Supply Chain Now Radio Episode 233

Episode Summary

“It’s really hard to measure the impact [of talent], especially early on. But you have to constantly invest in your brand as an employer. And the way you do that is with your people, not through marketing. You can market, but it’s really just keeping your people happy and making sure they have the right incentives and benefits.”

– Sean Henry, CEO & Co-founder of STORD


The 3PL marketplace has been growing rapidly over the last 20 years. In 2004, just over half of companies were working with 3PLs, but by 2017, 90% of enterprises had products in 3PM warehouses.

With this trend as the backdrop, Sean Henry founded STORD, a pioneer of networked distribution, next-generation warehousing and distribution. He used his background in supply chain and his understanding of the need shippers have for modern technology and full visibility to combine the advantages of 3PL with a more centralized approach to warehousing and distribution.

In this interview, Sean is joined by Ben Harris, Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber, and Will Haraway, Founder & Lead Evangelist at Backbeat Marketing.

Sean shares his perspective on building a fast-growing company with Supply Chain Now Radio Co-hosts Scott Luton and Greg White:

  • How critical it is to understand the different interests of each investor when you are looking to raise rounds of funding
  • How to balance the professional obsession you have to have with the discipline to maintain healthy personal and family relationships
  • How referrals from employees for open positions is a great metric for how happy (and productive) your current workforce is

Episode Transcript

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


[00:00:29] Hey, good afternoon. Scott Luton here with you, Liveline Supply Chain Now Radio. Welcome back to the show. On today’s show, we’re gonna be continuing our Supply chain City series where we dove into a variety of supply chain stories with roots right here in Atlanta. But regardless where you live, work or play, we’ll be offering news, ideas, best practices and some of the needed stories taking place in the global world of Indian supply chain. Like all of our series on Supply Chain Now Radio, you can find our replays on a variety of channels. Apple podcast, soundcloud, youtube, right ring where you can get your pot wherever you get your podcast from. As always, we’d love to have you subscribe. So you got to thing so real quick. Let’s think somewhere sponsors that allow us to bring best practices and innovative ideas to you. Our audience. Verusen. The Effective syndicate Vector Global Logistics supply chain real estate dot com and many more. You can check out each of our sponsors on the show notes of this episode. All right. So let’s welcome in our fearless co-host here today. We’ve got a full contingent here today. Ben Harris, director, Supply chain Ecosystem Expansion with the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben, how you doing? I’m doing well. Good afternoon, Jim. It is a gorgeous day in Atlanta is needs and we will. HIRWAY Founder, chief evangelist with Bat Beat Marketing preacher Will, how are you doing? I’m good. Good buddy. Great to have you back. Just that I’d like to hear the sentiment and voice that is important. Yeah. And then Greg White KYEEMA, SRB serial supply chain, tech entrepreneur and trusted advisor. How you doing, Greg? I’m doing great. Great to have you back. Except for that.


[00:02:05] All right. It is a Monday. You look great. Yeah. Yeah. Yep.


[00:02:10] So here on the Supply chain City series, today’s the last episode of that series, we’ve got an incredible special guest here today, a repeat guest, Mr. Shawn Henry, co-founder and CEO of Stored, the pioneer of network distribution, next generation warehousing and distribution for modern ship or store. Shawn, how are you doing?


[00:02:30] Doing awesome. Thanks again for having me back. It’s been a while.


[00:02:32] It has been while. And we were at the other place last time. Shawn was worse. Yeah, we’ve all had birthdays since then. We have some has that extra kids here lately. But a store is has had a good journey.


[00:02:44] Yes. Over the last year. And we’re gonna talk more about that. And so excited to have you back. Thanks for carving out some time before we dove in deep with Shawn Henry. We want to get the latest and greatest from the Supply Chain Now Radio newsdesk. So I must start with Ben. Ben, what’s been buzzing in your neck of the woods?


[00:03:03] Today marks a pretty historic day, actually. Little, little deal now. But we talked about the cargo community system that Atlanta was going to have the first one in North America in the time with Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, which we actually airshow last year in Munich. We unveiled that was going to happen. Well, today was the day they actually launched it. Wow. So big deal. It really marks a historic day for Atlanta Airport. This will be for the end, really for the air cargo community across the entire entire world, for that matter. So this was the launch of North America’s first air cargo community system there at Atlanta Airport. So all the stakeholders, they actually did not do persay. A really big announcement or anything. Yeah, they want to come out with a press release later. So the cat’s out of bag.


[00:03:51] So I think I heard it here first.


[00:03:53] I said, what? You know, why not? Let’s go ahead and at least talk about it. Yeah. And just let everybody know that. Yeah, this is literally with the leadership of Carly Logistics and the Atlanta Airport. This aircraft communi system will change the way air cargo is handled, not only in Atlanta, but really for all of North America, for that matter. Outstanding. Very exciting news. The steering committee was there yesterday to make that announcement. But look forward to a more formal announcement, press release and that sort of thing here coming up your next coming months. But it’s a tough time for news right now because like the holidays coming. Yeah, it’s like, do we hold and kind of wait, you know, until you won? And that’s what happens to last stories, I’m sure. Will you can attest.


[00:04:33] I think we got like this week and then you got the first week of December and that’s about it. Yeah. Yeah. Just generally my rule. I said it said it today to a client.


[00:04:45] Well, you know, we’re gonna have airport all future UPS. Yeah. They were as part of the twenty nineteen at last Supply chain awards, we recognized a lot of the outstanding work they do to drive and then supply chain right now and of course not just in Atlanta but globally. We were able to catch up with members of their team this past week, and we’re going to talk more about that that that initiative that you mentioned on that podcast. Looking forward to that. Perfect. All right. So Will from your neck of the woods.


[00:05:14] And I’m I’m scared ask. I’ve got to do it. And it’s purely because Shawn is here.


[00:05:19] I wanted to find something interesting about about warehouse. Yeah. And I found a very interesting report that came out last month that we got to ask the guys at Gray Orange. Next time we have them on another another, I think they haven’t had their repeat. We need to to to get them back on anyone. Greene. Well, you know, Jeff Cashman just joined them. Exactly. Earl Bell. Yeah. Yeah. Got to get him on. Yeah. So the report is that robots aren’t taking warehouse employees jobs. They’re making their work a little bit harder, actually. Harder. Harder, huh? So this is a report by the University of Illinois that focused on warehouse work automation and saying that over the next 10 years, technology can, will may make the lives of one million warehouse workers in the U.S. harder. The report shows how technologies are modifying the day to day work of people who organize and store and packaged physical goods, certainly. It found that it can help workers by reducing monotonous and fit all the things we’ve talked about. You know, having to lift above the boxes anymore, not having to pull the pallets, all the stuff that we all know about. But it could also affect workers health, safety and morale. Certainly the morale part we’ve discussed at length. But because tools like these self-driving shelden carts, body sensors in a powered management systems are putting pressure on the workers to work harder, faster and under more scrutiny. And they’re under a little bit more scrutiny. And the productivity and be more precise because of the robots, if you will, a modern day John Henry story.


