Supply Chain Now
Episode 419

Episode Summary

“There are accidents; nobody tries to do this stuff on purpose. But things can tip off of a forklift… or maybe a job is a two man lift and one guy is trying to do it by himself. We protect against the things that you weren’t imagining when you developed your product packaging.”

Angela Kerr, Vice President of Product Management, SpotSee

 

Angela Kerr is the Vice President of Product Management for SpotSee, a company that helps customers look at their supply chain and find ways to reduce the damage that happens during shipping by tracking and reporting on the conditions experienced by actual shipments.

In this podcast interview, Angela tells Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton about:

  • The range of industries and shipments types that benefit from the in-shipment condition tracking made possible by SpotSee
  • The changes in demand and supply chain activity that SpotSee has observed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The role that artificial intelligence is starting to play in the application of data gathered using RFID

Episode Transcript

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 you on supply chain. Now welcome to today’s show. So in this episode, we’re featuring an outstanding business leader with an organization that provides visibility to their customers around the world, especially to protect their shipments from mishandling. So stay tuned for an outstanding episode. Want to welcome in Greg white, my steam cohost for today’s session. Hey Greg, how are you doing?

Greg White (00:53):

I’m doing great, Scott, how are you doing great. Uh, this is, uh, our second conversation with this organization. Spotsy and I’m really looking forward to learning a lot more. Right. The last time we had this conversation, we literally learned that it wasn’t rocket science because we started talking about rocket science. So that doesn’t mean it’s not important or complex or really cool. Um, but yeah, we talked about NASA, so we’ve re we’ve kind of raised the bar for Angela.

Scott Luton (01:23):

Let’s see what she’s got. That’s right. Hey, before we dive in with our guests here today, quick programming note, before we get started, if you enjoy today’s conversation, be sure to find us wherever you get your podcasts from and subscribe. So you don’t miss a single thing. Okay. With no further ado, let’s bring in our featured guests here today. Angela Kerr, vice president, product management with Spotsy. Angela, how are you doing great. Thanks. It was a pleasure to connect with you and, and, uh, uh, in the warmup conversation getting a little bit better and we’re Greg and I both are excited about not only learning your kind of your backstory and your journey, but a lot more in our most recent update with Spotsy cool. I’m glad to be here. All right. So Greg, with no further ado, we’re going to dive right in. So Angela front end, we try to give our audience the opportunity to get in our, get to know our guests a little bit better. What kinda thing we have, but you know, tell us, you know, where are you from? And you got to give us the goods, at least a story or two on your upbringing.

Angela Kerr (02:25):

Okay. So I was, I was born in Ohio, um, and then around the middle school years, we actually moved to New Mexico. Then I went to school in Lubbock, Texas at Texas tech, and then never left the state, stayed in Texas, my entire career, you know, Houston and Dallas, primarily

Scott Luton (02:46):

Two great cities, no shortage of business taking place in both those markets. Huh? Absolutely not. So high IO to New Mexico to Texas and they call it in Texas. What, what was one of your passions as a kid or, you know, as you were growing up was something that you could not get enough of.

Angela Kerr (03:02):

So as a kid, I was, you know, honestly I was a, I was a worker, right? So, you know, from as soon as, as soon as I could possibly, you know, get a job, I got a job. Um, you know, so I had all those typical, you know, teenage jobs, right? Babysitting, you know, I worked in fast food, you know, I spent a summer, you know, in a bank being productive was really important to me and being financially independent, you know, even, even young, I did not want to go ask my parents for money. So that’s really where I spent a lot of time as a kid was, you know, at a job

Scott Luton (03:36):

That sense of independence, even at an early, early age. And I love how you put it independence, but really being productive and giving back and contributing. Do you remember what your very first paycheck, what, what you did for?

Angela Kerr (03:49):

So my very first paycheck, I, you know, I babysat a four year old. Does that count

Scott Luton (03:55):

As, as a tough job?

Angela Kerr (03:57):

Yeah. I had a biology test the next day. So let me tell you that was the, that four year old knew he knew how like the muscular system in a lab frog. Well, he was a little crazy, but he definitely, you know,

Scott Luton (04:15):

You were over-delivering

Angela Kerr (04:19):

Nope. The typical four year old does not know.

