Supply Chain Now
Episode 276

Episode Summary

“Bad companies are destroyed by crisis, Good companies survive them, Great companies are improved by them.”

– Andy Grove, Former Chairman and CEO of Intel

 

This podcast marks the second installment of a new Supply Chain Radio Now podcast series: Supply Chain Today and Tomorrow featuring Mike Griswold, Vice President of Research at Gartner. He joins Supply Chain Now each month to share industry trends and observations. Mike specializes in retail, with a particular focus on forecasting and replenishment, and responsible for Gartner’s popular ‘Top 25 Supply Chains’ ranking.

In this podcast, Mike focuses on how companies can “win in the turns” as he puts it, setting themselves up for success in unpredictable business or economic conditions. He shares his advice with Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Scott Luton and Greg White in three pillars:

– Strategy: Always remember, if you are only looking at cost, you will make some bad decisions from a strategic perspective

– Cost: Even in tough times, companies must implement a cost management discipline that allocates resources and executes plans while spurring innovation

– Talent: Companies should aspire to be the place to work – especially in tough economic times

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, colleges, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts. 

 

[00:00:29] Hey, good afternoon. Scott Luton here with you, love Owen Supply chain. Now welcome back to the show Today Show. We’re continuing one of our newest mini series, Supply chain Today and tomorrow with Mike Griswald. Each month we’ve been spending time with Mike Griswald, who is with Gartner. Mike is has been sharing his insights and perspective on what’s going on in the world of Supply chain, especially from a retail perspective. Today, we’re gonna be sharing some of the key takeaways from Gartner research that will share some of what companies are doing to move ahead of the pack in today’s ever changing global business environment. So stay tuned as we look to increase your leadership IQ. 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, YouTube, Spotify, wherever your podcast from. As always, we’d love to have you subscribe to the same thing. Let’s think a few of our sponsors that allow us to bring these best practices innovative ideas to you, our audience. They range from the Effective syndicate Vector Global Logistics Supply chain Real Estate dot com U.S. Bank more. You can check out each of our sponsors own the show note of this episode. So let’s welcome in my fearless co-host on today’s show. Once again, Greg White Serial Supply chain, tech entrepreneur and trusted advisor. Greg, how you doing?

 

[00:01:51] I’m doing great, Scott. I wish we had a camera on us so you could see how excited I am. Truly.

 

[00:01:59] I loved this time with Mike every month. You know, it’s just a great. Great point of view to get from not just one of the premier organizations, but in my mind one of the premier people who keep their eye on Supply chain round the world.

 

[00:02:14] So absolutely. And this is the second installment of the series and we had a lot of feedback and of interest in the first episode. So we’re going to continue that trend. And with no further ado, let’s welcome in our special guest, Mike Griswald, BP Research with Gartner. Mike, how you doing?

 

[00:02:33] Scott doing well, Greg. Thank you for that. Always good to spend time with you guys. And hopefully we did not turn anyone off after the first episode. I’m looking forward to episode number two, what country we as we thought we would.

 

[00:02:47] We had a lot of great feedback from our audience, including some Lu audience members that stumble across our channel based on this first episode. Looking forward to the second installment now. We’re going to dove right in. So, Mike, for starters, you know, all three people may not be familiar. Tell us more about the organization and what it does.

 

[00:03:06] Sheer. So Gardiner’s the world’s leading research and advisory company. We equip leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission, critical priorities and build the successful organizations that tomorrow. We do that through research, through inquiry, through our events and just through day to day interactions that we have with thousands of clients across the supply chain for sure. But also Gartner’s heritage is on the EITI side. The Supply chain practice, we just celebrated our 10 year anniversary from an acquisition perspective of the Amarr assets, which is where I came from. So we’re certainly excited to to be part Gardner and bring that supply chain insights to to people and organizations around the world.

 

[00:03:56] Wow.

 

[00:03:58] I can’t believe it’s been 10 years. That’s amazing.

 

[00:04:00] It doesn’t seem like we we said the same thing. Same thing, Greg, when we just kind of saw that in a in a company meeting the other day. It’s the time has gone by very fast. And when you think about the growth that the Supply chain business has seen being part of Gartner, it’s it’s pretty incredible.

 

[00:04:19] Yeah, a lot of great mechanisms that Gardner has in place to help our business grow. And I think more importantly, allow us access to Supply chain professionals and share the insights and the research that we have that hopefully people find helpful and actionable.

