Supply Chain Now
Episode 532

Episode Summary

In this episode of the Supply Chain Buzz, Greg and Scott are joined by Paul Noble, Mary Kate Love, and Lettie Barrett as they discuss the top supply chain news of the week.

Episode Transcript

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 (00:00:35):

Hey, good morning, Scott Loudin, Greg white with you here own the buzz. Greg white. How are you doing today? I’m doing quite well. Yeah. Yeah. So, uh, today is my father’s birthday. He’s the hugest K U fan. And he’s going to get a personal message from head coach, bill self. And I just previewed it just a few minutes ago. So, uh, there won’t be a dry in the house. I can tell you that. That is outstanding, man. What a great gift. Yeah. Yeah. My sister pulled that off. So, so, uh, hopefully you all had a great weekend. You need to videotape him getting the message and share it with us. That’d be, that’d be one. Nobody’s going to be there, but yeah, next year I might a video. I might send the message. I have the message. So maybe I’ll post that somewhere. Let’s do that.

Scott Luton (00:01:31):

So, but for today here in supply chain buzz where we, every week, Monday 12 noon, we tackle some of the biggest stories and developments across the world of global supply chain. And it’s no different here today. However, the contents in different, however, this is supply chain buzz takeover day from our friends at Verisign and Georgia Pacific. We’ve got an outstanding conversation teed up. Don’t worry, Greg. Yeah. Yeah. I’m looking forward to it. Uh, and we did just barely a Virta complete takeover. So we had to get permission to be on our own episode. Didn’t we? Hey. Hey, all in. Good fun for sure. All good. But you know, we’ve got a really interesting conversation. We’re going to of course talk about the vaccine distribution. We’re going to talk about sustainable packaging. We’re going to talk about, uh, antifragile supply chains. I love that, that phrase.

Scott Luton (00:02:25):

Um, so stay tuned quick programming. If you enjoyed today’s episode, be sure to find us wherever you get your podcast search for supply chain now and subscribe for free. So you don’t miss conversations just like this. All right. So we I’ve got a, uh, chock full conversation here today. Uh, Greg, are you ready to get started? Let’s do this thing. All right. So we wanna welcome in our esteemed panel here today. We’ve got Paul Noble, founder and CEO at Verisign, Lenny Barrett, senior business analyst, also with Verisign and our dear friend, Mary Kate love operations business integration lead with Georgia Pacific and

Greg White (00:03:01):

Founder of national supply chain. Day one. We are an enriched company here during the year.

Scott Luton (00:03:11):

Greg. I want to pick up where you left off right before we switched because, uh, all three are dear friends. But the last time I think one of the last times we collaborated with Mary Kate, she was, she had just coined and founded national supply chain day. And we had a gangbuster conversation, fast moving capacity. It was moving so fast. It was moving so fast that, um, I got kicked out of the stream.

Paul Noble (00:03:36):

Oh gosh. Was that when we had to fly solo? M K I

Mary Kate Love (00:03:39):

I’ll never forget it. I’ll never, we just kind of looked at each other and we’re like, yeah, we got this. Okay. I’ll say as a watcher and a viewer, I didn’t notice a difference. Good. You guys did a great job. I agree with you Len and I try to forget those moments, but yeah.

Scott Luton (00:03:59):

All right. So, uh, folks, uh, hope y’all brought your work boots here today. We got a ton of stuff to get through. I’m glad that each of y’all could make time off your busy schedule to join us here on the bus. So Paul Leddy and Mary, uh, Mary Kay and Greg, we’re going to start with what everybody’s talking about, whether you’re in supply chain or, or anything else, and the other aspect of global business. And that is what we’re referring to as the noble mission, right? The vaccine distribution that is kicked off really got ramped up, uh, hit a new phase over the weekend. And certainly today, you know, Tom magazine, uh, is weighing in talking about how, uh, the distribution has begun, right? First shipments arriving here today, supply chain dive, of course, one of our favorite sources for supply chain, uh, content, how the supply chain has been preparing for this moment, love that by our friend, Matt Leonard and the wall street journal, of course would just some great supply chain reporting, uh, talks about also, uh, as the pandemic continues to surge across the U S Hey, here’s good news. Uh, because hospitals are gearing up and that vaccine has begun to be shipped. So let’s get down into the weeds a little bit here. Let’s talk about, what’s really kind of maybe taking place behind the headlines when it comes to the vaccine. Paul, let’s start with you, uh, good morning and tell us, tell us something we should be maybe tracking here, uh, across global supply chain.

Paul Noble (00:05:25):

Yeah, thanks everyone. I think it was the, uh, first time I met Greg was on a podcast with, uh, Mary Kay NEI, uh, back

Mary Kate Love (00:05:35):

To back full circle.

Paul Noble (00:05:37):

That was a, the bank of America building. Right. We were Flexport Flexport.

Mary Kate Love (00:05:42):

I got a parking ticket that day. Actually the reminder back to Scott, I share, I can still do that.

Paul Noble (00:05:52):

And Greg gave me a ride back to the office cause it was raining. It’s right, gentlemen. Thank, um, anyway, so no one, I did rail our conversation. Now it’s been really exciting to watch the mobilization of, you know, all the different parties from public to private and, uh, nothing short of miraculous. Being able to not only spin the vaccine up and record record time, but giving everyone exposure to the, you know, what’s necessary to get, get things produced. And from point a to point Z really cause it’s gone to so many different places. Um, again, I, I we’ve talked about it a lot of times, you know, things coming out of this pandemic, you know, really exposing where supply chains are going and, and the, and the needs of complex supply chains globally. And so I think everyone’s getting a front row seat to, uh, no matter what side of the aisle you’re on everyone really coming together as, as humans and, uh, and helping one, uh, one another out is exciting for me to follow. And I think it’s, uh, I know my Twitter feeds been jammed with updates and opinions and angles, and it’s just really, really exciting. Uh, that’s my big takeaway is it’s miraculous.

Scott Luton (00:07:15):

I love that. I want to get, uh, letting you and Mary, Kate and Greg away and really quick, we’ve been talking about the noble mission when it comes to vaccine distribution for a weeks, if not months now. And we’ve got some pushback over the weekend, uh, I was told that, Hey, supply chain folks just making money and, well, absolutely. I mean a FedEx. Yeah. That could be doing other things true, but here here’s the deal. W while of course, Scott, it was, you know, um, while FedEx and ups and the story of the weekend working together and undoubtedly the right they’re charging for shipments, just like any other transportation organization does. However, I was talking to Jenny Froom this morning and she was talking about, you know, getting access to Africa and some things are just gonna have to take place such as navigating across rivers with no bridges. That’s when this really become that, that noble element of this really takes place because no, one’s going to make a million bucks, you know, to do that. They’re going to just find a way right. And serve communities, uh, across the world. And that’s that in my book at least is what really, while this is a noble mission. All right. So Leddy, let’s go to you. What else are you tracking when it comes to this vaccine distribution?

Lettie Barrett (00:08:25):

Yeah. Well, I think kind of going off of what you guys have already acknowledged, I really love that just for a country that’s been so divided, particularly over the year. This is something that’s really required union from a lot of different parties and partnerships, and so totally agree. This is going to be really just the union of a lot of, a lot of different people and companies, and some excited to see that unfold. I particularly have gone into a COVID hole, uh, of research learning more about the software system that they are using to track, uh, the vaccines starting, I guess, this weekend and today particularly apologies if I pronounce it wrong, but I think it’s, uh, to be serious. I don’t know if that’s correct. It seems so interesting to me, you know, there’s a lot of history there, um, and, and really just identifying the high risk population so that they can make sure that they’re, we’re going to do this first round of distribution so effectively.