Scott Luton (04:22):

So technically you were a babysitter and tutor,

Angela Kerr (04:25):

Hey, there you go. I didn’t even charge extra.

Scott Luton (04:31):

So you brought more value to the table and I bet as we’ll talk about momentarily a lot more, how you continue to do to that with, with Spotsy. But before we get there, you mentioned Texas tech home and the red Raiders. What led you to majoring in engineering at Texas tech?

Angela Kerr (04:45):

My original plan as a, as a high school kid was to go to medical school. And I had a teacher who was in my math and science teacher for, you know, honestly, most of my, most of my high school years, who was like, what you really should do is you should really get an engineering degree because that’s a degree that kind of helps you solve problems rather than just memorizing things. So learn how to solve problems, then go to medical school. And he was, I mean, he was such an influence on my life that, you know, I listened, you know, I was like, okay, here’s a smart guy. You know, who’d been an engineer in his professional career who mentored me into the end of the field. And then I, you know, I got through school and went, you know, I think, I think I’ll do this. I don’t think I’m going to spend another eight, 10 years in school. So

Scott Luton (05:38):

In a way he tricked you into becoming an engineer.

Angela Kerr (05:42):

He totally tricked me.

Scott Luton (05:46):

Yeah. Angela, what a specialty, what niche and engineering did you study at Texas tech?

Angela Kerr (05:52):

Um, I was in electrical engineering

Scott Luton (05:54):

Now, before we dive more your professional journey of post-college, let’s talk about engineering and in a broader sense STEM programs in general, you know, based on your experiences. And of course since that time, what are some ways that we can attract a healthy, diverse mix of talent into a STEM pipelines?

Angela Kerr (06:15):

I think encouraging people is the way to get them in, you know, seeing, seeing past any stereotypes into, you know, what seems to make them, you know, how do they think, what seems to make them excited and then really nurturing them around that, you know, encouraging, you know, women or diversity candidates to find a mentor, find mentors who are willing be that mentor for people and, you know, really helping develop that network for these, these young professionals.

Scott Luton (06:46):

And you saw just like you just talked about, you saw that firsthand, the value of that by having that mentor kind of open up the door of engineering and, and clearly that huge impact on your career. But I like how you put it, we’ve gotta be willing candidates. Not only need to be willing to find mentors, but you know, industry leaders gotta be willing to raise their hand and, and serve as a mentor.

Angela Kerr (07:07):

That’s right. That’s right. You know, it’s, you know, everybody stands on the shoulders of those who came before them be willing to be that person is really important.

Scott Luton (07:17):

All right, Greg, so let’s dive more into Angela’s professional journey. Yeah. You know, it’s really interesting also to talk about particularly talking to you, Angela, but to talk about women in STEM and women in, in engineering, I have, I actually met the very first female student at Georgia tech and it was not as long ago as I would have thought it would have been. She was actually a student in the late seventies, early eighties. And as she said, and you may have found this as well at Texas tech. I don’t know what the, you know, what the ratio was, but she said the odds were good, but the goods were odd. So even, even being a lone female there initially was not, not that great for her, but obviously schools have come a long way in that time. So let’s, let’s start to talk about that and tell us a little bit about your career, maybe even in college, but certainly after college and some of the key roles that you were in that made you who you are today.

Angela Kerr (08:17):

I’ll go ahead and start with, you know, after college. So in college was probably not anything too dramatic, right? Women were not a common, you know, a common occurrence in engineering, you know, the engineering class. Um, but you know, they weren’t completely out of the, out of the ordinary, but my first job, and I’m really excited to talk about this one is I actually went to work for Lockheed and worked for, wait for it, the Johnson space center. Wow. So there’s all this space, you know, associated,

Scott Luton (08:53):

Well, never brought you all down to earth.

Angela Kerr (08:58):

So I didn’t get to do anything to, you know, to rocket sciency, but, but I was involved with, you know, with the NASA program, with the, uh, you know, the old space shuttle and space station program. So that’s kind of exciting.

Scott Luton (09:12):

Okay. So I got to ask, w did you and Yon, did you ever know one another before?

Angela Kerr (09:17):

We did not. We did not. You know, so I spent a couple of years there and then I went to work for Hewlett Packard, um, and spent, you know, let’s go with, you know, at least a decade with them. Um, I was mostly in sales and in applications, engineering management for them. And then I came to, you know, shock watch now Spotsy so, and I’ve been here ever since.

