Supply Chain Now Episode 488

“One thing we know from being in the industry for so long, is that when adversity hits the economy, when adversity hits our country, people typically turn to two things: music and alcohol.”

Phil Rich, SVP & CSCO at Sweetwater


Sweetwater is the largest online retailer of musical instruments in the United States. Despite the fact that they are online, their business is a highly personal one. People tend to have very strong feelings about their musical instruments and supporting technology. Part of what has made Sweetwater successful is their ability to form strong relationships with customers that they will never meet face to face.

Phil Rich is an SVP and the Chief Supply Chain Officer at Sweetwater – and he played guitar for the Navy band for six years, so he understands the perspective of their customers. They opened a new distribution center to support their corporate growth in February of 2020 – just in time to shut it down and send everyone home. Despite the challenges they have faced, Phil and his team are ramping up for their busy holiday season, and they are doing it by working together.

In this conversation, Phil shares his perspective with Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton:

· How to guarantee a quality customer experience when the customer is not working through your storefront, they are opening a box to find your product

· The power of being a customer of the company you work for

· Why executive leaders and upper management need to understand the work being done at every level of the organization well enough to train new employees

Intro/Outro (00:05):

It’s time for supply chain. Now broadcasting live from the supply chain capital of the country. Atlanta, Georgia heard around the world. Supply chain. Now spotlights the best in all things. Supply chain, the people, the technologies, the best practices and the critical issues of the day. And now here are your hosts.

Scott Luton (00:35):

Hey, good afternoon, Scott Luton and Greg white with you here on supply chain. Now, welcome to today’s episode, Greg, how are you doing? I’m stoked. I’m so excited, but soda, I can’t tell you everything I’m talking to everyone on right now came from this place. So I’m not going to give it up. Yeah, please. Don’t yeah, you’re still in. You do it. So we’re we’re we are excited. We’re talking with a business leader from the world’s leading music technology and instrument retailer, as Greg said, one of his favorite company. So this is going to be really neat to kind of connect the dots and find out for the first time here in supply chain. Now the backstory, especially from a supply chain and, and business standpoint. So Greg, we’re gonna be working really hard to increase our listener supply chain Accu today, right? Undoubtedly supply chain and merchandising IQ.

Scott Luton (01:25):

Apparently. Absolutely. Teaser there. Hey, more to come on that in just a moment quick programming that if you enjoyed this episode, be sure to look up supply chain. Now, wherever you get your podcasts from subscribe. So you don’t miss a single thing, including conversations like this. As we welcome in mr. Phil, rich chief supply chain, officer and chief merchandising officer, both at Sweetwater field. Good afternoon. Great to be here. Thanks for having me, Scott and Greg. It’s a pleasure. Yeah. Thanks for joining us. We’re pretty excited too. I had to break in because we were enjoying the pre-show conversation as much as we were, and we can get to work and, and captured this for our listeners. Right? Yep. So, all right. So before we talk Sweetwater and talk about even your professional during, let’s get to know you a little better feel. So tell us, where did you grow up and, and let’s get an anecdote or two from your upbringing.

Scott Luton (02:17):

All right. I grew up in a sort of half and half, half an East Tennessee, and, uh, in the Tri-Cities area, a little town called Elizabethton, you know, just the plain, a little, a little town, all peaceful and quiet grew up at the, uh, at the end of the runway there at the local airport where my dad worked, the other half of my childhood was out in Phoenix. Arizona went to middle school, high school out there, loved, loved the town, really enjoyed it there as well. So I got a good blend of sort of East and West. Yeah, no doubt. Love it. A couple of quick up questions. What’d your dad do at the airport? So he taught avionics there, there was a flight school there. He taught avionics. And one of the fun things about observing

Phil Rich (03:00):

Him and his, his job there was, you know, when you talked about creativity at work and, and finding solutions and having a good time doing it the way he would get to work was fun. He would just, he would just throw his bike over the back fence and walk it up the Hill a little bit and just ride down the runway in the mornings. And I thought, you know, if you can have fun and get to work and it’s all safe and good, that’s kind of a, that’s kind of a cool solution. And I bet, I bet a lot of kids haven’t seen their dad leaving for work, dropping a bike over the weekend.

