Scott Luton, Greg White, and Jason Moss welcome Bruce Hagenau to the Supply Chain Now Radio studio in Atlanta, GA.
[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] Good morning, Scott Luton here with you libeled Supply Chain Now Radio. Once again, welcome back to the show. On this episode, we’re going to be continuing our Today manufacturing series. And as part of this programing, we partnered with the Georgia manufacturing alliance to spotlight the world of manufacturing, especially here in Georgia, but also beyond. Today, we’ve got a manufacturing heavy hitter that’s been doing big things in industry for years. Stay tuned for what we think is going to be a fascinating interview. A quick programing note. 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 podcasts from. As always, we’d love to have you subscribe to Go Missing thing. And one final programing note, big thanks to all of our sponsors that allow us to bring these best practices and innovative ideas and stories to you, our audience. The Effective syndicate ProPurchaser.com Supply chain Real Estate, dot com Apex, Atlanta and Talentstream many more. Check out our sponsors on the show notes of this episode. So let’s say hello to my esteemed co-hosts here today. Mr. Greg White successful supply chain technology entrepreneur, trusted advisor to some growth grew root to all. Hey, doing great.
[00:01:40] Wow. I’m doing great. Thank you. That double g almost threw me. Yeah. Everybody, when you have a name like Greg White, everybody wants to throw that double G in there. That’s right.
[00:01:50] Well, hey, this continues. We have three great interviews yesterday. Really excited. Be back. Focused on the manufacturing industry. Is always. Always good to have Jason with us. Yeah, absolutely. Well, you and your foreshadowing a little bit. So with no further Gates.
[00:02:04] And when I get now out I of my applauding man.
[00:02:09] Welcome in our two featured guests here today. Once again, Jason Molls, founder and CEO, the Georgia manufacturing alliance is back with us Jason. Good morning, ma’am. Good morning. Glad to be here. Glad that you’re here, too. You’ve got some exciting news and a big, big recognition that we look forward to celebrating with you here shortly. And Bruce Saginaw, president and co-owner of Met Cam, who happens to be the 2018 Georgia manufacturer of the year. Bruce, how you doing? Doing great. Great to have you back. You know, we’ve been tracking Met Cam for a number of years. We’ve met in previous circles and it’s really neat. For the first time in a long time, sit down and really refresh. Not just my my understanding of the Met cam story and really your background, but also provide that for our listeners to super. So good morning to both of you also. We’re going to start, though, before we dove into Bruce Haggen all story and I really met Cam story. We’re gonna get our latest update from the Supply chain now radio news desk. Greg, what’s what’s telling on you’re in there?
[00:03:07] Thanks to Malcolm and and also thanks to Steve Keith Jenny for and encouraging us to keep this up. Some interesting stuff happened. And so Walgreens has had several offers to be brought private. Mm hmm. Their business is changing pretty dramatically. But it looks like KKR Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has made a say that three times fast, has made a formal offer to do a leveraged buyout. Welcome to the 80s, everybody. Get to do a leveraged buyout and to take them private. And, you know, I think interesting. This is my perspective. I want to be clear. I am not a shareholder in either of those companies. But I think it’s interesting. This is an industry that is changing dramatically. Doesn’t it just seem like just a couple of years ago we were complaining about the fact that there’s a drugstore on all four corners of every intersection. And here we are. And the industry has changed so dramatically that it that their advantage in terms of convenience and access has has changed because you can buy a lot of what they sell online. You can have it delivered by a drone, even in even your prescription decryption or other other things.
[00:04:19] But yeah, the other thing is the access to health care, you know, and there’s so many folks over the last few years that have that. Can have had that cheese be moved, especially, you know, in industry. You know what we’re we’re looking for? How can we provide the best benefits for the workforce? Walgreens and some of its competitors are figuring out how to do that.
[00:04:41] Yeah, thanks to Rite Aid, Dollar Tree House now has a place to put more stores. I don’t know if you followed any of that, but at least in the part of town where I live, they’re putting Dollar Tree stores and old Rite Aid stores. So anyway, that, as you said, this industry is changing pretty dramatically. And I. Think I think the pressure of quarter by quarter evaluation is necessary at this stage of transition because they just can’t get away with it. And please, the shareholders shares were up a little bit on the news. Bonds dropped in Europe. You know, all of those things will be immaterial once they take this company private and sort of reform it on another front. This is interesting. So was listening to Clark Howard, if everyone knows who that is, a big consumer advocate. Cohen’s net worldwide, really, but coincidentally also located here in Atlanta and city. Yeah. And he said that Amazon has confirmed that they are going to create a new grocery concept. Whole Foods, an abject failure from the standpoint of Amazon, doesn’t really fit their their budget friendly model. So they have decided that they are going to go and create their own Amazon fresh tie or whatever they’re going to call it grocery brand. And that is going to be a game changer for said game changer.
[00:06:05] I’m sorry for Shay Count. Yeah. All right.
[00:06:09] Thing for for traditional grocery, coincidentally at Kroger. I love Kroger, but they have just made their logo even more ugly than it was before. So we’ll see how that bears out for them. I don’t know if anybody has seen that, but, you know, they they basically the big news on their logo was to take away the blue oval. Yes. And to say fresh for everyone. I love the tagline. I didn’t realize just how ugly the word was with you all around it.
[00:06:39] Yeah, a lot of things going right in that grocery delivery. You know, a lot of companies and I know out in Walt County where we live, our wife saves, you know, she she sings the praises of variety, different servers she uses in a kind of a rural section of they’re technically still metro Atlanta. You get three hours back on Sunday afternoons. So it’ll be interesting to see now that Amazon has kind of realized what just isn’t working about Whole Foods or as Bilston, Kevin says, whole paycheck. Yeah, yeah, that’s right. Because if anyone can make it work, Amazon is going to figure out how to do it.
[00:07:13] Well, they will. And I think that look, the big news here is not Kroger’s logo. It it’s not it’s not even Amazon’s new grocery concept. It’s what’s the future of Whole Foods? Right. Right. Will they survive? Will they be divested? You know, they were struggling when Amazon bottom. So, you know, we’ll we’ll just see what happens there. But I think it’s good for the competitive landscape of grocery.
[00:07:37] Hey, they have expanded all malls that are available now. Plenty. They got plenty space, right? That’s right. Well.
[00:07:44] And they may not have an actual you never know. They may minimize the store front and maximize the delivery aspect. All right. Look, this is not a new concept. I don’t know if anyone’s ever been or lived in Chicago. Jewel did this in the 50s and the 60s. Grocery delivery. They had personal shoppers that would pick the produce based on how you told them you wanted the produce picked. You would call up and or and they would pick and deliver. You’re kidnap your grocery. So and of course, in the Dot-Com days or, you know, before the bbc.com bus, yeah. We had all the all the web grocer and whoever else existed back then.
[00:08:23] So the key is to as in all things is to do. Do this business economically. And speaking of which one of my favorite topics.
[00:08:34] So we’re gonna talk a little bit about trade and tariffs. Yes. And as far as a little bit of a shout out to our friend Will Hanaway, who loves to rant about trade and tariffs. I love to rant about stupid founders and the idiotic things that they do. And particularly we works founder who has tanked the value of his company from $47 billion, lost nearly 90 percent of its value down to $5 billion. He has been voted out by the board. Thankfully, I am again not a shareholder in any of their investors, Softbank or or and we work.
[00:09:11] But thankfully for for the company and the survival of the company, they have unseated him and now they are looking to find a new CEO.
[00:09:21] I don’t predict that they are talking to the CEO of T-Mobile, who’s also involved with Softbank.
[00:09:31] Softbank recently took a majority position in the company. And interestingly, this was an interesting thing, not not just that news, but the Air BMB CEO has an opinion on the two things. Two things that caused we works fall. If you’re if you’re following that, that’s a story by The New York Times. But anyway, I can’t believe you can limit a 90 percent values fall.
