Supply Chain Now
Episode 676

Episode Summary

“Not to be too simplistic about ransomware attacks but think about when you got away with something as a kid – you went back and did it again if no one was there to stop you. Despite the U.S. government’s best effort, we have our work cut out for us. Things could get really out of hand really quick.”

– Scott Luton, Supply Chain Now

The Supply Chain Buzz is Supply Chain Now’s regular Monday livestream, held at 12n 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 episode of The Buzz, Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Scott Luton and Greg White kick off a new week with news of yet another massive cyber-attack – the largest single ransomware attack on record. It was perpetrated through firms that provide remote IT infrastructure. They were apparently emboldened by the success of their attack on JBS, the world’s largest meat producer.

In this week’s top stories, Scott and Greg open the virtual floor to discuss:

· Whether anything (anything!) digital is really safe these days

· The ‘big ask’ that Amazon is presenting to many of its suppliers, deepening its relationships with those companies or ‘muddying’ the waters, depending on your point of view

· Positive indications that the semi-conductor chip market may be getting back up to speed, something the automotive industry has been eagerly awaiting

· An update on the latest supply chain tech M&A activity

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 (00:31):

Hey good. Afternoon, Scott Luton, Greg White with you right here, own supply chain. Now welcome to our live stream here today. Gregory. How are we doing?

Greg White (00:40):

I’m doing great. It’s good to see you again after your vacation. How are you doing?

Scott Luton (00:47):

You know, we actually got several days of last week to completely unplug and reconnect, uh, and reconnect really with family and the kids and the beach, uh, and, and the local St. Augustine area. So had a great time, but excited to get back in the saddle. We got so many initiatives and projects and stories to tell Greg.

Greg White (01:08):

Yeah, no doubt. You know, there’s one of these stores that particularly hits home. So I’m pretty excited about, uh, talking to folks about that. Yeah.

Scott Luton (01:17):

So we had a great pre-show conversation today. You know, we’ve got Amanda and Allie behind the scenes making it happen, producing. Uh, Clay’s producing today’s show. I’m thinking of our dear friend, the dog clay Phillips is on the road this week, right?

Greg White (01:29):

Yeah. Well, just to be clear, Allie’s a dog also recent UGA grad brand new former intern now brand new employee and, and we have employees getting big. Oh,

Scott Luton (01:44):

Well, uh, it it’s been great to see all their, uh, significant contributions to our growing, uh, mission here. And, uh, today is just the latest installment. So by the way, uh, Greg is also on the road, Greg, where you tuned in from,

Greg White (01:59):

Um, uh, tuned in from West Virginia mountain mama. So that is a lyric and the Shanandoah river right outside. Actually, I am sitting at top of pretty nice hill overlooking this beautiful hillside and down there. I see just a little slice of golf course. So, so I’m at a cousin’s house in West Virginia who has amazing. So, uh, she works for, uh, uh, financial planning firms. So she has amazing internet at her house. So she could work from home during the pandemic and, you know, drove the extra 14 miles to stop by say hi and use their in or

Scott Luton (02:41):

Con country roads. Right. Fight myself from breaking into,

Greg White (02:45):

Well, on the way up there is so on Pandora, there is a July 4th channel. And if you like Toby Keith and the Eagles and number what’s that John Denver, of course. Yeah. And Lee Greenwood must have heard Lee Greenwood, not just, not just the song, everyone knows, but Lee green a half dozen times, I didn’t realize how many songs he had about American, but also McClain American pie. And two of my favorites, James Brown, living in America. Great song. And of course, oh my gosh, God, God bless America. That’s right. Yeah. By Ray Charles, man, it was got a little Nazi in the car when we were driving, listening to that. So

Scott Luton (03:32):

Wonderful. Well, you know, before we get down to, uh, get to work here today, let’s say lo to a few folks are also tuned in a broad variety of places, Trinny this via India. Geneva’s hope this finds you will hear today. Of course, Peter Beau lay all night and all day P E hope you’re doing well. Uh, as Leah

Greg White (03:52):

Say, West Virginia. Yeah, she is. That’s right.

Scott Luton (03:57):

Great to see you as a lay, I look forward to catching back up with you this week. Uh, let’s see, Tanya is back with, I won’t say Tanya was with us own a, uh, well maybe one of the last, last IBM sessions or our LA sessions, but regardless, Tanya, great to have you back via LinkedIn here today. Nanda. Now, Greg, did you see the news? Nanda has been promoted, I believe as a, as a new chief supply chain officer, if I’m not mistaken at his organization. So Nanda, congrats,

Greg White (04:25):

Congratulations. Hopefully

Scott Luton (04:27):

Chance to stop, stop and celebrate that news. Mervin is back with us via LinkedIn. He’s got new headshot Mervyn. Hey, doing wow. Well,

Greg White (04:38):

I wish we could make that bigger. Yes. One more. Love the shot. Love the jacket. He gets best dressed, at least in his headshot. That’s right.

Scott Luton (04:49):

So Bosch is with us via LinkedIn says good afternoon. Supply chain minds. Well, great to have you here today via LinkedIn Gregory. Hello. Uh, also via LinkedIn. Hey, if y’all can, uh, and there’s a little bit of a delay, but let us know where you’re, you’re you’re tuned in from w we’ve really enjoyed, kinda putting pins across the globe and Peter, Sharon’s a good news. Great clean bill of health received today. That is great.

Greg White (05:13):

It’s funny. What becomes news when you’re retired? Isn’t it Peter, right? Yes. Glad to hear it.

Scott Luton (05:20):

So let’s see. Oh gosh. My, my fingers are having a hard time.

Greg White (05:24):

Yeah. You want me to take every other one? Holy mackerel, Jeff.

Scott Luton (05:29):

Great to see you. Jeff, Jeff and remorse leads the ASC and chapter down in Savannah. Savannah. Hope this finds you well,

Greg White (05:36):

Probably pretty close to the Savannah. You’re going to get wet later, Jeff, by the way.