Scott Luton (09:40):

I’m sorry. All of that is really interesting, but I’m still going back to the space program. I cannot believe that that is so impressive. So do you ever, I have to ask you this too. Did you ever, do you ever tease yawn about that, about being in the space?

Angela Kerr (09:53):

Well, so we know we do talk about, you know, if it’s not rocket science, because we know what rocket science really looks like, so,

Scott Luton (10:02):

Right. And it’s not rocket science, and you can verify that. Right. Other than, other than Spotsy, which is, I think really cool and advanced technology, not being rocket science, it, is there any other Eureka moment or discovery that you’ve had in your career that just really stands out to you?

Angela Kerr (10:20):

You know, I think my new, my Eureka moments are around, around change. Right. So if you, you know, if you look at, you know, kind of working with NASA, then, you know, moving into sales and then moving into an engineering management role and then moving into a product management role, you know, and, and marketing roles, if you want to learn something, you can learn something and don’t be afraid of, you know, those changes that present themselves to you in your life.

Scott Luton (10:48):

Yeah. And engineering is often fraught with failure, not, not longterm failure, but I mean, it’s a series of evolutions, right? Absolutely. Yeah. I think that’s an important part of being an engineer that, and being able to pass differential equations, which is that that’s, that is the dividing line between engineers and business majors right there,

Angela Kerr (11:11):

You know? And so now I really just, I know I remember enough about engineering really just to be a nuisance to yawn.

Scott Luton (11:19):

So, Hey, if I could just chime in real quick, some of our listeners may have missed that episode, Greg and Angela Yon, Bob, as we’re mentioning John Yon, we’re talking about Yon van Niekerk with Spotsy also a senior leader. And his episode with us was episode three 34. We’ll include a link in the show notes, but a fascinating episode. And Angela, one final thought, I’d love to hear kind of the comradery and, and the banter between the two of y’all around one of your joint experiences and passions. That’s a really interesting dynamic. I mean, it’s kind of a cool thing for you to have together also to be able to share with the team. All right. So let’s talk a little bit about Spotsy. So we’ve alluded to the fact that it’s really cool tech, but tell us a little bit about what Spotsy does and, and what your role is, which I think people will really be able to tie your space history and, and your engineering education into what you’re doing today.

Angela Kerr (12:14):

Sure. So, so what spots he does is we really help customers look at their supply chain and look for ways that they can reduce the damage that happens during shipping. So, um, we’ve got products that help them, you know, deter detect and diagnose what’s happening in their supply chains so that they can ultimately reduce the damage. Um, because knowing the damage that has occurred is, is great, but figuring out ways to stop it from happening is really important as a product, you know, the leader of the product team. What I do is I look and see, you know, what are customers struggling with and how do we make sure that we have solutions that will help them, you know, eliminate those pain points.

Scott Luton (12:59):

Yeah. And yours, are there physical products? I mean, they, for instance, they can identify that a pallet or a box or container or whatever has been tilted or rolled over.

Angela Kerr (13:11):

Yes. So they’re, they’re, you know, they’re indicators and recorders. So they’re simple, you know, simple go-no-go devices all the way up through very complex, you know, data recorders that gather full information about a journey. And we, we just really want to connect customers to that data, um, so that they can, they can look at it and then they can start making decisions around it. Are they using the right channels? Are they, you know, are they using the right carriers? Do they have a particular warehouse where they’re, you know, where they see more issues than another and then put in plans to help them eliminate that? Yeah, absolutely.

Scott Luton (13:52):

So this is typically called, you may have said this condition monitoring, but other than the obvious, tell us, tell us why it’s important. I mean, what are some of the conditions that you’re monitoring for some of the things that you’re trying to get your customers to preempt or to record and be able to analyze or avoid?

Angela Kerr (14:12):

So the conditions that we monitor most are shock and vibration. Um, we look for, if products have been, you know, tipped tipped, or, you know, completely inverted, and we look for, you know, if products have gotten too hot or too cold, so, you know, depending on what kind of product you’re moving would determine, you know, what conditions are really important to you. Um, or it could be a combination of, you know, solutions.

Scott Luton (14:39):

Yeah. So if you’re shipping beer, you want to know that it got turned upside down and got warm. Cause then you want to wait to open it.

