Supply Chain Now
Episode 465

Episode Summary

“To be able to get a data scientist who has an understanding of supply chain concepts or a supply chain professional, who has an understanding of data science, is magic that every recruiter’s looking for.”

-Ted Stank, Bruce Chair of Excellence in SCM & Faculty Director of the Global Supply Chain Institute, University of Tennessee


Today on this Supply Chain is Boring/Supply Chain Now cross-over, Chris Barnes spoke with Ted Stank, Faculty Director with the University of Tennessee Global Supply Chain Institute to discuss Tennessee / Alabama football and supply chains in the era of Covid-19 and beyond.

Episode Transcript

Chris Barnes (00:07):

Which the supply chain doctor and apex coach providing you insights and tools to better understand and apply the apex body of knowledge to everyday supply chains. In this interview, we spoke with Ted stank in faculty director with the university of Tennessee global supply chain Institute to discuss Tennessee, Alabama football and supply chains in the era of COVID-19 and beyond it all sounds pretty boring. So let’s see if Ted can prove me wrong, Ted. Thanks for speaking with us today. Hey Chris, thanks for having me here. Let’s talk about supply chain, disruption and the current COVID-19 pandemic, although it is a dramatic and sad event, you know, specifically for people who are suffering. But one thing that it has done is raised the level of awareness of supply chains in the everyday discussions. For example, pre pandemic, I would listen to the news and make a social comment. When someone mentioned the term supply chain back then I was maybe posting once every other week, but now I can hear supply chain mentioned everyday in the news, whether it’s company talking about strategy or government discussing protective plans. So from your observations, what are some of the changes our supply chains will face as a result of this experience?

Ted Stank (01:18):

Well, one of the themes I’m going to talk about Chris, as we go through today’s questions, is that a lot of trends that are already there are going to be accelerated by what we’re seeing with this crisis. And I think this is one of them is that companies have been recognizing increasingly that supply chain management is really their key to, to competitiveness. We, we can be geniuses in how we structure our financial markets. We can be geniuses and in our marketing, et cetera. But if you include particularly product design that end to end supply chain perspective, uh, has been targeted as impacting 70% of the people who work for organizations and credited with 70% of the economic value add. And I think that’s increasingly being realized and sad that it takes time a crisis for organizations to realize how important we are to value creation, but there you have it. And it, and it’s not a surprise. I think I’m former military, not a surprise that supply chain ideas and end to end integration were born in the military because I think they thrive. Those ideas thrive in crisis.

Chris Barnes (02:26):

Yeah. It’s interesting. Over the, you might be the past 10 years, I’ve seen executive level positions. I mean, I even see some organizations have chief supply chain officers too, which really raises the level of supply chain in companies. You’ve seen that.

Ted Stank (02:38):

Yeah, absolutely. And that is, that actually is another one of those trends that’s increasing. We’re seeing far more fortune five hundreds instituting that chief supply chain officer and making it a true integrated end to end. So areas of the organization that would never have been under an integrative control position are now they’re like manufacturing, chief procurement officers, et cetera, are all in this end to end integrated organization

Chris Barnes (03:04):

Structure. When this pandemic, uh, started, you know, it was probably a month ago. Now you saw a lot of consumers panicking, you know, through the, whether it was toilet paper and sanitizers, those supply chains were pretty much impacted do supply chains in general, in all the industries face some type of disruption.

Ted Stank (03:21):

What I’ve seen is, is one of two categories for companies. One is for central products there. This is, this is a case study of the bullwhip effect in practice in a way that we’ll probably not see in our lifetimes. Um, in some cases, companies are seeing 50, 60% demand increases for essential products, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, um, foodstuffs, paper products, et cetera. And then in the other category, firms are seeing demand just drop off the cliff, um, from non-essentials. And we’ve seen that happen in automotive, uh, furniture industries, such as that, that just aren’t critical right now as we face and confront this crisis. And so it’s really challenging our entire supply chain planning process and execution, the companies that are seeing this huge spike in demand. I mean, face it, these tend to be for products that are generally considered a, you know, in an apex segmentation, um, framework, kind of a products they’re ones that have pretty, um, stable demand, high volume, quick turn products.

Ted Stank (04:28):

And so we just kind of chugged them through in high volume. And there’s not a lot of excess capacity to devote to them when they spike 50%, because we’re not expecting 50% spikes in typical toilet paper products and things like that. So that’s been a big challenge again for the companies that don’t have essential products or for companies that are selling essential products, but maybe not seeing demand for non-essentials. We’re seeing a lot of, um, reduction in SKU. So companies can focus their capacity on the ones that are moving. I mean, frankly, at this point, consumers don’t care. What kind of packaging are around hand sanitizer, for example, they just want the product. So we’re seeing a lot of, a lot of reactions in that

Chris Barnes (05:11):

About respect. Yeah. You mentioned the term bullwhip that that is a big apex term. And I, I mentioned to you earlier in Brea called, um, I teach the ethics classes and I was teaching, uh, to a company, you know, in your neck of the woods, uh, Chattanooga bakery, they make the moon pie. I was explaining bullwhip for them and the person in the class, you could see the light bulb went off and he said, you know, we had that, we had something like that happen to us, a pretty constant product, but one, one season they had a significant spike. And it was during the eclipse. You remember a few years ago, the eclipse came right across North America. Right? Exactly. Yeah. And they realized they were there, they saw maybe 30, 40% increase in demand. And it was because anybody that was having a eclipse party was buying anything that to do with solar, whether it was moon pies or sunshine drinks or whatever it was, it was an interesting story.

