Supply Chain Now Episode 525

“Humans and supply chains have shown themselves this year to be far more resilient than any of us ever expected we could be.”

– Polly Mitchell-Guthrie, VP of Industry Outreach and Thought Leadership at Kinaxis


Although the whole world has gotten far more familiar with supply chains this year than they have ever been in the past, people still largely believe that all supply chains are the same. Not so, points out Polly Mitchell-Guthrie is the VP of Industry Outreach and Thought Leadership at Kinaxis. There are pharmaceutical supply chains, and automotive supply chains, and semiconductor supply chains, and more, and each one has different needs and challenges.

What Polly and her Kinaxis colleague Patrick Van Hull have seen this year, is that while all supply chains are a little different, they are all more connected than anyone would have realized. As a result, supply chains often became the connecting point between otherwise disconnected businesses and industries, allowing the dynamics in one to affect operations in another.

In this conversation, Patrick and Polly discuss the following with Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton:

· What true supply chain resilience looks like, and which pre-pandemic investments paid the greatest dividends for companies in the face of disruption

· Why machine learning is going to ‘take off’ in 2021 as the way companies handle demand unpredictability with the greatest level of efficiency

· The oversimplification that will prevent reshoring from becoming the way of the future

Intro/Outro (00:00:05):

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

Scott Luton (00:00:40):

Hey, good morning, Scott Luton, Greg white with you here on supply chain. Now, Greg, how are you doing this morning? I’m doing quite well. Scott, how are you doing fantastic, great week, great week. And you know, we’ve been looking forward to this live stream. We’ve got quite a discussion teed up with a couple of a power duo of industry leaders. They’re helping organizations and supply chains optimize or performances even in historically challenging years like 20, 20. Are you ready? I am ready. You know, we just dropped the episode with the boss not to give it away right today. Uh, so I’m interested to see what these two had. We’ve had some great conversations with folks from this company and they are clearly paving the way. Right. So me move on about that. How about that first setup will be thanks. Well, you know, Greg, to, to, um, you know, I surprise you a little bit here, cause that, uh, episode you’re talking about, we have included a video and the audio links to that in the show notes.

Scott Luton (00:01:38):

So we’ll touch on that. We’ll touch on that a little bit further in that episode, but Hey Greg, as always, if folks enjoy this live stream and they are, uh, we’re partial, but they’re going to enjoy this one. If you, if you want more, be sure to check us out wherever you get your podcasts from, just search for supply chain now and subscribe. So you don’t miss a single thing like this conversation today, right? And YouTube and YouTube. They’re going back to the old days where I go and YouTube. That’s right. That’s where the good old days we’ll be back to back in studio for, you know, right. Yeah, that’s right. Um, well, before we bring on our guests here today, let’s say low to some of the folks that have already showed up Prateek is with us. Uh, partake, really appreciate your comments. You put on our posts, uh, yesterday, uh, about, uh, some of the rankings we we’ve been made aware of.

Scott Luton (00:02:26):

So really appreciate you being a part of these live streams. And thanks so much for being here today. He’d be in Atlanta if it weren’t for COVID really right. Yeah. I mean, he’s coming, he’s coming to do studies at Georgia tech. So he owes me, he owes me Indian food. I think I picked the restaurant and he pays if I remember correctly, I love that arrangement. Okay. I hope so. Right. I hope I remember that. Right. Uh, Mina is here via LinkedIn from Egypt. Great to have you here with us. Uh, not Nanda is here as well via LinkedIn. Great to see you here, Mike Avery. Hey Mike, really appreciate you joining us and enjoyed the article you pass along earlier this week. Uh, Daria Patel is with us as well. Great to have you as always Daria. He and pre-teach and Mike they’re part of the, the, uh, the, the best, most well-informed sharpest community in supply chain. All right. They always show up and they always yeah.

Greg White (00:03:22):

Bring it right? Yeah, no doubt. No doubt. And then not just here. Right? We get a lot of feedback and, and, uh, insight from them a lot on LinkedIn. They keep us on our toes. Keep us on our toes, everyone. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:03:36):

Gary Smith. Great to have you here with us. Looking forward to your appearance on this week in business history, right around the corner. Sylvia, Judy, you couldn’t do a live stream without our dear friend Sylvia. Great to see you course, clay and Amanda or behind the scenes making it happen as always appreciate that. Larry Klein from all Benny.

Greg White (00:03:55):

Very good. Scott well said,

Scott Luton (00:03:59):

Marie Harris, trying to stay warm. Great to have you with us here at Murray as always keep Duckworth. Our resident is at Michigander.

Patrick Van Hull (00:04:07):

Yeah, that’s right. Michiganders which

Scott Luton (00:04:08):

Again? Okay. All right. Keep me, keep me, keep me straight. But Keith says while Florida may bear the title of peninsula state, Michigan is the only state consisting of two peninsulas lore. That’s all right.

Greg White (00:04:21):

No, go ahead. I saw a, an Adirondack chair that is the state of the mitten. Uh, it is the shape of the, of the mitten part of the state of Michigan. It is one of the coolest Adirondacks here. I can just see that around a fire up in, yeah. Up on the peninsula. Love it. Love VP. Okay.

Scott Luton (00:04:41):

Hey, uh, it’s not a live stream unless we mentioned Adirondack chairs, right? Uh, Tom, great to have you with us, uh, really enjoyed your new podcast climate 21. And thanks for joining us here today. One last one here, David from Nigeria, David. Great to have you here via LinkedIn. Thanks so much for joining us. Okay. So let’s with no further ado again to our audience. I think you’re going to get a kick out of this conversation. We’ve got two of our favorite people doing big things across industry, and let’s go ahead and welcome them in poly Mitchell, Guthrie, VP industry outreach, and thought leadership and our colleague Patrick van, whole industry thought leader, both with Connexus. Hey, Hey, good afternoon. Poly and Patrick.

Patrick Van Hull (00:05:26):

Hey guys. Good to be here. Yeah. Good to have you. And good morning from Scottsdale. Yeah, that’s right. It’s still morning for you. That’s right. That’s right. What’s the temperature like there? Polly just let us all high today. I 66 and that’s, that’s a cool day. Yeah, that is cool. Love it, man. I think it’s gonna be 75 later this week. This is when everyone, you know, starts coming down from the Northern States to visit. Right. I hope you have an extra bedroom.

Speaker 4 (00:05:57):

Well, you know,

Patrick Van Hull (00:05:58):

We got so much to talk about with you both and Greg, we’re going to dive in and get known a little bit better before the lightning round, right? Yeah, let’s do that. So who should we start with? Paulie? Let’s start with you. So tell us a little bit about you, maybe a little bit about your personal life. Um, any, any, uh, pivotal moments or anything like that and a little bit about, you know, what you do for a living today?

Polly Mitchell Guthrie (00:06:22):

No. All right. Let’s say I’ll start off with, uh, one of my favorite lines that I know Scott likes, which is that I’m poly from Raleigh originally from Raleigh, North Carolina. But I live in Scottsdale Arizona. Now couldn’t find a place to run with, uh, with Scottsdale or didn’t want to change my name for that matter. But I live in the desert. I love the desert, even though I’m a Southern with my biscuits and, uh, three things about me. So let’s see, I work a long history in analytics and I tend to see supply chain really as a big analytics problem. And so I’m, I’m, I’m working in supply chain for about a year and a half now, love it. Cause it’s all kinds of problems to solve. Uh, I’ve been very involved in two communities over the years in addition to charitable work, but to communities informs the Institute for operations research and management, science and women in machine learning and data science. I’m proud to say I helped co-found the third chapter and there now over a hundred, uh, around the world. Uh, and, uh, let’s see, and I love to hike.

