“I think any in any market where you can trace the goods for non-conflict, you can trace it for sustainability and for counterfeit as well.”
-Greg White, Co-Host of Supply Chain Buzz
In today’s Supply Chain Buzz episode, hosts Scott and Greg tackle the top news in supply chain this week and welcome special guest Chris Lingamfelter.
Amanda Luton (00:05):
It’s time for supply chain. Now broadcasting live from the supply chain capital of the country. Atlanta, Georgia heard around the world. Supply chain. Now spotlights the best in all things. Supply chain, the people, the technologies, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.
Scott Luton (00:29):
Hey, good morning, Scott Luton, Greg white with you here on supply chain. Now. Welcome to today’s live stream, Greg. Good morning. How you doing this Monday morning? I’m doing well officially. No longer morning. I got 12 o’clock and 30 seconds. Always a stickler for the details you are right, sir. I am precise. Wait, we’ve got a jam packed show today, right? This is a supply chain buzz. We tackle a lot of the latest developments, most important developments across in, in supply chain. We’re going to dive deep into a retail rundown. There’s no shortage of things going on in that space. And we’ve got an outstanding supply chain leaders gonna join us, especially from the automation standpoint. They’ll join us about 1230 today. So stay tuned and right. Hey right off the bat, Greg Sophia is here on time. She’s gotta be, she’s reviewing this online, right?
Scott Luton (01:23):
Our online reviewer. So we have to be on our game. Agree. I love her recap. So they have this stuff, right? Absolutely. The digital transformation recap she did a few days ago, it was really, really seemed to resonate. Um, all right. So we talked about the special guest. We talked about how we’re going to be working hard to increase your supply chain act Q quick programming. Before we get started here today, if you enjoyed the live stream, check us out wherever you get your podcasts from be sure to subscribe. So Greg, you don’t miss sessions like we published today, which featured a clay Phillips. Who’s usually behind the scenes, right? Yeah. We got him on camera after only just over a year, working with us and brilliant, just amazing insights. Really great to see some, one more person from outside the supply chain trade, come into the supply chain trade and add incredible value.
Scott Luton (02:19):
So, well, yeah, it’s homegrown stuff. So check it out. Where do you get your podcasts from man? We’ve got a slew of, uh, experts that are, that just joined the stream here. We got James and of course who will be on our Thursday live stream with a couple of special guests, Jeffrey Miller. We can’t do a live stream without Jeffery Miller. Right? Greg? Yeah, that’s right. Thankfully he showed up or else we’d have to cut off the air here. Yeah. Pod is in so awesome to see him here. He did a great superhero post over the weekend that I saw and was inspired by on Saturday. Uh, so thanks for that. And appropriately two people from so Cal announcing that it is in fact morning in California. So my apologies, Stephen, Carl, Phyllis, uh, hoes way, hope this finds you a Claudia is here. Got I got the whole gang is here.
Scott Luton (03:16):
So let’s um, you know, one of the things we really like to do is we love getting feedback, right. And what we do here, Greg, and I’ll tell you, um, really appreciate your reviews. We’re getting, we want to feature this one from tank way. Uh, 10 says, Hey, supply chain buzz, staying informed on the latest supply chain news, Scott and Greg provide interactive feedback, pertinent guests on the critical topics of the day. They always deliver the information with engaging discussion and humor to keep the topics relevant and meaningful. Keep up the great work in quote, Hey tango. I really appreciate that means a lot. Uh, and, and sit up straight.
Scott Luton (03:57):
We should open the show with that. It makes me feel really good. I mean, thank you. First of all, and great, um, that we’re delivering that kind of service. That’s what we’re always after. Yup. Um, alright. We’re getting little feedback, Greg. We may have a little internet connection, uh, challenge. So just a heads up there. Uh, Chris, uh, Chris, uh, Barnes supply chain doctor just shot me a text. Okay, well, we’ll work on that. Um, he never does, right. Hey to our audience and let’s find out that’s right, uh, to our audience. Hey, this is all about retail today here on supply chain bus. So I want to pose this question to you. What retail trends and news stories have you been tracking the most in recent weeks? Y’all let us know. Um, alright, so let’s dive into the first store because we have got, again, a jam packed show today, uh, and good morning or good afternoon to Daria and to Pierre, who’s joining us again here on the buzz.
Scott Luton (04:54):
All right. So Greg, and this first story. Yes, sir. So this is going to be really, it’s going to be the, uh, rapid fire session here, because first of all, I want to point out that, um, supply chain, uh, dive gave us a ton of great articles here. So, uh, sorry. Actually it was retail, dive, retail, retail dive. So I’m just, I just saw a ton of great articles. I’m going to hit on them very, very quickly. So listen up. It’s a heads up that’s right quick. Let’s re let’s recognize AUC, Shea, who this is his first live session with supply chain now. So he’s tuning in via LinkedIn labs or thanks for joining us here today. All right. So great. Before I dive into this lead article, you had a quick comment. No, I mean, do you want to hit this one first? Yeah, let’s do it.
Scott Luton (05:51):
Alright. So to get things started really enjoyed this article by Dan Gilmore over at supply chain digest. It’s all about a word we’re using regularly. In fact, this word came up in the preach per show, right? Right. Seismic changes all about seismic changes in particular. This article talks about Nike and Lowe’s and, and, uh, and how some of the changes are making could be a sign of things to come across the retail industry and retail supply chains, especially as it relates to their go to market strategies. So I want to focus in on Nike on this first segment. Well, we’ll touch on those briefly, but, uh, in October, 2019, Nike announced that it was planning to reduce the number of retail channels that sold through, get this Greg from 30,000 globally to 40 40, not 400, not 4,000, not 40,000. Cause when you told me that earlier,
Greg White (06:47):
I think you might’ve mentioned that over the weekend,
Scott Luton (06:49):
Right? I thought you meant they went from 30,000 to 40,000. So down to 40, okay. 40, 40. Let’s hear about that. So it’s going to focus on these fewer partners and of course direct to consumer. So that wasn’t lip service from Nike. They’ve been moving fast to implement some of the stores there. You’re not going to find Nike’s in anymore Zappos, Dillard’s Fred Meyer. And this one hurt me, Belk. I don’t know where you got your first pair of Nike’s from, but I, I bought my first pair of Nike cross trainers, the Bo Jackson version back in the late eighties at my local Belk in Aiken, South Carolina. So, but no longer, no Nike’s we found at Belk anymore in June. Nike said, it’s all about it’s quote, consumer direct acceleration program and quote.
