Supply Chain Now Episode 358

Episode Summary

On this episode of Supply Chain Now, Scott and Greg cover the top news in supply chain for the week of May 11th.

Episode Transcript

Scott Luton (00:00:01):

Well want to get whiteboard. All right. Hey Scott, Luton and Greg white here with you on supply chain. Now welcome to today’s live stream where it’s all about the supply chain buzz, right Greg? It is all about blockchain buzz. After I accidentally hit the a button on my surface pencil and brought up the white board. Now it’s all about the supply chain buzz. Let’s talk about what’s important in supply chain now. That’s right, and that’s what this series is all about, right? We’re, we’re today we’ve got four stories teed up, recent developments, important developments and we’re going to walk through that based on some other great reporting and then give you our take on what, what may be the most important things to know about these developments. So all about supply chain buzz. So stay tuned as we like to say for a very informative, lively, interactive discussion where we will incorporate our audience as well.

Scott Luton (00:00:54):

Or our aim is singular. We’re looking to increase your supply chain leadership IQ, right, Greg? Indeed. All right. So before we get started, a quick programming, if you liked the live stream, be sure to check out our podcast wherever you get your podcasts from today. We published our third episode, third installment of a four episode series with Sarah Barnes Humphrey, right? Yeah. Um, we were talking about talent. That’s right, right. We have the live stream last week where we reviewed the first couple episodes and previewed the coming episodes. This is one of those that we previewed and as Sarah said, she posted on LinkedIn. I don’t know if you got a chance to see it, Scott. She said she may or may not have slightly challenged HR professionals and we know we had a lively and and Frank conversation. You know, we all have room for improvement and certainly for not challenging folks and we’re not having the conversations we need to move the industry forward.

Scott Luton (00:01:52):

So, Hey, real quick, before we talk about this day in history, when, uh, uh, give a shout out to some folks, Kathy Maura Robertson, uh, who, uh, is following along to some degree on LinkedIn. I bet she is conducting some analysis. And if you haven’t checked out the logistics trends and insights, they’ve got a great newsletter shock full of industry insights. So looking forward to Kathy’s going to be on that future of supply chain, uh, panel event. Uh, this coming Thursday, Greg Kathy is doing research and under her voice she’s about to say has always the Greg though I always read, I love that she’s even listening to us. I just feel, I feel like we’ve made it when Kathy’s at least listening to it. All right. Brian Bird song a ups or is tuned in via LinkedIn live in a ups has been doing a lot of great things during these challenging times.

Scott Luton (00:02:44):

Joseph Valentino, uh, it’s Valentine’s day. Every day I think is either Joseph or our friend Tom said that, uh, and Kyle Reeves who has been really active both in the live stream on social media, uh, great to have all of you as, as today’s supply chain. But so with no further ado, let’s make it worth their while. Tell me a little bit about this day in history this day in history. It is already May 11th. So on this date, Greg, in 1858, Minnesota was admitted to the United States as the 32nd state land of 10,000 lakes. But what I hear there’s a lot more than 10,000 lakes. Yeah. So this picture here, so this is one of the landmarks in Minnesota. Uh, believe it or not, this is a Minnesota. It’s on Lake superior. This is the split rock lighthouse. It’s on the North shore of Lake superior in silver Bay, Minnesota.

Scott Luton (00:03:38):

This was completed in 1910, five years after a spat, uh, where a storm clean 29 ships. Well, uh, in 1905 and much to some people’s surprise, perhaps there’s still a ton of shipping activity on the great lakes. Uh, over 160 million tons of cargo in fact, are still moved through the region that supports 329,000 jobs in the U S and Canada. Does that, uh, does that sound about right to you Greg? It’s an impressive number. I don’t know the numbers, but having lived up there, I lived in Detroit for a while as a kid. And then having worked with a lot of companies up there, Wausau paper and mills, fleet farm and quality farm and fleet, um, I’ve been all over the great lakes up there. And of course they go out and they, so many of them connect with the Hudson river and that’s how so many, um, how so many, uh, bits of goods get to the Midwest.

Scott Luton (00:04:36):

Right? That’s right. That’s right. Of course. Chicago’s into the great supply chain city. Yup. Um, alright, so Sylvia, speaking of, of harbors and, and, uh, see cargo shipping, Sylvia says greetings from Charleston where they’ve seen a lot of growth in that port as well, and deepening, uh, and our friend memory, uh, one of the, of our livestream thought leaders, really man time is it in South Africa? Sorry, series. About to tell me. Actually it is 6:05 PM in case you’re wondering, six Oh five today. Thank you. Memory for working late. That’s right. And she says hello from Johannesburg. So great to have you back memory. All right, so driving right along, see if I’ve got our graphic teed up here. So also, uh, so AI of course, is all the rage these days, right? It’s going to be more prevalent in 2020 than ever before. Uh, on this date in 1997, deep blue defeats Garry Kasparov in the last game of the rematch.

Scott Luton (00:05:34):

So the IBM supercomputer, the every, everybody, especially if you grew up in the nineties, you knew what deep blue was. It wasn’t just a rock and roll group. Uh, it became the first device to beat a world champion chess player in classic match format. So a little black little backstory there. Deep blue loss to Kasparov in 1996, but the IBM team came in and they really up the ante and rebuilt the computer. In fact, unofficially it was known as deeper blue for the rematch in 97 and it came back, uh, armed to the teeth and beat Gary Kasparov and he was done to please there. There was a lot of images. This one came from, from Reuters of the match itself, but there’s lots of images. Where were mr Kasparov was not happy, but the robots are coming. The robots are coming. They’re already here, right? Greg,

Greg White (00:06:24):

one of the greatest minds of the planet ever. And certainly the greatest chess player of his time, at the very least, maybe ever, um, kind of a John Henry story, if you think about it, Scott, right? John Henry and the steam engine, yep. Driving spikes on the railroad. And you know, this, this happened over 20 years ago. So those of you clinging to your spreadsheets and manual processes and paperwork,

Scott Luton (00:06:52):

let it go. That’s right.

Greg White (00:06:55):

Much, much smarter than, and more, more trained, highly trained at his gifts than any of us have been. Um, and he eventually lost to the machine.

