The bad news: data and systems, no matter how expensive, don’t solve problems. The good news: tying together the data from the systems gives you a shot. It takes the right approach and a careful consideration of your company’s specific needs and goals. That’s where RateLinx comes in. In this episode, Vice President of Strategic Customers Andrew Hooser joins us to detail his own professional trajectory, how RateLinx helps companies unite their data and take action – and why prescriptive analytics are the way of the future. From vendor to shipper to techie, Andrew has seen (and done) it all when it comes to modern logistics, so don’t miss his expert take on supply challenges past, present and future.
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.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:32):
Hello, everyone! This is Kevin L. Jackson, and welcome to Digital Transformers on Supply Chain Now. I’m greeting you today from the nation’s capital, Washington, DC, and flying on my wing is Scott Luton from the ATL. Hey, Scott, how are things today?
Scott Luton (00:53):
Kevin, hey, we’re doing great ‘cause this is the home of the Atlanta Braves who [inaudible] in first place –
Kevin L. Jackson (00:56):
Hey. Hey. I said no – no. I’ve said no Braves down. Okay. Our Nationals, we’re kind of having a rough year, but you know.
Scott Luton (01:07):
We are just a couple of years off a World Series championship. So, you know, it’s been 26 years since our last one in 1995. So, hey, you know, that’s okay. You’re still in the honeymoon phase, I imagine. But we have got one heck of a conversation teed up talking the Braves and Nationals are recent titans in the world of baseball. But Kevin, we’re going to be talking about a titan in the world of supply chain visibility, right.
Kevin L. Jackson (01:30):
Oh, yes, yes. Because it’s amazing. We’re going to be talking to RateLinx [inaudible] by Andrew from RateLinx, Andrew Hooser, and he’s going to be talking about reducing costs and getting better team results and exceeding your organization’s business goals. And, they’re using it – doing this by using data quality driven logistics. So, Scott, did you know that Supply and Demand Chain Executive selected RateLinx as the recipient of the Top Supply Chain Projects Award for 2021?
Scott Luton (02:12):
I knew that, but I also have known that they’ve been having to invest in a bigger trophy cabinet there at RateLinx headquarters. That’s one of numerous accolades they’ve been accumulating.
Kevin L. Jackson (02:22):
Wow. Yeah. They’re really a star, aren’t they? But before we get to the meat of today’s show and see how heavy their awards are, let’s first thank our sponsor, Digital Names by Total Network Services. If you enjoy today’s conversation, be sure to find and subscribe to us wherever you get your podcasts. Oh, you know, we’re on Apple, Spotify, Gogo. We’re everywhere. But before I start, let’s bring Andrew, the RateLinx Vice President of Customer Solutions, into conversation to tell us more about the importance of data in modern logistics. Hey, welcome, Andrew.
Andrew Hooser (03:09):
Thanks, guys! Glad to be here.
Scott Luton (03:11):
Hey, great to have you back. Kevin, we love our repeat guests, right.
Kevin L. Jackson (03:15):
As you said, he’s a pro here, right.
Scott Luton (03:19):
He’s the adult in the room maybe. I don’t know.
Kevin L. Jackson (03:22):
I don’t understand why, but there may be some people that missed the first show. Andrew, my apologies, but can you tell us a little bit about yourself, where you’re from, any anecdote from your upbringing, and what do you do all day as the vice president of customer solutions at RateLinx?
Andrew Hooser (03:48):
Yeah. Well, there might be a lot of people [inaudible], but anyways. So, you know, I had a great upbringing, grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. You know I had a great family life, you know got to play lots of sports as a kid. So, I know, Scott, we talked a lot about wrestling and a lot of things on the last episode, but I had a great –
Scott Luton (04:09):
Hang on. You can’t just pass by that little nugget there, Andrew. You got to refresh our memory. What’s your favorite wrestler of all time? I know a couple of mine. What was yours?
Andrew Hooser (04:21):
Well, it’s Jerry Lawler. I mean, he’s the king. He’s from Memphis.
