Supply Chain Now Episode 469

“TEKTOK is going to be fun! We’re going to answer questions. We’re all going to get smarter in the process. And, I’m hoping that we inspire the next generation of supply chain leaders in the process.”

-Karin Bursa, Host, TEKTOK

Welcome to TEKTOK powered by Supply Chain Now. Our goal with the TEKTOK Digital Supply Chain Podcast is to help you eliminate the noise and focus on the information and inspiration you need to bring together the DIGITAL and PHYSICAL supply chain to drive more value. But first, we want you to get to know our TEKTOK host, Karin Bursa. In this episode, you’ll quickly see that for Karin, “All Roads Lead to Supply Chain,” starting as early as age 13 when she helped implement her first enterprise software system.  Years later, you’ll see how she became the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year. Buckle up, join the conversation, share your insights and learn how to harness supply chain technology to drive tangible business results.

Intro  (00:01):

Welcome to tech talk digital supply chain podcast, where we will help you eliminate the noise and focus on the information and inspiration that you need to transform your business impact supply chain success and enable you to replace risky inventory with valuable insights. Join your tech talk host Kerryn bursa, the 2020 supply chain pro to know of the year with more than 25 years of supply chain and technology expertise in the scars to prove it Corrine has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Join the conversation, share your insights and learn how to harness technology innovations to drive tangible business results. Buckle up is time for tech talk powered by supply chain now.

Scott Luton (01:26):

Hey, good morning, Scott Luton with supply chain now. Welcome to today’s very special show on this episode, we’re really excited to be kicking off a brand new series. It’s tech talk that’s right. Tech talk, the Ditech talk digital supply chain podcast powered by the team here at supply chain now, and we’re going to be introducing the leader of the tech talk podcast here momentarily says stick around if it’s being led by the one and only Karin bursa. So you’re going to want to know a lot more of her story, what tech talk’s going to be about and, uh, and, and you know how it’s gonna be working hard, just like we do to raise your supply chain IQ. So stick around, Hey, before we introduce Kerryn and dive into that conversation, quick programming note. If you enjoyed this conversation, you can, uh, find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from, including the new tech talk podcast series T E K T O K is what you searched for and make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss a single thing.

Scott Luton (02:26):

Okay. So Karin, welcome in Kerryn bursa. We’re so excited to have you here as our featured guests in this first episode, how are you doing? Hey, I’m doing great. I am so excited to be here and to work with you in the supply chain now team, I think we’re going to have a lot of fun. I know we will. And, and you, and I know each other well, we’ve, we’ve rubbed elbows for quite some time. I’ve learned, I’ve already learned a ton from you, and I’m so excited that we can have our audience, uh, and, and, and the growing community also pick your brain, learn from your expertise and your experience. So this is really a joy to be a part of it.

Karin Bursa (03:04):

Well, I’ve been a Scott Luton fan for years. Uh, as you know, we, we met volunteering in the industry. Um, so I think both of our hearts were, were in serving others at that time and still there now. And, uh, and it has been so exciting to watch as you’ve established and ground supply chain now. So, um, it’s a real honor to, to join the team and to add another, uh, asset into your portfolio.

Scott Luton (03:30):

Well, uh, this, this is big news, big launch, and we’re really excited about it. So, um, let’s start if we could, there’s some big kind of big picture objectives that are, that will make up a tech talk programming, if you could share those with our audience a bit first.

Karin Bursa (03:45):

Absolutely. So I would say one of the things that’s going to be really unique about tech talk is that we’re going to be focused on the digital supply chain. So what I mean about by digital supply chain is how do we bring the technology that’s driving decision making to enact improvements in that actual physical supply chain so that we’re merging those disciplines together and we’ll spend time talking about why it’s important, what’s working, what industries are seeing great results. Um, and we’ll invite a few, a few friends from the industry, a few CS CEOs to, uh, to come and share their perspective as well on just the importance of both technology and physical changes to really revolutionize what we’re doing on a global basis.

Scott Luton (04:31):

Love it. You’ve got me already, so I am subscribed or bought in. Let’s go ahead and knock out five episodes today. How about that?

Karin Bursa (04:39):

Excellent. That’s all right. Let’s flip share and Bobi audience.