Scott Luton (00:07:05):

So that’s a great point there. Great point, Greg. Uh, real quick, Nathan has been to Duluth, Minnesota, beautiful place. Nathan is tuned in via LinkedIn, uh, live today. Uh, Michael [inaudible]. Ms Cindy, I may have gotten that wrong, Michael, but, uh, glad to have you. Greetings from Kenya. Michael, great to have you here. And let’s see here. One, I think we got one more story for today in history. It’s always fascinating to take a look back, right? So today, uh, in 1998, a French mint produced the first coins of Europe’s single currency, the Euro. Wow. So do you happen to know and, and, and you know what I meant at Google this, this morning before we went live, I checked it out yesterday. Do you happen to know the current exchange rate of the U S dollar to the European Euro? Hey, Siri, Siri to the rescue.

Scott Luton (00:07:59):

So yesterday it was a dollar was your was worth about a dollar and 8 cents. You’re a dollar Euro. Yeah, that’s right. Wow. That was yesterday. So I’m not sure what the rates are today, but interesting enough. All right, so also May 11th is celebrated as national technology day in India, which, believe it or not, that national day in India is tied to a five successful nuclear tests that took place in 1998 where the, you know, the, the holiday traces its history to Vietnam. It’s Vietnam human rights day, which dates back to 1994. And with all that being said, Greg, let’s dive into the buds. What’s your thing?

Greg White (00:08:43):

Let’s do that. Um, yeah, let’s talk about PMI. So we’re not going to open with good news folks, but Hey, sometimes you gotta face the hard truths, right? Right, right. And I think it’s important for us to know where we stand, uh, as we go through, uh, these, this difficult, uh, time. So forgive me while I look down a little bit at my notes here, but, uh, the PMI contracted 7.6 percentage points. This is from March to April to 41.5%. The lowest indicator in the manufacturing sector or of, uh, of, uh, manufacturing contraction. Um, since 2009. This is the only way the PMI has put out by the Institute for supply management. Formerly the, uh, the, um, I can’t remember what the name of the organization was before, but it merged with another. Um, so remember PMI over 50% means growth under 50% means, uh, decline, right?

Greg White (00:09:47):

So new orders posted a a 15.1% declined to 27.1%. Again, lowest reading since 2008. And the largest one month drop recorded since 1950. One case, I don’t know, that was almost 70 years ago. I can do that. I mean, when you put it in that perspective, that’s pretty substantial. Also, remember that in 1951, we were coming off production from, uh, transitioning from the war effort to building all kinds of cars and bikes and buildings and whatnot for people coming back from the war effort to get back to work. So there was a, there was a different, completely different reason for that drop then and, and not as negative and indicator to the economy as it as it is now. Yeah. Um, so, you know, obviously there’s been a big drop here in Scott. Thank you. Has added this, uh, graphic here that shows the dip in China, the lighter blue and then, and then ultimately the dip that has followed areas following in the States.

Greg White (00:10:59):

So whether we’ll see that level of depth, we reported on the depth of the dip in China some weeks back. Um, but this is the bullwhip effect, right? This is the effect of demand declining, production declining, and then of course, supply, uh, declining on the backside of that. So we’re starting to see some impacts of the, of the bullwhip effect there. Um, you know, some of the, some of the, some segments did actually increase food and beverage and paper products. Um, we’re the only ones out of 18 manufacturing industries that ism tracks that showed growth in April. So, um, memory says that Greg, you are a encyclopedia of information. Some might say a font of useless knowledge. I studied

Scott Luton (00:11:54):

history and what was your favorite? And so I’m sure we both use encyclopedias back in the day before the internet was around. For us it was encyclopedia Britannica. I think my grandparents gave us a couple of additions of that. What did you use grownup?

Greg White (00:12:09):

It was encyclopedia Britannica. So when I was a kid, we all lived, my parents, grandparents and great grandparents all lived on three houses on two lots in Wichita, Kansas. And all that stuff was in one house. Cause I mean we weren’t wealthy so we often pooled our money to buy stuff and it always wound up in my great grandparents house. And so we did have an encyclopedia Britannica

Scott Luton (00:12:35):

along to the whole family. Love that. Which being an air come door to door and sell it to you, the air capital of the world, Wichita, Kansas. Good stuff there. 19, 17 South Washington in case you’re wondering, you can drive by and see my homestead. Alright, so anything else related to this first story, uh, that you, you want to share?

Greg White (00:12:57):

I think, I think the indicators are showing that we can expect a continued downward trend for, for a period of time. The truth is, in my opinion, I always like to qualify that, that we will start to see, uh, this come out once as the restrictions on this seismic societal disruption. Thank you again, um, to Brad Jacobs for that term. Um, as we start to see the, the restrictions easing and people getting back to commerce in, um, in the various States and municipalities as they start to bring industry back online, I can tell you here in Georgia, um, and particularly on Saturday, it, uh, you know, as we were driving around, uh, my wife said this looks like any other Saturday, you know, traffic and transport and parking lots, um, are starting to fill up. Interesting and different. Everyone is wearing masks and everyone is maintaining social distance. And I think, and I applaud them for that, but it’s interesting to see how commerce can come back and frankly, I think the retailers in, you know, in Georgia, at least the ones that I’ve seen, they’re doing the right thing, restaurants and whatnot. So anyway, we, we won’t see this turnaround until we’ve turned the economy back on.

Scott Luton (00:14:23):

Yup. Great point. Hey, want to shout out to a couple of folks. So Claudia freed is tuned in via LinkedIn live. Goodness. It feels like we’re alone out here. If we don’t have Cathy Robertson, we don’t have memory and we don’t have Claudia. That’s right. Good, good point. Uh, so Claudia, I hope you’re doing well. Also. Joseph Maretta who’s with technologies, he’s an active participant and yeah, going back to Joseph, uh, Valentine, I didn’t pick this up on the first couple of shows he joined us for. He is in the world of logistics. So Joseph, here’s a challenge for you. I would love to get, you know, that’s a, I’m speaking of challenging components of global supply chain right now. Reverse logistics and returns processing. You know, that’s always complex, right? But in this environment, uh, it’s even more complex. So we’d love to get your insights there.

