“You really need to be in the land. You need to be in the field. You need to work with the people on the ground. That’s what we do; and we built into that cool technologies like blockchain and IOT and artificial intelligence and analytics. We make it real for the people on the land.”
– Jaco Maass is the General Manager of SHIFT DX
Although supply chains are increasingly global in nature, the concerns and culture in each link of the chain is still tied very closely to the local community. European and North American supply chains often reach the continent of Africa – and South Africa specifically, where today’s guest it based – but that does not mean that we can easily appreciate all of the differences between our business climate and theirs.
Jaco Maass is the General Manager of SHIFT DX, an industry leader in digital transformation in the agriculture supply chain that is making technologies such as the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain technology and platform marketplaces accessible to primary farmers in Africa.
Through the opportunities made possible by digital technology, Africa is emerging as a huge beneficiary and a large player in the fourth industrial revolution often referred to as Industry 4.0.
In this episode, Jaco paints a vivid picture of the combination of digital transformation and African agriculture for Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton:
· The multiple types of farmers (including commercial and emerging) working in the African agriculture supply chain
· How digital technologies are making it possible for small farmers in Africa to join the global marketplace
· The critical importance of traceability in food supply chains, including livestock, produce, and more processed goods
Welcome to supply chain. Now the voice of global supply chain supply chain now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues. The challenges and opportunities stay tuned to hear from those making global business happen right here on supply chain now.
Scott Luton (00:32):
Good afternoon, Scott Luton, Greg white with you here on supply chain there. Welcome to today’s live stream, Greg. Good afternoon. How are you doing? I am doing well. I guess we better be fleet of foot today. Mr. Luton. Yes, extra fleet Bobby. And there’s a band named body fleet and to beat by, but I’ll get it right a little later on. We’ll have to look it up. Bobby fleet in the band with the beat. Um, but nevertheless today’s episode is all about what’s going on all the cool things going on across the continent of Africa, especially in supply chain, especially in global business so much that doesn’t get enough visibility and coverage. And Greg, this has been one of our favorite new series, right? Yeah. I mean, I, I have been amazed and I think we both have of what we have learned already just from what is going on in Africa, but incredible complexities and incredible difficulties, right.
Scott Luton (01:29):
Of such a vast place with so many countries on it. And the, the difficulty both in bringing emerging markets up right up into kind of first world market status and also all of the dynamics between, but, but just the incredible growth that’s going on and yeah. And amazing innovation that’s happening there. Agreed. We’ve got a labor valued for sure. Yes. So late breaking news bulletin. So Murphy’s law is alive and well as we, as we’ve long noted and Jenny from the, the one and only Ginny Froome typically joins us and co-hosts a series with us, but we’ve got some, we’ve got some internet and some power issues. So she may join us about halfway through and that’s fine. We’re, we’re very transparent about that kind of stuff here cause everyone’s experiencing it. So we’ll miss Jenny. Hopefully she can join us just a few minutes late, but we will see, we definitely want to share a say picks is doing is a great community, you know, kind of bringing people together to help further the industry in South Africa and, and it really across African region y’all can learn more at St.
Scott Luton (02:37):
Picks S a P S C s.org. They’ve got a great virtual event coming up in August. Greg also want to share one more resource to see if we can do this. We’ve got, uh, an interesting webinar coming up on March 23rd. That really we’ve gotten a bunch of questions and inquiries about industry 4.0, it’s nothing new, really. However, there’s a ton of new creative applications, especially when comes to the manufacturing industry. We’ve got two pros to know to be joining us on March 23rd for free y’all can sign up in the link in the show notes. And Greg, we’re looking forward to hosting that one, huh?
Greg White (03:08):
I am particularly because of two things. One, one of the many, one of the main questions I get frequently is what the heck is industry 4.0, so not to be a spoiler, but in brief, think of, of the industrial revolution taking so many things from manual to mechanical, think of an industry 4.0, taking mechanical to technological and improving both manual and, and mechanical processes through that. That’s the simplest explanation I can give. Let’s see what Toby, Austin and Mike have to say when they join us and note that Toby us also is working at a division of Porsche. So do you think I’ll ask him about cars?
Scott Luton (03:51):
Oh, definitely. Definitely. I’m bringing my diet Coke and popcorn and just watch y’all go at it. Uh, so my favorite parts. All right, so y’all check that out. March 23rd. Of course you can find the link in the show notes. Let’s do this. And of course, standard disclaimer, if you enjoy this conversation, be sure to find supply chain now, tequila, sunrise, and the rest of our properties, wherever you get your podcasts from. Now, one of my favorite parts beyond meeting our guests, we’ve got wonderful guests teed up, uh, Jaco Moss will be joining us here just momentarily. But we love saying hello to everybody. This, this one of my favorite parts of these, the world kind of gets like closer, right? When we jump online together and enjoy a good conversation. So pre teak, you can’t do a live stream without pretyt. Can Kenny Greg,
Greg White (04:33):
I can’t. And I feel like I might never eat Indian food again until I’m in fact, I am boycotting Indian food until petite can get here for the lunch that I have promised him.
Scott Luton (04:45):
Wow. That’s that’s big news. Big news. Yep. Never again, never again. Any of, you know, Susan via LinkedIn. Great to see you here, Peter Beaujolais wonderful interview earlier this week. Hopefully you, this finds you in, in your, your, your, uh, extended family doing well. I know that that you had had some developments there this week, but hope this finds you well. And I love that soccer ball as a, as a translator, as a bridge. I love that that came out in the interview past kina via LinkedIn. Great to see you here. Thanks so much for being a part Salman via LinkedIn. Simon is back. Simon has some great questions earlier this week, Greg, and you remember them too, cause you’re you’re, you’re a laugh a little bit Simon. Okay.
Greg White (05:30):
Simon’s obviously channeling good morning, Vietnam.
