Supply Chain Now Radio Episode 227

Episode Summary

“If you are negotiating with less stress because you are well prepared, you’re going to spend more time thinking about your next move rather than worrying about being attacked.”

– Rod Sherkin, President of ProPurchaser


According to data that Rod Sherkin, President of ProPurchaser, has gathered by polling the hundreds of procurement professionals who attend his webinars, about 70% of people experience stress before a supplier negotiation. They report that this stress is primarily due to a lack of knowledge – especially when compared to the sales rep – and a lack of time to prepare.


Fortunately, there are some very practical steps that procurement professionals can take to increase their confidence (and reduce their stress) in advance of a negotiation. In this podcast, Rod describes those steps to Supply Chain Now Radio Host Scott Luton and provides some high-level instructions and incentives for carrying them out.


Rod’s four-point plan for negotiation with less stress includes:

  • Preparing properly
  • Negotiating prices in writing
  • Put pricing management on ‘autopilot’ through the use of formulas
  • Not meeting face to face with the supplier until the pricing has been agreed to

Episode Transcript

[00:00:05] It’s time for Supply Chain Now Radio. Broadcasting live Supply chain capital of the country. Atlanta, Georgia. Supply Chain Now Radio spotlights the best in all things supply chain the people, the technology, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.


[00:00:29] Hey, good afternoon. Scott Luton here with you libeled Supply Chain Now Radio.


[00:00:32] Welcome back to the show. We’re excited to be continuing our Procurement Pros. series here today, offering Supply chain leaders several new ideas and best practices as always. And today we’re talking about effectively taking control of supplier negotiations. And really, how can you set yourself up for better success when it comes to negotiations? So stay tuned for that. So quick programing note. Like all of our series on Supply Chain Now Radio, you can find our replays on a variety of channels Apple podcast, SoundCloud, YouTube, wherever you get your podcast from, as always. We’d love to have you subscribe so you don’t miss a thing. Let’s quickly thank a few sponsors for allowing us to bring these best practices and innovative ideas to you, our audience. The Effective syndicate Verusen, Epic’s Atlanta and many more. You can check out each of our sponsors on the show notes of this episode. Let’s welcome in our special guest here today. Once again, Rod Sherkin, president of Rod. How are you doing?


[00:01:34] I’m doing fine. Scott, how are you?


[00:01:36] I’m doing fantastic. It’s great to reconnect with you. It’s been too long, but I’m really excited about this topic here and really just how pratical the insights and best practice and do we have pratical best practices that such a thing?


[00:01:52] I think so. They’re not as esoteric. They’re down to earth and usable. How about a usable best practices?


[00:02:00] You always put it better than I do that that is the best way to put. I think this is gonna be highly useful for our folks that are listening, that are in procurement or really anyone that negotiates. And anyone that has that typical human fear of negotiating women. Talk more about that in a second. But hey, before we pick your brain on how folks can get better at negotiating, we want to pose the lightning round to you.


[00:02:27] And we want to learn more about Rod Sherkin and have a bit of fun while we do it. Are you game for that?


[00:02:33] Sure. No, sure. You can like what you hear. But let’s try it.


[00:02:38] Are you ready for the light? I sure am.


[00:02:41] Okay. All right. Up first, what is your favorite all time movie, The Matrix?


[00:02:50] It’s my favorite All-Time movie. I’ve watched it six or seven times. The first matrix there for them. But the first one is by far and away the best.


[00:02:58] Well, now, I gotta say, we’re well, we’re doing the pre-show planning for this. And as I was figuring out what questions I wanted to pose to you as part of the lightning round, I would not have expected The Matrix to come back as one. Your favorite all time movies. I’m impressed. But you got a second? You got it. That’s one A. What’s the one, B?


[00:03:18] Avatar. I like science fiction and I like imaginative science fiction. Things that could actually happen. I mean, think about Matrix is it isn’t preposterous. It could happen. You know, Avatar. Yeah, it’s a little tougher, Dave. You know, transplant somebody brain into an avatar. But, you know, one day it’ll probably happen. So. But I like about science fiction. Is that it? It looks into the future and then kind of projects. What will happen to our species if. Yeah, if we continue through here, we are in love. Yeah. The art of the possible. Yes, it’s art of the possible.


[00:03:54] Okay. I might ask your red pill. Blue pill. Just kidding. Just kidding.


[00:03:58] Right. Take the red pill. All right. So tell us about your favorite recent read, whether it’s a book or a blog.