Ted Stank (06:02):

Right. Very interesting. Yeah. And I mean, typically the way companies plan, um, for, for providing product to the market of those kinds of products is, I mean, they either have a plant dedicated to it or a couple of lines in a plant and they run them constantly because there’s not much changeover, et cetera. So when they have to really flex, um, to, to tremendous scale, uh, that’s, that’s a challenge if you don’t have additional capacity to run it.

Chris Barnes (06:28):

Sure. And that, that leads into my next topic. I read an interesting article recently on the shortage of toilet paper from a perspective more of supply chain. So when I, as I read the article, in my opinion, they correctly summarize that, that there wasn’t really a hoarding issue as much as it was a supply chain issue. And specifically you had mentioned it’s segmented segmented supply chains, and there were two primary drivers. One was given the product is mature. You know, toilet paper has been around forever. It doesn’t change much. And typically stable. The supply chains were designed to be lean efficient and difficult to change. That’s typically what that means. And number two, the overall the aggregate demand for toilet paper remained the same relatively constant. It’s just people were buying more at home at home as opposed to the commercial side of using it in the offices. And that just created challenges from an apex angle because we talk about Zuora, for example, having two different supply chains, one for fast fashion type of, you know, flexibility, short, smaller lots, and then others, another supply chain for khakis and kind of basic white shirts that are pretty predictable, you know, from your perspective on this concept or, or shortages in general. Um, anything there you can add. Yeah.

Ted Stank (07:40):

You know, that, that is a really interesting scenario that we’re seeing with, uh, with the toilet paper and that whole calmer conversation about whether it is hoarding clearly early on, we did see some consumer hoarding, but, but you’re right. There are two distinct supply chains. The institutional one that goes typically through large distributors, um, that don’t have the relationships, the channels, maybe even the, the equipment to service, um, say a consumer channel. And, and that is exactly what we’re seeing is that that re that institutional channel still has significant product because sales in that channel completely dropped off. And yet we’re struggling to, to provide the retail channel. I’ve also heard conversations from some of the manufacturers of these kind of CPG products, that it was also a capacity issue at the retailers themselves, not having enough people and handling equipment, et cetera, to be able to get products off the manufacturers trucks and into their DCS and then out to their stores. So it just stressed the supply chain all along the channel. I think that as we talk about resilience moving forward, probably one of the areas we’ll have to address is having ability to adapt different segments. I mean, why can’t a Cisco or some other kind of food supplier deliver truckloads of toilet paper to a Kroger’s distribution center or Republic. So I’m not sure why, but we’re struggling with,

Chris Barnes (09:11):

Well, you mentioned a good word supply chain resilience is a, that’s a key apex term. And we also talk about adaptability kind of two related terms. So Ted Mo, much of what we’ve been discussing revolves around effective inventory planning and even demand forecasting to two key picks terms. But I recall hearing an interview, you did a while back on inventory planning at a football game. That discussion really resonated with me specifically as a, as a fan of the apex body of knowledge. And I think you talked about things like postponement and anticipatory inventory. Could you mind taking a few minutes to retell that story?

Ted Stank (09:44):

Yeah. I mean, that’s a, it is a really entertaining story and I share it with a lot of the different classes that I, that I teach from undergraduates all the way to executives. And I happen to be a huge proponent of the, of the notion of segmentation. You mentioned Zara earlier with their fast fashion and then their basics. Um, what, why, why try to use advanced analytics and advanced demand forecasting for things that aren’t going to change are relatively easy to make. We can move them out in volume and if they don’t sell today, they’re still going to be in style tomorrow. So we’ll sell them tomorrow, no big deal. And you know, so you mentioned khakis and basic white shirts. And I use that example quite a bit in my travels around, but then with fast fashion, it’s really difficult to plan. We can’t forecast it.

Ted Stank (10:31):

There’s lots of areas of customization. The uncertainty levels are just so high. And if we tried to activate our typical long lead time supply chains and be able to have months of product in the pipeline to provide it, we would fail because we just can’t guess what’s going to move and what’s not going to move. And Zara really, wasn’t an innovator in saying we’re going to really shorten our, our cycle times so that we can respond quickly, move what’s out there when it’s hot and then move on to the next thing. So I’ve been talking about this for a long time, and it’s something that I have a lot of passion about. You’re right though, questionable about times like this, whether there’s some real downsides to it. But anyway, back in 2009, I’ve been at university of Tennessee since 2003. Um, you might recall when university of Tennessee had pretty good football program, that that’s seems like ancient history we’re coming back.

