“The thing is, when you get an opportunity to really partner with your customer, and you see their workflows, you see where the bottleneck is.”
– Robert Bova, President and CEO of AccuSpeechMobile
Voice directed picking is nothing new – employees follow prompts from a device or application to select and put together orders. But voice automated workflows present a much bigger opportunity. They can increase the productivity of the workforce, minimize human errors, and save significant time by directly altering the workflows themselves.
Robert (Bob) Bova is the President and CEO of AccuSpeechMobile. Their solutions are device based, meaning that people can interact with their solution through either spoken commands or push button controls. It is also possible to integrate their solution with intelligent scanners, and network connections are not required to use the solution.
In this interview, Bob Bova speaks with Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton about:
[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] Hey, good EFT new Scott Luton back here live with you in Supply chain. Now, welcome back to the show. If you can’t hear it, we’re broadcasting live today from Moad X, the largest supply chain trade show in all of the Western Hemisphere. It’s being held right here in hashtag Supply chain City, Atlanta G-A. Today Show we’re speaking with yet another supply chain technology leader. We’re gonna be talking all about voice automated workflows for the supply chains. That’s game changing territory here. Stay tuned. As we promise this is going to increase your Supply chain Tech IQ. Quick programing note. First, you can subscribe to what we do wherever you get your podcast from Apple podcast, Spotify, YouTube, you name it. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a single thing. So welcome in my fearless, esteemed co-host here today on today’s show. None other than Greg White 0 Supply chain Tech entrepeneur, trusted advisor, highly spirited lunch discussion facilitator over tacos the day.
[00:01:25] Yeah. Greg, how you doing?
[00:01:26] I am doing great because we had street tacos. Yeah. And they were spectacularly delicious.
[00:01:32] I think you have 17 of them. Well, as I was count only three and a coke. Hey, look, I’m walking a lot while we’re here. So burning calories, man, and I’m taking full advantage.
[00:01:42] Well, so. So, you know, Greg, this is our last episode of day three. And we’ve had a full schedule for month. Tomorrow is our vector day. We looking forward to Vector Global Logistics? No, not the World Class Culture Award winner. The Atlanta Supply chain work. Enrique Alvarez will be with us. But you know, I’m really excited about this episode. The pre-show alone has been more entertaining.
[00:02:05] You know, I feel than that fair Rod right behind you. Yeah. I feel like I feel like I know Bob already. And Bob, if this whole thing of yours doesn’t work out with Accu speech, you’re welcome to join us because you would be great. Hey, I just want to know where my tacos arethere after the show. That’s right. All right. Be a good boy. We’ll figure out. Yeah. Okay. So with the thread said, no food left.
[00:02:31] So if y’all can’t tell this, give me a lively episodes of Bulkley. We have Bob Bova, president and CEO of Accu Speech Mobile with us. Bob. How you doing?
[00:02:39] Fine, gentlemen. Fine. Good to be here. Thanks for having me.
[00:02:41] Great to have you. I enjoyed your company already and you’ve been here only about 17 minutes. So looking forward to the next 40. So before we start talking about Accu speech, mobile and sort of big things you’re up to, there is an organization. Let’s get to know Bob better. To Bob, tell us about yourself.
[00:02:57] Well, I live in Irvine, California. I have a lovely wife and two sons, one in college, one about to go to college. I’m originally from Woodbury, Connecticut. When I when I grew up, there was twenty four hundred people. Yeah. A little bitty town. Great place to grow up, really was. And what brought you out to California? I in 1983, I had an opportunity to take a job out here. Good year. It was certainly a good year to move to California. I was living and working in New York City, Manhattan. I was working downtown for linear business product. Okay, selling hot selling tech to brokerage firms and law firms and live in the dream. Right. I was 23, 24 years old. Young, Sherkin big. Yeah. And I’d gone to Syracuse University in being from Connecticut. That was my dream. I wanted to live and work in New York. And it was working out great. And then I was doing really well. Got promoted a couple of times. And then all of the sudden the offers started flowing in. And I had this opportunity in Southern California, Newport Beach. OK. And the I kept saying, no, the company was based in Cleveland. And so I was like, no, no, that’s okay. And then they did some other things. And, hey, how about a nicer car, but more money? And I was like, no, no, no, no, no. And finally say, hey, here’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna fly out there. And it was a middle of December and they flew me out and I was like, okay, this could work. And my dad, who’s one of my. Is like my hero. I called him up and I said, you know, pops up in, you know, and he said, Bobby, New York’s not going anywhere. You can always come back.
[00:04:31] And I thought that was great, was great of ice. That is some of the crazy stuff by a parent. Yeah, it’s. Yeah. Go ahead. Do. Yeah.