 

[00:04:37] I can tell you as a practitioner services and a technology provider all at different times in my life, I can tell you that it’s valuable really, no matter where you land in Supply chain. I mean, if you’re a manufacturer, retailer, source or sorcerer or you provide solutions to the industry, everybody can get a look at where things are, where things are going and what the market desires at any time. And, you know, you guys do a great job of remaining objective and neutral. So I really appreciate what you guys do and have done for a long, long time.

 

[00:05:15] Thanks, Greg. Appreciate that.

 

[00:05:17] Mike, before we dove into to start talking shop and in some of your insights, where do you spend your time in your role?

 

[00:05:24] So I have three main coverage areas. The first is forecasting and replenishment for retail. So my background is retail. I spend most of my time with retailers, so helping them with forecasting replenishment, inventory management, automated ordering, all those types of things. Second area, which is growing rapidly and my sense is at some point will be a topic for conversation amongst the three of us is the retail contextualisation of sales and operations, planning and sales and operations execution and in particular sales and operations execution has has really been taking off in terms of interest by retailers and really tried to align short term planning and execution. And then most recently, I picked up responsibility for our Supply chain Top 25 program. So the methodology methodology by which we create the listed and publish the results and talk about what those leading companies are doing and hopefully that will be a topic for us and maybe closer to the May June timeframe when we finish the research and we publish the results. So those are the three things that really occupy most of my time. Well, I’m an analyst here at Gartner.

 

[00:06:40] Outstanding. We know so clearly we’ve moved into the New Year. So many opportunities here in in. You’ve already touched on some of the really practical research that the Gardner organization provides and conducts a in our prep conversations. We talked a lot about the turns industry. So when you hear that phrase, what are some of things that come to mind?

 

[00:07:05] Well, it’s interesting, Scott Gregory, this this whole idea of winning in the turns from Gartner research perspective actually spawned out of some research that came out of the finance practice. So one of the one of the many benefits of being acquired by Gartner is not only that, the mechanisms that Gardner has in terms of building businesses, but also just the cross-pollination of ideas that happens from, you know, the I.T. side, the finance side and other elements of Gartner. And what the finance team started to research is this idea of a turn. And, you know, we talk a lot about turns from a financial perspective or an economic perspective. And those are pretty obvious. But turns can take lots of different forms. There could be geopolitical turns, environmental, social, competitive. I would argue, you know, eight, 10 years ago, Amazon created a turn in the retail industry. And I would argue people are still trying to respond to that. So what we’ve identified through this research are some things, some of which may frankly even be counterintuitive around how successful companies are navigating their way through these turds. You know, we have a quote from Andy Grove, who was the former global CEO of Intel. He said, Bad companies are destroyed by crisis.

 

[00:08:34] Good companies survive them. Great companies are improved by them. And I think part of what we’re trying to do in our supply chain winning in the turn’s is, is show people how turn’s certainly can be challenges and we’ll be challenges. But how can you get through them and and do more than just get through? How can we actually thrive? How can you separate yourself from the competition? How can you make your organization better in these in these tough times? And I think everyone recognizes that over the next three to five years there are going to be turns. We may not know what they are, but what our research has started to show is here are some things that you could do to start to prepare for the turns so that you become successful. So it’s it’s a fascinating time for us. You know, we’ve taken this research and really run with it. It’s the themes for the theme for hours. Our symposium conferences, it is at the essence of the top twenty five research that I’m doing. So we feel that this idea of learning how to win in the turns is going to be crucial for companies moving forward.

 

[00:09:48] So we will shift gears a little bit and then, you know, I know Greg has a few specific questions around some of that compelling research, in particular some of the finance media at Gartner has been conducting.

 

[00:09:59] Yeah. I mean, you talked, Mike, about that coming from the finance area and how it impacts companies when they assess their business from that standpoint. But as Supply chain is so tightly tied to to finance. Right.

 

[00:10:18] How are companies translating? That finding this concept of the turns right. This concept turns into I mean, maybe you can give us some concrete examples of how they’re turning that into similar action items. And in supply chain Sheer.

 

[00:10:38] Let me maybe take one Spatt one step back and just give you a factoid that is kind of at the crux of this idea of winning the turn. So, you know, as I mentioned, this came out of some deep research from our finance practice. And I think that the data point that resonates with me the most is over the past 20 years, only 60 companies across the Fortune 1000 and S&P exited.

