Supply Chain Now
Episode 484

Episode Summary

“‘Future proof,’ that’s a strong word, isn’t it? Who wouldn’t want to either have a skillset that is future-proof or be part of something that remains constant or stable regardless of what changes in our environment?”

Lisa Wittmer, Vice President of Partner Development and Technology Solutions at OMNIA Partners


Group Purchasing Associations, or GPOs, certainly aren’t a new approach to bringing spend under management and ensuring that the business has access to the products and services it needs to operate. That said, the GPO model has evolved significantly over time, reaching the point where they are relevant for more than just commodities and can achieve a broader set of business objectives than just savings.

Supply Chain Now was recently joined by two leaders from a ‘modern GPO,’ Lisa Wittmer, Vice President of Partner Development and Technology Solutions at OMNIA Partners, and Dan Grant, Senior Vice President of Vertical Markets for OMNIA Partners. They have firsthand experience with the benefits of applying the GPO model to efficiently manage spend in ‘good times’ and in 2020.

In this conversation, Lisa and Dan provide Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton with an up-to-date understanding of the following topics:

· Why a GPO should be willing to partner with the suppliers in their network, treating them as much closer associates than the traditional arm’s length relationship

· How the GPO model is being expanded to include more complex, strategic suppliers and categories of spend

· Why the GPO model is often overlooked by procurement, in good times and in bad

Episode Transcript

Scott Luton (00:00:28):

All right. Hey, good afternoon, Scott Luton and Greg white with you here on supply chain. Now. Welcome to today’s live stream, Greg, how are you doing? I’m doing great. It is the start of a new era. Now we’ve got the intro and the swoosh. I love it. The team behind the scenes are coming. It’s a big thanks to Amanda and clay and to our audience. Thanks for tuning in here today. I’m sure. We’ll see you popping in here momentarily. Um, Greg, first off, how about those brain game one against the best team this Meijer’s have seen in years? Evil Dodgers, just kidding. But today in the top of the ninth to ice, it pretty good. Awesome. It was awesome, but it was almost as awesome as today’s episode is going to be. So today, Greg, we’re going to be diving into two business leaders that are part of a really innovative organization.

Scott Luton (00:01:19):

That’s changing the face, the landscape from a GPO standpoint, we’re not talking about your grandmother’s or your grandfather’s GPO, but a highly innovative, uh, GPO organization that is future proofing global supply chain. Right? Undoubtedly, we’ve already talked to one of their execs. So, um, and we loved that perspective what an enlightenment that was so really need to see what these, these two folks have to say. Agreed. Hey, good afternoon, Erin and practice. Hey Aaron, appreciate your comments on the tail end of the last live stream. We’re going to circle back on that. Um, I’d love to dive more into that, but I appreciate you sharing all that you share on these live streams cause Jeff they’re practice. Great to have you here as well. Both of y’all tuned in via LinkedIn. Hey Greg. Um, yes, we always do. We’re gonna be working hard to raise our eye, our audiences supply chain Accu here today, and that’s harder and harder every day. No kidding. He’s out there. We learn so much from, from both our guests and the folks that tune in, but Hey, quick programming before, um, uh, if you enjoy today’s lab stream, be sure to check out our podcast, wherever you get your podcasts from. We featured an outstanding thought leader from the planning space. Uh, today on an episode, we dropped featuring Alex with John Galt solution. So check that out. Who is John Galt?

Scott Luton (00:02:47):

We may have just touched on that in that episode. We’ll see, but Hey, as always, if you enjoyed today’s live stream, check out podcast, wherever you get your podcasts from and subscribe. So you don’t miss conversations just like this here today. All right. So before we welcome in our two guests, want to also say hello to Thomas dent, Thomas you’re joined in via LinkedIn. Great to have you here with us and look, Kelly Barner is here with us,

Greg White (00:03:13):

Man. Now the pressure is on. So Kelly, next X we’ll have Sophia, right? Elle and Kelly. Oh man. Okay.

Scott Luton (00:03:25):

Greg, you don’t even know this yet. I don’t think so. Kelly will be joining us for Thursday’s live stream. Kelly is an outstanding supply chain guru, but specializing in procurement, great thought leader. The buyer buyer’s meeting point is an outstanding community for procurement pros, for sure. But that just is the tip of iceberg. So great to have Kelly Barner with us here today for this conversation. Okay, Greg, are you ready?

Greg White (00:03:49):

I thought I was ready until Kelly showed up. Let me, let me redial. Okay, I’m ready. Let’s do this.

Scott Luton (00:03:56):

Let’s welcome in our two guests here today, we’re going to be featuring Lisa Whitmer, vice president of partner development with technology solutions and Dan grant, senior vice president. Both are with Omnia partners, Lisa Dan. Good afternoon. Hello afternoon. Um, we’ve really enjoyed it. We enjoy it. We always enjoy our pre show conversations, but this, with the variety of phone calls, email messages, the prep, the, uh, the Bullhorn session or up before we went live here today, I feel like I’ve earned the certification, Greg, uh, from procurement and beyond with these folks, right?

Greg White (00:04:40):

Well, yeah, I mean, you know, I think everybody knows that I’m a relative newbie to the procurement scene. Thank you for the education from folks like Kelly Barner and others who are experts in the industry. And I was really enthralled by the discussion that we had with, with era when, when he came on, uh, we did, uh, a video podcast right there. Yup. That’s right. And fascinating. Just fascinating recognition of both what procurement is about and how GPO is and other organizations like that fit into the whole thing. So,

Scott Luton (00:05:19):

And just to connect the dots here, ARRA is part of the leadership team with Omnia partners. We took a deep dive in his, his background, his story, and some of his observations from not just procurement and GPO, but really the global end to end supply chain landscape. And, and Greg, for folks that may have missed that episode, what were some of your key takeaways there?

Greg White (00:05:41):

Yeah. Well, let me tell you that one of my real key takeaways from the very beginning was he was born to do this right, as he said, he came from an entrepreneurial and the ghost should have family. Um, they a big, big, uh, level of importance on customer service and, and just serving generally. So that was a big thing, but you know, the other thing that was just such a recognition for me is the, um, what do I want to say? There is abundance in the universe when it comes to, when it comes to procurement, both sides can win and that there’s so much value that a GPO can bring beyond just beating the hell out of vendors to get a better price, right? The permanence of the relationship, um, the ability to overcome hurdles in the business process. So, I mean, imagine that your GPO is an approved vendor with, with an organization and then you don’t have to go through RFP processes and you don’t have to go through the approval process and things like that, th that soar that reduction of hurdles and, um, reduction of friction in the process is so incredibly valuable.