[00:06:52] So, you know, that’s my favorite. The steel driving man tried to beat the machine. Mm hmm. So it’s really interesting.


[00:06:59] I found it. That’s what I thought. I mean, it’s a contrarian viewpoint for Sheer. But yeah, but it would be interesting to talk to, you know, anybody regard it?


[00:07:08] Certainly the great orange folks who are friends of the show, but who I could see that happening at the last company I was at. That’s what we did. We helped Amazon build those fulfillment facilities. Right. And, you know, in a in a million or two million square foot building, they might only have 24 employees. But they have hundreds of these robots covering millions, literally millions of square feet of product. So this I could. Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. I could see that putting a lot of strain on it on the you know, the skeleton crew that’s in. Right. Facility for sure. Yeah.


[00:07:42] I think Sciarrotta part of the thesis isn’t only the robotics will augment the jobs, but I think you’re correct that in a lot of ways will elevate the the requirements of the labor of the skill set. Yeah. Plexi of their day to day.


[00:07:53] Right. That feeds into that when something else sounds better, you know. Is it you know in practice does it actually work. No. For people themselves. That’s interesting.


[00:08:04] Yeah. I think you know, I think like any of these kind of automation technologies, it elevates the the requirements. So it may not be the same people. Right. It might be 24 people, but it might be 20 different people. Right. That have greater skills or greater ability to be productive or whatever. I don’t know. Like it.


[00:08:25] Well, sidenote Grant was recently nominated for the Vetlanta Supply chain works. Yeah. We’ll see you. We’ll get it plugged in one way, shape or form. That’s right.


[00:08:34] Yeah. So Greg, would I get what I got to give? I just I just want to let let’s let’s close the loop. There are gray. Orange has the same type of of robotics that Amazon robotics has. Former keyboard system. Right.


[00:08:47] And in this world where we’re about to talk to somebody who is any use anyone but Amazon to give your e-commerce done, gray orange is another one of those companies that’s part of that ecosystem that’s enabling e-com companies to like store does and like so many other companies, desire to play on level on a level field without having to use FBA. Yeah, fulfilled by Amazon. Right. So good point. Money. That’s what I want to talk loop. Well, closed. I think that’s all that matters. I think so. Let’s talk about money because we’re going talk a little bit about fundraising and that sort of thing anyway. There is a ton of money on the sidelines right now and it continues to grow. Right. Even even with talk of the election, an impending recession and things like that, Norwest Venture Partners Partners just closed their largest fund ever to billion dollar fund. And funds are announcing, you know, closures of their funds. By closure, I mean, they have the money is officially available to be invested now. Right. So they’ve gotten all of their limited partners to commit and fund this pool of of money. Northgate Capital just closed, I think, 120 million. And I’d have to look back at weeks and even just days before I get a daily update from Fin’s Mease and from CrunchBase, where it shows who got funded and and who has created a fund. And it just has really stood out to me now that there is a lot of money being prepared to invest. It’s a good time to need investment.


[00:10:27] It’s crazy to hear about how much money is on the sidelines, but yet also we’re seeing record breaking numbers of levels never seen before. So it’s I take that as a positive that there’s still so much more on the sidelines. There’s so much room for, you know, more funding now out there. Yeah.


[00:10:46] Yeah. And you hit on an interesting point that a lot of people worry about the recession and what will I do for startup capital and fund raising. But in a lot of ways, the funds that are being closed right now, no matter what will be, will have to be deployed.


[00:10:58] They do. They have a calendar, right. They have a thesis attached to them that forces them to invest in a certain area and on a certain timeline. Exactly. So, yeah, with all of that money on the sidelines, that means that investment will be available for some time. And, you know, another thing is the focus of investment is changing. Right. We have some recent I have some recent we had a discussion in a prior episode about we work, not a huge fan.


[00:11:26] I love the concept. It’s like a cool means. They’re.


[00:11:29] Sorry. It’s they’re utterly corrupt founder that I have disdain for.


[00:11:33] But but because we have had so many companies that have that have been funded and then essentially done a down round as an IPO, now investors are looking more and more closely at profitability or the prospect of profit reality. So that that is a distinct change and companies will need to respond. That will be a huge change in culture for certain technology areas. I think in in Atlanta and in some of the Midwest markets, Austin, in Chicago, you see companies focusing on and pointing towards profitability, not so much on the coasts. And they’ve been able to get away with it. But I think that that tenor is going to change in the investment environment. Mm hmm.


[00:12:16] All right. Well, great, great wrap up of news from, you know, really across different angles then in Supply chain. So appreciate that. Gregg will and been. And we want to bring Shawn Henry back and appreciate you weighing in on some things that that that you’ve seen there, especially related to fundraising, cause we are going to pick your brain on that here momentarily. But for starters, before we even talk about stored. Tell us more about Shawn Henry. You know where you grew up and what you do before stored.


[00:12:43] Yeah, absolutely. So I think of a younger founder overall, but I always give people my background because I think it doesn’t add up to my my age necessarily. But I grew up actually in greater Atlanta area. So closer towards towards Roswell hit moving more and more in town. So I ended up going to Georgia Tech. So I went from Roswell area to more like Buckhead, Sandy Springs area towards Atlanta. I’ve been in midtown now for six. Coming up on seven years. So once a Georgia Tech but really my background, what probably just stored as I always like to joke that my parents didn’t want to buy me a cell phone in middle school. So in 2003, I became a power seller on eBay, buy and reselling electronics parts until I get to eventually afford a phone and then started doing the opposite and importing and reselling automotive parts through high school. And that really unique opportunity I got. There’s just one company called Hyogo Group, but I got to know the founder. I was buying parts from them. Large scale automotive OEM though. And he happened to be in there. Mapleton, Georgia factory one day. The CEO and I was there, even though he lives in Germany, built a relationship with them for two or three years. And I was coming into Georgia Tech as study operations and supply chain management and the business school and and ultimately just didn’t leave it alone. And so I’d love to actually work for you guys and learn from you guys. And so got a really unique opportunity. Summer before college and then three semesters coopting and working outside of class at this company doing lean management and supply chain optimization. So that was in Germany, France, Mexico, Canada. Enterprise, Alabama. Mapleton, Georgia. Some more glamorous than others. Just going factory to factory, looking at how we optimizing product flow in the in the building, in the factory.


[00:14:27] How are you optimizing how the workers move around the machines? What what products we have for them could be anything as little as, hey, we’re spending 40 minutes a day walking between workstations to get tape. Just buy more tape to hey, let’s install scanners to measure quality control instead of stopping a line to do these manual checks and then the other side of supply chain optimization. So we were looking at how do we rebuild our transportation lanes, reduce costs. But the biggest problem we had was we couldn’t figure out how to reduce global inventory levels when we had 22 two peel warehouses in use at the time. It just became such a problem. And that’s a lot of what what led me to.


[00:15:03] Mm hmm. So what a unique opportunity to not only see the practitioner side on the operation side of Inin Supply chain and manufacturing, you name it, and Logistics, but also the global nature of that. Right. I think so. I mean, I know when I was growing up, you know, I didn’t have many opportunities to really get involved in the global business community. So. So you got a great opportunity for both those things to come together while you were still an undergraduate at Georgia Tech, right?


