“Trust Your Supplier provides trust, and trust is really important in our world. As we all know, today, more than ever with our experiences over the last year, we’ve learned that that trust is an imperative in procurement and with our partnerships.”
– Gary Storr, General Manager, Trust Your Supplier
Historically, procurement has considered themselves the ‘gatekeepers’ for enterprise contracts and supplier relationships. Information was regarded as power, especially if it could give them an upper hand in supplier negotiations. That paradigm no longer works.
Today’s procurement organizations are not only beginning to empower distributed buyers to make more and more independent decisions about suppliers, they are working towards stronger, more trust-based partnerships with those suppliers.
In this episode of Digital Transformers, powered by Supply Chain Now, hosts Kevin L. Jackson and Kelly Barner welcome Gary Storr and April Harrison with Trust Your Supplier to the podcast to discuss supplier management using blockchain:
· The importance of establishing mutual trust in a digitally transformed business environment and how specific technologies can help companies achieve that at scale
· How blockchain can not only increase the trust factor of supplier information, it can also prevent suppliers from having to manually make updates across a range of customer systems
· Ways in which the past year has helped procurement see just how reliant they are on their suppliers
Kevin L. Jackson (00:32):
So good afternoon. This is Kevin L. Jackson presenting digital transformers from the supply chain. Now in studio, just outside of Washington, DC with me today is the esteemed owner and editor of buyer’s meeting point and host of dial P for procurement Kelly Barner. How are you doing Kelly?
Kelly Barner (00:54):
Good. Kevin L. Jackson with your show voice. I’m so pleased to be with you today. Thank you for inviting me on as guest cohost.
Kevin L. Jackson (01:02):
Oh no, I needed you. I needed you. So, because today we have a really unique show plan for the audience. I will be discussing supply chain dynamics from both the buyer and supplier side. That’s that’s actually why I, Shane had you to co-host with me today, bringing all your audience.
Kelly Barner (01:25):
Oh, absolutely. I’m looking forward to it.
Kevin L. Jackson (01:28):
So, uh, I’m looking forward to you exhibiting your procurement expertise throughout this conversation, and we have two supplier side experts from trust. Your supplier to, we have April Harrison at leads marketing and the Tys general manager Gary store. It sounds like we’re going to have a title fight. Uh, Kelly, can you handle the competence?
Kelly Barner (01:52):
Hm. You know, I think there may actually be some surprises in store today. I think maybe somewhere along the way during all the drama of 2020, maybe procurement became a little less adversarial than we’re known for being. So I think, I think this is going to be a really interesting exchange.
Kevin L. Jackson (02:08):
Oh great. So we’ll, we’ll have them introduce themselves shortly, but first I want to thank our sponsor digital names by total network services. If you enjoy today’s conversation, be sure to find and subscribe to us wherever you get your podcasts. Okay. So with no further delay, let’s bring in our supplier side, heavy words from trusted supplier. And before I’ve gone much further that I probably should disclose that I’m the chief operating officer of source connect a proud trust, your supply, your partner. So, so please introduce yourselves and tell us about Tys and your roles there. Kevin, thanks so much. We really appreciate you taking the time and giving us the opportunity to be part of the show. And, uh, we’ve been next. I mentioned this tee off there. We’ve been excited about doing
Gary Storr (03:00):
This for weeks. So my name is Gary store. As Kevin mentioned, I’m the general manager of trust your supplier to Kelly’s point. I’ll be the first one to tell you I’m not a big fan of titles, but that’s what they call me. They call me a lot of other things too, but I probably shouldn’t share, you know, I have overall responsibility for, for trust your supplier, which we’re going to talk about a lot here today and we’re looking forward to it. And with me here, unfortunately, her video is not, uh, not operating correctly today. We’ve got a little bit of computer, computer malfunctioning, but April Harrison, April, you maybe want to introduce yourself.
April Harrison (03:29):
Sure. Um, I’m April Harrison. I’m the marketing director for trust your supplier. And I’m coming to you from my home office in chapel Hill, North Carolina. And yes, as Gary mentioned, I do not serve a technical role. So hence I’m the one having the computer problems, but uh, glad to be here with you today.