 

[00:11:06] S&p Europe 350 had consistent year over year revenue and margin improvements and long term growth that exceeded their industry peers. So that the fact that Caillebotte. Exactly.

 

[00:11:21] So there have been lots of opportunities, I think, for companies to win in the turns, whether they recognize it or not, whether they saw them as turns, whether they defined them as a turn. Yet only 60 companies really took advantage of that. And I think to your point, Greg, what I want to talk a little bit about.

 

[00:11:40] Is what are some of those things that those companies did and maybe more importantly, what should people listening to this today start to be thinking about relative to whatever turn may be headed their way or whatever term they may be in right now?

 

[00:11:59] You know, lots of particularly in retail, I think it’s not hard to look through the paper and find headlines around retailers struggling, whether it’s closing stores, filing chapter eleven, you know, cutting costs, whatever it might be. So, you know, I think a lot of organizations in retail and even outside of retail are finding themselves in some form of a turn now. So what we’re hoping is that our advice can will resonate with folks and help them come to understand how can they get through these turn successfully.

 

[00:12:31] So share an example of somebody who if if not those those three criteria you just discussed before. Right. Growth, margin and long term growth is not there, but in some other ways are adapting to change in the marketplace, because I would argue that, you know, the terms that are coming, Adam, are not just the things you’ve described, but digital transformation and and customer expectation and and customer empowerment. Things like that. Right. So there are a lot of areas where companies can address those those changes in marketplace.

 

[00:13:09] Yeah. When we look at at the research, you know, what’s emerged across successful companies that are coming through the turns the way they want to. There’s really three pillars to this. One is around strategy. One is around cost.

 

[00:13:25] One is around talent strategy prepared to act confidently amid uncertainty. Well, I’ll talk a little bit about that in more detail. On the cost side, implement a cost management discipline to allocate and execute resources while spurring innovation. And that last piece, Gregg and Scott, is critical. How often have we read or heard from companies when things get tough? What’s the first thing they do right? They go right to the costs line. And, you know, hiring freezes and all those types of things. ECGs. Exactly. You know, to me, the sub key to this particular pillar around cost is, is the focus on spurring innovation. And what we see in companies that are successful coming out of the turns, you know, R&D as an example is not defunded. In fact, leading companies accelerate funding in R&D because they recognize that that may be one of the things that accelerates them through the turn it maybe one of those things that creates differentiation. The other area. Gregg, to your point that you just made that third pillar around talent position, talent to sustain progress and transformation. So people are being much more proactive in the search for talent. They’re looking for potential talent in competitors that maybe aren’t as nimble in the turn. Right.

 

[00:14:56] How do you become the place to work in tough times? How do you become the company people want to come and work for when things are tough because they know the organization is working on trying to get better through these turns? So those are the three pillars, Greg, that have emerged strategy cost in talent. And happy to talk about those a little bit more detail if you’d like, if if you’ve got a question around those in particular.

 

[00:15:24] Yeah. I mean, what is particularly interesting is just earlier today just recorded a session about innovation with one of the innovation centers here in Atlanta. And one of the key things that they talked about was talent and the attraction of talent and culture, a culture of being adaptable to change and innovation, creating an environment where people want to work. And I think I think so many people recognize that things are changing and that the well, this is always workforce before answer is even less acceptable now than it ever has been.

 

[00:16:04] So.

 

[00:16:06] I would love to hear, particularly on the talent front, and particularly because we’re in such a tight job market, right, the the the job seeker is in more has more options before them than they ever have before. How are companies and I don’t expect you to name them, but how are companies creating an environment where that’s attractive or how are they in other ways? Winning that war for talent if.

 

[00:16:39] Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, we we probably would. And I think as I think about this moving forward. Right. We may even want to position the order of of these pillars. Right. Because I would argue with our talent. It’s difficult to execute the strategy. And if you are only looking at cost, you will make some bad talent decisions from a strategic perspective. So in many instances, Greg, I agree with you completely. This is the place to start. I mean, the turns, as I just mentioned, they present an opportunity for companies, you know, to revisit, to revamp the playbook around how you think about hiring, develop in performance management. You know what? To your question, one of the things that these leading companies are doing, they’re doing an assessment of, you know, current state talent gaps and who outside of the organization may have some resources that can fill those gaps. So things like identifying your talent, competitors that are struggling, who in your market maybe isn’t as response of the turn as you are and start looking for their best talent. Right. The best people want to be on a winning team and they’re more likely to move during this time if they don’t see their company behaving as aggressively or as progressively as they’d like. You know, they also ask themselves a couple of questions. One is, you know, it does a little bit come back to strategy, which is are we aligning our resources to where the business will be investing? So in return, companies aren’t necessarily hiring everybody everywhere.

