Supply Chain Now Radio
Episode 156

Episode Summary

Scott Luton and Greg White welcome Brian Greene, Executive Vice President of Global Supply Chain for HMTX Industries.  They discuss culture, leadership development, and sustainability in episode 156 of SCNR.

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] It’s time for Supply Chain Now Radio Broadcasting live from the Supply chain capital of the country. Atlanta, Georgia. Supply Chain Now Radio spotlights the best in all things supply chain the people, the technology’s the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.

 

[00:00:28] All right. Good morning, Scott Luton here with you. Lively Supply Chain Now Radio. Welcome back to the show. We’re coming to you today from Vector Global Logistics, a company that’s providing world class Logistics services all while deeply investing into the communities that they serve, based right here in Atlanta. But with an international reach, this company is on the move. You can learn more at Vector Jill, dot com on a quick programming note. Like all of our series on Supply Chain Now Radio, you can find our replays on a variety of channels Apple podcasts, SoundCloud, Spotify or wherever else you find your podcasts. As always, we’d love to have you subscribe. Say don’t miss anything. Supply Chain Now Radio is also brought to you by a variety of sponsors, including the Effective syndicate Talentstream, Verusen, Supply chain real estate dot com and several other leading organizations. So be sure to check out the show notes to learn more about our valuable sponsors. All right. So let’s welcome in our coach today who’s arriving on a train, I believe.

 

[00:01:26] Sounds like it, doesn’t it? Hey, Supply chain doesn’t stop.

 

[00:01:29] That’s all right. Greg White, co-host of our Supply Chain Now Radio series here, serial supply chain, tech entrepreneur and trusted advisor. Greg, how are you doing? I’m doing great. Thank you. Yes, trusted way. We have been on quite a week of shows. We did a couple of hours yesterday with Keith and Sarah had a blast. Talk, talk and leadership talking, supply chain management talk and some of the biggest stories of the industry here lately. And there’s no shortage of them. But we’re gonna continue that trend here today with our guest, right?

 

[00:02:03] Yeah, that’s right. I can’t wait to hear. Well, we’ve already heard. Yeah, it’s just in complete transparency.

 

[00:02:09] We’ve already heard a little bit from Brian, but I can’t wait for our audience to hear what the other warm up conversation was a little bit longer than normal as we were working out a couple of technical glitches here. But it was it was Brian Greene some squid and welcome. Yeah, that’s a good idea. Let’s do that. So Brian Greene Executive Vice President, Global Supply chain with HMTX Industries. Brian, how are you doing? Good morning, fellas. Thanks for having me. You bet. And you know, we really so we’re just continue that thought there. Really enjoyed the warm up conversation. Of course, we have been rubbing elbows with the great folks over at HMTX previously as part of our they were one of the big winners with the Atlanta Supply chain Awards back in March. So we were kind of predisposed to their impressive story, but great to have them on here where brands can really shed a lot more light on who they are, what they do, where they’re headed, and some of the really neat things that they’re up to. So, Brian, great to have you back here. You have a good week so far. Having a great week. Yeah. Yeah. College football is here. Everybody’s gone. Yes. And so that’s a great place to start. So we’ve got a good little back and forth. Brian is a big Georgia Tech fan. I’m a big Clemson fan. So the big game is Thursday night that kicks off the season. Well, I guess Miami and there were a few games on Saturday. Yeah. This is Labor Day weekend.

 

[00:03:23] The real get off to college football.

 

[00:03:25] Well put. Oh, I’m with you. So from football, because we could talk for hours and hours about the upcoming season here. Let’s let’s talk about Brian Greene first. So for our listeners, Brian, let’s talk more about your background and your journey. So for starters, I love finding out where four folks are from where they grew up.

 

[00:03:43] Well, I have two very interesting hometowns because most everyone has heard of them, even though one of them’s really small.

 

[00:03:50] So with my very early years, I lived in Vidalia, Georgia. Oh, yeah. My daughter, who’s now retired. But at the time it was a nuclear physicist, ran all their nuclear plants. And so we basically moved from plant the plant. So we started Baxley as one of the plants for the Southern Company. So we lived in about Alia in middle school. I moved so badly home and about Alyona and. Yeah. Yeah. And then we moved to another power plant. And in Augusta, Georgia, which is home of the Masters. Yeah, fortunately, my hometown, my two hometowns most people know about because of their products. Yeah. And then, you know, just from there I went to Georgia Southern for my for my undergrad and jailbird. Georgia. Yeah. And Eagle. Right. Hands on. Right. And and then then on to my career after that. That’s cool standing. So I grew up in Aiken right across the river. Oh, God. Not far at all.

 

[00:04:40] That’s right. In fact, we grew up going to Regency Mall. Oh, wow. I worked at Regency Mall. I sure did. All through high school. Oh, that was so for folks who haven’t been to a guest, a Regency mall was like the prototypical 1980s mall. Right. Everything was there from Piccadilly to your gaming shops to Spencer. Yes, I said, my God, all that he ever forget, Spencer. Where did you work? I worked at Lynn’s Hallmark because at the time I thought that was a great way to meet girls. That is really smart and it was a great environment. I loved it. Yeah, I loved it. And I worked there all through high school. It worked great. So I’m. I’m from Kansas originally, so I’m a huge Hallmark fan. Yeah. I just love. Let’s be the target band. So let’s talk about we’ve already we worry kind of answers, questions. Some of your favorite memories growing up. What were some things you love to do, Brian?

 

[00:05:30] The Masters hands down. I mean, if you’ve never been to Augusta during Masters Week, it is the atmosphere is just it’s indescribable. I mean, it is what I think is the finest put on golf tournament in the world. I mean, I’m obviously a little biased. But if you’ve never had a chance to go to the Masters, please try to get at least go to Augusta during the Masters and experience the atmosphere. That is a place that is a special place. No doubt about that. And then and then in my very early years, we always had the The Onion Festival, which was that which was a big deal. And I remember in third grade, the mascot for Vandalia, they created it, the Chamber of Commerce. And then they put out a competition to name the mascot. My name was Fred. It did not win. That’s a shame. Frank Fred, the Vidalia yummy in one yummy onion. Yum, yum. Which is in Tyneside. Much better than Fred. Yeah. But so. Yeah, I mean, those are those are indelible images in my mind of my childhood is coming from my hometowns.

 

[00:06:28] So my eldest daughter went to went to Georgia Southern. And on my way to visit her one time, I stopped in Vidalia for the Onion Festival. I heard it on that little AM station. They advertise on 16. Sure. Me and twelve hundred of my closest friends. It’s very popular. It it. Well, I got there right when it started, and I got to meet a lot of people. And I learned a lot about Vidalia onions. That one is that it should never be bigger than your fist. Right. And usually no one’s ever witnessed the first three first three fingers. Right. One guy told me that if if they are two, if they’re big and they call him of Idol, your onion, they’re actually what’s called a Texas sweet. Yes. Yes. So. So there’s a lesson for everyone out there. That’s right. All right. Well, the no, you’re Vidalia.

 

[00:07:13] No, you’re about. But it’s like the. I’m not gonna think of the word for, you know, in France and in France. Right. Keith. Yeah. Champagne. Right.

 

[00:07:23] They’re very protective of what is called a very small region around the VAT Eliot area. A couple of counties around tombs are allowed to grow and call it about. Albanians say nothing outside that. You can’t you can’t use the name.

 

[00:07:35] Wow. So anyone hungry? Champagne. And I have seen and I eat them like an apple breakfast of charm. I haven’t had the guts to do it yet.

