“If I want to hire strong students into my organization or into our customers, we need to make sure that we’re bringing the right sets of insights, problems, things that we’re seeing back to academia.”
Anne Robinson, PhD, Chief Strategy Officer at Kinaxis
Supply chains have been a key area of focus since the start of the COVID-19 and resulting shutdowns, sometimes leading to shortages and other times to gluts of product. Because of how interconnected industries and geographies are, and the dependence all of those connections have on supply chains, any number of fields or professions can serve as a great stepping stone into supply chain.
Anne Robinson, PhD, is the Chief Strategy Officer at Kinaxis. She discovered supply chain from a program on field operations research, which she selected because it allowed her to apply her math skills in a practical way. Anne’s work is clearly her passion, as she explains in her own words, “I have the great fortune of having an excellent day every single day at work, because it is so interesting.”
In this conversation, Anne opens up with Supply Chain Now Host Scott Luton about:
· The rich opportunities associated with mentoring – for the mentor as well as the mentee
· The signs and signals that she sees that suggest resiliency is about to surpass efficiency as the primary focus of supply chain managers
· How technology is affecting supply chain skills requirements, and vice versa, and what the combination of these dynamics is doing for overall value creation
It’s time for supply chain. Now broadcasting live from the supply chain capital of the country. Atlanta, Georgia heard around the world, supply chain. Now spotlights the best in all things, supply chain, the people, the technologies, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.
Scott Luton (00:28):
Hey, good morning, Scott Luton with supply chain. Now, welcome to today’s show. Now, in this episode, we’re gonna be talking with a senior leader with a firm that’s helping to pilot organizations and their supply chains through these challenging times. Man, talk about challenging times and we’re going to be certainly working really hard to increase your supply chain IQ. So stay tuned for a great episode, a quick programming before we get started. If you enjoyed this conversation, be sure to find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from. All right. So with no further ado, let’s bring in our featured guests, dr. Ann Robinson, chief strategy officer with Connexus and good morning. Okay.
Anne Robinson (01:07):
Morning. Thanks for having me this morning.
Scott Luton (01:09):
You bet. Well, our team has really enjoyed all the prep conversations with you and members of your team. And undoubtedly, we’re excited to share your perspective with our audience here today. So are you ready to dive right in? Absolutely. Okay. Let’s do it upfront. As, as we love to do before we, we, we work right. Getting to work. We’ll want to really get, um, allow our audience the opportunity to get know you a little bit better. Dr. Ann Robinson, a little better. So tell us, you know, where are you from and give us an anecdote or two about your upbringing.
Anne Robinson (01:40):
Yeah, absolutely. Um, I am from st. John’s Newfoundland Canada. So if you think about North America, I am as from as far East, as you can get, it’s a beautiful place to visit. So I encourage all your listeners to check it out, certainly when we’re able to travel again, um, with, uh, but maybe stick to July and August for the weather a little bit about me. So I grew up in that with a brother and he and I were very much, it’s very much a musical culture where we’re from. So we both grew up playing different instruments. I play classical music as a child. I still have a piano though. It doesn’t necessarily get as much attention as it did once upon a time.
Scott Luton (02:20):
I’ve got to ask. Uh, so clearly you, uh, play the piano, any other instrument,
Anne Robinson (02:27):
Not so much lately, but I did grow up as a member of the Newfoundland symphony youth orchestra, where I played the clarinet and, uh, had my fingers on many other types of instruments, including a few percussion instruments as a child. You will however, find lots of interesting instruments in my house, including a concert, Tina, some Irish tin with little and a myriad of other more traditional instruments that someone comes over. They always have an opportunity to play.
Scott Luton (02:55):
All right. One last question about, we love our music here at supply chain too. Did you and your brother ever have a jam session for the rest of your family?
Anne Robinson (03:03):
Yes and no. Or he with his friends and me with my friends at various times, I mean, that’s pretty dominant part of the culture there that you jam and sing along and do that as part of almost anytime you’d go to a party that would likely happen regardless of the age and audience
Scott Luton (03:22):
Love that music is definitely one of those things that brings, brings us all together. And we need a lot of that in here in 2020. All right. So let’s, uh, let’s talk about your professional journey a bit, right? Um, prior to your current role, kind of walk us through that journey, especially, you know, a roller too, that really helped shape your worldview.