 

[00:18:25] They’re much more pragmatic around where the business investor is investing in. Do we need to augment resources in that very tactical area? So rather than, you know, where you see some companies, you know, we’re not going to fill any vacancies. Right. We have a hiring freeze that’s always popular. These leading, leading, winning the turns. Companies are saying, hey, you know, we may not hire as much as we did in the past, but we’re going to continue to hire and we’re going to hire very specifically for these needs that align with the business. But probably the biggest thing I see in these winning in the turns companies, Gregg and Scott, is they recognize the quest for talent does not switch on or off as economic cycles change again. How often have we seen as people start to struggle, you know, that idea of we’re not going to bring anyone due at the organization. All those things start to happen. And leading companies recognize, hey, we need to keep looking for talent regardless of the economic cycle that we’re in. So when we talk to companies, you know, one of the things we ask them to think about doing now is look at your internal strengths and weaknesses. Do it analysis. And how quickly and easily can the organization respond to some of these turns and achieve the goals with the talent you have and if you don’t have the talent to go find it. I think the other things that other thing that Keith companies do really well.

 

[00:19:53] Is looking at what if scenarios, right? If we’re if the company is going to go in this direction during a turn. What do we need from a talent perspective? If we’re going in a second or a different direction, you know, what kind of talent do we need that that does certainly tie into the pillar around strategy and having a couple of different strategies at being flexible, being able to pivot and those types of things. But again, you can’t not do that without talent. And I think if there’s one takeaway for the listeners and hopefully they’ll be more than one, but the one right now is, you know, if you find yourself in a turn, you need to resist the urge to cut the talent side, because at the end of the day, I think if we were to do a deep dove of the research, those 60 companies that I mentioned, my sense is none of them cut that talent. They were very pragmatic around where they invested. But it’s a huge element, Gregg.

 

[00:20:54] We talk with companies including recruiting professionals that are waiting there in the trenches with this war for talent air that we live in, in in those discussions and with a lot of the leaders from those companies. One of the aspects of talent management that can often get lost in the shuffle and Greg mentioned it because it gets lost in the shuffle a lot when we go through a big negative economic downturn. And that’s talent development. What any insights or observations from your research and from your conversations that you’re seeing those companies that take talent and ongoing talent management seriously? Anything you’re doing that stands out from a development standpoint?

 

[00:21:40] Yeah, it’s a great question, Scott. I think a couple of things jump out. One, they recognize that development is important, that they would continue to invest in internal skill set upgrading for four associates. They would continue to fund higher education aspirations. They would continue to fund those self development initiatives that that baby attracted people to the company initially. Right. I mean, I often hear, you know, companies kind of, you know, this isn’t public. It’s the back channel of, hey, you know, we’re going to suspend tuition reimbursement for a couple of years. Right. To we kind of get the ship righted or, you know, if you were able to take, you know, six, you know, six out of the company training classes, now you can only take one. Right. It’s those types of messages that that are that that are sent that people really glom on to and say, wait a minute, if they’re not going to continually invest in my development, maybe I should start to look for a company that is doing some of those things or at least continuing, you know, what what they had been doing. So I think there there’s a lot of messages that people can send either consciously or unconsciously in some of these decisions they make. And I think it’s really important that as companies, you know, are experiencing these turns that they do whatever they can to send the right message around. Hey, we still need to invest in talent. We still need to acquire skill sets. We still need, you know, quality people to move us forward, to get us through the turn and hopefully have a spit out of the turn. You know, a better company than we were when we entered the turn. But, you know, if you don’t continue to invest, if you don’t continue to acquire, that just isn’t going to happen. Because one of you know, one of several things will happen.

