Supply Chain Now
Episode 293

Episode Summary

“Every company is a tech company these days – or wants to be perceived as a tech company.”

– Steve Koenig, Vice President of Research for the Consumer Technology Association


Companies are embracing consumer technology advancements for a number of reasons – to meet consumer expectations, to reinforce the perception that they are innovative, and because it is simply too expensive to keep doing things the ‘old way.’ As the owner and producer of CES, CTA has their finger on the pulse of trends in consumer electronics.

Keeping perspective on this rapidly changing market requires CTA to be involved in 25-30 B2B and B2C studies every year, focusing on tech-relevant human behavior, researching new use cases for existing technologies, and tracking evolving notions of privacy and security.

In this interview, recorded live at the Reverse Logistics Association Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, Steve shares some of the central ideas from his keynote presentation with Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton:

  • Tracking research and trends in consumer electronics power consumption
  • Advocating for legislation and policy that will help the US remain competitive on a global stage
  • How the IoT (Internet of Things) will evolve to become the Intelligence of Things in 2020 and beyond

Episode Transcript

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


[00:00:29] Good morning, Scott Luton. Back with you here on Supply chain. Now welcome back to the show. It’s a show we’re not broadcasting from Atlanta G-A, where we’re typically are Lu Supply chain City. We’re here in Las Vegas, Nevada. Continue our coverage of the reverse Logistics Association conference next. Spoke the center of the universe for all things returns and reverse Logistics. We’ve had the great opportunity to interview a wide range of thought leaders and supply chain leaders and get their takes on a variety of things, especially, as you might imagine, relating back to the ever more important world of reverse Logistics. So we’re going to continue that trend today. I think the hits are going to continue to introduce my fearless co-host real quick. Supply chain serial tech entrepreneur, supply chain adjutant and trusted advisor Greg White. Greg, how you doing?


[00:01:16] I’m doing great. It’s great to be here. Oh, it again in the center of the universe. It really at least for reversal just. That’s right.


[00:01:23] We have had a 12:13 interviews and we’ve just kind of hit a lucky streak, which is great here in Vegas. The last conversation was it was really a fascinating one, was on new generation uses of QR code, which doesn’t sound exciting, but it does not at all there change the world.


[00:01:41] And in fact, they said it was not exciting. Yeah, but it was actually pretty exciting. So it’s good.


[00:01:47] So let’s tell our listeners that there are a lot more to come, especially this interview here today. We’ve managed to wrangle one of the keynotes here that we’ve already heard lots of feedback on. But let’s tell our listeners a quick programing note where they can find this great.


[00:02:01] You know, they can find us on Apple podcast, Google podcasts, Spotify, anywhere you get your podcasts. And don’t forget YouTube.


[00:02:10] Who that? Yeah, that’s good. Be sure to subscribe geomancy thing. Okay. So we’re gonna dove right in to as well, as we mentioned, one of the key notes here that we’ve already heard big things about. I think he had a lot of autographs as he wrapped up his presentation. Steve Conic, who is vise president of research at the Consumer Technology Association, you might hear us refer to that as the CTA. Steve, good morning.


[00:02:36] Good morning. Great to be here.


[00:02:37] Great to have you tell you. We’ve enjoyed our quick sidebar before, your keynote. And you know, I think I heard a little buzz in a room as you were delivering.


[00:02:47] Well, I hope so. I hope so. Because, you know, what’s interesting about consumer tech is that, of course, it’s it’s today really covering the entire economy and in various ways.


[00:02:58] But at the end of the day, we’re all consumers. Yeah. So we are the one I’m saying is we’re the beneficiaries of a lot of this innovation, not only as business professionals, but also as consumers. We get to play with this stuff. But a lot of the stuff that’s happening when we think about especially digital health, is it literally and figuratively going to impact our lives, our longevity, our right, our well-being and certainly our kids well-being and how they’re developing into adults and so many different ways? Yeah.


[00:03:28] So I can’t tell our listeners or are in store for a great interactive and practical conversation, I believe informational and intriguing, all my words out there. And that’s good. Yesterday was all the reward. Yes. Today’s all hours. Okay. So before we talk shop. Steve. Yeah. Let’s let’s talk more about, you know, where you are from and your upbringing a bit. Give us a Gates.


