Supply Chain Now Episode 356

Episode Summary

“It has been fantastic to see how the supply chain has pivoted from what might have been their core focus area to other areas to help during the pandemic.”

  • Mike Griswold, Vice President of Research, Retail at Gartner


Although Mike Griswold joins the Supply Chain Now team monthly to discuss his latest industry research and rankings, it is impossible to ignore the ongoing impact of COVID-19. As we all adjust to the new normal, business leaders are starting to process and act upon the long-term changes that need to be made, including the overabundance of assortment in retail, lack of seasonal visibility in fashion, and a ‘new day’ opportunity for reverse logistics.

Mike is the Vice President of Research at Gartner where he specializes in retail, with a particular focus on forecasting and replenishment, and is responsible for Gartner’s annual Top 25 Supply Chain ranking.

In this conversation, Mike provides updated insight to Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton:

  • How the COVID-19 pandemic has tested supply chains’ ability to pivot and impacted supply, demand, and capacity simultaneously
  • Why companies (and the individual decision makers within them) are so pressed for time right now that they are accepting autonomous forecasting – and seeing very good results
  • The factors that are being added and further emphasized in the Gartner Supply Chain Rankings

Episode Transcript

Intro – Amanda Luton (00:00:05):

It’s time for supply chain. Now broadcasting live from the supply chain capital of the country, Atlanta, Georgia, heard around the world. Supply chain now spotlights the best in all things. Supply chain, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.

Scott Luton (00:00:29):

All right. Good morning, Scott Luton here with you. Live on supply chain now along with my cohost and trusted business colleague, mr Greg white. Greg, good morning. Hey, how are you Scott? Doing fantastic. I’ll tell you, we’ve been on quite a roll. Uh, today’s live stream will continue that we’ve got an outstanding guest. You know, we’re continuing our collaboration, uh, on this show with, uh, Mike Griswold with gardener. Uh, you know, basically Greg, we’ve been sharing Mike’s, uh, insights and observations and experts around supply chain today and tomorrow. Right? Well, I keep telling people, Mike’s not only premier retail analyst in the industry, but he was a practitioner, so he knows of what he speaks and he speaks to a lot of people in the industry. So all the information he brings, this is fantastic. Yeah, agreed. Uh, so two quick notes before we bring Mike in.

Scott Luton (00:01:23):

Uh, first off, if you enjoy today’s live stream, be sure to check out our podcast wherever you get your podcasts from today. We published an episode earlier with vector global logistics part of art logistics with purpose series and we’ve featured a group called hungry Lauren knows with hungry. Fascinating story. Greg, I’m not sure if you’ve been able to check that out yet, but what a company on a mission to give forward. Yeah. W well, you know, we, our suite is across the courtyard from Hungary’s, so I’ve had the opportunity to talk with some of the folks there. What they’re doing is fantastic. First of all, it’s a great business concept, but what they’re doing in terms of philanthropy is, is great. Agreed. Agreed. Okay. And again, you can check our podcasts out wherever you get your podcasts from. Um, so real quick break out of out of the live streams and podcasts, you know, webinars mixed in. It’s been a busy time, but what’s one or two of your favorite moments here recently that really stands out? Well, you know, we had a great show with Sarah Barnes Humphrey yesterday with the super trends series. I think the uniqueness about that is Sarah’s perspective gives us an international perspective, right? She gets, um, and um, and she’s got a small tech company, so that’s fascinating as well. And, and also having a longer series like that where we get to talk about the different aspects of supply chain is great. Yeah. Um, you know, I think talking to all of these people live is to me is such a great opportunity for them to

Greg White (00:03:00):

share their knowledge with the audience globally. And I think it’s great. It’s been a bit of an awakening for me, probably for you too, Scott, that we need to think and speak globally even when even when we think and speak, I find myself sometimes too often thinking about or speaking about the United States solely and just on our continent, nor just on North America there, there’s Canada, Mexico as well. So we have to, we have to start to be more conscious of that. And I’m, you know, and I’m glad that we’ve been able to do that. And of course we’ve been able to bring so many people, the kids, the kids, the young professionals now from um, university of Georgia and the supply chain program there, um, DC, uh, who swag Lola and her husband Joseph, who’s going to join us on a later show, uh, that, that those insights from, you know, from people of all walks of life are what really energized me.

Scott Luton (00:04:05):

Agreed. Agreed. And we’re going to be doubling down our efforts to really represent all aspects of global supply chain. Right? Yeah. I’m scared to say in the end, after our conversation yesterday, right. Real quick. So hello to Kyle Reeves and, and John [inaudible] who are both tuned into us via LinkedIn live. You know, and John and Dusan is back with us. Do some weigh in, tell us on Facebook where you are tuned in from. I’d love to, we’d love to find that out. Okay. With no further ado, people aren’t here today to hear from me and you Greg there. He can’t be with my grids balls. So I to I want to welcome man. We want to welcome in Mike Rosewall, vice president analysts with Gartner, the world’s leading research and advisory firm who serves as a trusted advisor for over 15,000 enterprises and over a hundred countries. So welcome and Mike. Mike, good morning. How are you doing? Hey,

Mike Griswold (00:05:06):

I’m doing well. Thanks guys. Thanks for having me. And thanks for the kind words. Always good to spend time with you guys.

Greg White (00:05:11):


Scott Luton (00:05:12):

great to have you back with us. So, um, you know, my w we want to open up today’s segment on, you know, we can’t get enough good news in today’s challenging environment and you know, uh, a lot of folks are suffering economically or health wise or, or lots of other challenges out there. So in supply chain, we’ve, we’ve seen a variety of really uplifting stories that are good news. So, you know, Mike, what’s one of those stories has been on your radar here lately?

Mike Griswold (00:05:39):

Yeah, I think just maybe start with a general observation and then maybe a couple of specific examples. So I think in general has been fantastic to see how the supply chain, uh, in, in organizations has pivoted from what might’ve been their core focus area to other areas to help during the pandemic. So I live just outside of Boise, Idaho. We have a local winery as one example that went from producing um, wine and spirits to producing and using the alcohol to create gallons and gallons of sanitizer that they then distributed to our local hospital system. That’s one example. We have a couple of really small companies here in this state that make skis high, high end custom skis for people that ski of which I have not. One of them would, would probably recognize the name and what they’ve done because they deal really well with plastic, have converted and started to make face shields for first responders and healthcare providers. So to me, I think one of the big takeaways I have taken from this whole pandemic is how organizations have been able to recognize a core competency and then quickly pivot to deploy that core competency to help in areas around the pandemic, particularly in the areas of PPE, which I think we all now have had, you know, flattening the curve PPE, uh, are now in our vocabulary that three, four months ago we’re not in our vocabulary.

