Supply Chain Now
Episode 1016

Twenty percent of your team does 80% of the work. And in most organizations, 20% of your suppliers represent 80%. And I think understanding who those suppliers are and understanding that relationship is important, but I also believe that supplier relationship management isn't just the purview of the procurement function. I think just as the HR organization is an enabler for people to be good people leaders, I think the responsibility of the procurement organization is to teach the broader organization, the budget owner, to be good supplier relationship management leaders.

-Len DeCandia

Episode Summary

Len DeCandia has enjoyed an illustrious career as a supply chain executive and chief procurement officer at some of the world’s largest CPG enterprises, including Johnson & Johnson. So who better to reflect on the changing role of procurement with Scott and Kelly than Len? In this episode, tune in to hear Len share his thoughts on how the role of procurement has evolved, the supreme importance of managing risk, delivering on the promise of ESG, challenges moving forward and more.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

Welcome to Supply Chain. Now the voice of global supply chain supply chain now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues, the challenges and opportunities. Stay tuned to hear from those Making Global Business happen right here on supply chain now.

Scott Luton (00:31):

Hey, good morning everybody. Scott Luton and Kelly Barner here with you on Supply Chain. Now welcome to today’s show, Kelly, how you doing?

Kelly Barner (00:38):

I am doing great, Scott. Thank you so much for having me.

Scott Luton (00:41):

Well, we are delighted to have you here on Supply Chain. Now, we are also delighted to have a big show teed up and big guest here, top industry executive that I’d call quite a procurement guru, a supply chain guru, a global business guru. And he’s done big things in that space, and as you and I both know, he’s one heck of an interesting interview, Right? So, uh, as our pre-show sessions have shown, try to say that three times fast. So, Kelly, are you ready for this one?

Kelly Barner (01:06):

I am really looking forward to this one.

Scott Luton (01:09):

Well, then, with no further ado, must walk him in our featured guest here today, Lynn, to Candidia, recently retired chief Procure officer of Johnson Johnson. Lynn, how you doing?

Len DeCandia (01:18):

I’m good, Scott. Hi Kelly. How are you both?

Kelly Barner (01:22):

Hi, Lynn.

Scott Luton (01:23):

We have really enjoyed, uh, we had a, uh, I think we had a bonus extra long pre-show because we were enjoying some of your stories both professionally and personally, So we’re gonna touch on some of that here today. But great to have you, Lynn,

Len DeCandia (01:37):

So Kelly, for giving me this opportunity to share with you.

Scott Luton (01:39):

Oh, you bet. And Lynn, I even wear it a non plaided shirt for Kelly Barner who reminds me how many plaid shirts I got. <laugh>. Just kidding. Just kidding. Kelly. All right, so let’s, let’s get to know Lynn better. First, as I mentioned, uh, to all of our listeners out there, we’ve really enjoyed, uh, the pre-show conversations. So let’s get to know Lynn a little bit there. So where did you grow up, Lynn? And you gotta give us some anecdotes about your upbringing, including one topic we’ll bring up here in just a second.

Len DeCandia (02:05):

All right, that sounds good. Yeah, so I, uh, I’m based in New Jersey and I actually grew up in Hoboken, New Jersey, uh, which is directly across the Hudson River from Manhattan. Uh, and both of my parents were Italian immigrants. So, uh, it was, uh, a fun, uh, youth, uh, being a little bit different than everyone else and trying to assimilate and acclimate, uh, to the American lifestyle. And Hoboken was famous when I was growing up because it’s the, uh, childhood home of Frank Sinatra. I actually grew up on the same street that Frank Sinatra grew up on. Wow. And I won’t sing for you because none of that kind of rubbed off on me.

Scott Luton (02:43):

<laugh>. Hey, let me ask really quick, Kelly, are you a Frank Sinatra fan? We remember we hadn’t broached the subject before.

Kelly Barner (02:50):

Oh, I am a big Sinatra fan, and I may not look at, I know I have the Boston Irish thing going <laugh>, but my mother’s maiden name is for Brio. Oh, perfect. So Sunday night dinners, you open the bottle of wine, you’ve got meatballs cooking all day long. You gotta put on Frank Sinatra, Nixon, a little bit of rat pack. Absolutely.

Scott Luton (03:07):

Oh man, I love that image you just painted. So, um, alright, so Lynn, uh, she alright. She broached food. We love talking food here at Supply Chain. Now, what is one food dish that was inseparable from your upbringing?

Len DeCandia (03:22):

Oh, eggplant Parmesana. I mean, for me, that is like the go-to meal. Um, and you know, today everyone really knows a lot of these famous Italian meals, but for me, growing up, I was always different. Uh, you know, we’d be out playing on Friday nights and in the normal American household, Friday night was pizza night. Right. Uh, but for, for Roman Catholic Lennon family, even though it wasn’t Lent, um, every Friday night was fish soup night. So you can imagine what it was like seeing all my friends all excited about going home to have pizza, and I had trudge home to have fish. So, but you know, now it’s a delicacy. Right. It’s something I, you know, I look forward to having whenever I have a chance. Uh, my mom still makes it. Uh, we’ll leave it at that. I don’t want to go any further about fish

Scott Luton (04:10):

<laugh>. Well, hey, one more question then I, we wanna bring up one of our favorite shows. Uh, I think there’s some, there’s some, uh, common threads to, uh, kind of kidding aside, you, you talked about your folks, um, assimilating into, you know, society and whatnot. And you kind of touched on that in a second, you know, second ago with the pizza night versus, uh, fish soup night. But kidding aside, what, um, what did you observe your parents do as they, as they, you know, got used to, um, you know, living here in the States and of course your upbringing? How did they, how did they cross? How did they, um, build those bridges?

Len DeCandia (04:44):

Yeah, I think, you know, I was the oldest, and I think as I started to go to school, uh, things changed. I, I literally spoke Italian before I spoke English. Wow. Which was great, because when you learn another language as a young child that stays with you for life, it’s just an amazing experience. But as I started to, uh, go to school and, and bring English language into the house and complain about not having pizza on Friday night <laugh>, um, I, I started to see my parents becoming a little bit more comfortable adopting some of the American, uh, experiences and standards. But it took them, it took them quite a while to do that because, and I see it all the time. I think one of the, you know, dimensions that I’m always interested in, um, is really the challenges of being a first generation American. And I see so many young people, uh, in our country today who still, uh, do a great job of two things. One, you know, growing up as a child, but usually when you are, in my case, the oldest, you’re also help your parents. You’re responsible for helping them read things and understand, you know, how, how to, uh, go about, uh, you know, just living their lives. Uh, so it’s, it’s a, a greater sense of responsibility.

Scott Luton (06:00):

Man, I really loved your answer there, and thank you for, uh, indulging us with that. Kelly, before I take a hard right. Turn your thoughts on what Lynn just shared.

