Over the last 10, 15 years or so, it's become really apparent to retailers that the way the store was designed was to support a buying process that doesn’t happen anymore today. So, there's been a question about, do you invest to recapture that upfront part of the buying process or do you optimize the store to better fit within the part of the process that it fits in today? Retailers have come to the conclusion they need to do both...And so, fulfillment and using the store as an extension of the supply chain, if you will, has become a really important factor in maintaining what is this future role of the store.

-Nikki Baird, Aptos

Episode Summary

Retailers are seeking to seamlessly engage with consumers, having one experience, whether you purchase online or you purchase in person. With store pickups, click and collect, ship from the store, and even new incentives to get you back in the store, brick-and-mortar and those hard-to-find store associates are working harder than ever. So, they’re quickly becoming the lynchpins of that last-mile fulfillment and overall retail success. On this episode, we feature an expert who’s going to share insights and give us a better understanding of what’s happening with today’s leading retailers as they look to leverage their store operations in new and effective ways: Nikki Baird of Aptos.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:01):

Welcome TEKTOK Digital Supply Chain podcast, where we will help you eliminate the noise and focus on the information and inspiration that you need to transform your business, impact supply chain success and enable you to replace risky inventory with valuable insights. Join your TEKTOK host, Karin Bursa, the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year. With more than 25 years of supply chain and technology expertise and the scars to prove it, Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Join the conversation, share your insights and learn how to harness technology innovations to drive tangible business results. Buckle up, it’s time for TEKTOK, powered by Supply Chain Now.

Karin Bursa (01:13):

Welcome back supply chain movers and shakers! Karin Bursa here, your host for TEKTOK, the digital supply chain planning podcast. In this episode, we are going to dive into the ever-evolving role of the brick-and-mortar store. Retailers are seeking to seamlessly engage with consumers, having one experience, whether you purchase online or you purchase in person. With store pickups, click and collect, ship from the store, and even new incentives to get you back in the store, brick-and-mortar and those hard-to-find store associates are working harder than ever. So, they’re quickly becoming the lynchpins of that last mile fulfillment and overall retail success. With us today is an expert that’s going to share insights and give us a better understanding of what’s happening with today’s leading retailers as they look to leverage their store operations in new and effective ways.

Karin Bursa (02:20):

I’d like you to join with me in welcoming Nikki Baird. Nikki is with Aptos and she’s got a lot of insight into what’s happening with retailers. Nikki, thanks for joining us.

Nikki Baird (02:35):

Thanks so much for having me, Karin. Happy to be here.

Karin Bursa (02:39):

Nikki, your name may be familiar to some of our listeners here on TEKTOK, and I want to connect the dots for them. As a former industry analyst covering the retail industry and retail technology, Nikki’s name has appeared on a number of research initiatives over the years, and she has spent decades helping retailers to evaluate and prioritize technology investments and process improvements.

Nikki, let’s talk about your current role for just a minute. You are head of strategy for Aptos and have an interesting vantage point on what’s going on in this industry and I believe Aptos serves about a thousand retail brands. Is that correct?

Nikki Baird (03:36):

Yep, that’s correct.

Karin Bursa (03:26):

So, we’re not just talking about a handful of retailers here. We’re getting a wide spectrum of retail businesses. Nikki, this topic of leveraging brick-and-mortar for last mile performance is interesting. Share with us just a little bit about what you’re seeing in how brick-and-mortar footprints– the store operations — are changing today.

Nikki Baird (03:53):

Yeah, going back a bit of a ways to kind of pre-omnichannel, pre-internet days, the store served every role, right? It was outside of maybe the marketing that triggered a customer to come to a store. The store managed the whole of the shopper buying process, if you will. And, with online and with omnichannel, more and more of that activity shifted to digital and shifted away from the store. And so, over the last 10, 15 years or so, I think it’s really become apparent to retailers that the way that the store was designed was really to support a buying process that doesn’t happen anymore today.

Nikki Baird (04:41):

So, there’s been a question about, well, do you invest to kind of recapture that upfront part of the buying process or do you optimize the store to better fit within the part of the process that it fits in today? And, I think retailers have come to the conclusion that they need to do both. Of course, you can’t just have an easy answer, right? So, that means that you have to do more to provide the kinds of experiences upfront in the shopping process like events or education in separation kinds of things, the kinds of things that aren’t easily delivered over a digital channel. And, you also need to provide more things that happen under the store’s umbrella that keep the profitability and the economics of the store, you know, kind of balanced or profitable at a minimum. And so, fulfillment and using the store as an extension of the supply chain, if you will, has become a really important factor in kind of maintaining what is this future role of the store.