Scott Luton (05:35):
I missed that. You know, and he’s not afraid of asking the Greg white question. So I love that about Simon. So great to have you here. Tom is here early and there’s a countdown. He says, I did not know that. Hey Tom, great to see you. And I don’t know
Greg White (05:49):
Anybody about that countdown. We’ve gotten some nasty grams about that. Somebody who’s claimed who has claimed a countdown. Yes, gosh.
Scott Luton (05:58):
You know, it’s interesting that there’s a
Greg White (05:59):
Desperate business. If that’s what you’re going to pay,
Scott Luton (06:02):
You get things from the free usage, uh, you know, communities we’re all part of. And then all of a sudden you see claims here and there. So it’s, it’s interesting, but Tom, you said Mike Lackey looks familiar. I think Mike made an appearance just a few days ago on, on your podcast. So hope this finds you well, great to have you here. Aaron Peterson. Great to see ya. Another way in the supply chain universe. What’s up gang.
Greg White (06:25):
Didn’t we ask the question if you graduated. Yeah. Right. Did we get the answer? I don’t recall that.
Scott Luton (06:32):
Aaron. Aaron, no pressure.
Greg White (06:34):
Aaron, of course, but we’re all very curious as you,
Scott Luton (06:37):
Yeah. We’d love to reconnect. So we sat down with Aaron in February, 2020 with him and three of his, uh, colleagues from Morgan state university. And, uh, Aaron would love to know what’s the latest with you and your career. So I hope this finds you. Well, Gary Smith is here with us and Greg’s got his palette just for you, Gary. Yeah.
Greg White (06:55):
Gary C just for you. My palette is back in place. Um, also Gary informed me that it was 62 there in the last couple of days and he has his bike out. He has his bike out ready to ride all tuned up with new brakes. We’re ready to go.
Scott Luton (07:12):
As I learned Greg, as he made a guest appearance and let a episode of this week in business history, he’s a biking enthusiast. He’s very passionate about biking and he knows all the, all the equipment and stuff. So we’ll have to pick his brain soon enough
Greg White (07:27):
Supply chain, by the way, my best buddy Todd rains is an, I would say, uh, he is a biking obsession, and he has been talking for months about the struggles of getting parts in for these bikes, bikes themselves, of course, and now, and now getting parts in the year that they would have figured it out. But I, I guess just the uptick and who knows.
Scott Luton (07:52):
Well, that’s why I’m not getting my 20 miles a day in just so you know, we’re waiting on four or five spare parts.
Greg White (07:57):
I’m going to have to write that excuse down. That’s going to be part of my 17 pages.
Scott Luton (08:04):
Peter says, Hey, great show, Greg with Gregor party agreed. And he’s got some tequila, sunrise recommendations for you. Wow.
Greg White (08:14):
Sheila Scott, on that episode, we literally on the second part of that, of that interview. The second half of that interview, we spend twice as much time talking about tequila. As we do about how to build principles and culture into your business. Now it was well more than even doubt because of the two.
Scott Luton (08:33):
So I got to catch up. I clearly I’ve got to catch up and don’t get me.
Greg White (08:37):
We thought about both the principles and culture of your company and tequila.
Scott Luton (08:42):
And if we look forward to that and get tequila, sunrise, wherever you get your podcasts from Daria. Hey, great to have you. Thanks so much for your recent comments. And I look forward to your contributions here today.
Scott Luton (08:56):
Okay. We’ve got to stop there. We’ve got great guests. We’re going a little bit longer because we’re saying like saying the low, but also we’re, we’re hoping to give Jenny a little extra time. So who knows? We’ll see if we can’t cap, we can’t have her join us as we get deeper into conversation, but for now, Greg, let’s bring on our exceptional guests today. Are you ready? Let’s do it. Okay. Let’s bring in Jaco, Mohs general manager at shift DX, Jaco. How are we
Speaker 5 (09:27):
Jaco Maass (09:28):
So you were so entertaining. Why did you bring me on now? So, well, you know what? We really enjoyed the pre-show conversation. Of course your ears have been burning for weeks is as Jenny and others have been singing your praises. So looking forward to diving in, but we’ve got to answer to our mystery and I want to share that, uh, as Erin says, he’s going to have a big announcement coming up. That’s exciting. And he also says he’s received an offer already. So as soon as this Clarence has done anything in the door, he’s going to make the announcement. So hopefully we can, we can help him make that announcement. So Aaron that’s great news. Okay. So Jaco, let’s get to know you better. And you know, we all miss Jenny we’ll we’ll, hopefully Murphy’s all will cooperate. We’ll have her join us, but let’s start by getting to know you a little better before we talk heavy lifting and industry and, and thought leadership.
Jaco Maass (10:17):
Let’s get to know Jaco Mostel a bit better. So tell us, where are you from? And, and, um, you know, give us a minute or two about your upbringing. Oh, thanks guys. Thanks for opportunities is great talking to you and your community. I grew up on the West coast of South Africa. Now you would most probably recognize that English is my second language. Um, so you know, sometimes say that you must be careful because if the English out is some shorter words that we start using to describe difficult concepts, I went, you will enjoy that Greek. I went to university of Stellenbosch, uh, in a beautiful town, uh, well-known uh, studied agricultural administration, started off my working career in the citrus industry, really, you know, and that’s supposed to probably the only place that I really got to know it so much did a lot of things.