Scott Luton (05:40):

Sorry. All right. Um, let’s see here room. Um,

Greg White (05:45):

That would be my guess,

Scott Luton (05:47):

Right Greg from Zimbabwe via LinkedIn. Great to see you and hello everybody. So, um, uh, Andrea Ziggy, uh, you name it a bunch of folks here today. So we’ve got to dive in to Greg. Are you ready to get started? Yeah, let’s talk. All right. So up first we got to, uh, pay a few bills, right? We got to talk about the webinar on July 27th. This is part of our, uh, digital transformer series. We got the one only Kevin L. Jackson, right? Talk about Titans, Kevin L. Jackson,

Greg White (06:20):

Hardest work. Now the higher, hardest working man in show business that’s

Scott Luton (06:24):

Right. Fresh off is, uh, the recording of his new reality show. Some more stay tuned on that. So Kevin, we have Dr. Swink from Texas Christian university TCU, and of course friends are dear friends from Esker, uh, this time Nick carpenter. So to join us on July 27th at 1:00 PM. And we’re talking about how digital transformation not only accelerates and optimizes your supply chain, but my favorite part of this, I’m looking forward to the conversation. It strengthens it. And on the heels of a story we’re gonna be talking about here today, Greg, we’re going to need all of the supply chain strengthening that we can get, right?

Greg White (07:02):

Yeah. It is amazing how tightly woven digital transformation in supply chain is. In fact, Scott, a week before last, when I was in Wichita, I met with president and the supply chain leaders, those leaders of supply chain school for black and painters program at Wichita state. And they are combining their digital transformation and supply chain into a common practice, if you will. And after seeing what that campus has in terms of, of corporate partnerships and advanced, um, advanced research and that sort of thing, it’s, it’s going to be a venerable program. And that it’s tied directly to tech is going to be a huge advantage. So many, even some of the leading supply chain programs, they’re more operational lists say, right, well, we’re going to need you to watch these schools evolve over time. That’s

Scott Luton (07:54):

Right. Going to hear more from Wichita state in the future, as we’re going to be having our dear friend Mohib students join us on the live stream. So stay tuned for that. But in the meantime, July 27th, the link to register is in the show notes. Let’s see here. Next up is the supply chain insights global summit, September 7th through the ninth, 2021, right around the corner. Now this is a hybrid event, Greg, but as we’ve talked about before, we’re very pleased to be serving as the exclusive streaming partner for the digital version of the event. So you’ve got to register, it’s not free, uh, but for about two and a half days, there’s gonna be some heavy hitters that are leading conversations about how they’re driving change and their own parts of the global business world. Uh, and of course, we’re going to have our, our, uh, remote attendees. Be it be really be a big part of the conversation. So you can learn more at supply chain insights, global summit.com.

Greg White (08:51):

Yeah. I mean, truth be told it’s not, it’s not free and it’s not cheap either, but if it doesn’t work for you and your personal or your, even your business budget, this is the kind of event your chief supply chain officer VP of supply chain, CEO, CFO, even those kind of people, of course, vice presidents, directors, whatever. Uh, when in talking to Laura Seseri who runs this, so enough said, is it worth the money? Absolutely. But it’s generally going to be director level in one, one or more supply chain practices. And above that really get a tremendous amount of value. It’s practitioners, it’s, um, service providers. It’s no vendor pitches whatsoever. It’s value added, right? So super powerful stuff she’s been doing it for, is it, is this the 10th year? Something like that, you’ve been doing it for, for a good while. It’s the most neutral, uh, the most complete, the most challenging, frankly. I mean, I think we all know Laura is not going to hesitate to challenge anyone, um, and most knowledgeable that you can find.

Scott Luton (10:04):

So learn more supply chain insights, global summit.com and join us. Okay. A little departure here. So we love getting tons of pictures from all of our dear friends across really crossed the globe. Uh, and we want to encourage you to keep them coming. Uh, so this is our dear friend, Corey Corey Komar, and this is his dog Hamilton. Now he said this, this shot in, cause I was jealous of all these places he’s going and these dishes he’s cooking. So he asked him, I said, where’s this at? And he says that in this case here, and this is from a week or two ago that their campsite was on the other side of independence pass, uh, from the famous Aspen Colorado, he says, he’s always, he always thinks of dumb and dumber when we’ve walked them through Aspen. And this is on the top of gray back peak. I think he’s got an aptitude just under 10,000 feet and it’s near Pike’s peak. So Hamilton looks pretty happy, Greg,

Greg White (11:02):

Is it happy or is it Hungary? Nonetheless, I’m glad we’re behind the camera.

Scott Luton (11:09):

Right? Well, Corey Corey is in Montana this week. So Corey, best safe travels to pictures, common and Greg, the good stuff doesn’t stop there. So this is a LA who may be with us here today. So we kicked off this supply chain, chow fun project at that starts with Facebook. We may take it from there, but it’s really, it’s, it’s an open group with one main goal just to kind of celebrate our love for food, right? So if you’re into, if you’re a culinary, passion needs to come check us out and Amanda, if we can drop the link in there. So this is, uh, from Khartoum, the capital of Sudan and LA is as y’all can tell, they’re posted some of the, some great pictures from her meal at ozone and Greg. This hits us about the right time, right? I’m ready to dive in. How about you?

Greg White (11:59):

Well, right time or wrong time. I’m getting it. I just need just two minutes. I want that sandwich, right? It’s pretty darn tasty. The pizza here looks pretty cool. Doesn’t it? Yeah.

Scott Luton (12:14):

Regardless. Hey, uh, send us your picks. Uh, join the groups, uh, be social, be human. You know, we love talking supply chain. We’re going to keep it coming, talking to supply chain global business. Like we will here just today, but we’ve all learned how important relationships are over the last 18 months. And, and, you know, part of those relationships are where you spend your downtime and, and for us, we love food and we love to travel. So y’all, I’ll join supply chain, ciao the Facebook, uh, if you love food and if you don’t love food, well, Hey, just some speakers of your journeys. That’d be great too. Okay, Greg, uh, let’s say hello to just a couple of quick folks, and then we’re going to dive into our first store. That sound like a plan.

Greg White (12:53):

Yeah, man. Lot of people working, even in the states on the holiday or at least tuning in with us. So that’s good.

Scott Luton (13:00):

Always. So Gregory, uh, mentioned he’s from Trinidad and Tobago. Beautiful,

Greg White (13:07):

Beautiful place. That is right.

Scott Luton (13:08):

Absolutely. David David hope this finds you well, joining us from Ontario. Uh, we’ve got Kim winner tuned in U a E Kim. Hope this finds you well have been loving some of these conversations that we’ve had with you here,

Greg White (13:22):

Kim winter hot in UAE now. Um, I think we, I think we talked to Kim on new year’s Eve one day, right? And it was hot there. Then as Kim is, when is it not? That’s right. We’ll be there then.

