Supply Chain Now Radio
Episode 252

Episode Summary

“I think the turbulence in the marketplace has led to opportunities. Some companies are strong and can take advantage of those which are not prepared for the change that’s going on.”

– Michael Golden, partner and co-leader of the Closely Held & Family Businesses practice


When you consider the role of supply chain management from a financial perspective, the scale of the challenge and potential impact quickly become clear. Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) is the largest line in a company’s P&L statement, and the supply chain accounts for 75-80% of that. An operationally healthy supply chain can be the difference between a strong balance sheet and a weak one.

In this podcast, Supply Chain Now Radio host Scott Luton a trio of top executives to talk about leading supply chain from the C-suite: Adam McDaniel serves as Senior Vice President, Enterprise Solutions for Redwood Logistics, Jason Shefrin is currently the Chief Supply Chain Officer at Belnick and Michael Golden is partner and co-leader of the Closely Held & Family Businesses practice.

They offer up their perspectives on the global trends and forces affecting not just competitive supply chains, but the companies they support:

  • How the rise of eCommerce is leading to shifts, not just in transportation, but also in customer education and support
  • How tariffs have accelerated global trade trends that were likely to place on their own – just more gradually
  • The role of supply chain in mergers and acquisitions, especially of small or medium-sized companies

Episode Transcript

[00:00:05] It’s time for a 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 companies, the technologies, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. Now here are your hosts.


[00:00:36] Hey, good morning, Scott Luton here with you on Supply Chain Now Radio, welcome back to the show. On this episode, we’re excited to be interviewing several business leaders that have successfully navigate it through a variety of growth and market challenges, and we’re to gain their insights and key learnings. So stay tuned for an entertaining and enlightening discussion. A quick programing note like all of our series on Supply Chain Now Radio, you can find our replays on a variety of channels Apple, podcasts, SoundCloud, YouTube, really wherever else you get your podcasts from. As always, we love to have you subscribe. Still messy thing and let’s think few of our sponsors that allow us to bring these best practices innovative ideas to you, our audience. They range from the effective syndicate to talentstream. Vector Global Logistics. Manymore. Check out our sponsors on the show notes of this episode. OK, so we’ve got a quite a lively roundtable of guests here today starting over here across from me, Jason Schiffrin, chief of Supply chain, officer at Belnap. Good morning, Jason. Morning, Scott. Great to have you here. And then Adam Daniel to Jason’s right, senior vise president, Enterprise Solutions with Redwood Logistics. Adam, good morning.


[00:01:45] Good morning. And finally, Marco Gawp, Michael Golden, partner at Arnold Golden Gregory, an Atlanta based national law firm, one that works extensively across the and in Supply chain community. It’s been a long, long standing, collaborative partner. We appreciate that you’ve hosted episodes. You’ve been on about 117 episodes, I think, to count a plus or minus. Thanks for having me back. Well, great to have you back, Michael. And we look forward to a great panel discussion here today. Okay. So what we want to do to our listeners, you may have caught the episode where we’ve dialed in on Michael and Adam just a few weeks back. What we want to do is we will dove into Jason, your story, and then we’re kind of bring everybody back to talk more about industry trends, global supply chain trends, especially M&A activity and some of the challenges and expectations we all have for that, not only through the end of this year, but moving them to 2020. So with all that said, Jason, good morning again. Good morning. I want to do that. Let’s get to know you, Jason Schaeffer, a little bit better. Soter tell us. Let’s start with where did you grow up?


[00:02:53] So I grew up in Columbia, Maryland, which is most famous for being the first playing community in the country. So town centers and sort of the melting pot concept and graduated local from public school there and went to the University of Pennsylvania. Okay. Program there where I got a degree in computer science, engineering and a finance degree from the Wharton School and then promptly moved to Cleveland, Ohio. And what what took you to Cleveland? Believe it or not, what took me to Cleveland was my first job, which we’ll talk about a little bit when we get into how I got into Supply chain. But the amazing thing coming out of out of Penn was everybody want to go either into investment banking or strategic consulting or marketing or or you name it. And and and I and Al admit it wasn’t overly scientific. But when you’re applying for jobs, you send letters to to every consulting firm that’s in. I got a book consulting. Top consulting. Right. Right. And one of the companies was called Cleveland Consulting Associates. And at the time and this was in 1997, Cleveland Consulting Associates was the first consulting firm that specialized in Supply chain Consulting. So inventory, network design, sourcing, distribution, manufacturing. And I remember getting an interview from Cleveland Consulting Associates and saying, why would I ever sent a letter to Cleveland? So I clearly wasn’t paying too much attention. But but what occurred to me when I went and interviewed some of the smartest people I’ve ever met. And when I looked around, nobody was going into the Supply chain world at all.


[00:04:32] All right. So if you. Well, this is it. This is 97, right? This was in 97.


[00:04:36] So this is before the Amazon effect, by and large, right before the dot coms, before all of that and before while there was absolutely global business at that time, was really before the golden age of globalization. Like like we know it today. Right? Completely. And so.


[00:04:51] So from my perspective, I saw, you know, a lot of people running in one direction. And then there’s this path that nobody’s going down. A, Cleveland, B, supply chain. And if you can play in a you know, in in a smaller pond, why not? And so believe it or not, I’ve been on the Supply chain track ever since graduating college. And not many people can claim that. I don’t think most people claim that. I can tell you that as I taught, I teach. So I used to teach Supply chain at John Carroll University to their undergrads and MBA. And it was a required course. And so what I can tell you is even today, there aren’t that many people running. Supply chain, which which I think is a mistake because it’s it’s actually quite fascinating as well. We’ll talk more.


[00:05:39] I completely agree. And you know, the industry is competing for top talent unlike ever before, right? This skill sets are changing due to some of the market conditions we’ve already identified. But also what’s needed. You know, the last time Adamu came on, we talked about digitization and how that’s impacting supply chain, not an end business, but desperate for folks to navigate through that and navigate supply chain Logistics manufacturing firms to that different skill sets. Right. Right. Down obsolete. So before we talk about kind of your professional journey or give us a couple and an anecdote or two about your upbringing. Sure.


[00:06:16] Well, I think maybe I’ll go talk about once I got to Cleveland, because soon after that I met my wife, Nicole, and we now have three daughters center of my world. And what’s critical to both Nicole and I growing up in Cleveland or raising our family in Cleveland was the need to get back. And so some of the things that we did on addition to our career paths, we started a nonprofit that helped foster children. I was highly engaged in programs that focused on education in the inner city. We worked across the board with the leaders in the community. And so fast right to about six months ago, June of of twenty nineteen, we moved, we relocated to Atlanta. And so we sort of uprooted, you know, everything we’re doing there. And and now here we are in Atlanta rebuilding, you know, sort of our community engagement. But also, you know, looking at how do we how do we take the next steps with our family and everything like that. So, you know, any any successful person who comes on your radio show, I suspect has as a good supporting cast. And so I’m not anywhere here without without Nicole and and and the kids.