Kelly Barner (06:08):

No, I, I a hundred percent appreciate that. My dad was first generation American. Both of his parents were from Ireland. Um, and it wasn’t too many generations back that my mom’s fa family was adjusting from, from Italy. Then you had the, you know, the Ireland and the Italy coming together, which was an interesting mix <laugh>. Um, but it, it is, it’s, it’s a rich opportunity, but there is a lot of responsibility that comes with, at an adjustment and being a kid sort of functioning as the go between for your parents. Um, I’m, I’m sure it didn’t always feel awesome at the time, but probably looking back, there were a lot of special moments that as you became an adult in your perspective, broadened, I’m sure that you had some memories about things that you helped them transition into that you could really treasure.

Len DeCandia (06:52):

Hmm. Well said.

Scott Luton (06:54):

I think as, as, uh, the, the United States continues to be a, a greater and greater melting pot, which is such a beautiful thing, I think we can all probably be more mindful of helping folks make that transition and being good friends and neighbors. And, because, you know, that takes a lot of bravery. I can only imagine some of the stories that, that, but you both could share. And as we look back at, uh, previous generations, some of the, uh, the bigger struggles of the time that have become almost kind of like you assume it’s just, it takes place these days. So I appreciate y’all both sharing there. Um, okay. So on a much, much lighter note, uh, what we uncovered in a pre-show, Kelly, was that not only is Lynn a fellow big fan of one of the best, best TV shows of all time, The Sopranos, but Lynn, I believe, um, you walked some of those paths where it was filmed and probably a lot more. Sure. Tell us, tell us about your personal connections there.

Len DeCandia (07:46):

Sure. Well, you know, I think The Sopranos was just voted the number one television show of all time by, uh, Rolling Stone and rightly so just a, a show ahead of its time. Um, but when I was working up in the northern part of New Jersey as Chief Supply Officer for Roche Pharmaceuticals, I was right in that whole territory where they would film and they filmed on location. Uh, and it did a fantastic job of it. And they actually used some of the locals, uh, for, for some of the, the background. I have a cousin who I think he sat through, uh, one of the funerals, if I’m not mistaken, of one of the soprano family members. Really?

Scott Luton (08:21):

Yeah. Um, <laugh>. There, there I am. There I am. See, no, not there. I,

Len DeCandia (08:28):

Um,

Scott Luton (08:28):

Well, I love that. And I’ll tell you, uh, I think we shared a pre-show, uh, Kelly, uh, Amanda and I, my, um, my significant other, we watched just re-watched every show. Yeah. Because we were looking for something that, you know, we could, we could put in the background that we enjoyed as we’re knocking out working on laptops, dualing laptops on the couches, if, if, uh, y’all can, uh, relate.

Len DeCandia (08:49):

Yeah. James Gini, who was the star of the show, uh, I went to college with him. He was actually the, uh, bartender at the, at the student pub when I went to college. The drinking age was still under 21. Um, and he literally sat maybe a row or two away from me at the football games with his family. So I had a chance to, to say hi to him a few times. And, uh, we lost him way too young. A very talented man, just did a, a fantastic job and, and a, and a, a true hero for, for many of, uh, of, uh, the Rutgers graduates.

Scott Luton (09:20):

You are so right there. And I knew that was, I knew, uh, uh, couldn’t quite remember that connection, but Kelly, how cool is that?

Kelly Barner (09:27):

And I think what I’ve heard, Len, he was an incredibly nice guy in real life. He was. So all of his success and his fame has notoriety. He stayed sort of a, um, a down to earth soul, somebody that you’d actually wanna know.

Len DeCandia (09:40):

Yeah. Very approachable and very involved with the university and helping the students, and, uh, very supportive. Again, it was just so sad to see him go so young. Uh, but he’s left an incredible legacy. Um, and I believe his son actually, uh, starred in the most recent movie. And I remember when his son was like two or three years old on his shoulders at the football games. It’s, uh, just an amazing thing. But, you know, just super talented, What can I say about New Jersey? Frank Sinatra, The Sopranos <laugh>, you know, what else can we give to the world?

Scott Luton (10:10):

Hey, shaping the 20th and 21st century for sure. Um, but that’s great. And, and it sounds like he truly had to be a great actor, uh, given how he was, he was naturally geared, perhaps. Um, okay. So we could probably talk, um, on all kinds of things for a couple hours here, Lynn, but, but I know our listeners are looking forward to your procurement and supply chain and global business expertise and perspective. So I wanna start taking a, a step in that, in, in that direction. So I wanna start with one of our favorite questions here, especially given the last couple years where we have, gosh, had some, some days, I bet I’ve had a dozen eureka moments. So for you, Lynn, what was a career, uh, a key eureka moment in your career? Especially one that maybe some of our new supply chain graduates can benefit from their listening?

Len DeCandia (10:57):

Yeah. You know, I probably, um, early in my career, and you have to understand, you know, you didn’t really have the vernacular supply chain until the early to mid nineties. Um, and I was, I think, the first person at Roche to have the title of vice president of supply chain management. So, um, there was no, no real playbook, uh, for any of us. We were putting in these, you know, big enterprise planning systems, and then we had to, you know, find ways to be productive. But probably for me, what I found, the big eureka moment, I think it’s important for a lot of young people who go into supply chain is really about, um, understanding the priorities of the organization so that your work is, is very much aligned with where the organization wants to go. Um, and, you know, in that first big assignment, uh, I found an organization that was when I took over, uh, stretched and really not executing very well.

Len DeCandia (11:55):

Uh, and one of the, one of the things I tried to do is really understand how people were spending their day, you know, a day in a life type of experience. And when I found that the organization, I did an inventory, there were over 200 active projects going on. Um, and so I started to ask the three why questions, Like, why are we doing this project? Why is it important to the business? Why are you spending a lot of time on this? And, uh, and found through that whole experience when you looked at dimensions like sponsorship, allow to the big strategy, really understanding what was happening outside the factory floor, that we really should have only been working on 80 projects as opposed to over 200. And so, uh, that, you know, that took a little bit of courage because I had to go to many senior level executives, um, and challenge why they were using the company resources on projects that, uh, really weren’t, uh, going to make a difference in our strategy. So I think for me, um, when, when it all comes down to excellence and execution, you know, just make sure that you’re not over complicating it, that you really understand the priorities, you’re validating those priorities, and that you see your role as really being at a, a role that adds value to what’s trying to be accomplished very easily, especially in large organizations. You can co be caught up in the complexity and, uh, and not really be, uh, in a, in a position, uh, to me making a difference.

Scott Luton (13:16):

So good. Uh, a lot of goodness there, you know, the power of the fo power of focus is one of the things I heard there as well. Um, Kelly, this is almost a, a wonderful segue into one of your next questions for Lynn. Right?

