“Any time I read that a hardware vendor or a consultant is out driving software, I see it as the kiss of death. Often supply chain planning software doesn’t fail right away. It sort of circles the drain like in a dirty bathtub, and so it’s around for a long time.”
– Lora Cecere, Founder and CEO, Supply Chain Insights
The Supply Chain Buzz is Supply Chain Now’s regular Monday livestream, held at 12n ET each week. This show focuses on some of the leading stories from global supply chain and global business, always with special guests – the most important of which is the live audience!
In this episode of The Buzz, powered by OpenText, Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton are joined by Lora Cecere, Founder and CEO of Supply Chain Insights. She is a former Gartner analyst who is well known for her sage advice on supply chain software – not fancy ‘consultant’ advice, but proven, real-world advice based on what works and what thoughtful companies are actually putting their money behind to achieve meaningful results.
This week, Lora, Greg, and Scott engage in real time with a live audience to talk about:
· The interplay between supply chain hardware, software, and consulting
· Whether blockchain and supply chain networks are really the way of the future, and what might be holding companies back from investing in them
· Their ‘root cause’ analysis of why the traditional RFP model is broken and failing to deliver what businesses need, and what line of business leaders can do to improve their ability to align technological capabilities with business problems
Scott Luton (00:00:32):
Afternoon, Greg white is back Greg white Scott Luton with a year on supply chain. Now welcome to today’s live stream, Greg, on the heels of your big wild adventures. Great to have you back in the studio. It is lovely to be back, frankly. Yes, it was a great what it was at five days. Um, listen to an entire podcast series in the red clay, by the way, if you have not listened to that, Jason Hoke and imperative entertainment, it’s a dramatic one. It’s not like, you know, it’s not this case, then that case then another case that was great. And then of course, Savannah spent two, two and a half days in Savannah and two and a half days in Charleston from a food architecture walkability beach standpoint. I’m not sure where else you could be, except those two cities and have all of the greatness of all those things.
Greg White (00:01:27):
And we’re about to find out who’s whose favorite city Savannah is. I’m not giving it up yet. Well, uh, great to have you back look forward to hearing your adventures. You’re able to pull off a live stream last week, which we’re going to touch on briefly. Sorry, we’ll folks, but you as Greg alluded to you’re in for a treat today, as we have got Laura Siri with this in the house or making her monthly appearance, and we’re gonna be talking about how not to buy supply chain planning, where we talking about the ever given and that continued to fall out and a lot more stay tuned. She joined us about, uh, 12, 15, 1220, but in the meantime, Greg, we’ve got to give our friends over OpenText a shout out. They are powering today’s supply chain buzz, the information company as their tagline suggests big event coming up, uh, with Mark Morley and the gang on June 22nd, are you all booked up and ready to go? I am ready have brought, I’ve bought my suit and tie, but I’ll be there. Yeah. You know, it’s funny because we’re going to talk about something where a lot of what open techs does connecting technologies internally and externally would come in really, really handy, frankly, would’ve come in handy for this company over a decade ago. But, um, yeah, I mean, I think that look, the supply chain is it requires connection. If we haven’t realized that yet, please let me reiterate that.
Greg White (00:03:01):
Uh, it requires connection between your technologies, between your companies, all of your trading partners. And that’s really what the these guys do is they started off as EDI VAR, right? And, and have added all kinds of integration technologies and now some operational technologies to, well, uh, stay tuned for more details around that June 22nd event, a lot of folks have logged in and we’re going to give some shout outs here momentarily. Welcome everybody. Uh, you have a great episode T that let’s make a few housekeeping details. Uh, first off, it’s important to know that the buzz comes to you every Monday at 12 noon Eastern time, we pair that with a Thursday live stream at 12 Eastern time, which is kind of our Baskin Robbins live stream. Some dots sometimes there’ll be about tequila, sunrise and the leading tech development. Sometimes it’ll be about what like this Thursday, it’s supply chain leadership in Africa with our friends at safe picks. And of course Jenny from, but, uh, every week, Monday and Thursday without fail 12 noon Eastern time, join us for a live with discussion and bring your voice so quick. Uh, programming notes on the main channel today, if you subscribe to supply chain, now you saw our latest digital transformers episode hit where we had gear store and April Harrison talking, supplier management and blockchain. Greg, we can’t get enough blockchain around here, huh? No, we can’t. And um, I saw some places where some people were chained to blocks.
Greg White (00:04:31):
Uh, no. Yeah. I mean, it’s amazing. And you know, again, we’re going to talk about a big technology move that happened Thursday last week today. And, um, it’s a critical component for supply chain. This agreed, agreed. And then on this week in business history, we had a guest host sit in Nick rumor with Cbus 21, uh, sat in a guest hosted for us. And he talked about real sustainability action leadership and action, and the history of the CFP, the conference of parties. So check that out this week in business history, where we get your podcasts from. And let’s see, we touched on the live stream to somehow Greg pulled off last Thursday. Don’t know how he did it, but I’m pretty sure I was in a house that was built in like 1786. And I’m pretty sure the router was from them as well. Nevertheless, we pulled it off, had a great conversation with XPO and of course, uh, our friends at us bank and we tackled their freight payment index.
Greg White (00:05:33):
That’s released every, every quarter. So you can learn more about that critical freight insights and firstname.lastname@example.org. Okay. Finally, webinars tomorrow. I love this topic, uh, setting the standard for supply chain security and how specifically how the ICT industry is poised to protect our global supply chain. So look for Kevin L. Jackson leading this webinar, uh, with our friends at the telecommunications industry association. All right. So Greg, all of that, uh, we’re going to say hello to a few folks first, and then we’re going to dive in and get your take on our, the biggest news last week. So first off, let’s see, uh, uh, LA is back with us from Sudan, LA. Great to have you here via Facebook. Look forward to hearing your comments and perspectives [inaudible] is back with us, uh, via LinkedIn, uh, and Bob, Hey Bob, how you doing? Hope this finds you. Well, I think I saw a new position that you took on here recently. So congratulations there, Tom Raftery. Hello from Sylvia in Spain, Tom. Great to see you here. Kayvon Kayvon, the PhD, the doctor of the doctor of supply chain, kind of like the supply chain, Dr. Kayvon hope this finds you. Well, Jasmine, Jasmine Navy, uh, happy Monday from Denver. I wonder, uh, Greg, how cold do you think it is in Denver?
Greg White (00:06:59):
Hey Siri, I don’t know. Denver is a strange city. So you know that whole section of the country, it could be, you could get a foot of snow and the next day it’s 70 degrees in a way it’s kind of a fun crapshoot,
Greg White (00:07:16):
Really. And of course the Broncos who are the tortured rivals of the world champion, Kansas city chiefs
Greg White (00:07:23):
Not tortured enough. Yes.
