Supply Chain Now
Episode 541

Episode Summary

In this episode of the Supply Chain Buzz on Supply Chain Now, Scott and Greg welcome Sarbjeet Johal to the show as they discuss the top news in supply chain for the week.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:05):

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

Scott Luton (00:00:32):

Greg white with you here on supply chain. Now, Greg, how are you today? I am doing quite well. Uh, I decided to announce that we’re alive because we’ve got people running in and out of the house right now, for sure. Right? Yeah. It’s it’s like that somebody is going to run in the door and go, well, we’ve got so much to talk about. Of course today, every Monday at 12 noon is the supply chain buzz here on supply chain. Now, usually we track the latest and greatest in some of the most more important developments. And every once in awhile, we’ll bring in a VFP feature guest. And we’ve got that today as we’re here in Dallas today. Yeah. SAR Sarbjeet Joe Hall with the battery is going to join us about 1225 or so he and he’s bringing folks is supply chain hot takes. So get ready and buckle up.

Scott Luton (00:01:25):

Right Greg? Yeah, I can’t wait. Seriously. I think everybody’s probably got a little bit of a supply chain hot take after Christmas boxing day, their returns to her or whatever you want to call it. Agreed. Agreed. Hey, quick programming. Before we get started here, though, if you enjoy today’s live stream, be sure to find us wherever you get your podcasts. Today, we publish a start of a new interview mini series. We’re interviewing each of our podcast hosts and gaining their take on 2020. And looking ahead to 2021 new content, Greg, just for our friend of the show, Chris razon money back guarantee as well. But check that out. You get your prize, always make sure you don’t miss Greg White’s indiv year interview. I’m looking forward to publishing that I believe this coming Friday. So that was a great conversation, Greg. We’re not going to give folks a sneak peek, Greg.

Scott Luton (00:02:22):

It is that good? It’s is it that good? Okay. I haven’t actually no recollection of it. You know how that works, right? I do. Ignite gets me every once in a while too. I wish it was that. All right. Well that let’s say hello to a few folks headlines. And then of course, before we bring in our dear friends, Sarbjeet uh, let’s see here, Gary Smith back with us here. Wish everyone a great Christmas happy new year from Roslyn, New York, Gary hope this finds you. Well, of course we can’t do a lot without Amanda and clay kind of behind the scenes. David hopeless finds you well up in Canada, Merry Christmas, happy new year to you. Uh, Daria Patel. Great to see you here. Looking forward. I think, um, uh, we’re all in store for a great conversation here today, but Daria, keep it coming on social. I’ve really enjoyed your posts and POV there. Yeah. FOD via LinkedIn. Great to have you here with us FOD. Uh, let’s see here and click on the wrong here we are. Daniel Hart net. So Daniel WISHIN, holiday seasons Daniel. Great. Great to see you here. Looking forward to getting your take on some of the things we talk about here today, Kayvon. And of course, Greg and we’ll wrap on this one is a, in the air capital of the war of the world, right?

Greg White (00:03:44):

Yes. And we did a little getting to know you on him, which has man exploded three or 4,000 of his closest friends have, uh, taken a look at that. We posted something on LinkedIn. Just kind of, let’s just say sharing a little bit about a,

Scott Luton (00:04:02):

Well, he did a nice job on that. We enjoyed it and we need to give him what we get him on a live stream in 2021 at some point there in Wichita, Kansas. Hello, Lisa. Good morning. Great to have you here, Mike. Ava is with this and Sophia Sophia Reavis Herrera is with us here today. Sophia hope this finds you well. All right. So Greg, you ready to dive into the headlines? Yeah, let’s talk. We’re going to lead with the returns. Tidal wave is not just common. It’s already here. Tell us more.

Greg White (00:04:33):

Well. So in case you haven’t already done it out there, you in TV land, you know, it’s coming, you may have even contributed to it significantly yourself. There’s going to be a huge surge this year because e-commerce is up over 30%, what it was last year, right? And typical returns in e-commerce are 25 to 30%. That’s on average, they go as high as 50 and sometimes even greater percentage, particularly in apparel items where people you do something called bracketing, 60% of shoppers do what’s called bracketing, which is buying multiple sizes or colors or styles of an item, knowing that they’re going to return some of the ones that don’t fit. They don’t like the color. They don’t like the style. That sort of thing, that 60% is actually a 50% increase over three years. And at 29% increase over 2019. Now why is that? Here’s an interesting, uh, hashtag COVID happened effect, right? Why more bracketing? Because respondents said their weight has fluctuated during lockdowns. 41% of people have said their weight has fluctuated during the lockdown.

Scott Luton (00:05:49):

Okay. That sounds low 41% well fluctuated.

Greg White (00:05:54):

Well, and that, you know, those are people who confess. Wasn’t just the people who confess it. Those of us who are on camera bruh, we can’t deny it. So, um, and you know, think about some of the other impacts. They can’t try on things in store. So 30 plus percent use that as a reason. And they’re buying new brands that they’re less familiar with. I didn’t even think about that as a potential, but obviously that has a big effect. 92% of customers. Here’s another thing 92% of customers said they will be shopping after the holidays. Believe it or not. That’s a big, that’s a large number of us, but that’s only an incremental, fairly sizable incremental up tick or 72% of people say they will be shopping after the holiday. So look, returns are part of the holidays. The second biggest shopping year or day in, in the U S is December 26th.

Greg White (00:06:58):

And that is because of returns. So, um, you know, how are retailers dealing with this? They’re obviously they’re not equipped for the volume of returns. First of all, they weren’t equipped for the volume of e-commerce that occurred. Right. Right. So many retailers were not in a normal year. They have challenges, right? Yeah. And that’s right. And, and with demand up that much and such a huge proportion of it becoming e-commerce obviously that, and you know, the, one of the other facts that I think we can’t ignore is that there are so many people new to e-commerce people that got trapped. You know, why, why else did people return? Because the item was not, as it appeared on the site, it was smaller than it appeared or whatever. Right. So they’re all kinds of those things retailers can do are doing a couple of things right now, one Boris as this as if we needed another acronym buy online return in store.

Greg White (00:07:59):

Um, so that, that facilitates the goods going back to commerce virtually immediately, assuming they’re not damaged. Right. So that’s, that’s actually a good method of doing things. And then of course, one of the things that our good friend Tony Sharada will hopefully give us, uh, a big cheer for is who by the way, was in interviewed with NPR last week. Right? Yeah. I saw that. Yeah. Cool. Um, so one of the things he promotes and probably promoted on, on NPR was prevention, right? Do those things that prevent returns from happening. So again, make sure the item is as described and, and retailers will need to go to extra lengths to do that. Another of the reasons over half of consumers returned for one of these three reasons wasn’t as described, took too long to arrive or they planned to bracket their purchases. So of course, apparel is a huge returns industry.