Kelly Barner (13:27):

It is, and first of all, Lynn, we congratulate you on your recent retirement. Um, so as you reflect back on your career and all the different leadership positions that you had the opportunity to hold, what was one that really impacted not just your career trajectory, but also potentially your worldview?

Len DeCandia (13:48):

Yeah, that’s a great question, Kelly. I think, you know, for me, um, having been in the pharmaceutical business and having, um, you know, been in a leadership role during nine 11, uh, and you can understand, we, in terms of where I was based, was only about three or four miles from, uh, the island of Manhattan. So we could see what was happening there. And, and coming out of nine 11, you know, what we recognized was there was a lot of vulnerability, um, in, in many of our supply chain, uh, practices, uh, specifically with pharmaceutical products. Um, and so I left the manufacturer assignment and to really understand what happened to product once it left our distribution sites, um, and took over supply chain responsibilities for a company called AmerisourceBergen. And, and what I found was there was a lot of risk in the pharmaceutical supply chain.

Len DeCandia (14:40):

It operated in a very strange way for, for many, many years because it was a growing business. It, it operated in a, in a mindset of buy and hold where companies or distributors were buying product, um, and waiting for price increases, and then obviously making profit through the price increase. But that led to multiple distributors being around and the inability to really follow the pedigree of product from source of manufacturer, uh, to, to source of dispense. So literally, uh, it, I, uh, took on the responsibility of, of changing the way products are distributed in, in the United States, um, and negotiated directly with every company that manufactured a product that was distributed in the United States. And we eliminated, um, all of the secondary distributors that were, uh, available. And what we put in place was a supply chain that could follow the pedigree of the product from the manufacturing floor right to the point of this fence.

Len DeCandia (15:42):

And I found great collaboration. It was, I believe, over 350 manufacturers, You know, could you talk about exclusive drugs and generic drugs? We found that it created, uh, greater collaboration because data could be shared now, uh, in a more real time way. Uh, and that helped with shortages and being able to move inventory to where it was needed. You know, you get into seasons like cold and flu and so on, and it becomes very difficult to know where inventory is. Or even sometimes there’s risk with oncology drugs and being able to get them, uh, to where they were needed. So what I found in that assignment was, uh, an incredible level of collaboration by some very big players. You’re talking about a $400 billion industry with a commitment to putting in place a supply chain that was safe, efficient, and effective. Uh, and for me, uh, when I initially took on that assignment, it felt like a pretty daunting task.

Len DeCandia (16:37):

You know, how am I gonna convince all of these manufacturers? My board really challenged me. They didn’t believe that, uh, the companies would cooperate because it was a little bit of a, of a difficult relationship between the manufacturers and the distributors at the time. Um, but when you can accomplish something like that with, uh, a common purpose with, uh, mutual objectives for success with, uh, transparency and trust, uh, you can make, you can make big things happen. And it, it gave me the confidence that, uh, you know, supply chain could be more than just getting the, the product into the customers and the patient’s hand.

Kelly Barner (17:16):

Absolutely. You know, and it’s interesting because you mentioned what you learned during nine 11. It actually doesn’t sound all that different from what many companies and industries and professional learned during covid 19. And so, as much as these events have become landmark moments, and, and we certainly worry about the greater impact, uh, they do have a way of focusing us on things like traceability and, and visibility. Um, that’s, it’s incredibly interesting. It’s funny, Scott, for all the conversations we have with, with people about how did Covid and the pandemic affect the way you see the world do your job? Uh, it’s, it’s been a while since anybody’s mentioned nine 11 and absolutely, I can see where that impacted the pharmaceutical industry. Mm.

Scott Luton (18:02):

Well said, well said. Uh, and provenance, of course, one of Greg White’s favorite words of all time <laugh>. Um, but, um, I, I really appreciate your reflections already. Um, you know, a lot of this came out in the pre-show, uh, Kelly, we, I think you and I both left. Okay. We’re gonna package up like a seventh part series with Lynn, because there’s so much goodness in, in his journey. And, and, um, also how you, you were changing and challenging how supply chain was done earlier in your career. Lynn, I think if our listeners can really already with what you shared, if they, if they, um, uh, grasp one thing is that, ask those, as you call it, a three wises, ask those questions, challenge assumptions, you know, don’t, you know, carry the banner, the status quo. Cause there’s always a better way of doing things. So, Kelly, it’s good stuff. I need my popcorn and my diet Coke already. Huh?

Kelly Barner (18:56):

<laugh>. Well, good, because I’m gonna do a Dial p takeover mid-interview. Uh, I would be completely remiss if we had Len here, and I didn’t ask him about some of his observations that specifically relate to procurement. Um, Lynn, I’ve been in procurement for almost 20 years. I can’t believe how much has changed. And when we think about what’s changed in the last 20 years, and you look at what’s changed in the last two or three, and it’s absolutely mind blowing. So I’d be curious to hear your perspective around maybe what hasn’t changed within procurement as well as what has, And certainly if you have any predictions for the future, we’ll take them.

Len DeCandia (19:33):

Yeah, sure. Well, you know, I think the pandemic really had an ability to accelerate the value of procurement. Um, and I think for many companies, the way they worked with their suppliers before the pandemic directly correlated with how well they were made their way through the pandemic and are making their way through none of this, this new era, whatever we would like to call this new era. But we are, I believe in, in an era of significant change and, and transformation. Um, and I think the, the early thoughts about procurement was purely, um, uh, around value capture. You know, get, get the best price or get the best cost. And I don’t think we’ve seen people sacrifice quality or anything beyond that. It was just very cost oriented and it was more earnings oriented. Uh, and I think what we’ve learned, uh, through the pandemic is that procurement is really growth oriented, right?

Len DeCandia (20:23):

The reality is, what I’ve seen in my 40 years is, uh, a greater, um, relationship outside of an organization. So companies were very vertical, whether you were in the auto industry or the technology. Yes. Even in the pharmaceutical industry, you basically did all of your own r and d and you executed all the various steps of your product. Uh, but now everything is really associated with relationships and collaborations in different parts of the world for different markets, from markets to markets. And, uh, when you look at the pandemic in our era right now, where things are really operating more in cycles as opposed to continuous flows, so you’ll, you’ll have peaks and valleys, uh, and everything seems to be out of phase. You know, everything’s out of phase with what’s happening to the customer. Um, and everything’s out of phase as it relates to the investor.