Scott Luton (04:24):
Kevin L. Jackson (04:25):
He came from Memphis.
Andrew Hooser (04:26):
Yeah, absolutely. Memphis is the City of Kings, so Jerry being one of them.
Kevin L. Jackson (04:32):
I’ll tell you. My youngest son, I have three, my youngest is my daughter [inaudible], but my middle child and my son he’s big into wrestling, so.
Scott Luton (04:44):
Man, you said it right. That was how it’s pronounced with an a and an apostrophe if you really watched it. So, thanks for humoring us again, Andrew.
Andrew Hooser (04:52):
Yeah. No. Absolutely. So, after growing up, I went down to your part of the world, Scott, to Georgia Tech, got an industrial engineering degree. Just so you know, we didn’t talk – we talked about barbecue a little bit, but I remember going down there and I had friends that would take me out to barbecue places and I was always disappointed and I didn’t quite know why. And then, I realized like Memphis is known for its barbecue, but I kept going to these places and it just wasn’t the same. So, I’m sorry for that. But they never could cut it when I was down there.
Scott Luton (05:29):
Well, you know, that’s kind of an unfair advantage, right, Kevin. I mean to grow up in Memphis your backyard is such a proven ground for some of the best barbecue in the world. That’s like – I don’t know, it’s like growing up in, I don’t know, Washington, DC and looking for monuments and historic places to visit, right.
Kevin L. Jackson (05:49):
Right. Go down – yeah. Right, go to Tennessee, looking for some marble monuments, right.
Andrew Hooser (05:55):
Yeah. They don’t exist. But no, I had no idea growing up. Once I was down in Atlanta, I realized that it actually is special. But, no, I had a great time at tech. You know, I did play rugby for a little while. I realized that sport hurts. So, I stopped that at some point during college, plus my grades were suffering from it, so definitely steered away from that. But, you know, got an industrial engineering degree, kind of fell in love with supply chain and logistics. Then, the world just fascinated me. Memphis is obviously a logistics hub so that was something that, you know, really I was drawn to. So, I got into the logistics world, supply chain world, worked for a third party logistics company for several years, did a lot of different things there. Then, I moved over to a packaging company that made milk and juice cartons, made plastic bottles, bottle caps, you know got to see a massive supply chain. And, now I’m here at RateLinx working with a lot of different customers, supporting their strategic initiative and really helping them get value out of our tools. That’s what I do all day.
Andrew Hooser (07:04):
You know, on a personal note, I live on a farm. So, I’ve got three kids and we like going hunting and fishing, and we have a vegetable garden that we do. My wife has a blueberry orchard. So, if you’re in the area in June and you want some blueberries then stop on by. But we get the great mix of the city and country life, you know.
Kevin L. Jackson (07:25):
So, you’re on those farms. You catch the sun when it rises in the morning and go get the eggs, and milk cows.
Andrew Hooser (07:33):
There are chickens and cows on the farm. Yeah. I won’t say that I visit them every day, but I don’t buy a lot of eggs. How about that?
Scott Luton (07:43):
Well, you know, so, Kevin’s a world traveler here. And so don’t be surprised when he shows up in Memphis as part of his world travels to get a couple of scoops of blueberries.
Kevin L. Jackson (07:50):
I’ll be there.
Andrew Hooser (07:53):
Get a couple of gallons.
Kevin L. Jackson (07:55):
I love blueberries.
Andrew Hooser (07:55):
Yeah. Well, come by.
Scott Luton (07:56):
So, you’ve kind of brought us up – I think one of the final – just one of the last things in this opening segment that we want to get you to speak to is your role at RateLinx, that vice president of customer solutions. I think I’ve got that right. In a small nutshell, what do you do in that role?
Andrew Hooser (08:13):
Yeah. So, my job is to work with our customers, making sure that we’re supporting their strategy. It could be making sure that they have the right strategy. So, we work in a very collaborative fashion with our customers, making sure that they’re getting full value out of the, you know, tools and services we provide and making sure that, you know, we’re doing everything we can to support those strategies. So, it could be anything from helping with analytics to make sure they’re tracking their metrics appropriately and we’re setting all that up correctly to helping with integrations, to helping advise them on bids and things like that.