Kevin L. Jackson (03:49):
Yeah, no problem. We’re glad to have you with us. So to start off with, I don’t know how many people have actually heard of trust your supplier and what you do. So could you describe what trust your supplier is? What’s the ecosystem and its members.
Gary Storr (04:06):
Sure. Kevin, well, first of all, I can tell you how many people have heard of trust your supplier. That’s not enough, but we love, we love getting the word out. And so this gives us an opportunity to share, you know, our vision and our product and how we think we’re, we’re, we’re, you know, we’re bringing it to the world of procurement, something that’s transformational, right? So, so trust your supplier. It’s a trusted platform and people ask, what is trust your supplier, provide trust. Your supplier provides trust. And trust is really important in our world. As we all know today, today, more than ever with our experiences over the last year, we’ve learned that that trust is an imperative and procurement and with our partnerships. And so we recognize this and, you know, trust your suppliers, the journey that’s about four years old now. And so what we’ve developed as a set of technology that allows suppliers to create a trusted identity on a blockchain platform, using this latest technology and blockchain, and allows that identity then to be consumed by procurement organizations.
Gary Storr (05:09):
These are typically large enterprises that have, you know, vast procurement organizations and they can consume in the, this, this digital profile that a supplier is creating and immediately make decisions about onboarding, make decisions about qualification, make decisions about how they want to partner with this particular supplier, or if they do want to partner with that supplier and then ultimately manage the life cycle, the relationship over time with that supplier using this tool in this service. So trust your suppliers currently deployed in, uh, North America, Europe, some parts of Eastern Asia, and we’re growing in South America. We’re growing to other areas in the world. As we speak currently in 70 countries, uh, we support seven languages. We’ve got on a network now, uh, 30 plus fortune 50 organizations that are actively participating on the network and over 10,000 members participants from a supplier perspective. So it’s an exciting time of growth. Um, but we’re not there yet. And we look forward to having organizations like Kevin’s and others be part of the part of the trust, your supplier.
Kevin L. Jackson (06:22):
Wow. That’s amazing. But April, how do you Mark that trust?
April Harrison (06:29):
Well, you know, um, I think after this past year, we all have a new appreciation for an efficient, secure supply chain. Um, so speed and risk mitigation had, I think more of the public has been, become aware of those things as we’ve seen empty shelves at the store and things. So I think that using a combination of showing how efficiency and the blockchain technology addresses, some of these issues is really where trust comes into play. So our network is built on trust. We have trust anchors, the buyers that invite their suppliers. And then also once it’s in there, everything’s written on blockchain and their standardization across the industries. So things are secure, but they can also happen faster. So suppliers enter their information once and then it goes to all their Tys connections instead of having to do it multiple times and then the data gets old so they can update it and automatically any update to that profile gets sent to the buyer. So it’s fast and it’s secure.
Kevin L. Jackson (07:38):
Wow, this sounds like heresy. So Keller, do you think buyers truly trust the pliers? I do actually. And it’s amazing because one of the things we’ve definitely learned through the last year is that even in the most challenging spend categories, procurement does not have a supplier problem. We have a supplier data problem, right? That’s an issue for us. It’s an issue in terms of onboarding new suppliers and trying to gather a foundation of information that let’s face it, suppliers have entered a million times into a million different databases, right? So there’s no value add to that. We have a challenge around getting that data right the first time and then actually keeping it up to date ongoing. But there’s one other piece of this that really kind of appeals to me with the trends that I see in procurement. And the one big trend is self-guided buying.
Kelly Barner (08:35):
So in the past, I know procurement has a bad reputation. We say, this is our territory. You’re not going to source. You’re not going to contract. This is what we do. But now we’re recognizing that with the amount of spend and the number of contracts, you know, if we can get trusted information out to certain points in the enterprise, we can listen within certain guidelines using these trusted information resources. You can actually go and make some of these decisions and evaluate some solutions yourself. Uh, but we can’t do that if we don’t solve the supplier data problem first. And all of the relationships that a company has with its supply base are going to start there and work outward.
