Scott Luton and Greg White welcome Pal Narayanan onto Supply Chain Now Radio at eft’s Logistics CIO Forum, a Reuter’s Event in Austin, Texas.
[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’s the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.
[00:00:29] Hey, good afternoon, Scott Luton back with you live here on Supply Chain Now Radio. Welcome back to the show. On today’s show, we aren’t broadcasting from Atlanta, Georgia. You might hear a buzz in the in the studio room. Here’s to your room here. Rather, we’re broadcasting live from Austin, Texas, home of e.t.’s Logistics CEO Forum, a Reuters event where we’ve been interviewing some of the most innovative thought leaders and heavy hitters that are doing big things across India and Supply chain industry are Supply Chain Now Radio team is proud to continue our partnership with Nick Asef and the E.M.T. And Reuters event team. And Greg, when welcome in our fearless co-host here today, Mr. Greg White serial supply chain, tech entrepreneur, chronic disruptor and trusted advisor Greg. How you doing?
[00:01:15] I’m doing great. That title keeps getting longer, does it? Does. And and it’s it like many things exceeds me.
[00:01:22] Yes. I don’t believe that for a second. But we’ve had some great interviews already. Yeah, we’ve got plenty more to come. And I think the interview here were about to kick off is going to is going to continue to maintain the standard. I think so standard easily. So let’s welcome in our featured guest for this segment, PAL, Nick Ryan, chief information officer with Geophys of the Americas. How you doing, pal? I’m doing great. How are you doing? Fantastic. I’m glad we were able. I know you keep a busy schedule here. You’re on a panel earlier, and I’m glad we could we could steal just a little of your time here. Absolutely happy to do this. Yeah. Thank you for joining us. So as we were talking about in the warm up conversation, we like to start by being able to kind of paint a picture of who our listeners are hearing from Ryan. So Pough with that mom, before we dove into your supply chain insights and expertise assless, let our listeners have a chance. Learn a bit more about who you are. So tell us more about yourself.
[00:02:16] Sure. I’m orginally from India. That’s that’s where I was born and grew up. And then I came to United States twenty seven years back and I came to Nashville. SoI everyone usually asked this Nashville, Nashville, of all places.
[00:02:31] I usually tell them I came to do country music. Good night. Good night. There you go. I’m in Supply chain now.
[00:02:38] That’s what we always hear. I’m in Supply chain now. Would be a great country music song. I’m going to add mama to the end. Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, we hear that a lot. Yeah. Folks get here or they move to Nashville and they see the country music and that don’t work. That is supply chain that has got, you know, country music stars.
[00:02:54] No, just kidding aside I came to school in Nashville and then for some reason I figured that town grew on me and I never left. So I guess I’ve been in Nashville for the last 27 years, enjoyed every part of it. And the city has grown and I’ve grown with it. Now it’s good city. Yeah.
[00:03:12] So we I was there a couple times for APEC’s meetings and Chesil and I got hooked on Hati BS. Yep. Absolutely. Sherkin. Yes. And then they expanded to Atlanta and I gained 75 pounds. I’m not lying power. I love that stuff. You probably used to good food and living in the cool city. Of course we Sheer that in Atlanta. But you’ve been there in Nashville for 27 years, so clearly you and the family have enjoyed it.
[00:03:38] Absolutely. So. So I my background is computer science. That’s what I went to school for. And then I was lucky enough to get jobs in computer science. So this is my third job, but my first Logistics. Okay. So you know this. I’ve been in this one for nine years. Before that I was in the finance and insurance industry and 13 years. But one thing which I realized it does not matter what the industry is, if you are going to do I.T. for IP sake, there’s only so much you can do. You have to really understand the business and understand what they are about and make sure that I.T. Matus matters to the business and follows that closely. And, you know, once you learn that it doesn’t matter, you know what the industry is, you are going to be successful because you are solving the bigger costs. And that, you know, some people thought me along the way. They were great mentors for me in all the industries, which I would have been lucky in that way. And once people show you that rule UPS, then it’s it’s easy to catch on and you’re willing to learn. I think that is no stopping.