Andrew Hooser (08:52):
So, I’m very fortunate that I get to work with a lot of our customers and I get to really understand their business better. So, that’s really fascinating to see how these companies work and we have a lot of different types of customers. So, we have some that are very small companies all the way up to the large Fortune 500-type customers, and they’re all completely different. So, I spent a lot of time learning. It’s really fun.
Scott Luton (09:20):
Let’s talk about that. So, for additional context and I’m going to kind of switch our conversation around just a bit, you’ve kind of shared shed some light on your professional journey and I want to, for the sake where it makes sense, I want you to talk about what RateLinx does and then we’ll circle back to professional journey. So, all of that you just shared where you’re making sure that your organization is delivering for customers and you’re a part of that very active, interactive channel of communication and results and metrics. At the core, what does RateLinx do?
Andrew Hooser (09:51):
Yeah. So, we’re a technology platform and we also have services in addition to that. So, we have a transportation management system that can do everything from, you know, shipment optimization, carrier selection. You know, we have an auction platform. We have an inbound supplier portal. So, somebody shipping inbound and they want their vendors to log in and use the rates. They can do that.
Andrew Hooser (10:16):
We also have a freight pay and audit system. So, if you want to pay your carrier invoices and make sure that they’re accurate, make sure that they match contracts, we have a tool that does that. We also have a visibility platform that connects to our customers to their carriers so they can see where their freight is at any given time. And, layered on top of all this is really our analytics platform that ties together data, integrates data and ensures that, you know, we’re pulling in all the information necessary for our customers to make good decisions and helping them make good decisions in an automated fashion.
Scott Luton (10:55):
Okay. So, Kevin, I want to, and then we’re going to talk about one of their particular products and offerings here in a minute after we kind of talked more about this journey and this eureka moment. But, you know, we’re talking pre-show about not only getting information you know you need to have, but, Kevin, you made a great point about some information that really you have no idea ‘cause it’s in your blind spot. You don’t even know you need it. Kevin, speak to that a bit and let’s talk to Andrew about that, too.
Kevin L. Jackson (11:22):
Yeah. So, one of the things you’ve sort of started talking about is data and a lot of organizations in today’s data-driven world, there’s just too much data. You don’t know what’s the good data and you don’t know what’s the bad data. And, you may not even know what data is out there that you’re not seeing, that you don’t know even exists, sort of that unknown data that could be critical to your business process. How does RateLinx understand or pick the right data for their customers? I mean, you said you have small companies all the way up to Fortune 500 companies. I mean, if I’m a two-person shop, I don’t want, you know, the fortune 500 data flow.
Andrew Hooser (12:18):
Yeah. Well, and that’s where – you know, first of all, RateLinx has been around a while. We’re 20 years old. So, we’ve got, I don’t know how many years of experience across our group, but this is what we do. And so, you know, honestly, when you’re talking to a small company [inaudible] of the Fortune 500, some of the systems might be a little different, but a lot of the data needs honestly are pretty similar. And so, we really go through trying to understand what does a customer – what do they need and trying to understand what do we need to piece together? And then, we figure out how to go integrate that. So, somebody that’s shipping –
Scott Luton (12:57):
What we’re trying to accomplish is always what I’m hearing there, Andrew.
Andrew Hooser (13:00):
Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. So, somebody that’s shipping [inaudible] has a very different need than somebody that’s shipping grain. And so, once we understand that, we connect the dots and we integrate that to give that back to our customers to make their decisions.
Scott Luton (13:15):
Okay. So, Kevin’s going to dive into a specific offering. You’ll have it in a moment. But I want to – I think it’s important that beyond all the experience you have and beyond all the conversations we’ve had with y’all, but, you know, groups like Gartner have validated and given your accolades, I think y’all hit the magic quadrant with two of your offerings this year, right, Andrew.
