“We, as a community of supply chain professionals, need to position ourselves in such places where we are the ones making the final call. If you need to trust the government for final mile delivery, and there’s no one in the government with supply chain experience, how will they know what is important?”
Sofia Rivas Herrera, Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey
There are many routes people take to start a career in supply chain. Sofia Rivas Herrera’s journey started in a class on inventory management at a school that didn’t offer the supply chain courses she wanted to take. So, she made the most of her exchange semester, registering for a full course load of supply chain studies.
Unlike professionals with 30-40 years of operational supply chain experience, Sofia sees the consumer as being at the heart of everything supply chains should be designed to deliver – a unique and important perspective that she shares with her current colleagues in the travel industry.
In this conversation, Sofia shares her passion for supply chain with Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton:
· Why skills in data literacy are an absolute must, and analytical coding and programming skills are even better
· The creative approaches she has seen airlines and airports take to continue generating revenue despite the sudden drop in passenger travel
· The important role that the travel industry may play in the distribution of the COVID vaccine, and the investments in cold storage and cold chain logistics that are being made in anticipation of that demand
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, Scott Luton, Greg white with you here on supply chain. Now. Welcome to today’s show Greg. Good afternoon. How are you doing? I’m doing great. I’m excited about this one. This is our worldwide reviewer. So hopefully she’s going to give us her thoughts on, on how we’ve been doing as well as her thoughts on what she’s up to. I agreed. We both been looking forward to this on this episode, we’re featuring an extremely sharp young professional that is incredibly passionate about supply chain. We’ve really enjoyed her participation in our live streams and a lot of our social media, uh, back and forth, uh, community. Uh, so stay tuned as we’re working hard to raise your supply chain IQ some more. Come on that in just a moment. Hey, quick programming before we get started here. If you enjoyed this episode, Greg, where should folks go to, to learn more supply chain now radio still, still.
Scott Luton (01:21):
Okay. We haven’t even had that discussion yet. Have we? We have it. You’re letting the cat out of the bag now. I’m kidding. I think we’ve talked about it before we are in the process of dropping radio from the name. So while you can still go to [inaudible] dot com or wherever you get your podcasts from soon enough, you’ll be going to supply chain now.com. So stay tuned on that, but with no further ado, Greg, we talked about how excited we are about this conversation. Let’s welcome in our featured guest, Sophia Reavis, Herrera supply chain, enthusiastic Sophia. Good afternoon.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (01:56):
Hi. How are you guys? I’m so excited and grateful for being here. I love the invitation. Yeah,
Scott Luton (02:04):
Well, it’s great to have you. It is great to have you, and it feels like we already know you are in our interaction and, and, uh, your facilitation of, of really disseminating some really key takeaways and insights from, from various, not just our program, various supply chain programming, a lot of folks have really enjoyed those key takeaways. So we’re really pleased to have you here so we can take a deeper dive into the individual behind the intellect.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (02:32):
Yeah, for sure. And I’m reviewing these also, so try to keep them very good and professional.
Scott Luton (02:41):
Okay. Alright. So Sophia, before we get into industry and, and start picking your brain there, let’s get to know you a little better. So tell us about yourself.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (02:55):
I am from Mexico, which is the second biggest here. Uh, I have a twin sister, so we come in a package of two. Yeah. And she’s my brother.
Scott Luton (03:07):
Well, we know that you’re you and you’re not your sister. You’ll never know. I’m so sorry. Are you that close?
Sofia Rivas Herrera (03:14):
Yeah. Now she has a currently here and yeah, we’ll uh, be different.
Scott Luton (03:21):
Okay. Well what’s your sister’s name. Can you share Andrea, Andrea, so hello to Andrea and, uh, it’s great to hear how, how close you are as sisters important part of your life. And you’re from, you mentioned you’re from Guadalajara. Um, the second biggest city in Mexico to, uh, share with folks geographically, where is that in the country? And is there one thing that Guadalajara is really known for share that with our listeners?
Sofia Rivas Herrera (03:48):
So it is like central West kind of, it’s not very, it’s like four hours away from the closest beach, my car. And it’s like one hour away by flight from Mexico city. So I think I will, then we can put a map on the BDO and just show it to your guy. Um, and it’s very known because it’s the word tequila is from. So you know, that champagne can only be made in that area of France. So it’s the same year. And we’re very known for that. And we’ll even have like a trail or a ho like tequila tasting tours and stuff like that. So it’s very interesting. If you guys want to come, just do it and I’ll tour you around.
Scott Luton (04:41):
Great. Love it. Very good friend, who is a tequila connoisseur. If you can believe that he is
Sofia Rivas Herrera (04:47):
There’s water Connors, who are, is through, you know, they’re like water.
Scott Luton (04:52):
Brilliant. That is impressive.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (04:54):
Well, how water tastes then? Stuff like that.