[00:03:48] Well, great. Well, first and foremost, I’m an American citizen, but more importantly, I’m a native Texan.


[00:03:55] Ok. So not not an American citizen by choice. Yeah.


[00:04:02] Texas decided to join the United States. And then there was this little peer to time. We decided to leave. And we we were kind of taken back. But the republic. Yes, the Republic of Texas. But yeah, native Texan.


[00:04:14] I grew up in Dallas, Fort Worth. I went to the University of North Texas.


[00:04:20] Yeah. A lot of people here that have gone there. We had two people yesterday who either they or one of their children was studying Supply chain at North Texas.


[00:04:30] I mean. Greene. Yeah. Yeah. Oh yeah. I mean Greene. Yeah. So yeah, that was really good.


[00:04:35] And you know, Tex, I now nowadays live in the DC metro area where CTA is based on course for for 20 years. But I gotta be honest, man, can’t wait to get back to Texas. We’ve got a family farm in north Texas outside Wichita Falls and a lot of history there and so forth. A nice piece of land. So that’s that’s waiting for me.


[00:04:55] Maybe in retirement. Love. It’s awesome. Is the traffic tougher in North Texas or DC? Well, well, depends on how willing you’re long to wait behind a combined. Yeah. There you go. Yeah.


[00:05:09] D.c. is there. I’ll let me just put it this way. There’s there’s a lot of friction. Yeah, there’s a lot of friction and beltway bandits. And it seems to get worse all the time. Hey, Dallas, too. I mean they’ve they’ve building more highways and so forth. And so traffic. There’s not. Not great. Oh, no.


[00:05:27] Quick sidebar there. That final mile of e-commerce. And in these huge metro centers, it continues get more challenging. More challenging. Right. And we talked on the previous episode about micro warehousing and all the different ways that they’re trying to figure out that urban Logistics. Right.


[00:05:42] When we saw pictures during the holiday season of stacks and stacks of boxes on the street in New York and some of these big urban centers and and where where these goods are being stored in high rise apartment buildings and things like that. So the more people you put in that final mile, the more complex and the more expensive and the more difficult that final mile delivery gets to be.


[00:06:07] Well, yeah. And it works because you’ve got the density of population there of customers, were you?


[00:06:13] And these days, customer expectations, they want same day delivery. That’s right. And so, yeah, you need these micro distribution centers, the AP pose, if you like, that that maybe the usual suspects and kind of that logistical enterprise can kind of keep these micro centers topped up. But also why larger corporate entities like Amazon, you know, they bought Whole Foods and they’re looking to use that as an ostensible addition to their warehouse and Ryder for for certain products and lives, of course, of course, groceries and so forth. But you also see deliveries to certain with these lockers to pick up.


[00:06:49] So so what is this company and Amazon? Yeah. Yeah. You might have heard of them. Look, but I knew it was named after a river, but I couldn’t remember.


[00:06:57] Yeah, but the lockers you mentioned. So we were at a show in Austin and not to get too far off off topic, but Dargo. Know, we I wasn’t exactly sure how that work and how convenient that would be in winning a hit locker so that we can time our travel work like a charm. Well, you know, we were out there and I had an EMT conference and we were able to ship a couple things we needed. And as we’re pumping gas at the 7-Eleven, we could it get delivered early? So we were able to time it perfectly. Right. Yeah.


[00:07:24] You know, what’s interesting is it seems 20/20. We we saw kind of a home expression of this because we think about same day delivery a lot. You know, grocery delivery is is is becoming a thing now. And, you know, less trips to the grocery store. I just order what I need online.


[00:07:41] And and of course, you keep trend casting that you’ve got smart appliances with predictive analytics. They know when you’re here. But fortunately, when you’re down to your last beer, maybe. And so auto replenishment might work. But but LG and Bosch both had a really interesting solution. So we’ve had smart locks, right? Oh, yeah. For a while now we have smart doors, love. And these doors had these companion bins on the side, one of which is refrigerated. So if it’s summertime and you need to top up your supply of ice cream, you know, the person delivering that, you know, you don’t come home and have a big tub of melted ice cream. You know, it stays stays cold. So these things it’s very 21st century. Yes. So so less smart locks, maybe now. Smart doors. Yeah.


