Supply Chain Now
Episode 377

Episode Summary

“High performing leaders come to work every day to win. And if you want to win, I’ll help you win. If you don’t want to win, you’ve got to do something else.”

– Joe Barto is the Founder and President of TMG


“One of the tenants of lean is the idea of respect for people. So how do we manage change through a crisis when people’s basic needs aren’t being met.

– Lynne Johnson is the President of the AME Southeastern Region Board


The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) was founded in 1985 to promote practitioner-to-practitioner sharing. They also host the world’s largest lean conference. But do in-person events and lean manufacturing practices have a place in a post COVID-19 world, with all of its restrictions on gatherings and the unpredictability of securing supply?

The guests in this episode wholeheartedly say YES. Lynne Johnson is the President of the AME Southeastern Region Board and Joe Barto is the Founder and President of TMG and a long-time AME volunteer. They have declared their intent to find a way to continue holding meaningful practitioner-to-practitioner events, even with the new restrictions.

In this conversation, Joe and Lynne discuss the following with Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton:

· The leadership lessons that business teams can draw from participating in sports and the military

· Ways manufacturers are studying today’s supply chain disruptions to see where they are structural, and how best to minimize the impact and position for future growth

· The kinds of tough decisions manufacturing companies are having to make to survive the hard times we find ourselves in today

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 (00:00:28):

Hey, good morning, Scott Luton here with you lab on supply chain. Now welcome back to today’s show. Uh, I’m with of course the one and only Greg white for this episode as well. And Greg, we’ve got a really neat, uh, interview teed up here today where we’re going to be continuing our collaboration with the association for manufacturing. Excellent. We’ve got two leaders with an industry, two leaders with an AME, and we’re really excited and ready to pick their brains a bit, right? Yeah, no doubt. I feel like I’ve known these folks. We’ve been talking about the lean summit and other events and um, so I’m really excited to hear about this. You know, we we’ve been looking forward to this for months, right? Christopher, Joe just said, so, sorry. I’m just glad we got to get together. That’s right. Hey, one quick programming note, before we get started, if you enjoyed today’s conversation, check out our podcast, wherever your podcasts from and be sure to subscribe. So you don’t miss a single thing. Alright, so we’ve already kind of flipped the script we walked in and Greg white, my fearless cohost serial supply chain tech entrepreneur, and trusted advisor. And we’re going to welcome in our featured guests here today. So we’re excited to have Lynn Johnson, president of the Southeastern region for AME and chair of the 2021 international conference, which is, uh, another exciting event. A and E team is, uh, driving and Joe Barto, founder and president of T N G E. Uh, great to see you, Joe and Lynn.

Lynne Johnson (00:01:59):

Yeah, great to be here,

Scott Luton (00:02:01):

Joe. We met years ago through our mutual friend, Mark Preston, and it’s always great to reconnect with, with folks doing good things out in industry and Lynn. It’s a pleasure to meet you for the first time, but, um, amongst everything else you do for AME to be leading the charge for the 2021 event, that’s gonna be right here in Atlanta. That is exciting. So you probably have three or four full plates, huh?

Lynne Johnson (00:02:22):

I am super excited about that and super excited. Uh, when the opportunity came, uh, to, uh, lead the 2021 conference and having it in Atlanta, uh, working with the team, um, I’ve been working with in Southeast region, it was, uh, yeah, really a chance of a lifetime. So really looking forward to putting on a great show.

Scott Luton (00:02:42):

Love it. All right. So before we talk about the world of manufacturing and certainly all the cool things Amy’s up to, let’s get to know you, both of you a little bit better. So, you know, we, we like really humanizing our guests first. Right. So, um, Lynn, let’s start with you tell us, you know, where you’re from and give us an or two about your upbringing.

Lynne Johnson (00:03:00):

Sure thing. So I, um, I actually grew up in Canada. Um, I grew up mostly in Winnipeg, Manitoba. So for people here that may not know exactly where that is, um, if you were to start in Dallas and drive North right across the border and go for a couple more hours. So, so that’s where I spent most of my, most of my life. I spent a couple years of high school, um, in Europe, uh, in Netherlands actually. Um, right. And so that gave me a bit of an exposure to, you know, just different cultures and, you know, the difference people you can encounter in some appreciation for that. Um, and yeah, went to school and actually Winnipeg, um, uh, is that and moved on to Saskatchewan. Mmm. You know, and I think in terms of, you know, just the world largest after spending my life on the Prairie’s I spent a year in st. Louis. So going down sort of Midwest from Midwest Canada to Midwest S and then over here to Charlotte where I’ve spent the last five years or so. So yeah, it was kind of a, kind of my move move around the move around here.

Scott Luton (00:04:08):

Yeah. This has been a common theme here lately. You know, Greg, we had Jenny, uh, from, uh, st pics and, uh, Don, uh, Dominic sprinkles with people that deliver, which we love that name. Uh, and they both had, uh, a lot of international experience in their upbringing. And it’s such a, I’m so jealous because I didn’t have that in mind. That’s such a great advantage. And Lynn, it sounds like, you know, you really have leveraged that and really have enjoyed that, that aspect of your, your upbringing as well.

Lynne Johnson (00:04:36):

Oh, for sure. Yeah. It’s um, I think, you know, people are people, um, but recognizing that, uh, and I see it in my career as well, you know, being able to recognize the strengths, people bring to the table and, uh, we’re, we’re not all the same and there’s a lot of power in diversity.

Scott Luton (00:04:53):

The international cultural experience is so valuable because you can become so insular, even though the States are a vast, vast country, right. You can become so insular it just living in the States or in Canada or wherever you’re from to get across the border and to experience people in their environment is fantastic perspective. Yup. We’ll put Greg. All right. So switching gears a bit, Hey, Joe. Uh, same question for you. Tell us about where you’re from and give us some anecdotes from your, your personal journey.

Joe Barto (00:05:28):

Well, thanks, Scott. And then in same and Greg, really thanks for having me. I’m an army brat. My dad was a career army officer. I was born in Germany. We moved around a lot, my, uh, uh, early, early years. And then in 1968, my dad retired from military and we moved to Atlanta. So, um, I always call Atlanta home in, uh, grew up on the North side there and shambly went to Henderson high school. And, um, it was, uh, you know, sports was always my thing. And I’m all sports was, was kind of my similar back was moving around a lot, but also sports became a kind of a baseline activity everywhere you went. There was always some time to organize things. So no matter what the season was, that was what we were trying to do.

Speaker 5 (00:06:23):

Hey, you’re a hot commodity. You’re not bringing it.

Joe Barto (00:06:29):

The, um, so I played basketball and, uh, there was some people sales, pretty good basketball player in that in high school, I got recruited by a lot of places to play. And, um, I ended up at, uh, getting recruited at West point. So, um, uh, went up there and to make a long story short. Um, my first exposure to high performance teams and continuous improvement was playing basketball for a guy named Mike Shashefski at army. Okay, exactly. So I always say that, um, sports is the bedrock of continuous improvement. You know, not only are you, uh, trying to and execute your plan, but the other team’s trying to follow your plan. So you constantly have to understand where you’re at, where you’re going and make adjustments. And it goes back to this notion of teams, which is if you do what the coach asked you to do, you ought to win.