[00:09:59] Just two things, but essentially a lot of dollars they are nothing but essentially what he says is be thoughtful about your actions early on. By that, I think he means eliminate self-dealing, dishonesty and hubris. So you guys can tell it a little bit passionate. That’s a great concept. Yes. It’s something that is needed in the marketplace. It’s just such an unbelievably poorly run company. And look, if you’re one of those people who feels like people who get rich should get what they deserve. Let me tell you, this cat is getting Newman is getting what he’s deserved.
[00:10:39] It all comes about leadership. I mean, that’s the common thread. A lot of stuff. And and, you know, today. So segue weighing from the news and big thanks to Greg, especially Malcolm in the news team for being together. So many stories today. What I always love doing is hearing these these back stories on some of the leaders that have been doing things for years out in the marketplace on this show, especially the manufacturing industry. You know, so let’s welcome in. Bruce Hagan all once again, president and co-owner of Met Cam. So, Bruce, as always, good morning again. Morning says always one of our favorite parts of these interviews. And his podcast is Before We Talk Business and Before We Talk Met Cam, although we had a great appetizer from Greg White here in Mujer.
[00:11:26] And that’s not going be good for me. No, no, no. You’re not a target. No, no, no.
[00:11:33] But before we talk business and dove into the MedChem story, really want to talk about your story and you’re at ground. It is so interesting to find these common threads. Before we went live, we found out you spent time in which Todd, just like, you know, Greg spent the most time. And I spent a couple years there as well.
[00:11:50] I’ve seen it on the map and I have seen I wonder, I also identified on a map. Yeah.
[00:11:57] But, you know, I think once you start peeling layers on your back, it’s always interesting to find the ties that bind in almost any conversation. So. Bob Bruce, let’s talk about, you know, for starters, where you grew up.
[00:12:09] Okay. That’s not a particularly a quick answer. I was actually born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Dad was a pilot in the Navy at the time. All right. He had a masters in aerospace engineering. And so when he left the Navy, we went following his career with Boeing for a number of years. That took us to Wichita, Kansas, then Huntsville, Alabama, where he worked on the NASA program with von Braun. And then. Wow. Then Seattle, Washington, for the SSP program. Then we got off of the Boeing and he became head of data processing with the state of Tennessee, which took us to Nashville. From there, I went to Knoxville. Then we finally moved to Sacramento, then Maryland. And I kind of got off the boat there at one point. And, you know, from Knoxville and ended up go to Durham, North Carolina. Froome for Duke University, for grad and then to Atlanta. So moved around the country quite a bit. So I don’t really lay claim to having been raised in a particular area.
[00:13:06] Those are some deeply intelligent circles that you and your family. I mean, Assa the cities that you just mentioned there and the wealth of Intel, you know, if you’re an aircraft and aviation and certainly rocketry, there’s a reason why they don’t let me into those circles.
[00:13:25] So so really that I didn’t know that about your background. So now kind of the engineering can put the engineering, the technical side of manufacture makes a lot more sense.
[00:13:34] Well, you know, I didn’t really pursue that route with my education. I was in Tennessee, had a major in finance and a minor in accounting. And we lived in Brentwood, Tennessee, at the time, which was the headquarters for Hospital Corporation of America, knew some of those executives. They encouraged me to go to Duke and get a Masters in Health administration.
[00:13:56] So I did that and got to get my Masters and Health Administration cycleways.
[00:14:02] And my my wife was in law school there. So she had a three year program and a two year. So I did a management fellowship in the Duke Medical Center my third year that then entered consulting in Atlanta with a boutique firm, areas of expertise, strategic planning, the business development and market research, and became managing partner of the Atlanta office and about six or seven years. And we had about 30 folks in Atlanta and I was traveling on the way. You can walk in on the weekend and the second child on the way and just needed to find a new career. So. Well, Chisholm was at F.L. our health resource. Okay. You probably would never have heard that you were consulting with hospitals, health care organizations, setting up peoples and HMO, things of that nature. Got it. And so made my decision to get out of consulting. And one of the primary investors in that business, a gentleman named Charlie. Brady, who is chairman emeritus of Invesco Pension Funds and Annuities, said, hey, I’m looking at buying a bankrupt manufacturing company up in Alpharetta. You know, you won’t take a look at that for me while you’re looking for something else to do. So I did. And I didn’t know anything about manufacturing. And I think about sheet metal fabrication. But I did know something about business and general strategic planning, market research. So I took a look at it and I told him, you know what I thought it would cost and how long it would take to turn it around. He said, all right, I’ll put the money and you put the sweat in and let’s go on down the road. And that was the genesis of Metcash. That is right. And so MedChem was formed in 1989, an acronym of sorts for metal computer system manufacturing.
[00:15:41] So before we go any further with Met Khan story. It seems like you had a lot of outstanding advisors and role models and folks at that that gave you heads up on opportunities and you name and you’re also fast track and become the managing partner of a of a consulting firm, what, six or seven years time? All right. But talk about who would you look as you look back? You know, what were some of those early role models that really were deeply influential and to what became the Met camp story and your leadership there?
[00:16:13] Well, certainly, you know, starting with my my family, my father, you know, was a great role model in terms of his work ethic and and his resilience and ability to to change and manage different roles. So that was that was good. Certainly a number of family, friends, you know, influenced my thinking. You know, with directions like a Duke University for grad school and that type of thing, which, you know, you don’t realize at the time where that’s going to take and how it might pay off. But certainly I feel like it was worth my time, effort, money to do to go those paths. And then certainly in the business world, you know, my first real mentor was the gentleman who founded the consulting company named Paul Flood. And Paul and I still stay in touch. He’s he’s involved in the same chamber that I am. I’ve been out of Forsyth County, Georgia. And so I see him at events on occasion recently renamed Chamber. I think you’re going to be a broader exactly. Wellness used to becoming Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce. Now it’s the Forsyth County Chamber.
[00:17:13] Outstanding. OK. So let’s let’s dove right into the map. Kansas, talk of again, you are a little too little bit, but tell us about what Matt can does.
[00:17:23] All right. As the name implies, we fabricate precision sheet metal components. We use a good deal of automation in that process. We have a broad range of fabrication capabilities, from lasers and turrets to robotic press breaks, equipment called panel bender, auto tools, change equipment, robots involved in welding. We’ve got two in-house powder paint lines, which is very unusual for sheet metal fabricator and we do quite a bit of value add assembly for our customers as well. So we manage things like, you know, inventory stock levels and do direct shipping to our customers, customers and that sort of thing. So give us an idea of the kind of stuff you’re building. Okay. So we do a variety of different industries. Our roots are really in the telecom industry. When we acquired the business, there were there were not very many large fabricators in the Atlanta area and a lot of the sheet metal was coming in from the Great Lakes. And we saw in the company that we purchased the potential to to grow in that space. And they were already doing prototype work and low production runs with companies like Scientific-Atlanta, AT&T, Bell Labs and some others that were in that space. So we were actually involved in some of the early sheet metal work that went into the developing fiber optic business and that that we grew with as it went from. From Bell Labs and Western Electric through AT&T, Lucent, Avaya and today com Scope and OFW Optical Fiber Solutions. So we’ve made some of that same product for a better part of 30 years or evolutions of it. So that kind of really was our base business until really the 1991 timeframe, which which is when the telecom bubble burst. And our largest customer at that time was Lucent. I think their stock went from 40 bucks to 10 cents or something like that. And they basically, you know, order stopped overnight and we were left holding inventory, took a while to get that resolved, etc. Our sales dropped from a million four in April of that year to and 50000 December. So, so so at a time like that.
[00:19:49] Right. And I’m sure there was a there might have been all that may not have been a surprise. You might have seen some of that come about. But there were some elements of surprise. Absolutely weren’t. Through that, so how do you, from a leadership standpoint, how do you keep everyone sane and, you know, on board and moving forward?