 

[00:07:43] But I love I love onions. I love that day is I’ve never done that either. And I grew up eating them, too. So anyway. So let’s talk about we’re going to touch on your leadership academy in HMTX later in the interview.

 

[00:07:58] And when I think of leadership, I certainly think of role models. Right, for you, Brian. What were some early role models?

 

[00:08:05] Well, I think growing up. Honestly, I was a big before. X Games was X Games. I was a big guy, BMX freestyle kid and skateboard kid. And so, honestly, Tony, and by big you mean actually large because I’m sick. I’m a little over 6 4. No, I wasn’t that tall when I was riding. My center of gravity was was a little bit lower. It was definitely. I still have my original freestyle bike that I’ve renovated those sort of refurbished. So it’s nice. But Tony Hawk, honestly, was one of the guys who when I was growing up, everyone wanted to be like Tony Hawk. Right. And this guy started writing a skateboard and built an industry around himself. I mean, people who have never seen a skateboard or know who, Tony. All right. Right. So it’s people like that who have started who started just from nothing and who have built, you know, whether it’s industry or empire or philanthropy or something from nothing is kind of what I appreciate.

 

[00:08:55] Yeah. And people. Yeah. That’s great. Trailblazer, too. Yeah. Perhaps he had the vision that everyone Lu folks didn’t have. Right. And it he he executed on it came to fruition. I never thought about Tony Hawk like that. But now you mention it that a lot of relevance.

 

[00:09:11] I think what’s cool about Tony Hawk. So I rode BMX too. But I think what’s cool about seeing Tony Hawk is, is he didn’t do it for himself now. Right. He did it for the sport. He just felt like it needed to be done.

 

[00:09:24] Yeah. And there were a lot of guys, you know. Yeah. High in here is around here. That time was you know, let’s don’t forget those guys. But Tony was kind of the first one who made it like a career, who can actually make a huge living on it. And so, you know, he had the first sponsorship with Paul Peralta for Tony Hawk Skateboards and, you know, and it moved from there. So it was, you know, when you’re growing up in a small town and you’ve got your beat up skateboard. I mean, Tony Hawk is your hero for sure.

 

[00:09:49] Yeah, I agreed.

 

[00:09:51] All right.

 

[00:09:51] So switching gears over your formal education, obviously, you talked about going to Georgia Southern in Statesboro, Georgia. Great school, in fact, a. Standing school with a fast growing supply chain program. Absolutely. I want to say I can’t. We’re the last person I spoke to that I want to say the number they told me is 400 enrollees and up been a relatively newer program, which that’s where I see it.

 

[00:10:12] It’s because when I was there, it was called. It was just called a Logistics. There wasn’t really anything called Supply chain. So my undergrad was actually an economics international business because I knew from an early time that I kind of wanted to do something global. And they were just kind of starting the Logistics piece when I was there. And then obviously, as the GPA has has built that port in Savannah to what I to what I think is the number two port in the world behind Shanghai. I honestly, truly believe that they’ve been able to have a lot of companies come in, a lot of sponsorships. And now what you see as is is one of the best supply chain programs for sure at a regional university, if not in most of the Southeast.

 

[00:10:49] So if I could. Well, before I take that detour, I want to come back to Shanghai. So then you went on to Georgia Tech? Yeah, later. Later.

 

[00:10:59] So I have an executive master’s in international Logistics and Supply chain strategy from Georgia Tech. That program has now been put on hiatus, I would imagine, just because of the pure cost of it. But that was an amazing program because we we only spent a little bit of time in a classroom. We actually traveled around the world and had class around the world and actually seeing supply chains going on, bridges of ships going out and cranes going into warehouses going into the Panama Canal going I mean, you got behind the scenes access and you really got an understanding for. Okay, I’m in Thailand and they’re using a truck that’s about four feet wide to make delivery aspect says why?

 

[00:11:41] Because the roads are only that wide. It’s not it’s something unless you’re in the in the place you would never think of. I mean, if I was sitting on my desk in the U.S. and I’m like, okay, I’m on deliver something to Thailand, I would never think about how. Why a road. Yeah, until you’ve seen it yourself. So to me, the value in that program was not only being on the ground and seeing these kinds of things, but also we had amazing leadership of that course. Yep. And fantastic students who were, you know, all senior level. And honestly, I learned as much from them as I did the class, to be honest with you, because when you’re sitting on a train speeding through Germany or you’re sitting in a bar in Brazil or you know, you’re in a rent, you just start talking and you’re like, I never thought about things like that. There’s so many different perspectives. So it’s so powerful. Yes. Like a powerful program. Yeah. So on that note, is Georgia Tech. Yes. So it’s gonna be great. Yeah. I mean, really. Right. That’s one of the premiere jerai chain schools out there, for sure. Absolutely. Tim by Jean Institute. Tim Lance running a great attitude. Yes, he is FCI. And so, you know, we’ll get into the leadership academy. But it’s one of the things I’ve tapped into for our leadership academy is using my contacts at Tech to help us build that. Yeah.

 

[00:12:51] So we’re big fans of Tim Brown, Georgia Tech, Supply chain and Logistics Institute. We’ve partnered with him in a number different ways through the years, including Apex Atlanta, which we volunteered a good bit at Sponsors Supply chain Day at Georgia Tech, which is really neat to see school leading organizations. I mean, the top folks that that students, especially the current generation, want to work for, right? The Amazons, the Googles, the the companies that we talked about, a lot of these shows, you know, to come on campus and to talk supply chain with students is such a neat program. But I would I would argue that Georgia, we are blessed with a number of outstanding programs. You know, we talk regularly about how in this country there are more than 500 supply chain management type programs now. Right. Which is great. We need it when he pardoned more Knapp. But there’s a lot of great programs, solid programs here in this state, which is one of the big reasons why folks are looking to locate and establish a base of operations here. Talent, right?

 

[00:13:55] Absolutely. Talent.

 

[00:13:56] You

 

[00:13:56] Know, tax advantages, cup quality of living here in the south. All right. Availability to fantastic port, a major infrastructure, rail infrastructure that’s being built by the GPA. Interstate, especially through Atlanta with 75, 85, 20. Right. We have all the tools in Georgia to be the premier supply chain state in the country. And I think if we’re not there now, we’re darn close. Yeah, really?

 

[00:14:21] I’m with you. So you mentioned Shanghai and that port and maybe you’re talking about it from a volume standpoint that are there some things you’re doing operationally that really sets Shanghai apart?

 

[00:14:33] It’s just the amount of volume that they’re able to move. Now they’ve got issues before Chinese New Year. If you’re trying to get a truck in through the Gates, you will see lines that are miles long. You will never see that in Savannah. So they but they’re also, what, 10 times the volume jerai. I mean, with volume becomes issues like that. But I the reason I think Shanghai is number one is, is because they are the world’s port at this point. I mean, they are. Eating out, what, 40 million to use a year, it’s just staggering the amount that they’re pumping Gates. The scale is just. Is it may. But when you when I look in the U.S. and I look at ports, I mean, obviously, I bring things in through Savannah, bring things in through L.A., Long Beach. We’re not really bringing much in through Elizabeth anymore. Mostly those two ports. But when you look at the differences, I mean, I do see a lot of improvements going on in L.A. Long Beach. I do see, you know, automated gantry train cranes in the yards and they’re starting to automate more. But GPA has really made it their mission to create efficiency in the Supply chain. I mean, things as simple as not requiring appointments when you pick up containers out of the yard. That may sound very little, but when you’re bringing in lots of containers, you know, having to have appointments set up is a tremendous amount of bottleneck. Yeah. So it’s simple things like that. And then they’re just so pro-business. USDA customs right on site. They’re great to work with. I mean, they’ve made it so pro-business with that port and then that infrastructure that they’re investing in. I I you know, one of the big reasons that we’ve invested in that area is because of that port.

