“There’s a difference between aggregating data and connecting data and integrating data. It’s like the iceberg; putting visualization into Excel and dashboards, that’s above the water. That’s the easy data.”
– Nate Endicott, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Alliances, RateLinx
“As companies put more emphasis on their supply chains, service levels, and costs, you can’t wait for an analyst to look at something six weeks later, you have to take action now.”
– Andrew Hooser, Vice President of Customer Solutions, RateLinx
The supply chain has been under stress for the last year, trying to connect unpredictable trends in supply and demand. For the companies trying to succeed in this environment, whether as shippers, carriers, or solution providers, trusted real-time data is the key to speeding up operations and increasing visibility for everyone involved.
Nate Endicott is the Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Alliances at RateLinx and Andrew Hooser is their Vice President of Customer Solutions. They take a consultative approach to helping companies ship, track, and pay better through an emphasis on quality, integrated data. For the first time this year, RateLinx was included in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systems (TMS) – an achievement that they are very proud of.
In this episode, Nate and Andrew discuss their company’s journey with Supply Chain Now Co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton:
– The push to bring inbound supply chain visibility to the same level as outbound (customer-facing) supply chain visibility
– The importance of being able to objectively demonstrate the value of their solutions and the types of ROIs that their customers receive
– Why data provides the best tool for holding everyone in the business accountable for promised performance and outcomes
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 (00:32):
Good morning, everybody. Scott Luton and Greg White with you here on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s show. Gregory, how are you doing?
Greg White (00:40):
I’m doing quite well. You know, this has been a big week for talking about visibility and analytics and everything that people need to do with innovation and technology, you know, to live in the new abnormal, right? We shouldn’t be ready for normal yet because it ain’t here.
Scott Luton (00:58):
Oh, Kayvon, some [inaudible]. So, the new abnormal. But, hey, the week gets even bigger because in this episode, we’re going to be talking to a mover and shaker, especially in logistics tech space. And they’re helping companies across the globe ship, track, and pay much better, and much more successfully. So, stay tuned for an intriguing and informative conversation. Hey, quick programming note. Hey, Greg. Folks like what they hear here. Where should we send them?
Greg White (01:27):
How about supplychainnow.com or wherever you get your podcasts from or, especially, YouTube because we look so good.
Scott Luton (01:37):
That’s right. And make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss conversations just like this. You can learn a lot from our friends here today. One of which is a repeat guest, Greg. We love a repeat guest. So, when I formerly introduce our guest here today, bringing back an old favorite repeat guests, a dear old friend, Nate Endicott, Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing at RateLinx. Nate, how are you doing?
Nate Endicott (01:57):
Good, guys. Thanks for having me, Scott and Greg.
Greg White (02:00):
Yeah. Welcome back.
Nate Endicott (02:01):
Scott Luton (02:01):
Well, we’re going to bring you for the Supply Chain Nerds Talk Sports at some point, because we’re going to dive deep into your baseball knowledge and background. That’s one of the fascinating parts about your journey, but we’ll save that for a later day. We’ll touch on a little bit here. But great to have you back and love what RateLinx is up to. And you brought with you a colleague, Andrew Hooser, Vice President of Customer Solutions with RateLinx. Andrew, how are you doing?
Andrew Hooser (02:24):
I’m doing great. Thanks for having me.
Scott Luton (02:27):
You bet. We’re not telling any secrets, but there might just be an Incredibles shot of you and the family out here. We’ll see if we can’t include that in the show notes somewhere, right, Greg?
Greg White (02:36):
It could be amazing or another than the word.
Scott Luton (02:41):
That’s right. Well, Andrew, welcome. Welcome to the family. And looking forward to hearing your perspective here today. All right. So, Greg, where are we starting? I think you’re leading us off today, right?
Greg White (02:51):
Yeah. Well, it’s been so long since Nate’s been with us, almost a year. Though, if anyone listened to that show, I’m sure they remember because it was a heck of a lot of fun. So, let’s just kind of re-introduce. Nate, maybe tell us a little bit about you’re from California originally. You’re in Arizona now. Tell us a little bit about something cool that happened in your time in California.
Nate Endicott (03:14):
Time in California, yeah. So, I grew up in Southern California. It’s kind of all I know and remember. And then, I moved to Arizona in ’99. But time in California, something that people like to hear on golf courses, and just kind of hanging out, and having a drink as I grew up. Just a few doors down from Tiger Woods would be something interesting in California. But it was fun to hang out with him, and grow up, and golf together, and play croquet, and swam, and throw darts, and go to the park.
Scott Luton (03:44):
Was he a good kid?
Nate Endicott (03:45):
He was an excellent kid.
Greg White (03:47):
Did he teach you anything about golf?
Nate Endicott (03:49):
You know what? The only lesson I ever had in my entire life was from Earl, and I had two lessons, like, that we would consider lessons. But we used to go out to the Navy course all the time and play and hit balls. And I think, you know, just like in the time that we’re in now or anything, I went from a dad, from a husband, from a friend, you know, being in a tough time or being challenged, it’s those spots where we get squeezed. And when we get in tough spots, you know, how are you going to react to get out of it or what are you going to do to land well. Earl would always take golf balls and put them in the toughest spots. So, behind a bush, you know, having to go the opposite direction with a big, huge Oak tree right in the middle of you, four feet from you. And it was like, “Okay. You have five shots to get to the hole.” Yeah, it was good times.
Scott Luton (04:39):
Or maybe if you got my skill set, Earl then would be putting it on the tee in the perfect position. Still could make it to the green —
Greg White (04:47):
No five shots.
Nate Endicott (04:50):
That was a lot of fun California memories. But I think growing up, that’s probably one of the ones that it doesn’t get talked about much. But definitely in my story of life, I could flip to that book and it’s been earmarked with some cool stuff.
