In the latest episode of our Today in Manufacturing Series, made in partnership with the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance and powered by HLB Gross Collins, Scott welcomes Laura Madajewski, Jason Moss, and John Fluker to the Supply Chain Now studio.
[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] Hey, good morning. Scott Luton here with you, Liveline Supply chain. Now welcome back to the show. In this episode we’re continuing are today in manufacturing series in conjunction with the Georgia manufacturing alliance. Stay tuned for what I promise will be practical insights, observations and some anecdotes. I’ll certainly raise your manufacturing leadership IQ. We’re very proud to say that our series brought to you by HDB GROSS collins’, a top 25 Atlanta CPA firm specializing in manufacturing, distribution and supply chain operations. The firm has extensive insight in the industry and understands the specific needs these organizations face. So great to have h.l b gross Collins on board. One quick programing note. You can find Supply chain now wherever ever you get your podcast from Apple podcast. Spotify, YouTube, you name it. We’d love to have you subscribe so you don’t miss a single thing. OK. Let’s welcome in my fearless co-host for today’s show. First up, Jason Maule, CEO of the Georgia manufacturing alliance. Jason, how you doing, man, Scott? I’m doing great. Great to have you back. It’s been a busy February.
[00:01:35] It as far as the flu, get me at last month’s. I wasn’t able to come play. But I am so happy to be back.
[00:01:42] You know, the episode is not the same without to just look, you know, I it’s in good hands.
[00:01:47] I mean, between you, Laurie, I just got this. Right. I just did just add a little bit of flavor to that. Right.
[00:01:53] Well, Jason, as you allude to, we also have Laura manages key principle and leader of the manufacturing, distribution and Supply chain practice at HB Chris Collins with US Law. How you doing?
[00:02:03] I’m doing great, Scott. Despite the rainy weather outside. That just seems to never cease.
[00:02:08] Yes. Well, you know, and we had a little rain last week. A lot Maureen, it seems like this week. Traffic slows down in Atlanta, which can be a good thing. However, your trip time seemed to double. But hey, you know, you take the good with the bad, right? Absolutely. You just don’t keep talking about traffic. Right. OK. Well, let’s talk about we’re really excited to have our featured guest in the studio with us today, John Fluker, president and CEO, grins back. John, how you doing?
[00:02:38] I’m doing great.
[00:02:39] A little bit wet, but coming in from the rain but feeling fantastic.
[00:02:43] Well, you know, I really wish I had been running the tape while we were having the pre the preprint conversation. You know, we kind of got a sense of some of your stories already. And we’re going to dove more into these here in just a minute. But great to have you here. And I know you’ve been on a plane, you know, with leading the global organization that is grens of OK, I bet it’s good to be home a little bit on your end, too. Yes. Fantastic. Be back. Be here. All right. So let’s dove right in. We’ve got so much to cover. The Dow is going to go by in a hurry. But, John, as we talked about kind of preshow, first thing we want to do is give our audience the opportunity that we’ve been afforded, which is get to know John Fluker a bit better. So tell us, first off, where you’re from, where do you get born and raise and give us you give us the skinny on your upbringing.
[00:03:30] Ok, great. So, first of all, I appreciate the B here and the opportunity to be a part of this podcast. I am a Georgia boy. Born and raised. Born and raised in a little small town called Waycross, Georgia, about four hours south of this country. We always like to joke that we wrestle alligators down there, but that’s not really true.
[00:03:49] You should go to the Occupy Nooky swamp, and that’s how you prove your manhood. But Warner raised in south Georgia and that’s not far from the Florida line.
[00:04:00] Yes. Yes. So you actually get there, you fly to Jacksonville. You drive about an hour to get up to Waycross. OK. Yes. Not that far from the Florida line. So you got a bunch of family, Waycross, I believe. Yes. So tell us more.
[00:04:12] Yeah, my my father, mother still, still, still down there. My father was the was the mayor of Waycross at one point in time. So the first black elected mayor. We also that’s very proud of him and family still still down awake. Ralston’s still still kicking in. You know, we love we love that part of Georgia.
[00:04:31] And so your family is still actively involved. I believe in the community. Loves. Yeah. Businesses. Yes. They may ruin it.
[00:04:38] They may rename the town Pflugerville. I’m not quite sure about that.
[00:04:44] But you say the name Flitter. Thank you, everybody who was appointed or so I tell you. If you go down there, if you ever get the jam, just say, I know John Fluker, senior. OK. John Fluker, Junior. Then you still see yourself down. I’ll take care of you. Me, you know, my dad will take care of.
[00:05:00] All right, so talk to us about what it was like that grew up in Waycross and especially, you know, now. And my I got some folks from south Georgia. And Ed, I always find it really interesting, especially as global economy is a compare and contrast, you know, that small town upbringing with now an Internet role in international business. Tell us more about kind of what prepared you then.
[00:05:26] So, you know, we grew up in a time in Waycross who was very, you know, interesting. My parents were very involved. My mom was a school teacher. And then my my dad, when I was growing up, was also on the board. But there was organization, Waycross, that was very in let’s say it with the with the strategy to prepare their children, which was me at the time. And some of my friends for not just being Waycross, but to expose us to a lot of different things. We were in an organization called a Summer Institute. And so with our summer institute, you know, they would take us to Washington, D.C. We would we were pages. We would come up to Atlanta, did a lot of travel. So the my parents very much encouraged me to broaden my horizon and not just stay in the town of Waycross itself. Not not to say they did didn’t want me to eventually come back in here and give back to the community. But they also wanted to broaden my rise. And so I love that with that. You know, it was it was very easy for me to to leave, but they actually encouraged it. They didn’t want me to go locally and wanted me to go away.
[00:06:33] And that’s why I ended up going to school in Boston a little bit farther away than they probably anticipated. A few miles, just a few miles away.
[00:06:41] You know, that is so important. As much as we love small town USA, small town world, what have you been able to help kids open up doors of opportunity that they may not think about? And before you know it, it’s what their passion about. Right. And I mean, we’ve we’ve done a lot of work going in the schools, planting seeds. And, you know, if if could just let the rest of us, the kids, they don’t know what they don’t know. Yes. And I love how your folks very deliberately and intentionally. It sounds like to me, hey, if you won’t be here with Waycross. We love it. Yes. There’s big business. There’s opportunities for you. But let’s help you explore. Yes. Yeah. There’s a go world out. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:07:22] Yeah, for sure. You know, my father my parents love the town of Waycross, so they’re very much about helping the town grow and if they’ve, you know, been very much involved in that.
[00:07:30] But they also wanted to give me and my my sister noodle exposure and opportunity. So we both went away for college.
[00:07:37] And, you know, we eventually both came back to Georgia and, you know, maybe not back to Waycross itself. I eventually made my way back home.
