Supply Chain Now
Episode 793

We've always used the term ‘just in time.’ Now the term is ‘just in case.’ Finance leaders and supply chain leaders are moving to a model where they need to have cash available to get through disruptions.

Dan Reeve, Director of Direct Sales – Order to Cash and Procure to Pay Sales – North America, Esker

Episode Summary

Business leaders are being challenged to find funding and the financial wherewithal required to fuel their growth in ‘The New Abnormal.’ And while most discussions about the impact of a cash crunch focus on small and medium-sized businesses, larger enterprises are having to get creative as well. Decades’ old commercial lending practices are ripe for disruption, and the current business environment may create just the circumstances that would be required to usher in a new, better way.

In this episode, guests Dan Reeve with Esker & Vikas Shah from LSQ talk about tackling a different kind of supply chain – the financial supply chain. Instead of being worried about materials and merchandise getting caught up in a congested port, they are helping leaders explore innovative ways to increase access to working capital, such as through supply chain financing and dynamic discounting.

In this livestream-based interview, Dan and Vikas join co-hosts Scott Luton and Allison Giddens to share some of their industry observations and discuss some of the solutions organizations are using to increase supply chain resilience:

– Truly partnering with other companies in the supply chain may require them to identify ways they can add value to their counterparties, and access to cash is always on the table

– Understanding that visibility into the working capital situation is just as important as having a transparent supply chain

– Why access to working capital may determine which small, or diverse-owned suppliers are able to seize this moment to grow their business

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:03):

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 (00:00:33):

Hey, good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Scott Luton and Allison Giddens here with you on supply chain now. Welcome to today’s lives stream, Allison, how are we doing?

Allison Giddens (00:00:43):

I’m good. I’m good. How are

Scott Luton (00:00:44):

You? I’m doing fantastic. Uh, we actually get a little bit of cold weather. I know here in the Metro Atlanta area finally, uh, which is a welcome departure from, uh, those those muggy days. Huh?

Allison Giddens (00:00:56):

Well, I’ll take 90 and humid any day, but that’s just the new Orleans girl in me, I think. But it it’s for, for the air smells good out there. Yes.

Scott Luton (00:01:04):

Well, and, uh, it should still be, uh, summer cause your UGA football, your UGA bulldogs are still in, uh, still have some big, important football games to play. Right? We

Allison Giddens (00:01:15):

Have a long way to go. I am gonna hold my breath the whole time. <laugh>

Scott Luton (00:01:20):

Well, best of luck. Best of luck. Well, Hey Allison, today on today’s live stream, we’re be talking about creatively finding new ways of capitalizing your business in the new abnormal, which is a big tip of the hat to our dear friend Kaine, who is the first person. I, I heard use that phrase, Allison, we’re gonna be touched on a few ideas of, of adding to the bottom line for your global supply chain or global business. Um, and who is not looking for great ideas here for 2022 as we planning for next year, right? Yep.

Allison Giddens (00:01:49):

Gotta think differently if you’re gonna get anywhere.

Scott Luton (00:01:52):

That is right. And, and you know what you gotta think differently and you gotta take action as our dear friend, uh, Nate with rate link shared one time, stop eating those crisp crispy cream donuts on the recliner and your Dan, you gotta stand up, uh, take the football and roam with it and take action, right? Yes. You got it. That, that was quite a t-shirt ism that Nate dropped on us on that livestream <laugh> but Hey, uh, today we’ve got our friends from Esther joining us here once again, you know, Allison we’re big fans, uh, the one only Dan Reve, right? Heck yeah. He’s great. He, you is. He is. And some, some of the great stories he always brings and he’s brought along a leader from LQ, which is an organization that’s truly changing how companies think about working capital. So take, stay tuned for what promises to be an informative and intriguing conversation. So Allison and we also have a fun warm conversation, the question which I’m gonna save here for just a second, but, uh, I gotta, I gotta ask you Allison, uh, as we approach in the year, we’re halfway through December, which is crazy, any big holiday traditions, other than your, your heck of world class gift card that I got holiday, uh, Christmas card I got in the mail. Uh, but beyond that, any big traditions in the GIS household, uh, Gibbons

Allison Giddens (00:03:06):

Household, well, I do a massive cookie baking extraordinaire. So that’s gonna come up this weekend because I distribute cookies to everybody out in the shop. And it’s typically a, a bag of cookies. So it’s not just one or two. So I’ll be covered in flour and the kitchen will be a disaster area on Saturday. I love it.

Scott Luton (00:03:24):

Yeah. <laugh> I love that. All right. Pictures or it didn’t happen. Let’s see here. I’m gonna say hello to a few folks as they tune in. It’s a busy week. I’m sure everybody’s, everybody’s trying to knock out. What’s left on their to-do list before they break for the holidays, but we’ve got Jason Hopkins tune via LinkedIn from Washington DC, uh, where all the movers and shakers live, uh, Allison.

Allison Giddens (00:03:46):

Oh yeah. I love DC. I love DC. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:03:49):

When you just got back, I wanna say

Allison Giddens (00:03:50):

From I just back. Yeah. Yeah. I went to go see some friends of mine in the cybersecurity space and stayed in McLean, Virginia. And before that visited to DC, actual DC, DC. So yeah, I’m there a couple times a year. Love

Scott Luton (00:04:03):

It. Love DC so much. You, you can never see everything you need to see and, and donate as much time as you need to. I was just talking yesterday about Arlington national cemetery, which I think we spent a whole day. Last time we went there and still, wow. It’s just such an experience. Um, oh yeah. Jason hope this finds you. Well, thanks for tuning in here today from DC, we have Sarah tuned in via LinkedIn from Orlando, Florida. There’s just a few attractions down there in Orlando in there. A couple,

Allison Giddens (00:04:31):

A couple there’s like a mouse or something.

Scott Luton (00:04:33):

<laugh> yeah. You know, uh, there is so much to see in Orlando, Sarah, thanks so much for tuning in and, and Sarah, since you live in Orlando, you know, is there one of those attractions that do that doesn’t get old, I’d love for you to drop your response there in the comments there, Maya is tuned in via LinkedIn from Detroit motor city is with us here today. Have you been to Detroit?

Allison Giddens (00:04:54):

Allison? I have. I have. And you know, it’s kind of a, there’s some hidden gems out in Detroit, got from some friends that thank I got the inside scoop of some restaurants and some kind of less touristy things. And the Detroit’s kind of cool.

Scott Luton (00:05:08):

Yes. It’s pizza’s really cool too. The real stuff. Not the, oh yeah.

Allison Giddens (00:05:12):

I know how you get. Yeah, <laugh>

Scott Luton (00:05:14):

Got, Hey, if we don’t, if we have a show without mentioning pizza, it’s not really a show, is it? That’s true. We’ll tacos. That’s right. And I’ve heard a lot, uh, my, about the resurgence in Detroit last few years. So, um, thanks for tuning in here today. Look forward to your POV. Uh, Anna has tuned in from Chicago land via LinkedIn. Anna. Great to have you here today. Pizza,

Allison Giddens (00:05:33):

Anna, you have the best pizza. I love Chicago pizza. The best

Scott Luton (00:05:37):

I, I just love Chicago. I love it’s pizza. I love it’s it’s markets. I love it’s downtown. I all of it’s various districts. It’s just such an awesome global city. One more comment here. Jason says, I guess he’s not from DC. He lives there now. He’s originally from Alabama. I wonder Allison. If he’s Alabama fan. Oh no. Jason or

Allison Giddens (00:05:57):

Auburn. From what I understand when you’re born in Alabama, you, you have to pick like right when you’re born, are you Alabama? Or are you Auburn? <laugh> so I’d like to hear from Jason on that.