Greg White (00:07:17):

That’s right. Great point. Greg. New normal and unprecedented are reaching new Heights of usage in the English language. Exactly. That’s right. That’s right. Greg, what, what, what is stuck out from your, where you sit? Well, on the theme of pivots, I’m, you know, to be really specific, one of the things that we’re talking about now is the potential shortage of meat and other food supplies and what aren’t seeing is food service distributors. So food service distributors, they service schools and institutions and, and restaurants. And what I’ve seen them doing is opening their doors either for pickup or delivery to the public so that they can go and pick up goods that might otherwise get wasted or um, or not used in a timely fashion. So Buckhead meats is one example of that here in Atlanta, but there are companies all over the country that are doing this. And that’s going to be an important discussion as we talk about what’s going on in the future as we talk about what’s going on with some of the packing plants and things like that.

Mike Griswold (00:08:23):

Yeah, Greg, it’s interesting. I know, Scott, let me just maybe fast forward as briefly, I know we’re going to talk about the top 25 but one of the key trends that we’ve seen in these companies over the research that we did for the 2020 season is business model transformers and Greg, that’s a great example. And I was just on the phone before our call with one of the technology providers I work with in Europe who has a European food service type of operation who did the same thing. Well now they’re doing home delivery direct to the consumer. So this idea of the business model being transformed or at least slightly modified, definitely something we’ll talk a little bit later about in our top 25, but that’s a great example of that, Greg. Great. Yeah. Great.

Scott Luton (00:09:08):

Alright, well say hello to a couple of folks that are tuned in via the live stream from Patricia to Merck Ash to Jenny Froome who’s been on the show before, uh, from South Africa. Jenny board to our collaboration with you coming up soon and the great st pics organization, Tom Tom Valentine is on where there’s Tom, a big friend of the show. Love what Tom does. Uh, so just, that’s just a few of the folks that are tuned in. So good morning to everyone. Okay. Uh, want to share one of the good news store before we dive in. Um, earlier this week we talked about how Kroger has, has, has moved in to purchase 200,000 gallons of milk that was set to be destroyed. This milk was headed towards the, um, was made pre kind of preprint pandemic for food service and schools. All those are closed.

Scott Luton (00:09:56):

So they swooped in, bought the milk from the farmers and use their infrastructure to get it out to food banks across the country. That is an outstanding story. And of course, when you do something like that, you rely on global supply chains, rely on truck drivers. Right. So one last note here, we talked earlier this week about an organization up based in Oxford, Pennsylvania. Uh, run by CWA, mr CW Boyd who’s been in the trucking industry for 46 years. Unfortunately, as we all know, times are tough for the trucking industry right now. Um, and but despite that, despite, you know, their per per mile rates, uh, being cut as much as 70%, what we’ve heard about, he has Mr. Boyd has refused to cut the wages of his drivers. Uh, and that is an outstanding piece of good news and the industry needs more awareness. 311,000 for hire motor carriers in the U S about half of those according to, uh, the owner operator, independent drivers association, about half of those 311,000 are a single truck, you know, private carriers, you know, single drivers, small businesses, right.

Scott Luton (00:11:08):

And it’s a, it’s a tough time. So we’re trying to give that into that whole industry, which is a backbone of supply chain as much as visibility as we can. Alright, so moving right along, although I’d love to talk for a couple hours on some of the good news that we see. Um, you know, Mike, really the, the main, uh, Centerplate item here today is getting your latest observations around how COBIT 19 is impacting global supply chains. We’re all familiar with some of the, some of the OBS observations and, and, uh, the common, uh, uh, uh, observations we’ve seen across the industry. But what, what in particular here lately has gotten your attention? What, give us the up to date, Mike Griswold take on how COBIT 19 is impacting business.

Mike Griswold (00:11:51):

Yeah, I think when we, when we think about the impact, you know, I like to think about it and kind of three areas, demand, supply and capacity and certainly on the demand side, you know, I think we, we’ve certainly seen um, significant peaks and valleys. If we think about demand at a product level, product, location level. And I think one of the challenges that organizations have had is, is being able to quickly respond to those changes in demand. Some of that will will bleed into supply, which will ultimately bleed into capacity. But I think right now retailers are focused on inventory acquisition, meaning, you know, I think if we look at certain commodities, a forecast is relatively irrelevant because if no matter how much I get, I’m going to sell it all. So if I can get 2000 pieces, I’ll sell 2000 if I can get 3000 I will sell 3000 but we also have, I think a unique environment where we have, we have seen demand for other products that had a fairly normal, predictable movement completely shut down.

Mike Griswold (00:12:55):

So now I’ve got a bigger pool of product that has intermittent or even no demand. So managing that complexity I think becomes really important. And I think one of the things we’re starting to see, I’ve had a couple of conversations with a couple of technology providers. We’re actually starting to see retailers become more comfortable with this idea of accepting automated forecasts. Where, I mean Greg knows this from his previous experience, getting retailers to except a forecast or an order or a store order without touching it and helping. It was really hard. And I think Al, because people have so much other stuff to do, they’re being forced to let some of this autonomous forecasting start to happen. And what I’m hearing is some of those initial results are really good, right? Automatically managing the exceptions automatically creating some of these orders. And I think the last thing I want to touch on on the demand side is, you know, we need retailers and all businesses for that matter need a mechanism to flag this abnormal sales history.

Mike Griswold (00:14:04):

Treat it like an event. Because you know this sales pattern that we’ve seen, hopefully we don’t see it again. Right? We don’t have a flare up, we don’t have a research into this a year from now, whatever that situation may or may not happen. Our demand needs to be categorized today. The demand that we’ve seen for the last three months, these to be categorized as you know, unique so that our applications moving forward can handle it better. So those are some of the things I’ve seen in Scott and Greg on the demand side. Fantastic. Greg wants to get you to weigh in on what you heard there from my boy. We have talked a lot about this and that is, I mean Mike, Scott and I have done a few television or newspaper magazine

Greg White (00:14:52):

articles and they keep asking about this and particularly in grocery, one of the things that we say repeatedly is that part of the problem with managing demand is not the supply. It is how we manage demand. There is some person making a decision how much to buy and who wants to buy four pallets of toilet paper when they think the demand could stop at any time. Someone can point back to that person. But using technology enables you to one, solve the problem in the short term and to, as you said, noted as exceptional and, and exclude it from future forecast. And in truth, we’ve seen this, this technique work. This is a holdover in almost solely in the States by the way. We’ve seen the technique of automatic mated replenishment in grocery work in many countries around the world. Asia and Europe in particular already have automated systems. So we know it can work. It’s just resting that comfort of knowing my business more than any computer could out of somebody’s mind and trust, allowing them to, you know, to um, enable technology to help them solve this problem.

