Supply Chain Now
Episode 311

Episode Summary

On this episode of Supply Chain Now, Scott Luton interviews Shannon Vaillancourt with Ratelinx.

Episode Transcript

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


[00:00:29] Good morning, Scott Luton here with you on Supply chain. Now welcome back to the show. We’re not broadcasting in Atlanta today. We are in beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona. I wish y’all could see the the that the picture. I’vegot just outside this big window. We are here. Scottsdale is home to Dimka. We love our acronyms and supply chain, the diverse manufacturing supply chain alliance. Dimka is hosting its manufacturing supplier development conference here. There’s about one hundred and twenty or so manufacturing supply chain thought leaders really from across industry that’s talking diversity and talking supplier development and tackling some really neat issues between the keynotes and the breakout sessions today show. We’re really talking logistics, intelligence and we’re gonna be speaking with a recognized leader in the space. Stay tuned. One quick programing note. Like all of our podcasts, supply chain. Now you can find us wherever you get your podcasts. YouTube, Spotify, Apple podcast, you name it. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a single thing. OK, so let’s welcome in our guest today, featured guest today, Shannon Vaillancourt, president and founder.


[00:01:41] Right link. Shannon, how you doing? I’m doing great. Thank you for having me. You see that deer in the moment? Headlight our deer in a headlight moment where I want to make sure I got your last name right. So everybody freaks out with that. Well, you know, I’ve been known to get my kids names wrong, so I’m glad we’re one for one today. So, Shannon, I’ve really enjoyed speaking with a couple of your team members, Corey and a few others and doing some homework around. Right. Links. It seems like our own crisis quite a streak. And appreciate your time today as we kind of get to know you better as well as a company and they get you to weigh in on some of things that’s taken place across the globe. So for starters, we really enjoy letting our audience, affording them the opportunity of kind of getting to know who Shannon is, the person. So tell us about yourself. You know where you grew up, where you’re from, and give us maybe some some anecdotes on your upbringing.


[00:02:30] Well, let’s see. I am originally from Chicago. Okay. Born in Chicago, lived in the inner city Chicago Public School. Somehow I can still read and write. Then we moved to Wisconsin when I was near high school. My dad was a philosophy professor. His whole life he taught at Mundelein College in Chicago, which eventually got bought by Loyola.


[00:02:57] So philosophy as as a parent, you’re gonna outtalk yourself out of any situation I’m at?


[00:03:05] Oh, no. I mean, you know, philosophy is a very interesting subject out there. So it’s it’s there’s no right or wrong. You know, it’s more it’s a lot of theory. And so, you know, when I went to college, MTW Platteville and I went for engineering. So it’s like, you know, most kids can get help from their parents. You know, hey, dad, you know, what do I do now? None. So when I when I originally went to college, I was undecided. And then I finally, after a couple years, decided, hey, I’m going to be an engineer. And I and I switched my major to electrical engineering. And I remember my dad talking to me and saying, you know, why? Why’d you pick electrical engineering? I’m like, well, you know, it looked looked interesting and it had a pretty good starting salary. So I figured, you know, Horten, that, you know, I can at least go out and make a living. And my dad said to me, he goes, Well, son, let me tell you some. When I was in school, you know, I wanted to make one hundred thousand dollars a year. And he goes and look at me. And I’m like, yeah, the difference is, dad, I said, who’s gonna pay you 100 hundred grand a year to philosophize or whatever you do, right? And he looked at me. He goes, that’s a good point. Point. I guess maybe maybe you did the right thing.


[00:04:22] Got some deep, meaningful conversations picking out majors here.


[00:04:26] So University of Wisconsin, Platteville, you said, correct. Is that where you graduated with an elected logical engineering degree?


[00:04:33] Yep. So I graduated out of Platteville and then I got thrown right into this industry right away. And, you know, come out and I’m like, man, you got an engineering degree. I’m pretty smart guy. And you get thrown into this and you realize you’re not very smart.


[00:04:46] And I don’t know if that’s true, but I like your self-deprecating well. So when you graduated, what was what was your first role?


