Dial P for Procurement
Episode 14

Tech is the best solution against tanks.

- Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukrainian Minister for Digital Transformation

Episode Summary

In this first Dial P audio podcast, Kelly Barner takes the newspaper dominating conflict in Ukraine and looks at the active role some companies and leaders from private industry have played so far. While companies have gotten involved in armed conflicts before, it has usually been indirect – as suppliers to the government or respondents to official orders and sanctions. In 2022, however, large global corporations have the ability to enable or disable communications, shipments, and access to funds with the click of a button – changing the course of history much more quickly than governments can make policy decisions. And in the ESG era, consumers expect the companies they buy from to act in accordance with their values, not stand by idly.

While we are all watching from the sidelines, some of us are sitting closer than others to the action. Each set of circumstances is an opportunity to think through what we would do… because we never know when the call will come, and a decision will be ours to make. What would you do?

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00):

Welcome to dial P for procurement, a show focused on today’s biggest spin supplier and contract management related business opportunities. Dial P investigates, the nuanced and constantly evolving boundary of the procurement supply chain divide with a broadcast of engaged executives, providers, and thought leaders give us an hour and we’ll provide you with a new perspective on supply chain value. And now it’s time to dial P for procurement.

Kelly Barner (00:30):

Hi there. Thanks for joining me for the first episode of the second season of dial P for procurement, part of the supply chain. Now family of shows, I’m Kelly Barner, a career practitioner with a love for business news, and most of all good ideas, no matter where they come from. In addition to video interviews and live streams, I’ll join you each Thursday to share my point of view on a current news story that presents an interesting twist for business leaders or a good example of truly innovative thought. Now this week news headlines are undeniably full of news stories from Ukraine, depending on where you are based and who you do business with Russia’s invasion of the country may even be affecting you personally, but this conflict isn’t just a matter of geopolitics or supply chain disruption. It would seem that everything is now universal with very little division between industry and diplomacy.

Kelly Barner (01:28):

Any line that has existed in the past has likely been blurred further by the rise of activist, executive leadership teams with brands and CEOs speaking out loudly on issues from race to income, despair, government regulations, and more, once you step into that sphere, it gets harder to avoid waiting into new discussions. Now, one of the big recent trends in the corporate world is ESG or environmental, social and governance initiatives. This broad umbrella includes practices like sustainability, diverse equity, inclusion, and ethical accounting and trade practices, depending on the company and industry. This might be reporting on supplier diversity spend. So that consumers call for supporting certain communities is answered. In other cases, it has more to do with managing waste or keeping certain chemicals out of the supply chain told it’s just the cool new name for corporate social responsibility or CSR, which has been around for a long time.

Kelly Barner (02:31):

It all sounds lovely, but plenty of boards and executives have landed themselves in hot water by waiting into areas that were more political than they realized, or by making public commitments, they couldn’t ultimately deliver against. I certainly don’t know for sure, but oftentimes I think those cases occur when an executive wants to do something to signal their virtue and when no natural cause presents itself, they go off in search of opportunities to practice social activism instead of waiting for the right cause to happen on its own cue. The present moment on February 24th, Russia began a military invasion of Ukraine, a country on their Southwest border, Ukrainian president Zelensky and the people of Ukraine have taken up arms and are doing everything they can to defend their Homeland against the Russian military. It has led to a refugee crisis, high stakes attempts at diplomacy, skyrocketing fuel prices, and even worries about what might lead to a world war III.

Kelly Barner (03:31):

There are a couple of things that are very unique about this conflict. First of all, some are calling this the first TikTok war, nearly every Ukrainian citizen has a cell phone in his or her hand, which they can use to record what they see and almost instantly upload or even live broadcast that information to the world. Even from my safe little home in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, I can see first person testimonials from fighters on the front lines, state by mothers in subways, double tasking, as bomb shelters and volunteers using borrowed vehicles and their knowledge of the country to help refugees over the border to a train station in Poland. It has been as fascinating as it is viscerally devastating to watch. And few of us will ever forget this experience. We are to really living this alongside the Ukrainian people on a daily basis, the United nations in NATO have gone through their usual emotions.

Kelly Barner (04:28):

Some more useful than others as have the European union and individual world leaders. They have options like sanctions, supplying ammunition to the resistance, and yes, even continued attempts to diplomacy. But there’s another group that I’ve been watching in this conflict, a group that has an outsized opportunity to affect the course of the war and therefore history. Who am I talking about? Major corporations for many boards and executives. The moment they have been waiting for is here. The opportunity to help others is real. Will they choose to act directly with the same conviction and enthusiasm that they have spoken out on domestic social issues? That’s the question we’re waiting for. The answer to this isn’t entirely new companies have played a role in major conflicts for a long time. World war II is a great example in January of 1942, president Franklin D Roosevelt established the war production board, which oversaw the transformation of private manufacturing, operations from appliances toys and hardware to ammunitions airplanes and military compass.