Greg White (00:07:26):
Uh, Daria Patel is with his Daria as a pleasure to sit down with you a week or two ago, look forward to releasing a podcast, featuring your POV shortly. I hope this finds you well there in India, Sylvia, you were in Sylvia city. Um,
Greg White (00:07:40):
Oh, I’m in trouble. Read on down the list, Sylvia. Sorry. Yes, I am so sorry. It was such a whirlwind there that, and, and the weather Sylvia you have to confess Monday was not great. So I cannot believe I did not go pick up some jam. I’m so sorry. We’ll be back soon. I’ll be back soon for sure. I’d love that. Yes. Yes.
Greg White (00:08:05):
And Greg is in lots of trouble and welcome to the podcast. Peter bullae is where this made it good. Monday morning. He, he of the, uh, the latest contracting project. We’re getting updates from Peter and that kitchen is coming right
Greg White (00:08:19):
Along. Yeah, it looks great. Simon,
Greg White (00:08:22):
The newly, uh, the newly engaged, uh, Simon, meaning he found his last, uh, or his latest position, I think last week. So congrats personally to you, Simon. Uh, great to have you here as part of that.
Greg White (00:08:36):
And he’s going to get to work with some folks that I know really well, Martine Gomez, who has a brilliant supply chain mind, and one of the most educated people ever on wine. Wow.
Greg White (00:08:49):
Okay. Uh, so Simon congrats. Mervin’s back with us Mervin. Great to have you. I had no comments on the hair. Uh, Mervyn today. We had a lot of flood with Mervin on last live stream. T squared is with us supply chain is a communicator space and place. Excellent. Excellent. Um, I here on a serious note, uh, and Daria, I appreciate that the situation is grant. You’ve been reading the news and watching the news a really tough situation. As Daria says, situations, grim India, hopefully the peak will pass in mid may and we will sell through currently confined to indoors only. So, uh, Daria, um, all the best, you know, I, I recall early, uh, Greg, if you remember, um, uh, part about a year or so ago, uh, we had some folks from Italy, you know, tuned in and where it was really ravaging, uh, earlier in 2020.
Greg White (00:09:42):
And, um, you know, India right now is going through something as tragic. And, uh, you know, hopefully I like Daria is optimism, see it through and break up to the side and, and enjoy in-person company soon. So, um, welcome everybody. Uh, we’ve got an outstanding conversation teed up here today. Okay. So Greg, before we bring in Laura Sussex, we’re going to get her thoughts on this same big blockbuster news that is as reported by supply chain. DOB Panasonic is acquiring blue yonder in a $7.1 billion deal. So Panasonic, as we all know, had taken a 20% stake in blue yonder in July, 2020 with this new deal, the press release States quote, this acquisition brings the strategic relationship full circle in quote. Now, Greg I’ve gotten the popcorn, my world-class popcorn, my diet Coke, and my junior mints already just to sit back and see what you’re going to say, what’s your take on this deal?
Scott Luton (00:10:47):
You know, it makes me feel like since you said that this is a reference, most people won’t get, but a movie review, should I give it a thumbs up or a thumbs down? Right. So, um, um, let me, well, okay, let me, let me just give you my thoughts here. One, uh, and, and Kerryn bursa has repeated this frequently back in the beginning of March, there was a leak that, that something might be happening and both companies, both, uh, blue yonder and Panasonic were quick, very quick as if they had prepared statements to refute that the claim that something was happening, uh, in terms of Panasonic buying the 80% of the company that it didn’t already own. My speculation pure speculation is that they were trying to start a bidding war for JDA. The bidding war didn’t happen. They see some synergies with their automated, uh, technologies, some of their, um, robotic technologies and the planning and AI capabilities that JDAs product has.
Scott Luton (00:11:53):
So they went ahead and bought them out. So the valuation of JDA is about $8.5 billion, um, 5.6 billion of that, of the balance. So they had to pay 7.1 to get to that 5.6 billion of that bought the 80% of shares that Panasonic did all did not already own. And this is the number that is the stunner to me, $1.5 billion went to, uh, removing or alleviating the debt that the, that blue yonder had to that point. Um, I’d love to quote Laura from the pre-show, but I want her to say the words that she said, but basically it was just at it’s just to tease it a little bit. It was burdensome amount of debt for a company, and JDA had acquired a lot of that debt when they bought red Prairie and then red Prairie or sorry. And then the combined JDA and blue yonder joined up together.
Scott Luton (00:12:56):
I think everybody, um, well, not everybody, lots of people know what my reaction to the name, but I get why they did it. All of this kind of a progression from being an old stayed static on-premise software technology company to a new AI driven SAS cloud annually recurring revenue company. And to do that, to really make that hit home, they had to adopt the new name of blue yonder. You know, the, the numbers that are put out there, I, I defy anyone one without a finance degree to figure out what this company’s revenue is, uh, to figure out what their growth is. Um, and suffice it to say, I am suspicious. I dunno, suspicious is the right word, but whatever I’m dubious of what these numbers represent, when so many numbers are put out there and they’re hard, they’re hard to discern. Um, they call, they have three or four categorizations of what they call SAS revenue.
Scott Luton (00:13:59):
One is actually appears to be actual annually recurring revenue, which means you don’t have to resell it every year. They’ve had, they’ve got another classification of SAS revenue that looks to be services like implementation services and subscriptions, which is the new age way of, of, of calling, uh, software maintenance, things like that. It’s really, really curious the way that they, that they describe their revenue. And this has been a pattern for JDA in the last five, 10 years in terms of classifying and, um, obfuscating their numbers. So it’s re it’s really confusing to me. I’m not sure what to make of it. I would rather have Laura tell us what to make of it, but I don’t see a, I don’t see a transformational combination here. I don’t see an accelerant, right. I don’t see us pouring fuel on the, on a, on a small burning flame and creating a big fire here. I just, I just don’t see it. Um, but you know, anything could happen. Anything,
Greg White (00:15:11):
Anything is possible as
Scott Luton (00:15:14):
Scott and I wish I could say that. I really see it turning into something great. What I see is a private equity move to, to get, get these private equity firms, their money and, and get it moved to somebody who believes that they can make it into something really, really big.
Greg White (00:15:32):
It’s as simple as that. Well, I appreciate your take. We are going to get, Laura’s take here momentarily. We’re going to say hello to a few more folks. Never going to smoosh it, Laura. Uh, so Joe O’Connor is with us here today, via LinkedIn from Cincinnati home, where the reds, which last I checked, they were doing, they had a decent start to the season baseball season. I’m not sure if that’s the case, Joe Phillips in, uh, we’re, we’re crying in our beer here, uh, with the Atlanta Braves here lately, at least
Scott Luton (00:16:00):
Second of the doubleheader yesterday, I was driving.
