Supply Chain Now
Episode 606

Episode Summary

“We need companies to stop focusing on being adept at making excuses and instead start focusing on adapting to exceptions.”

– Greg White, Supply Chain Now, Host of TECHquila Sunrise

 

 

The Supply Chain Buzz is Supply Chain Now’s regular Monday livestream, held at 12n ET each week. This show focuses on some of the leading stories from global supply chain and global business, always with special guests – the most important of which is the live audience!

In this edition of The Buzz, the ‘elephant in the room’ is the Ever Given, the 1,312 foot long, 220,000-ton ship that was stuck in the Suez Canal for six days, holding up hundreds of other ships and costing the canal $15B per day – which does not touch upon the costs to the supply chains affected by this mammoth disruption.

In this episode, Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton engage in real time with a live audience to discuss:

· The brand-new technology that made it possible to identify each ship waiting to pass through the canal, along with its size and precise location on the ocean

· Examples of companies that are doing a good job and adapting to changing conditions instead of making excuses

· The impact the pandemic has had on precious metals mining and how that is affecting the automotive industry because of its use in catalytic converters

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:03):

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 (00:00:32):

Late to the party. Hey good. Anthony, everybody. Scott Loudin, Greg white with you here on the supply chain buzz here on supply chain. Now welcome to today’s live stream, Gregory. How are you doing? I’m doing quite well. Scott Luton. How are you doing? It has been a good, busy, productive morning. We got some good news. Yep. Peter’s already weighing in again. Yeah. It’s gorgeous here in the Metro Atlanta area. Um, Shelly, we got a little, a little burst of, uh, whatever you want to call it. Agreed. And, and you know, it’s supposed to hit 33 at some point. This week is what I heard over the weekend. So one of the last falling plants and, um, but a great week year and we love the buzz. Uh, we’ve got w I think we’ve got a special guest and Hey, we’re in supply chain. So if we get a curve ball, we’ll just make the adjustment, keep trucking.

Scott Luton (00:01:26):

Uh, Sarbjeet uh, uh, yo hall is going to be joining us here in about 25, 30 minutes. And if not, we’ve got plenty, plenty to talk about today. Ain’t that right, Greg? I think so, Scott, it seems like there’s a thing or two happening in supply chain today. Um, but Hey, uh, welcome everybody. We’re going to say look to a few folks here momentarily, and just a couple of friendly reminders. We go with the supply chain buzz every Monday, 12 noon Eastern time. Uh, you can find this right here, where we’re tackling some of the leading stories that you want to keep your finger on the pulse of and offer. Uh, some of our take a, especially an extra dose of Greg White’s patented hot take, and we’ve got some pretty toasty today. So join us every week. And also by the way, we, um, we’ve got a lobster from every Thursday with a rotating topics.

Scott Luton (00:02:17):

That’s also at 12 noon Eastern time, and we’d love to have our community members and guests join us. They comments and share their tape. We feature those regularly. So, uh, so that’s friendly reminder, number one and friendly reminder. Number two, Greg, enjoy our live stream. Be sure to check out supply chain. Now, wherever you get your podcasts, subscribe for free money-back guarantee and Greg, which we’re gonna touch on towards the end of today’s show. Greg leads, tequila, sunrise, T E C H Keela sunrise. That’s right. Ted Greg Kayla. So in a small nutshell, very small nutshell. The size of maybe an acorn.

Greg White  (00:03:02):

Yeah, no, I know what you’re saying. By the way you say that,

Scott Luton (00:03:06):

What the folks here, what, what if folks listen and hear about at tequila sunrise?

Greg White  (00:03:12):

Look, if you’re a founder, an investor or a practitioner that deals with supply chain tech, then you need to listen to Keela sunrise. We talk about what’s happening in tech. What tech can do for companies, how investment is being made and how investors and founders frankly, can work together to get more value out of these cases.

Scott Luton (00:03:31):

Yes, yes, yes, yes. So check it out wherever you get your podcasts. It was nice, nicely, well worded as always, uh, you know, I’m the one that struggles to keep things in a small nutshell around here. So a lot of good stuff there. All right. So before we share the good news, let’s say look to a few folks here. Uh, Peter is already with us. Peter bowler, the Suez cork has been pulled good. Start to the week. Good afternoon. All great to see you there. Peter and Benjamin gold claim BG.

Greg White  (00:04:03):

Holy macro. How’s the weather up North. And tell us, please. I wonder if he’s out for his run right now,

Scott Luton (00:04:11):

Uh, run a couple extra miles

Greg White  (00:04:12):

Early morning, running up there as he did in Texas, right?

Scott Luton (00:04:17):

Clean run a couple extra miles for me so I can, I can get that in today as well. Uh, Jeff Miller happy the ship is free Monday. Great to see you here. Jeff Kayvon is with us. Good morning. Cavon uh, let’s see here. Prerna is with us. Yes. Finally. It’s ships free. Good to everybody. Great to have you here. Be it. LinkedIn hoots have also be a LinkedIn KV or maybe VJ. He might go by, uh, great to have you here via LinkedIn as well. Spencer, where, Hey, I appreciate the feedback here. He says, thanks. Thanks as always for providing great insight into all things, supply chain, great stuff. Thank you for that. Thank you.

Greg White  (00:04:54):

And thanks for everything. Any of your relatives may have done as a running back for the cheek.

Scott Luton (00:05:00):

Um, let’s see. Sophia is where the Sophia good morning last Monday, March. And by the way, I saw that you were leading as usual leading facilitation and a lot of stream over the weekend. I believe it was so great to have you with us. Sophia [inaudible] Greg is back with us. Great to have [inaudible] uh, let’s see here, David is with us. Of course you can’t do live stream, right, David? I was worried I was to Rhonda Dr. Ben Pinza Zimmerman is with us here today as well. Okay, good morning, everybody. Great to have you here. Oh, by the way, uh, Benjamin’s given us a weather report. It’s surprisingly warm as a Georgia boy. Perfect. For a nice jog around the block, Scott, just the block though. Notice that you can get too ambitious. Oh, that is right. Um, and one final. Hey, love the comments. Appreciate everybody for weighing in your veer. And then let me know if I mispronounced that let’s get this week started with good energy. Well, we’re going to do just that, just that, because we’ve got some really big news that the story that has dominated the headlines has captured the attention of everyone on this planet. Well, the ship is free as of Greg about an hour ago, right?

