Supply Chain Now Episode 420
“2020 has come with no shortage of challenges – big and small, common and unique. We have a newfound appreciation for the ability of our team to come together remotely and consistently. It’s been a remarkable study of what our team has been able to do.”
Scott Luton, Founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now
This episode marks the launch of a new series at Supply Chain Now: The Jamin Logistics & Transportation Experience. Hosted by Jamin Alvidrez, this series will take listeners on a journey into the mindsets of the people behind the best developments in freight technology, logistics, and transportation.
In this first episode, Jamin interviews Supply Chain Now founder and CEO Scott Luton about everything from growing up in Aiken, South Carolina, his experience in the Air Force, the inspiration behind Supply Chain Now, the magic of homemade bread, and more.
In a wide-ranging conversation, Scott opens up with Supply Chain Now Host Jamin Alvidrez about:
- What he learned about his preferred leadership style from his time in the Air Force, and how that has played out with the team at Supply Chain Now
- The importance of diversity and camaraderie in every team environment he’s ever been a part of
- What he has in the works for the next 6-12 months
Welcome to the Jayman logistics and transportation experience. Join us as we explore the mindset of today’s guest, Scott Linton, CEO, and founder of supply chain. Now listen for lessons, you can apply from his grandpa, the Andy Griffith show and the air force. And now here is your adapt and thrive mindset. Sherpa Jaman welcome everyone
Jamin Alvidrez (00:39):
To the Jayman logistics and transportation experience. Very grateful for you, uh, tuning in giving us a listen or a watch. However you prefer to consume, want to set the stage for what this podcast is, vehicle what I want it to be really a journey into the mindsets of people behind the best and freight tech, logistics, and transportation. We are in such an amazing industry, and there’s a lot of disruption and change. Now that can be a very scary thing, but it can also be super liberating. So Cal kit in me likes to equate it to a wave, right? We can either stand and just look at this wave or try to fight against it and just get demolished, or we can approach it with that smile and hang loose attitude, grab a surfboard and circuit. So I I’d rather have fun with change and, and learn how to harness it so that it could propel us all forward.
Jamin Alvidrez (01:38):
And so I thought we can go on this journey, do this together by getting into the mindsets. And the thought process is a little tips and tricks from the best in our industry. So I’d like to invite you to come along for this journey and see what you can learn as we dive into the best mindsets in our business. And with that goal in mind today, we are joined by our very first guests. It’s so fitting mr. Scott Luton, he’s the founder and CEO of supply chain now, and this really puts him on the cutting edge of both supply chain, but also digital content. So we really want to get his thoughts on that. He’s uniquely qualified based on his nearly two decades of experience in the end to end supply chain industry. And he’s been featured in different publications, like little magazines. You may have heard of the wall street journal, CNN and USA today.
Jamin Alvidrez (02:31):
Scott was also named a 2019 pro to know in supply chain, by supply and demand a executive. He founded the Atlanta supply chain awards and also served on the 2018 Georgia logistics summit executive committee. That’s not easy to say he’s a certified lean six Sigma Sigma green belt and holds the API CS certified supply chain professional. Some of you may know that as CSCP credential also a veteran of the United States air force, and Scott is passionate about a lot of things, but he’s super passionate about finding ways to give back and serve the veteran community. He’s also served on the boards for API CS, Atlanta, the Atlanta, the Georgia manufacturing Alliance. But most of all, he is the pride of Aiken elementary school. Scott Luton, how are you doing?
Scott Luton (03:29):
I’m doing great. How are you doing Jamie? Thanks so much. That was quite an introduction. And I really appreciate that certain memories hit between my two ears as you kind of walked to that, but you’re too kind. And it’s such a pleasure to reconnect with you here. Yes. Thank you for joining us.
Jamin Alvidrez (03:44):
You know, it really, I want to start, I mentioned their pride of Aiken elementary school. I want to set the stage. We, uh, get to see professional Scott, but let’s kind of dial it all. Go the way back machine. Just a couple of quick hitters questions so we can kind of maybe get into who you are. So first off, where did you grew up? Scott?
Scott Luton (04:05):
I grew up in small town, South Carolina Aiken, South Carolina. You mentioned Aiken elementary. So Aiken is right across. If you think about it visually on a map, everyone knows, especially if you’re a golf fan where Augusta Georgia is right. Oh yeah. Right there on the Savannah river. Well, Aiken South Carolina is just across the Savannah river. It’s the first County in South Carolina that you, if you’re, if you’re taking out 20 right through Augusta Aiken will be the first County you hit on the other side of the river, beautiful country. Have you gotten a chance to go to the masters one time? And I got in trouble. I went with a dear friend of mine who goes every year and, and he knows all the rules and he, and he, at the time he was a big fan. He probably still is of Phil Mickelson. And it was my first time at the masters. And, you know, while I’m a golfer, there’s still certain thing. I don’t go to a bunch of golf tournaments. And my buddy was really chasing after where the Phil Mickelson Piering was. And I was getting,
Jamin Alvidrez (05:00):
I was getting left behind and I turned and I, and he was way ahead. And I said, I said, Hey, Hey, Oh no. And I’ve
Scott Luton (05:08):
Lost my mind where I was. And the security folks did not like that at all. I’m surprised they let me stick around. But yeah, the masters is a, is a special tradition for so many folks, especially folks in that CSRA, which is a central Savannah river area. If you grew up in Aiken or gusta, you knew the acronym also Akins on the map in the horse industry. Well known it at one point in time, it was referred to as a polo capital of the world or polo capital of the us Navy polo is still big. Horse rearing horse racing is still huge in Aiken County. A summer squall won the 1990 Preakness. And there was a lot of, it was kind of like having your team in a big deal right there, Kentucky Derby that year Preakness or the Belmont pulling kind of for the hometown heroes, so to speak.