Scott Luton (00:15:09):

Just a Valentine, a couple of observations from what’s going on in the reverse logistics space. That’d be great. Alright, so let’s keep driving this next story. So, um, this is the question on so many people’s mind. Insert product here, right? Toilet paper, paper towels. That’s right. Yeah. So Greg, this comes to us from, uh, Sharon Turlock over at the wall street journal. Uh, so what do big foot Lochness monster, accurate forecasts and disinfectant wipes all have in common? Nobody’s ever seen them. They’re all rumored to exist. That’s right. Right. So, uh, kidding aside, I think, you know, most of the country here in the States, at least we have seen, you know, toilet paper. Being able to find that a little bit easier, we can even find some hand sanitizer more at least than you could, you know, a month or so ago. Not always, but, but more than, than what you could, what little while back.

Scott Luton (00:16:06):

But this infect wipes still have been really tough to find. So why exactly is that? So in this great article from the wall street journal, um, you know, they identify as, as any of our listeners may, uh, connect with from our previous shows, demand is still a huge juggernaut, right? So take a look at Clorox, one of the leading manufacturers of disinfecting wipes in the industry. The company has increased production of disinfectant products by a whopping 40%. That’s massive given their footprint. But sales of the same products have increased to five times the normal level at times during this panic pandemic environment. So according to Nielsen, right, it’s the same a hundred percent. I mean, it’s unbelievable, right? That is an unbelievable uplift. Yep. So according to Nielsen, the same folks that measure all kinds of things, including television ratings, USLS of disinfect, disinfected wipes were up 140%, 146% for the eight week period that ended March 25th, 2020.

Scott Luton (00:17:11):

So even when, to your point earlier, we’re seeing some little bit sense of normal normalcy kind of creep back in. Still wipes are going off the charts and really we can expect that probably four months. Come on that in just a second. So that level of demand, whether it’s solar paper, whether it’s wipes or whether it’s it’s meat or anything else that’s really difficult to plan for, especially in industries that typically this demand comes out of nowhere, right? It’s not tied to anything you could forecast for, you know, six months ago, even a year ago. So this article here references Clorox CFOs, Kevin Jacobson who says, quote, we’re shipping canisters of wipes every day to our customers and within 30 to 45 minutes they’re gone from the shelves. The demand has outstripped what anybody could have imagined in a quote that comes from the chief financial officer’s office.

Scott Luton (00:18:06):

So Baton until that paper, right? Cause that was all the rage and they’re still getting some questions in some markets, haven’t quite seen as much consistency as others, but you know, we’re seeing less Horton, right? Because every American seems like it’s already filled up their garage, so they can’t take on anymore. It seems like at least. And the major manufacturers also, uh, the production gains have started to help address these gaps as well. Hand sanitizers, as we’ve talked about, that’s become a little bit more available. We’ve seen a lot of companies come into and start making hand sanitizer. Right. That’s helped.

Greg White (00:18:41):

Scott, I’m talking to, um, one of the owners at granddaddy Mims. Um, who is, is doing that, I’m talking to one of them tonight. So it’ll be interesting to hear what they, you know, what they are experiencing in terms of, of shifting their production like that. By the way, real quick shout out to anyone who’s in the wine and spirits industry when demand is up over 40%. Some of them are sacrificing, fulfilling that demand to help fulfill the need for these kinds of essential products. And that is, that’s a big move if you think about it. That is a give forward moment.

Scott Luton (00:19:21):

Great point. Great point. So why are wipes so challenging? So, so a couple of points here. So first off, of course you’ve got to source the fabric, but, but more challenging, you’ve got to mix a fabric with this specific chemical mix that meets EPA standards for what can be promoted as effective for knocking out SARS cov two which is what is the evidently is the virus that causes COBIT 19 so if you’re going to promote certain things that these disinfectant wipes or anything else that’s disinfected can promote, you’ve got to meet those certain guidelines. So they had to change their formula then, uh, I, I’m sure, and, and recently

Greg White (00:20:00):

there was no SARS Cove too, right? It’s, it’s a, it’s a new virus. Yep. So they’ve act, so part of their production shift is not only been to increase volume, but to change their formula as well.

Scott Luton (00:20:12):

Well, you know, I speak from years and years of failing chemistry class to be able to completely not be able to answer your question related to that, Greg, but I’m sure there’s folks out there that’s for sure. Right? That’s right. Um, so yeah, that’s a great question. Had they had to update their, the chemical formula so that it could address COBIT 19. I don’t know. It’s a great question. Um, back to demand though. The arts, this article talks about how prior to the pandemic environment, only about half of American households at least really use and purchase disinfecting wipes. So not only of course with the massive change, uh, which is also reflected in sales, not only are those households buying a lot more, but you had a lot of new customers come into the mix. Right? And that’s again, challenging to forecast. So

Greg White (00:21:03):

well it also changes the dynamic of production, the lines, the lines for toilet paper because it’s a commodity. The lines for milk, eggs, bread, butter, whatnot. They are already built for high speed, high volume,

Scott Luton (00:21:18):

the, the

Greg White (00:21:19):

production lines for products like this, they’re are not built for that high level of volume. And it does put a strain on a production capacity to have to try to produce at that level. And ordinarily that growth would come over months or years, not days.

Scott Luton (00:21:35):

Great point. And that’s where we’re going. So what is Clorox? One of the leading manufacturers of disinfected wipes. What are they doing about it? Well, they’re doing a lot about it and kudos to the whole Clorox team and our manufacturing team or supply chain team. Of course, they were one of our award winners with the Atlanta supply chain awards back in March before the world changed. But four things in particular. Number one, they’re running plants 24, seven to increase production, you know, 40%. Clearly they’re using third party manufacturers to help increase inventory. They’re ceasing production of some lines that aren’t as relevant during these pandemic, uh, uh, times that we live in to gain that capacity for more disinfectant wipes. And fourthly, in the bigger picture, this, this is one of the most interesting things about articles that I found at least, you know, a toilet paper.