Lettie Barrett (00:09:21):

And so I’m really interested to see, uh, the successes and the learnings from that. I know you see a lot about, uh, just since the summer really we’ve been practicing and practicing all different types of scenarios. Um, but I know they’ve said that failure is not an option, so I’m excited to see just the unique ways that we’ll address, um, the challenges that, that we could not foresee. Um, and specifically something that was super interesting to me with, with specifically the, the Tiberius system is just, um, the way that they are a great example, that, uh, I think something I read about how they had a map of Alabama, for example, and how they were able to see kind of the trending cases by counting. And then they were able to overlay just different vaccine scenarios in order to find the best distribution routes. And so that was super interesting to me, super, um, unique and I think just going to be awesome to see, um, just the best distribution strategies that they can find. Yeah.

Mary Kate Love (00:10:18):

Good stuff there. Mary Kate, what are you tracking here? Yeah, that’s awesome. I didn’t realize all that about the system. I’ll have to, I think all the narrative of this liberating. Um, I definitely what stands out for me and it’s something that I think I’ve talked about on this podcast a few times is I am, so I guess, taken aback by this partnership between, you know, you’ve got FedEx and ups on shipping, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, all on actually administering the drugs. Then you’ve got McKesson, that’s bringing in all the other materials and kits that are needed other than the vaccine. It’s kind of something I didn’t think about, Oh yeah, you’re going to need the needles. You’re going to need everything else. And I think all of us in our lifetime have worked on collaborative projects together. Um, I know the three of us, the three guests, Leddy Paul and I have worked on collaborative projects with each other and the amount of time between one company and another company even take GP, for example, working with another company to sign on a contract and get going on that scope of work.

Mary Kate Love (00:11:21):

It just is not as fast as anyone would like it to be for. I think almost any company can say that, right, except, um, you know, probably smaller and more nimble companies. And certainly the United States federal government can not ever really say that they move very quickly. So I don’t take for granted, you know, I’ve focused a lot of my professional career on those smart partnerships and agile partnerships. And I really not taking this for granted that all of these corporations, all of them are huge. Um, which means they are really, um, great and great at making money. We know that right. We know FedEx and ups are great at making money, but the fact that they’ve kind of pushed aside other priorities to be able to get on these partnerships together, um, with the government really leading that charge is probably not something I expected to move as fast as it has.

Mary Kate Love (00:12:12):

And I know to us, it seems so slow. We were just talking about, you know, a couple months ago we said, Oh, will be if we just shut down for two weeks. Right. But this has moved so so quickly. And, um, I’m just, I’m so impressed by that. And I think it’s really laid this groundwork, you know, once you’ve got those partnerships established, they never really go away. So I think it laid the groundwork for, um, maybe some cool new, innovative projects, especially as it relates to supply chain to come around in the next few years.

Scott Luton (00:12:42):

Well said that spillover effect. I love that. What would that collaboration lead to in non pandemic, uh, topics and, and, and problems and complexities, a little of that. Mary Kay, Greg, what was some of the things you’re tracking here as it relates to the vaccine distribution? Yeah. Uh, I’m still struggling to get over your Twitter fight. Um, I have a new tagline, new tagline for Twitter, the Dunning Kruger effect on full display where the angry and incompetent express, their stupid opinions they’re called Charles. Yeah. Yeah. But I don’t think that really gives, does it justice anymore. Does it, uh, you know, the thing that I think that is important of course, is the coordination and collaboration. And dare I say it, the effectiveness of our government in, in facilitating this and funding it to enable and motivate vaccine producers to do something so fast. This is ordinarily a two to five year process that we’ve done in nine ish months.

Greg White (00:13:49):

So, uh, as everyone here has said, that is really impressive. I think the other thing is that eyes in the supply chain have been on how to do this from the very moment that even prospect of a vaccine came to the forefront. And that we thought about things like not, not just the impact on the supply chain for medical or vaccines, but the adjacent supply chains that will be impacted the security, the threat of criminality, the, um, you know, the, the data and technology that is required to facilitate it. And the fact that it’s going to a multitude of governments. Right, right. So, um, we’re thinking about how to get this to the last mile, even with the potential intervention of other governments that may or may not be highly motivated to do that. And we’ve been talking about, and this and determining how to resolve that for months.

Greg White (00:14:44):

And, you know, we saw it on full display. I dunno if you guys did see the trucks rolling out, somebody took a video of the trucks. It’s gotta be the most popular thing on Twitter. And I’m pretty sure that’s what brought you tube and Google down, uh, last night. So, um, so it’s, it’s clearly big news and as it should be, and I think it’s, it is noble. It is of course profitable for it’s going to be profitable for somebody. I don’t know who, but, but the fact is profit economics, as I say frequently, and we reinforce constantly is what drives people to do things that are good

Scott Luton (00:15:23):

That’s right. Including eradicating a pandemic. So a lot so much more to talk about. We’re only scratching the surface as we all know, but I want to circle back before we move on to the next story. Something that Paul said about, everyone’s got a front row seat, whether they like it or not, right. You’re not supply chain, you’re breaking out your popcorn and you’re enthralled with what’s taking place, perhaps for any of those members of our audience that are tracking, just know this, there’s going to be plenty of hurdles. This is not going to be perfect. The sheer complexities of, of, from a temperature standpoint of getting things from point a to point B to point Z and beyond and limit the spoilage. I mean, we’re talking about like next generation problem solving. So just don’t hammer anybody. When you hear the bad news, there’s going to be, there’s going to be challenges to come, but the good news is the greater story here.

Scott Luton (00:16:16):

And something that that should make you sleep well at night is as we’ve all pointed out and especially Mary, Kate, just as unique collaborations taking place across industry. So a lot of good news there. Okay. Is it safe? I appreciate it by weighing in. I know, I know, again, huge story. It’s tough to do it justice in 10 minutes, but I think we called out some of the most critical things to attract. All right. So moving right along, I want to say hello to a few folks. We’ve got a lot of comments here from John is tuned in. Appreciate those comments, John, via LinkedIn. Great to have you here with us, Pat. Hello, Pat. Great to see you, Erin. Peterson’s got some great news. He’s making a choice on his first internship. Soon three, three great companies he’s choosing from a, that is awesome news, Aaron, all the best. Please let us know what your choice is. And once you’re done, you’re gonna have to join us and tell us some of your key learnings from the experience.

Greg White (00:17:11):

Yeah, no doubt. In fact, Latiya Thomas just graduated. Uh, recently, I don’t know if you saw her picks Scott,

Scott Luton (00:17:19):

Uh, Morgan state university has got a, a blossoming the supply chain program there, uh, and meet Aaron. And Latiya

Paul Noble (00:17:28):

The Morgan state crew we met out in, uh, Arizona, my last trip. And now they’re glad to see them joining the workforce and changing the game.

Scott Luton (00:17:41):

Agreed, agreed. Great. Great. Call out, Paul. All right, says hello, Steven. David. Hey, you can’t have a live stream without David and David. Also a great point, uh, follow up to Kay’s point about things calm, moving, slow. He said it was not unique just to us government and, and David Hill’s from Canada. So I think all governments, uh, moot can move slow at times he squared who, uh, holds down the Fort for us on YouTube is here with us, uh, ready for supply chain management nourishment, Greg man, we’ve gotta deliver so on stoke man. Hello to everybody. And we’re going to circle back to some of the folks we couldn’t get to, but let’s move on to this next story here. And this is all about Mary Kate packaging sustainability and how these two, maybe arch enemies are working together. Right?

Mary Kate Love (00:18:33):

Absolutely. And I think, um, as I’ve gotten more into the operations at Georgia Pacific, I think there’s maybe some misunderstanding about how sustainable packaging and paper really is and really, um, is striving to be. So I’m really excited to talk about this a little bit.