Greg White  (00:06:14):

Yeah. They, uh, freed the stern around five 45 Egypt time am. Um, and Scott, as you noted, there was a lot of, uh, shall we say excessive exuberance around that? And uh, the Dutch firm that was handling the salvage quickly tried to calm everyone about that. Cause there was a lot of reports that it was free. Yes, it was simply floating, partially floating. And then they had to free the bow, uh, which they did. I think they did a fantastic job doing that. I learned a lot about Suez canal. I bet we all did. Um, during this time, in fact, this is, this is in one of the sections where it is a single ship wide and this particular ship is the largest. It’s the largest allowed in the canal, 400 meters, 1,313 feet. And it drafts about 66 feet. And the canal is 80 feet deep, only in the center of the canal. And then the sides go up at an angle relatively quickly. So,

Scott Luton (00:07:25):

So, you know, um, you’re right. The salvage from, I got Peter [inaudible] CEO of that firm who’s quoted in this AP news article. They did, they did pull off their best Lou Holtz, uh, impersonation, right. Downplay that’s right. So this morning in, in the earlier version of this story, he was quoted as saying don’t cheer too soon. Uh, he also was quoted as saying, the good news is that CERN is free. We saw that as the simplest part of the job end quote, but as Greg mentioned, just a few hours later, the whole thing is the canal celebrate and horns. You’ll see a video across whatever social media of your choices and that’s, and that’s good news. Um, I would also add, uh, Greg, uh, in a different article. I think it was New York times. They quoted several analysts kind of generally speaking that all of them pointed to today is kind of being that line of demarcation. If, if, if it was stuck still past today, it becomes from a, a big problem to a gigantic problem. And so that is interesting timing

Greg White  (00:08:35):

That’s because there was a spring tide because we had a full moon and the spring tide is the highest tide of, of uh, about a month long period. So the tide was about 18 inches higher than the next high tide would have been. And the concern they had was with low tide, that it put a lot of strain on the ship because it was being supported on the ends and has 220,000 tons of cargo on it, 220,000 tons. I can’t even do the math. What is a lot of pounds? Um,

Scott Luton (00:09:11):

But you

Greg White  (00:09:11):

Know, there were a lot of concerns and, you know, there were also concerns about how did this happen.

Scott Luton (00:09:18):

Yes. So we’re going to speak to that a bit right now, before you go further, let me share some, some, uh, background information because that’s what I’m, you know, now that we’re free and we’re hoping to see, you know, it’s not gonna happen overnight, but all the congestion I’m hoping they’re gonna be able to prioritize certain cargo that, that has been waiting. Um, so lots of social media commentary around, um, animal cargo. So we’ll see how that happens. But, uh, now I’m being honest, a day report would be the cost to global supply chains for as long as it is that ship was stuck, but 400 vessels are waiting, but, um, uh, as a, uh, early this morning, but I’m curious to see how we can get to the root cause because the, um, operators have ever given, have thus far blamed high winds, but, uh, many including Egypt’s Suez canal authority, they indeed have the authorities are suggesting technical or human errors and yeah, and then the other data point, Greg, and which your way in coach Greg is our resident sailor, by the way, everybody.

Scott Luton (00:10:21):

So not only do you get supply chain commentary, but, but he’s he’s led ships. Um, but they also point to, and some security guards that were interviewed for this story pointing to that about 50 ships traversed the Suez canal on the same day and had no issues. So a lot, lots of interesting, um, you know, we want to prevent that from ever happening again, it really at any canal for that matter. And then there’s a course there’s differences between our critical, um, canals around the world, but Greg, some of your commentary on, on just what happened.

Greg White  (00:10:54):

Yeah. Well, it was not high winds. I can assure you of that regardless of whether they try to force that story upon us because thousands of ships a year traverse the Suez canal in wind conditions of 30 to 50 knots, which, uh, is not uncommon in, in the desert. And also there could be plenty of blame to go around because there is a Suez canal authority pilots onboard the ship. Now the captain is still responsible for, uh, for managing the ship, but that pilot is responsible for guiding and advising during that timeframe. So I think Jeff Miller mentioned something about that earlier today, asking the question, yes, there are pilots much like there are in, um, locks and, you know, and other types of, of, uh, tight spaces, the, uh, Panama canal as well. Right? So, um, there was probably some of high winds and loss of control or power reportedly, a sand storm blew through, which is going to happen when there’s 30 knot winds.

Greg White  (00:12:02):

And, um, so there, there was probably some perhaps loss of rudder or loss of propulsion that, that allowed the ship to, to drift as it did. So I think that, you know, I think the bigger question that this prompts is why is a ship? Why is a ship this large with 14 feet of draft below it? I mean, think about that. That’s that’s like if you were had a boat that had six, seven feet of draft, right in eight feet of water, I mean, there’s very little room and with the possibility of the bottom shifting, there’s very little room for error there. And then of course, outside of the, around 80 meters of, of the central canal, the sides start to go up to a point where very quickly the ship cannot traverse the canal at all. So there’s probably some engineering that needs to be done.

Greg White  (00:12:56):

Of course, this is a canal that’s been around since the 1860s, I believe 1859, something like that, no, sorry, not, not 1859, 16, fifth. It’s been around a long time, hundreds and hundreds of years. Um, and they’ve continued to widen it, but they’ve also continued to increase the size of ships. So there’s probably some opportunity there. This ship will be guided very carefully to a place called bitter Lake where it will be pulled off to the side and significantly analyzed to make sure that it’s safe to continue to diverse. And its crew will be administered corporal punishment. When I was reading this morning, I would not want to be, uh, their, their crew. Yes. I mean, either the eyes of the world are upon them, but let me shift, you know, I mean, I, I think again, you have to acknowledge the fact that while they are solely in charge and the captain is solely in charge of that ship, he is subject to some oversight by the canal authority itself. Yes. Um,

Scott Luton (00:13:59):

Let me share a couple of comments here, Andrea, the low, good morning, Andrea, worst nightmare nightmare for customs and tracking team agreed. Kelly Barner host of DAPI for procurement is with us here today. Good morning, Kelly. Uh, Rhonda says nothing should surprise us.

