Supply Chain Now Radio
Episode 265

Episode Summary

Listen as Scott welcomes Jessica Clayton and Travis Turner to the Supply Chain Now Studio in Atlanta, GA.

Episode Transcript

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


[00:00:29] Hey, good morning. Scott Luton here with you live on Supply chain now. Welcome back to the show. Feels like our third or fourth show this morning on this episode. We’re excited to be interviewing several business leaders that are helping companies win the war for talent. And on today’s show, we’re going be gaining their insights from the really tough Supply chain talent market in 2019. They’re going to sharing their key learnings and some of their bold predictions for 2020. All of you are surely to benefit from. So stay tuned. Well, a quick programing note. Like all of our series on Supply chain. Now you can find our replays on a variety of channels, Apple podcasts, SoundCloud, Spotify, YouTube World, really wherever you get your podcast from. As always, we’d love to have you subscribe to Don’t Miss a Thing. Let’s thanks of our sponsors. Allow us to bring these best practices and innovative ideas to you, our audience. They range from the Effective syndicate to Verusen Epic’s Atlanta Vector Global Logistics and many more. You can check out each of our sponsors on the show notes of this episode. All right. Let’s welcome in our featured guests here today, Jessica Clayton, founding partner and Talentstream repeat guests. Jessica, good morning.


[00:01:35] Good morning. Thanks for having me today.


[00:01:37] Great to have you back. A couple of repeat appearances this morning, but I really have enjoyed getting your insights each time. The talent market and on what’s what’s going on out there in the business world. You know, there is really a war for talent going on and we’re in a front land together trying to find it, right? Absolutely. So I’m looking forward to getting your insights, kind of what was 2019 and would expect in 2020. Travis Turner, director, business development, hard and M6. Glad to have you back as well.


[00:02:07] Thanks, Scott. Appreciate it. And love coming back. Look forward to the next one.


[00:02:11] Absolutely. I think we’ve got to as a Sheer with both y’all on the R prep call. We had part the show. We don’t vote as crude, as crazy as it sounds, we don’t folks. Nothing in town, even though it keeps people up at night, is tiptoeing every organization. Yes, a few have gotten it right. But so, so many others, the mass majority are not employers of choice. Right. But I know both of y’all just can Travis are going to share some tips of how you how anyone’s organization can make us make strides towards being an employer of choice. All right. So for starters, what we want to do is give our audience the opportunity to get to know you both like I do. Right. And suggest going to start with you, if you would tell us all about yourself. You know, start maybe where you grew up and maybe some of some of the hobbies or early role models you had might have shaped your worldview grown up.


[00:03:01] Yeah. So I grew up here in Atlanta. The Supply chain city and went to klimt’s and many moons ago lived in Charleston for seven years. And then 10 years ago we settled in Greenville, South Carolina. So Atlanta has definitely changed since I lived here 20 plus years ago.


[00:03:19] I’m not a fan of the traffic gotten significantly worse.


[00:03:25] But it is exciting to see the growth, especially when it comes to manufacturing and supply chain here in Atlanta.


[00:03:31] So your other question. Yeah, what hobbies or you know, what is kind of shaped where I am today? I think if I think back, I was always kind of starting new businesses as a child. I had a babysitting club and car washing service and love, you know, lemonade stands, whatever it was that I could make some of my own money probably to go to the mall and buy Lee press on nails or something. But, you know, I think that really show it looking back now, that drive to really build something and and be a part of starting something and seeing, you know, the results of that sale. And then my father has always been in staffing. So I kind of grew up in the industry, whether it was working in one of the branches over Christmas break or, you know, summer break and really learning how a staffing organization ran. And then throughout college, when we came home for college break, there was no break.


[00:04:30] We were straight to work. So we could have have that. I don’t know what we’ll call it, pizza money to go back to college.


[00:04:38] So, you know, I think both of those factors really had an impact on me and watch in. How hard my dad worked and, you know, instilled that work ethic and and got to me where it got me to where I am today.


[00:04:52] So I ask, yeah. I love to be able to fulfill to do what you want to do, what you’ve always wanted to do. You know, founding your own business after lemonade stands and car washes, all that stuff, which I love how entrepreneur you were as a kid. But now with a family, you know, founding your own business, leaving your own business, growing your own business. How rewarding and fulfilling is that?


[00:05:14] It is. It’s it’s challenging.


[00:05:16] There’s definitely a lot of things that come with running a small business that can be very challenging, but it is definitely rewarding. And now I’ve got three children and my oldest daughter is seven years old. And I love that she sees that mom is working really hard and but can still be there to read to the class and bring in snacks when necessary. And, you know, I think that it’s important for her to see me juggle this and still smile at the dinner table.


[00:05:49] Greene, do your kids talk about they play talentstream sometimes.


[00:05:55] You know, my husband also is an entrepreneur and has a watch company and that trumps staff.


[00:06:02] They do think their watch is probably a little cooler, you know. But but yeah, it is funny because I can remember Cash when my daughter was like four years old, her pretending to be on the phone and saying, Honey, I’m gonna call. Be quiet.


[00:06:17] So I think that it is probably instilled in them more than I even notice.


[00:06:22] And, you know, I love it. I love the fact you acknowledged how important is for your children to see you in action. I think, you know, being able to visualize leadership levels it for all folks, but especially women is so important. The feedback we get our full access series, it really looks to find great, exceptional leaders that happen to be women. And being able to share their stories with the marketplace, it’s really important. So appreciate what you do. Let’s let’s let’s talk more about Talentstream. So where does it compete in the wide world of talent yet?


[00:06:58] So for the last six years, Talentstream has focused primarily on direct. So we’ve partnered with our great clients in manufacturing and supply chain space to provide top level engineering supply chain and skilled manufacturing talent. So really the past six years has been focused more on that skilled worker, highly skilled worker. This year in 2020, we’re very excited to roll out our managed service solutions. We’ve created a strategic alliance with some of the largest and most well respected staffing organizations, allowing us to support some or all of our clients staffing needs, along with the added attributes of working with the qualifying women or minority owned business enterprise.


[00:07:42] And that is really important. And our listeners may recognize that, especially in corporate America, there are certain contracts that need to go to certain credible and qualified minority owned companies, right? Absolutely. And that space has evolved quite. It’s been a lot of change that space in recent years. Yeah, there has.


[00:08:00] And we we are you know, when we were looking at this initiative and rolling out this segment of our business, we really feel that there’s a pretty significant void in the ability, especially in the staffing world, to meet clients supplier diversity initiatives. And some of that is due to acquisitions of minority owned a.p.’s that once they were acquired, they lost that certification and and other other instances as well. But really, we believe that we will be able to come in and partner with some of the best staffing organizations and allow them to work together with us to meet that that spend requirement for their clients. And it really benefits everybody, the client as well as the, you know, staffing organization or INDUCER.


[00:08:56] Now, I think you mentioned it, but we bank is one of the more prestigious survey acacias out there. The business industry gets. And tell us more about that process and that journey and why that’s important.


[00:09:08] So we at Talentstream, we have been a certified we bank business since 2014. And it does come with a yearly application to be recertified.


[00:09:20] And it is a quite an extensive application applications.


[00:09:23] I can’t wait. Yes, there’s there’s quite a bit that goes into it.


