Supply Chain Now
Episode 616

Episode Summary

“I believe ownership, trumps accountability. When people know what they own, they have a different sense of pride, a sense of engagement.”

– Billy Taylor, CEO and President of LinkedXL


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 special “Manufacturing Monday” issue of The Buzz, powered by OpenText, Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton are joined by Billy Taylor with LinkedXL. He has a very unique philosophy on successful business – it includes companies and teams “celebrating the red.” The red represents the problems that they did not previously know they had. Once they have been identified, they can be solved, and are therefore worth celebrating.

In this episode, Billy, Greg, and Scott engage in real-time with a live audience to discuss:

· The pace of manufacturing globally as reported in the ISM Manufacturing Report on Business, and what it means for consumers and supply chains

· The growing discomfort many companies have sourcing from and manufacturing in China, and the very real challenges associated with trying to move demand elsewhere

· Why anyone who wants to move forward must first to be willing to take risks and even fail

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (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 (00:31):

Good morning, Scott Luton, Greg white with you here own supply chain and welcome to today’s live stream, Greg, how are we? I’m doing well, Scott. I have a, uh, just a quick announcement to make. I am no longer drinking coffee at all. What changed? I took my blood pressure and it’s like 35 points higher on the top side systolic when I drank coffee. So I know, right, we can’t talk anymore. We can’t. Well, you might talk way more than I do now. Truth. Nothing happens until the coffee maker is done around these parts here, but that’s a t-shirt, isn’t already way a welcome to today’s supply chain buzz, right? Every Monday at 12 noon Eastern time, Greg and I, and the whole team here bring you some of the key news items and developments you need to keep front and center and oftentimes outstanding guests.

Scott Luton (01:31):

And today is just that we have an awesome guest today. So Billy Taylor, president CEO, with linked Excel, also a member of the board of directors with the association for manufacturing excellence. Uh, you’re not going to want to, we should have been recording the pre-show. He is a, he’s a home run home run, uh, guests. And y’all enjoy that here today. Um, now once again, I’m going off script here, but I just, I just want to remind people once again, brought to you by open text, right? The information company, the biggest company you’ve never heard of. Absolutely. And it’s funny, somebody hit me up last week after we were talking about them and said, they’ve been acquiring companies like crazy. How have we not heard of them? So we’re going to ask Mark Morley that question, but we’re going to put him on the spot and ask him the tough question.

Scott Luton (02:22):

That’s right. That’s right. But stay tuned for more details. We’ve got a big event coming up that they are hosting in June and we want to make sure we extend the invite to all of our community members. So a big thanks to the OpenText team. Okay. So Greg, I think we’ve cut. I think I’m looking at my checklist. I think we’ve, we’ve, we’ve, uh, checked most of the things off, except let me grab my pen, our programming notes, right? Yeah. So let’s share a few things with everyone here today, right before we say hello. So today we published an on the main channel supply chain. Now find it where you get your podcast from and entrepreneurially focused, uh, episode where we had Chloe Guidry, Reed, CEO, and founder of higher ground and Pierre Ligier CEO and founder of fleeting and Ben Harrison. I picked their brains, learned a ton. I think I earned a degree in entrepreneurial thinking from Pierre and Chloe, and you’re not going to want to miss it. So check that out wherever you get your podcasts from. And Greg you’ve heard of and think of an interactive with both of these companies, right?

Greg White (03:28):

Yeah, yeah. Both of them. Um, and of course, you know, Ben at the Metro chamber is always bringing us great entrepreneurs and companies like this because which, or Wichita Atlanta is supply chain, city. That’s right. That makes me think there’s actually, you know, I’m working with an, with a incubator lab in, um, in Wichita and there are two sisters that have a working together. Can you believe that working with your sister in a startup and um, they’re they have human capital management kind of tool and they are so in sync with one another, when they did their pitch, it was, I mean, not contrived at all. You could tell it was just so natural. I had to ask them, are you twins? And they said, yeah, it’s like they were communicating subconsciously. So, uh, much, much of that kind of here to these two entrepreneurial minds shared their thoughts. And it’s amazing the alignment that you see between great entrepreneurs. Yes.

Scott Luton (04:31):

Amazing and so inspiring. So y’all check out this episode. You’re, you’re not gonna want to miss it. Also speaking of, uh, uh, outstanding thinking and, and critical subjects, uh, supply chain security, especially in that ICT space, we’ve got upcoming webinar that Kevin L. Jackson is hosting in conjunction with our friends over at the telecommunications industry association, uh, supply chain, uh, setting the standard for supply chain security. So y’all check that out April 27th, I believe we’ve got linked in the show notes, make it easy, and we’ll go live there at 12 noon Eastern time. And then Greg, this was, this was one more, uh, quick programming. This was pretty cool. This really made our day, you know, there’s so many different rewarding elements of this journey that we’re all on, uh, that, you know, to share best practices and thought leadership and, and different views and whatnot. And you know, every so often we hear back from our community. We hear back from, from other practitioners folks out there around the world and Aaron Smith tack left a I’ll call it a glowing review on LinkedIn. That was awful thoughts.

Greg White (05:40):

Yeah. Uh, it was inspiring, frankly, because it was like, she couldn’t wait to shout it out. I don’t think, I don’t think the show was quite over when she did it. So yeah, I really appreciate that. And of course is a really valuable member of the community. She’s always got incredible insights to share. So thank you.

Scott Luton (05:58):

Absolutely. Thank you, Aaron. Always, she’s always from what I’ve been able to tell, very upbeat and positive and, uh, you know, highlighting the things that she loves our guests share. And of course, Sandra McCullough McQuillan last week with mandola he’s. Wow. That was several pages of things that, how many

Greg White (06:18):

Pages would you say about 17?

Scott Luton (06:23):

I thought you might’ve got a couple of extras in maybe. Um, well, Hey folks again, today is manufacturing Monday here, the supply chain, but so stay tuned. And just a couple minutes after we, we, uh, tackle a couple of key stories for the manufacturing industry. We’ve got a home run speaker, a guest, Billy Taylor, uh, there’ll be joining us here about 1220. So stay tuned,

Greg White (06:47):

Greg. We’ve got to say hello to a few folks. Yeah.