[00:08:27] You know, as as technology becomes more and more prevalent, I think it reaches sort of a ethical boundary. And my immediate response to that is if you’re too damn lazy to go get your own ice cream, you really deserve ice cream.


[00:08:42] Great question. Great question. We’re going to we’re going to ask that only episode 300. So stick around.


[00:08:47] Great question. Rick, quick, though, the grocery delivery business that is has become huge business after years and years of companies trying to crack that nut because they couldn’t quite make money doing it. Well, clearly all that’s changed. Wal-Mart, if you looked at the Super Bowl, you know, it means people look at Super Bowl. Wal-Mart clearly invests a lot of commercials, great commercials. Right. With their lead, their number one grocery delivery. You know, they’re they’re figuring out that e-commerce said that that has given their longstanding business model a few challenges, says really neat to see. Watch. These companies have been around forever evolve to compete and compete profitably in today’s e-commerce world. Sure. So let’s I think we could dove in. Sounds like you’re gonna fit right in and we can have a three hour episode. But let’s let’s not do that. Let’s talk about your professional journey before we kind of. Okay. You’ve been in the CTA and get some of your insights. So how did you get in? The picture of how you ended up as V.P. of research, CPA?


[00:09:47] Yeah. Well, first and foremost, you know, I’d never been convicted. It’s good. You know, it isn’t about students listening. Don’t get committed. We’re going to put that in the show notes. Yes. Yeah. Convicted. Yeah. Yeah. That was from Bill Murray. Yes. Were elected a year and one never, never picked and never convicted, but now, yes. So I actually studied at university in North Texas. I studied psychology.


[00:10:07] Ok. Starting out because I was really interesting, interested in how humans think and so forth. And I had this idea that I might go through and get my p._h._d and so forth. And then I kind of figured out why else and take a really long time and a lot of a lot of money, a lot of student debt. But I was still very interested in that whole genre of human behavior and cognitive processes and so forth. But I saw more opportunity. I’ve always been interested in business. So I pivoted to marketing with a specialty in research. OK. And so that really, frankly, kind of tick both boxes. So so really studying your market research, studying markets, studying human behavior. We think about purchase patterns and shopping behavior and and likes and dislikes of different very, very interesting. And so, you know, I when I graduated, I went to work for this little boutique firm in Dallas called e.r.’s, not not around anymore. BENTA We were this is in the mid 90s. And so this is when p._c.s were still fairly new, right? And really, the Dells were and Gateways were starting out, gained serious momentum. And there was this whole build your own ecosystem starting to take the development. So we were we were really focused on that space. And I I my area of expertise were printers. And I remember why print it? Well, it’s just part of that computing ecosystem. So I had a colleague that focused on the monitor, Mark, and of course, those were S.R. TS and you had if you had a twenty inch monitor you super BGA your life.


[00:11:46] You had it, but you had a box. I mean the. Yeah it was a too bright jerai. So. So you know nowadays we have the flat flat panels. Right. But these this was in you, you had to like glue around your weight in the wall.


[00:11:58] Steve it is as it is Steve at his desk. You do have to look around. Dickerson Post-it notes on the side of your monitors. Yeah. Or like the sign on the top that said in or out. Yeah. You could look at and say, oh, he’s back there. Yeah. But in any case so. So all these peripherals we were studying this whole ecosystem.


[00:12:15] Right. And you know, that was really good. But you went onto to work for, you know, other research firms. But I had a really interesting year in tech journalism. I worked for a computer retail week, which sounds fascinating.


[00:12:33] And it was a weekly definitely had its day. Definitely. And SEUS yard sale. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s back when you had a lot of retail, a lot of USA computer city, incredible universe.


[00:12:47] Oh, my gosh. That we see that jerai andI Ryder that we used to call incredible universe incredible overhead. But in any case, a lot of these these brands, these retail shops are gone. And you know that that big, thick manual, it came out, I think every month is called computer shopper. Yes, computer shop. And it was it was all mail order catalogs. And I’m sure there is a company and there was it was all they sold were hard drives. It was called dirt cheap drives. Dig in. And but it was it we would we would that was like our Bible. You know, we’re studying this thing. But but we were looking at trends and so forth. But Computer Retail Week, we were all about computer retailing. Then the Internet happened. Yeah. And that’s really when my career pivoted in the in the late 90s, early 2000s, I moved from Texas up to Virginia DC metro area and went to work for a firm called p.c Data that eventually got bought by NPD Group. But it really in that P.O.S. electronics P.C. software tracking space, I was there for for a few years and then in 2004 join CTA, which has then Consumer Electronics Association.


