Supply Chain Now
Episode 474

Episode Summary

“It feels like there was a thesis a few years ago that a lot of money that was channeled toward technology, was going to either wipe away or create consolidation in the forwarding market and, and domestically in the brokerage market. I think what’s actually happened has been a rebound of investment in technologies that empower existing forwarders and empower existing brokers.”

Eric Johnson, Senior Editor, Technology for the JOC


As supply chains have grown increasingly global and complex, the demand for different types of carriers and logistics services has increased. The players include brokers and forwarders, each of which fulfills a specific value proposition for shippers. In this episode, we hear two different perspectives on the current challenges and opportunities in the supply chain from two very different guests.

Eric Johnson is the JOC’s Senior Editor, Technology, where he leads coverage and analysis of technology’s impact on global logistics and trade, and Enrique Alvarez serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics.


In this conversation, Eric and Enrique engage in a highly detailed conversation with Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton:

· About the global coffee trade, including pricing trends, demand shifts resulting from pandemic shutdowns, and consumption v. export patterns on a country by country basis.

· Why there are opportunities for brokers to differentiate and continue adding value, even in a world where more and more processes are being automated and commoditized

· The power of algorithms that can analyze supply and demand data and create efficient, automated marketplaces

Episode Transcript

Intro  (00:00:05):

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 (00:00:29):

Good afternoon. Scott Loudin, Greg white with you here on supply chain. Now, Greg, how are you doing? I’m doing great. It feels like I ran in here to get started, but I’m feeling good. You ready? We are ready. We’ve got a great show. We’ve got two outstanding business leaders. We’ve got a great conversation. Teed up, gonna dive into a lot about the coffee industry, coffee logistics, and a lot of, uh, coffee tech, maybe logistics, tech, freight tech, a lot, a lot, a lot of, um, observations in that space. So it’s all about transportation and logistics and I hope we’re going to see our friend, Jamie. Who’s kind of become our resident expert in that space. Right? Right. Yeah. No doubts. Yeah. We’re glad to have him. Cause he was an expert before now. He’s our expert.

Scott Luton (00:01:17):

Well, to our listeners, welcome to today’s live stream. We want to hear from you. So get ready to share comments and questions as we pose those to our guests here. Hey, the first attendee right on time, mr. Benjamin gold crane BG. So he says greetings from Queens, New York where his new new gig is, man, we’re going to have to lose the new cause before long. It’s going to be tried and true. Been there a thousand years. Yeah. Yeah. I mean he should be vice-president soon. We’re throwing down challenges, uh, mr. Gold claim, but uh, of you’re doing well. Great to have you here, but Tori from via LinkedIn. Great to have you, uh, Emilio, uh, Zavala. Great to have you here via LinkedIn and you see what I did there? Huh? Danny. Great to see a V LinkedIn, Hey, our friends over at DFM data Corp.

Scott Luton (00:02:11):

Uh, we enjoyed having Michael on the show, Michael, a few months back, one of our biggest episodes really resonated. So, all right, so let’s do this real quick programming. Sophia’s commenting on your, on your cap by the way, Sophia. Thank you very much. Hopefully your ears were burning because we’re going to be sharing at the end of today’s show. We’re going to be sharing some great analysis you provided on yesterday’s webinars. So state but up I Sophie is watching. So you gotta be our best selves and this cap has special meaning a significance today, by the way, the Braves are playing just about starting to gain a gain to they won yesterday. We’re going to talk more about sports in minutes. So there’s, I’m doing my wrap it up today. Hopefully, hopefully. All right. Hey, real quick programming for bringing our, our featured guests on.

Scott Luton (00:03:03):

So if you do it, today’s live stream episode. Be sure to check out our podcast, wherever you get your podcasts from. Uh, you can just search for supply chain. Now today, Greg, uh, while you were sailing, we were interviewing, we were interviewing a wonderful thought leader from Connexus, uh, Ann Robinson, PhD, their chief strategy officer and Greg, I’m going to tell you when I left the interview, I think I earned three new degrees. I mean, she really bright, but you know what? The cool thing about that Greg is she kept all of that at a level that even the nonprofits could understand. Beautiful. It was a great episode. So y’all check that out. That’s what we published today. Uh, you can check it out and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from. So Greg, let’s say a few hellos and then we’re going to welcome in Eric and Enrique.

Scott Luton (00:03:53):

Yeah. Uh, Daria, uh, welcome here via LinkedIn. Of course we said hello to Sophia Deepak, be LinkedIn. Great to have you here, Lamas via LinkedIn. Good afternoon. Great to have you. Uh, Gary Smith, Gary Smith is really weak. He’s Gavin. He’s provided some great feedback on this week in business history. He’s he’s also Greg, a fellow. He spent a little bit of time at Winn Dixie, which was a bigger grocery retailer. Yeah. Years ago when I worked there as well, my first job for 35 an hour. Wow. Yeah. $4 35 cents an hour, man. That’s good money back then. I, I guess my first job for minimum wage was three 35 an hour. Wow. Okay. You got me beat. Cause I’m older than you. Uh, and Gary and Benjamin and one other person representing New York today. So New York is in the house. They certainly are. They certainly are.

Scott Luton (00:04:59):

Uh, so Benjamin says still learning how to file paperwork for customs. Once I get that down, I’ll be BP supply chain now. Good stuff. You’re too bright. You’ll figure it out quicker than thing, Greg and I ever did it probably. Uh, and then one other shout out here, Chris jolly, he’s got a great freight podcast. Um, and clearly he’s got some great, uh, merge too. I saw some of his caps getting disseminated. We’re gonna have to get on the distribution list for that, Greg. Yeah. Um, I’m always down for t-shirts Chris. Not not saying you’re I can be bought, but I can. And Sylvia, of course you can’t have a live stream without the, uh, uh, the incredible jam manufacturer based in Charleston and back in the States. So I feel safer now that she’s here. That’s right. That’s right. Alright. Navin and Rahul. Great to have you. And then finally, Neil, Hey, first timer Neil from Philadelphia. I knew, I knew

Eric Johnson (00:05:58):

Pandering to coffee would, would work, right? You had me at coffee.

Scott Luton (00:06:03):

So Neil, welcome to this live stream and great to have you here. Look forward to your participation and your perspective. Okay. So with no further ado, welcome to everybody. Uh, let’s bring in our two guests. Are you ready, Greg? Uh, yeah, I’m really ready because we don’t get to hear from

Eric Johnson (00:06:22):

One of these guests on the show quite a bit, but we don’t get to hear so much from his expertise. So I’m really, really looking forward to the community, getting to hear from him. We are too. We noticed I didn’t give him away by mentioning his name. I’m learning 500 episodes I can be taught.

Scott Luton (00:06:39):

So today to our audience. Welcome in Eric Johnson, J O C’s senior editor for technology and Enrique Alvarez. Of course, managing director at our good friends at vector global logistics.

Eric Johnson (00:06:55):

Good morning, Eric, Anthony. Eric, what do you think about that swoosh? Oh, I like that entrance. It’s it’s pretty cool. Pretty cool. That was pretty cool. You got to get Nike to be the, uh, you know, compare. I like the way he thinks already.

