Supply Chain Now
Episode 535

Episode Summary

“My expectation for 2021 is there’s going to be a lot more that we read about in the area of ‘micro fulfillment’ centers, because it’s definitely the way to go.”

– Mike Griswold is the Vice President of Research at Gartner


While 2020 seemed uniquely turbulent to most of us, Mike Griswold wisely points out that we had disruption before COVID-19 burst on the scene, and we will have new, unexpected disruptions after the pandemic loosens its grip on our businesses and daily lives. The question is whether companies will be able to position for success in those future disruptions while they are still dealing with the ramifications of this year.

Mike Griswold is the Vice President of Research at Gartner, specializing in retail with a particular focus on forecasting and replenishment. He is responsible for Gartner’s annual Top 25 Supply Chain ranking and joins Supply Chain Now on a monthly basis to discuss the latest in retail supply chains from an analyst’s perspective.

In this conversation, Mike tells Supply Chain Now Host Scott Luton:

· Why the COVID-19 pandemic should (finally) bring to an end any lingering confusion between the meaning of resiliency and agility in corporate supply chains

· The conversation that needs to continue to happen with finance around inventory, particularly when companies make the decision to strategically hold more inventory

· The talent investments he expects to see trend upward in 2021, especially around the social supply chain

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 (00:00:32):

Good morning, Scott Luton here with your own supply chain. Now welcome to today’s live stream today. We are continuing our series supply chain today and tomorrow with, with Mike Griswold, with Gartner, we’re going to continue a very popular series here. Not only, or we’re getting key insights from Mike own the year that was really close to being was in a couple of weeks here, but 2020s and give us some key observations there, but something I’m excited about. He’s going to be sharing some of Gartner’s big bets stuff to look out for in 2021. So you’re not going to miss it. We’re going to be working really hard today to raise your supply chain act QA quick, programming it before we get started here today. If you like this conversation, be sure to find supply chain. Now, wherever you get your podcasts from and subscribe. So you don’t miss a single thing. Hey, programming note number two, Greg white is off on assignment today. Out in the marketplace. He will be back with us on the buzz on Monday. You better believe it and he’ll be bringing it as always. So today with no further ado, it’s mano a mano with Mr. Mike Rosewall. Vice-president analyst with Gartner. Hey Mike.

Mike Griswold (00:01:44):

Good morning. Good morning. Good to talk to you. It’s great. We have all this time now to talk about grey. Cause he’s not here. I can’t wait.

Scott Luton (00:01:52):

Well, you know, I’m excited cause I might be able to get in three or four words and today’s conference. Yeah,

Mike Griswold (00:01:56):

Yes. True. For both of us actually.

Scott Luton (00:01:59):

That’s right. Wait, getting aside. W w we miss all Greg, uh, I tell you it’s been a for sure. Furious finish to the year. And uh, but with that in mind, I’m excited about this conversation. We always enjoy this, this monthly dose of knowledge. You bring here to supply chain now and our community. We’ve heard a lot about what you’ve shared here. So thanks so much for carving some time out, given all of the inquiries and expertise interviews your team has been doing here in recent weeks.

Mike Griswold (00:02:27):

Oh, it’s my pleasure. I, I really enjoy spending time with you guys. I enjoy the discussion with, uh, with the audience as well. And I look forward to this, uh, every month. So hopefully we can keep it going for 2021.

Scott Luton (00:02:40):

Yeah, I, I love that. We enjoy it. So let’s say hello to a few folks from the audience here. Five hello via LinkedIn. Great to have you joined in here, Kayvon. Hey, great to have you back on the live streams and enjoyed our social interactions and hope this finds you well, where you are. Petique good afternoon, everybody tuning in via LinkedIn. He says, how are you all going to spend the holidays? Well, we’re going to touch on some of that probably through the conversation, but Pristiq as to our family here, we’re on the outskirts of Metro Atlanta. And as much as we’d love to pack into the truck and, and take the couple of hour drive to the family, we’re going to be home for the holidays, but that’s okay. There’s lots of good news. If you, if you look forward. So hopefully this finds you and your family.

Scott Luton (00:03:24):

Well, let’s see here, Daria Daria really have enjoyed, uh, your social media commentary here as of late. So keep it coming. And we’re going to have to have you make an appearance, maybe on an upcoming live stream. My bear with me just a minute. We’ve got a Sheree of folks. That’s great. It is great. Karnak hope this finds you well via LinkedIn, Dr. Vias readings from Bangalore Bangalore, India. Great to have you here with us, Luke, small digital transformation guru. Great to have you here with us. Luke, hope this, uh, you and your family, this finds you well, the Battelle via LinkedIn. Great to have you here. And Alberto, hello from Brazil. Great to have you here with us, uh, via LinkedIn as well. All right. So Mike, we’ve got so much stuff to talk with you and, and to get you to share with our audience here today, but for getting the business, we’re going to start with our not so lightning round questions have gotten longer, longer, perhaps. Sure. We’ve got some good ones here. So we’ve got three questions. Uh, we appreciate your sportsmanship. The first question is going to be, Hey, what was one of your biggest Eureka moments this year?

Mike Griswold (00:04:30):

Yeah, I th I was thinking about that before we, before we hopped on, I, I’m going to go back to probably the middle of may. We had decided, uh, you know, before that, that all of our events from the gardener side, we’re going to go virtual. And we had our supply chain top 25 reveal that we typically had done at the in-person event that we had decided we were now going to do it, you know, virtually via a webinar. And I think my big Eureka moment was not really knowing how many we would have. We had close to 3000 people on the webinar from a, from a feedback perspective. It was the highest rated webinar that we’ve done. And it was the highest rated, uh, evaluation we had gotten for the top 25. So I think the Eureka moment for me was people, even though we had to be virtual, we’re still really interested in that top 25 learning from other organizations. And I think it’s done well as we’ve carried it through. In some of our monthly discussions, is people wanting to learn more about what these leading supply chains are doing. So I think that was my big Eureka moment that it doesn’t have to be in person. People just want that insight in any way that we could give it to them.

Scott Luton (00:05:42):

Excellent. Love that. And speaking of that top 25, which we’ve really enjoyed here for going back years, uh, one of the masters, uh, masters category right up at the top folks that have been there, uh, in the top rankings for a number of years, Amazon has announced that they’re going to be looking to train 29 million people across the globe on tech skills. And I thought as we’re all looking for good news, that’s such a great move, uh, that continues that technology democratization movement. And we love that here. And we’re looking forward to 2020 ones watching top 25 lists as well. Okay. So moving right along, we, of course, are in the middle of holiday season per critiques. Uh, question earlier, what has been Mike Griswold, one of your most cherished gifts that you’ve received in recent years?

Mike Griswold (00:06:28):

So it’s, it’s probably going to be, um, I have two children and I’m going to call up my daughter. So my son will probably be texting me at some point saying, you know what she, the favorite, but my daughter has three girls. So three granddaughters, and every year she, she puts together kind of a picture collage. Uh, and it turns out either into a calendar, uh, into a poster. Uh, last year it turned into one of these little things that actually has its own little artist easel that I put it on in my office. So those are the ones that I really appreciate as a is it just gives me a kind of a constant reminder of the grandkids. Uh, and I really liked the fact that she’s taken the time to put the pictures together and, and all that. So those are the ones that I, I probably cherish the most.

Scott Luton (00:07:16):

I love that. I love that so much. Um, speaking of the holidays, we’ve got some comments here. Uh, so Gary Smith is with us and they’re talking about holidays and maybe a white Christmas. And Gary says he lived in Atlanta for 35 years. So he never got used to snow. He’s now in New York city, by the way.