Scott Luton (00:22:27):

We know anyone that knows supply chain knows that was just a temporary demand. That demand wasn’t going to be around for 50 years. So it did not make sense for these paper manufacturers to go out and invest in massive new lines or new plants because it was temporary demand. Right. Well, uh, on the other hand, Clorox believes this demand for their products for disinfection disinfectant wipes for some reason that’s just not rolling right off the tongue here today. Yeah, it’s hard. That’s right. They’re predicting this demand is going to hang around for months to come based on how some of our cleaning behaviors are going to be changing. So they are, they are investing in new production lines as they expect that demand to remain high. So, you know, interesting. The differences between products, between consumer products, between the different manufacturing rules of thumb. And I’ll tell you again, Clorox, it, uh, they are making it happen, no pun intended. So Greg, what was your, uh, tell us what, what are you thinking here?

Greg White (00:23:33):

Well, I mean, I think we need to talk to Rick McDonald, VP of ops at Clorox, right. Um, who we’ve had on the show before. I’d be interested to see what they’re doing. I, I hope they’re trying to solve the proximate problem

Scott Luton (00:23:46):

before they try to solve the longer term problem. And I sense that they are, but this is a dramatic shift in a product. Again that didn’t have that level of demand. And by the way, um, the issues with supply, sustainable supply, uh, at least at retail for toilet paper and paper towels continue to exist. Yep. Um, and I’m going to give all consumers a tip here and that is a tip that I received from my local Publix grocery store chain manager here in, in Cobb County, Georgia. People are asking the store employees when the truck with particular products arrives and trying to meet the truck at the store, which is why those goods are running out in such a short period of time. Additionally, the manual processes in most grocery store chains, not Costco necessarily, but in most grocery store chains, they don’t know what they have in inventory. Their systems don’t yet capture that. And they also don’t, in many cases, at least in the States, and this will be a literally foreign concept for anyone, most anyone outside of the States because in Europe and Asian and the rest of the Americas, by the way, retailers, grocery retailers do know what they have and they do have automated systems. But because we don’t have automated systems, it’s in my head how much I’m going to adapt to this. Right. To go back to the Gary Kasparov and deep blue.

Scott Luton (00:25:22):

Alright. So, uh, I want to give a couple of so good, good points there. Absolutely Greg. And there’s so many different ways. It’s tough to dive into a story like this that impacts a global sector of our, uh, consumer goods in 10 minutes or less. But I want to give a quick shout out to a couple of folks. You know, you can’t talk about the air capital of the world without having gone, isn’t he? When I was thinking about people that we should have, we should be seeing out there in the world. Mohave is out there. So yes, and Mohib says air capital, world converging point of global supply chain to take their maiden flights. My most favorite place in the world. So great to have you here. Where this once again, pro professor Mohit. Um, all right, so Nathan, Greg, you started to share some of the substitute things you can use.

Scott Luton (00:26:11):

Nathan also comes in. Nathan Sparks, I believe, and says, here’s a substitute. You can create a home during the disinfecting wipes shortage, ketorolac, cut of, cut a roll of paper towels in half and add rubbing alcohol and dish detergent to the container. It’s also more sustainable as you are reusing the container. Good stuff there from Nathan. Felicia, our our one of our dear friends, Felicia with the reverse logistics association says you can also use water and Clorox at a ratio of five to one water to Clorox of Felicia. Hope you, Tony and the RLA team are doing well. Looking forward to reconnect.

Greg White (00:26:51):

[inaudible] and Nathan were awake during chemistry.

Scott Luton (00:26:54):

I applaud them for that. Unlike me, chemistry never was my strong suit. Uh, and also, uh, Mohave says good to joints at supply chain now and get my weekly dosage of supply chain, buzz, entertainment and happiness. Hey, all right, let’s see. We’re going to keep on driving. Uh, and so memory, uh, Amanda, if you’d grab me. OK, great. It’s coming. All right. We’ve got a couple of comments and questions from the audience that will get up on the visual here momentarily. But let’s go back to story number three, if my graphics will work here. All right, so in store number three, we’re talking to potential new factories in here in the U S right? Correct.

Greg White (00:27:37):

Yeah. So, um, we, you know, one of the big topics coming out of this is the need to reshore or near-shore or you know, we’ve heard a lot about China plus one or China plus two in terms of production options and sourcing options or two-plus China, whatever somebody’s philosophy is. But this is, um, this to me is good news. It is an active collaboration between companies like Intel who have long since been trying to bring both their capital and their production back into the States and Washington to start to make that happen. We’ve talked in previous episodes, I’ll get back to the specific about the chip makers, but we’ve talked in previous episodes about how we used to produce a lot of our medicines in the States, in Puerto Rico specifically. Um, our, I’m going to say 51st state. I hope all my friends in Puerto Rico take that the right way.

Greg White (00:28:36):

Um, but, um, we, the capabilities, the, um, regulations and the, um, incentives that existed for a period of time, they lapsed and a lot of companies moved from Puerto Rico. Um, but the capacity and the skills still exist in Puerto Rico to be able to do that. This is another example of where they’re trying to, and I think they should use Puerto Rico as a model by the way here. But this is another opportunity where Intel and the department of defense are in discussions to improve domestic sourcing for microelectronics and other related technology. So that’s, um, from William Moss, uh, from the department of defense. So, um, there, there are other companies, not just American companies, Taiwan semiconductor manufacturing, TMS, TSMC, um, had already been in talks with the department of commerce about building a factory, but hadn’t made a final decision yet. So again, in an effort to, um, to at least broaden our sourcing and manufacturing capabilities, this is a good indicator. Government is a slow moving and slow turning ship, right? Glacially slow. We want them, as we’ve said in previous episodes, not to rush to any kind of solution. It’s never good when government rushes anywhere. Um, but we want, but it’s good to see that they have started trying to solve this problem. Another thing that we have seen among companies as well is not only trying to survive this seismic societal disruption, but also to plan for this and other risk potential or even disruptions that that could be coming in the future.

Scott Luton (00:30:33):

Well put. Um, well hopefully, you know, we’ll see. And going back to the China plus one comment you made, I had a fascinating conversation with a friend of mine that’s really tuned into central and South America and, and the manufact and all the industry down there. And he was talking about how there’s a conversation brewing about how, while we know a lot of the production activities are gonna stay somewhere in Asia, you know, for those that may leave China and may go to, you know, Vietnam or someones other countries over there. But he was making the case for bringing some of that industry to central and South America. Absolutely. Which is, which is an, you know, that near shoring, uh, uh, a theme that we’ve all heard about because let’s face it, some of it just isn’t, uh, it’s not a good fit for the mix as you’ve spoken to at length of the labor and workforce available here in the States. So, right. It’s going to be really interesting to see as different industries, geographic markets around the world, look to vie for a piece of any of the pod that is going to be shifted to, you know, out of China. So a lot, a lot more to come on this, right?

