Supply Chain Now
Episode 422

Episode Summary

“In this lesson, we’re talking about where the money comes from, where it goes and who gets it. Venture capital firms, where they get their money and how they make money is important to whether you’re a founder, an employee of a tech startup, you’re doing business with startups, or just a casual observer.”

-Greg White, Host of Techquila Sunrise

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

On this week’s episode, besides the regular Supply Chain Tech Stock Index and the deals of the week, Greg breaks down exactly how Venture Capitalists make their money.

Episode Transcript

Greg White (00:00):

This week at tequila sunrise, you’ll hear how venture capitalists. Yes. VCs make their money funding, the journey of startups and founders to make their dreams reality. I’ll share a change to the format. I know you’re going to love

Greg White (00:16):

Plus this week

Greg White (00:18):

Deal updates. So listen,

Greg White (00:20):

No

Greg White (00:31):

It’s time to wake up to tequila. Sunrise we’re unfortunately, without the aid of tequila, we opened your eyes to how startups and venture investing techs focused on supply chain tech every week, this unholy hour of the day, if you want to taste of how tech startup growth and investment is done, join me every Thursday for another

Greg White (00:55):

Tequila. Sunrise, Greg white here from supply chain. Now hi,

Greg White (01:01):

Always happy, never satisfied, willing to acknowledge reality, but refusing to be bound by it. My goal is to inform, enlighten and inspire you in your own supply chain tech journey. Hey, in case you’re listening in supply chain now main channel, you should know, you need to subscribe to tequila, sunrise, wherever you get, your podcasts will only be in the mainstream for a couple of weeks more. Go subscribe to tequila sunrise today. So you don’t miss a thing. Hey, do you think supply chain is boring? Lots of people do. My father in fact, was a retail merchandising VP back when a company called Kmart actually mattered and there was no such term as supply chain, believe me. He thinks it’s not only boring, but also that procurement purchasing logistics, warehouse and transportation, people are a pain in the ass. You might feel the same way, or you might just be awakening to this thing.

Greg White (01:57):

We love to call supply chain wondering what all the fuss is about or hoping to increase your supply chain IQ and impress your friends at your next zoom happy hour. And you want to know how you can learn more about it? Well, if you want to build your knowledge in supply chain, you need to listen to get this supply chain is boring. That’s right. Supply chain is boring with Chris Barnes. Chris is a practitioner. He knows distribution logistics, apex, and about a hundred other acronyms. But more importantly, Chris knows the who’s, who that got supply chain, where we are that point us to where we’re going and take us to the next level in supply chain practice. He interviews creators, inventors, and innovators that made supply chain, the facet native lead, boring discipline. It is today. Chris challenges, every guest to convince him that supply chain ain’t boring.

Greg White (02:54):

So you know what I’m going to say, listen up and subscribe. You. Get your podcasts. Let’s see who’s up to the task of proving supply chain. Isn’t boring. Hey, this is another supply chain now joint. So be careful. You might just find boring. Interesting. All right, let’s get started. Let’s see what’s going on in supply chain tech this week. First, let’s start with the deal. Ticker while seed investing continues to struggle in this unstable business environment deals are getting done this week in total recall, this is not just tech supply chain deals 265 rounds for $12.6 billion and 91 acquisitions for 15.9. That’s compared to last week with two Oh two and 9.8 billion and 81 acquisitions for $27 billion. The tequila sunrise supply chain tech stock index. I have to confess I’m going to report catalyst events for the companies in the index for a bit. Truth is that while many of these stocks move some week to week, they’re mostly in a range or recovering from a loss earlier in the year.

Greg White (04:09):

And the ones that are moving are e-commerce focused, Shopify, Amazon, not full supply chain plays. So we’ll find a way to make this analysis. Interesting. I promise we’re working on it. Okay. So we’re going to have a big education session this week because there’s just a couple of notable supply chain deals. So bird of Berlin, Germany, Vienna, Austria based eCommerce fulfillment platform that allows merchants to access warehouses internationally and shipped globally raised 5 million Euro in series a funding this round, which brought the total to 9 million Euro was led by rider global with participation from venture friends of J labs and existing investors. And you know how I feel about that? So founded in 2016, by their CEO, Alexander lighter and chief commercial officer Petra de Barca bird runs a fulfillment network that connects online merchants to international warehouse networks. So they can ship internationally without building their own logistics bird integrates with a lot of the leading e-commerce systems like Shopify to connect e-commerce systems to its warehouse management system, which it provides to the partner warehouses beyond its core markets in Germany and Austria bird has fulfillment locations in the UK and is launching new locations in Netherlands and France in the coming weeks.

