Supply Chain Now
Episode 378

Episode Summary

“One of the principal use cases for AI is to be able to make better predictions for forecasting, noticing deeper trends and large feature sets that can give you better insights than typical forecasting. However, there’s always going to be inherent noise and errant randomness that nobody is ever going to be able to predict, so there’s always going to be a tab above which you’re not going to be able to improve.”

– Richard Schrade, Co-Founder & President of Automation Intelligence

 

For all the enthusiasm around machine learning and AI, many companies still don’t have a good way to ‘train’ digital agents before investing in and implementing complex, expensive systems. This requires access to a huge volume of data and an iterative training and refinement process: needs that are met by the ‘digital twin,’ or virtual commissioning.

Finding out if a system can deliver what is needed orders of magnitude faster than without virtual commissioning is a huge advantage an executive decision maker and the company they support – especially given the complexity of today’s platforms.

In this conversation, Richard talks about the following automation-related subjects with Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton:

· The importance of digital twins to enterprise progress in the AI and machine learning space

· The difference between predictive and prescriptive analytics and why Richard’s team has chosen to focus on prescriptive

· Why automation may speed up processes once it is put into place, but the process of training it and teaching it the logic required to automate those processes efficiently takes a lot of patience

Episode Transcript

Intro – Amanda Luton (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 (00:29):

Hey, good afternoon, everybody. Scott Luton and Greg white was supply chain. Now welcome to today’s show Greg, how are you doing? I am doing well. I’m actually out of the house, Scott. I know you’re out there innovating and entrepreneuring and leading and advising, right. You’d land a technology development center. Well in Midtown Atlanta. So today’s show we have got one heck of an innovative business leader coming to us from the world, the greater business world, but with a lot of experience and innovation in the world of the advanced automation and technology. So stay tuned for what’s going to be a very informative discussion that will absolutely raise your supply chain technology queue. Now, with that said a quick programming note, if you enjoy today’s episode, be sure to find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from. So you don’t miss a single thing. So Greg, let’s welcome in our special guests here today. Richard Schrade co founder and president of automation intelligence, Richard, how are you doing?

Richard Schrade (01:29):

I’m doing well. Thanks for having me.

Scott Luton (01:31):

Absolutely. We have enjoyed Greg and I have enjoyed getting to know you and your organization a little better over the last few months have enjoyed our, our warmup conversation. And we’re ready to, to share you with our audience, right. Fellow member of point a also that’s right.

Richard Schrade (01:48):

Absolutely. Yeah. What organization that is too.

Scott Luton (01:53):

Yeah. So before we talk shop, and we’ll, we’ll elaborate more on maybe point a here, uh, later in the interview, but Richard, give our audience a chance to get to know you a little bit better. And tell us about yourself where you’re from and give us an anecdote or two about your upbringing.

Richard Schrade (02:08):

Sure. Uh, well right now I live in Nashville, Tennessee, uh, with my fiance. Who’s a pediatric oncologist. I’m from Atlanta, Georgia born and raised, went to Georgia tech, um, big, brave stand, big Falcons fan, um, and was fortunate to be able to start our company in Atlanta with a, a fellow classmate of mine, um, in the code, the building, and we’re really living out a dream. So, um, so we’re really blessed.

Scott Luton (02:41):

Love that. Um, so, so you’re born and raised in Atlanta area is that I hear that right.

Richard Schrade (02:47):

That’s right. Born Piedmont hospital. And, uh, I’ve lived within 25 miles of there for the first 28 years of my life, I guess stay. So, um, one of the few, you know, true Atlantans, I guess you could say.

Scott Luton (03:04):

So we’re all Greg and I are big fans of Nashville, uh, big fans that city, but of course we’re a little bit partial to the Metro Atlanta area as well. What’s one thing you miss about yeah. Not living in Atlanta right now. Uh, what’s one thing that comes to mind.

Richard Schrade (03:20):

Well, I think obviously, um, you know, my family’s in Atlanta and all of my friends, you know, people I grew up with, uh, I miss them a lot. Um, yeah, 3:30 AM central time to play golf with him on Saturdays. So you see how much I miss them. But, um, you know, I’d say from the tech scene in Atlanta, as you know, Brad is, I mean, it’s, it’s second to maybe San Fran right now. Um, but just flowing like crazy and while natural, certainly on the mouth, um, you know, I really miss just meeting people in the elevator meeting you guys. Um, and really just a I missed, I think I’m missing out on, on the Atlanta sort of a Renaissance if you will. So, but I’m there quite a bit when it’s safe to travel. So I do get to see, so what do you like the most? I got to know this. What do you like the most about Nashville?

Richard Schrade (04:23):

Well, I mean, uh, I’d say I like the most that you can get, uh, it’s, it’s authentic, right? And you can get from a, to B in 10 minutes or less. So my fiance and I, we love going out, going out to Broadway or even just going to see a show known to see a concert all the time. Um, and so it’s, uh, you know, it’s not a big to do to just, you know, go down to the Ryman. It’s a mile and a half, or if we want to go to Broadway or do whatever, it’s very accessible and authentic, you know, it’s everything, we love country music, barbecue. I gave you that saying, have you had a Robert’s fried bologna sandwich yet? I don’t think I have. I’m not a big fried bologna guy, but on Broadway

Scott Luton (05:20):

I have had one, but thanks. Thanks. No, I have thanks to my inlaws who took his Nashville and made that and put that on my bucket list. They put it on there and, uh, one of the con one of my kids. Yeah,

Richard Schrade (05:35):

[inaudible] great music. They’re also rich. I mean, and it’s, like I said, you know, it’s, it’s the epicenter of music. It’s authentic, you know, people come here trying to make it, um, gain and you see people who are super talented, but just haven’t been seen yet. It’s a really cool thing to experience. So, yeah. Um, well, that’s great. So any, so as we talk about your professional journey, share with us, maybe any sort of, um, shaping moments that might’ve occurred before or during your, your, um, professional journey, it kind of helped you shape your worldview or perspective on life or business or entrepreneurship. Sure. So I think probably the one that comes to mind most is, uh, when my co founder RD and I, uh, we did senior design together at Georgia tech, which typically for people, you know, uh, not an engineering, it happens, you’re typically around your last year of school and at least it’s an exceptionally rigorous, um, you know, they throw you into a problem and, you know, you show up six months or a year later with a solution.

Richard Schrade (06:52):

And it requires required of us. A lot of figuring things out, using things that you we’re supposed to be learning in all of your classes and I’m making it happen. So we did a project for inventory routing of cash, which is really cool. When should we go visit ATM? How often, how much money should we put in? You know, do we take out a lot of cash and pay interest on it or do we take more transportation fee, um, and going to visit more often, I’ll be able with less tach. So we developed an optimization model around that and Ari and I spent many late nights, I mean, two, three, 4:00 AM and the Georgia tech library, DBA code. And, um, and you know, this was before Python was big. So, um, during that, yeah, JPL optimization language, figuring it out and failing and be frustrated, finally, you know, getting a solution that works. And, uh, and I realized, you know, I was excited every day to go and work with Ari. I don’t know, seven or 8:00 PM on a Friday night. I’m like, I don’t, you know, I want to be in the library.

Scott Luton (08:08):

Yeah.

Richard Schrade (08:08):

And we worked really well together. Um, yeah. So at that point, I even may have said to him, I don’t know if I did or not, but you know, I thought at least that, Hey, this is something that we can capitalize on one day. You know, let’s figure out a way down the road, um, for us to work together and do really cool stuff like we’re doing now. And, um, here we are,

Scott Luton (08:33):

Hey, two quick questions. So first off, is there what food powered those late nights? I’m assuming the waffle house came into play at some point during those during those long nights. But, but kidding aside, you mentioned Python and, uh, I’ll be the one person out of all the folks listening to this, that, that don’t really understand what that is. Maybe explain to those

Scott Luton (08:56):

folks that may not have, have, um, uh, come across Python and embraced it yet. Why is that so popular these days?

Richard Schrade (09:04):

Well, it’s, it’s, it’s amazing. It’s really what it is. It’s open source. So there’s been this huge shift towards, you know, from like the Microsoft paid platform or Apple towards open source. And now you’re really trying to focus on, uh, you know, going after like the cloud computing thing. So that’s a whole nother discussion, but for us and for most people, um, it’s sort of a, uh, an ecosystem that’s again, open source. Anybody can come in suggest and it’s too common. Packages are common, um, sort of, uh, you know, utilities that people commonly use you can create your own use. Uh, so it’s really just an ecosystem where there’s anything you want to do. Instead of being as a construction worker, you’re more of a plumber, you know what I mean? You’re just piping things together and you don’t have to know all the nitty gritty details. And, uh, and just a couple hours, you can stand up a website or come up with a machine learning application, rhino, take things that other people have done and, um, copy their ideas, you know, with their permission.

Scott Luton (10:14):

So

Richard Schrade (10:15):

it’s, uh, I, I think, uh, you know, it’s, it’s effect open source their effect on at least the data science community, the automation community. Um, I don’t think it’s yet been fully understood. So it’s, that’s really amazing.

Greg White (10:31):

It’s hyper efficient in terms of, um, doing math, even in complex calculations. So it’s become really popular in, in a lot of these optimizations solutions as well. You’re right. Richard, it has, you know, it’s basically a platform and it’s plugging things in rather than writing them from scratch. Right? Yeah. Eventually you had to graduate from college and I’m curious, so did, I mean, did you and Ari partner up right out of school?

Richard Schrade (11:10):

Absolutely. So, um, so Ari went, uh, argues. It is incredibly bright guy and loves being down in the weeds. And so he went on to do his masters at Kings, the first class of the masters of analytics program at Georgia tech, which has grown and popularity like crazy. Um, I started doing it all via the online version a couple of years ago before we started this company. Um, and then he went on to do his, uh, PhD in machine learning and I mean, got way, way technical words. Uh non-combat it’s optimization things that even, I don’t fully understand how all that works.

Scott Luton (11:56):

Okay.

