Supply Chain Now
Episode 817

As I think about what we do, we optimize sub-optimal supply chains. That doesn't mean the supply chain does not become sub-optimal in the flick of a switch, because it does, the pandemic showed us that overall. So, you know, it's about continuing to manage through the data and analytics.

-Scott Temple, president & CEO, FedEx Supply Chain

Episode Summary

Scott Temple, president & CEO of FedEx Supply Chain, never planned on getting into supply chain — a testament to the flexibility of both the liberal arts degree and the modern career path. In this episode, join Scott L. and Greg W. as they talk with Scott about the journey to leadership, the importance of people to any resilient supply chain, the future of automation, how the pandemic has impacted FedEx Supply Chain 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 (00:33):

Hey, Hey, good morning, everybody. Scott Luton and Greg White here with you on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s big show. Greg, how you doing all?

Greg White (00:41):

I’m doing great. I’m looking forward to this. So, let’s dive in.

Scott Luton (00:45):

Let’s do it. We’re getting – we don’t wasting time around here.

Greg White (00:48):

No.

Scott Luton (00:48):

On today’s episode, folks –

Greg White (00:49):

Especially not with this fella.

Scott Luton (00:52):

We’ve got a big guest as Greg is alluding to with us here today, doing big things for global business from supply chain solutions to reverse logistics, even to commerce enablement and all points in between. So, on that note, let’s welcome in Scott Temple, president, CEO, FedEx Supply Chain. Scott, how you doing?

Scott Temple (01:10):

Good. Thanks. Thanks for having me. I look forward to today’s conversation.

Scott Luton (01:13):

You bet. I tell ya, we are too. We had to go through your agent and your agent’s agent to get you booked, but, we know y’all have had your hands full at FedEx Supply Chain making things happen. So, appreciate your time here this morning. So, Greg, where we’re going to start with Scott Temple? Before we get into some of his professional journey and some of the things, cool things are doing at FedEx Supply Chain, let’s get know Scott Temple a little bit better. So, Scott, give us the goods, where’d you grow up and what were some of your hobbies as a kid?

Scott Temple (01:42):

Yeah. So, I grew in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, which is just Southeast of Pittsburgh. And as you know, Pittsburgh had a great weekend on the football field.

Scott Luton (01:49):

That’s right.

Scott Temple (01:50):

Overall, they, snuck in there. But, you know, I lived all over the United States, you know, throughout my career. My wife and I at one stretch lived in seven different places in nine years, toting around four boys as we go.

Scott Luton (02:05):

Wow.

Scott Temple (02:06):

Today we live in Des Moines, Iowa. My last engagement brought me here and I haven’t moved yet. You know, the pandemic kind of slowed down any kind of relocations or whatnot. So, I’m in the upper Midwest and it’s cold. It’s very cold.

Scott Luton (02:21):

All right. So, Greg, we got to go back to football for a second. We love football around here. Greg’s a big KC, Kansas City Chief’s fan. And, of course, Scott, it sounds like you’re a big Steelers fan. Is that right?

Scott Temple (02:32):

Hey, you can’t grow up in Pittsburgh without being the Steelers fan. They won’t let you back in.

Greg White (02:37):

That’s right. That’s so true.

Scott Luton (02:39):

The other thing I heard, gosh, four boys. What age ranges is your family?

Scott Temple (02:45):

You know, so I’ve got four sons, three of ’em were born in different states, so they range from nine to18, going to be 19 next month. He’s a freshman down at Ole Miss.

Scott Luton (02:56):

Oh, fantastic.

Greg White (02:57):

Hotty Toddy.

Scott Temple (02:59):

Yeah. He’s a smart one. He got out of the upper midway.

Greg White (03:04):

Going south. Yeah.

Scott Luton (03:05):

One more question then we’re going to shift gears and take a glimpse at your professional journey. Any of your sons, any of your kids want to dive into the world of global supply chain as a profession?

Scott Temple (03:17):

You know, we don’t talk about much, you know. As I think about my career, you know, I have a political science degree with a smattering of religion classes in there from a small liberal arts school, which pretty much prepared me to do nothing. And when I figured out I couldn’t go to law school or shouldn’t go to law school, I kind of fell into this career. My first job was at RPS. And if you’re aware, RPS is FedEx ground [inaudible] so technically I’m a rehire and 27 years later, when I joined RPS three years ago, or when I joined FedEx three years ago this week. So, no, you know, we kind of push in whatever direction they want. I’ve got the whole gamut of personality for children moving around as much. And, I’m just thankful my wife’s a widely intelligent person who keeps all of ’em online ’cause I’m the fifth kid. I sat out [inaudible] for a few years, guys, and she just said, look, I love you, but you can’t be here anymore. It was just horrible, right? Between the Nerf battles and the Wiffle ball games and everything else. She needed me to go out and get real work again.

