Creating an exceptional customer experience means knowing what customers want – and the best way to achieve that is to listen when they speak. The secret to success is to meet the customers where they are and provide them with what they need.
Jennifer McKeehan is the Senior Vice President, End-to-End Delivery at Walmart – and a returning Supply Chain Now guest. Her past experience includes roles at Peloton and The Home Depot, where she learned that no matter what the problem is, the answers are always in the stores. She and her team are responsible for “anything that moves” at Walmart, from the point of origin to customer homes.
In this interview with Scott Luton and Greg White, Jennifer talks about:
• Why Walmart’s customer experience is being enhanced by investments in final-mile delivery
• How Walmart is rolling out drone delivery – a service that recently surpassed 7,000 deliveries from 36 sites in 7 states
• The role that pandemic-era challenges played in making Walmart’s supplier partnerships stronger and more collaborative
• The immense value the front-line workers bring to the table
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 (00:30):
Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, Scott Luton and Greg White with you here on Supply Chain. Now welcome to today’s show, Gregory. How are we doing?
Greg White (00:38):
I’m doing good. I am, uh, always glad we get to share some time with some of these practitioners who are really making supply chain happen, right? I think it’s fantastic to get to speak to all these leaders. I just have one question for you, Scott. Are we, are we gonna low talk through this one? Should I <laugh>?
Scott Luton (00:58):
Hey, I know you’re gonna be at full volume as always, Greg and I look, I look forward to that. But as you’re referencing big big show today as we have a repeat guest with us back by Popular Demand. And as Greg suggested, we’re gonna be talking about some really cool developments when it comes to supply chain and the retail world. So should be a great show. So Greg, are we ready to introduce our esteemed guests here today?
Greg White (01:24):
I guess we should. Otherwise it would just be you and IIC for the rest
Scott Luton (01:27):
Of your guys. <laugh> and the World has had, had enough of Scott and Greg I bet. But yes, <laugh>. So really excited about our guests here. Our guest, uh, featured guest has experienced across retail and e-commerce channels, of course, including supply chain operations, merchandising strategies. Prior to her current role, she held leadership positions at Peloton and the Home Depot and her reputation. Now Greg is one of a versatile and strategic corporate athlete. I love that. An authentic and collaborative leader and a results driven agent of change. So our guest currently serves as senior vice president, end-to-end delivery with Walmart. And I wanna welcome in Jennifer McKeean to the conversation. Jennifer, how you doing? Hey
Jennifer McKeehan (02:10):
There. Thanks guys. Good to see ya.
Scott Luton (02:13):
You as well, Greg. We’ve been looking forward to this conversation, aren’t
Greg White (02:16):
We? Yeah, welcome aboard. I, I mean, like I said in the kind of lead up, it’s always great to talk to the folks that are doing the doing, um, and with you having so much experience across a broad, uh, spectrum of, of different companies, uh, and being a change agent. Scott, you know, how I feel about change agents, <laugh>. Um, I mean, we, you know, there’s so much change that’s necessary in supply chain. I think it’s always good to be looking forward and learning and, and seeking out new solutions. So I’m stoked.
Scott Luton (02:46):
Well said, well said Jim. So welcome in. Now, uh, some folks may remember the last time you were with us. I want to kind of recap a little bit of that. We had a lot of fun talking about where you grew up and, and, uh, I think some food items, it always finds a way, way to work itself in the conversation. <laugh>, um, <laugh>. So, so Jen, refresh our listeners, our viewers, uh, memories. Where did you grow up? And, and give us an anecdote or two about your upbringing.
Jennifer McKeehan (03:11):
Uh, that’s great. Yeah, it’s good to see you guys today and thanks for having me back. I, um, I actually grew up right northeast of Atlanta in a little town called Lawrenceville, Georgia. Uh, and have been in Atlanta most of my life. My mother still lives in the house we grew up in, I think, um, some fun, some fun antidotes. I think that’s how we got on food. That’s right. And, you know, Atlanta’s the home of Waffle House and Chick-fil-A and it doesn’t get much better than that. So, um, those are, those are probably my two favorites. Uh, and my favorite place, place to go when I’m back home.
Scott Luton (03:44):
Well, okay, so if you’re gonna go there, we’re gonna go there with, with, uh, uh, the full force. So Greg, nothing quite beats a Patty Mill at a Waffle House, right?
Greg White (03:55):
Scott Luton (03:57):
Greg White (03:58):
I’m a firm believer that Waffle House is like the eighties. If you remember being at Waffle House, you weren’t there. So <laugh>, uh, much like Kid Rock, I mostly go there to get in fights.
