“We have about $11 billion of freight under management that runs through the networks. And ultimately people do business with us because we’re committed to outcomes. And the outcomes that we’re driving ultimately are the things that shippers care about. It’s speed, it’s visibility, it’s transparency what’s happening in their network, but it’s also very much service and cost.”
-Frank McGuigan, CEO, Transplace
Major disruptions have pushed logistics and supply chain leaders to be creative and inventive. The digital transformation has been accelerated exponentially and many of the advancements have propelled our industry forward. In this episode of TEKTOK on Supply Chain Now, hosts Scott Luton and Karin Bursa interview Frank McGuigan, CEO of Transplaceto learn how supply chain disruptions are driving logistics advancements.
Welcome to TekTok digital supply chain podcast, where we will help you eliminate the noise and focus on the information and inspiration that you need to transform your business impact supply chain success and enable you to replace risky inventory with valuable insights. Join your TekTok host Karin Bursa, the 2020 supply chain pro to know of the year with more than 25 years of supply chain and technology expertise in the scars to prove it Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Join the conversation, share your insights and learn how to harness technology innovations to drive tangible business results. Buckle up it’s time for tech talk powered by support you now.
Karin Bursa (00:01:12):
All right, well welcome supply chain movers and shakers Karin Bursa here, and I am glad that you are with us for today’s TekTok live on supply chain. Now here with me is of course the one and only Scott Luton, founder of supply chain. Now Scott, how’s your day, sir,
Scott Luton (00:01:30):
Exceptional, uh, had a wonderful, uh, productive morning, had a wonderful pre-show with our featured guests here today. Really enjoyed chatting with him and Karin, always a pleasure to collaborate with you and, and connect with our community. Once again,
Karin Bursa (00:01:43):
Absolutely. Um, anything we should be aware of any upcoming events or things we want to make sure the community knows are going to be available for them.
Scott Luton (00:01:52):
I got one big event coming up and that is this setting, the standard for supply chain security webinar with Kevin L. Jackson, but in conjunction with several groups and to include the telecommunications industry association, which is really the voice of ICT. And as we all know, we can’t talk enough about supply chain security, global supply chain, cutie security, and this April 27th event would be a great opportunity for just that the sign up Karin, we’re not selling tickets, it’s free to join us. You can hit the, uh, the right link in the show notes, or of course you can visit firstname.lastname@example.org and learn a lot more. So that’s, that’s the main announcement, but Karin, I’m excited to be here once again with you. I’ve really enjoyed a TekTok and all of the great guests you’ve gotten there. We’ve heard a lot of feedback around the interviews and the style of the interviews and this live stream is probably continue to reflect that right.
Karin Bursa (00:02:46):
Well, it helps out, I mean, you know, Scott, more than anything, it’s so much about what our guests bring to the conversation and how they share their experience, their recommendations, their new insights. Um, I just love the way that I learn something every time I hope our audience does as well, but I’m sure benefiting from the conversation in each and every time. So it’s been a lot of fun
Scott Luton (00:03:09):
Agreed, and it comes out. So speaking of, uh, all of our participants in the cheap seats as we call it, right, we love that regardless of who they are or where they are. I love seeing some of our fellow hosts will arrive in the cheap seats from time to time. Let’s say, look to a few folks. Rhonda is with us. Good morning, Dr. Bumpin Zimmerman from beautiful Arizona. Great. And see ya. Uh, Ishmael is tuned in LinkedIn. Great to see Ishmael would love to know where you’re tuned in from welcome today. David, you can’t have a live stream without David, which hails from Canada. I should know what city I want to say Toronto, but regardless, Dave and great to see here, I should know that I failed that quiz. Peter Beaujolais is with us, uh, him and Dave and, and Rhonda makeup, quite the live stream. Vishal’s triumphant.
Karin Bursa (00:03:57):
They keep it interesting. They do keep it interesting. What would be chatting about, uh, during the session,
Scott Luton (00:04:04):
But welcome everybody and, and Karin really excited about this conversation with, with really, uh, a mover and shaker that we’ll have here today.
Karin Bursa (00:04:11):
Yeah, absolutely. Well, it’s not something new to say. We have had a heck of a year, right. And 18 months in, that’s been one disruption after another, and we’re really gonna dive into this topic of supply chain disruptions, realizing that supply chain disruptions are really part of the normal operating procedure. I think we’re just seeing them amplified and certainly nothing compares to what we have all experienced with COVID-19 and the impact on business, personal life, our mobility, um, just our standard way of life. Um, but I think we’re going to hear some interesting insights about advancements that have been made as we’ve addressed those challenges. But if we just think so in the past 18 months we’ve had COVID-19, we’ve had shipping container shortages. We still struggle with that. Um, we’ve got chip shortages, right? That are holding up everything from your laptop to a new automobile right now, um, severe weather impacts. Um, and strangely enough, we even had a ship that became a barricade across the Suez canal. Um, so just lots and lots of examples of disruptions and certainly our playbook and how we anticipate and respond. And replan is going to be a little bit different each and every time. But those skills we build around that response mechanism, I think is really what we need to focus in on. And, um, and, and think about honing those skills and the playbook about how disruptions, um, can be actually a part of our operating procedures.
Scott Luton (00:05:59):
Love that. Uh, and I love this comment here from Nerman, Mervin, sorry, complexity proves that order come from chaos, Mervyn, hope this finds you well in Dublin. Great to see her today. And of course I saw Cavon say, hello. He weighed in, he coined this phrase, the new abnormal, that’s what we’re in and Karin. I’m going to give you a bold and fearless prediction in this time of, of unexpected events. Guess what? There’s going to be a lot more, but as we’ve seen time and time again, companies with these global supply chains or domestic supply chains, which the, that one or two we see there, they’re investing in their core strengths, our core operations and in their critical partners, especially the, the trust field long-term partners that help them get over a recent obstacles. And it’s going to help them deal with the disruptions that inevitably will, uh, the trials and tribulations that are ahead. So this episode is going to speak a lot to that, uh, especially in the freight tech space. Right?