Scott Luton (04:18):

Okay. I love that, Scott. We have to interview your wife. I’ll tell you, it sounds like, she’s had our hands full as well. So, Greg, where are we going here with Scott Temple next?

Greg White (04:27):

Well, I can tell you, I feel a significant sense of alignment here, political science degree from an engineering school, which makes it even less useful by the way, Scott, and, kind of fell backwards like many people do into supply chain. And that’s something we’ve talked about over the last couple years is, you know, this wasn’t the first career choice. And, for a lot of us, it was – we weren’t schooled in supply chain. We kind of came up through the school of hard knocks. So, I’m curious about kind of how you got into supply chain, what kind of drew you to it, and then what are a couple of things that you’ve done or seen as gotten into the practice, the craft as we call it, that have really shaped your view of how supply chain ought to work?

Scott Temple (05:15):

You know, I mean, today there’s curriculum for supply chain. I mean, kids are educated. They’re schooled in this overall. For many of us, at least of my age, and I’m knocking on 50 this week, you know, you kind of had to learn it as you go. So, as I think about my career, I mean, I kind of fell into the job at RPS. I needed to get a job. My parents said, look, we love you, but you can’t come home, figure something out. And, you know, I got that job and it was a great job. You know, I played four years of college football and I was in better shape after the first year working at RPS, working that dock than I ever was all four years of playing ball, man. So, it’s, you know, I found something that leadership skills, hard work, you know, there’s the old saying, you know, show up on time and you work hard, that gets you 90% there.

Scott Temple (06:01):

And I kind of felt like that’s where it originally started for me, but over the years, I learned, again, great mentors over the years, do the hard stuff. Don’t get comfortable in your job. So, if I was comfortable with my job, I’d still be walking the doctor to Harrisburg hub. Cause I love that job. But over overall, you know, I’d still be walking the dog [inaudible], so I love that job. But overall, you know, I’ve worked in demand management. I’ve done a lot of M and A work sales, purchasing. You know, I’ve kind of done everything you could possibly do. And because of that lack of formal education, those layers of experience, those rich layers of experience, it really set me up to do the job I have today. I mean, guys, I’m completely self-taught. But the only thing I won’t get involved in is finance. I’ll read the spreadsheets, but don’t let me [inaudible] in your calculator. I’ll leave that the guy’s formal degree overall as well as my attorney. So, you know, I think it’s important for people to understand that the supply chain is about layers, and without those layers, you can’t relate to your customers. If you can’t relate to the customers, how are you going to add value to them every day? You know, they don’t want one discipline. They want a lot of disciplines looking at their business.

Greg White (07:09):

I deference to liberal arts degrees. I think a lot of what you’ve described there is because of kind of probably how you are generally, but also what you’ve studied. A liberal arts degree kind of prepares you for everything, but not something specific. Right? And, I think that we found a lot of people in the craft that have come through a liberal arts type of role. There also seems to be sort of a theme, Scott, that people don’t want you at home, your parents, your wife. You must damage a lot of furniture.

Scott Temple (07:48):

I’ll tell you what, I’m not helpful. Just put it that one. Never have been, never will. My wife and I survived over 20 years by me spending 125 nights in hotels.

Greg White (07:57):

But that way the Nerf footballs aren’t hitting her lamps, they’re hitting the hotels lamps, right?

Scott Luton (08:03):

Yes. That’s what I heard.

Scott Temple (08:04):

That’s right.

Scott Luton (08:05):

Those Nerf wars. Those can be really damaging to homes, Scott and Greg.

Greg White (08:10):

Yeah. No doubt. No doubt. So, you know, obviously your role, president and CEO at FedEx Supply Chain, a lot of people have a vision of what that role is. As you said, just a minute earlier, it’s a lot of things, right? It’s everything but finance and, man, can I relate to that. I’m thankful for people who have finance skills. So, tell us a little bit about what your day-to-day is, kind of how you manage, you know that sort of thing. What is the role in your world?