Mike Griswold (00:07:32):

Oh, good luck with that. Yeah. They’re getting hammered.

Scott Luton (00:07:35):

Yes they are. And by the way, Gary, a lot of great feedback we’ve gotten on your guest appearance on this week in business history, love your, your take on the Wright brothers story. So much of that, that, you know, we don’t get the full story oftentimes, and you did a very nice job there. Gary now, Mike Avra and Mike [inaudible] says being from South Florida, I never saw snow until I was 13 on a trip to Washington DC in seventh grade. Wow. That would be quite a trip to see snow for the first time

Mike Griswold (00:08:04):

I was watching the weather channel this morning, uh, central park at 10 inches. And I’m a firm believer that I never want to be at the same place at the same time as Jim can Tori cause usually those bad things happen wherever Jim is.

Scott Luton (00:08:16):

That is right. And then one of the comments, so Sylvia, Judy, great to have you back with us. Uh, evidently it is frosty in Charleston as well. Hope this finds you and your family. Well, okay. Final question here in the lightning rounds, we finished up the latest lightning round with Mike Griswold from Gartner. Uh, so give us some good news. What, what have you found here lately the last few weeks to be uplifting and, and to make you feel good?

Mike Griswold (00:08:40):

Uh, I think it’s probably an easy one. Um, and one that people, I think may look and say, yeah, that’s obvious, but it is, to me, it’s, it’s been the whole discussion around the vaccine. I think the fact that, you know, it’s out, it’s being administered around the world. Uh, I don’t know that I would necessarily have picked a 90 year old woman in the UK to be the very first person I’ve accelerated, but, um, the fact that it’s out, um, and you know, on the news, I’m now hearing many more stories around the distribution strategy. Where’s it going? Who’s going to get it. Uh, and I’m hearing, I would rather hear that than hear the continuous story of how many cases we have, how many deaths we have and all that. So to me, the good news is that we have a vaccine. Um, I think it frankly is probably here sooner than people really thought it would be. Uh, but the fact that it’s it’s here, it’s being distributed around the world, I think gives, gives me hope that we might have a chance to having a better 20, 21 than we had 2020,

Scott Luton (00:09:42):

Well put well put and, you know, while there’s certainly plenty of money being made in the vaccine distribution, there’s also a lot of, uh, what we’re calling the noble mission. And there, there are lots of things that are taking place with no concern for profitability, right? We’ve been talking with folks, some are dear friends in Africans, some of them, some of the challenges they have, they’re no bridges across rivers that we talked about earlier, um, on Monday on the buzz and, and, you know, uh, we’ve got quite, we’ve got our, uh, as some have put it, this is supply, this is a global supply chain communities call calling. This is, this is why we exist. So really I think there is, there is to your point, a lot of good news there now on a much different level. Uh, you know, we went around the horn a bit last week and talked about some of the good news we’ve seen out in the marketplace.

Scott Luton (00:10:26):

Uh, we’ve got a regular live stream participant Rhonda with global trans, and they were amongst a wide variety of companies that were recognized as one of the 20, 20 green supply chain award winners. Sally eaves talked about that Amazon story, uh, where they’re going to take it upon themselves to train all those millions of people and that what should, should open the doors for all kinds of opportunities. Sure. Career wise, those are great stories. And in this day and age where there’s lots of no shortage of bad and challenging news, there’s plenty of good news if you look for it. And I think we can drop that link in the comments. Okay. So want to say a load to a few additional folks before we start to really get down to business and get, uh, some of what Mike has prepared for our audience here today. Peter greetings from Montreal, he says it’s negative 16 Celsius. Wow. We shouldn’t be complaining, Mike. I don’t know. At least not here in Atlanta.

Mike Griswold (00:11:21):

Yeah, no. I mean, that’s it. I keep a couple of numbers handy. Zero Celsius is 30 to us. So they’re getting in probably low double digits. It minus 16 would be my guess,

Scott Luton (00:11:34):

Oh gosh, David, who is in up in Canada, negative 21. David hope is fine. David really enjoyed. I think it was on the bus on Monday. Uh, you had your sense of humor was dialed in, so y’all keep it coming here today. Great to have you and hope this finds you and your family doing well. And then Sophia, Sophia, great to you here. I have enjoyed, uh, lots of your social media commentary and I think you just made an appearance with our friend, Sarah, but uh, let’s talk supply chain, so good stuff there. Sophia, keep it coming. All right. So Mike full house here today, and that doesn’t surprise me given what you bring month in a month out. So let’s talk about some of your, I think we’re going to, uh, build a list of three, three really important key takeaways or observations here for 2020. So w where do we want to start there?

Mike Griswold (00:12:22):

Yeah, I think, I think the first one is if anyone had the chance to attend any of our virtual summit sessions, you know, one of the recurring themes during the keynotes was this idea of ongoing turbulence and continuous disruption. We’ve been talking about that for a couple of years at our events. It was a theme a couple of years ago, and I think what, what I’m seeing and hearing and what, and what, you know, I think we’re gearing up for is a series of disruptions over the next few years that are gonna affect the supply chain. I’m hoping that there is nothing that is the magnitude of the duration that we’re going through now, but I think organizations, many organizations have taken an opportunity to take a look at how have they responded through this disruption, what have they learned and what can they put in place in the organization that allows them to better respond to the next disruption?

Mike Griswold (00:13:25):

My, my concern or my caution for folks is to think that this is our last disruption, because, you know, there were disruptions before COVID COVID is certainly a disruption and there are going to be disruptions afterwards. Like I said, hopefully not as big, but I think that my big takeaway from 2020 is the fact that many organizations took the opportunity to revisit things like risk playbooks, build them out, think even differently about what risk looks like. Right. I think we talked on one of our episodes around, you know, in, in most retailers, early playbooks, there never would have been a page that says your stores are closed for three months. Literally closed no people in no people out. Now it needs to be right. It needs to be a page. How do you, how do you ramp up e-commerce and those types of things. So I think getting used to disruption and how your organization has learned to deal with that, I think is, is one of the big takeaways for me in 2020. Thanks.

Scott Luton (00:14:25):

And, you know, um, one of the big four firms came out with, uh, exhaustive research, not too long ago, to your point about expect major disruption, every 3.8 years. And Lord knows, we are not hoping that that is in the form of pandemics. Right. Uh, but, but to your point, you’re, you’re absolutely right. That’s just where we live. That’s the name of the game here, moving forward. So, all right, before we get second big observation, I want to share a couple of things here. David says at 19 degrees Celsius, we start turning on the AC. So Paula is tuned in via Kansas city and the weather has been going, being diverted around, but Paula, great to have you here, uh, greetings to you and your family. They’re in the heart of the country and hope this finds you well, let’s move right along. So what’s the second big observation here from 2020 Mike.

Mike Griswold (00:15:18):

I think if, if I were to categorize kind of the hot topic inquiry that we took across all organizations, it would boil down to resiliency and agility. And my guess is people that are in the supply chain profession are probably tired of hearing that. In fact, we, if you talk to our chief of research, Mike, us skirt, he would tell you that we’re probably going to try to ban those why words, resiliency and agility in 2021. But, um, those are important topics. And I think what, what my takeaway from 2020 was there may have been a tendency pre pandemic for people to use resiliency and digital images interchangeably. And I think what’s emerged during this disruption is the distinction between the two agility being, how quickly can I respond and adapt to some type of disruptions or change. And the resiliency piece is, is literally what’s my time to survive and what’s my time to recover.