Richard Schrade (11:58):

Yeah. And, uh, so he went off in the academic world. I went into consulting. So I was part of a company that for companies that edit companies that don’t, uh, typically automate things, maybe they do it once every, um, every so often they update their facilities and they do capital projects. We would be there advocate too, sort of figure out what robotics solution made sense for their ROI threshold and their application. What’s a Cadillac option. What’s a, you know, more of a, a camera option if you will. Um, and sort of be that, that behind the scenes brain for, uh, for companies that I didn’t really know which way was up. So, Mmm. So specifically my group, there would be ones that would sort of dive into the details of the design. Um, you know, we would use simulation modeling to figure out, even down to the details of, are we going to have a fadeaway that’s too close to a, you know, um, the rails or another, a package moving by. That’s not going to be able to see it all the way to do we need five lines. Do we need six? Do we need four? So we are helping influence some of those higher level decisions and lower level decisions through some, uh, through some crafty modeling. And what company was that, that was the Haskell company has a branch here in Atlanta as well, that focuses on, uh, consumer products and packaging, which was the division that was, got it. Where’d you head from there?

Richard Schrade (13:42):

That was my last stop until this. So, um, so that’s how long it has seven years, six or seven years. Right. So tell us a little bit about, um, kind of your vision for automation until

Scott Luton (14:04):

what

Richard Schrade (14:06):

formulating your vision for it.

Scott Luton (14:08):

If I could interject for just one second. Uh, so you and Ari already knew each other, right. From all, from all that work at tech, can you think back, and if it doesn’t, if it’s not one conversation, I know that this is my fourth venture, and I can almost think about each of those singular conversations that led each of those. Is there a moment or is there a time, or is there a meeting, is there one thing where you and Ari has said, you know what, what’s this light, this candle.

Richard Schrade (14:35):

Absolutely. Yeah, it was January eight, horny 19. And, uh, you know, I was commuting back and forth from Nashville to Atlanta quite a bit. And I think it was a Friday or Thursday afternoon,

Richard Schrade (14:52):

and I was heading back to Nashville and I would texting maybe once a year or a couple of times a year and just check in. I said, Hey, you know, I’m in Midtown. Um, my brother-in-law at the time worked at empire state South, which I can give them a plug. Amazing, probably my favorite restaurant in Midtown. Um, so there’s, there’s that? And, um, so you said, well, you know, I don’t know, I gotta, I gotta go to the gym and I’m doing this stuff PhD or whatever. And I was like, no worries. Well, let’s do it. Let’s go, you know, I’ll, I’ll move things around. So he was telling me about what he’s doing. I saw what I was doing. And, um, there just was a flow there, there just was like, Oh, well, this what you do makes a lot of sense of what I do.

Richard Schrade (15:39):

And if we put these things together, you know, I think we’re the missing each other. Mmm. And so he said, well, you know, why don’t we, why don’t we look farther into this? You know, we’re not going to rush into something, but let’s put a business plan together. Let’s see what’s out there, you know, kind of hash it out. Let’s throw wrenches at it. Like we just like to say a lot. And so we won’t. So from then, so during the end of March, we, we bottle all the way through planned it out, like typical engineer’s would. And then, uh, April 1st started they one. Awesome. Yeah. Thank you for sharing. Sorry, Greg.

Richard Schrade (16:23):

I’m glad, glad to hear that. That’s incredible. Alright. So day one, what did you contemplate that automation intelligence or however you can see that and what does it turned out to be? Yeah, that’s a great question. And I think, you know, if you asked me the same question a year from now, it might be different. I think that, Mmm. We knew what we could do and what we were good at, what we wanted to do. I think how it all fits together. Mmm. Certainly certainly change is really kind of matured since we started. So, um, we knew we were, we were great at developing digital and we knew that, um, for consumer products and for e-commerce, that there was a great business case for helping companies, you know, test out really deeply their systems before they go and buy multimillion dollar systems. You don’t want to take your best there.

Richard Schrade (17:28):

We knew that there was a plate. Well, we didn’t know. And what we’re maturing into is how digital twins can play into the machine learning and AI space. Um, so for machine learning specifically, what people lack is an accurate representation of reality to train these agents. And then just a sort of aside onto what that is and how it works. Essentially, essentially machine learning and reinforcement learning is a brain of a baby that hasn’t been trained yet. And so this baby makes actions or doesn’t make actions and then learn stream it replays this episode, hundreds of thousands of times, until it would become sort of a master at doing whatever work that this agent is supposed to do. So, um, so some companies you think of unity provides a platform that you can simulate once one robot with physics, inertia interactions. Um, but there’s not one that can do an entire facility.

Richard Schrade (18:33):

And so that’s what we provide is a platform to do that, as well as some of the know how to, to, um, you know, people don’t know if they have a machine learning problem. And so we do, and we can find that. So, um, so that’s one piece. And I think the other piece is that people that want to adopt AI or at least have the power to are, and it makes sense, you know, there’s always going to be snake oil in these buzzwords that you hear about, you know, we’re doing AI, we’re doing machine Marsh, what are you really doing? And so what we can do is take a step tickle, look at AI, uh, machine learning, people that say they do it, [inaudible] put their money where their mouth is say, okay, here’s the different point of the facility. Let’s see what you can.

Richard Schrade (19:25):

And, um, what that gives is people who don’t want to lose their VP job over AI, that doesn’t actually work and doesn’t do anything that provides value maybe, but it doesn’t provide value. Mmm. We’re going to find that out orders of magnitude quicker and less expensive than you would, if you were to go do it, you know, in real that’s fantastic. So, um, Richard and I were on a call at point a and he gave his Ted talk. I think they call it, but basically where you present to all the other members, what your company does and the ability to test and verify things without having to actually physically or even technically deploy them and see the result is an incredibly transformational technology. So for instance, you know, I come from the ban demand, forecasting planning, allocation, replenishment, all of that immediately he’s pruning because I smell him during his presentation probably disturbing, but, um, immediately my thought was, wouldn’t it be fantastic to test for, let’s just say one of blue Ridge is right. So, um, one of Lou customers does

Greg White (20:48):

equipment like this Arteric, and however you’re supposed to say, and theirs is orders of magnitude more expensive than North face and Patagonia and that sort of thing. So knowing how, what we would recommend they would execute would impact their investment in deployment of their goods and availability of their goods would be really, really valuable for them. It would also accelerate the decision process for solutions like that. Any salute, really a view of what the possibilities are. So this, that usually I would ask that question, Richard, I would usually, I would ask the question if you’ve got a thing, what are the key words in my head that would have me go to automation, intelligence, but that’s really, if you have a pain that you want solved by a particular solution, and you’d rather really test them like virtually tests rather than have to actually deploy it, this is the methodology for doing that shattered, groundbreaking, transformational, disruption, all those things. It’s all of those things. So, well, yeah. I mean, you, you, you hit the nail right on the head, you know, I appreciate it. And I think, you know, I would add to that, that, you know, when you,

Richard Schrade (22:08):

in the course of doing this and recreating an existing system, so you can compare it against maybe an optimized system, you know, our clients [inaudible],

Richard Schrade (22:20):

you know, they’re not AI specialists. They don’t know if they have a problem that I can solve. You know, we we’ve gone to it. I had a few customers that

Richard Schrade (22:30):

say, well, you know,

Scott Luton (22:32):

we’ve got a,

Richard Schrade (22:33):

you know, a person that sort of every time this happens, you know, we use a spreadsheet to do this, or, you know, we know when this happens, we’ve got to do that. And so, you know, they don’t know that they have these problems. So it’s, it’s sort of a sneaky way to say, Hey,

Scott Luton (22:46):

you know, there’s people like Greg out there that, uh, have had a way to optimize what you’re doing pretty quickly. We can show exactly

Richard Schrade (22:56):

what it does, how it works and measure, versus like you said, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a way to, to show them before you do it.

Scott Luton (23:05):

If I can weigh in just for a second here about AI, you know, clearly, you know, Greg, it dominates a lot of our conversations, right. Has has for, um, for a couple of years now, uh, I was reading in a well respected magazine, focused on economics, maybe a street up in New York, uh, we’ll elaborate any further. And they had a great thought provoking article about how companies have kind of, some companies have kind of hit a wall in terms of how to best use AI. And, and it’s led to kind of a, um, um, in terms of, of TA AI, talent, data analytics, talent, um, you know, some of these folks find out of a job, unfortunately because the companies and the leadership have not just in some cases, not being able to crack the code on how to really unleash the power, either one, you know, there’s no, there’s, Mmm. There’s all kinds of use here, but what does that mean to either of you

Richard Schrade (24:06):

I’ll start? I think that there’s, especially with respect to prediction. I think that AI, one of it’s principal use cases is to be able to make better predictions for forecasting, especially. So can you notice deeper trends and large feature sets that can give you insights that typical forecasting? However, there’s always going to be inherent noise and errant randomness that nobody is ever going to be able to predict even the most, a machine learning algorithm a thousand years from now, there’s always going to be a tab above which you’re not going to be able to improve. And I think that yes, that cat for your organization exists two inches about where you are now. You’re not going to see the payback. It’s just, it’s not there. It’s unfortunate, but you know, you, you know, you might get just a little bit more, but it’s not going to pay itself off.

Richard Schrade (25:07):

Mmm. So I think that’s the main thing is that there’s always going to be sort of, you know, black Swan type events and things that you’re just never going to be able to break. Yeah. I think that that’s an excellent example. And I think in addition to that, you have to acknowledge that AI takes a tremendous amount of data and a tremendous, tremendous amount of training to be effective. So you need one patient, okay. That’s enough to most companies, tremendous amount of data or what you need. And this is something that I’ve been working with over the last several years. You need a blended strategy. You need to use linear models or traditional men, for instance, for prediction or forecast use traditional math or traditional forecasting methodologies. In addition to her as an augmentation of AI, until you have enough data to support and teach, to teach and then AI to evaluate, and then you can get there.