[00:15:32] Yeah, absolutely. And I think the thing that always fascinated me with that, that CEO as an entrepreneur is is in the manufacturing industry particularly. He would look at things and show me that window over there. Somebody makes money of every single thing you see. Or we would go through the factory and they had gone off the rails that go on top of a Mercedes, for example. The roof Ryder System was one of the things they manufactured. And you’d point to that and be like that small piece goes through eight countries and to end before it gets on a car. If you really piece all that together, the manufacturing, freight forwarding, freight warehousing and distribution, you really start to add up and realize how large both really just manufacturing and industry are, but also supply chain and how much that plays a part in it.


[00:16:16] The other neat thing about that early experience for you is, is it kind of gave you the the the problem that led to the store business model? I heard you correctly, right?


[00:16:25] Yeah, absolutely. Well, we definitely did not solve it correctly right away. The first go around. But really, it did lead us to the problem. We saw two things. One was, hey, we’re using all these three P.l. Warehouses, so capacity and shifting towards a third party network. In fact, I always like to give people is that back in 2004 is roughly 56 percent of enterprises that ever shipped product to three Piel warehouse. And in twenty seventeen it was ninety one percent of enterprises out actively had products and three piel warehouses. So yet this big shift towards that segment of the market versus having to own my own building staff and myself by a warehouse management system.


[00:17:02] At the same time, given how fragmented that market is, you end up in these, you know, one to many relationships with warehouses from very low software, very low visibility and 80 percent plus of the the transactions therefore run off of email. So you think back to my problem, I was saying, hey, let’s try to optimize our inventory levels globally. And in France, I’m reaching out to a warehouse who’s texting me back, a photo of an inventory report in Germany. You’re getting back a spreadsheet of your inventory and somewhere else, they’re giving you a log into a W mass. It’s super fragmented. So really, really led us to the problems.


[00:17:37] We don’t like we talked about in a warm up. I want to ask you about startup life and Binoche Finau. But before we do that, let’s let’s go in and talk about specifically what store offers.


[00:17:48] Yeah, absolutely. So stemming from those problems we just discussed, when we look at it, companies are shifting more, more towards three P.l over time. And you have almost fourteen thousand three P.l. Warehouses in the U.S. alone. Now, three P.l. Industry and U.S. last year made it made up $220 billion spend roughly. So you have this massive fragmented market. And of those 14000 warehouses, almost ninety six hundred of them are small, mid-size, independent, fragmented kind of owner operators to mid-sized businesses. And so while we look at as we go partner with those three Peel’s kind of the long tail, the fragmented end of them, and we ultimately say, hey, we want to bind you into into our network. We partner with them on software. So we give them our software to help us get visibility into their operations. We contract them to operating procedures and K-P eyes of what our customers expect. And then ultimately we contract them to volume based pricing. And so we bind together this this network of warehouses and distribution centers across the U.S. We go back to particularly midsize and enterprise shippers as some of our primary customer segments and ultimately say, hey, now through one cloud based software for real time, inventory visibility across all your locations, real time order management across all your locations, simple procurement. So one contract with us, one integration with us as that’s stored, we can not only provide you scalable and flexible warehousing and distribution where we kind of abstract, hey, I’m going to go choose all these one to many warehouse relationships to hey, I have one partner and stored. All right. We provide them warehousing across the network of right now about 300, 78 facilities across the U.S. where we can both help them execute their distribution, but also help them optimize and design the right model. So all the time we’re looking with our customers at their inventory flow patterns and running network optimization studies and helping them decide where to place their facilities and how to allocate their inventory. Ultimately, the value proposition being, hey, we can outsource your distribution through our network at one software to gain visibility of the whole process.


[00:19:43] More strategic that elevates the value bringing the table. So coast-to-coast. And also, as I recall from your last time that you were on the show, you’re involved in a lot of different sectors right across from automotive to you name it tells. Some of the some of the sectors that are doing business.


[00:20:01] Yeah, absolutely. So today, I mean, we work with one of the largest if not the largest beauty products company in the US. We work with three of the five largest water bottle companies in the US. We work with one of the three largest telecom companies of the ton of appliances. So pretty industry agnostic across the network. We do have some facilities that handle things like has Matt frozen? You’ll see in those segments they tend to be more concentrated lineage Logistics spot preferred freezer, the frozen section. And so that is very consolidated relative to the kind of ambient large scale warehousing across the US. But if I had to describe it, we really focus on particularly large scale and enterprise and mid-market shippers moving thousands of pallets a month across the U.S. are we do the most relative less e-commerce, mostly B2B distribution today from a volume perspective. Pallets going in and coming out. Some lice like case picking. I’d say the majority of our product is flowing from, hey, I’ve got all these pallets sitting here I need to do case picking on to a new pallet and ship that to retail stores or I’m a CPG company and ship that to the distribution center of the retail store. It’s going to. So we do shipments out to Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, brands like that for our customers before it gets to those types of stores all the time.


[00:21:21] It’s really interesting because when you and I talked some weeks months ago, I think I really envisioned it as being a an eCom kind of play. But you told me the story of I don’t know, I can say it right. I think I was Whirlpool or somebody, some appliance company in Mobile where they needed to get, let’s just say, refrigerators closer to right to the end customer Ryder closer to the to the retail space. And it’s not practical for a Home Depot or Lowe’s or Best Buy or whomever to keep something as big, especially white goods like that. It’s not it’s not practical to keep that. So the deliveries are coming from a facility that you’re that you are stocking the goods for this appliance Ryder.


[00:22:05] Totally. Yeah. I think what we’ve seen in the e-commerce space, we do a lot of enabling e-commerce. The e-commerce space particularly, you really only need three for e-commerce filmand centers to cover the majority of the U.S. population and it’s like 97 percent with four facilities using ground shipping in two days. And when you get to these massive enterprises, you’re typically going and opening your own e-commerce fulfillment centers that those aren’t the ones you still run yourself. It’s really these large scale B2B networks where even in my co-founder and I always talk about it in the B2B segment, you really starting to see more consumer like behavior. They still want the products close to their customer. Still trying to optimize that last mile costs. And so they’re still facing these placement challenges. Right. We also do a lot of enabling e-commerce. Like I said, so we do a ton of shipments to FBA or a ton of shipments to fulfillment centers for retailers on behalf of their suppliers. Right. Or one of our biggest customers, largest betting company in the U.S., where we’re setting up last mile in town distribution centers across the U.S. and it’s a last mile van picking up a bed and going to a house, for example, instead of strapping it to the top of your Honda.


[00:23:12] Is that they’re done there. So you see it every day in Atlanta.


[00:23:15] So your co-founder, what’s his name? Yeah. Jacob. Jacob Boudreaux. And he’s based here in Atlanta as well.