Scott Luton (05:58):
And then one last thing about Aiken, which anyone that passes through town maybe would, would pick up on the Savannah river plant when it was first built in the fifties, helped make a lot of materials for the cold war and the nuclear arms race. And it employed. I’m not sure at its height somewhere between probably, I don’t know, taking a wild guess 10 to 15,000 people. And it’s since been renamed the Savannah river site and the missions kind of changed a bit and employment levels were a little bit down, but it’s still really important department of energy site here in the States. My dad just retired from there after 34 and a half years. I believe his dad retired from there. His mom retired from there, had a huge impact, especially as I was growing up in the eighties and early nineties here in Aiken.
Jamin Alvidrez (06:40):
So we’ll stay with your childhood there and naked.
Scott Luton (06:43):
What was your favorite toy as a child growing up GI Joe Lego’s, although Legos were pretty expensive. I’ll tell ya. Sega Genesis. We all had Nintendo, but for, for us in our little neck of the woods, Sega, Jens has changed everything because the first Madden came and football came out. And the first few additions, if you remember on Sega Genesis and my me and my brother, my two cousins, I’ll say I was a big dork man. We may all, all had a little bit of a dork and we had the Luton football league, which is all we picked AFC team would pick the NFC team. We’d run these leagues back before you could do that on video games. Jameson, I’m gonna tell him myself here, but we’d keep notebooks of stats. So we’d know who was a passing leader in gluten.
Jamin Alvidrez (07:25):
You still have those notebooks.
Scott Luton (07:28):
I think they’re in mom and dad’s addict somewhere, but it is kind of foreshadowing things that come because, you know, I’m a bit, I’m a big data nerd and we love our statistics. And that was, um, that was a big part of my, our, our, our childhood. Oh, that’s
Jamin Alvidrez (07:45):
All right. How about a random sort of, we’ll call it a memory or a lesson learned from your junior high, high school time period that you find yourself reflecting on often in your professional.
Scott Luton (07:56):
For me, it probably the most accurate answer is so my granddad, Dick Rutland, I had a great, the great opportunity to live in the same city with all four of my grandparents. And that is such, that’s fantastic, such a huge advantage, and we are the best they really are. And while all four certainly impacted my life. Dick Rutland in particular was the, was the ultimate servant leader. And he was really focused on action, but action, without talking about what he did or what he contributed so humble and, and just a, just a doer. And he had such an impact on all the grandkids. And certainly me, you know, he, we, we lost him, uh, several years back too early, but, you know, he’s missed every day and had a huge impact. And servant leadership is pretty prevalent these days. But even back before I knew what it meant, he was modeling it day in and day out. And it just is something that has, has stuck with us and continued to help shape
Jamin Alvidrez (08:56):
How we do business powerful lesson. What was your first job
Scott Luton (09:00):
Stocking and bagging groceries for four 35 an hour at our local. Winn-Dixie
Jamin Alvidrez (09:05):
Nice. Where are you? Where are you a good bag? Do you ever do any of the competitions is about the fast bagging times ever getting any of those?
Scott Luton (09:14):
I saw a little snippet in a reader’s digest a couple of months back, cause there’s actually that a national bagging campaign. I was terrible at it, but it was one of the coolest jobs. We had a little, a bunch of us that were going through local high schools in the area, kind of all worked there. And it was such a neat family and some of the fun, some of the favorite memories going back. So it was great job, but no, I didn’t win any awards, stocking or bagging,
Jamin Alvidrez (09:39):
Or what was it called when you would go through the Isles
Scott Luton (09:43):
After it closed? And you kinda, you had to kind of, um, just rearrange all the product and kind of pull it forward. But I was bad at that too, but fortunately to be employed. Oh, nice. What was your first car? 1991 Honda civic Ford or with tinted windows and a manual sun roof. Let’s call it. Maybe a moonroof was what it was called, but it got like 127 miles to the gallon and it had some memories for sure.
Jamin Alvidrez (10:15):
That’s great. All right. How about your family, man? Uh, so sometimes we get asked what is our favorite meal? I want to know what the family’s favorite meal is collectively when you’re all together, what meal just does it for everybody.
Scott Luton (10:28):
Wow. So in our household, so miss me and my wife, Amanda, who’s an outstanding cook. We’ve got three children ranging from 10 to seven years old. So we’re big on the Getty. We’re big on tacos, but my wife is such a great cook this during the pandemic and during the kind of the isolation, she’s really fine tuned her ability to make homemade bread.