Jaco Maass (11:10):
They, and they moved over to the banking industry for 10 years. I did cash flows and cash flows and people’s financial statements, which is an interesting thing. And it becomes quite relevant in my story a little bit later on, I joined PKB a hundred year old agricultural organization, situating, where I’m coming from in 2010, specifically looking at commodity finance and how you actually can start utilizing a commodity and utilize that as a underlying security, which is also relevant to the old African story. In 2013, I moved over to it. I believe that almost all the way through my working career, you can choose from a corporate banker over into it, which was funny. And, uh, yeah, it was since I’ve been yet important, Elizabeth got a beautiful wife and kids, two daughters, and, uh, I implemented the ERP and then, uh, through the streets, uh, had a little bit of a surprise, keep the number three. So we [inaudible] implementation [inaudible] but it is a boy. And he’s really fun. And I really you, in which way from oranges is that, was that your citrus, right? From orange to banking, to technology. That is quite the right. Right. But I do think that it needs more bankers, you know? Yes.
Scott Luton (12:42):
And bankers need more it. Right. So does agriculture truly, which is what we’re going to talk about today. I agree. Cultural supply chain. So we got a lot more comments coming in and I wish we could, we could reference everybody, but hello, as Aaliyah and arena, who’s in Cape town, uh, Andrea is here, which is wonderful. So hello and welcome everybody. So Jaco, so really quick for you start talking heavy lifting, give us one hobby that you enjoy doing kind of, to kind of unplug and maybe a favorite recent read a book. Yeah.
Jaco Maass (13:13):
Yeah. I will say that. I must always, I would always like to say that digital transformation is my hobby. If you ask my wife, you know, I’m constantly busy with it. I get up at four o’clock in the morning, keeping myself busy with this such an interesting field. But yeah, I do enjoy, um, fishing a little bit and uh, exercising, but otherwise, you know, I try to keep a balanced lifestyle, the latest interesting reads. I, you know, I don’t want to go into a bookstore because there’s such a lot, the latest is very much a books that I’ve bought the series on that is all about the business models, value creation. And how do you actually deliver value to your customers? But yeah, so, but one of the books that stands out is one is called friction friction.
Scott Luton (14:05):
Okay. We’re gonna have to dive into that one. All right. One last question for, uh, turn over to Greg here. You mentioned in your downtime, you enjoy digital transformation. So, and you talked about in your profile that you’re very passionate and in love with this world of data analytics. So where what’s the Genesis of that? Where did that?
Jaco Maass (14:26):
Yeah, I think it started when I was in the bank when I was in a bank app. So in South Africa, Barclays from Barclays, as you guys will call it, the both apps are over and they brought something. What was called value, aligned performance management tool, which created all about what is the value of a customer. And we even had in our KPIs, something that we add the cross sell so much product to sell to a customer. So when I joined this agricultural organization BKB it’s, it has the largest national footprint in South Africa. So I got to call it organization. And I was so intrigued on this footprint and say, they must be value in the clients that they had. So the data analytics portion came, and this is, this is where the whole nine yards come in because I needed to start in it physically with a, the, when in the land and then started moving up to an ERP and then to business intelligence and eventually get into analytics and starting showing what the value is in a relationship that you have with your customers.
Jaco Maass (15:31):
So, uh, on that note, one quick comment, and then Gregory, we’re gonna pass the Baton. So we were talking to Keela before you joined us Jaco, and I’ve got a reference this two quick comments. First AAS is speak AA in Wichita, Kansas air capital world is referencing Ondrea. And we know that Guadalajara is the tequila capital of the world, your evil twin. Andrea offered us a couple of shots already say, Hey, great call out there. And I got a reference it’s comment from time going back to the implementation. Hey, glad to hear the stressful ERP implementation for sure. But it’s with me for the rest of my life. I could. Alright, so Gregory, where are we going from here?
Greg White (16:16):
Yeah. Well, first of all, I had to laugh when you said that digital transformation was your recreation, because I can relate, you know, when people, when you, when you have to do a bio or something like that, and people ask you about your recreation, you really, you really have to think about it. And I realized the number of times that I’ve passed up, going to play tennis or racing cars or whatever to work. And I, I have actually started telling people, I think work might be my, my recreation, right. So I empathize with where you’re at for sure. But you are so dedicated to this, so dedicated to digital transformation, what’s going on, that you have a company shift DX, right? So tell us a little bit about what you all, what you all do there. I’m fascinated by how that might, I mean, and I know you probably may or may not be able to make the comparison, but I’m fascinated by how that might be different in South Africa than it is in other parts of the world. But tell us a little bit about what you’re doing. If you’re coming.
Jaco Maass (17:17):
I think the company, the company was created as a flow out and you, you earlier discussed about the fourth industrial revolution, you know, as an it manager, I think you’re constantly being questioned about what is that Uber and Airbnb type of transformation that’s going to happen in your industry. So, you know, and, and, and one of the things that we, the blockchain, for instance, very much in the BKV concept is something that is most probably, uh, has the opportunity to disrupt us open a hundred year old organization, because it’s all about trust. So I tried to convince my within much, going out MDU was at this retirement stages to give me some money, to do a proof of concept on the blockchain and the success from that, then leverage us into let’s start putting these technologies out in the support of the South African agricultural industry. So what’s shifting, starting doing is taking the fourth industrial revolution as a tool for the primary Africa, South African farmer, if it emerging or commercial and making it a reality for them by utilizing technologies like blockchain and advanced analytics, auctions, digital auctions, and, you know, the journey has just been unbelievable, but still, also very stressful. So, um,
Greg White (18:42):
Interested in this whole concept, you know, I’m from, uh, I’m from a farm state here in the States, Kansas. So, no, I don’t know, Dorothy, before you ask Jacobi.
Jaco Maass (18:51):
Um, but, um, I am interested in the transformation of, of the agricultural supply chain. So, you know, what are you,
Greg White (19:01):
Are you seeing happening there? Is there anything you think people really ought to know that they’re not completely aware of in the agricultural supply
Jaco Maass (19:09):
Today? Yeah, I think there’s definitely two things. There’s two worlds that we need to put apart when we talk about actually crossover in Africa and maybe more closer to home to South Africa, there is the traditional commercial farmer that has always been very competitive in the international market. So if we can just for a moment talk about the commercial farm or the South African commercial form that has gone for years without the subsidy from government. And I, I think what does happen through COVID and this is a prediction and I’m, I’m, I’m, you know, if you read articles in economists and all of that, I think the South African farmer should not really benefit from what is coming out of this crisis because they had to be competitive in an international market with industries that were subsidized. If those subsidies starts flowing to social welfare, they are really competitive now.