Greg White (00:07:19):

So you’re an O G then in, right in women, in data science. You’re one of the original people.

Polly Mitchell Guthrie (00:07:28):

Well, I’ll take that. I’ll take that. I’m going to add it for a while and it’s, you know, yeah.

Greg White (00:07:35):

Georgia for everyone who doesn’t know, we moved to Georgia from Arizona. So Paulie and I, she keeps me, uh, tuned in to what’s going on out West where it’s born more. Uh, all right, Patrick, let’s

Polly Mitchell Guthrie (00:07:49):

Talk to people.

Greg White (00:07:51):

Well look, Hey, people might know you because you’ve got a series of kind of shorts that you do to share in intellect around supply chain. And even this locale looks familiar to me. So other than that, tell us a little bit about, you know, tell us a little bit about you and then, and then what you are doing.

Patrick Van Hull (00:08:09):

Yeah. I mean, I, I guess I would say I’m a bit of a supply chain geek. Um, I love it. I see everything as a supply chain. Um, my wife thinks I’m absolutely geeked out because I’ll walk into a store and start counting piles of t-shirts and things. Um, but yeah, I kind of grew up as an engineer and decree by engineering. And then, um, I’ve worked for a lot of companies as a practitioner Del Rio Tinto, Apple CVS health. So I was hired as the first half of my career. Um, the second half I’ve been a thought leader and I was really fortunate to, to learn at the hands of mentors like Matt Davis and Kevin Omera. And, uh, so certainly love being a part of this. And, um, being able to work from home here in Rhode Island and be around my family, it’s

Patrick Van Hull (00:08:56):

A balanced best of both worlds type of thing. Very cool. Where’d you cross paths with Kevin Omera? So I was, I was at SCM world. Oh, okay. Content officer. So yeah, Matt brought me in to that group. Um, they’re both out at Amazon and still keep in touch with those guys, but there’s a lot of fun learning from them. Yeah. Outstanding. Well, both of you have been practitioners and now solution providers. Right. So yeah. I mean, I’m interested in, we’ll get to that, but, um, I think that makes a really interesting perspective when you talk about perspective on the supply chain market and my wife can empathize with yours because when I go into a grocery store, I faced the counters, make sure all the, all the packaging is out in front of the shell.

Scott Luton (00:09:42):

Yeah, man, that’s awful nice. Yeah. I used to do that. My first job was a stocking at Winn-Dixie and that’s where I got my first supply chain lesson and straighten those hours were important. So, so Greg, you’ve got the grocery world and retail workforce that really appreciate what you do. Yeah.

New Speaker (00:10:02):

Two or three seconds of a day. Last weekend I was in target and I noticed that something had been moved out of its section and we walked by and actually replaced that, knowing how difficult it is to find that inventory, once it’s out of its home location. So cross filling is a crime. That’s the first rule of retail. That’s right.

Scott Luton (00:10:22):

All right. We are illustrating just how much, uh, the four of us, perhaps I’ll probably, I’m gonna include you in supply chain nerds that we all are, but Hey, that’s why we love what we do. There’s so much passion and there’s so many great people that are keeping the world moving forward that are involved in, uh, you know, across the world supply chain. So we were grateful for all of that. Uh, let’s say, low, uh, Sophia. Great to have you here, Lisa. Great to have you here. And Larry says his wife’s from Prescott, Arizona. I’m not sure how far that is away from you poly, but uh, you never know, Hey, you learn something new every day.

Greg White (00:10:54):

All right. Is how they pronounce it. And they judge you, if you don’t say it. Right. So you learned that the hard way that’s right. Kinda like Buford versus Beaufort, right. Okay. Correct.

Scott Luton (00:11:09):

Um, all right. So now let’s, before we start talking the hard stuff and 2020, getting somebody off the key observations from this this year, um, we’re going to bring you both through the lightning round, right? Uh, so for starters, we’re just gonna keep getting to know y’all a better here and we appreciate you being willing to entertain these questions. So Polly, I’m gonna start with you and then Patrick, we’ll go to you next, but first up, what is one famous food dish in your family during Thanksgiving and who makes it Polly?

Polly Mitchell Guthrie (00:11:38):

All right. So I’m going to merge if you, you know, traditions have to start somewhere. So we, uh, I’ve long made carbon bonds, which are these kind of sweet yeasty rolls with full of cardamom, the spice. And this year we decided, I was like at, should I make cranberry curd tart or pumpkin pie? And we were like, you know what? We love carbon bonds. Let’s just make it a Thanksgiving tradition. So we have a new Thanksgiving tradition birth this year, long tradition card Mumba and this new for Thanksgiving. Yeah. They’re fabulous.

Scott Luton (00:12:08):

Love it. A man making me hungry.

Greg White (00:12:10):

Uh, I don’t even know what cardamom is. I’m I’ve heard of it in like pirates one of my favorite spices and stuff. I’m sure I’ve had it. It’s in the Indian food project. Could I’m sure. Okay.

Scott Luton (00:12:27):

All right. So Patrick, what about you? I’m

Patrick Van Hull (00:12:29):

Going to go back to when I was a kid, my mom’s from Australia and her like go-to dessert that we would have for holidays was it’s called pavlova sets. This Magna rang crusty Marangu even came on its own should make it on this plate that had the recipe on it. And, uh, it’s been a long time since I’ve had that, but that’s the one that comes top of mind that, you know, holidays, special occasions whenever she broke it up, the pavlova, I would say it was a good day.

Scott Luton (00:12:55):

Love that. It’s so neat. How food can just take you back to different things, different memories. And especially Thanksgiving, we don’t have to worry about any gifts, right? It’s all about food and family and, and rekindling some of that. So appreciate you both sharing. Okay. Moving right along. Cause we’ve got a lot of good stuff to talk about. What’s one hobby or habit that you’ve picked up in 2020, and you’re actually glad you have Polly.

Polly Mitchell Guthrie (00:13:18):

So I’ve been a long time yoga practitioner, but this year I’ve moved my practice more at home. So I’ve been doing videos with yoga, with Adrian, shout out to that. Great, great, great. You know, show if anybody’s checked her out on YouTube, but uh, I love doing my yoga at home these days.

Scott Luton (00:13:33):

I love that. Okay, Patrick,

Patrick Van Hull (00:13:35):

I’m going to go similar vein. Is that, uh, early on, um, when the first lockdown started hitting my wife and I invested in basically taking my half of the garage, not hers and turning it into a home gym. Um, so I mean, we’ve, we’ve got barbells and weight plates and all sorts of things in there. And so, um, it’s a bit of a sanctuary. It’s nice to just be able to roll out of bed and go do that every morning.

Scott Luton (00:14:01):

Love that. Okay, man. Y’all are making me both. Y’all making me feel bad about my lack of exercise routine. So I have to work on that after today’s live stream. Um, Greg, I’m going to ask you the same question. What’s one thing you’ve done in 2020 new habit that you’re glad you picked up.

