“If you’re in this space, you’ll never be out of work. There’s always a job and it’s always based in North America.”
– Tony Sciarrotta, Executive Director of the Reverse Logistics Association
As the war for supply chain talent rages on, companies and leaders are increasingly looking to higher education as the focus for their recruiting efforts. Unfortunately, in most cases, they find these programs lacking, creating a gap between the next generation of supply chain leaders and the companies that need their help.
In this podcast, Timothy Brown, Managing Director of Georgia Tech’s Supply Chain & Logistics Institute (SCL), and Tony Sciarrotta, Executive Director of the Reverse Logistics Association (RLA), tell Supply Chain Now Radio Co-Hosts Greg White and Scott Luton what is being done generally to improve supply chain programs in institutions of higher learning, as well as what is being done to ensure graduates see the appeal of reverse logistics in particular.
As today’s guests point out:
[00:00:05] It’s time for Supply Chain Now Radio Broadcasting Life Supply chain Capital of the country. Atlanta, Georgia. Supply Chain Now Radio spotlights the best in all things supply chain the people, the technology, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.
[00:00:29] Hey, good morning. Scott Luton here with you. Labbe on Supply Chain Now Radio. Welcome back to the show. So on this episode we’re continuing one of our favorite series, that reverse Logistics series here on Air CNR, which we conduct in partnership with the Reverse Logistics Association. So we dove into the fascinating world of reverse Logistics returns much more so white-hot space in across the Indian Supply chain. And today we’re featuring featuring a leader from one of the world’s leading educational institutions, especially for Supply chain Logistics. They’re doing some incredible things, not only in the reverse Logistics space, but in a closely associated space sustainability. So stay tuned for a lot more quick programing note. Like all of our series on Supply Chain Now Radio, you can find our replays on a wide variety of channels Spotify, SoundCloud, YouTube, Stitcher, you name it, where your podcast from. As always, we’d love to have you subscribe. Still missing thing. So let’s thank our sponsors. Allow us to bring best practices and innovative ideas to you, our audience. They range from the Effective syndicate to Vector Global Logistics Supply chain Real Estate dot com apex Atlanta manymore. Check out our sponsors on the show. UPS of this episode. All right. So let’s welcome and you may have heard him already. Fearless co-host for today’s show. Greg White Serial Supply chain tech entrepreneur. Kronic Disrupter, not yet trusted advisor.
[00:01:49] Greg, how you doing? I’m doing well, thank you. Speaking of chronic, I just got back from Las Vegas. Yes. At the M.J. Blizzcon. SEC. Yeah. Yes, I’m back and I’m still standing.
[00:02:02] Well, you know what’s interesting, as you know, we already had a debrief. It was the cannabis industry and some kind of cowboys association on the national finals rodeo. Three hundred thousand people. Right.
[00:02:16] That was a lovely week. It was a.. It was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun. And it’s I mean, it’s it’s an interesting industry. It’s not at all what you thinking. Well, I shouldn’t say that. It’s not all what you think it is in some ways. What you think people selling rolling papers and all the brownies and all those sorts of things. But when you walk in the door and I did a little article on this on on LinkedIn, but when you walked in the door was a two story extraction facility.
[00:02:50] And basically, they had built the entire facility in the entrance of this thing. And you want to talk about giving you a new perspective on an industry when you walk in, expect to see guys and, you know, in dreadlocks. Right. And what you see is these shiny chrome extraction devices. There’s I I did a little just real quick video on it. It’s it really struck me that this is a serious business. Lots of scientists, lots of agronomists, lighting companies like Microsoft and Philips, Sage, all involved in this industry. It is it is a legitimate industry, say agronomists, agronomists.
[00:03:28] It is an out. That’s the word of the day. And I’m glad I’m not I’m surprised I was able to say that twice after. So tell me what it means. But the meantime, before we talk about news, you’re other you’ve got news update for you, UPS.
[00:03:38] Let’s say hello to our guests here today. Of course, our continued partner, which we’ve been really excited. I think this is our fourth episode of the series. Tony Sciarrotta executive director of the reverse Logistics. So, Tony. How you doing?
[00:03:50] I’m doing great today and I’m loving Greg’s story about the video that I caught. I’m Liegghio it. You gotta see the video. A child, isn’t it? Yeah. I mean, they can maybe I need a career change again. Yes.
[00:04:03] A lot of people contribute to the industry without making it their career. Everyone do your part bad. I’ll tell you, we’re coming in hot and heavy. That’s what we’re hot. So also a longtime friend, a first time appearance. I can’t believe we got through 240 episodes. Haven’t had Tim Brown. Owen. Yeah. Yeah. Director of the Georgia Tech Supply chain and Logistics Institute. Tim, good morning. Great. Great. Thank you. We’re so to be here. So glad to have you.
[00:04:29] We’ve talked about him in several episodes, haven’t we? I mean when our ears have been Bourdon.
[00:04:33] Yeah, every episode Sheer. But you know, you and your your institute and Georgia Tech of course is in the middle of so much of what’s what takes place in Supply chain City. We’ve had several of your colleagues and team members own, but I’m I’m so glad our schedules worked out. Have you here today really interested in your perspective? And I know our listeners are going to benefit to have the Tony and Tim. We’ve got quite a show lined up. Yeah. So but before we do, I know you’ve got some news items from the from Malcolm in the News team.
[00:05:07] Sheer less so. Wow. If you follow our show, you’d be hard pressed. You’d be hard pressed not to know how I feel about we work, particularly their founder, but somebody is still willing to give this company money. Softbank has guaranteed 9.5 billion dollar bailout for four. If you’re not familiar with we work. They are a shared workplace operator. There are companies like Space’s and industrious other companies that do this. So you don’t have. So smaller companies and sometimes even larger companies don’t have to commit to a full lease.
[00:05:44] They can use the space either as an office or as you know, for for short term meeting space and that sort of thing.
[00:05:53] So what has happened is that that Goldman Sachs, with the assurance of Softbank to guarantee this, has opened a one point seventy five billion dollar line of credit for we work. So now that I think they’ve cleaned up their executive team and some of the issues that they had with their founder, I think there’s possibly an opportunity to salvage this company. And. And companies are getting behind this Softbank. It was a big early investor. Obviously, it hoped that the company would go public at a significant valuation. That didn’t happen. The valuation came down significantly, but it looks like they’re re tooling and reef refinancing to get this thing go and look, the concept of we work is great. Right. If they can clean up some of the issues that they’ve got, where the structure and the self-dealing and all that sort of thing, then I think there is a great opportunity here. And they are clearly, at least in terms of space and awareness and their leader in the market space.
[00:06:54] So to not be an investment, that’s a recent that’s a recent development. It’s just a.
[00:06:59] Yeah, it’s a it’s basically a bailout. So I don’t know all the numbers. I’m sure somebody in the finance community can let us know how much has already been invested in this company. But a lot of it was wasted, frankly. So they need this money to continue to operate and to continue to capitalize on what must be an evolving our business model in order to to tie this back supply chain.
[00:07:25] We all know that the level of startup activity in the industry and these co-working spaces have been great incubators in many ways, right, for small and early stage companies.
