Supply Chain Now
Episode 1257

Whatever you make visible for team members is where your focus naturally goes. So if you have goals and metrics that are visibly displayed, hopefully tied to performance management, team members will naturally place their energy there.

-Patricia Coan

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 Elba Pareja-Gallagher discuss the latest news and developments in the global supply chain industry. They touch on the ongoing crisis at the Port of Baltimore, the potential resurgence of the manufacturing industry, and the importance of sustainable sourcing and packaging.

The episode features a special guest, Patricia Coan, COO of Pura, a smart home fragrance company. Coan shares her insights on building high-performing teams, the complexity of the fragrance industry, and Pura’s sustainability efforts, including a partnership with an Aboriginal tribe in Australia for sustainable sandalwood sourcing.

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 everybody. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you may be. Scott Luton and Elba Preya Gallagher here with you on Supply Chain. Now welcome to today’s episode, Elba. I was thrown off a minute. I’m going to keep it real. I was thrown off a minute. I had my phone volume on, so I was hearing our opening in triplicate. You ever had that problem, Elba? No. No. You’re always

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (00:52):

Trying to avoid triplicate.

Scott Luton (00:54):

I’m

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (00:54):

With you. But I did hear that fabulous theme music and I was feeling very zen, and I love that opening imagery that you guys have.

Scott Luton (01:04):

Oh, I do too. I do too. I love how it focuses on so many different aspects of global supply chain, especially the people. So folks, welcome to the Buzz. I got a treat today with our special guest host, Elba Perha Gallagher Elba. I bet you’re still top 10 in terms of all time appearances here at Supply Chain. Now you think, I

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (01:24):

Don’t know. I don’t think so. You guys have grown so much and you’ve had some amazing guests. I love it. But thanks for remembering me that way.

Scott Luton (01:31):

Well, you’re a dynamo. It’s great to have you back. We’ve got a couple things we’re going to share in just a moment, but folks, we’re going to continue that track record that Elba just mentioned. We’ve got an outstanding guest here today. It’s the buzz where every Monday at 12 New Eastern Time, we discuss a variety of news and developments across global supply chain and business. And today about 12:25 PM Eastern Time, we’re going to be featuring an extraordinary guest, Patricia Cohen, COO, with the smart fragrance company Pure. And we enjoyed a quick pre-show session with Patricia a moment ago, didn’t we? Elba?

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (02:02):

Yes, it was great. I have to admit, I have always been one of the customers of the competitors, but now I know all about Pure and I am going get some and put it in my new electric vehicle so that it smells very delightful.

Scott Luton (02:16):

That’s a

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (02:16):

Good word, Zen.

Scott Luton (02:18):

We’ve got lots of fans as we found out Amanda and Val Ky, many others are big fans of Pur. So Elba, I can’t wait to have Patricia on here shortly. Hey folks, we want to hear from you though. So throughout the session here today, give us your take in the comments. And if you’re listening to the podcast replay, we usually publish today’s show on Friday following the live session on Monday. Hey, join us on a social channel of your choosing live Mondays 12 noon, LinkedIn, YouTube X, Instagram, you name it. Join us and love to hear from you And Elba. If folks really enjoy today’s episode, they ought to share it with a friend and their network. They’d probably be grateful, wouldn’t they? Yes,

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (02:59):

Absolutely. We’re going to talk about some very cool things, provide some actionable things that you can do within the management of your supply chains and have fun. So absolutely, it should be shared widely,

Scott Luton (03:11):

Should be shared widely. You heard it from Elba and we are going to have some fun here today. Got a ton of information to get into. So we want to start though Elba with resources for folks, right? Resources. And I want to share this image here. This is heartwarming to me. This is Hank Aaron, and about 50 years ago, in a couple of days, we’re going to be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Hank Aaron breaking one of sport’s most hallowed records. And that person that’s hugging his neck, Elba is his mother Stella. And that was a main focus of our most recent edition of With that said, our almost weekly newsletter. We touched on the Hank Aaron story. We touched on AI washing. Have you ever heard of that term Elba? No. No. But a lot of folks haven’t. Big thanks to Andy Thre out there. We offered all types of news and resources and perspectives. So check out our latest edition of With That said, and you’ll have this image here, which just makes my Monday as a Braves fan, as a baseball fan, as a massive Hank Aaron fan, this is what life should be about. So check out with that said, wherever you get your newsletters from. Okay, Elba National Supply Chain Day, Elba National Supply Chain Day. Are you ready to celebrate an entire industry here on April 29th, Elba?

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (04:28):

Yes. And we actually need it, right? Especially what just happened, what you’re going to talk about with what’s going on in Baltimore in the bridge and what’s happening to the port. Ultimately we have got to figure out how do we create more resilient supply chains. That’s right. And it couldn’t be more appropriate this month with what’s happened to remind us of how important it is and let’s see how we have created more resilient supply chains than before Covid, right? I’m hearing a lot of that. So I think you’re going to touch on some of that.