[00:07:45] Yeah. Because white girls I mean, it’s my wife is from Whitecross and we talked about that a little bit before the show. And it’s really exciting because I don’t you know, I don’t get to meet a ton of folks that, you know, that it’s from there. I mean, I grew up kind of in hinter County, just south of the south of Atlanta. But you will get get and I spent quite a bit of time. And also we try to as much as we can. And down there, I mean, the industry, it’s either you’re in your pulp and paper or you’re working forever.
[00:08:09] Yeah, exactly. Like the only two things that they really have been like Ralph’s. You’re not work. Well, they used a cigar factory down there.
[00:08:14] Well, then I think recently they’ve also the medical industry has grown quite a bit down. And yeah, it’s become an area would like to se Georgia. So they really like my old elementary school is now a nursing home or something like that. So is that part of the industry has grown quite a bit. So Waycross has definitely grown quite a bit.
[00:08:32] So we’re making a Waycross commercial, right?
[00:08:35] Yes. Aimer is going to be very hard. Hey, man, I’m envious, Walt, whether or not she gets kind of upset when I say that. Yeah. That’s why I have no idea. All right.
[00:08:47] So, John, you’ve mentioned a couple of times school in northeast Boston. Tell us about that. What drew you there? Yeah. And what you major in there?
[00:08:56] So I went to school at M.I.T., Massachusetts Institute of Technology. High falutin.
[00:09:02] High falutin. Right.
[00:09:04] So you’re mighty, mighty red. I was always wanted to be an engineer. Right. At first it was aeronautical engineer because I had a dream that I wanted to go in space in and in and be work for NASA.
[00:09:16] You know, it’s I think we went to Huntsville, Alabama, at one point in time when some institute sort of kind of picked trigger that triggered it for.
[00:09:23] For engineering. But then, you know, when I got to M.I.T., I decided that, OK, maybe I wanted to have a more of a baseline of an engineering degree. So not being aeronautical at that time, but to step back in and become a mechanical engineer. And so that’s what I studied in. That’s what I graduated from in my my engine. My background is engineering. So I’ve done it quite a bit in my life. And I think it’s also helped me in my role at at Greene siplon. I bet.
[00:09:53] Yes. All right. So you say you graduated from one of the finest engineering schools in the land. What was your first job?
[00:10:02] My first job coming out of M.I.T. was a company called Terra Dine. Terra Dine at that point in time was heavy in the semiconductor industry test equipment. I was a manufacturing engineer. Actually, my first job coming out of college and my major responsibilities at that time was to look at designs of our equipment and understand what how was designed and to make sure that it is designed the best way to for the ease of manufacturing. So I worked a lot on the floor. I spent a lot of time on the manufacturing floor building the equipment that was designed. And it gives you a different end, you know, a different perspective. Yes. Because when you have to reach your hand, Iran is cornered to get to the screwed. As hard to get to manufacturing you. That’s not the right way to do this. We have to we have to design is in such a way that for ease of manufacturing. So that was my my first job. And I think that was very impactful for me. And it. Because, you know, at the end of the day. Right.
[00:10:59] You know, as it is, you know, we can come up with the best design possible. But if nobody can build it right now, nobody can build it efficiently or fixation Lu or fix it. Yeah. And so my second job after that was now you talk about fix, it was we called a product support engineer. Right. And so from there, you know, I had to support products in the field. Right. Right. Yeah. And also support my engineering the engineering staff in the field. Right. So when there was a problem, you know, I always joked that I had a always had my bag picked. Right. Because I could come to the office and my bosses be like, hey, by the way, we have a ticket for you to go to Taiwan and say, OK, well, I’m going to the airport here in Taiwan and flew to Taiwan. You know, 24 hours to get there. Twelve hours on the ground fixed a problem with 24 hours home. So, you know, two more time. So that gave you a different perspective, the Lego game. Well, if I’m not the flow all the way to Taiwan and all these places around the world, I want to make sure I want to fix the problem before it gets there.
[00:11:55] And so that gives you a different perspective, proper motivation. John, I will go back just a minute. When you mentioned your first role with terror, Don, and you mentioned kind of being on the on the factory floor and some of the impact it had on you. Talk to us about the people. You know, I think a lot of folks like the folks that maybe haven’t ever been in a plant yet, maybe make certain assumptions about what manufacturing’s like the people or maybe unfortunately, sometimes the people are completely an afterthought. Tell us about what that early experiences for you.
[00:12:29] You know, the people were are amazing Ryder, you know, you know, I was working on a shop floor with these guys and here I am just M.I.T. graduate. Right. It has a certain you know, people have a certain conception. You know, when you get up in there, you’re willing to to build something with the guys. They have a different you know, they give a different respect for you as well. And so I I I learned so much from those guys working on the shop floor. Right. You know, building equipment, understanding, you know, from their perspective, say, hey, guys, you know, these engineers are fantastic to come up with these great designs. But if you did it this way, if you did it that way. If we could speed up the manufacturing process and ultimately you gain a certain perspective for that, these these guys can give you some perspective how to help the company make money. Right. They can help you give direct feedback. And if you listen to what they’re saying and you bring you back to the organization. Right. And you be that I felt it was my job to be that translator. Right. That translator from the manufacturing floor to the engineering, because I could speak both languages and I could help, you know, give their feedback to the organization to be more efficient, to ultimately what will the company want to make money. Right. And so that’s the that’s the goal.
[00:13:40] Love it. I love it. OK. So fast forward. And we don’t necessarily you know, it was there one more role beyond the tarried on and then beyond the second cupping that like Sydney to surprise you with a trip to Thailand or.
[00:13:55] No, no. That was all Trident all tyrannize all Deborah Dull.
[00:13:57] So it’s just a different role. That different, though? OK. Yes. So what was the role? Do you feel really teed you up for now, serving as President Zia?
[00:14:08] You know, this is not one role for me. It was all the different roles that have played a part in my perspective right now. Help me prepare me for the role I’m in today. So when I when I left Paradine, I went into sales. Right.
[00:14:23] And so then it was I had some I had some less a customer perspective when I was at terror. dying and my role as product support, because I have to go to the customer site and get their feedback about what they saw. But, you know, being a sales right hand, I have been having to go to a customer and understand their needs and what they want to accomplish with your equipment. Right. Gave me a different perspective. Right. So now I had to speak to from the shop floor, had to speak to respark the perspective from the guy servicing equipment in the field. And now you get the better perspective.
[00:14:55] What a customer, good customer, really what the customer really wants. I know you think you know. The customer wants I like I know you really.
[00:15:04] We used to really start talking to them, use like, okay, well, that’s not what I thought you want or what?
[00:15:08] That’s not when I would design a piece of equipment in the in my house. And I think this is great. Right. But at the same time, the customer doesn’t need it. Right. It’s near not going to sell it. Right. So that.