Greg White  (00:14:15):

Agreed. Mervyn agrees. The next point I think we need to discuss is that we should not have been surprised by this. Absolutely correct. Good point,

Scott Luton (00:14:24):

Good point. Uh, Peter dig, deep incident wallet, then it will bounce straight. He says, uh, Jeff Miller bow bow thrusters are engineered to provide sufficient force

Greg White  (00:14:36):

To offset and this and this ship was, was equipped with them by the way. Yeah. Um, [inaudible]

Scott Luton (00:14:44):

Uh, and just let me know if I get your name wrong. We’ll references M one for now Bessel stowage and planning plan are still largely done by SMTP insecure, broken and manual. Interesting. And siveche has a different point when it comes about thrusters, nearly ineffective at 10 knots. He says. Interesting. Um, I want to share a little backdrop here, uh, came from your friend, um, Gregory. Let’s see here if I can get this up. So I, I love a good, yes, Peter, how’s this in the last name? Stan Golan. Who’s chief commercial officer over at DB Schenker. He posted this on LinkedIn this morning and I think this is a wonderful visual because I think if you’re like me, you forget where stuff is on the globe. And the Suez canal is as he shares here, you’re using Suez canal. If you come from, uh, there Rotterdam around to where we’re port of call in Taiwan, 10,000 nautical miles, about 25 and a half days, if you have to go around the Cape of good hope, which has also from what I’ve read dangerous in and of itself, it is, but it also adds a lot of time and cost.

Scott Luton (00:15:55):

And we saw, uh, several dozen ships, Greg decided to go ahead and bite the bullet and start that journey, right?

Greg White  (00:16:03):

Yeah. It costs about, uh, for these ships, it cost them about $27,000 a day to operate and they’ve just added nine days. So figure that’s an extra little over quarter of a million dollars to make that, that decision. So it’s not an easy decision to make, obviously. Um, so yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s a, it’s a very interesting, it’s a very interesting study. I mean, first of all, did anyone else know what AIS was? The automated identification system for ships? That’s how they could give us the pictures of, of those ships in the canal. That is a fairly new system that identifies a particular ship, its entirety of its size and its precise location on the ocean. The part I love about that is it keeps big ships from running over little sailboats while out in the ocean.

Scott Luton (00:17:01):

Well, you know, uh, you referenced Jeff Miller. I want to share something. He, so folks we’re gonna, uh, with regularity, maybe not every week, but uh, we’re going to try to invite you to share some of your key stories. Uh, and Gary, thanks for being, uh, Johnny on the spot there.

Greg White  (00:17:19):

Um, my calculus Lexia impacted me there. It was 1869. I was thinking it could have been 1689.

Scott Luton (00:17:27):

So, um, so just about everybody, we’re going to invite you to, to weigh in on what your, uh, important stories are that you’re tracking and some of what your take is. And, and a couple of folks answered the call and this is in our insiders group on LinkedIn. And we can put a link to that directly, Amanda, in the comments, but a couple of people took advantage of that and weighed in. I’m going to that here. First, Jeff Miller says, quote, we must return to core supply chain principles, information, inventory capacity, reevaluate our decades long globalization strategy, historically driven by labor and find an economically viable means to reduce today’s risk concentrations. We’re surely not going to play safety stocks around the globe to blunt the impact of another container ship, getting jammed sideways in a canal. Agreed, Greg, your take.

Greg White  (00:18:17):

Well, I mean, this is not a new problem. And, um, Jeff in his infinite wisdom has identified something that if you’ve been involved for supply with supply chain for any time you should already know. And that to me is the travesty of this situation. You know, we have, we have allowed and, and certain segments of the supply chain have been fairly sloppy with their management of it. And, and have we had somebody say, so matter of factly on the show last week, I can’t remember who it was, but it made me cringe when they say it. We all know supply chain has been a cost minimization exercise for all these decades, right? Which, um, it has been in large part, frankly, but we need to have the recognition that is truly what it truly is, is a risk management exercise, a small supply chain. Scott, I’d like to buy an Apple from you, Greg.

Greg White  (00:19:10):

I have an Apple here. It is. Give me a nickel and end of supply chain when we have expanded now. And this was one of the brilliant things said also when we have expanded the supply chain, we create all these potential failure points. And so we must provision for those failures. And that is, that’s what Jeff is talking about. And there are common approaches, which I I’d love to share one. I don’t know if now’s the right time, but we can talk about it. We have one more article where we’re going to talk about the companies that are succeeding in those that are excusing, um, here in a little bit, and we’ll talk about it then, but there are common approaches that have existed in supply chain for decades, decades before I was in supply chain. Any of us probably were in supply chain that can mitigate even this risk, this catastrophic failure of the supply chain can be mitigated.

Scott Luton (00:20:01):

Yeah, it’s interesting that the last 18 months are certainly going to be changing the game dramatically in terms of scenarios that, uh, all these, uh, the risk management modeling, uh, play out because the things that were the, what ifs that were never getting there that were never surfacing are now going to be surfacing. And, and, you know, we’d long heard about how chief chief risk officers were being added at organizations. Gosh, uh, you, you think of, uh, after the pandemic, of course it’d be the case, but now things like this, uh, are only going to amplify that type of, of, of niche talent, uh, onboarding. Uh, I want to share Greg before we get too far, we’re going to share that in the article here in a second, I want to share this, uh, take from Kayvon, did his, uh, Greg white, uh, ask hot take and he says, quote, maybe ever given in the supply chain and logistical issues that have occurred such as rerouting time to market increases, price increases and so on. All regarding our disruption, my Greg white S hot take is this phenomenon has led to increased transportation mode changes from Marine to Ariel as a reactive or a reactive resilience strategy and response to such a disruption. And that is Kayvon, who is working on his PhD now,

Greg White  (00:21:21):

And he must be doing a hell of a job because that’s a great take. It, it really is a great take. And the key word there, the key word that we need to avoid is reactive, uh, react, re a reactive strategy. There’s no such thing as reactive strategy. That’s just my opinion. Resilience is a strategy. If you take re reactive out of that, then resilience strategy makes perfect sense, but he’s right. I mean, so many companies have, have relied on a reactive response approach to the supply chain rather than a preemptive one. Agreed to that next article.

Scott Luton (00:22:00):

Yeah, let’s do that now. Let’s see here. All right. So, uh, every time I see Williams-Sonoma Greg, I think they’ve reversed the first name and last name, white Greg. So tell us, tell us what’s going on with Williams-Sonoma.