Karin Bursa (00:07:03):
Absolutely. Absolutely. And, and I think, you know, one thing I would encourage is, is we talked about some of the research that McKinsey did and McKinsey told us that, uh, many companies have, you know, taken giant leaps forward from a digital transformation, you know, as much as three to four years of advancement, but I want to remind you and Scott that there are a lot of companies out there that have postponed those investments and just hunkered down and muscled through some of these challenges. And I want to encourage those businesses, that haven’t got momentum behind their digital transformation journeys to do so and to consider leveraging their partners, to help them get there faster in the process. And I think we’ll hear a little bit about that today when we bring our guests in, right? Because we want to be sure that we are helping close this gap. I don’t want people to get left behind. I don’t want businesses to get left behind. I want that momentum behind the digitization, behind the flow of information and using predictive analytics to help move all businesses forward.
Scott Luton (00:08:14):
Mm well said. So let’s talk about our guests here today. We’re going to be introducing our guests momentarily, but a couple of quick thoughts. So Transplace, we’ve mentioned freight tech. Well Transplace was leading freight tech before freight tech became cool this company and their fearless leader that will be speaking here momentarily grown up to a pro portfolio of $11 billion of freight under management, early adopters, and certainly Karin digital transformers before that was a hot thing to do. Right. What else before I introduced Frank, what else would you add to that?
Karin Bursa (00:08:48):
So what’s been really interesting in that, in that whole, what you’ve just said, you said 11 billion billion with a B of freight that’s under management. That’s a lot of product moving to multiple points throughout their distribution network. Um, the other thing that I think you’ll find interesting is that Transplace did not just sit back and, and, you know, do their current offerings through this last year. They’ve actually made a number of acquisitions to provide additional capabilities to their customers and help prepare them for the future as well. So I’m excited to hear what Frank’s going to share with us on that topic. Should we,
Scott Luton (00:09:29):
Yes. Let me introduce them really quick. Uh, tell you, uh, and really enjoyed the pre-show, uh, conversation with Frank. We’ve enjoyed the earlier episodes with their team. So Frank McGuigan CEO Transplace is joining us here today. He’s got more than 30 years of experience in executive leadership, supply chain operations and commercial leadership. Get this since joining Transplace in 2011, he’s been instrumental in tripling revenue. And of course, elevating the company as North America’s, leading provider of logistics, technology and services. So you mentioned, you know, it’s been interesting as a sideline observer, you mentioned the acquisitions where they’ve expanded their products, and they’ve also grown the customers that they work with, all which has led to an enhanced geographic presence, not just across North America, but newer here more recently the European markets. So no further ado. Let’s welcome in Mr. Frank McGuigan CEO of Transplace. How are you today?
Karin Bursa (00:10:29):
That’s the first time he’d been switched in. So
Frank McGuigan (00:10:33):
Is my hair all on this from the, yeah,
Karin Bursa (00:10:37):
You’re looking good. You’re looking good. Um, so thanks for being with us today, right.
Frank McGuigan (00:10:43):
And I, I was thinking that you should charge for this just an idea. We can talk about it all.
Karin Bursa (00:10:51):
Well, I like to think about, you know, certainly Scott and I know a little bit about Transplace, but for our audience that may not be familiar with Transplace and the services you provide. Tell us just a little bit about what you’re doing and some of the exciting new offerings you’ve got.
Frank McGuigan (00:11:10):
Yeah, sure. So, you know, Transplace is a logistics technology and solutions company that powers one of the largest managed transportational logistics networks in the world. And Scott, I think you referenced that in kind of my intro there, we have tech enabled services and a solutions platform that are backed by really a terrific combination of, um, technology and dedicated team of engineers and data scientists and domain experts all towards the improvement of shipper networks. We have about $11 billion of freight under management that runs through the networks. And ultimately people do business with us because we’re committed to outcomes. And the outcomes that we’re driving ultimately are the things that shippers care about. It’s speed, it’s visibility, it’s transparency what’s happening in their network, but it’s also very much service and cost, right? And so, uh, we do business with about a thousand companies, um, uh, around the world and large enterprise companies like GE and Kellogg’s come into need and then Tyson, et cetera. But we also do business with a tremendous amount of midsize companies, giving them the ability to compete with the big boys, if you will, uh, um, by providing them against scale and leverage and, and process automation and optimization.
Scott Luton (00:12:27):
Outstanding. I heard a lot of practicality and what you just shared there. And as the husband that gave his wife an umbrella on a Valentine’s day that still get a lot of grief over, um, a very practicali really resonates with me and with supply chain leaders, uh, that’s a very valuable thing that you’re, you’re delivering to your customers. Let’s talk about, you know, obviously 20, 19, 20, 20, and already into 2021, extremely unpredictable, right? And undoubtedly, you saw, as we all seen that across our customer base across markets, you name it, how did that impact how you deliver to them
Frank McGuigan (00:13:04):
Customers? Now, let me, it, it had a significant impact on how we deliver to our customers. And, and Corinne, you touched on this a little bit in your opening. You, you know, the last 13 months have been the most disrupted that I’ve ever seen as a logistics professional. You add to that, the fact that the complexity for shippers has increased significantly over the last decade, driven by increased service requirements, increased visibility requirements, elongated supply chain, whatever’s going on with a tariff issue at a given time. And then you need to digitally transform, right? And then, then along comes COVID. And as the impact of capacity dislocation driven by imbalanced shipper and carrier networks, making it one of the most challenging times that I’ve ever seen in my 30 year career. And so that said, this is, this is what we do best, right? This is what people hire us to support them with.
Frank McGuigan (00:13:58):
Right? And so during the first four months of COVID, we were able to leverage the complete power and scale of our platform and domain expertise and, and scale to kind of efficiently scale for CPG and food and beverage companies. And, and do you remember, uh, you, you know, you’d go into a store and there’d be no disinfectants. There wouldn’t be any soup. There wouldn’t be anything. Well, you know, how do, how does art platforms support them in that scale? And, and the companies that have invested in that digital transformation with Transplace, we help them scale seamlessly with that on the other side of that are the companies that slowed down, right? And then they couldn’t get their workforces. And because of what was going on in the marketplace, people couldn’t go out and purchase their products. And so we had to rapidly work with them and re-engineer a network that reflected the reality of a reduced demand, right?
