Supply Chain Now
Episode 498

Episode Summary

“It doesn’t matter who you are. You should be bold, and you should be your own best advocate.”

– Cyndi Lago, Vice President and Leader of Supply Chain, Capgemini

 

Excelling as a female executive in a male-dominated area like supply chain is no small feat, but Cyndi Lago, Vice President and leader of Supply Chain for Capgemini, proves that it is absolutely possible with the right mindset and work ethic. In fact, she is quick to point out that the greatest obstacle most professionals face is their own limited perception of what they can achieve.

She spends her time working with companies that need to digitally transform their supply chains to improve their efficiency and visibility by improving processes as introducing technologies such as AI and machine learning.

In this conversation, Cyndi tells Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton about:

· The advantage of combining bright, business-oriented people with advanced, teachable technologies

· How companies can help their supply chains become more profitable and more sustainable at the same time

· The power of a supply chain to affect every aspect of a business

Episode Transcript

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 (00:28):

Hey, good afternoon, Scott Luton and Greg white with you here on supply chain. Now, welcome to today’s show Greg. Good afternoon. How are you doing? I’m doing well. We’re pretty excited to have this conversation. We are one of our favorite guests, one of our favorite guests. Seriously, this is one of my favorite people. So yes, we need to hear real life practitioner turned to changing the fortunes of corporations. Love it. Well, you know what, also what’s exciting here. Cause we kind of, we got the best of both worlds, not only to have an outstanding guest, but we’re relaunching a re-invigorated full access series, right? Where we’re focusing on really an empowering and uplifting stories of women in senior leadership roles, leading organizations in this shifts doing big things. And there’s so much that we’ve gotten feedback wise from our audience about these types of conversations, right?

Scott Luton (01:19):

Yeah. I mean, first I love the spirit of this series and I can’t think of a better way to start it with then one of the most powerful leaders I’ve met anyway, but certainly an already empowered female leader. So yeah, I mean, I just think this is a fantastic start to the series, plus, it’s going to be a heck of a lot of fun. So we’re going to work really hard to increase your supply chain leadership IQ here today. Hey, quick programming note, if you enjoy today’s conversation, be sure to find us and subscribe. So you don’t miss these conversations wherever you get your podcasts from. All right. So now that we’ve really tee things up because we are excited about our guests here today. Let’s do them really well. Welcome our guest in we’re we’re talking today with Cindy Lago, vice president with cap Gemini of course the global leader in consulting, technology, digital transformation, and a whole lot more.

Scott Luton (02:11):

Cindy, how are you doing? I’m good. How are you guys really good. Glad to have you with us. I’m excited to be here. We were talking to pre-show, you know, the last time you were with with both of us, you know, it feels like it was about five years ago. It was probably about a year and some change you go and the bank of America tower and smack dab, middle of Atlanta had a great conversation, fun, engaging conversation. And we’re, we’re really excited about having you back on here and putting our finger on the pulse, but with, uh, more of an emphasis on your background, your journey, and some of your key lessons learned through it all. So you’re ready to dive in. Absolutely. Let’s go. All right, Greg, where we start, like the last time we were together with Cindy, she coined a phrase that I can never put finger on.

Cindy Lago (03:00):

Do you remember that? The bathroom

Greg White (03:03):

One that’s right. We were talking about customization and retail to the consumer.

Cindy Lago (03:09):

Yes, but that’s the one by the way, I still hold the trademark there. I’m sure you do she from right out there and did that. Right.

Greg White (03:20):

All right. So let’s for anybody who doesn’t know who you are, let’s do get to know you first, tell us a little bit about where you grew up. Your family situation is really cool and, you know, give us some of your fond memories of childhood and how you keep them with you. I think there’s an interesting story.

Cindy Lago (03:36):

Yeah. So, um, so I grew up on my farm dairy farm, right? So, um, in Ohio and I still spend half of my year there, um, with my, my family close to them. When I started traveling all the time, I decided that, you know, I don’t want to spend vacations. This is the thing that was so let’s spend our weekends. We were all visiting. No didn’t ever, never imagine that it would be five days a week, seven days a week for months on end. But yeah, but it’s, um, you know, thus moving to Florida, you know, so my, my childhood was, was definitely raised on dairy farm family farm for many generations. We’re on the fifth generation. Now my nephew will be taken over in a few years. So it’s pretty exciting. You know, my fondest memory is, is probably just that, you know, the work-life balance, you know, the good news for me is that going up on a dairy farm, you know, you kind of work in life or there were mingled.

Cindy Lago (04:33):

And so my work life balance has probably been the, been easiest for me not to define them as work-life balance. Right. But just, you know, how do you find that balance period? So I think, you know, having that, having that work ethic and, and really, you know, kind of more of a hands-on approach of learning things and doing things and then, you know, and then teaching others and helping, you know, companies learn and, and grow and do some different things differently. Um, I think I contribute a lot to how I grew up and how I, um, my family worked with me and how, you know, how we all worked together on the farm to make some sense. So

Greg White (05:12):

I have to ask you, did you have a particular task or role or area of responsibility?

Cindy Lago (05:21):

So did I, yes, we had, I had a particular Castro role. Um, I, you know, of course was assigned female duties because, you know, I grew up in a very, very, you know, male dominated world at the time. So that went over well with me, as you can imagine. So I just, when I was in fifth grade that I would learn to Mel because I figured, you know, why not? So, so I did get to do that for awhile until I just, um, it wasn’t all hyper and the cows got scared and I had to, my father asked me to stop. So really

Greg White (05:58):

Rushing them.

Cindy Lago (06:00):

I wasn’t rushing them. I was just, I would be bored in between waiting for them to finish. And so I go out and do things and make noise and he’d be like, no, can’t do that. I’m like, what do you want me to do? I’m bored. So, no, it was all good. It was, um, you know, it was, he was very, you know, I, if I wanted to be, you know, whatever a boy can do, I can do that was my, you know, so, so it was definitely led to, to, to inspiring me, um, to drive me heart and to drive hard into no, but also to, to, to really, you know, realize that, you know, taking pride in what you do and, and doing things, you know, well is important. And, you know, I think a lot of times, and being sincere and, and very, um, honest about what, how you, you know, about life and, and some really great values that, but I think, you know, I, I wouldn’t have given it up for the world and to be out in the country and as a kid and being able to run around and do whatever you want, that was pretty cool.

