Supply Chain Now
Episode 333

Episode Summary

“Development, hiring, and retention. You have to be excellent at all three if you really want to be truly successful.”

– Rodney Apple, Founder and Managing Partner at SCM Talent Group


Despite the global business infatuation with software and automation, talent remains in high demand at industry-leading companies. In fact, Rodney Apple, Founder and Managing Partner at SCM Talent Group, describes it as a full-fledged “war for talent” – a war that he has been on the front lines of for decades.

Every supply chain is unique, and so is the company it serves. In order to place the right talent in the right role, recruiters have to look beyond lists of desired skills and intended responsibilities. They have to ask the right questions and understand the importance of matching culture and experience.

In this interview, Rodney Apple shares the depth of his recruiting experience with Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton:

  • How (and why) professionals from one discipline are interested in careers in supply chain
  • Which industries have enough in common that professionals can easily transition from one to the other
  • The importance of deliberate “direct sourcing” for talent as opposed to “posting and praying”

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’s the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.


[00:00:29] All right. Good. EFT New Scott Luton. Back with you, Ivan Supply chain. Now, welcome back to the show. If you can’t tell, we’re broadcasting live. They continue our coverage from Moto X, the largest supply chain trade show in all of the Western Hemisphere, held right here in Supply chain City, Atlanta G-A. So on today’s show, we’re speaking with one of the industry leaders that is helping companies find Supply chain talent so they can grow and succeed in and smash through barriers to some big things. So stay tuned. Look to increase your supply chain talent IQ and much, much more, undoubtedly. Quick programing note. You can find our podcast wherever you get your podcast from. YouTube, Spotify. Apple podcast. I stole your line, Greg. We’re here to get your podcast from. Tune in and subscribe so you don’t miss a single thing. Want to welcome in my fearless, esteemed co-host here today in an s plural. We we’ve added a co-host today, a special co-host. But to the right of me. As usual. Greg White 0 Supply chain Technical nor trusted advisor and Atlanta City Club tennis champion comes to gold plate that Greg refused to bring the motets which has broken my heart.


[00:01:37] Greg, how you doing? I’m doing great. Fritzie?


[00:01:39] Yeah. I mean, it’s great to be among all these really talented folks. You know, we did the Supply chain Awards here at Moad x ray and we’ve seen a lot of really cool technology and met a lot of really cool people doing great things.


[00:01:55] Agreed. And this is this is going to be continued hits between our additional co-host. Yes. Mr. Enrique Alvarez, managing director with Vector Global Logistics, which happens to host a studio for Supply chain now. And also, we love the guys. One of our dear friends. And if I can add to your distinguished introduction here, one of my favorite moments from Tuesday was when his company, Vector Global Logistics, recognized as one of our two world class culture award winners. Enrique, good morning.


[00:02:27] Good morning. Thank you very much for having me here. Don’t leave him hanging. It only means that I didn’t hear this right there. I thought, I know the elbow.


[00:02:36] Yeah, we got everybody’s a little bit confused. Right.


[00:02:40] But but kidding aside, you know, we’ve seen the culture at Vector Global Logistics firsthand. We’ve lived it, lived it in many ways, but we’ve stolen it a little bit. But you know what? What is absolutely unquestionable is their dedication to changing the world. Right. It’s tough to do. It sounds very cliche, but based on the things they do in the areas they serve and I mean from business to the charitable nonprofit stuff. Enrique, you’re really set and setting the bar for how businesses should be run. So congratulations. Yeah.


[00:03:12] Thank you very much. And as I said before, it’s really not me. I mean, I’m just a person like in front of the camera today and then just accepting the award. But it’s really my team. We have amazing people. The culture is great because of them. They’re the ones that are working in Cali hard to make such a crazy culture work. And I’m really excited to be here with Ronnie today. ‘Cause I’m sure he’s going to talk a bit more about talent and and people is what makes all the companies out there, so. Amy Exactly right.


[00:03:39] Hiring is the most important thing you do.


[00:03:42] So Arabize, let the cat out the bag. We’ve got him really excited to have a friend of mine. We’ve networked for years. I have admired from afar and sometimes in person in Asheville. Rodney Apple, founder of SCMP Talent Group, which has done some really big things in the town industry in general, but especially when it comes Supply chain. Rodney, any. Good morning.


[00:04:01] Good morning, Scott. Hey, doing great. Hey, Gordon and Enrique. Good morning. So great to have you here back in Atlanta. I know you’ve spent some time here early in your career, which we’ll touch on momentarily, but what an incredible week emoticon. It’s been incredible mind blowing. I’ve seen some of the coolest technology. I didn’t even know exist. So it’s just it’s pretty amazing. And you got it.


[00:04:22] You know, just when you think you’ve seen every trade show out there for your trade, for the trade show, veterans are listening. If you have MODEX. Yeah. You have seen this yet. I mean, this really takes the cake. So let’s switch gears. We’ll touch on Moto X, maybe some of your key takeaways momentarily here, Rodney. But for starters, tell us more about Rod the apple and give us a sense of where you’re from and give us a story or two about your upbringing.


[00:04:45] Sure.


[00:04:46] So I am from the bustling metropolis of Sanford, North Carolina. It’s right in the middle of the state and the smallest county out of 100. Lee County. OK, so raised in a rural area. So got the work ethic from. Early on, working in tobacco or working in the farms and so forth, and then went to u._n._c Wilmington for college. What a beauty fly campus. I applied to three schools. I wasn’t thinking of the education at the time. I was like, where’s the fun place to go? And it was you surrounded. Well, East Carolina was the other one. Yeah. And then Appalachian State was was the third once I got in. I think I got into all three and wanted to go to the beach.


