Supply Chain Now Radio Episode 237

Episode Summary

APICS Coach and SCNR Contributor, Chris Barnes, welcomes Norman Bodek to Supply Chain Now Radio in the next installment of the Profiles in Supply Chain Leadership series.

Episode Transcript

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

 

[00:00:29] Hey, it’s Chris. The Apex coach and contributor to Supply Chain Now Radio.

 

[00:00:33] In the early 90s, I was involved with the implementation of a con biomaterials management system for a company converting to a just-in-time environment. A key part of my role was educating over 300 employees on the concepts of Jay EITI. At the time. I didn’t know what I didn’t know, but I invested many hours reading and learning about Jay EITI and what is now commonly referred to as Lehne. After 20 plus years of teaching the apex body of knowledge. I decided to try and interview some of the great thinkers I’ve been learning from for so many years. After a little research, I realized two things. One, many of the people are deceased and too many had one person in common. Norman Bozek, the godfather of Lean. Norman Beaudet is a teacher, consultant, author and publisher. He published over 100 Japanese management books in English, including the works of Taichi Ono and Dr. Shogo Shinjo and taught the best of Japanese management at Portland State University. Norman created the Shinjo Prize with Dr. Vern Buehler at Utah State University. He also was elected to the Industry Weeks Manufacturing Hall of Fame. I recently sat down with Norman to get a better understanding of his impact on Lean and some of his current thoughts. Take a listen to this three-part part interview with Norman. I hope you enjoy listening as much as I did getting to know The Godfather of Lane and you got to love his laugh.

 

[00:01:55] First, I want to thank you very much, Chris, for doing this with me, and you are an amazing person. You probably did more research about me than anyone in my entire life. And I thank you so much because I’m going to use it. Now I’m writing a whole new book and I’m going to talk about this new book because I think it’s going to be very important. It’s sort of my legacy since I’m eighty seven, probably take me a year to write it, but I want to leave something very good for this for this world that gave me so many good things. And we’ll talk about this new subject, which is the whole revolution that’s happening in America.

 

[00:02:33] Well, it’s interesting, as I was as I’ve gotten to know you just in the past few months, and I’m I teach the lean to students. I didn’t realize how much lean not only meant to profits and productivity, but it also means to the people, the personality, it’s improving the quality of life for their work.

 

[00:02:50] Of course, if we continue in the right direction and we we want I’ll get into lean with you. Let me just talk a little bit about this new revolution with CEOs in America. Back in 1970, Milton Friedman, he was a professor at the University of Chicago and he was awarded the Nobel Prize for a number of things he did in economics. But he said 1970 that a CEO, a corporation, has only one responsibility, and that is to make profits for the shareholders. That’s it. The corporation doesn’t have to be goody goody. It doesn’t have to be concerned about the environment or people. Not at all.

 

[00:03:32] That could come later if the investment. If the investors want to take that money and do good things with it, that’s up to them. But the obligation of a CEO is to make money. And they did since 1970, close to 50 years. The corporations in America have become enormous. We know many of them are real monopolies throughout the world. And and they’ve made enormous profits. And the CEOs back in 1970, the average top CEO made 20 times the average worker, the average worker say made thirty thousand dollars. The average CEO made six six hundred thousand dollars today. It’s close to 200 times 20 to 200 down to the average worker’s making 50 or maybe even more because the average CEO’s making fifteen point six million dollars around that. So they’ve done very well with Milton. Milton Friedman philosophy. But man called Lawrence Think. Lawrence Think is the chairman of a company called BlackRock. Probably one of the world’s largest investing companies. Mazing company. They own trillions of dollars of assets. And what Lawrence thinks said Larry King said last year, is that we these corporations have to become socially responsible. He’s not telling him to make less profits. He’s not telling them to take less compensation. But you have to become more socially responsible because look what’s happening in the world. The companies are getting richer, but people are getting poorer and society is suffering tremendously, especially with the environment.