Jamin Alvidrez (10:51):
Oh, Jaman stop it. We went,
Scott Luton (10:55):
It’s just been, it’s been like, that’s great. It might sound silly, but it’s been life changing this homemade bread. You’ll never want anything else. Once you really come across some really good homemade bread.
Jamin Alvidrez (11:06):
That’s fantastic. Such an art to baking and bread is I, I certainly can’t do it, but from what I’ve heard, it’s, it’s really an art. You can do it either, but we’ve got a secret weapon here. Oh, that’s great. Okay. So we feel like now we got to, to know you a little bit
Scott Luton (11:25):
As the person we’ll get into
Jamin Alvidrez (11:27):
Meat and potatoes here of seeing what we can, what we can borrow and apply from your mindset. Talk to us about your time in the air force. What is, I imagine you got so many examples of, of leadership. What are some takeaways that you carry with you that came from your
Scott Luton (11:43):
I’m in the air force? Great question. And, and, and so I
Jamin Alvidrez (11:47):
Exit active duty in 2002 and yeah,
Scott Luton (11:50):
It’s hard to believe I was 18 years ago, but you’re all right. I ran a ton of, of really hands on leaders. A lot of them were kind of like my granddad silent type, where they were doers, you know, and, and, uh, you know, social media is before social media, before, you know, so much of the world had changed. However, I probably learned the most from a less than effective leader. I had two stents in air force. My first stent came kind of naturally after basic training. I turned 18 in basic training. Well, back in 1996, now I checked that in 1994. So I get on station for the first time ever at my first duty station. And basically the first day I’m introduced to, to where we’d be as a data analyst, I was pulled aside, me and this colleague that had gone through tech school together, we arrived there together, was brought to a conference room by one of the, this individual I’m talking about. He sat us both down and my colleague was a little bit older. My fellow airman was, was in his early twenties. I was 18 and didn’t know anything. And he sat us down and almost the first words out of his mouth was you will fear me and
Jamin Alvidrez (13:03):
No, you hear that you hear different stuff.
Scott Luton (13:06):
And certainly in bootcamp and even in tech school, but to hear that used in a way he meant it. And then to work with that individual for some time fear-based leadership, even then it seemed, it felt so out of place certainly now 18 years later, but I still hear him saying that and I still were called working with him and other things he did. And that taught me so much about what I didn’t want to do, whether it was in the military or whether it was, it was post-military and just how you don’t, you know, when you’re there, especially as a young, very impressionable airman or in the private sector when you’re there and you’re expecting to get support and guidance and real leadership that just deflates all of that. So hate to pick on anyone too much. But that was a very real experience for me. That was not opener that, that I still think about very regularly
Jamin Alvidrez (13:57):
Way to take a positive and a, sorry, a negative and turn into a positive. And I could say just, uh, today hearing your, by the way, congratulations at the time of us recording this, you recorded your 400th episode for supply chain now. And what I appreciated hearing your answer there is that I feel like in this 400 episode, got to see again, not you saying it, but being the doer, you had your team, the supply chain now team on there. And no one sounded scared. That’s good working together in a very positive. And I can’t remember who said it, but it definitely came through and everyone’s expressions. It was really a you’re on a mission together.
Scott Luton (14:38):
I’m so glad you picked up on that. And, and, you know, you are one of those folks that are so always so observant, and I want to say perspective, you don’t miss anything, Jamie. So I really appreciate that every time we connect you remind me of that. But one of the thing about the air force, cause it was, it was all, it was a wonderful experience and I hate it. You know, as I was kind of gathering my thoughts before we got on here today, I was worried about to being too negative. I can’t tell you enough that the, the positive aspect, the most positive aspect that I had in the air force is that it’s, it’s incredible emphasis on the team and taking care of your people and your fellow airman and the folks. And, and so the folks you work for, they are stopping by your dorms.
Scott Luton (15:21):
If you got in trouble, they’re there, they’re going to be there for you. If you needed a ride and you couldn’t afford a car, they were there to take care of you. Troy Boozer and Bruce Gillan and Claude doorway and Vincent James. And, and so many more folks I could mention. It was an incredible family where people in the mission always came first, but then they just doubled down on taking care of airmen and team members. And just making sure you have what you needed, because oftentimes you’re not close to home. And these folks that you work with every day, you’re in the trenches with every there they are your family. And so that was that people, first mentality was, was also critical lesson learned, but in both of my stints in the air force, right out of basic training. And then again, as I went back in the finished my term out, after I graduate in college,
Jamin Alvidrez (16:08):
That’s a good perspective. Do you think that that experience in the air force, and I imagine you have, you know, folks from all over diverse backgrounds areas that works right. And I think of supply chain, logistics, transportation, we’re a diverse group of folks, something that I observed you doing very well on supply chain now and your different podcasts, you do a good job pulling together, different perspectives. Do you think that’s where that started to come from?