Andrew Hooser (13:34):
Yeah, absolutely. We’re in the track and trace. We’ve been recognized for our track and trace, also our TMS and also our freight pay and audit system. So, we’ve definitely had a lot of awards that we’re excited about that truly validate, you know, the good work that our team has put in building these solutions from the ground up ‘cause they’re really unique offerings.
Scott Luton (13:58):
The MQ. And as Greg has stated, Kevin, numerous times, despite his best efforts, you cannot buy your way into that MQ. Oftentimes, it is what you’re doing is what you’re delivering and, of course, your reputation out in the marketplace.
Scott Luton (14:08):
All right. Two quick points, and then we’ll throw it back to Kevin. First off is you’re kind of painting the picture of your journey, Andrew. There are lots of folks in these technology services companies that aren’t practitioners. I bet RateLinx and your customers use your experience there to the hill. Talk about, you know, the leg up that you probably have because you’ve been there and done it. You’ve been that practitioner that’s now helping companies get the technology than they need.
Andrew Hooser (14:38):
Yeah. Well, I’ve been really fortunate in my background ‘cause I started out as a vendor. So, I was servicing my customers, getting their freight moved, working on strategic projects as a vendor. Then, I moved and sat in the shipper role. So, I understand what to do, what not to do, learned lot of lessons the hard way. And, now I’m in the technology side. So, I get to see all three angles and, you know, I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there that had that, but I’m able to see it from the carrier point of view, from the shipper point of view and the technology point of view. And, I think that that does help tremendously, just give me perspective, so.
Scott Luton (15:17):
Andrew, you’re not giving yourself enough credit. I’m thinking that Venn diagram, Kevin, and there’s not many people in that center quadrant that have all three of understanding and experience there. One last question, I’m gonna throw it over to Kevin. Eureka moments. So, last time you’re with us, you shared a couple, you and Nate both did – Nate Endicott, your colleague there at RateLinx. What’s been a recent eureka moment that you’ve had?
Andrew Hooser (15:40):
Yeah. So, I mean I think we’ll get into this thumb. But I think just the value of integrating data, there was a company we’re working with not too long ago that it spent a lot of money on an SAP install and they lost visibility. They could not see, you know, their product throughout their inventory pipeline. And, you know, we were basically able to connect to different data sources that, honestly, they had access to. They just couldn’t tie it together. And these are large companies and they’ve spent millions of dollars on these systems. So, you expect they had it all in there, and it’s just really been eye-opening being on this side of the fence to see that there’s a lot of companies that they, like you said, they had data all over the place, but how do you tie it together, how do you integrate it and make it usable.
Andrew Hooser (16:26):
That’s really art at that point. That’s not data science. That is art. And I think that’s what we were able to do with a lot of our customers. And, it’s been eye opening for me because I sat on the shipper side and naturally that’s just what I do. Let me figure out the data, let me tie it together and use it. But, there’s a lot of companies out there that are struggling with it because they have so much data. They don’t know what to do with it.
Kevin L. Jackson (16:52):
Yeah. I guess that could be – just because you have data doesn’t mean you have knowledge or you don’t have – data doesn’t automatically give you insight into what’s going on in your organization.
Andrew Hooser (17:06):
Yeah. Absolutely. Data and systems don’t solve problems, so. They can create them.
Kevin L. Jackson (17:13):
Well, one thing you’d mentioned, your ITS, your intelligent transportation management system, how it made it into the magic quadrant of a Gartner. You know, today you hear about smart televisions, you know smart this, smart that, intelligent this, intelligent that, but I always want to know or wonder what makes it so intelligent. So, your ITM, ITMS, I’ve read a little bit about it and it seemed really your meat. What makes it so intelligent?
Andrew Hooser (17:51):
Yeah. So, first of all, our tool is very extensible and configurable. So, when we go to integrate with somebody, we don’t simply say here’s our platform. You’ll use it as it is. We really tie it into their processes and we can do that without writing tons of custom code and spending months on doing that. The other thing, I think, around the intelligence piece is one of our big focuses right now is on prescriptive insights. So, obviously we have descriptive analytics. We have some predictive analytics. But getting to that prescriptive level where the system not only will have the data to show you, where you’ve lost money or where you could have saved money, but we will go tell the user what decision they should make and the system can even go make it for you.
