Supply Chain Now
Episode 343

Episode Summary

“I think supply chain is one of those industries that will never settle with one model. Supply chain has moved away from the linear model to consumer-centric models where consumers are at the center of the supply chain and everything evolves about us.”

– Diego Pantoja-Navajas with Oracle

 

Supply chains are more data-driven than ever, breaking down silos and allowing faster, better, more precise decisions between all of the players in a chain. When companies make the decision to put real-time consumer preferences at the center of their supply chain decisions, they have to be ready to move quickly, and respond to cues from seemingly unrelated external sources such as the sports world and social media rather than internal cues such as inventory levels and operational plans.

Diego Pantoja-Navajas is the Vice President, WMS Cloud Development for Oracle and Founder of LogFire, which was acquired by Oracle in 2016.

In this interview, Diego Pantoja-Navajas and Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton talk about:

  • Why inventory management presents such a huge opportunity for operational efficiency and financial health
  • How all companies – even services firms and retail operations – are effectively becoming technology companies today
  • Why the widespread disruption from the coronavirus pandemic should serve as the catalyst for more change, not a reason to delay making changes that were already possibly overdue

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

 

[00:00:28] A good morning, Scott Luton here live with your own supply chain. Now welcome back to the show. We are if you can’t park here in the background. We’re broadcasting live from Moad X, the largest supply chain trade show in the Western Hemisphere, held right here in Supply chain City, Atlanta G-A. On today’s show, we’ve got a run guest speaking with a Supply chain technology leader that helps to make Supply chain happen, make it make Supply chain successful. So stay tuned as we look to increase your Supply chain Tech IQ. Quick programing note you can subscribe to our podcast wherever you podcast from Apple podcast. Spotify, YouTube, you name it. Be sure to subscribe. Right? Still your Lu named. It did. That’s good though. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a single thing. Well, welcome in my fearless, esteemed co-host here today. Greg White Supply chain. Serial Supply chain tech entrepreneur. Trusted advisor. Spirited lunch discussion facilitator. Part time pastor. Greg, how you doing?

 

[00:01:28] Thank you. I’m doing great. Yeah, it’s been a really interesting show, man. I mean, there’s a lot going on here. Absolutely. Great to be talking to this cat. Really excited to be with this guy yesterday. So. So you know the intro. So my good friend and Vise, president of Oracle W-M S. Cloud Development, Greg Diego Pantucci Navar has had among all day Bolivia. And that’s correct. Si. That’s correct. You got it right. So great to have you here. Thank goodness. Yeah. Thank you. And you know what? Yeah. We can do that. We know each other well. Yeah. So in case everybody can’t tell, Diego and I kind of came up together. We started our companies at roughly the same time. I took investment about the same time.

 

[00:02:11] So your company was I mean, I’ll let you tell the rest of story. Your company was acquired by Oracle’s sometime ago and you’re now transitioning it to a full Oracle suite of products. Right. So what we can talk a little bit about that.

 

[00:02:24] Yeah, that’s correct. You’re right that that acquisition happened three years ago. So, yeah, it’s so fast. It’s incredible. Three years, three years ago. Like, I feel like three years. And it’s being a lot of change. Three years and two children, three years to children’s. And, you know, the only s parties I don’t see. I don’t get to see him that often. Now, it’s actually the last time we tried to set up a dinner. His wife, Paola said you should punch each other in the face for not being better friends to one another. Exactly. Yeah, exactly. We didn’t do that. We’re nonviolent. That’s a nonviolent. Correct. This is a good relationship and friendship for a long time.

 

[00:03:01] Well, this can be a great episode, I think, on that basis alone. So, you know, Diego, tell us about before we talk about all the exciting things the last three plus years must be.

 

[00:03:12] I mean, yeah. To be part now of the Oracle family of companies, which is helping to make things happen across the globe. Supply chain, let’s get to know you better first though. I know. Let’s let us learn about Diego, what Greg may know. So tell us about yourself, where you’re from and give us a story, too, about your upbringing.

 

[00:03:27] Sure. I was born in Bolivia, South America. And I had the opportunity to grow up in different countries. Um, my my dad had a very important job and we used to travel to different countries. We learned to deal with youth in cultures and people. You know, I have three brothers and I learned to live with them good and bad.

 

[00:03:55] Greg Yes. You guys like all of that Latin bones and all? Exactly.

 

[00:04:00] Gnosis But the good thing is like that gave me a lot of structure in terms of, you know, being being able to adjust to diversity. I adjust to different challenges. I came to the U.S. in 2000. I’m sorry, in nineteen ninety nine on January 2nd due to go to Georgia. So I was very lucky that I was able to get to Georgia Tech. I did. Supply chain Aida Industrial engineer and there. Wow. I graduated with honors. And you know, I’ve been very focused on, um, really building my career and those sounds. That sounds a little bit boring, but, uh, it’s it is really that’s that’s been the focus. Greg has been the focus when you come from a different country. Okay. And this is very important. Maybe you guys don’t see it because you guys were born here. But when you come here, I mean, you come to the U.S. and. To your point, when you come to the capital of the world, the Supply chain. Not like in other us, you know, the world. You know, you have a very short amount of time to make it happen. Greg And you can always your time. So that was a very focused variant that I was able to start in Supply chain early on. That was I used to work for different companies in Supply chain. That gave me a lot of structure. I had the opportunity to meet great people like Neil Foale and others.