Scott Luton (00:07:14):

So what I also love about Eric and recap course is the repeat guests. We love repeat guests. We were just kinda talking about the last time Eric was with us when the, before the world changed back at, uh, EFT or now Reuters events event here in Atlanta, uh, and had a great show resonated really well. And it’s great to have him back, uh, to share some of his observations. So before we give our audience a chance to get to know Eric and Enrique a little bit better, we gotta talk about that Lakers game last night, Eric,

Eric Johnson (00:07:43):

What happened? Yeah. Sorry. My eyes are a little, a little small today. I was staying up till midnight. So I watched that. So I grew up in Southern California. I grew up watching magic and worthy and the Showtime Lakers. So, um, I I’ll forever bleed purple and gold. So it was good. It was a good night. It started off a little Rocky, but they, uh, they went on a run midway through that kind of, you know, decimated Miami a little bit. So we’ll see that Miami is a really resilient team. So I’m interested to see how they kind of bounce back tomorrow. But, uh,

Scott Luton (00:08:18):

I am too. I really am too. And the Showtime days, uh, you know, the Lakers versus the Celtics, of course, the Lakers versus the bulls. Um, and did the Lakers play the pistons one year or [inaudible],

Eric Johnson (00:08:30):

That was that more than the bulls they played? They had, I think two or three finals with the piston. So that was the bill lamb beer and Zeke savages, but

Scott Luton (00:08:42):

They were Dennis Rodman.

Eric Johnson (00:08:45):

I also have to point out how heartbroken I was to see the Celtics losing the Eastern conference finals or the teams that team lost. So yeah,

Scott Luton (00:08:56):

I think if I’m not mistaken, magic Johnson is still the only, uh, cha championship team player in NCAA to play all five positions, a remarkable athletic talent. And I mean, one of the most iconic personalities

Enrique Alvarez (00:09:10):

In sports. So, um, yeah.

Scott Luton (00:09:12):

Great to have you and Enrique. I know of course in sports here in our neck of the woods, the Braves are playing right now and we were celebrating that game one win yet earlier, right?

Enrique Alvarez (00:09:22):

Yeah, no, I’m, um, I got to confess that I’m not like a huge baseball fan, my sports soccer, and I love soccer and we’re having a bit of a rough time with the Atlanta United as they kind of rebuild the team and bring a new coach and uh, start figuring out what they’re going to be doing next. But, um, but definitely great win for the, for the Braves, definitely cheering for them. It would be great to see them back in the world series. Absolutely

Scott Luton (00:09:47):

Great for the city. Great. For great. For, for anybody

Enrique Alvarez (00:09:50):

The sports fans seems like with the survey, don’t you? I mean, it’s just about time, we’ve gone through so much, uh, the Falcons almost winning. Oh gosh, we can’t right. We can’t, can’t talk about that. Talking about that all season the Falcon, we are sorry for that.

Scott Luton (00:10:09):

Alright. So to our listeners, let’s get to know Eric and Enrique a little bit. I think we already have, but really quick, Eric, tell us about your role at JOC and learn more about yourself.

Enrique Alvarez (00:10:19):

So I’m, I cover technology for a journal of commerce, say it’s a B2B publication focusing on global trade logistics. Um, uh, and that includes domestic transportation, global transportation, ocean air. Uh, my job is to primarily help shippers, but also all the service providers that cater to shippers, uh, understand what kind of technology is out there on how things are changing and what, what what’s interesting and what they sort of don’t need to be paying too much attention to at this point, that’s probably as important as what they do need to be. So undoubtedly

Scott Luton (00:10:52):

Great point because we’re getting overwhelmed. We’ve talked about all the time, getting overwhelmed with noise and trying to find the signals that that business leaders do need to pay attention to is, is, is getting more and more challenging. So good stuff there. Eric, welcome back. All right. Enrique, tell us about, uh, what the vector team is up to big friends of.

Enrique Alvarez (00:11:12):

Yeah, no. So my background is in strategy consulting. I worked for the Boston consulting group before starting vector global logistics and vector is an international logistics company with a very unique results-based culture and, and a passion to give back. Uh, we, we enjoy working with a lot of different, uh, companies and, and build longterm relationships with all of them. But, uh, mainly we’re really trying to change the world. And that’s kind of what motivates us on a day to day basis. Um, yeah, where we’re working hard. It’s been a challenging year, but there’s been a lot of opportunities as well, so, yep. So let’s not complain

Scott Luton (00:11:48):

If, if, if anyone hasn’t caught any, any of the logistics with purpose series that didn’t regain, the team are on. Let me just say this, Greg. And I think I can say this on behalf of you. I’m very careful that when you repay says change the world, it’s not lip service. That’s what the team and the culture is built to do. And, and, and we’re biased because we love working with the team, but that logistics with purpose series, bringing on folks that are really helping so many and moving the needle that that’s, that’s real talking to Greg.

Greg White (00:12:17):

That’s how we coined the phrase give forward. Right. A lot of companies give back in Rica and, and the folks in fact, are they give first, so we started calling it give forward, right? Um, yeah. I mean the culture there is fantastic. Of course we, you know, we’re very in very close or we’re in very close proximity physically with the folks at vector. Our original studio was actually in the office you’re standing in right now. Right. So, um, so we’ve gotten to see it in action and it’s inspiring to say the least

Scott Luton (00:12:51):

Greed, uh, and, and Eric, uh, that song memories that we were talking preach. So that, that puts us right back. I mean, you know, it’s, it’s amazing, um, world, the world gets so small when you start piecing things together. Hey, let’s share a few comments from the audience here. So Sylvia, let’s talk about coffee. I send out 30 pounds of one nation coffee to my customers for international coffee day. And she says, hashtag support, local veteran owned businesses. One at a time. I love that Sylvia. Uh, Chris jolly talking back on sports. Can someone teach my Minnesota twins to win a playoff game? Well, I’ll tell you, Chris, we’re not the wins. And I wouldn’t teach the twins after Kent Herbeck pulled Ron Gantz leg off for a space either. Chris, you probably remember that.

Greg White (00:13:37):

Yeah. You’re not Lana fans. And the answer is probably no, unfortunately. So Sylvia

Scott Luton (00:13:44):

Also say that I’m and of course I’m kidding. Twins are neat group.

Greg White (00:13:48):

I’m not kidding. So Eric,

Scott Luton (00:13:51):

You’ve got plenty of fans of the great work y’all do over at the JOC.

Scott Luton (00:13:56):

Sylvia is a big fan. And one, one more point about the JFC.

Scott Luton (00:14:00):

Cause one of our friends of the show has been on numerous times, Kathy Maura Robertson. I know that she collaborates with the JOC team and she’s a fascinating, uh, always full of insights and the know what’s going on in the industry. And, and, uh, we love collaborating with Cathy too.

Scott Luton (00:14:17):


Scott Luton (00:14:19):

Talk sports. We’ve we’ve gotten to know Eric and Enrique check and check and the dog back behind the scenes is going to give us Braves updates as long as they’re winning. So we can check that off too. Let’s talk. Um, let’s talk logistics and coffee. So, um, as after I’ve had my 18 cups this morning,

Greg White (00:14:38):

That’s what people are here to hear about is right.

Scott Luton (00:14:42):

So, uh, same week you got national coffee day here in the States.

Scott Luton (00:14:47):

You’ve got international coffee day today. Um, and you know,

Scott Luton (00:14:52):

Coffee is something that unites the world and we need plenty of that these days. So let’s dive into the hard hitting subject of your favorite coffee and how you drank it before we talked logistics and coffee. So Eric, give us a four, one, one.