[00:09:28] And as there should be to really make sure that the woman or minority running the business truly is involved in the day to day.


[00:09:36] So we bank as a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the success of Certified Women’s Business Enterprises. That approximately 700 corporations that have CIDR supplier diversity programs, all of them except we bank certification. So we believe that this certification here at Talentstream in combination with our new managed service offerings and our direct hire services, really allows us to provide a total package for our clients while meeting their supplier diversity goals. Yep.


[00:10:07] And while there’s a lot of great serve occasions out there that that govern the MSP space, we bank is clearly one of them with one the stronger track record and they think they hold events around the country. They help facilitate the. We bank companies that value we bank providers with with folks that are earned that we bank status. Right?


[00:10:25] Yeah. There’s a lot of matchmaking events. And really for all supplier diversity spend.


[00:10:31] So you’ve got your MBA E, which are a minority business enterprises and that can be a variety of different minority statuses. And then you have your w._n._b._a E, which is you are women, minority business enterprise women and as well as minority.


[00:10:52] Yeah. In that space you wanna make sure you’re dealing with with folks that have been through the application process, as you put it. But kidding aside, that due diligence is so important because of some some things that go in that space. So love, we’re big fans. We bank here. So switch gears a minute and don’t go to work right now. Only get your take on twenty nineteen. But but we’re gonna break out your crystal ball and predict 2020. And Travis, let’s switch gears here. Let’s bring you back into the conversation. And you know, before we talk shop, let’s get to know you better. So tell us about where you’re from and that upbringing.


[00:11:26] Yeah. So I’m born and raised in the Atlanta area, much like Jessica, really. Duluth and in Lawrenceville went to Georgia Southern Go Eagles finance grad there. I guess growing up, you know, playing sports my whole life, baseball. That competitive nature is really something that drives me.


[00:11:46] Shortstop, third base, shortstop and third base. Which one’s more challenging?


[00:11:52] Shortstop. There’s more responsibilities as a shortstop. You’re kind of the quarterback of the infield. So, yeah, that’s a shortstop. But it’s also one of the more fun positions to. Yeah, because turning double plays up the middle or. Yeah. Get better. But favorite players are, you know, Braves players. Obviously, I’m a diehard through and through. I’m pretty sure I can recite the 1991 roster. Well, not the roster. There was a video VHS that came out that was the worst of first. Pretty sure that I can recite the entire hour and a half VHS video and I do still have it. Favorite players or Dale Murphy when I was growing up and I was really young, even though I played infield and he was an outfielder. I love Dale Murphy and then Chipper Jones, of course, and me and a third baseman Chipper being in the Hall of Fame deal.


[00:12:47] Sme should be in the Hall of Fame. Should have already been in the Hall of Fame. Yes, me. But I don’t get to vote in one more. One of my favorite plays at least list speaking 91 is Francis the little known Francisco Cabrera.


[00:12:59] Yeah, there’s a drive lesson. Left center field. Greene is right. BREAM comes around third base. That’s right. Hey, we’re all help, buddy. Bad knees, no real help with him. Run, man. And David Justice tackled. Right.


[00:13:11] So but no, aside from sports, you know, my parents were both in public service their entire life. Both retired. And I think that that kind of sense of servant leadership, combined with the competitive nature of baseball and sports throughout my life, has kind of gotten me to where I am. Hired Dynamics is a servant leadership organization like that’s one of our big drivers in our culture. So essentially we help people every single day. That’s what my parents did for 30 plus years. And, you know, kind of what’s been instilled in me throughout those years.


[00:13:39] So before we talk about how to that mix and where it focuses in your role, you in our prep conversations, you talked about that sense of service that was was part of your upbringing. Talk more about that. Why is that important?


[00:13:51] You know, I think it’s important every day. I mean, it’s walking down the street and seeing somebody that needs help and actually wanting to do something about it. And that translates well over into kind of where higher dynamics plays in in the commercial staffing game. And there’s a lot of entry level second chance opportunities or first chance opportunities for somebody who just wants to get their foot in the door. So I think if we have we have to kind of focus that every experience matters through that process, whether it’s the initial hello. When you see somebody the initial hello when they come into the office, the initial hello when you walk into somebody else’s office on the sales side of it. And in the process of bringing them on board as as talent that that’s marketable and can be placed onsite at one of your clients on every single piece of that is an experience, whether small or large. The whole thing matters. So OK.


[00:14:41] So shifting over to would do what you do prior.


[00:14:44] 2, we’re talking about that first job, the smell on the resume is right. You like that interview question, right? I do love that interview. QUESTION By the way, man was stocking shelves at Winn-Dixie at 4:35 an hour. There you go. See, I’m I’m ah, I’m already halfway sold on you hiring you. You the work ethic that that’s required to do something like that shows drive early on in your career.


[00:15:08] So for me, I was I was the guy that everyone liked to hit the golf ball out at the range. I was out picking up the balls in the cage. That was fun. I got to hit range balls for free after work, though, so that was cool. And then pretzel time at the mall. So that’s my 15, 16 year old self slingin pretzels at the mall. Yeah. And having a great time doing it because at about five of my baseball buddies in there with me. Really? Yeah. Yeah. It was. Yeah. They made a bad, bad move.


[00:15:33] Hiring us all worked at the mall as well. Really a rite of passage. Birgit though. What was worse? I was at a children’s like a toy store. I actually still somehow I was identified as the one that needed to stand out and threw this like big ball up in the air. And it was like, you know, expand and so people would come into the stores. So I was like the short of a mascot, but they still still entertaining at some point. That wasn’t my first stop that my first job as a lifeguard. And I think that had more like that was more driven by maybe another boy that was working at the same way.


[00:16:09] You know how crazy to see how the malls have evolved. Oh, my. There’s a great series on YouTube and probably elsewhere that it’s basically it revisits places that have been just let go. Right. Regency Mall in August is one of those places that that stopped being a facility folks used back and I think early 90s and this group and not knowing who they are, they don’t tell, they break some of these folks break into these malls and just videotape and it’s like a snapshot from nineteen eighty nine or something. It’s fascinating. That’s the crazy. The malls have had had certainly had their share of challenges.


[00:16:47] So Travis so affer pretzel time look what got you into the talent market.


[00:16:53] So it’s actually probably much like anybody in staffing. You kind of fall into it or driven towards it. Jessica’s case, it’s a family business. For me, I was actually in Supply chain prior to. So I I graduated Georgia Southern Finance degree, went to John Hancock Financial first and then left there and went into Logistics Supply chain with Coyote Logistics third party broker. They were a startup at the time in 2008, I think kept going gangbusters. Yeah, I think a couple of a couple hundred employees or so. Two hundred, two hundred and fifty or so when I started with them worked form for six, six and a half years somewhere around there moved to Chicago with omes, spent four years in Chicago freezing my butt off and yeah, I needed to get back to Atlanta.


[00:17:42] So it’s four years in Chicago where year in Chicago and a great American city, awesome city had two months of the year.


[00:17:50] Took the words right out of my mouth. I was actually going to say two and out of the year I was going to give them another better experience. I was given another half month.