Scott Luton (06:50):

On this Monday, let’s do afternoon. Peter Boulay and his, uh, the project, the new project manager we’ll have to get an update on how that, that is coming along. Peter hope, this finds, you know, right. Yes. Uh Shariece via LinkedIn. She says decaf, Greg decaf.

Greg White (07:09):

I respect your perspective. Shariece but the truth is I don’t like the taste of coffee that much. And, and part of the problem was I was putting like five tablespoons of creamer in it. So if, if there’s no caffeine, my question is Shariece what exactly is the point?

Scott Luton (07:28):

Oh, I’m with ya. I’m with ya. I mean, Shariece let us know where you’re tuned in from. We’d love to know. I love that. Yeah,

Greg White (07:34):

I do. I’ve gotten that suggestion many times as a matter of fact.

Scott Luton (07:40):

Uh Mohib is where the Sierra good morning from Wichita, Kansas, and Wisconsin, the university, Greg, you did, you connected with their students? I think last Friday.

Greg White (07:49):

Yeah. Friday. I did a guest lecture for IME seven, seven, seven, Dr. Deepak Guptas class. And, and Mohib was the, he was the main facilitator. I gotta tell you, Scott, I’ve never been introduced better. I thought somebody else was gonna give the lecture as he was describing. Wow. That dude’s impressive. And I realized it was just me.

Scott Luton (08:12):

Is there a replay that might be available?

Greg White (08:15):

We’ll have to ask Mohib if they recorded it. Uh, it’s a pretty, you know, it’s kind of an exclusive audience thing had to be there virtually or in person. Okay. You get it. I don’t know. We’ll see. We

Scott Luton (08:27):

Need those Hollywood rights. I’d

Greg White (08:29):

Be happy to do it. If somebody, if it doesn’t, it’s not a short lecture because that’s like an hour and a half long class. It was about 50 minutes of presentation, about 20, 30 minutes of questions.

Scott Luton (08:41):

So Peter is very observant. He likes your soul patch as much as I do Greg. So keep, keep, keep it coming. I love that.

Greg White (08:50):

No, you know what? I’m okay. I had to, I have to confess. I’m aiming for best hair in supply chain right now the unequivocal leader is Rick McDonald, the chief supply chain officer at Clorox. And if you don’t believe me, look him up, dude has the best hair and he’s got a super cool soul patch.

Scott Luton (09:09):

Love it. Gary Smith. Hope this finds you. Well, if I think I saw correctly on social media, vaccines have been completed. You’re going to be back on your bike before you know it so great to have you here with us today. See Joe, Jim Maretta is with us. Hey. Yeah. Uh, welcome. Welcome, right. Uh, let’s see. As Leah you’re to con and of course we love what you share here each and every livestream loved your interview. And, um, thanks for joining us. Thanks for your kind words. Mervin is with us from Dublin. Great to see a Mervyn T squared who holds down the Fort on YouTube. Four says it’s lunch time for supply chain management nourishment. I love that average check. Good evening from India. Looking at you.

Greg White (09:57):

I have a very good friend. NORML Stephenson from Chennai.

Scott Luton (10:02):

Well, great to have you, uh, tuned in from India via YouTube. Paula is with us again, once again from Kansas city holding down the Fort in, in the Midwest. Uh, let’s see here. Chandra, cot. Hello. Uh, great to have you here via LinkedIn and appeared Joseph Jessup. Good morning from Charleston, South Carolina, the Holy city.

Greg White (10:24):

I am on my way there next week as a matter. So,

Scott Luton (10:28):

Uh, Bob is with us. Hello, Bob. Hope this finds you well, Natalie’s back with us, Rhonda is with us own time. How about that? And Enrique. Yes. As I was sharing with Billy, uh, kind of pre-show and, and Greg, you and I both heard this in Rica is new president of the Billy Taylor fan club. He was raving after meeting Billy for, uh, on Friday morning. So Enrique great to have you here. Of course, hosts of logistics with purpose and supply chain now in espaniol.

Greg White (10:58):

Hey, did you notice that Rhonda is it’s her day off and she’s still tuning.

Scott Luton (11:03):

Wow, Rhonda man. How about major, major props? We owe you a t-shirt and you go, hi, everybody from Guadalajara, Mexico. Great to here. If you go via LinkedIn. Okay. So we got to talk, we got to get to work. Greg. Let’s get into

Greg White (11:21):

Mostly just to get Billy on screen. So let’s do it amen to that. Let’s see this news stuff.

Scott Luton (11:27):

There’s a couple of things that we P again, it’s all about manufacturing today. The manufacturer Monday version of the supply chain buzz here at supply chain now. So if you love manufacturing, you know, raise your hand and give us a, give us an amen. You name it. But we do here. We love manufacturer. A lot of my experience, um, in industry was either in the manufacturing industry or serve in the manufacturing industry. So never met some of the brightest minds, some of the hardest folks, folks that can solve problems like, like nobody’s business. So, um, so in this story, we’re going to start with some good news, Greg. You’re like good news. I love good news. All right. So that’s a great comment. I’m gonna circle back to in a minute. But, um, so in this story, publish a few days ago on Fitch ratings, global manufacturing activity continues to pick up steam. So European manufacturer activity cruising right along in Germany, all time, all time records for manufacturing activity in March all time. That could probably get that part goes back a few years.

Greg White (12:29):

Imagine how can you be more productive than the Germans, right? So yeah, that’s saying something

Scott Luton (12:35):

That’s right. You enjoy their products every day. Don’t we all do. Probably I do. You just happen to have a steering wheel fastened? The one that always give up too much of your personal information. So I’m not gonna, I’m not to go any further. You’ll be getting late number. So again, manufacturing activity globally is just it’s. It’s continued to pick up steam, uh, here in the U S it’s up France, Italy, Spain, UK, all experiencing a ton of growth, uh, course of core strong levels of demand are fueling the activity, but here in the U S and I gleaned a couple of these observations from the manufacturing ism report on business, right? They’re the folks behind the PMI that industry looks at each and every month. So March showed increases over February for the U S manufacturing sector, new orders, production employment, all showed gains, but supplier deliveries are slowing down and at a faster rate, right. And backlogs are starting to creep back up. Yeah. Yeah. I think we all, I was watching on, um, on Twitter over the weekend and one of our friends is getting a new couch and they placed the order three months, lead time for a couch. I was like, wow, how about that? Um, but, but good news, 10 straight months of gains in the U S manufacturing, according to the PMR. So a lot of good stuff there. Greg, why don’t you weigh in? What do you see?

