Everyone wants their customers to have a good experience but being able to live up to that standard consistently and at scale is not easy. Ideally, someone will take responsibility for creating positive experiences no matter the exact requirements. In this Dial P for Procurement livestream, Kelly Barner and Scott Luton are joined by Crystal Villareal, Member Services Manager at Una, and Philip Ideson, Founder and Managing Director at Art of Procurement.
In addition to hearing directly from Crystal and Phil, we also got solid advice from the best experience managers in the business: our canine colleagues. We got professional advice from Louie, Una’s VP of Snuggles, Rosalie, AOP’s Director of Canine Experience, Jasper, AOP’s SVP of Barkalytics, and Ruby and Dexter, “The Muscle” at Supply Chain Now.
During a conversation recorded as a livestream with the Supply Chain Now audience, Crystal and Phil shared their best practices for:
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Scott Luton (00:00:32):
Hey. Hey, everybody. Scott Luton and Kelly Barner right here with you on Supply Chain Now, the Dial P for Procurement edition of the livestream here today. Kelly, how are we doing?
Kelly Barner (00:00:42):
I am doing great. Happy Tuesday, everybody.
Scott Luton (00:00:46):
Happy Tuesday. Happy Tuesday already. More than halfway through August. But the Dial P for Procurement has been a hit here, a Hollywood certified hit, check out the Dirty Rotten Tomato rankings, you name it. And, of course, we conduct and present this jointly with our dear friends over at Buyers Meeting Point. So, Kelly, we have quite an episode teed up as we’re winding this summer down. Is that right?
Kelly Barner (00:01:10):
Yes. We absolutely do. I actually think everybody is really going to enjoy today’s lightning round. Not an entire spoiler alert, but if anybody who happens to be watching or listening in has a dog that’s part of their family that they would like to share, we’re going to learn some stuff from our canine friends this morning. It’s part of our conversation about customer experience, which is part of our three month series with our friends from the team at Una. Last month we had Anthony and Chris on with us. Today, we have another member of their team. And if you like what you’re hearing here from Una, I also recommend the Sourcing Hero podcast, which I host for them. It’s a weekly podcast that hits Wednesday mornings at 6:00 a.m. Eastern. And we’ve got huge latitudes, so we’re telling all kinds of stories of business procurement and sourcing heroism.
Scott Luton (00:02:00):
That is right. Great group over there, Una. They’re on the move for sure. And, of course, The Art of Procurement, man, AOP, speaking about a group turning out the great content. So, we’re going to say hello to a few folks here momentarily before we bring on our featured guests. But really quick, Kelly, we’ve got a couple of big events coming up that we want to make sure folks know about.
Kelly Barner (00:02:17):
Yes. We sure do.
Scott Luton (00:02:20):
So, for starters, Supply Chain Insights Global Summit hosted and created and mayored by Lora Cecere, the one and only, coming up September the 7th through 9th, 2021. Supply Chain Now is pleased to be the exclusive virtual host. So, join us there. And, Kelly, you’re going to be joining us for a half-day as part of the broadcast team, right?
Kelly Barner (00:02:40):
I am going to be. And I’m thrilled because, as people know, I’m a huge fan of books. I’ve read all of Lora’s books. They are absolutely amazing. And so, based on sort of that approach to supply chain and her own philosophy on managing things, I’m really excited to hear the insights coming out of this event.
Scott Luton (00:02:57):
Required reading for sure. So, join us there. And there’s a fee involved. You’ve got to register to be a part of it. But as Greg White mentioned yesterday, hey, if your boss or manager, you name it, doesn’t approve it, send them to Greg. Send him or her to Greg and he’ll make the business case for you. So, join us for that in September.
Scott Luton (00:03:15):
Also, December 8th, come join Kelly and I, and the Art of Procurement team as we celebrate a ton of good news across the globe from a supply Chain and Procurement Awards standpoint. Kelly, we’re partnering with the great folks over at Hope For Justice, whose mission it is to eradicate global slavery wherever it is. So, great event teed up in December, right?
Kelly Barner (00:03:37):
Absolutely a great event. And you just recently interviewed the CEO of Hope For Justice, right? We heard some amazing stories. Probably my big takeaway from that conversation is that, although most of us, especially living in North America and Western Europe, think of human trafficking and slavery as a far, far away problem, it is not. In many cases, it is much closer to home than we realize. So, this is a good cause that we’re celebrating along with some very good news from industry.
Scott Luton (00:04:04):
That’s right. And our Supply Chain Now team is really pleased partnering with both Buyers Meeting Point and Art of Procurement to feature this December 8th event. So, registrations, nominations, sponsorships, all open at supplychainprocurementawards.com. Okay.
Scott Luton (00:04:20):
But today, today we’ve got an outstanding conversation teed up. Just before we bring on our featured guests, let’s say hello to a few of the folks that are dialed in today, no pun intended. Of course, we’ve got Clay and Amanda tuned in, in the green room helping to make the production happen today, along with Jada and Alice. We’re very appreciative of that. Peter Bolle, all night and all day, is back with us here today. He’s looking forward to the discussion via LinkedIn. Great to see you, Peter.
Kelly Barner (00:04:48);
Scott Luton (00:04:49):
Mohib from Wichita, Kansas, the air capital of the world. He’s looking towards building stronger relationships. How about that, Kelly?
Kelly Barner (00:04:57):
You already have strong relationships with us, Mohib. We’ll give you some advice for building strong relationships with others. But you’re good here.
Scott Luton (00:05:04):
Awesome. Legit Vinsly,”Hey, everyone else. I got a great business proposal.” Oh, man. Don’t leave us in lurch, Legit. Let us know what’s going on there. But thanks for joining us via LinkedIn here today. One of our favorites, Silvia Judy, the monarch of jams and jellies, and the like. Of course, she also, Kelly, resides in the holy city of Charleston.
Kelly Barner (00:05:26):
Where it’s apparently raining. So, it’s a good day to either make or eat jams and jellies.
Scott Luton (00:05:31):
That is right. Felicia Przybyla is with us. Of course, she’s part of the Reverse Logistics Association dynamic team. Great to see you, Felicia. Keivan is back with us. Keivan, you’ve been heads down really busy. Looking forward to your contributions here today on today’s livestream. Let’s see here. Peter had to switch over. YouTube is good. So, if you’re having any issues on LinkedIn, you know, we’re across five social channels right this minute. YouTube might be the easiest one. So, join old PB over there and we look forward to your –
Kelly Barner (00:06:01):
That’s a dashing picture, Peter. I love that.
Scott Luton (00:06:03);
It is, isn’t it? I like it.
Kelly Barner (00:06:05):
Scott Luton (00:06:08):
Oh, man. Peter, you hear that? Susheel is back with us tuned in via LinkedIn. Great to see you, Susheel. Great to have you back. Azaleah is with us via LinkedIn. Good morning to you. Hey, Davin Kozsan is back with us. Now, Kelly, it’s been a while. And Davin also has a new headshot.