Greg White (05:05):
That’s very cool. Well, so you went from hidden behind trees to using trees. So, [inaudible] and the league.
Nate Endicott (05:12):
Baseball – yeah. So, I left California [inaudible] high school. I went to Cypress High School in Southern California. I got drafted out of high school, chose to go to Long Beach State and play ball. I did that for a few years and then ended up getting drafted again, and spent not enough time. I think I wish I wouldn’t have hung it up when I did, but learned a ton from it. But played a few years in the minors and got a little bit of pro sports in my accolades. But definitely something that has shaped who I am. The competitiveness and who I am today is another, again, I think earmark in my book of life is just baseball. It’s hard to watch a full game nowadays with four kids and all the other stuff going on. But I miss playing. I miss putting a glove on, and smelling the grass, and having that fun stuff going on.
Greg White (06:04):
That’s cool. Where did you land in your career?
Nate Endicott (06:07):
With Boston. I, also, was drafted with the Braves out of high school.
Greg White (06:11):
Cool. Where’d you play minor league ball?
Nate Endicott (06:14):
Through their farm system. Most of the time was spent in Pawtucket. Back then, I believe it was AA. They switched it back and forth.
Greg White (06:24):
So, you were up there.
Nate Endicott (06:26):
I wish I wouldn’t have hung it up when I did.
Greg White (06:30):
You know, it’s funny, I think you see so many people who were in athletics who are successful in business because you learn that it takes work, that you have to power through, that sometimes they throw the ball at you and not to you, and all those lessons that I’m sure you can enunciate much better than either of us can. It’s amazing to see that in how many people.
Nate Endicott (06:53):
Greg White (06:55):
Speaking of which, Andrew, not pro sports, but great to have you join us. And tell us a little bit about you maybe pre-professional career and tell us a little bit about what you did in the sports arena.
Andrew Hooser (07:12):
Yeah. So, I grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. My dad was a small business owner. My mom was an accountant. So, definitely not to Nate’s level, but sports did play a huge role in my upbringing. I played football, wrestled, threw the shot put as well. So, I was a state heavyweight wrestling champion. That was my claim to fame. I beat a guy. I was down with 12 seconds left and got to take down with four seconds left to win the state championship. So, that was a pretty cool moment, so that was fun. But, yeah, I definitely reiterate everything you guys are saying about sports. It’s a great way to learn how to work hard and work through adversity.
Greg White (07:58):
Andrew also played against Michael Oher. Is that right?
Andrew Hooser (08:04):
Greg White (08:07):
In high school or college?
Andrew Hooser (08:09):
No. In high school. So, in The Blind Side, in the credits, they show actual pictures of Michael Oher. So, you can actually see, I was lined up against him. You could see half my shoulder pad and half of my helmet in one of the pictures.
Greg White (08:23):
Andrew Hooser (08:24):
I know. I didn’t get any money for the use of my image or anything, but I guess I should have asked.
Greg White (08:31):
You were DII semifinalist also in wrestling, right?
Andrew Hooser (08:36):
Greg White (08:37):
Andrew Hooser (08:38):
No. I hung up wrestling going into college.
Greg White (08:40):
Oh, you did?
Andrew Hooser (08:41):
Yeah. I was kind of burned out. So, I played some college rugby actually at Georgia Tech. And after I got my face reconfigured about four times, I decided to focus on academics. That’s a man’s sport right there. It’s harder than anything else I’ve ever played.
Greg White (08:57):
There’s no protection in that sport, right?
Andrew Hooser (09:00):
No. And Americans play it like they have pads on. It’s all a bunch of extra ball players. So, everybody’s running full speed. They don’t play it like the Europeans where they actually form tackle and know how to take somebody down. So, it was a lot of fun. But, yeah, at some point, it just wasn’t worth the pain.
Scott Luton (09:21):
Let’s go from athletic prowess to industry leadership and, eventually, supply chain prowess. So, Nate, of course, folks probably remember some of your background professionally, but I want to refresh these folks a little bit. It’s been a while. And as we know, everything’s changed in a year. Goodness gracious. So, professionally, you know, kind of walk us through a couple of key positions that really helped shape your worldview prior to RateLinx.
Nate Endicott (09:44):
Yeah. So, I’ve been in this space since 2000, so I spend a lot of time at global freight, audit and pay companies, focused on supply chain, finance, and freight audit. And met Shannon Vaillancourt, our CEO and President and Founder, almost eight years ago. And I was tired of the grind trying to sell something that just didn’t feel strategic enough. And it was offering a piece of the solution. But I felt like all the conversations were leading the men having something else in your tool bag and toolbox. And so, our little guy, Fiver, he’s now seven, had five heart surgeries and I was being tasked. We had some deal going on and it’s first week being born.
Nate Endicott (10:33):
And I reached out to Shannon because I was kind of getting tasked with leaving and traveling more, going across the globe. And I’m like, “You know what? If I’m going to do this, I’m going to go do it different to help some shippers.” I had lost a few deals to RateLinx. And I called Shannon sitting in the hospital, I’m like, “Hey, this is what I do. It seems like this is what you guys do.” He claims that he’s never responded to anybody on LinkedIn except me. And it was because I lived in Phoenix and he was moving to Phoenix. But as soon as we met, that was kind of the end all, tell all for me of hanging my hat on someone that has a ton of integrity and treats his employees well, but then also has a great product in the market.
Scott Luton (11:16):
Agreed. And, of course, Greg and I, we’ve had a chance to meet and interview Shannon a couple of times. And I’ll tell you, I love hearing that personal side of his leadership and his worldview. We need more folks like that, that put the emphasis on the important stuff and not all the fluff. So, I appreciate you sharing, Nate. And, hopefully, that child of yours, that son of yours – I think if I heard you right – he’s now seven. He passed all the heart surgeries and [inaudible].
