“I think we have to have some grace for ourselves. You know, we need to look and go, hey, this is who we are and I’m going to leverage my strengths and where I don’t have strengths, I’m going to find good people around me from a life perspective.”
-Jason Perez, CEO YARDZ
In this episode of TECHquila Sunrise, Jason shares his most impactful moment. His struggle, discovery, acceptance and peace in moving on to his chose profession. We hear about Jason’s trek through YARDZ and so many takeaways for anyone’s work, founding or investment journey. Jason also tells us of his most hopeful wishes for those struggling in these trying times. It’s a great, uplifting experience from this mindful, giving and wise entrepreneur. Listen…and be Lifted UP!
Greg White (00:02):
This week on tequila, sunrise, you’re going to find out how an escape from tyranny and intentional upbringing, construction and conga gave one founder the will and the skill to succeed in supply chain tech against all odds who listen up. [inaudible] it’s time to wake up to tequila, sunrise, where without the aid of tequila, unfortunately, we open your eyes to how tech founders and venture investing ticks focused on supply chain tech every week at this unholy hour of the day. So if you want to know how tech startup growth and investment is done, join me every single week for another blinding tequila, sunrise, Greg white here from supply chain. Now always happy, never satisfied, willing to acknowledge reality, but refusing to be bound by it. My goal is to inform, enlighten and inspire you in your own supply chain tech journey, subscribe to tequila, sunrise on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, or anywhere else you get your podcasts. So you don’t miss a thing. All right, now let’s hear the rest of the story from Jason Perez, C E O of yards, his story of gratitude, attitude, intellect, and entrepreneurship. Listen up
Jason Perez (01:51):
Again. The big, the biggest impact that I’ve ever had was really the, the Marines, you know, and, and not being able to go. And, and, and to be honest with you, it was such a difficult realization, reality. I should say for me to deal with it took a long, long time. I think, you know, you can be wounded and still move forward. And I think I was heavily, heavily wounded for a very long time. And I kept on adapting. I kept on, I thought there was a way that I can still make that path happen in my life. So I went from all right, well, I’m not going to go Marines intelligence. I’ll just go to a Teligent agency. And then I go and I meet with these people. And I’m like, eh, I don’t know if I really like these people and what they’re telling me. And I don’t know if I want to get involved with this anymore. Right. And so you just get your whole life flipped upside down and you, yeah, it’s, it’s wounded, you know, you’re, you’re wounded. And how’d you,
Greg White (02:46):
Did you get past that? Because, I mean, I know it took, you said it took awhile, but I mean, did you just power through, or do you find that next thing? Did you give yourself
Jason Perez (02:56):
Kicking the ass or what I think of maturity is understanding the things that aren’t supposed to happen. And I think it wasn’t until I hit a point where I realized this just isn’t supposed to happen for me. I need to move in a different direction. And when I did that, when I finally said, Hey, I’m, I’m committed a hundred percent to construction. I was out of the whole, you know, when I made that decision and I moved and said, a hundred percent construction is going to be my life now, and I’m going to make the best of it that I can. And I’m gonna be the owner of this company one day, I’m going to within about a year and a half of working there, you know, I started getting stock options and equity stake in, in a big engineering firm. You know? And so what I realized is when I put my energy in directions that I want, then that positive energy will bring me out of that positive direction.
Jason Perez (03:53):
Those goals that continue to get met, right. Will allow me to feel productive. It’ll allow me to feel like I have purpose and all that said, that’s what a year of kind of praying and going, God, what do you know, what is going to happen in my life? Where am I supposed to go? What am I supposed to do? And I think, you know, I was the one not listening. I was the one gun, God, I want to go this direction. I want to go this direction. I want to go this direction and kind of like, Hey, you know what? Just be the best at whatever you do. Your job is not to be a Moraine or an entrepreneur or whatever label you want to put on your life. You know, your job is, is to be the best reflection of me possible. Like go out, love people, be good to them, do the right thing and everything else is going to follow.
Jason Perez (04:41):
So when you go to run the division at the engineering construction firm, be the best you can be. Talk to them in love, talk to them in grace, give them purpose and you will have purpose. You know, you just start to fulfill because you realize that you’re not an entrepreneur. You’re not a Marine. You’re not a dad. You’re not a husband for me. Like my goal is to be a loving human being. That’s, that’s my goal. And I can accomplish that no matter what I’m doing, if tomorrow YDS is gone, which obviously our investors wouldn’t like, and I don’t think that, yeah, I don’t think that’s happening, but you know, if, if for whatever reason, the whole world got flipped upside down, I can still be a loving human being. That’s what I can do. And I think, you know, my perspective on life just changed.
Greg White (05:32):
So that’s, you know, we talk a lot about the incoming generations, having a higher purpose. That is a great example of a higher purpose. It’s well beyond your job, it’s well, beyond your role in the workplace or even in the home, or even within your family, it is your role within the world. It is what you can be yourself without anyone else’s definition, without anyone else’s approval or disapproval or even acknowledgement, you can be that you can be that loving person, man. You are a philosopher dude.
Jason Perez (06:12):
That was, that was a fourth major for me, by the way, is that right? So I heard, wait, let’s, let’s go back there real quick.
Greg White (06:20):
Political science international,
Jason Perez (06:22):
Technically I guess it’s not, um, three majors is double major, triple emphasis. So I did got it. International economics. Got it. Developmental economics. And then international relations is under political science. So I had two minors, I guess, in economics and then one minor in political science. And then I got my bachelor’s of science in economics and political science.
