“What I see is as much as we advance and are enlightened with the technological advancements that we see, there’s still a lot of issues around culture. What jobs can women do? Can they be out at night? What do they need to wear?”
– Azuka Chukwuelue is the Supply Chain Director at Kimberly-Clark Nigeria
Everyone in supply chain is accustomed to planning, but the scope of the planning that is required varies widely by location. In North America and Europe, planning efforts may include multi-channel transportation or embedded device monitoring of shipment conditions. In Nigeria, that planning may extend to providing infrastructure and even power to locations before an operation is able to function.
Azuka Chukwuelue is the Supply Chain Director at Kimberly-Clark Nigeria. She is a chemist by training, but a supply chain professional by passion. Often told that she acts older than her age, she has a natural tendency to take ownership for problems with the hope of finding solutions to them. As she advises the women around her, “You have to know what you want.”
In this episode, Azuka shares her kinetic point of view with special guest Jenny Froome and Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton:
· What it is like working to make products available in an area where they have to be both commercially viable and also socially acceptable to the target consumer
· The day-to-day realities of building and operating a manufacturing facility in a country where 1 in 10 homes do not have access to power and companies are often responsible for providing their own infrastructure
· The internal and external barriers that keep women from rising in the corporate ranks or from entering fields like manufacturing and supply chain, and why the answer is women being more “audacious”
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. Hey,
Scott Luton (00:00:32):
Good morning, Scott Luton, Greg White and soon Jenny Froome all right here on supply chain outs to get ready for a wonderful, yeah. And in fact, you know, Greg, we’re going to break some records here. We’re going to, uh, we’re going to do two swooshes cause we’ve got a very special co-host of the session. So let’s go ahead and bring on Jenny Froome with Sapics. Jenny. Good afternoon.
Jenny Froome (00:00:57):
I like being smooshed this more. I called it earlier this week.
Scott Luton (00:01:01):
Right? Right. Well, so Sydney to have you back with us, we’ve always enjoyed our in front of the camera conversations in our, behind the camera conversations, you name it. Uh, our, we enjoy tweeting and sharing gardening pictures, you name it. So Jenny, you are a colorful character and we’re great to have you here back for another episode of our, uh, supply chain leadership across Africa series. So great to have you, Jenny, Jenny, I don’t know if you know this. It is a holiday here in the States. It is national supply chain day inaugurated last year, April 29th by Mary Kate love from Georgia Pacific and point a, uh, it is officially, it’s an officially recognized day by the U S national archives. How about that, man?
Jenny Froome (00:01:48):
That’s amazing. We’re going to have to adopt that here. I think
Greg White (00:01:52):
We gotta hurry cause we’ve got a parade later, so,
Jenny Froome (00:01:55):
Well we love public holidays here. We just had one on Tuesday, which meant Monday was one as well. So we could definitely do with one on the 29th.
Scott Luton (00:02:04):
Oh, that’s awesome. We know in, in true 2020 fashion, during that live stream, April 29th, 2020, we lost internet connectivity, uh, halfway through the national supply chain livestream. So if that wasn’t a bearer of more bad things to come in 2020. So I think we, uh, I think we turned that into a discussion around resiliency and agility right back into supply chain. Mary Kate was on the show with us then. So I wouldn’t know I got cut. It was great. Scott, as far as you know, we did. Great. All right. So today though, today again, the topic is supply chain leadership across Africa. We have one guest we’re very thankful to be conducting this series with our dear friends at sapics, which are doing great things in South Africa and beyond from a supply chain networking business leadership standpoint. So be sure to check them out. Jenny and her gang at Sapics.org. Okay. So right. We’re going to bring on our guests here in a minute. Uh, after we say look to a few folks which will come after we share a couple of program notes here. So Greg, you ready? Let’s get to work. So today the main channel we dropped the replay of the supply chain buzz, which is PowerBar friends, OpenText, and Greg, we had Laura’s story, whether it’s on Monday and she was down, am I right?
Greg White (00:03:23):
Dynamite is a key word because she blew up blue yonder and their new deal with Panasonic. So if you have any questions about her feelings on that deal, you need to tonight tune in to this because I think she nailed it first of all, and as always, right. Nothing but truth bombs from, from Laura. So, and we talked about some other topics as well, and of course, um, how not to buy supply chain planning technology, and you know, some of the things that she’s doing it is so great having her on a real live influencer before they were even called influencers.
Scott Luton (00:04:00):
Right? No kidding. When, when she tackles a topic, uh, the globe global industry does certainly listen and yeah,
Greg White (00:04:06):
Well, I do. And eventually I hope we all act because that’s one of the other things we talk about is she has been talking about so many things for so long, uh, that we just need to, we need to get off the dime and, and start doing
Scott Luton (00:04:19):
Agreed. Uh, so get your popcorn ready because Laura and Greg may have had an opinion or two around that blue yonder Panasonic deal. Um, now who is this guy? So also this week we published the latest episode in tequila, sunrise, really a classic episode. One that’s been well received. And as Greg talking about stuff that he knows very well. So Greg, in a 32nd or less clip, what are folks hearing about via this episode?
Greg White (00:04:44):
So many investors and founders and observers want to get into or know about supply chain tech. So I just spilled the beans on supply chain tech, how tough the industry is, how complex, uh, and some of the realities of, if you want to start a tech company of what your life will be like. And, and this is just the start of a short series. So after this, I’m going to tell people how to pitch their company in three minutes. It’s a 17 minute video Scott that tells people how to pitch their, their company in three minutes. So Mo much like Benjamin Franklin, if I had had more time, I would’ve written a shorter letter.
Scott Luton (00:05:20):
Awesome. So check that out wherever you get your podcasts from tequila, sunrise, T E C H tequila. Sunrise. No, wait, Greg discipline arrogant. See what we did there. All right. So finally, one last program, a promise. So great episode teed up today. So stay tuned for wonderful conversation. And tomorrow we’re continuing our reverse logistics series with our friends, Tony Schroeder, who was also one of Jay’s friends, uh, via the reverse logistics association. I think Tony and Jenny got some collaboration up their sleeves perhaps, but reverse logistics and returns is a, um, it’s only gonna grow in importance as of course e-commerce continues to grow and grow and grow. Okay. So folks, I am so excited. Jenny and Greg about our guest today, let’s say hello to a few folks, uh, in the, uh, what, uh, either Jayman or Greg or someone deemed as the cheap seats.
Scott Luton (00:06:12):
No offense meant. It’s just where we get to observe these things, right. Uh, Peter bowler is back with us once again, Peter hope this finds you well, look forward to reconnecting soon. Aaron SMI tack. So Aaron has a new role and I can’t remember the company you joined Aaron, but congratulations. Wow. Hit it out of the park. That’s right. I’m sure she will do tell Aaron. Yes. Aaron drop into the comments. Tell us, tell us what you’re up to now. Shannon is with us via LinkedIn. Great to see, of course Amanda and clay and Allie are all behind the scenes, helping us make today’s live stream happen. Kayvon is with us back. The, the, the good doctor, uh, Chris Barnes is a spotting doctor, but kit Kayvon is one as well. Soon to be, uh, so great to have you here, Daria potential. So Daria hope this finds you well, look forward to releasing a conversation with you. Uh, I believe next week, we’re dropping that episode. So Daria doing some great things in, uh, in India before he moves to Atlanta, which is coming up soon. Uh, let’s see here, Monta Dar via LinkedIn. Great to see you here today. Thanks so much for joining our dear friend, Gary Smith, up in New York. Jenny, he’s a big fan of yours. I know.