Nate Endicott (11:43):
Right. Yeah. I don’t know, his dad brag on him, but he’s a very, very good athlete. He’s very competitive. So, he’s like his mom and dad. But he’s doing great. He just had a recent checkup and the data shows that, you know, he doesn’t need anything for a while. So, we keep our fingers crossed and know that God’s got a plan for his life. But he’s the rock solid kid, great sports, soccer. He wants to be a pro-soccer player. It’s all he talks about. So, I can remember myself when I was a young kid and I had a dream of being a pro-baseball player. That’s what he talks about all the time. You don’t always hear that. And so, I want to resource him and encourage him to do what he feels like he wants to do. But he’s doing good.
Scott Luton (12:28):
I love it. You know, that whole resilience term has turned around here, there, and everywhere all the time. But that, that human spirit that persevered through – gosh – five heart surgeries and now he’s thriving, that’s a wonderful story.
Scott Luton (12:40):
Okay. So, Andrew, similar question, you know, let’s kind of set the table from your professional purview, how you view the world. What are some early roles prior to RateLinx that helped you form that?
Andrew Hooser (12:51):
Yeah. So, I was an industrial engineer as far as education, so I had a great background to understand processes and systems, and really wanted to go into logistics. So, I started out working for a smaller third party logistics company focused on international logistics. I got to do a lot of different things. Some operations, did some consulting work, so that was a really good background. And, eventually, I was actually hired by one of our customers I’d done a project for going into a logistics analytics role. So, really, I got exposed to the finance side of logistics and supply chain, how to build budgets, how to build variants, how to build KPIs, started getting more visibility into visualization tools, not just spreadsheets.
Andrew Hooser (13:48):
That role eventually ended up where I was running global logistics for the organization. We merged with a couple other sister companies. So, really got to develop the strategy for what was a five-and-a-half billion dollar company, standardized everything, selected TMS, vendor selection. So, I really got exposed to the strategic side of things. Then, a little over a year ago, I decided to come to RateLinx, where really it was a perfect role for me. I had the operations experience. I had the analytics experience. I had the strategic experience. So, now, to be able to put that all together and help develop solutions for our customers has really been, you know, the perfect role for who I am and what I’ve done so far.
Scott Luton (14:37):
I love it. Nate, it’s like when the Atlanta Braves picked up Greg Maddux in the off season. It looks like [inaudible] is going to lead RateLinx into the playoff glory. And I got to tell you, hearing your professional background, you couldn’t took too much of a lick in playing rugby because that’s some real smart stuff that you’ve been leading through your career. So, what a great get for the RateLinx team. All right, Greg.
Greg White (15:01):
Scott Luton (15:03):
That’s right. Greg, right on time as usual. Before I move forward, we want to make sure folks understand what RateLinx does. But what’s your favorite part? I mean, you know, we love the background and we love how folks view industry based on their experiences, both as a human and as a practitioner and leader. What’d you hear there?
Greg White (15:22):
I just think that you’ve taken, not just the athletic aspect of it, but the learnings from that and really translated that into how you approach everything. And I’ve seen people that have been so powerful because of being able to do that. And it’s not even the physical aspects of athletics. It’s the discipline. It’s the repetition. It’s understanding that failing is part of success. It’s all of those things that are critical. And I think that’s what makes people who perform for a significant amount of time in athletics, whether it’s just through high school or through college and even into the pros, that’s just what makes them so successful is they are willing to grind it out. They recognize that, you know, the 10,000 hours thing is real. It takes 10,000 hours to be great at anything. And the discipline to keep getting up when somebody smacks you in the face on the rugby field, that’s what business is all about. It’s not as physical, but it’s very much the same sort of situation.
Scott Luton (16:31):
I love it. Okay. Let’s talk about RateLinx now. And, Nate, we’ll start with you. You know, in simple terms that anyone can understand, including us that maybe, like myself, a little bit slower than everyone else, what does RateLinx do?
Greg White (16:44):
Let me dumb it down, Scott.
Nate Endicott (16:48):
It’s the beauty and the beast of what we do, man. I think every company has its 32nd elevator pitch. Greg, it was you that said, “Hey, Nate. What is it that people are coming to you for?” Because that’s, you know, kind of what they’re telling the market needs. At the very, very basic core of what we do, we help companies ship, track, and pay better. We are a data-driven company, so we help companies become data-driven. And in a nutshell, we help them, not just connect to data, but we connect, we integrate data, then we do data quality. So, standardizing and normalizing clearance data.
Nate Endicott (17:27):
And then, we help them identify opportunities. So, they either have a TMS or they need pieces of a TMS. They have track and trace, so they need help with track and trace. They have freight audit or they need help with freight audit or they need an analytics. And some have all that, but they’re still looking for that – what we call – data IQ, where it’s data integration and data quality. And I think that’s what everyone’s coming to RateLinx for right now is really the data integration and data quality. Everybody’s after better visibility end-to-end. They don’t just want pieces. So, that’s really what the core is, helping people ship, track, can pay better, and then really helping them become data-driven and digitized decision-making.
Greg White (18:10):
You know, there’s so many players in the market place out there, Nate. I mean, who is most likely to be using what you’re doing? Is it the shippers?
Nate Endicott (18:19):
So, we have a few 3PLs and a few carriers that leverage us. We’re more on the shipper side. And that’s kind of always been – the system can handle obviously any 3PL, any carrier can use it, but we’ve always just kind of stayed in that lane with the shipper side.