[00:04:48] You know, that continues a trend that we’ve seen that interviews here, where the roles that these these technology leaders are is it’s their first time being in the supply chain or distribution or Logistics Industries. And I’m sure that, you know, because technology has really supply chain this Technical these days, right? I think so. Tapping into folks that have been at you have been there and done it in other industries and using that outside perspective, even though it was nine years ago, outside perspective for you, still still very valuable. Yes. Would I be correct to assume coming from the insurance industry, what was the other industry you’re in?
[00:05:21] It was the insurance and financing because it was nonstandard insurance, we financed it. So this is what I tell people. They always ask, so what is it different between, you know, insurance and Logistics high in the insurance industry? That is only two people you have to make happy. One is the you know, if I’m not sure you guys know insurance is very highly regulated. Yes. Each state has its own laws and regulations. That means you have to work with the product people from an IP standpoint to see what they want to sell. And as long as legal up you. Good. So you’ve been barss, but in Logistics it does not.
[00:06:00] And especially in pre-spill, we have long been on it in 50 to 200 customers on any given day. Right. Oh, someone is not happy with something that you did or didn’t do. That means you have to really, really be customer focused. You have to treat every customer’s problem as that is the biggest one that day or that Dobre just cannot tell one customer. No, I think I’m a bigger customer problem. I’ll get to you later. That doesn’t last.
[00:06:25] Then your customer problem gets much, much smaller that every time you do that. Absolutely.
[00:06:29] So that that is absolutely. Where do you really key in leadership roles in Logistics? Every boss’ll is important. Yeah. So that does when it comes down to it does not matter what matter what your title is. My boss always sees everyone as a leader. Doesn’t matter whether you have a team or you have a big title and the few who are willing to lead that those things really doesn’t matter. It finally comes down to what you’re willing to do and lead. Yeah.
[00:07:02] Well, put one more comment or more question about your background. Jump in the G-O-D. Is it would it be correct to assume that with you’re with industry and financial services background and the analytics and the metrics and the data driven industries, those are you part of it.
[00:07:21] When you came in supply chain you poor had a leg up that dissolves UPS analytics were kind of newer to this industry and in some ways, right, that is connecting insurance and banking.
[00:07:29] Analytics is the backbone. They didn’t call it machine learning a big data thing, but insurance is definitely based on your driving records. What do you do? So they’re going to analyze, you know, the age groups, different things before they show the set thayne insurance rates, run aerials. Actually, it’s absolutely that’s a huge, huge idea.
[00:07:50] And insurance, that’s the second time I’ve talked about that today, believe it or not.
[00:07:54] And you know what? I wonder how many podcast say the word Akst actuarial science twice the same day. I think that’s a Guinness Book of World Record.
[00:08:02] Well, first of all, how many podcasts actually create episodes twice?
[00:08:07] Jenny. You got to get back to your gaming in your mom’s basement. Kids can do to UPS.
[00:08:13] Okay, so let’s talk, pal, talk about G-O-D and what their organization does and then we’re gonna talk about your role. So what does Jihadi’s do?
[00:08:23] G-o-d is like a Logistics company. It’s a third party logistics company. It is owned by SNCF, which is the French Railways, which is owned by the French government. So we wed previously four years back. What we were called was Osborne as he Logistics. Yeah, based out of Nashville. They’ve been there for 60 odd at 65 years. And when G-O-D was looking for value, oh, do we go grow big in the United States market, which is again, it’s one of the biggest is the biggest market in the world. Still the, you know, oh, childe was for sale. So it was a good fit. So G-O-D bought us four years back and it has been an extremely good partnership. We have grown with them. And now last year, what we was decided is that Nashville would be that court does what all of the Medicus stay. So both North and South America for freight forwarding, complex logistics and transportation. So all lines of business running to Nashville, for that matter. Kuspit All the countries. So it’s definitely been a learning experience.