Scott Luton (13:40):

So Tanya tuned in from Savage, Minnesota near Bloomington and the Minnesota mall of America. Oh, mayor from Saudi Arabia. Welcome. Omera via LinkedIn. Great to have you here. John Martinez from the beautiful city of San Antonio, John. Great to have you here. And this is the first time. So, uh, Greg will have to sing Mattoon. This is first time. Uh, well, towards the end of the show, right?

Greg White (14:04):

Yes. I used to be able to sing the incarnate word fight song. So incarnate word college is an all Spanish private college and in the San Antonio area, not really fight song. It was their Alma mater

Scott Luton (14:19):

Love that and Azalia and, um, Rabbid as I is, are both confirming kind of the key message we just were communicating a second ago, splotch in relationships. They’re really kind of a big deal and certainly have gotten a bigger B2B, be a bigger, big deal here in recent months. So Greg let’s stop into the news. Are you ready to

Greg White (14:42):

Go? I am ready to go. All right. As we’ve talked about one of these, one of these stories hits very close to business. I would very close to home, but it’s very close to business. So, so

Scott Luton (14:54):

Let’s talk about up first, what everybody is talking about, right? There’s this massive ransomware attack from last Friday. So Greg, I’m going to kind of tee this up and share a couple of things and I want to get your take on this. So according to NPR and the associated press, cybersecurity teams have been working in overdrive over the weekend to try to contain the impact of what folks are calling the largest single ransomware attack on record thousands of victims, probably tens of thousands of victims across 17 countries have been impacted. Now the angle of attack, Greg was focused largely on penetrating the firms that remotely manage it infrastructure. Right. But one of the biggest victims, I bet most folks here have heard, have heard mentioned is coop a swish. What’s that?

Greg White (15:40):

Co-op co-op oh,

Scott Luton (15:42):

Thank you, Greg. And co-op you learned something new? It

Greg White (15:46):

Literally is a co-op Scott it’s. I mean, it’s a cooperative grocery.

Scott Luton (15:51):

That makes sense.

Greg White (15:53):

Huge. Well,

Scott Luton (15:55):

No kidding. Uh, so there are Swedish grocery chain and it’s closed 800 stores for the last couple of days because our point of sale systems, their cash registers have been down. I’ve been impacted. Experts are claiming, is it reveal, spilled like evil, but reveal maybe? Uh,

Greg White (16:14):

Yes. I don’t know. I’ve never heard of him before we need Kevin and Jack here. Kevin let us know.

Scott Luton (16:22):

Well, this group R E V I L there. Yes, it was supposed to be behind the attack. It’s the same outfit. If y’all remember a few about a month or so ago, uh, JBS is the massive meat processor. Well, they were successful in extorting about $11 million from JBS. So heck why not do it again, Greg? Um, revel offered a deal. You ready? You got your deal deal making.

Greg White (16:49):

Yeah, let me, let me break out my calculator and see if it’s worth it. Yeah.

Scott Luton (16:53):

So Sunday night, uh, the perpetrators supposedly offered a deal $70 million for a universal decryptor software key. Now, Greg, before I get your take, it’s also been reported that the size, the sheer size and scope of this attack has gotten so big, too big, even for the hackers to manage it, which is what is one of the reasons why folks are saying, Hey, [inaudible] the, the, the hackers are saying, Hey, give us $70 million. And we’ll just cure everybody rather than do company by company. So Greg fascinating in a, in a, in a bad and intriguing way, but what, what’s your take here? Well,

Greg White (17:29):

It’s, I mean, it’s a tragedy that somebody you pay to manage your, it infrastructure allows this to happen. Um, and I think it goes to the kind of discipline. Well, we talked about just a couple of weeks ago with Kevin Jackson, right? Right. It goes to, uh, accentuate that discussion. And we were talking about how might come in through companies that would be less likely to be, um, secure these companies in my opinion, have no excuse. And it’s a travesty that it happens that way. I mean, you usually think of the kind of backdoor way through the person you pay through QuickBooks who sweeps the parking lot or whatever. I could see that that’s how it happened for target somebody. Somebody liked that. Right. Right. But for someone like this who is trusted and trusted with your data to have this happen, that’s unconscionable, frankly, it’s unconscionable both for the service provider and for co-op for instance, or the other companies that were infected to not have done the diligence to assure that they had the security to port their systems.

Greg White (18:34):

So I don’t know if all of those, all I can tell you that all of those 800 stores are not in Sweden. So those stores are in Sweden and Norway and Denmark and elsewhere in Northern Europe and Scandinavia because you can’t support 800 stores in Sweden. There’s just not enough people. Right? So this is a massive international issue. Um, and it’s, you know, again, it’s a tragedy that it happened. Uh, you know, the other thing is you cannot pay the ransom. Um, colonial pipeline, paid the ransom and didn’t get the fix, the fix that the, that the, um, attackers gave them didn’t work. And they had to back up from two or three days prior. So, uh, and the government, I don’t know what everybody knows about the colonial thing, but of course fuel was shut down in the Southeast for a good long time. And then the FBI claimed they got the money back, which they did not. We have 2.7 million of the total back, which is just over half, but they did not get it all back. So you cannot win in this situation. You should be able to rely on those backups and go back and secure your system to do it. But if you pay them, you know, I mean, everyone’s seen a kidnapping movie, right? All you do is encourage them,

Scott Luton (19:59):

Think about not to be too simplistic, but think about when you got away with some things as a kid, you went back and did more and did a bigger, uh, if no, one’s, you know, if no one’s there to stop you. Right. And we were, you know, a month or so ago, or going back even to the colonial pipeline, which is, is more closer to almost two months ago, you know, we were talking about how there, we were afraid there’s gonna be a lot more of this. Right. And unfortunately, uh, to John’s question is anything really digitally safe these days? Uh, David says pencil and paper. I said, David, thanks for keeping us keeping the comedy quotient today. But you know, Greg w we do have our work cut out for us. Right. And, and despite the us government’s best effort, you know, using the bully Pope pulpit, you know, that the, some of the task forces set up, um, you know, a lot of potential for things to get really out of hand really quick. And, and one last point, Greg and love for you to weigh in for move to the next story I saw where, um, I guess, uh, the, the bottom ministration had mentioned, Hey, these, these X amount of sectors are off limits. I’m not sure of kind of the signal that, you know, what does that say about all the other sectors? So I think from a, just a, a policy standpoint, how do we, how do we attack it? And, and, and, uh, rain, rain, this cyber terror in we’ve got our hands full here.