Mike Griswold (00:16:24):

And how do I build both of those capabilities into my supply chain? How do I reconfigure and redesign my supply chain to be more agile, but also how do I look at my existing processes and, and, you know, my relationships with suppliers potentially, how do I make myself more resilient? And I think being able to clearly define those two within your organization, that was my big takeaway or one of the big takeaways I think from 2020 is more and more organizations are now recognizing those are really two different things and we need to treat them, manage them and configure our supply chain to deal with both of those.

Scott Luton (00:17:06):

Okay, excellent. And clearly your, your list soliciting some, uh, great feedback from the comments. And we’ll share that in a moment, Monday on the buzz, uh, with our friends, uh, Paul from Verisign, a few others, we talked about this, this article from supply chain brain that was focused on how to create anti-fragile supply chains instead of using that resilient word is antifragile, which really, anytime a word becomes, um, cliche, it really takes away. We talked about at least earliest week, it takes away a lot of the power and, and, um, impact of the word, right? Cause folks get used to hearing all this stop thinking what it really means perhaps. So like your commentary there and share a few comments from the audience here. So Sylvia adding transparency to the wow words. Absolutely. Yes. Kayvon the disruptions continuously occur, resilience mitigates the effects hashtag get prepared. Michael says recovery time is crucial. Excellent point there and pray teak. I want finish here before, get your third observation. Uh, Mike partakes got some really interesting questions and let’s see here, how should the companies build their inventory in future? Keeping in mind the magnitude of disruption like this of COVID, should they believe less in lean system by stocky more or the opposite? Mike? Any initial thoughts there?

Mike Griswold (00:18:31):

Yeah, I think it’s a, it’s a great call out per teak. I think one of the things that had started to happen pre COVID, if I think about where I spend most of my time, which is a retail, I think because of what was a upward trajectory of e-commerce volume, it certainly went more like this when COVID hit, but it was already ramping up. People were already asking themselves the question, do we have enough inventory? Right? Do we have it in the right spot? So the lean discussion and the whole just in time discussion, I think was starting to slow down because we had this, this volume that we were fulfilling out of the stores. So I, I think to your question, I think the lean discussion is still going to get parked for awhile. Uh, I think because of some of these customer requirements, but also I think as we, as we try to understand how do we, how do we mitigate some of these disruptions?

Mike Griswold (00:19:23):

Part of it is going to have to be asking ourselves questions around, you know, the reliability of the demand signal. Do I need to buffer for that? The reliability of my suppliers, do I need to buffer for that? So I think what we’re going to find is probably more buffering than we would have been comfortable with probably just two years ago. But I think we’ve got to be more comfortable with that because of these other external influences that are going to affect supply. Some of which we can control a good chunk of which we can’t control. Uh, and, and at the end, we still need to provide some level of a customer experience,

Scott Luton (00:20:02):

Excellent point and, and talk about current hot priorities, that customer experience, employee experience, user experience so much work going into those areas and, and for the foreseeable future, for sure. But to your point, what’s also going to be interesting as it relates to inventory is the impact, excuse me, of the vaccine distribution on some of that current infrastructure, that’s being used to move food and frozen food in particular, fresh fruits and vegetables. And for that matter also how cargo, how the ripple effect is going to impact how cargo moves in, especially in airports around the world. So to our audience, let me get you all to weigh in on that. Those kind of the unintended consequences of fulfilling the noble mission would be really interesting. So let’s add a couple of, cause of David wanted to address pre-tax question. I think you’re going to see a combination. The lean system will not be as lean as companies try to have a little more cushion as Mike was talking about as well as things get back to normal, but you will not see stocking more increased to exponentially

Mike Griswold (00:21:01):

Slightly. I would agree. And I think what you’re also going to see is you’re going to see, I think some more work done around targeted inventory builds, right? Maybe towards specific customers, maybe towards critical components. If I have a bill of materials I need to, to build to that will lead to a finished product. So I do think it’s, there’s going to be build, I agree with that. I also think it’s going to be targeted, right. And really try to understand where do I need to hedge my bets with inventory again, uh, geared around that whole customer experience. Thanks

Scott Luton (00:21:38):

Bullet point. Gary says resiliency plus agility equals adaptability. That is the secret to supply chain success. I like that. I do too. I think Gary, I think he had that on your email signature as well. I love that. And then Sophia says also speaking to break teaks question, I think it depends, but both strategies could work together across your supply chain. One does not exclude the other entirely better inventory. Distribution is key to being responsive, especially as you get closer to the consumer. And as one of our, um, Mike, one of my favorite episodes this year was with, uh, friends over at Connexus who, who coined this term, that supply chain is keeper of the last touch to the consumer.

Mike Griswold (00:22:19):

I love that. Yeah, I agree. I think the other thing that we’re seeing, and I think one of the things organizations have to rustle with internally is internal education around the role that inventory plays as it relates to our friends in finance. Certainly I think what we’re going to see is more inventory carried on the, on the balance sheet. We’re going to see probably lower inventory productivity because we’re carrying more inventory for all the right reasons. So I think that discussion needs to happen between the supply chain and the CFO as an example, because typically if we rewind the clock, right, what, where was the first place finance went to look for? You know, taking money out of the business, it was inventory, right? So that conversation, I think, needs to continue to happen.

Scott Luton (00:23:09):

And you know, I’m hoping consumers are so savvy these days, right there, they are all this data at their fingertips. They’ve certainly learned a lot more about supply chain and how e-commerce works. I’m hoping they also learn some of those kind of behind closed doors decisions and why inventory has been impacted. That’s a great point, Mike. Um, all right. So you know what we’re missing? We’ve got way too much agreement here. Mike, we’re missing the Greg white, our dear Greg white, who to our audience tuned in here, here late. Greg white is out in the field on assignment, uh, big, special project. And Hey, here’s a little challenge. Let’s have some fun. If you’ve got a hot take on something, drop it in the comments, make sure you put hot take in front. Uh, cause we need, we need to have Greg white represented in its spirit here today. All right. So a few comments from our audience here, David says less product lines will lead to less skews. Great point. We’ve seen a lot of Mike every time we talk, we get together. We talk about skew rationalization.

Mike Griswold (00:24:09):

Yeah, that’s a great point. I mean, my reaction to that is I’ve had conversations on both sides of that with the consumer products companies that are rationalizing their skews, the retailers who are the consumers of that. My, my concern. And I think I’ve shared this here with the audience before. My concern is we’re doing a lot of really good work, I think, and have done a lot of good work on rationalizing the skews. You know, how many flavors of catch up do I need the minute? The minute we get any glimpse of normalcy, we forget all about skew rationalization. So we need to find a way to, to kind of keep the decisions that we made sticky because they were the right decisions to make around rationalization. We are really, it resist the urge to kind of let our, let our, our skews bloat again. Cause that that’s my concern. And then we are back into a case where we’ve got lots of the wrong inventory and it, that in of itself can drag down our productivity

Scott Luton (00:25:03):

Great point. And I wonder if it’s going to spur more innovation. It’s not a new thing anymore, but you know, like Coke’s freestyle machine where you didn’t have to have all of the individual products, you could make it there right at the point of sale, I’ve loved it because I can never get cheery caffeine, free diet Coke anywhere

Mike Griswold (00:25:22):

Except machines.

