“Startup is hard. Startup is expensive. Startup is time consuming and startup is way more complicated than you think.”
-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.
Greg White (00:00):
Hey, it’s week 11 of tequila, sunrise. And I’m going to tell you what it takes to get started in supply chain tech. I’m going to give you a preview of some upcoming guests on the show, the core personal announcements, the supply chain tech stock index, and this week’s deal updates. So listen up 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 a taste of how tech startup growth and investment is done, join me every Thursday for another blinding tequila, sunrise, Greg white here from supply chain. Now I am 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.
Greg White (01:17):
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. Last week we interviewed founder and CEO, Colton Griffin of cannabis supply chain tech flourish. I’d encourage you to listen to episode 10, spend an hour or so with Colton and me to learn about his journey and what you can take away from it. In fact, the response to Colton’s visit was so overwhelming. We’re making guests apart of the formula from now on, in the coming weeks, we’ll have founders, exacts and investors from throughout supply chain tech. Here’s just an example. Sarah Barnes, Humphrey co founder and CEO of ships, a freight tech that has just come out of stealth mode.
Greg White (02:11):
Jason Perez, founder and CEO of yards and equipment rental tech that is in a seed raise process. Paul Noble founder and CEO of Verisign and MRO and direct materials, data and optimization tech who will grow nearly 10 X in 2020. And don’t forget the investor side, Ben Gordon, industry stalwart and investor from Cambridge capital, who is funding, supply chain texts. Even in these tumultuous times, you’ll hear the ups and downs. The lessons learned and wisdom shared from people making it happen in supply chain tech, no better way to learn than from those doing it right now. That reminds me a couple of really quick announcements. I am honored to report that I’ve joined ships as an advisor. I’m excited about what Sarah and the team doing, and they have great early momentum. Also the ink is dry and I’m officially venture partner at Kibera venture capital. I’m already speaking to several supply chain tech founders and interested to find more seed stage companies looking for capital.
Greg White (03:14):
So if that’s you hit me up on LinkedIn or firstname.lastname@example.org, K U B E R a.vc. All right, let’s see what’s going on in supply chain tech this week, first of all, let’s start with the deal ticker with 251 rounds of funding for $3.5 billion and 76 acquisitions for $11.9 billion in the overall market. In supply chain, we had five funding rounds for $7.6 million. There’s still plenty of money out there to get okay. Many thanks to Daniel. Karen from port logistics group, who’s building an automated mechanism to enable us to track and analyze the tequila sunrise supply chain tech stock index, and the member companies. It’s a big effort and it will take some time. So thanks Daniel. I really appreciate it. A little bit of news this week, Shopify up almost 10% in the last week reached an all time high on Wednesday before it pulled back during trading big commerce jumped 50% last week, big week for e-comm stocks, but gave away most of its gain.
Greg White (04:24):
In the last few days, Manhattan was up about 5% in the last week and a big jump almost 8% on Tuesday. Hey, one quick change to the index membership. We dropped park city group as their market capitalization was too small. Okay. A couple of notable supply chain deals, cosmos AI lands $15 million to analyze shoppers. The startup analyzes mobile location data to predict and get this influence how people shop offline. It has raised a $15 million in a series, a investment round that sets a valuation for the company in excess of $100 million Tega investments, OTB ventures and T D J Patapsco led the financing. Sometimes it’s just fun to say the names of these investment firms, another one Fox robotics and Austin based maker of self driving forklifts that automatically unload trailers closed a $9 million series a funding round. The round was led by Menlo ventures, huge with participation from Nyack ventures, Luff, Amelia signal, fire, congruent ventures, and AME cloud ventures.
Greg White (05:37):
They got a new board member with Mark Segal partner at Menlo ventures. Joining the board of directors. The company intends to use the funds to ramp up production after running pilots with large logistics companies. Since last October, Charles do headway and Peter Anderson Sprecher who’ve built robots and led robotics teams at Stanford, Bosch, Google robotics, and Google X lead. The company that builds these self-drive moving forklifts, which leveraged technology similar to self driving cars, foxes, forklifts, AI for real time detection of pallets trailers and obstacles. So they don’t need fixed locations, pre programmed in they plan routes on the fly and don’t need memorized routes. Okay. This is our featured topic of the week. So let me tell you how I got this inspiration. Maybe for us. I saw an article about star, bring your own supply chain business somewhere on the interwebs. And it was just so generic.