[00:07:33] So it seems like that that need to give back in and play an active role in the community, make a difference, seems to be very inherent to who you are and something you’re very passionate about.


[00:07:47] Absolutely. I think. You know, I’m glad we discovered it early in our lives, but we worked very hard at making money and doing our jobs, and then I think as life goes on, you you look back and you reflect as am I making an actual difference? Am I actually making a difference in the world I live in, the community I live in? You know, we could go down a whole path around the challenges that face our cities today. But I you know, in my opinion, you’ve got to have both sides. You have to be able to perform for your company and make a difference to your whether it’s your or your shareholders and the owner or your constituents. But you also have to recognize that that we live in in a part of a community that that needs a lot of fixing. And some of the people who are the brightest minds running companies could also make the largest impact on making a difference in other people’s lives.


[00:08:43] And have you instill that sense of service to your three daughters?


[00:08:47] One hundred percent. So we’re we’re coming up on the holidays. And the organization my wife founded in Cleveland was fostering hope in what we brought were life experiences to children who live in in foster care. And so my oldest daughter, who was a ninth grader in high school right now. Always sat sudden on her own, started actually a gift drive for children in foster care.


[00:09:11] So she picked up right where her mother left off. And. And so if you could see our garage last night, it’s literally in a warehouse. It was a warehouse full of presence and gift bags.


[00:09:21] And and today they’re starting the delivery. So I think that children see what their parents do. And if you if you live a life of sort of engagement, giving back that, your children take on that. And I think it’s better for me personally. It’s as important as anything else.


[00:09:42] Love that. Love the initiative that your oldest daughter took. So, absolutely so rewarding as a parent. OK. So switch gears and let’s talk more about your professional journey that leading up to your current role with Bill Nye. So tell us more about that.


[00:09:57] Absolutely. So like I told you, I joined the Kliman Consulting Associates and we went around and and and not to be. Daryl. To be perfectly blunt, I was able to walk around and be in board rooms with the smartest people I’ve ever seen, and this was at the time consulting where consultants used to go tell people how to do things, but they never actually did any right. And so I was one of the first hires to do all of the analysis, the data modeling. And my job was to work the models, do the math. And I was on the forefront of the expansion of companies like Dollar General when they were expanding it to stores a day, opening distributions across the country. You know, SKU proliferation or SKU offerings of the likes of W.W. Granger, who has the big red book. I don’t know if anyone has it may skewes as they do. And and then right at that time was around network optimization. So China was coming online. So we helped companies offshore, consolidate facilities, look at Logistics networks and did that for a while and then went in, started or joined a partner of the firm and a dot com called E Chemicals, which was the first online exchange and got involved in the in the dot com craze. Was this a entreprenuer play? Was it? It was an entrepreneurial play. And so what I can explain. It’s why I’m not rich and and I can give you firsthand evidence that sometimes you roll the dice. And I suspect more often than not, you’re just happy if you get your paycheck at the end of the day. But it was it was it was brilliant. The timing was off, but it was the first online supply chain collaboration.


[00:11:39] So collaborate planning and forecasting in the chemical industry. And then the. Everyone knows what happens when. When the dot com bubble burst. And so there are a lot of people looking for things to do. And right around that time, my wife and I were thinking about having our first child. And then Nicole says to me, it’s time we get a real job. Right. So so being a consultant and doing the thing was was it wasn’t like your standard job. So I went and worked for American Greetings. And in American Greetings, I helped them as their director of strategic operations and then went on to be their executive director of global sourcing, which really opened, you know, my horizon to interacting with foreign countries to to source your products. And from American Greetings, I went to a company called InDesign, where I wound up being the executive vise president of operations. And and that was the full supply chain Mike, I guess the full first full supply chain from andan where you’re talking about inventory management, compliance, distribution, great sourcing. You name a whole lot, whole enchilada. And as as we discover more because as we look at develop organizations having that that breadth and ability to sort of see the entire end end supply chain, but also be able to get into the details and kind of helicopter in and out was was really important. And then set me up for this this current role with Beneke, where I’m the chief supply chain officer, very similar, which is if you think about, you know, my job is is not sales and not finance.


[00:13:15] Right. Right. But but Supply chain is the engine of a company. OK.


[00:13:18] So if you think about it, it’s getting a lot more play because of everything in the news. And just this morning on NPR. They’re talking about Boeing. And you hear the word supply chain more often than not. Like 10 years ago, I don’t think anyone knew a supply chain Rod. Every morning on the radio, they’re still talking about supply chain, which is kind of exciting. So I used to be the dullest person at the dinner party. And now with the way we got things to talk about. Yeah. So that brings me into Atlanta. And like I said, I said I’ve been in this role for a little over a year now. And and Belle Knake is, you know, going through a lot of turnaround and a lot of changes because it’s moving from a a family company into a into a private equity led company.


[00:14:01] So it’s an I want to ask you more about Melnik just second. But sure, if I can bring in Michael and Adam Rod quick. So, Jason, be the chief supply chain officer. You know, we’ve all read and are working with organizations and working in the industry where Supply chain has a seat at the table. And like ever before. Right. Are you all seeing yourselves more more sea level? Supply chain officers and organizations?


[00:14:24] Yes, absolutely. All the time. Yeah. I think also the layers beneath are are now multiple. Right. So when I started it was traffic manager. That was that was the person you dealt with on the third party side. You know, when I was third party and this is the manufacturer, supplier, customer, and now you’ve got that’s kind of gone. Right. 08/09 kind of kicked that out. And now you’ve got director of Supply chain, you’ve got procurement is involved. And that was typically the hat that shifted over Court Harvath manager got kind of booted. Procurement officer who didn’t have a lot of freight background is now the travel manager and the procurement officer, which really does align better for the Patel. Right. Being able to have an idea of where you’re sourcing. Coming from insourcing at the right level, on the right rate with the right partners is how you’re gonna get your bottom line that you want return, right? That’s everyone looks afraid is a necessary evil. You know that. And that’s that’s the area they’ll focus on. And then from now it floods up to the sea level.


[00:15:19] I think it’s it’s all over the place and it’s become a lot more strategic and a lot more proactive. You’re talking about some network optimization work you’ve done previously. Jason, where not only can we figure out how to improve the current state, but plan for the future state, especially as businesses grow different markets where we’re going talk about some of the global markets that are getting a lot of lip service around here lately. But but just want to reestablish that point. We’re seeing more and more of organizations that truly want to bring Supply chain into that C-suite so they can do all those things and then some, right?