[00:09:32] Yeah. So you’ve still got a shot at that country music career. Absolutely right. What a great win for Nashville. Yeah, absolutely. You know, the last time last time I was there, we we part made a couple trips to the family. And for these conferences, there were cranes, there was growth everywhere. And then from reading some of the industry expansion and some of the winds, it seems like they’re they’re doing really well. So it is a natural fit. But had the G. Otis. Americas headquarters there, right? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Plus, you got roots there. Yes. For The Early Show. Yes. I was going to talk about country music roots again. That’s great. I was excited about it. Maybe you get a chance to sing in this. So we’ll see what we can do to it. Right. That’s right.
[00:10:17] What’s so? I want to talk about your role. You know, obviously, a chief information officer and plenty folks can make assumptions around what that is. But I’m always curious about where these sea level leaders spend their time. So where do you spend your time? And also the second question is what you love most.
[00:10:35] It’s got about the role. OK. So I would call I would divide my role into three main pots. One is which a lot of people always come to the last, but I come to the first as the human aspect of it. Building the team, getting the right people on the bus, making sure the buses are driving forward all the time. That takes a lot of work. That means you’re working with your team, coaching them, talking to them and understanding what they need. And once you get the right people, then retaining them and keeping them engaged is extremely important. Right. Especially in a tight employment environment like we have today, doctors. And it’s becoming very, very difficult because everyone is expecting flexible work time. And if you don’t get it to you, they always get it there. But Logistics is all the time, time bone dry. And you know, how do you manage that? The work life balance. So it does becoming challenging of finding people and then also making sure the pit technologist you find also understand the business and grow them as leaders and because everyone has different aspirations in life. Correct. And one of the things which I as you know, there is a lot of people who helped me in my Jenny. So it does it then that is the only decent I got where I got. So everyone has their aspirations and what they want to do as soon as you. You need to pay attention to those and make sure they get where they need. It’s a two way street. So I spend a lot of time, at least one-third of my time, you know, working with the team, managing the team, coaching element shipment.
[00:12:05] Yes. And then, you know, other aspect of what I spend is on, you know, the finance and making sure everything is funded properly and making sure that I do not overspend. And we discuss this in the family. And the biggest nightmare for a CFO is the CIO. And that’s there’s always more technology that doesn’t get it. Yeah, the the CFO always feels that these guys want more money. And what am I getting? I don’t understand what they are doing. Right. You know, it seems to be a black box. Enough is enough. Let’s stop.
[00:12:38] But so all the Peter of by my book, Four Different Bosses. I’ve always seen these challenges. Will to one thing I, you know, made sure that I don’t have any challenges with my CFO. I have never gone into his office and asked for money. I always send someone else to ask for the money.
[00:12:57] That’s part of the development process as well. That is correct. How to build a business case and present it? That is correct. So. So you kill two birds with one stone? Absolutely. So I have a great partisanship at them because I never go ask him stuff.
[00:13:11] So we also you know, I have someone who is entirely dedicated for I.T. from the finance standpoint to report radically to the CFO. So they manage everything in I.T. the finances where the money is spent are what’s being spent. And we the teams explained to him saying why we need to do it if he gets it. He’s a finance person. He’s going to explain it to my CFO. And it goes on. So there was transparency. That’s great. As a translator. Yeah. That is exactly where my team to find it. That disconnect. And we don’t do anything without them knowing them.
[00:13:47] So we spent lot of time that to make sure that, you know, we do add value to everything we spend, measured what we do. And then the third aspect of my time that I spend a lot of time is the customer facing stuff. One of the things they have done and do is or we have done Intuit is which has extremely well, you know, how many times does a CIO get to be the exec sponsor for an account? I have three icons who what? Why maintain top to top relationship and not I.T., jerai, everything else. And so one is a big phone company. They produce phone Stevie’s and everything. OK. It’s a big company. Another is up pet products company. So the they definitely value what the CEO brings to the table. You’re really treated as a business. See live a leader not just looked at an I.T. person to make sure, you know, spouses.
