Supply Chain Now
Episode 636

Episode Summary

In this episode of Digital Transformers on Supply Chain Now, hosts Kevin L. Jackson and Scott Luton welcome special guest Jeremy Deuchars, Business Development Manager with Esker, to the podcast.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

Welcome to supply chain. Now the voice of global supply chain supply chain now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues. The challenges and opportunities stay tuned to hear from those making global business happen right here on supply chain now, hello,

Kevin L. Jackson (00:32):

This is Kevin L. Jackson, and it’s a beautiful day here in Northern Virginia, where I’m excited to be presenting Digital Transformers on the Supply Chain Now with me today is Scott Luton out of Atlanta. Hey Scott, it’s going to be 80 degrees here in the nation’s Capitol, hot things down South gorgeous,

Scott Luton (00:53):

Gorgeous my foot. I’m looking right at my office studio here. Flowers are blooming. The squirrels are taking all my food, but it is gorgeous.

Kevin L. Jackson (01:01):

Wow. I mean, a spring has sprung and it’s almost some I’m looking forward to, uh, you know, everybody is getting the vaccines. We were able to get out of the home office. So, uh, wow. And, and, uh, to, uh, you know, cap it all all off. We’re going to talk today about the strategic value hidden in the cash conversion cycle with a Jeremy Deuchars of Esker. Can you believe that I can’t get much better than that got

Scott Luton (01:32):

Conversion. That’s right. That’s the X E X U X X, Y Z digital transformers right here on supply chain now.

Kevin L. Jackson (01:40):

Oh, wow. This is exactly why we do this. You know, ASCA has a cloud computing platform that uses artificial intelligence to just transformed the way customers and suppliers interact. They have found a way to serve customers better by promoting more productive and engaged employees. That that really sounds like a transformative undertaking. How do you think it can do that? Scott,

Scott Luton (02:05):

We’re going to find out today and, you know, I think we’ve got several great stories that will be universal and transferrable to what we’re all experiencing as we get through, you know, these, these crazy times that we’re experienced.

Kevin L. Jackson (02:18):

Yeah, absolutely. So maybe we can get Jeremy to expose their secrets, but, uh, but, but first I’d like to thank our sponsor Digital Names by Total Network Services. If you enjoy today’s conversation, be sure to find and subscribe to us wherever you get your podcasts. So now drum roll, please. I would like to get Jeremy in on the conversation to tell us the secrets behind Esker’s success. Welcome Jeremy. Hey there. Good to be here. Thank you for having me. No, thank you. Thank you very much. So, uh, tell us a little bit about yourself and, and ask her, where are you from myself who doesn’t like to

Jeremy Deuchars (03:00):

Talk about themselves?

Kevin L. Jackson (03:03):

Well,

Jeremy Deuchars (03:03):

So I’m, I’m a Midwestern guy. I, uh, I I’ve grown up in Wisconsin. I live in Wisconsin here. I’ll, uh, throughout my entire life. I had, uh, a quick stop off in Italy while I was, uh, studying in college. But, you know, growing up in Milwaukee is, is very much a, a blue collar town. Good folks. Lots of factories. Lots of beer. Yeah. So, uh, yeah, it’s, uh, it’s, it’s been, uh, it’s been very, very important in my upbringing where I grew up. Um, you know, a lot of who I am today just kind of stems from being a kid and picking up all the things that I did and now using them as I, uh, I venture outside of Wisconsin and, and start talking to folks both, uh, across the U S and internationally as well.

Kevin L. Jackson (03:51):

Uh, I like your hair, some more anecdotes about your upbringing, but the first question I have is what was in your bottle? Was it beer or milk?

Jeremy Deuchars (04:01):

You know, it was kind of like a milk with a beer chaser

Scott Luton (04:06):

What’s up. So really quick, you know, uh, I believe that Harley Davidson is based in the greater Milwaukee area as is the big brand, uh, Briggs and Stratton. Uh, some, some of our listeners may not know that in Milwaukee, uh, like you said, Jeremy, a big industry town, a lot of hardworking, good folks. So I looking forward to hearing how that does impact how you do and what you do day in and day out.

Jeremy Deuchars (04:29):

Yeah, yeah. You got it. Lots of, uh, lots of big industry, lots of history. Um, you know, and some of those places have moved on to greener pastures, but there’s still a strong foundation of, uh, of those businesses, those organizations and the, the people that really make them go.

Kevin L. Jackson (04:45):

You were in Italy for a while. So is that where you got your classical art background? So tell us a little bit about that. See, I’ve been doing my research.