Greg White (06:45):
Clearly you had a view of impacting the world.
Jason Perez (06:49):
Yeah. Two classes away from a, uh, third, third major. Not a, not an emphasis or minor philosophy. Believe it or not.
Greg White (06:58):
Yeah. Well, I mean, it is, it’s no wonder. You’re so thoughtful with those as, I mean, even economics is arguably a more artistic than scientific discipline.
Jason Perez (07:07):
That’s right. I can say that
Greg White (07:10):
Because I also minored in economics. So a lot of economics people get really insulted when you say that, but let’s shift forward two yards a little bit. So you got this great gig, this consulting company where you’re, you are literally saving lives and changing the world. What in the name of heaven came over you to get you to go from a high cash flow person to person type gig to technology. Yeah. Tell me now I say that tongue in cheek, right. But tell me what, where did you get the idea for YDS and what made you, what inspired you or compelled you to make the leap?
Jason Perez (07:49):
So we’ll start. I actually decided to soft exit or walk away from my consulting company because of the birth of my son, my second son. So my, even though I lived in Georgia, 95% of the contracts that we landed, um, even when we were traveling all over the world, they still stemmed from Southern California. So, you know, early stages, I was flying back and forth every other week to California. And then we started living there, you know, at a year stent at a time you
Greg White (08:20):
Went back and forth. Yeah, right?
Jason Perez (08:22):
Yeah. Yeah. And then, and then when my first son was born with, I think only two dogs at the time, not three, I can’t remember, but we were, we decided to get an RV and we’re like, well, I’m going to keep the family together. That’s my goal. Right. Family is, is really important to me. So we, we got an RV and we had traveled and lived in the RV for three months at a time in San Diego when my second son was coming, we’re like, well, this is going to work with two dogs, two kids. And, you know, et cetera, I assume, or something like that. It was a class, a, um, Tiffany, it was pretty good size, but yeah, yeah. Like a bus. So at that point it was, it was okay, this isn’t gonna work. So we got an apartment, my wife and I are originally from California.
Jason Perez (09:06):
Right. That’s where we met where we were high school sweethearts. So we got an apartment out there. And my, my second son was born there in San Diego. And within a couple months we just realized, again, you know why we love Georgia so much why we love the South, the support system that we have here, just how genuinely caring and sincere everybody sincere. Everybody was out here in Georgia. Uh, and, and I would qualify the South. So we just didn’t feel like that was where we wanted to be. You know, that’s where we, we moved away in the first place. So it was a really tough decision. I had, uh, multiple project managers on multiple projects going at the same time. And I knew that I had their families as well with me. And so we just had to make a decision at the end of the day.
Jason Perez (09:54):
I’ve always told my wife, they come before, uh, the company. And so that doesn’t mean that I spend the most time with them. It just means at the end of the day, when there’s a pivotal decision, I’m going to put them first. And so that’s what we did. We said, we’re moving back to Georgia. I sat down with my advisors. I don’t make decisions by myself, rarely, you know, I always surround myself with good counsel and I’d sat down with my advisor, said, this is what’s going on. And they’re like, look, if you go back and you plan on not coming back very often, then you got to do the right thing for your team because sooner or later, you know, you’re not going to grow. Um, you can try to do the same thing out there in Georgia, but it sounds like you’re kind of just over the whole consulting side in the first place.
Jason Perez (10:40):
And so, you know, I walked away not knowing what I was going to do, but what I knew is I wanted to see my family every single night. And so that’s what we did. We moved back to Georgia and I cut some really sweet deals for all my employees. They got massive boosts and salaries and, uh, they were already making big money before about 20 to 30% higher than anybody else in the industry. So when they got the second bump, they were really happy. Um, and I, and everybody ended up in a really good place. And so my neighbor comes over one day and, and he’s like, Hey, I got an idea. I said, all right, what’s your idea. Because, you know, everybody has an idea and usually they’re really, really good ideas. Um, but it takes someone to implement them. Right. So, um, he said, well, I want to start an independent rental brokerage. I said, okay, cool. Sounds cool. What are you going to do? I’m going to hire a bunch of people and they’re going to go out and they’re going to sell any rental company. It doesn’t matter. They’re just going to find equipment for people. I said, okay, well, how are you going to fund that? And it goes, well, I’m going to start by myself and I’m gonna do this. And we start walking through and I’m showing them all the cashflow issues and how, what it takes to scale. I just went from a people, uh,
Greg White (11:54):
Jason Perez (11:54):
So, so after that talk, it was him and his brother-in-law. I think they went back and they’re like, they either said Jason’s a jerk or Jason smart, but I’m pretty sure it was the first one. Jason.
Greg White (12:04):
Yeah. Yeah. It’s really smart. But you really can ask to my dreams.
Jason Perez (12:12):
So I tell them, you know, a couple of weeks later, I’m like, Hey, if you ever want to do tech around this, I think there’s, there’s some viability there, but I don’t know the market enough. So I spent about nine months sitting down with him, visiting different contractors, to making phone calls and doing true intensive customer discovery. And what I found very quickly, and this is important for the people that are listening. Like this is something I tell people over and over and over and over and over again. So please listen. When you’re looking at market timing and you’re going, I’m going to disrupt this market. It is ready. It is right. It’s not because people are talking about it. It’s just not, it’s not because you spoke to them and sold them on an idea because they will buy all day long ideas and never pull out their wallet.