Greg White (26:11):

And what I have not seen is a lot of companies taking that kind of dual deployment type of approach. They go all AI and sometimes linear math will solve the problem really complex, but linear math will solve the problem really efficiency efficiently. And yet they’ve spent all this money on AI. Didn’t give them the solution, they find a linear math solution. And so, um, I think you have to acknowledge that there are, you have to have an understanding of where AI is really necessary, where linear math will sufficiently do the job and where one can augment the other until AI is the solution.

Scott Luton (26:54):

Gotcha. Good stuff. I appreciate that. That was probably a two questions too early, cause we’re going to broaden out the discussion in a moment, but I, it seemed to hit me as, as Richard was sharing some of the things and some of the things we’ve heard, uh, a little bit about, and some things we’ve heard a lot about it. That’s very helpful, um, feedback from you both. So, Greg, I think as we start to kind of wrap up this segment on Richard, I think we’re curious about where he spends his time, right?

Greg White (27:23):

Yeah. Well, one, if you’ve got an example of somebody who is using your application, and I think other than what we’ve described here, I think it would be great if you have some sort of case study or maybe even a potential one from somebody who wants to fall, then yes. I want to know what it is you do.

Richard Schrade (27:46):

So we’ve been, we’ve been really fortunate to get some big name clients early on. Um, so our first big project was with Amazon in there a new facility that they were developing, uh, late last year that they needed to be online for the Christmas season. Mmm. So that was the first big one. And, and, um, and ups is probably our biggest client today. Um, doing a lot of stuff. Most of which I can’t talk about, well, I can talk about is, uh, it’s sort of there, there way of embracing this technology and pushing the limits of what it can possibly do. And they have incredible engineers that, that work Mmm, yeah. Really close to our offices, just up in an offer that, that using what we’re doing is we’re basically doing a pilot of where creating a full digital twin of one of their facilities and we’re using it to see how they, it could have, or could in the future make better decisions. So if you think about the ups facility, let’s say it’s two days before Christmas, everything that I’m ordering, everything that you guys are ordering so much stuff, probably 25, 30% more than a typical day is going through these facilities.

Richard Schrade (29:15):

And so what we’re able to do is, is basically developed a plan for how we’re going to manage all of this, all of this stuff going through. We need to figure out what trailer saw mode at what time. Um, we need to know that if we unload, I trailer iPhones, that’s going to be a lot of small packages are going to be difficult to manage. If we, at the same time we do as business. So we need to, we need to sequence that. Also, we need to know if we a trailer outbound for LA, it can’t be next to one going to New York because they’re just going to be too much of a bottleneck there. And so there’s so much complexity and so many systems that all are interconnected in these facilities. Yeah. We are trying to find ways that we can Mmm. On the, on a very simple level, let’s try out our plan three hours before we can run it in fast forward, two hours in we’re going to overwhelm one subsystem while another one is totally vacant.

Richard Schrade (30:25):

Let’s tweak our plan and run it again, tweak our plan and run it again. Now we got a really good I’m planning to go there. And then there’s this, this element of AI, just when we were talking about earlier, you know, we don’t have time to, to, to fail with, with AI, it’s going to take, Mmm. Is he going to take us off a path that isn’t going to work? Let’s see if we can use it in a digital twin and get that, see if it beats our baseline. You know, if we get an AI module that can predict sorts better or that can manage our flow better, let’s see if it works. It’ll take a few weeks, it’ll take, you know, send pretty skilled engineers, but we can do it a lot faster than going and disrupting an existing facility. Um, potentially creating a catastrophic failure. Well, hitting all of their subsystems rather than just one. Mmm.

Richard Schrade (31:25):

That’s really interesting, uh, application for it. And one that I think is going to be six months or a year. Yep. Well, you know, um, of course part of that play is risk mitigation, right? And, and if you could do things in a Petri dish yeah. That’s right. A Petri dish or whatever is the modern equivalent of that from a technology standpoint, equivalent the digital equivalent of a Petri dish, whatever that is to isolate that and to be able to experiment on that and really be able to uncover the gaps that you don’t, you don’t, I’m sure. You know, you don’t know what you don’t know. I mean, that’s gotta be so powerful. I couldn’t, I couldn’t say it better than that. I mean, and that’s going back to one of the things, you know, what have we learned in the last year, year and a half that we’ve been doing it? I think that the play that risks has Mmm. And in what we do is our rating, speaking of Amazon, which everybody knows of course. And it’s a talk of what’s that Greg, which we must do in every episode. I mean, they’re doing so many things, but speaking of which

Scott Luton (32:40):

clearly is one of the great advantages you offer. Uh, there’s a great, and I’m not getting it right perfectly, but there’s, Jeff B is a huge fan of experimentation. And, you know, we talked about a few weeks ago that quote, where he basically says, if you can experiment a couple, a couple hundred times a day, great. But if you can experiment a couple of thousand times a day, you’re just going to go so much more, so, so much faster and be able to do and innovate so much greater. So, um, I love to hear those synergies you have with some of your customers that you can talk about. I’m sure. Plenty of others. You can’t, Greg, you were going to say something.

Scott Luton (33:16):

Well, no, well, actually it wasn’t right, but you made me think of something kind of referring back to unity, which Richard talked about earlier and Danny Longo, who is one of the greatest AI philosophers of all time. Um, you know, we, we talked about agents, which are essentially babies need to learn, right. And we’ve also talked a lot about how Danny believes that throwing more agents at a problem, right. 2000 instead of 200 or 2000, instead of one makes the learning go that much more quicker and you don’t need better minds. You don’t need better mathematics or solvers. You need more of that. They start to teach and learn from each other. And also they experiment so much more quick.

Scott Luton (34:06):

Yeah, we’ll put, we’ll put, all right. So let’s shift gears here. And Richard, as Greg put it, I want her to, I want to know what you do every day. Is that kind of how you said it, Greg? I like that,

Richard Schrade (34:20):

man. Um, well you get up early and you work late for sure. Mmm. You know, I think that we’ve done a really good job at focusing on doing an awesome job on our projects, geeking out on the things that would blow our customers’ minds, things that they don’t expect, maybe things that they didn’t pay for things that they don’t even know are possible.

Richard Schrade (34:49):

You know, virtual reality is a whole nother intersection we did get into, but that’s one that when we go to deliver a project and we’re able to say, Hey, you can actually run the line in VR and interact with, you know, the computers and the buttons and things like that. So, so we, we stay focused on executing the work that we’ve got and doing really good job. I spent most of my day supporting my engineers, um, giving them what they need, kind of pushing them to, um, to do as good of a job as we can and get a good process in place and get a good scalable business in place. Um, so I’d say that’s probably 80% of my day is,

Richard Schrade (35:38):

you know, supporting my team on their projects and, and making sure we’re doing good quality work. Um, you know, the remaining 20% is probably what anybody who owns and runs a business is dealing with, you know, QuickBooks and taxes and a full garbage cans. We work cause we work open. Is it closed? You know? Um, so I’ll just the administrative stuff that comes with, you know? Yeah. I’m not a huge fan of, but, but yeah, so you get involved in the solutioning or the sales process or that sort of thing, I assume because you’re still relatively fledgling that you’re doing some aspect of that. Right. We are, um, you know, we, my goal is to kind of get our brand out there, you know, what our work market itself and you know, what, what are customers’ experiences be? What Leeds equal to us. And so that’s why our focus has always been and will continue to be on doing now. Uh, you know, as far as sales go, we really try and find organic channels. Like you guys were, you know, our potential clients already going, you know, I don’t like getting email from people. I don’t know. So I doubt any of our potential clients, you know, I look for ways for yeah,

Richard Schrade (37:18):

places, you know, periodicals or things like that, where we can put our message out there and people consume it and educate themselves. And then in an organic fashion, in a way that they want to, rather than having it pushed off. So we do spend some time on that. I think we should spend, uh, you know, more time developing videos and blogs and case studies and things like that. You know, we are, we’re going to be doing more of that.

Scott Luton (37:46):

Outstanding. Alright. So let’s shift gears, Greg, you ready? Yeah. Go for it. All right. So there’s so much going on when you look at the global end to end supply chain, right. Uh, the PA you know, we’re not quite in, even though we’ve seen lots of great signs and, and, uh, in terms of that, I’m going to say it folks getting into the new normal, you know, that’s a cliche for a big, very real reason, but we’re just starting to get there. There’s so much going on related to the pandemic and what’s to come, you know, there’s, there’s plenty of other challenges in industry and, um, uh, outside, just outside of industry, you know, what, what are one or two things that come to mind, whether they’re trends or challenges or innovations, um, you name it, what are a couple of things that are on your radar, more than others right now?

Richard Schrade (38:36):

Yeah. Two things come to mind. I think that where new things are becoming automated, that weren’t previously automated.

Scott Luton (38:44):

That’s where

Richard Schrade (38:46):

we have an especially Kenai, um, one that’s a really neat one is Marine terminals. So moving containers off the ships on the rail cars, on the trucks, only 5% of the world’s ports are Steven somewhat automated. And it’s predicted that based on the numbers, how much it costs automate versus how much, uh, you know, there is an a not only running in a, an existing manual process, but impacts of disruption. Mmm. I think 20, 24, 50% will be, which is a huge number. And these are huge undertakings on ton of risks as we talked about earlier. So we have a keen eye and are looking to adapt our existing platform and technologies to be able to automating Marine terminals. Um, so that’s, that’s one thing. Um, I think

Scott Luton (39:45):

one,

Richard Schrade (39:47):

uh, maybe not, it’s not a vertical, but one technology that we are, especially I’m focused on is prescriptive analytics. So there’s a number of companies out there that specialize in predictive analytics, you know, what’s going to happen. What could happen? You know, Greg, is it expert in that? Um, but we see an opportunity for people to answer the question, well, what should we do if this, then what should we do? How can we maximize our opportunity with the limitations of our constraints? And so, um, when we take a focus on AI, that’s sort of our niche is being able to help influence and potentially in the future automate the decisions of, um, this is my reality, what should I do?