[00:13:56] See eeeh because our constituency were mostly yep, you guessed it, you know, growing attracts manufacturers and and we had this budding constituency of retailers in the space. Well, fast forward several years ago we rebranded to Consumer Technology Association because really not just about devices these days, it’s about broader technology innovation that we’re seeing just really overlay the entire economy. I’ve been at CTA for 16 years and it’s great it where the fun is. We’re at this this nexus of the industry but also the economy. And so our membership consists constituency I’ve seen grow from just that core of electronics manufacturers, you know, the usual suspects of Sony and Panasonic and LG, all these guys and retailers, they’re of to automotive insurance companies, health care companies, anybody who uses technology. I mean, is that essentially. Who’s that? Yeah, that’s well-said. That’s pretty much it.


[00:14:56] So our our that was a line from Tommy Boy. Oh, yeah. Anything you want to know? But not really that so.


[00:15:03] I mean, we hear this story a lot and that is that technology’s become so pervasive that companies are becoming digitized, digitalized, whichever the. Right. Right. Yes. And that’s they are you know, they’re using technology in greater, greater measure as part of their delivery or their solution.


[00:15:22] We like to say, you know, every company is a tech company these days or wants to be perceived as a tech company, which is why at CBS it I think, yes, there is still, you know, manifold gadgets. But it’s not just a gadget show. I mean, there are a lot of other market plays there. And we had exhibitors like John Deere with a huge connected sprayer with this massive 120 foot wingspan, if you like. Sherkin big boom. Carbon fiber booms in twenty nineteen. They had a connected harvester. Yeah, L’Oreal P and G. Procter and Gamble, all these consumer packaged rants. Why? Well because they’re developing technology solutions in their marketplaces. Because this is what consumers expect. Maureen. You know, they don’t want to keep doing it the old way and and brands want to be perceived as innovative. Right. And they can’t afford to keep doing it. No. Correct. And so and they’re they’re embracing consumer tech in a number of ways to improve the user experience, deliver better convenience. I mean, it goes on and on and on. Which is why CBS 20/20 covered nearly three million net square feet of space and is the world’s largest innovation event on the planet. I mean, it’s it’s the biggest event, tech event on the planet, world’s largest innovation event. Why? We have over one hundred and seventy thousand trade professionals attending the show from all walks of the industry and economy. Yeah.


[00:16:53] So let’s talk more about your role at V.P. of research. Sheer. And you know where your focus is and some of the you know, we like still, if you don’t mind, some of your key takeaways from the keynote you gave earlier today, which again, by the time this publishes, this will be a recap of that anyway.


[00:17:10] That’s true. No, it’s good.


[00:17:12] So CTA Consumer Technology Association is the North American Trade Association for Consumer Tech. Right. And you know, we’ve established that our constituency is is beyond just the core device side manufacturer, very broad, a very, very broad. And we’re best known probably as the owner and producer of CBS. Right. And a lot of c_t_s_ is so large and so influential. It is that that a lot of times we’re thought of as a trade show with an association instead of an association with a trade. Yeah, but in any case. So whilst we’re we’re probably best known as the owner producer of CBS, really like a lot of other trade organizations, I mean, we’re we’re very much involved with policy advocacy. And what I’m saying is, is really helping preserve America’s leadership, our global technology innovation stage, clearing a path for four innovators to bring those those innovations to market to help not only be make America more competitive, but to help us as Americans and so forth. But research my shop is one of the things that really I think distinguishes CTA in that genre of trade associations in that trade association space, because what we have not a lot of other very, very few, if any, have a trade association have what we have, which is the equivalent right of a boutique research firm inside the walls of CTA.


[00:18:41] Right on time. These associations can be so focused on membership or the events. Right. Or or even the Asian education Sheer occasions. You. Yeah, research is often overlooked in this from least from our experience in the industry association space, and that’s where some the most value can be delivered to the market. All right.