Mike Griswold (00:16:09):

Right point. And, you know, trust. We’ve heard that, uh, you know, we’ve made that observation before we trust has been woven into so many conversations, really the supply chain here lately and we’re going to continue to hear about that. Whether you’re trusting technology or your suppliers or your leadership. Right. Um, I want to get shot away in and, and, and Mike, I know we’ve got a lot more to tackle from some of your observations, but we’ve got an interesting comment here from Patricia and Patricia is, is following us on LinkedIn, but we can’t, we couldn’t show the LinkedIn comments. So we’re, we’re showing it via Facebook. Uh, she shares a quote in regards to PPE and other critical industries that are heavily dependent on imports. We should be rethinking the strategy and how to build a shorter and more reliable supply chain. Mike, I’d love for you to just get your quick take on that and Greg, you next.

Mike Griswold (00:16:58):

Yeah, I agree completely. We did a, we’ve got a future of supply chain, uh, study that we’ve, we’ve done here at gardener and we’re definitely seeing when folks, folks are asked around supplier risk and supplier, um, you know, how do we better mitigate that? We’re definitely seeing folks looking at, you know, India, Mexico, some of these other, I’ll call them less traditional, but they’re becoming more traditional markets. I also think, you know, I’ve read a number of um, positions around some of this PPE equipment that manufacturing continuing to be moved into let’s say North America, Greg, to kind of expand that definition, maybe not just the United States but North America so that we can shorten the supply chain. Well, one of the things that the pandemic has certainly is, has raised the general discussion of risk assessment and has accelerated organizations analysis of supplier risk and how, how, how well dispersed are we from a geographic perspective?

Mike Griswold (00:18:04):

I mean, again, to your earlier point, Greg, we saw some of this when you had um, you know, the, the tsunami and, and we’ve seen this through earthquakes in certain parts of the world that have made people at least stop and think about their supplier risk. This I think will be the final event that will finally push people to say, this needs to be a regular course of business. We have to regularly evaluate our supplier risk to understand, you know, how we will deal with situations like this. Uh, I think this will be the event that pushes people to do that much more prescriptively. Excellent. Well put, that’s typical Mike Griswold fashion. All right, Greg, you gotta follow up on that.

Greg White (00:18:50):

Look, the supply chain is simple. You build it, you sell it. Everything in between is a risk or a delay. Now, some of those risks and delays are worth it from an economic standpoint. But um, you know, to our commenters point, absolutely they can be simplified and we need to be, as Mike is talking about, we need to be more aware of those risks and what the potential cost of those risks are. Because mostly we have said, yeah, it’s a risk that we use China, but we haven’t, we haven’t quantified right potential of that risk. Now, one qualifying point I want to make here is that in the case of a tsunami or a hurricane or other natural disaster or even other pandemics or epidemics, we haven’t had the human intervention of ceasing commerce that we have. And it’s unlikely that we’ll ever do that again.

Greg White (00:19:44):

But we have to acknowledge and somehow try to determine what the impact would have been without this seismic societal disruption. Um, and also probably assess the risk that that could occur again. I mean if, if coven 19 does flare back up as we, you know, get back to work, then you know, it’s possible that we could intervene again. But, um, yes, the supply chain can be greatly simplified and um, you know, as some people have called it a China plus one strategy, I would argue China plus two or two plus China might be alternatives. There are all kinds of alternatives as well. Yep, yep.

Mike Griswold (00:20:28):

Yeah. Greg, you raised a great point. I mean, I think the other element to this you touched on which was the glow, the basically a global shutdown of commerce. I don’t know that, that this is not a value statement. I don’t know that that was in anyone’s playbook. It now has to be in everyone’s playbook, which is you might have of your estate pockets of your customers that will not have access to the traditional sales channel. That was never something we, we I considered or thought we needed to consider it. [inaudible] 19 and now in addition to the supplier risk, I think we also need to build it or a playbook, the commerce risk. And how would we get around that? Because we all saw, I think to varying degrees from the retail side, retailers ability to quickly turn on a ship to home capability to quickly ramp up a order online collect and store. I think that experience has vary greatly across different types of retailers based on how well prepared they were going into this.

Scott Luton (00:21:32):

Yeah, red point. Hey, uh, as John [inaudible] shared, uh, he, he agrees with you, Mike, how you kind of captured excellent idea to capture this time 2020 as a separate event though it is the new normal, it will not be the constant moving forward with respect to demand. So good stuff there from John B. All right. So we’re going to keep real quick before we keep driving with Mike and kind of dive into, uh, supply observations. I believe, uh, wanna give a quick shout out to Alex Muhammad Mohib, a professor from Wichita state university, the air capital of the world and Richard, tell which side this is on, man. Uh, Richard’s joined us, uh, via LinkedIn. Uh, Praveen has joined us, has got a question we’re going to try to get to here, uh, into the show a little bit. And Varun also, uh, joined us from, uh, only dent. Alright, so Mike, let’s keep, keep driving so much good stuff here. Let’s talk about some supply observations.

Mike Griswold (00:22:32):

Yeah, a couple. One. Um, one is we’ve seen, uh, across both the supplier side and the retailer side, significant range contraction, uh, which, you know, I, part of me says it’s unfortunate that it took an event like this for us to realize we’ve got too much stuff. Um, but there’s been a lot of range rationalization both on the supplier side and the retailer side. The question will be, you know, do retailers recognize now the overall assortment problem that many of them were faced with? And and do we stay with kind of this constricted highly customer centric range or do we or do we start to see kind of the proliferation back to where we were [inaudible] the other thing is, uh, I think a lot of retail organizations and their supply base have a pent up new item introduction surge coming at us. Wow. We have not had a lot of new item introduction for for all the right reasons.

Mike Griswold (00:23:33):

Uh, you know, if you think about retailers and their own stable of, of own brand products, right? That’s pent up demand. The re uh, the consumer products companies and others have their own pent up with new items. You know, how we manage that surge is going to be really important. And for me it will be fascinating to watch. And I think on the supply side what’s happening is I’m getting more and more interest in sales and operations execution. I’ve had, you know, five to seven different retailers tell me, Hey Mike, I guess what’s happened. We are cross-functionally collaborating to solve problems. I said, great, let’s build on that momentum and let’s start operationalizing and formalizing it into something that looks and feels like sales and operations execution. That’s going to be critical to understanding as States it businesses start to reopen. Being able to understand where my supply is. Do I need to move it? How do I move it? When do I move it? How do I put inventory in the right locations? That is all right around why we have SNOP. And I think people are already being forced to talk and collaborate together. You know, let’s build on that.