Greg White (14:04):

Well, I mean, I think it’s, it is good that we’re starting to see it. We’re starting to see companies be more and more able to manage the restrictions of, of distancing and PPE and all of those sorts of things and get back to work. And they’re very conscious. It seems many are intentional about, about handling that, uh, at the same time. And I’m just going to toss this out there and we don’t necessarily have to resolve it. But I see this, I see this pretty consistently that we’re starting to see the supply chain kind of, I don’t want to say disrupt, but back up again, my most popular post last week, 10,000 views in two days was about the, the automotive industry, of course, begging for assistance from the government for semiconductors, which we’ve talked about several weeks here. Um, there is a significant shortage there, right?

Greg White (14:59):

I’m not sure that the shortage was as much the catalyst for all of the engagement with that post as the begging for money from the government, um, was, and you can see it when you, when you look at a lot of the, uh, discussion on it. Um, it’s funny, just a real, real quick sidebar. Somebody said, you know, maybe, maybe automotive companies ought to adjust their business model. So they don’t have to go to the government. And I somewhat analytically and somewhat tongue and cheek Hadley said going to the government is part of their business model.

Scott Luton (15:34):

It’s true. It’s true. Well, you know, but that topic continued to dominate headlines in manufacturing and beyond really for months to come. So it’s been fascinating to watch how companies are trying to get around in all, in all sectors, right? Cause chips go in everything these days.

Greg White (15:51):

Well, and any disruptions we see, I think a lot of the experts that we can trust, like Laura says Siri and others have have said, those disruptions will be temporary. They may be substantial and they may be relatively long-term, but they are not permanent. So we’ll continue to see these disruptions from supplies of raw materials and componentry and that sort of thing. But it won’t be permanent. I hope I’m right, because we’re about to bring somebody on and just a few minutes slammed me to the turf if I’m wrong.

Scott Luton (16:23):

Um, all right. I wanna, I want to share a couple of quick comments here before I move to the next story. So Jen is tuned in also via Ireland. Great to see, uh, Janet, tell us what city you are in. Uh, Enrique says also be aware, Greg, as I’m going after best hair category to now that he knows

Greg White (16:39):

I don’t have a chance, I don’t have a chance. He’s got that. Those sort of Euro wavy locks thing going on. I’m I’m out.

Scott Luton (16:48):

Uh, that’s about it, Tommy, uh, tuned in via Chattanooga, uh, across LinkedIn. Great to have you here, Tommy. Yeah. Uh, let’s see here, David is with us Dave and talk about manufacturing. I wasn’t

Greg White (17:00):

Sure it was an official day

Scott Luton (17:03):

Without David. It can’t be the official livestream, Rhonda, uh, Russ calls Rhonda and overachiever for tuning in on her day off. So I hope this finds you well, it’s been too long. Great to see you here. Uh, let’s see fatigue, uh, via Turkey. Great to see you here with us today. Uh, and then I’m going to share this from Rhonda. You know, we talked about some folks getting vaccines, second vaccine

Greg White (17:28):

Last night off

Scott Luton (17:31):

Two hours and waiting our turn fooling around the line, anticipated the weights. It took some time off the vaccine for folks at the Cardinal stadium. She’s an Arizona is from 6:00 PM until 6:00 AM due to the heat, the long wait, but well worth it. Well

Greg White (17:46):

To be ready for tomorrow, about 16 hours,

Scott Luton (17:50):

Six to 16 hours after you get the second dose, it hit you. Yes, that’s what I’ve heard. Uh, then Voss the canvas. Um, apologize if I got that wrong tuned in via Kenya. Great to have you here with us today. Okay. You bet it is beautiful. Um, I’m gonna, if my slide will work here, we’ll see too many mice here, Greg too many mice. Um, all right. So number two. So this is an interesting, very interesting story. You know, it’s really tough, Greg, as we talked pre-show to get really, um, a finger on the pulse data on what’s going on in China, sometimes even in the manufacturing industry where there’s global brands that are taught up there, but finger on the pulse. That’s very diplomatic Scott. Yeah. Hey, Hey, we try, we try, according to this article does, because when we won’t talk about that, the Chinese manufacturing environment, we’ve certainly talked a lot about that through the pandemic as, as, um, a variety of topics came up and, and, uh, procurement sourcing shifts and, and other, uh, uh, topics have come up.

Scott Luton (18:57):

But according to this article via Arabian business, China continues to face a big Exodus of manufacturing activity. Shannon Brandau says, don’t believe what you hear in these surveys and the opinion pieces that are out there that, that we’ve all have read and try to get gleanings from the X’s from China, she says, is picking up pace specifically a couple of things they point to here, they point to Taiwan firms are leaving China in droves to costs going up and the trade war amongst other things between us and China. Secondly, the recent rise of concern on slave labor in Xinjiang province, which has particularly impacted the global fashion industry. Uh, Greg, as we’ve talked about here, many brands are demanding that their suppliers thankfully avoid Chinese cotton due to slavery concerns, right? Yup. Yup. Um, here’s the tricky part though? One of the reasons why we can’t, it’s tough to really get good, uh, boots on ground information because for global business leaders that are considering any sourcing moves, they got to watch the words carefully because otherwise they might face retribution from the Chinese government Swedish, for example, Swedish clothing, brand H and M was essentially banned from the Chinese internet over some remarks that they made.

Scott Luton (20:15):

Uh, one of their executives made around slavery. Uh, other fears include the nationalization of assets by the Chinese government, big time exit fees, or perhaps even corporate ransom. So, uh, no wonder I choose my words carefully to make sure you’re committed, committed right before you, you want to have your plan B in place before you say anything? Um, excellent point. Yeah, for sure. One last point and Greg, I know you’re dying to share some thoughts here, but, uh, I think one important distinction and we talked about this. I’m not sure what show, but you know, a lot of manufacturers will set up shop in China so they can of course sell their goods to, you know, the, the, the, the massive population there. So naturally they’re not picking up shop, uh, you know, because there’s, there’s business reasons to stay there. So it’s important, you know, as, as we kind of measure, uh, the shifts of any sourcing moves, that’s important context, keep in mind, but Greg, I know you’re dying to weigh in, please. What are some of your thoughts here?