Greg White (00:09:01):

As I said, often more than 50% of it gets returned. It is by the way, the second largest polluting industry on the globe today, apparel is, I don’t know, what’s first, I’m guessing it’s some sort of industrial production or, or power production or something like that. And we’re going to talk a little bit more about this later, but waste particularly in packaging is a big part of the picture as well. So we need to take all these things into consideration. I constantly consistently and will always challenge consumers to be thoughtful and mindful in how they purchase to avoid returns. First of all, it’s a pain in the tookus for you. My wife and I did our annual returns to her yesterday. And it was frustrating from a customer experience standpoint. It was a time and a fuel waste, um, from, uh, going around to stores standpoints in some cases to find out you can’t return it to a particular store. All of, all of those things. So to me, again, I’m with Tony on this, let’s try to figure out how to avoid returns. And frankly, I think we did a pretty good job this year, or I think that was frustrating. And Scott, I sent you a photo earlier. The thing that was frustrating was the amount of cardboard boxes. So I think we’re going to talk a little bit about that later and probably with Sarbjeet when he gets,

Scott Luton (00:10:25):

Yes, there’s some good news there. Believe it or not, but still a massive opportunity as you point out and, uh, to our listeners, this is just one of the articles we’re of course we’re big fans here of the DOB properties, retail, retail, Dobbs, supply chain, dive. They do great work. And this article by Daphne Howland is what, uh, kind of provided the premise for Greg’s conversation here today. But there’s no shortage of analysis out there. That’s just one of our favorites. Greg, let’s say a few hello to a few folks that joined us just late for that lead off story, but, but we’ve got to recognize them anyway. Your favorite Tevin says Cowboys are super bowl bound. Greg, come on Tevin. Are they good? It will be a

Greg White (00:11:07):

Joy to stomp their guts out.

Scott Luton (00:11:12):

Oh, Devin. Great to see you here.

Greg White (00:11:14):

If the chiefs can win playing like they did yesterday,

Scott Luton (00:11:17):

Right? I literally to win that game, frankly. Oh boy. AIJ hello. All right. Tuning in via LinkedIn. Great to have you here with this Nairobi. Great to have you back. Happy holidays to you as well. Looking forward to your comments and, uh, POV today. Kevin says an Aggie’s Rob in the college football playoff. Hey, you know, we’re not, we’re not partial around here at all, but, um, but you may be, you may be on to something there. Tevin clay.

Greg White (00:11:48):

I mean not to get too far off topic, but we had to give Justin Fields a national stage, knowing that he’s going to go into the draft next year. And by the way, I think Tevin will be happy to know that your coach at Clemson has been throwing significant shade at Ohio state for only playing five games,

Scott Luton (00:12:09):

B Y O G come this weekend. You’ve got to bring your own guts. Here we go. Keith Duckworth, uh, great to have you back with us. Keith says hello from Michigan Detroit residents. Here’s the history note for you? Short residents were the first nation to have phone numbers. It seems that by 1879, the city had grown so large that operators were no longer able to route the calls by name alone. Keith, I love your history tidbits. You bring in really from a Michigan standpoint each to every live stream. So keep that coming. That’s interesting. It is. I love it. Vermont says Merry Christmas, happy new year. Do you all have families out there? Great to have you via LinkedIn. Daniel. Let’s see here first time in a long time, maybe looking forward to connecting with the community, Daniel, Hey, if you’re here for community, you’re in the right spot. This is a wonderful group here, Greg and I benefit from it each and every week. And great to have you here to Nim via YouTube host way is with us. And the comments are moving too quickly for my index finger. Today here, host away. Hey, happy holidays, Merry Christmas, happy new year to you and your team out West in the transportation industry, hopefully 2021 is a record setting year for you and your team. Okay.

Greg White (00:13:25):

Also is, has joined us. I see from the Holy city. Yeah. Temps are back to normal in Charleston. We’ve had such a hardship, such a hardship here in the South. It’s been 32 degrees. So awful zero Celsius, which is, um, we are not equipped for thankful.

Scott Luton (00:13:45):

Well, we are not you’re right. No, no, no one is, I think we’ve got to salt trucks for the whole state of Georgia. Uh, so we’ll see how all this goes. All right. So let’s cover a few more headlines before we bring in our featured guests here today. Certainly no shortage just as just some of the things that we’re, we’re tracking more than others. First up is global container companies. Having a hard time keeping upgrade. This is not new. This is not new news, but it’s still, it’s an ongoing story as reported by JOC, which is another great publication. Alan Murphy CEO of see intelligence says, quote, global schedule reliability dropped to 50.1% in November, 2020, which means put some context here, which means that for the fourth consecutive month global schedule liability has been the lowest across all months since see intelligence introduced the benchmark metric in 2011.

Scott Luton (00:14:42):

But here is if something interesting as I read the story and the States, you know, all, all of the headlines mainly mainly have been on the West coast ports and all the issues there. I think as of last Wednesday, there’s 23 container ships waiting in the Harbor to, you know, get in dock and be offloaded. But the East coast is not immune East coast had a greater drop in its schedule liability for vessels arriving on East coast ports from Asia, uh, from October, 2022 to November. I think I like an eight point reliability metric decrease there. So no one is immune, uh, Greg to these challenges are seen, right?

Greg White (00:15:20):

Well, yeah, I mean, so much has been redirected to the East coast ports because of the jams and the West coast ports that it’s starting to impact, uh, all, all ports. Uh, you know, we had seen early, even prior to the pandemic, we saw, uh, volumes starting to shift to Charleston and Savannah in particular Jacksonville. I’m sure as well, even from other East coast ports. So yeah, some sort of impact was inevitable. There’s a lot of questions around container availability and routing and that sort of thing. Right?

Scott Luton (00:15:56):

Where are they? Oh, goodness gracious. Uh, what a story. And we’ll keep tracking it into 2021, no end in sight. Secondly, here’s some good news supply chain leadership has a new seat at the table at Nordstrom. So Alexis, the pre hope I’m saying that right there is the company’s new EVP and chief supply chain officer is going to become the newest member of the company’s executive team in January. Guess where she came from

Greg White (00:16:25):

From Greg. I know where she came from because I’ve worked with

Scott Luton (00:16:28):

Oh, really? Wow. Okay. Let me rub your elbows. I’m saying with some famous people here today on the bus, she, she hails from Amazon where she was VP of sort centers and planning for the America’s so great. Get for Nordstrom. I don’t want to say kind of behind the curve because supply chain has been gaining more seats at that proverbial C-suite table for years, but this is a neat development, isn’t it?

Greg White (00:16:52):

It is. Nordstrom has always been the top performer from a retail perspective and a customer experience perspective. And, um, I think stepping up their game in supply chain is really, really, um, important. Right? Agreed. And, and it, and they will do it right. The spirit of the leadership in that company is, is appropriate. And, you know, I don’t know Alexis, but I have worked with her and her team in the past and they are excellent. She shows tremendous leadership gifts. So I’m sure that she’ll do a great job there.

Scott Luton (00:17:24):

Okay, great. When for Nordstrom consumer, for sure. Uh, let’s say look to a few folks. Latiya Thomas is with us, the new graduate of Morgan state university Latiya Thomas supply chain guru is, uh, with us here to lapse from great to have yet Latiya and also want to say hello to Siaad. Great to have you here tuned in via Facebook, uh, there in Pakistan. I hope this finds you and your family. Well. All right. So let’s see, what else do we have here? Amazon certainly seen its share of legal and regulatory issues in here in the States and in Europe, Greg, we love some of the things you’re doing, but Jack ma is now under similar pressure in China, as China’s taking action against Alibaba and the ant group, Chinese regulators are said to be investigating antitrust violations for Alibaba and separately, China central bank and associated regulatory leaders. If I say that seven times with just two kids are meeting with the ant group to encourage new financial regulations and other rules, Greg, what is, how do you cut through the noise and get to the real story here? What would you

Greg White (00:18:35):

In China? It’s very simple. It’s cash grab what that, what the way to translate virtually any regulatory change in China is that somehow the government feels like they are not getting enough of the money. So, um, that’s really what that means. But the truth is, I mean, if you look at China, mostly by the Chinese government organizations, like Amazon have been virtually locked out of China. So what do they expect if you know, Alibaba to have is going to have some significant and disproportionate impact on the economy and on the marketplace. So I’m not sure how to sort this out. I just know that it’s not genuine as it never is with China, right?