Greg White (00:24:45):

Hmm. Wow. Greg comments. Well, I mean I think that to me, the interesting thing there is what Mike said about, um, S and E, right? Uh, we’ve talked a lot about sales and operations planning, right? But what do you do as, as the great philosopher, Mike Tyson said, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. Right? I’ve heard that quote, uh, about 10 times a day, I think in recently. So how do you get what, you know, how do you respond? And one of the things we’ve talked a lot about here is response and SOE is about, is about recovery and response in the realities, right? It’s really sales and operation reality, uh, and execution against that. So, uh, I, I, um, it’s interesting to hear that coming and, and, um, you know, to see companies moving that direction. It also goes back to what we were talking about before is there’s so much, you know, this makes me think that there, there is so much in terms of demand that merchants can learn about range planning, meaning assortment planning, right?

Greg White (00:26:00):

How many skews of, of um, olive oil do you need? Um, there’s so much that can be learned from doing the things we were just talking about, Mike, in terms of, uh, demand forecasting and understanding demand in the store. And now there’s good reason to do that. Um, you know, there’s a possibility to fulfill those lower volume products in different ways, especially since so many people have become accustomed to buy online and curbside pickup of groceries. Right, right. So, particularly for grocery, I think that’s fantastic. I’m not sure we’ve seen the impact of Ray on ranch planning other industries of, of uh, fashion and apparel industries. All we know is that tops are selling it two to three times the rate of, of pants. We’re really looking forward to seeing as as Walmart announced last week a two hour delivery and how they’re going to be flexing their 5,400 stores. Um, you know, the months ahead. It’s gonna be really interesting time as always. It’s always interesting in supply chain e-commerce here lately. Um, before I kind of shift gears and, and, and recognize a few comments and questions that we’re getting in our stream, Mike, that you want to respond to. Anything that Greg just shared there?

Mike Griswold (00:27:18):

Yeah. I, I think the, the supply, I mean pick up Greg maybe a little bit on the fashion piece. I think the SNOP component for fashion becomes really important because I think, in fact, I’m working on a research note right now around the link between SNL E and how it helps you know, through a disruption, whether it’s coven 19 or whatever it might be. One of the use cases we’ve added is, is for fashion retailers to use SNOP to think about seasonal continuity, so on a state by state basis as States start to reopen fashion retailers have to ask themselves, I think the hard question, what season am I going to open with? Right? And for, for product that I already have in my sup, my internal supply chain, let’s say stuff that’s already here domestically, what am I going to do? Am I going to open the doors in a highly discounted environment?

Mike Griswold (00:28:09):

Meaning I’m marking down stuff and that’s the first experience the customers have. Am I going to skip a season and jump, let’s say right into fall. If in some States I’m not going to be business as usual until June or even July, so using SNOP to have that discussion around again, where’s my inventory, what’s my season look like? You know, what’s my markdown strategy going to be if I’m going to have one? All of those things I think are enabled much better through something like SNL, particularly for the fashion folks and I think that is the group that has been to me that industry is most at risk. The many of them were deemed not essential so they’re, they’ve been closed for a while. Some of their capabilities to do some of these online transactions have been limited. So that segment to me is going to be the one that I’m watching the most closely as States start to reopen to see how they’re going to open and how their, how their supply chains are going to respond.

Greg White (00:29:12):

Yeah. Interesting. Yeah, that’s a really good point. They have the greatest re, I mean they basically myths have exactly got to decide whether to shelve that. I mean companies like P V H I think is the parent company of Tommy Hill. You’re in a number of other brands. They’ve decided to shell their spring lines and bring them back I think next year or they had at one point. So there are lots of potential options there. Sorry Scott. Maybe

Mike Griswold (00:29:41):

one more real quick thing piggybacking on Greg. You know, if we think about the alternatives that fashion retailers had in terms of the discount channel, you know, the Burlington coat factory is the TJX is of the world as a, as an offer, as a release valve for excess inventory. You know, for what I’m hearing and what our research is showing is that valve is gone, those outlets are full. Those outlets now have the pick of the litter in terms of excess inventory they want to take. So that, uh, that lever or that mechanism, that fashion retailers may have had in the past to, to let off some of this inventory steam, if you will. That’s fine. So that page, that page and the playbook is ripped out, they now need a different way to think about that.

Scott Luton (00:30:24):

Well, you know, uh, that’s right. Not taking anything away from the food industry, which has its own set of challenges. But yeah, gosh, leading and managing half fashion global supply chains has gotta be a little more complex and cans of green beans. Right? Cause there’s no shirt, no shelf stability there. All right. So changing gears for a second here. I want to recognize a couple of comments and questions from the streams here. Uh, first up, uh, Thiebaud on LinkedIn, he says, uh, supplier risk management has now been shown as an absolute critical day to day function from raw materials value adding manufacturers and distributors. Right up to LSP, uh, good stuff there. And then, uh, Veron has got an interesting comment and then a question that we’re going to pose to you. Each of you, uh, hello, all cash is King at these times. Customers are not paying as, they don’t as, they can’t sell cars in turn, manufacturers don’t have cash to pay their suppliers. How does one manage supplier relations at the present time without jeopardizing future partnerships? That deserves a, probably a fuller conversation, but any quick observations there, uh, from, from both of y’all and Mike, we’ll start with you.

Mike Griswold (00:31:36):

Yeah, I think it’s a great question and it certainly is part of the new reality, right? In terms of, of managing the funds you have coming in. How do you disperse them, not only to your associate base, but to your supplier base? Are they, one of the things that we’ve talked about a lot here at Gardner and written research on is supplier segmentation. I think one of the things that now needs to be added into the way in which we, we segment our suppliers is, you know, not so much financial stability, but how about financial reliability? How reliable am I to that supplier’s longterm longevity. And what I’ve seen some retailers start to do is kind of turn that pyramid upside down and say, Hey look, I might have a, a tier two or tier three supplier in terms of how I segment them, but I’m a big chunk of their business there.

Mike Griswold (00:32:32):

While it might be limited, the skews they provide me are highly differentiating. I need to pay them first. Where where someone say a larger consumer products company that I know has a little bit deeper pockets, maybe I pay them a little bit late or maybe I set up a deferred payment plan with them. Um, but I really have to focus on these smaller suppliers that I’m a big chunk of their business because if they go under, uh, because I don’t pay them that there’s a portfolio product that I now can’t deliver to my consumer. So I think that the way that we traditionally have segmented suppliers I think is also now going to evolve with this new financial lens applied to it.

Scott Luton (00:33:18):

Hmm. Greg? Supplier relationships.

Greg White (00:33:21):

Yeah. I think one of the things that you’ve got to think about is who do you already have a good relationship with, right? And who do you have a good open dialogue with and go to those people among the first, and I agree, you’ve got to assess the relative importance of a vendor. And that doesn’t just mean volume, as Mike said. That could be because of the uniqueness of their product. And very often the vendors that you’re going to have the tightest relationship with are going to be your largest vendors. I mean, speaking as a retailer, it sounds like they both might be in the automotive industry. Uh, OEM, automotive, like, uh, industry. Um, so you know, you know who your top vendors are and work with them. Um, you know, and I, I I think look, the best negotiating methodology is complete transparency. Um, often nobody can make you do anything in a negotiation, even if they know why you’re doing it. It’s still up to you to take a win-win or no deal situation. So, um, I think you’ve gotta be really open with your suppliers and you’ve gotta be, um, you’ve got to identify who you can work with and identify who you can. As Mike said, you can either create a plan with or drag a little bit and get, you know, and you might have to play on a little bit of relationship capital there for sure.