Jeremy Deuchars (04:56):

Yes, exactly. That’s uh, that, that was really the culmination of my art education. So as you can imagine, you know, kids, they don’t, uh, they don’t pick up a cran and start writing Tolstoy sworn and piece it’s more or less, uh, drawing, stick figures and whatever, uh, whatever is really their big interest. So that was, that was no different from me. Um, but I, uh, eventually dropped the crayons and started picking up some more sophisticated art media, um, and, uh, and really focused on drawing, painting, uh, and then got the opportunity to, uh, to go to Florence and, uh, and work on restoring some 16th century Italian paintings. So, you know, they, they trusted me enough to, uh, to not, uh, not do any more damage, uh, to the, to the work that was there. And, uh, you know, there’s so much art. And so it’s so old, they’ve got warehouses and churches and, and any kind of facility full of these things. So they, they, uh, they let the youngsters work on, you know, so I was 19 years old and, and shaping the restoration of these priceless paintings,

Kevin L. Jackson (06:04):

How stressful was that

Jeremy Deuchars (06:09):

Was he always had a master kind of walking around a master restore and making sure that you weren’t doing too much damage. And, but, you know, it was really an honor. And it just kinda makes you, makes you, uh, think that, uh, you know, you’re kind of a small speck in the grand scheme of, of our history as a, as a human species. It is very humbling.

Scott Luton (06:30):

So many questions, so little time on this, Kevin, um, there’s a lot of reasons I love, uh, hearing the story. It came up in our, in our pre-show conversation. You know, there’s something for everybody in global supply chain and global technology, whether you study classical art, uh, or if you come from a STEM background or whatever it is, we need all and, and, and folks, the creative thinkers, gosh, we need, we need that in, in scores to solve some old and new challenges. So I love hearing that about your background, Jeremy, one final question, before we talk your prep professional journey, do you still dabble in art, uh, beyond crayons today?

Jeremy Deuchars (07:11):

I do. I do. In fact, my, my office here at home, which is where I am, and it doubles as my art studio. So what you guys are viewing is just kind of the plain business background. If I were to flip my camera around, uh, you’d see a little bit more, a little bit more interesting, uh, images and paint supplies and art tables and things like that. So we’ll, we’ll keep it professional, but, uh, yeah, I, I do, uh, try to maintain that and yeah, I’m, I’m on a plane. Traveling for work. Sketchbook always comes with me. It’s kind of a, it’s a good way to kill two to three hours on the plane.

Kevin L. Jackson (07:48):

It didn’t need to do a lot of moods and classical art series.

Scott Luton (07:56):

However, we are going to get Jeremy to paint us a picture indeed more on the technology side, some more, more to come on that momentarily, but first Kevin let’s get a sense as we continue to kind of get a sense of Jeremy’s perspective and context and really worldview. Uh, so Jeremy professionally, talk to us before your current role. Talk to us about a couple of key positions that help shape that world.

Jeremy Deuchars (08:21):

Yeah, yeah, it’s a, it was a journey indeed, as you can imagine, there’s not a huge market out there for the starving artists. So coming out of college, I had quite a few, uh, different jobs that, uh, eventually led me into technology. Um, in, in my, uh, first big job in, uh, in technology was working with a company that provided both hardware and software solutions to companies of all sizes. And it was really focused on working with the it departments and developing their infrastructure back then it cloud was just starting get going. So I really got to see how people in these companies were, were really, uh, either gravitating toward the idea of kind of letting some of their infrastructure and their, their architecture go and, uh, and lean on some of these, uh, early cloud providers. Um, but I saw the, the flip side of it too, where people just, they don’t want to let it outside of their four walls. So they, they start to, uh, they start to close up and then ultimately it puts more burden on them as professionals in it. Uh, and it makes their, it makes their lives a lot more demanding.

Jeremy Deuchars (09:31):

That’s right. That’s right.

Scott Luton (09:33):

New term. I’m going to write that one down every time I rub elbows.

Jeremy Deuchars (09:38):

I do like that negative and positive connotation right there.

Scott Luton (09:43):

Yes, that’s right. Um, all right. So, uh, anything else you want to share about the previous position before we talk about that proverbial Eureka moment?