[00:23:21] Correct. So he’s our co-founder, CTO. Our whole team is based here out of Atlanta. We have maybe one or two that are remote, but almost entirely concentrated out of our our office over an ex at Georgia Tech in Midtown. Quick question, how did you and Jacob meet? Yeah. So I was kind of toying around with the idea is trying to figure out exactly where where the market was and where it fit. And it came to pre-clear pretty fast that I’m not a Technical founder. I can get by and I can make the first Web site and things like that, a front end, but really developing an enterprise software solution that’s going to serve the supply chains of large scale brands. And I mean, today we move nearly 400 million dollars of inventory value through warehouses monthly, like you’d start to get into very much security and compliance and all these things. And so we were looking ahead at what we had to build. And ultimately I had met Jacob at a kind of I think was at Tech Square Labs. They had like a Y Combinator partners come in and come and talk about what it’s like raising money in Silicon Valley and things like that. And we met and I told them a little bit about what I was working on. He had a web development agency at the time. They were doing a lot of workflow apps. So he actually was building an inventory management system for a pharmaceutical practice at the time. He did a workflow system for legal practice. Things like that. So my small scale smells similar, though. I had my own background just building small scale businesses. So I think from a we really aligned from a skill set requirement. He had built a business but was deeply Technical and I could get by on the Technical but really wanted to build the business. And there’s just good alignment. We got to know each other for 6 7 months and then really co-founded staat together. The rest is history, right?


[00:25:00] Yeah, that’s a critical three and a half years ago now, that’s a critical combination. In a startup, right, is for somebody to be able to be out front doing the business development, somebody to be doing the development development. Yeah. It’s rare that you find that skill in both of those skills in a single person.


[00:25:15] I think the hardest part is the empathy towards each other to understand the other sides of the aisle said.


[00:25:22] Empathy. Because I mean the mindsets. Right. I mean, you know, a developer is much more engineering. You’re more OUTFRONT front. Right. The borrower. Right.


[00:25:32] And that’s liar. Deliberate empathy. You know that. That’s what kind of what I’m picking up on. And also, like, you know, use the term serviceable around here quite a bit. Right. Something it just it just gets the job done. And as you were describing your skill sets and the technology to get things off the ground. But then what you saw in Jacob is the build an engine that’s ready for global commerce. Know you mentioned earlier, you’re enabling e-commerce. Well, to your point, as we all know, you can’t go into the hole with sticks and twigs. You’ve got to have something durable, robust that that can check the box. All the different things, compliance and all everything else you look to build. Take care, e-commerce. So. All right. So let’s switch gears, because I want to know a little bit more. You kind of gave us little foreshadowing. But as CEO. Where else do you spend your time and what’s your favorite thing to do in your role?


[00:26:25] Yeah, it’s a good question. I think something that is underappreciated is that as you grow a company here, your job function as a CEO and founder or co-founder constantly changes where we are, focuses constantly changes. And so those early days, your focus is, hey, how do I get product market fit? How do I get my first customers? Then it becomes how I hire my first people. That becomes how do I make a scalable pricing model? How do I raise my first capital? Like all these things start to change. And so I think today where we at where we’re at in our our phase of growth, it’s a lot about one of the favorite quotes I’ve heard recently is that the speed and velocity are different and velocity is speed with direction layered in. And so I think a big thing for us right now is constantly especially so today we’re just over 50 people. At the beginning, they were about 17 people constantly making sure that everybody on the team is aligned towards the same same mission, rowing in the same direction and knows how they can help push us in that way. So I think a lot of it right now is team in alignment and hiring and finding the right leaders and aligning them correctly is a lot of the focus today. And so I think the most exciting things are as part of that one is still get to go be involved in sales. I love, love being in front the customer and spending time with the customer. And then I think the other one is just talent. I think as you go through the startup cycle, whether it’s because you’ve raised money or you’ve elevated your brand over time or certain things, you start to get better and better and better world class talent as you grow. And so that’s been huge for me and some more. That’s always really fun to spend time as school and finding the best leaders, the best team members and bringing them on board.


[00:28:02] And, you know, all have made some big splashes here recently as you’ve gone from 17 people to 50. And Ben, we’re gonna talk about that in a second. But before we do the next segment, we really focus on a lot of things that you’re learning from this this tremendous growth phase. But before we get there, let’s I think there’s lots of assumptions made around startup life, around entrepreneurial life, the community that tell us if you’re staring yourself. What do you think for folks that aren’t, you know, haven’t been in the startup? They’re not, you know, waging those battles. What do you think is the most underappreciated component of that lifestyle?


[00:28:38] Yeah, it’s a good question. I was trying to think a little bit about it. And ultimately, I think the one that I always think about is that sometimes you hear your friends, for example, my friends say, oh, it seems so awesome to be a founder. It seems probably from the outside, glamorous sometimes guarantee it’s not. And I think people sometimes are thinking about it for the wrong reasons. One of them being I think the worst reason to want to start a business is to not want to have a boss. I hear that one a lot. And the way I always position it is it’s a lot more like an inverted pyramid where the CEO and the founders is on the bottom of it. And every customer, every employee, every dollar of investment you bring on, everything is external pressure, a game, almost a boss in a way of you’re liable to these people and you’re accountable to them and you want to take care of them and you want to help succeed. And so it’s really the opposite. Maybe that expectation. I think that’s an interesting one. And I think the other one is kind of what I just mentioned is just how iterative the job itself is. And that at the end of the day, if you go from 17 to 50, if we get a 200, 500, that’s an entirely different company at every point.


[00:29:41] And what the day to day look like looks like what running it looks like with the management requirements are. And so you as the founder and CEO, is the co-founder and CTO, whatever, whatever your title is, ultimately have to be in learning as an individual faster than the business is growing, which is really hard when. Eighty five percent of your waking hours are spent on on the business, it’s hard to also be learning faster than the businesses. But that’s oftentimes you see those challenges as you as you scale where an early employee and early founder and early leader doesn’t scale. And so constantly making sure you’re you’re learning and iterating yourself is as huge. Yeah. And I know I’ve said a lot, but maybe the last one is part of that is, is it becomes more and more important. There’s a good article. I think it’s like first round review, which is a great fund called Giving Away Your Legos is just knowing when to and what to let go of and empower others to focus on and just be constantly monitoring your own time and saying I’m the best, highest leverage person to be spending my time on this or is something else I should be focused on and not being too overly possessive.


[00:30:45] Yeah, yeah, we all need that. We ought to be honest. Yeah, it’s true. I mean, whether you’ve got a fast growing company or, you know, you’re running a family business. Right. You still have to make you make that decision every day. You like to keep those Legos. Let’s face it. Right. Keep especially certain ones. But you’ve got to know where. You know, I think the development thing is that’s a that’s a key, right?


[00:31:07] You could have stumbled along. You probably could learn to code your smart cat. Right. But it but it was better to hand that off to find someone who could be there with you. I think look, I have to say this. I don’t think people understand how much work a startup is. Right. I can’t remember who said it. Maybe many people have said it. But this is something that I always tell the founders and the leaders that I work with is that passion is not good enough. It requires absolute obsession to run a startup. And by obsession, it might mean to the exclusion of everything else. At times it certainly will. I was talking to an investor over the weekend.


