Supply Chain Now
Episode 384

Episode Summary

The ‘This Week in Business History’ Series on Supply Chain Now shares some of the most relevant business and global supply chain events from years past. It will shine a light on some of the most significant leaders, companies, innovations, and even lessons learned from our collective business history.

 

In this episode of ‘This Week in Business History,’ Supply Chain Now Host Scott Luton relates true stories marking notable anniversary dates this week, including:

  • June 26, 1974: At the Marsh supermarket in Troy, OH, the Universal Product Code (or UPC) barcode system was first used to a 10 pack of Wrigley’s Juicyfruit gum.
  • June 28, 1902: The First Spooner Act was passed by the U.S. Congress (also known as the Panama Canal Act), providing the authorization required to build the Panama Canal to connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
  • Notable business history birthdays: Konrad Zuse and Alan Turing

Episode Transcript

Intro – Amanda Luton (00:07):

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 (00:33):

Hey, good morning, Scott Luton here with you on supply chain. Now, welcome to today’s show on today’s show. We’re continuing a new series this week in business history. So, you know, on this program, we’re going to be taking a look back at the upcoming week and then sharing some of the most relevant events from years past, of course, mostly business focused with a dab of global supply chain. And occasionally we might just throw in a good story outside of our primary realm. So invite you to join me on this. Look back in history to identify some of the most significant leaders, companies innovations, and perhaps lessons learned in our collective business journey. So now this week in business history for the week of June 22nd, let’s start with our featured story on June 26, 1974, and item with a UPC barcode was scanned at a retail location for the very first time growing up in high school, I worked at the local Winn-Dixie grocery store in my hometown.

Scott Luton (01:39):

My grandfather had worked there. My father had worked there and you could call it a bit of a tradition, bagging groceries, stocking shelves. That was the order of the day. And I got to confess, I had very little awareness and appreciation of one of the key technologies that enabled us to make it through those long days on Sunday, especially just after church, when the buggies were overflowing with hundreds of items to be scanned and bagged. So what does UPC stand for? You ask the universal product code. You can find it on just about every item in your house, certainly every item in your average supermarket these days, except some produce perhaps, but even the cantaloupes and the avocados and the Vidalia onions are found with ups UPC on them these days. But before we discuss the universal product code, let’s go a little further back and understand one of its attempted predecessors.

Scott Luton (02:42):

In 1952, a patent was issued to Joe Woodland and Bernard silver for a bulls eye shaped barcode. Both were students at the Drexel Institute of technology, which is now Drexel university in Philadelphia. And a local grocery manager had approached a Dean at the school at the time and, and begged for help and making store operations much more efficient and streamlined, especially speeding up the checkout process. I can certainly empathize with that grocery manager. You might can to think back the supermarkets years ago, before we even basic technology, paper, price tags, when every item which slowed down your stocking and had to be manually adjusted for any sale. And on Sunday afternoons, when the buggy was 652 items came to the checkout lane, each paper price tag had to be read and typed into the cash register. No errors, please. We’re going to check the tape, but back to Woodland and silver.

Scott Luton (03:49):

So they had developed a bull’s eye barcode and got it to be successfully read by a 500 watt bulb and then a CILA scope. However, for practical, widespread adoption, the inventors were really missing the technology to process the data. They had no micro computer system at the time. Of course, the 500 watt bulb was also deemed to be not quite bright enough for reliable field usage in the next couple of decades that would, of course, would be addressed the laser, which is actually an acronym that stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Well, that would be invented by Theodore Maiman a research scientist at Hughes aircraft company. Of course a computer revolution was already in progress. A retail applications were right around the corner. So now let’s fast forward to 1966 radio corporation of America, better known as RCA responded to a Kroger ad or the large grocer was looking for ways to optimize operations.