Kelly Barner (00:06:26):
He does. You know, it’s nice seeing everybody’s headshots start to update. Not that we’re getting to see anyone face-to-face anymore, at least not yet. So, we’re all looking for those little changes to pop up in the avatars across platforms.
Scott Luton (00:06:38):
That is right. And, Davin, we love that headshot. And I love to hear you’ve had an amazing month long road trip. We want to see some pictures and hear some stories there, that would be outstanding. And then, finally Gregory, the Shakespeare of supply chain is with us here today. Gregory, great to see you on LinkedIn. All right. And hello and welcome everybody. I know we couldn’t get to everybody there. But we’ve got a great conversation teed up. Kelly, are we ready to introduce our esteemed guests here today?
Kelly Barner (00:07:05):
We definitely are.
Scott Luton (00:07:08):
Okay. Let’s do it. With no further ado, I want to welcome in Crystal Villareal, Member Experience Manager at Una, and Philip Ideson, Founder and Managing Director at Art of Procurement. Hey. Hey. Good afternoon, Phil and Crystal. How are we doing?
Crystal Villareal (00:07:23):
Philip Ideson (00:07:24):
Good. Thank you, Scott and Kelly. I’m delighted to be here.
Kelly Barner (00:07:28):
Glad to have you, guys.
Scott Luton (00:07:28):
We are delighted over the moon to have you. Kelly and I really enjoyed, and our teams, our wonderful pre-show conversation that went from food to dogs and then some, birds, lots of birds. Crystal gave us the goods. If you see Crystal looking out the window this way, we’re tracking some gorgeous birds and hummingbirds just out our windows. But great to have you here. And, Kelly, I think a little birdie has told me we’re going to start with our lightning round this morning. Is that right?
Kelly Barner (00:07:56):
We are. And I’m going to call my shot, this is probably going to be the most popular, most successful lightning round you’ve ever had in Supply Chain Now.
Scott Luton (00:08:06):
Phil’s and Crystal’s smile both give it away. We’re talking about in this lightning round one of our favorite topics. No, not food this time. We’re talking dogs. And so, first off, everyone in the sky box seats, formerly known as the cheap seats, they’re the best seats, hey, send in pictures of your canines, your pets, but your canines. We want to put a collage together and I bet there’s a lot of dog lovers here. By the way, Crystal, Katherine says, “You look fabulous today.” And, Crystal, Katherine says you are number one on her favorite person of all time. And that might come with a championship belt. I’m not sure though.
Crystal Villareal (00:08:46):
I’m looking forward to it.
Scott Luton (00:08:47):
All right. So, also, we’ll stick with Crystal here. So, Crystal, we’re going to introduce a member of your executive team here. This is Louie, Vice President of Snuggles. Is that right?
Crystal Villareal (00:08:58):
That’s Louie. Yes. He’s a pro at snuggling.
Scott Luton (00:09:03):
So, when he is not attending board meetings and making executive decisions, he’s also kind of a spokes dog. He’s featured across y’all’s website. Is that right?
Crystal Villareal (00:09:13):
Yeah. He’s mentioned on our website. I don’t know if there’s any – I think -well, no. There are pictures of him up there, so he makes an appearance.
Scott Luton (00:09:22):
So, I got to see who wrote these questions for me, but I’m told to ask you about his management style.
Crystal Villareal (00:09:27):
His management style, well, it can be pretty bossy. He’s an only child syndrome. So, you know, he’s pretty bold about knowing what he wants and expecting it.
Scott Luton (00:09:38):
Is he more of a visionary? Or does he [inaudible]?
Crystal Villareal (00:09:45):
I don’t know.
Scott Luton (00:09:48):
Kelly Barner (00:09:48):
He’s a man for all situations.
Crystal Villareal (00:09:50):
Yeah. There you go.
Scott Luton (00:09:52):
We’ll give our best to Louie, the Vice President of Snuggles. And we’ve got a couple others here. So, Phil, bringing you into the conversation. I think we’ve got your two dogs, Rosalie, Director of CX as in Canine Experience, and Jasper, Senior Vice President of Bakalytics. I’m not sure who gave them those titles. It could have been me. But tell us about Rosalie and Jasper.
Philip Ideson (00:10:15):
Yeah. I love those titles. It’s funny, you know, we were sitting in the green room beforehand, the majority of my prep, I think, today was trying to come up with job titles for the dogs. So, you know, I came up with Head of Security for Jasper because he’s just always barking at everybody trying to scare them. And for Rosalie, I had Head of Employee Wellness because she always wants to be outside playing ball. [Inaudible] outside with us.
Scott Luton (00:10:39):
Nice. I love it. Now, are they related?
Philip Ideson (00:10:42):
Yes. So, it’s brother and sister. The intention was to get one of them. And, you know, one of them had a brother at home that needed fostering, too, so they both came along for the ride.
Scott Luton (00:10:53):
I love it. Okay. And then, final question. We can probably all relate to this one. What’s it like podcasting or creating content with canines in the house?
Philip Ideson (00:11:01):
You know what? We might see about that today. It can be noisy. So, oftentimes, I try and put them away in the furthest room in the house and sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s not helped us by the fact that, you know, one of them really likes chasing geckos. And we’re here in central Florida so he gets plenty of opportunity to do that. And, also, we live right by a middle school and he barks at anything that moves, which is, typically, kids for an hour twice a day.
Scott Luton (00:11:30):
I love it. I love it. And evidently he’s big into analyzing all that barking activity so you have [inaudible] sports.
Philip Ideson (00:11:35):
Yeah. I’m surprised it doesn’t time him out. He suddenly works harder at his craft.
Scott Luton (00:11:40):
And then, finally, we’ve got two dogs collectively known as The Muscle of the group, and that’s Ruby and Dexter, our two dogs here at Supply Chain Now. And I’ll tell you, Amanda’s chagrin, we do refer to them as additional children. But, hey, it’s good to spoil rescues. I don’t know about y’all. They’ve had a hard, tough life, so it’s good to be able to spoil them occasionally.
Scott Luton (00:12:00):
Okay. A couple of quick comments here. So, it looks like Louie is developing quite a fan club, Crystal. Silvia and Amanda both are Louie. Davin says, “Louie for president.” I love that. They’re also talking about the titles, the Barkalytics and stuff. Davin says, “No one ring Phillip’s doorbell.”
Philip Ideson (00:12:22):
So, now you’re just tempting faith.
Kelly Barner (00:12:23):
Quick somebody knock on wood.
Scott Luton (00:12:27):
And then, Keivan has been busy. So, we can tell. Hey, life keeps us all busy. But we’re glad you’re here and we always enjoy your feedback and contribution, so good stuff. All right. Let’s see, Kelly, where are we getting started on the more serious conversation with Crystal and Phil today?
Kelly Barner (00:12:44):
We’re actually going to start our serious conversation by learning from our furry friends. You know, I’ve been in a few Zoom calls where Phil has had a friend or two sitting just behind him off camera there. Nothing changes the tone of a Zoom meeting like an adorable dog that’s well-behaved sitting in the back of the camera. They don’t need coaching to provide a good experience. You could be having the most intense discussion and everyone just goes, “Oh, what’s your dog’s name?”