[00:04:09] It’s a book. My wife gave it to me for my birthday, which was a few months ago. And it’s something I never would have thought. It’s called The Second Mountain by David Brooks. People or PBS listeners, if they listen to the show, they watch the news on PBS on Fridays. There’s Sepah, so-called Brooks and SHEALES, and they talk up with the politics of the week. And this is the brooks of Brooks and shales is David Brooks. And he wrote a book called The Second Mountain, which is about, you know, what do you do when you’re forty five, fifty fifty five and you’ve kind of achieved most of what you wanted to in your career. And, you know, you’ve got no financial stability and you’re you’re kind of happy, but you’re not totally fulfilled. And, you know, if he calls out the first mountain and then he talks with the second mountain. Second Mountain is kind of how you find your passion. How are you? How do you figure out how to give back? You know, whether it’s, you know, to society, withers to your profession. And his point. It’s a good one and he’s very good writer and he’s a journalist as well. So he backs it up with lots of facts that you can be happy in the first mountain, but you can’t be joyful.


[00:05:21] And joy comes from, you know, giving yourself up to a greater costs. And that’s what the second mountain is all about. So there was it’s a really good book and something that, you know, I left it to the Second Mountain by David Brooks, is that right?


[00:05:35] Yes. Yes. Outstanding. All right. So continuing over the lightning round here, let’s talk about Rod. What is one habit of yours that you’d consider having a big impact on your business success?


[00:05:49] The deals? I think it’s how you make deals. So whether the deal is a personal deal with with a child or a spouse or whether your it’s a business deal with colleagues or suppliers or customers. I think what you’ve got to do is put your self into the other person’s shoes. You know, try to be empathetic. It’s hard to do sometimes and figure out how they win as well. If you’re always about winning for yourself without understanding how the other party wins, whether it’s personal or business, then I think it becomes one sided very quickly. And it’s not a lasting or sustainable thing. Whereas if you try to walk a mile in the other person’s shoes and put deals together, say a business where both parties win, then I think you wind up with injury and sustainable relationship. So I try to do that. I don’t always succeed. But if there’s one thing I’ve always tried to do is make sure that I understand how the other party wins and make sure that I’m not the only winner in a deal.


[00:06:52] Love that. Love that. I think we’re we’re kindred spirits in that regard. Okay. Number four. Fourth question here, reposed in a Rod Sherkin, president of is in this ever more constantly connected world. How do you disconnect for our and our purposes?


[00:07:10] I guess there’s two kinds. First of all, I try not to get too connected in the first place. For example, right now on Facebook and I don’t worry about projecting my digital presence into the into the cyberspace, but to really disconnect. I try to take a walk every day where I live, not too far from a park in parts of the park at wooded area. So I find walking in wooded areas. That’s for your best best thoughts come. And you descant. I don’t take my cell phone. And then in the summers when I’m on vacation, I love to go on canoe trips. I know day trips. I don’t too old out a ticket to take a tent and sleep overnight. I could do it, but it wouldn’t be fun. Not with the arthritis. You know, just going out and canoeing and trying to get away from it all and, you know, trying to catch a loon in a lake or. Yeah, I live in Canada. So we not and we we do still have lots of lakes not too far from Toronto where you can’t see a loon in Canada, goose and things like that. Occasionally you’ll see a deer. So, yeah, just getting up and getting into nature. That’s how I like to just connect.


[00:08:21] I can just paint a picture with my mind with a lot of what you just described. And I think I think I caught a little or an hour the last fifteen seconds for the first word.


[00:08:32] All right.


[00:08:32] So let’s talk about one of my favorite and really I think our favorite topics is leadership consumed with the study of leadership. Day in and day out. I like it better understand from you, Rod, who was one of the strongest leaders you’ve ever worked with. And what’s one trait that made him or her more success when you don’t have to name names but feel free to?


[00:08:55] One’s name is Dawn Lokman. He was one of the presidents of Pillsbury Greene giant when I was there, I was the was the director of materials management and actually promoted to V.P. under him. And what made it Dawn was an unassuming guy, hardworking, never asked anybody to do anything he wouldn’t do himself. And what he did, which I think was different than most, is that he he wouldn’t take no for an answer. He’d say, wow, I want you to do this project. And I will. You people, not just me. People would say, well, I’ve never done it before. I’m not qualified. Yeah, but you could do it. So he’d always be challenging us. And, you know, if you fail, which we did not every time, but only when you ask people do things like that, there will be failure. He never criticized. He was very generous with his. Not just with it. It wasn’t. It gave you a responsibility. And it was very flattering. And you tried to rise to the occasion.


