“The psychological aspect of negotiations isn’t nearly as important as it was before. What counts now are the facts.”
– Rod Sherkin, President of ProPurchaser
2020 has been destabilizing in a number of ways, one of which is in terms of professional disruption. Many qualified professionals now find themselves looking for new jobs in a tight market and without the opportunity of face time to distinguish themselves as candidates.
Rod Sherkin, President of ProPurchaser, has seen a number of ups and downs in his career, and he has come up with ways to handle many of them. He also knows better than most the free resources that are available to procurement and supply chain professionals who want to stay connected to industry developments and material trends so that they are ready when an opportunity arises.
In this conversation, Rod shares his supply chain career advice with Supply Chain Now Host Scott Luton:
· His ‘trick’ for getting a hiring manager’s attention by demonstrating how well you already understand his business
· How to stand out from a crowd of applicants and how to know (for sure) what you want before you start looking for openings
· Why tried-and-true procurement skills never go out of style, even in post-pandemic procurement organizations
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. Good morning, Scott Luton here. Welcome.
Scott Luton (00:33):
Well, in this episode, we’re discussing one of our most asked about topics. How can I optimize my job search and truly stand out amongst the crowd, stay tuned as we’re gonna be offering some sound advice, tried and true. Been there and done that. Hey, quick programming before we get started. If you enjoyed today’s conversation, be sure to find it’s wherever you get your podcasts and subscribe. So you don’t miss a single thing. Okay. With no further ado, let’s bring in our featured guests. They repeat guests, multiple appearances here on supply chain. Now our dear friend, rod Scherchen founder and president of properties or.com, a trusted resource. That’s grown to serve thousands of procurement professionals since 2001 rod. How are you doing find Scott? Thanks for asking, how are you doing, doing, doing great. Great to have you back. It’s been too long. We really enjoyed the webinar that you and I and Kelly Barner did, uh, a few months back that that seemed to resonate.
Scott Luton (01:30):
And I’m really excited about the topic. We’re gonna be talking with you here today. Okay. Me too. It’s something that’s close to my heart. I guess we’ve all been there with all that to find jobs in our careers and, uh, it’s kind of fun to share, uh, share what, you know, I find it interesting and fun to share what I’ve learned. So agreed. I think you can help a ton of people with what we’re going to share here today. So, but know, Hey, we’re going to have a little bit of fun before we dive into the work, right. Um, you know, we’ve been playing around with this lightning round approach to getting to know rod circuit a little bit better, and we’re going to, we’re going to do the latest installment of the lightning round with rod Scherchen here today. So a couple of fun questions just to get to know you a little better.
Scott Luton (02:11):
Let’s start your game for the lightning round rod. Are you ready? You buckled in ready to go? I can’t promise much, but go for it. Yeah. All right. So let’s start with this. So I know that Canada celebrated Thanksgiving in October and of course right here in the States, we just celebrated it last week. So what is one famous food dish in your family during Thanksgiving and who makes it?
Rod Sherkin (02:35):
Oh, well, my wife makes it, it’s a breaded eggplant casserole doesn’t sound exciting, but it is her mother was Italian. So it’s a, it’s made with tomato sauce and cheese and um, she takes those big purple eggplants and slices them about a quarter inch thick and fries them and batters them. And it takes a long time, but she winds up with his delicious casserole that everybody fights for on the table.
Rod Sherkin (03:01):
And then whatever’s leftover is eaten the next day and sandwiches. So that’s, that’s our, uh, one of our most, one of our favorite Thanksgiving dishes. For sure.
Scott Luton (03:10):
Love it. Love it. You you’ve just made me hungry. Thanks so much, rod sounds like your wife is very talented in the kitchen, which is wonderful. All right. So second question. What is one hobby or habit that you picked up here in 2020? And you’re glad that you’ve picked it up
Rod Sherkin (03:27):
An easy one, a long, early morning walks, you know, with the pandemic, it’s hard to get exercise, you know, we can’t, you can certainly can’t go to, you know, spin classes or anything like that. So I’m lucky I live, um, near on the North shore of Lake Ontario. That’s for Toronto is. And so I get up in the morning and if it’s a clear morning, I’ll walk down to the Lake and as luck would have it, you can usually see the sunrise this time of year, cause it’s arising to the styles. And if it’s a cloudy day, there’s a park nearby. And I walk around the park. I do, I don’t know, 45 minutes to an hour and come back. And it’s amazing how much better you feeling? A lot of the problems, whether they’re business or personnel or, or if not, problem so much as, you know, issues you’ve got to resolve, it’s amazing how they get resolved quite naturally on the walk you come back feeling energized and, and you’ve kind of planned your day out a lot better. So yeah, I think even after COVID is over, which it looks like it will be soon. Um, I’ll stick, stick to those early morning walks. Uh, that’s one thing I’ve done in 2020,
Scott Luton (04:31):
It sounds very therapeutic, uh, and getting some exercise. Um, all right. So the final lightning round question we’re going to pose to you is if we were to ask your immediate family members about things they’ve heard rod, Scherchen say thousands of times, what would the consensus number one answer be Ron.
