Supply Chain Now
Episode 629

Episode Summary

In this episode of TEKTOK, powered by Supply Chain Now, host Karin Bursa welcomes Jason Tham with Nulogy to the podcast.

Episode Transcript

Intro (00:01):

Welcome to TekTok digital supply chain podcast, where we will help you eliminate the noise and focus on the information and inspiration that you need to transform your business impact supply chain success and enable you to replace risky inventory with valuable insights. Join your tech talk. Host Karin Bursa, the 2020 supply chain pro to know of the year with more than 25 years of supply chain and technology expertise in the scars to prove it Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Join the conversation, share your insights and learn how to harness technology innovations to drive tangible business results. Buckle up is time for TekTok powered by Supply Chain Now.

Karin Bursa (01:13):

Okay, welcome supply chain movers and shakers Karin Bursa here. And I am so glad that you are with us today. For this episode of TekTok, the digital supply chain planning podcast. We are going to dive into a really important topic today. We’re going to talk about your supply chain, of course, but we’re going to talk about determining if your supply chain is agile or fragile, and you know, it’s an understatement to say that we’ve been living in interesting times really unprecedented times, and we seem to have really entered a period of perpetual volatility and as such agility flexibility, the ability to sense and respond and make changes that are meaningful for our business have never been so important. Long gone are the days where predictable consumer demand and dedicated retail channels made planning easy. I know it didn’t feel easy at the time, but it certainly was easier than it is today.

Karin Bursa (02:18):

Today we’ve got challenges of changing channel mixes. We’ve got product portfolio changes, and you know what? It’s hard for brands that have been well-established to really retain and grow market share competition is fiercer than ever. So addressing and understanding your own supply chain, agility, your own flexibility. It can’t stop at your four walls. You’ve got to reach out and assess the agility that you have. The levers you can pull by looking at your network. That includes your suppliers, your customers, your transportation partners, your manufacturing partners, co-packers your distribution network. The list could go on and on. So as you look at your agility, look at your own operations, but then look out broader, look at the way that you rely on trading partners to bring your products to market and to serve your customers well, and assess if they’re enabling your brand to pivot and respond quickly, or if they’re hindering your ability to be more responsive in the marketplace and diving into this topic today with me is Jason, Tham, and Jason is the CEO of a company called Nulogy. Jason. Welcome so much. It’s great to have you here on time.

Jason Tham (03:50):

I’m very glad to be here. Karin. Thanks for having me.

Karin Bursa (03:54):

Yeah, absolutely. Clearly. Nulogy has a point of view here around gaining agility in the marketplace. In fact, I’ve got to tell you that I read a white paper that was produced by your team and it was called why your supply chain is brittle. And it really got me thinking about this theme of am I fragile or am I agile? And so kudos to your team. You gave me some good things to think about Jason, would it be okay if we made that available in the show notes so that our listeners could download it?

Jason Tham (04:29):

Absolutely. Absolutely. I’m very excited to talk about the subject because it’s obviously near and dear to me. And as you said, the whole pandemic has highlighted the importance of understanding agile and fragile supply chains.

Karin Bursa (04:41):

Absolutely, absolutely. You know, before we dive into that topic and I know you and I could go on for hours around this topic, but let’s get to know you just a little bit. Let’s introduce you to our audience. Give me just a little bit of information about yourself.

Jason Tham (04:57):

My background is in, thanks for asking is, uh, I co-founded Nulogy over 15 years ago, but if I think back, the actual story of Ngugi dated before that, because my background in consumer packaged goods and supply chain, so I worked in a very large consumer packaged goods company. You probably familiar with Kellogg’s. I worked in manufacturing and then after that worked in contract manufacturing as well. And that sort of exposed me and sort of was a Genesis of understanding the problems between in the supply chain and the bowl effect and how brands were doing what they do best, which is bread spending and more and more contract manufacturers, contract packagers could add value and bring the community together between brands and manufacturers. There’s a whole set of, uh, of, of challenges but opportunities. So my background’s been in CPG then founding the company to help solve for some of these problems that are in the supply chain.