Greg White (00:31:41):

Well, yeah, I mean, just to be clear, by the way, Samsung already has a chip manufacturing facility in Austin, Texas and the government is working with them. Department of commerce, I believe. Let me check that. Us officials, sorry, is all they say, but they’re working with them to expand that capability. And those discussions are ongoing. But if you think about it, um, Canada, Mexico, lots of the South American countries do have really educated and really capable workforces. Um, I don’t know how anyone knows this, but Claudia freed, my friend knows I’m a huge fan of Argentina, a lot of off, uh, off shoring, I guess if you could even call it that. It’s a long drive, but you can drive to Argentina. Um, but a lot of the outsourcing of, of um, technology development occurs in Argentina and in Chile and in, in other countries around, uh, South America, Brazil.

Greg White (00:32:39):

Well, right. So there are opportunities right here in our part of the world to, to do those that, you know, to do those kinds of things. If we can’t make the economics work here in the States, we can at least be associated with friendlier and closer sourcing partners. Yep. Great points there. A lot more to come. Speaking of Claudia, that’s, so going back to some of the things we’re talking about earlier about, uh, transportation schedules kind of being reevaluate, reevaluated and reworked. She weighed in that big lots is not revealing their delivery schedule, although folks are looking to buy garden furniture, which they’ve put on sale. Hey, you moved point Claudia because, uh, Costco, my wife is very diligent and she learned the trick from the folks at Publix and um, she went to the store and said, when is it toilet paper and paper towels coming in.

Greg White (00:33:38):

And they said, we don’t know what is on our trucks until they arrive. Wow. That’s, I mean, I’m an old time retailer. Lots of people know that I worked for an auto parts chain in the early to mid nineties. And even then we knew what was on the trucks. We knew everything that was on the shelf. So it’s not because the technological capability hasn’t existed for over two decades. Right. It’s because they have chosen not to use it. And that is something that I’m certain Costco is a great organization. They’re very highly advanced in a lot of ways. That’s something that they have to be looking to resolve. They must be, if you think about companies planning to do things, I got to believe that. Grocery store chains. Um, and you know, we’ve talked a little bit with Mike Griswold about this. I’ve got to believe that grocery store chains are looking to automate, um, stock status, what they, what they know they hold in the stores and how they fulfill those stores.

Greg White (00:34:41):

They’ve got to be looking to automate that. And Costco likewise, yeah. Into, into what’s coming is crucial. Yep. Great point. And I’m sure visibility will be a big part of our webinar with Mike Griswold of Gartner on May 27th more, more to come on that momentarily. Hey, going back a little bit further. So memory weighed in when we’re talking about the disinfectant wipes and as we’ve seen a lot of new product, new from new people, new new companies flood into the market, she says, Hey, is there any form of regulation to ensure that the sanitizer manufacturers are actually selling standardized sanitizers? Opportunists are popping up and riding the demand wave. You’re right. And just like we’ve all seen the stories of certain, um, lack of quality and defective PPE equipment, which unfortunately is a huge safety issue. Right. Um, I’m not sure what the, uh, EPA and other similar regulatory agencies

Scott Luton (00:35:38):

are doing because Greg, to your point, they’re trying to act fast and move fast to meet the demand, meet the demand and the need. And I can respect that. However, in any agency’s efforts to move fast, what’s getting in under the radar? I don’t know. That’s a great, great point there for memory. I think, look, we again, some weeks ago we started talking about sourcing relationships, B2B sourcing relationships. I would argue that the same applies B to C and that is if you don’t have a relationship with, with a company, haven’t had one in the past, you have no reason to trust them now, particularly if they are a popup, if you will, um, who’s just, who’s just come into the market now. It’s very possible that the government is trying to keep up. It’s unlikely however, that they are able to. Yep. Claudia just shared, and I think she may be referring to Unilever here, but UL is making specs available for free.

Scott Luton (00:36:38):

I’m assuming she’s underwriters laboratories, people who make sure stuff is safe, at least, at least here in the States. Greg, you are an encyclopedia of information. Holy cow. There’s not an acronym you do not know cause stuff. Claudia, thanks for sharing. Cause I don’t remember what the TNI is in logistics T and I for Kathy. So trends and insights, trends and insights, we should just call it that. Hey Claudia, if you can, uh, if you can share the link to the news story or to the underwriter’s laboratory and, and that’d be good for folks to know. Alright. It may not apply to South Africa where memory is button. They probably have a similar, um, a similar agency. Great point. Alright, so diving back into our final story here, uh, on, on the supply chain bus. So, you know, we’ve spoken to a wide variety of industry leaders and a lot of them have spoken to just how tough it is to manage plants and this new environment where you’ve got to protect the workforce and really entirely new ways.

Scott Luton (00:37:46):

Right? So in this article that comes from Jim Miller over at supply chain DOB, a lot of the constantly moving pieces are identified in this ongoing effort to protect the workforce. So let’s keep this simple because there’s a ton of issues here, but let’s start with the technology side first and the app technology applications first. So we all would love to have a vaccine rolled out in the weeks ahead, right? And make things a little bit easier and allow us to eliminate large part of threat. That’s not going to happen. In fact, JP Gander a VP and principal analyst over at Forrester says that that’s just not going to be the case. He says, quote, people need to think outside the box a little bit and use innovation to overcome this. We’re unlikely to have a vaccine anytime soon. And millions of frontline workers need to keep the world moving.

