Is the Future of Manufacturing Circular? Global Trends in Circular Supply Chain
Episode 660

Episode Summary

“If we make better decisions, we can literally save the planet.”

– Deborah Dull, Principal of Supply Chain Product Management for GE Digital

 

“Look at what resources you have near you; you may be able to serve the world with them, but you can also engage to serve your local markets with them.”

– Mucai Kunyiha, Chairman of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and Group Chief Executive Officer of Kzanaka Ltd

 

 

Environmental sustainability – part of the ESG movement – kicked into high gear in 2020, and it isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. One of the strategies for advancing supply chain sustainability is the circular economy, a practice that makes sure waste is minimized by improving the ability of products to be recycled or repurposed rather than ending up in landfills.

Deborah Dull leads supply chain product management at GE Digital and Mucai Kunyiha is the Chairman of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and the Group Chief Executive Officer of Kzanaka Ltd. Neither of them set out to become leaders in the circularity movement – it found them instead.

In this episode, Deborah and Mucai share their points of view and passion about the global circular movement with Supply Chain Now Host Scott Luton:

– The sudden surge of interest in circularity and how supply chain leaders are proactively going after the information and connections they need to build their own understanding

– How circularity is being emphasized among manufacturers in resource-constrained economies

– An early look at the movement to ‘de-centralize’ manufacturing, both to allow production to take place on a smaller scale and to shrink the distance between production and consumption

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:00:32):

Scott Luton with you right here on supply chain. Now welcome to today’s episode. So in today’s show, we’re going to be discussing one of our favorite topics, which is the manufacturing industry, love manufacturing, uh, and today’s conversation is going to be really focused on Africa in particular, the market of Kenya. So, so get ready, stay tuned for an intriguing and informative conversation where you can learn quite a bit. Hey, quick programming note. If you enjoy this episode, be sure to venture over to wherever you get your podcasts from supply chain now and subscribe. So you don’t miss conversations just like this. We’d also would love to earn your podcast review list on how we’re doing. Um, that’ll also help us get the word out and reach more people, which is a good thing. Okay. Want to welcome in two wonderful guests here today? I’ll tell you we’ve got a great conversation teed up.

Scott Luton (00:01:17):

We’ve been enjoying the pre-show conversation, learned some new things about, uh, some repeat guests here. Uh, so we’ll talk more about that, but want to welcome in our guest today. Mucai Kunyiha chairman of Kenya association of manufacturers and group CEO of C K L Africa, which I’m sure you’ve heard of the rest of us have, um, we’re talking about pets and animals and needs. Pre-show we’ll learn more about that. And, uh, old friend repeat guests, Deborah Dull, principal manufacturing, product management at GE digital and really exciting founder circular supply chain network. Ah, talk about chasing your passions. So stay tuned as we learn more about that. So Mucai, Deborah. Good morning. How are you doing?

Deborah Dull (00:02:03):

Thanks, Scott. You

Mucai Kunyiha (00:02:04):

Bet. It’s good afternoon from Kenya doing well. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:02:10):

Great to have you both. And Deborah. Gosh, it’s been forever since we were in Atlanta on whatever episode number that is the world’s changed dramatically, but Hey, um, in, in good ways and challenging ways, but it’s great to have you back and thanks so much for bringing Mucai to the conversation today. I tell you just, just doing my homework, you own you Mucai. You’re you’re a, I’m a bit a global business star, and it’s great to dive into, uh, your perspective here today.

Mucai Kunyiha (00:02:40):

I don’t know. I don’t know about that. I’m a [inaudible] so a couple of people knew me in Nairobi. Sometimes I go into a restaurant and they look familiar, but we don’t know who he is,

Scott Luton (00:02:55):

But it’s not much of a stop. That might be a good way to be though. It might be a good way to, um, yeah. Alright. So Deborah and Mucai, I want to start before we get into business and, and, um, talk about some of the interesting things taking place right now. Want to get to know you a little bit better? So, uh, Mucai, since your, this is your first time with us, I want to start with you. So tell us a little bit about where you grew up and, and give us the goods on your upbringing a little bit. Okay.

Mucai Kunyiha (00:03:19):

Yeah. Thanks. And thanks for having me on the show. This is going to be interesting. I think even from the pre-show conversation. So I’m a Kenyan born, um, in a small smallish town, about 150 kilometers from Nairobi called Nakuru, but grew up most of my life in Nairobi. So I’m more or less a city boy, so to speak. Um, went to school here, went to university in the UK, in Wales for three long, uh, which years it rains a lot in Wales. So, um, but it was a good time and I, I studied law. That’s what I started off. Um, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do when I left high school. And, uh, one of my dad’s friends thought that, you know, you could do Lloyd, it opens doors for you. And he was right because I did do the law. I practiced, I came back to Kenya, qualified to be a, a lawyer, but really didn’t enjoy it. So went straight into the family business and I’ve been doing business ever since I was back in, uh, 19 and eight. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:04:27):

Well, there’s so much more to that story. I appreciate you kind of giving it at a high level, but I got one follow up question. So growing up, you said primarily you were a city boy as you put it in Nairobi and then spent time. Of course, in Wells, let’s talk food for a second. What in, what was a key food dish that was part of your upbringing that you still can’t get enough of?

Mucai Kunyiha (00:04:49):

Ah, that’s, it’s easy to [inaudible]. I have not, you’ve not had a worker party, maybe Deborah. So Japan is a, it’s a wheat based. It’s like a cake. It’s almost like man, um, cooked on a pan and it’s Indian, I think originally it’s from India, but it came, uh, we had a huge, um, Indian influx at the beginning of the previous century and it became part of our national food. So Japan is still a challenge for me. And as probably Scott, you may know at a certain age, not everything that is nice to eat is good for you. So I’m now on a restricted number of Japan I am with you

Scott Luton (00:05:33):

Journey. Um, yeah. All right. So thanks for sharing. I want to check out Japan for sure. Um, all right, so Deborah, same question again. Great. To have a repeat guest we’ve been of course tracking all the big things you’ve been up to in the 18 months, two years or so it’s been, um, uh, so tell us, you know, where did you grow up? Uh, refresh our memory a bit and give us a couple anecdotes from your

Deborah Dull (00:05:57):

Sure. Thanks Scott, for having us and a huge thanks for Michelle for joining us. I’m really excited that we could do this together. I grew up in a fairly small rural area and the geographic center of Washington state up in the upper left-hand corner of the states and both my parents had grown up on farms. And so we were kind of like in a biggest small town around, you know, I remember when we got a, uh, escalator in high school, one story and the department store that was the bond Marcia at the time. Uh, it’s a, it’s a now no longer existing, uh, department store in Russia. Uh, and anyhow, we actually went and rode that for fun. So that just gives you an idea of, of the entertainment levels. Um, but very similar to Mucai. I actually have been a city girl at heart always.

