Supply Chain Now
Episode 1233

Episode Summary

The Buzz is Supply Chain Now’s regular Monday livestream, held at 12 noon ET each week. This show focuses on some of the leading stories from global supply chain and global business, always with special guests – the most important of which is the live audience!

In this week’s episode of The Buzz, hosts Scott Luton and Greg White discuss some of the top news stories and trends in supply chain and industry today. Listen in and learn more about:

  • How manufacturing is on the cusp of recovery
  • 7 business technology trends to watch in 202
  • What Cybersecurity Managers are looking for
  • How Macy’s is trying to hang on

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:32):

Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you may be. Scott Luton, Greg White with you here on Supply Chain. Now, welcome to today’s live stream, Gregory. How you doing?

Greg White (00:42):

I’m doing well wherever I may be, right.

Scott Luton (00:47):

Sometimes that’s an easier answer than it is other times. Am I right?

Greg White (00:51):

Yes. The best laid plans of Mice and Men and all of that, right?

Scott Luton (00:55):

Yes, yes, yes. Well, I’m looking forward to where you’re going to be next weekend, but we won’t let that cat out of the bag until you’re good and ready. Okay,

Greg White (01:04):

Yeah, that’s good. Thank you. Top Secrets, there are probably one or two people in the audience that can guess, but

Scott Luton (01:11):

Well, we’re looking forward to getting Report Back Live, but we’ll get to that in a moment. But today, folks looking forward to yet again, it’s the Buzz, a live show that comes at you every Monday at 12 and Eastern time. As always, we’re discussing a variety of news and developments today across the global business spectrum. And hey, Greg, and me, and Amanda and Catherine, all of us want to hear from you. Give us your take in the comments throughout the show. And Greg, if folks are listening to either the live version every Monday or the podcast replay, there’s two things that we would suggest they do. What are those two things you think?

Greg White (01:46):

Well, one for sure is phone a friend. Tell somebody. I mean, seriously practitioner or just general business person. These are great takes on some hot news topics. So yeah, tell a friend. We’ve had several people do that. I mean, you can see it in the audience and in the engagement and the communication. So those of you who have already done that, I really appreciate it. But yeah, tell somebody,

Scott Luton (02:07):

Tell somebody our hardworking supply chain now team would appreciate it. And then secondly, especially if you’re listening to this on the podcast replay, which we dropped later than the week using on Fridays, hey, join us for our live show. We’d love to engage with you and get your take as we work through all these stories.

Greg White (02:23):

Join us live and also join us on YouTube. If you’re just doing it on a podcast, then you get to see which selection of quarter zips Scott and I have chosen on a particular day.

Scott Luton (02:34):

I have a rotation of three. I

Greg White (02:36):

Need more. I know I need more, right?

Scott Luton (02:39):

Oh gosh. All right. So folks, great to have you here. We got a great week of content and takes and news and programming all lined up. But before we get into, we got four stories here today. Before we get into those four stories, we want to take a minute and celebrate a very important time of year, and that is Black History Month. So we want to recognize it, we want to celebrate it. It’s really important year round, but especially in a focused time like February, to lift up and acknowledge the incredible extraordinary contributions not just here in the States, but around the globe that African-Americans and black folks have made towards all of us. And we featured that Greg in the most recent edition of With that said, in fact, I learned over the weekend, Greg, I don’t know if you knew this or not, every Black History Month, they develop a theme and this year’s theme is officially African-American and the arts. So one of the cool things we featured near the top of with that said is 16 black artists to Know from Gordon Parks, Marian Perkins, Alvin Thomas, and many others. Some really cool and fascinating artwork that I bet has been in many of y’all’s blind spots. So check out that. Check out. With that set, of course, we got news from across the globe and of the company live shows in this almost weekly newsletter, Gregory, so going back to Black History Month, any comments on your end, Greg?

Greg White (04:00):

There are just so many contributions, like you said, Scott, around the world. I think we could have done a better job. I mean, February is ugly weather, but I don’t know if that was what was available on the calendar or what, but what I’m going to do is advocate for a summer month. Right. Okay.

Scott Luton (04:16):

I like it. I

Greg White (04:17):

Like it. No, I mean, I think about what I learned in school about all of the fantastic scientists agriculturalists. So I’m from the Midwest, the Wild West, and a huge number of the cowboys in the west were black freed slaves. So they had a huge impact on ranching and farming in my part of the country. And you don’t really see it so much in the Western movies, but it’s absolute fact and it kind of a cool part of that history.

Scott Luton (04:49):

Well said, Greg. And I think you’re speaking to one of my favorite parts, especially in the last three or four years as I’ve really leaned in to doing more research into stories and contributions. Because I think only speaking from my experience, Greg, growing up as a kid, as Black History Month rolled around, we focused on some of the same incredible figures of course that we should. But the flip side of that is you don’t always uncover all the lesser known the

Greg White (05:13):

Backstories. Exactly. Yeah.

Scott Luton (05:14):

Some of the artists and painters and the folks that we’ve included. And with that said, y’all check that out. And also, one last thing before we move on. If you’ve uncovered a new figure from your own journey, from your own research, from your own consuming different news and views out there, hey, let us know

Greg White (05:29):

What a great idea. Yeah.

Scott Luton (05:31):

So Greg, are you ready? Moving right along. We got four interesting stories that we’re going to dive into here today. Are you ready to jump into the first one?

