Supply Chain Now Radio
Episode 246

Episode Summary

Scott Luton and Greg White welcome James Wilson to SCNR at eft’s Logistics CIO Forum.

Episode Transcript

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


[00:00:25] And now here are your hosts pay or by Scott Luton with Supply Chain Now Radio. Once again, welcome back to the show. Today Show we aren’t broadcasting from Atlanta, Georgia, but rather we’re broadcasting live from Austin, Texas, home of E.F. e.t.’s. Logistics S.O form a Reuters event where we’ve been interviewing some of the most innovative thought leaders that are up to the big things, doing big things, leading big things across C-A and Supply chain industry. And our team is proud to continue our partnership with Nick OSRF and the E.M.T. And Reuters event team. So you might have heard there some limited enthusiasm is welcome in my fearless cohosts here today. Greg White, a Supply chain tech entrepreneur, chronic disruptor and trusted advisor. Greg, how you doing?


[00:01:13] I’m doing great. I’m glad you added the chronic disruptor. Yeah, well, the hot industry you talk about. I think, yes, that really upset. But like I said before, Chronic has a dual dual meaning in that, considering that some of the companies that I can fit, I. Yeah, the cannabis industry. We’ll let our listener just look that up. Let’s let him have a good time. Yeah. Okay. So great. We’ve got a great repeat guest. This is our second or third repeat guests as we continue to cover this event. People love us. They keep coming back. Well, that was that. But we really enjoy that and really appreciate that.


[00:01:46] It. On that note, let’s welcome in James Wilson, partner in development with Think Al James. How are you doing? I’m doing great. Thank you for having me. You bet. Great to have you back. You know, you we we interviewed you at e.t.’s three people and Supply chain Summit in Atlanta in June. And there a similar buzz here, this Logistics CEO forum.


[00:02:05] He had great speakers. It’s a good event. And everybody loves Austin. Yeah.


[00:02:09] And you’re my favorite speakers coming up. You keynotes at five fifteen today, is that right? Five. Forty five. Forty five. Supply chain. We don’t take breaks. We don’t. There’s no 9:00 to 5:00. Right. We just use this 24/7.


[00:02:22] He’s the owner. Well and yeah. James is concerned that he was between people in the bar. They ought to just put the bar in there that would give people make sure they stay. Yes. And then they would be Rod. Yeah, that’s right. All right.


[00:02:35] Get lock him in. Okay. So, James, for folks that may or may not have called that first podcast, which, you know, we published number two hundred and twelve this week, and that was probably back in the 60s or 70s since Jean as crazy thing. But for folks that may not have heard that podcast, let’s make sure they can they can learn a lot more about you. So tell us where you’re from and where you grew up and what you did for. Thank you. Think.


[00:03:05] Ok. I grew up in Athens, Georgia. I’m the sixth generation to graduate from Georgia. Wow. Got no choice there. Go, dogs. I was in the army three years out in California forward. And so I started out in telecom call center telecom. So I started a company in Czech Republic and then sold that. You don’t hear that every day? Yeah. What? What? What? Czech Republic. Beautiful girls and cheap beer.


[00:03:37] Not so sure.


[00:03:40] So anyway, I sold that started another company in 2001 after the telecom bomb. And that was called a Foxley. And we centered on call centers. And so I worked that till 2014, sold my part and left after another two years, kind of worked around a little bit. And then I met up with started my own company called a call center Pros. dot com. And then with that I started working with both think, wow, which is a German company and I think so. Okay. Gartner wanted the two companies separated because think how is the customer facing a guy? And I Tick’s Solutions is the back office automation and that’s spelled T Y X..


[00:04:27] Okay. Yeah. Good. So you’ve you’ve had a couple of full plates here with these organizations, right. Oh yeah. Yeah. And there’s growth and we’re and we’re going to dove into especially what we think out does. But so when you’re not helping these companies grow and expand, what do you like to spend your free time?


[00:04:46] Well, I’ve got twins that are 8 and the 13 year old, so. Oh, wow. Boy, girl, twins.


[00:04:50] So so it doesn’t matter where you’d like to spend your time. That’s where you spend your. Where it’s a soccer swim, last swim team, whatever. That.


[00:04:59] Gates an adult and now call the metro Atlanta area home, too. Exactly. We love Atlanta. Is this your first time in Austin? It’s my first time.


[00:05:07] I was here last week or last month at another trade show. OK. Yeah. CCW was here. Okay. Carlson a week. Yeah.


[00:05:15] Beautiful city, great food. Okay, so let’s talk a lot more about think now. So.