Karin Bursa (05:52):

Great. So that tells us a lot about you. It gives us a little bit of a feel for our Nulogy some of the problems that you solve, but tell us just a little more, maybe some of the companies or an example of a problem that, that you can help a company solve with Nulogy

Jason Tham (06:08):

Yeah. At Nulogy we, we focus, uh, we are a technology company, it has solved the problem and a very specialized way between a brand and any manufacturer contract manufacturer. So if you take some of our customers like Proctor and gamble, L’Oreal Dwight, Amar’s a lot of food beverage, a lot of health and healthcare and beauty products, and also other wellness products in the, in the pharmaceutical space, more and more a brand must interact, transact and collaborate with its external supply chain partners, whether it be a contract manufacturer, a packager, a three PL to be able to launch that product. That means plan for make that product package and distribute that product. And that set of interactions is really what we specialize to bring together through a platform or frictionless way of collaborating to synchronize the information flow, to be able to launch those products better. So

Karin Bursa (07:12):

I love a lot of things you just said, and I want to dive into that in just a moment, but before we get started, just a little context. So am I to understand that Nulogy can compliment what my ERP system does or what my supply chain planning system does, or does this replace those capabilities?

Jason Tham (07:29):

We very much, uh, our, our vision in the beginning was to really not be the ERP that was to compliment the ERP and ERP is in the name it’s enterprise resource planning, it’s your enterprise, but what happens outside your enterprise, all a set of interactions that occur. So they have an ecosystem effectively of suppliers and customers and contract manufacturers and packagers, and third party logistics companies, and those third party logistics companies, and third party manufacturers have also customers. So how do you interact? How do you transact? How do you bring all that information together? And that’s the focus. We very calm, very much compliment the ERP,

Karin Bursa (08:12):

Right? So that makes a lot of sense to me and for our audience out there, it’s, it’s the opportunity to reach out and really accelerate that information flow. And we’re going to talk about that in a little more detail. As we dive into this topic of becoming more agile in the marketplace, or reducing the fragility of your supply chain on that topic, we find that many companies have established their supply chain network. It’s really been built on Jason. What I would refer to as a very rigid infrastructure. It’s been based off of doing things like large lot sizes, standard product offerings. And it really hinders our ability to flex, right, to increase with demand or to decrease or repurpose production assets, to produce a new set of products or accommodate a change in mix or packaging that might be important. And those things have been increasingly important in this time where channels have changed so significantly where I’m getting stuff delivered at home versus going to the store and doing a purchase. You know, we can deliver supply chains that are predictable, right? Supply chain likes predictability. It likes routine, but it gets really challenging when we try to introduce new things and do it quickly. Right. So fragile means I can’t do that. I can’t sense I can’t respond. I can’t repackage. What are you seeing in this area of some kind of examples, if you will, of fragile attributes of businesses and maybe where companies should look at its own capabilities? Yeah.

Jason Tham (09:56):

So doing one thing over and over is infinitely easier than doing one thing once or only maybe few, few times. So the ability to be able to launch different types of products and be more resilient to different changes in the environment is all throughout this concept of agility. And the pandemic has certainly highlighted what now is a household name? Nick’s supply chain. I think of my, my kids. And when, uh, in the beginning of the onset of the, of the pandemic, when you could get paper towels, I think it’s, it’s, it’s it’s supply chain. So now anytime they can’t get something, they, they, they, they chalk it up to like, Oh, it must be a supply chain issue. But really the supply chain issue boils down to the fact that you have these fragile supply chains and sometimes the supply chains can break. And that does result in a household like mine or yours, not getting, or any consumer, uh, not getting what they expected to get that result of a fragile supply chain can be outages.

Jason Tham (10:59):

And that’s been revealed really this past year with the pandemic, uh, everything that you and I consume as humans has the supply chain from harvesting a resource to converting that manufacturing it, packaging it just to be at. So there’s a whole set of kind of breaks that can occur within the supply chain along that journey from that resource that finished good. So when I think of fragile supply chains, it’s not, it’s not the ones that are able to take impacts. It’s when they’re under stress, they break agile ones are the ones that can accommodate for, um, for disruptions. Agile ones are the ones that can take that stress. And there’s a relationship between agile supply chains and fit a supply chains as well. If you think of your, your, your, your body, you know, we were asked to be more fit, physically fit, and that means trusting your body, but thinking long-term and fragile supply chains, things very short-term they’re like, what can I do this in the next quarter or the next year? And not looking at investing in the long-term, which is what agile supply chains are really focused on that long-term view of, like, there might be a black Swan event. There might be some disruption there might be. So I have to invest to be fit, to be agile, to be able to econ stresses and disruptions that may occur so that we don’t have outages of paper towel or soap or whatever it may be if such a such disruptions do occur.