Scott Temple (08:43):

So, you know, we focus on very specific markets, computing, mobility, equipment, consumer grids, retail, e-com fulfillment of course. We have a growing industrial business and the largest part of the business is in North America. However, we are growing rapidly outside of the US as well as a supply chain organization. As you think about my role, especially in a place as large and dynamic as FedEx, I mean, it’s amazing what you can get into in any given day overall. So, my time is really spent on the tactical side with the greater enterprise. How do I support the overall strategy? What we’re looking to do or when a customer has an immediate need. My phone could literally ring and it could be, “Hey, we’ve got test hits. We don’t know what to do with, and they’re coming into the port, pick one, and how do we distribute it?” And, off I go, right, which is a tactical part of it. But you need that experience overall and to understand that, and of course I just delegate the smart people, right? I’m smart enough to know what everyone’s telling me, but then I get the right people involved.

Scott Temple (09:44):

And there’s a strategic side of it, which any good (9:47) is going to spend their time on, what the customers want and what do the products that I need to have in order to meet their needs in those specific markets. You know, we of course do general warehouse and we do fulfillment. We do pick, pack and ship, contract packaging, private freight management business, which is a great business to go along with multi-tenant warehouses for smaller companies, really to give them an overall package. You mentioned reverse early on. We’ve got one of the best reverse technologies in the industry I feel. And, it’s a large size business force.

Scott Temple (10:20):

But how do I expand? How do I take what we have, take those relationships and what’s the customer need next? What’s the next thing? You know, my partner in FTN, who runs the ocean and air business, nine months ago won’t even dream of this. We had our first sailing of our own ocean vessel with FedEx logistics containers on it. ‘Cause the market’s changing and we need to keep up with the market and we need the capabilities to do so. So, you know, my time gets spent a lot on this product expansion, but, you missed, if I didn’t talk about people, I’m in the services and I’m sure you’re going to ask me about robotics for automation at some point, right? Because it’s a hot topic now. But at the end of the day, it’s about people. I can’t automate enough to eliminate enough people. So, we spend a lot of time with our leaders. Very proud of our diversity equity and inclusion programs, our leading leaders, our emerging leaders, our GM train programs. And while our HR team does a job of running those programs, I [inaudible] into those as much as possible. You know, I tell the vice presidents and directors, “Hey, I love y’all.” But if I got a good GM in the field and they’re doing a good job, our lights are easy. So, I actually interview every new GM coming into the business for that very reason. [Inaudible] strong, the whole business works well.

Scott Luton (11:40):

Quick follow up question on that note, Scott, with all those interviews. You know, some folks love interviews, some folks hate interviews. There’s not much in between. What’s one of your favorite interview questions to pose whether these gym candidates or anyone else that you’ve come across.

Scott Temple (11:57):

Well, you know, first I get ’em off [inaudible] a little bit about talking about my bag of money at the end of the month ’cause we’re a profit business. We’re just not there to save the customer money. Now, once we get through that, really it’s, where do you want go with your career? What do you want to get out? Because you work in a place like FedEx, the greater, not only supply chain, but the greater FedEx. There are so many opportunities to take advantage of every single day. Even as a president, CEO, I see job postings sometimes and I’m like, I might want to do that. That’s a great job overall. So, if it’s wanting to know where people, where they want to go with their career and making sure that vision is a fit, if I have somebody wants to be a career GM, probably not the best stick because I need to manage growth. And if I don’t have the next level of leaders coming in and coming in, we’ll never be successful. The worst thing a customer wants to hear when you pitch a deal is, oh, you just sold this to me, but you just hired the management team from outside of the company. I bought FedEx. I didn’t buy, you know, your solution pitch. Any engineer could put that together. I’m buying that culture for the organization.

Scott Luton (12:57):

Outstanding. And, Greg, I think we’re going to be talking about customers next, right?

Greg White (13:00):

Yeah. I’m curious. I mean, over the last, pretty much, except for maybe a honeymoon year, Scott, you’ve hit probably the hardest, most unique times in supply chain at a brand new place. And, I’m curious, what are some of the things you’re seeing that you all are doing that you feel like are or maybe were at one time above and beyond for people in the industry, for your customers, for their customers, since you do deal with retail? So, I’d love to hear kind of what you’ve seen change and how you’ve seen FedEx step up to that.