Scott Luton (03:33):

Alright. So before we kind of transitioned over to your professional journey, let’s talk one critical subject and that’s food growing up in East Tennessee. And then also in Phoenix, Arizona, you know, growing up and to start with Tennessee, barbecue is the first thing that comes to my mind, but maybe something else what’d you love

Phil Rich (03:51):

Growing up. We had a big garden there growing our own corn and strawberries and, and potatoes and stuff. And just, just kind of growing a lot of your own food and fruits and vegetables. And as a family, you know, shucking peas and do all that stuff. That, that was just a good time. And so it was really just home cooking was what I grew up on and enjoyed. And you moved to Phoenix and nothing would grow there. So, all right,

Scott Luton (04:19):

We’re talking, uh, declare audience in there. We were talking just how hot it can be in Phoenix and Phil. It was, he, it reminded him when he went back, I think later in life, just how hot and smothering it is. All right. So let’s talk your professional journey feel, let’s get it and get the, you know, prior to your current role, uh, which is we’re going to dive into here momentarily, give us a snapshot of your professional journey, especially any roles that really shaped your

Phil Rich (04:44):

Worldview. There was a time back in the early two thousands where I was director of training and sales for a competitor of Sweetwater, uh, nationwide. And so I had a couple of dozen people around the country. I’d visited pretty much every city in the U S met every kind of culture and, and got to train those people, try to train those people, get their feedback, and learn about who they were. I would say before that I was in the Navy for eight years, been around the world, was stationed on an aircraft carrier. You talk about a diverse workforce. Uh, I’ve seen some of your previous podcasts and you talk about that diversity in the military, and it’s incredible. And back in the early eighties, a lot of, uh, folks from other countries were encouraged to join the U S military. So a lot of just fantastic cultural experience there for me.

Scott Luton (05:36):

I love that. I think we all could benefit Greg from the experience that Phil just, just shared and in each of those different roles, you know, finding ways a bridge of bridging the communities and just getting the mission done, you know, that that’s been one of the, my favorite dynamics about global supply chain is despite the cultures and the differences and, and background differences, all that you can put aside, respect, put aside, but just get stuff done. And it creates really strong relationships along the way.

Greg White (06:08):

Hey, Greg, we’ve said this before, when you’re in a foxhole with somebody, right. It doesn’t matter where they’re from or what they look like. You’re saving one another. Right. It’s I mean, you’re reduced to the core of your humanity, right. And I think if people just experienced other people that way more or thought about it, that way more, it would be so much easier just to get together,

Scott Luton (06:32):

Be a better place. For sure. Yeah. So Phil, uh, one quick follow up question before Greg Greg’s licking his chops, he’s looking forward to diving into Sweetwater. Um, but let’s, you know, from those experiences you just described, I bet you can write a couple books, but you know, when you think of that proverbial Eureka moment, what’s one of your favorite Eureka moments that come to mind?

Phil Rich (06:52):

I think one of my favorites is from a mentor. I had probably 15 years ago, who I I’m still in touch with this day. And I would ask him questions about why things were the way they were like, why is this, you know, when you’re a hot, hot headed younger guy, right? You’re like, why is it this way? Come on and explain this to me. The Eureka moment was picking up the phone and going through person after person to find my way to the person that was the source of that who actually made the decision, who decided to do things, the, whatever the thing was to do with that way and to ask them why they did it. And so that developed in me, just an incredible curiosity, which is one thing I really look for in hiring people and looking for team members is just, if they just have an incredible curiosity, they can overcome a lot of things. They either don’t know they need to learn or are challenges presented to them by getting down to the source, I’m learning why things are and so that they can figure out what’s the best solution. And that was probably the best Eureka moment ever for me

Greg White (07:59):

First to understand. Right. All right. So I have a really important question for you. You are basically a walking you’re, you’re a walking bucket list, so you’re a pilot, correct. And, and a guitar player, former Navy vet, you played in the band, a band in the Navy as well.

Phil Rich (08:18):

Absolutely. Yeah, I was, I was a guitar player for the Navy band for six years. Yeah.

Greg White (08:22):

And, and when, when we started, when we started the pre-show conversation, I noticed a guitar in the background, which I don’t see right now. So I’m guessing that it’s in your hands. There it is. Eric Johnson fender Strat. So what I’d like to ask is probably the most important question we will answer today. And that is, can you lay down some of your favorite licks for us?