Greg White (00:14:17):

Um, gosh, I think you asked me this once before and I had it top of mind. Right, right now I would say, you know, one of the things that I do is I frequently get out of the office, which is rare, very rare for me. If anyone has ever worked with me at any of my companies, I’m like heads down in the office, on a plane on the way to work or, or back. But, uh, I’ve done a good job of what is often a problem for people which is interacting with the family during the Workday. So, um, kind of made it part of the routine.

Scott Luton (00:14:49):

I love that. Um, okay. So one final question for you, both and poly, we’ll start with you. If we were to poll your immediate family members and figure out what they’ve heard you say a thousand or a million times, what would be the number one consensus answer?

Polly Mitchell Guthrie (00:15:09):

Well, we’ll have to have Patrick do a sanity check on what I say at work, but I asked at home and I was told that I, I say a lot. You’re probably right. Although the suggestion was given that if I said you’re definitely right, that that would be an improvement. Nice. I liked that. I liked that probably right. Does leave the opening that you could be wrong. Right? Why do I think Pauly? There’s probably, you’re probably right, but in there,

Scott Luton (00:15:43):

Same question, Patrick, what have folks heard you say main Tom’s

Patrick Van Hull (00:15:47):

Yeah, I’ve got an eight year old, eight year old daughter and a 10 year old son and everything they knew is because of the other person. So the big thing that I’ve been harping on them is their behavior is their own responsibility. Um, and they hate it. They don’t like it. When I say that, they’ll never forget it though. I’ll tell you

Scott Luton (00:16:07):

So really quick before I appreciate both of y’all sharing and again, being good sports there. Uh, Gary Smith says I should have known this, that straightened on a shelf for called blocking. I knew that once upon a time, and he was also a stock person as was Keith Duckworth, who worked at a grocery store night stock clerk in Kalamazoo. Uh, which, uh, Patrick, you’re also a fellow Michigander.

Patrick Van Hull (00:16:30):

Yeah. Plymouth just East of Ann Arbor. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:16:33):

Okay. Love it. All right. Folks enough fun. No more fun. The rest of the hour, we gotta get to work. Uh, so Greg, we’re going to be diving into 2020,

Greg White (00:16:40):

Right. So I think, yeah. And I think Gary’s, I think Gary’s statement is a good indication of some of the issues. Actually, some of the issues we’ve actually talked about with supply chain is that there isn’t a universal term for a lot of things because we called it facing. Now I worked for Kmart, which was also in Michigan, 3,100 West big Beaver road. Um, and enot that, not that we were there a lot. Um, and so I think that’s something we’ve got to resolve. All right. Let’s get, let’s get to some really important takeaways for 23 sides. The fact that we found out that there is a lot of, there are a lot of terms for a lot of things. So Polly give us some idea. I just can’t wait to hear this, but let’s keep, let’s keep it. Let’s keep it to the business thing. But of course, if there’s anything else that you’ve found out in 2020, please share it with us. Any major takeaways that we could all benefit from because it’s been, as Scott says a thousand times and historically challenging year. So what do you got? So I’ve got kind

Polly Mitchell Guthrie (00:17:50):

Of two related things. One is that, uh, I’ve been thinking about, uh, how in spite of this was inspired a little bit by a comment Yossi Sheffi made at, uh, a conference I was at, uh, earlier this week, you’ll see chefy from MIT. Right? And he, he pointed out that he thinks that, uh, even though there’ve been these headlines about the failures of supply chains, that this has been supply chains finest hour. And so what I’ve been thinking about is that we’re all, all too aware of the challenges we faced in our personal and our professional lives. But I think that humans and supply chains have shown themselves this year to be far more resilient than any of us ever expected. We could be. Now that doesn’t mean we’re not feeling worn thin by that. Um, you know, again, personally and professionally, uh, there’s all kinds of discussion about the need for supply chains to, uh, invest in more resilience in order to figure out how to be stronger and whether the disruptions that we know are coming better.

Polly Mitchell Guthrie (00:18:49):

But I still think overall, you know, when I think about one of our customers, for example, uh, who’s with a pharmaceutical company that makes drugs for rare diseases, uh, Ipsen, and he, their goal for this year was to have no stock-outs and imagine maintaining that goal during a disruption. And they, uh, with one exception that was sort of an exceptional exception, uh, they achieved that goal. And so I think that’s a great Testament to the resilience of supply chains that in spite of all that we’ve faced, we’ve been able to, to weather the storms remarkably. Well,

Scott Luton (00:19:24):

Probably that’s a great point because the, the couple of items that, uh, industries or sectors that have hard time keeping stuff on the shelf, of course, that gets all the attention, but what does it is all these other global supply chains that have kept moving to your point? And that’s the only good news here,

Polly Mitchell Guthrie (00:19:41):

Right? And I think a lot of the, a lot of people who don’t know supply chain think of supply chain, like you say, as from the retail perspective, from the, what I did or did not find at the grocery store when I went to the grocery store, but you know, there’s automotive companies, as hard as [inaudible] companies, there’s commercial aircraft companies. There are, um, high-tech companies, all of these, you know, I was talking to a semiconductor company and there they saw demand drop. And then they saw a takeoff because as we’re all working from home, the need for chips has gone through the roof and they have been struggling to keep up with demand, but have done a remarkable job. And so again, I think the story that’s untold is how well we’ve all done in spite of it.

Scott Luton (00:20:19):

I love that. I know you got one more. I want to share this exchange from the, the comments here. So Tom says, Hey, what’s another term for supply chain, wrong answers only David says, complaint division, Sophia says magic. Can we call it magic? Stop says, Hey, it’s supposed to wrong answers. Only

Polly Mitchell Guthrie (00:20:39):

Love those. Those are awesome. And diving catches. Yeah, that’s right. That’s great. All right. So that was,

Scott Luton (00:20:48):

That was one key observation here from 2020 pilot. What else is on your mind?

Polly Mitchell Guthrie (00:20:52):

So that’s the commonality and the difference I’ll say is that, uh, I’ve been thinking about, it’s funny. I was thinking about this quote anyhow, and then, uh, you’ll see, chefy quoted it, the quote, some people may know from, uh, from Anna Karenina Tolstoy, that happy families are all alike. Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. And so what made me think about that is the fact that while there are commonalities across supply chains, there’s such differences to that. And back to the point about what did we call it facing a restocking, like nobody lives in a generic, common supply chain. People live in a pharmaceutical supply chain or automotive supply chain or a semiconductor supply chain. And so the differences have been start if you’re in pharma or grocery, you know, you’ve probably had pretty good demand and interest in what you do if you’re in commercial aircraft, not as much apparel, not as much. And so, and then is it a trick question I use when I, uh, when I lecture to students is what’s been harder in an independent, is it demand or supply? And it really depends on what industry you’re in. And so I think the fact that the differences across supply chains are strong and have been really reflected in this time. It’s also an interesting thing to think about. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:22:04):

Great point, Greg, before we switch over to Patrick what’s, uh, you know, w what are some things you’ve heard poly say there? Okay.

Greg White (00:22:11):

Well, I mean, I think that, you know, one of the important things that she talked about is agility and resilience, and it’s funny because I couldn’t help, but do it, you know, was kind of hearkened back to the discussion with John, uh, your CEO. And, um, he, he has a particular irritation with what he calls this obsession with accuracy, trying to forecast everything precisely and, and to the exclusion of, of agility or, or managing the intricacies of, of the movement of goods, not just the prediction of demand. And, and, um, if, if 2020 creates any kind of takeaway, I can see that you guys all see that. And I, and I think I’ve had that same irritation, which is why it kind of struck me so much is people think of what demand planning, forecasting, whatever they think of inventory planning as forecasting. And it’s, that’s really just a small portion of it because as the great Fred Tolbert, the doc holiday of supply chain says there’s only two kinds of forecasts, lucky and wrong. And, and, and that’s why resiliency is such an important part of it. So I, I, I really, uh, you know, kind of echo what you’re saying, Paulie.