Scott Luton (00:25:24):

So curious to see how that develops. Uh, let’s take a few comments here. So big show Bob Bova. Great to have you here, Bob, as micro fulfillment centers proliferate, the inventory will increase and regional analysis will help

Mike Griswold (00:25:37):

With correct levels. Yeah. Robert, that’s a great point. I mean, I think we’ve seen with the growth in e-commerce the analysts that look at e-commerce fulfillment would tell you that we’ve seen an incredible growth in inquiry around micro fulfillment centers in dark stores. I think we were headed that way. But what COVID did is, is when we had, you know, 30, 40, 50% increase in, in store order requirements that quickly pushed people to say this, you know, we’re going to continue to hemorrhage money if we don’t find a better way to do it. So my expectation for 2021 is there’s going to be a lot more that we read about in this area of micro fulfillment centers, because it’s definitely the way to go. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:26:19):

Yeah. Great point there. Uh, Peter says ads add to that inventory visibility while in transit goods and transit and where they are along the route to the customer. A great call-out Peter. Yeah. Because consumers want to know how many means we’ve seen here lately about, uh, what else are you on Facebook? A couple of times here, that package is in the good Lord’s hands. Know what no one knows where it is here. And sit a lot of that here lately, uh, near FOD says I used to be resilient and nimble and agile, but then I added donuts to my diet. Now I’m just resilient. Donut inventory is still stable though. I love that. And let’s see, Gary agrees with you. Uh, there will be targeted inventory builds, especially with PPE, great point medical equipment and other key materials, but here’s something Mike, I read about a month or two ago, perhaps 3d printing, especially as it relates to masks, there are companies and it’s being led by the VA.

Scott Luton (00:27:14):

Uh, some of these initiatives are stockpiling electronic designs and, and, and some of the materials needed for, um, for 3d printing to be prepared, to ramp up really quick production of masks. And that that’s pretty neat, you know, coming from our household where Amanda wrapped up, uh, ramped up the domestic mass production, she was sewing mass left and right. A few months back and sending it off to, you know, different folks that we know in healthcare. It’ll be interesting to see how 3d printing can be applied and, and, and alleviate some of these shortfall for PPE. Huh?

Mike Griswold (00:27:47):

Yeah. I mean, I think there, there certainly is an opportunity in the 3d printing. My wife went through the same thing. It’s interesting though, as a supply chain guy, her and I had conversations. We, you talked to you earlier, Scott, about some of the unintended consequences you go into you, at least at the time you went into your local craft store and the elastics were out of stock. There weren’t enough elastics that you needed for the masks. So it’s some of these other ancillary things that become critical for people to want to do things themselves that, you know, as a company, as a supply chain. And we need to be thinking about not just the big things that are highly visible, but some of these components like elastic and like even some of the, the fabric, um, those become critical as well for us to figure out how do we manage those?

Scott Luton (00:28:35):

Excellent. Call-out excellent. Call-out and I remember going store to store trying to find any kind of elastic, keep up with production here. Um, right. Couple more comments. And then we’re going to get your last observation with 2020. Sylvia says my tier one and OEM customers are an overdrive to build up inventory by including their logistics providers in the process. Love that transparency plus agility equals resilience. And you know, if we’ve seen anything here in recent years, not keep, not elbowing people out of conversations, but bring them in so that they’re more informed about what’s coming. That’s who would’ve thunk. It might who would’ve thought.

Mike Griswold (00:29:11):

Yeah, I think the other thing to that comment, I had a conversation with, um, a paint manufacturer around their SNOP process. And I use them as an example for, for folks that in general, you know, make stuff because what they’re wrestling with is right now, they cannot keep up with demand. People are in their homes, people want to do their own craft stuff. So I mean, they’re, they’re painting everything, but at some point we’ll reach a tipping point where people decide, okay, I want to get outside the money I would’ve spent on pain. I’m not going to spend on something else. So what they’re, what they’re wrestling with and what I think other companies are wrestling with is at what point do I stop this frenetic buildup of inventory because I have unmet demand. And when do I start to think about, okay, I’ve got enough demand in the market.

Mike Griswold (00:30:05):

Let’s let that kind of get absorbed naturally and then pick up a new demand signal. I have the same conversation with one of the sporting good retailers I work with. Who’s trying to figure out bikes, right? They, there are no bikes around because people decide, Hey, you know, we’re in lockdown. I can at least ride my bike around. So there were no bikes in the market. Now their question is okay, has everyone bought a bike? And is there nowhere people to buy bikes or do I need to build inventory back up in the event that there’s another run on bikes. So that whole balancing where we are and where we’re going to be, I think is really important for people that are in the business of making things. Because that to me is, is you run the risk of, you know, the paint people, you know, ramping up all this production and then be sitting on millions and millions of gallons of paint because people are tired of painting.

Scott Luton (00:30:56):

Great point. And in fact, Mike says bullwhip effect multiplied by a pandemic mind. Great point. Yep. And finally Jeff says in 10 years, this, this might be a hot take, will be 3d printing food airdropping printers into natural disaster areas. Kind of like the, uh, the food generators own stuff.

Mike Griswold (00:31:14):

Yeah, exactly. None of it looked very good, but yeah,

Scott Luton (00:31:18):

Mike, I’m just glad that you knew what I was talking about. I was worried I was gonna be the only Trekkie here, two of us today. All right. And pre-teach, you’re asking some great questions in the comments, so y’all, y’all keep that up. So let’s get your last observation here on 2020. We may have touched on already, but please.

Mike Griswold (00:31:32):

Sure. Yeah. I, I think it’s the underlying importance of talent. You know, one of the, one of the things I’m going to talk about in our big bets is this idea of the social supply chain and the social organization. And I think, you know, finding, finding talent, particularly in some of those high demand areas, you know, like data scientists and machine learning, um, I think are going to be really important moving forward. I think finding, you know, how we’re going to use that talent, uh, in terms of deploying it within the organization is huge. And if I think about some of our busiest analysts at Gardner over the last six months have been the talent analysts, right. Um, and everything from, you know, how do we go from an environment that was, you know, we discouraged working from home to now an environment where everyone has to work from home to now an environment where, Hey, this actually worked.

Mike Griswold (00:32:27):

Maybe we never want to come back to the office. Right. So I encourage people to really think about proactively, you know, how you thought about talent in 2020, and then certainly how do you think about talent in 2021? The other big area that we’re focusing on as a gardener company, but also in our research and advice is the whole diversity equity and inclusion. And that is becoming more and more important, I think, to, to potential applicants in potential additions to the organization. And I also think it’s just an important thing for an organization to be able to articulate what are the steps that we’re doing in these areas that, that will help us be a better rep. We have our work environment, better represent the world population, right. And those things to me are going to be huge as we move into 2021 excellent

Scott Luton (00:33:24):

Point, excellent point. You know, Mike has been pointed out when we have conversations that focus explicitly on diversity equity and inclusivity is oftentimes the inclusivity part is forgotten. Uh, we had Steve Sterling with this, uh, Dr. Steve Sterling with us who has a fascinating story. He was talking about as many companies in his career. He, they, they sought out the diverse workforce and brought them in and, and, and really made a lot of progress there and action there. However, there was no attention being paid to inclusivity, and once they’re part of the team, you know, making them feel part of the team, right. And that’s a really important distinction as we have this conversation. So I appreciate you.

Mike Griswold (00:34:07):

Yeah, no, I agree. I mean, you, you, you can basically lose any progress you made on the D and the E if you don’t have the eye. Right. And the eye really, I think takes hold as people are in the organization and are part of the organization. It is that inclusivity. Um, you know, we’ve done a lot of work at Gardner with forming what we call mosaic groups, which are really targeted at different, you know, veterans and different, um, breakup breakdowns of different types of people to help them feel included. And then how do we, within the course of our daily lives at Gardner, how do we become more inclusive? Because you’re exactly right. Without that, it just, it doesn’t work, right. People end up believing, um, and you have to start the cycle all over with. So I agree completely. The I is, is really important.

