“f you think about every company today, they’ve got a challenge: how do we get employees back to work and what kind of digital solutions can we provide to provide remote working if that’s what companies want? They are trying to find that fine balance of solutions that improve day-to-day collaboration.”
Mark Morley, Product Marketing Director for Business Network at OpenText
OpenText is a $3.1 Billion information management company headquartered just outside of Toronto. They were started as a University of Waterloo research project in 1991 and have grown through acquisition, absorbing over 60 companies, one of which was GXS, where Mark Morley was working as their EMEA Industry Marketing Director.
Today, Mark is the Product Marketing Director for Business Network at OpenText. In addition to continuing to drive supply chain digitization, his team has been focused on ethical sourcing and supply chain sustainability because both are top of mind with CXOs today.
In this conversation, Mark tells Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton about:
· The importance of being able to respond in real time to current situations and corporate disruption through flexibility, visibility, and actionable insights.
· How much more important digital information management will be if companies make the decision to keep their employees working remotely in the long term or indefinitely.
· The future potential associated with incorporating blockchains into digital supply chain information management, especially for companies in manufacturing, food production and pharmaceuticals.
It’s time for supply chain. Now broadcasting live from the supply chain capital of the country. Atlanta, Georgia heard around the world. Supply chain. Now spotlights the best in all things. Supply chain, the people, the technologies, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.
Scott Luton (00:28):
Hey, good morning, Scott Luton, Greg white with you here on supply chain. Now. Welcome to today’s show. Good morning, Greg. How are you doing? I’m doing great. How are you doing? I’m doing fantastic. This has been an outstanding week. Uh, we’re really excited about today’s conversation. We’re gonna be talking with a global technology leader that helps provide them, uh, market-leading information management solutions in the information age. So we’re gonna be working hard, Greg, as always to elevate your supply chain accurate. Right? I love it. When you say that. Yeah, I love this. And you know, we’ve joked with the folks at OpenText, the biggest company you’ve never heard of. Right. So let’s hear about what they’re doing. Although Scott, I got to tell you, OpenText is a public company. They are in the tequila, sunrise supply chain tech stock index. So I feel like there might be one or two people who’ve learned about them from that.
Scott Luton (01:26):
Well, from doing my homework, the brightest people in industry have heard of open text and we’re looking forward to sharing kind of, um, with some perspective, point of view and Mark story here momentarily. Quick programming note, before we get started, if you enjoyed this episode, be sure to find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from. All right. With no further ado, let’s bring in our featured guest. Who’s been waiting patiently here. Uh, Mark Morley, director, strategic product marketing with open text, the information company, Mark. Good morning. Hi, good morning. Thanks very much for inviting me to a shine board. We have really enjoyed our warmup conversations and getting to know you better and all the many things that open text powers across the globe here lately. And we’re looking forward to sharing that with our audience. So for starters though, before we get into business and work and all that hard stuff, let’s talk about Mark Morley.
Scott Luton (02:23):
Let’s talk about, you know, your background where you’re from and give us a story or two, you know, from your upbringing. Yeah. So I’m based in Redding in the UK, which is about 30 minutes West of London. Um, my interest in supply chain really started out at school, funnily enough. Um, so very hands on with the subjects were metalwork and woodwork and how things were made. And naturally there’s an evolution that work out well, where do the things come from to make those products? So that’s really fired up my interest in that time. And then one day I was in a computer lesson and our first computer that was brought into the school was wheeled in on big trolley.
Mark Morley (03:00):
And we had 30 colleagues of mine in the classroom trying to work out, or how do we timeshare this one computer in the whole school to sort of explore computer programming. And that really got my interest in the area of software and programming at that time. So we’re talking now about the mid eighties, which seems like an age of code now, and even looking at punch cards, for example, you know, how can you develop routines on punch cards? But the problem we had there of course, was waiting for three or four days to get the results back, uh, how the, how those cars were programmed. So that really sparked my interest in the software industry way back at school.
Scott Luton (03:37):
So Mark, I got to ask you, do you recall what the computer was? The first computer you had?
Mark Morley (03:42):
Yeah, it was, it was actually a UK based computer called research machines, three 80 Zed. It was a big black monolith of a computer that was wheeled around the school. Um, and I think in those days, the gut, the UK government was trying to make sure that every school in the UK had at least one computer. Um, and we’re talking about 1983, 1984 at this time. So
Scott Luton (04:08):
Apple too. He was one of the first that they, that we used in school here in the States. And I can definitely relate Mark to your point because, uh, in middle school, which is when I, I think we first started using them, we got like five minute turns and that those five minutes might be all you get all week, you know, because everyone has a chance and you know, so interesting now, uh, while we still have a lot of work, more work to do to make sure everyone has access to technology, it’s still, I mean, just the proliferation of where it is everywhere. And, and, you know, from your hand to the classroom, to at home, it’s just, it’s amazing to think back to the environment in the eighties, uh, computers on trolleys.
Mark Morley (04:52):
Yeah, around that time, my uncle had an Apple Lisa, which of course is one of the first computers have a mouse at that time. And, uh, my grandfather bought me a Commodore Vic 20 back in 1983. And that really helped to accelerate my interest in the computer industry and where it was going. It was all computer games at that time, but I knew there was, that was an area in industry that wants to get involved with what
Scott Luton (05:13):
One thing about at those early ages where you’re, you know, looking at those pioneering devices, what one element really just grabbed hold and ensured that this is, you know, you’re going to be in the technology business.
Mark Morley (05:26):
I would say honestly, it’s about the automation, because at that time we were hearing stories of our own companies using robots on the production shop floor, for example. Um, and today, you know, when you’re looking at Microsoft HoloLens and all these other devices, Google glass, et cetera, there’s, there’s a constant thread way back to the mid eighties where these technologies started to evolve. And, um, you know, I looked at some of the technologies when I was at university and that sort of cemented my career in terms of where I wanted to focus, where I wanted to go to. So I always had interest in automation, which brings me right. Upstate with the current company that I, that I work.