[00:05:21] So tell us what what does organization do you think el automates customer interaction? So in Logistics we specialize in email, social media, chat, ask Hamas any kind of communications you’re having with your customer. We can help automate that. So what you want to do is those highly repetitive e-mails. You want to take care of those as quick as possible, answer them as accurately as possible and move on to more productive things. So when tracking and tracing email come in, we classify it. We understand what it is. We start integrating from third party systems into before the agent even opens up the e mail. We’ve already pulled up all the tracking and tracing information and then A.I. will kick in and say this would be the right response for this type of email. And we suggest you attach this form for a claim. And so with two clicks they get my reply to the email and it gets smarter every day. And who’s using this? Who’s typically, well, that type of company. We’d get FedEx in 40 different languages. So 40 countries. We take care of Samsung and we have about thirty five hundred agents with Samsung and we’re in thirty five languages with them. Those are our two biggest and it’s predominantly customer support or I tick’s is always customer support it. So whatever type of e-mails we’re doing are the highly repetitive so we can take care of that. Those type of repetitive e-mails in line agents take care of the more important money-making email. Right.


[00:07:07] Right. So I don’t know if you’re like our family. Sometimes we have eight pages long a football game, text strings, Ryder, especially on any given weekend.


[00:07:18] Have you found a way to automate those text takes pages? Yes. So let’s talk about the math. Yeah. Yeah. Now his family has all five generations, his fanfics, they’re all cheering. So, yes, their own thing. Same size. All right. So you didn’t have the same issue you had. Nobody’s ribboned any. Right. All right.


[00:07:36] So let’s you see your role and particular your growth. You’re helping the company growing right in the partner, the partners.


[00:07:44] And so we specialize and work with partners. So integration partners and also channel partners. So that’s my specialty. But we’re also helping new customers and them working with our channel sales team as well. So it is a a sales role, but that’s like three full plates.


[00:08:03] I mean, especially as much as the company is growing.


[00:08:06] Yeah, a lot of hand-holding, a lot of training and a lot of demos.


[00:08:10] Yeah, good stuff. Okay. So what brings you here? But beyond your keynote? I know that clearly you’re an EMT fan as well. We are second event here. What UPS do you enjoy about an event like this?


[00:08:22] I really like this particular event. It’s so Richard C. O’s who are the heart. And, you know, you realize now CEOs are are now chief data officers. There’s a lot of different variants of a CEO. So that was kind of eye-opening then, you know, understanding their mindset and and hearing where all these CEOs started and where they came from and where they’re going.


[00:08:49] Yeah, we really have enjoyed that as well. I am not a technologist. You know, I don’t go to school for computer science or something that at 2 degrees or whatnot. But what you said is really accurate. We’ve heard from a lot of CEOs that grew up in other industries. And then the Supply chain industries recruiting them because of just the overwhelming amount of technology here. But what’s neat about that is, you know, we’re talking with a CIO one, the last podcast and he’d Arbaeen, he knew analytics backwards and forwards and was recruiting in nine, 10 years ago once as Supply chain really began, you know, doing something with all the big data.


[00:09:30] It had been accumulating. And so for him, it’s kind of old hat, right. And at that, I can only imagine how much of impact for that organization when he came on and especially started figuring out the industry, because if he came on Manattan years ago, that was way ahead of me.


[00:09:44] It’s mostly been in last three or four years that are.


[00:09:47] That’s right. Well put. Yeah. Yeah. So on that note, let’s talk about some of the other supply chain trends going broader. What are some of the supply chain trends? Or challenges or topics that you’ve been tracking more than others lately.


[00:10:04] What we’re doing now is we’re opening up our R A.I. platform where people can actually process minded people could actually start creating their own process without help of a bigger company. So, for instance, of FedEx over in Europe, everybody knows you could Google your tracking number. But what you do when you email FedEx in Europe, that is new to me.


[00:10:28] That is, I might be the want last person left, left, left on earth that we could do that. Now, everybody. Sorry about that. OK.


[00:10:38] All of us have to Google a UK actually e mail your check ID number and they will give you a 15 minute window. So they go to the truck. Find out how many stops her head and then estimate that 15 minute window. So in Europe, you don’t have to leave a package on your front step or or have to wait there for hours.


[00:10:56] Right. Right. Yeah.


[00:10:57] You know what? We what I use for the first time here as we arrived yesterday, we had we ordered some equipment that we were to experiment with and didn’t think, of course, before we left to get it. We won those Amazon Dropbox for the first time and it worked like a charm. And then to Khanum, on a related note, you get the bypass, you know, send it to the hotel and then it might hit the front desk at the wrong time with the wrong person. And then you’re out of luck and you’re leaving town in a couple of days. All right. It worked really well. We should have got there early. The communication was seamless. You pop in the 7 code, you know, a delivery code, whatever it is, it tells you what box opens at the door. It was a it was very impressive. I have used the drop box yet.


[00:11:42] We have it’s in downtown Atlanta next to Georgia Tech. That’s the only one in Atlanta.


