“If there’s one thing companies can learn from Nike, it is getting digital and supply chain alignment. Without that you run the risk of having digital activities on one side that may or may not drive any supply chain improvements on the other side.”
– Mike Griswold, Vice President of Research, Gartner
Mike Griswold is the Vice President of Research at Gartner, specializing in retail with a particular focus on forecasting and replenishment. He is responsible for Gartner’s annual Top 25 Supply Chain ranking and joins Supply Chain Now on a monthly basis to discuss the latest in retail supply chains from an analyst’s perspective.
Many things have changed over the past year, including the perspective companies and executives have on some of the challenges they have been facing for a while. Whether that is consumer brands accepting that they will need to work with multiple tiers and stages of product or long-delayed investments in DC automation finally coming to fruition, we’re starting to see what some of the longer term impacts of the pandemic will be.
In this conversation based on a Supply Chain Now livestream, Mike answers questions from Host Scott Luton about:
· The refurbished products segment of manufacturing (also known as secondary markets), which is emerging as a new way for companies to hit their ESG goals via the circular economy
· The difficulty companies are facing in the push to fill front line roles and how that is bubbling up to have an impact throughout the supply chain
· How the lack of talent and human resources may be driving the effort to automate warehouses and distribution centers
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):
Hey, good afternoon, everybody. Scott Luton with supply chain now welcome to today’s live stream so low, at least on the front end here. We’ve got hosts going here, going there, going everywhere. Uh, the one only Greg white is headed up to Chicago with his beautiful wife, Vicky talking private equity at a special event up there. But nevertheless, today we’re continuing our home run series, right? We’ve gotten a ton of feedback about the series, a supply chain today and tomorrow with, uh, the one only Mike Griswold with Gartner really have enjoyed his monthly appearances here. So stay tuned for what should be a very informative sessions can raise your supply chain IQ, especially when it comes to sustainability. When it comes to refurbishing and remarketing products, when it comes to all things, coffee, some really cool stuff in that space and Hey, whatever mark, uh, whatever Mike Griswold has going between his two ears, we all get better when we learn that through his, his livestream appearances here.
Scott Luton (01:32):
So stay tuned before we share a couple of program notes. I want to say hello to a few folks that have already tuned in looking forward to today’s session. So, Hey, Ron is with us here. They own the front end jogging and listening time. Hey Rhonda sounds great. Hope this finds you well out in Arizona. Let’s see here. Knock a belay. I hope I said that, right. Please let me know if I didn’t can’t wait and learn. Hey, that makes you, you and me both. I learned a ton from what Mike shares here every month here. So great to have you here tuned in via LinkedIn live. Let’s see, here we have, Bob is with us. Hey Bob, how are you doing? It’s been too long tuned in via LinkedIn, uh, from the Pennsylvania area. I believe. Let us know how you doing. It’s been too long.
Scott Luton (02:18):
Great to see you. Let’s see here. Peter is with us, Peter bow lay all night and all day. Great to see you. Peter hope this finds you well. Sure. Nevus is back with us once again from India. Great. And [inaudible], let’s see here, Susan is back with us, Susan Nicholas. Hey, good afternoon. She’s tuned in via LinkedIn. Great to see you Mervyn. Hey Mervin. I appreciate that message. You sent a few days ago via social. I hope this finds you well, let’s see here T squared looking for that long overdue nourishment, a I’m with ya and thanks for holding down the Fort force over their own YouTube. All right. So what I want to do is I want to share just a couple of quick notes before we get started here today. And I think these are teed up. Ready to go? Yep. There we go.
Scott Luton (03:05):
All right. So tons of learning opportunities. I think we’ve got three webinars thus far in June, and we’re adding a few for July as well, but on this first one, which is next week, June 8th, it’s all about real supply chain innovation, not to cliche stuff, right? Innovation becomes such a cliche term, but this is stuff that’s been put into action. So y’all join me and Greg and our friends at Transplace and Mike Wasson from Tosca. Mike is a longtime friend doing some big things to talk about growth and innovation. Uh, what they’re doing at Tosca is really intriguing and he’s been added to the ticket. So y’all join us on June 8th is free to register. I think the link is in the show notes and we’d love to have you be a part of the session. All right, let’s see here, man, who is that guy?
Scott Luton (03:52):
So, Hey, Seth are now kicked off today. It’s the big annual event SAP puts puts on. It’s a wonderful learning opportunity and it all kicked off earlier today with a global keynote SAP leadership. You know, there’s all types of keynotes. This one was really inspiring. It was really rooted in action and it gave us a snapshot of the path ahead. So y’all check it out. The great thing is, is while the keynote was today, that kind of kicked off the event, the full track days for the north America version of this event aren’t until next week. So you’ve got plenty of time to register. And again, it’s free love companies that invest in our development and market Intel gathering opportunities. The procurement and supply chain track day is June 8th. So it’s going to be a full day. Our friend Kelly Barner over at buyer’s meeting point, and I will be covering a lot of that content throughout the day on June 8th.