Scott Luton (04:56):

We sure are. So folks, April 29th, national Supply Chain Day, as founded by Mary Kate, love member of the team here at Supply Chain. Now it’s time to shine the spotlight on individuals propelling the supply chain forward. So whether you’re operating machines on the factory floor, demand planning, supply planning, sourcing new suppliers, driving trucks, coast to coast, and then some, no matter how you contribute to making global supply chain happen, your story deserves to be spotlighted and celebrated. And as Elba mentioned, it’s time to continue to change how we do business and get ready for what’s around the corner. Hey, but regardless of whatever role you play, we’d love to help you tell the story. And here’s how you can participate. So Elba, you got your handy dandy notes page ready to go because it’s simple. It’s like four steps here. First, grab your phone or camera, secondly, record or short video or snap a picture that kind of shows your role in global supply chain. Thirdly, I say it simple. Share a brief description along with that picture with what you do and why you’re proud to be part of the global supply chain community. And fourthly, and lastly, send that information, picture the video, the description to NSCD, simple acronym, national Supply chainDay@supplychainnow.com. And we want to share that with our entire global audience and the industry here. So check that out. Simple. Four steps, Elba. Anyone can do that, right?

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (06:14):

Absolutely. And by the way, I issue another challenge, which is as you’re thinking about how you’re managing your own supply chain, make some comments about how you’re managing it sustainably. Are there things that you are doing either directly through your role or through influencing those in your organization to tap into sustainability, end to end through your supply chain? How can you make it more sustainable?

Scott Luton (06:36):

Well said, Elba. Well said. Love your passion and leadership around sustainability, which we’re going to touch on throughout today’s show. Finally, speaking of El Elbow’s, passion and leadership, been there and done that when it comes to supply chain and sustainability, whiteboard wisdom launches this Wednesday, Elba. Now that is our new educational series that you can only find on YouTube. We bring in practitioners and business leaders to share a simple lesson, a short, simple lesson, and we kick off with Elba sharing a great presentation, get this on four steps to launch a simple starter sustainability strategy. So Elba, we’re getting ready for that. And we’ve got the YouTube link. Folks, you can subscribe to this link so you can get all the whiteboard wisdoms and then some. But Elba, for this first edition, what was your favorite part of that discussion?

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (07:25):

So I worked at this gigantic brown package delivery company my entire career. And I was in finance then in sustainability, and I got trained on how to present to executives. And one of the most important things is keep it short, brief to the point and action oriented. So what I love most about our work together on Whiteboard Wednesday initial launch is the simplicity of what I’m going to share with you. It’s condensed and it’s just four steps and it’s so actionable. And the best part is you mentioned people earlier, Scott, when we were talking about things. And so you’re going to find in these four steps people purpose and performance. And so in just four steps, so the simplicity and the actionability of it, I think you’re going to love it. Four simple steps that you can do right now in whatever role you have in sustainability in supply

Scott Luton (08:17):

Chain right now. Right now, bias for action. So elbow drop three Ps, I’m going to drop three Ws, whiteboard wisdom, and Wednesday, right? Only on YouTube. Love that. And yes, I know YouTube does not start with W. So I said three, I said three of ’em, but check it out. We lead off with Alba’s episode again around four steps. So launch a simple starter sustainability strategy. So check that out. Okay, Elba, I love your passion for helping do things better around here. We need so much more of that. Alright, before we bring on our wonderful guest, Patricia Cohen with Pura momentarily, we’ve got a couple of stories that we’re going to get into. Elbow, are you ready to go?

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (08:54):

I’m ready.

Scott Luton (08:55):

Alright. We’re going to start with this first great read from our friends over at Supply Chain Dive and it’s all about the ongoing crisis associated with the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. And first off, we want to send our thoughts, prayers, love, best wishes to the families of the six individuals that we lost as part of this tragedy and this crisis. But on a lighter note, more related to a global industry. Here again from our friends at Supply chain Dive, great read offers some perspective to help supply chain practitioners and shippers better navigate this situation. So we’re going to drop a link to this article in the chat. You can check it out in full, but I’m going to share a high level and then elbow, we’re going to get your comments as well. So here’s the key points. So folks, you won’t be surprised, it’s going to easily take weeks for the Port of Baltimore to fully reopen the timeline and details really remain unclear as recovery is starting with the removal of debris, but most say it’s going to be at least may before the port returns to more normal operations.

(09:51):

Now, in terms of alternative ports for shippers, it seems many have begun to use ports in New York, New Jersey, and Virginia amongst others. Elba in our neck of the woods here in Georgia, the Georgia Ports authority, it said in a statement they expect no impact and that they expect most shippers to divert cargo to northeastern ports. Now the port of Baltimore is currently processing trucks, but transit time is expected to increase a good bit due to detours. Now in general, longer lead times and price hikes are to be expected for sure. So Elba, your thoughts on what we’re seeing there in the port of Baltimore. I

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (10:26):

Go back to resiliency and the fact that our port here in Georgia, you’re saying that they’re saying that we’re not going to have any major impact, which is really surprising to me. As soon as this happened, I was thinking we were going to have a big impact because we’re going to have a lot of change in how things are moving and we’d get more volume. But that’s interesting. I think it goes back to resilience and the fact that we have been able to put in risk mitigation and I’ve got to weave in sustainability, right? Part of what’s happening in the US and in Europe and in California is that organizations are being required to disclose what kinds of risks they have. In this case, if there were any chemical contents or any damaging type of contents in those containers, that can create risk. And so the question is do you know what’s in your whole supply chain and what could happen if there was some type of leak? So I think that’s important and I bet that they’ve done a lot of resiliency planning and continuity planning, which makes it less impactful,