Scott Luton (04:08):
Greg White (04:10):
I’m a huge fan of the waffles. I love. You can almost eat the waffles without syrup.
Scott Luton (04:16):
So yes, I, I completely agree. Completely agree. Especially you put a little butter on there. Goodness gracious. Um, I’m gonna go back though for a second to Lawrenceville, cause uh, uh, Jen, there’s a wonderful square, you know. Yeah. That kinda makes up the center of town and talk about places to eat, places to shop. It’s just a really cool place to park and, and get your steps in, huh?
Jennifer McKeehan (04:36):
It’s great. It has, you know, it has come so far from my early days, uh, and now it’s so hip. There’s apartments and it’s kind of a work, eat, play type of deal. And, um, who knew that Lawrenceville would come that far? So, um, we were back home for the holidays and it was, it was great. It’s a really cute little spot.
Scott Luton (04:53):
Love that. Um, okay, so let’s move along Greg and Jen and Jen, I wanna, um, I don’t think we touched on this last time you were with us here. So, um, you know, worldview is so important, right? It’s an important context to how we view, um, leaders, right? So tell us before your current role, what’s a couple of positions you held, leadership positions you held that really shaped that worldview?
Jennifer McKeehan (05:16):
Sure. Well, you know, I was so lucky, um, was about to graduate college year before, you know, you have to start figuring out, okay, what’s this gonna look like? What am I gonna do? Uh, and I had the opportunity to intern at Home Depot and I thought, you know, I’ll go do this and see how it goes. And then I had planned to go to grad school and do a few other things. And, um, after that internship, I just kind of got sucked in, spent the next 15 years at the Home Depot. Just an incredible culture or place to learn, cut your teeth, grow up. Um, but I started in store operations and so I really spent the book of my early years in stores understanding how they work, the, you know, how what the customers like, how to support associates in the store, and what a gift in retail to sort of start where the cash register is and understand the value of the frontline associates and what they have to go through day in and day out.
Jennifer McKeehan (06:07):
And that has just been a piece of my dna I have carried with me since. Um, got to do a lot of other fun things at the Home Depot, um, ending and running a piece of their supply chain and undergoing a large digital transformation, which, um, you don’t get the opportunity to do all the time. And so just really lucky to be in seat and see such tremendous growth and, um, acceleration for what they were doing. And then had the incredible opportunity to go on to Peloton during Covid, which as I tell people, was not boring. Um, a completely different set of problems, but obviously got to scale and grow and, um, look at what that looked like just in a hyper-growth mode. It’s so super fun. Uh, and then now Walmart. So,
Scott Luton (06:52):
All right. So man, you share, you could write a book of over what you just shared over the last three minutes. So, um, Greg, I wanna pull it back to, uh, her first where she was talking about the Home Depot and the power of the frontline, right? This, the frontline team members. Your thoughts, Greg. Cause that’s, that’s like the part of the secret sauce, right?
Greg White (07:08):
Yeah. I feel like, I feel like I’m in Jerry McGuire. You had me at Frontline. I, I mean, I, I really believe that that <laugh> store ops, it is the frontline. I mean, if you think about it, I, I talk to so many people who have been in the food service industry who say everyone should wait tables. I agree with that. And I would add in also, everyone should work in a retail store because, you know, my belief is that consumers are the beginning and the end of the supply chain. And, um, you know, there’s no demand without them demanding something. So that power, the power and the, um, I don’t know, the engagement and the, the information and the knowledge you can capture just from being in the stores, uh, is, is so incredible and is a key part of understanding supply chain as, as you go throughout all the way back to raw materials, right? Yeah,
Jennifer McKeehan (08:00):
That’s so true, Greg. You know, it’s funny, we say the answers are always in the stores. You just have to go and listen mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Uh, and so kind of regardless of the role I’ve had, the answers are always in the store. Yeah. Yep. Uh, and
Greg White (08:12):
So that’s a really good point.
Scott Luton (08:14):
And so Jim, one other quick, uh, question about your, um, uh, looking back is, man, there’s few teachers that are as effective as that of fast growth, right? To which you, which one of your big themes, uh, secondly, would you agree with that?
Jennifer McKeehan (08:29):
I would agree. I, you know, trial by fire, um, and survival. But, um, just incredible learning opportunity because you’ve got a ton of people figuring just smart folks figuring things out at the speed of lightning, um, because the customer is demanding that. And, um, incredible, incredible experience for sure.
Scott Luton (08:51):
Yep. Okay. Um, so let’s, let’s shift gears. Let’s talk about, uh, Walmart and what you’re doing now. It’s really exciting. Got a lot of things we’re gonna dive into here momentarily, but tell us, you know, all of our listeners, of course, are familiar with Walmart, but what do you do in your role as, uh, S V P, senior Vice President of End-to-End Delivery?