Anne Robinson (03:42):
Yeah, absolutely. So I’m going to back it up a little bit if that’s okay to talk a little bit about, um, my education path. Cause I was one of those who stayed in school a really long time. I love to tell small children that I was in grade 25 just to watch their eyes pop out of their head. Um, and I started as, as math as my background, and that was always a passion of mine and something that was very interesting, but growing up in a place like Newfoundland that had been fairly economically repressed, um, when I was, you know, in my formative years I learned the importance of transferable skills. So I came in with my eye on a career path that would allow me to flex to what ever industry was key at the moment. So, uh, during this math degree, I went to Acadia university, a small East coast Canadian school.
Anne Robinson (04:33):
And we attended a conference when I was probably 19 years old called what’s a mathematician like you doing in a place like this. And it’s part of that conference. I got to attend. My, my friends wanted to be actuaries or math teachers, or, you know, sort of the more traditional traditional paths you might take as a mathematician. And I attended these other sessions where I was exposed to a field called operations research. And here was it a discipline that allowed the application of math and to solve planning problems that could be applied to any industry. And I fell in love right then and there I came back and said, this is what I want to explore. This is what I want to learn more about. I want to learn the science of it. I want to learn the application of it. And that’s what put me on a path of, of operations research quickly into applied operations research. And I, I focus my entire educational path towards that, including transportation, logistics, and then industrial engineering, all the building blocks that describe our modern, modern day supply chain.
Scott Luton (05:39):
Wow. Well, let me, so let me ask you real quick, before you continue with, with your, uh, aspects of your journey, what was the first industry that you can recall applying that science and math to?
Anne Robinson (05:54):
Yeah, well, so when I went to Waterloo was a, like, it was a very applied program and it was actually applied operations research. And as a result, we had companies that were engaged with us through that entire program. I chose a, sort of a more thesis option. Some of my peers chose a co op option, but because we had companies embedded with the program, we had many opportunities in the one of the first, first couple. I remember one was with, um, a potato chip manufacturer trying to figure out how to make one of these blends, where you have like circles and cheese crunches and different things all in the same package. And each of those are being manufactured in a different plant. They needed to figure out how to bring them all together. And what was the optimal way to do that? So you didn’t waste and you had the right amount. So potato chips, I guess the short answer, one that we can all relate to,
Scott Luton (06:46):
You know, and, uh, what that illustrates I think, uh, so well is that all of us as consumers really don’t stop to think about everything that goes into in the, in the tech behind a potato chip, the engineering behind a potato.
Anne Robinson (07:02):
Absolutely. And we had a chance to visit the factory and just even to know between the generic brand and the branded product and how those process go, it was really good.
Scott Luton (07:12):
Well, I love that. In fact, I’d love to dive in deeper for, for next three hours into that. It really is a fascinating part of that is kind of below the surface level in the industry, oftentimes, but let’s, let’s keep driving forward. What, what else, when you think of a role or two that really shaped how you view the business world, what else really sticks?
Anne Robinson (07:30):
Sure. So I started my career at Cisco systems on the West coast of the United States in California, and through many supply chain roles. I think I started as applied supply chain program manager had no idea what that meant, but within the first six months I was traveling the world helping to educate our supply base about inventory management and just some of the basic principles of inventory optimization. And so that was, uh, I had always intended on being a practitioner. So putting the PhD into practice, and this was a great stepping stone for me to get started. Um, I quickly realized I love the idea of, of bringing in more people with similar backgrounds to mine in terms of, of advanced math applied to the science of supply chain and quickly started to build teams and applied it in the forecasting space and the inventory management space. Um, and I think one of the things you were curious about were sort of pivotal moments that had an impact on my thought process.
Scott Luton (08:29):
Yes. Eureka moments as we refer to them.
Anne Robinson (08:31):
Yeah. Well, while I was in one of these more junior roles and I’m very grateful, it happened to me when I was sort of in that senior manager level. Um, I was assigned to be the mentor of someone coming in to lead change management for supply chain. I didn’t even know what this was. Certainly. I had no through my educational background had not been exposed to it. And, um, certainly didn’t want to be hindered by some of the soft stuff. Well, I quickly learned the value and power of the science of change management and how critical it is when you’re bringing complex mathematical concepts to a group of executives who you want to trust and believe in what you’re trying to do. It’s something like the science of how people change and accept change, and, um, and the processes to actually get people to adopt these new ideas. That was a huge realization for me. And I am also grateful to the woman who brought that to my attention. She’s now a very good friend of mine, and I’m just realizing the power of change management and how critical it needs to be as part of our, you know, young engineers toolboxes so that they can actually bring the latest and greatest ideas to life in their career choice of their career path of choice.