Enrique Alvarez (00:15:06):

Yeah, I really bad planning. This is why no one trusts actual supply chains with me. I just write about it. I finished my entire pot of coffee before we even run today. So I did not plan that out. So you’ll just have to pretend that I’m a so favorite coffee is probably actually, I’ve been really into mocha pot coffee these days. So it’s this old steel contraption that I guess lots of people in Europe use. Um, I think it makes awesome coffee because it’s sort of like somewhere in between a really good cup of, uh, and espresso as, um, it’s not as acidic as espresso, so a little smoother, but it’s really rich. Like one cup is as satisfying as a whole pot basically. So that’s what I make on the weekends. Cause it takes a little more, you know, Chelsea, but normally on a, on an everyday basis, I just throw in a bunch of grounds and have the big pot. I would like to give a shout out to a local roaster in the area though that I use called swings. That’s been in Alexandria, Virginia forever. Um, they might’ve even been been based in D C originally, but, um, they make, they roast amazing beads. So I don’t, I probably destroy their beautiful beans that they roast, even when I do a bad job, it tastes good. So

Scott Luton (00:16:26):

Love that. Love, love that love. There’s so many great, um, local coffee shops. I mean that whole business model, we love it. You know, we’ve had Z beans coffee on before Enrique, uh, what a great story there, but all right. And Rica you’re, what are you, what’s your preference when it comes to coffee and how you drink?

Enrique Alvarez (00:16:42):

Well, I’m brutally honest. I actually don’t love coffee too much. I have gotten to know coffee and I love the experience and the aroma and just making the coffee more than actually tasting the coffee. So my preference, when it comes to coffee is really just anything new. And then I’ll add a lot of those sugary creamers to make sure they taste a little bit better. But, uh, but, uh, but I love the, we’ve worked with a lot of, uh, good companies that, that are shipping coffee, coffee beans. So now you actually have to give a shout out to counter culture. That’s here at King plow and I have a lot of friends like YouTube that loft the coffee. And so I’ve been getting a little bit more, um, I guess, schooled in coffee and the culture behind coffee. And it’s just fascinating and, uh, definitely something that, uh, that I enjoy doing, even if I don’t necessarily love the taste of it.

Scott Luton (00:17:36):

Yes. Well that’s okay too. You know, we all have

Enrique Alvarez (00:17:39):

Different tastes that, um, I’ll probably withhold early on. My

Scott Luton (00:17:44):

Grandparents would give me coffee milk, right? A little bit of coffee with a ton ago. So it was, it was wired into my DNA at an early age and, and now my wife and I drink at least one pot every day.

Greg White (00:17:56):

So. All right, Greg, what about you? So I don’t drink a lot of coffee. I like Enrique. I love the smell. I would have coffee beans open throughout the house all the time. If I could, not as big on the taste, but when I do drink it, I’m more of a Beastie boys type drinker. I like my sugar with coffee and cream. Nice. Greg love it. Let’s hear a couple of comments here. I think the months November, I was thinking that this morning as we go. Yeah. Yeah. Well, it is. And it’s been cool here in Atlanta. So it has been good for sipping on the back porch. And last week I was in Florida where it was 90 degrees every day you woke up sweating. So it’s been a really interesting transition to fall.

Scott Luton (00:18:44):

We are ready for fall, at least in this household. We’re ready for fall. All right. So Larry says, uh, and welcome Larry Best Caulfield earth is good morning. America’s from coffee, Ken Pacino in America’s Georgia black,

Greg White (00:18:56):

That methadone it, they win prizes just for the name.

Scott Luton (00:19:02):

Uh, Sylvia says French press Hans. Alright. You might have to help me here.

Greg White (00:19:06):

Yeah, sure. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:19:10):

Okay. Well done. Uh, from Hamburg, it looks like it tastes like freedom. One nation coffee in Charleston. Good stuff there in Rica. Oh, Kerryn is here. Kerryn is via Facebook. Of course. Kerryn is our new host of tech talk. I love coffee enough for the both of us loved that Corinne. Um, and then let’s see. I think I had one more comment I wanted to share with y’all come from Neil. The first timer,

Greg White (00:19:35):

Mocha pot coffee, is that legal and that’s that just to be clear, it’s M a M O K a P O T. That is the receptacle. It’s not any of the ingredients, so yeah. And that is no small task cooking or making coffee. And one of those, I brought a couple of those back from Italy and, um, you gotta watch it cause you let, if you take your eye off five seconds, you got, yes, it is the opposite of a watched pot. Never boils an unwashed pot boils way too fast. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:20:10):

One more. Shout out to memory, some memory we love having her as part of our lob streams. A memory actually said something earlier. Uh, Eric, I think she caught one of your previous shows might’ve been on let’s talk

Greg White (00:20:23):

This week. Yep. Good people there. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:20:25):

And memory, of course, she’s a practitioner based in Johannesburg and she says I’m going to be unpopular for my GoTo drink. Uh, is it rooibos tea with lemon?

Greg White (00:20:35):

It sounds good to me. Yeah. Yeah. Popular in our block day. Actually. I love that stuff. Yeah, that’s good.

Scott Luton (00:20:41):

All right. So now that we’ve gotten everyone, a lot of folks, uh, favorites out there, let’s kind of shift back to the, kind of the business

Scott Luton (00:20:48):

Behind coffee, right. The business behind what allows us to enjoy our favorite cup of coffee, um, you know, each morning and other times of the day. So in Marie, Ken, we’ll start with you. You know, we mentioned you work with a vector, works with a lot of organizations, a lot of different sectors, but it just so happens. We’ve gotten a lot of the folks, you work a lot of folks in the coffee industry you work with via the logistics with purpose series. So give us a few observations about working, especially from a supply chain perspective in coffee.

Enrique Alvarez (00:21:18):

Yes. No for sure. And, uh, once again, thanks for having me here. And, uh, coffee is a very interesting crop, right? It’s a very volatile commodity. The price wise is actually very important for many, many communities around the world. As people know, of course it’s cultivated in the bean belt or between the tropics. And, um, I Googled this before the show, the other price now is at about $1.04 per pound. Um, so that people know, and Michelle would be more how the flow of the shipping goes. It’s a, I’ll just give you a couple of, uh, points around the coffee industry as a whole. So production is a about 176,000,060 kilogram bags, uh, and it’s 9 million, uh, higher than last year. Brazil is the largest would 68 million Vietnam follows with 30 then central American Mexico with 18 Columbia, 14 million. Uh, most of those 14 million end up here in the U S and an Indonesia and some other smaller countries, uh, account for the rest. So, uh, let me quit

Scott Luton (00:22:26):

Is the second largest producer of coffee. I hear you right. According to Google, it is

Speaker 7 (00:22:29):

Wow. Uh,

Enrique Alvarez (00:22:32):

And a lot of the production of course stays in the home countries. I think Brazil, a lot of the 68 million than they produce. Uh, the, uh, 50% of that actually stays in Brazil. Um, as opposed to Columbia, they export almost 95% of their coffee. Interesting. But when it comes to the demand, which is basically the other component that you have to consider to connect the origin to the destination, and then kind of see how the flow is going, uh, from a shipping logistics stand point it’s, uh, Europe is 15 million, uh, and they account for 45% of the world imports of coffee and Italy is probably 45%. I should have actually drilled down into that. And, uh, but, uh, but yeah, you’re probably right about that. And so Europe definitely the biggest largest, uh, coffee consumer in the world. And then the United States would, uh, 27 million. So yeah, go ahead. Um,

Scott Luton (00:23:27):

Interesting and surprising figures and some of those they’re really surprising, isn’t it? Yep. Agreed. So from a, um, from a getting things moved standpoint and Rica, uh, I know that y’all work a lot, especially, uh, with, with growers in central and South America, if I’m not mistaken. Um, but what are some of the, what are some of the components of working in the coffee industry from a supply chain perspective that some of us may not truly appreciate or even know?