Scott Luton (00:38:35):

Must be proactive in quote, good stuff there. So the article sites, one technology practice in particular that’s already in place. So the wearables, you know, that alert or buzz when they get, when folks may, maybe they get close to close to each other or equally as important to close to dangerous areas or equipment. Right. And, and these facilities, uh, the article cites a Canadian company known as proxy P R O X X X. X. I was cited as already producing this type of equipment. Additionally, a company known as halo is producing similar equipment, but their equipment has a built in ability to offer contact tracing. And there’s a lot of different opinions on this, this notion of contact tracing. But in this case, if an employee gets a virus, you can go back and figure out who else was exposed. So that the first half of this article, you know, putting it in the bucket of the technology that’s already out there and spend is being used and being developed and being ramped up in terms of production.

Scott Luton (00:39:42):

But that opens up the second bucket. Right. And that is employee privacy. Right? Right. Did you know, Greg, I didn’t know this, but did you know that the under the Americans with disabilities act, the ADA certain data is protected. In fact, Bob Nichols, who’s cited in the article, a partner in attorney with Bracewell LLP says that under the ADA quote, you can’t monitor health conditions or biometric conditions of your workforce in quote. And Nichols does say that that may change just like it did in March when the U S equal employment opportunity commission allowed allowed employers to begin measuring body temperature, which was a, again, that’s true. ADA. I that. Hmm. Uh, so that begs the question, just how far will all of this this movement go? Cause you know, uh, Amazon took some flack not too long ago. In fact, we covered it here on the buzz, I believe, where a patent that they had filed went public that allowed for wearable buzzers to communicate picking errors or productivity lapses to the employee.

Scott Luton (00:40:52):

And there was a lot of hubbub over that. Lots of moving pieces here. Undoubtedly a lot of tough decisions that have gotta be made by a bunch of smart people all around this ever evolving and moving debate. But you know, keeping it simple, this is the North star. We’ve got to protect the supply chain workforce and take care of the folks that keep the global economy moving and keep, keep us consumers with stuff full in the pantries and things we need. Right? We do, you know, a lot of what you’re referring to is, is covered in some part by HIPAA. H I P a here in the States, which means your medical

Greg White (00:41:34):

records are your own and you must give permission for anyone to access those. I could see this being tied into that somehow. So early on I worked with a company called Henry shine, um, which is a big healthcare distributor. Um, and at the time they had human health care. Now not as much dental, they have dental, but um, at the time they had medical health care entities as well. And that was a major issue that that right to privacy of your own body is really, really important. And what is, what you must sacrifice for the greater good of humankind is going to be a long drawn out debate at the same time. Anything that you consent to, to, um, expose to anyone you know, or any entity, of course you have the right to do that as well. And, and like, um, GDPR which is a European, you know, sharing of your personal web data basically, let’s just say, um, you have the right to determine what of that you want to share and for a particular time periods. So perhaps there’s a way to solve it in a similar fashion.

Scott Luton (00:42:52):

Yeah, a lot more is going to be a lot more folks are gonna weigh in here. We’re going to see some precedents be made and some lines in the sand certainly be drawn. Uh, it’s fascinating to see just how far technology has evolved and that’s, that’s a good thing, right? Because we have options that we can, uh, innovative options that we can apply to take care of this, this very valuable workforce that are, that look, these men and women are extremely courageous. They’re, they’re jumping into their truck cabs. They’re picking things that fulfillment centers, the rise of e-commerce, which was taking place long before this pandemic environment is on steroids now. And these folks are still that they’re going into these meat plants, which we’ve seen some, you know, be taken offline because of some of this, the spread or these, these are folks that are just so critical to keep protecting the psyche of global consumers and, and all the more reason to make sure we protect the workforce. Can I say,

Greg White (00:43:47):

well, I think we need to put this in some sort of perspective. And, and that is, um, there are a lot of other illnesses out there that could have a similar effect. For instance, in, in the States. Okay. Since March one, 4.88, 2 million people have been tested for Covin 19 and about 17% of those people have ha have actually, um, have actually had a positive test. So remember, the tests here in the States are limited to people with, with a sufficient, at least right now with a sufficient number of symptoms through to be suspected to have Cove at 19. And even those people, only 17% of them have coven 19, that means 83% of them have something else that approximates the conditions, the symptoms of Colvin 19. So it’s not as if, if you don’t have at 19, you’re necessarily healthy. Right, right. I think we should be equally as concerned about things like pneumonia and things like that, which are commonly pneumonia and flu. Even the common cold, which is also a Corona virus, are commonly transmitted through the workplace. And we adjust, started to reach a point where people were saying, if you’re sick, stay home. Right. And now, now that we have that recognition in the workplace, this or some semblance of this gives us the ability to protect those who are healthy and also identify maybe only for that person, those who are ill so that they don’t further contaminate themselves or the rest of the workforce.

Scott Luton (00:45:38):

Yeah. That’s just part of protecting the workforce, Scott. Yeah. Yep. Well, you know what’s also interesting, w w we didn’t teed up today and they will teed up for next week, uh, related to the vaccine. You know when that is eventually, I think Johnson Johnson has been taking the lead on that and they’ve had some early breakthroughs. But when that’s ready, we’re just like, we’re still struggling to get enough tests available. We need a lot more needles. [inaudible] there was a story floating across the, uh, the wire this weekend, I think, uh, our good friend down in Florida, uh, uh, mr Ben, uh, I think he was reporting he picked up on it because it’s not just going to be a, um, a magic wand that poof, everybody’s immunized. There’s a process, a big process, and it’s going to be a huge demand. So lots of stuff to track here. Right?

Greg White (00:46:28):

Well, I, for one, I’m not waiting for, for a, um, you know, for a medical solution. We haven’t cured the common cold. Yup. Also a Corona virus. We haven’t cured the flu and the flu, um, mutates every year. We still haven’t eliminated pneumonia. So I don’t think there’s any reason to necessarily believe that we will cure this. I think we all hope so, but I think we’ve all got to face the possibility that that may not happen in this might be something that we live with for a long, long time. And as I said, it’s 17% of the illnesses that, that mimic the kind of symptoms that Corona virus does. So there is clearly a lot more out there that we need to be concerned about. And somehow we were living with those things threatening us as well. So we’ve got to start to in our mind, um, think about life beyond this lockdown without right. Without a cure or, or antidote or, you know, whatever. Sorry. Alright. I think we need to start thinking about that possibility and what you’ve just described there is, is a helping hand for all of those illnesses that allow us to get back to work and to remain more healthy because a lot of people die of pneumonia every year. More have died this year of pneumonia, um, at least in the States by a good measure than have died of coven 19. Yep.