Greg White (00:16:03):
Uh, they got no hit in this in seven endings. You know, that cause a shortened game when double headers, no hit by Madison Bumgarner. And I’ll tell you, as I’ve listened to the radio call, th th th the beginning of the game, uh, the Braves got down in the second game five, I think five to nothing, maybe six, nothing, the first inning. And one of the announcer said, well in paraphrase, fortunately, this is Madison Bumgarner, not in his prom on the tail end of his career. And then he goes out and at court. Exactly. So Madison still has plenty, plenty of gas in the tank, but Chris Barnes, yes, we’re gonna have to get you and Kayvon connected. Cause we’ve got two supply chain doctors, but as Chris says, there’s only one supply chain doctor that’s. This is a tagline there, Fred Tolbert. It’s a great day to be in supply chain for it. It is appreciate what you do with our, uh, young supply chain practitioners matriculated through school. Or you can say great
Scott Luton (00:16:57):
Holiday of supply chain, right? Yes.
Greg White (00:17:01):
Uh, let’s see here as Leah, LinkedIn did not want to play for me today. Interesting. You know, for weeks now for going back three, four, five, six weeks, a lot of, a lot of feedback around LinkedIn’s, uh, platform. So that notifications and, and you name it. So we’ll, we’ll work through it together. And then I was going to share one more. So Simon, I, I chose the wrong word. He says newly engaged. Yes, but 31 years married tomorrow
Scott Luton (00:17:29):
Way to go, Scott, you know, always serving the community. You remind it. Don’t wait to buy flowers till tomorrow. Simon.
Greg White (00:17:39):
That’s right. Uh, let’s see here. Uh, Natalie says threads always have a good season right up to the all break set as a true span right there. Well, Tom says, no hit double header. What are these new supply chain terms? I have not come across before. Hey, we we’re we’re supply chain nerds. That really likes sports too. So talk how we already talked about the no hit just at the beginning of the segment. That’s right. That’s right. That’s a big deal last week when that should make Tom happy because they will not be a stronger competitor for, for SAP. So on that note, uh, you know, we heard Greg’s take, uh, I love hearing Greg stake each Monday and oftentimes on Thursdays on all the latest developments across supply chain. But today we’ve got an outstanding guest to accompany Mr. Greg white, it’s, Lora Cecere Swisher and founder of Supply Chain Insights, and author of the very popular blog supply chain shaman
Lora Cecere (00:18:43):
Fail to be swished. Right.
Greg White (00:18:45):
Right. Well, it sounds like to me, w w we want to switch some of these deals down, down the pipes from what I’m hearing, and we’ll get your take here in just a moment, Lora, but we want to start not necessarily with a lightning round, but you know, Lora, there is a day for anything on the planet. There’s a day for it. Right. And if it’s not here in the U S there’s one across the world, um, my grant, my father-in-law’s in the moonshot business and there’s a national moonshine day in June. Uh, we’re going to have them talking about moonshot supply chain, but today is national Audubon day. And I got to tell you, Lora and Greg, I wasn’t familiar. I was familiar like most people with the Audubon society, but, uh, today celebrates a birthday each year of John James Audubon, uh, bird’s of America thinks is a famous book that he wrote. Uh, so this non-profit that bears his name, the national Audubon society protects birds and their habitats. And we’re huge bird levers here. Lora, are you a big bird fan?
Lora Cecere (00:19:45):
I am. I have 62 blue bird boxes on my fence.
Greg White (00:19:50):
Wow. No idea, man. We’re gonna have to compare notes. Uh we’re we need a video of that
Lora Cecere (00:19:58):
So far, none of them have planted to make their home. And, you know, I also have, you know, a purple Martin house. Purple Martins are fascinating birds.
Greg White (00:20:12):
Wow, man. Okay. Okay. Talk about the faceted. I have no idea. Well, all right. So we are going to have to talk birds, uh, looking up our house finches. I’ve got a feeder right here and I’m still a novice and trying to, other than like the blue Jay, you know, and Cardinals, I’m trying to identify these species. So we’ll talk more about that, but, uh, speaking of habitats and you know, national parks and what is Lora, what’s your favorite, uh, national park that you enjoy?
Lora Cecere (00:20:42):
So I love Zion. Um, I’ve spent many of the day Zion, just, you know, tranquil. Beautiful. I like you said cemetery, but it’s been very, very damaged by tourists. And I like Bryce. Um, um, one of my favorite parks, which is sort of sad because it’s really being overused, this Torrey Pines, uh, which is right outside of San Diego, beautiful park.
Greg White (00:21:16):
I love the imagery you paint. And I didn’t realize Zion was Utah’s first national park. So to get out there at some point soon. All right. So Lora, before we tackle a couple of different things that, um, uh, pieces that you have composed to recently, let’s talk about Panasonic and blue yonder. So I really enjoyed you and Greg’s pre-show chat. I love hearing Greg’s take, uh, cause he y’all y’all to both tell it like it is. And I love that about you both I’m way too diplomatic. So, but Lora, what’s your take on what the news that came out last week?
Lora Cecere (00:21:52):
Well, I think it’s good news for blue Yonders investors, um, who really just needed to turn the money. It’s horrible news for the manufacturers that own blue yonder software. It’s good news for blue Yonders competitors, uh, OMP Connexa. So nine, uh, blue Ridge Greg used to be part of blue Ridge, um, SAS and the retail space. But, you know, it’s really sad because I used to work for a company called manager sticks was part of the JV outfit, went to blue yonder, and it’s just sad for me to watch kind of the dilution of thought leadership and how far behind they have become with, you know, the state-of-the-art and planning. And in fact that whole roll up has been really driven by using maintenance revenue, uh, to feel, you know, investors’ pockets.
Greg White (00:22:57):
Well, you know, you also add one more thing. Uh pre-show where I think you added, um, you look at these deals through the customer’s eyes and I love that. Uh, elaborate a little bit more on that, Lora.
Lora Cecere (00:23:09):
Yeah. So the customer never wins when investors are rolling their money. Uh, and I write for a line of business users. And so when I read this, I’m like, okay, so who’s winning. And what’s my advice for line of business users and, you know, well, yonder was just a name change. Um, not a lot happened in terms of advancement of the engines or the software. And so when I think about it, I think those that are in manufacturing should start to look for really the next generation of planning software. And those in retail are probably okay because retail was later to develop. Uh, but they’ve gotta be careful about the maintenance revenue and the user groups and never in the history of supply chain planning. Have we had a successful company that came from either a sensor or a technology type of company, um, and here we’re dealing with, you know, sensors and, um, you know, hardware, um, or consulting. So any time I read that a hardware vendor or a consultant is out, you know, driving software, I’m like, it’s the kiss of death. And often supply chain planning software doesn’t fail right away. It’s sort of like it circles the drain and a dirty bathtub. Right. And so, uh, you know, it’s around for a long time.
Greg White (00:24:43):
The visuals continue, Greg, let’s go ahead, Greg. I was just going to say, you know, it’s funny because I had not thought about some of those elements of the accumulation that became JDA, right? I mean, I worked for a company called [inaudible] that was acquired, correct September 10th, 2001, not great timing. Um, and by JDA and that product was ancient when they bought it, they bought a technology called Arthur, which in its day was, I mean, it was top of the line for retail, but it was still a glorified spreadsheet. And I haven’t seen that they have done much to evolve those technologies. I’ve got to say, Lora, you know, there are a lot of companies that acquire these companies and live off of the maintenance revenue. They don’t even attempt to sell these products, at least JDA attempted to sell these products. And I think by the way that influenced in for who was kind of going the direction of just acquiring old technologies and living off the maintenance revenue, they’ve actually started to develop and, and to sell those technologies into the marketplace, but you’re right.