Greg White (05:40):

Yes. Forgive me if I look down here. I have ’em on my phone because unplanned, no travel. Yeah, right. No

Scott Luton (05:48):

Doubt. What is not on our phone? Okay, well, so I want to start with some news in one of our, and certainly my favorite industries of all. That’s the manufacturing now, as reported by our friends here at Reuters, the Institute for Supply Managements Manufacturing, PMI. Well, it showed a reading of 49.1 in January. Now if you listen to us regularly, we usually hit this number not every month, but often. So that reading of 49.1 is up a couple of points from December, 2023. Now, friendly reminder, any reading over 50 indicates manufacturing expansion. However, January’s number was the 15th straight month that the PMI stayed below 50, which is the longest stretch in 20 years. The good news here, there’s always good news if you go looking for it. Production of factories did tick up a bit, as well as new orders, Greg, new orders were up over five points month over month.

(06:38):

We’re all good pricing though. The prices pay by manufacturers that jumped even bigger over seven points January over December. Now separate index, y’all may have heard of the s and p global PMI index. Well, don’t you love it when this research, these data, they concur with each other. It’s like that scene from the movie. I concur. I concur. What scene is that? Catch me if I can. I think is there a moment where all Leonardo DiCaprio knows to say as he’s acting like a doctor is? I concur, doctor. Anyway, so s and p Global PMI index concurred with what we saw from is isms, PMI, and it showed manufacturing activity expanding as well as new orders increasing get this Chris Williamson, who we’ve quoted here before, the chief business economist, a real one, not like me and Greg at s and p Global Market Intelligence said that new orders are rising at a pace not seen for over a year and a half. Now, Gregory, your thoughts on what we’re seeing there?

Greg White (07:35):

Yeah, the immediate thing, it makes me wonder because pricing shot up so much, is it more orders in units or is it just more orders in dollars? I was not able to figure that out from this article. What these numbers really show is that manufacturing is contracting more slowly, not growing. It’s not expanding, but it’s contracting more slowly. So we haven’t turned the corner yet, and I think inflation is kind of keeping the numbers afloat a bit. Just anecdotally, I haven’t really seen evidence of manufacturing increasing in a lot of places, but it does seem to be declining more, less declining at a lesser rate.

Scott Luton (08:16):

Cool. I’ll go with that.

Greg White (08:17):

Not an economist or a linguist apparently.

Scott Luton (08:22):

That’s okay. That is all right. Hey, you raised a great point. And the other thing that we are not seeing is massive new hires in the manufacturing industry, and that will really be a telltale sign, right?

Greg White (08:33):

Well, maybe we keep talking about how people are staying away from manufacturing in droves, right? The younger generations don’t want those jobs because here we go, Scott, ready. Because they perceive them as dark, dirty, dangerous, and dull jobs. In a lot of cases you’re actually dealing with technology. But I think we might want to look not only at jobs, but also the level of automation in manufacturing to gauge whether manufacturing is starting to come back because of two things. One, as I said, people don’t want those jobs. And two, there is absolutely no way that American manufacturing can compete if using costly American labor. So they have to automate, and we talk about the dynamics of this a lot about because people don’t want the manufacturing jobs and because those jobs are expensive, then automation is not replacing anybody. In fact, we know Scott, that since 2019, we’ve had at least 10% unemployment in the craft in supply chain in general, and very high numbers.

(09:31):

I don’t know exactly more but very high numbers, particularly in manufacturing. And as people retired during the pandemic, those people were not replaced with people from the younger generations because most of those retirees were baby boomers who left at an accelerated rate during 2020 and 2021. So there’s no excuse for us not to automate. We’re not taking away anybody’s jobs, and it’s frankly the only way we can compete. So I think it makes good sense, and I think that’s a number we ought to be keeping our eyes on. We might have to do that, Scott. I don’t think the PMI or the other indices, they’re not really programmed to do that, and they’re not flexible enough to adapt that quickly.

Scott Luton (10:08):

Excellent point. And folks, to piggyback on Greg’s last point there, do not treat the I-S-M-P-M-I or the s and p global PMI as the holy grail, use a collection of signals. That’s really important. A great point there, Greg. And then also you touched on jobs last week, two big jobs for the us, two big jobs reports came out. We saw the A DP jobs reports on the private sector, which really underperformed in terms of new hires. And then kind of on the other end of the spectrum, the Bureau of Labor Statistics dropped a big report, and according to their numbers, they smashed expectations. So somewhere in the middle, Greg probably is some truth. Don’t you think

Greg White (10:47):

There’s lies, Scott? There’s damn lies. And then there’s statistics, quote, the great philosopher, mark Twain. Yes,

Scott Luton (10:54):

Love it, love it. So y’all check it out. Use a bunch of these signals though it’s really, really important.

Greg White (10:59):

I agree with your earlier statement. We have to mitigate that with what we know either anecdotally or from other data, and blend that data together to make a real judgment because there are purposes for especially governmental sponsored statistics, and mostly it’s to make politicians look good. So we have to temper that with some other metrics.

Scott Luton (11:18):

I’m so glad you mentioned that. To your point, Greg, as I’m reading, and I’m not even going to name the media source, but as I’m reading the BLS data, that was very rosy that came out late last week. The quotes they used, I going to paraphrase this, but it was basically like remarkable. That should be the key takeaway from this jobs report. It’s remarkable. I mean, it’s just over the top. We need reasoned, rational, balanced coverage. Give me the numbers.

Greg White (11:44):

So we’re going to get remarkable. We’re not going to get reason because of reelection.