[00:17:57] But yeah, I wonderful city. I’ll go back anytime in the summer if anybody wants to go. My wife and I have been back a couple times, but needed to get back here. She was here. My family’s here and my friends are here. The warmth is here. And I, coincidentally and had known about heart dynamics for about four years prior, because I had a friend I went to college with that wanted to essentially help staff for Chiaradia Logistics, a dispatch track and trace center in Alpharetta. So I kept I kept in touch. And then finally their recruiter called me on the right day when I had committed to moving to Chattanooga with with a coyote. But Kuwait City? Oh, yeah. I had a blast in Chattanooga, too, but I could not find a place that I wanted to live that that I was sold on. And she called me on the right day and I said, you know what? I’m interested. I want to get back to Atlanta. Let’s let’s talk let’s let’s go through this process. And, you know, as they say, the rest is history. And that’s how I got got to staffing started started in Cobb as an account manager and got an early opportunity to Cobb County for folks in our audience.


[00:19:07] That may not correct. Sorry about that. Brought one of the twenty nine counties that make up the metro Atlanta area, one of the main or the largest ones. Correct. Correct.


[00:19:17] And where the Atlanta Braves sit now. That’s right. So it started there and had an early opportunity to go run. One of our branches south of the city spent three and a half years building that from roughly a nine million dollar PNL to about 15, 16 million dollar PNL branch. And then that led me to the position I’m in now.


[00:19:36] As we continue to grow, there needs to be another level of support for our outside business development managers. And I’m one of. For directors of business development, now some.


[00:19:49] So talk about were hard on them, X focuses and then. Then I want to talk more about some your recent accolades.


[00:19:55] Yeah, definitely. So like I said, commercial staffing company were born and raised in the Atlanta market operations all over the southeast, specializing in really what I like to call our our consultative workforce partnerships. And those are within four business lines. So our office administrative contact centers are manufacturing and of course, supply chain and the kind of backup a little bit on the supply chain side of it, where we spend most of our time in the space that we play in. And Supply chain is mainly at the DC level. So entry-level lead supervisor distribution center distribution centers contractures is one of our main areas of focus and within supply chain.


[00:20:36] And then this era in this e-commerce area that those those that’s aspect of supply chain is white-hot. In fact you probably heard the news just in the last day or two. Amazon is running now. Yeah.


[00:20:48] Noonan in the city at noon and I don’t even have the Gwinnett County one open yet and they’re already opening another one. You know. Wow. 40 miles away, 50 miles or so.


[00:20:57] Remarkable. So clearly, given all the growth in that business and the growth of hard on that mix, a lot of parallels there, right?


[00:21:04] Oh, 100 percent. I mean, let’s call we have a couple of strategic offices that focus more on the office administrative and contact center space. But it’s really just based on geographically where they are like our bulk Buckhead branch is obviously going to going to focus more in that that area. There’s not a lot of D.C. sit in the middle of Buckhead. But I mean, I would put us somewhere in the 75, 80 percent, you know, manufacturing in Supply chain and in the D.C. space for sure.


[00:21:32] So I want to ask you about really quickly in a second. But but for folks that you know, for those of us sitting around this table, we know exactly how Talentstream groups like Talentstream and hard in that mix can complement each other. But but some our listeners may not understand. So.


[00:21:48] So if you ask both working with ABC company, how do your company complement each other? Sometimes because you’re talentstream focuses more on the direct hire side, right?


[00:21:59] The yes. Yep. So we’re more over the past six years really have focused more on that skilled engineering supply it like a director of Supply chain or you know what? That senior buyer, if you’re thinking on the front end and then or in the D.C. space, we would maybe have a supervisor or an ops manager role. But I think that we have partnered with hire dynamics before. We’ve partnered with other large staffing organizations that at times run into a role that while they can service it and and have the capabilities to do so, their attention is on the, you know, hundred frontline workers that they need to provide a manufacturer in two days. And so, you know, a lot of times their resources get pulled in that direction. And for us, I mean, if you look at some of our statistics from 2000 and 90 out, guess 2019, losing my mind already this early in the year 2006.


[00:23:05] Yeah.


[00:23:08] So it it really takes us you know, we reach out to 37 to 41 candidates before we get a prescreen and then we’ve got a prescreen, at least three candidates before we get. A candidate that we want to even submit to the client, and then you go through, you know, three to four submit files, you know, and get them through the interview process before you have a placement. So it’s a it’s a much longer span of time that a lot of times the companies like hire dynamics that are focused more on the frontline workers, blue collar workers are going to. They just don’t have that time.


[00:23:46] We’re going to have them in that day. Right. I mean, the more. Yeah, it’s speed and agility. Right. You know, for us, while we do have the capability capabilities, a direct hire and we’re actually kind of trying to build out that portion of our business a little more, because obviously that means we can service more of our clients at a at a higher level. I think for for us when we’ve partnered together, Talentstream, the engineering piece is huge. There there are a lot of companies out there that are looking for that engineering talent and we don’t have a direct line to it. We don’t have recruiters that are specialized in it. I mean, you guys have an engineer that does the recruiting. She knows exactly what to ask, what to look for. And for us, I always think about it like this, where you said one touches before forty one candids before you get a prescreen. On the flip side, we know what our companies are, what our partners need in talent for the front line. So it’s almost like, you know, that’s our that’s our Chick fil A chicken sandwich. We know people are going to want it. Right. And we know how they how they want it. So we’re going to we’re going to produce it ahead of time, because I know that we know that it’s coming. So we I always talk about we live in this, you know, Amazon, 48 hour lifecycle of anything. Right. If I don’t have it in 48, where the heck is it? Right. It’s the same with art, with our partner clients and having to talk to them about if that talent isn’t placed in 48. Yeah. That’s not the talent you’re getting. But we’re doing it on the back end and continuously doing it so that when they do need to have that need, we can be quick speed and agility.


[00:25:17] And to that point to you, I mean, if you’re thinking of these these higher level roles, part of our job is convincing them to leave their job. I mean, they are you know, unemployment is the lowest it’s been in 50 years. And so for eyes, the 41 touches is a lot of times we know what we’re looking for and we’ve identified what we’re looking for. But now we’ve got to try to sell you on leaving your organization for another organization. It’s not typically talent that’s unemployed and looking for their next opportunity.


[00:25:48] It’s us convincing them that this is the right move, which is which is really under rated with great recruiting firms. Exactly. Describe their you know, because it’s not easy. It’s not easy. I mean, just like all of us, we want to, you know, take that next step and kick the tires on it and make sure it’s the right fit, especially in this market. So great recruiting firms are excellent at many things. But I would argue that’s one of the greatest thing, you know, greatest skill sets that bring the table. I love how both of you hard and they mix and type talentstream has gotten very targeted on their specialization and where they play. And then but you know, unlike other folks in competitive industries, they also know that sometimes they can work together with other providers in the talent industry. We’ve all probably have been around folks that that throw more elbows. There’s not as much of a nice, calm, kinder and friendlier type of relationship there. So, Travis, tell us about this recognition that hardon remix received, say, the beginning of December twenty nineteen. I think it was. Right.