Scott Luton (18:36):
And if I can ask another follow-up question to that just for our listeners, how do folks engage with RateLinx? Is it like an annual plan? Is it a quarterly plan? And how do folks access all of those information that you shared?
Nate Endicott (18:49):
Yeah. So, it really depends on what solution they need that we go in and help them with. And then, you just have a monthly cost. It’s just a monthly fee. And we have a unique solution around what we do as far as our pricing model. This is not a go-to market strategy on the pricing side where there’s no professional service fees. So, once we get started, you can add any carriers, you can add any scabs, you can add reports, you can change anything in the TMS. You can add pieces to the TMS. There’s no upgrade fees. So, it’s in the cloud and you can add as you go, but it’s a monthly fee.
Scott Luton (19:30):
Yeah. Love it. Take what you need and use what you take.
Nate Endicott (19:34):
I would say, you know, you don’t need the buffet if you just want salad, no dressing. Sometimes you just want a couple croutons and everybody’s always sold. I mean, as you guys know, the typical stockroom, our shirts at RateLinx and we have some UnderArmor, TravisMathews, Nike, they don’t say, “Don’t rush me. I’m paid by the hour.” And I think that’s the problem still in the industry when everybody’s wanting something. You know, it’s like the cars right now, people are paying 20,000 over MSRP just to get a car. And it’s like, “Look, you know, you don’t have to do that. You know that, right?”
Scott Luton (20:04):
It’s fascinating time we live, both as a consumer and in supply chain for sure. And by the way, I need you, Nate, to talk to my kids and coach them up on buffets and what they need and what they don’t need. We’ll save that for later time.
Scott Luton (20:17):
Andrew, I want to talk about what Nate has described as RateLinx is working well because y’all been recognized by a ton of different folks, and we’re going to talk about that in a minute. But anything else that you would add to how RateLinks works and what it provides?
Andrew Hooser (20:32):
Yeah. I would just say – and Nate alluded to it – unlike a lot of TMSs or similar systems, we don’t come in and say, “Here’s our module, take it or leave it.” We take a very consultative approach to understanding what are the needs of the customer. And then, we configure the system around that. So, I think that’s something that you don’t see a lot. And, really, we’re able to tailor the solution to the customer need and not just try to put a square peg in a round hole. You know, we really fit the peg to match the hole. And I think that’s a huge value add for us.
Scott Luton (21:13):
Agreed. Agreed. Okay. Greg, do you want to add something before we start talking about —
Greg White (21:17):
Yeah. I love the low services model of this. I’ve implemented WMS, TMS, all the MSs. I’ve implemented all of those things. And it is a cadre of consultants who come in and spend months trying to configure the most precise detail. And it’s because their shirts do say, “I get paid by the hour” on there. And this model of technology being able to plug and play and configure – that was a key word that Andrew used there, configure – rather than customize, that’s a critical aspect of what will accelerate companies in this new era. Because the tolerance for the need, frankly, for customization of technology has long since passed. And it’s really only those big companies that are slaves to the big four consulting companies, because that’s who helps them sell their tech that have to do that. As Nate said, you don’t have to do that. There are alternatives. You can plug it in. You can use virtual switches and dials and configurators that get you where you need to be. Every bit is customizable and every bit is enterprise classes in any of the big companies out there.
Scott Luton (22:39):
Interesting. Configurators, that’s a new word for me. You’re kind of channeling Jack Nicholson there, Greg. Or maybe Nate was, I don’t know. But I like that blatantly still from that there. All right. So, let’s talk awards for a minute. So, just like back in the day, Nate was one of the silver sluggers and Andrew was winning Ric Flair championship belts in wrestling. Hey, you knew I was going to fit Ric Flair in at some point in the conversation.
Greg White (23:03):
Yeah. Andrew was a real wrestler to be clear. But he probably didn’t have the cool.
Scott Luton (23:11):
That’s right. We’re all in good fun. We’re all in good fun, Andrew, because you could probably kick my rear end between rugby and —
Greg White (23:17):
I was just thinking, I’m looking at Andrew and I’m thinking, he’s thinking right now, “I can whip Ric Flair.”
Andrew Hooser (23:23):
I’m in Memphis. It’s about Jerry Lawler here.
Scott Luton (23:30):
That’s right. The King. This is like the conversation we’re having with our friend from Heinz who hosts a pro-wrestling podcast. And we were talking freight, and it was that common theme of all the wrestlers we could think of from back in the ’80s. We love that. But, all right. I got to bring it back on point here. Because it’s about recognition. It’s about proving out RateLinx model from pros to know, Gartner, inbound logistics, you name it, or having to build out a bigger trophy case. So, Nate, back to you, and we’ll get injured way into out of all the recognition you’ve received, what stands out most important to you and why?
Nate Endicott (24:04):
Yeah. I mean, let’s face it, in this industry, it’s a pay to play model. I mean, it is what it is, right? There’s certain spots that you kind of look at awards and you’re like, “It’s so cute.” Like, you get a little fuzzy for it. I think where we’ve evolved lately and it’s, you know, our own customer base, it’s been eyes wide open for them finally them to realize, “Oh, my gosh. You guys are right. The value that you guys have in your solution is what we’ve done with Gartner lately.” And I think it’s helping them understand all of the analysts there that the depth of our solution from a tech stock tech side, but that it truly is a data first approach.
Nate Endicott (24:50):
We always talk about, you know, the logistics and 3D to us is diagnose, develop, and deploy. And most of the companies, they go do a TMS RFP, you go deploy, and it’s like, “You didn’t even really diagnose.” So, now, you’re calling me after you selected this TMS or after you’ve selected this track and trace provider, freight update provider. And, now, I’m having to come in and augment, which is fine, but you got to diagnose through data, develop the right strategy, the right solution, and then you go deploy it.