[00:11:48] You know, that’s that’s an interesting that. Sorry. Not too far off topic here, but that’s a really interesting evolution because we had a drop box in Miura, suburban Cobb County, west of Marietta. Right. At a Meineke muffler store. And you could both pick up and do returns at Random Locker, but it disappeared. And that was two, three years ago. So it’s kind of so. Well, and it was an Amazon one. So I think what’s happened is Bubba pulled in, hits that thing to back his truck. I think what happened? That’s your part of the country? No, no. Buffett he pulled in and hooked it to the back of a Range Rover. No. What? What happened was I think they they pulled him back out and then figured out that they needed a certain population density to have it be useful, because I know that thing could not have been full.


[00:12:46] I mean, where we were in really all of this, when you were talking about the technology of automating the delivery information, the communication that you have to have. Right. Especially when you’re sending out packages to, you know, this Dropbox or that Dropbox and also trying to coordinate when you’re gonna be through that part of town, because we all know living in Atlanta based on traffic and and, you know, when you can be a never win away right now. But it seems like y’all’s technology, it think now is helping to automate a law that’s critical communication that you have to have in the world. Logistics, right?


[00:13:21] We are. Yeah, absolutely. Especially back again with the customer facing right side of it. Right. So customer facing can be, you know, claims and damages and and, you know, those highly repetitive. But also, once we see 250 e mails of a new subject, we’ll create it automatically will create a new a new response for that. Wow. So it sounds like some of what you’re doing. I can’t. You know, one of the terms that we’ve been hearing in the last couple of years is robotic process of automation. That is that at a tangent or is that so core to what you’re doing? RPA is not A.I.. Right. But A.I. and RPA together are much stronger. Right. And that’s really where you want to go. And a lot of RPA is not a AI. And so there are a lot of AI is not a B actually. That’s a that’s kind of. So we started in nineteen ninety six our first patent, it was called PTM me and it was non rules based A.I. so it was actually using algorithms to help respond to our e-mail on it. And learn enough negative reinforcement from the human agent. Do you ever get involved in the coding.


[00:14:34] I mean it seems like you know. Well. And I ask that because it seems like you get the technology on a pretty deep level. We do. We have to. I mean, you work for a German company and, you know, how far can you go? And you gotta you got to learn it.


[00:14:48] You must. Any any other.


[00:14:53] So before we make sure folks know how to how to find you and then learn more about think about any other. Supply chain news or developments or trends out there that you found you find compelling here lately.


[00:15:05] What I thought was the most interesting is how agents in humans are now working together in. So when you’re getting the chat board and you know it’s a chat board and they don’t know the answer, it’s a human right behind it to help. So that’s where we think the real future is, is that human age A.I.D. Partner relations area. And that will only continue to help the A.I.. Right. Sorry, it’s not that scary A.I.. Right. You know, it’s kind of a partner, kind of. We think of as little our body. Yeah. That little owl on your shoulder helping you. Yeah.


[00:15:43] Well, that has been a common refrain on our shows. You know, it’s not like technology and a machine learning and insert popular technology here is coming to get you for folks again. I feel like, you know, we’re beating a dead horse in many ways, but it’s such an important message. It is there to complement a workforce. And for folks that want to learn new things and willing to do new things and, you know, step through the door and raise your hand to volunteer and learn and apply these new things. This this technology immersion that’s taking place across the Supply chain industry is going to open up a lot of new doors and more importantly, opportunities for folks, right? Yeah. And so going back to how your technology, you know that the bots and the people are working together. Right. Exactly. And so when I’m on that. When does the. And if it doesn’t work like this, just just tell me, obviously. But in my mind, it’s like I’ve got. Here we go. No. When does the how does. So let’s say it’s a text back and forth with a bar and a consumer and it appears at first to be mundane and and just, you know, standard rule the day. How does the technology say, you know what?


[00:16:59] This is something that Raj, he might need an intervention. Yeah. How does that work? So every every email the agent would know how assured it is of the correct answer. So if it’s ninety five percent. Got it. And the SLA is two minutes. The agent just can ignore it and they’ll go out in two minutes or you can hit send and I’ll go out immediately. But if it’s seventy five percent he wants to read it. And make sure. Or change it slightly. And we learn from that change.


[00:17:26] So you represent you present a confidence factor. Mm hmm. And so it’s kind of like when you raise your hand in class, do you really know the answer to the question?


[00:17:37] Right. I think I know the answer to the question right now. Yeah. Little Jimmy, take this question.


[00:17:44] Right. It’s kind of like that. So you want to have the SLA that you’re going to get that answer out quick. Yeah, but you wanna make sure it’s the right answer. And A.I. needs that negative reinforcement to learn. So that’s, you know, where we’ve always been and that’s it assumes it’s right.


