Supply Chain Now
Episode 395

Episode Summary

“At the end of the day, it’s all about building that community around you continually to engage and, you know, be there for them through their struggles, understand what their needs are. And hopefully you’re the one that they to actually solve those issues and problems.”

– John Buglino Director of Marketing at Optessa

 

Despite the expansion of technology, a significant portion of work is still done manually, often using spreadsheets. Not only is that slow and inefficient, it opens the door to unacceptably high levels of risk – even under the best working conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn stark comparisons between the firms that were able to pivot (and pivot back) and those that fell victim to their lack of investment in technology.

John Buglino is the Director of Marketing at Optessa, an advanced planning and scheduling software provider that assists manufacturers optimize their planning, scheduling, and sequencing.

In this conversation, John speaks about the moment companies realize there ‘has to be a better way’ with Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Scott Luton and Greg White about:

  • Why companies need centralized technology with ‘core values’ that can be managed and manipulated but maintained if they hope to make informed decisions quickly.
  • The importance of community and industry credibility to any company’s ability to connect with their target market and establish a brand identity.
  • The acceleration of Industry 4.0 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and how the ‘dark factory’ has the potential to revolutionize the capabilities of technology and the efficiency that industry can achieve.

Episode Transcript

Intro – Amanda Luton (00:05):

It’s time for supply chain. Now broadcasting live from the supply chain capital of the country. Atlanta, Georgia heard around the world. Supply chain. Now spotlights the best in all things. Supply chain, the people, the technologies, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.

Scott Luton (00:28):

Hey, good afternoon, Scott Luton and Greg white here with your own supply chain. Now welcome to today’s show on today’s show. We’re talking with a business leader from an organization that is on a mission to be the best at solving complex problems, especially for many factors. So stay tuned for what should be a very informative discussion that will raise your supply chain. Acute Greg white. How are you doing today? I’m doing well, Scott, how are you? I’m doing fantastic. I think this is going to continue, uh, quite a street we’ve been on. Huh? Yeah, I’m really looking forward to this. I feel like my supply chain IQ is already been increased from previous episodes today, but yeah, I’m looking forward to talking to John. Oh, sorry. That’s okay. Cause we’re almost there only a quick programming note before we get to introducing our feature guests that we’re looking forward to.

Scott Luton (01:21):

So on that quick programming note, before we get started, Hey, if you enjoy today’s episode, we invite you to check out the rest of our podcast programming. We publish new episodes at least Monday through Friday, as our aim is to cover the global end to end supply chain. Find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from. Alright, Greg white with no further ado. Let’s bring in our featured guest, mr. John [inaudible] director of marketing with op Tessa. John, how are you doing? I’m doing well, Scott and Greg. How’s everything with you guys. We’re doing well. Good to talk to you again. Absolutely. But you know, this show has been in the works, John, you and your team have been, gosh, y’all have, I don’t think you’re, you’ve been sleeping in that. Y’all really, despite some challenging sets of circumstances that most companies are enduring. I’ve really have grown and you’ve got a lot of projects and developments taking place. We’re gonna dive more into that momentarily, but great to finally get you back into the studio here at supply chain. Now thank you for having me and it’s great. It’s great to be here. All right. So Greg, you and I really were enjoying some of the, uh, athletic stories. John was sharing. Just appreciate it. We’ll see if we can dive into that.

Scott Luton (02:35):

But John, for starters, tell us if you would, let’s get our audience to have the opportunity to get to know you as much as Greg and I have enjoyed. So tell us where you’re from and you know, you got to give up the goods, give us a story or two from your upbringing. All right. Yeah. So, um, I was actually born in Staten Island, New York and still have family there. But, um, my parents moved when I was 11 months old and I’ve been

John Buglino (03:00):

Living in New Jersey, central, New Jersey, um, the County, uh, ever since our beautiful family, two boys and wife of 10 years, uh, they keep me in check and keep me in line and active. And I would say, you know, over the course of the 10 years, my wife has just continues to be boggled by the fact that I just cannot stand whipped cream at, in any form. Um, going to weddings was particularly problematic because you know, they bring up the strawberry shortcake and everyone’s like, Oh, have this cake. And I’m like, no, I’m good. No, thanks.

Scott Luton (03:33):

You don’t like whipped cream? No,

John Buglino (03:36):

No, I do not. Not at all. I think it’s just a texture thing. And I think when I was younger, I think I expected to be something different and I’ve just completely let down and ever since I won’t touch it, my boys love it. My wife loves it and just not me. Wow. Yeah. So that’s always, always a fun, always a fun thing, you know, we’d go to barbecues and things like that and Nope. No thank you. I’ll pass. Oh, no, please. No, I will. I will run very far in the other direction.