Greg White (21:15):

I’m dying for the day that I can buy ADI dos again, because they are not contributing to slavery engine, John province. Um, so hope and I need to, I actually need to check up on them. You know, there’s, there are sites all over the internet that can verify what’s really happening with a lot of these brands. Um, we will never get the truth of China. I’ll just say it you’re very diplomatic Scott, but, um, that is a dictatorship, regardless of how much esteem our current administration holds them in and how much excusing of slavery as a cultural norm, our president, uh, gives them. But there’s a lot that needs to change in China. I’m working with companies that are moving their production out of China, physical production out of China, to Taiwan and companies, even companies, as you said in Taiwan, at least a handful that I know of that are based in Taiwan are moving to places like I’ll not name the companies, but they’re moving to places like Vietnam and other places and completely setting up shop to completely extract themselves.

Greg White (22:20):

And there’s good reason for companies in Taiwan to leave China as well, because China wants to wipe Taiwan off the face of the planet so that there is a long time feud in China has been very aggressive in trying to eliminate the country of Taiwan. So, uh, I mean, there’s a lot going on there and I’m glad to see production leaving China. There’s no other countries single country on the face of the planet that is big enough to contain all of that, which mean no means no single government entity has control over the world economy like China does now. And that bodes well for,

Scott Luton (22:59):

For the marketplace. Um, uh, let’s see, where do I stop?

Greg White (23:04):

Let’s see if I get banned from China.

Scott Luton (23:07):

One other item, uh, that article speaks to new. I gotta check out the article. I think we’ve got it in the show notes, but it talks about the pivoting, um, how the, the Chinese government is expecting manufacturing to, to, uh, to leave and how they’ve been making, you know, uh, pivoting the mega cities to try to capture more of the technology business and other non manufacturing business. So it’ll be interesting, you know, these, these dynamics are there, there so many different layers, Greg touched on a lot of them, but we will keep our finger on the pulse and see how this all plays out. Uh, you know, of course when it comes back to manufacturing and us manufacturing, there’s been a ton of talk around reassuring near shoring and, and some of these dynamics clearly are baked into those discussions too. So, uh, look for, uh, you know, we’re about to bring on our special guests. Are there, yeah,

Greg White (23:54):

I’d love to hear about that. Yeah. Right. Read that reassuring and near shoring. Yeah.

Scott Luton (23:58):

Yes. Um, and that, you know, that those will be regular parts of our manufacturing leadership series that we do, uh, uh, produce in conjunction with the great people over at the association for manufacturing excellence. Um, a couple of comments for, we bring our guests. Clay Phillips says, no punches pulled today. Enrique says, Craig, why don’t you tell us how you really feel about China? Gary says, Mike drops. So, uh,

Greg White (24:23):

It’s not even now I really feel about China. So

Scott Luton (24:29):

Greg tells it like it is, and, and there is value in authenticity and transparency and, and, uh, your perspective. So I really appreciate that. Okay. So we’ve gotten a treat here today. I want to bring in our featured guests. Uh, so Billy Taylor spent more than 30 years with the Goodyear tire and rubber company, including Tom spint as director of North American manufacturing and the chief diversity and inclusion officer, he now serves as president CEO was linked XL. And which we’re all excited about is our new cohost for our manufacturing leadership series that I mentioned, we produced in partnership with our friends at AME, no further ado. Let’s welcome in Mr. Billy Taylor. Good afternoon, Billy. How are you doing sir?

Billy Taylor (25:13):

Good afternoon. I’m well, and yourself

Scott Luton (25:16):

Doing wonderful and even better now. Uh, and we really thoroughly enjoyed our pre-show conversation with you, um, uh, as we shared, um, with you already, but Enrique and Mark really enjoyed their time with you Friday morning here in Atlanta. Uh, so I’m looking forward to sharing some of your, uh, perspective with our community here. So Greg, where are we starting with the one and only Billy Taylor?

Billy Taylor (25:39):

Well, I’m dying to know. Maybe you can comment on any of those articles that we had, but any other couple things news or issues or challenges or opportunities or excellence that you’ve, that are really kind of top of mind for you in the manufacturing industry. Really what I’m seeing now is a play on the internet, right? Uh, it’s how the internet is now, in fact, in the market, it’s kind of like social media, right. And feedback. Uh, and I see when it’s, it’s, um, it’s, it’s a move now from really just the visual management piece is to capture that intellectual police and, and its title. I think the, uh, internet of things, that’s what you’ll see if you go Google it, the internet of things. It’s how smart devices now are being used in manufacturing, uh, like social media, getting instant feedback to, uh, people working in the field and that instant gratification, right? As humans, we all want to feel valued. And that’s what social media tend to do to us. In some, in some cases, uh, we liked the lights. Uh, and so, uh, in operations now smart devices are helping people interact with equipment, interacting with the market. And so that’s changing the game because one of the things that COVID, it’s done, it’s, it’s regenerated. I’m going to call it American and global manufacturing. But when I think it’s called glocalization

Greg White (27:03):

Right, it’s global

Billy Taylor (27:05):

Market, and you have to now, because the borders were closed, now you have to take advantage. And it also gave everybody to an opportunity to perfect their niche because right, you had that now you had this concentrated market because there were no trading globally. So you were able to tap into your synergies and see what you’re good at. And also be honest with what you’re not good at. Right.

Greg White (27:31):

Had a great opportunity. You know, one of the things we saw early Billy was companies had a great opportunity to evaluate, really evaluate their relationships with their trading partners, right? Because there’s one brilliant person. I don’t know who it was. We saw it in an article or something like that said, it’s too late to make friends. Now, now the COVID is hit, right? So, um, it’s given people or companies, the ability to really evaluate how strong their relationships are, their internal processes, their people and, and their, and you know, their technology in a lot of cases,

Billy Taylor (28:05):

Absolutely. In the best of those companies, how they capitalize, I call it, you celebrated the red. Now that’s different celebrating the red. It’s celebrating the things where, you know, and you’re not good at, but the fact that you know now, and so though that celebrated the red, we’re able to capitalize on those things, that they were weak, yet. Those things that, that, that, that, that could help them improve in the marketplace. Uh, we love the green, but I think you harvest the green, you celebrate the red and that’s a different mindset. And most companies, uh, because most, a lot of leaders that I interact with when I go out and consulting and please don’t take it literally. And I don’t mean that literally, but they don’t treat reality, uh, with a true sense of urgency. It’s like the, the, the person in the grocery store, the baby carriage, what happens when someone says, how does my baby, look, you walk up to the baby care and you do what you lie, right. Oh, baby’s so cute. And then you walk away, what do you say? Dang, that’s a huggy baby. Right? Literally, but as a tough conversation to have. And the reason why I say that, let me clean that up. I remember my wife left me with my daughter and I had to do hair and I really botched it up. And she said to me, you made my baby ugly. And I clearly said, no, the root cause is, you’ve never showed me how to do hair, have habit.