Greg White (06:02):
Cool. Outstanding. We’re going to talk about that momentarily. One final question. Uh, so you’re, you’re living reading now, is that where you grew up?
Mark Morley (06:10):
No, I actually grew up, um, on the East coast, in the UK, just North of a place called Dover where, which is actually where I was born and it’s one of the world’s busiest ferry ports. So travel logistics, hub point of view. It’s one of the busiest ferry ports in the world actually, but I lived in a small town called deal just North of Dover. And so I’ve always been near the coast. I’ve always enjoyed the sea. And here I am today in the middle of a tech corridor in Redding and our office is based next to Oracle, HP, Microsoft, and some of the big leaders. So you could call it the sort of Silicon Valley of the UK in terms of where I’m located today. So a good position to be in
Greg White (06:49):
Outstanding they’re in Redding. All right. So Greg, let’s, let’s dive into the, his, uh, Mark’s professional journey. Yeah. I’d love to hear about what, um, you know, what your career was like after high school, after college, whatever, all, all the way up to what you’re doing today. I mean, tell us about any roles that were particularly, you know, the particularly nurtured, the found foundation that you built even in high school.
Mark Morley (07:13):
Yeah, sure. So the journey really started after school. When I went to college, studied engineering, a computer aided engineering at that time, as you’d imagine. So combining my practical knowledge of making things with computers and software and bringing those two stories together. Um, I did a master’s degree and computerated engineering at Cranfield university in UK. Um, so Cranfield, as you probably know, is a leading university for supply chain and logistics. Um, so that’s one of the top postgraduate universities in Europe. Um, from there I joined a company called computer vision and this was all focused around software 3d design software and the CAD cam market computerate design and manufacture, um, work. I joined that company in 1992. Um, and then the company was taken over by PTC who also one of the big players in the product life cycle management space, uh, back in 1997.
Mark Morley (08:06):
And at that time of the takeover, I wasn’t sure where I was going to be going career wise journey wise. So I took a bit of a career break. I actually left the industry as a whole and went to work for the McLaren formula one team, the racing, why not? So, yeah, so my previous company, computer division manager had a sponsorship partnership deal with McLaren. We supplied the CAD engineering software and which they design their vehicles and their race cars. And I joined McLaren to manage the technology partnerships, um, for the particular team. However, I decided that it was a bit of a lifestyle career and I was, I was itching really to get back into technology. So I rejoined PTC in, uh, 1999 and I took on an instant
Greg White (08:50):
Itching to get out of racing.
Mark Morley (08:53):
Yeah, I guess I was missing the technology piece. I love racing as a, as a sport. I still find formula one and IndyCar now. Um, but I was missing the hands on with the technology, if that makes sense. Yeah. Yeah. So I, rejoined PTC took on an international marketing role with that company, built out their network of demo centers for PTC to be able to showcase their design software in different locations. And then due to restructuring, I left that company in 2003. However, I just started an MBA, a personally funded MBA at that time at work business school. And then I joined my former company GXS back in 2006 and one interesting area as though, while I was doing my MBA, I decided to do for some reason, a dissertation, uh, looking at the space tourism industry. And when you think back to 2006, there was no industry. There were hardly any company. So how you do a research project on something that doesn’t actually exist. So it’s interesting times it was looking at Virgin galactic and where those companies were going for low earth orbit, satellite deployment and space tourism, and now roll forward 20 years space X, and what they’ve achieved. I’m just starting to see these shoots of growth. And what I originally looked at way back in 2006 from a research standpoint,
Scott Luton (10:16):
Well, Mark really quick. What, why did you choose space tourism? What, what caused you to focus? What were you thinking? The written you’re a trailblazer?
Mark Morley (10:28):
The reason for that was that one of the companies that PTC donated software to as part of their program was a company called star chaser industries based in the UK. So they were a startup building rockets. Um, they had, uh, a couple of rockets that they’d actually successfully launched from UK soil. And I got to know the CEO of that company fairly well. He wanted a business plan developing a sponsorship program developed. And so I got to know him very well. What I did was build my dissertation around that particular company. Um, they’re still going today. However, of course, companies such as Virgin galactic and SpaceX have accelerated, um, you know, the move around that particular industry. Um, but for me that got me an interest in industry marketing. So doing the research in the industry, what are the drivers, what are the pain points?
Mark Morley (11:17):
And so when I joined GXS in 2006, I joined as automotive industry, uh, marketing director at that time. Um, so looking at the trends, how do we develop solutions to target the automotive industry? And I was in that role for about, uh, six years, um, before OpenText acquired GXS and GXS, you know, it was a very well known name in the supply chain sector, and it was acquired by OpenText. I hadn’t even known about in text when the company acquired GXS in 2000, no biggest company knows exactly. And, and today I’m a product marketing director with the company. So
Greg White (11:58):
There’s work cut out for you. Yeah,
Mark Morley (12:00):
It has. It’s worked out and there’s been a thread through my journey from school through university to where I am today. I’m looking at global supply chains.
Greg White (12:09):
So Hey, quick comment, Greg. I know we’re going to keep driving back to space. I’m a big space nerd, Mark. And, uh, and this is not for that. This is not original thought, but I’ve heard others talk about, you know, once we do establish a permanent presence on the moon or even Mars, however many years away, can we complain now about global supply chains? Can you imagine that supply chain galactic, right?
Mark Morley (12:35):
Yeah. Galactic supply chains. It’s a, it’s an interesting area. Interesting discussion we already hear about, I think there are us companies look at mining on the moon, for example. I mean, how do you get those goods in real time, back to the UK? I mean, it’s just a whole different area that eventually takes off.