Scott Luton (00:35:04):

Love that. And clay and Amanda, we need to capture some of what Mike just shared there and throw it in the comments. I love that because you can’t be successful in the D and E unless you really invest in the eye.

Mike Griswold (00:35:17):

Well, we’ve also sorry, Scott. We’ve also got some research, uh, that has come out of some of our analyst groups that actually has linked organizations D and I initiatives with financial performance. And basically the bottom line is it helps the bottom line when you are more diverse, equitable, and have this culture in your organization. It adds to the bottom line. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:35:40):

Agreed. So even if you don’t speak in, generally, if you’re out there and you don’t believe in, in DEI, Hey, you got to believe in the bottom line and, and there’s a financial return. So find that reason to do it right. And act and lead. Okay. One quick question. And then we’ll move over to the big bet. So I’m looking forward to that, but you, you brought up talent before we kind of took this path, click there, AA, hope this finds you well, they’re in the air capital of the world in Wichita, Kansas. He says, I agree. There will be a big demand for data analysts and there will be a shortage as well. Any additional thoughts on how we close that gap, Mike, or anything you’re seeing from companies to close that gap?

Mike Griswold (00:36:23):

Yeah, I think, I don’t know if that would necessary a great question. I don’t know that I would necessarily classify it as closing the gap because I do think there is a gap and the gap will continue. I think, unfortunately, to widen as we have more of a request on the supply side or on the demand side, and we have less on the supply side, you know, one of the things, you know, we’re asking or asking companies to think about it list at least is to start to build that talent gap roster and start to aggressively look to fill that gap. Now, uh, we’re also encouraging folks to, um, we have a body of research where we’ve, um, ranked, uh, created a top 25 college and university list around supply chain curriculums for both graduate and undergraduate. To me, that’s kind of a shameless plug to say, that’s a good place to look in terms of starting to reach into these colleges and universities, grab these students early interns, um, you know, thesis projects, all those types of things, uh, are great ways to introduce a student to your organization with maybe a long-term hope that they will kind of come back to you when they get out of school.

Mike Griswold (00:37:32):

So to me, one of the ways is early outreach. That’s one way I think we can start to close the gap in that I know there are lots of other pieces of research to look at. So maybe just look at different research, that’s ranking these curriculums, um, these schools by their curriculum, maybe in some of these focus areas like data science, and then just start to reach into those, those colleges early

Scott Luton (00:37:56):

Point and tip of the hat to, I believe Arkansas is the number one ranked school, and also tip of the hat to Natalie and Laurie and Allie and Devin who make up our associates here at supply chain now. And I wish I was as smart as they are when I was in college. It’s amazing what they can do. So big, big high five each of them. And finally, uh, I was a bit late to the party as it relates to platforms like Upwork and Fiverr and to our audience. Y’all y’all can find some great talent for, you know, projects or, you know, um, many gigs there via those, uh, those platforms. Okay. So let’s, let’s switch gears here. Let’s move into what you have coined big bets for 2021 things to keep your eyes on for 2021. So please do share.

Mike Griswold (00:38:43):

Yeah. So we’ve got, um, as we think about our research for, for 2021, one of the things we were focusing on is really the area around the chief supply chain officer in particular, in what are some of those areas of interest that we think are going to be important to him and her. And I’ve got kind of five that I want to touch on. Um, so maybe let me get through them. Maybe just see what we get from a questions perspective, if you, if that’s okay. So one of them is around risk and we’re going to write a series of notes around supply chain risk and that’s everything from, how do you develop kind of a risk playbook through to, you know, one of the things I see as a risk is how do organizations define their supply chain? You know, how do they view it?

Mike Griswold (00:39:29):

Do they view their supply chain as a competitive weapon? Do they view their supply chain is, you know, something I just have to have. I think the former are aware leading organizations go organizations that see their supply chain as a necessary evil. I think they’re, they’re going to run into trouble as we move forward. A second area I mentioned is the social organization. And in particular, I think what does it mean now that we have four, at least I would suggest another year, a very remote and diverse workforce. How do you keep, you know, that, that inclusive inclusivity, we talked about Scott, how do we keep that? How do you build that into the culture? What does it mean in 2021 to be a social organization? What are the skill sets we need? You know, is there a technology enabler that we need, but this idea of a social organization, I think is going to be a hot topic for us next year.

Mike Griswold (00:40:24):

You know, we talked a little bit earlier about, you know, the bottom line as it relates to D and I, you know, we had this conversation if I’m sure people remember years ago around sustainability, right? Initially it was, let’s be sustainable because it’s a cool thing to do. We also now know that being sustainable can drive lots of dollars to the bottom line. So this idea of a circular economy, how do we design products, uh, at the beginning of their life with their end of life in mind, that’s becoming a really hot topic for us. I think there there’s a sustainability angle to this, but there’s also an impact to the supply chain angle as well. And thinking about all of the supply chain ramifications as products near their end of life, that we need to be aware of, um, as a supply chain, the one though that I think we’ll probably get the most traction of all of them is the future, uh, design of the organism of the organization, particularly as it relates to the supply chain.

Mike Griswold (00:41:21):

I think there’s elements of the remote workforce. There’s elements of span of control. I think there’s elements of what does the supply chain organization look like in a consumer products company that maybe looks than a retail, which might look differently than a life sciences company. So the future of, of supply chain org design, I think is going to be a topic that’s going to resonate. Uh, it’s one of the hot topics this year, and I think that will continue into next year. And then lastly, the metrics of the future. So I’ve, I know I’ve spent a lot of time with everyone here talking about our hierarchy and metrics. Uh, I think one of the things that we’re going to be looking for in the future of metrics is, is the next evolution, which is how do we get more prescriptive and or predictive in our metrics.

Mike Griswold (00:42:11):

If you were to look at our hierarchy metrics, I would raise my hand and say, most of it is still rearward looking, right? How did we do not? How are we going to do? And I think the future of our metrics, Scott, with all the things you alluded to earlier with machine learning and AI, we need to evolve our metrics into what do we think is going to happen. And then therefore, what actions do I want to take to mitigate that? That to me is the future of our metrics. So those five things I think are where we’re going to see a lot of interest in. It’s definitely where we’re putting a lot of our research energy for the analyst community

Scott Luton (00:42:48):

That I love. The LA last one was one of my favorites, hierarchy of metrics. I instantly think now, Mike, I’ve been in and out of over 300 plants in my career. And one of the things you see in so many specialty manufacturing plants is that scoreboard of metrics in some plants have like a wall and you instantly get lost in the, what really is important. And what I love, how you talk about is rather than, you know, that traditional rear view mirror approach and application of metrics, Hey, let’s get 30, let’s look forward and figure out what we can change today to avoid even any of the waste of resources or time, or, um, or CA human capital, you name it. Um, so I love that hierarchy of metrics, new phrase.