Deborah Dull (00:06:52):

And how that happened growing up in a small place. I’m not entirely sure, but one element that’s been tough this last year is not being in cities because they’re not very fun in the middle of a global pandemic. And I really miss the energy that comes with being around so many people. And, uh, so that’s, that’s the, uh, a common theme between the two of us. And also similarly, I didn’t know what I wanted to do after school. Um, being in a smaller town, our guidance counselors, you know, they asked what you want to do. Well, I want to travel. And they were like, how about being a stewardess, not even flight attendant. This is early two thousands, you know, and I thought, gosh, there’s gotta be something else out there. And so I also chose business because I figured everybody buys things. And so that would be a ticket out of the country for me. Uh, so a lot of parallels, uh, between us, I think we shy.

Scott Luton (00:07:42):

Yeah. It sounds like it for sure. And, and travel you have done. I mean, a lot of the, the, uh, the aspect of your journey has been global in nature. We’ll, we’ll touch on more of that. And, you know, uh, Mucai, when I first sat down, Deborah, I gathered that when she mentioned she’d be on holiday, uh, in, in the next month or so. And I, and I had to pause it in true American forum. Wait, wait a second holiday. What does that and no vacation. I gotcha. I gotcha. Um, so I learned a lot from Deborah in that first interview and, and, and ever since, um, one more follow-up question for you, Deborah, you mentioned, uh, pre-show that you’re learning something new musically, please share.

Deborah Dull (00:08:25):

Yes. Yes. So these last couple of months, uh, my husband and I have been in Hawaii, uh, we kind of looked around and said, where is warm to spend winter? That is also safe, uh, in this pandemic we’re in. And so we’ve picked the big island of Hawaii, extremely safe. Everybody gets tested on the way in. Um, and so in being here, I asked for an equally for Christmas and I have been learning I’m, I’m good enough that we can have a really fun time, uh, the way that the UQ is, um, tuned helps you sound really good, even without only having to know a few chords. And so the hardest part has been learning to do different strums, uh, but it’s been a whole lot of fun to have a hammock strung up and, um, have a little slice of island life in between all the normal, uh, jobs work and everything else that goes along with being

Scott Luton (00:09:24):

An adult. I love it. I love it. Uh, I bet some of those days you can take it out on the ukulele after a long day at work. Right. All right. So, uh, well, well, thank you so much for indulging us. I appreciate the opportunity, uh, for us in our community and the audience to get to know you both a little bit better on a human level. That’s important. Um, all right. So now let’s talk about your professional journey. I think, I think this, this aspect is important, especially as we kind of look to identify the context or lens of how you view, um, the global business world. So Mucai, starting back with you tell us, you know, you’ve done a ton, both of y’all done a ton ton, um, in your, your business journeys, but if you would, um, pick a couple of key roles that really impacted your world.

Mucai Kunyiha (00:10:12):

Thanks. Yeah. Like I said, um, I started off as a lawyer, uh, a student lawyer, and as I was doing my apprenticeship, I kind of decided that this is not really going to work for me. Um, I think I remember the conversation around that was, uh, with another student lawyer as well. He said, one of the problems with his being a lawyer is that, um, you sit there in the office and people bring you their problems and then you try and solve them. So there’s no, the extent of your creativity is limited to the depth of their problem or the challenge that they’re facing. And sometimes it’s, you know, they just want a mortgage or a contract or something. So I thought I wanted to be a bit more creative. So I said, you know, when you’re outside, you can be a bit more creative.

Mucai Kunyiha (00:10:55):

I can start a new business, I can do something new and, you know, it’s all, it’s all new. So, um, my family was into business. My dad was in business as well. So what I first did was to help my mum in business and I’ve actually been in the family business ever since. So it’s partly family business that I’ve been engaged in, started off with, um, selling detergents, which was a business. My dad was in, uh, industrial detergents, went into cleaning, cleaning services. That was a pretty tough, that was my first, uh, like executive role. So I was like, you’re going to run this business for us, which was quite a challenge, but a good lessons and, you know, dealing with people at that time, I had like at the peak, I think I had 400 staff or something. So quite that big, your first,

Scott Luton (00:11:50):

Uh, kind of CEO role, it sounds

Mucai Kunyiha (00:11:51):

Like. Yeah. Yes, yes. If I can, if I can ask you that. So it’s not too, not too difficult. What’s

Scott Luton (00:12:00):

The, if I could interject for a second, you know, we’ve all had those at that first big role. Right. Uh, and it teaches us some, some really good things and inspiring things and makes us want to, you know, work around the clock and then it continues some really challenging things. Kind of the, the punch to the gut. What was, uh, early lesson learned from that early leadership role? Yeah.

Mucai Kunyiha (00:12:23):

I think the one I remember is a broad responsibility. So like, as a CEO, you need to know you’ve got to have a big picture of what, everything what’s going on, everything’s going on. So the one that I remember that hit me hardest was, um, uh, some of our taxes actually. So we kind of got to audit later on. And then, um, the auditor says, well, you know, you’re kind of behind on these taxes. And I look at the accountant and I’m like, um, uh, Y you said, oh, well, you know, I thought I should pay this first. Then I should do this. But then I’m like, it’s taxes, man. You pay the tax. So that took me a while to sort out and to figure out that there are some important questions you must ask, even when you, because you are delegating work to others, but there are some important questions that you need to know.

Mucai Kunyiha (00:13:15):

What are those questions that you need to ask whoever you are delegated to? Yeah. Yeah. Excellent point. So that was, that was one. Yeah, but so, yeah, um, from cleaning time was the beginning. And then I, I joined the mid from the business. Unfortunately, my dad passed away in 1998. So I went to, to his main business, which was then, um, it was then called Cooper Kenya. It’s now CKL Africa. And this was, um, at that time it was an animal health inputs business. So we had, uh, he had inherited, um, uh, the region kind of bought the company that distributed products for Cooper’s animal health. It’s now muck. It’s not part of Merck and MSD animal health. So we still, we are, they’re still our principles and we sell their products. We manufacture and sell their products, uh, for the regional market here in Kenya.

Mucai Kunyiha (00:14:11):

Uh, and that’s where I’ve been now for 20 something years, 20 odd years, uh, we’ve grown in the range of products that we sell beyond the MSD range. We a lot of focus on nutrition and productivity because there has been to try and help farmers produce more. And then we had a bit of real estate. So this business that my dad had got into had some real estate on it, which was in the past of farm. So out of that, I didn’t mention that when I said, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. One of my options was to be an architect. I was like, maybe I should be an architect. Maybe I should drop out. So, uh, we, we started development that development, uh, business built a couple of houses, ended up building up a hotel, which we were running. Unfortunately there were tell is now closed. It didn’t survive. COVID um, and we still got our real estate business that we are running alongside what we’re doing. And then a few bits and bobs, you know, if I’m in the business is always investing in this. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:15:12):

Yes. Multifaceted what I’m hearing. Well, uh, so we’ll circle back, cause we’re going to ask you more about, um, some of the things that you’re doing currently, but Deborah comeback to you. Uh, same question. If you could walk us through a couple of those key roles early in your journey that helped shape how you view the world and, and, um, and kind of how your lens evolved, how you look at challenges and, and successes and you name it.