Ted Stank (11:21):

But probably one of the last times until maybe this past season that we really had a team that I would say overachieved, um, was 2009. A guy named lane Kiffin was coach in Tennessee, causes a lot of passionate reaction in Tennessee fans. But that year, that team didn’t have a whole lot in the cupboard. And I think he did a great job coaching and the team was very competitive. And in the third Saturday in October, it’s a very traditional Saturday it’s cause when, um, university of Alabama and university Tennessee play football and Alabama in Oh nine was just coming back. Uh, Nick Saban had been their coach. I think it was his second year. And Alabama was undefeated. Tennessee had maybe just a bit better than a, than a 500 record. And I have a friend who’s a professor at Alabama. And so my wife and I got tickets through him and we went down to visit them.

Ted Stank (12:14):

And we went to the Tennessee Alabama game the night before we were in a local nightspot in Tuscaloosa and the one, many people in the bar. And I ended up talking to this guy next to me and asked him what he did. And he told me that he was a t-shirt vendor. I said, Oh yeah, that’s interesting. Tell me about that. And he goes, well, I go to, um, some of the biggest sporting events in the sec and football season and basketball season, I can look at the schedule and I can predict what are going to be the big games pretty well. And I go there with t-shirts and I sell t-shirts to the crowd. So, wow. That’s really interesting. So tell me more about it. So he started telling me that there are really two kinds of products that he sells. The first one is university of Tennessee versus university of Alabama, October.

Ted Stank (13:00):

I’m making this data up. I don’t know the exact date, October 23rd, 2009. You can predict that in advance. He knows, well in advance it’s at university of Alabama. So he knows what the stadium holds. It’s probably going to be a sold out game. What percentage of the fans are going to be Alabama fans? What percentage are going to be Tennessee fans of those? He has historical data of how many people buy t-shirts. So he can, pre-print a bunch of Crimson and white ones that say Tennessee versus Alabama, that date, and a bunch of orange and white ones in appropriate volumes based on the crowd and where it is, et cetera. And they go around, that’s going to be a generally speaking, that will be a late afternoon game on one of the networks. So people will be tailgating a lot. And he’s got a crew of people that come in and go around to tailgates and sell those tee shirts that say 15 to $20 a piece.

Ted Stank (13:54):

And then I said, well, you know, what’s always interested me was coming out of a big game and having a tee shirt vendor at the exit to the stadium immediately after the game, selling a tee shirt that says university of Tennessee X and university of Alabama, why with a score on it immediately. And he said, yes, that’s my other line of product. Obviously you can’t predict the score. There are an infinite number of scores. And if you tried to do that, you’d have a lot of wasted product and probably not enough of the right product. So he uses some form of postponement. Again, he knows the relative numbers of Crimson colors versus orange colors. And so he can plan appropriately. And then he has very trusted employees. Oftentimes family members located in vans, strategically situated near big exits to the stadium with printing presses inside, just being able to print the numbers.

Ted Stank (14:48):

The rest of the stuff has been speculated cause we know it’s Tennessee versus Alabama and the date. And then they’re just going to postpone the numbers and he has himself and several other people in the stadium with cell phones, calling them so that as we get close to the end of the game, they’re saying, Hey, start printing. And this is a real example. Start printing Alabama nine, Tennessee seven, and they start printing it. And what actually happened in the game was with about a minute left in the game. Alabama had the ball fumbled on Tennessee’s 45 yard line, Tennessee got the ball. And over the course of the next minute, drove down to close to Alabama’s goal line and was getting ready to kick the field goal that would put Tennessee up 10, seven, and really are 10, nine. And then the game and give Saban’s team its first defeat. So of course he called his people and told them to hold the presses, Alabama, unfortunately blocked that kick and Tennessee lost. And then they started reprinting the nine to seven ones. And as very happy Alabama fans left the stadium, they could see Alabama nine Tennessee, seven T shirts and be charged $40. But they were happy to buy them because Alabama remained undefeated and it went on to be actually savings first championship.

Chris Barnes (16:05):

Yeah. That’s a great story. I think every, every apex person should hear that. So it even impacts, you know what you said right at the end margins. Right. So they were able to sell the shirt

Ted Stank (16:15):

And that’s it, that’s the key, right? Is, um, it’s a trade off of inventory versus operating costs. I’m sure he paid those folks in the van. More, his operating expenses were higher, but the trade off with a not having all that bad inventory and B being able to charge the greater margin.

Chris Barnes (16:32):

As I said, I think I’m going to, I’m going to try to get this in front of every apex person that I know, but then that’s obviously a very compressed, uh, supply chain there, but that’s a great example. You mentioned postponement and all those other things. So, you know, so far we’ve, we’ve talked to Ted about, mainly about exceptional events. I mean, you know, causing supply chain disruption, where are the biggest disconnects you see today in traditional supply chains that that may cause everyday disruptions?