Scott Luton (04:57):
Huh? I suppose you can refine your palette to about anything. Right. And that, that encouragement is, is all that a portion of our audience deeded to depart this podcast right away and go water. Yeah. Tequila.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (05:14):
Scott Luton (05:16):
So Sophia, let’s talk about, uh, your, your days growing up. So when you think about that component of your journey, give us, give us a story or two about your upbringing.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (05:27):
When I was eight, I will. Well, me and my friends and my sister, we used to make movies. So we have our own firm off movie production and I was the director and screen writer. My sister was part of the light and camera man and stuff like that. And then my other friends from then our, where like the actors or the makeup person or something like that. So we made movies, but we took it very, very seriously. Okay. So we would rehearse and then like record and rerecord and then use a movie maker on a big PC that just one of us had because no one had computers back then. Well, not as many. Well, yeah, it sounds like I’m very old. Right. But yeah, we only had one PC, so we shared it and we used to like edit the movie there and then publish it and then projected in like on the street and invited people to our premiere
Scott Luton (06:44):
Wow. Years old, you did this. So, you know, one of the things is this instantly takes my mind to, and we’re going to not for shatter too much is you clearly liked orchestration and marshaling of resources and, and management at an early age. And really what a perfect, uh, intro into the world supply chain, which we’ll talk about in a minute. So what, what was your, um, so in these big productions, what was the, the, the folks come out? What was your biggest gathering for one of your productions?
Sofia Rivas Herrera (07:17):
Well, I mean, all of our parents went to the premiere, so I’d be in at least like 15 people go watch it. And we will have like a red carpet that was just like a big, uh, no, it was not even red, but it was like a carpet that we had and we just put it there and went to it and our parents would take pictures of us and we would feel important. And, and then we will pretend like I’m having an Oscar or something. Ah, it was so funny. Yeah. But no, I watched them again and Oh my God, they’re not very good. But we had a lot of creative creativity yet. We may have one that talks about AI, that we do your name and understand what AI was, but,
Scott Luton (08:07):
But it sold tickets clearly. Yeah. I know that you have been thinking about content. My gosh, that would be awesome to see, put that on. Instagram are so fascinating. You don’t have to identify yourself. You could just say some local kids love it. That’s a great idea. You know, your, your kids are going to cherish that, uh, as you get older and, and keep that, uh, pass it down to the family and it’s neat what a production, you know, it makes me think of the Sandlot or, um, little Rascals or something. Those kids, a bunch of kids getting together to really make something cool happen. That is that’s fantastic. Did you submit anything to the Aspen film festival? And it sounds like you’ve got some things to,
Sofia Rivas Herrera (08:53):
Oh, we did it. We didn’t. We should have,
Scott Luton (08:56):
Yes, you should have. Well let’s um, all right, so we’re gonna put you through the lightning around Sophia, so stay tuned for that. But before we do, is there anything else that when you, when you think back on your time growing up as a kid, uh, that really, that is unique to who you are.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (09:16):
So at one time I was really passionate about trying to save the world, but I didn’t know how so I just like collected, it started like my recycling business or something like that. So I just collected trash from everyone and started making like jewelry, hats, glasses, stuff like that. So I was really creative and crafty about it. And then we try to sell them. Right. But because we’ll leave in a gated community, like there’s not a lot of houses, so no one ever came to buy just my parents, like, yeah, yeah. What a beautiful matte class. And it was all like recycle stuff, like cans and plastic bags and stuff like that. And I was very into it, but then I found out that they all their ways are perhaps more impactful, but in my mind it was like the way we could do it, like just start wearing crash as a fashion trend. Yeah.
Scott Luton (10:27):
I would, I would say that the reverse logistics and sustainability and industry didn’t learn so differently than that. Right. They tried what they thought was effective and they’ve built that knowledge over time. What a great gift, I mean, and maybe even a potential area of focus in supply chain, is that right? Yeah. That’s a good point. Uh, and, and early on, it seems like you were very mission oriented and purpose, purpose driven. So I love that story. Um, all right. So moving right along, we need that, you know, Greg, we’re gonna have to get a sound effect for the lightning round. We’ve broken this thing out every once in a while and it’s simple. Yes. Yeah. Is that a bar? Is that what a bumper is? Maybe who knows? Yeah, I don’t know. Um, but this is really meant to be quick questions with quick answers. So we’ve got four questions we’re going to pose to you Sophia before we dive more into your educational background and of course, supply chain. So, uh, uh, Greg was putting you on the timer. I got to stop. Okay. Alright. So first question is perfect. Given what you shared about your, your childhood. So favorite movie?
Sofia Rivas Herrera (11:40):
I love Milan woosh from bass Norman.
Scott Luton (11:44):
Okay. Good movie. Good stuff. Award winner. Secondly, favorite recent read, or where do you go to get your news? Either one,
Sofia Rivas Herrera (11:55):
Uh, the moment of lift by Melinda Gates.
Scott Luton (11:57):
Nice. Is that fiction or nonfiction?
Sofia Rivas Herrera (12:00):
It’s a nonfiction real story. Empowering woman.