Scott Luton (04:10):

So you mentioned, uh, your family and when you think about your upbringing clearly born in New York and, and spend a lot of your formative years in New Jersey, what have you been able to share with your two children that you’ve really, obviously it’s not whipped cream, but what have you really enjoyed during your upbringing that you’re now able to share with your two kids?

John Buglino (04:30):

I’m very active. I was always active with my, my father when he was either building something or doing something outside. I was, I was constantly on his heels, you know, over his shoulder, probably more in the way than helping, you know, but I thought I was helping. And you know, I’m starting to see that with my two boys, every time I go outside and do any kind of yard work or project around the house, you know, the right of my brother, my heels, and I’m explaining things to them. And, you know, while they’re in the way at times, you know, it’s good because I want them to learn. I want them to see and I want them to gain those experiences. And I think that’s a lot of what I do even in my professional life has just grow through experience. And, you know, if you have to learn by watching countless videos until you get a ride, or if you have to pay someone to at least show you at first, but then you, you do it, you’re your own the next time around. I think it’s very important to get that experience and get in there to really learn about things. And it helps you grow. And then, you know, later on in life, it’ll be, Oh yeah, I remember how to do that. And that one day, and I remember my dad taught me this so constant life lessons and just continuing to just experience things and new things every day.

Scott Luton (05:40):

That’s really good learn by getting in the way I like that actually. Yeah. I mean, that’s pretty much how we’ve all done it, I think. Right. And it wasn’t until we were adults or parents that we realized we were really in the way. And if you didn’t realize that until you were an adult, your parents did a great job of convincing

Greg White (05:58):

You, you were actually helping. I love that. So one of the quick question, cause Greg, we’re going to dive into John’s professional journey, but if you could John foreshadowing a bit from your schooling, why, why do you think you’re in a manufacturing supply chain technology, you know, greater in supply chain now based on something you love to do as, as a, as a kid or a student or what have you. Yeah, I think, yeah,

John Buglino (06:25):

It’s again, going back to just learning through experience. And I think there’s just, I’ve always gravitated towards marketing branding and just showcasing companies, you know, and make sure that their value is, is properly portrayed, you know, to the greater audience and communities and just getting the word out there and, you know, even, you know, studying at Seton hall and just gravitating towards those courses and just understanding like consumer behavior, buying behaviors, trends, analysis, analyzing data, things that are happening around you at all times. And I think, you know, supply chain, you know, there’s constantly things, you know, take the pandemic out of it. You know, there was, there’s always a lot going on and all this pandemic has done is accelerated a number of things around supply chain. And I think it’s just a great time to be a part of it. I think there’s a lot of resources available. There’s a lot of content going around and I think this is an excellent time to learn and like depth and time to experience. And also, you know, this is, again something that, you know, we’re not all accustomed to, but we’ll, we’re gonna learn or make some States, but at the end of the day, you know, this too shall pass and we’ll all be better for it.

Greg White (07:34):

No doubt. Yeah. I mean, we’re, we’re learning by getting in the way. Right, right now. Absolutely strangely, um, well, that’s, that’s cool. And I really appreciate that learning spirit, first of all, you’re teaching. Right. And, and recognizing how you learn and how to continue to learn. So that’s, that’s really important and you’re right, man, this is such an incredible space right now as if it wasn’t before, but now people actually know what we do, John, so I know secrets out, Greg. Right. I know we’re going to actually have to perform because we can’t just say we do that magic that nobody really understands anymore. Exactly. So let’s talk a little bit about your professional journey right after you stopped helping I’m doing air quotes, John, after you stopped helping your dad tell us a little bit about kind of where you came from, how your career progressed till you got to, you know, to your current role,

John Buglino (08:25):

Right out of college, right out of Seton hall, you know, landed a job, doing focus, group marketing. And it was basically just brands coming to us and having questions answered about, you know, what color do they want the next ice pop to be? And what’s the next flavor combination and things like that. And it turned out to be a little bit more of a internship, you know, temporary kind of, kind of piece there and, you know, kind of just get some experience learned a little bit and made some friends and, you know, made some connections. Um, my first real corporate job was with a New York community bank and I was their marketing assistant. And, you know, that was like my first real like, Oh, corporate America here I am. You know, and I, I just want to do a good job and I want to just run through every wall that they give me.