Angela Kerr (14:46):

Exactly. I was thinking of Greg,

Scott Luton (14:53):

I immediately went to the Coors light can of course. Um, is it colder? Is it not? Yeah.

Angela Kerr (14:58):

But what you, what you might want to know seriously with a load of beer is you might want to know, you know, they’re, they’re shipped, you know, on pallets, you know, did your pallet get dropped in, you know, did your load shift, you know, and are you, are you creating, you know, a mess in the back of, you know, of containers and some are sensitive to temperature such that you would want to monitor?

Scott Luton (15:19):

Yeah, no doubt. Really good beer is right. If I could ask a quick question, Greg, Angela, would we be surprised? And, and do you see a lot of organization leaders you’ll work with surprised with just how often their products are tipped or inverted or some of the other phrases you use?

Angela Kerr (15:35):

They’re surprised by the conditions that their products can experience. Um, so, you know, I mean, if you think about it, you know what, somebody invents a product and, you know, somebody develops the packaging and they put it, you know, they roll it out to the dock for it to be shipped. And then it just magically appears at its destination. That’s as far as they’re concerned, that’s what happens. It just magically appears. So they can’t imagine how it’s being manhandled, how, how it’s being moved, what the risks are in the supply chain.

Scott Luton (16:08):

Yeah. But it was a lift out in the rain, or as you said, not temperature controlled or whatever.

Angela Kerr (16:13):

There are accidents. Nobody tries to do this stuff on purpose. Right. But things can, you know, tip off of a forklift when you’re, you know, when you’re moving something, you know, or they can, you know, two people, you know, it’s a two man lift and maybe one guy is trying to do it by himself. And, you know, one end kind of hits harder than is expected. We protect against the things that you weren’t really imagining when you develop your product packaging.

Scott Luton (16:36):

So imagine people are imagining the kind of products that other than beer really important products that you all are, are monitoring and protecting and preempting damage to. So give us some examples of what some of those products are that maybe aren’t in the forefront of people’s.

Angela Kerr (16:54):

Um, so we protect, you know, against him with our cold chain products, we monitor lots of vaccines. Um, we monitor parts that go on aircraft. We monitor huge power transformers that you see it, you know, these power stations, we monitor equipment that goes into nuclear power plants. We monitor, you know, parts that go on spaceships. So, I mean, it is, it is an unbelievable range of products that we monitor for, you know, for supply chain damage.

Scott Luton (17:28):

So is this something that is practical, I guess I’ll ask a general question, but at the same time, I’d like to know this is this something that is practical for somebody who has a consumer product and wants to assess the verticality or the temperature or whatever of that product.

Angela Kerr (17:45):

So again, it depends on the product, right? So, um, we monitor, you know, so pharmaceutical products that go into the home. So it’s, you know, it’s not really a commercial product, but you’re dealing directly with the, you know, very end customer. A lot of times we are monitoring some of the commercial products really more in the middle of the supply chain rather than that very last mile. Um, so we’re monitoring from, you know, manufacturing to a distribution center where they’re moving more than one. So they’re moving, you know, a container or a pallet full of goods rather than, you know, that single.

Scott Luton (18:22):

Yeah. So more B2B type deliveries eat even though sometimes I think, um, is it going to the end? I say end user, but I mean, if, if you’re talking about a vaccine, are you monitoring it all the way to the hospital or

Angela Kerr (18:36):

We’re monitoring it usually from a distribution center to a doctor’s office or a hospital.

Scott Luton (18:41):

Okay. Um, you’re refreshing our memory of just how universal spots see applications in the kind of a family of, of devices and technology. Is, is there one or two sectors under the 2020 is such an interesting and challenging year? Have you all seen one or two sectors in particular, just the activity just ramp up, uh, above typical levels here this year,

Angela Kerr (19:06):

As you can imagine, our cold chain businesses pretty strong, you know, so anything temperature related is pretty strong because companies are, are monitoring, you know, samples of, you know, diagnostic kits, you know, for people who are doing the testing, um, people are starting to do, you know, plan for vaccine delivery. Um, and you know, it’s, it’s not just the code vaccine, but you know, the flu vaccine, we anticipate that there will be more people getting the flu vaccine this year than ever before, before, just to, you know, to kind of pump up their immune system, one product that we have been selling. It really takes a pandemic for there to be a need, which is kind of sad. Um, but forehead the monitors. So we have, you know, a thermometer that, you know, is just culture and technology that, you know, you put on your forehead and it’s being used as businesses start to reopen as a way for people to monitor their employees for fever.

