“Unfortunately, because supply chain managers have demonstrated an ability to execute in the short term and put out fires as they occur, in some ways, we are actually rewarding the arsonists.”
– Mike Griswold, Vice President of Research, Retail at Gartner
This podcast is part of our monthly Supply Chain Today and Tomorrow series featuring Mike Griswold, Vice President of Research at Gartner. Mike specializes in retail, with a particular focus on forecasting and replenishment, and is responsible for Gartner’s annual Top 25 Supply Chain ranking.
In this episode, Mike shares some of the background regarding his research into S&OP and S&OE. Retail still needs to fully embrace what these conceptual practices teach us about shorter term planning horizons and operational execution.
In this interview, Mike discusses the following with Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton:
· Balancing the inbound and outbound goods in distribution centers creates a high priority opportunity to improve the alignment between planning and execution
· Retailers need to understand stores’ role in fulfillment, both in terms of foot traffic and e-commerce
· Why master data management is very quickly becoming a top priority or prerequisite with regard to analyzing and drawing value from customer data
[00:00:05] It’s time for Supply Chain Now Radio Broadcasting Life Supply chain Capital of the country. Atlanta, Georgia Supply Chain Now Radio spotlights the best in all things supply chain the people, the technology, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.
[00:00:29] Good afternoon, Scott Luton here with you, Liveline Supply chain. Now welcome back to the show. On today’s show, we’re continuing our series Supply chain Today and tomorrow with Mike Griswald. Each month we’ve been spending time with Mike Griswald with Gartner, and he’s been sharing his insights and perspective on what’s going on in the world. Supply chain especially from a retail perspective today, we’re gonna be sharing some of the key takeaways from Gartner Research and continuing gaining his insights, especially from a S P and the S No E perspective here today. So stay tuned as we look to increase your Supply chain leadership. Q Two quick programing note. First, you can find Supply chain. Now wherever 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 thing. And secondly, think a few of our sponsors that allow us to bring these best practices and innovative ideas to you, our audience. They range from the Effective syndicate to Vector Global Logistics Cap Gemini U.S. Bank manymore. You can check out each of our sponsors on the show notes of this episode. Let’s welcome in my fearless co-host here today, Mr. Greg White serial supply chain tech entrepreneur, trusted advisor. Supply chain adj. great. Good morning.
[00:01:44] What more is there to say? Yeah, great to be here. I always love spending time with Mike. He’s got a great retail supply chain mind.
[00:01:52] Agreed, and the other series has been well received. We’ve gotten both from a Sheer metric standpoint as well as some of the anecdotal feedback we’ve gotten. So with no further ado, let’s welcome in Mike Griswald, V.P. analyst with Gartner Mike.
[00:02:06] Doing well, guys. Thanks. Great to be with you again. And looking forward to the discussion on SNL incessantly.
[00:02:13] Absolutely. So, Mike, before we talk shop and start picking your brain here, let’s make sure folks know what Gartner does as well as your role. So refresh your memory there.
[00:02:25] Sure. Gartner is the world’s leader. And in research and advisory, we equip leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to help them achieve their mission, critical priorities and build the organization successful for today and for tomorrow. We give leaders what they need to build the future for themselves and their organization. We do that through advice, research and direct one on one interactions outstanding.
[00:02:52] And we’re looking forward to, of course, as we’ve referenced in the series before, the top 25 SUPPLY CHAIN rankings, which will be released for 2020 in a couple months. Right.
[00:03:00] Correct. We are just early into the top twenty five season. But yes, it will culminate in a keynote presentation that will do at both our all our Orlando event as well as our event in Barcelona in June.
[00:03:16] Outstanding. Okay. So for the purpose of today’s conversation, though, we want to start with kind of painting the landscape. So first up, Mike, if you could share some insights around the current retail environment.
[00:03:29] Sure. When we think about what’s going on in multi-channel omni channel, unified commerce, whatever you want to call it, one of the big transitions that’s happened over the years is an increasing use of the store for from a fulfillment perspective. And what that does is puts lots of pressure on things like forecasting replenishment, inventory positioning as the store becomes more and more of center when it comes to fulfillment. So being able to align planning and execution around that and in particular around the inventory decisions is incredibly important and has become much more of a priority than maybe we saw 2 and 3 years ago when the store had risen to the level that it has in terms of imports around fulfillment. So that’s what we also see a huge opportunity in other areas. And we’ll talk about that in a little bit later. But some of the areas around DC capacity, how do we manage capacity? How do we manage the inbound at the outbound within a facility is becoming very important to retailers. Then let. Oh, sorry.