Phil Rich (08:46):

Oh yeah. We can play a little, you know, [inaudible] Turn it up. All right. That’s the East Tennessee aversion. That’s the East Tennessee lick. All right. Anything else you want us to hear? Oh, you know, there’s always like the classic bar tunes. Like

Speaker 5 (09:21):


Phil Rich (09:23):

You are clearly a heck of a lot of fun at a party. So can I just, can I just insert the proverbial? Wow. I mean, feeling just to do that, just like you’re tying your shoes and, and for it to sound just like that. I mean, Holy cow film. Oh, thanks. I’m talent. All right. Great. So first of all, I’d like you to carry just one message. And that is to my favorite. Now probably you’d have to break it to him. Second favorite person that Sweetwater Ian Ruggles, who is the rep that I worked with to coordinate all of this and frequently hear from which we’ll talk about in a little bit. Also let him know that we talked and, and, and I appreciate all of his help, but tell us about what Sweetwater does if there’s anyone out there that doesn’t know. And there probably aren’t a lot outside of the music business, but tell us about Sweetwater and what they do.

Phil Rich (10:16):

Well, the broad stroke is Sweetwater is the largest online retailer of musical instruments in the United States. And the definition of musical instruments for us is, is things like this. You have any drum sets and keyboards, all the gear you’re using. So microphones and interfaces, drum sets all that kind of good stuff. And that is what we sell. Now, what we do is not what is not what we sell. What we do is we connect with customers. When you talk about Ian Rowvilles, his, his title is sales engineer and what he and the other 495 sales engineers we have did is when we hire those folks, we put them through three months of classroom training that they have to pass to get to a desk and a phone so they can start selling. And those three months are spent talking about our Sweetwater culture. We’re talking about all the technical aspects of everything that we sell, how to connect with people, the seven habits, all these kinds of things, to set them up for success, to develop a relationship, to really care about customers and try to solve their problems.

Phil Rich (11:22):

And that’s really what we want to do. And along with that, we offer all kinds of other services, like a free tech support, where a repair center, where all kinds of things that differentiate us from everybody else in the industry. And I could just go on and on for a long time about what makes us special, but it’s really those guys on the phone, talking to customers, having that relationship. That’s what makes us special. I want you to know Phil that I’ve had a couple of tech companies in rod Doherty, who is also a fantastic guitar player and keyboard player

Greg White (11:54):

Introduced me to sweet Sweetwater because he was my not only my chief product officer at our tech company, but he was also my chief customer support critic, impossible, utterly impossible to get the site slightest flaw in customer support past. And he just raved about Sweetwater, which is what brought me there. And I understand that that’s pretty common. So in a second, I wanna talk about that, that how you got there, but before you do, first of all, congratulations, and we’re going to talk a little bit more about customer experience as part of this, but tell people what your role is. I think it’s fascinating having sat kind of in both seats that you have as well, but I don’t know how you live with yourself. So tell us everyone about what both of your roles are at Sweetwater.

Phil Rich (12:45):

All right. So I’ve been here a little over nine years, and originally I came to Sweetwater to be head of merchandising. So for really, for the first eight plus years, that’s what I’ve been doing is developing that team, the buying team planning and forecasting, et cetera, and, and growing that. And then in the last six months or so, that’s where the chief supply chain officers come into play. We opened our new distribution center in February. Talk about timing and February 17. And in March, you know, we sent everybody home for a couple of weeks and a lot of us dove into those processes out there, um, from, you know, receiving put-away conveyable, whatever, you know, all the things that go on in a DC. And I just fell in love with it and spent all my time back there. Fortunately, I have a fantastic guy to watch over merchandising while I was out there. And, uh, so it’s everything from, uh, onboarding new vendors, vendor, relationships, contracts, all that usual stuff. You’re, you’re probably used to granting a lot and then it’s everything down to the pack station and the Packers. And what’s the quality of the experience when the customer opens the box, you know, how are we treating each individual kind of product and what’s appropriate for the environment for the customer, et cetera, and how do we become more efficient? So it’s a lot of basic stuff, but you know, but hard to execute sometimes on a big scale.

Greg White (14:10):

I mean, it is everything Scott that we talk about all the time. It is everything from selecting. And in some cases, I don’t know if you all do this Phil, but sometimes helping suppliers, design products or adapt products to what the customer base wants all the way from that. What, what is Sweetwater going to sell to, how are they going to get it from their vendors? And then how are they going to get it to the consumers? So it’s, it’s a mixture of art and science, which we’ve talked about before on this show. So it’s a really interesting perspective. Hey, just curious, uh, the new DC we’re, we’re Joel,

Phil Rich (14:47):

It’s about two thirds of a mile across a long parking lot from here. So, you know, sometimes I feel like I should submit expense reports for mileage between the two, because I’m going back and forth, but you get your steps in, you get

Greg White (15:00):

It from your father, Phil get a bike.