Scott Luton (00:18:51):

Well, let’s dive right in. Tell us more.

Mary Kate Love (00:18:53):

Okay. So let me read you this one step. So I don’t get it wrong, but this one kind of, I love stats like this. I think you guys too, but they, um, there’s a stat that says the first six months of this year, consumers spent 347 billion online in the United States and that’s up 30% from last year, 266 billion. So that is pretty insane to think about up 30%. Um, I’m probably part of that 30% because like many others I’ve been shopping online, exclusively. And for everything, I mean, I never was an online grocery shopper, but now I’m starting to do that because I can pick it up. I don’t forget things when I’m in the store. Um, I’m doing pretty much everything online and that’s not different from what we’re seeing. So while that’s really exciting and it’s kind of changing the way the retail space looks, um, Georgia Pacific in particular is working on our sustainable packaging.

Mary Kate Love (00:19:49):

And so, um, we’re really seeing this as an opportunity for retailers and brands to not only tell their story on packaging and brands, but also, um, kind of find new ways to be sustainable. So if you all are familiar, I think a lot of us have received packages that are kind of that white material and they’re padded under it. Amazon sends a lot of those packages. So Georgia Pacific just opened up a new mill where we’re just making padded paper mail, mailers, that can be completely recyclable. So this is going to have huge impact when you think about this online space and we’re all getting our packages either in boxes, those white nailers are now you’re seeing some of these Brown recyclable mailers. And, you know, Ladd are predicting that this online kind of trend is not going to go away because of the convenience. Like I just said, you know, I’m probably not going to stop shopping for groceries online, even though I never did that before. So we’re looking at that and we’re finding out that the more and more we’d work with this, uh, we realized that our consumers are also paying attention. So a lot of our customers at GP are working with us to make sure that they’re sustainable and not only because it’s a good thing for the earth, but they know that their consumers are paying attention, which is just a really cool trend to see

Scott Luton (00:21:06):

Great point there and absolutely more and more by the day when consumers are demanding a more sustainable, more action and bottom line results being made in sustainability initiatives. A great point there in K Paul, you can let him weigh in here. What what’s some of the, um, what’s some of the, the conversations you’re hearing out in industry as it relates to packaging or sustainability.

Paul Noble (00:21:28):

Yeah. We have a handful of customers that we work with in the packaging industry. Um, in addition to Georgia Pacific, I think it’s, you know, to Mary Kate’s point, not only all of us that were kind of trending that way anyway, but this huge, additional demographic of people you, that wouldn’t have gotten into it unless forced to, uh, through a pandemic is opened up a lot of opportunities for innovation in packaging. Uh, I think I just saw it over the, over the weekend, my first, my first few Amazon packages with advertising on them. Um, so there’s going to be, I think a lot more of that, you know, wherever there’s packages on front steps, there’s going to be eyeballs and, uh, opportunities to build awareness. So, uh, uh, that’s really exciting and, and think that it’s, you know, not going to slow down anytime soon.

Paul Noble (00:22:24):

Um, so they, you know, uh, a heightened awareness and then kind of tales over from our, um, COVID 19 vaccine discussion, you know, front row seat, but also this elevated awareness and urgency on supply chain innovation. You know, we see it every day as we talk about it and live it right. Um, but I think everyone’s exposure to that is pretty exciting and, and where that’s going to continue to go and supply chain entering in the Renaissance. We talked about, I think eight, eight months ago, right? Uh, it’s gonna, it’s not gonna slow down vaccine aside, you know, online shopping aside just, uh, it’s going to be a really fun time over the next few years here.

Scott Luton (00:23:08):

Excellent, great. One, a couple of quick comments here. Marie says consumers want sustainability, but they usually don’t want to pay for it themselves. Great comment there from read where it says P and G is 2020 sustainability initiative may be under scrutiny, given us reduction goals on packaging and paper usage being not

Greg White (00:23:28):

Aggressive enough, I think is right there.

Scott Luton (00:23:31):

And quick comment, I think packaging has got such a, it’s such a complex business because as we all know, packaging sales products, right? And it’s designed to get that on and get you to pick it up off the shelf and put it in the, in the cart on the flip side, as we look to streamline all of that and use less material or use material that, that, um, is, has recycling options and better end of usage options, you’ve got some constraints there. So it’s a, it’s a terribly complex, uh, part of the business. Greg, what are you? Um, what’s, what’s a quick takeaway here for you.

Greg White (00:24:06):

I echo what Maria says, you know, and until we’re willing to pay for it, these companies can do whatever they want. Uh, but, but as I said before, everything come back comes back to economics, right? We want to do good as consumers. Every one of us does. Every one of us every single day makes a decision that supports a lack of sustainability, conflict, minerals, slavery. We do that all the time. We don’t even know it. I mean, that’s part of the problem. So, you know, we have to create an awareness there and frankly, we have to make it economically sensible because the truth is people don’t, they don’t spend their disposable income on saving the planet or other people unless they do it as part of a specific like philanthropic initiative. So when you’re buying product, you don’t want to have to think about that. Right? So that’s a challenge that has been in the industry forever. Right? Claudia addresses that in this discussion here. And, you know, that’s, that’s part of the issue is we don’t see the environmental damage in our pocketbook if we did, that would change things, right. If there was an actual cost.

Mary Kate Love (00:25:16):

Yeah. I love that. Just to quickly add a note to that. I love that call out about the economics of it. And, you know, for GP, luckily we’re working in a space with mostly renewable resources and we, um, we have this really cool initiative where we’ll only source trees from forests in places that are replenishing. So we, with competency, we can, for every tree that we take in which I can’t even express you, how many truckloads are coming in each day, um, if you’ve ever been to a GP mill, you just see them go and pass you. But for every tree that we buy or purchase, we know that we’re planning one to three more. Um, and so we’re only purchasing trees from forests that are sustainable and making sure that they’re keeping up with their sustainability efforts that we grade them on. So I really liked that call-out on the economics piece, cause I think that’s just the reality of it.

Scott Luton (00:26:07):

Love that probably managed really quick for our, for our listeners that may be catching this on the audio replay. Let me just share the, the point, uh, that Greg and Mary Kay are alluding to Claudia. Freid says consumers are already paying for sustainable innovations, whether they see the cost breakdown or not, if not in the pocket book, in the environmental damage. So might as well give a price a great point there, Claudia, Greg, you’re going to make one.

Greg White (00:26:32):

Well, I, I can, I can vouch for that. If you’ve ever driven through South Georgia, they’re almost all Georgia Pacific forests down there and you can watch little kids try to figure out as you’re driving by where the rows, how the rows line up to the road, right? Yeah. Those forests are continually replenished and actively. So, and, and the truth is a lot of that ground was not forest before. So it’s actually a net contribution to,

Mary Kate Love (00:27:00):

They have this really cool study where the volume of trees in the Southeast is actually 50% fuller now than it was in the 1970s. So it’s, it’s, I think there’s this misconception of how much work has been put into this for so long that it’s, uh, it’s uh, I mean there’s always room for improvement, I’m sure, but it’s a really, um, I think in some ways a well-oiled machine, right?