Greg White (00:07:20):
Well, I do hope the snow is gone for good from New York, right?
Scott Luton (00:07:25):
Amen. Uh, Carolyn, uh, I think I said that, right. If I didn’t let me know, uh, is tuned in via LinkedIn. Great to see you here today. T squared who holds down the Fort for us on YouTube, but he’s gonna talk about nourishment and goodness here momentarily, but, uh, welcome on Friday. Okay. So, um, I know we couldn’t get to everybody. Please get your voices and your perspective ready. You’re going to want to weigh in on this conversation here today. I want to welcome in our special guests. So, uh, Jenny and Greg, uh, by the way, I know I didn’t want to dominate all the hellos, uh, before I introduce our guests. Any, any additional shout out shown again?
Greg White (00:08:01):
Well, Shannon acknowledged the day. So I think we ought to say hi to her, right? Yeah.
Scott Luton (00:08:07):
Yep. Absolutely. National supply chain day, right?
Greg White (00:08:12):
You gave us a woot also
Scott Luton (00:08:15):
In K love, who is soon moving to Wichita. I believe we got it.
Greg White (00:08:19):
She’s already there, Scott. She does not mess around. She is the true logistics professional. She’s there, she’s bought a house. I gave her some restaurant tips for Wichita yesterday. Um, and yeah, and I think we’ll, we’ll hear more from her shortly. Awesome. Awesome. She is working with Koch disruptive technologies now
Scott Luton (00:08:41):
And that’s K O C H
Greg White (00:08:43):
K O C H. Yes.
Scott Luton (00:08:46):
Um, and Jenny, before we walk him in our guests, any anyone y’all you wanna, uh, shout out to,
Greg White (00:08:53):
I’m really excited for you all to meet the guest. And I
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:08:56):
Really liked the idea.
Scott Luton (00:08:58):
Yeah. It’s Friday evening. Let’s just call it that from now on. I love that idea. Yeah, that’s right. All right. So let’s welcome in our featured guests. So our featured guests here today has more than two D two decades of industry experience throughout West East and central Africa after earning her undergrad, get this in biochemistry. So, so many pay the pay grades above me. Our guests has gone on to work with big names, such as Cadbury Pfizer, and now Kimberly Clark, where she serves as a supply chain director for Nigeria, she’s earned advanced degrees and tons of exceptional recognition for the work she’s been doing, including mentorship, which she is very passionate about. We hope to hear more about that. So let’s welcome in Azuka Chukwuelue. Hey, good afternoon. Uh Azuka how are you?
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:09:44):
That was nice.
Scott Luton (00:09:47):
Isn’t that fun? I think that’s okay. I agree. This is simple things in life, right? Um, well, uh, Zucca we really enjoyed the pre-show conversation is such an honor to meet you. Uh, your ears have been burning quite a bit. We we’ve, we’ve talked a lot about you with, with you, not in the room based on all the great things you’re doing and your thought leadership. So it’s really a pleasure to have you here and sharing your, your point of view with our, uh, global community. So, uh, let’s dive right in. So front, before we get to the heavy lifting as it were let’s let’s get to know Zuki a little bit better. So tell us, and where did you grow up? And you’ve got to give us a couple of stories about your relatives.
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:10:26):
Thank you, Scott. Thank you, Greg, for having me. Thank you, Jenny, for making this happen. Um, so my name is [inaudible]. Everyone calls me [inaudible] so it’s okay. It’s fine. I grew up in Lagos, Nigeria. Um, well in different parts of Nigeria, so not Eastern Western Nigeria around Nigeria. I have, I live in Legos. I have worked in, um, um, Sub-Saharan Africa. It’s a lot of places. So I’ve been around Africa, LA I am I’m at about chemist by training. I miss supply chain professional by passion. I think that I tell people that supply chain is my job. And I think it’s my hobby to, you know, I’m also that.
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:11:11):
Yeah. Um, I must be solving problems, but not solving problems. I’m not very happy. I like moving things. You know, we can, things happen so much. It’s all supply chain, continuous improvement. Um, the, the ships for change and of course, gender inclusion. I believe that we shouldn’t, uh, leave people on places. That’s how that will met them by adding value. And for me, it’s all about value. I, if you bring value to the table, then, um, you have, um, you will be welcomed every time. I am very energetic. I’ve been described as kinetic. Somebody called me kinetic.
Scott Luton (00:11:48):
I love that. Wait, so let me ask you a question really quick. Cause, cause uh, I love, you’re already talking problem, solving value, having a seat at the table, having a big table and welcoming everybody. And we love that. We’re going to talk more about that, but growing up, you know, we love talking food around here, right? W foods, one of our favorite topics. So tell us about one, one dish that was part of your childhood. That, that is just, it wouldn’t be your childhood without it share that with us.
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:12:18):
Okay. Um, there are a couple of them, but you see that there’s something called, um, planting land. This part of the world is made in different ways. So on a Saturday morning, um, it’s, uh, it could be fried and you have it with some sort of cereal. So here we’ll call it pop. Um, the different it’s made us come on a weekday evening. It’s made, um, as a, as a pottage very interesting, you know, with all sorts of things and really nice. So it’s, uh, that it’s fried to dry and crispy like snacks and you can eat it, um, wherever on the go. So for me, planting is typical as a something a few days ago, somebody on social media saying you actually don’t like planting or you come out and seeds, you’re really seeing it. I could relate it’s was image the week, whenever there was planned.
Scott Luton (00:13:17):
Um, so there’s a lot of fans already, uh, of the Zuka fan club. And I think Gary Skinner and Gary, I hope this finds you well, love that kinetic. Uh Zucca I think as it were, uh, loved that nickname. So one last question. I’m uh, I’m going to turn it over to Greg here. Um, so do you, uh, I know you have four children, so gosh, you’re always on the go. I bet. Do you do some of the cooking or do you let them do it?
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:13:41):
Hmm, interesting question. So, um, the, the 14 year old and the 12 year old, the cook one day I realized that they were growing, uh, one was already 10 and the other was about, um, um, yeah, she was eight, seven going on eight. And I said to my hobby, this girls have to stop cooking. So they will cook and whatever they serve you eat. So the first few times we add a very salty egg, very salty. I will kept a straight face to it, you know, but, and then bonds pancakes after the bonds, pancakes, both parties. I think they forgot the eggs or something. I’m not sure, but now we will. The beauty of it is that, um, they cook, you know, they cook, they make pasta. They make very nice pancakes. Now, you know, it makes my life easier. I’m going to be honest.