Greg White (29:29):

Hmm. Good point.

Billy Taylor (29:31):

So you get to that point to have you got to have those conversations and that’s what drives business excellence. And that’s why most companies fail small and large. They can have that where you celebrate the red. Well, you know, companies, when, when COVID started, they really had to do that. There was nothing else to do. You couldn’t produce, you couldn’t sell in a lot of cases. Do you see, did you see a lot of companies take that step back and analyze their processes and everything and try to get better and, and probably some who didn’t I’m sure. But do you see any difference between those companies today? Only 12 months later? Absolutely. It’s been a complete shift and manufacturing, uh, COVID changed the landscape. It actually, I believe helped companies become stronger and more self-aware of how to manage the intersections of business. And so when w when we started going through the, the virtual working, the virtual right, leaders had to let go without letting loose.

Billy Taylor (30:36):

Okay. But at that point with the w with COVID, what it did was teach it forced taught us how to trust, how to take advantage of our processes. Uh, and what, what really came out of it is governance and sustainability. So governing what you said you were going to do, doing what you said you were going to do from his processes technologies, but more importantly, people became the greatest asset, right? Leveraging the people side of whatever we do in supply chain, uh, came to the forefront. And so when companies started doing strategy deployment, it was clear who owned what? And it provided a sense of ownership and business and leaders, uh, became leaders instead of managers. Right? Because, uh, I, I believe ownership, trumps accountability, right. And when people know what they own, we have a different sense of pride, a sense of engagement. Uh, have you ever rented a rental car? How do you treat that rental car? No, you don’t, you don’t wreck it because you’re accountable for it, but you don’t treat it like the one you own as well. I don’t believe where did we hear this?

Scott Luton (31:50):

There’s about seven Seinfeld episodes and what Billy’s already shared here today. So including that famous scene, where I felt just having to dispute with the rental car company, if you remember, and after it not getting it resolved to his satisfaction, she goes, would you like insurance on this rental car? And he goes, yes, because I’m going to beat the hell out of it. But Billy, I love, I love, uh, I love the, um, the visuals, as you, as you describe your POV, one more thing, you, you share something with us. Uh, pre-show about some of your key learnings about making people visible. W would you share that with our, with our folks here?

Billy Taylor (32:31):

I, I actually coming up through my career. I took on the most challenging assignments in our manufacturing footprint. I’ve lived plants as large, as 3000 people, a union free in Lawton, Oklahoma. It was the flagship plant and, uh, 3000 union members in Fayetteville. But it was interesting. We had just won the Shingo prize in Lawton. And I thought I was going to get the call to go to corporate headquarters. I even called my mom. I’m happy going to corporate America. And the phone rings. And it says, we’d like you to go to Fayetteville, North Carolina. And I’m sitting there like, I’m not going to fit bill the worst sign in the world. Right. And I remember telling my mom, she goes, Hey, why not? And I’m like, that’s like, Gilligan’s Island. You start out on a three-day trip and you never come back. I’ve never out of the plant.

Billy Taylor (33:14):

And she goes, no, but, and I’m going, I’m going to start here. Here’s what she said to me. I’ll never forget. She’s huge. She was disappointed in me. She asked me a question, and this is what I’ll ask everybody on the call. Think about, about trusting yourself. She says, if a bird lands on the branch, does the bird trust the branch? Or does the trust its wings thought about it? She’s a song. Let me give you a clue. Then I’ve got to get off this phone. She says, I’ve seen many birds land on branches, but what I have never seen is a branch break in a bird fall and die, trust yourself. And that’s what causes most people. Now, when I said that, she told me that she says, what do you do best? And she says, you never make people visible and they’ll make you valuable.

Billy Taylor (33:59):

So I came in and plan on nights with blue jeans and baseball cap. This was before undercover boss. And I walked around and got to know people. And you know what? I had a great team there. I mean, a great team that, that, that weren’t included. They didn’t understand the strategy. They didn’t know what they owned in the strategy. So therefore the strategy was a secret and you can’t manage a secret. Um, my best mentor became Sammy, the janitor, every Saturday, Sammy and I would have a coffee. You know, what Sammy taught me was how to communicate at all levels of the organization. He would tell me, in his words, a general generalist to call me general. It’s not a common language. It’s a common meaning. If you get off the plane and, uh, Brazil or Mexico, they’re going to say, Oh, you get off the plane in New York. They’re going to say hi. And if they get on the plane and Tiffany’s they going to say, howdy, right? So it’s, it’s the common meaning. They all mean the same. And so at that point, I had to really tailor two foot rule. You get within two feet of me, I say, hello. I still use it today. If I go to the airport, the two foot rule,

Scott Luton (35:15):

All right. So Billy, we’re filling up my notebook here, and there’s plenty that you can share. I love we’re gonna have to, we’re going to have to have you back for a dedicated full hour. Um, Billy me, let me share a couple of comments that we’ve gotten, and then we’re going to shift gears on, uh, our, on the discussion here. So as Leah first, uh, companies are in need for those networks more than ever. I think startups are benefiting from this more than those senior and fortune 500 organizations, because they’re still in that infant stage of need and nursing networking. Peter loved your analogy on the ugly baby. Uh, let’s see here, Rhonda consumer behaviors, driving conscious changes. That’s a positive way to make a difference on a humanistic level. Interesting to see developments for sure. Uh, let’s see. Enrique loves you coming back and sharing some of your experiences. Gary says a shift from profit first to people first and th and Dave, and I agree with you here. Your mom is a no nonsense lady by the sounds of it. Agreed, agreed. Uh, and David also says, just get that man’s notebook for t-shirts my goodness.