Jason Perez (12:57):
When the product is there. When you start looking at market timing, the most important thing, at least for me, that I found was not that there was just pain there, but that people were solving the pain on their own. They might not have the perfect tool, but they were trying to solve the pain in their own way. They were spending their own time and energy to solve it. And so what we found was, and reflection just to, to make it easy for people to understand. We went in to offices and we saw whiteboards and we didn’t see a whiteboard with just equipment rent written on there. We saw whiteboards with different colored markers or markers based on who they rented with a blue marker for these guys at green market for those guys. And we’re like, look, they’re trying to organize the data already. And you look at the sticky notes are different colors, and then they have a wall and they move those based on when they’re supposed to be called off. Right. For equipment.
Greg White (13:47):
So tell, tell our listeners what called off means. Yeah.
Jason Perez (13:50):
So called off, when you rent a piece of equipment
Greg White (13:53):
And we’re talking heavy construction or mining or whatever equipment, right. We’re not talking about not talking about a pressure washer here. Right. Sometimes we’re talking about bulldozers and dump trucks and whatever else, right?
Jason Perez (14:06):
Yeah. 15,000 a month type rentals, right? Yeah. I mean, they’re expensive pieces of equipment. So when you rent a piece of equipment, they’re going to extend it out to your job. And then you’re going to say, Hey, I want to rent it for three weeks. And they’re like, cool, sounds good. And then when week three comes, you know what? They’re not going to do. They’re not going to come pick it up on week three. Right. They’re going to say, Hey, seems like you need it for longer. We’re going to, we’re going to be courteous and let you have it for longer. And look, that’s their job. Their job is to supply you with the best equipment possible because you need equipment. I think there’s some companies out there that are trying to reverse some of this perception of, of rental companies. And they are trying to build alerts and things like that in. So people know, but, but a call-off is when you get to third week calling your sales rep and saying, I needed off my project call,
Greg White (14:57):
You mean literally on a phone, you have to call someone on a telephone. Yeah, that’s right. Well, for our listeners, maybe we should explain what a telephone is. Does anybody use it? I mean, it’s, I mean, that, that gives you some idea of the archaic nature of the management of this aspect, of the industry, right. That’s right.
Jason Perez (15:19):
And you can also send an email. You, you are still a, the fax, believe it or not. I rented a piece of equipment about a year and a half ago. And when I went to pay for it, this is me. I went to pay for it. They said, well, you got to fill out our credit card authorization form. I said, perfect email to me. Well, we need to fax it to, you said, Oh, you can email me the form. Don’t you guys have an email version? They’re like, no. I said, okay. So I got a fax number online. Right? You get online and you do some Google searching or whatever. And I found a fax number. I can use the fax it, and it came to my email. And then I had to use that same faxing mechanism to fax it back to them.
Greg White (15:57):
Jason Perez (16:00):
And that’s, that’s where the industry essentially is at. So a call off is the last day of rental. Right. And we saw people struggling with figuring that out.
Greg White (16:09):
So I, I think that, I think your recognition is a deeper level than I have heard, described at least with any frequency maybe ever. And that is, it’s not enough that people say there’s a problem. It needs to be a significant enough problem that people have chosen to solve it on their own rather than to continue to endure it. That is such a great, that’s such a great perspective. I don’t think you can say that loudly enough. That is a really, really good perspective. Because as you said, everybody has an idea and everybody loves that idea until it’s time to write a check. That’s right. And the truth is when you’re searching for solutions, people don’t run towards ROI and you and I have had this discussion, right? I have this discussion frequently. It was a harsh, harsh awakening for me as a solution provider, people don’t run fast toward ROI. They run fast away from pain. That is probably the best enunciation of that concept that I’ve ever heard. That’s really good. That was a, that was a really mature awakening and probably driven a lot by your experiences of being a consultant.
Jason Perez (17:31):
Yeah. You talk about kind of life and how it’s come along. If I had planned my life, it looks so different, but it probably wouldn’t have come close to where I’m at today. You know? And I think, I think God’s plan of putting me in incrementally giving me these chunks that I could grow mature through. If I didn’t have a consulting company, undoubtedly, there’s no way I would have survived where I’m at today. And if I didn’t run the Southeast, I wouldn’t have had to read the P and L’s and balance sheets and gone through all the budgeting that I, that I did. Right. And every single kind of phase or season that I had in my life taught me so much. That brought me to this moment where I felt confident and comfortable enough to start a tech company, which I still with all, whatever knowledge and support I have could never fathom how difficult it was going to be.
Greg White (18:30):
But at least you internalized all of those experiences. I think that’s another good lesson for people to take away here is you might not like what you’re doing now. And it may not be what you want to do. Long-term but there is something you can learn from it and to consciously and intentionally internalize those learnings is so, so valuable.
Jason Perez (18:56):
You create purpose out of the things that you’ve experienced bad or good. Right, right. Purpose.
Greg White (19:04):
All right. So you, so you started, so you saw this problem, you saw that tech was potentially a solution. You immediately identified that they were trying to organize data. That was a pretty cool awakening. I’m sure. Where’d you go from there?
Jason Perez (19:19):
Yeah. So we, we did a ton of customer discovery and, um, and then we met up with, uh, we got involved with ATDC locally here. We actually met tour two of our advisors there, Shane Matthews and Mike, Sam Bush. And first time we sat down with Michael sang Bush, we said, here’s our MVP. Right. We’re ready. Look at all the customer discovery. And he looked and he’s like, well, you did your homework. And it looks like there is something there. Right. Um, and Shane Matthews really pick this apart as well. But then, but then
Greg White (19:49):
It brings a whole new level of understanding to market research. Doesn’t he? I mean, his requirements for market research are substantial to say the least.