[00:19:01] Well, this is true. And a lot of trade associations. I mean, they use industry data, but they partner with a third party to get statistics that therefore describe their industry like, you know, forestry or our paper products, something like this. Well, we generate our own statistics because we work with our constituency, which said to get. Yes, to get perspective on the market. So we have and this is remarkable. It sounds remarks to a lot of people like what really about on order 25 to 30 different B2C and B2B studies per year. I mean, that’s everything looking at at human behavior as it relates to technology, to topics like new use cases for drones and also artificial intelligence, 5G. So so B2C, B2B, domestic international, we do a lot of international work. So we look at markets like China and we kind of compare and contrast what’s happening there also in Europe. We’ve done a lot of interesting work around notions of privacy and security and how that’s developing globally. It’s not congruent. I mean, what we see today in tech is that a lot of these major technology themes are happening all around the world, not just in this place or that place, but they they tend to to evolve at different rates. Right. Part of that’s related to regulations, the regulatory environment course in the EU, of course, where they have GDP. Which means to privacy and security. Right. And then you have kind of the other bookend is China, where you have really, let’s be honest, no expectation of privacy. Right. And so when we think about whereas the US will someone somewhere in between. So we do a lot of work with the with our research to to inform technology policy advocacy in the U.S. and in Canada. But also, it’s a really big hook for our for membership because everybody is looking for perspective on these major trends that these they want.


[00:21:03] They think they want to know why it matters and how it’s going to impact them. And they want to. From what we see, at least they want to bring it back down from the conceptual or theoretical to how it an impact where we make our money or where we deliver value for consumers or, you know, they want to. What? So what? Right.


[00:21:24] Well, exactly. They want to know three things. They want to know what’s happening in a given space. They want to know why does it matter? And most importantly is. So what do I do about them? Yes. And that’s where our research really comes in, whether it’s these these say consumer studies around human behavior as it relates to digital voice activated digital assistance and how people used to use an app for a certain thing. And now they’re just talking to Alexa as one example. So it’s a big shift in consumer behavior that’s starting to gain momentum or sizing markets. We do we do robust forecasts across 300 different technology categories and peaceful people can understand how big is this market, what’s the opportunity, the total addressable market, but also the growth trajectory of and so forth. Household penetration rates, ownership density, a lot of these metrics install base and a lot of this comes into play again with the advocacy efforts. Yeah. Because, you know, we can we have the stats. So a lot of a lot of different regulatory folks and with state level at the federal level, they want they want to do this or that like like energy use is a big topic. And so we have you, right? Well, we we actually more, I think, go to them through through different briefs and things. But we provide them. No, no. The actual install base for this is thus inside. And so that we can we can work with with with government to help basically design more responsible innovation friendly led legislation and policy that that helps preserve America’s competitiveness on the global stage.


[00:23:00] Love it. So shifting gears a smidge because we could. There’s so much you shared there and the different angles UPS on the research you publish in the white papers and all we can do a show for on each of those. But following.


[00:23:14] Yeah let’s each each of those. NCIS. Yeah. Yeah. Or it distracts from. Yeah. CTCA I’m. That’s right. Good point. Yeah.


[00:23:23] So from your Keena here today. Yeah. What do you as you’re able to gage. Audience or me. And I’m not sure if you took the Headey Q&A, but what do you think left the biggest mark on the audience. What do you think that could be. So Jon Gold was on the show earlier and we were able to walk through some of his keynote as well. There’s a couple of those nuggets that we were educated just sitting here in 45 minutes.


[00:23:47] And we’ve we had him share a couple of things. Yeah. About the good because there are misperceptions about e-commerce and how big it is. Right. And John was able to address that and questions about whether retail generally or retail or bricks and mortar retail is still growing. It is relevant, right?


[00:24:07] Guy. Yeah. So is there. You have. Yeah. So I think. Cool. You can share.


[00:24:11] I guess what I would I would like to to share with with our listeners is that it’s really my my thesis on consumer tech thinking that everybody’s looking for perspective on in tech innovation and what’s all this stuff mean. And so I think when we look across the the consumer tech landscape today, you know, we think about devices and other hardware, software apps, entertainment content, social media, all these things, you know, how do we describe that dynamic? Boy, I think I think the last decade, last 10 years, really the answer would be IAPT, you know, the Internet of Things. So a lot of things got connected in the last decade.