Scott Luton (00:23:32):

So hang on one second, before we move forward, I want to share a couple of things here from the audience really quick. And by the way, you said Fred Tolbert without saying who we, uh, Greg that’s illegal. You got who we, to that reference. So back to, uh, wrong answers for what supply chain is a T-square it says miracle makers, miracle worker, and operational logistics step child. He says absolutely the wrong damned answer three syllable, a fake love that, um, Daniel, hello, Daniel. And by the way, hello, T squared says, nice supply chain now, comfort supply chain info, leave with extra knowledge on classic brush and literature. And then finally, I think Larry’s talking about how supply chains task with doing stuff like eating soup with a fork. And I think we can all relate to that. So, all right. So Greg, let’s keep driving with Patrick.

Patrick Van Hull (00:24:20):

Yeah. Patrick, tell us what, what has struck you this year and what will you take away from that? Well, I’m gonna, I’m gonna play off of both what you and Polly had said. And just the fact that everything is so much more interconnected than we’ve ever even known. Um, the thing, one of the things I put in a video earlier in the year was the fact that commercial air traffic being down had a monumental impact on air freight. I had no idea why taking a quick look into that. You realize that it used to be that 50% or more of global air supply chain was on commercial airliners, right? And then all of a sudden you stop flying planes and guess what? All the air freight goes away, the market changes. How do you plan for that? Like, that’s not something you can really think about.

Patrick Van Hull (00:25:05):

So you talk about not being able to forecast accurately. Well, who’s running the scenario that says that all of a sudden we’re gonna stop flying planes. So it’s a tough thing to really put all of that together. The other thing I’d say is that there’s more supply chains out there now than ever. I mean, I keep telling people that, you know, the, we just had a whole foods delivery this morning. That’s a supply chain. Amazon comes to my house more times than I want to admit that the local supply chain, like every single one of these things as a supply chain, when we talk to academic groups and we talked to anybody, that’ll listen, all of these things are new ways in the supply chain. And people are learning about the movement of goods and products and services in ways that they’d never thought about before.

Patrick Van Hull (00:25:53):

And it’s, you know, being a supply chain geek, like I said, I see it that way, but it’s funny when you look at someone and say, okay, now you order Chick-fil-A and it showed up at your door, we’ll have that happen and how they know to deliver that. And it’s not just an app and it’s not just the guy, it’s how you put it together in a platform, and then you track it all the way back. So, um, it’s just a really interesting time for all of that, because it’s the way that it’s been done before. It’s not know I’m a big believer that transformation is not doing things better. It’s about actually reinventing it and we’re seeing it happen. So it’s pretty cool time. It’s a little scary, cause you don’t know what it is and you kind of have to explain it as you go. Um, yeah, it’s building the plane while you’re flying it, but it’s a really interesting time. Yeah. And I think we’ve seen, um, some significant disruptions that we didn’t expect and to Paulie’s

Greg White (00:26:44):

Point in supply chains, or I guess we should say the OCS, uh, point supply chains didn’t fail, but the failure points in them were significantly exposed by such a dramatic change in the supply chain. Right. Um, yeah. And I think just the fact that Patrick think about this when, uh, you know, at the beginning of this year, you couldn’t sit around with your family at the Thanksgiving table and say I’m in supply chain and have anybody have the slightest damned idea what you did, right? Yeah. So that, that is a huge takeaway when consumers, as I say, the most, the most impactful on the supply chain, the consumers and the least educated on the supply chain politicians know what supply chain is about then, you know, that times have changed. Right.

Scott Luton (00:27:34):

Good point. All right. So I’m going to share a few observations from 2020 from the audience here before we are breaking out some crystal balls, Marie her says 2020 is going to teach companies that they need to rethink business continuity planning, planning for the unexpected in big ways, not just as a tabletop exercise that gets rubber stamped, completely agree there. Uh, Mike gave her, says that the wall street journal back to airfreight had an article a few weeks ago about airlines transporting live animals in retrofitted aircraft or passengers used to sit. And Tom says gives a whole new meaning to cattle class, going back to something Gary Smith mentioned. And Gary wrote a great recent article in, um, supply chain management review a few weeks ago. He says adaptability equals resiliency plus agility. And I liked that definition there, but you know, speaking of resilience, which you can’t have a supply chain conversation, you know, without that coming out in spades, I liked Greg earlier this year. Uh, I think Jeff Cashman or Cindy Lago flipped it. And they said, you know, think rather than think so much about resilience, think about the opposite of resilience, the antonym, which is fragile fragility. And if we all started really embracing that and really getting, um, uh, a stark assessment of our supply chains in terms of how fragile they are versus resilient. I wonder, I wonder how that would change certain conversations at leadership levels. Greg,

Greg White (00:29:04):

I think if there’s a single recognition that we’ve had this year, it is that the one, this I’m so glad that John said this obsession with accuracy one and the supply chain is a cost reduction exercise. Those two things have been laid there. And the truth is we have to acknowledge the supply chain is in every aspect. It’s, it’s a risk management exercise. Those risks might be excessive costs and they might be inaccurate predictions. But in any case, what you’re trying to do in every aspect of supply chain is to mitigate offset and prevent. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:29:42):

Good point. Uh, before I recognize a few more comments, poly or Patrick would have one of y’all want to weigh in on, on what we’re talking about here.

Patrick Van Hull (00:29:49):

Well, I just, I’m just going to go really quick. There’s a quote that I saw this morning, uh, from target CEO, Brian Cornell, you’re talking about not being a cost reduction exercise. They spent $4 billion over the last three years and making their stores a fulfillment node in their network. Yeah. So look at how well they’re doing, look at what they’re able to do in the pandemic because of the money they spent over the last three years. That’s $4 billion. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:30:22):

Wow. Uh, and Polly in any,

Polly Mitchell Guthrie (00:30:25):

Yeah, I was just thinking that, you know, I’m more of a glass half full kind of gal in the first place, but uh, hard times expose our weaknesses for sure. But again, I think that those weaknesses give us a chance of what, what is it, what is it that we need to invest in and work on? And I think that’s what we’re going to see in 2021. I’m giving you a tip to where we could go next, but, but, uh, but at the same time, I think, uh, we need to remember that that, uh, the resilience is about plowing forward and continuing in spite of the challenges that come your way. And, and I just would reiterate that. I think, I think that’s what we’ve all done, but figuring out where, where you can get better is absolutely where we need to head. I think, I think that a lot of companies have done that really rapidly during this crisis.