Greg White  (00:22:15):

Yeah, so this, this is a great example. It seems like. So, you know, many of you know, that I post an article every day, I have a little newsletter that I put out and I collect articles that I, that I kind of a tickle my fancy and I post an article every day. This is one, and it seems like last week, Scott, the discussion was around whether companies were responding or stymied by, by what’s going on in supply chain and all these disruptions, or whether they were succeeding by taking on a preemptive strategy. And, you know, I had this thought, we need companies to stop focusing on being adept at making excuses and rather focus on adapting to exceptions. So I think we cut a few words out there. We’ve got a t-shirt isn’t right. Don’t be so making excuses adapt to exceptions. And there are great examples of companies who are doing the adapting to these exceptions.

Greg White  (00:23:13):

Williams-Sonoma is one a Yeti. There was an article about Yeti who is doing an outstanding job. They were rerouting ships around, uh, the port of Los Angeles and long beach to, to Houston. And then there were those who were, who were not doing as great a job Footlocker and Nike. Um, though that may be again, that may be subject to the fact that the shoe industry is a shambles. When it comes to supply chain, I’ve been dealing with retail and shoes for a lot of years, decades. And, um, and they’re T they’re just terrible at it. So, but again, there are those companies who adapt to exceptions and those who are adept at making excuses. I think the whole point is here, let’s be preemptive. Let’s talk about strategies and put into place strategies that mitigate risk, for instance, a decades long strategy that has existed in industries with very, very tight margins, rather than shifting to aircraft, um, when shipping becomes more expensive or more delayed or whatever, what they’ve done is they have created a secondary source, a fill-in source, if you will.

Greg White  (00:24:25):

So give 80 or 90% of your POS to your primary source, 10 or 20% to a secondary source that has a much, much shorter lead time, keep enough capacity flowing through that secondary source. And then when catastrophe hits you ship shift more of that capacity to your secondary source, it’s a common practice it’s been in practice in the food industry, which is a very tight industry margin industry that can’t afford incredible cost increases. When even when catastrophe hits, it’s easily adaptable. It’s something I adapted. I kind of stole when I was in supply chain in the automotive industry. And we got even back in the early nineties, we got so many of our goods from China. We would have some of them made in Mexico and other factories and be able to shift, sourcing and volume to those factories. When something like this happen, you can even overcome a catastrophic event like this, if you plan well enough. And that’s what we need, supply chain more focused on and, and the executives who support supply chain leaders,

Scott Luton (00:25:29):

Flint commentary there. Excellent. Uh, well, I’ll share a couple of things here. A couple of comments here. So Daniel says supply just CMOs. Maybe that’s a product. Very important optimize. Yeah,

Greg White  (00:25:42):

But that’s a spellchecker I’ve learned. I’ve learned how to translate, spell check errors. I go straight to privatization third line,

Scott Luton (00:25:56):

Very important to optimize the production or in order to offer a very good product to clients. Yeah, absolutely. And, and the more your, your production is optimized the Mo the better position you’re gonna be able to handle when inevitably the curveballs come your way. Um, all right, let’s see here, Sylvia. Great to see you here. Be Charleston. Hey, uh, she’s having systems issues, folks. We’ve, we’ve heard from a variety of people, including other content creators that, uh, LinkedIn, uh, has, has been a little bit shaky here lately. So, uh, we apologize in advance if it’s impacting you as well. Nanda likes your point. You made there, Greg, there is no strategy when there is reaction to Nanda. Great to have you here with us. Once again, David makes interesting point. Uh, he says, now that there’s movement, he would think that the boats weighted in a way did they’re waiting for the Suez canal, open up, may end up ahead of those that opted to start, start the track going around, Greg. I wonder there’s probably a, uh, a point of no return, I guess, once you start it and look, I am not a sailor, uh, by no means I’ve never piloted a container ship, but I imagine, you know, even if they spend a day headed South around, it still might make sense for them to turn around and go through the port or there, I’m not sure how that was.

Greg White  (00:27:14):

Well, I would say that if they’re still in the med or they’re still in, in, um, the area, just outside the canal on the South end, they, they probably would area. They probably would do that once they’ve started. They may not. But th the other thing that we don’t know is how quickly, just because that ship is moving, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will re release at full pace. That’s a good point, um, in, in the canal, but to David’s point, they’d have to have about another three days of delay for it, to, for it to be equal.

Scott Luton (00:27:51):

I also wonder how that, um, if you lose your spot so to speak, um, I’m not sure how the operations at, or I’m certain that you do. Yeah. I’d be certain that you do. Yeah. All right. So let’s see here.

Greg White  (00:28:05):

I don’t know. I mean, just for fun, if you are into sailing or into this, take a look at the Cape of good hope. I wish we had Jenny from here because I feel like she could give us some insight on what it’s like around there. Of course, the ships aren’t near shore. Um, and it’s not nearly as bad as Cape horn where you’re almost guaranteed to encounter a catastrophic storm or currents or seas. Um, but it is, it can be a quite dangerous passage.

Scott Luton (00:28:37):

So Jenny, if you’re listening, fill us in and paint the picture of what it’s like in that part of the world, AA in Wichita, Kansas, which we’re going to touch on here in a little bit, this risky business and supply chain keeps us in business. Balancing demand with supply at minimum costs keeps us awake, good stuff there. Sophia adapt to exceptions. We’ll said, Greg, uh, completely agree. Uh, so Daniel has a question for us, in your opinion, what’s the most important advantage of a very good supply chain,

Greg White  (00:29:13):

Most important advantage. Uh, and I mean, if you have, if you have the most effective supply chain in your industry, then you have the best customer experience, at least the best shot at customer experience, because there’s really only one metric of customer experience that makes all the other metrics meaningful. And that is putting the product in your customer’s hand. That’s all they want from you in the end right now, how they get there, that can all be very, that can all be guiding and that’s largely self-serving. But at the end, what the customer wants is what they want when they want it at the price they want it. So

Scott Luton (00:29:50):

I agreed a competitive advantage that’s if you’ve got a great supply chain in my words, uh, agree with Greg, that’s the number one, uh, advantage of having a world-class supply chain, because they can impact every other aspect of the business, um, including getting great talent on board, uh, which is a big part of the equation always has been. Um, alright, let’s see here, Mervyn. Let’s see what Mervyn says. Uh, how much of look he’s asking Sophia? I think, uh, so we’ll come back. Sophia answer, answer Mervyn’s question. And then we’ll come back to that. Uh, John Perry, strategic flexibility. You need to be thinking far enough ahead to be able to pivot towards alternatives. Absolutely.