Jeremy Deuchars (09:52):

Yeah. You know, as, as I, as I grew through my, uh, my career early in it, um, I really got a sense of, of what was really driving people. And, and a lot of it back then was it ruled the roost. They said, this is what you can have. This is what you can use. And there is no if ands or buts about it, but as, uh, as time went on and there were, there started to become more consumer devices out in the market, we saw a lot of, uh, C-level executives saying, you know, I have this in my personal life. This is really cool. I want to use it at work. So they, more or less went to it and said, you will put this on our network. You will support it. And that really started the boom of what I’m seeing today now is, is business is driving. And they’re really looking to their it colleagues to help support their initiative. So it’s, it’s opened up a lot of what companies are doing because it’s not so much tunnel vision, and that’s nothing against it folks, but, uh, you know, they tend to be very focused on what’s going to be stable. What’s going to be easy to support and really that can end up limiting, um, you know, what the business could be capable of if they have the right tools in place,

Scott Luton (11:10):

Consumerization of, I T really removed the blinders, so to speak to your it teams. Yeah, absolutely. Well said. Okay. So you already kind of touched on some, some critical lessons learned and in your last few comments there, but what else really sticks out as a, as a, uh, a powerful Eureka moment as part of this professional journey of yours?

Jeremy Deuchars (11:33):

What’s a tough one. This guy, I wasn’t ready for that one moment. Honestly, I don’t think there was one moment. The key for me was always just keeping my eyes and ears open and paying attention to the little things. The sum of those is really what started to hit home for me. So it was necessarily a one, you know, Hey, do you know the exact time and date now? Um, you know, it’s, it’s been a career of, you know, 15 plus years of basically trying to be a student of wherever I am. Um, you know, and some of that goes back to my art training because you really are more or less an observer, um, not so much the, the actor, but the casual person that sits and tries to learn. And, and that has led to, um, you know, where I’m at now with Esker and basically seeing what people are capable of, even when they look to scale, that kind of thing, whatever they’re trying to do out to a, a global stage

Scott Luton (12:36):

First understand. I’m not sure whoever said that first, but, you know, Jeremy, you strike me after several conversations we’ve had with you as, as a true student, whomever, whatever organization you’re trying to help go in there and understand the current state, understand the objectives and apply technology in a practical way, not, not latest bill whistle or gadget. So I bet folks appreciate that about you.

Jeremy Deuchars (12:57):

I hope so. That’s kinda what I strive for at the end of the day. It has to be their choice, not mine, and I’m merely there to lend some insights, some experience, and then put it out to them as to what they think is going to be the best move for them next.

Scott Luton (13:11):

Love it. Okay. So before I toss it back over to Kevin, of course, Esker, uh, is, uh, your organization. I want to, for the three folks that may not know about Esker, uh, I want to make sure folks understand what, what the company does because you all received gold going back here just recently, a number of different awards, uh, food logistics, 2020, uh, top 100, uh, software providers, software and technology providers, and several others here just the month of April. Um, so clearly you’re all being recognized for what you do, but what, in a nutshell, what does Esker do?

Jeremy Deuchars (13:42):

Yeah. Well, thanks for the few plugs there. I appreciate that. I’d like to say it was all me, but, um, of course [inaudible] so I get all the attention. Yeah. So, so where organizations are really leveraging the technology that we’re offering is, is on the order to cash or procure to pay, um, cycles that every company, no matter how big, how small you are, doesn’t matter your industry, you’ve got back office processes. Um, if you’re a large company, you probably have back office processes from one location to another, that look nothing alike. Um, so where folks are looking to, uh, to, to use this type of artificial intelligence process, document automation is, uh, to help, um, streamline their processes, create some consistency across the board. Um, take away a lot of the manual tasks that are involved in a day to day accounts payable, or customer service role back to it, where we’re trying to take some of the burden off of them. And that’s where people are really recognizing a lot of value is, is having, uh, you know, one platform that they can use to really drive a lot of what keeps their business going. Yeah. I hate to use the term lifeblood, but it is pretty appropriate. Um, because that’s, if you don’t have cash coming in and going out, you’re really, uh, you’re really gonna struggle for, you know, for a bit absolutely. The lifeblood, uh, whether you’re a small business, medium business or a global empire.

Kevin L. Jackson (15:17):

Um, so I like that analogy, but Kevin, yeah, yeah. I think that’s important. But one thing, you know, we were talking about how the history of business, so to speak and, uh, before the consumerization of it, I was the world. I was a world where the customer is always first. Right. And whatever the customer said, the customer’s always right. And it was employees be damned. Right. But I was really impressed by one of the earlier conversations we had where, you know, SEO is really focused on optimizing both the customer experience and employee experience, and maybe many other organizations are following your lead. And that, can you, uh, maybe talk a little bit about the customer experience versus the employee experience in order management, digital order management and how you use the cloud to optimize on both of those?

