Supply Chain Now
Episode 303

Episode Summary

“Cisco is willing to take back 100% of customer gear anywhere in the world at no charge. It’s a bold statement. Huge. You can do that at a revenue loss, or, if done right, you can combine what is not only right for the environment with what is smart for business.”

– Rich Bulger, Director of Reverse Logistics at Cisco


Reverse logistics is a unique space, and many companies underestimate its complexity as well as its benefits. When done right, reverse logistics can be a sales driver as well as an investment in sustainability.

Cisco is the worldwide leader in IT, networking, and cybersecurity solutions. Their equipment is costly, but it holds its value well over time. As a result, their CEO has made a commitment to take back all Cisco gear, regardless of who or where it is coming from.

In this interview, recorded live at the Reverse Logistics Association Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, Rich tells Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton about:

· Why it is easier to talk about valuing a circular economy than it is to create or operate one

· The secondary market that will always exist for high priced goods that hold their value over time

· Why a circular economy will never be sustainable if the operational changes it requires do not align with corporate culture

Episode Transcript

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


[00:00:29] Hey, good morning, Scott Luton. With you here once again, supply chain. Now welcome back to the show.


[00:00:34] So today we continue our coverage of the reverse Logistics conference, a reverse Logistics Association conference. And next, Barry Gill, the center of the universe for all things were turns in reverse Logistics. So we’re not in Atlanta. We’re in beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada. So we’re going to be continuing our interviews with some of the brightest thought leaders in Supply chain, leaders in the space, many of whom led keynotes and panels and participated, some of it exhibited. And we’re going to continue that trend right here with our our guests for this episode. But before we do, let’s welcome in my fearless co-host, Greg White. He is a supply chain serial tech entrepreneur, Supply chain adjutant and trusted advisor. Greg, how you doing? I’m doing great. I keep trying to make up new titles at 0 1.


[00:01:20] That’s good. I’m going to I’ll I’ll make another one for you that starts to feel more impressive. OK. Now, look, eight today seems to be tech day, right? We’ve talked about a smart labels. We’ve talked about c_t_s_. And now we’re going to talk to one of the leaders in technology in the world. Yes. Right.


[00:01:39] And one of our favorite companies, one of the world’s most admired companies. And we’ve we’ve had good fortune at Supply chain now to feature several the leaders of gas episodes before we introduce our featured guest. Where can folks find our podcast?


[00:01:52] Where can they find him, Scott? They can build podcasts. Google, podcasts, Spotify. Really? Anywhere you get your podcasts, including YouTube.


[00:02:03] And be sure to build it a little deeper. YouTube. OK. Practice zet with my music teacher. But yeah. Be sure to subscribe so you’ll miss anything. You won’t want to miss conversations like this. We’re going to have with Mr. Rich Bolger. Mr. Yes.


[00:02:18] He said to call him Richard if he was in trouble. Is he in trouble? He is not. OK. Wait, wait. We didn’t establish that groundedness established, sir. Mr. Really? Exactly. Yes.


[00:02:27] Is the formal introduction so. So Rich serves as director of Reverse Logistics with Cisco Systems, not Cisco, the food organization, but Cisco Systems, which as we alluded to, whether you’re thinking sustainability or you’re thinking some of the most admired brands in the world. Cisco always ranks sometimes at the top of that list.


[00:02:47] More connected, but less tasty. Yes. Right. Oh, boy. All right.


[00:02:53] So, Rich Afia, great day is the area. Yeah. Keep it lively. Rich, I know you’ve had a busy week here. This is a good final days. It has been a good week. Yeah. And so tell us about first off, where you’re from.


[00:03:09] We know we already know. We’ve done our homework for you. And you know what? I’m going to go off script, Ben, that microphone in just a smidge. OK? Yes. Perfect. And we’ll edit that on post. No Froome. So we already have done our homework. Only rich. And we understand your big Rams fan. I’m a giant Rams fan. Really? Yeah. And it just so happens there was a famous boulder that played quarterback for the ranter was Mark Bolger.