[00:15:58] Absolutely. And if you think about it, it makes logical sense. Right. So the Supply chain controls all of the major expenses of most corporations. Right. When you think of the the largest line items in your PNL, you’ve got cost of goods sold. Right. For a lot of companies, that’s sourcing. Okay. You’ve got wages in any company that’s really operating manufacturing plants or distribution plants. What you’re really talking about is, is is the people who are in your factories during your distribution centers. Right. You’ve got rent. That’s all. Supply chain. All right. You got materials, right? Packaging, corrugations. That’s all materials. So as you go down, I would I would venture to guess Froome up from a PNL perspective on the on the cost side. The supply chain is 75 to 80 percent of your entire PNL. And then when you look on the assets side, on the balance sheet, the conversations all about working capital and inventory. Okay. So so I think that Supply chain implicitly always had a seat at the table. I just don’t know if it was ever called that right. I mean, we’ve had titles called Chief Operating Officer. Right. But you know, and then, you know, maybe that’s a little bit of sales, maybe a little bit. But the reality is Supply chain is so all encompassing. Right, that at that companies that that sort of gloss over that kind of concept, you are missing the largest portions of their balance sheet and income statement. You would never think of not having a chief revenue officer or, you know, a head of sales. This is sort of the, you know, the flip of a coin right on on the costs and the balance sheet side.


[00:17:33] It’s worthy of having its own position at Shamsie and add on to somebody else’s job.


[00:17:38] Well put. And, you know, I think going back to talent SA talent acquisition side to talent pipeline coming in industry, it’s great to have, you know, when you’re vying for supply chain talent, have a chief supply chain officer or something folks can aspire to be. Right. CEOs is a little bit ambiguity there. So these are the roles but that I love. I think it’s a very it’s an exciting time to be an industry. So let’s let’s go back to your again your story here.


[00:18:06] Let’s talk about what Bill in the company is and what our company does. And we’re going to look more into your role. Before we talk, some of the trends going on industry. Sure. I think so.


[00:18:15] Bellina is an amazing company. The the story of how it got started with Sean Bell neck in Atlanta, native, starting with actually, you know, trading Pokemon cards online and really a first to market as it relates to using the Internet to sell product. Right.


[00:18:37] So this was this was a wild trailblazer. This was it a trailblazer by any means, you know, a back in like, you know, early 2000s. And the company has grown to be the leader in furniture. All right. Residential furniture, commercial furniture and. Like the in my mind, one of the things that sets Bellona apart is its natively digital. OK, so when you think about the trends in the market and you talk about companies that have grown up through retail or or traditional ways of selling Bellick as the opportunity to have been designed from the beginning for an e-commerce environment, OK. So everything in Bell, Nick’s DNA is e-commerce, OK? And they are really ahead of their time. Especially in the product groups. Right. So furniture furniture is not traditionally a product class that you would say is is is e commerce. But what you’re seeing more and more now is is everything is e-commerce, right? You name it the sofa’s or e-commerce. Right. You know, I would cars or e-commerce. Everything is e-commerce. So so BELVIQ is is is really leading the way. And what we’re looking for is, is how do we continue to grow the company and serve our customers the best way? Our inventory availability is second to none, which is for those who’ve been in the e-commerce world, forecasting and planning.


[00:20:04] And with e-commerce demand, whether it be your own Web sites or Amazon or Wayfair or whatever it might be, has challenges all to itself. But to be able to offer over 5000 pieces of furniture in terms of products nationwide with guaranteed next day, shipping is like almost unheard of. So our service separates us apart, our inventory separates us apart, and we really are the leader as it relates to price and often.


[00:20:34] Wow. I’m not sure how all of those moving pieces. And in the end, at the the size of the company, do you get any sleep at night? Not much.


[00:20:47] Well, from what I’ve understood about the company through the years, because it does have rooms, of course, the Metroliner area. So it’s a well-performing company and it’s led to the growth. And let’s talk about, you know, as chief supply chain officer, where do you spend your time? What do you get most involved in day to day?


[00:21:04] Sure. So it all starts with the planning. All right. So if you think about the the grease in the gears. Right. So how you plan your working capital, how you plan your inventory, how you plan your purchases. Everything comes from that. Right.


[00:21:20] So you’re forecasting drives what you buy from your vendors, which drives your sourcing plan. Right. What your vendors ship and how much you buy drives your transportation, your Logistics plant, your logistics plan, coordinates and comes into your warehouses and how you schedule what’s coming in. Drives your receiving plan. Right. Then you get inside your distributions and you’re all talking about your labor. And so this past year, it’s really been around the planning function. On top of recognizing that as more and more people enter the e-commerce space, we wanted to find efficiencies throughout the supply chain. So we focused on the biggest cost drivers, which which really was around warehouse efficiency. And then on the balance sheet, really around inventory optimization. So those are be the two areas. I would say you you can swing the ax, you take big chunks out of the tree right on the working capital side and on the expense side with the with how do you operate your distribution centers? Okay.


[00:22:18] So we want it. We will bring the conversation back at lot more broadly now. All right. We’re gonna move beyond Bill. And I can kind of look at the global supply chain industry and what’s taking place there.


[00:22:30] No shortage of things to talk about in the study and keep your finger on the pulse of. But what’s a couple that have really gotten your attention here and in these recent months?


[00:22:41] So I’ll bring up two specifically. Right. One is very, very current. The impact as it relates to tariffs in China. Right. So Melnik sources a lot of product from China. Okay. You know, as someone with economics degrees the concepts of tariffs and deadweight laws and it just it it it hurts my inner financial child. But. But what it’s doing is it’s accelerating the global marketplace for product.


[00:23:14] Right. Whether or not that product is going to move from China to other low cost countries in Southeast Asia, whether or not Mexico is going to open up and develop, whether that means jobs and manufacturing coming back to the United States. It it basically accelerated what I think was going to be a natural transition over the next 10 years. So I think when I talk to people, if you close your eyes and you say, hey, 10 years now, is is everything going to be made in China? I think most people would recognize over the next decade things were going to transition. We’ve taken 10 years worth of of what was maybe a controlled transition. And we’ve accelerated it in two. Well, six months. Right. Because when you when you put something like a 25 percent increase on your cost of goods, to put it in perspective, a lot of companies don’t have 25 percent to give up in their markets. Right. That’s that’s a dealbreaker for a lot of companies. And so it creates tremendous challenges from a supply chain side as it relates to sourcing and Logistics and inventory management. I think the second thing that I think is very interesting is the continuous trend towards e-commerce.


[00:24:23] Right. And when everything gets delivered to someone’s house, that changes the way. The Logistics Network in the United States, right, actually global, even in Europe, everywhere. It’s moving in that direction. And so a lot of product that traditionally wasn’t flowing in in parcel delivery trucks. You know, our products specifically, you know, like furniture is moving from retail store and it’s now traveling with heightened expectations around how fast somebody should be able to get it right. So the concept of of everything else be faster. Amazon’s now introduced one day delivery. Right. So so it’s it’s you know, now I can buy it today. I expect it to be there tomorrow regardless. What I just purchased. And so to summarize, I would say those are the two largest trends. Right. The disruption that we’re seeing from a sourcing perspective as it relates to where product can be manufactured and brought into the country. And and then basically the way that the product is, is delivered to the consumer. Those two trends are are changing everything in the supply chain. Absolutely. And you’ve got to be quick on it.