[00:09:57] And when I think of Don, he always surrounded himself with bright people and he would challenge them. And it was the most I mean, when I look back at my career, I probably had you know, it was most one of the most rewarding times when I worked for Pillsbury, working for Don Ludeman. What he did was he challenged you wouldn’t take no for an answer, actually stretched you all the time with the best of intentions. Yeah. We made him look good because he had people doing things around him that he couldn’t do on his own. And we all felt that we wanted to succeed and felt part of a team and felt complimented that he trusted us to do things that maybe other people wouldn’t have loved it.


[00:10:36] Okay. All right. So now thank you for your sportsmanship as we work through the lightning round here with you here. Rod. Sherkin. Now, let’s dove into the main topic right now. The center played here less, less stress and more success. How to take control of suppliers negotiations. So where we want to start before we walk through some tried and true best practices for improving your ability to negotiate. We want to kind of lay the groundwork, set the backdrop, so to speak. And I want to start with posing the question to you, why is preparation so important for negotiations? Rod.


[00:11:15] Well, you know, we’ve done a little bit of sampling, which we’ll get to in a minute. I’ll try to describe the pie chart I’m looking at. But if you don’t prepare, you know, whether you’re not just a negotiation, if you’re not prepared for an event, if you haven’t done your push ups and you you’re you’re you’re going to, you know, try to compete in an athletic event. You you’re going to feel stressed. So lack of preparation is something that I think we all feel is stressful. So to avoid stress in any situation, you need to understand what you’re getting into. You need to prepare for it. And whether it’s a physical exercise or mental exercise like negotiating is.


[00:11:58] And so preparation is kind of, you know, probably the most important thing you can do to at least alleviate the stress of something that you’re both to do this challenging.


[00:12:10] Absolutely. And it’s such a universal concept. And, you know, it’s free to do oftentimes. And it gives you a lot more confidence regardless if you’re getting to your point, running a race or or negotiating or or or taking a spelling test. You name it, right. Right. All right. Let’s. You alluded to some of this pop chart, and I know you all have been conducting research at for four years, both formally through sorbets and informally with all of your work out in industry and in some of the industry research that’s out there as well. So you’ve got cumulated some data around some of the factors that calls stress related to negotiation. Right. Tell tell us more about this.


[00:12:57] Yeah. Wheatley’s right. We’ve been doing this for quite a while.


[00:13:00] We’ve had hundreds of people come to our webinars and get to ask people questions and we ask questions about, you know, do you feel stress before negotiations? And about 70 percent of the people say, yes, they do, and about 30 percent say they don’t. So the first thing was I was surprised by that, because you think people in procurement would understand that negotiating is a big part of the job. And if they feel stressed about it, why would you ever go into procurement in the first place? Because that’s one of the most important things you have to do. So we we started quantifying it and we found that about 43 percent of the people who are in procurement positions that they then part of their jobs to negotiate. Forty three percent say that they feel stressed because they don’t have enough information. They feel that they’re at a disadvantage when they’re sitting in front of a sales rep. And it’s it make sense of me. SALES reps usually only sell one or two things. They’re quite focused. They don’t, you know, whereas the supply chain people tend to buy many things. So it’s just it’s just hard to be as focused. I mean, they’re there. So even if you’re as you know, you start a question of being bright or intelligent, it’s a question of if if you have to if you’re buying a bunch of things, 15 or 20 different kinds of items, you’re up against somebody who sells one or two things. It’s hard to compete on a knowledge. So you lack information. That’s the second most important factor was a lack of time. And that was about 25 percent of the people. So between lack of information, lack of time, you’re at about 68 percent of the US, the stress. And so. So two thirds of the people interviewed or who answered our polling questions and we talked to said that it was lack of time and lack of information, which, of course, are related.


[00:14:53] You know, half the time you don’t have the information or about 17 percent said it was bullying sales tactics. So they were they felt stressed because they know it was an unpleasant experience because of the personality of the sales rep.


[00:15:12] About 10 percent said it was internal pressures, which is a real surprise. These are, for example, the controller and the company saying you don’t take an increase. We budgeted at X and it didn’t matter that the market. But, you know, maybe it was a plastic part of the resons had gone up for, you know, marketplace pressures.


[00:15:31] It raised the price of resin. There’s no way you can buy an injection molded plastic part for what you did last year. But they felt this pressure because they’re in internally, they were under pressure from people in finance or other areas.