Joe Barto (00:07:31):

And so it really becomes a responsibility of the coach. I have a good plan to understand where athletes fit together as a team, how they match up with the other teams. So some of my earliest experiences were around how to perform as a high performance team. And then obviously going to school at West point, the, I think United States, military is also been on the lean journey ever since they started. Right. Which is, you know, what do you do? What are you doing? What’s the plan? What are we going to do? How do we get better every day? So spending a career in the military and learning how to lead and, uh, coming out of West point, then my second big seminal event in my life was leading soldiers in combat during operation desert storm. Really, again, you’re talking about a high performance team on the lean journey.

Joe Barto (00:08:22):

So every day you got to stand in front of the soldiers and say, okay, boys, here’s the plan. Here’s what we got to get done. Here’s what we think is going to happen. Here’s what we’ve got to do to be successful. And here’s how we’re going to adjust as we go those experiences. And it’s been in 20 years in the army, really positioned me start, you know, the second half of my career in 1997, when I retired from the army and, uh, this whole idea of what it feels like to be on a high performance team, what good leadership feels like is what propelled my journey in my post-military.

Greg White (00:08:56):

So, Greg, I think we’re going to keep diving along the professional journey with both Joe and land, right? Yeah. And I, I, it’s interesting how often, um, you hear the theme from athletes that ties right into their, their core values in life. You know, if you think about, uh, in addition to what Joe is talking as already talked about, if you think about conditioning and practice and discipline, those are the things that make you successful in business as well. Right? You don’t build a plan and, and execute it perfectly. The first time as Joe said, you, you build a plan, you practice it, you internalize it. And then you, then you hope for the best and expect the worst. And if you’ve got enough practice and discipline, then you can do that in about any initiative. So, so let’s do transition a bit to, to your professional journeys, um, Lynn, um, interested in, in, you know, how you came to lead AME and some of the other things that you’ve done and, you know, tell us a little bit about your, your journey as regards this, you know, this, uh, coming to AME and, and dealing with manufacturing every day.

Lynne Johnson (00:10:05):

Sure. Yeah. Maybe there’s a little, you know, kind of taking a step back and background. So I ended up, um, I, um, my schooling was mechanical engineering. I was always strong in math and science. I had a father that, um, whose mother was actually a very strong woman and he never, my, my dad never had a, the question about women being equal and having equal opportunity. So I was, you know, always encouraged to see that kind of thing. Mmm. Yeah. A career in engineering was not, um, was not something that was kind of pushed aside, but certainly encouraged. Um, and that got me from engineering into manufacturing realm and I’ve spent, um, my career in a variety of roles. I’ve, um, everything from kind of technical sales into, um, you know, kind of supply chain and logistics, um, scheduling and planning, um, and actually design engineering as well. So I’ve got of it’s fairly broad perspective and I’m done then some of those things in my career and in a variety of environments, but then everything from engineering will order the one that we made, um, to, to production. So, you know, doing some of those kinds of things and then

Lynne Johnson (00:11:17):

kind of in that transition, I, um, for me, early in my career, it would have been about 99. I think I was working for a furniture company and mass production, and they were really seeing the pressure as far as, um, competition from overseas. And so they needed to do something. And that was my first sort of foray into this wing, you know, any kind of formalized, a lean, um, program, lean journey. And, um, it was really eye opening, my first Kaizen event where we, you know, offset a half a million dollar purchase by a number of years just by, you know, with a non-capital investment, just rethinking how we process.

Scott Luton (00:11:57):

So Lynn real quick for some of our members of our audience that may not be familiar with, with a cause and event is just in a nutshell, just in a small nutshell, what is that

Lynne Johnson (00:12:07):

really it’s about, you know, having, having a problem that you need to solve bringing a cross functional team together, to look at it in, in a very condensed, um, typically a one week format, but, you know, you’re, you’re full time looking at this problem and looking at it from a different angle and coming up with solutions. So, um, really that, that idea of doing some rapid problem solving,

Scott Luton (00:12:28):

it’s a pivotal for a lot of companies to, to solve a single problem and then see the power of a Kaizen event like that, plus the action, the sense of urgency and almost the immediate results and the comradery it can build because you’re valuing all of those different apartments, different expertise, different, a perspective from different walks of life. It’s a wonderful thing to be a part of. So thanks for sharing some of that with us Lynn.

Lynne Johnson (00:12:55):

Yeah. So, but I mean, that’s just been a spark that for me, and it was always embedded in the work I did, whether it was working in the design department or otherwise, but, um, how do we apply this type of thinking and how do we engage people in which I think is really at the core and solving problems. Um, and I was working a number of years later at a, um, trailer manufacturing. Um, it’s a sketch one and got to my first AME event. It was the regional event up in Canada and it’s in Canada and I attended a workshop on toe productive maintenance and the fellow delivering this workshop. Mmm.

Lynne Johnson (00:13:32):

Fellow by the name of Jerry Wright. Who’s another AME. Um, one time Amy are out from California. He is a, you know, at the end of the seminar, I said, you know, what, any, or any of the workshop pieces, if you’re ever in California, come look me up, we’ll do a tour kind of broad race. Yeah. That’s nice. We are in Edmonton, Canada, what are the chances? Right. Um, but I did approach him. I said, you know, like I do, I have family in California, not inconceivable, but I show up at your doorstep one day and you know, I given you the, yeah, it’s all good. Cause no, no, no, come on down. Um, and you know, maybe six months later I was I’m visiting family and took the drive out. Huh? That’s what we spent six hours touring their facility, talking about strategy strategy yeah. Is play strategy. It was an amazing experience. And I think from that point on, um, you know, the, um, the conference was a really great experience, but just that connection and how willing these people within AME were, were this and this to share with no, no personal gain at the other end, I was sold, um, and have been volunteering with Amy ever since,

Scott Luton (00:14:42):

not this volunteer, but, but Greg, as we laid out in the front end leading, and that’s so critical and the, and these violent in any association,

Greg White (00:14:52):

but these volunteer driven associations have folks that are willing to do what you’ve done and lead big things. And probably some small things along the way that that’s, that’s some of the secret sauce. I think we all know when you’re talking about a volunteer organization, president might as well be president vice president treasurer. I mean, you do so much, right. You’re head chef and bottle washer. You change the light bulbs, right. I mean, you take out the trash and you set strategy. So, um, it, it is an all encompassing job and, you know, and we’ve seen the fruits of your labors, the via some of the AME vehicles. And, uh, it’s been really powerful for a lot of companies. So really appreciate you. You’ve taken that on. It’s interesting. Um, you’re fathers perspective. Mmm. You know, I think when we approach things, so matter of factly, right.