Scott Luton (20:02):

Wow. That’s heady stuff. Nice, nice Greg man, right on time, uh, with, with his cohost, I’ve ever had the pleasure of conducting interviews with Greg. So we covered, I need a 45 second delay. So let’s talk about, um, great segue, uh, Angela, and to this next segment of the interview, where we really want to, uh, learn a lot more about how COVID-19 has impacted the spots, the organization and the operation, the enterprise, really, but also how it’s provided an opportunity for you and your team to help join in the fight and help folks, you know, in their own fights against COVID-19. So let’s start with Spotsy, um, how, it’s, how it’s impacted your, how you do things at the organization,

Angela Kerr (20:54):

A couple of different things. So I’ll start with the forehead thermometer example. So that’s a product line that was right at the end of, you know, ah, let’s just kill this product line. And all of a sudden it’s like, Whoa, you know, let’s figure out how this product line gets ramped up because you know, there are now customers who need millions of these things, making sure the supply chain ran well was important there. But I think, you know, just with general supply chain things, some of the things that we saw that we expect that our customers see very similar things is all of a sudden your supply chain was disrupted. So you have to figure out, you know, are my suppliers, are my suppliers open and are they producing product? Do I have to find new suppliers, transportation channels, all of a sudden started to change?

Angela Kerr (21:43):

You know, it was, it was hard to find carriers. So you had to try new carriers, you had to try new suppliers and everything was happening really fast. It feels like everything slowed down. Right. But I think everything got amplified because now everybody’s doing all these tasks, they’re doing them from home in a lot of instances. So, you know, you add on this level of everything is virtual now, um, to how do I get all these things done? You know, so, you know, communication, how do I communicate effectively with a team of people that I, you know, I used just used to like walk down to the water cooler and say, Hey, um, you know, now it’s, it just, it complicated things, but you know, the speed and so many new things, um, and speed usually results in, you know, mistakes happening.

Scott Luton (22:36):

So I’m assuming correct me if I’m wrong is the Spotsy team largely working from home still.

Angela Kerr (22:42):

So we are still largely working from home, our, our operations, we have put in, you know, all of the appropriate safeguards for our operations team. Um, but we were, you know, luckily we had the space that we could spread those people out, but we’re monitoring them for temperature and, you know, everyone is wearing a mask and we’re putting the plexiglass barriers around workstations,

Scott Luton (23:07):

I guess I would, uh, with the nature of your products, it would have to be just about essential that your operation continues because of how it protects so much of the rest of industry. Right.

Angela Kerr (23:19):

That is, that is correct. That is correct. So, um, we were, we did not shut down our operations because we really were deemed an essential business.

Scott Luton (23:29):

Well, with everybody being introduced to new vendors, how much more important does the capability to measure all of that become, right? These are not potentially not the previously trusted and verified vendors or, or right, right.

Angela Kerr (23:47):

Um, you know, so, and again, not because anybody’s trying to do anything wrong, but because everybody’s, you know, it’s new, it’s new and it’s happening fast. Um, so that’s where, you know, something can get, get dropped or mishandled because you just, nobody knew any better.

Scott Luton (24:03):

All right. So we want to ask you about, um, and so I love hearing what y’all have done to go above and beyond to protect your operations team. Uh, you know, Greg, and I’ve talked a lot on the show here for, for months about just the need to, you know, as, as essential as healthcare and frontline is, and we’ve got to protect those folks, Hey, protecting the folks that make end to end supply chain happen is just as essential. So love hearing what you are doing there before we talk about some of the ways that you’re, you’re kind of giving outside of the four walls and helping others, is there one, you know, in this remote work, from home environment that so many folks are experiencing now, and somebody folks will be, you know, this may be a permanent type of arrangement for some folks in industry and global business. Is there a leadership or management lesson learned that has really stuck out that you’ve had to make an adjustment based on just the nature of not being able to walk down the hall and, and, you know, exchange a cup of coffee.