Frank McGuigan (00:14:48):
And, and so that was the world that we were living last year, and that’s the work that we were doing. And we’re really proud of what we accomplished all the way through that continuum. And now you’re on the other side of it. And I’m not saying we’re out of a, COVID a pandemic by any stretch of the imagination, but I do think we’re over the Hill and now you see an economy that’s taking off. Um, you see a tremendous amount of pent demand and, and you’re seeing a tremendous amount of dislocated inventory. That’s trying to be replenished, that’s impacting a lot of things, mostly speed, the cost of raw materials and the price of Spock capacity right now. And so we’re very sleeves rolled up with our partners in navigating and collaborating with them through this time.
Scott Luton (00:15:37):
It’s interesting. We had our, uh, manufacturing Monday edition of the clutching buzz this past Monday. And we were looking at recent manufacturing index, right. Germany, for example, all time for as long as they’ve been keeping records, manufacturing records that are all time, uh, in terms of manufacturer activity for the month of March, we’re seeing other multi-year records across Europe and here, even in the U S uh, so a ton of activity, Frank, you were addressing some of the needs as they evolve that your customers had. Anything else. Can, can you add to that to kind of add some more color commentary about how customer ABC was looking for something to be different from the Transplace team here into 2021?
Frank McGuigan (00:16:17):
Well, I, I would say that, uh, first of all, a couple of things, even at the beginning of COVID, I mean, we had customers that were March 1st, their business was X, March 31st, their business was two X, and then they had to run flat out for the next six months and our ability to provide kind of an automated platform that, and scale that secures capacity automatically for them and work with them so that they it’s one thing to be able to move, but you have to be able to move efficiently as well. Right. It’s not scale at all costs. And so we had to deliver that platform for them in order for them to kind of deliver this once in a lifetime cycle for them. And I think you hit on an earlier Karin, there are the companies that have made that investment in digital transformation, and there are companies that have it and settled on silence, the companies that made that investment, and we all know who they are, right.
Frank McGuigan (00:17:13):
Really we’re able to capitalize during this time because their business just worked better. Um, and, and, uh, than other businesses as we come into this year, again, at different, a different scenario. Right. And so all the businesses are really, you know, and I would say all the businesses, but, you know, restaurants are still coming back, retail still coming back. Right. But their needs now are a little different. They have pent up demand to your point. Manufacturing is at all time highs. The capacity’s not there at the ports on the rails or in the trucks to kind of get, so everyone’s running flat out and it’s unbelievably expensive. Right. Instead of go ahead, sorry, Karen, that seems like it was
Karin Bursa (00:17:57):
No, I was going to say it just underscores Frank, that all of those variables are still in play. We haven’t established a new normal, I, I do like to talk about a little bit about these companies that have in fact, you know, focused on transformation made investments and are able to take some big steps forward. But I think that there is a significant portion of the market that just postponed it that said, I know I need to go there, but I’m going to have to wait in that process. So, so two things I’d like to get your perspective on the first is your company also did some transformational things, right? You made acquisitions, you expanded service offerings, you grow your business offerings for your existing customers and new customers in the midst of a fairly chaotic market overall. So talk, talk to me about that just briefly. And then I want to come back and talk about how we bring these late adopters or the folks that postponed it forward faster.
Frank McGuigan (00:19:05):
No. So, so a couple of things, and we had a very busy 2020, right? And, and the market allowed us to really uncover what we consider a $500 million of savings to continuous improvement initiatives for our businesses. I think that you mentioned earlier, Scott, that we opened our first European office in the Netherlands I’m at the end of last year. And it was something that we had been working on for more than a year prior. Uh, we broke grounds and later this summer we’ll actually take delivery of a new, 150,000 square foot building in Rogers, Arkansas. And that new center of excellence will certainly support the growth of our customers and our employees and provide like a collaboration hub for them and driving value through their network. And so a lot going on in, we made three acquisitions, right? And so we honestly, we had a very busy period and we were talking you before this, we didn’t miss a day in the office because our customers needed us.
Frank McGuigan (00:20:04):
Right. And, and we were doing a tremendous amount of other things. We made the acquisition of lane hub scan data in Lincor, really to one enhance our lane matching capability to enhance our parcel transportation management services, and three enhance our lean manufacturing support capability. Right. And all three of those things mean different things, but they all drive towards the same outcome. And that is how, how do you utilize technology and scale to drive the most efficient outcomes for your shippers? Right? And so we’ve always made significant expenditures and innovations onto the platform, and we’ve always made acquisitions. Those were our, I want to say 10th and 11th acquisition maybe. And so, um, that’s always been a constant through the years, but what’s happening now is that the market has never needed it. As you heard me reference earlier over the last five to 10 years, the change in, in, in what shippers are feeling, the market has never needed this scale in this platform like they do now.
Frank McGuigan (00:21:06):
And our acquisition strategy is in, in our build strategy and our partner strategy, as it, as it relates to capability in the platform itself is all around solving these problems for shippers, right? How do you create that transparency? How do you create that speed? How do you protect them from, you know, the market being up at 50% versus where it was a year ago, as it relates to spot protect those budgets right. And protect them from, uh, from, for that entire environment, that’s what we’re looking for. Right. And so our product council is largely driven by shipper insights, right? It’s not our shippers talking to us, it’s us sitting on the front lines with our shippers, solving these problems together and understanding, geez, what do you need? You know, what’s new, what’s changing out there, et cetera. But we also, we’re living in a technology Renaissance in the, in the logistics space right now. And so what’s what, what are, what are the things that are being developed outside our own ecosystem that might be able to help the ecosystem? Do we partner with those companies or do we buy those companies? So those are the things that we’re constantly talking about. And so that will love that those three acquisitions and some of the products that we launched over the last year are all in response to the world that we’re living.
Scott Luton (00:22:25):
All right. So let me weigh in real quick, Karin, you have one more question that was kind of one, a one B for Frank, he shared so much there and really quick, just a couple of quick. No, no. W this is exactly what we, what we had in mind, uh, of the acquisitions. I mean, I’ve been familiar with lean core since I’ve been in manufacturing 20 years ago, w highly respected firm, highly capable. And what I love that you you’re, you’re illustrating and Transplace illustrating is rather than playing it really safe. You go bold, and you’re really strengthening that value proposition in a meaningful, practical way that you can deliver, which undoubtedly is fueling your growth and expansion. So let me, but, but Karin, I’ve got to share a couple of these comments really quick, and then I’ll circle back. So initially, uh, so we partnered with good three 60 is our nonprofit of the quarter doing great work, helping a lot of families out there.