Speaker 3 (00:48:05):

Alright. So Nathan, uh, Nathan Sparks own LinkedIn, says a quote, privacy and safety tradeoffs. Shirley will bring important ethics issues that legal and corporate compliance groups will need to address. So yeah, back to Costco visibility, he continues, I suspect they are not telling their employees delivery info. So to limit risk and compromise behavior within the store, employees and customers. Good stuff there. Uh, and memory, uh, along the lines of things that may be overlooked right now. She says another disease being overlooked right now is to uh, to work closest. Yeah. Excellent. That’s an excellent point. Yeah. All right. So, um, a lot, a lot, a lot of stories going on here today. Busy time and supply chain. As always, Claudia. Um, looks like Claudia and Amanda just found the link for the, uh, underwriter laboratories information. So they put that in the LinkedIn feed. Are you going to be putting that?

Speaker 3 (00:49:03):

Okay. Becka hit all of our, all five social feeds. So good stuff there. Alright, so moving right along, we’ve got some interesting events coming up, right, right, yes. And a lot more fun than talking about this stuff, right? Well, you know, necessary, but not that much fun really. It is. Well it is necessary. And you know, there’s, there’s a lot of, a lot of information out there, a lot of smart people on all sides of this ongoing discussion and, and it’s, you know, it’s still unprecedented, right. And, um, there are folks hurting economically, which is really important for us to think about and there’s folks hurting from a healthcare standpoint. And so we just, you know, weigh in and report what we see and then kind of give you our spin. So, but to your point, this was a lot more fun. Alright, so coming up again, one of our, uh, 0.5% of our content is supply chain trivia night where we’re trying to give folks an Avenue to the stress and, and reconnect with some of their, uh, supply chain practitioners globally. So our next round to which you don’t have to be if you didn’t have to be a part of the first one to participate in this next year, the new game, it’s a new world. It is May 3rd,

Greg White (00:50:23):

you don’t have to have watched season one to watch season two. It’s not like the Sopranos or Ozar.

Speaker 3 (00:50:28):

You hop right in. That’s right. May 13th, 4:00 PM Eastern daylight time supply chain trivia night. Join us, come win and take our money. I think we’re first prize gets 200 bucks. Again, $200 gift card. This gentlemen here, Greg, tell us about the current champ.

Greg White (00:50:46):

Dimitrios is sort of like a, um, a WWE fighter with a mask on. So he played the whole game as mr inventory and then only revealed himself in the last moments after he overtook the virtually wire to wire leader. Uh, Chris Gaffney, who is chief supply chain officer, Coca-Cola. I know you’re coming back, Chris. Um, and after he overtook Angie Reno and Sarah Barnes, Humphrey and Peter Heflin and a number Jonathan Townsley and another, uh, uh, an Claudia as a matter of fact of other strong contenders. So I feel like there might be a little bit of a grudge match effect here and I know that there are people coming after Demetrius.

Speaker 3 (00:51:32):

Yes. Uh, all right, so join us May 13th, 4:00 PM Eastern daylight time. We have got, we’re, we’re coming out bigger and better so we’re not going to be moving as fast. We had a challenge with the delay since it was a live stream. So we’re gonna slow down a bit and have a few less questions but have plenty of time for folks to answer the question. So register you don’t have to, but it helps if you register cause we’re gonna be sending out some instructions, uh, the day before, uh, at supply chain I, radio.com. Now, real quick, Greg, we need to recognize a member of our team but also has who has her own entrepreneurial venture called made the balloon. So Michelle Bartlett Yarborough weighs in. Good, good reminder to remember the other issues are going on. So absolutely Michelle. But you know, she is celebrating a two year anniversary of her, of her entrepreneurial venture, made the bloom today.

Speaker 3 (00:52:25):

Whoa. Uh, in this day in history. That’s right. That’s a good point. So from all of us, Michelle, we’ve been collaborating from MODEC a lot of other projects, initiatives. You’re a, you bring so much to the table and congrats on your business. That continues to grow, uh, made the bloom, makes. Let’s make sure we get a link. Um, so we can share that with folks. Okay. So we’ve got two other, uh, quick resources that are coming up. We want to make sure are front and center for any of our listeners. Uh, the first is, so have you had a chance to even think about the upcoming challenge that will be the 2020 hurricane season? Is that, I mean that was not on my radar until I reconnected with risk, pulse and resilience three 60,

Greg White (00:53:13):

you know, we’re piling one ordinary dis disruption on top of an a completely unexpected and frankly self-inflicted disruption. And we

Speaker 3 (00:53:26):

have used and so many other people have used the term unprecedented, right? This is undoubtedly unprecedented. Um, I think from my perspective, the benefit that we have here is this is something we expect in the Southeastern us and the Gulf coast every year. So we are equipped to deal with it. And by the way, I think the provisions that government and retailers and distribution and, and um, and consumers as well have made for this season are a great model for the possibility of other significant seismic disruptions. So, um, but yeah, these two companies, risk, pulse and resilience, three 60, they’ve been in the forefront. We actually met with David Schilling furred they got it. Their chairman, uh, mode X the last trade show to go on. That’s right. Um, and, and he had, uh, led a panel there and continues to lead the fore in terms of helping people to understand the risk.

Speaker 3 (00:54:35):

And, uh, both of these companies, they are the technology behind so many of the technologies out there that help predict disruptions in the supply chain. Um, and, and this is a valuable service that they’re offering. And I’m thankful to them for, for sharing this out there. These are basically the weather channel in a way of, of supply chain. That’s right. Thousands and thousands of data points that they, that their team has crunched and overlayed that across the, uh, busiest and most vital seaports and airports to help provide some proactive, uh, data and insights that global supply chain leaders and practitioners really need to consider. Cause this, as Greg mentioned, this is going to be a very unique, uh, tropical season. So check out that webinar they’ve got coming up on May 14th, just a couple of days from now. 11:00 AM Eastern time. Good stuff there. And you know, we make it easy.