Scott Luton (11:50):

That’s even better than the four Ds you laid out a little while ago. A lot more to get into. Okay, so Greg, we have got our second story coming up here. I’m going to show our graphic and I want to open this conversation. So we started a manufacturing sector. Now we’re going to open it up to a little bigger picture, right? Universal themes. I think it’s a great rate here from CIO dive on seven business technology trends that they’re watching in 2024. I’m going to share a few of these and then we’re going to hear from Greg, a longtime technologist and entrepreneur in this space. So stay tuned for what promises to deliver here. So here’s a few of these trends that they’re watching. Gen AI power to the people, especially the non-tech talent. I love that one. The role of the CIO is evolving to be more of a total technology leader. Distributed cloud continues its March onward and on premise, and as I love this, one of these trends, we got to get past just the gen AI hype as a pressure builds to find real return on investment. And finally, finops practices continue to mature as business leaders look to squeeze more value out of every dollar spent on tech. Now, Greg, what’s one tech trend that you’re going to be watching closely this year?

Greg White (13:05):

Anything, anything to do with ai, particularly generative ai. Definitely the role of the CTO and CIO. Any of what we used to call the tech people,

(13:16):

Right? Because think about how many conversations you’ve had where you talk about the tech people and then you talk about the business people. I’ve always had a bit of a beef with that, especially even when I was on the business side. I’ve always had a bit of a beef with that because they have to know the business to know how to select and apply and implement, deploy, and manage and support technology in the enterprise. So it hasn’t always been that way that they have. It used to be just, Hey, this is what we want you to implement. But as those disciplines have gotten more and more integrated, technology has gotten more advanced and more useful in the business portion of the business. So I see more and more tech leaders who are intimate with the business and not just the practices of their business, but also best practice in their industry, things like that.

(14:06):

So many technology companies are really advisors in that regard as well. Not just, you’ll use this technology in your environment. I mean, there’s still a measure of that, but also with taking the knowledge that they get implemented supply chain technology over 1500 times, I can’t even remember now. And every time I learned something that was applicable to another one of our clients or potential client or something like that, and the value of that is so incredible. Just those little tidbits of things that you don’t get because of the sort of tribal knowledge of your company are so valuable to expanding the business. And every technologist can provide that. So I think that’s really important.

Scott Luton (14:45):

Well said. The tech people, they are no longer out on an island somewhere. They’re a big part of how business is done these days. And I appreciate your perspective there.

Greg White (14:55):

I mean, it’s the same with a lot of the technologies that are mentioned there, right? Gen ai, I mean, yeah, I think there’s kind of two elements that they discuss generative AI generally and the party trick known as chat, GPT and how to turn that into, and people are doing it every day. I’m never ceased to be amazed by what people, and even our people, Scott, like Mary Kate, who runs marketing for us, what she has found that she can use generative AI for is really and truly impressive. And they’re just constantly, especially in our marketing area, they’re expanding that. And we can do the same in the other parts of the business, finance and supply chain sales, all of those things. There’s great opportunity for that. So the large language model, which is what you call a chat, GPT or whatever, Bard, whatever else, those are sort of a gateway to the other aspects of generative AI that can do really complex tasks, right?

(15:49):

Because what generative AI does in a nutshell is it’s sort of like two people arguing going, I think this looks right, is this right? And that arguer says, Nope, that’s not right. Okay, well let me try and iterate again. Okay, what about this? That’s right, but not completely. And then ultimately when they come to consensus, Scott, when to use your word, when they concur, then it is considered knowledge because one is always checking the other and they don’t consider it knowledge that’s usable by the technology until they both agree. I mean, if you think about it, it’s kind of like brainstorming or it’s kind of like peer check of a scientific thesis, right? Okay. I mean, that’s what generative AI does. And if you imagine that not just being, is this the right way to say this, but is this the right way to structure this is how this supply chain is structured for instance, or is this how our financial process ought to be structured? Then you can see where it could do what a human mind can do, which is to drive and even design things now, drive and design things that have some semblance of existence. It’s harder for generative AI to manifest, to just take something out of the ether and go, here’s a new bit of knowledge. It’s harder, but I believe not impossible. So that’s super powerful and something if you are not exploring generative AI in at least its most rudimentary foundation, which is chat GPT, you are missing the boat. There is a ton of power there.

Scott Luton (17:12):

Agreed. Agreed. I’ll tell you, going back to what you shared halfway through your response, I wish I was highfalutin enough for a peer to want to check out and compare my research thesis, Greg. Maybe it’ll happen to me one day. We’ll see. Larry Klein says he uses chat GPT when he writes codes. Yes. Okay, do share, do share.

Greg White (17:33):

There are companies exploring technology companies exploring being a three person unicorn using generative AI tools to write the code so they don’t have a hundred people on staff as developers. I don’t, I don’t really know how feasible that is, but we’ve got some very close friends who are exploring that, asking for a friend.

Scott Luton (17:55):

If you don’t know, I certainly don’t know. So we’ll keep our finger on the pulse and wait for you to report back on just how feasible it is. We’ll see. But regardless, so much to watch and keep on our radar when it comes to technology, I want to move over to, I almost said a subsegment of technology, but it’s not really, we need cybersecurity across every aspect of the business and really our lives these days. So let’s touch on some of the things we’re seeing when it comes to the hiring market in the world of cybersecurity. So Greg, it goes without saying, finding talent is a problem everywhere, including in the cybersecurity world. Global cyber job openings grew by some 350% from 1 million open jobs in 2013 to 3.5 million openings in 2023, according to cybersecurity ventures, about 750,000 of these open positions though are in the us.