Karin Bursa (05:47):

That’s a really good point Nikki. Today, the brick-and-mortar store today is truly multifaceted. It’s not just my brand advocate and the place you go in order to purchase product. It really is a way to connect with consumers, but also as you point out, Nikki, that role of the store is changing. And, historically, we tried to minimize the backstock or the storage area. Today, our needs are a little different. How are retailers using that store footprint, that real estate, differently today?

Nikki Baird (04:41):

You know, purely from the supply chain side of things, that real estate, it used to be that you thought of it as the last, like you sent inventory there, that inventory stays there until it walks out the door in a consumer’s arms. And, anything you do adds cost that you don’t want to have to handle. But the cost dynamics have changed really substantially over the years, especially, there’s just been such this huge demand for warehouse space. Warehouse space has to sit in specific locations from a technology or technology from a transportation corridor perspective, right? Like, there’s only so many good places to put warehouse capacity. Stores, kind of, are pretty close to customers. That’s what they were designed to be for. And if you’re not going to use that space as selling space, it actually may be a better cost profile to send inventory there strategically, and then look at how to get that inventory into local customer’s hands. It actually can be more cost effective to consider the store as an extension of your own overall supply chain as opposed to thinking of it as that endpoint, you know, inventory comes in and then we never touch it again. It’s only the customer who touches it after that.

Karin Bursa (07:47):

It’s interesting that you say that it can be more cost effective. That’s a little surprising to me because I still think of brick-and-mortar retail in the traditional sense where it is my most expensive real estate to staff and manage. If I’m getting multifaceted or multipurposed, maybe my cost basis looks a little different.

Nikki, I remember when Walmart rolled out its initiative for online business, with order online, pick up in store, or curbside. And this was probably 2018 or 2019, certainly before COVID 19 hit. Walmart’s online grocery initiative drove a change in how the front of store retail space was leveraged. They put these big locker systems in in order to stage customer orders for pickup — which is as many of us know from a supply chain perspective is premium retail real estate where I normally want to get that consumer engaged on entry or exit.

Karin Bursa (08:52):

Now, one of the things that Walmart found is that engaging with consumers online, it actually drove new customers for Walmart and significantly the average basket value went up nearly 250%. So, if you were to shop in the store, the average basket was about $50, 2019 numbers before COVID, before we all went online. But let’s think about that for just a minute. The average online purchase basket was about $125. So, very quickly, Walmart was getting new consumers and bigger baskets. But that’s one example of a very significant physical change in a retail footprint that quite honestly has continued to evolve for the last couple of years.

Nikki Baird (09:54):

There’s additional dynamics to that as well. Like, there’s some grocery retailers who’ve seen not bigger baskets on average, but more frequent baskets that when you totaled them all up over the typical month’s worth of purchases from that consumer was a much greater lifetime value for that customer. So, you know, and then in the non- grocery space, we’ve seen some retailers find that customers that they first acquire in an in-store experience actually have a larger lifetime value than customers that they’ve acquired online. So, that I think speaks to the value of the store in activating that customer and getting them to be a new customer that then has a greater brand affinity than maybe you’re really capable of delivering in an online channel.

Karin Bursa (10:45):

So, let’s talk about that for just a minute. If I’m a native direct-to-consumer retailer (born digital eCommerce) and now, I’m starting to open brick-and-mortar store locations, do I have an advantage? Do I have the opportunity to rethink these store operations from scratch? Nikki, is that true or does a traditional brick-and-mortar retailer have an advantage?

Nikki Baird (11:10):

I think a traditional brick-and-mortar retailer has the advantage in terms of the locations and the location strategy and the fact that they can tap into that immediately. Right? They already have that distribution. So, now, they just need to optimize that distribution as opposed to try to build it all out from scratch. However, I will say, I think that those digital native brands that are opening stores right now, they do have an advantage because they can rethink the store in terms of all of these things that the store never had to support before, like that curbside pickup or even the ship-from-store or events happening in the store. All of those brick-and-mortar retailers who have this sort of traditional storefronts, they’ve got some remodeling to do.