[00:25:31] Yeah. Landscape shift. All right. So I want to bring Michael Annam back in. But before I deal on talk about trade real quick, there’s some good news. Despite all the challenges, we’ve got to win and we’re not out of the woods yet, but we’ve had three, two big developments and soon to be a third. Once things get finalized here, obviously, that the phase one trade deal. Right. Last week that was secure. That’s going to keep further, you know, 25 percent of going in fat for less. I think it’s list of or for for you. Yes, we’re be. Got got got postpone for a guy. Cut it, you know, for sales going through 12 pages of the items, their own list for you. It’s a lot of electic mix. So anyway, a little bit of a deyton hopefully in this trade ward’s been going on. That’s good news. Even though we’ve got more work to do. Speaking of China, the U.S. will also it was announced about a month or so ago for a state like Georgia where poultry is big business. You know, for several years, U.S. poultry has been excluded from the Chinese markets, which is huge. Well, China made an announcement, which was a good bit of all of the leaf, hopefully to re allow U.S. poultry into the market. That’s about two billion dollars worth of business, you know. So that’s that’s good news. And thirdly, and we’ll see when it gets finalized. But the USMC, I’m not sure I want anyone’s opinion on that. But now to 2.0’s, it’s referred to often. That’s really close. I think that’s all but thinks all but dropped on that. And hopefully that’ll make things a bit easier. We’ll see. So Adam, Michael and Adam, let’s start with you. What you hearing? Kind of what Jason’s got his finger on, the pulse of globally. What are some of things come to your mind?


[00:27:21] I mean, I think piggybacking off of what Jason is saying about e-commerce, you know, it probably needs multiple levels of words. Now, e-commerce, to me means Amazon bringing it to your house. Right. The U.S. post offices in that makes U.P.S. Amazon will soon probably be in that mix. FedEx. But what you know, the challenges that manufacturers are having, I worked alongside a publicly traded flooring manufacturer to bring the first floor into your house. The problem that we were solving is that when it was purchased at a Home Depot or a Lowe’s, it it didn’t always make it to the house. Right. You hire a general contractor to go pick it up in a truck that was specialized for that. You know, travertine or marble or whatever it was, especially the sense of kind of and just wouldn’t make it right. That’s not only that’s atypical for that market anyway. So bridging the gap to just get it to the house itself. But now it’s on the curb and you live on a slant. You head up a hill in the driveway and, you know, we’re delivering to, you know, an elderly couple. They had no way to get it in the house. So now we were as a manufacturer, we’re almost have to educate the market before they bought it. So we came up with animated videos and things of that nature and we called it, you know, grandma on the garage.


[00:28:33] And you know, what’s inside delivery and you know, all these things that you come up with it, you don’t think. I mean, we thought solving the problem was just getting into the home. Now you’re talking about all these other ancillary problems that come along with that. Are you supposed to be a good steward of that information and an educator when when someone buys that? So e-commerce is massive and that goes right along side with this omni channel effect where you go in the store and they don’t have the large shirt that you tried on and you want it and they can order it for you in the store. The stores that are doing that retail, brick and mortar are making it. The ones that aren’t doing that are the ones you’re seeing that are suffering. So if they if you can’t offer you know, I saw a prototype come out of Manhattan Associates about a year ago where you were gonna walk into a Nike store. They were going to have one size of each individual type of article and you tried it on. And then they were there with an iPod and they ordered it and it were supposed to beat you home, you know. So that was the concept, is that they didn’t have to carry a ton of inventory.


[00:29:30] Which could shrink their brick and mortar space, you know, and then you could have that same article come to the house, so, you know, five years ago, 10 years ago, we weren’t thinking. I mean, we were just still getting freight from A to B, and now it’s such a broader field because you have all of these other challenges that that have spiked up, you know, that that really aren’t freight challenges. They’re more supply chain. I think that’s what we’ve probably adapted the terminology out because it’s just more of gone back to consulting. Right. Arabize back into consulting rather than the operations of the movement. So before we switch over to Michael, Adam, let’s remind our listeners in a nutshell of what you do, what Redwood does, reequip. Sure. Yeah. Adam McDaniel, SVP of Enterprise Solutions. So, you know, when you’re doing a private equity roll up, you’ve got all these tools and tool sheds that are coming to you with these different entities. And and I’m on the team that works alongside those tools and tries to adopt them and and formulate how we can get customers to not think of us as a traditional freight brokerage or LTL shop or parcel renegotiated, but kind of a holistic view of the entire optimization of your of your world, much like the example I gave about the, you know, the flooring.


[00:30:40] So love it. All right. So, Michael Golden, let’s get your thoughts on what you want to piggyback on something you heard Jason or Adam Sheer or maybe a different trend entirely of what you’ve got your finger on the pulse of Sheer.


[00:30:55] What I see in my practice is I’m spending more and more time on mergers and acquisitions in this area. I think the turbulence in the marketplace has led to opportunities. Some companies are strong and can take advantage of those which are not prepared for the change that’s going on. I mean, up representing both these gentlemen and in. Their recent transactions and. In many ways, a mergers and acquisitions lawyer is like a health care specialist. You go in, you have the procedure and you leave. Now what’s happening is there’s post transaction work that’s being generated for us and it’s very granular work. So we go from the strategy. Should we buy this company? Yes, we close. And then afterwards, their form contract of the company we bought, for example, doesn’t allow us to terminate on 60 days notice without cause, we need to sort of migrate to something that gives us the newco more flexibility in how we do business and more. Hey, we’re taking all this risk and transportation that we didn’t realize we were taking with the forms that we were using. So it’s very granular. It’s very everyday. And it’s a it’s I would say a multi-year transition in how we’re being asked to serve our clients and about our normal golden Greg White are a little bit more about the firm. Yeah, we’re seven year old firm. We’ve got 180 lawyers plus or minus two offices, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. Our focus is on several industries. One of them is Supply chain Global Transportation. And we represent companies at all stages in their lifecycle summer, early stage as these companies have grown bigger and become more institutional. We’ve kept them. They’ve done acquisitions, perhaps gone public or sold to some other strategic or investment buyer.