Scott Luton (00:34:49):

Or be dragged one of my, one of my favorite phrases there. All right, so real quick, I’m going to read off two or three comments from the audience and then we’re going to dive back into capacity with Mike Griswold. Uh, alright, so our friend Claudia, who’s going to be on the show here, I think next week, new business models can help solve the inventory glut. Good stuff. There, uh, from our friend Tom Valentine, he shares covert 19 has made the demand for true real time visibility to your supply chain, both upstream and downstream. Critical. It drives SNOP and S snowy. Good stuff. Tom Valentine. Great to have you here. And then one more, which is going to lead us right into this next segment is from a professor Mohib, uh, from Wichita state university goes shocks quote, it is a great opportunity for us to update our current demand supply capacity, AI models to be more adaptive. I think we are learning a lot now that we can be more predictive or even prescriptive during panic attacks. Good stuff there. Yeah, that’s actually a really good point. Um, cause what Mike and I were talking about about identifying it as an as exceptional, it’s never forgotten by an AI model, right? Artificial intelligence is just actual intelligence that never fails. Essentially. You never fail to remember it. You never fail to apply it. You always apply it equally. Um, so that, that’s actually a really, really good point. Yep.

Mike Griswold (00:36:18):

Uh, it, it is and, and I, and I think the, the, the AI piece of that’s really important because that will start to automate and capture some of these insights so that when we have, you know, I think, I think there’s a general school of thought that is that this, well we hopefully don’t say anything like COBIT 19 again, we will see disruptions that look and feel like this and being able to use AI and machine learning to better predict how to respond to that from a demand perspective I think becomes critical. The other thing, Scott, I want to comment real quick on Tom’s comment. When we look at some of the research again, I’ll maybe sneak a little plug for the top 25. When we look at our top 25 research, one of the things those companies have invested in over the years is visibility and visibility platforms and visibility capabilities compared to, um, companies that aren’t necessarily in the top 25. That has not been a priority for them. So that was a great call out on Tom’s part because visibility is huge and will continue to be huge as we deal with different types of disruptions.

Scott Luton (00:37:22):

Absolutely. I wish I was in the visibility business. It is going to be more and more if we thought we’ve heard about visibility and the demands for it in recent years. Just wait for the months ahead. Hey, you know, I’m going to call a quick audible and rip a page out of our playbook here because surely one of the things that got you to pivot and that’s right. One of the things that you, uh, Mike and Greg both got passionate about was that the fashion industry and the retail industry. We’ve got a great comment and question here from Patricia, who’s, who’s with us on LinkedIn. I want to share this with you and get your take and then we’ll, we’ll get to the capacity of the moment, the fashion. So Patricia says here, Patricia V on LinkedIn says the fashion outlets are still closed, including online. What should they do if someone returns something, if they try an item at the store, why have they struggled to keep their online site online site open and shipping out a comment? Sarah, I’ll start with you, Mike.

Mike Griswold (00:38:19):

Yeah, I think you know that when I look at the fashion industry in general, you know, there, and again, I don’t want to necessarily paint with a broad brush, but their adoption of technology, um, particularly science-based technology has been slower than, than other areas, other segments or retail. So things like keeping up with distributed order management, keeping up with, you know, the uh, demand sensing, demand creation tool, um, inventory visibility, right? Some of those, those basic blocking and tackling capabilities, um, have not necessarily been as high a priority for some of those fashion retailers. And therefore they are, they have not been necessarily as equipped to respond as quickly to the surgeon demand. You know, just because people could go to a store, it doesn’t mean they still don’t want to buy clothes. Right? So the ability to service that customer, I think in the volume that we’ve seen to the, to, to the, to Greg’s earlier comment about commerce shutting down or at least physical commerce shutting down, I think they, many of them were not equipped for that search.

Mike Griswold (00:39:26):

I think the other thing that, this is not a fashion unique problem. You know, colleague of mine, Tom Ben Wright, has been talking for years around returns. Uh, and the ability to handle returns has been one of, if not the single biggest problem we’ve had any commerce, uh, on the retail side. And we’ve seen anywhere from a 15 to 25% increase in returns on top of, you know, fashion, which was already at 30% returns because people are saying, Hey, I can’t get to a store, you know, I’m going to buy three of these in three different colors and three different sizes. And, you know, that volume we, we were not an and are not prepared to deal with. So, you know, I, I think, you know, it’s been a scaling problem. I would say, to answer the question specifically, it’s been a scaling problem. Uh, and I think we’re still dealing with a scaling problem, particularly the fashion side. Yep. Hey, real quick, Greg, before you weigh in. Uh, when Mike mentioned that just because folks aren’t in stores doesn’t mean they don’t want to purchase clothes. Our chief marketing officer over here had a big, she was nodding her head, so you got a thumbs up on that point, Mike. All right, Greg,

Greg White (00:40:35):

let’s, let’s talk, uh, talk to Patricia’s questions there. Yeah. Well, I think it’s important to distinguish between fashion and maybe fashion basics or other apparel. Retail for instance, Kohl’s was very equipped, right. Um, to both to both do outbound and reverse commerce in, in this environment. But companies like LVMH who may be selling their goods directly, not so much, and those high fashion brands and high fashion retailers, um, fall into the category, more of them fall into the category, Mike, that you were talking about. Uh, and I, I think it’s important for us to distinguish between the clothes that most of us buy a great right and the clothes that the Kardashians buy. And there are different, you know, marketplaces and different levels of technology though the, the opportunity exists at every level of, of soft goods retail. I would argue too as, as Claudia was talking about earlier, to revisit business models where a certain portion of the goods are wasted by, by part of the, of the model, right?

Greg White (00:41:46):

Where they are meant to go to TJ max or um, Mark down to some extent and then sold off. So if we embrace the technology that Mike’s talking about, then we can be a bit more precise in identifying how many of which products go into what store, in what colors so that we don’t have these massive over, uh, over capacity of product versus what we know demand is going to be. Right. Um, and a lot of that is driven by how merchants I, being a former merchant myself, a lot of that is driven by how merchants are motivated. You’re motivated, right on GMR ROI and, and you do that by putting a lot of product out there and assuming that a bunch of it is going to get marked down. So we need to evaluate, um, some internal processes as well in order to change some of these things.