Kelly Barner (05:37):

But they functioned as suppliers to the federal government rather than getting involved directly. And as soon as the war was over, they went back to making their core products. Today’s global corporations may not be getting into the fight in Ukraine, literally, but they are playing a far more active part than just refiting their toy train production line to produce cartridges. Here are a few of the stories that stand out to me. The best example by far has been Elon mosque and the Starlink internet service run by SpaceX. Starlink is a mesh of satellites that work together to provide internet service from space on February 26th, just two days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began Michaela, Federov used Twitter to send a message to Elon Musk asking for help Federov is Ukraine’s minister for digital transformation. He asked that Musk enables Starlink for Ukraine within hours.

Kelly Barner (06:33):

Musk responded that the service had been enabled for Ukraine and that ground terminals were on route to increase their access. They have advised leaders in the country how to camouflage the star lake terminals against Russian attack, how to minimize the risk of connection detection by placing them away from civilian populations and even how to minimize power usage, SpaceX changed their software development schedule to accelerate the availability of updates that would make it possible to lower peak power usage and function better from a moving vehicle. Both of those capabilities are of extremely high value to Ukraine and could very well extend their ability to resist the invasion access to Starling powered internet makes it possible for Ukrainian civilians to coordinate with each other and to work with organizations on the outside that are trying to help. It has made it possible for Ukrainian president Zelensky to hold video calls and meetings with world leaders.

Kelly Barner (07:28):

He has constantly been on TV and available via video meeting since the invasion began, something that would’ve been unthinkable in the past and in available ability, that is absolutely changing world perception of what’s going on. Even this idea of it being the first TikTok war is reliant upon Starlink. As soon as the conventional internet was taken down, they would’ve been completely cut off from the rest of the world. The Starling solution isn’t without problems, mostly because it was never intended for a mill application. Now, ironically, because the two sides are using social media to communicate, the world has been able to look on as information and questions have gone back and forth. Russia certainly isn’t happy about the development, but SpaceX’s actions have not been characterized by them as acts of aggression by the United States so far, are this may be the most covered private company involvement in the conflict, but it isn’t the only one by any means Google temporarily disabled live traffic data on their maps in Ukraine so that the information could not be used by Russia to aid in their invasion or track civilian movements.

Kelly Barner (08:37):

Google is also subject to a sanctions order from the European union blocking access to Russian state-owned media outlets, RT and Sputnik in Europe. The goal is to prevent Russian propaganda from being spread beyond the country’s own borders. Meta, you know, AKA Facebook is subject to the same order from the European union. They have both taken down the stations and are also preventing them from making any money on any global ads sold on those platforms. Previously, some companies are changing how they interact with both UK and Russia for different reasons. Of course, supply chain professionals may know that FedEx and ups have stopped making deliveries in Ukraine because of the danger to employees, but they are also not making shipments in Russia. All packages and route will be returned to senders free of charge. The same as true for AP mul, me and Mediterranean shipping company.

Kelly Barner (09:32):

The world’s two biggest container ship operators, even Airbnb has gotten into the action in two different ways. They are using their network of properties to provide temporary housing for up to a hundred thousand refugees. And they are keeping properties available in Ukraine online, which has made it possible for a viral social media campaign aimed at sending and monetary aid by allowing people around the world to book and pay for stays that they obviously don’t intend to use Airbnb chief executive Brian Chesky through his support behind the campaign by retweeting, one of the original messages giving it far more visibility worldwide, and they are waving all fees associated with these bookings. As of about a week before this audio will air more than 61,000 Airbnb nights had been booked in Ukraine from around the world, grossing nearly $2 million, a few hundred dollars at a time in the coming days.

Kelly Barner (10:32):

Additional sanctions may be levied by governments, but the reality of is private industry can move much faster and in some cases have an even greater impact. Now let’s take these examples and the potential impact they can have and tie it back to where we started looking at the objectives and results of ESG programs. The easy calls. Well, I shouldn’t call them easy. That’s not fair. They’re still hard calls because they’re complex and they’re costly, but let’s call them clear calls. The clear calls are ending business operations in Russia, a country that has become a pariah on the world stage companies like Ford Volkswagen, Toyota and Boeing have halted production in Russia and energy companies are exiting their stakes in Russian based oil producers, Accenture, McKinsey, and BCG are discontinuing their Russian business teams. No Western company wants to explain to their shareholders and customers why they are making money, doing business in Russia, indirectly funding their attacks on people and property in Ukraine.