[00:05:28] You decided your beach tribe. Not mountain tribe. Because I live in the mountains now. Yeah. So let’s switch gears. I’m a very diverse fifty-fifty Beach Mountain guy. Very good. OK.


[00:05:38] And the you see Wilmington mascot. I was trying to get that. Seahawks Seahawks. That’s right. Yes. Okay. So talk about it from a professional standpoint. You sheriff federal during. Clearly, we’ll talk more about SCMP tellin’ group momentarily in that entrepreneurial venture. But kind of walk us through what led to your current role.


[00:05:58] Sure. So I had an environmental science degree, which I have not really used. And a guy, one of my buddies graduated ahead of me and came down to Atlanta, joined a company called Aerotek. They had a division called Onsite Environmental Staffing. And so when I got out, was having a hard time finding a job at it. No. Anything like I know now about how to do that. So he said, hey, this company’s hiring, you’d be recruiting environmental people. And while that might be a way to learn more about the industry. Get my foot in the door.


[00:06:28] So that’s where it all started. And I stay with him for a few years. I had different offices worked out of Cincinnati. I worked out of Charlotte. I always want to get back to North Carolina. And there’s a there’s a pretty good story here in terms of how I got into Supply chain, my current business partners names, Paul Watts. He leads our recruiting team, but we work together. Aerotech and I met him back in Cincinnati. So. So the story is he left and went to back at the time was Andersen Consulting, which is now a center right and was leading recruitment. And he said, hey, you know, he’s always wanted to start my own business. And that was an entrance point there. He said we were building this supply chain practice. It was the first time that the I guess at the time Big Six consulting firms were. Yep. Well they’re all doing the same thing. Yep. Yeah. So he said I can get you a contract. And that’s where it all started. SOF formed a company called Gates Apple Executive Personnel. OK. Yep. And I thought I knew everything my parents said. Son, what are you doing? You’re 25. And as I I know what I’m doing.


[00:07:32] Yeah. And I’ve never been so smart as when you know nothing. Right. Exactly.


[00:07:36] So, you know, almost made it over the top out and have enough cash. I didn’t have enough knowledge of Supply chain. I did not have the the all important relationships, contacts. So I failed. I spent every penny I had, what little I had saved over those few years of working. And then I remember leaving, living at the beach.


[00:07:58] Girlfriend broke up with me out of money. So that’s that’s that’s three out of four bad thing. Yeah. Like if you’re out of money, you failed your business, your girlfriend. Well you lived at the bad. I lived at the Pichardo Wrightsville Beach. Incredible place.


[00:08:13] So I remember leaving. I just packed up my car like, you know, a booming driving down Atlanta. Well, my buddy Paul, my partner now, he he said, I need I need a place day. So I literally stayed on his couch and just found another job, you know, got into I.T. recruiting, couldn’t stand it.


[00:08:31] And then I just couldn’t stand it. Right. Not for you, not for me, not for me.


[00:08:37] I respect the heck out of people that do. So I guess it’s a very challenging area of recruiting. So, anyway, fast forward a little bit here, buddy. He was working as a contract recruiter at the Home Depot there, a Fortune 13 back then. They were planning to build their first Supply chain department and that did not exist. You had the traditional functional silos, Logistics and Jerai and so forth. So I got a call and they said, Hey, you know, Gosset, did you do a little bit? And Supply chain? I said, As a matter of fact, I did. Well, we can’t even find a recruiter that even knows what Supply chain is.


[00:09:09] So I in an interview got the job. It was actually a contract position. We’re in a kind of a mini recession back then was where I Miura right after 9/11. When the. So that was back in 2001 when I met with the SVP Global Logistics Ghanim wayIn Gibson, very sharp guy. And he laid out this PowerPoint, said, you know, look, look what Wal-Mart’s doing. Look what Target is doing. We need to be doing the same thing. And it back then, that was their Supply chain was 80 distribution center. They just opening up as fast as they could. They were growing at 30 percent. I think back then it was it was insane. As anyone will tell you back in those days to work in that department. So we put that first department in place. v.p.’s Supply chain, Director, Supply chain. And then eleven senior level supply chain managers to you to kind of integrate and collaborate with the eleven merchandising categories. That’s where everything started.


[00:10:00] Wow. So if I can I get Enrique’s take, you heard a very and I really appreciate your authentic telling of that story. You know that. That’s one. I think one of the things that makes Special Leader special is that ability to share those downtime. There’s rough times because that’s that’s what that’s where you learn. That’s right. That’s right. And so critical. And other people need to hear that. Right. Because you’re actually you’re a movie star now that. Not really. I’m a famous author. Yes, you’re right. We’ll talk. We’ll touch on that. But I’m a big fan. Your business is done well. And, you know, if folks say I can be Rod Apple, they can relate to that.


[00:10:38] That tough time that that, you know, the failure. Yeah. Honestly. Yeah. And a lot, I’m sure. I mean, a lot of business, successful business entrepreneurs. They say failure is really you have to learn from those mistakes. I mean, I learned a. More money in the bank. You need more contact relationships. You kind of need to understand the supply chain stuff a little bit more. I know your topic like. Right. No, no, you’re. Yeah. You know, your focus area. And that’s one. The big light bulb went off when I was a Home Depot. I’m like this. This supply chain thing that no one really knows about, not many is going to get huge. That’s right. Just huge. And so that team we put in place kind of developed a strategy for that RDC network that is in place now. And I said warmness. I mean, it sticks. Stick it out here on the corporate sites off. Finish that project. They asked me to stay on. Matter of fact, the SVP of Global Logistics said, hey, when are you? When are you leaving the recruiting department? I need you up on my floor. And so I moved up there. Gave me an office. Yeah. I’m actually having lunch and a little bit with my former H.R. partner. She’s been there twenty three years. Wow. Shannon Whitfeld is what’s her name. And so we’re gonna have lunch here right after this.