Ted Stank (16:55):

You know, we continue to struggle with planning, uh, as much as we, um, we throw a lot of resources, a lot of talent at forecasting, it’s still a major challenge. I think that that remains a lot of times, it’s what we do to ourselves that we have data, but companies really struggle with data management and getting the right data to the right places so that we can use our advanced analytics to look at it. I think that kind of breakdowns and visibility on both internally and externally, from what I’ve seen are one of the biggest challenges we have in standard day to day operations. I think, uh, we continue to, uh, to cycle in the way we deal with really key relationships in good times, we tend to, to try to, to, to pinch pennies on our negotiating relationships with our supply base. And then when times tough and there’s capacity shortages, uh, we go to those same suppliers and say, Hey, can you help us? And they tend to help the companies that have worked with them collaboratively and not provide to those who need it. And one of the things I’m seeing in these war room calls with a lot of companies today, again, this is coming back to disruption, but one of the real benefits is when companies have great relationships with their both goods and service providers, because those companies will step up and, and really go the extra mile for the ones they have good relationships with.

Chris Barnes (18:21):

Yeah. That’s interesting. I was thinking, as you said, that we talk a little bit about relationships in our apex classes, but you know, maybe we can invest more time in that and less time on, you know, planning, ABCs and everything else, but

Ted Stank (18:32):

No it’s important, but boy, we just haven’t gotten the improvements in forecast accuracy that we would have hoped over the years.

Chris Barnes (18:40):

Yeah. So, so point of, well, you know, this point of sale and I think what you’re referring to a CPFR, they’ve been around for a while now, and it is visibility and sharing still a challenge.

Ted Stank (18:50):

It’s still a challenge. I I’m working. Uh, I’m working some major, uh, research projects with a couple of our big partners now, and it’s all, it’s really addressing a lot of the things that we’re talking about, how can they increase their, um, their flexibility, their speed of response, um, both upstream with their vendors, as well as in their manufacturing and distribution processes. And you can look at a lot of things in the facility itself about, you know, speeding, um, change over times and, uh, labor that has multi capabilities to move from one line to another, et cetera. And those are all important. But at the end of the day, what we see are the biggest bottlenecks are this lack of visibility and lack of being able to get the data to the right place at the right time. You know, I I’ve been doing this 30 years and you’re right.

Ted Stank (19:40):

We’ve been talking about a lot of these collaborative planning, um, techniques for a long time. I think the difference from when I first started to now is when I first started, we didn’t have the tools to capture the data and get it to the right place today. We have those tools and a either because we have broken processes or B, because increasingly today we find ourselves drowning in data and we can’t find the right information in all that data. We’re at the other end of that spectrum where we still can’t get the right information because we just don’t have the right processes. Or we don’t know where to go to be able to pull that data out and turn it into good info.

Chris Barnes (20:21):

So as you said, you mentioned data versus information, I guess there’s a big, big discrepancy.

Ted Stank (20:25):

Yeah. I mean, I, I think it’s something that firms still struggle with and not coincidentally, one of the biggest growing majors at university of Tennessee is business analytics and statistics. And again, you’re down in the Atlanta area, Georgia tech obviously is one of the pioneers in that area, but, um, it’s, it’s one of the biggest growing majors and biggest growing minor for supply chain majors at Tennessee is business analytics and

Chris Barnes (20:53):

Yeah, data. What was the one data scientist that seems to be a new field of study,

Ted Stank (20:57):

Right? And to be able to get a data scientist who has an understanding of supply chain concepts or a supply chain professional, who has an understanding of data science is, is magic that every recruiter’s looking for.

Chris Barnes (21:11):

So along those lines, um, you know, I hear predictive analytics and things like artificial intelligence discussed all the time. Do you expect these will, will have an impact on supply chains maybe in terms of demand forecasting or

Ted Stank (21:23):

I do. I really do. I think, um, I think that we are in relatively early stages of what is going to be a revolution. And I think, again, this COVID-19 crisis is going to accelerate a lot of those trends, but I think that demand planning, risk planning, risk management, and planning, manufacturing, scheduling, all those kinds of, of planning and resource allocation processes are going through a, a major revolution as we bring online more, uh, more digital technologies thinking technologies like AI administrative processes, like robotic process automation, RPA, things like that. You know, we’ve got some folks who are working on the ability to capture, um, natural language to be able to use that almost real time to predict changes in demand because people increasingly are tweeting their thoughts or putting it on Facebook, et cetera. I just read about a kid who literally just before our call, Chris, I read about a kid who’s a senior at Cornell who has put together an analytics tool that will scrape posts on Reddit in real time and be able to assess the success or failure. As far as fans are concerned of NFL drafts of the NFL drafts that are going to go live tonight or tomorrow night, you know, usually you can tell, cause it’s live and people will boo or cheer. So he came up with an analytical tool. That’s going to scrape real time, natural language data, and convert that into a negative one to one scale of applause or booing. So that in real time, we’ll be able to see how fans react to draft

Chris Barnes (23:03):

In your discussion. You mentioned a term that got me thinking about another interview. I did. You said asset management. I interviewed Ben consensually. I don’t know if you know him. He’s a professor at Emory more on the computer science side. I’ve heard the name. I believe he mentioned that supply chain management was really about two things, asset management and moving inventory. So keep, so he said, one thing is keeping things still and then keeping things moving. That was an interesting perspective. I’ll have to refresh myself on that one.

Ted Stank (23:28):

Yeah. And I agree with them. We, I mean, we call it movement and storage, but same thing.