[00:14:41] I always loved having those conversations. Now, now we’ve heard from I.T. Let’s hear from the business people. That’s right. That seems so 25 years ago.
[00:14:50] That’s correct. I.T. people are business. They are Lu. Yeah, business. I a lot of I.T. people. I you know, meaning in this generation now, many people get a phone and gets a manual. They get. The phone and they stopped working it. Right. And we we feel and I feel that does read the I.T. systems are going, you know, you get the system. It has to be self intuitive. Yeah, no doubt as to keep it rolling. So I don’t think that is not a personal life. That is not your work life. That’s the same thing. There is. No, no, I’m not an I.T. person without knowing. Right. Isn’t a off for half a day has absolutely become a must. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It has become critical. So that does how I spend my time. And the most important I enjoy is the customer facing. It’s the most tough one.
[00:15:34] But I think you’re great in front of customers.
[00:15:35] That is what they told me. I can see that. But my my wife and son don’t believe it. No. And they never will. Yeah. They’d never watch. Your dog believes that. Exactly.
[00:15:46] But yet my my proudest was, you know, two months back. You know, someone called and said to my boss, a be need bailed that put this to finish this up. We had an exec offsite meeting where, you know, we do that every quarter to build relationship with the exec team. I said, Randy, I have to be there. And then I told the gentleman from this phone company saying, I think I can make it. They called my boss. They said, if you want the deal, you send them. You have the deal. Wow. And so, you know that fellow pentz affirmation. Yeah, that does affirmation that, you know, you it’s not the you’re not Peter, just as an I.T. person, you are looked in from the business standpoint to love that.
[00:16:26] Love that. Wow. Yeah. Okay. So you’re on a panel earlier here, the Logistics CEO forum, which again is now a Reuters event. Pretty neat growth for the EMT team. Let’s go broader with this next question. So let’s talk about some of the one or two supply chain trends that you’re tracking more than others right now. Sure.
[00:16:46] One of the things which we definitely we have multiple lines of business. So I will. You know, each line of business looks and acts a little bit different from what we do is complex. Logistics is really labor focused. You have to bring in the labor to get the products out in a very narrow window. Automation is there and automation is coming. Every automation is not any more loved, Judy. It’s become a necessity because of the labor market. Right now you have two percent unemployment and 3 percent unemployment. And so it’s very difficult to get people in this market. Right. So what we have done in the last two, three years, cbf Sardinian to India, introducing Bortz and everything goods, demand technology. We try small. And then we start expanding and we still have a lot of vatos as well. You have that traditional convey of system and everything too. So definitely from the complex Logistics standpoint, we have started investing quite a bit in automation so that that is the trend we have seen. And again, that does not going to replace all the Liebmann. It is only going to complement the labor Kaura.
[00:17:55] I mean this these are jobs largely that the labor won’t take or where you have a high level of turnover that is that like that is exactly. You have to have some level of stability of performance, even if that even if the bot’s needs to be augmented with with human labor and the bots are always performing. Yes. The foundational garmser that does it. Look, this has been my experience with automation throughout my career and I’ve dealt with a lot of it is whenever you have an automation, it usually doesn’t take away the satisfying job that a human being is doing. It takes away the mundane, it takes away the repetitive. It takes away the physically difficult or damaging or unsafe often. And I think that the more this employment environment has forced us to not only do that, to use automation, but to recognize what it is used for. And I think it’s more and more apparent every day that it’s used for the jobs that people don’t really want to do or shouldn’t be doing because of safety or that this country will put.