Nikki Baird (11:55):

And, I think they have – you know, they have more conservativism I’ve found in terms of experimenting in stores because they just have such a big footprint that they ultimately have to move that they, you know, they don’t want to find something that works wonderfully but requires modeling all, you know, 800 stores or whatever. The business case for that gets clear pretty quickly. Whereas if you can design it from scratch, then it’s a little easier to pull off. So, some of the established brick-and-mortar brands we’ve seen, you know, like open a new format and they position it as a new format so that they can kind of reset customer expectations about what that store is going to be like, and then, you know, can eventually absorb the rest of their estate into that.

Nikki Baird (12:43):

The North Face actually or VF brands is a great example. They have a store, concept store, that they’ve opened in Milan, which actually has multiple VF brands underneath. So, it’s the North Face and there’s a couple others that I can never get right, Timberland, and I think there’s one more. And that idea of this is a store designed for an omnichannel world and designed for that digitally savvy consumer is really important. And then, they’re testing that before they kind of take to all the other brands that they have under their umbrella.

Karin Bursa (13:18):

That’s a great example. If I heard you correctly, you mentioned that some of the established brick-and-mortar retailers tend to be more conservative with their redesigns. Did you say that?

Nikki Baird (13:33):

They’re more conservative in how much they test or how radical they get in what they want to test. Right? They’re concerned about – you know, the weight of the brand, like part of the value of their company is the brand promise that they’ve established with their customers. And so, typically rather than taking an existing format and really messing on with it, they tend to sort of open something off to the side. It’s a little less risky in terms of messing with customer expectations.

Karin Bursa (14:03):

That makes sense. And even with some the digital natives, are more aggressive or tolerant of a “fail fast strategy.” The first thing that comes to mind for me is Amazon. I recently saw that Amazon announced that they’re closing 68 brick-and-mortar locations in the US and in the UK. Right? And, these are a bunch of different formats that they’ve tested and they just haven’t lived up to expectations or the growth at those locations has been significantly slower than they expected. And, of course, it’s in Amazon’s DNA to try a lot of things and fail fast.

Nikki Baird (14:56):

Yep, totally.

Karin Bursa (14:58):

So, clearly the physical changes are happening. The physical store is changing. Now, we’re also increasing or continuing to evolve all of the different shopping options, whether it’s in person, whether it’s buying online and pick up in store, curbside, a hybrid of the two, handling returns, you know, all of these things, and many retailers have struggled to really have one consumer experience, one customer experience, what’s happening in that vein just as we think about that consumer engagement. And then, I want to talk a little bit about what we’re asking of the typical retail associate. But let’s talk about, you know, that brand consistency, if you will, or that shopping consistency. What can be done in that area?

Nikki Baird (15:52):

I think one of the biggest challenges you have to acknowledge is payment. So, when you buy something online and you pay, you could potentially be using a completely different payment service than if you went to that same retailer store and paid with your credit card in a store. And so, when you have that kind of disconnect that like breaks everything else down the road, right, you want to buy – you bought something online and you want to return it to a store. You can’t use the point of sale. You can’t just give them your card or you can’t just have them credit the card that you used, right? Like, all of these complicated things. Or, you want to buy something in a store that you cash and carry and you want to, you know, also have something that you’re going to shift to your home. Sometimes that’s two completely separate transactions with those two completely payment systems. So, that part of it I think is already tough.

Nikki Baird (16:49):

And then, I would say that retailer’s inventory strategies are not nearly as sophisticated in taking advantage of omnichannel as they could be so they tend to sort to an e-commerce DC and they treat it like just a massive store. In fact, a lot of them when you look at their reporting, their e-commerce operation is store number, you know, 999 or whatever. So, they treat it like a store from that perspective. I think the pandemic underscored just how much value there is in having fluidity between do I actually use my e-commerce DC to fulfill this order, or should I pull this from a store? And, there’s lots of advantages to pulling that inventory from a store as long as you have a holistic inventory strategy that recognizes that some of that inventory that you’re sending the store is probably going to go out of the back of the store instead of out of the front of the store. So, there’s still lots of challenges.

Karin Bursa (17:48):

There’s lots of interesting stuff in there. And I know you and I could really dig into some of that inventory policy management and the dirty little secret that a lot of retailers still maintain to buying organizations, one for e-com and one for store. But I really want to kind of get back to this idea of the last mile and what’s happening at that brick-and mortar-store and how it’s driving additional changes. Right. So, what we’ve just discussed here is that our retail associates not only have to be good at merchandising, right, and engaging with the public or the consumer they come in, but we’re also asking them to do some inventory management and some warehouse picking and maybe even some curbside delivery. Let’s talk about how these changes are impacting, the profile of the typical retail associate.