[00:15:43] So I don’t know how you feel, Scott, but I looked at this and I thought, my goodness, if if most people, 70 percent feel stress and this is an important part of their job. Yo, yo, what what can we do as you know? What can we do as professionals to to help you? Yeah.


[00:16:07] You know, I think when when I saw it. So when I saw your research and data here, the lack of time never surprises me. Right. In fact, I was surprised at lack of time was with so little. No pun intended at 25 percent. Delfin not surprised with lack of info being the plurality here. Know we were talking before we went live on the podcast today about the procurement profession and I’m always careful when, not when I make generalities. And there you are too. But in my experience in manufacturing in the Supply chain industry, know there’s a lot of folks that don’t graduate from either high school or to your degree or for your degree or wherever they go formally to get a formal education and then launch a procurement career. In my experience, a lot of folks, they might land a different role within the organization. And then as they prove themselves and as our openings in the procurement department, they get promoted into a new role. All right. And so what does all that matter? Well, that matters. Because you would think intuitively that folks that work in procurement would understand the point. You made Rod that the negotiation comes with a territory. You’re procuring goods and services and who you’re procuring those from are recurring profit and in a very skeptical right job.


[00:17:28] It’s like the most important part of the job. Yes.


[00:17:30] So. So in my mind, at least, I think the the fear of negotiating is much more. I mean, I take a look at myself. I hate behind a car. And one of the reasons I hate buying a car is I hate the haggling and negotiating. And I don’t want to put a bad spin on on any one profession. But, you know, that’s a big part of it. Right. Yeah. So when I when I when I think about what drives fear, I think about it. It’s kind of a human thing. And when folks enter a procurement space, not based on their negotiating skills, but maybe other things, they’ve done so well, and then all of a sudden they got to negotiate more. Well, naturally, it’s going to create a lot more fear. You know?


[00:18:17] Yeah. Makes sense. I thought of it that way. Can make a good point, so. Well, there are some things we can do if we’ve. Maybe we should talk about that theorem.


[00:18:28] Ok, then this and this is where I love. Go back to the practical best practices or or as you put it, much better earlier. This can be highly usable. Been there, done that perspective. And that’s that’s why I like our theory together. Rod. So you have a proven tried and true four step plan for improving negotiations, right?


[00:18:49] Yes. For making them less stressful. For making them less of an adversarial thing. Yes, I. And in awe of process.


[00:18:58] Yes. And I would submit to you that if you can take the stress and the fear, not eliminate it, but take a lot of that out of any negotiating negotiations, they’re going to be more successful. Would you agree?


[00:19:12] Oh, yeah, for sure. You’re going to spend more time thinking about your next move rather than worrying about being attacked. Him EFT loser.


[00:19:20] All right. So let’s kick off with the first part of this. This four step plan.


[00:19:26] Ok, well, first off, first, you got to prepare properly and we’ll talk about that. That’s probably the most most time consuming is to prepare properly. But isn’t that hard to do? And then once you prepare properly, you should probably negotiate pricing in writing. You want to do things in writing. It’s much more objective. You don’t take away the emotion. You nobody stare, you know, staring across the table at someone. And then once you’ve you’ve got your pricing negotiations going and writing, then the third thing you should do is try to create formulas, put pricing on autopilot and we’ll explain a little bit. I’ll try to explain a bit more about that later.


[00:20:01] And then when you do meet in person, because that’s usually what’s more stressful, you should take the pricing off the table so you make a rule. If your sales rep wants to meet you, go for lunch. Whatever it is, agreed to do it only after the prices are agreed to. We could talk about service and quality at lunch, but you shouldn’t talk about prices. So get the pricing kind of done without a face to face intimidation thing that make a be going on causing the fear. And if you do those four things, it goes a long way towards reducing. I think the stress and the fear that comes along with negotiating will put.


[00:20:37] So the recap real quick before we take a deeper dove in each first step, prepare, prepare, prepare properly. Easy for you to say. Step two, negotiate in writing. Step three, you’re in. Want to create formulas to put pricing on autopilot. And step four, meet in person basically at the right time. Let’s take a deeper dove on that first one neuron.


[00:20:57] Ok. So the first thing you need to do is track changes to your suppliers costs. So let’s say you buy bolts, steel bolts just to make it easy. And let’s say you pay a dollar for a bolt. You’ve been paying a dollar for the last year and all of a sudden the price of steel drops.