Greg White (00:15:46):

You’re just another engineer, right. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a woman or a man you’re, you’re an engineer. Mmm. I think that presumption is very, very powerful. Um, I’ve seen it in my family, both from female leaders in who influenced me and influencing my daughters. Um, and I think that that presumption is very powerful. And if there’s anything I would encourage people to do, it’s just understand a person’s gifts, whatever that person is, whoever that person is, however that person is and help to help, to help have them find their way to those gifts. So, alright, Joe, let’s hear a little bit about your professional journey. I, I dare you to top that. I feel like you can probably approach it.

Joe Barto (00:16:42):

I don’t know when, and I have known each other a long time and I’ll tell you, Mmm.

Joe Barto (00:16:47):

I think in, in life, you know, it’s these relationships that are really key and, and when you bring like minded people together. Mmm. One thing I really love about it is we have such a good time. You know, we common vision and, and running these events is not just running the amount it’s building teams and putting them together. And it’s really accelerated my whole professional journey at TMG. We founded it in 2002. Mmm. On, on kind of a very interesting, fundamental principle, which is, you know, the TMZ Y which is we help leaders who want to leave. One is a big word, underlying lead, a high performance teams. No. So some simplistic, everybody wants to be on a high performance team, but a high performance team requires somebody who wants to lead it. And, um, if you want to lead then team G’s mission is to give you the courage to lead. And, um, so it gets us out of bed in the morning is yeah. Some tools yeah. Or seems to be so intuitive. But if you give people a tool, you teach them how to use the tool and they use those tools to lead their specific operation. And it’s what I loved about. No, my transition out of the military is I guess, I’m,

Joe Barto (00:18:09):

you know, I got the coolest life in the world. I get to wonder around America. And then in the last several years, Canada in England, they get to watch people build things. And it is the coolest thing ever. When I was in the army, I used to love just go down to the motor pool and talked to soldiers that were doing what they did. And when you go down there and talk to them, how can I help you? And you have a meaningful conversation, you help them. I mean, it’s not about, you know, being better at the process is when you tell people you care about them and you actually want to be Kevin, my mission, that’s clear and resources and, uh, plans, as you talked about earlier, Greg, it’s not that hard, but you just have to do it every day. One of the things I learned from coach K

Greg White (00:18:52):

and I’ll tell you that have a much better relationship with them today after you’ve had some time to absorb what he was teaching you in terms of life lessons, right?

Joe Barto (00:19:04):

Oh my God. I mean, but that’s also the characteristic of a high performing leader, right? I mean, we come to work every day to win. And if you want to win, I’ll help you win. If you don’t want to win, you got to do something else. So it was never an easy, easy situation, but there was always this fundamental notion that I care about you and not. And I see something in you that you may not see in yourself. And, um, so that started, this [inaudible] started in ship construction, Newport, new ship, you know, down there helping welders get better at producing more welds every day. And, um, and that just kind of morphed over the last, you know, almost 18 years now is, um,

Joe Barto (00:19:48):

going there and understanding that every business is really about how do I take, take up an order and produce an invoice? How do I take a group of people connecting to a process to produce a business outcome? Same thing that we did in sports in the military, you’re constantly changing that equation, but it takes, Mmm [inaudible] [inaudible] well, I think that leaders or not, Oh, uh, are not born. I think they, you have to have a desire, desire combined with tools gives you the courage to do what you’ve always needed to do a focus people out there. And that’s been the associated with AME. Yeah. I got associated with AME in 2006, me Newburn new ship building. And it was really around the share learn group. I mean, great leaders have a network of other leaders in that they rely upon to help them do their work. Um, and I think as you get higher and higher and organizations, we’ve seen this in a lot of our partners, they lose that network. They lose that, that group of people that they can pick up say, Hey, you know, I got something going on because are you getting organizations the more lonely leaders feel? I think,

Greg White (00:21:10):

yeah. Well the fewer, there are people like you. Right. And, and it is hard and it takes real effort to create that outreach. You’re absolutely right.

Joe Barto (00:21:18):

And then you start drinking your own Koolaid.

Greg White (00:21:20):


Joe Barto (00:21:21):

Well, I guess I’m hearing, I’m really smart now to be able to tell everybody what they’re supposed to do and people aren’t [inaudible] to share and exchange, which is so powerful. I’ve been a champion of AME or God, 12 years, another great organization, subset of AME, more senior folks that meet a couple of times a year. So to me, it’s always about a learning journey for us. I mean, our business constantly has the more, and even in the last couple months. Mmm, you got it. Yeah. You got this. You’ve got to recognize the realities. I think that’s something that’s a characteristic of high performance teams in the military or combat or in sports, you can’t change the score. You got to know what it is. And you got to get focused on what do I need to do now to move forward? Take care of my team, accomplished the mission. We continue to March. No, we’ve had it on my own team. I, we have 23 people on my team here today. And I have the same problems that my partner has experienced every day. You know, my, my challenge may be unique. Well, a virtual business today on any given day, I’ll have teams in five people, five places around the country.

Joe Barto (00:22:40):

Any one of those teams could put me out of business any day. So I’ve got to trust him. I’ve got to give them the tools. I’ve got to apply the same tools and principles. I’m all we’re doing in terms of a high performance team. Mmm. And that journey for me is never ending either

Greg White (00:22:57):

every day is the NCAA tournament winner go home. Right.

Joe Barto (00:23:01):

And when coach K taught me was great, great leaders. You’d never get to have a bad day.

Greg White (00:23:07):

That’s a good point. So I I’d like, I wanna, I wanna, um, revert back to something you said about coach K recognizing something in you. You didn’t recognize in yourself. And I’d love to pose this question to Lynn, the fellow you were talking about from California. Do you think that was the case? Do you think he saw something in you maybe that you didn’t even see in yourself? Do you think that could have been part of that invitation?

Lynne Johnson (00:23:33):

Oh, I I’m. I’m sure. I’m sure when we’re, we’re still, like, he’s still very active in AME and, um, Gary Reiki is an excellent, um, all right. Excellent trainer, excellent member of our, our network and yeah, I, we still have a good relationship today. So yeah, that, that idea of having those mentors. Yeah. Yeah. And, you know, as Joe mentioned, it was a couple of years later. I think I met, um, at another conference, maybe in Chicago where Joe and I crossed paths. Right. It’s just been a, I can’t use another word besides the blessing, all the people that have come, come across in my life network. And can you talk about the volunteer role, but you know, it makes such a big difference when you have a team, a team of people around you and Joe is just the shining example. Yeah. Pick up doing the work and make know, just make, make life fun. Um, me, you can do hard work and have fun. At the same time.

Joe Barto (00:24:29):

I was getting ready to do a workshop in Chicago and Lynn was the room host and that’s where we met and, and, uh, lost us on a great

Scott Luton (00:24:39):

partnership. That’s great. Awesome. Love that. Uh, cause the relationship still, even in the digital global age that we’re in, they’re probably more important than, than ever before. That’s one of the constants in business and in life. Um, all right. So if we can, I want to switch gears a bit because I want to dive into the world of manufacturing. And of course we’re gonna talk more about AME and some upcoming events as well. So, you know, um, just in the last few days, last few weeks, it’s really been a mixed bag. If you look at a variety of the news of writing the metrics, there’s always good news. If you go seek it, uh, you know, some of the innovation and we’re seeing car companies, as we’ve talked about Greg jumping to fight and figure out how to make Mmm. Um, uh, not the Phillip writers, but um, Greg help me out here.