Deborah Dull (00:15:38):

Yeah, absolutely. Thanks. Uh, very similar again, you know, early, early in my career, I was thrown into a leadership role, uh, to launch surface the one and I kind of looked up maybe 24, 25 years old, and all of a sudden had three full-time teams reporting to me. And I did kind of a crummy job with a lot of, um, you know, I, I didn’t really understand the right way to inspire people. Everyone was really stressed out, uh, whereas a lot of deadlines. And so I learned a large spectrum of situational leadership. We’ll call it the situations. This seems to work really well in these situations. I seem to be de-motivating instead of motivating the team and really through those couple of really tough months, you know, long, long hours in the office, a lot of executive pressure. Um, I reflect on that time a lot and think about the type of leader I want to be and how I want to show up for the team.

Deborah Dull (00:16:43):

Uh, I, I think a lot about the types of questions to ask to Mucai’s point, um, and often find that by asking the right questions, um, teams end up feeling more empowered and, um, able to manage themselves a lot better. And so early, early on, uh, had that experience certainly had, um, ups and downs through my leadership development in the, in the past decade or so. Um, but that was a big, a big role for me. And the positive piece of that was having a leader who set out a big challenge for me and expected me to fill the shoes, uh, in that type of high expectation, high performance, um, was really very impactful early in my career. And so finding those types of leaders who, um, it doesn’t matter if you’re new out of school, it doesn’t matter if you’re not a traditional fit for the role, um, but to spot talent and really give them a chance to Excel was, um, also very impactful to me.

Scott Luton (00:17:44):

Well, I can only imagine, and especially innovative product and the first version of it, uh, by the way. So, but I, I completely agree with you, you know, I think those lessons we learned in those early roles, you know, motivation, inspiration, and, and just the technical side of how to lead, right? And, and for you to have that, especially that role at 24, 25 years old, man, what a wonderful, um, warts and all, you know, as someone said, you know, what a wonderful opportunity that clearly impacted you as a leader. Um, so I love that. I appreciate you sharing let’s, let’s move forward a little bit, cause I want to talk about what y’all are both up to now. Um, you know, there’s so much, you know, we could have a six hour show really on all the different things you’re involved in and, and Deborah for now I want to stick with you. Cause then I want to circle back to, um, Mucai. So the circular supply chain network, which you founded, which there has been a ton of buzz across social and, and, and, and even in human conversations, we’re having right. You’re becoming a, uh, a mythical personality around circularity, which is a wonderful thing because it needs a voice, right? And these conversations. So tell us the inspiration between, uh, behind font, uh, founding it, and then what it is.

Deborah Dull (00:18:58):

Uh, and I’m really excited because, um, Mucai is really a thought leader in Kenya and east Africa and across the continent globally, we’ve been on panels together around what a circular you mean, uh, especially in resource constrained environments, uh, which has been something that’s been, um, quite refreshing as we’re exploring this. So how this all worked. Um, I kind of tripped and fell into circular economy. Three, four years ago. I found the concept, got my head around it and thought, gosh, this seems really big for supply chain, but didn’t see a lot of other voices talking about circularity and supply chain. And so I started talking about it and actually the first time I gave the keynote was at the same X conference with our friend, Jenny Froome and, uh, in Cape town. And, and thankfully they invited me back and I can share, you know, as thoughts, progress that I get to present there every year, which is great.

Deborah Dull (00:19:51):

There was this interesting week, this last September where Ash about a dozen strangers reached out on LinkedIn and we’re like, Hey, is there a place that supply chain professionals get together to talk about this? And I was like, Nope. And they were like, can you start one? Absolutely not. I don’t have time, but it was a kind of a magical week where just so many people had recommended it. And so I put a zoom link out in the world and, um, nine people showed up and then the next month 30 people showed up and then the next month more people showed up and all of a sudden we needed breakout rooms and, um, realized that there was a real interest and curiosity about what circularity means for a field. Uh, at the same time, a recognition that supply chain has such a big impact out in the world.

Deborah Dull (00:20:38):

And if we make better decisions, we can literally save the planet. Uh, so started this, um, self-selecting have come and found me. We’ve got volunteers on every continent, not, not Antarctica. Um, yeah. And we’ve got folks who call in from every continent when we have these events, we’ve got a couple of different time zones. And so it’s been really wonderful actually to be able to have so many people joining from so many countries and so many times zones across so many parts of their careers and all wanting to contribute to, you know, changing the way that our field works. So we’re, um, volunteer led non-profit and we, we do the best we can and move exactly as fast as we can. Um, but it’s been a, it’s been a really cool experience these last

Scott Luton (00:21:22):

Six months or so. And I look forward to, uh, um, you know, just facilitating and driving dialogue as simple, maybe as that sounds so many people listen to this, it’s so important, uh, whether it’s industry, whether it’s societal or whatever. So I love, I love the leadership role you and your organization are playing there and look forward to big things to come. So we’ll, uh, we’ll have to, uh, bring you back on and get our finger on the pulse of what the circuit or supply chain network is, uh, up to. All right. So Mucai, I want to talk about the, um, Kenya association manufacturers, but before we leave this topic of circularity, what, you know, clearly you’re a well-respected leader in this space, um, a couple of thoughts there, and then we’ll move into manufacturing.

Mucai Kunyiha (00:22:07):

So my impression, yeah. So, um, I think when we think about circularity and, um, like Deborah mentioned earlier, this resource constraints, um, environment. So for me, even when I started working in the family business, and as I’ve worked here and grown into, do you actually see the challenges of Africa in manufacturing and just our general economies? We are still, um, well, we, we’re probably the poorest continent still too in many large measures, uh, financially and so on economically. So it’s always been a challenge for me is how we build what’s the contribution? What are we building in our environment and what are we growing? And to some extent, it’s an issue of stewardship. Uh, I kind of come from a Christian background and we have this whole thing about, you’ve got to be stewards of the earth that we have. So are we making the most of what we have and what we’re doing?