 

[00:05:16] He said he control so much of America’s assets that he could tell a company like Apple. If you don’t become socially reliable, I’ll sell your stock if I sell your stock. That could be tragic for Apple or any other company. Because I’m not going to continue my investment, he said, unless you become socially responsible. Now, Chris, it took about a year, but one hundred and eighty one out of the top 200 companies that belong to the Business Roundtable, which is a group that represents and educates these top CEOs. One hundred and eighty one of these said, yes, we will become socially reliable. We will refocus differently on our customers to make sure they are satisfied. We’re going to relook at what we do with our employees. So they begin to train them, begin to trust them, begin to expand their capability. We’re going to relook at our relationship with our suppliers. Suppliers now we’ll become partners, not adversarial people. We’re going to relook at our communities. We’re going to relook at the environment. And of course, we’re going to continue to make profits for our shareholders. This is very dynamic. This is going to give a whole new set of opportunity for all of us.

 

[00:06:36] Norman, from an ethics perspective, we we actually teach that in our classes now. It’s more more so in recent years, but we call it the triple bottom line, which is get another book that we talk about how corporations have not only a profit responsibility, but a responsibility to the planet and also responsibility to the people. So those the three measures that companies really should be looking at now.

 

[00:06:58] Well, that’s wonderful where we’re going in the right direction. But these corporations have led the world and they led the world and we’re in trouble. I mean, these species are dying. You know, there’s so many inherent problems to. Japan had more rain in the last week than they’ve ever had in their history. Paris had the highest temperature that they ever had to quit. Time is so hot at this moment, they’re trying to air condition the air around them. Yes, we’re all in trouble in the environment and we have to refocus. And I’m glad that a fix is there. Now these corporations are going to be there. It’s gonna require a whole new role of supervision. So a manager or a supervisor, instead of looking to control people, they’re going to have to make a dynamic shift to bring out the best from people. Yes. We’re going to rethink that people for a real asset. We say that, but we don’t do it. Well, I’m writing a new book on the subject, you know. And we say that people are assets. But look at your balance sheet. There’s no people on the balance sheet. There is no customer service on the balance sheet. There is no supplier relationships on the balance sheet. There is no advantage for a company to invest in the environment because it’s not on the balance sheet. So this could be a radical Lu shift. We’ll talk more about it together as we go through this. I want to mention my gratitude to apic apic played monumental events in my life. One day I I was with Shingo in Las Vegas and we we Apex asked me to get shingled the keynote conference for them. And so we had about 3000 people in the audience, something like that. And this is very funny because I would take single around. Well, I got early. UPS early, very early in the morning to go get Dr. Chignon in the time to get breakfast or change or needed three bananas. He liked to use in his talk.

 

[00:08:59] Well, I was hungry, so I took one of the bananas and I atum I thought two’s enough. A single single gets up in front of the three thousand people in APICS. I don’t know what to do because Norman totally destroyed my talk. My whole talk is based on three bananas.

 

[00:09:15] But Norman 8:1, one of his props. One of these props. Because why was he talking about bananas? Because when you were referring to what lean is all about getting lean.

 

[00:09:27] And what we want in a banana is the content, we don’t want the skin, we don’t eat the skin. So why should we pay for the skin? And this was his analogy to dustbin time and the total production system, what we call lean. Why should people pay for waste? Yes, we might need certain things we need covering. But why do the customer pay for that coverage? Right. Should they pay for their weight? Another time with Apex is Apex. Who’s going to have their conference in New Orleans? But they’ve got pretty much destroyed by other BYO by the hurricane. So they switched to Kansas City. And I had the opportunity to keynote the conference in Kansas City. At that time. I had about 700 people in the audience.

 

[00:10:10] I had a wonderful time with them because, Chris, I sold more books than I ever sold in my life. At that moment. I sold two hundred and forty copies of the books. Never happened before in any previous conference. That was an amazing event. So I’m really in so many ways, the people of Apex. Thank you. And I hope you make a lot of value out of this discussion.

 

[00:10:33] I didn’t realize I was reading a lot of your published books. You know, whether it’s just in time or lean or or the waste or anything on shingle. How did you come to know these people?

 

[00:10:43] Well, it’s interesting, you know, Chris, because like I said, I started off as the dumbest kid in school. You look at my ninth grade report card. I was such a poor student. We can talk more about that. But it’s miraculous in my life. I’d been like a magnet for greatness. A magnet for greatness. I am so grateful for the amazing people I’ve met.

 

[00:11:05] Oh, what’s what’s interesting on that. I was reading your look at your latest book, A Miraculous Life. And I kind of realize you you personally in your in your life, you kind of have a continuous improvement mentality. And I don’t know if that’s was developed or was just something you had forever.