[00:03:35] You know, he played for a university, West Virginia, and then he was drafted by the the Saints. And he made his way to my beloved Rams. So a lot of people think I’m going to go off on a tangent. OK. But a lot of people think that that Bolger replaced Kurt Warner. Yeah. There’s actually a Jamie Martin in between the two UPS.


[00:03:52] Right. So Biljana very won him twice. Right.


[00:03:55] So I still support the at the number 10 jersey. I take my kids to go see a home game in L.A. every year. They’ve been to two in a in St. Lewis. But every year we take our Tucker mentioned and we still rock the number 10 Bolger’s Wow big.


[00:04:11] He is the heart that is a huge fan. All right. I’ve got to shave my ram cave when we go off. All right. Man cave I love.


[00:04:19] I’ve got a pretty impressive ram cave.


[00:04:21] So one quick side note. So I told you, I grew up a Rams fan back in the days of Jim Ever and Flipper Anderson and Greg Bell. And I did not know that. Yeah. It just it was kind of a weird thing because I’ve never we never talk anymore.


[00:04:35] We’ll welcome you back to the fold if you want to join our end to end. I love that. Yeah, my my license plate in my Dodge Ram, says Bramley.


[00:04:42] Wait a minute. That says I drive a Dodge Ram m.E. With license plate. Yeah. That is hardcore. Is it blue and gold or is it blue and yellow? It’s black. Oh, I’m I’m a black on black car driver.


[00:04:57] All right. So let’s let’s talk about real quick. Where you grew up?


[00:05:01] Yeah, I moved around quite a bit. I’ve lived in New Jersey, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky.


[00:05:08] Why was that military family? Was it?


[00:05:10] I was a child, the divorce growing up. So that that moved me around quite a bit when I was younger and like this. And then I joined the army at 17. Got out when I was 20. I spent some time with the Society of Automotive Engineers after the military. And then I met a girl who got a scholarship to the University of South Carolina and where I started on at Verusen Wireless, also as a temp from a decco. And I relocated with them six times. I think you two might be separated at birth.


[00:05:36] Really? Rams fans? Yeah. Yeah. And it’s a common another common connection. University, South Carolina. Right? Oh, are you a gamecock? I.


[00:05:44] He’s a big star when the lifelong Clem7 that graduated from Carolina, so. Oh, that’s so weird. The Air Force had a little something to do with that, as they always do.


[00:05:54] I’ve got a guy that I’ve worked with for almost two decades. He got a undergraduate at the University of South Carolina and then he got his master’s degree at Clemson. So whenever he says something silly, I’m like, that’s your Clemson degree talking. Whenever he’s on point is go Gamecocks.


[00:06:10] So, Olivia and tough conversations with adults. I’m still that. So you moved with a decco six times earlier.


[00:06:17] Risin Vuzix time. Sorry. So I Verizons had me in Columbia, South Carolina, in Charleston, South Carolina. And then back to Columbia. And in Knoxville, Tennessee. Yeah. Then in Greenville, South Carolina, before they moved me to Texas. And that’s where I’m at now.


[00:06:30] So were you involved? You told me something pre-show that you were part of the team at Verusen early on. They got involved in reverse. Just weird religious reverse. Logistics. They were turns.


[00:06:42] Yes. Yes. So a little bit of history down with that. I started with Verizons attempt from a decco taken bill payments in a store in Columbia, South Carolina. Wow. And then I worked hard and got a part time customer service job and then part time sales. Full time sales was a top sales rep in the top drawer for Horizon, the South Brant relocations around that number one store. And then I became a retail district manager, running 17 stores from Knoxville, Tennessee, to Bristol, Virginia, to Asheville, North Carolina, of about 260 districts in the company. Our team was the top producing team in activations, handset movement, accessories that made it happen within the team. But but oh, no, it was it was a team. You know, we we outperformed, you know, markets like New York, Florida, Southern California because our stores were spread out and we had to focus hard, really hard to make our stores places that people wanted to shop. So I would go through without knowing what process engineering was. Right. We process engineer on the line. We would take phones apart, rubberband them together. We knew it took 47 seconds to do that. Right. And if you had 50 people on a floor, getting everything that you needed ready could result in a customer walking out.


