“Can we orchestrate and choreograph the way data has to move in the same manner that we choreograph and orchestrate how freight has to move? If we do that, we’re doing a good job.”
Eric Rempel, Chief Innovation Officer at Redwood Logistics
Through a series of professional twists and turns, Eric Rempel went from studying computer engineering in math in college to industrial engineering, consumer packaging, and – finally – freight brokerage. Fortunately for him, it was a highly entrepreneurial environment, one that gave him plenty of opportunities to learn and innovate.
Continuing in that spirit, today he is focused using on Redwood Logistics’ serverless platform to solve problems without writing code. The platform can handle data integrations, trading, partner integration, sending data to data warehouses, anything that requires natively moving pieces of information from one system to another.
In this conversation, Eric tells Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton:
· Why it is a good thing when a customer approaches his team with an “absurd” request or goal, especially when you have a great team to throw at the problem
· How communication continues to be a challenge, whether that means human communication or communication between systems
· That doing something for a long time doesn’t automatically make you an innovator or an authority on that subject
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 afternoon by Scott Luton, Greg white. And we’ll heroine with you here on supply chain. Now, welcome to today’s show Greg, how are you doing? I am doing quite well. Scott, how are you doing fantastic. All off on the heels of a wonderful live stream earlier, and we’ll how are you doing lovely, my friend. Good to see ya. The Cardinals are fighting and what to talk all about baseball later, later this week, maybe, but today on this show, we’ve got a next generation leader in third party logistics, outstanding show lined up, uh, and we’re all gonna be working hard here to increase your supply chain IQ. Some more. Come on that in just a minute quick programming, Greg, if folks enjoyed this show, where do we typically direct them to typically we direct them to wherever they get their podcasts from or supply chain now radio.com.
Scott Luton (01:19):
That’s right. YouTube. It’s just that easy. It is. So with no further ado, let’s bring on and welcome our featured guests here today. Eric [inaudible] chief innovation officer with Redwood logistics, Eric, how are you doing? I’m doing well. How you doing fellas? Good. Good, fantastic, fantastic. Really excited to learn more about the Redwood story. We’ve been pleased to feature a few of your colleagues and earlier shows. It’s fascinating. The y’all have been owned the move. Put it simply a, so we’ll talk about that in just a minute, but for starters will and Greg don’t, y’all want to learn a little bit more about Eric rim pill, right? Let’s get, let’s get his story. So Eric, before we taught Redwood logistics, let’s get it. Let’s dive into your story a little bit. So where are you from? And, and, you know, give us the goods on your upbringing a little bit.
Eric Remple (02:10):
Yeah, sure. Well first thank you for having me. I really appreciate it. Um, and this is a great show, so honored to be here, you know, I’m, uh, I’m kinda your, your typical immigrant story. Uh, I’m was born here in the United States, born and raised in Chicago. My parents came here from the former Soviet union, uh, with, uh, not much besides my sister and the stuff they had on them. So, you know, we’re very fortunate to be born in this country and to have the opportunities that it brings, uh, which also means that, you know, my dad was always a tiger mom growing up and telling me to study constantly and read. And, you know, when I finished that read another book. So, uh, that kind of pressure was always on top of me, but I don’t think that’s anything special. Um, but it’s been, it’s been great, you know, a very traditional upbringing, um, just, you know, I’m always math and science leaning, but you know, nothing out of the ordinary and just, uh, just happy to, uh, you know, share
Eric Remple (03:00):
Greg White (03:00):
What part of the Soviet union, any particular country or the main Russian part or what, from a Republic Moldova, which is, Oh yes.
Eric Remple (03:08):
Landlocked country between Romania and Ukraine. Yeah. One of the poorest in Eastern Europe. So we got, I got that record, which is awesome.
Greg White (03:17):
One of our scientists at blue Ridge was from Moldova of all things. I actually studied Soviet politics in college, so
Eric Remple (03:25):
No kidding. No you’re with the area. So yeah. Uh, which means that, uh, the history says that that someone probably died of alcohol poisoning at some.
Greg White (03:34):
Yeah. It’s, it’s amazing when you look at where that country is, how they can be landlocked. I mean, it was like somebody slipped the country and under there. Right, right. Just to keep them from, from the seat.
Eric Remple (03:46):
Amazing. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.