Scott Luton (11:26):

Right? That’s right. And also being resilient, be ready to navigate what else is around the corner? A month ago, no one saw this coming. This was a shock. Just the visual video elbow of how it went down. We’ve seen a lot in a few years we hadn’t seen, but man, it was shocking. But to your point, to have these contingency plans to put business continuity on steroids, that’s what the current environment requires and it’s not a nice to have. It is table stakes for leading global supply chains in 2024 lbu. So that’s a great point. Alright, so y’all check out the link. We’ve dropped the link there to the supply chain dive article right there, your one click away, give it the full read, let us know what you think as we’re all trying to keep our finger on the pulse of what’s going on in Baltimore.

(12:12):

Alright, so Elba moving right along. We’re going to move from the port of Baltimore to economic news. So especially touched on the manufacturing industry. Elba, no, the manufacturing industry is one of my favorite industry. That’s where I spent a bunch of time in and serving that industry and our national economy, the world’s economy, the manufacturing world is one of the most important factors, right? Elba. So naturally everyone tries to keep a close eye on what’s going on in the industry and we’re waiting, we’re waiting for the manufacturing resurgence. I’ll call it maybe even the renaissance is a better word, Elba.

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (12:45):

A lot of my work before I left UPS was in finance and certainly understanding how a business makes money, what are their capital needs? I just heard a new story on the interest rates. I know part of manufacturing, it’s very intensive in terms of resources needed. You got to have expensive inputs and materials and actually equipment, right? So you got to borrow infrastructure, you’ve got to borrow infrastructure to improve and innovate. And so I know a lot of people are looking for interest rates to come down to be able to upgrade and improve. So that’s going to be coming up. It’s just still unknown. Like you said, people are just waiting

Scott Luton (13:22):

Elbow. I’m glad you mentioned all that. Let me unpack this stuff here because interest rates is certainly one of the things I’m going to talk about here. So the US Census Bureau released February, 2024 data recently. It showed a couple of what I think are interesting trends. First off, durable goods is one of those things that we hear in the news all the time. And I want to make sure all of our audiences with us because when we talk about durable goods, talking about products that tend to have an average lifetime of at least three years, right? So think vehicles, appliances, furniture, stuff like that, orders for durable goods according to the US Census Bureau. But those orders were up 1.4% in February. Many economists only expected a 1% gain Elba, so that’s good. New orders for manufacture goods increased 0.5% as well. Transportation equipment orders were up 3.3% in February.

(14:11):

Now that’s after a couple of months in negative territory. Now, could all this data show the start of that manufacturing resurgence or renaissance, whatever word you want to use. Many analysts say though, Elba, that this won’t happen, that true resurgence won’t happen until interest rates are indeed lowered. Why? Because amongst many other things, lower interest rates would one spur on that business investment. You’re talking about Elba and two, boost consumer demand, even more consumer demand for these durable goods. Now, experts views, well, they vary greatly on those said rate cuts. Some still are predicting three cuts this year. But the economists because elbow please no one mistake me for an economist, okay? My college professors certainly didn’t. So none of our audience never should either. But some of the experts out there have shifted their interest rate cut predictions to zero cuts in 2024, siding the fed’s battle with inflation and how that’s going to last all year long. Elba well, I’d love to see in straits get cut because the impact it’ll have on industry and as consumers, the impact we see. But I am kind of enjoying a higher interest rates on various accounts we have as well. So it’s kind of a double-edged sword. Elba, here’s quick thoughts.

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (15:25):

It is, there’s over 5%. Certificate of deposit rates are amazing. I’m a big Susie Orman follower. So for anybody who listens to her financial tips, she’s big on CDs. And so yeah, they’re starting to come down a little bit, but Scott, just this morning I just heard what you repeated, which is that there is a mix. There’s either going to be two to three rate cuts or zero rate cuts. And so now as a financial person, you don’t want uncertainty. What you need is certainty so that you can make plans. And so this isn’t good.

Scott Luton (15:57):

No, completely agree. We need certainty, whether it’s good or bad, we just need to know so we can navigate better. But part of global supply chain management is dealing with the uncertainty, right? Because you just never know. We try to make as much consistency and certainty into the equation, but day to day, sometimes hour to hour, we handle these surprises. So it all goes back to your point, better risk mitigation, better resiliency, better business continuity planning, better investing in visibility into your entire ecosystem. So you know all the weak points in your enterprise, all those things. And that’s just scraping the tip of iceberg, right, Ella?

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (16:34):

Yeah, you got to have transparency in both the physical operations and how you get things done as well as the data. So all the AI information and the decision making and the risk, can I help you identify is super critical. And now with here in the us, the Securities Exchange Commission requiring companies to disclose more information about their risk related to climate change information is just so important and so is transparency.

Scott Luton (17:00):

Well said. I heard some executive months ago say that data is the new oil when it comes to the power of data and information, which powers everything these days. So Elba, I am so excited. We’ve got a great featured guest here today, so great to have you back. Elba, it’s so great to have you back here today. It’s been way too long. We get a double dose of Elba Peril Gallagher this week, which is just serendipitous Elba.