Nikki Baird (18:49):

Yeah. I think, you know, in line with kind of the comments that we opened with that, the store, just what we expect out of a store has changed, but it kind of went through this shrinking period where we didn’t expect a lot out of store because digital was kind of handling a lot of that part of the process. And, I think in line with that, we saw retailers, expect patience of their store associates also get smaller and that’s completely out of the window now. I mean, both in terms of the labor market itself, if you’re going to pay somebody $20 an hour to be on a store floor, then you kind of hope that they will be as productive as you can possibly make them. But they’re also seeing all of these things being thrown at them in terms of, I have to pick orders. I have to help people who are shopping in my store when I’m picking orders. I might have to actually deal with the potential of a substitution, something that does not happen in a warehouse, right? If you go to pick something in a warehouse and it’s damaged, or it’s out of stock, you know, there’s something wrong with inventory, you cancel the order. When that happens in a store, especially if you have a customer who’s driving there to pick it up, you have a decision to make about what you’re going to do about that. And increasingly you have to rely on that frontline store associate to be the one to make that decision and to figure out how to make that experience a good one for when that customer does come in, or if they have to contact that customer because something went wrong. So, we do expect a lot more out of store associates today, I think, than we’ve ever expected out of them because there’s so many more things that they’re being asked to do beyond, I hate to say just selling. That’s a skill all in its own. But it’s only one compared to the 10 or 20 that a store employee has to manage today.

Karin Bursa (20:36):

Nikki, what can a retailer do to simplify that? How can Aptos help store associates be more productive wearing multiple hats? Is it one big hat versus lots of hats that get changed from time to time? Expectations have changed. If I’m going to pay a retail associate $20 an hour, I know Target mentioned paying as much as $24 an hour for some starting positions in certain regions, certain locations, that’s significant. You’ve got to move a lot of product in order to support that kind of an investment in store associates. How do we help them be productive and retain talent? You’re supporting me. You’re giving the tools I need. What can you tell us there?

Nikki Baird (21:54):

Let’s go back to mobile. We’ve been there, done that, or at least tried it multiple times. And, it’s been very few retailers I found who have really successfully, in the last decade, hold off a mobile strategy for their store associates. You know, more times than not, the device ends up back in a drawer, whether there’s something with the, you know, the battery life or the functionality, the device itself. There’s something in the training that gets lost, or, you know, a lot of retailers historically approached more mobile solutions is one and done and never came back around and addressed any of the things that actually made it difficult for store employees to use mobile effectively. It was like, yeah, yeah.

Nikki Baird (22:38):

When we look at this two years from now, we’ll tackle all that. And in the meantime, that device is dead. It’s locked in the drawer. Battery’s done. It’s done. So, I can say I have never seen the interest in mobile as high as it is right now. And, it’s because they want to give tools to store associates. They know that they can’t hire as many as they want, and they expect those store associates to be more productive. So, they want that device that will let that store associate do anything from anywhere. And, that’s anything from inventory to fulfillment to customer service, a return, a sale, all on one device. Retailers are very, very interested in reinvesting in those capabilities. So, for me, it’s a bit of a question of, okay, but what are you going to do differently to make sure that it’s successful this time?

Nikki Baird (23:32):

And I do think there’s a couple things. I think one the usability and the expectations around usability. Just the influence of consumer tech has really changed that game. So, I do see retailers being much more focused on. But is this really going to work when somebody’s got one hand on a device and one hand holding, you know, an item? Like, how are we going to make this work? So, they’re kind of thinking that through much more. And then, I think as well, you know, just that training and support. And, do we have stores that are designed? Do we have mobile carts that people can use? Like, they’re thinking about operationalizing these things much more. So, there is hope that this time, this time could do it, mobile could be successful.

Karin Bursa (24:15):

I agree mobility is important. The technology moves with the store associate or consumer might be in the store or tracking what’s going into the consumer’s basket. I am excited to see what continues to evolve in this area.

Karin Bursa (24:39):

How do we train the store associates? How do we make it intuitive? How much do they need to understand about merchandising, point of sale, inventory or inventory turns or inventory rotation or those thing? How is the technology evolving, Nikki? How do we accelerate that education with a digital native workforce comprised of talent that was born with a smart phone or tablet in their hands? They are not afraid of technology and are more prone to trusts it.