Mike Griswold (00:43:34):

Let me, yeah, let me give you an example of that. So in almost everyone’s hierarchy of metrics today, you’re going to see something around inventory productivity turns days of supply, weeks of supply. Even Jim, Roy, I would argue all of those are telling me what happened last month, relative to inventory, right? What are the metrics we’re talking to people about now is one called IQR inventory quality ratio, which basically says, here’s my inventory. Here’s how that inventory compares to my forecast and how much healthy, how much inventory do I have that I would say is healthy because it will cover the forecast in the forward-looking time period, how much is unhealthy, because basically I don’t have a consumer for it. So it’s just those types of things that get us to shift from yeah, turns the last month or whatever. What do I do about it to this is how much unhealthy inventory I’m sitting on right now? How do I get ahead of it? How do I, it healthy? How do I reduce the unhealthy? So it’s examples like that, that we really want people and us, frankly, I mean, to be perfectly inwardly looking, right, we need to do a better job of that as well on the gardener side about how do we get some of those more proactive metrics out there? Thanks

Scott Luton (00:44:48):

Point. So new acronym, community, new acronym here, I Q R

Mike Griswold (00:44:54):

Merry Christmas, cause we all needed more acronyms

Scott Luton (00:44:58):

Quality ratio. I get that right? Yes. Okay. Excellent. Um, good stuff there. Love that. There’s so much, so much, uh, attention and interest in inventory for sure. All right. So let’s say hello to a few folks. It looks like one comment in particular. We may have our hot take of the day here from pate critique. So pretyt thanks for, uh, helping us, uh, keep Greg in, uh, with us in spirit. Unfortunately we have always been thinking about minimizing the gap between demand and supply of products, raw materials, et cetera, but spend very little time in managing the gap between demand and supply of the people behind making this job done. Excellent,

Mike Griswold (00:45:37):

Excellent point. Excellent point. I mean, I think the other thing we need to think about as it relates to demand, and I have this conversation with retailers in particular is part of the challenge we see in retail is, is we acquire demand, planning skills. We train them and we get them to a really good spot. And then they get poached by someone else in the organization because we haven’t really built for them a supply chain planning career path. I don’t know if that’s necessarily the case in other industries. I think it might be. But I think my message to that earlier comment around how do you maybe fill that gap? Not only is it reaching people sooner, but it’s also having a career path for them, but also recognizing a lot of the younger workforce they want to hop around, right? They want to have multiple experiences within your organization. So how do you balance that between I want to skill someone up and make them really good, but I don’t really want to lose them, but what’s best for the organization is to have these people bounce around and get different experiences. So again, when I think about that research around not only the social organization, but the org design piece, that whole career progression and career strategy is going to be a key component of both of those

Scott Luton (00:46:51):

Point. Sophia said, Sophia says inventory, quatre issue, always learning new things with Mike. I completely agree. Uh, AA says, love those Gartner matrices. They’re becoming must have guidelines for R and D. You’ve got a fan club around here, Michael, I’m going to need to get your autograph.

Mike Griswold (00:47:08):

Let’s see, to get Christmas cards out to these people

Scott Luton (00:47:11):

And says the metrics of the future. Great point. Yeah, I think that’s my favorite part. And then Gary number four, again, what was number four on big bet.

Mike Griswold (00:47:18):

Number four, the future org design of the supply chain. That’s right.

Scott Luton (00:47:23):

Good stuff. And Gary, the replay will be available for sure. Okay. And it looks like agrees with Sophia. So, um, Mike, I’ll tell you it’s monthly. The demand from Mike Griswold might be, we’ll see, we haven’t measured that demand. Write us. [inaudible] hope this finds you. Well, she says I have done the forward-looking analysis for Eno in the past, but again, it is already in the access category. Uh, great to have you here with us. All right. So Mike, as we start to close here, I want to make sure folks know how to, uh, connect with you and, and connect with Gartner. What, what would be your suggestions or

Mike Griswold (00:48:01):

The easiest is, is just Mike dot You know, is a good place to learn more about Gardner. I think I mentioned this last month I have started, although it’s not new year’s yet. My new year’s resolution is to be a much more responsible LinkedIn participant right now. I think non-existent is probably doing myself justice. Uh, I, I whatever’s below non-existent around LinkedIn, so I need to do a better job of that, because that would be, you know, I think probably an easier and a more 20, 21 way of kidding all to me is like LinkedIn. So that’s my goal right now. Probably emails is the best.

Scott Luton (00:48:43):

So folks y’all reach out to Mike and I think we’ve got his LinkedIn profile via the one-click in the show notes. So check that out. I think we also have the gardener, a URL as well. Alright, Mike, uh, by the way, David says, love it, Mike. I told you he needed his own show. Scott, I’ll tell you Mike Griswold, you’ve got death taxes and the U S post office as very reliable, right. Mike Griswold is number four on that list. So always you bet. All right. So Mike, thanks so much really enjoyed today’s conversation. Enjoy this, this series we missed Greg, for sure. I know he would just a little bit. Well, I know he would, he have enjoyed, we both enjoy these conversations, uh, and what you bring each time, very thought provoking, uh, best wishes to the holidays, uh, for you and your family there in Idaho. And we look forward to seeing you again here in 2021. How about that?

Mike Griswold (00:49:44):

Hard to believe that’s just around the corner, isn’t it? I, like I said at the beginning, Scott, I really appreciate spending time with you and, um, you and the team. And, uh, I love the interaction with the folks that are kind enough to carve out some time to spend with us. I wish all of them, um, happy holidays, stay safe and yeah, love to come back. Um, whenever you can fit me in, cause I know you guys are pretty busy as well.

Scott Luton (00:50:05):

Well, you know, we’ll have to go through your agent for long, really enjoyed it all the best and we will see you hopefully in the next few weeks. That sounds good. Thanks everyone. Have a good one. Bye bye. All right. What a conversation fast moving. You know, we couldn’t even get to all the great comments and uh, questions in the comments. That’s always the case. There’s so much to talk about when Mike, uh, joins us here and we didn’t even have Greg here, you know, uh, you usually, we have a nice, fast moving conversation between the three of us and we get as many comments and questions from the, from the, uh, community here as we can, but really pay to our community and all the folks audience really appreciate enjoyed each of those, uh, comments and remarks. And um, you know, just like Mike always brings it.

Scott Luton (00:50:50):

Y’all always bring it. And that’s, that’s what really makes this journey. And these shows very rewarding. So we got a little treat here today. So I look forward to having Greg back with us on Monday. We’ll we have a special guest in, uh, devastating Perez. So you’ll look for that on the bus at 12 noon on Monday. But here today we have Amanda Luton and clay Phillips joining us own the stream. Hey Amanda Clay. Good afternoon. How y’all doing Scott? How’s it going? Hey, uh, every show with Mike, we miss Greg here today, but every show Mike brings it each and every time. That mean

Amanda Luton (00:51:27):

He’s one of my very favorite guests live stream episode, you name it. He can break it down and make a complex supply chain concepts. Really simple.

Scott Luton (00:51:37):

Agreed, agreed. Hey, we’ve got a first time. Let’s see here,

Amanda Luton (00:51:41):

Madison Snoop’s

Scott Luton (00:51:43):

First time listing via LinkedIn Madison. Great to have you here. And hopefully you make connections with all the other community members there, the sharpest community, certainly in global supply chain, clay, if not global business, what you think I would have to agree with you, Scott, welcome Madison and hope you stick with us. That’s right.

Amanda Luton (00:52:03):

I would typically be welcoming you in the comments Madison. That’s the role I play on the live streets. So

Scott Luton (00:52:10):

Don’t sell yourself short. One of the things before I get y’all’s big key takeaway from Mike and maybe some good news. Um, you know, it’s important to note that, to pull off these conversations and to really hopefully allow folks to engage and participate as much as we can. It, it, it takes a village and, and Amanda and Claire off of behind the scenes here working fast and furiously, maybe harder. And Greg and I just to keep up with, with great content like Mike and, and what’s shared in the comments. So big, thanks to what Amanda, you and clay have done here in our live streaming, especially here in 2020. So, okay, so let’s say T-square, didn’t get the deep nourishment he says, but he got a light snack T squared always holds down the Fort on YouTube for us. So, uh, great to have you with, uh, with this here today.