Scott Luton (00:06:08):

It’s like registering to vote. It’s a lifelong commitment. That’s it? It’s done. Let us know Jason on that. Uh, Sarah says Disney world is her number one, even though she lives in Orlando. That’s a, that’s a great, great pick. You can’t go wrong there. Maya says yes, Detroit. We are cool. I’m with ya. I, I am with ya. Uh, I look forward to visiting Detroit soon and Anna yay to pizza. You fit right in Anna you’re. You’re one of the family now. Okay. One final comment for bring our speakers in and Jason says roll tide. We knew that there didn’t we, you knew

Allison Giddens (00:06:40):

It. Well, Jason, unfortunately it’s Georgia bulldog. I’m gonna have to, uh, we’re just gonna have to agree. Disagree.

Scott Luton (00:06:46):

<laugh> well, that’s okay. That’s what we do. Right? Agree to disagree. And we welcome, uh, Jason, your all of Anna, uh, Maya, all of you, uh, look forward to hearing your POV and insights on today’s conversation. So y’all keep the comments coming from in the sky boxes there. Okay. So with no further do Alice, are you ready to introduce our guest here today? Let’s do that. All right, let’s do this. We got a big conversation teed up. I wanna welcome in Vikas Shah, chief revenue officer with LS Q and our dear friend, Dan Reeve, us director of sales and business development with Esker. Hey, Hey, VICA, Dan, how we doing? Awesome. All good. So good to see you. Uh, so, uh, VICA is out in the market making it happen. And Dan, of course, who moves at the, uh, speed of a thousand? GAILs I think you are in Wisconsin, right? Dan

Dan Reeve (00:07:39):

That’s right. A few days in Wisconsin. Back to Colorado on

Scott Luton (00:07:42):

Friday. Yeah. Love it. Love it. Hey, really quick. I wanna say we got, we got a special guest. Jean pledger is tuned in from north Alabama. You see those letters. He’s got their RT. That’s that’s role tight. I believe Allison, but Hey Jean, great to have you here. Uh, I always enjoy your perspective and Jason says he forgives you Alison for the EJ fan. Thank you. Thank you. Well, Hey, appreciate it. <laugh> so Dan is a real football fan. Your favorite team, Dan is

Dan Reeve (00:08:09):

I’m a fan of both, both sides of both shapes of the ball. Norridge city is. So in England you support the team where you’re born. Okay. That’s how, how it works. And if you, if you don’t do that, you get in trouble. I was born, I was born in nor which is the equivalent of Wisconsin. Um, you know, it’s a very farming community, uh, flat, right? Not good for a rock climbing like me, but yeah, nor city is my, uh, English soccer team here in the us first state I landed in was Wisconsin. And that’s where I met my wife. So I married into a packa fan, sorry, packa family. So my a pack, a pack, a fan. And I’m a Badger fan.

Scott Luton (00:08:43):

Well, and it looks like the pack are gonna be in the playoffs. I think they got a, a fearless quarterback. That’s braved a variety of injuries. We’ll see what happens there and in a different sport, Vikas you’re a big golden state fan. Is that right?

Vikas Shah (00:08:57):

I am based in the bay area. And, uh, it’s hard to ignore the golden state warriors when, uh, when you’re living there, uh, been there for about 15 years and, uh, it’s been an amazing ride. Um,

Scott Luton (00:09:08):

I it’s like a dynasty. It

Vikas Shah (00:09:11):

Is a dynasty and, uh, you know, the 49ers always had the pressure to come beat, uh, compete with that kind of popularity. But, uh, the golden states are definitely, uh, one of my favorite teams. I

Scott Luton (00:09:21):

Love it. All right. So speaking of other things we love, we love talking sports here, but Allison, as, as our opening, uh, discussion lays out, we love talking about food, right? It’s it’s so you gotta find so many outlets, um, plug from the stress that comes made with global supply chain these days. So I wanna, I wanna pose a fun, uh, warmup question with our panel here, Allison, Dan, and VICA and folks. It is national chocolate covered anything day. So yes, there’s a day for everything. National chocolate covered anything. So the question and Allison I’m start with you and then we’ll, we’ll roll around to horn. What is your favorite thing to cover with chocolate?

Allison Giddens (00:10:02):

Oh man, you could put chocolate on brussel sprouts and I would be like, Hey, gimme 10. I, anything, anything covered in chocolate? I was just, I was telling the gang before the break or before we, we all jumped on that. I just randomly got a box of chocolate cover pretzels here at the office. I don’t know who sent them. There’s no card, but I appreciate it. So, uh, yeah, apparently it was really good timing.

Scott Luton (00:10:24):

Right. Hey, we, we gotta, we gotta trace that package. Make sure right. Uh, there’s no bad actors at work, Allison, we can’t lose you. Um, and really quick, you’ve got, you’ve got some supporters here. Julian says, go dogs, dogs.

Allison Giddens (00:10:37):

I knew I liked you.

Scott Luton (00:10:38):

<laugh> and, uh, Sylvia who literally is out there making supply chain and happen. Moving stuff is tuned in from Charleston. Uh, the holy city where they’ve got one heck of a growing port. Okay. So keep moving right along because national chocolate covered anything day. What’s your go-to

Vikas Shah (00:10:55):

You know, I’m gonna go back to my childhood days. I used to just love taking out slices of bread and just pasting that on with chocolate.

Scott Luton (00:11:04):

<laugh> OK, man. I’m gonna go with that. Uh, so did you put, add anything else? Uh, or is it bread and chocolate? Just chocolate,

Vikas Shah (00:11:13):

Just simple chocolate. Anything I could find chocolate on a slice of bread.

Scott Luton (00:11:18):

I love that. All right. So VICA, uh, you are, uh, since that’s more creative, Allison, I gotta say Vico is in the lead with his response to that question, but Dan, he’s the wild card. Dan, what’s your favorite thing to put chocolate on? Well,

Dan Reeve (00:11:31):

I’ve gotta go back to my childhood too. Especially as right now, you know, the tree up in the house and the girls have hung up all ornament and I’ve said, well, what we really need to do is what I did in England. As a kid in England, you, you get chocolates and they have like, uh, their Christmas wrapping, you know, say what’s the camera. They’re like, yay, big. And you hang the chocolate leurs so some of you may have had those little chocolate leurs chocolate and there’s alcohol in the middle. Oh, what you do is you hang them up and every day maybe you have, um, a tree. So you get all there’s whiskey, there’s Brandy there’s, um, Quantro, there’s all different. Um, I, and I can’t see to get them in the us where they have the strengths. You can hang ’em on the tree.