[00:07:35] So yeah, they let a small company really land somewhere without having a big commitment. And as you grow, you’re able to do so relatively inexpensively again still without that commitment. So when you’re ready to move on to a more permanent office space, you can do that. So that’s sort of the part that these these guys play. Look, whatever industry you’re in. We work is newsworthy. It just it just you know, they’re just too impactful in the marketplace. Not not to talk about speaking of so impactful in the marketplace that they have to be talked about. Amazon and this has gotten a lot of play. Again, an article that we curated on LinkedIn. And I don’t know, six or seven thousand people have sound off on this thing. Amazon has banned their third party sellers for use from using FedEx ground to ship their prime orders. So I don’t know if everyone knows, but Amazon and FedEx have had their issues this year. Breaking up is hard to do, it seems, and maybe they need a little bit of an intervention from from a counselor. But FedEx has their delivery. Reliability has slipped over the months and and Amazon is ultimately responsible for that. They don’t have any kind of relationship with FedEx that gives them the ability to come back to FedEx if they if they failed. And and apparently, Amazon is taking quite a few hits. We’ve seen some articles on that. Kathy Morrow Robertson has mentioned some of the issues that both FedEx and Amazon have had in delivering one of our favorite analysts, by the way.
[00:09:11] And Supply chain guru. Yep.
[00:09:12] And so anyway, they’ve just said you can’t use FedEx ground for your deliveries if the if it is a prime shipment.
[00:09:25] So, look, I’ve I’ve had my opinions on on this.
[00:09:30] I’m not that knowledgeable, but I am that an opinionated in a couple of years ago, you know, knowing and having worked with Amazon, I realized that they were building a fulfillment network not only for themselves, but with enough capacity like they did with a W.S. with enough capacity that they could be a third party Logistics or partial provider like U.P.S. or FedEx. You know, my feeling was still is. And maybe this is an indicator of who that one of those three. Companies would not survive that. We know that we’re going to continue to prop up the USPS, right. It’s a taxpayer funded entity and hold different all of its problems. We know that the government won’t let that fail. But but one of FedEx and U.P.S. and Amazon are going to fight for that third position. A fourth player in that space seems difficult to justify. And FedEx has shown a shoe, a few chinks in their armor in the last year or two. So I don’t know if it’s them. I suspect that it’s them again. This is my opinion, not the opinion of Supply chain. That’s important to Skilling. Yeah. And I would welcome. By the way, I would welcome any input from anybody who really knows or absolute really has the the experience or the insight to know what’s going on at these carriers.
[00:10:50] I mean, I don’t know what you guys know or think or even care about.
[00:10:55] I know there’s a parking lot of about a hundred gray vans off mcfarlin and Georgia, 400 just waiting to be painted with the Amazon. Yeah. Oh, really? Yeah. The army continues to grow.
[00:11:06] Yeah. What? And they’ve got it. And you know, those those are a lot of those fans are franchise facilities, kind of like the DHL or and the FedEx model where they’re not they’re not Amazon vans. They’re small companies that get a territory to do that. That. Yes. So they are. I mean they are sharing in that. And and those vans are a lot bigger than even the smallest vans that FedEx uses to get into neighborhoods. So I think they’re in a better position than some of these other carriers.
[00:11:39] Agreed. So fast that we’re gonna continue to report on this. There’s so much going on in the Amazon related community. And of course, we as we’re working through the season, the hits and the news and the developments continue to come. So we’re going to talk more about that. I want to dove in while we have this window of opportunity to dove right into our interview with Tim and Tony and not be so bad as our listeners should know by now as we record this at King Plow, which is a wonderful right.
[00:12:11] We should let him know we have a deadline.
[00:12:14] So it’s the roof being replaced in this beautiful facility and we’ve got about an hour window to knock out a conversation with with to do it. Yeah, we’d better do it. Right. All right. So with that said so.
[00:12:27] So, you know, Tim, as we mentioned in the warm up, you know, we’ve had the good fortune of haven’t turned on the show numerous times here and love his backstory. And of course, we’re big fans. RLA, we’re going talk more about that in a second. But I want to give our listeners a chance to get to know you a little bit better. And so before we kind of talk shop for talk about the institute, let’s talk about where you grew up and some stories related to your upbringing. Okay, great.
[00:12:50] Well, again, thank you for having me here. I guess some of you could view me as being a citizen of the U.S. in that day. I traveled about and lived many places as as a kid, a native of Pittsburgh, grandfather from Italy. And, you know, other relatives from from Eastern Europe spent most of my youth in Dayton, Ohio. Good. Yeah. Yeah. Dayton, home of aviation, the beautiful Miami Valley, then went to high school in Las Vegas. So a wonderful place to go to to school. And then the day I graduate from high school, my father started with Georgia Tech here in Atlanta. I wanted to be an engineer, so I came with the rest of the family to to to Atlanta. Wow. I did my undergrad at Georgia Tech in management, science and Industrial Engineering and ASADA career. And at that time, Supply chain didn’t exist. But really, Logistics was more of a military term. So it’s more physical distribution, manufacturing, that type of thing with Frito-Lay worked in the Orlando plant. In production and quality control supervision for for a while and really wanted to get into the Logistics side of things. You know, transportation, warehousing, that type of thing. Saw a nice ad in the paper for a job at Tropicana down in Sarasota, Bradenton and took that job. Loved it. Orange juice, Logistics and network strategy and all the stuff that I enjoyed doing and learning in school.
[00:14:26] My kids complain all the time about orange juice. Supply chain.
[00:14:30] We never can keep it one day at our house, isn’t it? Yeah. Yeah.
[00:14:35] To hijack the Tropicana train that does sixty five rail cars. Yes. Of orange juice. Three times a week to cut through here. Yeah. And so I thought it needed to improve my strategic and financial skills and get an MBA to be a consultant and start a career in consulting. So I came back to Atlanta, took classes at St. at night for my MBA, Georgia State. For M.B.A, while working for Georgia-Pacific as a Industrial and quality control engineer in a box plant down by the airport. And then when I graduated persuit, my my career in consulting went to work with the former dean of college engineering, John White, who is a true pioneer in Supply chain and Logistics. Some, as is his son, who’s the president outfought now, and started a twenty three year career in consulting with IBM Accenture Analytics. And that’s where I met Tony. Phillips was probably my longest term client. I’m helping them both. I’m Forecki Logistics. And then in 2003 we started reverse Logistics and got into that space and that was an eye opener. And. And then out of the blue, six years ago, Georgia Tech came, knocked on my door and said, hey, would you like to come back and back to tech and run the institute?
[00:15:56] And so that’s what I’ve been doing, is there’s so much there I want to ask you, but I got to you analytics. I did not know that. Yeah, I got to go into high school in Las Vegas. My eyeballs about parking. Imagine the mindset of going to high school in in the Vegas scene. So there had to be you know what?
[00:16:15] It’s it’s two wonderful things about it. One, Red Rock and all the outdoors activity. Right. I mean, you can drive 45 minutes and be snow skiing. You can drive 45 mother minutes and be water skiing, hiking. My high school was right near Red Rock so… Wow. So it’s just a beautiful outdoor area. And then Friday night, some cruising the strip and, you know, parking at Circus Circus and walking down.
[00:16:40] All right. We’re going to get it out of there with all of our money. That’s what an education hell.
[00:16:46] But I’ll love can as you walk us through your professional journey. I also didn’t understand how much manufacturing experience, specialty food manufacturer experience between Frito Lay and Tropicana to be followed by all the consulting experience. So what a great. No wonder why the institute tapped you. Because they bring both of those that the practitioner experience and a consulting experience, which, you know, they’re solving all the problems that we have in Supply chain. You’ve I bet you’ve seen close to seen it all.
[00:17:19] Yeah, I was cross-industry and supply chain. So I’ve done, you know, telecom, power companies, food, retail, did some work for the University of Michigan. Lu. Yeah. So it’s yeah it is interesting. It’s fun to bring learnings from one industry to another completely with you.