Greg White (40:40):

Love it. Yeah. And that’s, that is a critical, it’s a critical translation, right? Everybody’s particularly in my space, they think that the forecast is sufficient. Um, and, and often it’s left to the discernment of a human being and, you know, studies, especially again in the space that I’m really familiar with, uh, shown that 84% of the time humans make the wrong decision. So it’s absolutely, it’s not that we’re terribly effective. Right. We need a lot of help. And even if we a prescriptive solution, can’t make the final decision, it can at least get you past some of the initial consideration. Right?

Richard Schrade (41:22):

Yeah. I think it really, really cool example of sort of that transformation from manual to more of like a systematic approaches, um, how scheduling works and major league baseball. So it used to be, and Scott were a big baseball guy. So you might know this used to be there as a couple. And they would work for months index cards and moving them around them, which team was going to go where, and how Ray trips we’re going to pan out. And, uh, baseball, purists like Scott and like mild man people they doing. And that’s how they, you know, how they like to see it. You know, what we’re capable of doing now is like you said, prescriptive analytics approach is let’s plug into constraints. We’re not going to have a road trip longer than seven games. You know, we’ve got to play everybody in our division, you know, at least 15 times getting us the schedule that maximizes revenue. And so that’s what we’re able to do. It, it does it a lot better than people which, you know, some peers would like to admit. Um, and then also, you know, does it to, uh, which I just think it’s beautiful. If you can find the perfect solution, billions, it just, it gives me such satisfaction

Scott Luton (42:42):

I’m with ya. And you know what I appreciate, uh, I’ve never been called a purest. I, I I’ll wear that label with some, uh, with some, uh, pride, however, you know, I can’t be called a purist because I’m a fan of the DH. If the ale is going to have what the American league is going to have a DH, the national, Lee’s got to have a DH because I’ll tell you why though. It’s about protecting the pitchers if the national league, which are huge investments. So if Nash and, you know, one of the last brave seasons not to take too much of sidebar when Tim Hudson got hurt running to first base, or, um, well, we’ve got to protect the pitchers at the American league pitchers. Aren’t gonna, aren’t going to bat then, you know, it’s gotta be, it’s gotta be ankle stepped on.

Richard Schrade (43:28):

I have to sound off on this because I’m, I come from an American league city in the city, right. It’s essentially invented the American league and Johnson and my feeling on the da is that if the pitcher has to come back, he’s a lot less likely to throw at another player. That’s fair too. Right. That’s that is my logic for why

Scott Luton (43:52):

I’m with you. I just want to, even both sides in the habit or they don’t have it, you know? Alright. So I love your example that Richard, that is a great, I’m going to steal that from you. I did not know. Yes. I’m a, still that you might get some royalty checks from me down the road. That’s a great example. Um, all right. So you’ve got some exciting needs news coming up, uh, as we move into the summer, it seems like you’ve been quite a hot commodity, uh, folks, as, as the word gets out, you’re going to be doing a lot more interviews, right?

Richard Schrade (44:26):

We are. And, um, you know, I think that we,

Richard Schrade (44:32):

uh, are going to be investing more time into sharing our message, you know, like when you guys creating better content, more podcasts, more videos, more case studies so that, you know, it’s people come along and they’re interested. They want to learn more and they don’t have to call me and I don’t have to type up an email. They can, they can sort of get it from themselves. So, uh, so we’re going to be doing more of that. I think that there’s, there’s awesome messages to share some, some really cool stories of, uh, you know, projects in the past. And, um, you know, some, some cool partnerships that we have coming up. One is with, uh, a few Georgia tech labs, more information on those when it comes to fruition, exciting stuff this year, we’re going to make the best it’s 2020, if we can. And, um, and, and keep it, uh, keep it a great year.

Scott Luton (45:27):

Mm love that. Well, Greg, uh, well let’s, before we make sure our audience knows how to get in touch with Richard, you mentioned, you know, point AIDS come up a couple of times, and you’ve talked about, uh, how, uh, Richard and his team are part of point a let’s. Let’s just make sure by understands what that is and why it’s so cool to have Richard and team be part of that.

Greg White (45:48):

Yeah. So I’ll, I’ll just give a brief explanation and Richard, maybe you can, um, you can give some color commentary around it, but point a is a supply chain focus, innovation hub, where big companies with problems that they want solved sometimes disruptive and really, truly disruptive to their industry and, and early stage and startup companies like Richards and Verisign and other members are presented with these problems. And then the organization comes together to create, propose, and fund and execute a solution, hopefully a solution that the early stage companies can then go and market to a greater market. Um, but it’s a great ecosystem that creates a symbiotic relationship between those who have need and money, but perhaps a, um, an established the traditional, uh, even a legacy point of view on certain topics and these early stage startups that have a new and disruptive point of view on, on these same problems to be able to solve those problems or progress for the solution to those problems. It’s a great organization. We’re a member of, Richard’s a member verus ups, Georgia Pacific cap, Gemini about 45 companies. I believe our members right now.

Scott Luton (47:12):

Yep. And we’ll be opening, uh, our second studio there, uh, and, and be in there, uh, probably as soon as July, you know, as everyone else, we’re trying to figure out our own strategy while we still piece together the, the, the cutting edge studio that we, that we have in mind for that spot. But Richard, you know, y’all been a part y’all

Richard Schrade (47:30):

been a member, um, for a while as well. Have you enjoy, I mean, tell us about your experience thus far. Yeah. It’s been an awesome experience. Um, I think it’s, it’s a, a drastic shift in the way that these problems have typically been solved. And I think it’s ingenious. I think you bring together any great solution is gonna typically require many parts and pieces and you bring them ahead of time. Okay. I think the best part is that it’s agnostic. You know what I mean? We’re not there’s friendships, but you know, when it comes down to it may the best, the best plan went may the best proposal when, um, you know, you have competitors in there, Microsoft and AWS are probably the two biggest, um, I think that when you can, it’s sort of like, you know, playing video games with your friends, you know what I mean?

Richard Schrade (48:25):

Like your friends, but you’re working against each other, you’re working, you know, you’re trying to innovate as best you can. So I think it’s awesome. I think that we’ve, Mmm, I learned a lot and, and gotten such a great experience. Um, the people who work there not only are trying to create an awesome experience for the members, but they’re also doing, Mmm. Extraordinary work with respect to COVID. Um, you know, we had a call in March, which was, Hey guys, we don’t have a full proposal. Like we typically do, but what can we do? Um, and out of that came project 95, Mmm. Project and 95, which is basically this there’s program. That’s now gonna help, um, producers produce these masks and PPE equipment faster, cheaper, uh, than they have before. And it’s just, you know, if that would’ve happened without a point a, it would have either not happen or taken a ton of money or a ton of time or boats.

Richard Schrade (49:24):

And so when it, it’s just been an awesome, uh, organization to be a part of, and we’re thankful to be there. Yeah, love it. Alright. So Greg, as we wrap up this interview, what are, what are audience members just dying to know? Richard? I have a feeling you might get a phone call or two, however, so tell, tell our listeners, our audience, how they can get in touch with you. Uh, well, email worksRichard@autointel.io. You can find us on LinkedIn automation intelligence, our website brand new website just got upgraded auto intel.io. And, um, we’ll be coming out with more Twitter and YouTube stuff soon. But yeah, that’s how you can find us. Now stay tuned to all the industry, publications, podcasts, you name it as Richard and Ari and the rest of the team to talk to him pretty soon. Think so too. I

Scott Luton (50:28):

think so, too. Uh, Richard, it’s a pleasure to connect with you. You know, we’ve really enjoyed the conversations leading up to really sharing you and your story and what, uh, the automation intelligence team is doing all the big things. I mean, heck you working with Amazon, you’re working with some other big names that we can’t a share today. That is such a, um, um, uh, the, the term rubber stamp approval. Doesn’t do it justice. I mean, clearly are doing some big things early on and we’ll have to have you back on and, and have you give us update on how the year wrapped up.

Scott Luton (51:00):

We’ll be happy to thank you guys for having me on. I really enjoyed it.

Scott Luton (51:02):

All right. Stay right there. As we wrap up here today, Greg, you were going to add,

Greg White (51:08):

I was just, all I was gonna add was this, um, it’s encouraging and energizing to see a company. That’s we see a lot of companies, right. And I see a lot of companies and I see a lot of companies that are doing great things. It’s, it’s a rare instance when one stands out so dramatically as a, as a transformational technology. And I think additionally, where the story is so clear cut and, and the parents, but you don’t have to be an expert. You don’t have to be in involved in the industry. You just get it right. I’m getting them at a, at a human level. Um, so I think big things to come for automation. I agree. I agree. I hope I’m right. I just said that.

Scott Luton (51:56):

So, Hey, big. Thanks to our featured guests here today. Richard Schrade cofounder president of automation intelligence. You can learn more@alsointel.io, uh, real quick, before we sign off Greg, another great episode, I really enjoyed Richard’s perspective. We want to invite our audience. We’ve got two events coming up. One is a June 25th webinar, all about ERP, best practices. As we get into the new normal shortage of challenges there, uh, we’ve got rootstock coming home and making

Greg White (52:26):

right. Um, great, um, visionary thought leader in terms of ERP at a company that is, that has a cloud native, which is a big segment of the future.

Scott Luton (52:42):

Okay, that’s right. June 25th. Uh, you can learn more about that on our events tab at our website, also on a whole different note, uh, July 15th, we are hosting a panel as we continue our standup and sat all stand up and sound off programming, which is really important because it makes everyone it’s very interactive. We want the panel to share your thoughts and perspective as well as our global audience. And it’s all about the, uh, race challenges we have in industry. And we’re going to tackle that head on and we look forward to what our audience has to say and what they want to contribute in terms of what the issues are, as well as some of the things that have to happen. Greg

Scott Luton (53:23):

full panel. That’s right.