Kevin L. Jackson (09:15):
Wow, that’s really a great observation, but, but one thing I wanna sort of go back on both April and Gary, you both highlighted blockchain and in your description of what you do, I just said a blockchain platform. Many of our audience will, may not understand what that actually means. So why is that so important?
Gary Storr (09:38):
Well, blockchain is a decentralized database structure that allows information to be stored in a fashion, such that it can be distributed over a broad network. And that means that ownership of that information can be distributed as well. So if you want to think about, uh, our, uh, a network like ours, where we have constituents that are buyers suppliers and our third authoritative third-party sources of information, these are third parties or people like dun and Bradstreet or rapid ratings. EcoVadis people like that that provide commentary and expert ratings on, on suppliers to help augment that trust equation. Well, that information is stored on a secure blockchain, but it’s not owned by anybody it’s owned by everybody. And within blockchain nodes can be established such the individual organizations can own nodes on the network. This ownership allows them to have a secure platform that mitigates things like collusion hacking, you know, and other elements of, you know, that we all read about in the paper every day, that lead to breaches of, of core information, personal information, natural PII.
Gary Storr (10:51):
And so we, we wanted to build this platform on something that was trusted and in today’s world from a technical perspective, there is no safer, more strained, uh, architecture from a security perspective than blockchain. Uh, and another key element of blockchain I talked about, we sell trust that trust is embedded in an identity of the supplier. So when a supplier creates a profile, I talked about they’re really creating an identity. This is who they are. They enter it one time. They can distribute it many times is that single version of the truth. And there’s other networks in the world today and in the future that are going to be looking or are looking for the identity of an organization and we can provide that identity. So other networks, other blockchain networks can plug into this blockchain network and consume that digital identity and use it for other purposes, whether that could be, you know, a financial application, perhaps that has something to do with product provenance. It could have to do with, um, logistics
Gary Storr (11:54):
And shipping. It could have to do with other elements of data, rights and security, but then identity is an extremely important element as we moved into this digital world.
Kelly Barner (12:05):
Gary, if you don’t mind, if I can ask you kind of a up question to that, it sounds like there’s a broad range of business applications for trust your supplier. And when you were talking about the trust that’s established through the blockchain management of data, you basically made a comment that you can work well with everybody. Uh, now traditionally solutions tend to be either buy side or supply side. Can, can you talk about either how you’ve evolved beyond that, or maybe how you would typically characterize where trust your supplier sits in the supply chain?
Gary Storr (12:40):
Well, I’ll answer the second question first. So it sits in the very front of the supply chain. In fact, I refer to it as the front door. So when a supplier relationship is established, it is it’s established with that digital identity. So, so in front of the supply chain, we are capturing that information that can be then routed through the architecture through the back office of any business enterprise, that digital identity moved into the ERP, which leads me to the answer to the other part of your question. And that’s historically organizations have established a ERP is with inside their own enterprise. They then they talked well inside the enterprise, but they don’t talk very well outside the enterprise. And that’s a pain point that we wanted to resolve. We wanted to address. We wanted a great that the centralized, uh, that, that decentralized network, so that supplier information could be distributed in this decentralized way to any enterprise in the world.
Gary Storr (13:38):
So if you’re a member of trust your supplier, you’re actually sitting on a network, you’re sitting on a network like, like you’re sitting on a network in LinkedIn or sitting in a network if you’re on Facebook or any of these. And so that information can be, can be shared. And because that information can be shared transparently and architecturally, it’s agnostic to the back office solutions that are within the individual enterprise, that information then can be easily shared across industries and across the globe. And that was a very important part of our architectures to be open and to be able to be consumable by all different types of ERP architectures that exist in today’s enterprise.
Kelly Barner (14:21):
It’s clearly a very unique solution, both in terms of its breath. And in terms of the approach that you take to the business challenges that you see, would you talk in terms of value proposition with all of the different stakeholders that you might work with, um, in your ecosystem, whether on the buy side or the supply side, how do you communicate that value? Or what do you seem to hear back from folks that makes trust your supplier most valuable to them?