Nikki Baird (25:37):

Yeah. You know, some of it is super tactical, right? Like, just the consumerization of technology, looking at, how do you navigate the Facebook app or TikTok or Snapchat and taking a lot of those design principles into the software that you deliver into the store. I think that’s really important. You know, when you see the three stacked bars in the upper left corner, you know, that’s the menu and that you can touch that. It’s going to give you some options. It’s that kind of super tactical thinking. But I think as well, it’s the idea of the iterative part, right? You don’t just throw something into the store and then say deal with it. You watch and see how they use it. And, you make changes that you can roll out to them quickly so that they see that you are paying attention. And, if there’s something that makes this process hard, you’re going to do something to fix that.

Nikki Baird (26:28):

So, it requires – you know, the tech stack has had to improve that something that has historically been a barrier, but I would say is much less so now, but you have to have an IT organization and the intestinal fortitude to say, I am going to roll out changes to my stores quarterly, or maybe even monthly. And, you know, putting together the organization that can support that and that can support, providing the kind of training and awareness to employees so that they know, hey, new stuff is going to come. It’s always worth checking this app because there might be something in here tomorrow that wasn’t here today is going to help me make my job easier.

Karin Bursa (27:07):

What are the characteristics of a retailer that’s really leaning into this and maximizing the opportunity? Obviously, it’s not going to be perfect, but maybe they’ve got an aptitude for change and evolution over time. But what are some of the things that we should look at, or for retailers that may be listening to the podcast that they can think about and maybe compare themselves to a little bit and where they are with getting more mileage out of this kind of last mile opportunity with their consumers?

Nikki Baird (27:44):

I’ll give you a pretty specific example, but I think it’s that kind of capability that you should be looking for both as a consumer and as a retailer, trying to provide that capability. So, Cole Haan is a customer of Aptos, has been for several years. At NRF, the National Retail Federation Big Show, the last in-person before the pandemic in 2020, and in 2019, they actually had a display in our booth at the show where they were selling shoes. So, you bought the shoes there and then –

Karin Bursa (28:18):

They were actually selling the shoes at NRF?

Nikki Baird (28:28):

Yes. You could try on the shoes. You could buy the shoes. You could not take the shoes with you. We didn’t have an expectation that anybody would want to drag those around. Although some people did want to wear them away, so props to Cole Haan for that. But what they did was they had set up a temporary courier service. So, you bought in Javits.

Nikki Baird (28:53):

And then, you had the shoes delivered via courier to your hotel room. And they had a couple stores that were set up to be those delivery points proximate to kind of where they expected everybody to be staying in midtown. And so, they had kind of set that up as a temporary thing. They ran it for the three days of the show, and then they kind of turned that back off and went about their business. And I think it’s that kind of flexibility of being able to set something up, you know, and take advantage of something that might only be three days long and then turn that off when you don’t need that anymore, or, you know, be able to position something like that for another event. It’s that kind of flexibility that I think is really important and not being in a position to where you have to say no because you can’t get your systems to do what you need them to do. That’s the most important thing because, you know, we’re not like it could be drone delivery tomorrow. You know, you never know what the next thing is going to be. Everybody’s trying to invent these robots that will trundle down the sidewalk and bring your purchases to you. It could be autonomous driving vending machines, right, that come up to your door. That could be next. So, the flexibility to be able to experiment and take advantage of those things without it being a two-year integration effort, I think those are the kinds of capabilities that really will differentiate retailers.

Karin Bursa (30:21):

I love the Cole Haan example. And I’m certainly a shoe person! So, it was a great example for me. Help me understand some of the technology solution components that Aptos brought to the table to enable that type of a popup opportunity, then gets fulfilled elsewhere?

Nikki Baird (30:48):

So, it’s really, two kinds of separate solutions, that we’re increasingly seeing be combined. So, point of sale, so being able to take that transaction, and then the order in the management part of it where there’s something that has to happen to get that inventory to the customer. But the ability to bring together a buy button and a delivery or fulfillment commitment, I think being able to put those anywhere and in any combination, that’s the future, right? Like point of sale.

Nikki Baird (31:24):

And speaking about it in terms of just a transaction, you know, one, it kind of oversimplifies what point of sale really is because you’ve got all these other store operations functions and inventory control and all kinds of stuff on top of it. But that blurring of the line between what we consider a transaction and what we consider an order, managing that transition and thinking holistically about the two, you know, that’s something that we’ve been thinking about for a long time and having both of those solutions and really trying to converge them together. I think we’re really close. We’re really close to being able to deliver seamlessly on that promise. You know, that’s we bring to the table. That’s how we’re thinking about this problem is when you think about point of sale as something that happens in a store and when you think about order management as something that supports online, you’ve already got a broken promise from your customer’s perspective. So, we’re trying to eliminate those broken promises.