 

[00:05:29] I you know, that’s yeah. That’s who introduces us, right? That’s right. And I keep saying that I come from the nofollow School of Thought and that.

 

[00:05:39] Who is Neil, by the way? I got to ask Neil, is he saying he’s Lord, father, godfather or the barcodes?

 

[00:05:46] Godfather of Supply chain. Yeah. And he had Neil fording associates and he he he had all their retail companies that he also sold.

 

[00:05:54] So he’s one of those guys that he had a lot of a lot of a lot of. I will say he he he was able to develop a lot of leaders like Greg and I in the industry for many years. Yeah. Okay. So that that’s the boring part. Come here. Once it’s cool. Guy graduated. And I was you know, I being I am a engineer. Yes. But I’m also being Entrekin. You’re right by nature. So I always wanted to build my own company. I I started to learn more about cloud in 2000. I was a dozen six. Okay. That’s the time when I started to look into what was happening in the world, why Supply chain was so not ready for it. Craig like we being one of the Landor laggers to really go into Supply chain. Yeah, I saw into the clouds. And then we started to to dig into that. We wanted to create a differentiator in the industry. We we wanted to make sure that companies get out of that. These use cycles of how they develop software, how they maintain software, how they really take care of their customers and implement its Greg White because I mean, w mess in the day and traditional solutions still are today very heavily service oriented.

 

[00:07:20] Right. The product is just a kernel of what you need very often and you have to build so much process and technology around it as you implement.

 

[00:07:29] Yeah. And if you think about the industry in general, you know, before clouds Greg White, this implementation used to take twelvemonth, right? A more Greg White. But if you were lucky to. Well, we’re lucky, right. But but if you look into that, it’s because most of those companies, they used to report Iran. Seventy five to eighty five percent of their earnings coming from consulting services, not from selling technology Greg White. So it was a vicious cycles and that vicious cycle needed to end. And and I think Cloud was able to bring that technology to make it more affordable. Yeah. Break the cost barrier entry point that at this point, no small, medium companies didn’t have you know, only the big companies were able to access to these ladies in the grand equalizer. It will end in a way Greg White. But I think that’s the technology and we will talk about it. You know, that’s how technology has progress. Craig But if you look about Greg’s company, our company and all the cloud players that started early and we were early adopters and pioneers pretty much in Supply chain, we really took a big, big bet because at that time the conversation was never going to put my supply chain, my inventory, the core, my my data, my data, my differentiator, the cloud.

 

[00:08:49] Craig Right. I don’t want to, but but it doesn’t seem that arms change. And that doesn’t seem like that long ago. But it was well, I mean, that was like well fought to tell with 15 years ago. Fifteen years ago. We don’t look that old but. Right. But we held up pretty well. I think those are jeans.

 

[00:09:07] But it has been that long. Correct. It’s been that long in terms of the maturity of the market. And the market is still not the full of full maturity. Greg? Yeah, we have we’ve we’ve we’ve have crossed the they they they did the chasm. Yeah. We are stealing that, um, adoption phase and I think we are in the later part a larger part of the adoption phase, but still we’re not fully there because companies are still not there. Craig Sheer The financial model of the on prem model is still there is valid. There are big companies that they’re still working on that model and then they’re not allowing their customers to move on.

 

[00:09:45] So for non technologists that are still you, we get a lot of feedback from from students that are looking to break into Supply chain. We get a lot of feedback from folks that are early in their supply chain careers or business. Greers. So if you had to describe what Oracle w cloud development does in a nutshell for non technologists, what would that be?

 

[00:10:07] Diego? Well, where are the execution part of the supply chain? Correct. We’re the ones who get the hands dirty. Yeah. And Mehiel things in the supply chain. Okay. Where the guys at the warehouse, where the guys who unload trucks, a storage drawer, a storage inventory and I think a big the loads that we put into trucks to deliver it. Great. But that’s one model Greg White supply chain of the past. Derek was very lenient. Greg White very simple product. We’ve got manufacturing here in India and then the sourcing point they used to go linearly into the end of the consumer A, B, C yeah actually yeah. But then of course cloud mobile, super demand and the amount of commerce that have changed and we have moved from a pushed type of supply chain to a demand driven supply chain. Correct. So true. So now there’s supply chain has become very complex. Not only now we get dirty at the warehouse, but we get dirty at the stores and we and we we we make sure that inventory it’s available to be able to complete all the different cycles that we need in supply chain Veridian planning, forecasting, shipping. And then now you merged all those with new KPI, the, you know, ship from store or what is your you know, your conversion rate a from on prem or `sorry from direct, from warehouse to ship, from store or pickup’s store.