Scott Luton (03:48):
Let’s talk. Before we dive into your professional journey, uh, you live in an out and just an incredible city of Chicago, what’s, what’s something and, and, and born and raised there. What, what’s, what’s something that you really love about city you live in? Well, you know, with
Eric Remple (04:03):
COVID right now, it’s obviously tougher, but, um, you can still make everything work, you know, especially with two kids right now, I’m just having a great time. We’re out on bike rides all the time, taking advantage of the great weather, you know, for a lockdown summer, the weather in Chicago has been absolutely fantastic this summer. Um, and just spending as much time as I can with them. Cause, you know, before this all happened, I was always at the office or on the road or traveling or, you know, staying in some hotel and um, you know, you find a way to be productive, but also appreciate your family now. And it’s, it’s, it’s great at the beginning I was losing my mind, like we all were I’m sure. But, uh, you know, there’s a lot of good things about it too.
Scott Luton (04:40):
All right. One last question. So you were talking earlier about your parents advice, endless advice as you’re growing up, uh, and, and your children a little bit young five and three, but is there one thing that you’re really advising your five-year-old at? What, what’s the one piece of advice you go back to with him or her regularly?
Eric Remple (04:59):
Well, my boy is still just a monster that loves to make a mess. So just, you know, we’re just trying to survive there. Uh, but with, with my girl, it’s just facilitating whatever she wants to do. If she’s interested in something or if she wants to play, you know, I was, I was so lucky, you know, we didn’t have much growing up in 1985. My dad brought home, uh, like an old Dell, two 86 computer and that like changed my life. And that kinda got me down the track that I’m in and led to, you know, some business ventures and, you know, just, you know, becoming part of who I am, where he brought out something in me that I didn’t even know I had. Um, so just trying to, you know, facilitate what she enjoys and, and, you know, she loves drawings. I draw with her all the time. Just stuff like that is it’s been awesome. You know, and I’m not going to sugar coat it,
Greg White (05:45):
It was a well-worded question, Scott, because I think essentially what you’re asking is in what way have you become your parents? How is it parents are going?
Greg White (05:58):
I talked to you that yeah. Um, drop driving, Greg. All right. Uh, so let’s talk a little bit about your professional journey. So I’m interested in who, besides your parents, might’ve influenced, um, you know, how you see the world or how you’ve driven your career, how it might have pivoted throughout your career, but also tell us a little bit about how you came, how you came up through the ranks, uh, before you got to Redwood.
Eric Remple (06:23):
Yeah. You know, it, it was always just kinda, you know, trying to figure out a way to hustle when, um, you know, my, my parents, when they did come here, they wanted to grow up me to grow up in a community that had good schools. Right. So, uh, we made it to that, to that suburb, but we didn’t have, uh, you know, we didn’t have much money. Um, so, you know, just kind of seeing a lot of kids that had a lot of money. It was, it was fine. It didn’t bother me much, but I wanted to earn it on my own. Um, so it, it, it got me to a place where, you know, I did what I could, you know, garage sales as a kid. And then, uh, once I, you know, got a little bit older with some friends in high school, we started building websites that lasted through college and, you know, met some neat folks.
Eric Remple (07:01):
And it’s actually a way in which I met some of the Redwood folks was through that, uh, business that I have at, that comes later. Um, and it was just, you know, figuring out a way to do something that I really enjoyed, which was always a combination of like art and technology and merging those things together and making people happy at the end of the day, where they had like a vision for how they want to see something. And, you know, I have the ability to make that happen. And that’s a really rewarding feeling that I was fortunate enough to learn when I was young.
Greg White (07:28):
You know, it’s interesting. I think a lot of people also after they went crazy during the pandemic, a lot of people have come around to that asking them that they’re asking themselves that question, why am I doing this? Right. I mean, people have had a lot of time to, uh, reflect. And so it’s interesting that you, you knew that from a really early age. Um, so tell, do, tell us about how your business, you know, or, or how it led up to you getting to Redwood I’m interested in.
Eric Remple (07:59):
Yeah. I mean, if you want to talk about like a total random journey, that’s really what it is. And I think, you know, we were chatting before, uh, you know, earlier that, you know, most folks in supply chain didn’t come from supply chain, but that started to change. You said, you know, I, I was one of those folks that didn’t come from supply chain. So, um, my background in college was studying computer engineering and math. So I did stuff like chip design and, you know, super exciting stuff like that for any of your listeners that care. But, uh, you know, I, I absolutely loved it. Um, but I graduated right after nine 11. Uh, so the job market was, was not great. Um, and it was tough. There were a lot of hiring freezes at, you know, chip makers and traditional places that, you know, you get recruited to when you’ve got that kind of degree.