[00:04:38] Take a shot. And so. And my dad I mean he was first generation Italian. My mom is second generation Irish. So it already. Yeah. Exactly right. It was very leaver a at moment lively growing up. And so but Mike my dad, he took over the painting contracting business my grandfather started. Now both. My brother and I started working full time at 12. Those are great years. I mean, I loved it. I mean, just, you know, getting to know how to work with customers and make them happy. And some of the people that I met. Oh, gosh. So we’re painting this house. It was it was a it was an interior job. It was in the wintertime. And my dad was working with the rest of the crew. And we finally got to the bedroom suite. And my dad said, look, you’re gonna do this on your own. And this lady had been wonderful to us, made us lunch every day. And so I thought, okay. And so I get there that morning and there she is. And she says, okay. Bobby, that’s what everybody back. They are my family because my dad’s always been big, Bob. Right. But you know, Bob, you need to be really careful. I said, OK. Should I walk into this room? And it is just covered with pictures, wall-to-wall with a gentleman, this lady and the Beatles and Chuck Berry. Anybody you can think of inside guitars. And here she is in all these pictures smiling. You know, it’s like we go. Who are you?
[00:06:03] You remember Alan Freed? Yeah. Yeah, of course she was Mrs. Alan Freed. Wow. Yeah. And I was I read. It was cool. It was cool. And, you know, it was. And I just remember her being so nice. Right. You know, down to earth is the best sort of it. But I just I mean, here I am. You know, just to 19 years old, like royalty.
[00:06:23] So moving right along. Let’s talk about it. Prior to your current role as president, CEO, Accu Speech Mobile. What were some of those those those important critical roles that helped shape your worldview and get you prepared for your current role?
[00:06:38] Well, when I started, as you could probably guess, it was in sales. And Linear was the first real big job that I had. And I remember coming to Atlanta, Georgia for training and it was the best sales training I ever had. I even met Liz Hanson. Wow. Was remember the. Yes, I do. Yep. She was awesome. And that training, I took subsequent trainings after that. But it was still it to me was the best I ever had. And so doing that and then moving out west. And then my first true mentor, Neil Collum, when I went to work for U.S. Surgical Corporation, it was my one day it was high tech for med at the time, but I had never really done anything in medical. And he was the one that really kind of steered me towards, you know, if you want to do all this stuff, you know, you need to be stronger in other areas. Right. And you will also need to respect other, you know. And he really brought me along. And then I got to a point where I was his. If they had a problem, they sent me it right then and I booked Exec. I was the guy to fix that. And so eventually I ended up getting back into tech. Yup. Decision data, Emulex. And then I got a job working for what was Oliver Allen, which became U.S. Bank. They did a lot of financing of high tech. And what was going on was I was selling all these solutions when I was at decision data and then I go around and finance them. All right. So finally, they actually came to me and said, hey, why don’t you just come on over here? Yep. And we can do it all in one shot. And we grew that from zero to 12 million in about two years. Just me. And like then it was three other people. Wow. Back when 12million was a lot of money. Yeah.
[00:08:27] Still, I don’t know. I don’t I don’t I don’t I don’t mean to denigrate $12K. Yeah, but.
[00:08:32] And then U.S. bank bottom and I really kind of wanted to grow that whole business, but they weren’t really interested in growing it. Right. So and within. We were at the president’s club in Hawaii. And I was with my wife and I, we were talking and I was saying, you know, they’re not going to let me really can expand it. They’re not going to. And if we had just had our 30 year anniversary, she she she says, well, I know what that means. You’re gonna get another job. And I’m like, well, I’d like to do something else. And then Rainbow Technologies, within the week I had they had reached out. They had this new technology encryption acceleration, which I found fascinating. And they use it primarily in the government space. But they felt that there was commercial viability for it. And that’s when I met my second mentor, Mr. Walt Straub, and we got together and it was just, you know, meant to be. So he gave me the opportunity to run that division. And we worked really hard. But we went from zero to fifty six million in three and a half years and became the preeminent supplier of that tech. It was way an online trading really started. Oh, yeah. So those SSL transactions such as high price mathematics. Now when you’re on your watch that time a home p._c. Right. You plug into Merrill Lynch or whatever. You plug it into the trade. Right. Well, they were getting thousands and thousands of people connecting all at once. And the servers would come down because they just couldn’t handle it. Or I made this little slide in card that could do 200 every second. Nice. And you were a trailblazer. It was fun.
[00:10:04] So now I want to talk about you’re doing some trailblazing work at Accu Speech Mobile. So. So before we talk about where you spend your time, tell us about what the company you what. What is a company do?
[00:10:16] We voice automate workflows, and in this industry, in this market, there has been voice directed picking since Moses was short.
[00:10:25] That’s right. Yeah. And so the fact of the matter is the it it had become very challenging for us as a different differentiator type of a solution. Yeah. Because a lot of the messaging is the same increase productivity, you know, errors, decreasing errors and making you know everybody better.