Jennifer McKeehan (09:09):
Sure. Well, um, myself and the Amazing Team and End to End delivery shout out, uh, is, is responsible for what I say, anything that moves at Walmart. And so from origin or supplier all the way to our customer’s front porch or in their home, we’re, we’re connecting the dots across First Mile and Ocean Minute Mile in terms of over the Road Rail, and then all of our final mile apparatus, whether that is customer delivery, our Spark Driver platform, or our Go local, which is a white label delivery service. And so some folks call it Water Wheels and Wings <laugh>. Um, we’ve also got some drones and ev and AV tests in there. And so, um, if it’s moving through our supply chain, the end to end delivery team is taking care of it.
Greg White (09:59):
Jennifer, it’s, um, we talk to a lot of people and it’s really interesting that a lot of people don’t understand that that final Mile to the consumer is part of their supply chain, and that in fact, the consumer is part of their supply chain. So I think that’s, that’s an incredible recognition.
Jennifer McKeehan (10:15):
Um, yeah, and I’ll, I’ll tell you in my first six months at Walmart, like they do an incredible job, really always putting the customer first and thinking about that in everything we do. And I think with that in mind, to your exact point, it’s listening to the customer so that we can meet them where they want, when they want, and connecting all of those pieces so that we can service them with speed and the great experience that they expect. And, you know, in-home delivery is a great example of that, to your point. Like, Hey, we, that’s something that our customers wanted. And so that’s something that we’re now able to provide, which is a really exciting opportunity. Mm-hmm.
Scott Luton (10:50):
So let’s talk about, one of the things you mentioned there on the front end as you were talking about, uh, all the cool things that, uh, you and the team are up to at Walmart, this Go local initiative. So folks hadn’t heard of that yet, and I’m sure Pliny have, what is it?
Jennifer McKeehan (11:03):
Sure. Go Local is a white label delivery as a service, um, that we provide that leverages our Spark Driver platform. So our Spark Driver platform is, um, covers 84% of America today. It’s made up of our incredible large group of independent contractors that help us deliver out of the back of Walmart stores. And what we found is there’s a real need for our other partners to have a delivery as a service that leverages the density and the scale that we can provide. Um, you know, there’s 4,700 Walmarts within 10 miles of 90% of America. So you think about the competitive final mile footprint that that provides, go local leverages that scale, that capability, and lets us to go and deliver for other folks. We have a variety of clients on the roster everywhere from apparel to home improvement to electronics. And so that’s not only letting us deliver faster for our own customers, but it’s enabling us to deliver faster for their customers too.
Scott Luton (12:08):
Man, that is really cool. And if I understood you correctly, that that coverages, 84% of the US population is, is covered with the Go Local, uh, initiative. Um, is that right, Jen?
Jennifer McKeehan (12:19):
That’s right. Our, that’s right. We have an internal driver platform that we’ve created called Spark, and we leverage that platform across the us um, and to, to deliver for all of our go local customers and clients.
Scott Luton (12:34):
Man. Okay. So Greg, well,
Greg White (12:36):
You’re looking at Spark right now, aren’t you? You’re
Scott Luton (12:39):
<laugh>, we might be, the research team is on it, but, uh, Greg, you mentioned innovation earlier and just, uh, one of your comments earlier that go local program’s pretty cool, huh?
Greg White (12:49):
Yeah, well, I, I think about, um, I love the brilliance of, of delivering out of the stores or, or, or, um, or of kind of using the stores as Waypoint even because they’re everywhere, right? Walmart knows their demographic. There’s, you know, most of their stores have a certain number of people within a certain radius of the store itself. Um, and <laugh>, think about it, where can you go where you don’t pass a Walmart store, right? So, uh, it’s a perfect, I mean, it’s a perfect hub for that kind of thing. And if you can create efficiencies both for, um, other companies, but also for Walmart with that, it’s not unlike, you know, uh, uh, logistics services such or, you know, last mile delivery service without a retail store attached to it. Yeah. And it’s, I think, you know, it’s one of the models that I like about what Walmart does.