 

[00:16:08] Yeah, I love that one. I mean, it’s interesting. It has been interesting for the last 10, 15, even 20 years to hear people talk about whether they’re positive on it or negative on it. Yeah. Imports from China, because, you know, back in the 90s, early 90s, I mean, I worked for an auto parts chain. We had our tools made in China. My father was vice president, merchandising at Kmart in the 70s and 80s. And a lot of product made in China. Yeah, right.

 

[00:16:38] I mean, you know, it’s they have had decades, literally generations brought up to create efficiency. That report. Right. Absolutely. And we’re catching up really fast. Yeah. Yeah.

 

[00:16:52] So switching gears here. Want to dive more into HMTX? Been really interesting to kind of observe the organization from afar and now to be able to talk about it with you. Brian Greene here, the company’s senior siplon leader. Right. The global supply chain what we were talking earlier and more so when you get any sleep, because not only Supply chain is on your plate, but a lot of technology.

 

[00:17:14] The other piece as well. Yeah, but you know what? It makes sense though, from a synergy perspective. Because Supply chain and I.T. have become so interrelated. The technology of Supply chain is driving so much efficiency. If you don’t understand the tech side, you’re going to be left behind on the supply chain side. So to me, the synergy between the two is just, you know, it’s it’s where it’s at.

 

[00:17:36] Yeah, it’s an absolute necessity. I mean, one drives the other and the other drives the hundred percent.

 

[00:17:41] And as you start seeing block chain come more into the supply chain, as you start seeing artificial intelligence come into the supply supply chain and augmented reality, when you start seeing those technologies which are starting to enter and they’re going to get bigger and bigger. Yeah. If you don’t understand the tech side, it’s gonna be a problem. As a supply chain leader. Yeah.

 

[00:17:57] So before we talk more about the organization you’ve got, you’ve already started to kind of shed some light on your role. What else you when you think of week in, week out. What else are you working on projects? What wouldn’t tell us more about your role?

 

[00:18:11] Well, I think right now, obviously with most supply chain leaders is omni channel, right. I mean, that’s driving a lot of the decisions that are being made. What we call the Amazon effect of order it now. Oh, wow. I got an e-mail five minutes later it shipped. Oh, wow. There’s someone knocking on my door and having a picture that it’s at my door. I mean, that is driving a lot of changes in the supply chain. So as a supply chain leader, it’s not just warehousing. Right. You’ve got to go all the way back to the source and start looking at efficiencies all the way through the supply chain. Can I? You know, at tech, we learned about the power of one. Right. I don’t know if you are for with the power of one, but it’s an amazing concept. What can you do with 1 percent more revenue or one extra turn or one last week of supply or one Jenny approach? Right. Yeah, it’s it’s an amazing concept. So if you can start adding ones up, it’s amazing. Amazing when you get to the end of it. Wow. I’ve I’ve actually got some real progress in dollars that I can show on the efficiency.

 

[00:19:06] So I think omni channel is driving a lot of decisions that are being made today from an investment perspective. You know, we’re really, really proud. I’m really proud of our leadership in this company, Harlan Stone, and is our is our CEO and leader. And you talked earlier, Scott, about vision, how Tony Hawk had vision. But Harlan has that same vision in flooring, right? I don’t think there is a bigger voice in the world right now on the tariff issue for sure on the direction of flooring than heroin is. I mean, he really has this vision. And what’s great for working for a guy like that is he gives you the vision and says, okay, go figure out how I get there. And so that’s that’s what I appreciate because I love creating the path to get to a particular goal. And that’s what he’s kind of done for us. So those are those are kind of some of the things we’re working on. But again, as I mentioned, we’re we’ve got an. Very automated facility in Rincon outside of Savannah.

 

[00:20:03] How do you spell that? All right. CEO in Clue, everybody in. We had a little pre preshow discussion, but we were talking about Greene Cone is in, right? It is in Puerto Rico and Rincon is in is in is in Georgia. Right. But don’t say it wrong either play. Don’t say it wrong. You either place. Yeah.

 

[00:20:20] So but you know, it’s really important that with this push in omnichannel and you’ve seen every retailer do it and you’re seeing most manufacturers and 3p peoples push towards this is not only looking for efficiencies, but how how can I get my my output up? How do I get my lead time down? Right. You know, we’ve invested a tremendous amount in our facility in Rincon. We have robotic arms that actually load pallets for LTL shipments. We have an passel line that we’ve got vacuum assist lifts for our employees. And so we’re doing a lot of things from an efficiency perspective to continue that output, to try to get closer and closer to what everyone calls the gold standard, which is Amazon, which actually Wal-Mart. You’ve seen Wal-Mart’s push lately. No, no subscription next day delivery. Wal-Mart is pushing their supply chain to get drier as well. So there’s this will continue and this will become the norm. And so as a supply chain leader, honestly, if you asked me what kind of Scott, if you ask me what keeps me up at night, it’s continuing to grow to get to that point where I can be at that Amazon gold standard.

 

[00:21:25] Well, I see you’ve shared a lot there that we’re gonna dive into a little bit in just a few minutes. But let’s let’s kind of go back to ancient T X. What is was a company do at the core?

 

[00:21:38] So the core of the company is, you know, we’re basically a surface company with a with the main focus of a flooring. So we have always been a family owned set of companies, individually operating companies. And there wasn’t a lot of necessarily synergy between the companies. So. So, Harlan, what he decided to do was create an umbrella company called HMTX, which Stalin stands for, Halstead Metal floor, techno floor, vertex. And then there’s a fifth one called Aspect. A most big didn’t make the cut. I don’t think the marketing guys got a hold of that. I think for us now. Yeah, yeah. But I mean, it’s basically what what most people would call business units. We call them towers because we love you know, we love to be different. It’s who we are. So we call those towers and those five towers make up the HMV X family of companies. And then within those five towers we have what we call three pillars that support the five towers. And those pillars are designed because obviously if you don’t have the products with the right design. Right, no one’s gonna buy em anyway. Right. We have seen you don’t need much of a supply chain, only much of it. There’s nothing to move. Then you’ve got the you’ve got sustainability and compliance section. Sustainability is a very important piece to us. And we’re going to Scott, I think we’re going to probably talk about a little bit more about that later. And then the third pieces is the Supply chain piece. So those three pillars support all five towers and all those towers report up through through Harlan Stone.

 

[00:23:00] And you all been growing dramatically. Seems like even even since last time that you’re not connected last March, the hits keep coming. Yeah.

 

[00:23:09] We’ve really been growing our product lines. You know, our our main product line is Life Proof, which you can find at Home Depot’s the rigid core LV T LV T is what’s driving flooring right now. It’s it is the. It is the thing in flooring because it solves so many issues. I mean, you talk about innovation in flooring. This. This was an innovation because innovation in its core can be very simple. It just needs to solve a problem. Right. So this is waterproof flooring. It floats. So you don’t have to adhere it to the floor. It’s got adhered pear padding to it for being soft underfoot and for quiet. If you have a lock on the second floor and it clicks together, that makes it a hundred percent waterproof. So it solves a lot of problems. So innovation doesn’t have to be complex. It just needs to solve something.

 

[00:23:52] Yeah. You know that I love that sentiment that that’s come at the last 25 seconds. It’s going to be a sound bite because I think so many folks fall in love with complexity. Right. Complex solutions, complex problems, complex, you name it. But to your point, innovation doesn’t have to be laboratory science. And all the time is plenty of that now. But the simplest ideas can sometimes be bare. The biggest, most productive fruit. Right?