Enrique Alvarez (00:23:59):

Well, I think the, um, the, the price of coffee actually, uh, is one of the biggest drivers when it comes to like shipping coffee from one part of the world to the other. Um, and it’s a, it’s an open market as everyone knows. So I think that actually has a lot to do with that. The other thing is of course, uh, weather patterns and changes, uh, that affect the, uh, crops and the agricultural part of coffee. But it’s a very interesting, uh, crops as I have actually gotten to, to know through some of the clients that we ship with. And some of the, my friends that are into coffee, uh, cause that price of coffee actually can change everything in the community and can help the community from like having them a sustainable, uh, income that can allow them to do have schools and hospitals and education to really forcing them to do other more drastic things like maybe immigrating and, uh, probably some of the listeners.

Enrique Alvarez (00:25:00):

And you guys remember the, uh, conflict or immigration issue that we’re facing in the United States, from all this farmers coming from what the Mala through Mexico into the U S and it became a huge politicized, uh, issue, which I’m not going to get into, but, uh, but that could have been prevented because it’s correlated to the price of coffee. So the price of coffee in what Tamala was, uh, lower that year and pushed all this different people that don’t have any other way of surviving to, to try to search for something better. So as someone at thrive, farmers, uh, told us a really good company that actually deals with a slightly different way of having a revenue sharing model for the farmers and making sure that the price that they’re paying to the farmers is always better than the market price told us. Uh, some of these immigration issues that we so much debate about could be resolved if we actually just put all the more money towards, uh, agriculture, uh, and coffee’s one of them.

Enrique Alvarez (00:26:01):

Um, I also want to point out a community dot connect. Uh, can we not connect as another of the clients that we work with? Um, uh, JT, uh, he started this and their approach is a little bit different than thrive farmers cause they have a little more of a community approach towards, uh, the coffee that they grow in Nicaragua. And they have used coffee to really empower the community around them, to the point that they now have like sucker schools and hospitals and churches and, uh, housing and, uh, well, so they use the coffee, uh, as a economic driver in the community, which is incredible to me. And they’ve done an job and also see beans coffee, as we were talking about before Scott, uh, their coffee comes from Ecuador and, and chain’s doing a fantastic job with them, with the farmers down there too. Agreed,

Scott Luton (00:26:55):

Agreed a quick factoid from the dog here. So clay says coffee is the world’s second, most traded commodity behind crude oil.

Enrique Alvarez (00:27:04):

Oh, good. Catch your clay,

Scott Luton (00:27:07):

Eric. And I want to get some of his observations here, but before we do Greg, one of the neat things about one of the companies

Enrique Alvarez (00:27:13):

Had just shared from a startup standpoint, if you remember the story

Scott Luton (00:27:17):

That, um, for one of the companies where, uh, this, this entrepreneur bought his first really big coffee beans order, right? Yes. And this was before, and we’re not making fun, but he really hated it. Yes, that’s all right. So Eric, uh, this entrepreneur placed a big order, but really the logistics and customs and everything that these big orders have to go through was very new to him. And so it landed, I think, in the port in Miami and he thought he was just gonna drive down there and

Enrique Alvarez (00:27:49):

In back of the truck and back up the Georgia

Scott Luton (00:27:55):

Quickly, the value of, of not just a customs broker, but a freight forwarder and how the relationships and the policies, everything you’ve got to do. And he says it was his, uh, paraphrase, one of his most expensive lessons learned and certainly his most expensive bags of coffee grapes. Right.

Enrique Alvarez (00:28:13):

Yeah. All right.

Scott Luton (00:28:15):

So Greg, why don’t we dive in to, um,

Enrique Alvarez (00:28:17):

Eric’s POV here a little bit. Could I ask, uh, I’ve been curious it’s about this all you care. Cause I’m, I’m taking my personal experience and I can’t extrapolate that across at least the U S is there, has there been any change in terms of demand consumption patterns simply because people are probably buying more bags of coffee to make at home versus going to their local coffee shop, or are you seeing any kind of change in supply chain patterns because of that? So production was at a record high compared to last year. And, um, and I think there were like 10 million more, uh, backs produced and shipped. And, uh, so my guests and the node for, for a fact, but I think my guests, it is a lot of people probably have been actually consuming, not only coffee, but some other drinks as well, a bit more, uh, predominantly since we’ve all been quarantine. Right. So, um, it’s a good, it’s a good point. We should definitely look a little bit closer into that. Maybe a play can help us out. A couple of things here, our boredom, I just make another pot of coffee or something else. Right. And you’re home and you really can’t drive anywhere. So you might as well it’s, I don’t know the numbers, but it’s not unlike the consumption of, of grocery goods versus the consumption of food service goods. The Thai, the way that coffee is

Eric Johnson (00:29:42):

Selling has shifted more to home package type. Right. Um, so my, uh, one of my companies blue Ridge is, has community coffee as a customer. So that’s the, uh, that’s chicory coffee, which apparently, I don’t know, like I said, I’m no expert, apparently that’s good. Um, just outside of new Orleans or, and those, their demand has shifted pretty dramatically from, you know, the big bag, uh, food service type for big machines to, uh, Browns and beans for home. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:30:23):

So Eric also, uh, Kerryn says, uh, coffee packaging has been a lot different, especially with large retailers having only drive through operations, good stuff there. And Clay’s also going to dive into it. He says lots of main exports were COBIT hotspots. Uh, he’s looking into the actual numbers, so we’ll see what they get back.

Eric Johnson (00:30:42):

It happens, guys, you bite me on, I start asking questions like start gravitating. No, yeah, that’s good. We love that journalistic spirit. So, so let us leverage that a little bit. So, uh, freight tech has been really, really hot, right. And all, all kinds of supply chain technology has been, uh, brought to the forefront because of this. But tell us a little bit about what you’re seeing, what, what you are seeing or hearing about that is news, I guess. Um, you know, the, those things we ought to pay attention to in regards to tech. So I’ll, let me just take you into something like some thinking that I’ve been doing big picture about where we are. Um, and, and let’s let me frame the reference, uh, for context. So, you know, when we talk about supply chain, I, you know, I’m looking at a component of global supply chains.

Eric Johnson (00:31:37):

So I’m looking at, you know, kind of postproduction when it’s become freight all the way to some sort of end point historically DC or a warehouse, maybe a store with, with that type of space, more and more and consumer, um, so, you know, end to end, uh, like some folks do. So one of the things I think that’s been really interesting from a technology perspective is there was a, it feels like there was a thesis a few years ago that, um, a lot of money that was channeled toward technology, it was going to either wipe away or create consolidation in the forwarding market and, and domestically in the brokerage market. And there has been acquisitions and there’s been activity, but I don’t think it’s been an excessive amount of activity. And I don’t think we’ve seen a consolidation that was sort of predicted from technology entering the fray.

Eric Johnson (00:32:37):

And I think actually what’s happened is been a rebound of, uh, investment. That’s gone toward technologies that empower existing forwarders and empower existing in brokers. And as also as his basically democratize technology in a way that wasn’t available five, six years ago. So it’s not, it’s never easy to start a business. It’s never easy to, to start a, uh, you know, a forwarding or a brokerage business. I’m not suggesting that at all, but the barriers have not become higher. And if anything, they’ve become lower because it’s easier to adopt technology and there’s more options on the market than there were five, six years ago. So, um, that to me is a really interesting development. I sort of characterize this as, um, we’ve moved from one fragmented market to a different fragmented market, but we haven’t, we’re not seeing a huge consolidation.

