In this episode, Scott Luton and Greg White welcome AJ Richichi to Supply Chain Now Radio the SC Logistics Tech Talk.
[00:00:05] 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, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.
[00:00:29] Hey, good afternoon. Scott Luton here with you. Libeled Supply Chain Now Radio. Welcome back to the show.
[00:00:34] So we’re broadcasting LEOD today, not from Atlanta, but from the South Carolina Fort Logistics Tech talk in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina at the Guilliani Center. Our partnership, our broadcast continues, our partnership with the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness. And really, Greg, is as we’ve seen throughout the interviews we’ve done already. This event really has been highlighting some of the innovative companies and they’re really the leaders that are driving the Logistics industry forward in this booming state of South Carolina, right?
[00:01:07] Yeah, it has. It’s a really interesting mix of of big established companies and startups in early stages. And it’s particularly exciting for me to be a tech talk because at tech talk, guess what we get to do? We get to talk tech.
[00:01:21] So we’ll look at me, the quarterback fumbling the ball and it’s OK that I think that was a good handoff. So as you heard already to our audience co-host, joining me here today is Greg White Serial Supply chain, tech entrepreneur, trusted advisor and board member. And one of the quick note to our audience, like all of our series on Supply Chain Now Radio. You can find our replays on a variety of channels, Apple podcast, SoundCloud, YouTube, wherever else you get your podcast from. As always, we’d love to have you subscribe so you don’t see thing. So, Greg, we have got Kyle. The mayor is joining us here today. So something that we’ve had from the convention here. We’ve had to put it. We had to put up a sign around this place. To our audience, we have red barrier tape around the mobile studios here. So no further ado, A.J. We’re Kiki, founder and CEO, Syntheo. A.J., how you doing, kid? Man? How are you? Good. Doing great. Glad to have you here. And now you are on a red eye from the West Coast here this morning.
[00:02:16] And you often resented maybe a Lu present in a in a little bit. Okay. Yamina Yeah. Come on, UPS. I’m excited. And thanks so much for having me.
[00:02:23] We got a sneak peek. Fantastic. I look forward to it. We’ll critique him before he goes on stage. Make sure you’re ready. I appreciate that. Of course. So far already it’s a free service. Yes, right. If our audience can’t tell, we’ve had a good time on the conversation. And right as we were going along, we got a little kind of the Batman scene story from AJ about kind of how the company was founded.
[00:02:45] And one of the really neat applications, which we’ll talk about in a second. But for starters, A.J., you know, we always like our guests to kind of paint a picture of who they are and their professional journey with our audience or tell us more about yourself.
[00:02:58] Yeah. So my name’s A.J. I grew up in New York. I went to high school in a small boarding school and New Hampshire called Phillips Exeter, where I graduate early to work in the United States Senate and spent a few years on Capitol Hill doing national security stuff. And when you’re in Capitol Hill, you have an opportunity to meet really cool, interesting people working on some really big problems connected with one of those people and from their desire to start Cenveo and start providing value to, you know, hundreds and thousands of companies across the country.
[00:03:29] So what was your favorite aspect of working in D.C., the city?
[00:03:36] I mean, everything about that city is amazing. There’s so many things to do. The energy there is is it is something special. And I always felt like a DC because you’re working so much policy and of course, politics. You really have an opportunity to change the world in what you’re doing day to day.
[00:03:53] And that’s something that’s really infectious in the history. I really I really love the history. Now it’s just surrounds you at all times and that kind of grounds you as you do, try to change the world. Right. Give you some perspective on things. Absolutely.
[00:04:06] So, A.J., you mentioned Syntheo. Tell us about the company and what it does and also looking back how you got here.