Scott Temple (13:40):

So, I never thought I’d be managing through a global pandemic or being on calls with neurologists who are explaining, you know, the Excel. So, yeah, it’s been something. As I think about what we do, we optimize suboptimal supply chains. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t – the supply chain does not become suboptimal in a, you know, a flick of the switch ’cause it does. The pandemic showed us that overall. So, you know, it’s about continuing to manage through the data and analytics. Our chairman in the late ’70s said, you know, it’s the data around the package. It’s not necessarily how we’re shipping the package and that holds true today, is really digging into the data and analytics and what’s required next. What does that customer need in order to keep their supply chain going? ‘Cause the problems we faced, you know, in the great recession or in any other period leading up to this, required those same types of analytics before a different reason, you know, and in that period was about inventory. And, you know, how do we lessen inventory? We got too much, it’s not moving.

Scott Temple (14:41):

I was – in the middle of the pandemic, I was at a large, one of our large customers’ million 2 square foot building and there was only 300,000 square foot product in it. Right. So, they couldn’t make it fast enough to get through. So, you know, it’s really digging into that and understanding what those key levers are and being ahead of the game form, knowing they’re going to need it, but also keeping the warehouses up and running. That became quite a chore. When you talk about, “Hey, we have a COVID case, that’s in this particular part of the warehouse.” “Okay. How, what do we do? How do we quarantine that? How do we get to keep the DC running?” I mean, I was very proud. We never shut down the DC during the entire pandemic. No, we shut down parts of it. And we cleaned and we scrubbed and we cleaned and we cleaned some more, but you know, we never actually had a shut one down. And, I mentioned before about training of people. And, I really think the pandemic was a great indicator of where the training and the theory hits the road in the practical application. Right? All the things we talk about and we do, we train a ton and to watch those things come out, I couldn’t be prouder of the team, you know, and all face team, not just the frontline operations, the support we got from our business partners and HR and safety. Everybody stepping up in order to make sure that the customers had their product. Look, remember, so many is counting on us. Shareholders counting on [inaudible] that product. Somebody’s job in a manufacturing plan is counting us, need the product, help our jobs count on us move that product. And, again, I couldn’t be prouder of the team.

Greg White (16:10):

Is there a parti –

Scott Luton (16:11):

Go ahead, Greg.

Greg White (16:12):

Is there a particular story? I’m curious. I know you must have had dozens, maybe hundreds or thousands of these opportunities, but is there a particular story where you guys hauled somebody out of the ditch that just really leaps out at you during the last couple years?

Scott Temple (16:27):

You know, there were so many and I can’t get into customer specifics obviously. But there were so many of ’em with their backs against the wall where they had literally 10%, 15% of their plan in the quarter, and then some of the restrictions lifted and next thing you know, they’re 300%. And, if you got [inaudible] and while we [inaudible] a little bit, [inaudible] 300%, so you can imagine being 10, 15% [inaudible] for an entire quarter for a Fortune 500 company.

Greg White (16:56):

Yeah.

Scott Temple (16:57):

And we came through. Now, it wasn’t pretty at times, and we had a lot of labor suffering, but there are many, many stories like that where we really just rolled up the sleeves and it was little blow in the guts, right. I remember plenty of situations where our VPs, where my COO was standing on the dock directing traffic ’cause he was the last person in and that’s what he had to do.

Greg White (17:17):

Yeah.

Scott Temple (17:18):

Whatever it takes, whatever it takes. You know, Greg, and I’m going to talk more about this changing environment and pose a question to you just a second, Scott, but you know, we hear this term, have heard it for going on two years now, Greg, resilience, right? It’s getting baked into products and brands and marketing all this stuff. But I would argue that what we heard the last four or five minutes from Scott is almost a textbook definition of what resilience really is, whatever’s taking place, moving forward. You know, the frontline management support, you name it, whatever it takes to keep customers moving, customers, the economy, the industry moving forward. I mean, that’s what has to happen. And, you know, sometimes there’s not a whole bunch of definition or intent beyond, behind when folks use that word, resilient. But, man, Scott and FedEx Supply Chain have brought it by the truckload, haven’t they?