[00:15:19] So I think it was those three roles together helped prepare me for where I am today and then moving up into sales rank. So within grunts of Buck, I came to where I am through the sales department. So sales guy, director of sales and V.P. of SALES and CSO and now president and CEO of Principal Corporation.
[00:15:37] So before we talk about what grins back, does how how challenging was it especially giving not taking anything away from engineers because they could do anything that anything world. But, you know, for in I’ve always been curious about the transition of engineers into sales centric roles.
[00:15:55] Yeah. Tell us about that. That is you know, it is very challenging. And, you know, I’m an engineer, right? You know, I was my my engineer to tell you. I used to be an engineer. Maybe. Maybe I’m not anymore. But I you know, I think you have to have the right mentality from an engineer perspective to understand that.
[00:16:14] That what you are creating. You know, you have to be able to receive feedback. Right.
[00:16:20] And so not not all engineers are good at receiving feedback about what they’re designing. Yeah. Right. Listen, listening to the customer, right. Yeah. This is very easy, you know that you don’t you get you creative, right? You know, you have your baby, right? I created. And I love the way I’ve been. This is the best machine in the world. And this is what I think you should do. And you should have these features and they have these features. But if the customer doesn’t want those features or better yet doesn’t want to pay for those features, then you have to have as an engineer, you have to be able to swallow your pride a little bit. OK. I need to design this for the customer. Yeah. And that’s the that’s the biggest challenge. Moving from engineering into sales is to having that that, you know, that not be too prideful to be able to understand that. Ultimately, whatever I’m doing is coffee cup, for example, to handle is not right. And I will not go use a coffee cup and go get another one. Right. Correct. Dan Solla. There’s there’s always options in the marketplace for your customers. Yes. And so. Especially now. Especially now.
[00:17:23] Ok. So so I appreciate you sharing. That was unexpected. Question. I appreciate you sharing. So let’s talk about what grens about that. Tell us about the company and what the company does.
[00:17:33] So we are a global organization. Fifteen hundred people globally headquarters out of Germany. So my responsibility is for the North American market. But globe, so we we focus on the multiple different industries. We call it the glass industry. So the would always say is that nobody realizes how most technology goes into making glass. Right. You know, it’s a lot of technology that goes into making glass. Well, we are, you know, from the material handling and also part of the process, steps of making float glass. That’s one of the major markets. The second major market is what we call a building materials market. That’s your gypsum wallboard. This year of ceiling tiles, party board Hardy Plank. It is one of the one of my biggest customers, James Hardie. Mean a third, let’s say vertical is into logistics.
[00:18:22] And so here we have our fleet of mobile robots. So AEG’s of software platforms. So those are our three major verticals that grunts of Bocuse is playing playing it.
[00:18:33] So on that third. Are you deploying those those that the deck technology into other customers facilities? Yes.
[00:18:40] Ok. Yes. So learns warehouse warehouse automation.
[00:18:43] Oh, yes. Really cool. I came to automation. Yes. And may these guys put on a show, you know, if you ever if you had the opportunity to get in there. I don’t know if that’s opened up. But they did it. They put on a own. Pretty amazing. We.
[00:18:57] Yeah, we have it. We have it every two years. We hosted we have we have it during the September October frame. We call it the automation fest. OK, Octoberfest. So, you know, it really is a whole day that we dedicate to educational to our customer. So we have some of our Keith soap suppliers coming in to give seminars, but then we have our own seminars and demonstration of our technology that is today.
[00:19:21] You know, I put on my little holes and I grab a beer and I have I have three little holes and that is a like I will buy it. I get it.
[00:19:32] So, yes, that was great. It was good. I appreciate you talking about that. It was fun. It was a fun event.
[00:19:37] Siplon. Now we get this a lot of different answers. This next question, because, you know, CEO, the CEO role, just because the title or this is the same course we see CEOs spend their time in a very wide variety of places. Where do you spend your time and what’s your favorite aspect of being in the leadership suite?
[00:20:00] While it’s a great question, so I I I’m still at heart sales guy. All right.
[00:20:06] And so I want to be in front of customers. Not too much. Right. I like to like my sales team be the front. But I still have great relationship. A lot of customers here in North America market. So I guess I spend a lot of time still. Well, when I’m not on Delta, I fly and fly to Iran to visit my customers around the country. So that’s still why I spend a good portion of my time maintaining those relationships with our key customers and our customers that we’re trying to grow for the market.
[00:20:37] But, you know, I am spending more more of my time in our manufacturing facilities, you know, supporting the the team as well, you know, guiding them to where we believe the organization needs to be in the next three years, how we’re transitioning a little bit from where we are today to the future. So I spent a good amount of my time there. So I think it’s pretty much split right now, maybe 50/50 between customers, an internal discussions.
[00:20:58] So it’s got to you ask a great question. Many of you know about what was your transition from engineering to sales. Now to tell us what that to you. What was your transition from engineering to the leadership roles that you have now? I mean, because that’s a that’s a different game. That’s a very important point. Was that what were the things that the people are? Ah, now in that space, they’re about to make that transition. What? What? Got it. Would you get it? I’m still learning. Rod. Thank you. Oh, yeah.
[00:21:20] You know. You know, when you come into the office every day or you visit something every day, you use a different learning experience. I think it’s, you know, transitioning to one of the good things about being an engineer. I have an engineering background coming out of M.I.T.. As that back run, is that it?
[00:21:38] We really, you know, think about how to solve a problem. Okay. Yeah, I guess so. You know, the biggest difference between moving from an engineer to an executive is not so much for me trying to solve every problem. Right. To try to get into the weeds. Right. Because I can. I can go to the nuts and bolts more easily. But. But the transition from the problem, solving it to the vision and so setting the vision for the organization and where we want the organization to be in three to five years. And trusting the team to solve the myriad of problems, to be able to get to the vision and guiding the team. Not so much trying to solve the problems for the team, but to guiding the team to a kid. If we had a roadblock here, okay, we we maybe we have to try a different thing. But ultimately, setting that vision is what I think that’s the biggest challenge for moving from engineering to leadership is moving from the problem solving role to the to the leadership. That’s a visionary role. Yes, that’s the biggest.
[00:22:35] So what are you reading that Naomi Watts, who are some of your favorite authors or mentors or what books are you read? I’m always. I mean, I’m always looking, man.
[00:22:43] Always. I don’t think that it’s a trick question. Right. You know, I you know.
[00:22:48] Well, you know, so there’s the spiritual part, right? I’m very much involved with my church. So there’s a lot of things that that I’m doing from that perspective of learning. You know, my whole spiritual portion of the Bible that I use every day to try to different the different things the read on and to give me different life lessons to it. Then I go down to my my just a kickback. I love Bob Brown, all the things that he’s done with. What’s the book’s name? With Stan Brown, one of my one of my biggest that I like to read right now. So those kind of things that I like to read. Plus, you know, you have your your help books in your, you know, seven, you know, habits, so. Right. Well, I think I did some seminars, some A.M.A. seminars recently that helped me guide me in that direction to of different things like that as well.