Scott Luton (16:38):
Great question. I mean, very frankly, you know, Aiken, South Carolina, it’s not Atlanta for it and I’m not, not throwing stones. It was a wonderful place to grow up one of the place to go back and visit. But as you’re talking about diversity and different walks of life and different perspective, the military really, it was a wonderful experience along those lines. And, and to get in there, even in the earliest days of a basic training class and you’re all stressed and homesick. And I was, I was amongst that, there are some folks in there that was not homesick. I was 17 or 18 and I missed mom bad. And I was telling myself there, but coming together through those stressful times away from family and really forming those bonds with people that, that came from all walks of life, that was absolutely an early lesson to learn there. And for me, 18, I mean, heck when I got out and there two, 18 years later, it’s still a journey. You know, there’s still so much work to be done personally with the assumptions and the blind spots we have when it comes to biases or different things. But that was a great shot in the arm and a great wake up call that really kicked off that journey. And in earnest years and years ago, and it continues to be really helpful here forever many years later.
Jamin Alvidrez (17:59):
And that is something I do love about our industry and is often highlighted on, on supply chain now is the diversity of backgrounds, even the diversity of thought processes of companies and everything. So the more we can, I’ve seen on a few of your posts that I’ve really taken to heart and from many others as well, there being a time to listen. So I think that’s a good example of that so that, you know, you’re in the air force, you said data analyst. Yes, I was data. I was in the big data. The Sega Genesis lessons learned. Yeah,
Scott Luton (18:36):
We were at big data before big data was cool before beginning was a big thing. And the air force really had some very forward thinking leaders when it came to that. But yeah, we, it was all about actions performed on aircraft and running a wide variety of reports, especially when something went wrong to get to root cause and, and, you know, protect our pilots, protect the mission and look for those trends and problems before they happened again, or preventing them from happening.
Jamin Alvidrez (19:01):
How’d you transition from that world to getting into supply chain?
Scott Luton (19:06):
It’s an outstanding question because when I got out, no to even with at the time I was not in combat, so I didn’t have some of those challenges. So many of our military members have had coming back, especially in the last 19 years, I had a four year degree, which is also especially for an enlisted person after a first term, that was a bit of an outlier in my advantage. I was in a, in a technology or a database and at data and in something that was horrible. And I came back home. I, you know, when I finished up my term in Wichita, Kansas in Oh two, I came back to come up my home, you know, so I had support all Jim, I struggled to find a job, despite all those advantages. I really struggled. My degree was in a specific area that sets you up for a certain journey. Like, you know, it wasn’t an accounting degree or an, you know, some kind of engineering degree. And I went through that recruiter roll of decks. I’ve gathered for some folks and just struggled to find something until Jeff Moses, Jeff Lorraine, Moses and Columbia, South Carolina, took a chance that I might get sell something. And so,
Jamin Alvidrez (20:11):
So we, we, we
Scott Luton (20:14):
Technical training computer training for awhile, which, which came almost first nature, but eventually I met this locally privately held manufacturer in Columbia that made art indestructible partitions. And my first role ever was in that manufacturing environment, uh, managing accounts for some of the big names that, you know, a lot of retailers that purchase that kind of stuff, managing these products, going out to construction sites, the stuff would get run over and the stuff would get lost. You’d have to dive into all of those conversations and, and track things down. But it was a wonderful thing that sticks out in that, from that very first roll in, in the manufacturing sector was the people. And again, since the mission and the kindred spirits and the camaraderie where they’d rally around certain orders, especially those orders Jamie, you can probably relate to, or there’s a problem, or maybe we’re late on something and you’re pulling, you know, everybody’s contributing to get that out the door in the right place expedited. And it’s really what I have found, whether it’s a manufacturing environment or a logistics environment, or you think of the Indian supply chain, it’s really other than small business, which is kind of an Island of its own. The sense of comradery and fellowship and commitment to mission that you find across and in supply chain is as close as I have found that I really enjoyed in the military.
Jamin Alvidrez (21:37):
Great to hear. I feel the same in our industry. I, I can, uh, agree with you there. So when I was preparing, I was doing, you know, we’ve, we’ve talked to several times, developed a little bit of relationship, and as I was doing some, some homework for this interview, I was at first, my immediate reaction was, Oh, he’s, he’s really into numbers and data, but he’s also, I know very passionate about storytelling and a good storyteller, but then I checked myself because I was wait a second. Data is telling a story. So do you, have you found that your passion for storytelling came from your, the same passion that you have for data back in those Madden days? Where does that storytelling passion come from?
Scott Luton (22:20):
That is an outstanding observation as always. And I think you’re on to something because especially when I think about problem solving or trying to find those signals from the vast arrays of data, it does tell a story and it’s piece net thing, that story together really by paying attention to the important chapters or signals, I think you’re on to something, but for me, as I think back through some of my influences and I wish I was a better storyteller, I lean on our guests. So I’ve got that my secret approach, but I was fortunate to be, come from a family of outstanding storytellers. I remember whether it was family reunions or whether it’s holidays, or even when folks pass you get together, eat great food. And you tell stories of these, of these individuals and others that really had a big impact on me. They’re growing up.