[00:19:01] Yeah. And then from the freight forwarding side, which is a different line of business, but as a bigger, broader part of the supply chain, it’s a motor transactional business. You know, someone explained to me when I asked the first time, what is the difference between complex Logistics and freight forwarding? Is it contract? Logistics is like getting matterto a three year contract. A five year contract to manage freight forwarding is like beating. You definitely go on a lot of dates.
[00:19:25] Transactional. Yeah. So that started. It might just be one day. Exactly. So yes, that is correct.
[00:19:34] So we definitely that there’s a different need that need in that data from the technology standpoint is data. Everyone wants access to data a day. Everyone wants it immediately. Everyone wants to look at the documents. So, no, you know, few people have given that end to end. And definitely that is a growing thing that the data. And what do you do with the day? That information. All right. So do we. I think we have gone past the data stages to making data as information so that people can act on that. That is definitely being focused on that. Far more at lightning algorithms to see what do we have this data, what does it tell us?
[00:20:16] And what do we do with what it tells us? That’s right. Exactly.
[00:20:19] So and so if you’d rather skip over this question, which do that. But, you know, we’re in the middle of peak, right? Yes. Busy time for folks in Supply chain especially. You know, you’ll get even busier. You know, we’ve sat down with a variety of technology leaders and retail leaders, you know, going back couple years now. And they all have lessons learned from previous peak and and really seems like we’re playing them nonstop for peak. Exactly. In this in this age at this cult. Any observations from your experience now being in an supply chain and three people were for nine years. Any key takeaways that that you keep reminding your team to watch out for this or remember this as we get into this busy time?
[00:21:04] The one thing I will tell you, talking about Bake-Off bulldust people, maybe you will get an idea. No one has made a reality show out of pique.
[00:21:11] It’s a great thing to start next month. You did it.
[00:21:19] It gets a busy in some of these vatos as we ship out of. And it is really a good thing for a reality show. That’s just an idea. But coming back, quest in for us. Yes, you’re right. Because throughout that day, someone explained to me that Kentucky Derby is only run for two minutes.
[00:21:35] Right. But within the next two week, they start planning for the next year. Right. That’s that’s exactly how we feel about peak. And and one, we have been very lucky to have said very some very market customers. Hot peak starts that close to September itself because we have one of our biggest customers who do a lot of product launches in September. Right. And then we have Aladeen coming out, which we have another customer, we think. And then really the peak sets. And so we get some warm up for peak, which we lead in. Yeah, we start prepping. The one thing that I tell my team is during peak, don’t do something which, you know, it’s not absolutely needed and just sit back, watch block and talk like that discotheque, do the basic stuff. And then we will be fine. Because you have done this year over year. So just stick with the basics and we’ll be fine. The other thing that has helped us is which we realized as a during peak, we bring in I.T. people love food it at.
[00:22:38] Yes. Yeah. Especially natural.
[00:22:40] So we definitely what we do is during peak event, that is an issue. And then you blink to get multiple people on the phone trying to understand what is going on. That takes 30 minutes. But during peak, 30 minutes is a big, big time. Sure. That does lose. Yeah. So what we have done in the last to seven years is we bring in every one we need and all the food and everything from the day of Thanksgiving. We have for two weeks. We have always people in the office all sitting in the same room. Even if you don’t do anything, that’s fine. You just sit there. If there is an issue, everyone is in the same room already. That’s a great idea. Yeah. So otherwise, you know, it’ll go around. Oh, it’s not my problem. It’s that get the next person on the call and can get the next puzzle number out and it it takes 30 minutes to assemble the team.
[00:23:27] So what do you feed him? No, that’s what I’m. That’s a good question. These chickens is. Well, yes, absolutely. adibi chicken is in the budget for every year gets bigger that you get it.
[00:23:40] If you need somebody needs a sponsor that I’m happy to show up at any of your meetings, you know, I won’t know anything is going on. Well, he said you don’t have to work. Oh, good. So that’s perfect.