Scott Luton (36:26):

All right. So, uh, I really appreciate your time here today. Let’s talk about this, uh, manufacturing leadership series that we are producing in partnership with our great friends over at the association for manufacturing excellence and folks y’all can check them So Billy, we were going to have the great fortune of seeing you on a monthly basis, uh, and, and working with you as a co-host with. So were our teams tickled about that? Why is it important in your view to really spotlight and uplift the manufacturing industry?

Billy Taylor (36:58):

I think it’s a core of our nation. It’s a core globally, right? It’s what we do, uh, as a country. When you talk to them about the supply and demand, you can’t get there without manufacturing. And I think it’s a core business. I think one of the comments was made, uh, early. I think my Azalea, um, the it’s around the KPAs has got the KPIs is what we do, not what we get. And most people lose sight of that. When you think of manufacturing, I always use an analogy when I go into small or large businesses to say, help me understand your strategy. And every start with the end game first. And I said, no, if I want to lose weight standing on the scale, that’s the KPI. I need to focus on what I eat, how much I exercise. I need to measure those things, because those are what’s most important. And so when you look at manufacturing, it’s, it’s, it’s the front of everything we do in life in life. And so, I mean, manufacturing will never go away. And so what better way to share best practices and real life examples? Right? Because I really, my, my philosophy is also being on podcasts. I don’t want to just talk about the successes. I want to talk about some of the mistakes that were made, right.

Scott Luton (38:13):

It’s really important. And, you know,

Billy Taylor (38:14):

That’s a very place for people to learn for sure.

Scott Luton (38:17):

Agreed. And, you know, we, uh, as we always enjoy here, Greg and Billy, it seems like you appreciate it to those leaders that are willing to share those mistakes and not just focused on all the good stuff that we all love to celebrate, but being, but being real and being, um, uh, vulnerable enough to share the mistakes made and, and, and details around that where other folks really, to your point, Billy will stay in the learn so much more. So, um, I want to share, uh, T squared loves letting go without letting loose Epic. He calls that, uh, Gary says a mentor once told me that manufacturing is the only way to create true wealth. Uh, and, uh, as Leah and Dave, and also, uh, want us to get your notebook that way we’ve got all the t-shirt isn’t we need, and I’m not sure who this is, but they love the focus on KPAs versus KPIs. All right. So, um, if you had, um, so when we think about this manufacturing leadership series, if you had a small little nutshell to put, uh, some thoughts into what are folks going to experience about tuning in,

Billy Taylor (39:26):

And they’re going to get real life lessons, right? And the very reason I’m on, uh, the podcast with you is because of the overcoming the failures I’ve made and successes I’ve had. And so getting those real live examples of someone who’s done it, not read the book, right? Someone’s lived that life 30 years of it and, and sharing those examples, those stories, those mistakes, uh, that’s what I think is going to be most beneficial, what the human element to it, not, not, not the smoke and mirrors type of, uh, the tele stories around the standards, right? What do, I mean, my standards, it’s easy to say. You should have standards, but practical examples of what a standard is, a real leadership standard. You accept, you can’t change, right? Those types of that’s what you’re going to get the real perspective with the human feel to it.

Scott Luton (40:19):

Love that. So let’s go ahead and let’s knock out the first recording this afternoon. You get your ready to go, Billy. Um, Greg. Yeah. I want to bring you in Greg. I mean, there’s so much goodness here that Billy Billy’s sharing, what are a couple things

Billy Taylor (40:31):

You’ve picked up? Well, I mean, I think one of the things he points out is that success is just a series of overcoming failures. And that’s, you have to be, we talk about a lot. You have to be willing to risk something to move forward. I always think about Michael Jordan, when I think about greatness, greatest NBA player of all time, still, in my opinion. Um, but you know, I don’t remember the specific numbers of his famous quote, but he failed far more often to make the game winning shot, then he succeeded, but he kept taking the shot. And that’s the key, right? So, um, you do learn so much from minor, obviously major failures, but you want to keep those failures minor because the success is really the goal that you’re after. So, um, yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s not much bigger than, than success is just simply overcoming a series of failures.

Scott Luton (41:25):

I love it. Uh, and you know, Billy, you said you read the book. I bet you wrote the book is what is what I’m getting out of here. And David says, Hey, in Ricky Alvarez, do you have any memberships for that? Billy T fan club?

Billy Taylor (41:40):

I got to share this. So Enrique was Ambien. I walk into the office and it’s talking about make people visible. I got more out of that visit. And I believe in Riga, I’m not sure we got there later that day. He got a lot out of it. I make people visible. They make you valuable. He came downstairs. Not only did we spend half coffee, he gave me some nice, really good cold coffee. And then we took a tour. He gave me a book that talked about his success stories. Think of that value. He started making me valuable. I was learning from him and my whole mindset was getting to know him. And then here’s what you did. And see, whenever you come back to Atlanta, they get ahold of me, right? I not only I built a relationship with him behind the scenes. That’s what I mean by make people visible. They’ll make you value.

Scott Luton (42:32):

Hmm. Love that. Um, okay. So talking about coming to Atlanta, uh, AME is packing up. The wagons are bringing their international conference to Atlanta in October, October 18th through the 21st, 2021. I think we’ve got the note for that in the show notes. Folks, check that out. What’s your favorite part about these international conferences? The AME puts on Billy,

Billy Taylor (42:53):

Actually the personal networking and or interaction with, with practitioners and you get to learn about best practice and you can go right up and ask the part people that are, have went through these journeys and, and tap into their, their networks and their experiences. And, and I think that platform itself and being able to participate, okay, participate in the workshops. I am going to see plants. So that’s where I really cut my teeth in operational excellence. Uh, did my first keynote actually in a little small room in Dallas, Texas when they launched there. And, uh, I’ve, I’ve a lot of the experts or practitioners in the field were there that I could just walk up to and talk to. It’s a real personal conference.

Scott Luton (43:40):

I love that. And, and, you know, after doing, uh, Amy did a great job with the remote version last year, as we all had to go remote. Um, but it’ll be neat to finally get back in person as you’re speaking about Billy, and, you know, Greg, we’ve seen, um, a wide variety of groups, you know, talking with us and many others about getting back in person and bringing these events back in person. So that’s some really good news and it Greg.

Billy Taylor (44:03):

Yeah, it is. And I think, you know, I think our original theory, maybe it was my original theory will be tested soon enough. And that is which types of shows, which types of gatherings will come back and which won’t, we’ve had a lot of those discussions around educational sessions, like AME and other gatherings where you learn something, you really learn something and you’re not simply obligated to be there because you’re conspicuous by your absence. Right. Excellent. Yeah. I really think some of these learning, engaging, networking type events will be far more valuable and valued and attended than just trade shows. Right.