Scott Luton (23:08):
And then you look at, you know, last time we got together, we talked about Paul Harvey. Yes. I grew up listening to my BMI folks, the rest of the story, which was just a great storytelling approach, a core across the radio medium. And so that certainly has some influence these days, NPR, a big fan of fresh air and all things considered. There’s some great storytellers there that have been around for quite some time. Again, I’m going to be a big dork when I share this with you, Damon, I grew up, my folks loved the Andy Griffith show. And so I’ve seen every episode, especially black and white ones and Andy, Andy Taylor, and in the show, Andy Griffith, which is the incredible personality, his character and his approach, and his ability to tell a story. And then by extension, how that show was built, just in telling a great character driven story in less than 30 minutes. So reliably. And there’s another series that we can all point to, but, but for me, that, that had a big influence early on and has just stuck with me. And so that’s, that’s some of how I, how I have cobbled together. My, my love not just to try to tell stories via supply chain now, but my love for storytellers and folks that really come from that authentic, genuine point of view that they’re, they’re just being open and they can weave a great story while they’re doing so can Andy Griffith,
Jamin Alvidrez (24:31):
The fifth is one that he was a doer as well. He would, uh, wasn’t a big, big talker, but he would, he would do it. I always, I always liked and appreciated about him. He would, he would dignify people by letting some of their harebrained ideas play out. Even when you, you kind of pick up, I know that he knows this isn’t going to really unwell, but he would let it play out a little bit, really big.
Scott Luton (24:54):
That’s not a great point. That’s a good mention. So supply chain now that’s correct.
Jamin Alvidrez (25:00):
Certainly the mission you’re on. How did, how did that come about? Where did you see the vision to say, Hey, you know what, it’s this industry of supply chain logistics, transportation has stories to tell where did, where did this idea? And
Scott Luton (25:13):
You can come from. So, you know, what really pulled me in, I mentioned where I got my start in manufacturing in that, in that greater Indian spot chain. Shortly after that, I moved to Atlanta and I got involved in association. And the way I got involved is I love plant tours and, and they, they hooked me up leading or trying to facilitate these plant tours. And I’ll tell you, if you, if any of our listeners, your listeners do anything in, in, in supply chain, whether they’re in the industry or not going on a plant tour and connecting with those folks that leaves production lines that are solving these problems at all levels and all departments of the organization that had a huge impact on my career and all on how I view things. And, and you know, my grandad who we talked about earlier, he, in his second career, he retired as a machine operator at Kimberly Clark.
Scott Luton (26:00):
And that just makes so much sense. Looking back, I didn’t really connect all those dots or when I was a kid, but these plant tours where you uncover these stories and these contributions and these best practices, including poor practices and what didn’t work, which is just as important to celebrate and what does work. So these plant tours is really what I caught onto early in my career. And as we built events around that and, and really thinking to myself, gosh, this what I’m hearing or what I’m experiencing is really limited to the folks on the tour physically here. You know, let’s bring that out. And early on, that was via associational events. Like we’ve all been to dinner meetings and ultimately it led to webinars, which, you know, still are today, everybody’s doing a webinar, right? Which is, Hey, it’s great. Especially if it’s wifi well done.
Scott Luton (26:49):
And so naturally that led to podcasts and mean, it’ll tell a story a different way, but at its core, it’s about pooling people, spotlighting the people in the end, the technologies and the leadership and the innovation. And on top of it, all, some of the stories and issues that deserve more attention that don’t, you know, they may get relegated to kind of kept in the closet, you know, and, and, and if we don’t embrace that and give that air, you know, some of the greatest challenges we have in industry, don’t, nothing’s going to happen to me. He goes not going to get moved. So, so that was, I mean, in terms of where the Genesis for supply chain now came around, it really came from being physically involved in industry, and then wanting to really find a way, an effective way to share those experiences and share these incredible stories and people digitally.
Jamin Alvidrez (27:40):
Yeah. Giving a, I like your point about giving a platform and a voice, not just to the people, but the problems or opportunities, if you will, because we don’t shine a light on them. We can’t all work together in the attack.
Scott Luton (27:53):
Yeah. We’ll put, so then,
Jamin Alvidrez (27:55):
Oh, you’re getting to see you’re on a mention on the outset, you’re uniquely placed you and your team on the front lines of, we were already going to digital content and storytelling for our industry, but let me not put this in a statement. Let me ask the question. What have you experienced over the last four months, very specific to how your audience is consuming your content and what they have an appetite for
Scott Luton (28:19):
2020, as we all know it has come with no shortage of challenges, big and small and, and common and unique, you know, touching for a second on our team. I mean, we’ve got a whole new found appreciation for the ability for a team to come together remotely and, and come together consistently, remotely, especially in our case where, you know, we’re, we’re publishing an episode Monday through Friday. And so the cadence and everything has got to happen behind that. I mean, it’s really, it’s been a remarkable study of what our team has been able to do. And, and, and you mentioned the 400 episode, we almost chose, you’re talking to how the team can together and they could share some of their perspective. We almost chose to go a different direction. And with that milestone, I am so glad that we paused and allowed our team, the folks make this happen, the whole secret behind anything we’ve got here, share their perspective.