[00:23:35] There’s what we’re working on organizationally as Mike McAlary. It’s OK. And he’s written a book. They actually read wrote a book profit first. I read that last year made a huge difference in my business and financially where we’re at as an organization, because just the structure of it, because I’m not to like structure and figuring out challenges, problems. But he’s also written another book called Clockwork, OK, and it’s about putting systems in place internally so that you can do exactly what you’re talking about is like all the pieces and and putting the pieces and the systems in place so that your team can solve the problem. Take you out of that. Yes.
[00:24:11] You know, unless something like catches on fire and want to move to you want to get to that quadrant worn zone or is that back to the visionary to get back to what you a challenge today?
[00:24:20] So I’m going to surprise. So so as we’re asking people our favorite reads and, you know, I don’t say author, but Laura, what what have you found to be a really helpful read here lately for business leaders?
[00:24:31] So, interestingly, you know, I think that the challenge that I face a lot is especially with a lot of new faces that come in and as you’re trying to develop people to that next level, because that’s the way we do it. It’s really you’ve got to develop them internally to grow. So from that perspective, there was a book called The Art of Constructive Criticism. So how to engage them to point out the areas that, you know, are a challenge for them, but not it’s going to be beaten you down here. So they go in the corner and you’re just I just feel horrible.
[00:24:59] Start with you’re a dummy. No, no, no, no, no.
[00:25:04] But it’s about understanding their strengths and how to develop those to offset the weaknesses. Yes. Get them engaged and. Yes. Yeah. It’s kind of that whole mama bird pushing the baby bird out of the nest thing, which I you know, I don’t like pushing people in that direction, actually, literally and asked why I want to engage them. And I feel like that has been really helpful to me from a leadership perspective.
[00:25:26] That just does a good that’s a good point. I think, you know, one things that I’m that we are always trying to learn how to do is right. What are the organizational needs right versus what was skill set to my people have right. And have them make a sure those match as much as possible or I don’t know how Greene want to grow to people do to be able to support the organization as well. So that’s always that’s always interesting. Dynamic and challenge. Right. You know what it now what is the structure of the organization? And do the people I have fit the structure at? Okay. What trainings or what skill sets do we need to give these people to have to be able to do the best to organize?
[00:25:58] Hey, Laura, check this out. Hey, Scott, I will throw this over to you. What are you reading right now? Let’s hear what some of your favorite authors. Let’s let’s go around your space.
[00:26:06] I’ll tell you all some sites that I rely on, especially almost day in and day out. And for me, Fast Company. Like I did it from leadership to technology to workforce, you name it. And like, cool stuff there. Supply chain div- I think is one of the best supply chain news sites available. And then I should say so. Supply chain Digest has been around for a while and they just revamped their Web site. OK. And really it makes easier and more appealing to navigate through and find different news developments interview. So those are three that are all my go-to list, especially if you like Supply chain and Fast Company is kind of as it as the name suggests, is kind of like the cutting edge site. Right? It’s really look forward and it’s very forward looking. And and also they’re they’re very big. ProPurchaser seems like to me a proponent of top three this top five this. And I’m I’m an analyst freak crash. I love my lists. Yes. You’re stupid. Yeah. I mean, that’s just S.R. process information. So. All right. So now we’ve got the curveball question in everyone’s head has to take that. So let’s let’s kind of keep going down this path.
[00:27:17] We’ve clearly we’ve touched a lot of leadership, a lot of workforce, a lot on own career transitioning. A lot of what you’ve spoken to lets you know is wisdom is we broaden the scope, the conversation now and we think of that global manufacturing industry that that you’re smack-dab. Yes. What? One or two issues or trends or developments? What’s what’s on your radar more than others right now?
[00:27:41] Digitalization, right. That’s that is the the big thing that we are focusing on as a company. Right. You know, we know we always joked that the you know, we were German made. Right. That’s ah. That’s all. Montoro always told us this funny story. It was not it was a funny doing the time. But I was at a plant in the desert, the best one. I was at a manufacturing facility once. I’m right. And we were in a meeting. And then all of a sudden the doors popped open because a tornado hit the building. It sucked to paper off of the table. So the horn went off and we all started running. And where do we run? We ran to the grounds of wuk equipment because I knew if if I Humberto, the principal could quick and I’d be safe.
[00:28:25] So but that’s the kind of a funny story, right? Maybe a little bit exaggerated.
[00:28:32] But but we are, you know, at our core, we are a manufacturing company that makes high quality equipment that lasts for, you know, float lines. They’ve run seven days a week, 365 days a year for 20 years in a row. Right. So our equipment has to last. Right. So, you know, that’s that’s kind of in our DNA. But now we need to be more in digitization. Right. What the what does that mean? Right. What is I and how does that fit from our customer base and how can we, you know, move in and support our customers in this room? How can we use data and analytics to help our customers eventually be more efficient and profitable? So it’s not just selling our strong German made equipment, but it’s also how can we help our customers business? Right. So that’s where we’re transitioned to as a as an organization on the data side.
[00:29:21] John, I’m curious. I think there’s been such a shift in the industry in general for implementation. Yes. Everybody wants to cool things like robots on the floors and things like that. And they give so much information to the plant managers, the businesses. What are you seeing from like, you know, challenges or successes standpoint there with gathering that data and disseminating it?
[00:29:46] You spoke on a very clearly gathering the data and disseminating. Right. You know, so, you know, what is the platform to do that? Right. Yeah. And so Grimsley, Buzkashi develop the whole platform that fits very neatly into the space because, you know, and we have these larger versions, but maybe they’re too big or too expensive or they don’t quite fit for manufacturing. So Grimsley, Baucau, we developed a whole platform that can be used by like, you know, manufacturing companies because we are a manufacturing company. We know with the you know, we believe retail with, you know, data point.
[00:30:16] You know, the data points are good, right?
[00:30:18] So we want to have that. And we wanted to build a platform that our customers can use to gather his information and actually write their own applications as well. Right. So we have a we have a platform called Seriously, don’t ask me what it means up get we’re contract. But our seriously platform really is this is this is this is this is architecture to gather data. And we have our own applications that we’ve written for the specific industries that we’re in. But we also it is a platform that allows our customers to write their own applications as well. So, you know, bringing that to our customers and ensuring them what it can do and how we can gather data not only from the grunts of book equipment, but from whatever machines or equipment or process steps that they have on the manufacturing floor so they can gather that information and really use it for.