Karin Bursa (12:32):

Yeah. You know, I have a really funny story about the paper towels or toilet tissue, um, back on the onset of COVID and the shortage of paper towels and toilet paper, et cetera. My son ordered toilet paper online, and this is a perfect example of mics. He paid no attention to the size or shape. He just ordered toilet paper. He got a 40 pound box of industrial toilet paper. The big rolls, the really big rolls of toilet paper, right. But that’s a great example of mix, right? The manufacturing type, what lines produce those big industrial roles versus what we as consumers would use at home. And so that ability to move and to flex by capacity type or end item and package appropriately is a very different conversation. And a point that many companies found themselves pivoting on in very short order with the disruptions that have occurred.

Karin Bursa (13:37):

So I always think of that when I, when I hear somebody talk about, you know, the paper towels or the toilet paper, you know, it was the big joke for awhile was he now has a year supply of, you know, industrial toilet tissue, if anybody needs that. So just a kind of a funny story there. Jason, when we think about supply chains and you’ve been in the supply chain industry, you’ve now seen it from a brand perspective from a, a co-packer or a co-manufacturer perspective as well. Maybe you could tell our audience, they may not be as familiar with the term co-packer or the term co-manufacturer. Can you give us just a basic understanding of what that means in the context of a supply chain? Yeah.

Jason Tham (14:22):

Uh, a co-packer a, co-manufacturer a really a strategic partner to any brand that is making, launching a new product and they can play in various parts within the supply chain and the actual formulation and making that finished good right through to some customization or end channel to provide it, not only through retail, but through some e-commerce. And, uh, I would say, you know, it’s a tremendously fast growing. If you turn on any kind of a shark tank episode, if you look at even some of the smaller brands today that are launched, just through an idea. And, and, and one of the, the, the sharks, uh, Mark Cuban asked how you launching this product, they’ll blurt out the word a co-packer or co contract manufacturer, because they’re a critical point of, of make planning and also delivering this product on behalf of the brand, which means they must have the Goodwill, the compliance, the traceability, and the constraints that any brand would have if they were making it themselves. And the brand gets the advantage of getting a speed to market often at times, and also sharing resources of a production line that otherwise would have to be committed to only themselves. So that’s, that’s the role of, of a contract manufacturer and packager.

Karin Bursa (15:42):

I think that’s really important. So it becomes this lever that a brand can use or a business can use. You know, it’s, it’s actually in the industry, we will see that there are brands in the marketplace that don’t own any production assets whatsoever. Their product is completely produced through a network of manufacturing partners, or completely sourced as end items and brought in. So these levers, this ability to increase or decrease and respond to market changes becomes increasingly important. Now, Jason, one of the reasons, you know, I can see the value proposition there, right? I don’t have to own the production facility. I don’t have to worry about managing a production team that runs, you know, three shifts a day, and I can rely on the expertise of others to do that to my specifications. So that becomes a very quick and easy way for a business to gain flexibility or presence in the marketplace. But to do that, I’ve got to coordinate not just what’s happening in my company, proper within my proverbial four walls, but how they’re performing against my needs. So that’s really where Nulogy starts to come into the equation. So give us a feel for how Nulogy is able to really accelerate that flow of information that prioritization and even doing things like maintaining good quality specifications.

Jason Tham (17:15):

Yes. So you described it exactly almost a, what Adam Smith said is that, uh, organizations, if they can specialize and work together is what will actually create a more prosperous nation. So what we’re seeing is brands specializing in branding, contract manufacturer, specialized coach manufacturing, but there’s a whole set of activities that occur to be able to make package and distribute that product. And what, uh, Nulogy focuses on is enabling that brand. And I, I do believe the, the future to brands who can leverage their external manufacturing and packaging supply chains to make their products faster and more agile, safer, and with less waste. And to do that, there’s a set of even recipes, bill of materials, traceability requirements, from a lot perspective, such that when they’re making a product externally not known one of their own plants, they have the assurance, the guarantee of outcomes, the recall capabilities, the whole traceability genealogy of making that finished good, like it’s at their own.