Jeremy Deuchars (16:19):

Yeah. So it’s, it’s pretty amazing that such a simple concept has really taken a, a while to catch on, um, you know, from my perspective, if you’re not keeping your customers happy, if you’re not keeping your vendors happy, uh, nobody’s going to want to work with you. So it, it, it, it, it really boils down to something as simple as that. And, uh, and just this year I heard a term and it was actually shared with us by, uh, the CEO of our company. It was positive, some growth, you know, it’s amazing that you talk about a Eureka moment, Scott, that that’s it for me right there. Um, I’ll say that it is really just, um, putting a name to a concept that we’ve really been trying to drive home with, uh, with people that are, are, are taking a look at this type of technology in the marketplace.

Jeremy Deuchars (17:09):

And what it boils down to is, is that there’s enough good to go around for everybody. If I’m a I’ve, if I’m running a company and I, uh, buy into a solution or bring a tool in, yes, it’s going to help my, my people that are actually using it. But what about the other departments in the, uh, in the company? You know, can they benefit? Yeah, absolutely. What about our customers externally? What about our business partners? So it’s really this whole idea of we can help one another be successful, and it doesn’t have to be solely focused on this one department or this one person. So really that’s, that’s been, uh, just a, uh, an awakening for me is that, Oh yeah. Okay. Now and now it’s catching on. Yeah. I even Googled it. I was like, Oh, is that a, is that an original or a, or did you find that somewhere?

Jeremy Deuchars (18:02):

And you Google it and you find some articles, you find some thought leadership, uh, pushing that, that term around. But I think it’s really going to catch on now because, um, you know, coming out of this pandemic that we’ve all really had to struggle with. I’d say the only way the vast majority of companies are going to survive and then start to, to flourish again, is if we are thinking about one another, you know, there, there is no monopoly when, you know, the entire economy crashes down around you, that w what are you going to monopolize? You’re going to, there’s nothing there. So I I’d say that’s, uh, uh, been a pretty big driver for people looking at these order to cash and procure to pay tools. They just may not know.

Kevin L. Jackson (18:48):

So wonder if things that, uh, we’re seeing in a business environment is the growth of the term ecosystem and that, uh, replying to the fact that you operate and a business ecosystem with customers and suppliers, and even in many, many, uh, areas with your competitors, and it’s sort of a dance of, uh, communications and data. So it, it, it seems to me that this digital order management is a way of communicating, exchanging data across your ecosystem. Is, is that in line with the way you see it?

Jeremy Deuchars (19:32):

Yeah. I think that that’s, that’s right, right in there. And, and, um, you have these platforms that, that people are really drawn to because, and I’m going to go back to my art training again. And if I’m, if I’m boring you with this, um, let me know. But you know, for myself and my own personal life, I look at my role in what I’m doing. And whatever I’m doing is, is try to be a Renaissance man, try to be an expert in as much as you can, but know that you’re never going to get there. So there’s this whole concept of, of continuous improvement. And I apply that to what I see out there in the business world, it business, it, it makes no matter what role you play in your company, you want singularity in terms of unified tools. You want consistency. So it doesn’t matter what job you perform.

Jeremy Deuchars (20:24):

You want a platform. And I think that’s why some companies do really well when they offer tools that span the entire need of an organization, not just being a one trick pony where it’s, Oh, we do this really well, because then what happens is, is companies have to buy into them. And then they got to go elsewhere, uh, to fill a gap in somewhere else within their organization. So, um, yeah, I think that, uh, really order management and digitalization of that process goes beyond just taking orders in fulfilling orders. There, there are so many other areas and so many other people that those processes touch that if you can find a way to reach them now you’ve got a secret sauce.

Kevin L. Jackson (21:11):

Yeah. It sounds like it’s all about that transparency and visibility in to the process. What do you think about that, Scott?

Scott Luton (21:18):

I think it’s a table stakes doing business these days. Uh, you know, not only do business leaders and employees and team members demand it, but perhaps even more importantly, consumers demand it. So I love, I love your take, uh, what you’re sharing here, Jeremy, and we’ll talk as much classical art as you like. Kevin’s middle, middle name is Leonardo. You may not know that there are

Kevin L. Jackson (21:45):

Mean

Scott Luton (21:46):

It is. It really is fascinating because we’ve gotten to be so creative in how we design and how we engage and how we meet the consumer, where they are and how they want to conduct business. And, and, and, Oh, by the way, there are so many great challenges. Um, again, those that have persisted forever, uh, that we still can’t quite solve or, or not even come close. And then those that pop up, like so many new ones that popped up, uh, as, as we’ve shifted to remote work, or as we’ve shifted to, um, you know, the fight against COVID-19 or whatever it is, and then whatever it’ll be in 2022, you know, the curve balls, the only guarantee is that they keep coming. You’re just not sure exactly in what form or fashion. So I, I love we’ll, we’ll, we’ll keep talking to this classical art angle because there’s so many important transferrable lessons learned to, uh, digital transformation and supply chain.