 

[00:11:20] I’m very grateful. You know, when I started back in nineteen eighty one, we’ll talk a little bit more about it when I started productivity. America was a productivity growth leader in the world and Japan was slowly, slowly catching up. And when we compared Japan in America it was like comparing the tortoise with the hare, you know the turtle with the rabbit. And the rabbit was so fast when they raised the rabbit. You know, I was fooling around and fell asleep on the side of the road and the turtle just kept moving forward slowly, slowly moving forward. And all of a sudden they’re way ahead of us. It’s like me in my life. You know, I just keep plodding forward. Sure. I had a lot of I had main problems and we’ll talk about that. One of my favorite stories is Pinocchio.

 

[00:12:08] And you know, Pinocchio wanted to be a real boy, well, Norman wanted to be a real boy. And I wasn’t because I was such a poor student. I wanted to be a real boy, not a puppet, not a puppet of my parents or my teachers. I wanted to be a real boy and Pinocchio wanted to be a real boy.

 

[00:12:23] But the problem with Pinocchio and the problem with Norman Pinocchio didn’t listen to his conscience pricked Jiminy Cricket. Well, everybody has a great a great cricket inside them. You have something deep inside. You will guide you if you could learn to listen to it. It’s not the 70000 thoughts you get in your head every day. No.

 

[00:12:45] This computer of yours is while your computer records everything in your life and it keeps throwing it up at you as if you need it. Well, you don’t need all of that. The mind is wonderful if you learn to use it. The same thing with your conscience inside me is a great conscience. But I never learned through life how to really appreciate it. I would listen to all the other people just like Pinocchio, you know, I would listen to the to the sly fox. The other thing they wanted to take him to the to to acting or to play land, of course, or play land. All the children turn into donkeys. Well, that’s true in our life. You know, we have such opportunity for greatness. And we want to go to Las Vegas. We want to go to the play lands. We all want to have a lot of fun in life. Instead of really where we should be is we all should be growing. We all should be learning. We all should be growing. And that’s true. Every single day, you should have a very clear goal of what you want to be in this life to be successful. Pick just one skill. Doesn’t matter as long as that skill will serve people. It doesn’t matter. You pick something that you want to be the greatest in the world.

 

[00:13:59] That and you. You never, never, never give up what you need. That goal. And most of us don’t have a goal. Anything is great. There’s a jumping around a lot. But Japan loves contests. They have contests on everything. And I recommend you think about having contests in your company. How much fun this is to motivate people to get excited about things that they do. We should go to work and get excited the same way when we go to the football field. One hundred thousand people go to Michigan to watch a football game because it’s exciting for them to watch it. And I love football, but we should be so excited when we go to work. And what we’re missing is the same thing. We need a good contest. Japan has contests for everything. They even have contests of the best cleaning people in Japan. This is amazing. The cleanest airport in the world is Haneda Airport. That’s the Tokyo Airport. Five years in a row, they’ve been rated as the cleanest airport in the world. And they identified one woman who’s in charge of cleaning. She cleans the toilet. And they had a national television show just on her. What she did to clean up the airport so that their airport was nominated. Five years are always the best in the world. We should do the same thing.

 

[00:15:13] Is honor people that way. What’s that of big impression on you as the Japanese relationship with Japan or having visited Japan many times? And that’s where you had the opportunity to meet some of these great thought leaders. So how did that happen?

 

[00:15:26] You’re also lucky back in nineteen seventy nine. I got fired. Funny story. I got fired. The president, the data processing company, I didn’t know it, but I was present level. I ran it. I took it from nothing to to a multi-million dollar business. And one day the owner of the company woke from Nelson. I just went out to Indiana and I signed up a very big contract for the company. Indiana Bell, the telephone company. I’m sitting on the airplane with Wolf and won’t turn to me. Norman, you did such a great job. I don’t need you anymore. You’re fired. Well, funny thing is, I was not unhappy. I didn’t like working for Walter at all. And Walter had to pay me for three years more. So I wasn’t panicky. I mean, he wasn’t very nice. I was supposed to get 7 percent of the sales, but we sold up millions of dollars of business. He didn’t want to pay me the 7 percent. So I was sitting around a couple of months later trying to figure out what am I going to do in my life? And I read The New York Times financial section. I don’t know why. Because I wasn’t interested in the financial section at the time. But I looked at it and it was a headline said Productivity declined in America for the first time in thirty three quarters.