Eric Remple (08:41):
So, um, I did what I could, and I found a, an engineering shop in the Chicago area that, um, you know, had a neat product and some neat industrial machinery that they were building, but, um, they didn’t have the money to pay full time. So I took a part time job working there a while, um, while the market was still, you know, totally in the dumps. And, um, I just learned a ton. Um, I learned a lot of practical application for what I learned at school and ended up, uh, building some machinery that created, um, a lot of the cookies that come out of like Pillsbury and craft and Pepperidge farm machines, um, where we just cut food at super duper high speeds. And, uh, it goes off into the packaging systems after that. So learned a ton and helped get that company going down a positive trajectory, but quickly learn that, you know, the organization wasn’t being run that well at the top.
Eric Remple (09:27):
And it was this time for me to go. So, um, at that time, when I was making those machines, I was using Redwood to do my logistics and to move, move my machines, you know, across the country. Um, and you know, that relationship was always there and we were just friends and some folks I knew, you know, from, from earlier in my life. And, uh, I got a phone call that they wanted to do a website and, you know, just make, uh, this is 2003, 2004. So they wanted a website for the business. And, um, I figured, well, you know, I’m about to go to business school, I’d taken the MBA. And I was going down that path and I walked into, uh, you know, for the Chicago listeners XRT is playing, it’s like a local rock station in Chicago. XRT is playing on the radio. And, you know, like everyone’s just on the phone and having fun, your traditional brokerage. And I was just blown away by the energy and that it didn’t have to be cubicles up stuffy, traditional work environment. And that piqued my interest immediately. Um, at which point then, um, I learned what they did and from there, you know, the relationship began.
Greg White (10:29):
So did you go on to school and then go to Redwood or,
Eric Remple (10:33):
Or never made it to school? Never made,
Greg White (10:37):
I mean, get into it. Right. Uh, yeah. I think that when you, when you find that right place, that’s, it’s, it’s good to do that, right? Yeah. Yeah. Um, well, I’ll tell you a story later off, off, long in year,
Eric Remple (10:52):
It goes both ways for sure. But for me, at least, um, I was learning, just drinking from a fire hose daily and, you know, not even having the time to think about going to school after I decided to hook up with those, you know, those folks was kind of giving me the answer I was looking for
Greg White (11:08):
School of life. And so take us a little bit through that, your journey at Redwood logistics and a little bit about what the company does and, uh, you know, and, and, uh, share that with, with our audience.
Eric Remple (11:20):
Yeah. So it’s a really entrepreneurial organization, you know, has been from day one. So I was fortunate to hookup with the guys that started it. Uh, it started in 2001, so three years before I got there. Um, and it was a traditional, you know, ch Robinson defector, you know, former American Backhaulers, uh, uh, organization where, um, you know, the story goes for guys in a card table and that’s, and that’s what it was. Um, you know, one of those guys is now our, you know, our president who was at the lowest of the ranks, right. So, so we’ve grown and matured and gone through that process. Um, but it was a brokerage through, and, and I joined it when it was a brokerage. Um, but there was that, that hustle that I was telling you about earlier that was, was fascinating. And right around the time I came on board, um, we quickly decided to, you know, explain to them my technology skills.
Eric Remple (12:06):
And they kind of knew me already. So we put a team together and we started building our own TMS for the organization. Um, at the same time, started a trucking company, right. So when asset based as well, um, you know, just cause our customers were telling us that they wanted that as part of our portfolio, um, you know, it, it it’s that entrepreneurial spirit that grew, which is we’re willing to take a calculated, but lower risk, a chance on things. And that still continues all the way through today to where we are a much different organization than we were back there. But that, that energy, right. Those, those roots still, still are strong today.
Greg White (12:41):
That’s good. That’s, I mean, that’s a good culture appropriately dangerous. Right. So, um, so your role, um, chief innovation officer, I bet a lot of people don’t know what that role means, and I bet the people that do know what that role means probably don’t know what you do on a day to day basis. So share a little bit of,
Eric Remple (13:03):
Well, sometimes I don’t know what it means. So in fairness, right?
Greg White (13:06):
Yeah. I mean, I think that it’s an, it’s the entrepreneurial spirit of your culture. I imagine to some extent
Eric Remple (13:12):
It really is, you know, I played the role of CTO and CIO, you know, whatever that, that really means for an organization of our size as we’ve been growing. Um, but we brought in some, some really talented folks from, you know, from echo and XPO to play those roles today. Um, and right now, you know, a big thing of what I do and, and, you know, I think we’ll get to talking about Redwood connect later, but, um, you know, after having built that, which was, you know, one of our largest innovations, um, now is the time to help, you know, in what I’m doing here, quite honestly, on this podcast, you know, let, let folks know what that innovation does, what it means, helping evangelizing it internally and externally. Um, you know, you still have to sell it internally. You need to let people know what this new thing does that they didn’t know existed.
