Supply Chain Now
Episode 391

Episode Summary

The ‘TECHquila Sunrise’ Series on Supply Chain Now shares the latest investments, acquisitions, innovations, and glorious implosions in Supply Chain Tech every week. If you are looking for a podcast about ‘so-and-so signed a contract with such and such,’ or ‘they just released version 20 of that same technology you didn’t buy last year,’ this is the wrong podcast for you. But if you are looking for real news and innovation, welcome to the Sunrise.

 

In this episode of ‘TECHquila Sunrise,’ Supply Chain Now Host Greg White discusses recent articles on the following topics:

  • The top 25 startup ecosystems, and how the sources of funding are starting to become more widespread globally
  • Notable supply chain deals for the week, including GroupSolver and Aptean
  • The first cut of the publicly traded supply chain companies that will comprise Greg’s Supply Chain Tech Stock index

Episode Transcript

Greg White (00:00):

Hey, in this episode of tequila, sunrise, we’ll talk about the top 25 startup ecosystems for 2020 soft banks. $100 million bet on inclusive investing. Larry’s big Oracle sale and more supply chain tech deals to know about join us and

Greg White (00:19):

Listen up. [inaudible]

Greg White (00:35):

It’s time to wake up to tequila sunrise, where we open your eyes to the latest investments, acquisitions, innovations, and glorious implosions focused on supply chain tech every week at this unholy hour of the day. And also unfortunately, without the aid of tequila or even coffee or intoxicants of any kind. If you want to know who’s winning who’s waning, who’s whining and who to track in supply chain tech, join us every Wednesday for another blinding tequila sunrise,

Greg White (01:16):

Great

Greg White (01:17):

Supply chain. Now here, I’m always happy, never satisfied, willing to acknowledge reality, but refusing to be bound by it. My goal is to inform, enlighten and inspire you in your own supply chain tech journey. Here’s my pilot disclaimer, we are piloting this series, so I welcome any and all comments, questions, arguments, reputations, even see stories. And if you like this series say so, and don’t forget to subscribe at supply chain now, radio.com or wherever you get your podcasts. It only survives if you listen and Hey, don’t worry. We won’t be spending time on silly PR schemes. Like so-and-so signed a contract with such and such, or just released version 20 of that same tech you didn’t buy last year. This’ll be real news about real innovation and I’ll include the link to any articles that I referenced in the show notes and accompanying blog on supply chain.

Greg White (02:12):

Now radio.com. Hey, the theme of the party this week is a new hope. Let’s start by clarifying for some folks who offered feedback on last week’s episode. What do I mean by supply chain tech? That’s a great question. Look in tequila, sunrise supply chain tech will address any technology that be software cloud, virtual, robotic, or automation that impacts any process or operation in supply chain. So this really runs the gamut from designing modeling, building, moving, tracking, tracing, visualizing, analyzing, and optimizing, even selling, and also includes the circular re solutions reuse, repurpose recycle, and like we’re going to cross some borders of what is traditionally been known as supply chain, because I believe that supply chain includes the conceptualization of products all the way to the consumer. So we’ll include e-commerce and consumer enablement tech. You’ll hear me say it a lot. So why not here?

Greg White (03:21):

The supply chain begins and ends with the customer. I firmly believe that supply chains will be more effective when we consider consumers part of the supply chain. So let’s get to this week’s interesting insights here we are the week of June 29th, 2020, and rolling right into the second half of this crazy year. Amazing. This first discussion is for you. If you have a tech startup are considering founding one, you’re an investor, or just a curious observer startup genome has some interesting information for you. This is an organization that since 2012 have been tracking the growth of startup ecosystems around the globe, and they just published the global startup ecosystem report for 2020 with some pretty interesting findings. As usual, they ranked the top 25 ecosystems and ties. So this year 30 using several metrics, including performance funding, connectedness, talent, and knowledge. So they evaluate communities around the world to determine what are the best ecosystems for startups to survive and thrive.

Greg White (04:36):

The top five ecosystems are household names. You can probably guess which is number one, but have shifted positions a bit with Silicon Valley still coming in at number one, New York tied at number two with London, which has come up from number eight in 2012, Beijing at number four and Boston five. The playing field is becoming a lot more level with funding raised in more regions around the world and distribution of funding becoming more widespread globally. One notable observation from the report is encouraging regarding spreading the wealth. There will be no next Silicon Valley. And that’s a quote. There will be 30, of course, the 30 refers to the total number of cities that made it on the top ecosystem ranking list. This year, there were 11 new communities to enter the top 25 list with several entering within the top 10 or 15, some big movers with Atlanta moving up five spots, Washington DC, up eight spots, and several others moving around list.