Jaco Maass (20:01):
So that’s on the one side of the commercial farmer that has adopted these technologies to tremendous effect, to be competitive in a market that was subsidized. Then on the other side, to be talking about the emerging farmer and the challenges that we are, that we are having in Africa with regards to, to, to, to the emerging farmer and bringing them into a commercial market, you know, I think it’s just going to be alleviated by, by something like the, uh, the reality of fourth industrial revolution tools that it brings. So in a lot of what you shared already, and you mentioned
Greg White (20:36):
A little while back about how, how stressful and challenging the journey’s been let’s let’s apply, you know, digital transformation is everywhere and, you know, we’ve launched a great series, have been well received by Kevin L. Jackson digital transforms,
Scott Luton (20:48):
Just because it’s so front and center in every conversation, regardless of industry sector, you name it. But when it comes though to agricultural supply chain and cause this is, I think for me, at least I can tell ya, there’s not a whole bunch at, you know, I’m, I’m so much the consumer when it comes to that topic.
Jaco Maass (21:07):
Yeah. When it comes to
Scott Luton (21:09):
Digital transformation is in that sector, what are some unique challenges that you’re seeing that’s inherent to agricultural supply chain?
Jaco Maass (21:16):
Yeah, I think some of the challenges are very much infrastructure makes me think of, there was a, a time magazine article that was once written about, uh, the differences between India and China, because in the early eighties, they were exactly on the same stage with regards to the development. But there’s two things that China did different. They invested in education and they invested in infrastructure. If you look at the challenges that we have in this country with regards to what the cost is, very much those two things. So education and the ability to generate infrastructure is a starter. It’s not just about the roads. It’s also about, uh, electricity, like Janie will, uh, conference this evening right now. Yeah. Electricity
Greg White (22:04):
Parliament right now, lobbying for underground power.
Jaco Maass (22:08):
She must go green genie anyway. And, and education, because, you know, one thing that I’ve learned in the banking industry was all about how do you, how do you, how do you transform the ability to manage the risk? How do you give the emerging form of the ability to manage risk? Because that is the big thing that we need to address.
Scott Luton (22:28):
So let me, uh, uh, Greg, before we move right along, speaking of Jenny, I want to share a common here. Good. Y’all go, great job as always chap. So sorry, not to be their area fiber issue, as they say, uh, working on it apparently. So they might see later, great. At least can listen. So Jenny, I hope this finds you well, so glad to see you and sorry for the challenges there. Uh, also want to share this comment from Rhonda and Dr. Bumpkins as Zimmerman. She, she kind of piggybacks on something Greg shared, and I think this is a great comment. Your passion often filters your work life and fun time habits too. When you love what you do when you love what you do. I agree Greg white work, as we call it can fuel our passion in life. I bet she meant to say, which is a blessing when it is truly purposeful for humanity. Appreciate you sharing your perspective on this aspect. Good stuff. I want to add. Rhonda shared with me yesterday. She, she apologized for the typo, which also always messes with my brain because she is a, she, I think she’s on the treadmill yesterday, out in beautiful Arizona, uh, as she was typing listing. So Rhonda, thanks so much for sharing and thanks for filling me some curve balls there. All right. So Greg, where are we going next?
Greg White (23:37):
Yeah. Well, uh, I mean, I think we have talked about this topic. So every time we’ve talked about supply chain in Africa with so many people, but every time we can get another perspective on that, I think it’s incredibly valuable. And so, you know, one of the things we always ask is what do you see as the current or primary challenges and maybe just solely in the ag supply chain, but what do you see as the current challenges in Africa specifically that, you know, either are being dealt with or need to be dealt with or, or are hindering or helping the marketplace there?
Jaco Maass (24:13):
Yeah, I think, like I said, you know, if, if we really look at the commercial farmers and I visited a place called Redfern tiny Namibia, uh, last year and it was, I was astonished I how those emerging farmers utilize something like a electronic tech, which they put in a animal’s ear, which immediately allowed a individual farmer because the challenges of Africa is very much what, what we all know as the fortunate, the bottom of the pyramid. These are, these are, they are a lot of small, small community farmers, cars that as thin animals or forms or on a small field. How do you bring those type of guys into a commercial market that supplies into the U S or the Europe market? Coming back to my story on the movie and hood Fontaine is I was astonished by how, if you can utilize something like technology, or you can bring those small groups all together into, into a commercial package that you can then trickle over into a commercial market. So yes, the challenges very much is, is getting the technology to them, getting them connected and, and making them part of, uh, but it’s, it’s totally, totally a different marketing. What we are used to the way that right, the animals or the commodities
Scott Luton (25:36):
Before we move forward. I want to share this speaking of this industry from Simon, he worked for an agricultural firm and a single biggest challenge was the location of the project. It was in the middle of bloody nowhere field, uh, difficult to get to, and nothing there for us to transform and building power, et cetera. Interesting perspective.
Jaco Maass (25:56):
Yeah. I must say that there’s a lot of this, a lot of businesses coming now into Africa, investing in, in sorting those problems out there. Sorry, please.
Greg White (26:05):
No, no, no. Well actually you were kind of going towards what I wanted to kind of spin out on there and that is, there are so many of these entities. I, you know, I think of, again, Kansas history, learning about the cattle pens in Abilene, Kansas, how farmers and ranchers would, they would bring their flocks to this common market and, you know, they would be sold individually or maybe blended or whatever. But you’re talking about the situation where instead of thousands of head of cattle, 10 heads of cattle and a thousand farmers,
Jaco Maass (26:37):
Right. Not even date we’re talking to at three. Yeah.