Scott Luton (04:45):

Absolutely. Uh, and that’s that, as we all know, is such a huge rewarding part of this journey, hearing from the audience to hearing their expertise, their questions, their experiences. So I know that will be a big part of, of tech talk. Okay. So now that we’ve got some of the main themes established, right. Really relevant, main themes in terms of what folks can expect, let’s learn a little bit more, let’s peel a layer of the onion back and learn a little bit more about how the series kind of originated Kerryn. Yeah,

Karin Bursa (05:15):

Absolutely. So it’s been around this theme of educating and inspiring around digital supply chain and, and what it comes down to is how do we harness those capabilities and technology to drive tangible business results? How do we bridge that gap? And I think one of the compelling areas that come to mind is, um, we hear so much about digital transformation and what does that mean? And where has that transformation occurred and what are some of those results? And if we think about it in the simplest of terms, it is the opportunity to replace risky inventory investments with valuable information and still provide great customer service. And so I think that when, when practitioners, whether they’re in the physical supply chain role or in digital roles or roles that bring those together, they can really appreciate how important it is to bring these elements together and to leverage technology where technology can add value and insights and automation. Um, so I’m really excited, um, just about the topics in general, um, and to get feedback from our audience on particular areas they’d like to learn more about, or maybe share some of their insights and what’s been success

Scott Luton (06:35):

Well, you know, uh, there’s going to be no shortage of feedback. Our audience always brings, it always delivers, uh, it’s slightly old a us post office adage, you know, when rain and snow, the mail’s coming it’s, it’s that reliable. So, uh, I’ll look forward to, um, this new series and how to play in the audience. So, you know, what our team is really excited about, or at least what, what I’m really excited about is, you know, to, to be able to, uh, bring in a very, uh, experienced and expert, but different point of view, and to offer that programming, especially in a niche light, digital supply chain, light supply chain tech, because despite of course we always hug on the people of supply chain, right, because they’re still so critical. And, you know, in the technology empowers us people when, when, when applied, uh, um, successfully.

Scott Luton (07:30):

But gosh, there’s so much going on in this world of supply chain tech, uh, freight tech, as it’s called logistics tech, you name it, and, and this program will be able to really tap into not only your expertise, but a lot of your guests and, and audience expertise in this niche. And if I might add, I’m very partial, but I’m, I’m partial for a big reason, uh, Kerryn and I have collaborated on a variety of events in the supply chain industry going back 10, 12 years panel events, keynotes. Uh, I remember when last in person events we did together is where you led, um, uh, an SNOP, uh, lunch of sorts.

Karin Bursa (08:09):

It’s a lot of fun. We had a great time that day,

Scott Luton (08:11):

A lot of great time, and we’ve got a lot of great feedback. So to be able to offer that digitally to current audience and, and, and future audience, that’s more dialed in on this topic. I know that this is going to be a great and successful new series. So those are some of the things I’m excited about. And, um, you know, I can’t wait for more audience. It will be all right. So let’s shift gears a little bit Korean, because one of the main thrusts of this new episode is that we want to get our audience, uh, to some degree comfortable with grant and, and, and understanding more about your background and your story, and that’s what we’ll do here. So, w you know, we talked about our kind of our joint history. Uh, you mentioned industry association, we had a lot of fun on those board meetings.

Scott Luton (08:58):

I don’t know if you remember way back in the day. Um, so, you know, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve talked about some of the keynotes and other joint events, um, and how, you know, I’m known for note taking and, you know, having carpal tunnel at times with my, with my note taking hand, but always gathering a ton from the experiences, the other thing that, that career, you never brag on yourself. Um, so I should, uh, because not only have all of those events and the content and what you’ve done professionally, uh, you know, it’s, it’s turned a lot of heads. And in fact, just one of those accolades, he recently, in recent months, you were named the 20, 20 supply chain pro to know of the year. So, uh, I’d love to borrow, borrow that trophy, uh, at some point in time. So I can, I can feel like I’m, somebody’s Korean. Would you, would you let me loan that

Karin Bursa (09:51):

It’s such an honor. I mean, it really is an honor when you consider all of the great brains and practitioners that are in the marketplace. So, um, you know, it’s kudos to the entire teams that I’ve worked with and, uh, and the opportunities that I’ve had. Um, so I’m really honored by that. And, uh, and I hope to, uh, to do it proud and to share some of that knowledge and expertise with our audience,

Scott Luton (10:14):

Undoubtedly. So with all of that, uh, um, as we’re teeing all that up, let’s, let’s dive into your personal background, your professional journey. Let’s start there, share more about, uh, you know, what’s gotten you here.