 

[00:23:48] One, the the existing employee base will tend to grow stale because they will not have been exposed to do and emerging skillsets and or you’ll see a talent drain. Right. To my very first point. Right. sub1 that’s been doing their homework is going to reach into your organization, pull your best people and give them a better story around how their organization is going to move them forward better than their current state and they’re going to leave. And I think what happens is at some point you wait. If you don’t if you aren’t proactive and you aren’t investing, unfortunately, I think you get yourself into a tailspin that you can’t necessarily get yourself out of, because as people start to leave and you’ve already decided we’re not going to feel any people that leave or we’re not going to feel any open positions, that tailspin starts to happen. And you wake up some morning and you’ve got, you know, a skeleton crew that can’t keep the business moving. So, you know, Greg, I’m glad we started with this because I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to keep your eye on talent when you’re when you’re in a turn.

 

[00:25:03] I agree. And I think you’re you’re going to a really relevant point kind of in it inverse to the initial part of the discussion is you. It’s not only necessary to be aware of the talent that you have and to continue to motivate them. But it’s a great opportunity to upskill your team, right? Not not just through training. Right. And that sort of thing. But to consider who are the high performers and really create an environment where you retain those high performers and go and get additional high performers, possibly even shed some of your lower middle tier performers during this crisis time. For those companies that do take their eye off the ball from a talent standpoint, and it’s a great opportunity to really position your company from a proactive standpoint to be even better equipped than your competition.

 

[00:26:02] Yeah. Greg, you’re exactly right. I mean, a couple of companies that we work with, something as simple as they went through and they doubled the the the employee referral bonus. So, hey, go find someone to come work for us. And you know what? Here was what we were doing. We’re now going to double that because we recognize the need to acquire some of this talent. So subtle things like that reinforce the importance of bringing good people in. I think to your other point, Greg, you know, companies. You know, I think almost every company has some type has done some type of evaluation around their existing resources and said, hey, these are high performers. These are the high potential people and so on. I think that the what leading companies do, especially as they’re either in return or trying to get ahead of a turn they see on the horizon is that they start to create a, you know, must not lose list. Right. And they start to think about how do we continue to keep these must not lose people.

 

[00:27:11] And I think the other thing that’s interesting and I’ll and I’ll certainly date myself by this comment, what we’re finding in some of the research that we’re doing from a supply chain talent perspective, as we look at younger generational workers coming into the supply chain, this idea of retention, this idea of, you know, must not lose is becoming less and less monetary and more and more experiential. So in the past, maybe in my generation, you could throw money at this problem. I think today’s generation. Yes. They’re not going to work for free. But there’s so much more that they’re looking to get out of their work experience than just a paycheck. And I think that’s an area that all companies, I think really need to evaluate. Is is how how flexible is my overall compensation strategy and how generationally savvy is it? Because a lot of this talent acquisition is going to happen through a younger workforce.

 

[00:28:20] So that’s something that they’re motivated by their focus. Right, by a higher purpose, by the ability to create an impact. They’re motivated, motivated by companies with a clear cut and demonstrable vision. And companies that are into fair play. Right. So those companies that recognize the needs of of the incoming generation are positioned much, much better to win than those that just try to keep people by throwing the check out. Not that anybody’s going to turn down that check, but it’s not it’s not a differentiator anymore.

 

[00:28:55] I think you’re exactly right, Greg. And think about what that means around how this potentially ties these other two pillars together. So if you think about coming through and out of the turn, you think about your strategy. There needs to be an element in your strategy around. How are we going to position ourselves as a place people want to come to work? Right. So there’s that element to strategy. And then on the cost side, it’s like, OK, I may need to spend some money, maybe even in other areas. I may need to start to invest, for example, more in sustainability, CSR types of activities, because I know it supports the strategy and I know it’s what incoming talent wants to wants to hear and see demonstrated by a potential employer. So this all does start to come together. It needs to be, you know, a cohesive thought out strategy that links all three of these pillars. I think that’s the other I think that’s the other element that came out of the research is, yes, there are three pillars, but there but they are so intertwined in how strategy, cost and talent work together that you really you can’t think about them in isolation. Right there. There is it a there isn’t just a strategy for winning in the turns or is it just something you do around cost and there isn’t something you just do around talent? You really need to do all three. I think that’s what we’ve seen out of those 60 companies or so is their ability to bring all three of these pillars together successfully and to fit their particular environment.

 

[00:30:42] I mean, there’s not a playbook, right? There might be the ability to create a playbook for the. Condition the game you’re in in that turn for your company. But there’s not a you can’t go get a seven step list from somebody, so. So since we’ve talked about talent and how that empowers organizations, in a turn, I kind of go this direction. There are a lot of mixed signals in the economy right now. Right. The stock market is up, but transportation is foundering.