Greg White (00:27:23):

Robert oily beans, everyone stopped eating soy. Soy is the largest contributor to deforestation on the planet. Wow. We’re going to have to dive in deeper on that, on that topic, Greg, Hey, really quick from the audience. AA is back with us from the air capital of the world, Wichita, Kansas. He says Marie Harris. That’s why innovation became so important. Also it gives marketing a competitive edge to innovators. Good point there Wayne Donnelley says sustainable packaging is great, but we need to close the loop on the availability of recycling programs. Hey man, that’s huge. Yeah. I was thinking

Paul Noble (00:27:59):

Exact same thing. It was a comment I was going to interject with is making, you know, again, municipalities and consumers and enterprises coming together to make sure, I mean, my recycling bin is overflowing every week, you know, halfway through the week now. And it’s, it’s more and more difficult to get all of the recyclable and sustainable packaging yeah. Back, you know, back in the circular economy there. So I think it’s going to be a, a challenge to your point, Greg, this challenge of, you know, we can do both, right. We can be sustainable without it, you know, grossly affecting the cost of things and you know, everyone coming together and getting on board there, you would like to think that, uh, off the backs of what we’re doing with the COVID-19 vaccine that we can achieve both of those things. Right. So,

Greg White (00:28:55):

And everyone is that is at least an accidental environmentalist. Think back to your parents and grandparents and great-grandparents who said turn off the light when you leave the house. Right?

Mary Kate Love (00:29:05):


Greg White (00:29:07):

And why did they say that? Not because they necessarily love the environment though. Migrate grandparents were huge outdoors people, but because they paid for the electricity that it took to, to fire those lights. So wait, I spent three hours every day. It feels like just turning the lights off, but Hey, we’ve got one person for Greg Greg White’s feature blockbuster on the soy industry. We’ve got a backer right here already in T squared from, uh, via YouTube Greg. So w we’re gonna have to act on that and make that happen. Sure. Um, all right, so let’s move right along. Cause we’ve got a big topic here for,

Scott Luton (00:29:42):

Uh, the next article we’re going to dive into. And that’s really for, from some research that Leddy and Paul and the Verisign team have been leading here in recent months. And let’s talk a lot more about this. So Paul for started, before we dive into the state of supply chain inventory management study for 2020 in a real small nutshell, what does Verisign do? And then let’s talk about some of the key findings.

Paul Noble (00:30:05):

Well, how much time have you got now? So yeah, we are a supply chain intelligence company. We’re based here in Atlanta. We help large organizations. It’s less, really a lot of manufacturing energy, uh, understand the materials that they’re using to run their operations and produce their products. So, um, we help, uh, understand data that lives in, uh, various systems of record across an organization and can help fuel a lot of the things that we’re talking about today. You know, uh, being able to trust that they have inventory without grocery overstocking and disposing of a lot of excess and waste, reducing that fueling sustainability goals, uh, you know, across the organization. But while being profitable is again it’s, you can do both, right. But when, when presented with the right information in a scalable way, so we, we help organizations like Georgia Pacific, like ABM, you know, across various verticals, um, achieve those goals and, and do it quickly, uh, laying a foundation that they can, uh, scale across their entire supply chain.

Scott Luton (00:31:15):

Before we leave here today, I want to talk about the material truth. I love this, this messaging makes me think of like a heavyweight fight, right. And Gerald truth in this corner, we’ve got bad data, but it’s more about, Hey, what can I say? We were just talking about Mike Tyson last week, right?

Paul Noble (00:31:35):

Bad. Data’s just talking. He’s like Ivan, Drago, just pain, pain.

Scott Luton (00:31:45):

And Paul, this has been some exhaustive research. And I know that there’s a slew of key takeaways, but there’s a, there’s a couple we want to focus on here today. Is that right? We hadn’t heard from you here lately. Let let’s, let’s go with you first here. What, what’s one of the key takeaways from this research.

Lettie Barrett (00:32:00):

Yeah. So just a little bit of quick background. This survey was really targeted to an audience of individuals that were involved in inventory and materials management. So just have that in mind as we, uh, share some of these key highlights. But I think one of my favorite stats that we pulled from that surveys, uh, that a majority of the respondents actually 55% of the respondents rated their supply chain maturity levels as high or highest. But when we asked them about their preparedness for the Corona virus and its impact, only 10% of them said they felt prepared or even remotely were prepared. And so I found that, uh, extremely insightful to just learn that with feeling that your supply chain was mature, no one was really prepared for the impact and the challenges experienced because of the COVID pandemic.

Scott Luton (00:32:49):

Yeah. Well stated there Letty, um, Paul, from where you sit, uh, what’s been a key takeaway or two from, from all of this data.

Paul Noble (00:32:57):

I think if we’re continuously trying to get out to business leaders across operations, supply chain procurement, you know, really trying to understand what, uh, what immediate actions they’re looking to take. And also trying to drive that paradigm shift of what’s possible now, um, outside of, you know, traditional, uh, challenges. So, you know, a big part of what we’re doing is around material truth, changing the way supply chains work and doing it in a much different way, um, that that can show that things are possible, you know, to get better while, while being sustainable while driving, you know, driving down costs and driving out costs. Um, and really I’ve been inspired by the response of executives, uh, throughout this year, you know, both from a heightened awareness of having to react, but also, um, combining that with the desire to react and, and be proactive to take the approaches that they need to get, where they want to get, where they’re, uh, heading

Scott Luton (00:34:06):

Nepal as I was digesting Paul and Lenny, as I was digesting this report, I came across one key takeaway that probably won’t surprise any of us. And that is Excel spreadsheet, the Hill dominate global supply chains, right to that a little bit. Oh, go ahead.

Lettie Barrett (00:34:25):

I was just gonna say, I know I was going to try to squeeze that in there before we change subjects, because it feels so redundant to say, I mean, I can’t even believe it’s 2020 and are rounding out 2020, and we’re still talking about Excel spreadsheets. It’s just crazy to see. So many of global companies are just so handcuffed to these expel Excel spreadsheets, and they’re just these mundane, repetitive tasks that, um, that, that we are far more advanced and as a software, uh, solution provider. It, it definitely pains me to read that that’s that in that, uh, highlight from the Thursday, there’s hope there’s hope

Paul Noble (00:35:04):

With Excel. People feel they have more control and being able to manipulate data and put their opinion on things. Um, we even part developed our user interface to help give again, you can have it both ways. You can have a voice and have control and transparency on things without having to consistently analyze things outside of a system of record. So as that transition goes, you know, I think that, uh, and generational shifts I think will also help love with

Scott Luton (00:35:35):

That. Agreed. So to our audience, we can, you can download this report to be the link we’ve got in the show notes, it’s chock full of great information, great agnostic information about what executives are, are thinking about and what they’re doing in inventory management obviously has been a huge pain point here in 2020. So y’all check that out. Uh, and we’ve already had a few folks that have, uh, Gary Smith says he just downloaded a report. He’s looking forward to reading it. Ali. Um, you’re asking about the link. The link is in the show notes. So if you’re on LinkedIn, if you go to the, uh, notes we’ve got just below the video viewer, you’ll be able to click on that, submit your information and get it in. And by the way, Ali, great to have you here with us and going back to Bavan, uh, David says that the, uh, the material true data data, right? Well, put it on paper view. Uh, so Hey, for practitioners that might sell some tickets, I don’t know, um, peer says Excel, like having a carpenter limited to just a hammer. That’s great. Let’s move, Greg. I want to get you to weigh in on some, what you hear before we move on to the next story. What, you know, we’re hearing, this is like a refrain with some of what we hear, but what what’d you read in this recent?

Greg White (00:36:49):

Well, I think, you know, one of the things we have to recognize is that Paul and his team at Verisign, they deal with manufacturers and all due respect to GP, Mary Kay manufacturers are pretty sloppy in their supply chain management management, because they make such huge margins. So we haven’t had to be tremendously, tremendously precise like distributors and retailers have. And, and they’re also highly acquisitive. So, you know, when you look at the data from a company, if we’re talking about paint, right, this company calls it a bucket, this company calls it a pale, and this company calls it a can. And it’s, it’s, it’s exactly the same product, but we triplicated the inventory because we don’t know that they are essentially the same product. And that creates a tremendous amount of waste in the supply chain. And that waste of course, impacts sustainability. So that’s something we’ve got to be very, very aware of and, and that impact, I mean, and we’ve seen it at verus and the impact that, um, they can have is dramatic and immediate. And, um, and companies are, are making big, big changes, you know, at blue Ridge, we did a similar thing in the distribution and retail, not with the data, but with the optimizing the inventories. So I’m familiar with the impact that this can have, and if there’s that much waste at retail and distribution, and they are much less acquisitive and particularly this equivalence inquisitive strategy leads to that duplication and triplication of inventory. And that is huge, a huge impact on the bottom line of these companies and on sustainability.