Scott Luton (29:13):
So that was really special, but you know, some of them, some of the things that stick out that we get, especially in recent months, that we’ve gotten a lot of feedback around a few weeks ago. I think of, uh, Jasmine with gooder, founder and CEO of gooder, or she’s out to change an industry and tackle a problem it’s been around too long, which is food waste in arguable, how much food we waste, whether it’s here or elsewhere. And here in the States, as we learned from her journey, she shared with us, we’re kind of behind what they’re a lot of other places around the world when it comes to using and utilizing food that otherwise would just be tossed to the landfills. So that determination to tackle a challenge and change what’s been taking place forever, man, that’s, that’s some of the secret sauce I think of I’m Rick from the Clorox company, uh, senior level supply chain or operations executive, and what he wanted to talk about on his own on this, his most recent episode was the people in the front line, the people in, in the production facilities, the people that, that are making it, making the mission happen, especially if you think of the overwhelming demand, that the variety of wide variety of, of Clorox products across our portfolio, what they’ve seen in 2020, you know, from wipes, bleach and beyond.
Scott Luton (30:29):
And that takes, I think a lot of leaders don’t have that same sense, true sense of genuine. He was going to share that whether we had a microphone in front of him or not, cause that’s who he is, that’s rewarding. Kevin L. Jackson today Kevin’s with source connect, shared human capital is the most valuable form of capital we have. Oh, I like that. Yeah. Just everyone needs to know that. And he’s going back to tee shirts and that’s how we need to embrace the people that make things happen. That was one of those recent examples. And then finally, you may have come across any of our, our shows maybe with Elba prehung Gallagher, who is a long time ups or, but equally as important, if not more important. She’s founder and CEO of show me fifty.org and Elba is passionate about providing opportunities for all and really driving inclusivity and diversity, especially from boardrooms down to helping folks like myself and like many others uncover these biases that we don’t even know we have, and really embracing other understanding and being empathetic to where others are coming from.
Scott Luton (31:40):
You know, this everyday things that we all do that we probably shouldn’t all. And it’s not that we’re all evil people, or it’s just, it’s not between the years. And so leaders like Elba are invaluable when it comes to helping us get better from within and realize some of the things that we just aren’t aware of. So those are, that’s just a smattering. I mean, it’s been so rewarding to sit here and listen firsthand to how these folks are changing, whether it’s changing their plant, changing their site, changing their organizations, or in some cases, global enterprises or changing an industry. I mean, I got the best job in the world, and these are the first four recent examples that come to mind.
Jamin Alvidrez (32:24):
Oh, that’s awesome to hear because that’s the ultimate adapt and thrive mentality and action from some giant organizations and some giant causes. And I would say, uh, who’s also embraced that adapt and thrive mentality is, is your team. If we could speak to that for a minute, as you had mentioned going remote, and also I think in the not too distant past, you changed to now recording, um, Monday through Friday or Monday through Saturday, what do you think has helped your team both not only get the mission done, but stay close together and in good spirits, what would you attribute that
Scott Luton (33:02):
I’ll be the first to tell ya, we have got the best team of contributors around. They don’t take backseat to anybody. So, but I’m very, I’m very partial. It is an interesting collection of folks that take great ownership on the role they play within, you know, our, our small business, small, but robust and growing business. And, you know, I think it takes a lot as you kind of figure out what the team needs to, you know, what do we need, what mix of talent do we need the team? And who’s gonna do what fortunately, we’ve had some people that have really helped. They, they, they have led us to figure that out, right. And, and rather than us being some kind of geniuses in the back room note, it’s been, it’s been complete, completely reversed where this talented team we’ve got an and, and what they do, they’ve really helped us figure out where the, where their contributions fit, what they’re best at, what they love to do, which is so important.
Scott Luton (34:00):
And all of that’s taken place remarkably for the most part remotely, when, as we both know, when you’re in this remote environment and it’s this extensive of remote environment, I mean, we both have probably been guilty about misreading into an email or misreading into social media. And, and so what’s amazing to me with this group of people that we rub elbows and work with every day is how we have avoided by and large all of that. While we still have the challenge of being an early stage startup business. And you have those pressures in a year as challenging as 2020. And when you are delivering something with a commitment to the marketplace, you know, Monday through Friday, and also needing to make sure that the folks you interview that are part of this commitment to the market that are put in, in the best possible light.
Scott Luton (34:54):
Cause that’s, you know, we protect our guests. It’s a, it’s a miracle. I hope I have a better answer. Next time we sit down. Cause I like to bottle that, you know, and, and, and, and do it a thousand more times, but we’re very fortunate to have a wonderful mix of very talented people. And I think in a space in a industry that is, has never been more important than today and has never been under understood or aware of by the consumer base than you know, than ever before. So I don’t know if I’ve started to answer your question, but that’s the truth to me and I’m gonna stick to it. I like it.