Mucai Kunyiha (00:23:01):

So it’s about growing jobs and systems and that kind of thing, but obviously I’m also in a stewardship does involve taking care of things beyond what we’re using. And I got into this, I kind of fell into this accidentally because, uh, at the association of manufacturers we had, um, uh, this was in 97, no, sorry, 2017 was at 18 when we had the first plastics bags ban in Kenya. And I was heading the legal and regulatory committee as the association. So we were trying to negotiate with government around this ban and this issues, because as they drafted it, actually technically they, they basically banned all plastic packaging. That’s, that’s what the law was drafted as. So manufacturer as well, like, you know, how are we going to get soap out? How are we going to get anything out if we can’t package it and so on.

Mucai Kunyiha (00:23:53):

But we did manage to, um, negotiate and engage with government and realize that the big issue was the shopping bags. And so that was sorted out and we, but we realized this is going to be a continuing story because the next thing was water bottles, the pet bottles and so on. And we had other manufacturers, uh, dealing with the same issue. So we started looking around and saying, what are the options? What are other people doing? This is not the first time it’s been done in the world. Some of our members are multinationals. So they also had contacts, um, with people all over the world. And, uh, that got us engaged into thinking about the big picture. You might have a small issue with plastic here, but you’ve got a bigger issue around, uh, the environment and so on. Um, and the association of manufacturers, we also host the global network and that’s part of the UN it started under the UN under the sustainable development goals.

Mucai Kunyiha (00:24:51):

They decided that they wanted the private sector to, to also participate in this. And so they formed this group called the global network and we, we kind of host it and run it within the association of manufacturers and try and get companies to subscribe to the sustainable development goals. And so then you, then you’re back to sustainability and circularity, I guess, just come up with these things, how are we going to get this sustainability done well, and in Africa, like I say, it’s, it’s always a challenge because, um, and it was even, um, in the, the Paris climate change discussions. And so on that challenge that China and India always bring to the table, which in a sense for the third world is that we also want to get better lives. You know, we want to electrify the countryside. People want to drive cars. Uh, people want to live a certain lifestyle and to get there means we are going to have to do, you know, our carbon footprint is going to grow. This is what they’re saying. So that’s always been a challenge, but then we are starting to think about what are the alternatives? How can we do this better? Because sometimes we can skip some of the phases that other countries went through. Um, but we still do need to develop the development challenge is, and the demand for development here is very high. We have a very young population, um, people are going to need to live and eat and get better lifestyle. Yeah,

Scott Luton (00:26:22):

Yeah. Um, at the same time that as, as much as the challenge, that that might be the population growth, it’s also wonderful, uh, advantage. Um, and, and the ideas and innovation and leadership, and, uh, it’s all a tremendous upside for, uh, business opportunities that, that are already coming into, uh, across Africa and, and, and what will be growing. We’ve had a couple of different interviews that folks were, were, uh, informing us and teaching us about the, uh, the startup environment across Africa, which is really cool. Um, all right. So there’s so much, yeah, lots of opportunity there. Um, so much to talk about. So little time, uh, Mucai and Deborah one last thing I love how y’all both kind of speak to the practicality of, of circularity, right? Cause I think that for non technologists and, and maybe, um, non-engineers, and, and maybe even non practitioners, I think they’ve gotta be able to understand it and understand the steps in the path and that the plastics, uh, Mucai was a great example. And, um, I think that’ll help us all make more traction and move the needle sooner and earlier in, in with bigger movements, maybe. So I appreciate y’all’s leadership here. Okay. Uh, Mucai, you mentioned the Kenya association of manufacturers elaborate a little bit more about what that organization does.

Mucai Kunyiha (00:27:48):

Yeah, so we are about 62 years old as an organization here, and we bring together manufacturers, it’s a voluntary organization, and then we’ve got 14 different sectors of manufacturing that are covered and is up in Kenya. You know, you’ve got everything from steel to leather, uh, to pharmaceuticals, to agroprocessing and we kind of bring them together and we try and, um, represent their issues to government, to regulators, uh, tax related issues. And of course, even developmental issues like this, you know, about how are we also going to grow the manufacturing industry? In fact, our tagline is inspiring global competitiveness because, um, you know, Africa has always had this potential for growing its industrial base. And, uh, well, historically what we’ve seen in other continuance everywhere, they, their kind of economic growth comes up when you have a big industrial base, because it can create jobs value adding at the end of the day, what manufacturing does is creating value by value, adding to different materials, etc.

Mucai Kunyiha (00:28:57):

So that’s what we want to do. And we’re trying to advocate that from a government perspective, but also from our members. So we do have an aspect of trying to train and develop our members to be better manufacturers, to be more competitive manufacturers. Um, we do a bit of work trying to open markets. So we’ve been busy, um, with the east African community. We have some kind of, uh, market around here, but now the new kid on the block or so the new project is the Africa continental free trade area. And, uh, actually we were just on a call talking about how we’re going to make this a reality at the moment. It’s a, it’s a proposal, it’s an idea. It’s got political buy-in, but there’s a lot, like you mentioned, there’s a lot technical work that needs to go in to make it happen.

Mucai Kunyiha (00:29:44):

And we’re hoping that’s going to, um, open up a little bit of more of the markets India. We’ve got about 1,500 members spread across Kenya, all sizes from the largest corporates, the largest manufacturers. And we have a specific, uh, project as well to small and micro manufacturers. People just starting out where we can also kind of educate them and give them input and help because we see even the largest manufacturer started out as a small manufacturer one day, 200 years ago. But at some point they were just a small manufacturer doing a small thing. We think that we can build off future giants and champions out of that. I love

Scott Luton (00:30:28):

That. Um, I love that, you know, speaking, which, you know, the Clorox company, uh, we, we dove into their history a few weeks back and I’m not going to get the name. I can’t remember all the names, but w w one of the biggest turning points in that. And now that global behemoth was, uh, uh, there was a husband and wife team that essentially kind of came in early in, in the 18 hundreds and, and, and changed operations and, and also had a big impact on strategy and, and, and the, uh, the husband kind of focused on operations and the wife really dove into changing how they sold the product. So the Clorox company was selling to the industrial space initially, but, um, I can’t remember this individual’s name. She said, Hey, let’s sell to homes. And there’s gonna be lots of personal uses for, for this bleach product that changed the course of history for the Clorox company.

Scott Luton (00:31:19):

Uh, and it’s really just a FA it’s it’s it’s to your point, let me shy. It says early Eureka moments, right? Where, where we, we force ourselves not to do what we’ve been doing for a couple of years, but, but change pace. And it opens up these huge doors. Uh, so I love what you’re doing. I love the conversations. I mean, y’all, y’all got lot of kindred spirits between two of you, you know, facilitate these conversations that Bennett can benefit. So many, whether you you’re part of a big company or you partner a small company, or with your entrepreneur or your practitioner, um, it’s really important. So I don’t want to bring Debra and bring you back into the conversation. I want to kind of talk about a couple of observations, kind of across African and Mucai, you mentioned, um, you know, some of the free trade and some of the economic initiatives that are taking place that I think can really unite countries across the continent, uh, wonderful opportunities. So we look forward to see more progress there, but, but Deborah you’re you’re, um, you you’ve spent time and worked, uh, across Africa. What, when, when you think of manufacturing and some of those things that we shot touched on what comes to your mind?