[00:07:53] Right. So every morning we would prepare the store by getting our inventory ready to to go. And then. So I got really good at being efficient in processing. And really good alara lot else. Yeah. So I became a operations and marketing director supporting North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee as a $618 region with 10 million subscribers. So it from Missouri who barely graduated high school, didn’t have an online degree yet got put into this role where I was supervising both operational aspects and marketing, which made sense when you thought of it. If we had a promotion that was coming out and we didn’t have enough inventory for the promotion. Someone like me could go through and say, well, that doesn’t make sense, right?


[00:08:37] More people should do that. Yeah, it won’t help you make dollars.


[00:08:41] Yeah. And I became one of the first. There was only two operations marketing directors that could see the business from that lens. Right. And part of that responsibility was continuity marketing.


[00:08:52] So if I can stop. Yeah. Real quick, because I think what I’m hearing is you’re a very unique breed that can come to appreciate and know and and become very proficient and expert at both sales and the operations side.


[00:09:08] I think that the problem solving, too. I mean, yes. Did a lot of problem solving without I mean, without a specific education towards that or without a specific understanding of even what to call it. I mean, it’s not like you would read a book and go, oh, and apply that. And I just figured it out.


[00:09:24] But yet the bulk of the workforce, I would argue, at least from from my experiences, either you’re sales oriented or you’re very operationally oriented. There’s there’s a very minority population that can really play in both of those sandboxes.


[00:09:40] Yeah. But half my life I spent on quota, I’ve had a sales later throw a Waffle House applications at us and we fell from number one to number two. Really? Oh yeah. Anything about that.


[00:09:51] That’s a Glengarry Glen Ross moment is.


[00:09:53] Yeah. When someone throws 40 Waffle House applications at you and you fill every one of those applications. Out with the name of the person who threw them at you and turned them into every Waffle House in Columbia, South Carolina. We love the Army. His phone rang for months. I love it so. About half my life I spent on on quota and I actually got into reverse Logistics from a marketing role. So at. At Verusen. At Verusen. Yeah. Yeah.


[00:10:21] So after your days of driving revenue from a traditional sell side, you were moved over into the probably the earliest or some of the early reverse. Logistics. Team one. Verusen.


[00:10:34] Well I was moved into this operations and marketing role as a part of my mission was to drive down return rates, catchin to drive down discounts, to drive down the credits that we were giving GATA customers while managing acquisition marketing and continuity marketing. I got to new sponsorships like the Gamecocks and and Clem SILC Mercy Tennessee. Yeah, so that that position was was really unique and wasn’t just focused on retail. I had a business to business team that I had operations support for. I had indirect teams and I told my boss, you know, whenever he wanted to take one of the most aggressive sales ADAS that he had and and put it over an operations role. I might. Do you really want to put the fox in charge of the head? Yeah, right. And what he told me during the interview. Yes. Has shaped kind of my professional.


[00:11:22] And so on that note, let’s fast forward to Cisco in this ad to join the. Initially, we had to join the Cisco team.


[00:11:32] Well, I got involved with a rise and basically built their trading program back in 2010 when no one wanted to do it. And eventually I got moved into running the reverse Logistics and global repair operation for Verizons and processing about fifteen million handset gotcha. Running a very large budget. Applying tools. Applying Logistics processes. Managing the contracts. Managing the performance metrics that the KPI is that we needed to run the operation. So I did that for two years and then my boss came to me and said, Hey, we’re growing. This space is training program that no one really wanted to get involved with back in 2004. Now, we had just hit a very big numbers in terms of revenue off of the used equipment. Okay. And we were challenged with growing that number. So when she came to me and said, Hey, I want you to run BEA monetization team, it took me two years to learn reverse Logistics when I was over it going from sales and marketing to reverse Logistics was like going from taekwondo to tennis. The rules of engagement were totally different. You had to be athletic. But my spider sense was going crazy, trying to figure out what was a problem, what wasn’t a problem.