Rod Sherkin (04:54):
Wow. Thousands, probably hundreds. Um, I’m not sure I’ve got well, the, my, my favorite one and I’m not sure I say it the most is it’s kind of a Ziggy, you know, the cartoon character, Ziggy Ziggy expression. It says the secret to happiness is not to get too personally involved in your own life. I know that sounds crazy, but really when you think about, it’s really saying, you know, you should just, you know, sit back, listen to other people. Don’t take yourself too seriously and you’ll have a much happier life. And I probably say that quite a bit, but if I really think about it, probably a Covey expression, Stephen Covey, which is begin with the end in mind and always said that to my kids and you know, and my wife and I have projects and stuff to do, what is it we want to accomplish? And so if you begin with the end in mind and we don’t always agree by the way, my wife and I, but, uh, if we do then the end comes a lot faster. And, um, if we don’t and it takes a lot longer to get somewhere when we actually wind not exactly where I want it to go. But, uh, though between those two expressions, I guess, you know, I’m not sure which is more popular, but I shared one of those would make it make, make the hit parade. For sure.
Scott Luton (06:10):
Love it. You know, uh, rod, I have not thought about Ziggy that comic and forever and forever. It was everywhere when I was, when I was growing up and I haven’t even, it is such a blast from the past. So I owe you a walk down memory lane here today, but I love the second getting aside. I love in particular the second one. And, and, and as always as a case, we have a lot of kindred spirits on this discussion here, that phrase, and that sentiment is going to, uh, be a part of our conversation here. Again, just a moment. Um, so good stuff. I appreciate you being a good sport and walking through our lightning round rod, I imagine we’ve had a plethora of new subscribers since the last time you appeared on supply chain now. So let’s, let’s just refresh our audience’s memory of your background. So tell some more about rod Scherchen.
Rod Sherkin (07:00):
Well, uh, I’m an engineer by training, uh, though I didn’t have never really done much engineering. One of my first jobs out of school, and this is a long time ago back like goodness in the seventies, I was with a big consulting firm and, uh, by accident, I wound up doing a lot of consulting work in supply chain. In those days, we called it materials management, but it was the same thing. I noticed that my favorite part of supply chain was the, the negotiating with suppliers part. So, um, after about eight years of doing that, I will wound up going to work for a client. It was Pillsbury green giant. And I worked my way up to vice president materials management or supply chain did that for seven, eight, nine years actually. And then moved over to ball. Packaging, did the same thing there. Uh, and then that took me towards the end of the nineties.
Rod Sherkin (07:49):
And, and that’s when the, uh, the internet came along. And, uh, it just seemed a perfect medium for, for a profession because, you know, one thing I noticed in, in my 20 years or so as a supply chain professionals, CPO is that we’re always behind the eight ball when it came to negotiating with suppliers, because they always knew more. They always had more information about, you know, raw material costs, what was going on in the marketplace. And in those days they were just magazines. I mean, you could subscribe to magazines, but it was really almost impossible to keep up with what was going on. And you certainly were normally at a disadvantage with, uh, with the suppliers, but with the internet, my goodness, you know, you’ve got graphical information, it’s instant. You don’t have to wait for the subscription to arrive by mail. And so, um, I started the website, um, started building it in the year 2000 and by 2001, we were commercial and haven’t really looked back since we’ve just kept, um, you know, adding, uh, features and data to help the procurement profession kind of level the playing field with the supply profession, with the sales sales reps,
Scott Luton (08:51):
Love it, arming the markets with information, good, timely information that they can make better decisions with. I love that rod. All right. So kind of shifting gears a little bit here, as we talked on the front end of today’s episode, I bet you get the question a lot. Goodness knows we get it all the time from, from members of our global community, especially folks that are looking to make a splash and get into the supply chain industry. And then once they’re there, we get a lot of questions around advancement and how to stand out. So we’re going to kind of tackle this as a one-two punch rod, as we talked about, right? I’m going to share some things that we have picked up in a proven manner over the years that helps people find jobs. And then you’re going to kind of fine tune it a bit and really talk about how to stand out in the hiring manager’s mind, especially from a procurement standpoint.
Scott Luton (09:43):
So we’ll start on the broader side. So Rodan and of course is always a welcome. You I’m going to share four key points as to really answer the question, how can I boost my job prospects in supply chain and for that matter, otherwise for other sectors. So I’m going to offer four tips and of course, rod feel free to weigh in on any of these that stick out in your mind. Okay. You ready? Right. Ready? All right. So first off. So I mentioned that what you shared earlier in the lightning round is going to kind of reappear. And that, that starts with the, my first tip here, which is you’ve got to upfront define success in your objective. We have found over the years that so many folks in transition, or maybe they have a current job and they’re not happy, and they’re looking for something else w regardless of the situation.