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (17:27):

It’s kind of fun. I’ll say see your name in the spotlight.

Scott Luton (17:31):

Well Elba joining you and I here today, we’ve got an outstanding special guest. Now let me unpack a little bit. I’m not going to do her justice. The tee up could be an hour long, but I got a couple bullet points here. So our guest brings more than 25 years of business experience to the table, especially from a supply chain leadership standpoint. Now our guest has served in a wide variety of supply chain roles, from inventory management to supplier quality to demand and supply planning, and a whole lot more. She’s worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, including the Home Depot and L’Oreal to name a few. Now recently our guest was appointed as Chief operating officer with where she’ll help to support the company’s continued growth and innovation. Please join me in welcoming Patricia Cohen, COO with Pur. Hey Patricia, how you doing?

Patricia Coan (18:18):

I’m so well. Hi Scott. Hi Elba. Thanks for having me.

Scott Luton (18:21):

You bet. Now Elba, we were establishing in the green room earlier that Patricia and I must be, we might be second or third cousins because we have strong preferences, similar preference in our background. Is that right elbow?

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (18:33):

Yes. It looks very good and smart, unlike me and my forced blurring because my office is a wreck.

Scott Luton (18:40):

Oh, I saw a sneak peek elbow. It’s not that bad. And then the other thing we established in the green room is Patricia, unlike me, wait a sec, Patricia, you and I both have read every single book in our background. Am I right Patricia?

Patricia Coan (18:51):

Yes, you are right. That’s right.

Scott Luton (18:54):

And we’re going to stick to it. That is the truth. Alright, so before we get into your story and the pure story, Patricia, we got to celebrate a couple things because you’re pulling for the Wolf Pack, which had a big weekend. The NC State Wolf Pack had a big weekend in the basketball tournaments. And Elba, you’re a South Carolina Gamecocks fan, they’re still undefeated in the women’s tournament, right? And still number one. That’s right. So Patricia, are you going to fearlessly predict that the Wolf pack’s going to take it home in the men’s tournament this year?

Patricia Coan (19:22):

I really have to stay loyal to my local team. Yes, absolutely.

Scott Luton (19:26):

All right, so you take that to the bank folks. And Elba, when it comes to South Carolina, and I think they’re 36 and oh this year so far, you’re going to fearlessly predict they’re going to win it. All right?

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (19:35):

Yes. The Women’s basketball Gamecocks. Absolutely. I am such a fan of those players and of Dawn Staley amazing. So

Scott Luton (19:45):

They are writing history books, they really are. And by

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (19:47):

The way, I’m a fan of South Carolina because of marriage. So my husband went to South Carolina, so he has indoctrinated me.

Scott Luton (19:56):

Well hey, if you ever get a chance, Patricia, and now Elba, go check out Columbia. It’s where I went to school and Amanda and I, just a long weekend there this past weekend. And I’ll give you a little culinary tip, Hampton Street Vineyard, but check it out folks. Alright, Patricia and Elba, we’re going to move from all things March madness back into really the world of supply chain and the Pure Story. And Patricia, the Pura story as I’m married to a big fan of Pura who has other fans of Pura in our extended family. So I was kind of getting a down low on what y’all have been doing, but for folks out there all maybe three of ’em that don’t know about Pura for context, tell us a little bit more about the organization and what y’all do.

Patricia Coan (20:32):

Absolutely. So as you said at the top, Scott Pura is a smart home fragrance company. We have two classes of products that we offer. The first is a hardware device. It plugs into a standard outlet in your home or office. And we also have a version of that device for the car that uses your USB or USC port. And then the second class of products is this incredible extensive library of clean fragrances. And the actual hardware device diffuses the scent of these fragrances. And the device are controlled through an app. So as a user, you can set the schedule for how frequently you want your diffuser to run, when it runs, how long do you want it to run each time, and what is the intensity of the scent that you want the diffuser to operate at.

Scott Luton (21:19):

I like it. So we get to customize our experience here because elbow coming back to you here based on what we heard there from Patricia about Pura, me and Amanda, right? We have two total difference

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (21:29):

Scent profiles.

Scott Luton (21:29):

Yeah, scent profiles. Thank you. Smelling abilities. I can detect the smallest scent if it’s three rooms down. And Amanda, I swear, cannot smell anything. So I love being able to customize our approach here. Elba, huh?

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (21:42):

Yes. And these days, whether as a consumer, no matter what it is, you want control, you want to customize and have control and you know me and sustainability. So I’ll just throw this out anytime you can control when you’re going to use the energy. When I charge my ev, I do it at night when electricity is the cheapest. So the more control you give to people, the better for everything.

Scott Luton (22:04):

I like it. Better customer experience for sure. And Patricia and Elba, Amanda just shared in the back room there. Scott has the nose of a bloodhound. Hey, it’s true. I can’t help it. I guess I was born with it.

Patricia Coan (22:14):

Pat, you and my husband are the same. He is very sense sensitive, which is a challenge for me now that I work at Pure.