(18:47):

This is an interesting read here from our friends at Dice that talks about some of the dynamics related to the cyber talent pool. Now, tell me if you’ve heard this before, the article sites research that indicates the most significant skills gap relates to this. So-called soft skills such as communication, writing and adapting to company culture. Of course, as old as the day is long, if I got that right, that cliche. But another challenge, especially as being seen more and more in tech and in cyber, sticking to a very defined pool of people. Now, I like what Dave, Jerry says, CEO of bug crowd says in this article quote, by focusing too much on certifications, experience and background, employers are significantly limiting the talent pool that they can go after. The impact of this is unfilled jobs losing out on high potential talent and a lack of diversity of candidates from underrepresented and non-traditional backgrounds. Alright, so Greg, you’ve hired tons of tech talent in your career, your thoughts?

Greg White (19:48):

Yeah, well, I think the communication gap is not, it used to be, I think, more unique to technology people. I mean, look, let’s face it, in their heart, they’re engineers. They’re those kids that used to sit around taking apart their toys. By the way, if your kid takes apart their toys, send them to engineering school because they are in their soul an engineer. And that’s one of the few professions that I think you are not, you become that accounting. Honestly, I think salespeople are born, not trained.

(20:19):

But anyway, that’s a huge problem for these generations because they spent so much time on devices rather than in human contact. But it’s also because of the integration that we’ve talked about between business and tech and cybersecurity is another avenue of technology. I mean it often, it’s protecting technology with technology in a lot of cases. Nobody’s out there holding a shield in front of your server, by the way, regardless of what they say though, there may be a razor wire 18 foot chain link fence around your data center. I think the soft skills aspect of it is really important. And you’re right, there is a dearth of talent. I don’t know if I want to say talent, but talent focused in areas like this. I got to tell you though, Scott, I am a little bit wary of whether, I mean, of course we want to help disadvantaged people and we want to help people learn how to be in a role, but I feel like that ought to be happening before someone gets hired.

(21:18):

There ought to be some level of training. And I think this goes all the way back to our educational system, and that is because we put everyone basically on a college track, and I think the German education system, with the difference between gymnasium and Al Shula, they evaluate the students and they separate them into, you’re more of a technical type and you’re more of a, let’s just say ethereal type, right? I want to say intellectual because they’re both intellectual in their own ways, but when they put them on a track, then that aligns people with the gifts that they have. I mean, I’m fully convinced my youngest daughter is so smart and in college and will do great at whatever she does, but I’m fully convinced that she should be a technical student. I mean, her gifts for, I mean you and I don’t have them, but we know women and other persons in our family who do, I mean her ability, the kid deinstalled her toilet because she dropped mascara down it and reinstalled it herself, new wax ring and everything, and she’s not even a certified plumber.

(22:21):

And just think about what plumbers make these days, two, $300,000 a year. So I think that we need to start with, I don’t know how to say this, an adaptation of our educational system to not focus on a single thing, but to focus on the student that student’s gifts and what makes their opportunities in society going forward. Because those are so easy to identify. They’ve been being identified for centuries in Germany and other school systems. I’m sure it’s just Germany is the one that I learned about in school. So I just think that it starts there and then we have a better pool of talent and we don’t have to redirect them, and we don’t have to have companies select people who are unqualified and then try to train them up. That’s an unnecessary and unfair expense to a business, I think. So that probably won’t be a very popular, that particular part of it, if somebody was to take that snippet, won’t be a very popular opinion, but the backstory behind it, there is a better way to get these people ready for school. In the meantime, of course, we have to use band-aid methodologies until we finally admit that we need to do something about our education system.

Scott Luton (23:25):

And that’s what I was about to chime in on many aspects of our, at least here in the states, our national education system are due to be reinvented in many ways. And I don’t want to paint too big of a broad brush. We’ve seen some great stories. In fact, Catherine talks about Kennesaw Mountain High School, does some of that that you were talking about with apprenticeships and all. Greg Catherine also says, big thanks to man and Catherine behind the scenes helping produce today’s show. Catherine says, bring back automotive shops at the high schools like they used to have.

Greg White (23:53):

Damn right. Thank you.

Scott Luton (23:55):

Makes a lot of sense. Yeah. What do y’all think out there? What do y’all see in your local school systems that you wish were or did not exist? I’ll tell you, Alison Reci Goodin, this show makes appearances from time to time. She is on the march to get more real world reigning and education in our school systems. She runs a manufacturing facility here in the metro Atlanta area, and of course, trying to find talent like machine operators, even machinists that’s almost next impossible as the hot tech talent. So we’ll see. We’ll have to have some educational leaders on and have a frank conversation around what they see is what’s working and maybe what’s not working. Okay, I want to really quick. Hey, Derek Staples, great to have you here, Dave, via LinkedIn. Derek says, your extensive experience in navigating the complexities of supply chain logistics truly sets you apart. It’s evident that you bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. Wealth. Well, thank you, Derek. It’s awful kind. Derek,

Greg White (24:43):

Is that Chad? GPT?

Scott Luton (24:46):

We got Chad. That is

Greg White (24:47):

Brilliantly said. It’s brilliantly said, and thank you. Yeah, of course. Thank you. Also, can I just say, cool pick, right?

Scott Luton (24:54):

Isn’t it though? Isn’t it though? Yeah.