[00:26:53] Which one of you know, best places to work as one of our, you know, one of the foundations with that that we strive for, that we feel like kind of exudes our culture and helps us in recruiting internally and also helps us recruiting for for our partner clients as well. It’s it’s a proven fact that best place to do our company is get four to five times the amount of resumes walk through their door. And for us, that’s our product walking through our door. That’s free. That’s our that’s a free product. And the cost of goods, they’re nothing. All right. Just having a good company culture and making sure that we take care of our internal employees gets us that designation. And it’s now 11 years running and we’re best places to work in every single market that we that we play in here in all states. So Atlanta kind of leading the charge with with with volume. We’ve been here longer, though. Right now, another unbelievable kind of accolade that that means a lot to us is top 1 percent nationally with clearly rated formally in a hero. So if you’ve ever heard a net promoter score a measure of customer service. Right. You know, scale of one to 10. We pride ourselves on that. And we kind of live that scale of 1 to 10 lifestyle. You’ll hear it often whenever we’re trying to measure how how well we’re doing with our clients or how well we’re doing internally with with a direct report. Hey, how did you like that on a scale of 1 to 10? Because. We just kind of understand that 9s and 10s are promoters and anything below that. We have some work to do.


[00:28:26] Well put. OK. So we want to dove into this this next segment where we’re looking back at twenty nineteen and and get some of your your key thoughts and your key takeaways. So we’ve touched on that a little bit I think, with some of our foreshadowing. But just we’ll start with you. What what was what were some of the key takeaways from the year that was twenty nineteen.


[00:28:48] Yes. I think that the biggest lessons learned in regards to hiring top talent and then retaining that talent really boiled down to three things. And that is compensation, culture and training. And we’ve talked on culture already. And in in, you know, just getting to know each other, I think that’s something that resonates across the board. So it may sound obvious, but companies that invest in their employees are more likely to attract, attract and retain that top talent, which I know is a crazy thought shattering revelation here.


[00:29:22] You heard it first on Supply chain now.


[00:29:25] But when it when it comes to attracting talent, a come a competitive salary is imperative in this current market where as I mentioned before, unemployment is at its lowest in 50 years. And if you want to retain that talent, you know, not only is the competitive salary important to attract them, but then you’ve got to take it the next step in investing in that talent by training and upskilling. And that’s just as important, really, as paying the right salary and in my eyes and in what I’ve seen.


[00:29:58] So in that proverbial three legged stool, that is talent management, attraction, development and retention. Do you feel that that development is is the most often overlooked?


[00:30:10] It is. I think we all get so caught up in productivity and making sure that we meet the numbers that, you know, have been laid out by whoever it is that we don’t take the time to step back and see. And I know we’re going to talk a little bit about this fourth industrial revolution or, you know, idea of A.I. and technology and how that could potentially be replacing jobs. And, you know, I think that goes back to that training piece as well. And really looking at your current workforce and what can we do to upskill that current workforce? And not only does that help in the productivity, hopefully, but it’s also going to really, you know, show that investment in your talent.


[00:30:54] And that’s something that I talked to candidates on the, you know, higher level all the time that say, you know, I’ve really wanted to get my black belt, but I have never been given the green light to do the project like a black belt related to lean Zegna or karate.


[00:31:15] Absolutely. Could be necessary at times.


[00:31:19] So, you know, one of the things that the problem here when it comes to compensation is or even the training is at one of the big difficulties that we’ve seen in many organizations is that internal equity. And so they’re having to evaluate not only the salary of this new hire, but then they need to look internally at their department and all the sudden they’re looking at salaries across the board. So it is a significant investment and it is something that, you know, can be very challenging when you’re looking at a PNL and what that bottom line needs to lead to. So the good I guess the question when you’re thinking compensation is what does turnover really cost you your company? And because if you’re not paying the competitive salary, even internally, you know, what is that? Or people who’ve been there for 20 years. What is that turnover potentially going to cost your company in morale and retaining knowledge of that person who’s been there for 20 years? And then most importantly, arguably would be productivity.


[00:32:25] So I want to come back to that third, see if culture but all travel slips away in compensation. I think both firms both will have access to the leading industry industry data. Isn’t that enough? I believe both of y’all consult with your clients. Give them salary survey information. Right. Absolutely. I think great guidance. Compensation. What are you seeing?


[00:32:47] It’s it’s number one. Right. It gets people to the door, the rest of it. Jessica touched on the way you develop that talent, the way your environment and your culture is. That’s what that’s what’s going to retain the talent. But you have to be at least at market and in an employer’s market right now and the student employees markets in their own. But you mention the costs of turnover. It’s such a magical number that doesn’t show up on the bottom of a PNL that that to be able to grasp that number. It is. Real dollars that you’re losing. That’s just not going to show up as a line item. So I remember reading this is probably a couple of years ago. I don’t know what the the the new statistic is. It’s probably higher, but the average replacement cost of an employee nationally was sixty five hundred dollars right around that much. Now, that’s that’s obviously skewed by lower wage positions. The positions you guys are recruiting for that that costs to to hire onboard, train, retain losing. That is probably three or four times that number from a turnover cost standpoint. And I’ve done some modeling before on on how how wages and turnover follow each other. Because because I do right now, especially where we play when a dollar extra an hour is significant. Right. And in a D.C. workers job and we see if you’re in the in the lower 25th percentile, you’re your facility can expect 80 percent turnover.


[00:34:16] Yeah, it’s a. So one of the the voice of a blue collar worker, which is published by another staffing organization and play Bridge Day, it’s the largest annual survey of the America America’s blue collar workforce. And the report this year and 2019, the findings. Really talk about that. That blue collar worker and the fact that they now in typically are that the direct, the large or sorry, more skilled workforce. They’ve been the ones that have really had that employer choice because they have that skill. And, you know, as unemployment has lowered, they’ve really been able. It’s been a very candidate driven market in that space. But what this voice, the blue collar worker is finding is that in thousand and nineteen, the blue collar worker, unemployment was down from 13 percent to 3.3 percent. That is a 75 percent decrease. And that is has had a significant impact. If you’re thinking about the supply and demand in that space, a space that typically people thought walloped a spring in a staffing company. And we can easily replace this talent and not to to, you know, degrade what they’re doing. It’s just that was as a segment that was seen as easier to replace than, say, a skilled engineer, Ryder, a commodity engineer, almost commoditized. Absolutely. So now in that same in that same study, they found that hourly workers there was eight hundred and 4000 open blue collar jobs with only 700000 employers.


[00:36:02] I mean, workers available. So the hourly workforce is now so much more empowered than, you know, they really have ever been before. And it is, you know, causing that turnover. You know, that’s going to have a direct Riphat impact, impact on that on, you know, the company that’s not focusing on. Now we’re going to talk about culture, but the company that’s not focusing on the compensation piece and that dollar extra hour or even 50 cents extra at that at that level. You know, in in that same voice of a blue collar worker, they found that turnover is expected to rise in manufacturing across the Supply chain from 20 percent to 56 percent in 2020. And that’s mainly due to this empowered workforce and the choice of employer. So I think one of the things we probably should focus on today is how do you become that employer of choice that you mentioned, you know, earlier on in and it’s not just compensation. I mean, I think that is important, but that, as we said, you know, can have a significant impact, especially if you’re looking at that internal equity. But the other big piece that we’ve mentioned. And that was one of those three takeaways that I had from two thousand and nineteen is that culture piece. And I think that is a way, as you know, Travis, you mentioned earlier, it’s free almost.


[00:37:24] You know, it it is also not a line item on European al. Right. That wow. Pay is still a primary factor, of course, in accepting a job culture. I would argue and now and I Travis, if you agree. But I think it’s a close second, if not at times in this day and age becoming more important today.