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:14:26):
I mean, what can mom, you need the support systems. So when you have daughters that cook, you know, you, you know, you have a life because they take care of the younger ones. They take care of my hobby when I’m not around. And I have to be pushing so many things, they keep me on my toes. Um, so, and I think that’s why people say I’m kinda kinetic. Cause I have a bias for action with four children. You have to be on your tool. Somebody is flying was three and love that. So then you need balance. Yeah. And, um, I’m grateful for that
Scott Luton (00:14:55):
Beautiful thing. All right. So we’re going to dive more into the story. I want to share a couple of comments and then, uh, pass the Baton here. So Gary Smith says when your vocation and your advocation coincide magic happens, that is very well said. Gearing. Now I’ve got to go look up and see what advocation means, but I’ll say that Gary grace says problem-solving and adding value are a must for career and life completely you there. Okay. So Greg, where are we going next? Well, I have to, I have to repeat this quote because we always talk about t-shirt isms, right? Bring value to the table and you’ll always be welcome. I mean, that is so that’s so poignant. Right? Um, also teaching your, I think, I think it’s really good and honest of you to say you teach your kids as much to serve yourself as to serve them in the end. It makes them better, more well-rounded people that there’s no harm in the fact that they contribute to your wellbeing as well. So, um, I love that I come from a farm state as Zucca and most of the reason we had kids, they had kids was to run the farm.
Greg White (00:16:04):
We were work horses, just like the mules were, but you know, you, you, uh, we’ve done a little bit of research on you and you’ve shared some thoughts on one of Simon Sinek’s quotes that integrity is when our intentions are consistent with our words and actions. So obviously that that’s, you, you clearly reflect that. So tell us a little bit about what is so important or motivating or foundational for you in that quote.
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:16:30):
I think for me, it’s really about walking the talk, you know, um, credibility, consistency. Um, when I talk to a lot of people, we know the problems of Africa, we know the problems of Nigeria. We know the right things to do what the question is. Are we doing it? It’s interesting while I’m in the country and somebody drives and shows bottle a plastic bottle out of the window and then turns on, do it in London or in the States women to get off the plane. They comply. It’s about the waiting lines as well. There’s something about waiting lines in Africa. People are in patients two weeks and tell you, West Africa is a couple of places I go to, but, um, outside of here, people wait patiently. So I think it’s really about knowing the right thing. And then when it’s time to do it, when you, uh, when you, when you, when you’re at that space where you need to do the right in actually doing it. So you’re taught your speech and your action must be consistent. And you see when a place where, um, that there’s some types of structure and processes, we’re not there yet. And the only way we can really make affricate grids is to be consistent, you know, to do what we say. We’ll do, um, um, what the talk and the, you know, live by example, whether we’re being watched or not. And for me, that’s critical.
Greg White (00:17:50):
Yeah. I agree. Especially since you have such you have continental based initiatives now, right. And international initiatives on the continent too, to have credibility, not only among people in your own nation, but other nations, you clearly have to be credible and, and have to, as you said, I love it. Walk the talk and, and gain and maintain that credibility to keep that momentum growing across the continent. Yeah.
Scott Luton (00:18:19):
Love that. We could probably spend the whole balance of the conversation just on this one segment, but we’re going to keep driving. There’s so much more to Zika story that we want to share her, her point of view. So Jenny, we’re going to be talking about, uh, Kimberly Clark next, right?
Jenny Froome (00:18:34):
Yeah. I was just going to just hop on the integrity bets as well, because I think that’s one of the things that sort of drew me to the Zucker’s profile on LinkedIn. And we’re, you know, we’re LinkedIn people we’ve never actually met in person and it’s been a relationship that’s gone on now for, for quite a while. Um, and I think it’s a Testament to the fact that you can really get the true essence of somebody from, from their LinkedIn posts, if you, if you take the time to read them. Um, and, and this sort of resonated throughout what she was saying. And I, I actually didn’t really look at who, who was, who was working for. And then I realized that Kimberly-Clark, which is actually a corporate partner of safe fixes here in South Africa. So I reached out to try to find some sort of common ground and learn a little bit more about the challenges having been to Nigeria a couple of times in the last two years.
Jenny Froome (00:19:26):
Um, I wanted to understand the difference in the supply chain challenges that were being experienced there in Nigeria, as opposed to what was happening in South Africa, knowing that the, in the Kimberly-Clark scenario, South Africa and Nigeria were working very closely together. Um, so then also saw tweets and posts and things about mentorship and, um, and diversity and inclusion and all the rest of it, and just knew that, that we had to make that connection. So, you know, you had some really interesting challenges to share and, and I think that a lot of people would learn a lot from you over the last, what you’ve experienced and learned yourself in the last year or so. Yeah, quite quite Solberg journey, quite a lot, you know, Kimberly-Clark in Nigeria, um, Ella full classes too, we’re focused on expansion, right? So, um, well what in the middle Africa top make Africa, uh, for Africa and West Africa for Africa tall. So we’ve invested in it in a multi-million dollar ultra modern facility, um, going live, uh, in the third quarter of this year, it’s been very exciting, you know, want to go up presence and Nigeria market. And I want to be part of the country’s dynamic, um, you know, Nigeria as a green population and, um, we’ll make essentially a better life. So we just want to make sure that we get the essential service to life, to the consumers and them, the best quality
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:20:48):
There is. So that’s what we’re focused on. We’re passionate about Nigeria and the rest of Africa, so where our footprint is here to stay it’s um, how do you put it? It’s it’s for it’s for the long run with a 70% useful population with a lot of dynamic consumption trends and all of that. We’re here for the long run.
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:21:08):
However, it’s been tough, you know, it’s been tough,
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:21:11):
Uh, building a facility in the middle of the pandemic, and I love that it’s tough doing business in Nigeria, but you have to discharge, you have to understand your values to, um, to succeed. So, um, thinking about the city integrity, you know, caring and, and about bringing value. And so we w we’ll do business the right way. It might be tougher. It might be difficult, but our, our focus is to partner with government to ensure that the right is, uh, done, um, and to grow with the growing economy. So,
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:21:48):
I mean, it’s look at infrastructure
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:21:51):
Challenges. For instance, we have to bring a lot of things from different parts of the world, uh, for plants out of the ports. You know, it takes quite a while the congestion issues, the fact that, um, it’s still not digit digitalized, you know, we we’re we’re halfway there. So we have to cover it. A lot of the communication from table to table explaining a lot of things, um, sharing our credibility, sometimes having to get, um, um, uh, notes on letters from our parents company to actually show that we’re part of Kimberly-Clark with doing the right writing. But I, I think what is important is that we be able to show that we’re bringing value to the country and we’ve been able to, um, uh, we’ve been able to, and we’re still making the right connections.
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:22:36):
And then we have consistently kept our quality, you know, so
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:22:41):
Manufacturing. And then when we stopped manufacturing, uh, because we were much manufacturing before now, we then stopped because we needed to build a modern facility. So it was that bringing the goods in, and now we’re going back to the manufacturing of have consistently kept the quality. And that’s really important because it’s about trust the consumer trust in you.