Greg White (21:22):

I’m not sure what saying anything does for anything. Honestly, I think, I think our government has proven inept over many, many decades of protecting us from these kinds of things, or it would be done, right. We have literally billions of dollars going into the NSA and the FBI and other TSA and other organizations that are built specifically to protect us from this, that should be focusing their efforts on these things that aren’t. So it sounds like a pretty hollow threat to me, Ben hollow for the decades we’ve been making it. Right. Right. I don’t think there’s anything new about this administration that gives them the instantaneous ability to enforce that. So meaningless words, like most politicians,

Scott Luton (22:05):

Right. It’s going to, it’s going to take a global crackdown and, and a commitment to do that. Um, my fear, uh, is that, you know, certain bad actors may be using this as a, as a counterweight in global politics, but we’ll see, we’ll see,

Greg White (22:22):

That’s undoubtedly the case. We can’t confirm it here. Right. It’s too deep to, and too broad. I mean, they attack 17 countries that essentially, I see this as a warning shot, probably by the Russians to the U S to say, we could do the same thing to you. Right. And, you know, I just don’t think that there’s just like anything else. These companies need to protect themselves. They cannot lean on the government to protect them. That is not going to happen.

Scott Luton (22:52):

Excellent point. So, uh, we’ll see how this continues to ripple out. And hopefully we get all these companies back online where at least at least commerce can take place and we can figure out a plan to, to make it strong, a stronger and more resilient. We’ll see. Lot more to come. All right. So Greg, yes, sir. Maybe a little bit easier of a topic. I don’t know this was, this was kind of one that touched home on your end. Let’s see this up. So, you know, speaking of demands, talking about folks making demands, the wall street journal is reporting that Amazon is asking quite a bit from it suppliers as in equity opportunities on the cheap. So at least it does. And according to the journal article, or at least a dozen publicly traded companies have given into this ask, which is where Amazon gets rights to buy stock at a future date at what might be below market prices. Now that’s on a publicly traded company side over the past decade. The journal says Amazon has struck these types of deals with over 75 prov privately held companies. So if I’m interpreting this right, Greg, and please share more of these companies are wanting to do business with Amazon. And that’s including this ask as part of the overall relationship framework, is that right?

Greg White (24:08):

That’s right. And it’s not a new practice. I’m intimately aware of how this relationship works. And in some cases it’s even more invasive than that. It is, um, shares of the company at near zero price, not of public companies, but these private companies of which they say there are 75 or so I happened to know one of them very intimately without revealing any confidentiality agreement, right. Everything I say here may or may not be like confidentiality agreement must therefore be very, very gang. So, yeah. So I’ve seen, I have, um, intimate knowledge of taking a share of the company with these warrants that were talked about in the article of upwards of 20% of the company. In some cases, as they talked about in the article, it’s the, it makes them the largest shareholder in the company. They have laid claim to most favored nation status, which arguably in some cases is unethical or illegal, just depends on your point of view.

Greg White (25:07):

Meaning no matter what the best price is you give to any other customer, you have to also give that to Amazon regardless of their, or, or else you have to justify the reason for not giving them that, which takes considerable diligence and also claiming the actual IP of the company has occurred. Wow. As far as I know as well. So, uh, it’s pretty impressive. It’s not, it’s not the first time it’s happened by the way. Other companies, other big companies who were big well before, well, before Amazon have done it as well. But yeah, it’s, you know, when you have the power as, uh, as my other cousin who we’re staying with said power corrupts, absolute power corrupts. Absolutely. So well, isn’t that, but it’s, it’s an absolute fact. I mean, why would you not do that? Right. But their argument is you’re going to get a lot of good press from us being your vendor, and you’re going to get business and as, and presumably profit from that.

Greg White (26:11):

And we want a piece of that in reality, by the way people, the truth is what you get is a logo on your website that you can say almost nothing about this has been my experience in working with big, big companies. And it costs you as some of us have in recent history experience, it costs you four to five times as much to support a company of that, of that magnitude than it does the companies that you can actually profit from. So you have to decide, do I want the logo or do I want it is almost always a mutually exclusive relationship. Yeah.

Scott Luton (26:48):

Okay. Uh, a lot of powerful, um, take, and I appreciate you sharing some of your, your, what, you know, to be effect, uh, light on it. Peter belay offers a very technical analysis of this practice. It’s horse Buc-ee’s,

Greg White (27:08):

Uh, John, well, you know, here was, he was in procurement and air Canada. Just imagine if they required Airbus to give them 20% of the company to fly for air Canada, to fly air buses.

Scott Luton (27:20):

Unbelievable. Uh, John Martinez, can you say monopoly as Leah agrees with John there? Uh, let’s see here. Uh, Rebecca, as I talked about how Amazon is filthy rich and, uh, Simon Joyner, hello, Simon says get Amazon off. So that’s a really, let’s see here. Also Roomba design says, I think big companies do that because they’re the ones dominating. It kind of echoes what somewhat Greg has shared.

Greg White (27:51):

Yes, they do it because they can. Right.

Scott Luton (27:54):

All right. So I want to put one last comment here. It’s Tonya says, and we’re talking about a wall street journal article, folks own the topic of Amazon asking for the opportunity to, um, gain ownership at a, at a reduced price, oftentimes, uh, in the public realm and the private realm for that matter. Um, Tonya says I’m having this fear now with all the banks at partner in umbrella, under each other with digital banking and with all the digital global credit card client payment services projects that I am not seeing the sec dev ops teams and the user experience UX UI subject matters being partnered during testing and demonstrated throughout the cloud. So I think Tanya is, um, her fear may, and maybe this goes back to the first story. Yeah, Greg,

Greg White (28:43):

It’s probably alluding to the fact that when security sec dev ops security development operations, and the UX and UI designers have this miscommunication link, they can leave open doors to the, to the technology, through the UI of the solution. And it’s something that you have to keep a very, very close eye on and it’s not easily, you think it would be, but it’s not easily rectified. So thanks,

Scott Luton (29:13):

Greg and Tanya great insight there. Uh, you know, cause if we don’t have everybody part of the conversations, you know, we’re going to, we’re going to have some blue poles in our blind spots here. So, um, as Leah says, she’d like to see Jeff Bezos retirement plan. Uh,

Greg White (29:26):

I wouldn’t be his retirement plan as lay. I can tell you that he just keeps selling us stuff. Right.