[00:37:44] I agree completely. Again, the way that I that I that I say when I’m talking with a new prospect or a company that we’re going to potentially partner with is pay is going to get them to the door. Yep. It’s your job to do the rest to keep them right. They what kind of plans you have in place? What kind of incentive programs you have in place? We’re going to recognition programs you have in place. What kind of development and training programs do you have in place? Because having those will keep them engaged within your company and they’ll feel a part of your company because that’s essentially what you want when somebody when a company comes to us, probably 80 percent of our businesses. His contract to hire, they’re looking to hire full time people. We have, you know, corporate and leadership goals to place full time people, even though that means people coming off of our books, I guess. But that we know that that comes back full circle in the form of referrals. And we’re doing the right thing. Right. We’re getting people full time jobs. And I think the engagement level is so much higher when you have those in play. The companies we work with now that have an attendance incentive, a you know, a employee of the month or week recognition program are, you know, lunches catered every four. For certain achievements, for productivity. You know, all this stuff goes into into somebody’s mind when they’re thinking about leaving for an extra dollar. Zarrella’s.


[00:39:01] So if I can. Yeah. What I love, Jessica, what y’all both of our speaking to is the empowerment of the hourly worker. And what I find fascinating and very it is just I think it’s an uplifting movement and the industry is that after years and years of the law, these hourly workers not being engaged, being thought of. To your point, as a commodity, being underpaid now all of a sudden just you point they are empowered and that’s a good thing for everybody. I really believe it made me may, you know, some leaders. Managers have to kind of tweak their operational model and financial model. But, you know, folks at the same time, other studies have shown where some of these some of these hourly workers are working two jobs just to pay bills just to just to break even. So weigh in. Especially in the D.C. environment, this movie’s fulfillment centers these things that are driving e-commerce. What is that? How is that playing out? How is it how is how is the empowerment of workers while still trying to manage a bottom on? What do you see in there?


[00:40:07] So, I mean, it’s a balancing act. Right. And when you look at it, a lot of these major d.c’s have call it, you know, $3million, you know, budgets for labor. Something like that. And when you really break down the cost of moving to a dollar extra an hour, that would bring them to a market rate. It’s single digit percentage of their labor budget. So let’s look at another line item on your on your on your PNL. Where can I get, you know, three percent of my labor budget from to make this adjustment? So you’re kind of moving the chess pieces around, knowing that people who are your number one asset. And if you ask that question any any business leader, they’re going to agree with you yet. It’s one of the only industries that I’ve found that traditional supply and demand principles aren’t followed. When it comes to the wages, certainly it’s in it. And it’s and it’s tough. And it’s we’re out there making promises that we’re going to be able to be an extension of you. Right. From a recruiting standpoint. And yes, we’re going to market your position. We’re going to come sit down with you on the same side of the table. We’re going to learn your business. We want to educate you on some of the workforce trends that we’re seeing and we want to hear your workforce challenges before we even get started. We want to sit down in the role of the position that we’re we’re recruiting for and understand what what goes on that so we can build up front expectations. But at the end of the day, if you if you are hiring for a forklift position in one of these d.c’s and paying $12 an hour for it, there are 20 different companies within a 10 mile radius that are paying 14 and 15 because not every company is is below the market. All right. That’s right. I mean, that’s why there is a market set and there’s a high and there’s a low. Right.


[00:41:50] But hiring managers need to be realistic about what these low lower pay rates are going to get them. Right.


[00:41:57] Right. And it’s I mean, you pay for what you get for. These are simple concepts. So we know of. Right. I know that if I if I go to Chick-Fil-A, I know what I’m going to get. It’s consistent. It’s good, but it’s not the lowest cost I can go down. I can go to McDonald’s and go Dollar Menu if I want to.


[00:42:13] But, you know, and oftentimes they don’t have to find that 3 percent in there as another line item because productivity increases enough if they’re innovative or insightful enough to see or be able to look into the future. And I think, you know, that’s so hard when you’re looking at a monthly PNL, what’s the risk that in it is? It’s absolutely at risk. But to your point, the best price we can take is with our talent. Right. And who we can retain, especially that right talent.


[00:42:40] And on the ones that I think business leaders and hiring managers and in these new general managers of these facilities need to understand that when we say we want to get the pay rate to market are higher. We’re not saying that that money is the silver bullet. Right. Right. We’re also advising them, too. Do you have the incentives with it? Right. Do you have recognition? Do you have training and develop them? Because it’s not it’s not pay. If you just throw money at it, your problems will not be solved. Right. Because if you have a crappy environment to work in but pay above market rate, people will leave to go to a better environment. Yeah. And take less money.


[00:43:17] Well, I think the big thing for anybody, regardless of if you are blue collar or white collar or in a sea level, you want to feel part of the team and you want to feel appreciated, not just a number on the payroll. And I think that you mentioned a lot of the different things that you’ve seen your clients do in regards to building that culture. They’re easy, low cost or no cost. Tina, the recognition. That’s no cost. Right. You know, you put it you put someone’s picture and employee of the week up on the bulletin board and the you know what that’s going to. The impact that has on on everybody is a very low cost, high impact. I’ve seen manufacturers I think you mentioned some, you know, bringing in food trucks a month to to for lunch and and actually taking a little bit of a lunch break and allowing them, you know, to enjoy the enjoy themselves and then redesigning brake work rooms to be more less of dingy. And you know, that typical manufacturing I’ve read recently an article and insults and pictures of as a manufacturer in Greenville that had redesigned just this open air, really beautiful break room. And I thought, you know, you see that in corporate offices and see that. But how great that they get to walk in and enjoy.


[00:44:36] A space that’s a less manufacturing, you know, Ford Motor Company is revamping their entire corporate center up in Dearborn, Michigan, not just for some of those things, but but in general taking into consideration some of the generations coming into the workforce. How can they better compete? How can we have a workforce, a work place layout that encourages some of things that that thereafter and that are important to them?


[00:45:03] And Rob Cook, I know we got to probably press on here, though. All that’s all that stuff, the unique spaces, the the the catering to to the millennial generation or whatever generation you’re catering to. Right. Hopefully all of them. All right. But I mean, let’s be honest. Millennials are the number one. That’s right.


[00:45:21] You know, and they’re the highest percentage in our workforce now. And that crazy. It’s we have crossed that threshold. Yeah.


[00:45:28] And so again, I Lu I I loop those into a lot of the get them to the door strategy. Right. One one piece that we’ve seen it that’s overlooked in distribution centers and manufacturing is supervisor training. So many times your studs on the line are the ones that get promoted to lead position that getting promoted into a supervisor position. But they’ve never had training on how to lead. They’ve always been peer to peer. So when they go from peer to peer to peer to leader, it’s challenging. And, you know, some some. I’m not saying all, but some can can get a little bit of the power trip. Yeah. And we’ve seen that happen in many facilities now. One one of the successful facilities that we work with right now, their management and and supervisors on the lines are amazing. We came in there and kind of revamped their entire process. We’re doing kind of trickle in town as needed. We kind of streamline that to a scheduled orientation class while we’re in there. And they’re in there and they present and then we walk the floor. We do a lot of engagement and there’s a lot of incentive programs along with it. It took us about six months, but we flipped, flip them from about 70, 80 percent turnover to hovering right around 25 percent. Wow. And but it’s it’s the hundred and ten percent buy in from both sides is what is what God got to say. We don’t have a silver bullet to say, hey, come in and do this and do. Yeah. And we’ll we’ll and we’ll fix it. No. Like it was a true partnership. We had to have the buy in of that company’s leaders to be able to do something like this. So I just wanted to note, you know, kind of going back to your question on what I see. The supervisor training is so, so, so key and time spent.