[00:04:37] Yes, real quick. So for just for our audience that may not know when you say D.C., you’re talking about a distribution center, right?
[00:04:45] Sorry. Correct. Yes. We love acronyms here. And I would like to add in Supply chain. So sorry, Scott. Yes, I will do my best to to remove the acronyms. But yes, distribution centers is what I’m referring to around. That inbound and outbound flow.
[00:05:01] That’s right. And add this in to kind of further that thought for folks, for members of our audience, that may not make the connection between how critical distribution centers and fulfillment centers are to the e-commerce, especially landscape. Certainly retail, but also especially e-commerce. Just want to add that context for you. We’ve got audience members of all types. So I appreciate you sharing some of the acronyms because we do, as Greg mentioned, we do loves acronyms in Supply chain. So sorry. Go read it.
[00:05:30] No. That’s no problem. And so when we think about balancing the inbound and outbound within our distribution centers, that certainly is an opportunity for us to improve planning and execution alignment. You know, we’re also seeing for for all types of retailers an incredible growth in seasonal and specialty types of products where I may have, let’s say, a one time buy of summer summer goods, you know, pool, patio grills, those types of things. And my ability to to understand the demand side, the ability to flow that in the right way. And then during the course of the season, being able to evaluate, do I have the right of entry in the right location based on sales, transit patterns? And what we’re seeing is as that type of product continues to grow in the retail portfolio. You know, our need to handle that and manage that in a much more proactive way is becoming incredibly important. And I think the biggest impetus I’ve seen around retail has been this desire, this desire to become much more proactive and much less reactive or minimize the number of times that we have to be reactive in things like sales and operations, planning and sales and operations execution. Help us take those steps towards being more more proactive. You know, one of my colleagues had had a famous quote that he used in one of our presentations. And I think it’s it’s indicative. And I think it paints a great picture of how we tend to think as retailers. You know, we pride ourselves on being firefighters. We pride ourselves on being able to react and get ourselves out of a jam. Unfortunately, many of our practices, because we’ve demonstrated this ability to execute it short term and put out these fires, we are actually rewarding the arsonists. And one of the things I’ve tried to do with this is that Opie and S.A.G. research is to move us to be more proactive. So we aren’t putting out all these fires and we are, you know, unconsciously rewarding the arsonists.
[00:07:47] So that’s a really good point. And and, you know, you you’ve really displayed that well by talking about the store’s role in fulfillment, both of foot traffic and of e-commerce traffic, because once it’s positioned in the store, it’s there essentially for good. That is the end of the supply chain until it gets the consumer for so many retailers. And it’s really hard and really costly to bring it back to the next tier up, which is the distribution centers. So you have to be very careful about not just how you plan, right. The S&P, the Planning S.A.. Right. But also the execution S.A. in not only taking a look at the plan, but recognizing how the plan has changed or how situations have changed to change the plan, so that when you position those goods in their acentral final spot before they reach the consumer. You’re not so far out of whack that, you know, you’ve got the worst example that I’ve seen is you’ve got ski vests right in your South Florida stores. You know, I mean, people from South Florida do go skiing, but not in the same measure that people of color are at. So you’ve got to be really careful there.
[00:09:07] Yeah. Greg White. You’re exactly right. I mean, it’s part of the reason that we’ve seen in the last couple of years a huge growth in the exploration of things like network design tools. How do we start to model our network? At what point do we have enough volume moving through the supply chain that we do need to push that volume down into the store? And you’re exactly right. Well, once it’s in the store, that’s really, you know, where for many retailers, that’s where it needs to land. But what’s been interesting and Greg, not to date you, but, you know, I’ve been around long enough to know that, you know, for, you know, four and five years ago, there was an incredible for the light bulb went on around the role the store four and five years ago, there was incredible energy around taking inventory out of the store. You know, our stores are over inventory. We have too much stuff. You know, how often did we hear from organizations that said, hey, I just got a note from the CFO who said we need to take 25 percent of inventory out of the organization. Now, what we need to ask ourselves is we probably need more inventory at the store because as its role as a fulfillment node continues to grow in, all of our research suggests it’s not going backwards, it’s going to grow. You know, we now need to rethink how we think about inventory and how much we need in the store. So that for a lot of organizations, you know, that that’s a a turnaround or a error, an about face from where we were even four or five years ago.