Eric Remple (13:54):
And therefore they never desired it before they didn’t know it existed. So you have to, you have to help, you know, create, create a groundswell. Um, because we do believe that we have something that’s, that’s pretty game changing, but at the same time, uh, folks need to recognize that the challenges that it solves. So, um, you know, to kind of go back to your question, what is it that I do? Um, I helped talk about the innovations that we’ve created, but I also, when there’s a tough challenge or a customer asks us for something absurd, which is a good thing, right. Absurd in a good way. Um, you know, I’ll get involved in the middle of that quickly and just kinda, you know, at a high level architect where that fits into our organization. And then we’ve got really talented folks that run with it from there that just do a great job. So
Greg White (14:33):
I got to ask you, what is your favorite, or maybe the one you see the most interest in, of your innovations that, that you present. Yeah.
Eric Remple (14:41):
And what we’ve created, it’s, it’s the connect platform. So we built this whole thing in a totally different way than we’ve done anything before. Uh, we’ve the, the architecture type of compute resources we use. Uh, the fact that, you know, it’s built in a serverless fashion. It’s, it’s this incredible platform that basically lets you solve problems without writing code. Um, and we’re using it to do data integrations, trading, partner integration, sending data to data warehouses, um, moving, you know, really tough, uh, you know, pieces of information from one system to another as if those systems natively talk to each other. So that right there to anyone who’s lived there last 16 years, like I have in logistics where every problem has to do with things, not communicating, whether that’s humans not communicating or systems being unable to communicate it, it changes everything.
Scott Luton (15:32):
So, Hey, I know we’re going to talk disruption in a second we’ll but one quick question, before we do, I love your comment there, Eric, about those absurd questions and how that gives you a chance to get involved and, and drive improvement, drive innovation, uh, I’d argue that those sort of questions and what helps us make the improvements and really pioneer new things and industry, would you agree?
Eric Remple (15:53):
Absolutely. I mean, we had a, we had a guy at our company several years back and he, he coined the term too hard pile. Um, and when a customer or internally have something for the too hard pile, you know, that’s when my team just jumps. Um, and those problems while, you know, others might say, Oh, that’s silly. Why would you do it that way? There’s a need and they have a pain point. And if we can understand and empathize with that pain point that they have, um, there’s opportunity there, there, there always is.
Scott Luton (16:21):
And the four guys and the car table that the, uh, the too hard pile, Greg, when I hear stuff like that, it reminds me of, of, of what you had at one of your ventures, uh, hashtag startup life. And whenever you and the team experienced something and related to startup life, y’all just had a running list, right? Yeah. Joys or woes or excitement, a win, a big loss, whatever it was therapeutic for the most part. I mean, you just put up and went up and put a hash Mark and then you could turn and evangelize or witness or cry or share, or just go back to your seat. But it, it, it was
Eric Remple (16:59):
Scott Luton (17:00):
To be able to release that or express that. Yeah. I mean, those kinds of moments are critical to the culture of a company. I’m going to go get a, a bucket from a local hardware store and I’m gonna label it my two hard pile and some of the things that we just can’t do, I’m a third right. In that bucket. So Eric, I appreciate the idea. All right, well, let’s talk disruption. There’s, there’s been no shortage of that here.
Eric Remple (17:24):
Yeah. So Eric, my question is, so we understand, you know, we talked to a lot of different people in supply chain and customers and suppliers and retailers, and, and uh, obviously in our current moment, everything in their supply chain has, has been disrupted and they’ve been consistently adjusting. But one of the things we’ve heard a lot about is having to, because the overseas suppliers products and sourcing has been, uh, certainly disrupted or largely just taken away that a lot of companies have had to double down on their regional supply networks, you know, and do a lot of near storing and that, and that sort of thing. And, uh, we, one of the things we want to ask you is how is Redwood seeing that amongst your marketplace, because of the flexibility that you guys are in, certainly having assets as well. You know, just being able to provide flexibility and agility in a town like this, you know, I think to kind of tie it into the, to the too hard pile, right?