Polly Mitchell Guthrie (00:31:06):

They got punched in the mouth and they, they responded very quickly and, um, you know, and change things dramatically. Uh, and, and to your point, Patrick, 156% increase in e-commerce sales is what target has absorbed with their incredible investment. Right? And this is what Patrick and I were actually talking about yesterday. I talked about whole foods deliveries or, uh, or any companies, uh, home delivery. So now we tolerate, uh, shortages or, or things that don’t show up correctly in the cart. Uh, but that’s because we’re in a certain time where, where we can, where we know that that’s the best you can get, but the competitive advantage is going to come from those companies that can use the supply chain to their advantage, to show a difference in how they can deliver and customer service. You know, Patrick, again, Patrick was pointing this out. A lot of companies showing their emphasis on customer service, as a way to say, we can get you the cause supply chain is all about getting the right thing to the right person at the right time. So if you get some of the right things to the right person the right time, well, you know, a plan now, right? That A-plus, won’t be the grade a year from now, right. Because people won’t tolerate that quality. I mean, the scale, the balance between those has shifted recently,

Scott Luton (00:32:23):

Right? Yeah. I would add to that quick list, you just shared Polly, uh, making smarter and quicker decisions, which I know connects is really helps, uh, it’s organizations and clients that it serves. Um, all right. I want to share a couple of quick comments and then Greg, we’re going to get some of the bold predictions. So Daniel mentions about, he completely agrees with Maria’s earlier point, but not only business continuity planning with their current operations, but going outside of the four walls with their suppliers. And this is something the Clorox company talking about dealing with historic demand. They pointed to as a big success for them to ramp up production, as much as they have getting with their suppliers and figuring out strange or contingency planning, what have you, um, T-square it says 2020 force companies to get inventive and flexible in ways unexpectedly expected.

Scott Luton (00:33:10):

Good point there. Um, let’s see, Mike Avery ups and FedEx are turning to delivery as a way to keep their operations flowing instead of overburdening and breaking their system. Daria says COVID-19 is a black Swan event with a low disruption probability and severe consequences planning for resilience involves identifying and classifying risk. Now that’s going to get Daniel’s attention map out plausible scenarios and maybe performs drills. And to that 0.1 final comment, Larry mentioned talking about drills should also practice some of those backup plans physically, uh, uh, versus only virtually. That’s an interesting comment there, Larry. All right. So Greg, where we’re going next.

Polly Mitchell Guthrie (00:33:54):

Well, let’s talk about those bold predictions. What do you say? Uh, let’s let’s see what, what you see in 2021. So Paulie, I happen to know that you have a distinct advantage in seeing into the future. So maybe you can, you can share with us well, you know, as you said earlier, the, the, uh, the only fun thing about making predictions at this point is that the landscape is so topsy-turvy that, you know, we can make them and who cares because they’ve built, we’ll probably all be wrong. But one thing I think we can say with certainty is that the next year will be predictably unpredictable. So we don’t know more than we would have said a year ago. We don’t know what 2021 will bring. We just know that it will bring, uh, different things that we might’ve thought a year from now. So my, my bold prediction is that, uh, as, as important as agility is, because if you, if you have a perfect plan and you’re settling on trying to get the perfect plan well, good for you at a point in time, you have the perfect plan.

Polly Mitchell Guthrie (00:34:56):

And then what happens that next moment in time, you know, your plan is out of date already and, and your data out, or if your plan was even perfect in the first place. And it probably was like, he was probably operating off of stale data, but my prediction is that in the effort to, so again, I said I was glass half full. So while the forecast may always be wrong, how can we get it writer? That’s a technical term, a writer, how can we get the forecast to be more accurate than so if we can combine agility with better accuracy, then we’re in better shape. So I’m going to predict that machine learning. Uh, and I prefer the term machine learning to AI because I think AI is a, is a big fancy term, but really the focus is on the methods and underneath the covers are primarily machine learning. But I think machine learning is going to see a greater takeoff this year than we could have even expected. Because as we know, the demand is unpredictable, we’re going to be working for anything we can do to even get a little better writer forecast. And so if, if demand sensing and other techniques can give us a near term horizon, that’s a little bit more accurate. And we combine that with the agility to shift, as we need to, then we’re going to be in Patterson.

Greg White (00:36:02):

Yeah. To quote the great philosopher, Mike Tyson, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. Right. Only the class here at supply chain. I mean, look, we all know if any of us have ever done any kind of project. The first thing that changes after you create the plan is the plan, right? I mean, what’s the first thing you do after you finalize a plan is you change it so classic. And I agree. I think we have to be a lot better at being writer and we have to be a lot better at, as you said before at being resilient. So, Patrick, what do you see coming in 2020?

Patrick Van Hull (00:36:39):

Well, one thing I just have the Mike Tyson quote, I was giving an academic presentation two weeks ago and I dropped that quoted and I realized that most of the people didn’t know who my Tyson was. So I had to explain who Mike Tyson was. Um, that was an awkward moment. But in any event, um, how does that happen? Yeah, it was awkward. Like I said, the thing I’m going to say is that the, the COVID-19 vaccines are going to be the most important product launches of our generation. Um, it’s not all that bold, but we need to consider them like new product introductions. And if you think about all the struggles that happen with an Apple product launch or a PS five, or whatever, those things that we’re seeing, all those struggles that it’s going to happen, it’s not going to go well. And I know that that’s, you know, I’m taking the flip side of that half empty side from poly, but, um, you know, there’s a lot of hope riding on this thing.

Patrick Van Hull (00:37:41):

And so we need to figure out how to do this because it’s going to fundamentally change our lives. And if we there’s a lot personally, mentally invested from people that if it doesn’t go well, that it’s going to be devastating, perhaps. And if it goes really well, all of a sudden, like the Gates are open people’s behavior are going to go off the map. So the predictability predictably, unpredictable side of things is that if all of a sudden COVID is gone six months from now, can you tell me how crazy people will be? And that’s, that’s the thing that’s actually going to create a whole lot of turmoil beyond what we’ve seen already is that grant for things that we don’t even know are coming.

Greg White (00:38:24):

Hmm. Yeah. Hmm. I’m looking to buy a sailboat and I’m going to wait until there’s a vaccine because I have a feeling that prices are going to plummet because you can’t find one now. Um, you’re right, Patrick. And I think we’re already starting to see that. First of all, we’ve got at least three vaccines and they’re all using different distribution methodologies, right. One is using their own and they are, um, foregoing, their usual desperate desperation. This distribution network hadn’t really thought of it that way, but the others are going to be more in a deployed in the traditional sense. And now the UK has sounded off and said, Hey, right, we want first dibs on that vaccine. Right. So that sort of thing is going to complicate things undoubtedly. And then as you said, you know, there, people just sitting there going there, they’re making their plans as if they had won the lottery. Right. What if COVID goes away? I’m Brian, a triple wide trailer. So I’ve been working nonstop from home right now. Housing prices have gone up like, what’s the stop them from just selling their house and traveling around the world when all the Gates are open,

Scott Luton (00:39:43):

We just got to figure out how to make sure Greg is wired, wherever he sails. And we’ll be good to go. Um, speaking of the Mike Tyson reference, uh, you know, I, I used the word reader’s digest all the time, which believe it or not still exists and look at me all the time and have no idea what that is. Um, we’d use another one. We, these my kids. What is that? Anyway, let me share a couple of comments here from the audience. And we’ll have a few extra minutes here, but bonus time, Polly and Patrick. So Sylvia says are different Sylvia based in Charleston, the Holy city, I believe. Uh, amen. Greg, I’m seeing a complete paradigm shift in all of the verticals and supply chain management, 12 months ago, major OEMs and retailers only focused on cost reduction in the supply chain today. They paid tenfold to bring goods to the consumer without a squabble. Well, how about that? Duckworth says, Hey, something, all military veterans can understand about planning. There. Isn’t such a thing as a perfect plan. Once the bullets start flying, you might as well. Chuck that plan out the window agreed a great point there. Sophia says, some companies are focusing on not trying to get the forecast better, but the test scenarios of wrong forecasts are so poly and Patrick y’all both shook your head there. What would you add to Sophia’s feedback and Polly to start with you?