(24:57):

Let’s see here. Henry, great to see you here today via LinkedIn. Henry poses a question, Greg, and for our listeners out there maybe listening to the replay, Henry says, Hey, do you believe that Apple provision will have an impact in the future in supply chain applications? Well, I’ll tell you from what I see, Greg, and I’d love to get your take from training to better and more efficient implementations to visual execution, a variety of tasks within supply chain management to better working with cobots. I think all of those things are in a realm of possibilities. What are your thoughts there, Greg?

Greg White (25:27):

Yeah, specific to Apple provision, unquestionably, I mean, they are adverts, but you can see people actually using those things on YouTube and things like that. Unquestionably, that is the most important part of Apple provision is being able to see through the damn thing. So you’re not blind to what is truly around you, even while you’re virtualizing what else is around you, seeing through it or into it or around it, you still see what is truly in front of you, and who else would think of that besides Apple, right? Of course. So yeah, I think so. It allows you to virtualize your environment while you still live in it in reality, yes. I mean, think of all the videos we see of people doing virtual reality games and it’s slamming into their bar top or walls or something like that, right? Flat screens breaking their television. Yes, right. It’s a simple solution, but it is genius. Virtualization or digital twins

(26:22):

Has been used and will continue to be used for all sorts of things, and there is a very real effort to map whatever you want to call it, virtualize, digitize the entirety of Japan. That’s where they’re starting. And then they intend to do the world, every facility, every vehicle, every person, I mean, every thing or do people, of course, because they’re not always in the same place, by the way. They don’t know where you are just because they virtualize. You just become a little gidget widget in there walking around in their world. So yeah, I think those kinds of technologies are incredibly valuable. Part of the problem is knowing, part of the problem of supply chain is knowing what is where. I mean, there’s so much money wasted because we lose things in the warehouse or because we can’t find them because they’re behind a stack of something else or whatever.

Scott Luton (27:09):

Excellent point. Speaking of Apple, Greg, we got our small but robust and growing team at supply chain. Now during our team huddle last week, we were talking about brands and companies we love and Apple far and away. I’ve got a list of about 27 bullet points of different aspects of the Apple organization that folks love. So we’ll see. We’ll see as Apple provision, as it continues to permeate throughout our households and video game markets, we’ll see how industry and supply chain finds a path for helping people be more successful in their roles. Hey, Larry Klein says, supply chain should also be taught at tech schools. I say all schools, right? All schools, yeah. He also says here, and this comment may be a little bit too big, whole generation of kids were told those jobs were not important. Meaning the automotive jobs, in this case, auto shop construction, my children alone, he says my oldest bachelor’s degree is in fine art. His oldest kid’s bachelor’s degree is in fine art. He’s now a low voltage electrician. His next son is going straight to welding school. His 12-year-old, she’s still finding her path. I think a lot of us can relate to that.

Greg White (28:15):

Your kids are going to be able to keep you in the manner to which you become accustomed, Larry, because I see more and more kids that I’m thinking of. A particular friend of mine, his son dropped out of college and became an electrician, and he already makes more than any of his friends who will graduate from college will until they’re five or 10 years into their career. Really? Yeah. So the time value of money of that is incredible as well. I mean, start making 130, 180 grand a year now rather than start in a $62,000 a year job or whatever and make 180 grand in 10 years. What are we doing here, Scott? Let’s go be plumbers.

Scott Luton (28:55):

Well, I learned a powerful lesson based on data research, years of data research from Father-in-law, Fred iff, who told me that there’s two types of people that does electrical work. There is professional, licensed, certified electricians, and then there’s dumb asses. Ever since he shared that with me, I have not attempted any electrical work.

Greg White (29:14):

Classic Fred Ky brilliance.

Scott Luton (29:17):

Yes, very true. So Greg, this last article, which we touched on all things cyber and the cyber hiring market, that took us on a wide all kinds of different parts of the conversation. So we’re saving perhaps the best for last because Greg, if there’s one organization that we love to talk about here now, and it’s certainly one of Greg’s favorite retailers to talk about. So this retailer, the behemoth, still a behemoth, I guess, got a new CEO that started over the weekend, started yesterday, Sunday, Tony Spring. So Spring brings an extensive retail background to the table, including decades of experience as CEO at Bloomingdale’s. That’s good because he’s going to need all of that and a lot more to conquer the challenges that Macy’s, such as shoppers with less discretionary spending power, decreased employee morale, especially after a couple of thousand of Macy’s team members were recently laid off, unsuccessful stock sales and financial performance, and perhaps the greatest challenge. Greg, all the doubts, growing doubts as to Macy’s ability to reinvent itself as a highly relevant and capable retailer in the 21st century. Greg, will Mr. Spring be able to turn the ship around?

Greg White (30:26):

Well, not to reflect on Tony Spring, I don’t know him, but speaking of dumb asses,

(30:34):

There are people who are well trained in running and managing their retail enterprise, and then there’s the repetitive abject failure of the greatest brand in retail is an absolute travesty. William h Macy must be rolling over in his grave again as a bunch of dumb asses, wreck his company again, and have to bring somebody else in to fix it. Macy’s has multiple problems, most of which is they can’t decide if they’re a luxury retailer or their target, and they look so much like a fancy target that people just go to Target instead, or even Walmart now. And I mean, if you’ve ever looked at how their stores are merchandised, how the product is displayed and some of the product lines that they have in the store, I’m thinking particularly about small kitchen appliances and things like that. That’s not the kind of stuff that Macy’s ought to be selling.