[00:17:59] Right. So now, unlike the current generation, it assumes it’s right until it’s told otherwise. Mm hmm.


[00:18:05] Well, and I’m assuming setting up the risks are the. Yeah. The works and the service levels and defining all of that upfront is critical.


[00:18:17] Critical. So you can have different service levels per customer, per category. So maybe it’s a financial question or maybe some way says, hey, I’m called the attorney general. You know, maybe Legal’s brought it, you know, for all those key phrases, legal lawyer, all those, you know.


[00:18:34] So you clearly are working a lot and Logistics space. But I hear platform, what you’re describing, that probably is a wide variety of applications across industries. Yeah, we’re in 10 different industries. Outstanding. Yeah. So how can our listeners learn more about you get in touch with with you, James, or learn more about think.


[00:18:54] All right. My phone number is 4 0 4 9 3 6 4000. And my email is James Scott Wilson at think al dot com.


[00:19:03] Bold move. Yes. Fill out your phone. Fairless. I love that. Everybody out there, call James. Call me. Think Al. Dot com. Yeah. Ask Nate.


[00:19:14] And it really need the beach to reconnect with you as you continue to grow. I think else technology. I can just think about all the different directions you can take and apply it.


[00:19:24] So what podcast number will this be?


[00:19:27] This will have to let you know. OK. So we know that. We know that it’s it’s somewhere around two twenty two. That’s right. Okay. Easy to remember, Willie. We’ll let you know.


[00:19:37] I guess as we as we continue to crank out content, we’ve got you know, we’ve published over 200 now. Right. Hmm. But then we’ve got a lot of episodes that are still be there in post-production. All right. And Greene, we’re publishing Monday every weekday. Yeah. Which is also a big change. The last time he came on the show when we were publishing once every so often.


[00:19:57] Yeah, I think that was the schedule. One every so, you know, we’re laughing.


[00:20:01] But it really we kind of published as as is ready. Right. So sometimes a lot shows would be ready same day and it would roll that dump truck back and dump it on the market. And, you know, we’re trying to as you might imagine, we really put our finger on the pulse, learn what our what our listeners, consumers want and when they want and try to serve that need as best we could. You can’t. So. But, James, great to reconnect. We want to bring you back on down the road a little bit. We’ll get another update on. All the cool things that that think doing. What was the other organization I took?


[00:20:36] Tics and Eye Tick’s solutions. And that’s I.T. y x solutions dot com. And that’s the back end. That’s the back on non automatic facing. Got it. Interesting. So one last question. You won’t make a bold prediction when it comes.


[00:20:53] George Osborne, he was going there. Well, and not game by game. Just just let’s fast forward let’s say it’s January.


[00:21:02] January. Gosh, I hope we’re in the playoffs. And then the top four and going for the best going for the national championship as two years ago.


[00:21:12] Heck of a team from is just a whole the whole team. So we’ll see how that plays out. I think this is gonna be a neat guess.


[00:21:20] We’ve got Missouri and then we’ve got Auburn. So we’ve got two back to back good games.


[00:21:24] Here we come. We heard it from a sixth generation bulldog, which is cool in and of itself. But big thanks to our guests here today on Supply Chain Now Radio. James Wilson will think now to our listeners. Stay tuned as we continue our coverage of the E.M.T. Logistics S.O form, of course, a Reuters event now right here in Austin, Texas. Be sure to check out other upcoming events, replays, all of our interviews. You name it, other resources at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. Check out our new blog, which is cool. We had Road Runner and we’ve run a freight in Vector Global Logistics or in recent elections. Yeah, you can find all that Supply Chain Now Radio dot com and you can find us on really anywhere you get your podcast from the Apple podcast, SoundCloud, Spotify, Greg’s favorite YouTube.


[00:22:09] Of course we play. Where else do you learn anything in this world anymore?


[00:22:13] Besides, we like publishing a lot of our behind the scenes footage and some of the videos on YouTube, but be sure to subscribe so you don’t Missy ϴ behalf of the entire team here. Scott Luton wishing you a wonderful week ahead and we’ll see you next time on Supply Chain Now Radio. Thanks, everybody.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Watch Scott and Greg as they interview James Wilson for SCNR Episode 246.

Featured Guests

James Wilson serves as Senior Vice President, AI Customer Relations for ThinkOwl, a technology company that started in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in 1996. ThinkOwl supports some of the largest global logistics companies in almost 40 languages/40 countries. Working with unstructured data of customer facing emails and semi-structured data of forms like invoices and BOLs, AI is quickly trained for any repetitive emails, such as: track and trace, claims and damages, proof of delivery, brokerage and finance/billing/collections can gain efficiency. Learn more about ThinkOwl here:


Greg White

Principal & Host

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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 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.

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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 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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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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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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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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