Greg White (26:41):
And the challenge there becomes, you know, things like quality, even breeder, provenance, pedigree, whatever there. Uh, and, and as you said, treated so differently, have you seen, I mean, have you seen some advancements in how to manage that, share that with us,
Jaco Maass (26:59):
This company that owns shift is, is, uh, as I mentioned earlier, BKV, who’s an a hundred year old agricultural organization specifically, and you will see the paintings behind me. The fiber industry will mow it, that type of thing. And also livestock site, uh, BKB as over the past 15 to 20 years available. And this is an amazing thing. They’ve developed these emerging farmers taking part in a international wool market, and they’re delivering, they are delivering wolves physically in a plastic bag and taking part in an international market. And what we’ve seen because they see value because they see it as this is not, you know, there’s this value. They immediately start investing into that industry and they look well after the animals, listen, we are not talking about farms where somebody owns a piece of land. This is community land. And this thing walk, there’s a, there’s a chief that sees overseas thing.
Jaco Maass (27:59):
They come together in sharing sheets and it’s unbelievable how they then in the sharing sheets she had as a community and then deliver into this community, into the international market. And this organization handles this and, and, and bib pays out. I think in the region of 80,000 of these emerging farmers each year, I handled them and bring them into this international community. And this is what I’m seeing is, is that it’s an opportunity to start utilizing the fourth industrial region, to knowledges into other industries, bringing them in and supplying into a world that is going to require 30% more food over the next 30 years. Powerful share a couple of comments. If as Leah says, there’s so much deep rooted history, Gregor of speaking to this and family lineage engraved in these long running agricultural companies. And she also, uh, you know, we’re talking digital transformation here today.
Jaco Maass (28:56):
Curious to understand the difficulties in digitizing agricultural processes are pursuing that farmers have a very structured and traditional culture rightfully so and way of doing things that could cause difficulty in integrating digital digitization. They understand what works, but digitization could enlighten all of us on what works best or worst. Any comments there. The interesting thing about a farmer, and if this is not just a South African thing, I think this is an international thing. A farmer is what they call. I think the word is a kinetic learner. They learn through seeing, so you need to show them, you need to physically show them. Now, this is sometimes a challenge is saying that you, you need to choose the road that you go down to on. And then hopefully to a point where you can show it to somebody and say, this is how this thing works in order then to say that, but does this create value? So they, you know, sitting with the farmer and showing them this digital transformation can do the following for you. But, you know, we all know the book of Jeffrey Moore called crossing the chasm, what we see. And last year we implemented our first digital auction on the 15th of February. I think the last one COVID just closed the chasm. And, you know, we had, we are sitting in our first year on about 200 digital options that we hosted this year.
Greg White (30:17):
Yes. Necessity is the mother of invention. Right. And you know, it’s interesting, especially as Leah’s comment there, it’s, it’s really interesting knowing that dynamic, having worked on the family farm and realizing that’s why I’m a kinetic learner.
Jaco Maass (30:39):
Greg White (30:39):
I am. I’m literally the person who says, draw me a picture. Right. And I think that is true because so much of what you do is tangible. It is inherently tangible. And in some cases solely tangible, you, you raise a beast, you sell that beast, you get physical capital in your hand, right? Things like that. You raise a crop, you sell that crop, you get physical capital in your hand. And, you know, as I was thinking about this a little bit earlier, when you were talking Jaco, it always comes down to economics. When you said they’ll treat their animals better when they see how the process works and see the value that it brings, you liberally see those things, right. They can see, for instance, if you’re talking about sheep’s wool, they can see better will like, I mean, anyone, anyone who has ha has herded sheep knows better will when they see it, literally knows that. And of course, when they see that additional capital from that, then they see the value and that motivates them to go back next season and change the way they do things.
Jaco Maass (31:45):
It is pretty much so
Greg White (31:47):
When you you’ve seen that occur. And, and as a Leah’s sort of, um, uh, you know, sort of an enunciated that as well, but are there other aspects of supply chain or of agriculture or, or the confluence of the two in Africa that you think needs more visibility, more needs to be seen more either by the participants or by the general marketplace in order to bring it along in terms of digital or just general transformation?
Jaco Maass (32:17):
Yeah. I think we specifically think the first hurdle that we need to cross is traceability. Knowing where the product comes from, moving out, the product has been handled personally. I I’ve got a, a bee in my bonnet about, you know, do you really know what you’re eating, right? Because that question has been popping up. Or if you put it like this, since I joined this specific business understanding what’s in your meat, I think you need to ask the question, where does my meat come from? And what did that animal eat anyway? That’s it? I think coming back to our challenges are if we can start doing traceability and then adding value from that, adding the analytical portion to that so that we can start improving the ability of that farmer and for him to become more efficient as well as more productive. So that’s the first hurdle that we would like to cross with. My specific was probably the traceability portion in world food production.
Greg White (33:16):
It’s certainly possible right there. They’re doing that with fish fishing in Indonesia. So, I mean, you can literally trace a fish all the way back to the actual boat and Fisher person who, who actually caught it. So the possibility exists and probably one of the links is those ear tags that you’re talking about.
Jaco Maass (33:37):
But isn’t this exciting times, you know, this is being technology like blockchain, IOT, all of these things coming to the party and stalling solving problems that we’ve been having for decades.
Greg White (33:49):
Yeah. Well, you know what that, you know what it does Jaco, I think again, thinking back, you’ve got me thinking a lot about my youth, but thinking back, I think about
Jaco Maass (34:01):
Concept that inhibit.