Scott Luton (05:02):

And of course, speed up the checkout process. RCA did its homework came across Woodland and Silver’s patent and engaged with the two inventors and a few of the companies, of course, all to figure out an integrated solution to offer Kroger. The collaboration was successful to some extent, at least. And in 1967 at a Kroger store in Cincinnati, the system was installed and it passed with flying colors. But one big chore still remained with the local stores employees. They had to fix the bullseye barcode on every item, very time consuming Manji. And if it wrinkled, it might not scan as this innovative experiment was taking place. Other change in the retail and grocery industry was happening in 1966, the national association of food chains. Again, looking for solutions to speed up the checkout line in 1969, the group began to call for change and they were looking for a universal system, not varying practices and systems on a per store or per chain basis.

Scott Luton (06:13):

Now they were looking for something bigger in 1973, the predecessor to the uniform product code council was formed and an ad hoc council from the group would put together an RFP, a request for proposal to get companies, to submit proposals on a, to be designed universal product code. Part of the nonnegotiables. The barcode had to be readable from any direction. It must be able to be read quickly, Hey, you know, those checkout lines can’t be slow. That’s what we’re after. Right? And it had to be accurate specifically less than one in 20,000 undetected errors. This council would ultimately choose a UPC barcode proposal from IBM. That’s right, big blue over competitor, such as RCA and national cash register.

Scott Luton (07:09):

The IBM team behind the winning proposal was led by George, Laura, but in an interesting twist. And there’s always interesting twists. It also included significant contributions from one Norman Joseph Woodland. That’s right. Joe Woodland from Drexel who had received a patent back in 1952 was now at IBM and in the right place at the right time to help IBM transform not only its business, but the retail industry. In fact, IBM leadership really seemed to push George Lauer to use Woodlands initial bullseye approach. You know, the one that RCA initially bought into Laura would go on to say that IBM quote wanted me to write something up that said the RCA proposal was the greatest thing since sex, but my Nadir, but my nature and my training would not allow me to support something I didn’t believe in. I simply went against my manager’s instruction and set out to design a better system in quote words to live by.

Scott Luton (08:20):

And that’s just what Laura and his team did, including Joe Woodland. Now there’s a ton of math, certainly above my pay grade that went into the successful design of IBM’s UPC code. There are a variety of UPC formats, but most commonly used format is UPC UPCA is basically a bunch of bars and spaces that encode a 12 digit number. Okay. So now that we had our barcode system selected, what do we do next? Well, they put that new technology to work directly on June 26, 1974 at a Marsh supermarket in Troy Ohio. The first product with IBM’s barcode system was scanned note NCR, which was based in Dayton, Ohio at the time would design and provide the checkout counter, which piece P S C inc, which is now part of Datalogic would provide the scanner itself. The whole system ran about $10,000 in 1974 rest assured they’re a lot less expensive these days, that first product that would go down in history to be scanned with the new UPC barcode that would transform industry.

Scott Luton (09:40):

What would, what was the item you asked that would be a 10 pack of Wrigley’s juicy fruit gum, even though the first test was successful, the newly minted universal product code commonly referred to these days as a barcode wasn’t widely embraced until bigger retailers adopted the technology. Kmart was an early adopter for one and helped proliferate the UPC barcode out through industry. In fact, it’s spread across grocery in all through retail in the 1980s, by 1984, over four, over 30% of all grocery stores in the U S were equipped with barcode scanners. And of course they’re ubiquitous. These days are found in every store, but it’s important to note a couple of things. UPC, barcode numbers are not simply a random string of numbers chosen by the manufacturer or producer of the goods, but rather it’s a very specific string of numbers that follow a global standard regulated by third parties.

Scott Luton (10:46):

Remember the uniform product code council that was critical to the proposal, the selection, and then the adoption process. Well, that is now G S one us, which is the third party standardization organization for barcode usage in the United States. One other item that is so beneficial to help barcode work nowadays, the supplier of the goods take care of a fixing the barcode. It’s usually part of the packaging. The stores don’t have to worry about applying price, tags, or barcodes to products. Now, of course it didn’t happen overnight. It never does. And you still have some exceptions as always. We’ve probably all been in convenient stores, for example, that may not use barcode readers, different strokes for different folks. I like to say, regardless from a system standpoint, that UPC barcodes impact is far greater than what was initially thought to be. Remember they were after simply speeding up the checkout.