Scott Luton (12:05):
Oh, love that. Love that. Um, all right. So speaking of empowerment or inspiration, who is your favorite inspirational leader or one of them Harry Jaime’s supply chain queen. Yes. Good stuff there. She’s one of our favorites too. What is one company that you admire for their give forward, especially during a challenging year, like 20, 20. And, um, is there one particular aspect of that that you really have appreciated?
Sofia Rivas Herrera (12:38):
So first of all, they’re really into sustainability and their C O Paula gone. It’s just amazing how he speaks about the company and how he tries to give back to society. So, for example, in COVID, they, they started rebranding in such a way that also nurses could wear makeup or feel pretty, even though they were 24 hours working and nonstop, right. Or what they’re doing right now with their packages and how they’re trying to recycle them and make them more, um, biodegradable materials. And, yeah. So I love that company.
Scott Luton (13:23):
Yeah. That’s a really interesting, uh, company on a variety of different levels. Greg is we’ve chatted about Gartner pointed out a year or so ago. I think it was last year of supply chain rankings, how they were really a great model for mass personalization, mass customization, right. And some of the things that they were doing to allow consumers to have a greater choice while containing price and delivery for that matter. So a lot of innovation coming out of L’Oreal. Um, Greg, were you going to add something else there? Oh yeah. I just think that, um, you know, they’ve, they particularly have a really good supply chain practice. So I had the opportunity to work with them through another company that was partner with mine and, uh, incredible then. And they’ve improved even since that in the last three, four years. So yeah. Very impressive organization. Agreed. Agreed. Okay. So Greg, at this point, I’m going to pass Baton cause we’re going to dive deeper into Sophia’s educational background. Yeah. So let’s, so let’s talk about, I mean, you’re not exactly fresh out of school, but less than a year, correct. Or just over a year, just over a year. So let’s talk about that. So, um, I’m curious, uh, why you, why you selected engineering and, and how, how how’d you come to that? I would’ve expected, frankly, maybe the arts or film from your childhood.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (14:53):
I, at some point I even high school, I wanted to go all the way into becoming a professional ballet dancer. Cause ever since I was like four years old, I’ve been going to classes and rehearsals and I was very into it. So before that, right now I speak up supply chain all the time. But back then I could only speak about Valley all the time. And I really liked it. I, I thought it was like my passion, like, Oh yes. But then when I started growing older, I went to a lot of competitions and realized the, it was one in a million, the people that could make it there. And I was like, I mean, I’m number 534. I don’t know if I’ll be like, yeah. So, cause there’s like very few companies in comparison with the amount of people that are into Bali. And then like, you also need to think that your body is just going to last up to certain points.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (16:12):
So you can just bend and break so many times. And I had been broken or injured before. So I was like, can I still do this? Like my whole life and perhaps not. And on the other side I’ve always been very good at math and studying. And I really like problem solving. Then my dad is an engineer. And for me as a key, I’ve always wonder the why of everything. And he has always had the greatest answers I would like, he knows. So perhaps if I become an engineer, I will know the why too. So I went into engineering at the end because I figured out what he was more lasting curator and it was going to be with my mind.
Greg White (17:09):
Right, right. Which is hard to break.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (17:12):
Yeah. And your mind can last forever, as long as you can keep feeding it and growing in him. Yeah. So that’s why
Greg White (17:23):
That’s brilliant. It’s funny how often, whatever diversionary path you might take your path in your career comes right back to what you saw. Right. What you were able to see day in and day out through your parents or family or other experiences like that. That’s really impressive. You must have an incredible grasp for math because I couldn’t help. But
Speaker 4 (17:50):
Noticing when I looked at your profile that you also have, I think it’s a certification from MIT for Python programming. Correct. Is that what it was?
Sofia Rivas Herrera (18:02):
I have that in my, I also have as certification in supply chain and logistics from MIT. So right after graduating, I got a scholarship to, to do that program. And so it went like half residential and half, um, online. So I got to go to MIT, which for me was something that was untouchable or unreachable before, because I thought it was yeah. On attainable. But then I, when I applied, I was like, I’m going to apply for, have some, get it. And I did. And I lived there and I took classes. There were some of the brightest minds then. So that was an incredible experience.
Speaker 4 (18:55):
So we, so we’ve noticed your passion around supply chain from, in the fairly recent past, from you, um, being engaged in some of our shows and reviewing and recapping them in brilliant fashion. So was your passion for supply chain ignited prior to go into MIT or from the MIT experience?