[00:17:38] I think that’s one of the the the benefits to some of the associations I’ve been in is you get folks from different sectors get in there and they find out a lot of common challenges that exist. Right. And and you see these companies that are they’re taking unique creative approaches that can work oftentimes across the sectors.
[00:17:55] When I think that’s one of the magical things that Georgia Tech is doing, is they are getting practitioners involved with students. I mean, we talked to Corona Agarwal. Yeah, right. And one of the things that he valued most was being able to work with people like Tony and Tim, who’ve been in industry, who’ve solved and seen those problems, who can talk about practical solutions rather than theoretical solutions of a textbook.
[00:18:18] So I think that’s a that’s an absolutely necessary thing, particularly in Supply chain, because you’re so often thrust in to, you know, into the fore of problems and you you have to attack them immediately. Yeah, that that’s that to me is one of the things that’s most insightful about the way that Georgia Tech approaches this great point.
[00:18:38] And you mentioned Karan Agrawal, who graduated from Georgia Tech. He was on the show. He’s at Dell now right in Round Rock, Texas. Right. Doing big things. And he had a great perspective on why Supply chain is perfect for millennials. So our listeners can go back and find that podcasts UPS. So we’ll put up put it in the Sheer notes. But but speaking of the institute, let’s talk more about the Georgia Tech Supply chain and Logistics Institute and its programing. So in a nutshell, tell us more about that, Tim.
[00:19:03] Sure. And you know, picking up on what you were saying about how tech could add up applying things in industry, you take a look at why Georgia Tech was founded in the first place. It’s a public school. Many people think it’s private, but not it’s public. It was founded to move Georgia into more of an Industrial state following the civil war after after being angry. GREENE Yeah, here’s a trivia note and other that you too realize the civil battle of Atlanta ended across the street from here is where the city surrendered to the union forces. Really? You don’t get that right? Yes. And no historical Brady Avenue, no close. Yeah, I actually. Right, right over there. Wow. Cool. Yeah. But I mean, anyway, so from its founding, working with industry is what Texas all about. And so Supply chain and Logistics Institute, we follow that legacy, taking leading edge technologies and quickly applying that. To industry and what was Atlanta’s original aim, Terminus? That’s right. So it’s it’s the DNA here.
[00:20:07] And we’re reminded regularly with the train right through here we are. Right, right, right on the yards.
[00:20:13] Yeah. And so the supply chain Logistics, too. You know, goes back decades where we had a number of faculty that were very good at post degree training, professional education, going back 70 years, teaching the latest material handling techniques and warehouse design techniques. Then we had other faculty that were very good at transportation and then others came along that were big into the math and optimization side. So Georgia Tech smushed them all together in 1992 and said, you’re the Logistics Institute. And so that was our prior name. And the Logistics Institute operated under that name, providing professional education, doing research in Logistics love. The earlier research in the 90s was in airline maintenance and scheduling revenue tools. Anything that’s really complex, you know, that can be tamed by math.
[00:21:06] And then as the term supply chain came into vogue, you know, adding to Logistics manufacturing and procurement and reverse Logistics all of that, we were renamed the Supply chain and Logistics Institute. And as Georgia Tech’s up to be more of a global university going back about 20 years or so, we were at the forefront of that, starting the center in Singapore that we have with the National University of Singapore. They go under our old name, Bill Logistics Institute Asia-Pacific. We opened the Panama office, which has a lot of activity down here in LA. And the outgoing president of Panama is a graduate of our program. He is a classmate of mine. And I noticed in the yearbook he had the biggest 80s hair of all of us.
[00:21:48] I think the thing that didn’t get out before he got elected as a predictor of success.
[00:21:54] And then we had, you know, Costa Rica and Mexico. We have global partnerships. And now schenn Zen’s actually, you know, the Georgia Tech Shenzen campus is being built and we have the interim campus there and actually some of the largest amount of our Logistics researches and Shen’s and now so we continue with our global presence, our global partnerships, doing professional education and the education side. We’ve also been asked to move into the workforce side, which is not typical Georgia Tech competency. But, you know, people said Tech successful what it does. Can you please try this? And so now our content and you know, Scott’s been very involved both in Atlanta and Savannah and getting to the K-12 environment. I know you’ve had Chuck Kier talk about the JSF program and in the past podcasts. So we’ve got the workforce, we’ve got the traditional postgraduate. We support the undergrad and the graduate degree in Supply chain engineering with doing Finding C&P Stones and internships. We do the four recruiting fairs a year there supply chain focused, but then our core competency. Now the past five years, Georgia Tech realized that Supply chain is more than just Industrial engineering. They made us interdisciplinary. So now we represent 100 faculty on campus in all six colleges that look at Supply chain and Logistics, perhaps from a policy perspective on how government policies impact it from the Liberal Arts School, the design college design, they have faculty that look at city design and how people and freight can move together and people looking at blockchain and computer science plus then all the IEEE people in that type of thing, even a history professor who looks at how sea containers changed global trade. So it’s a much more exciting dynamic. We take on bigger things now on the research side because we’re interdisciplinary research center. And so that’s our main thrust is to bring industry, government and academics together.
[00:23:53] So much is there. We could dedicate a whole series of all the things that that takes up to. Well, let’s let’s shift gears. So, Tony, love to have you love the series we’re having. We’re having there’s so much to dove into across the spectrum of reverse Logistics. So it’s certainly deserved its own series. But let’s refresh our listeners understanding of your background.
[00:24:15] Well, first off, I have to thank Tim because I now feel like I could win in an Atlanta Trivial Pursuit.
[00:24:20] No kidding. Bryce Herman, us. We know that now we need to find the address where the surrender happened.
[00:24:30] And I’m also lucky because I feel like a stepchild. I sometimes don’t feel like I belong in the Supply chain world because I came out of sales and marketing with Sony and Philips, except for Phillips discovering that there was this massive returns issue that they were dealing with. And they said, oh, let’s pick Tony to do it. And we did. It was exciting back in the round, the turn of the century to go out and find best practices in reverse Logistics because there were none. Most people didn’t know the term. Still honor to remember that I read this book called Going Backwards by Dr. Dale Rogers, where the term first existed and he let you print it free off the Internet. Really? Two hundred pages printed on my little HP printer at Philips. And I read the damn book and said, I think I know a little bit more now. So. So, yeah, sales and marketing is an interesting background to jump into the supply chain world because reverse Logistics is a stepchild. It just doesn’t know where to where to go. And. And in that career, I realize what a small world is because as Tim said, we did cross paths at EFT Phillips. And now that I know his grandfather’s Italian, I know everything that’s right about him.
[00:25:42] So naturally, his name’s Brown. I actually treant trivia.
[00:25:49] Emery Cito May is my second cousin. Oh. I met Tolmie. I married Cousin Vinny. My favorite Miura. I tell my role ever. I can only use oik a bunch of foot. So. So, Tony, back to you.
[00:26:09] So Phillips really? Ya ya are industry leaders in terms of where we are. And now I know you were instrumental along the savings that a unit team and they you talk about Tom, but we’re talking in excess of toonami dollars in terms of the return on something else work. Mer y you hit it right?