Angela Kerr (25:02):

So communication clarity is so important, right? So because you can’t watch somebody start something and then start to make, you know, it’s like you can’t course correct because you see them now. Um, so if you’re not really clear in what, you know, what you need, what you expect, it’s really easy for people to not understand what the goal was and, you know, and they moved down a path that you, they get to the end and you’re like, huh, that’s not what I was thinking. So I think just making sure that you’re connecting with employees, not micromanaging, but you know, connecting with them and making sure that they know that you’re still, you know, you’re still here and you’re still interested and making some of those conversations casual. So it feels more normal.

Scott Luton (25:54):

That’s a great leadership technique. I mean, I think I was taught early on. You should assume if you don’t get what you want, you didn’t communicate that exactly. Right. And as a leader, especially since everyone is remote, you need to communicate that that is your intention, right. I’m going to assume that if you don’t deliver what I asked for, I didn’t ask for it properly. And that takes a lot of pressure off of, off of the person doing the work and it, and it, it makes Tran transparent the spirit of that constant communication rather than it being, as you said, micromanaging, I heard that. And the other element to what Angela just shared there, Greg is the need for it. It’s okay. Not to talk about all work, all operations all the time. You know, some folks need to have outlet if they want to talk about the dogs or the, or the, the, uh, not in the football score, because we hadn’t seen that lately, but you know, 49 days, but who’s counting right. That, that casual conversation that you, I think that’s the word you used, Angela, how important that is to still have time for that and make time for that, right?

Angela Kerr (27:02):

Yeah. We have, we have zoom lunches every couple of weeks. Right. Which is not the same, it’s better than nothing. Um, so it’s kinda like we’re in the, you know, the break room having lunch

Scott Luton (27:15):

And no one’s burning popcorn and salmon right. In the microwave. Alright. One more question about, uh, about this COVID 19 environment. And then, uh, Greg, I know you want to weigh in and kind of get Angela to, to, uh, talk more broadly about what she’s seeing. So give us some good news. H what are some of the ways that spots is helping, you know, get forward and, and do good things in our collective fight against COVID-19

Angela Kerr (27:42):

One of the things, because we have cold chain experience, one of the things that we did, you know, early on was, you know, we donated product to, um, FEMA. So as, as products are being moved around, that are temperature dependent right now. So, you know, whether that be diagnostic kits or, you know, even, you know, some of the food pantry places, you know, they wanted to be able to have their food monitored to make sure that it stayed within refrigeration guidelines. Um, so we donated a whole bunch of product, um, whole bunch of temperature indicators to those organizations so that they could, you know, rest assured that, you know, even though things were weird and they couldn’t have, you know, this face to face exchange with, with their, uh, with their clients, that they still had a, a level of protection for, for them to make sure that if they’re picking up, you know, meals that, you know, the product that the food hasn’t gone, hasn’t spoiled.

Scott Luton (28:39):

No, that’s cool. I mean, Oh my God, I did it again. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to do that. Um, no, that’s really good. I think that’s incredibly helpful, right? Because as you said, for everyone, things are moving fast and changing and to, for you to even think about doing that for, uh, for emergency organizations is, I mean, first of all, that’s great. Thank you for giving forward like that. And secondly, that it’s so useful, something that in an emergency situation, they probably didn’t think of themselves.

Angela Kerr (29:12):

Exactly. So it was, you know, it’s, it’s nice to do. It’s nice to do good things, right. So it makes everybody feel good.

Scott Luton (29:19):

It’s nice to be nice to the nice well, and one of the things we’ve talked a lot about Greg with, with our other shows and our logistics with purpose series a with the group, a great group over at vector global, um, is that the need is no greater, um, whether it’s tied to COVID-19 directly, or whether it’s nonprofits that have been doing work for years, that all of a sudden, a lot of their support, you know, there are new obstacles that, that need that they’re serving. Doesn’t, doesn’t just go away. In fact, it probably has, has, uh, been amplified. So really admire teams like Spotsy and, and you, and, and, and the team, their leadership team, their Angela of making sure that y’all make it a priority to give back during what’s a, uh, such a challenging year. So I have a, I have another question, uh, since we kinda talked about COVID and what’s going on there, I’m interested really in seeing, because you’re, since you’re in charge of product, you must be really in touch with the demands of the marketplace and the problems that they’re facing and, and how you construct a solution to solve that.