[00:33:05] Okay, perfect. And so each of you all have touched on in one way, shape or form M&A activity, right? Porsche I’ve been through it. And we really want. We want to provide our listeners the opportunity of kind of hearing from folks that have been there, done that, especially in that space, given how much activity it is, especially from a Logistics and like a Logistics technology standpoint, that’s been like a white-hot space. Right. But but even in the broader sense, the broader in the end, supply chain industry seeing a lot of M&A activity there as well. So what we want to do for this next segment here is we want to we want to get one to gain your insights on been there, done that from mergers and acquisitions standpoint. Owen, oppose this first question to a group. And Jason, we’ll start with you. What makes M&A activity in the in the Indian supply chain, including procurement, Logistics manufacturing, what makes that activity in this space more challenging?


[00:34:06] Well, so I think that. Key to a good acquisition or a merger is the realization of the synergies. All right. So there’s always a there’s always a thesis statement on unwind or to buy a company and then and bring these together.


[00:34:22] And more often than not, the benefit case is around synergies in the the cost structure. I mean, we’re able to reduce costs because the acquiring company can do things more efficiently or we’ve got the you know, one company has better buying power than the other company with negotiation with vendors or suppliers or or whether it be with the freight carriers and so successful integrations. Right. So once you go through the M&A, it’s it’s really actually about the integration of the companies. Successful integrations are really around releasing the value that that that the cloud, you know, that the the consolidated supply chain can happen. And I’ve seen that happen and drive companies to immense success. So, for example, when I was at American Greetings, we made two strategic acquisitions, one of recycled paper greetings and one of papayas greetings and the integration of those two companies to give American Greenes a go to market strategy, but also a way to take two companies that might not have been very profitable, standalone and become immensely profitable from supply chain synergies was part of American Greetings ability to overtake Hallmark as the leading greeting card company were at that level and their scope overall timeframe for for the integration there this year off. So so the so the rough part is that it probably takes a full year to synergize any companies. Right. But but a lot of times, depending on what’s happening with the with the old management and the employees of the company, that’s been that’s about to be synergize the longer you take. You actually start taking on water. You have reverse synergies. Right. Because things break down in supply chain.


[00:36:13] I can’t tell you how many times I hear a story. I can almost I can almost tell the person telling the story how it ends before I even hear it. But but the concept around planning your inventories, working with your suppliers, horrible service levels. So. So if I had a nickel for every time someone says we have a ton of things we don’t sell, we don’t have enough of the things we do sell. Our customers are canceling orders or we don’t have space in our warehouse. What are we supposed to do in there? And the realities and the supply chain? You don’t fix things quickly. Right. Like a supply chain synergy is supply chain pipeline takes actual time to build and you have to be very purposeful and thoughtful about it.


[00:36:49] And so I think the first thing you got to look at in an M&A is, is how quickly can you get your hands wrapped around the the other company Supply chain and step one, stabilize it. All right. So you have to triage the patient, stabilize it. And then step two is is bring it into your systems, your processes as quickly as you can, because running to supply chains is really not where you want to go with any needs. If if a year after the Yamane, you’re still running two supply chains in two different companies. My guess is that you’ve you’ve not achieved your thesis statement as it relates to the benefits of that M&A.


[00:37:29] Excellent. All right. So, Adam, to you, what what makes these types of activities more challenging in this space?


[00:37:38] You know, from the services side, it is I think we’re talking a little bit before the show started to me, you know, kind of being a novice with it. With my first Hands-On experience on a roll up, there is a closed loop system for each operating entity. And so that system operates within its own.


[00:37:56] So if you bought a small company and there was 30 or 40 people, they’ve got all departments, right? They’ve got H.R., they’ve got accounting, they’ve got their legal partners. They’ve got you know, they’ve got everything. They’ve got their own vendor set.


[00:38:08] They’ve got their their own methodology, their problem solving, their tech, their leadership, their culture. Right. Their building. So you take that and then now you want to integrate that to a larger organization, which you want to write. Buying power is huge. Integration of synergies is huge. And you’ll do that with multiple operating in these at the same time. So the management to me is is the magic, right? So who’s at the top? What teams operating that? How often are you spending time on that integration? Because the one thing I think people forget is the same thing as why you’re selling a company to private equity and they’re all over you all the time about what’s going on. You also have to operate the business because I am a body yet, right. And then you have to grow the business because if you stop growing, they stop being interested in buying it. So same thing when you’re integrating these companies is there on their own PNL sets, right. They’ve got their own budgets and plans that they’re trying to hit targets. And you’ve got these individual close up systems that are being broken open and also trying to.


[00:39:10] So that creates another set of issues, as you know, we used to buy, used to buy, used to buy. Who buys for a customer in the middle? Right. Do you buy a specific portion? Are we all buying? We bought this company because they’re really good at X.. You know, driver of service. And that’s a small niche area. But the overall corporation headquartered didn’t have it. So now who owns that and shifting those pieces around while they’re all moving? As you know, it’s like it’s just a big chessboard. And it’s it’s it’s not a job that I envy. And watching it go down as as is pretty special. But you’ve got 3-D chess. I mean, to Jason’s point, though, you’ve got to capitalize immediately on the stuff. That’s good. Kill the stuff that’s not. And move on. Because if you don’t, you’re two, three years into an integration. That’s how you see those big corporations fail. You know, in M&A can take you down just as fast as you can. Brown.


[00:40:00] Excellent. Michael, your thoughts? Taking the baton from Adam. I’m going to focus a little bit differently, which is. I would say a trend that I’ve seen. Of middle-market and smaller companies is they’re running their business, their head down, and then they get an unsolicited offer to sell and all of a sudden like a deer caught in the headlight, they’re like, what do we do? Let’s sell. We like the number or do we not sell and all of that. Energy and information around cell, not cell, what should I do? Can lead to someone being distracted and running from running their business. Which is Adam correctly said, will start to cause value erosion in the business. And so when we have a client that is facing that situation, we we tell them a couple of things. Keep running your business the best way you can run it. That offer may not actually lead to a transaction or that may not be the offer you want to take. Or it may not be the offer to take now. Buyers like to buy things on the cheap. And the reason, in my opinion and experience that you’re seeing. Companies get direct offers, as at the private equity funds want to leapfrog over the intermediaries, the brokers who are taking companies to market to.


[00:41:33] Cordon off that target and not compete against another buyer, not have the cost of a broker in the transaction in the middle, and say they’re trying to end run off for an established long tenured process in the United States. And that that change in methodology leads to opportunities but opportunities for failure and friction and cost. And so we say slow down, focus on your business and consider actually redirecting. And if if this buyer is a good buyer for you, then maybe you should pause with this buyer and go to the market and with a good investment banker and huddle up a bunch of buyers and choose the one that’s the right fit for you. Because it’s not just about money. It’s how quickly will they close? What’s going to be the future of your company? Under the new domain, even if you’re not going to be a part of that, our experience is most buyers care about what happens to their legacy and their employees. So you want to pick the right buyer? Mm hmm.