Jason Tham (18:24):

And that visibility as well, likewise, a, a contract manufacturer is making product, uh, on behalf of that brand can do so with the upstream visibility of the forecast and collaborate on any changes on, on whether it be the purchase order and pre-qualify them to be compliant to that brand specifications in that finished good nature. So I think there’s a whole sort of mutuality that occurs there. And often this is a set of back and forth information that is passed. But now with the cloud, it’s like the perfect forum really to collaborate, bring together a set of data and information so that everyone’s working on a common set of, of, of truth that reduces sort of the bullwhip effect that we all know in supply chain as well. So that’s the, that’s what news you we’ve really focused on bringing the community together, synchronize that information, driving mutuality, allowing the brand to be more effective and efficient. And also the contract manufacturer packaging on a three PL to have the most updated information pre-qualified and also to be able to serve that brand, uh, with speed. And,

Karin Bursa (19:31):

Yeah, so, so I love that for a couple of reasons. One, I like to look at techniques that can help us accelerate time to market. Can we get there faster and with less risk? Secondly, our listeners here on tech talk will hear me say this time and time again, but I want to replace risky inventory with valuable information, right? It stores better. It moves faster. And it helps me to align my business around the most current demand signals in the marketplace. So I love that you’re bringing that aspect together. Now, one thing many of our listeners may not realize is that even within brands, within some of these large multinational brands, many of them have grown through acquisition. So I was in a conversation with a CSCO for very large brand before COVID hit. And he turned to me and said, look, my company has 42 different ERP systems.

Karin Bursa (20:32):

So if I tell you, I’m not integrated into myself, much less, have challenges, bringing supplier information and bringing customer information in, and they can do that, but responding in a consistent manner and measuring the business in a consistent manner across each and every brand and each and every go to market team. And I think that that’s a real opportunity for the marketplace to gain more agility, right. I need to build confidence and trust in that data and the signals that my business is responding to. So when you talk about, you know, where Nulogy can help to boost agility, it’s not just data transfer, right. It’s gaining insights from that data. So tell me a little bit about that.

Jason Tham (21:27):

Yeah. So it’s, it’s the, how can one embrace variability in the market to compete on velocity? That’s what we’re talking about. So the data that one can, can, can leverage is understanding where is capacity available, because if I want to be a fast follower with, uh, with a new category of product that might be launched, how do I find that within an external network to be able to launch that? Or maybe I want to be a very quick one of our, one of our, our customers as his church and Dwight. And I think that they’re one of the better performing public traded CPG companies, because they have a very clear strategy to be asset lean asset light, and they can launch products very rapidly through that. And how do they, how does any brand assemble this assemble or reassemble network of suppliers to be able to respond to that demand, to make it make it product?

Jason Tham (22:24):

Because a customer retailer might say, may say, I have some space for some end cap displays. Can you make this well, the brand who can say, I can make this in this manner to fill this up is going to win. So that the real ability to embrace that variability to compete on velocity is absolutely key. You also brought up Karin, you, you, you said that I might do work with a manufacturer for a certain period of time. A trend might change. I might have to, uh, launch something new and I would bring up the concept of this temporary permits. So how can I temporarily do work, but guarantee an outcome irrespective of who I do work with. So if I have you said the 42 ERP and, you know, in a single CPG it’s, it’s, I, I’m not surprised to hear that. And I think the whole chasing of like, it’s going to be one year for, for everything.

Jason Tham (23:25):

I’m not sure about that anyways, but if you think of the external, there’s a heterogeneous set of sub suppliers, heterogeneous set of systems, how do I bring him home region 82, that and Lisa at our company, Nulogy we take a platform approach to bring homogeneity to those very vast sets of data to, to be able to, um, bring homogeneity. So you can bring, uh, a set of guaranteed outcomes because they are permanently, uh, connected to your platform. But right now only maybe do business within three or four months of the year versus forever more because nothing today is, you know, is forever because forever is a long time.