[00:31:49] There’s no weekend there. There is no. There is no weekend.


[00:31:52] Right. You have to be very conscious if you have a family or a significant other. You have to be very conscious about spending time with them or friends because it can be all consuming as well. And I think people underestimate that. Right. You have to be willing to give it all up and went. And when it’s time to give it all up, you have to be very, very clear and transparent about it. I used to sit down as a family and say, daddy’s gonna disappear. Three daughters, right. When I founded my company, yeah, we used to say dad is gonna disappear for a month because that’s what it’s gonna take. But we’re gonna celebrate it when and when that month is over and that sort of thing. So my kids like making fun of our yard.


[00:32:32] That’s what needs work. Yes. Your kids build a studio house out of Legos. Please come and play in our studio. Dad, please make your podcast here.


[00:32:43] But on that note, you know, Greg. Well, no, we’ve talked about this during one of the shows or not. But, you know, there are a lot of assumptions around the hours. And, you know, the ability not to have a boss. And we’ve heard as we’re setting up candy at an event. Candy scooter. Yeah. Yeah. Is what everybody thinks it is. But it is there are no weekends and there’s no breaks. And I love how you put it, Greg. You know, passion is not good enough. You know, it is that obsession. You know, that’s that’s what helps you break through. So. All right. So let’s get get back on the storage store. Appreciate you taking time and time to come. I want some of that. It really is. I’m sure there’s there’s some folks right now waging these battles, you know, fighting in the trenches. And that’s going to resonate land with those folks that can define. Okay. So what a incredible year plus of growth that store team is seeing. I mean, Justin Beard, in the team itself, they go from 17 to 50 folks. And B, being able to find that top talent, bring them on board and then, you know, get them to where they feel part of the team. Right. And they’re part of the the greater mission. Let’s talk about Ben. You’ve got some insights and some of the folks that he’s brought on, right. Because that made a big splash in the Supply chain space.


[00:34:02] Yeah. That’s a somewhat I mean, I think the the individuals that you brought on that space, Shaun, who we’ll talk about in just a minute, were from great organizations or they can speak for themselves. You know, as far as some of the expertise that they have and where they’ve really led from a supply chain standpoint. So I think getting hires right from a leadership perspective, I mean, it’s just you can’t put a value on that because it’s so important. It’s. But yeah, I think as you build that team in in Atlanta, you know that it’s one of the things that we’ve heard about from many other entrepreneurs. Nayeri also is, yes, there’s lots of talent, you know, whether it’s in the West Coast or Northeast, wherever else. But at what cost? All right. You’re going to have to overturn somebody else’s team or steal them from somewhere else just to, you know, find those folks in. Atlanta’s is a great place for other folks to start over. Also, there is. Heather Geo’s it’s an easy sell to bring talent to Atlanta, so, you know, we talked about early in the wintertime. Absolutely. I mean, right now it’s it’s not Savannah. Yeah, but yeah, I mean, we talk about shoes 88, you know, the Metro Metroliner Chambers Initiative to attract talent and really retain that talent here. Also, also, it’s been a really easy sell. You know, because we know when do we try to recruit companies here, you know, as a as an ecosystem, but we try to recruit valued individuals. Also, you know, you keep those executives here, too. So it’s it cannot be discounted how important that is.


[00:35:30] So not that I don’t take anything away from all 50 team members and make it the team. But one in particular that really caught our eye was your new vise president supply chain. Right. Because he up. He’s got his name. It’s us. Tell us about this Jiminy bottle.


[00:35:46] Yeah, absolutely. So I think we announced last week to pretty senior hires of Vise President Engineering and Vise President Supply chain David Hardwick joined us or Vise President of Engineering. He was the CTO at a company called Better Cloud, a large SAS platform based out of New York. And second office in Atlanta, a few hundred employees. We brought on Steve Swan as our vise president of Supply chain.


[00:36:06] So Steve’s background is was really opportunistic. It got connected to him through a local Atlanta connection. He had he had been living in Seattle for eight or nine years with Amazon, but really just a perfect alignment of background. So he was a leader there on their team. We’re leading North American transportation at one point, leading supply chain design. He owned things like the program where they set up a last mile van that you can buy as a mini franchisee to do last mile for Amazon. So very all encompassing from carrier management to rates and rolling out the Amazon relay app that their drivers have to use thinking through contracts and rate structures, thinking through managing thousands of carriers and billions of dollars of spend at scale. And so when we were looking at it and vise president Supply chain is not a normal role, you see, you know, the technology companies, but we have a few different teams that are unique. We have our customer support team that’s much, very much an operations team, helping customers solve challenges, helping them think through what they should be doing. We have our team that’s supply relations and that’s only going out and setting up new warehouses and partnerships on the supply side of our team that does all the pricing across those facilities, a data science team that doesn’t network optimization and design for our customers.


[00:37:19] So we’re looking at those groups and broadly speaking, that’s really the Supply chain organization. And it’s really two things. It’s built world class supply chain operations for the customer, use data, inform the design and figure out how to optimize those even more efficient efficiently and build incredible supplier relationships. That’s that scale and give us the capacity and pricing we need to satisfy the customer needs. And it’s really unique background. But I think one of the things that I always argue from especially the venture capital side, is that particularly supply chain talent and talent like that, it’s really hard to find outside of Atlanta. It’s really hard to recruit that outside of Atlanta, too. When you have it, we didn’t move it back here from Seattle, actually. He came back to Amazon’s transportation office, which is here in Atlanta. But it’s really impactful because you do have leading supply chain companies and leading enterprises. And when we actually posted our v.p.’s Supply chain posting, it was funny because almost all the people applying could be customers of stores. They were chief supply chain officers and V.P.s of Supply chain that some of the largest brands you can imagine. And I think that’s just a value of being being here in Atlanta when we talk about Supply chain City and why why store position here.


[00:38:31] Agreed. And, you know, you look at any Benham preaching to the choir. I’m preaching to the choir master. Here you look any of the third party studies that that identify the supply chain cities and the markets and demographics, talent repeatedly hits those, you know, those the rankings for what puts Atlanta at the top of his list, right?


[00:38:51] Yeah. I would say also know we talk about tech talent and so forth that even the higher by better cloud, very strategic from a tech standpoint also. So you’ve got this supply chain side then also you’ve got to understand the tech side also. And Atlanta does both very well, which is kind of hard to do. You know, sometimes it’s either, you know, either or when you talk about Braddock in general versus Supply chain. But we we somehow bridge that gap really well here in Atlanta because it seems like a lot of the leadership parent has either been in a tech role, you know, for a company, whether its CTO or whoever else, and or they’ve been at a supply chain companies, they understand that nexus. And really the kind of the you know, the the diagram between the two, basically the cost of living is important here. Yeah, I agree.


[00:39:33] Right. Greg, when we were in Austin a few weeks back at the CFT Logistics CEO forum, the hear, you know, being kind of talk about the either organ’s supply chain or technology. The divide between those is the thinnest it’s ever been. Right.