[00:42:36] So I want to circle back to Jason. So, Jason, you talked about some of your your experience with with American Greetings as they went through several acquisitions. And it sounds like you’ve had a couple of acquisitions at Bell Nick as well. Anything else? When you think about some of your firsthand experiences there, especially at a senior leadership level, what else might be in the blind spot of our listeners as a as they think about going through similar scenarios, whether they’re there, you know, acquiring or if they’re being acquired?


[00:43:06] Anything else stick out in your mind? Well, I think you’ve got to you’ve got to really validate what you’re being told. Right. So so anyone who’s who’s gone through a sale. Right. So you make yourself look as good as possible. It sounds fabulous. All right. It’s rare to talk to a company that feels like their operations aren’t in order. If if they’re if they were up for sale. And so you’ve got to get your hands dirty and and as as. I guess it’s as bad as this might sound. I don’t think you can you can trust right out of the gate. I trust. Trust is it is it, Sirdeaner? You really do have to earn it. But but I would say going in extraordinarily skeptical. Right. So if if you just assume everything probably has to be fixed, then either how good someone tells you it is. You’re probably more often right than than you won’t be. And if you’re pleasantly surprised, then it’s a great day. Yes. But what you really don’t want to talk about is. Well. Well, they said, you know, they thought they had a great relationship with this factory. And then you discover it wasn’t. And then the question really comes down to, well, why didn’t you personally go and validate? And then that was true. Right. And so if you’re if you’re on the operations team with the acquiring company, it behooves you to just to really validate and and treat this like it’s it’s something that needs be turned around. And if you are pleasantly surprised and think good for you.


[00:44:33] Yes, a trust, but verify. Comes a mom, trust God and all others. Bring data comes a mile. I’m not sure who said one of those, but. But really diving deep. Roll up your sleeves.


[00:44:46] Do what I’m hearing and go out and validate it and make sure we’re not taking it. We’re not making any assumptions that could really significantly come back and bite us later on in the process. Right. That’s absolutely right. Be predisposed to to action like that. Like that.


[00:45:01] That’s really it’s it’s a full time job. It’s a lot of work. It’s in the trenches.


[00:45:07] Absolutely. So before we move into when we get all of you all to kind of weigh in on 20/20 and what we may see from just how active of an M&A market this will be before we do that, Michael or Adam? Same question. Anything else you think about that you’d like to offer up to our listeners that again, maybe, maybe only quiring side or maybe part of the folks that are going to be acquired by others?


[00:45:32] Adam, I think quickly to piggyback on what Jason was saying, you know, as as as a small Manjit team, we were always discussing the possibility of selling to a private equity. And what we could configure from Duke from going to do that was to leave opportunities for growth for them.


[00:45:51] So if you solve all the issues right. You walk into a company where the best company we do all things the best, but your 50 million dollars, then you know, you can’t write because you don’t know what it looks like. Five hundred million or a billion dollars. You can’t do all the things because you haven’t encountered them yet. So leaving opportunity for growth, being transparent, it was one of our first in our in our in our pitch deck. It was one of the first couple sides we would go into as immediately say, hey, here are the areas that we’re really struggling. Here’s why we think that you’re a good buyer for us. And here’s where we think that you can really add value by doing that. We left these areas alone knowing that we we couldn’t solve because we do have critical mass. B, we didn’t need to solve them because we you would do that for us. And I think that companies, even as large as they get, you still need buyers that want to come in and put their stamp on it. They want to come in and, you know, offer their their opportunity. Jason spoke earlier in the show about you getting these rooms with smart people as you do mergers and acquisitions. You’re just really acquiring talent at the top and you’ve got all these people.


[00:46:50] So you need them to be able to have some room to expand and some bandwidth to grow and all that. So I think business owners spend a lot of time on ancillary. And my new details that end up being what can cost a buyer from being kind of pushed off rather than just saying, hey, you know, we don’t buy great because we only have 50 million dollars and help us buy better and we could do this. Here’s a pro forma of how we see that, you know, typical buyers in this space. Our competitors are running up against a bigger, smaller. I think that that would be something that business owner entrepreneurs do not like to call themselves to the carpet. Right. They don’t like to say that they’re wrong. I don’t like to say they don’t have the right information. I don’t like to say at all that they’re not doing all things at all times. And I think that that’s got to be a shift in mindset as far as the future comes. If you want to sell your business, you’ve got to leave areas where you’re open and honest and transparent that you can’t be the best. You want the best and you need the help. Self-awareness is a beautiful thing. Right.


[00:47:49] So, Michael, it’s about time. And what I mean by that is you can buy so far today, have it on your doorstep, turn up tomorrow. You’re not going to close your transaction at the same rate. It’s going to be a full time job for you or for the business and or for the leadership team. And it’s going to take four to six months and. I would say in today’s world for months is on the fast and six months is what you should reasonably expect, and it’s for the reason that Jason said buyers are really rolling up their sleeves. Hiring more consultants and advisors to dig deeper and deeper because a bad transaction can perhaps hurt you more than a good transaction can help you.


[00:48:38] So let me ask you this question to the panel here. So in this day and age where transparency seems to be so highly valued, we have technology systems that make data, whether as a consumer or as a buyer or as a business leader or entreprenuer data is at our fingertips unlike ever before. However, is it more challenging to get a clear picture of the business these days, despite all of those those those tailwinds, you would think.


[00:49:07] Any any comments there about I.


[00:49:11] I think today it’s a little easier for the buyers because of the, you know, the Internet exchange. Right. There’s data rooms where you can drop files. And if you’re if you’re good, I think we talked about last episode, you know, do all the things you should do as a business owner. Make sure you get in, you know, financials audited and be professional about how you’re going about it or expect a unprofessional buyer. You know my opinion. So the data exchange is there. The continuance of of the information is probably more, you know, skewed now. It’s much more gray how accounting is being done. There’s lots more years under people’s belt on how they’re doing accounting and what you’re looking at. And we talked about last time, as, you know, financial buyers, that’s the first place to look. Right. Can’t offer a business, a dollar figure if you don’t have a clue what they do on the financial side. So I think that’s helping on that side. But the that the stretch of the consulting arena and finding good partners that you trust to go into a business and come out of there and say, yay, we should buy it. But I’ve got no liability here. I’m not putting up any money and I’m still signing off and I’m not going to sign off on this. I think you’re looking for a an area of the world that’s debts decreasing. I don’t think more people are going. Less people are going into that field and we need more of it if we’re going to continue to have this consolidation.


[00:50:29] Excellent. Thank you, Adam. Jason, the comment there. Any opinion on just how easy it is to get a clear picture of targets?