Scott Luton (00:42:39):

Yeah. And speaking of evolving business models, uh, Claudia had mentioned that today Alibaba announced online luxury outlets to attract millennials. So lots and lots of pivots, uh, ahead, uh, professor Mohib, Greg, going back to your comment earlier, he likes it. China plus one or two or two plus China. He gives that two thumbs up for that later. New ladder, new model, lots of wins. I’ll state love happening. Hey Mike, we’re going to dive into capacity. This will be our most succinct one before we talk about the top 25, but where are you going to comment on what Greg just shared?

Mike Griswold (00:43:17):

Yeah, I think I agree with Greg completely, right? We don’t want to paint all fashion apparel retailers with the same brush. There certainly are some distinctions and I agree completely with the observation on goals. I think the other thing that people, and maybe it does segue as Scott into the capacity piece, I think one of the things, apparel, let’s call them apparel retailers in general and other segments of retail are going to have to consider is the markdown piece, right? We have some, let’s call them maybe higher end apparel folks where you know, markdown is a four letter word, right? They’re going to need to get over that. Uh, or I mean, to me it’s better to get 20% of something than that a hundred percent zero. So I think that’s one, one approach. And the second thing is store to store transfers. Uh, I think there are some segments of retail, some retailers in particular that kind of thumb their nose at sorta store transfers.

Mike Griswold (00:44:06):

Uh, again, I think in the environment, going back to Tom’s earlier comment around visibility, you know, I think having visibility and being ready to pre-position product particularly, I think it becomes, if we think about the capacity element of this, you know, the country is not going to open at the same rate. So large us North American retailers are going to have to take a look at where is this capacity going to open up and do I have inventory there? And if I have inventory in places that aren’t going to open up, I’m going to have to seriously consider how do I get it to places that are going to open up. So that transfer piece I think is going to have to be a viable option for folks.

Greg White (00:44:49):

Good point. No, I think that’s an excellent point. And to put the goods in the right store to begin with. I mean, you know, ages ago we talked about micro merchandising, right, where you don’t stuff a bunch of sweaters into the stores in South Florida, right? I mean some of that, not to that extent, but some of that still does happen. Um, and it’s, you know, it’s another part of the puzzle we need to address.

Scott Luton (00:45:14):

Yup. All right, so I’ve got two other questions, but I’m hoping we can answer these enlightening round style. They’re, they’re not lightening round questions, but let’s see if we can answer them very briefly. And then we’re going to talk about the supply chain top 25, which is always compelling content that comes up each year. So first question, and we’ll pose this to Mike first. This comes from it’s Valentine’s day on LinkedIn. This is Joseph Valentine along with Tom that they’re keeping the conversation going. Yeah, there we go. Do you think contactless returns will become a more prevalent option in the fashion space? I might start with you.

Mike Griswold (00:45:49):

Yeah, I agree. It’s a great question. Yes. Short answer, yes. I think that’s going to happen. I think the other thing that has happened, Greg talked a little bit about curbside pickup. I think retailers that have offered that are going to have to find a way to continue to offer that. Uh, I think we’re going to see a split between the traditional buy online pickup in store transaction where someone’s going to get out of their vehicle and actually navigate a store to a buy online, um, curbside pickup. Um, so people are gonna have to figure out, you know, how to carry that service forward because I think there are segments of retailer’s customer base that have actually liked that transaction, have gotten a great experience. You know, I bought golf balls from Dick’s that way. So my question now is I have a golf ball. I like, do I need to go into Dick’s to get the golf ball or can I do curbside pickup and have someone come out and drop, uh, you know, a box of balls in my car. So in addition to that return question, which was a good one from Joseph, I think this curbside pickup is another, um, transaction that people were going to have to figure out how to keep going.

Scott Luton (00:46:58):

Yep. Greg,

Greg White (00:47:00):

I think that’s an excellent point. And you know, the thing I would point out is that Mike probably buys fewer golf balls than other golfers above average call for buy. They don’t play him for money. Good point. Of course things are going to change how we both buy product and I think we’re really good on that side of the equation. Um, though we are still learning things amazingly just curbside pickup but also, um, you know, in the returns process as well return sensitive. And I can see, you know, we talk with Tony Sharada and his group at the reverse logistics association and we talk a lot about circular economy. I can see companies starting to get aggressive. Mike, I think Tom will be happy to hear this come in. Right? I see companies starting to get aggressive on how to prevent returns rather than facilitate them in a less costly fashion. Good point there.

Scott Luton (00:47:59):

And uh, the RLA, the reverse logistics association is a great resource to for best practices. You can go to [inaudible] dot org for more information there. Okay. You know, the really neat thing is, uh, I love when folks in the stream as questions come in, they start answering the questions and other and that dialogue. That’s right. So that’s great. Um, the second lightning round question comes from Tom Valentine and Thiebaud in the LinkedIn stream was, was answering Tom’s questions. So he says, Kobe has opened our eyes to looking at technology to provide true real time visibility to their supply chain. Spreadsheets are static, not dynamic. The supply chain is dynamic. What cost effective tools do you see midsize and small companies doing to address this issue? So a lightning round, Mike, what you think? Yeah,

Mike Griswold (00:48:49):

no, I think that that’s an area that I, I mean I’ll be transparent. I don’t cover that area so I don’t have thoughts on, on the technology space. I know there is one, I know what’s emerging. We have some visibility, lots of visibility research. I guess if anyone is looking for more insights on that just to have them, you can guys can just ping me Mike dot and I can, I can forward some stuff to you. Um, but it’s just not an area that I spend time in.

Scott Luton (00:49:16):

Yep. Fair enough. Greg,

Greg White (00:49:18):

I think a lot of companies are compiling their own using business intelligence or whatever the heck we’re calling it these days. Types of tools and, and real time integrating into their systems, but also integrating into, um, red, uh, generally available information on the internet as well. Uh, and there are innumerable solutions in that regard.

Scott Luton (00:49:42):

Yeah, great point. Hey, and just a couple of tools that we’ve leveraged currently or for our previously that had been really effective. Slack of course is getting a lot of air cover right now as much as zoom, zoom and Slack. I’ll tell you it’s been a, uh, facing frenzy and then Trello is a really, it doesn’t quite get as much visibility, but Trello is a really interesting tool. We’ve seen a good successful collaboration take place on. Alright, so we’re going to move right along as much as I’d love to keep up the Q and a is my favorite part of these live streams and our webinars. But, uh, Mike, let’s talk about the Gartner supply chain. Um, top 25 for 2020. And for the sake of time, we’re going to move past the background. We’ll have to share some of that next time. Sure. Let’s talk about the criteria, uh, that you,

Mike Griswold (00:50:28):

you bake into the 2020 rankings and any, any, um, new updates on that over 2019. Yeah, sure. So, um, we’ve been doing this for this, this will be year 16. You know, the list starts with, um, fortune and Forbes, uh, company lists need to be publicly traded, 12 billion in revenue. Uh, need to have a supply chain, need to have 50% of your revenue coming from physical products, so that, that gets us to a list of around 300 companies globally. So that’s around the world. Um, different industries, different segments. So it gives us a pretty good population to start with. You know, with the, the criteria itself is 50%, um, financial measures. So the publicly traded companies, we gather all their financials. Uh, we look at, um, return on physical assets, which is new this year. I’ll talk about that briefly. Revenue, uh, and inventory turns.

