multiple industry thought-leadership lists. Supply Chain Now digital media content includes podcasts, livestreaming, vlogs, virtual events, and articles that have accumulated millions of views, plays and reads since 2017 and continue to reach a growing global audience.
Scott has worked extensively in the end-to-end Supply Chain industry for more than 15 years, appearing in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He’s also been named a top industry influencer by groups such as Thinkers360, ISCEA and others.
Having served as President of APICS Atlanta from 2009 to 2011, Scott has also served on a variety of boards and has led a number of initiatives to support the local business community & global industry. Scott is also a United States Air Force Veteran and has led a variety of efforts to give back to his fellow Veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, 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.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, 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.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
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.
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.