Jeremy Deuchars (22:38):

I was just going to, I like the fact that you used the term creativity, um, because it, it, it’s extremely relevant. And I think if you can look at things in different ways, that’s where you come up with business solutions that are really going to help drive to your bigger picture goals, exceeding revenue goals, margin goals, um, you know, driving cash flow and things like that, that yeah. Leaders, they, they, they wanted, they have to be focused on that, but there’s so much more that falls underneath it. And I think the only way to get to those, um, to those apexes is, is really to think about how can we do it different? How can we not settle in? So kudos to you? That’s a good word.

Scott Luton (23:20):

Well said. So Kevin, I think we’re going to, um, there’s a couple and Jeremy has kind of touched on a couple of different examples when it comes to, uh, CX and ex right. Customer experience and the employee experience. But is that where we want to go next? Kind of share some, some deeper examples?

Kevin L. Jackson (23:37):

Well, one of the things I was thinking, I really liked the term, uh, he called herself a Renaissance man. Right. You know? Um, and, and, and in your, in your role, as you are working with your customers, um, you know, do you lead them through a Renaissance? How does, how does ESCA help its customers and re-inventing their own process?

Jeremy Deuchars (24:04):

Yeah. I’m going to clarify one thing though. Kevin is, I’m trying to be a Renaissance, man. I think that, uh, that’s just kind of a lifelong journey that, uh, you know, yeah, exactly. So, but yeah, absolutely. That’s, that’s what, um, that’s the way I approach working with people. And I’ll tell you a quick story of a customer that, uh, manufacturing industry at a, a pretty decent size group of customer service reps. So, you know, up in the mid twenties and my first visit on sites, I’m talking to the director of that group and he says, look, I, uh, I told everybody, you were, come in, you’re going to be doing some observation, give us your insight at the end of the day, but I didn’t tell them, I told them you were from a paperless company, not an automation company because they hear automation and they go, the robots are going to take a and, uh, you know, it’s okay.

Jeremy Deuchars (25:03):

All right. You know, and, and that’s where I think that that was a big miss on that individual’s part in trying to socialize that automation is, is creativity. It’s, it’s changed, but it, it can really be good change. Um, but he used it more of a, well, we’re going to Dodge that, and then drop a bomb on him later. If we decide to go with you and let them know, Hey, this is what we’re doing. So, yeah, I think, um, if you don’t get people starting to think about change in a positive way, cause nobody likes it. We have heard that over and over, but if you can get them to start realizing that, ah, you know, if we just shift our perspective a little bit, it’s gonna be good for me. It’s gonna be good for my coworkers and my customers. And, and really that that’s the whole goal. If, if you’re really going to invest thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of dollars in technology, you want it to reach and not just impact one person. So really it’s, um, you know, just kind of opening, opening your mind if you will. And with, with spring and full bloom, I think that’s a great parallel and, uh, you know, something that we can all relate to at this point.

Kevin L. Jackson (26:13):

No, I think it’s always about getting humans to do what humans are good at and that’s using their mind using their brain, using their imagination, striving to become that Renaissance person, as opposed to the drudgery of what robots do. You know. I always think of it. Think of it that way I team releases the human to do human things. Powerful visual. Yeah.

Jeremy Deuchars (26:44):

Yeah. It’s a, it’s a great, it’s a great way to think about it. And I, I, I tend to do that myself. So yeah. I mean, let the robots do what they’re good at. Let the people do what they’re good at. And it’s really so much more than what the robots are good at, you know, give it 20 years and maybe the robots will catch up, but I, I still doubt it.

Kevin L. Jackson (27:02):

So let’s talk about remote working and the impact that can have on businesses. I think you’ve had a lot of experiences there and you see that regularly with your customers, right?