Len DeCandia (21:12):

Um, and, and I think if you have the ability to put your product on your shelf, on the shelf and provide a service and your competitor cannot, you’re growing. She, and I think that’s what people are starting to recognize around the value of procurement. Um, because if you’re baking a cake, if one ingredient is missing, you’re not baking that cake. Right? Yeah. Uh, and as well as we spent a lot of time in the pandemic really concerned, and rightly so around the health of our employees. Um, but I know, um, during my tenure at Johnson and Johnson through the pandemic, I spent a lot of my time worried about the employees at my suppliers, over 4,000 of them. Yes. That at least allowed us to keep making life saving drugs. Um, and when you have, uh, markets that are opening and closing, right? Understanding not only the health and safety of your supplier employees, but the relationship with that supplier, not only with you as a customer, but with the government entity that they’re working with, the regulatory environment that they’re operating in.

Len DeCandia (22:12):

So procurement has become significantly more sophisticated. Um, and if you go beyond just a traditional supply chain, I spent a lot of my time in the, in the areas like IT support, human resources, support. Yeah. Uh, and ensuring that a lot of our suppliers in those areas as well were up and functioning and able to execute projects that were in the works. So, uh, I think for those organizations and those CEOs, um, who see the value of the supplier with an equal importance as they see the value of the customer, they’re gonna do extremely well, um, in this next decade, which puts a lot of pressure on the next generation chief procurement officer. They really need to speak a very different language, and they really need to think about the value contribution of their team. Uh, in this new world where procurement is much more aligned with growth, you’ll always have to bring value, but you have to bring value with growth.

Kelly Barner (23:11):

Absolutely. No, I think that’s a terrific point. And certainly we’ve seen the shift from people ending up in procurement because you got sent there to people ending up in procurement because you chose to work there. It’s an excellent way to get a sense of how all the different parts of a company and the associated supply chain work together. But

Scott Luton (23:29):

One thing, it’s no surprise that procurement and purgatory are so clo, they sound so much alike.

Len DeCandia (23:35):

Kelly <laugh>,

Scott Luton (23:36):

I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding.

Kelly Barner (23:38):

Seriously, its hard being the procure

Len DeCandia (23:41):

Person here.

Kelly Barner (23:42):

Atp. I mean, weird supply chain now. Um, procurement is not purgatory. I would just like to point that out. Procurement is a wonderful place to be. Heaven may not begin with a p

Scott Luton (23:52):

I’m all, I’ve just,

Kelly Barner (23:54):

It’s a silent p

Scott Luton (23:55):

When you, when you mention the folks getting sent to procurement as if like getting sent to detention Hall, that’s what came to mind. But I, I know, you know, we’re big fans and we’ve got, uh, procurement and Dial P and Kelly Barner and now Lynn tattooed on our, our right shoulder. So big fans here.

Kelly Barner (24:11):

Well, and to be fair, one of my very favorite books about procurement, uh, it’s called the Procurement Game Plan, describes procurement as like the island of misfit toys from Rudolph, the Red Nose, reindeer, <laugh>. It’s where you got sense of that no one ever had to see you again. So we have progressed from that. You know,

Len DeCandia (24:27):

Kelly, did you, did you know that they had to change the ending of that show? I bet you didn’t know that.

Kelly Barner (24:33):

Did not know. I remember, was it originally like a Tony Soprano ending and they had to clean it up a little

Len DeCandia (24:38):

Bit? It’s similar, but I’m old enough to remember watching it the first time it was on television, if you could imagine that. But the first time that show was on Santa just flies by the island of misfit toys and leaves them there. Uh, and so there was this big uproar Oh, that you can’t leave the misfit toys on now. They literally had to change the ending and, and rightly so. So, uh, but you know what, procurement is more of a destination. I will tell you, Scott, I was at, uh, you know, I have a strong affiliation with Rutgers University and helped us start the supply chain department there over 20 years ago. That’s right. Yeah. And I was at, uh, uh, one of the meetings a couple of weeks ago at the supply chain center, uh, where we have faculty and business leaders, and many of my, uh, supply chain colleagues were complaining to me because many of the young people coming out of the program wanna go into procurement as opposed to going into supply chain because of exactly what Kelly was saying.

Len DeCandia (25:34):

Because, you know, for them it’s the ability to look across the entire organization and work with r and d and work with the commercial teams, work with the technology teams, uh, as well as the traditional supply chain. Um, and it really asks them to be better business people by really understanding the relationships, the critical relationships that you have with suppliers across the entire, the entire org. I mean, that’s why I spent my first 12 or 13 years as a chief supply officer, but the, the past 12 as a chief procurement officer, because I spent enough time in plants and warehouses, and I felt that, you know, the supply chain experience was valuable because you understood the complexity of what it really takes to be able to, to provide your product, uh, and or service. Uh, but I also felt that if I could influence some of the decisions early in design and evolution, right, with the sensitivity and understanding of what happens during the execution phase, I might be a more valued contributor to the organization. And, uh, I’ve seen a lot of that with the, with the dynamic of digital technology that’s really elevated the function.

Scott Luton (26:43):

So, um, I’m, I’m so glad you mentioned the Rutgers tie in there, cuz uh, that’s something we definitely wanna ask you about mck Kelly, uh, before we head into ESG and some getting some, uh, Lynn’s thoughts there, I know regulation, especially given some of the environments, um, that Lynn served in your, your, uh, question thoughts there.

Kelly Barner (27:01):

Sure. And you had actually brought up regulation in some of your earlier comments, Len. I mean, certainly we know that pharmaceuticals are a very heavily regulated industry and for good reason mm-hmm. <affirmative>, right? There’s human lives and, and health and wellbeing on the line. But how would you say that the presence of that regulation affected the way that the supply chain was managed, the way that procurement activity and supplier relationships were approached? How did regulation come into your day to day?

Len DeCandia (27:29):

It’s significant, right? If you look at in the life science business, the regulatory bodies, the multiple regulatory bodies that are associated with the approval of not only your product, but the execution of that product and the management of that product. So that is new. The other piece though, um, is the world we live in today, right? With the dynamic of the pandemic climate change in the geopolitical aspects of it we’re, it’s almost as if supply chain is being weaponized. Um, and so now the whole concept of what you can source and where you can source it from or how you can execute has become a significant challenge for all business leaders. And I think, you know, I grew up in the world where we came up with this concept of supply chain, and if one of the links was weak or broken, we found a way to keep it going.

Len DeCandia (28:25):

But now, when multiple links are weak or broken, it’s very difficult and very challenged. And so, you know, I’m thinking more about supply hubs as opposed to supply chains only because of the dynamic of the regulatory aspects, the local aspects. Um, also the issues of markets opening and closing sources coming and going. Um, you just, you just can’t rely on that abundance being available to you. You really have to rely on managing risk and taking the risk out and being more relevant and closer to where the customer is and executing closer to the customer. Mm-hmm.