[00:47:10] I mean. You know, the return on that time again. Everything in manufacturing boils down to the second right. Or in D.C. boils down to the second. Especially in this Amazon world of two day delivery. But there is that time on the front end that the significant impact it has, I think, is something that’s overlooked too often for sure.


[00:47:33] No. No easy buttons, no magic wand. No, no. It’s to be two sides of the talent equation. balton and driving change. Two quick things. And then and we’re going to switch over to some bold predictions from these two business leaders and what they’re what to expect in 2020. So first, I can’t Miura who this came who are quoted from, but it might have been Brand Dayvon. He meant Sheer or someone mentioned I don’t care.


[00:47:59] This is from the come by the voice. The. Of the D.C. worker. I don’t care about your pizza party. Show me that you care about me. You know both. Yea, speaking towards that. And then secondly, I was on a webcast with some folks and there was a senior level supply chain leader in the apparel business that made your observation is as an industry we’ve got to stop thrones. throwing shade at millennials because to your point, there are the plurality, if not the majority of folks that are here and that they’re leading things there. They’re taking over. They’re people that are very capable. And unfortunately, my child experiences, I think inevitably you go to spend a day at a industry event or networking event, whatever someone’s someone may be. A couple people make a millennial joke and it’s just so out of place. It’s just, you know, we we’ve got to change it as an industry, to your point, to get them to the door. All right. All right. Because genze, I think it’s all step the other day, there’s already 5 percent. The workforce in the U.S. is genze.


[00:49:01] Well, and, you know, raising on that point, I mean, one of the big things in culture out there is that I read somewhere recently that 40 percent of millennials listed when they work as a priority rather than a preference. Right. And that is something I mean, and it can’t be done in, you know, higher dynamic can provide a remote. You know, PACKER that’s just not going to happen. Our forklift driver maybe went to him. But as of right now, that is that’s not going to happen. But on the higher level and when you look across the supply chain, on the procurement side, on. The you know, the even director level.


[00:49:42] You know, there there might be some opportunities for looking at that differently. And that is very hard for the traditional mindset leader to think of. But when you think of traffic in Atlanta or these big cities getting back that our two or three, two, you know, of productivity may be worth the. And we’re seeing a lot of people start to try that.


[00:50:07] A lot of large companies, flexible try and trunk’s creative. Yeah. With what’s not going to note in the businesses that got burned down. If you let Jim or Sally leave it that, you know, 3:00 p.m. a couple hours earlier the afternoon. Right.


[00:50:21] To lutely. Yeah. I think there’s, um. And that’s something that is has been. A roadblock to so many, I was on a phone with a candidate on Friday who said, well, I get two days at home right now and she is a senior buyer and very productive with a large organization, has done extremely well in her career and she can manage that.


[00:50:47] And she said, I’m not saying no. I went out to dinner. Yes. She said, I don’t I don’t need a write off at that, you know, as I’m learning the processes and the essay piece of this organization. But if that’s not somewhere in the future in their mindset, then it’s probably not where I need to be.


[00:51:05] That is set. So let’s shift gears here. I think that’s a good point because we’re probably. Ah, my hunch list is that we’re gonna see more and more of folks that want to work in cities like Atlanta or Houston or or overseas somewhere that have challenges, whether it’s public transit or traffic. And they want some flexibility to get around that. That may or may not be, you know, what’s what the future holds. But speaking of 2020 or or 2021, you know, kind of the future, looking, looking ahead and round the corner, what are we expecting from a talent market? And Travis, this time we’ll start with you.


[00:51:39] Ok. Before we go there, we have the bullet point because we got a really good conversation there and my my lessons learned quickly. Bullet point and please. 2019 was simply a simplification of process, whether in your sales, operations, recruiting, onboarding all the above. Simple is better. Don’t ever complicate things. Then to touch on tech and technology within the recruiting space. Technology is never going to replace the human touch recruiting because it takes empathy and emotion to really measure for a culture fit. So use technology as a tool. It’s a technology should be used to make your employees better, not do the job for them so that I wanted to make sure a huge yeah.


[00:52:23] The West said I wanted the previous conversations that until the bots learn empathy. You know it’s right. Everyone’s going to have plenty. But. But speak to kidding aside, speak to that. Some of the beliefs that we’ve heard quite a bit that I’m I buy into that if you’re willing to learn and willing to apply what you learn and get out your comfort zone like this technology and open up new doors and new opportunities for these folks, right?


[00:52:52] Correct. Correct. Yes. It’s upscaling of current talent right now. And if you have the right attitude, if you have the you know, the propensity to learn and want to learn and ask for more and have that, you know, stocking shelves at four, four, thirty five an hour, you dad that kind of work ethic, you know, the you know, the slingin pretzels in the mall, the, you know, tossing walls out shop just to make an extra buck. I mean when you have that drive and you have that work ethic and on top of that have a good attitude. I think, you know, sky’s the limit for this, right?


[00:53:25] You’re gonna be OK. Yeah, you’re gonna be you’re gonna be fine.


[00:53:28] And there’s there’s evidence to back that up. You know, I think that the repetitive jobs, those are going to be replaced by robots. There’s there’s no question. Right. You know, anything that’s repetitive and doesn’t doesn’t require that extra work ethic or, you know, or bank or bathroom break.


[00:53:43] Yeah. All those things that can absolutely be replaced.


[00:53:47] But there is, you know, a Deloitte study last year found that this fourth, you know, Industrial revelation or Technical revelation that we’ve hit on a little bit is really more likely to create more jobs than to replace jobs. So I think there’s a lot of good news in that that is not touted. The fear mongrels are out there saying, you know, your job is gonna be taken away when really if we go back to that training piece, we can upskill our current workforce to really be there. You know, so much more productive in combination that technology.


[00:54:19] Great points. And, you know, we could we could talk about this for hours. But if you are, you know, even even in those repetitive jobs. My hunch is that if you have a an outstanding performer, again, that is willing to learn something new, maybe they’ve been doing the same role for 25 years, but they haven’t missed a day. They are a pleasure to work around. They do what what is expected of them. They are. And you know, and they’re a great member of the team. That person is going to have opportunities.


[00:54:47] You know, they are not being replaced their job. Right in their current job. That absolutely. And that’s where looking at your workforce and and identifying those people and then saying, hey, I’m going to pay for this training. That’s right. And, you know, and then all the sudden you’re gonna get another dollar. Fifty an hour. I mean, it should it should benefit everybody. Yeah.


[00:55:07] Good point. So 2020 prediction? Yes.


[00:55:09] Sobbing It started off with a with a quote I pulled from the CEO of JP Morgan Chase. A four year college degree is not the only path to a well-paying job. This outdated thinking is partially to blame for holding back America’s growth and blocking many people’s access to opportunity. We must consider more inclusive means of hiring the best and most talent. People to meet the needs of our rapidly changing economy. For me, that that really just means what got us here won’t get us there. Right. So we have to have a different mindset going into 2020 on how we’re gonna find the right talent, because right now there’s nothing in the short term that’s going to flip this unemployment. Right. So we have to figure out how to upscale current talent, how to use unique ways to to to access the talent that’s available in the market to to take people from other jobs to recruit them away. Right. Like, how are we gonna how we gonna do that?