Eric Remple (18:26):
Like yesterday’s too hard pile is today’s old news, right? So, um, not to sound like that’s old news and we’re just, you know, kicking back with our legs up on the desks at Redwood, remotely from home, but it’s more of, um, you know, how can we take what we’ve been doing for a decade now, which is telling our customers, Hey, your systems are awesome. Your partners are awesome, right? And obviously with a shift from, you know, China and a lot happening in Mexico now, and, you know, we’ve invested in cross border. And, you know, we were dealing with the capacity crunch down on the border at all at all the cross border towns and, you know, really strengthening up our capabilities there. So we can be the direct service partners to our customers, um, from a tech perspective as well. It’s, Hey, those systems are talking and your trading partners are quickly connected.
Eric Remple (19:13):
Then we can eliminate all of those humans going back and forth, whether it’s paper or voice or anything else that just slows that process down, especially when you’ve moved from what might’ve been a stable operation of automatically, maybe EDI, maybe something else to, you know, overseas now down to new providers in Mexico. So it’s really on our end. Can we orchestrate and choreograph the way data has to move in the same manner that we choreograph and orchestrate how freight has to move. And if we do that, we’re doing a good job. Is that what you’d say? Sort of the biggest, the biggest thing you’ve seen in this call the last six months, as far as, you know, uh, that transference of data, that communication, um, being the biggest being the biggest trend, I think for the organizations that have set up their, their data and their connectivity strategies, they’re a step ahead of the game.
Eric Remple (20:05):
You know, they actually can be more nimble and more agile and maybe hook up more trading partners that when someone is out of capacity, right? Whether it’s for transportation or the actual product itself, right. They can react more appropriately. Um, but I, I do think that it’s just a general theme that everyone is marching towards and has been for again, you know, we could say a decade, but for sure longer than that, it’s just technology is getting better. And it’s just a trend that’s continuing to happen, but COGA just, you know, give it a shot of adrenaline. You’ve already touched on Redwood connect 2.0, and I love how you put it, that you can solve problems without writing code for the non technologists. And me, that is a beautiful thing to hear. Right. Cause, uh, as a reason
Scott Luton (20:48):
I got out of computer science when I was in school, cause I was terrible at coding. Let’s talk more about that because that’s a huge announcement. It came out, I think in July, is that right? July was, it was when you made the splash with it.
Eric Remple (21:00):
I’ll be honest. I have a hard time remembering what date is today, but I’m going to go with that sounds right. It might be a little bit before that, but yeah,
Scott Luton (21:06):
Fair. That day is Monday Eric. That’s right. That’s right. Let’s when you, when you, when you put your customer lens on and, and, and you’re interpreting a Redwood connect 2.0 and evaluating it, what do you think the biggest winner two is going to be for your customers with this, this big development?
Eric Remple (21:24):
Yeah. It’s just low risk, high value integrations. So we’ve done this so many times and we’ve integrated mercury gate and OTM and a whole suite of products to, you know, the Redwood connect platform so that our customers could just connect once like a USB plug and then we’ll hook them up to everything else. We’ll translate their data. So it matches and we’ll even translate it back so that their systems can, can take the information and it’s seamless. But what, what that really does from a nontechnical perspective is if they have a need for their systems to automate or operate in a more effective manner, or even just bring, you know, a, a simple new system into play like a TMS, um, it becomes this giant, uh, like almost like you’re jumping the chasm, right? It’s like, there’s this giant question. Can it handle it? Do they have the bandwidth?
Eric Remple (22:15):
Will they get it right? Do they understand the logistics objects? Do they know how to connect to SAP? Or do they know what Oracle needs? All of those things that we’ve done so many times. And then on top of that, it’s not just doing it once, but it’s doing it at scale, right? So we, you know, we’re moving over three and a half billion dollars of freight through this platform where it’s like, it has to scale automatically, right? So thousands and thousands and thousands of servers operating in parallel automatically shutting themselves off when they don’t have to be on, um, you know, saving our customers money. But they don’t think about that stuff. They just know that I pressed, uh, I created an order in my ERP and there it is in the TMS and I can plan on it or we can do bulk planning or we can, you know, check for, you know, if things are on hold in a, in a WMS and feed that information back in. So, you know, that’s where our supply chain customer. And going back to your question, if a supply chain customer says, man, if I had the opportunity to have this automated, I would have all this time left that I could finally get to that slotting program I wanted to deal with in my warehouse or whatever. Right. And it’s, it just, it creates it bridges that gap between idea and an automated supply chain
Scott Luton (23:21):
Freeing up time. Holy cow, there’s so much value there. And you know, there’s so many projects, you, you, you, you said it well air, so many projects, uh, that that folks can’t get to because they’re, you know, they’re putting fires out, they’re moving, they’re moving freight. And I’m not sure if they’re moving 3.5 billion freight and freight that you are, but you know, freeing up that time so they can make other improvements and deal with other, other, um, items in the business. That’s a huge value there. Uh, Greg, I know you’re chomping at the bit. When you hear things like this and the tech this year, just the technology side of the business. I can only imagine when you’re moving that much freight and your aim is to make it that simple for your customers, right? What are you hearing there? [inaudible], that’s what I hear. I mean, will, and I have both used this term in previous life, you know, enterprise class functionality, but app simplicity and, and, and that, and the, the demand for that is accelerating.