Scott Luton (29:05):

<affirmative>. So, um, uh, and, and I don’t mean this lighthearted fa uh, in light hard fashion, but I just re-watched Dallas Buyer’s Club, which is a fascinating movie, Oscar winning movie, right? Um, I can’t even remember the lead actor, uh, Matthew McConaughey lost like 40 pounds a play. The role talk about dedicated

Len DeCandia (29:24):

Gary Lito, right? He was,

Scott Luton (29:27):

Yeah.

Len DeCandia (29:28):

I love boobie buff.

Scott Luton (29:29):

And well talk about, um, where there is a, a common theme here is that that creative source and to get around all the highly regulated, you think back in the eighties and and nineties, uh, of, of, of the environment, uh, especially related to lethal diseases, and they get around it to find something that works. And then the explosion of popularity. I mean, I forgot, frankly, and shame on me. I forget, I’d completely forgotten about the movie. So listeners check out do, uh, Dallas Buyers Club. It is a gym, and, uh, you’ll make the connection to kind of this regulatory conversation we’re having. Um, okay. So let’s talk for a second, um, Kelly and Lynn about, uh, esg, right? So everybody and their brother and sister knows what that stands for these days, but maybe for two or three folks, it may not. Environmental, social and governments, right? Uh, a highly important, um, lots of outcomes driven by many initiatives. I think, uh, Kelly and I have chatted about how, you know, some companies are still trying to find that business outcomes approach to esg, but also the importance of sustainable procurement, right? Alluding to some of your thoughts a minute ago, Lin, um, two part question here. What’s your vision for how companies navigate this space successfully with outcomes? And from what you’ve seen, what are some of the challenges there to really getting, um, you know, powerful ESG programs off the ground with results?

Len DeCandia (30:53):

Yeah, let me start with the second question first, because my greatest concern right now is we, we live in a world of promises. Um, and, and it’s easy to make a promise 20 or 30 years out when you’re probably not gonna be in a leadership position to make sure it’s executed. And so I think I find it very difficult to really understand some of the promises that are being made around issues like climate change and, and, and scope of missions and so on, right? Um, I think because of that, there’s, there’s no standard, there’s no standard of metrics. Um, I think many are challenged with the issue of transparency. So, you know, the early issues now, if you’re gonna make a promise, will you keep it? And how you’re gonna measure your ability, um, to do that. And a lot of it really does fall on, on those of us in the supply chain.

Len DeCandia (31:44):

Uh, many organizations have been very good and very diligent in managing what’s under their roof. So within their four walls, whether it’s their, uh, their sites, um, uh, they’ve been able to to use, uh, uh, you know, a lot of great new technology around regenerative energy and so on. But the dilemma becomes when you start to be responsible as an influencer on your suppliers and the ability of your suppliers to maybe embrace some of those practices. And when your suppliers are in all parts of the world. So if you look at countries like China and India, some of their broader commitments to climate are about 30, 40 years out. So it’s very difficult as any type of a, a global company as the companies that I’ve led, um, to be able to make promises when you have a number of suppliers and sites in those parts of the world.

Len DeCandia (32:32):

So I think environment is really gonna require a significant level of collaboration and alignment. The one piece where I’ve seen some, uh, and experienced some, some great progress, um, is, is really in the issue around, uh, sustainability and citizenship and really having a positive impact on, on society. And, and so I’m a big believer in what I call social impact procurement. Um, and I felt one of the taglines that we had when I was running the, uh, procurement at Johnson and Johnson was how do we use our big for good, right? Um, and in early in my tenure, you know, we were, j and j was a great leader in this space, but they had leveled out, um, in terms of their percent of spend with diverse suppliers. And so, you know, we talked about what is going to allow us to double it, How can we double it?

Len DeCandia (33:26):

You know, go for a big goal and let’s, and let’s go after. And, and I think we found two great enablers. You know, one was technology and we literally, uh, partnered, uh, with SAP and created what we called, uh, the, the, uh, diverse marketplace by diverse marketplace, right? So you could actually go in and buy from diverse suppliers, but the big change was to engage the entire j j community around the world, the budget owners. Cuz in reality, procurement doesn’t own any budget. They’re a facilitator, they create an environment, they’re an enabler. So how do we enable the budget owners who wanna have a positive impact to participate in the process? And it was about education, but most importantly, we had to take friction out to take friction out of those diverse suppliers being able to become approved in a company like Johnson Johnson, which could, which could be a nightmare.

Len DeCandia (34:17):

So we had to take that friction out, and we had to take the friction out from the budget owners who wanted to work with diverse suppliers. Uh, and the reality is we had to kill a perception, a perception that working with a diverse supplier was going to have, uh, an impact on cost or quality. The reality was, many of these diverse suppliers were local, they were innovative, and they knew our customers better than we did. And so we found, we learned so much from these diverse suppliers. And more importantly, during the pandemic, when markets were opening and closing, since we had the ability to do this in, in dozens of countries around the world, our ability to source more locally with many diverse suppliers allowed us to continue to provide goods and services. And I think that was very eye opening to the broader organization.

Len DeCandia (35:04):

So I think the ability to use your budget owners to have a positive impact in a world that’s looking for more purposeful organization and wanting to be part of a purposeful organization is gonna allow you to, to win big in the talent space because talent wants to be part of the solution, and they wanna work with organizations that want to be part of the solution as it relates to esg. Lynn, Oh, man, okay. I had a lot of passion for this one, <laugh>. Well, if I can do this for another, if I, I can help companies really be better in their ESG practices, then I’m living the dream relative to this next chapter in my

Scott Luton (35:47):

Life. And, you know, that, um, Kelly, uh, that is honest and genuinely we saw that in a pre show when we’re off camera, clearly that is a passion of yours. And Lynn, we need, I think global industry needs that by the truckload, no pun intended. Um, alright, so Kelly, really quick, I’m, we’re gonna dive in a little deeper to supplier diversity. Who, Lynn touched on it a second ago, but what you hear there, what, what do you, what’s should our listeners really, you know, focus in on what Lynn just shared?

Kelly Barner (36:14):

I think the most important thing that Len pointed out is this idea of making a promise, because that’s the easy part, right? You make the promise, but who is ultimately going to carry that out? Who’s gonna be held accountable? What resources are they gonna be given to deliver against that promise? Because even as you had mentioned around sort of supply chain risk and visibility, Len, historically that’s all been viewed as very internal. How sustainable is our facility? How diverse is our workforce? And so those could be internal promises. But now with the potential of the larger ESG concept, we’re talking about making external promises, which means that there’s real downside to not being able to deliver. And so taking the vision around something, whether it’s sustainability, work safety, supplier diversity, any of those things, and operationalizing them at scale, that’s the hard part. And that’s where you really do have to really lend, almost go back and answer all of those why questions that you talked about earlier, but make sure everyone in the organization understands and has bought in, because it’s not something that one person or one team can execute on their own.

Kelly Barner (37:20):

It’s sort of a whole company wide effort.