[00:24:52] So IATA is something we’re very we invoke that term routinely. Yeah. But but what’s happening now here in 2020? And what do we expect to really unfold over the next 10 years? And the answer there is I think we’re confronted with a new iota. And that is the intelligence of things, the intelligence of things. And of course, this new IAPT, the intelligence of things, bears testimony to the fact that artificial intelligence is permeating every facet of our commerce and our culture. And so it’s this new IAPT, the intelligence of things. I mean, we as business people, we endorse a eyes. influence and impact on commerce because this is one way we improve profitability and return better shareholder equity through various efficiencies, improve cutting consumer customer service.


[00:25:39] And well, that’s an experience that too all these things, but more broadly means is how we grow our economy. We grow GDP and so and keep competing. But so that’s the commerce piece. We endorse that. But but culture in this as a researcher, this is what I really lean into and I find very fascinating because what we’re talking about is we’re talking about a azis influence on human behavior and how we think and approach different matters. And and this is something that we’ve started to study more and more at CTA research. And we did a we did a study even as early as like August 2018 looking at consumers adoption and use of voice activated digital assistance. And the takeaways were really twofold. The first thing was that people weren’t doing just a few things with them. Yes. I mean, there were some like listening to music, checking the weather, basic Internet search. You know, these things there were some the usual suspects, you know, up at the top. But then there was this very long tail of different applications, which speaks to the whole constellation of brands that are supporting digital assistants with with a Google action or an Alexa skill as a couple of examples. Right. I mean, I talk about like if and if you need evidence for this. I mean, Pizza Hut has an Alexa skill. Right. So memory used to call the shop and then order your pizza. And then they had an app and will now you can just order your pizza through Alexa. Also, who who else has an Alexa skill? The Church of England. OK. Prayer of the Day. And you know.


[00:27:19] So right there, you’ve got pretty good bookings, pizza and God. I mean, you know, that tops if if you do not ever what else you need at. Yeah. Right. You know, I do confession. Yeah. Yeah. Well it makes maybe that’s gonna say yeah maybe that’s coming.


[00:27:31] But so this this long tail of actions that people were working with and using digital assistants to for. And then what was the second thing that was interesting is that when you look across all those different actions, these were actions that ordinarily maybe a year or two ago when people would ordinarily, you know, fire up an app on their phone or go to a Web site. Right. Click around. Right. They were just pivoting to Alexa or Google assistant for. So right there. And this was just like August 2013, we could start to see Sheer human behavior shifting. And that’s just going to increase. So, yes, that the commerce piece of the intelligence of things, you know, we get that. But the culture piece is something that we’re going to live out as consumers and we’ll reshape our lives in this data age of this decade. Aaron, 2020 is where it starts.


[00:28:20] So you’re your assertion regarding the intelligence of things is that as technology gets smarter and smarter, it’s not just reporting, it’s acting. Is that. I mean, to discern between Internet of Things, right? Your beer shelf, knowing that you only have one beer left. Yeah, right. Yeah. And the intelligence of things. So give us a better idea of the difference or what we’re talking about.


[00:28:42] There is so a-I one aspect. I mean there are many flavors of ice. We have computer vision, machine learning, facial recognition, object detection. We talked about Daryl nighters and all that stuff. But in that use case. But I mean, what we can really expect to unfold over this decade is is A.I. is automate more automation vis-a-vis A.I. And that will be, you know, great and small. And when I’m talking small, I’m talking like really small. Like I don’t have to have that mental bandwidth. And remember that I’m down to my last beer or whatever or I I don’t have to take an action to then add it to my shopping list. It’s just done for me. So it’s automating all kinds of little micro tasks that today we still have to keep track of and do and earn bandwidth on. Well, yeah. Burn bandwidth. And so and then the more, you know, larger expression of this are automating tasks like, you know, in my in my keynote, I talked about how McDonald’s is starting to look at deploying a digital assistant at the drive thru. Love it. Which is why would why would they do this? Well, it’s because the person working the drive through has a tough job. It’s a low paying job properly. And and they’ve got to take the order. They’ve got to handle the transaction. They’ve got to organize the order. And the people coming through are in a hurry just on principle. So what I’m saying is we can expect a lot more human machine partnerships just in just things that we don’t even think about. A.I. is taking care of like that. Down to your last beer example and it’s automatically, you know, automatic fulfillment. Are things down to these four in the workplace, on the factory floor, in the warehouse, human machine partnerships. That’s what we can expect to unfold over these next 10 years. So Rono. Yeah, right.