Scott Luton (53:28):

Yep. Absolutely. We’ll have to get Richard and new voices. It’s going to be powerful. I agreed. Uh, Richard would love to have you and your team be a part of that discussion. Um, you can find all of that on the events tab and other resources at supply chain. Now radio.com find us of course, and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from tune into our live stream. So you here thought leaders like Richard, you know, share their story and share their take on what’s going on in industry today and tomorrow. So on behalf of Greg white and Scott loot and the entire team here, we’ll see you next time on supply chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro – Amanda Luton (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 (00:29):

Hey, good afternoon, everybody. Scott Luton and Greg white was supply chain. Now welcome to today’s show Greg, how are you doing? I am doing well. I’m actually out of the house, Scott. I know you’re out there innovating and entrepreneuring and leading and advising, right. You’d land a technology development center. Well in Midtown Atlanta. So today’s show we have got one heck of an innovative business leader coming to us from the world, the greater business world, but with a lot of experience and innovation in the world of the advanced automation and technology. So stay tuned for what’s going to be a very informative discussion that will absolutely raise your supply chain technology queue. Now, with that said a quick programming note, if you enjoy today’s episode, be sure to find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from. So you don’t miss a single thing. So Greg, let’s welcome in our special guests here today. Richard Schrade co founder and president of automation intelligence, Richard, how are you doing?

Richard Schrade (01:29):

I’m doing well. Thanks for having me.

Scott Luton (01:31):

Absolutely. We have enjoyed Greg and I have enjoyed getting to know you and your organization a little better over the last few months have enjoyed our, our warmup conversation. And we’re ready to, to share you with our audience, right. Fellow member of point a also that’s right.

Richard Schrade (01:48):

Absolutely. Yeah. What organization that is too.

Scott Luton (01:53):

Yeah. So before we talk shop, and we’ll, we’ll elaborate more on maybe point a here, uh, later in the interview, but Richard, give our audience a chance to get to know you a little bit better. And tell us about yourself where you’re from and give us an anecdote or two about your upbringing.

Richard Schrade (02:08):

Sure. Uh, well right now I live in Nashville, Tennessee, uh, with my fiance. Who’s a pediatric oncologist. I’m from Atlanta, Georgia born and raised, went to Georgia tech, um, big, brave stand, big Falcons fan, um, and was fortunate to be able to start our company in Atlanta with a, a fellow classmate of mine, um, in the code, the building, and we’re really living out a dream. So, um, so we’re really blessed.

Scott Luton (02:41):

Love that. Um, so, so you’re born and raised in Atlanta area is that I hear that right.

Richard Schrade (02:47):

That’s right. Born Piedmont hospital. And, uh, I’ve lived within 25 miles of there for the first 28 years of my life, I guess stay. So, um, one of the few, you know, true Atlantans, I guess you could say.

Scott Luton (03:04):

So we’re all Greg and I are big fans of Nashville, uh, big fans that city, but of course we’re a little bit partial to the Metro Atlanta area as well. What’s one thing you miss about yeah. Not living in Atlanta right now. Uh, what’s one thing that comes to mind.

Richard Schrade (03:20):

Well, I think obviously, um, you know, my family’s in Atlanta and all of my friends, you know, people I grew up with, uh, I miss them a lot. Um, yeah, 3:30 AM central time to play golf with him on Saturdays. So you see how much I miss them. But, um, you know, I’d say from the tech scene in Atlanta, as you know, Brad is, I mean, it’s, it’s second to maybe San Fran right now. Um, but just flowing like crazy and while natural, certainly on the mouth, um, you know, I really miss just meeting people in the elevator meeting you guys. Um, and really just a I missed, I think I’m missing out on, on the Atlanta sort of a Renaissance if you will. So, but I’m there quite a bit when it’s safe to travel. So I do get to see, so what do you like the most? I got to know this. What do you like the most about Nashville?

Richard Schrade (04:23):

Well, I mean, uh, I’d say I like the most that you can get, uh, it’s, it’s authentic, right? And you can get from a, to B in 10 minutes or less. So my fiance and I, we love going out, going out to Broadway or even just going to see a show known to see a concert all the time. Um, and so it’s, uh, you know, it’s not a big to do to just, you know, go down to the Ryman. It’s a mile and a half, or if we want to go to Broadway or do whatever, it’s very accessible and authentic, you know, it’s everything, we love country music, barbecue. I gave you that saying, have you had a Robert’s fried bologna sandwich yet? I don’t think I have. I’m not a big fried bologna guy, but on Broadway

Scott Luton (05:20):

I have had one, but thanks. Thanks. No, I have thanks to my inlaws who took his Nashville and made that and put that on my bucket list. They put it on there and, uh, one of the con one of my kids. Yeah,

Richard Schrade (05:35):

[inaudible] great music. They’re also rich. I mean, and it’s, like I said, you know, it’s, it’s the epicenter of music. It’s authentic, you know, people come here trying to make it, um, gain and you see people who are super talented, but just haven’t been seen yet. It’s a really cool thing to experience. So, yeah. Um, well, that’s great. So any, so as we talk about your professional journey, share with us, maybe any sort of, um, shaping moments that might’ve occurred before or during your, your, um, professional journey, it kind of helped you shape your worldview or perspective on life or business or entrepreneurship. Sure. So I think probably the one that comes to mind most is, uh, when my co founder RD and I, uh, we did senior design together at Georgia tech, which typically for people, you know, uh, not an engineering, it happens, you’re typically around your last year of school and at least it’s an exceptionally rigorous, um, you know, they throw you into a problem and, you know, you show up six months or a year later with a solution.

Richard Schrade (06:52):

And it requires required of us. A lot of figuring things out, using things that you we’re supposed to be learning in all of your classes and I’m making it happen. So we did a project for inventory routing of cash, which is really cool. When should we go visit ATM? How often, how much money should we put in? You know, do we take out a lot of cash and pay interest on it or do we take more transportation fee, um, and going to visit more often, I’ll be able with less tach. So we developed an optimization model around that and Ari and I spent many late nights, I mean, two, three, 4:00 AM and the Georgia tech library, DBA code. And, um, and you know, this was before Python was big. So, um, during that, yeah, JPL optimization language, figuring it out and failing and be frustrated, finally, you know, getting a solution that works. And, uh, and I realized, you know, I was excited every day to go and work with Ari. I don’t know, seven or 8:00 PM on a Friday night. I’m like, I don’t, you know, I want to be in the library.

Scott Luton (08:08):

Yeah.

Richard Schrade (08:08):

And we worked really well together. Um, yeah. So at that point, I even may have said to him, I don’t know if I did or not, but you know, I thought at least that, Hey, this is something that we can capitalize on one day. You know, let’s figure out a way down the road, um, for us to work together and do really cool stuff like we’re doing now. And, um, here we are,

Scott Luton (08:33):

Hey, two quick questions. So first off, is there what food powered those late nights? I’m assuming the waffle house came into play at some point during those during those long nights. But, but kidding aside, you mentioned Python and, uh, I’ll be the one person out of all the folks listening to this, that, that don’t really understand what that is. Maybe explain to those

Scott Luton (08:56):

folks that may not have, have, um, uh, come across Python and embraced it yet. Why is that so popular these days?

Richard Schrade (09:04):

Well, it’s, it’s, it’s amazing. It’s really what it is. It’s open source. So there’s been this huge shift towards, you know, from like the Microsoft paid platform or Apple towards open source. And now you’re really trying to focus on, uh, you know, going after like the cloud computing thing. So that’s a whole nother discussion, but for us and for most people, um, it’s sort of a, uh, an ecosystem that’s again, open source. Anybody can come in suggest and it’s too common. Packages are common, um, sort of, uh, you know, utilities that people commonly use you can create your own use. Uh, so it’s really just an ecosystem where there’s anything you want to do. Instead of being as a construction worker, you’re more of a plumber, you know what I mean? You’re just piping things together and you don’t have to know all the nitty gritty details. And, uh, and just a couple hours, you can stand up a website or come up with a machine learning application, rhino, take things that other people have done and, um, copy their ideas, you know, with their permission.

Scott Luton (10:14):

So

Richard Schrade (10:15):

it’s, uh, I, I think, uh, you know, it’s, it’s effect open source their effect on at least the data science community, the automation community. Um, I don’t think it’s yet been fully understood. So it’s, that’s really amazing.

Greg White (10:31):

It’s hyper efficient in terms of, um, doing math, even in complex calculations. So it’s become really popular in, in a lot of these optimizations solutions as well. You’re right. Richard, it has, you know, it’s basically a platform and it’s plugging things in rather than writing them from scratch. Right? Yeah. Eventually you had to graduate from college and I’m curious, so did, I mean, did you and Ari partner up right out of school?

Richard Schrade (11:10):

Absolutely. So, um, so Ari went, uh, argues. It is incredibly bright guy and loves being down in the weeds. And so he went on to do his masters at Kings, the first class of the masters of analytics program at Georgia tech, which has grown and popularity like crazy. Um, I started doing it all via the online version a couple of years ago before we started this company. Um, and then he went on to do his, uh, PhD in machine learning and I mean, got way, way technical words. Uh non-combat it’s optimization things that even, I don’t fully understand how all that works.

Scott Luton (11:56):

Okay.

Richard Schrade (11:58):

Yeah. And, uh, so he went off in the academic world. I went into consulting. So I was part of a company that for companies that edit companies that don’t, uh, typically automate things, maybe they do it once every, um, every so often they update their facilities and they do capital projects. We would be there advocate too, sort of figure out what robotics solution made sense for their ROI threshold and their application. What’s a Cadillac option. What’s a, you know, more of a, a camera option if you will. Um, and sort of be that, that behind the scenes brain for, uh, for companies that I didn’t really know which way was up. So, Mmm. So specifically my group, there would be ones that would sort of dive into the details of the design. Um, you know, we would use simulation modeling to figure out, even down to the details of, are we going to have a fadeaway that’s too close to a, you know, um, the rails or another, a package moving by. That’s not going to be able to see it all the way to do we need five lines. Do we need six? Do we need four? So we are helping influence some of those higher level decisions and lower level decisions through some, uh, through some crafty modeling. And what company was that, that was the Haskell company has a branch here in Atlanta as well, that focuses on, uh, consumer products and packaging, which was the division that was, got it. Where’d you head from there?