[00:39:50] Undoubtedly. And we’re seeing it. I mean, we’re seeing a lot of what what Sean just talked about is people moving from other industries into supply chain or into tech. Right. And you know, it it’s the dynamic of what was that we heard so often was people used to talk about the tech people and the business people. And now everybody. You business people. Yes. Right. And I think that’s you know, that’s an important juxtaposition. Yeah. Agreed. Yep. And you could just clip off what what we’ve shown just said and absolute said acupressure. Right. Absolutely. I think you know, I think it’s important. And I think, look, I’m not from Atlanta. I know it’s hard to believe, but I think the important thing that I learned about Atlanta history, which I believe is why Atlanta is really strong technically at the Supply chain thing, you know, between u._p._s and Home Depot and other companies that deal with Logistics all day long, whether it’s part of their business or it’s just a part of their business. And I think that’s real natural here.


[00:40:53] But if you go all the way back to MSA Management Science Associates, John Imlay and Sig Moseley’s company, they basically invented packaged software right here in Atlanta. And and a lot of the leaders that I saw for years and years, many of them are retired now. But a lot of the leaders that I saw for years and years and years came from that company. So we spawned a strong enterprise technological bent. Here in Atlanta from that MSA organization is that depicted down at the cyclorama?


[00:41:24] Deserve it. I haven’t seen it. I can only imagine that that is. What is it? It should be. It should be. Yeah. I’m not sure what’s depicted there. There you go. Thank you. Well, there is a bullet hole also down there.


[00:41:37] Cyclorama broadcast love. Yeah. Or to pick a field trips payment by image. There is a book about that. Come in. Yeah. Yeah. I can’t remember what it was about raving fans. I can’t remember. But it talks a lot about that. And it was it was. This doesn’t play. It chops here. Yeah. The legacy. Plenty. It was a very great culture.


[00:41:58] I mean, any of us in this room could talk to Sig Mosley about it any day. I had the fortunate happenstance before he passed talking to Jim John M.O.s about it. And they had a very bold culture. And it’s and it has spawned this entrepreneurial spirit with a lot of technological capability.


[00:42:15] Well, now that we have all of our global audience that doesn’t have any vested interest in Vetlanta has turned this off. What I want.


[00:42:22] We want him to move here. And I want to circle back the goal. I want to. That is the goal.


[00:42:28] I want to circle back to you, Sean. And the growth. What’s been I mean, you know, we all have kind of own take on what we’ve seen or read about stored. But what’s been your most exciting aspect of all this? What do you love this take place that’s taken place over the last year?


[00:42:47] That’s a good question. I think. I think I think a talent like we talked about is one of what I think it’s the most exciting things is when you can get other people who are not only as thoughtful and strategic as the leaders. I think I saw a great tweet actually the other day from a founder friend of mine that was like there’s this very memorable moments as a founder, things like when you see people walking to coffee for the first time and they’re talking about the company problems or nurse opportunities or things they affects or people hosting a first meeting that you had no idea it was happening. And those are all much more in the past. Now, this happened a while ago, but I think you just keep having little things like that that are super impactful from the highest level. I mean, you can always Sheer about the revenue and customers and fundraising and things like that. But I think the most the most fun in one of the lasting ones is just that team side of really just building a great team, getting to work around great people and making an impact on those individuals, trying to help them learn, trying to help them learn about startups and trying to help them learn about what it takes a start and grow a tech company. And hopefully, I hope, impacting their careers in an upward way.


[00:43:56] Hmm. Well, clearly, we’ve all been following stored on social media. You’re getting recognized for the culture that you’re describing. I mean, folks are you’re becoming, if not already an employer of choice. I mean, you’re describing a second go about some of the folks that that you saw, the applications come in when you were hiring that v.p.’s supply chain. That’s got to be gratifying.


[00:44:16] Yeah. You give a huge shout out to our our talent team, for example, we have a great recruiter and people operations person who are just super energetic. And I think one of the main things we hear from applicants is culture. And what they’ve seen online or what they’ve heard from friends or seen in the news as a key leading indicator for them wanting to lean in and learn more. And I think you can underestimate that in a lot of ways. It’s really hard to measure the impact, especially early on. But I think and just constantly investing in your brand as an employer. And the way you do that is with your people, not through marketing. You can market, but it’s really just keeping your people happy and make sure they have the right. Incentives, right, benefits, all sorts of things so that out in the market they’re spreading the word about you. One of the best measurements we have is just referrals and how many how much talent comes from current talent at the team. We have a few people who are just constantly trying to pull in their friends from Georgia Tech or other companies. And then that’s always super inspiring. Not only means they really like working there, but they want to bring in other top talent they know, which is which is super impactful for you as a company.


[00:45:25] Well put. All right. So you touched on. You mentioned fundraising a couple of times so that the conversation and for our listeners that are looking to raise their own funds. And clearly, you’ve had two successful raises. I believe, in the last year and a half. And the big one being last last spring, I think. Tell us more about how the zom and what you learned from that first successful fund were the first successful round and then took it to that second round. What have you learned and what advice would you have for folks are trying to do the same thing?


[00:45:58] Yeah, absolutely. So we raced in in April of 2018 eighteen. And in April of twenty nineteen we were two and a half million dollar seed round in April twenty eighteen at twelve a half in twenty nineteen. And we had raised an angel round before that labi. Chris Clough’s here locally co-founders of ISIS. When you talk about how local Atlanta Rod people still in the ecosystem really pushing it forward. He’s been he’s been great since the start. We also raise Tom Newton as a local angel here. ISIS guy, too.


[00:46:26] Yeah. Another launch of ISIS.


[00:46:30] Yes. We raised are our seed round from a mix of firm called Dynamo Seed Season Series, a focused venture fund out of Chattanooga. They only do supply chain and kind of digital commerce investments that we and it was co-led by a firm called Su-Su Ventures out of San Francisco. And then we a our series, A led by Kleiner Perkins, really enterprise SAS investor based out of San Francisco. And they’ve been incredible to work with. And I think the thing I’ve noted the most about raising capital is it is a lot about numbers. A lot of companies here in Atlanta, your benchmark. Totally different when you go to local funds here in Atlanta. We’ve raised some local capital, but it’s really different and what people are looking for, particularly on the coasts. So much of it is actually just story and why you are uniquely positioned as a founder, as a team, whether that’s your background, your location like Atlanta or the people you have on your team while you uniquely positioned as a team. What’s your growth has been and really just leading in on that leaning and on that and that story. And part of it, too, is just identity. You do have to be moving really fast. We talked about it a lot internally that one of the detriments, but also the positives of working with top tier venture firms is that you’re being benchmarked against Slack in Araby and be an Uber and Amazon and these incredible companies they’ve invested in instead of some other random software company nobody nobody’s ever heard of.