Greg White (05:45):

Another indicator of equalization in the report is the U S markets move from 66% of global venture funding in 2013 to only 46% in 2019 more specifically, Silicon Valley move from 12% to 7% of overall venture capital funding over that same seven year period, to give you some perspective. The UK by contrast grew from 4% to 6% of global venture funding. Additionally, the number of ecosystems launching unicorns, meaning $1 billion exits or private technology companies with over a billion dollars in valuation has increased from only four ecosystems in 2013 to an amazing 80 ecosystems that have done. So to date, the good news being that wherever you are, there is a nearby startup ecosystem that gives you a great shot at success. Look, the report raises the concern that emerging ecosystems might be more vulnerable to the pandemic and subsequent economic downturn than the developed ecosystems.

Greg White (06:54):

The interesting question, I think this begs is for those in Silicon Valley, whether remote work shifts, which are expected also because of the change in economy, if that balance is further to the next 30 on the list, I believe that the combination of intentional broadly dispersed funds from investors in the Valley and elsewhere, along with the specialization in certain ecosystems like cybersecurity supply chain and FinTech here in Atlanta or other communities that have specialties along with the dynamics of remote or mobile work, whether that be by choice or by necessity, and other factors will continue to boost top ecosystems for some years to come. I’ve put the download link in the show notes so you can download the report from startup genome, yourself, read on and start up. So here’s an interesting story. We teased Larry Ellison sell some Oracle shares for the first time. Since 2010, he exercised 2.8 million stock options set to expire on July one for 60 point $3 million and sold them immediately for 154 point $6 million pocketing, roughly $94 million for Ellison.

Greg White (08:12):

The world’s seventh wealthiest person whose net worth is approximately $67 billion. Truly. There’s not much to see here, but the amount is notable along with the fact that he hasn’t sold since 2010, which even then was a transaction over which Ellison had no control as it was automated. If only we all had such troubles, right? But the truth is he is fully committed, still holds a significant chunk of Oracle stock is still chairman and fairly active in the company. It is notable that Oracle stock a member of our soon to be released. Supply chain tech stock index has gained 2.9% this year, not stellar treading water, mostly, but the S and P 500 index against which it’s often rated has dropped 4% in the same time period. As of this episode, Hey, I want to continue the discussion on inclusive investing. We started last week when we talked about collab, capital Kibera, and a number of other firms who are intentionally focusing on inclusive investing this week, I’m surfacing the move big move that SoftBank made in just 24 hours in order to do their part.

Greg White (09:24):

This wide eyed investment from behind, we were door dash Slack and supply chain unicorn Flexport put together a $100 million investment funds in June, even though SoftBank’s $100 billion vision fund. Number one has lost $18 billion, largely due to collapsing, valuations of Uber. And we work CEO, Masayoshi son responded to a request by COO Marcello, cloudy who saw the opportunity to lead big investors, to get serious about inclusive investing, to quote cloudy. We spoke to Masa son about the privilege that we see at SoftBank being one of the largest tech investors in the world. And we needed to do something big about it. The whole thing is to do something about it. I see a lot of people have good intentions, but I think each one of us needs to contribute to make change in America. That from Clouder looks SoftBank has seeded the fund with a hundred million dollars of their own capital.

Greg White (10:23):

And the company will not take a traditional management fee. Instead they’ll reinvest half of its gains into subsequent growth opportunity funds, and also donate a portion of its gains to organizations that create opportunities for people of color say what you will about their investing strategy. But this is a big move by the world’s most prominent investor who really is suffering their own sort of crisis with their vision fund two, as it’s coming in at less than half the size of fund one, likely due to major investors holding back because of the poor performance of SoftBank’s inaugural fund, making a commitment of this size in a time of company and world crisis makes a bold statement and will hopefully kickstart other investment firms efforts to be inclusive for those firms that are looking for a model to start with. I’ve also included a tech crunch article in the show notes and article and accompany we’ll be digging into in the next episode, BLC cave, VC co founder, Sydney, Sykes, and she talks about the specific actions that firms can take to be more inclusive.