(31:27):

You can get that anywhere for a much better price, and most people buy that junk online anyway. I mean, an instant pot at Macy’s really come on. I mean, if you’re going to sell only Hinkle or something like that, I could see that at Macy’s. But this is the problem that Macy’s has had for decades, is they can’t decide if they are a luxury or a discount retailer, and they have muddled their own identity to the point that people can’t identify them either. They don’t know what to go there for. If you think about it, Neiman Marcus sells all the really expensive stuff. Nordstrom sells some of the upper level stuff and kind of the next tier down, and Macy’s, what does Macy’s sell? I mean, you just don’t know. You might get some polo, but you might also get some, I don’t know, whatever these other brands are.

(32:13):

Well, yeah, Bonobos, right? Right. The brand that’s owned by Kmart or Walmart, sorry, you just don’t know what you’re going to get. And that’s a huge problem. And then they overinvest in real estate, they put too much real estate on the cap table owning stores when they should be leasing. And there are so many modern ways to do that, but they’ve stuck with so many of the old ways of doing retail where real estate was a hedge for the down years of retail. But I’ve seen reports of as many as 106 stores to be closed. I don’t know what Tony will do when he comes in, but he can’t do worse than the last management has done. He just simply can’t. I could help him fix that in a weekend. It would be an expensive weekend, Tony, but I could help you

Scott Luton (32:57):

Call us.

Greg White (32:58):

I mean, they do. They need to not just look at those people who shop at their stores, but those who would, if that store meant anything anymore, and they really need to go back to instead of being Target, they kind of need to be like Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Macy’s should be on par with one another and just probably cut some product lines that just aren’t sensible, that don’t have enough margin, and that don’t produce footsteps into the store and give themselves a chance to succeed.

Scott Luton (33:28):

Well, I don’t know a whole bunch about Macy’s other than some of the supply chain side. And as a consumer, I’ve interacted with Macy’s, I bet once in the last five years, and that was just about six months ago, Greg. We went to the mall of Georgia, which is also a nach, right? But believe it or not, a lot of stores are still active in the Mall of Georgia. It’s probably one of the few across the country that still gets a good bit of foot traffic. But I went into Macy’s, I still remember the shirts I bought, bought I think four shirts. It took me 27 minutes and I was the only person in line to get rung up and to get my stuff and get out. And it just dawned on me, it felt like it was 1992 again. I mean, folks don’t have the patience for that type of, that’s even for folks that even want to go to brick and mortar. Folks want to be able to find what they want, have it sized right, have it priced right, get it in time for whatever they need, and they’d be seamless and frictionless, and they’ve got a lot of work to do on top of Greg to your greater point, which I think was a great one. What do you think of that tells you that little voice in your mind that says, oh, I need fill in the blank. I got to go to Macy’s,

Greg White (34:31):

Right? What do you think of, God, that is such a great statement, Scott. That is exactly what they’re missing. Right? Exactly what they’re missing.

Scott Luton (34:39):

Yeah. Well, Mr. Spring, give Greg White a call. It will be an expensive weekend, but he can help.

Greg White (34:46):

Not by his standards, but

Scott Luton (34:49):

Probably

Greg White (34:49):

Not.

Scott Luton (34:50):

Yeah, yeah. I’m sure it pays me good, but not this

Greg White (34:52):

Weekend. Tony, I’m going to the Super Bowl. Oh shoot.

Scott Luton (34:55):

You let it out, Greg. You let it out. Alright, well the good thing is, I mean,

Greg White (35:00):

I already have plans. I definitely did not say that.

Scott Luton (35:02):

Well, we’ve worked through all of our work, four stories. Folks would still welcome y’all’s take here. Can

Greg White (35:08):

I just say I hope they save Macy’s. I think Macy’s is one of the important brands in America, right? It is one of the important brands in America. What else are we going to call the parade?

Scott Luton (35:20):

That’s right.

Greg White (35:22):

They invented the damn parade. They cannot let this brand die. I don’t know Tony’s spring, I don’t know much about him, but I do sense from the little tidbits I’ve gotten from some of the articles that he gets, that he gets the value of this brand to America, not just to American retail, but to America, right? I think they’ve got as good a shot with him as anyone else.

Scott Luton (35:42):

Well said. Okay, so folks, check out each of these four stories. Give us your take. Drop us a line on LinkedIn. Shoot just a note on the website. Reach out, really any social media channel of your choosing. Put the comments in here. These things live on the social media channels and they still get checked. In fact, we see conversations taking place weeks after the live show has happened. So drop your comment here. Alright, so right before we wrap by getting Greg, since Gregory let the cat out of the bag, we’re going to talk about the Super Bowl last, but really quick also, Larry Klein agrees. No distinction when it comes to Macy’s anymore. Yeah, we

Greg White (36:17):

Agree with you Larry. I think Scott nailed it. Nobody goes, I have to go to Macy’s for this thing. Right? You just don’t do that anymore. I remember days, Scott, you probably do too. When of course you thought of that, right? Yes. And you were like, what’s a Neiman Marcus? Who is Nordstrom, right?

