Supply Chain Now
Episode 408

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 provides:

· An update on the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the size and number of investment deals and strategic acquisitions

· A look inside the mind of an investor that is deciding whether or not to invest and where they place the value, and what factors influence that decision

· An update on the progress and composition of the TECHila Sunrise index

Episode Transcript

Greg White (00:00):

This week tequila, sunrise, we’ll analyze some of the deals getting done in this tough environment. Take a look in the minds of venture capitalists to learn how they value and select which companies they’ll invest in. I’ll share more about how the seismic societal disruption in response to COVID-19 has impacted tech investment funding in 2020, and we’ll view the deal ticker an index of public supply chain tech companies. So listen up

Greg White (00:43):

It’s time to wake up to tequila sunrise, where unfortunately, without the aid of tequila, we open your eyes to how venture investing ticks along with the notable investments, acquisitions innovations, and inevitable implosions focused on supply chain tech every single week. This on Holy hour of the day, if you want to know how tech startup and investment is done, who’s winning who’s waning, who’s whining and who to track and supply chain tech join us every Thursday for another full Linding tequila. Sunrise, Greg white here from supply chain. Now 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. In case you’re listening to us in the supply chain. Now main channel, you should know, you can now subscribe to tequila, sunrise on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, or anywhere else you get.

Greg White (01:47):

Your podcasts will only be in the mainstream for a few weeks more so don’t wait if you want to keep listening, subscribe to tequila, sunrise. So you don’t miss a thing. Hey, let’s kick off with a couple of quick lessons here. One an early stage startup making big moves in challenging times and the other an investment partner let’s explore them both because they’re working together several months ago, I started working with Paul Noble as an advisor to his really cool procurement startup Verisign. They’re doing great things by the way, using AI to automate data harmonization and inventory optimization for indirect MRO procurement really they’ve saved companies tens of millions of dollars in under a hundred days, really super fast and impressive results. In fact, if you want to see how winners like they are playing in these challenging times, Verisign has a webinar, July 29th at 2:00 PM.

Greg White (02:43):

I’ll include the registration link in the show notes. Paul introduced me to one of his key seed investors, biology. Openeth at Cooper of venture capital, and we really hit it off over one or two cold beers talking about what we thought could be improved in the investment ecosystem for founders Balaji shared Cooper’s visionary founder friendly investment philosophy. And it was a really refreshing contrast to a lot of ECS. And as a serial founder, I really appreciated that they’re early stage investors for companies that are, re-imagining how we work and live that are building emerging technologies for future of work industry 4.0 and now supply chain biology just mentioned to me that they are right now looking to invest in supply chain startups. So I’m sharing that with you because as we all know, it’s tough right now. And if you’ve looked into raising funds, you know what it feels like to have that really moment.

Greg White (03:43):

When you see certain deal terms, you won’t have that problem with the folks at Cobra. There are alternatives now, and I can vouch for biology and the team James McKee and the rest of the team as a good one. If you want to work with them, let me know. I’ll help you make sure you’re ready and get you connected. Or you can reach out directly@wwwdotculebra.vc. That’s K U B E R a.vc pay to contrast the good news and cool investor vibes. We just talked about. Let’s take a look at some stark realities and funding today. Crunchbase just released their North America cued to venture report funding down as expected as their title. Uh, I shared in last week’s episodes, some numbers impacting investment between mid-March and mid June. Now the official Q2 analysis is out. It’s a really deep analysis with some enlightening data from Sophia Cantara.

Greg White (04:44):

I’ll provide just a few highlights since it could take up a whole episode, but I’ll also provide the link to the Crunchbase article in the show notes. So you can dig deep funding rounds under a hundred million dollars. Meaning those in early stage companies were down 31% year over year that’s in line with what the previous report had said just in the mid March to mid June timeframe. So we’re seeing a confirmation of what we thought we would be seeing in, in Q2 also exits meaning acquisitions by other companies, commonly called strategic acquisitions. We’re down substantially in both value. And the number of deals look in truth. Many investors have been waiting around for a recession since early in 2019. So investing trends were largely flat to down. Anyway, it’s just that the S the seismic societal disruption in our response to COVID-19 simply accelerated the trend.

Greg White (05:49):

I’ve put the link in the show notes, so you can see the incredible wealth of information shared in this extensive quarterly report. Now let’s take a look at the deal ticker, even in this unsettling environment, deals are getting done. So this week we had two, 105 funding rounds for 13.1 billion in dollars and 68 acquisitions for 12 point $5 billion. That’s in contrast to last week, 202 rounds for 9.8 and 81 acquisitions for $27 billion. We had some big ones happen last week. And now for the latest on the tequila sunrise supply chain tech stock index, that’s a mouthful, isn’t it? Look, here’s the methodology for the tequila sunrise index. We’ll be waiting the index based on both the market capitalization, the total value of the company and the proportion of that value represented by supply chain tech. So Keith Moore has been really helpful in helping us construct this and identify things like Oracle only gets a portion of their, uh, of their revenue from supply chain.