Kelly Barner (11:38):

It is a far more complex decision to do something without a sanctions order to help the people of Ukraine resist the invasion. Arizona based ammo Inc announced this week that they will answer president Alinsky’s call for ammunition by sending them 1 million rounds without requesting a payment in return. That’s a $700,000 donation. The company’s owners, private plane is waiting, ready to take the shipment as close to Ukraine, as it is able to get Remington. Arms has indicated that they will do the same. Both companies are now wait for the us government to give approval before they can make the donation. Most of us work for companies that are not in such a direct position to help in this particular case. But I think this creates an important opportunity for us to think through as leaders, as teams, as individual professionals, what would we do in a situation?

Kelly Barner (12:33):

Our resources and capabilities do apply many procurement and supply chain teams have sanctions databases at their disposal, but have they been updated since February 24th to identify all companies in Russia? What about companies that aren’t specifically named is individually having sanctions against them, but are based in Russia? What about tier two, three and beyond in the supply chain? Are you willing to find more expensive alternatives? Not even to do distant business with Russia, will your suppliers be truthful with you about that? Will your customers bear the added cost willingly or maybe your company has to make a decision to take a margin cut. Now, are you waiting to be asked to make a change or have you done anything proactive to make whatever difference you can make at each point it is in consequences and perceptions that these decisions become very real to businesses. Meaningful ESG programs are rarely safe or fluffy changing your corporate logo to yellow does absolutely nothing to help the people of Ukraine.

Kelly Barner (13:38):

The fog of war is real and it applies far beyond the battlefield. None of us knows where this conflict is going. The Ukrainians have certainly held out a lot longer than anyone thought was possible. When you look back at your choices and your company’s actions from a safe seat in the distant future, what will you think? What about the actions not made the deal’s not ended? The communication’s not shut down for instance, as of recording this podcast, Coca-Cola Pepsi and McDonald’s are all facing criticism. And even boycots for continuing their operations in Russia. According to Reuters, each company has about 4% of its total at stake in Russia. And from McDonald’s it’s about 9% boycott Coca-Cola in particular has been trending on Twitter and yet be careful, nothing that is simple is also true and vice versa. It is easy to forget, or just not know that many fast food companies do not own their locations on foreign country soil.

Kelly Barner (14:38):

Instead, their franchises should an American owned brand be punished for simply abiding by foreign contractual guidelines that don’t give them the control to shut those locations down. Now McDonald’s does own their locations, but how many consumers actually research the details of that before they make spending decisions or share a post on social media? We all have a responsibility to understand the full story before we do something. And that holds true as individual consumers and in the decisions that we make as part of businesses, every situation has winners and losers and they aren’t always what you’d expect. The stakes for corporate teams are very high. The time is short and the criticism is harsh. There’s nowhere to hide in global digital business. And everyone has a voice. The air quotes, easy choice to start an ES G program because everyone loves trees and clean air, or because there should be more women or people of color on boards.

Kelly Barner (15:37):

Well, you don’t set the scope companies. Don’t set the scope consumers. Do the time to start thinking about what you would do is now because none of us has any idea what’s around the corner. What is going to be asked of you next? That’s my point of view. Anyway, before I let you go, I also wanna make sure you know, about an initiative called procure for peace started by Somali, Sam Corby and the team at Cavo based in Finland. The initiative is very specific in its scope. They’re helping people with the ability to get needed goods into Ukraine, to connect and exchange information. If you think you can help, or if you have a need that the community can meet, please go to procure for peace, the number for procure for peace.org or check out their page in group on LinkedIn. For more information, thank you for listening to this audio episode of dial P for procurement, but last favor, don’t just listen, join the conversation and let me know what you think on this topic or others. I can take it. Let’s work together to figure out the best solution until next time. This is Kelly Barner for dial P for procurement on supply chain. Now have a great rest of your day.

Intro/Outro (16:52):

Thank you for joining us for this episode of dial P four procurement and for being an active part of the supply chain now community, please check out all of our shows and events@supplychainnow.com. Make sure you follow dial P four procurement on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to catch all the latest programming details. We’ll see you soon for the next episode of dial P four procurement.

Hosts

Kelly Barner

Host, Dial P for Procurement

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.

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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.

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

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

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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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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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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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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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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 reading.

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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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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.

An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.

A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.

A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning.  He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.

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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

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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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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