Greg White (13:42):
They have this whole concept of, of scale economies shared, right? Where the, the more capacity they have, the more they do with it, and the lower, the lower impact it has on the consumer. Because if more companies are helping to fund this Spark driver campaign, then, then that’s less shipment cost that any of those of those providers, including Walmart, have to apply to the consumer. So making good use of that is, is beneficial to, to everyone. And I’m not sure everyone gets that. I mean, there are a few companies, particularly in retail that have this notion of scale economies shared, but what that really does is reduce the price overall for, yeah,
Jennifer McKeehan (14:27):
Great. You’re, you’re spot on for all the supply chain nerds on the call, it’s, you know, we’re after density and, you know, density will set you free and it enables us to be a great service provider, not only for Walmart customers, but for others too. And so I think that’s where, you know, go local, just passed three and a half million deliveries, um, and is continuing to grow. And so we’re proud of what they can do do for Walmart, um, through Spark, but also what they’re doing for our clients all over the US
Scott Luton (14:57):
Intensity shall set you free. I love, I love that j an old movie. You’re my right, right. Um, but also all the growth. And if I’m not mistaken, I, I think, uh, Walmart market share and e-commerce, uh, growth has continued to grow. Uh, the number of orders related to that fulfilled by the stores has grown tremendously. So looking forward to keeping our finger on the pulse as y’all continue to, to compete. Um, more and more advantageously. Um, let’s talk about Jer Drone. Do Jerome deliveries, cause I, as I, we understand it, Greg, you and I chatted about this on an episode of Supply Chain, was a couple times, uh, in recent months. Walmart did a lot of big things when it comes to its drone delivery efforts, I think in 2021, and correct me if I’m wrong, Jen, I think over 6,000 drone deliveries took place in key markets across the US and, and that has continued to grow and expand here, moving into, uh, 2023. So tell us more about, um, what was accomplished last year and some of the key lessons learned, perhaps.
Jennifer McKeehan (15:54):
Yeah, I, I love talking about drones because it’s such a good, um, example of where we’re hearing, we’re meeting the customer, where they wanna shop, how they wanna shop, but it’s also democratizing access and giving us sustainable way to deliver on that. And so, um, to your point that, um, we just actually surpassed 7,000 deliveries. We’re in 36 sites across the US in seven states. And so, um, we have a few partners in there that we partner with to do that. But it really starts back to that store platform. We’ve got such a penetration of stores, how do we leverage them as our competitive advantage? There’s almost 85% of the store that’s eligible for drone delivery. And so, wow, you think about the speed of getting something within 30 minutes, the access where, you know, this could be a really urban area or a very rural area.
Jennifer McKeehan (16:50):
Um, and just the sustainability that that provides to deliver where you want and in an electric electrified way. Um, and so some of my favorite stories are you think, you know, are some of the top items are a rotisserie chicken or a two pound bag of lemons. Um, and so we see all sorts of fun. You know, I had a drone delivery done the other day, and, um, you see just really fun use cases of, of how a customer leverages that. So like, they’re in the middle of cooking and they forgot a spice and something else. And so, you know, you’re like loading the box. You know, Scott, you had said like, there’s certain pounds that a drone can take, um, but, you know, we see a pint of ice cream and like the cinnamon they forgot for dinner. Or, you know, you think, Hey, we might be able to deliver prescriptions for an elderly person that’s on the outskirt of town. Like, um, so it’s, it’s not only just like really cool whizzing technology, but it’s also, you think about, you know, the customer service and the customer experience you can provide with that speed of 30 minutes or less. And, um, we’re just really excited about the, the opportunities that it brings.
Scott Luton (18:00):
All right. So Greg, I’m gonna get you and, and, uh, get you a way in just a second. This is so cool. Let me do two quick, uh, programming points. Cause I, I think I misspoke. In 2022, Walmart had over 6,000 deliveries. And then secondly, as Jen mentioned, over 7,000 now and this, that’s at the time this, that this records and we’re recording this interview. That changes every day. I bet Jen. Um, yeah, right. All the time and, and the, and the markets. You’re, I think y’all open up some new, new drone delivery markets this year. So it’s, it’s expanding to to different customers too, huh?
Jennifer McKeehan (18:33):
Um, that’s right.
Scott Luton (18:35):
So with that, Greg, I know everyone mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, hears the word drone and they may say, oh, it’s, you know, we’ve been talking about this forever. This is cool because this is more deeds, not words that we love to tout here. Right? Greg,
Greg White (18:49):
I’m sorry, hold on just a second. I’m on Walmart plus love now trying to
Jennifer McKeehan (18:53):
<laugh>. That’s right, Greg.
Greg White (18:55):
Cause she said ice cream
Jennifer McKeehan (18:57):
Redelivery with Walmart plus everybody get, go get your membership
Greg White (19:00):
<laugh>. I don’t think I’m in a, I I’m on an island right now, Jennifer, so I don’t think that I’m probably within a drone delivery area, but I’m gonna give it a shot. Uh, but I, I love that. I, I have to ask, I have to ask, and I, and then Scott, I promise I will answer your question, but, uh, let’s say someone ordered, and I’m just saying this speculatively, let’s say someone ordered their rotisserie chicken for dinner and a half gallon of ice cream or whatever size it comes in now, thanks to shrink Fian. Um, what does that get delivered in same time? I mean, does you, do you have like heat and cold? You have like little flying Yetis? Is that what it is?