[00:04:55] So my first role I worked for a company in. Well, my very first role. Was I was a seconds shift electrician at Monroe truck. OK. And that lasted for about a month or so. I remember when they hired me, they asked they said, if you get another you if you get an offer at a place for electrical engineering, would you leave? And I’m like, yeah, I would. And they’re like, well, I appreciate the honesty. And they hired me anyways. And after a month I did. I got I actually got an offer from a company in Madison that was a small parcel manifesting software reseller. And they were looking for somebody go out and implement the software. And I thought, what the heck? It seems like a good idea. So that’s when I went and did left. And that’s when I really got thrown into this industry. So I. So this is in 1993. OK. At the time. So I used to go out and replace the hand manifesting. OK. So I go in to Company Madison. They’ve got the little pickup book. Then they would write in and you would print a little 9 line label. They just had the shipper number on it. And I put in software and integrated it to their Rs 400 or flat file. That’s how I started back in the DOS days.


[00:06:11] So this was this was probably fundamental learning and professional development opportunity based on where you are now. Right.


[00:06:20] Oh, yeah. I mean, you know, as an engineer, one of the things they taught us so they said, you know, when you graduate college, the information that you learn here will be useless because we’ll be out of date. They said our job is to teach you how to learn. And I believe that my my professors did a good job teaching me how to learn, because that’s this industry. I mean, it’s constantly changing. Absolutely. You know, there’s three Sheer things in life, death, taxes and a rate change. Yes. I mean, that’s. And I learned that when I got into this industry. And it’s like you’ve got to constantly stay up to date on everything.


[00:06:55] So as we’re still kind of walking our audience through your professional journey, kind of Reader’s Digest version before you’ve found it, right. Links, what was next in your career?


[00:07:05] Well, so I did that for a while. Then I worked at a WME company in Waukesha. My college roommate worked there. He got me in. So I did WME for a while. So I was the guy that understood shipping. So they always put me on the wave planning, picking, packing area. And then I remember sitting down with the architects. And the guys are really smart. And they’re like, hey, tell us about, you know, Passel. What’s a zone? Why is it? What’s the zone mean? And why does U.P.S. have their tracking number? Start with a one czy. Because, you know, these guys are smart guy. Right. And a lot of that stuff is very logical. And I’m like, that’s just how it is, man. You know, there’s no not a lot of logic sometimes with how things are done. It just is.


[00:07:54] So you were a bit of a subject matter expert on implementations, I guess.


[00:07:57] I you know, I guess that’s how they seemed. I don’t know. They seem to like me. I was a hard worker. I listened. I learned I did whatever they said. You know, the guy who taught me databases and now relational database theory. I remember walking into him one day and I’m like, you know, hey, how did you know this? You know, I called him on a weekend.


[00:08:21] I was on site and I had this query that wasn’t working well. I read him the from clause and there’s like 20 tables and he’s the homeowner’s lawn. You can hear the lawnmower idling. And he’s like, I’m halfway through. And he goes, well, we’ll hang on back up, OK? Flip those two tables around. And so I do. And poof, thing was perfect. And I’m like, so I get back to Waukesha next week and I’m like, Hey, how’d you know that? Thank you. Quite simple when you understand how Oracle works. And I’m like, well, how do you know that? Right. And he points at his bookshelf. Then it’s a bookshelf that’s like six feet long, full of books. And he’s like, wait, you just read about it? And I’m like, which one? He’s like, well, all of them. And I’m like, Oh, my lord.


[00:09:08] It’s amazing how some people’s brains work like that. And going back to your earlier point, which I think is a really important one.


[00:09:15] It is all about constant learning because you’re constantly learning and then applying, learning and applying. Right. And oftentimes applying in a different ever changing environment. Always. Yeah. OK. So I don’t want to skip ahead. But was there was there one more role that that really kind of teach you up for? Right.