Scott Luton (00:19:23):

That’s a good point there. So a lot more to come a lot more to come there, Peloton much easier story here. Peloton wants its customers to listen to their body. Talk a little louder, Greg, you get that. Some folks may not like that. There’s a 1980s tune by, I think one Olivia Newton, John

Greg White (00:19:43):

That’s right. Let’s get physical.

Scott Luton (00:19:45):

Well, that trend is back and to meet that continued surge in the man for its very expensive bikes. We’re talking $2,000 plus plus for these stationary eBikes, Peloton has agreed to acquire pre-core Inc for $420 million in cash. One of the primary benefits is Peloton is going to get a boost in manufacturing capacity, which it needs to keep up. Hey, if folks are buying $2,000 bikes, give them all they’ll take. Right. So

Greg White (00:20:15):

Yeah. And that’s just the start of it. I mean, um, one of the gifts we didn’t get our kids was at Peloton. Um, and I didn’t even seriously considered it. It’s one of those where you’re, when they ask for it, you just kinda chuckle, right. Uh, but they, they solved their own problem with another brand of bike and, um, and bought used on a marketplace where the owners or the owners of their bike, we’re waiting for their Peloton to be delivered and they were taking months. So I see the issue for Peloton. The demand is incredible. Um, soon there will be closed hanging on thousands and thousands of Peloton around the world,

Scott Luton (00:20:57):

Man. It’s like, you take a sneak peek into our bedroom. That’s right. Hey, well going back a story here. So Mike Eva says going back to China and Alibaba and an group that Jack ma also said something criticizing government in relations to encouraging investing. And he believes for what he read. It might have encouraged some of these issues to be brought to the table. So we shall see Harry Smith agreed. Uh, Gary Smith has Peloton was started by a couple of Georgia tech folks had no idea. No, that, so Gary would love to. Yeah. We’d love to get a couple of names there. That that’s pretty, that’s a pretty fascinating story. Speaking of good news, here’s some good news waist, three There we go. It says that the percentage of Americans that recycled cardboard boxes has increased from 55% in 1993 to 92% in 2019, that there wasn’t a whole bunch of context around the story where I got this, but y’all can go check that out. Waste three But that’s a bit of a rosier figure Greg than I had anticipated. I mean, that’s a great if it’s true, it’s wonderful. But do you think it’s really that?

Greg White (00:22:13):

No, I think, I think that Americans are attempting to recycle it. I, as I have a stack two and a half feet tall outside on the curb right now of have broken down cardboard boxes, even as I’m cutting them up and flattening them and that sort of thing, I’m wondering, not cutting them up, just cutting, just breaking them down. Right. Cause I’m hopeful that they can be reused, like actually reused. I’m wondering if they’re going to actually be recycled when they get to, when they get to the landfill. Right. I don’t, I think we might be attempting to do it. I don’t know if we’re actually accomplishing it. I doubt that 92% are getting there. I couldn’t help. But as we were, we talked about a little bit before the show with every cut of tape I was going, there has to be a better way to do this.

Greg White (00:23:04):

Right. One, all of those I think are dependent on us as consumers. One is we could consolidate, we can plan better and consolidate deliveries more effectively. We talked about it last week, Scott, with the specific delivery days or, or things like that. Um, you know, we, uh, we, we need some sort of ability to reuse these boxes. I thought all someone needs to do is come get these boxes and tape over this and fill them up again. I just feel like there, there is a way to reuse them in their existing state without even recycling. So, you know what, that’s something I’m going to put my mind to over the next year and research a bit and hopefully help to find a solution for, because it was particularly frustrating this year.

Scott Luton (00:23:56):

I’m with you, you, you, you got so much there. I love the comment on, but we’ll save it for a future conversation. But, um, you know, there’s a ton of, to our audience and community. There’s a ton of great documentaries across Netflix and Hulu and Amazon. Uh, the prom that the media channel that really dive deeper into the recycling industry and some of the challenges old and new that they’re facing. Um, so, so much good stuff there. And Robert Dow, you asked a great question. We’re not gonna be able to get to, but does the cardboard actually get recycled or is it like plastic where we pretend to recycle? And it really goes into the landfill. Robert S that’s a very real, highly relevant question. So,

Greg White (00:24:35):

Well, we’re all consumers, right? And we’re about to introduce our next guest. So maybe we can ask him what he thinks,

Scott Luton (00:24:42):

Agreed one quick announcement right before we do that. So here’s some more good news right before bringing on Sarbjeet. So we’re really pleased to have our veteran voices podcast channel, which is really for the, the, uh, the veteran community partner with the nonprofit that’s on the move that’s to industry and that’s to industry is really serves as a, uh, a great resource and networking community. And they vet a lot of the veteran service organizations that have really cropped up in the last 15 years to see who’s really helping. And who’s just doing business and who’s really serving the veterans versus who’s offering lip service. So we’re really pleased for our veteran voices podcast to partner with vets, to industry, as we’re looking to really ramp up the amplification of the voice of veterans and veteran advocates and veteran families and spouses, and you name it. So if you enjoy content like that, find us wherever you get your podcasts from. And you can learn a lot more about the nonprofit we partner with vets, Newman to Greg, you were going to comment,

Greg White (00:25:49):

But vets are particularly well suited for the supply chain industry. And we have a huge need for people to 2 million unfulfilled jobs just in North America. Right. Um, you know, think about what supply chain is about and think about what the military is about making in the military, making life or death decisions with inadequate information instantaneously, right? So take out life or death making right, making very important decisions with inadequate information instantaneously. It is a perfect fit agreeing

Scott Luton (00:26:24):

Great point. All right. I want to share one more common here because this gives great perspective for bring on Sarbjeet. Sylvia says at pre-core that that Peloton just acquired has a manufacturing site in Whitsett, North Carolina, and they take and resell as our biggest customer was anytime fitness. Now, Greg, when I first moved to Atlanta, I signed up with anytime fitness for a monthly plan. And I got to tell you, I almost had to hire F Lee Bailey and a team of attorneys to get out of that month to month plan. I’ve never forgotten about that. It’s like a timeshare once you’re in, you can never get out. Yeah. So, but naturally fast forward 15 years, uh, with folks not going to the gym because of different concerns, that makes a lot more sense. So it sounds like Peloton may have gotten a bit of a deal there. Alright. So with no further ado and welcome in our featured guests here today, Greg, we’re excited to have [inaudible] Joe Hall, founding investor and advisor at the battery. Join us good afternoon. Sarbjeet and I’ve got to share in the most 2020, the most uttered phrase in 2020 is your own mute. My friend, how 2020 was that?

Sarbjeet Johal (00:27:47):

And again, good morning from California here, guys.

Scott Luton (00:27:51):

Right. It’s great to have you. We have really so much enjoyed social media or kind of our digital relationship and your thought leadership, especially on Twitter, where we first met at an earlier trade, uh, event digital trade event months ago. And I’ve really enjoyed it since, so welcome to the supply chain buzz and, and really looking forward to your POV here today. Sarbjeet yeah.