Scott Luton (04:42):
I think the link to register Amanda, if we can drop that in the chat or add it, Hey, if y’all, can’t find it, shoot me a note shifts to email@example.com. And then finally, you know, we still want to bang the drum on our efforts to support those organizations that are leading the fight against COVID-19 in India. So V pod.org is a great non-profit. Every dollar is going into the fight. You can learn more about firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you’ve got questions about how you can jump into fight, maybe you’ve got some creative ways of supporting the efforts. Shoot a note to our friends at vector global logistics, and you can find email@example.com and welcome your, uh, your collaboration in our efforts to help our friends in India. Okay. I want to say loads a few more folks, PR bring in the one and only Mike Griswold here today.
Scott Luton (05:40):
Let’s see here. We’ve got some offers for dispatchers and brokers in the comments. We’ve got some congratulations in the comments, lively crowd here today. Praveen is with us via LinkedIn. Great to see you here. Praveen hope this finds you well. And looking forward your comments today, Dave, in his back with his David, how you doing great to see you. I hope this finds you. I like thanks for your, I think you had a muddy picture of your Jeep doing some mud bogging last week that I think you shared earlier on social. So, uh, hope this finds you and your family doing well. Let’s see here, Andrea is with us via LinkedIn. Great to see you here today. Looking forward to your voice throughout the discussion. Kayvon is back with us the one and only Kayvon. Great to see you. Thanks for joining us. Hey, Nick rumor is with us, Nick, how are you doing great to see you here today?
Scott Luton (06:33):
Looking forward to your perspective. Always do. And Mohib Mohib you just added yet another accomplishment to your, uh, here, uh, CV. Congratulations. I can’t remember the certification that it was in, but great to have you here today and looking forward to highlighting, I gotta get you some dates highlighting our friends out it, uh, it, uh, Wichita state university, so great to see you. Okay. Well with no further ado folks, I want to bring in, uh, you know, if you’re a part of our regular live streams, you know, Mike Griswold is no. Stranger is POV is really, you know, we talk a lot as a team. You know, folks that can take really complex things are taking place right now across global business and just break it down into bite sized pieces. So that regardless if you’re not a practitioner, if you’re not a technologist, if you’re not, uh, you know, approach to know, you know, if you hadn’t been there and done that, you could understand what’s going on and why it’s important. So y’all join me in welcoming, Mr. Mike Rosewall, vice president analyst with Gartner. Hey Mike,
Mike Griswold (07:39):
I Scott I’m really well. Thanks. Thanks for the kind words. Thank you everyone for joining. I always enjoy spending this time with the community. It’s it’s I learn a lot. Uh, hopefully folks learn a little thing here or there, but it’s great. Uh, I love the platform. I love the work you guys do. So always excited to be here.
Scott Luton (07:56):
Really appreciate that Mike, you make our day and, uh, and again, we, we, it’s genuine. We love these conversations. Uh, I’ll tell you, I think you’re, I’m convinced you can give an expert take on just about anything from basketball to golf, to supply chain, you name it so great to have you back. All right. So where are we starting here today? Let’s see here, Mike today is global running day. How about that? So, uh, the hard hitting questions do you jog? And if you do what’s, what’s your, what, what scene would you like to be around when you’re jogging?
Mike Griswold (08:28):
Yes. So my oldest granddaughter is six. Now her and I share the same birthday. And the reason I share that as my daughter, the year before Riley was born said, Hey, let’s, let’s start running together and let’s start doing some half marathons. So I said, yeah, okay, well, we’ll, we’ll give it a shot. Well, she ended up getting pregnant with Riley. So I ran my first half marathon by myself. I try to do, I’ve done between, let’s say over the last six years, I think I’ve done probably 10 or 11. I tried to do a couple every year, but to get to your question, I, my goal is to do about 20 miles a week. I’ll do two shorter runs during the week. And then my wife and I have a routine, uh, on Saturdays where we’ll do a bike run combo. So around us in Boise, we’re very, very fortunate. We have a lot of greenbelts, a lot of areas where we can run and bike. So we will go to the Greenbelt. We’ll park, she’ll ride her bike. I don’t know, 20 to 25 miles and I’ll run 10 and we will pretty much end up at about the car back at the car at about the same time. So yeah, the weather here is, is very conducive to that for most of the year. Um, so yeah, I try to do about 20 miles a week, which I’m finding at my age is plenty.
Scott Luton (09:49):
Hey, I love it. And that you’re inspiring and motivating, uh, probably plenty of folks, 20, 20 miles a week is something. Um, so let me running. There’s so many folks that are very passionate about getting their mileage in there. They’re they’re, um, jogging in. And one of those individuals, if I can find that comment, my dear friend, Russ thorn, the judge was his nickname back in the day. Um, he volunteered a lot of his time with a local industry group and he, he’s probably the most passionate jogger and runner. I know as well as the biggest officiant auto of dad jokes. So we’ll see what rescue bring today for us. Hope this finds you well and great to see you. Okay. And Charles says, walk, don’t run Charles. You’re kind of more up my speed here. And Peter was asking earlier, Mike, see if I can find it. Someone mentioned that you look like you’re about to hit the links after today’s live stream. And he goes,
Mike Griswold (10:47):
No, I wish I wish we started basketball camp. So when we’re done later today, uh, I have two sessions of basketball camp to get to. So now golf actually probably will not happen until the weekend, unfortunately, which those of you have come to know. That’s pretty painful for me to have to wait until Saturday or Sunday to, to get out on the golf course.