[00:21:18] Well, that’s kind of a clue. You shoot. You should be paying less, obviously, for the boat. Question is, how much? So first you you have a system in place to track changes to the raw materials that your suppliers buy. For example, you buy plastic parts, you do plastic resin, you buy bolts, you do steel, and then you need a way to estimate the approximate impact that these changes should have on your prices. So, for example, you buy steel bolts and the price of steel drops 10 percent. What should that have? What effect does that have on your pricing? And if you don’t know for sure, just a good rule of thumb is half. So if half of it if half of what you’re paying for is the steel that this the bolts supplier buys and the other half is what he needs to, you know, operate his machines, covers overhead, make a profit. So a 10 percent drop in steel probably should mean a 5 percent drop in bolt if you approach your supplier that way. And he says all that’s not true. You know, 60 percent of what we pay for is a steel. Then you just adjust it. You say, OK, a 10 percent drop in steel would be a 6 percent drop in the bolt price.


[00:22:24] So the first thing you do is track the changes. You don’t have to get your supplier to help you do that and estimate the impact that these changes have on what you’re paying for, whatever it is you’re buying. And then what you do is you when you notice that, for example, the price of steel is gone down and you’re about to sit down with your supplier. You actually send them the chart and you do it an embedded, embedded chart and in an email or send them a just spreadsheet to say, oh, I’ve noticed the price of steel is down 10 percent. And you say to them, we expect, therefore, that, you know, you’re we’re gonna pay you ninety five cents for the pull instead of a dollar. And you do this. You’re doing it in writing this before you meet. And and then you see what the sales are up to sales. Or it might come back and say, well, actually our steel special. Go down 10 percent. It only went down 8 percent. Fine. So give us a 4 percent decrease instead of a 5. But the point is, you’re not doing it face to face and you’re doing it in writing and it’s a lot less intimidating and actually put you in a much stronger position because you’re going to have the facts on the table before you actually meet.


[00:23:40] Sometimes you have to be a you know, sometimes you’ll buy things that are a little more difficult to estimate than bulls. Bolts are only made out of steel. Maybe you’re buying copper wire, in which case you’d have to keep track of copper prices and whatever the insulator is. APICS. I mean, you might buy electric motors. In that case, you want to keep track of four or five different things. But the point is you need to have a system for keeping track of of what your suppliers buy and some way of roughly estimating the impact you have on pricing and then conveying that to the to the supplier. So that’s kind of the first first thing you need to do is to negotiate properly, is to have a way of understanding what your suppliers costs should be doing based on what’s happened to their input costs and how that should affect the things that you’re buying. So that’s what preparing properly is.


[00:24:36] Terrific Drac, no estimate. All right. It’s all about preparing properly. Let’s move in. The number to which we’re we’re talking about negotiating and writing, right?


[00:24:45] Right. So what you’ve done this once you’ve you’ve you’ve estimated that you should be paying less for or more. I mean, clearly, raw material costs could go up. So as you move, it’s good for the goose is good for the gander. It goes both ways. So if the price went up 10 percent, you would say, well, I would expect to pay a dollar fine for the bolt. Now, when the price of steel goes up, you probably are going to get a call from the sales rep before you even have a chance to call them, because that’s always what happens.


[00:25:15] So they call you a Steeles, up 10 percent. We’ve got to raise the price of bolts and that’s OK. I mean, that’s fair.


[00:25:21] They everyone’s got to make a margin and stay in business and just make sure they don’t raise it more than the 5 percent. So. So the second thing you do is, is when you have a you know, negotiation writing is kind of natural. Once you once you’re tracking these things and you’ve you’ve got the information, you basically send the supplier the information and he’ll come back and you’re going to be negotiating automatically.


[00:25:48] Well, it isn’t a percent. It’s it’s not 10 percent. It’s 8 percent or it’s a 60 percent of our costs is 40 percent of our costs. And you’re actually negotiating the supplier. You know, the sales rep might not even realize that he’s just defending maybe his position.


[00:26:01] But what you’re really doing is you’re negotiating the price without having to do it face to face. And you’re in a much stronger position because you’ve got the facts on your side and you’re controlling the narrative. So that’s really all there is negotiating. Writing is don’t just go, you know, don’t just do these calculations on your own and be sharing them through e-mails and spreadsheets with here with your supplier.


[00:26:26] But it also would you agree that it also allows you a chance to you know, sometimes when it when in μου where we’ve been negotiating that first offer and sometimes a third offer can really put a B in our bonnet. Right. And so being able to kind of slow things down and and give yourself time that comprise a response is so much easier to control the emotion. Get the emotion out of negotiating by conducting it in writing. S Greene right.