[00:10:46] And so we started to gain a lot of success with a lot of Fortune 500 companies. But then we started talking about voice automating workflows because we had customers that were voice enabling 16 workflow shipping and receiving cross docking. Right. Not just picking. Right. And when we finally started to talk about being able to voice enable your optimized applications, because most of the customers we talked to, they worked really hard getting their applications specifically hardened and productive and productive for how they do what they do. Because when you’re picking cases of soda versus shirts one at a time, that’s those are entirely to people say, well, picking well, there’s ultra static pick peace pick case pick, Palin pick. You know, there’s a lot of different things. So when you go and you get to sit down with these folks and you get to really learn about their process workflow. Right. Okay. And our technology, not only do we have terrific voice recognition, but since we are a device based solution to we’re embedded on the device. We integrate with the operating system. OK. So the way we automate is if you say something, OK, we can push function keys, return keys. We can use the scanner all at the same time. I can say Greene and I can fill in a 50 form of 50 data in fritsche form in the Greenway. OK. So all that’s done automatically. And push-button. So Greene is a code for it. These are the entries. Yep.
[00:12:14] Well let’s let’s. I want to demystify this just a bit. Jerai. Some folks in our audience will know exactly what you’re talking about with voice automation and the different from crates to skew all that stuff right. However, some folks are like they might have never been set foot in a warehouse or fulfillment center what have you. So paint a picture. So you’re talking about someone that is picking in order, that is wearing a headset, smaller headset probably than this earbuds or something nearly as cool looking as aftereffect. So if you can demystify these these pickers are getting orders or order items, you know, verbally and then that’s guarding them. Where to go pick that product or that box or what have you. Right.
[00:12:56] That’s exactly right. OK. That’s very Ayro. You know what?
[00:12:59] That’s and that’s and that really is voice directed picking. That’s that is the standard that’s been in the industry for a long time. Right. So what we do is we take what we take that.
[00:13:16] And let’s say you’ve you know, you hear pay go to location, you know, 47 HP and you go scan it beat. OK. You’re in the right location. Now, if you’re in the wrong location, you scan it and you probably hear a beep. You might not hear it, man. So what we do is we voice enable those error messages at the wrong. You’re at the wrong place. Right. Again, Mallat beep. But if someone says, hey, you’re at the wrong location. Yeah, yeah. Scan again. Right. So and then they do it again. And then all of a sudden, you know, in a standard type of a voice picking scenario, you know, OK, pick four, pick seven. And sometimes they don’t even use scanners. You know, he gets a 4 7 3 9.
[00:13:51] And they scan it. Now, what if there’s none in the bin? So now if there’s none in the bin, the person on, you know, a traditional type of a system would have to either write it down or close it off. Right. And open up. And now with our system, if we know what that workflow looks like, if if I can push this this open up another session, take the data that was in that previous window, scans the location and the part number and then put me right in the data. Feel this is how many. I’m going to save them a minute.
[00:14:28] Yeah. That’s f.. And that is huge, especially when you think of if you’re if you’re picking 17000 orders in a day or is just picking a random number picking on 17 that day for whatever reason. If you save a minute per each of those orders, that is huge labor savings, amongst other things. Right. Right.
[00:14:45] Well, and picking is always the most attractive application because it’s the highest density of usage. Right. Everyone. But I’d been done right so long. Might like you. So. But again.
[00:14:57] The traditional. Applications.
[00:15:01] You use it this way and we have to integrate it with your back without your back N.W. mess with us. We do everything on the device, so we turn into a one in zero before it even hits the network, just like you were if you would manually put it in. OK, so there’s none of that stuff in the middle. We just go right to the wso updates it automatically without any training.
[00:15:20] Middleware, no middleware. OK, that’s very interesting. Yeah. And I think the other element, while this is such a story and such a important thing for folks to hear about is these days warehouses have a hard enough time keeping up with sheer volume. So it’s not it goes well beyond just saving and not poopoo in the savings you can save if you’re saving, you know, 500 minutes a day, what have you. But you’re increasing capacity and throughput. Right.
[00:15:47] There are so many different areas that we help. And the thing that’s fascinating to me is being able to go into all these companies in all these warehouses and seeing, first of all, how hard all these folks work. Right.
[00:16:02] But also the difference of how they pick cardboard boxes versus, you know, pants and shirts versus cases of soda versus and and how hard they work to optimize that process. Yeah. And how they tweaked it in this and that. Right. And so you say, OK, how do we make it better? How do we take, you know, that process and automate. That’s where the robotic process automation stuff comes in the RPE R.P.. So RPA is robotic process. Automation is when you take away having to push buttons or having it open, you know, all that’s done in the background when you say something. So we take away all that, you know, kind of grunt work in terms of pushing buttons and things. So it does it automatic confirmations and whatnot. Absolutely everything. And so what we find is so a new install, we just add up, the user goes up and it it’s cereal boxes. And when they get them on the pallet, they’re loose one at a time. Really? Yeah. Right. So they go and they and they’re picking them and then they pick a hundred and fifty. One, two, three, four, five six ATDC that bearskin.
[00:17:13] Yeah. Man ones. So all we did was.
[00:17:19] We would do it five at a time, OK, 10, 15, 20 HP to shoot at Burski. Yeah.
[00:17:25] Where was I? You were at 20. How real? This system will tell you now. We tell you. So if you speak back to it. No, no, it’s it’s it’s always bi directional speech to text and text to speech. So we can write a little routine in that data field that says keep track of the count and and tell them what the number is when he asks. And that changed everything. Just that little thing. Yeah. And those are and that’s what we find when you voice automate existing optimize workflows. That’s the kind of thing you find. You think you take them that next level. Absolutely.