Jennifer McKeehan (19:42):
<laugh>? Yeah, exactly, exactly. There, um, there, it’s f so there’s a few different things that we’re trying and testing. We’ve got a, um, a few just wonderful supplier partners that are helping us figure it out. But it essentially goes in like a little cooler box. Um, and so you just see it fly across the sky, uh, in, in the box, and it gets there in five minutes. So, you know that ice cream don’t get very cold, don’t get very melted in five minutes. It’s pretty good,
Scott Luton (20:06):
Greg White (20:07):
It’s smart. I, I, you know, I, I think about, so another stupid thing I did as a kid delivered pizzas, right? And we had the little hot, hot box trays things Yeah. And that sort of thing. I imagine this will all become part of the whole thing over time, right? Is, is all of the temperature controlled and that sort of thing to, to tackle this. Anyway, sorry. Sorry to distract you on that. That’s just a really cool and interesting point. So I love to hear what people want in 30 minutes, aside from pizza.
Jennifer McKeehan (20:35):
Greg White (20:36):
And, and it’s really cool to, to kind of hear that.
Scott Luton (20:39):
Well, so speaking of Greg, yes, Scott, uh, two, two quick points. So Jen mentioned the pound limitation. I think it’s up to 10 pounds, is what’s currently available by drone delivery, if I’ve got that right. And then she mentioned chicken, uh, cookies, energy drinks and paper towels have been awesome. Of the most popular items ordered, Jen, that is so cool. Um,
Greg White (21:00):
I think we learn a lot about the consumer by this, right? I mean, we start to learn about, um, I, I mean if you think about this, it’s the ultimate impulse purchase, right? And you start to think and learn about what people, um, must have immediately, but they maybe don’t plan so well for it. It’s an interesting psycho-analysis over time. I would think
Jennifer McKeehan (21:23):
Guilty it is. Or you know, the other, the other day I was at the drone, um, tower and they were loading like, Pedialyte, Gatorade and Kids’ medicine and you thought, ah, like a mom’s homesick with her kid and like, need something in 20 minutes. Like just all of these like use cases where, you know, it’s like, it’s both convenient but also like you’re helping someone live better. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, so super fun.
Scott Luton (21:45):
And, and that’s a great take, uh, pick back up point because, uh, I love the example you used about delivering medicine to those that may be really limited and bound to their homes. So lots of noble purpose there. Um, anything else before we move on? Cause we’re gonna be talking, uh, ocean freight as we, uh, tackle this Water wheels and wings, uh, triumphant here today. Anything else that you, you expect or can predict or maybe share with you about where the program, the drone delivery programs go on in 2023?
Jennifer McKeehan (22:12):
Yeah, I would tell you we’re continuing to, to test and learn like what do our customers want, how fast do they want it? Um, and working with, you know, all sorts of partners in this space to understand how we can continue to expand that program. Cuz we know customers love it. Um, and just wanna make sure we got all the right policies and guidelines in place so that we can continue to, to lean in there. We’re really excited about it.
Scott Luton (22:36):
Yeah, good stuff. A lot of good stuff. We could have a whole couple hours on this, on what you’re learning and doing from a drone perspective, but we gotta move on. So, um, Greg and Jennifer, ocean Freight has been the headlines of course for, uh, a lot these recent years. Perhaps most we’ve seen perhaps in recent memory now, uh, I saw across social, I enjoy following what you put out there on social, especially LinkedIn. Jen, you visited members of your Ocean Freight team, uh, it’s probably two or three months ago. What were a couple of your key takeaways from that visit and the conversations that ensued while you were there?
Jennifer McKeehan (23:10):
Sure. You know, um, field visits have been my favorite part of the new job back to sort of frontline in the stores in the field. That’s where you learn the most. And to your point, I’ve had some really good visits. I think in general post covid, it seems like there’s much more of a partnership atmosphere across Ocean Liners. Our, our port partners, our DRE partners, and how we’re just moving freight in a connected way. And so a lot of good learnings around just how do we all be better together? And there are things that we as a shipper can do to help that. There’s things that the ports and the DRE teams are helping to do that. And there’s things that the Ocean liners and our partners are helping to do that. And so I think it’s honestly driven some more transparent discussions and some more connected interest in terms of, we all want this to work better. We never want what happened to happen again if we can avoid it. And so how do we think about that in a strategic way, um, that helps everybody benefit. And so just really good conversations and I think more of a collective, uh, nature than you probably would’ve seen pre covid.