Scott Luton (29:34):

Uh, let’s see, Mervyn says, uh, no offense, but isn’t that what, uh, incumbents maybe are supposed to do in terms of strategy to oppose emerging threats M and A’s are required, Greg?

Greg White (29:48):

Uh, I think, I mean, you are certainly fully within your rights to do that, right? The question is, is it, is it fair to make that demand? And let me, let me just tell you that that demand for shares, unlike the demand of a real principal of a company comes with no obligation to actually help the company get benefit from partnering with you. It comes with the presumption that the mere fact that your logo becomes part of their, of that company’s marketing, that it will deliver something if it were, if it were a truth and a fact that, and maybe it isn’t some cases that Amazon is actually going to do something actively to promote and create value within the company. Absolutely. Yup. Right. But the truth is they’re paying a fair rate for the services they’re getting for that company. They’re doing nothing more in almost every case and they are effectively selling the value of their logo for 20% of the company.

Greg White (30:48):

That’s not a good return. I mean, if somebody really thinks about that, it’s not a good return and you know, it will, it’ll come back around. Look, the truth is it is really folly to go after some of these big accounts and to, to so disadvantage yourself, right. Do business with a big logo. I mean, people did it with Walmart and then quit doing business with Walmart. People did it with, I worked for one of the biggest auto parts chains and WD 40 took themselves off of our shelves because we, we press them to are, can you imagine an auto part store without WD 40, neither could any one of our hundred and 80,000 customers. Right. So of course there comes a point when, um, the market pushes back and it, and it will happen. I think who said it here, um, GE Nokia, Motorola, right? The tide will turn, right. I think it was Judy maybe Elliot, Motorola, Nokia, general electric. The list goes on when absolute power turns to absolute disaster. Yes. Right. That is

Scott Luton (31:53):

A, certainly a t-shirt isn’t there absolute power turns to absolute disaster. Very nice Sylvia, almost as nice as that sharp, short. True.

Greg White (32:02):

That’s true. Also, I, I think I saw Sylvia. I really appreciate it. I think she said there may be a jar of peach preserves or jam awaiting me very nicely.

Scott Luton (32:15):

Sylvia. I got to get your good graces somehow

Greg White (32:17):

We’ll share this car, Scott. Okay. We’ll do the product opening together. There we go. Cause now we can, by the way, I’ll bring the most,

Scott Luton (32:28):

As long as, as auto part stores still have the scratch and sniff things that you hang on your rear view mirror, as long as we’ve

Greg White (32:34):

Got different trees. Yes. Yeah. All right.

Scott Luton (32:37):

So, and she also says I’m I, the only person that never used yeah. Amazon.

Greg White (32:42):

Yes. Wow. So it’s a very simple answer. Yes. You are the only person that’s never used it. Oh

Scott Luton (32:47):

Sec. Peter. You’ve never used Amazon either. Let us know. Hey, Hey, inquiring minds really want to know, let me know about, uh, if you’re, if you have not used Amazon too. Okay. So Greg, one last, a recap here. We’re talking about this wall street journal article on Amazon. Hey, kudos to the wall street journal team because they, they, they have, this is just like the latest one, the latest kind of deep dive reporting, uh, trying to keep folks honest and informed about what, you know, the biggest company here in the states and, and in the e-commerce world is, is doing, uh, from a partnership standpoint. So good stuff there. All right. So as Greg is getting a diet Coke from, uh, uh, my dear friend off garage

Greg White (33:28):

Door opener for my cousin, Steven, who’s heading over to the family holiday cookout and he want to be the garage store when I leave. So hello,

Scott Luton (33:37):

Stephen, thank you very much for allowing your, uh, home to be no kidding. Well studio. Okay. So, uh, let’s um, let’s move to the next door here. There’s so much to tackle this week. Oh. And just like that folks, just like that, we might’ve lost Greg White’s connection. So we’ll see if he can’t jump in here in a minute, uh, to continue talking about the buzz across global business. Okay. Well, we might have gained him back. Yeah.

Greg White (34:07):

Let’s see here. Ooh, I like that look. All right. I don’t know what I did, but whatever it is, Monday is holiday. Let’s go with that, right? Yeah.

Scott Luton (34:19):

Monday is Murphy law. Murphy’s

Greg White (34:22):

Murphy’s law Monday. I like it.

Scott Luton (34:24):

Yep. Okay. Let’s talk about automotive. So let’s get past you talk about, um, Amazon and let’s talk automotive here. All right. So this is actually some good news. I think so, according to I H S market Greg. Yeah. Well-known analysis firm reported by Reuters when all the numbers are finalized, all numbers are in, you know, second quarter 2021 global light vehicle production is w is projected to have grown 50%. So supply issues persist as we’ve, we’ve talked about ad nauseum, of course, semi-conductors also workforce, uh, due to a variety of issues. Uh, so supply issues persist, but the semi-conductors, uh, I just market projects that the computer chip supply is going to be able to catch back up starting first quarter 2022. Now that, um, you know, Gartner has projected second quarter 20, 22. So maybe they disagree or maybe the situation’s getting a little bit better and there may be, uh, um, um, moving the catch-up period at catch up point earlier. I don’t know, or sooner we’ll see. But Greg speaking, you can’t talk about automotive without talking about the Ford Bronco, 125,000 orders already have in place. And four just cannot make them fast enough. Do you have your order in,

Greg White (35:50):

You know what, uh, this is another West Virginia experience. I am now torn as to whether a Ford Bronco is the right vehicle. Because yesterday I drove a brand new Toyota Tacoma, TRD off-road with a lift kit. And it’s just, it’s a superior vehicle. I mean, it’s just the vehicles these days, the electronics are made these days, like I’m driving a 1925 model a, but, but it is stunning how far they’ve come in just a few years. So, uh, I don’t have an order in, I have contemplated it, but I’m not one of those people who is going to pay over MSRP. Even in fact, I’m not going to buy a car until car prices come back down. Right? So I’m not paying full. I just don’t pay full price. That, that, I think that’s what my family name means in gala is we don’t pay full price.

Scott Luton (36:48):

I believe that I’ve seen, I can speak from personal experience though. Greg, I believe you. And you know, one of these days, you know, one of these days, um, when we got little free time on our hands, I’d love just to grab some popcorn and diet Coke and watch you go buy a car. I think it would be, must see TV.