Scott Luton (09:52):
Love that. Um, I worked for a consulting firm where I was one of the few non-engineers and it was a constant focus as the organization was to try to take all the smarts and, and the technical, uh, expertise that the engineers have conveyed to these business executives about the changes that needed to be made. It was a constant focus, but going back, uh, you mentioned, uh, basically a strong mentor. It sounded like in, in your journey before we talk more about Connexus, share a little bit more about her role in your life.
Anne Robinson (10:27):
Yeah. She’s uh, I was actually at the end for this particular one, I was actually assigned as the mentor to her coming in. So I had to show her the ropes of supply chain and as every good mentor mentee relationship should be, she opened my eyes to the value and power of change management, which I think is really critical. Now, mentors are absolutely key in somebody’s life. And if you’ll allow me the Liberty to talk about sort of the other part of my world, which is, um, engagement with professional society. So one informal, so maybe not paid jobs that I had, but spent a lot of time in this is what the professional society informs, which is again, I would say another path, how I grew up. This is the largest association of analytics professionals in the world, and they get together a couple of times a year, as well as a lot of other splinter meetings, all come virtual now like everybody, but I had the good fortune of getting involved just as I was in graduate school.
Anne Robinson (11:28):
And then quite frankly, it stayed with me. And in 2013, I actually was the president of this organization. Wow. 12,000 strong mix of practitioners and academics, many of our supply chain, the thought leaders, the ones who pointed the phrases that we all are so familiar with, like bullwhip factor, all members of this organization, but learning about change management, I actually had the opportunity apply it to that community as well. Um, as we were continuing to evolve and grow, but by being part of a professional society, I identified people who were in a career path that I would eventually like to have myself. And so they stayed with me, helped me understand how to grow my team, how to understand the balance of the mathematical skillset, along with the business skills that would really make for success and having a mix of people who you can identify as mentors are really great for helping you craft again, the vision of who you would like to become. And it gives you a great support mechanism as you might navigate through different companies in your career. So, um, I really advocate for people to find that organization that resonates with them, um, so that they can create that mentor network for themselves and be also a mentor to the next generation.
Scott Luton (12:49):
Love that. Uh, and as you, as you said, not only can you individually benefit from that involvement, but how you’re giving back to industry, uh, as you put it in formerly or volunteer leadership role. I mean, that’s where a lot of change comes from. So love, I appreciate you sharing that. And one of the things before we talk about Connexus, you mentioned the bullwhip effect just this week, I was reading as expected for any supply chain practitioner. A few months back here in the States, uh, the meat industry had, you know, was, was dealt a variety of setbacks, unfortunately. Uh, and they, you know, as consumers, we were limited what we could buy, but two packages immediately. So where we live and now there is an abundance, it’s all on sale because everything’s caught up. But, um, you know, I like to think that we’re going to learn so many great lessons, uh, in, in any sector from these these months.
Scott Luton (13:44):
And so that’s part of the silver linings that we believe in here, so that we’re come back stronger and I hate to use, uh, such a cliche word, but more resilient cause it in a very meaningful and real way. Okay. So now I want to talk more about connects is w we’ve had a good fortune of meeting and talking with a variety of your, um, team members and really enjoyed that and learning more about what you do, but, but for the benefit of our audience, tell us in a nutshell what connects this does, and then we’re going to talk about your role and where you spend your time.
Anne Robinson (14:16):
Yeah, absolutely. So connects us as a supply chain software company that focuses on planning and risk mitigation. Um, it’s been around since 1984, so we’re not new, but, uh, still an up and comer, I think in the supply chain planning space, uh, the solution that we bring to the market was purpose built for supply chain. And there’s a hundred percent in memory, which is what kind of drew my attention to this company and what they were doing. That it was really interesting to see leading edge analytics married with this unique technology, through a technique that we call concurrent planning. So it’s been a really fun place to come and get involved with. And I will say the best company culture of anywhere I’ve ever worked.
Scott Luton (15:04):
Outstanding. You know, we, we, we pick up on that through a lot of these prep conversation through all of our shows and that’s what we’ve gathered as well. I gotta say what I’ve really, um, I’m a simple minded person. I love things in threes, nice succinct phrases. And, uh, as I shared with you last week, I believe this no sooner act faster while removing waste. I loved that. And I love how the simplicity of that as it relates to what connects us does.