Greg White (00:25:53):
It has largely been for laggards. Um, and, and they have been well behind the curve in terms of advanced technologies. We were talking about AI, which is solely the domain of, of blue yonder, despite reports that are blue yonder, pre JDA, despite the report that the combined company has over a hundred, um, data scientists on staff right now that’s one report, but I think you’re right. It, it’s important to recognize that. And this is a statement I’ve made frequently, Lora, that is you, are, you are the disruptor or are you, you are to be disrupted. You cannot be both and JDA blue yonder, Panasonic, whatever you want to call it, that they will not be the disruptor of the, and if you’re looking
Greg White (00:26:44):
For real innovation, real change, real advancement in terms of technology you’re right. You need to look elsewhere.
Lora Cecere (00:26:52):
Yup. Yeah. I just think back to the demise of vocal act, right? When a hardware company shots. Right. And, uh, you know, if we look at any supply chain planning purchase by a hardware company or consulting company, it is the vote of death and consolidation strategies are sort of like suck and maintenance revenue, right. And putting it in the pocket of the investors. Right. And so I often, right, once that money starts to turn many times for the investors, it’s time to get out for a line of business buyer.
Greg White (00:27:30):
So we’re going to talk a lot more about how not to buy supply chain planning software. And just a second. I won’t say a lot to a few folks are commenting on what they’re hearing here. Uh, let’s see your Sylvia wrong Audubon, but Hey, that Audubon sounds really cool too, uh, thought of as Leah, did anyone else instantly smile when Laura was smooshed in, we’ve got a new new phrase here, lots of smiling and laughter absolutely as Leah. Um, and she also enjoys, I guess, folks in West Virginia and joy that mountain moonshot Mohib is with us in Wichita, the air capital of the world. Great to have you here. And I think this is Nanda and Nanda, uh, talking batteries and, and new battery technologies. Hey, we will make that a topic, uh, soon and diving in at a ton of really cool stuff. In fact, just over the weekend, I bought a new blower.
Greg White (00:28:21):
That’s powered by a lithium ion battery that wouldn’t have ever gotten five years ago. I think works like a charm, but I blew away two of my three kids, uh, with that blower. Uh, let’s see here, Bob Bova speaking back to this deal, Panasonic wants to evolve from a hardware company to a software provider in a SAS implementer. So that’s precisely the problem that Lora is describing is that the foundational elements of the business of, of implementer or consulting or services and hardware, they are so foundationally different from technology software software, just using the term software is, is problematic these days. Right. But, um, they’re so foundationally different that it’s a bridge too far, truthfully.
Lora Cecere (00:29:11):
Yeah. You’ve really got to understand the software model. You’ve got to understand what drives your customers, how do you do evolution and how do you do that next generation of technology? You know, blue yonder never figured out how to move from that consolidation of great assets. They didn’t retain talent very well to that next devolution of technology, which is really driving the explosive growth of Oh, and a lot of those, you know, I, to companies and clients, you know, follow nine, right?
Greg White (00:29:49):
So a few of the comments here, Chris Barnes says the blue yonder acquisition is the sign of the times. Supply chain planning is old school. New school is supply chain networks.
Lora Cecere (00:30:00):
I wish Chris, I have a lot of heart for that statement, but I do not find that to be the case. I, I operate a share group called the network of networks where we’re talking about networks and you know, blockchain’s not scalable and people are not investing in that work. So we don’t have authoritative identifiers. People don’t know what to do. And a lot of people are investing in the old EDI networks. And so the whole conversation around that works is one that you could get me wound up like a top and not get people to put their money where their mouth is. We talked networks, but building them something else
Greg White (00:30:40):
Stunning to me in this day and age with what we’ve, especially the, the pressure that we’ve recently seen on the supply chain. I mean, first of all, I applaud Chris for thinking that way. Um, Chris is tightly wound with apex and ASC. And just to be thinking that far forward, when so heavily influenced by SCM is that’s a huge breakout, but it is true. We do often talk about all these advanced technologies and talk and talk and talk and rarely do we invest until some crisis forces us to do so.
Lora Cecere (00:31:15):
And you would think it would be COVID 19, but that’s not the case. Right? So, you know, I talked to 120 companies in my recent pandemic research and they are not investing in networks. And I also talked to Peter ball’s store if on the ACM model. And even though that model is all around digital networks, it doesn’t tell supply chain leaders out of build them and our networks. Don’t, inter-operate, it’s just like the old days when I had a Vocollect phone that couldn’t connect to a T and T that couldn’t connect to, you know, an international call. So, you know, we operate in silos and there’s no network that goes across make source and deliver. There’s no interoperability and there’s no single sign on. So we’ve got a long way to go on networks,
Greg White (00:32:03):
A lot of work to do, and a big thanks to, uh, James and Ronda and many others. We can’t get to the comments just yet. We’ll try to circle back, um, what we want to do. I want to pull up, we were just talking about a supply chain planning, a big portion of this and this, this is the gardening shoes we were talking about pre-show folks. So Lora recently published a blog article. That’s been turning some hits. Um, it was entitled. How do we stop buying planning software the wrong way? So Lora, can you share just a couple of key takeaways, key points, uh, that went into this, this, uh, piece of, uh, of, uh, of your POV.
Lora Cecere (00:32:40):
So I haven’t been traveling and about 15 months. And so I sit and look out the same window, answer the same questions and I don’t do well with monotony. And I’m like, okay, enough’s enough. I’m just going to answer this question for everybody about how the you buy supply chain software, because people will call me and they’ve been in the middle of the deal for eight to 12 months, big teams. They didn’t really decide how they were going to make a decision. And they’re like, they all look the same more how to make a decision. And I’m like, I’m not going to make a decision for you. And if they all look the same, you didn’t do your job. Well, typically they’ll say, well, we did an RFP and that is your first mistake. You know, how do you have an RFP on something you don’t know?
Lora Cecere (00:33:25):
And secondly, it’s all about culture and fit and you can’t put that in an RFP. I got to tell you so many of the RFPs in the market are just horrible. They’re horribly written. And second thing is they will say, well, you know, I went to the Gartner magic quadrant. Now I’m an ex Gartner analyst and I get Italia. He can’t buy planning software off of four bucks model. There are too many elements, right? And so, you know, both of those are failed logic. So I encourage people to just like you buy a card to go do a test drive, right? Get a couple of software companies. And instead of hiring these large consultants that make millions of dollars on RFPs, basically partner with some technologists, do some pilots, you know, build a case, build your questions, run the software, and pay these technologists to run a demo for you. See if you like it and get out of the PowerPoint. Fine. As an analyst, I am shocked sometimes to see people buy 10 million, $15 million software off of PowerPoint and then will call me in the last week questions about how does this work? And I’m like, that is a wrong software for you, but you know, it’s easy to do when you’re buying off.