Greg White (18:17):

Yeah, no doubt. I mean, it’s funny. We keep referring to everything with resilience. I don’t know if everybody, anybody watched the national championship last night, but that was the keyword used for the Georgia quarterback, right, was resilience and not a direct path to success and not maybe the most popular path to success and kind of, Scott, like you kind of fell backwards into his craft. Right? And yet, you know, just like you’ve described there, developed and gained the trust and utilized the talents of the people around him just like you have to deliver for the clientele in a, you know, in a difficult time. So, yeah, it is fascinating, this word. It’s also fascinating how applicable it is. Honestly, I think we maybe should have been using it a lot more. If we had been using it a lot more to, Scott, your point earlier, you know, maybe some of these surprises, they still would’ve been huge shifts like you described 15 to 300%, but if we had not disregarded the possibility of that happening so often, not always, but so often, maybe we wouldn’t have had such disruption, and also lesson learned I hope by a lot of your clients that, hey, when something changes dramatically, we probably ought to tell our supply chain partner.

Scott Temple (19:45):

Right.

Scott Luton (19:45):

Right. Keep those lines of communication open, keep that bat phone, that red phone off the hook. Right. Okay. speaking of disruption, speaking of the change and the evolution, whether it’s the challenging last, you know, couple years and how the whole world has shifted, of course, or if you want to dial in a little bit deeper, Scott, to, or focus more on just global supply chain, but regardless in this air era of transformation, what’s a couple things that really stick out front and center to you.

Scott Temple (20:17):

So, you know, when I first started this business as the warehouse supervisor, the inventory manager didn’t trust that new WMS system, and he still used a Rolodex to track inventory. So, he had a dual inventory system. And for those of you on the call, I mean, I know you two know, but for those listening, a Rolodex has little cards in it that’s been around and that’s how he track his inventory. Hey, I have to have real-time access, real-time visibility. A customer needs to know that inventory is available. They need to know that it was just brought into the building. They need to know that it just shipped as they’re trying to manage their overall businesses, they all run tighter inventories. And, I don’t think that’s going to change. I think that’s a constant evolution in this business. You’re always going to have people. You’re going to have [inaudible]. You’re going to have warehouses. But how we manage that information and the speed in which we manage, it just becomes – continue and becomes the most critical aspect of the business.

Scott Temple (21:09):

But there’s the other side. You know, I mentioned earlier, we talked about automation, robotics. You know, I’ve got some of the best engineers in the business. I’ve got solutions. When I first started here, I walked into some of these for [inaudible]. Like, wow, a customer actually lets us do this? Because I’ve never like it. I’ve been in [inaudible] market a long time, but they’re absolutely fantastic. But where it’s evolving to with automation and robotics is, as you know, the contract logistics industry is a three to five-year contract. Well, you can’t spend 15 million bucks to eliminate 200 heads or gain that productivity on a three-year payback. It just doesn’t work. The math will never work.

Scott Temple (21:46):

So we spend a lot of time working with our customers to find win-win in this area because you desperately needed to minimize the reliance on labor and improve quality. I mean, we work with a couple integrators out there that are perfected to the point. They can deliver a perfect order 100% of the time with many of their applications. But can the customer pay for it? Can we make it work in a three to five-year period? Or are we to the point where our relationships with customers have to evolve way beyond the contract? The contract keeps us both honest, but the long term goals have to be centered around with what’s best for the overall supply chain in their business, relying on our expertise and capability and shared learnings with the needs of their business and their products.

Scott Luton (22:32):

So, Greg, as you, as you heard Scott’s response to what they’re tracking in this ever-changing world, what sticks out to you?

Greg White (22:40):

I think it’s the focus on people even in the face of incredible automation, right? You know, we talk about this a lot, both of you Scotts. We talk about this a lot. And, that is we want people to do human things and we want technology to do technology things. And, there are some of those things that, at least in today’s and probably for the foreseeable future, they’re distinctly different, right? People can make decisions with inadequate or inaccurate information on a moment’s notice that are high stakes. A computer, or, you know, analytics or AI even requires a ton of data to be able to do those things. So, creating that blend between the human and technology connection is really, really critical and understanding that balance for not just yourself at FedEx, but for dozens, hundreds, thousands of customers who have different dynamics and different desires in their business. Some probably want to reduce heads, some just want to be the most effective, and to be able to balance that in dozens or thousands of different cases is it’s pretty impressive to be able to do that.

Scott Luton (23:54):

Agreed. And, to steal a phrase that I think I heard you say the other day, Greg, we got to make sure the AI is AI. We got to make sure artificial intelligence is actual intelligence, right, and spitting out what we need. Scott, before we shift over to culture and leadership, any final thoughts around this incredible time, really incredible time that we all have to be in global supply chain right now.