[00:12:49] And then after I figured that out, she’s like, well, hey, we’ve got all this excess inventory that we just made a lot of money on. So I want you to take that team and basically grow it by your entire operation and repair budget. So we did that and we doubled that number in two years. So Cisco came after we won a Gartner award to visit the facility. And they were one of the only companies, the only company I can think of that got a floor tour to see the robotics and automation, the process. And I got to know the folks at Cisco and I get to learn about their mission. You know, learning about Chuck’s pledge, our CEO’s pledge at Davos, where Cisco is willing to take back 100 percent of any customers gear from anywhere in the world at no charge. It’s a bold statement. Huge. You can do that at a revenue loss or if done right, you can combine what is not only right for the environment with what is smart for business. So we went through it was an idea sharing session. And then at the end of that year horizon, you had new leadership at the top and they offered a package.


[00:14:03] It was very similar to what I saw in the military in the late 90s where they wanted to do a voluntary drawdown. So they had a retirement package that that they offered to people who chose to go and they advertised it. And in the reverse space there, there’s not a lot of people that understand the scale and how to harness it. So I had seven job offers before I even had to click the button. And Cisco, oddly enough, that they contacted me at the same time. And Jack Allen, my boss now said, hey, we wrote this job description because we thought is what you did if you’re ever interested in making a change. Let me know. And I’m like, well, did you hear about the package? And he was like, no. Now we just on your way to a slight amount of time before we tried to reach out and bring you on the team. So the ad, the cosmic stars align well and at Cisco at that point was rated the number six place in the United States to work. They have since moved to number one. They’ve got a phenomenal mission, they’ve got a culture that wants to change.


[00:15:04] They’ve got Jack Allen, they’ve got Jack Allen.


[00:15:06] Jack Allen wasn’t afraid to fire a hire that furry guy to come in and run reverse so that the stars aligned. It was like a day interview.


[00:15:16] So let’s talk about reverse Logistics and what your team is doing at Cisco. Cisco Systems. Tell us more. What what’s your what’s your approach? What? Or maybe a little bit about the company approach. Limbaugh About your approach.


[00:15:29] Sure. The company is definitely driving towards a circular economy and sustainability. Absolutely.


[00:15:35] And they’re they’re an industry leader and a noted industry leader for years now. Yeah.


[00:15:39] Yeah. It’s easy to say circular economy. It’s tough to understand what it is. And it’s even harder to figure out how to execute on that play, because in order to do that, you’ve got to fundamentally change the way that you operate your business.


[00:15:54] You’ve got to first have some level of awareness. I mean, if there’s anything we’ve heard this week, it’s been that there there’s very little awareness of the breadth of what reverse Logistics is about. I mean, it’s I can’t remember who said it, but, you know, it’s not about end of life for the product. It’s about new life.


[00:16:12] Yeah. The products are getting Lu to me. Products? Yeah. To the people that don’t necessarily want the new gear. Right. But they use gear is a very attractive proposition. If I take my 2015 Dodge Ram. Yep. That I bought for $40000. That’s black. There’s a black. That takes your rambly out of my rambly. And I traded in if Dodge’s stance on my old Ram was to take it and throw in the chipper because they use Dodge Ram to displace the new sale. Then I would have twenty five thousand dollars less in my pocket to buy the next new thing. Yes, right. And the person who wants the 2015 Dodge Ram is not. There’s a market for that. There’s totally a market. And the Internet and a lot of organizations that are at this event with RLA right now are really good at matching USD supply with the user demand. Yeah. So the gray market, the secondary market, I call it the Greene market will never go away. Yeah. So all year long I’ve been telling the story that if you can’t beat it, be the best at it. And that’s dictating our strategy, our investment. And you know, Cisco has a phenomenal manufacturing and for Logistics flow. And my mission is to make our reverse flow when that product comes back just as good as the manufacturing flow. You better love it.