[00:11:43] So I want to Enrique’s take. So hearing some of the entrepreneurial journey there from Rodney, was it make you as a fellow entrepreneur? What what does that trigger for you?


[00:11:53] Well, I relate to what you’re saying, and you’ve got to get those failures out of the way as quickly as you can. I mean, the more you fail, the better it is, actually. The more you learn, the more you kind of can improve on the mistakes that you make of your humble enough when your ego doesn’t get in the way, which is probably some of the pitfalls of some other entrepreneurs as well. But but no, I can totally relate. It’s just a matter of working hard and then just never giving up. I think it’s there’s no secret sauce. I won’t call like I asked that question. And as I’m listening to your story, which is amazing, by the way, I reflecting upon mine, it’s just there’s no secret sauce that you don’t really want to get it, Don.


[00:12:32] You just have to work hard and grit and determination and just relentless focus on not moving the needle forward and improving and and in in the leadership and the hiring even for my company. You know, the first four years we had Gunnerson some mis hires. And, you know, now we have a rock solid team. But it just sometimes you you think you know everything about recruiting, then you do it for your own company in your life. What did I do wrong here? That’s, of course, correct. And you figured out the next time around.


[00:13:00] I think that’s very important. Just kind of like hiring the right people and then making sure that whoever your hire is better than you are. A jerai going through that and say, hey, I need you because you’re just so much better than I am. That’s right.


[00:13:11] That’s a really good point, though, because so many people hire people who are like them right now. I mean, that you find an affinity with someone. It’s almost counterintuitive that the way you need to hire, you need to find somebody that in my case might even irritate me a little bit. Correct. Because I’m not an engineer by any standard. And sometimes sometimes I find in engineers to be a bit rough around the edges, a little too frank, whatever it is, you know what went on.


[00:13:39] But when I’m looking when I’m looking for an engineer, then I know what to look for.


[00:13:44] Because if you build an organization of people who are just like you, then you all you do is coalesce those those weaknesses in the company. And you have to look for that diversity of opinion and skill and approach.


[00:13:58] That’s right. That’s a good point you brought up there. Speaking of diversity. I’m a big proponent. I got some stories there, too. I can share. But the one is what building this first supply chain department. We were looking at diversity from many different angles, obviously, you know, people with different ethnicities.


[00:14:15] Jeff, thank you and have my copy of your place of his Broward’s ever. Yeah. Yeah.


[00:14:23] So and then we were look at people with diverse industry background. So we don’t want to just pull a team of retail folks together. You have wanted folks with some CPG background and a manufacturing background. So we had a very, very diverse team and it brought with it what that did was enable to bring and we even had a guy that worked at Brad Saavy. Ali was his name and literally rocket science. They worked at NASA for a while. So we had some some very smart people in that first team. And I like to play the game where they at now, people that I regret. I can. Yeah, you got to see where these people are. Someone a lot of my chief sporting officers, CEOs, CEOs. It’s pretty amazing.


[00:14:59] Gratifying to see people like that accelerate and and elevate themselves to their career.


[00:15:04] Yeah, absolutely. Now take it take us into SC and talent group, the genesis there. And then what it does with what? Oh, sure, sure.


[00:15:13] So. So that when I left Home Depot and the guy that hired me into there, he went over to Coca-Cola to be over the executive recruiting. And one day was actually we were hosting a party and I live in the Virginia Highlands. He came over and I said, you’ve been picking off some recruiters over here at Home Depot was kind of joking. When are you gonna get me a.. Over there, Coca-Cola? Because matter of fact, I think they’re looking for somebody to that to do manufacturing, recruitment. I said, well, I haven’t really done a whole lot of that, but. So I went in there and interviewed, got the job, and I led the recruitment for their 22 factories across North America. But when I was there, it was a contract position and longest contract ever. I stayed there about six and a half years. Wow. On contract. That’s when I formed the company. And and in this time, I didn’t want to call it after my last name. Well, what do you do with Apple Computers?


[00:16:10] Yeah. So I wanted it to I literally would be Rodney Apple if you were CEO of Apple. So that would make it easier for people always asked me, are you familiar with Apple Company? Why wouldn’t that be retired on a boat somewhere? Yeah. Right. We would not we would not be sitting here today. Yeah. Yeah.


[00:16:29] So anyway, that’s when I formed the company said you need a legal entity toto to work here. And so I formed it for that purpose so I could build that. So that technically was my first client was Coca-Cola and the person that was full time left. Sheer the rest of the supply chains. I inherited the entire thing that included the sourcing, procurement, billions and spend there had kept the 22 factories, not the hourly but professional up to the executive all the planning cycles. So demand through supply.


[00:17:02] S&p Raksha recruited the V.P. of that department. And then the continuous improvement, you know, the lean Six Sigma folks. I had both the North America and the global team and then I support the Global Supply chain group as well. They basically all the roles based here that supported the different regions across the globe to other countries that they so product into.


