Despite the sizable investments companies have made in enterprise technology, many people still feel stuck with their systems. Rather than looking for change to happen overnight, these teams can start the journey towards ROI by taking a single step – perhaps with the support of a trusted advisor.
Greg Davis, a Principal at Grant Thornton, has 26 years of systems and supply chain consulting experience. He is an author and a frequent conference speaker who advocates for ROI-oriented digital transformation. When transformation is pursued for the sake of continuous innovation – not just one-time reengineering – it offers companies the opportunity to differentiate themselves.
In this livestream-based interview sponsored by Nextworld, Greg joins hosts Scott Luton and Greg White to discuss:
• His six key tips for decoding digital transformation in today’s enterprises
• Critical cultural and change management principles that can support the effort to maximize the ROI of enterprise systems
• The five forms of impact supply chain disruption can have if companies are not prepared to proactively address it
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 (00:00:31):
Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you are. Scott Luton and Greg White here with you on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s live stream. Gregory, how are we doing?
Greg White (00:00:41):
I’m doing quite well. How are you doing?
Scott Luton (00:00:44):
I am doing wonderful. We have a big, big show teed up here today. Someone was just trying to ring me right before we went live there. I didn’t have my ringer off. Hey, that’s dangerous.
Greg White (00:00:52):
It’s funny how often that happens, right? It’s like 11:30, right as we start prep.
Scott Luton (00:00:58):
Greg White (00:00:58):
And then at noon, somebody calls you and is it always a spam warning? It seems like mine’s always a spam warning.
Scott Luton (00:01:04):
Oh, you know, tire car warranties, you name it. But, hey, all of that aside, Greg, on today’s show, big show teed up. We’re continuing a very popular limited run featured series entitled “Decoding Digital Transformation,” sponsored by our friends at Nextworld. And folks, you can learn more about Nextworld at nextworld.net.
Scott Luton (00:01:25):
Now, Greg, today’s show is a second of three installments. We’re going to be diving in on the critical question, what’s next? All with a big time guest and Greg Davis with Grant Thornton. Are you excited, Greg?
Greg White (00:01:39):
I am, for a lot of reasons. You know, one of them, should I announce it?
Scott Luton (00:01:42):
Greg White (00:01:43):
Greg is from Kansas City and a big Chiefs fan himself. So, we won’t spend the whole show talking about that folks, I promise. But always good to have a, you know, member of the kingdom present.
Scott Luton (00:01:56):
And, you know, there’s a, kind of a big deal going on in Kansas City tonight with the NFL draft, right?
Greg White (00:02:02):
Yes. Yes, I think what we should ask Greg. I think he’s going to be there.
Scott Luton (00:02:05):
Well, we’re going to talk that or talk golf. We’re going to talk all about what’s next when it comes to digital transformation. So, folks, get ready. And, hey, as I see Barbara and Jim, Jim from Nor — Charlotte, Barbara from Nashville, Tennessee, Robbie from Tampa, Paul from Boston, Inderjit from Delhi, in India. Hey, welcome everybody. We want to hear from you. So, let us know what you’re thinking as we work through this conversation over the next hour.
Scott Luton (00:02:32):
So, Greg, are we ready to bring on our featured guests here today?
Greg White (00:02:36):
I am ready. These audiences are getting big, aren’t they?
Scott Luton (00:02:38):
Greg White (00:02:39):
Remember when it was just you and me and Amanda?
Scott Luton (00:02:41):
Yes, I do, as a matter of fact. And you know what beyond all the folks that make up our global supply chain family, they’re the smartest audience in the business. And I’m reminded every time we have these live events. So —
Greg White (00:02:54):
Yes, that’s true. Tons of insights.
Scott Luton (00:02:56):
That’s right. So, we want to hear it. You all keep it coming. So, we’re going to marry our audience’s insights. And Greg, of course, your color commentary with what we’re going to hear from our featured guests here today. So, I’m going to introduce our guests. So, Greg Davis brings 26 years of systems and supply chain consulting for big names like Arthur Andersen, PWC, IBM. You may have heard of those.
Scott Luton (00:03:17):
In the last 10 years at Grant Thornton, now, he’s experienced in the evolution of various tools and technologies across the enterprise and across many, many industries. Greg is a frequent speaker at global conferences. He’s a thought leader, author of several publications focused on, we’re all after this here, getting ROI out of your enterprise systems.
Scott Luton (00:03:39):
On a personal level, Greg White, get this, Greg Davis is a piano player, he’s a big sports fan, the father of four. So, he’s busy all — every day, all day.
Greg White (00:03:50):
Scott Luton (00:03:51):
And he can beat Lyle Ekdahl in pickleball handily. Greg White, what do you think about that?
Greg White (00:03:57):
Talk about throwing down the gauntlet there, right?
Scott Luton (00:04:01):
Greg White (00:04:02):
Scott Luton (00:04:02):
Greg White (00:04:03):
They’ll be playing, right?
Scott Luton (00:04:05):
Live pickleball matches, that’s right.
Greg White (00:04:07):
Scott Luton :
But, all, all of that being said, let’s welcome in Greg Davis, Principal at Grant Thornton. Hey, hey, Greg. How you doing?
Greg Davis (00:04:13):
Hey, guys. How you doing? Doing great, thank you. Pleasure to be with you. Thank you.
Scott Luton (00:04:19):
Well, great to see you. We’ve really enjoyed our pre-show conversations. We got a lot to get into here today. And by the way, I see Angela, Mark Nicks [phonetic] is with us here today. And Gino, Gino, great to see you up in North Alabama.
Scott Luton (00:04:31):
All right. So, Greg, Greg and Greg, we’ll start with a fun warmup question, right? We were talking sports on the front end. Of course, you got NFL draft. They’re in Kansas City tonight. A lot of football fans ready for that. Folks, if you’ve got — if you know who’s going to go first, NFL draft, drop at the comments. But I want to start with golf, Greg and Greg, because, Greg Davis at Grant Thornton is a big supporter of golf and a sponsor of the PGA Tour. So, both of you all, I’m going to start with Greg Davis, who is your favorite golfer and what is one of your favorite tournaments each year?
Greg Davis (00:05:02):
Your Greg or me Greg?
Scott Luton (00:05:04):
Greg Davis. Greg Davis. You’re, you’re our featured lead-off hitter today.
Greg Davis (00:05:07):
Well, you know, I grew up rooting for Tom Watson, right? So, I’m a huge Tom Watson fan, always have been. But these days, you know, with Grant Thornton and like you said, our sponsorship of the tour and moving the game forward, I — I’m pulling for Rickie Fowler, you know. And I’m pulling for him to get it back and he’s a favorite in our household.
Scott Luton (00:05:28):
Greg Davis (00:05:29):
And my favorite tournament is the players. You know, I’ve got the Players Championship is our tournament that we’ve sponsored over the last several years. And just — that’s where the, you know, that’s the top lineup in golf. And it’s not one of the four key majors, you know, but it is. All the pros recognized it as the fifth major.
Greg White (00:05:46):
Everybody says it’s the fifth major.
Greg Davis (00:05:47):
It is. And it’s a great place to be and a great tournament to see. So —
Scott Luton (00:05:52):
Love that. And hey, by the way, for our good you Greg White, we’ve got fellow Chiefs fans in the house, John.