Scott Luton (22:21):

Hey, I’m with you. I get it. I’ll have to meet him. We’ll have to exchange notes on scent profiles now that I’ve learned the scientific word there. All right, so Patricia, get this Elba and those listening are watching us out there. Pure fragrance is sold every 3.7 seconds. Goodness gracious. All right, so Patricia, along those lines, that’s just mind blowing. What is one thing that a lot of our audience members may not know about the fragrance industry, especially say from a supply chain perspective?

Patricia Coan (22:50):

So what I would say first and foremost is I knew nothing about the fragrance industry when I started at Puria. And what I discovered is it is extremely complex, it is sophisticated, and there’s quite a lot of technological innovation in the fragrance industry. Then from a supply chain perspective, it is a beast to manage. We are really, really blessed, largely based on the strength and connections of our head of fragrance to partner with all the major kind of fragrance players in the market, people like Nest, Lum, Capri Blue, and the associated fragrance houses. But what that means in practice is that we are managing over 20 fragrance houses. That is because every time we enter into a partnership with a brand, we inherit whichever fragrance house has developed that brand’s scent. And so then from a supply perspective, our spend is really diffused. It’s spread out among these 20 plus suppliers. We can’t necessarily capitalize on those traditional things we like to do in supply chain using our purchasing power, consolidating our spend for negotiation, having one or two key fragrance houses that we really spend the majority of our dollars on. So that is a bit of a challenge versus working in a commodity business as I have in the past where I might have 20 vendors where I can get a chip and the chips are all interchangeable and I’m just going to make that decision based on however many I’m purchasing in that moment.

Scott Luton (24:20):

Yeah, that’s fascinating. Patricia. A fragrance house, that’s another new term for me. And Elba just really, everything has supply chain and just when you think you’ve kind of heard it and seen it and smelled it all, you hadn’t, hadn’t Elba comment there on some of the uniqueness that Patricia was talking about at Pure.

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (24:39):

Yeah. Well, I think it’s interesting. I didn’t know very much about the fragrance industry and where your inputs throughout your manufacturing or reselling process work, it’s interesting to learn that you’ve got so many different independent sort of channels. And so when I think about how you could make it more sustainable, it’s like, gosh, you’ve got to now negotiate and talk to 20 different or however many, you said different suppliers. That’s tough. And you inherited their supply chain, so you’ve inherited their everything. So now you’ve got to go find data. That’s tough.

Scott Luton (25:14):

It is. Supply chain leadership is not for the faint of heart, right, Patricia?

Patricia Coan (25:18):

It really is not. You got to juggle a lot of balls.

Scott Luton (25:22):

Well, and Patricia and Elba, we’re going to touch on sustainability innovation in just a second, but I want to get to, first off, Patricia, let’s celebrate your promotion to chief operating officer. So congratulations. Thank

Patricia Coan (25:33):

You so much.

Scott Luton (25:34):

Yeah, you bet. It is fascinating and I appreciate you being here today and shed some light on a unique sector in global industry. Now I think in doing our homework on you, Patricia, I’ve been sneaking around trying to connect the fats and talking to the little bird as you name it. And I think I understand a big part of your mission is going to help continue to fuel that innovation forward at the organization and growth. So when it comes to been there, done that innovation tips for our audience, clearly we’ve talked about some of the big successful companies you were at previously. What’s some of the secret or not so secret sauce to really making innovation happen, Patricia?

Patricia Coan (26:12):

Well, in my mind, innovation for me is really about delivering value for the organization. Can a process change improve productivity? Can we reduce scrap in waste? Can we have more operational efficiencies? And so for me, when I think about innovation, the first tip I would offer is you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel, don’t underestimate the power of properly implemented supply chain best practices. I have found this to be super powerful and multiple places where I’ve worked is just literally standard processes that are properly implemented. The second thing I would offer is just to say whatever you make visible for team members is where your focus naturally goes. So if you have goals and metrics that are really visibly displayed, hopefully tied to performance management, team members will naturally place their energy there. If you’ve ever been in a manufacturing facility, there’s a huge board.

(27:12):

It says, what are we producing today? What is the rate? What is the quality expectation? And so that’s how the entire team knows what we’re focused on. And then the third thing I would say is just like don’t neglect the human side of innovation. Innovation and change are sort of inextricably linked and people tend to be very nervous of change, and that affects them at a very human level. I don’t know if either of you watch the Bear but the bear. Yes, you do. Okay. So then the bear is a great distillation of change and innovation coming into this restaurant environment. And you have one employee, Tina, who is resistant at first, but then over time she really embraces this innovation and change. She embraces the opportunity to go back to school, be formally trained, learn new skills. You have another team member, Abraham, who was overwhelmed. The bar is being raised and he isn’t sure he can rise to it, and so he actually leaves. But for me, the lesson there is more how can I, if I believe Abraham can get there, how do I retain him? How do I make him see that this is not so scary? You can do it. That kind of thing.

Scott Luton (28:22):

Oh, Patricia, we could do a whole hour just on Patricia’s last response there and starting with the Bear. I’m only six episodes in, Amanda’s already watched it I think probably three times and I’m trying to get there. But I love your emphasis there, Patricia, on don’t neglect the human factor. Yeah, I think so often business leaders will go to the shiny new technology or you name it, and just overlook the immense resource and talent they have on their team and the ideas there within. Oh, but your thoughts there on Patricia’s innovation tips.