Sofia Rivas Herrera (19:20):
So it was prior, but we’ve in my tea. I think it was like the cherry on the cake for me who were like, yes, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. But, well, so we’d all started like halfway true in engineering. I beat industrial engineering. So at least here in Mexico, it is really focused on manufacturing and production lines and lean six Sigma and Kaizen and all those things that I do. Like, but I thought they were lacking something. We were just seeing that area and we were not, but it had to be part of something bigger or greater. So when I took a class on inventory management, that was the first time I heard the term supply chain and I was like, what is that? I want to know. And then I did all my exchange semester is like focusing on supply chain. Cause my school didn’t have have that classes. So I just like took all the extra classes from those universities in supply chain because I wanted to learn about it. And yes, that’s why I like you. I like it because it is a holistic view and we are all part it like, we, you can be a consumer Amy, but you can also be part of the decisions made to get a certain product or service to a customer. So that’s what I like about,
Speaker 4 (21:05):
I like that you acknowledged that consumers are part of the supply chain. There are people who have been in supply chain for 20 or 30 or 40 years who need to hear that. So
Sofia Rivas Herrera (21:16):
We are, we drive everything.
Speaker 4 (21:18):
Yes, absolutely. You’re dead on there. Well, that’s interesting at the many different schools, MIT or wherever that you went to school, any mentors or, I mean, did anyone take you under their wing and kind of nurture you and nurture this passion? Any professors maybe that helped you out or
Sofia Rivas Herrera (21:37):
My bachelor directors? Cause I had many, they all were very passionate about giving opportunities to the students that made them feel accomplished, I guess. So for example, [inaudible] or even Victor Rogers, they were all my directors and they all like hailed me fine. What I really like. So I would go to their office and just like, cry. I have this situation, I want to talk to you. And they would just talk to me like wide, openly and like, yeah, tell me about other opportunities or other countries or other books. And I was like, okay. Yes, thank you. But at the end, the, they also like show me this world of supply chain. And that was something that is something I’m very grateful for. And well recently I don’t know, like my mentor right now would be Martha she’s from Kenya, but we met online actually calling me clean, but she has been really giving and supportive and coaching. And uh, she has taken me under her wing ever since I met her. So we could, we have been having long conversations, offline and stuff like that. So yeah, I really, really appreciate all that she has been doing for me.
Speaker 4 (23:18):
That’s incredible. That’s great to have a practitioner to help guide you through this journey is going to be really, really helpful. Um, so it’s not always easy to get into this industry or to make your way through school or whatever. Tell us about any, any major obstacles or hurdles or anything like that that you’ve overcome and maybe share with, with the audience, how, how you feel
Greg White (23:46):
Like you got there.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (23:47):
Yeah. So ever since I have been growing up, I I’ve always struggled with the way that I approach people, I would say so, or before more, if I know it doesn’t seem like it, but before it was,
Greg White (24:04):
It’s hard to imagine that right now, but okay. Must have worked very hard on it.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (24:10):
Yeah. So I have, I still work on it because I like, I feel very strongly, so it’s either one end or the other, but never something in between. Right. So when I was in elementary school transitioning to junior high, which is a big change for everyone, I would say, because elementary school is like very cared for in a bow, you know, that you feel nurtured and you only have one teacher that teaches you all subjects and stuff like that. But now you’re going to junior high. And for me it was very hard to make friends because I, I took every comment, very personal these, a thing that I have of amplifying emotions, where it’s very well for empathy or for public speaking or, but he has to be paired with emotional intelligence because otherwise it’s a barrier builder, I would say, so you protect yourself from others, but you don’t let anyone eat.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (25:27):
So that happened to me. And then I discover that, yes, perhaps you can make it on your own, but if you get faster, if you have people with you, right. So I’ve been working on it in such a way that I showed the best version of myself to people as a open door to establish a relationship. I know that it’s impossible to be the everyone’s cup of tea, or, but if you have the best faith you can have other beginning, then you have that invitation for everyone. And that is like the start of a virtual cycle instead of a negative cycle, right. Because we all live in this ocean of people and although not all, all of them will be, um, your friends, at least they’re going to be part of your journey, right? Even, so everyone has something to give back or you, you can learn anything, someone, even though you perceive it as a me personal person or a bad person. So that’s the way I have like transition the way I see, uh, the importance of creating your network.
Scott Luton (26:59):
That is a really mature and well thought out and obviously studied and intentional approach to things that I think that’s valuable to anyone, whether they perceive that they do struggle with personal interaction or they don’t, you can always be better. And you can always learn from that, that intentional approach, creating a virtue cycle instead of a negative cycle. And, um, yeah. Wow. That’s impressive. Yes. Uh, very mature, lots of business maturity there. Um, you know, we had a recent guest come on the podcast and talk about the, the, uh, critical need to learn, how to learn, because you know, for many that doesn’t come naturally, especially all the different ways and shapes and forms that we all learn as, as adults or throughout our journey. And a lot of what I heard you just talk about is how you adapted your mindset so that you will be in best, in the best optimal position to learn and absorb knowledge and regardless of industry knowledge or, you know, we all figure out how the world works type of knowledge, right? So that’s a big part of the journey. And so a lot of, a lot of what you just shared there, I heard about how you prepared yourself to really optimize your path to learning
Sofia Rivas Herrera (28:18):
True. Yeah. It’s, it’s something that everyone should work on. Um, there’s you don’t stop learning never. And if you feel like it, then perhaps it’s your last day so honored because I, I don’t, I can’t figure you cannot have that type of mindset when approaching people.