Chris Barnes (23:32):

So I also just to switch gears a little bit on you, I, as part of an interview with, I think your colleague Alan, uh, online, uh, when he was with ups and he was doing work for three D printing, do you have an opinion on three D printing and how it might impact the supply chain? Yeah, I, um, we’re

Ted Stank (23:46):

Actually seeing some of our partners use it increasingly. It started with prototyping and it really sped the ability to, to look at different prototypes for products in product development and design. But, um, we’re seeing it increasingly used now in service parts management. I think that’s going to be an industry that gets literally revolutionized if you’ve ever, if you’ve ever been on a flight back when we used to fly on aircraft, if you’ve ever been at an airport like Knoxville, Tennessee, which is a, you know, kind of a very small spoke airport, waiting on a flight to Atlanta, for example, on Delta. And you’ve been delayed for a couple of hours because a latch on the coffee maker in the galley broke and we can’t take off because we don’t have a latch and it has to be flown in from Atlanta. Think about if the operating center in Knoxville had a three D printer that could make the latch for that coffee maker and in 10 minutes and we’d be off.

Ted Stank (24:41):

And on our way, a lot of aircraft manufacturing firms are using it in noncritical structures because you can make structural elements that are super strong, but also super light like, um, the internal cockpit or the internal, uh, cockpit structures and walls and things like that. I’ve actually seen it passed around a conference room and it looks like it would be really heavy and you pick it up very easily with one hand. So I think in, in those kinds of manufacturing environments, we’re going to see a lot of application. I’ve heard of automotive companies that are actually using it for some engine componentry. And again, that has tremendous implications for downstream, um, repair and replace. I think in some consumer settings, we’re going to see it increasingly going back to that whole t-shirt thing. I’ve, I’ve seen it in, uh, some clothing stores with the ability to make little consumer items with a, with three D printers. So it’s happening now in the COVID-19 every day you read about these high school kids that have a three D printer and they’re using them to make face cards for, for healthcare work. I think it’s going to turn a lot of what we know about inventory planning and targeting on its head in certain instances, not every,

Chris Barnes (25:52):

I think that’s a great example, especially service parts management, because, you know, from a, again, from an apex perspective, that’s very difficult to plan and manage. You have to store it. You don’t know if you’re storing it for one day or 10 years, you know, so,

Ted Stank (26:03):

And you have to store parts like in automotive for a, you know, a 1952 Ford, uh, you know, that may be terms as you said once every 10 years, but you still have to keep that part. So if you could shed a lot of that long tail of our inventory segmentation and just make it on demand now, how critical that was,

Chris Barnes (26:23):

It would be a good perspective so far. So as we kind of ramped down, you mentioned earlier a little bit of a supply chain risk. Are you doing any research or work in that space?

Ted Stank (26:32):

I’m not per se. Although we have folks on our faculty are working, uh, specifically in risk. One of the things that I’ve been working on over the last several years really is related to a global supply chain, supply chain, location decisions, and clearly risk is a, is a really big part of that. We’ve created a framework that we call Epic and Epic stands for economic characteristics P stands for political characteristics. So the nature of a country’s political structure, I is there a physical infrastructure, ports, railways highways, communications technology, and see his business competencies. What’s the nature of support industries like three PLS, um, managerial capabilities and talent, skilled labor, that kind of thing. And we’ve used it at to assess 60, I think, 64 companies or countries around the world and given them index scores on each of these categories. So that companies can pretty quickly, if they’re looking for opportunities for either vendors or manufacturing locations or distribution locations in a region, identify which countries in that region might be the ones to now start sharpening our pencils and look more closely at. So it’s pretty closely related to, to global rate,

Chris Barnes (27:46):

Is that something companies can volunteer to participate in, or is it an initiative where they have to partner with

Ted Stank (27:52):

The framework is available to the public. We’re actually going to launch our newest version of it. Um, and in a couple of days, people can find it on our And then there’s a pull down menu of research and it’s under white papers and we’re gonna, we’re gonna update that every year. So it’s publicly available and we’ve got a number of companies that are using it with their global supply management teams to try to understand where they can start diversifying some of their stuff.

Chris Barnes (28:26):

Okay. And as a, just an apex question is that, how does that tie in to score,

Ted Stank (28:30):

You know, what we’ve tried to do? We, it doesn’t link this doesn’t link directly into score, but what we’ve tried to do is look at characteristics of Epic, that impact, um, sourcing and the capabilities of vendors in a particular area. If a company wanted to set up its own manufacturing or joint venture manufacturing and distribution. So clearly it links to plant source make deliver as, as the score model would, uh, w

Chris Barnes (28:58):

So Ted appreciate your comments so far. Something I always like to conclude on is, is getting our guests perspective on the future of careers in supply chain management. And you’re probably in a good spot to offer any suggestions or guidance that you might have for two audiences, a student considering a degree in supply chain management, or an experienced professional, maybe considering a career change into supply chain management, any perspective there.