Scott Luton (36:34):

In particular, I remember my parents dropping Macy’s when there was, I think there was a Macy’s in our tiny little Aiken mall, tiny little Aiken Mall in Aiken, South Carolina. But we’ll have to walk down the annals of retail history in our next show. But Greg, for wrap here. For wrap, what a great show. Great conversation. Thanks everybody for showing out, bringing your comments, being here. I know we couldn’t everybody, but looking forward already to the next couple live shows, Greg. Alright, so you’re headed well. I’m going to let you share what you would like to share and maybe what’s one thing you’re looking most forward to this coming weekend

Greg White (37:10):

Friday? If you want to rob my house, I’ll be in Vegas until Monday. Oh, Scott, I didn’t even tell you this. This is the dumb thing that I did. So I have a co-founder of another company who lives in Palo Alto, San Francisco. And since I was out there, I thought, oh, well let’s meet up. I did not think about the fact that we are playing the San Francisco 49 ERs. I didn’t know at the time when I booked it, we’re playing the 49 ERs in the Super Bowl. I will be on a plane Monday afternoon, probably chockfull of 49 ERs fans on my way to San Francisco after the Super Bowl. So win, lose, or draw, it’s going to be a rough flight for me. I won’t be able to win. I’ll be the devil if I’m, and I’ll be ridiculed if the Niners win.

Scott Luton (37:58):

Very

Greg White (37:58):

True. But yeah, it’s a great experience that we’re doing through the Chiefs. I’m a season ticket holder, so the chiefs have special packages and there’s all kinds of cool parties. Guess what? Guess I get to meet Jamal Charles.

Scott Luton (38:09):

Wow.

Greg White (38:09):

Okay. The number 25 for the Chiefs and big hero. And of course Christian Nacoya and I have been going back and forth on social a bit, so hopefully we’re going to be able to connect. He’s an old chief’s player as you know.

Scott Luton (38:22):

Yes. The Nigerian nightmare.

Greg White (38:25):

Yes. But I know he’s going to have a really tight schedule, so I don’t even know if that’s a possibility. In fact, I don’t even know if he’s messaged me back on that, but there’s all kinds of activities planned. It’s the Super Bowl in the Raiders stadium and Chiefs fans love the Raiders,

Scott Luton (38:41):

Right? There’s no love loss there for sure.

Greg White (38:44):

This gives me feelings of goodness. And that is that a Chief’s fan was on the construction crew, on the concrete crew and he buried a chief’s flag at the 50 yard line when they poured the floor of the stadium. So there is a chief’s flag right in the middle of the field in Vegas.

Scott Luton (39:05):

Well that does it. That does it. That bodes so

Greg White (39:07):

Well. I hope that does it

Scott Luton (39:08):

For the Kansas City Chiefs. Alright, so folks join in if you’re still with us or if you’re watching him replay of this, Hey, drop in the comments on social. What’s one thing you want Greg to take a picture of during his trip? And we’ll see. So next week, because Greg is flying around the world, we got Kevin L. Jackson sitting in for Greg for the Digital Transformers edition of the Buzz next Monday. And we hope to gather some content from Greg in his Super Bowl travel. So if you got an idea for what he should take a pick of in Vegas at the game, drop us a chat. One last thought on that. We watched the Grammys last night and U2, the band International Superstars. They did it at that New Globe.

Greg White (39:48):

Oh, the Sphere.

Scott Luton (39:49):

Yeah, the Sphere. They had a song and then they kind of did a segue to the next category of nominees. Man, it sure is remarkable as an outsider. So Greg, safe travels. Thank you. Good luck to your chiefs. Thank you. And report back next week. Okay,

Greg White (40:04):

Will do. Appreciate it.

Scott Luton (40:06):

Alright folks, that wraps today’s edition, the first supply chain buzz of the month of February, 2024. It’s hard to believe. Let us know your take on these stories. Want to go back to what we dropped on the front end as you uncover new historical figures that a lot of folks aren’t aware of when it comes to African-American and black history. Hey, shoot us those ideas. We’d love to lift those incredible contributors up as well. But whatever you do, take something we dropped here and put into action. Your teams, your families, your organization, all be very thankful. Deeds, not words. And with that said, Gregory, on behalf the entire team here at Supply Chain now, Scott Leading, challenging you to do good, to give forward and to be the change that’s needed. And we’ll see next time right back here at Supply Chain. Now,

Intro/Outro (40:51):

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.

 

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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Nick Roemer

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

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

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

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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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.

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Tandreia Bellamy

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Tandreia Bellamy retired as the Vice President of Industrial Engineering for UPS Supply Chain Solutions which included the Global Logistics, Global Freight Forwarding and UPS Freight business units. She was responsible for operations strategy and planning, asset management, forecasting, and technology tool development to optimize sustainable efficiency while driving world class service.

Tandreia held similar positions at the business unit level for Global Logistics and Global Freight forwarding. As the leader of the Global Logistics engineering function, she directed all industrial engineering activies related to distribution, service parts logistics (post-sales support), and mail innovations (low cost, light weight shipping partnership with the USPS). Between these roles Tandreia helped to establish the Advanced Technology Group which was formed to research and develop cutting edge solutions focused on reducing reliance on manual labor.

Tandreia began her career in 1986 as a part-time hourly manual package handling employee. She spent the great majority of her career in the small package business unit which is responsible for the pick-up, sort, transport and delivery of packages domestically. She held various positions in Industrial Engineering, Marketing, Inside and On-road operations in Central Florida before transferring to Atlanta for a position in Corporate Product Development and Corporate Industrial Engineering. Tandreia later held IE leadership roles in Nebraska, Minnesota and Chicago. In her final role in small package she was an IE VP responsible for all aspects of IE, technology support and quality for the 25 states on the western half of the country.
Tandreia is currently a Director for the University of Central Florida (UCF) Foundation Board and also serves on their Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Previously Tandreia served on the Executive Advisory Board for Virginia Tech’s IE Department and the Association for Supply Chain Management. She served on the Board of Trustees for ChildServ (a Chicago child and family services non-profit) and also served on the Texas A&M and Tuskegee Engineering Advisory Boards. In 2006 she was named Business Advisor of the Year by INROADS, in 2009 she was recognized as a Technology All-Star at the Women of Color in STEM conference and in 2019 she honored as a UCF Distinguished Aluma by the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems.