Scott Luton (37:23):

Love that. Kelly. Man, y’all two got me ready to run through the wall back behind me. Y’all really, uh, you’re bringing it here today. Um, so Lynn, you touched on supplier diversity, you know, uh, an area of, uh, um, big interest, uh, for Kelly and I and our team here, and thankfully the industry, right? We’re starting to see some, some really important results oriented supplier diversity programs for the, especially in the last few years. Um, your thoughts as you’ve seen that space evolve, uh, both from a c CPG standpoint and pharmaceutical standpoint. What are, what are, whether whether you wanna, um, you know, lift up maybe some, uh, of what you’ve seen really effective leadership embrace and, and so that, uh, it’s helped those programs be more successful? Or what’s one mistake, maybe time and time again you see organizations making when it comes to well intentioned, but uh, non-res results producing supply diversity?

Len DeCandia (38:21):

Yeah, let’s, well, let’s start with the life sciences. Let’s talk about what we just experienced with the, the pandemic, right? I think in the United States, the biggest impact was on the black and brown community, um, as it relates to, um, you know, just, just the severity of, and the tragedy of, of the pandemic here in the states. And, you know, one of the areas when, uh, yeah, we were involved as well as, uh, others in, in creating and, and introducing a vaccine, uh, for covid. And one of the things we wanted to do was to make sure that the clinical trial associated with it was diverse and, and actually ended up being one of the most diverse clinical trials, um, in the history of the industry, uh, and working with a critical supplier was how do you go and recruit in those communities where there was a lack of trust and a lack of alignment.

Len DeCandia (39:15):

Um, and so we, we really use not only the recruiting, but we also use some, uh, wonderful people on the public relations side who really stood out in front to be able to do that. So, you know, using diverse suppliers to engage that community to participate in something that was life saving during, you know, yeah, we’re talking about the greatest healthcare crisis of our lifetime. Uh, I think on the CPG side, uh, what we’re finding is what I had mentioned earlier, I think you have to use your diverse suppliers in more strategic and, uh, and in areas where maybe their voice and the voice of the communities that they represent haven’t been heard. Um, and so when you’re talking about areas on the commercial space, um, and the connecting with those communities as well as in the product development and product execution phase, uh, and I learned this great lesson when I was Chief Procurement Officer at Estee Water, right?

Len DeCandia (40:08):

So, you know, what do I know about makeup and skincare? You know, I can tell you about fish soup, but I don’t know much about, you know, eyeliner or anything like that. Don’t put it on your face the first <laugh>. But it was an incredible environment to work in because over 70% of our community were women. And the amazing insights and the understanding, you know, for someone who had to source innovation, execute innovation, and understand the experience of the customer, right? Not just the use of the product, but the overall experience. And I think as organizations recognize the value, the innovative insights associated with women owned businesses, minority owned businesses, uh, it’s incredible. And, you know, one area if I, if I could, uh, that was important to me and continues to be important to me was I was the executive sponsor at Johnson and Johnson for the second largest employee resource group.

Len DeCandia (41:04):

Uh, and that was the Alliance for Diverse Abilities. Um, and really this, you know, this included, uh, you know, visible disabilities, mental health and neurodiversity. Uh, and there’s a great article in the New York Times today about how the pandemic and these more flexible work environments are allowing more of that diverse community, uh, to, uh, contribute it and to be part of organizations. And I think that’s another voice that needs to be heard when we’re talking about, uh, diverse suppliers and minority groups. Uh, and I hope that’s a sustainable practice. Um, there’s just, uh, an incredible wealth of talent and insights, um, and companies and corporations have to become much more flexible in how they allow people to be productive, uh, because I believe that isn’t going to change. And, uh, and that’s a community that really is talented and has tremendous insights.

Scott Luton (42:00):

All right. So Kelly, I know you’re chomping in a bit and passionate about this topic, uh, your thoughts, and then we will roll right into, uh, one of your next questions.

Kelly Barner (42:07):

Well, I do think that the importance of of work groups, I mean, a relatively new concept, especially for a lot of sort of mid-size companies that don’t have the, the scope and scale of workforce that j and j does. Um, I think it’s nice because it gives people an opportunity that if they don’t happen to sit in procurement, but they have a passion for sustainability or diversity, it gives them an opportunity to get involved. And I think that’s a, a huge resource that, truthfully, I consider it a, a reminder, if you’re in procurement, if you’re a supplier diversity manager, go find this work group. If there isn’t one help start it. It’s an enormous sort of out of band resource or opportunity to connect with people that can help you get your day job done. So I think that’s a, a great turn, and it’s one that’s that much more successful because so many workplaces have gone virtual, and you can have those personal connections regardless of where you happen to sit geographically.

Len DeCandia (43:02):

Yeah, that’s a great point. I think, you know, we’ve spent a lot of time over the past decade or two with technology and being very focused on the customer experience. And, um, yeah, here’s a shameless plug. I just had a, uh, a paper published in, uh, supply chain, um, Review magazine around the fact that I believe we’re at an, we’re in an era now where we’ve been in a little bit of an imbalance. We haven’t really thought about the employee right experience and the supplier experience. And so if we can rebalance that around how do we align, uh, mutual goals, um, and ensure that we’re creating an environment that allows people to be most successful. And to your point, Kelly, you know, I think the issue there is, uh, more customization around what’s beneficial to the employee that allows them to be the most productive. And I think the same thing with the supplier as well as we’ve become customer oriented. The reality is we, most organizations can’t execute anything without the supplier. So how, how do we find that balance?

Kelly Barner (44:08):

Yeah, and that’s actually a great point because those supplier relationships were a huge part of what was tested operationally during the pandemic. I mean, it’s something that procurement has always been focused on. Most organizations strive to be a customer of choice. Uh, some surprises were had during the pandemic. We found out I thought I was such a great customer, not so much, you know, my suppliers weren’t necessarily there on the same level of relationship as, as I thought we were in any advice or lessons learned around that sort of supplier relationship, um, partnership type of experience from the last couple of years?

Len DeCandia (44:44):

Yeah, Kelly, you know, I think for us, um, we spend a lot of time as a leaders and organizations with a focus on managing people. Um, and if you look at a lot of the studies, they’ll tell you that 20% of your team does 80% of the work. And most organizations, 20% of your suppliers represent 80%. And, and I think, you know, understanding who those suppliers are and understanding that relationship is important, but I also believe that supplier relationship management isn’t just the purview of the procurement function. I think just as the HR organization is an enabler for people to be good people leaders, I think the responsibility of the procurement organization is to teach the broader organization, the budget owner, to be good supplier relationship management leaders, right? And, and making sure they’re collaborating, they’re aligned, they’re working for common goals. Uh, because when you deal with the environment we’re dealing with today, and if we either are in a recession or on the threshold of a recession, those organizations that have vulnerable, uh, balance sheets are really gonna be hurt through all of this.