Nate Endicott (25:16):
And I think, you know, Gartner’s locked on with us around our data first approach where we’re truly helping customers. You know, it’s like if they had really a big need, why are you doing it? So, Magic Quadrant this year is our first time minute. It’s huge. I mean, daily, we’re getting pummeled. It’s awesome to see customers, shippers, small, big, medium, global calling us excited about, you know, solving some of their TMS gaps that they’ve had for years where they’ve spent millions and millions and millions. And they’re still having to spend millions and millions to go make that change, go get that upgrade when they can quickly. They don’t have to do that anymore. They have a choice.
Nate Endicott (25:56):
So, Magic Quadrant this year in TMS, also real-time visibility provider TMS, I’d say, we’re probably one of the top three out there globally. It’s our solution. We haven’t bought anybody. We integrated. We don’t just connect you to data. We help you solve the right problem. So, I think that’s another big, big, big accomplishment for us when you look at these track and trace providers that have raised hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars, then have valuations that are out of this world and almost unfathomable of just connecting the data. It’s like, it’s just visibility. But that’s been another huge accomplishment is that real-time track and trace. And then, from a small parcel side, we are one of the top three in five globally to FedEx and UPS volume going through our system. So, we’re recognized in Gartner, not just TMS, but also multi-carrier small parcel shipping systems. So that you don’t have to go get a TMS and then turn right and have to go do another project with small parcel.
Nate Endicott (26:54):
So, they all work together as far as helping customers. But we can come in and just help them solve their pain. But I’d say, our organization have some pros and nos, and inbound logistics top 100, and all the stuff that we’ve always been involved in. But I’d say that most recently, it’s that, what we’ve been doing with Gartner in helping customers. Because it sucks when, you know, you have a relationship, it’s with the business, and they go to IT, and IT is like, “Well, are they in the Magic Quadrant?” And it’s like, “Yeah. But we can kick butt, you know, in Magic Quadrant.” Like, the Bushwhacker on and all the other stuff. But it’s fun now to be able to not have that as a, “Hey, we don’t meet that checkbox.” So, it’s been a fun last couple of months. And I know the end of this year is going to be awesome and then heading into next year. It’s good to be able to finally have that stamp of approval.
Scott Luton (27:51):
And to continue the analogy, Andrew, I want to get your take on Magic Quadrant. It’s huge. So, it’s like, Jerry Lawler out there pummeling Andy Kaufman and the rest of the industry. Just one of the many feuds that The King had. But what else would you add when it relates to the Magic Quadrant? What else would you add to that?
Andrew Hooser (28:11):
Yeah. I mean, I just think that, you know, it’s an objective source to really demonstrate the value of our system and what our customers are able to get out of it. When I was a shipper, I’d be looking at Magic Quadrants for whatever I was looking for to determine what are the legitimate players in the industry. So, I really think it just speaks to, you know, what our system can do, the time that it’s done it. You know, it’s not a brand new system. The company has been around for 20 years, but we keep adding onto it to make it better and better and better. And I think it just objectively legitimizes that and it’s very meaningful in the marketplace.
Scott Luton (28:51):
Agreed. Good stuff there, Andrew and Nate, and congrats on Magic Quadrant and all the rest. That is a big one, a couple of them. All right. Greg, certainly, before I move on to story time – is what we call it because we love stories and love practical application stories – we’ve talked a lot about the Magic Quadrant. We’ve talked a lot about the Gartner approach. Of course, Mike Griswold is with us once a month. What’s your take if someone has been in that space, what would you add here?
Greg White (29:21):
Yeah. Well, I mean, my company was a leader in the Magic Quadrant too, Blue Ridge. And the thing, to me, is most impressive and has to be most rewarding for Nate and Andrew is, you can’t buy your way there. You know, we were up against – and they are up against – companies that spend millions of dollars a year with Gartner in terms of analysis, and consulting, and research that that organization does. It’s the premier organization in terms of research and analysis in the technology industry. And you can’t get there by buying your way there. You got to build your way there. So, that has to be a great feeling. And it is. I can tell you from personal experience, it’s a great feeling to get into that leader’s quadrant. It’s a great thing to be in the Magic Quadrant to begin with. But, you know, to be rewarded for the hard work that you’ve done, to be recognized that you are, as they both said, a legitimate player. You don’t have to be in the Magic Quadrant to be a legitimate player. But I think the three of us here all recognize that it doesn’t hurt to be recognized as one of the top legitimate players in the industry. So, that’s powerful stuff.
Scott Luton (30:40):
Agreed. And what I like there hearing from Nate and Andrew, they didn’t acquire anything and they’re not sitting on their laurels. Like Andrew mentioned, they are building it and building it and building it and putting their finger on the pulse of what the market wants and needs, and putting in the work, you know, putting in the work innovation.
Scott Luton (30:57):
Okay. Let’s move right along. Andrew, I’ll start with you. You know, those compelling stories that really kind of spills out kind of some of the things you are doing for some of your clients out there. So, what would you share?
Andrew Hooser (31:11):
Yeah. I would say, you know, right now what we’re seeing is, in the last few years, supply chains have obviously changed, right? A year ago, you could order something on Amazon, it’d be there in two days. Now, that’s not necessarily the case. And so, when it comes to, you know, visibility, really, that’s evolved over the last decade or so. It’s really been focused on the outbound side, looking at my customer deliveries. And, really, I think, the last year has put an emphasis on the inbound supply chain as manufacturers are looking for raw materials to play in their production or as distributors are looking for inventory to fulfill orders. You know, it’s really, “Can I look at what my vendors are doing and get visibility to that freight coming in, so I can have some sort of ability to predict what’s going to happen as I service my customers,” has really been telling in the last year.