Deborah Dull (00:32:22):

Super thanks. I, um, a global trend, which I’m hoping will, um, stick, as we’re talking about the small manufacturers, we’re gonna swing back folks like we’ve spent the last hundred and 5,200 years to figure out how to industrialize and make massive manufacturing centers. And it’s not going to last, we are shipping items way too far, distance wise. Um, most food in America goes 2000 miles per ingredient. Your jeans probably went 40,000 miles. Your iPhone has been around the moon. And back before you even got to turn it on, this is kind of getting out of hand and it’s, it’s a double-edged sword on the one hand, um, like Mucai said, if a country can establish itself as a manufacturing powerhouse, it’s a tremendous way to unlock growth. And in fact, that has been the history for this last 50 years or so in the global stage.

Deborah Dull (00:33:22):

However, at the other side, if we can properly de-centralize or hold on to these micro, smaller manufacturing hubs and make only what’s needed with regionally harvested materials, we unlocked such economic power and less dependency on trading partners. Now I am all for global trade, of course, however, as materials continue to pass borders, we continue to open ourselves to disruption like we have seen in this last year. So I think this idea of the smaller manufacturers will be holding more weight as we go into the future. They’re still going to be highly digitized, highly technical. Uh, there’s certainly some development work to do around the world there. But if we look at, you know, Unilever’s nano factory, they just put out an entire food production line in a 40 foot container, uh, not to be out done. Microsoft has put an entire server farm in a 40 foot container, much of, uh, the, uh, inspiration was to be able to provide server services in resource constrained environment.

Deborah Dull (00:34:32):

So it’s a completely self-contained container that can be placed down anywhere in the world. Uh, and I think this is going to be really exciting and a great use of entrepreneurship that exists across Africa, especially in Kenya, you know, um, I don’t know Mucai, if this is real, but when I was there, I was told it’s like the silicone Savanna, the digital startup mentality, and they Roby, I mean, I’ve been to a couple of incubators and what’s happening. There is just tremendous. We see wonderful, wonderful, um, inspiration, for example, mobile money started first in Kenya. We don’t even have it here. And the ability to pay for anything with just texting, we can do it now with the iPhone and you touch it to something and it works. But, um, the idea of mobile money has been around for so long, and we don’t even have that yet cash on delivery.

Deborah Dull (00:35:24):

We don’t do that. And wouldn’t that be cool? So anyhow, there’s a lot, um, that we can share with each other. And I think with organizations like, um, what Mucai runs connected to other similar organizations around the world, we can learn a lot and swap a lot. And I think as we need to go sort of, I don’t want to say back to a de-centralized way, because we never had robotic automated 5g factories before, but as we move towards this together, uh, we’re going to see a different pace of growth. And I don’t think the disparity among the different regions around the world has to be as large as it has been.

Scott Luton (00:36:02):

Right. That’s a lot of goodness you just shared there, Deborah, um, Mucai want to come back to you here based on anything she just shared. W w what would you like to pick up on? And of course, would love to hear your observations on the local manufacturer market as well.

Mucai Kunyiha (00:36:16):

Yeah, I think, I think, you know, the shorter supply chains is definitely one of the issues. Well, and I think the whole conversation about the environment and, um, what we need to do going forward, the big stories is quite complicated. So, and we always need to think about the trade-offs and be honest about that. There will be some trade-offs plus, but that doesn’t mean that there are no solutions. It’s just that they are triggers. So you have to balance these things out. So, um, like, uh, one of Africa’s historical complaints is that we issue a lot of raw materials. You know, we grew a lot of things and then we shipped them out and then they are processed somewhere else, which again is necessary because you’d be surprised. Do you know Scott, which is the largest exporter, which countries the largest export of coffee in the world

Scott Luton (00:37:05):

It’s country? Um, I don’t know. I wanna, I don’t want to guess. Well, I guess

Mucai Kunyiha (00:37:10):

It’s actually Germany. Isn’t really it’s Germany.

Scott Luton (00:37:13):

Yeah. Oh man. I am, I’m blown away. I thought you were, the trick answer was going to be from the African continent, but then you hit me with Germany. Yeah, no

Mucai Kunyiha (00:37:21):

It’s Germany because all the world’s coffee, again, like to Deborah’s point or the world’s coffee, but not all, a lot of the world’s coffee goes to Germany, it’s kind of blended and mixed up and then it’s exported from there. So you think, you know, is that really necessary? Perhaps this should be happening in Africa, south America, Southeast Asia. They also grow a lot of coffee there. Maybe that’s where some of these things should be happening. Of course, the other side of it is that the consumer and that economically is a challenge that, um, a lot of the growth models that we have is that they are in the global north, a lot of rich consumers who have money to spend. So everybody down here is thinking of what can I make for them that they’re going to send me money for. So that’s what the idea is.

Mucai Kunyiha (00:38:08):

So that, that means they start traveling across, but there is an opportunity. And a like for us in Africa, you know, my business is in agriculture. One of them is like, if we got food sufficient, you know, a lot of Africa, we are still not food sufficient. We still import quite a bit of food. So if we got food sufficient, that’s creating jobs, um, value here in our markets in DC, we have a lot of raw materials. So, um, you mentioned the iPhone and, you know, the big stories like in the Congo, um, with Colton and all these other rare minerals, which are picked up in, uh, not very large amounts shipped across the world everywhere to make the phones, should we be doing some of that production in this market? So that’s kind of where we start seeing for, uh, our manufacturing. The huge opportunity in manufacturing is looking at just the resources that you have internally, what can you do, uh, with them and turn them into something beneficial.

Mucai Kunyiha (00:39:08):

So the, and there are opportunities there if we start looking at them that way. So traditionally, unfortunately, sometimes we could do something about, um, uh, industries that help other countries in the, you know, grow, you know, whether it was in the metal that was in vehicles and those kinds of things. But, you know, the future is changing. We need to look at what are the resources that you have near you, and you may be able to serve the world with them. Um, but you can also serve your local markets with them and, and try and engage with them, uh, that we just to try and get them going again. There was also the circularity issue because there’s a lot of waste. And, um, we do have, although the west came up with a, a linear economy, uh, and you know, it very deep roots and a pretty expensive, we don’t have to go that way.