Scott Luton (10:34):
So often as a case that they don’t know what they want. And that is the most important starting point I have found, and know what you want, know where you want to work, know what sector, Hey, even build a list of top 25 companies you want to work for that comes in handy, because that allows you, uh, when you get, when the candidate gets the question from members of your network, Hey, how can I help? If you’ve got a list of 25 companies you want to work for, especially if you’ve got the job within each company. I mean, you really, uh, not only do you enable folks with a stronger ability to help you, but more importantly, you can build a plan that’s much more targeted, which will help you determine where to put your, your time, energy and resources into finding that particular job.
Scott Luton (11:24):
You know, it’s about building that plan, like is like, is the case so often in life, right, rod, right? No, that’s for sure. I agree with that. Totally. All right. So that’s first number two. So this is, again, this is opinionated. This is just my opinion. A lot of folks don’t believe in the good old resume writers, but I, I believe, I believe in one, I used it, it, it made my life easier years and years ago. There’s still so many great resources that build. So my suggestion is to, is to work with one of these professional, well recommended resume writers to build a resume. And then when you’ve got it, you haven’t crossed the finish line rod. So no celebration, no ribbons, proudly worn or anything. You’ve got to make that resume a living and breathing document, right? As you, you know, after you get the resume done right away, as you’re starting to accumulate additional experiences or accolades, Hey, add that to the resume.
Scott Luton (12:23):
You know, once you’ve got that, that target list of companies and positions, of course, big piece of advice here, customize that resume for each of those positions and those companies. Uh, Rod’s gonna talk here shortly about a cover letter. Hey, there’s key phrases in the job description that is baked into the automation that’s used in the recruiting industry these days, you know, they, they’ve got bots that are scanning cover letters and resumes, looking for those key phrases and words, make sure your resume has that once you know what you want to do, but also know there’s no perfect resume. And, and even if you had the proverbial perfect resume, your job search can not start and stop with solely resume. Or I guess it can rod, if you’re comfortable with mediocre results. And I know that the two of us here are not comfortable with mediocrity, right?
Scott Luton (13:17):
Correct. All right. So point number three is volunteer blessed, be the volunteers. I, something, someone said that on Mt. One time everyone needs them. Every organization needs them. Leaders need them. Uh, they’re very valuable resources, especially those that are not lip service volunteers, but that those that take action, what’s in it for you. That’s an important question to ask well, to the job seeker, you’re going to gain skills and experiences and network colleagues of volunteering. And you’re also going to do something really important for anything you do in life. And that’s creating your own luck, which is a really important thing, leverage in any job hunt. Does that make sense on your end rod?
Rod Sherkin (13:56):
Totally. I think you could get more out of volunteering than, um, than people think it’s, it is those networks. You make, people will get to see what you really like. They get to see your talents. They get to appreciate you. They like you. I mean, people want to help people. They like, um, and if you be, if you know, there’s no question, we’re all emotional. So if somebody comes across an opportunity, the first thing person they’re going to think about is the person people that they like, um, and who they’ve seen in action. And so the volunteering, I think helps volunteer in many cases more than it helps the people there they’re volunteering to help. I totally,
Scott Luton (14:33):
Yeah. Great. Excellent. Yes. Excellent point. And you know, one surefire way to increase your likability factor, which is important like it or not. It’s an important factor is by giving back or as Greg white is coined, you know, giving forward you do for others really is a sure fire way to improve your likability factor. And then finally, something I’ve greatly valued in this, this fourth tip here, rod is invest really meaningfully and deliberately invest in your digital brand, LinkedIn, especially, well, it’s no secret that LinkedIn is a, is a shortlist topless. Go-to for the recruiting, uh, functions in so many companies. So you use LinkedIn to showcase your expertise and your knowledge. One simple idea that I’ve seen done really well is find an article that’s relevant to what you want to do and where you want to be and what company you want to work for, what sector you want to be in, post it, and then add your commentary or your take home with articles about, you know, that’s a simple, tried and true.
Scott Luton (15:34):
You can also use a V uh, take, uh, LinkedIn and, and share some of your most relevant, maybe your volunteer experiences we’re talking about or recent honors or recent projects that you’ve led and accomplished or, or other good news. You know, you really want to, you, you want that digital brand working for you when you’re sleeping at night and you really want it to demonstrate not only your expertise and your skillsets, but your leadership in your action based leadership in the course, it doesn’t hurt to continue to build out that digital network with, uh, LinkedIn and others as well.
Rod Sherkin (16:08):
Yeah, I think I was just going to say, Scott, I agree with you. And, and maybe accomplishments, like, you know, we handed out 110,000 meals over three months or whatever the, if they’re measurable accomplishments, I’ve always found as a hiring manager. I always gravitated towards that. What were the results of these efforts rather than, you know, it’s nice to network and all that, but Oh, this person can actually get things done. That was always something that I looked for.