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:23:00):
And then we would remain customer
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:23:02):
Focused. What do the customers want? You know, so the products the customer wants is what we’re bringing into the country. So we’ll make the feminine products, the parts, the liners we’ll make the diapers. What do the consumer wants? What does the consumer want our products, uh, close to the hearts of the consumer? So we must maintain that consistency. And I finally, when this part of the world where, um, there’s still a lot of misinformation about, um, the flow for women, you know, you, if you look at the numbers, it’s so amazing. A significant amount of young girls have not used, uh, feminine care products for the first time. So when environments, when we do not only have to, um, be commercially, I’m interested in the environment or most also before cost on the social impact part of it. So it’s, well, we’re making our products for commercial purposes. We also ensuring that we sample and give it to those who do not have it, and who have never used it and make it available for the less privileged well landing on the goal, significant logistics issues, significant, important export challenges, you know, um, but it’s also very huge opportunities. And I believe that if you can summarize the challenges, then the opportunities are bigger, the bigger, the challenges, the opportunities I’m with to stay with totally full cost.
Scott Luton (00:24:26):
I know you shared some of the challenges there. W I want to get you to expound on a couple of those here. Just a second. I want to share a couple of comments first. So from, uh, the, our community here. So you’ll guess I think I said that, right. Please let me know if I didn’t happiness is when you think what you say and what you do are in harmony and harmony as Mahatma Gandhi, uh, stated, uh, let’s see here, Kayvon, clinged on to something you shared earlier. Zucca consistency and speech, and action. Excellent point. And also, so Phillip’s got a question for you, Jenny. So what is your favorite South African food? Oh, I don’t think we ever asked you that.
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:25:06):
No, never. Um, definitely. Uh, it’s, it’s definitely my favorite since my cats, like, don’t answer carried minutes with a custard on top and it’s if made well, it’s absolutely delicious.
Scott Luton (00:25:21):
Sounds good. I’m sold. I am sold and let’s see here. One other shout out here. Oh, well, lobby is tuned in from, uh, Papa, uh, Legos, also Nigeria, I believe, uh, via LinkedIn. So great to see you. Thanks so much for joining and you know what, we’re gonna stick with O Alabi cause he’s got a quick question that kinda touches on where we’re headed with you next to Zucca. So how do you navigate through the infrastructural deficit in Nigeria to manage and deliver a seamless supply chain management? So speak to that. How do you have all those challenges you laid out earlier in the, you know, the building out of this million square foot facility, uh, sounds like, say the art to, to deliver on the trust that’s associated with the brand that you’re speaking to, to maintain that quality and to just get all the stuff you need. What are some of the ways y’all, y’all y’all navigate, navigate, navigate through those challenges?
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:26:12):
Hmm, great. Um, all of it really interesting question, because that’s, that’s a, that’s a way of life, right? Uh, so, uh, let me, let me specifically speak specifically to some examples, to say, um, case in point, um, the pots let’s start with the ports. We find that it takes a significant amount of time to get your goods out. So what do you do? Um, you don’t have to plan differently, you know, building your safety stocks of planning is critical, what would we’ll make plans, but then look at the external environments. The impact of the external environment is significant. It’s always significant. So you must look at what are the lead times to Clarien. Why does it take forever? Uh, why does it take forever to leave the ports? So that’s one. Secondly, how would the routes, um, it travel time of, uh, 1500 kilometers. We should take you, um, two, three days you take about seven days to get that again, it’s planning. So you have to build that time into the customer service. So you have to let the customers know to the other. Um, they build that into their order pattern as well. So, you know, power in building the plant, you must have planned that. Um, you have to use gas as an option or other gas as a first choice or the power as a backup, you know, manufacturing plants, it’s more of a gas and diesel as the first option, so that you have your stable process. You can’t afford to break your manufacturing process.
Scott Luton (00:27:48):
Well, electricity is not commonly available.
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:27:51):
No. So I’m in Nigeria today. One in 10 households have access to electricity. It’s still the, um, address to the country with the largest number of people without electricity in it, uh, as a, today, um, last for sexual recovery reports. Um, I think it was published a few days ago.
Scott Luton (00:28:14):
I think you’ve got some, some members of your supply chain
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:28:18):
Support team. Yes. So, um, I mean, what was published a few days ago and there’s still power issues and what are the issues of power still the distributed service? So one in 10 homes do not have access to power. Okay. So you guys,
Scott Luton (00:28:36):
Hey folks, you get full transparency here. We’re all dealing with this. The girls are really well. So it’s always, um, the point, uh, Jenny in our, in our conversations and events and streams, and we’ve seen, you know, the impact of some of the, the power infrastructure, right. Uh, and, and Zuki, you just mentioned if I heard that stat, right. One in 10 homes have no access to, is that right? Have access? Oh gosh. Wow. So please continue. You were kind of talking about how, how you’re fighting through some of these things.
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:29:22):
So, so, you know, what if the, uh, distribution company, um, generates 10 naira? So Tana is managerial currency, whatever electricity, um, to now 44 of that does not get, um, so he’s lost, does not get to the homes is lost to distribution infrastructure or power theft, and other system is not built for because, um, there’s no clarity in the bills. The, um, the, the customers who are admitted do not pay. So it’s basically customer service issues for the distribution part of it. Right? So, um, for the trip centers still do not have access to power. So the 57% who have access there still issues in the supply chain, you know, getting power to the homes. So I think that’s one of the major infrastructures because, uh, if, uh, structure issues, because we know power is, um, I think that’s, um, energy, energy is as DG seven tied to a whole lot of the other SDGs.
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:30:20):
So, um, development is, will still be a struggle until we get power rights. So calmness in, uh, in this part of the wall have to generate their own power. A whole lot of times also provide water. Um, then the roads too. Um, I mean the roads, if you look at, if you look at some of the areas, you have to actually grade your own routes to get there, but it’s a developing nation. And, um, we see improvements year on year, year on year. And the fact that companies like I was a willing to come in and invest just shows you that the future is brighter. So I think it’s about planning, build it in the plants, building in the challenges into your operations. And, um, so you must understand the external environment, understand where you work in, you know, get to know what is going on around you. You can’t operate just from within and, um, and, uh, encourage your team to know what is happening outside. So the policies, what the government is doing, what the benchmark, what competition is doing, and then put your plans in place.
Scott Luton (00:31:26):
You know, it, it always, regardless of what issue it is always comes back to planning. It is such a timeless, timeless, uh, uh, challenge and best practice. But Hey, I want to share a couple of things. Zucca from our comments, going back to the food discussions, Sharky says, Hey, it is time to start cooking. Excellent point there. Um, Hey Noorani is with us near Hottie from Indonesia who hosts, uh, Bacara supply chain, a great podcast. Thanks for joining us. Your Hottie. Um, T squared has a question here. So how about solar? Where does solar factor in, what have you all seen and, and Jenny love for your both y’all to weigh in here, we’ll start with Zucca. How, how have you seen solar effectively applaud and get ramped up?