[00:26:25] It hit a peak of about one hundred ninety two million. Okay. Around the turn of Zelda market. Elmslie, I’ll get it close. It was it was staggering. Well we were two and a half billion dollar company, but it was still a big number. Yeah. And it was a number that a lot of companies were facing. And the reason I’m a stepchild here is it’s not about just moving boxes. It’s it’s about customer expectations and everything else that we can’t really fix very easily. So we’re gonna continue to have a lot of boxes moving in reverse world. A lot, especially as we know we’ve talked about the e-commerce nightmare. People don’t touch it first. They will tend to send it back or that nightmare with the fashion industry of bracketing where they buy the size bigger and smaller and then you have an automatic two thirds return rate. And it’s going to continue to go. So we’re really happy. I’m really proud of this revitalized RLA, the reverse Logistics Association. I’m calling it 2.0 because we changed it dramatically. Sure. We changed it to focus on the members, the retailers and the manufacturers who have this nightmare and the solutions providers, including universities. And glad to have a new Web site that features this.
[00:27:37] Ahli dot org is our site and it shows it premieres the academic alliances, the other alliance partners around the world. And we do go around the world. I love Tim referring to Singapore University where we’ll be back next October. We’re going to go to Amsterdam again for the European summit. And we’ve brought on Hispanic business managers. So we’re looking at Latin America, which is also an. I’m thinking Wood Panama, work for a conference summit, things like that. So there’s a lot of overlap. But I did come into this from a completely different world view. And and I also tip and I learned a long time ago about the challenge of dealing with engineers, the engineers who keep saying there’s nothing wrong with your product. You’re taking back stuff, there’s nothing wrong, there’s nothing wrong. And then discovering Human Factor, engineering and the real world about interconnectivity nightmare’s interoperability issues and now it’s just proliferating. We’ve said before the Internet of Things is taking over, except that there are at least 300 standards in IAPT. So things don’t talk to each other. Very nice. So I’ve set the engineers off to the side and said, no, this is about different things, customer experience being number one.
[00:28:56] So, you know, there’s so much good stuff on these conversations in the last time you’re here. We feature Jack Allen, Cisco, one of the most sustainable companies in the globe. And there’s so much. What I’ve learned of learning from you and learning from the RLJ And as I’ve had my own reverse Logistics and returns, you know, professional development is that you have world class companies that are struggling with returns. Reverse Logistics. And then what I love about RLA, we’ve talked about this thousand times is that yah yah so good. There’s so much passion about being a clearinghouse for these ideas and helping these companies get better, not just here in Atlanta. They obviously, like you said, globally, global goals where so many great companies in otherwise are struggling with reverse Logistics and returns interest. And for that matter, sustainability in the circular economy, what not.
[00:29:46] I think an important part of what Tony and his organization do and I harp on this all the time is preemption of returns. So that understanding that you gained right from human engineering, you all you personally. Did and then you have instilled in the RLA and the members of the RLA this concept of do those things that make it easier for consumers to adopt and not return your product.
[00:30:10] That is the first step. Yeah, absolutely. In managing reverse Logistics is to avoid it. Right. I think that’s an important aspect of what you do. It’s not just dealing with it after the fact. Yes, that’s visionary. I mean, that’s the kind of thing that that really sets this organization apart. Right.
[00:30:27] Absolutely. It’s all net note today. We’re gonna talk more about the higher education space. And this is something we’d have we haven’t spent enough, Tommo, by didn’t spend enough time on it.
[00:30:36] When I was in perfect, we had the perfect panel assembled.
[00:30:43] But we all know that the air that we live in, folks, or what we’re fighting for talent search supply chain and Logistics and reverse Logistics. We’re fighting for for top tech talent that traditionally maybe we haven’t gone after we. But the level of some issues that we’re fighting through in Supply chain, we have to have it. So what do we want to talk about? And the primary theme here today is all about supply chain reverse Logistics higher education. So for starters and Tim, we’ll start with you. What do you see as some of the the primary challenges or gaps in the current higher education offerings?
[00:31:20] So in the challenges and picking up on what were you talking about, the fight for talent? There’s a lot of exciting and we use the term sexier things there to catch students attention, which is which is good and bad for reverse Logistics in a way. So cybersecurity is hot now? Yeah. Analytics is hot now. environmentals hot now. And biomed. But you know, just now, thinking about it, when I say it out loud, all of those other than perhaps biomed are applicable to reverse Logistics are. So if we can package, you know, hey, it’s not reverse Logistics. Reverse Logistics, it’s apply cybersecurity, apply analytics, apply artificial intelligence in reverse Logistics stane ability.
[00:32:02] It’s about sustainability as much as anything, right?
[00:32:05] Vm So there’s the, you know, capturing the attention of the students who are attracted by fintech. You know, we were talking about ATDC before we went on know fintech, medtech and logic tech Logistics dacher are hot, but you have to kind of compete with with those too.
[00:32:23] And just for our listeners, benefit really quick. ATDC is a startup incubator, right. That’s based at Georgia Tech and there’s lots of big companies, small companies. It’s been very successful track record of churning out a lot of successful companies. OK, so Tony, let’s get you to weigh in on same same question. What do you see as challenges and the gaps in higher education?
[00:32:48] Well, it challenges that. Tim Tim went to reverse Logistics isn’t sexy enough. It just on its own. There are no universities offering a reverse Logistics degree. And again, it’s because they don’t see it as necessarily belonging in Supply chain. It is it is an aspect of. But Tim mentioned some of the other aspects of cybersecurity, circular economy, sustainability, packaging, design. You know, I’ll never forget. Tricia Thompson singing from the stage at Dell was pursuing packaging made out of mushrooms and it was a joke at the time. But it’s becoming more real because it’s sustainable, dry. And so that that’s reverse Logistics encompasses all of that. And recycling, it’s all about reducing returns, reusing the returns and recycling them into something else that can be used. As really it is that we can say it simply is that. But universities, it’s a little bit complicated because how do you offer classes in in in packaging? At the same time as the marketing aspect, because that’s just what the box is made out of. But what does the box say to somebody when they get it and they open it up and it’s said one thing in the box inside the package. The product doesn’t do that, at least not to the customer’s idea of what it should be. And how do you convert marketing to not overpromise, but to under-promise and overdeliver, which is what stops people from returning when you get those packages. And it’s and it’s what you expect it or more. You’re like, cool. Yeah, I’m happy. I don’t need to return this. But we’ve talked about it and I hold my phone up on the stage and say, this is what people buy from now, 80 percent of the online purchases are coming out of a cell phone image and description of the product. And how does that set expectations? We’ve talked about the issues with color choices and with just the actual size compared to the picture of this. So there’s so many aspects I’d love to figure out how to set up a program on reverse Logistics. There’s one online university. Tim Right. AP Who offers that and nobody considers them serious.
[00:34:57] Actually offer a master’s degree in reverse Logistics, so what you’re speaking to is a lack of degrees specifically in this space. Right. There are none. Virtually not working on this space. What? So let’s let’s talk about maybe a current because some of the prep conversation, Tim, Tony, we’re talking about and in lieu of the lack of programs, n° offering programs, there might be some opportunities for classes or non credit. Dacian. What what are some of those opportunities that maybe we can act on easier and we can talk about? Yeah. The cost of setting up a program.
[00:35:33] Yes, a degree. Programs are very, very difficult to start. You know, you have to get almost no board of Regents state national approval and you have to have an accrediting board and you have to have people with appropriate degrees in reverse Logistics. And it’s kind of hard to do if there is no rigorous Logistics Greene chicken or the egg, but. Yeah. So but noncredit programs, you know, a lot of the type things that we focus on in Supply chain Logistics Institute like with Apex and and other partners. Those are very easy to go to. And not everybody needs a degree. And somebody who’s been had a career in sales and marketing and wants to move into reverse Logistics.