Jamin Alvidrez (35:28):
And then what comes through in your answer and as an outsider, looking in, even on certain things, it’s, you have a well identified mission that everyone is bought in on and, and feels a part of and is staying very connected. I think that’s something we can emulate. Now, this next question I know for you, won’t be a problem, but for some people it could be a little touchy. You know, we’re in a new environment for somewhere. They have now become a coworkers with their husband or wife, maybe not literally working in the same business, but they’re working in the same home. And as some of that will become even more common. Uh, you and Amanda to me are an awesome example of how to work together effectively, still have fun with it. I’d encourage anyone to check out the Amanda Luton episode on supply chain. Now some great insights that, that only someone like her could bring, what would be some practical tips you might give a husband or life of how to have a successful coworking environment, even if it’s not literally a partner on the same business, but working in the same area,
Scott Luton (36:33):
You don’t want to single anyone out because then you’re going to leave folks out of why we’re here and how we’ve been able to tackle, you know, what we’ve tackled. However, big key to that as you lay out is, especially in this environment where you’re home every day, and you’ve got responsibilities at home, which Amanda just is incredibly in a sheet as our kids were, you know, as that remote learning environment with schooling took place
Jamin Alvidrez (36:57):
And they, they, uh, the school shut down.
Scott Luton (37:00):
It’s been a no, it’s been a miracle to me of how Amanda, as the chief marketing officer for supply chain now never missed a beat there while figuring out a way. And you think when they, when they shut down school, you got each teacher that used different remote learning platforms and methodology, which is to be expected. But of course, in our case, Amanda, so the brunt of, of figuring all that out while protecting the environment and the psyche frankly, of our kids. So for starters, I think I’m really fortunate to have such a capable leader here at home that is so reliable and consistent and, and incredibly intelligent. But I think also I think from a couple standpoint and from kind of being around your business partner, I mean, imagine that day in and day out, I can, I can think about Jamie. I don’t know if you can, I can think about some people I worked with that I could never be around.
Scott Luton (37:53):
Oh yeah. All day, every day. But there’s certainly something to be said from picking and choosing your battles as a couple, both of us and maintaining that focus, understanding why we’re doing certain things, whether it’s, while we’re making certain sacrifices, you know, small business, does it come with quarterly vacation, the Walt Disney world or whatever, you know, we all make small sacrifices, right? Or big sacrifices, but being on the same page daily as to why we’re doing certain things and where we’re going and, and, and, you know, calm calling each other out, I mean, business is not easy. You have a bunch of different perspectives and at times disagreements, passion, otherwise. And you know, they have an outstanding soundboard that doesn’t just say, Hey, you’re right, Scott and don’t and don’t give in, but equally as often, and probably more often say, Hey Scott, you know, could it be this?
Scott Luton (38:47):
And you probably should do that. I mean, it is, it is a, an incredible journey in that regard and to be able to do it with your best friend and, and, and, you know, accomplish it and provide for a team and, and provide hopefully, and, and roles and benefits they value. And so they can make contributions that they enjoy doing, you know, cause it’s so important that the team wants to do what they do and wants to play that role. And hopefully if they have the time of our lives, hopefully we can find other ways to leverage the talents they have. So anyway, it’s not easy, but I wouldn’t trade it for a billion dollars.
Jamin Alvidrez (39:25):
I love it. I love hearing that. It reminds me of a hearing. You even talked about how you and Amanda, as leaders of supply chain now being on the same page and having the right attitude, the team positively responds to that. It reminds me of a great Denzel Washington quote. And remember the Titans actually sends out and say it, I’m sorry, I’m wrong there. One of the kids said it to Denzel. I said, attitude reflect leadership coach. And I always think of that. So that was going through my head as you were, as you were saying it. So that’s, I love it and are great examples.
Scott Luton (39:58):
That kid puts it so much better than what I’ve just shared, but you’re absolutely right.
Jamin Alvidrez (40:04):
Oh no, that’s great. So then, uh, what is, uh, what’s next for SU supply chain now where as we’re going into 20 of the, you know, the back half of 20, 20, and two quickly on, or maybe not quickly enough on into 2021, we don’t have to be creative to find negative things to talk about, but what are some positive things that supply chain now has in store for us all or is, is watching and excited about here in the next six to 12 months?
Scott Luton (40:35):
Great question. One of my favorite questions, because I am excited about, about where we’re headed and, you know, it’s easy for any small business to pick a milestone and kind of sit on that and dwell on that. But, but for us, that was a day and as much as much as we appreciate the team and all the contributions and how hard it was to get to that point, got keep on trucking. And, and, and for us the journey of, uh, diversifying our content, that is absolutely a journey. There’s no finish line there, there’s some other things we want to do there to continue to give a voice to all elements and are all shareholders of global supply chain. So we’re going to continue to diversify content. And I like how you put it earlier, diversity doesn’t start and stop the race. It’s all different walks of life.
Scott Luton (41:21):
And that’s such, such an important thing. I’m glad you pointed out our diversity and programming needs to reflect that. So we got a lot of work to do there, uh, that we’ve got planned for. We got to better engage on it, you know, for me as, especially in this day and age where everything’s digital and there’s a digital event every day, I think about engagement, right? I was just talking to someone other day as they’re planning their event and they’re trying to avoid nothing but presentations and one way communication. And that is such a savvy thing to be thinking about as you plan these events, cause it’s easy to fall into, well, I’ve got these 12 presentations here and a little bit of Q and a, and, but for us, we want to engage like none other. So we’ve got some really interesting vehicles. We’re going to be rolling out to really engage and give voice and embrace and amplify that voice of the audience.
