Prefer to watch the podcast in action rather than just listen? Watch Scott and Greg as they interview Jon Cox for SCNR Episode 205 at the SC Logistics Tech Talk in Charleston, SC.
[00:00:05] It’s time for Supply Chain Now Radio. Broadcasting live 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] Good afternoon, Scott Luton here with you, love on Supply Chain Now Radio. Welcome back to the show. We’re not in land today. We’re broadcasting live from the South Carolina Fall Logistics Tech Talk event in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina. Here at the Guilliani Center, we continue this coverage in partnership with the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness. And as we’ve seen throughout these conversations thus far and we’ll see more here today. This event really highlights some of the leading innovative companies that are driving the Logistics industry in the general business environment. Ford and the state of South Carolina. Quick programing like all of our series on Supply Chain Now Radio. You can find our replays on a wide variety of channels Apple podcasts, SoundCloud, YouTube, wherever else you get your podcast from. As always, we look. We’d love to have you subscribe to Don’t see thing. So you could hear MacOS agreeing with that statement on all these innovative conversations here in the background. Greg White serial supply chain tech entrepreneur and trusted advisor and board member. Greg, how you doing?
[00:01:29] I’m doing great. It’s great to be here. It is inspiring to see this. I mean, we sit down with a lot of organizations and events and government entities, and it’s really interesting. Two times in a row we’re two for two. Right. We have seen real momentum, real desire to help and real ability to deliver here in this state. They’re making stuff happen. Agreed. And when you save two for two, you’re referencing the last of Videgaray I A-G. SCAC and Automator. Yeah.
[00:02:01] Yeah. Which was really neat. There’s so much automotive driving in the driven industry, no pun intended, taking place in the state. And then we’re back roughly three weeks later where we’re kind of focused on, well, Logistics tech supply chain freight. Tick, tick, tick, tick on the right on the big enterprise level. But also some of the startups that are here are some of the early stage companies that are really offering next generation technology solutions. So, yeah. But here today on this episode, we’re welcoming in one of the leaders in industry where what well-recognized global brand DHL Supply chain we welcome and John Cox, director of Solutions Design with the organization. John. How you doing? Doing great. Happy to be here. We are, too. We hated that. Understood. You gave a keynote earlier today. I heard it went really well. Some of the folks said that they had to pull you off the state and too many Q&A.
[00:02:52] That’s exactly right. Yeah, I know. We had we had a great response from the crowd, which is always good to see. Right. We had I gave a presentation about innovation. We had somebody from my real estate solutions team up there were making a lot of investment in South Carolina. So, yeah, got it. Got a good, good reaction to the crowded room today. So it’s good to have that right.
[00:03:13] So speaking of the big investment in South Carolina, DHL came out with news not too long ago about a huge new, I think, 100 million dollar distribution investment. Tell us more about that.
[00:03:25] Yeah. Actually, it’s it’s pretty exciting. It’s in St. George, South Carolina is the location. It’s approximate to it’s 26 and ninety five for those overlap. Ten nice strategic location for us and our customers. It’s I believe 2 million square feet totals what the planned development is. We’ve got part of that I think is is ready go for a customer. Right.
[00:03:50] But this is one of those, you know, kind of buy it before he needed type of a situation. Right. So we’re always that’s part of our real estate strategies. We want to be looking a few years out. You know, what’s the next area that we need to invest in? And so years ago, we had done that upstate in South Carolina. Right. So we’ve got 4 4 distribution centers. We run up in the I-85 corridor. Right. And so we’re looking to expand our presence. Right. There’s a lot of interest in, you know, and you talk about the automotive sector and talk about engineering and manufacturing in the state of South Carolina. It’s a it’s a it’s a growth opportunity for us here in North America.
[00:04:29] This is our next campus area, 125 acres, DHL commerce part, as you mentioned, the St George. Three new buildings, huge facility. And I miss this when I’ve heard the news first a few months back, it’s gonna be complete it quick. It’s got to be completed by first quarter 2020. That’s playing now. So we’ve seen time at DHS. No, absolutely not. So let’s talk more about. I think most folks are familiar with DHL, DHL, supply chain. Yeah. One. Yeah. Yeah. Liegghio Supply chain is one of the offerings of this Scoble enterprise. You could tell us more about the show Supply chain and then tell us more about your role within it. Yeah, absolutely.