[00:10:40] Well, and don’t you think, though, that since since we’ve had that recognition that we need to rethink how we. Allocate or distributer replenish inventory in the stores because. You know, in the past, the reason that we had this discussion and you and I have had it and that was very generous to say four or five years. Thank you, Mike. We have had this this discussion for some time. And the reason that we had the discussion about too much inventory in the stores was as much about too much of the wrong inventory as it was too much of the right inventory. And and because of. The advancements in technology in the last four or five years, we’re more able to put the right inventory, the right products in the right quantities in the right stores than we’ve ever been able to before, right, because we can assess and even predict what the consumer is going to do rather than focusing on the item as the thing we’re forecasting. And, you know, I wonder what you know, what your researcher or discussions are are raising in regard to that.
[00:11:51] Yeah. Greg, I agree. I mean, technology, particularly for retail, has come a long way in the last four to five years, four or five years. When you think about the strides we’ve made in machine learning and A.I. and all that. And that has certainly helped. I think the other thing that has helped is, you know, to your earlier comment, what once inventory got to a store, it was pretty much dead. That’s where its final resting place was, partly because we thought that was where it needed to go, but also because we never really had a process where we could go on a weekly basis, interrogate inventory. Where is it and is it in the right place? And does what is the forward looking demand look like for these allocation decisions that we’ve made? And we’ll talk about this in a little bit later in in our discussion about S.A.G. in particular. But one of the use cases that’s emerged is around allocations and establishing a weekly Gates where I asked myself the question, you know, do I have inventory in the right place? You know, the ski jackets in South Florida. And do I have if I recognize that early enough in the season? Do I want to ask myself the question, do I need to reposition that inventory? Is it worth, you know, relocating those ski jackets someplace else for the for the last four weeks of the season so that I’m not taking a 90 percent mark down in south Florida? Maybe I end up taking, you know, a 30 percent mark down someplace else, but that’s better than a 90 percent mark down in south Florida. And we’ve just started to make people aware around procedurally and process wise, how do we start to think about that? Whereas in the past, you know, it was this is where it is. This is where it’s going to be. And we’re not even going to we don’t have a way to talk about should it be someplace else.
[00:13:44] So it’s like we planned this. But so I think that’s a great Segway into, you know, what your research, your discussions with retailers and, you know, your valuable perspective on how s Opie and S.A.G. play into that. So can you share a little bit of of that with us?
[00:14:05] Sure. Let me let me maybe take if if the audience will bear with me for about a minute and a half. Let me just give you a quick history lesson from my research around where I started and where I’ve landed, because it it is, I think, helpful for the audience to see where our research has taken us from an S&P in and S.A. E perspective. So, you know, from from my days at a.m. R to now through Gartner, you know, as a research company, we’ve been writing about S&P for probably 20 years and it is well entrenched in every other industry except retail. You know, I took I took S&P to retail and repackaged it, rebranded it with an idea that we would be talking about the traditional S&P planning horizon. Three to 2 months, three to 20. I know you called that. Right. Exactly. Merchandisers, Nigeria. Yep. Merchandising, inventory operations, execution. I basically put, you know, retail lipstick on the S&P pig and it actually started to resonate. But what we found what I found is conceptually it resonated, right? Well, we do planning and execution. But what we tell is we’re struggling with, as as retailers do, is how do I take conceptual, you know, abstract concepts. How do I make them real? And we were struggling to get retailers to kind of buy into S&P. So I had a couple of conversations with with two retailers, in particular Kathmandu, who is the RBI equivalent in New Zealand and Tractor Supply. And you know, what they help me think about is the how do we take the concepts of S&P aligning planning and execution, but how do we make it real in a short term planning horizon, which everyone else calls S.A.G.? So what I’ve transitioned my research in the last two years has been recalibrating the research to be on a shorter term planning horizon 0 to twelve weeks.
[00:16:15] You know, I had transition MYOB from S&P. To the short term planning horizon, and then I basically said, look, it’s S.A.G., we’re gonna retire MYOB. And now all of my researches are on retail sales and operations execution. Because what we have uncovered to your earlier comment, Greg, is we’ve uncovered a handful of very tactical practical value adding use cases that nine out of 10 retailers will tell me, hey, it’s not that I have one of these problems. I have all of these problems. Where should I start? So that’s kind of where we’ve landed. And, you know, I think at some point, Greg, you know, it will make sense for us to revisit S&P as it’s, you know, you know, academically defined, longer term planning horizon. It will make sense to look at that for retail, because, you know, right now we’re solving very tactical problems recently. But, you know, in fairness, we’re solving them in a vacuum. And if you look at how this is supposed to hang together as a._p sets the direction and sets the deliverables that we use S.A. E to execute against, you know, we’re not there yet in retail. But I do see I’m starting to have some conversations with retailers that say, hey, we’ve had some early success with S.A.G.. Talk to us about s a._p. So that’s kind of where we’ve landed.