Jason Perez (20:02):
I agree. And I think, you know, we did customer discovery at the best level I could do. And then we did customer discovery to the best level that I can do based on Shane’s requirements. I won’t say the best level of same, because obviously he’s going to do a better than, than all of us. But I did to the best of my ability based on Shane’s requirements. So w we walked where like, we’re ready to build our MVP. We walk into Michael st. Louis’s office and man, what a blow out of that meeting. He pretty much told us in very kind words that first of all, it’s not an MVP. That’s just dumb that doesn’t look anything like an MVP. And, uh, and we’re like, no, this is what we have to build. And he was like, Nope, Nope, not even close. And so he ripped apart at MVP and it went from like a hundred and thousand dollars bill to a $10,000 build, which is great since I was self-funding and we built it.
Jason Perez (20:53):
And what we found out is if we would have built that initial MVP, Oh my gosh, what a waste of money that would have been. And instead we went, we built it, we test the market, we had kind of this Expedia model initially. And what we found was, Hey, the market’s not really ready to take that leap. You looked at all the pain, you saw how they were solving it. And then you ignored one of the most key behavioral elements of construction, which is I’ve got relationships. And so we started looking and going, okay, how can we do it?
Greg White (21:26):
They were not ready to shed their travel agents yet. Effectively is what you discovered. I mean, that’s essentially what Expedia did. Was it replaced travel agents and the market was not ready to get rid of their travel agents.
Jason Perez (21:41):
They, they were not, we looked, we looked and we said, okay, we thought that we can do this big supply chain jump right. And skip steps. But you, you can’t, you got to understand, again, that behavior psychology. And so we looked and we said, okay, how do we match their current supply chain with tech, right? How do you match their behavior? And so we built a product that they could customize and decide who they were going to go to specifically down to their sales rep. And we created a efficiency communication tool to facilitate the transaction. And so we made it easy for them to one go out to the three people that they normally go out to. And instead of picking up the phone and making three phone calls, getting voicemails, whatever it is, we cut that time down to about 15 seconds. Some people would send out emails, but then the emails come in at different times. And how do you group them together and compare the notes and et cetera. So what we did was we made a quote board, right? It looks just like their email, but it comes in and guess what? It’s all of them come in at one place. They don’t have to search through a bunch of stuff. One quote has all three responses. And so we started to really get matched with the tools that they use day to day.
Greg White (22:56):
That’s a great description of MVP is essentially automating what arguably was a sub optimal process, which must have pained. You slightly being a consultant by trade.
Jason Perez (23:07):
Greg White (23:09):
But you got them to the next level of maturity. And clearly if you came in with $120,000 worth of development on it, what you called an MVP, you had a vision to the future of what this thing could be. Would you say that’s a fair get yeah.
Jason Perez (23:27):
Yes, yes, yes. A hundred percent, but it doesn’t matter what I want. It doesn’t matter what vision you know, is, is to come. You know, it’s kinda like, I, I, I really enjoyed the Zombieland movies. I don’t know if Greg, if you’ve watched it,
Greg White (23:41):
I feel like I’ve wasted part of my life, not watching those tried only, you know, only in kind of catching them already started, but I feel like I ought to go back and watch those.
Jason Perez (23:54):
They’re they’re, they’re funny, you know, it’s kinda like the dumb and Denver type idea. You either like it and get it, or you, you don’t and you don’t. Right. So
Greg White (24:04):
Harrolson right. And I can’t remember who else I I’m really bad with. I know I get, I really get into movies to the extent that I don’t remember who the actors are. Yeah.
Jason Perez (24:16):
But, but I can tell you, it’s funny because on the second, when they came out to this last year, um, there’s in there and they’re talking and I’m like, I’ve got a great idea for the future. What if you get on your phone and you push a button and it’s like, when you’ve been drinking so much, you can’t even drive and you don’t even know what’s going on, but you could push a button and a stranger will grab, you, put them in their car and they’re going to drive you home. Right. And, and the people look at them like you’re an idiot that would net who would get in somebody’s car when they’re drunk, that they don’t know the people and all this stuff. Right. And if you would have described Uber, if you were to describe that 20 years ago, like this is going to happen and it’s going to be massive. The ride share like market is going to be huge. It would go, there’s no way, man. There’s just not possible. Not possible. Taxis are licensed and they got backgrounds. Like, there’s no way that it’ll ever happen, but here we are. Right. And so it’s kind of same idea. I looked and I looked at the vision. I thought I’m just going to skip and make it happen now. But, but that’s, that’s not the way the market works.
Greg White (25:27):
Right. He’s the market into that. Yeah. That’s true. Yeah.
Jason Perez (25:30):
So, so that’s, you know, that’s what we did with great, you know, advisers like you, that that looked and said, yeah, we all see it. We all see where it’s going to go, but here’s where you need to be. And I think each one pushes the tolerance of that. So we can get there a little bit quicker, but, you know, there’s, there’s timing and tell the behavioral side changes until they become very used to it becoming computers instead of phones, you know, there’s going to be a lot of, a lot of work that has to come first. And, uh, and the great thing is we’ll willing to put the work in. We’re willing to be that bridge. And I think, you know, one thing we’ve learned in construction is, and people say this all the time. As you talk to them, they’ll tell you, once I make this decision, this is a longterm decision. You know, companies buy accounting programs and they use them for decades, project management programs that Gates, right. Asset management programs, decades, you know, all the way down, get, apply chain programs,
Greg White (26:41):
Decades, decades, it’s
Jason Perez (26:44):
Decades, you know, it’s decades. Yeah. So you gotta, you gotta get in there with something that makes sense for them to start to eat. You get them in your restaurant and guess what? They’re not going to get out of their seat. You know, you just spoonfeed them. They’re never full because you know what the entree should look like. But at the same time, you know, they’re still hungry. They’re sitting at your table. And so you spoonfeed them and they’re like, well, I can’t get up because I’m going to get hungry. If I leave, if I leave this tech, I’m going to be starved. Right. Because now I know what it is to tastes good food.