Andrew Hooser (18:44):
So, that’s where I think it’s cutting edge. I don’t think, you know, there’s not too many companies out there that have anything close to this at this point. And, I think our customers are getting a lot of value out of really taking that to the next level and the system helping really making decisions for the user because quite honestly people don’t have time. I think we’ve seen that over the last year. Supply chains have been in shambles and, you know, the people that are directing these supply chains don’t have time to sit there and sift through data and try to figure out what they should do differently. So, you know, our system will help do that for them.
Kevin L. Jackson (19:17):
Well, one thing, it sounds like it’s very proactive. But is that a double edge sword there? I mean, do you want the machine to make the decisions for you? Can you maybe, you know, [inaudible] solve on that?
Andrew Hooser (19:33):
I think it depends on the decision. If it’s a small change, yeah, you don’t want to have to approve that every time. If it’s something big that’s strategic, no, but the system at least tell you what it thinks you should do and you can either validate that and do it or decide not to. Either way, I think, you know, because people have so much data in so many different systems, it’s hard to find all those opportunities and go execute them. So, this is really just augmenting our users’ abilities to be able to make good decisions.
Kevin L. Jackson (20:07):
Well, it sounds like you have leverage, that insight and knowledge that RateLinx has built over the years about the right things and the wrong things to do, and you just sort of present it to the humans. So, the humans can make the smart decision.
Andrew Hooser (20:25):
Scott Luton (20:27):
So, you know, in many of our conversations that we have with you and members of the RateLinx team, you know, we always talk about visibility. You can’t have a supply chain conversation these days without talking about visibility. It seemed like last year or maybe it’s 2019, you couldn’t have one without talking about Blockchain. It was required in every conversation. Now we’re all kind of, you know, grinned in right now. But Blockchain continues to find new and improved practical applications and more case studies, which I love to see.
Scott Luton (20:55):
But I want to talk more about visibility with you, Andrew. I want to share a recent experience ‘cause, you know, we all have eureka moments. And, I promise I’ll be very short winded here, but we just came off a big event with multiple parties in multiple geographic locations all had a role. And with technology, you know, kind of event content at the core, right. Think production team in Colorado and the event itself was in Franklin, Tennessee, probably. Well, I guess probably a couple of hours from Memphis. And we had our team in the Metro Atlanta area with other teams, other places around the globe, and all focused on creating the show. So, we’re not moving stuff, but creating on wowing an audience. Well, one of the segments during this multiple day event finished 30 days early. And, you know, we had everything sequenced out to the minute. But when that happened, when that little change happened, there was about a 20 or 30-minute period where we weren’t sure what that ripple effect would be. And it kind of paralyzed our operation for a minute in terms of being live in the moment, right, production and whatnot.
Scott Luton (21:59):
You know, it’s been a while since I was a practitioner in manufacturing, and it had, for a second, I was like, man, this is like supply chain visibility. I’m not sure what’s coming next. I’m not sure what they want us to talk about next. But that example aside, speak to the visibility conversations that you and the RateLinx team are having, especially with the backdrop of being this ever moving, ever evolving, you know pandemic environment that hopefully we’re all trying to fight to get into that post-pandemic environment. What are y’all talking these days when it comes to visibility?
Andrew Hooser (22:35):
Yeah. So, I think what we’ve seen and, well, what everybody has realized over the last year is there’s a physical supply chain, you know trucks, trains, truck drivers which there aren’t enough of, and there’s also a digital supply chain and that’s where it’s your P systems and your WMS and, you know, really those high level analytics. And, those worlds don’t always intertwined in people’s minds but they are intertwined. And, I think when you start seeing toilet paper disappearing from the shelves and cars can’t be made because there’s no microchips, people realize these two worlds combine, there are real world consequences for the digital supply chain being off for whatever reason that may be. And so, what we’ve really seen is companies realize that they have to make sure that digital supply chain is as robust as possible. You know, just, Scott, in the example you had, basically, if you don’t have that, you’re just reacting to whatever comes next. You don’t know what’s coming next. You’re just reacting. You are not in control.