[00:09:36] So then what happened after doing that for a little bit? I went back into the transportation side. We got acquired. So the company I became part owner. And then we got acquired by the company whose software we use. We resold. OK. So then I did that for a couple of years. I was the V.P. of professional services. And then when my time was up, that’s when I took some time and figured, you know what? I want to I think I want to go do this myself. I think I can. Maybe later. I did. You know, I took some time off. This was a late 90s. This would have been 2002. So we got acquired in 2000. We got acquired. So late 90s, I left the W my side, went back to transportation, did that for a couple years. We got acquired two thousand. So then in 0 2, my time was up and just kind of went home. My wife’s a teacher and she taught sixth grade. So she was teaching and I had two year old twin boys. So I took care of them and just kind of sat there and tried to figure out what am I going to do next and what do I have to learn? You know, where do I where do I go?


[00:10:41] And it’s really interesting to kind of hear your background of, you know, from the engineering and the technical side of the, you know, the electrician work you did to the technology and the database side and then marrying that those highly technical aspects to transportation and logistics.


[00:11:01] And then it sounds like on top of all of that foundational experience, you kind of have the entrepreneurial experience along the way as well.


[00:11:10] Right. I guess so. Yeah. I don’t know. I just, uh, I just always I always like solving the problem, but I never liked it. When you get stuck in that situation and they’re like, no, uh, it can’t be done. Like, really? I I think it’s a challenge. I think it can. Yes. I think there is an answer out there. You just gotta think a little bit harder.


[00:11:31] Ok. So twin two year old boys home in the early 2000s. Your wife is teaching sixth grade and you are considering applying all of this you’ve learned and kicking off a new venture. Right. Correct. Yeah. What was the you know, uh, um-hum.


[00:11:48] I’ve had several start ups on my own and in my journey. And usually there’s a moment that says after all of the deliberation, this is what we’re gonna do. You know what? Tell us about that moment for you.


[00:11:59] Always winner. So. So. So in my head, I’m like, OK, I’ve always been on the implementation side. So if I’m going to do this, I need to get on the other side. I need to get more on the sales side, run on the company side. I’ve had some great mentors in the past. Some guys it taught me a lot about business. And the one thing they all had in common was they were all great golfers. So I took that summer. So it was like August through snowfall. So I lived down in the suburbs of Chicago at the time and I went and I learned how to golf. OK. So the so the magic part for me was they closed the golf courses and I’m like, well, it’s time to get to work, I guess.


[00:12:44] And so you’re you’re a pretty avid golfer, are you?


[00:12:48] I am now. Yeah. OK. That’s when I started in 0 2 is when I started golfing.


[00:12:52] So when I was in, I was a tennis player my whole life. I played tennis a Platteville and then picked up golf in 0 2. And, uh. Yeah. And then when winter hit. So that’s why the company was started in December of 0 2 was I had to do something. Okay. Yeah. My wife wouldn’t let me just hang out and do nothing.


[00:13:14] All right. So before we we kind of keep talking about the right league, right link’s journey. Let’s talk about what the company does. What? Explain to or in a nutshell what is the right links to.


[00:13:25] What we do is we help companies take their ship track and pay data and turn it into savings. OK. And that can mean a lot of different solutions out there. One of the big things that we’re noticing and it’s kind of one of our campaigns is here is that freight audit is dead. Right. And what we mean by that is the concepts around it is dead. So we have a whole zombie thing going on right now. And the reason why we use that is when you look at the issues today, not in afraid audit side. They afraid audit really celebrates the fact that there is exceptions in the data. Hey, you’ve got KERA’s Bill. You wrong? All we’re gonna fix it. It’s like they don’t really fix it. Right. They just continually treat that symptom right. Just that invoice down. But you don’t have good clean data. They’re looking more to adjust an invoice than to collect intelligence data for you. And the zombies are the exceptions that you think you killed. But now they’re undead. They come back and we run into that a lot with companies where, you know, solving root cause it just symptoms. Exactly. They’re more symptom hunting than root cause analysis. And what they do then is companies will bring it in house and then now they’ve got to deal with the exceptions. And what happens is they solve it one time, but they don’t really have a system in place to monitor it and make sure that it stays away. And that’s where all of a sudden the, you know, pops back up. Right. You know, you thought you buried it. And here comes the hand out of the dirt.