Scott Luton (00:25:29):

Boy, that’s a hard world. Was that land speculators. Thank you. So, um, the, the levels of innovation, the practical innovation, and we’re not talking cliche, we’re talking, let’s get it all the smartest people in the room, and we’re going to figure out how to make this stuff in a matter of weeks, it seems, but this, these are remarkable feet. So that’s some of the good news, right? And some of the innovation we’ll continue to see is some of the good news on the flip side, you know, we know that with, uh, uh, the quarantine and a variety of other factors, just overall manufacturing levels have taken a hit. We’re talking about the German manufacturing index yesterday, uh, which is a little bit dated a couple months back. Um, but there were numbers just come out. It’s always, you know, kind of chasing where the numbers were, where the activity was, but there’s no shortage of exciting things to talk about when it comes to the world of manufacturing. So, um, so Joel want to start with you. So when you, when you, or looking at the manufacturing world, um, when you think of a trend or a topic or challenge, really your call, when you think of one, one of these subjects, one or two of them, what are you tracking more than others when it comes to the world of manufacturing?

Joe Barto (00:26:38):

That’s a great question. Scott, I’ll tell you, this has been our experience. A lot of connections. One of my oldest partners is with the Carlyle group and no, we do a lot of support to them on leadership assessments and things. And the, um, I think the reaction to this, um, um, the last four months has been kind of falling into camps. One is, Mmm, it’s a crisis management. So it’s all crises. I gotta pull everything right here. We’re going to lay off half our workforce. We’re going to, you know, slash and burn. Cause we’ve got to get through the hard time. Mmm. I was just having this discussion the other day while cutting is hard. It’s painful, a lot of emotion. It’s really not that hard to do. You know, if somebody comes in and says, you need to get rid of half your workforce, you had half your business.

Joe Barto (00:27:38):

And those guys are going right down that path, which we have to survive. I’m starting to see some trends though. Even through this, people saying that in the long term, great leaders have to look at this. Yes, we are going to have to right size. Oh, we had to look forward that it is exponentially harder, a double the size of your business than it is to have the size of your business. You following me. No. Yeah. Well, I come down, I’ve got to keep my eye on the big ball, which is when the business comes back. Cause I don’t think there are structural issues in the economy. It’s it’s, it’s the short term. We know what caused it, but as things start to come back, the other thing I think we’re going to see. Yes, obviously the services industry got cool, right? But in the places that I’m doing business and I’m interacting, you got two people living in the same neighborhood.

Joe Barto (00:28:45):

If I work in manufacturing, I’m going to work every day. Now it’s going to be different, but I kept my job. I’m working over time. I may have gotten laid off. My probability had gone back to work where my services peer living next door to me, so smart in the longterm. We’re going to see a shift out of the services industry, back into manufacturing. Also, we’re seeing a lot of talk now. So this idea of doing work in China and Mexico and all over the place, and we’re going to outsource that. We’re starting to see a lot of people on the senior executive ranks saying, we’re not doing that anymore. We’re going to start bringing that work back. So I think this could be a reassuring on steroids in a shift out of the services industry, into the manufacturing industry. But then it goes back to leadership. When we start doing that, we’ve got to have a really plan on how we do that. We’ve gotta be really close to our customer. We’ve got to look at what the investment is.

Scott Luton (00:29:49):

Okay. I’ve seen also too, as another quick aside is when you start to lay people off, there are two models. One is I just look at all my overhead.

Joe Barto (00:30:00):

And so what’s an overhead first line supervisors.

Scott Luton (00:30:04):


Joe Barto (00:30:06):

and you’re, you’re killing the middle managers. Of course you protect the hourly worker. One they’re cheaper. And two they’re doing direct labor. Oh, when you get rid of that infrastructure, it would be like in a military unit, taking all the leaders out, never a one liter and 300 guys. And then all of a sudden say, let’s go do something. Can you find out that all that infrastructure has gone? You cannot rebuild when you lose that because those great people are going to find other work and you’re never going to get them back.

Scott Luton (00:30:41):

You can’t run the military without staff sergeants, lieutenants, captains, et cetera. Right? I mean, you can’t have generals and ground troops. Right? Well put, Hey, if I can go back because one of the places and Lynn, we’re going to, we’re going to get your thoughts just momentarily. One of the places that certainly is getting a ton of attention is a reassuring nearshore. And just some of the, the sourcing decisions and strategies that will be that already have been in reviews. Some changes there already have. They have kicked off and we’re going to see a lot of other activity in this space, you know, to your point, Joe, one of the last surveys that Greg and I were reviewing a week or two ago was I think put out by supply chain, dive 67%, I think was, was the number of us manufacturing executives do expect I came here if they phrased it considerable reassuring, but certainly reassuring activity.

Scott Luton (00:31:38):

And I think it’s a no brainer that we’re going to see. Mmm. Um, a good bit of activity, if not directly reassuring, certainly nearshoring and shortening some of these supply chains. However, you know what we’ve also heard kind of going back the other way, Greg, is that China plus one or China plus two, or maybe even China plus three folks are still, they’re kind of hedging their bets a bit. Uh, Greg, before we get Lynn’s thoughts on industry, well, I’ll tell you what Joe first, how does that, Mmm. Any, any comments that you want to share there about these sourcing decisions and Greg, I want to get your take and then Lynn, we’re going to get your take.

Joe Barto (00:32:15):

Mmm. I contend that the biggest challenge that we have over the next five years is going to be in supply chain, the, uh, responsiveness to it and in our experiences is that one of the challenges we have with the lean tool set is,

Scott Luton (00:32:30):

is where do we see the mistakes of supply chain?

Joe Barto (00:32:34):

We see them on the plant floor. I don’t have the right material. I don’t have the right specification. I don’t the right work instruction. We try to fix it on the plant floor when really the root causes somewhere way up in the supply chain, a decision that may have been made two years ago. So now when you start to see 50% of your overall work being done by people that don’t wear the logo of the plant or that the crime, how they become part of the team become so much more critical here over the next year or four years as you reassure. So it’s not just, it’s not just reassuring the, the word it’s then how do you do that? And it’s not B I just hiring 500 more people. It’s going to put more and more pressure on the supply chain on time.

Scott Luton (00:33:23):

Yeah. Well put, alright, so Lynn, um, I want to, yeah. Have you weigh in on your general observations when it comes to manufacturing industry, feel free to piggyback on the sourcing or you might have other topics that are front and center to you and it keep you up at night, so to speak.