Greg White (07:38):
So how that sound
Scott Luton (07:41):
Playing out in numbers. So eCommerce sales in Nike’s fourth quarter, which of course ended May, 2020 for Nike. That was a bad quarter for plenty of folks in retail, but e-commerce is up 75%. So Hey, there’s that? But here’s an interesting item that I missed. This came out back in late 20, 20, 19 in terms of the plan I missed it. Nike is in the process of embedding RFID. It almost all of its footwear and apparel. So Nike CEO, Mark Parker said, quote, RFID gives us the most complete view of our inventory that we have ever had. It’s quickly becoming the most precise tool in our arsenal to meet an individual consumer specific need at the exact right moment in quote Nike, of course, and other news, other ways that they’re baking technology into this, this huge shift they’re leveraging predictive analytics, uh, to vastly improve its ability to match inventory to consumers demand.
Greg White (08:44):
So a lot of, Hmm,
Scott Luton (08:46):
Early on and, and highly technical and, uh, seismic shifts taking place at Nike in particular, where you’re gonna be able to find and purchase Nike footwear and apparel. So I want to touch on Lowe’s real quick. Cause the other part of this article really touched on Lowe’s and home Depot. So Greg, I think we covered here a few weeks back. Lowe’s made the big announcement, right? $1.7 billion in the supply chain expansion that came like a week or two later, we could too, after home Depot made a very similar $1.2 billion announcement in terms of its supply chain investment. But as Dan Gilmore points out in this article, the strategies behind the expansions are different, but they have one common goal and that is both companies want to move away from store-based deliveries, right? Let their supply chains and supply chain professionals and the technology handle that rather than put that burden on the retail teams. Yeah.
Greg White (09:46):
It’s really disruptive to store operations. I’m sure. Yep. Outstanding article
Scott Luton (09:51):
Supply chain digest is one of my good twos. I really have enjoyed the content over the years. Dan’s article here, uh, really laid out some really neat insights and perspective on some of these big changes taking place. So check that out. And Greg, before I get your comments on this first article, I want to let a few audience members and Sylvia from Charleston. Great to have you. Uh, she says from the blueberry jam capital of the world, Charleston, South Carolina,
Greg White (10:17):
I love that that’s the blueberry jam capital of the world Sylvia’s house. So,
Scott Luton (10:24):
Uh, Amanda says, wow. As a consumer, I have never not once bought a Nike product directly from Nike because of the price far cheaper from retail partners. Wonder how the retail price will be affected. Good point there, Amanda, I’m the champagne industry. So, so memory, this is one of the retail developments she’s been tracking and hello. Memory from Johannesburg. The champagne industry is reducing the amount of grapes at harvest to keep the industry viable was struck by how it seems to be a trend let, to let produce waste, then harvest it all interesting stuff there for memory Claudia precision is a concept rapidly becoming the focus of innovation, starting with precision medicine and precision horticulture as two examples. And then Greg one final comment from Jeffrey Miller here. It may not be a leading reason behind the narrowing of retail channels, but returns and reverse logistics are huge drags on margin. A lot of attention being paid to improving these models. Fewer channels to market helps cassette there from Jeff. All right, Greg, what on this first story here,
Greg White (11:34):
Quick take from you not knowing what Nike’s eCommerce sales were before. I’m not sure whether I should be impressed by 70%, 75% uplift or not. Um, I’ve seen Nike go this way, frankly. They started this way with more exclusive distribution. I worked with, uh, the sports authority, which no longer exists, but in the day when they could not get Nike, um, or couldn’t get sufficient allocation from Nike. And they had to prove to Nike that they could distribute all the goods that they got further on the whole story, Nike being in the personal training health industry and Lowe’s and home Depot have both hugely benefited, all hugely benefited from the pandemic as people try to get in shape, or at least not gain more than the COVID-19 pounds that are mandated by this pandemic. But, um, but also staring at the windows and doors and trees and whatnot in their house.
Greg White (12:36):
And finally, um, as our guests coming in said finally doing some of those home improvement projects that they’ve been waiting on. Right? So there’s no, uh, no surprise though. I think we were all surprised at first, but no surprise now that those companies are flying high, I’m not sure what to think about 40 outlets and particularly dropping some of the biggest, I mean, I suppose I assume though, I don’t buy shoes there. I assume they’re still one of the biggest online shoe outlets and to Amanda’s point I’ve only ever seen it much more expensive to buy Nike’s on the Nike site than in any store. Yeah. So we’re going to talk about one chain though. That is a sporting goods chain that is exploding during this time in the next segment. So, well,
Scott Luton (13:27):
A great point and the price points and as well as some of the other, um, uh, dynamics that consumers face when trying to find what they want
Greg White (13:36):
About the right price, right. Colors, all that stuff.
Scott Luton (13:38):
It’s really interesting to see how all this evolves. Uh, but to your point in this next segment, y’all, uh, audience, hang on. Cause we’re going to take a deep dive yeah.
Greg White (13:47):
Into the retail run down here on the supply chain buzz this Monday afternoon, August 31st. Where did August go? Wow. All right. So Greg, I’m going to pop over to
Scott Luton (13:58):
Retail dive. Let’s see if this is going to, Oh, there we go. Okay. So you woke up this morning or maybe over the weekend a couple of times.
Greg White (14:06):
Uh, and, and he loved what retail Dov was putting out right there. Just go to, I’m not asking you to, but, but folks, I would just encourage you. If you have any interest in retail and understanding what’s going on in retail right now, pop into this page, this is just their homepage at retail, dive.com and just scroll through some of these stories over the last week or two that they’ve presented. And they are an incredible juxtaposition of, of good and bad fortunes of growth and, and tragedy in the industry, including a listing of the 26 major bankruptcies in retail just this year. Uh, it was a fast, it just struck me. I actually was planning to present something else, but it just struck me. So, uh, what I’d like to do, Scott, if I may, is to kind of take a quick pass through this.