Greg White (34:02):
So thanks for waking me up that, you know, I think back to our version of blockchain, which was, we knew which rancher we wanted to buy a side of beef from every year because we liked how they treated their cattle. We liked them. We knew that they were a good breed. We knew that they were fed properly. So there was just the right amount of fat on the, on the animal. And because the world has become a much, much broader place and we get our goods, things like citrus from so far a field, right, South Africa, citrus gets sold in the United States, right? So because we get these things from so far, a field that ability to go and watch your neighbor raise their produce doesn’t exist anymore. So this is, this is the technology equivalent of being able to know your neighbor,
Jaco Maass (34:52):
But like, it’s all about the story that the product that you consume. You know, when I was a banker, I worked in the, you know, wisdom, caves, wine industry, quite a lot, either port or a wine sellers. And the thing is when you drink a bottle of wine, doesn’t matter where it comes from. You are actually drinking a story. You know, when, where you eat, where, you know, the story of the brand, the wine tastes different. When you noticed what helped you with tequila, the tequilas. And we need to do that with all our foods. You know, it just feels different when you know where it comes from. And I know we’ve talked a lot about beef, do this conversation, but chicken, the poultry industry here in Georgia, it’s one of the things, the second largest export of the state, we’ve got chicken, poultry farms everywhere. I can only imagine. So some of the similar
Scott Luton (35:38):
And unique, uh, digital trans challenges they’ve got in the poultry industry, let’s see here. And by the way, it’s interesting also, because you’re talking about what, you know, get to know where your beef comes from and what the animals have been eating. Gosh, you walk into a grocery store these days and you see chicken breasts over here and they’re here. They’re massive. The birds must have been the size of giraffes and on other, you know, with no hormones injected, it’s more, it looks closer to what we’ve, we’ve become accustomed seeing. It is fascinating. I want to share a couple of comments here. First off. I think Peter was asking to clarify if I heard you, right. Jaco, you were saying P K B was the, was that right? PKB and is that an investment firm? Was that a bank? Is that a financial institution? What is PK again,
Jaco Maass (36:26):
It’s going to cost a little organization that is primarily looking after they, they, they, uh, do about 60%, 68, 65% of the South African world clip. And we do livestock auctions every day, about seven auctions for every working day, somewhere in the country. We host auctions. Then they, uh, great depots, great industry, uh, Razan business sugar, uh, from neighboring Swazi land. Uh, and then about, uh, 60 retail branches that, uh, serves the primary agriculture.
Scott Luton (37:00):
Gotcha. Thank you for clarifying. And Peter, thanks for asking the question there, Tom, uh, piggybacks on Greg’s earlier comment, as well as being able to identify the fishermen. I don’t want certification that was transported at proper temperatures and insufficient time. Excellent point, excellent point. Yeah.
Greg White (37:18):
All of that, all of that is possible. Not all of that is integrated in every supply chain, but yeah, certainly. Yeah.
Scott Luton (37:26):
Agreed. Peter says back chickens, you got to watch this movie supersize me too. Holy chicken. It came out a few years back. I think, I think I started watching that one, but it wasn’t quite as good as the first one, Peter, but Hey, I have to revisit,
Greg White (37:38):
I think that’s your for my ignorance, but what little I know about chicken? Uh, I think I’m just happy with my ignorance,
Scott Luton (37:45):
Right? Exactly. Rhonda says our land air and water health impacts everything in the human body supply chain. Excellent, excellent point there. And there’s a couple of folks that don’t want to ask questions, but David says, Hey, send them to me. I’m going to ask anyone anything. So I love that David, and, and by the way, quick update, we’re publishing a YouTube interview with David tomorrow. Uh, we sat down Dave and a week or two ago really enjoyed it, love his comments here on live stream and look forward to sharing his story there. Okay. So have we have we, we haven’t talked yet, Greg, about all the things going, taking place across, not just South Africa, but across the whole African continent. What’s, what’s an item or two Jaco that you feel should have more visibility across the globe. Yeah, that is
Jaco Maass (38:36):
An interesting question. I think that the mobile visibility for, for the, for the African is the uniqueness of the Africa farmers. They, they are bringing something to the party, which you don’t necessarily, you don’t necessarily find in other economies. Um, and it’s, it’s the, what I’ve seen in, in, in, in this country, uh, working with them is their ability to just, you know, also kind of love for the land to have kind of love for the country. But yeah, so I think for, for me, they uniqueness is just the skills that they have, but it’s, it’s, it’s different. It’s totally different in what we find in the rest of the world. We, you know, it, it really, that’s why our gray I’ve really enjoyed our conversations with Jenny. And, you know, last month we had Kabir with Zippy logistics and some of our other offline conversations. It’s fascinating. The more you dive in, the more you learn, the more you’re made aware of all the things that you just had, you know, how big, at least for me, my blind spot has been to both South Africa and Africa, uh, as a, as a region, right?
Greg White (39:48):
Yeah. I mean, I think it’s, it’s hard for us to think of. I mean, I think the vast majority of Americans think of that place, that you send books and 22 cents a day and t-shirts to after the super bowl. Right. But it’s far more and far more advanced than that. Of course there are those areas pockets, in some cases, large populations of people who are virtually destitute, but you know, the fascinating awakening, I think for a lot of people that we’ve interacted with after having these sessions is just how much advancement and how rapid the advancement is in, in Africa. I mean, it, it is turning in many countries from an agrarian society to an industrialized society, to an industry, uh, you know, a technology enabled industry. It’s going from agrarian through the industrial revolution to industry 4.0 in a matter of years, rather than century.