Dan Reeve (00:12:12):

The story, when I was a kid, myself and my middle sister, about an eight year ago, we used to sneak down, eat some of these, wrap up the wrapping and put it under the carpet. Okay. Well, my mum found that. And then we, we tried to blame our dog. We had a Doman. We said he had a Hankin for chocolate and whiskey. Right. And I, I think she kind of bought into, I’m not sure. Well, she just played along, but we there’s a dog he’s getting into Christmas spirit and he’s he’s feelings, the chocolate chop tree <laugh>

Scott Luton (00:12:41):

Hey, I need to come hang out and, and celebrate Christmas in the holidays with, uh, the, the Reve family. Sounds like y’all have a great time. All right. So, and there’s a couple suggestions from our scout boxes here. Anna bananas with chocolates and chocolate owned chocolate. Okay. I like that thought, uh, Anna Julianne says chocolate covered gummy bears. That’s a new one. Ooh. That’s a different one. And Morgan chocolate covered raisins that that’s certainly a Rais nets. Right? That’s classic. I would just add chocolate covered. Oreos is one of the best things that humanity is ever invented. So, uh, we were debating if they, we’re not sure if still sell them or not, but when they hit stores and I think the nineties man, they were, uh, hot, hot, hot commodity. Yeah.

Allison Giddens (00:13:21):

But then it’s like, it’s like $7 for a pack, but then like the serving size is half of an Oreo. And so then you, then you have like three, right?

Scott Luton (00:13:30):

I mean, that’s not, that’s not fun. Right. It’s not fun. I hate, I hate having to worry about serving sizes these days, but, uh, Eli that’s where we are. Okay. So we gotta shelve the chocolate talk for a second because we got some really important topics to get through. Uh, not only are we gonna talk about, uh, towards end of today’s conversation, uh, really cool partnership between LS Q and Esther. But before we get there, we’re gonna kind of get Dan and of causes take on what we’re seeing out in the marketplace. We’re gonna talk about some of those pain points. We’re gonna talk about some of the things that business leaders are doing to address them, including some, uh, some pretty cool, unique creative ideas. And then everyone here is gonna make some bold fearless predictions or what we’re gonna see on in 2022 and beyond sous Dan and Alice. And let’s crank it up and get going sound good. All right. So I wanna start with you, Dan. Uh, you know, we, we like the level set here. There’s so much going on. And, and, and when we think about the conversation we talk about here today, what are some relevant things you’re seeing out in the marketplace pain points? What, what are you seeing out there, Dan?

Dan Reeve (00:14:32):

Okay, I’m gonna, I’m gonna reflect on that PWC study that came out last week on liquidity and the need for cash. And, and they said, Hey, the market’s moving from, you know, we’ve always used that term just in time. And now the term is just in case. And, and basically what they were saying is finance leaders and supply chain leaders, leaders are moving to a model where they, they, they need to have cash available to get through disruptions. They need to have cash, um, available to, to, to take advantage of opportunities. I’ll give you some examples of what they said in that report. So they said on average days, sales outstanding has reached a five year high. And Chris, all industries is up to 55, uh, 54.1 days. Uh, they said they saw a trend where days payables outstanding, the time it takes to pay increased by 7%.

Dan Reeve (00:15:21):

Um, and they said, you know, so it’s not surprising companies are happened to manage uncertainties. I think I mentioned this anecdote on a prior, uh, call with you folks where one of my reps was to talking to a, um, manufacturer. And they said, look, the reason, one of the reasons we need more liquidity is, you know, paying your supplier is important. You wanna maintain your position in the queue more than ever. Some of the, um, suppliers in China now are demanding. You pay in cash, not paid in 30 days, but you actually have a, if you really wanna maintain or advance your position and then therefore take care of your customers, you might need to pay in cash. So overall, um, what we heard from PWC is that the need for liquidity is increasing and it was backed up as well. Cause the credit research foundation said, you know, what, what we’re seeing is that, um, the percentage of accounts receivable balance, your collections has increased and the amount of money that’s now not paid inside 91 days has gone up. So folks are stretching their, their, their payment terms. And I think for cash as an expert, and you can talk a bit about what a bit about that. So the need for liquidity, because prices are going up and you need, you know, you need, you need maneuverability to, to navigate the supply chain challenges is going up,

Scott Luton (00:16:33):

Right? And a lot of that, what you’re speaking to Dan puts pressure on our suppliers, puts pressure on, uh, the supply chain. So I look forward to kind unpacking some of that as we get through also address talk about some of the solutions and some of the magic SAV that can address some of those pain points. So, uh, Vaca, let’s get you to weigh in when you, when you, so the market, especially when it comes to supply chain financing and, and the bottom, the precious bottom line, what are some, some of the things you’re seeing, including pain points?

Vikas Shah (00:17:04):

Yeah, so we, uh, we spend a lot of time with, uh, finance professionals, procurement professionals and supply chain professionals. Um, one common theme that Dan already touched upon on is just the high demand for working capital across all those personas. And this is for businesses that are both midsize and large. Uh, you would expect only small and medium size businesses are collaborating for cash, but it’s actually not quite true. Even large companies wanna make sure that we have to working capital. Um, the second piece is that everyone wants to hold onto their cash much longer, right? So yes, there’s demand for working capital, but they more hold onto it as much as they can because they just don’t know what’s gonna happen. Um, especially with everything that’s going on right now, the third piece is that we’ve seen a reverse effect in inventory levels, across companies.

Vikas Shah (00:17:58):

You know, back in the day, everybody talked about inventory optimization and companies wanted to reduce the levels of inventory, but now because of the supply chain, squeeze companies talking up, right, and when you talk up inventory, you need capital, you need a lot of working capital and where is that gonna come from? So we’re seeing a lot of that happening. Um, another interesting aspect, um, that we see as a pain point in the market is just the dear of talent and bandwidth at some of these companies, digitization automation has definitely helped everybody to cope up with remote work. Uh, however, some of these companies are just struggling to keep up with the demand and with talent shortages. Uh, so we seen a lot of that happening. And the final point I’ll make is, um, there is, there is an absolute, absolute need across diversity and minority suppliers to continue to grow their businesses. Uh, we’ve seen a huge surge in demand from that population of the supply chain market, where these suppliers genuinely want to grow their business and they don’t have adequate solutions to do so,

Scott Luton (00:19:06):

Man, the cost just on the, the, those five points you share, we can you create a whole series, uh, to dive in deep that that’s so much good stuff there. Everyone needs it. One of your first points there, not just small and medium, even the big folks need it hoarding, whether you’re hoarding cash or hoarding inventory and beyond, and the dearth of talent, you know, thankfully digital transformation is stepping in there and then opportunities for all, what you finish on there. And how can we ensure that we’re powering that and they have access to, uh, to, to cash and financing so that they can grow and take advantage seizes, the market seizes, the opportunities, uh, a lot of good stuff there. All right. So Allison, uh, between Dan and VICA, what what’d you hear there?

Allison Giddens (00:19:47):

Um, the theme definitely of the cash is king. Right? Right. I mean, it’s kind of always been the case, but all, I think more than ever all the uncertainty, all the question marks, I think we, many of the small business owners, at least for in, in my experience, we all still a little gun shy. We’re still still a little PTSD from, you know, March of 2020 of realizing the world was about to shut down and like, okay, am I ready? You know, here, here comes the ice storm. Do I have milk, bread and eggs or what? Um, so yeah, there, there’s definitely some, some themes there of that. I, I really liked the just in time moving to just in case, I think that, that sums up the situation a lot for what I’m seeing

Scott Luton (00:20:28):

That, that, and, and I think the hoarding, the hoarding that, uh, um, cuz you know, when we’ve heard hoarding reported on mostly it’s on the consumer side, right. How many of us here had a garage full of toilet paper? Um, but at uh, C’s point there is lots of hoarding when it comes to inventory and uh, you know, those cash reserves that liquidity. Um, okay, so let’s do this. I wanna, I wanna take this comment here. Yes. Uh, so Anna, I appreciate the feedback. Hey, Vaco is out there making it happen, closing big deals and big partnerships. I bet he’s in the airport somewhere, uh, where things big things are getting done. We’re gonna try to work on that. So I promise you sometimes things are just out lot of our control, but I’m so glad you’re tuned in here. Uh, Sylvia’s talking about chocolate covered coffee beans, man.