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (28:53):

Absolutely. It goes back to kind of what we were talking about with the piece purpose. Employees want to feel like they’re part of a team where they have a purpose. And so engaging them and listening, absolutely that can pull out that innovation and they can give you more of your ideas. So we can’t forget to engage with our people and let them come up with the solutions that we need.

Scott Luton (29:14):

Excellent point. Elba, and going back to Patricia, your first one, I know that when we talk about supply chain best practices that have been long established, that may not be always the funnest part of innovation. A lot of folks think about ideation, but Patricia to one of the points you were making is strengthening the foundation of the operation. That is how it will open up doors to doing more on the creative side. We’ve got so much out there, so much room for improvement by getting at the basics, including the blocking and tackling. Absolutely. That a lot of organizations will look past sometimes Patricia, right?

Patricia Coan (29:48):

Absolutely.

Scott Luton (29:49):

Okay, so I’m going to leverage this comment here. Sustainability navigator, reduce scrap and waste. You’re talking my language or my language too, by the way. Big part of sustainability. And your CFO is going to like that too. Maybe your COO as well, and Patricia’s case. So Patricia, we were talking pre-Show me and you and Alba about some of the cool things you’re looking at when it comes to innovating from a sustainability standpoint. So Patricia, tell us what you can tell us there.

Patricia Coan (30:14):

Well, I would say we have some sustainability efforts underway on two fronts. On the fragrance side, our fragrances are produced clean and safe. That is our positioning, natural ingredients. And the way that we support that is through sustainable sourcing. So we’re about to enter into a partnership with an aboriginal tribe in Australia that is the stewards of a very large sandalwood forest. And we’ll be sourcing the sandalwood from this tribe. So it’s a really beautiful, beautiful partnership where we can certainly provide economic benefit to these group of people in Australia, as well as being able to source sandalwood, which is a very common component for our fragrances in a sustainable way. So that’s on the fragrance side. And then I would also say more on the packaging side, we certainly have some opportunities to streamline our packaging and to remove some plastic components in our packaging. So that’s something we’re actively investigating and looking at samples right now.

Scott Luton (31:13):

I love both of those and especially the second one is so practical. I think packaging is cool. Again, folks, Elba and Patricia, and I’m so glad packaging really helps consumers, whether we admit it or not, make purchasing decisions. And I love when smart companies like you at Pure are revisiting how we can do more with less basically, right? And reduce that footprint and send less to the landfill. Love that. But Elba, as cool as that second thing was sustainable sourcing that also thankfully has become front and center for so many organizations. And how cool is that partnership with the aboriginal tribe in Australia focused on real sandalwood? I mean that is a great story. Elba your thoughts there on those two.

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (31:51):

Yeah, I mean wherever you can find win-win win solutions where you have kind of an exponential benefit to both the buyer, the company securing the product or the inputs, and you’ve got the supplier who’s actually producing what you’re going to buy the communities around you. If you’re now able to improve the economic power of the small aboriginal group for example, I mean that’s a win-win win. And if the company is able to now produce a better product with greater value and can obtain greater revenue from it, I mean, gosh, that’s a,

Scott Luton (32:26):

Yeah, sustainable sourcing. I love how you’re leading by example there, Patricia. And hey, you’re going to have to conduct some supplier visits and man, what I’d love to be part of that, Patricia. So let us know when you’re headed to Australia. Okay,

Patricia Coan (32:39):

Absolutely

Scott Luton (32:41):

Love that. Good point Sarah Elba as well. Alright, so as I’ve mentioned Elba, we’ve been doing our homework on Patricia and something caught my eye that she had shared a few months back that quote, high performing teams can move mountains and quote. Now I completely wholeheartedly agree with this worldview. I feel that in my bones. Patricia, so question for you, and I’ll get Elvis’ take here as well. As a leader and a builder of high performance teams, what is one core aspect of your approach to building a team that wins and moves lots of mountains? Patricia,

Patricia Coan (33:12):

Thank you. I love this question so much. I’m super passionate about individual team member development. And when I am trying to take on a new team, develop and build a high performing team, there are a couple of different things I look at. The first one would just be simply assessing the individuals on the team. And when I’m looking at individual team members, I am very curious about their skills and abilities, their level of engagement and their ambition. And when I’m talking about ambition, I’m talking about that team member’s dissatisfaction with the status quo. Do they have a continuous improvement mindset? And then secondly, after I sort of understand all the individual members of the team, then I’m looking at the team as a whole and saying, do I have the right people in the right seat on the right bus? And if I don’t, I’m looking at the gap analysis of that.

(34:04):

Do I have functional gaps? Do I have skillset gaps? Going back to the first thing I’m looking at. Do I have knowledge gaps? And then after I have that assessment, I can problem solve around that. Do we need training? Do we need to hire a different person? Do we need to move seats for a couple of people? And then I think the last thing I’m quite intentionally focused on is how do I as a leader create an environment and cultivate an environment that really supports psychological safety for the team so that the team feels that they can make mistakes, they can ask questions, and to our earlier discussion, they can offer their own solutions. Team members really understand the product, they’re in the weeds. And so I want to create an environment where they are growth oriented, that they are maybe a little bit uncomfortable, but that kind of healthy discomfort that produces really strong results and change.