Jaco Maass (40:44):
Yeah. What do you agree that, you know, after it goes, basically the last frontier, you know, we’ve developed China with developed India, somehow this continent is setting. And the question, what I’ve seen in Africa is this is going to be, China is moving in and they are situating themselves very much in Africa. They bullying infrastructure big time, big time. So the question is does is the loss economy that is going to be developed in this, this is this huge opportunities. But as I said, it is a different way of working with them,
Greg White (41:19):
Very complex. Isn’t it? I mean, with the number of countries and even tribal and other cultural divides, even within those countries, it is a significantly complex, uh, environment you beat to it, Greg,
Scott Luton (41:34):
Uh, cause that’s another big pain. Well, I didn’t read ahead. No, no, no. That’s, that’s a good takeaway is learning, learning from all these conversations and, and, and Jenny and the safe sex community, you know, the 54 countries, I believe that makes up, uh, the African continent and just how all the differences there. Cause Greg going back to your point, I think when folks use the word Africa, they use it in a very, in a very holistic but generalized manner. Unfortunately I think you make the same. I’ve heard you make several times the, the same kind of view on the U S I think maybe abroad folks can think of the U S in a very generalized sense as well. But as we all know here as, and as, as clearly, and it was, it was illustrated during the pandemic because you had different States to different things at different times.
Scott Luton (42:18):
There is, there’s a lot of differences amongst the 50 States, uh, leadership and otherwise. So I think that that’s, uh, one of the other great learnings here, uh, from having these conversations that I particularly enjoyed. Uh, I want to call this, this Andre has a great comment here. We’re talking agricultural supply chain a ton here own the Africa supply chain series, your own supply chain. Now Andrea says the agricultural supply chain nowadays doesn’t cover the demand of the population. An example is the avocado export from Mexico to the U S all the local farmers send the best avocados trying to cover the international demand. So to cover the national demand, we import avocados, put chemicals in them to help them grow faster, affecting land and our health. I had no idea Andre, uh, Adria, thanks for pointing out. My kids love avocados. In fact, uh, Amanda might chuckle, but Ben really latched on our youngest latched on to the, um, the jingle avocados from Mexico. And he just, you know, would not ask, you would ask him on cue where avocados from. And he just, you know, he did it for a laugh, but had no idea it’s, it’s fascinating supply and demand. And, and once you infuse commerce in there, you know, all, all the transactions that got to take place Shockoe.
Jaco Maass (43:35):
Yeah, no, I, you know, getting back to it’s, it’s, it’s just this underlying format of trust that happens in the supply chain, which is we, we, we talk about supply chain as this moving Jain of stuff that happens. But the, the, the, the fundamental thing that becomes very much relevant in Africa is, is do I trust you? Mm Hmm.
Scott Luton (43:59):
That’s great, Greg. That is a wonderful, wonderful point.
Greg White (44:03):
Somebody captured, somebody captured the timestamps of that statement.
Scott Luton (44:08):
Seriously, we’re, we’re laughing and smiling cause we enjoy these conversations, but Greg trust clearly is what makes the world go round? What makes global supply chain take place, right?
Greg White (44:19):
Is undoubtedly that, uh, you know, I mean, you know, we talk about, you know, we were talking about the local supply chain look, supply chain started when I had some grain and you had an Arrowhead and right. I trusted you to give me a good Arrowhead. You trusted me to give you a good grain beginning of supply chain right there. And it got more and more complex from that point. And the relationships got more and more distant from that point. And as we seek to do as, as Andrea, just as Andrew, just alluded to, as we seek to get things out of season or get things from further, uh, around the globe, that trust aspect becomes more important, even more important and yet more difficult to affirm. Hmm.
Jaco Maass (45:05):
Well stated. All right. So I want to make sure Jaco there’s so much, as we talked in the pre-show, there’s only so much we can get in in a 50 minute or so conversation, let’s make sure folks can connect with you Jaco. And then we’re going to ask Jenny in the comments for a couple of things about safe picks, but Jaco, how can folks connect with you and shift DX? How I think the best way to connect with me is through LinkedIn. I’m very active. I do post, uh, please send an invite and go through my timeline because shifted X, we tell our story very much through, through the videos that we post and the specific stories that we want to share. Uh, shifty X is quite a new company. It’s a year old, but you know, I think the defense that we have is we are really making our hands dirty because creativity is the blue collar work.
Jaco Maass (45:57):
You know, you need to, you really need to be in the land. You need to be in the field. You need to work with the people on the ground. And that’s what we do. And we built in from that cool technologies like blockchain and IOT and artificial intelligence and analytics, and all of those are level six, but we make it real for the people on the land. I love that go to the gemba folks, the folks there in the fields, the folks in our factories, the folks that are doing it, they’re the experts. And they’re some of the most brilliant people you ever meet. So excellent way to recap that in as these two comments say, Jenny starts off ignore Africa in all 54 countries at your peril. Excellent point and Petrie. I believe I got this wrong. I apologize. Africa is on the brink of an economic takeoff, much like China was 30 years ago in India, 20 years ago, kind of as, as Jaco was pointing out as well.
Greg White (46:47):
I see a relationship there. Yeah. So
Jaco Maass (46:49):
That’s actually my brother. Hello, B3. I appreciate your comment. I love it. Jenny. Jenny points out relationships totally based on trust. Uh, agreed, great point. There were Jaco, always a pleasure, uh, really enjoyed our time together here today. Appreciate you joining us on this, uh, series that we conduct in partnership with St. Pics all the best. And we’ll be reconnecting again with you here real soon. Thanks Scott. Thanks. Great. It was absolute pleasure. All of this through the supply chain now community. Thank you so much. All right. That was a, you ever get the impression you’re talking to someone that’s 10
Scott Luton (47:30):
Degrees a lot smarter than you are
Greg White (47:34):
Every day, every
Scott Luton (47:36):
Well, sharp, sharp, uh, uh, interesting. And there’s so much more behind what he’s shared here today. A lot more stories, but I want to do this and w as we can keep, you know, kinda, um, wrap it up today, Jenny would love for you to drop the link to the virtual August event in the comments. So we want to make sure folks know how to connect with a lot more stories and business leaders and, and, uh, content from South Africa and, and across Africa. All right. So, Greg, what was one of your favorite aspects of our discussion with the one and only Jaco Moss here today?