Scott Luton (00:21:13):

Talking about bouncing off the walls <laugh> and uh, SEMA. I really appreciate, uh, you being here today. Thanks for sharing news and ideas. Really valuable conversation. Hey, just wait. We have a lot more to come. Okay. So now that we’ve kind of shared some of our observations of what we’re seeing out there, especially from a pain point standpoint and, and what’s going on in the industry. I wanna, I wanna present the love story. That always is problem meet solutions, right? So I wanna start with you, Dan, what are you seeing companies and business leaders do to address these needs, these dynamics, these pain points, you know, what are you seeing?

Dan Reeve (00:21:48):

You know, if I think about some of the, the, um, this is applicable to all size of the company, but I am seeing those companies that run shared services, uh, GPS, global business centers, they are looking to provide more automation, more efficiency. Let’s be honest. I think a lot of companies are on a set can wave of automation. They probably have some kind of digital technologies in place. They had to put that in. So people could work from home or maybe they put that in when they established their shared service originally. But now I’m hearing from folks, um, shout out to, um, you know, the SSC leaders out there. I’m hearing folks say, it’s not enough. Now we’re under pressure to do more within our shared service. So we don’t just do payables or order management process. We might support the business with HR and other other functions, or now we’re under pressure to, to help the CFO, the C-suite to free up working capital because maybe we earn early, more early payment discounts or maybe we have better control of our, of our cashflow.

Dan Reeve (00:22:51):

Maybe we, we can chase work out where we need to apply more effort, more focus, more insights to go and collect the money that we’re owed more effectively. I think one thing we’re seeing is that the, the mergers and acquisition activity has gone up, well, one, you, if you’re gonna go and buy companies, you need money to do so. Right. And two, you probably need tools in place that when you do buy them, you know, it are often a little bit how many it departments have you spoken to that? Aren’t burnt out. Aren’t overworked, aren’t juggling 15 million projects. Right? Well now you’re gonna go and buy companies that have various different ERPs and different tools. And what we hear folks saying is look, make it easy on us. If we could have a tool that’ll work with any E R P haven’t gotta embed that technology into the ER P but just make it easy so that we can free up the CEO, the COO to go and do these acquisitions that they want. Um, so, um,

Scott Luton (00:23:46):

Making more pressure on the shared service leaders, what we’re seeing. Gotcha. And, and one of your latter points there, you know, whenever acquisitions happen, you’ve got the wiring of the organizations, right. And what I, part of what I heard you say there is finding technologies that, that, that help make that wiring and the integration much easier and safer, uh, especially in this, in this, uh, cyber environment we’re in Allison that you alluded to earlier. So let the, the decision makers not let that cloud their judgment and not let that prevent, uh, organizations from seasoned opportunity as well. Dan, so to that end, because, uh, uh, because same question for you, um, how are you seeing business leaders, you know, navigate through this environment, address these pain points and frankly thrive.

Vikas Shah (00:24:33):

Yeah, hopefully this is not too noisy, but, um, one of the things that business leaders are really looking for as a solution that technology companies can help them with is ease of views, flexibility, and choice. Mm. So when you look at the working capital challenge in the market, um, we are really, we are really up against the backdrop of very traditional commercial lending solutions that are ripe for disruption. Right now, these solutions have been in place for decades and the existing providers are not able to service the stakeholders effectively in a very intuitive manner. So there’s a massive opportunity for technology enabled financial solutions to essentially provide flexibility, choice and ease of views to all these stakeholders. So from my perspective, more and more conversations I’m having with all of these folks, it’s all about how are you making my lives easy with solutions that easy to use and gives maximum choice and flexibility, not just to my customers, if I’m trying to optimize AR but also to my suppliers as I’m trying to optimize AP.

Scott Luton (00:25:42):

Yep. And maybe we’ll talk about a couple specific things that gives the buy and the suppliers, both some relief, and I’ll pose those to, uh, to you and Dan in a minute. But Hey, Allison, what are you hearing? I mean, what, with Dan and VICA, what are you hearing there?

Allison Giddens (00:25:57):

Some common themes, again, are the, are the flexibility are needing flexibility between the problems and said solutions. I think, um, both, um, both Dan and ENCO have spoken to the workforce challenge, the dearth, the burnout of, of people in general, and that has, especially in the it space. And that’s a great example, really lent itself to saying, okay, in terms of problems and solutions to be met, whether it’s in the finance space or it space or whatever, whatever it is, there’s that delicate balance of you have to not be something to everyone because you can’t be, you can’t, you can’t work for everybody, but at the same time, you’ve gotta be present and you have to be available to show that, Hey, look, we can be flexible and we can help to solve the problem that you’re having in by offering this kind of solution. So it’s, there’s, there’s a lot, there’s a, a ton to unpack there.

Scott Luton (00:26:55):

Agreed. And, and you know, what, what you’re speaking to there, that’s what makes organizations that embrace an offer that flexibility, those are organizations that folks wanna work with, or those organizations, folks wanna supply or buy from you name it. So with that said, and, and, uh, thanks looks like you, you found a new position, Hey, that is a true supply chain practitioner there, problem meet solution in the moment. Decisive action. I love that of AAS. So Dan and Vaca, we made on this when we talk more about the partnership between LQ and, and Esther, but, you know, supply chain financing, dynamic discounting, Dan is any, you wanna shed some light on, on those, uh, opportunities?

Dan Reeve (00:27:36):

Yeah. I think what we’ve been seeing, we’ve seen this even pre pandemic. Now some of the CIOs I’d speak to would say, then we’re getting burned out here. Um, I remember talking to an enterprise architect several years ago and he said, look at this map down, this is 350 suppliers I’m supposed to manage and it’s impossible. And so, uh, often when we get into conversations, you know, I can see there’s a moment. There’s a slide. We pull up where the, the, the, the finance leader, the supply chain leader, the CIO is sees, hang on a minute. There’s there’s opportunity here for me to manage multiple processes through an application that helps us with order the cash and procure to pay. And I like to say, you know, our mission is to free up your staff to go and wanna enjoy their work and be rockstar that can better serve your customer and your supplier, but that can go further.

Dan Reeve (00:28:22):

And, and I think that includes things like it, easy to onboard on onboard new suppliers, cuz you may need to get product raw materials from other places, make it easy for those suppliers to come on board and, and work with you. And um, what we, we saw as well as folks, just as the pandemic hit and people started to say, okay, I’m not going to, um, um, I’m not gonna go in the office and pick up that, that check from the supplier or we, we’re not gonna allow people to pay us, um, through checks anymore. That was again, back to that sort of first wave of the change we went through. Now, I think companies have very much realized, Hey, there’s an opportunity here. There’s a serious opportunity to, to, to convert the, um, finance department, not just accounts payable, but a finance department to be a revenue generation source and to the burnout point.