[00:17:42] I’m I’m ready. I’m sold. I want to run through that wall. Right. I really mean, I’m count- tongue in cheek.


[00:17:48] But I love how you kind of illustrated the journey to get there and some of some of the big things you did at Verizons and then Cisco. Very a love there. They’re surreptitious approach to having you in part of the team. And now you get a chance to double down and take their successful approach, because I would say you said it’s easy to say circular economy is easy for companies to say that. It’s easier for companies to say sustainability. Yeah, but the action behind it is often lacking. But not it. Not with your organization. That’s right. And so now you’re you’re it’s like you’re you’ve got this great legacy, but now you’re going to double down and go bigger.


[00:18:32] Right. Right. I think it’s a good example of how culture flows through a company. I mean, we know Jack Allen Skip. Right. And if you think about you think about what the charge is from the top. Right, from management at Cisco. You think about what we know about Jack. And what we’ve just learned about, you know, it’s a very clear picture of how that culture flows through the company and accrues to the benefit not only of the company and of you and your your fellow colleagues, but also to the world, because you’re now dedicated to cleaning up your part of the world. Right. With equal efficiency, as the as the rest of the company is, is creating a world impact from the forward Logistics as you Dessa.


[00:19:13] And. And I would also say that not only the sustainability, but the most important thing I can press upon this interview with Reverse Logistics is I am a driver of sales. I can impact the company’s stock price has a greater reverse Logistics.


[00:19:29] Yeah. It’s not just a backoffice thing, right? You’re not you’re not just trying to offset costs in the back end. You’re actually generating value to the top line.


[00:19:39] Well, I don’t think about that. The RAM illustration if you turn.


[00:19:43] I have a feeling you’re not going to allow us to think about any other illustration that illustrates. I’ve got I’ve got tons of it. I do. Goodbye.


[00:19:52] If you went through to the car market and said, hey, you can no longer trading cars and give people money anymore, we’re just gonna throw in the chipper. That would fund a. Any change? Yes, the direction of new sales. Yeah. And back in 2010, when no one wanted to trade in phones, that was a battle to get people to within the Verizons culture, to get a valuated trading program. And we don’t buy phones, we sell phones. And now the entire cellular industry is oriented towards how much is my own thing, right? That’s right. And where I had to fight tooth and nail to get the very first valuate trade out the door in the cellular industry. If he tried to take the trading program away, not only would your sales team kill you, but your customers would kill you too, because they’re acclimated to that.


[00:20:39] So thank you for making that that one big point very clear, because that we haven’t harped on that enough despite haven’t heard it.


[00:20:47] I mean, I wouldn’t say we’ve heard it that much. Right. That that’s fair. That reversal Logistics can impact the top line is the sales drive sales. It’s a spectrum. That’s right. Yeah, that’s that’s an unique perspective. And I think that changes and probably raises the import of how people view reverse Logistics if they can recognize that it impacts not only the bottom line, but also the top line. Yeah.


[00:21:08] Greene call it that. The Bolger principle moving forward. Suzanne like you are the first. I mean Jeff and other folks have maybe spoken to it. Like I said, look, this is the most important point made during this conversation. Yeah. Yes. Bolgar principle moving for like it. So before we. I’m sorry. Yeah.


[00:21:24] Yeah. Just just a story about. Yeah. That trading program came to be I was a marketing director. I had some some operations ability. But growing the top line revenue is always exciting me. And we had a continuity marketing program at Horizon called New Every Two. You know, back when. Oh yeah. Yeah, I don’t remember. Yes. You if you add your phone for two years and we would give you a hundred dollars off the purchase of another one. Yep. And then when smartphones came out that started changing the game because the price of the phone started going up so much. And the carriers were shell shouldering the weight of offering the subsidy offset. Right. So eventually the finance team, I call them the army of Dr No went went through sales prevention, teen set sales prevention team. It went through and said, well, hey, that that program’s costing us too much. Yes, we’re going to end it. And Rich, by the way, the new guy in this operation is a marketing role in charge of preventing discounting. You are now in charge of making sure that the people that you work with and your customers don’t apply that discount inappropriately. And I told my boss, Mike, it’s terrible because, you know, we’re not valuing our customers that are staying with us. And he’s like, if you don’t like that, fix it. So I initially attacked the trading program to try to drive market share.