Scott Luton (11:10):
Hey, is that, uh, I can understand that for sure. I can also understand Nick rumor who says now it’s just running after his son. We can appreciate that. Okay. So folks stick to stick around would welcome your thoughts on some of these topics we’re talking today, we’re going to be talking Nike, we’re gonna be talking Starbucks. We’re gonna be talking to some, some kind of some general supply global supply chain industry developments to keep your fingers on the pulse of, so look forward to your POV, but Mike, I want to start with, uh, you know, speaking of running, of course you gotta have a great pair of sneakers around here. I’ve always been partial at least for the last, well, I guess since college, uh, really partial to new balance. Uh, in fact, I’m due for a new pair of shoes. My wife’s threatening bodily harm if I don’t, if I don’t update my kicks, but of course Nike, uh, one of the global leaders in selling footwear and Nike was part of the Gartner supply chain top 25.
Scott Luton (12:06):
So doing big things and do a next generation things and supply chain. So have you heard about this Nike refurbished program? I’m going to, I’m going to tee this up in a couple of bullet points and we’ll get your take on it. So really cool. You know, this whole re I want to say remanufacturing, but it’s more of a, kind of a reusable market is growing in size. I think it’s supposed to be 30 billion in a market size of kind of things that have already been used once kind of a hammy down, but, but new to some consumer 30 billion market size, I think by 2030, I believe maybe 20, 25. So Nike refurbished giving those shoes a second life is first is trying to get three types of returns back on the rack, like new gently worn or cosmetically flawed. And if they can’t get it back on the rack, they’re looking to find ways of donating it to folks in need and nonprofits and whatnot. I love this, this initial wish every company has something similar, but what’s your take on it? Yeah,
Mike Griswold (13:03):
I think Scott, as usual, Nike is, you know, at the forefront of a lot of these types of ESG initiatives. It’s interesting, you know, some of our analysts, uh, on the retail side, you know, I have started to research and talk more about this whole reusable market. I’ve I I’m, I tend to agree Scott that around the market size estimates, think what COVID has done because you know, places were shut down or had limited hours. I think people were taking a hard look at, you know, their wardrobe. What do we have? What do I want to keep? What do I not want to keep? And what can I do with it? And this market kind of just popped up out of nowhere and, you know, we’re seeing it, you know, more and more on the apparel side. So, you know, people like H and M and in detects as an example, right?
Mike Griswold (13:56):
Two of these fast fashion companies, uh, really exploring, you know, how do we, how do we support this? You know, I think if, if you were to rewind the clock, maybe even five years ago, this idea of a Marquis brand going into what I think we could agree is a secondary market that never would have happened, right? Nike never would have said, Hey, no, no, no, no. You’re going to get this shoe, you know, at or Kohl’s or some other place we’re not, we’re not interested in this secondary market. Well, that has changed. And, and I give companies like Nike credit for recognizing that. And instead of fighting it, embracing it, how are we going to support that? How are we going to encourage that? You know, we talked last month about this idea of, you know, integrated purpose driven organizations. And I think, you know, what and others have recognized is this is going to happen with, or without us.
Mike Griswold (14:55):
Right. Once I think what we’ve seen over the last probably two to three years is at some point brand owners lose control of the brand. And then at some point there’s nothing you can do about that. So if a bunch of people decided they wanted to start to share and swap Nike apparel and shoes, there’s not a whole lot Nike can do about that. So you can do one of two things, you can fight it or you can embrace it. Right. And I think Nike has embraced it. I think it’s, it’s fantastic. And I think it is the beginnings of, or at least a component of what we think about from the research side around this idea of a circular economy, right? How, how do we just perpetuate the life of products? And once they reach their natural end, how do re how do we reabsorb them? And that’s a big area of research for us at Gartner, is this whole idea of a circular economy. Yeah.
Scott Luton (15:56):
Uh, so much good. And she shared there, but you know, the interesting thing, I don’t think Nike has laxed its returns policies. I didn’t see that part in the article I read. So these shoes were already going back, you know, so rather than them going to a landfill can, and you can only imagine just the sheer size of that, you know, finding a way to take a huge chunk of these shoes and get them back to other folks can enjoy them. As Amanda says at a, at a discount, if I can find her comment here, or if you, even, if you can’t, you know, uh, make some new revenue on the, these products, getting them in the hands of folks that need them. Right. I love, I love the work that Nike is doing here. So Amanda said, love the refurbished secondary market for name brands, been scouring eBay for years, doing this glad brands are embracing it.