Greg White (14:58):
Yup. Um, okay, well then ready to go. Yeah, everybody get ready here. It comes. And it’s coming fast gap closes 225 stores in 2020, and we’ll close more in 21. Um, their sales were down dramatically, of course, during the pandemic. And, um, they are consolidating and a new justification process or their brands. Brilliant. This was a brilliant move by their CEO, Sonia Singal and their CFO Katrina O’Connell two female sea level executives. Right? Thank you people. Uh, since their arrival last year, they have mandated that any banner must re earn its place in brand. And that includes brands like old Navy Athleta and banana Republic. So there are no sacred cows at the gap anymore, earn it or be gone all does net income falls 95% as e-commerce grows by more than 200%. Um, even though comp sales declined almost 27%, don’t think this retailer is not profitable or that they’re failing.
Greg White (16:13):
They, um, they, and I recognize too that they are not standing Pat. They made $329 million, uh, in Q2 and, or making changes to make themselves more econ friendly, including buy online purchasing store and curbside pickup and an online and facility to schedule services in the store. I did not know this in some Ulta stores. Yeah. And get your hair cut there. Yeah. I’m lots of thought it was where my daughters went. Yeah. It’s by makeup. Um, and just one story. This is sad though. A long time coming with no buyer insight, Lord and Taylor does liquidate all its stores, this 194 year old retailer finally gone under. But frankly in the last few years it had become mostly a real estate play. And guess who owns their flagship store in Manhattan? That’s right. Amazon, Amazon bought their flagship store in downtown Manhattan. So, and, and, uh, you know, in, in recent years, Amazon has made a play to be relevant in the fashion yeah.
Greg White (17:25):
Industry. Um, we’ll see how that goes. Yeah. Uh, Tiffany swings back to profitability in Q two sales in August appear to be trending above 2009, 19 and another advancement. The company we’ll provide traceability to each stone itself in an effort to try and avoid conflict mineral crises. Right? Another challenge, by the way, if, if Nike can do all this tracking and incredible technology in their shoes, it would be great if they could use similar technology to assure that Chinese slaves are not producing their product. Um, this one was near and dear to my wife’s heart. So I had to include this dollar stores, get another boost from pandemic shopping habits in Q two, um, dollar general dollar tree, anything with dollar in the name, but particularly dollar general dollar tree and family dollar all up in sales, uh, in the previous quarter also, uh, discount retailers like Walmart and target and others, um, seeing success as, um, as consumers tighten their belts, right? I’m going to give a little personal comment here. I’m going to out our family and tell you that if you’ve ever gotten a card, a greeting card from the white family, that it came to you from a dollar store. And if you ever saw us eating candy at the movies, it, likewise came from the dollar store. Not the end. That’s not illegal because boy defy you to prove it.
Scott Luton (19:04):
No shortage of storage. You’ve got more Greg,
Greg White (19:07):
I want to do, I want to do two more, just real quick bed bath and beyond lays off 2,800. Look, I’m not going to go into the details here, but let me tell you, this is pure opinion on bed bath and beyond. This is a company in desperate need of going 100% e-com. And also, and we’ve talked about that in the past. First of all, their brand is well respected. Their product mix is unmatched. Their stores are absolutely unshoppable because they have 10,000 of everything in there, but their location in power malls and, uh, and in urban areas and suburban areas are perfect for last mile distribution, as well as buy online pickup in store Opus and curbside delivery. So there is a chance for this company, uh, once they get their act together, here’s the story of the, of the quarter of the year. Uh, dicks emerges as the COVID-19 era winter with Q2 comps comp store sales up 20.7%. Because in addition to the gym crowd, pivoting to working out from home, um, many less active let’s be kind and say less active consumers have engaged in fitness over the past few months.
Scott Luton (20:28):
Well, Patrick Kelly produce industry podcast host says that’s where he goes and gets his Nike’s from dicks.
Greg White (20:36):
Yeah. So parents, yep.
Scott Luton (20:39):
For this finds you, well, a couple of comments on own all your hot takes you’re bringing in Greg. Uh, and, and you saw your daughter Delaney white way in long lived dollar stores, right? Uh, so clay ass to get their birthday presents rhetorically. So Kanye didn’t save the gap, I guess, I guess he did not see Erica yet either, but we’re still hopeful. Jaman is a big [inaudible] fan. And I’m glad you shared what that acronym stands for for everybody. Greg, we love our acronyms here in the supply chain world. So Nerf OD, who has a thing for hair, hair removal, cream companies reach out to me to be their hair removal model for their marketing campaigns. They say, Oh, you’re such so shiny. Come advertise with us. We pay you a bunch of money. I’ll definitely keep them on the back burner, take a rain check for now.
Scott Luton (21:32):
So it’s still wishfully thinking my hair will come back. Just imagine Nearpod. Yes. As a model in an Ulta store, right? Yes. Putting by the capitalists hats. Right? Uh, let’s see a comment from our friend, Aaron Peterson. Aaron, I saw you on LinkedIn over the weekend. Hope that was fine. Well, I think you’re graduating soon if I’m not mistaken, Aaron, uh, Greg, if you remember, Morgan state university supply chain program matriculate through great sharp thought leader here, dollar general has really been doing great. I did a case study on them last semester. And man, I have seen more dollar general trailers on the highways nowadays. I agree with you Erin. They are, um, they are building stores explosively. I’ve got to tell you, um, everywhere you can buy hunt brothers pizza or crispy crunchy chicken is next door to a dollar general. That’s right. Alright. Moving fast to the comments.
Scott Luton (22:29):
Cause when you’re bringing on our guests here momentarily, uh, clay says any idea how the TJ Maxx Marshall’s department chain is doing our bucket stores. Inventory has been slacking. I feel your pain clay, Greg. I, you know, it seems like I heard that they are not doing great, which does seem a, might ironic. On the other hand, a lot of their inventory comes from overruns, overstocks and seconds from first tier retailers. So when those companies aren’t selling, they are also, and historically they have not been liquidating goods either. So, um, you know, some, we did a story sometime back where a lot of those retailers have been holding onto this spring’s goods potentially for next spring, because instead of green being the new black or whatever the color will be, they’re going to save it for next spring. And green will be the new black for an expert. Hey, that’s right. Binge Mughal. Clang is with us here this morning. And we just want to say congratulations because Ben got a new job and, and however it did, I wondered why Joseph Valentine wasn’t on here with his hire ban. Right? So congratulations from our team here to you Benjamin gold clang and put us up, let us know in the comments, what you’ll be doing again.