Greg White (07:05):

And you mentioned that whole work-life balance thing. I mean, it’s really hard to draw a line there, but

Cindy Lago (07:11):

It is, it is, it really is. And, and, you know, so I never, I never looked at work-life balance as being as defined. Um, you know, sometimes that’s been to my detriment. I think you have to, you know, there, there is definitely a, um, when you, when I think of, you know, when I talked to, when I talked to a lot of the people that either work for me, or actually other companies or colleges about, you know, about work, the work-life balance always comes up. And especially as a female, I think work-life balance comes up even more. Um, and I, you know, one of the things I always tell them is there’s no definition, you know, everybody has their own definition of work-life balance. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s what you, what you feel makes works for you. I want how you balance it. So, you know, for me, it’s being able to switch back and forth and it’s being able to, to, to be, you know, doing work, but then if I need to do something that’s, you know, personally related, you know, I have to give myself that break and say, okay, go do that.

Cindy Lago (08:10):

Um, but you know, it’s, it’s, everybody is different. You know, you would tell people that, you know, women that had families are going to be like, well, you know, I have my kids and I, I, you know, I’m like, you need to have your own work life balance. I mean, but the big thing is you got to communicate that to people. You need to say, Hey, you know, nobody’s going to get mad. If you, if you need to go take care of something, as long as you communicate to them, you know, people just don’t like being surprised, Oh, I’m sorry, I’m going to be off every day at this time because of this. And you find out on accident. So yeah, no, I think it’s, you know, it’s definitely in today’s day and age, you gotta draw your own. Um, you’re gonna draw your own lines, but you gotta do it respectfully and you gotta communicate it well. And I think, you know, as a leader, that’s, my job is to make sure that my team is defining their work life balance in a way that works for them, but also making sure that, you know, they also are communicating to the rest of their team and setting expectations, because I think, you know, people get upset when they have expectations. They don’t get upset when they know, you know, what’s going on. So,

Greg White (09:11):

And that communication has gotten more challenging in this current work, from home environment where we all folks that have ever over-read into an email or, you know, a passive communication, it’s more challenging. You don’t have that, that opportunity at the water coolers we talk about or to pop into the cubicle or an office or a group session and be able to have that face to face or not, not, not at least not as often as, you know,

Cindy Lago (09:35):

No. Agreed. And you have to like, kind of, you know, like you don’t, you can’t walk down the hall with your, you know, what’s one of your clients and start, you know, talking about like, how do you move things forward? It’s, it’s very, um, compartmentalize, right? Because you’re on the screen and you’re either on the screen talking to them or you’re on the phone. And then it just depends. And it’s not like this, you know, Oh, you know, let me just, you know, I loved the new commercial where the guy’s answering somebody’s phone, phone, phone message by driving up to his house and, you know, you know, so pro your life, like I know, so that’s, it makes for some long days sometimes because I do want to spend time, you know, talking to my team and not just answering the email because it is it’s. So I think it’s important to have those conversations. So

Greg White (10:21):

That’s really interesting because I think you having lived on a farm and I haven’t worked some on a farm, you’re never off work, but you’re also never off life. I mean, right. The neighbor could come over while you’re in the middle of your work and you could lean on fence posts for the rest of the day, just shooting the ball. Right. Not literally shooting the bull. I don’t think people are not on farms. They probably don’t know that. Just a figure of speech people, but I mean, but that could happen. Right. Or you could, I mean, you could have the situation where you got a duck and do something and then get back to where you were. So I hadn’t really thought about it from that perspective, but that’s a really valuable way to be able to, to work, especially in today’s day and age. Right. Yeah.

Cindy Lago (11:09):

It’s sort of like Murphy’s law, like every holiday, I swear, there’d be something that broke and you’d be like, Oh, okay, well, we’ll hold off in seconds.

Greg White (11:19):

Right after lunch, right after dinner. So, so it sounds like obviously that life experience was a great influence on you. I mean, if you think about your early life probably pre career, who would you say, or maybe it’s multiple people, but w w what people, or instances or experiences would you say had a big influence on you and, yeah,

Cindy Lago (11:44):

Well, I mean, I would definitely say growing up the way I did, I mean, I grew up, you know, and I think it has double on it had an influence both ways, you know? Um, I learned, you know, how to, how to be a good business person, how to work hard for my father at the same time, I learned that, you know, I don’t want to be a lady from the fifties and sixties, and I want to have my own independence. And so, um, not that he was from that gender, he, he definitely, you know, lives much more of a, uh, farm life and that, so, so I think I can handle both things from them. Um, I, I learned, you know, from, I opened, I was always encouraged to follow my own passion. I mean, ever, you know, was expected to, to like just hang out in the country for the rest of my life and, you know, not move on.

Cindy Lago (12:35):

And I think, you know, having, having that support system from your family and having, having that, um, willingness to be able to, to go and succeed in that, that, that pushed to do it. You know, my, my, um, my parents said, you know, they’re like, okay, you’re going to college. Like, there’s just certain expectations. They never went to college. They were just like, you’re going to college. You know, you’re doing these things and not as the oldest child. So, um, you know, there was a lot around, um, you know, from a perspective of, this is what, you know, this is the direction you need to, what you need to do. And a lot of the guidance that was given to me, and I think that, you know, a lot of that, um, structure, um, really helped me grow. I would say that, you know, then, then when I started my career, I think I, I didn’t know what to expect. Um, and I went to, you know, when and majored in fashion merchandising, which is probably the farthest thing from farming that you possibly can do. So, you know,

Speaker 6 (13:33):

You’ve been intentional by your parents. Exactly. No, but,

Cindy Lago (13:37):

Um, I really was interested in retail and, and from the very beginning have always been very passionate about that. And so, um, went into to that in, into the whole merchandising and buying side of it. And, and, you know, I think, um, having, you know, the business background of being working on, you know, growing up in a, in a self-employed background and then driving into, you know, learning how to manipulate the business world and, and some of the core lessons around, you know, just people and skills and, and how do you really focus on, on driving, um, your career and your success was, was part of me was a little naive. And I would say that, you know, I had some big supporters in my career, um, that really helped push me over that, that edge. Um, and why do I say that is, you know, when you, when you focus on, you know, thinking that doing the right thing is going to always, you know, which is really important and you should always do the right thing is going to get you to where you need to be.