John Buglino (09:07):

I’m not going to climb over. I’m just going to run through them. And it’s such a great job. And, you know, I, I again learned and, you know, had some great, great mentors and individuals. I still speak to, to this day, you know, coach me and help me nurture my, my professional appearances and, and help me and guide me along the way. I would say my first real marketing experience where I really dove into lead generation demand generation and branding is when an HR technology provider based locally in New Jersey. And when I started with the company, you know, we were the underdog in the space and the goal of the company was to become number one in space. Wow. And I was with that company for almost four years. And in that time, you know, we went from the underdog to top three to now, today they are the number one provider of applicant tracking software in the HR space.

John Buglino (10:00):

And I’m telling you right now, there’s no one that’s even close to them. And I learned, I can’t even tell you the amount of lessons I learned with that company and the individuals that I work with there and the team I built and the team I lost and the team that I still talk to today, you know, those relationships are just sticking with me and I just can’t take, thank any of them enough for, for what’s going on. The biggest and most humbling part of that journey was, you know, it always felt like I had to be the smartest person in the room and you always had to be on your game and you always had to be worried about everyone else, but yourself. But when I surrounded myself with people that were smarter than me, I realized that we were stronger and I was able to just leverage and get more out of the team around me than me just doing it as an individual contributor early in my career.

John Buglino (10:53):

I found that when I was, you know, running through those walls, like I mentioned, you know, I found myself in empty rooms and by myself at the other side of it, and there was no one around me had no one to celebrate success with. I had no one that I could talk to. There was just, I just felt I was on the top, you know, as lonely at the top, you know? So when I’ve learned that the build the team and build a core around me, you know, it protected me. It also made me grow, made me a better manager, made me a better person professionally. And you know, I still carry those lessons. Um, when I left that company, I, I, you know, worked for another individual, a company, and we were working on a hermetic packages and in that industrial space, and again, I can’t even tell you the life lessons I learned there and the people I met and their business acumen was unmatched and anything I’ve ever seen. And now what of Tessa, it’s the same thing. I’m taking all those lessons that I’ve learned from, you know, that young marketing assistant, running through the walls, to that marketing manager, collaborating with teams of 10, 12 people to now back to building what accompany that again, the sky’s the limit, you know, we’re, we’re looking, we’re reaching high and we’re hitting goals and we’re getting more active and we’re doing things that others are not doing. And, you know, that’s something that I’m proud of and that’s sometime we continue to do.

Greg White (12:19):

That’s a really great recognition, right? You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room. I’ve found it often that person who’s completely comfortable with being the dumbest person in the room. And somehow you look at them and go, they’re not dumb. They’re questioning whatever it is. We’re discussing somehow that I fail to describe that properly. And I think people take that spirit. They take that clearly this person is trying to help solve problems with us, not for us. And, uh, it becomes a great collaborative environment. That’s, that’s a really mature discovery. And I think that’s a really good lesson for everyone out there. Tell us a little bit about Tessa. So tell us what the company does. And then I’d like to understand what is it you do all day?

John Buglino (13:07):

I do so much. I do so much

Greg White (13:11):

As far as, as far as anyone knows you do so much. Yeah, no, no, no. That’s great. Now let tell us a little bit about Tessa and then your job is never what your job description is. So I’m always fascinated to know what else you do. And I’m Tessa.

John Buglino (13:24):

We are an advanced planning, scheduling software provider, and our best clients are accomplished manufacturers that are struggling with optimization, whether that’s planning, scheduling, sequencing, you know, we’re, we’re just using our software to make their lives easier, gain efficiencies, save money, and just improve their day to day to new Heights. You know, there’s just more and more that our customers are able to do and things that they never even thought they could do before implementing are implementing our software. And a lot of what I’ve been doing on a day to day, don’t let my wife tell you, all I do is plan social media all day, but a lot of it is the branding, the building, the brand, building a community around you, making sure that you’re continually providing value, and it’s not all about selling. You know, you can sell to you’re blue in the face.

John Buglino (14:19):

I’m telling you right now, you’re just going to be again, you’re going to be alone. You have to continue to provide value to your community as you’re building it. And they will find you. Everyone knows you have a website or you have some method of contacting the company to learn more or a demo and things like that. But at the end of the day, it’s all about building that community around you continually to engage and, you know, be there for them through their struggles, understand what their needs are. And hopefully you’re the one that they to actually solve those issues and problems. Fortunate enough to do that for very large global auto OEMs compost manufacturers around the world have seen these, this value. And we’re building that community around it to provide more value and to tell more about our story, to hopefully land more customers and increase our use of software.