Gary Storr (14:48):
Well, on the supplier side, there’s really two value prompts. Number one, you mentioned it earlier, actually is suppliers do the same thing over and over and over again, traditionally, everybody sends them a spreadsheet here, fill this out.
Gary Storr (15:01):
And then, you know, three days, three days
Gary Storr (15:06):
To populate there later, right? They have it and they send it over and invariably there’s things missing and this goes back and forth. And it, when it does it’s drive cycle time and administrative burden, both sides of the aisle on the procurement side and on the supplier side. And this is, and the supplier has to do this with every single customer. So what we’ve done is we’ve created a platform where you do that one time, and then you can just distribute it just like we create, I’ll use a LinkedIn paradigm. Again, you create your LinkedIn profile. One time you can send it to anybody. Our network works much the same way. Uh, the other value proposition for the supplier is, and I know Kevin’s excited about this. It creates, it creates an opportunity for new business because now you become digitally discovered with a trusted identity.
Gary Storr (15:51):
I know as a buyer, a securement professional, if you’re sitting on trust your trust, your supplier network, that you are a trusted entity, I still have to go through my bedding and my due diligence, but I know that you’re there because you’re trusted by another organization. And so thereby that puts you in good stead to be qualified and onboarded. So that creates an opportunity for new business. And what does every bill, every supplier in the world wants. They want more customers, right? So they’re given a chance to find new customers. That’s a very, and that’s, that’s been true since the beginning of time. And then on the procurement side, the value proposition is we reduce the cycle time before we reduce the cycle time. And we reduce the cost. If we reduce the cost, we reduce the administrative burden. If we, and we take away some of the, some of the risks associated with missing information, human error, fraud, counterfeiting, we bring in these authoritative source.
Gary Storr (16:50):
Like I talked about to validate and vet the information. So you can look on one screen and see, this is what the supplier provided me. This is what my third party provided me. Let’s say it’s dun Bradstreet. And I can feel a stare and compare, and let’s say, okay, the supplier’s telling the truth. They’re validated by an authoritative source. Or maybe they’re not, maybe, you know, maybe they have some adverse media that’s coming in through our AI. And that’s part of our solution. And it talks about some of the various acts that have been going on, maybe with some corporate officers that, um, that, that, that would, um, change the way I have a relationship with a partner, a supplier. So these are all the things we think, all the value propositions, and there are more, but those, those are some ease that, um, that we think our, uh, our customers, both suppliers and providers, uh, and, and procurement professionals are enjoying as part of the being part of the platform.
April Harrison (17:44):
Wow. That’s yeah. That’s. Yeah. So talking about efficiency that also applies to procurement as well, because now they have a single application that has an aggregated supplier data set that they can go to instead of going into separate systems, to look up information to that, or qualify their suppliers. And this integrated third party, uh, information also allows them to conduct market analysis prior to even starting the administrative task of onboarding. So if they notice right away that, um, there’s some, um, you know, whether it’s rapid ratings or dun and Bradstreet, or EcoVadis, there’s something there that, that a score that they don’t like, they don’t even have to go and do all the other administrative work. They simply move on to discover another supplier. Uh, if they do like it, then they can go ahead and proceed with their, their onboarding.
Kevin L. Jackson (18:43):
Wow. So it seems like it can really save a lot of effort and a lot of work. And, but one thing I’m really curious is over the past year, we’ve seen a lot of changes with respect to the supply chain and the relationship between the buyers, suppliers and the end consumers like me. I mean, I’m still afraid to get too low on toilet paper, but what lessons have you learned over the past year, uh, about the supply chain when it’s stressed and how does your network work in these situations?