Scott Temple (24:20):

Having the right people has never been more true as I think about the pandemic and how we’ve had to react to it. And, you know, I think about the culture at FedEx, the customer-centric culture, our people service profit culture and watching that in application. I remember when the pandemic first started and I sat down with Andy Smith, my COO, [inaudible], how are we going to handle this? What are we going to do? He took me through it and said, it’s going to be evolving. It’s going to be fluid. And then he got on the call with all the GMs and Beth Casteel who runs the HR side of the business and just watching them work. It reminded me one of the most valuable lessons I got when I first got my big stripes, and that, if you got the right people, [inaudible]? I mean, it was just wonderful watching them go. And a lot of times people in my position sometimes might step in and put your stamp on this and that shouldn’t do that. You should allow the talent to do what they do best. And it just reinforced that one more time throughout my career, at least these last 10 years when I’ve had more senior roles.

Scott Luton (25:21):

I love that. That’s such a critical lesson learned, and I love how you put it there. So, let’s talk more about culture and leadership from – as we do, we have done our homework on you through [inaudible] and others. We’ve kind of done our Google searches, kind of building Scott Temple portfolio. You know, I understand that you’re an ongoing, endless student of leadership, big believer in culture. Of course, you got the purple what purple promise there at FedEx Supply Chain. So, talk to us a little bit about how – you just mentioned a key lesson that the pandemic era leadership taught you with having the right people and kind of getting out of the way, letting ’em go to work. What else? How else rather has the pandemic shaped your views on both culture and leadership?

Scott Temple (26:09):

It continues to reinforce. You know, if you think about how 3PL started, they started out as small regional providers where a customer could pick up the phone and talk to the owner, right, and just get things done. The pandemic has further reinforced the requirement that we got to run our business this way and we’re not a small regional provide. You know, we love bodies in North America and, as I said, growing in the world. So it’s continuing to properly train and empower, get people the confidence to do the work and give them those layers of experience that I mentioned, you know. Absolutely critical that they understand that part of it because, you know, again, as a student, I like to think that I’ve learned a lot of good things, but I’ve actually learned more from watching the failures of others that [inaudible] and passing along that knowledge and saying, “Hey, have you thought of this?” “And, you know, I had a boss. I first became a CEO of a company and I made a mistake and it cost $150,000.” And I thought he was going to fire. Honestly, I couldn’t believe I made this mistake. It was a bone head move. I didn’t do my due diligence. And he came to me and said, “You know what, Scott, that was is dumb. Why’d you do it?” And I explained and “Well, don’t do that again. What’s next?” And that taught – but it taught me, he saw talent in me. I made a mistake. And at the time that was a fortune, but long term, you know, after leading that company and doing what I need to do for them, it was just a learning curve. And, I think people need to understand that you’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to learn from them and you’re going to move forward with the business. Just don’t make the same one play.

Scott Luton (27:46):

You know, along those lines, Scott and Greg, I’m not sure if I’ve shared this with you. I had a chance to hear the legendary GE-CEO, Jack – Greg, help me out last name. Jack –

Greg White (27:59):

Oh, my God. Now, I’m [inaudible]. Welch.

Scott Luton (28:03):

Yes, yes. Jack Welch. Heard him speak out in Vegas at an event one time. And, Scott, talking about big mistakes, he even made a bigger one. As he told it, he basically blew up a factory based on some technology that he was a trail blazer on and big loss. But to your point, the leadership at the time better understood what he was after what he was doing, why he was doing it, and they asked that simple question that it sounds like your manager at the time asked you, “Hey, what’s next?” And, that really, you mentioned empowering earlier, that style working for folks like that that allow mistakes be made. I mean, that’s how change and innovation and resilience is really manufactured and baked into cultures and organizations. Okay. So, Greg, respond to that, if you would, and, Greg, I think you’re going to take the next question as we’re going to take a little visit to the Waldorf Astoria up in New York City.

Greg White (29:01):

Yeah, that’s right. Well, not on Scott’s budget because he’s already told us he’s not going to spend that kind of money, but to give you a counterpoint, to give the listeners a counterpoint to the description, both of you just had, I actually worked for a CEO and a company once who actually said, as we were trying to innovate a technology company, actually said to me, one of the other GMs of one of the other divisions and his son who is, you know, basically COO, why is it every time you guys say learning experience, it costs me money. So, that’s the alternate take the stories you both described there, right? It does take a certain amount of mature empathic leadership to do that because it is a big hurt. Like you said, Scott, 150 grand was a lot of money then.