[00:20:09] Well, you know, first of all, we weren’t sure we were going to be able to move forward now. You know, I’ve heard a story about Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders where he they loved their horses. They rode the horses in the battle. But he thought at one point maybe they loved their horses too much. And he made a point of telling him, look, if your horse is shot or if your horse is dead, dismount.
[00:20:31] And we we thought long and hard about whether this horse was it was time, but dismount.
[00:20:36] And fortunately, our owner, Charlie Brady, said he felt like that we had a sound basic business and that there was other markets that we could move into. We just needed some time to get our footing. So basically with that message. Well, you know, what went to the employees, of course, we did have to reduce headcount significantly. And we also did things like across the board pay cuts and reduced work hours in the weeks. And now we put together plan to kind of minimize the pain. But we knew that it would take a couple of years to get back on track. So we did, though, we you know, all the things we learned in the telecom industry usually transferred from the basis of quality and various other systems that supported that business. We were able to bring in customers like Carrier Corp was our next largest customer. And, you know, that started back in 2001 and 2002. Here we are, you know, 17 years later and we’re still the primary fabricator of sheet metal and carrier.
[00:21:33] They are HPC manufacturers.
[00:21:35] Yes. So this is this is the mid and high tonnage SBIC systems for care here. Right. Built out in Charlotte, North Carolina. So, you know, we began diversifying our business and that was certainly a healthy thing to do. First chance that we’d really had where we had excess capacity that was being sucked up by the telecom industry. And and so today we are a more diverse business than we have been in the scary and stronger for.
[00:21:59] You know, we have through the years, we have rubbed elbows with a number of different large companies and Azara evaluating their supplier base. Some of the better companies are asking about what what’s your portfolio look like? Are you getting hundreds in your business from us? If so, how can we diversify it? All right. So there’s more strength. So you have the opportunity in case of, you know, these unexpected downturns or other things that happen, you’re in a stronger position to have to make some of decisions that you all clearly made to be of a transfer, what you do so well to other other sectors, right?
[00:22:31] Correct. And there’s gonna be things in dealing with the OEM that you have no control over. You know, you can be the number one vendor on quality and delivery and the business gets moved overseas or to Mexico or something. So Gates can override Ryley time or whatever. There’s a change in purchasing leadership, you know, in a business and OEM and they change the strategies. And and, you know, the impact on the vendors is, you know, sometimes puts them out of business. Fortunately, you know, we’ve we, as you know, tried to learn from that lesson that we had with the telecom industry. And I said 1991, I met 2000/2001 when that industry collapsed. We learned that lesson the hard way. And, you know, today, for example, we’ve had over the last four years, we’ve lost business to the Czech Republic, to China and to Mexico with some of our larger Williams. But in spite of that, we’ve grown our sales over the last four years, certainly, and we’re working with some new OEMs right now. And the question one of the topics is how much of our business can you manage? How much should we aim in there? Right. So one one large OEM in particular, we’ve got a target number that would keep them from going more than 20 to 25 percent of our business. I was going to ask if you’re consciously limiting any of your men. So then then the conversation really switches to. All right. How do we pick the right parts that really maximize what you can do versus other fabricators so that we get the best kind of business in there? You know, for your company, and that’s the kind of conversations you want. That’s the kind of OEMs that you’re really looking to grow with them.
[00:24:13] So what? Lu and Jason, I’ll bring you in here because I know one of the things that you hear a lot about in speaking with manufacturers is is growing that top line and in a in a way that protects the bottom line, smart, smart growth. Bruce, without revealing any trade secrets or any confidence information in any a couple observations, as you’re a young, grown through some some challenging times and making some tough decisions in an industry which I’m sure is not that, you know, pretty competitive. How have you been able to do that? You know, there are some things you focused in on more than others.
[00:24:49] I think that an overused word value add certainly was a part of that success where we were looking to do more than just make a sheet. Mediapart We really wanted to be your Logistics partner as well, and we wanted to know if you were having to send parts in the field and have them assembled by expensive, you know, labor in the field versus having us. Prickett or preassembled. We were always looking for those kind of opportunities, but we really coupled that with technology and systems behind the scenes that helped us work with our customers better. So for example, you know PDI and x_m_l_ and Environmental Health and safety systems as well as, you know, just overall ERP and validity to do advance planning, scheduling and things of that nature and all of that behind the scenes sort of skill set. I think also was important too. Are we MSA could come in and have a conversation with us at a different level than they could many different fabricators that, you know, in that that comfort in the supply chain is so critical these days.
[00:25:55] Right. The the ability to understand that there’s stability there is critical because their customers are demanding it from them that they can come to you and receive. It has to be comforting for them.
[00:26:08] Yeah, right. Yeah, absolutely. Again, it’s difficult to get onboarded by these. So Williams I mean they have they have not made it easy. I mean you’ve got a tremendous number of different systems that you have to couple an interface with and you know, that’s from quality to information to, you know, RPE, that sort of thing. Yeah.
[00:26:31] All right. So let’s shift gears over to some of the things that has really made your organization stronger, better, that are part of the cultural fabric of the organization.
[00:26:42] Cars in leaning Greene manufacturing. So so talk about maybe, maybe the early beginnings of that aspect of the organization, the operation and then what it means to the two Met camp today.
[00:26:56] Okay. Turn the clock back to when I first started there. Fresh off of my consulting skill set. And we’d work with large organizations as part of that to help them define their mission and vision and that sort of thing. But this was in the late 80s, early 90s, and mission statements back then were suitably different than they are today. And so the first thing I did when you got in there was we we created a company mission statement that was very complicated. It was too long. It was you know, there’s going to be the leading fabricator position sheet metal components in the southeast consistently meeting our senior customer expectation to continuous improvement. Some bla bla bla bla bla.
[00:27:36] And you know, so nobody could remember it putting out a takeover like hang out, put T-shirts up, put it on banners, put it on coffee cups and nobody could remember it.
[00:27:46] And so I sat in a big coffee cups with all those. It was maybe that company, my 22 ounce mugs travel Trish Boehm. And so I just said I know how I can get them. Remember it all pay and remember it. So I took that mission statement blank that three words gave the quality manager a roll across $20 bills. And if you could fill in those three words, he’d give you a 20. So the first several guys come in and they miss it. They go out, they check up, you know, banner or something, come back in and they’re getting their money. Pretty soon everybody’s getting it right the first time. So I switched the test with three different words and everybody start missing it.
[00:28:18] So I had to be realistic that, you know, that’s what my my attempt at a mission statement fail, that I never heard that that I that’s a keeper.
[00:28:28] And so what we did was we got about 20 of our best, most experienced folks together and said, we need a mission statement. You guys can get around that, you know, mean something to you when you come to work. You remember what it is. It can affect what you do everyday. And they came up with one that is still with us today, and it’s highest quality products delivered on time. And so we focus around that mission statement all the time. And then we also challenged them to come up with three goal areas that we could build activity around to support that mission statement. And they came up with leaner, greener and meaner. And it was it was funny because the symbol that we had for Minar was a fist and nobody could figure out who we’re gonna beat up.
[00:29:13] And so we we changed that to globally competitive. We’ve now since changed back to a leading into a greener and me. You know, because it means something to us. But at any rate, underneath that, greener is one of the topics. And met MedChem has a very good Greene resumé. We’ve received the Governance Award for Public Pollution Prevention. We took the business from being a large quantity generator of hazardous waste and hazardous waste treatment facility with air quality permits for vmc discharges to being conditionally exempt on all of that.