Ted Stank (29:23):

Absolutely. In fact, I just hosted a, uh, an online Q and a with about 200 of our graduating seniors this morning. And of course, they’re, they’re concerned with what the job market’s going to look like growing forward. Given given this disruption, I happen to feel that we are in the era of supply chain management in organizations, you could say that, you know, the 50, 60 seventies was an era of really recognizing the importance of understanding finance and, and, and how finance drives an organization. Success in the eighties and nineties were kind of a marketing era. I think that we are now in the era of supply chain and organizations recognizing how the key to competitiveness, the key to financial success lies in best class management of supply chains. And my feeling over 30 years, again, of being in this business is that companies right now can not find enough talented supply chain professionals to meet their needs.

Ted Stank (30:20):

And that’s increasingly true, crazy statistic, large complex state university, like university of Tennessee, 30,000 students, the largest graduating major at the university of Tennessee undergrads is supply chain management majors. We graduate over 400 a year. Psychology, you would think would be the largest, their second at like 280 graduates a year. And it’s because of this revolution of companies recognizing the need to get supply chain talent into their pipelines. So I think that, I think that this is going to continue for a long time. I think that really tragic events like what we’re going through today only heightens that recognition by organizations that they need more talented supply chain professionals. So whether you’re entry level or whether you’re somebody that brings a work experience and a skill set into it. I think that, um, the, the opportunities are, are really bright. I mentioned earlier that combination of analytics and data science with supply chain, and I think that’s a real area, particularly for somebody with some experience.

Chris Barnes (31:27):

Well, one thing’s for sure, from my experience in my networking, you know, being relatively close to the, to the, to your market is a supply chain management degree from university of Tennessee is pretty much a golden ticket.

Ted Stank (31:37):

Tell me one of the things we do is keep really close to folks like you and our industry partners, to make sure that we’re, we’re, we’re learning what they’re doing, and then teaching our students that too.

Chris Barnes (31:47):

And even on the, from the student perspective, I’m I manage the APA chapter in Atlanta, one of the biggest in the country. And I would say at least once a month, I’m getting a call from a professor from a new school, new university that wants to set up an apex chapter for their students. So, and we’re we’re right now about 30% of our members are our state.

Ted Stank (32:06):

Is that right? Yeah, that’s good to hear. Good to hear.

Chris Barnes (32:09):

And another thing for students is apex membership is free for students, as long as you can validate that you’re a full time suit. So that’s good to know

Ted Stank (32:17):

A great way for a student to launch their careers, to be able to have that kind of professional.

Chris Barnes (32:21):

How about experienced professionals, maybe people that have been out of school for a bit, you think it’s wise for them to try to make that change in the supply chain management?

Ted Stank (32:27):

I think so, you know, and I have direct experience with that. I have a son who is a computer and electrical engineer and worked in that field for a long time. I ended up going to work for a, a, a medium sized company in Nashville and is leading their supply chain analytics group, uh, really kind of standing up a lot of their analytics processes around planning and manufacturing, scheduling, et cetera. And eventually once we get past what we’re in right now, um, we’ll stand up that group with, uh, with more head count support. So, uh, so that’s a direct experience. Um, and I think that that applies for folks from a lot of different background areas in business that all contribute to supply chain. We’ve got accountants, finance, people, marketing people, all of whom have an interesting perspective that relates to supply chain management.

Chris Barnes (33:16):

You spoke about Epic, Epic already. So are there, is there anything else that you’re currently working on or anything maybe the audience could learn from?

Ted Stank (33:22):

Yeah, we, um, we stood up a group last year called the advanced supply chain collaborative. It contains, uh, right now, um, 11 of our partner companies, and they’re working with us really closely on five different research initiatives that our faculty are, are working with their folks to, to really explore issues that, that impact all of us. And we’re going to try to find some, some answers and understanding across these different areas. We’re looking at things like I’m using advanced digitalization for inventory targeting. I kind kinda mentioned that earlier. We’re looking at how we can improve both information visibility, as well as cycle times to enhance supply chain agility. We’ve got a couple of our management folks, uh, looking at how we can transform our workforce into being more familiar and able to use digital tools as we go into this kind of brave new world of digitalization, Alan Amling you rent mentioned Alan Amling, he’s leading one. I’m looking at the, uh, the true ROI of blockchain. We hear so much about blockchain. Where is it applicable? Where is the, the ROI? And then our last project this year is, uh, is really looking at that data strategies. How can we make sure data’s available in the right place at the right time, so that we can access it and turn it into usable information,

Chris Barnes (34:41):

Ted stank, thank you again for investing time with me and sharing your perspective. How can people get in touch with you if they’re interested?

Ted Stank (34:48):

I’m pretty simple, Chris. My last name is stank. There’s not a lot of those folks out there. So my email address is T stank T S T a N Thank you. Thanks Chris. This was fun.

Chris Barnes (35:02):

Thanks for listening to learn more about these and many other supply chain topics. Consider getting an apex certification. There’s a YouTube video where you can learn more about bootcamp style workshops at Georgia tech search on apex bootcamp courses, informational webinar. If you’re in the North Georgia, North Alabama Chattanooga area, check out the traditional class formats offered by the university of Tennessee Chattanooga center for professional education supply chain Academy. To learn more about general apex and supply chain happenings around the Southeast. Check out apex, Atlanta dot O R G optionally.