[00:17:47] You know that, again, we’ve known each other for four or five or longer years. Do you think that the availability of. Robust data on consumers out there. Do you think that that is yet contributing to this ability to first do sales and operations execution better, but then also use those learnings to drive back into better sales and operations planning? Do you think that that has yet to. Enter or I mean, if if you put it if you put it on a on a maturity curve, right. Where would you say robust data is in in terms of value in the in the retail supply chain today?
[00:18:33] Yeah. Greg. Great question. I think where we are still at a place where master data management is not sexy. And, you know, until we can get to the point where we can use you SPDM and sexy kind of in the same sentence, you know, we are still going to throw a bit of a stretch of it does. I am encouraged, though, by by more and more discussions with retailers that when we talk about these different use cases, you know, that the light bulb goes on that says, hey, oh, by the way, my data is important to the success of these. So I think through through e-commerce, multi-channel shown a light on things like data attributes and labor standards and those types of things as we put more orders in the store. I think master data management is is very quickly moving to the top of the list as a priority slash prerequisite to do some of these things that we’re talking about now. The customer data is interesting. I mean, I think, Greg, for right now, when I look at where the where the emphasis, if I think about, you know, planning emphasis and I think about execution emphasis, things like a forecast customer insights, those types of things, they really enhance the planning component of this.
[00:20:02] Right now, the use cases are heavily skewed towards execution, which in some ways is good, because if I think about where we are from a demand planning maturity perspective in retail, when I look at our data from from retail or self-assessments, you know, we’re just coming over stage 2. So for those people that aren’t familiar, you know, Gartner, we love maturity models. We have a ton of them. We use a five stage maturity model, stage one at least mature stage 5. Most mature. So retailers are just kind of crossing that that stage to threshold. So we’re getting better, right? When I started looking at this, we were, you know, middle stage once. So we are improving. But I think part of the S.A. P journey is going to require some more planning maturity as well, which is why I think we’ve seen that focus on data around the execution side and we’ve seen the focus on those execution use cases as we count start to wrap up this interview.
[00:21:02] Mike, any other onetime use cases now love practical applications of the concept you’re sharing? That’s that’s really what makes these conversations so, so valuable. Anything else come to mind when we’re talking about what S.A.G. really looks like in real life?
[00:21:19] Sure. Probably a bad a bad metaphor or a bad analogy, given the coronavirus. But but patient zero for S.A.G. was really D-C capacity management number of retailers have come to me. That’s by far the most popular use case in retail now. People are tired of answering the phone from the distribution centers, saying, I have I have no space where we’re going to put stuff today or where we’re gonna put stuff tomorrow. So this ability to look for five, six weeks out forecast the inbound, the capacity and the outbound so that I know three weeks from now I might have a problem, which gives me a whole a whole lot more options, cheaper options potentially to to fill that space. We talked about the allocation. You know, seasonal programs are another one where people are recognizing that, you know what, when I put all my gas grills in one location and it turns out, you know, three weeks into the season, some of them are in the wrong location. You know, I need a way to rebalance that inventory or at least have an educated, data driven discussion around what my options are. And then the one we did talk about, Scott, Greg, that’s becoming very popular with the food retailers is promotional planning. You know, we know from talking to grocers and our own personal experience right there, there’s a grocery sale every week. And I can tell you from my past life in the grocery of industry, you know, we’ve got three to five thousand items coming on and coming off promotion every week. The biggest challenge we have is what do I do with all this stuff? I didn’t plan for very well at the end of the promotion because, oh, by the way, a new one is starting, you know that next week. So that pro-ball planning use case. How do I get consensus on the demand? How do I flow? When do I allocate? How do I understand during the week how things are progressing? Putting structure around that has emerged as a very popular use case for the food retailers.
[00:23:18] All right. We’ll. Really appreciate your time, the series. We’ve heard a lot from folks that that want to see that research come to life. Right. And we’re really bear out in a meaningful way that that supply chain practitioners can relate to. So really appreciate your time today. Want to close? Mike and Greg, unless I won’t cut you off any commentary before we we make sure folks can connect with Mike Singleton.