Scott Luton (00:23:12):
Peter says, Hey, I was donating to good three 60 with Frank, started talking and thought, Hey, is that Greg white? And that’s a compliment, Frank, Greg and Frank both tell it like it is in a very educated and informed manner. So Peter, thank you for that. Give on to prepare for extremely unpredictable plural, right? That’s critical. Kevin loves that. C’mon and loves that. Cindy, of course, who’s with vets to industry check out that nonprofit bets to industry.com says the amount of change that took place last year to adjust to move forward was incredible. Peter bullae to elaborate on that point, it had suppliers that their business was X then April 1st, or would the X minus infinity Joseph really appreciates the discussion regarding the current landscape quote. We have not found our new norm yet. Uh, I think we all agree that, and then one final comment here, two final comments here, Rhonda speaks to many companies that aren’t, they don’t have the wherewithal to make something the great acquisition. So they’re having to find other ways to navigate through including improve their own processes and enhancing the value prop. And then Mervyn, what is the new normal candy asked every day now? Amen to that Mervyn. You’re absolutely right. Okay. So Karin, where are we going with your second question?
Karin Bursa (00:24:29):
Well, first of all, I just hope that the new normal is not Groundhog day. I hope it’s, it’s something different as we keep going forward, but you know, my next question is kind of bring a few of these things together, Frank, that you’ve already spoken about, but Frank, you may not remember, but a mutual customer introduced us. And I must say he was so impressed with the level of service there’s company, a midsize company in the food and beverage sector, the service, his company was able to get in leveraging a partner in Transplace to do things that allowed him to predict better respond faster and gain efficiency. So he was a raving fan. The experience with Transplace. I got to tell you, I was a little jealous or a little jealous in the marketplace because that kind of support from a mid-market company that’s taking advantage of your offering. One of the things he was really excited about, what some of the things that Transplace is doing and leveraging some artificial intelligence to do more prediction and response. Tell us a little bit about that.
Frank McGuigan (00:25:48):
Sure. And so, you know, we talked about Transplace expanding capability through build partner or buy, and we spoke about the buy pace, and I’ll come back to that in a second, why we bought those companies, but from a build and partner standpoint, we recognize that many of our, many of our customers, what they care most about is the stuff that’s not going to work. And it’s very difficult. You know, when you have, you know, a thousand shipments a day or 500 shipments a day, or even 15 shipments a day, you can’t sit and watch them all day your business to run, right? And so Transplace has partnered with a number of AI firms to drive different outcomes. But one of them is a company called risk pulse and risk post supports our ability to grab information on every single load. The time of the day, the pickup location, the carrier, the time of the is a quarter end, is it a Friday on quarter end, right?
Frank McGuigan (00:26:46):
Traffic patterns, weather patterns, and put a health score, a predictive score on every single shipment on our platform and rate that. And what it does is as you’re kind of bringing up the platform, it gives you the shipments that they feel are ones that you should be watching more closely than others through the order cycle. Right? And so that is the, you know, at the, at the end of the day you want, that’s what digital transformation is, right? You want to be able to scale seamlessly and there’s a little touch as possible. And so that’s what our predictive health score does, uh, on the shipments. And it allows us to kind of focus where the problems are when you have our con we couldn’t be in digital. You know, there’s been a lot of talk about digitization over the last few years. If we matched employee for employee to what our customers do to run their business, we would never have the business that we have, right. We have to be a very low touch digital business, and the health score helps us. And it helps us be more proactive to our shippers as it relates to potential service problems. Because I hate to say this there’s always service problems, right? There are right. Even, even, you know, the best networks that run in between 95 and a hundred percent, that variation of service is very painful for many shippers. And, and so it’s, it’s our job to focus on a proactivity when there are services.
Karin Bursa (00:28:10):
Yeah, absolutely. And, and understanding what those trade offs are as you look at service opportunities in the mix as well, I think is very beneficial because you’re, you’re constantly looking to improve. And one of the things we talk about here in supply chain now quite a lot is the fact that we as supply chain professionals, not a big part of our job is problem resolution and handling these disruptions. Yes. So one of the advantages, I think, you know, we talked a little bit about companies that have postponed investments during COVID, right. They, they pulled back and focused on what they could control that was right in front of them. And now are starting to realize that there’s a gap there and they need to get some momentum and some energy behind those initiatives. The good news is Frank, it sounds like Transplace has continued to push forward. And that engaging now allows for even a greater set of capabilities, maybe that can be available to midsize providers, as well as some of the world’s largest brands. Tell us a little bit about, you know, what that innovation cycle looks like, or how frequently Transplace is rolling out these new capabilities
Frank McGuigan (00:29:30):
For, you know, trans places, as you’re aware is it is a single, single instance multi-tenant platform. It’s a proprietary technology. And we wrap, we want to be a single point to represent all of the other point solutions in the market that we currently don’t own form for the marketplace. And so, um, there’s so much growing up in the marketplaces. You see everyday a lot of, in some instances, you know, hammers looking for nails, they represent a need for part of the network, but not all of the network. And how do we, how do we build, buy and deploy some of the terrific stuff that’s been developed? That’s number one, number two is, is we have to meet shippers where we’re at, what we’re for, what we feel very strongly about is the best place in the world for a shipper’s network to be is completely on the Transplace platform, leveraging the complete totality of our network, right?
Frank McGuigan (00:30:23):
That’s it, I mean, I know that’s shameless, selfless and, and, or, or say shameless plug for our business, but we actually have pure technology customers on the platform. We have customers that don’t leverage the entire capability. It’s easy for us to see the best capable, uh, from a metric standpoint on tender, acceptance, financial metrics, service metrics, et cetera, who’s performing the best. And we do a really good job of sharing that information with the entire community. And so, uh, our first, our first move is, is we want to invite everybody into the network and do so in a way that makes it very easier and low barrier for mid-sized and smaller shippers. And, and we’ve done a really good job of that over the last couple years. The second thing though, is we continue to, we need to continue to drive modular applications and the development thereof, because the reality is, is that we have to meet shippers where they’re at.