[00:14:59] He’s like, wait, wait. And it’s you can waste so much time.


[00:15:04] You know, in this era when things are changing so fast, like you alluded to earlier. Everyone’s stretched thin, especially in Supply chain. You already have a bunch of problems that aren’t necessarily recurring that you’re having to solve and fires are put out.


[00:15:21] Gosh, who wants to audit and correct the same mistakes over and over again? Who’s got time for that? I’ve found nobody. Yeah, nobody wants to write.


[00:15:29] But they kind of have to. And and that’s where what what we see happening is that companies are taking highly skilled people and shifting part of their job to handle this exception. So rather than having your people do the strategy development right and managing the true exceptions that do come up every day, they’re too busy dealing with little data problems. And in the hardest part about it is everything’s in the past. And it’s like, do you remember what you did last week on Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m. when this shipment occurred?


[00:16:04] No, not techno right between kids and supply chain. UPS EFT. Eat my memory away. Right. Okay.


[00:16:12] So, um, before we talk about where you spend your time as founder and CEO now and where you some your favorite places been your time, can you, um, uh, can you kind of give an example of the folks who really understand what right links does and kind of up apply it in a practical man? Give us a quick example about.


[00:16:33] Sure. So there’s let’s see. Mm hmm. Trying to think of the best examples. So the common ones that we run into. So we walk into brand new customers, common themes that we run into. One is that they’ve created rate tolerances in place. Like as long as that, it’s within ten dollars. Right. That’s good enough. Let it let it go. Well, the problem with that is that ten dollars is because there is a root cause in there of something. And it’s usually the fact that there’s, you know, a misunderstood rule or a rule that’s not complete or you’re causing a carrier to do something manual. So we’ll come in, we’ll get rid of that rate tolerance to justify our existence.


[00:17:20] That’s a powerful notion. Uh uh. Your tolerances exists certainly for a reason.


[00:17:25] And in ten dollars, you know, one off does not kill anybody. But gosh, you think of thousands of transactions. Yeah, huge opportunity. Right. And that’s what they tend to lose track of because you’re dealing everything is very anecdotal is what I’ve learned. It’s that one time. That’s what I learned in the industry. It’s like, you know, hey, why won’t you use that carrier? And it’s like that one time in 1998 when they came in and they destroyed something like Schepers. That was a long time ago. And it’s like, that’s right. And I’ll never forget.


[00:17:55] But yeah, yeah, we’re gonna we’re gonna adjust our whole process around this one off.


[00:18:01] We absolutely are. And that’s why they put a rate tolerance in. The other scenario that we run into a lot is if I shift to the track and trace side, you’ve got track and trace where customers are having problems because the tracking information is not connecting to this ship incorrectly. And it’s like, oh, by the way, did you talk to your friend on it, guys? You know, the company, it’s usually within the same company that people are doing that themselves, too. And it’s like they’re probably having the same problem on the invoice side. It’s the exact same symptom to the same problem. And what we find is it’s either going to be master data related. So if we talk about the exceptions, are iZombie, how do you solve that problem? Well, you got to come up with the the right. What is it? Antidote. Whatever you want to call it. And it’s going to exist in either master data is wrong or you’ve got a process problem that’s wrong out there. And that’s what we find a lot of. And by collecting the data and putting them into easy to understand categories, the exceptions, it’s very easy now to have a different conversation with the carrier, to say, hey, how come every time I do this type of shipment and this problem happens? And ultimately, that’s what we find is it’s either going to be the master data is off or they have a process in place that is causing the problem. Mm hmm.


[00:19:26] You know, one element of what you’re sharing that, uh, um, I can really appreciate is you’re allowing everyone to like a everyday person that may not be a data technologist or they may not be a data analyst. You’re you’re lowering the playing field so everyone can understand and address these problems.