Greg White (15:16):

I have to ask this question, because something you said earlier made me think about this and that is that they’re doing more than they ever thought they could. So what is that aha moment that, Oh my gosh, I didn’t even know I could do this. Or what is that aha moment? Or when someone, you know, here’s, I love asking this question. If I am, if I am in my office, probably home office right now. Right. But if I’m in my office and I’ve got some sort of pain on my mind or a problem or a nagging, I know I’ve got a problem, but I don’t know what the solution is. What is that? That if I call up Tessa, I’m going to have that aha moment. Oh my gosh. I didn’t know I could attack it that way. I didn’t know. That could be the solution. I didn’t know. This is, you know, this is what they could do for me.

John Buglino (16:06):

It’s exactly what you said. Like everyone that’s sitting there and they’re in their office, wherever that may be, you know, work from anywhere here. It’s when you have that moment, when you go, there has to be a better way. That’s where we come in and there is a better way, you know, I can sit here and, and, you know, I can tell you, you know, we have patented algorithms that are helping our software and power behind the scenes, but there are so many little things that our software can do to improve. Your day to day example would be eliminate spreadsheets. You know, you have individuals that are sitting there with manual manipulation of spreadsheets to accomplish schedules, whether that’s workforce or over time, or just scheduling that one line in an assembly line, doing that manually is painstakingly manual. And there’s so much room for error.

John Buglino (16:53):

And if those errors do come up, now you have to redo all that work. You know, when you have to redo all these different, these different pieces and you could lose days, even weeks, what, you know, errors that we have seen with our customers and, you know, we have those moments and yes, there is, you know, and you know, there’s always that apprehension with software. It’s like, Oh, here we go. We got to buy more. And it’s more than an investment, but we’ve actually have been able to show value to our potential clients before we even signed a deal. So in the proof of concepts that we do complete, we’re able to show that value. Even before we get a full look at the data or the plan or the schedule or what the current situation is on that, in that manufacturing facility. And we help them have those aha moments and we help them realize that there is a better way.

Greg White (17:43):

That is great. I have to say, quote, the great Jerry Maguire. You had me at spreadsheets. I mean,

John Buglino (17:50):

I think, I mean, you know, we’ve talked a lot about that, John, I’m sure you have too, that in this time, right? So many companies have manual processes or spreadsheet driven processes. And if they survive this seismic societal disruption, right? This incredible disruption of business, I hope they apply the lesson that they could not manage it with a spreadsheet very quickly after this into solutions that are more systemic, as you said, they’re more sustainable and accountable because the data isn’t in a spreadsheet or a cell of a spreadsheet, or being manipulated by formula in a spreadsheet, it exists somewhere as a core value that can be pulled out and managed and manipulated, but maintained. And it’s in its pristine state. So that’s really good. That’s a really good perspective. All right, Scott, I know you’ve got a question,

Scott Luton (18:42):

You know, once you go beyond spreadsheets, you lose me, Greg. So I defer to you and John, the technology gurus of the conversation. Hey, John, I really admire what you were saying earlier about building that community, building your relationships, even in this, you know, work from home digital era we’re in now, I was chatting just earlier today with another marketing leader, another marketing powerhouse for a different technology organization. And he was speaking the same language. And he also went on to say how counterintuitively that you can really build relationships during this time, unlike what they had predicted say at the end of 2019. So if you could just expand a little bit more on this, on this clearly building a sense of community is so important to what you’re leading there and what Optus is doing. Could you expound just more on that force?

John Buglino (19:39):

And it goes beyond all these zoom meetings and all these other meetings that people are having and, and, you know, they have this meeting fatigue and things like that that are happening, you know, while people are, you know, kind of tethered to their desk or their mobile device to, to grab the information. I think there’s an unbelievable time right now to provide value and build that community. Because if you are consistently every day working to provide content news insights interviews, and just give people small bite sized takeaways or conversation starters and things that are happening in industry, they’re going to keep coming back for more. And it’s going to help you build that credibility and get individuals to talk about your brand when you’re not around to gravitate to your website, to your blog, to your social channels, to see what did I miss? What did I miss?

John Buglino (20:36):

What do I need to know? How do I start my day? How do I end my day? And I think that’s a lot of what’s coming out here and there’s no shortage of content out there, you know? So you do have to apply a couple of, to make sure, you know, you’re not just drowning in recaps and updates from your, your favorite channels, but I think you’ve hired the right filters. And I think if you just continue to funnel that to your community, they’re going to come to you and they’re going to rely on you. And there’s going to be conversations that happen on a daily basis that are not on meetings or not on the phone. They’re going to be through social channels, direct messages and things like that. And it’s, it’s completely different way to communicate. It’s, it’s changing the way I market.