Scott Luton (30:27):

So, a one, maybe tell us what you’re seeing that either you have seen before, but, or haven’t seen before, but that you’re really interested in working on now. And then maybe if you have a crystal ball, share that with us and what you see in the future in terms of, of this type of monitoring.

Angela Kerr (30:48):

So one thing that we are seeing more and more of is customers want to be able to do something with the information that they get. Um, so spotty as an organization, you know, for 40 years, we’ve made very simple indicators that they’re just visual indicators of, you know, did your product get mishandled. Um, and it took a human being, looking at the indicator and saying, you know, okay, it’s good to proceed. Or, you know, Hey, let’s pull this off to the side and inspect it. But that information was never really captured anywhere. So, you know, as soon as you decided, okay, it’s fine. It just moved on down the supply chain. Um, so you were never able to figure out, you know, do I have, do I have a problem until the problem became, you know, so apparent that, you know, nobody could miss it. What we’re trying to do now, even with our simple indicators is to connect them through RFID technology. So the information can get captured, you know, in, in systems. And then you can start making intelligent decisions around that. So we really see the supply chain becoming far more transparent and customers taking action on what is happening in their supply chain.

Scott Luton (32:08):

I love that. So you’re so previously, I mean, you, you kind of waited on Billy Bob to report, Hey, this pallet was upside down, right? And now you want to monitor and with RFID, communicate that to some central analytics or alert repository that notified

Angela Kerr (32:26):

That’s exactly right. It, it takes all of that data and it, you know, it houses it, and it allows things like artificial intelligence to really happen. Artificial intelligence is based on data. Um, we’d like to think anyway. So, um, so, you know, giving customers that data, um, allows that next transformation to happen.

Scott Luton (32:50):

Wow. That’s cool. Yeah. I love that data is certainly powering, you know, if we’ve heard digital transformation, the meantimes, we’re about to hear it 5 million more times a month ahead. Right. But I mean, but that’s the age we live in and, and, and spot sees burgeoning business Stan’s testimony to that, right? We’ve got to have the visibility we need that. We’ve got to have the data at our fingertips, especially as supply chain is going to help pull the world, frankly, not be too dramatic, but, you know, Greg, you don’t have talked about it, pulling the world out of the pandemic, into the post pandemic, right. So fascinating organization, what you and the sponsor team are doing. And this I’m glad we had a chance to reconnect with a member of the team. Once again, Angela,

Angela Kerr (33:34):

Thank you. It was a pleasure being here

Scott Luton (33:36):

And a bonus, a member of that. So, yes, Sarah, you know, um, we’re going to have to, we’re gonna have to tee up another show just to dive in deeper on that element of your background, both on the show at the same time.

Angela Kerr (33:50):

That would be cool.

Scott Luton (33:52):

So, Hey, so we’re going to make sure our listeners know how to connect with you in a spot to your team, but if you would just humor me for a second, cause you spent 10 years with NASA, right? It’s the headlight, right?

Angela Kerr (34:05):

No, I spent two years with NASA and 10 years with HP.

Scott Luton (34:08):

Oh, okay. I got them flip flopped. Okay. Well still, I’m gonna ask you a question in a way, because, um, I’m a big space nerd, um, as, as I think we share with you on, but, um, so in your two years time with NASA, you know, what element, uh, of that culture do you, um, do you think more businesses could benefit from and what, what did you love so much about that culture during those two years?

Angela Kerr (34:32):

Probably the precision. So if you think about it, you never, and it’s this surprise, this was the surprise that I had when I went there. You never send brand new technology into space ever, right. Because, Oh, it didn’t work. Yeah. That’s not an option, um, reboot. Yeah.

Scott Luton (34:55):

Right. Launched into an oxygen list environment. Yeah.

Angela Kerr (34:58):

Um, so, you know, just making sure, you know, all of your I’s were dotted and T’s were crossed was so important in that environment. Um, making sure that, you know, the solutions that you were using were rock solid, um, because there’s no second chance

Scott Luton (35:16):

And you know this, so this episode will, we’ll publish a few weeks, you know, a few weeks later, but you know, we’re coming off on the heels of the 51st anniversary, uh, the moon landing and, uh, your comments around precision. I mean, just, you know, a quarter of an inch, you know, the, the tolerances are so tight and I, as we became reacquainted with the spots story, I bet there’s a lot of that. And a lot of transfer to the Spotsy culture.