[00:19:47] Yeah. I mean, it’s about solving the problem, not not pointing a finger, not not causing blame. And that’s where I’ve noticed that. You know what happens? So if you’re the customer, you’re the shipper in this scenario. You just get exasperated and you’re like, oh, my God, this is happening again. I thought I solved this problem. And then you got the carrier on the other side thinking, oh, boy, here we go again. And it’s like sometimes you need, you know, that objective third party to come in and say, hey, look, guys, let’s just solve this problem and let’s talk it through. And ultimately, that’s what we find is there’s just something that’s been awry for years. Yeah.


[00:20:23] Ok. So now that we all think we really got to have a good common understanding of what Right Links does. Well, let’s talk about that. You know, as CEO. Where do you spend your time and what was your favorite activity?


[00:20:38] Well, as a CEO of a growing company, I spend my time in a bunch of areas right now, and it’s really around establishing our our leadership that we need inside. You know, I can’t do everything right more. So I’ve I’ve come to grips with that years ago. And it’s like I’m glad that I know some people out there that are really strong that I’ve met along the way that have joined us. And we’re where I really enjoy spending my time. Is more on the sales side helping explain how we’re gonna solve these problems, because every place we go, nobody believes it, because how many times have they been told by somebody else? Right. In the industry that, oh, yeah, we’re going to save you X percent or hey, we’re just gonna knock this out. And then it’s like, where’s the beef? Exactly. But what they don’t do and that’s what my job is and where I really enjoyed doing what I do is coming in and giving them practical examples and walking them through it from start to finish. That way, they have that tangible evidence that says, oh, my gosh, maybe this is different.


[00:21:42] Yes. You know, I always use out of date cliches. And then for some of our listeners, that may be just coming in the industry that where’s the beef phrase was a kind of a famous commercial during the 80s. Wendy’s, the hamburger franchise was running this this campaign featuring ladies ordering what a big restaurant was promising is a big burger. And then they got the burger and the tylo Patty. And then this one one lady had this one female actor had this famous line, Where’s the beef? And it went on for a year or more. I think she made movie appearances, you name it, big 80s throwback there. Okay. So let’s let’s kind of go broader here. Let’s talk about there’s so much going on. We’ve already come alluded to a couple of times across the global into in Supply chain industry. And I’m not I’m not sure you all do business globally. Or do you focus more on North America or. We do.


[00:22:40] We do have global customer culture. And, you know, it’s same, you know, dealing with the data from all different carriers, all different countries, pretty much the same root cause.


[00:22:51] All right. So let’s talk about let’s shift gears.


[00:22:54] And, you know, as you as you survey the landscape of the current global business environment, what’s a trend or two or an issue or a topic that really has gotten your attention more than others?


[00:23:04] Was it what was just when it comes, you know, for me, I’m always more on the technology side is where I focus everything. And I’m still looking at, you know, emerging markets and how technology is going to impact those emerging markets. You know, coming from early 90s till now, you can see a lot of similarities in some of the emerging markets where they’re back still in the early 90s. Right. So it’s like you think of a large global company today. And how did they manage all of that? You know, the entire supply chain when a big part of their supply chain is still stuck. You know, 30 years ago. Right. And you said, would you argue that that’s more common than folks may may think? Yeah. Yeah. Oh, yeah. We really get spoiled here in the US and we also get spoiled because of our personal life. You know, you think about you go to work and you’re tracking shipments that are either on a boat and on a truck. And what you’re expecting is the same experience you get when you order something online from Amazon and you’re wondering, why can’t I get that? And it’s like, well, we kind of forget that that experience is 25 years old. So I always liken things to to, you know, fewer 25 years old compared to 2 years old. Right. A lot different. I used to. Filiz. Holy cow. You drive and your insurance is dropped. Now, finally, you’re deemed to be safe. And as a 2 year old, you’re still kind of laying in there in diapers. And it’s like. So it’s like, why doesn’t that 2 year old work the same way as twenty 25 year old?


[00:24:48] It’s like, huh, that’s a great analogy. Let’s see what else. When you’re so much, you know. So it sounds like you’re as our listeners might expect. Really keeping your finger on the pulse from a technology standpoint. What else stands out in today’s environment?