Karin Bursa (24:07):

Yeah. Yeah. So I think, yeah, again, you said several important things in there. First thing is that many businesses are highly seasonal or have product offerings that are highly seasonal. That’s a great opportunity to leverage some manufacturing partners or co-packers and distribution partners in the mix to handle those highly seasonal items. Secondly, you mentioned just a moment ago about new product introductions. And this is an area where working with a manufacturing partner or a co-packer can really add significant value, right? If you have production assets of your own, you may want to do steady state with those and use your partners to do a new product intro and to be able to test if you will test market those products and see what kind of traction they get in the marketplace, because the bottom line is more than 50% of new products fail, right? So many of those CPG companies want to produce, distribute, do some test marketing, understand what that looks like, and then they’ll talk about the long-term plan or the longterm best strategy.

Karin Bursa (25:20):

So that’s important. And then finally, you know, when, when these CPG brands, when you think of things that grocery, for example, if those products are on promotion, we can see tremendous spikes in demand, you know, 300% during that promotion period. Likewise, if our competitor is on promotion, we may see our demand suppressed during those periods of time. So having production partners that can help us to, to flex and increase more as we go and promotion in certain regions or in certain channels, and then to be able to ramp down during times when we’re in a, in a normal demand pattern, you know, that’s pretty, that’s pretty important as well. When we think about ways to add agility in how we go to market.

Jason Tham (26:14):

Yeah. I, uh, if you, you know, five years ago, we knew that e-commerce, and, and the effect of, of commerce through these, uh, promotional campaigns had an effect, but you wouldn’t have thought like through episodic commerce, you could almost sell out a product before you even make it right. So small, those spikes of three, 400% are real, even in the fast moving consumer goods category. And when you mentioned these large national brands, how they’re, it’s through new product introduction, but even more, more, uh, upstream, they’re sometimes investing in an idea and an idea, you, you, you, you hear about a craft or a Nestle recently buying a food kitting business, or they bought bounce onto full this past on the vitamin side, right this past week, you know, that health trend, uh, they want to make sure that, you know, they get up, get a piece of that. And, uh, the largest food company kind of makes sense. So how do they leverage now their distribution channels that are network now with this new sort of product mix, uh, that they can, they can also have vitamins seeing this example, which is growing in the, in the health category, for sure. So there’s, there’s a numerous amount of examples in the, in the market right now that I think is very exciting to be in supply chain, to enable brands to, and contract manufacturers to capitalize on. For sure.

Karin Bursa (27:37):

So you hit on another topic that I think is important as well, right? If I’m a brand in the marketplace, a large consumer brand, my consumers have a very specific expectation of my product, a specific performance criteria. If it’s food and beverage beverages specific taste criteria, a specific packaging that they’ve become accustomed to as well. So communicating and tracking these standards, when you’re working with trading partners, when you’re working with a co-manufacturer or manufacturer manufacturing partner, or somebody who’s doing some late stage postponement for me, and how it’s packaged and sent to the consumer, to the retail location, that brand equity is really important. So how does Nulogy kind of help to reinforce those guidelines?

Jason Tham (28:30):

Yes. If you, if you think of, so newsy today plays in or 50% of the customers we serve in food and beverage. So there’s compliance requirements from a food just overall governing standpoint there at the same time, if you’re ingesting a product in the food, or even in the pharma side, those companies like Nestle, I mentioned like Abbott, um, like some very leading premier brands want to make sure they have very quality products in the hands of the consumers. And those third party manufacturers and packagers are making it or packaging it on their behalf and what is required. There is quality and quality of that product is making sure that it’s the right it’s going back to that perfect order, the right product at the right time, time with the right recipe, the right quality specs and so forth. And so how can I make sure that that is up to the standard that is expected, uh, even if it was not made by me, but someone else and do what you really brings that ensures that, that the third-party manufacturers is compliant.

Jason Tham (29:37):

It has all the quality specs in order to compliance requirements from regulatory perspective as well. And they can share that information readily with their brand to give them the confidence and comfort. And obviously today in a, in a virtual world in the past year, uh, for more of our customers now be able to do some virtual audits because they weren’t going and walk the floors. They can see what is happening in there if they wish, if they wish. Um, but it really ties in a very deep collaboration between a manufacturer and a brand to work together to make that product, uh, at the quality specs and requirements that that consumer would, would want.