Scott Luton (32:14):
And, you know, it has changed so much that the needs, the demands, the risks, the challenges we’re tackling. I mean, gosh, they’ve changed a ton in the last few years and they’ve changed a ton in the last few weeks. And, Greg, I want to recall something before I go back to Nate. We were just talking a couple of times here today and we talk about machine learning all the time, but we need to be talking about leadership learning. Because if leaders and organizations don’t, really, in a permanent and a root cause manner address these challenges that we had lately, and don’t treat them as blips, we’re going to be set up like a house of cards around the corner for the next disruption. You know, speak to that a second before I get the next comment from Nate.
Greg White (33:01):
Yeah. I mean, aside from the seismic societal disruption of closing down the entire economy of the entire planet entirely at once, then the exposure of the fragility of supply chains would not have happened. But the truth is, aside from that act, and of course the repercussions from that, we’ve had a number of disruptions that have made the press simply because, now, supply chain is in the limelight. Believe it or not, ships have got stuck in the Suez Canal before. Believe it or not, they’ve had below freezing temperatures in Texas before. Ports have been jammed before or port workers have not been available before. So, many of these disruptions have happened and will continue to happen. And companies need to build for that, not only because these disruptions will continue to happen, but because now we can’t hide behind the sales team in a quarterly or annual call with analysts and shareholders. Supply chain, we wanted our seat at the table and we got it. Now, we got to live with the repercussions of what that means, which is, they’re going to point at us and the salespeople, if things go wrong.
Scott Luton (34:21):
Stand and deliver. Okay.
Greg White (34:23):
Scott Luton (34:23):
So, Nate, again, from a practical standpoint story, practical application, what else would you add as a good example of what you are doing?
Nate Endicott (34:33):
I mean, around the visibility side, it really is something that, one, we absolutely can replace TMS and undo TMS. It doesn’t happen all that much right now because, you know, now that everyone’s focused on these other things, it’s like, “Hey, if we can augment, visibility is probably the biggest thing that we get called on.” And I think there’s this gap that we see in the market – and I think Gartner’s finally seen it – around data quality. And there’s a difference between aggregating data, and connecting data, and integrating data. So, anybody can go – you know, it’s like the iceberg – putting visualizations and excels and dashboards that’s above the water. That’s easy. Data scientists will sign up for that all day long. IT can knock that out. That’s easy. Going and connecting to all that systems and all that can make it seem difficult. And other companies do, too, I think at times. But that’s probably the next layer where it’s tough.
Nate Endicott (35:32):
Beyond the next layer, where we think is that integration layer where you’re integrating, not just systems, but all that data together, where it frees up all this resourcing side and time to be able to help the business deliver on their accountability. I mean, we’ve talked a lot about insider now as our accountability ladder. And every shipper out there now, you know, supply chain have to have a seat. They have a seat, but now they’re held accountable. And I think the only way to be held accountable is by leveraging the data. And we’re even seeing it as you try to roll this stuff out, there’s still an opportunity and it’s worth millions and they can absolutely go do it. And they don’t want to share it inside. It’s like, “Ah. I just don’t know if I can do that right now.”
Nate Endicott (36:21):
So, I think if this end-to-end visibility thing and I think the problem is really around, you know, supply chain has been blown up and now everybody’s being held accountable inside. And, now, they’re having to do something. And so, as they’re coming out trying to figure out how to do it, we are seeing that gap right now, whether it’s data scientist teams, or IT, or logistic supply chain, data, finance. Everybody is wanting all this data together. They want one system for truth. And I think the problem that we’re hearing the most is, how fast can you help us? We’ve done this three to five years and we just can’t get it. They’ve gotten connected. They tried to be integrated. But it’s that continuous data quality side that we’re seeing customers come out. And three calls since this morning and that’s what the focus is, how do we solve this?
Scott Luton (37:18):
In demand, I love that. Okay. Greg, where are we going next?
Greg White (37:22):
Yeah. Well, I think, interestingly, this is really a big picture problem. This is a macro supply chain issue. And to the point Nate just made, it’s about internal data. It’s about external data. It’s about connecting and reconciling and using and creating, not just analysis, not just a report, but real recommendations for users. So, I’m curious, as you guys think about data and what you do and what you see in the marketplace from a very big picture standpoint, from what it means to supply chain or what it means to commerce, what really has your attention right now? What is kind of top of mind things that either concern you, excite you, challenges, opportunities, whatever you want to call it? And, Nate, share with us a little bit of what you’re seeing out there that either points to the future or reflects the current or the past and just is interesting to think about or even solve for.
Nate Endicott (38:28):
Yeah. I think, we go back to data. And I could talk about each specific piece of our solution where people are calling and there’s a need in the space for it. But I would say that, you know, the days of having insights that tell you something to go do and not being able to do it because you’re handcuffed because of your pricing model or you’re on the oldest version, but then you go upgrade and you’re on the next to oldest version, those days are gone, man. And, you know, it’s like if you’re that type of company, I think you’re going to struggle moving forward because shippers don’t have time for that. So, everybody’s wanting it now. And they’re being held accountable because they need to go deliver. So, I’d say, I get excited about being able to help customers in every single piece of what we do.
Nate Endicott (39:23):
We have a very quick time to value where they can recognize ROI and it’s real, and that they have line of sight to savings. They can measure the savings that it’s in real time. And then, there’s even potential savings. Like, how do we give them insights on, you know, “Hey, how do you use this regional carrier? Here’s an opportunity you could save 250 grand in California, go plug them in.” So, like, getting the prescriptive and really helping them leverage their data and technology. And, again, they can use their own TMS. But a lot of consultants out there will offer a suggestion, and it’s really a suggestion. But it’s like, for us, we get the beauty of because we’re data first, we can hang our hat with some integrity behind it that this is real opportunity. So, helping people go get a fast time to value in a time of need where they’re trying to impact their bottom line, prove to their board that they’re making the right decisions. Or this is why they’re having to shift without putting their finger in the air and trying to accrue. I get excited about that.