Anne Robinson (15:31):
Yeah, that’s great. It really is the core of, uh, identifying who we are.
Scott Luton (15:37):
Well, it’s everyone, uh, all of us, including myself oil, we all make assumptions. And when we see certain titles of where folks spend their time and what they do as chief strategy officer, what do you do, uh, specifically and where do you spend most of your time?
Anne Robinson (15:52):
Sure. Yes. You know, I think this title and is different regardless of, of when you look across different companies in different industries, I’m not sure that anybody has the same actual job description when you peel it back for me. I have the great fortune of having a excellent day every single day at work, because it is so interesting truest to my role is the area of strategy management, or really curating with my peers, with trends happening in industry with all the different spaces with, with content like you provide through supply chain now, understanding where supply chain going. Where’s our software industry going, and what does the vision for Kinaxis access need to look like as we move forward? So that curation of strategy. So we spend a lot of our time and that’s where that’s probably 50% of my days right now we’re focused in that area.
Anne Robinson (16:46):
The second part of my team is I have internal or strategic communications and internal change management, which, you know, how passionate I am about that. So I was thrilled. That was part of my purview. And as we go through iterations, small changes are large. We just acquired Rubikloud earlier this year. So going through that integration process, the change management responsibilities lie with my team and ensuring that that transition is as smooth as possible so that we are much better at adopting changes. And then the last area that sort of led to this conversation, and it’s probably true is to my heart and background is thought leadership and industry outreach. And this is our opportunity to bring the thought leadership of the expertise of why, you know, what is that vision for connects us to the world through mechanisms like these kinds of podcasts or speaking engagements and others, but also making sure that as trends as new innovations are emerging or bringing those trends back into, um, our R and D team or product team so that they understand what’s going on, what’s happening in the outside world.
Anne Robinson (17:57):
We also have very strong partnership with academia and something. Again, I very much believe in if, if I want to hire strong students into my organization or into our customers, we need to make sure that we’re bringing the right sets of insights, problems, things that we’re seeing back to academia. So just last night, one of the members of my team, and I did a lecture for a university in Texas city grade here in our respective homes and in Ottawa and in Connecticut. And we’re able to meet with 60 students, um, across various levels of supply chain, you know, knowledge from undergrad to grad students and share a story, which is just an amazing opportunity, um, during, particularly during the pandemic
Scott Luton (18:41):
Outstanding. So quick follow up question. Um, a lot of the lot of the space where we’ve, we’ve spent a bunch of volunteer time here in the last five or six years has been on the awareness side of supply chain, right. Going into schools. And, and, and we had a program called supply chain one-on-one. We were talking with third, fourth and fifth graders just about what goes into supply chain. And it’s amazing how smart these kids are, how quickly they pick it up, and then they start making connections. Uh, it’s fascinating. Uh, we look forward to doing it again soon, but speak for a minute with, with your interactions with academia and with students. Do you believe that there is, uh, more of an awareness and an appeal for students to get into, uh, different aspects of global supply chain?
Anne Robinson (19:25):
Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think we were going to talk about this a little bit, so I don’t want to get too ahead of myself, but, um, you can’t turn on the TV these days, the news, and not hear some mention of supply chain challenges and supply chain opportunities and supply chain. You just mentioned the, the meat industry, having a shortage and now a glut of product availability. Guess what? That’s all supply chain and supply chain science. Absolutely. As businesses have evolved as customer interests have become, um, more specified or more critical given, um, what’s happening in the world right now, the attention and importance of supply chain has never been higher. And I think it’s a great time, but you don’t just have to find the title supply chain in an academic program, industrial engineering, operations, management production, um, any of those flavors, quite frankly, even operations research is a really great backdrop to lend, to step into a career in supply chain.
Scott Luton (20:29):
That is an excellent point, uh, analytics, technology, you name it all funnels into in one way, shape or form in the global supply chain. Excellent point. Okay. So you, uh, you preface what the kind of next segment of the conversation, which I’m really looking forward to diving into based on our, our, our appreciate conversations. Uh, so when you, when you step back and kind of survey, you know, global supply chain, what are, what are some of the trends or topics that you’re tracking more than others right now?