Greg White (00:34:41):
Right. Well, one of the things you wrap and Greg, I’ll get you to weigh in here just a second is a quote. So if you’re buying software based on PowerPoint, pitches, RFPs, and endless frameworks, you are destined for disappointment in all of that. So, Greg, I know you’re chomping at the bit here. Well, I mean the foundational flaw, I think Lord described the biggest foundational flaw in an RFP. And that is the people who don’t know what the solution is. Art are writing specifications or worse yet they’re picking a favorite vendor. Who’s going to frame the RFP to favor them, to write the RFP for all of their competitors. I mean, you know, part of the RFP problem is, and I’ve seen it at blue Ridge, as Lora mentioned, I’ve, I’ve gone through dozens of RFPs. It got to the point where we didn’t answer RFPs.
Lora Cecere (00:35:33):
That’s the advice I tell technologists is don’t even play that bowl. You know, it’s like, you know, walk, it’s like, it’s a waste of your time. It’s a waste of the manufacturers though.
Greg White (00:35:44):
Hmm. Yeah. And, and, you know, part of the problem is that this is kind of typical of, of us in the business community. When we want a solution, we say, I want it to do X, do you do X? Well, what if X isn’t the right thing to do? Then you’ve completely closed the book on that culture and creativity that Lora is talking about, where a company could actually solve your problem better. If you said, this is the result that I want, but that never ever happens in an RFP, an RFP is, does it do X, does it do Y does it do Z, does it do Z fast enough, right? Or complex enough whatever. And you know, that that model is foundationally broken for a lot of reasons, but not the least of which is that we ought to be asking for. I want this result. How do you get me there?
Lora Cecere (00:36:34):
Well, and what’s the business problem. So it was very humbling for me when I came from manufacturing to a software company and I used vague words like visibility or planning, and I didn’t really define them. And then when I was in a software company and I was having to break code with technologist or help the technologist to write code, I never wrote code myself. I had to learn to think hard about these definitions. And most of line of business leaders haven’t had that experience. And so they use vague language that isn’t, well-defined when really the technologists want to know what is the problem you’re trying to solve. Please detail that as clearly as you can, and then let’s work together to solve that together.
Greg White (00:37:27):
Hmm. So, uh, I’m gonna try to, uh, use a crowbar to get into this conversation here. We got a ton of comments, but what both of y’all are soliciting, uh, but you know, uh, touch back on the Braves, just like a baseball team, buying software for touchdowns, the objectives all wrong. Right. Um, so let’s, let’s see here, Mohib says disrupter or disrupted Hunter or a hunt or hunted, or we not always being haunted for continuous improvement and transformation. That’s either optically a poem right there. Sorry. So blockchain, boom, Peter says fond folks are all too busy, tossing out fancy snappy jargon and not delivering value. Uh, let’s see here and, and Morgan Webb, great to have you with us, appreciate your feedback that you sent to us via LinkedIn. So keep it coming, keep it coming and hope. Y’all find all the wonderful talent you’re looking for at John Galt. Peter says, get executive buy-in and move forward. I think this is Nanda here, I believe. And if it’s not clear to Amanda, y’all let me know. She, uh, he agrees Lora, sorry. Most of the times companies end up with ERP when all they needed was good MRP software. Y’all
Greg White (00:38:36):
Both of y’all want to, uh, touch on that go Lora.
Lora Cecere (00:38:41):
Well, most software sits on the shelf. People use Excel spreadsheets. And the reason is because we’re not clear on what we’re buying. And often we focus on bolding the technology again, not are we getting usable technology and we often will hire people to help us who are not necessarily incented to help us, right. They may get kickbacks on software recommendations. They make, make a lot of money on RFPs. And so kind of cleanse all that, right. You know, identify your business problem, test and learn with technologist. Don’t just focus on implementing technology for technology sake. Your job’s done when people use the software.
Greg White (00:39:29):
Mm mm. Uh, yeah. I think you have to, you have to, well, there it is. There’s, that’s essentially what that’s essentially what, so, so yes, Lora has defined the two most prominent types of technology, slideware and shelf. But I think you have to, you have to identify what the incentive is of every party you involve in an evaluation, right? I mean, right. If Accenture makes a hundred million dollars implementing SAP, guess what they’re going to record recommend, right? If they build the RFP for an ERP, guess who that’s going to slant towards. I mean, it’s not, it’s not even intentional. Sometimes it is, but it’s not even intentional. It’s just subconscious and so natural. So you have to defend yourself by knowing that you are the only one with your own interests fully in mind. Right. We’re in shelf where I love that t-shirt right there, Lora.
Lora Cecere (00:40:30):
And a lot of times consultants only have benches of large ERP software and they don’t know the planning market in the last decade, the consultants have decreased their knowledge of planning. And, you know, I sure do wish that, you know, we had a part of the money that they’re paid. Yep.
Greg White (00:40:50):
Hmm. Amen. Clay blue. There’s got to be some way though. Lora, there has to be some way for people to get objective expertise. I mean, it can’t be practical for you to go. This is the technology you should have. I bet with your knowledge, you could probably narrow it down to two or three. I mean, just knowing that you could answer questions in moments that would take a consulting firm weeks or months to conceive the question for us.
Lora Cecere (00:41:20):
I do that a lot. Greg people send me an email. I’m like Dan, you know, and I’ll answer their questions. And I do the frameworks of putting together the pieces, which are like, how do you go about down two choices? And then I think it’s a lot like buying a car, right. You know, you’d never buy a car without a test drive. And a lot of times it’s all about, you know, how you feel in that car with the maintenances. If you have a local distributor, all these other factors. And most of the time people don’t consider those. One of my favorite quotes is 80% is good enough. And I’m like 80% of what, right. 80% of garbage is good enough. Right. You know, it’s like, you know, lots of our consultants are incented to, you know,
Greg White (00:42:08):
I can’t tell you how many deals we lost because somebody said they picked something that was 80% of the cost and 80% of the value. And I’m like, which 80%.
Lora Cecere (00:42:18):
Yeah. It’s like meaning animal stock. Right?
Greg White (00:42:22):
So Chris Barnes says, sing it sister, watch out for those consultants who stand and make tons of money to implementing a specific solution. Excellent point there, uh, LA says, here comes the importance of defining the business needs clear and detailed as much as possible, and always be oriented towards technology and change along the process. Uh, and then Sylvia, I’m baffled by the way, software applications are bald. I see it on the daily, how software and most importantly, CRM and logistics software is purchased for the wrong reasons by the wrong people. Excellent point. You’re not in your head there, Lora, please share. It’s just true.