Len DeCandia (45:51):

And so now execution has to improve. And the only way execution can improve is if you’re getting the most value and the most productivity from all of your resources. And many times, you know, organizations are vulnerable if their suppliers aren’t executing to their level of their need, whether it’s an IT deployment, whether it’s a recruiting process, whether it’s an agency working on your commercial strategies. I’m talking outside of our traditional product execution there as well. And I’m thinking about the broader organization. And, and so, you know, how how do procurement becomes the tide that lists all boats? How do you become great leaders, great advisors, great partners to help your internal budget owners be better externally?

Kelly Barner (46:39):

Right? And that’s, Oh, go ahead, Scott.

Scott Luton (46:43):

Uh, no, you’re, you were gonna make a, uh, a well founded and inspiring remark, and mine was gonna be a little more on the humorous side. So please, Kelly, what, what’d you hear? What’d you hear Lynn say there?

Kelly Barner (46:53):

Well, it’s interesting because you’re talking about sort of the connection between what procurement is capable of generating with partners outside the organization and connecting that to the types of relationships that we wanna have inside. Um, and, and again, you talked about customer experience, that idea extending into procurement as the procurement experience and what sort of, not just value do we provide for budget owners and distribute users, but what is it like for them to work with procurement? Um, certainly if, if I had a dollar lend for everybody, every time someone asked me, I can’t, I just be like, like Amazon, right? I mean, I know people in supply chain are constantly hearing that. We get it in procurement too. Why can’t it be like, I order things at home and they magically show up the next day. Um, I think we’ve made progress, but we’re maybe not there. Um, any, any perspective or thoughts on either what the idea of a procurement experience means, or what we can invest to improve it?

Len DeCandia (47:51):

Yeah, and I had a really good experience on my, um, my last assignment with Johnson and Johnson. We literally put in a, a global procurement system, uh, over 60 countries. And this is on the, the non-direct side. And what we saw through the evolution of that deployment was that you need to take friction out of the process, right? And you need to make it in, in a way that it becomes very easy for the budget owner, um, and, and actually present the world to them through the computer. Cause that’s basically what Amazon is. You’re presenting the world of markets to me through the computer. Um, and we were fortunate, um, and maybe a little bit ahead of our time cause we had a lot of it in place before the pandemic now. So now think about the fact that you’ve got 140,000 employees around the world.

Len DeCandia (48:38):

You’re making life saving drugs that you need to keep, keep going. And it’s not just the idea of getting, you know, the raw materials and consumables to the plants. You also need to keep your functions running while they’re working from home, um, and running, right? Because a lot of your suppliers are helping the, the technology wise, keeping it operating and running. And, and so because we had that ability at the fingertips of all of our employees around the world to be able to buy what they needed from home, we really focused on, on that experience and we saw a tremendous uptake. We’re talking about close to 90% use of preferred suppliers with that journey. We went, we, we cut our supplier base in half, we our cycle times from, uh, bo from the idea to buy to buying or cut in half. Uh, and also we, we embedded capabilities, um, into the budget owners as well.

Len DeCandia (49:26):

So we automated things like RFPs with approved suppliers. Um, and our net promoter score right before I was leaving was approaching, you know, 80%, which is unheard of for any kind of procurement experience. But we were able to get there only because we took a continuous improvement mindset. We listened to the budget owners, we understood where their pain points were, and we worked very closely with functions like legal to create multiple channels of buying. So we don’t buy just one way, you know, you have to look at risk in a two dimensional way, right? The higher the risk, maybe the more complex my process should be, the lesser the risk, the less comply, uh, complex my process should be. So we had a lot of easy pass type of buying. And so basically it was kind of trying to create an experience for the budget owner where it was convenient and easy for them to source and to know who to source from.

Len DeCandia (50:21):

So all the work behind the screen was understanding the markets, understanding those suppliers that brought the best value to the company, introducing diverse suppliers into that community, um, and actually being a problem solver. So the phone call from PR to procurement was not so much, I need to get a PO done, or I need to get a supplier paid for, is I’ve got a problem. Can you help me solve that problem? And that’s, that’s really jumping the curve around credibility. It’s also asking your procurement people to have a whole different set of competencies and skills, right? Better storytellers, better influencers, um, and better understanding of the business challenge with excellent procurement skills.

Scott Luton (51:02):

Yes, more sugar than vinegar also, uh, with,

Len DeCandia (51:06):

Yeah, that helps. <laugh>,

Scott Luton (51:08):

<laugh>, uh, it’s interesting. I, I love how, uh, you know, you mentioned earlier, uh, Kelly Lynn used this phrase, How do we use our big for good? And you’re kind of using it kind of outside the four walls in terms of, you know, driving good change, you know, across the globe. But I think you, from what you just described there, you were also using your big for good in terms of the supplier experience, the procurement experience, and probably developing what I heard, developing relationships where the suppliers wanted to do business with j and j. And that, as we’ve all seen, has served organizations really well in light of the last, you know, two, two and a half years. Um, one, one last thing I was gonna share, You’re going way back. Uh, Lynn, you shared, uh, you know, 80 20 and 2080 in terms of 20% of the folks to 80%, you know, somewhere Theore is smiling down, very proud. That principle is still relevant. So if you hadn’t heard of the Predo principle, make sure you, uh, Google that. Um, okay, so Kelly, um, uh, the PX of procurement experience, you know, the CX customer experience, the sx, the supplier experience, you name it, all these, these xs are so prevalent in industry today. You know, your final thought before we make, make sure folks know how to connect with Lynn, and, and we’re gonna mention Dial P as well. Uh, your final thought or question for Lynn in that regard?

Kelly Barner (52:33):

I think what I would say, and, and Lynn, this has been such an affirming conversation for me because I advocate on procurement all the time. I believe so much in the value that we bring. Um, but not everybody has experienced big procurement doing good internally and externally. And so I’m thrilled that we’ve captured your story and we’ve talked a lot about TV shows and movies. Uh, and I think one line that comes to mind for me from one of my very favorite movies, The Greatest Showman, is I will just say to you, if you have not seen procurement lately, you have not seen procurement. So give us another look.

Scott Luton (53:09):

<laugh>. Completely. Oh, Lynn, are you a big fan? I’m, I’m a huge fan of The Greatest Showman. Lynn, do you like that movie as well?

Len DeCandia (53:16):

You know, I, that’s one of them I think I saw once, but, uh, that’s with you, Jackman, is that? Yes. Yeah, I’ll have to go back and watch it then. Okay. I apologize, there’s

Kelly Barner (53:25):

Your homework assignment from today’s conversation.