Greg White (00:05:59):
Scott Luton (00:05:59):
It’s good morning from Kansas City, home of NFL draft and Chiefs kingdom. All right. Let that get some smiles from everybody here. Greg White, your favorite golfer and one of your favorite tournaments.
Greg White (00:06:09):
Yes, my favorite golfer of all time is the late Payne Stewart, because he was really good at getting out of trouble because he was so good at getting into trouble. And it — honestly, it encouraged me as a young golfer to see that he could get in so much trouble and get out just like the rest of us. It kind of gives you, you know, gave you hope. And I would’ve to say, gosh, it’s such a toss-up. I have a home tournament, of course, in Hilton Head, the — our RBC Heritage.
Greg White (00:06:40):
But also, man, the tour change here in Atlanta. Beautiful venue that East Lake is. The danger, the big bucks, and, you know, much like the players not quite as big, but much like the players, the great, great lineup of players that you see there. It’s a really fun tournament. It’s an easy walk. It’s a little bit hilly, like everything in Georgia, but yes, it’s a pretty easy walk relative to, you know, some of the other courses that are played in Hilly territory, anyway.
Scott Luton (00:07:14):
Love it. All right. We’re going to see Greg Davis’ and Greg White’s golf game live. We’ll broadcast that maybe in the weeks ahead. But let’s see here, we got —
Greg White (00:07:25):
So, give me about six months’ notice, please.
Greg Davis (00:07:27):
Tallgrass is a great place. Yes, it’s a good job.
Scott Luton (00:07:29):
Yes, Tallgrass with that iconic number 17, right?
Greg White (00:07:32):
Tall and green, yes.
Scott Luton (00:07:34):
Now, Timothy Scott says — he’s from Colorado, tired of losing the Kansas City for eight years. I’m assuming he might be a Broncos fan, Greg and Greg. Is that what you all think?
Greg Davis (00:07:43):
Greg White (00:07:44):
Yes, I wish I could have empathy.
Scott Luton (00:07:46):
Greg Davis (00:07:49):
Tim’s a good guy. He’ll get over it. He’ll get over it.
Greg White (00:07:52):
Greg Davis (00:07:55):
Greg White (00:07:55):
Scott Luton (00:07:56):
Hey, one more little tidbit around golf, because I got to throw this in. Now, this is going to be real cliche and I’m one of millions, but man, big Tiger Woods fan. And it hurt my heart to see him get hurt in Augusta, you know, and of course he’s had surgery after that. I hope he’s got one more good run in him, despite all that he’s been through. I think it’s good for the game, for sure.
Scott Luton (00:08:19):
OK. Folks, we got a ton to get into here today. So, I want to switch gears and get into our “Decoding Digital Transformation: What’s Next” theme here today? So, I want to start with this. So, Greg Davis, as we introduce you, you know, you — folks, he’s seen it all, just about, right? Especially when it comes to supply chain. You know, the ongoing evolution of industry, challenges, the tools and technologies, you name it. And you’ve served in a wide variety of industries. So, Greg, before we get into the topic, tell us a little more about what your journey and what you’ve seen.
Greg Davis (00:08:49):
Yes, I think you summed it up well. I mean, I’ve done a lot of systems consulting, you know, around the world for a long time. And, you know, a lot’s changed. And a lot — there’s a lot of people out there and I have a lot of lessons learned too, right, that helped me along the way. But, you know, there’s a lot of people that put in systems, right? Try to use systems, try to grow their business. But at the end of the day, the thing I’m passionate about is the ROI that you’re getting from all those activities, right?
Greg Davis (00:09:21):
And the reality is that there’s a lot of companies out there that just, you know, aren’t looking at ROI. They’re just looking at — they’re coming into work, right? Putting out fires, right? Become expeditors, if you will. You know, and they’re not living the life, right? They’re not enjoying their systems. And oftentimes the system becomes viewed as the problem or the constraint, right?
Greg Davis (00:09:42):
And so — anyway, what I do is I try to make sure that companies are getting ROI. They’re getting a return, right? They’re meeting their KPIs. That’s what I’m passionate about. So, most of the time, like you said, when I’m speaking at conferences or I’ve wrote a few publications, it’s about getting the most out of your systems. It’s about ERP governance or the map from ERO to ROI, you know, just because that’s what’s important. There’s got to be a method of the madness. We don’t just, as IT professionals and consultants, wake up wanting to implement, upgrade, optimize systems, you know. There’s got to be a reason we’re doing it, right? So, that’s kind of — that’s my passion, you know, is the ROI side. And, and I think Lyle, on the first segment of this, he mentioned, you know, that he’s a recovering —
Scott Luton (00:10:28):
Greg Davis (00:10:29):
— software executive. And I — I’d say that I’m still an addict. You know, I’m still in the middle of ERP and I’m heavy in it. And I’m still addicted to it on a daily basis. So —
Scott Luton (00:10:38):
Well — so, Greg Davis, we’re going to dive more into that in just a second, your addiction there. And we’re going to talk about the state of ERP today and a little more there. A lot more to get into. But before we get there, Greg, I got to give you a chance, Greg White, to respond to what Greg just shared there about focusing on the outcomes and the ROI. Your thoughts, Greg White.
Greg White (00:10:58):
Yes. I mean, that’s the key to any technology, right, or any sort of process or organizational change that you undertake, is to begin with the end in mind, you know. That’s a firm belief of mine. And then work back, because working back from that goal will allow you to assess the processes and the technology and the people and their organization in — that you have in place. And to understand better how you can meet that desired outcome by restructuring or adding or subtracting technologies or process steps and things like that.
Greg White (00:11:32):
So, as a recovering consultant, you know, that’s one of the things they teach you in consulting school, right? Is understand where you want to go, work your way back. Understand what indicates a problem in a process, right? And then work on that and find where the root cause of that is. So, you know, I think so many times — and Greg, I’m sure you’ve experienced this in a couple thousand implementations, I’ve experienced it a couple thousand times. But — that people think that simply plugging in a new technology solves the problem, right? The paradox where we just think, OK, everything should be fine now. And often it’s sold that way.
Greg Davis (00:12:12):
Greg White (00:12:13):
There’s good reason for people to think that way, but the reality of it is you’re going to have to go through some conflagrations to change some process and maybe even some — give some enlightenment to people to understand the desired outcome so that they can deliver them.
Greg Davis (00:12:28):
Scott Luton (00:12:28):
Well said. All right. We’re getting off to a fast start. So, folks, as we walk through this conversation, we — we’ve got six key tips to take away from the conversation. And we’re going to share those with you visually. So, you all get your, you know, if you’re like me, you like taking lots of notes, 17 pages. We got a lot of good stuff coming.
Scott Luton (00:12:47):
Before we get into the first one, Greg Davis, you already — you’ve got some fans here. You brought your fan club. I think this is Quentin, I think, and Amanda and Catherine let me know if not. This says, we have used Greg D’s roadmap and governance detail in the past. Great framework and positioning for change management. Hey, how about that?
Greg Davis (00:13:04):
Yes, thank you. That’s awesome.
Scott Luton (00:13:06):
All right. So, let’s get into the first topic here today. You’ve kind of already — both of you all, kind of, already opened up that can of worms. We’re going to talk about, Greg Davis, what is your perspective on the state of ERP today and shed some light on what’s next for the enterprise.