Greg White (00:33:30):

So interestingly, I hear a lot in the marketplace about creating, I’m going to, I don’t have to state this. I don’t have a dog in this fight. So, um, uh, a lot about, um, creating efficiency in the marketplace. And it appears that both shippers and carriers believe that brokers create the greatest inefficiency in the marketplace in terms of, as unlike a freight forwarder who has a lot of value added services, these are people just, I’m going to grossly underestimate what they initially making connections. Have you seen anything approaching, creating efficiency around the, um, reduction of impact or elimination of, of brokers in the marketplace for technology?

Eric Johnson (00:34:27):

Yeah, I mean, I think so if we boil down what a broker does to its sort of bare essence it’s yeah. It’s finding capacity, selling that capacity on to a pro for a profit to a shipper that has a load that needs to be, it’s not rocket science and it never will be rocket science. So the, I think we don’t need to think of it necessarily in binary terms like it’s, you know, it’s inefficient or it’s efficient, right? They’re incremental levels of efficiency that create are created by not necessarily by technology. You know, you could hire someone who’s 10% better at finding capacity or convincing a carrier to give it capacity. And that’s a, that’s an increase, that’s an increase in efficiency for you. Right? So, um, we all, we tend to think of technology as this sort of like binary switch, that all of a sudden everything becomes great, but it’s not.

Eric Johnson (00:35:20):

And so it’s hard. It is hard to capture that level of nuance across an industry with thousands of participants across an industry where there are some people that are excellent at marketing themselves and have a huge budget to themselves and other companies that have a huge amount of technology spend. But don’t talk about it a lot and then everyone in between, right? So it’s, there’s no magic secret here. It’s, it’s basically you as a shipper need to figure out you shouldn’t be, you shouldn’t be like a disloyal customer, but you should be constantly on the lookout to see if there’s someone else who could potentially serve you better. And if you’re not doing that, you’re kind of, you know, your service is on the table, right? Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:36:09):

Alright. So we’ve got some interesting comments in the discussion and let me remind everybody let’s play nice in the sandbox professions. It’s not kicked too hard on professions. Uh, so we’ve got some brokers in the comments and, and we’ve got a lot of non broker brokers, of course, and shippers, a couple of comments here. A borrower says brokers are still very essential in the supply chain and then kind of a prevailing, uh, uh, contrary comment to that. Straighten out my vocabulary a little bit. Jim Weber says brokers or travel agents and how a broker’s not been eliminated via the internet. Um, so let’s play nice, you know, everybody, right?

Eric Johnson (00:36:50):

I mean, I think there’s valid. I think there’s valid positions on both sides, right? As I said, I don’t really have a dog in this fight, but I think what we’ll see because it, because efficiency in a marketplace can take on a lot of forms. Right, right. It could be a niche approach. It could be a cost effective approach. It could be a number of things. But, um, I think we’ll start to see the impact of, of marketplaces or tech, if you want to call it technology on those, those things that have a more, you know, if you are a really just a travel agent, you’re, you’re at risk, let’s face it. And companies are smart. They’re in business to stay in business. So they’ll evolve into more of a forwarder or more, more value added services that produce value that allow them to differentiate right from the straight transaction creation say to that there’s that brokers are best positioned to bring innovative solutions to their customers and to their carrier base. Then either the shipper or the carrier themselves, because they don’t own the cargo. They don’t own the assets. They can funnel all of their money toward making that, those, those two things that they do as efficient as possible. Right. So, um, I, so I’ve sort of, I sort of start from the standpoint of, if everybody focuses on their, on their core, like specialty and outsources, the things that they’re not the best at, right. That’s it that’s probably should be the starting position until you find a good not to be in that

Enrique Alvarez (00:38:36):


Scott Luton (00:38:37):

Well, and it goes back to the example we just use a second ago, you know, as an entrepreneur back, I’ll speak from personal experience. There’s plenty of things. I don’t want to become the expert in and I’m willing to pay more and, and, and build a relationship with the people that know those, those areas better. And I think that’s where to, to Jim’s question about how they add value. I think those are millions of cases each week where there’s a lot of value there. So Eric, we’ve kinda gotten your point, your you weigh in there and Rick Ellis.

Enrique Alvarez (00:39:04):

Yeah. We haven’t heard for you. Right. Well, it’s a, it’s very interesting what everyone’s saying. And I think that, uh, to our exploring, I think technology is going to play a crucial part in all this, right. I think it’s just the algorithm on the value of the algorithm that this brokers are using. That it’s at some point going to be incredibly important, relevant, and definitely adds value. So I think, uh, I think you can find brokers that don’t add value, but you can find brokers that are a lot of value. And, uh, and I think it depends on how those companies are pivoting towards adding value beyond what we all believe it’s going to happen, which is, uh, technology taking over that part of the analyzing the demand, analyzing the supply and trying to make those market places for people to participate in. Right. So it’s a, I think it’s a very interesting, very interesting, uh, future as Eric pointed out, there’s a lot of, uh, capital going into technology. And I think we’re just going to see maybe something similar to what we saw with maybe Uber on Uber when, when they started. Right. They right there, they’re a broker basically. I mean, they don’t really add much volume more than their technology, but then, then that kind of prompted the market to then bring Lyft. And some other companies started to realize that they could provide some other benefits. And so I think the brokers are essential because they use keep the competitiveness of everything going. So,

Scott Luton (00:40:28):

Yeah, we’ll put, uh, let’s add a couple of comments. So we’ve got some interesting discussion taking place. I’m trying to work through these real quick and Greg, I want to get you to way back in. So, uh, starting with Chris jolly, he says when his last minute changes, the customer’s freight and the assets cannot accommodate those changes. Brokers find additional capacity to fulfillment. This is a basic overview, good stuff there. Memory says, I think there’s still a need for brokers, particularly they’re adding value to transactions, but I think they increased costs of transactions.

Enrique Alvarez (00:40:57):

The point there deficiency that the market will correct the right, correct, where they’re not adding value, but increasing costs the market will, they’re going to go away, correct that with technology.

Scott Luton (00:41:07):

Yep. Good points. Uh, mr. Gold claims says the importer can be an individual who has no logistics experience who needs assistance over a large corporation, like a Nike, he names, uh, Keith, great to have you on yesterday’s webinar, by the way, I appreciate your questions. He says, we should have Nicole Glenn back on and you know, Nicole came on with Jamie and, and um, one more discussion. And she, she is at runs a freight operation out of the Dallas area. I believe. So Keith Good, good point there. Uh, Audrey says Stephan, I would, uh, let’s see here. Some peeps want to hand off that service talking about brokering transportation. Some people like no frills do it yourself, self service. And some people need to lean on third party providers as an extension of the team. So it kind of goes back to the coffee discussion. Everybody everybody’s got a different preference, a different capacity, a different budget, a different, and all really, especially in global supply chain, a different need. Right? So, uh, we’ll put there Audrey, I think that’s important perspective to keep in front

Eric Johnson (00:42:13):

And, and Scott, this goes back to the whole fragmentation thing, right? Where it’s really hard for one type of service provider to be the thing that every single type of shipper needs depending. Right. I mean, they all have, they all have different characteristics of what they’re trying to accomplish. They’re part of a, they’re in a small part of a larger organization. They all, they may have a different philosophy that they’re working under in terms of outsourcing things or not. You know? So it’s, that’s the thing that makes it hard to create this like sort of dominant service provider in the industry that caters to every single type of shipper. Right. So

Scott Luton (00:42:52):

Put well said Eric, uh, good stuff there. And Sylvia also makes a great point. Please discern one of her favorite words between customers yeah.

Eric Johnson (00:43:00):

And drop brokers. Right.

Scott Luton (00:43:01):

Two completely different businesses. That’s a great point.