 

[00:24:19] Ockham’s Razor. Right. I mean, the simplest solution is often the best one, right? Right. You know, if you think about the wheel, what’s simpler than something around if you want to change the world. Right. It changed the world. Right. So, yeah, certainly. I mean, a lot of times innovation is about creating convenience or creating efficiency and often creating convenience or efficiency is not putting steps in. It’s taking steps out.

 

[00:24:44] Absolutely. Yeah. So kind of moving beyond that, that the profile of of of HMTX organization, one of the things I know you’re real passionate about because to grow and to be in a innovative company that H.A.. Is you’ve got to have people, right? Absolutely people. Hundred percent and not not only do you have to go out and recruit them and get them on board, but then you’ve got to develop them, right? Absolutely. And so you all stood up, I think, last October. A leadership academy to talk to us more about that, right?

 

[00:25:13] Yes. So this is you know, I’m in my I am in my 18th year now. Well, what now with HMTX, I can call it before that.

 

[00:25:20] I was with Home Depot for seven years, started like 12. Yeah, hold on. I have at a college. I started out of college. I worked for a southern company for a year because my dad felt sorry for me without a job coming at school. And Gates, let me work your first job. The old fashioned way. The old fashioned way. And then I decided that that wasn’t really what I wanted to do. So then I moved to Atlanta to work for Home Depot, worked my way through the global sourcing department, ended up as an import merchant and then decided I was gonna go back to school. So I decided I was going to leave Home Depot and go back to school. And then Harlan, who I knew through through flooring because I had been buying flooring, approached me and said, hey, listen, we’re thinking about opening an Atlanta office. And would you be interested in. I’m like, yeah. I mean, that sounds interesting. I think I could probably just put school on hold a little bit. And I did and started the office and it kind of was just me. And in a five by eight storage unit in Atlanta schlepping my wares over to Home Depot to show him samples of things. And then it just kind of took off from there. And then I did eventually get to go back to school, thankfully, because that was the original plan.

 

[00:26:17] But, you know, best laid plans. Right. But you were in sales. No, I. Well, I was kind of managing managing the Home Depot account to audit the, you know, working with the forecasting team and working on making sure that they had enough inventory and things like, OK. Yeah. My my career progression is an interesting one because I never started in Supply chain and it just kind of fell into my lap in it. And as it did, I realized I had a real passion for it. I really loved the movement of things. Right. Whether it’s information or whether it’s a good or a serve. I mean, I just loved the flow. And so I just I kind of fell into it. And as I did, I became, you know, more more interested into it and decided that that’s kind of the path I wanted to take. But back to the leadership academy and it’s up. You know, when I I started seeing that the market for labor. I don’t know if you know. So we’ve got all these great programs in Georgia and all these great companies in Georgia and great infrastructure. But one of the things we’re having problems with is, is enough talent. Sure. Absolutely.

 

[00:27:17] So as an employer, how do you become the employer of choice for employees, not only people looking to come to your company, but retaining your talent? Right. It’s so important. So what we’ve done is we’ve created a leadership academy internally. And the purpose of the leadership academy is it’s several fold. One of it is to to help our employees gain skills that can get them to the next level within the company with a very mobile company. I mean, some people are on their tenth 11th job. So we’re not a company where you come in and just sit in a job. That’s one of the beauties of it. Now, the second piece is to to retain them, to give them opportunities to further their educations, to further their skillset, to further their knowledge. And then the third piece really is to how do we attract good talent? Because pay is only one piece of hiring someone, no doubt.

 

[00:28:04] Especially today, especially today. It’s so competitive. You have to do things that are outside of the pay world. You have to provide a great working environment. You have to care about provide great leadership. We do all that. And so now with the leadership academy, it’s our hope that we’re gonna be able to attract talent as we continue to grow, because as you grow, as you know, you need good people to help fuel that growth. We hope that the Leadership Academy will help also attract those new employees to us and make us the employer of choice until they start making empathetic robots.

 

[00:28:36] Exactly. Let’s say that I do. Yes. And that was my previous guest on here with Malcolm, which to us he talked about how empathy is still despite how much has progressed in the world of automation and bots. Empathy is still a big missing piece and we need so much of that. We do know from leadership stand, you know, we really do.

 

[00:28:57] I think what’s an interesting and I heard it and what you were saying, what I think is an interesting flip in perspective around dealing with with associates, with employees, staff, whatever you want to call them, is that people used to ask what was you know, what was unappealing about how about working at Place X? Right. And then they would fix those things. Now, I think what they do is they think, how do we make this appealing? So that’s a slight change. But how do we make it good for our people first? And and that now I think many companies recognize that that creates a draw to that company, not how do we. Retain people, but how do we make this a place that people want to stay here and it’s a slight right. It’s a very slight change of perspective, but it’s game changing in terms of of how you approach the problem, right.

 

[00:29:53] Well, we’re we’re very, very team focused company. We don’t work in silos. We work across many disciplines. Many offices across the world were very global company. You know, we have production in many countries around the world. We had offices in many countries around the world. So just what you said, I mean, just being able to retain and attract those people, letting them understand that, you know, you’re gonna have the opportunity to do a lot of things when you’re in this company. And I think it’s working out very well. So what we did was kind of start it was I reached I didn’t know anything about this. I’m going to be quite honest with you. I just had an idea and I didn’t know how to execute it. I don’t know anything about creating curriculum. So I reached out to my friends at Georgia Tech and I said, hey, listen, I need some help with this. And so we’ve built a great starting program with them, as well as a couple of other pieces. You know, we’ve got a wind shape component to it. We’ve got Fred Prior online learning. We’ve got some other regional things for other offices. But they really kind of stepped back and helped me kind of start creating a create a curriculum for this.

 

[00:30:58] And and it’s going to continue to grow. You know, we’re making sustainability in-house sustainability officer. We have a which is very interesting piece of our company. We’ve have a chief a chief sustainability officer. Yes. Russia, Rockville Rotman. And she’ll be on the panel manufacturing some. You absolutely will. She absolutely will. So that’s a great plug. But yeah. So most companies talk about sustainability, but they don’t really live it. Right. So I’d like to think that because we are actually have a chief sustainability officer and a company that we are kind of living preaching, you know, or walking our talk. Yeah. And so. Yeah. So we’re gonna have that be a big piece of the leadership academy. And then we’ve got lots to come. We’ve got lots of additional we’re having Georgia Tech has been doing a quarterly program on leadership force called the leading well series. And we’re talking about innovation and change management. We bring a big group of folks in from across the company and we we do simulators and we do things that just thought provoking. If people walk away with one or two takeaways from each one of those sessions, then that like we’ve we’ve kind of done our job.

 

[00:32:00] And you have I mean, that’s about as much as you can expect. Yeah, right. I mean, when you have a session like that, what people take away is what’s foremost in their mind or what’s most nagging in their subconscious. Right. They they take that away. And every single time you do that, you create a little bit more growth in those people. And that’s a you know, that’s a great feeling.

 

[00:32:19] You take that away and it’s just in its infancy. But, you know, we’re growing it. We’re planning our 2020 course curriculum piece right now. And, you know, we’ll we’ll see we’ll see where it goes from there.

 

[00:32:32] Work follows us wherever we go. Right. Well, what’s interesting, Greg, you mentioned something on a previous show a few days back.

 

[00:32:43] About what?

 

[00:32:45] Well, something something about where we’re what gets funded. What gets funded, right. What?