Cindy Lago (14:41):

And, you know, you really have to also then learn how to lead. And I’ve been, I think the fortunate thing that I was that I was very fortunate is that, you know, I, I worked for some individuals in my first career where they, you know, they gave me a lot of opportunity to grow. They put me in new positions because they saw my willingness to learn. And so I was in, you know, working in new areas and got into planning and inventory management and all of the supply chain functions that, you know, it wasn’t the kind of the furthest thing, but they saw that, you know, I was always willing to take on more and I wanted to learn more and I wanted to grow. And so I appreciated that, um, opportunity, but then, you know, going in and, um, working, you know, for, for my first female boss and learning good and bad about how to deal with people.

Cindy Lago (15:29):

Um, and I don’t mean that in, in the point of that work, I got a lot of support in my, in my career from both male and female, but I would say that, um, learning how to be a, you know, uh, a leader and, um, balancing some of the things that happen when you’re in kind of a male dominated world, like supply chain tends to be, um, was very fortunate in my career to, you know, to get in, um, support and mentorship from, from women executives. And, um, you know, I worked for a jewelry company and probably, you know, one of the first female executive vice presidents that I ever worked for. And she was very supportive and, you know, both from a business perspective, but also a personal perspective. So, you know, it really helped me grow. And I think that, you know, having that mentor, having, um, that ability to, to talk to somebody around, you know, what you want to do and drive, and whether it’s a female or a male, I think you have to have, you have to have those, those people that can help you move your leadership skills forward.

Cindy Lago (16:35):

Um, and that’s really, you know, been, I’ve been very fortunate in that I’ve been very fortunate to have, you know, find and get head, to have mentors that have helped me grow in that direction.

Greg White (16:46):

I have to ask you a really quick question. And, um, because you made me think of this in talking about your youth. So sometimes in the Midwest, and sometimes in, especially in the farming community, I always think, I always wonder if everybody in the Midwest isn’t somehow related to Mark Twain, because one they’re great storytellers. They are Midwestern. People are fantastic. Everything is fascinating to Midwestern people. It seems like so often. And, and the other is they tend to do these thing, this thing where they’ll say something that is somewhat obscure and it’s like a life test, how smart, how witty, how, uh, introspective or how insightful is this person? If I give them this little nugget, how do they respond to that? Do you remember that ever happening to you? Somebody kind of giving you half the information or half a sentence, a, you know, one of those words of the wise type of moments and, and did any of those ever stick with you?

Cindy Lago (17:53):

Yeah. I mean, I think that, um, it is funny that you say that we’re great storytellers, because I do think that, um, maybe it’s because we have nothing else to do. We just tell stories. Yeah.

Greg White (18:07):

I’ve always thought fascinating because everything is so normal in the Midwest. Right. You basically, you do your work, you do your schoolwork, you spend time with family, you go to bed, right. And you get up and do it all the same way all over again. And the next day,

Cindy Lago (18:24):

I think we, I think because it’s like that we, we focus on, we try to find adventures. Yeah. You know, I, I do. Um, yeah. I mean, I think we, we w we can be obscure sometimes I think in how we talk, because we, you and we infer a lot. I, you know, I think that you, when you grow up in the Midwest, you, you kind of, you know, there’s a, there’s a certain word that people have. There’s a certain, um, way that people work and you just kinda know,

Greg White (18:53):

I feel, I felt like it was a constant test. I mean, like people would give you half of it, and really, you could almost feel like they were trying to activate your brain to see like, how you would respond to that. Um, and it’s interesting because I hear a lot of that. I hear a lot of what you’ve taken away and taken into your career from, from those types of experiences. That sounds really familiar to me. So if you’ve watched, if you’ve watched or read anything recently has that has really kind of ignited your thought.

Cindy Lago (19:26):

So, yeah. So, you know, what’s really funny. Um, so the B I, besides trying not to be of soaked up into Netflix series, because I just not, I just, I can’t stand bingeing and drives me crazy because I just have to get to be in. Um, and so I, I just like try to avoid them after, after, um, money heist, I was like, come down and I’m like, I can’t do this anymore. It’s just too much. I, you know, I think that when you, when you asked me this question and the thing comes to my mind, which is really funny, this is my favorite book, which is the Alchemist by Paulo COA at cologne. I’m an excise me, my, um, and the reason that it’s a very inspirational book. So if you haven’t read it, you need to read it. Um, and I had my 11 year old one, so my 12 year old niece read it.

Cindy Lago (20:19):

And cause she said to me, one day, what is your, what is your favorite book? And so I said, you know, this is my favorite book. And so she read it and she’s like a really fast reader. Like she, you know, she’s reading these books and I’m like, okay, which just like 500 pages long. And she whips through them anyways, the, um, and, and it was very interesting cause I said to her, I said, so, um, she, I said, what are you, what do you mean? She didn’t ever told she read it. I gave it to her. I said, you know, you should read this really good book. I said, so, you know, what’s your, and so we talk a lot about like what she’s been read, what she’s read and you know, what’s her look and she’s like, I go, so what’s your favorite book now? And she’s like the Alchemist, you seriously read it. So then I had to go back and reread it because of course, you know, we had to talk about it. But, um, you know, I, I love to your point about how Midwesterners kind of throw things out there and make you think about it. That’s exactly how he writes. And so he’s a very inspirational writer. Um, and he’s very thought provoking in his writing. He’s by far my favorite author. And as soon as he comes out with a new book, I read it every time.

Scott Luton (21:29):

Really I’m going to have to read it now. The outcome is not a great reader, but

Cindy Lago (21:34):

It is, it is a very fascinating read. I want you both to read it. And then you tell me what you think we got to do a book report for you. Okay. Yes, exactly. We’ll do a call for you.