Sarbjeet Johal (00:28:13):

Thank you for, thank you guys for inviting me, and I’m glad to be here and looking forward to say a few words and learn from you guys. And this is the first time I’m listening to your photo, to be honest with you. And I have heard like the smaller segments in the past, but, um, yeah. Interesting and very informative actually.

Scott Luton (00:28:33):

So well, um, we’re probably not as deep in some areas as you are. I can’t wait to hear that’s why we get together these days, right? So Greg, where are we starting today? So share with our audience who may not be as familiar with you. So share a little bit about who you are and where you come from and the battery and some of your other projects as well. Yep.

Sarbjeet Johal (00:28:59):

Actually, this is a side gig for me actually, after I left Oracle full-time job, um, I invested some money into this incubator. We brought it to life from scratch. So it’s a Bay area based incubator in, in, uh, Berkeley, California, next to UC Berkeley. We have taken about a hundred plus startups through the program so far. So you know how the incubator’s work. They are like startup schools. We bring them in, we’ll sort of congratulate them and they go out and we introduced them to marketing folks and legal folks and, and VCs and stuff like that, so that they can raise money and give them know-how how to go to the next level. So did that. Um, and that’s spatially and it, my main, um, line of work is I’m an advisor to C level folks, or you can say SVPs VPs, um, in the technology space, I have worked, uh, in technology space in B2B tech for the last 25 years. I work at, um, companies like commerce one, which you may or may not know it was a B2B darling days. We used to compete fiercely with Reba, a lot of supply chain management experience from that sort of time frame. And then after that I joined PeopleSoft and then EMC EMC to VM-ware BMI to Rackspace from Rackspace to Oracle. So kind of completed circle there. Yeah. Yup. Been around for know, you’re with PeopleSoft. So

Scott Luton (00:30:33):

Yeah, gosh, to have Sarbjeet and Greg white on the save live stream, these worlds are uniting. There’s going to be, I’ve got my notes ready to be taken here, Greg and Sarjeet, but it is really neat to have you here for the first time owned the buzz Sarbjeet as we were kind of planning. And I really love this, this little back and forth as we were planning your appearance here and what we’re going to talk about. I was, I was going to ask you, you know, share a tech story or two that you you’ve been tracking and your response was what I won’t talk supply chain. I’m passionate about supply chain. And I love that. And the other comment I’ll make before I, we asked you for some of the things you’re tracking here in the supply chain industry is if anything, we know that gosh, tech and supply chain there’s ever, ever a very thinner and thinner line, right? Between those two industries. There’s, it’s like a Venn diagram is coming into the picture here. Sergeant G what, you know, from a supply chain perspective, what are, what does have your attention right now,

Sarbjeet Johal (00:31:33):

The disruption in the way we were procuring stuff and what we were procuring and what quantities you are brokering. And, and we all know that with the COVID it disrupted our supply chains like to start with, you know, from basic necessities, like toilet paper to groceries, you name it, right. We, some countries over, I’m not going to name can CC, I guess some countries are lot dependent on other countries for the supply chain management of the race of, uh, goods, um, uh, then others. And, uh, as we know, we are a lot dependent on China actually. Uh, so, um, there were, there were some disruptions from stuff coming from there because of the workforce disruptions. And also there’s a lot of rhetoric lately. Nationalism is on the rise and the some contention between countries like, okay, they’re putting lovies. And so people are procuring stuff very quickly before the, the new limitations into effect.

Sarbjeet Johal (00:32:40):

For example, China procuring a lot of a semiconductor from us before we tighten things up. Um, cause we always get warnings, right. And all countries do that. We’re going to do this within the next two months. Um, and people take posture. So I think, um, that has my attention to be honest with you, the regulators, nationalism, uh, I traverse the BDB area most of the time, Nick, when I, when we talked to S supply chain management, less so on B2C stuff. Right. Um, so, uh, and I have written software and that’s the space sold it, you know, um, put down into production for bunch of companies, including Siemens VTN T in Europe and in us for Chrysler exchange and stuff like that. So yeah, I could talk about this for longer than our show is there, so Greg, it sounds like that subject can really tackle it at a variety of altitudes from, from some of the coding and programming, uh, all the way up through the C-suite.

Greg White (00:33:47):

Yeah. I mean, I, you know, commerce one was, um, I don’t know, sorry if I, I think I may have known some folks there, did they have ties to Atlanta commerce one?

Sarbjeet Johal (00:34:01):

Oh yeah. We were all over the world. Actually. We were one of the best stocks in when we heard the NASDAQ hit 5,000, which was like the best era back then. Right. So we have so fast that in a couple of years, last couple of years, but back then we were the darling of com days and our stock went public at $21 a share. And at top we are $999, uh, within like, um,

Greg White (00:34:31):

Year and a half. Yeah. So that’s pretty good.

Sarbjeet Johal (00:34:34):

That was good money, money, money.

Greg White (00:34:38):

But th but that was, um, and you know, this, this is an interesting perspective because some people consider procurement, which is a lot of what con uh, commerce one did. Right. As a separate thing from supply chain. And I see it as directly involved, whether it’s indirect goods or direct goods or finished goods. Yeah. All of those contribute to the movement of those goods from their source, uh, or, or their, their creation, the movement or creation of those goods from their source to the consumer, whether that’s B to B or B to C. So have you seen, I mean, I’m just curious, have you seen kind of that dynamic where people divide into procurement versus supply chain, I’ve heard so many people say either they’ve been told or they believe they believe that they’re not in supply chain because they’re in procurement.

Sarbjeet Johal (00:35:32):

Yeah. I, I think it was. I see, I personally, I’ve seen that by the way. And personally I’ve seen, um, what’s my personal view is a supply chain management is the umbrella term. And procurement is a sub sort of segment of that if you will. Um, and there’s so many different aspects to it. Right. So, and it, it it’s nested in a way, like when you buy a toothpaste and a company making toothpaste is buying maybe the two material for soil or the cap from somewhere else. And then the actual stuff was causing into toothpaste, like from three different vendors, you know, it can be four on 10, we don’t know. Right. So it’s very complex, um, sort of a mix of, uh, suppliers and buyers and systems in place and money exchange on the backend, um, and how much you can store, you know, like you’re holding capacity, it plays into it and how you do financial engineering around supply chain management. Um, and actually, I personally take supply chain management to like even other sort of constructs in our business, like the, the, the supply chain management of talent, for example. Right, right. And supply chain manage management of, uh, our money supply, which, um, which is very, it totally a different topic. Right. How much money we were printing lately in the U S for example, and other countries, I think, where we are headed right.

Greg White (00:36:58):

Bothering to print it. We’re just, we’re just manifesting it out of the ether and saying, thanks for buying those bonds. Right. Yeah.