Mike Griswold (00:51:23):

We, we’ve enhanced, uh, what we used to call CSR, corporate social responsibility. We’ve now enhanced that to what we call ESG, environmental society governance. Um, because we’ve added a couple of new measures to that. So, uh, and then the other 50% is a 25% pure vote. So supply chain professionals, like I’m sure many of the people on this event right now, um, cast votes, we had a 150 ish this year. Um, and then we have an analyst component, right? All of that goes into the hopper, uh, and out spits, you know, an index composite score for each of those measures. Uh, and then that’s how we, we ha we create the ranking. We have, um, five companies that are masters. Uh, those companies have had a top five composite score, seven in the last 10 years. And then we, and then we ranked the other, um, companies in that pool of 300, um, to get our list of, of 25.

Mike Griswold (00:52:19):

So at a very high lightening round, you know, that’s how the methodology works. Uh, in terms of 2020, though, we made some what I feel are pretty significant changes. So, uh, we moved from return on assets, uh, to a return on physical assets, which means we’ve tightened the calculation to really be the assets, the supply chain controls, property, plant equipment and inventory. Uh, and then we took out of the numerator, um, the other, so if you think about the, the calculation, you know, total assets on the top, which would include things that happen from acquisitions that the supply chain doesn’t control. So we stripped all of that out. Uh, and it had probably the biggest impact on shaping the list is that change to return on physical assets. The other thing that we did that I think had a pretty substantial change is we increased the weighting on the ESG component.

Mike Griswold (00:53:18):

It was 10% of the waiting. Now it’s 15% of the weighting because we added two new measures. So we had already done a lot around the environment. So working with a UN global compact, um, GRI, CDP. So folks that deal in the CSR environment will recognize those names. Um, but now we’ve added Ethisphere and Bloomberg, um, to provide us an ethical company list and a gender equality index. So we’ve now added that into the mix in terms of how we evaluate the supply chains. Um, and then we lowered the waiting on inventory. Uh, I won’t go into all the gory details around that. We just lowered that. So the five inventory was 10, it’s now five. We took the five and gave it to ESG. The last thing that I want to call out, uh, and I’ve, I’m doing my best to over communicate this is, you know, the, the, we, we added CSR in 2016 based on feedback from the community and a recognition that the supply chain was being instrumental in driving sustainability for organizations.

Mike Griswold (00:54:24):

We also recognized in 2020 that there’s also work that the organizations are doing around their workforce, which is why we wanted the ethical company representation and we wanted the gender equality in general. We recognize the huge contributions that supply chains make in driving a better planet and driving sustainability. So in that regard, beginning in 2021, if an organization has zero for an ESG score, they will not be ranked. What does that mean? I can tell you right now, there are two companies in that list of 30 that have zero for ESG and in 2022 companies will need a minimum score of three. So it is hugely important to us. Um, it’s, it’s hard for me to say you are one of the 30 best supply chains in the world. If you have an ESG score. Zero. What I, what I’m not saying is that those companies don’t care about the planet. What I am saying is the work that they’re doing is not recognized by our methodology and that’s important to us.

Scott Luton (00:55:34):

Excellent. There’s so much to tackle real quick though for the second time. Yeah. Mike, we’ve got a question from a Varun ask about, is the top 25 available as a download, where, what’s the best Avenue for folks to check that out?

Mike Griswold (00:55:47):

Yeah. So, um, with all of the disruption, you know, we, we typically reveal this at our biggest supply chain events. Um, those have all been postponed. Um, so we’re doing a, uh, a live webinar on May 19th, where we will do the reveal of the companies. We’ll also talk about, I alluded to briefly, you know, one of the key trends, the business model transformers. We’ve, we’ve got three trends. Um, so that webinar on the 19th is 10:00 AM Eastern time, uh, open to anyone and everyone that’s interested in learning more about the top 25. Um, and then I’ll be doing a replay of, um, at 8:00 PM that by the night of the 19th for folks in Asia Pacific. So the 19th is when we will reveal that in the webinar. And then the published note should be available at noon-ish, uh, right after the webinar. Yep. Outstanding. All right, so Greg, coming back to you. So, um, quick follow up on what Mike shared prior to that webinar and then we’re fortunate to have Mike come back after the big reveal the week after and take a deeper dive. Right, right. So, so speak first to a lot of what Mike shared around the rankings.

Greg White (00:56:59):

Well, I mean, first of all, I think that one of the most important things is the increased value of ESG there. Um, and, um, you know, because that goes to a lot of the things that are becoming prominent in supply chains. What we’ve seen is that, and Mike, it seems like it wasn’t so long ago that we were saying supply chain is not, is no longer a necessary evil. It’s a co it’s a competitive differentiator. And now I think it’s even more than that. It is a big portion of your brand identity. Because if you, if, because people can easily find out some of the ESG components of your supply chain, they can find out if your supply chain is efficient and cost effective. And if you have, you know, if you have forced labor or you know, any quality or any or unsustainable practice in your supply chain, then that is reflecting on your entire brand. I mean, entire brands are being implicated. Um, and, and, um, the consumer, as the consumer has become more empowered, that’s a more valuable component of, of the evaluation of supply chain. So to me, the big, the big thing there is that the Gartner and Mike in particular have taken the time and the effort to make sure that we’re promoting ethical fair business practice as well as efficient and cost effective practice.

Mike Griswold (00:58:29):

Outstanding. Hey, real quick, before we talk about the other webinars or follow up on that commentary, I want to point out to our audience that, especially those on LinkedIn, Amanda has posted the link to the Gardner revealed the registration link so you can go straight there. Oh, thank you. You bet. And then of course we’re, uh, we’ve got our followup event or uh, May 27th and you can find that there at [inaudible] dot com. Mike, I think you were going to follow up on what Greg just shared. Yeah, just real quick, you know, just a, um, a kind of a quick decomposition of what we look at. Just as one example to Greg, what you were speaking about when we, we get, um, you know, we partnered with CDP as I mentioned. Um, you know, folks submit their, their sustainability efforts to CDP and they get graded.