Scott Luton (21:43):

I want to go back to some of your lessons you were learning. Uh, you talked about, you know, kind of connecting the dots from a, an end supply chain standpoint, you talked about, um, kind of the male dominated industry and, and how that kind of dawned on you early in your career. And then you also talked about adjusting to working for, for folks of all types, right? And, and how sometimes you’ve got to adjust how you, how you follow and probably how you lead on, imagine pointless when you, when you think of the global business and international business. And of course, this is where we live in today. Never going back to, you know, when it wasn’t global business, right. When did that, when did that one element of that Dawn on you? What, what role really comes to mind when you really think of, of that global view and what really shaped that global view for someone that grew up in the Midwest?

Cindy Lago (22:31):

You know, I think, um, so for me it was, it was a, a few different things, you know, certainly, um, getting into retail and starting to get into, you know, private label and imports. And, you know, those kinds of things are really wanting about, you know, we’ll be more vocally aware of things that happen and go on, um, was, was part of it. And then, you know, um, and then having to, in, in my retail career, you know, going, going on buying trips and experiencing more of the culture called being, you know, more worldly from that perspective was definitely an and just, you know, adjusting. And, and, and I always think about when I, you know, got in my first elevator in Hong Kong and everybody gives me elevator and you’re like, and people warn me, you know, you’re going to be very close that’s, that’s, they’re used to it and you’re not.

Cindy Lago (23:24):

And, you know, having an in really understanding, I always, I, I tried to seek to understand cultural differences and, and, and learn from it. Um, and I think that that’s really, you know, to me, I find it fascinating. We get it’s, it’s, you know, intriguing to me, um, how, how we’re all different. And I think it’s, you know, very, um, everybody brings a different point of view. And I think that they’re trying to, to understand that. I mean, like, you know, when I, when I think back to being a Midwesterner, I’m like, you know, I don’t want everybody to be like a Midwestern. I, I like having their pride. So, yeah. So, I mean, I think, you know, to me that was a, that was a big point. And then, you know, and then running my own logistics company with my husband and, you know, really having to, to get, you know, a really understanding of, you know, like the, the, the amount of the different, different people that you meet and the different goals that they have.

Cindy Lago (24:28):

And I think, you know, the reason I say that about the warehousing, cause I’ll just never forget the day. Like some guy comes into my warehouse and, you know, and I was in California and I, uh, we had a warehouse and he knocks on my door and he’s like, can I kind of shift my load? Because his load was, was overweight and he in the middle and he needed to readjust the quote. And then I said, sure, you can come in. And my husband was like, you know, I called him later and he’s like, what did you do? And I’m like, well, you asked me, I’m like, you know, I, you know, and, and definitely had, you know, you know, my husband was giving me a hard time, but, you know, he had, he had a very thick Russian accent obviously had, you know, like, like this is what he’s doing to make, make, you know, make it in America. And so that was, and then, you know, his little son comes out and said Sarah and watches him. And, you know, it was just, I think just all of those different experiences that, you know, you gotta, you need to appreciate everybody’s differences and you need to, you know, um, every, you know, everybody’s trying to do the best they can. So I try to believe in those people, I guess,

Scott Luton (25:27):

You know, as you shared that, Cindy, um, and especially as you know, three entrepreneurs here, and you’re talking about your time running your own logistics company. I think that’s when I have most, uh, that time in my life at least. And it sounds like what you’re sharing, that’s when you really appreciate how everyone is trying to contribute, everyone’s trying to, and what’s important to them move that forward, you know, solve problems, take care of their customers, pay bills and, and, you know, it’s just a beautiful element of the entrepreneurial journey. So I appreciate you sharing that. Um, all right. So I want to, you know, when you talked about your 11 year old niece and what was her name?

Cindy Lago (26:08):

Sure. Her name is Jessica and she’s 12 and she’s almost gonna be 13. So I have been for 11, cause I’ll be in trouble for that, but yeah,

Scott Luton (26:15):

12 year old Jessica say hello to Jessica. Um, I want to ask you this next question and I almost want to ask you what advice you’d give Jessica, but also I want to take advantage of the question I plan on asking you because it’s a different timeframe. And so let’s, let’s go with the first one first. So when you think back, if you had the opportunity, uh, via bill and Ted’s magical telephone booth to go back and tell yourself one piece of advice, say senior in high school, Cindy Lago, or senior in college, whatever you prefer, what would that one piece of advice be?

Cindy Lago (26:48):

My one piece of advice is don’t limit yourself. And it’s the same piece of advice I give to my niece because I feel I watch people. And I, you know, even in, you know, when I, when I was in corporate America and I worked with individuals and they were in certain jobs and, you know, I, I really think that, you know, no, am I capable of being a brain surgeon? No, but I’m not, you know, but that’s not my interest either, but I also, you know, I don’t put parameters around what I think I can be. And I think that, you know, we, we tend to, we tend to limit what we can do and what we can affect and, um, impacted our lives ourselves. And, and so I think that there was a lot of times where, you know, I had to, I had to push myself and, and, you know, I thought, well, I’m never gonna make it through this.

Cindy Lago (27:45):

And I’m just very, you know, I’m very grateful for where I’m at right now. And I’m very grateful, um, that, that I can share those experiences with people. And, you know, and I can also then, you know, hopefully you know, that when you, when I look back, that’s, what’s important to me is like, don’t, don’t, don’t limit yourself. Don’t say that you can’t run a third party logistics company because it’s mostly a male dominated. Well, don’t say that, you know, you can’t be involved in trying a new area and starting a new business, or, you know, just don’t limit yourself, go for it.

Greg White (28:20):

That’s great advice. I mean, you know, one of the things you have to recognize as you’re doing that is plenty of people are either going to intentionally or inadvertently place limits on you. And you have to ignore that as well. Right. I mean, you are, you only have limits placed on you by other people, even in the case that someone does influence that because you accept it. Right. So that is wow. That’s fantastic. Yeah.