 

[00:16:34] Sounded important. Had no idea what it meant. I was so curious. I went to the library. Then I never go to the library. It’s funny. I hardly. I love books. I buy thousands of books, literally. But I don’t go to the library. When I went to the library, study the word productivity and found very, very, very, very little. I kept studying. Why is it so important? And then I noticed Japan was a productivity growth leader in the world. And I decided even though I wasn’t a writer, I’m going to start a newsletter called Productivity. Well, I went to a friend of mine. A friend of my teacher name is Milton Glaser. Milton Glaser was probably the most famous illustrator in America. He did Dylan covers. He was the one that created the I love New York. You know, that that famous that famous sign. And I went to Milton says, I’m going to start a new company called Productivity and I need a logo. And Milton Glaser gave me a logo. The most famous designer probably would’ve charged twenty thousand dollars to somebody else. I paid hardly nothing. And I got a wonderful logo which gave people the impression that I was real. And then Milton gave me a list.

 

[00:17:42] Do you know him or you just reached out to him because he was a leader?

 

[00:17:45] No, I knew because he was the best friend of my teacher. I’ll talk about ludie when we go through this, too. What I’ve learned from Rudy, this great teacher that I had. And Milton and Milton was probably Rudy’s best friend. So that’s how I knew him. And then Milton gave me very nicely a list of 10 things that I could do to write a newsletter. And I followed them precisely. And I said, Milton, would you give me the logo? He said, yes. But I have to write the newsletter. So I and another man, he was actually the librarian.

 

[00:18:15] He got so interested in me because I kept going to the library research and he helped me with the research. You get all excited about productivity that he left the library to join me as my head because I couldn’t write at all. It’s funny the way I track this thing. And we spent the next month writing a 12 page newsletter just for Milton Glaser. And we did it and we brought it down to him and then he gave us the logo. And so I started a company called Productivity since Japan was the productivity growth leader. I had to find out what Japan was doing. I couldn’t find out in the library. Nothing. So one day I’m talking to a teacher of mine and he says, Norman, you’ve got to go to Japan.

 

[00:18:55] I said, how can I go to Japan? How can I? I don’t know anybody. I don’t know the language. He says you’ll figure it out. That was a wonderful thing he said to me. That’s what we should tell everybody. You will figure it out. You will trust yourself. You will figure it out. We don’t do that. We tell people everything. You always talk about the power of Ono. Very similar to that. And it’s miraculous because a month later, Chris, I went to a workshop in New York City run by Industry Week, which has played amazing role in my life and industry by 100 people, which showed up in New York City and a speaker there was Joe Jerai and he was the manager of Japan Productivity Center. And they had an office in Washington. They were here. His main purpose was to get American companies to open up and allow Japanese managers to come and visit. And that’s what he was talking about. And many companies in America just opened their doors. So we had no idea what we were doing. We had such good hearts. We opened our hearts. We let the Japanese come over. And of course, they would visit our plant. And then they would say to the plant manager, could I take your picture? And of course, you know, it was already Gates mystical that we say, please, you can take my picture. And then the Japanese say, could you move over a little bit? Just move over to the side a little bit. They didn’t want you, they wanted the machine behind you. And they learned so much from us. They went back and replicated it. One hundred percent. I remember I did a lot of work with Japan Management Association later amaa.

 

[00:20:30] They went to the A.M.A. in New York City where I used to teach at the A.M.A.. They took pictures of everything and they went back to Japan and they opened up and they expanded Japan Manager Association and their building. They made all of the classrooms exactly what they sought at the at the A.M.A.. Exactly. Even though the Japanese are small of people, they make the desks the same size. This was very funny. Japanese copied us. And, of course, what they did next, Chris, after they copied us, what’s the next step? They improved. Of course they improved it. That’s the trick. We improved processes, continuous improvement. We talk about, well, the first thing that you should do, ladies and gentlemen, is improve yourself. You become great. You become an expert in something. Doesn’t matter. And yes, there’s always going to be resistance standing in your way. It’s gravity. Gravity pushes, you know, less. You stand on the earth and there is resistance. And the biggest resistance, of course, is your mind. What are you afraid of? But everybody’s afraid. There’s nobody on. Maybe Rudy was the only one that I met that wasn’t afraid. Everybody’s if you go to work, you’re afraid because in the American society, we build on that. Right. We don’t give you power. We hate unions. We hate themes. Even quality control circles are so great, but we don’t do it in America. Why? I don’t think companies like people getting together. We don’t like dispersing power. We want power to stay with management. And we don’t. We don’t like this idea of giving people too much power.