Greg Davis (00:13:21):
Sure. Yes. ERP, you know, is a — is obviously a — it’s a conversation you don’t want to bring up in a bar. You know, it’s — somebody’s always going to get upset, one way or the other if you do. But you know, the reality is a lot’s changed in ERP over the last 30, 40 years. But also, the reality is a lot hasn’t changed, right in the past 30, 40 years. And that’s just the truth. I mean, there’s — I think there’s a lot of companies that are kind of stuck in more traditional ERP. You know, Lyle mentioned those straitjackets that the traditional ERPs kind of puts in, right? And they don’t give you enough flexibility for growth and maneuvering. And there’s a little bit of that I’m — that we see, you know, a lot more these days.
Greg Davis (00:14:06):
And, you know, Matthew McConaughey always said, you know — he says, you know, they’re — you’re evolving, right?
Scott Luton (00:14:11):
Greg Davis (00:14:12):
And you need to evolve, right? So, I think that’s true in, you know, corporate America today is you know, really around the world. It’s — people are stuck, you know, we’re, we just continue to customize, right? To revolve our current ERP situation and we need to be moving on, right? There’s just too much change going on in the world.
Greg Davis (00:14:34):
So — and when I’m — you know, we mentioned some of these — the framework that was mentioned there by one of the friends. You know, I always teach that ERP is enterprise resource planning, right? Nowhere in there does it say system, right? Enterprise resource planning is a way of doing business, right? It’s an integrated way of doing business.
Greg Davis (00:14:56):
So, you know, you’ve got the financials, the distribution, right? Your manufacturing, your HR, your H — all that stuff is coming together. But it’s more about the business, right? Leveraging those tools, right? It’s not a — it’s not about the system.
Greg Davis (00:15:13):
So, you know, in my world, as — in the consulting, as Greg, you mentioned, you know, it’s — I hear a lot of the customers come to us say, we got problems. You know, our system — our systems won’t let us do X, won’t let us do Y, won’t let us do Z. And it’s really more, we find that either they, you know, its process issues, right, it’s data issues, lack of maybe organizational change management. You know, it’s not the system’s fault, right? Because our theory at, you know, at Grant Thornton is, you know, essentially all these ERPs, they do the same thing, you know. It’s the way we manage and run them that ultimately is going to determine our fate, whether it’s favorable or unfavorable.
Greg Davis (00:15:50):
So — and that’s kind of going back to what Lyle was saying in the last segment, is there’s those handcuffs, right, that are there with some of the more traditional ERP solutions that don’t allow you to be really nimble, right, that don’t provide that flexibility. And as we all know today, if you can’t change, you’re going to be behind, right? And you’re going to out to your competition.
Greg Davis (00:16:24):
So, you know, we try to encourage people to, again, like Greg’s mentioned, focus on, begin with the end in mind, focus on that ROI. I’ll say that a million times. I apologize in advance. But you know, if you don’t have metrics that matter, so a lot of people come to me and they say, I have ERP issues, right.
Scott Luton (00:16:42):
Greg Davis (00:16:42):
And I say, OK. Tell me more. What are your metrics that matter? What are the metrics that matter to you? And the conversation immediately stops, you know, it’s — and so, it’s more, they’re like — we said at the onset, right, they’re coming into work, they’re expeditors. They’re just, what issues are going to be on my desk when I get in there? And that’s what they’re addressing that day, as opposed to, you know, being more strategic about things.
Greg Davis (00:17:09):
So, I try to, you know, make sure they understand. Get control, right, of the things that aren’t the system first, right, and then, you know, the ERP thing is going to work. So, that’s kind of the current state, you know, kind of what we see. And I’m sure there’s a lot of people on here today that have some of that pain or seeing and experiencing some of that pain.
Greg Davis (00:17:30):
I do think, you know, we talk about evolving, I think there is a need for the ERP 2.0 or kind of what’s next, right, or where it’s going? And a lot of that is the, you know, the no code push. You know, we see a lot of that now where companies don’t want to customize anymore. I think, you know, consultants like me have made, you know, have got a lot of work out of people customizing their systems, right? And looking to something like me to help get them out of that, you know.
Greg Davis (00:18:02):
And you know — so, we’ve still got RPG, right, developers that are still out there, you know. And so, there’s still a lot of the customization and which is a — that you don’t want to bring up in a bar, add that to the list. But you know, customizations, you know, really keep you from growing in the future.
Greg Davis (00:18:22):
And so, I think a lot now the shift that we see is more to platform and capabilities, right? As opposed to code. So, you know, a platform allows you the ability through gooey and configuration to, you know, build your processes out, right, enhance processes quickly, and you don’t have to change code.
Scott Luton (00:18:43):
Greg Davis (00:18:45):
So, that’s a big thing that we’re seeing, you know. And you don’t have to, you know, build something then go put it in one environment, test it, go put it in another environment, test it, quarantine, and all that. You don’t have to do that. You know, you just — got to be able to react quickly, especially today. So, we always say, hey, platform is capability, right, system is code. So —
Scott Luton (00:19:08):
All right. So, the — so, I want to share — Catherine, let’s share that first tip there, because Greg touched on it. And Greg White, I’m coming to you in just a second. So, that first tip, you’re keeping count at home. Don’t customize unless it is sustainable. Instead build, extend and integrate where needed. Thank you for that.
Scott Luton (00:19:26):
All right. So, Greg White, man, opening salvo from Greg Davis there. But I want a little interstitial here. Little interstitial. I want to bring in, Jason Kemp’s comment. Greg Davis, the only guy I know that can work in a Matthew McConaughey quote into an ERP discussion. Now, I got to add a little something there because as Amanda — my dear Amanda here, the better half, she’s taught me how to pronounce his name correctly. And it’s Matthew McConaughey. I think I got that right there, Greg White.
Scott Luton (00:19:55):
But so, Matthew McConaughey and ERP, who would’ve thought? But Greg White, so your thoughts on the opening salvo there from Greg Davis?
Greg White (00:20:04):
Yes, I think that, you know, the idea around customization is right on. Look, first of all, we’ve been able to adapt technology using what I call virtual switches and dials for decades. I worked for a company in the ’90s that did no custom code at all, and could be used by retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, people in various industries, hard goods, soft goods, food and beverage, all of those things without any customization. And all you do is you just program in those customizations that are repeated constantly.
Greg White (00:20:40):
And to Greg’s point, he has made a career of undoing a ton of customization. Well, guess what, the nature of the industry is that the software is this much of the expense when it comes to ERP and the implementation is I don’t have long enough fingers to show you. But — I mean, you can spend $10 million on an ERP technology and spend a 100 or 200 or $400 million customizing it and implementing it to your organization.
Greg White (00:21:10):
And so, this is — there is this entire practice in big companies, big tech — big consulting and tech implementation companies, where they make hundreds of millions, billions of dollars a year that has encouraged traditional ERPs to stay with that model. Actually, it’s practically forced them to do so, because they don’t get the sale if pick — big four consulting firm doesn’t get a $400 million implementation, right?
Greg White (00:21:38):
So, the nature of what Greg is talking about is revolutionary. It’s revolutionary in that for, you know, a technology that can be, can be adapted with switches and dials and no-code applications and things like that. There is no $400 million ticket to implementing it. And there’s — and we need more of that in the industry. And that is being demanded more and more by the generations coming into leadership in — companies, right? Gen X, Y, and Z.