Karin Bursa (10:27):

Yeah, it’s kinda funny. Um, w when I was thinking about this and I thought about my career choices and different jobs, I’ve had, um, that my technology and supply chain background actually reached back pretty far. Um, one of my first jobs that was not babysitting, you’ll appreciate this. I was 13 years old and, um, I had a neighbor who owned two home improvement and lumber yards. Um, and he asked me to come to work after school and on Saturdays and, you know, money was good. And I said, sure. And what I found is that I got roped into my first enterprise application deployment. We’re replacing this old behemoth punch card system. That was, the machine was like six feet wide. I mean, it looked like you could jump in it and drive away

Scott Luton (11:17):

Powered by vacuum tubes. Was it

Karin Bursa (11:19):

Crazy Scott? It was hysterical, but, um, but it taught me a lot about business and opened the doors to some early technology adoption and interest on my part. Um, you know, my contributions were not very glamorous. I spent a lot of time organizing, um, you know, customer account numbers and, uh, item masters and accounts payable and receivable general ledger information. But all of that is critically important as a foundation for supply chain today. So it’s just kind of interesting that at age 13, I did my first enterprise wide application a rollout for, for a integrator the County system at the time. So kind of funny to look back on,

Scott Luton (12:02):

It’s fascinating. It is, ed is fascinating. Um, and the other thing that really makes me think of is, especially in global supply chains are so transactional driven these days to kind of have a foundation in that. And at 13 years old, I mean, what an advantage,

Karin Bursa (12:21):

I have no idea where that was going to take me, but, uh, at 16, I went to work for, um, for Sears. And, uh, you know, some of our audience are probably thinking Sears, you can’t even go to a Sears today, but at the time they were the number one retailer in the world. And I got a job as a commission sales person at age 16, selling personal computers and camera equipment and vacuum cleaners. So some, some high ticket items for Sears, but I mentioned that because it introduced me to cycle counts, physical inventory accounts, and some pretty sophisticated inventory tracking measures. And I’m saying that kind of tongue in cheek, because we had a clipboard where we kept track of all the high value items and just how many we had in stock. And when we expected to receive more, et cetera, you get the idea. We were scratching them off and adding them on a regular basis. So we had to do that every day because we didn’t want to disappoint the customer. Right. I didn’t want to write an order, bring them up and not have the product available. So very early again, age 16, I’m bringing together these concepts of inventory availability and customer satisfaction. And so it’s interesting just to see how they kind of chained together over time and, uh, and worked into, um, what eventually became a career.

Scott Luton (13:44):

It’s fascinating. It really is when I think, especially when I think about what I was doing at age 13 and 16, I mean, to have this type of foundation, one of the strongest foundations, perhaps that I’ve come across in recent interviews, um, and even the, not just business experience, but some of the supply chain management concepts that you alluded to technology and otherwise. Um, all right, so now let’s talk about college, right? Let’s, let’s talk about, you know, where’d you go to school and what did you major in Kerryn?

Karin Bursa (14:14):

So, um, we’re here in the Atlanta area. Um, and I went to Auburn university, which is not in Atlanta for those of you that are not in the South. Um, but it’s not far away. Um, and I fell in love with the South. So I grew up in South Florida, which is really the Northern most state in the South to be quite honest with you, beautiful, but very different than living in, in the heart of, um, uh, of Southern hospitality, which I fell in love with. And I’m at Auburn. I studied business finance, supply chain. Wasn’t a discipline that was even taught at that point in time, but we did manufacturing and operations research and, um, a number of other things that involved looking at business valuations and making decisions on inventory positions, et cetera. And I loved it. I loved it at the time. I thought I was going to work in the area of mergers and acquisitions, um, to help grow more thriving businesses over time. So I was really excited about business and how it ran and how they made money and, you know, just how to make it work.

Scott Luton (15:19):

Love it. Did you say supply chain finance or business finance,

Karin Bursa (15:23):

A business finance supply chain? Wasn’t even a term we used back in those days. Now I’m dating myself again that we talked about logistics, and we talked about manufacturing and distribution activities, but they were very siloed at that point in time. And supply chain, the term of supply chain or value chain is really where those all came together.