Gary Storr (19:21):
Anytime that anytime the supply chain is stretched. And we’ve seen that in spades over the course of the last this pandemic, uh, and we’ve seen in the last several weeks with that, uh, situation. So it’s it’s, so it sounds so basic, but it’s so easy to stress the world, supply chain, something as simple as a packer stock or a paint factory that was, was knocked out by a tsunami. Um, and in Japan a couple of years ago, not to mention what we’ve all just experienced with all the uncertainty and with course of last year, and I’ll give you a great use case. So last year, we all know that you speak about toilet paper, but we were all desperately trying to find a mask, right? And those masks were not one the shelf at your local supermarket, right? Uh, you couldn’t find them. And so this, this was a pervasive issue across the world.
Gary Storr (20:10):
And so healthcare providers, and then some of the large enterprises that were part of our network came to us and said, look, can you help us find trusted suppliers of PPE material masks, gloves, ventilators? And there was a tremendous amount of fraud going on, um, with, uh, with procurement and these kinds of this kind of material. And so we actually stood up a, um, a standalone version of trust your supplier. We called it rapid and rapid. It was intended to address the procurement of PPE and, um, you know, other goods and services are related to the pandemic effort. And then mid-year last year. And so we tried to help organizations find reputable sources of PP need of masks. And so, you know, we, um, there was a number of hospitals and healthcare organizations that, uh, that, you know, were, were part of the discussion. And, uh, we, we had a lot of providers come to us and say, look, we’ve got PPE.
Gary Storr (21:13):
And we went through the steps to validate and verify the day and be dead. And quite honestly, in most cases they didn’t. So we had to actually, um, um, you know, turn away quite a few potential suppliers because we just didn’t feel like they were providing a credible source or they weren’t trusted that into those materials. So, yeah, so that’s an example and, you know, we all live, but we don’t live in this every day. And I think we’re going to live this going forward. And we hope that the lessons learned here is that what we really need to do is we really need to buy dynamic in terms of how we’re procuring suppliers. We all know that there’s a chip chip shortage in the world to me, right? And so if I’m a, an automotive, um, a manufacturer, if I’m a computer manufacturing, when it consumes a lot of Silicon, right, and supplier a can no longer provide me, I need to pivot immediately to go to supplier B, to source my material. Otherwise I can’t build my product. I can’t send my product. So it’s really important to have trusted suppliers at the ready and to have tools available. So if you don’t have that trusted supplier available to you, you can find them and onboard them and engage with them very quickly to partner with them in the materials and the goods and services that you need.
Kelly Barner (22:27):
So I guess you guys have done a ton of very necessary problem solving over the last year to work through some of these situations. And if I can score some free tips for procurement, I’m curious what recommendations you would have for us. If you think about the lessons that you’ve learned, just by working with these companies on both the buy and supply sides for the last year, what do you think are the takeaways that are going to structurally affect how we continue to source and buy going forward? So some of these issues, hopefully, right, we’re never going to have major concerns about PPE. Again, hopefully this was a one-time shot to the toilet paper supply chain, but there are still lessons that apply across industries across maturity levels, company sizes, categories of spend. What would you say are the structural lessons learned that you and your team took from last year? They companies should very broadly think about incorporating into either the way they handle supplier discovery generally going forward, or the way that they manage suppliers.
Gary Storr (23:28):
That’s, that’s a great question. I think we’ve, we’ve all learned a lot. And I think that what’s, uh, what, what, what procurement organizations have really learned is that that trust is important that they need to know that when they place an order in order to be fulfilled, that they know that when they have a critical circumstance, that they have organizations are going to work with them, right. To help, to help them with their business. If we think about the world today, it’s really about partnerships. There’s very few organizations that can do things independently. Everyone is, is leveraged among their, their partners. Uh, and so having that, that trust with their partner and I keep using the word trust, because it’s so important, having a trust that your partner is going to be part of your, your machine to deliver your product, to help you sell, to help you deliver.