[00:25:05] I’d say today’s environment. You know, probably the next thing to worry about is definitely going to be. Not only is the data secure, but how do you keep it in a in a spot where you have that contingency? Because really, that’s probably going to be the next big thing to worry about. Sure. And, you know, that’s where if companies globally are now starting to collect all that data that they need to run their their business, you know, where do they keep it? How do they make it usable and then how do they keep it secure? And I think that is what we’re going to run into. You know, we can sit here, we talk all day long about supply chain disruption and corona virus. Right. I can do all that stuff, but it all comes down to the same basic point of somewhere. Some person in a company is running analysis, using data to run these simulations to say, OK, if I can’t source out of China right now because of this event. Right. And this event right now is just Corona virus. Then what am I going to do? How is the impact has an impact. My lead times has an impact. My cause. That’s ultimately what it comes down to in the way that they do that. So what data? So that’s why to me, that’s the foundational fundamental piece of everything. So how do you how do you do that and then how do you keep it secure? Yeah.


[00:26:26] So you shared a lot there. I think like one of the points you basically stated, because there is as anyone that turns on and with with good reason. But the team one turns on news or anything else these days, coronavirus will be one of the top things covered as it should be.


[00:26:43] But your greater point there, it makes me think about ocean shipping. So ocean shipping was just waiting for the trade war to kind of break through. And then we got that with the schedule one trade deal. And just as they were getting ready to recoup some of the losses and then get back to some sort of of normalcy, you know, we get hit with a corona virus. And now we’re talking about just last night after more than 50 sailings that have been canceled in January and February come out of China. And the ports are getting backed up. Unfortunately, we’re this is going to be an even a bigger impact by most analysts views then than the trade war. But to your point, there’s got to be another hit. The hits keep coming, as always, some threat. So you’ve got to elevate. What I’m hearing you say is regardless of whatever the current thing we’re getting hit with now, you got to elevate how you plan using data. Yeah. So you’re prepared to make better decisions and your business is in a stronger place because you’re taking advantage and eliminating some of these. Oh, you’re a tennis player. What’s unforced errors? Right. That’s really what it is.


[00:27:57] Yeah. When you get down to it, right? Yeah. I mean, you know, you look at the eventually something’s gonna happen. So without the data, you know, to measure and monitor and, you know, be able to know where are my impacts, what are my risks? What happens is you get a lot of fear. Fear comes out of lack of knowledge, I believe. And you know what gives you confidence in making decisions as facts? The more information you have that you can draw on in the past, the more confident you’re gonna be, the faster you’re gonna move forward. Because a lot of companies, the reason why they’re slow in reacting isn’t because they can’t make a decision. It’s because they’re uncertain of the decisions they’re making. And they’re double checking, triple checking, quadruple checking. And people from the outside think all you’re just slow. It’s like, well, not really. I’m just not confident, right. That this is the right answer to do. And it’s like, you know, when you’re playing a sport, that’s when you get tentative, you know, don’t don’t get tentative, you know, be confident, hit through it. Right. You know, that’s what you got to do. And I think that’s why, you know, if we look at the trend, I’m sure if we if we had data that we can map out to look at the trend of supply chain disruptions, you’d see blips going through it a fairly regular basis. And I would bet that we would see that it’s getting more often right now and probably so. And then you dig into it. OK. What caused that? And it’s like at a certain point, it’s like, does it does it matter what caused it or should we be looking at what did we do to mitigate that risk and what are some of our longer term strategies that we should put in place so that when these happen. Right. We’re covered. Okay.


[00:29:40] Um, where I want to make sure our listeners know where they can find more more clearly with the right links. What I’ve observed at least is you’ve been recognized by a couple different groups from an award standpoint. You are active on social media. I’m not sure. Do you get out and Keith. I know y’all got plenty of business here. Get out the keynote. Get out the conference as much we do.


[00:30:02] I mean, we just came back from rela, OK? Yesterday just came back from rela. So, yeah, we go to the rela CSC MP will be at. And then, you know, we’re always around on the Web. Shoot us an e-mail, give us a call and your u._r._l for rate links w w w dot rate links dot com our ATDC ally x ok. That’s simple enough.