[00:22:52] And I found a company is recycling their their Haisla now that wanted to buy phones. They had the infrastructure to do that, but they weren’t involved in the conversation when the magic happened. Customers much more likely to trade in their car when they’re buying a new one. Rod right customer is much more likely to trade in their phone when they’re buying a new one. Right. And if you can apply the value of the old gear as a form of payment towards a new transaction. Well, now the world changed. Right. And, you know, we went through when I started this, all the folks are saying, well, now we don’t buy phones with cell phones. We don’t want to give discounts. We don’t want to invest in infrastructure. We don’t even know if this thing is going to make money. Right. And I talked my boss into give me two districts of 15. I want to try this. And we had to go through and build the valuation portal. We had to find a way to duct tape and super glue. How do we pay customers for their old phone? Ron, my very first foray in reverse Logistics is how do I go through and get the use phones to the site in Indiana instead of where all the other phones go in Fort Worth? So I solved that with 10 SLAPP boxes and greenback’s Greene for recycling.


[00:24:02] And then what happened was after we went through and we were able to go through and buy a phone back for $100, apply the $100 towards everything else we’re trying to sell in the store. The sales rose and we made money on the used gear. We made money selling the new gear. And when I knew we were onto something was when we were at a review horseshoe table. Yep. Region present the medal. Doctor no finance on the left. I was on the on the right with my binder of of information and everyone of the 15th district managers had to come up and put their numbers in front of everyone’s. Greene read. And where do you stack rank? And the two districts that had my program were number one. Number two in every one of those 14 categories, some of which I had Waffle House applications thrown at me, not doing well enough. And the other 13 district managers complained this that their results weren’t as good because they didn’t have the. Program. Wow. And then he’s like, well, now you have all 15 districts and area. So we went through and rolled it out. And then after that, we had to go through and we were part of the panel, the firing squad and the CEO, C.O.O. over there. And we had to go through and put our region results. We’re one of six in that in the area. And our region was number one, number two and everything. And I love it. Wow. And overnight, it’s like, all right, let’s let’s go through Daryl tells me you like a challenge. I don’t know.


[00:25:28] So what do you think the pivot point was? What what changed in the company’s mind or in the consumer’s mind that enabled this additional sales and try to improve all these metric?


[00:25:41] Yeah. Yeah. I operate off of three rolls around, rolling anything out. You’ve got to make it simple. Then you got to prove that it works. And then you have to create an inspection point to make sure you can be viciously consistent when you when you get it done. So for me, the first investment in time was going through and talking to my sales team and say, hey, I want to try this. What would it take for you to say? Yes. And sales one to one if you can’t do something in 30 seconds or or less than the floor, a retailer UPS not going to do it right. So very simple question. What are you doing with your old thing? And a very simple way to go through and see how much it’s worth. And then when I was able to go through and prove that you could impact the sales results, this wasn’t just one more thing that had no value. Right. This is one more thing that done right could impact the stock price. You know, and then developing the tools to simplify the process over time. It was not being afraid to get fired. I always joked, hey, I’m going to get fired for something. It’s going to be something I believe in. But I’m not afraid to go through and try something different. Yeah. Love it. I.


[00:26:55] Ok. So before we ask you to, you elbow him and Johnson. Oh, OK.


[00:27:01] He said Richard stuff Richie’s got he’s a mention is spotty since earlier he got a fifth sense. You can read where we’re going. I hate to contain this conversation.


[00:27:16] In the meantime, we have so we’ll have touches that opens up an opportunity for us to have another one. Yeah. There we go.