 

[00:31:14] To put it kindly, manufacturing is under pressure. Costs are getting higher. The retailer or I’m sorry.

 

[00:31:22] Consumers have have a lot of enthusiasm. But retailers have a lot of trepidation. You know, and it seems, though, and we’re hearing a lot more often it’s not if but when the next economic downturn or some would even argue prices is coming.

 

[00:31:38] So, you know, as we talk about these turns and companies that are particularly well positioned or getting themselves well positioned or know how to get themselves positioned in these turns, what are your thoughts on that?

 

[00:31:51] Is this one of or the next coming big turn?

 

[00:31:58] From an economic standpoint, yeah, I think Greg not being an economist, nor do I want to be an economist. I I I do think. I do think it’s more a win than if I think just because there seemed to be I don’t know if I would call them natural cycles, but there seem to be cycles that, you know, that that there is economic prosperity and then there are economic challenges. And I think the other or an other element to the winning in the turns research is to help people understand that most likely in the lifespan of an organization, you will face multiple turns. Some will be bigger. Some will be smaller. Some may be specific to your industry. Now, you know, you could have argued if I go back to Amazon, you could have argued, you know, eight, 10 years ago that retail was the only segment that was experiencing, let’s call it an Amazon turn. I if I think if you were to ask that question today with with all the things that Amazon is able to do, I would argue that they are they are either forcing or had the potential to force other industries into their own set of turns. And the only reason I bring that up is what I’m hoping is that through our winning in the turns, research organizations can start to plan ahead and not have to try to digest this research while they’re in the middle of a turn.

 

[00:33:33] Rather, they can digest the research and the learnings and the observations and start to ask themselves the question, is there a turn on the horizon for us and what is it and started to do. If we think about, you know, what I touched on a little bit in that strategy pillar, which is let’s start doing some scenario analysis, let’s start doing some what if? I mean, I think if companies were paying attention, not saying they weren’t, but leading companies would have already bid modeling as soon as the tariff discussions started. Right. As soon as that word was uttered, leading companies would have said, OK, tariffs could be a turn for us. What do we need to start doing now? Do we need to start finding alternative sources of supply? Do we need to start talking to our customer base and figure out, you know, if there’s going to need to be cost transference to our customer? However, we define him or her. How much are they willing to absorb? Right before they’re going to look for for another source for the product. So, you know, part of, I think, the mindset that people really want to get into it.

 

[00:34:48] What I’m hoping people will take away from our discussion today is, look, if you’re in a turn right now, here’s some things to do. The best way to not get in a turn is to get ahead of it. And here’s some things to be thinking about, you know, from an advanced planning and advanced scenario building, you know, what are those some scenarios that you could foresee yourself facing and how are you going to respond to those so that when one of those were to crop up and become a turd, you know, you already have your playbook built. It’s not going to be perfect. Right. That’s the other thing people have to recognize. I mean, I think was Mike Tyson said everyone has a plan until they get hit. Right. People are going to get hit. You’re going to get hit. Your organization is going to get hit. It’s the degree that you’ve prepared for that I think will be a key element to people’s success moving forward. So, you know, that’s that’s what our research is hopefully going to help people do, is, you know, get ahead of this. Be prepared. And then, you know, create a platform by which you’re going to continue to succeed and push the organization through whatever turn you might face.

 

[00:36:04] Like that is what makes you an outstanding analyst.

 

[00:36:08] As the diplomatic ability to dodge the economic question and still turn it into valuable information for companies.

 

[00:36:18] No, I think that I think you make a very good case. The economic crisis is just the big turn on people’s minds. And I think. Because of, you know, people having their eyes on certain. A parent or legacy type type turns, they might not have their eyes on the ones that are can impact them because look, the last economic downturn was so painful.

 

[00:36:47] This is the longest hangover of any economic crisis that I’ve ever seen in my life.

 

[00:36:52] And I think people are still sensitive and and hesitant to have that that unbounded enthusiasm that we had in the past. And because they are looking so hard for an economic downturn, they might miss other turns.

 

[00:37:10] So you’ve got to keep your eyes on, as you just said, a multitude of things, not this singular thing.

 

[00:37:17] And I think that’s you know, that’s an important understanding for companies to have. I really appreciate you really bringing that out. You know that your people are coming at you from all directions.