Gary Storr (24:14):
And I think that was never more evident in the last year that we found that COVID hit and everyone had to take extreme measures that they shut down the office buildings. They had to curtail their manufacturing. There was a lot of uncertainty. We didn’t know how to react as a, as a society, as a community. Um, the, the, the, the suppliers that stood by, um, their, you know, their teams, right. There were their customers. Those were the ones that you went there with you, right? So I think that that was a big learning. I think the other learning that these organizations had is, you know, look, we’ve got, we are, we have so much dependency on what our suppliers, uh, deliver, right. And without them, we are not able to execute our business. So we better be sure we have the right information, the right, we have the right suppliers in, in our, uh, our portfolio that we understand how to reach out to them in a time of emergency and crisis, and that we understand how to make them feel responsive. Great. And part of our, you know, part of our, um, part of our organizations, um, uh, capability to deliver, right. So I think all of those things were, were extremely important. I know April, April works with, um, what suppliers every day. And I know there’s some lessons learned there that she learns, she hosts webinars and, and many other focus groups and, you know, April, you probably have some thoughts as well.
April Harrison (25:41):
Yeah. And one thing I wanted to mention besides the pandemic is we also saw an increase in the demand for diverse suppliers. And so we have many ways that you can filter for suppliers when you’re discovering new suppliers. And one of those is diversity. So, uh, again, with the trust, um, they have to upload certificates and things like that. They can’t just say that they’re a diverse supplier. So, um, that is a, um, a new feature that I think would bring lots of advantages to, to procurement teams as well. And, you know, for, for suppliers, I’ll say, um, I think Gary kind of mentioned this earlier, but you know, that discovering new business is extremely important to them. And then also the speed of the, um, the process. So, you know, I think right now there’s a lot of back and forth and the traditional process of, you know, I’ve submitted my I’m waiting to hear back. They, they have questions on these questions and so on and so forth. It can take a long time. But what we’re seeing is with the standardization of our questionnaires and the fact that they can just fill it out once and go to multiple, it goes to multiple Kermit teams. You know, there might be a little bit of back and forth, but it’s all contained. And it’s just, um, anything to speed up that time to the first transaction is really what they’re looking for.
Kelly Barner (27:15):
Well, you guys have been so good in terms of giving us advice and sharing lessons learned, and those are the things that, whether we’re suppliers or procurement listening to this, we can prepare to take advantage of next, maybe for my last set of questions. April, let me start with you. And then I’ll come back to Gary for the same. What would you say is next for your team? Uh, what are you working towards next in terms of an offering? What sorts of topic areas are you focusing on? How do I pull? You mentioned supplier diversity. That’s certainly been a, a huge and ascendent topic within procurement and supply chain. Um, what’s, what’s in the future for trust your supplier.
April Harrison (27:52):
So, one thing as you mentioned is diversity. So we are looking to bring on different groups of, uh, diverse suppliers to the network. Another thing that we’re working on is an offer for our suppliers to also become buyers on the network, because they can find value there as well as the suppliers have their own suppliers. And so, um, I think that the value is so great in terms of having that, um, single aggregated supplier data. And then also that, that market analysis ability with the third parties that they would find it valuable as well,
Gary Storr (28:32):
Codependency there that really needs to be serviced very well. I think that there, if you, if you think about the future, right, you think about, uh, how the supply chains are going to evolve and change, right? And so, you know, we mentioned before, uh, organizations are highly independent on their, on their ERP structures, but that’s going to start to change as we drive decentralization and interdependency globally, right? We’re already starting to see that in the world logistics technologies like blockchain, AI, certainly IOT. This is going to drive further decentralization of the supply chain. You you’re going to know at any given time, um, where our particular product is in the delivery cycle, you know, much like we, we can, we can look at our FedEx package where it’s being delivered. You’re going to have an IOT device connected to a blockchain network. It’s going to tell you where a container is.