Paul Noble (00:38:28):

Yeah. We were having conversations with a Gartner analyst and, you know, the shift, this was 12 months ago, but the shift from these things being projects and things that you look at occasionally yeah. Right. Expectations of the consumer. Yeah. Everything is, uh, compounding here. Uh, you know, all of us are going to go well, if they can distribute this vaccine so quickly, why can’t I get things in one day instead of two? So it’s going to be, there’s going to be all these expectations. And, you know, they think this big transition that we’ve seen in supply chain is the move away from projects to, you know, to technologies and systems that, um, create a living, breathing, um, solution around data and what we call the byproducts of data. And, uh, it’s exciting to work and, and see, see the results happen so quick,

Scott Luton (00:39:24):

Fast moving conversation for sure. So David says back to Excel as a problem with it, right? You’re able to manipulate too much. You got to get the fingers out of the pies. I love that comment.

Greg White (00:39:33):

Paul said, you know, generationally that will start to go away, that I have to own this. Um, dynamic is, is rapidly now evaporating in supply chain that if the tech can do it for me, it should, that is a much, much more healthy, uh, point of view.

Scott Luton (00:39:54):

Excellent point Claudia says, uh, COVID killed inertia in 2020 leaders can not sit and wait to see what happens or keep doing what they used to be doing up until now. Great point there, Claudia. Uh, let’s see here. Gary says, unfortunately, because of severe budget restrictions, we in government are stuck with resorting to Excel and software that is at least a generation old. That’s a great point, Gary. That’s an excellent point.

Greg White (00:40:22):

Can change that. I think the cloud and software as a service can, can change that even for governments. One, it’s not a capital line item technically. So if you’re a good manager of your budget, then it doesn’t require a capital expenditure effort. And two, the cost is much, much lower democratization works for democracies as well.

Scott Luton (00:40:46):

Excellent point says, I wonder if the respondents mentioned if they increase their buffer inventory now, and if so, is it going to be temporary or more strategic? Leddy Paul? You want to add any commentary there?

Paul Noble (00:41:00):

Yeah, I think that, um, you’re going to see a lot of that on the retail, you know, finished goods side of things so that you can fulfill service levels. Right. And then it’s going to, there will be a bit of that based on what we’ve we refer to as this, uh, subjective reliability. Right. Um, I feel like I have enough, even though the data is not, not really driving that. So I think there will be just to feel reliable, feel that, you know, service and Sigma levels can be hit, whether it’s indirect materials, materials, or finished goods, but that, uh, you know, hopefully is everyone gets over this over the hump and it can begin planning and becoming more predictive, prescriptive. And even if you miss a target that you’re learning from it to, you know, improve the next, uh, recommendation, I think that we’ll, we’ll see it go back to, you know, not grossly overstocking

Scott Luton (00:41:58):

So that, that research clearly generated a lot of discussion. Again, folks, you can download that report via the link in the show notes and we’d encourage you to do so. A lot of great learnings there. All right, moving right along story, number four, we’re talking, you know, there’s not been, I guess there’s been a few retail winners, but there’s been a lot more retail losers, but best buy is one of the folks that’s done really well in the pandemic. And there’s a great story that came out about shrinking sales floor space, a strategy that best buy is using more and more. So let, let’s start with you. Tell us a lot more about this.

Lettie Barrett (00:42:31):

Yeah. So this is super interesting. I think best buy has been, I feel like more of a proactive, um, company over the years. I mean, even if you think about six, seven years ago, they were really ahead of the rise of showrooming and you see that proactiveness again, here they are trialing kind of a shrunken, uh, uh, sales floor. I think they trailed it up in Minneapolis and they cut their sales floor in half to make room for a fulfillment center. And so they decided to really just keep the fast moving skews on the floor so that they could really have that additional space to fill those online orders, the ship from store orders, the customer pickup orders. And so this has been really interesting because like you said, not a lot of people have explored this space, but as they’re going, they’re really trying different models.

Lettie Barrett (00:43:20):

I think I read something about how one trial, one model had more room for the geek squad and then one had a bigger, uh, more square footage for the electronic section. So they’re really trying to try a lot of, a lot of different layouts and models to see really where the access lies. And I also read that they’re trying kind of a similar concept with, with malls. I mean, uh, I’ve heard a lot, especially over this year, how malls are really dead. As we know them, it’s really 2020s brought the death of, of the, the traditional mall. And so I know a lot of real estate companies are really trying out different models to, um, put last mile delivery, um, in order fulfillment centers, uh, in, in the brick and mortar stores that aren’t able to keep their leases this year,

Scott Luton (00:44:01):

Let a great point. And you know what, even moving forward, I saw, I saw a study in the last week or two, where it was surveying thousands of traditional mall consumers and asking them, you know, after, even after the pandemic, are they willing to return to shopping in malls and the percentage of folks that said they weren’t going back and shopping that way was, was much higher than you might expect. So malls certainly have their work cut out for Greg. I know you’re, you’re itching to weigh in. I’ll get you an MBK to weigh on the, the amazing shrinking disappearing, uh, Salesforce space,

Greg White (00:44:36):

Two words, service merchandise. Most of the people listening and probably participating in this panel don’t even know what service merchandise is, but that was their model was fulfillment from the store with just a showroom in the front of the store where you tried and selected your bicycle or whatever the product was. And then you purchased it and it either came out on a conveyor or was shipped to you later to your home. So that is the first thing. If you’re, if you’re attempting this, then I would look back at the, at that model and evaluate the success and failures of that model. The model itself was not the failure of the management of service. Merchandise was a failure. The other thing is, and this is such a throwback Leddy because I never ever, this is, this is the thing I want to say. Start with never, ever count best buy out.

Greg White (00:45:28):

Because when I started doing business with best buy in 1996, they were coming out of bankruptcy. They had opened precisely two stores the previous year, and they planned to open 256. The year that, that, that we started working with them. We created $40 billion in inventory reduction for that and CA and capital, not inventory reduction, but in capital for that company, to the extent that we had a lawsuit with their consulting firm at the time over, who actually created the value because the consulting firm had a, we get a portion of whatever we help, we contribute to. So, but, but then showrooming hit them, right? I mean, and that, and a lot happened in the meantime, but then, um, big box stores kind of fell out of favor. Some big box in other industries went away, then shomer showrooming hit them. As people started buying electronics online, they adapted to that, as you said, Letty, and now they’re adapting again, this is a super resilient organization. So, um, you know, I’m not, uh, not the hugest best buy fan. In fact, the story I tell about how I started solving the e-commerce puzzle for retailers, um, is about how my wife was in a best buy store, buying a product for me online in the store when best buy did not have the product in stock at the time, it’s clear that they’ve gotten that message and they’re, they’re rebounding theirs.

Scott Luton (00:46:53):

Greg. I hope, I bet you are a tough person to buy gifts for. Yeah,

Greg White (00:47:01):

I want every year and I guarantee you, my wife and my children can tell you precisely what that is.