Scott Luton (28:45):
Yep. Well put, all right. So, uh, to our listeners take that as a threat, you stop learning and your approach at the end of your day is I think that’s a very, there’s a lot of truth there cause we gotta, we gotta learn every day, every hour in this environment. Goodness gracious. Okay. So Sophia, we’re gonna change gears a bit here and we want to share, want to get you to share with our listeners what you do professionally now, and then we’re gonna pick your brain own some, uh, some of the opportunities that you see. So tell us what you do now.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (29:17):
So I work as a data analyst and the airport industry, and I’ve been here for almost a year. And what I basically do is I help create financial reports, help analyze data from our passenger traffic demand. And also I do a, of benchmarking and comparisons with other peers in the industry.
Scott Luton (29:49):
So you got a with what you just shared right there. And of course, Greg and I are kind of privy because we’ve seen you in action, a number of different ways, but man, analytical thinking right now is a skill set, hot in demand. And it’s not going anywhere, especially the ability to crunch data and, and benchmark, right. Compare and contrast, and then, uh, uh, output all of that after you crunch it into a powerful document that others can learn from that learning may be the theme of today’s episode. So is that, uh, going back to what you talked about, your reason for getting into engineering, which, you know, there’s a lot of that type of thinking in that discipline, how you really had an emphasis on wanting to know the, why is that part of the reason why you developed these natural skills there?
Sofia Rivas Herrera (30:38):
Yeah, it is because, I mean, right now data literacy is a must I would say. And I, I was not part of it, but then in my job I found like, okay, it’s not enough to just go around this spreadsheet or it’s not enough to try to take, make good looking graphs for me. But if you learn a coding for data analysis or database cleaning, that makes your life so much easier and much more effective because you take less time in the things that don’t add value in your work. And then for example, being able to know how to create these dashboards that are dynamic. That is something that is even better than just a spreadsheet or a PDF.
Scott Luton (31:45):
So, Greg, I don’t know if, if you’re gathering this, like I’m gathering it. But when I look at a big, massive spreadsheet, for me, I’m quickly overwhelmed by all the tough math, but we always have fun playing around with here. But when Sophia looks at it, I get the sense that she’s like, she sees the matrix of possibilities. Cause that’s kind of one of the ways she’s wired and is such a, a, an outstanding attribute. Um, especially in this day and age of, of, uh, data overload, right? You gotta, you gotta find the signals. I can’t help, but think it’s, it’s a great opportunity, a great position to be in, to be breaking into supply chain, to be able to analyze and deconstruct and, and develop data at the same time. I feel like it’s gross under utilization of, of your broad skills, Sophia so much more
Speaker 4 (32:40):
To you than that. Yep. But if this is what gets you into the industry, so someone can discover that you should be managing some aspect of supply chain down the road. It’s a great entree. Right. But I can see it’s so obvious just from the disco, the portion of the discussion we’ve had so far so far, that you can tackle that the very analytical parts of it. I imagine you being one of those kids who took apart, the camera that you used, or the toys that you played with while you were eight years old, um, hence the engineering bent, but also you understand the art and physics of things because of ballet and your own awareness of the frailty of the human body and things like that. And, and yet your intention, intentionality and recognition of using brain power and using that brain power for good.
Speaker 4 (33:34):
Um, it’s, it is the foundation of great leadership, frankly. So we got to get you into supply chain and then get you moving up the ladder. Let’s go. Okay. End of show. Aspiring man. Alright, so real quick, I forgot the name of the, the hero in the matrix. Uh, so y’all have to Neo Neo that’s right. That’s right. Oh gosh. Alright, so let’s keep driving here. I want to get your thoughts. Are you saying she’s the chosen one? And I kinda kinda sorta, you know, there’s all the traits are there. Supply chain is all about the matrix across the world, right. So who knows if the tunnel fits? All right. So Sophia, let’s get you to weigh in on a couple of observations in terms of the role that aviation plays in global supply chain.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (34:25):
Right now, I think it has gained a lot of spotlight as well as supply chain, right? But we have seen how fragile the industry is, especially travel industry, right? Because we see how dependent it is on passengers. So if you’re not flying, then there is no revenue for airlines nor for airports and so on, but there must be something else that we can do. And I think we’ve seen it with air fright. So there’s been the PP boom off flying in from different parts of the world, especially from China to the us. I think we can see opportunity there because we know tariffs are ridiculously high and it’s also because of the way aircraft’s are built, right? It’s a lot of, a lot of space. And if they are not very, or most of them are not costs fuel efficient, right? So if it’s expensive and it will continue to be expensive, if we don’t change the way in which we move things by air.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (35:58):
So that’s one point and another point is that we’ve seen how creative airlines have become in terms of offering flights to nowhere, uh, Singapore and lifespan, or, uh, delivering their catering food to your doorstep. So imagine people that are like nostalgic about eating on a plane, I mean, I’m not like that, but there is people that do that. So Thai airways is doing bad and there’s a lot of creativity here. And also like the fact that they took all the passengers seats and started loading in the opera deck. That’s also very interesting. And I would say that we need that creativity in airports, imagine all the on utilize pace of, uh, of on airport and all the yeah.