Lora Cecere (00:43:01):
Okay. You know, and, and so the whole point of my article was I want to get back to gardening. I’m tired of answer the same question. That’s nonsensical. You know, we’ve got lots of shelf ware and in the last decade, we’ve gone backwards on business results that supply chain leaders should be driving forward. We have 20 more days of inventory. We’ve elongated payable, 16 days, even though, you know, we’ve made those payables 90 and 120 across the board. And you know, if you look at the intersection of margin and growth, we’re going backwards. And so our planning software was to help us and how can something help us?
Greg White (00:43:44):
All right. So folks, we’ve been talking about this, uh, blog article, how do we stop buying planning software the wrong way? You can check that out at supply chain shaman, which is a wonderful and open source, uh, home for all kinds of resources, which I admire that about your approach, Lora. All right. So I’m gonna, I’m gonna move ahead. I know that Greg and Laura, we could talk, especially with all the comments for hours on this one topic, especially with y’all’s expertise, but we’re going to keep driving. I want to weigh in, we’re going to change gears a bit, and we’re going to talk about the ever given gift that keeps on given to global supply chain.
Greg White (00:44:24):
If you’re a fan of the Griswold’s in this case, the family, Griswold’s not, not our dear friend, Mike Griswold, uh, you might catch that line, but Hey, while no longer stuck of course, and the Suez canal, uh, which by the way, costs supply chains, according to one estimate, latest estimate $400 million by the hour across the globe, Holy cow, the ever given the still being detained by the Suez canal authority, which is seeking almost a billion dollars, not $960 million for salvage costs and damages. And Lora, you pin this piece. And I love this, this article in Forbes, I think towards the end of March early April quote, the ever given is moving, but your supply chain will not. So I think a lot of boss standers, as we were talking about last week, Lora, on kind of our planning call, um, you know, th the, that, that ship and that Suez canal had the world’s attention for those, I think six or seven days. And that’s, uh, you know, the silver lining there, it’s a great thing. Cause folks learn about logistics and transportation, these key infrastructure, but when it gets freed, it becomes a non, you know, top line news story so that all the attention goes to whatever the next is. And a lot of folks don’t realize that that incident is still the ripples continue to play out. So Lora, and then Greg, I’m gonna come to you, but what’s the, um, what are some of those repercussions that you’re seeing still play out by the hour?
Lora Cecere (00:45:44):
Well, you know, when the pandemic hit, we lost 40% of air capacity and then air became really expensive. And people started putting, you know, private fleet into air to start moving stuff. And then we put a lot more stuff on ocean. This is the only time I’ve ever known where we’ve got so much unemployment and our imports have never been higher. And our, basically our ports can handle the imports. So we’re rolling freight at the port, which means that we tell you, you’re afraid it’s going to ship this month, but it’s really going to ship next month. And we can’t give predictability there. And we’re shipping empty containers back to Asia off the West coast. And we’ve got 30 to 40 ships any day off the CA coastal long beach. We can’t get into Halifax. And so as canals, 13.5% of the world freight, we had almost 30 ships, you know, either side.
Lora Cecere (00:46:45):
And then it became hundreds of ships. And then we have ships going around Africa, which is, you know, considerably more time. So bottom line transportation, reliability has never been more variable. And our solutions were built to say that logistics is available. Let’s just negotiate price. And only 9% of companies actually designed supply chain flows. And I think we’ve got to stop that step back and say, logistics is a constraint. Now everyone should be designing the flows of their supply chain. Looking at that supply reliability, we need planning, master data systems that look at how long it take us for getting from point a to point X and you know, the variability of that. And we really need to plan for how can we improve our ability to move goods with these limitations?
Greg White (00:47:45):
Mm, thank you. Taking too much of a macro view of what we traditionally call lead time, right? Which is when the goods are in transit, a big portion of that is, is on transportation. And you have to look at the handoffs and the modes and the methods of the modes because now ships are sailing through more dangerous waters to try and have a more direct route. So that increases risk. And rather than having a risk over a 30, 60, 90 day lead time, you have to look the risk over this small segment, that’s going through the Suez canal or this segment that’s going across the North sea, right? Or this segment where they’re, they’re going through typhoons on the way, you know, to Japan or China or whatever, rather than the traditional route, which was more southerly or more northernly. So when, when you see those kinds of things happening, you have to evaluate their risk in terms of their segment, not in terms of the macro, because then you blend it out, right? One foot’s in frozen water, one, right? One foot’s in ice and one foot in boiling water on average, or your good form, whatever.
Lora Cecere (00:48:57):
Keep going, Greg, go ahead.
Greg White (00:49:01):
So Lora, you lay out five items in particular, in this very practical, uh, Forbes piece. And one of those, I like this, what you kind of wrapped on, quote, give logistics leaders a seat at the table. Often logistics teams operate out of a trailer in the parking lot of major corporations. Traditionally logistics was a cost to be managed with many companies, outsourcing shipping and downsizing, their logistics organizations in quote, Greg, I know in particular, the way you described when you’re in retail, the supply chain folks are logistics folks that resonates with you, then it, yeah. I mean, when I was in what we called the purchasing or merchandising department, I just cast off POS and they went into these dark rooms with these weird people. We call the expediters, I don’t know how they got on a ship or a truck or a train or a plane.
Greg White (00:49:48):
And I didn’t care. I just cut a PO. And I said, it better be here on time. And that was the amount that was the extent of our internal collaboration until something was late or looked like it was going to be like, and then I might open that door to that dark room and say, where’s my shipment. We have to be much more engaged than that. Obviously. And companies have been more engaged than that, certainly. But, um, I think there’s still a tremendous amount of opportunity to not only be engaged when the transaction is occurring, but when you’re selecting the vendors, the vendors that you buy the product from the vendors that you ship the goods with
Greg White (00:50:29):
The vendors that produce it for you and to understand the implications and costs and risks there. So Lora, I’m going to give you the final word, cause we still got to cover project zebra, which we’re excited about Solara. Give us one final word on this. This article,
Lora Cecere (00:50:45):
I think logistics is very different than what we’ve seen in the past three decades, higher constraints, greater variability, and the systems we’ve built are not adequate. And we’ve got to redesign logistics from the outside in all of this telematics, AIS data, visualization, drone data is available, but it’s at the doorstep of a organization. Cause people don’t know how to use it. And you know, great opportunity to redefine logistics. We’ve got a lot of telematics companies are flying high right now in life because they’re basically showing you signals, but I’m like, don’t just show me signals. Right? Bring it home. Let’s bring it home into the applications. Let’s redefine transportation planning. So it’s just not one mode. It’s just not one continent. It’s just not all about orders. And it’s a great opportunity.