Scott Luton (35:00):

Oh man, Elba, I knew this was going to be a home run response, Patricia, I love that. The two quick things out of your response there, that dissatisfaction with status quo, right? That reminds me Elbow of constructive, what’s the phrase at UPS? That constructive?

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (35:17):

Constructive dissatisfaction. Yes, yes. We are always constructively dissatisfied, which compels you and inspires you to go find a solution to make things better.

Patricia Coan (35:27):

Exactly. Always getting better.

Scott Luton (35:29):

Yes. I love that, Patricia. And then second thing that I think is really important and resonated with me is having that psychologically safe environment where folks are empowered to make decisions, to share their opinions, their ideas. Let’s face it, fail sometimes because everything’s not going to work, right? Everything’s not going to work. And we learn so much from the power of failure and the acts of failing. But Elba, what stood out there when you’re talking about creating teams that win,

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (35:54):

I love what Patricia was saying about identifying both the skills of the team that she’s leading, but also where their passions lie. And so it reminds me of a great model. I do some training on something called Working Genius. Patricia, I don’t know if you’ve heard about this, but it’s an assessment and a style that identifies six types of inner strengths of people. And once you know where each team member lies, then you fit people together to make the group more powerful than the individuals, right? Absolutely. So you’ve got different skill sets that combine to make something terrific. So I love that you’re doing that in your idea of how you manage teams that are high performance teams.

Scott Luton (36:37):

Well said, Elba, well said. And Patricia, a lot of assessment going on, a lot of assessing, a lot of assessing. My hunch is that we’re talking, before you joined us, we were talking about the power of data. I think Elba had brought that up and Patricia, clearly you’re taking at least in part, a big data-driven approach to building those teams and assessing all the individuals and what they love to do, where their talents lie and where they’re sitting on the bus to kind of put it in simple terms, right, Patricia?

Patricia Coan (37:05):

That’s exactly right.

Scott Luton (37:06):

All right. And T squared, who hills from the Baltimore area as a matter of fact says, never be afraid to step into your unknown no matter how armed you are. Okay, T squared, bringing it here today on Monday, April 1st. Hard to believe it’s already April 1st, 2024. Patricia, really appreciate you carving some time out. Congrats to the incredible story that you are building at Pura. As I’ve mentioned, I was getting a whole down low from Amanda who leads production here at Supply Chain. Now much earlier in her career, she spent time in retail at Anthropology, and I think that’s a big partner for y’all, Patricia. So she was an early adopter of the cool things at Pura. So I look forward to diving in more with my bloodhound nose as Amanda also put it, Patricia at Nail Elbow. Alright, so Patricia, how can folks connect with you and the Pure team on the move?

Patricia Coan (37:55):

Well, you can find me on LinkedIn and Pure has its own website@pure.com and we are also on Instagram where we post a lot of content on the latest fragrances, latest technology. So we would love to connect with you there.

Scott Luton (38:07):

Oh, love that, love that. I look forward to having you back on and put our finger back on the pulse of the cool things you’re doing. But big thanks for joining us here. Elbow Patricia was a great conversation, huh?

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (38:17):

It was, and I’m afraid that I was one of the people that had never heard of Pure, and I am actually going to order one of the car containers, I think you called it earlier, just hardware, you plug it into your USB in the car or your

Patricia Coan (38:32):

Yeah, it’s a car device that plugs into your USB or USC port. We also have later this year a portable version of the car that runs on a battery, so we have that coming as well. Ooh,

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (38:43):

Okay. Awesome. I was going to ask you about innovation and speaking of innovation, right? So that’s great. So I’m excited. So it was lovely to meet you, Patricia, and I look forward to following what your company is doing going forward.

Patricia Coan (38:53):

Thank you so much.

Scott Luton (38:54):

Me too. And here in this last note, Patricia, we have really in y’all’s last little back and forth there, if, if you ever hear the phrase Smart Fragrance company, now you know what we’re talking about. So Patricia Cohen, chief operating Officer with Pura, thanks for being here and we look forward to having you back soon. Thank

Patricia Coan (39:12):

You so much. It was a real delight.

Scott Luton (39:14):

Alrighty man, I’ll tell you, I wish we had a couple more hours to spend with Patricia. Love her thought process, right? And I love her data-driven approach to really making sure the team is in the best position to not only do big things for the company, but do big things for their own journey. I mean, who wouldn’t want to work for Patricia Cohen Elba, huh?

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (39:34):

Yeah, I mean, I’ve always been a believer. My philosophy of life and at work, in addition to my personal life is all about the people and what can we do to engage the people, because if you have people that are happy, they make your business more profitable. So I love that she is the type of leader that is really engaging the people.

Scott Luton (39:55):

Yeah, absolutely. Can’t wait to learn a lot more. So what a great session. A big thanks again to Patricia and our friends at Puria. I’ll check that out and be like, Elba Elba. Want to

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (40:05):

Try it

Scott Luton (40:06):

Out? That’s right. I’ve got informed to what Pure is doing and went ahead and became a consumer and a customer. That’s pretty cool. Alright, so Elba, as we start to wrap this edition of the Buzz Man, we have really run the gamut from, let’s see here, baseball and the Hank Aaron story. Love that picture of him and his mom having that moment and his dad there in background to the Port of Baltimore and more serious note and all the incredible things going on there as we look to manage through the Crisis to economic news, to this great leadership and innovative company profile between Patricia and Pura. And we’ve also teased it out there, that whiteboard wisdom featuring the one only elbow per high, Gallagher is coming to your YouTube soon. Wednesday we release that first episode. So Elba, despite all of that, and thanks for being here, really enjoyed our time together. How can folks connect with you and some of the cool things you’re doing?