Frank McGuigan (00:31:19):
And some of them are in these entrenched DRP systems. And they can’t really kind of lift up their entire network and put it on our platform, but they can value from our net can get value from our network. And so we’ve launched a couple of like, like I said, products in modular apps that shippers that are not necessarily on our network that can leverage its scale lane hub, but the acquisition of lane hub was certainly part of it, right? Why do we buy lane HIB? Because we already did fantastic amount of lane matching in our current network. What we wanted to do was add scale to that network through the lane upfront end for the companies that they were doing business with, that weren’t yet fully on the Transplace platform, if that makes sense. And in addition to that, we launched a data insights product where anybody that, that follows lean and follow six Sigma, you, you, you, if you can’t measure something you can’t manage, right.
Frank McGuigan (00:32:11):
And so what we’re doing is we’re, we’re, we’re taking in an API, uh, network information from shippers that aren’t on the platform, and we’re giving them real time benchmarking on how they’re performing from a cycle time standpoint, a speed, a service, and a cost standpoint. Right. And, and very, very powerful because if you, as you can imagine, the amount of density of data that we have in the real-time being trumpet, this is not something where we’re, you know, people are in stuff once a month or it’s three weeks in the rear or whatever. This is real time, you know? And so that’s a very popular product right now. And then additionally, we’ve launched an intelligence spot product. And this goes to what I was talking about earlier, and that’s price volatility in the spot industry. I’m amazed at, you know, as we’re coming out of 2020, and, you know, we did a tremendous amount of procurement exercises for our customers.
Frank McGuigan (00:33:07):
Most of them took some sort of inflation in their contract rates to reduce their spot percentage. Um, and we thought that the overall spot market would come down as a result of that. And so we were pretty blown away in the first quarter to see still rock records, spot markets. And one of the things that we feel really strongly about here at Transplace is that if we all agree that there is no new normal, and that nimbleness is the order, the order of the day, then all of this volatility, shouldn’t just represent profit pools for a percentage of the industry. It’s, uh, um, we, we want to be able to provide the ability to find spot freight by using the leverage, the scale, the scale of our network to either get an instantaneous rate, not one company, but for 10 companies, right? To be able to create a dynamic continuous move, to leverage a dedicated fleet, to leverage a mode shift, um, in a transparent way. So you can see all the moving parts and understand that you are not overpaying in that very difficult situation, right? And so that’s our intelligence spot product. And, and we feel like that is a game changer for companies that are not already on the, uh, the transplants platform on the Transplace platform. Uh, um, participants today are getting both of those as part of their engagement with us. But, but we want more engagement. We want more scale. We want to help more shippers quick.
Karin Bursa (00:34:37):
Yeah, lots of good stuff there. Scott. I know we’ve got some comments from, um, from the community as well.
Scott Luton (00:34:43):
I want to share a couple of these here from our dear friend, Simon from the UK. Simon says digital transformation options cost over quality, quality over cost, or just not at all. They are all risky. But seems to me that the last two are becoming riskier now, as the competition gets there first excellent point. And Mary mentioned something you said earlier, Frank, best way to problem solve is by seeing the operations firsthand. And I would add to what Anne Marie said, which is one of my favorite things that you’ve shared a couple of times now is you got to meet the customers where they are. That is what is fueling the best customer experiences, right? And we all know how CX has become a dominant measurement, Donaldson discipline dominant a North star that folks are chasing after here and these days, regardless of what industry you’re in, Mohib in Wichita, Kansas air capital.
Scott Luton (00:35:35):
The world is with us here today. I love thank you. I was having supply chain now, withdrawal problems. Then I just found TekTok is loud. Now. Thank you, Mohit. And I want to get videotape of Greg speaking to your class from last week. And then he also says normal was moving from simple predictive to prescriptive, which was nothing. Frank was talking about. New normal have to incorporate risk management into the equations. We have to think more like professor Sergio with money heist. That’s a new one for me guys with contingency plans for all abnormal adverse scenarios, excellent point and Kayvon agrees, contingency plans, like he said, for all abnormal adverse scenarios. So Frank, can you address, obviously you mentioned risk pulse, our friends over there, which I think part of Everstream analytics now, I believe
Frank McGuigan (00:36:28):
That’s right. Forgive me for EverString for, uh, for not calling out that acquisition.
Scott Luton (00:36:33):
No, that’s new. That’s new and Todd Craig won’t, he won’t be mad at off. So Todd it the fine where you are, but Frank speak about, you know, risk management is, is all of a sudden you you’ve got companies hiring chief risk management officers. Corporate boardrooms are really, uh, they, they want to really bring on new, effective, practical risk management strategies. Can you, can you speak to the topic of risk?
Frank McGuigan (00:36:57):
Well, listen, there there risk is a very broad topic and, and, and I could span every entire function of every single business. Th the one we’ll focus on obviously is supply chain risk. And if you haven’t been studying supply chain risk, forget about, you know, the ever given, blocking the Suez canal, but you focus, you know, think about everything that we’ve tried to learn as an industry, as it relates to supplier diversification, trying to shorten supply chains, right? Modal diversification, where possible the reality is is you can’t completely, de-risk a supply chain. I love to say that you could, but you can’t. What, what, what you need to make sure of though, is that you have plans in place that you can at least operate and be nimble enough to be operate through a major disruption. And so, and, and those plans need to be absolutely drawn up and work through well before something like that happens.