Scott Luton (44:43):

Well, I’ll tell ya. I’m, I’m gonna have a new two foot rule myself, Billy,

Billy Taylor (44:47):

If you’re happy,

Scott Luton (44:49):

I’m going to hug. Yeah. Cause I can’t wait to get back in person, uh, and enjoy till it’s company. So, uh, I want to share a couple of comments here before we start to wrap with Billy Peter bullae, uh, Greg white never fails to take his shot on tequila, sunrise. I agree with you and Peter also, thanks for sharing that link. Folks can check out that link that Peter shared to learn more about the conference. Uh, see Enrique says he agrees with Greg. We all always agree with Greg great time. Learned a lot from Billy. So definitely come to Atlanta more often. I’m sure. I’m sure you’ve got some, I’m not gonna point anybody out, but you got some family in Atlanta now, so

Billy Taylor (45:24):

Hopefully you’ll be back plenty.

Scott Luton (45:27):

Um, Rhonda says, uh, was taught my mentor. The janitor is the most important to get to know they’ve got the pulse on everything

Billy Taylor (45:36):

That makes me think of the, of the NASA story, right? Where a president walks up to the guy, sweeping the floor in a hanger and says, what’s your job here? And he says, my job is to put a man on the moon. I love that too. Right.

Scott Luton (45:51):

Okay. So, so much good stuff. Uh, Billy, uh, 25 minutes does not do you justice by any means Bay. This is the start of a, of a dialogue that will keep on going and going and going and probably giving back plenty giving forward. Um, let’s make sure folks know how to first off May 14th at 12 noon Eastern time. If my notes are right, is going to be the next episode of the manufacturing leadership series right here on supply chain. Now again produced in partnership with our friends over AME y’all tune in Billy, uh, Greg and I, we’ve got a short list of guests that we’re working on through their agents to lock them in. So you’re not going to miss that heck just to hear more from Billy, you’re not going to want this. So Mark, your caveat ought, just do a Billy. Yes. So make sure you like market calendars May 14th at 12 noon Eastern time. Be sure to check out for more information about AME and then Billy, how can folks connect with you?

Billy Taylor (46:48):

Uh, LinkedIn, uh, LinkedIn, I’m there and you know, at the end of the day, that’s how I decompress at the end of the day as well and interact with a lot of my friends. I always go once team Taylor always deemed Taylor DAV and I’m like, yeah, I like him. Right? So it’s that, that interaction I engaged on long LinkedIn. That’s where I, my social media, I’m going to call and of choice.

Scott Luton (47:16):

Love it, love it. Uh, well, Billy, gosh, not only, uh, the conversation has been very efficient. We’re we’re ahead of schedule a little bit. So I’m going to ask you on it and then Greg, I’m coming to you next, uh, before we let you go, Billy, if you had a minute to, to speak directly to the folks tuned in, um, you know, folks that may be, you know, struggling with, with their job or struggling with the environment or, you know, just fighting through the day. What’s one piece of advice. If I put you on the spot, sorry, Billy, what’s one piece of advice that you, that you’d like to offer

Billy Taylor (47:48):

Right now, I would tell you, and this is something that I actually actually told my kids and I, my wife and I do it to ourselves. Ask yourself this question. What would you do if you were not afraid, just pause, look in the mirror by yourself and ask yourself, what would you do if you were not afraid? You know, I once read the book by Miguel Ruiz, the four agreements, and it helped me with my personal self-esteem as a leader. Uh, but I have to often ask myself why, because we all like to be liked and sometimes uncomfortable to go against the grain. But when you ask yourself, what would you do if you weren’t afraid, then you do, right. Yeah.

Scott Luton (48:29):

I love that. You’ll get some honest answers and new direction perhaps, but, uh, Billy, right? Yeah, it really is. And this is Laura Madejski Solara. Great. Great to have you here today. Uh she’s she sums up huge. Thank you, Billy. Some excellent takeaways from your story and experiences shared today. I completely agree. All right. So Greg, well, we still have Billy what’s one of your favorite things that he shared here today.

Billy Taylor (48:56):

Do you trust the branch or do you trust your wings? Right? I mean, I think that, I mean, I think that that’s, it’s not dissimilar to what you just said, Billy is what would you do if you were not afraid? Right. Right. Um, and, and not being afraid has a lot to do with, as you said, self-esteem and trusting yourself. So trust your wings. You can get beyond just about anything. It doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. That’s right. Um, any other thing I can, this is th this is my favorite takeaway is undercover. Billy Billy into plants come up with a half dozen disguises, but billion plants and ha I mean, seriously, we could have him discover what’s going on in some of those plants and give them some real takeaways. That would be fantastic, right?

Scott Luton (49:47):

It would, it was so many ideas. So little time, Billy, but, uh, a pleasure to have you here today, learn so much. We’re just scraping the very tip of the iceberg, but we’re going to have you back May 14th at 12 noon with a special guest. So y’all stay tuned for that and make sure you connect with Billy on LinkedIn. He is a wonderful, and then a little bit of time I’ve been tracking and following the ability. You’re a great, uh, uh, person to follow and track on social, Billy Taylor with linked XL. Thanks so much for,

Billy Taylor (50:16):

Thank you for having me looking for it. Yeah. Thanks,

Scott Luton (50:22):

Man. I’m ready to go run through some walls. How about you?

Billy Taylor (50:26):

Yeah, I think that there’s

Greg White (50:28):

So much, um, plain spoken wisdom and, and I really appreciate that. Um, so yeah, I think, uh, really interesting. It would be really interesting to have him walk through a facility, wouldn’t it. And, and just share, you know, here’s what could be done there, or, you know, share a little bit of those conversations. That’d be fantastic.