Scott Luton (00:47:07):

Well, we’re, we’re happy to have them on. Uh, all right. So for the sake of moving, I’m gonna move right along. We’ll read a couple of comments here and in Canada, you’re going to lead off with our antifragile supply chain. So hang on one second here. I want to add, so BKC is, is tuned in via YouTube, uh, and they say very proactive and successful here in ATL, in, in Atlanta. Her best boss shares leasing with all the, I didn’t know that in store fulfillment sounds like a great value prop agreed, agreed. Uh, Gary mentioned what goes around, comes around the return of service merchandise and Elman’s models. That’s new one for me.

Greg White (00:47:42):

Yeah. Best products too. I believe was another one that did a similar model.

Scott Luton (00:47:47):

Pierre says with best buy, reducing the size of the retail floor. We will see floor inventory go away. Yes. Service merchandise, uh, Pristiq. Great to have you here at one, say a low. Thanks for tuning in via LinkedIn. Jeff says planogrammed inventory on the sales floor does not always merchandising strategy, make best buy, prove this point. Great point there. Jeff AA loves the zooming in feature. Hey, that’s around production AA. Uh, thanks for noticing. I really appreciate that. Um, and then let’s see here. I’ve got one more comment. Uh, one to read here. We’ve got one LinkedIn user that I’m not sure who that is. So CLA uh, Amanda or clay, if you could let me know. They’ve got some great comments here. Uh, and then finally Amanda says, I remember shopping for Christmas gifts for my mom, with my dad at service merchandise, and who would have thunk. I thought you just went through

Greg White (00:48:38):

Catalog and then walked in the store to order and pick it up. I didn’t know. Oh, by the way, catalogs are what they had before the internet, before they were catalogs.

Scott Luton (00:48:51):

So clearly a service merchandise had a ton of fans. Every time we bring that analogy up, Greg, there’s a bunch of comments.

Greg White (00:48:56):

How many people remember it? I mean, we were just kids when it went belly up, but man, if you ever went in the store, I mean, you re you remember it. I remember because I got a bicycle there. One,

Scott Luton (00:49:07):

Uh, let’s move right along, uh, clearly best is turning a lot of heads with that strategy. We’ll have to bring them back home. Maybe even get someone from best buy to talk more about what they’re seeing, but here in store, number five, we’re talking about this notion of creating anti-fragile supply chains. I love that after hearing the word resilient a million times sometimes with nothing behind it, this, this term antifragile supply chains love that. Let’s flip the script here, Mary Kay. I’d love for you to weigh in when you hear that word, what comes to mind? And then Paul Paul and Mary Kay, uh, Paul Luddy. We’ll, we’ll dive in with you, but in K, what are you, what are you here?

Mary Kate Love (00:49:44):

Love this article too. And, um, I, the word that stuck out to me when I was reading this was evolving. And so a lot of times I think we use resilient and it just means get up and go back and do it the same way and just work harder, which is the appropriate response sometimes. But when you think about antifragile, you think about how you’re going to evolve and change what you do, which is really, um, kind of inspiring and aligns a lot with what we call at Coke, which, um, GPS owned by Coke. So we call that principle entrepreneurship. So a few weeks ago, this article also made me think about Coke was named, um, the largest privately held company in the United States, which is really exciting, but my background has been mostly in startups. And so, you know, I thought about how that can be a little bit scary too, but making sure that we have this principled entrepreneurship mindset and we continue to evolve is super important. And then the second piece that I think stuck out to me, and that is also super important to a company like GP and Coke, is that we need to have partnerships with companies like Verisign that, um, do evolve and make us think differently and work differently. So if we can keep the mindset of principle of entrepreneurship and then work with companies that are constantly evolving, like Verisign, I think we’ll be on a good path.

Scott Luton (00:51:04):

That’s an excellent point. Uh, Mary Kay and, and you know, whether it was an earlier episode with you or Paul, or maybe even Daryl, Lou, Greg, we were talking about how a lot of the larger companies are getting more comfortable and, and they’re finding more successful ways of working with more startups, early stage companies. And that’s been a wonderful thing to see here, yours. All right. So Paul and Leddy and Paul, Paul, we’ll start with you, tell us more about this and creating antifragile supply chains and what maybe in particular stood out in this article in your mind.

Paul Noble (00:51:38):

Yeah, it’s something we see all the time. I think you were, you had posted something about it Greg last week and one of your tequila, sunrise, uh, promos with this, uh, aspect of, you know, preparing your supply chain to be agile enough that you don’t open yourself up to fragility. You know, you’re that you’re, you’re not right. You’re prepared enough with a foundation that you can be agile sometimes miss, but learn quickly and adjust quickly is better than being perfectly predictive because that’s, again like trying as our CRM, Jeff Wilson would say is like trying to achieve real peace. So yeah, that’s the biggest thing that sticks out is preparing yourself through technology and looking at problems differently. That’s the key point, you know, this is kind of mind shift a little bit that doesn’t take a project that’s going to last two to three years to achieve it. Cause that’s way, way too slow with how quickly the target moves. Even outside of pandemic from a business.

Scott Luton (00:52:45):

Excellent point, Greg, one thing you’ve touched on a thousand times about folks don’t have the time for that traditional two three-year project when it comes, especially technology transformation and implementation, right?

Paul Noble (00:52:58):

Yeah, that’s right. I mean, first of all, that those even the biggest of players recognize that the, the two to seven to 10 year implementation is going the way of the one we heard about it at Sapphire, right. SAP even is trying to create much, much more concise, uh, implementation models. Yep. And to Paul’s point, I mean, John’s a card, right? He calls it this insane obsession with accuracy to the, of

Greg White (00:53:26):

Agility and responsiveness in the supply chain. And instead of acknowledging and trying to, and trying to adapt when something does go wrong and is unpredictable, we try to predict the unpredictable. And that’s essentially what he’s saying there. And, and I think that is important. It’s important for us to recognize that agility and responsiveness is a key part of the supply chain. Great. Doesn’t mean we’ll always be a disruption. As you know, we’ve heard 10,000 times this year,

Scott Luton (00:53:56):

According to Accenture, once one major disrupt major disruption like the pandemic every 3.7 years, according to some recent research. Okay.

Greg White (00:54:05):

Yeah. I don’t believe that, but we’ll see a lot of that quick. I mean, we’ll never, we will never see this ever again because it wasn’t natural. Right. It was, it was the, even the pandemic didn’t cause this disruption, we caused it to ourselves, right?

Lettie Barrett (00:54:23):

No, no, no. I know. Well we know the link on the pony express, just delivering letters. So that’s

Scott Luton (00:54:33):

To weigh in here, but really quick, a couple of comments, uh, Jeffrey Miller says durable, hardened supply chains. John Perez says build strategic flexibility into your supply chain.

Greg White (00:54:44):

That is a great term, right there. Agreed flexibility, strategic agility. I like that.

Scott Luton (00:54:49):

Antonio says these things all go back to assurance of supply planning and having redundancies to make sure you do not have disruptions to your organization. Great point there. All right. So let me, we’re talking about this article four strategy shifts toward building an antifragile supply chain from, that came to us from supply chain brain. What’s one of your key takeaways.

Lettie Barrett (00:55:11):

Well, I just, I love this anti-fragility concepts to harp on it a little bit more. Um, I really loved what it talked about, um, as far as really not just resisting the disruption or avoiding it, but really to benefit from it. I think that’s really the game changer, um, that that can differentiate yourself in the market. And, uh, I love what it mentioned about, uh, Albert Einstein saying you can’t solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that created it. And in order to achieve those anti-fragile supply chains, you really have to think about your supply chain differently. And you have to think about the ways that you want to make your supply chain work. And, um, it’s really getting that diversity of perspective and partnering with different suppliers and having those valuable partnerships that really, um, bring that diversity of perspective to think about things differently, um, to help you achieve that

Scott Luton (00:56:02):

Well said so goodness. And what you just shared there Leddy um, really quick, I’ve gotten a couple of texts. Leddy folks are wanting to know what is behind you out your window,

Lettie Barrett (00:56:12):

Where are you at? It’s not even though it kind of looks like, Oh, it doesn’t look like snow. Yeah, no, uh, I’m just in good old Atlanta tech square Midtown where a happening place. Good stuff.