[00:50:38] So I would say. All right, so so volatility and uncertainty are like the enemies of a good acquisition like you. You’d like to know what you think is going to happen. And so in the environment we’re in right now with with politics as they are with tariffs. I would say it’s it’s very difficult to project the future, right. Because, you know, you have so many external factors that aren’t necessarily driven by market forces. Okay. And so and those and those external factors. And I’ll go back to tariffs for a second. Those like, you know, the change in tariffs completely changed the value of an acquisition. Right. Like it. You know, if you’re the difference between your cost of goods being one hundred dollars and one hundred and twenty five dollars, it completely changes the value in the earnings of a company when you projected going forward seven, eight years. Okay. And so I think that the amount of volatility and uncertainty right now is going to create challenges and right to to realize the OK, what assumptions that I make. And the reality is, is because they’re relatively new. You have the have the external changes that we’re seeing right now. Have they fully baked into the financials of what is being presented to you? Right. So if you’re if you’re looking at Àª ÀÌ Àª ÀÌ Àª 2019, perform a set of financial statements. A lot of companies, you know, made a lot of decisions that you might not actually see until late Q4 of 2019 or Q1 2020.


[00:52:16] And and if I had to guess, I think you’re going to see more companies in financial distress coming into 2020, because just knowing about all the pieces that are moving here, variability and uncertainty create difficulties in companies like most companies or maybe their averagely run. They’re not they’re not exceptional. They don’t pivot that well. They don’t change that quick when when when costs change. And so and margins and earnings on a lot of these companies aren’t that large. Right. And we’re moving and we’re moving things pretty big right now. And so that’s going to create financial distress. And so I think you’re going to see you’re going to see a lot of activity. I’m not sure it’ll be in the M&A, whether it be in the bankruptcy, whether it be a distressed 20, 20, I think is really still kind of a wild, wild west to just just because of the environment we’re in. I mean, I meet you’re in the transportation issue, but you talk to someone in transportation, say, hey, what’s going to happen with ocean freight or what’s gonna happen? All right, guy. I don’t know. All right. You know, you’ve got a lot of people, you know, making big guesses on on things that none of us really control.


[00:53:28] Yeah, absolutely. I agree with you. And I think when you think of whether it’s a global trade environment and the things we’ve been dealing with there, you’ve got ammo, which is going to impact ocean freight. You’ve got the over almost eight hundred bankruptcies in the transportation market through, I think third quarter. Twenty nineteen. What does that mean for 2020? Where where do freight rates go? And we’re talking about that form. So many things are still left to be shaken out so we can see what kind of firm footing we have moving in 2020. But I might give you all a multiple multiple choice question here. So when we think of 2020 and we know how much activity from an M&A standpoint there’s been in twenty nineteen, especially in again supply chain. And we’ll focus at around Supply chain or 2020, be more active, we’ll be about the same or will it be less active in terms of just a Sheer levels of activity focused on mergers and acquisitions. And Michael, start with you at a bigger say as to what is there a wrong answer? No, it was.


[00:54:34] I don’t see any reason that it would be less. I think it would probably be the same. Perhaps more. There’s enough turbulence that it’s going to create opportunities. Yeah.


[00:54:45] Adam. I think if history repeats itself, right. We’re about a decade out from the from the Great Recession, right? 0 8 0 9. And that was a huge landscape for consolidation. And I think that you’ll probably if if recession does come into the economy, I think that’s typically followed by consolidation. Whether it stays in transportation solely or not, I think we are. We’ve already seen kind of a downtick in 2019. It’s been a bottom market. So is the consolidation going on right now? That’s the hard part with private equity. They’re not very vociferous and how they’re explaining who they’re going after. Right. Like you wouldn’t know our M&A target pipeline. Right. But we may have 40 companies on there. I don’t know, you know. So what’s happening is you just open up the Internet one day, you find out that so and so you got purchased or so and so went out. Right in 2009. And we saw two large regional LTL carriers go out, Wolf. That trend continues and no one else comes into the market than it’s essentially we’re going to move more towards, you know, a small, you know, oligopoly type that we have in parcel. And that would cause all kinds of different challenges from a pricing mechanism, things like that. So I think it’s a TBD on the consolidation. But, you know, there’s a lot of cash, right. Which tends to be a lot of buying. So I would go with Michael and say it at the very least the same, if not up-tick.


[00:56:05] Great. Outstanding. And then, Jason, your take. I think there’s you me more. I think A because I think companies are going to be in a state of transition because of all the changes. And then secondly, you know, we’re on it. We’re on what I think most people would agree is that the tail end of a long expansion. And so I think that there is still money that wants to be invested in is going to look for it’s going to look for different investment types.


[00:56:32] And I think you’re going to see private equity venture capital. I think that’s going to you know, I think the prices are going to go up. So maybe the value won’t be where it was, but you’re going to find a lot of money looking for alternative investments. And I think you’re going to see that feel some of the M&A.


[00:56:50] Yeah, I agree with you. And I think one other observation I see is just, you know, these days all the major corporations are looking for all these creative ways is alternative ways of solving both old supply chain challenges and new while tech trying to tackle, you know, new markets and come up with innovative ways of meeting new Amazon Air consumer demands. And so this created such a huge opportunity for startups and for startups, not just to find some footing, but it gets some some considerable contracts in the early stage of their of the business. And naturally, as startups start to hit some singles and some doubles and then all of a sudden they may be targets for acquisition. So I think we are and hopefully that tail end, as you put it, the telling of the recovery we got years and years ago. However, although how optimistic most folks feel about that. But anyway, well, I appreciate your breaking out the crystal balls and weighing in. It is a tough it’s a tough time. Plus, it’s in the year that there’s still a lot of ambiguity in some of the trends that we’re all tracking that you all have all spoken to. All right. So we want to make sure that our listeners can reach out and get in touch with each of your or at least learn more about your organization. So, Jason, how can folks learn more about dolnick?


[00:58:12] Sure. The easiest ways through one of our flagship direct consumer sites. So a big chair dot com is one of our flagship flagship sites. But we’re also you can find us on Amazon, Wayfair under the flash brand flash furniture and they think it. The more people who check out Melnik, I think they’ll find that it’s it’s an amazing story.


[00:58:36] It really is it. I’ve had the opportunity of touring that facility way back when. And as you described it, the trouble is that the company was the native digital component. It is it is very intriguing aspect of the story. So congrats. Congrats on all the growth and ink and good. Best of luck for continued growth. We’ll have to have you back on 20/20. Happy to.


[00:59:00] To validate some of the information we have. All right. And Adam, tell us more how folks connect with your Web site.


[00:59:08] Same Redwood Logistics dot com. It’s got everything under the sun. We just redid it this year. It looks really good. So, you know, lots to come from there. And as we continue to bolster on other entities to the overall chain that we’re building, we’ll add those tools. And in the preparation, we also do about 60 to 80 unique content pieces a month. So heavy in the you know, in the organic SVO field, there’s a lot of good content and. Their leadership. Ah, yeah. Is an arbitrary person who wants to learn more about Supply chain. I always tend to tell students right where Michael and I were talking about before the show. Jason’s a fantastic example.