[00:31:04] For business. One of the things that I was so impressed with, the automation fair was the depth of your supplier. Yes. And your partner base. I mean, because there’s one thing I mean, you’re great at doing. You do. But if you align yourself with good partners. Yes. You know, I mean, key people that can provide the resources and knowledge, an area that your customers need, that you don’t need to get off your KBR, you’re you’re focused. Yes. Roll, man. Yeah. That that’s a real. That speaks volumes up.
[00:31:34] I strongly believe in a strong partnership. Ryder media. Nobody can be the expert at everything. Bingara.
[00:31:40] You know, I know I’m not the expert. And if my wife can clearly tell you.
[00:31:47] You know what? Having a strong partner network is what? And looking at what they can bring to the table and not being afraid to bring them in front of your customers. And I think that’s that’s very important. Right. Because your partner never we’re can enhance your overall offerings and can bring things to your customers that you can’t bring. And if you do it, well, all right, then you can overall bring a strong solution to your to your customer base.
[00:32:13] Win-win-win. Yes. It’s about community and the next. That’s magic. OK. So digitization, I would say I have 17 cups of coffee and I still miss that word. That’s front and center, especially for manufacturing, especially for supply chain. You know, all the rage in in in Supply chain, which some people say is dying in the name of circular economy. Right. Round around, around we go. Visibility is so important. Right. And of course, visibility is as a first or second cousin to digitization. What else? So when you think about, you know, global the global manufacturing boom, what else is on your radar?
[00:32:53] You know, not to put too much into politics, the model. I don’t want to dove in that, but distill uncertainty. Right.
[00:33:00] That’s that’s a big thing for us as a global manufacturing company, because we have manufacturing in North America. We have manufacturing Europe. We have manufacturing in China. And, you know, we pray every day for all the thing that’s going on with the Corona virus, Ryder. And so keep all those guys in your prayers. But just understanding, you know, how what are the changes coming from the global community? How does that impact, you know, grens the bucket? How does it impact our customers as well? Right. You know, correct. The trade wars, obviously is very you know, we watched it every day. You know, part of what impact that’s going to have on the on the DVD distort market, not so much as Tharwa, but also the currency. Right. Sure. How does it impact the euro versus the dollar? That’s very much important for me. Right.
[00:33:47] You know, and you know, because we have manufacturing in Germany, in Europe, we have manufacturing for my sister companies there in the understanding because, you know, at this day. Right. You know, for grins, a box. Right. There is not one project that we sell that is manufactured in one location. Each location plays a part to manufacturer to support our customer base. Right. And so the changing dynamics of bringing equipment in from China or from Germany and how that impacts the U.S. customer is very important. Right.
[00:34:18] And people understanding about the Corona virus. I mean, I’ve talked to several of our GM members that are international in scope. And we get a lot of folks that are just GM, Georgia, but yes, meaning and a lot that are just in U.S. but more more were were were servicing and working with international. Yes. And I’ve been surprised by the feedback that I’ve gotten from some of our our manufacturers that are international. And, you know, with the Corona virus there, they’re like, you know.
[00:34:45] Yeah, out of high. No, I mean, it is very much a pact.
[00:34:48] It as you know, we have you know you know, like I said before, we have quite a bit of equipment is manufactured in China. And our Chinese facility is only working at 15 percent capacity. Right. At a time. That’s having a big impact on our on our global customers. Right. So we just understanding that and understand what the impact of that is. And that’s very important.
[00:35:10] So not to be negative, Nancy. Yeah. In the group are negative net. What happened? But Ford, based on my take. All right. Reading the tea leaves, while we all hope and pray that the virus itself has been contained because there’s been a ton of deaths and other situations, obviously. However, the ripple effect throughout the global manufacturing, the global supply chain community, especially automotive and high tech, is yet to be seen as including as we’re talking about preshow the shipping industry. Yes. Ocean shipping industry has already taken a hit with the trade wars. There was there was an article in The Wall Street Journal this past week to speak up. We saw about town this publishers. But five ocean shipping firms are already preparing profit warnings and over 50 sailings have been canceled since late January. Some ships are leaving the dock 10 percent full so that ships already at a loss, even if they if it stops in the U.S. part hit in Europe, is still, you know, it’ll be lucky to be 35 percent full. And so this this. This ripple effect, this ball of effect is still an apex term. Don’t want to be negative, but will. A month or two down the road, we’ll kind of see what the true impact’s gonna be. Yeah, the lessons we all learn in the process, right? That’s right. So we’ll see. But I want to circle back something you spoke to on a much lighter note. OK. Because global organizations like grens about have to really. In order to execute. They have to really. All these teams and different places that that are in different cultures and they’re geared differently. They’ve got to get past all of that. Yes. To make it happen. Yes. So how does that give us a couple of observations on just how great firms like yours are able to to bake that into the culture?
[00:36:56] Yes. You know, this this is fantastic. Always, you know, laugh at my German colleagues right out to say when you come to the U.S.. Right. You know, and I have to tell my my customers in the U.S. when when our German colleagues tell, you know, that’s the German. No.
[00:37:10] Right. That really means that they’re going to go back and think about it and come back with a solution. But it does need some time. Right. Yeah. So that’s that’s that’s a funny stories. My German calls to laugh about that. Not that I’m saying all Germans allowed, but.
[00:37:24] But for me is really, you know, taking advantage. Right. I understand the differences from the cultural that we have in the. We are international company in my. I’m proud to be responsible for our North American market. But, you know, when our executive leadership team. Right. So when I go over to Germany, that was in Germany, you know, last week in meeting with our with my contact with my counterparts over from Germany. And fortunately, our team from my team from China couldn’t make it because of the virus. But, you know, I think when we sit down together, we all have different perspectives. Right. We have both an American perspective. We have a European perspective. You know, we have now of companies from Belgium, you know, and then we have, you know, our global CEO. Sure. Is not from Germany yet. But, you know, overall, I think just coming from those different perspectives I think is fantastic. Right. And it gives us a sense of that we are a global community and each one of us has a very important voice. You know, I represent North America, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t give my input on something that’s going over in Germany. All right. Or even something that going over in China or vise versa. Right. And I think those those being able to be open and work together and have that open communication is very important. We have for a global organization.
[00:38:40] I would I would I would venture to say that that chair and best practices globally, this is even more beneficial. Yes, exactly. I mean, because if they’re finding things and figuring things out in a unique way in Europe that we’re not using yet. Yes. You know, I mean, that’s that’s a that’s a that’s a strategic advantage for it to mock rather than very important.
[00:38:59] There isn’t any point. Right. Because a lot of times it doesn’t matter where do the technology is coming from. Right. Whether the solution was invented in North America but then utilized in Europe or vise versa, I think is our global footprint, because our customers also, as you know, have see different things.