Speaker 4 (37:07):
Restaurants and all sorts of things. Right? Yeah.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (37:12):
And then like you see that perhaps you have a lot of spades that is not actually needed you just the way in which you, or they’re the processes of checking and security and, and getting into the plane. Right. So, I mean, we need to start being more resilient and looking for ways to keep gaining money, but that do not only depend on passengers. And there are things, I mean, they, some airports have leased their space for, um, uh, storage or also I’ve seen, uh, concerts being made on, on the, like on the platforms because they live stream them or, I mean, there’s a world of possibilities, but we cannot just be focused on yeah, I’m just gonna do commercial flights. And I’m just gonna sell a lot of things here because we’ve seen the retail just like travel retail, one be very resilient in the years to come,
Speaker 4 (38:31):
Right. That model is going to be disrupted is what I’m hearing you say. And it’s
Scott Luton (38:36):
Been the same way for far too long, perhaps. Um, but you know, when it comes to airport operations, we’re kind of spoiled here in the Atlanta area, given a heartfelt Jackson, um, international. But you know, if I could just find my car that I parked when I returned from my flight, I’ll be a very happy consumer. I can, I can’t park it until we had the van Greg, once we got in the van. Cause it’s taller. That’s right. But Sophia, um, a lot of good thoughts there. I, I think there’s a lot of, um, not necessarily parallels because there’s a strong retail component to our airports. Right. So it will be interesting to see, especially given the huge setback to 2020 is, or has been for the aviation industry on a variety of levels. Um, how airports will continue to try and try to find ways and bent, uh, reinvent themselves and, and for that matter, um, monetize and, and drive revenue.
Scott Luton (39:32):
So, um, Greg, before, before I move from that topic and, you know, kinda hear other, any other Sophia, uh, ideas that she might have for, for improvement, any thoughts based on what she’s shared on your end? Well, I think we know that the impact on the air line industry and likely the airport industry is going to be a number of years long. And in fact, the CEO of Southwest recently said a decade or more to get back to 2019 levels. So, wow. Um, this is going to be a long period of analysis and reinvention and more analysis and more reinvention, and then an evolutionary shift back to, um, more prominence of, of passenger airline traffic. But I think in the time that that occurs a lot of the, um, a lot of the investigation and re-engineering of the process will undoubtedly occur, right? So the airline industry, when it comes back in any measure is going to look different when it comes back in great measure to complete measure, it’s going to look dramatically different than we see today. It has 10 years, 10 years to get back 2019. That’s not amazing fingernails on chalkboard. Okay. Um, well just stuff there and Sophia, I appreciate your weighing in, you know, before we, we moved more into a global, uh, conversation, um, any other, when you think of opportunities to drive improvement, whether it’s related to aviation and the airline industry or that component of global supply chain, what else comes to mind?
Sofia Rivas Herrera (41:16):
Well, so I’ve been tracking the COVID-19 vaccine perhaps because I, I, I am excited that it’s coming and it’s like a silver, silver lining for all of us. And what I’ve seen is that there is a lot of airports, um, coming together in order to distribute it and it’s all going to happen. Or most of it is going to happen by ear, which excites me because how you have different airports across the world with different sizes of space and volume and capacity. And you have different airlines in the world that have that capacity. So there’s this morning, I just read the, uh, IATA. That is one of the organizations for, uh, airlines, aviation industry, um, is gonna make all those efforts, uh, seem a little bit more coordinated. They’re creating a platform called I think one, and what they’re doing is that they’re going to be matching the capacity needed on airports and the capacity needed on planes in order to make these distribution allocation better.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (42:50):
Love it. Yeah. It’s so I really like it because imagine how to coordinate all these people, without someone stepping in, um, how are we supposed to know who has this pace or not, or who’s willing to move it or not. Uh, if you don’t have like these common network or common platform to doing so, a lot of things have to happen in order to move them fast. And because I also, it’s also on the article, I would send it to you guys, but, uh, they call chain association that I know you’re very fond of Scott is if I actually coordinated part of it, because it all has to happen with a temperature regulated. Um, yeah. This
Scott Luton (43:44):
Cargo and freight. Yeah.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (43:46):
Yeah. So it’s gonna get really interesting. A lot of companies now, like ups, DHL, FedEx Lachsport is there, uh, everyone’s getting into it and a lot of airports are getting ready, like in their storage places, they’re adding temperature controls.