Scott Luton (16:34):
Excellent point excellent point. All right. So to recap those real quick rod, you got it. You got to know what you want to do to find that success near objective upfront. Secondly, Hey, lean on a resume pro knock out that resume and then make it living and breathing. Number three, volunteer, volunteer, and volunteer. Number four, make sure to invest in your digital brand. From there, rod, we’re going to kind of switch gears a bit. We’re going to, we’re going to dial it in as we want to offer up some tips for how to stand out in the hiring manager’s mind, especially in the wild world of procurement. Is that right? Correct. Absolutely. Well, let’s dive right in.
Rod Sherkin (17:11):
Okay. So, um, I’m going to begin with the end in mind. So the end is your resume with, with a terrific covering letter and whether a bots reading it or human being is reading it, uh, it’s important that you get noticed. So let’s look from the point of view of the human being. So I’m going to read a really draft version of, of, uh, what I would consider, uh, a covering letter that I would have noticed as a hiring manager. Dear sir, I took the Liberty of researching some price trends on a few products. Your company likely purchases. My goal was to demonstrate some of the cost containment techniques I’ve been trained to use. For example, I found that now there’s a blank here could be steel fasteners, pallets, you know, injection molded plastic bars. It really depends. We’ll talk about that in a minute on what the company does, but I found that on this case, I’ll use steel.
Rod Sherkin (18:03):
Fastener prices should be five to 10% lower now than they were two years ago. Despite the recent increase in steel prices see attachment, I’m sure your procurement part department already knows this second paragraph would be research and other items, exact example of injection, molded, plastic parts yielded similar results. I E prices should be down. See attachment. I would be pleased to share more findings with you if there were interest. So that’s a draft of a cover letter that does two things. It sets sets you apart because you’re, you’re, you’re going to intrigue the person who’s reading this w wait a second. This person’s done the research and they’re telling me I’m paying too much for pallets or injection molded plastic parts or steel fasteners. And then you’re saying your procurement part, they’re not being arrogant about it because they’re saying, I’m sure your procurement department already knows this.
Rod Sherkin (18:59):
So, okay, I’m the hiring manager, a there’s probably at least a 50% chance. Maybe even more that you, you are, you are not paying less for the steel fasteners or the injection molded plastic parts, because in many cases there are B or C items and most purchasing departments don’t focus on those. So they often subject to something called price crew, which I’m sure everyone’s familiar with. So that’s, if that’s true, it’s going to tweak some interest in the hiring manager’s mind. Geez, aren’t we still, so they’re going to check it out, right? And if it turns out you are still, they are still paying the same amount that you’re going to definitely be noticed. And the fact you’re saying, I’m sure your procurement department already knows. This means that you’re humble. You’re not trying to, you know, come across as, you know, lording it over anyone.
Rod Sherkin (19:50):
And even if this is the interesting thing is even if the procurement department knows these tricks knows that following suppliers costs, input costs this way to keep the prices down, uh, it’s in there and they are, and they’re paying five to 10% less safe for the steel fasteners. You’ve just proven that you’d hit the ground running that you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re kind of trained already. You’re going to be a valuable asset from day one. So either way, whether they are still paying the same amount or they have gotten a decrease, it’s going to make you stand out. And then when you in the second paragraph, um, researching other items and be pleased to share more findings, what you’re really saying is, Hey, it’s this isn’t a, you know, um, a fluke that I found this I’ve actually got, uh, the cost containment techniques in my bag of tricks in my tool bag that allows me to do this for many different things.
Rod Sherkin (20:41):
And I’m more than happy to share it. So the first paragraph catches, or it was intriguing, it catches their interest in the second one is kind of shows them that it’s not that you can actually, but it gets you the interview, basically, because they’re going to want to know what else, you know, and what else you can do for them. So that’s beginning with the end in mind. So let’s talk about how to get there. How do you find that stuff out? There’s a little there’s, um, something called we call as a silent slope. What a silent slope is. Um, if you think of a, the raw material costs that go into buying something, uh, let’s use pallet system, make it easy. So hardwood pallets, they’re returnable. And if you think about a pallet, let’s say you’re paying $20 for the pallet, probably about $10 or $12 even would be the Heartwood that the pallet supplier makes.