Greg White (06:33):
It could have been about any business. It was not informative. It was not inspiring, but it did inspire me to compose something. I hope will be much more useful to you. So you want to start a supply chain tech, look, I want you to succeed the antics succeed. You got to know what you’re getting yourself into. So I’m going to share some harsh realities about startups, tech and supply chain with the goal, all of creating an awakening that shakes those with unshakable confidence creates surety in the unsure and motivates the solely opportunistic to seek opportunity elsewhere. This’ll hit hard, but confident, committed, and capable. It might just only strengthen your resolve. If it scares you away, then I’ve probably saved you years of pain and millions of dollars, no charge. All right, let’s recognize this fact right out of the gate, startup is only glamorous in your mind and on TV.
Greg White (07:30):
Startup is hard. Startup is expensive. Startup is time consuming and startup is way more complicated than you think. And if you have any doubt, I’m going to post a link to an article that urban, I created a spreadsheet for creating a tech startup 40 point checklist look co founder under complications, finding the market accepting you’re wrong, pivoting fast plus dealing with success and struggles at the same time it’s coming at you fast and you better be ready for it. In fact, more than ready. Obsession is required. The great Brad Feld of Foundry group constantly repeats this. And I completely agree. A lot of people say I’m into this because it’s my passion or I’m an expert, or I have vision look, passion, vision, and industry knowledge is not sufficient. Don’t simply look for opportunity, attack a problem. You are driven compelled and feel a responsibility to solve.
Greg White (08:31):
Oh, and on that obsession topic, let’s be clear on this point. Work life balance and startups have never met. Just forget your current perception of work. Life balance startup life is your life. It is your team’s life and it is your family’s life. You can find work life balance as long as your definition and your loved one’s definition of work. Life balance, 70% work and 30% life as balanced with about a third of life interrupted by work. My suggestion is that if you decide to go into this, you are very intentional in communicating and finding acceptance from your loved ones on this. Even then you have to continually over-perform on the life side and continually ask forgiveness and make up for intrusions from the work. It is important to calendar all life events in advance, set expectations and make provisions at work during events and do it well ahead of time.
Greg White (09:32):
On another front, you don’t know enough to do this startup thing. Team is the first and most important thing. Yeah, you’re really, really smart and exceptional intellect, visionary or whatever, but you are not the total package. Knowing your weaknesses is just as important as knowing your strengths. First find a yin to your yang. Always have a cofounder for any startup. There are two fundamental sides, vision and sales gifts and tech and science gifts. Both are a must. Whichever is your gift. Find the other in your cofounder and make sure they share your obsession and work life imbalance perspective. Hey, here’s a really interesting tip. Find a geezer, no joke. A 50 plus founder is 2.2 times more likely to succeed than a 30 year old go boomer. One more recognition. You need lawyers and accountants. I know, but even at their exorbitant rates, your time is better spent elsewhere.
Greg White (10:39):
And in an industry where high finance rains and your intellectual property is your company’s valuation. You need professional help bite the bullet, find a mentor or two or three to balance your strengths. For instance, I always need a science guru and a finance pro in any company that I’ve found. Let’s talk about business plan. The reality is that 10 slides and one page of text is your business plan. Don’t waste time on a 200 page analysis. All you need is a simple pitch deck. Of course you need greater depth of understanding than that. And backup documentation is helpful, but get your framework built and document depth along the way you got to get money. Start with yours, get others, friendlies, friends, relatives, coworkers, neighbors, trusted advisors. If you are interested in how to get money, check out some of our earlier episodes for details on how to fund a startup.
Greg White (11:38):
Big part of the business plan, build a team and remember culture eats strategy for breakfast. Hiring is the most important thing you do. Hire slow, evaluate thoroughly and fire fast. If you don’t have a fit, find someone who fits your culture as well as the skill set of your company. They need to adhere to the core values that you’ve established for your company. Now on to the solution. If you build it, they will not come, but if you solve it, they will. Before at a single line of code, this is incredibly important. Before you write a single line of code, you need to start by getting the market. Don’t expect the market to get you. You need to understand what the market needs and deliver it. If it’s in a new and maybe difficult way to conceive or conceptualize, you’ll do a lot of explaining, but you will fit the market a lot better.