Frank McGuigan (00:38:00):
And so we can take every single example, what we learned and all the disruptions that we’ve mentioned over the last, you know, 36 months, and talk about how that’s impacted the supply chain and what they could have done better. The reality is, is, is it is planning and not enough people are spending enough time on this. What’s good for our industry is the fact that this is forcing these conversations to the point that you just made Scott into the boardroom, right? Digital transformation is in the boardroom risk management is in the boardroom of supplier and, uh, is in the boardroom, et cetera. And so we stand ready with our shippers to coat all the way upstream with them to understand if I do this, this is the permutation of your, uh, this is, this is what happens to your network. If I go from far short and near shore, if I completely re-engineer my network. And so I have more suppliers, it might be a little bit more expensive at the end of the day. These are just cost benefit decisions that we have to help engineer or be a part of with our shippers so that they understand the puts and takes. It’s easy to say, de-risk my supply chain, the reason exactly right. That it doesn’t happen all the time is that there’s a cost to it. Right? And, and, and, uh, you’re trying to get that issue to the top of the priority list,
Scott Luton (00:39:23):
Right? Business leaders didn’t embrace any risk. There would be no growth, there’ll be no exponential growth. There’ll be a very less, a lot less innovation. And the customer ultimately would not be served as well as the modern day global supply chain does do. I mean, sure. It’s two quick points there in current. I’d love to throw it over to you and kind of see where we’re going next, but the obvious is data and having, having data at your fingertips, predictive analytics and beyond at your fingertips is one of the best ways you can mitigate risk and develop an effective miscreant risk management strategy. And then secondly, Frank mentioned, we, we all kind of mentioned how these things are coming into the boardroom, not just for executives to talk about, but the leading companies like Transplace, they’re taking action and they’re, you know, that’s driving a product development, that’s driving what they offer their customers is driving, what they, who they acquire and why, and how that meaningful. It goes back to meeting and serving the customers where they are. And that’s the beauty of all this here. So Karin, where are your thoughts and where are we going next?
Karin Bursa (00:40:23):
So, so what I like about the conversation is that for the first time in decades, it’s not just a cost reduction conversation, right? Or, or just service and cost. It is now strategic in nature on, um, looking at some redundancy or some additional capacity or new lanes of distribution or new suppliers in that it’s going to give me more and more an opportunity to take some of that risk off the table. And I need to be willing to invest for that to happen. But as Frank tells us that will create more prints of distribution or more nodes in my network, and that’s going to put even more impact or more emphasis on your distribution networks. So the ability to measure these trade offs, Frank, I think that demand for that is only going to increase in, in the months and years ahead.
Frank McGuigan (00:41:23):
Okay. Karin, we’ve been in business long enough to know that there are companies that will just put their head down and hope that all the disruption is over. And then there are companies that what we’re seeing now is more frequent, significant disruptions, and, um, everything that’s been sent via Twitter, you know, in the notes that Scott keeps calling out is talking about that. Exactly. And that is, I don’t want to say disruption is the new normal. What I would say is, is, uh, flexibility and nimbleness has to be the new normal. Our job is to, is to try and empower that with the platform with data, but also with the ability to harness what, whatever they need at any given time, in a way that’s fair for the carrier fair for the third party air for the ship of fair for Transplace so that, um, we don’t want disruption to be incredible profit opportunities for a portion of the industry, right? Because if we think disruption and nimbleness, we feel like Nimmo. This is a requirement that we have to find a way for, for shippers to achieve nimbleness in a transparent way, if that makes sense.
Karin Bursa (00:42:35):
Yep. I think that’s really important because that’s, if we think about this, I’m kind of a math geek, Greg, as a huge math problem, right. And all the variables in between and lead times associated and costs and service requirements for availability. And we need to be able to evaluate that from several different angles and help present it to the shipper. And here are your options. Here’s our recommendation. Here’s option B, if you want to go with option B, but I think that, uh, Scott, to your point, harnessing new data or more frequent data cigars as Frank was saying, right, as near real time as possible, and bringing that in and using those new indicators as the most recent or the one to be responded to at this point, because that, that will show what current market conditions are versus what I fought. Those market conditions were going to be a week ago or three days ago.
Scott Luton (00:43:33):
Excellent point. And I think when we talk about data, you can get your hands on all the data. You want tidal waves of data, but you’ve got to use, you got to use great partners and platforms and packages. So you could actually do something with the data that matters the signals. Otherwise you just get a wash in all the noise that’s out there. And, and, and that’s part one of the things we’re hearing here, I want to share a couple more comments and then, uh, Karin, we’ll see where we’re going next with Frank and Transplace Cindy happened to be in Japan when Fukushima happened. And she says you can’t plan for every situation, but have to have to have something to start with that can save a ton of time, resources and otherwise excellent point Cavon who Peter says he is on a roll today.
Scott Luton (00:44:16):
Kayvon says risks. That impact by ability are severe as it may disable supply chains, a collaborate, but risks. That impact resilience are disruptions that affect a single supply chain alone. And then he adds, we should prepare for the new which he’s coined. If we want supply chains to be viable and the new normal, if we wish for supply chains to be resilient. How about that? All throwing all into a couple of sentences, there, a couple of thoughts, but Hey, one last thought you mentioned math, Korean and advanced math, and Frank mentioned permutations. And all of a sudden I had a deer in the headlights. It took me to a bad math pop quiz, whatever my last math class was above my pay grade comes advanced math principles, but Hey, that’s, what’s fueling modern day supply chain analytics, which of course make up a big part of the value prop that Transplace offers their markets here in North America and Europe. So Karin, where are we headed next?
Karin Bursa (00:45:13):
Well, let’s talk about that for just a minute. And Frank, we’re starting to hear more about talent shortages. So now as people are coming back into the, into their roles and, and the market is picking up again, you know, talent supply chain talent is, is very valuable. What are, what are you doing or how can Transplace help either mitigate some of those challenges for your clients, but also what are you doing to augment your talent pool so that you can serve a bigger and bigger client base? You mentioned this huge new distribution center coming online, know, give us your thoughts.
Frank McGuigan (00:45:53):
Yeah, for sure. And so from our standpoint, there is no doubt about it. I mean, companies, one of the attractive aspects of doing business with Transplace is we’re bringing a world-class platform with tremendous domain expertise to work together with our customers to drive measurable outcomes. Ultimately, that’s why they’re engaging with us. And it’s the combination of those two things. And the fact that, that we have folks that understand their networks, understand how those networks work and then work together within the platform to solve problems. I think a lot about just as a quick aside, I think a lot about, you know, the fourth quarter of last year and for, you know, every one truck, uh, for every hundred trucks that needed to come northbound out of the border in Laredo, there was only a one truck going southbound. And it was just simply because their recovery was not as fast as ours.