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:32:06):
I look at, um, the, what I see around really, there’s a lot of opportunity with solar. Um, I see some companies, you know, already using it as an alternative, and that makes sense, right? Because you can continue powering, um, round the clock, um, the cost of diesel, the cost of gas. So what I see some companies do as a plow is wrong. Um, um, producing run on diesel gas and outside of that run the operations on solar, um, um, for the rest of the time, because there’s on site, other
Jenny Froome (00:32:40):
Things are happening. So like a backup boys’ support mechanism and that’s quite effective so far. I think that, um, I also see a couple of, um, opportunities in terms of ensuring that solar, um, gets to, um, the roulette raw areas, places that don’t have electricity as of now. And what that means is that they don’t have access to, um, information, you know, they have power, they have us as information on the rest of that. Um, you know, that process, that enables development to come narrow to them. So for us, there’s a lot of opportunities around solar here. What if we would have seen so far?
Scott Luton (00:33:16):
Excellent. And then, uh, Jenny really quick, uh, before, uh, Greg takes Baton and we’re gonna drive to some other, other topics. W how would you, uh, what any comments from a power infrastructure, solar unit,
Jenny Froome (00:33:29):
You know, it’s very close to my heart. Um, having this time last month, not been able to join me purely for that reason. Um, and I, you know, solar is, uh, is, uh, it is, it’s got to be the way to go, especially in a country like ours and, and Nigeria, where we have so much sunshine. Um, I think the infrastructure is still relatively expensive. Um, and we’ve also got a big problem here with the theft of, of, of, of the pieces that make the solar panels go together because they’re worth a lot of money. Um, and I, and, you know, some people, they need the money more than they need the electricity. So there’s a big education element to be done as well. But, um, but countries like Kenya really nailing it as far as sales is concerned. And I know that in South Africa, we’ve got some amazing projects on the go. So it’s, it’s just a matter of time, I think.
Scott Luton (00:34:20):
And as we talked about with Kevin L. Jackson, uh, I think it was last week, Greg, there’s some neat policy agreements, alliances being created continent wide that hopefully beyond the trade, that it will, it will, um, spur, hopefully the sharing of those, uh, best practices, technologies and information will, will, um, you know, rising tide lifts, all ships, hopefully. So, um, but Greg, yeah,
Jenny Froome (00:34:43):
Eritrea Eritrea is the country. That’s how you from there.
Greg White (00:34:49):
And that’s how you’d say it. I’ve been saying it wrong this whole time.
Scott Luton (00:34:53):
I have one of those Eureka moments every day, Greg. Uh, but w w what, what do we, uh, you know, give you a chance to comment on what you’re hearing here and then take us into inclusivity.
Greg White (00:35:02):
Yeah, well, I think we have to, especially those of us in highly developed countries have to recognize that the problems that his Zucca is talking about are from between a hundred and 130 years ago in the States and in Europe, right? I mean, feminine products were commercially available in 1888 and, and an electricity, the availability of electricity, of course, roughly around the same time was at about one, one household in 10. So, so I think we have to understand a couple of things. One that is an challenge to get over the dirt roads and the paving, your own roads that as Luca is talking about, also back in that timeframe, think about that. None of us who are probably even watching this were born than some of us, our grandparents were not born then and even great grandparents. So it would that they are coming from a position that most of us can’t even relate to because we’ve never even remotely experienced.
Greg White (00:36:04):
And I think we have to acknowledge two things. One that is a huge hurdle, right? And we overcame, we didn’t overcome it at all. Our great, great grandparents overcame it. And to Africa is addressing some of these issues at a pace unseen anywhere in the world ever before. Right. And in a way we talk about this frequently in a way, things like the presence of 80% of the people on the continent being unbanked, they skipped the whole old fashioned banking process that we have in the States and people pay with their cell phones for so many things. And they’ll do similar things, just like what Kimberly Clark is doing in Nigeria. They’ll do similar things at a similar pace, and they’ll skip all those incremental changes and leap forward, probably in some cases ahead of developed countries, Greg, one more comment. You’re talking about historical terms, 1888.
Greg White (00:36:57):
I think I just got a little fat toward my ear. That was the last time that the now Las Vegas Raiders had won a super bowl. I believe I thought you want to get that dig in, unfortunately not, but, uh, they won’t win one for a long time now. Uh, but I think, you know, things like feminine products and basics of water and things like that, that talks a lot about general inclusivity and the ability to be inclusive, but, but, uh, Zuka one of your, uh, pet projects kind of, uh, points of points of, of core value is really around gender inclusion and that sort of thing. So tell us a little bit about some of the issues or problems that you see there today, and maybe a little bit about how you advocate or are actually attacking some of those issues.
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:37:44):
Inclusivity is a big one. Um, I think that the, in having conversations with people, um, young ladies, older ladies, you know, what I tend to get along with, you know, a lot, because the people say I’m older than my age. You know, I tend to take on the problems. What I see is as much as we advance and enlightened and with the technological advancements that we see, there’s still a lot of issues around culture. The job we men can do, can women be out at night? Can women wear boots? I remember when I started working in, um, cadre down, um, I had to go to the lots, the Northern part of Nigeria, and I will always wear the jeans and the t-shirt. We had all the branded t-shirts and somebody said to me, but you can’t wear the jeans into the markets here, but I didn’t any other way, you know, I didn’t know what else to wear, but, you know, one thing to do is market.
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:38:39):
And I was well accommodated. You know, I didn’t have any issues, nobody gave me any problems. So I see that because of the cultural issues, they still a lot of that holding women down and I’m not allowing them to advance. So that’s one area, but majorly, there’s also a look of the issues around self-confidence lack of awareness. Um, the inability to self motivate, the lack of knowledge around what to do. You know, the old boys club, you know, men get to hang around. Um, we have a lot of school activities. Men have all the old boys clubs and all of that in those kinds of conversations, they have very good conversations about all the next steps where they’re going, what they’re driving, you know, and they challenge of push each other, but the women will tend to be laid back. So we don’t have a lot of those conversations, you know?
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:39:31):
And so you see that when, um, young people are going into an organization, it’s funny supply chain on the male dominated roles. It’s about 50, 50 men or women who are getting into the rules sometimes even more. But by the time he gets to the C suit, it becomes about 10% of statistical supply chain. And some of the, um, some of the functions and the question is what happened, not childbirth to me, it’s the fact that there’s an opportunity for, um, intentional mentoring of women, you know, hand-holding, Hey, what are you doing there? Look up, you know, um, guiding women on what are the courses to do? What is the knowledge to acquire? Uh, what should you do differently? Um, what, what, how do you develop yourself? What have your opportunities to go on ups for, you know, [inaudible], nobody’s giving you the chip. So I’ll give you my personal experience.
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:40:29):
A lot of times I was the only woman in the room. I remember in cadre in sales, I was the first to mine on the field. I went into supply chain, very few women. And then of course, where the boots, where they had hats or on the safety jacket. And we used to really feel when I look around in the room and I made valuable contributions. I remember we used to have a time when we’ll be in the boardroom I’ll Dooley lady, I think with the finance director at that time. And every other person will be guys. And, you know, they’ll ask questions around manufacturing and supply chain and I’ll give my updates and everybody be like, Oh, yes, yes, that’s true. Yes. Thank you. So I knew that if there are other women in the room, the contributions they will make and also bring value to the table.