Scott Luton (00:53:04):

And there’s one other thing I wanted to share here. Let’s see Paula says diverse workforce includes the experience workers who were laid off and can bring their expertise to the gap. I agree with you, Paula Paula, that is a great comment because diversity comes in so many different forms, not the, maybe the very traditional definitions that you’re all of our minds might to. It is all walks of life. So that’s a great point. Let’s get, you know, let’s start with you, you Amanda. Um, what is one thing? What was your, your, your favorite part about what Mike Griswold shared here today?

Amanda Luton (00:53:36):

My favorite part was one of the very first things that he mentioned, um, is that, you know, COVID-19 coronavirus is not, um, our first disruption, it’s not going to be the last disruption. Um, there were disruptions before and there’s going to be ones going forward. Hopefully not quite on the level as COVID-19 has been. Um, but you know, we can’t get comfortable and, uh, what’s that old, um, boy scout motto, you know, be prepared, always be prepared. And I think, you know, what, 20, 20 more than anything. And I’m such a, I’m a very positive, optimistic glass, half full kind of a person always. Um, so I’m always trying to think of, okay, well, what can I learn from this situation? You know, what are the, what’s the silver lining. Uh, and I think if it’s taught us anything, it’s taught us, um, what to focus on. What’s important, what is not important, what we don’t need to focus on also, um, where our strengths lie and, uh, where we have opportunities, you know, where our weaknesses are, um, and really kind of focus in on those things right now and then make adjustments going forward. Yeah.

Amanda Luton (00:54:43):

What was your favorite part of what

Clay Phillips (00:54:45):

I’m going to have to piggyback on Amanda here? And then, uh, probably, you know, the, the 3.8 years thing, the major disruption, um, in an intimate, she kind of think our look back on the past, like segment 3.8 years in the past. And if you can identify those disruptions and, uh, take into account, you know, the things that led up to those disruptions, and of course, no one will ever be able to predict another pandemic like this, but, you know, there’s so much value in the data and the research that came out of, of 2020 in how to predict and deal with situations like this. And we’re still learning. So obviously we all hope and pray that nothing like this happens again anytime soon. But like Amanda said, you have to be prepared. And Scott I’d love Two, one boy scout meeting and it was computer baseball card and take you to get this baseball card that they were giving out for free. And I never went back, but

Amanda Luton (00:55:46):

That’s like me and brownie. I went one time and they told us we had to go camping. I’m like, y’all have fun.

Scott Luton (00:55:54):

I have a similar experience. I think I made one Cub scout meeting and it didn’t stick. Um, but my and my church had something called RAs, which was kind of a church version of boy Scouts. And that’s where I spent all of my formative years on RA camp outs and some other stuff that, that you’d made me think of that class. And now I’ve got to go back and find pictures and badges and stuff. Let’s see Kayvon says, learn from the situation. Great point, great point. Let’s see. I was going to share one other thing here from the, there were so many comments and stuff to keep up with them today, but Oh, uh, Madison, Madison, let us know where you are tuned in from any other first time community members that joined livestream today for the first time, let us know where you are listening from. All right. We’re going to wrap on some good news. So let’s start Amanda, give us one thing. Good news in a nutshell. And, and by the way, Rhonda, I think that’s Rhonda, the LinkedIn user that we don’t see. Um, great to have you here. Congrats on the recognition and we need to bring Rhonda back. I’ll see. I saw her do some health and wellness wellbeing, uh, best practices. That’d be a great, uh, show topics, a

Amanda Luton (00:57:01):

Weapon reconnect.

Scott Luton (00:57:04):

That’s right. All right. So Amanda, give us, give us some good news.

Amanda Luton (00:57:07):

Yeah. So on a personal note, um, the Luton Academy here at our house is finishing up this semester with a hundred percent graduation rate. Uh, as our three kids are finishing digital learning. Um, I think if I double check and I’m correct, uh, our middle child will finish up all of her, um, exams and turn in all of her work this afternoon and we’ll be totally done. So that is very exciting because are going to be going back to in-person regular school, regular learning come January, as long as everything stays okay. Here. So that is really exciting. Especially since yesterday, we had a couple of marathons zoom meetings and I had 15 or 20 minutes in between each and I would, I was on zoom and then I switch over and I was helping our oldest, our sixth grader with her math exam. Then I’d switched back in zoom and then I’d switched back over and do a science exam.

Amanda Luton (00:58:04):

I mean, it was a crazy day, but we’re wrapping it up. And I tell you talk about learning, you know, learning from the, you know, the situation in which you can, what you can take from those experiences. You know, I would not wish the pandemic on my worst enemy ever. You know, I don’t want to go through it again, but I learned a lot about my kids and I learned a lot about, um, what I retained from sixth grade math class. That’s for sure. But I’m just, I’m, I’m thrilled to be done. And I actually, I got a little choked up yesterday when Brantley finished her exams because I was just so proud of her. I’m so proud of the kids and how, um, resilient they are and how, I mean, of course they’re very excited to go back to school, to, to, to see their friends. And also of course, to see a normal teacher, not me, but, um, but it’s good news. I’m just proud that we finished up and they did pretty well. And I think they learned maybe one or two things over the course of the last four, whatever it’s been four or five months, 17 months

Scott Luton (00:59:00):

Fair on that show though. Are you, are you smarter than a

Amanda Luton (00:59:03):

Yeah. Now I think I would probably do pretty well. I was thinking of all the things, you know, cross multiplying and dividing and solving for X and all these things I was pulling out. I’m like where in the back of my brain, you know, did I store this for all these years? But I am glad I love teachers.

Scott Luton (00:59:22):

You know, we, we have learned the hard way, all that they do and think about, you know, all the, having a class of 50 or 30 or whatever the numbers are and everyone learns differently. They’re, they’re from different walks of life and you gotta adjust your teaching. I’m sure I’m not a pro by no means, but it really a greater sense of appreciation for our teachers. And, you know, one of the challenges that is brought us thing, I think thankfully when the silver linings is going to be related to this pandemic is the technology gap, the access to technology gap. We’ve got to make sure we’ve got to work hard and make sure no one’s left behind in these types of situations that may not have the technology resources to get you through and to enable distance learning effectively, where kids are learning

Amanda Luton (01:00:08):

So many times throughout these last few months that I was just, just saying a prayer thanking, you know, for having technology, for having enough computers that each of our kids is able to access their on their digital learning. And you know, that we didn’t that Scott and I can both stay home and we’re working from home. We don’t have, you know, we’re not, um, having to go into work or go into an office or anything. I mean, there are just so many, so many times that I thought things like that, but just how, how lucky, how blessed we are and how it, um, it’s probably not the case for, for a lot of people really, really unfortunate,

Scott Luton (01:00:43):

Big shout out to the one and only Kim winter, man, he’s been, he’s been interviewing left and right. A lot of great conversations, a lot of a big movers and shakers. So hope this finds you well, they are in Dubai. Uh, so great to have you here, Kim. All right. So clay, give us some good news.

Clay Phillips (01:00:58):

Uh, once again, I’ll, I’ll piggyback on Amanda. Um, we also had a 100% graduation rate and the supply chain now team that said, you know, I did graduate this semester from the university of Georgia, which is, has been awesome. It’s been a wild ride. So, you know, everybody that’s been behind me on that that’s know, certainly thankful, but with what Amanda said about, you know, the need for distance learning to become more efficient and effective little anecdote, one of my, uh, projects, we had an exchange student from China who had to go back and do her virtual learning in China through via UGA still. Um, so, you know, she was, we would have projects meetings, regular time EST, and then she’s getting up at like three, four in the morning in China and was just very resilient. And I noticed she’s one of a million, you know, people that had to do that and, and fight through that. Um, so certainly a lot of resilience from this class of 2020.