Kelly Barner (00:13:12):
So, here’s what I know – and, Phil, I’ll start with you. And then, Crystal, I’ll come to you for the same question – what is it that dogs do so naturally that people can learn from when we’re trying to create good experiences?
Philip Ideson (00:13:26):
Yeah. You know, when I was thinking about that, one, I think I only bring the dogs into conversations when I know it’s going to be a tough call to kind of lighten the mood.
Kelly Barner (00:13:33):
Philip Ideson (00:13:33):
No, you know, I think for dogs, I mean, obviously, they’re well renowned for their loyalty. And customer experience breeds loyalty. You know, that’s kind of where I kind of think of the segue between one and the other. If we can create positive experience and good moments, you know, like we try and do for our furry friends, then that breeds loyalty. And I think that is just as much the case in business as it is when you got a house full of animals.
Kelly Barner (00:13:57):
Oh, and you do have a house full of animals.
Philip Ideson (00:13:59):
Kelly Barner (00:13:59):
So, if we decide to do this theme again, we can do it with what? Birds, rabbits.
Philip Ideson (00:14:03):
The dogs are just the start.
Kelly Barner (00:14:04):
Yeah. Exactly. And, Crystal, I know when you and I had chatted and I had shared with you my idea bringing Louie into the loop here, you actually talked about the fact that everybody’s dogs used to be profiled on the Una site. So, obviously, not a lot of risk there from a brand perspective. Very feel good. What is it that you would say you take from Louie either in terms of how he acts or how you feel towards him that maybe finds its way into your member experience work?
Crystal Villareal (00:14:34):
Yeah. I mean, I would echo what Phil just mentioned, dogs give without, obviously, thinking about who they’re giving to. They just, like, share of themselves. And I think that building trust by being able to put yourself out there, like from a member experience perspective to your brand, that sort of thing, in building trust with the ones that you’re relating with.
Kelly Barner (00:15:03):
So, let’s stay with that idea of member experience. As Scott said, in interest, Crystal, you are the member experience manager at Una, what does that mean that you do on a given day?
Crystal Villareal (00:15:14):
Responding to customer service, questions, issues, creating relationships with our members. So, our sales team, they do an amazing job of providing that initial service and then handing them off to member experience. And so, my job really revolves around building the relationship and running with the loyalty and the trust that they’ve already built. And so, it’s being consistent across the board from one department to the other whoever they’re relating with within the organization.
Kelly Barner (00:15:45):
We had spent a little bit of time talking about the importance of communication, right? Because you’re based in California, but you’re working with folks all over, so sometimes it’s email, sometimes it’s Zoom, it’s all different kinds of communication. But talk to me a little bit about the importance of listening in making sure that someone has a good experience.
Crystal Villareal (00:16:05):
Yeah. It’s my approach -and I think this is probably the same for everybody within our company – is, if you don’t know where your customers are coming from, what they need, if you haven’t listened in detail, then you don’t really know what you’re helping with. You’re wasting time. You’re wasting their time. And it’s also a trust builder when they know that you’ve listened, you’ve heard them, and can respond accurately with what they need.
Kelly Barner (00:16:34):
One of the other things that’s interesting about your role is that you both interface with members that are buy-side companies as well as working with suppliers, so you’re kind of working as a go between. Would you say that the listening and communication skills and the whole experience creation process is the same on both sides? Or are there differences about it when you’re working with a company that’s looking to buy versus a supplier that’s on the other side of the table?
Crystal Villareal (00:17:03):
I would say that it’s very similar, if not the same. It’s understanding who you’re talking to, knowing what it is that they need. But then, also, on the other side, what they have to offer. It’s understanding the relationship and not just assuming any of the details. It’s listening to both sides. Because if a supplier is saying, “Hey, this is what we have to offer. And here’s our boundaries.” And you’re trying to cross those boundaries based on meeting the needs of your customer. That doesn’t really work. And so, you’re trying to honor both ends.
Scott Luton (00:17:39):
If I can interject with a question here. And, Crystal, you and Phil and Kelly all weigh in. It seems like to me, that in this information age, this highly digitized environment, that we all, as a society, are making more assumptions than traditionally, maybe how many were made. And, of course, this is just a generalized question. Would you all agree with that sentiment? Or do you think we have more information at our fingertips since there’s less assumptions? My hunch is that there’s more. My assumption is that there’s more assumptions. Crystal, your take?
Crystal Villareal (00:18:13):
I would agree with you. I would say that there’s a lot of information out there. And if I’m understanding your question correctly, there’s a lot of information out there and there’s a lot of assumptions that can be made. I mean, I would just go back to the fact that, you know, it’s okay to ask even there is information, I should say, out there.
Scott Luton (00:18:36):
Excellent point. Always confirming verified extra question, like Colombo. Just one more thing, just to getting certainty, Phil, same question. Are we making more assumptions, less assumptions, or about the same?
Philip Ideson (00:18:48):
Yeah. I don’t know whether it’s more or less. We’re making a lot of assumptions. And it’s funny that you asked the question because I saw only this morning an organization I know fairly well talking about how within their procurement organization, they’re using NPS or Net Promoter Score as a metric for measuring their success. And, you know, they said that that requires you to be vulnerable because you need to go and solicit feedback that you may not like the answer for. Now, where I’m kind of going with this is that, one of the biggest difficulties that procurement organizations have in transforming their capabilities is the perception of the stakeholder, the business, the internal customer is very different with what procurement believes that perception is. And procurement never asks the question. And so, that gap between thinking you know what your customer wants and what the customer actually wants is one of the biggest issues that I see for procurement organizations in trying to be impactful. And there’s very few that actually try to close that gap.
Scott Luton (00:19:47):
I love that. Kelly, I’m going to get your comments. And I got a couple of comments I’m going to share from the sky boxes. But what’s your take on the assumption factor here?
Kelly Barner (00:19:56):
You know, I think it’s something that takes a certain amount of courage. This is sort of top of mind for me. I just interviewed Kate Vitasek yesterday, she’ll be coming up on The Sourcing Hero. And she talked about the courage that it requires to lead change. And I think where that comes into this is, you know, if I ask you a question, Crystal, in your mind customer, your answer might not be what I was expecting to hear. And there’s a certain courage and strength that’s required to hear what you have to say, process it, even if it’s not what I was hoping to hear, and then act on it. So, if we’re really going to outperform sort of base level expectations, we have to confront that fear and we have to be willing to actually hear what people are saying to us. It’s no good. Like, I’m not going to ask the question because I don’t want to know the answer to this. That is not – as we will talk about – going from good experience to good relationship.
Scott Luton (00:20:46):
I love that. Well said. All three of y’all. Peter Bolle says, “Sales and procurement are extremely transferable skill sets. Totally agree with what Crystal said earlier.” Greg Beegle says, “The best customer experience for our customer is not what we think it is, but what they think it is. And our job is to find out what it is because it’s different for everyone.” And all three of you all kind of spoke to that. I’ll tell you, we’ve got all-stars here today. Jeffrey Ostrander is back with us, Kelly.