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:41:12):
And when I look at the rooms, I ask myself why Dan, all the ladies here, I think that the barriers are internal and we need to, um, handhold and pull up. So that’s the latest kind of a calm, those internal barriers for us because the Barraza externally, they are there, but they can be overcome as well. So, um, um, what I did when I was, um, uh, you know, in the course of my career was to start having conversations with ladies. And I just asked the right question. So what’s your plan, not next. And they’ll go blank on me. But if you have to say guy, what next, he’s going to tell you, he’s doing his MBA two years. Oh, he’s, he’s going to, he wants to go to that role in two years. Why I meant more audacious? Why are we less? And I start telling the ladies, Hey, you have to know what you want.
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:41:59):
You have to build this year, so you have to go for it. So that’s what pushed me into, um, you know, advocating for women. And, um, for me, it’s really about, I’m not upset for a seat at the table. I’m not upset. I’m saying to you, man, you, Ellie sits at the table, develop yourself, bring value to the table and you will get a seat at the table. And it’s happening a bit time before COVID I run a foundation called trust empowerment foundation before COVID, we got women to start driving. We see that male drivers and very comfortably, you know, um, better than, um, housekeepers, but women are predominately housekeepers. So I said, Hey, one transformation. He can’t drive school buses, to be honest, maybe that’s a temperament. We may should drive school buses more. You know? So we got, we trained the women. We, we connected with [inaudible] company and they agreed to train the women and allow the men to drive their trucks.
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:42:53):
The first day, one of the women drove to a pop-up ports. The customer has said, what are you doing in the truck? I said, I’m driving before she can go jumped out really small. I took me so big. I said, yes, but I can drive the trucks. It was so amusing, but they allowed her in a good shoe. And she said to me, she said, the confidence of driving that truck, I realized I could do anything. So during COVID, she was able to, um, take care of a family because she was, she, she challenged herself to do whatever she could. And also running the look of things in the supply chain space. It’s amazing that the very low conversations in supply chain, it’s amazing the fact that we have much more men now, women, it’s amazing the fact that the men rise easily in the supply chain space, where women would sit in our spaces.
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:43:43):
So I’ve said to the women, you know what I spoke to my team, they said, luncheon is not just about logistics or warehouse. It’s end to end getting the goods and the services to the cause. You might pull from the general demand generation to meeting the demand for females. So I said, you know, let’s get ladies together. Let’s talk in supply chain, who again, um, so sort of stimulated MBA program, trying to make challenge women to really, um, to really, uh, think, um, solve business problems, challenge them to, um, go for it. New book business women are professional people and on professionals, yoga graduates, um, entry level mid-level business professionals to, you know, solve business problems, put their head down, you know, deep thinking is, as you can solve problems, you know, I challenge them to say, this is what you need to do. And then the cost of it.
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:44:39):
Um, we also make sure that, uh, there’ll be some sort of psychometric assessments. So the way they will get individual development, um, um, assessments, so they know what are the areas to build? Is it financial? Is it planning? You know, w where are the opportunities? What do you need to develop? We believe that we will do this. We’ll now be confidence to, um, focus on, um, their careers or their businesses, and really strive to get to the top [inaudible], um, um, professionals and entrepreneurs, so that we can add value to women. We need to build confidence. We need to give women the confidence to go.
Greg White (00:45:18):
Uh, that is quite the dissertation. I’m glad we got that on video because that it’s really powerful stuff. Um, and I think it makes me think that, um, what you’re doing now to women who have not been imprinted with natural naturally with the expectation they can do anything is, is a great service. And one thing that I’ve seen, I have three daughters. So, uh, just one thing that we’ve done kind of naturally, I’d love to say I was in great intentional parent, but we never said things like you can do anything a man can do. We just always said, you can do anything, right. Why make men the standard? Because I can see, I saw your little boys running around in the house while your daughters are performing very admirably. So I’m not sure men should be the standard. And, and, and like you say, um, that there is so much we can do to lift up and to elevate women.
Greg White (00:46:14):
And even just to create that expectation in their mind. I think that starts really young, probably around the breakfast table. Right. So, but I’m curious, because you mentioned the old boys club, by the way, that’s not the easiest thing, even for old white men to break into it. It is a very exclusive club. It is. Um, and so I’m curious if you think about the people who are in the, the old boys club or the leaders, uh, you know, in, in the markets and the countries that you’ve worked in, what are some of the things that you think they could or should, or, or even are doing to help really move the needle in terms of inclusiveness for women?
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:46:54):
Wow, interesting. Um, I think that the full cost should be being intentional. Um, you said something right? You have three daughters. Um, you’ve never said you’ve not set a benchmark. It’s gone all the way. I think that in building our society, for sure, diversity from the stats, because the truth is people bring a lot to the table and show that diversity is the full course, you know, to get the best out of the table and show diversity. So that’s that we should be intentional about. That’s when I jokingly say is, um, women have a certain, um, element of, um, care and ability to multitask, and I’ll be there to solve problems and, you know, tie it all together. That’s the moment you come to your room and you do have women adding value at every level, you should ask yourself, have I done the right
Scott Luton (00:47:50):
Everything we need to,
Azuka Chukwuelue (00:47:52):
Right, exactly. Or we are equipped because then you have seen yourself that men have the strengths. Well, we’re going to have the strengths as well. So you should have everything in the room because that’s where you, you know, that you, you quit, you know, the best decisions will come out of the room and that’s vital, you know, because we must be forward thinking, we must stop making excuses. We must, um, we must bring our best selves to the table. And our best selves are in very diverse, you know? Yeah.
Scott Luton (00:48:25):
Zuka, uh, we’re getting Encore requests from the comments already, uh, as Greg called it, the dissertation that we all should, we all should hear it and it looks like Murphy’s law is gonna intervene a little bit and that’s okay. We’re gonna work hard to get a Zucca back on with this, uh, while we wait there, I’m going to share a couple of these comments. Gosh, um, this one from Felicia. Yes. Yeah, that is awesome. So for our listeners that maybe listen to some replay, Felicia pres Bella with RLA or friends over there. I says, my six year old daughter wants to be a mom teacher, police officer, and a cowboy. I tell her absolutely. She can do it all. I love that. Um, let’s see here, I’ll go back to something Peter shared. She said, I looked, Peter says, I love talking with my grandmother born in 1896.
Scott Luton (00:49:13):
She saw so many firsts and modern conveniences. We can learn so much from our elders if we take the time to ask them for their stories. Excellent. You know, I recorded some, some world war, two conversations with both of my grandparents, and I can not find those VCR tapes. Uh, but we’ll, we’ll, we’ll double down and try to try to find it. Um, but I agree with you, Peter, completely, um, uh, uh, helping with this first name. Uh Zucca and Jenny, how would you pronounce that? Okay, thank you very much. Zucca Nana says intentional mentoring, very critical. So spot on, uh, Zucca excellent point. She also, and then it also says lift as you rise initiatives, amongst women earn a seat at the table, which are some of the elements that Zach was sharing a little earlier ago, uh, for and Sola, I get that right for in Sola.