[00:29:46] We don’t have any discharges, you know, that would require oversight from the Department of Natural Resource as we went down that path. And I partnered with. DENR We had some issues when I first got in there and I went down and told him about the it was. And I think the fact that I was being proactive about areas of our business that were potentially dangerous to the environment. We eventually became one of only 15 companies in the state of Georgia that has received the gold level partnership with the Department of Natural Resources, and that includes Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines and Lockheed Martin. So we’re in good company there. Wow. During the course of that and a lot of that activity was really just, you know, again, because I felt like it was a risk to the company to not address these areas. And then about that time, we had a large company, European company, come to us and say, we want you to make some parts for us, but you’ve got to have ISO 14000. Why didn’t know what I said 40000 was. And I said sure went and looked it up and it was the environmental management equivalent of the quality. And so we in six months became ISO 14000 registered because we had all the systems in place for environmental management already. And we are still, I think, the only independent fabricator sheet metal components in the southeast, the desire, so 14000.
[00:31:15] So I play that up whenever I can. If I get a opportunity to speak on it, I do, because I think that even though it’s a competitive advantage for us, I think it’s something that all fabricators ought to be taking a hard look at. You know what part of that fits in there? You know, environment. And how does that lead to sustainable activities in manufacturing? Yeah, and I’m very interested in that as well. So that Greene or piece of what you’ve mentioned jerai Greene or meter that that’s very important to me. Absolutely. And then as far as the Minar. And how do you become more competitive globally? That’s where the lean manufacturing really comes in as well as, you know, leaner and meaner. But so our company has always had talented leaders in our production area that know lean manufacturing. And I think that’s not unusual for lean manufacturing to be a top down sort of activity and very good at it. But over time. My observation was that the general workforce didn’t really understand what we were trying to do and and how it would make their job better and easier. And so there wasn’t always the buy in. I think to lean activities. And so my guess was probably in 2012, I brought in two consultants out in New York. And so they had two strikes against them, their consultants.
[00:32:38] And they were out in New York City. I threw them out in a shop.
[00:32:42] And they came back then to our executive team, which I had formed. We call today the Kaisa executive team. And that group is responsible for setting the priorities and lean manufacturing for us. And basically, they came back to that group and said, we’ve got 10 ideas for you and we’ll do each one of those for $50000. And I said, thank you very much. And I’ll take three those. And we then coupled them with our black belt quality manager and somebody from production, which I felt was a good facilitator. And they their role was in those first three projects to observe and to figure out how we could lead that same sort of bottom up activity at med camp. Because the Kizon executive team, the first rule was we can’t be involved in the guys hands, can’t go into work center. You can’t give them advice, you can’t catch them all fly in and say, how’s it going? You stay out of it. And so a little bit of a culture change for us. And then the teams would come back midweek, make a report of what they were working on. And again, you know, it’s all about supporting them.
[00:33:48] It’s not about challenging them. And, you know, if they said, well, we need X number of computers or we need this tooling, we need some racks, whatever that was, we’d get it form immediately. And then on Friday, they have to basically come into the boardroom front of that Kizon executive team, make a PowerPoint presentation. So Muslim and never been through the quote, glass door to get into that or in the office had never been in the boardroom and had never done a PowerPoint. So it was really exciting to see them rise to that challenge and take pride in what they were doing. Yeah. And the end of that. Then we’d take a tour of their of their area and see firsthand what changes had happened. So pretty soon I’m walking through the shop and every time I do, you know, somebody comes up to me and says, when do I get to be on one of those Kaizen projects? And so today, you know, it’s it’s really up, Scott. It’s own life. The the person that had come out of production is now a black belt and he’s our continuous improvement manager.
[00:34:44] And so it’s made it’s really kind of got its own momentum now. And what we’re really working on in 2020, we’ve just finished up a series of workshops, retreats for our executive team and. Part of that was to create a training plan for what we call the frontline leaders, and that’s going to happen to 2020. And so we’ve created, you know, here’s what we want them to work on as leaders so that there’s even more continuous improvement happening out there without having to have management structure on top of that. Yeah. And smart. I’m excited about that. But it’s going to take a culture change again on the part of our leadership team met Cam in terms of how we communicate, how we control. You know, let them fail. You know, to the extent you’re not endangering that mission statement that we have and equally excited about where we can see that development out there in the shop.
[00:35:41] Last sounds like a real good buy in in that program. I mean, for them to chase you down and say, how can I be part? That’s fun. Yeah, exactly.
[00:35:48] It’s like, you know, in the key there is getting them to own it. Right. As you said, you took it. You basically gave them the tools to do the job and then laid off of them and let them learn. Let them fail.
[00:35:58] Exactly right. So I’m going to give you an example of just if you have time. Sure. So our paint area has begun to paint lines, was always getting clogged up, was difficult to maneuver the material properly. They never seem to have control of the tooling and that sort of thing. What hooks they needed. So they went through a couple of Kazan’s and really made massive improvements in how their work centers laid out and how the product flowed. That got them excited about Kazan’s Ansun lead manufacturing because they discovered, hey, this made our job better, better, easier. And so then they started thinking, though, outside of the box, how can we make things better and easier for other people here at Cam? And so part, you know, in the past might come down the paint line and it get taken off, set carefully on a pallet and, you know, separated with paper shrink wrapped and sent over to the elevator, go upstairs and have somebody reverse that process, then take the parts off and inspect them and put a couple plugs on a label or two and stick them in a box. Right. So they thought, well, what if we go ahead, put those plugs in down here and they don’t have to handle the material and all of that that went over really well because, you know, you’re you’re the line only moves at a certain speed and you can do this operation in a right there as it’s coming off.
[00:37:15] And then one thing led to another, and pretty soon they’re putting them in the box. But, you know, packaging and labeling and right on a pallet and they get shrink wrapped and taking the shipping line right off the line. But the lines weren’t set up very well to manage that handling. So today what they’re working on is an extension of the paint line in the downstairs fabrication area, moving some of the fabrication centers around so that they can have full assembly operations happening right off the paint line. So that’s all employee driven, bottom up sorts of activity that I get chills just sitting here. Yeah. Think about it, Bethany. That’s what I want to see happening. You know, throughout the facility, not just the the kizon, you know, formal things, but, you know, kind of an ongoing thought process and culture of improvement.
[00:38:02] So Bruces is get that culture. And obviously it’s very successful in that. And that’s that’s fun to watch. But how are you rewarding the team? I mean, is their awards strictly from the benefit of making their job easier? There are other incentives attached to that. How are you? How are you continuing that to the employees?
[00:38:19] Yeah, there’s there’s really no, you know, direct incentive in terms of we’re going to increase your pay if you can improve your throughput by 10 percent or 15 percent. It’s really more for the benefit of the company overall job security, if you will. Also, I think that, you know, the employees just like the challenge of being involved in something other than just doing the same thing. You know, all day, every day, you know, how can I actually impact what’s going on here? That satisfaction of involvement, I think is a big part of it. And I don’t think it’s just limited to the to the younger employees being excited like that. I mean, the older employees, I think, also really welcome the opportunity to participate in the in the how the business run, bigger picture, bigger picture stuff. But, you know, overall, we do have a bonus program that that’s available to all the employees and that’s based upon overall company success.
[00:39:12] So, you know, you’ve made you know, you made a breakthrough when they are not only thinking about how they can make their own job easier, but someone else’s job. Right. I mean, that is huge. They didn’t have to do that.
[00:39:24] But, you know, Rod is a great example to set for the whole game.
[00:39:26] Yeah, it is. And I think the top mean the top line or bottom line, whatever bonus program keeps everyone focused on. You mean it’s for the better your NASA people? Right. Even even the guys mopping the floor knew that their goal was to put a man on the moon. Right. So if you keep his door or your eye on the man on the moon goal and you keep everybody focused towards that, then you know what you get will will get you towards that. Exactly.
[00:39:52] So it was LBJ that had stopped the custodian, one of the NASA facilities, and asked about what he does. At the individuals he was when he joined us here. Yeah. Give to get someone on the moon. Fantastic. All right. So let’s pull back from the Met cam story. And I want to get you to weigh in on this tape, trade and tariffs landscape. And it seems like I’m a manufacturer, but it seems like some of the news that we’ve been reading and some folks we’ve been talking with here is a little less pressure or some easing of tensions. We got a lot more work to do. But from a general sense, would have would have you been experiencing in recent years?