 

[00:32:54] What. How do you put it? Something companies don’t invest in things unless it’s really a priority. Yeah. So sorry. I was I was listening to see if someone’s going to leave us.

 

[00:33:08] Message. The power of the podcast. Jerai.

 

[00:33:11] But Brian, what? What? What? I’m struggling that I’m trying this point here. But but what I’m hearing, whether it’s sustainability or leadership development and employee development, what’s really important is you’re putting your investing into it. You’re investing resources. You’re you’re you’re putting people on it. That’s a that’s what a lot of companies don’t get that they talk the talk lip service was sustainability wise.

 

[00:33:37] Right. But they’re not investing like you’re right.

 

[00:33:39] And it’s it’s all comes down to leadership. Right. I mean, we have amazing leadership in my company. Our CEOs are fantastic. At first of all, Harlan’s very serious about you making mistakes because he’s don’t ever be afraid to make a mistake, because that means if you don’t make a mistake, you’re not trying anything new. We are a company of new. So you know, where that is coming from is weird. That is strange. But making investments. Yeah, making investments and people technology facilities. If you don’t invest in the business, you will not see those down the road return. Right. So you know, we’ve made. I spent two years on the automation project piece and so I get finished with that. And I was like kind of what’s next outside of my normal operational pieces? What what’s kind of my next project? Cause I’d love to have a product. And so it’s kind of the leadership academy became that project, too. So now that we’ve invested in kind of the facilities, listen, continue investing in our people. Yeah.

 

[00:34:36] Yeah. Well, and I think that look, people invest or. Invest in their people because you can have as many systems or processes or whatever you.

 

[00:34:49] Oh, that was me. How did that happen? That was root cause, the root cause analysis said. Thank you, Brian. How did we found this? Of course, we’re getting call in. Viewers calling in. Right. This is why you don’t want an Apple Watch. Yeah. Yeah.

 

[00:35:05] No.

 

[00:35:07] So, you know, people in that are companies invest in their people because people are what make innovation. They’re what makes sustainability. They’re what make technology and process change occur. Yeah, right.

 

[00:35:18] Hundred percent. I mean we are nothing to the boat people. Yeah, we are. We are a team. Right. And if we don’t invest in the team, then we will not have a very good return in the future because we failed to invest in the piece that drives all of what you just said, Greg.

 

[00:35:33] Yeah, absolutely. And you know, Keith made a great point yesterday that while the profitability is important. Right. Of course, that’s how you have the resources to do a lot of things that these companies do. However, it’s about the people, too. You gotta take care. Do you watch the bottom line? But you get to watch people and provide for them as well.

 

[00:35:50] Right. And that’s that’s probably one of the great things about working for a private company. Right. Is we don’t have a bunch of shareholders who we have to report to every quarter and say this is the return you’re getting.

 

[00:36:00] We really do feel as a company that people come before the money, because if you treat the people right, the money will take care of itself. That’s exactly the discussion we were having yesterday. I mean, this is this is not a cause and effect piece, right? Treat your people right and the rest will handle itself really well. I truly believe that.

 

[00:36:15] Yeah. And I think that part of the you know, part of the pressure of a. Financial investor is that they focus pretty much solely on the numbers. Right. And in that and that’s when you start to get lip service, right. Towards the sustainability and, you know, the absolutely people really people and innovation in those sorts of things.

 

[00:36:36] All right. So let’s talk more about the accomplishments, some of your accomplishments the HMTX has had. Again, we had the good fortune of collaborating with y’all on the 2019 Atlanta Supply chain Awards, which was in its first year back in March. And y’all walked away with one of the biggest, biggest awards, the Sustainability Excellence Award, which was presented by our friend Tony Schroder with the Reverse Logistics Association and Kevin Reed with the MTA. So let’s get the let’s let’s kind of look past the award and get to the story behind it. But, Charles, whether it’s lower packaging, content, implementing, recycling, use of recycled materials, you all really have doubled down on your efforts to be sustainable in a very innovative ways. Talk to us more about that.

 

[00:37:26] Well, we we look at sustainability outside of just products, right? Obviously, sustainability with our products is is really important. Let’s let’s be honest me and we find we think we believe that our products are highly sustainable. And, you know, our packaging around those products is is very sustainable. But it goes beyond that, right. It goes to the buildings that we build. We have LEED, we have Green Globe now we’re working on on green build conference, you know. And so we are very invested in the future that sustainability is going, whether that’s the, you know, building future building future institute or we have a lot of those pieces. You know, all of our pieces have that. It’s ingrained in our people. We do. You know what a 5 is. So we’re taking out waste. I’ll give you a perfect example. Today we have pallets that we’re shipping in that we put a little ply board plywood on the top and they have a little piece of cardboard on the side where the strap goes. We’re looking at what what would it mean to take it, get rid of that little piece of cardboard, not from just a money perspective, but if you’ve see the floor of the warehouse after they break open pallets, there’s pieces of cardboard everywhere. It’s again, it doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be simple things that make that power of one. Yeah. So so sustainability is part of our DNA. You know, innovation, sustainability and treating your people right. I mean, those are they are our core values. And so I would like to think.

 

[00:38:57] Scott. Yeah. Thank you so much for the award. Jerai. We were very, very honored to be there, very honored to win the award. And just to clarify, I didn’t come from me. We pulled together a a team of experts and supply chain practitioners and leaders that viewed what they submitted the spiritual had. And. And again, it’s not it’s not lip service. I mean, it’s action. It’s our leaders. It’s part of our DNA. It’s solar panels, armory buildings and water reclamation. And I mean, it touches so many pieces of what we do. It’s cultural. It’s cultural. Yeah, it’s part of our DNA.

 

[00:39:28] That’s such a great example to other companies, right? I mean, I think that’s something that’s worth sharing. Right. I mean, to to allow other companies to see and and learn from that. Yeah. I think if you think about, you know, one of the the power of one. But you think about zero getting from zero to one. That’s very difficult. It is. Right. And sometimes all you need is an example like that to kind of break the dam and be able to get to that first innovation toward sustainability or whatever. Yeah, whatever your initiative.

 

[00:39:58] And customers are smart, right? Customers do a lot of research. Customers come in to buy your products. Armed with a lot of knowledge. So if you are giving them lip service on, hey, this this is safe for your home, this is safe for your pets, this is safe for your kids, safe for the environment, you better be able to back it up. Yeah, lot. You know, it can’t just be lip service that has to be backed up. And so we like to think part of our DNA is backing that up. Yeah, that’s good. That safety of products and that it’s not just products, it goes all the way through. How we handle the products is important to us as well.

 

[00:40:31] That’s a really great vision. Agreed. You know, what’s really what’s really interesting is Brian’s got nothing to sell here. Right? I mean, I mean, he’s not he’s not talking to our audience. Right. Because he’s got a software package or something like that to sell. This is just the way this company operates. Right. And I think that’s a really, really valuable perspective.

 

[00:40:52] And I think it’s important to, you know, to state that I agreed. And that’s when we go back to town. That’s the kind of companies. I mean, I think culture speaks volumes. Yeah. And it really communicates that value. You know, you mentioned that you how the vision is of being an employer of choice. Well, one of the big ways of being an employer of choice is having the type of culture that that folks want to work for and want to work in. Yeah. And. That’s what I know someone that club. You’ve been there 18 years and you know the DNA very well. I’d like to think that I’ve helped craft the DNA. That’s right. Yeah. Good point. All right. So moving along from this Sustainability Excellence award that you all were recognized with in March 2019. And to our listeners, of course, the 2020 Atlanta Supply chain Awards, we’re looking forward to that in March 2020, which can be hosted about Moto X, which we’re really excited about at Georgia World Congress Center. OK. So let’s talk about supply chain trends and issues. There’s no shortage.