Karin Bursa (32:21):

That’s a great example, Nikki. I feel like we are just starting to scratch the surface here. How can our TEKTOK audience and Supply Chain Now community learn more about what’s happening in this area of last mile fulfillment and bringing both the e-commerce business together with the traditional brick-and-mortar business?

Nikki Baird (32:43):

Selfishly, I want to refer everyone to www.Aptos.com. There’s a resources section where we have a ton of material about the profitability of last mile and how to execute it and all kinds of challenges that you have to think through if you’re going to be successful in tackling it. Check out that resources section at www.aptos.com. And then, of course, I do occasionally write about that topic on Forbes.com.

I wish I had more time in the day. I would write about it much more often. But www.forbes.com, you can find my column there and I definitely spend a good deal of my time talking about those omnichannel challenges.

Karin Bursa (33:27):

And, for our listeners, that’s Aptos, that’s A-P-T-O-S dot com, and look for Nikki’s column in Forbes.com. That’s Nikki, N-I-K-K-I, Baird, B-A-I-R-D. And one of the things I love about the way Nikki writes is she makes it very practical for you. She’s not trying to overwhelm you with her depth of knowledge, but she’s trying to put it into really practical terms for you to apply to your current business. And then certainly, Nikki, can we offer that people connect with you on LinkedIn?

Nikki Baird (34:03):

Absolutely. LinkedIn, Twitter, and through Forbes as well. All of those are avenues to find and connect with me, and more than happy to do that.

Karin Bursa (34:07):

Nikki, I’m going to give you the final word on this topic of last mile. What final thought do you want to leave with our audience today?

Nikki Baird (34:20):

I think the biggest deal is to not think about this as something static. Like, this isn’t something that you set a strategy and make a decision and then let it ride forever. I think what a lot of people are realizing now is that you have to – this is a dynamic thing, and you have to constantly revisit both your assumptions and the operating environment that you’re working in and reoptimize for how all of these things are changing because they’re all changing very, very fast. So, if I had sort of one final recommendation, look at your fulfillment operations and don’t think about it like a warehouse at all. Think about it much more dynamic and how you can get more dynamic and how you support those operations.

Karin Bursa (35:04):

Great advice. Don’t think of them as separate nodes in your business these days, where your store is one node and your distribution centers or your warehouse are others. Think about how they can leverage and cross pollinate and make the best use of that inventory that’s available to satisfy your consumer needs.

With that, I want to thank you for joining us today on TEKTOK, where our goal is to help you eliminate the noise, focus in on the information and inspiration you need to transform your business. We want to help you replace risky inventory with valuable insights. We’ll see you next time here on TEKTOK, powered by Supply Chain Now.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Featured Guests

Nikki Baird is the vice president of strategy at Aptos, a retail enterprise solution provider. She is charged with accelerating retailers’ ability to innovate. She has been a top global retail industry influencer for several years, with a background in retail and technology. She is a regular contributor to Forbes.com and has been quoted as a retail subject matter expert in The Economist, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Huffington Post, and National Public Radio, among many others. Nikki brings perspective from all sides of the retail technology equation: she has been an industry analyst for nearly fifteen years, co-founding Retail Systems Research, the premier boutique analyst firm focused on the retail industry. Prior to co-founding RSR, Nikki was an analyst at both Forrester Research and Retail Systems Alert Group, where she covered retail industry and technology topics. Prior to that, she was director of marketing for StorePerform, a store execution management software provider, and director of product marketing for Viewlocity, a supply chain software provider focusing on adaptive supply chain execution and exception management. Nikki came to Viewlocity from PwC Consulting, now IBM Global Services, where as a senior manager she led IT strategy consulting engagements for retail and CPG clients. Nikki has an M.B.A. from the University of Texas, Austin, focusing on operations and IT. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and Russian, with a minor in physics, from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Connect with Nikki on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Karin Bursa

Host, TEKTOK

You May Also Like

Click to view other episodes in this program

Additional Links & Resources

Learn more about TEKTOK

Subscribe to TEKTOK on your favorite podcast platform

Check Out Our Sponsors

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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’.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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).

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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).

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :

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.

Connect on :