Polly Mitchell Guthrie (00:41:07):

Well, certainly to scenario planning where we’re big advocates of that, uh, at can access. It’s a great way to figure out, uh, given that the forecast is never going to be, get you all the way there. You know, it’s that combination of agility and accuracy. So let’s look at all the possibilities that we can imagine of what could happen. If things go really well, things don’t go well and all the gradations in between. And then we can plan for those and we can know what the impact will be across our entire supply chain, not just, you know, on, um,

Polly Mitchell Guthrie (00:41:34):

Material, but end to end. And then we can be prepared. We we’ve got one customer that has literally a hundred scenarios on the shelf that they have. They have, uh, looked at everything that could happen. And then, so they’re ready. They’ve got something that can draw on when, when that scenario happens or something approximating it, it’s a good way to, to be prepared. And it’s a good way to think about when your forecast is wrong and not writer, you know, what are you going to do in that event?

Scott Luton (00:42:00):

Love that. And I bet it goes from completely catastrophic in terms of destruction and disruptiveness to, you know, some of the, um, smaller wrinkles. And by the way, uh, the latest, one of the latest big four studies says we can expect major disruption. Like we’ve seen here in 20, 20, every 3.7 years. Wow. You look forward to that. Uh, all right. So Patrick, uh, any additional comments there? We’re talking about scenario planning.

Patrick Van Hull (00:42:25):

Yeah. One of the big pushbacks on scenarios that people will say is you can never scenario out everything and yeah, that’s true, but you can also segment your scenarios and say, okay. Yeah, I think the comment was made earlier. What’s your likelihood, what’s your impact? What do we think is going to happen? And so, you know, maybe you’re bucketizing four scenarios, the high impact, high likelihood, you know, what are we going to do? Where are we going to break? Um, I mean, ultimately, yeah, we need to figure out where we’re going to break there’s that for drill exercise. That’s, that’s important. And I would say also from a personal standpoint, um, you know, as human beings, we kind of need to know those things too. Like, what are what’s going to scare us? What are we prepared to deal with as individuals, as employees, all of that.

Patrick Van Hull (00:43:08):

Um, and sometimes it’s just a matter of, of kind of categorizing our thoughts and a scenario and giving ourselves a sense of direction because we know that no matter what we’re planning, it’s going to change. So don’t try to solve everything by yourself, a chance to take some action. Because the last thing you can do with a pandemic, with dealing with kids, with dealing with dogs, whatever is doing nothing. You got to have a sense of direction on what you’re going to do when you have that moment. That’s that goes back to the agility piece as well.

Scott Luton (00:43:38):

Great point. Hey, here’s a great comment from the audience. All of these have been great comments, but this is a great one here from the SIM. This live streaming emphasizes what professor Richard wilding says. Quote, I think we’ll see some big changes such as procurement for resilience rather than costs. How about that? Um, in fact, speaking of that point, that’s been one of the reasons out of several, while we haven’t seen this massive shift from China in terms of production sourcing, because they have largely been able to, with the exception of a, of a, of a month and a half, two months, keep things moving and contain things and, and, and offer that certainty. Right.

Polly Mitchell Guthrie (00:44:15):

Um, let me, I just want to give a shout out, Richard, wildings a great guy. It was actually was on the phone with them just a couple of weeks ago. Uh, he’s a great, uh, great thinker and really talks about the temple of supply chain resilience and how you, in order to build your resilience, you have to have visibility and agility built in there. So he’s talking about all those, but I think one of the things I’ll also highlight as, as part of that, is that this whole notion that we’re going to reshore because cost is, uh, because we don’t care just about costs anymore. It makes is, is too simplistic and argument, right? So there’s a lot of reasons why we, we have these long complex value chains around the world and cost is only one of those factors. And so when you look at all those factors, and again, that’s why you do scenarios, you look at all the factors, for example, when you’re considering sourcing and figuring out what matters to you, what’s going to change when you change your, uh, your suppliers. So resilience is absolutely going to continue to be a dominant factor in, in the company.

Scott Luton (00:45:10):

Greg, can we get a hallowed hallelujah for what Paula just shared, because she makes a great point that we’ve been talking about forever. It’s not as simple as let’s bring stuff back to the States. You can’t just do that without this re-upping so much. And to Polly’s point price is just one of the things, uh, so

Polly Mitchell Guthrie (00:45:28):

Excellent Pasley is the biggest, I mean, price isn’t even the biggest issue, the price of labor isn’t even going to matter because the labor force that traditionally has manually produced goods or has participated in the physical production of goods is exiting the workforce at a rate higher than it was in the past two years, 3.6 million more baby boomers have exited the workforce this year. At this point, then did last year at the same point. And before that it was 10,000 a day. So we can’t possibly duplicate the capacity of work right of workforce virtually. You cannot combine the workforce of the world to duplicate the workforce of China because they augment with robots as well as with physical labor. But the expertise is a lot more diffuse than people think it’s not, it’s its capacity, it’s a workforce, it’s a cost, but also expertise. So the example I’ve been giving lately is a Harley Davidson motorcycles, which for those of us who are Americans, and I’m conscious of the fact that, uh, that we do work for a Canadian company.

Polly Mitchell Guthrie (00:46:33):

So we try to think, uh, think globally act locally. But Harley Davidson may seem like the iconic quote American company and the Harley Davidson motorcycles are manufactured in North America, but I don’t remember exactly all the parts, but like they get breaks from say Austria and pistons from say, Italy. And I may have the parts, the origin wrong, uh, other electronic parts from Mexico and others from China. So pulling back from China is only going to solve one piece of that, that problem there’s specialization in each of those areas. And that’s the iconic, you know, American motorcycle. And it’s not like getting our chips back from China. So, so this is a, it’s a complex world out there, and we’re not going to see any unraveling of that overnight. Well, and economics play a huge part in it as well. Are we really willing to pay the price?

Greg White (00:47:23):

And, you know, experienced says, no, even though 70% of people say they care about sustainability and sourcing and nation of origin and fair trade and human rights, only 10%, 10% of people actually act on that. Yeah. Good point when you look at a company like Apple, for example, and they, you know, their investments in their suppliers and, you know, investing in their factories and then allowing them to lease them back and things like that. I mean that, those are the types of investments that are required is that somebody with a lot of cash has to go spend it to bring it back. And so that’s where it makes a difference

Scott Luton (00:48:00):

Just as we expected this conversation. One of our few predictions that, that has come right as, as has it been accurate, has been more writer. Uh, Polly is very good. Folks are enjoying this perspective and we have lots of new, um, uh, deacons in the first church of poly and Patrick, as we knew we would be. So Daniel says, uh, well said Patrick been whole new supply chains and new suppliers, lots riding on their success, but lots of challenges as well across the end to end supply chain. Larry says, amen. Procurement requires a worldwide view. Absolutely. Okay. Um, and then

Polly Mitchell Guthrie (00:48:38):