[00:17:24] There’s a hodgepodge of other things like Prialt Logistics can’t forget about Logistics Sciarrotta Logistics functions and they won’t let you. That’s right. That’s right. That’s right. I’ll try my sustainability, environment, health, safety.


[00:17:36] Everything that fell under that end to end supply chain umbrella. So that was that right there. The retail and the CPG just gave that foundation. That’s where I learned most of what I know now about Supply chain Patel. You learn stuff new every day, especially coming in this place. This is insane. I went from there to Kimberly-Clark and did the same thing there for about almost a year and then wrapped up with switching gears to come in. So the automotive holly Industrial Sheer Hurley engineered. So that was that was a lot different from where I’d come from, but it was fascinating. So so that after that I said, I’m ready to jump ship. And I wanted to do this when I was at Coke. And then 2008 came along and I said, well, people are they’re not going to stop drinking Coca-Cola products. So I just stuck it out. I was busiest. Could be I’m like, what recession? Because they don’t shut down the factories. They don’t shut down the supply chain. And right. Even with the case with this corona virus, it’s not going to shut down.


[00:18:28] So I said probably out KARK cyclical right at that point. I mean, maybe they will even buy more when.


[00:18:34] That’s right. Yeah. And it and they can shift.


[00:18:37] The only thing that you can still kind of get that will give you the right.


[00:18:41] Yes. Hope or satisfaction or. Yes. Or at some point just cause it mixes so well with Jack Daniels. Trustingly in this this episode you’ll publish in two or three weeks.


[00:18:52] But interestingly enough, as my dear wife pointed out last night, Georgia just legalized home delivery of alcohol products. And it just so happens is during this Corona virus, I got make it.


[00:19:09] But yeah, who knows? That was timing, but perfect timing. That’s right.


[00:19:13] But no kidding aside, this is an interesting time. broadneck. I like how you put it. Kind of the optimistic side. Business still has to happen if it finds a different way to happen, right? That’s right. Yeah. So what you said as you walked into that background, which is really the first time because you’re a humble guy. Are the lunches we’ve had together. You’ve never shared any of that. But did the stories you can that you could tell, especially your deep involvement with an iconic company like the Coca-Cola Company? Holy cow. No wonder you’re prepared to build the team that has now grown and become.


[00:19:48] It’s it’s really our key differentiator is having that internal knowledge. It’s up here. I’m pointing to my brain for those who are listening. It’s you know, I’ve just see a you know, when you’re immersed into such complex and diverse and enormous supply chains and you’re working with hundreds of people and partnering with I mean, literally many hundreds of people. If you just you sit in on on the leadership team meetings and you just you just learn by being there. Sheer and talking to so many people. People love to talk about themselves on recruiting. It’s just you know, it’s it’s an easy way. And so. So that’s that’s that foundational knowledge. I feel like I can sit down with anyone at any level in any company and hold a conversation about supply chain. And, you know, just working with so many companies, every supply chain is unique. And so you have to be successful. You have to get in to your clients, supply chain. And what I mean by that is, you know, the right questions to ask. I can really understand how their unique supply chain is. Is the match, in my opinion, doesn’t occur by a list of job requirements and skills. It’s always important to kind of check those off. I think it’s far more important to find candidates that have worked in a similar or what I call supply chain environment. Looking at things like the footprint saw scope, complexity, business model. You need to understand the business to Dickerson watching touches every aspect of a business. So it’s more of a you know, that general MBA kind of that is what I feel like I’ve built on top of a supply chain knowledge. So, Greg, I know you’ve got some questions about ACMD talent group, what they do.


[00:21:21] Yeah. My favorite question is, you know, because particularly in this talent environment. Right. And it’s very town type talent environment. And because this industry is growing so rapidly. And then and because there’s so many options for recruiting or or or identification and screening of talent, how does somebody if I you know, if I’ve if I’m like Enrique and I’ve got Logistics company or if I’m like a couple of my other companies where I’ve got I’m looking for technology, talent or, you know, unique skills, A.I. blockchain, whatever it is, robotics, if I’m walking down the hall and what is the what’s the pain that I’m feeling?


[00:22:08] What are the key words going through my head? What is it that I am not getting or that I might be confused about that that would cause me to come to your team and have you guys do the recruiting for me?


[00:22:20] Well, it’s pain. It’s either pain or it’s an opportunity to deploy. Something is where companies come to us for help. They may have gone through. We get this all the time. Hey, by recruiter we’ve been using forever. That does great in finance and accounting and I.T. and is this not given us the right people? So they they want a specialist that understands the stuff, that truly understands the end to end supply chain. And that’s what we bring to the table. There’s a lot of people that work in in the functional areas like Logistics. There really aren’t a lot of recruiting firms out there that do the full and and the depth and breadth of depth of the whole supply chain. So that that’s when they turned us in. There could be cases like a confidential search where they don’t want that to get out to internal employees. So that’s another reason.


[00:23:13] So you specialize in the broader supply chain as you talked about.


[00:23:17] That’s you’ve had the benefit of working in this for a long time. I won’t say forever. I wanted to say for now that seems like a longer mode, my career. But because of that, you have kind of an exceptional specialization in in the broad broader end to end.


[00:23:34] Supply chain. Yeah, I’ve been in so many factories, in so many distribution centers and I have not seen a lot of this technology. Definitely. I’ve worked with clients putting, you know, putting in robotics and things like that. Their film at centers.


[00:23:47] But yeah, I don’t know about you, Enrique, but I have experienced firsthand what Rodney just described, which is. Having used a traditional or generalist router and not being able to find that kind of talent, but very similar to what you said.