Greg White (23:49):
Yeah. And then some way, just because you’ve found success, remember us little people when you’re up there at the top,
Scott Luton (23:57):
Right. Hey, Sophia asked Greg, what about traceability for counterfeit products? Excellent question. Traceability and visibility. You’d be hard pressed to find more buzz about two big topics in supply chain.
Greg White (24:12):
I think any in any market where you can trace the goods for non-conflict, you can trace it for sustainability and for counterfeit as well. And yes, actually the cannabis industry is a really good example for being able to do that. Both from a compliance with law and for a compliance with, um, non counterfeit procedures. But yes, absolutely. That needs to come about. Um, I would love it. If someone could put in the comments, what is the most counterfeited product on the planet? I can’t wait to hear what everyone’s take is on that
Scott Luton (24:52):
Trivia question. Trivia question Mondays here on the books. Hey, Sylvia, Judy says with Steinmart closing, you’re going to see a bump up in inventory at TJ Maxx.
Greg White (25:01):
Excellent. That’s an excellent point. And my wife was quite sad about that. I’m not too familiar with Steinmart though. I have friend who works there.
Scott Luton (25:09):
Well, I’m going to, um, you know, at the office store around the corner, I’m not going to, I’m not going to shame them, man. They, the aisles have been, I mean, it’s like a ghost town, so I’m not sure what the, uh, some of the challenges are, but, um, we have been moving all of those needs online. Alright. So let’s see here. Aaron says, Hey, Scott, won’t be graduating until fall 20, 23 or spring 2024. I’ve got to complete 240 credits.
Greg White (25:38):
It’s Aaron. I think if you promoted that paper on dollar general more, maybe they would let you skip a few years.
Scott Luton (25:46):
That’s right. He says, he’s jumping into blockchain this semester. Talk about traceability. That’s going to be, it’s a great thing to study there, Aaron, and I’m great. Great to connect with you regardless. So yeah. Look forward to big things happening.
Greg White (25:58):
Scott Luton (26:00):
Additional shout I’ve got allow the audience. They let’s see, uh, Thomas Latiya, uh, hope this finds you. Well, she is the president of the APEC student chapter at Morgan state university and a repeat guests here at supply chain. Now, uh, we knew we needed to bring her back on Greg because her last name,
Greg White (26:18):
Man, that was, um, next time she has to bring her parents because I want to see who raised this young person into the amazing individual that she is. Right?
Scott Luton (26:28):
Right. All right. So with no further ado, Greg, we’ve got a great guest teed up here today. We really enjoyed the pre-show conversation. No shortage of passion. So I’m sure our audience will enjoy it as well. We’re going to bring you in.
Greg White (26:41):
I ask him what thinks the most counterfeited
Chris Lingamfelter (26:44):
Product is because I’m going to let everyone know who’s guests. No one has guessed it yet.
Scott Luton (26:50):
So we’re going to welcome on to the supply chain buzz here. Uh, Chris Lingenfelter vice president for sales with six river systems. Hey Chris. Good morning.
Chris Lingamfelter (27:05):
Fantastic guys. Thanks Greg Scott for having me. I love what you do at supply chain now. And, uh, I’m excited to be here and good session so far this morning. Really interesting. Thanks for joining us. Thank you. My pleasure, Greg. I don’t know the answer I do. Um, I was involved. I provided a system years ago to a Kush net. Um, they do title Titlest pinnacle and golf balls. Counterfeit golf balls was huge. I have no idea if that’s the biggest one, but that’s my guess. So should we, should we, should we end? Everyone’s paying just real quickly so we can get to Chris this topic. Sure. Olive oil, olive oil is the most counterfeited product on the planet. Can you believe that? Wow, who’d a thunk. It, you need to be really careful because a lot of times you’re getting something totally else really had no idea. I think we might’ve been here until next week guessing on that one. Right. So
Scott Luton (27:57):
Greg, we’re going to dive right in with Chris. We got a lot of good stuff to tackle, so I’ll let you start.
Chris Lingamfelter (28:04):
Alright, Chris. So we probably ought to let everybody know who you are, let them see your pennant behind you there, and they can get an idea. There we go. So I, um, um, one of our cofounders stronger ball, I got me into the pan mass challenge last year. Um, it’s a, uh, it’s an event that it’s actually the largest sporting event, uh, that raises money in, in the entire United States. Um, it’s a really impressive cancer research. Uh, a lot of money goes to Dana Farber, like $60 million a year through the, through the pan mass challenge. It’s a two day bike ride across Massachusetts and it’s a lot of fun and it’s good work. So that’s my, that’s my, do they give tickets to people riding bikes across Massachusetts? I I’ve never gotten a ticket myself. Um, I heard that that happens in Germany. I used to work in Germany when I was with dramatic, but, um, yeah, not, not to my knowledge.
Chris Lingamfelter (28:56):
They do close one of the bridges over the Cape Cod canal, all 6,000 bikers go over once early in. Yeah. It’s a big deal. Well, that’s awesome. Um, so tell us a little bit about, uh, six rivers and, and what, what they do and maybe a little bit about your history too. Cause you have been in industry for a while. We say never more than two decades, Chris. Well, I think I’m 29 years, so I’m still like under the non into my third decade. So this now not next year when I’d have to confess, right? Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So no I’ve been in the space for a long time, 17 years on the software side working for various warehouse management system companies, including the industry leaders and got in from the robot thing early at Kiva systems. And, um, I went there, I, I moved my family to, uh, to Germany and I ran system sales for dramatic, um, for your middle East and Africa. And then I came back to the United States and helped, um, Intelligrated get into, uh, robot systems as well. And, and now of course I’ve been here at, uh, at six river systems for two years. So that’s me in a nutshell.
Greg White (30:07):
Great. So tell us a little bit about success
Chris Lingamfelter (30:09):
The river. Yeah, absolutely.