John Buglino (21:22):

It’s changing the way I go about my day. Going back February of this year to now, I can tell you I’ve done five different things, at least five things differently in February than I do today. And where I gather my news, how I communicate with my team, how I communicate with my community and the initiatives that we’re working on and things that are coming out very, very soon, these all in response to what’s been going on over the last 30, 60, 90 days. And we’re going to be better for it at the end of the day.

Scott Luton (21:50):

Alright. But one constant has not changed since February is no cool whip, right?

John Buglino (21:55):

I believe it.

Scott Luton (21:57):

So, John, um, correct me if I’m wrong because I’m pulling on some, some conversations we had way back when we first met. And if I’m not mistaken, op Tessa has grown largely organically without a huge investment in sales and marketing because of word of mouth within the industry. Is that, is that correct? That’s correct. Yep. So how exciting it is, it’s gotta be, especially as you know, your, you and your role as director of marketing, leading these efforts of, of taking this, this history of making things happen, you know, solving these complex problems, you know, finding that better way and getting that out. I bet you’ve got no shortage of content and we’ve seen that, you know, whether it’s, uh, you know, you appearing on our, our friend, Sarah Barnes, Humphrey let’s talk supply chain, you have been a part of the procurement Foundry stuff. It’s great to see companies really invest and double down on the relationships, the community, and then of course getting their best foot forward. And, and, and the story forward, right?

John Buglino (22:59):

It’s been incredible to work alongside you guys. And, and those others, you know, Sarah and Mike have been instrumental in my growth since starting up Tessa. And it’s been unbelievable. The last, you know, I started in, in February. So thinking about that, I started three weeks before it was like, okay, everyone go home. You know? And then it was just like, okay, work from anywhere. This is, this is very strange, but you know, at the same time we’ve been plugging away and we’ve been just constantly just trying to improve. And what, when I started with Tessa, the biggest piece that our CEO or my CEO is sugar and Mellie told me was time to get out of stealth mode. You’re here to get us out of stealth mode. We are too big and have too, too much of a valuable software to not have more people know about us. Word of mouth is great, but you can always kind of lightening striking the same spot over and over again. And we’ve been fortunate to land the customers that we have landed, but it’s time to get out of stealth mode and tell more of our story and grow our customer base through the branding and marketing efforts that my team and I are executing upon

Greg White (24:10):

Greg, that reminds me as good as the chiefs defense was in the run up to the super bowl. Chiefs went out on the offensive, right? Cause all that talent they had there and scored a ton of points. And there’s some kind of analogy here to what Optus is doing. Right. You know what I find it fascinating about? Well, first of all, Scott, let me say thank you again for mentioning chiefs and yes, this weekend on father’s day, that’s what I spent my afternoon doing, watching the super bowl for the 25th time. That is not an exaggeration, but you know what I find fascinating John, about what you’re saying is your company grew by word of mouth and social media. And the community building that you’re doing is the new age word of mouth. It’s just now you don’t have to be in the room with those people to spread word of mouth. So it’s interesting, the parallel there and interesting how you’ve taken that power of the word of mouth of up tests already and turned it in and given it a broader audience, a broader community to spread the word. Yeah, absolutely. That’s a good point, Greg. Alright. So out of all the developments, even just since February and before that, what’s one of the things John, that you and the team and part of that you’re most proud of. We have,

John Buglino (25:27):

I’ve been in constant communication with our customers and like always even before, you know, what’s been going on. And I think what we’re really proud of is the level of service we’re providing our customers. And, you know, I know a lot of you that are listening and part of this community know, you always have to go above and beyond for your customers. And, and that looks like 24 by seven service weekends, Wong nights, you know, working with customers around the world, you know, it’s those having those 3:00 AM conversations with their team to kind of figure out like, what’s, what’s going on. How do, how do we fix this? How do we get better? And we’re really partnering with our, our customers to pivot their manufacturing, to better on the stand they’re tier one, tier two tier supplier to better understand their inventory levels, what they can produce when they can produce it.

John Buglino (26:23):

And one of the biggest take away, some are meaning I had, one of my internal team members was we are helping companies not move one or two days worth of production plans. They’re moving weeks and months of plans and they’re doing it in a fraction of the time. So going back to those, I couldn’t even imagine the scale of which I was told of the production that’s being moved and the timeliness of it and how efficient we’ve made it. And we’d just been helping these customers prepare for when they want to go back online and prepare for when they can actually put the lights back on in their, their manufacturing facility safely. And it’s just been unbelievable the here and the, and also has been nice that the team has been recognized. You know, our clients from around the world have been reaching out to our team to give kudos, congratulations, and just constant email communication, going back and forth about all the great things that we’re doing.