Greg White (29:53):

So, the alternative to having that kind of vision, that kind of leadership principle is what I experienced, which was not fun, being who I am, of course, I kind of laughed it off, but now this really puts it in perspective to hear you guys talk about what could have happened there. So, that being said and talking about people who are or have been in the industry, there are of people, Scott, like you, and like me and Scott who were not educated in supply chain or are educated in supply chain or becoming educated in supply chain, students, crossover professionals, people coming from physics and politics, and God help us if that’s the case, and other industries that are getting into supply chain. So, if you’re talking to this room in a reasonably priced hotel, Scott, and they, they want to know what are the keys to getting involved in this industry, to being effective, to understanding it, to moving up the ladder, to being successful in this industry, maybe even ascending to a role like yours, what is the guidance that you would give those folks?

Scott Temple (31:08):

I think first and foremost, and I don’t think it even, it can apply to anything, have a plan, know what you want to do, right? And, you may want do it ’cause you want to make money or you want to have people working for you, you want fill a sense of teamwork and being a team and understand what that is and working now. Man plans, God laughs, right. We all know that. And, we got that formal change in your 30’s and your 40’s and your 50’s. So, you have to work that plan. I think that’s critically important to know what you want to do. I think it’s important to put yourself into where you’re not comfortable in your job. ‘Cause when you’re comfortable in your job, you stop learning, you stop progressing, you stop moving forward. And if you want to have get to my position or you want to keep moving onward, you can’t be comfortable. You got to have different layers and do different things.

Scott Temple (32:02):

Find a mentor. And, I’m not saying you sit down and you talk to somebody for an hour. I’m saying you observe, you watch, you see people that are getting a result, not the one that has lot of megaphone or writes a book. You see people that are getting results and you follow their actions. You see how they do it. Then, you pick their brain for five minutes. Hey, why’d you handle the group like this? Or why aren’t you thinking about this? And hear what they say, and let that help you form your, you know, your overall opinions.

Scott Temple (32:33):

I think the last part is you need to be honest with yourself about how well you do. I don’t know how many times I fall over my career. They didn’t give me a good grade, or I didn’t do this, or I didn’t do that. Well, if you didn’t or you did, you got to make your own luck. Right. And if you put your hands in somebody else’s, you know, you attach yourself to somebody else and they’re the only reason that’s what you’re not going to make it, you know, I think overall. I’d rather be safe by criticism than killed by praise. Right. I don’t need to be told I’m doing well. I need to be told how to think about doing it better. And maybe I don’t follow the advice, but at least having [inaudible] perspective.

Scott Temple (33:14):

So, you know, those are the things. I mean, if I had to say all of them, having the right mentors, I mean, I still have some very dear friends that were my bosses, you know, going back 10, 15 years and I still talk to them today and get their insight, get their input and get their perspective because it’s been so valuable over the years just to be able to pick up the phone, call somebody, not at FedEx. They gave five minutes at a time and it’s worth, you know, a million bucks.

Greg White (33:41):

Literally.

Scott Luton (33:43):

Right. So much goodness there. And, a lot of it’s transferable as Scott mentioned whether you want to, you know, break into global supply chain and move up through the ranks or whatever else you’re pursuing in your career. So, I really appreciate you sharing, Scott. And, you know, one of the things you shared there, Greg, we’ve talked about it quite a bit is, you know, that power, not only the power of feedback, but the power of being willing to lean in to feedback and get that tough criticism. I mean, that’s how, you know, that’s how you do big things in your career, right, Greg?

Greg White (34:17):

Unquestionably. I mean, you never learn and from success. I don’t know who said that, but it’s so very true. You have to, as Scott talked about, you have to reach beyond a little bit beyond your capabilities, periodically prudently, and occasionally you’re going to fail and you’re going to learn something like don’t hit that switch, that’s the lose $150,000 or switch. Right? Noted. But, yeah, that’s true. I mean, you have to take some risks.

Scott Luton (34:46):

That’s right.

Greg White (34:46):

Right. And, I got to tell you, the find yourself a mentor or mentors absolutely critical. You can’t know what you don’t know unless you know someone who knows what you don’t know. So, that’s the key, is to find someone you admire who’s success in whatever it is, even if it is running the forklift or the dock, by the way I learned a lot about supply chain from somebody who drove a forklift.