Lynne Johnson (00:33:41):

Yeah, for sure. Well, I, I certainly, I’m kind of in, if I were to say my top three, I would say the first thing, the reassuring, um, certainly that supply chain is certainly a big one. And it’s been even before the, these yup. Before 2020 started, it’s been part of the, part of the big discussion. Right. Um, and I think one of the big challenges and, you know, Joe had mentioned Newport news, shipbuilding, um, I know, um, train technologies is also very involved in it, but how do we, how do we skill our workforce suite? You know, how do we shift these people from the city service industries is still a thing in, into many action roles and skilled manufacturing roles. And I think that’s big, um, a big gap we’ve got to close in order to be able to be successful. Mmm. And, you know, bringing that supply chain closer.

Lynne Johnson (00:34:30):

Mmm. So, uh, you know, not to repeat everything Joe said, but certainly agree they are. Um, and the other piece around the supply chain, I think as well is, you know, all the stuff disruption. So, um, our, our models are forecasting are no, even our lean tools that have been used, you know, whether it’s Kanban, how do we, how do we manage that through, um, you know, the downturn we’ve seen recently, and then through that, you know, the upturn that’s going to happen as Joe said, this nothing really structurally changed other than the we’ve w w we’ve had a pandemic, had a big impact globally, and this is an America thing, or a North America thing. This is a global thing. Um, as we come out of that, um, I think the ultimate demand for, for products and services that hasn’t changed, but how do we, how do we, um, build that up and how do we manage that?

Scott Luton (00:35:22):

You mean there’s really not 700% more demand for toilet paper closet full of Kirkland toilet paper.

Joe Barto (00:35:33):

Yes, absolutely. I’m not going to buy toilet paper for six years.

Scott Luton (00:35:37):


Lynne Johnson (00:35:38):

Of course. I’m kidding. You’re right. I, I really believe you’re right. They’re accurate. Yeah. Yeah. So we’ve had, you know, the full with a fact in the toilet paper is when I’ve been commenting on it sort of on a personal level for yeah. Like net use of toilet paper has not changed. No. Not by any substantial amount. Right. So, um, now that we’ve depleted this client now, um, are, you know, scaling up production, what’s going to happen. Well,

Scott Luton (00:36:07):


Lynne Johnson (00:36:08):

Everybody’s got a closet full of toilet paper and no one’s going to be buying it.

Scott Luton (00:36:12):


Lynne Johnson (00:36:14):

Kind of, kind of a, you know, I think as an example, everyone can relate to, regardless of your background, but, um, you know, I think we’re going to see that across the, uh, across industries and across supply chains is we’re ramping back up. So how do we deal with that? I think is an important question. Um, and then the third kind of a third topic that I think is really important. And one of the tenants of lean is this idea of respect for people. And how do we, um, you know, managing change, managing change through crisis and, you know, kind of thinking about, um, people with safety, um, you know, people don’t have their basic needs met Mary, you know, talking about that level of thinking, you know, that we needed for, for leaders and for problem solving for making change from continuous improvement. Um, when people are just really worried about how they’re gonna put food on the table or keep a roof over the head, um, engaging them in that kind of thinking, um, is challenging. And it’s not just challenging, I think not appropriate, not respectful. So how do we, how do we kind of bridge that gap from where we are today, where people are maybe insecure in where they’re sitting, um, and move, move through there. So we can move back into this improvement there. So kind of balancing that idea, I think is a third.

Scott Luton (00:37:27):

I see a whole mini series based on what Lynn just shared there, but Greg, I want to get you cause there’s a lot of real meaty topics that both Joe and Lynn have shared that is tough to really give it justice in a, you know, in an one hour interview where we’re kind of, I’m covering a lot of, a lot of, a lot of topics. Greg respond a little bit to some of the things that Lynn shared.

Greg White (00:37:47):

Yeah, sure. Well, as it turns out, we talk about this a lot and just last night, Tom Valentine, and I were talking to an association of, of engineers from Georgia and we discuss this very topic because it was top of mind for everyone reassuring near shoring, China, plus one, two, three, all of, all of that. And the reality is that manufacturing went off shore for a reason. We’ve got to discover and discuss and resolve those reasons. If we want to get manufacturing back here, when we talk about manufacturing of, of health care, for instance, pharmaceuticals, we had a perfectly good model where in Puerto Rico was one of the largest producers of, of pharmaceuticals in the world. And when those incentives went, guess what? Those companies went away and they went off shore. So part of the discussion has to be that I don’t think that we will see a rapid and massive move to reassuring.

Greg White (00:38:46):

We’ll see a conscious effort at trying to supplant or, or, uh, augment production in China. And in order to do that, we’ve got to acknowledge a number of things. One labor is too costly relative to China in the States to be able to approach it in any way. The average Chinese manufacturing worker makes between 10 and $13,000 a year. So we’re not going to supplant Chinese manufacturing with human capital in the United States. That means we’ll have to employ some robotics, which is beneficial in a lot of ways during this time of tremendous generational change, where in a lot of the baby boomer generation are leaving the workforce. And a lot of the analytical and technical workforce are moving in. The millennials and gen Z are starting to move in to the workforce. They’d like to deal with robotics. And I believe that ultimately we can augment human, um, production with robotics on the appropriate things.

Greg White (00:39:47):

They can’t robots can’t do everything a human can, but we can augment that. And that will increase the ability of human beings to use their minds. They’re unique physical gifts. And it will also apply safety measures so that they don’t have to do the dangerous mundane things. Um, so I think when you kind of roll all that together, you, you have to acknowledge that what we would be attempting to replace is an 805 million person workforce in China, which is impossible for even the combination of nations in the world to do so. We have to figure that out as well. Right. But, but there is certainly a lot of value in it. And there are some very, very logical pharmaceuticals is just one example, but there is a very, very logical argument for doing it again in the States, not the least of which is, is the health of our, of our society, but also, you know, national defense and, um, uh, national safety, of course.

Greg White (00:40:49):

So, uh, I think we’ll prioritize those things. We’ll move some faster than others. Some will probably be more China plus one, two, three, or near shoring than, than reassuring, but ultimately it will accrue to the benefit of work of the workforce in manufacturing and that none of the stuff happens overnight. It’s one of the things that I think consumers are going to learn as much as consumers learn about supply chain, all these industries, we’re big fans of the definition of end to end supply chain, which includes all of us. Mmm. Or curate make it move. It I’ll return it these days. Um, but you know, consumers are getting, are really getting more aware of all of that stuff and, and okay. Wow. Wow. All of you have share it around reassuring and initiatives,

Scott Luton (00:41:34):

a lot of tough decisions, lay ahead. And then you got to execute on those decisions, which don’t happen overnight. Well, it takes a plan, it takes leadership and it takes, there you go. That’s right. All right. So we’re going to pivot in a minute. We’re gonna pivot to AME. Um, but before we talk more about, um, uh, Greg’s asked, y’all more about getting involved and seeing the benefits there and upcoming events. But before I do, I know that lean I’m a big, first off, I’ve got a lien tattoo. I’m a big believer in and lean when applied accurately and effectively. And something that lends shared at the end of her answer was respect for people. And, you know, lean can when misapplied and when Marlene banner is raised and other initiatives take place, it gets, it can be the boogeyman.