Gary Storr (29:23):
Anywhere from the time a product is packaged to the time it hits the, you know, the consumers front door or loading dock of the business. All of those things are going to change the way the supply chain operates. And, and it’s going to further digitize, uh, and the interoperability amongst the organization. And it’s going bring suppliers and buyers a closer together. Their information is going to be shared. There’s going to be a community of data that we’re going to be, uh, going to be managing. As we start to manage our supply chains, right? Our supply chains, we’re no longer be, um, uh, individual and esoteric. They’re going to need a community supply chain. I think, you know, tools like ours. It’s a tip of the iceberg. Uh, and I talked about identity before and I think is, has things like identity start to proliferate to drive, uh, some of these core changes and transformations that you’ll see in the supply chain, not just the identity of an organization, but the identity of a product. Where did it come from? How was it sourced? Did it use slave labor for all materials, right? That’s, that’s an extremely important issue in today’s world. Uh, and so I think you’re going to see some of the social fabric of, of what’s happening in the world, uh, seep into the supply chain is already happening. And I think you’re going to start to see, uh, technology, uh, take a broader role here in terms of how it looks across industries instead of within industries to solve some of those, those new supply chain challenges.
Kevin L. Jackson (30:51):
Wow. Well, uh, it, it, it sounds like technology like yours, um, providing this trusted network is really delivering visibility into the supply chain. And that’s huge technology is really providing real value in, in many different ways. So thanks a lot for that April and Gary, how, how can companies learn more, get in touch with you to find out more about Tys. Maybe they want to join, you know,
Gary Storr (31:26):
That’s right up. April’s alley. Go ahead. Right? Yeah. So I would say first stop would be to visit our website. It’s trust your supplier.com, nice and simple. There’s lots of good resources on there. Videos use cases, those kinds of things. There’s also a contact us button that they can hit, and they can also reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. So that’s at trust your supplier.com.
Kevin L. Jackson (31:54):
Great. So thank you very much. And on that note, be sure to check out a wide variety of industry thought email@example.com. You can find us and subscribe wherever you get your podcast. So on behalf of the entire team here at supply chain now, and this is Kevin L. Jackson Kelly Barner wishing all of our listeners, a bright and transformational future. We’ll see you next time on digital transformers. Thanks everybody.
Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now, community check out all of our firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure you subscribe to supply chain. Now anywhere you listen to podcasts and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on supply chain. Now.
Gary Storr is the General Manager of Trust Your Supplier, a revolutionary new supplier information management marketplace that connects business partners through a trusted, validated, blockchain-based network. In his role, Gary is responsible for all business operations, overseeing commercial solutions, product vision and direction, roadmap execution, and portfolio strategy. Gary has nearly 30 years of corporate experience at all levels of Information Technology. He’s held senior executive IT roles with responsibilities that include enterprise solution delivery, corporate infrastructure operations, global application development, professional services integration, and global business strategy. Connect with Gary on LinkedIn.
April Harrison serves as Marketing Director for Chainyard’s blockchain solution, Trust Your Supplier, an innovative platform that is transforming supplier information management. A highly competent and resourceful marketing professional, April manages and prioritizes multiple projects and platforms. She is involved in integrating online, new media, email, video, and drip marketing initiatives that communicate product value propositions to customers. Self-motivated and enthusiastic about technology, April enjoys developing videos and enablement materials for external and internal stakeholders. Her key strengths include being able to come up with plans that streamline internal processes and implementing high-priority initiatives & manage projects end to end. In addition, April coordinates quarterly meetings for the Trust Your Supplier Governance Board and assists with conference & event planning with a proven ability to ensure the smooth running of each event hosted. Connect with April on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Data Analytics and Metrics Intern
Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
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’.
Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History
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 singing second soprano in the Grayson United Methodist Church choir.
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.
Allie is currently completing a degree in marketing with a certificate in entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia. She got her social media start through an internship with Shred, a personal training app, and she’s been hooked ever since. She works to optimize our following base while assisting the team with content creation, influencer outreach and other marketing endeavors. Allie can’t wait to keep growing alongside Supply Chain Now.
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.
Jada is a recent graduate of Old Dominion University, having earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications with a media studies concentration and marketing minor. Jada got her start producing content at 16 years old, while attending a radio and broadcasting journalism program in high school, and hasn't looked back! She is an asset to the Supply Chain Now team as a media specialist, podcast and media producer, and production coordinator. Outside of Supply Chain Now, Jada is a big Lakers fan, and also a music journalist and enthusiast.
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.