 

[00:22:09] In a story of Japanese coming here and taking the pictures and then improving, that reminded me of something. You probably know if this is true. Demming, who tried to sell its quality philosophy in the States, they couldn’t get applied. So we went to Japan and that’s where he became famous.

 

[00:22:22] He has a funny part of my in my story in Demming because my problem is always listening to somebody else instead of listening to my heart. I went to New York University Graduate School of Business, a miracle from a DOMAs kid and I get into graduate school. Deming taught there and I was gonna take statistics in the next semester. I’m talking to Howard, this friend, so-called friend of mine. So I say so-called because stupidly I listened to Howard and Howard had no idea what he was saying. Howard said, Norman, don’t take statistics is too hard. I’m very good at math. But somehow I was afraid, afraid, afraid, because if I flunked out of graduate school, I’d have to go into Korean War. And that kept me in check. That kept me in graduate school. Listen to Howard. And I didn’t take statistics and Dr. Demings taught the course. I could have had Demming 30 years before. Yes, I met Demming. I went out of my way to meet Demming. Demi was invited to Japan 1959. It was 1959, maybe earlier, maybe 1950. McMaster brought him over. MacArthur was a very unusual general because most most countries, when when they win a war, they just milk, milk, everything out of the society they built. Well, MacArthur wouldn’t do this. MacArthur rebuilt Japan and he brought over people to help Japan and he brought over Demming. And Demming was approached by the quality organization called Juice Japanese Union, the Sciences and Engineers.

 

[00:23:48] And they said Dr. Deming will get three hundred and fifty people to listen to three hundred and fifty engineers to listen to you. And then he said, no, I want 350 CEOs. Miraculously, they did it. They got three hundred and fifty CEOs of the Japanese top corporations to come and listen to Dr. Deming. And Deming taught them the power of quality. And they said to Deming, what could we do to catch America? And he said, look, you take my advice. You focus on quality, you learn statistical quality control. You make sure that your process or run are stabilized. You make sure that you’re producing the highest possible quality you see at that time. Chris, we had a standard in America which was plus 3 percent plus or minus 3 percent. It was okay if you produced 100 items. 3 could be wrong. So when I had my first conference, I ran a conference, my first conference. I ordered 200 notebooks and I got two hundred and thirty notebooks. And I say, why did you send me all these extra notebooks? And they say, because a number of the notebooks you get are not going to work. That was the American way. Deming said, no, you can’t do that. And they listen to them. And then at the end of his talk, they said to Deming, that’s a very powerful man. His name was Ishikawa is a coward. It really was the one who invented what we call total quality management.

 

[00:25:12] And it’s a car invented quality circles. And they said. We want to reward you, gonna give you money if your talking Demings. No, I don’t want your money because there is paying me enough. You take that money and set up a prize. And they did. They set up the Demming Prize and every major company in Japan competed for that Demming prize. And that competition is great. That’s why I started a number of years later, the single prize. I said, America, we need the same thing. We need a prize to focus on improving our productivity. And very luckily, very. Bueller was a professor at Utah State University and very Dula said to me, normal. I want to get Shingo to come and talk at the conference. I said, I’ll get Shinjo. But during you got to do two things. You’re required to do two things to get Singo one. I want you to start a prize called the single prize. I want you to get him an honorary doctorate degree and virtuous. Norman, I’ll try. Well, sure enough, he did it. He got Utah State University to give Dr. Singo an honorary doctorate degree. And we started the prize together called the Shinjo Prize this year. Chris, I went to Cincinnati. There was six hundred people at their conference. Single price conference. I’m very grateful. They’re very, very successful that many of American companies are really competing to be better to improve their productivity and growth.

 

[00:26:34] It’s ironic. The US has a Japanese based surprise shingled prize. And then Japan as a U.S. based prize, which is the Demming prize.

 

[00:26:42] Well, foreign is always better. You know, this old saying a profit is never known into our own house and we appreciate the things that are more mystical and far away.