Scott Luton (28:53):

Yes. Well worth the price of admission, because really, if you listening to this, I would argue there’s a small fraction of folks that really, that, that launch into their career and, and don’t limit themselves. They’ve got all their confidence. We’ve all probably worked with folks that never, never challenged. And then the plurality or the majority of folks do put constraints. Well, if I can do that, and they’re not confident enough. And so Cindy, what a beautiful, simple piece of advice that would be good for, for a senior Cindy Lago back in school or Jessica now, or for that matter, frankly, any of us that are, that, that are working our way through the journey.

Greg White (29:35):

Yeah, totally. And I think it’s good that you’re intentionally passing that on to Jessica. And I am, I imagine all

Scott Luton (29:42):

Of your other nieces and nephews as well. So

Cindy Lago (29:44):

Yeah. I mean, I think that, um, you, you get a lot of people always saying they can’t do something and I’m like, you know, w the one person that’s telling you, you can’t do something as yourself. So,

Scott Luton (29:54):

Well, we’ll have to bring, uh, Jessica on one of these next shows and, and here,

Cindy Lago (29:58):

I’m sure she’ll be thrilled with that. So, yeah, he’s actually,

Scott Luton (30:02):

So you were, you were referencing a couple of times now and, and a few minutes ago, what you do now, and, and, and, you know, some of our listeners that heard you, uh, listen to the first episode that your own may already know, but let’s just refresh their, their, um, their memories of what you do now. Cause I find it fascinating. I am not envious because you’re driving change and what’s gotta be an incredibly challenging environment, uh, and driving improvement. But so if you could remind us what you do and then share with us a recent Eureka moment you’ve had, especially in past, you know, 12, 18 months.

Cindy Lago (30:37):

So what I do now is I lead the supply chain practice, um, Tricia in focused on transformation, really for cap Gemini for North America. So I’ve been here for, um, nine and a half years and vice-president here and came in, um, in the supply chain practice and then moved up to running across all, all businesses, all industries, which has been, which has been really interesting for me because, um, to the Eureka moment, um, learning more, you know, the funny thing is, um, with supply chain, you know, every, I always joke and you know, it’s not in your hands, you’re not touching it. It did not go through supply chain and always kids, you know, my DCX bends, you know, they like their digital commerce, always like, Oh, but it looks so cool on my website. And then Roman I’m like, yeah, doesn’t really mean anything that’s customer that whole and the whole design.

Cindy Lago (31:34):

And if any customer, right. I mean, you know, whether it’s putting gas in your car, so that supply chain of oil and gas went through, you know, manufacturing, a thought, getting on a plane, you’re not getting somewhere, that’s going through some type of supply chain. So it’s been, um, you know, to me, I think the Mo the biggest Eureka moment is the most, the acknowledgement of the supply chain, right through COVID, I’m like, you couldn’t have named re you’re going to named your, um, your, your company, anything better. Right. Cause it’s just, it’s all over. It’s all. And you did really well on marketing. Um, it’s, it’s really all around this, the supply chain and, and, and then, you know, I think I, so I’ve been managing, um, a team. My team focuses across all industries. I think that, you know, to me, the biggest challenge has been in the biggest interesting Eureka moment is just besides effective developers to a supply chain is, is really around, you know, the, the changes that people are having to make in their supply chain.

Cindy Lago (32:30):

And, and I get fascinated with working with clients on different ways of managing their supply chain, managing their, their, their product and their flow. And how do you get products moving, um, you know, to the right customers? How do you have that visibility? I mean, it also has been amazing to me that out of people that don’t know where the product is and their supply chain, I’m sure you guys have talked to a lot of, you know, companies and software providers that provide those, those types of services and that information, but really in today’s day and age, I think that that is, you know, what’s going on there and, and the analytics and you know, how to drive transformation and how to use ML and AI in your supply chain and just the speed to which you get, um, by doing that is just so impactful.

Cindy Lago (33:20):

And I think, you know, it’s not easy. So I’m working with a client right now while we’re doing ML and AI and, and how they do their and how they deliver the product to allocate the goods, how they pick the product, you know, how do I drive better? Decision-making throughout my whole process and it’s, it’s not easy. And it’s, it’s something that is not, you know, it’s agile, right. It’s Interdev and it’s agile. And, and I think watching, um, working with companies today on, you know, what’s available. And, and I, and, you know, I think that the importance is that in the workforce, in supply chain, I think that, you know, I think that the executives get it in the leaderships, or, you know, understand what needs to be put in place. And even the people that are executing it, no one needs to be put in place, but I don’t think they, you know, I think the change that you need to initiate in your organization to make it work is still a big area where people need to be

Scott Luton (34:16):

Your crystal ball is fine tuned as always because this is where we’re going next, Cindy, I appreciate it. I want to bring Greg back in because this is, this is the beautiful part and the most rewarding, one of the most rewarding parts of our journey, because we, we are sitting down with these businesses, a wide variety of business leaders, as you referred to and seeing what they’re experiencing, figuring out what their unique and common problems are and how they’re overcoming. So, Greg, I know we want to pick her brain on some of these conversations she’s having along those same lines, right?

Greg White (34:45):

Yes. If you’re, if you are working your crystal ball, um, whatever device it is, or AI or ML or whatever device it is you use to predict the future, what are a couple of the things that you’re seeing in, in today’s environment? What are people leaning on on you and your consulting organization, or AI, or ML or IOT or blockchain or whatever, uh, technology or process or methodology or organizational changes.

Cindy Lago (35:17):

So we’re definitely seeing people wanting to understand where the product is in the supply chain. And, you know, do you have, do you have the right control? Do you have a control tower in place? Do you have a visibility and traceability in place? You know, you ha you see, you see that throughout, um, what’s going on because they, they, you know, it was very, you know, what you saw as everybody realized when COVID hit that they had no visibility, you know, where they had, there was a lot of company, they didn’t have visibility. Where’s my order. Where’s my client’s order. Um, where’s my customer order. And so, you know, th they needed to get that level of transparency and traceability out there. Um, now you see them dealing with that. So you see a big uptick in, in, in logistics, right? Whether it’s WMS, TMS, um, that visibility layer, we see a lot around what’s going on with that and, and bringing in analytics to help you, um, you know, optimize what’s going on and, and reduce costs because the last mile obviously is child as well.