Greg White (00:06:56):

Um, and I think, you know, we talk a lot, we’re talking a lot about a couple of things. One is resiliency, right. And the other is future-proofing right. And the thing that I saw from talking to ARRA was, uh, was a lot of that was the ability to apply a lot of that through an established relationship and being part of an organization, either on the Beller buyer or the seller side or the Beller side, that’s a tougher job on the buyer or the seller side. Right. You have a sense of permanence and you have a sense of, of, uh, community, frankly, there, when the relationship is already established for you. Yep. Anna, this GPO thing, and you really broke out all your notes from ours conversation with us. I love it.

Lisa Wittmer (00:07:49):

Yeah. You have some questions for you though.

Greg White (00:07:54):

Well, we have an outstanding opportunity over the next hour or so to continue this, um, this fact finding mission that Greg and I have been on, uh, about, uh, the GPO landscape, but also about the innovative forward looking approach that, that Omnia partners has an end, as well as getting some insights on the, on the market before we, we get to work with Dan and Lisa, if we, if y’all can just in a, in a nutshell, just talk about what you do, uh, at Omnia partners, your role, and then we’re gonna, we’re gonna spend the next hour or so picking your brain. So, um, Lisa, let’s start with you, um, as vice president partner development, uh, for technology solutions with Omnia partners, where, where do you spend your time?

Lisa Wittmer (00:08:34):

Sure, absolutely. So again, thank you so much for having us really appreciate the time today, look forward to our discussion. Um, as far as my role and responsibility, I primarily work with our supplier partners. Um, we are looking to, again, we support both the public sector as well as private sector divisions. And, um, we have a combination of about, about close to 800 supplier partners between the two divisions. Wow. And so, um, and again, that represents both divisions, but we spend, so I spend a lot of my time working with those supplier partners. Um, not only understanding their capabilities as it stands today, but then we have a lot of discussions on where they’re heading in the future so that we can be on top of, of what is coming down the pike. Right. Um, so a lot of organizations continue to evolve. Um, especially when we have situations as we are currently today, a lot of organizations are pivoting. And so we need to stay on top of that, um, before front of that, and then, um, communicate that out to our, our clientele. Um, so that they’re also aware because there’s a lot of research or excuse me, there’s a lot of content out there, but a lot of times we don’t have the bandwidth or the time to be able to spend researching, um, you know, what makes sense, what doesn’t make sense.

Dan Grant (00:10:07):

We need to listen to the signal we got to find and listen to the signals and ignore all the noise. That is some of what I’m hearing from you, Lisa. And, you know, we’re gonna be picking your brain on how you and others are future-proofing supply chain. So thank you for planting that seed. I’m gonna circle right back to you in one second. Hey, Dan, in a nutshell, uh, as senior vice president with Omnia partners, you know, what’s where do you spend your time or w what’s your favorite, what’s your favorite part of your role perhaps? Oh, sure. Yeah. So my background is in manufacturing and raw materials, uh, more technical and engineered components. So my role primarily focuses on working with our buyer community, which is roughly 4,000 and growing buyers throughout North America, really working with them on more technical and we’ll call larger spend or strategic spend categories.

Dan Grant (00:10:57):

So again, raw materials is my, my background. So I do a lot of work with manufacturing companies on things like raw materials, steel resin, high dollar spends, but then that also goes to other industries for, for categories like logistics and freight HR, uh, where a lot of dollars are tied up and where a lot of folks don’t traditionally apply a GPO model to. And when really changing that, uh, kind of concept here with breaking the mold, exactly. Breaking the mold. So Greg I’ve already figured out just in what Lisa and Dan has shared in the last two minutes that, that I’m out of my league here. I’m letting the pros take over. Um, but yeah, I mean, there’s, so there’s so many areas that you don’t think about, right. This whole direct and indirect spend. Right. Um, I had to learn that to work with our at Verisign. Right.

Scott Luton (00:11:54):

So, um, every time we have these discussions, I get a better idea of what that really means, but things like HR, I, you know, right, right. Love it. All right. So let’s say hello to a few folks before we talk about future proofing, supply chain. So Mervin, Mervin Daniels, whether it’s via LinkedIn, great to have you here, Barb Sexton, uh, who is a, uh, an outstanding supply chain trivia competitor, by the way, Barb, hello to you via LinkedIn, uh, 105, where Barb is, that is right.

Scott Luton (00:12:28):

Kayvon is with us Kayvon, appreciate your, you were showing some love to our, this week in business history podcast. Great to have you here via LinkedIn as well. Uh, VIN cat, uh, VIN Kaddish is here with us via LinkedIn. Great to have you here, Ben Kaddish, Louise. Uh, and of course, David David’s with us all the time dropping knowledge left and right on the day off yesterday. And he came to see us even. Yes, that’s right. Thanks Thanksgiving. Right. Right. Okay. So back to the task at hand. So I love this, you know, in our pre-show conversations, when this idea of future proofing supply chains came up, you know, our team was really excited to dive into that topic. So let’s talk about that. So Lisa, let’s start with you here. Um, so, you know, given how unique 2020 has been, of course paired with the massive impact that it had on global supply chains, the risks that it uncovered, the blind spot, that, that it shown a big old light on, you know, how can a GPO really minimize the disruption and future-proof supply chains? What are you seeing? Sure,

Lisa Wittmer (00:13:35):

Sure. So future proof, that’s a strong word, isn’t it? Um, you know, who wouldn’t want to either have the skillset that is future-proof or be some, be part of something, um, regardless of what changes in our environment that re remains constant or stable. Um, and that’s all about future-proof and Scott, you did a great job of recapping Aras, uh, last session. Um, however, I just want to remind the audience on a couple key points regarding GPS and maybe some differences between a traditional GPO and a modern GPO, um, that that may help in this discussion in what we’re seeing, especially in 2020. And again, I mentioned this in my intro earlier that, um, the word pivot, um, I’ll probably say that I’m a big basketball fan, so you’re probably gonna hear me say that more times than anyone wants to hear, but I think it’s so relevant in, in 2020.

Lisa Wittmer (00:14:39):

Exactly. So, um, just a couple of key points on, um, maybe some differences between traditional GPS and where Omnia partners sits in this space as a modern GPO, um, all GPS, we focus on savings, time and resources. Um, I don’t know about you, but, uh, this year I’ve been more resource constraint than ever. I thought, uh, 2019 was tough. Um, it doesn’t even compare to 2020. Um, so in addition, um, you may have some thoughts around GPS only focusing on commodities, um, that, you know, certainly is the case and in some regard, but hopefully at the end of this conversation, you’re going to see that, um, at Omnia partners or at, you know, the modern GPO is not just focused on commodities, right. Um, while we find that pricing is incredibly important, um, that’s certainly not going to be a race to the bottom. And I know that may see my deal.