[00:39:15] Right, for our customer base, which allows us to be creative and find different solutions that then may be able to solve a problem that our customers in North America are having. But they didn’t maybe didn’t really focus on it. We could bring to the table, say, hey, have you thought about this for a while yet? I am having a problem. That’s a fantastic solution. Thank you. All right. So that that collaboration that we have multiple global meetings and not just the executive level, we have global HRR meetings. Right. Really? Yes, we have local technology meetings. Right. We have global operations meetings. Right. So from the top of the organization, all the way down throughout the overall organization, we believe in having a global community come together to give best practices and ideas. Love it. Nice. That’s really helped us as an organization grow.
[00:39:58] So there’s so much more I want to dove into. Next time we’re going to you. How can our audience learn more about grens, about the organization?
[00:40:07] So, you know, obviously the easy spot is is grants a book, W.W. Doug krenzel book dot com. You go to our Web site, you can learn all about the company, all about the different technologies. Your main contact points when you want to buy something. You know, we we also have a local part. Jason Lammers is our local sales guy. So he’s I think you can try harder, probably. But if we track him down to learn more about what grins of Bucky do from the local standpoint, too. Right. Because we not only manufacture for our our customers across the country, but we do a lot of we can do a lot of stuff with our manufacturing facilities right down in Newnan, Georgia, for a local local Georgia supply, its local customers, a local area as well.
[00:40:50] So love that. And for our listeners, the grymes about will have the link in the show notes the episode. But it’s for the sake of folks that can’t spell like myself. G R E in Zeti B AC AJC.com. Yes. Now I know you are very active in the community to gather that. Yeah. Are at the Georgia Manufacturing Summit and in twenty nineteen and in whoopsy there at twenty. Jenny, you also will be at Madox. Yes, is when the largest supply chain trade shows in Western Hemisphere. Yes. You’ve got a team that, if I understood you correctly, that they’ll be speaking at the mutex coming up.
[00:41:24] Yes. Yes. We have two gentlemen who will be doing some speaking presentations at the motors that very much involved with MHR Mature. Hurley Institute. David Swabian. And Brian Kiger. OK, so I encourage you all to come out and listen to what these fine gentlemen have to say. And while they’re giving their you know, given their they’re much more explicit, the supply chain. So I rely very much on their own, their expertise. So they will be very much involved with the show. So I encourage everybody to come to Maurice Lewis, to those guys speak.
[00:41:52] So mutex showed calm and is free to attend 35000 of your friends and neighbors from across the world of global supply chain. OK. So before we wrap up, Laura.
[00:42:07] Yeah. There’s so much there. I know. I kept wanting to jump in UPS. Like I don’t want to cut John off. And then Jason Macumba with a great thing. I said, well, I’m gonna have to just hold my head for a moment. Well, so.
[00:42:20] So what’s one thing in your from your purview? I think about global manufacturing. What’s one thing that jumps off the page? And and it’s really got your attention lately.
[00:42:31] Well, basically, I think you touched on several points there, John. You know, the digitalization, actually. So I’m gonna do a couple of things here real quick, Scott, but also the working together, because the biggest part of what I do is, yes, I have a lot of companies here in the U.S. I work with, but most of those companies are actually having parents overseas. Germany on time, UK, Belgium. You know, you name it. Australia. Singapore. And, you know, I’m very fortunate that I get the opportunity to do that, because not only am I continuing to build that culture side of things, but I think, as you mentioned, key point, it’s how do we continue to build off of each other’s expertise. So when you talk about something like the digitalization platform, which I got that we’re out there, Scott, I’ve had my coffee this morning.
[00:43:18] Don’t ask me to say, what is it worth? Just Sheer or whatever.
[00:43:23] But nevertheless, there is a lot of education that’s going on right now. A lot of it not and not even maybe as much, you know, from a flight perspective. Let me get you there in person. But there’s a lot of information sharing through technology. You see some organizations using things like Google Glass, etc. So they’re disseminating that and they’re doing a lot of discussion and changes dynamically right there on the floor for what is happening, how do they incorporate this? And somebody had a great idea over here. It didn’t fail. So we’re gonna try it out over here. So I think those relationships and interconnectedness is really just it’s driving a lot of the successes, especially as you mentioned, Scott. We’re gonna start seeing that tapering off. People got ahead of the Chinese New Year with orders. But, you know, that only goes so far. So what are we going to do to continue to feed the supply chain, feed our customers and make sure that we’re staying at the forefront of all of this? So they shouldn’t feel hiccups? Yes, we should be the ones that feel. Yeah.
[00:44:23] But then my job is to make sure you don’t you know, you speak to something.
[00:44:29] This notion, the islands of excellence with global firms, you might have one plant that is just blown it out. Worldclass. Yep. But sometimes they don’t always share that information. You know, is this like within the four walls mentality? I’m not saying it’s as prevalent as it used to be, because I think just from my observations, the industry is more transparent and more willing to share. And even 5, 10 years ago, from what I see. So companies certainly within their own footprint are getting better at sharing this best practices. And clearly when you do things like you’re doing, it runs about grids, about when you’re your pool in the global H.R. team, the global operations team, you’re facilitating the sharing so that these plants do that. These teams are great at ABC. And these plants that are great at DMF, they’re sharing and asked where to learning.
[00:45:20] Alex Salaciously Well, and interestingly, too, because I saw Granz a bark, it continues to be recognized for its level of involvement in the community and educating that next generation, which kudos to you guys. I mean, we’ve got to be full on front and center on that. So but the sharing of those people, so if they’re trained over in Germany or in China, sending them over for a year over here to North America and vise versa, I think those programs have really the investment, the time and energy has been reaping a lot of benefits. We’re going to continue to see that really start to gear itself up even more so into 2020.
[00:45:56] Yeah, the comment I didn’t that’s remiss, but not comment on that. Right, because no, Greenspeak was involved. One the one of the companies that really pushed was involved in the apprenticeship program, which is based on the German model. Right. So now high school students start in 10th grade, you know, making a choice. Right. Do you know what they want to start to education? Along with the manufacturing firms, love it. We have three high school kids working for us great right now, but in conjunction with our work with the CDC, in conjunction with our intern, with our insert lodha internship program, where we have our German interns coming over and work for six months to a year working in organization. I think we the next generation, we’re very much involved. So I appreciate that comment.
[00:46:35] Yeah. I’m glad you mentioned that tuchus it a mission.
[00:46:38] Something hit off all my just little things like my back.
[00:46:42] But you know, you guys were well, the founding this organization is in a state of Georgia as they launched the German-American pressure program.
[00:46:49] And that’s that’s been a huge success. So I want what I want to do here just in this moment. So so we’re very. We love our global audience. Right? We’d love that. It’s so neat that podcasting and low barrier to entry, you can really get leadership thoughts out, perspective out and it get picked up wherever. Right, wherever folks are hungry for that. So what I’d like for you to do, John, is throw the gantlet down and challenge wine manufacturers, whether they’re here in the states or if they’re in South America or if they’re in China, wherever they are. But it’s all about educating us and making aware of the next generation, right?