[00:23:44] No, I mean, I think. Well, yes, a little bit of commentary. I’m sorry. But you know, what’s interesting is that, you know, as we’ve talked about a lot, Mike and I have known each other for a while and. These are common and legacy topics. Maybe D.C. capacity is relatively new. But I think now that we’ve got this recognition, recognition right that there it we are in Stage 2, which is really and you can refine this a little bit, Mike, but really that’s recognizing we have a problem. It’s starting to to do something about it. But now that we’re there. It’s interesting to see that these are the problems that we have so often had. And I think that they are probably the most difficult to solve because they are predicting the customer in the case of promotional planning, they are around a singular shot at placing the goods with seasonal buys and allocations and repositioning and and things like that. Those are some of the most difficult retail business problems to solve. And I think they will always be the most difficult. But. Where this is where we really need to see progress and this is where it really hits. The awareness of the consumer and of supply chain and retail professionals, so it’s interesting to me, interesting and a little bit disheartening, frankly, to see that those continue to be the issues. But but, you know, in retrospect, I realize that they will probably always be those issues. We’ve just got to progress much more rapidly on these things and they require a significant amount of focus. Yeah.
[00:25:27] Yeah. Greg, I agree. But maybe, Scott, that my last comment would be when we’ve spent twenty five minutes together and we haven’t really talked about technology and we don’t need to. The S&P and S.A.G. challenge for retailers can be additionally tackled and solved through process. And we don’t need technology will enable us at some point down the road. But I think my message to folks is, you know, if you think you’re going to solve your planning and execution alignment challenges through technology, I would ask you to rethink that and start thinking about it from a process perspective first and that that’s what our research has really told us.
[00:26:08] Love that perspective as much as we all love technology. In all of its ways, shapes and forms at the core, solid process, solid leadership, you can still highly relevant and and undervalued, especially in 2020.
[00:26:23] All technology does is accelerate a sound, sound or unsound a process. All right. I agree. So and the awareness appears to be coming. And that’s what Mike shared with us today. The A the recognition to change the process is important. And then we can start to apply technology.
[00:26:44] Yes. Yep. Well put. OK. That’s a great kind of a leap. The dropping off point here, I think for this episode. Really appreciate your time, Mike. So how can folks learn more about Gartner as well as connect with you, Mike?
[00:27:00] Probably the easiest way. Scott, Greg is just, you know, reach out to me directly, like Doc Griswald at Gardner dot com. Go to Gartner dot com. You know, check out the research that we have within the Supply chain committee. There’s a lot there. So those are probably the easiest ways for people to connect. And I’m happy that people reach out to me directly.
[00:27:19] Ok, well, big thanks to Mike Rosewell with Gartner for his time today to our audience. Be sure to check out our events and webinar tabs at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. Got a variety of in-person and virtual events coming up along these lines with people, people that know what they’re talking about. Right. Folks have been there, done that and are offering sound agnostic thought leadership. Other organizations continue their their journeys to get better and better. Some of the partners that we that we are we’ll be working with in the months ahead. If T Reuters Events Automotive Industry Action Group, the George Logistics Summit, DHL resiliant 360, MOAD X and many more. If you can find something on our web site or if you got a question, she turned it over to our CMO Amanda at Supply Chain Now Radio RT.com or hit us on Twitter and we will try to serve as resource for you. OK. Once again, big thanks to my co-host Greg White. The ever present supply chain adj.. And of course, Mike Rosewell, V.P. of analysts, BP analyst at rather a Gartner to audience. Be sure to check out our other upcoming events, replays of our interviews, other resources at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com fundis and subscribe wherever you get your podcast from. On behalf of the entire team here, Scott Luton wishing you a wonderful week ahead and we will see you next time on Supply chain next month.
Mike Griswold serves as Vice President Analyst with Gartner’s Consumer Value Chain team, focusing on the retail supply chain. He is responsible for assisting supply leaders in understanding and implementing demand-driven supply chain principles that improve the performance of their supply chain. Mr. Griswold joined Gartner through the company’s acquisition of AMR. Previous roles include helping line-of-business users align corporate strategy with their supply chain process and technology initiatives. One recent study published by a team of Gartner analysts, including Mike Griswold is Retail Supply Chain Outlook 2019: Elevating the Consumer’s Shopping Experience. Mr. Griswold holds a BS in Business Management from Canisius College and an MBA from the Whittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire. Learn more about Gartner here: www.gartner.com
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.