[00:55:57] Couple other role predictions kind of around the whole.


[00:56:02] Being close to the customer from it from a supply chain standpoint. So I think the the need for distribution and warehouse workers is only going to increase in 2020. You know, as the supply chains innovate, they’re going to get closer to their customers living in that 48 hour, one or two day delivery mentality. Retail big box stores like Wal-Mart and Target, you’re already seeing this happen. They are major competitors to your regional d.c’s because they in themselves are becoming their own d.c’s where they’re doing direct to customer from store shipments. MOBAs. Right. And then we’re going to see we’re also going to see many d.c’s. I’m not sure if you’ve heard the term yet. Yeah, I’ve read a few articles on it and I believe that they’re true. I think this is going to happen. It’s the less than 50000 square foot distribution center and not replacing the regional DC, but kind of closer urban centers. All right. Yeah.


[00:56:59] And we should clarify this for folks. May not that may not have heard that. So we’re going to hear that a thousand times more in 2020. Buy online pickup in store, I believe. Which target is rolling out new programs? Wal-Mart. My wife, a man, is our take advantage of some of Wal-Mart’s new e-commerce stuff there in micro warehousing. To your point right now, because at that final mile, especially in we’re talking about here in Atlanta, where we’re as much as I love love you been chamber, we do have some traffic challenges. Right.


[00:57:31] So how can that that not impact delivery? One quick side note. So we’re at an Austin, Texas, meeting with someone up in North Carolina and U.P.S. I believe that’s where their flight Ford is, is is is getting its early projects. And he described how the first time he saw a drone flyovers house carrying a package.


[00:57:55] Now, I was thinking that I hadn’t seen that yet. Now, and that’s going to be like all have yet to see that. Yeah, it’s gonna be like a shuttle launch back in. You know, this can be one of those first time you see something that you don’t forget.


[00:58:05] It’s a cat or a whole new type of skeet shooting.


[00:58:08] Right. Which side were some? You’re EFT. That’s why they’ll be rolling it out. And cities and not being a country that flies over the tail. I’m from the state of South Carolina. Now watch out. Well done. All right.


[00:58:23] So let’s shift gears. Jessica, what what’s your crystal ball? Tell me.


[00:58:27] You know, I think that despite some of the uncertainty surrounding manufacturing and we’re hearing that over and over in the news right now in the ongoing trade wars and the tariffs that are, you know, concerning and in different ways to different people. And, you know, some widely reported case for an impending recession. I think we’re hearing hearing all of that. Forbes recently published an article that this stating that the South in particular has a positive employment outlook for 2020. And I think that’s that’s great news. It’s definitely good news for the Supply chain City here in Atlanta. So I think that we’re you know, I think we’re going to see much of the same as we did in 2020 where the market will maintain a candidate driven market. Companies are going to have to get creative in order to attract and retain good talent. In fact, Glassdoor, they published an article on hiring trends that we’ll see in 2020. And culture was the very top of their list, not compensation. So I think a lot to what we talked about today of what candidates will be looking for. So I guess, you know, it’s imperative for organizations to really evaluate, evaluate what they’re offering in terms of compensation for both new hires, but also that internal equity that we spoke about, culture and advancement and training opportunities. And if companies are not getting creative in these areas and making the appropriate changes, I think they’re in for an uphill battle. And that’s going to, you know, impact across their supply chain and across their their organization. So I think that. Really sitting down and evaluating that and taking a a forward thinking approach is going to and looking at some of the low cost things we talked about today are no costs. Things that they can do to attract and retain that talent is going to have a significant impact in hiring in 2020. Mm hmm.


[01:00:20] And, you know, companies that don’t subscribe and don’t get better if they come visit Keith Trident 2020, as if it’s, you know, in 1987, they’re gonna keep falling behind.


[01:00:29] What did you what what was your quote? Travis, that we can end on? We don’t get we don’t get where we are by what we do something along.


[01:00:38] What got us here won’t get us there. Yeah, absolutely. Greene, that is a great book, by the way, too. Okay. Well, how about my Amazon cart? I mean, it’s a great it’s a great one.


[01:00:47] I think for me, the last kind of bold prediction is going to be that mix of A.I. and companies haven’t and now really started to strategically think of what their percentage of human in percentage of the AI is the right mix for their business to be successful. For instance, you know, higher dynamics we have I mean, there’s not a lot of A.I. and higher dynamics. Right. But we do have bots on the back end that are working in our back office and invoicing in accounting. So posting cash and that kind of thing, like the stuff that can be automated like that. And then kind of on the front end technology for recruiting. We do have an app work for h.d that’s, you know, continuously being built and advanced right now to be able to get the talent quicker, faster delivery expectations deliver, you know, work in the background while recruiters are on the phone or interviewing live. The app is working in the background, scheduling and pushing people to our branches because ultimately, like I said, technology is a tool to make us more efficient, not do the job for us. That’s why we want to push him to the branch so we can do do our due diligence for our client. So I think that mix, that strategic makes a human a machine. Like what? 2020’s is gonna be the year that that companies are going to have to actually have strategy around that, start building that into their into their forecasts.


[01:01:59] Dunn All I know were we’re right at the end here. I was at a women in manufacturing conference last year. Great group, boy. Yes. Awesome, great, awesome group.


[01:02:08] And AGCO presented. And it was such an amazing presentation on how they’re really charting the course for using that augmented and virtual reality in A.I. in both training their employees, but then also communicating their S&Ps and standards of work. So I don’t know if you visited their plant. I haven’t ever, but they have, you know, these goggles, these Google goggles that are showing this trust stuff.


[01:02:34] Yes, exactly.


[01:02:35] But showing the standards of work or, you know, maintenance or preventative maintenance within these goggles as they are actually working. And after she presented, you know, they open the floor for questions.


[01:02:50] And I did ask if they were seeing replacements of jobs and because they’re getting so technologically advanced. And she said that it’s absolutely been the opposite. They’ve seen an incredibly high return on their investment, but it has not eliminated one job. And in fact, has created more. So a perfect example. And I believe they even have some YouTube videos out there that show some of the innovations they’re doing. And it really is fascinating.


[01:03:17] I love it. I love it. So there’s so much stuff we couldn’t get to do here today. But you can if our listeners could part till we get a lot of passion, a lot of been there, done that expertise here. And I appreciate your sharing key takeaways from 2019 and what to expect in 2020. But most importantly, let’s make sure our listeners can can reach out and connect with both of you all and your organization. So, Jessica, what’s the best way for folks to reach out?


[01:03:42] Talentstream, probably LinkedIn. I’m I’m on it day in and day out. It’s a great recruiting tool. So we are always connecting and networking on LinkedIn so you can find me. I’m Jessica Clayton on LinkedIn and founder of Talentstream.


[01:03:57] Perfect. And we’re include your link in link on the show notes to make it even easier. Travis, about yourself.


[01:04:04] Same. LinkedIn’s a great spot to get me. That’s consistent. I’m on it quite often. But for hire dynamics, you can follow us on on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, all social media platforms.