Sarbjeet Johal (00:37:08):

Thanks for buying those bonds. So we just infused eight to $8 trillion in the last six months. And, uh,

Scott Luton (00:37:16):

So I want to take the conversation into, I want to talk AI. I want to, I want to share a couple of comments from the community, and then I’ll let get you both to weigh in on AI, because I know you all have, you both had no shortage of, of, uh, comments there and takes a, I want to share a real quick though. So pretyt great to have you, uh, as always on the livestream here via LinkedIn hope is find you in a family. Well, Sylvia, going back to our veteran conversation, she’s reached out to the air force and they’re in Charleston to hire a vet in her office. That is wonderful. So, uh, Sylvia hope we let us know how we can help there. Uh, Peter mentioned how Aero exchange in Dallas was a start-up 20 years ago to link airlines to their suppliers. He worked on the early platforms in the first couple of years. He sounds like a starboard. You not sure if that rings a bell, Michael Avis says greed’s a hundred percent with Greg procurement is an integral part of supply chain. And he’s seen a lot of companies put procurement in finance. Well,

Greg White (00:38:16):

I liked the way I really completely agree Sarbjeet with the way that you think about it, right? I mean, if you think about supply chain as the, over arching the umbrella, right. Then whether it’s transportation or whether it’s manufacturing or whether it’s procurement or whether it’s retail, frankly, all of those are

Sarbjeet Johal (00:38:36):

Of the greater supply chain. And I think the sooner we start thinking about that, the better off we’ll be.

Scott Luton (00:38:42):

Right. Excellent point. So now if I can weigh in here, I want to get y’all. So we are, it goes without saying the explosion, the massive explosion of artificial intelligence, it is touching everything every hour of the day. Um, sometimes very effectively and with practical bottom line results. And other times it’s just, it can be a really complete waste of time. So I’d love for y’all from Sergeant you and Greg, both, um, to offer maybe a guideline or two, as everyone’s looking both here in the community and folks that may tune into the replay, folks may be looking at leveraging AI, you know, further investing and ramping up, um, you know, different platforms that really leverage that what’s, what’s a rule of thumb or a guideline that you found here in recent years that come, that business leaders need to need to keep in mind. And Sarbjeet, let’s start with you.

Sarbjeet Johal (00:39:34):

Yeah, sure. Yeah. I, I think with AI, I usually say that don’t, don’t use term AI as artificial intelligence. Use it as augmented intelligence. Sorry. We are not there yet where we can say we can replace a human intelligence with machines. We not there yet. We won’t be there for next 15, 20 years. I mean, that’s what my gut feel is, but having said that there are some, there are a lot of actually, um, problems, uh, across different verticals, which are finite set of problems, uh, in our systems like fraud detection and financials, right? Uh, uh, demand, demand, production, and supply chain management, for example, right. Supply rating systems, uh, can be done out magically if you will, uh, to certain extent. Um, if we, uh, that’s a huge sort of topic, a pain point in whole supply chain management is not having supplier rating systems in place.

Sarbjeet Johal (00:40:33):

Um, we tried putting those places when, when I, when I was again, when I was working at commerce, one with Siemens, um, we started building one from scratch, scratch for Siemens, uh, vertical reality. But, um, yeah, I, I think we can, we can use, um, we can start infusing. Um, you can say AI, I will say ML machine learning to start with, um, in, in small doses. And the trick with the ML is that you want a business experts of working closely with your data scientists, data scientists alone will not cut it, and you will fail miserably. If you just focus on data scientists only, uh, you need people who understand the business domain, uh, when we build features, what we call features that the, which variables have, what kind of way did in decision making process. Right. Um, that is very important to know, and only business people know that.

Sarbjeet Johal (00:41:32):

Right. So, um, I usually say that the smartest system is the one which takes into account most number of variables while making a decision. That’s what smart assistant is like the smartest human beings are the ones who know lots of different contexts. They know a little bit about politics or the good business years. They also know geopolitics sort of situations. They also know a little bit of economics and they’re good with people. So like all these different contexts in mind, uh, you can make a better calculated decisions, right? Same with the machines. Like you need more features coming in, uh, but you need a lot more data thrown at it. So gradually I would say, like do it in gradual chunks. Um, and I always say it’s age of micro consumption, to be honest with you when it comes to technology just a little bit at a time, a little bit.

Scott Luton (00:42:20):

I love that kind of take a page out, out of GE in the good old days when incremental, uh, improvements, what thereafter sustainable, incremental. All right. So Greg, I’d love for you to weigh in here and we’ve, we’ve certainly had no shortage of conversations around AI, but it’s it it’s, it’s so incredible how it’s permeating every, uh, supply chain article or conversation. I mean, you know, we used to joke around blockchain, but now AI has got to be a part of every conversation, right?

Greg White (00:42:48):

Well, yeah. I mean, they’re, I call them the keywords, right. Sarjeet and I may or may not work with a ton of small companies who are seeking investment and it becomes a little bit like BS, bingo. After awhile, everyone has IOT, blockchain, AI, or some combination of those things. Right. So, uh, but yeah, I th and I, I like the perspective Sarjeet that you, you, uh, annunciated there and that is, think of it as augmented intelligence, because the truth is, and we’ve talked about this before here. We need to think of, of artificial intelligence, not as a robot overlord, but more as a child that requires teaching. And really what we’re doing is we’re capturing the knowledge, the intellect, the, the situational expertise of experts in a particular industry, and applying that as guidelines for that, that, uh, ML to learn from, to create an article, uh, uh, an effective artificial intelligence solution.

Greg White (00:43:49):

Right? So if we think of it from that perspective, I think that is a really, really healthy perspective. The other is, of course, in Sarjeet you said it, you said it very eloquently here and, and, and gave a good roadmap for it as well. Begin with the end in mind, start first with the goal and then work into whether first of all, whether AI is an application for solving that business problem. And secondly, how, and maybe even in combination with what, for instance, in supply chain, often there are varying types of demand, deterministic demand, causal demand, right? Those sorts of things, you don’t need AI for deterministic demand because that, that is demand that somebody has said, I’m buying that next week on Tuesday. You don’t need AI for that. But if you’re trying to determine the cause, what effect does this influencer’s tweet have on the sale of pick a bourbon or whatever, right. Um, Irish whiskey. Yeah. Um, And that’s a noble cause. Um, then there, there is where AI could be applied and layered with the deterministic methodology for trying to predict demand, for instance. So there are a lot of ways to deploy it and, you know, we mustn’t think in, in absolutes, right. And as you said, Scott, we must think in increments, uh, because whether we try to deploy it in increments or not, ultimately it will only be effective in increment just to add a little bit on that,

Sarbjeet Johal (00:45:25):

Uh, front, um, to over the technology part, which I actually am. That’s what I do from databases is that, like I anticipate we will have pre-trained model marketplaces, uh, coming up soon. And, um, AWS has already announced, they call it a features market. Um, like there are features in data models, right? Like what variables and how, what kind of ratings and the formalism, like we can say algos, right? For those product action, for example, um, every company needs it almost like a few visa, MasterCard, you or PayPal, you know, you need it right on the backend and you find a number of variables, you feed it and then it gives you like, Oh, this was a fraud going on. Yes. Or no kind of thing. Right. So in healthcare, there’s some use cases like that in supply chain management. Um, there are some use cases like that.