 

[00:11:37] Right. The KPI is have also all because the number of channels in Supply chain has multiply and they will continue multiplying because we see more challenges. Right. We see you know, we’re channel more channel you can buy on Instagram and you can buy Instagram Creg. So and that’s that’s that’s fabulous Greg. I think Supply chain is one of those industries that will never settle with one model, right. Because we are consumers and supply chain now has move away from these linear model that I just tell you before to these consumer centric industry where we consumers are at the center of the supply chain jerai and everything evolves about UPS Greg White. We became the center of the Supply chain we DeMamp products every time we won. We weren’t products anywhere. We won. You know, we are being also says as society being faced with challenges like the virus that we are experiencing. Jurys, world correct. Sustainability, sustainability, your economy. Exactly. Greg Suzanne on all those have a direct impact into the economy. So Dwight and I say the beautiful thing about that, Diego, is that Supply chain can solve a lot of what can supply chain supply chain leadership supply chain know how technology. What can it not solve?

 

[00:12:50] Well, I don’t you know, I think what we’ve seen is we’ve seen supply chain transition. I mean, I think Supply chain professionals were set up to solve these problems by first being firefighters’. Yeah, right. Yeah. When the problems hit, the supply chain people solved the problem. Right? Right. And over time we’ve evolved that from. I can’t remember who said this from rewarding the arsonist so that we are we can ricken we can claim to be great firefighters to trying to prevent the fires and that evolution continues. But but we’ve always had the component of being incredibly responsive when a disruption like Corona virus or a change in infrastructure or or even a change in the drivers of supply chain occur. We’re naturally adaptable as professionals and the technology is likewise correct. And and I think the Supply chain is one of the best equipped portions of industry to evolve as as, you know, commerce evolves over time.

 

[00:13:52] Agreed. And the cool thing that I really have enjoyed seeing is now there’s over five just in the U.S. alone, there were 500 institutions from Georgia Tech, which is a preeminent supply chain school, to two year schools to tech schools, over 500 programs around that focus on supply chain management and our educational system. Yeah, that yeah, that’s going to keep that pipeline of talent into an industry that can steal thunder from Enrique Alvarez. Save the world. Yeah, in many ways.

 

[00:14:22] But to your point, correct. Like if you go back 5 10 years ago, Greg White, the Supply chain chief executive officer didn’t exist, right? That’s right. Right. It’s something that companies realized like we need somebody that can help us in this part of the equation for making our company more, more, more profitable. Greg, at the end of the day, we are the ones who are making those cost units cheaper. We’re making the margins higher. We are the ones dealing with seasonality, these viruses. Greg, 90 days ago, before we.

 

[00:14:59] Sign for these show crack, try to go through your agent, right? You’re in demand. Yeah. But Buzz got his PR team here with him. But look at that guy 90 days ago. We were not talking about these virus 90 days ago. We’re talking about Brexit. Super Bowl tech. Super Bowl tech. We were talking about Stane abilities in a bit. Right.

 

[00:15:18] Three wars. We were talking about that. Great. So I think what I’m going with this. I think data now it’s the data that we have in Supply chain is driving the decisions, is driving how the future will continue shaping in a better way. Greg White before there were too many silos and we experienced that. Correct. You know, there was on prem solutions. They were very siloed applications, right? There was not enough interaction.

 

[00:15:47] Mass didn’t talk to demanding landing and vise for vise versa, which was crazy.

 

[00:15:51] It created like we had these conversations together with multiple customers that we worked together in the past where we’re now the data has become really the fuel of the supply chain. Yeah. And if you look now that the usability of the data, it’s really unlocking and unlocking endless possibilities. Now in terms of how you people supply chain, how how you drive supply chain going forward quick, we’re moving from from models where we used to source products from one location. That model we used to apply them applied. Oh, we used to live by that model for the last 50 years. We need to change. It is not anymore. Labor, a labor labor force or space is about productivity is about increasing our, you know, student or our our workforce with new technologies like machine learning. I don’t like AI artificial intelligence, like machine learning. And the reason why I like everything, he’s intelligent because I think people think about Robocop and and all the things they’re all going on is really machine learning is how we can find those events within our work or supply chain that in machines can learn to make it more easier for us. But we’re making data more available. We’re making data more accessible. And all these 4.000 industry think knowledge emerging technologies are helping us. Yeah, and to making more informative decisions while helping companies to drive that decision upstream and downstream, we’re able to refocus in terms of building one million square feet warehouses now where we’re saying, hey, we can move to a block store type of model where, yeah, we’re changing the model. You know, we’re bringing the demand anyway that the data. Yeah. And that’s what we need to understand is that data will continue increasing. We’ll continue growing. The physical state will consider declining. But at the end of the day, we are doing one thing. Yes. And we’re doing that one thing better. Yeah, we’re serving our customers.

 

[00:17:44] That’s right. Better. I love that. But going with those people. So we all kind of fits, right. I love that. We’re going way back to something you just shared. There is is data is the fuel of supply chain and loved that. That’s first time I’ve heard it put like that. We had, of course, data. We’re all dealing with it. We all understand just how important that is now more than ever before. Just over your right shoulder, I was given a thumbs up. They burned. Who leads Econet Economic Development in Newton County here in Georgia, where Facebook just just put that huge campus. Yeah, he just stopped by. And, you know, thinking of whether it’s social media data, whether it’s supply chain and business data, whatever it is, we’re consumed with it. All right. And business leaders, the savvy ones, know just how important getting the data, getting your right data so that you can make these important and timely decisions. We can’t study some 4, 3 weeks these days. Right. Right.