Greg White (27:17):
Now you are the status quo in effect that they fear leaving. That’s exactly. So, so what do you think makes this such an impactful problem? What is it just the sheer dollars? I mean, we are talking about 15, $20,000 a month rentals. What do you think made this such an impactful problem that even with all of the industrial psychology and whatnot that you’ve applied and your clear understanding of the problem and the level or maturity of solution, that, that the market was ready for? What made this a problem that was worthy of a solution like this,
Jason Perez (27:59):
Man? That’s such a good question. Like, people usually don’t stop me too much, Greg, but what, what made it, um, you know, construction? I think there’s a couple of components of it. One construction’s been good to my family, you know, and I think I don’t ignore those things anymore. For me, when I looked at construction, I was willing to listen a little bit more intently because I’m listening to the guys that are the same as my dad or my brother or me, and I’m dealing with them on a daily basis. And the industry is growing exponentially. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s crazy how much, when you look at when a small company gets in and they start growing and they’re renting 10 pieces of equipment. And then all of a sudden they’re renting a hundred pieces of equipment. It’s pretty disruptive in the amount of waste and inefficiency that come off of that are difficult to handle.
Jason Perez (28:54):
You know, the growth when you look and you go well, but the construction industry as a whole, or the rental industry as a whole, but what you don’t see is after 2008, construction slowed down tremendously. And then all of a sudden you hit a growth spurt. And the pain that is, that is experienced by these contractors is different than a slow growth that they can react to. Now, the growth is so large in the last three to four years that the pain has never been so great. So they’re feeling pain at a height. They’re also experiencing technology at a whole new level that they never experienced before. I mean, people back to the Uber’s back to the Amazons, they’re starting to become more technology accepting within their personal lives. So at a professional level, it makes it easier. And I think there’s a convergence of extreme pain, no one innovating in this space, really, at least not at a behavioral level.
Jason Perez (29:56):
And then, you know, technology really being accepted within people’s personal lives and a little bit, you know, I’m not going to say a change of the guard because if you look the average age of construction workers, really, it’s kind of just grown. So it went from like the, think the late twenties, 29 to 30, and now it’s like 41 or something. So, you know, the average age is, is kind of grown. You would think that there’d be a new turn of youth coming into that, that industry, but it hasn’t, you know, one of our first customers was 65 years old or 66 years old about to retire. And he’s like, Hey, can I use tech every single day of my life? You know, why wouldn’t I use it to get my job done easier? And he brought so many great ideas to our product because he had been doing this for 35, 40 years, you know, running equipment for that long renting equipment for that long. So, you know, I think people just in general are ready to adopt tech to make their lives easier. They get it, they understand it.
Greg White (30:55):
I think that the recognition that people are using it on a day-to-day basis, that’s, that’s really important. I think the other recognition that you have acknowledged there is that we are on the precipice of the greatest generational transfer of knowledge in the history of the planet. The largest generation in the history of the planet is aging out of the workforce, 10,000 a day. That’s right. The baby boomers. And they have largely kept their knowledge in their head because those were the systems of the day. It’s in a notebook somewhere it’s in their head. Or, you know, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard, I just know it, right. And we need to capture that. And we need to systematize that because the incoming generations and rightfully so they want technology to do for them, what technology can do for them. I think your recognition there is spot on and it’s really valuable for what you’re doing. And I know that you have a really strong relationship with Brasfield and Gorrie. So tell me what is with them and other development and construction companies. What makes this problem so compelling and why are they demanding a solution like this? Because Brasfield and Gorrie, they are essentially commanding their contractors and subcontractors to utilize something like this. Or it’s many things like many technologies, right? Yeah. Why that is,
Jason Perez (32:21):
There’s two fold on it. One, again, it comes back to the pain and it comes back to the inefficiency. And the other is, I think collaboration is starting to become far more important within, within the industry. We’re using zoom right now. And you know, all of a sudden that became popular because of what everybody’s going through in the pandemic right now. But the reality is those two things are really the indicators. So Brasfield and Gorrie, you know, $4 billion, a year general contractor, they do a little bit of construction. I think they do more construction in Southeast than anybody else when they saw the yard’s product. It wasn’t because we pitched it to them. Actually. I mean, this is how great, how innovative and forward thinking and the way that their company works. And you know, other companies that might be listening to this right now take a play out of the breastfeeding Gorey book right now, as I go through the story, you know, they, they had a customer art plumbing.
Jason Perez (33:14):
It’s a hundred year old plumbing contractor here in Atlanta, a company full of integrity and, and genuinely just good people. So they signed up two yards and about, I think it was the third day they invited their suppliers on well, Brasfield and Gorrie owns equipment rental, part of their company. Right? And so a pretty sizable one. And so they added Candice Lehman on there. She was their regional manager or regional sales rep for Brasfield and Gorrie. And when she saw the product, she said, wait a second, what, what is this? She called her customer to say, can you give me a demo? The customer gave her a demo of the product and she immediately got it and said, Oh my gosh, all these spreadsheets that we’re dealing to try to attract equipment, all the things we’re doing for our customers, all the things we’re going to try, we’re trying to track for a subcontractors.