Dan Reeve (00:29:11):

Um, Jess, she who’s the executive director of I O F M that’s a AP think tank. Um, he has said, look in the future, you really are gonna have to hire people and give them, um, work they enjoy. Or, and, and that could be transforming the organiz into be into being a best in class profit center where collections is really effective and efficient. Um, paying suppliers is, is, is, uh, really efficient and a, a money maker. And he said, if you don’t, um, if you, if you are offering the type of work where focus coming in, uh, you know, I’m not sure keen in data and it’s manual and there’s no, there’s no value add and it’s not seen as enabling the company to, to go forward. It’s not seen as DRC sexy. He says, you ain’t gonna attract the new talent. You’re not gonna have talent you need.

Dan Reeve (00:29:59):

Um, and I cannot tell you how many times now I look at projects that are going ahead and I’ll speak to my reps and say, so what’s the bottom line? Why are they doing this? What’s the big picture. And increasingly is saying, somebody in that organization is retiring and the new folks, we want them to do a different work, more, more, more work that is of value to both of the company and the supplier. And also they’re not willing to do what, what pre ion was willing to do. There’s a lot of that going on right now. And, and the reality is you could say, well, should that be enough reason to act just cause one person’s retiring? Well, who’s gonna do the work. You know, so, so I think what we heard is certainly from our own customer base and others in the industries, they said, <inaudible> can talk even better about this than I can. Hey, we want the ability, not just to pay supplier, not just to pay suppliers, but to, to do it faster, do it electronically and to, to make it a win-win for both parties. Yes.

Scott Luton (00:30:50):

You know, to your, where you started there, there’s not nearly as much check picking uping that there used to be right. For a variety of reasons. So because, uh, whether you touch on something that Dan shared or, you know, this, this supply chain financing dynamic discounting that, uh, that is, is, is more and more prevalent these days. What, what else, what else would you offer up?

Vikas Shah (00:31:10):

Yeah, I would add to what Dan just mentioned is that if you are in, if you’re in the B2B business, which means if you’re in the realm of interacting with other businesses, you almost have, have to think about figuring out how you can add value to your counterparty. Your counterparty could be a customer or a counterparty could be a supplier and inherently because of that kind of relationship, you are in the business of managing B2B credit and managing B2B risk. Now people think about risk just on the supply chain of, uh, supply chain side of things, but risk also exists on the customer side of things, right. You know, if you’ve given customers terms and the customers don’t pay on time, then you have an inherent risk because now you’re waiting on your customers to pay you and you can’t pay your suppliers or can’t pay your employees.

Vikas Shah (00:32:02):

So if yout in the business of B2B, you are in the business of B2B credit and risk management. So when you extend that concept to supply chain financing, specifically addressing a question, Scott, we have a great example of a company that I just talked to this week. We talked to the chief procurement officer and the CFO, and they said, supply chain finance is an imperative for us as a managing team, but it’s also an imperative for our board. We cannot continue to operate without thinking about how we can drive value for our suppliers. It’s not just about moving payment from point a to point B. It’s not just about making sure that they get paid. It’s also making sure that our suppliers are healthy and they have effective and affordable access to capital. And we have a role to play here. And if we can’t play that role, then we are the future of our own business. And that’s why it’s a very important management and board directive. So supply chain financing is, is a definitely a hot topic across management teams and boardroom at this point in time,

Scott Luton (00:33:12):

Because I love that perspective. Very frankly, that is next generation stuff, you know, and Allison, I wanna get you to weigh in here in a second, but, you know, finding and holding leverage and hitting your suppliers over the head that is thankfully dying and dying and dying, you know, cause we’ve gotta have it to your point because healthy supply chains, healthy suppliers, suppliers that, you know, dare say it, make money right. And have good margin. And so they’re motivat to be even a better supplier. You know, they get paid on time, you know, they’re they’re so, um, I just love the next generation POV that you and Dan both are speaking to and with employees, you know, finding ways of, of new positions, you know, automating the tedious stuff and finding new ways of, of getting them to, um, uh, participate and contribute to in a more rewarding, fulfilling creative manner, Allison, whether it’s supply chain financing and, and healthy supply chains, which Dan and, and Vacas both speaking to, or the employee experience side, which is thankfully very, uh, growing and importance. What sticks out to you?

Allison Giddens (00:34:16):

Um, I think the psychology of it all. So I think we’re, we’re more likely to prefer to help someone who we thinks either we think has either helped us already, or that can continue to help us. Right. I mean, it’s just kind of a human nature thing. So I think that as the supply chain challenges that we all face are still here, they’re gonna be sticking around for a little while. And as that, especially in the small in this world, or even the medium size business world, as we watch the, the risks that we have to manage from the supply chain base, it, what, what I personally, as a small business owner, I’m looking at, okay, who are my customers that I know I can rely on them to pay me so that I can continue to deliver on their parts. And I think going forward, we’re gonna start looking at things a lot more that way as business owners or people in finance, you’re gonna be looking up and down instead of just like you said, the leverage of popping the suppliers on the head. <laugh>, it’s, there’s gonna be a lot more back and forth and a lot more looking ahead in order to keep looking behind you to see how can continue doing the work that you’re doing

Scott Luton (00:35:24):

Well said, Allison. And one, one of the quick aside, uh, as the cost started his response all about risk because of course, risk has, has only gotten more important at the board level as he was speaking to. But, you know, I, I spent some time working for a major food distributor, right? We, we, um, sold, delivered food to my mom and pop restaurants, uh, across the country. And as we placed the orders, the truck would roll up. And if those restaurants would owe it would have the clear credit before any of that food was rolled off, even if it was the smallest or orders. And lot of times I was having to plead my case to, you know, take care of our restaurant, but it’s really important, right? Uh, otherwise you blink and you’re overleveraged, and you’ve got more risk, you know, up to your neck.

Scott Luton (00:36:07):

So, uh, I really appreciate, uh, Picas your comments there as does Michael Dillon. I appreciate that Michael, via LinkedIn, great information love the perspective from both. Uh, I agree with you. CMA says, thanks, Dan. We can relate to your post pandemic and pre pandemic perspective and Abdul remind really appreciate that. Great to have you here via LinkedIn. Uh, let us know what you’re seeing out in the marketplace and what you’re seeing organizations do creatively to tackle financing for growth, uh, acquisitions, risk, you name it in, in employee experience, which is so important. Okay. So up next, Allison, Dan and Vaca, we’re gonna get y’all to break out your crystal ball. Cause we wanna look into what’s coming right. Coming attractions. We all know we, we probably know some of the challenges that are coming now. They’re very regular and then you’ll have some surprises that just goes with the territory. Right? So I’m gonna start with you, Dan. Dan, I’m gonna put you on a spot first. So when you look deep into your crystal ball, what future disruptions are you seeing in 2022 and beyond?

Dan Reeve (00:37:12):

I dunno if you used the word use the word disruption clearly is a disruption. People haven’t can’t state where they, where they have been, right? That’s not, that’s, there’s a migration, a force migration. I’ll tell you some trends, I think are go, gonna happen. They’re already in place. But, um, increasingly I think finance leaders and business leaders, they want the visibility of, and you know, typical CFO, the, the CFO, he, or she’s gonna want visibility and controls and to manage risk across their, their organization. And especially by new organizations, they quickly want that, that visibility and control across all ERPs, all systems of record. But I think what you’re gonna see, what we’re already seeing is folks saying, ah, you know, the catch payable and the receivables department, they didn’t often talk, but now we’re starting to rub shoulders in the hallway, you know, or we at least do talk to one another and listen to each other, be it physically or virtually.