Scott Luton (15:47):

Hmm. Yeah. You know, it’s interesting that that notion of the value chain, that was what I’d heard before. I’d heard supply chain. And certainly before we really began embracing this notion of the end to end supply chain and really what, what entails there, that’s still, you know, still a really interesting, um, conversation to have, especially with, with schools and with hiring managers. I met with a manufacturer not too long ago, and she’s really looking for supply chain talent. And as she sent a supply chain analyst or a supply chain, um, can’t remember the other title, but she sent it to local schools. She kept getting specifically in only transportation and logistics talent, which of course core backbone of supply chain. But, um, it’s amazing how the world, that word has evolved so much. Um, so going back to your story, uh, because it’s pretty impressive what you did right out of college. So tell us more.

Karin Bursa (16:47):

Yeah. So out of college, I went to work for what today is the center. So with Anderson consulting at the time. And, um, and it was fascinating because it was the opportunity for me to bring together some of that practical business, knowledge and technology. Uh, and one of the first projects that I worked on with, um, with a center was actually at the essential advanced technology center. And what was going on is we were actually writing a manufacturing and shop floor control systems, and I got to be a part of that effort. And it was fascinating. I got to see the manufacturing operations of a number of different businesses and think about things that we do very easily with digital supply chain technology today. And that’s optimizing production sequencing and moves throughout a manufacturing center. So, um, so it’s fascinating and we could spend an hour talking just about that project, but it was very leading edge at the time and really opened my eyes to more opportunities and how to apply what I knew about finance and business management to actually improving, um, supply chain manufacturing and distribution operations

Scott Luton (17:58):

Beyond that project. I would imagine having the ability at, especially right out of school to see so many different business models through the different consulting engagements and different conversations you were part of, I bet that was really helpful at an early age.

Karin Bursa (18:13):

It was, it was fascinating. Um, and one of the most interesting clients that I worked on, um, was in a situation not unlike what we’re in today, right. Never raced, uh, not, never waste a, uh, a crisis or an opportunity to transform your business. And this particular client was a global manufacturer and they were emerging from chapter 11. So emerging from bankruptcy, um, large global operation and, um, obviously operating in a more profitable manner, um, and deciding which parts of their business to invest in or divest, uh, was a big part of that initiative. And, um, and it was just a great opportunity to come in and contribute and do some analysis on their business and understanding. And, um, one of the projects that I loved working on for them, uh, was around creating an executive dashboard that tracked key performance indicators across their different divisions and Scott get a load of this.

Karin Bursa (19:16):

So some of the things, some of the questions we were striving to answer were things like how much product do we need, where should that product be located? Who are my priority customers? What’s my overall revenue generation from a particular channel or customer what’s the margin contribution. They sound pretty familiar don’t they it’s irrelevant. I know angel business questions, but at the time it was revolutionary. And in working with them to pull together what was a custom, uh, executive information dashboard at the time was just fascinating. And, uh, gave me the opportunity to, uh, to jump in to some of the manufacturing operations, because I had the expertise there and spend time at a variety of different plants and really study what was going on. And, uh, and they taught me a few things as well, along the way. I’ve got to tell you for sure.

Scott Luton (20:11):

Well, so let’s dive into that. Cause I, you know, one of our favorite things to ask here is about Eureka moments, right? Cause we all have them and, you know, I can think just when I say that phrase, it’s like my mind races back to a couple of things where I’m a little bit slow, sometimes Corrine and it dawns on me that I’m doing something wrong or, or thinking about something wrong I’ve made the wrong assumptions, whatever. So share, especially with that foundation you’ve laid of that early career. What are some, some Eureka moments you had as part of your journey?

Karin Bursa (20:44):

Yeah, so that, that project in particular was real eyeopener for me. So again, we’ve said at this point that most businesses didn’t think in terms of a comprehensive supply chain yet. So they were still fairly siloed or manufacturing was under one executive and distribution may have been under another transportation, um, may, may have been under another and then typically forecasting and promotional activities were in sales and marketing. And so they were run this way, I’m in the business. So, um, let me share like one scenario. So I, um, took the division forecast for a particular plant and went and met with the top plant manager. This guy was amazing. His numbers were great. His team loved him. Uh, he was seen as highly reliable and, and uh, satisfying customer demands all the right stuff. So I was really excited to meet him and I’d already met with about a half a dozen other plant managers at the time.