[00:04:13] Yeah. So I’ll just start with kind of our origin story, which is we started to help professional and college sports teams decide who to draft and who to sign. So it’s always amazing to me that I’ll use Tom Brady as an example because I was at school in New Hampshire that turned to the greatest quarterback of all time. So that’s that’s hard to say. But he went one hundred ninety ninth overall. Right. And a lot of that is because scouts, despite having seemingly every resource in the world, money, time experience, couldn’t predict that he was going to be great and instead draft people who bussed in a year or two. Yeah. So I start to look at the problems Sandeep natural tack and problem solver is what could I see? What could technology solve that wasn’t being addressed today? And what we figured out was it wasn’t how they calculated a lot of the things they’re doing, the NFL draft. Like 40 time jumping and you know how accurate you threw the ball. It was more than that. It was the person’s mental makeup, how they treated themselves, how they treat their coaches. Did they show up to work on time? Were they obsessed with football? They almost like what were they doing when nobody else was watching. And so we built Tech Syntheo, which is technology to measure the mental makeup of an individual to predict how they will perform in certain environments. And as we started to grow in sports and actually our sports clients doubled their win percentage over the first two years of working with us. We looked at the mark and said, hey, there’s hundred and fifty professional sports teams, but there’s 27 million small businesses that can use that same tech and feel very similar pain of picking the wrong people. And we’re able to deploy that in a really, really easy way on our Web site and on our platform.
[00:06:01] So in our warm up, we were talking about the wide variety of of guests and the perspectives we have here. And some are decidedly Celsi and some are very decidedly focused and passionate about what they do. You seem to be the latter. Yes. Tell us about what you do within the business.
[00:06:17] Yeah. So I am a head of product. So Syntheo is my baby. I love it. It took me, you know, two, three. You also have a baby. Yeah. New love to love her. Love her. You know, my my situation was I did have a lot money to get started. And so I worked out of a cookie factory for two years. We’re seriously in order to get to my desk. You had to open the refrigerator and put on like a white coat just for me to get to my computer. And so I remember the days where I was doing all these calculations. And A.I. came into place, of course, of combining technology and psychology and spreadsheets, begging people, please let me analyze your workforce. Please let me do your candidates, because you have all this fundamental issues with your hiring process, but you’re not doing anything to really address it. And so I still do that today. I still manage the product. I am obsessed with where we are and where we’re going. And, you know, I think that we’re solving a really pervasive problem that a lot of companies, Lopera companies have. And honestly, it’s a it’s a really unique thing that doesn’t happen very often in tongue.
[00:07:24] Mm hmm. Wow. Cookies just about every single time. I don’t eat cookies much anymore now I do.
[00:07:32] And if we needed some extra money, we used to just hop on the assembly line and start making cookies.
[00:07:37] I love that, you know. I think so many startups and entrepreneurs and folks that are trying to act on on this idea or this solution or this product that drives them can relate to exactly what you Sheer there. So. So congratz going from that environment to what you’re doing now. And on that note, of course, you’re one of the featured presenters here at Tech Talk, which is I think a huge honor. And I think when the cool things about this were talked about this in the earlier segment is, you know, this mix of having entrepreneurs and start ups and early stage companies with some of the continued tars and some of the other speakers they had here today. That’s a that’s a that’s a healthy cross-pollination that that is needed. All right. So give us a sneak peek of some of your key messaging points that you’re going to share in our new presentation.
[00:08:27] Yeah. So kind of the problem that Sandeep is addressing first and foremost is employee turnover. So a lot people talk about the labor market and how there’s not a lot of fail talent out there. But in doing so, they ignore the fact that there’s 73 percent turnover and the hourly workforce. So if you have 50 people working at your at your manufacturing plant or chuckers, you’re going to have to hire 35 more. And so it’s our perspective that you need to hire people first, the right time to invest in technology to make sure that those who you are hiring, it’s not just a warm body, it’s somebody that fits your core values, somebody that will have the mental makeup to stay long term. And kind of on your earlier point, I really liked what you said just because I think in any innovation, there’s really two facets. There’s one, the creation of innovation and innovative products. And more importantly, no reason why I’m excited to be here today and that everybody is in the same room is the adaptation, the adoption of said innovation products, because as a technologist and as a tech CEO, I can go and I can build it. What I think is cool and what I think can solve a really big problem. But if it doesn’t get adopted and people don’t start using it and start paying for it, then companies and technologies like Sendhil go away. Right. So it’s almost like that’s it. Of course, natural selection will select what the best products are and what companies will survive. But there is a responsibility, in my opinion, both sides, to make sure that you’re doing your part to continue pushing the industry forward.