[00:47:27] Yeah. You know, we talked to a bit of, you know, Kim, about my personal experience and where that’s led me right now. And, you know, the different exposure that we need to present to our children. Right. To give them different options is so important in manufacturing. And I’m pretty passionate about this. And, you know, companies and particularly manufacturing companies have so much to give and so much opportunities in, let’s say, that we can give for the next generation if we would open up. So I do challenge every company in the state of Georgia to work with your local communities. And I started German American Chamber or apprenticeship programs. So like what we’ve done here in this area, which is really growing in Atlanta area quite rapidly. So I you know, if you want to have some discussions on what that bought that, you know, look us up and we’ll be happy like I’ve gone around and give gave talks to other companies and stuff. And then talking to them about how we did it and how we’re successful here. And, you know, I really challenged everybody to really open up your doors because you may not see, you know, it’s not always but the short term benefit. We have to think about the next generation. We have to think about manufacturing and what it means in North America. And if we don’t if we don’t present these options to our kids, because if they’re sitting around playing video games all day long, like, you know, we’re not doing anything with their hands. They will they will lose that interest. Right. Yeah. And that is harder to it’s harder to get a one year old.
[00:48:53] I’ll give you a real quick short story about involvement in manufacturing and learning about it. I want to hinder County Elementary School MacDonell measure school. And in the first grade they took us to the Ford factory. I was 7 years old. They walked us around the Ford plant. And I was just fascinated. They’re rolling in steel and rolling out cars and really smart people coming up with amazing solutions to tough problems to produce products. And I was just fascinated. And now as an organization, what we do is we take industry professionals and to be able to do that same thing.
[00:49:36] And if I win the lottery tomorrow, if I was to win a lot and I would have three kids who I promise you, I never would make that consideration.
[00:49:46] But but, you know, that’s been able to impact kids and get them to if you can walk them to a factory, it can have a amazing impact on at least like you said, growing up as a child in that program. When you get a kid to walk through a factory, yes. It changes their perspective of the industry as a whole. We as an industry don’t like manufacturing sex. Yes. If we don’t, at least give them the chance. Now, the pushback that I get. The challenge that I have is, you know, running the organization is it’s it’s absolutely impossible to monetize it because kids don’t have 20 bucks to build a plant door. And if it did, most factories had answers.
[00:50:22] Johns Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:50:25] But but the impact on the industry would be phenomenal down the road. But there’s there’s there’s challenges. One is insurance for manufacturers. They have to let kids in. The other is that the interest is there. There’s really cool stuff going out in Douglasville. They’re doing some stuff with high school seniors. But you have to be a senior to be able to be a part of it. But if you take kids in first or second, third grade and let them see what manufacturing can be. I promise you, the results in 10 years will be amazing in and we get to do that with industry professionals. You’re talking five or 10 years ago talking about the collective and the engagement and an openness factors. Ten years ago when I started driving a plant tours, dude, it was almost impossible. People would say, why do you want to come to a bar? Yes. You know, who are you with? What do you want to come see? And it was horrible. Now that we’ve toured hundreds and hundreds of plants, we’ve talked to Coca-Cola and Caterpillar and Gulfstream and Daniel Defense and Grins Boxx and we’ll get the Sea World Class manufacturing. It’s kind of brought that that barrier down a little bit. They trust us. Now they see that we’re not coming in there to do any bad stuff. But it gives us the opportunity, again, to share best practices and to build that relationship. We could do it professionally, but if we could figure out a way to get the kids in their main goal.
[00:51:40] So, John, throwing the gantlet down to a global audience will respond. No doubt you’ll love what you are doing. And Jason, really appreciate where you’re coming from, because, of course, we’re talking about how kids can benefit and how we’re gonna tackle that awareness gap there. But professionals have in many ways the same type of lack of awareness. And then your tackling that. But here, as we start to wrap up, we want to get the GMH update. You talk about a big anniversary coming up. Right. But what’s the biggest? I don’t want steal your thunder.
[00:52:14] So Thursday, I know this might be going a little late, but if it were the 20th, we’re doing our twelve year anniversary. Really excited about that.
[00:52:21] We’re doing it. It Technical College. There were you know, they’re opening up a brand new advanced manufacturing program. And we’re going to celebrate. Catch your name. It didn’t actually they named it after me, but I did get tagged this year to be in the alumni of the year for Gwinnett Tech. And I’m also a breathalyzer. So we’re gonna we’re gonna help promote that program and all the all the proceeds that come in from the event. We’re starting a GM, a scholarship for Best May to Ally. I’m stoked about the fantastic. Yeah, that’s pretty cool. So so that’s what’s coming up in February and September is our George Manufacturing Summit, September the 15th. Cobb Galleria, we’re expecting to have over a thousand people in attendance. We’ve never had our keynotes out this far in advance. I’m really excited. We have Cindy Imadi, Daniel, the CEO and president of Daniel Defense. They manufacture found that in South Georgia, World-Class Firearms at 300000 square feet. Amazing facility. And so so Cindy Martingale share their story about where they came from, you know, working in the garage. You know, in a closet.
[00:53:22] In a garage to build a, you know, employ hundreds of people. You have 300 people, Dan Solla Jordan. They might get some fine firearms, but so we’ve got that.
[00:53:32] And then we also we’ve never had a keynote outside of the industry. But I’ve partnered up with a guy by the name, a Lieutenant Colonel, Waldo Waldman. Great guy, phenomenal speaker, wingman.
[00:53:45] Yeah, he’s right. That’s exactly. Exactly.
[00:53:48] He’s a Hall of Fame keynote speaker, is executive leadership coach. He’s coached, you know, a lot of folks in the Fortune 100 CEOs I’ve engaged in. Believe it or not, is a coaching relationship. And he is he is making some significant impacts in the direction of GSA. And again, New York Times bestseller, Great Gap. So we’ll he’ll be here. He’ll be our lunchtime keynote. We’ll have educational sessions throughout the day. September 15th, September, talk about George Manufactory Summit and the George Manufacturing Awards. So we are taking nominations. That’s open up. You can get a George Manufacturing Award, WSJ.com. There’s no no charge or anything. Just go in and put in your people. We get four different categories. And again, it’s to highlight and showcase the good people that are doing good work. It’s not about the company.
[00:54:32] It’s not about the product. It’s about the people of manufacturing. So we’re docked about that cash. And no shortage of things that GM made does to support in Australia.
[00:54:43] We’ve got about probably 15 other events on the schedule. Last year we did about we had about thirty five hundred people attend events that we hosted. We hosted 120 events around the state. So we’re pretty, pretty active. So if you wanna go check out some cool manufacturing. Go check it out at Georgia Manufacturing Alliance dot com.