 

[00:18:40] Like, look at social media to your point. Correct. The effect on supply chain. Mm hmm. You know, one late delivery. Yes. Your house. What?

 

[00:18:51] You know, I go to Facebook, I go Twitter, Twitter and flame out a or the vendor crap.

 

[00:18:58] So that’s how, you know, we we’re living in the world with the data became the major the major fuel, the major source of information we were dealing with customers sit there with massive sorry, mass ification of products at the same time. CREGOR Impersonating me? Yeah. Like Greg, I get almost was wrong. We’re able to go find products now because, you know, Tiger Woods won the Masters last year. Right? And then John and we went all crazy to buy new golf club, new Tiger gear. Tiger Yeah. Which was in the back of the warehouse because it was not cool anymore. Greg White. But then Supply chain needed to react to that social event and be able to be more more efficient in shipping the product and making that product available.

 

[00:19:48] I want to give you another great example to illustrate the great point you’re making. There was a very well-known fast food and rapidly growing fast food company that about. Six months or so ago, there was an image that hit a story and an image that hit social media about one of their products. And boy, I’m not sure if it and now want I’m not going into this specific store. Not sure. Well, so one of my favorite restaurants is within this within probably clued in into who it is. Same day this Supply chain team had sent folks on site to kind of verify these claims. And then they at the same time figuring out alternative sourcing. Greg White. Talk about the social media impact on supply chain.

 

[00:20:31] I mean, it’s a myth. So if you’re thinking of an even different event than I’m thinking, I’m I’m thinking of the the Popeye’s chicken sandwich. Now you’re gonna go. You’re gonna to. Name that. Yeah. Yeah. Is that what you were thinking? No. Oh no. Competitor. But I mean I guess what you drammen. But. Well, but I think that you know, I think it is those kind of things that that we have to adapt to. And I think the other thing and that’s that brings up a very good point. I was going to bring up on another front and that is that Supply chain used to be considered a back office, correct. Kind of of event, a kind of service.

 

[00:21:09] But if you think about it with the importance of customer experience and the exposure of social media and as you were both talking about and you think about things like sustainability and ethical vendor behavior and and circular economy, Supply chain is more and more a part of the identity and the branding of every company that moves goods on the planet. Yeah, it’s out front. It’s no longer a back office thing. It’s more than just we used to. Not so long ago, Diego, we used to say that it’s not no longer a necessary evil. It’s a strategic differentiation. And it’s even more than that now. The grid is the identity of your company.

 

[00:21:54] And that point is so value it creates. And talking with CEOs and CEOs. One of the things that we find out is that’s and this is a huge percentage. Gates. Sixty five percent of their revenue. Okay. It’s coming from improvements of inventory visibility and all day long, but it’s a big number and it’s coming from what they’re able to do in order to reduce the costs that we’re related to. Supply chain. Right. Making that product available on time, making sure that that product is de-lever on time. So all the on KPI is that you can imagine if you check on all of those and that is how relevant we became in today’s world. Greg White we are not that not what you do. To Greg’s point, we’re not anymore that call center that we’re consuming resources to manage the product. Now we’re turning to the companies that run the making sure that because of our technology, because of what’s what we can do and the data and the data, yeah. Now we can turn out wrong companies and make them more efficient. And like, look, you see most of the retail is now in North America. Correct? I called I had a couple of weeks ago I released an article talking about them and the transformation that they had.

 

[00:23:19] And really, these have these company have become technology companies with a front end. That’s right. Or a bucket. But but at the end of the day, these companies are are investing heavily in technology internally. They’re developing multiple applications. They’re driving the data like we talk. And yeah, of course, they have their beautiful stores, but the stores have reshape have changed. And all the kind of things that we know about is, is they they have become a technology company rather than a retail company. Yeah. All right.

 

[00:23:50] So as is the case, typically when we get three folks around a table that are passionate, we’ve got to get out where we’re everywhere. It’s become our manifesto or supply chain manifesto. So this is Mike. That’s right. This is my attempt at adding just a little bit of structure to the conversation. Diego, you’ve shared, I believe, way back when we kind of do before we drove into some of the things, trends shaping industry. What your company does. Right. We want to broaden it back out a moment before we do that. Can you kind of give us a sense of the types of organizations that you’re working with and the types of the problems that you’re solving with those organizations?

 

[00:24:32] Well, in terms of industries, we we are working in almost 14 different industries. OK. One for one. One for I’m sorry, for 2014. This is f40. I apologize.

 

[00:24:45] 14 different industries, OK? And and and the beauty about that is before we became part of Oracle, we were a standalone solution. Okay. Very focused on five different industries. It seems we became part of these large foot Greene of supply chain applications. We have expanded the number of industries that we serve and the number of customers that we serve and also the number of complex, uh uh, challenges challenge. And in a need that customers have in their supply chain, Greg. Because as you expand and now we have expanded into 32 different countries. Yeah, the application has been translated in 17 different languages and that’s going on the going and growing. And now we serve a large, large sales force that before he was a five man show. Correct. So the complexities have grown tremendously. But to your point, there is God. At the end of the day, it comes down to how more efficient can you make. My supply chain Greg White is about and we are in the cloud. Correct. And we were born for the cloud and our application has always been in the cloud. So we are really tailored to those customers that believe that that’s the transformation that we need to do, the digitalization that we talk correct. Which for me has a broader repercussion. But yeah, it can be anything but at the same time can be how you’re moving from procedures or how you move from technology that you’re dealing update. that you didn’t have your hands around.