[00:40:29] Well, I’m not an expert in this area and really hadn’t paid much attention to it until, you know, this current trade war started and the tariffs, you know, impacted. But I guess the first thing I learned was that a tariff is not a tariff is not a tariff. There’s many different kinds of tariffs. And how they can affect a company really depends on where you are in the supply chain. So, for example, on the sheet metal, you know, tariffs and those were some of the first to hit, you know, the tariffs on imported sheet metal. But that is a tariff on. Ah, raw good. And when our raw material goes up 25 percent on a relatively short period of time on a sheet metal fabricators margin, that’s that bad. I mean, it hurt us during that first six months before we could get prices adjusted and contracts renegotiated and things of that nature. So it was it was painful. And that’s. In that sense, an actual, you know, immediate financial burden. But then on a longer term basis, it created, you know, a another headwind for us against foreign competition. And so we saw business move to Mexico, China and Czech Republic, a total of about nine million dollars in business a year over the last four years. And so we’ve we’ve managed to grow our sales over that period of time, but we’re in a much different spot than we’d been.
[00:41:55] Had we not had and not seen the tariffs accounted for all of that. Right. You know, some of that would’ve happened earlier, but it was certainly a contributing factor because, you know, it affected our pricing considerably more than the savings that they’re getting overseas. Some of that business moved for a net of 7 percent, you know, to the to the OEM. But, you know, the impact on our pricing was the opposite direction of about 7 percent. So, you know, it’s a it was a complexity that that we didn’t really want to deal with. However, had had those tariffs been a set of a tariff on our raw material, had it been a tariff on finished goods, then that helps us, obviously, because now the cost of product coming across the border from, let’s say, Mexico is now at twenty five. I’ve been talking about 20 to 25 percent Perret tariffs even just recently know we had a situation with the Thaiday migration of that tariff had gone into place and stay there for any length of time. The business that went to Mexico would have come right back to America. Lessem Plus the problem. Because you know again that it moved down there for about a 7 percent margin.
[00:43:05] So what’s the timeline? I mean, you’d mentioned, you know, I mean, it hits today. I mean, the tariff, you know, the minute that it fired off, you get contracts, you’ve got agreements in place. Is that pretty well gone through the system? If you even made those adjustments in that or you get your wheels under your pricewise with the previous contracts, but also the you know, the current things in all areas based upon OEM.
[00:43:30] And of course, there’s some portion of our business that’s not a large OEM and it’s not tied to large agreements and that sort of thing for those accounts that we can make an adjustment, you know, immediately. But that’s, again, a smaller portion of our business. The the OEMs can you know, it ranges from where the OEM controls the Supply chain all the way back to the mill and they know what they’ve got, the mill price negotiated, got the processing, you know, that where it’s leveled and cut to length and delivered to MedChem. And so everybody has that number and sees that number in what’s adjusted on a quarterly basis across all of our products, for example. But there are others that it’s it’s Lucerne. UPS is basically you know, you can only approach us with a increase in price if you’re impacted beyond a certain percentage of your total costs based upon purchase, material change, price changes. And that goes either way. You know, concern and you got to go. But those kind of things take longer to flesh out. So you could be anywhere from three to as much as nine months and you’re dealing with that. And I can tell you, though, when the prices go back down, that those conversations will happen a lot quicker.
[00:44:37] My experience. Yeah. So you’ll make them happen.
[00:44:44] We’ll see. We all here are hoping for not just more certainty, but, you know, a continued easing of this at these tensions and resolution in this this ongoing trade war between two of the leading. The leading economics are economies in the world, you know, not to dove into commentary on one hand, I hate you. Clearly, you’re in the trenches as a manufacturer. You see this firsthand and we all here sit around this table. Loved the manufacturing industry. And I understand how important that is to not just the global economy, but our nation’s economy and the job market. And you name it. On the flip side, we’ve got the drawl and not the tariffs and trade are the best lines in the sand to draw. But but how can we combat, you know, these other countries and their advantages they have? Unfortunately, the manufacturers get or are put in the middle. Right. So hopefully the negotiators that are far better negotiating than I ever have been. I don’t know, Greg. I think you’d give a run for the money, but hopefully they come up to a good win win and we can protect our industries here, protect our products, protect jobs and our manufacturers and in the margins. You know, clearly, you don’t want a guy. I hate to hear you. Many manufacturers. One of my key takeaways here. Many manufacturers when they lose, not me dollars, which is a huge you can imagine all the blood, sweat and tears that goes into that. They roll it. Right? Right. Whitefly. They might shoot the horse, as you said earlier. But what I find compelling and fascinating are organizations with their deals with Met Cams, DNA that’s able to get that just blow through those obstacles and then don’t mean that no easy way or that a simple but find a way to take to get over the speedbumps and come up with lot more wins.
[00:46:35] Well, you you consciously limited your exposure. 9 million dollars out of 30 is still substantial exposure, but the cost of supporting that business also went away. Right. So, I mean, at least the product costs, none of it went away as well. And you’re a finance guy, I got to tell you. It goes to the value of having someone who understands finance and running a business like that.
[00:47:03] Well, one other topic that I’d like to touch on Jerai that kind of came out as a result of the trauma that we’ve experienced in certain areas over the last four years is thinking about, all right, well, we’ve got these award winning environment systems, information systems, quality systems, and we’re using it to support OEMs, obviously, successfully. But what else can we do with that? It’s a great investment, but, you know, can we use it in other ways? So we began probably about four years ago looking at opportunities with entrepreneurs that had sheet metal intensive products. But we’re having difficulty for whatever reason of getting them to the market. So we kind of set up a loose title for that business solutions division. And if somebody comes to us that’s developing that new sheet metal intensive product and wants some assistance, then we can we can look at how can we get involved. But in doing so, it could involve anything from a contractual right to manufacturer under a patent to partial ownership in the patent, or simply an agreement that says if you don’t if we develop the product with you at share expenses in doing that and marketing it, perhaps even that if you if you pull that business to go to lower cost manufacturing, that you’ll reimburse us for that investment. And so we’re we’re currently working on three different products that are that are are selling. And we have a fourth that that’s in development right now doing some testing that’s on the poultry industry. But one of them has to do with a big Greene egg aftermarket for those. Oh, yeah. That love barbecue pizza port-au. So you can find out online what it eats. Porter Peel Artichoke. So Pizza Dasch Port and it’s a simple device that converts Sheer big Greene egg into a backyard pizza oven. And it’s fantastic.
[00:48:49] More valuable product is there than that, right? He walks in the door of the gentleman who developed this and he had he had big reneg. So he had.
[00:48:59] He had you right there. Right. And I don’t care what your product is. Right. I get it.
[00:49:04] There’s another one called Step and Watch, which you’ll see this product in every bathroom at Hartsfield International Airport. You’ll see it at the aquarium. It’s also nationally moving into some of the big box stores and restaurants. And it’s a just a simple device to enable kids to be able to get up to the sink without mom and dad, lift them up or getting the shirts wet or whatever the situation might be.
[00:49:26] Well, kids wash your hands. Yeah, they do. They’re taught to do that. How about that?
[00:49:33] And then there’s another one called Bench One Furniture and a bench. One is technology desking. And we’ve got it installed now in Boston, New York, Toronto, Calgary, Atlanta and San Francisco. And that’s starting to take off. So these are ways to diversify from dependance on build a print for the OEMs to get involved in law doesn’t say it could grow and that we actually have some level of. Involvedin outstanding.