Speaker 3 (35:38):

The supply chain doctor and apex coach can bring supply chain certification workshops to your company. Just send a note to and remember supply chain is boring.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Watch as Chris introduces you to Supply Chain is Boring through our YouTube channel.

Featured Guests

Ted Stank is the Bruce Chair of Excellence in SCM and Faculty Director of the Global Supply Chain Institute at the University of Tennessee (Ph.D., University of Georgia, 1994). He has authored over 100 articles and five books on various aspects of Supply Chain Management. He previously worked for Abbott Laboratories and in the US Navy, and has consulted with dozens of organizations including ABI, Dell, IBM, Mondelez, Walgreens, and Walmart. He is a Past Chair of the Board of Directors of the CSCMP.

Chris Barnes is a supply chain guru, the APICS Coach, and the host of Supply Chain is Boring on Supply Chain Now.  He holds a B.S., Industrial Engineering and Economics Minor, from Bradley University, an MBA in Industrial Psychology with Honors from the University of West Florida.  He holds CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS, one of the few in the world. Barnes is a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education certificate courses. Barnes is a supply chain advocate, visionary, and frequent podcaster and blogger at Barnes has over 27 years of experience developing and managing multiple client, engineering consulting, strategic planning and operational improvement projects in supply chain management. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn and reach out to him via email at:

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Nick Roemer

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.

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

Katherine Hintz, MBA is a marketing professional 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.

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Kim Reuter


From humble beginnings working the import docks, representing Fortune 500 giants, Ford, Michelin Tire, and Black & Decker; to Amazon technology patent holder and Nordstrom Change Leader, Kimberly Reuter has designed, implemented, and optimized best-in-class, highly scalable global logistics and retail operations all over the world. Kimberly’s ability to set strategic vision supported by bomb-proof processes, built on decades of hands-on experience, has elevated her to legendary status. Sought after by her peers and executives for her intellectual capital and keen insights, Kimberly is a thought leader in the retail logistics industry.

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Kristi Porter

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.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

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.

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Demo Perez

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.

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Kim Winter

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., 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).

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Adrian Purtill

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.

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Kevin Brown

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.

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

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.

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Vicki White


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.

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Allison Giddens


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.

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Billy Taylor


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.

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Tandreia Bellamy


Tandreia Bellamy retired as the Vice President of Industrial Engineering for UPS Supply Chain Solutions which included the Global Logistics, Global Freight Forwarding and UPS Freight business units. She was responsible for operations strategy and planning, asset management, forecasting, and technology tool development to optimize sustainable efficiency while driving world class service.

Tandreia held similar positions at the business unit level for Global Logistics and Global Freight forwarding. As the leader of the Global Logistics engineering function, she directed all industrial engineering activies related to distribution, service parts logistics (post-sales support), and mail innovations (low cost, light weight shipping partnership with the USPS). Between these roles Tandreia helped to establish the Advanced Technology Group which was formed to research and develop cutting edge solutions focused on reducing reliance on manual labor.

Tandreia began her career in 1986 as a part-time hourly manual package handling employee. She spent the great majority of her career in the small package business unit which is responsible for the pick-up, sort, transport and delivery of packages domestically. She held various positions in Industrial Engineering, Marketing, Inside and On-road operations in Central Florida before transferring to Atlanta for a position in Corporate Product Development and Corporate Industrial Engineering. Tandreia later held IE leadership roles in Nebraska, Minnesota and Chicago. In her final role in small package she was an IE VP responsible for all aspects of IE, technology support and quality for the 25 states on the western half of the country.
Tandreia is currently a Director for the University of Central Florida (UCF) Foundation Board and also serves on their Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Previously Tandreia served on the Executive Advisory Board for Virginia Tech’s IE Department and the Association for Supply Chain Management. She served on the Board of Trustees for ChildServ (a Chicago child and family services non-profit) and also served on the Texas A&M and Tuskegee Engineering Advisory Boards. In 2006 she was named Business Advisor of the Year by INROADS, in 2009 she was recognized as a Technology All-Star at the Women of Color in STEM conference and in 2019 she honored as a UCF Distinguished Aluma by the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems.

Tandreia holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems from UCF. Her greatest accomplishment, however, is being the proud mother of two college students, Ruby (24) and Anthony (22).

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Marty Parker


Marty Parker serves as both the CEO & Founder of Adæpt Advising and an award-winning Senior Lecturer (Teaching Professor) in Supply Chain and Operations Management at the University of Georgia. He has 30 years of experience as a COO, CMO, CSO (Chief Strategy Officer), VP of Operations, VP of Marketing and Process Engineer. He founded and leads UGA’s Supply Chain Advisory Board, serves as the Academic Director of UGA’s Leaders Academy, and serves on multiple company advisory boards including the Trucking Profitability Strategies Conference, Zion Solutions Group and Carlton Creative Company.

Marty enjoys helping people and companies be successful. Through UGA, Marty is passionate about his students, helping them network and find internships and jobs. He does this through several hundred one-on-one zoom meetings each year with his students and former students. Through Adæpt Advising, Marty has organized an excellent team of affiliates that he works with to help companies grow and succeed. He does this by helping c-suite executives improve their skills, develop better leaders, engage their workforce, improve processes, and develop strategic plans with detailed action steps and financial targets. Marty believes that excellence in supply chain management comes from the understanding the intersection of leadership, culture, and technology, working across all parts of the organization to meet customer needs, maximize profit and minimize costs.