Greg White (30:11):
I’m excited about it and you probably know too, but
Chris Lingamfelter (30:14):
Yeah, it’s a real good about your company. It’s a really exciting company. So, um, Jerome Rhilyn and, and CCR three cofounders German Reiland um, I worked with back in Kiva days, so they left, um, Amazon robotics and decided to create a, a different kind of robot company. They started the company five years ago and uh, we introduced a commercial availability of our first robot three and a half years ago. And, um, really there’s been no looking back we’re um, we’re now installed around the world and about 20% of our installations are actually outside the United States. So companies is growing, um, I’ll touch upon it, but we were, we were purchased a year ago by Shopify and that’s been a fantastic experience for both parties. So
Greg White (30:57):
Interesting, Chris. So one of the things that, um, one of the things that I did, and I think we talked about this a little pre-show was I worked some with Amazon and the company that installs the now Amazon.
Chris Lingamfelter (31:09):
Greg White (31:10):
What do they call it? Robotics, Amazon robotics, formerly Kiva system. But also I also worked with their very
Chris Lingamfelter (31:16):
Customer, which was staples before Amazon bought the whole thing
Greg White (31:21):
To see that starting to be installed, even when the founders still showed up for the installations and implementation. So it was pretty, it was very cool company, great folks. I’m glad they went on to
Chris Lingamfelter (31:32):
Continue to, um, you know, continue to improve the industry. Yeah. I mean that innovation and that spirit of kind of doing things differently, um, comes across with six river systems for sure. But our, our approach to robotics is different. The Kiva system was a, um, goods to operate or kind of solution where the robots brought everything and kind of like a giant vending machine where you just sort of sitting there, what’s a good way to put it. Whereas we’re still 99% of the warehouses in the United States. And 95% globally are still based on a principle of the operator, traveling around the warehouse and collecting the merchandise. And that’s how our system works. It’s a, um, operator to goods as opposed to good stop operators. So it sort of turns up. I, you know, I explain it just quickly, Greg, when I on Saturday morning and my wife sends me out on my, uh, my, my tasks, she sends me to the supermarket and there, um, I’m walking around, collecting this stuff and then I go to the dry cleaners and you know, that carousel with spins and the stuff comes out.
Chris Lingamfelter (32:32):
It’s more like that vending machine we’re talking about. So there’s two principles that warehouses can really be based on from an automation. I could arguably be a collaboratively assisted in, in the grocery store because I have to have my wife on the phone, tell me what aisle and what to pick. Right. Wouldn’t it be great if one of our chalk robots and it showed you a picture of exactly what to pick and where to get it. I joke because I don’t go to supermarket shopping very often, but I’m like, why isn’t it alphabetical? It’d be so maybe, maybe we use the Dewey decimal system and our grocery stores, maybe that, that, that helped organize it. So Chris let’s, uh, as you can tell, we are tackling a variety of big news stories across the retail industry. 2020 is such an interesting year and that for everyone, but certainly in that space, what’s one story you’re tracking here lately in retail.
Chris Lingamfelter (33:26):
Yeah. So, um, interesting question. I would say for us, I mean, seismic changes all across all parts of our industry and you nailed it. And I think the first part of today’s show was, uh, was absolutely about that. You know, what we’re seeing is for our retail customers. And just as an aside, we have a handful of customers for sure who use our systems and non retail settings, like for aircraft parts or plumbing, parts, or electronics. Right. But for our retail customers, which would comprise the majority of our customers, you know, many of them are having peak level. You know, they all, it’s all about, you know, black Friday, right? When, when your, your volume goes through the roof, a huge portion of our customers are having black Friday volumes. It started in the middle of the pandemic and it’s just not stopping. So, you know, we’ve been able to support them by growing their systems and shipping them more robots, but it’s, um, it’s been a little bit interesting and a lot of people are going okay.
Chris Lingamfelter (34:21):
So if I’m, if I’m here, what’s going to happen when the actual holiday peak hits and it’s a little bit scary for some of our customers. Yeah. So, uh, momentarily, we’re going to talk about a great learning opportunity market Intel gathering opportunity for, for really everyone. But before we get there, what else tell us, uh, you know, I find, I really enjoyed our pre show conversation because you’re like talk with the companies that are, that are automating in real time solving challenges and, and figuring out the right solutions for them. And you are sharing a lot of those insights and those, and, and the snippets of conversations. It is fascinating. So, Chris, what else are some of the things you’re seeing? Well, yeah. And I’ll tie it back to kind of what we were hearing this morning about Lauren and Taylor and some other folks, right?
Chris Lingamfelter (35:07):
It’s all about being able to adapt quickly and change as the market changes, you know, figuring out those changes and taking advantage of them faster than your competition can, you know, our system, um, we’re able to install our system retroactively into existing buildings. We have a principle, we call no new hardware, which means your existing Isles, your existing racks, your existing system, that your warehouse or, or your dark store is based on. Can we just go in and put our robots in without having to make major changes and we can, and that is a hugely advantage, a huge advantage to our customers. We have one client in the Toronto area who, um, who installed their system in six weeks from, from frankly when they sign the contract with us to when they go live, went live and had their first pick that kind of moving. Yeah, exactly. And honestly, I just want to kind of set the record straight that, um, I don’t advocate that I think a couple more weeks of, of planning, um, it might be a, it might be a little bit better, but pinch,
Greg White (36:08):
At least it’s available. Right. Um, exactly. I mean, it took, I know it, I sat in the conference room where we plan the Kiva rollout, uh, with staples and there had to have been 40 people in there and it took well, I mean, it took longer to roll it out. It even in stages at staples than it took Amazon to buy the company, frankly, because PayPal was still in, in the rollout phase. So the, the, the rapid deployability of this is critical to help companies, like some of those who have a chance at success, like Ulta and like some of these discount retailers to actually survive and to start to really get serious about e-com right. So many of them are late to the e-commerce party and they really need that repetitive.
Chris Lingamfelter (36:58):
The so, um, yeah,
Greg White (37:01):
And that, and that, that’s interesting. It’s interesting too, that you don’t have to change the physical nature of it because at least in the old days, um, you had to run kind of wires in or across the floor to guide the robots. So the gear is not required.
Chris Lingamfelter (37:16):
No. So our robots, they’re a little, like if you think about an autonomous vehicle on the road and that upmarket of course is still evolving. Um, but you know, they’re essentially autonomous vehicles that travel around the warehouse, knowing exactly where they are, where everything else is. And, you know, it might go from point a to point B through the warehouse this way today and tomorrow might take a different path just because there were, there were obstacles, there’s congestion, we path plan based on what we know is going on in the warehouse. So it’s a, it’s a pretty sophisticated system talking about flexibility. I’ll just give you another quick example. So we have a customer, um, crate and barrel who has two, um, systems of ours in, in one building, one supports retail, uh, store fulfillment, getting, you know, the cutlery and what, not the small items to the stores.