Greg White  (00:30:33):

Can I share another, I don’t know if this is the t-shirt isn’t, but this, this has guided me in my entire supply chain career, and it was a very simple statement made by a very simple and yet brilliant person. And they said, when dealing with supply chain assume that everyone will fail you and make provision for that. Hmm. I like that. I mean, is it not the simplest strategy?

Scott Luton (00:30:59):

Yes. And a proactive one.

Greg White  (00:31:03):

It really forces that doesn’t it.

Scott Luton (00:31:05):

Right. Uh, uh, Caitlin is where the Cirrus or Caitlin was with us last Thursday on a live stream. She’s with the Valvoline team. She said she totally agrees. It’s about proactive planning for catastrophe, kind of what Greg was just talking about. Risk management is pivotal for supply chain professionals, as we’ve discussed before. Agreed. Y’all gotta check out. Maybe Amanda and the team can, can post a link to that live stream in the comments here today. It was good stuff. Um, all right. I want to ask, I want to share, uh, babababa. Sylvia has got a great point here. My father, she says, was in the Suez canal in 1962 on a certain, uh, on a gust of Pistor must be, uh, a boat ship of some sorts. He said that back then they had thousands of workers carrying the sand in straw hats. He sent me pictures that I would love.

Greg White  (00:31:58):

I would love to see that

Scott Luton (00:32:00):

I would too. So please Sylvia, if you can email those pictures, maybe to Amanda, maybe we can get them on back then 10 to 12 break, bulk vessels pass through the canal, 10 to 12 of them, 60 years later, 50 vessels a day. Wow. How about that? For perspective? Um,

Greg White  (00:32:20):

So by break bulk, I wonder if that means they had to take, because in those days the canal was again much smaller. I wonder if they had to take product off of ships, put it on this ship, specifically built for the canal and then put it on other ships at the other end. I bet that for what they were doing. Wow. It’s amazing

Scott Luton (00:32:40):

How far we’ve come. So, uh, let’s see here, Eric, Kara, I think if I said that name on via Facebook tuned in, Hey, it looks like you’re frustrated with the shipment. Um, but we don’t ship anything here too. We, Greg, we w we broker content and expertise in all things supply chain. So hopefully you do

Greg White  (00:33:00):

Really important because it’s in all caps. That’s what my suggestion is. You talk to your supplier. There we go.

Scott Luton (00:33:07):

Uh, as Lee, good morning. Great to have you here. Uh, she says customer centered supply chain. Imagine when we could get a product to a customer in an ideal timeframe, no matter what corner of the globe they are, that’s coming and okay. And, uh, Sean says website looks great. Well, thank you, Sean. I appreciate that big, thanks to the whole team here, especially Amanda, what the website is up the new website. Gosh. So hopefully it should be easier to find things and, and it should load faster amongst other things. And Hey, if you’ve got any, any things you want to point out of how we can make it even stronger. Of course, we’d love to hear that feedback as well, but big kudos to Amanda and the rest of the team.

Greg White  (00:33:51):

Yeah, no doubt. No doubt.

Scott Luton (00:33:54):

Okay. Let’s, let’s take this question from Nanda here. Greg Nanda says due to COVID do you think importance of risk management has increased in its awareness among chief procurement officers? How was this impacting the supply chain organization structure in global organizations? Greg, what’s your take first?

Greg White  (00:34:14):

Uh, I think it certainly has increased in awareness. What I question now frequently is whether certain organizations are still not trying to limp through with their previous cost minimization methodology. I mean, I think that’s clear when you look at some of the companies. I mean, clearly some companies are succeeding at getting their goods through even considering all of these disruptions and some are not so clearly some are clinging to the status quo. Um, so I think from a structural standpoint, in terms of the organization, it’s more mindset really than anything, because if you have any, any piece of technology or any supply chain methodology worth its salt, it has a risk management component to it. Often that risk management component is minimized or ignored in the spirit of, of cost minimization. So, um, but you know, so many of the, even the ancient print principles, Robert G. Brown and, and some of these old principles of, of supply chain management include a risk management element to it. So, um, I think the awareness is definitely there. The execution is there in select entities. Uh, certainly the organization needs to have its goals and KPIs changed in a lot of cases. And frankly, aside from that, I mean, changing goals and compensation for risk management will get you the result that you want. Right. You get what you pay for.

Scott Luton (00:35:55):

Yeah. You definitely get what you pay for. I think, uh, an important part, and we’ve spoken to this a good bit already, Greg, if you think of risk management kind of as the umbrella on the front end of that, that risk identification and, and really, uh, getting in, uh, um, very intentional, how you invest into identifying all possible risks, the risk we take on and encounter every single day and, and, and well call routine, although I’m not sure what we’re too routine is these days. And of course these one-offs, that may just happen once every 57 years or, or first time ever. I think, I think how we, how supply chains, how global supply chains and their leadership truly, uh, invest in a very intentional and, and, um, uh, extraordinary manner to identify all risks, the very common risk, and then the, the, uh, you know, the one-offs the black swans. So I think that’s how supply chain leadership, uh, is being impacted. And, and you know, it, there’s also a common here going back, uh, to, to what Nanda mentioned about chief procurement officers. And we’ve talked a lot with Kelly Barner who leaves out P for procurement about the role of procurement and how it’s interwoven within supply chain, Kelly and Greg. And that’s a great conversation. Is there,

Greg White  (00:37:05):

I find that there are people who don’t understand the difference between purchasing and procurement a grind. I mean, between the purchase of finished goods and the procurement of the materials that build those finished goods. I mean, in its simplest terms, that’s the difference, right. And I know there are people outside of the, of the craft that do not know that. So I agreed

Scott Luton (00:37:29):

Leader leadership teams, executive teams are, you know, are, are unaware probably of what you just shared there. Um, so to Peter’s point, I agree with Peter, I think we are going to see more chief procurement officers, uh, in organizations, uh, uh, really operations of, of any size. I think we’re going to see a lot more, frankly. Agreed. Yeah, I think, and Greg, I think part of this is if we were having this conversation 10 years ago, or maybe five, maybe even five years ago, just like we’ve, we’ve 7,000 times we were surprised there weren’t more chief supply chain officers, right? So I think these functional, I think you’re gonna see, um, kind of just beating the same drum. You’re going to see organizations give these, these key functional areas, these key, uh, disciplines, you know, a at the executive table so that, um, it can’t be, so it’s not in a blind spot anymore, especially so you can move, uh, an operation to be much more proactive, which, you know, Greg and many others were pointing out earlier today and not being reactive mode because you don’t have an executive put in constant visibility on these, these various disciplines in global business