[00:24:05] Right. And I think it’s right. You need some someone that has been there has done that to kind of understand the kind of people that you’re looking for. Otherwise, you just don’t get it. And it’s not that they’re bad companies. There’s amazing companies out there that they’re doing amazing jobs. But if you don’t know the intricacies of what this industry kind of needs, then it’s really, really hard to filter through all this amazing candidates that are out there. That’s right. You have to nail down at least. Yeah, yeah, yeah. They’re not feeling right. What you’re looking for.


[00:24:35] Exactly. You have to nail down the profile so you can understand what type of candidate. But you gotta understand the clients are watching and you need to find people that have worked in similar environments and have accomplished similar objectives and goals and so forth. Yeah. Good point.


[00:24:48] So we’ve seen a lot of companies, a lot of individuals and just this show and then previously where it really stood out to us was in Austin when we did a show with the hefty reuters’. And we’ve seen a lot of people coming to supply chain from other industries. Are you seeing the same thing?


[00:25:04] Yes. I get a lot of calls from people that want to get into it. They see the growth every week, you know, how do I get into it? And in the book I’m writing, we cover topics like that. Yeah. How do you pivot from one area to another? Yeah.


[00:25:20] So you have the candidates kind of asking you to come into the industry. Do you also have like companies asking for candidates or not inside the industry or do you see that moral values?


[00:25:29] Usually companies, you know, they like to recruit from the same industry. So I’m going to lean on that. They are right. But I’m going to know because we’ve worked with most industries that are out there. I have a good sense of where we can go shop if we can’t get someone from your industry. Well, here’s a similar like minded. For example, food and beverage. Well, we can also go shop and pharmaceutical.


[00:25:53] You know, that’s that is a real gift. Being able to take someone from outside the industry and be and because you know so much about Supply chain chain to say they have gifts, skills, experience, whatever, that that can apply. And this is someone I would I would recommend to a company. Absolutely. That takes an incredible amount of knowledge of the industry to be able to extrapolate that skillset like that.


[00:26:20] You’re also making the case for why you’ve got to develop in and embrace the talent group you’ve got on the team, right? That’s right. Because you’ve got companies that are aggressive and are very intentional about blocking poaching. Well, that’s what we do right now. But beyond that, there are these companies, we’re World-Class companies that are determined to build a plus team. That’s right. Right. So companies that take their talent for granted, they’re bound to lose all the players, especially the key ones, right?


[00:26:49] That’s right. You have to know how to hire. You have to know how to direct source. That’s that’s critical. Posting and praying is what we call it in the recording industry is just doesn’t get you’re fishing from a pond versus the ocean. They’re not using all of your bait that you have. So you need to open that up and direct source almost. Look at it like you have you know, companies have a strategic sourcing procurement. You need to be thinking that strategically and have. And I use the term omni channel. You need to have many different sourcing channels. Sheer advertising posting can be one. Right, but you’ve got to be able to formulate. Here’s the companies that we know will have people that fit into our culture, get into our business model and you have to go after them and you have to know what you’re gonna say and the right messaging and so forth.


[00:27:34] But even with even when you hook a candidate and get him on the team or her on the team, you got to develop.


[00:27:41] You’ve got to make sure that they’re happy and loved working their Ryder percent.


[00:27:45] Development, hiring, and then it’s development and then the retention. You have to be excellent at all three if you really want to be truly successful.


[00:27:53] Excellent. Okay. So a touch on your book before we. Because we’re gonna shift gears a minute and we’ll get Charles thoughts, especially yours, Rodney, on key takeaways from codecs this week. But let’s talk about your book. Siplon. I’m hoping that the camera can here that maybe see that maybe Amanda can make sure the light is not too blinding, but it’s good. Supply chain careers. Thank you. Greg, you’ve got outstanding 20 watching the monitor, the guidebook for launching and accelerating your career in Supply chain management. So, you know, there’s very few people that would be on a short list of incredibly qualified people to write that book. And you definitely are on that short list. This book is coming out in 2020. Hopefully won’t in the business and have two small kids just finding the time to write and edit.


[00:28:37] We’re going through the edits the first round of editing. So I’m hoping that we can get this out the door here in the next few months. Definitely in 2020 is the goal. Yeah, benefit a bunch of people.


[00:28:47] I hardly had time to reading. Now you took the time to writing.


[00:28:51] Yeah, I know. But you know, we want to know where the foundation. That’s actually pretty impressive. I would. Love to hear. Why and why? And yeah, no interest.


[00:28:59] So serving as the career coach for AFSCME, formerly apic since 2014 where I developed content, we do webinars on all aspects of professional development. I have been writing with a lot of content marketing for my business, so we have Supply chain talent blog.


[00:29:16] I get asked to be interviewed and a lot of different trade journals. Even the big guys Wall Street Journal, CNBC, so contributing to articles and then one day light bulb went off another weibel. And I was looking at this and just said you gotta have several hundred pages of a way. We were running out of ideas for even for the career coach program we do going into year six. We’re just trying to think of something new. So we we’ve covered about everything under that professional VELTMAN umbrella and it takes you from the journey of what is supply chain. And I’m writing this in layman’s terms. Nothing Technical here. Good about my level.


[00:29:56] Yeah.


[00:29:57] So and then from there it’s what are the career paths look like across different industries from company sizes, from both the shipper side manufacturing, retail, wholesale distribution. It gets into the service providers, it gets into, you know, here Botox, the technology, the equipment side, and then it takes you from. How do you put your resume together? LinkedIn profile, develop a job search strategy in a linear fashion, getting your first job, your net, your networking offer, negotiation, and then the next section goes Froome. You get your first job.