 

[00:37:29] Yeah. Here’s here’s the thing. Greg and Sky. And I’m a I’m a military history buff. I. I read a lot about military history.

 

[00:37:36] And I think it was MacNamara during the Vietnam War who said we have knowns and we have known unknowns. And I think it’s really important for companies either in return or trying to prepare for the turn that they don’t get there. You know, wrapped around the axle worrying about the known unknowns. Right. They are out there unknown for a reason. So what successful companies do is they invest a lot of energy in the knowns. They expend some energy in the known unknowns and they create the flexibility and the responsiveness to deal with those known unknowns. Too many, too many times. You know, companies, you know, spend 80 percent of their energy trying to predict stuff, which is a complete waste of mental energy, focus at what you feel confident, you know, create plans for what you know, you don’t know and then beeper, then, you know, create flexibility, responsiveness. That’s what successful companies are going to do.

 

[00:38:39] It sounds like forecasting. Doesn’t it, Mike? I mean, that’s really what it is. Yes.

 

[00:38:43] If you think about it, you have to predict what you can predict, what you think you can, and then prepare to respond to those things. You know, you can’t predict.

 

[00:38:53] Exactly. Just be flexible, as you’re saying, and and have a fleet of foot culture and operational methodology that allows you to respond quickly. Yeah, that’s great. Great guidance.

 

[00:39:07] Well, back to planning. It doesn’t have to be perfect in terms of being prepared to navigate through the turns. You know, reminds me of you mention military history. I love General Patent’s quote that a good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week. Exactly. Yes. Switching gears here we start close the interview. Love this stuff. This is exactly what we had in mind when we launch a series. Mike, so appreciate your time. You know, one of the great places where you can you can go find very practical insights and perspective and fellow leaders and gather these observations and best practices is that some of the Gartner events that take place globally. And Mike, you’ve got a big conference coming up right around the corner. Tell us more. We do.

 

[00:39:55] So for those of you that you know, listen to the to the podcast and are familiar with our events, you’ll know that for a number of years we’ve had our our big Supply chain conference in Phenix, Arizona. Because of the success of that event, we’ve elevated it to now a Supply chain symposium, which is the flagship event across all of Gardner folks that are familiar when the I.T. side will know that the size and the scale and the depth of I.T. symposium, you know, we’re going to start to bring that into the supply chain. So we have two of those, May 11th to 14th in Orlando in June 15th through the 18th in Barcelona. And, you know, people might be asking. So I’ve been to your Supply chain conference for years. You know, how is this different? So we’ve elevated the content. The the the symposium series are geared and really targeted for chief supply chain officers and their direct reports. So we’ll have specific content specifically for chief supply chain officers. We have two tracks of content just for them and then we’ve got content for their direct reports and planning, sourcing and procurement Logistics manufacturing. We also have content in some more cross cross process areas around supply chain technology, sustainability and the customer experience. So the lots, lots of content. So, you know, we we are expecting.

 

[00:41:31] Probably close to three to three and a half thousand people. It is. You know, we’d like to think of it as, you know, the must attend event if you’re interested in the Supply chain.

 

[00:41:41] And we’re really excited to be able to take this to to Orlando and really showcase what we have. As I mentioned, I think at the top of the podcast, you know, the theme for the for the symposium is Winning at the Chance. So we’ll have a lot of insights for, you know, similar to what we’ve just talked about in our short time together around you. How can Chief Supply chain officers think about getting their organization ready to win at the turns? But what I think is as valuable is those functional areas. So if I am the head of planning, how does my organization need to adapt to be able to win in the turns? From a planning perspective, do you know, does my approach to planning need to change like some of the things Greg and I talked about? So there’s just a lot of really good content for for supply chain leaders at both of these events. So we’re really excited.

 

[00:42:37] Absolutely. We are, too. And in general, if listeners want to reach out and connect with you or learn more about Gartner, what’s the easiest place to direct them to might share a part of that?

 

[00:42:51] The two easiest ways. Gardner dot com. All right. That will give you access to everything. That’s Gardner. There’s an advanced tab if you want to talk. Look at events probably for folks that are interested in reaching out. To me, it’s just Mike Griswald at Gardner dot com.

 

[00:43:05] Well, Mike, once again, what a great second episode we look forward to. Let’s go ahead. knock-out. Number three, we really enjoyed the conversation and Greg has as well. And to Greg. The hits keep on coming in the series, right?