Scott Luton (00:42:22):

And unfortunately we’ve seen, at least y’all may have seen it as well. That as folks are trying to find a scapegoat for different things, toilet paper on shelves, other things, some folks have looked at lean as the boogeyman and while admittedly our grocery supply chains are going to revisit some of their approaches. They’ve taken probably in the last five, 10 years. And as every business will lean, I’m partial, still works and works beautifully and masterfully when applied with the truest of intentions. So I don’t Joe and Lynn, I don’t want to put you on the spot, feel free to not weigh in or for free, feel free to weigh in right before we, we don’t want to use the pivot word, which we’re hearing 20 times a day, but before we kind of segue over to AMA take it, Lynn.

Lynne Johnson (00:43:11):

Sure. I just kind of weigh in on that. I agree with you wholeheartedly this I, the concept of lean, lean practice, fundamentally it works anywhere and everywhere. Um, I haven’t applied it in office office environments and admin environments. You know, recently I was working with, um, some of our dealer network, um, and, um, the Thermo King dealer network and, you know, looking at invoicing processes and you actually had the controller of one of our largest dealers come back and say, Hey, what are you guys doing differently? I can see cashflow, um, changes in the positive, you know, like, um, so, so, you know, it works in that environment. It works. I don’t care what kind of business you are. No, it applies. And really fundamentally, like if you, if you think about lean as being engaging people yeah. You know, making problems visible and engaging people and solving them. I mean really at its core, that’s what it’s about. Um, there’s a lot of tools in the kit, um, and tried and true ones and employing those. But if you come back to, what problem are you trying to solve and how can we engage people respectfully in solving that? How does that not work? Mmm,

Scott Luton (00:44:23):

excellent. Love that because it is, it can be for the people. And it’s so important that folks get an accurate definition of what it is and how it’s applied. Hey, Joe, feel free to comment.

Greg White (00:44:33):

I think it’s a fundamental characteristic of a high performance state is I know where I’m at. I know where I got to get, how do I get from here to there? One of the challenges I often pose to the leadership when I, when I work with them is can you just work harder at your current process and meet your demand in the future? All of them are saying, no, you know, prior to this, it was 15, 20% growth a year. Can you just do more, add more shifts and get to where you need to be. So what do you expect the team to do while we gotta do something different? What is that [inaudible] but I agree with you, Scott. I think clean is, think about the problem when it becomes, Oh, the lean person is here. Do you know you’re on the road, dabbling? No, this is, this is just one.

Greg White (00:45:24):

This is just what we’re going to do today, which we’re going to do lane. And then we’re going to go back and do our normal work. Every day. A leader stands up in front of his team in the morning and says, Hey guys and girls, today, we need to make 10 they’re in the middle of an improvement operation. Well, we’ve got a bacon in the, how we do it by the way. So I’m more, I am, I come from retail and distribution supply chain. So lean is not a core tenant of, of supply chain in that aspect of the, of the modes of, of supply chain. But I think what the misnomer is, and it’s been perpetrated by media. I mean, we’ve, we’ve answered the question so many times, you’re the question is, did lean fail us? And I think people interpret, lean as scrimping on inventory, and it’s not, it’s simply.

Greg White (00:46:18):

And one of my previous companies, we had this as a philosophy regarding retail and distribution, um, kind of a tagline, but it’s not dissimilar with lean, no surplus, no stock outs, no surprises. It’s as simple as that, right? It’s just an efficient supply chain and efficient means of getting there without excessive stocks, without risking too much to put you out of stock. Right? And, and to even to confront some of those surprises, but as we’ve told many, many people, we didn’t have a supply problem. When, when this seismic societal disruption hit, we had a demand problem. As Scott said earlier, demand for toilet paper went up 753% overnight, literally from March 12th and March 13th demand went up to 753% for two paper products, paper towels, and toilet paper. So there is no supply chain of any means that [inaudible] Mmm, is efficient and effective in any way that can withstand, withstand that sort of, of impact. So I think we have tried to be very logical and factual here and set the record straight on what the real problem was, and also the order of magnitude that that problem was and the likelihood that that problem will occur. Again,

Scott Luton (00:47:41):

let me follow them on with that real fast. I think today, and this is just an example of it because it’s so Mmm, big, yeah. In a customer demand world. That is why I love that lane. It’s all about the customer, but today for the last five or six years, and I would contend for the history. Yeah. The two biggest things that customer wants is, do I get it right the first time? And do I get it when I want it? It’s no longer about cost. I’m finding that if you, if I know every time I get it, it’s exactly what I want. And I have confidence. I’m going to get it when I need it. Cost is the third package, which is why I think please shoring may become more important. I don’t care if it costs me 10% more, but if I get it when I need it and I get it right, the first time, that’s a great point.

Scott Luton (00:48:33):

And, and, and you know, we’re gonna have, we’re gonna have for the sake of time, we’re going to move forward. But, but Joe and Greg and Lynn, we all know, okay, a big factor in these very short reassuring decisions is what does that add to the cost? And in some cases that’s right. And consumers, I see it play out. So frankly, social media, all the time were folks w um, I’ve seen folks say, well, I want to, I don’t want to buy the grill made in X, Y, Z country. Um, but it’s $30 cheaper in some cases in the grill made here. And that’s just, that’s just kind of a random example, but that’s an example, as I saw within a couple of weeks ago, and, you know, we, can’t, it’s very difficult in the laws of economics manufacturing have her cake and eat it too.

Scott Luton (00:49:20):

So, but Joe, I think what you said is dead on because if price is not the number one factor. Sure. And it is truly, and then maybe in the top five, then the appetite for reassuring and paying a little extra to satisfy those first two requirements, the environment is going to be much more right. For restoring and even these near shoring. So it’s going to be exciting to see where we go from here. And I appreciate y’all weighing in on what’s really okay. One of the issues of the day, for sure. And as industry enthusiasts, I know we’re all I look forward to kind of seeing where it evolves from here.

Greg White (00:49:54):

So we’ve talked a lot about what you can learn from AME, right. And what you can experience from, from experience in manufacturing. So I’m going to flip this.

Scott Luton (00:50:05):


Greg White (00:50:05):

I told you, Lynn, I would talk, ask you this first, but I’d love to hear from Joe first. And then have you give us some color commentary on that, as you think about all of the things that you learn and what you apply on a day to day basis, Joe and Andy, and how that impacts the businesses that you work with in your business. Tell us a little bit about what membership and AME and the, that you

Scott Luton (00:50:28):

gain from that. What does that mean to you, you and your businesses and the ones that you associate with?

Joe Barto (00:50:34):

Uh, it goes back to the mission and share, learn and grow. It gives me a network of people like me, who gives me an opportunity to think about my business differently. Just as we talked about earlier, I get, I get motto model focus as well. This is the problem set I have. So a couple of times a year to be able to work with people. Mmm. But also this is thing we struggle with too is Mmm. Did that specifically with the COVID-19 thing. Mmm. So I’ll just give you a real quick example. We do a, we teach a lean six Sigma, uh, green belt, black belt program.