Scott Luton (24:18):
Yeah. Love that. Uh, Jen, love that. Uh, Greg comment on that. Uh, cause we, gosh, uh, we know that we’ve had lots of conversations around what’s been going on in port the last few years. Your thoughts, Greg?
Greg White (24:29):
Yeah, well I think it’s a leadership lesson as much as anything else. Get down and talk to the people doing the doing, right? I mean, um, you know, we talked to Rick McDon at Clorox fairly frequently. Um, and same deal, right? You, uh, you probably more than others, Jennifer can appreciate that having worked in the store, your philosophy that you expressed a little earlier is Right. Get, get out there, right? Get out there with the people who are seeing issues on the front line and you can learn so much there. So first of all, I, I want to acknowledge that because I think that’s a key thing for people to take away is you have to get out there, right? You can’t sit back here in our little podcast studio and go <laugh> this way. It ought to be done. Um, but, but I think the other is to recognize that this is a constant shift.
Greg White (25:18):
I mean, just think about just in your tenure, just at Walmart, Jennifer, how the, uh, marketplace for all kinds of freight. But if o ocean freight especially has changed, everything’s here and can’t get back there and everything’s there and can’t get it back here and, you know, and it’s, it’s 10 times what it used to cost. It’s back to what it used to cost, you know, and it, and all the transition that’s been going on in between that. And that’s just largely the economics and the macro economics, uh, or, you know, macro conditions of it. But then also you’ve got all these other conditions where largely government or pseudo-government entities have been put under an incredible amount of, of stress and shift. And that’s not a natural thing, right? Governments generally work best when everything is average. Um, and everything has been anything but average, excuse me, while I look out the window and see. Yeah. Uh, just a few
Scott Luton (26:17):
Greg White (26:17):
Just a few ships waiting outside, uh, the port of Savannah. But you know, we had been tracking that for a long time, Scott. And we got up to 37 40 ships out here offshore, waiting to get into the port of Savannah and hundreds in other ports. So that transition and understanding, how did we get here, Jennifer, as you were talking about, and how do we never get here again or, uh, at least mitigate our risk, which also I think you guys did a great job of doing as well. Um, I think those learnings are, are critical because the natural reaction is to go, whew, glad that’s over. Let’s go back to what we were doing before.
Jennifer McKeehan (26:57):
That’s right. As they say, don’t let a good crisis go to waste. Right? And so, you know, I think we’ve, we’ve had a lot of discussions around, it’s not going back to pre covid. It’s going to our new way of working. And even though the volumes might feel normal, it’s, you know, we’re not back to normal. We’re back to new.
Greg White (27:15):
Scott Luton (27:17):
You know, um, I wanna, I wanna bring us kind of full circle. Cause on the front end, uh, Jen, we started with folks on the front line, right? And when I think about, you know, all the folks that, that touch what moves at Walmart, right? Via water wheels or wings or folks in the stores helping customers, you know, all the different folks that, um, keep us all moving forward during the pandemic, keeping stuff on shelves and where we have some peace of mind, Greg, we’ve talked a lot about that. We’ve got so much to be great for and the people that make it happen. And Jen, to your point, to be able to take the time out and go meet and learn from the brightest and, and most innovative, the problem solvers, the army of problem solvers that move global supply chain forward, that’s gotta be one of the best parts of your job. So I’ll give you the last word there as we start to wrap. Cause we’re gonna talk about, uh, national Women’s History month next. But your last, uh, last thought there around those, uh, incredible front liners.
Jennifer McKeehan (28:13):
Well, I would say one of my favorite stories coming to Walmart is, um, you know, we have the Walmart fleet. And so there are, there are our frontline drivers. We have 13,000 drivers, 10,000 tractors, 80,000 trailers. But the fleet drivers are just the magic special sauce of Walmart and have gotten to meet and ride along with several of them now. Um, and they’re just incredible in terms of the, the service, the passion, the culture they have, um, for our customer and what they do day in and day out, um, in a market that we know has been really hard to find drivers. And so just shout out to all the drivers on the road out there. That’s a, that’s a really tough gig. And, um, you know, Walmart is not, could not be proud of our fleet. And that has been, you know, one of my favorite frontline experiences thus far. For sure.
Scott Luton (29:08):
Wholeheartedly agree. And Greg, um, we had the great good fortune of interviewing an a, uh, an award-winning driver for Walmart. First name was April. And that was one of our highlights in in recent last, uh, year or two, wasn’t it?
Greg White (29:20):
Yeah. She is an influencer in and of herself, isn’t she? Have you ever ridden with her? Jennifer?