[00:17:59] All right. So the other twist in this, because there’s some different things that that the sum of different components and aspects of your value proposition. One of them, you know, this is the golden age. Supply chain in many ways. Supply chain Gates see the table. I would argue that because of e-commerce, this could be also be known as a golden age of warehousing and fulfillment. Definitely. However, yeah, definite fulfillment. But however and depends on how you define warehouse, right. That’s. Well, that’s all I was thinking.
[00:18:28] But you know, we all know how the warehouse warehouses and distribution centers and fulfillment centers are all competing for talent and labor to make it happen.
[00:18:40] And it seems like with what your product does is it ratchets the pressure down just a smidge. Owen, you know, because you’re saving labor, right? Speak to that a bit. THIOKOL Right.
[00:18:51] There’s three very distinct benefits that we’ve seen our customers have told us. And the first one that we found was one of our first big customers. Twelve years back in 2012. Mm hmm. They would hire. Twenty five hundred seasonal employees for the holidays, and they would hire them right after Labor Day. And of course, back in the day, you had to put them on the hip with someone who really knew the system, really knew what they were doing. Of course that slows them down and takes, you know, 60 days just to kind of get up to raid because it takes a long time.
[00:19:27] So we help that customer with a training mode. So no matter where you were, you could say help at any time and he could tell you what you could say. And also, it slowed it down so it didn’t go as quickly. Right. Because you can alter the speed as well. OK. If you get really good, you can be flying.
[00:19:45] So you can just. So if you’ve got new halves that are better getting up speed. You can slow it down. And as late as that learning curve, you can ratchet it back up.
[00:19:53] Right. Right. And you can take it out of help mode. You can put it on regular mode. And so. So you’re going to get them up to rate in a week without having to pair them with one of your best employees. Wow. So what happened was the following year, instead of hiring them after Labor Day, they were hiam hiring them after Halloween. Think about that. Are you saving all that money? Right. Because you can hire them up that quick. Well, now, two months later. Exactly. But today, it’s entirely different. Right. I was talking to a V.P. of operations down in Fort Worth, Bob. Our biggest our biggest challenge, we lose 40 percent of our workforce every four months. Because if you go down to Fort Worth, which I’m sure you guys private down there, there is that area where it’s it’s warehousing as far as the eye can see. Yeah. And they’ll go across the street for 15 more cents an hour or 50 cents an hour, 25 cents an hour. And all he said was, I just need to train him up faster. And like you said, I’m hoping that if I give them voice, they’re going to say, hey, this adds to my skill set. Yeah. Now I can say, hey, I know how to work with boys. I know how to. And so that’s a that’s a big piece. But what we do as people evolve. So you’ve got this big windows to Android thing going. We have customers that run and we have IOW now, too.
[00:21:17] So that’s actually you guys are the first thing. So. Oh, yeah, actually, I guess we’re going to. That’s two biggies today. Oh, Torres. Torres is gonna be furious because through the press release goes out next week. It’s okay. By the time this publishes it will be allowed or that. So you’re out. You’re out of time. I mean actually she’ll probably be happy. Yeah. Because you’ll be following on that press release. I got to ask. Do that. Okay. Yeah. Yeah, I’ve got to ask. Well what is I us. It’s apples. Oh. Okay. I’ll think of a different acronym. I got.
[00:21:45] No. No. Yeah. Yeah. So one of the things that we do is we have a lot of customers that are running on SEUS or running and no Windows Mobile 6 or real and. Oh you bet I can we start voice nailing back in 2012. So we got customers. I mean, I see that. Oh yes. Like that was 100 years ago. Well, I guess the virtual code being, oh, you know, we’re gonna buy them and we’re gonna buy them and the use market. We’re gonna buy them until you can’t find them anymore. And that’s you know what? And that’s OK. But what we’ve really tried to impress upon our customers is if you’re running on an older tech and all of a sudden you go to one of our really good resellers or even you come to us say, hey, we really want to move to Android. Right. We let you move from one device to the next for free, no cost. If you’ve been paying your maintenance, we will move you. And now we’ve developed a conversion tool on our on our toolkit, our SDK, whereas if you have these projects in windows, you can just push a button and it will convert them to enjoy. How awesome over.
[00:22:46] How often are companies like give us some context how they change out every three years or every ten years.
[00:22:54] What? How the hardware. You mean how? You’re talking about form.
[00:22:57] Yeah, platform. All right. This is this is this is a this is a generational thing. Yeah, it is. That we’re going for we are going from windows that owned ninety nine point six percent of the market. See, you know on mobile devices to where now Microsoft said we’re not supporting any of it anymore, it’s over. So and just to give it some context, when you say mobile devices, you’re talking tells ONS Star scanners, RFID readers, but no tablets, laptops goes, yeah, you’ve got a bunch of tablets that are ruggedized and installed on forklifts and on many lips. And, you know, they have tablets. So now everyone running SEUS.