 

[00:26:53] This concludes part one of the three part series with Norman Vote Act, The Godfather of Lean. In part two, we learned about the power of asking how can I help you? Demanding the impossible.

 

[00:27:03] The supermarket and single minute exchange of dyes.

Featured Guests

Norman Bodek is President of PCS Inc. In 1979, after working for 18 years with Data Processing companies, Norm Bodek started Productivity Inc. – Press by publishing a newsletter called PRODUCTIVITY. At the time, he said he knew virtually nothing about the subject and had spent very little time in manufacturing facilities. But, he quickly became fascinated with the subject and went to Japan to discover the processes that was making Japan the world leaders in quality improvement and productivity growth. Even though on his first visit to Japan he didn’t know a single person or speak Japanese, he has since, in the last 31 years, gone to Japan 80 times, visited more than 250 plants and published more than 100 Japanese management books in English, and over 150 other management books. As a fortune cookie once told him, “You have the talent to discover the talent in others.” Mr. Bodek said his claim to fame is that he found amazing tools, techniques and new thoughts that have revolutionized the world of manufacturing. He has met Dr. W. Edwards Deming, Dr. Joseph Juran, Phil Crosby, Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa, Dr. Joji Akao, Mr. Taiichi Ohno, Dr. Shigeo Shingo and many other great manufacturing masters and published many of their books in English. Each person he met gave him a new perspective on continuous improvement. Mr. Bodek has lead over 25 study missions to Japan and was one of the first to find and publish books, training materials and run conferences and seminars on TPS, SMED, CEDAC, quality control circles, 5 S, visual factory, TPM, VSM, Kaizen Blitz, cell design, poka-yoke, lean accounting, Andon, Hoshin Kanri, Kanban, and Quick and Easy Kaizen. Mr. Bodek, who was once called “Mr. Productivity” by Industry Week Magazine, and “Mr. Lean” by Quality Progress Magazine, said his most powerful discovery was the way Toyota and other Japanese companies opened the infinite creative potential often lying dormant inside every single worker. Most recently, he worked with Gulfstream Corporation, a private jet company, where 1000 people that went from 16-implemented ideas in February 2005 to close to 40,000 in 2011, and resulting each year in annually savings of over $2 million. Mr. Bodek founded the Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence at Utah State University with Dr. Vern Buehler and is one of the few to be personally awarded the Shingo Prize. He also was inducted into Industry Week’s Hall of Fame. In the last 10 years, he has written hundreds of articles published in various magazines and journals and on management web sites. Norman has written seven books: “The Idea Generator – Quick and Easy Kaizen,” and “The Idea Generator Workbook,” co-authored with Bunji Tozawa, president of the HR Association in Japan, “Kaikaku the Power and Magic of Lean,” Rebirth of American Industry, co-authored with William Waddell, and “All You Gotta Do Is Ask, co-authored with Chuck Yorke, How to Do Kaizen, co-authored with Bunji Tozawa and most recently “The Harada Method – the Spirit of Self-Reliance,” co-authored with Takashi Harada. Learn more about Bodek’s firm, PSC Inc, here: https://www.pcspress.com/

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Host, Supply Chain is Boring

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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, 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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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.

With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.

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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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Jamin Alvidrez

Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History

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

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business.  Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM.  When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or singing second soprano in the Grayson United Methodist Church choir.

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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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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

Allie is currently completing a degree in marketing with a certificate in entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia. She got her social media start through an internship with Shred, a personal training app, and she’s been hooked ever since. She works to optimize our following base while assisting the team with content creation, influencer outreach and other marketing endeavors. Allie can’t wait to keep growing alongside Supply Chain Now.

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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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Natalie Dutton

Marketing Coordinator

Natalie is currently pursuing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing and a certificate in new media at the University of Georgia. If there’s one thing she’s learned at the Terry College of Business, it’s that the supply chain is a dynamic, unifying force that’s essential to any business. Natalie helps to amplify the voices of the supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting with media management, content creation and communications.

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Ben Harris

Host

Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).

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Page Siplon

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kristi Porteris 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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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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We’re always looking for new talent to work with us. Apply below if you are interested in joining the Supply Chain Now team.

Click here to download the Current Openings PDF
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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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Scott W. Luton

Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History

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

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

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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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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.

He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).

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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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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.

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