[00:30:29] Well, how do you develop your leadership skills? How do you progress up the ladder and take it all the way to the top of the supply chain like chief watching officer so that from the beginning of what is this stuff to you? I’ve reached the peak of my career height.


[00:30:43] Love it. Wow. Now it’s voiceovers. I mean, as if, first of all, the war for talent or the talent shortage has recently hit the broad market. But this is a problem we’ve had for nigh on a decade in in Supply chain is to have enough talent that has the skills that are required to to undertake this industry. So that’s a that’s a really valuable tool.


[00:31:08] Getting excited about it while we’re at it. Yeah, I’m mama when I finished the first round. I can’t have pressure though. Years in the making. Pressure creates a writer’s block.


[00:31:18] It does first-run edited. You’ve got the basic manuscript. You’re going through all of it for first round and then you may or may not add additional chapters. Is that kind of work well? I’ve never written a book. I’m not having ears.


[00:31:29] It’s my first time. So I read a book on writing a book one.


[00:31:34] Can you. Can you refer that to me? Yes. Well, as a matter of fact, I was sure I did miss anything. So, yeah, last time I did have a professional editor go through it.


[00:31:42] And really, that was the challenge for me is I just stare at it and like, how do I get this to where it really connects? Then the same tone, the same flow. So we’ve got that. And as I’m going through that, I’m like, this is amazing, you know, to see it come to life. The light at the end of the tunnel. So I’m excited to get it.


[00:31:58] Thank you very much. Yeah.


[00:32:01] Ok, so let’s let’s switch gears from that exciting news to the exciting world of Moto X, which is this is day for a few hours from really wrapping up. Great. Yeah. In light of a tough week. Right. For the business community. For for the global. Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. Still, as we’ve said, just about every show. This has been an outstanding show for the Supply chain now team. Yeah. You know, between the 20/20 Linas Supply chain awards on Tuesday that Madox hosted that we pulled off with a variety of partners, of course, including the vector team include Metro Atlanta Business Chamber, CSC and Apex, which was just a home run second year to all the great people like Rodney and Enrique. We’ve been able to Sheer an hour of time with, right? Yeah, but I’ll get your key takeaways. I’m excited. I’m partial. I love these shows. You get out and you meet people and you still have the interpersonal connection and you’re able to benchmark and gather intel and add to your network. These are timeless advantages to building a business. So I’m partial of y’all tell. But Rodney, start with you. And I go round Legoff Rod into Enrique to George right here.


[00:33:07] To my right, sir. I’ll get your key takeaways from this week.


[00:33:13] Sheer. So I only could do two days dealing with another issue. I won’t even go into on a personal front with a rental home here that’s mold infested. So.


[00:33:23] So welcome to Georgia. Welcome back to Georgia. So anyway, that’s a whole other story.


[00:33:27] But my mind has been blown. I’m kind of, you know, kicking myself for not come into this before, especially, you know, having lived in Atlanta. But this is the future. We’re you know, if you’re a nerd, nerdy or geeky kind of person. This is a place where you can come in completely geek out big time. So just watching the plethora of robots walking around and having around was as one thing. And then, you know, from everything from what vision picking I thought that was pretty fascinating. By using some kind of form of like a Google Glasses or similar on if that was the same thing. And it just meeting and greeting the networking activities is is tremendous. But I’ve learned a whole lot. I’ve just see. You can start to see when you see it. We see things in person. You hear about all these things. And I’ve seen some of it, of course. But, you know, talking to his A.I. companies and these brilliant, brilliant people that are here. Yeah. It’s just been amazing.


[00:34:25] Yeah. Agreed. Completely agree. So moving right along. Enrique. Same question. You. And you’ve been I know everyone business doesn’t stop for four weeks like this. And weekend Vector’s is growing left and right for a little bit. You’ve seen this week. Tell us.


[00:34:40] Yeah, I’ve been here to this show before, like the things my third or fourth time that I’ve been here. And you’re right, this particular week was a lot of different things happening in the world, as people know. And so there’s been a lot of different issues that we have to take care of. But but what I’ve seen, it’s just comparing year to year and how exponentially technology’s going. It’s amazing. Like if I remember like the first show that I came to, like probably I know five, six years ago. And what you see now to what you saw then, it’s just so incredibly advanced and cool and exciting. And it’s one of those shows that even if you’re not like supply chain professional or that if you don’t really have any kind of connection to the show, similar to what I think maybe the фото some auto shows could be if you use like robots and moving parts and equipment and things like that, it’s just it’s interesting. Agreed. The other thing is from the networking opportunities, it’s it’s it’s great. This year has been limited, diminished by the virus. But what it’s been. It’s always been like a good meeting point for for for getting to know smart and very talented individuals. So it’s been fun.


[00:35:48] I bet we have identified some new targets for the Logistics with a purpose series. I agree here on supply chain. Now that vector powers for. So we’re adding to our target list, right? That is correct. All right. So, Greg, move right along to you. You know what? A week. But what’s what top your list.


[00:36:08] Two things are. It’s top of my list. One, I think we may have redefined the universal human greeting for the entire planet during this week. Which one? I really think I think I think we’re going to wind up with the L go with the foot. Yeah, I love that one. I like that. But I think we’re I think we may have or maybe in the process of redefining it, this is a this has been a watershed week. And and to this won’t be popular with our hosts. But I think we may be in the process of redefining the landscape for shows like these. Look, it’s no secret to anyone who does these shows that you’re conspicuous by your absence. And that’s the primary reason for you to be here. We’ve seen a lot of companies flocking to us to get the kind of exposure that they thought and hoped they would get at this show. But because, as you said, Enrique, because of the lessened attendance, they just aren’t going to get. And I think we’ll start to see and we’ve already started to see some shows go completely virtual.