[00:50:00] That’s great. Love to hear that. So, Bruce, we’re gonna have to have you back, especially as these products and the continued innovations are making in the business continue to play out. So in the New Year, as a 20/20 plans is being executed on what to have you back and give us an update on what’s going on. Appreciate it. KARNIK much. You bet. Bruce Wagenaar, president and co-owner of Met Cam, the 2013 Georgia manufacturer of the Year. Ambers don’t go anywhere. We’re going to dove into conversation with Jay Smalls here. Before we wrap up here, this episode of Today in manufacturing series owned Supply Chain Now Radio. So, Jason Moss, you had some excellent news, an incredible award recognition. I think it was last week where the going at Technical College, which is the Georgia Technical College system in particular, is one of the nation’s finest. Right. The state has really intentionally built that to be a huge advantage, not only to bring more industry in so that they can train the workforce, but they can continue to provide the workforce that the manufacturing industry needs to continue expansion. And we all saw the news last week, seven years in a row, Georgia was named the number one state do business and which is really cool. Okay. So the Gwinnett Tech College, which is like them, one of the crown jewels of all the typical college schools here in Georgia, named you the alumnus of the year for twenty nineteen. Is that right? Yeah. Yeah. So was it. Was it a surprise. You know it was coming.
[00:51:28] Really it was a surprise. It was. So October the 9th was our summit. And. I got a call on the Monday before our summit, which was I had a bazillion things and then is some of your time, Tom Jordan and Jordan.
[00:51:45] In fact, that was a year five. Yeah.
[00:51:49] And Melvin Everson Goodfriend man said, hey, you know, if you’re gonna be in town, we really would like you to come. Combat’s our thirty fifth year anniversary of Gwinnett Tech. And I said, well, well, that sounds like a great plan. I’d love to love to learn more about it. Only support the technical colleges any way that I can. He said, well, great. Well, I’ll look forward to seeing you on Friday. Friday morning, my wife, on the other hand, had plans for us to be out of town. And Melvin called on Tuesday and he said, I just want to make sure that you’re gonna be there. I’m like, well, Melwood, we’ll get ready for the show and we’ll get lost. But I’ll make sure. And he said, can you call me back? I said, Okay, I’ll call you back. And, you know, I chased a squirrel. One thing led to another. And on Thursday, he called me back and he said, like, days. Now, I really want to make sure that you’re gonna be there on Friday morning. And I’m like, okay. Melvin, I’d already made plans, but those plans have changed. We will be there. And he said we’ll just. He said, you know, we’re we’re gonna be doing this award thing. And I don’t know. I don’t know anything.
[00:52:45] But, you know, you should might be you might be prepared to say a word or two aren’t here. I wink. And I’m like, well, Melvin, I’ll see what I can do.
[00:52:56] So we showed up and and and it was it was a shock to me that that they had recognized me for that. And as I was going up on stage, Glenn, Dr. Glenn Cannon and me.
[00:53:15] And I was gonna piece it. Can you say a few words? And I was like, okay, well, I got two minutes or two days. How much you will. I said I said about ten minutes. A big thank you. Okay. Well, I got it within minutes. But it was it was an honor to be recognized. And then why? Because it was it was a foundation of. Yeah. Started a lot of things. I mean, you know, prior to that, I was in I was enlisted in the Air Force and I loaded bombs on F-16s. And that was, you know, maybe not the best career move. You know, if you get out of high school, but learn a lot of cool things and get to travel the world, get some stuff. But, you know, you try to you put me know I was as a former bomb loader on a resumé. That doesn’t get you very far. I mean, you know, I mean, not a lot of application for that, you know, commercial and less and less south-western gets really pissed off at Delta. Very good. You know, I don’t have a whole lot of time I ever have. But but we learned a few things.
[00:54:05] But but I took a tour of AutoCAD level one class in nineteen ninety four there. And that was the turning point in my career, which is ultimately led me through in the software sales and then and then starting his organization. And it has been it’s been a blessing that the lessons that I’ve learned there cured me, you know, and opened up tons of doors that I would have never expected. So that was I appreciate that. That was that was lots fun. So so that was part of the the recognition for for what we’re doing. And it’s about helping promote manufacturing. Everything I try to do to try to drive it back to how can this help the manufacturing community. And I’m thrilled beyond measure that Dr. Cannon and the team there are launching and open it up. But the news program for mechatronics and advanced manufacturing, would it take four years? They had canceled it, you know, and and when you can’t get students to show up for a, you know, a machining or or do you Technical classes, if you don’t have students that show up, you can only keep that Birgit the state open for so long. And and it got to a point where students just weren’t coming into the learn Technical, you know, skills like that and machining and that kind of thing. And so when they closed all that, it really was a redirected those resources to other parts of our industry and got it away from manufacturing. But now seeing it come back and come back roaring, you know. Yeah. And it is it is fun to watch. And so January we’ll be launching the event. We’ve got a few things. GMAC will be partnering with Gwinnett Tech to really help promote and get that out to the business community. We will put some roundtables together to make sure that the students that are coming out of there, coming out with the skills that they need to put into into work in the community. I’m excited about being a part of that.
[00:55:54] We are, too. Congrats on the honor and the recognition. I mean, well deserved. I mean, we’ve seen firsthand for years now how much you do to support and give back to the industry than in the manufacturing industry here in Georgia. So I wish I was there to see that your comments. Because.
[00:56:10] Because if you want to see him there on you to get to go the link, you see why I love it. YouTube is a beautiful thing. It is.
[00:56:18] They recorded that bass and my wife was like Dr. Khan. I mean, I can go along and be happy. But she is like freaking out that I was going go way too long. But we kept right in the timeline, you know. But but it is you know, it was really interesting to to see that. Yes. You can now see it.
[00:56:35] Yes. It recorded. The navigational beacons. Yes. All right. So Owna wrap up this little, little center here. Two key takeaways from the Georgia manufacturing summit. No one was yet a great couple Greene abuse. There are two key takeaways, your two key takeaways and six Reader’s Digest version. Right. And what not one thing not to miss. That’s coming up on the GM. A calendar on the yard. You’ve got a fast finish for twenty nineteen, but you also have a lot going on for 2020. Right. So let’s Greg White start with you. What was your one key takeaway and then we’ll get Jasons to ask.
[00:57:08] Well you know, ironically by one key takeaway was the amount of business that that we do with Mexico. So I I interviewed the consul general of Mexico to Atlanta, which is really the southeast. He’s based in Atlanta, but he’s really the concern. And they do $18 billion dollars worth of business. A lot of it is componentry, not finished goods, $18 billion worth of business with the state of Georgia. And that is it’s incredible to think of the scale for just a single state there.
[00:57:43] Mm hmm. Ryder, USMC. Hey, if I said that right? That’s correct. Yeah. What is what kind of impact USMC they expect USMC, of course. Mexico is big is in favor of USMC. It’s much better than than what we have in place today with NAFTA. And is NAFTA still technically in place? I guess so. And you know, and I think that will. You know, they’re confident that, you know, we’ll find something that’s equitable, that will work.
[00:58:14] What was really neat watching and of course, of video, we put the interview posted, but also seen you at work that Consul General was so down. You know, he’s used to a lot of leaders in those roles, having large entourages and being in you cannot approach him.
[00:58:31] You know, this is almost down to earth, dude.
[00:58:34] I was so nervous doing that interview. I was like this. This guy could probably have me deported from my own country. Right. I mean, I was I was.
[00:58:42] And he he was he was a great person. But he didn’t force me to say all of his last names, which was very polite of him. Right. Right. And he was he. And he’s a huge Georgia advocate. That’s what I felt like. I mean, he had been he had been stationed all over the world, Australia, all over the world. And, you know, and clearly he’s a big fan of what we’ve got going here. So it’s good. And who better to be at the Georgia manufacturing summit? Absolutely. Yeah. No kidding. So switching back over to you, two key takeaways from.