Cindy Lago (36:10):

And so, you know, people had mastered the last mile before this happened, and now they’re just, they’re just like, they’re throwing everything out that they can just to get the product to the customer because they need that business. So, you know, there’s, we, we do see a last, you know, I see a lot of, um, you know, companies looking about, you know, the back end execution part of their system, you know, how do I get that? How do I deliver, how do I deliver to my customers on time and then, and give it to them the way they want, where they want it, all that stuff. Um, you see that the, um, there are thing that, you know, it’s just, how do I predict this? Like, what is going to happen? I mean, you look at, you know, the demand shifts, if you, I mean, you know, you came from the industry of selling replenishment systems, right.

Cindy Lago (36:54):

You look at a two year trend, well, how do you work on a two year trend and make a demand work for next year? You don’t. Right. So, you know, so, you know, how do you bring in advanced analytics that you can help, um, drive those decisions? And it’s, you know, what’s funny is it’s not, it’s not because people can’t do it. And then I think this is a big thing with, with, you know, and I’ve worked with companies that do AI and ML, and, you know, I think one of the biggest misnomers for, for customers are you have to teach us stuff. It’s not going to be, it’s not going to just, I mean, yes, you can put it on a system and it can learn behaviors and it can learn, um, keystrokes, and it can learn all this stuff that you want it to be automated, but if you want it to be smart, you have to teach it.

Cindy Lago (37:36):

And so, you know, I think that for, for what I see, um, you know, in the industry is that, you know, it’s, it’s taking your brightest people and solving the business problem that needs to be solved, and then automating them through AI and ML to let the system do it for you because you cannot move fast and you can not, you can’t go through the algorithms in your head fast enough. You can’t physically cannot do it as fast as the machine, and you can’t do it as fast as your customer wants you to do it. So you have to bring in these,

Greg White (38:09):

That is a really outstanding analysis because, you know, we hear a lot of people and I’m sure you do too. Cindy, there’s a ton of confusion around AI that you plug it in. And somehow it works. You have to, you know, one of the analogies that I’ve used is don’t think of it as the big giant head for the anyone who’s ever watched. Third rock from the sun. Don’t think of it as this all knowing all intelligent thing, think of it as a child, to whom you have to teach, you have to impart the knowledge of your most effective. I’m not even saying most intelligent, your most effective participants in whatever process you want it to manage, because that’s what it will learn. And man, that is such a great perspective. Um, you do have to teach it, you have to train it. You have to continually educate it. Now, at some point it can start educating itself. But that foundation, that foundation is critical walk before you run kind of thing. I mean, you are parenting AI.

Cindy Lago (39:14):

Yeah. And, and, and, and, you know, it can be a really powerful tool. I mean, you know, the, the people, the thing that is, is that it’s hard in supply chain. It’s not easy, right. I mean, in advertising and marketing is great. You just see, watch where people click and what they want to shop for. And then you just, you know, throw that up there every time they go into one to another site, we’re into an app, but it’s not that easy. It’s not that, you know, in supply chain, there’s a lot of decisions that have to be made. There’s a lot of choices. You can’t give them ABC and theirs. So it’s definitely, um, an area where we continue to work with our clients on, like, how does, how do you inform that model? How do you drive? But the biggest, the biggest thing is, is that you have to, you absolutely have to become smarter and how you do things because you cannot keep up with it. The speed is there’s, there’s no way to do it.

Greg White (40:04):

And that’s, I mean, that’s the other key to AI is once you’ve imparted that knowledge, it never does the calculation wrong. It never forgets to do it. It never imparts emotion, right. Or, or bias in, into that decision. And that’s where the magic starts to happen is it’s more repeatable, as you said, it’s, it’s faster. It’s always complete. They never forget to input the, the, you know, the decimal point. Right. Um, so once it’s got that knowledge, it basically becomes a foolproof calculator, if you will, of all of those decisions that humans have made in the past.

Cindy Lago (40:43):

Right. And then I think the good news is, is that you can spend your time trying to figure out root causes. I mean, people need to think about what is the advantages of it, the advantages of it are it helps you set back and say, what’s really going on. Right. I mean, cause it’s going to do all that maintenance stuff for you. Right. It’s going to even learn and become smarter, but you’re going to, but you now can loose that back and say, okay, okay. Well, I see the shift in my patterns of how people are buying. Why is that right? Why, you know, or, or better yet, how do I want to direct my business? Right. So, you know, for example, um, you know, it’s been very interesting to me to see what’s going on with black planet and how retailers are choosing to expedite black Friday.

Cindy Lago (41:25):

So they don’t end up in, you know, black to black Friday and Christmas crunch does not kill them from a shipping perspective and transportation. You see it happening every day and you see, and then they’re thinking of new ways to do it. And they’re doing that because they have their basics are covered, right? You got machines in place to help you figure out, like, be able to sit back and see, look at the trends. Like, you know, um, there was a retailer that just came out with a, I’ll give you $10 as a gift certificate to come in and pick up your own product versus having me deliver it to you. I mean, you know, these are the things that they get to spend their time thinking about how do I become more profitable? How do I become more sustainable? And, um, you know, and then that’s a whole other big thing is, um, you know, using these tools to help you drive and find two that you could spend your time shifting your business to what’s important. And that’s really what you, what you use it,

Scott Luton (42:19):

That’s where so much of the value is. Uh, and, and, and looking ahead rather than working in the here and now, so, you know, send the, uh, as expected, I wish we could, we could dive deeper for the next five hours of what you’re just talking about because of course technology is, is not just where supply chain is, where business is. And it’s fascinating to hear some of these things that, that you’re part of, but let’s, I want to shift gears a bit as we move into this final segment here. Cause I’m really curious, w we ha I haven’t had this, this conversation with you and on, on some of the previous appearances you made, and I’m really curious, no, Greg and I are really curious about some of your perspective here. So let’s talk about women in business. You’ve already kind of shared a couple of your Eureka moments and, and some of those experiences earlier in the interview, our great friend Elba Gallagher was showing me fifty.org. I’ve learned so much from her experience of what she’s sharing as she works in her nonprofit to really make sure opportunities are there for everybody. And she showed me this one, uh, graphic that is a research and Jay data-driven and it shows to kind of the initial stage of women coming into industry and then the middle-management stage. And then of course, we all know the sea level where women are really underrepresented. When you think of leadership trajectory and career progression trajectory and, and opportunities for women. And what are some of your observations there?