Mike Griswold (00:59:15):

Ella just as one small component CDP grades on carbon water and forests. So it’s, it is a very encompassing approach to how we’re treating the planet. Um, and, and again, great to your point, I think it just reemphasizes you know, well, I started at AMR, it feels like a long time ago we wrote a book called supply chain saves the world. It was probably well ahead of its time, but I think, you know, it’s probably not hyperbole to say that the supply chains of today are in fact maybe not saving the world, but they’re definitely helping the world get through this pandemic. And I’ve never seen, other than we may have joked about this last time, other than, you know, Jack Ryan on the Amazon series as a supply chain analyst that that made supply chain cool. I think we’ve never had as much exposure, you know, good and bad, uh, around the supply chain and what it does for, for the world. Um, you know, throughout this, uh, this pandemic. Yeah. Excellent. Agree.

Scott Luton (01:00:18):

All right, we’ve got to wind the conversation down. We’ve got a little, a little bit of feedback from John B on LinkedIn. I really enjoyed the session. Thanks for continue to bring value, Scott, Greg and Mike, so really appreciate that. Appreciate everybody that tuned in. We’re going to go over just a minute or two here, but we want to make sure folks know where to go to get more information. We have put the Gardner direct link out, I think across all, all five of our social feeds. Uh, the webinar, the followup webinar with Mike Griswold. We’re going to dive deeper, uh, is May 27th. You can find that on our site and bring your folks, everyone tuned in. The thing is, as much as Greg and I both enjoy Mike Griswold’s insights and perspective, you know, get all the comments and the questions from the audience.

Scott Luton (01:01:00):

That makes it even better hopefully for everyone. So bring that with you. Whether you go to the or webinar, you come to ours, bring your, you know, your voice with you. We want to dive into that and pose your questions and comments to Mike. All right. Beyond the Gartner webinar, we want to offer one other great resource to folks. Of course, unfortunate hurricane seasons right around the corner. That will certainly make things even more challenging for many global supply chains. There’s a free webinar with the folks over at resilience three 60 coming up on May 14th and you can get a lot of their insights on how to mitigate and manage the risk associated with the upcoming hurricane season. And then finally, two quick points. And Mike, thanks for being a great sport here. Um, Greg, we’ve got supply chain trivia coming up. Uh, May 13th a little departure from most of our content, right? Yeah, yeah. Well, I mean, will mr inventory Demetrios coolest? Will he defend his title belt? It was a very close race between he and several other experts. Mike, if you have the time, I’d love to see. Okay. But I’m going to say, you know, depending on your level of, of comfort, you may want to use an alias because I’m not as confident that he could win as, as, as a he, he wanted to be

Greg White (01:02:20):

and he didn’t reveal himself personally until right at the end. So, um, that was a what a great fun event. Right? But it is, and we’re using a new platform. We had a few glitches last time, but, um, we’re using a new platform and we’re going to make sure that everyone gets to participate. We had Nickeel in India two 40 and two 30 in the morning. It’s time actually competing and competing strongly until finally internet slowdowns. Um, just kind of disabled them. But, um, but anyway, we hope we’ve solved a big, big portion of that this time around. Always continuous improvement. We all, you know, it’s a journey. Never with the finish line. Hey, uh, Jenny Froome who’s doing some big things with say pics in South Africa for, for supply chain, uh, she chimes in with, it’s true that dark clouds have several linings. Absolutely.

Greg White (01:03:12):

Jenny, we appreciate that. Hope you and your family are doing well. Uh, one last thing. Uh, we are leading a breakout session on the future of supply chain at, uh, the vet Lana third quarter to three summit. It’s gonna be May 14th, Kay KPMG is hosting that, but come check that out. We’ve got Terriel Hanlin with gray orange. We have Kathy Maura Robertson with legit logistics TNI, uh, trends and insights all, but you’re both sitting on that panel, Greg, that’s going to shape up to be an outstanding event, right? Yeah, I think it will, that’ll be interesting, the juxtaposition of supply chain and veteran careers, right? That’s right. Uh, you can learn more at [inaudible] dot com for any of that. Hey, if you, if you can’t find one of the things we’ve mentioned today, whether it’s a gardener resource or one other things, shoot us a note to Amanda at [inaudible] dot com and we’ll serve as a resource for you. Hey, Mike, uh, fi if you could give us one final challenge or key observation that folks really need to take from this conversation and let’s make sure folks know how to reach out to you. Yeah.

Mike Griswold (01:04:17):

So Mike Roswell, Mike died I think the thing that I’ve observed is that no one, uh, no one, no one organization gets through this alone. It’s about the ecosystem of partners that you’ve created to Greg’s earlier point around suppliers. And the question around suppliers, um, everyone needs to, to be comfortable reaching out across their ecosystem, you know, to get through this because no one will get through this in isolation.

Greg White (01:04:45):

Yeah. Outstanding. Uh, and, and folks, even though Mike and the list is a top 25 list is focused on these large global companies, I promise you that whether you’re a small business leader, mid sized business, you’re going to have some great key takeaways that that will improve your organization. Right? Greg? No doubt. Yeah. I mean there, there’s some, there things that any size entity can learn from what the best in the industry are doing. And as Mike said, they’re sort of limited to assessing public companies because so much of the data that

Scott Luton (01:05:18):

they want is available. Um, and, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not a lot that companies of any size can apply here. Yep. Abs well said. Both of you gentlemen. Hey, it’s been a pleasure. Thanks so much Mike, for your time once again this month. Greg, the same for you. I love these conversations. I love the interaction with the audience. Uh, I’ve learned, I’ve got about eight pages of notes, Mike, so thanks so much. Uh, one of the things, Mike Griswold, vice-president analysts with Gartner for joining us here today, along with Greg white, my cohost and trusted business advisor, uh, to our audience. Thanks so much for bringing it today. We look forward to our next live stream with you. And with all that said, have a great week. Stay safe, everybody brighter, brighter days. Certainly lie ahead and we’ll see you next time here at supply chain now. Thanks. Thanks everyone.

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Watch as Scott and Greg welcome Mike Griswold with Gartner to Supply Chain Now.

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Mike Griswold serves as Vice President Analyst with Gartner’s Consumer Value Chain team, focusing on the retail supply chain. He is responsible for assisting supply leaders in understanding and implementing demand-driven supply chain principles that improve the performance of their supply chain. Mr. Griswold joined Gartner through the company’s acquisition of AMR. Previous roles include helping line-of-business users align corporate strategy with their supply chain process and technology initiatives. One recent study published by a team of Gartner analysts, including Mike Griswold is Retail Supply Chain Outlook 2019: Elevating the Consumer’s Shopping Experience. Mr. Griswold holds a BS in Business Management from Canisius College and an MBA from the Whittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire. Learn more about Gartner here:


Greg White

Principal & Host

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Vicki White


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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

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

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Kim Reuter


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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Allison Giddens


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

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

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Billy Taylor


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

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

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

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

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Tandreia Bellamy


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

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

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

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

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Marty Parker


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

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

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jake Barr


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

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Marcia Williams


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

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Manager & Executive Producer

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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