Andrew Hooser (23:48):
So, if you have that visibility, you can make different decisions than you would otherwise. One of the big areas that we’ve seen over the last year is the inbound side, being a bigger priority, where previously when you talk track and trace, most companies worried about their customers. How do we make sure that we can see what’s going to our customers? That conversation has changed a lot over the last year and a half or so. So, now people are looking at, “Let me see all my raw materials coming in. Let me see everything going to my distribution center so then I can make different decisions as far as what orders I’m filling my production scheduling, making sure that I make those changes proactively so that I don’t end up with stuck-out situations and making promises I can’t keep to customers because I just don’t have the product.” So, that’s been a real interesting evolution over the last year is just watching that inbound side come to life and the value has been proven because of all the issues we’ve had.
Kevin L. Jackson (24:46):
It sounds like that the aspect of having visibility both down the supply chain and up the supply chain, they’re equally important when you’re trying to service your customer and deliver that value.
Andrew Hooser (25:02):
Yeah. Absolutely. And within the supply chain. So, one of the things that is unique about us is, if you want to pass us production data, if you want to pass us demand planning data, you know WMS inventory data, we can tie that all together, so you can get that true end-to-end view that starts at the vendor and goes all the way through the customer and everything in between, which is pretty unique.
Scott Luton (25:28):
Really quick. Kevin and Andrew, really quick. You know, [inaudible], Kevin, is someone that we’ve collaborated with. [inaudible] and Kevin L. Jackson in a room, we can solve the world’s problems. I can promise you. But she made a great statement another day that seems obvious, but it made me stop and really think. You know everyone assumes that all the different aspects of supply chain that kind of, Andrew, that you were pointing to a minute ago, they’re all talking with each other. You know everybody’s in the room that needs to be in the room or at the table. But that’s not the case. And, one of the things I’m hearing here is how we can plan to systematize and use technology to ensure that whether we’re having machines talk to each other, or, you know, practitioners talk to each other, we can take advantage of that lever and at least make more progress where that communication is taking place.
Andrew Hooser (26:17):
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, in a previous life, working, you know, on the manufacturer side of things, you’d go to a meeting with the supply chain group and logistics and the operations group and the finance group, and everybody would bring their data source and say, well, my data says this, and, of course, it was all discombobulated, didn’t make sense. And, you just spend all the time arguing about the data instead of deciding what to do. And, if you can tie that all together, then you change the conversation from, well, I don’t believe you to let’s look at what we can do differently and let’s develop a strategy and a plan to address the circumstances that we’re faced with right now. So, absolutely it’s incredibly valuable.
Kevin L. Jackson (27:04):
Yeah. One time when you look at data, you know, it may appear to be different, but it’s the same outcome. You’re just looking at it from different perspectives. Like, if you’re looking at a term from the back, it may look like a right turn. But if you’re looking at it from the front, it looks like a left turn. But it’s the same data, it just looks different. You have to bring – understand those differences.
Kevin L. Jackson (27:32):
And one thing you’ve mentioned earlier, you talked about the physical supply chain and the digital supply chain. And, I always refer to that as the physical world and the virtual world. So, you can see the same event from a physical viewpoint and a virtual viewpoint and have correct data from those two different viewpoints, but sit there and argue because of its different technology. And, it really shows the challenges and complexities of technology that the stuff that you use at RateLinx with your customers. And, you know, if I’m not comfortable with technology, I’m going to be scared of that seemingly different way of viewing reality.
Kevin L. Jackson (28:29):
So, how does RateLinx address those fears from the customers? It would be great if you could give us some examples of how you sort of [inaudible] those fears of seeing the same event and getting what appears to be different data.