Jennifer McKeehan (29:26):
You know, I haven’t met April yet. I’ve heard all about her. Um, Carol Nixon’s another one of our just amazing female drivers. There are just tons. There’s several out there. So there are tons of fun. So the go for women in trucking,
Scott Luton (29:39):
Greg White (29:40):
We can, we can can connect you with April Jennifer
Scott Luton (29:43):
<laugh>. She was an inspiration and a force of nature. Well, really
Greg White (29:47):
A family driver, right? I mean, you got it from her dad. So that’s pretty cool. I, I think, um, her story is fantastic and she’s a great person. You’ll really enjoy riding with her, I’m
Jennifer McKeehan (29:57):
Sure. That’s awesome.
Scott Luton (29:59):
So speaking a great segue here, uh, you know, we, uh, like many celebrate, uh, women’s contributions and accomplishments and, and innovations all, all year long, but I do, uh, can get the value of a very targeted month where we really maybe are extra deliberate about, um, you know, lifting up those, uh, powerful stories. So we’re recording this interview during National Women’s History month in March, every March. So, Jen, what’s a couple, what are a couple of your favorite inspiring women from history or from your own journey?
Jennifer McKeehan (30:31):
Oh my gosh, that’s such a big question. I, um, I’ll give one from myself and then one that, you know, if I meet her one day, I will, it will, you know, she’s my celebrity crush. I, um, I would tell you one of the best leaders I ever had, woman, or not woman, just incredible leader, was a woman named Stephanie Smith from Home Depot. And, um, just really embodied what it meant to be your whole self at work, to be a, uh, you know, a mother, a spouse, but also just like an incredible leader and transformational, um, thought partner. And she just taught, you know, I was at a very pivotal time in my career. I was newly married, I was becoming a mom. I was also, you know, trying to still make my way up, up the corporate ladder. And, um, she just really showed what it meant to be your authentic self and be able to be all of those things, you know, not necessarily at the same time, but at different times and at the right times.
Jennifer McKeehan (31:32):
Um, and so just so grateful to her and her mentorship and, and what, what she did for my career. Um, back to, you know, the importance of pulling other women along the way. And then my just professional crush is, um, Roz Brewer who has been all over. She did a stint at, um, Sam’s Club in Walmart, um, was at Starbucks and is now the c e o of Walgreens. And she just, um, she’s just a powerhouse and she’s also super normal. Um, from everything I can gather, I like, listen to any interviewer podcast I can get on. So Raz, if you’re listening, call me <laugh>. Um, I’ve like written her a handwritten, a handwritten note. It’s like, I’d love to spend time with you. Um, and so, but she, you know, Raz I think is special because she’s really demonstrated no. And as a person of color and a female navigating several large organizations, like I can only imagine the challenges she has met and just, you know, how she shows up and the advocacy that she has for others has just been incredible. And I think, you know, as I’m continuing to, to grow in my leadership, I think, wow, I hope I can leave the legacy and be a champion like Ross has been for so many others. Um, and she, yeah, and apparently she likes listening to Drake, which I also think is super cool. So like, she’s the cool lady. Like, one day we’re going to meet, it’s going to happen. <laugh>. Um,
Scott Luton (33:01):
So Roz, these
Jennifer McKeehan (33:03):
Scott Luton (33:05):
<laugh>, RO and Stephanie, uh, sure that’s the, uh, uh, top of very long list of, of women that, uh, Jen finds inspiring. So, ROS and Stephanie, if you’re out there, thank you for all that you do and all that you lead and all that you inspire Greg, uh, how would you respond to, to Jen’s, uh, uh, comments there?
Greg White (33:27):
Oh, um, wow, kind of twofold. Immediately, of course, Sandra McQuillan came to mind as I was thinking, I was thinking we probably ought to introduce Jen to, to Sandra, um, another fantastic female leader from, uh, couple of your suppliers over, over time, not least of, and not least of which, and not least important, Oreos, Mondelez. So, um, so I think that would be a great connection, but also someone I admire tremendously and we love working with. And anyway that, um, but I, I, I think, um, I, you know, I think everyone should probably acknowledge the women who have influenced their lives. Like my mom obviously influenced my life pretty significantly. Single mother put herself through college, you know, while teaching us how to cook for ourselves while she was doing night school, all of that sort of thing. Um, but, but also I think all, I think the other thing that came through clearly, Jen, Jen, Jen, Jen, Jennifer, is that, um, you want to carry on that legacy of continuing to lift others up as well. And I think it’s a great recognition to have that. And it is a great, um, purpose to have and it is ever so empowering for you, yourself. So it’s so self-affirming to be giving. Um, and I think you will, you will be great at it, first of all, and you will really and truly enjoy it. And I bet you’re already doing it. It seems like you have a very conscious desire to do that. You’re probably doing
Jennifer McKeehan (34:59):
Better, you know, I’ve been very lucky in life and been given many opportunities along with some hard work and wanna make sure that I can pay that forward to others.