Greg White (40:38):
Prescriptive, the word you used. Prescriptive is critical to make that conversion from analytical or indicative, to prescriptive, to say, “Not just here is the data, go do something with it.” It’s, “Here is the data. Here’s what you need to do because of what the data reflects.” I think that’s super powerful. Andrew, you plug this sucker in. I mean, you monitor this and help configure the solutions that your customers get. So, I’m interested in what you’re seeing or where you think companies will see or need to see in the future.
Andrew Hooser (41:14):
Yeah. So, you know, over the last decade, you see tools like Tableau and Power BI and data visualization tools, to be able to pull together huge amounts of data, make the analytics, the visualizations very easy to create. And that’s been fantastic. But if you have a pretty picture that nobody knows how to interpret, it’s just a pretty picture. And, really, the skill set to be able to create those and then take action on them, there’s a gap there. And what our tool is doing, one, we’ll create the visualization so you can see what’s going on. But we create these prescriptive insights that are monitoring the data and call out real time. It’s not at the end of the month after everybody puts together their financials. But while issues are happening, it will show the issue and can take corrective action within our system to stop it from happening again. And that’s what’s going to be necessary to continue to be competitive as companies put more emphasis on, you know, their supply chains and service levels and cost. You can’t just wait for an analyst to look at something six weeks later. You have to take action now. And it’s just impossible to go through the amount of data. Some of these companies have to find those opportunities.
Greg White (42:43):
Yeah. You know, you identified a couple of issues. One, it’s impossible to go through those data as a human. And, two, we have an incredible skills gap in supply chain. It is literally impossible to find enough skilled people to make the decisions that these typical analytics tools leave people to. So, more and more of those decisions will need to be embedded into technologies like yours and be more prescriptive. Because I don’t see that gap closing dramatically though. This is a really incredible industry. And a lot of people, a lot of really smart people – and Scott and I have seen, literally, physicists and rocket scientists get into this practice. But on an everyday basis, we just can’t fill that gap. So, technologies that are more prescriptive as you guys have described, they’re going to be absolutely necessary going forward.
Greg White (43:43):
So, I’m interested in kind of what has shaken your tree. You both have shared sort of foundationally where you came from, your upbringing, and you’re bald, both of your sports careers, and then your professional careers. So, what has really struck you either now, recently, as a result of this seismic societal disruption around COVID or just generally throughout your career that’s given you that sort of aha or eureka moment, given you sort of a lightning bolt of information that you’re using as you go forward. Nate?
Nate Endicott (44:25):
I was going to say, Andrew, you start since you’re The Incredibles.
Greg White (44:29):
Okay. Let’s do that. We can do that. Andrew, you start.
Scott Luton (44:32):
Well, Greg, you described it exactly as I would, the fragility of supply chains, especially in the country and in the world, has really been seen over the last year. Everybody was just in time inventory and getting things to places right as it was needed. There’s not enough inventory in the system to handle any sort of disruption. And it’s been a lot. I think there was the seismic, everything shut down. But, now, we have a bridge in Memphis that broke. And to get across the Mississippi River, one of the busiest corridors in the country, takes two to four hours right now. And there’s not enough truck drivers to handle that. That should be a small event. That’s a non-issue. But it’s a big issue. And I think companies really have to rethink, you know, how am I planning my supply chains? How do I keep inventory? And how do I mitigate that risk? Because there’s going to be something else. It’s going to continue. And we’ve got to think differently about it. And I think the last year has proven that.
Greg White (45:46):
Yeah. Well said. Nate, now it’s your turn.
Scott Luton (45:50):
Yes. Now, The Incredibles have spoken. Now, it’s [Inaudible].
Nate Endicott (45:54):
I only have a few minutes, what do I start with? I guess the Eureka moment for me in the last 12 months, if we just stay focused on that, I guess the thing that comes to my mind is visibility isn’t enough. This is what I think about, people need insights, they need it to tell them something. So, to our earlier conversation, Greg, it has to be prescriptive and it has to be easy to understand actions for them to take, like a lot of our big retailer shippers. And I love how the industry has caused everybody to kind of relax a little bit and sit back and be okay with the barking dog and the crying baby. But we’ve got, you know, people that are highly paid, highly skilled sitting in their kitchen running freight. And they don’t have time for anything else. And some people don’t understand that until you start talking volumes and detail.
Nate Endicott (46:53):
And so, I think, being able to collaborate with some of these shippers and, now, friends, great friendships, they don’t have time for certain things anymore because the volumes are so heavy and they’re trying to just get the freight in. And so, being able to help them understand that, “Hey, so what if your trucks running late? Big deal. Like, are you really going to be able to solve that?” If I could make an app where I could flick it and the truck would speed up, I wouldn’t be sitting here today. So, being able to give companies prescriptive insights and the ability to tell them opportunities that they can go take and hang their hat on it, I think the market is at a spot where they’ve been wanting to get there.
Nate Endicott (47:43):
And I think for us, we look at it and go, “Holy cow. This is actually why we built the system. This is why Shannon and Frank put in AI and ML years.” You know, my daughter earlier just got back from driver’s training, and I’m sitting here looking out the window going, “Man, some of these guys that try to come out and they say they have AI and ML and it’s a few years old. It’s okay to say it, but that baby is, like, starting to finally get out of diapers.” Now, when you have AI and ML that’s been around a while and it’s had years and years and millions of transactions, it’s cool to see the day and age that we live in, and that we’ve been forced to help customers in is leveraging this AI and ML stuff. But, yeah, visibility is not enough. It’s the norm in the abnormal. And I’m pumped for what’s to come.