Greg White (07:07):

So let’s say Oracle at a total market cap of about 168 billion would only weigh in at say, 32 billion. If the supply chain is 20% of their business. So we’re digging into that to get those numbers for companies like Oracle and SAP and Amazon, some of the companies that have only a portion of their revenue coming from what we’re considering supply chain. So generally stocks in the index like OpenText and a plan. Shopify can access SAP and ax, Aspen tech, by the way, a company I cannot recall coming across in over two decades in supply chain. I don’t know what they do anyway. I’m going to look into that. They’re moving in a fairly narrow range, uh, in the last week between fractions down to 7% up, mostly recapturing gains due to the fact that they got demolished on some COVID China trade and general tech scare news over the last week or so now one company that did stand out Manhattan is up nearly 12% in the last week in anticipation of earnings for today.

Greg White (08:16):

So both earnings and revenue are expected to be down around 17%, but investment analysts Zach’s appear to expect Manhattan to beat estimates. Like they have the last four quarters. I don’t know all the market indicators as well as the analysts do, but I am seeing momentum in supply chain, planning, agility, and execution technology. Those texts are in the spotlight right now with COVID-19 causing major disrupt options and companies appear to be accelerating formerly delayed decisions on those types of technologies. So it’ll be fun to see how Manhattan fares today. Okay. So as I preparing the lesson plan for you all this week, I noticed that there were some great venture capital investment lessons in the supply chain that close this week. So instead of build a whole plan, I’m going to tell you about some of these deals, some of these companies, what they’re all about, the amount that they took and give you my take on these investments.

Greg White (09:19):

And we’ll do a little bit more formal lesson next week, but this is a look into the mind of a venture capitalists and how they see these companies as they’re making the decision to invest and how much so price FX, a German provider of cloud native pricing software platform, cloud native just means built in and for the cloud, never an on premise technology, they raised $65 million in series C funding. Remember series C is typically in that venture capital range. This looks like a growth equity type investment, which we talked about before. And I’ll give you a few more updates the round, which brings it up total raised by price FX to 130 million was led by funds advised by apex digital, the growth equity team. There it is of apex partners with participation from existing investor, digital plus partners. And at the same time, this investment was made Mark beef partner of apex digital and Daniel O’Keeffe managing partner of apex digital join price.

Greg White (10:29):

FX is supervisory board pretty typical when a growth equity investment comes in, that could be a minority, a large minority investment, or even a majority investment. They don’t really reveal that in the information about this deal company. We’ll use this new funding to expand and solidify global market leadership position, accelerate their product innovation, extend his partner ecosystem and evaluate strategic acquisitions led by Marsal [inaudible] CEO and co founder price FX provides a suite of cloud based pricing, software tools from price optimization and management to configure price, quote, CPQ for B to B and B to C enterprises of all sizes in any industry. And in any part of the world in may, the company acquired French market leader, Brennis analytics, adding AI to its pricing solution. So here’s my take on price effects. I’m not a pro on the price racing aspect of the business, but it has been emerging as a key tech facility, tater in supply chain, allowing companies to adjust pricing to market demand and price elasticity all the way down to the, their marketing isn’t that strong, but their partnerships like SAP and Salesforce are.

Greg White (11:48):

So that leads me to believe they have solid technology. This is a growth equity funding, which means the founders took some of that 65 million home growth equity. Remember is that round or founders, get to tell, take some chips off the table. Okay. Congrats to the founders. And I hope to get used to their new role as evangelist or special projects and accounts leader. Another company bowl rings up 50 million for smoother checkouts. This San Francisco based company and creator of a checkout experience platform for online retailers closed a $50 million series C round led by West caps. Lawrence Tosi. The round brings total funding to date for the six year old company to nearly 140 million with participation from existing investors, existing investors, Vint capital tribe, capital Glen capital, and human capital alongside new investments from a collection of current and former executives and board members from Magento, Venmo, PayPal, Lyft, Tommy Hilfiger, Tesla, and Lulu lemon.

Greg White (12:57):

The company intends to use the funds to expand operation and its business reach. This company is led by Ryan Breslow, CEO and co founder. They provide a product that offers a checkout experience front end, along with all the full stack features and integrations that checkout touches. It integrates with e-commerce tools, shopping carts, and payment processors, including listened to these names. Big commerce, Magento, woo commerce sales force, commerce cloud PayPal, Apple pay after pay Stripe and Braintree with more coming this year. Customers include Badgley. Mischka Cara Loha DDA, hyper ice puppy spot. And polywood. So my take on bolt, first of all, cool name, love the movie. Great dog. Good dog. Anytime look, anytime you see a significant number of previous investors coming in for the next round of investment, they are seeing something good. So investors, when they initially invest in a company will typically have what they call reserves additional allocated capital for companies they put money into so that they can continue to participate if they like the way the company is going.