 

[00:26:31] Greg, what happened is as cord there is that many of these customers had their hands tied because of the technology that they had in the past. Right. So, you know, they were not able to adapt to all of the different channels or all the different challenges that we talking. We’re not able to analyze the data or see the data. The way we’re seeing it was tied to on premise solutions.

 

[00:26:52] And the reasons, lots of customization, Armstrong them because you’re like you could implement the same system that I did at its core. But because you customized it, you have essentially what is a one off, right. And and that disabled companies from being able to move forward rapidly because even the company who had built the technology couldn’t support it. There was so much the person who wrote that code that made it so customized to you was long gone. Yeah.

 

[00:27:22] Or or that person, to Greg’s point, correct? Oh yeah. Jerry left the company. Yeah. Yeah. Hit by a bus or what won the lottery. Let’s go with won the lottery. What were you guys needed that he’s like. Well we don’t know. You know, Jerry loved the company. So those are conversations that. And also the cost, correct. It was not an upbeat. He was an upgrade. Right. And there’s a huge difference with you out of rates and updates. Correct. He was a rip and replace. Correct. You needed to change everything.

 

[00:27:50] Data, servers, servers, application, do the whole thing again. Correct. Now, with cloud, we release code four times a year. Yes. Okay. So you’re getting a not a win. And we’re not only releasing code for used-car, we’re releasing code that is going to be applicable to all cost customers, to all industries. And that’s where the complexity comes. Great. So we have taken a lot of the complexities away from the customers. And because of now, we’re able to automate a lot of those processes internally and being able to use a state of the art technology.

 

[00:28:24] And, you know, we we run our our product scene in high availability servers and we have a tremendous Oracle cloud, uh, Gen2 that allow us to do two to two to close all these applications to have great performance bubble.

 

[00:28:42] So we have you have you have better cybersecurity than they have on their servers at home in santarem, US security and everything that that became.

 

[00:28:51] So that’s a huge point. Thank you for bringing that up. And all those components make that supply chain more efficient and better. But to your point, we’re solving, didn’t they? You know, we’re moving products. Correct? Right. You know, it can be cars. You can be automotive pieces. It can be some sort of pharmaceuticals or market. It can be technology IV or whatever it is. Correct. But at the end of the day, it’s being able to have the flexibility to adapt. And being able to great. Give our customers, regardless of the industry, the tools that they need to face today’s challenges for tomorrow’s benefit. Right. That that’s that’s that’s that’s how I will I will summarize that.

 

[00:29:34] So let me make this one point very quickly. All right. You know, is very rare. Yes. Very. And that is, you know, one of the one of the things that overcomes the the burdens burden of customization is that cloud solutions use switches and dials, virtue’s virtual switches and dials to to make those changes that your enterprise needs versus what my enterprise needs. And that makes the product eminently more sustainable, more portable, but equally as configurable. So if you think about the difference between configure ability and customization, configure ability is supportable. Customization. Not so much.

 

[00:30:15] And to add on to that, sorry for you for drawing on this point. It’s OK. You’re just between us and lunch. Yeah. Or Greene. Correct. How long ago? Yeah. Yeah. Uh, no.

 

[00:30:26] But what what is important to that point, right. Is as we’ve been growing in terms of number of industries, number of customers and regions. Greg, we also as as cloud innovators and the cloud companies, we really needed to have a very strong platform as a service solution. Correct. So now when they talk with customers, I tried to to help them driving these conversations in terms of 80 percent of what you need can be done with SAS, which is software as a service. Right. With the application, with the customers, with the a configuration that you that you have in applications and that 20 percent remaining, you can explore it by using APICS and extend and extend to the application to any behavior that you want. Yeah. With tools that you know, which we deal with with different with different mobility or different tools that allow you to build those very, very unique processes are unique options that you need to help to make that happen.

 

[00:31:31] So, yeah, I you know, they you don’t lose that that and it’s part of your core is part of your business. But at the end of the day, we as companies can continue innovating without disrupting. You love it. Okay.

 

[00:31:44] Now we’re gonna take a right turn and we’re going to go broader with the conversation. So I want to get you. I’m sure you’ve got a thought or two about certain trends or certain things taking place in the global supply chain. And then after we get your take on this. I want to go back to entrepeneur realism after this. But because you’ve got a great story there. But weigh in. You know, one of the common themes, all these interviews going back to Arizona couple weeks ago, going back to Las Vegas a month or so ago, is just all the noise, all. You know, you can cover a story every second that’s impacting on some level. The global supply chain, when you survey that and you think about developments or innovations or challenges, you name it. What one or two things has got your attention more than anything else right now?

 

[00:32:36] I will start with I think we need to understand right now that the only constant that we see in the world right now is change is disruption. Okay. And that’s not going to end. We’re going to see the next event happening 90 days or in two weeks or in the summertime when the hurricane season starts or something’s going to happen. Correct. So and the reason why star with with that point is because the point that I want to make across is that you need to face that chaos now.