[00:23:39] More that I know that I had never really thought about it before. I guess I haven’t haven’t paid that close of attention when I’ve been in a warehouse. Well.
[00:23:48] And the hammer is coming down because windows, I said, were not. You know, we’re not supporting it anymore. No one is gonna make them anymore. Is there a time there? Space. Feel it’s over? Yeah. They’ve already said it’s what Microsoft does commands that it’s we’re done. And so now everyone is saying they’re either gonna buy in on the use or we have to move to Android. Now, Gotch and our existing customers. They have a path. But what we’re doing now with the new folks who are saying we have to move is we’re working with a lot of our resellers who like our missile Maiga. And, you know, the S&P three, these guys, they’ll go in and they’ll say, okay, here’s the here’s the path, right. Here’s what you do now. And so they come and say, hey, by the way, not only can we move, you know, Android, we can voice, enable your workflows at the same time. Right. So we’re gonna do everything all at once. Wow. Right. So then they go in and they’ll look at their network. They’ll look at all their stuff to make sure that it’s, you know, right. And tight. And then we come in with them and we you know, we roll out these solutions and it makes the ROIC it CROI in half, because if I can add 25, 30 percent productivity and they’re making a new investment. What what was gonna cost, you know, 14 to 24 months to pay for now is going to cost eight to 14 months to pay for. And that’s where we really start to add a lot of value, especially for our partners out there.
[00:25:06] So where are they moving? What what are those systems? Are they moving from? I mean, so typically it’s a non voice enabled. Are they moving from other voice enabled to years?
[00:25:17] Yes. Delusionally. Well, we have really started. Some significant evolution for very big companies to remove the older server voice directed picking solutions to our stuff and a lot of it has to do non cloud enabled. It doesn’t you know it well. You had a server in your district every. Yes, exactly. Correct. Yeah. And some of it, you know that the whole point is since there they have to move to Android anyway and they’re used to having voice, you know. How do we make it better wherever we cause. Right. All these all everybody that said the show is looking for. How do I make it better. Yeah. So if you can evolve to Android and get all these really wonderful new devices and new network connectivity, I mean, all this stuff and I can add voice to my own workflows too. And I can. Okay. Yeah. Let me out. I want to know more. And yeah. And that’s where, you know, we’re very busy and it’s busy evolving folks to the new stuff, replacing the old stuff and customers who’ve always wanted voice who could never afford it because the traditional. Systems were always very expensive, you know. And so our stuff is individually every single device. There’s nothing in the metal. It’s all just right there. Yeah, it’s extremely cost effective. Which is why we get such a greater Y. Yeah.
[00:26:35] So you’re talking about workflows. You have been talking about workflows. Are there specific workflows that can be improved? Certain ones that can’t be improved. Pick that a little more.
[00:26:45] Actually, that’s a really good question. The fact is that there are some workflows that they’ve already self optimized in the warehouse where all they do is scan, scan, scan next on and they’re just kind of moving along and depth. And that’s just kind of the way it is. And then once you get to really work with the customer and the people in operations and you really get to understand the flows and then you get to talk to the people who actually do it, because that’s always great input to the the whole point is you can start to see, for instance, we have a customer that in the shipping department, the boxes would come off.
[00:27:25] He would scan it. They would look at it and it would either say, u._p._s. FedEx or a local shipper. Every time. Every year they had 12 percent errors. So all we did was pop a headset on that person and as soon as they scan it, it would say UBS, UBS, UBS three times and it went to zero. Because some folks are auditory learners, right? Some folks are visual. Yeah, right. But if you hear it three times, it’s every time.
[00:27:52] Wow. Even the slowest among the amongst us like me might even catch on if we hear it three times. Right. I need seven.
[00:28:01] I’m sure you could set it to do that. Yes.
[00:28:06] The thing is, when you get an opportunity to really partner with your customer. Right. And you see the workflows and you see where the the bottleneck is. We have another customer that had a receiving application and they had dual W messes, one for receiving and one for break packing and putting it in entry. And they would go and they would scan it. It would go into the one system. You’d have to walk to a P.C., right. Wait for it to populate. And then he would. We did all that on a single device and everything, and it was all on it. So we took literally what was two minutes and eight seconds and turned it into a twelve second operation for receiving. That is huge. But the big thing is having your customers say, oh, gosh, we’ve worked so hard on these applications and we’ve really got it to the point where we really know what we’re doing. But if we could just do this and the beautiful part about it is and the part that people have the most difficulty believing when we say it is you don’t have to touch the code of the application at all. Right. Everything we do is here because these devices now are so powerful, so much memory and power and the capability is amazing. Yeah. So anything that device can do. I can voice enable it. Yeah. So in addition to the data collection pushing buttons, barcode scan reading, you know, all at the same time. So.
[00:29:24] All right, so pack your speech. Mobile dot com. Right. Once a nation. That’s it. Before we wrap up that, I want to go broader.
[00:29:33] I can’t wait to hear this. Your bet. Your bet. We’re going to ask you for the record. That was Bob talking to. Right.