Chris Lingamfelter (38:01):
And the other supports e-commerce a couple years ago when they have their peak, the retail peak, naturally it comes, you know, a few weeks before the peak on the eCommerce, because you need to get the inventory to the stores, but as, as you know, it’s coming quicker and quicker. And so we simply took some of their robots from one building, if you will, and moved it to the other building, decrease the capacity on the store side and increase the capacity on the commerce side, we did that in an hour. Right. I mean, it would take longer just to move the robots over than anything else.
Greg White (38:31):
Yeah. I don’t think that. And I think, you know, because retail shifting,
Chris Lingamfelter (38:36):
I mean, that’s a story we’ve heard that robotics in some cases generally enables, but because eCommerce is shifting so quickly and we don’t really know what consumers are going to do, the ability to be that fleet of foot is absolutely critical. Right? I think another thing that’s really entertaining, not entertaining, it’s inspiring about what you all are doing. And the robotics capabilities that it provides to these companies is, and I wonder if this is a dynamic that you’ve seen with some of your customers, so many companies feel threatened by being on the Amazon marketplace these days. And there are good reasons for that, that we won’t go into here, but, but, you know, and I’ve kind of identified this group of solutions, anyone, but Amazon type SLU, I call them ABA instead of FBA solutions. Right. And people are flocking to these solutions like Shopify, like six river, like all kinds of other solutions, so that they’re not a slave to the Amazon marketplace.
Chris Lingamfelter (39:38):
And, and at least not a slave to both the Amazon marketplace and the, the FBA, the fulfillment by Amazon. So they’ve at least got some options for fair play. Right. Well, and I think since you brought it up, it’s a great point, right? I mean, that’s why a year ago, Shopify decided to acquire six river systems, which was really their merchants that sell on the Shopify fulfillment platform. They were using an alternative, right. They wanted another way to fulfill their goods. And, um, you know, it only made sense. We announced that, um, actually at our user’s conference last year, the acquisition and understandably several of our customers came up to me right after the acquisition. And I’m like, please tell me the robots are still going to be available. Take them away from us. That’s happened before four. And we assured them then, and I can tell you one year later, um, not only are the robots available, we have more robots, we have more capabilities, the systems and our customer base has grown significantly in the last 12 or so. So we executed on that. Well, love that. And I also loved the little story you shared. Pre-show about how y’all
Scott Luton (40:41):
The announcement until after the, the, uh, the, um,
Chris Lingamfelter (40:46):
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Scott Luton (40:51):
Let everybody know.
Chris Lingamfelter (40:52):
Yeah. So we, um, we had our, our, the first night of the opening reception of our flow 2019 users conference on the Sam Adams surf deck at Fenway park. And we, uh, we delayed the, uh, the kickoff, um, so that we, we started literally at five Oh one and I welcomed everybody because at five o’clock, the press release went out that, uh, the Shopify was fine, six river systems. So it was, um, it was a little bit, um, uh, frankly, a little bit scary, but, um, it worked out really well. Um, the timing of the announcement and we, we ended up having a lot of fun. We had a fantastic event and frankly flow 2020 is coming up. So, um, our, our user’s conference is called flow. Um, we’re taking a little bit of a different tack, um, this, with it being virtual and online.
Chris Lingamfelter (41:34):
So we’re opening up to folks who are interested in six river systems. Um, there’s no, there’s no fee to participate. Um, it’s two days here on September 16th and 17th, five hours a day of really great content networking, the ability for folks to, um, you know, to talk to our existing users who use the system to sharing ideas. It’s, um, it’s really an exciting event and we’ve, we put a lot of energy into supplanting this, um, by buying back of the napkin math, we, um, we’ve invested over 4,000 human hours of development. So almost two work years.
Scott Luton (42:12):
Well that’s Greg and I, we admire organizations that do this. I mean, w whether the AIAG or somebody, other groups out there that really, you know, they realize how challenging and this right now, and for that matter, uh, including from a funding standpoint, right?
Speaker 5 (42:27):
And, um, who’s got
Scott Luton (42:29):
Money to spend a ton of money on registration fees. So groups like six river systems and Shopify that team up and put 4,000 hours into a free event to help folks, uh, professional develop network. And let’s face it have fun. I’ve seen some of the things that that will be offered to attend. These are these next two days, but Chris beyond all of that, uh, and the keynotes you’re going to hear from some of the movers and shakers from both organizations. What’s the one thing that you’re looking forward to the most.
Chris Lingamfelter (43:02):
I mean, there’s, there’s so many great things I love. We do fit at flow, which has workouts with Olympians. We have flow fun where you can take a, a wine tasting class or a mixology class or a cooking class. There’s a lot of fun baked into it. And a lot of networking, our product team comes out and talks about what’s coming. And we get feedback from our customers of where to invest our R and D dollars in the coming year. But actually for me, I’m most excited about the content that our customers are bringing to the table. There’s, there’s a lot of investment this year, more so than ever of our customers sharing their experiences with, uh, with others. And I love that, right. I love hearing from my customers,
Scott Luton (43:39):
Literally that that’s, that’s the North star. Um, well, y’all, as we’ve gone through, uh, the two days of programming, a ton of, uh, of really valuable tracks, uh, I love the, I love the fun factor, uh, that mix the out the mixology, the wine tasting some of the cooking, some of the little things you need, the parkers, you know, it can’t be a work 24 hours a day, uh, or, or maybe it can, but at least we split up some more,
Chris Lingamfelter (44:04):
Like if you’re going to, well, Hey, you can sprint for a while. When you burn out you can’t sprint, you know, for, for nine months, right. We’ve been in this pandemic six months. It’s time to have some fun and break out and do it responsibly and remotely. So we found some good things there.