[00:30:32] Here’s one of the interesting things related back to the psychology of this. This technological revolution we’re seeing. So tell secret. So with our family, we got to elect a Lexie’s alecks. I let’s I look back to the Vice’s with us. We put one in our den and put one in the upstairs kids room. Right. We got three kids and we got tired of yelling because they’ve got a couple doors that they always shut. So after they go to bed, so they marikar to take them off the hinges. These. Well, you’re sure about that. So now they say, hey, Alexa, drop in on the kids and it drops in directly into the room. Yeah, well it it took well. Man, that was a quick study. It took me a while to come around to accepting that this is what we’re gonna do rather than just yell at Fred Flintstone upstairs. The kids, on the other hand, love it. And now they have learned how to make announcements to us. And they just you know, I think a long point besides kind of Sheer in a Skilton calls is the kids. And this this revolution we’re seeing, it is bringing out the innate technologists that are at heart.


[00:31:46] Right, that they’re digital natives. Yeah. One term that’s maybe overused. You’re exactly right. I mean, kids, I hear from a lot of a lot of folks that have young kids, they just take to it quite naturally.


[00:31:57] And it’s like I came. Alexis, right. I can get the name of that. I’m supposed to they get respond, kids. I’ve got it. Diagnose how they can use it to their advantage in very short order.


[00:32:10] It’s just they accept it. They get used to it.


[00:32:12] Yeah. So. So all this this technology. Now, this usage, I mean, it’s also I mean, the other side of that coin is there’s a there’s an increasing narrative, of course, that we endorse around that. So call it, you know, digital hygiene and we start to see examples if like if you have an iPhone, you’ll get a little pop up that says, you know, hey, your screen time went up 20 percent this year. You know, and so we’re getting more metrics to keep it real. Right. But I think what we can expect is, is less of the technology, kind of like in your face you like, but more in the background. So like with Alexa. Yes, we’re around the house. We just you know, Alexa Watts might be our first meeting or what’s even more interesting and we can expect is right now we have to initiate conversation with, say, Alexa. Don’t. Right. That’s right. Well, I don’t. Yeah, well, not for much longer because pretty soon and and if we opt in, which is the key phrase. And if we opt in for this, I think Alexa or other voice activated digital assistants will start conversations with us. Yes. And so that’s some of the things that we started to see it see. Yes.


[00:33:14] 2020 is is these eyes really becoming like digital or virtual companions? And of course, she.


[00:33:22] Yeah. See the movie. Yeah. With Walking Theenergy. The great, great movie. Way ahead of her to see it. Yeah. Yeah. I mean dystopian. Dystopian to be out to be. To be clear. But but I think emblematic of of the very thought provoking and and how we can sit.


[00:33:38] But this has kind of real world implications for like seniors at home, aging parents that they have a virtual companion that’s there, that’s kind of it that never sleeps. That’s there all the time.


[00:33:47] Have you fallen and can’t get up rather than having to initiate the conversation? Ortho I that member that commercial in the 80s. Good point. You don’t have to wear the little who’s he wants it or. Yeah, I still sell that thing. I know they say that it’s safe from the makers of Fall and I can’t get that trademark it. And here’s another example.


[00:34:03] So… So what do we have to do it like? Let’s say there’s a big snowstorm predicted overnight, but we’ve got, you know, a 9:00 meeting at the office. We’ve got to be there. And, you know, we’re we go to sleep and, you know, we wake up. And what we do now is we look at we’re like, oh, my gosh. Yeah. I mean, we’re Snowden. Well, what if you know these based on our prescribed requirements like. Yep, something like this. I want you to tell. Maybe the A.I., you know, wakes us up a little bit early to say, hey, it snowed overnight and yet you need to get you up earlier because you’re going to need more time to get into the office instead of like I wake up the regular time. There’s no way I’m late. I missed the meeting. Everybody’s upset. That’s helpful. Yeah.