Joe Barto (00:51:14):

Oh, he’s been face to face, you know, cause it’s blended with the instruction, the project, et cetera, et cetera. And we love taking the projects out to the plant floor, et cetera. Well, March 19th, we couldn’t do that anymore. So we had to pivot to a virtual platform. [inaudible], you know, we were able to accomplish that. Well, when we sat down and looked at it, what we learned well, we learned was is that if we hadn’t had the first three months of face to face personal contact to build those relationships, we would have never been successful on the virtual side.

Joe Barto (00:51:53):

This is also one of the things about kind of jumping a little bit to the lean summit. You know, we had, everybody’s gone to a virtual environment, you know, we’re just going to do this virtually I contend. And I was a pretty big advocate as lane that I was, I don’t care if we have 10 people come to Atlanta, we’re going to sit in the same room. We’re going to follow all the rules, but have enough opportunity to have a beer and talk to other people about what you’re doing and having that as a Benny, beginning of the relationship, not the relationship was really the power of any of these well professional associations. I mean, I’m a product of, one of the most powerful association of graduates in the world and West point, I mean, but it’s all leveraged on a common four year experience that sets the foundation for the future. Um, that relationship, those relationships. And I think I, at me has a somewhat model we’re believers in this space. And it could also be kind of the catalyst for that thought, cause you can’t get it until you come to an ABM in bed and you get that power of the people in the room, which is, um, really what I think is what we’re trying to accomplish as an organization.

Scott Luton (00:53:08):

Hey and real quick. Uh, and Lynn, before we get you to weigh in the lean summit that Joe’s referring to is the, uh, AME 20, 20 Atlanta lean summit, August 10th to the 12th, which is open if I’m not mistaken to both members and nonmembers of AMA and been tweaked, as

Greg White (00:53:26):

everyone would imagine. Uh, and as, as any August event is tweaked a bit yeah, very powerful relationship, building knowledge and best practices. And there have been a variety of AME events and we’re big fans. Okay. So Greg, we’ll keep driving with, uh, Glenn’s take, right? Yeah, yeah. So same deal. I’d love to understand what you hear from other members like Joe, uh, um, about what they feel like they get out of AME and, and maybe share a little bit about how you are going to translate that into this August event. I know it’s, you know, it’s been a difficult time. We’ve moved it, we’ve talked about it. Right. So tell us a little bit about that.

Lynne Johnson (00:54:08):

Yeah. So what I, what I see as one of the core values of AME is this idea of Sherlyn grow in the idea of practitioner, practitioner sharing. So, um, there’s a lot of power in addition to that network, you know, and Joe’s talked a lot and I talked a lot about networking power that I experienced, but really that idea of not just learning something that somebody studied in a book or, you know, the experts in the field, but somebody that’s lived in the trenches and, you know, fell on that pothole and stumbled and fell and got back up, um, being able to, yeah. You know, and it’s, you know, plant tours, um, you know, we’re, you know, going and going and seeing what’s actually happening, going to the chamber, you know, where the work is actually done. Um, and talking to people that actually do the work.

Lynne Johnson (00:55:00):

Um, my experience in, I think a fairly common one across Amie members is, you know, there’s a lot of, lot to be learned from the people who do it really well, the stuff to be learned for the people who are stumbling and fail, you know, and, and, and trying again, and like these, these are the 10 things I learned not to do. You don’t need to try them, or, you know, like don’t, don’t fall in the same trap as I did. Um, let’s, let’s all learn together and accelerate our journey. And I think, um, that whole idea of, um, you know, especially as we’re looking at rebuilding, um, a lot of our economy over the next number of months, how do we, how do we accelerate that learning? How do we, you know, what’s working, what’s not working, whether it’s, um, you know, in terms of the question, whether it’s learned best practices, keeping our workers safe as we come back, I’m in bigger and bigger force, can we keep leveraging off of each other and, um, accelerating that process?

Lynne Johnson (00:55:54):

I think that’s, that’s huge. Um, and I think, you know, Joe, um, Joseph, he’s been adamant, we’re going to do, we’re going to make this event. Um, we’re going to make it a safe event where you’re going to follow all the guidelines we’re gonna, you know, put all those things in place, which has necessitated us to him and his team to more, um, what are some, it looks like a little bit, scale it back a little bit, move it to August from, you know, its original may date. Um, but I think there is so much value in that, um, having that personal connection and making those connections and then, you know, hopefully more people have this similar experience to what I did in my first day, in the event where I made that connection. And you know, six months later I had someone I could pick up the phone and say, Hey, I’d really like to go key or, you know, Hey, I’m having this struggle. I remember you talking about doing something like that. That’s before, can you talk me through what you did? Um, you know, I just immense power in that. I can’t, um, I can’t quantify how powerful that is.

Greg White (00:56:54):

That’s great. I think, you know, I think as, um, younger generations come into the workforce and we talk about work from home and all these things, I think we have to put it in various relatable terms. And that is when you really want to have a discussion with your friends, what do you do? You gather around a table or a bar or whatever, right? And if you want to have a really productive discussion with your colleagues, you do the same thing. Um, you can certainly accomplish things virtually, but I, and I’m rarely a content. I am rarely someone who says this. There is, there is no way to replace that interpersonal human interaction in ideas, sharing and learning and growing. There is, there is no way to replace that human to human interaction. We can add robotics to sup supplement human production, but we can’t add robotics. I can’t remember who it was that said this, but until you can sit down with a robot and have a conversation over a shot and a beer, there will always be human interaction. Go ahead, Joe. At the end of the day, when you look at manufacturing across America, it’s still a face to face contact sport down there at the plant floor.

Greg White (00:58:12):

Now a lot of the other stuff is not in mate

Greg White (00:58:15):

working with the company here that is more efficient in the above the shop floor thing, supply chain engineering. So they’re reclaiming that space and making it manufacturing space to give them more capacity. Those are some really beneficial learnings. My company, my company, I was telling my people and one of the reasons we don’t have an office, it was because I don’t make any money when I go to mile. The only way I make money is go to their office. That’s right. Well, I think, I think that’s a really good point is we tend to in times of disruption and maybe even hysteria, we tend to talk in extremes, right? And the truth is somewhere in the middle. The truth is there are jobs that are great for work from home. There are jobs that absolutely must be conducted in person in their jobs that, you know, it could go either way or maybe sometimes in person and sometimes work from home. So I think as long as people keep, uh, a proper practical perspective than then we’ll

Scott Luton (00:59:22):

be just fine. And the thing we have to be careful not to do as a shoe human interaction in the spirit of trying to be efficient or helpful that you know of, right. We have to recognize what those roles are that have to occur in person.

Joe Barto (00:59:40):

It’s one of the things that I talked a lot about when, uh, when I work with teams,

Scott Luton (00:59:45):

you can’t teach good judgment.

Lynne Johnson (00:59:48):

The, the other little anecdote I’d put in there is you need to be effective before you drive for efficient, because being efficient and ineffective, does you no good.