[00:23:49] Well, if you think about that, it’s simplistic of an idea that is one hundred people for in your saving, you know, 50 people hours. Absolutely. That is extremely valuable. Any time. But especially this time here. Yes. OK. So, you know, pal, I wish we had a mini series with you because chef, because I think you’ve got a story where you were scratching the surface here. But how can folks learn more about G-O-D?
[00:24:19] So definitely we are on the you know, the World Wide Web W w dot jihadi’s dot com. I’m in Linked-In. That’s only social media. I mean, if it’s construed as smart media.
[00:24:30] That’s exactly right. I’ll leave my tweet. So Jota stockcar. Yes.
[00:24:38] And like I said, we had in 67 countries that we are pretty big in now France. We we we are bigger than the competitors in the last mile, Dellwood in France because we we’ve been there for quite some time, B-A, I think. And then comes the next competition of us, which in the United States they add on the top. I not. Wanting to say names, but we pride ourselves in that for sure, because that’s definitely something we do very well. But it’s it’s a huge organization. Enjoyed working there. And Logistics the last 10 years has become very. That word is right, has become very sexy.
[00:25:18] You know, I think it. Oh, yeah, it as long as we as Scott loves to say Supply chain finally has a seat at the table. That does exactly right.
[00:25:28] And the reason I’m saying that is, you know, what would you bring when I came out of college? And you know that if guys and girls were during my time of graduation who did mechanical engineering, production, engineering, they all felt to come back and work in I.T. because I.T. paid. Well, right now, no one wants to come there because engineering in Supply chain base as much as what I did. Right. And so I’m very happy that, you know, those people are recognized for their IP dad, the engineering talent on the float and managing the flow. Yeah, it’s absolutely come a long way.
[00:26:02] Yeah, it has. And the industry despatching industry. The end in Supply chain industry is competing for top talent. That’s unlike it ever. We’re slowly but surely in this long journey. But we’re reeducating the consumer market as well as college graduates and tech school graduates and all the folks looking to get a job about what you can do. That’s called the Supply chain world.
[00:26:28] And frankly, the industry needs to compete for top talent based on and just the fastest ofall industries I’ve worked as the fastest evolving industry. Things change rapidly. And it’s been very rapid the last few years and clear on consumer demand that’s coming.
[00:26:43] Right. Exactly. All right. So, folks, you can learn more about G-O-D at GEO-TV WSJ.com, G-O-D s dot com. Imagine just taking a hunch. You are probably hiring. Yes, absolutely. Can find jobs.
[00:26:57] Yes. They’re always looking for people, I bet, including my job.
[00:27:00] If someone wants to get there after spending 30 minutes with you, I get the impression you’re a great guy to work for. So learn more at just dot com Paon Orion SEO with G-8’s. Thanks so much. Sure. The warning that’s here today. Thanks for that. I’ll take you around just for a second. UPS billion wrap up here to ship. And so to our listeners, stay tuned as we continue our coverage of the EFC Logistics CEO forum, which is now a Reuters event right here in Austin, Texas. Be sure to check out other upcoming events, replays or interviews, other resources at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. You can find us on Gnatpole podcast, SoundCloud, YouTube. Greg, my favorite litten sites where podcast can be found. Be sure to subscribe to your Mesi thing on behalf of the entire team here. Scott Luton. Greg White. Wishing you a wonderful week ahead and we will see you next time on Supply Chain Now Radio. Thanks for buying.
Pal Narayanan serves as Chief Information Officer for GEODIS, The Americas. GEODIS is a worldwide transport and logistics leader that supports clients in their daily work by helping them overcome their logistical constraints. The company is recognized for its expertise and mastery of all aspects of the supply chain. With its five lines of business (Supply Chain Optimization, Freight Forwarding, Contract Logistics, Distribution & Express and Road Transport), GEODIS is a regional organization that spans all continents, with a direct presence in 67 countries and a global network covering 120 countries. GEODIS is ranked seventh in the world and fourth in Europe in our field. We are also the distribution and express leader in France. To learn more: https://geodis.com/us/
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.