 

[00:41:54] This is going to be a four hour conversation here. Well, we talked about one of the biggest rights we’ve been a bill we did in talent. We’re talking about two of the biggest and really argue three because some of our recent conversations, leadership. Yes and yes. And, you know, there’s a huge breakdown in leadership, unfortunates leading some of the other big challenges that industry is facing. But that doesn’t seem to be leadership, doesn’t seem to be a challenge at H.A. X.

 

[00:42:18] Well, look, that I mean, culture comes from the top. It either comes consciously or unconsciously from a culture is created, whether you choose to create one or not. Right. And a lot of how culture is created is based on how Harland what Harlan allows, enforces or enables. Right. Right.

 

[00:42:40] And clearly, he is enforcing and enabling the right things and and allowing you to have an impact on that as well. Because it’s also not to enable your people to have an impact. Great point, Greg, but to you.

 

[00:42:54] You can’t just hear culture and then say, OK, I’m going to I’m part of the culture. Right. It has to be a culture that you believe in, that you’re passionate about. And think if you talk to a lot of my teammates in the company, you’ll hear a lot of passion coming from them about our products, about our process, about our distribution, about our people. We’re just very proud of what we’re building and how we’re building it. Because how you build things is just as important as what you bill.

 

[00:43:18] Yeah, because of that sustainability in how you build things is sustainable.

 

[00:43:22] Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. And that that is what winds up being sustained is the how not the what.

 

[00:43:30] Right. All right. So we didn’t talk about your on the musician in you, but the percussion you heard there was the accentuation of the points, because there is there is a lot of passion.

 

[00:43:40] Right. It’s this is a kind of stuff that he’s got good rhythm to. I am big pentameter as long as you. Wow.

 

[00:43:50] Two and four. If you hit one in three, that’s nice. I probably don’t too. And I thought I’m good. Oh, backbeat. Yeah. Okay, great. All right.

 

[00:44:00] So let’s shift gears here and talk about some of the other supply chain trends that are on your radar more than others right now, Brian.

 

[00:44:07] Well, obviously not on just my radar, but a lot of manufacturers as the tariffs. I mean, this is the 800 pound gorilla in the room. You know, Harlin, our leader, has been very, very a global voice in this tariff issue. We’ll continue to be a global voice in this tariff issue, because we truly believe that these costs will be passed along to customers and that it will actually end up being like just a tax increase to customers, that it will cost you more to do everything in your lives with these tariffs.

 

[00:44:37] Yeah, well, you know, we say it all the time is corporations don’t pay taxes and they don’t pay for tariffs. All right. Consumers, consumers, you have to. Yes, you have to, because you have a business model that requires you to make a certain amount of money. And when something this significant outside of your control occurs, you have no choice but to pass it on. Or or if you if you were to swallow the tariffs, it put your business in danger. Yeah, right. And that puts a lot of people’s jobs on the line.

 

[00:45:06] But you have to let’s let’s look at the bright spots. Right. What what are sleek, bright spots the tariffs are causing us to do? Continuing to look for efficiencies in the supply chain. True. Look. Where can I turn? It is a margin back by doing some things differently. And there’s a lot to be learned from that. Sometimes adversity yields progress. Almost always. Almost always. So, you know, as tough as the tariff issue is, I’d like to think that we’re trying to turn some positives to it and look for some ways to help mitigate some of it. So that’s obviously tariffs are a big one. What it’s going to do to the global shipping market is, is another big unknown for 2020. You’ve got to, you know, 2020 coming out, which is a big a big piece for the carriers. How is the change in operations for them and market demand? What’s it going to mean for rates in 2020? And then again, as I mentioned earlier, the omni channel. I mean, I think any supply chain leader right now is sleeping and eating and breathing omni channel just because it is such a dynamic change to the entire supply chain and how you get products from point A to point B.

 

[00:46:11] And you may be well aware of this going back. One, two. You mentioned Ammo 2020. You know, we covered yesterday. How? A lot of ocean carriers are asking the Panama Canal to delay the rate change as rate increases there, because in January you’ve got the I’m a 2020 and potential tariffs, right, already taken root so we can push back those new canal fees, even sick. I think that they requested to June so if more of a one two punch rather than all at one time. Yeah. Yeah. So we’ll see what happens there. We all won’t. You know, we all want more clarity as it relates to these two.

 

[00:46:50] I mean, no one likes tariffs as you can. So much uncertainty. And as a company you start planning and investing and you’re very hesitant to invest in infrastructure on your wins. There’s so many unknowns. And I think you’re starting to see that across the economy, across different a lot of different pieces. Now, you’ve had a lot of companies come out and warn about increases in prices because of tariffs. So this is going to continue to be a a huge issue until there’s some type of resolve. All right. Whatever that may be. Yeah. So but you know what’s interesting, Scott, is you. One thing that we experienced this year that I have never experienced in my supply chain career is the Panama Canal issue with the rainy seizing, arriving later and not having enough water to fill the Panama Canal so that the bigger ships could get through. I mean, these are these are these issues. Greg, like you mentioned, that you cannot control. So how do you how do you work around them? I mean, these are the challenges that Supply chain leaders across the world are are looking at. And to be honest with you, I mean, it’s the dynamic nature of that is kind of what’s exciting as a supply chain guy. Right, is how to allow this problem that I never in a million years would have thought would be an issue. Because I’ve been to the Panama Canal. A lack of water is nothing I ever thought we would ever thought that. Yeah. So how do you work around it? How do you plan around it? How do you build a supply chain that can that can sustain the resilience, the resiliency? How do you how do you have enough inventory in certain locations so that you don’t get killed when stuff like that happens? So that’s the artist splotch. It is what you describe in art and science, right. There’s a huge science of supply chain, but there’s also an art. There really is.

 

[00:48:22] I mean, you have to be able to respond to adversity. Right. Like talking about.

 

[00:48:26] Well, I think we’re the art. One of the places where the art really comes into play, especially the experience and the approach and kind of a savvy. This is the problem solving. Yeah. All right. That’s that is gonna be day in and day out. You know, whether you’re operating at Nine Sigma or there’s always something you’re going to solve. Right. And that really is that’s the interesting situation with the Panama Canal. I was reading that story a few weeks ago whenever it was, because that is for now. We have a weather machine then.

 

[00:48:58] I mean, it’s better now. The rains have started coming, so it’s better now. But who? I mean, who would have planned for something so bizarre? Yeah, right. You know. So those things are kind of exciting. Piece of supply chain, the dynamic nature of it.

 

[00:49:10] Agreed. All right. So let’s get let’s let’s break out our crystal balls here. I want to say can’t expressly have to. You did your impression this morning.

 

[00:49:19] Oh, great. Great, great gaggle.

 

[00:49:22] Carson. Yeah. Johnny Carson way back. Remember that. But let’s talk about 2020. So Brian Greene with HMTX Industries, won’t you, to break out your crystal ball? What? Any bold predictions for 2020 and ask either for your for HMTX specifically. Yeah. Or just in general.