Greg White  (00:38:38):

Today. Well, and the truth is a lot of companies don’t recognize the need for something until a catastrophe happens. I mean, not to certainly not to demean executives because they are much better than politicians, but politicians don’t respond to things until it becomes in the public eye, right? It’s not this similar with, uh, with, uh, a company, especially large companies that they don’t respond or attempt to preempt or manage something until it costs them a lot of money and they go, Oh, aha, that’s a risk. Even though somebody, I guarantee you, somebody who probably should have been called a chief risk chief procurement or chief supply chain officer at the time was telling them about that risk. It’s really hard to internalize that until it hits you. So, you know, what I think successful companies will do is as some of these ones, we’ve held up Williams-Sonoma and Yeti and others, um, they will start to look for those other areas of risk and they will try to mitigate those risks ahead of the next catastrophic failure.

Scott Luton (00:39:41):

Agreed, great point there, Greg. Um, all right. I want to move along, uh, to another, uh, talk about something that was in my blind spot. I want to share this and Greg, you’re our automotive enthusiast. This is an interesting story. I don’t say it came to us via, uh, let’s see here, Mary Coleman’s who’s in Pontiac. Uh, she’s part of our community and part of our insiders group. And, and I had no idea. So Greg, first off, any idea what palladium and rhodium are?

Greg White  (00:40:14):

I have no idea what they are cause, um, I barely passed science, um, but I know that they are value valuable. And I know they’re key components of, uh, uh, catalytic converters and that this is not an uncommon practice. I re it seems like it must go through surges because this has happened before.

Scott Luton (00:40:36):

Well, uh, first off they are, they are names indeed of highfalutin shopping centers around the Metro Atlanta area. But they also, as you point out there, they’re precious metals. They are precious metals. And Greg, I had no idea that these precious metals are key parts of catalytic converters, catalytic converters. So a little bit of background for folks that may not be automotive gurus, like, like Greg and many others, Peter and others in the comments. So catalytic converters have been installed on almost every car and truck in the U S at least since 1975. And they’re charged with scrubbing the pollutants, especially the most toxic pollutants from your automobiles exhaust. Well, the thing is these precious metals will production has been low because many of the mining operations have been, have been devastated with the pandemic. So supply is way down. Pricing is way up and according to the New York times, thanks to, uh, via Mary Comans. It’s leading to a crime, SPE a spree across the U S including Gregg Wichita, Kansas converter thefts, almost tripled in 2020, uh, coast to coast. They point out South Carolina, they point out St. Louis. And if you, if you do a search in the news section, you’ll see a slew of stories. They just shut down a major catalytic converter. Um, after any theft ring, I mean, how, how nuanced are these, these professional crime organizations these days?

Greg White  (00:42:10):

Well, I just want to be clear on one point, Scott, I have nothing to do with anything being stolen in Wichita, Kansas, so far as anyone knows. So

Scott Luton (00:42:23):

Greg, uh, I’ll vouch for you. So, uh, so if I can find the comment here, [inaudible] look at it. Even hit our community near FA who’s on his Cadillac converter got stolen three weeks ago. And folks, if you read this article and maybe we can drop, I don’t know if we got the article handy, but, uh, it’s from last month in New York times, these folks, the criminals, just kinda just as the, uh, the headline kind of lays out, they just kind of slide it up onto your car. And the converter in many of these autumn automobiles is very exposed, a couple of snips with probably a, um,

Greg White  (00:43:01):

Like gutters or

Scott Luton (00:43:04):

Something like that. And the converters gone and they had some interesting pictures on, uh, in the article. So Fahd, so tell us, uh, if you hadn’t already, I’m going to scroll and see if he’s so tell us, uh, I would assume the car does not operate without it. And then I get,

Greg White  (00:43:21):

Got it done very, very loud. Oh, the catalytic converter, what it does is it cleans the exhaust. It cleans the exhaust before it goes out of your exhaust pipe. That’s the point? It, it takes a lot of the, uh, carbon emissions out of the air.

Scott Luton (00:43:35):

No father says he thought it was just a coincidence, but it’s been happening in their community there and he is in Canada, right?

Greg White  (00:43:43):

Yeah. So, um, an AA needs to start parking inside, right.

Scott Luton (00:43:53):

Are capital of the, of the world in Wichita, Kansas. So just a Holy cow. Uh, and by the way, the article also mentioned that because of, um, you know, they’re still in all the, uh, the cars are being sold today, even though the, the industry is making a big shift to electric, um, is causing new car prices to go up because of just how much the precious metal commodity pricing and supply has been impacted. So it’s everywhere you look back to Ronda’s point about, um, we shouldn’t be surprised anymore. I will be, I will be really disappointed if I wake up one morning and someone has snipped the catalytic converter out of the supply chain. Now mobile Gregg, that van, uh, you know, that’d be that, that would kind of ruin your morning, wouldn’t it?

Greg White  (00:44:42):

Yeah, it would. I’m thankful that I can park in a garage, but I have two cars in my driveway in case anybody wants to come by, I’ll be sitting on the side

Scott Luton (00:44:52):

With a cup of coffee for them, right. A coffee. That’s what it’ll be. Yeah. Oh gosh. Well, Hey, you’ll let me know if you are a flight in your FOD. Uh, let us know if, uh, you’ve been impacting credible.

Greg White  (00:45:05):

That seems so old school. I mean, you know, um, not that I want to start a whole nother ring, but, uh, there’s gold in, in them are, uh, airbags. So people were stealing airbags and, and here in the Atlanta area, we’ve had people stealing the car, stealing old from old and sometimes working homes, stealing the air conditioning units because there’s copper piping in those.

Scott Luton (00:45:31):

Right. I had no idea. Well, that’s, I wish I had the video. Uh, uh, I saw something over the weekend where there was a couple of, uh, a couple of mechanics that were cannibalizing an old automobile in the, in this thing at the time, you know, it was clearly beat down. Tires were off everything. Well, the air bag in the passenger side was still very active. And as they were trying to take a piece off the dash, it blew the guy in the backseat. It was so, so funny. He probably had to go change his bricks to no, I know I would have, um, but, uh, we’ll have to get our hands on that, on that fabulous being footage. Okay. So, uh, Hey, sometimes Murphy’s law, uh, happens and our guests got predisposed. We were gonna, we were going to have Sarbjeet GTO hall, come in and join.