Karin Bursa (21:46):

And so I sat down with him and I said, let’s go over the demand forecast. Let’s look at that. Um, and help me understand what you do with it, right? Why does your plant run so well? And you know, it was not having some of the challenges. And so I met with him and, um, a gentleman that he referred to fondly as his, um, his production expediter. So I bet a few of our listeners have a production expediter even today. So this was the man who could get it done. I mean, he was the one out there moving things around changing peg boards to make sure our product got produced as needed. He was a genius. What was interesting is they looked at this demand forecast and it was pretty detailed at the time items, customers, relative time periods that they were needed. Well, that plant manager, you know, not at a lot in, and he sat back, crossed his arms and he looked at his expediter and they picked up, he picked up the report, he balled it up and threw it in the trash.

Karin Bursa (22:55):

And I sat there for about 10 seconds thinking, okay, what’s next? He said, well, that’s really just a guideline. It’s just a suggestion of what should be produced. We know how to run our manufacturing operation and we can do it efficiently and effectively. And we want to ship any product any day. And I said, okay. So tell me how you make that happen. Tell me how you take that information that you’ve now balled up. So we’re not even triangulating it against the plan that they’re putting in place. And that started really the opportunity to kind of jump in, roll up my sleeves and do some interesting things like activity based, costing and line runs and productivity improvements. But one of the huge aha moments I had is that this particular plant manager prided himself on his low waste rates. Right? So, cause that means the producing high quality product.

Karin Bursa (23:52):

There’s not a lot of scrap that’s happening. And so I asked about that and what that meant. And then I asked about a new warehouse that they were building at the plant, so located on the plant property. And he said, well, we want to ship any product any day. So we need plenty of inventory. Okay. And then I pulled up all their obsolescence numbers. They’re damaged goods. They’re, unsalable their write offs and write downs. And I noticed they were pretty high or certainly higher than benchmarks that were available in the market. And it occurred to me Stott that the plant manager’s vision of waste at the time only had to do with the production process waste that was created during the manufacturing not waste that happened from finished goods. And so again, it was that silo mentality kind of thinking about just what am I measured on and how do I make sure those metrics look good for my team versus what’s good for the business overall. So we had some pretty good aha moments right out of the gate and some opportunities to really change, um, and rely more on some shared metrics across the business.

Scott Luton (25:11):

That reminds me of some of the companies I’ve rubbed elbows with or worked with in my career where they have this, this phrase is islands of excellence. And in some cases, some companies are really good about creating a culture where those high performing plants would share what they’re doing with other, other facilities, whether they were similar facilities or maybe completely different, but still they’d be sharing some of those best practices. And then other companies, other cultures, it was the environment and the culture really created so much internal competition that there was no enterprise wide breakthrough because it was all in, they kept it to themselves within the four walls. And, and it, it’s such an interesting, uh, uh, industrial psychology study when, when, as I think back through those experiences. But, but it sounds like how, how were they able, um, uh, what changes did you see culturally to where they were this with this one company where they used the high performing plant and let, let it benefit other aspects of the enterprise.

Karin Bursa (26:21):

And they, you know, to their credit, they had plant manager meetings and they would talk about some of these things, but they didn’t realize what they didn’t know. So they didn’t know what they didn’t know. They were very skilled, but that skill was typically encapsulated and let’s say their four walls and how they ran their business. Um, and so it was first or one of the few opportunities at that time where they had stepped back and somebody had evaluated performance at a detailed level and at a best practice level across several of the, um, production facilities throughout North America. And, um, and just being able to show them some of the facts, the metrics, um, that were quantifiable, it just drained the emotion. And I think that that’s so important to not even today is that if we can look objectively at a set of measures and take some of that emotion, some of that bias out, it allows us to make some better decisions. Um, but that doesn’t mean that, um, that individual intuition and tribal knowledge is not important, but we want to make sure that we’re all working off of a common set of data and analytics that’s trusted by the business.

Scott Luton (27:39):

Yes. And not relying on what could be emotional attachment to two processes or how we do things for the sake of that’s, how we’ve done things. Right.