Can I make a plug on that one Scott, on that last comment? So one of the things, when I talked to Gardner about, um, what I run our academic program among other things, and so I think about the future talent, and this gets to your point, uh, Greg of all the people retiring, how are we going to replace them? And so companies are telling gardener what they want out of their new supply chain talent is employees with a global view. So to, I can’t remember the gentleman’s name, but the person who decided procurement is global. We need to have a global view of our, uh, Larry, thank you, Larry. Uh, our supply chains are, are global and complex and we need to have employees who think on a global level because I think our Harley Davidson motorcycles and everything else we can make, whether it be that whatever product we’re making, you know, it’s going to be continued to be a globally sourced product. And we need people who think globally. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:49:29):

Great point. Great point out. You know, the other thing about, um, when we’re talking about new suppliers, um, is in this environment, as we were talking about air travel earlier, Patrick, you can’t put your engineering team and, and you know, some of your ops folks on a plane to go check out and kick the tires in person of a new supplier, right. So you’ve got to figure out a different way of bill oftentimes, uh, building that trust. And that has certainly slowed down, um, and has, um, given many leadership teams pause in terms of, you know, finding new suppliers, whether it be in China or whatever part of the world. Um,

Patrick Van Hull (00:50:04):

I guess my question for you on that, Scott then would be all of the existing relationships that have already been built, the collaboration that came out of those early months in COVID. I mean, we saw more collaboration early on, um, what it’s cement those pieces more. So the people that already have those existing relationships. So there’s, there’s some opportunity that’s coming from it. I mean, yes, you can’t get on a plane, but you might be willing to give up a little bit of that control because you’ve worked with them in the past

Scott Luton (00:50:34):

Great point. Yeah. Relationships matter. And that relationships matter perhaps more than ever before when we get through these, these, these, um, I forget, uh, I’ll try to coin new phrases to describe because they get so tired, right? It gets, you hear historic, you hear all these things, but, um, it’s just, it’s been such, comes from such a, the blonde that’s of blind spots. Some of the things we’ve had to deal with here in 2020, um, couple of comments here, uh, Tom Rafford says to Greg’s point, sustainable products shouldn’t cost more than their non-sustainable equivalents. In fact, they should cost less. If sustainability is working waste out of the supply chain, they should definitely have less waste. And so costs less, uh, in gray, we talked a little bit earlier on the buzz from Monday, how Newell Newell, uh, was, was trying to find ways of, of designing more sustainable, right. Getting upstream. So you don’t have to worry about the recycling because it’s not there to Tom’s point.

Greg White (00:51:30):

Yeah, that’s right. And I just heard of a company, uh, yesterday who is recycling carbon fiber from air frames. And they’re able to, they’re able to provide it at a third of the cost of, of new carbon fiber they’re re Rican, reconstituting it into new pellets, uh, to be used in any kind of product, frankly. But yeah, that, that is sustainability right there. The sustainability is such a, there’s so many elements of that. I mean, if we have inefficient supply chains, which we do, because we have so much immaturity in our supply chain, they’re full of waste. And so that waste alone is costing us. And we need to see that as a cost and not what we perceive as a cost from perceived higher cost materials, for example, which is where people’s heads go. But I like that though that point as well, that if we’re also thinking about sustainability in terms of how do we get returns, how do we make money off our returns? It’s how it’s possible to make money off your returns. It’s it’s also important to think about sustainability in terms of where we source. If we’re sourcing rare materials that aren’t going to last, we have to figure out how to make them last longer. And that’s around making our supply chains more circular so that we’re not having to continually rely on increasingly rare materials that are, that’s going to drive the prices up. We have to rethink our design. Right. And again, so

Scott Luton (00:52:54):

Yeah, agreed a bird bath fountain that lasts about three weeks is what I found. We can’t have stuff like that. It’s just lead to waste. Hey, I want to share this comment from Jaman and then Greg it’s already gosh, seven til we got to make sure folks know how to connect with Patrick and Polly just come in here right now. Jayman, who’s officially certified by Guinness as the most positive individual on the face of the earth and the Hills

Greg White (00:53:21):

Glasses all the way full

Scott Luton (00:53:27):

Jason says early COVID Tom driven, uh, collaboration is something we do not discuss enough to Patrick’s point, but I have it to be quite true and impactful. Excellent point Jaman okay. What, uh, um, I lo I w you know, let’s just add another hour to this discussion, Polly and Patrick, it really, it, it was as advertised as Greg and I thought it would be, and I really appreciate y’all’s approach here. So let’s make sure our audience knows how to connect with you each and Paula, to start with you.

Polly Mitchell Guthrie (00:53:56):

Well, probably the best way place to find me is on LinkedIn. I’m pretty active on LinkedIn, like to like to use that as almost a sounding board as a way to think. So come find me on LinkedIn. And, uh, we’d love to have a conversation. And we, Patrick, and I talk a lot about thinking about this notion of thought leadership as bi-directional. So we certainly think of thought leadership, which is what we’re responsible for as both sharing what we are seeing and hearing, but we can’t share what we see in here, unless we hear from people and have those conversations. I love to hear from people. And this has been a great conversation to help us inform how we think and what people are thinking, even, you know, agree, disagree, get it right or wrong or whatever. Let’s keep talking

Scott Luton (00:54:32):

Well said. Pauly well said, um, Patrick,

Patrick Van Hull (00:54:35):

She said, um, yeah, LinkedIn, uh, username on that P van. I’ll say, just find your first initial, last name and then, uh, certainly yeah. Engage with us. I mean, that’s the biggest thing. I mean, Paula and I have these conversations all the time. Uh, we’re really fortunate to live in this environment. We have a lot of fun doing it. Um, interestingly enough, we’ve never actually met in person by the way. I’m curious, I first talked to Patrick on my, on the way home from my last trip. Wow. So what a world, right? Yeah. But yeah, we want to have these conversations and certainly anybody that wants to have them. And, um, we’ve been doing academic presentations and apex and things like that and informs, I mean, we’re certainly happy to come talk to anybody and reach out where we want to continue the conversation here anywhere else.

Scott Luton (00:55:26):

Outstanding. Well, you know, to our audience and Greg, I know you speak for you too. Polly always shares a lot of takes on different articles and developments, especially on LinkedIn and Patrick, as you called out, Greg, I love the two minute videos. That’s like a, that’s like the perfect length these days. Um, so, uh, we have included their LinkedIn profiles because we’re after offering one click to all of our audience members to find what they’re looking for in the show notes. So you can check that out, connect with them. And like they said, they’re both inviting, continue to conversation and right wrong or indifferent, like Polly says, we got to have the conversation. So I love that. What a great point to wrap up today’s conversation on, but really poly and Patrick really enjoyed this, Greg. Um, before we, uh, bid ado, uh, speak little French to poly and Patrick, Greg, what was, what was your, what was your favorite thing that either Paulie or Patrick shared here today?

Greg White (00:56:19):

Um, uh, you know, there’s so much, it’s hard, hard to really pin down, but I think

Patrick Van Hull (00:56:24):

What really strikes me is the power of practitioners going into the, into the solution business, um, and the power of, of people to both leverage their experience and to challenge that experience, to think in new ways in the supply chain, that’s a unique gift. I mean, we had that, um, really strongly and we worked really hard on it intentionally at blue Ridge, but it it’s very uncommon, but you can see it from the top, even Duncan Klatt, who is the founder of Connexus, who still thinking in new ways, challenging his own previous thinking, um, to John, to Patrick and Polly and, and in their team that we’ve taught an entire team that we’ve talked to. Um, and you know, and regardless of whether that’s a Connexus thing, which clearly it is, it’s a cultural thing and can access. It’s a good model to build any company by whether it’s a technology company, whether it’s a practitioner or a retailer or manufacturer distributor or whatever it is, is to use your expertise, but constantly challenge that expertise. Ask yourself why all the time and clearly they’re doing that.