Scott Luton (24:19):
As we bring in these newer generations, generation X, Y, and Z, all of whom are used to just turning it on. And it works. Um, that, that capability is so freeing for the user, as Eric talked about, they just know that it works, right. I create an order. It goes to the TMS, the data goes wherever I need it. I don’t have to worry about plugging it in the days of years, long hundred million dollar implementations of technology, except for a few companies are over. And the tolerance for that, even in those companies who are stuck with big systems that require that the tolerance, even in those companies is very, very low. And that’s evidenced by the fact that the biggest the SAP is in the Oracles and others are responding to that and starting to bring down the overhead of their own implementations. So technologies like this, that just plug in and work and make things happen. They’re the future so much good stuff there. I’ve got one more kind of broader question for Eric, but what will, um, you just, you mentioned simplicity and simplicity is such a beautiful thing in this complex world ever changing rapidly changing where we live in. What else did you hear there? And some of Eric’s perspective.
Will Haraway (25:38):
Oh, well, I mean, simply that, not to that, that is the key. I mean that when you and behind red would connect the whole philosophy, if I’m catching this correctly, I guess that you do have all of these disparate, you know, people are the way a supply chain can work, especially if it’s a growing company, is that they’re just looking up different stuff as they need it, honestly, you know, they can have a WMS TMS, you know, uh, uh, freight, freight brokerage, all of these things, trying to hook up together and talk, which seems easy. And in theory, until it gets done in practice, and it sounds like that’s the, the, the, the main problem of communication that you’re trying to solve with red, with red, with connect.
Scott Luton (26:24):
Yeah. That connectivity is so critical, right? Yeah. You know, I mean, going back to startup life, right. It’s all about, you know, failing and learning from those failures to be a catalyst for something else you do, you know, but it was, uh, before we started building Redwood connect in 2013, we already had four years under our belt of doing connectivity the old way, which was,
Eric Remple (26:44):
You know, think of like a bunch of point to point connections where someone’s just dragging an extension cord from every start to every finish. And we have a tangled web of a mess that eventually, you know, failed on us. Um, so when I was pitching this to the organization to build it, you know, we actually called it the, uh, the, I don’t know machine. Right. Cause what our customers need. I don’t know, what are they going to send us? I don’t know, what do we have to do if their data fails? I don’t know. And so we needed a way to handle all of that. Um, and that was kind of the Genesis for connect, which is, you know, to your point on simplicity, it’s just got to work. And, uh, and we’re pretty, we’re pretty fortunate that we made that happen
Scott Luton (27:17):
And it’s just got to work. And oftentimes customers, they don’t necessarily care how it works. They just care that it does work when they need it. Right. They don’t care at all, how it works, not one bit, it just better work.
Eric Remple (27:30):
It’s a utility. And it has to be you, you want, you expect your plumbing to work. You expect your power to work. You’re not thinking about it, but when it’s not working, you’re, you’re complaining
Scott Luton (27:38):
What an exciting developments been interesting to see just, just how y’all have continued to grow, but I’ll always appreciate, you know, the growth stories are always really neat to watch and you can learn a ton of, uh, business lessons learned and, and, uh, pick up insights and observations. But what I really like is when we talk with business leaders like you, where you’re growing, but you’re not sitting on laurels and selling just what you’ve, you’ve always sold. You’re, you’re really transforming the business, uh, in a way that, that, you know, gives, gives your customers more and more. And that that’s where I think a lot of secret sauces. So if we can leave Redwood connect to a 2.0 for a second, cause I’ve got a broader question. Will Greg anything else about the new platform that you’d like to ask Eric? I’ve got a lot of things I want to add.
Eric Remple (28:27):
Okay. All right. Sorry.
Scott Luton (28:30):
Permission. All right. Good, good, good. So, Eric, going back to your roots of, of implementing automation in, in factory floors, right? That’s I bet you, you could write a book about change and continuous improvement and automation there, but reflecting on that and reflecting on how you are on the technology side of the business, enhancing, automating, uh, bringing more capacity and more capabilities, driving more change what what’s a, um, a great rule of thumb you’ve learned when it comes to driving change in industry. What’s, what’s a couple of your best practices.