John Buglino (27:24):

And it’s just been great to see. And I think the team really did, and it really is rising to the occasion as we speak right now, they’re, they’re on calls every day with the customers and it’s not even, you know, there’s no issues with the software. It’s literally just trying to have them better understand what they can be doing to stay operational upset. You know, some of them it stay afloat and some of them it’s okay, here’s what we’re going to plan. When we go back online three weeks, let us see what that looks like. What do we need? So we’re, we’re helping them lay that foundation by providing that unmatched customer support. And I just said hats off to my team. That’s just doing a day in, day out. And you know, like I said, all hours of the day and it’s, it’s, it’s something that I hope more companies are doing and I know we’re going to continue to do it.

Greg White (28:11):

No, Greg would, I like there, uh, amongst what John just shared is that out of all the things, all the big developments that have been taking place where Optimus Optus has had his name out or their thought leadership out or, or awareness from you, name it just since John’s been on board, his favorite part is where it’s impacting the client and what they’ve heard back from their customers. It echoes a sentiment we had earlier, uh, earlier today where a startup company working in manufacturing, as they look to tell their story, they’re leading with their customer and their business transformation, all about the customer. So many folks get that wrong. Right. Right. First of all, having that point of view in, in a company anywhere in any role is really exceptional. But I mean, John, your job is to get people in the door. Once they’re in the door, they’re not really your problem anymore, but that you engage with them.

Greg White (29:06):

Right? And you care that you deliver on the promise that you make with your marketing, that speaks volumes to you, your work ethic, and of course your company’s culture. So that’s really cool to see. I know you’re passionate about it and it is a strange time right now in the automotive industry. I mean, I’m interested in kind of what you’ve seen at least what you’ve seen, that you can share with us in terms of the disruption in the auto industry. And I know you were only three weeks into it when the whole thing kind of came down, but what kind of stands out at you as what’s changed in the marketplace, or maybe even, what do you, what surprised you about either the past conditions or the current conditions? You know, what are you thinking about? Biggest thing, you know, you hear about

John Buglino (29:56):

The scale of the operations with these manufacturers, you know, looking at auto and, and, and I really, what has surprised me is coming into this industry and seeing how quickly they were able to pivot when, when Nicole came and the world needed no longer needed cars, but needed other supplies, PPE, ventilators, things like that. It may have seen, like it took forever, you know, from an outsider point of view, but from the inside, it was daily that you saw these changes being made and the foundational work being done in these facilities and the training and the collaboration was just unbelievable to get that, you know, to the finish line. And now we have to get them back to what they were producing before. You know, I know we’re not out of the woods with the current situation, but now it’s, how do we safely get these plants back and operational, how do we get the workforce back?

John Buglino (30:56):

How do we get the lines running again and running the way they were 90 days ago? And I think the versatility of that industry, I know we’ll take a little bit of time for it to correct itself, you know, from a bottom line standpoint. But I mean, again, I just commend the entire, the entire crews of all these customers and manufacturers of how they were able to quickly pivot amidst these, these insurmountable odds and deliver on what was needed during these times. And not just always surprises me. And it has surprised me. And, you know, that’s just one example and I think too many people take for granted all it’ll happen, you know, give a time it’ll happen, but then there’s people that actually are making happen. And I just, it’s unbelievable to be a part of and to hear about and be a part of it are two totally separate things.

Greg White (31:51):

All right. Well, I’m going to ask you kind of a dichotomous question and that is, if you have to look back in retrospect or look into your crystal ball into the future, what really has your attention right now? I mean, whether it’s even in your industry or whether it has to do with supply chain or even marketing, what has got your attention? What are you fixated on to has your brainpower focused towards it

John Buglino (32:14):

Right now? And my conversation with my, all the leaders that have Tessa, you know, we’re very much focused on industry four Oh and or factory of the future, or however you want to call it and how we are going to play in that part of the acceleration of industry for all and what we can do to help organizations go to the dark factory. And it’s not that it’s a dark factory because happening, it’s a dark factor because the machines and everything is operating with a third of the workforce in there managing what’s going on there. Right. And I think a lot of what’s happening now is we are working to really showcase that Tessa is a building block as a part of a company’s industry for all plan, you know, right. You have to have a plan. You have to understand that initially four O is coming.