Lisa Wittmer (00:15:43):

Um, we all need cost savings. We all desire, um, cost savings, especially now in, in last year and certainly in the future. Um, but there is, as we all know, as procurement professionals and supply chain professionals, that there is a right way to get that ideal price point. Right. And you don’t always want to be at that bottom. And, and again, you know, as a tendency, what will happen? Um, I don’t know if it’s the folks on the phone or, um, on the web, uh, the webcast or very thing this, um, in the comments exactly is that when you’re at that bottom level of pricing, oftentimes you can become, uh, your, your supplier partner, um, becomes just adversarial. Uh, you’re just, it’s a constant grind of, uh, of a conversation. Um, and in my opinion, I feel like that limits innovation to your program. It limits strategic discussions regarding your program.

Lisa Wittmer (00:16:48):

And again, I am not suggesting that we aren’t, um, very cost competitive because we certainly are. We have to be, and you’ll hear more about why we have to be because of the organizations that we, um, certainly support both in our private sector, as well as our public sector. Um, but again, that’s a given price point event. Um, but what I’d like to talk about is more on the lines of partner managers. So I had mentioned to you, or excuse me, you had mentioned, um, when you introduced myself as, as the vice president of partner development, and that’s exactly what we see our supplier partners, as we’ve even gone as far as to drop the word supplier. And they’re just our partners because we’re working alongside those suppliers to ensure those cost savings are going to remain consistent throughout the life of the contract. We’re in addition, we’re not just focused on those traditional commodity, then Dan’s going to talk a

Dan Grant (00:17:50):

Little bit more about, um, the strategic approach that we take to some of these high level supplier partners that you would never dream would be part of, uh, a group purchasing organization. Right. I’ll pause there. Um, yeah, you’ve got any other comments or would like me to expand further? Well, there’s so much to dive into there. I want to, I want to circle back to some of what you shared. I want to get Dan involved here in a minute and Greg, you too stand by real quick. Let’s recognize a few folks that have tuned in here. We’ve got Gary Smith, a long time friend of ours from the apex realm. So Gary, great to have you hope you’re doing well. Appreciate your comments on some of our earlier live streams. He, uh, Greg, he was talking about circular economy, um, Monday on the buzz, right, Gary.

Dan Grant (00:18:36):

Great to see you, um, hose way. Can’t do a live stream these days without our dear friend Ho’s way. And, uh, one of the things that we get Dan involved, I want to share this comment from Kelly, um, cause she echoes what Lisa was sharing. It’s so important. Procurement thinks we know everything there is to know about GPS and their value prop. And we end up missing opportunities as a result. Excellent point as always from Kelly. Okay. So Dan, I’ve got a question for you here. Are you ready? Strapped in ready to go? I’m ready to go. So of course, modern GPS add value. We’ve certainly learned a lot of that from our sit down with ARRA and all of our other conversations. Cause I, you know, admittedly like Greg has alluded to, I’m not a GPO pro, um, but how do they continue to make an impact, especially in a marketplace that is so such a unique time like right now that we’re experiencing.

Dan Grant (00:19:31):

Yeah, thanks God. I mean probably the best way I think I can answer that is to go back four years ago when I joined Omnia partners. So I joined through an acquisition. So I had spent 20 years in various leadership roles within biker serving manufacturers. I mentioned the beginning, uh, raw materials and manufacturing is kind of where it came out of. Um, and then everybody I’m sure has their horror story around, they were acquired or they know somebody who I knew got acquired and none of what they said to actually happened. And, and, and I’m not going to do an advertisement obviously, but really the opposite is true, uh, with Omnia partners and, and we’re growing organically as an organization, but that growth or acquisition, I never fully appreciated the value of that strategy until I was in the Omnia partners boat. And the benefits really for the buyers are, are many right?

Dan Grant (00:20:25):

So in building a GPO that we’ve all done on this, on the [inaudible] partner side for years, it takes so many years to not only find and bring to maturity successful programs for our buyers, but then to get that leverage and volume going across that contract and scale to really, to really make it take off, uh, it just takes a long time to do so as Omnia partners grows through acquisition and organically, but especially the acquisition piece, our buyer community now can get immediate access to programs that have been baked out in the marketplace for 15, 20 years with a lot of spend already on them and see immediate benefits. So, so that’s really the first thing that separates us from a modern GPO perspective. And then the other real Def differentiator is through those acquisitions. We’ve added, again, those, those non I’ll call them non traditional, uh, GPO categories, right. Um, we do very well, uh, and are, I’ll put our programs. There’s strong programs within directs, but having categories like HR, direct materials, um, we’re reaching a bigger audience within our member base, uh, more strategic categories

Scott Luton (00:21:46):

Audience, uh, that may not know because this is, again, this is not something that I really, uh, deeply appreciated, uh, as we’re going through the, our prep conversations here is that a lot of GPS, traditional GPS really shy away from those strategic categories that you just mentioned there, right. HR direct, um, it even, is that the case?

Dan Grant (00:22:07):

Yeah, no, we’re, we’re jumping all in on those strategic categories. I mean, there’s, as you can imagine, there’s a lot of benefits to it, right? So having high spend categories from a buyer perspective, uh, the benefit for the buyers on that call on this call today is that they can put more spend under management and play a more strategic role within their organizations by offering the programs through on the partners, our suppliers benefit. Uh, but then most importantly, from, from an Omnia partners perspective, what really differentiates us with these categories is that we can offer customized solutions for our members. A lot of GPS out there I’ll call them more traditional models. It’s very much, Hey, here’s a rate. This is the discount. These strategic categories are way more tailored to the individual member and it gives them much more benefit versus a traditional GPO.

Scott Luton (00:23:02):

I love it. Um, you know, Greg, we, we really appreciate unique approaches in the marketplace. That’s been certainly a big part of our journey here through just about 500 podcasts, a slew of labs from ours. And that, that really, um, we heard that loud and clear from our very first sit down with ARRA through all these other conversations and to that point and Greg, and get you to weigh in real quick. Um, but Amanda and clay, if y’all could drop in that old, the, um, the first episode with our, that directly in the comments of folks and check that out as they have time, but you know, highly customized is what I’m hearing here. Greg, highly unique and, and truly changed in the market. Look, I know was a revelation

Greg White (00:23:46):

For me for how I thought of procurement, but that’s probably not the best example of, uh, of offering a differentiation, but the comment that Kelly Barner made earlier, if you can get someone like Kelly Barner, who has lived this, her entire career to recognize that that there’s a gap in how even the most experienced procurement professionals think about GPS or even think about procurement on the whole. That to me tells me that this is a diff a different approach and it look, we, we can use term whatever term we want future-proofing or resiliency or whatever it is, but the fact is the game has changed, right? And you, you have to think about the world in a new light now. And, and the timing of these discussions for me is just been epiphanal in terms of being able to go, Oh yeah, I get it.