Scott Luton (00:56:24):

All right. So, so much good stuff here. Uh, David says, shoot that messenger.

Greg White (00:56:30):

Yeah. That wasn’t intended for you.

Scott Luton (00:56:34):

I’m only messing with you. [inaudible] maybe I might mispronounce that and sorry if I am agility and responsibility. What about the fact in supply chain and T-square makes a similar comment and I won’t try to weigh in on this if you’d like too much focus on accuracy and or analysis will lead to stagnation and eventually paralysis even as a student that this bears out. So, uh, Greg, I think you were just talking about that sheer that the, the, uh, incredible attention paid to accuracy. I can’t believe, I can’t remember exactly how you put it

Greg White (00:57:06):

Session with accuracy. There we go. Yes. To Scott and he was adamant about that.

Scott Luton (00:57:14):

So we’ll speak to T squared’s point a little bit. What, what point can you pursued that while balancing that, that cliche paralysis by analysis? What’s your quick take there?

Greg White (00:57:25):

W it’s very foundational for me. You have to acknowledge outliers. Really what you can predict is what’s predictable. And I know that sounds, um, that sounds very Mike Tomlin. I want people to do the essential things essentially. Um, but, um, you really, what you can predict is predictable. That’s why you have to prepare with agility for that, which is not predictable or that, which is what we traditionally call in forecasting an outlier, right? If it is unlikely to happen, or it’s an outlier in terms of statistical probability, then you can try to capture that in the forecast, but you also have to provision for that in terms of agility and responsiveness. That’s what successful solutions have always done. Paul,

Scott Luton (00:58:09):

Any, any additional commentary there? No, that’s it

Intro/Outro (00:58:12):

Just the material true. Solid about, love it.

Scott Luton (00:58:17):

Some boxing gloves, the hang in, in the studio with material.

Intro/Outro (00:58:22):

So I was thinking more like cage match. Well, all right, sir, maker Hogan,

Scott Luton (00:58:32):

You too. So we are a couple minutes over our allotted time, but there’s been so much, we’ve been tackling here today and we’ve had so many great comments as well from our audience that always brings it. And by the way, hello, Samson from Nigeria via LinkedIn. Great to have you here with us. Uh, Scott says, I remember doing automated manifests from service merchandises sales spreadsheet orders in Excel.

Greg White (00:58:56):

Okay. So let’s think about how long ago service merchandise went out of business. I think it was the eighties. Was that give you an idea they were using spreadsheets back then. I think it’s time people

Intro/Outro (00:59:09):


Scott Luton (00:59:10):

So much good stuff. Uh, and by the way, we gotta give a shout out to Fred Tolbert. Who is the, um, Greg, what did you deem? Fred? Fred is a doc of supply

Greg White (00:59:22):


Scott Luton (00:59:23):

If you want to hot take. And if you will know what is a hooey and supply chain, a reach out to Fred, he’s amazing.

Greg White (00:59:31):

I mean, amazing Southern accent. I love it. It is like watching doc holiday talk, supply chain.

Scott Luton (00:59:37):

He will be your huckleberry, all right around the panel here and make sure folks can connect with Mary Kate and Leddy and Paul, um, such a, I wish we had a couple more hours to dive deeper in some of these things we’ve talked about here today, but Paul, I’ll start with you. How can folks connect with you? Embarrass them.

Paul Noble (00:59:55):

Yeah, so, uh,, uh, at Verisign underscore AI and all this, uh, social channels. And then, uh, reach me on email Look forward to hearing from you all and Letty about you.

Lettie Barrett (01:00:12):

It’s a lady Barrett on LinkedIn. I’m pretty active on there. Uh, and then yeah, like Paul said, all of our social channels for Verisign.

Scott Luton (01:00:21):

Well then I’m might let, y’all get away just that easily because you’ve got a webinar this week. And I think we’ve got Amanda, you may have the link, if you could drop in the comments really quick in a very small acorn nutshell. Leddy Paul, what’s the webinar about?

Lettie Barrett (01:00:36):

Yeah. So we’ll be having a webinar this Wednesday at two o’clock. We would love to see you guys there. We’re going to get, go into just a quick overview about Verisign and what we do with our customers. And we’ll go into a product demo, uh, and really give you guys a hands-on experience about what it feels like to be a customer of hearsay.

Scott Luton (01:00:53):

Outstanding. Really appreciate that buddy,

Paul Noble (01:00:56):

These monthly. So if you can make it, you can always get the recording and, uh, or join us next month. Perfect knowledge in those.

Scott Luton (01:01:04):

Agreed. All right. So Mary, Kate, uh, first off, I’ll get your autograph because, uh, founder of national supply chain day is a title that, uh, is a feat that not many can pull off. So great to have you back is it feels like it’s been forever, but I’d love to catch up with you and hear all the great things you’re doing out in industry. How can folks connect with you?

Lettie Barrett (01:01:24):

Yeah. So, uh, MK love to on Twitter or Mary Kate, that loves fell just like you think it is my email right

Scott Luton (01:01:34):

Temporarily at LinkedIn. That’s right. Connect on LinkedIn. I think we’ve got, uh, your LinkedIn profile on the show notes along with Letty and Paul, Greg, what a great conversation we’ve had with w we knew what we were in store for today. Um, but standing conversation, huh?

Greg White (01:01:50):

Yeah. I mean, first of all, what great topics, what a great day to be discussing these topics, right? We are rolling with the vaccine and, and to examine what that means for the supply chain, I think is really, really important. And of course, all of this, this is the thing that people need to recognize about supply chain. And that is that even though this huge news happened, and this is probably all, most of the world has their eyes on right now, we still in supply chain, have our eyes on sustainability and packaging and all, all resiliency and antifragility and all of these things, and the changes that continue to evolve in supply chain, regardless of what else is going on.

Scott Luton (01:02:34):

That’s a great call out. Uh, Greg, Ed’s a great call out because, uh, global supply chain don’t stop just because there is a new noble mission and, um, in a massive vaccine that the world is demanding. Everything else has got to keep going. Everything else. I mean, Mary Kate mentioned groceries. I mean, folks are getting groceries via e-commerce or, or just traditional, you know, the Sheldon’s still gotta stay full. It’s a Navy thing. Just, I mean, despite the challenges or as someone famous put up the warts and all right, there’s plenty of opportunity for improvement. The supply chain, the sheer resilience that using that buzzword, the sheer, the sheer resilience that has already baked into global supply chain. In fact, we’ve got stuff at our fingertips around the corner at your, your grocery store. Wow. Uh, supply chains are tackling the vaccine, uh, distribution. Uh, it’s really nothing short of amazing. So, and by the way, Mary Kate send that parking ticket over to supply. And now we’re going to pick that thing up, not a problem, your pier,

Greg White (01:03:33):

But always a pleasure. You’ve expensed that to somebody by now. I will have to tell you about how many tickets I got Letty knows in a various point. It becomes your fault. Yeah, it, it, it was, uh,

Scott Luton (01:03:50):

Greg Bob Bova was tuned in with us here at Beech mobile. Great to have you here. Absolutely. All right. Big show, Bob. That’s right. Nickname. So big. Thanks to Paul Noble, founder and CEO at Verisign Leddy Barrett senior business analyst also with Verisign. A great job love to see, uh, uh, Verisign is on the move and really love to see what you are doing to transform industry. And of course, our dear friend, Mary Kate Leb operations business integration lead from Georgia Pacific and founder of national supply chain day as you’re to have all three of you with us here today, Greg, we’re going to sign off. The swoosh machine is broken this week. We’re going to, we got to put it in the shop. So we’re going to walk one off at once. That’s right, everybody at once,

Greg White (01:04:35):

We didn’t do, we didn’t do our, um, we didn’t do our, uh, survey on the video wave. You’re all in favor of the wave here. Are we not? We can do the wave instead of the swoosh,

Scott Luton (01:04:52):

Just before we’re going to bring that poll back on Thursdays, uh, live stream, uh, really pulse to audience to get our research going like the Verisign team. Uh, but before we sign off, Hey, we’re going to challenge our audience. Like we challenge our team every single day, do good, give forward and be the change that’s needed. And on that note, see you next time

Intro/Outro (01:05:11):

Go Browns.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Watch as Scott and Greg welcome Paul, Lettie, and Mary Kate to Supply Chain Now through our YouTube channel.