[00:27:21] At some point, I think a lot of folks. So why what you’re addressing? I think there is some X’s and O’s and some things that are directly applicable, of course, for Supply chain reverse Logistics, but more importantly for for leadership geeks like me that enjoy kind of hearing some of the leadership, some of the bigger picture, IMO, that you have, that could be a whole different conversation. So. But before we move on and get your take on Owen in global supply chains, a key issue or two there. You’re tracking. Give us one more set. So looking forward based on what where where Cisco’s going, where they reverse Logistics is going, what’s the most important thing moving forward that you see leading your team to do so?


[00:28:10] A loaded question. You know, the most important thing that I need to do right now is build and prove. So developing take-back programs that are simple, reliable, and for our customers to get them to want to want to send me gear is one of the first things, you know, how can I go through and ensure that I receive 100 percent data? Integrity keeps me up at night. Yes, sure. So how can I know? Should keep more. Yeah. Leaders up at night. But the first and most important lesson I learned in reverse Logistics is protect customer data. Always. Yeah. So developing tools to go through that are reliable, that are viciously consistent and repeatable to to to go through and do. And you know, right now I am building the reverse team of the future so that, you know, we’ve went through and I’ve doubled the headcount that our team has had, Testament’s Jack Allen’s leadership, because he went through and he made a bold statement that we’re going to go through and do this. We’ve got innovative leaders like John Kern, who has put dollar real dollars around investing in these processes. So we go from talking about it to actually doing it at scale. Yeah. And there’s no blueprint on how to do this. So I’ve got to try things. I’ve got to fail. I’ve got to fail fast.


[00:29:34] When you’re an industry leader, yet there’s not a blueprint. You’re following your building, the blueprint. You’re building the plan as you fly it.


[00:29:40] That’s right. So fail fast. Yes. And fail small investment. That’s right. All right. So so may not never with customer data. Yes. And did that. Yeah. All right. So, Rich, tell us if he had one thing in in in the bigger picture.


[00:29:57] Right. Bigger circular economy, bigger global in an supply chain hands. There’s one thing that really is intriguing you more than others on your radar, more than others, what would that be?


[00:30:08] I’m gonna go back to that ad, that statement that I made, that circular economy done right is not just good for the environment. It is smart business. Yes. The Boulder principle. Yeah. So how can we go through and leverage the value of a used thing to help sell a new thing? Foster renewals and upgrades in data centers, transition to a subscription and software based type of solution and potentially use use gear as a competitive weapon to go through and displace competitors. New gear. Love it. It’s possible it’s been done and I get to do it again in a great place.


[00:30:49] All right. So I won’t too. What I’d love to do down the road soon. You are a outstanding case study for veterans, especially early one term veterans that come out. And they’re not sure what to do. Not sure where they belong, so to speak, or what opportunities you are like a a walking perfect example, what veterans can do once they find just that, you know, that that first opportunity. Right. So we’ll talk more about that after the episode. But but you gotta ask, Natty, so how can folks learn more about one of the world’s most admired companies?


[00:31:26] If you go to Deborah Dull video of you that Cisco dot com, well, we’ve got a lot of information about our products or portfolio that the direction that we are going. The links to our trading and take back our portals.


[00:31:37] C S SEO dot com. Cisco, dot com. Okay. Perfect. Yeah. Thanks so much. We’ve been chatting with Rich Boulder.


[00:31:45] How how can they reach you? Oh, yes. I’m on LinkedIn. Yeah. Why? The Addington’s use there like a Rams fan forum that you’re running. Or actually, yes. Fort Worth Rams fan. Is the Facebook group that you can join if you live in? Do you’re going to get about 2000 new members? Right. So, yeah, we love it.


[00:32:08] Got a really good rap club. First it was me and one other guy. Yeah. And then the Rams got good and I found other people wearing hats. And over time in Fort Worth, we’ve got a really good Ramli.