Greg White (00:24:45):

I actually feel a little bit fortunate that I don’t have the burden of past experience to try to change my paradigm from right to me. I’m going, wow. How is it not everyone else is doing this so much there, Greg so much there. And I know you’re going to take a, you’ve got a couple of questions for Lisa here in a minute, but, uh, real quick, Larry Klein says, sorry, I’m late, Larry. Great to have you as part of the conversation. Larry always. And I know you’ve got plenty of work, you know, for being from us to keep anyone from all the good work that they’re doing, but we try Greg, let’s keep driving with Lisa. I know we’re going to talk about, um, other, other aspects of, of the programming here. Yeah. So, well, we’ve talked about so much of, of how a GPO, especially this sort of new era GPO, future-proofing GPO, whatever you want to call it right now, how these GPS are, um, are helping companies to engage with sellers, suppliers, um, you called them partners, right? Lisa. Um, but, but then what happens after all the paperwork is done? Right? And it’s a relationship. I mean, what’s next,

Lisa Wittmer (00:25:57):

This is the best part, right? This is the best part. So, um, so think of us as, or think of, you know, whomever as in, in this space as your advocate. Um, so you made you, you brought up such a great point of, um, as procurement professionals, we spend so much time putting together what we think, what we hope, what we think, what we expect to be a very robust, comprehensive agreement. And we, we spend so many, so much of our time, our limited bandwidth out there. And then oftentimes, um, after we get through that implementation. So now I’m speaking as, as those folks, your audience I’m to your audience right now. So hopefully they can relate that, um, they’re the ones putting their blood, sweat, and tears into this. They go and implement, um, you know, maybe it’s something in technology. Maybe it’s something in HR where there’s other stakeholders that are utilizing this product or services.

Lisa Wittmer (00:27:01):

And oftentimes you may not engage in those particular, um, services or have a need for that because you’re not in that particular stakeholder group. And so what’ll end up happening is you then take a back seat because you’re on to the backseat, to that particular project, because you’re on too many other projects you’re onto the next right. That that to do list is a mile long. So before you know, it, three to five years later, that contract might be up for renewal and you’re back at it. Well, what took place during that three to five years? And that’s why I made that statement, look at us as your advocate, because that’s where myself, my team, we are constantly evaluating the current program. So I’m a couple of things don’t take place. One first and foremost, that price creep doesn’t start to take place because again, if it does, doesn’t it, it does.

Lisa Wittmer (00:27:56):

And, and listen, those suppliers will come up with the they’ll bring to you lots of reasons. And maybe some of them are justifiable, but let’s, you know, you’re also running in a million different directions. You’re onto another project. So you may not have the, again, the bandwidth to properly vet out, hold on. What does this price price increase entail? Just know that that’s a big component of our group, right? We are looking at the market. We are educating. We are making sure that, um, you know, folks like you on the call are, are getting this information in real time so that you can be prepared for these conversations. Get one step further, because this is again where it’s just a little bit unique is we’re also looking, because I had mentioned, um, that we serve. So just to kind of level set, how many clients we serve in the private sector face, we serve about 3,500, um, clients.

Lisa Wittmer (00:28:55):

And those clients represent anywhere from mid market to fortune 1000 organizations. And then on the public sector side, we serve about 60,000 public agencies in the state, local and education market. So we as an organization have to not only be on top of the pricing again, I mentioned that earlier, that’s a given, but more importantly, what is changing? What is evolving? What are these companies looking to get into next? And while you may not be ready for that today, just know that you’ve got somebody that’s properly vetting out those solutions, every step of the way. And our contracts are incredibly flexible. Oftentimes they’re so flexible because we have so much leverage again, because of all of those, those clients that we serve, that we have options even within our own supplier base. So folks will think, okay, GPO, we have to work. We have to nail it down to one particular supplier because we need all the leverage possible to put together a great program. Well, when you have the leverage that we have at some point, that leverage is just going to, you know, it’s going to bottom out, right? So this is where you can bring in multiple suppliers in that space, still have that aggressive pricing, but still be talking to multiple suppliers to understand what that landscape is looking like.

Greg White (00:30:22):

So, Lisa, I think two, two things come to light here. One, you are

Greg White (00:30:32):

Your level of understanding and your engagement in the things that make this, these relationships work. I don’t know how long you’ve been doing this, but clearly you’re engaged in the things that I think so many companies overlook and two that the word advocacy, right? The advocate role, I think is important. It’s too easy to become myopic. And one of the things you just touched on is imagine Scott’s got a business, Dan’s got a business and I’ve got a business. I go, I want to build the best, best contract most Bulletproof contract I possibly can. Right? So I do that from my myopic viewpoint, but then you combine the needs that I haven’t anticipated that even I have, that you might have experienced by helping Dan with his business or Scott, you combine that all into that. And suddenly we’ve got so many viewpoints. Look, we talk a lot about diversity of viewpoints, you know, here in supply chain.

Greg White (00:31:33):

And that is so tremendously, obviously valuable here. So I appreciate you that way. Let me pull it. We’ve got, we’ve got a couple of questions from the audience I’m going to, I want to focus here first and then we’ll keep driving on some of our other things we want to pose to y’all. But if you would, one of y’all address this, this comes from a [inaudible]. So we’ve got a little glitch in the, in the social platform. You know, sometimes all these different social platforms don’t play together, but, um, Ash warrior is who asked the question and she asked about, I’m gonna, I’m gonna read it off for folks that may be listening, uh, Lisa or Dan, how do you convince your buyers to not be fixated on only piece price savings, but look at the overall benefits

Lisa Wittmer (00:32:15):

GPO you want me to start? And then

Greg White (00:32:22):

We did a whole other show to answer this question.

Lisa Wittmer (00:32:25):

Uh, this is a great question and music, our ears, absolutely. Um, you know, from a, from a

Greg White (00:32:34):

Offering it, and let’s just talk about the verticals and these technical categories, but it really could apply to any of our categories.

Dan Grant (00:32:41):

It really starts with the deal creation itself. As we’ve talked about all along the value beyond price, when you really dive deep into our programs that we offer our buyers, uh, in any of these categories, they’re very nuanced. Uh, there’s certainly going to be a price component to it, but they’ve been, they’ve benefited from the power of the network, the power of our buying community within Omnia partners or selling community to, to really create a value proposition that is very challenging for an individual buyer within a company to match. Uh, and so I guess that’d be my, that would be my side of it. And I’ll turn over Lisa. Right. Lisa, what would you add in terms of the bigger picture value?

Lisa Wittmer (00:33:26):

Absolutely. So we’ve got a couple, um, a couple what I’ll call, um, tools that may be able to help this. And, and, and again, I I’m answering this at a very basic level, um, just as a, just to kind of help the, the thought process that we’ve all experienced, that you will have those buyers. And look, I’ve been there. I have been there where there are certain folks that are fixated on, on, you know, I’m gonna use something as, as easy as office supplies and take it even a step below that and talk about paper. So in my opinion, the ultimate of commodity, so you could have a great office of my program and I only pick on office supplies cause everybody can relate, but then you could be fixated on a particular paper tossed or particular paper skew, even though you’re driving so much value on this overall program.