Jason Perez (34:10):
This just solved all of it and automated exactly what we do day to day. And the reason we got there again is because of all the customers before they gave us all the feedback to tell them, tell us how they do business. Now we’ve developed a product that, like you said, old-timers, they know how they do it. Like you’re a willing to sit down and listen to them, take exactly what they do and build tech around it. You can solve a lot of problems just because they’re not doing it with tech today. It doesn’t mean that that brain, isn’t a mine of gold, mine of knowledge, that you can take extract and create all that technical diamonds, if you will. Oh yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s amazing. So, so they saw, and they said, man, we’re wasting a ton of time. We’re trying to attract rates.
Jason Perez (35:02):
We’re trying to track. Who’s renting what we want to get more of our equipment onto the project. There’s no visibility between the field and our office and the rental companies, all this stuff. Can you build something? We love what you’re doing, but can you build something that’s a little bit more collaborative and transparent from a project standpoint, challenge us. We did some custom dev for the, for them delivered about a week early, which gained a lot of confidence. And next thing you know, we’re building this completely collaborative, shared project view for them. And now they’re mandating, Hey, on our $1 billion hospital job, you know, we want people, we want contractors to be on yard so that we can collaborate. We can come together. We can understand what’s going on in the project. And guess what? It’s not any extra work for you guys. I mean, that was the first question I would say.
Jason Perez (35:50):
They said, well, gosh, we’re going to have to learn a new system. No, you don’t need to learn a new system. Okay. Well, it’s going to be a lot of time and effort. Am I going to have to hire somebody now? You don’t got to do that. We met exactly how you do business. It’s going to be very simple. It’s all going to come into the system. You’re going to see it in one place, all the suppliers you’re gonna see all your rates. You’re gonna see what’s owned. What’s rented, what’s leased everything in one place to make it a lot easy. Just think about your whiteboard and it living in a computer because that’s what it’s doing. And they’re like, okay, well, this sounds great. And you know, we have customers like Ronnie D Jones, the first two weeks that he used the product because of the visibility, because we automate alerts to them because we automate summaries to their teams. He wrote me an email. I said, I saved $20,000 in the first two weeks of getting on the product. Wow. And when you hear that and you go, we’re doing something right here.
Greg White (36:44):
Yeah. Brasfield and Gorrie must have multiple opportunities like that with all of the projects they’ve got going on. And as you said, as the pace of the industry quickens the exposure of those kinds of costs and inefficiencies, they just multiply exponentially as well. Right. Instead of one $15,000 piece of equipment sitting there for an extra three weeks. So you pay another 15 grand, you got it on 10 or 15 or 20 sites that adds up really, really quick. So I get why they’re so into this.
Jason Perez (37:17):
Well, and they’re doing it for the customers. They’re doing it for the customers because you know, a lot of their projects they’re, they’re negotiated in. So it’s not like they’re out there putting a hard price to it and trying to increase the profits. They’re trying to reduce the cost for their customers. And, and again, they’re incurring a cost to themselves so that they can be better for their customers. And I look, and I go, gosh, that’s exactly who we are. We will incur costs ourselves so that our customers have a better experience. And, and I think that just trickles down through all the different cultures of, of who we want to be, who our customers are, you know, and, and it’s just where the industry needs to go. Right? The industry needs to go, right? It’s not about what’s in it for me. Cause if that’s the only way we’re talking, the only way we’re looking, you know, and I feel like a lot of conversations I have with different entrepreneurs and partners and things like that, you start talking to them then, well, what do I get? But I think that’s the wrong question. Usually my first thing is, Hey, what can I do for you? Tell me what I can do for you.
Greg White (38:18):
So, all right. So let’s, let’s shift gears a little bit, cause I think I’d like to consolidate some of your insights so that we can share, share them with our community. So you’ve shared so much, and I think we can use refer people to a lot of that that will help them as they are either developing solutions for their own selecting a solution provider or, or even hoping to build and grow a solution company of their own. So let me ask you this. What do you wish you had known earlier in life, either earlier in startup life or earlier in your life in general? And what do you think that might have changed
Jason Perez (38:59):
Earlier in life? I think something you said, which is just, just be you, um, you asked shortcomings that, you know, might work out for, for me being me. Um, I think we, we have to have some grace for ourselves. You know, we need to look and go, Hey, this is who we are and I’m going to leverage my strengths and where I don’t have strengths. I’m going to find good people around me from a life perspective. I wish I would have done that a lot earlier. I wish I would have had grace for myself a lot earlier from a founder perspective, man. Um, I wish I would have had a tech founder a lot, a lot earlier to start a tech company without a tech founder, the toughest thing I could’ve ever, ever, ever done. You need both. You need the business guy, you need the, you know, the guy that thinks strategically and sales and really looks at the behavior and, and understands product. But if you don’t have somebody building out that tech that has a passion to create that vision, it is just so hard.
Greg White (40:06):
It’s impossible. I would argue. It’s impossible. Jason, in fact, just a couple of weeks ago, I did because we’ve started doing these interviews with founders and this whole series tequila, sunrise started with explaining to people what startup life was like, what investment life was like, what an a round mint or a seed round mint, things like that, right? I’ve gotten so much feedback to say, Hey, wow, this has been really helpful for me. I think I’d really like to found a startup. So I felt compelled leveraging my disfunction. I felt compelled at that point, your order to share that’s right. To share with people, okay. You think you want to start up? This is what it really means to have a startup. And that is one of the must haves. You must have a two headed dragon, right? You must have a sales, visionary subject matter expert, whatever you want to call it.