Scott Luton (01:01:59):

Yeah. That’s a great call out there. I mean, you know, we, we take for granted often times, how, how, just how good we have it talking about silver linings, the pandemic, hopefully, uh, it’s been a, um, a great dose of reality and, and, you know, I know we’re not in November anymore, but you know, Thanksgiving is my best favorite holiday of all time. Cause it’s just on gratitude and being thankful for what you have and clear that it’s a great comment and it really a great way to, to wrap up today’s live stream. You’re going to have to, uh, you got a bunch of folks wishing you congratulations there, uh, in the comments clay. So you’ve got a lot of work to connect with them. Let’s see Madison, one of our first timers was from, let’s see here, Indianapolis freight broker in Indianapolis, and she is trying to close her prospects.

Scott Luton (01:02:44):

Hey, hopefully you get those closing ratios up and you get some good news here, Madison, great to have you with us here. And AA said the first time he’s been here on live stream with you and, uh, which is outstanding. Great to have you here, AA. All right. So folks, great conversation today, Mike, Rizwan really enjoyed it. We missed, we missed old Greg white. He’ll be back with us again on Monday as always. It’s going to have to be an extra spicy edition of the buzz to make up for lost time. Maybe hot takes all, all ready to go. He’s going to be back full force, but really enjoyed Mike really enjoyed, uh, wrapping up with Amanda and Clay’s point of view, of course, it’s comments from all the community really that that makes it worthwhile. Y’all keep that coming. Hope you wherever you are, you and your families have a wonderful, wonderful holiday season or end of year or you name it. And, uh, you know, we’ll, we’ll, we’ll sign off here today would challenging you just like with challenge our team every single day, do good give forward and be the change that’s needed. Be like clay Phillips who graduated from the university of Georgia. Oh, the place that you’ll go high five, everyone have a wonderful in the year and we’ll see you on Monday at 12 noon here on the buzz. For some question.

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Watch as Scott welcomes Mike Griswold to Supply Chain Now through our YouTube channel.

Featured Guests

Mike Griswold serves as Vice President Analyst with Gartner’s Consumer Value Chain team, focusing on the retail supply chain. He is responsible for assisting supply leaders in understanding and implementing demand-driven supply chain principles that improve the performance of their supply chain. Mr. Griswold joined Gartner through the company’s acquisition of AMR. Previous roles include helping line-of-business users align corporate strategy with their supply chain process and technology initiatives. One recent study published by a team of Gartner analysts, including Mike Griswold is Retail Supply Chain Outlook 2019: Elevating the Consumer’s Shopping Experience. Mr. Griswold holds a BS in Business Management from Canisius College and an MBA from the Whittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire. Learn more about Gartner here:


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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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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


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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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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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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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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Allison Giddens


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


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


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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Marty Parker


Marty Parker serves as both the CEO & Founder of Adæpt Advising and an award-winning Senior Lecturer (Teaching Professor) in Supply Chain and Operations Management at the University of Georgia. He has 30 years of experience as a COO, CMO, CSO (Chief Strategy Officer), VP of Operations, VP of Marketing and Process Engineer. He founded and leads UGA’s Supply Chain Advisory Board, serves as the Academic Director of UGA’s Leaders Academy, and serves on multiple company advisory boards including the Trucking Profitability Strategies Conference, Zion Solutions Group and Carlton Creative Company.

Marty enjoys helping people and companies be successful. Through UGA, Marty is passionate about his students, helping them network and find internships and jobs. He does this through several hundred one-on-one zoom meetings each year with his students and former students. Through Adæpt Advising, Marty has organized an excellent team of affiliates that he works with to help companies grow and succeed. He does this by helping c-suite executives improve their skills, develop better leaders, engage their workforce, improve processes, and develop strategic plans with detailed action steps and financial targets. Marty believes that excellence in supply chain management comes from the understanding the intersection of leadership, culture, and technology, working across all parts of the organization to meet customer needs, maximize profit and minimize costs.

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

Laura Lopez serves as our Supply Chain Now Marketing Coordinator. She graduated from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente in Mexico with a degree in marketing. Laura loves everything digital because she sees the potential it holds for companies in the marketing industry. Her passion for creativity and thinking outside the box led her to pursue a career in marketing. With experience in fields like accounting, digital marketing, and restaurants, she clearly enjoys taking on challenges. Laura lives the best of both worlds - you'll either catch her hanging out with her friends soaking up the sun in Mexico or flying out to visit her family in California!

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Jake Barr


An acknowledged industry leader, Jake Barr now serves as CEO for BlueWorld Supply Chain Consulting, providing support to a cross section of Fortune 500 companies such as Cargill, Caterpillar, Colgate, Dow/Dupont, Firmenich, 3M, Merck, Bayer/Monsanto, Newell Brands, Kimberly Clark, Nestle, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Sanofi, Estee Lauder and Coty among others. He's also devoted time to engagements in public health sector work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At P&G, he managed the breakthrough delivery of an E2E (End to End) Planning Transformation effort, creating control towers which now manage the daily business globally. He is recognized as the architect for P&G’s demand driven supply chain strategy – referenced as a “Consumer Driven Supply Chain” transformation. Jake began his career with P&G in Finance in Risk Analysis and then moved into Operations. He has experience in building supply network capability globally through leadership assignments in Asia, Latin America, North America and the Middle East. He currently serves as a Research Associate for MIT; a member of Supply Chain Industry Advisory Council; Member of Gartner’s Supply Chain Think Tank; Consumer Goods “League of Leaders“; and a recipient of the 2015 - 2021 Supply Chain “Pro’s to Know” Award. He has been recognized as a University of Kentucky Fellow.

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Marcia Williams


Marcia Williams, Managing Partner of USM Supply Chain, has 18 years of experience in Supply Chain, with expertise in optimizing Supply Chain-Finance Planning (S&OP/ IBP) at Large Fast-Growing CPGs for greater profitability and improved cash flows. Marcia has helped mid-sized and large companies including Lindt Chocolates, Hershey, and Coty. She holds an MBA from Michigan State University and a degree in Accounting from Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay (South America). Marcia is also a Forbes Council Contributor based out of New York, and author of the book series Supply Chains with Maria in storytelling style. A recent speaker’s engagement is Marcia TEDx Talk: TEDxMSU - How Supply Chain Impacts You: A Transformational Journey.

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Luisa Garcia is a passionate Marketer from Lagos de Moreno based in Aguascalientes. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico. She specializes in brand development at any stage, believing that a brand is more than just a name or image—it’s an unforgettable experience. Her expertise helps brands achieve their dreams and aspirations, making a lasting impact. Currently working at Vector Global Logistics in the Marketing team and as podcast coordinator of Logistics With Purpose®. Luisa believes that purpose-driven decisions will impact results that make a difference in the world.

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Astrid Aubert was born in Guadalajara, she is 39 years old and has had the opportunity to live in many places. She studied communication and her professional career has been in Trade Marketing for global companies such as Pepsico and Mars. She currently works as Marketing Director Mexico for Vector Global Logistics. She is responsible for internal communications and marketing strategy development for the logistics industry. She is a mother of two girls, married and lives in Monterrey. She defines herself as a creative and innovative person, and enjoys traveling and cooking a lot.

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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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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 & Host

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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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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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

Director, Customer Experience

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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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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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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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