Greg White (12:50):
I think you just kinda throw it in. Eventually I know technical engineering answer there. Yeah. Well, that’s interesting. So that’s, I mean, that’s a very intentional path towards supply chain, you know, with a brief stop and racing, which I have to say I’m a little envious about, but I recognize that it’s not always good to make your vacation, your vocation. So, um, but that’s a really intentional path towards supply chain for how early you started, which is not earlier than I started by the way, Mark. So there wasn’t a lot of education there and there weren’t programs for supply chain specifically, or was there one at Cranfield then?
Mark Morley (13:35):
Yeah, Cranfield back in 2000. Let me think. Back in 93, I think it was, um, and even to the present day, there’s a gentleman there, uh, professor Martin, Christopher, he’s one of the leading researchers at Cranfield in supply general logistics, you probably heard of him. And there are a couple of others there that are very well known in supply chain space. Um, however, I decided to sort of follow my interest from school around design computer software. Um, so yeah, I got to meet many of the supply chain professors at Cranfield very respectable, uh, education facility. Um, but my interest was still in the design side at that time and three D CAD.
Greg White (14:15):
So anyone, anyone in that stage of your life really stand out as a mentor or somebody who gave you that kind of aha moment that kind of helped you break through or find direction? Yeah.
Mark Morley (14:28):
Yeah, I think there’s, um, I think from a direction standpoint, there are many innovators out there, entrepreneurs, you know, if you think of something like James Dyson, for example, and the business that he’s established originally making Hoover’s way back and now to where they are today, where they want us to build this electric vehicle, which unfortunately they’ve been on hold for, um, council together. But looking someone like that who starts up a business from scratch, designed innovative products, they’ve got to develop and design their sourcing strategy, the middle league from parts of the far East as well. So looking at the global nature of what guys, such as James Dyson did and others, uh, was sort of inspiration for me that I, not that I wanted to emulate, but sort of follow their journey, if that makes sense from a supply chain perspective.
Greg White (15:15):
Yeah. Well, so let’s talk a little bit about where you are now about OpenText, right? We’ve said it a couple times. It’s a big company, right? I mean it’s over almost 3 billion, is that right? Or
Mark Morley (15:27):
That’s correct. Yeah. 3.1 billion. The latest revenues for the company.
Greg White (15:30):
Okay. So tell us a little bit about how you landed there. I mean, you told us your, the company you were at got acquired, but how you wound up doing what you’re doing, what does OpenText do? So if there’s anybody who doesn’t know, they can be clear on that and then a little bit about what your role really means. Right. You know, the title often belies the actual activities of the day, right?
Mark Morley (15:53):
Yeah. So as you said, OpenText, there’s a $3.1 billion company Canadian headquartered in Waterloo, just outside Toronto. And we are an information management company started as a research project back in 1991 at the university of Waterloo where for researchers. And in fact, um, the gentleman that was part of that project is still, uh, our chairman today, uh, Tom Jenkins. And they looked at a project of how to digitize information, uh, way back then. So for example, how do you digitize the Oxford English dictionary? How do you search for specific information within that huge volume of data and information and make that information meaningful across the business? Um, and that established that really our first search engine technology, which at that time was licensed to a young company back then called Yahoo. So our search engine technology actually helped to start off new business, which was quite an interesting, uh, story back then.
Mark Morley (16:53):
So you mentioned right at the beginning, you know, one of the largest companies that people have probably never heard of, um, but sort of establish, um, other companies in that way was certainly quite interesting from a technology point of view. So we’re focused on an area called information management. OpenText has been a very acquisitive company over the years, acquiring about 60 to 63 companies in that timeframe, um, and expanding it from the original area of content management. So managing, uh, any type of file, digital information, moving across the business, um, into security, cyber resilience, um, digital asset management for videos and, you know, those kinds of files. So they’re really focused up until 2014 on managing documents within the enterprise. And it wasn’t really, until they acquired my company, GXS in 2014 that they wanted to focus on the external enterprise and connecting and integrating the external ecosystem. And that’s the division that I’m part of stake or business network.
Greg White (17:57):
So GXS was EDI and I assume other connectivity mechanisms, correct? Yes.
Mark Morley (18:05):
Yeah. So GXS was formed out of GE information services, uh, which was spun out, I think in 2008, actually in 2000 as global exchange services. So there’s a bit of history behind that company. Um, setting up one of the world’s first email systems for Microsoft and how they started their business, um, back in the early days. But you’re right. I mean, EDI is, you know, it’s technology that’s been around since the 1960s, everyone says there’s new technology. That’s going to replace it XML in 2000 that even blockchain today. And it hasn’t happened yet. So EDI is what I would regard as sort of the DNA of today’s supply chains. It’s there and moving information from one location to another electronic.
Greg White (18:47):
Okay. Yeah. I mean, I remember the days back in the nineties talking about eight, 15 and eight 52, right? Electronic PO records, electronic invoicing, electronic risk, uh, acknowledgement of receipt. Um, yeah. And, and I, I recall being one of those people who thought, Oh, no XML or whatever is, is going to replace it, but you know what, there is a certain staying power and this is a good lesson. I think for people to learn about technology, one technology takes longer to implement than you expect into, uh, which you’ve demonstrated in two cases. And two, it lasts a lot longer if it’s economically feasible and that’s why RFID sticks. And that’s why EDI sticks is because the economies of scale continue to grow as the product matures or as usage expands.
Mark Morley (19:43):
Well, exactly. So if I can, I can weigh in. I’ve learned something here. I’ve learned a big lesson learned here. I have been mispronouncing how to say Yahoo for 30 years, the English. I love it. I love the English accent, I guess, but I love it. Yahoo. I love that.