Scott Luton (11:54):

I like how Gavin Whiteman puts it in his 2015 book, your Rica, how invention happens. He says quote though, the inspiration for the barcode was the plea by supermarkets for technology that would speed up the checkout. It’s greatest value to business and industry is that it has provided hard statistical evidence for what sells and what does not. It has transformed market research, providing a rich picture of people’s tastes and it has made production lines more efficient. The once dreaded death rate laser beam now comes in handy gun size scanners that instantly read and log anything from hospital drugs to newborn babies in quote we’ll put mr. Whiteman.

Scott Luton (12:49):

Okay. So let’s now take a look in a bit more succinct way on some of the other notable historical items on this week in business history on June 28th, 1902, the first Spooner act was passed by us Congress also known as the Panama canal act. It authorized president Theodore Roosevelt and the United States to purchase land in Panama for the express purpose of constructing a canal to connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Nicaragua was also considered, but the biggest advantage to selecting Panama was the ability of the project to use and take advantage of the previous French canal efforts in the country. But the construction of the canal was still incredibly dangerous. Over 5,600 workers lost their lives to due to disease and accidents. 51 miles long. The Panama canal was opened in 1914, transforming global transportation. And it certainly continues to serve as a critical component in global trade.

Scott Luton (13:57):

Today in 1999, the canals ownership was turned back over to Panama on June 22nd, 1910, Conrad Zeus was born Conrad Zeus, a German civil engineer, computer scientist, and businessman Zeus was most known for inventing the first working programmable fully automatic digital computer known as the Z three, which was completed in 1941. Not quite as robust as our modern devices. It’s average calculation speed for the addition function was 0.8 seconds for multiplication. It was three seconds it’s program code was stored on punched film. It weighed more than a ton, but nevertheless, it moved the industry forward on June 23rd, 1912, Alan Turing was born an English mathematician, computer scientist, Crip analyst, and much more touring was instrumental in allied war efforts in world war II, where it’s code breaking feats were legendary and highly impactful. In fact, some experts have claimed that Turing’s work shorten the war in Europe. By more than two years, he had many significant contributions to the computing world after the war, including developing the automatic computing engine and developing what is still referred to today as the touring test a standard for measuring machine intelligence, sadly, Alan Turing was also badly mistreated and castigated for his homosexuality.

Scott Luton (15:42):

He took his own life at age 41 in 2009, 55 years after Turing’s death, the British government via prime minister, Gordon Brown officially apologized for his mistreatment

Scott Luton (15:57):

On June 28, 1969. The Stonewall riots took place at the Stonewall Inn located in the Greenwich village neighborhood of Manhattan. New York. The riots were in response to an early morning police raid at the Stonewall Inn, largely frustrated by the constant police Harris Smith and social discrimination, patrons and area residents fought back riding for the next five days important to the gay rights movement and really the business world in general. It was a galvanizing moment and led to the formation of numerous gay rights organizations. And a year later in the same area, the first gay pride parade took place in 1970. The Stonewall riots legacy also includes June being recognized as LGBT pride month, each year here in the U S and around the world. We celebrate those pioneers and trailblazers that have helped business leaders truly offer opportunity for all and discrimination towards none, but we still have a ton of work to do. It’s certainly a journey with no fee with no finish line.

Scott Luton (17:06):

Okay.

Scott Luton (17:07):

That wraps up our look at the week ahead from a business history standpoint, those are some of the stories that stood out to us, but what do you think? What stands out to you? Tell us, you can shoot us a note to Amanda at supply chain. Now radio.com or join our supply chain. Now insider’s group on LinkedIn and share your feedback and perspective. We’re here to listen. Hope you’ve enjoyed the second edition of this week in business history. On that note, be sure to check out a wide variety of industry thought leadership at supply chain. Now radio.com find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from on behalf of entire team here at supply

Scott Luton (17:50):

Chain. Now this is Scott Luton wishing all of our listeners, nothing but the best do good give forward and be the change that’s needed on that note. We’ll see you next time on supply chain now. Thanks your buddy.

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Hosts

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

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

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

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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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Principal, Supply Chain Now
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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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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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Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Natalie Dutton

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Page Siplon

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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