Greg White (37:07):

I’ve had people ask me to buy their car for them and I enjoy it. They hate it, but I enjoy it. I love the car dealership. It’s harder now because they don’t really want to negotiate, but there are always times that you can’t, that’s a whole separate show Scotland. Okay. We got to do that. Show how the Viacom

Scott Luton (37:26):

Even says, he’s going to be sending you a pic of devil dice, which I think is his Jeep when it comes out of the shop next week, David is a, um, uh, an off-roading enthusiasts. I think you call, uh, and, and he’s really good though. He says, it’s in the shop. I think he does a lot of work of it, of his own, uh, own his Jeep. Uh, let’s see here, as, as Leah says, uh, in West Virginia, a good truck gives you 300,000 miles before you have to use a screwdriver to start your engine every day.

Greg White (37:56):

Seriously, as a lay of the vehicle that was traded in on this Tacoma was, I don’t know what year, but it was a Tundra and it had 265,000 hard miles. I mean, real off-roading. So, you know, in, in West Virginia, they have a ton of oil production, and of course the oil Wells are in the toughest place to get to, I mean, this thing was be up, but it went to 45 to 65. So nice,

Scott Luton (38:25):

Nice, well, uh, Peter, bullae a great point. Uh, and we’ll see if we can’t get a real number on this meaningless, unless they add a real number, excellent point.

Greg White (38:34):

Um, what is it? Whoever said it let’s just attribute it to mark Twain. I don’t think that’s right. There’s lies, lies. And then there’s statistics, right? Um, that’s absolute truth. You can make anything look any way you want, just how you present the numbers. Excellent point,

Scott Luton (38:52):

Michael Avra. Great to see you back, Michael, I’m busy. He says manufacturers are caught in the middle. Do they increase production and stand to have excess inventory or keep lean while not being able to meet demand? Well, with all these empty car, lots, I think there’s been, that decision has been made for them, uh, by, uh, according to mini, um, automotive experts. But the other thing, Greg is, you know, this inventory just the all time, uh, the inventory of available cars, you know, speaking to those empty lots. I mean, I haven’t seen a year a fixed to it in terms of, you know, how low is this? Is this the lowest we’ve seen in 10 years or 25 years, but man driving past the car, lots here in the last, uh, couple of weeks, man, the, the, the eye test is it’s gotta be one of the lowest points. So

Greg White (39:41):

Production is not, has not been necessarily lower production completion has been necessarily lower. So I’ve friend who is the general manager of a GMC dealership and he showed me a property. I don’t even know what it is that had 15,000 trucks on it that are just waiting for one ship so that they can be started. So there were that close to the numbers, just exploding off the chart. Um, but it’s those semi-conductors. And again, the automakers did it to themselves. They said, you guys go ahead and make these semi-conductors and if we need them, we’ll buy them off here. So another one of those relationship and transparency issues in supply chain that that needs to be solved. And the problems that we see as a consumer are much like the problems that you see, if you’re doing a business process analysis, the problem isn’t where you see it, the problem is back upstream somewhere, right? Add decision or bad process. In this case, it seems like it’s almost always bad decisions, um, have caused it excellent point

Scott Luton (40:49):

There. So we’ll see what we’ll see. We’ll continue to, you know, the automotive industry is such an important, um, sector for a global business and, and many other things. It’s one of those industries that have, you know, when it moves or when it doesn’t move, you know, the ripple effect is pretty big. So we’ll see how this plays out. Um, let’s talk about Greg. This is Tom. I think this buzz, these stories were almost handpicked for Gregory White here today, because this last story I know you’re going to be able to speak to quite a bit. Yes. So speaking of record, breaking activity, Gregory White, the supply chain tech M and a market seems to be an overdrive, just as much deals are everywhere. According to the supply chain, DOB zebra is going to be acquiring fetch robotics. Now it already had a 5% stake in the company and they’ve done business plenty of businesses before, but now zebra wants it all and is going to be, we’re acquiring the rest of fetch the 95%.

Scott Luton (41:44):

It’s going to cost about $290 million. The warehouse automation market, though, it kind of speaks to this warehouse. Automation market has been a hot one for years, even before the pandemic, but as article points out the pandemic accelerated demand for warehouse tech, mainly due to workforce constraints, right? We think about social distancing, which really productivity amongst other things took a hit. But also it let, let let’s say, even in a perfect world with no pandemic, still hiring and retaining workers in these facilities, warehouses fulfillment centers, and the like has been really tough. But Greg, what are you seeing here? Well,

Greg White (42:20):

I mean, we’ve been trying to automate warehouses for a good amount of time because of the cost of labor. Now we’re trying to automate warehouses because of the availability of labor, and it’s both costly and difficult to attain labor to do this. Um, frankly, warehouses are in many, many aspects of the warehouse. They are much better run by robots. In fact, in Sweden, Norway in Sweden. Anyway, I have seen portions of warehouse that are what they call lights out. They’re completely robotic and only the exceptional, um, the exceptional portions of the work, you know, the exceptionally minute portions of the work are even done by human beings in a 700,000 square foot facility, 14 people work. And so, and now it’s hard to get 14 people into a 700,000 square foot facility. I mean, we keep going to the three D’s that supply chain and manufacturing are often hindered by dark dirty and dangerous, the perception of the workforce, that it is all of those things.

Greg White (43:33):

Um, and, um, so, you know, it’s inevitable that it’s going to happen the technology market. Can we shift gears to that just a little bit? The technology market is silencing. It is, it is incredibly incredibly hot. I have seen companies that I’m involved with. I’ve seen companies that I observed and seen companies that I have never even heard of go for exorbitant amounts of money. You know, uh, there’s a company, bring the VRI in with two GS course cause their technology. So you have to misspell your name. They became anointed as a unicorn recently, uh, based on their investment, you know, and, and you’re seeing these kinds of deals being done at, uh, you know, in the past, in the fairly recent past a technology company, which is usually we’ll call it startup or early growth stage. They’re usually not profitable. They’re usually growing very rapidly, um, but have relatively few customers.