[00:34:47] Or it goes to Zillo and says, hey, there’s a house in Florida for sale and we think you could make enough of selling your house to buy that house and never have to deal with this again. Would you program my Alexa? That’s all right. So let’s. I hate the start. It closed down the interview because there’s so much we Clair’s so much we can unpack. We’re glad to have you come back to you. Maybe you maybe we should go to the event. Well, I think you need to.


[00:35:13] Yeah, well, we’ll get you back. Love to get you to weigh in more on some of the topics you brought up. But appreciate your support of the RLA come out in keynoting. We know it went well. We’ve enjoyed finding the combination of technology and the human psychology site. Absolutely fascinating.


[00:35:32] Yeah, especially for your kids. Yeah, cause it’s gonna totally shape their development and a lot of I think very positive ways. Yep. And so forth. But yeah. Don’t, don’t, don’t be shy.


[00:35:45] Drop in on him more. Yeah I will. But how to.


[00:35:48] As we wrap up, how can folks learn more about the Consumer Technology Association.


[00:35:53] That’s real simple.


[00:35:54] Are our web site is S.T.A.R. DOT Tech, TCAP Chip and CBS Dot Tech. For more about see. Yes, 2021, which will be January 6th through 10th and right here and right here in Vegas and in twenty twenty one big ass show held in Vegas.


[00:36:12] Is that right? I think in terms of the size and scope, yeah. There are some others that like I’ve heard of Concrete World, which is a lot of outdoor concrete, and Seyma which is automotive. So it takes a lot of space a little bit smaller. But but yes, it’s c_t_s_ is is pretty much in a class by itself.


[00:36:30] I think a lot of managers, they can access research and show everything at the euro, right.


[00:36:36] Yeah. It’s S.T.A.R. Tech. They can learn about. Listeners can learn about membership opportunities, how to connect with our research, of course. We’ve got a lot of great studies that offer a lot of perspective on a lot of different topics. So we’d love to connect. And it’s great to be here at RLA. They’re an allied association of ours. We’re we’re very pleased to to partner with RLA. And it’s great to be with you both today. I think lining’s for having me on.


[00:37:00] Very enjoyed it. Really enjoyed it. As we’ve been talking with Steve König Vise president, research with the Consumer Technology Association, learn more at CTA Dot Tech. Sit tight for just one second as we wrap things up. Greg hits keep coming.


[00:37:14] Yeah. home-run. Yes. The. Yeah.


[00:37:17] Fascinating. So much wood. We can’t get to in a 35, 40 minute conversation, so we’ll have to dove in deeper down the road a bit for our events where we direct and people to supply chain now.


[00:37:31] Radio dot com slash events. That’s right. You can learn about Moto X AIAG Corporate Responsibility Summit A.M.E. and another AIG A-G summit. We get to go to Detroit twice and look at cars, I mean, and then inform the people.


[00:37:47] Yes. Right.


[00:37:49] Inform the people that, you know, we always about our audience. Come check it out in person. We love these conversations like this. We learned so much in hoffler audience learns as much as we do. Check out events at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. Be sure to check us out wherever you’re podcast from, including YouTube. Be sure to subscribe. So messy thing on behalf of Scott Luton Greg White. Stay tuned as we continue our live coverage of the reverse. Association Conference and expo right here in Vegas. The Center of the universe for all things returns and reverse Logistics. We’ll see you next time on supply chain. Thanks. By.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Watch Scott and Greg as they welcome Steve Koenig with the Consumer Technology Association to the Supply Chain Now booth at the RLA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, NV.

Featured Guests

Steve Koenig is VP, Research at the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™ the U.S. trade association representing more than 2,200 consumer technology companies and which owns and produces CES® – The Global Stage for Innovation. He leads CTA’s industry research including consumer and business studies, technology forecasts and business intelligence. Koenig speaks and writes frequently on technology trends and their impact on consumer behavior, business opportunities and economies. Prior to CTA, Steve held analyst positions at NPD Group, Comscore, and a senior editor post at CMP Media’s former Computer Retail Week. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of North Texas.


Greg White

Principal & Host

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Vicki White


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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

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

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Kim Reuter


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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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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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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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Billy Taylor


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

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

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

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

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Tandreia Bellamy


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

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

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

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

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Marty Parker


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

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

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jake Barr


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

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Marcia Williams


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

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Manager & Executive Producer

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.