[00:09:57] It seems like predict. Analytics are being much more scepters from a behavioral standpoint.
[00:10:04] And really, I I would argue across generations. You know, obviously the newer generations that are in the workforce last 10 years, they are they are being digital natives or they’re probably more wired and geared towards predictive analytics and data analysis in general. But I think across the generations there’s more adoption and more a greater openness to using predictive analytics. Is that what you’re seeing?
[00:10:30] Yeah, I think so. I think that whenever it comes to human capital, it’s still a little bit slow, a lot slower than, let’s say, operations. And a lot of that is because the people in H.R., it’s not that they’re not open to new ideas. It’s they’re doing so much. And they’re not just dealing with hiring. They’re doing onboarding culture, training, safety and just about everything in between that whenever you can solve one of their issues, it kind of puts all of their other processes in question. And that decision making process just takes a really long time.
[00:11:00] In addition to that being wildly underfunded, despite, in my opinion, producing and working on the most important aspect of the business, I think too, and particularly with hiring, companies have just enough success to make them feel right about it. And it’s a very emote. This is a very emotional change to let go of that, to confess that you are not the best judge of the best people for your company. That’s a really difficult thing to do.
[00:11:27] Yeah, and it’s really expensive. So to replace an hourly worker, you know, we work a lot with Logistics McDonald’s. That’s the sample, is it? McDonald’s uses us to hire every single person in one of their locations. So whether you’re a delivery driver, you’re at drive thru or you’re in a fry cook. They understand that it costs nearly 5000 dollars to replace and train a new hourly employee. So when you look at figures like, hey, I have 50 people on the manufacturing line, there’s 73 percent turnover. So I have to hire 35, 35 times five is what, one hundred fifty thousand dollars? You have to spend your annual turnover costs. And those are the things that we try to bring into H.R.. We’re talking about it when we’re talking with them just because companies don’t necessarily see it as a revenue generating department and therefore it goes underfunded. Bodi, start saying, hey, we’re gonna save you thousand dollars twenty thousand ten thousand one, hire five thousand dollars. That’s when you start getting the people, you know, going back to the H.R. leadership.
[00:12:28] While some companies, especially large ones with more resources in the last few years have created talent acquisition teams and armies of T-A professionals to be able to address this this this war for talent air we’re in, although we had some from Southwire MHR leader really challenged me on the use of that phrase and basically implied that the company is just getting creative enough and they’re not looking to diversify where they get their talent from. Yet that aside, the companies that don’t have those resources that don’t, you know, aren’t able to hire these armies of talent acquisition focus folks. To your point, these are H.R. leaders have have full overflowing plates. Right. They don’t have time to do all the different things that that we’re talking about. So this is where your technology can come in and really help make better calculated bets on the hires.
[00:13:23] Yeah. Yeah. Correct. So the way our tech works is it’s an assessment that candidates take. And based on the assessment, we give them a score of 1 through 10 based on their probability succeed and your company and your culture and your environment that you’ve spent so much money creating. And so companies right now typically wait until the interview process or they wait until the final hire to administer assessments. They say, hey, the final five, let’s get them all assessments. But Sentier, what we’ve done is we’ve used a-I to really make that assessment really cost effective and really easy to use so that people actually put it at the front stage of their hiring process. So people are putting it in their job description saying we will not even consider you unless you take this assessment. So instead of looking at a huge candidate pool and kind of going through all those resumes and then doing interviews, they’re for their first knowing they’ll know before they even start who has what it takes and who does it. And therefore, less screening, less interviews, better hires, reduce turnover like it.
[00:14:26] So like you’re sort of providing a proof pre filtering before they filter hamos rhetoric. Do they have the ambition, the guts, whatever you want to say to take the assessment?
[00:14:36] Plus, you’re able to focus OLM instead of focusing on everyone. It gives you one additional filter to focus on the folks that that that we need to be focusing on. Nick Moha ability stamp.