 

[00:43:20] Well, look, I mean, when we have such quality guests on the show, you know, we’re gonna get this kind of content. I think it’s tremendously valuable. I believe that particularly what Mike is talking about is really timely right now, because the opportunity for you to create turns in your business or turns to come at you are so plentiful right now that you have to create a fleet of foot stance in your company. And this these are even just this small amount of information is tremendously helpful in creating a foundation for you to do that in your company.

 

[00:43:57] Absolutely great wealth that we’ll put there, Greg. So big. Thanks. Mike Griswald, Vise president analyst with Gartner. Thank you for joining us once again here today. Might we look forward to the third episode and to our listeners? We’re going to wrap up just on a quick announcement. If you want to see some of the events we’re gonna be at, we’d love to have you come out in person. You go to the events tab at Supply Chain Now Radio WSJ.com. If if there’s something that was said here today, you can’t find whether it’s on the Gartner Web site or our website. You can shoot us a note to our CMO. That’s Amanda at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com as best we can. We’ll look serve as a resource for you.

 

[00:44:36] So, Greg, we’ve got a lot of things coming up. We’ll be in Vegas in a couple of weeks. But one event in particular we won’t touch on is mutex 2020, which is coming up in March, right?

 

[00:44:45] Right. It’s the 9th to the 12th in Atlanta, Georgia, World Congress, Congress Center. That is thirty five thousand of your closest friends in Supply chain.

 

[00:44:57] And you know, it’s a great show. Lots of companies displaying their wares there.

 

[00:45:02] They are literally building small materials, handling tiny little warehouses in I say tiny. They’re 50 feet by 50 feet or whatever they are. So it’s a great opportunity to see what’s going on, what kind of technology is moving goods through the supply chain these days. And it’s it’s fascinating to look at us like I’ve told people before. It’s like Tonka toys for Supply chain Gates.

 

[00:45:26] Well, we’ll be streaming throughout the four days there at Moto X, the week of March 9th here in Atlanta. Maddox is also hosting our 2020 Atlanta Supply chain Awards. Nominations, registrations and sponsorships are all open for that Tuesday, March 10th. There with mutex as the backdrop. We look forward to featuring Christian Fisher, president and CEO of Georgia-Pacific, as our keynote mutex is free to go to go to mutex show dot com for more information. MDX showed up com and for more information about the awards program. Atlanta Supply chain Awards dot com. Looking forward and all of the events we’re gonna be at. You can check out on our Web site Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. Mike, thanks again. Really appreciate your time. Hope you have a wonderful weekend and week ahead, Greg. Always a pleasure. To our audience. Be sure to check out other other upcoming events, replays of our interviews, other resources at our Web site, Supply Chain Now Radio. RT.com. Find us an Apple podcast, SoundCloud, Spotify, wherever else you get your podcast from. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss great perspective like you’ve heard here today on behalf of the entire team. Scott Luton here wishing you a wonderful week ahead and we will see you next time on Supply Chain Now.  Thanks everybody.

Featured Guests

Mike Griswold serves as Vice President Analyst with Gartner’s Consumer Value Chain team, focusing on the retail supply chain. He is responsible for assisting supply leaders in understanding and implementing demand-driven supply chain principles that improve the performance of their supply chain. Mr. Griswold joined Gartner through the company’s acquisition of AMR. Previous roles include helping line-of-business users align corporate strategy with their supply chain process and technology initiatives. One recent study published by a team of Gartner analysts, including Mike Griswold is Retail Supply Chain Outlook 2019: Elevating the Consumer’s Shopping Experience. Mr. Griswold holds a BS in Business Management from Canisius College and an MBA from the Whittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire. Learn more about Gartner here: www.gartner.com

Hosts

Greg White

Principal & Host

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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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Joshua Miranda

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

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.

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Vicki White

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

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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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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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Greg White

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Host of TEKTOK

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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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

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

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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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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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jada Carson

Marketing Coordinator

Jada is a recent graduate of Old Dominion University, having earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications with a media studies concentration and marketing minor. Jada got her start producing content at 16 years old, while attending a radio and broadcasting journalism program in high school, and hasn't looked back!  She is an asset to the Supply Chain Now team as a media specialist, podcast and media producer, and production coordinator.  Outside of Supply Chain Now, Jada is a big Lakers fan, and also a music journalist and enthusiast.

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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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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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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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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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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