Lisa Wittmer (00:34:23):

And so some of the tools that we have is we have analysts in house, um, that can help drive that overall savings cost or show that overall savings cost to you. Um, so think of that more as an ex, an executive summary, um, with a little bit more neat than just an executive summary in which it’s going to show you what that overall program savings is providing for you. And then again, we have to teach our buyers to get out of that tactical thinking and into that strategic thinking. And what does the overall program, again, what’s that savings, but then what do some of those other components help with that value such as SLS sets you as innovation. And I’m going to keep coming back to that because that’s incredibly important. And I’m gonna share some examples of that later in which these organizations just can bring forth so much great information.

Lisa Wittmer (00:35:24):

If we just open up our, our, our ability to, to welcome them, not think of them so much as what are they here to, you know, hammer me on what, what are, what price increases are they going? Give me, but more of that, again, that partnership and not get fixated on that overall cost. So just to kind of tie a bow on this real quick, look at that overall volume or overall savings as a whole, instead of just that skew, if there is that skew level pricing that you’re fixated on, if it’s one or two, let’s talk through that. It’s not something that, you know, certainly as an organization that we haven’t seen before, haven’t heard before and hasn’t worked through, but again, I just remind you that we’re, we’re all strategic thinkers. We wouldn’t be on this, this, we wouldn’t be connected today if we weren’t at a, at a much higher level than that individual skew level. So hopefully that helps address that a little further.

Dan Grant (00:36:19):

Outstanding. Let me read a couple of comments real quick from, from some of our participants. I know that, uh, any talk of procurement GPS, lots of spirited conversations, lots of passion in the conversations. Kelly says most procurement teams don’t have the headcount to keep category expertise in house. If we source something every two to three years, it’s like doing it for the first time. Every time if we go it alone, excellent stuff there from Kelly. Hey, you know, we really enjoyed collaborating with Sarah through, through this, uh, this journey here. She says, building deep partnerships and expertise for buyers and sellers alike is such a key component of the value beyond cost that the modern GPO provides great point, Lisa, good stuff there. And Larry says, um, from his experience purchasing is buying while procurement involves the item through the entire life cycle from cradle to grave, good stuff.

Dan Grant (00:37:12):

There’s other comments around aggressive pricing in today’s environment, if y’all want to touch on that. Great. But, um, Hey Scott. Yes, sir. Please. I just want to add one thing. Uh, one of the listeners talked about expertise and, and one of the key differentiators that we offer, uh, that we’ve layered in and some of these more technical categories speaking to this expertise level, our subject matter experts. So w w one real value add for Omni partner buyers is that we’ve got a team of people, whether it’s raw materials, HR it on our team right now combined 75 years of working in these industries that not only work with procurement, but also work with the stakeholders within our members, organizations, again, creating those custom solutions. So we can also help procurement break down those barriers when we’re attacking some of these non traditional GPO categories. Yep. Great point.

Lisa Wittmer (00:38:06):

And Scott, I just want to call, um, call out Kelly’s comments as well. I believe it was Kelly, the first comment about when you feel like you’re sourcing it for the first time three years later, and that’s spot on because so much can change in three years, especially in the world of technology. Um, but more important. I, again, I made reference to this earlier is you might go and source that three, five years later, just as Kelly had mentioned, and you’re seeing this great cost savings, you know, traditionally double digit cost savings, but I asked the question, should you, should you even be in that situation? Because to me that goes back to that price creep. And if we can contain that price cream, you shouldn’t see double digit savings because it never got there. Unless for some reason you were in a situation in which that price remained consistent and then you saw double digit savings. But for the most part, that doesn’t happen.

Greg White (00:39:07):

That’s an interesting perspective. So I’ve worked with companies on finished goods, uh, partnerships with suppliers, which is a little bit different than procurement. Usually they’re contracted pricing and, uh, and, uh, and huge. And usually the things like price creep are either built in or specifically excluded, right? But you do see people recognize what your value proposition is and compensating for that. For instance, I worked with a company that had, they had companies in France, England, blah, blah, blah, France, negotiated on every single contract and got a 20% on every single contract. When we got all of the countries together, we realized France was paying exactly the same price and doing 40% more work to get to that price because of the desire to negotiate. They didn’t get the 20% higher level of cost. And knowing that they’re going to negotiate it down, Greg, they didn’t get 20% from you.

Greg White (00:40:09):

No way. I’ve been in the same room. That would be a magic magic trick. I’m kidding. Alright. I’m the worst negotiator. Yeah. I want to feature, I know we won’t talk. I want to talk about the current environment. Uh, Greg got a couple of questions here, but right before we do, David’s got an interesting question. And if you can, you remember reader’s digest. I shouldn’t have a prop here with me, but if you have bullet points, there you go. If y’all would address David’s question here, David asked about, you know, the subject matter experts that y’all both have alluded to. Are you trained in those internally? Are y’all procuring those from industry. Can you I’ll touch on that just really quick. A lot of those folks are on my vertical team. The subject matter experts, we are plucking them out of industry. So taking them out of procurement, uh, take them out of the supply side, uh, again, years ago,

Lisa Wittmer (00:41:00):

Experience in, and really know the ins and outs of these for that, for that program to get that program value, they have to be able to speak the language of that Boulder. And you don’t, you can’t train someone on that. They have to be from that environment.

Greg White (00:41:15):

Perfect. Thanks so much, Dan and leasing. They, uh, they’ve been great question. Alright, so Greg, that is a great question. All right. So we’ve been talking really strategic really philosophically. We’ve been talking about the benefit of modern GPS. So 20, 20, right. Look how everyone stops. As soon as you say that. So 20, 20 COVID, whatever you want to call this seismic societal disruption, this current business environment has been challenging to say the least. So, so tell us about what you’ve seen in terms of a business in this environment, right. Um, how, how have you seen your organization, other modern GPS or, or even, um, your buyers and sellers? How have you seen them respond? Lisa, you want to start?