[00:29:43] We’re going to ask you what you’re seeing in the industry that’s really got your attention, your interest, attention, concern, whatever it is, things that could be impacting us today or in the future. What’s Kuch really got your attention right now?
[00:29:56] I think that with everything that’s going on with the coronavirus, right?
[00:30:02] Yeah, I think blockchain is just something that we’re going to see explode. And I think that as there is more expertise on this was manufactured, grown, painted here. Yeah. And it’s in this container right on this ship. And it got off at Long Beach, California. And and then there were problems with it. You’re gonna be a trace that back to, you know, exactly where it came from and that capability combined with being able to utilize software to do best practices. To me, that is that’s very exciting. Yeah. Yeah. And, you know, it’s really you want to know where everything is coming from and how it got there and who touched it. Right.
[00:30:49] Real transparent. Well, former blockchain companies EFT and a go zero to 56 million.
[00:30:54] Yeah, I know what my board would probably say. No. Let’s let’s finish this first then. Yeah. Now you might feel the next thing, but you know, that’s.
[00:31:03] I mean that I think that’s a really good point. First of all, the nice thing about and I don’t think people know this about blockchain is it is already commoditized as a technology. You can find some of the most cost effective, let’s say, developers to help you develop a solution if you’ve got a problem.
[00:31:19] Yeah. And you want to solve it with an irrefutable record, an unbreakable record.
[00:31:25] Then then there is a way to do it. Chain of custody is really what you’re talking about. And we talk about that all the time.
[00:31:33] And I think as RFID technology continues to evolve, I find that fascinating, too, that as an integral part of what is it, what’s in there? And, you know, you scan it and all of a sudden they’re OK. There it all is in front of me at any point from here to there. Yeah. So, you know, there’s there is a lot that has to happen. Yep. But you’re right. I mean it’s it’s coming together and actually in many instances has come together. Yeah. But like anything else, it’ll evolve quickly and pretty soon you’re gonna have some really exciting platforms that people are gonna be able to connect to that are going to give them what they well.
[00:32:08] And as you talked about these devices and voice enablement, they they will help facilitate that as well. I mean, you know, when you don’t have to have and I was only about 10 years early on saying that tells Enns and like we’re gonna go the way of the one because of these things, because of mobile devices. But when those devices ceased to cost so much money, it democratizes it across the entire supply chain. Anyone with any size warehouse can do can have the kind of capabilities that companies do today.
[00:32:41] Well, that the evolution of Android that. That’s what’s happening. Yes, the Android devices are so much less expensive than the microchip devices ever were. But another thing that people have been talking to me about today is no one. You don’t have to touch anything. I can make it so that I have to touch anything. I am truly hands free. Yep. Right now that’s pretty exciting. Yeah, it is.
[00:33:04] So don’t you get to weigh in on something here, Bob? You know, you’ve been involved in a wide variety of technology implementations, conversions, you name it, for folks, whether they’re interested in Accu speech mobile or whether they’re looking at other technology implications implementations regardless of the reason. What’s a couple of Thomas lessons you’ve learned to make those transitions as implementations more success?
[00:33:31] God, I love that question. Yeah, right.
[00:33:33] I love that question. The the fact is that. PACU speech. What we’ve done is we’ve said let us come on site and do a proof of concept for you. Let us come to your site, connect to your network and your application and let us voice enabled 3-4-5 screens. Let’s put it in in a little automation. You can show it to everybody and we can show you that it will work. And I think that to be able to prove out your benefit statement here is the automation. And then all of a sudden, that’s when the eyes get big. We could use it here. We can right here. And so my suggestion is and most of all, the resellers that we work with, they go on site. Let me show you what we can do. Let me know that there’s proof in the pudding.
[00:34:22] Yes. Talk to my existing customers. That’s fine. Yeah. But it is amazing to me the uniqueness of all these places, how they do what they do. The W messes. You’ve got enormous companies that have their own W.L. mess who never thought they could have voice because it had to. It always had to connect to a commercially based WME. Right. We end and go home so we can connect to your homegrown W mess just as easily as anything else because we don’t connect. It’s all done here. And that’s when you go in and you do APAC and you show them. When do we start? Yeah. You know, and I believe that a lot of this technology that you’re seeing now is becoming so edge based. Right. Right. And it needs to be. Implementation and installation specific because everyone does their what they do so well, right. Their workflows are so key that you need to go in and and show that value. And then because if you do, you when it’s over there, you’re there signing.
[00:35:23] It seems like that’s what folks are getting untethered using, you know, that they’re not tied to a certain platform or whatever.
[00:35:30] An enterprise class free trial is really what you’re you’re proposing. Right. But it it really does take that these days doesn’t mean because there is so much out there. There are probably systems that look like yours. But you just walk around the floor at Moto X. And, you know, the question that I think a lot of people ask as they go through these shows is what what do I do first down? And if you give them the ability that you’re talking about to try it, they can see and feel that we do the same thing. All right. If you go to them because they’re not overworked.