 

[00:33:12] You can not continue delaying the the change in technology that that the change of thought that you have as a leader in your company and continue elongating or stretching out the technology that you have, security, new business reasons, being able to comfort you. You need to be able to pivot and change. All right. You need to understand that your workforce is also changing. Yeah. And then has contracting and that’s growing. And it’s going to continue changing. Correct. Like we we if we don’t make supply chain, if we don’t make our supply chain jobs more interesting to then to the new generations corrective even if you’re a company.

 

[00:34:02] When I continue giving to those end users black screen, and I was afraid you were gonna say that.

 

[00:34:09] That’s exactly what I was thinking. Can you imagine a millennial correct in front of a Greene Greene solution?

 

[00:34:14] Oh my god, it’s crazy. Greg White such so. So what I’m going with his point is we really need to. And this is again going to some of the points and conversation I had with even CEOs and CEOs. It’s like we want to transform our company. Okay. And that conversation started maybe five years ago. By 2020, I need to utilize my company. Correct. We’re 2020. And I still I’m still having this conversation with those leaders. And they have not started I haven’t started not started yet because they’re afraid to, you know, how how how demanding is going to be how disrupt is gonna be for my business. So what I’m trying to say to summarize is caught these companies and you see companies that have made the change you’re seeing now leading the market. Correct. You see and you know, all of us have maybe four different names in our heads right now that we have seen transforming over the last 10 years. Greg White. They were in the bottom of the list. They have no face date. The Kael’s, they have MHI made the necessary changes. They have adopted new technology. They have? Yeah. B, they took bold decisions. Yeah.

 

[00:35:27] And now they took some arrows I’m sure.

 

[00:35:29] Yeah. And they took Samarra’s and as we all do it and have done it. But now we need to continue making those changes and companies need to need to need to completely understand that if you don’t change your game plan is not only about the players, it’s about the technology is about how you evolve. And if you don’t make those changes now, you’re you know, you I’ll say it.

 

[00:35:53] You’re doomed. You do. Thank you. You are. You know, we said this in an engine. We just said this in a recent. Yes. Interview. Yep. It used to be that if you were a severe laggard, you were only damaged or delayed. Now you are destroyed. Destroyed. You are facing destruction because you don’t do.

 

[00:36:10] And we have so many of those. Uh eh. Histories or stories in a marketplace. Yeah. Okay. No doubt. No technology is greater than one thing that you have seen.

 

[00:36:22] I think if you see in this in this show, which you have so many great vendors here and you see new technology, great. But all of us and especially when you come in, when it comes to mechanization and all those, you have seen how all these big companies have been able to turn it into more modern modular way. Yeah. So everybody is taking the approach of making it more. You know, if you if you need more muscle, you can flex the arm and you can add more. Right. If you need to take it down. The dynamic right now is a dynamic. Yes. Supply chain. And that’s how the market is reacting.

 

[00:36:55] Yeah. Okay. So we’re gonna get you back on. There’s so much passion and knowhow right here. Is it is it is not going regulated the six episode. Yeah. You think or maybe a whole mini season a or something like. It’s like Dallas. Yeah. Who shot JFK. Or just say Diego. Yeah. Like that. All right. So big name. Yes, Diego.

 

[00:37:19] Let’s talk about as we kind of wound down the interview here. I really love what you’re you’re sharing with our listeners. And I’m sure they’re enjoying it as much. I wanna go back, though. Kind of more agnostic alley about entrepeneur realism. Clearly, you had an outstanding inspiration and a model in your father. Yeah, I believe in you house I had a leg up on. Yeah. I know as a father, one of things we’re trying to do with our three children or give them more international experiences exposures. You talked about how you had that and you were able to work with different cultures and appreciate different cultures. That is such an advantage in this. And it will continue to be even a greater advantage in this global business age we live in. Yeah. So to speak to that a little bit. Tell us more about that impact, especially early on. And then, you know, for other entrepreneurs out there that are fighting in the trenches, you know, trying to get a break through, trying to break out early stage, you know, give some gifts and inspiration.

 

[00:38:19] Yeah, I look, we when when we started the company. Okay. We look into, of course, the U.S. market is the king of the markets, correct? If you are able to break into the US market, you are able to get customer momentum in the U.S. market. Then you have done a great job on really having a solid solution, a mature solution as a mature business model and all the kind of good stuff.

 

[00:38:47] Right. So you can make it here. You can make it anywhere, anywhere in that kind of thing. Right. Yeah, that’s that’s pretty much what I’m saying.

 

[00:38:53] But for us, when we started the company, this was 2007. Okay. And Cloud, like I said before, was not using Supply chain. And Cloud was something that when you talk to Supply chain leaders at that time, you know, it was like, hey, it sounds great, guys. But you know what?

 

[00:39:15] Let’s talk about that in 10 years. Yeah. Greg, this is a store ever or never. So.