Anne Robinson (20:58):
Yeah, I think one of the biggest things that we’ve been seeing lately is this increased attention. You know, it would be scrutiny on the supply chain and that senior leaders are realizing how critically important supply chain and supply chain performance are to their company performance. So we’re seeing really every executive and every CEO pretty much say, okay, I, I need to become a supply chain manager. I need to understand what’s happening here. And where the trend historically in supply chain, you know, a supply chain professionals are used to being a cost center. So it’s been efficiency, efficiency, efficiency, but right now we’re seeing the conversations I’m having are suggesting that resiliency will Trump efficiency. And I know you said it’s a little bit of cliche, maybe it is. But, um, this notion of being able to weather the storm, whether that means you need to dual source components, maybe not just the critical ones, but the second most critical ones, or you’re going to do dual production by having product closer and product closer to your hand customers. This notion that a resilient supply chain, um, is the more important metric is really surfacing. And that, of course, to make those types of investments to make those types of decisions is really bubbling up to the C suite of major companies.
Scott Luton (22:29):
I love that. And one final note to that, uh, and organizations and their leadership that can’t afford to wait. Right?
Anne Robinson (22:37):
Absolutely. So when people are looking to do this and you say, okay, well, what, what does that mean? What am I going to do differently? This is a great opportunity to say, look, let’s not just try and force fit this new way of thinking into our existing supply chain model. This is a chance for us to look at revamping. It let’s look at how to be a redesign our supply chain, so we can be more resilient. This is the time to tackle that digital transformation. So you can have that resilience and still be in a cost effective manner. And that’s where he ended up. We help many, many customers just have that conversation, um, to understand what their supply chain could look like and how it could operate differently by going through this digital transformation. I really believe that you cannot afford to wait. We’re seeing that the only constant right now has changed. There’s another good police say for you, but we don’t know what’s going to happen next in the, in where I live. We’re seeing the pandemic cases uptake again. So we’re seeing things slow down again between the unprecedented number of S of storms and hurricanes that are hitting to the wildfires resilience needs to be key.
Scott Luton (23:49):
Yes. And, and, and of course, supply chain, doesn’t just own this notion of resiliency that it applies to so many different things. And, you know, as we both know, things become cliche for a reason because they’re so very real for so many people. So, um, alright, so you’re setting the stage very nicely, I think for this second big topic, uh, that that really is front and center for you here lately. Right?
Anne Robinson (24:13):
It’s great that we have these now more digitally robust supply chains. Um, we are leveraging techniques like artificial intelligence and machine learning to do empower the sort of mundane supply chain tasks, or to really look at the supply chain differently. Now let’s talk a little bit about the supply chain, um, practitioner role itself. This wasn’t always seen as a sexy role. Believe it or not, Scott, this is not the one that everybody said. I want to do that. But these days it’s really emerging into needing somebody with a much broader skill set and a much broader understanding. Um, Gartner has been popularizing this notion of a citizen data scientist. So somebody who understands the models understands their use and practice. I would take that one step further in the supply chain space and say the supply chain citizen data scientist is the type of person that we want to see sitting as a supply chain practitioner.
Anne Robinson (25:17):
So it’s somebody who understands the science of supply chain very well. They don’t need to build the models. We’ve got really smart technologies that are, that are, have the models for us, but they understand how those models work. But at the same time, they understand the dynamics of the business that they’re planning. So whether or not you, it’s a, let’s assume it’s a product, a product company, you understand, what’s your product is who the suppliers are. You have a relationship with marketing that tells you what the marketing expectations are. You have a site to the demand that you can understand what those demand plans are. You really have to have that business understanding for that product. Well, guess what, that also requires really strong communication skills, influence skills, change management skills, because ultimately, particularly as our world has become faster and faster, the realization that the supply chain is absolutely the last touch point of your product before it arrives in the customer’s hands, being the keeper of that final touch point before the, that moment of truth is critical to the success of the company and such a great role to be in. I love seeing students’ eyes get bigger and bigger as we talk to them about the opportunity, but that just the importance of those roles.
Scott Luton (26:37):
Gosh, there’s so much there that I love what you just shared, especially the keeper of the last touch just brings there’s. There’s a, a monument in Wichita, Kansas called keeper of the flank keeper of the Plains. And it’s a, it’s a famous image sculpture. And so I can picture the keeper of the last touch with, with maybe a supply chain, monument of sorts. It’s a great visual. The other thing, a couple of things you’ve touched on there. Number one is the integrated holistic approach. Let’s break down the silos, let’s get different functional areas talking and working and planning together. There’s a very large global food manufacturer that just released the news about creating an, uh, an operation center, uh, which isn’t creatively named, but the approach bringing all this, including R and D marketing under this, this, um, this tent on how they’re going to save $2 billion a year up in the next five years because of that.