Phil Rich (15:04):

Well, it wasn’t 42 degrees man on that bike. Uh, yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s on our property here. We own over a hundred acres here. It’s on the property, it’s 300,000 square foot plus, uh, we just opened another 50,000 that we got occupancy of just two weeks ago. So we’re moving quickly, uh, preparing for, you know, peak season and, and enjoying it. Yeah.

Greg White (15:25):

Did you have a different distribution center on that property or was it elsewhere or what

Phil Rich (15:30):

We did? We had, we actually had about 90,000 square feet here attached to the building that I’m in right here. And with our Salesforce here, our warehouse, our repair center, everything is right here in one place. Boy, that the, the ability to work together as a team is tremendous.

Greg White (15:47):

I gotta ask you this, uh, considering your role dual role, where do you now, or where do you expect you might, when your role kind of settles out, where do you think you will spend your time, or where have you enjoyed spending your time as you kind of balance both of these worlds, the art and the science.

Phil Rich (16:04):

I enjoy all the time that I spend in both places. It’s, it’s really fun. We have a bit of a newer senior staff and the DC. So I spend a lot more time with them. Uh, since it is a detached building, they get a little bit less of the immediate culture of Sweetwater. So when you talk about who we are and why we make decisions, you know, the Sweetwater difference, taking care of customers, that’s something I want to continually put in their minds and continually every decision we make out there, just go back to those fundamentals so that both buildings have a, trying to have as much of a matching culture as possible. So I’d probably spend 70% of my time out there. And I’m 30% back here, you know, on helping onboard some of the bigger new vendors and things like that.

Greg White (16:51):

That’s exactly the opposite of what I would have expected. And what I think you would mostly see is getting out of the office 70% of the time. And that’s a really good approach because it is difficult when you have promote staff, even though it’s two thirds of a mile away to communicate all of that. So that’s a, that’s a great effort. Kudos on that. Let’s talk a little bit about this culture. So one of the big events I’ve heard about is actually a customer event, right? Where you invite customers and have kind of a big shindig there at the facility. You’re welcome to talk about that, but I have a feeling that stems from the general culture of the company. So I’d love to understand not only what you can tell us about this culture, but how did it originate and how do you, how do you continue it?

Phil Rich (17:36):

Well, we’re fortunate Chuck Surak the founder and president Sweetwater is here every day, working hard alongside of this, you know, and he’s been doing it for 41 years. He has an incredible drive for excellence and incredible drive for detail. And when you talk about me, you know, being a pilot, musician, whatever Chuck is, the helicopter pilot is an outstanding saxophone player. He’s in a working band, he’s got his own customers, still that call him from way back he’s way into it. And when we do that event, which is called gear Fest, that’s what you’re talking about. Deer Fest, where we have about 10 to 15,000 people on our campus and all the vendors that are here. And it’s really just like an enormous consumer trade show. He stands at the front door and greets them all, all day long. And that trickles down as a culture to all of us in what he does, what he says, and it’s now we have 1800 employees. So we all get it now and it’s, and we just have to keep it moving along.

Scott Luton (18:30):

One of the things that really communicates to me is a variety of things, but that authenticity behind the brand, you know, when, when this founder and senior leader is willing to not be put in an ivory tower, like a lot, let’s face it, a lot of these brand founders and they separate themselves from the, from the employees and the customers, but to be down there and, and roll up the sleeves and make it about the team members and about the consumers and, and look for those conversations and relationships, that authenticity is a beautiful thing to hear about. Yeah.

Phil Rich (19:02):

And we use a different word that I didn’t actually hear a lot before I came to Sweetwater. And that word is credibility. And you have to work far to gain that credibility with customers, by example. And you know, when I first came to work here and Chuck said, you know, the senior staff here, they all actually work for a living, right. And what that really translates to is we can actually go do the jobs of the people that work for us and help to teach them, mentor them, I think at most, every level. And that’s really an exciting thing. When you sit in your small executive group and you can talk at all those levels, cause you know, we’re all interacting with those levels.