[00:26:58] Absolutely. Everything.


[00:27:00] I mean if you have to you know, even in your personal life, if you’ve got a difficult letter to write to somebody or difficult message to communicate to somebody, it’s often better to do it right. OK. And then when you when you sent a graph, let’s say the suppliers sent you a letter to say, hey, we have to raise our prices 3 percent. And this made out of a plastic resin. And you send them an email with a chart that shows that plastic resins are actually down 10 percent. You can just embeded and ask a question. You don’t even have to negotiate. Say, hey, why are you asking for 3 percent more when your rising costs are down 10? I’m just curious. Could you please explain? That’s not confrontational.


[00:27:48] It’s not it’s not really negotiating. Ostensibly not negotiating. But it really is negotiating. Because what you’re saying to the sales rep is, hey, you know, we you know, more easy money here. We’re we’re watching your costs. We we know what’s happening. If you want to play fair, fine. But you know, no more, you know, Chicken Little, Aqeel, the sky is not falling. You know, we we understand what’s going on.


[00:28:12] And so this when you’re negotiating Ryder, you can also pose, you know, these innocent questions that really will stand you in good stead because, you know, sales are up. They’re interested in the relationship. They know. People don’t buy things from people they don’t like or trust or they don’t want to buy things. So they want to keep the relationship solid. They don’t want to get on your bad side. And so when you ask questions like this, they’re going to go to their boss and say, hey, is it really true? Is a plastic resin really down 10 percent? Why are we they may not know. The sales reps often don’t know what the raw material costs are doing.


[00:28:48] So it your sales are up almost becomes a your advocate internally because they’re going to go to their boss and say, how am I going to sell this three three cent increase, the 3 percent increase on the plastic part when the resons down. And that’s like that’s going to really stand. You could step because you should you should be paying less clearly and they’re going to have to come to the table. And if either come up with some really wild story, which probably won’t happen, what’s really going to happen is they’re going to say, yeah, you’re you know, because you’re such a good customer and if you promise not tell anybody else. Well, we’ll hold the price. We won’t raise it or maybe even reduce the price. So that’s the second set. You know what?


[00:29:27] One more thing about negotiating and writing this moment is really important. And regardless of plotting or else where you love, Tom’s negotiating. When it’s verbal, you’ve got a variety of players, you’ve got some very honest and transparent and truthful folks. And then you got folks that are looking to close a deal by all means necessary. That’s right. What I love about writing is that it gives you the opportunity to be very clear. You know, I’m a big I’m a big believer in bullet points. I’m guilty as charged up at bullet points, everything. But when you’re negotiating and writing, you can address every single point with a very clear and coherent and and transparent response. And it adds some some guidepost to the conversations that that that oftentimes really needs them. Right. Rod.


[00:30:13] Right. Right. And also the sales rep. Think of it from his or her point of view. They’re there often. You know, they have marching orders from their boss. Hey, go get that 3 percent increase. And if you negotiate in writing and you give the sales rep the chart that says, hey, that’s not fair. It helps the sales rep as well. So maybe the sales rep doesn’t have to be as forceful. Maybe they don’t have to be as, you know, confrontational with you because, you know, they’re they’re worried about not making the sale.


[00:30:44] They’ve got to make the sale. They don’t get paid if they don’t. And now you buy by giving them something in writing. You’re helping them convince their their management that it’s unreasonable and that you really should be reducing the price. And it takes a stress off the sales rep, which relaxes them, which will relax you. And you’re you’re actually taking control. Yeah. Every you’re taking control, you’re helping them help themselves then. OK. In the number three thing was to, you know, put pricing on automatic pilot. Well, you have almost there if you’ve got when you negotiate in writing and you agree to an increase based on what’s happened to raw material cost or you’ve got your supply to agree to a decrease because, you know, plastic resin costs are down or Steeles down for the for the bolts, just formalize it. Say, well, look, you know, every time steel goes up 10 percent, we’ll give you a 6 percent increase every time it goes down 10 percent. You give us a 6 percent decrease. You have kind of got a automated pricing. And once you’ve got that and you’re almost there just by negotiating rating and getting them to to agree with you or at least make some sort of change to their pricing based on the facts you’re presenting then by just saying, let’s make a formula. The formula is 60 percent of the change will, you know, within it will be passed on either way. And then you have this really on automatic pilot, you know, your basic taking virtually all the stress away. And once you’ve done that, if they still want to meet. Great. But, you know, pricing is not an issue of pricing is automatic pilot. And you can meet with their sales rep and they’re going to be relaxed because they don’t have to push some sort of increase through that. They they you don’t want to take because you help them convince their management that it’s not fair.