Rod Sherkin (21:31):
And the other $8 is the labor and the, you know, the nails and fasteners that go into it. But more importantly, the overheads and profit that he needs to make. So some people call that gross margin. So just to make the math easy, say it’s half wood and half gross margin. And so when the price of wood goes up, uh, you’re going to get an increase in I’m looking at a graph that you’re, unfortunately, I’ll try to describe what I’m seeing, but it’s about three years ago, the price of hardwood started to rise quite dramatically from a $300 thousand board feet to about 500. So everybody who bought returnable, pallets, quite understandably, got an increase in the price of their hardwood, pallets because the suppliers needed to recover their raw material costs, which is fair enough. But what’s happened since then. And I’m looking at the graph, it’s come back down to where it was three years ago. So it lets you phoned your pallet supplier and said, geez, I’m wondering why I’m still paying $20. When you know, when the price of hardware was three 50, I was paying 17. You raised $3 when it went from three 50 to 500. Now it’s back at three 50. You know, why, you know, why am I still paying that much? So it’s a silent slope because unless you phone up, you’re going to hear all about the price of hardwood on the upside, right. But you’re not going to hear it on the downside and
Scott Luton (22:50):
Really quick, what, as you’re describing the silent slope and how price group works, uh, two quick points, number one, we’re going to have, uh, the visuals behind it, uh, a couple of nice visuals in the show notes of today’s episode. And secondly, uh, the greater point here is, as it has been said so many so often in life, if you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you ask for. And that’s, that’s why the silent that’s one of the biggest reasons why the silent scope is because folks aren’t asking for those, uh, those pricing changes,
Rod Sherkin (23:23):
Right? Absolutely. Especially on B and C items, especially on things like pallets and fasteners and injection molded, plastic parts that, you know, maybe if you worked for Ford and you buy fenders, that’s your job, you know, so you, you work with a steel stamping company. You’re probably really in tune with the price of steel because you’re spending millions of dollars on those metal parts. You’re probably not as focused on the fasteners or as focused on the palace that the fasteners come in or the pallets that you buy to move the stuff around. So you’re right. You know, there’s a 90, in my experience, there’s a 90% chance that, uh, there is a price there. It has been priced creep for, there’s always price creep. If the procurement professional, isn’t looking out for silence slopes, isn’t forcing the supplier to play fair. When the costs go up, we’ll, we’ll pay him or your costs go up, that’s fair.
Rod Sherkin (24:19):
But when your raw material costs go down, we expect you to reduce your price because it’s, you know, it certainly fits exactly the same logic you’re using when you raise the price. But you’re saying you’re right, Scott. If, if you don’t ask, you can’t expect them to lower it. And it’s not their fault. I mean, we’re all in business to make all the money we can. It’s not a bad thing. It’s just how our system works. So you can’t expect your supplier to phone you up and say, Oh, you know, my palate, my hardwood pricing costs are down. I’m going to reduce the price of the pallet to $17, but that $3 price creep is there. And if you and your covering letter say, you know, we, you should be paying $3 less for those pallets. It’s easy for the hiring manager to check that out. And if they’re still paying the 20 bucks and haven’t had a decrease, then you’ve just proven that you can hit the ground running and make a difference. So
Scott Luton (25:08):
I think one other, I think, helpful context that I’m sure folks, especially in the manufacturing industry will appreciate, because I can remember my days in the manufacturing industry, sitting in the seat, you’ve got a thousand different things going on thousand different fires, perhaps tens of thousands of different components, raw materials. You’re constantly negotiating. You know, it’s, it’s easy, I think, to lose sight of a particular item and, and not, and completely forget to ask the question, you know, six months after a price increase has been implemented in the market’s changed and you you’ve forgotten to circle back. I think that probably happens a lot in the many it across industry, but especially any factory, right?
Rod Sherkin (25:49):
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. We don’t, everybody’s busy. We don’t have time to do everything everybody’s prioritizing, you know, you’ve got, it’s the top pieces of paper on your desk or the top files in your computer, your laptop that get addressed, you nobody has time to do everything. So how do you research it while there are lots of, um, you know, lots of free, good sources of this kind of information, the London metal exchange will tell you what aluminum and copper led and sync all these metals prices are. They’ll give you histories, it’s all in their database. And there are lots of good free sources. In fact, that’s, um, I think in the show notes as well, Scott, isn’t it, the, uh, we’re making available a source of information. So once you’ve found a company that you think you want to work for, are you going to send a resume to go on the internet, check them out, find out what they make you can.
Rod Sherkin (26:39):
It’s really fairly easy to figure out, Oh, do you know there’s some plastic parts in this? There are some metal parts or, um, Oh, they use a lot of packaging. There was a lot of corrugated boxes. So they use paper, find out, you know, take an educated guess at what they purchase. And then, um, find a source of information, go back, you know, graph two or three years worth and say really good chance. You’ll find a silent slope. Everything fluctuates, you think are commodities, whether they’re paper steel or wood or whatever that they fluctuate just by nature. So every time they go up, you know, there’s probably going to be an increase every time they go down, there’s a silent slope. And when there are silence slopes, then there’s probably price creep. And that’s what you’re looking for. So when you find that, that’s what you put in into the, into the covering letter
Scott Luton (27:25):
And customization, which you’re speaking to really important. And of course that, that points back to that key element that you and I both mentioned earlier is knowing what you want to do and building that game plan around it. So that you’ll know how to customize these pieces of communication. Right,
Rod Sherkin (27:42):
Right, right. You’ve got it. You’ve got to begin with the end in mind. Right. You’ve got to say, I want to, I want to work for Ford great company. And I wanna work in the procurement department. Then you can figure out from that what Ford likely buys. And then you can look for a silent slopes in the B and C items. And you can, um, put those into your covering letter. And, and, uh, just to repeat myself, if it happens that they haven’t noticed the price creep, you’re going to be able to save them money just with your, with your letter. And even if they have noticed, they’ll know that, you know, these techniques and they’re not that common, you know what we’re talking about? Isn’t something that everybody does. If, if it did, then you know, you, you wouldn’t be standing out in the cover letter. Um, so you stand out either way, you know, hopefully they, you know, you’ve kind of helped them save some money, but even if you haven’t, even, if you haven’t, you’ve certainly helped yourself by proving that you’ve got some really valuable skills that will make you valuable from that.