Greg White (05:41):

And with this funding bird will expand its virtual warehouse network to retailers in eight markets. By the end of the year, my take on bird, existing investors. And again, that’s a good sign. This is a crowded space, but maybe there’s an opening in the continental Europe market. Sounds to me like an international version of stored flex E flow space and companies like that. Those companies have been making waves. So I wonder what they think acquisition target. Here’s another interesting one. See machines, robotics of Boston, mass developer of autonomous systems for ocean going vessels and work boats closed up $15 million financing round. The round was led by accomplice with participation by Toyota AI ventures, Brunswick Corp geekdom fund NexGen, venture partners and others. The investment included participation from Huntington Ingles industries, which will accelerate the deployment of self piloting techniques in the market of unmanned Naval boats and ships.

Greg White (06:47):

According to see machine CEO, Michael G. Johnson, the company provides autonomous systems that work under the oversight of a human operator. And by taking on the long duration and repetitive control duties, boosts the predictability and precision of operations while lowering the risk of fatigue related incidents. My take, that sounds a little like autopilot. There’s gotta be something more to it than that. The technology also enables new capabilities on water, such as the onshore command of remote offshore vessels. So drone like control, maybe interesting. See machines has deployed systems on large cargo vessels to data collecting survey boats, oil spill, response, crafts, search, and rescue patrol and crew transfer vessels. See machines is operating in four geographical regions and their distribution is enabled with a dealer partner program with established Marine electronics integrators. So many of you have asked for more insights into startups, rapid growth techs and investing.

Greg White (07:57):

So since so many Hab we’re coming back to our startup lessons, yes, they’re back. And after this lesson, you should be well educated enough to enjoy this next phase of education. That tequila sunrise I’ll interview founders leaders and investors. So you can get direct insight into supply chain tech, innovation, the industry, and the companies making it happen. All right, kids take a deep breath. This next lesson is on how VCs make their money. It’ll help you with perspective. When we talk about the hopes and fears, the trials, the triumphs successes and failures and enlightening and surprising insights of supply chain tech. In this lesson, we’re talking about where the money comes from, where it goes and who gets it. Venture capital firms, where they get their money and how they make money is important to whether you’re a founder, an employee of a tech startup, you’re doing business with startups or just a casual observer.

Greg White (09:04):

How venture capital makes money often defines how startups execute day to day. This is a deep, deep topic, and this is a short, short ish podcast. And there are plenty of pros who go deep into the mysteries of founding tech companies and venture capital. So I’m going to recommend a couple and link to them in the show notes. There are many, but here are the two that I recommend a book called zero to one by Peter Thiel. It’s a must read for founders. Good info on VC. If you don’t know who Peter Thiel is, that’s a lesson unto itself. So read up the book venture deals fourth edition by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson takes a no holds barred approach to how venture works and how founders can arm themselves with knowledge and allies throughout the process. Go give them a read. All right. In episode four, we talked about the different types of investment, the types of firms that do it in the maturity stage of the startup for each of those investment phases, go back and have a listen there with the new context of the knowledge where you’re about to get, to get a few aha moments from this lesson.

Greg White (10:20):

There are truly only two things that matter in VC deals when making a deal between a VC and a founder, economics and control, let’s explore how they work to maximize that for themselves. Yes, VCs are, self-interested make no mistake about that and how founders can do likewise. When tech startups want to raise money, they usually seek the financial assistance of a venture capital fund. These funds primarily have a couple of participants, limited partners or LPs and general partners. GPS. Let’s talk about what the role of each is. The LPs provide the financing for the VC fund and are usually family offices that manage investments for wealthy well families or institutional investors, such as university endowments, pension funds, insurance companies, and et cetera. And there are other variations of investors who might participate as a limited partner in a VC fund. The GPS, the general partners are the active investors who make the decisions on how to use the money.