 

[00:39:20] So we in our in our in our in our case as call what we needed to do because we were seeing a barrier in the market, we needed to look outside of the US and we went to emerging markets where they were not afraid about taking that leapfrog, uh, approach into new technologies. Right. And similarly and in those challenging challenges and say, you know what? Today, I don’t have anything.

 

[00:39:45] And what I have is costing me like I’m an arm and I can’t continue maintaining my business, my supply chain the way I have it. So Sheer, you come with a new model. You know, instead of charging, you know, by the user, by license, we used to charge by the drink.

 

[00:40:04] Meaning, you know, based on the number of cases or LPN that you used to ship, that was our business model. Right. So companies look at look at us. Okay. Well, this makes sense. Correct me if I’m shipping one hundred thousand Albion’s per day is equal to this much and it makes a feasible application for us, you know?

 

[00:40:24] Of course, I took advantage to the fact that, you know, I went to markets where I speak the language.

 

[00:40:31] I was able to put entities down there, speak the language, except in Argentina, except where we speak a whole different language. Yes.

 

[00:40:40] So but to that story, my my goal was to build a successful, uh, customer base in all the industries that I wanted to break into the U.S. market. Craig, I wanted to have a pharmaceutical company. I wanted to have grocery. I wanted to have a retailer. I wanted to have or merchandise. A home, homey home. A home improvement goods. Yeah, I wanted to have three peoples love. But then we didn’t realize that. And this is 2008. OK, so Tom is like it’s it’s downtime. The economy is not doing well. And here we are going against the they they knew didn’t lead anywhere in the world, you know, new applications. So, yeah. And I think they did deploy here two to two. And trippin’ years is it’s really you need to find your market. You need to find, uh, the business model. That is it’s it’s a business model that you can replicate that you understand a machine that can generate leads to feel your sales guys. Uh, it’s not about a great idea, right? It’s not about technology. It’s about solving an issue. And tenacity and tenacity and fire and being able to know what I can eat, uh, rice and to for the next five years.

 

[00:41:56] Rath And B, meals like five years. It was it was it felt like I had yesterday for lunch more peanut butter and jelly jelly.

 

[00:42:04] Yeah, but is that so? We were able to grow very fast outside of the US, uh, in 2012. Twelve. Then we realized like, well, we have triple digit customers outside of the US. Uh, and then we started to get the momentum. Of course we started to see some of the market recognition from analysts like Gartner and others. We got incorporated in the into the mark into the Gartner Magic Quadrant. It’s easy to sell. Why wasn’t that zill against the run? Yes. Okay. So I mean, hey, you say, hey, I’m here. I said, okay, you’re validated.

 

[00:42:38] It’s not it’s not a formula for success. I think we just we both grad- had had Magic Quadrant company companies and we thought, oh, the roof comes off now. Yeah, it’s not it’s not the the formula for success, but it is better, as you said, to sell from within the quadrant than to sell against the quarter. Exactly right. Because you have been recognized and validated by the leader Z leader in in technology.

 

[00:43:07] And then with that you start building your market and uh, the growth went from there. Greg White thing, that’s enough to that story. And we have had one of the most positive moments in growth in our industry to, uh.

 

[00:43:23] And then but he’s also looking. Dan Solla. OK. Who do you work with? You know, what is the type of entity that you want to become? What is a type of culture that you want to create? What is the, uh, what are the investors that you want to bring on board? Uh, what is the, you know, board that you want to put in place and where do you see the gaps that you have as an entity that you need to bring, uh, more senior level company resources to help you driving that growth? There’s a bunch of things, I’m very sure, that are going to build in that company. Eric Lu. I think, you know, I was working with the Intrepid, your team at Oracle, and being able to see a lot of startups. And one thing that is concerning to me is that the idea that a lot of startups and a lot of companies that come to me and say, do you have an advise is like you have a business plan. No. Do you have a pricing? No. What is your differentiator?

 

[00:44:21] Initiator? I have a great cool technology. I know. But how how are you going to put that cool, great technology? You care. Who cares right back? Who wants to buy it?

 

[00:44:32] Who is your your the buyer, your persona? Profile that you is telling like that that that application to and how you’re going to get to them. Yeah. It’s the look this technology now. All these large companies and are doing a lot for it.

 

[00:44:48] And in trippin’ years, we’re giving them a lot of tools. But I think one thing that we’re not giving them is lessons to how to really build that company and how to be, uh, you know, how to face tough, tough times. And that’s one of the things that I’m a little bit turned down that that I don’t see that they you know, the world is not that easy. And you’re going to you’re going to face a lot of challenges. You need to be ready for it and and go with if you’re really passionate with your product, you have to confront those demons right up front.

 

[00:45:19] Better, as Scott said, early. If your job is to eat frogs, eat your frogs in the morning. Yeah, right. Face that worst aspect of the business. Yeah, right. Right now, I don’t know. One of the things is not to go 10. Mark Twain said that. By the way, you stole it from Mark. Mark Twain said it and but Scott said it’s so much better.

 

[00:45:40] Or like I used to tell my guys, like bad news. Don’t get better with time. Yes, that’s right. Correct. So it’s like your point is your front story.

 

[00:45:49] Forecki, you have something wrong or something bad to do or to say or to face. Don’t wait until it becomes a huge issue that is going to put your company at risk.