[00:37:08] And I think there’s goodness in that. I’ve seen a lot of if you look for.


[00:37:14] Right. You can’t just assume the worst. There’s.


[00:37:17] Oh, I think there’s goodness in it because look, this is expensive. Yeah. Let’s face it, it’s expensive.


[00:37:23] And universally when you walk away. I’ve I’ve put on conferences like this and I’ve attended hundreds of conferences like this. And when you walk away from these things universally, the the answer to the question, what was the most valuable thing that, you know, that you experienced at the show? It was the networking events. It was getting people getting face to face with people. It was not that I really loved being on the Expo floor, though. It is cool. And you do get to see a lot of ideas. And and and I love that aspect of the show, but I think that I think that this could begin the reshaping of the trade show and trade organization or industry organization formats that we see out there. And I think to the goodness of everyone, because imagine if ASTM goes online and has some regional centers or whatever people are comfortable with where they can do an individual gathering. But essentially, a the ACM annual show is online all the time. Right. And you’re going, wow. I really you know what? I really need robotics. You can go and look at being an all in one place without all the travel and expense for anyone at risk, frankly, in this in this day and age. Yeah. So those are I know those are odd, as you can expect for me. Those are odd.


[00:38:49] But I mean that that’s what really stood out about the show.


[00:38:52] I don’t think they’re odd. I think this is. I mean, let’s face it, not to be dramatic, but when we talked about this last show, when the NBA suspends season, when the NCAA ballet removes attendees from the college tournament, both those things have never happened for spring court spring. College football games stayed in the realm of sports at Fortune 50 foot companies just in Atlanta. Just we have completely worked from home. We’ve suspended transit B air from Europe. These things, we are in some unique time. I don’t think it’s odd. I think it’s natural, especially with the backdrop of mutex and the size of this Supply chain circus and I mean that very, very complimentary. There’s be a huge spillover effect. There’s gonna be some huge lessons learned in the weeks and months to come. And inevitably, especially at a time when arguably or maybe in arguably the trade show landscape has already been been disrupted a bit by the digital twin of it. Yeah, who knows where we go. I think it’s an accelerant for that sort of thing. Yeah. Good point. Okay. Well, nevertheless, image of some great things. We interviewed John Paxson today who become CEO of the organization in January, love their leadership. And he shared some vision towards some virtual virtual right solutions. That’s right. All right. So move. I want to make sure, Rodney, coming back to you, that we let our listeners know where they can learn more about SCMP, talent group, about some your content, your services, how they connect, can connect with you, how they can hound you into finishing this book.


[00:40:30] You can get into this industry. Also show. Sure. Put yourself out there.


[00:40:34] Sheer. So probably the best place is just a SCMP talent dot com. There you will find a lot of the content that will be in the book. We’ve got a big tab at the top, says advice and everything is segmented by the format. So you’ve got the blog. There’s articles in there covering professional development. But we also talk about how to help, how companies, you know, things they can do to improve their ability to to source and hire supply chain talent. We’ve got some webinars that we put in there, as does the AFC and career coach. All of those are can be found, I think, on their YouTube channel. Nice. You want to go back and watch those? And then we’ve got infographics and got a YouTube channel. Been doing a little video as well lately. So we’ve got a plethora of advice there. And again, a lot of that is some of the foundation that’s going to be in the book that hopefully comes out here in a few months that I now welcome the pressure to finish the book.


[00:41:28] Sometimes that helps kick things into another gear. You heard it here first, folks. If you want if you want access to this book, get him up on LinkedIn. There you go.


[00:41:38] Rod, if you can help with that. We’re building a little forklift fleet here. Maybe you got. Yeah. Yeah. Schwag sit Dahiyeh. We will shamelessly work for swag. Oh, I’ll check my bag over here. Nick, I brought a bag of tricks. They don’t. Let’s just leave it at this. I don’t let.


[00:41:53] We were gonna do a booth, too. And I guess recruiting companies don’t fit the criteria. So is that right? I didn’t even I didn’t know anyone could be excluded. Well. Well, that’s why you’re here. That’s right. That’s right. Well, it’s my Daryl handling equipment and software and hardware and. Yeah. Abarca that we don’t hadn’t thought about any of that. So I get it. Yeah, that’s right. No harm done. Done. SCMP talent. That’s right. Right. And I’m sure rodding we could check you out on LinkedIn on other places. I live on there. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. Always a pleasure. I really appreciate. You know, there’s all types of different recruiting and talent acquisition and talent management approaches.


[00:42:33] And I love the values you bring to the table, especially from a been there and done that standpoint. And it’s always refreshing to kind of sit down and reconnect with Rodney Apple, founder of SCMP Talent Group. Thanks for your time. Thank you. Thank you, Scott. Great. Yeah. You very.


[00:42:49] Thank you. All right. So Enrique won. One final question for you. We have got a variety of folks teed up for the next few episodes, but already we have had drive. Oh, right. That was a great episode. Yeah. Mike, Mike, manana. Manana. What was I mean, what was that? There’s one thing for for our listeners of this episode that may not have found that series yet, especially since it’s one of our newest series. Right. Right. Logistics with a purpose. What’s the driving force there? What what why did you see a need for that series and the message that it shares?