Frank McGuigan (00:46:49):
Mexico’s recovery was not as fast as ours as a company, as a country. And so the trade lanes were imbalanced. And how did we, how were we able to kind of leverage the scale of our platform to say, okay, no longer are we looking for clean, you know, things that are destined for, uh, Laredo, but, you know, we’re moving it to Houston, we’re moving it to Dallas, we’re moving it to, you know, further and further North to divert assets to kind of make that happen in a very transparent way for shippers so they can move their products into the United States. And, and, and in addition to that, by the way, we started a March service out of Mexico to get around that problem for our shippers, right. And, and working with a barge company and moving from, um, uh, Mexico over to Tampa, Florida to just fried another entry point in the United States, because the capacity of so maps, those are the things that partners are supposed to be doing in a very real time, in a very nimble way to support what’s going on in network.
Frank McGuigan (00:47:47):
That’s number one from a talent standpoint, wasn’t, Transplace, uh, you know, we have a saying around here and it’s, it’s customer first people always, right. And you have to, and I happened to be at, and it’s not a distribution center. It is, uh, it’s an office building, right. But it’s also a collaboration center, right. And it’s 150,000 square feet and it’s going to serve, we’re going to have 1200 people sitting there. We have 750 people in Northwest Arkansas today. And we will fill that building probably two years. And what we want is a state-of-the-art building with state-of-the-art equipment and breakout rooms of technology to support everything associated with how do you collaborate and engage with a shipper in real-time to drive real-time value. That’s a hundred percent about engagement. And so, uh, that’s really important for bringing talent. All right, we want Transplace to be an employer of choice.
Frank McGuigan (00:48:43):
We want our employees to feel really good about our mission here and be aligned with what our mission here. And, you know, the thing that I was referencing earlier about not only servicing our customer in a meaningful and way that you can feel that, which people want purposeful work for sure, but also serving your community in a meaningful way. Right. And so I mentioned our support of the Navy seal foundation earlier, but I’m not sure you also know that, that we provide all the technology for feeding America. And so for, um, for the utilization of all the food stuffs into their fulfillment centers, we provide that for them, we provide engineering services for them so that they can efficiently drive what’s necessary to feed Americans. I think that we all know that food insecurity is actually a lot more of a logistics problem in the United States than it is an actual food problem. And so we want, we want to be great, a community citizens in addition to great business partners, and to be able to attract the best talent in the world and have them feel that, and be a part of that.
Karin Bursa (00:49:46):
I was just gonna say, that’s, that’s fantastic. I wasn’t aware of your support for feed America, but thank you, first of all, thank you for that effort and for making that a priority in your business. I’m sure it’s something your employees get excited about contributing to and being a part of as well. So I just really appreciate that
Frank McGuigan (00:50:07):
Your w listen, it is, it is our own gift to ourselves, honestly. And so, especially in the last 12 months, if you look at what that organization has been able to do, providing between four and 6 billion meals for people with food security, it’s an astonishing number. And so, so I can go off on a tangent here, but Scott Scott
Karin Bursa (00:50:28):
In particular could spend several hours on that. So this is, this is really big on, on Scott’s list from a leadership perspective as, as opportunities to give back and to do so, and in very tangible ways. So amen
Scott Luton (00:50:45):
Coined, that Greg is going that phrase give forward here and, and, and give, you know, give small, but give often is what Karin and Greg’s talked about. And I love to hear Frank, how, not just all that you do, but how passionate at the top tiers leadership it is to number one, be an employer of choice and all that comes with that to truly act on that. But number two, to make a difference. And that’s what global supply chain leaders, organizations, and the industry, the craft is doing to get us through this pandemic, and then also to change society on the other side, when we get into truly the post pandemic environment. So,
Frank McGuigan (00:51:20):
All right, totally agree. Yeah. That’s we live in a stakeholder world, man. Right. And, and, and so we, we are absolutely leading in that, in him now take an action, not lip service, which we more
Scott Luton (00:51:32):
Here. So I love that Frank. And then I also like how Frank tells it, like it is going back to what Peter mistaken, you know, I love folks tell it like it is, Hey folks, risk, isn’t leaving supply chain anytime soon. It’s an inherent part of the process. So, all right. A couple of quick comments and then Karin we’ve got, I think we’ll probably, I bet Frank’s got a full slate here today. I want to share just a couple quick things. T squared, he holds down the Fort on YouTube. It says visibility is key to properly adjusting to meet customer and customer needs. I would just add to that, that we heard from Frank where the customer is so great points there. Let’s see. Uh, [inaudible] who I don’t think I mentioned earlier loves, uh, the examples that you’re sharing Frank and what you shared. Peter stung Alon, who appeared on tequila. Sunrise with Greg white, with DB Schenker is here with us. He enjoys the discussion and check that out wherever you get your podcasts, tequila, sunrise, T C H, and then finally, um, [inaudible] also says due to COVID what are, well, we’ll circle back to that question if we’ve got time, but a lot of folks that we can’t get to have enjoyed your POV and your insights and what you’re sharing again, very authentically and transparently. And again, just with, with candor, which we can’t get enough of from the executive suite. Can we currently,
Karin Bursa (00:52:48):
No, it’s so true. And I think people don’t realize sometimes that, you know, people who hold the executive roles are just the same as folks who are out there driving the track, right. They just have a different vantage point of the scope of problems solved, but they’re still problem solvers. And they’re still dealing with a group of problems and trying to set a course for the business. Think with that in mind, one last thing. Would you like to leave with our audience today? What recommendation might you have about disruptions or, you know, just the, the road ahead, if you will, in this area,
Frank McGuigan (00:53:27):
It’s a good question. A couple of things I would mention, first of all, you know, Transplace obviously, hopefully you feel that we care passionately about what we do. And, and one of our core values is actually thrilled. The customers that we owe that thrill sometimes, uh, might be a little excessive when we’re dealing with such a turmoil and supply chains. And, and, but, but no, this, you, you know, it is what everybody in this organization gets up and tries to do every day. Right? And so you mentioned lean core earlier, Scott and we already did inbound, full management as a company, but lean core because we think that they could actually do it a little bit better than us, right? And you have to constantly look in the mirror. We already did parcel TMS before we bought scan data. But you know, the way that that market has evolved and the need for really multi parcel carrier optimization in a real-time basis, and what you, you know, we, we just said to ourselves, this is no longer good enough to sit on this platform.