Greg White (20:03):
Such a, it sounds much cooler when you say it like that. No. And that’s, those are all important lessons. Um, I have to go back to something you said because of this often, I’m going to say, I think this often, uh, confuses the audience. It doesn’t confuse me just to be clear, but it might confuse the audience. And that is when you say document management or digital management, explain what digital, what the management part of that means, because I think that’s, that can be a really vague term and I’m not sure that everybody and I can tell you that. I certainly don’t understand, you know, what’s that dynamic
Mark Morley (20:45):
Document management part of our represents probably half of our revenue is a huge part of our business. And when we talk about document management, it’s all about, should we say in a high level terms, the archiving of information. So whether that’s test reports, material specifications, uh, digital videos to show how to disassemble a piece of equipment, for example, any, any type of digital document that’s moving around the organization that’s updated, it’s modified, it’s changed. You need to be able to keep track of those modifications. And that’s really what a document management system is doing now, whether that’s just normal documents that I said, or whether you’re archiving, video feeds, audio files, you know, we have that ability to archive any type of digital information and that’s one half of our business. And I’ll go on to explain more about what our business network does, um, in a moment, um, to sort of compliment that
Scott Luton (21:41):
Ton of talk here lately about adaptive supply chains, especially, and it’s been around, you know, this notion has been around for years, but 20 and 2020, you’re like 20, 20, Holy cow. Is it, is it ever a, it’s what everybody is after. Right. Um, so let’s talk about what adaptive supply chains and how you define that. And let’s talk about some of the things that, how OpenText is powering organizations that have adaptive supply chains.
Mark Morley (22:11):
Yeah, that’s true. So when you think of the word adaptive, um, and it’s been top of mind, actually with many supply chain and logistics leaders over the last few months with COVID-19, they’ve had to very quickly restructure supply chains. Um, and also I would describe it as a black Swan event with COVID-19 because it’s kind of chain leaders, they’ve got no choice, they’ve got to restrict the supply chains. And in fact, I read a report yesterday, um, where a UK manufacturer of Shri, should we say small widgets is actually onshoring their production from China back to the UK. And they’ve actually found it cheaper now to manufacture back in the UK than sourcing from China. Um, so that ability to restructure the supply chain quickly based on various factors that may be impacting, whether it’s disruption in the supply chain, for example, you know, companies have struggled over the years to not only restructure their supply chain, but restructure their backend it infrastructure to keep up.
Mark Morley (23:05):
So that ability to sense when changes are required and feed that into some form of adaptive system, if you like, um, that focuses on a cloud based environment to allow manufacturing anywhere, sourcing from anywhere and essentially provide the flexibility that companies need. The ability to, as I said, manufacturer source anywhere, collaborate with trading partners, anywhere in the world, being able to maintain visibility of shipments, whether it’s using IOT data, for example, to know where the shipment is and the condition of the shipment, and then deriving insights. So taking those four pillars, if you like flexibility, visibility, and insights, taking those together, they sort of underpin some of the thought leadership and development work we’re doing around this concept of the adaptive supply chain. Being able to respond in real more real time to current situations and how companies have been disrupted.
Greg White (24:01):
That’s a really important concept because there is such a huge blind spot whenever there’s, whenever there is inventory and motion, right. We don’t know exactly where the container is. I mean, we don’t know exactly what stage it’s at. I think of imports. And I think of the possibility that falls off the ship. It never makes the ship, it gets stuck in customs, right? Or quarantined in customs or, or it, it doesn’t make the drayage drop or, you know, whatever, whatever can happen. But if you can monitor that in real time, at the very least, you can know you’ve got a crisis coming before it hits. And at the very best you can identify alternative plans to say that one is stuck in a, you know, an LTL Depot and it’s not going to get picked up until tomorrow. So we need to provision for fill in or substituting, you know, um, different items for this one or whatever.
Greg White (24:58):
Um, I have a particular having been a retailer, I have a particular soft spot for being able to see that I remember, you know, semis winding up in Mexico and finding out that the stuff was being sold off the back of the trailer. A guy who had, we literally had a driver, I had a girlfriend in Reno and they would get hammered for four days straight and the stuff would not show up. It’s your would have been nice to know when something got off track or got delayed. Um, and that, that the data and the technology is available to do that is critical. It’s critical. It was critical 20 years ago, but it’s really critical now, like earlier in your answer, uh, Mark, you were alluding to how, uh, leadership and the operation wants to go here, but the technology has got to be able to power that. And, and it seems like a, a portion of what you do. And the OpenText team does is make sure that technology doesn’t hinder the business from being able to take advantage of the, of an opportunity, but it helps power it and helps helps that, that leader or that leadership team or the operation seize the day and seize the opportunity. Right?
Mark Morley (26:10):
No, exactly. And today we’re all about providing that circled digital foundation. So as I mentioned earlier on OpenText’s up until the GXS acquisition focused on internal management of digital information and with the acquisition of GXS, uh, now OpenText provides integration solutions to the external supply chain. Now we have made other acquisitions over the last six years, such as IOT solutions, identity, and access management, and most recently solutions that allow us to integrate with those enterprise systems. So it’s all about building that digital foundation and that digital backbone that extends from the digital supply chain through the firewall, into the enterprise, and being able to integrate seamlessly with SAP, for example, um, or Oracle, and then between different applications, such as transport management systems. So that integration layer, I believe is critical to underpinning future digital transformation projects and embracing all the new disruptive technologies that are out there today. And that’s what we’re about. Connect once reach anything, integrating, um, people systems and things across the supply chain
Scott Luton (27:21):
Love that there is no shortage of disruptive technologies out there, good things, but how can all these technologies and the platforms and apps all place play nice in the sandbox. That seems to be a huge challenge these days. Um, all right. So I want to shift over to, uh, the, the COVID-19 environment, but I don’t, I want to make sure that, that we, we, uh, um, talk, we, we do adaptive supply chain, right? So is there anything else that comes to mind around, you know, um, this notion of, of ensuring empowering that your clients and their respective operations and organizations, you know, they have supply chains that can adapt and evolve and flex. I like those four pillars. You were talking about flexibility, collaboration, insights. What was that? Fourth one, Mark. How can I forget that? Goodness gracious. Right? You can say supply chain without saying visibility or control towers. That is right before we go over the COVID-19 Mark. Anything else that you’d like to add examples? Or what have you about adaptive spotting?