Sarbjeet Johal (00:46:18):

So in different sort of wordy calls, if you will, and some are horizontal use cases, by the way, some are vertical, uh, you can get pre-trained models, you will be able to get, pretend more models in the future right now. They’re not yet there yet. We actually did a podcast on C3 AI, which is, um, a new IPO, which happened a couple of weeks back, uh, is Tom Siebel’s company. And, um, they, they have a platform and set of what they call applications. What I, I call pretend models. They sell those train models for you to deploy that in your, in your news. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:46:56):

So you both are generating quite a comments here from the community. I want to introduce a few of those, and then I’ve got a final question or two for your serve. G Keith Moore says, introducing machine learning in small pieces is a great philosophy, take a repetitive task. You know, a person can perform given time and effort and make it faster with machine learning. Great point there. I’m not sure who this LinkedIn user is. It may be Rhonda, uh, Claire, Amanda, if you could drop that in the chat, uh, AI helped and identifying the COVID rise. And now healthcare supply chain management is having huge demand, right? From pharmaceuticals to surgical equipment surgical equipment. Now for vaccine distribution and our Fahd and Greg’s AI world, the chief still win the super bowl in her file. Hopefully this finds you a great to have you here via LinkedIn. We’ve missed around these parts, you and your sense of humor. Sophia says multi disciplinary, and this goes back to the procurement versus supply chain conversation. Multi-disciplinary teams, knowledge integration, and leveraging own individual expertise. Uh Sarbjeet you’re nodding your head a bit. You want to speak to that for a second?

Sarbjeet Johal (00:48:06):

Yeah, I think I’m a big fan of a multidisciplinary, um, learning. Um, like I always say like when we build software, why can’t we build software? Like what, uh, Hollywood makes movies like producers, they’re people come together and they disperse after they finish the project, you know? Um, I think, um, we can learn a lot from healthcare can learn a lot from our own industry and vice versa. Like we have actually at some of the, the, the constructs we use in software industry, they come, they came from manufacturing, like six Sigma. Um, you know, that sort of theory, if you will. And then we turned that into, um, you know, agile and the agile is going back into, from software to other industries. So I think that that’s huge. I think, um, what comment was from, uh, uh, one of our listeners, um, I’m sorry, I forgot the name there, but, um, I think they are, they’re talking about within the company, right? Uh, marketing, having knowledge of, uh, supply chain management and sales, by having that knowledge, uh, I think, um, cross disciplinary learning within a company from different teams is a huge benefit. And so some of the great companies rotate people between different departments. If you, if you listen to the, some of the best leaders we have in business, they stories most of them have traded within a company in different sort of segments of the company. They understood.

Scott Luton (00:49:38):

Yes, clearly a best practice is in fact, Cisco comes to mind, Cisco you’ll find them on the rankings of any favorite companies globally. And, and they rotate a lot. They’ve got even, uh, a great internship program between their suppliers, uh, that they rolled out a few years ago. That works really well. All right. So Greg, we’re gonna move fast here. As we start to close Zach, our great friend, Zach Ramirez, who did a wonderful job, uh, on a recent podcast, ally logistics. He’s got a great comment and question. I want to pose this question. You Greg, and then we’ll pose Sarbjeet. He says, what a great conversation. I wonder what Greg, and Sarbjeet see as some quote, unintended consequences of the push for AI and fusion and supply chain, if AI is a child and we need to train our, their bad habits that they are picking up along the way, Greg, or they sneak in a cigarette here, or two, yeah, undoubtedly,

Greg White (00:50:28):

They are. I mean, you know, one of the biggest issues with AI is bias. For instance, I mean, regardless of whether we’re talking about supply chain, AI has been trained to do things like recognize shoes. If it’s trained only using men’s shoes to recognize shoes, when you show it a woman’s shoe, it does not recognize that as a shoe. So it’s very, very precise and you have to be as conscious and intentional with training an AI mechanism as you do with training a child. Right. Um, so yes, it does pick up bad habits and yes, you do need to consider that there are all kinds of techniques around that in including synthesized data that people use to train AI models that that attempt to, um, that attempt to remove the bias. There are some new models coming out into industry, uh, that, that I think will, will remove bias.

Greg White (00:51:24):

They’ll basically present what the data presents to you or the information presents to you. And then, um, leave that for the AI to interpret itself using things like curiosity. Um, so, um, using curiosity for AI helps it learn more quickly, it tests for itself. Uh, and, and then it learns based on its experience in a pseudo physical world, let’s say rather than constant input from human beings, but particularly because of the generational trend change that we’re undergoing right now, right with baby boomers, leaving the workforce at an incredible rate, the largest generation in the history of the planet is leaving the workforce. And a lot of what they know is right here.

Scott Luton (00:52:16):

Hmm. You know, you’re not writing it down

Greg White (00:52:19):

And it hasn’t been written down. And the way that they do their job likely has not been written down in many, many cases. Right. So capturing that intellectual capital right, um, is, is critical for companies. And AI is a great tool for doing that. And just one more point, as Sarbjeet talked about, um, it can be situationally aware. It can be aware of how the impact of a change by this department impacts that department. And it also never forgets that that’s the critical, you know, some of the critical things that technology can do and AI in particular can do, is it, it never introduces emotion and it never forgets the knowledge that it is gained. Right. Which is actually, that’s a great increase over human intellect. So there are some incredible benefits to it.

Scott Luton (00:53:11):

Uh, your response as we start to wind down and we’ll make sure folks then know how to connect with you, but what, what does this come? What comes to mind when you hear this, this analogy, how many hours we have actually, um, CSA,

Sarbjeet Johal (00:53:26):

It’s pretty lengthy topic. I believe. Uh, I, I talk about it a lot and I think about a lot I’m, by the way, my education has been in economics. So I studied econometrics. I’m a PST dropout of that program and, and it’s mathematical economics, right? It’s very complicated like area, if we will, when you, when you talk about AI ML, applying that. So I will simply suggest that you, you take it in smaller steps, right? You can have a lot more, if you push the pedal, you can get lot more false positives. You get a lot more bias. And the bias comes from mainly from data. And some comes from the algorithms, but mail from data, because data is coming from the systems which are operating where people right now, I will suggest that you take a look at RPA, which sits in between what we do right now and what, where we want to get to.

Sarbjeet Johal (00:54:19):

So RPA will help you automate the processes, which are done manually right now. And there’s some intelligent RPA engine being built, like where, um, uh, uh, some, some, uh, um, piece of software, uh, monitoring human actions, and then they can train your RPA engines and you can inject a small dose of, uh, mm. Through RPA into your Mo what are you doing in this case? Hang with supply chain, by the way, uh, you cannot avoid, um, uh, ML and AI. If you ignore it, totally, you will lose. I, I have to say that very clearly. Like you have to do it, but how fast you do it. I think it matters. You have to, I’ll usually say that again. I said that earlier is age of micro consumption. Right? Take some things in small chunks. So you have to make it digestible for your people, your processes and your existing products and services.

Sarbjeet Johal (00:55:21):

Um, I talk a lot about, um, sort of skills, gravity, the people, what kind of skills people have it, and then they keep doing the same thing again and again, and also the, like what your supply chain management on the talent side, what’s your supply chain management of the vendors you’re using for supply chain management itself. And for AI, for ML, will you go to the same vendor, which you are getting cloud from right now? Or will you pick a different vendor, which is like, just doing AI, for example, uh, I usually talk with the features, proximity, you know, concepts like that, uh, like how quickly you can get on to doing ML and AI, uh, when you’re doing a, B and C, for example, how you can add on that from the same vendor, or you got a new vendor, um, these are complex, um, uh, sort of questions, uh, how to maintain the systems and, uh, how about, uh, EOL and end of support of the older systems? Yeah, so, but

Scott Luton (00:56:26):

Small dose. Yes. I love that. Sometimes you gotta, you gotta slow down, so you can go faster, uh, in, in a bigger picture. And I think business leaders have to be really careful with as fast as the market changes are coming at us. And of course, change in general, if you just dump a platform, throat offense, that that only complicates the challenge of, of making it happen day in and day out. But you’re throwing a lot of technology changes there. And then the relationship challenges, sorry, you referenced, that’s a great call out because if supply chains anything you’re, you’re, you’re, you’re managing and balancing relationships old and new while serving the consumer. So a lot of great stuff there. I want to close some G your interview with Keith here speaks to something you touched on about halfway through. And he says, even at the boomers who are leaving the workforce, write down their institutional knowledge, you’ll still miss the intuition.