[00:36:14] Perhaps the Tony of today would have got a pursuit, a certificate in reverse Logistics, especially if they’re wearing themselves there. Yeah. Right. A lot of it comes back to just a sheer lack of awareness. I mean, know, I’ve been in Supply chain Supply chain manufacturing for 15 years until I met Tony and Tim tried his best. He mentioned Arly and Tony Sciarrotta countless times and when I finally met him, it clicks. Right. And now, just like we were talking this morning for y’all got here about recycling and how that factors in reverse Logistics because so much you think you put everything in this container and put it down by the curb and you like to think it’s 100 percent gonna be recycled. But we all know sat around this table, that is not the case. So how can we impact upstream some of these consumer decisions you’re talking about, Tony, to change that?
[00:37:02] And all of those are topics that that can be broken down. And B, short course is, you know, a three day course, perhaps on package design for four circular economy customer experience, you know. Yeah. And, you know, we always Tony and I talk sometimes about how should reverse Logistics be defined. You know, you got to upfront taking the call from the upset consumer. You’ve got the three peoples involved and picking up stuff. You’ve got design for for Circo Circular Economy. So all of those are topics that should be modular education units, I think. And then they can be embedded in either non-degree courses or some of the existing non-degree degree courses.
[00:37:46] So that that’s a current opportunity that this. And then, Tony, I know your teams had a number of conversations with different associations, different institutions about maybe taking advantage of that opportunity. Is it that fair a fair statement, especially with ASTM?
[00:38:01] We’ve tried to develop this partnership, but right now they just want it inside of one of their courses. They’re not willing to to ten point or send the money to set up a separate course on it. And and it’s because, as Tim said, the definition of reverse Logistics, do we go narrow? Do we go broad? I think we should go broad and then set it up on a on a certification basis. But that prestige that there’s no credible degree and it is part of the evangelism that I have to do it, because as Tim said and Scott, you for once you start talking to people about it, they get it. Absolutely. But in a lot of major companies don’t even think in that direction. They’re like, I’ll just make them go away, just give an allowance, just dump them or burn them. I talked about some of the ugly side of reverse Logistics. And and, you know, I’m I’m so lucky and proud and not just lucky. When you when you look for good board member companies to represent this reverse Logistics association around the world and you get to connect with the DELS and the h.p.’s and the Wal-Marts in a Home Depot’s who at least are paying attention, they help the evangelism. And then, you know, getting a university as prestigious as Georgia Tech and and Tim, to help be part of that board, there’s a commitment by these people, as you said, Scott, earlier, there is a certain amount of passion because, you know, you can make a difference. And and I love the fact that you mentioned earlier, millennials are paying more attention to Supply chain. Yes. You know, I made jokes from the stage all the time. If you’re in this space, you’ll never be out of work. There’s always a job and it’s always North America based. You can’t really manage Logistics or reverse Logistics from another part of the world. And let’s stop there. And how that goes. But you can’t export the jobs. Yes, right. They need to be here. Some millennials go for it.
[00:39:51] Yes. Peut lots. So many opportunities. All right. So let’s shift gears over to. How academics. Let’s talk about the prep, you’re talking about how academic institutions can be the best and most cost effective consulting firms. And there’s going to be some some maybe some banner here. So, Tim, weigh in on that and weigh in on how you see the opportunity.
[00:40:17] So there seems so. So one thing I have to say is if if if the faculty hear me saying the university has a great consulting arm, I’ll be fired. Consulting’s a bad word in universities. Now, all faculty are encouraged to be consultants, but it’s not part of their responsibilities. And actually, they shouldn’t be doing consulting. They should be looking at consulting tends to be stuff that’s repetitive and generally not not all that. Yeah. So what I did in industry was fairly repetitive, taking ideas from one company to another. Whereas in universities you’re supposed to be looking at what’s next. You know, look what could block how could blockchain be applied here? It’s never been applied here before and that type of thing. So that’s my my disclaimer. But we can’t ignore the fact that Georgia Tech has, as an example, the country’s largest engineering program. All those students have to do projects before they graduate. And many of them actually are in reverse. Logistics. I think the winner of our Capstone project last week were Capstone for this semester was a Cisco reverse Logistics project Levit. So those using those students with some faculty guidance is a wonderful consulting opportunity for companies. And I think that’s helped the economy here thrive a bit because the Home Depot is a U.P.S. is the Coca-Colas, the HD supply’s the Ciscos. They’re all doing about 12 projects a year, which are basically free consulting with really good students and faculty. So that part of it. Yes.
[00:41:50] Defict huge opportunity and focusing to be more aware of being able to tap into that resource. So let’s get your take on your academic institutions and students in particular.
[00:42:00] As consulting resources, well, we won’t use that four letter term, apparently. Well, it’s more than four letters, but we won’t use the term. But early on at Philips. One of the greatest projects we did was to survey people who return things. We are capturing serial numbers. We knew where they came from. We could match it against the records of the call center people. We used the university to do the calls because interns, university academics, making a phone call to some stranger comes across a lot better than this. Is Phillips calling? Want to talk to you about your experience as opposed to the University of Nevada or Georgia Tech or Hong you. Because we’re doing a project and we’d like to know the real reason that you return someday. And a little bit more finesse, panache to that. But. But basically, it worked because what we found out was it wasn’t about the product breaking, because that’s the first thing they’re going to say when they take something back to a retail store. Right. They go to the counter. It didn’t work. It didn’t fit it. It’s like, you know, and that’s not the real reason. Right. Right. So using academics to find out the real reason.
[00:43:04] And and we may have told a little bit of this story, but the story came back. The statistics came back. Seventy six percent of the people admitted that it just didn’t meet their expectations. And that changes everything. And the paradigm shift at Phillips that occurred early 2000s was going away from Six Sigma, which is all about it works. It works and it works. We tested it. It works, too. It didn’t work for them. It’s about that customer experience. That’s what Net Promoter Score was all about. Right. And when Phillips switched to that, I won. I was so happy. And. And the university had helped do it because, again, we made jokes about its low cost consulting. But it’s it’s important that the companies that Tim is mentioning and that I think of, they’re already world leaders in Logistics and that they continue to use universities to explore the next best thing. We’re doing good now. But what are we going to do in five or 10 years? That’s the awesomeness of using a connected with universities. Yes. What’s coming down the road? What can we think of what’s outside the box? Yeah. And obviously Amazon and others have done things, so they’re figuring it out.
[00:44:12] And, you know, here everyone wins. Companies when they get cost effective solutions and new ideas. Right. Can’t. We will. You got to make sure that that is mentioned and the students win because we’re getting practical experience. What needs to be said here and also in a webcast with a couple other great technology firm here in town, and they had leaders from across industry. And one of the leaders was a senior supply chain leader with a clothing manufacturer. And she said, we can’t be dumping anymore on millennials. If you are your guys struggled to get talent, you’re gonna struggle, engage the talent. You have any. It’s just it’s not a good look. And that is that is so true, because I believe one of the reasons why maybe not as many companies that would engage in these. Resources is because they have these these horribly inaccurate misconceptions about millennials and the Joneses that are now coming out.
[00:45:05] Well, you better be careful about dumping on millennials because as of next year, they will be the majority in the workforce. Eric Right.
[00:45:11] I mean, so that first of all, I think there are a lot of I hate those generalizations. Right. I mean, I’m Gen X. Right.
[00:45:20] Everybody thought we were like drunk punk rockers. Right. It’s like. Ever do. Greg, some of us are. Some of us have been able to maintain that. Yeah. You saw Billy Idol in Vegas not too long ago.