Karin Bursa (30:22):

Yup. Yup. And I, and I think I know the answer to this, but how does it happen today? How is that information communicated? When, when a company doesn’t have Nulogy, is it spreadsheets and email? I mean, how, how are they sharing information between trading partners?

Jason Tham (30:40):

Yeah. Today, believe it or not. We talked a bit about the ERP. Everyone has an ERP enterprise resource planning, but it’s for me now, how do I externalize it information? There’s a set of information. That’s both static and dynamic that I have to share. So often that’s exported by some spreadsheet, maybe some emails, some phone call, and that is continuously shared, but it’s does delay the latency of that. There is potential and not the actual truth because of that, that, that, that live information as well. And it’s just not effective and efficient to, to share this information. So the answer is whether it be on the shop floor or the back office, a lot of that information is captured through sometimes believe it or not paper pencil,

Jason Tham (31:29):

It is. And we at Nulogy take our customers through this foresee journey to digitalize digitally transform the external supply chain, capture that information, connect it back in, allow deep collaboration. That’s the third C and then add cognition or AI intelligence on what’s been captured so that both parties can understand a concrete example is when a new product is launched. There’s a first articles approval. That means a contract manufacturer needs to make maybe a first run at that product and then share how the product was first made. That means everything from qualitative and quantitative checks knew that you can digitalize that whole process and share that information, but then also approve the process for the first article or first finished. Good. That’s made such that that’s now digitally, uh, confirmed. And then I can actually go into my, my long-term, um, or my actual production launch. So just an example there of being able to give the confidence and not in the past has done some first article. I did all the checks and balances. I filed this, maybe scan it, I send it to my customer. Like that’s capturing this and iPads at the shop floor, being able to share that, um, get that digitally stamped, uh, taking a picture of it, make sure that you actually have all the compliance requirements there, um, before the product is in fact, uh, put into production. Yeah.

Karin Bursa (32:57):

So again, just another great example of accelerating that information flow, right. Or reducing the latency, but also making sure that as it’s communicated digitally in that format, I don’t have to worry about wasting my, my human assets on re-keying information. And I don’t have to worry about the introduction of any errors in transposing numbers or statistics or forgetting details around a quality spec or anything in those process. So, uh, I think that that becomes very important as well, right? There’s as few times as possible, let me collect it once and then be able to leverage that data for all the intents and purposes where it can add value in the business. I think as a part of that, it becomes really important to understand that Nulogy is not just doing data collection, right? You’re interpreting the data or helping to identify where risks may exist or where sequencing of production may take place. Or if I’m meeting my deadlines for customer, you know, order fill and, you know, on time in full. So that becomes important as well, right? Because in collaborating amongst trading partners amongst a brand and one of it’s manufacturing or co-packers, or, or three PLS, it becomes important for them to be on the same page and to understand where they are in meeting all of the criteria for the business as well.

Jason Tham (34:23):

Yeah. And you know, if you’re making everything with one party, one may think it’s much easier, which is true, but when there’s multiple parties involved in the make package distribute, you know, processes to say, things can go awry and gain visibility of variance to plan and on time and in full and any exceptions on the various apply new G uh, surfaces that and can share amongst the parties. Well, this is, uh, you know, where we might be varying off the plan, whether it be a lack of lack of inventory, or just maybe the production process itself in work in the work process, the working process is, is, is, is off plan. So that is, um, absolutely some of the exception handling that, uh, will be surfaced through to Nulogy. Yeah,

Karin Bursa (35:13):

So that, that makes sense to me as well. So Jason, once, once I have Nulogy in place, you know, there’s this concept of supplier liquidity, right? Or the ability to move from one supplier to another supplier, or to reduce my risks by having similar suppliers in the marketplace. And I think we go back to the pandemic. This has been a big point that many, many companies have talked about is they need to reduce risk by having multiple suppliers in their network, or by doing production closer to the market, that those products will serve as well. And for some companies, you know, some of it is they’ve moved some of their suppliers and manufacturers out of China and into other regions, right. That, that might be more about, um, you know, trading relations than anything else, but, but that ability to flex right back to this, this conversation of agility and being rigid or fragile in your business, that the ability to onboard, or, or, or off-board a supplier in my mix, what does that look like? Like if I, if, if I have competency in Nulogy and I’m using it and I want to onboard a new trading partner, how quickly can that happen?