[00:32:20] Yeah, love. That’s good. So just love the passion here. It’s a little bit just load of passion. I love it. I hate that we’ve got to be succinct today. But Will I will. Well, we got a lot more to talk back when we get back. You’re based in the Atlanta area or what we thought were OK.


[00:32:35] That’s why the Fort Worth Rams Cavs only way, way to connect the. Yeah. Well, plus, I have an incredible dress for the obvious.


[00:32:42] I thought it might have been one of a stops in your career, but now you live in the desert area.


[00:32:47] Jack lives in in Fort Worth. All right. Now, Atlanta and I. I gotta go see him from time to time. He’s gotta come see us when I go to him. Atlanta quite often.


[00:32:56] Great. Rich Bolger, director of Reverse Logistics at Cisco, really enjoyed the conversation. Sit tight. One second as we wrap up here, Greg, I tell you, I almost. We need to be here like two weeks next time. All right. And hold people’s flights over and make these three hour episodes. We can have deeper the stuff.


[00:33:14] If the wind blows next week like it did this week, we may not have the flights yelled over by the FAA.


[00:33:21] That is true. So, you know, to our audience. Come check us out in person, automate a wide variety of events. You can find events ranging from Mode X to the AIAG, which is the Automotive Industry Action Group and A.M.E., the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, a wide variety of events. And we’ve got a pretty global interactive forum coming up. Yeah. Or stand up and sound off. Yeah, but the difference of that event is that’s not your fault. Even though we’re using a webinar platform. Yea, the panel s right. Our audience is the experts are the presenters are the thought leaders. So in that type of event come prepared. No wallflowers allow. Yep. Spend some time thinking about something. Yes. You want to talk about. Yes. And B be prepared to stand and deliver. But you can learn more about that on the webinar tab at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. Learn more about the events at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com on the events tab. And you know, check us out where we get podcasts from. Supply. Google Podcast. Apple podcast. Spotify. YouTube. You nailed it. Nailed it. And subscribe so you don’t miss a thing like the conversation we’ve had right here with Rich. If that doesn’t get your blood and you’re journalling going. I’m not sure what will in the world supply chain to really enjoy it. Stay tuned as we continue our live coverage of the reverse Logistics Association Conference and Expo. On behalf of Greg White and whole team, here we look forward. Thank you for joining us today. We look forward to you joining us. Once again, Rossignol thinks about.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Watch Scott and Greg as they welcome Rich Bulger with Cisco to the Supply Chain Now Booth at the RLA Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.

Featured Guests

Rich Bulger joined Cisco in January of 2019, after a 17 year career with Verizon Wireless. He runs a global team focused on leveraging Reverse Logistics to help achieve Cisco’s Circular Economy goals and objectives.

Rich is focused on transforming Cisco’s Reverse Logistics operations, and evolving the way we collaborate with internal and external partners. He’s bringing a data-driven approach, combined with advanced technology tools, in order to optimize the returns process, improve the level of data security, and increase the overall economic benefit.

Prior to joining Cisco, Rich developed & lead Verizon’s trade in and monetization strategies for their B2B, retail, indirect & online programs for over 9 years. He set up the infrastructure and began the first two district pilot for their retail trade in program and helped grow the program company wide. After he moved over to run Verizon’s reverse logistics and sales team, he developed the direct to consumer grading logic and enabled them to be the first U.S. Wireless carrier to sell product in “Good, Better, & Best condition” on ebay/Amazon. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Reverse Logistics Association.


Greg White

Principal & Host

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Billy Taylor


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

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

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

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

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Kim Reuter


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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Allison Giddens


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

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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

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

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Tandreia Bellamy


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

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

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

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

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Marty Parker


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

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

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jake Barr


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

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Marcia Williams


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

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera


Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey University, class 2019. Upon graduation she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (GCLOG) and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Former Data Analyst within the airport industry in Latin America at Pacific Airport Group, performing benchmarking reports and predictive analysis of future market behavior.

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

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

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Karin Bursa


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

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Vin Vashishta


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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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Vicki White


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

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