Greg White (11:39):

GPS may be known by a number of titles, sometimes partner, sometimes managing director. There are others titles get very confusing at VCs and they tend to shift throughout the years based on trends and fashions, but rest assured that unless you’re getting a direct intro or your company is a high flyer, you’ll likely go through screeners to get to GPS. So let’s talk about some of those roles in the VC ecosystem. It’s important to differentiate between GPS and the other folks known as venture capitalists in affirm. So in a VC firm, there are VPs and principals think junior partners, there are associates and analysts. These are the folks that find screen analyze and manage the operational and analytical aspects of an investment. There are also part time or even contract people associated with venture capital firms sometimes called operating or other times called venture partners. Think of them as contract GPS who get GP approval on deals.

Greg White (12:52):

They present and often take board or chair roles in portfolio companies. They’re also entrepreneurs and residents. These are usually experienced founders in transition that help the firm advise the firm, bring esteem to the firm and are on their way to their next startup. Recognize that every player in a VC firm is very smart and very well educated and connected. If they aren’t a partner. Now they’re usually on track to be one or to start their own company. And often the GP who invests a significant amount in a startup or leads, which means writes the first and usually largest check in an investment round will do so with the requirement to join the company’s board of directors. So they’ll take an active role in overseeing the company. They will sometimes play the role of a mentor to the companies they invest in and even guide founders on areas where they need help.

Greg White (13:58):

So how VC funds are structured is important to understand similar to how startups try to raise several funds from VC firms. The VC firms will raise several funds for investment throughout their lifetime. Each fund has a thesis which defines the guidelines for investing. For example, legendary firm Accell has raised 14 venture funds and numerous others for secondary investments, specific regions around the world, specific types of companies and the like. So it’s not unusual for a firm to have dozens of funds. Now, a fund usually has a lifespan that is around 10 years and it’s usually divided three phases of activity for the fund. And the companies selected for the initial phase is when the firms invest in completely new companies, usually half or less of the money in the fund is allocated for these initial investments. The rest of the funds are what are called reserves for follow on or secondary investments in the companies from the initial phase, obviously allocated for those companies that survive and grow sufficiently to meet target potential returns.

Greg White (15:25):

The final phase is where VCs liquidate their investments and get their initial investment and hopefully returns. And sometimes often creating returns for founders by helping the company exit to a strategic acquirer, larger investor, or even IPO. We’ll talk more about that. Later. Most VC firms have many funds operating at the same time at different phases in this timeline. So they’ll have fund one that might overlap with fund two that has just opened up for investment. So how do VC firms decide where to invest? So we talked about this a little bit in previous episodes, but this is going to get very specific on what their goals are in order to determine the criteria for investing in the company. So the goal of the GPS at a VC firm is to find a collection of companies that creates a three to five X return in the fund to form a framework for success firms develop this thesis that guides the investment criteria, and then spend countless countless hours calling through hundreds or even thousands of companies in seeking out screening, researching and doing due diligence to select the 1% or so of founders and companies they believe will provide 10 X returns over the life of the fund to determine the potential returns of companies.

Greg White (16:57):

VCs make very deep assessments of founders in their teams to determine their current capabilities and perceived ceiling. The market potential to ensure there is enough upside for the idea or solution to bring enough value to the company, to make it investment worthy and technology and company position, to evaluate the ability to capitalize on the opportunity. This 10 X target is really required to cover investment costs along with losses, from companies that go bust in the fund to allow the fund to hit profit targets for the funds investors. So if you’ve ever heard and I’m quoting here, the market or idea or potential, isn’t big enough from a VC now, you know why they have to compensate with big hits on the companies that win in order to cover the comp companies that underperform, or just go completely bust how VC firms make their money. Very specifically, I’m going to go into here.

Greg White (18:07):

Rest assured that GP and members of VC firms don’t do all the work. I’ve just outlined out of a sense of charity in exchange for all their effort. VC firms are typically compensated in a quote unquote two and 20 fee structure. It shakes out typically this way, the GPS of the VC firm take 2% of the total fund size as the management fee each year. And at the end of the life of the fund, they keep 20% of the profits. This is also called a carry carried interest. So for example, in the case of a $100 million fund, the partners of the firm received 2% of the 100 million, $2 million per year. And on top of that at the end of the fund, they will keep 20% of the profit, which can be a substantial take. If their investments hit the targets, then the money that’s left over goes back to the LPs, the, the investors in the fund.