Scott Luton (48:40):
Agreed. We are as well. And I appreciate you all taking a deep dive into, not only your background and the RateLinx journey, but also your take on what supply chain leaders and practitioners need, where we are today and where we’re headed. There is a ton of saturation to your point, Nate. And there’s got to be a better way. To Andrew’s point, we’re at the limit in so many different ways, a crack in a bridge can derail supply chain here domestically as much as it has. I think Greg and I were talking about earlier today just from a cyber standpoint, all the bad folks out there that can grow in wherewithal to do much bigger curveballs and disruption at the industry. But that’s why we’re glad there’s a lot of smart people like the folks at RateLinx that are working hard to give the supply chain globally what they need, ship, track, and pay better. I got to close the loop there, ship, track, and pay better. So, y’all, let’s make sure folks know how to connect with Nate and Andrew. So, Nate, how can folks connect with you and compare notes, supply chain or baseball or you name it?
Nate Endicott (49:53):
Absolutely. I mean, I’d give them my cell phone. I don’t know if it’s appropriate. But the beauty of RateLinx is we’re nimble and small and responsive. And Andrew and I are the guys that are going to help any customer at least have that first conversation and figure out if there’s a fit and let them know if we can help them solve their problem or not. But LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, www.ratelinx.com, one way. And reach out and connect. Give us a call.
Scott Luton (50:24):
It’s just that easy. That’s right, start a conversation. Take action. Take that first step. And it will be in the show notes how to connect with Nate and RateLinx. And, Andrew, about the same way to connect or how would you advise?
Andrew Hooser (50:36):
Yeah. Absolutely. We don’t take care of your pigeons anymore, but other than that, just reach out.
Scott Luton (50:43):
You know what? Being from Memphis, we got to have a follow-up conversation, Greg, with Nate on baseball and Andrew on barbecue. I bet he’s got some stories to tell there. Huh?
Andrew Hooser (50:57):
I don’t know if I can say that publicly. People get pretty emotional about it here.
Greg White (51:01):
I know that they do. We had a number of customers at Blue Ridge that were in Memphis and you couldn’t tell certain ones you were in town and where you were going to get barbecue, because it was the preference of another company. You dare not start a battle between them.
Andrew Hooser (51:17)
It’s a battle.
Scott Luton (51:19):
So, we’ll save that for a much, much later show. Maybe wrestling the next time we connect with Andrew. But regardless, Nate, great to have you back. Love to hear all the continued growth and success you’ve had just in the last year or so since you’ve been with us. Big thanks, of course, to Andrew for joining us. Big thanks to Shannon and Corey, the whole team back at RateLinx mothership for all they do to help continue to shed a light on the path forward for supply chain.
Scott Luton (51:47):
All right. So, Greg, a lot of great stuff here. Too many notes, I can’t even count how many pages of notes I have just go around. But if there is one thing that folks need to hear from this conversation from Nate and Andrew, Greg, what would that one thing be?
Greg White (52:01):
Visibility is not enough. Watching people run out of the store with cartloads of toilet paper doesn’t do you a bit of good. What you do about it is what does you a bit of good. If you’re driving down the road and your car is breaking down and your idiot light comes on, that’s not helpful. If your car can take you to YouTube and show you what to do to fix it, that’s helpful. So, prescriptive is exactly what we need to be expecting from solutions. Visibility is, to me, I mean, of course there are some really, really advanced capabilities in visibility tools, but, really, it’s new age reporting and simply reporting what the data says or what the data shows is not enough these days. The capability exists in technology to continue down the path to show you what you need to do with that data.
Scott Luton (52:56):
Wonderful. Visibility is not enough. One of the dozens of t-shirt-isms we have from this episode. Big thanks to Greg. Of course, big thanks Nate Endicott, Andrew Hooser, both with RateLinx. Folks, I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as we have. Learn more, you can go to supplychainnow.com. Of course, you can find and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts from. And be sure to subscribe and check out TECHquilla Sunrise, too, where Greg’s talking about all kinds of technology innovations from the movers and shakers. On that note though, on behalf of our entire team, Scott Luton signing off for now. Hey, most importantly, do good, give forward, be the change that is needed. For some reason, your thumb threw me off there, Greg. And we’ll see you next time right here at Supply Chain Now. Thanks everybody.
Thanks for being a part of our Supply Chain Now community. Check out all of our programming at 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.
Nate Endicott With a passion to help companies harness the opportunity of big data to substantially improve their supply chain and logistics visibility and performance, Nate Endicott joined RateLinx in 2014 as Senior Vice President, Global Sales and Alliances. Endicott is an expert at accurately diagnosing underlying problems and recommending custom RateLinx software and data service solutions. Endicott’s keen understanding of the RateLinx proprietary predictive modeling engine allows him to help businesses of all sizes to optimize their freight operations. Connect with Nate on LinkedIn.
Andrew Hooser is the Vice President of Customer Solutions at RateLinx. He leads the design, development, and deployment of RateLinx’s world-class processes to support and grow the value of our collaborative relationships with strategic customers. He is vital in driving credible solutions and legitimate results for our customers.
Prior to this role, Andrew was Director of Logistics for GEC Packaging Technologies, leading the global packaging company with 127 facilities in 35 countries. Andrew has held several supply chain and logistics management roles with Evergreen Packaging and Mallory Alexander International Logistics. He has demonstrable knowledge in utilizing market intelligence to understand and build business strategy and processes in multi-modal supply chains both in North America and globally. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology. Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
Data Analytics and Metrics Intern
Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is transitioning from active duty in the US Army. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.