Greg White (00:22:10):
So, I think that’s an important thing for people to understand, particularly as we continue this conversation. The other is, that whole question around X, Y, and Z. Hey, we need the software to do X, Y, and Z. See, this becomes the — this becomes the client’s foundational problem. They want the technology to do what they want it to do. Again, they need it to deliver the outcome they want it to deliver and that will determine what the technology should do.
Greg Davis (00:22:39):
Greg White (00:22:39):
I think one of the questions — I guarantee you, this is a question that Greg Davis asks, and that is, should you even be doing X, Y, and Z? Why don’t you tell me what you want X, Y, and Z to add up to and then let’s figure out what the alternatives to X, Y, and Z might be, right? So, companies have to come into this world of trans transformation with an open mind as to what they’ll do, but a very clear picture of what they want to achieve.
Scott Luton (00:23:11):
Clarity is a beautiful thing. Eloquent, both of you all. Oh, man, we got quite a discussion. We’re only — not even halfway done. So, Greg Davis, I’m coming to you in just a second, but I want to point out two quick things. We’re getting questions around, are we recording this session? Yes. The good news is, folks, you can get this session on demand, across our livestream network, across the Supply Chain Now podcast network coming soon. So, hey, you can tune in the whole thing.
Scott Luton (00:23:36):
And then secondly, I think for perspective, Catherine and Amanda, if we could drop the first episode of the series, right? Installment number one with Lyle Ekdahl, if we can drop that in the chat so folks can listen to the first one and then this one as well. That’d be a dynamite.
Scott Luton (00:23:51):
OK. Greg Davis —
Greg White (00:23:53):
Can I acknowledge —
Scott Luton (00:23:53):
Greg White (00:23:54):
— one person there? John Connelly, he knew exactly what company I was talking about. Because I believe John, correct me if I’m wrong, he was at Williams Sonoma when we implemented there. And John has been — he has been in that sort of transformational ERP industry for a long, long time. So, not a terribly long time, John. No more than two decades.
Scott Luton (00:24:21):
Greg White (00:24:21):
Greg Davis (00:24:22):
I’ve seen a lot of familiar names out there. It’s good to see everybody.
Greg White (00:24:25):
Funny how quickly they come back around, isn’t it, Greg?
Greg Davis (00:24:27):
Scott Luton (00:24:28):
It is. And hey, Catherine reminded me, find us on YouTube. You can find the previous episode and today’s episode, of course. And Jim Brandt, excellent comment here. A problem well defined is already half solved, it’s one of my favorites. Finding that root cause, the real root cause.
Scott Luton (00:24:43):
OK. So, Greg Davis, the plot thickens here. So, I got a three-part question I want to pose to you, Right?
Greg Davis (00:24:49):
Scott Luton (00:24:50):
So, first off, how do you decode digital transformation to — in your mind, to your customers, Grant Thornton colleagues? How do you see digital transformation being embraced and evolving over the next few years? And really, you know, what’s next for digital transformation, Greg Davis?
Greg Davis (00:25:08):
Well, I think my answer, you’re already going to know, it’s ROI, you know. So, that to me, personally, digital transformation, a lot of people just do things for the sake of doing them. And unfortunately, with digital transformation, you know, everybody’s saying that phrase, right? Everybody says digital transformation. And, you know, it’s almost used as a punchline to where, you know, we’re modernizing things. You know, we’re getting more technically advanced. And it’s really not the case.
Greg Davis (00:25:34):
I mean, I think you have to keep your eyes on the prize and be looking at ROI. And so, that’s the Greg Davis answer. I think that Grant Thornton answer, the things that we’re always talking to customers about when they say, hey, what can we do to help our digital transformation efforts move forward? As we say. OK. There’s three, right? OK. It’s operational efficiencies, right?
Scott Luton (00:25:57):
Greg Davis (00:25:57):
What can we do to improve or address, you know, the operational efficiencies? And can we do that through technology? Can we do that through automation? Those types of things. Second thing is revenue, right? Revenue channels, you know. Alternative and new revenue channels. As you guys know, that was kind of part of the problem with — even Greg, you mentioned some people, you know, kudos and a round of applause to some of the people that put in ERP using standard functionality only, right. and they did not customize.
Greg Davis (00:26:28):
But then what — they get to a point in life where business changes, right, acquisitions happen, disruption happens, right. And then you have to change your business model, and how easily can you do that, you know. And you were in the standard functionality, so you’ve been given the tools that the software can provide. But now you need to do something different, then what do you do, you know. And so, you get faced with that.
Greg Davis (00:26:52):
So, we have to be able to identify, you know, especially, you know, post pandemic, right? New and alternative revenue models. So, again, you know, that — that’d be the second one. The third one I think is, you know, just — you have to move your customer and/or user experience position forward. So, you, you know, we have to keep your eyes on the customers and you have to internally keep your eyes on the organization and improve that user experience.
Greg Davis (00:27:19):
And that — and that’s huge today. You know, because we have a lot of customers that are using the systems that they’ve inherited from long ago, right? And so, they’re just either trying to build better mouse traps or trying to get used to the functionality and things like that. But — so the common denominator in those three things is customers, right, and organization, your organization, you know.
Greg Davis (00:27:42):
And so, I think a lot of people just think digital transformation is, you know, taking an update or we’re getting current, you know, and things like that.
Greg White (00:27:50):
It’s not the case.
Greg Davis (00:27:50):
That’s not the case, right? It’s — you have to be focused on your customers and your organization and moving that forward with technology, and that’s digital transformation. So that’s the key thing. I think, you know we hear a lot that, OK, things are going poorly for us with our system. So. we’re going to just — we have a huge digital transformation effort going on. And I think what we help them realize is digital transformation, once you know what it is, is not a silver bullet, right, to fix poor process or poor data, you know, it doesn’t do that.
Greg Davis (00:28:27):
And in fact, you have to have a healthy foundation before you can capitalize on any tech, right? So, a lot of times we have to tell people, slow down, you know, slow down. We got to really — Greg, to your point earlier, get back to what’s the source of the problem? You know, what are we really trying to fix? And a lot of people don’t have the operating model, you know, they don’t have the data management, the maturity model, right? They don’t have governance. There’s a lot of things you have to have before you get there.
Greg Davis (00:28:57):
But to answer your question, Scott, that’s kind of the three key things. Focus on the organization, the customers, the revenue model, and then things will work out technically.
Scott Luton (00:29:05):
Love that. All right. And those three things, again, operate, operational efficiencies at revenue model, customer and user experience. Love that. And it brings us to the second tip that Greg Davis laid out there. And let’s share that visual, empower your organization and your customers through digital transformation efforts, right? There’s a ton of power in true collaboration.
Scott Luton (00:29:28):
Greg White, I can’t wait to hear your comments here on where we’re headed.
Greg White (00:29:33):
I think that, you know, the important thing to understand is, is the organization both inside and outside your four walls? Because if nothing is changing faster than that.
Scott Luton (00:29:43):
Greg White (00:29:44):
Right? I mean, we’re going through an incredible generational change wherein baby boomers are exiting the workforce at 10,000 a day. An extra 3.1 million of them exited the workforce in 2021. So — and some of those jobs will never come back. And —
Scott Luton (00:29:59):
Greg White (00:30:00):
— that’s a great — that’s an incredible potential loss of tribal knowledge in a company. So, the ability to — and the action of actively training and engaging your people so that they understand the why of what they’re doing as much as the how-to of what they’re doing is really, really critical. Because you don’t have books and websites and all kinds of information to refer back to because most of that was in your parents’ head.