[00:45:34] So but I think I think, you know, every generation thinks the next generation is going to be the demise of humanity. Right. And the truth is, it’s not it’s just a different approach. Yes. Right. Yes. And and by the way, I in the Zite Generation Z. And I have one of those. So I gen is now starting to get into the workforce. So I better not focus so much on a particular generation because, you know, we’ve got additional generations coming in. Gen genze or same thing. OK. So they’re the next generation after the millennials. Gotcha.
[00:46:11] Right. All right. So let’s continue down this path of higher education in supply chain reverse Logistics. Let’s talk about this notion of how universities can be keepers of the reverse Logistics industry data. And that is certainly good about you. Go make fun.
[00:46:27] The keeper of the Tarpley. Oh, Andy Griffith, where Opie was a keeper of the torch. They burned the barn in a great episode. But anyway, the keepers of reverse Logistics industry data we just talked about engaging millennials. Talk about it and you have something to talk about. All right. So how does that Gen Xers, even though so our three listeners that love Andy Griffith know exactly what I’m talking about. OK. All right. But let’s talk about the kidding aside and let’s talk about the opportunity that that is there.
[00:47:02] Yeah. And it had a really good discussion yesterday with an executive from a three P.l. About data. He likes working with universities, pushing data out to them with just some some problem statement saying here’s data, here’s something we want to look at. Have at it. And I Tony and I have chatted about this, too. We think this similar type situation can happen in reverse. Logistics. I don’t know that keepers of the data is is is what we’d want to be. Because it’s it’s everybody’s data. But deep divers in the analytics, you know, you know, pilot are artificial intelligence using the data, you know, digging deep, deep analytics, all of that, that type of thing. Faculty and students love. And so I think that’s that’s that’s a wonderful potential partnership of getting all this data in and doing stuff with it.
[00:47:52] Tony, we have the responsibility as our L.A. to find a way to get this data collected and to get it out there in an important format because it’s affecting the returns in volume is affecting the real estate industry. It’s affecting Logistics carriers. It’s affecting repair centers, recycling centers. There’s nothing being collected in any efficient or academic manner. And that’s been a goal. Now, in fairness, I’ve been at this for three years with our L.A. We just finished a Web site conversions and that was such a priority to make us look like something more than an old baby boomer Web site.
[00:48:37] Let’s generalize here. Correct.
[00:48:40] But now we recognize the importance and I’m proud to say we’ve got some members of the of the board. I mentioned Home Depot, Wal-Mart and now Amazon, who can provide that data of the returns at the at their level. We don’t really needed the manufacturing level. We need it at the retail level, because that’s what we really have to deal with. How much is coming back and where’s it going to go? We’ve got some generalized numbers, but we don’t have a keeper of that.
[00:49:07] And I am a believer and a keeper of I look at universities around the country and each of them seems to find a little niche to own Michigan with the consumer expectations levels that they measure and Penn State measures readability levels and in the United States. So every university has little niche that they want to carve out an own and B, be known for that. And we’re hoping to really focus on that project in 2020. It’s an important project. Tim has been an advocate. We’re just not sure how to get it off the ground. But we’ve got some opportunities now with with these new board members that represent. I mean, if you talk about Wal-Mart, Home Depot and Amazon, you’re talking about a trillion dollars sales. Yep. All right. Volume. And if you can start to measure that up and we do need a big 3. As Tim knows and you guys may know as well, you’d need at least a third source of information seeking an atomizer. Is that the word? Yeah, that’s right.
[00:50:05] That is work. Yeah. Sounds good to me. So some of the things we’re talking about here, some of the bigger picture of some of the reasons why this is so important. I would just offer to our listeners are some great recycling documentaries on Netflix. And if you Google on YouTube, Amazon returns, you’ll understand what is going on. And then to what what Tony was saying earlier about what happens is so many returns. That is is is not good stuff. So we’ve got to figure out a way that to change industry, change the mindset, but also the consumers. If if consumers can connect some of the things that you do it just right in this in the heat of the moment to how that adds to the challenges we have.
[00:50:49] We’ve got a huge opportunity there, too, right? Yes. Yeah. But the focus until now has been free shipping and free returns. Right. That’s all the Logistics world notes, right? Shipping free returns. So make it cheaper to ship, which you can’t really. I mean, there’s only so much you can do. Maybe the drones will help, but I don’t think so. So make it cheaper to ship. Make it cheaper to return. Make it easy. Yeah, that’s all the focus has been. It’s never been about. Why is the return occurring? It’s about how do we make it easy and simple. And millennials don’t want to print return authorizations now. They just want it on their phone.
[00:51:23] You know, Matteo Greg White and I were talking this morning. All of these conversations we’ve had around sustainability would not have got me thinking about how we can eliminate single source or single use plastics in our household. You know, once once we just connect the dots and then how we’re adding to the problem in ways that maybe we we can avoid would SAP. We have a lot of uphill climb in they go. Right?
[00:51:45] Well, Tony alluded to it earlier. Look, the place where you can solve this problem is in the states. We are by far not anywhere near the greatest contributor to plastics in in the environment. Right. But we’re among the most conscious of it. And and I think, look, we can’t expect let me change topics just slightly to the consumer. We can’t really expect the consumer to accept or undertake more work in the process. We have to do what Tony’s advocating in making it easier for the consumer to verify that they’ve got what they thought they were gonna get. Yeah, that is to me, that is the number one solution to this reversal Logistics problem that you guys you can’t see it on camera.
[00:52:36] But this little on the air thing we gave as a gift to the company at our our holiday shindig. Yeah. A few weeks ago. It looks this big in the picture and when we got it, it’s like this.
[00:52:50] It’s not much bigger than my i-Pad. We’ll get that billboard right to it. I know it’s cute, isn’t it? It’s nifty, right. But it’s not exactly what we thought we were getting. And I was uber diligent that 16 by twelve and I thought sixteen by twelve. That’s good. That’s a good sign. We’re gonna keep that. We’re gonna keep the headset at only one arewilling one want you’re going to react at all. Now. Yeah, we’re not we don’t return anything. No one adsit a problem unless we absolutely have to. So let’s in the last little bit of of perhaps silence we have here.
[00:53:23] Let’s go broader for a second. Right. One, the questions we love posing to our guest is, you know, across the global in Supply chain community, there’s so much innovation, technologies, challenges, trends, you name it, so much to keep your tabs on.
[00:53:38] What are you tracking more than others right now, just in the grand scheme of things, I guess personally and professionally, artificial intelligence. And it’s been at my forefront, some of my thinking the past couple of weeks as I kind of splurged with my kids now driving and got a Tesla thanks to my little assistants who would have gone to work for Tesla. They were able to quickly get me one. I love it. But you know, e and you you drive it and it’s all artificial intelligence. You know, it’s it’s driving for you. It’s predicting everything. Speed and lane changes and navigations. And you realize you’re not in a big you know, Tony’s a Detroit person, but you’re not in a big and combustible engine. You’re you’re in a computer where. True smart. Yeah, you’re in a computer.
[00:54:27] And that’s gonna be changing everything. So, Kimmy, can you give one? I’ve never been in a test alone. If you’ll have. What’s the biggest when you sat and wrote first time, what’s the number one thing that stood out and kind of blew your mind?
[00:54:40] Well, I had a leaf before and giving that to my daughter. So I got used to the shocking thing with the leaf is how quiet. And there’s nothing to maintain. There’s nothing to return. Talk about reverse Logistics. Tesla takes it to the next level is. Sort of scary. You know, it’s like, okay, it’s it’s driving for me, it’s staying, you know, so that that trust of the machine and its artificial intelligences. How are you doing there? I think I would find it. Yeah, I really did. Yeah. You know, with curvy roads and stuff like that, I. I can’t do it. You know? Yeah. If I’m in Las Vegas and it’s a straight road, I can see people using.