Kelly Barner (00:21:16):
Scott Luton (00:21:16):
One of our first guests on the very first Dial P. He says, “Procurement pros have to learn and speak the C-suite language, business objectives versus functional KPIs.” Excellent point there. Okay. So, the comments here, Peter says, “Jeff, that equates to ROI and cost benefit analysis, coupled with the solution meeting a business challenge or problem.” Okay. Very well said. Okay. So, Kelly, where are we going next?
Kelly Barner (00:21:44):
So, actually, now this is going to be really fun because I’m part of the Art of Procurement team, and so I have a little bit of inside knowledge about what we try to create from an experience standpoint. But I think a lot of people don’t necessarily think about what things might be behind the scenes. They just think about themselves as consumers of the information. So, we have a big really tight knit community. And part of that is based on the experience that we’re deliberately trying to create for them. Can you talk a little bit about the vision that drives, not just the tactical work that we do, but sort of the approach, and the tone, and the philosophy that we try to put into that experience?
Philip Ideson (00:22:23):
When I think about vision, ultimately, we want to try and simplify the access to insights, to resources, to expertise. The procurement leaders [inaudible] are procurement change agents actually need to have an impact on their business and have an elevated impact on the business. So, you know, we’re all about how can we make all these insights and information more accessible? And how can we do it in a way that, ultimately, drives people to be able to take action? That’s a big thing for us. And we always talk about, is, how can we make content action oriented? So, we kind of start from there.
Philip Ideson (00:22:54):
And, you know, I think we have a view – man, I don’t think it’s wrong to have a view in a position on what the future of procurement looks like – based on all the conversations that we have with either providers or with procurement executives and based on our own experiences around procurement becoming a lot more impactful within our businesses, but perhaps a smaller organization that’s more tech enabled and that more relies on kind of this ecosystem of partners. And so, everything that we’re kind of doing and the content is related to helping folks in that journey, you know, folks who see the same evolution of procurement as what we do.
Kelly Barner (00:23:30):
But it’s complicated, right? Because you have this vision and you’re constantly trying to check and say, “Okay. Are people having the experience that we think we’re designing for them?” We’re constantly looking back on how can we change this, what feedback do we get. We do get responses to things, but it’s who chooses to speak up and either say, “Hey, I love this. Give us more of this.” versus people saying, “I’m not opening an email -”
Philip Ideson (00:23:55):
Kelly Barner (00:23:57):
Exactly. Giving us the gift of their feedback.
Philip Ideson (00:24:00):
You know, there was somebody who said in the comments about the experience is very differentiated based on different people. Ultimately, people come and they interact with a brand, whether that’s a service provider, whether that’s something they buy, when they’re buying a newspaper, or whatever it is, because they want a certain outcome. And so, the experience, ultimately, you get them getting the outcome that they want and how easy is it for them to get that outcome. So, people will come, perhaps, with different ideas of what they’re wanting to get and what their experience is. So, part of the job is to think about – I’m going into kind of marketing speak, but more personas and sales speak – personas and who are the people that you wanting to interact with, the things that you’re doing, what are the challenges and truly empathizing with them and understanding what they are. So, you’re building experiences that meet what each one of those different personas wants. Or figuring out what you’re not offering in that experience, where the bumps in the road are. So, that’s how you then look and say, “Okay. This is kind of the experience we want to provide. This is the reality of the experience that we are providing. What do we need to change? Or what do we need to focus on doing something differently?”
Kelly Barner (00:25:10):
And trying to get a feedback loop from people, it’s the over feedback that we get. But, also, we can look at numbers, we can look at traffic figures for different types of content. Crystal, are you good at reading, “Okay. Maybe I satisfied the letter of what somebody was asking for, but did they really have a good experience almost in an emotional way?” Have you developed sort of a barometer that you think about over time for figuring out like, “Okay. I literally delivered what they asked for, but maybe is there something else I can provide, is there something else relevant that I know from past experience that will help them more?” How do you reevaluate the experiences that you’re providing?
Crystal Villareal (00:25:53):
So, we do check-ins with our members. Just depending on what the relationship looks like, that could be a monthly call, a quarterly call, sometimes it’s just a random check-in email. But as far as meeting their need and then understanding whether or not that was actually the true value that they were looking for, I like to get on calls with our members just to make sure that it truly was what they needed. Is there anything else? Anything I missed? But then, also, I’m the expert that they’re relying on as far as, you know, answering the question. And so, it’s thinking through, “Okay. They asked for X, Y, and Z, but I also know that there’s, you know, these other details that would provide value that’s probably going to either come in a month or it’s going to come in a few months.” And so, doing that above and beyond based on my own knowledge of what they’re asking. And if I don’t know, that’s the point of establishing relationships with our suppliers, is, being able to go that extra mile with our members.
Scott Luton (00:26:59):
I love that. Peripheral payback, good old PPM. I want to share this from Azaleah. She is currently intentional need hunting, INH. New acronym. I love that, intentionally going after and hunting down those real needs. Jeanette says, “It’s not treat people the way you want to be treated. It’s treat people the way they want to be treated.” Jet, Johnnie Terry, Jr. – I love that nickname – says, “Customer engagement is so important to include C-suite. There’s a different procurement value proposition conveyed at the C-suite than vertically.” Let’s see here, Jeff Ostrander says, “Getting a seat at the table of the C-suite requires the focus to connect what we do to what they need top line and bottom line focused.” Excellent point. And Anthony – the big guy checks in – “#crystalrocks.” New hashtag. Hey, let’s make that hashtag go viral. We’re big fans of Crystal here.
Scott Luton (00:28:00):
Okay. So, Kelly, where are we navigating to next? We’re getting a ton of comments. I’m trying to stay on top of them. But it’s getting tougher and tougher, Kelly.
Kelly Barner (00:28:09):
Good. Well, we want to keep you on your toes, Scott. We want to keep you from not looking out the window at those birds. Actually, before we go to our next topic, I like this point that Jeff just brought up about talking to the C-suite. Because that’s not the majority of procurement’s interactions. It’s some of our most important interactions, but it’s probably from a number standpoint, not the most often. When we think about experiences, like you said personas, having different types of customers and roles – Crystal, you talked about communication style and frequency. Do you have a process that you go through, Crystal, when you’re getting to know folks for the first time of figuring out this is a person that’s going to want a lot of proactive hands-on time. Or, this is a person that’s always going to reach out specifically when they need something. How do you learn about each new point of contact and determine the type of experience you’re going to provide to make them successful?
Crystal Villareal (00:29:09):
That’s a good question. So, there’s a couple different things that I would do. So, one is doing my own research on who they are, not just their company, but is there any information they put out there on LinkedIn that would be valuable for us to be able to relate with them. But then, also, just working internally. So, the way that we work is our sales team is front of line. They work with them first and then, basically, hand them off to our member experience team. And so, learning from our sales team, you know, what was their style? What do they prefer? But then, also, when the introduction is made to our member experience team, asking those questions for ourselves because that may have changed or the contact may have changed.