Mucai Kunyiha (00:39:58):

I like what Deborah said about mobile money about, uh, I think four years ago, five years ago, Kenya basically had 50% of the mobile group, the world’s mobile because, because Mpesa, which we use here was so successful. I think the rest of the world has got onto the story. So now we are no longer as big, but it’s huge. I mean, it’s huge that it works. It works very well, uh, in our market yet. So we can create new systems. That doesn’t mean that we have to follow the same line that everybody else went. Um, the rest of the world went through and the key thing there being how we can conserve resources, because again, we’re in a resource class environment this morning, or earlier on, I was talking to our steel, uh, the chair of our steel sector. And the price of steel is just going through the roof at the moment. Um, because of Australia having a fight with China, China making demands and, uh, no export things. I mean, it’s global things happening everywhere. So we’ve got methods around here. We can reuse them. And if we can get, find ways of recycling them, we don’t have a lot of INO, but we still have quite a lot of Metro that we can recycle and reuse and find other materials perhaps that would help us in this environment. So, yeah, that’s maybe to add on to that. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:41:21):

New opportunities, lots of opportunity, lots of challenges, lots of opportunities. And, you know, I love how both of y’all use the mobile money example because I think that’s an outstanding, um, you know, the, the information age that we’re in and as cliche, but it truly is where we are. And, and with the, the, the people and the ideas that, that make up African continent. And that’s where real innovation, not cliche innovation, you know, cause that’s, that’s one of those words too, but, but, uh, new ideas that can really be practically introduced to the marketplace and help and, and help provide opportunity and in a very, very tangible way. And, um, I think we’re going to see a lot more of that in, in the, um, in the years to come, especially as, as you mentioned, mushi, um, after it, isn’t looked at as a, um, a resource, um, you know, warehouse or, or, um, you know, folks see value in creating stuff and building stuff right there in Africa. And it changes kind of how industry has looked and at that age old paradigm. So I love it. And I love how you’re bringing in a variety of sectors and ideas together, and a want to have you back on and put our finger on the pulse of all the cool things you’re doing. But Deborah Mucai just shared quite a bit there. And I bet you’re chomping at the bit. They kind of add on a couple of things or, or sharing anything else that strikes you from what Mucai just walked related.

Deborah Dull (00:42:47):

Another trend, um, this last year has proven that it is possible for us to work with each other, not physically co-located it. And I am hopeful that this actually starts to open up the world’s labor market. Uh, I think right now we have a lot of desire for people to go to different countries for a higher wage. Um, there’s going to be a lot of complications around this, but I predict in the future, we’re going to export less goods around the world and we’re going to be exporting talent, uh, not physically exporting digitally exporting where we can all stay, where we want to be, but work with each other around the world. And I think this will happen with me. Facturing I think a lot of the future of manufacturing is actually going to be, um, engineers taking care of the automation and robots, et cetera, et cetera.

Deborah Dull (00:43:41):

Um, we’re on a spectrum. Of course there’s the best manufacturers in the world have some factories that are very low digitized and some that are fully automated and GE is one of those. We have some factories that have almost no automation and all the way up to the additive manufacturing that we do, that’s fully automated. Um, so I think that’s going to be an interesting move and the ability to work in manufacturing, even work in on the line and not physically be there. Uh, so this to me is represents such a wonderful space, especially given the youth bubble and so many African countries. Um, they’re, they’re digital natives, they’re growing up, familiar, comfortable interacting with the world. They’re finding people out, you know, on zoom, in different, in different countries. And I think a knowledge exchange that was previously facilitated by universities or the international development community can now happen organically, uh, with an internet connection, which I’m incredibly optimistic about what that will lead to, if we can get youth connected, uh, in the, the SDGs is one great way.

Deborah Dull (00:44:49):

There there’s a wonderful organization working across Africa, the youth for STGs, um, the, the, uh, the amount of optimism and, and why can’t we do this attitude we see in younger people, um, I’m just very optimistic about where that’s going to go. So the idea of, of regionally, what can we do with what we have, and I want to challenge everyone in the world to do that. We have to stop shipping so much are real the world transportation accounts for 15% of global emissions. And if we continue the way we are, we literally won’t be able to grow food anymore. There’s a little bit of a, uh, issue we’ve got ahead of us. We need to come together to solve. So there’s that piece, but then this global collaboration piece, uh, I’m just so excited about what I’ve witnessed so far in this last year, especially, and what that means for the future.

Scott Luton (00:45:40):

Excellent, excellent point. Uh, there has been a ton of, of, um, big wins innovations and takeaways. That’s been part of the silver lining of this last 18 months. And, uh, I love your optimism there because it will, it’s going to change industry and it’s gonna provide a ton of opportunity as long as leaders organizations apply these, these big lessons learned and, you know, and, and not to be too dramatic, but give the people what they want, you know, and I think we’ve learned, uh, that traditional minds work a leadership or management, maybe mindset of, you know, eight to five in the office everyday fighting the commute. You know, that’s what it’s supposed to happen. Uh, it’s been really neat to see all the companies that have, have, uh, you know, kind of terminated their leases and let people work and produce and contribute where they, you know, where and how they want to do so. So, um, it’s interesting. Uh, all right. So, Mucai, um, I’m going to ask you both in a minute. My next one of my last questions is a Eureka moment. We’re kind of touching on the Eureka moments from the pandemic, but, uh, before we ask each of you all that, any, anything else from a, um, a global business perspective or local perspective that you want to share in terms of something you’re tracking? Yeah,

Mucai Kunyiha (00:46:51):

I think, um, on the sustainability side, um, uh, and supply chains, I think it’s just that, that whole idea of, uh, solutions and how can we find solutions? I think Deborah’s heard me talk about this before, but it’s one of my favorites was the wizard and the prophet is a book by Chelsea man. Um, I don’t know you had it, it’s a, it’s a great book. And he just talked about two people, two contemporaries in the forties, late forties to the early Christians were looking at food and food supplies at the world. And, um, you know, one of them, I think it was William, what he was the first environmentalist, the environmental movement. And he said to many people, we can’t, we’re not going to be able to feed them. We don’t have the resources to do it. Uh, but the other guy, um, was, uh, uh, Norman, Norman and his band.

Mucai Kunyiha (00:47:44):

And he said to many people, how are we going to feed them? Let’s figure out a way to feed them. And he was basically, he solved a food supply. The father of the green revolution got a Nobel prize and so on. And I like to be on the positive side of, yes, we can solve these issues. Um, it doesn’t mean that we do nothing, but sometimes there are people think, you know, don’t worry, somebody will solve it to the future. I think we have to start solving it to now that, you know, the, the challenge is urgent. So we need to deal with it now, but we can find solutions. So I think there is that side of, um, yeah, people are looking at solutions, uh, you know, like we’ve seen now with, um, I’m seeing the cutting edge batteries, uh, like wind power, you know?