[00:32:32] So now you’re on a kind of a fair and maybe not equal isn’t quite the right word, but it’s it’s it’s an objective and rational way to price. There’s they’re going to make it cover their margins. I mean, all you’re really saying to them is, look, raw materials go down. We want a lower price. You’re not asking them for, you know, skinning their margins or reducing their overhead coverage.


[00:32:56] So everybody stays in business. Everybody’s kind of going to benefit from this because now it’s you can do is take negotiations really to the next level, which is another topic. But once you you’ve kind of gotten rid of this adversarial kind of stressful, you know, exchange with sales reps and your suppliers, it really puts you on a solid basis to talk about maybe doing collaborative things and maybe, you know, helping both parties do better by working together on joint projects, which is another subject. I know, but certainly takes a stress out of negotiating if you follow these four steps.


[00:33:39] Yes. And it opens up the door to doing all kinds of other things that create more value. So we’ll recap these real quick. First off, we’re going to prepare properly. Number two, negotiating in writing, which sounds simple, but huge impact Miura. Number three, creating formulas to put pricing on autopilot. That’s one less thing to worry about. Of course, if they’re smart and informed crafted formulas, I’m sure. And then fourthly, meet in person only after prices are agreed, especially if you’re dealing with a pressure pressure cooker. On the other side of the table. Right.


[00:34:18] Especially if it’s you know, this is the you know, the people who if you’ve had a bullying type sales rep. And you’re saying to them, I’m not. You know, you just test the work anymore. I’m not going to be bullied into paying more for something when I can prove Sheer costs are down. If you insist on doing that, I mean, the only people get to bully in those situations are monopolies. You know who they don’t. They don’t worry about it.


[00:34:43] But if you have a monopoly situation that’s different kettle of fish, it’s probably a you shouldn’t be in the air. Your job isn’t so much to negotiate in those cases to find another source. So that, you know, there’s this really if you if you’re in a marketplace where there is competition and you’re being reasonable with the supplier and you’re allowing them to make cover their margins, and if they still insist on being unfair, then you’re. That’s that’s the the tale. That’s your signal to go find another supplier.


[00:35:20] Outstanding. All right. So here’s we close the interview with Rod Sherkin, president of We want to make sure and I like your approach, your Rod. You’re always looking to give agnostic best practices. But is a great resource for folks that may be looking for Rizos resource along those lines. So tell us kind of in a in a nutshell what the platform offers.


[00:35:44] Well, it certainly allows you to research the suppliers costs quite easily, it depends if you if you’re only buying, say, steel bolts that you only buy steel fasteners at your job, then you probably could go to a Web site that just reports on metals and you would have all the information you needed. But if your job involves buying a variety of things, so maybe plastic parts and metal parts and paper packaging, chemicals, things like that, then ProPurchaser fits those situations because we track a variety of things. Ninety nine and a half percent of everything used him in the North American economy. So that’s one place we fit and it’s very easy to look at uptakes, seconds to check things out. And also communicating with suppliers. If you’ve got a charter graph, it’s just a few clicks and you’re sending an email to them with that chart embedded. You could put a note in, you know why? Why is your price going up when the raw materials are going down? So we make it easy to do a lot of these things, but I don’t want people to think that, you know, that you need to join ProPurchaser to do it. You don’t. If you’ve got the time. And if what you buy is fairly simple, you can do this. All of this stuff with Excel and your own e-mails.


[00:36:58] What? OK. So. But you offer a free trial, right?


[00:37:01] Yes, we do. Of course, we’ve never had anybody join. We’ve been in business 19 years. And I don’t think we’ve ever had anybody join without taking out a child first to make sure it works.


[00:37:12] Ok. And we’re gonna offer we’re going to include a link to that in the show, notes of this episode. So Rod really appreciate your approach here. I think this is this. This is help. This helped people far beyond procurement. I think this is a these best practices can help in a variety of different ways. We all have to negotiate the adult world. Right.


[00:37:33] Run like you like baby who you have. I guess you could even do cars nowadays, can’t you? Because their Web site now that we’ll show you what the price of a car should be, what the markups are. And you can. You were saying you don’t like to negotiate cars.


[00:37:48] Well, maybe, maybe I can either call these four steps and go back where I want. Yeah. Maybe get a better deal. You never know. I’m always lucky that day. All right.