[00:30:26] I’ll tell you a little curve ball rela real is a well known conference. Yeah. What was your favorite, eh? Can you give us a um a gleaning from your favorite conversation or s- or a keynote or presentation. What was your favorite aspect about rela?


[00:30:39] So my favorite. My favorite conversation was we had a company come up to us. We had talked to them last year. Okay. Rela. And they said, no, we’re about to go do this pilot with a track and trace provider. And so they came back and they’re like, okay, we did it. And you know what we found. We found that ah ah. EEI was just as good as their API data. And I looked down on like well you know why. Right. And they’re like, why? And I said, it comes from the same database. You said, so. Do you want to get the same wrong information? You know, instantly or are you just going to get it? three-D? I am like that’s the problem. It’s a lot of myths out there. And, you know, they try to you know, they think that by throwing some technology at it with something new, even though, you know, Web service API isn’t new and that’s, what, 17 years old. Right now, it’s like, you know, oh, my gosh, that’s gonna fix the problem. It’s like, no, no, no, that’s not gonna fix that problem. Again, it comes down to do the right master data. You have good processes in place. And then how are you measuring and monitoring that to make sure it stays healthy? And that’s the that’s one thing nobody thinks about. You know, we all go in for our checkups. We all go to the dentist twice a year. We go to the eye doctor. But on the data side, we just figure, well, once I mean, I did it 10 years ago, isn’t that good enough? I don’t understand.


[00:32:05] Nothing changes, right? Nothing changes. So humans, I guess, um, they want to get your dad away and a philosopher weigh in on that maybe. Yeah. Um. All right. So one last question for you. The most important question of the day. So as an avid golfer. Yeah. For folks that visit the Scottsdale, Tempe, Phenix area, what’s what’s, uh. A great golf course. Oh, man. Or one. There’s plenty out it. What’s your favorite, I guess?


[00:32:31] Well, greyhawk is definitely good. Um, especially since my son interned there last summer. So I gotta say. greyhawk, uh. Kintaro Love. Kintaro Southern Dunes. Man Bunch. Um, they’re all so good. greyhawk though I hug someone pretty close to my house. That’s the one that we were definitely gonna hit out here in a couple weeks.


[00:32:52] All right. Good deal. Well, Shane, I really have enjoyed the time you spent with us. Uh, Faneuil’s business model. Fascinating. And now that I’ve had a chance to sit down and kind of see where it emanates from and it makes a lot more sense. So to our listeners, you can check Shannon Vaillancourt team out at rate Linx dot com right. Car ATDC l in x-com. Really appreciate your time. Thank you very much, Scott. You bet. And so to our listeners, uh, you know, stay tuned as we continue our coverage of the Dems conference here in Scottsdale, Arizona. A lot more keynotes and other folks that are here sharing some of their thought leadership. Also, be sure to check out our events and our webinar tabs at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. We’ve got a variety of in-person and digital events coming up with folks like T Rorters Events, Resilience 360, the Automotive Industry Action Group and much, much more you can check out at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. Again, thanks to Shannon and the Right Leak’s team to our audience. Check out wherever you’re podcast from. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a thing. On behalf of the entire team here, this is Scott Luton wishing you a wonderful week ahead and we’ll see you next time on Supply chain now.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Watch Scott as he welcomes Shannon Vaillancourt to the Supply Chain Now studio.

Featured Guests

Shannon Vaillancourt is the President and Founder of RateLinx. He started the company in 2002 with the idea that there was a better way to give companies complete visibility to their supply chain. Since then, RateLinx has become a leading supply chain software and data services company that gives retailers, manufacturers, and distributors the ability to ship, track, and pay for their freight. Before founding RateLinx, Shannon held several leadership and technical roles in software engineering, solutions, and services. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Connect with Shannon on LinkedIn.


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Vicki White


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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

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

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Kim Reuter


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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Allison Giddens


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

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

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Billy Taylor


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

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

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

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

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Tandreia Bellamy


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

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

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

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

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Marty Parker


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

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

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jake Barr


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

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Marcia Williams


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

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Manager & Executive Producer

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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