Eric Johnson (00:43:05):

Yeah. One is essentially a marketplace. Right. And, and, and the other is effectively doing the workforce. As you’re talking about those brokers, helping get your imports cleared with CBP or whatever the regulatory agency is, truck check brokers is helping you find as a shipper and helping you find capacity. Yep. Yeah. Which is what our coffee customer from Scott’s, uh, anecdote was referring to brokers, otherwise importing into this country or any other country for that matter. It’s really not possible.

Scott Luton (00:43:40):

And speaking of that, speaking, uh, Nicole May have been burning. There she is great points. Niche is important to identify, to really cater to that need of what the shipper has. Absolutely. Nicole and I should, I should say that word niche in my, um, uh, as a gentleman, I worked with Ray Mason, the late Ray Mason. Great. Um, uh, Scottish immigrant here and worked with him for a number of years, had so much respect and he, I can still hear him say niche and pronounce that appropriately. So

Eric Johnson (00:44:11):

I’ve got a great story that relates to this. We recently had a bathroom remodel done and we had, I don’t know if you guys have had a remodel done recently, but there’s a thing instead of the, the wire rack that you hang from, the shower thing. Now everyone puts these things called niches or niches in right. Where you put all your shampoo and everything.

Enrique Alvarez (00:44:32):

Right. The number of ways that, that word it can be pronounced, different culture is uncountable, right? Yeah. Well, and the number of things and the number of ways I could lose a match.

Scott Luton (00:44:51):

Jason, uh, was also multiple too. So we lost a good one a few years back, but great point there, Eric. Great story. Alright. So

Enrique Alvarez (00:45:02):

Just very quickly on the value that I believe brokers that is also because we’ve been looking at this from the perspective of the shipper on the, um, I guess Consignia, if you will, but the truck drivers, it’s, it’s an important opportunity for truck drivers out there that you’re driving their trucks. And I think this gives them an opportunity to do increase their business and to bring more money through families. So I think that again, technology will plays a big role in it, but I think brokers also offer jobs to people. So we have to make sure that we kind of account for that as well. And the whole equation, because truck drivers are incredibly important. The supply chain, I think that they’re the, I guess on song heroes, if you will, almost as important if I was going to say, if not more, but like firefighters and police men and all the deliveries, all the truck drivers, they’re just there, especially throughout this year on the pandemic, they’re really the ones that kept the economy alive and they’re struggling every day. So I think a broker’s helped that particular part of the population too. And, and they are incredibly important

Scott Luton (00:46:08):

Exceptional call-out and that’s certainly one of the silver linings. We will beat the drum, we’ll beat the dead horse because it’s so important. It’s so neat to see the recognition that the frontline and global supply chain has gotten in recent months. And hopefully we can keep it there because to your point and Rica as Greg and I have talked about a lot, they kept things moving. And I like to say for a lot of folks that really had to stay in their homes for extended periods of time, it protected the psychic cause they were, they could get stuff delivered. So, um, but Greg, you know, as we start to wind down, we’re going to make sure our audience knows how to connect with Eric and Ray here momentarily, but what’s one of your final thoughts and this and this very, um, passionate, uh, discussion we’re having.

Enrique Alvarez (00:46:50):

Uh, you know, I would say that creating efficiency in the market

Scott Luton (00:46:53):

Is inevitable and it will accrue to the benefit of everyone who

Enrique Alvarez (00:46:57):

Wants to pay less or make more. Um, and you know, if I’m a broker, I’m looking for how to add value, and I’m thinking about some of those deals where I make an 83% margin or whatever, and I might go home feeling a little guilty about that. Cause that’s going away that will be filtered out of the marketplace and, and it will be, it will be equalized. Uh, but again, there’s plenty of room for people to do this. Look, every so many markets have been made efficient that are, have much

Eric Johnson (00:47:30):

More complex, um, and require much more complex analysis and algorithms than even transportation though. It is unbelievably complex. So it will happen. It’s just a matter of how companies adapt to it. And, and over what segment of the marketplace it happens, right? It will be the most, I don’t know how to say it. It will be the, the most inefficient, the most egregious profit margins that disappear like it is in every other marketplace. It’s like the stock market. I mean, stockbrokers used to make hundreds or thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars on, on shares. And arguably you need a ton of expertise to do that, but that has been completely automated to the point where it costs cents pennies now to trade stocks.

Scott Luton (00:48:18):

You know, there’s a little bit of ticker tape. There’s a little bit of typewriter. There’s a little bit in the rotary phone. There’s little bit of that in every single sector. And that’s what I think, Greg, that’s the point you’re making, that’s what will be automated in some, some way shape or form because it doesn’t add value.

Eric Johnson (00:48:34):

Companies will adapt look, right. They’ll adapt. It’s not, it’s not an attack on an industry. It is a, it is an, it’s an economic inevitability and companies will adapt and they’ll deliver services that, that the marketplace values and everyone will be fine, except for those ones like Sears, who hold on to their old business model. Right. I mean, right. You have to evolve with the marketplace. Right.

Scott Luton (00:49:03):

Alright. So Eric and Eric, I knew that we were, we needed a lot, like for our discussion because of some of the passions and the POV we had here today, but we’ll have to have you back, uh, in the meantime, Eric, I’m sure we’re going to have some folks that want to follow you and your reporting and your analysis via JOC. Y’all have a slew of great events over the years. Some of them now may be virtual of course,

Eric Johnson (00:49:26):

But tell us, how can we connect with you? Sure. Uh, easiest way to read the stuff’s at Very simple. Uh, email address is Eric E R I That’s our parent company, M a R K I T it, thanks for correcting me on that. Uh, I Twitter, if you like spicy takes a log tech, Eric [inaudible] Eric. Um, and since you called it out, we have a couple of webcasts coming up later this month that you can find out about on JFC that are dealing specifically with logistics technology. So I’d encourage you all to sign up there. They’re both free. So that’d be stoned. If anyone here is not familiar with JOC, right. And if they’re not, they should be well, you know, and Eric is very well known. So

Scott Luton (00:50:21):

Within the, um, the analysis and Delt leadership space, but if you’re not following him, especially on Twitter, that’s where I think I first

Scott Luton (00:50:28):

Met Eric before he came on the show spicy, takes his right. He tells it like it is, he’s got a little Greg white in him or vice versa. And I love that we all need that. Right. So check him out, log tech, Eric. And then of course, but Erica pleasure, um, as always Enrique, how can folks track you down the best way of actually reaching out to me or, or also vector is through our webpage vector that is www dot vector, new brand new cutting four months ago. Yup. Yup. Please check it out. Love it. All right. There you go. How about that? We’re going to use technology, right. Well, I really have enjoyed this conversation. We’re going to have to continue it. Um, and, and we’ll have to get Jamie and involved next time, as we mentioned on the front end here, he’s kind of our resident transportation, logistics guru, and I’m sure he would have really liked Lakers too.

Scott Luton (00:51:27):

So that’s right. That is right. It completely forgot about that. Um, well Eric Johnson with JOC, uh, Enrique Alvarez with vector global, thanks so much for joining us and we’ll be reconnecting with you both soon. Thank you for having me. Yeah. Thanks. Great to get, to hear your expertise, man. That was, that was great. Uh, I learned, you know, as everyone knows that knows me, I’m certainly no freight expert. A guru is not where I spent the bulk of my, uh, industry experience in and I love here. And, and, and from the comment we had a ton of great POV from the comments, right? Yeah. Yeah. I, I think it’s good. Um, to have those kinds of perspectives, look, I can only really speak to the market place inevitabilities right. And to macroeconomics of a marketplace, but, um, but it’s good to get everyone’s perspective on where everyone lands in terms of the, the market ecosystem.