Jeremy Deuchars (27:12):

Yeah. Yeah. You know, for a lot of companies, they were, they were thrown into the, into the lions and when, when CDC and whoever else in public authority and health said, you can’t go into offices and work, so you gotta be home. And there were some people that had set themselves up for remote working, leveraging cloud tools, as many as you can, that’s a great way to do it. Um, but there were some companies that were, you know, they lost days, some even weeks of productivity because they didn’t have the, it infrastructure built up for their employees to work at home. Now, once they did and then factoring in the people that were set up right away, everybody I’ve talked to is said, you know, they’re thriving, they’re, they’re working. Maybe their hours are a little off, you know, because they’re not eight to five strictly, but they’re productive.

Jeremy Deuchars (28:02):

They’re getting what they need to do during the day. But then they’re spending a little time on their own unprompted, um, you know, taking time away from their personal life, their families, their friends, and doing a little bit of work just because they have the ability to do that at home. So, you know, even before this, we scratched the surface with work from home hours that the teams had to earn, you know, it was like a gift. It was, you know, a privilege. Um, and you know, with what happened over the past year, it was a necessity. And I think people are finding that it’s definitely possible. And it’s with the help of certain technologies out there that offer that work from home experience. It’s, it’s really been a good thing for business.

Kevin L. Jackson (28:45):

Well, you’re, you’re talking once again about the employee experience, do you think that is here to stay? How, how, how should people look at this post COVID world? Or are we going back to co no normal? Or is this a work come home thing now?

Jeremy Deuchars (29:03):

Yeah, I think that’s a, a pretty interesting tight rope to walk because while you’ve got, having people able to work from home, if you’re in a bigger city, you’re cutting out in your commute, you’re able to spend more time with friends, family, because you don’t have that hour or two hour long drive. But I think the risk is you, you might start to sacrifice or see a degradation of teamwork. You know, we’ve got webcams, we’ve got good audio devices, but looking at a two dimensional screen, um, and, and, you know, try to relate to your coworkers or share ideas. It doesn’t always work because you can’t talk, you can’t interrupt. You know, everybody’s kind of, uh, well let me talk, pause, and then somebody else can talk. Uh, I know we’ve all done the zoom happy hours and, and they’re fine if that’s your only option, but I think once offices can start opening up, we’ll see, uh, uh, a small Exodus of people out of their homes back into the office. And I think that’s a good thing, uh, because I, I definitely don’t want to see everybody, you know, in their sweats, working from home and, uh, and, and losing that team vibe that is really important. And depending on what your role is at your company, um, it’s really a key thing that, that shouldn’t be overlooked in my opinion.

Scott Luton (30:24):

So, you know, Kevin mentioned earlier about at T is unleashing the beast and letting you know, humans really explore the art of the possible essentially. However, kind of like, kind of, not exactly the opposite, but not on a different foot. How can we take some of the pressure off a T’s plate because they’ve got, you know, the, it pros, the technologist is smart. People like, like Kevin and Jeremy here, they’re there they’re powering so much right now. Right? Uh, you gotta, you gotta huddle in your servers, as Kevin said earlier, because everyone’s depending on how Jeremy, how have you seen, um, uh, companies and business leaders and solutions take some of that pressure off these, these, uh, these artsy plates?

Jeremy Deuchars (31:04):

I think people are being really smart, really careful about how they migrate into cloud applications. And you’ve got the big well-known companies out there that are offering platforms, um, for their workers. And it’s almost a no-brainer to invest in those different types of technologies. But, um, what I see is people going into this journey with a thought process of this is a big change. We’re not going to enter into it lightly. We’re really going to do our research on what’s available in the market, but ultimately it is going to come down to who’s a solid player. Who’s got industry experience, who’s got connectivity and strong platforms that are going to be able to help me. And just more than one area of my business. And those are the players that are really going to get a good look from companies out there. So, yeah, I’ve, I’ve seen it where even, even, uh, companies that I had been working with for years, they’re always taking a look.

Jeremy Deuchars (32:02):

They’re always curious as to what else is out there. And, and they should, they should do that because they may find something that’s a better fit for them. But, um, because that’s happening, I think a lot of the companies that started off saying, you know, we’re going to offer this one tool. That’s going to help you in this one little facet of your company, um, start to say to themselves internally, what else, what else are we going to do? And, and I, uh, I, I had a, an executive, uh, in it leadership, um, come into a company. She was brand new and she wanted to talk with me about, um, you know, all right, what if my colleagues, and one of my predecessors really talking to you about what about this, this order automation process that they’re looking at? So we had a nice chat and I said, well, this is what’s been looked at. And after that, she, she said, what else can you do?

Kevin L. Jackson (32:53):

Yeah. What else you got for me? Well, as a us leading the industry, how do you deal with change, uh, with, with, with your customers? What are you, how are you answering that question? You know, what have you done for me lately?