[00:59:46] You know, going through college didn’t know you want to be an Logistics. He and I were probably predestined to be where we are and these seats as a lawyer and a and a logistician. But I think all walks of life should come into Supply chain and give it a really good look, because I think it has everything that you would one. Yeah. To co-writing and data and optimization or management or H.R., whatever you do, wherever you’re whatever you’re going after.


[01:00:12] And the industry needs to win in the end.


[01:00:15] Why? Plethora of diversity and thought leadership folks from different walks of life. We all get better for sure. When that happens, absolutely. Got a lot of work as a as an industry to do to make that happen better. All right, Michael, none of you off that you’ll share that in common. You’ve got a new Web site as well, right?


[01:00:31] Yes, we do. And check it out at H.I.G. dot com. Sheer. There’s going to be a link on Supply Chain Now Radio.


[01:00:38] Let’s get to that list and then you are also active.


[01:00:44] You’ll do so much work within the Supply chain industry. You you’re out at a lot of different association events. I think jump start coming up in January. It’s going to be a big one. We’re all going to be. I know you will be there an agent. You will have a presence. Adam, we’ll all be there as well. Yeah, I’ll be there. And that’s SNC 3 is a great group that puts it on each year. Terrific. Terrific group. Great group. All right. And we’re gonna make it even easier for our listeners. So we’ll include links to each of these organizations in the show notes. Really? I’ve enjoyed this conversation here today. A great second chapter of the conversation we had in last podcast, Michael and Adam. And we look forward to having you all back on 20/20 to keep talking M&A within Supply chain, but also more importantly, let a lot of the things we’ve talked about from digitization to the global markets. You know, all the different headwinds and tailwinds that we have in this industry. So thanks for all. As Tom to our audience, we want to wrap up on just a few final announcements. First off, if you can’t find anything you’re looking for from our previous podcasts or from the conversation here, they shoot us note to our CMO Amanda at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com and we will do our best to serve as a resource for you.


[01:02:00] We mentioned the jumpstart, which is coming up in in January held by the SABC. Three folks work. There’s a there’s a Miura. I think Jan brings the counter opens up and everyone start planting the flag for events. We’re going to be at CSC AP Atlanta roundtable in January. We’ll be at the reverse Logistics Association Conference and Expo out in Vegas in February. That’s one thing we didn’t really touch on. Jason, is the reverse the rise of a reverse Logistics and returns, right. And what that means for modern day, you know, chief supply chain officers, what to touch on that next episode. It sounds like another episode. Yeah, that’s great. Yeah. It’s really interesting how many outstanding world class organizations are still looking for best practices when it comes to reverse Logistics. And the RLA is a fantastic source. So you can our listeners can learn more at RLA dot org. Of course Moto X is coming back with 34000 of our closest friends and supply chain neighbors here in Atlanta the week of March 9th. And along with that, Michael really, really excited about the 2020 Atlanta Supply chain Awards. G-G played a an integral part in twenty nineteen last March of getting them off the ground and near to Reglan bigger and better by partnering with Moto X on March 10th to celebrate really in the end, supply chain success in metro Atlanta, right? Yes, sir.


[01:03:26] And we have got Christian Fisher, president CEO of Georgia-Pacific, this keynoting the 2020 Atlanta Supply chain Awards on March 10th. So two pieces of good news. First off, Moto X is free to attend, free to network, gather market intel. See some great keynotes. You can learn more at Mo DEC’s show dot com imo a.g.’s. Show dot com. And if you’ve got some kind of presence in the metro Atlanta area and that’s a lot bigger than what the four of us probably have a sense of it. But twenty nine counties make up metro Atlanta area. You are more than welcome to nominate your company if you have some sort of presence or operation at some point throughout the metro Atlanta area, we’ve got awards in manufacturing, warehousing, fulfillment. We’re launching a new award with women in manufacturing to celebrate women in industry and and celebrate organizations that really do a great job engaging women both within the workforce and in the leadership here as well. And then one final event, Amy. Atlanta’s bring in their 20 twin lean, lean summit back to Atlanta. The week of May 4th, 2020 will be there. On day one as a network and get ready for the week all about continuous improvement and lean within manufacturing. So you can learn more at A.M.E. dot org. OK. What do we win?


[01:04:47] All that we missed much today right at that hour and some change flew right past so big. Thanks to Jason Schaeffer and Chief Supply chain officer at Melnyk, Adam MacDANIELS, Senior Vise President, Enterprise Solutions at Redwood Logistics. And of course, Michael Gordon, partner at r.l. Arnaud Golden Gregory atlanta-based law firm. His work within Supply chain. Great conversation day. Thanks for your time and look forward to having you all back to our listeners. Be sure to check out other upcoming events, replays of our interviews, other resources at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. Find a a podcast youtube. Of course I say that for Greg White, soundcloud, spotify, wherever else you get your podcast from. Be sure to subscribe. Still messy thing on behalf of the entire team. Scott Luton here wishing you a wonderful week ahead and we will see you next time on Supply Chain Now Radio. Thanks everybody.

Featured Guests

Adam McDaniel serves as Senior Vice President, Enterprise Solutions for Redwood Logistics, a Chicago-based next generation, tech-forward logistics provider, that believes every company’s needs are unique. For more than 18 years, the company has been providing solutions for moving and managing freight and sharing its knowledge across North America. Redwood Logistics is focused on making its customers more successful in their end markets by applying talented and motivated people, proven processes and cutting-edge technologies to optimize their supply chain management efforts. Learn more about Redwood here:

Jason Shefrin is a thought leader in Global Operations. He specializes in creating innovative solutions to solve today’s supply chain challenges. Jason’s success has come from creating exceptional teams to reduce operating costs, increase return on assets and improve the customer experience. Jason is currently the Chief Supply Chain Officer at Belnick, headquartered in Canton, Georgia. He previously held the roles of Executive Vice President of Operations at InterDesign and Executive Director of Global Sourcing at American Greetings. He has an MBA from the University of Chicago, a Bachelor of Science in Economics from The Wharton School and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania. Learn more about Belnick:

Michael Golden is partner and co-leader of the Closely Held & Family Businesses practice. He is also a member of the Mergers & Acquisitions, Real Estate, and Logistics & Transportation practices. Michael’s practice focuses on counseling clients, both publicly held and privately owned, in growing their businesses through mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships and joint ventures, and creative financing arrangements (including both equity and debt). Michael also represents companies in their employee matters such as negotiating executive employment agreements and non-competition agreements. Michael’s clients cover a variety of industries, including business services, manufacturing and distribution, logistics and transportation, healthcare, and real estate. Learn more about AGG here:


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

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

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Kim Reuter


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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Vicki White


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

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Allison Giddens


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

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

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Billy Taylor


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

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

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

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

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Tandreia Bellamy


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

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

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

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

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Marty Parker


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

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

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jake Barr


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

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Marcia Williams


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

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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