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

Laura Lopez serves as our Supply Chain Now Marketing Coordinator. She graduated from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente in Mexico with a degree in marketing. Laura loves everything digital because she sees the potential it holds for companies in the marketing industry. Her passion for creativity and thinking outside the box led her to pursue a career in marketing. With experience in fields like accounting, digital marketing, and restaurants, she clearly enjoys taking on challenges. Laura lives the best of both worlds - you'll either catch her hanging out with her friends soaking up the sun in Mexico or flying out to visit her family in California!

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Jake Barr


An acknowledged industry leader, Jake Barr now serves as CEO for BlueWorld Supply Chain Consulting, providing support to a cross section of Fortune 500 companies such as Cargill, Caterpillar, Colgate, Dow/Dupont, Firmenich, 3M, Merck, Bayer/Monsanto, Newell Brands, Kimberly Clark, Nestle, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Sanofi, Estee Lauder and Coty among others. He's also devoted time to engagements in public health sector work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At P&G, he managed the breakthrough delivery of an E2E (End to End) Planning Transformation effort, creating control towers which now manage the daily business globally. He is recognized as the architect for P&G’s demand driven supply chain strategy – referenced as a “Consumer Driven Supply Chain” transformation. Jake began his career with P&G in Finance in Risk Analysis and then moved into Operations. He has experience in building supply network capability globally through leadership assignments in Asia, Latin America, North America and the Middle East. He currently serves as a Research Associate for MIT; a member of Supply Chain Industry Advisory Council; Member of Gartner’s Supply Chain Think Tank; Consumer Goods “League of Leaders“; and a recipient of the 2015 - 2021 Supply Chain “Pro’s to Know” Award. He has been recognized as a University of Kentucky Fellow.

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Marcia Williams


Marcia Williams, Managing Partner of USM Supply Chain, has 18 years of experience in Supply Chain, with expertise in optimizing Supply Chain-Finance Planning (S&OP/ IBP) at Large Fast-Growing CPGs for greater profitability and improved cash flows. Marcia has helped mid-sized and large companies including Lindt Chocolates, Hershey, and Coty. She holds an MBA from Michigan State University and a degree in Accounting from Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay (South America). Marcia is also a Forbes Council Contributor based out of New York, and author of the book series Supply Chains with Maria in storytelling style. A recent speaker’s engagement is Marcia TEDx Talk: TEDxMSU - How Supply Chain Impacts You: A Transformational Journey.

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Luisa Garcia is a passionate Marketer from Lagos de Moreno based in Aguascalientes. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico. She specializes in brand development at any stage, believing that a brand is more than just a name or image—it’s an unforgettable experience. Her expertise helps brands achieve their dreams and aspirations, making a lasting impact. Currently working at Vector Global Logistics in the Marketing team and as podcast coordinator of Logistics With Purpose®. Luisa believes that purpose-driven decisions will impact results that make a difference in the world.

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Astrid Aubert was born in Guadalajara, she is 39 years old and has had the opportunity to live in many places. She studied communication and her professional career has been in Trade Marketing for global companies such as Pepsico and Mars. She currently works as Marketing Director Mexico for Vector Global Logistics. She is responsible for internal communications and marketing strategy development for the logistics industry. She is a mother of two girls, married and lives in Monterrey. She defines herself as a creative and innovative person, and enjoys traveling and cooking a lot.

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Constantine Limberakis


Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research.Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

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Scott W. Luton

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.

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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.

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Chris Barnes

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.

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.

When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!

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Kevin L. Jackson

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 CiscoMicrosoft, 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 UniversityO’Reilly MediaLinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight.  Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems EngineeringCarrier 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.

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Enrique Alvarez

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.

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Kelly Barner

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’.

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Mary Kate Soliva

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.

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.

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Clay Phillips

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.

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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.

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Chantel King

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.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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.

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

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.

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

Mary Kate Love is currently the VP of marketing at Supply Chain Now focused on brand strategy and audience + revenue growth. Mary Kate’s career is a testament to her versatility and innovative spirit: she has experience in start-ups, venture capital, and building innovation initiatives from the ground up: she previously helped lead the build-out of the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific and before that, MxD (Manufacturing times Digital): the Department of Defense’s digital manufacturing innovation center. Mary Kate has a passion for taking complicated ideas and turning them into reality: she was one of the first team members at MxD and the first team member at the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific.

Mary Kate dedicates her extra time to education and mentorship: she was one of the founding Board Members for Women Influence Chicago and led an initiative for a city-wide job shadow day for young women across Chicago tech companies and was previously on the Board of Directors at St. Laurence High School in Chicago, Young Irish Fellowship Board and the UN Committee for Women. Mary Kate is the founder of National Supply Chain Day and enjoys co-hosting podcasts at Supply Chain Now. Mary Kate is from the south side of Chicago, a mom of two baby boys, and an avid 16-inch softball player. She holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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.

Donna Krache

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.

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