John Buglino (33:05):

You know, I think this pandemic is accelerating that a little bit. I think there’s a lot more that’s being done around it. And I think it’s also laying, you know, going back to, you know, spreadsheets, you know, the apprehension of going forward with software that has to go out the door, you know, there has to be, and there is a better way to do these things. And, you know, it’s people just need to continue to educate themselves on the value that softwares providers can can give. And I think looking at it from a capital investment standpoint and what people are doing, what their current tech stack is, you know, you have to find those integrations, you have to find those providers. And I’m not saying it’s up to us to, you know, it’s, you know, I know there’s all those in the space. Don’t get me wrong, but we’re doing the work and helping, and we are not looking to replace systems.

John Buglino (33:56):

We’re looking to, you know, the age old we’re bolting on, we’re going to bolt onto the systems, we’re going to improve it. And we’re going to show you the efficiencies you can gain. We can prove it out to you. We can, we will spend the time to prove it out. So I think industry for old building, being that building block for organizations and allowing us to be added onto the tech stack to improve efficiencies and save money and time and workforce and all things considered, I think is something that is on my radar is something that we’re continually looking to provide value on and content on. And it’s something that I think is coming sooner than later. Um, even given the state of what’s going on now,

Greg White (34:39):

No, I come from the planning and the forecasting space, but for retail, right. Retail and distribution and consumer goods manufacturing. So I get exactly what you’re talking about. I mean, what, it’s a little surprising to me, um, companies that are still working with spreadsheets, but even bragging about working with spreadsheets not long after this, um, not long after this pandemic started a major German car manufacturer was bragging about this amazing new solution they had with spreadsheets. And I just thought, okay, I hope that if they survive this, they’re smart enough to mature from that at some point. And, uh, I think you’re right. You know, I wonder I’m wondering out loud and maybe you have an answer to this, or at least a thought on it. John is, I wonder if this hasn’t even changed the perspective or the,

John Buglino (35:38):

Or the shape

Scott Luton (35:38):

Of what industry 4.0

John Buglino (35:41):

In the future. I hope it does. I hope it does change a little bit. And like I said, I hope it gets accelerated and I really feel, you know, I love that, that, that example and, you know, I had the same kind of, you know, grin on my face when I saw that first time, I was just like, Oh man, there’s a better way. You know, going back to it, like there was a better way, but you know, sometimes you got fall flat on your face and, you know, gotta take a lot of lumps before you, you learn to do better. And, you know, like I said, there’s, there’s a lot of apprehension when it comes to new software or, or changing, or, you know, getting out of your own way of, you know, a new way of doing things. And, you know, if more people are open to it and just give people the chance to actually showcase and show the value, I think it’d be untapped potential, you know, what, what can be done.

John Buglino (36:33):

And, you know, like I said, I just, I really just hope that it shines a light, that there is something better coming and that it’s not something scary and it’s going to be a way to improve. And you know, we’re going to improve one area and it’s just gonna open up time for us to improve in all the areas. You know, you’re just going to shift your time to do something that you haven’t been able to do before. And it’s going to lead to continual improvement and just optimization and efficiencies gained. And it’s going to be having, sitting there going, I can’t believe we did that for so long that way, and I would never want it, you know, did we ever survive without, how did we ever do that? Exactly. Have those moments of like, man, I cannot believe we did that. You know? And I’m hope we’re, I hope we’re there sooner than later, to be honest with you.

Scott Luton (37:19):

Wow. So three undeniable truths, I believe, I think number one, folks will continue to clean to their spreadsheets. Number two, we are moving and you’re, you were both, we’re talking to it. We’re going to continue to move in faster. And the pace at meeting the customer’s demands, the sheer, the mans themselves, the speed at which we have to not just react, but get out in front of things, all that speeding up. And number three is that spreadsheet macros can only do so much, uh, there’s a time to switch over to better, better ways. And that’s certainly what it seems like you and the op Tessa team are offering and have offered for years, the industry. So I love that. We’re gonna have to have you come to come back on and, and give us an update on all the, all the big community you’re building and, and what else in store for not just your team, but of course, the industries that you serve, let’s make sure Greg that folks know how to get in touch, not just with John [inaudible], but also the up Tessa team. So John, uh, how can folks connect?

John Buglino (38:29):

We relaunched our website of tesla.com. So I invite you in the community to go on and check us. Uh, we’re very active, uh, myself included on, on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, uh, we have a nice presence there. And again, we’re, we’re building that community and providing that value and same thing of tests that can be found on all major social networks, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and I really would invite the community to give us a follow, give us a like, engage with us. We’re very active on there. Um, yes, it’s a question we’ll respond to you in a timely manner and yeah. Looking forward to engage in the community. And absolutely we’ll love to come back on and give a progress update of all the things I’m doing and all things that are happening. And, you know, as we, uh, look to eliminate those spreadsheets and move forward to better ways, including you, Scott,

Scott Luton (39:21):

I’m clinging to my spreadsheets that I am guilty as charged Greg. I’ll tell you this, there so much here that, that you and I could dissect for the days of come. But one thing is, is also an arguable and that is the passion that John brings to the table. It is, it is overflowing. I mean, it’s easy to pick up on within the first few seconds of, of this interview.

