Supply Chain Now Radio
Episode 195

Episode Summary

In this episode, Scott Luton and Greg White welcome AJ Richichi to Supply Chain Now Radio the SC Logistics Tech Talk.

Episode Transcript

[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.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Watch Scott and Greg as they interview AJ Richichi for SCNR Episode 195 at the SC Logistics Tech Talk in Charleston, SC.

Featured Guests

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/

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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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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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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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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Allison Giddens

Host

Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.

She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.

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Billy Taylor

Host

Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.

An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.

A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.

A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning.  He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.

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Tandreia Bellamy

Host

Tandreia Bellamy retired as the Vice President of Industrial Engineering for UPS Supply Chain Solutions which included the Global Logistics, Global Freight Forwarding and UPS Freight business units. She was responsible for operations strategy and planning, asset management, forecasting, and technology tool development to optimize sustainable efficiency while driving world class service.

Tandreia held similar positions at the business unit level for Global Logistics and Global Freight forwarding. As the leader of the Global Logistics engineering function, she directed all industrial engineering activies related to distribution, service parts logistics (post-sales support), and mail innovations (low cost, light weight shipping partnership with the USPS). Between these roles Tandreia helped to establish the Advanced Technology Group which was formed to research and develop cutting edge solutions focused on reducing reliance on manual labor.

Tandreia began her career in 1986 as a part-time hourly manual package handling employee. She spent the great majority of her career in the small package business unit which is responsible for the pick-up, sort, transport and delivery of packages domestically. She held various positions in Industrial Engineering, Marketing, Inside and On-road operations in Central Florida before transferring to Atlanta for a position in Corporate Product Development and Corporate Industrial Engineering. Tandreia later held IE leadership roles in Nebraska, Minnesota and Chicago. In her final role in small package she was an IE VP responsible for all aspects of IE, technology support and quality for the 25 states on the western half of the country.
Tandreia is currently a Director for the University of Central Florida (UCF) Foundation Board and also serves on their Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Previously Tandreia served on the Executive Advisory Board for Virginia Tech’s IE Department and the Association for Supply Chain Management. She served on the Board of Trustees for ChildServ (a Chicago child and family services non-profit) and also served on the Texas A&M and Tuskegee Engineering Advisory Boards. In 2006 she was named Business Advisor of the Year by INROADS, in 2009 she was recognized as a Technology All-Star at the Women of Color in STEM conference and in 2019 she honored as a UCF Distinguished Aluma by the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems.

Tandreia holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems from UCF. Her greatest accomplishment, however, is being the proud mother of two college students, Ruby (24) and Anthony (22).

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Marty Parker

Host

Marty Parker serves as both the CEO & Founder of Adæpt Advising and an award-winning Senior Lecturer (Teaching Professor) in Supply Chain and Operations Management at the University of Georgia. He has 30 years of experience as a COO, CMO, CSO (Chief Strategy Officer), VP of Operations, VP of Marketing and Process Engineer. He founded and leads UGA’s Supply Chain Advisory Board, serves as the Academic Director of UGA’s Leaders Academy, and serves on multiple company advisory boards including the Trucking Profitability Strategies Conference, Zion Solutions Group and Carlton Creative Company.

Marty enjoys helping people and companies be successful. Through UGA, Marty is passionate about his students, helping them network and find internships and jobs. He does this through several hundred one-on-one zoom meetings each year with his students and former students. Through Adæpt Advising, Marty has organized an excellent team of affiliates that he works with to help companies grow and succeed. He does this by helping c-suite executives improve their skills, develop better leaders, engage their workforce, improve processes, and develop strategic plans with detailed action steps and financial targets. Marty believes that excellence in supply chain management comes from the understanding the intersection of leadership, culture, and technology, working across all parts of the organization to meet customer needs, maximize profit and minimize costs.

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

Laura Lopez serves as our Supply Chain Now Marketing Coordinator. She graduated from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente in Mexico with a degree in marketing. Laura loves everything digital because she sees the potential it holds for companies in the marketing industry. Her passion for creativity and thinking outside the box led her to pursue a career in marketing. With experience in fields like accounting, digital marketing, and restaurants, she clearly enjoys taking on challenges. Laura lives the best of both worlds - you'll either catch her hanging out with her friends soaking up the sun in Mexico or flying out to visit her family in California!