Angela Kerr (35:45):

Absolutely. Right. So, you know, having data that isn’t good data, you might as well not have data, making sure that our solutions work for customers and that they solve, you know, solve the problems that they’re experiencing is really important to us.

Scott Luton (36:00):

And, you know, who knows that space supply chain may not be too far away and Spotsy products yet. Maybe it outer space is we’re tracking shipments to the moon, to Mars and wherever else, uh, Elon Musk and the space X and NASA teams will be taken us. So who knows. All right. So thank you for humoring us a bit. Uh, we’re big fans of our space program and, and that was neat. Neat to see recent accomplishments there. Alright. So Angela Kerr, how can folks connect with you and how can they connect with the Spotsy team?

Angela Kerr (36:34):

I’d welcome anybody to connect with me on LinkedIn, or if they can reach us at www dot [inaudible] dot com

Scott Luton (36:41):

Outstanding and S S P O T S e.io. Uh, Angela Kerr. Thanks so much for your time today. Really? I feel Greg, I don’t know about you. I feel that there are so many stories that we need to have Angela back on to get even more information on there’s so much she’s not sharing. Right? Yeah. I, you know, I, I keep thinking, you know, the biggest, maybe the biggest influence that you mentioned to Angela was that you wanted to work from a very young age. Right? Absolutely. And I think that that’s so impressive and, and there’s just so much there. What I’m also thinking about Scott is when we had the discussion with Yon, we talked about the precision that Angela, you mentioned in terms of, I mean, we’re talking about a little sort of U shaped plastic tube with a little tiny ball in it too, to track whether something has been tilted too far, but the precision with which they determined what those materials would be and the tolerances of that little ball and that little U shaped tube are absolutely necessary in order to measure that accurately.

Scott Luton (37:52):

And I completely get why NASA precision NASA level precision is required for this toolset. I mean, it has to be accurate. It can’t stick. It can’t stick when it’s too hot or when it’s too cold or when it’s too humid or too dry outside, you know, that little device has to work under all kinds of conditions. So you can see where the precision of NASA is really necessary for this. You think of it as pallets, right. But, and you just don’t think of it as needing that kind of precision, but it’s absolutely necessary. Angela Curry, vice president product management with Spotsy. Thanks so much for taking time away from your activities to detect, diagnose, and tour across global supply chain world. Fascinating. Thanks so much for your time here today. Thank you. I appreciate it, Greg. Uh, another great conversation really enjoy sitting down with a member of the Spotsy team.

Scott Luton (38:45):

Again, they seem to be quite, uh, on a roll. Yeah. So to speak, there you go. We are puns today. Aren’t we? It must be it’s one of those days, I guess, but, um, you know, a great conversation with, uh, Angela and at the opportunity to check back in with what spots he’s doing, especially what I really enjoyed beyond the space talk and beyond the technology and, and the innovative technology, but, but how they’re giving back and give forward to borrow your phrase. Um, that is so meaningful. Uh, in 2020, when so many companies are struggling, so many people are struggling. That’s some good news we can all use. All right. So to our audience, be sure to check out a wide variety of industry thought leadership at supply chain. Now radio.com, fondness and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from on behalf of Greg white, Greg. Great. Another, a great conversation enjoyed you joining us today. Well, thank you. I’m glad to be here. Anytime we talk about space or engineering, which I don’t fathom at all, I’m fascinated. I can learn every time I talk to an engineer. That’s right. Uh, well, Hey, to our audience on behalf of our entire team, Scott lewd and Greg white, wishing all of our listeners, nothing but the best. Hey, do good give forward and be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time on supply chain.

Featured Guests

Angela Kerr is the Vice President of Product Management for SpotSee.  Angela joined SpotSee in 2016 and in this role, she focuses on building our existing business and developing the next generation of cloud-based temperature products that help our customers cost effectively track their products around the globe. Angela previously served as Vice President, Indicators and Cold Chain Solutions. Prior to that, she was the Vice President of Marketing and Product Management and Director of Product Management, responsible for developing roadmap strategies and coordinating with engineering and manufacturing teams to launch new products. Angela also spent three years as our product manager and one year as our marketing manager.  Angela has a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Texas Tech University.  Learn more about SpotSee here: spotsee.io/

Hosts

Greg White

Principal & Host

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

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

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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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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