Greg White (00:30:34):
So, when they left, a lot of that knowledge left with them. And a lot of organizations are starting over nearly from scratch on a number of things. So, we — you know, I think the empowerment of the organization, the simplification of interaction with technology, you know, the tech — the terminology I’ve used for 10 years or so is amplification. We need to amplify even the most complex of technologies. Of course, you have the ability to dig in, dig deeper and get more detail if necessary.
Greg White (00:31:06):
But if you can just present someone with a — maybe a recommendation or maybe simply something to approve outside of bounds where the tech technology is more prescriptive, right? Meaning it will actually take the action, absent action from a human being and alert you if they’re, you know, you are outside kind of normal bounds or whatever. That kind of technology is going to become more and more part of what we’re doing. That’s what A.I. can do for us, is take — we have as humans and extract emotion, forgetfulness, right, bias and —
Scott Luton (00:31:44):
Bad day, stress, all that.
Greg White (00:31:45):
Bad day, stress and just the general intent to please the boss, right? And just do what is right and prescribed for a certain situation.
Scott Luton (00:31:55):
So, I was trying to — Greg Davis with Greg White’s journey t-shirt he was wearing, I was trying to find a great segue with “Don’t Stop Believing.” But it’s just outside of my reach. So. we’ll keep driving. We’ll work it in later.
Greg White (00:32:05):
I think if you get a few more topics —
Greg Davis (00:32:07):
Got to have hope.
Scott Luton (00:32:08):
Greg White (00:32:09):
— we’ll get to it.
Greg Davis (00:32:10):
Scott Luton (00:32:10):
All right. Folks, a lot of good stuff there. Amplification. I love that phrase. All right. So, let’s keep driving here. Greg Davis back with you. I want to talk about how the severity and frequency of recent and current global supply chain disruption continue to impact your clients in the industries you working in regularly. And how are they preparing maybe with you for what’s next in their space, Greg Davis?
Greg Davis (00:32:35):
Yes, I think there’s obviously more, you know, disruption change in the supply chain than ever before. I think everybody would acknowledge that. I think a key differentiator for companies today that are doing well is the proactive management of the supply chain, right? They’re not just long gone of the days where you can just react quickly, you know. And you know, you have to be proactively monitoring and managing the supply chain.
Greg Davis (00:33:06):
And so, what we see, you know, what — when we’re talking to customers today, you know, is really — there’s five key themes or impacts to that disruption. Number one is the rising costs right out there to produce and serve the market. The second one being is, it hurts everybody, the labor shortage, you know, there is a labor shortage out there that we can all acknowledge that again, impacts the supply chain. The inability of training — trading partners, you know, to deliver, right? We just — the SLA doesn’t mean anything anymore, you know, so we have to manage that.
Greg Davis (00:33:36):
The inability of the trading partners. But then the demand for digital solutions is a huge uptick. We see that, you know, supply chain execution. The net of it is it requires, you know, technology, sophistication, automation, right, to make it go. And we see that now more than ever, right? And there is a lot of, I think, companies that were using spreadsheets forever and phone calls, right? And, and when you have this disruption and this change, you know, that goes out the window, so.
Greg Davis (00:34:16):
And then the fifth thing we see is complexity and risk. Obviously that’s growing on a daily basis. So again, it’s the proactive management of those variables. So again, we used to let those five things just kind of impact us. And then we had people that were really go-getters and, you know, high on the effort scale and could go do it and hope for the best, but you can’t do that right now.
Greg Davis (00:34:40):
And we need systems that enable us, right? You have to have the technology and the platforms that can enable you to quickly make changes to your systems. And automation, like Greg said, is a huge part of that. But — and you know, a lot of our companies, like I said, they think the system is the problem, right? And a lot of times it’s the operating model or the — even if you don’t have the operating model to find, it’s your target operating model. You got to — you know, we talk with a lot of customers and they tell us their problems, you know, and then it really comes down to it’s not the system again, it’s the operating model, right?
Greg Davis (00:35:17):
And so, we always encourage them. Let’s address that operating model, right, and then let’s allow that operating model to be able to react, right, so that you’re not always, you know, having to blame the system or deal with a system issue. So, you know, and a lot of times people think the — again, their supply chain experience is based on what’s happening to them. You know, we have to say, you got to have the tools in place and the technology in place, right, to mitigate all that, you know. That you’re — we can’t be prepared for everything, but you can be prepared for a lot more than you are today, right?
Greg Davis (00:35:51):
And so, you know, that’s what we do — that’s what we are mostly helping customers understand. A lot of that came from the surveys we did during the pandemic, right?
Greg White (00:35:59):
Greg Davis (00:36:00):
You know, Grant Thornton, we surveyed all of our customer base, audit tax and advisory. And wanted to know what they were experiencing. Year one, year two, now, you know, what’s going on with the supply chain? So, we’re active actively monitoring this and trying to look at it. But that’s — those are the big disruptors and the impacts that we’re seeing out there today, Greg and Scott.
Scott Luton (00:36:22):
OK. So, hey, let’s share one of the things, tip number three that Greg Davis touched on there. And, you know, roulette is a game best played in Vegas, not in supply chains. But one of the things I picked up from Greg Davis, address your supply chain operating model and then advance with digital transformation. So, hey, for the sake of time, I’m going to move right into this next topic here. And folks, in the comments, hey, let us know what you’re thinking. What are some of your rules and tips as you navigate your own digital transformation?
Scott Luton (00:36:52):
Greg Davis, let’s talk about why it’s important to understand organizational change management and other aspects of change, right? We’re digesting tons of change. Greg White, you know, talked about this endlessly the last few years.
Greg White (00:37:07):
Scott Luton (00:37:08):
But also touch on some of those changes associated with what’s next in terms of technologies and supply chain management. Greg Davis, your thoughts.
Greg Davis (00:37:15):
You know, technology is a key driver of corporate change, and I think that’s what companies have to realize if they don’t already. I know it seems like it’s, you know, that’s something we all know and say, you don’t need me to come on one of these webcasts and say that. But the reality is, we got people out there in, you know, in the corporate America and IT that don’t value the importance of change management. And it is. It’s arguably the most important, you know, variable.
Greg Davis (00:37:43):
You know, I’ve — we’ve got people in, you know, in IT working for companies and they, you know, that don’t even know what social media is, you know. And so, there’s just a — there’s a big change that’s happened and a shift. And when we talk about change management, to us, it’s not just like a newsletter, right? And it’s not you know, a training course. It’s not an email, you know, it’s not awareness.
Greg Davis (00:38:09):
You know, it’s really a lot more than that. It’s about, you know, the tools that you have to run your job, right? It’s about job impact analysis. You know, it’s about future. It’s about continuing education. It’s about so much more than that. And, Greg, you know, from all the projects, right, I mean, we always, as IT professionals, make — an issue. We work so hard to get the software ready for the business, right? And in reality, you need a lot more time getting the business ready for the software and the tools. This never happens, right? It never works like that.
Greg Davis (00:38:43):
So, you know, there’s a lot of, a lot of people that know change management is an offering, right, and they know it’s something they need, but it’s usually a thing that, you know, frankly gets left out of the budget or something like that. But I always tell my customers, hey, whether you do it or we do it, somebody’s got to do it, right? If nobody’s managing the change or providing that organizational change management, then it’s probably going to fail, right, it’ll be a success to tie a tee [phonetic] and a failure to the business, or vice versa, right?