[00:59:13] Yeah, the big thing is, is we have a new team and GM a internally staff. And we get I mean, everybody stepped up. We get great volunteers. And it’s a community project. And I am just thrilled to continue to see it and to see it grow and getting ready for twenty twenty. We already get the space leased. It’s gonna be a little bit sooner. Earlier in the year of September the 15th at the Cobb Galleria, I will be packing it out. Hansen now had some great keynotes and the feedback that I got from the surveys that we had hands down were the keynotes. Stewart counties knocked it out of the park with Kisha and Warner Washington for Procter and Gamble. I mean, if things can be said about our again and again, those two are on our Georgia manufacturing alliance YouTube channel.
[00:59:58] If you want to check out my you know.
[01:00:00] Oh, did you in Yawner Washington was was retired by the time he gave his speech. Right. Didn’t you wish that he was not retired after he gave that speech? I agree. I mean, maybe he didn’t need to go back to work. I’m sure he was from. But and I’m sure he’s got his hard earned. Yeah, he’s move us. Man, that was somebody you would love to talk to.
[01:00:19] We’re really thrilled to be part of hopefully the launching pad for his consulting career and speaking because he’s got it. And then they of all the people I’ve heard, lighted up on the stage in a manufacturing space or on or just nailed it. Graham, a couple quick things. You know, the directory is is rolling out with twice a year. We publish the Georgia manufacturing directory. And and what that does is it lists all the current members of GMH. And we send that to the top eighteen hundred manufacturers in the state. Our goal manufacturers tell us all Tonbridge you tell me you’d like to buy local if you can. Right. Support your local businesses. But it’s hard to do that. And that’s why we came up with this. This publication is to help put that in the hands of decision makers and people in in the in the manufacturing so that we can support our own support our own communities. And it just makes it easier to do that. So all the members are listed in there. We’ll get some display ads for people. It will be a little bigger footprint, but that’s coming out and we’ve got to have that and before the end of the year. So there’s opportunities to get some really cool exposure and to learn.
[01:01:21] So be looking for it, looking in your mailbox when it comes out. You know, make sure you get it in and put it to good use. Here’s Christmas catalog. Exactly. And one other thing on a little bit, a little bit of a transition.
[01:01:32] On Saturday, I attended a celebration of life from a. RENTMAN Charlie Post Child Postal is with TSA. He was one of the early, early members of our organization and he had a huge impact on me. He was one of the guys that paid it forward. It now understood that that it’s about community, it’s about supporting each other. It’s about, you know, the rising tide lifts all ships. And Charlie was a great guy. He was he actually he told me the stories. I asked him out, why are you so involved? And this is you know, I spent about four hours with him in the hospital a few weeks ago. And just me and him would just, you know, talk about all sorts of stuff. And. And Charlie said that he said, you know, the thing that drew me to May was he said he said you’re you’re relentless commitment to make sure that everybody in the room had the opportunity to say who they were and what they did. He said 35 years business. I never had to get up from the room, talk about what I did. He said, you know, and I wasn’t good at it. And this was back in 2008 when we first launched it.
[01:02:35] He said, you made me do it every time. You know, and it was like it was pulling teeth, getting to stand up to tall for 30 seconds. And then about six months into it, you couldn’t get him to her. She knew his doctor. But, you know.
[01:02:48] But but Charlie said that that made a significant impact in his life and in his business and his comfort level to be able to speak and in public about what he did, opened up his love for the stage and being able to communicate effectively and talk about his business. And he said that made a buzz a huge bit difference in his business. And what Hillel Bubbie, Bret, buppies, BOTTEN Road, you know, about 2008, 2012. I’m like, do we need to keep doing this? I had gotten out of software sales, so I didn’t have a horse race. And I went to several of my leaders and I said, hey, guys, do we need to keep this organization go in? And he and several of the other folks in the organization said, yeah, we need to keep going, because had it not been for the work, it would get through GM A we wouldn’t be in business today. And I knew we were having an impact, but I know we’re having that kind of impact. But when he said that, I was like, you know, we’re in, you know, and that that was sort of a transition. But about nine months ago, the group came to me and asked me that they were really interested in writing a history book on manufacturing. And and they said, we need your influence. We need you to help open up a few doors. You need that. You need. You probably know some folks and I’m not Ryder. And that is just one of those things now.
[01:04:03] But Chas, you can write. You just can’t spell Gates subject verb agreement. Everything is out of out of park. Yeah, but they have editors for that. Yeah. Yeah. But I will make a good run even further.
[01:04:20] But, but Charlie and as we’re gonna go through this, you know, getting to know each other over the years, I need that Charlie had a background in journalism. So he had a degree in journalism and a degree in history. And when they came to me and they said, hey, we got this idea, we want to do it. We’ve done it in other states, it’s been very successful. And they said, that’s it, we’ll out. I’d be up for it. But I need to, you know, figure out how we’re going to the Ryder thing. Can I get a coauthor? And you’re like, yeah. Yeah. So I worked it out with I’d just left my office. As soon as they said that was go, I went. I said, Charlie, if you go be there for the next 30 minutes, hang tight. I got some data. So what does offices. I sat down with the message. This is what we need to do. This is an end. And without fail, pace it. Yep. I mean, did he. I mean, no details. He said I want to. Cause he spent his life in the space in the manufacturing world and his love for manufacturing.
[01:05:13] And his love for history was a perfect fit. And he’s wrote. He’s written several chapters, although he didn’t complete the project. We’re still gonna complete the project. I mean, so. So Manufacturing Success in Georgia is the title of the book. It’s gonna be illustrated History of Georgia’s Manufacturing. And we’ve got some resources that are that we’re pulling pulling to the table to help complete the project. But it’ll be coming out in the target. That was May. But it may be June or July because we had a little bit of nigiri, as you can tell, a little little delay in making it happen. But we’re still really excited about putting that together, because the research that I’ve done and I’ve been in this space for a little while, it is so fascinating to hear the stories and, you know, and and be able to really dig in and do the research. I’m I’m thrilled that we’re gonna be able to do that. So so keep an eye out for that coming up.
[01:06:05] But you you talk to anybody here, King Plow. I think that that might be a good yes. We want to introduce you to the Cain family. Yeah, that’s that’s a great story.
[01:06:15] But with all the recognition and cool stuff is going on. Birgit, I wanted to again congratulate you guys for Mitt can be in the manufacturer of the year. I do want to throw out a challenge for you, though, my brother. All right.
[01:06:27] We at the summit host. I’m just going to get ready to do whatever you do with it.
[01:06:33] But but we at the Georgia. Manufacturing Al-Azzawi, we host the George Manufacturing Awards and it’s the people of manufacturing and we we provide that, we deliver those those awards at the summit and we don’t recognize the company or the products. But our focus in our awards program is around the people. And we took root, toured your facility a couple of years ago, and you have no lack for amazing people. I mean, because I loved going around and you could see I mean, you would get that with tour facilities all around the state. And this past year, we’ve had about thirty five hundred folks attend events that we hosted and we’ve hosted about 120 events. But your facility when we toured your facility, it still stands out to me to be one of those places where the electricity is there and you feel like the family and competent, qualified people. So that invitation for you, I’ll put it like that, is for sometime throughout the year is to get some nominations from your team. So we have the front line, which is anybody in the bill, and it can be your sales person, it can be your receptionist, can be the custodian. That can be somebody Ryder to Daryl press. Right. Any of those things. But anybody in the facility and then we have plant manager of the year and then we have to group awards one to one of which is team award for operational excellence. And we also have a team award for safety. So those are two team awards. So any or and or all of those we would invite WEITEKAMP to participate this year. I can spend our nation’s capital. Because I know you got to got it. Got a great team to pull from us. Yeah. That are in. And again, Scott, you know what you guys do in the space to continue to to bang the drum for for supply chain, but also in the you know, today in manufacturing, I’m I’m I’m thrilled to be a part of this thing.