[00:36:01] No. Gosh, no. These these there’s not a lot coming out of me. No, no, it’s it’s a third thing. They got the feet up there, you know. Yeah. And but looking out the window and then Velcro.
[00:36:11] No. So. So the whole the point is they have so much going on. Yeah. And they are drinking out the fire hose and they’re then the sea level guys like. So you gonna cut another twelve percent. Costa Sheer right there. Big Jim. Yeah. Yeah. Awesome. I’m all over it. Yeah. I like it. So if you can go to them and show it there. Yeah. And and then, then they can extrapolate from there then. Then then you know they can say oh gosh. Yeah we could use it here. Right. Boy if I could just get 12 percent more, if I could get 6 percent here and you know then all of a sudden the entire discussion changes. And what you’ve done is you you flip the paradigm. They’re not coming to you saying, God, can you help me? You’re going to them saying I can help you. And and that’s the that’s the piece. Now that I think that that is going to be necessary for all these companies. And I’ll tell you what, there are some cool stuff here. You know, you know, you walk around in it. I mean, there’s some neat stuff in it.
[00:37:08] Folks have seen it all exactly right. Yeah. Yeah. What? What? What’s it say? That neurotic. Those are the nano Miura. Oh, come on. I like all these drugs. So.
[00:37:18] But but but that’s just going to continue. Right. And again, it makes it even more complex for these v.p.’s of operations or these guys are run. And you know, it’s it’s just because there’s so many robotics things here and there. And there are some of them are huge. So very small. And you’ve got to think, you know, how do I how does that work for me? How do I write? But and again, there’s a place for all this great tech, depending on how you’re doing, what you do. But if you can go onsite, showme, this is exactly where we’re going to help you.
[00:37:49] And this is pretty much what you can expect. And that’s why we have like so we have an ROV calculator that tries to take everything into consideration. You can pump in numbers if I get a percent, if I get 9 percent, if I add hardware, if I don’t. And we put all that together and go, this is how you can present it to your, you know, the higher ups saying if we do this, we can expect this. And again, it’s it’s consultative, but it’s also, again, turning the paradigm upside down. All right, Elmina, you and I’m showing what I can do. Yeah. And I think so many companies here have the exact same, you know, that that’s what they’re doing, too. Yeah. Especially for their good customer. It brings it home.
[00:38:27] I mean, it really brings home what the value is.
[00:38:29] It’s hard to contemplate the change in your mind. And when you see it, it cements it in your mind. And again, these guys are so busy, you know, just so much out there every day there’s something else in these +12 present will get their attention.
[00:38:42] And it’s never, ever happened that anyone trying to sell you something has oversold it slightly. You never, never know. Or does it? So there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind, right? There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that anything can do whatever it’s been promised. Yes. So and again, you know, we’re being sarcastic. Is that what’s happening? Anyone. That was that’s what happened. Yeah. In case anyone. Is that Sheer? Yeah, I usually it’s me.
[00:39:06] Well, the thing that’s that’s really fascinating is that, again, the uniqueness of everywhere we go and how hard they’ve worked to make it as optimized as possible. And instead of saying, oh, yeah, you got to take all that out, we’re saying show us exactly how it works. Yeah. And let’s see how we can, you know, voice automate this workflow. Right. So that we can get you another 20 percent. We can get you another 15 percent without ripping and replace the current system. There you go. Love it.
[00:39:32] All right. So how can Bob. Bob Bova, how can our listeners learn more about Accu speech? Mobile?
[00:39:38] Well, they can go to the Web site. They’re speech, mobile dot com and they can request a demo. And if they request the demo and we talk to them and they want it on site, they’ll P.O.S.. We we call it hour. Speak to me PEOC. If if we think that it aligns properly, I’ll send some of my guys out. And and if you’re real lucky, I won’t go.
[00:39:56] I was going to say actually, I was going to say exactly the opposite. How do they assure that they get you? UPS on site the one and only.
[00:40:04] Yeah, well I well first of all, you know, I have. A lot of Ryder System let you out of the bill. They told me a steak every now and then. If I’m in if I’m good, they actually cook it.
[00:40:14] So the thing is, though, I get a lot of really smart people that work for the company that will go out and have voice enabled hundreds and hundreds of workflows and OK with all kinds of w_ message, home grown, commercially available, whatever.
[00:40:28] And they can just sit down and say, okay, tell me about, you know, you’re picking workflow. Tell me about how you’re doing this, because you’ve got companies that have omni channel and that we’ve done all that for three different pickings and the same. And they’ll say, okay, here you go. And when they see that, I said, that’s that’s the way to go. You go to the website requests demo and then, you know, we’ll talk to you. And if it’s a if it’s a really something that we can do is speak to me, P.O.S., with which we’re happy to do. You know, we’ll we’ll go out and we’ll plug into your system and we’ll show you what we can do.
[00:40:59] Now, it’stime convinced they could plug into you and the facility for a couple months on end. Bob. Well, love it. You bring a lot of passion, energy and the fun factor. You know, you supply chain is stressful enough, right? Technology is stressful enough. The demands of consumer demand, supply, demand, you name it. You’ve gotta you strike me as someone that kind of keeps things in perspective.