[00:55:00] Okay. So good. You read My Man, which my wife says it’s not tough to do.
[00:55:06] No one knows why you’re Georgia manufacturing alliance dot com.
[00:55:10] You can look up Rismark and see Jason’s information because Jason Lammers information is listed at Georgia manufacturing alliance.
[00:55:15] Okay, so Georgia manufacturing alliance dot com. To learn more about all things Jimmy. Correct? Right. And Laura, tell us about how folks got in touch with you.
[00:55:23] Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, you know, I’m definitely having on LinkedIn, so please reach out to me. I’m always happy to connect and talk and see what I can share for value ads and make connections for you. But outside of LinkedIn, my firm is a h.l b gross kollin. So it’s h.l B G.R. o ss c o l l ionesco dot com. That’s our Web site. You’ll find me on there underneath the M DNS segment as well as through other social media sites, Twitter, Facebook.
[00:55:52] I’m sure there’s others that I’m just jerai everyone.
[00:55:54] I’m old school and I hate to admit it, but yeah. Yeah.
[00:55:59] And then also you will also find me under the joining Mine Manufacturing Alliance dot com because I am very fortunate to be the core Metro Atlanta chapter director for GM. So out of those thirty five hundred events, at least 12 of those are over a mile. Office monthly, we bring in manufacturers, industry leaders and experts to share insights and make great connections for people in the community.
[00:56:22] Love is love it. And of course, all of these your LS or mentioning will be as part of the show. So make it really easy for folks to to learn more and connect after the show. Okay. As much as I want to just add one more hour, I know we have a global business responsibility around this table, so we can’t do that. But to our audience, be sure to check out our events and webinar tabs. Supply Chain Now Radio RT.com for some of our upcoming in-person and virtual events that are coming up with partners around the world. Not only will we be broadcasting live at X, so we’ll probably rubbing elbows with grens, Buck and others. But also we just announced this past week we’re gonna be Supply chain USA 2020 up in Chicago with the great folks at EAFE and Warner’s event. So looking forward to that, I think. I’m not sure they’re going to let Gregg out on the floor. Greg White, who’s my partner in crime by believing me, interviewing a lot of law there. Keynotes right there, kind of after their keynote folks. We can get a sense of who they are as people and leaders and whatnot. So really looking forward to that. Okay. Big thanks to our guests here today. John Fluker, president CEO at grens Bock. You can learn more at grens About.com. Yes. And also linked in. Linked in. Yes, yes. Yes. To our social media entrepreneurs out there, please. No more social. We got seventeen thousand.
[00:57:42] We’re good, at least for a couple weeks, right, Laura? That’s right. That’s right.
[00:57:46] But big thanks. Loved John. Really appreciate. Where you coming from? From a leadership perspective and what you are doing to reinvest into the community and the industry. What a great story. And thanks. We’re also the one the gantlet down and challenging other organizations to do the same. Hi, Flora. I’m sure audience enjoy as much as I did. Jason Maule, CEO, the Georgia manufacturing alliance. Great to have you back. Go ahead. Be back and launch it. Really? Yeah, it really was. Yeah. Laura manages ASCII. Appreciate your firm sponsorship of these conversations and great to have you back in studio as well. To our audience, be sure to check out other upcoming events, replays of our interviews, other resources at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. And again, you can find us where every podcast from Apple podcast, Spotify, YouTube, wherever you get your podcasts from me. Sure to subscribe. So you’ll miss a thing behalf on behalf of the entire team here. Scott Luton. Wish you a wonderful week ahead. We’ll see you next time. On, you know. Thanks everyone.
John Fluker was named to the position of President & CEO of Grenzebach Corporation by the Grenzebach board of Directors in May of 2017. As President & CEO, he provides leadership and is responsible for all day to day management decisions and implementation of the company’s long and short term strategies for the North American, Latin American, and parts of the South American markets. He is also a part of the Grenzebach Group’s executive management team representing the NAFTA region, helping to guide the Grenzebach Group’s overall strategy and execution at a global level. He currently also serves as Chairman of the Board of Millennium Control Systems, a company within the Grenzebach Group providing Controls and Automation Solutions for the Glass, Tire and Rubber, and Steel markets. A native of Georgia, Mr. Fluker relocated back to Georgia from Boston and started at Grenzebach in February of 2006 as a Sales Manager for the Glass market for Grenzebach. Since that time he has held positions of Director of Sales, Vice President of Sales, and Chief Sales Officer (CSO) before being named to his current position. Mr. Fluker is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. While getting his degree at MIT, he served as a research assistant and instructor of engineering in various summer programs guiding upcoming high school seniors. He was a member of the MIT basketball team and involved in variety of organizations and churches in the Boston area and he has continued his community and church involvement after moving back to the Atlanta area. Mr. Fluker’s early work history included positions with a large Boston firm specializing in semi-conductor test equipment. He held various roles, beginning as a Manufacturing Engineer and ending up as a Product Support Engineer. His work as a Product Support Engineer required extensive travel throughout the world, primarily in South East Asia supporting company and customer installations in those regions. John Fluker met his wife of twenty years, Shelly-Ann while attending MIT. Dr. Shelly-Ann Fluker, is an Associate Professor of Medicine of Emory University working at Grady Hospital. They have two beautiful children, John Stephen and Alecia.
Laura Madajewski, CPA, MBA is a Principal in the Audit and Advisory department of HLB Gross Collins, P.C. She leads the firm’s Manufacturing and Distribution Practice, as well as the ERISA Practice of the firm. She has extensive experience helping clients improve controls, strengthen management, enhance governance roles and oversight and streamline operations through diligence to facilitate positive changes and growth for her clients’ operations. As a trusted advisor, she gets to know each client in order to provide a customized approach to their assurance and accounting needs. In her spare time, Laura enjoys charitable and volunteer roles throughout the Atlanta and North Fulton communities supporting various initiatives. She also is an avid barbeque fan and enjoys judging contests as a Kansas City Certified BBQ judge. Learn more about HLB Gross Collins here: https://hlbgrosscollins.com/
Jason Moss is Founder and CEO of the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance (GMA). The organization is the fastest growing community of industry professionals in the state. Since 2008, GMA has provided the premier platform for manufacturing leaders to form strategic alliances, share best business practices, and make profitable business connections. GMA now has six chapters across the state that are facilitated by volunteer chapter directors. The organization’s staff and Chapter Directors work together to identify quality manufacturers, coordinate plant tours, and provide educational workshops in their regions. Each month GMA provides at least 5 plant tours where others can learn best business practices from their peers. Learn more about the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance here: https://www.georgiamanufacturingalliance.com/
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Data Analytics and Metrics Intern
Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.