Scott Luton (44:10):
Yup. It is such a Herculean effort to bring the vaccine, not just to the, as we all know, not just a major markets. I mean, you know, accessibility is going to be a big, big part of the decision making matrix. And, and, you know, you were mentioned some of those companies, Sophia, um, and Greg, I think it was a few weeks back where we got a lot of truth and transparency and honesty from leaders from those companies that said, Hey, we’re not ready yet. You know, we’re not ready to serve the world a vaccine because, you know, think about this, think about how long it’s taking consumers, you know, just to connect in all of this important, my cell, I’m slowly her to take, to connect the dots and really understand what drives eCommerce. But man, getting a vaccine to the world’s population makes that to some degree look like maybe not quite child’s play, but you know, it’s not close, especially when, when it is close, because especially when you consider it to Sophia’s point it’s it’s it’s it’s, it must be temperature controlled, not just in transit, but in storage.
Scott Luton (45:13):
So the complexity and the sheer size of the challenge that we lay ahead. And then of course, you’ve got, we’ve got to live with, you know, it’s not going to be all of a sudden, you know, be that silver bullet, Greg, that, that makes all our problems go away. I know you’ve talked a lot about that. How a lot of elements of this current environment we’re going to live through and cause the first edition of the vaccine may not, it may not be the, um, the wonder drug that many folks are kind of expecting. So there’s so many different aspects of this challenge that we’ve got that, um, it’s really intriguing.
Speaker 4 (45:44):
Well, logistics aspects are, you know, the ones we’re all best qualified to speak to. But, um, I think our hope is greater than our knowledge at this point on both fronts. Our hope for a vaccine is much greater than our knowledge and our hope for how to construct, um, a fair and effective distribution methodology is greater than our ability to do so. I mean, there are so many things to consider. We’ve talked about it a little bit on a few shows. It’s not just whether the supply chain can handle it. It’s whether when the supply chain handles it, can, can we count on governments and healthcare entities to be able to deliver the final mile because ultimately that is the final millimeter really, right, because that is really where it counts. So it is a very, very complex problem in it. And it will get outside the purview that the control of supply chain before it gets to the, those in need. So we can only do what we can do. And then we have to trust healthcare agencies and governments. And you can’t imagine how hard it is for me to say, trust governments in a sentence.
Speaker 4 (47:05):
I know isn’t that. So I don’t mean to dash hoax by saying trust government. Um, but it’s possible. And I think some will be better than others. And I think that some of the more competent and equitable and fair governments will intervene to help assure that some of the less so still bring it to their people.
Scott Luton (47:28):
It’s it’s the noble. And as Cara Brown says a lead coverage, it is, it is supply chains time. And, um, you know, to Greg, we all echo that hope and we hope that we hope that some of the sheer challenges that we know as, as you know, being in the industry for quite some time, we’ve got easier answers for given the scope of the challenge. So we’ll see, uh, optimistic here. Alright, Sophia based on what Greg and I were just sharing. And as we start to wrap up the interview here, any final thoughts on your end? And then of course, we want to make sure that our listeners know how to connect with you. So any final thoughts related to the vaccine and, and or, or, uh, any other issues globally.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (48:10):
So I think in general, we, as a community or supply chain professionals need to position ourselves in such places where we are the ones making the call, that we are the ones that have a say on the final decision. Cause as, as Greg was saying, uh, you need to trust the governments for that final mile delivery. If there’s no one in supply chain in the government, how, how is the president or the governor going to know what that is important, right? Or to consider everything. So we need to move and take action there
Scott Luton (49:06):
And elevate expertise in global supply chain, into the high, all levels probably of government. You know, we need a, what, 20 years ago they were creating czars Greg here in the States for different things we need to supply chains are right here, at least here in the States or every country. Right. And we need, and we need for consumers for the inpatients to know how things work so that they have the appropriate expectations. Because I anticipate a day when somebody says there’s a vaccine and everyone goes, I want it now. Yeah. Same day delivery, Amazon or whomever. Right. Where where’s, where’s the buy now button. Well, Sophia really appreciate your mature. Doesn’t quite do it. I mean, Lyceum beyond that comes immediately to mind what’s that Greg enlightened is the word that comes immediately to mind. Agreed. Yes. Uh, really appreciate that perspective, uh, and, and kind of lens you see the world and the industry through. So really have enjoyed kind of learning more about, uh, the Sophia behind all of the live streams, the summaries and the, uh, analysis of a lot of discussions that we’re all part of. It’s really been fascinating. Uh, Sophia has been such a
Sofia Rivas Herrera (50:28):
Great talk and I’m really the first time I’ve done this in my life. And I think it went well, I will review it later, but
Scott Luton (50:39):