Dan Reeve (00:38:01):

And because, you know, there’s value. If we, if we know, um, how much liabilities we have and what we need to pay and if, to your point, and if we know that all, some of those suppliers will take an early payment discount, um, because they’re hungry for cash and we can help them. Great. That’s good to know, but, but we still know what are our liabilities in the short medium, we don’t need nasty surprises. They can, they can, um, impact our ability to invest in, in R and D research sales. They can even impact our stock price. So knowing what’s coming is important at the same time receivables. Yes. You know, we, we need to be checking suppliers for risk and customers for risk and bring us their insight all in one place. But I also want to know, well, which customers can, I typically rely upon which customers do I need to put a bit more work in some automation to get them to pay.

Dan Reeve (00:38:49):

Do I need to put some things in place where it’s, you know, I can make it easier for them to pay maybe autopay online. And by the way, they actually see me in different light now. Cause I’m easy to deal with for their staff. That’s good. Um, that’s a, you know, um, positive sum game I want, as I put these efficiencies in place, it should be a positive sum game where both the, the, my staff enjoy the work more, it’s easier. They can free up and go and do more valuable type things customer as suppliers like. Yeah. Okay. We’re enjoying working with you there. This value it’s easier. So what I’m seeing is this trend where not only do folks want all this insight in one place, they want to reduce risk and, and know of their risks, cuz things change. We’ve seen that, but on the customer side and also on the supplier side, but they want to be able to bring all this into one place and say, right.

Dan Reeve (00:39:36):

Um, I’ll give you an example. What I’m hearing is folks saying, well, you’ve got all this data, you know, how hungry all our suppliers are for cash, which ones are more likely to take a virtual card or to, to sign up for a supply chain finance program or um, you know, who could we pay earlier and, and, and, and get a reward for doing so, right. Or the last point is on the receivable side. Okay. Are some of the customers we deal with paying us a little slower than they pay others? You know, it’s almost like they’re benchmarking. Is there room for me to move the needle just a little bit more here on the collections and treasury side or a little bit more over here on our, uh, payable side and procurement

Scott Luton (00:40:14):

Side. Yep. So, you know, so some of what I heard you say there, going back to, you know, we’ve mentioned talent a couple times, you know, we all probably are familiar with employee, uh, employers of choice, right. Companies everyone wants to work for. Right. And we also know how tough it is to buy for talent these days get ’em, you know, get ’em hired, get ’em boarded, keep ’em retained, keep ’em engaged. Well, what I’m hearing you say, Dan is we can take advantage of these programs, these financing programs, and use that to buy for suppliers, especially in this day and age where we’re looking to, to diversify our supply base for a variety of, of contingencies. And you can use that to be more appealing, to be more easier to work with, to be, to get their money on time or get it in a way that they want it, uh, earlier even perhaps there’s all kinds of different leverages you can pull is what I’m hearing there. Dan, because if you could, if you could comment on that initially, and then let’s get into your, your prediction for 2022, are you seeing companies you use these factors to, uh, basically recruit, uh, use suppliers,

Vikas Shah (00:41:17):

Absolut it’s actually happening both on the customer side and on the supplier side, uh, like I mentioned earlier, your ability to provide credit and manage credit on both sides is gonna be a competitive advantage for you as a business. If you’re not able to do that, then you’re gonna be left behind a great example is of a manufacturing company we just signed last week, the chief procurement officer or the head of supply chain there essentially said we are losing suppliers because some of these suppliers are getting paid faster from other competitors. Wow. So I need to have the supply financing program right now, so I can play my suppliers in 24 hours through your solution so we can stay competitive and make sure we retain and attract those suppliers. And, and that’s a very powerful statement and, and we seeing a lot of that happening.

Scott Luton (00:42:08):

So as much as we wanna protect and retain and make sure they’re happy employees, we gotta protect and retain suppliers too, and make sure we’re, we’re being seen as that, uh, um, easy to work with, uh, organization. Okay. So Allison, why don’t you I’m, I’m gonna come back to you Vico for your prediction for 20, 22 really quick though. Allison based on what Dan and and Vico has already shared, and you’re, you know, you lead a manufacturing organization about some of up is, is resonating with you, what sticks out

Allison Giddens (00:42:36):

Well, especially that the concept the cost talked about with the supplier vying for suppliers. So not only do you, in a sense have to have inside sales for customers, but you need to have inside sales for your suppliers too. And <laugh>, I, I can kind of see that happening long term. Um, but I think the, the hot issue for me right now that kind of intertwines a lot of the finance discussion is about the big question. Mark, unknown of taxes, um, corporate slash business taxes in the us right now are very questionable as to what the future holds. So, whereas a lot of companies may see some pretty, if it can increases that will affect cash flow on quarterly, a annually. However you wanna look at it, it will affect cash flow. So in, in a turn in turn, that’s gonna affect what your everyday payments to your suppliers look like. And what everyday insight of, of your, of your receivables look like. So that’s crystal ball wise. That’s, that’s on my radar. If it’s not on, on others radar, it probably should be.

Scott Luton (00:43:37):

<laugh> awesome. All right, because I’m gonna finish with you, but before I do, uh, in terms of bold predictions for next year, I wanna, so Jason Hopkins, you’ve got a lot of great questions. I’m not sure if we’re gonna be able to get to them here. We’ve got a few more things we’re gonna tackle. Uh, we’ll make sure that information gets to our panel here. Um, wanna welcome in, uh, Jose. Great to see you here from Southern California, really enjoyed your, your coffee based live streams, logistics, supply chain with coffee. Let us know if you wanna drop in the comments, your most recent one or an upcoming one. We welcome that. Be Jose hope. This finds you well here today, Michael. Hey, appreciate the feedback here. Thanks for the informative share reassurance, the common themes and Eva and challenges around financing. Thank you for that, Michael. Great to have you here today via LinkedIn. Okay. So VICA, you’re the, I guess there’s not a cleanup hitter in basketball on the golden state team, but uh, you’re our cleanup hitter today, as we talk about what to expect next year, we can probably guess a little bit based on what you’ve already shared, but put a fine point. What El, what else are you projecting for 2022 and beyond.

Vikas Shah (00:44:42):

I got four points for everybody. Um, I’ll keep it simple banks and traditional lenders are getting disrupted and there’s a huge opportunity for finance technology platforms to play a pivotal role in the future to provide elegant, ease of use and flexible solutions to all corporates when it comes to financing. Yep. Number two, every platform company, whether you are in finance or not is thinking about embedding services and products for their stakeholders. Number three, working capital optimization is a top, top, top priority in most corporates and a solution provider who can provide analytics, insights and visibility to C-suite stakeholders to help them better stay working. Capital is gonna be in a poor positioned command market share number four, data and credit expertise is gonna be a unique differentiation. So it’s not just about moving money from point a to point B, but what kind of underlying intelligence do you have about the transaction relationship between that buyer and supplier pair that you can uncover? You can benchmark, you can learn and provide data and credit insights that are gonna help these businesses optimize a bunch of business objectives.