[00:05:08] So dematic supply chain. Yeah, she mentioned we’re a division of Deutsche Post, DHL, Dutch Post, DHL being a 60 billion dollar company present in 200 countries across the globe. We’ve got four divisions, so Parcel E Commerce, DHL Globe before adding DHL Supply chain. And then I think a lot of people are most familiar probably with the DHL Express business here in the States. But then worldwide. Right, that’s those are the trucks you see out on the road. Right. And so our division is the contract logistics division of DHL. We’re the world’s leading contract logistics company. And here in North America, we are the largest operator of warehouse space. So I think we’re about 2x our competition while an operating warehouse space. So I would never guess that. Yeah. So we’ve got we’ve got a very large presence in the warehousing side. We also run I think we run about 15 hundred power units in our dedicated fleet. So we’ve got a lot of dedicated fleets, mostly auto aftermarket delivery. But then we also have we’re in all verticals. Their fleets, retail delivery. We are running, you know, for for various alcohol distributors are running shadow operations. So we’ve got a pretty broad scope even within the transportation. We also manage about a billion and half of freight under management for a variety of customers. So before.
[00:06:29] So currently you as director of Solutions Design, we’ll talk more about what you do in that role. But let’s go backwards a little bit. Yeah, flipping things around Sheer. Tell us more about, you know, your professional journey and kind of what led to where you put what you do now.
[00:06:42] Yeah. No. Great question. So I went to college at Ohio State.
[00:06:47] I was getting a business degree there and I didn’t really know exactly what to do. And so I I met with an advisor who introduced me to. They had a good Logistics program and says, I guess it sounds pretty interesting. Right. And so got a degree and Logistics management and got my first job at a college just doing load planning and track and trace. And I thought, you know, maybe I don’t know exactly what to do. Right. So it just kind of like you really just you get your feet wet. Right. But then I actually came to work for it was then called Excel 0 7. And I was involved with. We had a final mile delivery company division of DHL of Excel at the time called Excel Direct. And we did furniture and appliance, white glove delivery. And I ran their centralized writing team. And that was a very interesting right. Those those very unique, you know, and I was it wasn’t my first job. It was all it was it was tire manufacturers inbound. Oh, yeah. This was going into people’s houses. Totally different situation. Right. So got exposed to a lot of stuff within Excel. Right. So I moved into the solutions design team not long after that. And I think what’s really exciting about our department is we get to touch so much of the organization. Right. And so in my role, you know, we have our are areas of expertise across our different verticals within DHL Supply chain. But, you know, I’m touching all sorts of different operations, different projects. Right. And so to me, I love I love the fast paced nature of Logistics and supply chain. I love that, you know, there’s a lot of interesting challenges out there. Right. I’m I’m drawn to problem solving. And I think there’s there’s an infinite amount that in this in this industry. Right.
[00:08:34] So so let’s talk about. Yes. Some of the challenges out there. This next question is, what’s what’s on your radar more than others right now? I mean, what are what are you hearing about where you spend your time? What do your customers care most about?
[00:08:46] Yeah. So, you know, from again, solutions designed were about two thirds of our work is on new business. Right. So were we’re always looking for what’s going to make us attractive in the marketplace.