Scott Luton (35:08):
Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Love it. Outstanding man. Jennifer, I wish we had a couple more hours with you. I really, we, uh, um, just as, uh, you surpassed the expectation, you set the stand on, on your last visit with us, and this has been a great, great, uh, hour or so. So for folks that want to connect with you and learn more about some things you’ve shared here, maybe they wanna invite you into a keynote or, or other things. Um,
Greg White (35:33):
Ross wants to reach out,
Scott Luton (35:34):
Right? That’s right.
Jennifer McKeehan (35:35):
That’s right, that’s right. She wants to call me for, for dinner. <laugh>, I’m available. Um, so can I reach you? I would say, you know, I’m active on LinkedIn. It’s a great way to connect with our associates and peers in the industry. And so, um, would love to connect. I think if anyone’s interested in Walmart or coming to work on the incredible transformation and innovation we have underway, we’d love to have email@example.com and then our, um, delivery service through our Spark driver platform drive for spark.com would love to see you there too. So really appreciate the, the time and, and chat today.
Scott Luton (36:10):
Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much, Jennifer. We’re gonna, we’re gonna get Greg’s key takeaway in just a minute, so, so, uh, standby just one. But we’ve been talking with Jennifer McKen, senior vice President, end-to-end delivery with Walmart and the cool things that she’s, she and the team have been up to. Thank you so much, Jen. All right. So Greg, before we wrap today’s episode, I got it. There’s so much, so much we talked about here today. We learned from Jen, uh, innovation Frontline, um, everything that moves, I mean, some of these big themes here, uh, leadership throughout really. Um, what’s one of the, your favorite things you heard here on today’s conversation, Greg?
Greg White (36:51):
Uh, golly, there’s so much. And it, you know, it hearkens back to two people that we admire really strongly, as I said, Sandra and, and Rick, who are fantastic and very personal leaders. Um, and how, uh, you know, what I think is beautiful about this is, you know, we’re talking about Women’s History Month and all that sort of thing, but how unsurprising it is, right? How, um, sort of standard practice I feel like it is that we can talk to someone like Jennifer and acknowledge her as simply a leader, not a woman leader, and, which of course she is. And I think it’s important to acknowledge that. But regardless of any of that, she’s clearly a leader, a world class leader. And I think that, that we hopefully are starting to get to an age as a world, or at least as a country or maybe just our state since we’re all here or have been in Georgia, right?
Greg White (37:47):
Um, that, that we can just speak to leaders and hear their greatness and learn from that greatness and, and just say, Jennifer is a leader. And I think that’s a really, uh, really important place for us to get to. But, um, still, nonetheless, very inspirational. I love doing this, man. I just love doing this because, um, we get to not only share this with our audience and the greatness of all of these people that we get to talk to like Jennifer, but also we get to experience it over and over and over again. And somehow it hits you personally every single time,
Scott Luton (38:24):
Greg White (38:25):
And I think that’s what’s really, really cool about getting to do this.
Scott Luton (38:29):
Agreed. Agreed. It’s such a great point. A couple great points there, Greg. Um, uh, really enjoyed having Jennifer back with us. So folks, to all of our listeners, hopefully you enjoyed this conversation as much as Greg and I have, we knew it’d be a good one, uh, uh, cause cause of the standard that was set last time. But folks, you heard a lot of things here. Uh, we, we challenge you to take action, these not words, put it into practice, help your team, your organization do better and do it faster. Um, find us wherever you get your podcast from, including YouTube. It’s real easy to tune in and listen in there. And on behalf the whole team here at Supply Chain now, Scott Luton and Greg White, challenging you to do good, to give forward and to be the change that’s needed. And we’ll see you next time, right back here at Supply Chain now. Thanks buddy.
Thanks for being a part of our supply chain now, community. Check out all of our firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Jennifer McKeehan is a Senior Vice President, End-to-End Delivery at Walmart U.S. She has experience across retail and e-commerce channels including Supply Chain, Operations, and Merchandising Strategies with her previous roles at Peloton and The Home Depot. Jennifer has a reputation as a versatile and strategic corporate athlete, an authentic and collaborative leader, and a results-driven change agent. Her proven ability to analyze key business drivers and develop strategies help companies to grow sales, market share, and bottom line within ambiguous, growth, and turn-around environments. Connect with Jennifer on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Director of Sales
Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.
With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.
When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.