Greg White (00:51:39):
Hmm. Well said, okay, I’m going to share a couple of comments and then we’re going to tackle project zebra, which is pretty cool. [inaudible] Hey, stay Steve, how are you doing great to have you here today? She says proactive and own an instant communication is key when dealing with vendors. Great point there. Jenny says, Lora says, Sarah made me feel so old with all those companies that are no longer
Greg White (00:52:04):
Just imagine we worked with all those companies. So I just feel better about that. That’s right. Mohib, that’s a very expensive back haul for those empty containers. Agreed. Hey Myra, great to have you here on live stream. I think I saw you on social media earlier. She says too often. I see companies look for software to solve business process issues, good people, good process. And then add technology. It’s a mix that doesn’t always work. Um, okay. So, uh, as we start winding things down here, Lora, we just got so much. We want to get your take on. Um, and, and we blink and it’s almost the top of the hour. Um, so this project, zebra, this is a very interesting, and, and first, if you could, if you could tell us, why did you name it? Project zebra?
Lora Cecere (00:52:49):
Well, project zebra is to define outside and processes. Our current processes are inside out. They’re based upon historic data and we’re just surrounded by all this market data. And so what if we could play on markets or market with bi-directional orchestration and use all the sensor, data news, all this point of sale data and use all the consumption data and build outside in processes. And, and I feel like a broken record for two decades. I’ve been talking about outside and processes. So in January I went to all the technology companies that I cover and said, I want to get serious about outside in processes. I think we should build a definition of outside in processes and help people with, how can they use unstructured data? How can they use telematics data? How can they use point of sale data and how can we drive processes outside in?
Lora Cecere (00:53:43):
And everybody else is like, yeah, yeah. Well, or you just don’t understand my software. We do it already. And I’m like, yeah, yeah, I do understand your software and you don’t do it already. And so, Oh, nine said, well, Laura let’s do it. And so we called up ASM, we called up four educators. We called up 12 business leaders and we started a council and we’re starting open source models. And we’ll release that at the ASM conference in June where we’re looking at, how do we build outside in models? And I’m excited that we’re doing this work.
Greg White (00:54:20):
Uh, Lora, so ASM is on board with open source, uh, uh, results.
Lora Cecere (00:54:25):
Right. That’s right. And so I actually have made a suggestion about how to redefine the score model so that we can actually look at what an outside in process looks like and try to help people with how to use consumption data, how to use weather data, event, data, telematics data, unstructured, text data, and to use data that comes in at all speeds and redefined planning. And the other thing that is really important to me is we had an assumption that we could have planning engines that could be used by planners with about two years of experience and that those people could influence the rest of the organization. And that’s just not a real assumption. And so I want to make planning available for the masses. I want it to be available on the chief operating officer’s deaths. Again, the, you know, the marketing team or the sales team. I wanna align outside in and put planning and decision support and redefined decision support everywhere.
Greg White (00:55:29):
You know what I, I love all of that. But what I love most is is you want to give the power to the people and that’s not blocked behind a gate or behind a membership or behind some big hefty event fee you’re, you’re contributing to the industry. And you’re helping whether you’re, you know, a chief supply chain officer and you’ve seen it and been there and done that. Or if you’re, you know, in the first year of your time planning or doing anything in supply chain, you’ve got this resource that you can, you can gain from this, uh, this new type of thinking and doing. So I love that Lora, I love, uh, that that’s a big part of this project, zebra and I love the backstory because I didn’t realize Greg did, you know, the zebras can change your stripes. So Lora, what did you, uh, what’d you encounter there?
Lora Cecere (00:56:16):
So project zebra, the analogy is that traditional supply chains can’t change their stripes. So to speak for conduct caught and tradition, but you know, the zoologists that the zebras couldn’t change their stripes, but they studied the zebras in Africa and Jenny, you can probably relate to this. And they found that zebras can change their stripes when they go to different habitat. And so our goal is to help zebras everywhere, which are supply chain leaders to change their stripes, to be outside in and to do a step change from their current thinking to drive value. And this is real important to me because this industry stuck and I want to unstick it.
Greg White (00:57:00):
Mm love that. And, um, looking forward, and what’s the one final thing. So project zebra, uh, you kind of touched on, we didn’t dive in deep with the network of networks, but all of it kind of comes together. You’ve got an event coming up in September and we hope we hope to collaborate with you to get that, uh, all that thought leadership out, but tell folks about the event in September.
Lora Cecere (00:57:20):
So I speak at a lot of events and it really drives me nuts that we’ve got a lot of event companies that put on horrible events, right. And you know, the recipe for a disastrous event is I have a big sponsorship and then I let the vendor get on stage and really take over the program. So not with Laura, so that Laura hands picks all of her speakers. And it’s based on the supply chain stood admire that we’re going to launch in June this year, it’s our ninth anniversary during the supply chains to admire. And I look for people that have really driven business results. And then I ask them to speak about their stories. And I look for changing business models and how people have been successful in supply chain and using supply chain to really leverage the business models and stories of leadership. And it will be in Franklin, Tennessee, and it’ll be in September 7th through the ninth. And we will be having about 90 to 100 people in a COVID friendly environment. And we’ll also live, cast it around the world. And I’m hoping that Scott and Greg are my moderators. And so people like Jenny I’m hoping are Groovin and South Africa on spiking insights, global summit.
Greg White (00:58:33):
Awesome. It’s so much to be excited for Laura. So Greg, I’m gonna get you to respond before we kind of wrap, but Lora Cecere I just thought I’m all. I honestly what’s that you’re still thinking zebras Sarge. No, no. I’m thinking of, um, uh, I’m thinking of what a service that, that is. I’m also thinking how I can utilize it to start a company and, and th and that it’s time for, uh, it really is time for companies to acknowledge their shortcomings. And Lora, we’ve talked about this briefly, but best practice in supply chain is often a cover for bad practice that we’ve been doing for so many years that we’re, we’re giving it cover. And we need to rethink how we’re attacking some of the problems of
Greg White (00:59:22):
Supply chain outside in applies. In my opinion, too many things, forecasting is not the least of which all of those indicators that Laura spoke to could have given us indications of things that we missed by miles pre and post pandemic. So, um, yeah, it, it’s an incredibly valuable service. And honestly, Lora, I know we’ve talked about this before, but I didn’t really get it until right this moment. So that is really, really powerful, a great service to the community. Um, yeah. And I’m interested in how that, that could really change how we attack supply chain preempt, frankly, a lot of supply chain problems.
Lora Cecere (01:00:02):
So if I’m successful, it will be like a patchy where it’ll be open source network. It’ll become kind of a community of technologists that are building these open source models and that we will change the score model to be outside in, to help people everywhere. Use all these signals that are coming to our doorstep, and that will make our current technologies obsolete. And then I’ll retire. Right?
Greg White (01:00:30):
Wait, we can’t, we’ll be happy to carry the mantle forward for you. And I, and I hope you get to do that really soon. No, no, we can’t. We can’t let Lora, you’ve got too much goodness to offer the industry for sure. And we see it here now that we’ve established. We love having you once a month. We’ll take you once a week, but now you’ve got a bunch of things cooking, and I want to share a couple of some feedback from what we’re getting here. So Evelyn, Evelyn, hope this finds you well. Great to have you here as part of live stream servant leadership ex excellent Sylvia as a global logistics veteran 40 years in County. Yes. We earn a seat at the head of the dinner table, Sylvia I’m with you there. Morgan really great insights today. Jenny says, uh, zebra, zebra, tomato, tomato, we’re there.