Greg White (48:14):
Well, there’s a couple one is that he is a net. He lives next door to the, I think the most famous surfing point in, uh, South Africa. And he didn’t mention surfing as one of his recreations, which tell me, tells me he really loves digital transformation because Jeffrey Bay is one of the most popular spots for great breaks in the whole world, as he told us in the pre-show. So I was stunned to hear that he’s not a surfer. Um, you know, the other is, is the breadth of his experience and think about how these tie together, as he said, getting your hands dirty, started in the agricultural business, learning the numbers by moving to banking and finance, and then ultimately translating that into how to create effectiveness in both of those areas with technology, by moving into digital transformation. And I think, you know, one point that wasn’t raised here, but it certainly ignited this thought in my mind.
Greg White (49:12):
And that is that Africa is actually at an incredible advantage and incredible advantage for rapid growth. And that is because they lack the infrastructure. They lack the historical infrastructure that actually holds developed countries back. A good for instance is a few years ago, I learned about how so many people in, especially Northern Africa, they don’t, they are unbanked. So 80% of the population of Africa at that time was unbanked. Meaning they don’t have a bank account because they don’t have ID. And because they, they don’t get paid enough to be able to, and banks aren’t available, et cetera, et cetera. So a lot of people are now banking on their phone. Now that’s something we should already have been doing in the developed world, especially Europe and America, but our current banking infrastructure, which again, as I always say, follow the economics has a lot of money built up in the current, uh, inf infrastructure of banking, um, can allow and won’t enable. And I experienced this by traveling around the world and seven, eight years ago, maybe more being able to being able to use an international credit card to tap and pay, which now is just now finally coming to America, right? So those advancements in developing countries can come much, much more rapidly by not being encumbered by historical infrastructure stuff.
Scott Luton (50:37):
Definitely. And I’ve got smarter just in the last 45 seconds, Greg. So thank you very much. 45 seconds. It felt like four minutes, 57 maybe, but I enjoy your learnings from your global travels. Uh, I’m very jealous. I want to share a couple of things here to Jenny. So y’all can go to safe picks.org for news of the big annual event, uh, safe sapiens 2020 once y’all check that out. Uh, Louie kind of makes the point. Greg was making, if Africa’s leadership can get sorted out economic takeoff will quickly follow opportunity, hopefully for all
Greg White (51:10):
Lord. So let’s, let’s not ruin the mood by counting on politicians.
Scott Luton (51:16):
That’s true. And that’s, uh, you know, that is a global statement. I bet, regardless of your, your country of citizenship, you can appreciate, okay. So I hate the, uh, start to wind things down here. Really. I’ve enjoyed all the comments, love Jaco story and installed leadership share today. We met, of course, w w we miss Jenny, but Hey, this stuff happens and we’re going to catch her on the next show for next month. And, you know, Greg, I got to point out you’re wearing flourish, uh, a wonderful company. I’m hoping we’re working on a Colton’s agent, Colton Griffin CEO, founder, CEO, possibly interview on April 20th. So we’ll see if we can connect the dots and make that happen.
Greg White (51:55):
Another agricultural industry being disrupted by technology
Scott Luton (52:00):
Every day, every day. Well, Hey, thanks everybody. Thanks so much for tuning in, uh, of course, if you enjoyed today’s live stream, you can check us email@example.com where we’re working hard to serve as the voice of supply chain and, um, letting us out of the bag. We’re rolling out a new websites can be so much more functional, so much more content, so much more ease of navigation. And so stay tuned for that supply chain now.com. All right, am I in trouble, Greg?
Greg White (52:30):
We’re already in trouble. Could we be in more trouble Scott? Really?
Scott Luton (52:35):
But, uh, I’m, I’m hearing some yelling right around the corner. So I think I might might’ve let something go that I shouldn’t have, but Hey folks, it’s all about a community is all about the folks that, that, that tune in here and, and engaged share. And we want to, you know, how, how can we, it’s always our thought here is how can we make sure that it’s as easy and as, um, as diverse and as, as effective as possible, right? So folks can, can learn wherever you are and, and can contribute wherever you are. So I really appreciate everybody’s role and participation in that journey. So with that said, Greg really enjoyed today’s conversation, uh, on behalf of our entire team here. Hopefully everyone has a wonderful end to their week. Do good, give forward, be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time here at supply chain. Now, thanks for buddy.
Greg White (53:25):
Thanks for being a
Part of our supply chain. Now, community check out all of our firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure you subscribe to supply chain. Now anywhere you listen to podcasts and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on supply chain. Now
Jaco Maass is the General Manager of SHIFT DX, an industry leader in digital transformation in the agriculture supply chain. The BKB Group established the company to assist itself and the livestock industry with the challenges of a digital economy and the opportunities of Industry 4.0. Shift DX makes technologies such as the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain technology and platform market places accessible to the primary farmer. With the reality of an 80% increase in protein production over the next 30 years, Jaco has first hand experience of the pressure on supply chains how the industry is shaping up to deal with the challenges. Jaco Maass grew up in the Western Cape in South Africa. He has a degree in Agricultural Administration and MBA from Stellenbosch University. Jaco started his career in the citrus industry, after which he became a corporate banker for ten years. He joined BKB in 2010 with a focus on developing commodity-based finance products. In in 2013 BKB he saw potential in his love for data analytics, and he was appointed as the CIO. Under his leadership, the ICT Department of BKB became a world leader as a business enabler and industry disruptor. His entrepreneurial skills have led to the establishment of Shift DX in 2019 and, in a short period, had significant influence in the agricultural community, drawing the attention of the World Economic Forum who has recognised the work of this small startup business. Connect with Jaco on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Data Analytics and Metrics Intern
Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.