[00:08:57] Right. And so that’s been, you know, innovation, broadly speaking. Right. But trying to find, you know, whether it’s an autonomous solution within the four walls. Right. To whether we’re talking about an HGV solution or a collaborative robotics. Right. What’s something that, you know, has a good return on investment for us? Because you guys keep mind within within our space. You were on, you know, three to five year contracts typically. Right. So we need to be cognizant of the upfront investment. Right. And be able to recoup that investment not just for us, but for our customers. And yeah. But now that the costs technology is coming down, you’re seeing a lot more things in play and customers want to see that innovation. Right. So for us, it’s changed from you know, we’ve been a little hesitant on innovation in the past. Now we’re all in right now. Everybody in the organization has has ownership over being thinking about, you know, things that are out there in the marketplace. So we can bring in whether to robotics vendor or something we can develop in-house. Right. And so the culture has really. Changed to one where innovation comes first. Right. And so I think that’s that’s been a big change that I’ve seen over the years. You know, what keeps me up, though, is being a, you know, kind of thinking what’s next? Right. And so there’s a lot of buzz out there. Right, whether it’s blockchain or autonomous vehicles or, you know, autonomous M-80 or, you know, drones, whatever it is, there’s a lot of buzz words out there. What is going to be that next impactful thing that’s going to differentiate DHL in the marketplace? And so, you know, we get a lot of teams working on this. Right. That’s that’s where a lot of my attention goes a bit.
[00:10:32] You’re trying to predict sort of the next big thing.
[00:10:35] Daryl. Yeah, exactly. So and in our role, that’s I mean, the organizations look in solutions designed to help lead that. Right. And so our group is you know, we got it. We you know, we tend a lot of industry conferences. We go and meet with vendors and we hear what’s going on. You know, hear what’s new in upcoming. Right. And we’ve introduced some innovations to the business through that. Right. So, you know, whether it’s going to mutex or pro-GM ad or what have you. Right. Go to the big industry conferences, meet every beit’s there and, you know, try to find an application for a specific customer when the time’s right.
[00:11:09] So when you win, you must spend a lot of time talking to your customers as well. Right. To understand the issues that they’re having. Is there anything that you’re seeing that people are shouting?
[00:11:20] Yeah. People want faster. They weren’t flexible. Right. They were in flex, flex, faster, flexible, responsive. Right. Cause think about it. That’s that’s where their business is going. Yeah. I mean, everybody you know, people talk about the Amazon effect know almost ad nauseum. Right. But, you know, that’s that’s where everybody’s mindset is definitely in retail. But even in, you know, the consumer packaged goods companies thinking about this. Right. You know, order sizes are getting smaller. Right. So you got to think about what’s that due to a warehouse profile. Right. You know, what’s my labor going to look like? Even our existing operations, we’re seeing you, you know, just quicker. SLA is about, you know, processing orders through the warehouse on the transportation front. Right. It’s all about visibility. Right. I want to be able to be, you know, nor my freight that be responsive. If you know, if something happens in transit, how can I recover that shipment? Right. So, you know, that’s and that’s the pressure that our customers are facing from their customers. Right.
[00:12:14] You know, that’s that’s our role as a third party logistics provider to, you know, to take care of that for for our customers.
[00:12:21] A ton of pressure out there. Yeah, ton of pressure. Well, so how can folks learn more about you clearly are out. You mentioned mutex and pro-GM out. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:12:32] Just we’ve got people at a lot of industry conferences. Right.
[00:12:35] So, you know, we were just had we had a contingent added to the S&P a few weeks ago. Right. Yep, absolutely.
[00:12:43] You know, we’re we’re at most of the major conferences. We’ve got a booth will usually have some folks who are speaking. Right. Obviously, a website, DHL, dot.coms, great place to go. You know, we’re all over LinkedIn as well. Right. So you look for me, you can look for my colleagues.
[00:12:59] Right. So mutex in Atlanta. Yes. In March, we’re gonna be there as well. In fact, mutex is hosting our 2020 Atlanta Supply chain. It works as much as we like Charleston. And what is going on here? We’re also proud of what goes on from my Indians. Yeah. It’s Tamplin in Atlanta. So are you gonna be at mutex in March?
[00:13:16] I don’t believe I. I don’t know. I don’t know. Yeah. So I might I might see you there. I was. It was that eye for transport in Atlanta over some of you work.
[00:13:23] Yeah. So I think I saw you guys this booth. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, I think you guys may have met with the Manjeet Singh. Yes.
[00:13:30] Our party. Yeah. Yeah. I work a lot with Manjeet. John, were you also at Jumpstart?