[00:43:22] Yeah. So what we’re trying to do with that series, Logistics with Purpose is basically is highlighting companies that are giving back to the community, giving companies like ours that are really trying to change the world, making it a better place that are actually have this purpose ingrained in their DNA and it’s part of their culture and their strategy. So it’s just not more. It’s not like we have lip service. It’s not lip service. It’s not like we have this social part of our companies. Like, no, that’s what the company is all about. Have you take that then? There’s no company. So it’s ah, it’s really just an opportunity for those companies. To share their stories. A ghost, I feel like when I’m listening to your show and some other podcasts out there, like it’s inspirational. Right. So you’re usually driving or at least that’s me when I’m listening to the podcast. You’re usually driving and you want to hear interesting conversations. And if they’re inspirational and they make you feel better and they make you feel empowered to go and do things, then even better. And that’s what we’re trying to do with that series. Yep.


[00:44:18] So stay tuned. We got a ton of additional content. The first episode was a home run with Mike and throbbed doing some really neat work supporting a variety of farmers around the world and really enjoyed it. Appreciate your support of what we’re doing. But you know, our hope was always broke. Your broker, we did it.


[00:44:35] Did we try and leave it on a trend here, man? I’m trying to create a whole new kind of Jimmy Kimmel. So, Greg, what a great episode.


[00:44:45] Yeah, I think both of these these these two gentlemen, the values they have and how they do business. I mean, it sets the bar exam in different ways.


[00:44:52] Yeah. Yeah, I agree. Look, this has been a long time coming and I think it’s really valuable to our our industry and those many people coming in from the outside. All right. You know, we’re always huge admirers of what you do and how you do it.


[00:45:08] I got a vector tattoo just last month. Julie, thank you. Yeah. I did, too, but I turned it sideways. All right.


[00:45:16] So you have to love to bring Ronnie back once we can sign the book. Yeah, we did. Yes. I want to have had a signed copy of your book, for sure. Book signing ceremony. I will UPS to do that. Signing ceremony that are done. Yeah. I’ll put the place there.


[00:45:32] So big. Thanks again. Rodney Apple, founder, SCMP Talent Group. Big thanks. Enrique Alvarez. Yes. Cohosts here today, managing director with Vector Global Logistics. Working folks learn more about Victor.


[00:45:41] Thank you know well Vector Global Logistics dot com and LinkedIn as well.


[00:45:46] Greg White. Excellent episode. This pretty much caps off a week of awesome interviews. Yeah, that’s an awesome right word.


[00:45:54] It is. I mean, we met some truly met and you know, we get to see Enrique every day. But I I got to tell you, never, never ceases to surprise me. What’s what’s so great about this man’s heart?


[00:46:06] Agreed. And it’s genuine. And that that’s that’s the best part about it. So I’ll send this episode to my wife.


[00:46:11] Thank you. To our audience. Be sure to check it out. And Sciarrotta. Yeah.


[00:46:18] Visit. Check out our events and webinars tab at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. We’ve got a variety of in-person and virtual events with organizations around the world. If T Reuters events, the Automotive Industry Action Group of course the George Logistics summit, which is being postponed August I believe and many, many more, you could check that out at Supply Chain Now Radio BCom. There’s something you cannot find Google or otherwise you can send our CMO a note. She’s the boss, Amanda at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com and we’ll try to serve as a resource for you. Big thanks again to Rodney Apple and Ricky Alvarez, Gheorghe Greg White. Check us out at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com or wherever you’re podcast from. Be sure to subscribe on my half the entire team. Scott Luton. Wish you a wonderful week ahead and we will see you next time on Supply Chain Now.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Watch Scott and Greg as they welcome Rodney Apple to the Supply Chain Now booth at MODEX 2020.

Featured Guests

Rodney Apple is a co-founder of Supply Chain Careers and serves as the Managing Partner of SCM Talent Group. He has been completely specialized in end-to-end supply chain recruitment since 2001 when he joined The Home Depot (Fortune 13 at the time) to lead the recruitment for their very first supply chain department. Rodney went on to lead all professional and executive supply chain and operations recruitment for The Coca-Cola Company for 6+ years, followed by a few other clients that included Kimberly-Clark, Cummins, and PWC.

In 2012, after successfully filling more than 1,000 professional to executive supply chain positions for the aforementioned companies, Rodney decided to bolster SCM Talent Group’s service offerings beyond exclusive retained client engagements. He expanded the firm’s client base across most major industries within the United States, focusing on serving manufacturers, retailers, wholesale distributors, and logistics service providers.

Rodney’s passion for the field of supply chain management is evident through his involvement within the industry and various supply chain associations. He has presented at CSCMP and APICS global conferences, served as the Career Coach for ASCM (formerly APICS) from 2014-2021, and was a Department Author for ASCM’s magazine SCM NOW, contributing articles under “Professional Development” from 2017-2021.

Rodney also authors the Supply Chain Talent Blog and co-hosts the Supply Chain Careers Podcast, where he shares best practices in supply chain recruiting, leadership development, job search strategy, resume optimization, interviewing techniques, and related topics. Lastly, Rodney is in process of writing his first book which will be centered on supply chain careers and talent development, due to launch in 2021. Connect with Rodney on LinkedIn. 


Greg White

Principal & Host

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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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Mary Kate Love

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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Vicki 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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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.

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Page Siplon

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).

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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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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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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.

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Allison Giddens

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.

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Billy Taylor

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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Greg White

Principal & CMO, 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.

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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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