Greg Davis (00:39:14):
So, we see a lot of themes, you know, some of the themes we see out there are, you know, supply chain agility. So, you know, you got to have constant innovation now and change capability, right? So, it’s not just like, hey, we’re going live and then five years later you’re going to have the same user procedure that you did, you know, when we went live. No way. That just doesn’t happen anymore, right?
Greg Davis (00:39:38):
So, you got to have that agility, and that’s a common theme here to all of these topics is how agile, you know, are you as an organization, you know, with your systems? A second one we always see in change management is technology builds trust, so it’s something everybody should know, if you don’t already. I mean, platforms that maximize your capability as a user and give you, you know, freedom and empower you. You know, those are the higher performing corporations, right, that the user doesn’t feel like the system is a limitation. So, technology absolutely builds trust, change adoption and acceptance. So, you’ll have a higher, you know, acceptance of organizational adoption with those tools.
Greg Davis (00:40:24):
You know, if you, if you enable your users in the organization with technology, you’re going to have a higher, you know, efficiency. You’re going to have a higher user exception. All those things in a culture. So, again, you know, you have to focus on change management. And I would tell you that, you know, it’s a dynamic world, as you guys know, and a dynamic organization. In this environment, you have to have a dynamic culture. So, you have to have people that are used to change, can get comfortable with being uncomfortable, right, in a dynamic culture. So, that’s what we’re seeing a lot in change management.
Scott Luton (00:41:02):
Greg White, I’m coming to you next, but Greg Davis, you got to preach that louder for the folks in the back because that, there is so much truth there. Being comfortable at being uncomfortable. Let’s focus in on that tip four, a dynamic environment requires a dynamic organizational culture. Talk about a t-shirtism that is certainly one.
Scott Luton (00:41:22):
And, Greg White, coming to you next. But speaking of t-shirtisms, old T squared who holds down the fort for us on YouTube, really appreciated the amplification and added that as another t-shirtism from our chat here today. But Greg White, talk about managing change and how that factors into the path ahead as well, Greg.
Greg White (00:41:41):
Well, like Greg said, it is culture driven. First of all, you have to be able to embrace change to even think about digital transformation. And importantly you have to understand that the change comes pre-emptively to implementing the technology and rapidly after implementing the technology. Because a technology only knows what you tell it, vis-a-vis data, right, or process descriptions or definitions and things like that. And then it ruthlessly and efficiently executes based on what you’ve told it, it needs as knowledge and what you tell it, it needs to do and to accomplish.
Greg White (00:42:21):
And that will rapidly expose any slack or weakness or failures that you have in your organization or business process. The old, another cultural adage — sorry, another consulting adage is, as the water recedes, the rocks are exposed. And, you know, working as I did in supply chain where we would rapidly bring down inventories. If you have processes that are — that require you to have slack excess inventory, our solution would rapidly expose that.
Scott Luton (00:42:53):
Greg White (00:42:43):
So, we got to the point where we tried to pre-empt that and have companies recognize that that was going to happen and then prepare them to make those changes. And then longer term, you have to be, as we talked about, right, business is dynamic. You have to be aware that there are certain immutable laws of nature in business. And that is one, you will fall into bad habits and poor practice in your processes. And that will suboptimize the technology processes, as Greg said, will change over time because the business changes, the customer mix changes, whatever, and you need to be able to both recognize and adapt to those, either by altering your interaction with the technology or maybe even the technology itself, or by recommitting to good practice in your business.
Greg White (00:43:42):
I can tell you that I have seen many companies go. I’ve been on the beneficial end of this many times. We need new technology. Our technology doesn’t work for us anymore. And the truth is, they’ve fallen into bad practice. And in classic fashion, I help them get into better practice. And at about the same time, precisely at the same time, that they implemented our technology which in some cases, very few, very rare, no one would be opportunistic in this situation.
Scott Luton (00:44:14):
Greg White (00:44:14):
In some cases, they could have done the very same thing on the technology that they already had and solved their problem. I mean, that’s God’s honest truth from a reformed technology (INAUDIBLE), right?
Scott Luton (00:44:26):
You’re keeping it real. I appreciate that, Greg White. All right. So, hey, really quick. We’ve got a ton of great comments. We can’t get to all of them. I love Carl Yos [phonetic] keeping us, keeping Matthew McConaughey with us. All right. All right. All right. Gino’s talking about some things he learned the hard way that Greg Davis touched on. Jim’s talking about, change management is the touch stone to building a sustainable culture. And Barbara, so true here. Oh, yes. Get comfortable at being uncomfortable. That’s like — that’s — it should be one of our tips here today.
Greg White (00:44:56):
Can I — I want to address that particular point.
Scott Luton (00:44:58):
Yes, please. Yes.
Greg White (00:44:58):
There are people who are comfortable being uncomfortable, and there are people who are — who have no discomfort with that kind of transition. And I think one thing that organizations need to do is root out find and embrace those people and have them be the lead, the cornerstone of their transformation. Because some people, often it’s the younger people in your organization, you know who they are. They’re kind of generically risk takers, but those are the people that you can put in the forefront who have no fear of this change. And then they can be an example for the rest of the organization going forward. Because the true fact of implementation is, you don’t force adoption. You don’t force buy-in. You demonstrate success which causes buy-in to happen to a transformation. And those people are great examples. Look for those people in your organization.
Scott Luton (00:45:58):
Love that. And when you said mercilessly earlier, it reminded me of the — who’s archival of Flash Gordon? Because he was something the merciless, I believe. Ming the merciless, right?
Greg White (00:46:09):
Ming the merciless, that’s right.
Scott Luton (00:46:10):
Yes, Ming the merciless. OK.
Greg White (00:46:11):
I didn’t realize that was Flash Gordon, yes.
Scott Luton (00:46:14):
All right. So, we got four down. We got two more to go. Greg Davis and Greg White, both of you all, man, we’ve got quite the dynamic duo. Greg Davis, from your perspective, what are other hot topics most important to your clients across all industries as they plan for what’s next in their business?
Greg Davis (00:46:32):
Yes, I think, you know, customization is always one that comes up. I think we’ve hit that one pretty hard, you know. And I just go back to, you know, we joke around a little bit. What we say with customizations, it’s, hey, the more you do, the less you do, right? Do less, is kind of what we tell them, you know. And for those who’s seen the movie.
Greg Davis (00:46:53):
But yes, I mean, it’s just don’t do it, right? I mean, and — but we can talk about ways to dig out of that hole. But lately it’s been more, hey, everybody wants to talk speed to value, right? Everybody wants to talk, especially the C-suite. They want to know, hey, we got to be — I want value. I need it quick. And we need tools that allow you to do that in days or weeks and not months or years, right?
Greg Davis (00:47:16):
Say, you got to be able to have a process or a new process, enhance it, right, and be able to implement it and get it in in a short amount of time, right? And there’s tools that allow you to do that and there’s tools that don’t. So, we talk a lot about that and we try to get them more geared towards platforms and things we’ve already discussed.
Greg Davis (00:47:35):
Automation, Greg White hit it off. You know, hit the nail on the head there, you know, that’s the other big thing that we’re talking about. And there’s really five things in the intelligent automation spectrum that we’re seeing out there. The first one is the machine learning, enhanced character recognition, you know, I think everybody sees and is hearing more and more every day about the value that that can bring. You know, I think there’s still some things that are maturing in that space. But that would be number one system driven learning, right? Prediction, pattern identification. Those are some other things that we work with organization.