[01:08:17] So we love it. And we’re glad you’re part and we’re glad to feature leaders and stories in companies like Meck camp. So it all really comes together. No doubt. And, you know, there’s so many different ways of folks defining supply chain. There is no more important cog in the in the in supply chain space than manufacturing. And some folks may disagree with me.
[01:08:38] You know, transportation’s got to have something to say. All right.
[01:08:42] Transportation is the background which drives the traditional definition of supply chain. And then we’d love our training. We spend a lot of time around transportation Logistics, but we love our manufacturing industry and appreciate you all coming together and talking not only about the story side, but some of the challenges and issues that are facing manufacturers. Are they? So that’s no pun intended on the title of the series. But Olmert, that would try to make it easy for our listeners to today manufacturing dot coms. We could find all the all the episodes in this series. So with that said, two final quote. One final question for both of you. We’ll make one. Make sure folks can can reconnect with YAL and plug in with what y’all both have shared. Bruce, how can people find your find met? Can you in that camp?
[01:09:29] Well, met. Cam dot com certainly has a phone number, you know, for the business. And my email is very difficult to remember. It’s Bruce that met Kim Dotcom.
[01:09:40] So, you know, you’re on the link to it on LinkedIn.
[01:09:43] Absolutely. Can hit me on LinkedIn. Be great.
[01:09:46] Okay. And Jason, it’s not as challenging as well as Jason at Georgia manufacturing dot com. Our office number 7 7 0 3 3 8 0 5 1. And we would encourage you to hit us up on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram. We’ve just launched Instagram. This will be our first post on Instagram. So we’ll first post in 4 years.
[01:10:09] You and Jennifer Aniston Rod. All right. Go ahead.
[01:10:13] And then. Yeah, yeah. Jason at George Manufacturer Netcom become outstanding.
[01:10:18] Debt outstanding. Can I say one more thing, please? That ISO fourteen thousand certification that you have. I think that’s really valuable to look. Companies are and consumers particularly are looking for that sustainability in Supply chain. I know some of that business went overseas for cost, but that as your value add ding buzz word alert. But that is a value add. I mean, I could see that being a really marketable thing back to your vendors to kind of nudge them back to working with you. Yeah. So now I don’t know anything about your business, but I do know a little bit about marketing.
[01:10:57] Yeah, well put. Okay. On that note to our listeners, if there’s anything you heard today and we’re gonna give an abbreviated list of shows that we’re gonna be at here as we wrap up today, you can shoot us a note to connect at Supply Chain Now Radio RT.com and we’ll do our best to track down the information you’re looking for or connect with the folks or past guests. Rename it as you are seeking different ideas or resources, you name it. So but to listeners, come check us out in person. Right. We got a slew of events we’re gonna be at. We are here. Well, I’m thankful, which got back from Austin, Texas. We’re here through the end of the year. The content machine has not slowed. And it’s good to leave this mobile studio packed up in the van for a month and a half. Yeah. So the next event will be at CSC m.p.’s Atlanta roundtable luncheon in January and January 2019. They’re bringing in someone from NASCAR tracks. We’re talking about some of the regulations in the transportation industry and what it means for your business. You can learn more. Atlanta s Vetlanta CSC M-P dot org. It’s open to the public. And then we’re gonna be in Vegas in February with the Reverse Logistics Association Conference and Expo. It’s got me in Vegas in February till 2 minutes or 20 seconds. Why are you limiting it? Jack Allen with Cisco, Jack EFT and Tony Sciarrotta wrote of my Sheer. That’s right. R-LA A fascinating conversation yesterday to see. Which stands for what?
[01:12:24] Yeah. The circular economy. Right. And how they are both instrumental in contributing to that. Jack is on the board of RLA. And also at Cisco and helping shape Cisco’s about them.
[01:12:36] What he called yesterday, not just reverse Logistics, but also inbound Logistics. He’s managing both streams. There’s a lot going on there. You can learn more about the Reverse Logistics Association, which is global headquartered here. It’s a global and growing organization. RLA dot org. And then final mutex me back here in Atlanta in March. Twenty twenty one of the largest supply chain trade shows, North America. Thirty five thousand people are what they’re expecting. Holy cow. But the neat thing is, is free. And I think GMH, you can be exhibiting at mutex, we’re gonna be there broadcasts throughout the four days and the Vetlanta spots in a word. See everyone in Atlanta? Supply chain. And words like March 10th, year 2. That’s gonna be year 1 was outstanding. Year 2. We’re going a little bigger and a lot better. We’ve got a great keynote in Christian Fisher, president and CEO of Georgia-Pacific. Yeah. It’s gonna be on day two Moto X launch event. That’s coming March 10th. Nominations are open, registration, sponsorships all open. There’s something for everybody. And you can learn more about Moto X, which is free to attend. Moto X show, dot com MDX show, dot com. If you’ll check out the Atlanta Supply chain awards. We had a very complicated u._r._l.
[01:13:49] Yes. Can we have ignored that article? Grasp for the obvious. Atlanta Supply chain Awards dot com.
[01:13:55] That’s right. Come out and check out the Mode X event. It will not be something that it will not be something to be missed. Okay. Big thanks to our guests. Once again, here we had Bruce. Bruce, Agonal, president, co-owner with Met Cam again. We got we have to have a title belt for that 2018 Georgia manufacturer.
[01:14:15] The bring Ric Flair out there. That’s right.
[01:14:20] And Jason Mauls, founder and CEO of the Georgia manufacturing alliance. Great conversation. Really appreciate your time today. And Greg, we’re gonna call it a wrap. But to our audience, be sure to check out our other upcoming events, replays of interviews, other resources at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. You can find us anywhere you get your podcast from, including YouTube. On behalf of the entire Supply Chain Now Radio team, this is Scott Luton wishing you a wonderful week ahead and we will see you next time. Owen Supply Chain Now Radio, thanks everybody.
Bruce Hagenau is president and co-owner of Metcam Inc., the 2018 Georgia Manufacturer of the Year. Hagenau co-founded Metcam in 1989, turning a bankrupt sheet metal fabricator into an ISO-certified, advanced metalworking company known for its customer service and lean, sustainable operating model. Active in the manufacturing industry both locally and nationally, Hagenau serves as an Advisory Board Member for Next Generation Manufacturing and is a founding Board Member of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) Manufacturing Society. He has also served as Chairman of the Southeast Council of TechAmerica, a trade association representing over 2,000 high technology companies. Learn more about Metcam here: https://www.metcam.com/
Jason Moss is Founder and CEO of the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance (GMA). The organization is the fastest growing community of industry professionals in the state. Since 2008, GMA has provided the premier platform for manufacturing leaders to form strategic alliances, share best business practices, and make profitable business connections. GMA now has six chapters across the state that are facilitated by volunteer chapter directors. The organization’s staff and Chapter Directors work together to identify quality manufacturers, coordinate plant tours, and provide educational workshops in their regions. Each month GMA provides at least 5 plant tours where others can learn best business practices from their peers. Learn more about the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance here: https://www.georgiamanufacturingalliance.com/
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Data Analytics and Metrics Intern
Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
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’.
Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
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 singing second soprano in the Grayson United Methodist Church choir.
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.
Allie is currently completing a degree in marketing with a certificate in entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia. She got her social media start through an internship with Shred, a personal training app, and she’s been hooked ever since. She works to optimize our following base while assisting the team with content creation, influencer outreach and other marketing endeavors. Allie can’t wait to keep growing alongside Supply Chain Now.
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.
Jada is a recent graduate of Old Dominion University, having earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications with a media studies concentration and marketing minor. Jada got her start producing content at 16 years old, while attending a radio and broadcasting journalism program in high school, and hasn't looked back! She is an asset to the Supply Chain Now team as a media specialist, podcast and media producer, and production coordinator. Outside of Supply Chain Now, Jada is a big Lakers fan, and also a music journalist and enthusiast.
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.