Scott Luton (44:19):
I’ve got one, two more quick questions for you before you leave, uh, some memory memory ask about the link to flow 2020. We’ve got that conveniently in the show notes, especially if you’re watching via Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, is it right there in the show notes? And then Amanda looks like she went ahead and put it into the comment feed. So everyone should, should be able to register, you know, learn more and register via that link there. Good stuff there. All right. So, Chris, uh, we had a question come in earlier from Benjamin gold clang. You mentioned black Friday and how, for some organizations they’ve been in nonstop black Friday mode,
Chris Lingamfelter (44:57):
But any quick thought about
Scott Luton (44:58):
What black Friday 2020 is going to look like around the corner.
Chris Lingamfelter (45:03):
Yeah, I know. I mean, I, if I had a crystal ball, I’d probably invest more in the stock market to be honest, but what I will tell you, we proactively plan for our customers peak. Our peak planning started about four months ago, um, to support our customers, getting the most volume out, right. Using the system. Some of our operations go from a single shift five days a week to three shifts, five days a week, two shifts on the weekend days. Right? So a lot of planning goes into that, um, that preparation, you know, our three PL clients, we have a lot of third party logistics, uh, customers who use our technology to meet their customer’s needs. They’re coming to us and they’re beefing up their systems getting ready. Um, don’t know exactly how it’s gonna pan out, but we’re doing everything we can to be prepared.
Scott Luton (45:48):
[inaudible] and, and, and moving fast that six week thing. Holy cow. All right. So Chris, final question for you, the toy. Now, the question, how can folks
Chris Lingamfelter (45:57):
Connect with you, right. Oh, sure. Yeah, no, I love this. I love your platform. And I love the networking that just goes on here, live with, with, uh, your supply chain now platform. It’s awesome. So, uh, yeah, Chris Lingenfelter, um, reach out to me on LinkedIn. The company is six river systems, so it’s the number six river systems. Um, our URL is six river.com. And, uh, if you just put F L O w a slash O w you’ll get the sort, the registration page for, um, for flow 2020. So, but, uh, yeah, connect with me on LinkedIn is probably the easiest way out
Scott Luton (46:30):
Stay in. And Chris really, I love your passion. I mean, clearly you’ve, you’ve been there and done it given some of your background, but man, that passion just, it just comes out of your ears and comes through way,
Chris Lingamfelter (46:42):
Communicate my career. I mean, I know the pandemic is hurting a lot of people, and I feel that for folks, there’s people, there’s winners and losers is every seismic change happens. But quite honestly, personally, we’re, we’re having a blast on our side. So
Scott Luton (46:55):
Cardless of, of what, where companies and or what sector they’re in, whether they’re booming or whether they’re struggling to be able to offer resources like flow 2020, that that’s the right thing to do and admire what you and your team are doing. Especially the cost that goes into offering that, you know, 4,000 hours. So really appreciate that. Uh, we look forward to attending ourselves. So Chris link, uh, sec, uh, lingam Felter Lincolnfelter I, I looked at your title for a second and fill me off for a minute. Chris, Lingenfelter six with six river systems. Thanks so much for your time here this morning.
Greg White (47:32):
My pleasure. Thank you guys. It’s a lot of fun,
Scott Luton (47:37):
Greg, what a, uh, um, we need to, we need to hook him up to some of the municipalities. He could power them. I’m convinced there’s between the passion, energy, and early, the love for what he does and what, what they’re doing across the planet.
Greg White (47:52):
So I didn’t want to drag out his time too much, but I mean, he’s a busy guy, right. Obviously, but I couldn’t help. But think about that little thing. And if you look at their site, they’re like these little puppies that follow our lead you around the, um, the facility, how valuable would that be for, um, fulfillment from store? Right. I, I think what he talked about is a lot of companies are doing fulfillment in the distribution center. I’m sure some are doing fulfillment from store. And the final thing I would like to point out is if you are a, if you’re an econ curious supply chain, a professional or a company that’s interested in how robotics or even advanced technology can help you break the chains of certain marketplaces in the marketplace, or give you an opportunity for at least options for fulfillment, it’s a great opportunity because it’s free. Right?
Scott Luton (48:52):
Right. And the here from the keynotes, they’ve got lined up beyond the customers, which I always, uh, I share that sentiment with Chris. I love hearing from the customers at conferences like this, but to also hear from the movers and shakers at six river systems and Shopify a great lineup. So y’all check that out. Flow 2020, all about the future of logistics, operations, and warehousing. And again, what’s the cost other than time. So, which is important, but still this is going to be a home run conference. Y’all check that out. But Greg, there’s no shortage. There’s some other really cool events that we’re involved with. And we are pleased to be here
Greg White (49:31):
Scott Luton (49:32):
The speaker lineup for supply chain USA virtual put on by the home run folks over at Reuters events. Tell us more,
Greg White (49:40):
Yes. Missing Chicago and Geno’s East pizza, but still, um, and I don’t want to start a Chicago style pizza. So let’s yeah, let’s pass. I shouldn’t have said that, but this is great. This usually happens in, uh, Chicago, but as it’s virtual and as Reuters events is that I would argue the premier events provider, what an incredible lineup of speakers, a long, long list, inclusive of calling Yankee from tractor supply, whose business is exploding. And of course our favorite Sandra McQuillan, who is the chief supply chain officer of the industry and a slew of others from, um, art best and a, of other companies that are, that are speaking, come and learn and grow yeah.
Scott Luton (50:32):
And network. And, you know, one speaker that I’m looking forward to hearing from at this event, but beyond the ones you mentioned is Greg [inaudible], who is CEO of lineage logistics. There’s no shortage of news about cold chain out across the industry for the obvious reasons and not so obvious, but these folks have been, I think they’ve acquired 16 companies, uh, over the last couple of years or so. So they are on the move, the largest mover and shaker in coal
Greg White (50:57):
The last 12 months, I think, right. Somebody’s name. They have got to be killing it, um, and, and consolidating that marketplace and creating some efficiencies. And that is no small task and in culture.
Scott Luton (51:11):
So check out that event, October 7th and eight, we’ve gotten the link, the convenient link in the show notes, and then finally, a webinar webinar or webinar control tower. It’s all the buzz, Greg. Right. We hear a lot about control towers. So our friends over at rate links and agile Lytics are going to show how they can be set up in 30 days. I didn’t know that was possible, Greg, I don’t know where you get this.