Tandreia holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems from UCF. Her greatest accomplishment, however, is being the proud mother of two college students, Ruby (24) and Anthony (22).

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Marty Parker

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Marty Parker serves as both the CEO & Founder of Adæpt Advising and an award-winning Senior Lecturer (Teaching Professor) in Supply Chain and Operations Management at the University of Georgia. He has 30 years of experience as a COO, CMO, CSO (Chief Strategy Officer), VP of Operations, VP of Marketing and Process Engineer. He founded and leads UGA’s Supply Chain Advisory Board, serves as the Academic Director of UGA’s Leaders Academy, and serves on multiple company advisory boards including the Trucking Profitability Strategies Conference, Zion Solutions Group and Carlton Creative Company.

Marty enjoys helping people and companies be successful. Through UGA, Marty is passionate about his students, helping them network and find internships and jobs. He does this through several hundred one-on-one zoom meetings each year with his students and former students. Through Adæpt Advising, Marty has organized an excellent team of affiliates that he works with to help companies grow and succeed. He does this by helping c-suite executives improve their skills, develop better leaders, engage their workforce, improve processes, and develop strategic plans with detailed action steps and financial targets. Marty believes that excellence in supply chain management comes from the understanding the intersection of leadership, culture, and technology, working across all parts of the organization to meet customer needs, maximize profit and minimize costs.

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

Laura Lopez serves as our Supply Chain Now Marketing Coordinator. She graduated from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente in Mexico with a degree in marketing. Laura loves everything digital because she sees the potential it holds for companies in the marketing industry. Her passion for creativity and thinking outside the box led her to pursue a career in marketing. With experience in fields like accounting, digital marketing, and restaurants, she clearly enjoys taking on challenges. Laura lives the best of both worlds - you'll either catch her hanging out with her friends soaking up the sun in Mexico or flying out to visit her family in California!

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Jake Barr

Host

An acknowledged industry leader, Jake Barr now serves as CEO for BlueWorld Supply Chain Consulting, providing support to a cross section of Fortune 500 companies such as Cargill, Caterpillar, Colgate, Dow/Dupont, Firmenich, 3M, Merck, Bayer/Monsanto, Newell Brands, Kimberly Clark, Nestle, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Sanofi, Estee Lauder and Coty among others. He's also devoted time to engagements in public health sector work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At P&G, he managed the breakthrough delivery of an E2E (End to End) Planning Transformation effort, creating control towers which now manage the daily business globally. He is recognized as the architect for P&G’s demand driven supply chain strategy – referenced as a “Consumer Driven Supply Chain” transformation. Jake began his career with P&G in Finance in Risk Analysis and then moved into Operations. He has experience in building supply network capability globally through leadership assignments in Asia, Latin America, North America and the Middle East. He currently serves as a Research Associate for MIT; a member of Supply Chain Industry Advisory Council; Member of Gartner’s Supply Chain Think Tank; Consumer Goods “League of Leaders“; and a recipient of the 2015 - 2021 Supply Chain “Pro’s to Know” Award. He has been recognized as a University of Kentucky Fellow.

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Marcia Williams

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Marcia Williams, Managing Partner of USM Supply Chain, has 18 years of experience in Supply Chain, with expertise in optimizing Supply Chain-Finance Planning (S&OP/ IBP) at Large Fast-Growing CPGs for greater profitability and improved cash flows. Marcia has helped mid-sized and large companies including Lindt Chocolates, Hershey, and Coty. She holds an MBA from Michigan State University and a degree in Accounting from Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay (South America). Marcia is also a Forbes Council Contributor based out of New York, and author of the book series Supply Chains with Maria in storytelling style. A recent speaker’s engagement is Marcia TEDx Talk: TEDxMSU - How Supply Chain Impacts You: A Transformational Journey.

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Constantine Limberakis

Host

Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research.Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

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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.

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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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.

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.

When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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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.

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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’.

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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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.

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

Mary Kate Love is currently the VP of marketing at Supply Chain Now focused on brand strategy and audience + revenue growth. Mary Kate’s career is a testament to her versatility and innovative spirit: she has experience in start-ups, venture capital, and building innovation initiatives from the ground up: she previously helped lead the build-out of the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific and before that, MxD (Manufacturing times Digital): the Department of Defense’s digital manufacturing innovation center. Mary Kate has a passion for taking complicated ideas and turning them into reality: she was one of the first team members at MxD and the first team member at the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific.

Mary Kate dedicates her extra time to education and mentorship: she was one of the founding Board Members for Women Influence Chicago and led an initiative for a city-wide job shadow day for young women across Chicago tech companies and was previously on the Board of Directors at St. Laurence High School in Chicago, Young Irish Fellowship Board and the UN Committee for Women. Mary Kate is the founder of National Supply Chain Day and enjoys co-hosting podcasts at Supply Chain Now. Mary Kate is from the south side of Chicago, a mom of two baby boys, and an avid 16-inch softball player. She holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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