Featured Guests

Paul Noble, As Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Verusen, an innovator in supply chain data, inventory and procurement technology, Paul Noble oversees the company’s vision and strategic direction. He has extensive experience in the industrial supply chain and distribution space, as he was recognized as a Supply Chain Pros to Know by Supply and Demand Chain Executive in 2020, 2021 & 2022. Prior to founding Verusen, Noble spent over a decade with The Sherwin-Williams Company, where he specialized in supply chain/manufacturing and led its Eastern U.S. Industrial Distribution business unit. Noble graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Management and Marketing from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. Connect with Paul on LinkedIn. 

Mary Kate Love is currently an Operations + Emerging Tech Leader for Georgia-Pacific. Mary Kate has a variety of experiences in start-ups and building innovation initiatives from the ground up: she previously helped lead the build out of the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific and prior to that, MxD (Manufacturing times Digital): the Department of Defense’s digital manufacturing innovation center. Mary Kate has a passion in taking complicated ideas and turning them into a reality: she was one of the first team members at MxD and the first team member at the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific. Mary Kate dedicates her extra time to education and mentorship: she was one of the founding Board Members for Women Influence Chicago and led an initiative for a city-wide job shadow day for young women across Chicago tech companies and currently is on the Board of Directors at St. Laurence High School in Chicago. Mary Kate has also held positions on the Young Irish Fellowship Board, Women in Technology Atlanta, the South Side Irish Parade Committee and the UN Committee for Women. Mary Kate is from Chicago, currently lives in Atlanta and is an avid 16-inch softball player. She holds a BS in Political Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is also currently pursuing her MBA from U of I.

Lettie Barrett Lettie is a Nashville native and graduated from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville (go Vols!) with a degree in supply chain management & marketing. After graduating, Lettie moved to Atlanta for a job in Sourcing & Procurement inside Georgia-Pacific, then joined their supply chain innovation center as employee #3. Lettie has 3+ years of supply chain experience working on cross-functional initiatives such as; MRO & Capital category analytics, process improvement, automation, value tracking, relationship management, and innovation. She thrives in fast-paced, dynamic environments where she can wear many hats and creatively work “outside the box”. Lettie’s passion for the supply chain has continued to grow as she has joined the Verusen team as a Senior Business Analyst supporting the team in sales, marketing and operational initiatives. She is excited to work for a company that solves challenges she once saw in her sourcing and procurement experience, and is excited change how the supply chain works! Fun fact: On the weekends, you can find Lettie at the dog park with her pup, on a bike ride or a hike with her friends.


Greg White

Principal & Host

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www., which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys.  She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.

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Vicki White


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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

Katherine Hintz, MBA is a marketing professional 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.

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Kim Reuter

Host, The Freight Insider

From humble beginnings working the import docks, representing Fortune 500 giants, Ford, Michelin Tire, and Black & Decker; to Amazon technology patent holder and Nordstrom Change Leader, Kimberly Reuter has designed, implemented, and optimized best-in-class, highly scalable global logistics and retail operations all over the world. Kimberly’s ability to set strategic vision supported by bomb-proof processes, built on decades of hands-on experience, has elevated her to legendary status. Sought after by her peers and executives for her intellectual capital and keen insights, Kimberly is a thought leader in the retail logistics industry.

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Kristi Porter

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.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Mary Kate Love

VP, Marketing

Mary Kate Love is currently the VP of marketing at Supply Chain Now focused on brand strategy and audience + revenue growth. Mary Kate’s career is a testament to her versatility and innovative spirit: she has experience in start-ups, venture capital, and building innovation initiatives from the ground up: she previously helped lead the build-out of the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific and before that, MxD (Manufacturing times Digital): the Department of Defense’s digital manufacturing innovation center. Mary Kate has a passion for taking complicated ideas and turning them into reality: she was one of the first team members at MxD and the first team member at the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific.

Mary Kate dedicates her extra time to education and mentorship: she was one of the founding Board Members for Women Influence Chicago and led an initiative for a city-wide job shadow day for young women across Chicago tech companies and was previously on the Board of Directors at St. Laurence High School in Chicago, Young Irish Fellowship Board and the UN Committee for Women. Mary Kate is the founder of National Supply Chain Day and enjoys co-hosting podcasts at Supply Chain Now. Mary Kate is from the south side of Chicago, a mom of two baby boys, and an avid 16-inch softball player. She holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Adrian Purtill

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.

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

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.

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Nick Roemer

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.

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Allison Giddens

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.

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Billy Taylor

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.

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Tandreia Bellamy

Host, Supply Chain Now

Tandreia Bellamy retired as the Vice President of Industrial Engineering for UPS Supply Chain Solutions which included the Global Logistics, Global Freight Forwarding and UPS Freight business units. She was responsible for operations strategy and planning, asset management, forecasting, and technology tool development to optimize sustainable efficiency while driving world class service.

Tandreia held similar positions at the business unit level for Global Logistics and Global Freight forwarding. As the leader of the Global Logistics engineering function, she directed all industrial engineering activies related to distribution, service parts logistics (post-sales support), and mail innovations (low cost, light weight shipping partnership with the USPS). Between these roles Tandreia helped to establish the Advanced Technology Group which was formed to research and develop cutting edge solutions focused on reducing reliance on manual labor.

Tandreia began her career in 1986 as a part-time hourly manual package handling employee. She spent the great majority of her career in the small package business unit which is responsible for the pick-up, sort, transport and delivery of packages domestically. She held various positions in Industrial Engineering, Marketing, Inside and On-road operations in Central Florida before transferring to Atlanta for a position in Corporate Product Development and Corporate Industrial Engineering. Tandreia later held IE leadership roles in Nebraska, Minnesota and Chicago. In her final role in small package she was an IE VP responsible for all aspects of IE, technology support and quality for the 25 states on the western half of the country.
Tandreia is currently a Director for the University of Central Florida (UCF) Foundation Board and also serves on their Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Previously Tandreia served on the Executive Advisory Board for Virginia Tech’s IE Department and the Association for Supply Chain Management. She served on the Board of Trustees for ChildServ (a Chicago child and family services non-profit) and also served on the Texas A&M and Tuskegee Engineering Advisory Boards. In 2006 she was named Business Advisor of the Year by INROADS, in 2009 she was recognized as a Technology All-Star at the Women of Color in STEM conference and in 2019 she honored as a UCF Distinguished Aluma by the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems.

Tandreia holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems from UCF. Her greatest accomplishment, however, is being the proud mother of two college students, Ruby (24) and Anthony (22).

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. 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.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & CMO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.

Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.

When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Constantine Limberakis


Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research.Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

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.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

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.

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