Karin Bursa (27:51):

Absolutely. Absolutely. And we talk about in supply chain today, we still talk about bias. They introduction of human bias, right. Um, whether it’s from a sales team that wants to make sure that it doesn’t trust the supply chain team to have enough inventory. And so they’re gonna, you know, pad their numbers a little bit, um, in that process or whether it’s a manufacturing operation that wants to have a little bit of extra on hand as well. So those buffers that occur with good intentions, still degrade, overall profitability for businesses that are trying to be fast and flexible and, and the way they respond to new market opportunities,

Scott Luton (28:30):

It feels like we’re scratching the surface. I bet you could write a book on some of those experiences. I want to, I want to transition a bit because cumulatively and I know you only shared a couple of, of your business experiences with us, you know, what have you learned about talents, skillsets, passion? What did you learn about yourself about Kerryn bursa through this journey?

Karin Bursa (28:52):

First thing I learned is I was fascinated by manufacturing by seeing the conversion of raw material into finished goods. And I was also in awe of the pride that the manufacturers that the folks on the floor took in the work that they did. Um, it’s inspirational. If our audience has not had the opportunity to actually visit a manufacturing or production site, we, we need to encourage that to happen because it changes the way you view supply chain activities. So make sure you got to your peers.

Scott Luton (29:28):

So if I could interject for just a second, because when I was tapped on the shoulder at some random dinner meeting at an industry association, and they said, Hey, do you want to volunteer to put together plant tours? I don’t think I had on too many, even though, even though my grandfather retired as a machine operator from Kimberly Clark, I still, for me, I hadn’t made that connection, that experience facilitating and going on tours changed my entire life. And that’s not even dramatic, but to your point of seeing it and seeing the innovation, seeing the problem, solving, seeing the pride it’s, it’s addictive, frankly, it’s addictive. So if you’re listening and you hadn’t been on a plant tour, especially a manufacturing tour, go to you find an association in your neck of the woods. You can go to chambers these days, put on plant tours, find one and get out and go to the gemba because it can be life changing is

Karin Bursa (30:24):

Yes, I totally agree. And that was, that was one of the things that just got me excited about what was happening in the industry and the opportunities. The other thing I learned about myself Scott was that I was really good at translating business needs and technology requirements and kind of bridging that gap if you will, or helping in that communication process to help define what we needed to do and what good looked like and how we could serve the business well with technology applications. Um, and so I got excited about that and it all came together as digital supply chain. And here we are, I’m looking back at, you know, nearly 25 years of doing just that. I’ve been translating business requirements into strategic goals and objectives, um, for, um, leading technology in the area of supply chain. So it’s been a lot of fun and there’s still a lot more, a lot more on the horizon.

Scott Luton (31:25):

Four, we talked about how that plays into the new tech talk podcast. Do you feel that, um, I’ll ask the expert here because I am not a technologist by any means. Um, do you feel that what you’ve been working on for most of your career for many organizations was a kind of a nice to have, and then this new information age hits and especially 2020 hits and now it’s table stakes. Is there an element of that you think

Karin Bursa (31:53):

I absolutely firmly believe supply chain has taken center stage, um, in all of its forms and factions, whether we’re talking about demand, planning and forecasting, or we’re talking about that last mile delivery, it is all, you know, highlighted today. Uh, COVID has put that front and center and those companies that have been able to respond quickly and retool a Reaper, prioritize certain products or make new products, uh, to respond to the, the new needs for PPE in the marketplace, um, are really seen today as leaders and innovators. And it is exciting. It’s a lot of fun. I really think this is the best time ever to be in supply. And that’s part of why I’m so excited about tech talk as a podcast as well.

Scott Luton (32:43):

We are too, and I’ve got to add one more thing, but because I’m here in, in this, uh, this time that this was this week, I was reading an article about a really large, um, foods manufacturer and the CEO joined the company a year or two ago. And when he joined, he said that supply chain would be at the heart of the company’s turnaround to your point, uh, Kerryn. And one of the big things they’ve done speaking to some of your earlier experiences is create this. I think they’re calling it very creatively or not creatively an operation center, but it was going to bring in all these functions up under this integrated, uh, management, um, approach from, you know, distribution to procurement, to R and D to marketing you name it all under this, this new program. And they’re, they’re expecting this to save beyond all the other good stuff it does for the company. I’m sure $2 billion over the next five.