Andrew Hooser (28:47):
Yeah. So, there’s a quote out there and I’m not sure who said it, but you can’t crawl into flying. So, we see that a lot where, first of all I think we have to make sure we understand, for new customers in particular, where are they today? You know, are they crawling? Are they walking? Are they running? Are they flying already? ‘Cause there is some of those that we just play a little part in to help them.
Andrew Hooser (29:14):
And so, I think that’s the first step is let’s understand what’s going on today, and really our approach, we try to – we don’t go in with the mindset that we’re just going to completely change everything. A lot of these companies have been very successful doing a lot of the things they’re doing. So, let’s look at the process and figure out how do we fit in and then tailor that approach so that it doesn’t just completely change the world because a lot of times the entire world doesn’t need to be changed.
Andrew Hooser (29:44):
Some examples of that is, you know, we have a rating engine that’s very dynamic. We’ve built it from the ground up. And, you know, we have a lot of customers that will continue to use their own TMS that they spent millions of dollars installing. And, they will simply use API to hit our rating engine and pull in rates that are more dynamic than they might get otherwise. And, they can pull that back into their system and still execute. So, the user, the guy that is scared of the change and, you know, only wants to look at the physical world, his world doesn’t change for all practical purposes. It’s behind the scenes. He doesn’t even know what’s happening.
Andrew Hooser (30:21):
Another example is our auction tool. So, we have a tool that can be used on the spot market –
Scott Luton (30:27):
Andrew, I got to ask. Is the micromachine [inaudible] from the ‘80s part of that auction tool in any way, shape or form? You know what I’m talking about, the one of the fastest talkers in the world that would use auctions around the globe in 1980s.
Andrew Hooser (30:42):
Yeah. They got things [inaudible] a few years ago.
Scott Luton (430:45):
Okay. I was worried I was dating myself a little bit. I collected tons of those micromachines.
Kevin L. Jackson (30:49):
He was part of the physical world. We got rid of this.
Scott Luton (30:51):
Yeah. That’s right. That’s right. Sorry, my bad.
Andrew Hooser (30:53):
Yeah. We had an upgrade a few years ago and he went away. No, but the auction tool will connect our customers to various carriers to get rates where they don’t have them. And, we have some customers that their TMS simply reaches out to the auction tool. We find a rate in the carrier and it returns it. So, we don’t have to change, you know, a user’s world. I think when people think about integrations and implementations, everybody imagines the worst case, which the worst case happens a lot where you put in a new system and all of a sudden things don’t ship, customers are yelling, upper management is yelling and it’s just a nightmare scenario. And, to avoid that, you know, you really have to just implement what what’s necessary so that you don’t just have this big effect all at once. And, that takes a lot of collaboration with customers to really figure out what is the strategy and then build it over time and don’t just do everything in one shot.
Scott Luton (31:54):
You can’t crawl to fly, right. Is that what you said?
Andrew Hooser (31:58):
Absolutely. You can’t crawl into flying.
Scott Luton (31:59):
Andrew, I don’t know if you know this yet or not, but we’re going to share it with you. But our dear friend, Kevin L. Jackson sitting here with us, he’s a former naval aviator, and he can probably tell us plenty of stories about how you really can’t crawl into flying, right.
Kevin L. Jackson (32:14):
Scott Luton (32:17):
All right. So, we’ll save the stories for a later episode. So, as we start to wind down this interview, Andrew, I know that you’re really focusing on a lot of things we’ve talked about here today, but when you broaden your scope a little bit, right, when you pull those blinders off and, really, as I continue to think out loud, all supply chain professionals have to pull those blinders off because its system’s thinking, it’s enterprise thinking, it’s a higher altitude kind of see upstream and downstream. It’s required these days unlike some of the functional silos and that type of thinking that was much more accepted, you know a couple of generations ago. Andrew, what else are you tracking when you survey global industry right now?