Mark Morley (28:30):
Yeah. I think many companies struggled to stay on where, where did we start? And I think if you look at the pandemic and COVID-19 many companies are in a position where they’ve got to do something there, you know, COVID-19 is sort of forcing their hands, they have to change, and they won’t know where to start. They may not have the resources internally to deploy solutions that improve flexibility, collaboration, et cetera, that I mentioned earlier on. So to that end, um, what we can do is help those companies. We can all commend it teams that may struggle to resource these new projects with something that we call managed services. So we undertake the integration on behalf of these companies. Um, we have our own data center network worldwide. And for example, we can help companies digitize their supply chains, onboard their trading partners and accelerate that digitization process so that what we’re trying to do really is better prepare them for the next disruption. So how can we leverage various integration technologies, visibility tools, IOT, for example, to provide the visibility and insight to almost predict what is what’s going to happen to our business during the next disruption. And as I said, you know, leveraging outside resources, augmenting those it teams with technologies, people process technologies is, uh, an ideal way, uh, to really help companies, uh, establish and evolve that adaptive supply chain.
Greg White (29:55):
So I’m curious, Mark all that sounds really, like you said, companies don’t know where to start. What is, I mean, from your standpoint, what is an ideal size or type of customer? I mean, what is, what is the market for products like yours?
Mark Morley (30:12):
Yeah, I mean, we, we work with many companies around the world. So as an example, Gartner puts out a top 25 list every year of the top supply chains. We, as an example, and that information is freely available. We currently power 21 of those 25 supply chains. They’re all connected to our network. We’re providing connectivity to whether it’s a tier one automotive supplier suppliers and the retail sector. So we focus primarily on retail, consumer goods, automotive tech, industrial, and financial services, corporate to bank, for example, and we work with many sizes of companies. And as you can imagine, a big multinational with suppliers all over the world. We may have mum and pop shops based in outer China, somewhere that just has an internet connection. They just want to be able to, um, type information into a web form. We take care of the backend conversion into an EDI transactions. It removes that complexity from the really small supplier, and we get them on the first rung of the digital supply chain ladder, if that makes sense. And then it all builds from there in terms of capabilities.
Greg White (31:15):
I think back to my sporting goods days and the hacky sack supplier, if anyone even remembers what a hacky sack that was literally making hacky sacks in his garage in Denver, Colorado. And we got him on EDI at the time. And it’s good to see that there are still options for companies like that. As you said, to start on the first rung of the ladder, that’s, um, you know, the kind of happy meal of supply chain, if you will get them started, right. And then allow them to mature to the various levels that that is where efficiencies are made as I’m sure, you know, Mark, because there are so many small suppliers out there just getting them to do something is helpful and so critical to the business.
Mark Morley (32:01):
Yeah. They’re looking for guidance on, in terms of where to go next, what type of technology to adopt. And yes, there are industry bodies out there such a GS one is a good example, you know, deploying standards that any company can leverage in the retail CPG space, for example. And that helps to accelerate adoption at the end of the day. Yeah.
Greg White (32:19):
Greg will have to do an upcoming episode on the hacky sack supply chain. I think it’s intriguing probably pretty light right now. You don’t see people kicking them around campus anymore. Uh, you know, I’m gonna, I’m gonna pose that question to my three kids and see if they even have confab and what that is. Yeah. Um, alright, so, uh, you to address a little
Scott Luton (32:40):
Bit Mark, um, you know, the COVID-19 the pandemic environment and, um, let’s, let’s dive a little deeper on that. How have you seen your customers needs shift? And, and to that end, how have you seen OpenText, uh, shape its its value prop its offerings and its work to make sure these, these clients have what they need?
Mark Morley (33:01):
Yeah. So in terms of more broadly, if you think about every company today, they’ve got a challenge of how do we get employees back to work and what kind of digital solutions can we provide to provide remote working if that’s what companies want. So it’s trying to find that fine balance of solutions that improve day-to-day collaboration. You know, whether you’re using video conferencing tools, whether you’re using collaboration, portals, um, you, we have platforms that allow companies to collaborate and share files, uh, remotely securely, um, but also tools that allow you to redline and Mark up video files. Maybe you’re part of the video and media industry, for example, but having, you know, tools there that are improve that collaboration process, but even, um, improving the security, the supply chain, improving cyber resilience and end points. I mean, that’s more broadly what OpenText can provide today to help companies, um, get employees back to work, whether that means working remotely.