Karin Bursa (33:37):

I was going to say, billions, billions, and breaking down these silos and really accelerating, you know what, we’re going to talk I’m Tech-Talk we are, we’ll talk about things like accelerating the flow of information, right? Seeing signals sooner. And you’re going to hear me time and time again, come back to the steam of replacing inventory with information, right? We can be quicker and more responsive to market changes when we’re able to produce and distribute because we’ve got that increased visibility or, um, machine learning and artificial intelligence with helped us to refine our forecast or to tune our inventory, um, requirements for the business or to optimize our distribution routes. So tons and tons of opportunity. Um, and for many companies, many of those global brands, you are talking billions. And I think that’s a great example of a business that’s looking comprehensively about how do I take my human capital, that expertise and the technology to really solve and accelerate the flow of goods and the response and keep

Scott Luton (34:51):

You’re preaching at the first Baptist church of supply chain. It feels like, and I’m a, uh, I’d volunteer to be a deacon in your church at Korea. And I really like what you’re, you’re saying there’s so many kindred spirits here. And, and as, as Kara Smith, Brown has said, it is supply chains. Moment, I think is her phrase. You’re already kind of foreshadowing some of the things that folks can expect to hear and engage in and learn more about with tech talk, but expand a little bit more. What else, if you were describing some of the things that come future episodes, what else would that involve? Yeah.

Karin Bursa (35:27):

So we’re going to talk about some fundamentals, right? Just so we’re all on the same page. We’ll talk about what the heck is this digital supply chain and what does it mean and why do I even care about right. And we’ll talk about some topics like planning and forecasting and multinational on inventory optimization, sales and operations planning, which you know, is near and dear to my heart as a topic that I think adds tremendous value to businesses of all sizes. Um, we’ll talk about things like what the heck is a digital twin and do I need one? Um, and what’s that twin going to do for me? So maybe I need triplets and not just a twin, but, well, we’ll dive into that a little further as well, and talk about areas of automation, um, new opportunities around the internet of things or robotics and how that is accelerating the flow and collection of data, the signals that are used and not just what’s happening on the production floor, but what’s happening out in the marketplace as well.

Karin Bursa (36:27):

So lots and lots of ideas, but Scott, I got to tell you, I want to know what are our audience wants to hear, because I want to make sure that we put some priority around those topics. And I’m hoping that they’re going to be sharing some of their insights as well, because I know they’re so shy and they hold back all the time. Now, one thing I love about the supply chain now, audience is that they do offer up and they’re looking to help each other and bring new ideas to the table and share what’s working. And we want to do that with tech talk as well.

Scott Luton (36:58):

I’m with you, I’m completely with you. It has been, um, you know, there’s been no shortage of surprises as, as we’ve continued to grow and reach more folks and, and, and cover more aspects of, of this fascinating industry that has global supply chain. Uh, but I gotta tell you seeing the level of engagement and, um, and how they lean in to the shows or live streams or how they, you know, they share some of the things that they’re experiencing or some of the things that we should be covering, frankly, it is, it’s a secret sauce and some, and perhaps one of the best parts of this journey. So I’m looking forward to tech talk, you know, benefiting from that same level of engagement. All right. So to your last point, you made, you want to hear, you want to put your finger on the pulse of what folks want to hear about and where they want to engage in terms of different subject matter. So how can folks are listening to this conversation, reach out and connect with you and tech talk?

Karin Bursa (37:58):

Absolutely. He’s got, first of all, let me congratulate you on your global audience. I’ve seen some of the numbers recently and they are impressive, and I’ve listened to a few of the live streams where you’re bringing in folks around the world on a regular basis. So congratulations. Um, obviously they’re seeing a lot of value and the content and information, um, that, that your team has been sharing, um, and met the, the, uh, different podcasts that you’re offering and live streams as well. So congratulations on that, getting in touch with me. Um, so number one, I want to drive him supply chain. Now it’s fighting and check out tech, talk like us. Look at the information, sharing your ideas with us there, but also connect with me on LinkedIn. Um, and let me give you the first name. So it’s a, it’s a little unusual it’s pronounced Karen cut then. And it’s spelled K a R I N. That’s the first name? Last name is easy. It’s bursa B U R S a. So look for me on LinkedIn Kerryn bursa, and I’d love to connect with you there or connect with you on supply chain now and, uh, and respond to your feedback. And I’d also asked that our audience share this, uh, tech talk podcast with their friends in the industry as well.