Scott Luton (00:50:01):
And if I didn’t let me know, um, says via LinkedIn Zuko will said loads of challenging and handholding needs to happen for women to learn that it’s about contribution, not gender alone. Excellent. Not gender at all. Right. Even better. Uh, Lydia agrees, women need actionable guidance. Uh, Hinda says the trust foundation. I think that was the organization you mentioned earlier. Uh Zuka. Is that right? The trust maybe. Um, okay. Excellent. Peter says word Greg white. He craves what you were saying earlier about, uh, your intentional, uh, Parenthood and clay makes a great comics cause we’re very appreciative. We’re appreciative of the Zucca and Ginny sharing their POV, but also all the comments and the different, um, insights that folks are sharing there. We really appreciate that we do need a Zuka owned regularly as clay shares. Um, and then finally, AA, Mr. Mohib says, one of my young graduates is heavily awarded, uh, is a heavily awarded supply chain manager.
Scott Luton (00:51:04):
We follow and promote her as supply chain leader without any artificial added gender suffix. Mohib yeah. On that note, I want to, uh, pose this to both you, uh, both of y’all Zucca and Jenny, as we start to wrap here and Nisa, Madonna who came on, she is a, um, CEO of manufacturing company had a great one on one interview with her not too long ago. And she was sharing via social yesterday that while she, and I’m paraphrasing, of course, uh, but while she was talking about, there’s been a need for a long time to call out, you know, female manufacturing leader or female supply chain leader she’s she was stating that counted the time for really calling that out has, has essentially kind of passed. And, and, and now that, uh, in her take in paraphrasing, you know, she doesn’t want to be known as a one, a woman manufacturing leader. She wants to be known as a manufacturing leader. So Jenny, if you want to Zucca can both, Jenny, we’ll start with you. If you can just address that really quick as we start to wrap here, um, the lobstering,
Jenny Froome (00:52:06):
I’m going to say something that, that struck me this morning. I woke up to pictures on social media of everyone applauding the fact that we had, um, we had the, the picture of the president of the United States with two women sitting behind him and how amazing and wonderful this is. And yeah, I agree. It is wonderful, but it is 2021 and we shouldn’t even, yeah, so, so that for me was that really resonated this morning. And going back to your point, I think I raised really, really early on, I think it was Claire bloom, or it might’ve been Carol Cuttack who once said to me, I never set out to be the best woman supply chain, anything I set out to be the best. And that was back in the seventies, early seventies. So there have been women thinking that way and we need to, to, to catch onto their coattails and learn from them
Scott Luton (00:53:01):
That Jenny, uh, really quick, uh, I want to say hello to David. And I don’t think we said a little him early he’s he’s part of all of our live streams. We love his take and his sense of humor. So, and he agrees, he loves what Mohib shared a moment ago. So the hope you’d hope this finds you well, David, Hey, Zucca if you’d comment St. Same, same, um, question to you is, is as the time kind of come and are we past calling out woman leader or anything? So today I agree with Jenny,
Jenny Froome (00:53:27):
Um, look at it from the, from the lens of the women in manufacturing, supply chain engineering, I worked with a team of very strong women. My impact manager is a woman impacts managers for Kimball. Andrea is a woman, the customer service and logistics manager is a woman. They don’t see themselves as above agenda. It’s about their performance. So I think even put in the agenda is, um, it’s unfair to their performance because this is a ladies who do the long hours that had lifting. Um, I kept telling them, no guys, I am because of you, I’m going to sell. As I say, I don’t have an excuse to be tired because you guys keep going. You know, and they keep going in the team side by side of the guys. And that’s why we have a strong team. We have a manufacturing hire a lady in our, in our mill and nobody she’s not updating for shorter time. So I think the time is way past, because we most understand that we’re doing a service, the service for the ladies when we start qualifying the agenda instead of their contribution.
Scott Luton (00:54:29):
All right. Well said very well said. And I hate to wrap the conversation that we could, we could go on for a couple hours listening to Jenny and Zuke and all the comments. So, but we’ll well, we can always have you back. And we live a repeat guest is that you’ve really, uh, um, uh, wild us here and, and focusing on comments we can do, I could, I could spend the next hour, probably just reading some of the hallelujah and high fives we’re getting there, but to always a pleasure. Um, let’s before we let both of y’all go, uh, Jenny, I want to really touch on sate, picks some of the cool things you are doing there. Give us a really quick update, um, you know, with where folks can, can engage and, and plug into the safe community.
Jenny Froome (00:55:07):
Yeah, lots going on. Most importantly, I think that this is probably one of the highlights of our calendar, and we are incredibly grateful to you guys for this platform and to guests like Zika who have prepared to trust me. Um, and, and you guys never, never let me down. So I’m really grateful for that. And just follow our website, say, pick star or dots a day, or you can drop the Zyrtec and find out what we’re doing. I’m also on LinkedIn and all that stuff.
Scott Luton (00:55:34):
And Jen is a great Twitter follow, uh, be sure, yeah,
Jenny Froome (00:55:38):
Respectful Twitter posts,
Scott Luton (00:55:41):
Um, and be, look beyond, look out for the big annual event, which will be in September. Is that right? Jenny?
Jenny Froome (00:55:47):
Well, guests will this 24 to 26. I know it’s most of your summer holidays, but it’s a good excuse not to be on holiday, take a holiday virtually in South Africa.
Scott Luton (00:55:57):
There we go. Love that. God, I hope we can do that.
Jenny Froome (00:56:01):
Uh, we dream,
Scott Luton (00:56:04):
We have, uh, well, you know, the South Carolina state motto is while I breathe, I hope dooms burrows. Uh, and if that’s not a way to live through, uh, these times right now, I’m not sure what it is. So I’m very thankful to you both. We’ve been talking with Ginny from, uh, COO of St. Picks our, our partner here on the, uh, Africa, African chain leadership series. Uh, really appreciate your time, what y’all do. And we’ve also been talking star of the show, uh, Zucca ego Chu, ALU a came close. I’ll try it out. Yes. What’s that Greg [inaudible]. Thank you. Gosh. Um, but regardless of Zucca, I’ll tell ya, um, it’s, uh, it’s an honor to be with you and learn from you here today and really appreciate your time as busy as you are. And we look forward to reconnecting with you as Zucca and Jenny again, really soon.
Greg White (00:56:51):
Thanks for buying the kids. We said hi. Yes, please. Their internet.
Scott Luton (00:56:57):
All right, man. What a great dissertation is, right. You know, dissertation, um,
Greg White (00:57:03):
That segment is a show in and of itself. Isn’t it agreed? Yeah. Agreed. All right. Yeah, that was powerful stuff.
Scott Luton (00:57:10):
We’re a minute or two over, but I’ve got to share some of these comments because as much as you and I enjoyed it, a lot of the folks did. Um, couldn’t get everybody. Um, but, uh, let’s see here, we’ll start with, uh, is with us here today. Sylvia hope this finds you well. Um, great.