Crystal Villareal (00:29:53):
And getting to know them and letting them speak freely about that. So, some of them don’t like to be bothered more than once a quarter, so honoring that. But then, also, some of them, they need even weekly communication. And it’s just asking the questions, because you’re not going to know without asking the questions. And so, just letting them know we’re here to serve you, and so what works best for you, what would be too much in your inbox? Like, we don’t want to flood your inbox if it’s not going to be valuable. And so, asking the questions and letting them respond and honoring what they prefer.
Kelly Barner (00:30:34):
Yeah. And we actually have a similar challenge, right? We’ve been redoing all of the demographics at Art of Procurement, learning more and more about how that audience is growing and evolving. And we know, Phil, we have a lot of different types of personas in that audience.
Philip Ideson (00:30:50):
Yeah. And I just wanted to add a little bit to what Crystal was saying on how you can think about this from a practitioner perspective. Because as Crystal was speaking, I was reminded of a conversation I had, and it’s kind of crazy it’s five years ago. But it was on very early [inaudible] podcast when I interviewed the head of sourcing at Google. And he talked about, you know, segmentation of internal stakeholders. Whereas, traditionally, procurement might look at segmentation of suppliers to say, you know, strategic supplier and non-strategic supplier. I mean, that’s been something that procurement has been doing for 20 years plus now. But we’ve never really thought about segmentation of stakeholders. So, they kind of did like this airline loyalty program, where they’re using internal data based on spend, but also on understanding where those stakeholders, like the mission of that stakeholder and the results of that stakeholder drives, where that fits in the overall needs of the enterprise and connects to the enterprise.
Philip Ideson (00:31:43):
And looking at that to say that’s a platinum stakeholder, that’s a gold stakeholder, that’s a silver stakeholder. And perhaps that’s one that we just need to help kind of get on their way. And then, putting programs in place to focus on those platinum stakeholders and gold stakeholders differently than they would ordinarily, you know, somebody who may just be more transactional and coming through a purchase on a transactional basis. And I’ve just always really liked kind of that thought process of creating stakeholder experiences internally based on their importance, ultimately, to driving the vision and the mission of the business. And that’s something that all procurement folks can do is they’re thinking why do I even start in thinking about customer experience.
Scott Luton (00:32:26):
All right. We could write a book with all the comments coming in here, and I’m going to try to cherry pick here. Gregory says, “Evolving strategic models should encapsulate information systems to understand consumer behavior. Intelligent utilization of such data can enhance capabilities towards enriched servitization.” How about that? Gregory, coming through just like Shakespeare supply chain right there. Let’s go here, Katherine says, “Crystal has a sharp emotional intelligence.” We’re hearing a lot more about EI in the last few years, right? “And I think -” Katherine says “- that is the key to growing a business through top notch customer and member experience.” Nanda Kishore from Norway. Hello, Nanda. Great to have you here. He says, “Customer need not have to be right or wrong. The suppliers have a greater responsibility to understand the needs to offer the best and optimal solution. Ultimately, is the product/delivery that builds the relationship.” How about that one? All right. So, let me grab one more here. That came from Jeff. Jeff says, “Supplier ecosystem, and in that space, strong partnerships require a level of transparency, consistency, and trust.”
Scott Luton (00:33:39):
And I would argue that all three of those are powerful. But that trust factor, I know visibility and transparency are all the rage these days as they should be – gosh – but you can move mountains when you can truly trust who you’re working with. Is that right? Crystal, you’re nodding your head. You’re a big believer in the trust factor, huh?
Crystal Villareal (00:34:01):
Yes. Absolutely. So, I think that one of our approaches when we actually are working with our suppliers is, have we built that trust with them? But then, also, are they providing that value to our members? Are they just passive when relating to them? Or is it they are involved? I mean, we have relationships or have tried to build relationships with ones that are super passive, and we found that they don’t work. And so, if you can’t build that trust with the supplier, how then do you communicate that trust and relay that trust to your members? Because in the long term, it doesn’t really work out. And so, we try to build those with ones that actually are more engaged, more involved.
Philip Ideson (00:34:47):
From a practitioner perspective as well, trust is one of the hardest things to build as a procurement professional with their supply base. Because you have all these different conflicting interests internally, which actually may go against being able to build trust with your supply base because you’re making commitments. And then, you may not be able to follow through on some of those commitments. And so, you see so many times where, you know, you’re trying to build trust with your supply base and you’re making commitments, whether it’s on payment terms are whether it’s on not taking all the cost savings off the table, allowing them certain profit margins because you want them to invest back in that business. And then, the business cycle changes. And then, there’s a requirements. You suddenly take all that value that you deliberately left on the table in the name of relationships, take it off the table. Over procurement, they really struggle to fight those different kind of external forces. Ultimately, you know, you do that once and it just damages the trust. And it’s very, very hard to get that back.
Scott Luton (00:35:43):
I completely agree with you there. Once you lose that trust – holy cow – it takes forever to get it back. And that’s when that consistency and that transparency comes into play to fill that three legged stool. Jenny says, Kelly, “Shakespeare supply chain. I need to tune in more to the procurement folk.” I love that.
Kelly Barner (00:36:00):
Yes. Yes. You do.
Scott Luton (00:36:03):
All right. So, Kelly, I know we’re going to be talking about a value oriented relationship with the provider, especially on the buy side team with fields. Is that where we’re going next?
Kelly Barner (00:36:11):
I think that is where we’re going next. Although, before we do, it’s interesting, Phil, because I’ve heard that Google podcast. But, now, my brain is turning around this idea of everything that happens on the supplier side also has to happen on the buy side. And whether that’s building trust or whether that’s segmentation, like you talked about, or truthfully, in this case, it really is building trust. There are a lot of cases where past procurement processes and practices have created damaged relationships. So, we’re not just trying to deliver good experiences on a blank sheet of paper. We’re dealing with baggage that exists from the past. From your perspective, if we are trying to segment our internal stakeholders and maybe address some of those ones that would be gold or platinum stakeholders, if we could just win them over, what’s sort of a first step that we can take to start rebuilding that trust?
Philip Ideson (00:37:06):
I mean, at the end of the day, building trust with stakeholders, it’s about actions. And so, so many times I’ve been in a procurement transformation where you’ve gone to stakeholders and told them this time it’s going to be different. And they’ve heard that five times because, typically, they’ve gone through five procurement transformations previous but that didn’t work, whether that organization or another organization. Because it seems like, for a lot of companies, it’s kind of this constant state of transformation. So, I mean, you do have to go there and set the picture of what you’re trying to achieve and the vision of what you’re trying to achieve. But, you know, you’ve got to expect there’s a lot of folks, they’re not going to take you at your word. You’ve got to actually show through your actions.