Mark Morley (33:57):
But then when you look on the supply chain side now, how do you get, or how do you ensure that you can work seamlessly with suppliers through disruption? And yeah, many companies have been disrupted. I can’t think of any other event over my career for sure where nearly every single global supply chain was almost shut down during March and April time. So how do you leverage technology to, um, identify alternative suppliers maybe as a dual sourcing strategy? So we have some technology called a global partner directory, for example, think of it as a telephone directory of every supplier connected to our network. 1.2 million companies are connected to our business network globally, and we can leverage this, um, telephone directory in essence, to filter, to search for key suppliers. We may want to work with, we’ve implemented it with information from Dunham and Bradstreet and EcoVadis who specialize in ethical sourcing solutions, for example. So we’ve been trying to help companies accelerate the onboarding of alternative suppliers, but to do that, they need to be digitized. They need to be connected. So we’re seeing an increasing interest in cloud based solutions today. And CIO are very keen to divert budget to explore cloud-based integration solutions. And I think that’s going to continue for the foreseeable future. I think today now is cloud moment. You know, it’s going to accelerate the growth really quickly. So
Scott Luton (35:21):
You shared a lot there I’d like to dive into, but I think one of the big things, uh, and, and Greg, we’ve talked about this extensively, you know, some companies are not going to go back to the office. They’re going to remain a remote, uh, remote environment for a long time to come, if not permanently and the
Greg White (35:38):
Technology and, and the, um, the secure technology behind that. I’m not gonna only imagine some of the conversations you’re having Mark, because we’ve seen, you know, while plenty of smaller businesses are taking out, you know, let’s go remote for the foreseeable future. There’s also been some announcements of some really large organizations that are shutting down dozens of offices. So, um, I bet you’re having a ton of those conversations around not just to, to set up the technology to allow that to happen and productivity to happen, but happen securely in this, in this ever challenging cyber environment.
Mark Morley (36:14):
Yeah. I mean, even taking OpenText ourselves, I mean, we made an announcement back in April time that we were going to close 50% of our offices because we found that we just didn’t need, we, when the pandemic started back in March timeframe, 13,000 employees open, went completely remote working. And apart from others, obviously some of the people working in our data centers that did need to be in the office, but nearly 13,000 employees working remotely, we decided to shut 50% of our offices. We didn’t need the floor space and we could prove that remote working works now in terms of the solutions and areas I mentioned earlier on improving the collaboration visibility, that’s what we do day in, day out. And if we can help companies accelerate that remote working or move to that remote working mentality, I think it’s a game changer in terms of the type of technologies out there today. And you know what Steve said, cloud maturing, if it hasn’t matured enough already, since 2010, when many companies started to talk about a cloud mobile, big data, 2010, everyone was talking about the technology, but I think unfortunately COVID-19 has accelerated, um, the interest in those kinds of technologies.
Greg White (37:24):
Undoubtedly, I mean, you know, we’ve heard it two things, one cloud and two supply chain. It is, it is those industries moment because of this. I mean, you know, I’ve been in supply chain, arguably for, let’s say more than two decades around two decades. Um, but you were in high school when I started in supply chain industry Mark. So, um, it was only part time then, uh, but, uh, you know, if you think, if you think about the acceleration of need here, it’s really because of the acceleration, uh, or the identification of these industries of this was such an incredible use case business case for defining what supply chain is. I don’t, I don’t get asked the question anymore ever what supply chain is. And, uh, and in 2010, 2011, I had a cloud supply chain technology company of my own, and I answered two questions just to get in the door. What is cloud and why would I ever do that? And two, what is supply chain again? Yeah, the thing is, if I think
Mark Morley (38:36):
Back to 2010, we saw this shift to the cloud and one of the drivers back then was actually the earthquakes in Japan. So when you think of that, many of those Japanese companies with data centers around Tokyo, those earthquakes hit that, you know, it impacts all of their global supply chains of production facilities. And of course, many of those Japanese companies had defined the behind the firewall software legacy environments that couldn’t grow. They couldn’t expand and they weren’t adaptive if that’s the right correct term current situation. So we saw the growth in cloud around 2010. And I think, unfortunately the pandemic is gonna accelerate that probably five and 10 fold. Now, um, companies don’t move, they’re going to get left behind.
Greg White (39:19):
Well, and as you said, automation is so much more important and so many companies are moving towards it because of, of COVID-19 that the only way to power, the expectations that you said earlier, the collaboration, the adaptability, all of that, the only way to, to power that is with a gigantic computer. And the only way to economically do that is to have a computer that you only pay when you’re doing that heavy, heavy lifting. Otherwise you put a $10 million computer in there. That’s used about 2% of the time and, you know, you use it just to hit peak and that is the value of cloud. And it also allows you to process the complex algorithms and relationships and integrations that are necessary to connect and adapt rapidly in, in the environment you’re describing. And it helps you win chess games too. Right.
Greg White (40:18):
Um, all right. So Mark, uh, a lot of what you just shared a moment ago, as you were kind of talking about the COVID-19 environment, all of those have universal, um, application, regardless of what environment we’re in, based on where we were, where the world’s going. Let’s keep going down that trend and let’s really take a, uh, as you were talking, talk, speak broadly, what else are you tracking right now? There’s so much, I mean, gosh, it was tough and doing our homework for this conversation. It was so tough to go into all the different things that OpenText is doing. So, um, I appreciate your willingness to kind of, uh, really focusing on what your, where you’re spending your time, but what else, what else are you keeping your finger on the pulse of when you look at global supply chain in 2020 and beyond?
Mark Morley (41:05):
Yeah, there’s, there’s two main areas that we’re looking at at the moment. And as I said, right at the beginning, I, I get involved with a lot of thought leadership on behalf of the business unit that I work for with business network. And over the last six months, we’ve put quite a strong focus on ethical sourcing, for example, thank you. Um, no, and sustainability, because it’s top of mind with every CXO today, CEO, they want to know where the goods are, come from. What are the constituent parts that go into making a product? Are they hopefully using conflict free minerals, for example, um, as part of that sourcing process. So building out thought leadership, um, around ethical sourcing is number one. Um, and how, for example, you know, when you think about our network, as one example, we are processing something like 26 billion transactions per year, electronic transactions across our network.