Scott Luton (16:46):
And to Mike’s point, it’s going to happen, right. Either you embrace it or you don’t so excellent point clay says, this is right up Tony srotas and their reverse logistics associations, Allie agreed singing praises, and let’s see here. So right. They think you’re a new comer here to the live stream. So welcome via LinkedIn and look forward to your voice on all these matters. We’re talking here with Mike Griswold from Gartner, a couple of the comments here, Mike, Rhonda says, hopefully Rhonda can hear me. We’ll see, um, love that. So many ways to donate shoes to different causes, including the homeless population in Philly. We did that at Philly university every quarter, huh? It’s super impactful in so many ways for our community and the planet.
Mike Griswold (17:31):
I think what’s nice about this, Scott. Um, and I liked the way you characterize kind of how Nike is thinking about those three tiers. Everyone has their own, I think, perception around when a piece of clothing or when a foot piece of footwear becomes kind obsolete for them. Right. And for some people, you know, you know, again, our running community, right. You know, it’s, I think it’s every 200 or 300 miles, you should get a new pair of shoes. At that point. They’re still very, very serviceable for people that just want to walk around. Right? Some of my running shoes, once they’ve hit their 300 mile mark, they become the lawnmowing shoes. So there’s that because people have those different preferences. This market, I think gets some really high quality product because people have different points in the life cycle of the product where they say, okay, I’m done with it. I want to move on to it, to a new one. So I think this market is not going to lack for having inventory. I think just because of people’s preferences on when they want to move on to the next new piece.
Scott Luton (18:38):
And yeah, I would just add as consumers, you know, I hate returning anything always have, but you know, when I can’t, you know, there’s, there’s purchasing decisions that we all must make when we’re not a hundred percent sure that this is exactly what we want need or what have you. But when you get that item, you know, just treat it as if it’s already going back that way. It, it kind of helps it hit the rack when you do send it back. So, but anyway, great work here by Nike. I want to share a couple of comments and then I want to see your take Mike on other things that they might be doing. It’s pretty neat. From a supply chain standpoint, let’s see here, uh, back to cerate the he’s doing his MBA in logistics and supply chain management. Interesting. So, Hey, can’t wait for you to weigh in on some of the things we’re talking about here.
Scott Luton (19:21):
Hey, Stephanie ness makes a great comment because they’re going to have to get world-class at the reverse logistics, completely agree, Stephanie and returns processing, right? So a great point and hope this finds you well, Stephanie, let’s see here. And then we’ll go back to Rhonda because my actually may be, there might be some friendly competition here. She says she runs about 60 miles a week. Holy cow, some days it feels good. Some days it’s tough to do, got to keep more and more and find someone enjoyable to keep healthy. So many ways that they actively help. I wonder how many shoes Mike, if you run 60 miles a week, or if you were on 21 or how many shoes a year, you didn’t, you just give a ratio? Well,
Mike Griswold (20:01):
If you’re running 60 miles a week and the number let’s say, cause I need simple, math is 300 miles before you need a pair of shoes, then she’s going to need is going to need shoes like every six weeks. So, wow.
Scott Luton (20:13):
Yeah. Rhonda, that’s why you make the big butts. Well,
Mike Griswold (20:17):
And not to mention socks, right? Because you need some really, if you’re doing 60 miles a week, you need some really good socks as well.
Scott Luton (20:25):
All right. So, so I want to sprinkle this. We get this question all the time. It’s right there. That’s a great question about the skillsets and the knowledge and other things you need to take from the pandemic environment and the, what I’ll call the general environment so that they can progress in their careers is serif. They will try to bake that into the rest of the conversation. We get it a lot. And it’s a great question. Thanks so much. Okay. So Mike, so beyond this Nike refurbishment program that, that you and I are clearly big fans of what else are some of the things that Nike is doing that, that are admirable from a, how you lead supplies? Well, I think one
Mike Griswold (21:00):
Of the things, if you think about the last couple of years, we’ve talked about this idea of digital this year, we talked about digital first supply chains last year. I think it was something around this idea of digital orchestration. And I think Nike is a really good example of a company that has figured out what does digital mean to them and how are they going to deliver that? They made an acquisition a couple of years ago of a technology company called select, which at the time I was covering because they were in the forecasting and replenishment space, uh, they, they ended up landing Nike as a customer and then Nike, uh, thought so much of the software. They actually bought the technology company and Nike has done other technology acquisitions, I think, in an effort to, to continue their digital journey. So it’s, it’s one example of others that I’ve seen in retail in particular, where retailers are becoming technology, acquirers, Walmart, Hey, you know, obviously with jet a number of years ago, but certainly Walmart is another kind of very shrewd acquirer of technology companies and bringing that insight right into the organization. So, you know, Nike, I think does a really, really good job of understanding where I see a lot of companies struggle, which is aligning the digital strategy and the supply chain strategy. I think they do that really well. And if there’s one thing I think companies can emulate or learn from Nike is getting that digital and supply chain alignment. Because without that you run the risk of having these digital activities on one side that may or may not drive any supply chain improvements on the other side.