Greg Davis (00:48:12):
The organization, the forward thinkers are looking through that. Greg’s kind of like what you were talking about. You know, we need things that quickly alert us, right, when we’re falling out of line and we’re seeing a lot more of that. Analytics is key. You know, data information, knowledge is key. So, data analytics and visualization is another thing, you know, that we’re talking to customers about.
Greg Davis (00:48:34):
The fourth one is, isn’t the no code, right? Again, it comes up every day. Enterprise applications, right, and platform focused. You know, there’s low-code, no code. Rob Fisher, I saw, had a comment about digital transformation being esoteric. Great word. I think the same can be applied to low-code, no-code because everybody just throws them out there, you know? And the reality is that low-code is still code, right? And it still needs to be addressed, changed and its debt associated with all those customizations and programming.
Greg Davis (00:49:09):
So, no code is a big one. And then the fifth one is just the RPA or robotic process automation, you know, and a lot of companies are using those to automate things that potentially have hindered them in the past. So, you know, I think the automation we’ve hit on. But, you know, there’s a lot of different — a lot of companies don’t know where to jump in and what to automate. They just know, hey, I need to automate stuff, you know. And you really, you know, we take a hard look at, you know, data, people, processes, technology, as you guys mentioned. And you can find the ideal candidates. I mean, you know, we know, you know, a lot of people just think, hey, I need to automate that.
Greg Davis (00:49:44):
And you really need to look at the ones, again, not to beat a dead horse, but to give you the ROI. So, I — we always say, don’t just automate for the sake of automating, you know, and know what you’re doing. And I’ll leave you with this on, the automation thing. You know, there’s not just some benefits. There’s a ton of benefits to that, right? There’s hard and soft dollar benefits to that. You know, the hard dollar benefits are your time savings, your cost savings, your efficiency gains, you know.
Greg Davis (00:50:12):
But really the key thing to me is those soft benefits, right, that you get. You know, you got improved customer satisfaction, right? You got improved internal user organization and change management. I mean, those soft benefits are much larger than the hard when it comes to automation. I think you’re growing as an organization with technology, and that’s huge.
Scott Luton (00:50:35):
Yes. Well said. All right. So, that’s number — tip number five before I come get Greg White’s quick, quick commentary there. Listen, write this down, automate where you will receive return on investment. Don’t just automate for the sake of automation. Words to live by. Greg White, your quick comment and response there.
Greg White (00:50:52):
Yes, I think if I had to pick a hot topic, it would be, that Cloud is now presumed, right? The power of Cloud technologies is now presumed. And I’ll talk in very basic terms about what the power is. One, it’s literally unlimited processing power, right? It’s the ability to do as both Gregs have talked about. To be able to build a technology without custom code because that technology — because a technology company is now building one code base and deploying it to all of their customers. And even if something is arguably a customization for a single customer, it’s in a constantly supported code base because there is only one, right?
Greg White (00:51:40):
And then, of course, the ability to amplify and still customize — not customize, configure deeply in great measure for every type of company exists. And that constantly moving and yet constantly monitored, sustained, and supported development platform, that Greg keeps talking about, is ever evolving and yet ever stable and ever supported.
Greg White (00:52:10):
So, you know, I think the, there is now this presumption out there that that’s what technology is. People don’t even refer to Cloud anymore. They just now believe that technology ought to be that way. It ought to be like the apps on your phone, right? It ought to just, if you ask for a feature a week later, a month later, a year later, whatever it takes. It just appears. And you don’t have to do a thing. So, I think there’s a lot of, you know, there’s a lot of power in that. And I think people have not only recognized the power of cloud, it’s almost become the Kleenex of technology and they just presume it, right?
Greg Davis (00:52:51):
Love that, yes.
Scott Luton (00:52:52):
I do. The way things ought to be with Greg White, new series coming to you here. Hey, Greg and Greg, and by the way, I think Greg White spoke in dual third person there a minute ago. The White — the Gregs did say this. I love this comment from Harry here. Harry says, do you know what you get when you automate waste? Waste that is automated. Greg Davis, you had a quick comment there.
Greg Davis (00:53:13):
I’m sorry. Yes, Harry’s, right? I mean, we have a lot of customers that automate bad processes and —
Scott Luton (00:53:18):
Such as —
Greg Davis (00:53:19):
— that’s Harry’s point right there.
Scott Luton (00:53:21):
Greg White (00:53:22):
Scott Luton (00:53:22):
Greg White (00:53:22):
And we know Harry, he’s made a career of eliminating the waste in those processes. So, yes, he knows of what he speaks for sure.
Scott Luton (00:53:30):
Harry, great to have you here. All of you all. I know we can’t get all the comments. And we’re a little behind time here. So, we — we’re going to bring it all together here. Greg Davis. One of the final questions here, what’s next to bring all this together for companies?
Greg Davis (00:53:44):
Yes, I think you have to look at your agility, right? As a company, you have to see how agile are we? Let’s take inventory, right, and assess where we’re at. And you have to look at, you know, how are you still, you know, worried about coversheets for your TPS reports? Are you, you know, worried about moving forward and advancing, right, and eliminating waste, right, and focusing on efforts that give you the return on investments?
Greg Davis (00:54:09):
So, you know, we — today we’re talking with customers again about your platform, right, just making sure they have, no matter what system they’re on. Do you have the capabilities to quickly react, right? And there’s some that do it well and some that don’t, and some of you out there are stuck with the system that you’re on, you know. And — but you don’t have to be, you know. There’s ways to make some changes.
Greg Davis (00:54:31):
So, you can look to the platform, you know. You can look to no code options, right. Again, going back to what we said earlier, again, no code, definitely better than low code, right? You want to try to avoid that technical debt wherever you can. And, you know, and let your technology, you know, grow your business, as opposed to hinder it.
Greg Davis (00:54:52):
And then, you know, embracing change, you know, you got to relate it to current and future. You know, you guys mentioned it earlier, the future and current — the current and future talent levels that are out there. You know, that’s probably going to be an issue for the next several years, right, as we change and grow through that. And, you know, there’s a lot of people entering our workspace and a lot of people leaving it, you know. And that you know — so agile organizations, right, empower individuals. So, we keep telling people that. So — and then — and what do you — what does it take to be agile? Well, you have to have the systems that enable you to be agile.
Scott Luton (00:55:25):
I love that, Greg Davis. Let’s drop that up there. Agile organizations empower individuals and that’s how you move mountains and better compete and handle change and succeed and a lot more. All right. So, Greg White, get your final comment on, you know, what is next that Greg Davis is talking about. Bringing this together for companies and people and leaders.
Greg White (00:55:47):
Yes, embracing change means building a changed culture into the culture of your company. You have to expect, embrace, and even seek out change in an organization that is already operating relatively efficiently. I’m a big — this drives people crazy, but I’m a big — I’m not a — if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’m an if it ain’t broke, break it kind of person. And that is more and more the world we live in because if you don’t break it, if you don’t redesign it as somebody said in the comments earlier, if you don’t redesign it, you will fall behind and you will be disrupted, upended, outflanked, whatever. Call it whatever you want.
Greg White (00:56:31):
There is no resting on your laurels anymore. And I think the good news is that the generations that are coming into leadership and into the workforce, they really, really embrace that change. They want to change things. Some of them, just for the sake of change, unfortunately, but that can be trained, right? But the spirit of change, the spirit of embracing change is more difficult to train. You really need to try to recruit it.