[00:48:01] I don’t mean anything by that. Besides, it just it just pushes you a lot, a lot harder. And in the end, it’s it’s kind of like going to a top tier college like like Georgia Tech or like M.I.T. or something where you are surrounded. And I remember it coming into Georgia Tech is one of the things they talk about a lot is like the mental state of, hey, you were probably the best at your high school. Now you’re going to be average. Yeah. And I think it’s very similar, especially in fundraising when you go to top tier firms. But it only helps foster a great outcome that you’re rallied around the best behavior. Just I think the best quote I had from one of our one of our investors is just you’re moving with an extreme sense of urgency and maniacal focus on execution and trying to make sure you’re building processes and systems that scale. But like I said, I do think a lot of it is just leaning in on on the story, leaning and on the team and why you’re best positioned to succeed. And also the growth. And you have to be able to extrapolate that out into what it’s going to become, but also be able to hit those numbers and hit those metrics and execute behind it.


[00:49:02] So speaking of that forward looking, what’s next for store, whether whether it’s next year or whether it’s the multi-year look, give us a kind of peek around the corner. What what what’s next for store?


[00:49:15] Yeah, absolutely. I mean, for us right now, it’s really just doubling down and continuing to scale into continuing to grow. So we’re just over about 50 people right now, probably 55, 60 for that for the end of the year. So hiring a few rolls. And really, it just becomes a lot about go to market as a function and sales and marketing dollars and engineering spend and the things you need to scale as a business. I think the best way to consolidate, a way to put it that we talk about internally that I didn’t make up it’s a bunch of articles, especially as it comes to scaling startups, is really I think right now we’re in that motion of trying to move from a lab where you’re doing a lot of things, bespoke one off, trying to make it work. You’re just doing things in your contracts like. Whatever it may be to a factory where you’re trying to be able to grow up more high powered machines so that, you know, hey, as I put more dollars into this, as I put more people into this, this is what happens with the outcome. And that kind of lab to factory motion, I think is is really critical for startups in our face. And a lot of that is is process. So hiring great people from Amazon or better cloud or larger scale companies where you know what good looks like and you’ve seen what that inflection and that level of scale looks like, whether it’s the processes, the ways you work with your teams, the ways you set Capesize and goals, it becomes a lot of just operating and executing and building. Mm hmm.


[00:50:38] Outstanding. We’ll have you back on in a few months down the road and get another update from you all moving so fast. All right. There it is.


[00:50:47] So we may not be able to get to him. And I think I think 70 layers. Well, make sure it doesn’t happen. Just what.


[00:50:54] What’s so interesting is I was listening when you were here roughly a year ago. And the story then and then hearing again today and balance those two interviews is amazing what the team’s been up to. So congrats on all the growth thus far. And we wish a huge finish to the year and a big splash in 2020. Continued splash.


[00:51:15] Well, thank you so much. And thank you guys all for it for having me today.


[00:51:17] You bet. Yeah. Yeah. So we’ve been talking with Shawn Henry, co co-founder and CEO of Stored and Shawn. Working folks learn more about store?


[00:51:26] Yeah, absolutely. Please find us on our Web site stored SDR D We have a careers page there, signup page. Also find us on on LinkedIn or find me on LinkedIn. Shawn Henry.


[00:51:38] Outstanding. OK. Thanks so much, Shawn. But before we wrap up, we’ll put you on the spot. OK. What we heard there is is that storytelling and how you’re so important, that is. And, you know, we talk about that all the time, whether you’re fundraising or whether you’re, you know, branding, who you are, your company or if you’re hiring. Storytelling seems to be more important than ever before. We’ll weigh in. I mean, do you think is is it the digital side where you can tell a story and hit so many more ears these days? Or you know what?


[00:52:10] I think it is actually is that you can get the stories can start to sound like the same story.


[00:52:17] A lot of times, especially when you get into a founding and especially when you’re trying to raise money. And just like you said, Sean, where you get into that situation and you think you’ve got an interesting pitch, you still got an interesting story, and then you hear it from two or three other people.


[00:52:31] You might need to tweak this a little bit, I think.


[00:52:35] So I think that because of the rise of digital media, certainly and and just the spotlight that is now on venture capital funding and and the raises, I mean, that that’s it’s more than ever, especially in the in the in the tech community, that the key is to be able to tell this to an original story and tell it well and not get too too deep into the weeds on the tech technology level. Be able to tell sort of a human story is, to me, short. That’s a great example for me, you know, to talk about how he started off selling aftermarket auto parts. Yes.


[00:53:10] I loved that phone. That’s what people in my business called gold saying. Why would they call it go? Mario, thank you. Yeah. Yeah.


[00:53:24] I think that’s the key. Just to have it. Have a good story. Make it original and tell it well. And man, just don’t get too deep in the tech. Everybody know nobody needs to hear all the time anymore. Yeah.


[00:53:34] That also just supply chain and Logistics in general, you know. Thanks to U.P.S., when we love Logistics amongst many other campaigns out there that have put supply chain Logistics at the forefront as opposed to not, you know, the back of that thought.


[00:53:48] Yes.


[00:53:49] So, you know, you like me, can’t think, you know, companies like that enough for basically trailblazing Bruneau for where we are now with Supply chain Logistics, because before it just wasn’t talked about, you know, as much. And now, you know, we can we get it quickly when Shawn tells us exactly what store does. It’s a kit that warehousing and man, it’s like, OK, all right, cool.


[00:54:12] Yeah, I think then you just did a really good point or both. He really is that it is a mixture. Like it’s a story of a few things. One of them is you and y you as a founder and a team. A huge one is macro trends like why now? Why is this moving in this direction? So supply chain, it’s particularly easy right now. You can talk about the Amazon and how everyone’s investing in their supply chain their last mile. I think if you really compare well founders and founding story team macro trends and why companies are shifting in this direction and meaningful traction, the fundraising should come as a result. If it starts to become a lot easier. But I think what you tend to hear is getting to boil down in the Technical of yeah, that that’s where you really start to flop on on a pitch if you really just start to talk. About why your technology is the best or X-Y is a buzz words, obviously your technology is very important. But the wise both. Why is it there? Why are you the one to do it? Why do the customers want it are so much more important?


[00:55:10] Greatest salesman I ever met. Jim Uther, a former IBM or said, so what? Right. The question you have to answer is the so what? Right up we have a I we have blockchain. We have whatever we have. Right. So what what does that mean to your investor? What does it mean to your company and your purpose? And what does it mean to your clients and customer consumer and what does it really mean? Not you know, it’s breaking down that understanding between what’s a feature. Right. And what’s a benefit. Yeah, right. It’s all about the benefits.


[00:55:44] We did a fake finish. So thanks, John. And the gang, again, really appreciate what you’re doing. And to our listeners, whether just kind of don’t want to learn more or if you’re looking for a new exciting career opportunity, be sure to check out stored at esti o r d stored dot com. Thanks again, John. All right. Let’s wrap up with a few final announcements. First off, a Sheer, a few events we’re going to be at. We invite you come out and check it out in person. But if there’s something that you’ll learn more about Supply Chain Now Radio or if there is a resource you’re looking for that we mentioned on one of our shows hit up our CMO at Amand at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com and we will do our best to serve as a resource for you. Okay. So we’ve got a series of events coming up our next we’re here. Her dad here through the holidays. Yeah, it is good. I’ll tell you that driving a Ford Transit van back from Austin, Texas, is longer than you think it is. But we’re going to here through the end of the year.