[01:04:16] Our Web site w w w dot hire dynamics dot com as H R E Gharem x dot com. See what we did there?


[01:04:24] Yes, very clever.


[01:04:26] And again, Travis Turner, director of Business Development, Direct message me. I’ll call you right back. Fantastic. And you’ll include our Web site. I imagine we sure will. All right. You didn’t ask him to Suzanne?


[01:04:40] I asked now. Good stuff. Jessica Clayton, Talentstream, Travis Turner. How the power dynamics really enjoyed the conversation to have your back. Maybe halfway through 2020, we’ll figure out what we got right as a group and what we may have missed. There’s always curveballs, right? Yeah, especially in the world talent. So appreciate your time. Gram for just a second. A cover, a quick couple of quick events before we wrap up to our audience. You can check out any of the stuff that we’re up to at the Supply Chain Now Radio dot com, especially the events tab. We’re gonna be out in Vegas at the reverse Logistics Association conference and expo is a mouthful. February 4th through the 6th. I think registration is still open there. We’re still built building our interview schedule. A lot of fascinating thought leadership around returns and reverse Logistics. You can learn more about that global group at R L. A dot org mutex. Coming back to Atlanta. I think both of your rep mode x 2018. One of the largest, if not the largest supply chain trade show in North America. mutex 2020’s gonna be here March 9th through the 12th. And as much as we’re excited about that, we’re gonna be streaming Lafta out of either are there or got to slouch in. But our Atlanta Supply chain awards is being hosted by Madox on Tuesday, March 10th. I know both of you all were big parts of that last year. This is the second year of the event we’re going to look at bigger this year. We’re excited about Kristian Fisher, present CEO of Georgia-Pacific is our keynote. QAM Cooper is our emcee. Two incredible leaders there. Pretty remarkable. One, two punch and registration, nominations and sponsorship are all open, in particular nominations.


[01:06:24] If you have a presence, you have to be based in Atlanta. And the 9 County metro Atlanta area is much bigger than even folks living here. Gives it gives it credit for. But if you have a presence here, if you have an operation or if your team here, you have some kind of presence here in the metro Atlanta area, you’re eligible for one of our 12 or 14 awards we’re currently taking nominations for. Check that out at Atlanta Supply chain Awards, And by the way, mutex is free to attend MO Showcase Modise X show dot com. One last event. Amy Atlanta. 20:20 Lean’s summit is coming back to Atlanta, May 4th to the 7th. We’re going be there streaming live on day 1 of that event. And Amy, by the way, do you know y’all may already know this. The Association for Manufacturing Excellence is bringing their big show to Atlanta in 2021. So thousands of folks all are very passionate about manufacturing and continuous improvement. Amy, dot org for more information. Okay. Big thanks to our guests today. Jessica Clayton Talentstream. Travis Turner Hard UNAM X. We’ll make sure we include links on the show notes. I’m sure our audience members will enjoy speaking and engaging with both of your social media or otherwise. As much as we have to our audience, be sure to check out other upcoming events, replays of our interviews, other resources at supply chain now radio AKAM Fanous on Apple podcast. Spotify, YouTube. Where else you get your podcast from? Be sure to subscribe. You got Missy thing on behalf the entire team. Scott Luton here wishing you a wonderful week ahead and we’ll see next. Tom Owen. Supply chain. Gates.

Featured Guests

Jessica Clayton is Founding Partner of TalentStream. She is a cum laude graduate of Clemson University with a Masters Degree from The Citadel. Jessica grew up in the staffing industry and worked for a national staffing company before launching TalentStream in 2013. In addition to leading her company, Jessica enjoys giving back to the Greenville (SC) community and spending time with her husband and three children. A former Teacher of the Year in South Carolina, she has served as a volunteer leader at a wide variety of organizations, to include Ronald McDonald House, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and the Red Cross. Jessica serves as Chair of Career Development on the APICS Industrial Crescent Board of Directors, where she’s been instrumental to launching Supply Chain 101 in the Upstate, an education enrichment program aimed at spreading awareness of the Supply Chain industry in elementary schools. Jessica also maintains active professional memberships in SHRM Greenville. A member of Christ Church of Greenville, Jessica serves on the Annual Giving Cabinet, as well as the Children’s Ministry committee. Learn more about TalentStream here:

Travis Turner serves as Director of Business Development for Hire Dynamics, a leading staffing and recruiting firm. Specializing in contact centers, logistics, manufacturing operations, and office support services, Hire Dynamics’ performance is best measured by the loyalty of clients, talent, and employees. With a Net Promoter Score of 73% among clients and 67% among talent, the firm is over 3x the industry average for talent and over 9x the industry average for clients, placing it in the top 1% of staffing companies. Prior to his current role at Hire Dynamics, Travis served as National Sales Accounts Manager with Coyote Logistics. He earned his BS in Business Finance from Georgia Southern University, where he was the 2003 Baseball Team Captain. Travis also holds the Certified Staffing Professional (CSP) designation from the American Staffing Association. Connect with Travis Turner on LinkedIn, follow Hire Dynamics on Twitter and learn more about the organization here:


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Billy Taylor


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

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

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

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

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Kim Reuter


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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Allison Giddens


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

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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

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

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Tandreia Bellamy


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

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

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

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

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Marty Parker


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

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

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jake Barr


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

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Marcia Williams


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

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera


Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey University, class 2019. Upon graduation she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (GCLOG) 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. Former Data Analyst within the airport industry in Latin America at Pacific Airport Group, performing benchmarking reports and predictive analysis of future market behavior.

Currently working as Sr. Staffing Analyst within the S&OP team in Mexico at the biggest ecommerce company in Latin America: Mercado Libre. Responsible for workforce forecasting and planning through the analysis of demand, productivity, capacity, cost & time constraints. Sofia self identifies as Supply Chain Ambassador, sharing her passion for the field in her daily life. She has been recognized as upcoming thought leader in the field and invited to participate in several podcasts (Freight Path Podcast, Supply Chain Revolution Podcast, Let’s Talk Supply Chain, Industrificados) to discuss topics such as digital transformation, automation and future skillsets for supply chain professionals.

She is a frequent featured guest at Supply Chain Now and appointed co-host for their new series Supply Chain Now en Español. Global Ambassador for ISCEAs Sustainable Supply Chain Professional Certification (CSSCP) and keynote speaker at World Supply Chain Forum 2021 by ISCEA Indonesia.

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Karin Bursa


Karin Bursa is the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year and the Host of the TEKTOK Digital Supply Chain Podcast powered by Supply Chain Now. With more than 25 years of supply chain and technology expertise (and the scars to prove it), Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and share their success stories. Today, she helps B2B technology companies introduce new products, capture customer success and grow global revenue, market share and profitability. In addition to her recognition as the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year, Karin has also been recognized as a 2019 and 2018 Supply Chain Pro to Know, 2009 Technology Marketing Executive of the Year and a 2008 Women in Technology Finalist. 

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Vin Vashishta


Vin Vashishta is the author of ‘From Data To Profit’ (Wiley 2023). It’s the playbook for monetizing data and AI. Vin is the Founder of V-Squared and built the business from client 1 to one of the world’s oldest data and AI consulting firms. His background combines nearly 30 years in strategy, leadership, software engineering, and applied machine learning.

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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Vicki White


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

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