Scott Luton (00:57:31):

Yeah. Great point. Uh, as Patrick says, transformations, not just doing things better, it’s reinventing how they’re done. That’s a great point. And, and, and one other thing about, uh, what Ann shared, uh, in Robinson shared that, uh, supply chains, a keeper, the last touch. I love that phrase. It makes me think of the keeper to Plains. Greg. That’s a great way of looking at it. And now one of the several lines linings is it’s being appreciated and recognized, and consumers are more aware, and that’s a, that’s a great thing that comes out of 2010. So we’ll, uh, really appreciate you both, uh, love your, your POV here. Polly Mitchell Guthrie, and Patrick manhole, both with Connexus. Thanks so much for joining us. And we’re looking forward already to the next live stream.

Patrick Van Hull (00:58:16):

Thanks so much guys. Let’s do it. Okay,

Scott Luton (00:58:22):


Greg White (00:58:23):

I don’t want it to wave them out, but now you’ve got me thinking about waving on video, right? That’s a no-no for some people.

Scott Luton (00:58:32):

So to the audience, we were talking on an earlier live stream. Uh, Greg and I both have realized that we’re waivers, uh, and we break the carton rule that you’re not supposed to wave at the end of a zoom call or maybe a live stream. But so Greg has taught as both, both of his hands down, and I’m still the geek that, that waves and says hello and stuff. But that shouldn’t surprise me by. Greg’s always a cool one. Um, but great conversation here today. I mean, as advertised,

Greg White (00:58:58):

Right? I mean, I, we both have, have talked with both of them before, but surprising perspectives and you know, it’s a good reminder, as I said, um, if, if you, if you are trying to conduct some kind of transformation, it’s not just about the technology. We hear that all the time, but man, if, if they didn’t enunciate that clearly don’t know

Scott Luton (00:59:22):

Who could. Yeah. We’ll put, um, all right, well, I was all serious. I was ready to do a second hour with Patrick and poly. It still seemed to, we’re just scratching the surface, but we’ve gotten a lot of comments from the audience. Really appreciate all the great feedback. I agree. I’m I’m partial, but, um, I really appreciated how they approached that conversation. Uh, so, and one quick shout out demo Perez demo is going to be on an upcoming episode. We’re excited to have him, um, in a week or two, I believe double check that schedule, but DEMA hope this finds you well. And he does his part from the Panama canal. That’s what I, if he can get out, that’d be cool. Wouldn’t it? That would be cool. Jameson says, waving a visual fist bumps, or heck even high fives all susceptible in my book.

Scott Luton (01:00:07):

It’s 2020. The rules are out the window that all right. So Greg, a great episode to our audience. Thanks so much. Uh, you know, it is so rewarding to have these live streams and, and just the audience they show up the community shows up and brings it every single time. And that is one of the best things about this journey we’re on. So no doubt on that note, uh, best wishes to you all. Hey, if you like these types of conversations, you can check us for a lot more. Uh, we’re approaching about a thousand episodes between, uh, podcasts, live streams and webinars. You can’t find all those there, but, uh, we’re getting there. Um, but most importantly, Greg, most importantly, Oh, wait, let me put down when you said that I needed to, it made me thirsty, all that talking. Okay. Do you think Scott? Well, it’s our thing. It is, it’s our thing. It comes from a very genuine spot, but we’ve got to challenge our audience. Like we challenge our own team. Right. Do good. Give forward, be the change that’s needed to be like Paulie and Patrick. And on that note, we’ll see you next time here.

Would you rather watch the show in action?  Watch as Scott and Greg welcome Polly Mitchell-Guthrie and Patrick Van Hull to Supply Chain Now through our YouTube channel.

Polly Mitchell-Guthrie is the VP of Industry Outreach and Thought Leadership at Kinaxis, a supply chain planning and analytics software company. Previously, she was Director of Analytical Consulting Services at the University of North Carolina Health Care System and worked in various roles at SAS, in Advanced Analytics R&D, as Director of the SAS Global Academic Program, and in Alliances. She has an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she also received her BA in Political Science as a Morehead Scholar. She has been very active in INFORMS (the leading professional society for operations research and analytics) and co-founded the third chapter of Women in Machine Learning and Data Science (now more than 60 chapters worldwide.)

Patrick Van Hull is an industry thought leader within the Kinaxis Strategy Office. His diverse career in supply chain began as a practitioner with roles in inventory management at CVS Health, supply demand management at Apple, and inventory and production planning at both Rio Tinto and Dell. Following his time in the high-tech, mining and consumer products industries, Patrick was a research vice president at SCM World, and then Gartner. There, Patrick’s responsibilities included leading research coverage on S&OP and integrated business planning, while also partnering with senior executives to advance the capabilities of their supply chains via facilitation of group workshops, one-on-one strategy development calls and exclusive networking events. Prior to joining Kinaxis, Patrick was a part of the Digital Supply Networks practice within Deloitte Consulting. Patrick holds a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Duke University. He currently resides in Rhode Island.

Greg White is principal & host at Supply Chain Now – The Voice of Supply Chain and digital media publisher – where he helps guide the company’s strategic direction, and interviews industry leaders, hosts weekly Livestreams, and is creator, executive producer & host of the TECHquila Sunrise vlog and podcast. Greg is a recognized supply chain practitioner, industry thought-leader, founder, CEO, investor, board director and advisor in B2B technology with multiple successful exits.

Prior to his current initiatives, Greg served as CEO of Curo, a field service management solution most notably used by Amazon to direct their fulfillment center deployment workforce. Previously, Greg founded Blue Ridge Solutions, and as President & CEO, led the bootstrap startup of cloud-native supply chain applications to become a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader. Greg has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC), and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder) where he pioneered cloud supply chain applications in the late nineties.

Today, rapidly-growing tech companies & venture capital, and private equity firms leverage Greg as a partner, board director and advisor for his experience building disruptive B2B technology and supply chain companies that are widely recognized as industry leaders. He’s an insightful visionary who helps companies align vision, team, market, messaging, and product to accelerate value creation. Greg guides founders, investors, and leadership teams to create breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum that increase company esteem and valuation. 

Scott W. Luton is the founder & CEO of Supply Chain Now, the voice of supply chain. Supply Chain Now digital media brings together thought-leaders, influencers and practitioners to spotlight the people, technology, best practices, critical issues, and new opportunities impacting global supply chain performance today and tomorrow. Our leaders are frequently sourced to provide insights into supply chain news, technology, disruption and innovation, and rank in the top 25 on multiple industry thought-leadership lists. Supply Chain Now digital media content includes podcasts, livestreaming, vlogs, virtual events, and articles that have accumulated millions of views, plays and reads since 2017 and continue to reach a growing global audience.

Scott 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, USA Today, and CNN. He’s also been named a top industry influencer by groups such as Thinkers360, ISCEA and others.

Having served as President of APICS Atlanta from 2009 to 2011, Scott has also served on a variety of boards and has led a number of initiatives to support the local business community & global industry. Scott is also a United States Air Force Veteran and has led a variety of efforts to give back to his fellow Veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.


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