Richard Schrade (13:42):

That was my last stop until this. So, um, so that’s how long it has seven years, six or seven years. Right. So tell us a little bit about, um, kind of your vision for automation until

Scott Luton (14:04):

what

Richard Schrade (14:06):

formulating your vision for it.

Scott Luton (14:08):

If I could interject for just one second. Uh, so you and Ari already knew each other, right. From all, from all that work at tech, can you think back, and if it doesn’t, if it’s not one conversation, I know that this is my fourth venture, and I can almost think about each of those singular conversations that led each of those. Is there a moment or is there a time, or is there a meeting, is there one thing where you and Ari has said, you know what, what’s this light, this candle.

Richard Schrade (14:35):

Absolutely. Yeah, it was January eight, horny 19. And, uh, you know, I was commuting back and forth from Nashville to Atlanta quite a bit. And I think it was a Friday or Thursday afternoon,

Richard Schrade (14:52):

and I was heading back to Nashville and I would texting maybe once a year or a couple of times a year and just check in. I said, Hey, you know, I’m in Midtown. Um, my brother-in-law at the time worked at empire state South, which I can give them a plug. Amazing, probably my favorite restaurant in Midtown. Um, so there’s, there’s that? And, um, so you said, well, you know, I don’t know, I gotta, I gotta go to the gym and I’m doing this stuff PhD or whatever. And I was like, no worries. Well, let’s do it. Let’s go, you know, I’ll, I’ll move things around. So he was telling me about what he’s doing. I saw what I was doing. And, um, there just was a flow there, there just was like, Oh, well, this what you do makes a lot of sense of what I do.

Richard Schrade (15:39):

And if we put these things together, you know, I think we’re the missing each other. Mmm. And so he said, well, you know, why don’t we, why don’t we look farther into this? You know, we’re not going to rush into something, but let’s put a business plan together. Let’s see what’s out there, you know, kind of hash it out. Let’s throw wrenches at it. Like we just like to say a lot. And so we won’t. So from then, so during the end of March, we, we bottle all the way through planned it out, like typical engineer’s would. And then, uh, April 1st started they one. Awesome. Yeah. Thank you for sharing. Sorry, Greg.

Richard Schrade (16:23):

I’m glad, glad to hear that. That’s incredible. Alright. So day one, what did you contemplate that automation intelligence or however you can see that and what does it turned out to be? Yeah, that’s a great question. And I think, you know, if you asked me the same question a year from now, it might be different. I think that, Mmm. We knew what we could do and what we were good at, what we wanted to do. I think how it all fits together. Mmm. Certainly certainly change is really kind of matured since we started. So, um, we knew we were, we were great at developing digital and we knew that, um, for consumer products and for e-commerce, that there was a great business case for helping companies, you know, test out really deeply their systems before they go and buy multimillion dollar systems. You don’t want to take your best there.

Richard Schrade (17:28):

We knew that there was a plate. Well, we didn’t know. And what we’re maturing into is how digital twins can play into the machine learning and AI space. Um, so for machine learning specifically, what people lack is an accurate representation of reality to train these agents. And then just a sort of aside onto what that is and how it works. Essentially, essentially machine learning and reinforcement learning is a brain of a baby that hasn’t been trained yet. And so this baby makes actions or doesn’t make actions and then learn stream it replays this episode, hundreds of thousands of times, until it would become sort of a master at doing whatever work that this agent is supposed to do. So, um, so some companies you think of unity provides a platform that you can simulate once one robot with physics, inertia interactions. Um, but there’s not one that can do an entire facility.

Richard Schrade (18:33):

And so that’s what we provide is a platform to do that, as well as some of the know how to, to, um, you know, people don’t know if they have a machine learning problem. And so we do, and we can find that. So, um, so that’s one piece. And I think the other piece is that people that want to adopt AI or at least have the power to are, and it makes sense, you know, there’s always going to be snake oil in these buzzwords that you hear about, you know, we’re doing AI, we’re doing machine Marsh, what are you really doing? And so what we can do is take a step tickle, look at AI, uh, machine learning, people that say they do it, [inaudible] put their money where their mouth is say, okay, here’s the different point of the facility. Let’s see what you can.

Richard Schrade (19:25):

And, um, what that gives is people who don’t want to lose their VP job over AI, that doesn’t actually work and doesn’t do anything that provides value maybe, but it doesn’t provide value. Mmm. We’re going to find that out orders of magnitude quicker and less expensive than you would, if you were to go do it, you know, in real that’s fantastic. So, um, Richard and I were on a call at point a and he gave his Ted talk. I think they call it, but basically where you present to all the other members, what your company does and the ability to test and verify things without having to actually physically or even technically deploy them and see the result is an incredibly transformational technology. So for instance, you know, I come from the ban demand, forecasting planning, allocation, replenishment, all of that immediately he’s pruning because I smell him during his presentation probably disturbing, but, um, immediately my thought was, wouldn’t it be fantastic to test for, let’s just say one of blue Ridge is right. So, um, one of Lou customers does

Greg White (20:48):

equipment like this Arteric, and however you’re supposed to say, and theirs is orders of magnitude more expensive than North face and Patagonia and that sort of thing. So knowing how, what we would recommend they would execute would impact their investment in deployment of their goods and availability of their goods would be really, really valuable for them. It would also accelerate the decision process for solutions like that. Any salute, really a view of what the possibilities are. So this, that usually I would ask that question, Richard, I would usually, I would ask the question if you’ve got a thing, what are the key words in my head that would have me go to automation, intelligence, but that’s really, if you have a pain that you want solved by a particular solution, and you’d rather really test them like virtually tests rather than have to actually deploy it, this is the methodology for doing that shattered, groundbreaking, transformational, disruption, all those things. It’s all of those things. So, well, yeah. I mean, you, you, you hit the nail right on the head, you know, I appreciate it. And I think, you know, I would add to that, that, you know, when you,

Richard Schrade (22:08):

in the course of doing this and recreating an existing system, so you can compare it against maybe an optimized system, you know, our clients [inaudible],

Richard Schrade (22:20):

you know, they’re not AI specialists. They don’t know if they have a problem that I can solve. You know, we we’ve gone to it. I had a few customers that

Richard Schrade (22:30):

say, well, you know,

Scott Luton (22:32):

we’ve got a,

Richard Schrade (22:33):

you know, a person that sort of every time this happens, you know, we use a spreadsheet to do this, or, you know, we know when this happens, we’ve got to do that. And so, you know, they don’t know that they have these problems. So it’s, it’s sort of a sneaky way to say, Hey,

Scott Luton (22:46):

you know, there’s people like Greg out there that, uh, have had a way to optimize what you’re doing pretty quickly. We can show exactly

Richard Schrade (22:56):

what it does, how it works and measure, versus like you said, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a way to, to show them before you do it.

Scott Luton (23:05):

If I can weigh in just for a second here about AI, you know, clearly, you know, Greg, it dominates a lot of our conversations, right. Has has for, um, for a couple of years now, uh, I was reading in a well respected magazine, focused on economics, maybe a street up in New York, uh, we’ll elaborate any further. And they had a great thought provoking article about how companies have kind of, some companies have kind of hit a wall in terms of how to best use AI. And, and it’s led to kind of a, um, um, in terms of, of TA AI, talent, data analytics, talent, um, you know, some of these folks find out of a job, unfortunately because the companies and the leadership have not just in some cases, not being able to crack the code on how to really unleash the power, either one, you know, there’s no, there’s, Mmm. There’s all kinds of use here, but what does that mean to either of you

Richard Schrade (24:06):

I’ll start? I think that there’s, especially with respect to prediction. I think that AI, one of it’s principal use cases is to be able to make better predictions for forecasting, especially. So can you notice deeper trends and large feature sets that can give you insights that typical forecasting? However, there’s always going to be inherent noise and errant randomness that nobody is ever going to be able to predict even the most, a machine learning algorithm a thousand years from now, there’s always going to be a tab above which you’re not going to be able to improve. And I think that yes, that cat for your organization exists two inches about where you are now. You’re not going to see the payback. It’s just, it’s not there. It’s unfortunate, but you know, you, you know, you might get just a little bit more, but it’s not going to pay itself off.

Richard Schrade (25:07):

Mmm. So I think that’s the main thing is that there’s always going to be sort of, you know, black Swan type events and things that you’re just never going to be able to break. Yeah. I think that that’s an excellent example. And I think in addition to that, you have to acknowledge that AI takes a tremendous amount of data and a tremendous, tremendous amount of training to be effective. So you need one patient, okay. That’s enough to most companies, tremendous amount of data or what you need. And this is something that I’ve been working with over the last several years. You need a blended strategy. You need to use linear models or traditional men, for instance, for prediction or forecast use traditional math or traditional forecasting methodologies. In addition to her as an augmentation of AI, until you have enough data to support and teach, to teach and then AI to evaluate, and then you can get there.

Greg White (26:11):

And what I have not seen is a lot of companies taking that kind of dual deployment type of approach. They go all AI and sometimes linear math will solve the problem really complex, but linear math will solve the problem really efficiency efficiently. And yet they’ve spent all this money on AI. Didn’t give them the solution, they find a linear math solution. And so, um, I think you have to acknowledge that there are, you have to have an understanding of where AI is really necessary, where linear math will sufficiently do the job and where one can augment the other until AI is the solution.

Scott Luton (26:54):

Gotcha. Good stuff. I appreciate that. That was probably a two questions too early, cause we’re going to broaden out the discussion in a moment, but I, it seemed to hit me as, as Richard was sharing some of the things and some of the things we’ve heard, uh, a little bit about, and some things we’ve heard a lot about it. That’s very helpful, um, feedback from you both. So, Greg, I think as we start to kind of wrap up this segment on Richard, I think we’re curious about where he spends his time, right?

Greg White (27:23):

Yeah. Well, one, if you’ve got an example of somebody who is using your application, and I think other than what we’ve described here, I think it would be great if you have some sort of case study or maybe even a potential one from somebody who wants to fall, then yes. I want to know what it is you do.