Scott Luton (22:45):
Yeah. Excellent point. And of course, so thing that Nike and other groups have done is, is they’ve, they’ve gone more direct to consumer with even highly customized shoes has been really interesting. I think one of the shoe brands has a shoe factory here in the Atlanta area. Uh, so it’s just, it is, it is so interesting to see how much innovation and really revolution is taking place to serve the customer where they want to be served. And of course the ripple effect that has throughout the operations and the supply chain side of the house.
Mike Griswold (23:14):
Yeah. You’re, you’re exactly right, Scott. I mean, we, the school where I coach, we, we became a Nike school a couple of years ago in the late summer, early fall, I will go online and I’ll create my coaching shoe that I’ll wear during the season, you know, so I can pick, I can pick the model, can get it in black and gold. I can put, you know, a saying on it if I, if, if I want to put a saying on it. So this idea around customer centricity and the ability to turn that around pretty quickly, because it’s like I have to wait months to get my customized shoe. I can usually get it, you know, within two to three weeks. So that, that to me speaks again to the alignment of, Hey, we have a digital requirement to let people customize their stuff, but we also have a supply chain requirement that they can’t wait six months to get it. So it’s a great example of, of how Nike has brought those two things together.
Scott Luton (24:10):
Point, you know, we’ve come a long way since I first saw my first pair of Bo Jackson, Nike cross trainers that I could not afford them well long time ago, but it’s really interesting. I want to, before we switch gears over to coffee, I want to call out one of our livestream attendees. So Cindy Palmer is part of the volunteer team over it, vets to industry.org. They’re a nonprofit serving our veterans space. And you know, there’s a bunch of veterans are well-suited, uh, and not just veterans, but are well-suited for the global supply chain careers. And part of it, part of that Trent successful transition is tuning in to hear folks like Mike, talk about what’s going on in supply chain and check out the SAP event, the webinars we talked about earlier, you know, get it in the note. So Cindy, thanks so much for tagging some of my fellow veterans and getting them plugged into this conversation. And thanks for your service. I,
Mike Griswold (24:58):
I would agree if, if there is a set of entities that understands the supply chain and logistics and the importance of having critical components at critical places at critical times, it’s the military. If you think about their supply chain, it’s, it’s massive. It is global for sure. And, you know, anytime you can find someone like that with that experience, you should be scooping them up. I know we’re going to talk talent in a little bit, but yeah, I would agree our military, uh, not just when it comes to supply chain has a wealth of capabilities that would serve any organization really well.
Scott Luton (25:40):
Excellent. Well said my better. And I could say it and I appreciate that those comments there. Okay. So let’s, um, I want to talk about coffee and speaking of things that make global supply chain, right. And lead problem, solving sessions, a coffee, um, yeah, so, you know, we’re playing off the, the Gartner supply chain top 25 was just released Tinder last week, right? 19th, 19. So, uh, a couple weeks ago, and we had Mike joined us for that, uh, a day or two after it was released. And, and he, and Greg and Korean kind of walked through some of the key takeaways and I loved our whole team. We still talk about love this moment, Mike, where, uh, it was supply chain top 25 suppliers. Hopefully, hopefully, yes, the phone
Mike Griswold (26:29):
Has slowed down a little bit, but not a whole lot. Trust
Scott Luton (26:32):
Me. And, uh, it was, uh, it’s gonna hit our highlight reel, but Starbucks also made the supply chain top 25. And this isn’t the first year. I don’t think there are any there, no to this list. I think they’ve been doing some cool things when it comes to blockchain for quite some time. So I want to talk about a couple of things that recently they’re working through. One of them is helped her after and they say it’s not widespread, which is good news, I guess, but after some, some missed deliveries from the distribution centers to the stores, uh, workforce issues and short, short shortages came to the surface. So in true Starbucks fashion, they jumped in and are working with their supply chain partners to address these workforce shortages because you’re only as strong as your weakest link in the supply chain. So I love Starbucks approach here. Any comments around what we’re seeing from a workforce and labor stamp?
Mike Griswold (27:27):
Yeah, I, I think it’s, how do I, what’s the technical term for this? It’s not good. I think I just look around my, my area here in Boise and there is many, many more job opportunities than there are people that are working in, you know, we can, we can talk about, you know, the stimulus checks and all that other stuff. Right. But at the end of the day, I think we have a challenge where we’ve got some very important roles, uh, at store level, at factory level, at manufacturing level that we’re having difficulty filling. And we’re feeling the ramifications of that through the supply chain, whether that’s, you know, Starbucks, you know, unable to find enough partners for them. And I love the fact that they call their, their associates partners. I mean, to me, that is the epitome of the Starbucks culture, which is everyone is in this together.
Mike Griswold (28:25):
But you, when we think about, you know, we spend a lot of time, uh, at Gardner talking about kind of those, those more visible supply chain roles and, and the, the challenges we’re having, finding things like demand planners, just as an example. But even if we, you know, found demand planners, if we don’t have people that can actually, you know, process the output of the demand signal, if we don’t have people that can work in the stores and work in the DCS, you know, that too will cause us supply chain challenges. So I think, you know, everyone needs to take probably a little bit more holistic perspective on talent and yes, we need to continue to focus on, on supply chain, talent, upstream, you know, into the corporate office and that type of area and those types of skills. But we also need to find ways to actually get the work done. And I think right now that to me is probably our biggest concern right now is having the right partners and associates to actually get the work done. Because if we don’t, then we’re going to have another problem, which is we’re going to have capacity issues at these locations stores like distribution centers, because we will have got the goods flowing, but we can’t move them out into where customers can get it.