Scott Luton (00:57:22):

And they got feelings of how to apply all that knowledge. They get the job done efficiently and done well, Keith, I agree, but also like how G put it, you’re talking about context and the politics of the situation and kind of that discernment in, in the, in the scenario themselves, that is probably some of the toughest documentation of house, how to get stuff done successfully, that you can really lose in this, in, in the application of technology. So, uh, Sarbjeet and Greg, I wish we did have another, another hour of time we could block on here, but we’ll have to have Sarjeet back. Daniel mentioned an earlier comment, Greg, and [inaudible] this discussion on artificial intelligence and machine learning and supply chain is one of the more balanced and insightful I’ve heard in quite a while. And Daniel is very astute. If you follow him on social and you see them on live streams, the guy, I believe Daniel, I might get your bio wrong.

Scott Luton (00:58:16):

I think he advised the Pentagon and the white house earlier in his career on, on risk and other things. So he knows a good conversation when he sees one. And, uh, as do we hear it, supply chain now, so really have enjoyed this Sarbjeet yeah, I really appreciate your time as busy as you stay. And, and I love your commitment to getting back to folks on Twitter, but I admire that really. How, what is the easiest way if folks want to connect with you and tap into your expertise and your POV, how can folks connect with you?

Sarbjeet Johal (00:58:47):

Yeah. Um, I’m all over the place. So Google my name I’m there. So most of the time you can find me on Twitter. Um, the, the fastest way to get hold of me is a text message and next best is the DM on Twitter. And then after that, maybe LinkedIn, then it’s email

Scott Luton (00:59:06):

Love that. So, uh, Amanda and clay, if we can drop in certainly his Twitter profile in the comments, Twitter link, we’ve got his LinkedIn in the show notes and, um, let’s make sure we help get folks connected with [inaudible]. It’s a fascinating POV that you brought here today, uh, from all things, technology, procurement, supply chain talent

Greg White (00:59:30):

More. Yeah, I’ve learned a lot from you guys. Um, Greg, great comments and Scott, great questions. I always say questions are more important than answers, you know, believe me. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:59:40):

Agreed. Agreed. Well, Hey, happy holidays. Merry Christmas. Happy new year. All the obligatory let’s have a collective, uh, collectively, uh, smashed point successful year in 2021. And we’re going to have you back soon. So thanks so much. Sorry.

Greg White (00:59:59):

I wish you all your viewers, um, a great, uh, uh, 20, 21, and I hope it’s much better than 2020, so thank you. Thanks so much. Thanks Scott. Take care.

Scott Luton (01:00:13):

Wow. They’re there, you know, when you get a great guests grit, uh, and, and you’re getting great commentary from the community, like we always get, it is so tough to make as much, uh, traction, you know?

Greg White (01:00:26):

Yeah. It’s okay though. I think we hit, I think we hit a number of salient points as evidenced by [inaudible] commentary and the comments in the comment stream here, you know, I think, uh, uh, can I just talk about gut feeling a little bit, um, first of all, Sarbjeet and his knowledge really, really impressive deep. I think, I think I felt like it was really complimentary, you know, uh, his understanding is very, very deep obvious obviously, but he communicates it so effectively. Right. Um, now, uh, and, and I don’t disagree by the way on this discussion. Uh, I think it was Keith Wright who said gut feeling, but here’s what gut feeling actually is. It is indescribable intellect. That’s what gut feeling is. Nobody actually has a gut feeling. They just can’t describe the means by which they came to a decision or they influenced a decision or they impacted a change or something like that.

Greg White (01:01:27):

But AI is a great tool if used, right. And I think it’s kind of a consulting methodology to say, why did you make that decision that way, gut feel what made your gut feel that way? If you break it down that way, then you can actually duplicate gut-feel and you never get it wrong because one of the, one of the major issues, and I’ve been in supply chain for more than two decades, we’d love to say, particularly in supply chain is I’ve seen a number of studies where 84% of the time that human beings intervene in the process they’re wrong. So we have to mitigate gut feel and we have to figure out what makes gut feel the right feel. Right. And I think with AI applied appropriately and, and educated appropriately, then we can do that

Scott Luton (01:02:15):

Well said, and we’re getting some comments there. I agree. I like that instant in indescribable intellect or intelligence there. I love that. All right. So no shortage of conversation, we’re going

Scott Luton (01:02:27):

To have a lot more, uh, we all know it goes about

Scott Luton (01:02:29):

Saying the, the, uh, just how deep and how continue,

Scott Luton (01:02:36):

Uh, opportunities to go

Scott Luton (01:02:38):

Technology penetrating that traditional supply chain and how it’s managed and, and, and the art of the possible in supply chain. It really is. Yeah. It is opening so many opportunities for folks for the top talent to get involved for current talent, to do more and, and, and to do exciting new things. So, uh, it’s a great story to talk about. I appreciate all the comments coming in. We’re going to wrap here, here momentarily. However, Greg, I don’t want to touch on, I’ve gotten a couple of texts included from our dear friend, Gary Smith. Uh, clay broke out the hashtag nerd, the nerd hashtag, which I love, not only am I a proud nerd, but I am a Albea I’m willing to be a huge geek for my son who is a huge comic books fan, right comment. In fact, I never was in my childhood, but he’s into it.

Scott Luton (01:03:33):

So I’m into it. I’ve learned so much from what we call the Marvel comics, uh, consultant that lives here under our household. So today is Stan Stanley Martin Lieber his birthday born on this date, December 28, 1922 in New York came from very humble beginnings. Uh, in his teen years, he shared a, basically a one bedroom apartment where his parents slept on a fold-out sofa. And he, from that humble beginnings, he became a revolutionary, a pioneer, a very successful business person that changed the combo comic books industry. And if you enjoy the rollout of Batman and blade

Scott Luton (01:04:19):

And the Avengers and all those movies

Scott Luton (01:04:21):

That have, that have brought entertainment and, and delight to so many people around the world, he, Stan Lee, as he’s known globally, went on a mission to Hollywood. And for more than a decade, he lobbied Hollywood executives to give comic books, bring them on the silver screen. It’s going to be a hit. These stories need to be heard. So we owe him a high five for that. But also we owe him a high five for making superheroes more human struggling with the challenges of the day, whether it’s stuff like the Vietnam war or, or just growing up, you know, the challenges that pity part Peter Parker had as a, as a high school kid. It really, he did things his way. He refused to do comic books, how comic books and stories had always been done. And, you know, for folks that say, well, what’s the connection, Scott what’s who cares about comic books. There are so many life lessons and business lessons can be learned in these stories like Stanley. So, so Excelsior, which in, in Stanley’s words, he defined it as it was kind of like his, his, um, see you later, alligator Excel, Scheer was upward and onward to greater glory. And so Ben, when he saw this today, he got to see my son, Ben got a kick out of it. And, and that gives me a, that gives me a glowing sense of delight. So Greg, your commentary on Stan Lee or comic books or you name it?