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (40:56):

So the first thing I’d tell you is if you want to learn more about sustainability and how you can integrate that into your role within the supply chain profession or in any job, check out my newsletter on LinkedIn. I think that the team is going to paste it into the chat. Again, my LinkedIn newsletter around sustainability and then also my website, sustainability navigator.com, where you can reach out to me directly.

Scott Luton (41:19):

Outstanding. Yes, we’re going to drop those two links that you shared earlier, and big thanks by the way, Amanda and Catherine behind the scenes helping to make everything happen. We’ve gotten the links here to the newsletter that Elba just mentioned. So you’re one click away from plugging into all the cool things that Elba is up to. Elba, great to have you here. We’re going to have to do this again soon. If folks want to connect with you, if they want to have you come in and give a training session or a consulting session or a keynote or just compare notes on the industry with you, how can they do that?

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (41:48):

You can reach out to me. My email address is elba@sustainabilitynavigator.com. You can also just go into my website and schedule a 30 minute discovery call and we can chat at your convenience and mind. So look forward to hearing from you and I’d love to come out and talk to your employees about sustainability. Love

Scott Luton (42:05):

It, love it. Speaking of things I love, I loved Patricia’s response to sourcing that sandalwood and a lot of organizations sit on their hands when it comes to packaging, right? Because it’s something that’s always been constructed a certain way. I love those business leaders that actively and are naturally curious how they can make packaging better, right? Better for the environment, better for consumers, better for the operators, for that matter. Yeah,

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (42:29):

I was going to say, when I worked for UPS, people would always ask us to make better packaging, but we aren’t the ones that buy and make the packaging. It’s the shippers. So we need the shippers to really innovate and figure out with the help of other sources on how can you make packaging smaller.

Scott Luton (42:48):

Yes, a great call out and folks, we got a lot of work to do in that area. Tons of opportunity when it comes to packaging, so stay tuned for a lot more on that. Okay, big thanks to all of y’all that joined us here today. I know we couldn’t hit everybody’s comments and whatnot. Big thanks to again, Catherine and Amanda behind the scenes. Big thanks to Patricia Cohen with Pura for Spotlight and a new industry, at least for me. So I can’t wait to dive in more. I’ll be Googling right after this episode. Big thanks to Elba Perha Gallagher for joining us here as a co-host. Elba. Great pleasure to collaborate with you.

Elba Pareja-Gallagher (43:18):

Thanks. It was great.

Scott Luton (43:19):

Here’s the challenge, folks. Here’s where hopefully, if you’ve invested an hour with us, here’s the challenge we’re going to offer up to you, right? You got to take something, take something Patricia shared. Take something that Elba shared, take something that someone dropped in the comments, whatever it’s, and put it in action. Make something better. There’s so much opportunity out there. Your team is craving better ways to do things better ways to be successful. And it’s all about deeds, not words. No one’s got time for lip service leadership. And to that end, on behalf of our entire team here at Supply Chain now, Scott Luton challenging you to do good, to give forward, to be the thing as needed. And we’ll see you next time, right back here at Supply Chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (43:56):

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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Featured Guests

Elba Pareja-Gallagher is a finance and strategy professional with 20+ years of experience at UPS. She’s held roles in Finance, Investor Relations, Marketing and Strategy. Today she’s part of a Business Intelligence and Analytics team, reporting on the $46B+ US Domestic business unit. She’s an enthusiastic champion for change and for finding new ways of thinking about problems. She believes in the power of diversity and inclusion to harness the creativity of all levels and generations of employees. Elba is also the founder of ShowMe50.org. The non-profit’s vision is to achieve 50% women in senior leadership positions across America by influencing change in workplace cultures and talent management practices.

Patricia Coan, Smart fragrance company Pura has announced the appointment of Patricia Coan as the company’s new Chief Operating Officer (COO) to support the company’s continued growth and drive innovation in the industry. In this new position, Coan will be responsible for Pura’s end-to-end supply chain including planning, sourcing, quality, and logistics. Previously, Coan was the company’s Vice President of Operations where she has been instrumental in enhancing processes, systems, and team dynamics within operations. With the utmost respect from both executives and team members across the company, she has proven her ability to drive impactful cross-team initiatives. As the company expands its footprint, this appointment reflects Pura’s commitment to providing cutting-edge products and exceptional customer experiences. With more than 25 years of experience, Patricia is an experienced supply chain professional who has direct experience in almost every facet from MRO purchasing, supplier quality/management, demand and supply planning, MRP execution, to inventory management. Her experience spans leadership positions at The Home Depot, L’Oreal, Tarte, John Hardy, and StockX. Coan holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Connect with Patricia on LinkedIn.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Host

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

Host

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

Host

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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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

Creative Manager & Executive Producer

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.