Philip Ideson (00:37:44):
I always like trying to find out particular pain points. And that pain point might not be what you are trying to ultimately deliver to that stakeholder. That pain point may be, you know, “My supplier is always complaining at me because they’re getting paid ten days late.” Or, you know, a team member is always complaining because they got to go through three approval points and it gets stuck in the system somewhere. Now, my relationship with our stakeholders, I want to go and help them spend or think about how they’re going to spend a lot of money on doing something really strategic to the business. I don’t want to go and be involved in payment terms. But if that’s their pain point, go and fix it, and show that you’re here for them. Doing that as a starting point, and then you can build your relationship from there. Just find a way that they have a pain that you can solve for them that’s been difficult, regardless of what the benefit to the organization is of solving that pain points. Because then, it goes back to that trust again. At least that allows you to start building trust with them and you can kind of grow from there.
Kelly Barner (00:38:44):
Crystal, anything that you want to add around this idea of trying to build trust where, maybe there’s an issue or maybe someone has been appointed to be sort of your point of contact, and maybe they’re not thrilled about this relationship, or maybe they’re not totally bought in on the concept. Where do you start building that trust when you’re starting from somewhat in a whole?
Crystal Villareal (00:39:07):
What Phil mentioned about, you know, them coming from past experience, is, it’s understanding and knowing what those are and providing the value. The opposite, the value that they didn’t see in the previous experience. But then, also, just being honest with them. I think that that is what a lot of people value is what can you do for me. You know your limits. You know what your company capabilities are, what your supplier capabilities are, being honest about that.
Crystal Villareal (00:39:44):
And, you know, I’ve had so many people who have respected that so much more than me try to push for something and say, “Hey, I’ll go do it.” But it doesn’t pan out. Or, you know, it turns out to be way more of a mess that they were hoping for. And so, just being very honest, very upfront with this is what we can do, this is what our suppliers can do, and building off of there. And so, they’re not expecting something that you can’t deliver on.
Scott Luton (00:40:14):
I love that. Integrity, a big piece of the equation we’re all talking about here. Sharing this from Silvia – and, Silvia, our wishes and best prayers are with you and your family in the loss of your mother – she shares something her mother always said, “You have two ears and one mouth, do twice listening and half the talking.” Well-stated there.
Kelly Barner (00:40:35):
Scott Luton (00:40:36):
That’s right. John Latham – great to see you here today – says, “Working in a coop world for many years, we very much completed annual customer segmentation exercises and used it to help where we focus time and resources. Of course, we never shared that with the members.” Nanda says something here that gets a lot of attention from folks, “The most expensive commodity in the world that which is constantly in demand and short in supply is trust.” And Silvia says, “Once trust is off the menu, it’s time to leave the table.” I love that.
Scott Luton (00:41:11):
All right. So, we’re talking trust, and transparency, and integrity.
Kelly Barner (00:41:14):
We are talking trust.
Scott Luton (00:41:17):
You know, Kelly, we talked about a value oriented relationship. Those are big parts of the definition, right?
Kelly Barner (00:41:25):
They definitely are. And so, with the time that we have left, what I really want to focus on is, we can think about creating good individual experiences. But how do we ultimately build those over time into a relationship? Crystal, I know that you’ve talked about the fact that you have regular contact points with clients. You figure out what everybody needs. There are check-ins. You’re adjusting things differently based on what people need. But what would you say are maybe some of your goals around taking people from that singular good experience and building on that, so that over time you have truly formed a relationship with them?
Crystal Villareal (00:42:01):
So, one of the things that I like to do is to understand what their company goals are. If you’re trying to meet certain goals within their company that we can help with, I think that is a good path to be building that relationship, is, coming alongside them. But then, also, I would say, I go back to the trusting, but just being honest with them from start to finish, building those relationships off of trust. And then, you know, there’s the little customer service type situations, like you said, where it’s the little experiences. But overall, I think, it’s, I would say, the long-term. Thinking long-term with them. Knowing the value that you could bring to them over a period of five or ten years and coming to them with that, investing in them with that.
Crystal Villareal (00:43:05):
And so, one of the things we do is, we don’t just look at, “Okay. This is what they’ve asked of us. And we’re meeting those needs. These are the suppliers they want to be connected to. But here’s a lot of other areas that we can help them with.” Building a plan with them, “Over time, we’d like to help you in this area, that area.” And, obviously, honoring the timeframe that would be valuable for them, but also saying, “Here’s what we can do extra for you,” and investing the time into them, the resources, whether it be the marketing or just whatever it is, understanding what it is that they do, and being able to go that extra mile or ten miles and saying, “Here’s what we’re looking at, you know, five, ten years from now, here’s what would be helpful for you.” And being able to provide that value and let them know we see this long term. We don’t want, you know, this should be transactional.
Scott Luton (00:44:01):
Yes. ABT, anything but transactional. Crystal, excellent point. Let’s spike the football there. Phil, do you want to respond to some of what she’s sharing here?
Philip Ideson (00:44:11):
Yeah. It’s funny, you know, I had transaction written down when I was thinking about this. You know, I think, for us, we try and build value oriented relationships with everybody that we work with and within our ecosystem, within our community, and it comes down to it’s much a mindset thing as anything. It’s, “Are you here to collaborate or are you here to transact?” And if you’re here to transact, let’s say, in the framing of we’re working with an organization to do a webinar, are we here because we’re just providing them the space to go and have a webinar? Are we helping them to understand what their goals are? What the message they’re trying to put in the marketplace is? How we think the best way they can do it. What are they trying to achieve? And helping them to achieve that goal. You know, that’s the way that we always approach things is, again, digging deep into what you really want and what your goals are versus, you know, you’re just selling something that you’re buying off the shelf, which is an easy way to get. Maybe it’s an easier way to sell a single thing, but it’s not the way to build a relationship.
Scott Luton (00:45:09):
So, I want to circle back – I’m going to share a couple of comments and then I’ll circle back with you on that notion, Phil, because I want to find out what are those telltale signs when you know you’ve got that value oriented relationship with a provider or a buy side team. So, let me share a couple of these comments because, Kelly, it’s tough to contain the great comments and thought leadership coming out here. We’ll start, Jet says, “Trust but verify.” We’ve heard that a thousand times. And talk about something, what’s old is new again. You know, something that’s going to definitely resurface with the pandemic. And because, you know, we trusted somebody in supply chain, some of these partners, some of these different nodes of global supply chains, but at times organizations weren’t verifying it. So, Johnnie, that’s going to be important once again.
Scott Luton (00:45:56):
Nanda says, “In my experience, ethical behavior goes a long way in gaining trust mutually between organizations.” Excellent point. Trust and dogs are the two themes here today, folks – trust and dogs. Keivan says, “You may decide to switch your supplier, but supplier development always remains an option.” And, really, beyond an option, maybe a very important exercise. The Heeter is bringing the heater today. Charles, great to have you back. He says, ” Phil Ideson, agree 100 percent on actions resolving customer complaints and how they bolster trust.” And let’s see here. Erin – Erin, great to see you here. You and Rhonda both here. Erin says, “Going above and beyond the extra mile makes all the difference.”