John Buglino (39:44):

Well that, and you know, the diverse expertise that he brings to the auto industry and the way that he has created this parallel between their current word of mouth market marketing, or former word of mouth marketing and how they’re marketing word of mouth worldwide now, and really creating a greater presence for Tessa. It’s, it’s really impressive. And, you know, and again, John, it’s, it’s, um, a Testament to you and the way that you work, that you, the marketing cat are so engaged, uh, and so caring for the, for the customers. Uh, I think that that bodes well for this company for a long, long time.

Scott Luton (40:26):

All right, well, John [inaudible] director of marketing with op Tessa, this has been a long time coming. Great to have you on the show. Finally, really have enjoyed this conversation, appreciate where you kind of just your overall approach and disposition of how you’re tackling this and how you, how you tackle industry. And, um, I wish you and the op test team all the best and we’ll have you back on real soon.

John Buglino (40:50):

That’s great. I really do appreciate the time Scott and Greg, this was a lot of fun and yeah, looking forward to the next time and I really do appreciate it. Get those lines rolling, John. Alright.

Scott Luton (41:05):

I’ve been talking with John Rubino again with the op Tessa team, and you can learn more at op Tessa. Oh, P T E S S a.com. You can also find it in the show notes of today’s episode. All right. So Greg, before I close this out, you know, not to ask you the same question twice, but I’m going to come close to ask you the same question twice. What was your, what was your favorite takeaway from today’s conversation with John McGlynn? You know, the fact that

Greg White (41:34):

You’re taking a company that was relatively successful, right. Obviously really successful. If you look, if you look at their roster of customers, they haven’t gotten them all since February, since John got here. If you think about a company that was relatively successful in how he’s transformed the identity and the market reach of a company in a really, really tight market. I mean, most people on the planet can probably name the entirety of their at least OEM customer base, right? So it’s a tough, tough market, and it’s really tight. And to be able to make waves and make headway in that marketplace, when, as, as you alluded to Scott, Pete, some people are clinging to those spreadsheets and to help them into this new normal, to help them not only survive this current situation, but to thrive in the future. I think it’s, it’s really as much a great cause.

Greg White (42:29):

It is as it is a great solution and company. Yup, absolutely. And, and, you know, to add to that, uh, I love no. I mean, you heard a lot of leadership and, and, and frankly vision from John, but the have company leadership say, Hey, as John, put it quote time to get out of stealth mode and go on the offensive. I mean, think about the timing that they were making that decision. And, and, and, um, they weren’t, I mean, from what I could hear, they weren’t reacting in terms of timing. They weren’t reacting. They were proactively saying, Hey, we’ve got all these success. These years of success. Let’s get out there and get to know more people and let more people know us. So I love those kinds of stories because it’s not about sitting on your, you know, your laurels. It’s not sitting on what just what’s working.

Greg White (43:17):

It’s about going bigger and hitting a bigger home run. So I’ve enjoyed this show, always a pleasure, Greg, Greg white, as we were talking with John McClendon, what’s up test today. And I think on that note, we’re going to close it out. Do we have to always a pleasure and folks hope you enjoy this conversation as much as Greg and I both have, uh, as we chatted it for the last hour with John [inaudible], again, director of marketing with [inaudible] dot com on behalf of Greg white. Now we invite you to check out all of our offerings at supply chain. Now radio.com, whether they’re podcasts or webinars or some of our upcoming events, you name it. However we can, we can deliver thought leadership to you. Of course, find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from on behalf of our entire team here again, Scott Luton, Greg white, wishing all of our listeners, nothing but the best. Hey, do good. Give forward. Be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Watch as Scott and Greg welcome John Buglino to Supply Chain Now through our YouTube channel.

Featured Guests

John Buglino brings his experience in lead generation, marketing automation, and social media marketing to Optessa. Started out his career with New York Community Bancorp as a marketing assistant and later worked for iCIMS and the Hermetic Solutions Group in versatile roles driving new business and elevating the brand within their respective industries. John holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing and advertising from Seton Hall University.

Hosts

Greg White

Principal & Host

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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

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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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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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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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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 reading.

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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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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.

Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.

Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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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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