 

[00:49:40] Well I think on the on the product side I think LV TI will continue driving the gains and in the flooring market I think you know, we’ve seen year over year over year declines in carpet. I think LV T is starting to eat into the some of the ceramic business now. So from a product perspective, I really feel like we’re going to continue seeing a good solid growth in the LBC product line, which is great. From a from a supply chain perspective, I think, you know, 2020 is going to be the beginning of the challenge of making sure that the labor pool is there because anyone who has some facilities in Savannah especially will realize how tough it is on the labor pool. So, yeah, you know, we’ve talked to the state of Georgia and the economic commission and everyone everyone’s in the same boat. Everyone’s trying to think what what things can we put in place to help alleviate some of these issues? So I think 2020 could absolutely be at a tipping point on the labor. The labor discussion in Supply chain not only from, you know, available people for working, but even truck driver availability. I mean, right tool until there’s a Tesla, you know, truck that can drive by itself across country and there’s thousands of them. I mean, we have a serious trucking shortage in this company and I will continue to magnify itself. So from a social supply chain perspective, those are those are definitely some things I’m looking at for 2020. Agreed.

 

[00:51:02] Yeah. Greg, any commentary? You know, I think that the combination of supply chain disruptions we’ve seen this year. Won’t be necessarily resolved, but it’s going to it’s going to force companies to start to attack and assume and have a recovery plan. Right. Or or or adaptive strategies to address the inevitability of a supply chain disruption. I mean, if you think about it, Brexit is a huge, huge disruption, particularly in Europe. You know, the situation with the Panama Canal, China tariffs and other weather conditions that occur every year. And I think that the the perfect storm, if you will, of all of these things happening in a relatively short time, is creating an awakening among companies where they’re going to have to figure out more concretely what their recovery or adaptation methodology is.

 

[00:52:02] And to that point, Greg, I’ve I’m kind of pulling in some of my I.T. thinking into the Supply chain side. On the I.T. side, you always think about single point of failure. Yeah. Right. Where are my single points of failure and where? How do I make sure that I have a replication to get around that? It’s the same thing in the supply chain piece. Bring over. Where are your single points of failures and address them? Yeah, you know, whether it’s a free forehead or whether it’s a warehouse or whether it’s a lane. Where’s your single point of failure that if it went down, your whole business would be out? You’ve got to address those single points of failure.

 

[00:52:32] You can you can think about what what is the provisioning that’s necessary for that single point of failure, failure. And then you can think about because of the varying types of disruptions that might occur. How do we implement that?

 

[00:52:45] That’s our films that implementing the hardest part, right? Yeah, we have. We know. We know what we want to fix. But some of that is just figuring out how do you actually go about it? And if you’re having to go through the Panama Canal, you get all that extra inventory percent, right?

 

[00:52:58] Yeah. You better have a lot of trucks in L.A. that are coming east. Right. You know, whatever that may be. So, you know, but that’s where you have that’s where as a as a supply chain leader, you have strong partners that you work with who can help you through these things because you can only do so much. You got to rely on your your strategic partners, whether they’re the I.T. side or the supply chain side, to help shield you on some of these ideas, because without strong partners, you’re going to fail. It’s just that simple.

 

[00:53:23] Yeah. Agreed. Yeah. All right. So how can folks get in touch with you? So see you again. We’re big fans, a store. We’ve had a sneak peek of this story before you got here, Brian. And that was one that one of the best things about Vetlanta Supply chain Awards. We’ve talked touched on this in so many different ways, but is hearing the stories in the in the five minutes or so as folks kind of accept that they were at the podium. And I think here in the story was really cool, but also seeing the pride of that of the folks that were being recognized. You know, a couple of those folks were very you know, they were entrepreneurs smaller than HMTX now. And like, everyone starts somewhere else. Exactly.

 

[00:54:05] You know, or when living testimony right here.

 

[00:54:08] But to hear these different stories, there’s so many there are so many great things and so much good news that takes place across in an supply chain. And this is certainly one of those good, good news stories. So undoubtedly, folks going to want to be able to get in touch with you, Brian Jr. or HMTX, where I work and folks learn more.

 

[00:54:26] Well, they can reach our new you Earl at w WW dot h m t x dot global. We’ve got because we do everything different. We we consider ourselves little more of a pirate culture. We didn’t want to go with the normal dot com. It’s the dot global. We’re a global company. We’re a global presence. We’re a global thinker. Why not have DOT global? So we have a DOT global.

 

[00:54:46] And then you can reach out to me on LinkedIn Brian Greene e with E on the end and among LinkedIn. You can reach out to me there as well. Yeah, I’m gonna do that. Yeah. Go to our go to our Web site and check out, you know, check out the towers and you’ll see you know, you’ll see everything from the supplying of our Home Depot business to, you know, our signature distributor brands to our health care brands, to our design and architecture, our brands. All those are under that umbrella.

 

[00:55:12] You had me a pirate culture.

 

[00:55:15] Martin, I don’t know. Yeah, but what a interesting story.

 

[00:55:22] I wish we had a couple more hours to spend with you here, Brian. I really enjoyed it.

 

[00:55:26] I think I said yes. That’s why it’s so fun to find hour. Yeah, very, very unique DNA. It seems like ancient. We’re really proud of it. So really proud to be two. And we work hard to keep it up. You know, it’s easy to lose as new people come in. We work really hard to keep this.

 

[00:55:41] I hope people are able to use it as an example. I mean, I think you’re you are a really good example for companies to try to live up to. So I think that’s a great place to be.

 

[00:55:51] That’s quite a compliment. Thank you. Okay. Well, we’re going to wrap up on a few final announcements. First, big thanks to Brian Greene executive vice president, global supply chain for HMTX Industries for joining us. As he mentioned, you can learn more at HMTX DOT Global Fastening discussion. Really enjoyed. You can walk us through the company and the cold. Greene in supply chain issues, you name it. So we will have to have you back home to get an update on how 2020 ends up, that I imagine is going to be a pretty successful year. HMTX. All right. So let’s wrap up today, as we always do. This invite our audience to come check us out in person before we do that, though. Malcolm shot me a note. You know, Malcolm, we do our research team at here at Supply Chain Now Radio. And he mentioned that I need to get it right with the empathetic, empathetic robot. That was Stephen Nottingham, CEO of Froome Design, who mentioned that on the show we did down in Savannah. Really interesting company to check that out. But Malcolm likes to keep our facts straight here.

 

[00:56:50] No fake news here. Supply Chain Now Radio Malcolm. That’s right. All right. So let’s great.

 

[00:56:57] Let’s talk about some of the events we’re gonna be at and we’ll invite our audience. Come check us out. The next one, just three weeks away or so, we’re gonna be over in North Charleston, South Carolina. Doing what?

 

[00:57:06] Yeah, the A.I., A.G., SC AC.

 

[00:57:09] I know I can look at those letters and it’s still it’s hard to say. Supply chain Equality Conference in beautiful North Charleston. That’s September 12th and 13th. That is the Automotive Industry Action Group and the South Carolina Automotive Council. That’s right.

 

[00:57:25] South Carolina Automotive Council, led by future South Carolina Governor Amy translates this. It’s going to be focused all about the world of automotive.

 

[00:57:35] And you know, Greg, and have the teams been great? They’ve been working hard to lineup. Yeah, we’ve got some great speakers there.

 

[00:57:40] We’ve got Bosch, Volvo, IBM, all of it out with us. Yeah. All sitting down and more and all brought to you by our good friend Bo Gruber at the Effective syndicate.

 

[00:57:52] So absolutely. It’s coming up September 12th and 13th. And we’re gonna touch on a couple more events here. But you can find all of this information on the events tab at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com either. I’m kind of intrigued with this dot global u.r.l.. I’m going to circle back on that or you can shoot us a note to connect at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com if you have any specific questions about these events.

 

[00:58:14] And then October 9th, we’re we’re we’re we’re gonna be Georgia Manufacturing Summit at the beautiful Cobb Galleria, yet still wondering how we’re gonna fit 10000 Georgia manufacturers in there.

 

[00:58:27] But it’s gonna be the big. Anyone can do it.