Eric Remple (29:08):
Yeah. I think I’ll answer the driving change. Second. I think something important to people like myself, or you want to maybe put us on the slightly crazy spectrum of innovators is a, just because someone’s been doing something for a long time, doesn’t mean you have to listen to them. Um, you know, I’ve been told no and no way, and that’s nuts, uh, more times than I can remember. Um, you know, cause when you can see something and you know, maybe wine before its time, you know, don’t, don’t let that, don’t let that knock you down. Um, if you feel people’s pain and you see a solution and you can figure out how to connect those dots and hopefully make money in between, um, don’t let anyone get in your way.
Scott Luton (29:47):
You can’t listen to the naysayers. Otherwise nothing improves nothing. Nothing’s innovated nothing’s delivered. I love that. So looking forward, looking ahead, right. 20, 21, I know we’re all looking forward to getting into a new year, right? What, what, what excites you the most about the new year?
Eric Remple (30:04):
We’re really excited about where we’re going to take Redwood next year. You know, um, I, right now where we’re at with connect is we built and launched the platform that integrates all of our customers. Um, as well as, you know, our internal systems, what we’re doing at Redwood now, now that that platform is able to connect our customers to the marketplace is, um, we, you know, we’ve, we’ve securely created all these API so that all their customers, all our customers can send in their data and their own secure pile and, you know, send it to their systems and databases that they care about. And data warehouses, what Redwood is working on now is what we’re, you know, we’re, we’re thinking about, you know, calling like the Redwood cloud, but what are all the widgets that we use for ourselves, right? Because we’re an open ecosystem.
Eric Remple (30:44):
We’ve always been open, even our freight management pick carriers. If you want to pick our competitors and your routing guide and not use Redwood, that’s cool. We started that way and we’ll always be that way. So we have this open ecosystem and now what we want to do is take some of the tools that we’ve developed and some new ones that we’ve been developing and start making those more commercially available to our customers to use like widgets or a marketplace. So that’ll be coming in 2021 from Redwood and that’s really exciting. Um, and it’s been great because, you know, for, you know, the last two and a half years, you know, after we got acquired by private equity, um, you know, we’ve actually had the ability to invest further and they believed in us in our vision and, you know, they, they say, you know, keep going down that path.
Eric Remple (31:22):
So, um, we are just now working with our customers to understand where their challenges are and figuring out what our product line looks like. Uh, we have a recent addition of a product off of chief product officer, you know, new CIO, new COO that are really aligned towards our vision, which is just do awesome stuff for our customer, you know, find a way to figure it out and, and create these neat solutions. And, um, I think from a work perspective, it’s going to be great and, uh, you know, from a life and everything perspective, you know, let’s, let’s get that vaccine and get out there again.
Scott Luton (31:51):
Well, it sounds like me, uh, not only the hits keep coming from Redwood logistics, but sounds like a really cool place to work. Erica. I know you’ve got a busy calendar and we’ve taken a lot of your time here, Greg will. Uh, before we wrap up with Eric, any final comments when you’re all done, I’m glad to talk to another guy from the Midwest when he thinks it’s absurd. He says, it’s absurd when the answer is no, which is almost never, he says no, and if it ain’t broke break it. So I just love the spirit in which Eric approaches this. He is the right person for the right job right now. And, um, I think that confluence of the founders at, at Redwood and Eric were fortunate to find one another. I’m so glad you didn’t go get an MBA, Eric, because it would have only delayed and possibly up ended the possibility that you impact supply chain in the way that you have so far. So I appreciate that power. Just powerful stuff. Yes. Well put Greg.
Will Haraway (32:50):
Yeah. There’s so much about your story that I love. I mean, number one, that, that, you’re a Moldovan that in addition to that other, uh, to do the other connection with, with blue Ridge, which is, you know, friend of the show, we’ve had them on a we’ve, uh, Nick Darman shift from Archer hub. We’ve had a, he’s a, he’s a mole Devon as well. So it’s nice to, but we’re finding some supply chain connections over there as well.
Scott Luton (33:12):
Literally they didn’t spend time at the beach, they spend it at class, it’ll be in landlock has its benefits, right? Yeah.