Scott Luton (27:32):
And then the last thing that you touched on as it relates to the appeal of supply chain as a profession. And again, going back to silver linings that we are really excited about in these challenging times is the people that make it happen across global supply chain. Not only are they being more recognized, or at least they’re, they’re more, the consumers are more mindful, but what I think is even more, uh, needed is organizations because we had to keep global supply chains running. There was a lot more emphasis on protecting and making sure their health and wealth welfare are, are provided for, and that I hope will, will be permanent. So we’ll see it, it’s our charge. We need to make sure that it stays permanent. So that so much great stuff you just shared there. And, okay, so let’s talk about one of the final things that, uh, is really front and center, uh, related to people, uh, frankly, uh, what else are you tracking here lately?
Anne Robinson (28:35):
Yeah, just to, to continue on the same theme, I guess, is this, as we see these roles, um, emerge in supply chain, we need to think about our supply chain practitioner a little bit differently. Um, and the, the historical kind of command and control or a traditional management model doesn’t really work anymore. You really need to be a player coach type of perspective. And if you think about that, what is fundamentally at the core of that? Yes. You want to create the guidelines? Yes. You want to create the space, but it’s about empowering people. You want to empower that supply chain professional, to be able to understand the dynamics, understand where it’s headed and really have that importance, um, because if they, if they have that responsibility, first of all, it’s a heck of a lot more of attractive role to all our millennials who are coming out right now, and you’re going to get a better work product because that person’s going to take that personal responsibility for the success of their plan.
Anne Robinson (29:39):
So the recognition and that I think are going to succeed are ones really, or we emphasize that people matter, being able to have the conversations, creating the safe space for challenging discussions, empowering autonomous decision making. I think these are the ones where it really resonates with my personal leadership style, that I want people to own their successes and also own their failures, quite frankly, because there’s nothing you can learn more than one, a challenging moment. Those awry, it teaches you so much. Now that’s not saying repeated over and over again. Um, we certainly value success, but let’s learn from our mistakes and let’s empower people to drive value because that’s really what also leads to a very, um, inspiring and satisfying career. And ultimately we want people to see supply chain as a destination for their careers,
Scott Luton (30:37):
Love that. And, and, you know, you’ve already shared how you embodied that earlier in this interview where you are completely open and relish, what you learned, kind of in that reverse mentoring, um, uh, channel. And, and I think I would argue that part of successful empowerment of people is senior leaders being willing to learn coming back the other way and being, and acknowledging that they don’t, they don’t have all the answers and they can learn from folks that are newer to problems, newer to topics, newer to challenges. So I love that. And all right, so before we move on to, you know, maybe one last thought you’ve got that you’re tracking across global, you know, the global business world, there’s so much to dive into, always, it’s tough to keep these conversations as short as they are. Um, anything else you’d like to add on, on those really three big, uh, uh, points you made before we tackle another one?
Anne Robinson (31:29):
I think that probably covers it. Um, you know, I just feel grateful to be in a, in an environment where I’m able to actually explore these and, um, very much with a leadership and peer group that embodies these beliefs as well,
Scott Luton (31:46):
Um, to have a culture that really allows you. I love that that’s, um, uh, that is so needed here and, and, and all years, but especially your like 20, 20. Okay. So, um, you know, going a little bit broader, you know, kind of beyond just the global supply chain while you and I are kindred spirits that, is there anything else maybe, I don’t know, we love it so much. It touches so much, but any, any, you know, broader topic that you’re really paying a lot attention to.
Anne Robinson (32:13):
Yeah. These days, I think, um, there’s a lot of conversations right now around diversity and inclusion and we’re, we’re having conversations and I’m thrilled to hear the healthy dialogue that is coming out. Um, and as we talk about sort of whether it’s in supply chain space, or really in the, the modeling type of space, there’s also a lot of conversation about bias and data. And I think that one is a very well discussed topic. Um, I recently had the opportunity though, to take that conversation a little bit further with some experts in the space of diversity inclusion when it comes to modeling and actually talking about model design and maybe its supply chain model design. And are we introducing bias through the model design itself and how do you mitigate against bias? And I don’t have the answers. I think it’s really an interesting topic. I think it’s one that’s going to come to the surface more predominantly over the coming months. And as we think about how do we ensure that we’re not just replicating a solution to a problem or thinking of from our own reflection. Okay.