Jeremy Deuchars (33:12):

Yeah, exactly. I think that the core of it comes down to really understanding what our customers and what prospective customers are really looking for. You know, we don’t do anything in R and D development without getting real world feedback from our customers or, or other people that are just taking a look at us. And I always tell people, Hey, you’re, you’re taking a look at us. My sales cap is off. I just want to listen. And you tell me, are we, are we driving down the right lane? Here? Are we, are we starting to hit the Mark with what you would really need in a real world situation? And, uh, and that it’s nice. It, it really, it gets them engaged and it, it starts to be a free flowing conversation of ideas rather than just, uh, a sales pitch and a prayer for a sale. So, um, you know, that, that’s where we really focus on is just listening to what, what those folks are saying, and then keeping up on, you know, just market publications, listening to what Gartner and the other big industry analysts, um, you know, that really is our, our spirit guide when we’re, when we’re, uh, trying to, uh, to figure out, well, how do we, how do we develop, or how do we better our solutions, um, to meet these real-world needs

Scott Luton (34:27):

Well said. Okay. So we’ve talked a lot about, uh, different illustrations, uh, as, uh, that you’re seeing as it relates to, you know, the CX, the edX, the UX, you name it. Um, especially from that, that order man digital order management standpoint, let’s go a little bit broader here as we start to wind down on the conversation. What else have we not talked about here today that you’re really tracking and got your finger on the pulse of when it comes to global business?

Jeremy Deuchars (34:55):

Well, you know, I, I, what I see is a big miss and opportunity with a lot of people is, is getting that change agent, uh, to, to step in and say, okay, globally, what are we doing? And, um, you know, it’s almost a little bit like a culture war you see from one region of the world to another, they’ve got their processes, they’ve got the companies they like working with, and you never liked to be the guy that comes in and boots out a solution or over a vendor or a partner that, that is really doing some good work, but in service of trying to unify organizations globally, or even looking at the SMB space with smaller type companies, you want to set those folks up a good and growth because as you scale, um, it, it’s easy to say, well, we’ve been doing it this way for 10 years and we’ve been successful.

Jeremy Deuchars (35:46):

So I think that that’s something that a lot of, uh forward-thinkers but then it’s, it’s hard to find those in some cases, to be honest. Um, they’re, they’re looking at things in that way, but that’s where I see a lot of, uh, well, you hit it. Scott went with X as the common denominator experience, you know, do you want people to have the same experience just as they have for years and years and years? Or do you want to maybe push the envelope a little, little bit and say, we’re going to try something new and it’s going to change your experience, but, you know, we’ll find out if it’s, if it was worth, uh, you know, worth the endeavor. So I think that that’s a big thing, but then also I’d mentioned earlier, um, taking a look at a process like sales order processing, what else is happening in that department?

Jeremy Deuchars (36:38):

Customer service account management. They’re not just placing orders, they’re taking quote requests, they’re tracking, they are trying to up sell. So I think where, where the, uh, the leaders in technology offerings, when it comes to automation are really doubling down. Is that whole, what else? Attitude, what else can we do? What else do people need? Um, and I think that’s, that’s, uh, definitely, um, something I’m expecting to see more and more is people asking, well, what else can it do? Because yeah, you may be solving my current problem, but how are you going to help me track toward this bigger vision that I have because, you know, things are gonna go wrong in the future. You know, things are good. You’re going to get those curve balls. It’s inevitable. But if you’ve got your mind positioned for, well, okay, I know it’s coming. So what can we do to prepare I, those are the ones that are going to succeed now for the next 10 years before something happens.

Kevin L. Jackson (37:42):

Sounds like you need some more digital transformers on your team

Scott Luton (37:49):

That it sounds like that. And it also sounds, um, you w w we’re reaching the holistic our, of the information age, and, and as Jeremy’s pointing to, rather than, than this tiny solution that helps these three people here or this tonight in this bill and whistle that helps this department here, we’ve got to really embrace and, and, and view the system at the systems level. Right. Um, upstream and downstream. What, what’s the holistic solution? That’s going to answer that question. Well, what else you got? So, Jeremy, I love hearing your perspective, but Kevin, that’s just some of my, what I’m hearing Jeremy say. What, what else are you hearing? Uh, Jeremy?