Will Haraway (33:19):
On it. Um, that, uh, you know, I guess I was just disappointed that your dad didn’t bring, I thought for sure you were going to say Commodore 64 and I was going to be all over that. But, uh, but I could see, uh, I love that part of your story. And, uh, and, and, uh, the fact that your school was, uh, you know, doing machining and, and, uh, that’s, uh, that’s impressive and, and unique. And, and again, leads to the spirit of what this podcast is all about. Like how do people get into these positions and how do you get into supply chain? I mean, uh, you did it with working with your hands and using your mind at the same time. I mean, that’s, that’s a, that’s a big part of this industry.
Scott Luton (34:01):
An Eric talked about the intersection of art and technology and what a powerful place to be, right? Yes. All right. Well, uh, Eric really appreciate your time. Let’s make sure folks know how to connect with you and with Redwood logistics. Yeah. Cause that’s all right. So Eric, how can we connect with you and the organization? So you can reach me at LinkedIn, uh, Eric Rempel and, uh, our company website is Redwood logistics.com. Really appreciate your perspective here today. I love how simple you keep it. And I love the passion you bring, you know, uh, there’s. It is so evident the unique culture y’all have at Redwood logistics and wish you all continued growth and success. Thanks so much. Eric Rempel, chief innovation officer with Redwood logistics. Thanks, Eric. Thank you, Scott. You bet. Greg will another great show. Um, I love the visuals that Eric paints, right, Greg, first of all, I can’t tell you that we have had someone say, this is what’s coming in 2021.
Scott Luton (35:07):
And in a long time, I mean, everyone is so consumed with what’s going on now, so that not only do they have a great vision that they’re recognizing right now, but Eric is looking into the future beyond all of this. And I’m planning for how to bring additional benefit to their, their customers into the industry. That’s just really impressive that responsiveness to customer need first before that’s not the way we usually do it. That’s a really important to respond to the customer need and to turn that into what needs to be done and how to get it done is the, the right approach. Scott, you often say it begin with the end in mind, right. And work back from there. I’ll say that. It sounds too smart for me to say it. Um, you’re quoting someone else like I usually do. So. Yeah. Well, will I bet that that too hard pile is not a really big pile at Redwood?
Scott Luton (36:04):
What’s your final take? Oh yeah. I mean, that’s a, that’s the kind of thing that Eric and his team is here to solve. It sounds like to me, I think they dig that pile, man. I bet it’s a huge pile that they’re going no way. That is too hard. Well, great episode really appreciate Eric repels time with Redwood logistics, uh, on behalf of Greg white and we’ll hear away and really the whole team here at supply chain. Now, thanks for joining us. Hopefully you enjoyed the conversation as much as we did. Hey, do good gift forward and be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see, next time here.
Eric Rempel In 2004, Eric joined Redwood as Chief Technology Officer, playing a vital role in the creation of what would become one of Redwood’s flagship products – its proprietary transportation management system (TMS) that combines historical analytics, market data and operational best practices. Eric led the design of Redwood’s TMS offering by integrating powerful transportation automation into customer supply chains, based on a web interface that can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection. TMS remains an integral part of the way Redwood delivers value to the company’s brokerage clients. Eric founded 3PLogic in 2009, which is known today as Redwood Supply Chain Solutions (“SCS”). With a strategic focus on integrated enterprise systems, the technology created at 3PLogic was the design catalyst for today’s supply-chain integration platform, RedwoodConnectSM. A platform so successful that Redwood’s Software as a Service TMS partner, MercuryGate, has named Redwood as its first and only Logistics Integrator Partner. From 2010 to 2015, under Eric’s leadership, Redwood SCS grew exponentially with over 8,000% advancement. The company’s achievement in developing customer-facing solutions and supply chain technology was recognized when Redwood earned a number three ranking on Crain’s Fast 50 List for 2016. In 2017, Eric was named Redwood’s Chief Innovation Officer. As CIO he is focused on developing diverse solutions and services for the company’s clients. Eric is a thought leader and national speaker on advanced technologies such as API-lead architecture, cloud computing, supply-chain integration & automation, big-data analytics, and emerging technologies. Eric is a Mulesoft Customer Advisory Board member, and a Blockchain in Transportation Alliance (BiTA) member. He holds a B.S., Computer Engineering and Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Will Haraway is the Chief Content Officer for Lead Coverage and the Founder & Lead Evangelist at Backbeat Marketing. Will has 20 years of executive experience in B2B Technology Marketing. Will is a certified analyst relations practitioner by the Knowledge Capital Group and has helped companies including Manhattan Associates, Aptos, Atlantix Global Systems, American Software and Rubicon Global improve their brand reputations with marketing results that help increase sales. Will also serves as a member of the APICS Atlanta Executive Advisory Board.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Data Analytics and Metrics Intern
Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.