[00:55:19] Yeah. But the potholes around on 10th Street on the north side. Georgia Tech’s campus. Yeah. I don’t trust it to go around.
[00:55:28] So, Tim, appreciate you weighing in. Johnny. What about you?
[00:55:32] Well, I think you made reference to single use plastics and things like that. And I thought about the importance of the government impact. And unfortunately, we’re in a we’re in an ugly political environment here. And what I do is I look to the rest of the world to help solve this, because Europe has announced a ban on one use plastics. And when they do that, our companies are global. They’re going to have to follow. And I love that. So electronics, the same way we used to obsolete products every year. And they’ve got to figure out a way, especially Microsoft example. I know for them, if they want to get into automotive, they have to design a system that, you know, it’s that it’s that Office 365 Ryder every year. It needs to be updated. They have to figure out something that’ll last at least 10 years in automotive use if they have any hope of succeeding. And I know they’re frustrated. But Microsoft’s a joke. Every year there’s a new system. Yeah, upgrades. But they have kept 10 around. Right. If you sat around for a while upgrading it, they’ve committed to it because the auto industry forced them to do that. And yes, I’m from Detroit. And it’s really disappointing that the government policy changes where we were going towards 50 miles per gallon average vehicles was happening with pushing electric.
[00:56:51] California still driving it. But Ford Motor Company, for example, the announcement is looking to build more trucks because trucks are exempt. That’s not a good answer for the rest of the world. But someone’s gonna force Detroit to pay attention to electric. And even if it’s California, where it’s I think it’s 25 percent of vehicles on the road soil have to be non combustible. They have to have alternative fuel. So it’s it’s a you know, it’s a hit or miss thing going at rest of the world is driving it. And it would be so great if the government that we have would focus on that and say no. Well, let’s put renewables ahead of oil and gas and let’s have a Manhattan project and let’s let Tesla and Detroit come up with incredible new ideas for vehicles. But we’re starting to slip a little bit in. And again, that’s where universities can try to influence government. They can come in with all kinds of data. But when you hear the term fake news and fake science being thrown out there, it’s just very frustrating. So I’m hoping the rest of the world drags us into that future that we need to be in right now and we could be leading it.
[00:57:59] Well, the truth is, we could be there now already. I mean, if you’ve traveled the world, you’ve seen this was probably 10 years ago when when we opened our office in London for Blue Ridge and I was riding around in a Mercedes diesel wagon, station wagon, a state wagon, as they call it, in English. And, you know, the guy driving me around said, people laugh at you if you don’t get 44 miles to the gallon here. Right. Which means that it’s a it’s possible. Yeah. Because they had a brand over there that was essentially it was GM. I can’t remember what it called. It’s gone away now, but it was a GM brand. It was essentially Chevrolet and Cadillac depending on the level of the car. And those cars got 40, 50 miles to the gallon. So it can be done.
[00:58:42] And and that was that has been the case for decades. And I agree. We need to modify our support for the military industrial complex or whatever that forces us to accommodate oil and gas to to do this, because that that, to me can be the only answer to this and that this woman force that.
[00:59:01] Greg. Right. Because in Texas, the gasoline is so high. Right. And that you had to get a higher efficiency car because of the price of fuel. Right. For three or four times what we pay. Right. It states. Right. And that the government collects it. We call it taxes. And but the government forces that issue. Yeah. For industry to respond. That’s that’s a great point. But electric. I like the idea of the Tesla’s kicking it in. Yeah.
[00:59:26] And I’m fascinated now how they’re handling is fantastic, by the way, because all the batteries are in the floor. So the center of gravity, gravity is super low. And they handle fantastic.
[00:59:36] I feel like I’ve been only one missing the boat here. I’m not that good. Jack. Yeah? Before you leave here today, Tim. So there’s so much we’ve packed into the last hour, so I hate that to kind of conclude the interview. But but we must because so let’s make sure. Happening. We want to make sure our listeners can connect the dots. Follow up with your respective org. causations tremendous resources, so 10 first for you for how can folks connect with the Georgia Tech Supply chain and Logistics Institute.
[01:00:05] Sure. u._r._l S.l got G-A t DCH daddy to you. LCL dot com tech daddy to you and we’ll have that and so much to go. Yeah.
[01:00:18] Always feel free to call for a 4 8 9 4 2 3 6 2. You are brave soul.
[01:00:23] Yeah. Sciarrotta. That takes guts, right? As for Tim, yes. That’s right. No kidding.
[01:00:31] Aside, love. I mean, I really appreciate the advocate you are for all things business, but in particular all things supply chain. Of course the the team you have and what they do for the students and the connections they make. And it’s been. I’m disappointed we haven’t had you much earlier because I think what Georgia Tech does and what Instant Institute’s doing, some other groups can benchmark from that globally, you know. So great to have you all. We’ll have you back on real soon and we’ll make sure the Eurail is in the show notes. Tony, how about you?
[01:01:05] Well, I think it’s important to say thanks to Tim because he’s shown that in the last 20 years, academics have changed dramatically. They used to be the stodgy, old, boring people, and now they’re a lot more fun.
[01:01:17] Yeah, especially you’ve had a couple drinks a lot, which I haven’t missed.
[01:01:21] Oh, we’re going to fix that because the reverse Logistics Association can be easily found on the web at RLA dot org. Again, brand new site, amazing things there, amazing information. You can join the community for free. There’s no requirement except to become to give us a couple of pieces of I.D. ways to communicate to you at that site. Membership for companies, is it? It adds additional benefits. But the big event, the flagship conference of the world. I’ll say it is the reverse Logistics Association Conference and Expo coming up in Las Vegas, where the Supply Chain Now Radio people will be broadcasting live. We have a number of great speakers lined up and panelists and important topics. You’ll be there with at least 800 industry colleagues who are all thinking about this stuff and ways to improve it, ways to fix it. We’ll be at the Fabulous Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. All the best with a very, very great room rate. So if you’re thinking it’s expensive to be there, it’s not in registration rates around fifteen hundred. The rooms are ninety nine a night at the Mirage. It’s a beautiful place to be in February 4 through 6 right after Super Bowl. Most of you around the world. Winters happening. So come to Las Vegas. Jenny away from the winter.
[01:02:47] Have a couple of drinks with Greg and he will tell you some good stories, I think. They were broadcast around the corner for the alcohol, the the bar there. I sure hope so.
[01:02:57] Yeah, but getting us out RLA thought you learn a lot more. We are so excited to be there in person streaming lab and sit down interview and all the other thought leaders. Hey, one more resource.
[01:03:09] Yeah. So Tony, you have a smart brief. The RLA smart Greene. Yes. That is an unbelievably valuable bit of information. You get it, I think daily three, 3, three times a week feels like daily and there and there’s a ton of great inspiration in there. So I think they can subscribe to that here or go to Smart Briefing.com and subscribe to it.
[01:03:31] Either way, RLA, or as soon as you click the blue button it says join the community will start sending you the smart brief. And to Greg’s point, it’s it’s full of information with links to much deeper story line. But it is three several short stories on the front page, the one that catches your interest you can follow. But again, RLA Korg once you become a user. Part of the community, you’ll get the smart pre-fight emphatically.