Greg White (44:32):

But if you have five or $10 million worth of revenue, you could expect in the past to get somewhere between seven and 12 or 15 times revenue as, as your purchase price. Now those same companies are worth 20 to 45 times, wow. Their revenue in terms of valuation. And I’ve, I’ve actually seen deals done at a 44 times revenue multiple. So the opportunity is, is, um, incredible right now. And that is because as we all know here, the world has awakened to the importance of supply chain they have, as we discussed earlier in the show, they have awakened to the fact that technology is critical to what is required to make supply chain happen from a visibility and the transparency and predictive analytics and prescriptive, um, you know, prescriptive analytics or recommendations, right? All of those things, robotics optimization, all of those things require technology. And, um, as not only supply chain has come into the, into the forefront of people’s minds, but also as people have been staying away in droves from work, then technology becomes the defacto, uh, the de facto resource. So we’re going to see more. We’re going to see more at least until which is now inevitable. I believe at least until the, the U S government makes it unfeasible to continue to invest in companies, which is probably coming by the end of this year

Scott Luton (46:09):

On a much lighter note here, Charles heater, hope this finds you well, Charles, great to have you today. He says, so our future job growth is nursing and maintenance engineers. Charles, who knows.

Greg White (46:19):

I don’t think it’s that at all. I think it’s, you know, I think it is, it is managing, it is doing what human beings are really, really good at frankly, maintenance engineers. Most, a lot of that can be done by robots as well, and is being done by robots in some cases. But the look, these are the, these are the features, the human beings and Scott, you and I have talked about this a lot with veterans and supply chain professionals. The ability to take insufficient data instantaneously and make a life or death, or very important decision is uniquely human because all of these technologies that we talk about take inordinate amounts of data, to be able to do what they do. And without that data not useless, but not nearly as effective as a human being. So as long as there are parts of the business where we lack sufficient data to have built up a thesis in a technology, and it needs a rapid decision or a creative decision, um, and that decision is highly, highly important. Those are the jobs that humans will be doing, which are much, much more satisfying, right. For us. So I think it’s a great thing. Excellent

Scott Luton (47:27):

Point. All right. So we were talking about, uh, Zebra’s decision to buy fetch robotics. Um, they already own 5%. They’re buying the remaining 95% for a nice, cool 200 was at 290 million.

Greg White (47:42):

Oh yeah. So for less than a billion, believe it or not folks that is a bargain, a supply chain tech company.

Scott Luton (47:48):

And Greg also speaking to kind of the, the bigger picture market for, uh, M and a activity, especially from a technology standpoint. Okay. So I’m gonna go backwards now. We’ve got a few minutes here. I’m gonna go backwards. I want to cherry pick some of these comments here, uh, going back to automotive. I think spot always sparks a lot of opinions. Charles Walker, Charles, I hope this finds you. Well, man, we’re, we’re going to a veteran voices episode soon. Look forward to it. He says, I’m with you, Greg never pay full price for a car. Only buy a car if you want it. Not when you need, that’s a great point because Greg, if you’re not willing to walk away, they got you. Yeah.

Greg White (48:22):

Right. Yeah. And, and as a matter of fact, they’ve got you on used cars as well. So part of the reason that this Tacoma got bought and the Tundra got turned in is because they offered on a $265,000 cars, something like $14,000. Whereas the book value of that car was like 7,700 is at least this is what my cousin tells me, 7,700 just months before. So cars even used cars are not a bargain. It is not the time to buy a car unless you absolutely have to have it. And by the way, this is the way in which markets work. Right? We, we reach this equilibrium level where people won’t pay the price and therefore the prices have to come down, which by the way, it already has come down on things like lumber. Lumber is already coming down from its peak because people have slowed their building of houses and their home improvement projects because of that price. That’s the beautiful thing about economics, right?

Scott Luton (49:15):

And Hey, if you got an extra car these days, now’s the time to sell it. I use a bike. Uh, Sylvia, Judy says the only time I bought a brand new vehicle was in 1993, I came in.

Greg White (49:27):

I know exactly what color that was a metallic. Yeah.

Scott Luton (49:30):

It got 63 miles from the dealership floor until a flood. A Ford Mustang ran a red light and totaled the ranger and sent me to the hospital. She says, since then I bought all my cars. Gently use will Sylvia, man. Well,

Greg White (49:46):

First of all, I’m not just because of the jam, but we’re glad that you made it and also smart decision by your cars. Two to three years old. Excellent. And

Scott Luton (49:54):

Mervin says a great point here. So I got check out. He says, Charles, you can just rent one or buy a mile subscription to get rid of the hassle of ownership. And he says, uh, leasees is an example. So I’ll have to check out what leasees does. Now. My favorite, one of my favorite comments here, cause we were talking about POS earlier back to your point about, uh, these automotive companies. They just expected that to have what they needed without any commitment. Peter says, issue the PO, like the gut can sign the Canada government letters of agreement don’t mean nutcrackers issue the PO excellent point. And we’ll say it it’s awesome. It really is. Let’s see here. I have

Greg White (50:37):

A feeling that was what was going through TSMC is mine that Taiwan semiconductor come from TSC or whatever the acronym is, but I’m sure that was what was going through their mind. They’re going issue the PO and we start building, right? You go,

Scott Luton (50:53):

There you go. Uh, Andre, I hope this finds you well says supply and demand at its very best. Yes. Michael says lumber is a huge discount.

Greg White (51:04):

Okay.

Scott Luton (51:05):

She also said Andre says used cars or maybe the best way to buy a car. That’s why I’m a unicorn company. Is it? Kavach correct.

Greg White (51:13):

Never heard of this company. So we’ll have to check it out. Yeah. Yes.

Scott Luton (51:18):

Well, uh, Andre, I hope this finds you well and please, uh, tell Sophia we set a low too. I seen it. Y’all have, y’all continue to turn out great content and we love to have your participation here at supply chain. Now, as Leah says, she’s going back to the old school way. She’s going to be, uh, maybe she’s kidding. Getting my milk delivered again. How about that, Greg? I wonder if that’s the, the good stuff with the happy cream up at the top.

Greg White (51:45):

Yeah. I don’t know. We’ll find out. We shall find out where in West Virginia is Azalia or she’s not still in West Virginia. She’s from there. Correct?

Scott Luton (51:55):

I think she’s still there. She’s looking at moving, you know, she’s in the market, uh, as is her significant other and uh, I think it not a tough say too much here, but I think she’s looking at Tennessee last time I chatted with her, but a tremendous talent there. Uh, y’all go check out the old, uh, the episode where she and I sat down, um, so much goodness that she shares. We gotta reconnect soon. Okay. So Greg, I’ve got 1254 art time. We both with you on the road and me getting back from vacation and Murphy’s law wanting to play with play in a sandbox today. We’ve had our hands full.