Scott Luton (00:46:45):
On that note, I’m not sure if Chick-fil-A still references this formally or not, but eight, ten years ago, a big part of their corporate philosophy was, they called it the second mile initiative. You know, it’s based on biblical principles of not carrying someone the first mile, but carrying them the second mile. And they really bakes that into how they wanted their team members and associates to look out for their customers and look for different ways that they could bring value. And, oftentimes, when we think about those consumer experiences, man, Chick-fil-A has got to be on just about everyone’s top ten list.
Philip Ideson (00:47:25):
You know, it reminds me of my wife used to work for Western, Western Hotels. And they had a philosophy as well that they really built into all their employees about surprise and delight. You know, how can you, at every interaction, surprise and delight your customers because that’s what they’re going to remember.
Scott Luton (00:47:42):
Agreed. Agreed. And in this day and age, whether we’re talking about consumer experiences or we’re talking about user experiences, all the Xs. But, Crystal, you touched on something importantly a little while back – all three of y’all did – those employer experiences. Because we can optimize the capability, the trust, the art of the possible if we start at the core, and that’s the team. If they feel like they’re trusted and empowered – gosh – we can really move mountains in. But, Phil, how do you know? What signs do you look for when you’re looking for that true value on the relationship? How do you know you have it?
Philip Ideson (00:48:23):
I think some of it comes if you’re selling through the sales process, if you’re working with a stakeholder internally, it’s through those initial discussions. Some of the questions that they’re asking, are they asking questions about how to do something, which is like running a transaction. Are they talking about, “These are my goals”? You know, we’re here to try and figure out how to overcome a certain challenge that we’ve got or how to achieve a certain opportunity that we’ve got. It’s our job to ask the right questions, but are they sharing more about their overall strategy versus the desire to get one thing very tactical. So, that’s kind of where we start, is, we always try and be thinking about bigger picture and understanding what the big picture is, so that we can tie in what we’re doing to understand, like, can we help them achieve that big picture? I mean, the answer may be no, and it’s better to know then. Or it may be yes, and these are different ways that you can go about doing it. So, that’s definitely where I start is how open are they in sharing what their true challenges are to help us kind of solution that. So, that’s definitely something I look for.
Scott Luton (00:49:29):
I love that. The tune of the conversations are different, it sounds like to me. Crystal, anything would you like to add when we think of those true value? I mean, you’ve already spoken to this quite a bit during the conversation. But a final thought on when you know you’ve really got that meaningful big picture relationship and you earn their trust. What does that look, feel, sound like to you, Crystal?
Crystal Villareal (00:49:51):
I would say that probably the biggest thing is that they keep coming back. They keep coming back and they’re trusting you with bigger and bigger things. And so, some of the conversations I’ve had with some of our members, they may not seem right away that they have gained a ton of value. But then, when they come back and you see, “Okay. This is actually how things are panning out for them.” And they actually saw the true value there, and so they keep coming back and they are trusting you with bigger or even more in depth items when it comes to their spend and that sort of thing. And so, I think, that that’s a huge indicator.
Scott Luton (00:50:35):
I love it.
Philip Ideson (00:50:36):
Now, can I just add, you know, I’m thinking about this with my procurement hat on again. And procurement sends a lot of signals to its supply base about whether the relationship they intend to have with them is a collaborative relation or a transactional relationship. And I think we often don’t realize the signals that we’re sending. But the message is that the providers are actually picking up on them. And that, also, then changes how they respond to you and how they see you as a buyer, whether they see you as a partner or somebody they just want to transact with. And some things as simple as running an RFP and going through an RFP process and having that RFP process be really structured, but in a way where you can do any communication, or you can only communicate on one day and ask all these questions, but you’ve got to answer the questions [inaudible] questions. That’s sending a message to the providers that you know what you want, and they’re just the vehicle to help you get that based on what they provide versus giving them the opportunity to suggest how they would solve the problem that you have a challenge for. And just things like that, that we do that we should always be top of mind for procurement professional and what signals they’re sending based on what is the relationship that they are ultimately wanting to buy from a provider.
Scott Luton (00:51:53):
I love that. All right. We got a couple of comments – and I’m going to throw it back to you, Kelly, as we start to wrap up today’s conversation – starting with Mohib, says, “Takeaway note to self, building sustainable supply chain in relationships needs higher level of trust, emotional intelligence, constant communication, verification, and validation. Glad I made my procurement call, Dial P, today.” I love that. Jenny says, “To be called just a supplier is knowing you’re doing something wrong.” Excellent point, Jenny.
Philip Ideson (00:52:23):
Can I jump in and – sorry – add one more thing? This is a pet peeve of mine. Folks calling you vendors, procurement people calling people vendors, is the ultimate pet peeve that I have in terms of language. Because that just suggests that you’re nothing more than somebody who sells hot dogs on the street and that there’s another guy on the next block that sells the same thing. If there’s anything that I wish for procurement it’s that we start talking about our suppliers as partners and collaborators, not vendors. So, sorry, it triggers me. As you can see, I have to jump in and add to that.
Scott Luton (00:52:56):
I liked that. I think that’s well worth noting for sure. Just like Keivan, he says, “With a well-designed SRM system, make a world-class competitive supply base.” Rhonda also likes stopping in the occasional Chick-fil-A stop. I love that. And one final note that we’re going to have to focus on next stop and get to the bottom of, Charles Heeter says, “Mom and family call me Crocket.” Peter Bolle says, “Charles must’ve been a big Miami Vice fan,” if you all remember, Crockett and Tubbs, I think it was back in the day. So, Charles, we’re going to have to get to the bottom of that on the next episode. We appreciate your contributions today.
Scott Luton (00:53:34):
All right. So, Kelly, certainly some big common themes here today. You know, Crystal and Phil really brought it as always. The folks in the sky boxes has brought it. But where do we want to wrap today’s panel discussion?
Kelly Barner (00:53:47):
I think where we should wrap – and this is something actually, Phil and Crystal, both of you said I think in slightly different ways – when we’re talking about going from experiences to relationship, you both seem to approach these situations as though you’re in a relationship. And then, you allow the experiences over time to sort of back into that and build the relationship with the other person or the other organization. Am I right about that? Phil, I’ll start with you. How do you think about building a new set of experiences, what is the mindset that you use to approach a new person or company that you’re working with to try to set things on the right trajectory?
Philip Ideson (00:54:25):
You know, there’s a couple of things. One, I would say, from a mindset perspective is that, I always believe that trust exists at the off as opposed to waiting for it to grow. And what I mean by that is, like, I’ll be open and transparent and I’d kind of start from there. And then, maybe folks will break that trust or maybe they won’t. But that’s always my starting point. Specifically about experiences, I mean, it’s the discovery, and we’ve talked a little bit about that throughout. So, if there’s one thing I would recommend for anybody in terms of how we build those experiences, it’s just learn as much as you can about what the other party are looking for and needing and what’s that pain points. Because, you know, you’re needing to build, ultimately, the experience around what those are. So, that’s always kind of my going in point.