Greg White (14:16):

And when they doubled down like these are there’s reason to believe there’s significant upside here, keep an eye on bolt. I can’t help by the way, notice the absence of the biggest player in e-comm checkout experience Shopify listed in their partner integration. So their play is likely to enable all these other tool sets better competitiveness versus Shopify. Look, any of you who know me know I’m a big fan of competition. So I’m liking this player and their challenge to the established leaders. Next is crisp a New York based food data company. They closed a $12 million series, a round of funding. So that’s their first real venture capital round. Remember post seed round this round brought a total funding to 24 million was led by first Mark capital with participation from investors like spring and swell, spring and swell capital. Uh, the company intends to use the funds to expand its supply chain technology offerings and build an open data platform.

Greg White (15:21):

Connecting thousands of companies across the food industry founded by [inaudible] who previously founded first market supported tap pad acquired by Telenor for $360 million. And also thumb play. Some might know as iHeartRadio. Chris works with food companies, including suppliers, producers, brokers, distributors, and retailers to gather and verify data, integrate hundreds of separate data sources break down the silos, analyzed data and provided recommended actions that result in less food waste and more profit. Great cause this cloud platform brings in all of the sales data, standardizes it and delivers critical insights and alerts about sales, inventory levels, products, locations, and more in order to optimize supply and demand. This company has had rapid growth in several areas since publicly launching the platform, which wasn’t that long ago, by the way, its initial success in the produce and dairy industries has expanded into nearly every vertical, including beverages, bakery, CPG, flowers, meat, and poultry.

Greg White (16:33):

Current customers include brands such as Gilberts craft sausages, Brazy bites, new Ono’s Creamery, rowdy bars, and good culture. My take on crisp here’s the bottom line. This is not a new application for this industry. Not by a long shot. People have been in some measure, accumulating and normalizing data in the food supply chain. So there are a lot of solutions that have been there, done that in the industry for some time. The interesting thing, and what makes me think there’s something worth seeing here is that this is a serial founder who’s been successful before, who appears to have convinced the industry players to share data. And that’s something that’s really unusual in this market. Even the solutions that came before struggled to pull this off. So repeat founders often have a knack of identifying opportunity. It’s really a gift, an insight that is almost intuition and one that really makes money.

Greg White (17:36):

Look, you learn a lot from having done it before. And investors love to bet on a previous winner, which is why this company is getting money. In fact, investors are so good at betting on a previous winner. I bet every one of them would have picked Patrick Holmes right after he won the super bowl. A couple of other deals, not as much learning here, but notable because it’s good to see that money is being spread around. Tophi am a London based, uh, Imperial college spin out that optimizes product designs for three D printing raised a million pounds in seed funding, a Zio tap, a global provider of customer intelligence raised $42 million in series C funding. So either a second or third venture round or possibly a growth round, they don’t go into detail on this particular company and track street, a Santa Barbara based brand protection.

Greg White (18:34):

Software’s a service platform close 5.1 million seed two. Remember we talked about seed plus funding rounds. So this is their second seed round. So you’re getting a good flavor of all of the ways that companies can invest and the ways that investors, or at least this investor looks at them. So if anyone has another point of view knows a little bit more about any of these companies, I’m glad to hear it, but knowing what little I know about these companies, this is my take on those. And this is what I think we can take away from how those companies have been funded by investors. All right. That is all you need to know about supply chain tech for this week. Hey, we’re considering a couple things like a monthly live stream and possibly moving the show to video. So of log to make the tutoring a little bit more easy to understand accessible.

Greg White (19:32):

So let me know your thoughts on that please, and do not forget to get to supply chain now, radio.com for more supply chain now, series interviews and events. And of course, every Monday, I want you to get your buzz on with me. Join 10,000 or so of your fellow supply chain professionals for the supply chain news of the week at noon Eastern time on Mondays with Scott Luton and me, and remember to keep an eye out for more series that we’re spinning off. The main channel, for instance, supply chain is boring or is it anyway, Chris Barnes, great series. He finds some of the foundational leaders and some really interesting people. So I guess technically supply chain, ain’t boring. We’re also about to start a new blog series with Jamie Alvidrez. If you don’t know who he is, where have you been? Jason is going to talk about transportation and just general goodness in supply chain, always up this guy. So you want to tune into that one. And of course, Karin bursa and I go into a deep dive into supply chain tech solutions. So we’re going to talk about those and how

Greg White (20:48):

They impact business on tech talk. Hey, if you’re listening and you haven’t subscribed, please commit already subscribed to tequila, sunrise, wherever you get your podcasts. I sure appreciate it. Thanks for spending your time with me and remember acknowledge reality, but to never be bound by it.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Watch as Greg introduces you to TECHquila Sunrise through our YouTube channel.

Hosts

Greg White

Principal & Host

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys.  She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.

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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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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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