Lisa Wittmer (00:42:07):

Sure, absolutely. So, um, a couple of things, and again, just to kind of reiterate, what I had said earlier is while we’re having these conversations with our supplier partners, um, because innovation, so this is you’re hitting on my innovation piece is so critical is this is, so may I share an example? Um, is this an appropriate time to share an example? Sure. It’s okay. Because I think that’ll hit home. So, um, an example that I’m going to use is in the technology space, in which, uh, we have a partner of ours that, um, you know, you’re going to know them in the printer industry, right. They, they, and they are there in the, the copier printer industry. Well, um, for the past couple of years, they have also owned an organization that does thermal imaging. Um, so, you know, while I thought thermal imaging, body temperature, scanning, all of that, um, was really cool. A couple of years ago. Really a hot market is really

Greg White (00:43:17):

Man. I’m sorry. I didn’t pick up on that. I wish nobody else did there a mute button. Yeah. Not for him. He’s he’s in control all we got, Oh, we got bad jokes here. Full inventory. All right. So Lisa, sorry, you’re talking about,

Lisa Wittmer (00:43:36):

So while we were talking about this, so we started having this conversation a few years ago and I’m sure there’s folks out there that have had these conversations as well, but they have never been so meaningful until 2020 when the time is appropriate, that we are starting to open up our offices, whether that you now today have opened or going to in the future. But now everybody is looking for these devices or looking for how I’m going to help support our organization when we reopened. Well, we’ve already been working on this for the past two to three years, if not longer, frankly. Um, it’s already part of our contract. It’s already negotiated. It’s a constant discussion that we have, and it wasn’t just because of 2020, this has been going on because again, as technology continues to evolve, these are the types of things that we’re looking at.

Lisa Wittmer (00:44:31):

Now, if I told you the name of the company that actually supports this, you would say no way, this is a traditional printer company. Well, this is exactly my point is how many folks out there are having. And again, I welcome your comments on this, but how many folks out there are having these types of strategic discussions? And again, you may want to more than anything, but it comes back to a bandwidth issue. And so if I can just kind of sum up real quickly and I’ll turn it over to Dan is I, I, I mentioned it earlier, we’re an advocate of yours. So just as you have your own stakeholders such as HR, it and all the other folks that you work with, think of us as your procurement stakeholder, where we’ve got the tools, the research, the knowledge, the expertise Dan had mentioned about these category experts. I don’t know what I would do without these folks. These folks are, I call on them daily because they speak the right language and they know how to convey the message appropriately and they help us not get lost in the weeds. So with that said, Dan, I’ll turn it over to you for any comments.

Dan Grant (00:45:40):

Yeah, sure. So I think the power of, of the, of the buyer and supplier network that we’ve built that Omnia partners was probably never more apparent than would covert hit, uh, back in early March. So we formed an internal task force. We pulled in a buyer community, the supplier community. We took a look and took an inventory really of our programs and what addressed immediate needs, right? So we set to work with the base level. Everyone on the call probably had the source PPE, mass gloves, face shields, uh, in a lot of cases, a lot of people on the call today was they were probably faced with allocation. Uh, and, and while our buyers were faced with that, Omnia partners was able to leverage our relationships with our suppliers and our network of distributors. In some cases, to work with the PPE manufacturers directly on a global capacity and pull PPE in and run it through our distribution networks and supply that PPE to our buyer members, um, when they were really struggling to get it on their own.

Dan Grant (00:46:43):

Uh, and, and if you kind of fast forward and into the summer, and even today with businesses starting to open the Cobra demand, even though PPE is still strong, it’s evolved, right? I mean, a lot of people now are looking at things like air scrubbers and filtration systems, right cleaning services, and the COVID that demand is, is evolving. And we, as a group are evolving with it, uh, we’ve stood up an entire marketplace to help our buyers research, uh, what they need and where to find it. Uh, and again, the network itself really allowed people to not recreate the wheel at a time when people were tasked with sourcing things, they frankly never had the buy before or never had to buy in this environment before. And I think that illustrates and you know, that illustrates the need to have expert resources, whether you get it from an innovative GPO or you get it in other places and to make sense of a very unique year, like 2020, when as you, as you alluded to. And you’re very nice and kind about it, and very diplomatic about it, Dan, but Greg and I won’t be all the ranger games going on in the PPE market. We all saw it, you know? And, um, and that makes the job of procurement folks, supply chain, folks, you name it, health care folks so much more challenging, right? Cause you begin not to be able to trust the information that you have upfront. And so it takes time and expertise and a broader questions and revisiting and revisiting so

Greg White (00:48:14):

Well. And you’ve got that singular myopic purview as well. Right. I can’t, I can’t come off of that. You know, that the idea that there are hundreds, thousands of other sets of eyes on this problem and all aligned in one place, that’s so powerful.

Dan Grant (00:48:32):

Yes. But Greg, you know what, the beautiful thing, we’re the little shift we’re going to make or to use Lisa’s basketball term, the pivot, it we’ve heard a million times let’s talk about some good news, right. Gray. We can’t get enough good news in the year like this.

Greg White (00:48:48):

Yeah. I mean, so Dan, I think you may have started talking about this. We saw a lot of companies kind of shift, right. To take their business, um, and adapt to this. And really there have been some heroic stories. Right. So any of those, any heroic sourcing or other adaptation type stories that come immediately to mind?

Dan Grant (00:49:13):

Yeah. I mean, I, probably everyone in my company that’s listening, they’re probably gonna roll their eyes. Cause I tell this story all the time, but father of the company right now dad’s stories. Right, right. Yeah. So we had a, it’s a great story though. So I’m going to, uh, so, so we had a buyer, I get a call actually on a Saturday night, it’s a peak COVID probably April, like right in the throws of shutdown. And one of our regional directors out in the field, working with a buyer, the buyer needed in a two month period, they needed 700,000 very complex fabricated in powder-coated social distancing fixtures. Basically they needed these for their clients as a huge demand. There are customers trying to stay open and they needed to meet this. So 700,000 fabricated distancing products and 60 days, uh, we have an amazing partner that we work with, uh, on the raw materials side, uh, as well as a network of fabricators throughout North America.

Dan Grant (00:50:19):

So here’s what the, here’s what Omnia partners help that buyer with. Right? So obviously we have a cost competitive program, but when COVID locked everything down, as many of the folks on the, on the call here today know, uh, there were lots of challenges with availability, right? So raw material in this case was not easy to find the mills were, were throttling back. Uh, the service centers were throttling back. They were working down inventory and it was a very tight market. So it, all of a sudden have this influx of demand in a market that’s tightening was really challenging. So the first thing our program did was got the raw material to even make these things, uh, in a very tight market at the right price. But then what we were able to do for this buyer was two things. One find a network of fabricators that had the capability to do what they needed, but then more importantly, have the capacity to produce what they needed in such a short amount of time and our program and the complexity of that allowed for all those things to happen.

Dan Grant (00:51:26):

And three weeks after I got that initial call in April, uh, they were at full production and the buyer has the fixtures they need today. So it was just a, just a really great story. Hey, um, we want to get some more good news, but Mervin has, has shared a couple of great comments and questions. And, uh, this last question I want to pose, y’all get your take. Cause I know we’re running out of time. I imagine in our interactions with you and your teams, that you’re in the relationship business, just as much as everything else. And he’s got a question here. How have you seen again, reader’s digest approach here, but how has the buyer supplier relationship pivoted, he says post COVID, I think depending on your part of the world, you’re still right there in the thick of things. Any comments that y’all want to talk about how that relationship has been evolving, Lisa, least you want to start? I, I can add to add to it.