Kelly Barner (00:55:09):
Yeah. And I mean, isn’t this ultimately the lesson, just to bring this full circle that we’ve learned from dogs, right? Crystal, I think about that movie, Up, where there’s the dog who has a little speech translator. And the whole beginning of the movie, he just keeps saying, “I have only just met you, but I love you.” I mean, isn’t that great. If we all go into every relationship with like, “Oh, Crystal. I have just met you, but I love you.” I mean, doesn’t that set you on a path for success? Do you try to take the same approach where you come into each new situation with a person or a team and assume that everything’s going to go great, and still do all of your work and your research, but go in with a positive mindset?
Crystal Villareal (00:55:44):
Yes. Definitely. And I think you guys may have heard this because you’ve had Chris and Anthony on here, but you may have heard this already, but we talk a lot about, I think, it’s the Stephen Covey deposits and withdrawals. And just knowing that it is a relationship, it goes both ways. We’re going to come in with, you know, that positivity and we’re going to withdraw and we’re going to deposit. We’re going to deposit as much as we can. And then, it goes back and forth. They come and do the same. And so, they may need to take a withdrawal. There may be some times where it doesn’t feel positive, but you’re still going to come in and work through things, and build from there, and understand that it does go both ways. And so, I like that example that you just mentioned about the way that you go into a normal relationship. You know, going into this that same way with your partners or whoever it is to make sure that it’s just not one sided.
Kelly Barner (00:56:45):
Scott Luton (00:56:45):
Well said. Well said. A couple of final comments here. Nanda loves what Phil shared a minute ago, “Start by calling partners is the first step for open, transparent, and trustworthy relationship. Quote of the day, I would say. Cheers.” Azaleah says, “This was a great discussion. Definitely should not be limited to procurement only.” And I completely agree with you there because I think a lot of what we spoke about here today, Kelly, has some strong, bigger picture elements, and relevance. So, I really enjoyed the conversation. We got to make sure, though, Kelly, folks know how to connect with Crystal and Phil, right?
Kelly Barner (00:57:21):
That is very important. Yes, we do.
Scott Luton (00:57:23):
And then, we got to get your final take of the day. But let’s start with Crystal. So, Crystal, really enjoyed your perspective today. I am so glad also we were able to meet the Vice President of Snuggle, so please give Louie our best regards. How can folks connect with you and the Una team on the move?
Crystal Villareal (00:57:41):
Yeah. LinkedIn. Our website is una.com. And then, LinkedIn, we have our business page. But then, me personally, Crystal Villareal, and so feel free to reach out.
Scott Luton (00:57:55):
I love that. The pride of Bakersfield, California. A real pleasure to have you on with us here, Crystal. And, Phil – Philip Ideson – I tell you, you’re moving up the charts in terms of repeat guests. So, this is your third, fourth, maybe fifth appearance. Always a pleasure. How can folks connect with you?
Philip Ideson (00:58:10):
Hopefully, that’s a good thing. Easy, on LinkedIn, I’m always checking in on LinkedIn. So, it’s an easy place for folks to get hold of me. And the website is artofprocurement.com.
Scott Luton (00:58:24):
Awesome. Ton of great content. Love what Art of Procurement puts out very regularly. Okay. So, Kelly, with that, I’ll let you say thank you to our guests and we’ll be swooshing out Crystal and Phil.
Kelly Barner (00:58:37):
Thank you, guests.
Philip Ideson (00:58:38):
Crystal Villareal (00:58:40):
Scott Luton (00:58:40):
Have a great afternoon, Crystal and Phil.
Crystal Villareal (00:58:42):
Scott Luton (00:58:43):
All right. And, of course, just to close the loop there, that was Crystal Villareal with Una and Philip Ideson with our friends at Art of Procurement. Always a great conversation. I love Crystal’s take. And, of course, let’s start with the dog conversation here today, Kelly. The best level setter topic, right?
Kelly Barner (00:59:04):
I called it. I said this was going to be the best lightning round ever. You know, and it’s interesting because there have been a few moments in this Dial P sessions that have surprised me. And the couple that comes to the top of my head, Jeff Ostrander with his great artwork, the circle and the triangle. That’s one for the ages. But then, this idea today that both Phil and Crystal, I think, wasn’t part of our prep necessarily, clearly they both approach situations like they’re in a good relationship and then allow circumstances to dictate otherwise. I think that positive approach, positive mindset, the production team is going to want to kill me. Is it too late to change the title? It’s not about building positive relationships. You already have one, just kind of carry it through and make sure everybody recognizes it.
Scott Luton (00:59:47):
Nurturing, nurturing, nurturing.
Kelly Barner (00:59:49):
Scott Luton (00:59:51):
Kelly Barner (00:59:51):
We’ll get out the Thesaurus.
Scott Luton (00:59:52):
We’ll get the replay title changed. But homerun stuff here today. And I appreciate you sharing that key takeaway because I agree with you. All right. So, folks, we really enjoyed this episode of Dial P, two homerun guests, Crystal and Phillip. Kelly, where can folks learn more about Dial P? Because we got a show next month, it’s the third Tuesday of each month at 12:00 noon Eastern Time, right?
Kelly Barner (01:00:18):
Yes. Absolutely. It is. And we’ll be putting the details together on that very soon. But you can find Dial P has its own page on LinkedIn and Twitter. You can certainly find us on the Supply Chain Now website and platform. Anywhere you see red on Supply Chain Now, pretty good chance it’s Dial P.
Scott Luton (01:00:35):
I love it. And make sure you connect with Kelly Barner, especially on LinkedIn, Buyers Meeting Point. A lot of good stuff there. All right. And I think one more shoutout, you mentioned the front end, The Sourcing Hero podcast, you’ve been doing great work on that as well. So, folks, hopefully you enjoyed this conversation as much as Kelly and I have. Man, I wish we could have gotten to all the great comments. I really appreciate everybody sharing their own insights, their own take throughout the conversation today. But connect with Supply Chain Now at supplychainnow.com for more Dial P content, for more all of our content. But most importantly, hey, be like Josh and Crystal. Kelly and I challenge you, do good, give forward, be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time right here on 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.
Crystal Villareal, Prior to Una, she had 5+ years in Customer Service or as an Administrative Assistant. One of those roles also required her to put structure to an organization that had little to none, so she learned early on how to build processes and bring clarity within roles and relationships at a company. That was key for her when starting with Una, as she was one of the first to be hired on and have helped build our processes and procedures, along with others within the organization. She has been on the team for about 5 and half years and at times has worn multiple hats. She has done sales, customer service, operations, and is now the Member Experience Manager. This means, she has had the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally alongside this organization and the amazing team that we have. Connect with Crystal on LinkedIn.
Philip Ideson is the Founder and Managing Director of Art of Procurement. Art of Procurement helps inspire and guide procurement leaders as they position their team to enable company growth. Prior to Art of Procurement, Philip led procurement transformation, category management, and sourcing programs for clients of Accenture. Previously, Philip was Head of International Procurement, Sourcing & Third-Party Risk Management at Ally Financial and has worked across the direct and indirect procurement value chains. Connect with Philip on LinkedIn.
WEBINAR- State of the Supply Chain Report – Priorities for Building Resiliency in Your Supply Network
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
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.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is 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.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.