Jason Tham (36:36):

That’s a, that’s a great, a good question. It can happen literally within weeks, which often in the past would take months to do and wrought with risk. So being able to plug and play, um, so this notion of, of presence on network 15 years ago, you’d be like on presence on a network, but with the ability to have a platform approach where you have your suppliers and it’s mutual here, because in a supplier have, has more access to business as well, gives the ability to onboard offboard, but create more capacity. And I believe that’s why brands today are, are, uh, outsourcing more of their manufacturing and packaging. And he will do more if they can do so in a, in a, in a more frictionless way with less risk. And, and that’s, that’s, uh, absolutely what Ngugi enables a brand to do.

Karin Bursa (37:32):

So w when you, as CEO of, of new Lydia, I’m sure you’re talking to some of the world’s biggest brands on a, on a regular basis to the chief supply chain officers or global supply chain officers. When they’re talking to you and they’re engaging with Nulogy Jason, what are they asking for when they talk about agility or they talk about market response, or they talk about visibility? What are some of the things that they’re looking to achieve? The outcomes that they’re looking for,

Jason Tham (38:02):

They are looking for? And like you said, we’re very proud to have a set of wonderful customer. Some of the premier brands, as I mentioned, uh, Proctor and gamble, Mars, one, a largest cosmetics company L’Oreal as customers using us for many, many years, that what they want is to be able to have that speed to market the, be able to, uh, have agility in launching new products that really are sometimes customized for that endpoint long gone are the days of one product, one fit for one type of geography or demographic. I think proliferation of skews certainly took a pause with the pandemic or, or shrunk. But I think that if you look at what’s upcoming, now, I don’t know if it’s going to be the boom or the twenties, but it’s going to be something I think that’s going to explode in terms of the type of variability of products.

Jason Tham (38:54):

The brands that we’re talking to and working with is how do I launch new products? How do I do so with the highest of quality and respond to the ever-changing trends and demands, not only the type of product, but the different channels, you wouldn’t have thought that people today could sit back or would have to sit back on their couch and order a bag of chips of Frito-Lay all right. I mean, that’s what you do today, or you had to do last year for sure. And I’ll just say one of the largest chip and snack food companies leverage us for that, that regard. And not only just through the retail of the Costco and Walmart, but for the direct to consumer side where you can effectively go to the website or their website click on, on that mix and they’ll pick the flavors of chips and in, and get that product delivered that variability of channel is something that wouldn’t have been thought of probably or accelerated, certainly because of the pandemic. So,

Karin Bursa (40:01):

Absolutely. And I think a lot of that variability is here to stay, right? I think that we, as consumers have changed for the foreseeable future in the way that we order some products where expectations around that. And not only now do, uh, let’s say food and beverage companies need to be able to package for their food services business, right. Which may be in 20 pound packages than their regular retail or grocery channel, which may be an a pound package. Now we look, we’re looking at also single serving sizes, right. That might get distributed as you expressed, right. To the consumer at home. So lots of changes in packaging, those are great packaging examples, but then also the channel that those package really travel through. Right? So back to my son ordering, you know, a 40 pound box of toilet paper, that’s not, he would never do that again.

Karin Bursa (40:58):

Let’s put it that way. No, it’s a mistake on his part. Um, but I think as consumers, we expect to be able to order, you know, in the quantity that we want, just when we want it and know, by the way, as consumers, now we have an expectation that we may get it same day or within 24 hours or 48 hours as well. So that’s a different lever of agility as well, where, you know, a three PL can come into the mix. We can look at distribution center placement as well, and we need that flexibility and how pack, how products are packaged and shipped to get to the desired customer is as well. So lots, lots of great examples. I want to come back to. So for our audience, I’m going to make available this white paper from Nulogy. The white paper is called why your supply chain is brittle.