Scott Luton (00:46:03):

So, gosh, there’s so much there. I wanna say that, just getting the transaction done and just paying your suppliers folks, that’s no longer good enough. It’s no longer, good enough. You got a good more strategic than that and you gotta build a bigger value proposition. And on the customer side too, I don’t wanna ignore the customer side. And also by the way, Allison, I love, I can tell, I can tell this from our pre-show conversations, FICA is a numbered list, uh, guy, and I love that <laugh>, he’s speaking right to our heart, right? Like, yeah, bullet. I love him bullet points. Uh, okay. So with all of that said, let’s talk about the, this new and, and Michael Dillon home run. Uh, the cleanup hitter comes through with a home run, uh, Michael Dillon, thank you for sharing that, uh, with the causes comments, Sarah. So let’s talk about so LQ and ESER y’all get together. Uh, you’ve got a new, exciting partnership. Both organizations are on the grow for sure. Dan, I’m bring you back into conversation. Let’s start with you. Tell us what this partnership’s about and where, where is it headed? Well, it

Dan Reeve (00:47:09):

Was certainly to support the request that were coming from our existing customers and, and enterprise globally, uh, which was part of, you know, it ties into this idea. Someone may have seen ESCA, we talk about ESCO pay, make it easy to pay your customers, your, your suppliers, where they’re at through, you know, various different mechanisms. And increasingly that trend is electronic. So, you know, and, and as the cast talks about that’s, and, and as Alison said, I’ve definitely had enterprises say to me, we are trying to compete by being easy to deal with for our suppliers. You know, so there’s a, there’s a big focus on that. So what does it do? It allows, for example, folks using theca payables platform, they may be using payables, receivables or management. If the payables organization, the procurement organization right inside the ES suite can launch payment and they can see when payment’s gonna happen, they can make it easy for the, uh, the buyers to choose how quickly they wanna get paid early and, and what kind of a discount they take.

Dan Reeve (00:48:07):

But what that really means is for folks who platform is, it’s a FinTech play. It’s the opportunity for the, the payables, the procurement folks to save some money. Yes. As we’ve talked about here, there’s the opportunity to, um, take care of the supplier, pay them quickly, but there’s also an opportunity to lower the, the, the, the cost of good salt, because you are not paying quite as much for, um, um, that process. And I think of the other thing is a lot of people, even if they’re, whether they’re using the <inaudible> technology or not increasingly laying, laying on this type of FinTech play means, Hey, we can, we can totally get a return on investment on this technology. We we’ve paid for this, this, this innovation in, you know, inside six months. So there’s a right. A lot of interest in that

Scott Luton (00:48:50):

Lots of options and added value. Those are great things there, but, but you gotta go looking for it, right? You can’t do business as usual. And I don’t think we all, none of us need more motivation in the last couple years, because what would you add when as Dan kind of laid out what the partnership’s all about, what else would you add there?

Vikas Shah (00:49:10):

ESCO is a leader in process automation when it comes to procure to pay in order to cash. Um, they’ve invested years and years of technology, intellectual property, and expertise to add a lot of value around that aspect for midsize to lot size corporates. Our partnership really allows us to leverage AKIs capability around process automation and marry that with, you know, our data and credit expertise. So we can provide very innovative working capital and embedded finance solutions to our joint customers.

Scott Luton (00:49:52):

That is quite a dynamic duo between, uh, LS, Q and Esther. So, um, a lot of new supply chain financing, innovation, uh, options, flexibility that you are bringing to the market. So I look forward to, uh, keeping our finger on the pulse and, uh, reporting what comes out of this, uh, dynamic partnership. Alison, when you hear Dan and AKA talk about what they’re doing together, and, you know, again at leading a manufacturing operation, a lot of these things probably speak firsthand to you, but, but what, what, what excites you, what’s exciting to you about this partnership between these, these two forces of nature.

Allison Giddens (00:50:28):

It’s exciting to hear that they’re trying different things. It’s, um, it’s really tough to know what you don’t know. Right. It’s hard to ask the questions that you don’t know to ask if you don’t know the answers that you’re seeking. And so it’s kind, it’s really cool to see these two C particularly work together to figure out, all right, what’s not out there that needs to be out there. It’s, you know, finding those commonalities of problems and then figuring out the solution. So I think that’s, what’s definition of crazy doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Right? Right. So, so doing something different is kind of what you gotta do agree

Scott Luton (00:51:05):

With it. And, you know, I like how they of, uh, defined the art of the possible and then built, uh, you know, built, uh, a partnership, but also built the te technology wherewithal to execute and, and realize the art of the possible. So, uh, this will be an interesting, um, uh, relationship and partnership to track in the months to come. So to that end and by the way way, thank you, uh, Jose, thanks for dropping that in, uh, he hosts coffee break logistics. He’s got some leaders with Jodis and the one and only Allison, I think, you know, bill St. Kevi is gonna be a guest on Jose’s show that is outstanding. This

Allison Giddens (00:51:41):

Wherever bill is, there’s a party. That’s right.

Scott Luton (00:51:44):

<laugh> all right. So Dan Ann, I wanna wrap here today, making sure our, uh, that our listeners know how to connect with you, both Dan we’ve enjoyed your, uh, uh, numerous appearances here on supply chain. Now, uh, talking about your exploits as a kid, uh, hanging out in, in the military hangers, almost almost pulling the ejection sheet that, uh, ejection seat, that was a popular story, but, uh, whether they want to hear more Dan Reeves stories or tap into, you know, all the different ways that y’all are helping companies automate in a seamless easy to, easy to work with manner. Uh, how can folks connect with you?

Dan Reeve (00:52:22):

Sure. You can catch me on at, uh, or catch phone on LinkedIn and, um, happy to have a chat and, you know, understand and what you are seeing, um, see if there’s an opportunity to help or not

Scott Luton (00:52:32):

Outstanding. And I can’t wait to hear the latest on your, um, on what the holidays look like at the Reeve household. Bring those stories next time. Uh, and I gotta find some of those chocolate Laur Christmas tree ornaments, right? Alison

Allison Giddens (00:52:47):

Heck. Yeah, I had those years ago, a friend of mine came back from Europe and brought em and, and you made me think about it, Dan and yeah. Yeah. You need

Scott Luton (00:52:55):

To find those Scott. Yeah, we gotta find that, uh, just keep away from the dogs. But Dan, thank you so much for being here today. Love what you and Esgar team are up to and our newest best friend VICA Shaw and the L sq team big. Thanks by the way, we should thank everybody behind us scenes. Big thanks, tore. And Matt and Mike, Amanda Clay for all helping to make the production happen here today, but Vaca, how can folks, uh, pick your brain that deadly, uh, combination of financing and supply chain? How can folks connect with you in LQ?

Vikas Shah (00:53:26):

My email is V Shaw We have a lot of and then you can also hit me up on my LinkedIn profile.