Scott Luton (42:09):
We’re going to be exploring further the outer limits, what we’ll call a supply chain. I like that it sounds like a science fiction series or something. I don’t know what, in some cases, thanks supply chain and science fiction go, go hand in hand. Huh? Absolutely. From a content standpoint, really do a better job of exploring the outer fringes and building a bigger tent. It’s really cool to see consumers take so much interest and folks that aren’t in global supply chain to take so much interest into this industry. But I think for us to really fulfill what we are able to fulfill and deliver on the vision that we had from the very first episode, it is expanding, you know, talking about business leadership and getting on their fringes where everything doesn’t directly with every syllable tie back supply chain, people, process and technology, really getting after the stories that need to be heard, need to be shared. And all of that is what lies ahead. It was supply chain now, Hey, the Barstool sports of supply chain.
Jamin Alvidrez (43:14):
Oh, I love that. I love that. So I’m, I’m with you, I’m pumped and excited for what you have in store, what you just described. And, and I, I’m just confident again, to hearken back on it with the right leadership and the right team, the mission and beyond to me, it’s going to be exciting to watch and I’ll be a fan. So then lastly from you, how can folks then be a part of this, uh, adventure, this journey? How can they find you supply chain now? What are some things they should be aware of? So they can be.
Scott Luton (43:48):
So the easiest answer there is supply chain out radio.com and you can reach me at Scott at supply chain. Now radio.com. We’re soon to be changing that URL we’re dropping radio, took us awhile to find the URL and get it radio kinda kind of hearkens back to the rear view mirror a bit, nothing, nothing wrong with love radio, listen to radio every day. But for us, it’s gonna be more about supply chain now, but in the meantime, supply chain, outrated.com. Some of the things we’ve rolled out to hopefully engage our audience and give them an opportunity to really be heard our standup and sound off series, where we, we give as much, if not more time to our audience to get shared their experiences and their observations would love folks to get plugged
Jamin Alvidrez (44:32):
Into that series would love for folks to join our, our supply chain. Now insider’s group on LinkedIn, if they’ve got ideas for stories or series show, obviously given that this is a business that we have to pay bills, we can’t act on air, all the wonderful story ideas out there, but we love getting feedback. And whether it’s story idea or series idea or how we can improve and better serve them in their roles. Hey, shoot us a note, shoot us an email connect with us on social media, give us your feedback. But most importantly, be heard our listeners. They need to be heard. They’ve gotta be heard, nothing changes unless folks have a voice and an outlet. And that’s, that’s an important element core element to our mission that we’re very passionate about. And if folks have ideas of how we can do that, execute on that much more effectively and successfully, Hey, this is a journey with no finish line.
Jamin Alvidrez (45:29):
We’d love to hear that. I love it. Scott, thank you to you and you and your team for creating such a positive platform to tell the stories and also to, to shed light on not just the problems and opportunities out there, but start to develop the conversations for the solutions as well. Thank you so much. So in conclusion, I really really dug this interview. I think what really sticks out to me and can learn from your mindset, Scott. And I think we as listeners can, is it’s that, that lesson that, uh, your grandfather, Dick Rutland, the doer, that’s really what resonated with me, be a doer, be a servant leader. And then I appreciated us talking about diversity and inclusion, both from the standpoint of sure we can get into the race side of it and different backgrounds, but even of thought processes, ideas, and bringing it all together as a fantastic industry.
Jamin Alvidrez (46:26):
So thank you very much. If you enjoyed this episode, if you didn’t enjoy this episode, if you thought it was a either way, please let me know. And I genuinely mean that so that I can continue to tweak it, ask questions that you’re interested in as we will have. Only those that are the most interesting and diverse in our business. And I want you to feel like you’re getting to ask them questions, pick their brain and glean the good from their mindset. All right. I appreciate each of you take it easy and let’s all help each other develop that adapt and thrive mentality.
Scott W. Luton is the founder & CEO of Supply Chain Now. He has worked extensively in the end-to-end Supply Chain industry for more than 15 years, appearing in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Dice and Quality Progress Magazine. Scott was named a 2019 Pro to Know in Supply Chain by Supply & Demand Executive and a 2019 “Top 15 Supply Chain & Logistics Experts to Follow” by RateLinx. He founded the 2019 Atlanta Supply Chain Awards and also served on the 2018 Georgia Logistics Summit Executive Committee. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and holds the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. A Veteran of the United States Air Force, Scott volunteers on the Business Pillar for VETLANTA and has served on the boards for APICS Atlanta and the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. Follow Scott Luton on Twitter at @ScottWLuton and learn more about Supply Chain Now here: https://supplychainnow.com/
Jamin Alvidrez’s unique perspective, love of people and positive energy lead him to found Freight Tribe. Freight Tribe helps companies and people of Supply Chain & Logistics showcase what makes them special. He began his career in Supply Chain, Freight & Logistics in 2004. For the past 16+ years he has focused his passion in the Third Party Logistics world. Jamin prides himself on his diverse experience working on all sides of the business during his time at CH Robinson, FreightQuote, and AgForce Transport.
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