Scott Luton (35:15):

That’s right. So, the got to go to the genba.

Greg White (35:18):

Yeah. And, I think that’s the, you know, that’s probably one of the most human bits of advice that you can take is you don’t have to trust yourself. You don’t have to climb the ladder alone.

Scott Luton (35:33):

Right. You got to get you a Greg White that’ll really tell you like it is and I got fortunate of hearing that all the time. So, but kidding aside, we love old Greg, Scott Temple, really appreciate your time here today and just how authentic and genuine your answers, thoughtful answers to our questions have been. I know you’re busy and your team’s busy, and it’s a really busy time. I tell you, the tidal wave of tasks keep coming, wave after wave. But how can folks, you know, based on what they’ve heard here today, how can folks learn more about you and FedEx Supply Chain?

Scott Temple (36:10):

Go to supplychain.fedex.com, and you can learn more about what we do at FedEx Supply Chain. My LinkedIn account is kept up-to-date as well, so you can check us out there. And we’re constantly in the news, for FedEx logistics, which is the vision I work within. If you follow FedEx logistics, you’ll see any number of really inspiring and great things we’re doing within FedEx and for our customers and our people.

Scott Luton (36:32):

Wonderful. We really appreciate that. We’ve been chatting with Scott Temple, president, CEO of FedEx Supply Chain. Scott, really appreciate your time here today. We look forward reconnecting later in the year.

Scott Temple (36:43):

Thanks a lot. Thanks for having me.

Scott Luton (36:44):

All right.

Greg White (36:44):

Thanks, Scott.

Scott Luton (36:44):

Big thanks. Greg, heck of an interview here with Scott Temple. Quickly, your favorite thing perhaps he shared, and then we’re going to sign off.

Greg White (36:54):

Well, this is going to sound crazy when we’ve been talking to a CEO, but tactical. His ability to get tactical, to be tactical, to understand the tactical and to appreciate that and how that underpins the strategic of the company. And I think that’s what’s, particularly in supply chain, that ability to understand that and to know how to make that effective and how that becomes a creative to the strategy of the company. That’s hugely important. And, that’s really, really rare to someone who has ascended to the level that Scott’s at now.

Scott Luton (37:28):

Agreed. Not only that ability, but the willingness to do so, all those things you mentioned. You know, that is very powerful. So, folks, hopefully you’ve enjoyed this conversation as much as Greg and I have had here with Scott Temple with FedEx Supply Chain. If you like conversations like this, check us out, supplychainnow.com, or wherever you get your podcasts and subscribe so you’ll not miss conversations just like this one with Scott. But most importantly folks, hey, take lessons from what Scott Temple has shared from his journey, whether it’s, you know, that big 150,000 mistake, which kept him moving on, right? It primed him to be where he is now, or his advice, his observations on industry, you name it. But most importantly, if you hear anything, hey, do good, give forward, be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time right back here at Supply Chain Now. Thanks, everybody.

Intro/Outro (38:22):

Thanks for being a part of our Supply Chain Now community. Check out all of our programming at supplychainnow.com and make sure you subscribe to Supply Chain Now anywhere you listen to podcasts, and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on Supply Chain Now.

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Featured Guests

Scott Temple is the president and CEO of FedEx Supply Chain. In this role, Temple leads the development and implementation of innovative business strategies, delivering industry-leading supply chain solutions to customers around the globe. Temple oversees the FedEx Supply Chain executive leadership team and is responsible for the performance and strategic direction of the company. Additionally, he works closely with the FedEx Logistics senior leadership team to enhance the global network’s capabilities with advanced supply chain solutions. He has held numerous positions of increasing responsibility throughout his career in supply-chain-related work. In his prior logistics role, Temple led the North American transportation and contract logistics division of a global logistics company, where his forward-thinking perspective guided the company’s transition into a larger, more structured organization. In addition to creating value for customers and shareholders, Temple brings extensive experience with creating operational excellence, Quality Driven Management and customer-centric solutions. He is known for being an accomplished operational leader who fosters an engaging culture through collaboration and the development of high-performance leadership teams. Temple’s organizations have won numerous professional awards in the areas of transportation and logistics work throughout his career. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Juniata College. Connect with Scott on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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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.

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.

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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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