Scott Luton (28:43):
Love it. Now, rod, I thought for sure you would have used the 2019 NBA champions, Toronto Raptors as an organization. Someone wouldn’t want to work for somebody run basketballs or something. Right.
Rod Sherkin (28:56):
Right. Well, yeah. They’re either not doing they didn’t. Yeah. Well, the Raptors, I guess if you went to work for, uh, the heck they are owned by maple leaf sports, I think is really good. Yeah. They’re their own. I think so they’re the blue Jays and the Raptors are owned by a big holding company. And um, yeah. So let’s say you worked for the Raptors and you sourced the, all of their outfits, their uniforms, and they were made from cotton and Dacron. Okay. So you would check out cotton prices, which I have no idea, but again, that’s all knowable, that’s traded in the New York commodity exchange. So all of that’s available and, uh, whatever the polyester might be. So it’s probably one of the plastics spin to be knowable. It’s what I’ll sell this, uh, lots of there’s a magazine called plastics news, I think. And they are like, yeah, yeah, you can track most the basic plastics in that as well.
Scott Luton (29:53):
Well, I, I love it. It it’s universally applicable to any organization that, uh, purchases and acquires raw materials. You just need to, you’ve got to have a, a great game plan and know what you’re doing. And you’ve got to have a great source of information where some of the stuff we’re going to put in the show notes as well as for that matter, pro purchaser comes into play. So really I liked this, this targeted approach.
Rod Sherkin (30:16):
It sounds simple. It’s a bit of work, but like you say, Scott, if you’ve, if you know what you want, that’s how you go after it. You go after it through networking. Like it’s always better to have somebody recommend you then your cover letter against red, for sure. Uh, even if they don’t, you still have a much better chance of getting noticed. If you’re, you’re able to put something in there that’s noteworthy that’s different and showing somebody how to save money without ever having met them is usually quite different in a good way.
Scott Luton (30:45):
All right. So what else, anything else we want to share in this more targeted segment here? Oh, 81. Smelly,
Rod Sherkin (30:52):
Not as important. I think the main thing is go for cost containment, show them your skills, especially nowadays coming out of COVID, everybody’s going to be, um, very focused on, on the cashflow and saving money, but if you’ve got a good referral, so if they followed your advice and, um, you know, volunteered, however, he came up with, uh, a good network and then they got a call one day from a friend said, Hey, there’s a job going in our company that, uh, I think you might suit you. Uh, do you want me to put your name in the, in the hat? And you say, yeah. And then next thing you know, you’ve, you’ve, you’ve got to weigh in. So then, then the other way to stand out I found is to ask really intelligent questions and fights insightful questions because sometimes a good question is worth more than 10 or 15 good answers.
Rod Sherkin (31:40):
That’s an old expression. So if you do get a chance to ask a question before you actually meet the hiring manager through your contact, think about the questions, you know, things like, you know, what procurement issues are most pressing right now with the company, you know, is it cost containment? Is it lead time? Reliability? Is it security of supply? You know, our supply chains have certainly been through a lot lately, you know, do they have long distance supply chains that, uh, that are vulnerable, do that? Do they, um, use just-in-time delivery that makes them quite vulnerable as well. And you can ask what products are most important duty and their direct spend category. So that’s the other bit of advice is if you’re fortunate enough to actually get a referral, then use that referral to, um, to ask intelligent questions. Because as a hiring manager, if you hear these questions from a candidate, it’s usually very encouraging. You makes you think my goodness, this person’s got their thinking cap on. And that’s the kinds of, that’s exactly where we need to focus our efforts. We’ve got a cost containment issue and let’s, let’s go for it. So then you can, of course tailor your cover letter to, to match whatever it is they’re they’re looking for.
Scott Luton (32:52):
Right. And if the individual is a quick study in this pain point, I wonder what they could do with these five other needs. Once they get studied up and have access information. I think that’s one of the natural kind of where the mind goes with, with business leaders that are looking for capable and that stand out town. And you’re speaking to, I want to mention one of the things before we kind of shift gears and start to wind down the interview and rod, you’re talking about how powerful a great question is and how it can be worth dozens or scores maybe even of, of of good comments. Uh, I participated in a, uh, hostile internship virtual internship program here in 2020, a few months back. And it was hosted by my good friend, Alison, uh, crikey Giddens. Um, there’s a manufacturer that’s always given back Allison’s salt of the earth.