 

[00:58:29] Jason can. It’s gonna be. That’s right. I mean, the biggest yet we’ve got to keynotes for on from PSG, one from Keith. Great leaders there with special messages. Over a thousand folks asking me the biggest summit yet and yet, as we mentioned earlier in all session. Yeah, we’re really, really. So we’ve been doing this panel trains track and Supply chain for three or four years now. And it’s always been rewarding and fun for me to do it and to hear from different kind of walks of life and in across Supply chain. But Rochelle Rotman, chief sustainability officer with HMTX Industries, is one of our panelists. Just kind of happened like that. We’ve got U.P.S. all we’ve got Georgia Pacific owned and we have a Mitsubishi Electric Train own local manufacturer. They’re looking forward to a great panel. That’s October night and you can learn more at Georgia manufacturing alliance dot com. Then we’ll head up to Austin, Texas, right? Yep.

 

[00:59:25] We’re gonna keep Austin weird 2019 Logistics CIO. Nor have a nice welcoming party for us. Oh, great. Yeah. They know they love that.

 

[00:59:34] So TFT is putting on their Logistics CIO forum there November 7th and 8th. That’s about 300 CIO Supply chain decision makers. And it’s a great opportunity to rub elbows with some decision makers. That’s right. There’s, uh, you know, we’re gonna do, what, eight or 10 should eight or 10 episodes from there. If you were taking the show on the road. Yeah, that’s right.

 

[01:00:00] Out into the marketplace. You’re right. It’s all about. Even then, it’s digital content age. It’s all about sitting down just like this with leaders like Bryan and and really, you know, picking their brain.

 

[01:00:12] Yeah. Finding out who they are and what they know, what they can share with the world has been really valuable here. Right. I think you put 300 people in one room. There’s gonna be a lot of a lot of opportunities for sharing and learning and collaboration there. Yeah.

 

[01:00:26] So remember 7th 8:00 in Austin, Texas, the 2013 Logistics, by the way, shameless plug if if anyone wants to sponsor our broadcasts there. So we’re looking for sponsors for the couple days that we’re gonna be. That’s right. Yeah. We’ll get we’ll be sure to represent you well.

 

[01:00:43] Absolutely. So then you’re going to get to the end of the year and then the calendar flips and then February 20 20 reverse Logistics Association conference next boat out in Vegas. Looking forward to that. Like that new series we touched on. Tony Schroeder, that’s such a and as Brian mentioned, that is such a important, vitally important, rapidly growing portion of the Indian supply chain industry. And this one is not going away. And it’s one that a lot of folks are looking for best practices around.

 

[01:01:11] We were talking to somebody last night. Felton Lewis. Yeah, right. Felton Lewis. Yep. With New Mine last night, we were talking to him and and they’ve done a lot of study on reverse Logistics and roughly 50 percent of every dollar that you save on talk about, you know, talk about the power won 50 cents of every dollar that you save on reverse Logistics. Go straight to the bottom line. That is a lot of waste and that is a worth that’s a worthwhile discussion and habit. Yeah.

 

[01:01:42] Huge incentive to get to the bottom of the challenge.

 

[01:01:45] Tony is a pro, too. I mean, he. He’s been doing it. I mean, he’s not just. That’s right. Not just touting it. He’s been doing it for decades. And, you know, there’s a lot to learn from that from his group.

 

[01:01:58] Absolutely. And then, you know, if you if you’ve listened our show before, he’s been on several times a webinars and podcasts before he stepped up as executive director of the RLA, which you can learn more. RLA. Org. He spent a career. Phillips was one of his guests and driving big returns initiatives there. So before it was cool to do so, you know. All right. So then after February, that event in Vegas, we’re back here in Atlanta with Moto X Murdoch’s 2020. We’re proud of our partnership. They’re broadcasting all four days, including Tuesday of that week to 2020. Atlanta Supply chain Awards hosted by Moto X, presented once again by CSC and P Atlanta, a Atlanta Metro Atlanta Chamber and Supply Chain Now Radio, which we’re really proud of him and Moto X and one of the largest have yet and heard of all three people that may not have heard this one of the largest supply chain trade shows in the country. Thirty five thousand people is what you’re projecting to come out dematic 120 this year. And it’s free. It’s free to attend. So if you want to network, if you want to do some homework on the splotch industry, if you want to come out and while the exhibition halls, if you want to gather best practices, mosaic show dot com, if you want to introduce your kids to supply chain.

 

[01:03:09] They have many factories and and many distribution centers built in these thing in great hostility. I mean, it is a great panelists. It’s like it’s like life sized Tonka toys.

 

[01:03:19] I love that show. I really do.

 

[01:03:21] So Moto X show dot.com and Modi X showed dot com. And you know where you just say, where are you going to be? Your team going to be absolutely fantastic. Well, again, a big things I really enjoy. We’ve had a string of great.

 

[01:03:35] I mean, we don’t have many any bad shows, but this not that we would tell anyone.

 

[01:03:40] But this has been what it seems like we’re all kind of throwing kind of a kick of really some uplifting, genuine stories. Yeah, it’s central leadership and values and culture. And this has continued that that streak we’ve been on. So a big thanks to Brian Greene executive vice president, Global Supply chain with HMTX Industries. Have a wonderful Labor Day weekend, Brian. Thank you. You guys as well.

 

[01:04:03] Yeah. Go jackets and jackets. Yes. Good tigers. Say that.

 

[01:04:09] But we’re we are all excited that football’s here. Right. Well, we all need departures from the pressure and stresses of the business world and baseball and base. Yeah, well, yeah, we’ll see the brave, brave 1 8 and lot drop, too. We’ll see what they do in October. But nevertheless, there’s no bullpen in football. That’s what you’re attracted to. That’s very true. Well, so to our listeners, be sure to check out other upcoming events, replays of our interviews, other resources at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. You can follow Froome, apple podcasts, SoundCloud, all living sites where podcasts can be found. Be sure to

 

[01:04:42] Subscribe so you don’t miss a thing on behalf of the entire Supply Chain Now Radio team. This is Scott Luton wishing you a wonderful weekend right around the corner and we will see you next time on Supply Chain Now Radio.

Featured Guests

Brian Greene serves as Executive Vice President, Global Supply Chain with HMTX Industries. Brian started with Southern Company right out of college as a business analyst. He later moved to Home Depot where he worked his way up through the Global Sourcing department, finally landing at the Import Merchant position. Brian then transitioned to Halstead (division of HMTX), where he started as Vice President, Southern Division in charge of the Home Depot account. Brian then was promoted to to Vice President, Supply Chain and then on to Executive Vice President, Global Supply Chain and IT services. He oversees the global supply infrastructure as well as the global IT infrastructure for the company. Learn more about HMTX Industries here: https://hmtx.global/

Hosts

Greg White

Principal & Host

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

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

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Jamin Alvidrez

Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History

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

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

Allie is currently completing a degree in marketing with a certificate in entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia. She got her social media start through an internship with Shred, a personal training app, and she’s been hooked ever since. She works to optimize our following base while assisting the team with content creation, influencer outreach and other marketing endeavors. Allie can’t wait to keep growing alongside Supply Chain Now.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jada Carson

Marketing Coordinator

Jada is a recent graduate of Old Dominion University, having earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications with a media studies concentration and marketing minor. Jada got her start producing content at 16 years old, while attending a radio and broadcasting journalism program in high school, and hasn't looked back!  She is an asset to the Supply Chain Now team as a media specialist, podcast and media producer, and production coordinator.  Outside of Supply Chain Now, Jada is a big Lakers fan, and also a music journalist and enthusiast.

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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