Lisa Wittmer (00:52:22):

Sure. So I just want to understand when you say postcode, what are you talking about as in right now today? Well, let’s just assume that it’s okay. Um, so as far as, um, the supplier relationships, so w what’s interesting is, um, I have felt, I have seen over the past year, um, not now, listen, we are location. Our headquarters is in Tennessee. So our office has been open since the end of April. And we’ve been, you know, if, if supplier partners would like to come in and, and work with us, we are more than welcoming for those folks to come in, but there has been a shift, right. Um, especially again, I can speak because I’m in that technology sector, um, this has been a great, uh, you know, a great situation for them to be able to show that they’re, you can work from home.

Lisa Wittmer (00:53:19):

You can learn from home. Again, it may not be ideal. We recognize that, but if we, if push comes to shove and it’s, Hey, I continue to have a job and be able to work and serve my customers, we have to make that shift. So we made that shift and we had to make that shift quickly and I’m talking. So it still happens today. And it happened back in March, um, when, when we went into, um, when, when most of the country went into shutdown, right? Again, being in that technology group, um, and, and servicing both sides of the house of public sector, as well as private sector and that education, there were many urban cities, many cities, many, um, you know, organizations that needed 45, 50, 60, a hundred thousand laptops. You want to talk about? I mean, so technology had their same supply chain issues as well.

Lisa Wittmer (00:54:15):

Um, we don’t see while we don’t see that many, um, you know, folks needing that type of bulk orders. We’re still seeing, especially when, um, institutions are going back to school. Um, we’ll talk about universities. Those are going back to on campus, but still doing a lot remote learning. So there has no doubt been a shift in technology. There’s been a shift in HR. Um, I’ll make a quick comment about HR. Is there was a lot of folks, um, a lot of individuals, excuse me, that, um, have, may have left the organization, uh, for one reason or another. Um, but there will, there are still, so Dan had touched on this earlier about production. Um, maybe there were some individuals that just didn’t feel safe being in that production environment. They weren’t equipped to have, um, that social distancing at the time. And so temporary labor, believe it or not became a huge issue in which we needed to, um, have that network of, of individuals to get as many, um, individuals up and working and, and keep those, those, um, you know, facilities operational, right. That is not changed one bit, as a matter of fact, we continue to see that probably grow more and more. Um, you know, so I know you keep saying reader’s digest, so definitely stop it, turn it over.

Scott Luton (00:55:41):

Hey, a lot of good stuff there. Mervin, great question. And Lisa, thanks for taking that question so much, but Hey, one other quick thing that I want to add from our conversations, what we’re seeing, you know, we, we, for years now, we’ve been, there’s been a demand, a clear demand for more transparency and visibility and gosh, that’s him. It’s going to be to the nth degree now and in the months to come. And that’s a good thing for everybody. I think, um, let’s for the sake of time, I want to move ahead because I really, you know, we’ve been talking about future proofing and the future. I gotta have everyone break out the crystal balls for sure. Otherwise it wouldn’t be a future conversation here. So there’s three questions I’m going to pose. And Dan starting with you, if you could just, um, you know, worked through these

Dan Grant (00:56:24):

Conversations based on these questions, based on what you’re seeing. So the three questions, you know, how has the modern GPO model evolving? We’ve heard some of, both of your takes on that, but really applying it moving forward, the next innovation for GPS. And then thirdly, how has, how do you see the GPO marketplace changing and what does that future vision look like? What would be some of your responses to those questions, Dan? Yeah, I’ll probably answer maybe a little bit of all three here in an example. Right? So, so a lot of the GPO models we’ve talked about are already, and we see it in the industry, have a win sort of a win lose element to them. And really our supplier partnerships are evolving kind of full circle, meaning our supplier partners are also participating as buyers in our group. So that ability to participate as not only a seller, but a buyer is a program that we recently launched called select and really what’s select does it addresses a core belief we have at Omnia partners that everyone has to benefit.

Dan Grant (00:57:29):

We push our suppliers and Lisa’s touched on this so hard for very aggressive programs, just completely unique, one of a kind deals. And we ask for commitment and resources, and that takes a lot of costs, right? A supplier at a cost and investment. So a supplier having the ability to truly offset their investment in a partnership with Omnia partners through savings really differentiates us versus GPS. And at the end of the day, that added volume allows us to grow and expand services also for our buyer community. All right. So Lisa, Dan, I really appreciate what you shared. A lot of folks. Aren’t always brave to really paint that future looking picture. Uh, thanks for that, Lisa. All right. So as we wrap up saying, quick question to you, what’s your take? Where are we going?

Lisa Wittmer (00:58:23):

So, so one thing I just want to, if I can just leave with a closing comment, first of all, I’m so sorry. I was taking a note, um, because I do see that somebody has some lead issues, 30 to 60 days for Chromebooks. So I wrote, I jot, jot your number down. I’m going to reach out to you. Um, there we go. So if I could just leave you with one thought as far as where we’re going. Um, and, and really maybe that that’s what, where we’re going, where I just said is think of us as somebody, again, I I’ve said this over and over as your advocate. If you have, before you get to the point of hitting your head up against a wall, um, you know, reach out, see if we might be able to help, um, help you, especially in these times.

Lisa Wittmer (00:59:11):

Um, we recognize that when things are good, um, oftentimes GPS are forgotten about, but when things are tough, GPO is also might be forgotten about because you’re running a million miles, but if you could just reach out, have some additional conversations, know that we’re here to help you. Um, you know, that would be the one thought that I would love for you to just be, if you were going to take away from, from what I’m saying is leave with that, that we’re here to help support you. Um, again, in our sourcing process, I mentioned this earlier, we’ve support both sides of the house, both sides of the aisle. So we have an extensive sourcing process. So don’t let that think, you know, in the back of your mind, well, I don’t know if Lisa’s team can do it as good as, as me give, give us a shot. That’s all, we’re good,

Scott Luton (01:00:06):

Love it. And we’re going to make it really easy for our audience members to connect with Dan and Lisa and Omnia partners team. We’ve got their LinkedIn profiles in the show notes. We’ve got the website and, uh, Dan and Lisa and Sarah and others. We’ve got a really neat webinar coming up in January, right? You got plenty of time to register, but we’ve got the link in the show notes where we’re going to hear from, uh, customers, right buyers and suppliers that are involved in innovative, again, not your grandmother or grandfather’s GPO and hear straight from them, how they’re leveraging that to fight through this, uh, what a crazy time that we’re living in. So lots of resources really appreciate Dan and Lisa coming in and joining us here today. So you bet and anything, uh, uh, Dan and Lisa, so we’ve got your LinkedIn profiles locked in, we’ve got the website. Anything else you want to give folks a heads up? Uh, hopefully you all will be a part of the webinars too, at least let’s start with you.