Greg White (12:38):
If you understand the need from the market’s perspective, ask everyone, you know about your unicorn idea and by the way, never ever, ever say, yes, you are the next unicorn. You are not an eight year old with dreams of being an astronaut. You are a servant to a market with a problem. You have to be an adult. You own so need to test your hypothesis with the market. To assure that the product is compelling, not just interesting, compelling sells. Interesting. Doesn’t it that a problem exists is not sufficient for people to pay for it, to be resolved. You have to test today and that your solution is a differentiated one. You’ll know when people will pay you for it. Of course not. Everyone will pay you. And you will have pilots expect some unpaid pilots and consider them market research. It doesn’t hurt as bad if you think of them that way and use paid pilots as trade to market leaders, opinion makers, big names, companies will pay and getting their skin in the game is critical to getting them to commit, to implementing your technology, your initial offering your minimum viable product.
Greg White (13:54):
It needs to start by solving the most painful and only that, of course you plan for enhancement. But one of the things you want to do is you want to strive to get customers asking, wow, that helped us a lot. Could you also help us with X then? You know, you’ve got it. You’ve got a solution. You’ve got trust. And you’ve got customer advocates. That is a winning formula. This is a big one. Listen up. If you are a founder, definitely dial in right now, you have more competitors than, you know, more than you can find on the web. More than you can conceive in your mind. It is rare that you are the only one doing something, even something that is disruptive or innovative or life changing or game changing or world changing. Even if there is not a same solution, which is unlikely, there’s at least a way of solving the issue today or an inadequate ill fit or old fashioned solution that people are clinging to.
Greg White (15:01):
In any case, someone is competing for the dollars you want to get for your solution, recognize and embrace that there is competition. Dig hard to find it. Don’t be Pollyannish enough to think you have no competition. And even if you think you have no competition, certainly don’t say that investors know better. And it smacks of immaturity. When anyone says that, and finally you have to face the cold, hard truths of this ruthless venerable supply chain industry. It is very complex and there are many times where a risk slash cost slash constraint evaluation must be made. The answer many times is it depends where depends equals 20 or more variables. There is little room for error is always on the line. And sometimes it is literally life or death. Lastly, because risk is so great. And the unknown is the ultimate risk supply chain is a laggard industry.
Greg White (16:06):
Yes, resistant to change while service and customer experience are important. The focus is still often. And so frustratingly on cost efficiency and labor for most risk management and optimization have not yet taken the forefront in the industry and even seismic disruptions like COVID, haven’t broken this laggard mentality, manual processes, paper, and spreadsheets of bound. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to break through. Even with an advanced technology change in the industry is directionally correct, but glacially slow by comparison to other industries. Now look, here are a few final thoughts. We’ll go deeper in another episode and I’ll ask these questions in our founder interviews, but recognize this one, tech is expensive. Be ready to burn cash and prepared to get investment to pivot is inevitable. Your initial premise will almost always be wrong. Don’t think of that as failure. It is an important part of the process.
Greg White (17:14):
It may be a 180 degree pivot, or it may be just a few degrees to tweak your original precept, but it will happen. Three struggle is real embrace share and overcome struggle as a team. It makes you stronger or it kills you. But I think it makes you stronger for death is the most likely outcome five cheating death is Oh, so gratifying, maybe as gratifying as delivering a valued solution as hitting an IPO as making a bill. No, no, not even close to that, but it, but anyway, cheating death is gratifying. Okay. After all that, if you are foolish enough to be undaunted or heaven forbid even encouraged by all this congratulations, you are a founder. These harsh realities are only part of the picture and overcoming them, or even just attempting is a thrill for many pioneers. We love the fight. As much as the victory look, it helps to believe that there’s something better out there and to have a healthy dose of narcissism that makes you think you are the one to bring it to the world.
Greg White (18:26):
This is why I encourage people to acknowledge reality, but refuse to be bound by it. Reality is simply that, which you can envision based on your current awareness to truly breakthrough requires the blessing of naivete and unfailing, perseverance to shape a new reality. Now go change your reality. All right, 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 now we have two live streams per week. The most popular live show in supply chain, supply chain buzz every Monday at noon Eastern time with Scott Luton, the master and me plus our Thursday live stream to be named later where we bring you whatever the hell we want. Like a few weeks ago, when we interviewed our producer clay, the DOE Phillips, thanks for spending your valuable time with me and remember acknowledge reality, but never be bound by it.
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.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
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.