Mark Morley (41:54):
If I think about the amount of paper and number of trees we’re saving as part of digitizing those supply chains that equates to around 6 million trees just by digitizing those paper based information flows on our network. So indirectly we’re contributing towards developing more sustainable supply chains by digitizing that information, the secondary I’ve been looking at is really the disruptive technologies. There’s been a lot of talk about IOT, AI, blockchain, and when blockchain started to come into the markets, probably about three years ago, I think from a supply chain perspective, um, many companies wanted to find out, well, what is blockchain? Um, how can companies use it? And there was a lot of research done by the analyst firms, such as Gartner and IDC about the individual technologies. So IOT, AI, blockchain, what they weren’t really doing was thinking about what happens if you take that technology collectively.
Mark Morley (42:52):
So for example, if you have IOT sensors connected to a shipment, you want to take that shipment information, the sensor device data into maybe an AI machine learning platform to discover insights. But what if you could actually archive that information into a blockchain as well, and then retain the provenance of the shipment as it moves through the supply chain? So I sort of develop thought leadership around that area. And one of the analysts I spoke with at IDC three years ago said that I was one of the first people that he had spoken to that sort of discuss these technologies collectively as part of what we defined back then as the autonomous supply chain. Um, so I know there are many different supply chain definitions from adaptive ethical supply chain and now autonomous supply chain. But I think the autonomous supply chain really embraces those new technologies.
Mark Morley (43:40):
Um, and really it provided a platform for us to talk about blockchain, even though OpenText has many solutions. We don’t have a blockchain solution per se at the moment, but we’re exploring partnerships. We’re keeping an arms length on the technology because there’s a lot of hype still around it, but we know that the number one use case for blockchain at the moment is around track and trace provenance of goods. And there’s no end of examples, that companies have been sharing with a media analyst and I’m sure you’ve had conversations as well. Um, so we’re just keeping our finger on the pulse, looking at what’s going on. Um, and as I said, I’m having many cup of customer meetings about the technology with enterprise architects. They want to get our point of view, where do we think the technology is going? Is it going to replace EDI? I always say, no, it’s complimentary technology. So that’s really, I’ve talk, talking point of thought leadership over the last few months, Greg, what added, there’s so much there to dive into, but what, what is, uh,
Greg White (44:37):
What’s one thing that really stands out and what Mark shared? Oh, I think the thing that stands out is that we are finding what to do with these technologies, right? IOT, I think one of the biggest values of IOT is it’s a predictive technology. It can tell you for instance, that the, you know, the flux capacitor is out of tolerance and it’s about time to replace it right with, with blockchain. It is an immutable and unchangeable record. It is a verification and electronic verification of trust is essentially what it is. So you can verify for instance, as, as Mark said, if you’re talking about EDI and that in combination, you can verify, this is the PO that I received. This is the invoice that I issued against it. This is the shipping manifest that I’ve produced. This better be what’s on the truck. And, and the blockchain can verify that, that hasn’t been altered, can verify that, that it ties back to the original documents and it can be verified at every step because there are opportunities for let’s be generous and say failure, um, in, in the supply chain at every step.
Greg White (45:52):
I mean, you can verify, and they’re doing this now, right? They’re verifying which fishermen in Indonesia caught this fish and which boat they were on. And I mean, they’re even doing that in, in those kinds of markets. And, and following that provenance, as he said all the way through the supply chain, if you think about it, I love this example. One of the most counterfeited products in the world is all of oil and supply chain would be a great model for that to make sure that we’re getting all of oil to make sure that, that, you know, we know which tree it came from. And, um, and you know, cannabis is the cannabis industry is a great example of that because track and trace is such an important part of it. You know, what soils were used, what amendments were used, what fertilizers were used, et cetera. And you have to keep track of every aspect of the plant. So all of those things become really meaningful. And, and as we talk about autonomous supply chain and we talk about realtime visibility, blockchain is a great communicative device and a great verification that what you’re seeing is the truth. Yeah.
Mark Morley (47:06):
And I liked your reference to the flux capacitor cause it got me thinking about the Doloria. Um, and also when you think of the title of that film back to the future, you know, we’re going, we’re thinking of EDI technology. That’s 50 years old now had its 50th birthday last year. And now we’re sort of augmenting EDI technology with IOT, with AI, with blockchain. So it’s sort of foundational to everything goes on today with supply chain. So I thought been a reference to that, cause I thought it was a nice quote that you gave him the facts.
Scott Luton (47:35):
That’s the only part I can think of in the moment, what I’ve been watching too much, Netflix, well, speaking that flipped cause a great DeLorean, a documentary on Netflix about that whole story. It’s fascinating. It’s very good. And it really is. Um, alright, so, uh, enough about flux capacitors, uh, and back to the future. And I love that, that, that, uh, reference that. Um, all right. So Mark sidebar, a sidebar question, um, with, you know, cold chain and, um, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s explosion, you know, Greg, you don’t have tackled that industry, uh, here in recent weeks and talking about some of the acquisitions and the movements, and certainly what’s on the horizon for cold chain, whether it’s vaccine related or, you know, food pro all the different things that are pushed through a very controlled environment. Uh, Mark, is that, is that a space that, that you, uh, and a lot of your work are y’all deeply involved in coaching? Yeah, very much
Mark Morley (48:38):
So. I mean, we work not just with large food manufacturers as you’d expect consumer goods manufacturers, but also pharmaceutical companies. So again, I guess using that provenance example of blockchain, I had a discussion with an enterprise architect as a pharmaceutical company probably a month ago now wanting to understand more about blockchain, how it can be used in that context, but also IOT. So how can they track the raw ingredients that go into that as medicines, not only for tracking purposes, but also for preventing counterfeit medicines entering supply chain as well. And we know that there’s no end of counterfeit goods out there in the market. So anything that we can do to leverage integration technologies, visibility solutions, to secure the supply chain in the best way. And I think that’s where blockchain will have its moment in the future. But as I said, underpinning, that is the integration capabilities. If companies I’ve not got a digital supply chain, if they’re going to find it really difficult to embrace these new disruptive technologies,
Scott Luton (49:37):
Well put good stuff there. Alright, Greg, I, I tell ya, um, Mark gets, gets our juices going. I mean, I mean all the different aspects of the technology equation that companies are trying to solve these days, it seems like Mark’s got a pinky here or index finger they’re involved in all of it. It it’s, it’s really fascinating. You gotta keep your finger on the market. So as well as the non technology, the only non technologist in this, in this conversation, I’m glad there are smart folks like Greg and Mark that are making that kind of stuff happen. All right. So, um, you know, Mark, we’re looking forward to, we’ve got a live stream with you on the equation where audience is going to be able to, you know, ask you some questions and pose their, their observations. That’s gonna be, that’s gonna be live in all capital letters. You’re going to get a ton of questions around. Yeah, absolutely. Uh, I’m
Greg White (50:28):
With you. I think this is going to be a outstanding, um, conversation with our audience. And then of course, we’ve got a webinar on the docket as well, but Mark, let’s make sure that our audience knows how to connect with you and learn more about OpenText. So what’s the best way.