Scott Luton (33:41):
And she assembled, I want to say we had about 20 students that I was kind of sharing some supply chain thoughts with. And when I wrapped up my few comments and a few slides, it opened up Q and a and you know, maybe we all do. We all probably underestimate just how bright our students are. And our young people are rod opera. I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of a presentation or I was posed with incredibly thoughtful and smart and articulate questions. I was, I was glad that I ate my Wheaties that morning.
Rod Sherkin (34:16):
That’s right. Yeah. He got a good night’s sleep too.
Scott Luton (34:19):
Make sure I brought it with, with, you know, capable answers. I’ve kept that with me for so long because it really, you make such a great point. Those really thought, well thought out, researched, articulate own point. Been there, done that questions are worth their weight in gold. And then some, and this is this process that you’re kind of laying out will help candidates put together the silver bullet question. So I love it. Great stuff here. So to our audience, again, you’re, we’re gonna put, we’re gonna have two attachments in the show notes. One is going to kind of illustrate how price creep works and you know, that bigger picture procurement outlook that rod has speaking to. So look for that, it’ll include a rough cover sheet kind of template of sorts that rod also shared. And in a second attachment, we’re going to share some resources that might be helpful as you, uh, look for, uh, sources of, of good sound information.
Scott Luton (35:14):
Thankfully, rod we’re almost in December, uh, will, it will certainly be in December when that we publish this, we’re getting closer and closer at calling 20, 20 a year and put it in the books. I think, goodness, goodness gracious. He can’t be too sin. Yeah, you’re right. And, and you, you, you said you shared earlier, you know, how much burden has been placed on at supply feet from a year like 2020, amen. To that. However know when you think of a couple of key observations, you know, because the flip side of this historically challenging year, and one of the silver linings here is just how much better that global supply chains will be once we get through, because it’s uncover winkling, it’s uncovered blind spots is it’s uncovered just how not resilient, but fragile. So many different components of global supply chain can be that’s good news. That’s going to make the industry better and stronger for the next big crisis. But in what’s a couple of key observations you have in general from the year 2020.
Rod Sherkin (36:17):
I think that the way buyers and sellers relate has changed significantly that everything’s being done in writing, you know, through email. And, and so the, the psychological aspect of negotiations isn’t nearly as important as it was before. And what counts now are the facts. So you, you know, let’s just go back to the silent slope. You send a graph to a supplier and say, Hey, your pallet, you know, your hardwood costs are down 30%. Why are you still charging me so much for pallets? And this supplier sales rep can’t come and kind of try to smooth it over. They can’t take you to lunch. Not that lunch matters that much, but this, this whole kind of emotional aspect that goes along with buying and selling is kind of disappeared, its own being done in writing. And I think that favors the procurement profession. I think the buyer is better off if facts do the talking, because guess when the costs go up, buyers are always listening and allowing suppliers to raise the price because they’ve got to cover the raw materials.
Rod Sherkin (37:22):
And when they go down, of course it was silent. But now that people are more digital, they’re more graphical. Then they have to do the research with, without the influence of the sales rep in the office, telling them, you know, how lucky they are. They’re not raising the price, but wait a second. You know, now that the costs are down because you’ve done your research and you’re doing it because there’s no other way to negotiate anymore, you can’t do it other than by, um, you know, email. And so it’s, um, I think it’s really been a boon for our profession because we’re becoming much more, much less influenced by things other than facts. So fact-based procurement is almost always to the benefit of the buyer. I think that’s one thing. The other thing that’s different too, is I think the focus on cost containment is going to be more, it’s always been there.
Rod Sherkin (38:12):
I mean, clearly everyone strives to be low cost producer, but now with, you know, cashflow being King, uh, margins being squeezed, especially, you know, there are extra overheads when you’re running factories with COVID, you know, PPE and things like that. And just and saying, I think that is as strong as it was before, is this focus on costs is going to be even stronger. So I think what companies are going to be looking for senior managers will be looking for hiring managers will be looking for are people who can drive down costs and do it in a systematic and dependable way. And so those are the two things I think that are different that the 2020, these are good things at 2020. Um, well, they’re not both good. The first thing is good because to the advantage of the buyers, the second thing is just a warning that you be prepared for even stronger emphasis on cost containment from senior management.
Scott Luton (39:12):
I agree with you. I think, you know, we’ve seen in recent years, rod, how supply chain has had a seat at the table, uh, in a, in a very recognized manner for the, for the first time perhaps ever, you know, which that began several years back and now here lately, it seems like the procurement profession is getting a lot, a lot more respect and recognition and, and luster, uh, which is also really neat to see, you know, because I think many organizations are, are, are realizing the strategic nature when procurement and sourcing and, and, and I don’t really, I don’t want to get you going, but th these, these things that kind of fall under this greater procurement sourcing umbrella of the strategic role that can play in and real in a huge impact they can make. And that sounds yes. Yes.