Greg White (19:18):

Now, if there is no profit, the LPs get their money back first. So basically the GPS and the VC firm have done their work for the 2%. All right, let’s talk about the goal. Let’s face the parties in the startup ecosystem have differing goals. Founders are often these brilliant wide-eyed visionaries, or even dreamers who hope to change the world and make money doing it. VCs are brilliant calculating creatures who are driven by terms like optionality, which is essentially does this big investment. Give me the chance to make more money with a smaller investment later and terms like internal rate of return. And yet these two differing approaches come together often to make something great. And when they do it is a thing of beauty for founders, teams, investors, and the world. Ultimately, the goal is some sort of exit, which is when the players, the founders, shareholders, team members and investors get to take some chips off, off the table.

Greg White (20:31):

And typically that means they hand the reigns to another investor or management team or another company altogether and watch their art become science frequently. This happens in one of three ways in order of least return on investment to greatest. Those three ways are private equity investment where large investors buy a majority stake in the company and bring what I affectionately call the adult supervision, their own management team to apply mature management and investor playbooks, to ring every ounce of value out of the company to an acquisition by a wealthy suitor, usually a much, much larger company buys the startup and helps them reach even greater Heights through a mass distribution of the company’s value proposition via the acquirer’s extensive market reach. Or, and this is the Holy grail, and you probably know where I’m going. The initial public offering IPO going public, or the company gains unimaginable value.

Greg White (21:40):

And the shareholders, the founders, investors and employees untold wealth and admiration by reaching the height of all Heights, a trading symbol on a public stock exchange. Those are the ideal scenarios for exit. Obviously not all companies succeed and VCs know that less than a third of companies in their portfolio will reach this apex. But when they do it is unbelievably rewarding in monetary and peer esteem terms, a success like an IPO or big acquisition is the ticket to more high quality startups seeking out the VC and an easier process for raising funds from LPs to look for the next unicorn. And it begins again, all right, that’s a lot and in a very short time, but that’s all you need to know about supply chain tech for this week. Don’t forget to get to supply chain now, radio.com for more supply chain now, series interviews and events, and every Monday, get your buzz on and listen to the LinkedIn live stream or on some of the other channels, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or even Twitch join 10,000 or so of your fellow supply chain professionals for the supply chain news of the week, every Monday at noon Eastern time with Scott Luton, the master and me, and maybe you miss this message every single week or at the beginning of this episode, if you are listening to tequila, sunrise, and have it subscribed, it’s time to commit, subscribe to tequila, sunrise, where ever you get your podcasts.

Greg White (23:28):

So you can keep listening and keep learning. And you can hear from folks like Ben Gordon and founders of important startups and supply chain tech, thanks for spending your time with me and remember acknowledge reality, but never be bound by it.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

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

Hosts

Greg White

Principal & Host

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

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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Greg White

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.

Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.

Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.

With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog.  He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community.  Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include CiscoMicrosoft, Citrix and IBM.  Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane UniversityO’Reilly MediaLinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight.  Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems EngineeringCarrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.

He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.

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Jamin Alvidrez

Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History

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

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business.  Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM.  When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or singing second soprano in the Grayson United Methodist Church choir.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.

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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

Allie is currently completing a degree in marketing with a certificate in entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia. She got her social media start through an internship with Shred, a personal training app, and she’s been hooked ever since. She works to optimize our following base while assisting the team with content creation, influencer outreach and other marketing endeavors. Allie can’t wait to keep growing alongside Supply Chain Now.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jada Carson

Marketing Coordinator

Jada is a recent graduate of Old Dominion University, having earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications with a media studies concentration and marketing minor. Jada got her start producing content at 16 years old, while attending a radio and broadcasting journalism program in high school, and hasn't looked back!  She is an asset to the Supply Chain Now team as a media specialist, podcast and media producer, and production coordinator.  Outside of Supply Chain Now, Jada is a big Lakers fan, and also a music journalist and enthusiast.

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Ben Harris

Host

Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics.  He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.

He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.

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