Kevin L. Jackson (38:25):

Well, you know, he was talking about the experience and also the communication up and down the chain. I think the consumer experience and the employee experience, they both depend upon, uh, a communications channel. That’s established a clear communications channel established between the two and no matter what product or service that you’re delivering, uh, giving both sides, uh, visibility and transparency in what’s going on with respect to the, uh, supply chain and delivery processes. Um, you know, where the products are coming from, where they’re going. I think it’s in the end. It’s all about that communication. And when you have a service offering, uh, that, uh, um, the big equities like cloud the cloud services at S-curves delivering, I think that that’s where the world needs to go.

Scott Luton (39:22):

Mm. Yeah. It’s becoming table stakes, undoubtedly. Uh, okay. So Jeremy, I, uh, I’m sure, especially y’all too, uh, Jeremy and Kevin could talk digital transformation for, for hours to come, but we’ve got to kind of, uh, uh, pull up for now, but let’s make sure folks know how to connect with you and the escrow team, Jeremy. So how can, how can folks compare notes with you?

Jeremy Deuchars (39:43):

Yeah, I, I, uh, Esker a website is a great way. Um, you know, there’s always that lovely contact us form, um, that we’d love to have folks go and visit and, uh, put their info out there. There’s also a lot of good information on the website. It’s esker.com E S K E r.com. It’s a good way to get in touch with us. It’s also a good way to do a little bit of research on your own. Um, it’s so big with folks now. They don’t necessarily want you involved in that, that first phase or first step of the process, which is fine. So there’s an opportunity to do that with all kinds of goodies and downloads and things like that. Um, so I’d say that main way. Um, eventually you might get routed to me and if you do, then, uh, I’ll be happy to talk to you. Otherwise, I’ve got many, many capable of coworkers that are also chomping at the bit to, uh, to learn and, and, and talk to folks out there and see what their experiences and see how, uh, how they could use our help.

Kevin L. Jackson (40:38):

Is that a Renaissance man at ESCOs that [inaudible] thank you for that, Jeremy.

Scott Luton (40:50):

Absolutely. Well, so we’re going to make it easy. Kevin, we’re gonna make it really easy. So of course, escrow.com is the site that, that Jeremy is talking to. We’re gonna drop a lot of links in the show notes. So folks have that one click to connect. Uh, also Kevin, we’ve got an awesome webinar coming up in July health, and do you hear awesome webinars in the same sentence, but, uh, but this is really going to be, you know, the cloud space and, and, um, uh, order order to cash and all the things that makes that happen in this current era, there’s a ton of, uh, thought leadership and best practices. We’re going to dive in deeper in a webinar the last week in July, and we’re gonna make it easy. We’re gonna put a link to that webinar to sign up for free in the show notes of this podcast episode

Kevin L. Jackson (41:34):

As well. So, uh, Jeremy, it has been a pleasure to have you here on digital transformers with, with, uh, our fearless leader, Kevin L. Jackson, here at supply chain now, and really appreciate your perspective. One final question for a toss it back over to Kevin. How are the brewers are going to finish up this year? Well, I think we’ve got a full season, 162 games that that’ll take us to the world series. So I’m calling it right here, man. Oh, go and bold. I like that nipping at the heels of a, of those playoffs in tenders. So I think this year could be the year. I’m going to write that down and we’re going to have you back to sea port call a butter burger on that prediction there. Jeremy, we’ll save that for next time. All right, Jeremy deuchars with Esker. Thanks so much, Kevin. We seem to be, uh, out of time. So, uh, I’d like to thank and invite everyone to check out a wide variety of industry thought leadership@supplychainnow.com where you can find this and other podcasts, please, wherever you subscribe on your podcast, please click that a supply chain now.com and don’t forget digital transformers. So on behalf of the entire team here at supply chain now, and this is Kevin Jackson and Scott Luton wishing all of our listeners a bright and transformational future. We’ll see you next time on digital transforming.

Intro/Outro (43:15):

Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now, community check out all of our programming@supplychainnow.com and make sure you subscribe to supply chain. Now anywhere you listen to podcasts and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on supply chain. Now.

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Digital Order Management Strategies to Optimize the Customer & Employee Experience

Featured Guests

Jeremy Deuchars has been working with people on their technology-based and process initiatives for the past 16 years. Since joining Esker in 2013, organizations of all sizes have found value in partnering with him to evaluate their Order to Cash and Procure to Pay cycles. A focus on educating leaders and change agents about automation strategies has resulted in a positive impact for people and their companies, as well as, helping them foster stronger customer and vendor relationships. Connect with Jeremy on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Kevin L. Jackson

Host, Digital Transformers

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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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Allison Giddens

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.

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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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Mary Kate Soliva

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.

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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 reading.

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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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Billy Taylor

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.

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

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.

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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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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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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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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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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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