[00:14:47] Yeah, right. And I think I think too that especially in Supply chain, so much of it is skilled workers. And a lot of times now kind of what you’re seeing on the war on talent is they can’t possibly find talent. For talent, yes, for talent is people now are hiring kind of these these Greene people and then training them up. And what our technology does, we don’t do hard screening. What we do is we figure out that person has the attitude or they can show up on time. Are they going work out with your with your managers really? Well, are they going to smile, you know, kind of all of these things as soft things that, in my opinion, are far more important than knowing than having CDL license? Yeah, because you could train those things, but you can’t necessarily change who you are. And that is what employers, in my opinion, should be focusing on.
[00:15:35] Mm hmm. And teach speed. Right. Right. Right. Yeah. Right. But you can’t teach somebody to flip a burger, right. Drive a truck. Any of those things. But you have to have that core value. Match is so critical. You know, we I was taught many years ago that you you hire, evaluate, fire based on your core values. So that being the case, I wonder, is that part of how the assessment is created? Do companies share with you? There are things like that.
[00:16:10] They don’t share with us today what they do instead, what we feel to be really, really effective is that they take their top three performers in a particular role and sent to using A.I. And the 80 years of scientific research called Psycholinguistics learns what those three people have in common mentally, where they’re short caught shared core values, where their shared needs with their shared personality traits and uses that as a tailored benchmark for that particular position. So when incoming candidates come in, they are compared to your top performing people because the math should work, where if you hire more people like your best people, they probably exhibit the core values that you’ve set out because you’ve already tested your current employees with that and you ultimately reduce your turnover unhappier with your new hires.
[00:16:58] So that’s great. Yeah, it is. And you’re already answering the question that I’m going to ask you, but I want to ask you, because there might be some other perspective here. No wonder there’s more technology coming into the talent space. You’re right. There’s that. There’s going to boom, whether it’s name is screening selection tools, whether it is the workforce development tools that, you know, for talent training and some other things. Why is this? Was this the naive question? But why? Why is it and what else do you see?
[00:17:33] That’s a very difficult question to ask in a kind of a five minute time frame. But I think there’s good one. There’s there’s a very there’s a changing of guard in human resources where there’s younger people coming into those roles that care more about data and analytics than the incoming class. And it’s interesting because there’s so much inefficiencies in human resource and stop because we’re not also matter that people aren’t trying. It’s because there’s so many large data sets, the factors that go into, let’s say, a hiring decision and that we don’t articulate and that we don’t put a number on a piece of paper because it so one part of the business that it feels soft, like you still use your gut reaction and somebody smile can impact your hiring. Right. People I mean, it’s people people are so is so unpredictable. But but like the very definition of A.I. is bringing structure to otherwise unstructured data. Right. And so when we are able to to articulate a lot of these new data sets, like psychology, like what is this person’s score of agreeableness, one through one hundred A provides a lot of opportunity for technology like Syntheo, where we’re able to take all of that really soft and and unstructured data and provide a lot of really exciting insights based off of that.
[00:18:56] So, you know, it’s also possible that during the hiring process that some of that doesn’t get exposed. You don’t ask the right questions. You don’t ask it the right way. It’s not interpreted by the know by the candidate properly. So many things may not get exposed in the hiring process. Absent this very disciplined methodology. Right. Yeah.
[00:19:16] And and to like a lot of times we’ll have the question of like we’ll meet with the CEO. And the interesting thing about it is the CEO has a very distinct type of person that they want to hire. And from the from the top all the way to the bottom. And so you’re using his gut reaction to make that hiring class, him or her, of course. And they are employing somebody in human resources using their gut to then make another gut decision. And so there’s a lot of uncertainties that I think with technology and of course, with artificial intelligence is you is able to provide a lot of efficiency for.
[00:19:56] You tend to hire people who are like you subconsciously. Yes. And so you have a bunch of people who are who wind up like or having the same strengths or weaknesses as the CEO. And then they don’t complement one another. Right.
[00:20:09] They like how they’re all kinds of down. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, if you look at the statistics, especially when it comes to workforce discrimination and hiring is you know, there’s factors that you have to think about is what what’s a person wearing when they come and visit you? What’s is their handshake hard or is it sort. Yeah. And what’s their hair like and what color? Their eyes. There’s a lot of study. What your name is like. People with not white sounding names receive 50 percent more callbacks than otherwise. And so, you know, I think that it’s really, really name is literally white. I probably never get held back. So I think it’s really, really important from a human perspective is to take a lot of our inherent biases out of the hiring process and allow really empirical data into really non-bias technology to make really hard but important hiring decisions like that.