Richard Schrade (27:46):

So we’ve been, we’ve been really fortunate to get some big name clients early on. Um, so our first big project was with Amazon in there a new facility that they were developing, uh, late last year that they needed to be online for the Christmas season. Mmm. So that was the first big one. And, and, um, and ups is probably our biggest client today. Um, doing a lot of stuff. Most of which I can’t talk about, well, I can talk about is, uh, it’s sort of there, there way of embracing this technology and pushing the limits of what it can possibly do. And they have incredible engineers that, that work Mmm, yeah. Really close to our offices, just up in an offer that, that using what we’re doing is we’re basically doing a pilot of where creating a full digital twin of one of their facilities and we’re using it to see how they, it could have, or could in the future make better decisions. So if you think about the ups facility, let’s say it’s two days before Christmas, everything that I’m ordering, everything that you guys are ordering so much stuff, probably 25, 30% more than a typical day is going through these facilities.

Richard Schrade (29:15):

And so what we’re able to do is, is basically developed a plan for how we’re going to manage all of this, all of this stuff going through. We need to figure out what trailer saw mode at what time. Um, we need to know that if we unload, I trailer iPhones, that’s going to be a lot of small packages are going to be difficult to manage. If we, at the same time we do as business. So we need to, we need to sequence that. Also, we need to know if we a trailer outbound for LA, it can’t be next to one going to New York because they’re just going to be too much of a bottleneck there. And so there’s so much complexity and so many systems that all are interconnected in these facilities. Yeah. We are trying to find ways that we can Mmm. On the, on a very simple level, let’s try out our plan three hours before we can run it in fast forward, two hours in we’re going to overwhelm one subsystem while another one is totally vacant.

Richard Schrade (30:25):

Let’s tweak our plan and run it again, tweak our plan and run it again. Now we got a really good I’m planning to go there. And then there’s this, this element of AI, just when we were talking about earlier, you know, we don’t have time to, to, to fail with, with AI, it’s going to take, Mmm. Is he going to take us off a path that isn’t going to work? Let’s see if we can use it in a digital twin and get that, see if it beats our baseline. You know, if we get an AI module that can predict sorts better or that can manage our flow better, let’s see if it works. It’ll take a few weeks, it’ll take, you know, send pretty skilled engineers, but we can do it a lot faster than going and disrupting an existing facility. Um, potentially creating a catastrophic failure. Well, hitting all of their subsystems rather than just one. Mmm.

Richard Schrade (31:25):

That’s really interesting, uh, application for it. And one that I think is going to be six months or a year. Yep. Well, you know, um, of course part of that play is risk mitigation, right? And, and if you could do things in a Petri dish yeah. That’s right. A Petri dish or whatever is the modern equivalent of that from a technology standpoint, equivalent the digital equivalent of a Petri dish, whatever that is to isolate that and to be able to experiment on that and really be able to uncover the gaps that you don’t, you don’t, I’m sure. You know, you don’t know what you don’t know. I mean, that’s gotta be so powerful. I couldn’t, I couldn’t say it better than that. I mean, and that’s going back to one of the things, you know, what have we learned in the last year, year and a half that we’ve been doing it? I think that the play that risks has Mmm. And in what we do is our rating, speaking of Amazon, which everybody knows of course. And it’s a talk of what’s that Greg, which we must do in every episode. I mean, they’re doing so many things, but speaking of which

Scott Luton (32:40):

clearly is one of the great advantages you offer. Uh, there’s a great, and I’m not getting it right perfectly, but there’s, Jeff B is a huge fan of experimentation. And, you know, we talked about a few weeks ago that quote, where he basically says, if you can experiment a couple, a couple hundred times a day, great. But if you can experiment a couple of thousand times a day, you’re just going to go so much more, so, so much faster and be able to do and innovate so much greater. So, um, I love to hear those synergies you have with some of your customers that you can talk about. I’m sure. Plenty of others. You can’t, Greg, you were going to say something.

Scott Luton (33:16):

Well, no, well, actually it wasn’t right, but you made me think of something kind of referring back to unity, which Richard talked about earlier and Danny Longo, who is one of the greatest AI philosophers of all time. Um, you know, we, we talked about agents, which are essentially babies need to learn, right. And we’ve also talked a lot about how Danny believes that throwing more agents at a problem, right. 2000 instead of 200 or 2000, instead of one makes the learning go that much more quicker and you don’t need better minds. You don’t need better mathematics or solvers. You need more of that. They start to teach and learn from each other. And also they experiment so much more quick.

Scott Luton (34:06):

Yeah, we’ll put, we’ll put, all right. So let’s shift gears here. And Richard, as Greg put it, I want her to, I want to know what you do every day. Is that kind of how you said it, Greg? I like that,

Richard Schrade (34:20):

man. Um, well you get up early and you work late for sure. Mmm. You know, I think that we’ve done a really good job at focusing on doing an awesome job on our projects, geeking out on the things that would blow our customers’ minds, things that they don’t expect, maybe things that they didn’t pay for things that they don’t even know are possible.

Richard Schrade (34:49):

You know, virtual reality is a whole nother intersection we did get into, but that’s one that when we go to deliver a project and we’re able to say, Hey, you can actually run the line in VR and interact with, you know, the computers and the buttons and things like that. So, so we, we stay focused on executing the work that we’ve got and doing really good job. I spent most of my day supporting my engineers, um, giving them what they need, kind of pushing them to, um, to do as good of a job as we can and get a good process in place and get a good scalable business in place. Um, so I’d say that’s probably 80% of my day is,

Richard Schrade (35:38):

you know, supporting my team on their projects and, and making sure we’re doing good quality work. Um, you know, the remaining 20% is probably what anybody who owns and runs a business is dealing with, you know, QuickBooks and taxes and a full garbage cans. We work cause we work open. Is it closed? You know? Um, so I’ll just the administrative stuff that comes with, you know? Yeah. I’m not a huge fan of, but, but yeah, so you get involved in the solutioning or the sales process or that sort of thing, I assume because you’re still relatively fledgling that you’re doing some aspect of that. Right. We are, um, you know, we, my goal is to kind of get our brand out there, you know, what our work market itself and you know, what, what are customers’ experiences be? What Leeds equal to us. And so that’s why our focus has always been and will continue to be on doing now. Uh, you know, as far as sales go, we really try and find organic channels. Like you guys were, you know, our potential clients already going, you know, I don’t like getting email from people. I don’t know. So I doubt any of our potential clients, you know, I look for ways for yeah,

Richard Schrade (37:18):

places, you know, periodicals or things like that, where we can put our message out there and people consume it and educate themselves. And then in an organic fashion, in a way that they want to, rather than having it pushed off. So we do spend some time on that. I think we should spend, uh, you know, more time developing videos and blogs and case studies and things like that. You know, we are, we’re going to be doing more of that.

Scott Luton (37:46):

Outstanding. Alright. So let’s shift gears, Greg, you ready? Yeah. Go for it. All right. So there’s so much going on when you look at the global end to end supply chain, right. Uh, the PA you know, we’re not quite in, even though we’ve seen lots of great signs and, and, uh, in terms of that, I’m going to say it folks getting into the new normal, you know, that’s a cliche for a big, very real reason, but we’re just starting to get there. There’s so much going on related to the pandemic and what’s to come, you know, there’s, there’s plenty of other challenges in industry and, um, uh, outside, just outside of industry, you know, what, what are one or two things that come to mind, whether they’re trends or challenges or innovations, um, you name it, what are a couple of things that are on your radar, more than others right now?

Richard Schrade (38:36):

Yeah. Two things come to mind. I think that where new things are becoming automated, that weren’t previously automated.

Scott Luton (38:44):

That’s where

Richard Schrade (38:46):

we have an especially Kenai, um, one that’s a really neat one is Marine terminals. So moving containers off the ships on the rail cars, on the trucks, only 5% of the world’s ports are Steven somewhat automated. And it’s predicted that based on the numbers, how much it costs automate versus how much, uh, you know, there is an a not only running in a, an existing manual process, but impacts of disruption. Mmm. I think 20, 24, 50% will be, which is a huge number. And these are huge undertakings on ton of risks as we talked about earlier. So we have a keen eye and are looking to adapt our existing platform and technologies to be able to automating Marine terminals. Um, so that’s, that’s one thing. Um, I think

Scott Luton (39:45):

one,

Richard Schrade (39:47):

uh, maybe not, it’s not a vertical, but one technology that we are, especially I’m focused on is prescriptive analytics. So there’s a number of companies out there that specialize in predictive analytics, you know, what’s going to happen. What could happen? You know, Greg, is it expert in that? Um, but we see an opportunity for people to answer the question, well, what should we do if this, then what should we do? How can we maximize our opportunity with the limitations of our constraints? And so, um, when we take a focus on AI, that’s sort of our niche is being able to help influence and potentially in the future automate the decisions of, um, this is my reality, what should I do?

Greg White (40:40):

Love it. Yeah. And that’s, that is a critical, it’s a critical translation, right? Everybody’s particularly in my space, they think that the forecast is sufficient. Um, and, and often it’s left to the discernment of a human being and, you know, studies, especially again in the space that I’m really familiar with, uh, shown that 84% of the time humans make the wrong decision. So it’s absolutely, it’s not that we’re terribly effective. Right. We need a lot of help. And even if we a prescriptive solution, can’t make the final decision, it can at least get you past some of the initial consideration. Right?