Scott Luton (39:20):

Wonderful. And, you know, as always, we’re gonna make it as easy as possible for our audience to connect. We’ll be featuring Corinne’s LinkedIn profile in the show notes. So it’s one click. That’s what we try. That’s what we’re all after, right? One click. That is right. And I want to echo Corrine’s sentiment. We’d love to hear from you about what you want to cover, you know, early on in, in our earliest days where we, you know, we love Atlanta and love the business city that is Metro Atlanta and the diversity of POV and industry that’s here, but we’re way too focused on what’s here. And we really made very deliberate strides to cover global stories and, and global leaders, global companies, uh, practitioners, and, and issues around the world. So let us know what we’re not covered enough via tech talk or supply chain now, uh, that’s, that’s really valuable to us.

Scott Luton (40:12):

Um, all right. So again, I’m partial, but this is going to be a home run series. No doubt. It’s going to be working hard Corinthian. We’re working hard. The team here is, and we’re working hard to continue to elevate your supply chain IQ, mr. And mrs. Audience. Um, especially during this time challenging time to sounds close. So cliche, but it’s cliche for a reason. Now these are very unique historical times. We’re all trying to navigate through together. I love the phrase Kerryn. I think it is same boat, different storms, or I might have it backwards, but, you know, we’re, we’re all fighting through some very common challenges and then we all have some different, unique challenges business and otherwise. So, um, but this year, our team prides you, uh, prides ourselves on bringing the best. And that’s what I, that’s one of the chief reasons I’m so excited. It’s because Karin bursa is one of the best. And to have tech talk here as part of the supply chain, now, family programming, we feel like we have, um, upheld that, that standard and that commitment we have here. So Korean, thank you so much. We’re so excited,

Karin Bursa (41:19):

Right? Thank you. And it’s a lot of fun. It’s going to be fun. We’re going to answer questions. We’re all going to get smarter in the process. And, uh, and I’m hoping that we inspire the next generation of supply chain leaders. We’ll put as always.

Scott Luton (41:34):

So we’ve been chatting with Corinne bursa here on the first episode of tech talk again, you can find that wherever you get your podcasts from T E K a T O K, I got that right. Corrine. I need to practice that about 17 more times for the next one, but really excited about it. Check it out, subscribe, let Kerryn and the whole supply chain now team, uh, let us know what you want to hear about. So, but, but we’re going to be launching out of the gate with some rock solid episodes. That’s going to help us all. So own that note. You can check out all of our, a wide variety of thought leadership at supply chain. Now at supply chain. Now yet radio is going away really soon, depending on when we publish this episode, it might be supply chain or supply chain But Hey, she just know we’ll be there to help. Um, and you know, uh, beyond finding tech, talk beyond fund and supply chain now, wherever get your podcasts from, we want to challenge our audience. That what same way we challenge ourselves and our team. Hey, do good. Give forward, be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time here on tech. Talk on supply chain now.

Karin Bursa is the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year and the Host of the TEKTOK Digital Supply Chain Podcast powered by Supply Chain Now. With more than 25 years of supply chain and technology expertise (and the scars to prove it)Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and share their success stories. Today, she helps B2B technology companies introduce new products, capture customer success and grow global revenue, market share and profitability. In addition to her recognition as the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year, Karin has also been recognized as a 2019 and 2018 Supply Chain Pro to Know, 2009 Technology Marketing Executive of the Year and a 2008 Women in Technology Finalist. 

Scott W. Luton is the founder & CEO of Supply Chain Now. He has worked extensively in the end-to-end Supply Chain industry for more than 15 years, appearing in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Dice and Quality Progress Magazine. Scott was named a 2019 Pro to Know in Supply Chain by Supply & Demand Executive and a 2019 “Top 15 Supply Chain & Logistics Experts to Follow” by RateLinx. He founded the 2019 Atlanta Supply Chain Awards and also served on the 2018 Georgia Logistics Summit Executive Committee. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and holds the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential. A Veteran of the United States Air Force, Scott volunteers on the Business Pillar for VETLANTA and has served on the boards for APICS Atlanta and the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. Follow Scott Luton on Twitter at @ScottWLuton and learn more about Supply Chain Now here:


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