Greg White (52:31):

I think we’ve done pretty good. I have to tell you no, no, no offense to my relatives or azelaic, but being in West Virginia for this is a little bit scary because with all of these Hills, it really is hard to get a cell signal. It is a beautiful place. If you want to get off the grid, it is beautiful. And a West Virginia dog is a delicious thing. Look here, Greg,

Scott Luton (52:55):

You and Vicky have got to get some snapshots are in a beautiful culinary state, in a beautiful state from a variety of perspectives. No doubt got to see some pictures. If no pictures, it means

Greg White (53:07):

That it didn’t happen. All right, we’ve got them, but we usually publish publish them, uh, post prescrip. So Fayette county, 45 minutes from Beckley is the biggest speed trap. In at least in West Virginia, maybe on the entire planet, basically welcome West Virginia. Here’s your ticket,

Scott Luton (53:28):

But Merv and going back to a few comments ago, says Lisa’s is a platform operational 12 countries for short, for short, medium, and long-term rentals used car online sales. And it’s owned by the still in this group, comprising of 15 brands like Fiat and many others. How about,

Greg White (53:45):

Well, as long as you don’t have to drive any of those brands of cars, that could be a real bargain. I’m not sure. I’m not sure if he could last through a whole, whole rental. No kidding. The one time we got stopped significantly on the roadway here, a Fiat had broken down in the left-hand lane. Really? Yeah. Like a Fiat 500. So I thought it’d be better.

Scott Luton (54:12):

All right. Well we won’t see pictures of food. So to recap, today’s episode, join us for the webinar. July 27th. Yes. Uh, join our supply chain. Ciao, uh, Facebook group. We’ve had some interesting shares. Uh, we want to see more recipes, but we’ve had some great shares thus far in a week or so. We’ve had it open, uh, to recap the news we talked about here today, Greg, let’s see, we talked about the massive ransomware attack. We talked about Amazon looking to get piece of the action from many of its suppliers, look and do business with them. We talked about automotive, supposedly production. Second quarter of 2021 has grown dramatically, dramatically looking for more numbers there. And we’ve talked about the supply chain tech and general tech immuno has, uh, the M and a activity. There has been an overdrive with, uh, uh, valuations, as Greg mentioned up to 44 X revenues, man. It really well is it’s insanity in a, in a good place. Yeah,

Greg White (55:17):

That’s right. That’s right. I saw an article. I think it was wall street journal also. It’s in there, you know, everybody, there are so many people are starting to say it’s an everything bubble now. Right? I mean, if you think about how many things are the stock market, right? Private companies, lumber, housing, automobiles, it is kind of an everything bubble now. So it’s gonna be an interesting ride absolutely. After this year. Absolutely.

Scott Luton (55:47):

So on that note, let’s free up Greg to, uh, pursue a wide variety of

Greg White (55:52):

Colors. Yeah. Monocle’s going to be hacked.

Scott Luton (55:58):

Hey, thanks so much all the great comments and perspectives and observations shared, uh, across, uh, the comments. I really appreciate that we look forward to reconnecting with many of y’all, um, stay tuned, join us. Let’s see here this week, Greg, we’ve got a couple of live streams teed up. We’ve got Mike Griswold with Gardner Wednesday at 12 noon. And, uh, we’ve got, uh, the manufacturing leadership livestream on Friday at 12 noon. So y’all get ready for that. And Greg, hopefully you have a great quick trip to West Virginia and back what’s your, uh, what’s one key piece of advice as we wrap here today, whether you’re speaking to founders or entrepreneurs, or maybe you’re speaking to fellow supply chain practitioners out there, but give us some patented Greg white words of wisdom. As we wrap up today, I said,

Greg White (56:49):

You know, it’s something I discovered over the month of June because as you know, I hit the road for a speaking engagement and then for some other things, and, and for this, uh, incubator that I’m working with in Wichita, and then this trip don’t underestimate the power of being in front of people. I, I just, I almost forgot it could be like that. Where one word, one glance, one interpersonal interaction, one additional question, the reading of someone’s body language or, or the walk to the water cooler can be so, so powerful in solving problems. We literally, because you’re think about this, you don’t have to log on. You’re always on. If you see, as I did Kurt Gridley, the founder of Groover labs, the incubator we’re talking about, I saw him, I just rounded the corner and I saw him and I was just like, Hey Kurt, what if we did this?

Greg White (57:44):

And he went, yeah, let’s do that done. Right. Problem solved opportunity captured. Right. Future change, just like that. It is so, so powerful. And we’ve been talking a lot, um, about the power of being in person, whether people will go back to offices and, you know, I, I think it’s, uh, it depends on your job, right? I’ve been working remote since 2000. When I started two companies go, three companies go really, but I’ve been working remote at least some of the time since that time. And I can tell you that it is super powerful to be in front of people. And it is, it is so encouraging and it is so empowering and it is it’s so enlightening, all those ease. Um, and I’d say, go out there and capture your ease.

Scott Luton (58:33):

Um, wait, get in person and be present. Uh, appreciate you sharing that here today, Greg, it’d be neat to start to enjoy that more and more. Um, as we, as we, hopefully as a globe global society, you know, get more firmly into post pandemic. So folks, thanks for joining the supply chain buzz here today. Join us next week. As a supply chain is brought to you by the partners. We’re gonna be talking about their big September event coming up next Monday. Uh, but wherever you are most importantly on behalf of the whole supply chain now team and Scott Luton here, a do good gift forward and be the change that’s needed in with that said, we’ll see you next time right here on supply chain now. Thanks.

Intro/Outro (59:14):

Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now community check out all of our programming@supplychainnow.com and make sure you subscribe to supply chain. Now anywhere you listen to podcasts and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on supply chain now.

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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.

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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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, 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.

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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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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

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

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

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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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Jamin Alvidrez

Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History

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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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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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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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

Allie is currently completing a degree in marketing with a certificate in entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia. She got her social media start through an internship with Shred, a personal training app, and she’s been hooked ever since. She works to optimize our following base while assisting the team with content creation, influencer outreach and other marketing endeavors. Allie can’t wait to keep growing alongside Supply Chain Now.

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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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Jada Carson

Marketing Coordinator

Jada is a recent graduate of Old Dominion University, having earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications with a media studies concentration and marketing minor. Jada got her start producing content at 16 years old, while attending a radio and broadcasting journalism program in high school, and hasn't looked back!  She is an asset to the Supply Chain Now team as a media specialist, podcast and media producer, and production coordinator.  Outside of Supply Chain Now, Jada is a big Lakers fan, and also a music journalist and enthusiast.

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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