Greg White (41:04):
And you must have a tech founder. You literally cannot go anywhere near where you need to go as a, as a company without that. And you’ve experienced that. I mean that, I think that hindered you somewhat early on, but now you’ve got that. I know you can see the acceleration that it’s given you. Right. But yeah, it is an absolute must. That is an absolute must. If there’s anything I want anyone to take away, it’s that find yourself a geek, right? If you’re not one, find yourself one. And if you are find yourself a huckster, a visionary huckster salesperson, and learn to tolerate and exist with one another because you need
Jason Perez (41:43):
That’s right. That’s perfectly said
Greg White (41:45):
Anything else there has to be. I mean, I don’t want you to go through the whole list. I think we’d all, we’d all die of old age. Right? Anything else that comes immediately to mind that you think is a critical insight for founding and growing a company that could have,
Jason Perez (42:01):
Then the number one thing, number one thing, period, hands down. I cannot emphasize this enough. And you know, this is Greg advisors, advisors, advisors, get people around you that have done it before and get a wide array of people. People good at sales people good at tech people, good at startup people. Good at accounting. It doesn’t matter. Like you got to build that C-suite team for you because none of us, I don’t care how smart you are. None of us are smart enough to forecast all the different things you’re going to go through. And in some cases, Greg, you’re really good at this. And some cases, you just need somebody to tell you, Hey, I believe in you, right? Like you’ve said, Hey, everything is going to be okay. You’re going to get you to the side of this. I know this, this situation sucks, but wait a month and it’ll change.
Jason Perez (43:00):
So I think you got to have good people around you that are true advisors that can hold you accountable and be there for you and, and take those those three months, sprints, you know, have real objectives and shoot for them because you need wins. You need to be able to look at those three months and go look at all. I accomplished and feel good about that because the end goal, the vision, it could be 10 years down the line. So if you’re not celebrating three months increments and holding yourself accountable, then you’re never going to know,
Greg White (43:32):
Uh, that’s a real, that’s a really good heads up. You are as smart as you are. You’re not smart enough to do this on your own. And at the very least, you might be smart enough to do it on your own, but why continue to stick your foot in the mud when somebody can say don’t step there.
Jason Perez (43:50):
That’s right, right. A hundred percent. Yeah.
Greg White (43:52):
That, that to me was so valuable. And frankly, I learned it the hard way, which is why I bet, as you know, I am so adamant about that is don’t try to go it alone, right? Yeah. Yeah. That’s and that, that is, that’s really powerful. And I, I appreciate you sharing that and I’m glad that, that you take that away and I’m actually, I’m really encouraged by the number of successful entrepreneurs who really feel that way. Yeah. And if they don’t feel that way at first, they feel that way eventually. All right. So let’s go a little bit broader here. I want us, as we kind of start to wind down here, I want to, uh, world is a different place than when you and I first started working together, which was about a year and a half ago. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Maybe more than that. Now I, I can’t even remember. Tell me about some things that you, you are completely at peace about or that you are curious or concerned about right now. And I mean, world work.
Jason Perez (44:56):
Yeah. Well, I’m really at peace of where I’m at with, with my family. You know, I really am that even some of the nights that I might spend a little bit late at the office. I know that I’m still going home every night to them. And I, and I I’m just so encouraged every time that I get home and I’d go, man, I’m here and not on a plane or in a hotel somewhere. I’ve been blessed to be able to make that decision. Boy, I don’t know if I’m allowed to talk about things that, that are kind of disruptive. I mean, I look, I come from a Cuban family, so it’s been kind of a little bit of a turmoil situation here for the last eight months. Just looking at a country that’s that was so hopeful and provided such a great place for all my Cuban family that didn’t speak the language to be able to come over here and create the life that they did.
Jason Perez (45:47):
And I think, you know, Greg, I sit on a board for this refugee nonprofit. And when we look at every type of religious background, every type of race, every type of ethnicity there that we serve, but the amount of success they have because of the hope that they see, right. When they come to the us, they’re just like my grandparents. They’re so excited to be here they go. This is the greatest country on earth. We’re going to take on the world and you know, what they do, they take on the world, you know, but it’s because like me, I grew up and I saw my parents. I said, they did it. I can do it. This is most fertile ground to grow anything you want. And I believe that, and the refugees we work with believe that, and they’re highly successful. And I think one of the most concerning things right now for me is that people, a lot of people stop believing that we’re still having success for the ones that do.
Jason Perez (46:45):
It’s not that that people can’t be successful. They just believe they can’t be successful anymore. And that’s sad because the ones that believe it, make it happen. And it really comes down to that people, you know, I think there’s this movement of mindfulness and all this type of stuff, but really all that means is do you believe in where you can go or not? And you’ve got, as you know, I always forget who it said, I’m sure you know, who said it, but you know, you miss a hundred percent of the shots you don’t take. And I, I see a lot of people not taking it then complaining that they haven’t made the shot, you know,
Greg White (47:21):
Great one Gretzky. Okay.
Jason Perez (47:24):
So for me, I’m so saddened because we have so many bright children out there that really just, just need to hear it. Doesn’t matter where you’re sitting today. There’s a Ben Carson, that’s, you know, in a single parent home that becomes a pediatric neurosurgeon, right? You can, you can do it just believe in yourself. You can do it. You know, these things can happen. You can go from zero to an entrepreneur, just believe that you can do it.