Greg White (11:30):

We’ll dig in deep in the next episode, but I want to get that article out there. If anyone out there wants to get started with their own initiative for their fund. Also keep an eye out for more information on inclusive investing initiatives in future episodes and be on the lookout soon for my tracker on inclusive fundings. Hey, on that note, let’s talk about some of the notable deals getting this week. First, let’s start with the deal ticker. So each week I want to share that even in this unstable business environment deals are getting done this week 245 funding rounds yielded 29 point $3 billion in investment and 89 acquisitions for 10 point $2 billion. That’s up significantly from last week when we saw 205 funding rounds for 26 point 1,000,000,067 acquisitions for only 4.1, did I say only look, that is all deals, not only supply chain deals, but supply chain deals totaled approximately a hundred million dollars.

Greg White (12:31):

So let’s move to the notable supply chain deals for this week. So group solver, a San Diego, California based customer insights, startup raises 2 million in its third funding round led by Harris capital with tech coast angels and others contributing. Hey, one of the feedbacks I got was who are these people, these companies, these investors, who are they? So the point of naming the companies, their markets and their investors is if you might be in a business that is like or competitive with some of these companies, these might be investors you want to reach out to. So just trying to surface some of the companies that are investing in this environment, deals are being made around the world. [inaudible] an unfortunate name, but Vilnius Lithuania based last mile delivery service raised 2.2 million euros in seed funding, seven bridges in London, a UK based AI powered optimization engine for businesses to scale and automate logistics and supply chain raise 3.4 million pounds in seed funding.

Greg White (13:40):

And here come the big ones Aptean and Alpharetta, Georgia based provider of ERP and supply chain solutions received a strategic growth investment from funds affiliated with Charlesbank capital partners then promptly, literally the next day, but discrete manufacturing ERP work-wise the value of both transactions is undisclosed Aptean is a classic aggregator of technology and have made approximately 22 acquisitions over the last few years. This one’s interesting to me at least scale fast closes a $22 million series B to boost e-commerce pathways for high growth brands to launch a direct to consumer D to C e-store in as little as 15 days, scale fast has attracted customers like L’Oreal FLIR and square Ebonics and saw a 200% growth year over year. And as it turns out, the COVID pandemic also brought in a number of inbound inquiries from brands that needed to establish an eCommerce channel. When retail stores were closed, interested to see how this company continues to grow, and frankly, how they differentiate from other eCommerce solutions like Shopify and van Calum and others that can enable global commerce relatively quickly.

Greg White (14:57):

So we’ll keep an eye on these folks and I’ll let you know how they’re doing. Hey, I want to deliver on my commitments. And last week I promised progress on a supply chain tech stock index. So we can track the performance of supply chain in the stock market. Look, this is by no means complete, but I’ve made my first cut at public companies who will comprise the index. And I’m determining the weighting methodology to use. I’m leaning towards a market capitalization where companies with the largest market capitalization, meaning their share price times. The total number of shares will impact the index more heavily. For instance, Oracle, one of the members because of their massive market capitalization would impact the index more heavily than say Kanaxis or park city group or others. So this will allow us to see the biggest influencers having the biggest impact on the index itself.

Greg White (15:53):

I’m going to share the proposed companies in the show notes and take a look on supply chain now, radio.com at those companies. And let me know what you think I’d love to get your thoughts on the stocks selected for the index. Give me additions or deletions. I’m sure I’ve missed somebody prominent and any thoughts you have on the weighting index. If you happen to be an investment pro I’m using a pretty basic fundamental to create the index. All right, that is all you need to know about supply chain tech for this week. Hey, I appreciate the feedback that I’ve already gotten, and I’d love to hear more. So I’ve tried to employ some of it here. So give me your feedback and let me know how to tune this show. As we roll out of here, don’t forget to get to supply chain now, radio.com for supply chain. Now series interviews and events. Hey, if you want to hear me talk a lot less, join me Mondays for supply chain buzz with Scott Luton, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Twitch. We stream live the news that you need to know for supply chain for the week at noon Eastern. Also keep an eye out for two more new pilot series, adapt and thrive with Jaman Alvarez on transportation and tech. Talk with the great Karin bursa and me for deep dive on supply chain tech. What makes it

Greg White (17:21):

Tick?

Greg White (17:23):

Hey, if you’re listening and you haven’t subscribed, would you commit already? Please keep me alive. Subscribe to tequila, sunrise, and supply chain. Now wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for spending time with me and remember acknowledge reality, but never be bound by it.

Hosts

Greg White

Principal & Host

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Additional Links & Resources

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Startup Genome

Larry Ellison

Softbank’s $100M Fund for Minority Owned Businesses

Actions Firms Can Take to be More Inclusive

SCN Ranked #1 Supply Chain Podcat via FeedSpot

SCNR on YouTube

2020 AIAG Supply Chain Summit

Register for the Virtual Supply Chain Summit with Alcott Global

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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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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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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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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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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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