Scott Luton (00:59:59):

Yeah. Right. You’re going the wrong direction as fast as you possibly can. Alright. So to wrap up on the AME Atlanta 20, 20 lean summit, I think there’s four main aspects of the value prop. There. I think of a best practice and market intelligence sharing that goes on. Certainly the networking that we’ve spoke, if you have not seeing the relate, the power of networking relationships and relationship building it’s in the last hour of the night, you have not been paying attention and you’re going to fail the quiz that we’re going to give out, but best practice sharing to networking. Of course, great keynotes as always. And some, even though in the August environment, we’ve got, we’ve had to retool plant tours, but as Lynn said, going to the gemba is so valuable. And I’m sure most of the folks that make up our audience have been on plant tours. If there’s a few of you that have not been on a plant tour and had that awesome, incredible opportunity take advantage of it, whether it’s at this event in Atlanta or one down the road, did we miss any, any other really big reason to come out and be a part of the lean summit? I was going to say world-class workshops as well. I don’t know. That’s right. Yep. So five big parts. [inaudible]

Scott Luton (01:01:18):

my seat today. She’s got my members. She’s got my vote for sure. Alright. So we’re going to include a link to our audience link, a direct link to the, in the show notes to the event itself to make it really easy. Of course we’ll include, uh, Joe and Lynn’s LinkedIn profiles that we do well for most of our, uh, not all of our guests. We’ll make it really easy to help you connect with, uh, an organization that, that we really enjoyed, uh, networking with for years now. Um, okay. So Greg, as we like to ask, all of, all of our guests beyond that kind of stuff was question. Yeah. How can a, so Joe start with you, how can folks connect with you and the TMG team

Joe Barto (01:01:57):

www dot [inaudible] dot com? We were really proud of two things at TMG. One is, and I’ve been in business 18 years. We’ve made money every month. We’ve been in business, but the first and we have never submitted a competitive proposal. So our idea is is that if we can you

Scott Luton (01:02:20):

call us and we’ll come up with a way we can help each other and be smart enough to know, and if we can’t help each other, that’s okay too. But we become part of the team and it’s about giving, giving our partners the courage to leave more awesome with TMG, founder and president T N G V Len, same question. How can folks connect with you? I think Lincoln is the best group for me. So when Johnson and I’m on LinkedIn. Awesome. And of course I’m on my way there now. Uh, of course being a part of the AME leadership team, folks can also go to I believe they want to join or kick the tires on joining or seeing some of the other stuff that, um, you know, based on wherever they are, you know, we, we, our podcast what’s Greg, what do you normally say?

Scott Luton (01:03:08):

We speak English 120 countries. I think that’s still that phrase from you about 160 now, but yeah, I’m learning Mandarin and I’m learning Spanish. It’s a slow process. I’m a little bit, I’m a slow learner. Uh, so a tutor, but AME, it’s a great organization, no matter wherever you are. So Lynn, I appreciate, uh, I appreciate what y’all both have shared because Mmm. You know, we, we set out not to do an AME commercial. We set out to really have you both share stories and perspectives and, and, and from your, your professional journeys and that illustrates in and of itself of why organizations like Amy are so important. So really appreciate you both sharing big, thanks to Lynn Johnson, president of Southeast of the Southeastern region for AME and again, chair of the 2021 international conference, which is right here in Atlanta. You can find out more about and Joe Bartow, founder, and president of TNG, inc.

Scott Luton (01:04:06):

You can learn more at [inaudible] dot com thanks to you, both Joe and Lynn. Yeah. Thank you very much. Appreciate it. All right. So Greg has really enjoyable, uh, really enjoyed the conversation. Very Frank conversation day. Greg, what was your key, your one favorite thing from today’s conversation. I’m gonna put you on the spot and then we’re going to wrap. I think the key that we, you know, we talked about and discussed today is that human interaction is still the key, regardless of automation, robotics, reassuring, nearshoring, offshoring China, one, two, three, you know, lean, whatever the methodology is, people make that stuff work. Right? So, um, I think that’s the, you know, that’s the key takeaway that I think people have to recognize here in particularly in this time where we are so physically separated, right? Agreed sense of community is needed for there before, right here today in this digital world, okay.

Scott Luton (01:05:07):

To our audience. Thanks so much for joining us here today. Check out a variety of opportunities and thought leadership at supply chain. Now, including a June, June 25th, a lot of on ERP in the, in the post pandemic environment. You know, a lot of companies making a lot of tweaks there and adjustments, and you’re not going to want to miss this insight from rootstock. Find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from on behalf of Greg white and the entire supply chain. Now team Scott Luton here wishing you a wonderful week ahead, working together much brighter diet brighter days. For sure. Everybody is certainly in the, in the months to come. So thanks everybody. We will see you next time on Supply Chain Now.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Watch as Scott and Greg welcome Joe Barto and Lynne Johnson to Supply Chain Now through our YouTube channel.

Featured Guests

Since the founding of TMG in July 2002, Founder and President, Joe Barto, has led a high-performance team in the business of giving our partner Leaders “The Courage to Lead”. The TMG Team success is built on the cornerstone of trust and values. He leads a team of highly engaged professionals dedicated to TMG’s Mission in Life which is to train and coach our partners in building and maintaining High Performance Teams; Heartbeat Leaders First. TMG’s “Why” is to help Leaders who want to Lead; LEAD High Performance Teams. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the United States Military Academy and a Master’s degree in public administration, organizational theory and leadership. He is a former US Army Cavalry Officer and a Combat Veteran. Barto is a recognized expert in technology assisted learning, implementation, program management and is a published author. He has been leading “Building a Dream Team; Heartbeat Leaders First” workshops since 2004.

Lynne Johnson is a professional engineer with over 25 years experience in manufacturing and over 20 years practicing Lean. She has held leadership roles in Design Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Production Planning, Supply Chain, Quality and Operations. Lynne has been a volunteer with AME since 2008. She is currently President of the AME Southeastern Region Board and the Chair of the 2021 AME International Lean Conference. She is passionate about spreading Lean thinking through coaching individuals and teams as well as connecting people and ideas to solve problems and improve outcomes for customers, team members, and suppliers. Learn more about AME here:


Greg White

Principal & Host

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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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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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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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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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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Luisa Garcia is a passionate Marketer from Lagos de Moreno based in Aguascalientes. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico. She specializes in brand development at any stage, believing that a brand is more than just a name or image—it’s an unforgettable experience. Her expertise helps brands achieve their dreams and aspirations, making a lasting impact. Currently working at Vector Global Logistics in the Marketing team and as podcast coordinator of Logistics With Purpose®. Luisa believes that purpose-driven decisions will impact results that make a difference in the world.

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Astrid Aubert was born in Guadalajara, she is 39 years old and has had the opportunity to live in many places. She studied communication and her professional career has been in Trade Marketing for global companies such as Pepsico and Mars. She currently works as Marketing Director Mexico for Vector Global Logistics. She is responsible for internal communications and marketing strategy development for the logistics industry. She is a mother of two girls, married and lives in Monterrey. She defines herself as a creative and innovative person, and enjoys traveling and cooking a lot.

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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

Director, Customer Experience

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.

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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