Greg White (00:57:27):
And I’m sorry again, Sylvia. Yeah. Leaving her, hanging, visiting the Holy city there.
Scott Luton (00:57:32):
Gregory. Well, he points out that outstanding supply chain leader. Uh, Oz may Octa here. Octar regardless. Uh, so check out. Uh, and I bet she might be on LinkedIn, but at the Mohit, I appreciate, I love your approach to recognition and, um, and how you do it so great to have you here today. Mohib uh, I will lobby says spot on Greg men should not be the standard for women. Otherwise we are limiting how much women can do anyone regardless of gender is capable of achieving any goal, no matter how audacious well said. And I agree, statesman, I love that. Uh, Kayvon says it’s about the performance, not the gender excellent point there, uh, miracle perhaps, uh, there’s strength in diversity. It’s vital. Excellent point. So many others. Uh, excellent point Sylvia. I was hoping I pronounce that state motto, right? Uh, I didn’t study Latin. Uh, so no one asked me don’t ever ask me to speak Latin. So, but, uh, I love where I grew up. Um, anyway, so Greg, I want to come back to you. My favorite thing here today are so much, there’s so much as, uh, as Zucca and Jenny shared, but going way back to what feels like three days ago, bring value, bring value to the table. And you’ll always be welcomed. That is a universal truth to live every day. What was your, what was one of your favorite things that was said here?
Greg White (00:59:01):
I think, I think this is going to sound weird, but as Zucca said, men are so audacious and I think that is the key, right? So you know that my motto is acknowledged reality, but refuse to be bound by it. Reality is simply that, which your limited mind can comprehend in the moment, right? It used to be a reality that the earth was flat, right? It used to be a reality that this, that the stars orbited the orbit of the earth, because that’s all we could conceive in that moment. But in fact, that wasn’t true. So if you just think of reality is all you can conceive in the moment and you just refuse to be bound by that, then you can do anything. And I think that is a key that a key trait that all people should have, um, as all the while he said, you know, we should think of the group of people as a group of people, not a group of men and women, right?
Greg White (00:59:58):
Not, not leaders and women leaders, but a group of leaders. And, and when we have that presumption and it is a presumption of, of equality and of equal ability and equal opportunity. And when we impart that presumption of equality, equal ability and equal opportunity on every person, regardless of why, then things will be that much better and people will achieve more because they believe that they can. And to me, it is 100% about believing whether you can, I ain’t the smartest guy in the room, but I believe that nothing can stop me right. Until I’m proved wrong. And I’ve been proved wrong many times, but until I’m proved wrong, I, you know, I just believe, as you said, while I breathe, I hope is that what it is? Yeah, that’s right. I almost always get it backwards. I always have to be breathing, but yeah.
Greg White (01:00:55):
While I breathe, I hope, um, optimism, uh, in a state motto. Okay. Great show today. A big, thanks to our friends at Zucca and Jenny for joining us. Thanks to all the great comments I’m going to go back through and read, read some of these call-outs leads, additional insights, Greg. Excellent summary on the own, on the tail end here, I couldn’t have said it better folks. Be sure to check us. Henry Ford said, Amanda says, whether you believe you can or can’t you’re right. And she believes it’s from Henry Ford. I liked that. I like that. Uh, you can, if you’d like conversations like this, be sure to check us firstname.lastname@example.org webinars events, lots of more podcasts and live streams with wonderful partners, wonderful people like, uh Zucca and Jenny. So on that note folks, wonderful conversation. Thanks so much for joining in Greg pleasure to do these. Our team’s been texting me and they’re just eating it with a fork and a knife what’s been said here today. Cause they’ve really enjoyed it as have we a wonderful journey to be on, but Hey, most importantly, do what Zucca says. Do what Jenny shared. It’s time to act. No words. Do good. Give forward. Be the change. Be the Zucca in someone else’s journey. Think of that. So on that note, we’ll see you next time here at supply chain. Now. Thanks for buddy.
Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now community check out all of our email@example.com and 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
Azuka Chukwuelue is a certified professional, with a wealth of commercial experience spanning two decades in West East and Central Africa. She currently works as the Supply Chain Director at Kimberly-Clark Nigeria, where she is responsible for the Supply network and operational accountability in line with strategic business goals. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from the University of Ibadan and Executive MBA in General Management & doing business in Africa from Pan African University (Lagos Business School) and Nanyang Business School, NTU, Singapore. She is currently running an advanced management program at INSEAD, the business school for the world. Over the course of her 20-year career, which saw her work in Cadbury and Pfizer, she has gained versatility and depth working across different fields, including Sales & marketing as well as Supply Chain. Her competencies span business revenue growth & profitability, strategic analysis, talent development, change management, as well as effective communications and relationship building skills. She is the go-to person for troubleshooting potential operational loopholes that span across forecasting and planning, customer relationship management, distributor management dynamics, RTM & Channel development strategies, logistics & distributions cost models, efficient procure to pay models, warehousing, import and export operations including international logistics, and supply network design amongst others. Her success enablers are a dedication to excellence, the ability to get to the real issues amid clutter while still focused on the big picture and an aptitude for building diverse, highly motivated, energized and inclusive teams. Her passion for transformative leadership and the ability to harness team power earned her several recognitions, including Leadership Imperative Award for Ownership and Accountability and AMEA Recognition for supportive team in Cadbury. Recently, she was named among the 100 female professionals in 20 industries advancing excellence and professionalism in Nigeria’s corporate sector. Beyond her work, she mentors young women, with the aim of ensuring that all women have the skills and capabilities to earn a seat at the table on merit. Her passion for mentorship comes from personal experiences where, for a good part of her career, she was the only female in the room and was successful via leaders, peers and subordinates who gave their time and resources to mentor her. She says, ‘When I look back at the meaningful contributions I made, and challenges surmounted, I see the room would have benefitted from more women. Hence I actively create platforms for women to hone their skills and showcase their talent.’ She does this through Truss Empowerment Foundation, a nonprofit focused on creating real value for young people via enhancing their economic power by building capabilities that allow successful engagement in stereotyped as well as leadership roles.
The organization runs an internship program for young minds, getting them ready for professional and business growth via a simulated MBA course content and actual problem solving based learning for managing complex Supply Chains while learning team dynamics and skills. Connect with Azuka on LinkedIn.
Jenny Froome is the Acting Chief Operating Officer at SAPICS – which is the Professional Body for Supply Chain Management in South Africa but working with countries around the world to have Supply Chain Management recognised as a profession. She started her professional career in the UK as a secretary and then moved to event management. Little did she know that as an event manager she was actually practicing supply chain management every day! In 1997 they managed their first ever SAPICS annual conference in South Africa and the rest, as they say, is history! Now managing the SAPICS annual conference – the leading event in Africa for supply chain professionals – as an online event until we get control of Covid-19. We long for the opportunity to get back to face to face events. In the meantime we keep our community connected. She is on a mission to shine the spotlight on supply chains in Africa and the wealth of supply chain talent that is available on the continent.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Data Analytics and Metrics Intern
Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.