Scott Luton (29:51):
Excellent, excellent point. And you know, Starbucks, I should also, we’ve just talked on veteran’s a second ago. They launched this veteran and veteran spouse hiring program a couple of years back. I want to say they, they, their aim was to hire 15,000 veterans and veteran spouses are, they hired 25,000. Uh, so they were really putting I’ve long, admired the culture there at Starbucks. They really are deliberate about taking action to solve some of the challenges across industry. So I would
Mike Griswold (30:21):
Agree, Scott, I, I would suggest we we’ve got a few of those companies in the top 25. I would suggest Starbucks was probably probably purpose-driven before we were calling it. Purpose-driven right. We talked a little bit about this a couple of weeks ago with Dell, right. Dell is w has long been purpose-driven before we were calling it that I think it’s fair to say Starbucks as well. When you think about the veterans, they were ahead of the curve a couple of years ago in, in college reimbursement with partners with, uh, the university of Phoenix or Arizona state in terms of reimbursing, you know, at a partner level, uh, for, for a higher education. So they’ve definitely been, uh, I think at the forefront in, in some of those areas as well.
Scott Luton (31:03):
Agreed. And we’ve got, I think we’ve got my account about eight t-shirt isms with you already today, Mike, like that last one, and now let’s make sure we get that to Starbucks was purpose-driven before we were calling it purpose driven. They were, they were not late to that party. So meaningful partners as well. So a lot of good stuff there. I want to share a couple of comments here. Let’s see, um, as Leah, Hey, as Lee, I hope this finds you we’ll look forward to reconnecting with you soon says I feel that recruitment should get better because of this, that online job application process is a killer. I agree with that, Mike, any, any comments around how we recruit talent better?
Mike Griswold (31:42):
Yeah, I, I think it is becoming more and more of a priority for organizations. If I think about on my team, I have a couple of analysts that, that look at the talent area and it’s definitely becoming a, a more, uh, a higher, higher focus area in terms of how do we improve that experience and how do we actually just make it faster so that we can not only, you know, see more people more efficiently, but can we automate some things around some of the decision process? So there there’s, I think, you know, that that’s kind of a double-edged sword, right? Because certainly with machine learning and AI, right, you can create programs that would suck a resume in scan for keywords, move it on or not. Right. I think there there’s benefits to that, to the point, how do we become a little bit more efficient?
Mike Griswold (32:41):
I think you do run the risk potentially of actually two things happening. Once people figure that out, then they make sure that the keywords are in their resume. So you may end up with people that on, on, on literally paper have the right criteria, but when you dig deeper, they don’t, but you also, I think run the risk of missing people, right? Because maybe they didn’t have as polished a resume and some of the keywords weren’t there, so it got bypassed, but actually they had, they would have been an ideal candidate based on their experiences. The other thing that I’ve observed, even in my own role as a team manager is there is a lot more emphasis. It seems on behavioral type of skills and questions. So I think as, as we’re looking for candidates, I think one of the things to think about is, you know, putting potential candidates in different scenarios to demonstrate a behavior that you’re looking for. That to me is becoming a lot more, um, I think of a better indicator of success is how people handle scenarios. And do they have the behaviors that you’re looking for for a particular role? Mm,
Scott Luton (33:55):
Excellent commentary there. And, uh, as lay a, Hey, hopefully we’re seeing so much progress in some of the different aspects of the enterprise. The candidate experience has got to get better across the board. So stay tuned is coming. It does. I want to also share, let’s see here, going back to something you shared earlier, uh, Kayvon says workforce shortages, another type of disruptions to consider that threaten supply chains, operational capacity, along with those that threaten supply chains, strategic capacity, great points.
Mike Griswold (34:26):
Yeah. That’s, that’s a great point. I mean, if I think about where some of our client inquiries are going relative, particularly warehouse operations, we’ve seen a significant uptick in inquiry and questions around automation and robotics in DCS, I think two or three years ago, I think it was a topic of interest, but people were really wrestling with. And how do we build the business case? I think in some ways the business case is starting to get built for people because of the lack of the lack of resource. I don’t want to say the lack of talent, the lack of resources. So if that’s the case, I mean, if we can’t hire enough people and therefore, you know, we miss production or we miss shipping targets and there’s a cost to that through automation and through robotics, maybe we can get back to those targets. That’s starting to help build the business case. So I agree completely the shortage of, of operational type of skills is definitely happening and it is pushing us towards accelerating. I think companies, automation efforts, particularly in areas like the DC.
Scott Luton (35:39):
Yeah, absolutely. All right. So good, good, great call out Sarah Kayvon. I appreciate that. You and as Leah and then Peter says, cult brands, going back to what we’re talking about, Starbucks likely are all purpose-driven prior to that term becoming popular. Excellent.