Andrew Hooser (32:56):
Yeah. I think really what I’m interested in is what are the long-term impacts of the last year on supply chains? So, I think we all saw in 2019 that just in time inventory systems were a bad idea. I don’t think anybody predicted that. But in a pandemic, that didn’t work. And, right now, we have a lot of companies eager to change because they’ve realized they need to upgrade their supply chain abilities. But if things start returning back to normal two or three years from now, are we still in that mindset or will things just go back to the way they were, you know, and nothing really change. And so, that’s really interesting, especially when you think about truck drivers and potential truck drivers shortage, that every two or three years it pops back up again and then the market goes back down and there’s plenty of truck drivers and everybody forgets about it, right.
Andrew Hooser (33:53):
So, I think those two things, how do we use the available capacity better as a supply chain community? I think those two things intersect at that point because if we can figure out how to be more efficient, use that capacity better, get visibility so you don’t have truck drivers just sitting unnecessarily, then I think that’s great for, really, the entire country to be able to do that. So, you know, how this all evolves over the next few years? Hopefully, we don’t just forget and we get better from it, but time will tell, right.
Scott Luton (34:27):
Interesting perspective. Kevin.
Kevin L. Jackson (34:29):
Yeah. Really, really great perspective. When you were talking about just plugging into your engine that you developed, I can see one of your customers saying, this chain is going to have a hundred software developers going through our code and writing stuff and changing that and fixing that, when really it’s just an API call to your existing engine, right. So, that info that you’re giving is great. We really liked that and really appreciate it. But unfortunately we seem to be out of time, but I would like to invite everyone to learn more about RateLinx, to go to their website. How can our listeners get in touch with you, Andrew, and learn more about RateLinx?
Andrew Hooser (35:22):
Yeah. I’m active on LinkedIn so feel free to connect with me or reach out. I would love to set up a chat and talk about it.
Kevin L. Jackson (35:31):
Great. That’s awesome. It sounds like you have a lot of knowledge that you can share.
Scott Luton (35:39):
Kevin, he’ll talk visibility. He’ll talk supply chain. He can talk barbecue, wrestling, blueberries, you name it. You can have a conversation with just about anything. And most importantly, enjoy it and walk away better informed. Andrew, a pleasure. But Kevin, another great show. Man, we have more heavy hitters.
Kevin L. Jackson (35:58):
But I have to say, I think it was wrestling, not wrestling, right.
Andrew Hooser (36:02):
Scott Luton (36:03):
I said it wrong.
Andrew Hooser (36:05):
But you spelled it right.
Kevin L. Jackson (36:05):
I had to catch you on that. But I’d like to invite everyone to check out a wide variety of industry thought leadership that we have here at Supply Chain Now like Andrew and knowing wrestling versus wrestling. Okay. And, please on you can find us, Digital Transformers, and you can subscribe and listen wherever you get your podcasts.
Kevin L. Jackson (36:33):
So, on behalf of the entire team here at Supply Chain Now, this is Kevin L. Jackson and Scott Luton wishing all of our listeners a bright and transformational future. We’ll see you next time on Digital Transformers.
Thanks for being a part of our Supply Chain Now community. Check out all of our programming at supplychainnow.com and make sure you subscribe to Supply Chain Now anywhere you listen to podcasts and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on Supply Chain Now.
Andrew Hooser is the Vice President of Customer Solutions at RateLinx. He leads the design, development, and deployment of RateLinx’s world-class processes to support and grow the value of our collaborative relationships with strategic customers. He is vital in driving credible solutions and legitimate results for our customers.
Prior to this role, Andrew was Director of Logistics for GEC Packaging Technologies, leading the global packaging company with 127 facilities in 35 countries. Andrew has held several supply chain and logistics management roles with Evergreen Packaging and Mallory Alexander International Logistics. He has demonstrable knowledge in utilizing market intelligence to understand and build business strategy and processes in multi-modal supply chains both in North America and globally. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology. Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn.
WEBINAR- State of the Supply Chain Report – Priorities for Building Resiliency in Your Supply Network
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.
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.
Data Analytics and Metrics Intern
Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.
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.
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.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
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.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
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 Cisco, Microsoft, 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 University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier 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.
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.
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’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
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.
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.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
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.
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.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
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.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.