Frank McGuigan (00:54:29):
We need to either build it or buy it. Right. And so I do think one of the secrets of our success is complete honesty and looking in the mirror and also listening right, and saying, this is what the market’s going. This is where our customers are dissatisfied. And then what are we doing about that? That’s part one part two is, as I think about shippers, the shippers are ultimately need to work with partners that are going to provide them with transparency. But in addition to that, this is a really important point. They’re used to doing business a certain way, and what we’re challenging, our shipper is a is more autonomy within their supply chain. Let us kind of come back to with the way we should configure the technology, the way this should be automated and the metrics that we’re, that we’re trying to achieve together, and then let it go.
Frank McGuigan (00:55:18):
And, um, I think shippers are so over sensitive right now to disruptions or being true to a traditional method that they used to do, or a traditional partner that they used to do business with, et cetera, that they need to kind of step back and let some of the technical expertise to do the work and heavy lifting for them. And that’s, that’s part of the journey right now and everything that’s happened in the marketplace. The good news about that is everything that’s happened in the marketplace over the last five and 10 years is absolutely setting the stage for that moral autonomy, because our figuring out, Hey, what used to work just, you can’t rely on that process anymore. You can’t rely on that piece of technology anymore, et cetera. That’s what I would leave you with. Also, I’d like to just say, thank you for having me, as, as I’ve mentioned earlier, I don’t do a lot of these. I have found this to be a terrific forum and conversation, and I really appreciate the candor. Okay.
Karin Bursa (00:56:12):
But thank you, Frank. We really appreciate it. Frank McGuigan with Transplace. Thanks so much for being with us today and sharing some of your insights from the last 12 to 18 months as well. A little inspiration for what’s ahead.
Scott Luton (00:56:26):
All right. Thanks so much, Frank, you take care, the swoosh waits for no one, what a great conversation with Frank and, and just, you know, um, I didn’t, I, I didn’t have the good fortune of meeting him prior to today’s session and the pre-show and like you have Karin, but man, just, uh, um, you know, much like some other executives like we’ve had on here recently, Billy from Monday comes to mind who was former chief diversity inclusion and inclusion officer with Goodyear tire, Sandra McQuillan obviously last week and many others, fantastic, authentic, you know, we’ll take whatever question you send his way and give it to you in a way that, that you can understand that regardless of how much experience you have in, in supply chain.
Karin Bursa (00:57:14):
Yeah. I agree, Scott. I agree. Great, great conversation. Uh, just great insights as well. And just very practical. I think you used the term practical a couple of times approach to serving the market and serving the shippers in a global forum now, as they continue to expand
Scott Luton (00:57:32):
Agreed. But you know, on that note, I want to share a couple of quick things I loved in particular. I love that they’re not sitting on their hands. Clearly. They’ve been a successful company for quite some time, but as one of our favorite guests of all time, Kevin Bell with agg said famously, which is certainly a t-shirt ism. You can find opportunity without being opportunistic right in these challenging times. And I love the action they’ve taken to improve how they serve their customers, outcomes focused. It’s shallow, it’s practicality. He said that early on meet, meet your customers where they are, which we love and customers. First people always, you can’t let people get lost in the shuffle. And clearly that’s important to the Transplace team. So I love that. So, Chris, those were a couple of my quick takeaways. There’s a lot more there, but we’re a couple of years.
Karin Bursa (00:58:20):
Yeah. I, all of those that you called out, you should see, I’ve got a piece of paper here that I have scribbled all over it, just with some great things that Franklin going and shared with us today. You know, I just keep coming back to this theme, this Winston Churchill quote about never waste a good crisis. And we have all been through it. We are still in the midst of it, but are getting better at managing at least the COVID aspects of it, but disruptions are going to continue to occur. So let’s look at how we build some of that resiliency and some of those agile practices into our organization or into our partner network, right? Maybe we’ve got a partner that’s really got some skills in this area. Clearly today, what we’ve heard from Transplace is they’re able to do that for the customers they’re serving. So, you know, don’t limit yourself to what’s available within your four walls, look into your supplier network, your customer network, to see if there’s opportunities there that, that you can harness as well.
Scott Luton (00:59:22):
I love that if you, if you can’t, if you can’t optimize to perfection internally, look for those outside partners that you can bring into the fold, whether you acquire them or, or establish a different relationship, getting that creative collaboration is going to help fuel creative growth. Uh, especially in, in, I hate to keep saying the new normal and I hate hate to keep stealing new abnormal
Karin Bursa (00:59:44):
Flashbacks to the Frankenstein movie with a brain that’s labeled Abby normal or something.
Scott Luton (00:59:52):
We need a graphic for that, but wherever we’re wherever we are headed, w we’ve got, uh, I mean, um, creative leadership, creative, practical action, focused leadership, innovative leadership. So Karin, always a pleasure to do this. Thanks so much for, including me today in our discussion with Frank McGuigan CEO with Transplace. Are you going to take us out today? Yeah. Can I, well, one little programming of course, connect with Frank and transplants. We’ve got better information in the show notes. Be sure to join us on April 27th for the securing the supply chain webinar free webinar, and in particular on that information and communications technology bend. So really important in the information age. All right. So Karin, all yours.
Karin Bursa (01:00:41):
I feel like you just gave me the steering wheel. This is awesome. Thanks, Scott. So I hope these insights today are going to raise your supply chain IQ. I know they’ve raised a mine and I’m the topic of raising your supply chain IQ. Be sure to check out all the digital content that’s available on supply chain now.com. And while you’re there, please find TekTok. That’s T E K T O K, and subscribe. You don’t want to miss a single episode. This is Karin Bursa, host of tech talk, the digital supply chain podcast. And I’ve been here today with Scott Luton, founder of supply chain. Now, remember our goal is to help you eliminate the noise and focus in on the information and inspiration. You need to transform your business and replace risky inventory with valuable insights. We’ll see you next time here on supply chain. Now the voice of supply chain. Thanks.
Frank McGuigan brings more than 30 years of experience in executive leadership, supply chain operations, and commercial leadership to Transplace. Since joining Transplace in 2011, Frank has been instrumental in tripling revenue and elevating the company as the leading provider of advanced logistics technology and services. Prior to his role as CEO, Frank was President and Chief Operating Officer of Transplace, where he led the company’s Logistics Technology and Services business, as well as the Cross-border and Capacity businesses. He previously served as President and CEO of SCO Logistics before it was acquired by Transplace. Connect with Frank on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
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.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.