Greg White  (00:46:17):

We’re doing a pretty good job of carrying this though. Don’t you think?

Scott Luton (00:46:20):

Well, Hey, we were prepared, right? We were prepared and we’ve got one other really cool event that we want to share with all of y’all here. Uh, and Gary says, great. Hey, are we going to have to be putting Crip kryptonite locks on our catalytic converter?

Greg White  (00:46:34):

Oh my gosh. Remember that? I met the person. Remember the, uh, lock that you put on your steering wheel? Yeah, so of course, when I was in the automotive aftermarket automotive retail trade, I met the person that invented that. I forget what that’s called.

Scott Luton (00:46:48):

I can’t remember. It had an infomercial.

Greg White  (00:46:50):

What he’s talking about is those locks you use to put on your steering wheel, back in the seventies and eighties.

Scott Luton (00:46:56):

Yes. Right. We’ll have to figure out what that was. We’ll um, we’ll also, we’re going to have to, we’ll have to, we’ll have Sarbjeet on a future episode, uh, to talk top tech trends. Uh, he just shot a note and he he’s been predisposed. So Hey, that happens. Everybody’s busy these days and, and Murphy’s law intervenes, but Greg, we’ve got a really cool event coming up. I think I’ve got the graphics around here somewhere, but dive deep, take your shot, tequila, sunrise. And I love this by the way. I love all your, your promo videos. We’ve got to get, we’ve got to re I’ve got to, uh, elevate my game a bit, uh, because you’ve created a cult following on our team and beyond across the globe. So tell us, tell us what is going to, uh, take place with your team with this, take your shot on April. What 28 is that right?

Greg White  (00:47:50):

We’re 28th at noon Eastern time. So, and we’ll do it the, the last Wednesday of every month and, uh, on tequila, sunrise, as I said earlier, um, we try to, we try to speak to founders and investors and practitioners about what’s going on in supply chain tech. And, um, I work with a couple of venture capital firms and Enrique Alvarez works with a couple of venture capital firms. And, and we just were sitting around, we may or may not have been sipping tequila at the time, but we were just sitting around thinking about how could we, you know, do something fun with these companies. And this is an opportunity for companies to take their shot, to share their company story. They’ve got three minutes to tell the entire story of their company, to our judges and their Jew, and the judges will evaluate and respond and discuss, um, the pitch.

Greg White  (00:48:48):

And they may even be in the process of actively asking for funding, which gives them a great stage to put their company in front of the investment marketplace. So it’s a great opportunity for companies to come and and share. Uh, we skipped, we skipped March, but in February we did kind of a pilot. We’re refining that and, and we’ll release the refined version, uh, in, in the end of April, thank you to Peter belay and Kelly Barner and, and a number of folks, Karin bursa, and a ton of others who gave us a lot of feedback on how to make it effective for the audience as well as for the founders. And by the way, if you’re interested in pitching to our, um, to our judges, you’re welcome to hit me up on LinkedIn. My suggestion is you get your together before you do it, because this is a no holds barred.

Greg White  (00:49:40):

We have our very own Mr. Wonderful biology goPuff who will tell you exactly precisely what he thinks of your pitch. So be ready. This is no holds barred. It is real. We want to make you ready for the investment world. So please, if you’re interested in doing it, if you’re interested in investing in supply chain tech, if you’re just interested in watching people do this in putting their life’s work out there for three minutes, and then letting four expert judges three or four, depending on the show expert judges evaluate that it is great entertainment. I do it all day long as you might. You all might know. Um, and so I’m going to kind of sit back and let the judges take this, but I’ll be hosting the way through this. So, and those are a Gavi plants, not cannabis. I believe on the promo, although on cannabis, not, I mean, I’m guessing there are two before I wasted my youth not getting wasted.

Greg White  (00:50:47):

Yes. Seven, seven leaves on a Gabi and are on, on cannabis. But those are, yes, we’ve got a Gabi plants, so y’all check it out. Join us live stream. It’s like the net same effect though. Scott agreed with, uh, April 28th, 12 noon, this channel a special edition of tequila sunrise. So y’all check that out. All right. So we’ve got, um, well the club, but that was it. Well, I was gonna, I was gonna pose there you go up or slip Jack or low Jack. I was going to pose all three of those to you, but looks at Bob Whitmore. Got it. Right. It was the club. Yes. I met the person who invented the club, strange dude, but I guess it takes all kinds of Greg. Uh, you have a palette offer, uh, how much you want to let that pallet go for, uh, you know what, Nirvana, it’s obvious that you’ve been away for awhile because, uh, Gary Smith would probably outbid you for he’s very, very interested in, actually, what we’re thinking about doing is, is tying some like, uh, AIS or RFID to it and shipping it around the world. Like people do flat Stanley with their little kids and having people take pictures with the palette around the world. Love it, love that Gary, by the way says the kryptonite lock is a boss became famous because they cleaned, no one could break it. And I had, it had had a bicycle with a kryptonite lock on it once. Guess what?

Greg White  (00:52:25):

He got taken lo Jack, is there a tracker for cars? And we have a late breaking update here to see ever given is out of the Suez canal. Thanks Mervin. Every globe is just entering in your LinkedIn earlier today. Hey, we’re happy to talk with students as often as our schedule allows. So if that means next act in the ear, Hey, no worries. We’re, we’ll be ready whenever you and your, uh, university colleagues are. Um, okay. So Greg, that we’ve kind of rock and roll through the supply chain buzz today. Uh, we’ve got a great product week of production that lies ahead. I’m talking this afternoon with, uh, the founders of fleeting and higher ground. Both that have relocated their headquarters here. Uh, pier [inaudible] is, uh, founder and CEO of fleeting and Chloe Guidry. But I think I’ve got that right. Is founder

Scott Luton (00:53:26):

And CEO of higher ground. So I’m looking forward to that. That’d be recorded. It won’t be live, but we’ll be releasing that in the next couple of weeks as part of our supply chain city series.