[00:41:22] Well, you know, I have been a very lucky person. I married my best friend and I got two great sons. I coached all their teams. We won championships together. I mean, I’ve been I have really done exactly what I wanted to do. And I think being an entrepreneur gives you that capability sometimes. Sometimes did. They don’t they don’t see it for a month at a time like that. But then there’s also the opportunity to live the life you want to live. And I remember how hard my dad worked, you know, and he was always said, whatever you do about you, make sure you’re having fun.
[00:41:58] And that’s like, you know, I’m like, okay, what are you doing? And that’s why he was saying it. Hey, Lenny, don’t do as I do when he don’t do it. Like I said, my my I was the first one on both sides to go to college.
[00:42:10] And my my brother was, I think, the fourth because he was six years younger than I was. But then all of our cousins. Right. And my dad is out. He’d always say, yep, my sons are the first, you know.
[00:42:22] So he gets a lot of he’s eighty nine going strong. Oh yeah. It’s great in Connecticut. No, no. He’s lived Albina. Oh that’s awesome. Sense of the scale of living art. Guy you see how you see how that came. Miura. So you know he’s happy now. You know what. Bobby New York’s always going to be there.
[00:42:40] I never thought of that. See what I did there right now?
[00:42:43] No, he’s a no. He’s yeah, he’s he’s out in the art everyday playing with the dog and just having a good old time.
[00:42:48] I got to tell you that that was probably one of the biggest impetus to you being the risk taker, the entrepreneur that you are. Was your father saying that to you? I want you to go home and thank him for saying, Bobby, New York will always be here because that opens your eyes to the things all of those things that you told us about. That helps those kind of moments, help open your eyes to those things like your dad and I.
[00:43:13] Well, on my behalf, I always do. And he always said never be afraid. His is the fact is everybody so worried about stuff. Yeah. You know how he said it was like going to the dentist? You worry about it for a month and then you go and it’s not so bad. Yeah.
[00:43:27] So I’ll know. I’ll never have a good day. Floss every day. Floss every day. It sets off. But again, it’s it’s never as bad as you think. What’s the worst potential outcome scenario. Right. Sorry. Canal. Just in case you’re wondering.
[00:43:42] Well, in that particular example, I think in the world I’ll take Corona Virus Root Canal. I’ll just I’ll just take a corona with a line there. That’s for boots over.
[00:43:55] All right. I hate to kind of bring this conversation to a close, but such a really enjoyed your time. Birgit your time. Thanks for having me. I hope floral listeners enjoyed as much as we did. Accu speech, mobile dot com. I imagine you’ll do a lot of events. I imagine you do a lot of keynotes and panel sessions. You know, in front of folks with your colorful personality because again, you can convey information in a way that is its natural. Natural. Yeah. aemon. Yeah. So good stuff. Bob Bova, CEO, Accu Speech Mobile. Check him out of Accu speech, mobile dot com. Thanks for your time. Appreciate it, Bob. Okay, Greg. What a day. This Rod day three at Moto X.
[00:44:34] Yeah, we had a bug, just a bunch of great common natural conversations, as you put it. Yeah, I think look, I love this format because we get to know and our and our followers and listeners, viewers get to know these people and and they see that it is people that are powering supply chain even if even if they’re building automations. Right. People are powering that. So I think it’s a really important aspect of of having any one of these experiences right. Greene trade show or, you know, or a keynote or whatever. The people are what make it happen. That’s right. I love this. Just love doing this. Are you guys like Bob?
[00:45:13] So tour audience, stay tuned as we continue our coverage. Promote X 20-20 Day for just around the corner. Also, you can check out our events and webinar tab. Supply Chain Now Radio dot com where we have events from partners around the world for virtual events and in-person events with folks like E.M.T. Rorters Events, Automotive Industry Action Group, The George Logistics Summit, Stand Up and Soundoff. Yeah. Much, much more. You can check it out at Supply Chain Now Radio ABC.com. And while you’re there, you can also check out our upcoming replays of our interviews and a variety of other content. There’s something that you can’t find on our Web site. You can shoot our CMO, an email, Amanda at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com and we’ll do our best to serve as a resource for you. So big thanks again to our guest today, Bob Bova, CEO, Accu Speech Mobile. Find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcast from on behalf of Greg White. This is Scott Luton. Wish you a wonderful week ahead and we will see you next time on Supply Chain Now.
Robert (Bob) Bova has served as the President and CEO of AccuSpeechMobile for 12 years, successfully introducing the innovative AccuSpeechMobile voice automated workflow solution to the marketplace. Bob has a successful track record surpassing corporate goals with special competence in entrepreneurial, start-up, rapid growth, M & A and public companies. At U.S. Bank/Oliver Allen Corporation, he created the Secure Networking Division and grew it to over $12 million, and at the ISG division (SSL Technology) at Rainbow Technologies he grew the business operations from zero to $56 million. Bob holds an MBA in Marketing from National University and a BA from Syracuse University.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
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.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is 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.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.