[00:21:01] And it’s it’s unquestionably thorough every time. So that’s a really that’s a really valuable technology. I appreciate it. Thank you.
[00:21:09] And I think of the baseball scouting, not talk about changing the guard. You know, for years, for decades, for generations. Scouting was what you’re describing. Right. And still goes on, of course, across all major sports. But there’s there’s obviously a huge reason why we’re seeing these teams leverage technology and other things when millions of dollars are at stake for four very well-founded reasons. So I got to ask you, because all this reminds me of one of my favorite movies to watch, Moneyball really being. Yeah. Oh, what? I hadn’t read the book. I’m guilty as charged. But there’s a book.
[00:21:47] It’s about Rosenau. Yeah. A better book, though, is if you just start to research sabermetrics, it’s kind of the the how the algorithms get Bill and how they were able to take all of that, take it and make a championship winning team. I love it.
[00:22:03] I love it. It’s so fascinating and it’s so intuitive. Yeah. With how you’re applying it to talent. And I loved the roots and the quarterbacks. We’re talking as we’re coming on about the bears and the Texans, how they chose Trubisky little higher than my favorite one, my favorite college players of all time, Deshaun Watson. And I knew using my gut, of course in my favorite my my my partiality. Yeah. That that should’ve been flipped. But you know who calls me on draft day. No one. Right. Yeah. But. I love the application and the roots. So beyond today’s keynote, IT folks will reach out to you and get in touch. Learn more about Syntheo, how they do that.
[00:22:39] Yeah. So we have multiple Web sites depending on what marketing marketing we’re doing. So we work with a lot of different product guy, right? Yeah. So we have a lot different landing pages. So if you go to my Syntheo dot com slash s as in Sam and C as in Cam’ron SC for Supply chain, that’s going to be have a lot of information about our current customers who are in supply chain space and are providing are getting a lot of value from deploying Cynthia.
[00:23:09] Ok, cool. It is really, really neat technology. I’m looking forward to your keynote today. And you got more travel coming up. Any more red-eye flights the next few weeks? I’m sure it’s usually a day or two notice. Opportunistic, right? Yeah, opportunistic. Fantastic. Well, we’ve been speaking with AJ Waikiki founder and CEO Syntheo. Really a fascinating business that ya, ya, ya, ya and hyperspeed lately.
[00:23:32] Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, you know, I knock on wood, but one of the fastest growing companies in the southeast, we’re doing our best work and really hard and any support that we can get from the community. We’d really appreciate.
[00:23:44] Outstanding. Yeah. Okay. Provide an invaluable service. And in the end, that’s what makes a great company. Yes. I appreciate that. Thank you. Good stuff.
[00:23:53] Well, thanks for joining us today. Appreciate it. Oh, here on Supply Chain Now Radio to our listener, stay tuned as we continue our coverage of the 2019 South Carolina fall Logistics tech talk. And be sure to check out an Apple podcast, SoundCloud, YouTube, wherever else you get your podcasts from. You can find all of our past episodes are upcoming events and a lot more at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. So for Greg White Scott Luton and the entire Supply Chain Now Radio gang. Have a great day and we will see you next time on Supply Chain Now Radio.
AJ Richichi is the founder and CEO of Charleston-based SENTIO. Before joining the corporate world, Richichi graduated early from Phillips Exeter Academy to work on Capitol Hill for Senator Ayotte (R-NH) in national security. Richichi’s work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Yahoo! Finance, International Business Times, and Vogue. After winning the New York State Business Plan Competition in 2015, Richichi was named as 40 under 40 recipient and “Technology Executive of the Year” in Central New York. Richichi is currently co-chair of Charleston Open Source and founded the global human resources conference DisruptHR in Greenville. He also volunteers as a mentor at the College of Charleston “ImpactX Program” and the Citadel “Bulldog Business Bowl”. Learn more about Sentio here: https://mysentio.com/
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
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.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
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.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.