Mike Griswold (35:54):
Yeah, I, I think what’s interesting when I, and I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago, if we look at this idea of integrated purpose driven organizations, the integration was the key word that we felt was important this year, because that integration is happening both internally, where I think organizations are getting, you know, these cult brands are getting pressure internally from their associates to say, Hey, we need to behave a certain way. And I think they’re getting pressure externally from regular customers who say, you know what, I’m going to patronize or not patronize. I’m going to patron organizations that align with my, with my values. So now organizations, you know, I think they had been feeling that internal pressure all along people go to work for Starbucks for lots of reasons. One of them certainly is the culture, right? But now I also think the people that buy Starbucks products are putting pressure on Starbucks to, to continue the work that it’s already been doing.
Mike Griswold (36:53):
So we’re definitely the, these high visibility brands and they’re actually doing another thing there. You know, we talked about the top 25 kind of raising the bar for everyone. You know, I think other organizations are feeling pressure from their associates to say, Hey, why can’t we behave like Starbucks? Or why can’t we behave like Dell? And you’re getting the customers say, Hey, why can’t you be like Starbucks? So why can’t you be like Dell? So we saw this probably six or seven years ago. I called it the Amazon phenomenon, right. Where Amazon provided an exceptional e-commerce experience. And once you bought stuff from Amazon, you then went to your other, your other retailers and said, okay, well, why can’t I have an Amazon experience with your website? The same thing I think is happening now with purpose driven organizations, there are leaders, Starbucks, Dell, Nike, right? Those companies are leaders in this area and other companies are now being held to those standards. And to me, it’s a good thing.
Scott Luton (37:50):
Absolutely agree. And you know, that benchmarking, that force to bank benchmarking that markets will impose organizations will be a good thing because to T-square his point here, the hiring process needs to be more human, the human resources arena, it needs to be more human. And, you know, there’s, uh, uh, and, and we’re going to move on here in a second, Mike, but I think what you were speaking to much earlier is that there’s gotta be a balance, right, right. Uh, large organizations that consume talent, right. And they hire and, and, you know, by the hundreds or at least by the dozens, you know, they’ve got to find those efficiency, uh, AI driven ways of, of, of working their way through, uh, an army of, of applicants, right on the flip side, and completely agree with T scored. It needs to be more, we got to close the loop better with candidates that may not be selected upfront, or may have go through three interviews and then not be the candidate that they choose. Um, we do need more, we need more humanity, uh, and communication and, and process.
Mike Griswold (38:49):
I think the other point there, that was a really good one is I think, and I think we’re getting better. I think we also have to do a better job of keeping kind of a, a pool of candidates. So, you know, I might interview for a particular role. I may not be a good feel, a good fit for that role, but I have, you know, five of the seven competencies you’re looking for. Don’t just dismiss me because I didn’t fit that particular role. Keep me in your pool because I have these competencies that you value. And maybe there’ll be another role that better aligns with my competencies that I might be a better fit for, you know, and I think organizations are getting better at that. I think primarily through technology, we think about the way we used to do this. It was okay. I got a resume. We went through the interview. It didn’t fit for this job. Maybe I put your resume back in a file cabinet somewhere. And I had to hopefully remember, Hey, we’ve got this role, by the way, I talked to someone six months ago, let me pull that back out. I think we need to find a way to kind of systematize that, that knowledge that we get so that it’s quicker and easier for us to, to come back to people that maybe we spoke to for, for new opportunities.
Scott Luton (40:07):
Well said, and, and I, I really believe like we’ve seen the discipline of the customer experience really rise up and come to the forefront here in recent years, the employee experience is just right there behind them. And I think, I think, I think organizations for looking organizations are going to really realize just how bad we’re turning off all this talent because of the experience they have in the hiring and interviewing and the recruiting cycles. Well,
Mike Griswold (40:34):
It’s interesting you say that because, you know, I think beginning of the pandemic, I think if you gave people true serum, what they would tell you is we’re going to work remote, but the minute the pandemic starts to recede, we’re going back to offices and let’s fast forward today that frankly is not happening. We have, we’ve kicked off a whole body of research across the entire Gartner estate. That’s basically called the future of work. And in the, the sub the subtitles are, it’s going to be a hybrid environment. And I think what organizations figured out is they could work remotely. They could trust their associates to get the work done. They could give associates freedom around how and when to get the work done. And it actually worked. And I think a lot of associates have come back and said, you know what? I kind of like work in this way.
Mike Griswold (41:31):
Don’t make me come back to the office. So you talk about that whole employee experience. You know, my advice to organizations is to don’t rush back into feeling like you have to have everyone back in person, think about a hybrid approach and talk to the associates, get their feedback around what worked for them, what didn’t work for them. And I think if I was a betting man, which I’m not, but for the purposes of our discussion, let’s pretend I am a betting man. I think what we’re going to find is many, many organizations having something like, you know, two or three days in the office and the remainder at home and let people kind of figure out what balance works for them. I think the days of people having to be in the office five days a week, I think those are over, uh, because we, we were productive when we didn’t do that. And I think it’s, it’s just forcing people into areas that maybe they don’t need to go.