Cindy Lago (43:43):

Well, so my observations are, um, that, and personally, and even personally speaking, I feel like, you know, women, um, aren’t as bold as they need to be. And I think that sometimes the reason we’re underrepresented is because we don’t give ourselves enough credit and, um, you know, particularly, um, you know, being able to be, to bring, you know, like, I don’t know. I think we, a lot of times we were, you know, what you do is, you know, how well you do something should show people how good you are and, you know, we need to be our own champions. And sometimes we’re just not as bold as we should be. I think that, um, and you know, we, we, so I think that that is definitely something that, you know, everybody should know, but it doesn’t matter who you are, you should be bold and you should be, you know, you’re your own best advocate, right?

Cindy Lago (44:44):

I mean, who else is gonna do for you? Um, so I think that that is that’s part of it. I think that, um, you know, it’s definitely, um, from a, from, I think from one is with the, with a working force changing and I think the way that we work changing, I think that, um, I think that it should be personal. I think it should be good for women. So I think it’ll be interesting to see, um, how that evolves, but certainly being remote. Um, you know, you, you tend to see the leadership skills and women tend to be more communicated or, you know, um, more of, of, of that, um, leadership style where they will, they want it, they, they have a conversation about it. And, um, you know, so I think that that’s, that’s helpful. I think that’s helpful for industry to have leaders that are women that because when you’re not in the same room anymore with people, you can, you can have women in leadership positions that, you know, actually understand that importance.

Cindy Lago (45:49):

And I think, you know, we talked about it, I think before the pre segment, you know, it’s about, you know, communication and, and, you know, how do you set expectations for people? And I think that, um, I think women leaders are very good at doing that. I just think that we’re not as good at as setting our own expectations sometimes or being as, as bold as we need to be. But, but I do think that, you know, from a, you know, we want to make sure that things get done and we, you know, we wanted and drive and be driving forces as well. And I think this is an opportunity for, you know, women to really, and, and anybody to, you know, to my point earlier, you know, you, you, you’re your own worst enemy sometimes. And so sometimes it’s cultural, which is too bad, and sometimes it’s just, you know, need to break out of your shell. So,

Scott Luton (46:34):

And as we all know to any huge system-wide challenge that we have, it’s not one easy, simple thing. It’s a ma it’s a vast collection of different things to your point, both organizational and internal and intrinsic. Um, so yeah,

Greg White (46:50):

I think it’s interesting though, that can’t help but align what you just said, uh, being your own advocate with your upbringing. I mean, if you think about farming in the Midwest, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard or heard a variation of a hard day’s work is its own reward or good days work is its own reward. And I think a lot of people come to the workforce as finance think so many, um, women probably come to the workforce with that perspective. And when you’re, and I recall being that way myself in the workforce, it’s like, how come people don’t notice all this good stuff that I’m doing, right? But men have literally been in the workforce or at least these kinds of workforce environments for millennia longer than women. If you think about Wars and armies and things like that ages ago, where you had to, self-promote sometimes shamelessly self promote to, to advance, not just within the military, but a lot of those people had aspirations of, of running countries and regions and whatever, right. There’s this sense of experience I can tell you that it’s a lot less of a problem for guys to be a shameless. Self-promoter at least that’s been my experience in the workplace.

Cindy Lago (48:13):

I, I would agree. I’m just trying, I was trying to be nice about it, but yes, I would agree with you. Yeah, I know. Right. But seriously, I think if you think about what you just said too, when you think about back to like, you know, the women went to work in the factories and they still accomplished something. So they made things every day and they finished making something. They knew how many they made that day. They went home and make all it accomplished. But as soon as that workforce for men came back in, they were said they would despite straight. But, you know, we take accomplishing things, you know, to me is much more gratifying than necessarily just talking to a whole bunch of people. Right. And so that’s a, it’s a big it’s, it’s something I think there, there certainly is, you know, learned behavior that happens and we have to break that pattern and then more behavior happens in all aspects of our lives and we have to it.

Scott Luton (49:04):

So we’re going to ask you for more advice, uh, just a different iteration of the earlier questions. Uh, and so we know that you would share with women and with all folks don’t limit yourself. We know that that’s one thing you’d say, we also know that, uh, what you just shared there, your own champion, right? So if you’re speaking, if you’re keynoting at the most prestigious university or one around the corner to graduates, you know, here in 2020 college graduates, regardless of what their industry that they’re moving into, what would, you know, what would that key advice item or two, what would it sound like?

Cindy Lago (49:44):

Well, so there’s a, um, I have like these little eight ways of living, so I won’t go through all of them. Um, but it sums up to the, so to sum up to what you just said, right? So there’s, there’s certain things that lead up to what, you know, don’t want it yourself, you know, you’re your own advocate, but you know, there’s these things that are subliminal, maybe Midwestern things, Greg, but you know, you got to do the right thing. You have to, you know, if you mess it up, you make it right. You, um, and there there’s literary, like, you know, look at problems, you know, problems or opportunities and work clothes. You know, there’s like lots of little things like that, of how you need to get through your base. But at the end of the day, you gotta be bold and you gotta be. So, you know, you gotta be your own champion, you got to not set limits, but you gotta be bold. And you know, and if you do, if you’re doing the right thing and you’re bold, you’ll be successful.