Speaker 3 (00:55:31):

We’ve included the direct link to register, which it is a complimentary webinar, but you still have to register. We’ve put that in the show notes of each of the, uh, if you’re, if you’re listening to us on Facebook, uh, on YouTube or on LinkedIn, you can register directly from this, uh, the show notes. Okay. And then Greg, moving right along. One final resource to share with folks is our webinar we have with Mike Rosewall with Gardner on May 27th, which is going to be a little bit broader, right? Right. Where each year they come out with the Gartner supply chain top 25 rankings where they crunched data on about 300 global enterprises. And their key takeaways and common threads from all of this exhaustive research always is very informational and actionable for business leaders of just about any type business,

Greg White (00:56:24):

right? It is. And look, if you listen to us all the time, and so many of you do, don’t miss it. Uh, there’s so much we need to learn to help better supply chain to, to solve or prevent the issues that we’re facing right now. And, um, and as I always say, Mike is a practitioner first. He’s an analyst. Second, he has, I think we’ve agreed to say over two decades of experience, um, a lot of information and of course he’s dedicated his life now to researching and improve and assessing and improving supply chains for, um, particularly retail company, but companies, uh, brand companies of all sorts. Yeah, they have, um, they have an enhanced, um, corporate responsibility metric, um, environmental and societal governance, ESG that they’ve, they’ve tagged it. That is even a greater standard than typical what’s called CSR. And that goes into the supply chain, top 25 and we expect a significant shuffling of the top 25 because of that this year, some companies, um, will score fairly high and some may score nothing at all depending on, I mean, these are high high standards of ethicality and sustainability and supply chain.

Greg White (00:57:51):

Yep. I’ll come into you by Mike Griswold who always delivers, as Greg mentioned, the guy, just a, um, uh, a walking him, a Greg walking encyclopedias of insights and best practices and uh, perspective. Okay. So that’s May 27th a few weeks out, uh, at 12 noon Eastern daylight time. So join us for that. You can find that direct link on this, uh, livestream or@supplychainatradio.com. All right, Greg, uh, we covered a lot. I, I should have 58 minutes and 24 seconds. That’s right. Um, you know, what’s, as we close here and thanks to all of the audience for weighing in and, and the questions and the insights that comments, um, really that’s what makes these live streams so rewarding for Greg and I and the whole team here. Uh, but Greg, if there’s one or two things that folks really need to and reader’s digest version really needs to focus on and take away from this at least this edition of the supply chain buzz, what would that be?

Greg White (00:58:53):

I think we all need to face the fact that whether we feel comfortable doing it or not, we are going to get back to business. So we need to figure out a way to get comfortable with that. We need to be explicit with our employers and business partners, uh, in, in what we determined as comfort in terms of redoing, in terms of renewing business. We all have to acknowledge that if we, that particularly here in the States, every single penny that is being doled out to accompany here in the States is not coming from your fellow taxpayers. It’s not coming from your U S government. It’s coming directly from China buying us bonds and the trillions and trillions of dollars of additional debt that we are taking. We are literally taking directly from China and we need to acknowledge and start to figure out how to solve that problem because having China more over our head is not going to bode well for us in the future.

Speaker 3 (00:59:56):

Yeah, great point. You know, uh, along somewhat along those lines, I think we as supply chain leaders and business leaders, you know, uh, we’ve got the look and start to put our own what’s coming next, right? There’s no shortage of challenges. We’re just talking about hurricane season. It is so difficult and that, and we get it. It’s so difficult to start thinking about that when we’re still, you know, world. That’s right. But we’ve got to do it. We’ve got to take our medicine, no pun intended, um, because organizations, uh, and the markets we better off if we can really jump into proactively, you know, some of the challenges we know around the corner so that we can be better prepared for the challenges that we don’t know are right around the corner. So, um, and hopefully these resources that were, we just walked through. The trivia game is a look that’s for camaraderie and kindred spirits and, and distress, uh, distressing activities. But the webinars do offer a great avenues for proactively looking at, um, you know, what’s just around that proverbial corner. So, um, there’s no time like the present, right?

Greg White (01:01:04):

Scott, you a quote, you made a quote some weeks back. If your job is to eat frogs, eat your frogs in the morning, get it, eat, do it first thing and get it over with this culture. Part of the culture of supply chain has been to sort of kick the can down the road. That’s a U S term for not deal with hard problems, kick the can down the road on risk management, on single sourcing, on sourcing through unfriendly, um, empires, whatever you want to call them. And, and one of the things I would encourage people to do is starting right now, right on whatever it is, eat your frogs in the morning, stop kicking the can down the road, whatever you call it, wherever you’re from, start recognizing where you’re doing that. And start ending that practice right now.

Speaker 3 (01:01:56):

Good stuff. And with that, we’re going to close. Hey, thanks for tuning in today for the supply chain buzz. If there’s something you’re looking for, uh, at supply chain now, radio.com you can’t quite find it. Or if there’s something that we share today and you can’t quite find it, shoot a note to amanda@supplychainirregular.com she can also help you if you’re interested in the supply chain now platform. So check that out. Uh, you know, Hey, uh, there are certainly absolutely and sooner than we know, brighter days. Line ahead. Thanks for joining us here on supply chain. Now on behalf of Greg white and Scott lewd and our whole team, hope you have a wonderful week ahead and we’ll see you next time here on supply chain. Now. Thanks for buddy.

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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.

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

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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.

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Greg White

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

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

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

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Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.

With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Jamin Alvidrez

Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History

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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Jeff Miller

Host

Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business.  Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM.  When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or singing second soprano in the Grayson United Methodist Church choir.

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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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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

Allie is currently completing a degree in marketing with a certificate in entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia. She got her social media start through an internship with Shred, a personal training app, and she’s been hooked ever since. She works to optimize our following base while assisting the team with content creation, influencer outreach and other marketing endeavors. Allie can’t wait to keep growing alongside Supply Chain Now.

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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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Natalie Dutton

Marketing Coordinator

Natalie is currently pursuing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing and a certificate in new media at the University of Georgia. If there’s one thing she’s learned at the Terry College of Business, it’s that the supply chain is a dynamic, unifying force that’s essential to any business. Natalie helps to amplify the voices of the supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting with media management, content creation and communications.

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Ben Harris

Host

Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).

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Page Siplon

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.

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