Scott Luton (00:52:23):

Right. That is right. Okay. So now as we kinda wrap up in Latin in the next five, 10 minutes or so, um, we want to share a couple of observations from yesterday is outstanding webinars speaking and learning a lot of things. And then we give folks an opportunity on some of the upcoming events we’ve got Cooke and Greg. So, um, Greg, just to table set, just to submit. So yesterday, Greg and I hosted two outstanding, been there, done that, uh, Google broods, Jeff Cashman with a chief operating officer with gray orange and Cindy Lago, vice president, who does a lot of things in the supply chain space, right? Yeah. Cap Gemini. So before I share Sophia’s and hopefully it’s a Fiesta with us, she does a great writeup and recap of some, some different events and sessions. She is a part of, but Greg, give us a couple of your key takeaways from yesterday’s. To me, the, the greatest takeaway was not just the observations, but it was an actual, very brief game plan of

Greg White (00:53:26):

How to tackle the changes that have occurred in fulfillment, in retail, in the marketplace. Um, and I think it was, uh, it was probably a stark awakening for a lot of our hundred or so participants. I don’t know how many we wound up having, but, um, it was a stark awakening for a lot of those companies to realize that fragility is a more prominent word in supply chain and in fulfillment than resiliency. Um, and that real resiliency has effectively been redefined by this, this crisis. So I think that was really good. And at the same time, I think that Cindy and Jeff, they really brought it back home to what can you do about it? How do you attack it? How do you prepare your organization to do it? And then they made an offer to actually help you for nothing, spend 45 minutes with those two pros, right. To figure out where you stand and, and at least get a high level framework for a potential game plan. Yep.

Scott Luton (00:54:26):

All about the resilience maturity framework, kind of get a sense of where you are and what might be a, a, um, uh, approach moving forward because Greg, as you put it, and as they talked about yesterday, if you’re not resilient, you’re fragile and you could lay claim before. And, and still it’s a small crowd now that truly can claim, they’ve got a very mature sense of resilience baked into their supply chain.

Greg White (00:54:52):

So, uh, yeah.

Scott Luton (00:54:56):

Uh, Gary was a big fan. So Gary tuned in with us yesterday. Great webinar, even if you’re not in retail, great point, Gary, because know, we may have, I may have maybe promoted it a little too hard at it’s retail, new retail, when really there were so many transferable regardless of the sector lessons learned, um, and yesterday’s session. And to that point, Greg, I just had a completely rip this off of LinkedIn, uh, Sophia Reavis, Herrera, uh, shared some of her key takeaways. And I’m gonna, I’m not gonna read through all this, but, but pay attention here, Greg. One other things that Jeff said is don’t expect your old technology to do new stuff. And how many of us raise your hand if you’re guilty, I’m guilty as charged expect something that you may have acquired just a few years back to magically update. Even there’s no updates coming. I mean, that’s probably a pretty prevalent expectation for many hundred.

Greg White (00:55:52):

Yeah. Yeah. I mean it, and it’s natural. Right? Um, so many people think we could have worked harder to overcome this disruption. And the truth is so many people as we have harped on pretty much since March 13, um, the old technologies, the old ways, the manual, the spreadsheet, the paper processes, they are not going to keep up with and never have, but have never been pressured like they have in this and age. And that’s a lot of what we’re discussing in that, um, in that session, by the way. So we should share how folks can find that. Absolutely. Uh, also, um, and we’ll drop that in the, we’ll drop that in the, uh, um, comments section. So, so Nicole, you can find that, but it’s worth going back to yup.

Scott Luton (00:56:46):

Nicole and memory are both asking about the recording. Uh, so yeah, we’re going to upload the recording to YouTube in the next couple of days, it’ll be found there on the spot chain now channel and I we’d welcome you all to check it out. Great session. And one of the things that Sophia shared in the same, all this analysis, one LinkedIn post, and I think I’ve got a direct link to Sophia’s LinkedIn post in the comments here, show notes. She uses great image comes from parable in India, where you’ve got a bunch of, of, of blonde individuals that have been charged to describe an elephant. And if y’all notice of course they all have one, just very one very specific piece, uh, that they are inspecting. And it goes straight to how we all assume so many things on just a limited, um, um, piece of the puzzle. And, and this got a lot of people’s attention and got a lot of people’s comments and own Sophia’s posts. And it was just a well done recap. So Sophia really appreciate you sharing. Great to have you be a part of the session yesterday and, um, asking the questions around change management, Greg, if you remember, and how do we get leaders to integrate,

Greg White (00:57:57):

Uh, the, the, the, the change that’s necessary, right? Yes. Right.

Scott Luton (00:58:03):

Alright. So let’s move on. As we wrap up here, a couple of things coming up, Greg awesome interview. We had yesterday, uh, yesterday morning, tell us about what Peder was talking about.

Greg White (00:58:14):

So it was worth getting up early for, and it was early. So, uh, Peter to Borg the CEO of Arla foods, a dairy cooperative based in Denmark, but really distributing goods all over the world. Uh, and we talked about sustainability and how important that was not just for their specific means of production because they are a cooperative, the participants, the farmers ranchers, um, that are involved in, in their, uh, process and production and how they have, how they have incentivized everyone in their supply chain to create a more sustainable, uh, solution and their goal to be. And remember, they are using natural materials, cows and whatnot, and growing grasses to feed them how they intend to be carbon neutral in the next 20, 30 years. So no small task there, great initiative, very straight forward approach, right?

Scott Luton (00:59:16):

Bacon in the culture, bacon in the culture that he spoke to, how that’s the only way they’re gonna be to hit a hit, really hit these Beehag he’s big, hairy, audacious goals. Um, great interview. It was early. It wasn’t long. We didn’t get a chance to, yeah,

Greg White (00:59:30):

That’s the best 16 minutes you’ll spend on sustainability. Right. Hey, uh,

Scott Luton (00:59:35):

Mentioned in, in kind of the back channel comments that parable in India, small world, his son was recently learning that same parable. So evidently in India, it’s, it’s, um, very well known. I just came across it for the first time with through Sophia’s POV, sheer own LinkedIn, so good stuff. Anyway, um, back to the topic at hand

Greg White (00:59:55):

Scott back to the topic and that’s, my job is to get off on a tangent.

Scott Luton (01:00:00):

So Reuters events with this interview with Petra will be part of his, part of the supply chain USA, virtual 2020 event live virtual event, October 7th and eighth. And it’s free. You get a free taster pass to take in all the six keynotes. We’ve got the link in the show notes. Y’all check that out. Of course, we can’t get through a promo for this without mentioning Sandra McQuillan one of our favorites here who is EVP and chief supply chain officer at Mondelez international. All right. So Greg, we also have an upcoming panel session that we’re going to be moderating at AME. The association for manufacturing excellence and reassuring is probably going to be a big, big part of the discussion.

Greg White (01:00:42):

It is undoubtedly reassuring near shoring. Um, onshoring all kinds of shoring. We’re shoring up manufacturing. So, um, look, we, we have talked a lot about fulfillment. We’ve talked a lot about retail. We’ve even talked a lot about consumers and transportation. It’s time to talk manufacturing. So I really appreciate Kim and the team at AME, um, bringing this to us and letting us help them moderate it, because this is an important topic. And, uh, it’s an important tie into the overall end to end supply chain.