Scott Luton (50:41):

Love that bold and fearless, just like Cindy Lago. I love that. All right. So Greg, I’m going to, uh, Cindy’s gonna get the last question, Troy. Now the question, but I want to pose one quick one to you here. As we’re running out of time, you’ve known Cindy quite some time. I know that y’all have collaborated together. We’re not going to go over the two decade role I’ll honor that you know, Cindy well beyond what she’s shared over the last hour, what’s, what’s one thing you admire about her leadership,

Greg White (51:09):

Cindy, and I’ve actually had this discussion. So one of the things that I will frequently frequently do and getting to know someone or understanding them is understand what their super power is. Her superpower is in understanding and explaining things, both straightforward and diplomatically, not overly diplomatically. I mean, she’s going to call on you if you need to be called on you, but not unnecessarily either, right? Not unnecessarily undiplomatic, but look, I think that’s, that’s the thing with Cindy, what you see and what you hear is what you get and it’s what you deserve. That’s the most important thing I think I, I’ve never heard Cindy say one thing where I’ve ha I have this saying, there is a difference between that needed to be said, and you felt the need to say it. I have never heard Cindy say anything where she just felt the need to say it. It always needed to be said, and you can see. So, I mean, you can see Cindy, as you were answering a few of those questions, you were being diplomatic. And I appreciate that still, you got your message across, but I think that to me, that’s the thing that I most admire is I’d put her toe to toe with any, any guy certainly, and, and certainly with any leader. Um, and I think that’s what makes her so effective is she’s just real. I just talked about you like you weren’t here.

Cindy Lago (52:36):

I know I’m quite shocked. I’m trying to get over it.

Scott Luton (52:40):

Hey, if there’s any year, any era where we need real facts, direct leadership proof in the pudding. It’s this the time we’re getting through now. And, and I can really appreciate that. I can, uh, it validates a lot of my, uh, early impressions in the last couple of shows. You’ve been here with us, Cindy and, and, you know, and, and the way you talk about what you’re doing and, and conversations you’re having and the results that you are, um, you and your team are making happen. I mean, it makes it, it, it, it is Cindy Lago. So pleasure always to sit down with you here and share some of your journey and your, your expectation, uh, your, uh, experiences and insights with our listeners. So I bet there’s gonna be some clamoring for folks that want to compare notes and, and follow up with you the episode. So what’s the best way to get in touch with you.

Cindy Lago (53:28):

The best way you can touch me is actually just going to LinkedIn and go into my LinkedIn profile. Cindy, I know, cause it’s just easier. It’s C Y MDI. Blago L a G O. Greg always gives me a hard time. There is a story behind that when I was in fifth grade, no, as a third grade, I decided my name is Cynthia and I C Y N. So my first name needs to face my nickname. Me do spelled C Y N D. I,

Greg White (53:50):

I think it makes perfect sense. I don’t understand why more people don’t do it that way. Many of them,

Scott Luton (53:56):

You know what, we’re going to make it even easier. Cindy, we’re going to include that link to your LinkedIn profile in the show notes. One-click is what we’re after here, I really have enjoyed having a bat. We’re going to look forward to taking a deeper dive, especially in all of your supply chain tech and business tech expertise and insights. That that should be a whole series of its own there. So, but thanks so much for your time.

Cindy Lago (54:18):

Thank you guys. Appreciate it. Pleasure as always great day,

Scott Luton (54:23):

Stick around as we wrap up here. Cause we’re going to talk about some, maybe a little bit more like you’re not in the room with us, but We’ve been chatting with Cindy Lago. Vice-president at cap Gemini. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed a, really a blend Greg, a blend of, of not just her journey and the hurt experiences and Eureka moments, but some very savvy commentary on what we’re going through and what businesses regardless of sector are going through. Right?

Greg White (54:47):

Yeah. Undoubtedly, I mean, look, what w w who can’t learn from be your own champion and don’t limit yourself. I mean, those are words to live by. It doesn’t matter who you are, who you are. And I think that, you know, the experience that Cindy brings and the perspective that she brings from being a farm girl, we can say that because she says that, but you can see where starting in a traditionally male environment made it sort of old hat for her, and it, doesn’t not doesn’t intimidate her. You Cindy doesn’t inter right. Nothing intimidates her. Right. And, um, you know, it’s inspiring. Doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a leader. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a follower. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in supply chain. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in business. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in retail, which she also has re has experience with, or whether you’re in physical supply chain. I mean, that applies to you no matter where you are. And I just love the universality of it.

Scott Luton (55:52):

Universality. That is the, uh, 25 cent word that we’re going to wrap up on, on today’s episode, but it is true. Universal message. And hopefully you’ve enjoyed as much as we have. We’ve been talking again with Cindy Lago, with cap Gemini to our listeners. Hey, if you enjoy this conversation, check out a lot more, almost 500 additional options to choose, forgetting their supply chain. now.com, please visit that. You can find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from, man. What a great show. Just like you heard here today, Hey, we’re going to challenge like our challenge ourselves. Do good gift forward. Be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Watch as Scott and Greg welcome Cyndi Lago to Supply Chain Now through our YouTube channel.

Featured Guests

Cyndi Lago is a supply chain consultant and has helped large, complex organizations in multiple industries digitally transform supply chain operations in areas including demand planning, order management, master data management, and analytics. In prior roles, Cyndi helped some of the world’s largest consumer-products companies in their efforts to develop innovative solutions that realize business value through technology. Cyndi’s perspectives have appeared in numerous industry publications including Industry Week, Environmental Leader, Supply Chain World, and Apparel Magazine.  Connect with Cyndi on LinkedIn.

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal, 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.

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Karin Bursa

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.

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Jamin Alvidrez

Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History

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

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

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.

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Amanda Luton

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 singing second soprano in the Grayson United Methodist Church choir.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

Allie is currently completing a degree in marketing with a certificate in entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia. She got her social media start through an internship with Shred, a personal training app, and she’s been hooked ever since. She works to optimize our following base while assisting the team with content creation, influencer outreach and other marketing endeavors. Allie can’t wait to keep growing alongside Supply Chain Now.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Natalie Dutton

Marketing Coordinator

Natalie is currently pursuing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing and a certificate in new media at the University of Georgia. If there’s one thing she’s learned at the Terry College of Business, it’s that the supply chain is a dynamic, unifying force that’s essential to any business. Natalie helps to amplify the voices of the supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting with media management, content creation and communications.

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Ben Harris

Host

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.

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Page Siplon

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).

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Page Siplon

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History

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

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. 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).

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Alex Bramley

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.

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