[01:03:56] Yeah, well, and we’ve been talking with so many folks about RLA. By the way, your ears may have been burning left and right, including one of our favorite recent podcasts with the incredibly bright Scott Auslin. Oh yeah, golf reline. That’s right. I went from graduating college to C.O.O. in eight years time. Yeah, it his remarkable story. And he’s actually kicking off a path on sales. Yeah. Phone say honestly, C.O.O. in less than a decade about that. We caught up with him at an event out in Austin and there’s an incredible interview. So. So who knows? We might see him in Vegas come February. But he is one of dozens of folks that I think are what I’d like to think. They’re discovering how important the reversal just six is. And then, oh, there’s a great resource in this area. And that, you know, early dot org is where folks can learn a lot more. Okay. So thanks again so much. Both of Tim Brown Tony Sciarrotta, really appreciate our time. Don’t go anywhere, we’re going to wrap up with just a couple other quick events. So before we head out to Vegas and the incredible mirage at the reversal, just six association conference and Expo, we’re gonna be at the CSC m._p Atlanta Roundtable Miura event in January, where they’re bringing in a leader from Fastrack to talk about some of the transportation regulations and what it means for your business. January 15th here in Atlanta. And then, of course, rheumy in Vegas in February.
[01:05:25] And then what comes up in March is that Moto X, so Moto X, March 9th to 12th at the lovely jaw end and remodel Georgia World Congress Center. Right. Thirty five thousand of your closest friends building the tiny little warehouses and factories, shipping docks, everything you could want to robots and about a job. Yeah. Think about materials handling and that sort of thing. It’s a fascinating show. And at the same time on the 10th. Mm hmm. Right. The Atlanta Supply chain Awards. And by the way, Tony and his group are a sponsor of reverse Logistics. The first award. The first ever. Yes, that’s right. Yeah. Yeah. The first of many to come. Yes, that’s right. So that’s gonna be really good. That’s just tended to. Ish. Ish. Oh yeah. On Tuesday morning. I mean that’s a really condensed program again. Three hundred. You know, very carefully selected individuals to, you know, celebrate Atlanta and the southeast. What’s going on in Supply chain there?
[01:06:29] Absolutely. And the good news is Moto X, which offers outstanding networking and best practice gathering market intel, you name is free to attend. You can learn more at Moe Tech Show dot com MDX showcase com. An art supply chain awards is free to nominate. So if you’ve got a great reverse Logistics story and you got some kind of presence in the metro Atlanta area, which is 29 counties, folks, I’d be surprised just footfalls in the metro Atlanta area these days. But nominated we’ve got awards across the spectrum from manufacturing to warehousing fulfillment. We’re going to do some some bright future awards like we did last year, Tim, where we recognize students that have that are on the precipice of doing big things ministry. It’s just a great opportunity. Bring folks that love in in Supply chain together and celebrate what’s going on. And Supply chain City, Atlanta Supply chain Awards Dot.com Eurail could not be any easier than that. Right. What makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? That’s right. And we’re gonna sell out. We saw that last year. We’ll sell again. We’re going a little bit bigger this year. We’re featuring Christian Fisher, president CEO of Georgia-Pacific is our keynote change Cooper, which is incredible. Most folks know her for her time as a senior executive at Lockheed.
[01:07:38] I thought I’d read her reply. Oh, yeah, that’s amazing.
[01:07:42] So I would argue that between our keynote and our m.c, they know more about supply chain than probably the aggregate of the 300 people that be in attendance, but very well nevertheless. Modoc should ICOM Lana Supply chain awards outcome one more visit. Last one is A.M.E. Atlanta. It’s bringing their 2020 Leane Summit Ryder.
[01:08:01] And we’re gonna be there all May 4th as the kick things off. Interviewing some of their folks love manufacturing, love continued improvement in manufacturing. And if I’m not mistaken, in 2021, they’re bringing their national event here to Atlanta. So these regional events are kind of a great warmup as they bring thousands of people here to Atlanta that all of continued improvement in manufacturing in 2021. Okay. We would leave out.
[01:08:28] Well, we’ve held off the construction guys. I believe on a pretty good job roof. I can’t imagine that there’s one thing that we’ve left out. But I got to tell you, I really appreciate Tim. It’s great. It’s great to meet you. And I really appreciate what you’ve done. And you know what Georgia Tech continues to do for students and for the community. And, Tony, you know how much love we love you. I love what you’re doing with it. Off with reverse Logistics episodes.
[01:08:51] We’ll put couldn’t couldn’t say anything better. So big thanks to our guests today. Tony Schroeder, executive director of the Reverse Logistics Association, Tim Brown, managing director of the Georgia Tech Supply chain and Logistics Institute. Great conversation. We couldn’t get to everything. Whatev a second upset here soon to our listeners. Be sure to check out other upcoming events in replays for interviews. You name it as Supply Chain Now Radio ICOM finish an Apple podcast. SoundCloud. Spotify.
[01:09:18] Youtube. Ha ha. Hey. Yeah. Google podcast. Let’s give them a little bit of love. Yeah. YouTube for sure. Sorry. All guys know how I feel about YouTube. That’s right. All the sites where you get your podcast from.
[01:09:31] Were there. Be sure to subscribe. So messy thing on behalf of the entire team. Scott Luton and Greg White. We wish you a wonderful week ahead and we’ll see you next time on Supply Chain Now Radio. Thanks for about.
Timothy Brown serves as Managing Director of Georgia Tech’s Supply Chain & Logistics Institute (SCL). Mr. Brown has over 30 years of experience in logistics optimization and strategy through work in industry operations, consulting services, and as an educator. He is responsible for the strategic planning and development of executive education programs as well as serving as the liaison to on- and off-campus professional associations, organizations and individuals regarding the recruitment and delivery of such programs in support of expanding SCL’s global mission to enable supply chain professionals, businesses, and international governments to transform complex supply chains, improve logistics performance, and increase competitiveness by applying education, innovation and solutions (emerging practices). Learn more about Georgia Tech’s Supply Chain & Logistics Institute: www.scl.gatech.edu
Tony Sciarrotta serves as Executive Director of the Reverse Logistics Association. He was nominated and selected by the Board to serve as the Executive Director on August 1, 2016. Since Mr. Sciarrotta had been an active member serving in committee leadership of Reverse Logistics Association since 2005, he had also served on the Board of RLA from 2005 to 2012 while employed at Philips Consumer Lifestyle as their Director of Sales & Marketing. So it was a simple decision for the selection team at RLA to approve Mr. Sciarrotta. Since his experience, qualifications and service to RLA was more than substantial to meet the requirement that was needed as the next Executive Director. Mr. Sciarrotta has held a variety of sales and marketing positions in the consumer electronics industry for over 35 years, most recently as the President of Reverse IT Sales & Consulting. Tony brings so much experience to the RLA team, including 25 years at Philips Consumer Lifestyle. His background helped prepare him for a developmental role as director for returns management activities, and in 1998 Tony was assigned to create and manage a cross functional department to reduce returns and their associated costs. He was successful at implementing effective returns policies and procedures with a variety of dealers, and in 2005, Tony assumed responsibility for maximizing asset recovery of all returned consumer goods. Tony has specifically targeted best avenues for reselling returned goods at the model level, by using tools developed with finance support. In 2013, after establishing best-in-class results for returns in the consumer goods industry, Tony retired from Philips and now sits on various committees and industry groups. Learn more about the Reverse Logistics Association here: https://rla.org/
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.
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.
Data Analytics and Metrics Intern
Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.
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.
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.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
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.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
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 Cisco, Microsoft, 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 University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier 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.
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.
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’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. 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.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
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.
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.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
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.
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.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
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.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.