Mark Morley (50:42):
Yeah. So firstly, we have a couple of websites, opentext.com is our main website to learn more about OpenText and our solutions for the broader information management capabilities, um, my division business network. So if anyone’s interested on how to digitize the ecosystem both internally and externally, um, you can take like a business network.opentext.com. And if anyone’s interested in following me on LinkedIn or Twitter, I’m certainly on there as well. And I do try and post a lot of informative information around supply chain. And there you guys have, um, like quite a few of the posts on there, which has been great. And so yeah, anything that happens in supply chain feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on Twitter. And hopefully I can provide you with analytical insights.
Greg White (51:26):
No doubt. I have no doubt that there will be valuable insights. Well, hopefully our audience has enjoyed this, this conversation as much as Greg and I have a with Mark Morley director of strategic product marketing with open text. I love the tagline, the information company, uh, Mark, thanks so much. And looking forward to reconnecting with you probably in the next few weeks, Greg, I loved this conversation. I mean, there were, I had to pull back at times because you know, 60 minutes doesn’t go far. What was your favorite part? My favorite part was the way he says provenance. Um, no, honestly, you know, I had my discovery moment early in this, in this session. And that was, as Mark talked about, um, you know, his learnings in high school and, uh, discussions around other technologies that we thought were going to take over. I mean, if you think about it, Mark was in school when the book 1984, which was written in 1949, actually came into being in a lot of the automation that he was being told about.
Greg White (52:33):
And we were all being told about then still had not come into being and wouldn’t come into being for decades. And I think that’s a great lesson for us to learn is things like w it’s been a great and humbling lesson for me to learn around things. Some of the things I mentioned, like XML, displacing EDI and things like that, it takes a long time and economics are critical to the longevity of technologies, even if they are perceived as old. Um, you know, because when things get old, let’s call it mature. The cost effectiveness becomes so compelling that people figure out ways to do it. And we talked about RFID in, uh, and of course, um, now I’ve forgotten what it’s called, uh, uh, EDI. Right? Um, but the beautiful thing that I think OpenText is doing is they’ve that the economics of that, and they’ve, augumented it with other technologies and integrative data between enterprises and that is so important today and that’s critical to the success.
Greg White (53:35):
So we’re using the economical and effective and we’re using the visionary and forward looking, uh, to, to combine, to create a better supply chain. And in this day, when two things to me stand out one security, you know, we just barely talked about security, but security is a big gap in supply chain because that mom and pop that guy making hacky sacks in his garage, that’s the person that could bring down target or whomever, right. That, um, with a breach because of lack of security. So I sort of overarching, uh, security technology is fantastic as well as creating that connection between enterprises. So there’s just so much here. Um, Mark it, you know, he loves the design of it. Um, I know that you’re continuing to, to envision the future and, and make things, um, continue to meet the growing and rapidly as you said, changing needs of the industry.
Greg White (54:35):
So it’s, I mean, it’s really cool stuff. It’s hard to think about data and think it could be exciting, but it is because it is changing things for the way the supply chain has done. And it’s bringing supply chain into the future today. Absolutely making it adaptive. Of course it isn’t an invigorating discussion hopefully to our audience. Hopefully you enjoyed as much as we did. There’s so much the takeaway from this, this first conversation with Mark Morley. So on that note, you can check out all of our programming at supply chain, our radio.com. If you enjoyed this conversation, a fondness and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from check out our upcoming live stream. Cause we’ve got some, some hot ones coming up and we want to hear from you our audience. But on that note, when a challenge of, Hey, do good, give forward, be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time here.
Mark Morley Following completion of a Master of Science Degree in Computer Aided Engineering at Cranfield University in 1992, Mark joined the CAD/CAM software company Computervision as a solutions consultant. Following an acquisition by PTC in 1997 Mark took a small career break and went to work for the McLaren Formula One race team as a technology partner manager looking after the marketing activities of the technology sponsors to the team. Mark returned to PTC as an International Marketing Manager in September 1999 with a responsibility of establishing a global network of software demo centres. Following restructuring of PTC in 2003, Mark decided to take an MBA at Warwick Business School with a focus on marketing and a dissertation that looked at establishing a Space Tourism business. Following completion of the MBA, Mark joined GXS, a supply chain integration solution provider as an Industry Marketing Director focused on the Automotive sector in 2006 and then in 2014 OpenText acquired GXS. Today, Mark is Product Marketing Director for Business Network, a provider of cloud based integration solutions.
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 a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. 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.