Lisa Wittmer (01:01:03):

No, I just thank you again. I appreciate Scott and Greg, your time, your thoughtful questions. Um, the comments that they’re just fantastic. I really appreciate all of the comments that folks had had mentioned and put out there. Um, really, I see one that I can’t believe we’re already at the top of the hour. So again, thank you so much for the time today. And if you have any questions, feel free to reach out, happy to help in any way possible.

Scott Luton (01:01:32):

Perfect. Lisa, thanks so much. And Gary you’re right. I really appreciate your joining us here. All of you all joining us, Dan, one final comment from you. Any, anything to wrap up on? Yeah, again, uh, thank everybody. But, uh, you know, really think of Omnia partners going forward is really being that very nimble, innovative, uh, solution provider out there, right? Uh, we’ve got the partners, we’ve got the buyers, we’ve got leadership in place, uh, that allow us to respond quickly and adapt to the changing environment and supply chain. And, uh, we’ll look forward to, uh, continuing our discussions with everybody in the future webinar. Outstanding. Okay. We’ve been chatting with Lisa Whitmer, vice president of partner development, uh, technology solutions and her colleague Dan grant, senior vice president with Omnia partners. Thank you so much, Dan and Lisa joining us.

Greg White (01:02:20):

Thanks everybody. You bet,

Greg White (01:02:26):

Man. The hour sure did fly by and Greg has, you know, and, and we kind of knew there there’s so much that’s taking place in the procurement space, especially when you sit with a couple of leaders and business leaders and a group like Omnia partners that gets involved in so many more strategic issues, not just the stuff that, you know, some, some resources have been getting into for years. Right? Well, I feel like first of all, from a selfish standpoint, I feel like we need an advocate. Now. There are so many people engaged in these live streams, but it’s, it’s hard to get everybody’s point of view out there. I think you did a fantastic job of kind of highlighting all the really important stuff. Secondly, the term advocate is the word of the day, isn’t it? And I love that word so much better than pivot.

Greg White (01:03:17):

So, you know, I think, I think I may have said this before is why would you not try something like this at this point? Why go it alone at this point, at least give it a shot. Right? Um, you know, if you don’t get help at Omnia, get help somewhere. I feel like the charter hospital’s guide, but you know, I, I do feel like that there is a significant relief for my apathy and it is to get 6,000 other pairs of eyes on the contracts, on the relationships, you know, and on the evolution of categories and products and solutions. So outstanding. Yeah. We’ll put Greg up. I’ll tell you, you got a knack for, uh, summarizing a show here at the end of these conversations that I just can’t keep up with with, uh, simulating all this information. I mean, it was really a chalk with a lot of station, but nevertheless, clearly it resonated with the audience.

Greg White (01:04:18):

Really appreciate all the comments here from Kayvon. Thanks so much for joining us Gabon and, and Kelly and hosts way. Great to have you see a host way, really appreciate watching your entrepreneurial journey, uh, take place. Uh, David, thank you both. Great show is always great to learn a little bit more about GPS. I agree. You know, I don’t know if you could see this Scott, Dave and I were speculating on who it was that Dan was talking about. So I know he probably can’t share that with us, but David, if he I’ll try and get it out of him after the show, well, it’s so funny. I didn’t want to share your comments as we were on the live stream. Otherwise I would have shared the whole thing. I figured that would have been kind of odd, but, but Hey, regardless, a lot of good stuff and Michael, your doggone right? Go Braves. How energizing was that? When I show him the bobblehead, you got good luck. This is now the good luck charm that I gathered from chipper Jones a final year. Alright.

Scott Luton (01:05:18):

So I want to point out, we’re not gonna wrap up here cause, uh, with all the information, but we’ve got a variety of resources, including that upcoming webinar, featuring the Omnia partners team in the show notes, y’all reach out as you heard from Lisa and Dan reach out connect. Um, cause I can tell you from first firsthand experience, Greg, we picked up a lot, uh, the whole GPO traditional and innovative and others was, was a blank spot in math supply chain journey. I can, I can’t recall a organization that, that I was a part of that, that I was involved in those conversations. So, you know, we’ve gotten a GPO certification the last few weeks. Huh? I feel like it. Yeah, no doubt. So again to our audience, thanks so much for tuning in, stay tuned for tomorrow. We’ve got Mike Griswold, uh, from Gartner, that’ll be joining Greg white and Corinne bursts.

Scott Luton (01:06:07):

I believe at what 12 noon, Gregg 12 noon, or as near as I can get out of bed. And then, uh, Thursday, Thursday live streams. It’s a chock full week this week, Thursday at 12 noon. We’re uh, amongst other things we’re going to be featuring Kelly Barner with, uh, from buyer’s meeting point and others. And we’ll be talking about procurement. We’ll probably talk about some of the lessons learned from this episode. So tune in, bring your voice, bring your POV, bring your questions, your comments, your passion, bring it all. And on that note, we’re going to wrap here on behalf of our entire team, Greg white and Amanda and clay and everyone behind the scenes. Hey, do good give forward and be the change that’s needed on that note. We’ll see you next time here on supply chain now. Thanks everybody.

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Watch as Scott and Greg welcome Dan Grant and Lisa Wittmer to Supply Chain Now through our YouTube channel.

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Lisa Wittmer brings 22 years of business experience, primarily in business and partner development capacities. Currently, Lisa is responsible for advancing the growth of OMNIA Partners supplier programs across Private and Public Sectors. Lisa leads a team which establishes strategic direction for various categories including, IT Services, Telecommunications, HR, Finance, Marketing and Public Safety for supplier engagements within State, Local, Education agencies in the public sector and Fortune 1000 enterprises in the private sector. Lisa graduated from Malone University with a focus on business, health services and clinical counseling and resides in Sandusky, Ohio.

Dan Grant is the Senior Vice President, Vertical Markets for OMNIA Partners. Mr. Grant is dedicated to growing and developing emerging, innovative vertical market opportunities for OMNIA Partners Members and Suppliers – providing new solutions and programs benefiting the entire community. Prior to joining the OMNIA Partners team, Mr. Grant was President of Prime Advantage, where he oversaw the growth of a 20-year-old buying group, dedicated to working with both manufacturers and Suppliers on innovative programs and services to positively impact savings and profitable market share growth. Mr. Grant was recognized by Supply & Demand Chain Executive Magazine in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019 as a “Pro to Know” within the industry, which is a designation for top performers who have made significant impacts in the supply chain industry. Mr. Grant graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University and holds an MBA from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. He is married with three children and lives in Vernon Hills, IL.


Greg White

Principal & Host

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

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

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Kim Reuter


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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Vicki White


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

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Allison Giddens


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

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

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Billy Taylor


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

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

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

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

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Tandreia Bellamy


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

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

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

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

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Marty Parker


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

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

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jake Barr


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

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Marcia Williams


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

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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