Scott Luton (00:53:35):

Wonderful. It’s just that easy. And you know, the only thing you surprised me there is you didn’t say I had three things for you because that would’ve, that would’ve been perfect. But, uh, I really appreciate how both of y’all have, have shared, uh, shed some light on, on perhaps, uh, even though supply chain financing and new ways of offering new value for, uh, customers and suppliers, all the that’s, all the rage in the boardroom and in out in industry, you know, it probably gets undercover when it comes to, uh, conversations like this. So I really appreciate what both of y’all brought to the table. And, uh, thanks for your time here today. Again, we’ve been chatting with Picas Shaw, chief revenue officer with LQ and our dear friend, Dan Reeve, us director of sales and business development with Esther. Thank you both. All right. And notice how efficient they were. We’re it’s it’s 1255 and despite everything shared, I love how it was like executive style today. Yeah, heck

Allison Giddens (00:54:31):

Yeah. It was the, what did they say? Um, bottom line first, right? <laugh> I mean, he was like, here’s what you gotta know. And now I’m gonna come back and, and give you the details.

Scott Luton (00:54:40):

Yep. That’s right. One of our favorites here. And uh, so Allison out of all of this in information here today, thank you se I really appreciate you being here today. Kind information guys delivered, looking ahead for more live presentations in the future. Big. Thanks there. I appreciate that. SEMA and Sylvia. Hey, I rarely do you find us an amazing in the same sentence, but I, I appreciate that Sylvia and by the way, happy holidays, Merry Chris. Smith’s happy new years to one of our longest, uh, listeners and sky box, uh, participants. We hope to have you back home with us soon. And Sarah appreciate, uh, you being here today, uh, you and Maya. So really appreciate that. Okay. So when you think about everything that was shared here today, Allison, everything, we, we kind of, gosh, we ran from chocolate and pizza. <laugh> the basketball and soccer all through some of the coolest and newest things happening across the world of supply chain financing. What’s when you, when you, um, unplug from this live stream today, what’s one thing that you may still be dwelling on in the next few days.

Allison Giddens (00:55:45):

I think it’s like a 50,000 foot view. So the conversation, all the different places, it went, it reminded me that the past, whatever two years, I guess we’re going on two years now, right? I don’t know, 15, 16 months that the past, that amount of time has really been all about survival. Right? It’s all been like, okay, just gotta make sure that I can meet, meet par, right. Just we’re working hard. And we feel like maybe we’re working harder to maintain. Yep. But the conversation today made me think about, okay, we’ve gotta, we gotta get above and beyond what we’re doing now. We’ve gotta do things differently. We need to stop thinking about tomorrow and start thinking about next month. So there there’s a much, there’s a, a wider perspective. I think we might need to all take. And you know, it’s tough, especially when you’re dealing with what a lot of people in supply chain right now are dealing with, which is, you know, I just gotta make sure today is okay. Just gotta make sure today is okay, but getting today. Yeah. It’s gonna stick with me. It’s all gonna be about, all right, forget about today. Today’s already been decided, what are we doing next month? <laugh>

Scott Luton (00:56:53):

I’m with you. Uh, and you make a great point, cause so much is focused on getting meeting production today, getting products out today. Right? Cause that, that can be really challenging as we all know you, what sticks out to me is in this age, uh, and I gotta tell you, I hadn’t, haven’t given it that much thought or enough thought, at least in this day and age of consumer experience, right. Where we’re constantly being evaluated in a new, uh, more stringent manner, right? Cause some of the eCommerce players kind of the standards of are an expect expectations. They’ve created. We talked about the employee experience today and we all know how, how that market and that topic has evolved greatly. And we touched on some of that today, but you know, the supplier experience folks, we got a love on our suppliers, right? They we’ve seen what the last couple years, as, as you’re speaking to Allison have done to, uh, the global supply chain, right.

Scott Luton (00:57:45):

And all the, uh, thousands, tens of thousands of suppliers out there, you know, suppliers have a vote, they have a choice of who they partner with and you’ve, we’ve got to start acting in a next generation manner. And I think that’s a lot of what we spoke about here today. All the options I wasn’t even aware of when it comes to, uh, supply chain financing. So that is, is gonna stick with us. But Allison, as we start to wrap, how can folks connect with sly GIS in particular, the nonprofit that you lead, the Dave CRE foundation? How can folks connect

Allison Giddens (00:58:14):

With you? Sure. Yeah. Thanks for the shout out. We, um, find me on LinkedIn for sure. Very active there. Uh, Allison GIS, um, my nonprofit that I run on the side is the Dave K he foundation. We help kids play sports when their families can’t afford it focused in Metro Atlanta. So we’re also on LinkedIn and Facebook and Instagram and all that kind of fun stuff.

Scott Luton (00:58:34):

I love it. And you definitely don’t want, you wanna follow Allison across social. So beyond leading manufacturing, uh, company and beyond the great nonprofit work, she is funny. She is, she, she is a, uh, certainly a, a I’ll call her a humorist, but it’s really good stuff. And I like your, the book reviews that you drop across LinkedIn on a regular basis too Lamont. Hey, really appreciate this, uh, great information. Very insightful. Gotta head out. Happy holidays, everybody Lamont. I really enjoyed you being a part of these live streams these last few weeks, and it’s great to connect the only LinkedIn. Okay. But folks, we’re gonna have to leave it there for now. Uh, big thanks again to everyone behind the scenes helping make production happen. Big, thanks to VICA and Dan for being our feature guests here today. Big thanks to my, my co my partner in crime. My co here today, Allison gins. Y’all make sure you connect with her across social, um, happy holidays, Merry Christmas, happy new year to all of you out there. Hopefully you get a chance to unplug and reflect and plan as Allison is pointing out, but most importantly, challenging you to do good. Give forward, be the change that’s needed on that note. We’ll see. Next time. Right back here on supply chain now. Thanks for Abody.

Intro/Outro (00:59:47):

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

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Featured Guests

Dan Reeve- As Vice President of Sales North America, Dan Reeve is responsible for recruitment, training, and direct sales for Esker, supporting a team of excellent Sales Managers. Having operated in this capacity for 10 years, he was previously a Sales Rep, successfully developing the American Midwest and the Pacific Northwest, and establishing Esker’s Denver office in 2017.

Dan joined Esker in 1999, spending the first few years in Business Development for the Benelux and Scandinavian countries, building up channel and direct sales paths for those regions, then moving into large enterprise accounts while assisting in leading direct sales in the UK. After obtaining an Economic Development degree from the University of Derby, England in 1997, he completed a Courts Furnishers Graduate Managerial Program, which allowed Dan to discover his passion for Sales and the importance of great Customer Service. Dan is a veteran of the British Army and the Wisconsin National Guard and deployed to Iraq in 2003 as part of Operation Telic. He has actively promoted the hiring of veterans into various roles within the Sales team. Connect with Dan on LinkedIn.

Vikas Shah is LSQ’s Chief Revenue Officer. In his role, Shah works to expand access to working capital for companies of all sizes by leading the growth of LSQ’s platform, LSQ FastTrack®. Prior to joining LSQ, Shah, an alumnus of the University of California, Berkeley, led sales, business development, product management, and marketing at high-growth fintech and SaaS companies, including Xeeva, Taulia, and SuccessFactors SAP. Connect with Vikas on LinkedIn.


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Allison Giddens

Host, Supply Chain Now

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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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Katherine Hintz, MBA is a marketing professional 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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Kim Reuter


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

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Kristi Porter

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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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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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., which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).

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Adrian Purtill

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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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Jose 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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Vicki White


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

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Allison Giddens


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

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

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Billy Taylor


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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Tandreia Bellamy


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


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


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


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

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.

From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.

Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.

He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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