Greg White (47:58):
People do need to have a bit of an awakening that it doesn’t matter who the government is or what the government gives you or what the government does. You can succeed. There were successful families in Cuba, right? And there will always be those people that you’ve described who are exceptional, who are exceptionally hopeful or exceptionally ambitious or whatever you want to call it, exceptionally lucky, whatever it is, who will not be bounded by the tenets politics, the dogma, the verbiage of a government or of a bureaucracy. And they will instead choose to live their lives. I mean, I, my family comes from one of the worst governments on the planet. Argentina is literally the only country in the world who has reached for first world status and then receded back to emerging nation status, the only country in the entire world ever, ever. And, and there, there are people who are plenty successful in one of the worst economies on the planet. Yeah. I feel like people need that encouragement. They need to hear what you’ve said. They don’t need to necessarily change. They just need to recognize, and they need to reach the level of comfort and hope that you have and that your family has, that has allowed you to hit or find or seek the American dream.
Jason Perez (49:17):
Well, you know what I love about what you said, Greg, ignore the politics. Like when my, my parents, grandparents came over, I don’t even know who is in office. I don’t think it really matters who was in office. They were just grinding every day and they go, look, if you have a good product and, and you know, classic form, my, my, my grandfather started a landscaping business. Right. Cause that’s easy to start. Um, the one thing he taught me was look, I started a landscaping business and it took the same amount of time to ask my neighbor if he wanted me to limo his lawn as me to be in Beverly Hills and knock door to door and ask, right. So I knocked doors in Beverly Hills. That’s where I’m not. And so he did, he did really well. He went to where the money was at, right?
Greg White (49:59):
W why did Al Capone Rob banks? Because that’s where the money is.
Jason Perez (50:05):
So, so, you know, but my point to this though, is I’ve never looked and said, who’s in office because that’s going to determine whether or not I’m successful. I just have it, does it affect other things? Of course, from a political standpoint and government socioeconomic, all these other things, taxes, whatever it might be, you can look and go, I’m going to be affected one way or the other. But whether Jason Perez is going to wake up and make YD successful, I don’t care. Who’s in office. It doesn’t matter to me because I’m looking and going. I’m going to put every effort I can to make this happen. And Lord willing, I get blessed and all my work pays off. You know, if you can grab some people from the inner city and bring them out to listen to a couple of refugee stories that came from Africa within the last couple years, started their own business. Not knowing the language are Muslim, you know, et cetera, et cetera. And you go well on paper, this guy shouldn’t succeed wildly successful. You go, what’s wrong here. Well, part of it’s because they help each other. They love each other, you know?
Greg White (51:13):
And, um, and you don’t want to fall into believing the hype that you are helpless or you are hopeless. I do believe that regardless of the system, you can be successful. I told my daughters ages ago, your success is not dependent on the government. It is not dependent on what the government gives you. It is dependent on your initiative and on your desire to be exceptional. Great.
Jason Perez (51:39):
I agree. And, and I hope I hope I can translate the same to my kids, man.
Greg White (51:46):
So, all right. So let me ask you one final question and that is, is there anything you’d like to share with our audience that we have not talked about? Tidbit of wisdom, philosophy, thought anything I’ve missed, or you just feel compelled?
Jason Perez (52:02):
The only thing I’d say is I haven’t thanked Brian Macaluso, who’s on our advisory board. I mean, that’s important. I can’t leave him out. Or Rick Hernandez that came in early and, and contributed so much, you know, um, Shay Evan or Perry. McWatters, there’s just so many people to be grateful for. Gratitude’s the attitude, you know, if you live your life that way, you’re not going to regret it. There’s a couple of things. You’ll never regret spending too much time with your kids and being too thankful.
Greg White (52:30):
That’s very good. Very good. Thank you for sharing that. I really do appreciate it. People are going to be asking something more like, why did Jason spend two and a half hours? No, I don’t even know how long we’ve been doing this, but it’s been great. And I really enjoy talking with you. Of course, always. And I really admire what you’re doing, not only with yards as a professional and as a founder, but also how you’re balancing that with your family life and work life and you know, all the best to you and your family and particularly your father. And just thanks big. Thanks for being here with us. Jason Perez, CEO and founder of yards. Great. Having you with us so much to take away here. I’m not even sure how to, how to compile all this, how to, how to break it down. There’s just a lot here and I really appreciate you sharing it with us. And I know that our community’s really going to love it. So thank you again. Well, I’m honored to be on. I really am. Thank you, Greg.
Greg White (53:38):
Right? That is all you need to know about supply chain tech for this week. Don’t forget to get to supply chain now.com for more supply chain now, series interviews and events. And now we have two live streams per week. The most popular live show in supply chain. Supply chain buzz is every single Monday at noon Eastern time with Scott Luton and me, or maybe even somebody else. Plus our Thursday live stream to be named later where we will bring you whatever the hell we want. Hey, thanks for spending your valuable time with me and remember acknowledge reality, but never be bound by it.
Jason Perez, entrepreneur, advisor, and Cofounder of YARDZ, comes from a pedigree of construction and entrepreneurship. YARDZ is third company after 2 other successful ventures. He has sat on several boards and has been a trusted advisor for a widespread of companies. As CEO of YARDZ, he brings a high business aptitude mixed with a passion driven culture. Learn more about YARDZ here: https://yardz.com/
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.