Greg White (01:01:16):
She says a big show. Bob Bova, uh, Lora, great guests, your perspectives while many of solution providers like us can get so frustrated to the same as it ever was. Mindset. Excellent talking heads moment. There Mohib score with logistic regression model. Very excited, very excited. And then finally Niehaus says planning is such a key function, almost a lifeline of any operations, always a pleasure, pleasure listening to you, Lora. We noticed, and they have a great point, but Greg and Lora, as much as I enjoy listening to what Laura has to say, we’re about action. These not words, and Lora’s doing it. And I can’t tell you, uh, you know, you’re bringing change to an industry. That’s got to have it and the pandemic. And then the, I mean the keeps kit keep coming, which illustrate why we can’t act like it’s 1982 anymore, not to pick on that year, but you insert whatever year. And you know, the industry industry has to change and as can take leaders to do it. And I appreciate what you’re doing there. Laura is, uh, we’re very honored to collaborate with you. So folks, if you want to, uh, get goodness on a regular basis, supply chain shaman is the best player.com is the best place to go, Lora, is that right?
Lora Cecere (01:02:32):
Thank you. Yeah, it’s the blog that I write on every week and if people want to follow me in Forbes, they can do that as well. And I’ve just started a new podcast on supply chain leaders. I have a lot of baby boomers that are retiring. So what I’m doing is I’m interviewing people about what was the leadership and what made it work. And what advice do you have for others for their careers? And I’m excited about the series because I’m just finding great insights. What do you call it? It’s a straight talk with supply chain insights.
Greg White (01:03:08):
Love it. A lot of goodness there. Well, Hey, Lora, big, thanks. I really appreciate you spending the last hour and some change with us. Uh, always a pleasure. And we look forward to reconnecting with you again really soon. Lora Cecere, founder of Supply Chain Insights, author of the popular blogs supply chain ShawMan and new podcasts are a straight, just sit straight talk. Right?
Lora Cecere (01:03:28):
Great tacos. Swatching insights is actually about 350, um, podcasts out there. I I’m not as high-tech as you guys, but you know, I’ve been, I’ve been doing it for a while and, uh, this is a new series on leadership. So I’m interviewing, uh, someone that’s either been in the industry 20 to 30 years and getting ready to transition. And I’m asking them questions. Like I just interviewed with Davis on influence management. Rick went through 28 years of turmoil at Kellogg. And how did he influence the organization and how did he maintain his own person in that old transition? And then next week I’m interviewing Jane who leads manufacturing for bear around, you know, dealing with diversity, um, you know, really building diverse. And her question is how do we drive innovation in the manufacturing world where we’re really focused on standardization? What’s the balance between innovation and standardization. So I think that’s going to be a great,
Greg White (01:04:36):
Yeah, it all sounds wonderful to me, Lora, thanks so much. And we look forward to reconnecting with you again really soon.
Lora Cecere (01:04:45):
Greg White (01:04:45):
It comes. There’s so much more. I wanted to bounce off of her, including the girl scout cookies conversation we had just before we went live, you know, we’re going to have to make that, uh, in the supply chain, behind the girl scout cookies and episode, a lot of folks may not know that Lora, uh, led, volunteered her time to the girl Scouts, uh, for years. And in fact, she was telling us as, as Greg, just ventured to Savannah recently, Laura talked about how she’d go there once a year. And because, you know, the chap, the girl scout, is it tribes or girl scout, um, whatever the small, uh, classes are. Well, there’s not a lot of funding for that stuff. And so Lora was talking about how, when they went down there and once a year they’d have one really nice meal seafood, but a lot of peanut butter sandwiches, uh, they get around the budgetary constraints and I loved that.
Greg White (01:05:41):
Even peanut butter sandwiches tastes really, really good. Well, Hey, Greg, man, I know we’re a few minutes over and I really appreciate everybody, all the comments we got. Uh, I know we couldn’t get to all of them and then we couldn’t get to some of the questions, but there was so much, we wanted to bounce off of Laura here today, big things happening. But Greg, what was your, um, and of all of what we, we tackled with the one only Laura Siri, what was your favorite aspect of the conversation? Uh, well, I don’t know favorites the right word, but most impactful was that Lora ha and, uh, you know, I, I realized this over the year, Lora has been encouraging chiding, um, brow beating the supply chain industry to advance for now decades. And we continue to resist apparently. And that’s, that’s disappointing in it.
Greg White (01:06:36):
And particularly now that that we have seen as bad as it can get. We’re seeing frankly, as bad as it can get. I think it’s time for executives in supply chain for people on the shop floor or the dock, you know, in front of the planning screen, whatever, and people outside of supply chain as well to recognize the value of what she’s talking about and to start to seriously employ it. Yes, it will be painful. Yes, it will be costly, but it will not cost you your brand equity. It will not cost you your ability to deliver to your customer. It will not cost you, you know, incredible financial risks like it continuing to ignore it obviously has and will in great measure. So it’s time to change your supply chain. Love that. I love that. Um, and troops girl scout troops. Thank you for correcting me.
Greg White (01:07:32):
Uh, Lisa Holden, uh, Bob big show, Bob Bova says, I may have to give up my big show title to Lora. She really crystallizes the mindset that holds companies back. Yeah, I agree. I agree. All right, so we gotta leave it there. And, and, uh, well, Nick rumor, you jumped in late. Hey, we were talking about your, your podcast guest gig early, uh, earlier on the front end of the show for this week in business history. I’ll check that out. You’ll love. You’ll probably love, love his, uh, Dundee, Scotland accent a lot, lot better than, than my, my South Carolina dialect. I love the story. So Nick great storytelling there. Okay. Everybody, uh, on behalf of our entire team here, a big thanks to Lora Cecere for joining us. Um, y’all can see just with each and every appearance. Why were some of our biggest fans, uh, big thanks to of course, Greg, back in the studio, back in the, uh, back in the saddle, we look forward to getting lots of picks from the Charleston and Savannah swing. Um, big, thanks of course, open techs for making it happen. Big, thanks to Amanda and clay and Natalie all behind the scenes to help us engage all these wonderful participants and on behalf of the whole team, Scotland and signing off for now. Hey, just like Greg and is talking, talking about it’s about doing good. It’s about giving forward and it’s about being the change and whatever that means to you. Jump on it’s Monday. It’s a brand new week. Let’s make it happen. You’ll have a great week. Everybody. We’ll see you next time.
Lora Cecere, Founder and CEO of Supply Chain Insights, is widely recognized as a global supply chain thought leader and recently received the 2020 Women in Supply Chain Influencer Award. Today, Lora has nearly 320,000 Linkedin Followers and is known for her high-value point of view and research geared at helping early adopters seeking first mover advantages through innovative supply chain strategies and market execution.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Data Analytics and Metrics Intern
Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.