Scott Luton (01:01:16):

Well put, Hey, Debaro mentions that he’s got a, they’ve got supply chain Canada coming up next week. Hey, drop that link in the comments. I’ve seen a lot of promo promo about that. Daniel Stanton, I think, has been sharing a lot of information about that. We’d love to, for you to drop that in the comments, it’s all about sharing information. These are some things we’re involved with, and we’d welcome you all to share some of what you’re seeing a resource wise. Okay. Uh, we’re getting close here, but we’ve got two webinars to share. This one is about control towers and how can you get one up in 30 days, Greg, 30 days

Greg White (01:01:50):

In the bar, you look in the briefest. I can be, this is two companies who understand that. Um, good data is the key to control towers and having goals, business goals that drive back into how the control towers operate and what they deliver to users is absolutely critical. They both get it. We’ve had them both on this, on the show before Tim judge, uh, and the, and the team at rate links, Nate and Shannon. And, um, it’s definitely worth understanding. It’s more than just presenting reports. It is also presenting solutions. Yeah,

Scott Luton (01:02:29):

Absolutely. All right. So let’s, we got to pick on myself a little bit. There’s some comments about some, uh, different pronunciations, uh, and memory is, uh, is daring me, I think, take a hack at one of them and, Oh,

Greg White (01:02:40):

I’m not even going for that one. Scotland Minnoco is well, that’s what I would go with. Yeah.

Scott Luton (01:02:46):

So memory you’re right. That’s sometimes I have a hard time pronouncing my own name. So I was born,

Greg White (01:02:52):

I think the N is silent Scott. Okay. Alright. Anyway,

Scott Luton (01:02:58):

So y’all check out the October 6th, a webinar, no charge, a lot of good stuff to Greg’s point, um, from analytics and rate links. And finally, really would welcome. This is, this is a series we stood up, um, as COVID was really, at least here in the States was changing things. And, and it’s a series where we really shit. We really preserve some of the tougher topics that talked about at the time and the lead off session. It was, it was about a lot of the pain, both professionally and frankly, personally, that folks were, were struggling with in the earliest days of the lock down. And, and, um, and, and kind of back during that timeframe for this topic, Greg, on October 28th are really talking about, um, equity in and fortune 500, right? And what, what some thought leaders and AB equity advocates are doing to in their own way and move the needle and start changing the culture. So, um, this is really meant to be a very interactive discussion, uh, around equity. So bring your thoughts, bring your, your challenges, your experiences, um, you know, we really wanna make it a balanced exchange between Elba and Andrea, um, and our audience. So, uh, we’d welcome. You all. You’ve got you register for this. Um, we’ll make sure there’s a way that you can share comments or even if you’ve got a microphone connected to your PC. Sure.

Greg White (01:04:23):

But you are not required to stand up, but we would appreciate it if you sound lovely. You’re welcome to stand up. If you would like,

Scott Luton (01:04:30):

Yes. We’re had to incorporate that into our promotion here, but October 28th, 12:00 PM at a party go about 90 minutes. Um, but this is, this has been some of our most rewarding conversations and opportunities to learn and exchange perspective. So y’all join us for that. Uh, if we miss something, check us out at supply chain now,, shoot Amanda note, Amanda at supply chain, our, happy to serve as a resource as best that we can. All right. Greg loved the conversation with Eric and Enrique. So many different elements there. I wanted to dive deeper into, but I know Tom wouldn’t allow what was, um, you know, give us your favorite thing here today. I think we were effective at suckering people in,

Greg White (01:05:13):

By using coffee as, as a, uh, as bait.

Scott Luton (01:05:18):

Um, no, I, I mean, I’m glad we got to have that discussion. First of all, I’m a big fan of what, uh, the three companies that Enrique is working with are doing and trying to create a speaking of equity, create equity in that marketplace. Look, uh, coffee farmers have been taken advantage of to say the least for a long time, and that there are people making a conscious effort to make that a more fair ecosystem is a more, more than just noble it’s, you know, it’s, um, it’s the right thing to do. Yup. Uh, and I think also, uh, I really appreciate having the discussion around the transportation ecosystem, how the heck we even got there. I don’t know, but I’m glad that we did. And I think we all learned something from that. So that’s my takeaway. Yep. So, you know, we learned something one last comment here, I think, as an entrepreneur in a startup organization, early stage, and, and we all, you know, if you can relate to that, you know, what goes into that?

Scott Luton (01:06:17):

And for us, you know, our mission is creating and facilitating content and learning experiences and, and, and to give a voice to industry, not just the folks and the experts and the thought leaders a week that we feature, but to our audience, right? Cause that POV is, is as important. And so really want to appreciate Sophia that made our day. It makes my day, whenever I see something that I know our team worked hard on to facilitate and produce and execute and deliver, and then to see just an intelligent professional participate and then share that with her network. That is so rewarding. So, um, I learned a lot, I really appreciate folks like Sophia sharing, uh, this, this, these, this exchange of ideas and insights we have here. And that was certainly my highlight beyond, of course we love and Rica love Eric’s perspective. Uh, I’ve took, I don’t know, about seven pages of notes, I think own brokerage, Greg and, and, and that whole, whole industry, but, uh, really enjoyed today. And Greg, uh, all the links to what was shared or in the show notes, we try to make it easy. Right. It’s all about how many clicks right? One click, right? Oh, sorry. I’m sorry. I was looking back. I was about to, I was about to send a message to memory, to tell her where that is. It’s in the film. So you lost me there for a second one, click away. So big. Thanks to ask that again. How many clicks?

Scott Luton (01:07:48):

Alright. Hey, professional. That’s right. Go Braves. It looks like it is bombing a third. Still nothing. Nothing. So here we go again. We’ll see. Oh gosh. But big, thanks to all the comments is what makes this stuff so rewarding. So really appreciate the participation. You’ll have a great week on behalf of Greg white, our entire team here. Hey, do good give forward, but be the change that’s needed regardless despite it all. And on that note, we’ll see you next time here on supply chain now. Thanks everybody.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Watch as Scott and Greg welcome Eric Johnson and Enrique Alvarez to Supply Chain Now through our YouTube channel.

Featured Guests

Eric Johnson is the JOC’s Senior Editor, Technology, where he leads coverage and analysis of technology’s impact on global logistics and trade. Johnson regularly reports on how shippers, carriers across all modes, and logistics companies use software, as well as new concepts impacting core freight transportation processes like procurement, execution, visibility, and payment. Johnson is a regular presenter and moderator at industry events and webinars. Prior to joining the JOC in May 2018, Johnson spent 13 years with American Shipper in a variety of roles, most recently covering logistics technology and leading the production of a series of benchmark studies on the logistics industry. Johnson has a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s in international business from the University of Leeds, UK. He has lived and worked in Southern California, the UK, and India, and now resides in the Washington, D.C., area.

Enrique Alvarez 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 a 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 also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people and spending time with his wife and two kids Emma and Enrique. Learn more about Vector Global Logistics here:


Greg White

Principal & Host

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.

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Vicki White


Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

Katherine Hintz, MBA is a marketing professional who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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Kim Reuter


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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.

He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www., which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics.  He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.

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Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys.  She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.

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Allison Giddens


Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.

She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.

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Billy Taylor


Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.

An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.

A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.

A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning.  He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.

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Tandreia Bellamy


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

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

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

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

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Marty Parker


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

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

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jake Barr


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

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Marcia Williams


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

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.

From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.

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Greg White

Principal & Host

When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.

Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.

Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog.  He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community.  Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include CiscoMicrosoft, Citrix and IBM.  Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane UniversityO’Reilly MediaLinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight.  Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems EngineeringCarrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.

He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.

Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.

Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Manager & Executive Producer

Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more.  In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.