Len DeCandia (53:27):

Perfect. I had a little bit more time. Now,

Scott Luton (53:29):

<laugh>, I find that invigorating and inspiring and, and, and I’m sure folks from all journeys in all walks of life can find, you know, it’s relevance in their, um, in their own journey. But from an entrepreneurial standpoint, man, it speaks volumes. Even if they did Lynn and, and Kelly perhaps dramatize, uh, the source material, but still a great movie, great songs. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Okay. Who knows, I, I’ll leave that to the, uh, historians out there. But, um, Lynn, I’ll tell you, Kelly, as I as our hunch was there’s no way we could do Lynn’s perspective and expertise and, and journey and like, you know, a 60 minute episode. So we’ll have to have Lynn back. Um, in particular, uh, Lynn, I love your passion along the lines of really making it a better, more inclusive, more successful environment for all parties. So we’ll have to do a check in on that. Um, as you, you know, roll into your next, uh, board seats or an initiatives or you name it. But how can folks, whether they wanna bring you in and have a keynote, or if they wanna, you know, uh, um, talk shop on the back of a bar napkin at one of your, your favorite Frank Sinatra’s legendary restaurant, whatever the case may be, how can folks connect with you, Lynn?

Len DeCandia (54:41):

Uh, LinkedIn is probably the best bet, Scott. So I’m, you know, I’m on LinkedIn. I’ll always be able to, uh, to message back and, uh, we can take it from there. So, I, I really encourage people to use LinkedIn. I think it’s a great tool and I, I wish more people would use it.

Scott Luton (54:58):

Uh, agreed. Um, and I’ll tell you, uh, Kelly, uh, any of our students at Rutgers University, um, this has gotta make you very proud, right? So, uh, connect with Lynn, know, know your roots and, and know maybe some of those four bearers that help create the structure and the programming for what we all enjoy, especially that now generation that’s making such a big impact before they even graduate. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, you know, with their undergrad. Undergraduate. Um, Kelly, uh, two quick questions as we still have Lynn here, and we’re gonna talk about it as if he’s not with us. Your favorite thing that Lynn shared here today, Right. And then number two, let’s make sure folks know where to get, you know, I’ll just pick it on. I’ll just in all good fun on procurement a second ago. Uh

Kelly Barner (55:41):

Oh. I know, because if you meant it, I would be on the way down there to Atlanta.

Scott Luton (55:45):

He’s got break by legs, Lynn <laugh>. Um, so

Kelly Barner (55:47):

I

Scott Luton (55:47):

Do it. Nice. What’s your,

Len DeCandia (55:49):

We’re gonna send Polly Walnuts asked you.

Kelly Barner (55:52):

Oh, there you go.

Scott Luton (55:53):

I’m gonna get, it’s gonna get, uh, challenging here. What, uh, so Kelly, what’s your favorite thing Lynn shared, and then where can folks, uh, find Dial P and what’s coming up next?

Kelly Barner (56:01):

So, my favorite thing, one of those P words, it’s back to the promise. Every single person in every single company is making a promise to somebody, possibly multiple somebodys. Your responsibility then becomes finding a way to keep that promise sustainably at scale. And all of our promises are different, but they are all equally important. So I think for me, that’s a huge takeaway. Um, if you wanna join me in land and revel in the wonderfulness of procurement, uh, you can find me personally on LinkedIn, but I would also recommend that you find Dial l p. There’s a new episode every single Thursday. We go between solo pods and important topics to video interviews and live streams. So check us out on LinkedIn, on supply chain now, on Twitter, and get involved in the conversation.

Scott Luton (56:46):

I love that. And after you connect with Lynn the candy on LinkedIn, find a procurement buzz on LinkedIn that is required reading. So y’all check that out. Um, thank you, Kelly Lynn. Thank you, Kelly and I, were looking forward to today’s conversation. I’m looking forward to, uh, sharing it with our global ecosystem. I think they’re gonna have their own key takeaways. I mean, it’s hard not to have a litany of things in sitting, you know, spending an hour with you, Lynn, I’ve got about, uh, 17 pages of notes on my end. Uh, but Lynn, thank you for the, for what you’ve done. Thank you for what you’re doing today, and thank you already for, for how you’re can continue giving back and giving forward, as we call it here at Supply chain now. Big thanks, uh, for your hour spent with us, Lynn.

Len DeCandia (57:30):

Well, thank you, Scott. Thank you, Kelly. It was a real pleasure. And, uh, I appreciate what you’re doing for the, the various functions and for the science of supply chain and procurement. Uh, it’s important work, it’s meaningful work, and I really encourage many young people to, to pursue a career in this area.

Scott Luton (57:45):

Mm, Well said, man. All right. We’ve been talking with Linda Toand, recently retired chief procurement officer of Johnson Johnson, and in a whole lot more, as, as you, if you’ve been listening to us last hour, you know what I’m talking about. Um, big thanks Lynn. Big thanks to you Kelly. Kelly Barner, always a pleasure to knock out these conversations with you. I’ll tell you, this is a good one, huh?

Kelly Barner (58:05):

I was glad to be here for it. Absolutely. It was a great one.

Scott Luton (58:08):

And to our listeners, thank you for tuning in. Uh, thank you for being with us on this journey, uh, as we sit down with movers and shakers like Kelly and Lynn, uh, tell you so much to learn here. Um, but whatever you do, uh, as Lynn and Kelly both are speaking to, it’s all about deeds, not words, right? Taking that action to drive change, meaningful change within your four walls and certainly outside your four walls. On that note, we challenge you on behalf of our entire supply chain, uh, supply chain now team to do good, to give forward and to be the change that’s needed. And with that said, we’ll see you next time, right back here at Supply Chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (58:46):

Thanks for being a part of our supply chain now, community. Check out all of our programming@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.

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Leonardo (Len) DeCandia is the former Global Chief Procurement Officer at Johnson & Johnson, a $95 billion maker of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and consumer health products with over 140,000 employees around the world. Len has built significant depth and breadth of experience through his 40-year career leading organizational transformations in supply chain and procurement. His thought leadership makes him a sought-after advisor, public speaker and author on the future of this work, and what success means in today’s evolving times. Len rejoined Johnson & Johnson in 2014 originally as the CPO of Janssen Pharmaceuticals after a previous tenure from 1982 to 1996. He assumed the Global CPO role in 2016 through Fall 2022. As Chief Procurement Officer, he was responsible for all global procurement policies, including supplier base strategy development, practices such as relationship management and functional headcount. He also served as a member of the Johnson & Johnson Enterprise Governance Council (ESG Focus) and as Executive Sponsor of the second largest Employee Resource Group at J&J, the Alliance for Diverse Abilities. Len holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Rutgers University. Connect with Len on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Kelly Barner

Host, Dial P for Procurement

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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Greg White

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.

With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business.  Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM.  When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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Ben Harris

Host

Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.

He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.

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