Mucai Kunyiha (00:48:28):

So in, in Kenya, for instance, we have the greenest electricity, it’s hydro geothermal wind power tends to be the main part of our, we have the top of the world of green energy, so to speak, um, not, not on top of the world with how much energy we have or the price, but we are up to the idea. Um, and, uh, you know, you can find solutions to these things because they were, they were there and so on, but one of my spirits, so is like I said, inspirationally, when I started was, um, uh, if you take the biblical account from the garden of Eden, there was no iPhone in the garden of Eden. They didn’t call each other on the iPhone. If you take the creation story or whatever your creation story is, there wasn’t a life one, but there was an iPhone, everything to make an iPhone was there.

Mucai Kunyiha (00:49:18):

Okay. I mean, it was that it just had to go, you know, centuries, decades, whatever, to find out how to make all these things work together to create an iPhone. So what else is there? You know, this stuff out there, we were kind of living with it. And, um, if we could discover it, we put our minds to it. And, um, and also just think about what we can change, because somethings we can change. Sometimes we do take that. We go down the wrong route and we can change and then, you know, you can make life better. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:49:50):

All right. I’m going to completely steal that garden of Eden analogy there. Mucai, that is wonderful. Um, I want to bring up one more thing before we move to Eureka moments and, and Deborah, you touched on this earlier. Um, you know, the digital divide, you know, I’ll tell ya. Um, during the, um, quarantine here in the states, at least in our home, all three of our kids went remote for a year and we were fortunate. Uh, of course they still, all my bandwidth and production took a hit from the home studio. But, um, but you know, w they were fortunate to have what they needed from an equipment standpoint and, and perhaps even more important to standpoint, right. Um, we find that divide here in the states, and of course we defined it. We find it everywhere else around the globe, and it really is such a huge barrier. Um, any comment, uh, Deborah and any, any, um, thing you wanna elaborate on when it comes to the digital divide?

Deborah Dull (00:50:44):

I do. And I’m going to break it into two categories. One, you’ve probably seen the funny Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and at the bottom, they hand draw in wifi, but then there’s another one that underneath they draw in battery life. And I bring that up because access to power and energy in many frontier markets is often more challenging than finding a, an available and public wifi connection. Um, as I reflect on pictures, we’ve seen here in America from the pandemic of, um, little kids standing outside of a taco bell to get their wifi and the assumptions that many of our policy makers and administrators make about the availability of resources for our youth and for our society. I’m hoping those are now a bit more challenged that not everyone has wifi or now yes, but not everyone does. And then even more than that, the ability to charge whatever it is that device that you’re working on.

Deborah Dull (00:51:53):

And so I think there’s a great potential for us there. And as we continue to expand, uh, availability of Wi-Fi batteries devices, um, again, we’ll, we’ll be able to connect the world and make more resources available to folks. So a couple of interesting ones to go and look at, you know, more people in the world have access to cell phones than toilets, not necessarily smart phones. Um, but the infrastructure building that even if, if someone does have access, it doesn’t mean they’ve got access to all the other parts of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. And so, interesting one to go and be curious about, uh, there’s a great website. I encourage folks to go to called dollar street. Uh, it imagines the world is one big street and your neighbors make only slightly more and only slightly less than you. And we find that actually income levels around the world, your homes, your toys, your kitchen look almost exactly the same. And so we’re, we’re more similar than we are different. And I think there’s a lot of ways that we can come together and grow together.

Scott Luton (00:52:56):

Love that, love that. So we’ll, we’ll try to include that dollar street and the link to that wizard and the prophet that you mentioned. Mucai um, and by the way, while we’re, while we’re doing some program notes, any Murray was the legendary innovative figure in the history of the Clorox company that really changed the game back early. So Annie Marie, so, uh, fascinating. All right. So Mucai, I want to, we’ve covered so much ground, and I know that they’re there, you know, an hour, you think we get everything in an hour, but we’re really caned, uh, and Michelle. So w what I want to kind of start to wrap on continuous trend of Eureka moments. We’ve learned so much, uh, from, uh, the last couple of years here, but w Mucai, what, what’s one thing that really sticks out what what’s a powerful Eureka moment that that’s really hits you and, and kind of made to stay in your tracks for our second? Yeah,

Mucai Kunyiha (00:53:47):

I think, well, of course, there’s a lot around COVID that has been, um, new and change the, the, the, the surprise about how fast things could change and, you know, just direct and some for good and some for bad when you say with the difficult times and, and so on. But I think there’s one thing I did read, which was useful, and then ties in also with our sustainability story was, um, somebody writing that, you know, we share the planet with many other, uh, species that we don’t know about, or so this virus didn’t kind of, depending on who you read and so on, it wasn’t manufactured. There was the coronavirus is out there in bats that we actually live. We share this planet with them. And to some extent they have, I don’t know whether I would say they have a right to the planet more than them, but they’re there they share.

Mucai Kunyiha (00:54:40):

And so there’s a balance in the planet that we need to be so aware of. And, um, you know, if we knock it off, it can really go, it can change our world totally. From what we would think. You know, we, we think about all the data sources with exceeds and we, you know, it’s kind of like a big story from the past, but yeah, things can change significantly, but yet we have within our hands, the power to, to change a lot, to influence a lot to, uh, to make things work better. So we can do a lot, um, with what we have with the little we have. Um, you told me one thing, but I have to add the last one because supply chain is vaccinations again, and vaccination is such a supply chain story, you know, about where, where are we going to get these vaccines?

Mucai Kunyiha (00:55:32):

Uh, why aren’t people are kind of not like, why don’t we make vaccines in the African continent or in other places, you know, how come only a few people make vaccines and, um, if they are becoming such a useful thing for humanity and we need to do them. So, and again, it was to what Deborah was saying, that there was this sense of concentration. So we had a few huge vaccine manufacturers and maybe now we’re going to have to split it out and see, okay, let’s get a smaller production in different parts of the world so that we can make things happen quickly. So in Africa with, it’s still a challenge getting vaccination, um, across Africa. And like they keep saying at the who, unless everybody is vaccinated, you know, we’re not doing anything we have to do the whole world. So that’s, that’s a big challenge for us now. I agree.

Scott Luton (00:56:24):

Definitely. There’s going to be, um, business schools are going to have so much fodder, uh, to dive into from the last 18 months for decades to come. Really. Um, so I appreciate you bringing that up. Um, all right. So Deborah speaking of Eureka moments, you’ve kind of already both. You have already shared a few here, but specifically from the pandemic, what’s, what’s been a powerful Eureka moment for you.