[00:13:36] Yeah. Let’s anywhere. Yes, I was. Okay. Absolutely. And also a manager.
[00:13:40] Yes. We interviewed Manjeet Own. That was one of our earliest trade shows we covered in person. Yeah. And he gave a great interview. Yeah. Faceand certainly was a big part of innovation. Technology worked very closely with his team and he’s sharp. Yeah. Okay. So I got to ask you, that took office question. How state. Yes. They look an awful dominant. Yes, they are. So you got a big game and we’re gonna date ourselves. But they got a big game against Wisconsin coming up this weekend. Guess what? And to also taught back in locally is that the quarterback that transfer from you just just feels it to high school.
[00:14:17] Yeah. Daughters looking on. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Is this the year? Could be. Yeah. So here’s my take on it. This is the most complete state team I think I’ve ever seen.
[00:14:29] You know, I in this good I I’m thirty seven years old so I remember very fondly the ninety five team that really kind of laid an egg against Michigan and then against fate Manning in the in the Citrus Bowl. But you know, I think this is compared to the national title teams that we’ve had. Yeah. Every bit as good as one of those teams. So yeah. Just some fields has been incredible as a as a first year Sciarrotta for us. And then you got Jake Dobbins, master Teague in the backfield. Feel pretty good about our chances. I bet you are. We’ll see. We’ve got a. Well, we got a big one this Saturday against Wisconsin, they got a pretty tough team and they’re going to be angry.
[00:15:02] Yes, they are. Yeah. Well, we’ll see. Well, fascinating. I appreciate you think to have Supply chain live like yourself come out and engage and be big at these events. Sharing best practices, sharing what you’re learning and really supporting the rest of the players industry. You know, a lot of the startups that are here. Yeah. Which is important. You know. Yeah. Making connections between the big players and the startups and all points in between.
[00:15:30] So I love meeting with the startups. Be honest with the I mean, you know, in DHL, you know, we’ve got a massive corporation where you get a different culture and you meet these startups. I mean, just the the the visionaries who are running those companies, the passion began. Yeah. You’ve learned so much from those companies just from having a conversation. Right. Whether or not you end up doing business with them. They’re thinking about things in a different way. And I think it’s healthy to be around those folks.
[00:15:55] Absolutely. Well-put. So big. Thanks, John. Kyra. To render solutions designed with DHL Supply chain, check them out online or at it, be a social media or at some of the events are out there and are all. And they got an army of d.h Ellers that are out there. Yeah. Making driving industry forward. So big. Thanks for your time, John. Absolutely. OK. So to our audience. Thanks for listening and tuning in on this episode here at the South Carolina Fall Logistics Tech Talk event. Stay tuned. We continue our coverage and of course, be sure to check us out on Apple podcast, SoundCloud, YouTube, wherever else you get your podcast from. Find past interviews, upcoming events and more at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com, including a new blog we’re launching just last week. So on behalf of Greg White, Scott Luton and the entire Supply Chain Now Radio gang, this is well said. This is Scott Luton going to say it twice, say faces. This is Greg Gates Scott Luton. Tune in at 10:00 tonight. One more time, but have a wonderful day. And we will see you next time on Supply Chain Now Radio. Thanks everybody.
Upcoming Events & Resources Mentioned in this Episode
Learn more about the SC Council on Competitiveness: https://sccompetes.org/
Connect with Jon on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jon-cox-4b77693/
Connect with Greg on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gswhite/
Connect with Scott on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottwindonluton/
Day One Recap of the eft Logistics CIO Forum: https://youtu.be/Z4BUO03GGl0
SCNR to Broadcast Live at CSCMP Atlanta Roundtable Event: https://tinyurl.com/y43lywrd
Reverse Logistics Association Conference & Expo: https://rla.org/calendar/1
SCNR to Broadcast Live at MODEX 2020: https://www.modexshow.com/
2020 Atlanta Supply Chain Awards: https://www.atlantasupplychainawards.com/
SCNR on YouTube: https://tinyurl.com/scnr-youtube
The Latest Issue of the Supply Chain Pulse: https://tinyurl.com/y3mhgqq7
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