 

[00:45:59] I think just one really quick point that I see. You know, I advise companies every day as well as doing this, which is by far the most fun things I’ve done besides being an entrepreneur.

 

[00:46:12] But but one of the things that I see is that companies believe more than they have proven that they have uniqueness. Yes. Right. And that and that is one of the hardest and harshest realities to face. But it’s the very first one, in my opinion, that you need to face as an entrepreneur is what is that uniqueness? It might be miniscule. Yes. It might be that you’re a tiny Latin American based cloud WMD solution, but you turn that into an incredible differentiator that creates a leverage point to the rest of the world. That’s exactly what you did. Yeah, right. You were very focused on a market, very focused on a type of company. And you just continually expanded that by creating credibility for yourself. But you knew what that differentiator was.

 

[00:46:59] And by proving application. Yes. Okay. So this year, at the end of the episode, one of distribution with Diego, let’s make sure folks know how to how to get in touch with you. I’m sure, you know, if I was your PR team or that I’d get you in front as many people as you can because your passion, your passion, your expertise, your insights. It’s just it’s like emanating from you. I mean, folks can really learn a lot from from your experiences and kind of your you know, how of not just where we’ve been, where we are today, but where we’re headed. So I really enjoyed kind of my education here today. But how can folks learn more about Oracle W mass cloud development or can they go and what have you?

 

[00:47:43] I think, you know, go to the Oracle page and Web page and find the Logistics division there within there and they will find us. But the easiest way is Linked-In. Yeah. Uh, I’m I’m there. I if you have any questions, if you have any thoughts about Supply chain and all those that I can help you with, I’ll be more than happy to do it. And and in general, Craig, I think that the beauty about these and going back to my relationship with with Greg is that we we are leaders, that we are very easy to access. And, um, there’s no many layers to two to to getting to us. And. To be able to to get to experience how from our knowledge or from my experiences in any way, we want people to win, we want people Trident.

 

[00:48:34] So we I mean, we do have, you know, very great access.

 

[00:48:36] Sheer we’re hearing supply chain great. And again, a industry that fifteen years ago was was was was in the backroom. Right. And then and we want to continue pushing that envelope further. We want to continue making the differentiate it look like I tell my customers. Financials, ERP, great. You need it. But he’s not going to change your company. Greg White, how you move products, how you deal with your inventory, how you deal with your end consumer is what’s going to make you win. So change the world while that’s great. And this is the capital of the world for supply chain.

 

[00:49:11] Yes, I love that. I love that boy. Well, so that’s going to just about wrap it up here on this episode. Diego Pinto, Navas Vise president with Oracle, there’ll be a cloud development mentally. Been studying that for 17 minutes. As our audience may know, I’m slow when it comes to pronunciation. La la, la. The wrong emphasis off in right syllables. Yeah, that’s right. Emphasis on the wrong syllable. That’s right. I really have enjoyed this conversation. I’d love to have you back on down a road a little bit, especially as y’all go through this. Is this incredible growth period? Thank you. I really enjoyed it. Diego. Thank you, Scott. Appreciate it. Thank you, my friend. You bet. Yeah. Thank you. You don’t take off. Don’t take off just yet. Greg, incredible. I mean, this I know this is right up here. I mean, is up my alley is really right up your alley. I love that connection you all had kind of going through the growth and a journey.

 

[00:49:59] And yeah, I feel like we were little kids and we grew up right in trikes together.

 

[00:50:02] I mean, really. Yeah. We used to like I used to which we’ll see his office from my office. That’s true up there. Literally. You could literally do that. So why are you doing. Yeah. I go back to work. Yeah. Yeah.

 

[00:50:16] All right. So we’re gonna have Dega back on. Loved it. To our audience. Be sure to stay with us as we continue our coverage of Moad x22 county is the place to be if you’re in Supply chain this week in Atlanta. Also, you can find upcoming events, replays over interviews, other resources at Supply Chain Now Radio dot com. You can find this and subscribe or wherever you get your podcasts on behalf of the entire team here. 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 Diego Pantoja-Navajas to Supply Chain Now on our YouTube channel.

Featured Guests

Diego Pantoja-Navajas founded LogFire after spending years designing and implementing supply chain execution solutions for some of the world’s largest retailers, CPG manufacturers, food service companies, and third party logistics providers. He became keenly aware of the market need for a true cloud-based warehouse management solution (WMS) and how traditional supply chain systems were missing the mark. He refused to concede that supply chain fulfillment could not utilize modern technologies to reduce up-front costs, implementation timelines and provide continuous free system upgrades. A supply chain visionary, Diego leverages his expertise to help customers apply 100% cloud-based warehouse and in-store inventory management solutions that address the most challenging inventory visibility and fulfillment issues. In 2016 Oracle Inc. acquired LogFire. Diego has been recognized for three consecutive years as a “Pro to Know,” Diego has published numerous articles and often speaks at industry events.

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Greg White

Principal & Host

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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Vicki White

Controller

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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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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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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Greg White

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.

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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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Karin Bursa

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.

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Jeff Miller

Host

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.

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Amanda Luton

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.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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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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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

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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Ben Harris

Host

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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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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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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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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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. 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).

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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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Alex Bramley

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.

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