You will. Yes. So w we can’t wait to hear how you judge yourself. I’m sure that you will be, I’m sure that you’ll be pleased when you hear it. And as a, as a director and screenwriter, I think you’ll be very pleased with the outcome as well. Well, Sophia, you all do this a daily, weekly, monthly, I mean, more folks need to hear your perspective on things and, and, and your view and your point of view. I think a lot of folks can benefit here. So hopefully this will be the first of many, many, many, many, many to come. And of course, we, we look forward to, uh, not only sharing this with our audience and beyond, but having, you know, having you continue to engage and share in our community here at splotch in now. So thanks so much, but Sophia, how can folks connect with you after this interview to learn more
Sofia Rivas Herrera (51:29):
So you can contact me only intervene. So it has become like my social media, even though, like, if I had said that to me, like five years ago, I would say like, really why, but yeah. So I answered, I tried to reply very fast and just send me a message with your invitation, like, just to get to know you a little bit better and yeah, for sure. And also I have a new Instagram account that you can follow that I’ll be also sharing my post-truth there so that other audience looks at it because I think the way to make supply chain attractive and interesting, uh, it’s also being part of that type of social media and getting to the people that are deciding what to do with their lives, which is that young professionals,
Scott Luton (52:36):
Well put undoubtedly can’t stick to our old age old channels. We’ve got to really branch out and, and teach ourselves how to, you know, learn, learn new ways, learn new ways of outreach, whatever it takes to bridge that awareness gap that, that continues to persist. So, uh, and you know, to our audience, we’re going to make it easy. Uh, as we always try to do, we’re going to include, uh, Sophia’s social links in the show notes of today’s episode. And hopefully you’ve enjoyed this very Frank conversation as much as Greg and I have so big. Thanks. Sophia Reavis, Herrera, uh, very proud supply chain. Let me, let me back up very proud, highly informed and enlightened supply chain enthusiast. Thanks so much, Sophia. There you go.
Sofia Rivas Herrera (53:19):
Thank you so much guys, for having me.
Scott Luton (53:22):
You bet, you know, if I had Greg to follow me around all the time and it helped me with my vocabulary, I’d be, uh, several, several miles ahead of where I have here. Great. It’s funny. I, I can only think of those words cause I have the time, right. You do all the heavy lifting and I just sit here and think of really impressive words. Alright, well, uh, so Greg has a really big thing. So Greg, as we wrap up here for our sign off, um, what’s, what’s one of your favorite things that you heard here from Sophia viewpoint? I mean, I think that important thing we’ve, we’ve kind of come back around to this as we’ve talked to more young professionals getting into or hoping to get into supply chain, the value that we saw so long ago in Houston or Austin, sorry of God.
Scott Luton (54:07):
Did I say that, um, in Austin of people who are physicians enough physicians, physics majors, now I’ve completely lost it. See, we need really good professionals in this industry, but have come from other areas of expertise and have a viewpoint on the world of other than supply chain coming into supply chain and bringing those perspectives and that knowledge and that expertise into the industry. I think that’s so important and particularly the emotional maturity that Sophia has and, and considering the discussion we had just before this, which was a live stream, which they won’t line up at all with when they get released. So, uh, but the, the great need for emotional maturity in certain segments of the industry, certainly, but in the industry in general and in business in general. So I, I feel very good about the future of supply chain and business when there are more people like Sophia getting into it, absolutely echo all that you shared there.
Scott Luton (55:13):
And you know, my, one of my favorite, one of my favorite parts here was with, if, you know, if we have a team on our end and I think any organization that has folks as passionate about truly knowing the why and that relentless pursuit of knowing the why we’re all gonna be better off as I lose my, my headphones there, but Hey, with no further ado to our audience, hopefully you enjoyed this conversation as much as I have. And as much as Greg has, again, a big thanks to Sophia Reavis Herrera. Uh, and you know, if you enjoyed this episode, check us out at supply chain now, radio.com. Um, you know, on behalf of Greg white and our entire team here at supply chain now do good give forward and be the change that’s needed, just like Sophia is doing and all that. And we’ll see you next time here.
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey University, class 2019. Upon graduation she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (GCLOG) 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. Former Data Analyst within the airport industry in Latin America at Pacific Airport Group, performing benchmarking reports and predictive analysis of future market behavior.
Currently working as Sr. Staffing Analyst within the S&OP team in Mexico at the biggest ecommerce company in Latin America: Mercado Libre. Responsible for workforce forecasting and planning through the analysis of demand, productivity, capacity, cost & time constraints. Sofia self identifies as Supply Chain Ambassador, sharing her passion for the field in her daily life. She has been recognized as upcoming thought leader in the field and invited to participate in several podcasts (Freight Path Podcast, Supply Chain Revolution Podcast, Let’s Talk Supply Chain, Industrificados) to discuss topics such as digital transformation, automation and future skillsets for supply chain professionals.
She is a frequent featured guest at Supply Chain Now and appointed co-host for their new series Supply Chain Now en Español. Global Ambassador for ISCEAs Sustainable Supply Chain Professional Certification (CSSCP) and keynote speaker at World Supply Chain Forum 2021 by ISCEA Indonesia. Sofia will be giving a TEDx at Penn State University WilkesBarre’s event “The Young. The Undiscovered” this upcoming October, 2021. Connect with Sofia on LinkedIn.
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.