Rod Sherkin (40:02):
I, I think presidents are looking for really good talent now, before we had to have really good operations, talent, and great sales and marketing, which they still do need, but now they’re saying be I better have equally good talent equally effective people, and that means they’ll pay for it. And once you start paying what senior management decides to budget the same kind of money for supply chain professionals, as you do say for marketing professionals. And I think it’s, um, it’s that that’s really, what’s going to change things. It’s going to attract much brighter and better people into our profession. And it’s going to raise the status and profile of her profession. It measurably will be equal to marketing, I think can finance and operations. Excellent. We are, we are really in reality, like you say, but I don’t know if I’ll see your M L presidents or senior managers quite understood it as much as they do now.
Scott Luton (40:52):
Yeah. Great point. All right. So, well, so much good stuff on this latest episode with rod shirk and really have enjoyed this, appreciate your willingness to, to, to really give back and help people. Uh, you know, there’s so many folks that, that beyond the struggles related to the pandemic, you know, the core struggles don’t go away and that includes finding, finding a job or advancing your career. So I really appreciate your approach here. Let’s make sure our audience knows how to get in touch with you and pro purchaser.com. So, so give us some information there
Rod Sherkin (41:23):
Just it’s pro purchaser.com. Um, and, and, you know, anyone can just go to it when you get there. If you do go, there’s a resources tab that says on demand webinars. And I think the seventh on-demand webinars is actually called boost boost your career prospects, something like that. And it just fleshes out a lot of things we’ve been talking. You can see the graphs and charts. It’s a, it’s a webinar that was a PowerPoint, which was more graphs and charts than talking. It’s a little tough in a podcast or kind of paint these pictures as vividly as you can with them with a PowerPoint. So, and there’s, there’s no cost. So people are more than welcome to go to the website, go to resources and then go to on-demand webinars. And I think there eight of them, the seventh one is on this topic. And if you want it to access, uh, we have, um, a 30 day free trial.
Rod Sherkin (42:15):
So if you couldn’t find the information, you need it in the free, a handout that, you know, the free information descriptions, that is part of the, um, the notes that, uh, you’ll be handing out Scott, then Nick, you just, just click get started, take out a 30 day trial. There’s no obligation and there’s no, you don’t even need a credit card. And there are all kinds of graphs and charts in there that you can use, uh, for your job hunting. And some matter of fact, if you’re between jobs, there’s like I say, there’s two things quick. If you’re between jobs where it says company, just put the word bridge, we have this unofficial bridge membership, which is we, if people are between jobs, we give them actually a limited access to pro purchaser for free. And when, until they get the new job, at least if you’re going for promotion within your company. So you’re really not between jobs, but you want to use these same techniques to, you know, promote your career inside internally. Then when you just put your company name and then put dash bridge and we’ll know that those are there, Sarah, you know why you’re doing it. And again, what the advantage to that is that it doesn’t terminate in 30 days. You basically can use the website until you, you get to promotion.
Scott Luton (43:27):
Wow, what a, uh, incredible gesture. I really appreciate you sharing that. And, and, you know, to our audience, that’s a huge value. And that’s, you know, I think one other important distinction as it relates to pro purchaser.com is not only do you have, uh, what I’ll call shippers, um, you know, the folks that, that acquire and procure the raw materials using, uh, the resource and the platform, but you’re also having really savvy BizDev professionals that, that need that to build their cases as well. Is that right?
Rod Sherkin (43:58):
Scott Luton (44:00):
Outstanding. We’re really appreciate this really admire this approach and what you’re offering to the market, uh, rod, and we’ll make sure we’ll make it as easy as possibly of course you’ll find links to what rod has shared in the show notes. We will really like making a rafter, the one-click rod one, one click of the mouse button to get to the resources that folks hear about here at supply chain now.
Rod Sherkin (44:23):
Well, thanks. That’s I really appreciate the, your you’re helping out as well. Scott, thank you. All right.
Scott Luton (44:30):
So to our audience, they been talking with rod Scherchen founder and president of pro purchaser.com. Be sure to check him out there and, uh, check out the show notes. And one of the big things that we’ve come across rod, uh, especially as relates to folks seeking out their next job or seeking out that advancement is you got to take proven best practices and act on them and put them, put them in place and get them working for you. So really want to challenge your audience, do just that take advantage of these resources that Ron has shared. And, um, and we wish you all the best in the months ahead, but also we hope you’ve enjoyed this conversation as much as I have. Hey, we, we revisited Ziggy for the first time. That’s worth the price of admission, but hopefully you’ve enjoyed it. Of course, you can learn more about what we email@example.com find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcast from. Hey, on behalf of the entire team here at supply chain. Now Scott Luton wishing all of our listeners, nothing but the best. Hey, we challenge you. Like we challenge our own team. Do good, give forward and be the change that’s needed.
Rod Sherkin is the founder and president of ProPurchaser.com. Prior to entering cyberspace, he was the senior executive responsible for supply chain for both Pillsbury and Ball Packaging, where, for 15 years, he honed his negotiating skills with suppliers. Rod has spent the last 20 years sharing what he learned with other procurement professionals. Learn more about the company here: www.ProPurchaser.com
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
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.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.