Scott Luton (33:24):
It, it, it, you know, with, with our continued reliance and amplification of using technology across an, in, in new ways, never before seen, I think that is such a great topic to bring up and be, and be mindful of because like you, I certainly don’t have all the answers. I am far from a tech technologist, but we all use the technology. Right. And, and we’re, and being human, our brains go to certain things when, when you may think of dress shoes or our brain goes certain things, when you think of, of certain roles, we’ve got to make sure what I’m hearing is that the AI and the algorithm algorithms behind those things, that power today’s technology don’t have those same assumptions. Right. Exactly. Yup. Exactly. So good stuff like, you know, for, um, as much of a technical side of your brain, you have, I love how you bring things down to my level because, uh, layman’s terms are a good thing here for Mason. Thanks so much for making it easy to ball it. Okay. So let’s, um, let’s talk about how folks can connect with you and connect. Some of y’all got a big event, you keep a, uh, uh, a steady keynote calendar and these virtual times, but I think I’ve got a big event coming up in the end of October, right?
Anne Robinson (34:40):
We do. That’s right. So our connections event, and I’ll let you help people see how to spell that. Cause it’s a little, little unique connections. If they’d go to connections.com, you’ll see the agenda, you’ll see all of the speaking slots and who’s speaking there. The executive and strategy track is from my team, but there’s many other fantastic keynotes. So I would love to see some of your listeners come in and meet up with us there for sure.
Scott Luton (35:10):
Outstanding. And we’re going to add that link to the show notes and make it really easy for folks to click and get involved in that. Um, what else would you suggest how folks connecting with you and learn more about connections?
Anne Robinson (35:21):
Certainly, um, people don’t reach out with me on LinkedIn. That is the number one way that I’ve been connecting with people these days. You can certainly reach out and if not to talk to me or to one of my peers, that’s the best angle. Um, we also have a blog I can access, whereas shares a mix of thought leadership, product details, and other things called the signal on our kinaxis.com website. And I would certainly point people there as well to learn more about not only what we’re bringing to the table, but also about our philosophies and thoughts. I’m going to be remissed. If I wouldn’t mention, we are also active on Instagram and you’ll see a little bit more about collects of life there. So that culture piece really shines through, through our Instagram account.
Scott Luton (36:07):
I love that hashtag connects us life must is a thing, right? Yeah. Well, that’s a great conversation. I, we look forward to having you back. Uh, I really appreciate the, the cultural piece that you’ve, you’ve talked through here today with a big emphasis on people and empowering people. I love your thoughts on the supply chain profession, and it’s really encouraging to hear some of what you’re seeing, uh, the current next generations, their view of, of, uh, the global supply chain profession. So all really good news and let’s face it. We all need as much good news as we can get these days. Right.
Anne Robinson (36:41):
That true. Isn’t that true? Yeah. Thank you so much. This was a great conversation.
Scott Luton (36:45):
Thank you. And to our audience, hopefully you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have. We’ve been chatting with dr. Anne Robinson, chief strategy officer with Connexis. Uh, if you enjoy this interview, you can check out a wide variety of other interviews at supply chain. Now radio.com on behalf of our entire team here. Hey, uh, thanks for joining us, but do good give forward and be the change that’s needed. And with that said, we’ll see you next time on Supply Chain Now.
Anne Robinson As Chief Strategy Officer, Anne is responsible for accelerating Kinaxis strategy development to add continued value to customers. Her team drives the strategic roadmap, delivers thought leadership and identifies emerging trends. A proven leader in analytics and digital transformation, Anne has extensive experience in managing supply chains for global organizations. As Executive Director, Global Supply Chain Strategy at Verizon, Anne was responsible for the strategic vision of the global supply chain, driving excellence through analytics and process innovation. Previously, Anne worked at Cisco where she managed advanced analytics and business performance teams. Anne is a past president of INFORMS, a seasoned industry speaker and serves on several advisory boards. She is the founding editor of INFORMS Editor’s Cut. Anne has a BScH from Acadia University, MASc from the University of Waterloo and MSc and PhD from Stanford University.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.