[00:56:40] A Logistics learned is Logistics learn. That’s right. You got you guys were together right on the way out. Get away. I had to be back early, so I flew back and he was all alone. We saw the older. That’s right.


[00:56:52] Saw the country, CSC and Pete Lanta roundtable. They’ve got a great launch event coming up in January. Twenty nineteen. I think it’s a 15th. They’ve got something from that NASCAR track coming out to talk about while the changing regulations and what it means for for the transportation industry. So you can check out their work and be broadcasting live throughout the day. Our good friend Dave Mattocks, who leads the SEUS MP Atlanta roundtable. And then we’re gonna be back out West Vegas. Yeah, with the reverse Logistics, Lewis said. Oh, lord. Yeah. Go figure out that that Logistics approach for that one guy.


[00:57:24] How big is that show, RLJ.


[00:57:26] So they’re expecting what fobbs are folks? Is that all, man? It feels like it’s gonna be bigger than that.


[00:57:31] It’s not. I don’t think it’s some well, most importantly, it is building right there showing an aspect of the global supply chain that is white-hot and a lot of companies leading companies, folks that we all could probably rattle off. These companies and leaders are looking for best practices in the world of reverse Logistics and returns and whatnot. So Tony Sciarrotta and their early is on the move. Their big annual gala is out in Vegas in February, the week of February 4th, I believe, and are l a dot org for more information there. Some of this will we’re gonna say something new. OK, good. All right.


[00:58:07] Keep on UPS. You wrote in not only how to handle returns, but how to prevent them. I mean, I think that’s an important part of that, of understanding this entire process. And circular economy is a big part of it. That’s right. Tench products intentionally built to be reused, Ryder or reconstructed.


[00:58:26] And check out our recently published episode with Tony Serota and Jack Allen of Cisco, which he talk about companies that have really gotten getting sustainability and returns at just one of most admired companies globally, Cisco. It’s got a really neat story. The mutex mode, it’s coming back here, March twenty twenty, the week of March 9th, a four day event. Thirty five thousand people of our closest friends and neighbors all across the world. A bigger table. We’re broadcasting life throughout the four days and they are hosting our 2020 Atlanta Supply chain Awards, which we’re really excited about. All right. Greg, whose keynote that event?


[00:59:06] Christian Fisher, the CEO of Jordan, George Georgia-Pacific.


[00:59:10] Sorry, I wanted to say GPE. I got a vision thing. I got a visit.


[00:59:14] I got a vision of point a in my head there for a second. And then Shane Cooper is going to be our MCE rice right, too.


[00:59:20] Couldn’t couldn’t have a better one two punch. So Ben excited about Supply Chain Now Radio is partnering with once again with the Metro Atlanta Chamber, CSC, Impey Atlanta Roundtable and Apex Atlanta to celebrate all the really neat stories across the in the end, Supply chain community in metro Atlanta. So if you’ve got some sort of degree of operation in the metro Atlanta area, which is like a twenty nine county MSA, we have an award for you. You can check him out at Atlanta Supply chain Awards dot com from Startup of the Year to Innovation of the Year to manufacturing excellence procurement, you name it. Nominations are open. Registration’s sponsorships are all open. Atlanta Supply chain Award also mutex free, by the way. So if you’ll come out and network will gather the best practices market until you name it. You could Modoc show Register for free would just published our interview with George Prest, who is CEO of MHR. The organization Behind Codecs. Fascinating story there, 30 years as an entrepreneur before he became CEO at MHR. Really interesting story. Okay. And then one last announcement we just finalized last week, we’re going to be broadcasting live at the A.M.E. Atlanta 2020 Lean’s Summit, Bennifer. Remember this last? Yes. Yes. Had a great that they toured a bunch of different companies and then brought her by back for keynote networking and other workshops and whatnot. Amy is the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, a big group headquartered out of Chicago. They’re bringing some are leaders down here to Atlanta in May, the week of May 4th for a four day Lean’s summit. So stay tuned for that. Okay. We’re missing.


[01:01:04] I can’t imagine that the chiefs are playing tonight. Gray Yeah.


[01:01:07] Come on, it’s value.


[01:01:11] Sean I was. I was going to say I would be shocked if stored was not nominated for Vetlanta Supply chain award. So you know that maybe some foreshadowing there.


[01:01:19] Yeah, it’s safe to say. Wants to be on some nominations actually. He’s on his phone right now. You might be being nominated right now.


[01:01:26] That’s right. They may already be nominated. That’s one interesting point. You know, nominate if you only have a few details of why a company should be nominated. Submit it and our team will go back and do some, you know, try to get some of the the case.


[01:01:40] Tall ships. Well, to your point, though, that Scott should know how to reach me. Yes. Warehousing and fulfillment excellence.


[01:01:48] Supply chain Innovation of the year. Supply chain start opposing. There’s a lot of good things in here.


[01:01:52] Yeah, absolutely. And it doesn’t have to be tyranny when more than one.


[01:01:56] That’s the most fun. Yeah. A second one, correct? Yes. Second year gold is indeed bigger. Lu better now.


[01:02:02] And it doesn’t have to be a thesis to your point. Scott integrated. Very simple.


[01:02:06] This is why in a one paragraph or so if you read the nominations page. He also sent out an email. Doesn’t have to be 237 pages. I love that.


[01:02:14] We’re all right. Reader’s Digest. Yeah. Or in the group here. So. All right. Well, what a great show. Really appreciate. Sean, thanks for expertises. You are. Thank you. Got to come in. I think folks are going to learn a lot and take some ideas away from this conversation, what you’ve shared in your journey. So. Shawn Henry, Restore. Thanks for your time. Bean. Bean. Greg, what a great, great latest edition of Supply chain City series. Ryan does indeed mean that it kind of epitomizes. It does. What’s going on here? All right. To our audience, be sure to check out other upcoming events, replays of our interviews, other resources at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. You can find us on Apple podcast, SoundCloud. YouTube. Yes. Thanks for getting late. You’re right. Good. Now work podcast can be found and be sure to subscribe to your missing thing. On behalf the entire team here, Scott Luton wishing you a wonderful week ahead and we will see you next time on Supply Chain Now Radio. Thanks, everybody.


Featured Guests

Sean Henry is CEO and co-founder of STORD, the pioneer of networked distribution, next-generation warehousing and distribution for modern shippers. STORD gives companies of all sizes the warehousing and freight, real-time inventory visibility, and high-touch operations support they need to grow, delight customers, and adapt to change. Powered by a nationwide network of trusted 3PL partners, innovative software and services, and great people, STORD’s solution makes it easy for shippers in all industries to build, enhance, and optimize distribution. STORD was founded in 2015 and is based in Atlanta, GA. Learn more about STORD here:

Ben Harris is 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. Learn more about the Metro Atlanta Chamber here:


Will Haraway


Greg White

Principal & Host

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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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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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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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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

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

Host, The Freight Insider

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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Mary Kate Love

VP, Marketing

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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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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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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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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Tandreia Bellamy

Host, Supply Chain Now

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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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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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 & CMO, 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.

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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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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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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

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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