Greg White (19:39):

That’s a really important thing. Look, you know, Scott, to your point, culture comes from the top, whether it’s intentional or it’s accidental, whatever the culture of the company is always comes from the chucks of the respective businesses. That’s an important commitment leaders need to make authenticity credibility. What ever you want to call it engagement. Clearly, rod as actually told me about walking through the gate at gear Fest and, and talking to Chuck on his way in. So it, it, it happens. I mean that’s, and it, and it really cements in the mind of someone who is virtually unpleasable in terms of customer support, which drove a lot of strength in customer support in our organization. But for him to be that excited, got me that excited and then to have experienced it, right. It’s one thing to have been told about it, even by somebody who is so discerning, but then to have experienced an inexperienced, the overperformance in clearly intentional overperformance of Ian and, and the rest of the team at Sweetwater. It’s just really impressive. And look, we’re talking about people who do what their customers do. Chuck’s got a band right here. He can empathize another key word, you know, with the people because he understands the joy and the frustration of being an abandoned, needing a product or whatever. So, well, let me ask

Scott Luton (21:02):

A question along those lines, because Phil is, you shared earlier, you spent six years in the U S Navy band. You might have played in other bands. I imagine given to your talent, do you ever think about your former band mates and their needs and their point of view as you sit in the chair at Sweetwater now

Phil Rich (21:20):

Absolutely. From the receiving dock to, you know, forecasting and planning out, making sure we have enough guitar strings in stock, you know, so that people can keep, keep playing and, and bring that joy into their lives. And, and one thing we know when just from being in the industry for so long, when diversity hits the economy, when diversity hits the culture of the, of our country, people typically turn to two things, music and alcohol, right. And so, and what a great mix yeah. And music has been. And, and in this case, I think cars is really benefiting automobile industry, but the music industry is so resilient and that word is popular right now. But the resiliency of the music industry is great because it’s so passionate, driven. People love it so much. And that is part of our management team here is, yeah, we have accountants that don’t play an instrument, but we have so many musicians here that just get it. And, and it just makes it work better.

Greg White (22:17):

Ironic that the accountants don’t play an instrument. It’s a very mathematical thing. Right. You being a musician, maybe you could have internal lessons for those that don’t play.

Phil Rich (22:27):

We actually, yeah. We actually have a music Academy on site 850 students a week. Wow.

Greg White (22:33):

That’s incredible. If I could do it at work, I’d probably play a lot better guitar. All right. Let’s go a little bit more broad here. So your perspective is fantastic. Clearly you get even the customer experience aspect of this along with merchandising, which is one of the keys to customer experience, you have to evaluate that. And of course, supply chain, which delivers on the customer experience in quite a literal way. So, and that’s just one of the big themes that we’ve been talking about over the last few weeks is customer experience. And I think we’ve expressed that you all are fantastic at it, but, or if something else, what kind of broader based topics are getting mind share from you right now.

Phil Rich (23:12):

Yeah, definitely logistics. If I can define that as a broader based topic, logistics, for sure. Uh, keeping tabs on Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, Japan, China, Europe, on what factories are running. There’s been a surge in the products that you’re using on this podcast. So surgeon that that’s really been just a big focus for me. And I think for most of the industry is, is how much can we get produced? What’s the, what are the right things to produce? It’s a collaborative conversation between us and our vendors are giving back all the information they need to make the right things, giving them better forecast. And frankly like all these companies, like the one on whole year, I mean, everything that they’re making right now is selling. So the better that they can get the better data that we can give them the better forecasting we can give them. You know, it’s just, it’s just great for the industry. The sell through is amazing. So that’s really what I’m looking at.

Greg White (24:12):

People got time on their hands, man, might as well learn an instrument. I hate,

Scott Luton (24:15):

I want to keep this commerce, some different things I want to ask you about feel, but I know we’re limited on time. Is there anything now that you’re in the music business, so to speak, I mean, you know, being an artist that’s now in the business, is there anything that might surprise your average consumer about what, you know, the decisions you make or the topics that are challenging or, or what have you what’s what’s surprising about the business?

Phil Rich (24:41):

The outside folks would find surprising is how much the music industry, the products industry is filled with musicians that truly care about their products that care about how people experience the products. They would probably be a little surprised about how collaborative the industry is and how much vendors are reaching out to Sweetwater, Sweetwater, reaching out to vendors to make a better products for them. I think when you think about, you know, I don’t know, Samsung making refrigerators who knows what kind of processes they use and, and, and focus groups and whatnot, but we’re talking to customers, their feedback’s really gone directly straight back to the vendors. And I think that they would probably find that surprising. Yeah,

Scott Luton (25:27):

Greg, I’ve never stopped to think about that, but it makes a ton of sense. And I can, the word that comes to mind is synchronicity, right? And, and, and the vibes, the relationships that Phil was just alluding to, and you combine those two powerful forces together. No wonder the it’s fueling the success of ministry, Greg, what, what did you hear there?