Karin Bursa (41:47):

And it really got me thinking about this topic of Mir gel, or am I fragile? And what can I do? And does that agility come just between, you know, my proverbial four walls or the assets that my company owns, or can I really harness agility in the marketplace so that it can do some of the things that Jason dam has been telling us about today? I can ramp up my production, I can pull it back. I can adapt to seasonality. I can accelerate new product intros. Jason, I love what you just shared about new product innovation, because I’m with you. I think there’s a lot of pent up and innovation. That’s going to start hitting the market, right? So the CPG companies, haven’t just been sitting back, they’ve been thinking about new products, new flavor profiles, new packaging, that’s going to come to the market as well. So this is a big opportunity to work with trading partners to really gain agility with those introductions, um, in the coming months and years,

Jason Tham (42:48):

Uh, it’s an exciting time to be in, in, in supply chain and consumer packaged goods. Absolutely. I, I think so then one of the highlights in this sort of, uh, even, uh, economy has been a mainstay, but I think it’s about to really take off in a, in a, in a meaningful way here. I’m excited for sure.

Karin Bursa (43:05):

Yeah. I think there’s lots and lots of opportunity. Jason, what final thoughts do you want to leave with our audience today about becoming more agile or perhaps reducing the fragile nature of their supply chains?

Jason Tham (43:18):

I think the, the greatest opportunities is to get started. You have to get started. Uh, it’s always important to continually reassess and refine your digital enabled strategy within supply chain, but get started, look at, um, how my network is performing, uh, look at mutuality. How can I, um, drive not only benefits for me, but also my other trading partners, because I think that’s, that’s often, sometimes what’s missing. Uh, and, and what is at stake here is the ability to get, uh, more, uh, freedom, freedom of choice, a more resilient and agile supply chains, and, uh, be able to be more innovative in the eyes of the consumer because, uh, one has the ability to launch these products through not only some new, uh, category, but also some new channel. So I think that’s, that’s a very much the exciting part, um, of, of what we’re we’re in. And the time is now, Tom is now where everyone’s sort of taking the order on the frontend as sort of installed. I would say like you can, uni’s consumers have access to so much options in the world of what we it’s delivering and meeting those expectations. So that’s where I think the back end stuff is, is a and the mid sup is where, um, the opportunity for chief supply chain officers and CEOs of companies, uh, have to look at

Karin Bursa (44:38):

All right, good stuff, great insights. I want to thank you. Jason Tham, CEO of nudity for joining us here today on tech talk and for our audience, I hope these insights are going to raise your supply chain IQ. I hope we’ve given you a few things to think about, and I want you to go back and look at your business and look for those opportunities to increase your agility or reduce the fragile nature of your current supply chains on the topic of raising your supply chain IQ. I want you to be sure to check out the many great digital resources that are available to you on supply chain now.com. And while you’re there find tech talk that’s T E K T O K, and I’d like you to subscribe. You don’t want to miss a single episode. This is Karin Bursa, host of tech talk, the digital supply chain podcasts want to help you eliminate the noise and focus on the information and inspiration you need to transform your business and replace risky inventory with valuable information. We’ll see you next time.

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Is Your Supply Chain Agile or Fragile?

Featured Guests

Jason Tham is the CEO and co-founder of Nulogy, a globally recognized software company that connects consumer brands with their external suppliers to bring customized consumer products to market with agility. As the heartbeat and driving force behind Nulogy, Jason spearheads the company’s strategic direction and product vision. For over a decade, Jason has championed the advancement of agile, interconnected, sustainable supply chains. As a distinguished thought leader, he has presented his vision and strategies at industry conferences around the world and serves on several industry association boards. Nulogy’s technology is used by some of the world’s most recognized brands to enable agility and responsiveness in their supplier networks. By leveraging digitalization through Nulogy to increase supply chain efficiency, responsiveness, and collaboration, brands and their supply chain networks are able to navigate today’s volatile, ever-shifting consumer landscape with flexibility, ease, and speed. Connect with Jason on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Karin Bursa

Host, TEKTOK

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.

With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Jamin Alvidrez

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

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

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business.  Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM.  When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or singing second soprano in the Grayson United Methodist Church choir.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Natalie Dutton

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Ben Harris

Host

Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).

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Page Siplon

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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We’re always looking for new talent to work with us. Apply below if you are interested in joining the Supply Chain Now team.

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Scott W. Luton

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

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

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.

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