Greg White  (00:53:35):

Well, it’s funny, you mentioned that because the gentleman that you talked about earlier, uh, Peter Stone Yolanda is predominantly in charge of supply chain, uh, sustainability at DB Schenker. And we will be releasing an interview with Peter in the next couple weeks as well. He is part of what I call the, uh, supply chain power couple. Um, he and his wife are both in supply chain. She was first and he has gotten into supply chain since, um, but DB Schenker, if you, if you don’t follow Peter, go ahead and do what they’re doing there. Um, uh, Peter is predominantly based in also Norway, one of my favorite cities on the planet and, uh, one of the most, um, one of the most sustainable friendly, uh, places on the planet. And if you decide you’re going and you want restaurant recommendations, look me up. Uh, but, but what they’re doing there is incredible. They get award after award for it. They are very, very aware of it. Peter is very focused on it and when he is focused on anything, stuff happens

Scott Luton (00:54:45):

So outstanding. I look forward to that episode, uh, for sure. And I love the, I love, uh, the notion of a supply chain power. Couple, the world needs more of those, right?

Greg White  (00:54:56):

Yeah. Lorna is, um, she ran a very, very large three PL in, in Norway. Uh, one of my favorite causes they have, they have a, uh, state liquor board there and she ran the three PL that handled all of the liquor into Austin, into Norway, which as you might or might not be aware is no small logistical task because almost no liquor is made in Norway except for some moonshine stuff and a particular Acquaviva, which is this awful tasting black licorice flavored, uh, booze. Yeah. It’s a look on, I’m not a black licorice fan. No, I was drank it many times while eating wrote to Fisk

Scott Luton (00:55:45):

Red licorice. Yes. Black workers. No, no, thanks. Um, uh, let’s see here. I wanted to ask, uh, so right before we close for today, Sophia has a question for you on the, take your shot. What’s the minimum investment she’s counting her since she says,

Greg White  (00:56:04):

Uh, minimum investment. Gosh, I don’t know. Um, we’re, we’re not really asking, you know, the first three companies didn’t really ask for any investment. I think they were kind of between raising rounds. So you don’t have to actually be asking for funding if you just want to put your company out there. And, uh, and it’s a supply chain tech, and you want people to know about it. That’s sufficient. You don’t necessarily have to be asking for investment, but if you do have a company and you want to get people interested in investing anyway, look me up. I’ll I can tell you whether it’s worthwhile for you to do it.

Scott Luton (00:56:43):

Awesome. Uh, and we’ve got a comment here. Separate note, any talk on us, stopping trade from, with mom. Um, my Inmar BMR, sorry. I just noticed on, uh, as I’m scanning this, as you were answering Sophia that as about 45 minutes ago, uh, after a violent weekend, the us government has stopped, stopped trading, uh, with the country of Myanmar. So a lot more will come on that, and maybe we’ll cover that on

Greg White  (00:57:13):

As far more impact on them than

Scott Luton (00:57:14):

Us. Yeah. A good point. Uh, we’ll we’ll mention that and dive a little deeper on Thursday’s live stream, perhaps, but

Greg White  (00:57:21):

Thanks for that, that, that area of the world is notorious for piracy.

Scott Luton (00:57:26):

Yeah. Great point. Excellent point. And thanks for sharing whomever shared that, and I couldn’t see, uh, who that LinkedIn user was, but everybody, uh, thanks for joining us here on the buzz. Be sure to come out, come up, come over to supply chain now.com, check out the new website, let us know what you think. You should be able to find all of our episodes, tequila, sunrise, the main channel this week in business history, digital transformers, tech talk, a supply chain is boring, which we all know. We all, we all can laugh at that and much, much more. Check it out@supplychainnow.com where we’re working really hard to serve as the voice of global supply chain. All right. So Greg, uh, as we wrap here, you’ve got this gorgeous Metro Atlanta day is brisk out there. At least when I was out there earlier, what are you doing this afternoon?

Greg White  (00:58:19):

Um, well I’m, I’m going to be working on a couple of episodes here and, uh, I may get outside. It’s only going to be 65 here today. So gosh, it feels good to say that it was 82 over the weekend. So, um, so now we think five is cold and I’m really hot, but yeah, I’m going to be, uh, I’m going to be working hard this afternoon, Scott. I know that sounds unlikely. But as it turns out, I’m getting, I’m getting a few messages here from my daughter, Delaney, who, uh, counts on the internet for her work. So apparently I’m going to be restarting the router after we get off the air, because I think I’m the only one in the house with internet because I’m wired and our wireless appears to not be performing very well. We can’t put on my mechanic gloves and I’m going to take the catalytic converter off of our, off of our router. I’m going to go down and sell it

Scott Luton (00:59:17):

Well, Hey, everybody, hopefully you all enjoyed this episode as much as I have. And we have thanks so much for all the comments and the perspective that our community has shared and all the, all the guests shared across the comments here on the supply chain buzz, we will see you Thursday at 12 noon, Eastern time, uh, topic and guests to be determined, but Hey, whatever you do make this week, a great week on behalf of our entire team here, Scott Loudin, Greg white, Amanda, Natalie behind the scenes, whole book, the whole team have a wonderful week. Do good gift forward, be the changes needed. And on that note, we’ll see you next time here on supplies.

Intro/Outro (00:59:55):

Jamie, thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now community check out all of our programming@supplychainnow.com 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.

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The Buzz: Scott & Greg Talk the Suez Canal, Retail Realities, Catalytic Converters, & More

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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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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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.

Patch Reilly

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.

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Vicki White

Controller

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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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, 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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Karin Bursa

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.

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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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Jamin Alvidrez

Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History

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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Jeff Miller

Host

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.

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Amanda Luton

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 singing second soprano in the Grayson United Methodist Church choir.

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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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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

Allie is currently completing a degree in marketing with a certificate in entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia. She got her social media start through an internship with Shred, a personal training app, and she’s been hooked ever since. She works to optimize our following base while assisting the team with content creation, influencer outreach and other marketing endeavors. Allie can’t wait to keep growing alongside Supply Chain Now.

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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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Natalie Dutton

Marketing Coordinator

Natalie is currently pursuing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing and a certificate in new media at the University of Georgia. If there’s one thing she’s learned at the Terry College of Business, it’s that the supply chain is a dynamic, unifying force that’s essential to any business. Natalie helps to amplify the voices of the supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting with media management, content creation and communications.

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Ben Harris

Host

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.

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Page Siplon

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).

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Page Siplon

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Kristi Porteris 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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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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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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Scott W. Luton

Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History

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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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. 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).

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Alex Bramley

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.

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