Scott Luton (00:56:57):
Yes. Well said Greg. Toms [phonetic] keep it changing as they should. Greg White and Greg Davis, love this conversation we’re having here today. And hey, the gift that keeps on giving as, I think this is Quentin, those TPS reports, office space movie, the gift that keeps on giving, for sure. I like your analogies, Greg Davis. I knew you’d fit right in with us here today.
Scott Luton (00:57:18):
All right. So, hey, heads up to our production team. We’re going to keep Greg Davis with Greg and I through today’s close because I got just a couple of final questions. Folks, hey, make sure you check out the first episode with Lyle. you can check out this episode on demand, as you dive in deeper of some of the things we tackled here today. But, Greg Davis, really quick, in a nutshell, what do you do at Grant Thornton and how can folks connect with you?
Greg Davis (00:57:42):
Well, really all the things we’ve talked about today are things we’re trying to help customers with, you know. Global advisory practice, these are the things that, you know, give us passion, right, and what we wake up wanting to do and, you know. And help people in these areas and be, you know, not to delay any of the problems but, you know, fix them, right, and help to reinstall that method to the madness and focus on ROI. Make sure you’re getting, you know, the return on your investment as opposed to becoming expeditors.
Scott Luton (00:58:17):
Yes, I love that, man. Do something about it. And folks, we dropped the link to Greg Davis on LinkedIn. You can check him out there, or if you’re at NFL draft tonight, Greg —
Greg Davis (00:58:28):
Scott Luton (00:58:29):
— or folks out there listening or viewing, they might can run into you there as well, Greg Davis. Is that right?
Greg Davis (00:58:33):
Yes, I’ll be there. I’ll be there. I hope all your teams pick the right person.
Scott Luton (00:58:38):
All right. Hey, really quick. Brett Lewis, check this out, and it looks like we may have just hit a, a technology snag there, that happens from time to time. But hey, Greg Davis, Brett Lewis has coined you as the digital transformation whisperer. How about that? That’s high praise, huh?
Greg Davis (00:58:55):
Yes, I’ll take it. You know, I get called a lot worse every day. So, I love that.
Scott Luton (00:59:02):
Well, hey, as opposed to whispering, I hope you keep shouting from the mountaintops because the message that you and Greg White both delivered here today, leaders, team members, no matter where you are, we need to embrace it. Before we give Greg Davis the closing comment, Greg White — and hey, Murphy’s Law is alive and well in global technology. What — so, Greg White, what was your favorite — what was one of — we covered a lot of ground here today. Greg White, what was one of your favorite things that we heard here from Greg Davis?
Greg White (00:59:34):
I think it’s so encouraging to hear this notion of, sort of, a new way to embrace technology, particularly ERP and to eliminate — this is very simple but it’s so critical, to eliminate customization that is so big. That, I mean, that’s a huge aspect of creating a sustainable and continually feasible operating model for companies is to eliminate that customization. But also, I think the important thing is, look, regardless of the technology, it is all about the culture and the people, right? Technology is going to automate a lot of jobs.
Greg White (01:00:15):
And by the way, I believe we’re in a space in our — in the time space continuum, Scott, for you, the — right, space nerd? In our space time continuum where we no longer need to apologize for automation and autonomous doing work because either those jobs are too expensive, right? The $500,000 a year we pay to actuaries which will ultimately be completely automated, if it hasn’t in a lot of cases already, or the jobs that nobody wants. The dark, dirty, dangerous, and dull jobs that we talk about so often that are better performed and people are staying away from in droves.
Greg White (01:00:56):
So, this allows us to recruit and to enable a much, much more dynamic organization and create a — an organization and a culture of change because they don’t have to be worried about, you know, the — you know, the tightness of that bolt, right? What’s the great factor on that bolt? Because that can be handled with automation. So, it really enables people to use the better parts of their mind and capabilities.
Scott Luton (01:01:25):
Beautifully said. All right. So, Greg Davis, I’m coming to you for the final word in just a second. But, hey, before, love this discussion. Hey, thanks for everybody that showed up and dropped the comments. Sorry, we couldn’t get to a lot of them. Hey, big thanks again to Nextworld, our sponsors of this decoding digital transformation. Very popular. Limited — here at Supply Chain Now. You can learn more about all the cool things Nextworld is up to at nextworld.net.
Scott Luton (01:01:48):
And hey, be sure to join us for the third and final installment where we’re bringing Greg Davis back. We’re bringing the band back together, Greg Davis, Lyle Ekdahl, all coming back for a — an on-demand or a live webinar. Mark your calendars for July 18th at 12 noon eastern time. All right. So, Greg Davis, if you had to boil it all down to your final word challenge, closing statements to our global Supply Chain Now fan, what would that be, Greg Davis?
Greg Davis (01:02:14):
Well, I think I, you know, I gave you a McConaughey quote earlier. So, I probably owe you a better one. And I’ll go to one of my favorites and, you know, it’s a Martin Luther King quote. One of my all-time favorites is, you know, you don’t have to see the whole staircase, you know, you just have to take the first step.
Greg Davis (01:02:32):
So, I think a lot of our people that feel stuck, you know, in the — with technology, you don’t have to change overnight, you know. There’s ways to take that first step, you know. And you can get that ROI. It’s not that hard, you know. So, there’s hope out there, right? You don’t have to just keep continuing to deal with this stuff. There’s ways you can take that step forward, and there’s people out there that can help. So —
Scott Luton (01:02:53):
Greg Davis (01:02:54):
— there is hope. Hang in there, you know, take some — take the first step.
Scott Luton (01:02:58):
Love that. Greg Davis, Principal at Grant Thornton. Thanks so much for joining us here today.
Greg Davis (01:03:02):
Thanks for having me. See you guys.
Scott Luton (01:03:04):
All right. Big thanks to Greg White, big thanks to Greg Davis. Thanks to all you all tuned in. If you missed part of it, hey, it’s on demand coming to a podcast and YouTube near you. But whatever you do, folks, take this this excellent advice and insights and expertise from Greg Davis and Greg White, and do something with the deeds, not words and beyond it all. Scott Luton, as we wrap up here today, challenging you to do good, to give forward, and to be the change. And we’ll see you next time, right back here at Supply Chain Now. Thanks everybody.
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.
Greg Davis is a Principal within Grant Thornton’s Advisory Services and a leader in the Technology Transformation practice. Prior to joining Grant Thornton, he was a National Practice Managing Director with MarketSphere Consulting until its acquisition by Grant Thornton in September of 2013. Prior to MarketSphere, he was an ERP consulting leader for IBM, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and Arthur Andersen. Greg has 26 years of global consulting experience and specializes in providing ERP best practices in human resources, financials, distribution, and supply chain solutions across a diverse portfolio of industries. Greg has delivered hundreds of successful ERP programs and has experience working directly with business leaders in the analysis, strategy, selection, implementation and upgrades of various ERP solutions (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, and on-premise applications). Greg has a significant professional history of enhancing the core ERP with other enhanced reporting, enterprise performance management (EPM), and business intelligence (BI) solutions. Greg is a frequent national conference speaker and has authored several publications around ERP Governance and ROI for ERP. Connect with Greg on LinkedIn.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
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Demo Perez 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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The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
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Nick Roemer 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.