Richard Schrade (41:22):

Yeah. I think it really, really cool example of sort of that transformation from manual to more of like a systematic approaches, um, how scheduling works and major league baseball. So it used to be, and Scott were a big baseball guy. So you might know this used to be there as a couple. And they would work for months index cards and moving them around them, which team was going to go where, and how Ray trips we’re going to pan out. And, uh, baseball, purists like Scott and like mild man people they doing. And that’s how they, you know, how they like to see it. You know, what we’re capable of doing now is like you said, prescriptive analytics approach is let’s plug into constraints. We’re not going to have a road trip longer than seven games. You know, we’ve got to play everybody in our division, you know, at least 15 times getting us the schedule that maximizes revenue. And so that’s what we’re able to do. It, it does it a lot better than people which, you know, some peers would like to admit. Um, and then also, you know, does it to, uh, which I just think it’s beautiful. If you can find the perfect solution, billions, it just, it gives me such satisfaction

Scott Luton (42:42):

I’m with ya. And you know what I appreciate, uh, I’ve never been called a purest. I, I I’ll wear that label with some, uh, with some, uh, pride, however, you know, I can’t be called a purist because I’m a fan of the DH. If the ale is going to have what the American league is going to have a DH, the national, Lee’s got to have a DH because I’ll tell you why though. It’s about protecting the pitchers if the national league, which are huge investments. So if Nash and, you know, one of the last brave seasons not to take too much of sidebar when Tim Hudson got hurt running to first base, or, um, well, we’ve got to protect the pitchers at the American league pitchers. Aren’t gonna, aren’t going to bat then, you know, it’s gotta be, it’s gotta be ankle stepped on.

Richard Schrade (43:28):

I have to sound off on this because I’m, I come from an American league city in the city, right. It’s essentially invented the American league and Johnson and my feeling on the da is that if the pitcher has to come back, he’s a lot less likely to throw at another player. That’s fair too. Right. That’s that is my logic for why

Scott Luton (43:52):

I’m with you. I just want to, even both sides in the habit or they don’t have it, you know? Alright. So I love your example that Richard, that is a great, I’m going to steal that from you. I did not know. Yes. I’m a, still that you might get some royalty checks from me down the road. That’s a great example. Um, all right. So you’ve got some exciting needs news coming up, uh, as we move into the summer, it seems like you’ve been quite a hot commodity, uh, folks, as, as the word gets out, you’re going to be doing a lot more interviews, right?

Richard Schrade (44:26):

We are. And, um, you know, I think that we,

Richard Schrade (44:32):

uh, are going to be investing more time into sharing our message, you know, like when you guys creating better content, more podcasts, more videos, more case studies so that, you know, it’s people come along and they’re interested. They want to learn more and they don’t have to call me and I don’t have to type up an email. They can, they can sort of get it from themselves. So, uh, so we’re going to be doing more of that. I think that there’s, there’s awesome messages to share some, some really cool stories of, uh, you know, projects in the past. And, um, you know, some, some cool partnerships that we have coming up. One is with, uh, a few Georgia tech labs, more information on those when it comes to fruition, exciting stuff this year, we’re going to make the best it’s 2020, if we can. And, um, and, and keep it, uh, keep it a great year.

Scott Luton (45:27):

Mm love that. Well, Greg, uh, well let’s, before we make sure our audience knows how to get in touch with Richard, you mentioned, you know, point AIDS come up a couple of times, and you’ve talked about, uh, how, uh, Richard and his team are part of point a let’s. Let’s just make sure by understands what that is and why it’s so cool to have Richard and team be part of that.

Greg White (45:48):

Yeah. So I’ll, I’ll just give a brief explanation and Richard, maybe you can, um, you can give some color commentary around it, but point a is a supply chain focus, innovation hub, where big companies with problems that they want solved sometimes disruptive and really, truly disruptive to their industry and, and early stage and startup companies like Richards and Verisign and other members are presented with these problems. And then the organization comes together to create, propose, and fund and execute a solution, hopefully a solution that the early stage companies can then go and market to a greater market. Um, but it’s a great ecosystem that creates a symbiotic relationship between those who have need and money, but perhaps a, um, an established the traditional, uh, even a legacy point of view on certain topics and these early stage startups that have a new and disruptive point of view on, on these same problems to be able to solve those problems or progress for the solution to those problems. It’s a great organization. We’re a member of, Richard’s a member verus ups, Georgia Pacific cap, Gemini about 45 companies. I believe our members right now.

Scott Luton (47:12):

Yep. And we’ll be opening, uh, our second studio there, uh, and, and be in there, uh, probably as soon as July, you know, as everyone else, we’re trying to figure out our own strategy while we still piece together the, the, the cutting edge studio that we, that we have in mind for that spot. But Richard, you know, y’all been a part y’all

Richard Schrade (47:30):

been a member, um, for a while as well. Have you enjoy, I mean, tell us about your experience thus far. Yeah. It’s been an awesome experience. Um, I think it’s, it’s a, a drastic shift in the way that these problems have typically been solved. And I think it’s ingenious. I think you bring together any great solution is gonna typically require many parts and pieces and you bring them ahead of time. Okay. I think the best part is that it’s agnostic. You know what I mean? We’re not there’s friendships, but you know, when it comes down to it may the best, the best plan went may the best proposal when, um, you know, you have competitors in there, Microsoft and AWS are probably the two biggest, um, I think that when you can, it’s sort of like, you know, playing video games with your friends, you know what I mean?

Richard Schrade (48:25):

Like your friends, but you’re working against each other, you’re working, you know, you’re trying to innovate as best you can. So I think it’s awesome. I think that we’ve, Mmm, I learned a lot and, and gotten such a great experience. Um, the people who work there not only are trying to create an awesome experience for the members, but they’re also doing, Mmm. Extraordinary work with respect to COVID. Um, you know, we had a call in March, which was, Hey guys, we don’t have a full proposal. Like we typically do, but what can we do? Um, and out of that came project 95, Mmm. Project and 95, which is basically this there’s program. That’s now gonna help, um, producers produce these masks and PPE equipment faster, cheaper, uh, than they have before. And it’s just, you know, if that would’ve happened without a point a, it would have either not happen or taken a ton of money or a ton of time or boats.

Richard Schrade (49:24):

And so when it, it’s just been an awesome, uh, organization to be a part of, and we’re thankful to be there. Yeah, love it. Alright. So Greg, as we wrap up this interview, what are, what are audience members just dying to know? Richard? I have a feeling you might get a phone call or two, however, so tell, tell our listeners, our audience, how they can get in touch with you. Uh, well, email worksRichard@autointel.io. You can find us on LinkedIn automation intelligence, our website brand new website just got upgraded auto intel.io. And, um, we’ll be coming out with more Twitter and YouTube stuff soon. But yeah, that’s how you can find us. Now stay tuned to all the industry, publications, podcasts, you name it as Richard and Ari and the rest of the team to talk to him pretty soon. Think so too. I

Scott Luton (50:28):

think so, too. Uh, Richard, it’s a pleasure to connect with you. You know, we’ve really enjoyed the conversations leading up to really sharing you and your story and what, uh, the automation intelligence team is doing all the big things. I mean, heck you working with Amazon, you’re working with some other big names that we can’t a share today. That is such a, um, um, uh, the, the term rubber stamp approval. Doesn’t do it justice. I mean, clearly are doing some big things early on and we’ll have to have you back on and, and have you give us update on how the year wrapped up.

Scott Luton (51:00):

We’ll be happy to thank you guys for having me on. I really enjoyed it.

Scott Luton (51:02):

All right. Stay right there. As we wrap up here today, Greg, you were going to add,

Greg White (51:08):

I was just, all I was gonna add was this, um, it’s encouraging and energizing to see a company. That’s we see a lot of companies, right. And I see a lot of companies and I see a lot of companies that are doing great things. It’s, it’s a rare instance when one stands out so dramatically as a, as a transformational technology. And I think additionally, where the story is so clear cut and, and the parents, but you don’t have to be an expert. You don’t have to be in involved in the industry. You just get it right. I’m getting them at a, at a human level. Um, so I think big things to come for automation. I agree. I agree. I hope I’m right. I just said that.

Scott Luton (51:56):

So, Hey, big. Thanks to our featured guests here today. Richard Schrade cofounder president of automation intelligence. You can learn more@alsointel.io, uh, real quick, before we sign off Greg, another great episode, I really enjoyed Richard’s perspective. We want to invite our audience. We’ve got two events coming up. One is a June 25th webinar, all about ERP, best practices. As we get into the new normal shortage of challenges there, uh, we’ve got rootstock coming home and making

Greg White (52:26):

right. Um, great, um, visionary thought leader in terms of ERP at a company that is, that has a cloud native, which is a big segment of the future.

Scott Luton (52:42):

Okay, that’s right. June 25th. Uh, you can learn more about that on our events tab at our website, also on a whole different note, uh, July 15th, we are hosting a panel as we continue our standup and sat all stand up and sound off programming, which is really important because it makes everyone it’s very interactive. We want the panel to share your thoughts and perspective as well as our global audience. And it’s all about the, uh, race challenges we have in industry. And we’re going to tackle that head on and we look forward to what our audience has to say and what they want to contribute in terms of what the issues are, as well as some of the things that have to happen. Greg

Scott Luton (53:23):

full panel. That’s right.

Scott Luton (53:28):

Yep. Absolutely. We’ll have to get Richard and new voices. It’s going to be powerful. I agreed. Uh, Richard would love to have you and your team be a part of that discussion. Um, you can find all of that on the events tab and other resources at supply chain. Now radio.com find us of course, and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from tune into our live stream. So you here thought leaders like Richard, you know, share their story and share their take on what’s going on in industry today and tomorrow. So on behalf of Greg white and Scott loot and the entire team here, we’ll see you next time on supply chain now. Thanks everybody.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Watch as Scott and Greg welcome Richard Schrade to Supply Chain Now through our YouTube channel.

Featured Guests

Richard Schrade is an automation expert with years of experience designing and optimizing automated systems across a variety of industries. He received his BS in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech.

Hosts

Greg White

Principal & Host

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Jamin Alvidrez

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

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

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jada Carson

Marketing Coordinator

Jada is a recent graduate of Old Dominion University, having earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications with a media studies concentration and marketing minor. Jada got her start producing content at 16 years old, while attending a radio and broadcasting journalism program in high school, and hasn't looked back!  She is an asset to the Supply Chain Now team as a media specialist, podcast and media producer, and production coordinator.  Outside of Supply Chain Now, Jada is a big Lakers fan, and also a music journalist and enthusiast.

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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