[00:37:58] Well, thanks so much. Rod Sherkin, president of, for joining us here today. As we walk through tips for effectively, not only effectively taking control of supplier negotiations, but also how to increase enhance your ability to negotiate so you can check out the replay all everywhere you get your podcast from and you can check out Rod Sherkin at Thanks so much, Rod.


[00:38:23] Well, thank you. Thanks for having me. You bet.


[00:38:26] Ok, so we’re gonna wrap up. Well, just a couple of quick announcements. As always, you know, if you hear an idea or a resource or something, you’ll learn more about and can’t quite find it B even via Google. You can shoot us a note. Talk to our chief marketing officer at Amanda at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. We’ll do our best to serve as a resource for you and point you in the right direction. Also, we invite our audience to come check us out in person. We’ve got a slew of events. We are in Atlanta through the end of the year, which allows us to take a breath while still churning out content from a lot of places we’ve been. But come January, we’re gonna be at SC Competes Lu in a roundtable on January 15th where they’re bringing in someone from Narced Track to talk about some of the regulations in the transportation industry and what it may mean for your business. Public event, you can go to Atlanta, see SCMP dot org to learn more. We’re gonna be out in Vegas in February with the reverse Logistics Association Conference and Expo Outstanding Group that happened to be based in Atlanta. But they’re a global organization that’s growing, as you might imagine. Reverse Logistics in this e-commerce world are growing in importance by the hour. And this group really does a great job helping folks uncover better ways of handling returns and handling reverse Logistics and sustainability and about variety of other things. February 4th through the 6th in Las Vegas opened to the public. You can learn more at R L A dot org and then mutex. One of the largest supply chain trade shows in all of North America comes back to Atlanta March 9th through the 12th.


[00:40:03] Twenty, twenty. Now again, we can be broadcasting lab throughout all four days of that trade show, but they’re also hosting our 2020 Atlanta Supply chain Awards on March 10th, where we have Christian Fisher, president and CEO of Georgia-Pacific, serving as our keynote and Sherkin Cooper serving as our emcee. Sharne serves as the executive director of the Atlanta Committee for Progress. Moad X are our backdrop for that. Lance Supply chain awards is free to attend middeck show dot com MDX showed outcome. And also you can learn more about the Olina Supply chain awards, which nominations are open, registrations are open and sponsorships are a. Atlanta Supply chain Awards dot com. One final event. We just firmed up a an event we were at last year were bet great to be back with them in twenty twenty of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence in their Atlanta twenty twenty lean summit here in May, twenty twenty May 4th to the 7th. That’s also open to the public and you can learn more at A.M.E. dot org. Once again, big thanks to our guests here today. Rod. Sherkin with to our audience. Be sure to check out other upcoming events, replays of our interviews, other resources at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com and you can find a Snapple podcast, SoundCloud, all the other leading sites where podcast can be found. Be sure to subscribe to go missing thing on behalf of the entire team here. This is Scott Luton wishing you a wonderful week ahead and we will see you next time on Supply Chain Now Radio. Thanks everybody.

Featured Guests

Rod Sherkin is the founder and president of Prior to entering cyberspace, he was the senior executive responsible for supply chain for both Pillsbury and Ball Packaging, where, for 15 years, he honed his negotiating skills with suppliers. Rod has spent the last 20 years sharing what he learned with other procurement professionals. Learn more about the company here:


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Nick Roemer

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.

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Katherine Hintz

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

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Kim Reuter


From humble beginnings working the import docks, representing Fortune 500 giants, Ford, Michelin Tire, and Black & Decker; to Amazon technology patent holder and Nordstrom Change Leader, Kimberly Reuter has designed, implemented, and optimized best-in-class, highly scalable global logistics and retail operations all over the world. Kimberly’s ability to set strategic vision supported by bomb-proof processes, built on decades of hands-on experience, has elevated her to legendary status. Sought after by her peers and executives for her intellectual capital and keen insights, Kimberly is a thought leader in the retail logistics industry.

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Kristi Porter

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.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

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.

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Demo Perez

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.

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Kim Winter

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., 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).

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics.  He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.

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Vicki White


Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.

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Allison Giddens


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

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

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Billy Taylor


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

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

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

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

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Tandreia Bellamy


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

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

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

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

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Marty Parker


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

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

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jake Barr


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

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Marcia Williams


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

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.

From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.

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Greg White

Principal & Host

When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.

Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.

Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more.  In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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