Scott Luton (50:49):

Agreed. Uh, also, you know, we’re excited to have him back at least monthly. Uh, you know, I think he’s gonna, um, just as you put it simple, just straightforward, um, but also highly practical. And we will, we will know how, how practical we love to be around here. So Lee really enjoyed our time with Billy Taylor here today, but folks, uh, tip of the iceberg, we are launching a lot of, uh, not only we’ve got manufacturing leadership, we’ve got tequila, sunrise coming at you with some new stuff coming up. What, what are we publishing tomorrow on tequila

Greg White (51:24):

Tomorrow? We talked, uh, we talked about sustainability with, uh, Peter [inaudible], who is the chief commercial officer at DB Schenker Norway. And they are just winning award after award in, in sustainability initiatives. You know, my former company’s European office was in Oslow one of my favorite cities on the planet, full disclosure, but the commitment to, um, to sustainability in Norway is exceptional in any of the countries that I’ve been to in the world. And, and Peter is bringing, bringing his company to the top of, of Norway, which has a high bar. They saw more Teslas in Norway than any country in the world. Wow. So very, very, uh, environmentally conscious. So anyway, you’re going to learn four or five things that your company can do to really establish a sustainability and, and accelerate any sustainability initiative that you have in your company.

Scott Luton (52:26):

Love it. So we’ve learned here today so much, including that Greg’s favorite cities are Oslo and Beijing, and We’re all kidding and, you know, Hey, it’s good to be Frank. Uh, so, uh, really appreciate your perspective. I love what bill has shared and Greg shared, uh, so much goodness, as also in the comments. We couldn’t, couldn’t get to all of it, but, uh, but Dave and I agree with you, the notebook reads like a transcript. Every word was gold that was dropped here today. And yes, Neyha hope this finds you well first off, but yes, definitely tune into the replay because I think you got here late. That’s okay. We’re a demerit

Greg White (53:06):

For you to know you’re busy, everybody’s busy. So we appreciate you tuning in. And that’s why we record these suffers.

Scott Luton (53:12):

Amen. Uh, as Leah looking forward to an in-person learning experience loved to learn, and those types of events agreed. I’m an in-person in-person learner. Uh, we do a lot of things, of course, but then being in person, being able to, you know, uh, be present with folks as we work through problems or learn new things or, or just get know people, uh, we all miss that here. Okay. It looks like we’re exchanging some restaurants, advice, getting some updates. So fat mats, that’s not by the airport, Peter, but I was wondering, but there is a, there is a good barbecue restaurant by the airport. He, he was, he was watching a show, Atlanta eats, I think, and saw a restaurant, but fat Matt’s is outstanding. Well paid endorsement there, Greg white. But Hey, thanks for tuning in here today, again, for the manufacturing Monday edition of supply chain buzz, which of course, as we mentioned, got to give a big, thanks to our friends at OpenText at power today’s session, a big thanks to our friends at the, the association for manufacturing excellence for, um, our, their partnership on the manufacturing leadership series and connecting us with Billy ready for outstanding con uh, content up ahead, and Simon, Hey, better, late than never celebrate the red because Russ never sleep.

Scott Luton (54:42):

There he is. And Billy’s in Cleveland right now. So he knows the truth about rust. He’s not from the rust belt, but he’s learning fast. I bet. Oh gosh. And Joseph coming in and when he visit Charleston, two places, the coast seafood and Louis barbecue. Alright. Joseph’s uh, we’re going to halls, uh, we’re going to halls for sure. And also a one six seven RA one eight, seven RA. Love to get your thoughts on those two places. Awesome. All right, everybody y’all have a wonderful week. Hey, do what Billy said. Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if you had no fear, what would you do? That is outstanding advice. So on behalf of our entire team here, uh, Scott lewd and Greg golf signing off for now, y’all have a wonderful week. Most importantly, do good. Give forward. Be the changes need to be just like Billy Taylor. And on that note, we’ll see you next time here.

Intro/Outro (55:40):

Thanks everybody. Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now, community check out all of our 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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Manufacturing Monday on the Supply Chain Buzz: featuring Special Guest Billy Taylor

Featured Guests

Billy Taylor is an American business executive, dynamic speaker and leadership guru. He is the CEO and President of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm. Taylor spent 30 years with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT), serving as Director of North America Manufacturing and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. During his tenure at Goodyear, the company’s earnings rose from -38M to +1B. As the Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion for Goodyear, Taylor led diversity and inclusion strategies for 64,000 employees across the 22 countries where Goodyear operates. Connect with Billy on LinkedIn.


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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Billy Taylor


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

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

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

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

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Kim Reuter


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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Allison Giddens


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

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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

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

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Tandreia Bellamy


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

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

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

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

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Marty Parker


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

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

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jake Barr


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

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Marcia Williams


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

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera


Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey University, class 2019. Upon graduation she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (GCLOG) 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. Former Data Analyst within the airport industry in Latin America at Pacific Airport Group, performing benchmarking reports and predictive analysis of future market behavior.

Currently working as Sr. Staffing Analyst within the S&OP team in Mexico at the biggest ecommerce company in Latin America: Mercado Libre. Responsible for workforce forecasting and planning through the analysis of demand, productivity, capacity, cost & time constraints. Sofia self identifies as Supply Chain Ambassador, sharing her passion for the field in her daily life. She has been recognized as upcoming thought leader in the field and invited to participate in several podcasts (Freight Path Podcast, Supply Chain Revolution Podcast, Let’s Talk Supply Chain, Industrificados) to discuss topics such as digital transformation, automation and future skillsets for supply chain professionals.

She is a frequent featured guest at Supply Chain Now and appointed co-host for their new series Supply Chain Now en Español. Global Ambassador for ISCEAs Sustainable Supply Chain Professional Certification (CSSCP) and keynote speaker at World Supply Chain Forum 2021 by ISCEA Indonesia.

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Karin Bursa


Karin Bursa is the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year and the Host of the TEKTOK Digital Supply Chain Podcast powered by Supply Chain Now. With more than 25 years of supply chain and technology expertise (and the scars to prove it), Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and share their success stories. Today, she helps B2B technology companies introduce new products, capture customer success and grow global revenue, market share and profitability. In addition to her recognition as the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year, Karin has also been recognized as a 2019 and 2018 Supply Chain Pro to Know, 2009 Technology Marketing Executive of the Year and a 2008 Women in Technology Finalist. 

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Vin Vashishta


Vin Vashishta is the author of ‘From Data To Profit’ (Wiley 2023). It’s the playbook for monetizing data and AI. Vin is the Founder of V-Squared and built the business from client 1 to one of the world’s oldest data and AI consulting firms. His background combines nearly 30 years in strategy, leadership, software engineering, and applied machine learning.

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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Vicki White


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

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