Greg White (51:36):
I feel these days, but a control tower in 30 days is yeah, that’s miraculous. And we had, um, we had, um, the founder of analytics and the founder of right links on last Thursday, right on live stream. Uh, go back and take a look at that. If you, if you doubt their credibility in the marketplace, take a look at that. And, uh, you’ll be inspired to, to attend this for sure
Scott Luton (52:02):
Towers and 30 days fully automated robotics and six weeks supply chain does not mess around. All right. So if we covered something today, this is kind of a, an expedited session of the buzz, a busy Monday here at supply chain now probably for everybody. Um, Hey, if we miss something, check us email@example.com. You could also shoot Amanda a note. If you have a question, you can’t just, can’t quite put your finger on it. She just note we’d be happy to serve as a resource as best we can. Um, all right. So Greg w this was a fast moving session of the buzz here today,
Greg White (52:36):
Two weeks in a row. It’s been a whirlwind, hasn’t it? Yeah, absolutely.
Scott Luton (52:40):
A couple of things that, um, you most enjoyed about today.
Greg White (52:44):
Well, look, I think that there’s a lot of bad news in real in retail, and there’s a lot more to come, frankly, but I like that companies are making their way. I like that companies are starting to pivot their business model. We’ve seen it in small and large companies, embracing technology, embracing new business models, embracing efficiency in, in their business models, um, to, to fight through this companies that do, that are going to come out of this stronger. Right. And, and, you know, a great example is robotics. I mean, we’ve talked to so many robotics firms in the last three months with six river and geek and, and, uh, gray orange, right. Um, and again, I love the autonomy, the independence, the options that it gives you to have these ABA, anyone, but Amazon type solutions out there, Shopify being the number one out there for sure, but all of, but every aspect of your business from three PLS, from robotics, from, um, fulfillment platforms and new marketplaces coming out, right. So that we need some equalization in the marketplace. And, uh, I’m encouraged by that as well.
Scott Luton (53:59):
That makes two of us, uh, and there, there was a, um, a neat article over the weekend. I’ll almost add it to the lineup, but we figured we’d tackle it as, as more it’s known about this consumer protection bill that, that is navigating through California. Um, but I really enjoyed a lot of the sediment that came out from Shopify as leaders from Etsy is leaders that are really echoing what you’re saying, Greg. And we won’t, we won’t open that can of worms here at the end of this episode, we’ll party
Greg White (54:24):
For the next week. Um, but their knee competition,
Scott Luton (54:29):
A good thing. It’s a really good thing. And, and, uh, I love to see some of the comments on that, um, legislation come out over the weekend. Hey, um, you know, Greg really enjoyed today’s show. I love the comments, but you know, one thing
Greg White (54:42):
I missed and I should have,
Scott Luton (54:44):
When I look, think back of how I prep for today’s show, we had a really neat group of folks get together. I think it was last Friday afternoon, some of our supply chain now insiders. Right.
Greg White (54:55):
And maybe when you got together, right.
Scott Luton (54:57):
That’s right. But, but that aside, some are dear friends, some of the folks we’ve enjoyed hearing from, and, and they’re right there in the, in the comments right now. So big, thanks to Jamie
Greg White (55:07):
Scott Luton (55:08):
And memory and their Fahd and, and a few others that got together and okay.
Greg White (55:14):
And just kinda, you know, had a, had a, um, a chat session, right.
Scott Luton (55:20):
Jumped on, got no chat, a little better exchange, some views on supply chain.
Greg White (55:24):
Yeah. Those th th those kind of, um,
Scott Luton (55:26):
Sidebar dialogues are so valuable in industry, especially in a challenging year, like 2020. And I gotta tell you, I admire that. Um, I really, our whole team here, the comments that came out of that really resonated with us. And, and that’s a big part of why of ROI while we do it. So big, thanks to all the folks that did that made those connections, facilitate those discussions. We look forward to being a part of some, uh, to come. So Greg, your, your comments and initial comments on your end before we wrap up today?
Greg White (55:56):
Well, I think it’s great to see the community expand like that. First of all, I think I applaud people getting together to help one another and have this kind of peer to peer group, Jamie sat in on that with them. Um, and he had great things to say about it. So only good things come out of that kind of collaboration. And, uh, you know, I look forward to seeing it. Some of these are the, some of these folks are the future of the supply chain. So I’m glad you’re
Scott Luton (56:24):
Joining forces. Great point there. All right. So heads up for Thursday, we’re still working on the program, but as it stands, we’re going to be featuring Jenny Froome COO at st. Pics. She’s going to give us some key takeaways from supply chain and Africa event. They did, which was really, that really resonated with the market a few weeks ago. And we’re also going to be featuring a hose Wei, who is part of the comments here today. He leads the operations of a trucking firm out West, and, and, you know, we’ve been wanting to share some perspective from that industry for quite some time. So look forward to Jamie and leading an interview. They’re all on Thursday at 12 o’clock Eastern time. So join us. If you’ve got nowhere to go to eat your sandwich and take a quick brief break from your emails and everything else, or take it with you when you go to eat your sandwich.
Scott Luton (57:13):
That’s right. Alright. On that note, uh, we’re going to bring this session to an end, hopefully all enjoyed, uh, Chris from six river systems and all of that perspective, he shared checkout flow, 2020 checkout. The other events we shared, Hey, we all need good resources right now. And those are three that we shared here today that I think you’ll get a lot of value out of. So on behalf of our whole team, Greg white, this is Scott Luton. Um, you know, wrapping this episode up the same way we do everything else. Hey, do good. Give forward, be the change that’s needed. I see you Stephen. Appreciate what you do. And on that note, we’ll see you next time here on supply chain. Now. Thanks for buddy.
Chris Lingamfelter is VP of Sales at 6 River Systems and has responsibility for leading our commercial teams that take care of our existing clients and acquire new ones. With nearly 30 years of supply chain automation experience, he has served in prominent executive and sales roles at Intelligrated, Dematic Europe, Kiva Systems (now known as Amazon Robotics) and Manhattan Associates. Most recently, Chris served as President of White Systems. Chris has experience in growing international businesses and both material handling hardware systems and WMS and warehouse control software solutions. He has advised robotic startups and lead product development and internationalization teams.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
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.
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.
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.
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 Cisco, Microsoft, 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 University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier 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.
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.
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’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
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.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
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.
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.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
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.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.