Deborah Dull (00:56:46):

You know, I’m going to share a topic I learned about during the pandemic, cause I’ve already talked about the pandemic a lot, uh, which relates to the garden of Eden story on materials and availability. We’ve been running this whole time on the assumption that we need to take something out of the planet as a resource and use that to fuel our economy, the innovation around bio materials and bio facturing, is it starting to become called is really tremendous. It’s the idea based on research that 60%, six, 0% of the a hundred million, sorry, a hundred billion tons of material that entered the global company every year could come from biology. That means we can start to unhook ourselves from resources inside the planet, and instead grow them with the science that we’re only starting to really understand. We only know so much about science. It seems like we know a lot.

Deborah Dull (00:57:45):

We can vaccinate ourselves against these diseases. That’s amazing. There’s so much more that can happen there. Uh, so it’s an area I encourage people to go and look up and again, something, a new tool for all of us, as we start to imagine, what could regional, uh, manufacturing look like? Uh, the quality levels we’ve been so worried about when we think about decentralization can be augmented with sensitization and the technologies that are becoming more available to us and more affordable to us that we can understand, okay, this is the right technology because we have sensors in place, et cetera. And that can be fueled for the majority 60% by materials that we can grow. And this is really exciting to me. I have not taken biology since I was 15 years old. However, uh, the excitement around this space, a company called Zimmer agendas, IPO recently, um, fascinating for people to go and look at. And again, it gets me very, very optimistic about resource availability because in this last year, Scott, we have all become resource constrained environments and we all start to understand how can we innovate with what we’ve got around us.

Scott Luton (00:59:03):

I love that. Um, I really love that. And speaking about allergy, I was horrible at chemistry. I was horrible, horrible at calculus, but I love biology and thanks to Ms. Bowen and Ms. Woods, both at Scofield middle school for taking extra time with me. So, uh, it’s, it’s wonderful. Wonderful. Um, alright. So, um, yeah, I kinda don’t want to end this conversation. I’m learning so much, I’ve got my 17 pages of notes and then some, it’s been an honor and a pleasure to have this conversation with both of y’all, but, uh, Michelle let’s make sure folks know how to connect with you and, and, and, um, you know, I’m sure you get plenty of inbounds based on your, your crazy schedule, but how can folks connect with you and, and what you are doing both the C K C K L Africa and the Kenya association of manufacturers.

Mucai Kunyiha (00:59:51):

Yep. Okay. So, um, everybody’s on the internet and you can find us. We at, uh, um, our website is key m.co dot QI, and CKL Africa is great. It’s just ckl.africa. So it’s very easy to find on the internet. Um, um, I’m also on LinkedIn, um, and all my name is a bit hard to get through, but I guess it will be printed out somewhere. So wish I could, you have both on LinkedIn and on, um, Twitter, uh, I’m not very active on LinkedIn, but at least where there and Twitter is a bit more active,

Scott Luton (01:00:30):

You know, it’s interesting. Uh, Twitter is kind of like Crocs or licorice folks either love it or hate it, you know? Um, I agree with you, uh, Mucai, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s, there’s a lot of noise and there’s a lot of negativity, but if you really use it to learn new things and, and meet people and cultivate relationships is a really powerful tool. So, and will you follow agreed up? Yeah. And to your point, we will make it one click. So we’ll include your bio and, and links in the show notes. Folks can connect with you both, um, Deborah, Deborah Dull, thanks so much for your time and facilitating this dialogue here. How can folks connect with

Deborah Dull (01:01:10):

You? Absolutely. I am I aspire to be across social media platforms at circular nomad with an underscore instead of a space. I, I like licorice and I, I had a crock phase in college when it wasn’t that weird, tried Twitter out. I will be inspired after this discussion to be more active on Twitter. And, you know, Mucai they say, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And I find social media is quite similar. If you choose to follow thought leaders and optimistic folks, then your day goes a little bit better. And I find that LinkedIn stays to send, tends to stay a bit more civil than Twitter. And you’ve really got to have your cup of coffee before you get on Twitter sometimes, but you know what, both of you thanks for the dose of inspiration. I’ll go send my first tweet in several months here, here it comes folks, it’s happening now.

Scott Luton (01:02:14):

Hey, uh, the countdown’s on a circular underscore, so check that out. Um, but really appreciate it again for me. One of the big common themes here today was, uh, you know, bless her out of those that facilitate dialogue and conversations and learning opportunities. And, and both of you are doing that in spades. And I really appreciate that. So big, thanks to you both. We’ve been talking with [inaudible], uh, chairman of Kenya association of manufacturers, and of course, a group chief executive officer at CKL Africa. So big thanks Mucai and our dear friend Deborah Dull, uh, who helped us make it happen. Principal manufacturing, product management, GE digital and founder at the circular supply chain network. You’ll find links to all of this information and these two individuals in the show notes, a big thanks to you, both Deborah and Mucai.

Mucai Kunyiha (01:03:05):

Great, thanks you very much.

Scott Luton (01:03:07):

We did two we’ll have you back. So two are two of our listeners and our audience and our community. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this conversations wide ranging conversation. As much as I have, uh, this has been a very informative and intriguing and learned a ton here with these two leaders. Hey, um, on behalf of our entire team here at supply chain, now Scott Lewis signing off for now. Hope you hope you have a wonderful rest of your week, but most importantly, we like these to do good, give forward, be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see next time right here at supply chain. Now,

Intro/Outro (01:03:38):

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

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Is the Future of Manufacturing Circular? Global Trends in Circular Supply Chain

Featured Guests

Deborah Dull leads supply chain product management at GE Digital which focuses on the supply chain capabilities needed to accelerate the industrial transition to a circular economy. Deborah explores the needs of industrial equipment stakeholders around the world, providing thought leadership on the industrial internet as a strategy for maximizing uptime, reducing cost, and improving time to value. Deborah focuses on building relevant digital industrial supply chain products which address these needs, as well as paving the way to a circular economy. Learn more about GE Digital: https://www.ge.com/digital/

Mucai Kunyiha is the Chairman of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (a voluntary role). He is also the Group Chief Executive Officer of Kzanaka Ltd, a family-owned investment group that includes CKL Africa Ltd (agricultural inputs), Analabs Ltd (lab testing services), Mashiara Park, and Qaribu Inn (property businesses) and employs over 200 people across East Africa. Mucai is trained as a lawyer in the University of Wales (Cardiff) and also holds an MBA from Ashridge, UK. He has over 20 years of experience in business at the executive management level in the manufacturing and distribution of agricultural inputs and real estate industry. Mucai serves on various company boards as a non-executive director and the government’s Vision 2030 Delivery Board. He has been on the board of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers since 2014 and has served in the Legal & Regulatory Committee, HR and Governance Committee, Finance Management and Projects Committee, and the PET sub-sector. He is an advocate for raising the profile and standards of good governance, sustainability, and environmental issues in manufacturing and beyond.  Connect with Mucai on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

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

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.

She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.

An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.

A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.

A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning.  He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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