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Jake Barr

Host

An acknowledged industry leader, Jake Barr now serves as CEO for BlueWorld Supply Chain Consulting, providing support to a cross section of Fortune 500 companies such as Cargill, Caterpillar, Colgate, Dow/Dupont, Firmenich, 3M, Merck, Bayer/Monsanto, Newell Brands, Kimberly Clark, Nestle, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Sanofi, Estee Lauder and Coty among others. He's also devoted time to engagements in public health sector work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At P&G, he managed the breakthrough delivery of an E2E (End to End) Planning Transformation effort, creating control towers which now manage the daily business globally. He is recognized as the architect for P&G’s demand driven supply chain strategy – referenced as a “Consumer Driven Supply Chain” transformation. Jake began his career with P&G in Finance in Risk Analysis and then moved into Operations. He has experience in building supply network capability globally through leadership assignments in Asia, Latin America, North America and the Middle East. He currently serves as a Research Associate for MIT; a member of Supply Chain Industry Advisory Council; Member of Gartner’s Supply Chain Think Tank; Consumer Goods “League of Leaders“; and a recipient of the 2015 - 2021 Supply Chain “Pro’s to Know” Award. He has been recognized as a University of Kentucky Fellow.

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Marcia Williams

Host

Marcia Williams, Managing Partner of USM Supply Chain, has 18 years of experience in Supply Chain, with expertise in optimizing Supply Chain-Finance Planning (S&OP/ IBP) at Large Fast-Growing CPGs for greater profitability and improved cash flows. Marcia has helped mid-sized and large companies including Lindt Chocolates, Hershey, and Coty. She holds an MBA from Michigan State University and a degree in Accounting from Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay (South America). Marcia is also a Forbes Council Contributor based out of New York, and author of the book series Supply Chains with Maria in storytelling style. A recent speaker’s engagement is Marcia TEDx Talk: TEDxMSU - How Supply Chain Impacts You: A Transformational Journey.

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Luisa Garcia is a passionate Marketer from Lagos de Moreno based in Aguascalientes. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico. She specializes in brand development at any stage, believing that a brand is more than just a name or image—it’s an unforgettable experience. Her expertise helps brands achieve their dreams and aspirations, making a lasting impact. Currently working at Vector Global Logistics in the Marketing team and as podcast coordinator of Logistics With Purpose®. Luisa believes that purpose-driven decisions will impact results that make a difference in the world.

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Astrid Aubert was born in Guadalajara, she is 39 years old and has had the opportunity to live in many places. She studied communication and her professional career has been in Trade Marketing for global companies such as Pepsico and Mars. She currently works as Marketing Director Mexico for Vector Global Logistics. She is responsible for internal communications and marketing strategy development for the logistics industry. She is a mother of two girls, married and lives in Monterrey. She defines herself as a creative and innovative person, and enjoys traveling and cooking a lot.

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Constantine Limberakis

Host

Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research.Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

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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 & Host

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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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.

When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.

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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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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.

Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.

Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

Mary Kate Love is currently the VP of marketing at Supply Chain Now focused on brand strategy and audience + revenue growth. Mary Kate’s career is a testament to her versatility and innovative spirit: she has experience in start-ups, venture capital, and building innovation initiatives from the ground up: she previously helped lead the build-out of the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific and before that, MxD (Manufacturing times Digital): the Department of Defense’s digital manufacturing innovation center. Mary Kate has a passion for taking complicated ideas and turning them into reality: she was one of the first team members at MxD and the first team member at the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific.

Mary Kate dedicates her extra time to education and mentorship: she was one of the founding Board Members for Women Influence Chicago and led an initiative for a city-wide job shadow day for young women across Chicago tech companies and was previously on the Board of Directors at St. Laurence High School in Chicago, Young Irish Fellowship Board and the UN Committee for Women. Mary Kate is the founder of National Supply Chain Day and enjoys co-hosting podcasts at Supply Chain Now. Mary Kate is from the south side of Chicago, a mom of two baby boys, and an avid 16-inch softball player. She holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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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.

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys.  She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.

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