Greg White (01:05:47):

Yeah. Uh, look, I think people express their understanding of the word of, of the world in the way that it exits them. Right. And Stanley understood the world. He understood business, he understood society. He understood, um, human experience in a, in a way that he used characatures and superheroes to express his understanding of the world. And if you, it’s not unlike Ernest Hemingway and Ernest Hemingway book is, is the same, a man drinks, a man struggles, a man dies. End of story. Right. And, and that’s the way Ernest Hemingway not only understood, but if you know anything about Ernest Hemingway, that’s how he lived his life. Um, but, uh, but you know, I think that all of those types of dare I say literature out, there’s not an author on here right now, but they’re, I say, types of artistic expression with words, right. Um, all of those are reflecting on how the world works or how the world is experienced.

Greg White (01:06:53):

So yeah, I think any of those are, are valid. And you know what I was sitting here thinking, as you were talking about what a fascinating story, it would be to understand the supply chain of a comic book talk about, I mean, let’s seriously think about that. Talk about a circular economy when my brother, your son, maybe, and other kids are out there finding, finding comic books from the 1920s right now, Ewing storing, right. Putting them in airtight packaging and all that sort of thing. I mean, talk about a circular economy. We’re going to do it,

Scott Luton (01:07:29):

We’re going to do it. Um, and if we’re speaking, which one of my last one of my son’s favorite gifts I’ve ever given him was like a hundred used comic books that I found online at a kind of an Amazon for comic books and sent to them. And, you know, I love that circular economy feel to it. So we need to do a story on the supply chain comp books, but Hey, really quick to the comments, we’re getting a lot of comments around Stanley being a veteran. He was a veteran. He served in the us army during world war II in, uh, for initially an army signal Corps. But then he was assigned once his talent was his ability to tell a story was identified. They moved him over to the training film division, where he wrote field manuals and military slogan to whatnot. And I didn’t know this as we dove into research and big thanks to Deb Cooley who helped us out three-time Academy award winning director.

Scott Luton (01:08:20):

Frank Capra was one of the folks that Stanley worked with in that training film division as was that no, this Dr. Seuss was a veteran of the us army worked in that training film division. What a talent ended, the army know they had, uh, the incredible talent, uh, assembled, uh, in the trying to win the war via a propaganda standpoint during world war II. So all very true, and it really makes for a great story with lessons that are applicable as Greg, as you mentioned across industries. So big, thanks for all the comments, uh, here today, through all the different segments from the news to Sarbjeet Joe Hall, who brought one, as we thought brought a wonderful savvy, been there, done that. Um, enlightened is a word that comes to mind, uh, point of view here to today’s live stream. Greg

Greg White (01:09:13):

Undoubtedly. Yeah, I think, um, rational, right. And objective perspective. Somebody said that earlier, right. Was this was, uh, a very objective perspective on AI. And I think that that’s important, right? We need, there, there’s no value in, in debating extremes. There is just no value in it. And if we’ve learned anything from 2020, it’s that, uh, if you hadn’t learned it before, hopefully you learned it this year, what you need to understand is the merits of something in a rational environment. Right. Right. Well said, and I’m a big proponent of, of rationality. So

Scott Luton (01:09:55):

Well said. Um, all right. Log your stuff here today. I wanna thank, uh, clay and Amanda behind the scenes as always. And Claire, I appreciate that proud nerd. Hey, you know, we’re proud nerds around here, whether it’s comic books now for me or star Trek, star Wars, you name it. You learn so much from those folks and how they weave in as Keith puts it. They weave in really important commentary that Greg was speaking to earlier into these stories that just happened to be, you know, Sapphire related. Keith says Dan Lee was at the forefront of pushing social boundaries, powerful women as miss Marvel and African-American superheroes, black Panther and power man, and, and, and others. Keith, great call out there. If you enjoy our conversation here at till end about Stan Lee, be sure to check out, uh, this week in business history, wherever you get your podcasts. And we dropped that the origin story of Stan Lee on today’s episode. All right. So Greg, looking forward to dropping your end of your interview, tentatively slated for this Friday. Folks are gonna get a kick out of that. Um, what’s one key thing when we wrapped, this is the Ringo over a little bit here, but what’s one key thing that [inaudible] said here today that our communities should really latch on to, and then I’m a close.

Greg White (01:11:07):

Wow. Finding one key thing is tough. But um, to me it was the, it was the micro nature of information is, you know, as he talked about that, I was thinking, how do you teach a kid to speak? Or how do you teach a kid? The alphabet? You show them an a right. So if we think of teaching AI by starting with that, starting with those Mike micro, um, information, whatever he called it, I’m sorry.

Scott Luton (01:11:37):

The age of micro consumption, what is it? The age of micro consumption. Okay.

Greg White (01:11:42):

Assumptions. Right. So if you think about teaching AI, like you teach a child, the analogy that we use, then first you have to show it in a, then you show it a B, then you show it the order in which they come, and then you challenge it at that point to, to name three, then six, then 12, then 26, whatever, however long your respective alphabet is. Right. Can I just, just one thing before we wrap to Scott this week on tequila sunrise also because we are in the giving season, I wanted to make sure that we helped people. So I have been sailing for a lot of years and I’m, I’m copying a philosophy from a great sailing, couple linen Larry party, who said, if you want to go sailing, start small, small boat, start simple, simple equipment start now. Right? And I want to provide the same kind of scenario.

Greg White (01:12:40):

You know, how I feel about give forward. Um, I want to provide the same type of scenario because I was been inspired by something I learned over the holidays about some kind of unintentional giving that I’ve been doing. So, um, I want to show people how to start simple giving how, how to start small and how to start now. So that’s what this episode of tequila, sunrise is going to be all about. Won’t be terribly long. It’s going to be very concise and it’s going to allow you to micro. What did you say again, Scott, consumption’s micro consumption on how to start giving

Scott Luton (01:13:18):

And that drops Thursday though, right? Yep. Awesome. Looking forward to that really enjoyed the replay of the Ben Gordon story last week. That that’s a great one. Uh, and folks really enjoy all the comments here. Uh, all the POV shared here today, uh, serve Jeep was a home run gas, Greg, I appreciate your complimentary perspective on some things we’ve talked about and folks, uh, wherever you are. I hope that, you know, your end of year, you get some respite and you get some peace and you can, you can, uh, log off email for a little while and get away from zoom calls and everything else. But wherever you find that peace and you’re able to recharge your batteries in a very meaningful way. And as Greg says and give and give forward to others, wherever you find that, hopefully you find that in spades here in the year, cause you want to get ready because 2021 is going to be an transformative year and, uh, collectively we’re gonna, we’re gonna make it happen. So really appreciate our community all this year, money back guarantee, money back guarantee, right? Hey, uh, happy holidays, Merry Christmas and happy new year to all of all folks that may be listening or tune into this wherever you are. And on that note, Hey, do good gift forward. Be the change that’s needed to be like Stanley. And we’ll see you

Intro/Outro (01:14:38):

Next time here on supply chain now.

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The Supply Chain Buzz for December 28th: featuring Sarbjeet Johal


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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Vicki White


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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

Katherine Hintz, MBA is a marketing professional who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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Kim Reuter

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Mary Kate Love

VP, Marketing

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.

She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.

An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.

A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.

A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning.  He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.

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Tandreia Bellamy

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.

Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.

Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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