Greg White (25:48):

Well, first of all, I’m a huge fan of S of synchronicity, great police album, um, and a great word and applies to this. But I think, you know, the thing that you have to recognize about music and why it is such a personal experience and why it is so important is because any music is an expression of yourself. I mean, you don’t express express yourself through your refrigerator, but, you know, to give you an example. So it’s really, really important in that feedback is so personal and so engaging. But yeah, what I think is surprising, well, I don’t know, I guess I can’t say surprising of you, Phil, but what I think is surprising is the incredibly enlightened awakening that this company has exhibits. I mean, I’ve said this before. I have said this before Phil on our shows is every single retailer needs to examine how all do retail

Scott Luton (26:44):

Online or, or in person. And they need to mimic it. You are the Nordstrom of the online world. And I would argue that you even exceed Nordstrom and that’s a tall order as I’m sure you’re aware. So I feel we’re breaking new ground. Greg rarely, rarely ever. I mean, this is, this is a breaking records here, but, you know, I think it is great for industry. You know, we can all as consumers, the three of us and our listeners can probably, when you, when you think of great deliberate, intentional customer service or experience, a shortlist of companies come to mind, and I think that’s really healthy because other companies that have, let’s say room to improve it, it sets a new bar. That’s kind of, yeah, well, you know, we’re con here at supply chain now, but Phil Lowe, I really appreciate the opportunity to kind of here, get the story behind the story at Sweetwater, especially given Greg’s personal connections to a great company.

Scott Luton (27:41):

So how can, how can our listeners learn more and connect with you in the suite? What an organization, when you can connect with me, anytime on LinkedIn, you can email Anytime. We’d be glad to hear from anybody. Awesome. It’s just that simple, Greg, you’ve got a special request. If I’m not mistaken. Yes, I would love it. If Phil, if you wouldn’t mind, we’ve just got a few a minute or two of stuff we need to do. Would you mind playing this out while we wrap this up? Well, you mentioned the police right out, right? Katie, do you want me to take that note, be sure to check out a wide variety of industry thought find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from and on behalf of Scott Luton and the entire supply chain now team do good give forward and be the change that’s needed. 

Would you rather watch the show in action?  Watch as Scott and Greg welcome Phil Rich to Supply Chain Now through our YouTube channel.

Phil Rich is a 20+ year veteran of the music industry with an incredibly broad experience in retail sales, training, merchandising, purchasing, marketing, promotions, and strategic management. His primary responsibilities at Sweetwater include working with his team to determine what brands and products the company carries, and overall management of Sweetwater’s incredible inventory selection. Right out of high school, Phil served in the US Navy for 8 years including a year at sea aboard USS Midway during Desert Shield/Storm, and then later as a guitarist and live sound engineer for the Navy Band. Phil continues to play guitar professionally and performs regularly with several groups in the Fort Wayne area. He also has significant experience as an audio engineer and is a graduate of the University of Washington’s audio production program. Prior to joining Sweetwater in 2011, Phil spent 14 years working for Guitar Center as vice president of merchandising and in other roles including district sales manager and director of training. Growing up with his father in aviation, Phil’s love for flying led him to become an instrument-rated pilot. He volunteers regularly with the local EAA Young Eagles program, bringing the experience of flight to local youth.

Greg White is a host and principal of Supply Chain Now.  Greg is a founder, CEO, board director and advisor in B2B technology with multiple successful exits. He recently joined Trefoil Advisory as a Partner to further their vision of stronger companies by delivering practical solutions to the highest-stakes challenges. Prior to Trefoil, Greg served as CEO at Curo, a field service management solution most notably used by Amazon to direct their fulfillment center deployment workforce. Greg is most known for founding Blue Ridge Solutions and served as President & CEO for the Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader of cloud-native supply chain applications that balance inventory with customer demand. Greg has also held leadership roles with Servigistics, and E3 Corporation, where he pioneered their cloud supply chain offering in 1998. In addition to his work at Supply Chain Now and Trefoil, rapidly-growing companies leverage Greg as an independent board director and advisor for his experience building disruptive B2B technology and supply chain companies widely recognized as industry leaders. He’s an insightful visionary who helps companies rapidly align vision, team, market, messaging, product, and intellectual property to accelerate value creation. Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams to create breakthroughs that gain market exposure and momentum, and increase company esteem and valuation. Learn more about Trefoil Advisory:

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


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