Scott Luton (42:31):
Excellent. Excellent point and want to say, just hello to a couple folks here you Hong is tuned in via Canada. Hopefully I got your name, right. If I didn’t, please let me know. You make a great point there too much, too much turnover. Certainly. Uh, I want to say hello to Kelvin from Zambia. Hope this finds you always tuned in via LinkedIn. Great. See, Kelvin and, and Peter is, is, is reciting something we’ve shared in earlier. Laughter and we talked about who, you know, opens doors, what, you know, lands a position in today’s environment. Good stuff. Yep. Okay. So let’s um, I’d say we talked talent there for quite some time, but clearly it resonated in a subtle tip of tongues and brains here lately. Let’s talk about some of this lofty sustainability goals that Starbucks has a committed to for going back to 2020, but is getting some more attention here lately.
Scott Luton (43:30):
So they just announced, I think this is back in late April, they in tandem being a resource positive company by 2030, which they define as taking less and giving more to the planet, but across the enterprise, not in this pocket, in that pocket, but more recently Starbucks announced its intentions to achieve carbon neutral green coffee and conserve 50% more water usage in green coffee processing by 2030. So I’ve got a little note in my ear. The resource positive company by 2030 was announced in 2020. And those latter two goals of being carbon neutral, green coffee and less water usage or more recent Mike, what’s your take
Mike Griswold (44:12):
This, this is a, I think an example, uh, of a couple of things. One it’s an example of, of Starbucks just not resting on their laurels. Right. And saying, look there, there are other things that we can do. And what I like about Starbucks is is they look at their product portfolio and what are the environmental impacts of their products, right. Certainly we need water to grow coffee. I mean, we need to do things around packaging. We need to do things about growing. We have a very diverse set of people that grow coffee, right? That are our supply base. How do we help them? So I think they do a really good job of kind of deconstructing their products, looking at the environmental impacts and then how do they target it? And to me, that’s, that’s I think a very good approach for companies to, to embark upon.
Mike Griswold (45:01):
I also think the other thing that’s happening is we are getting more and more people that are actually paying attention to people’s targets. And if you, cause if you go back four or five years, there were all kinds of pretty audacious targets around things like carbon neutrality and greenhouse gas, emission and so on. And no one was really checking, frankly, at that point, people are checking now. So when you go out and say, this is what we’re going to do, people are going to hold you to that. And they’re going to circle back if you’re, if you’re not doing that. So I think we are seeing more people set these types of targets, but I also am seeing people being a little bit more mindful because they know someone’s keeping score. We have so many more now third parties out there that are monitoring and measuring this and reporting on it that you just can’t make up some big carbon neutrality goal and expect no one to hold you to that in the past that may not have been the case.
Mike Griswold (46:01):
The other thing I will clue people into, cause it’s a word that we’re starting to hear more about and talk more about is this idea of biodiversity? How do we be conscious of the, the, the resource area that we are drawing from and how do we be sensitive to that? So things like, you know, we’ve talked about for years, but things as simple as crop rotation. So I’m not growing the same crop every year in the same field. But I would ask the people that are watching today to start exploring this topic of biodiversity, because we’re going to be writing about it a lot more and it’s going to become, I think more of a prevalent topic over the next 12 to 24 months, 12 to 24 months as an yet another way that organizations can demonstrate their commitment to these areas. It’s going to be about biodiversity,
Scott Luton (46:56):
Love that so much to keep our eyeballs on Mike. I wish I had more than two, you know, so I gotta go back to these comments around the workforce environments and, and I’ll, I’ll start with a lighter note. Keith says after working remotely for the last eight years, I had been wondering this last year, while everyone was panicking about working.
Mike Griswold (47:18):
I love that. Yeah, Keith, that’s interesting. I mean, for an analyst for the gardener analysts in particular, most of us have been remote our entire analyst life. So for us it was kind of, okay, this isn’t a big deal. I think we did get to your point though, Keith, we, we did get a greater appreciation of how, how new it can be for some of our clients trying to, to just navigate something like WebEx or Microsoft teams, but navigating that, you know, with a three-year-old in your lap or a dog that has to go out and hasn’t been out for three hours. Right? So it’s certainly, I think brought a lot of nuances that people probably just took for granted when they weren’t working from home.
Scott Luton (48:04):
Agreed. I was getting sold on something on zoom the other day and the gentleman’s four year old, three year old daughter, uh, that was playing with toys behind him, unexpectedly jumped into picture. I embraced Elene and that stuff, that stuff is his humanity. So I love this. The other thing I want to share, and we’re kind of butting up against the end of the session here, but Amanda shares that she was reading something last night about how many women are not going back to the office, or maybe they have limited office hours versus versus men who are going back for more office days. The author of this piece was wondering if we’re about to see more male dominated offices and more women missing out on that in-person social aspect of work, as she says. Interesting to think about. Yeah,
Mike Griswold (48:53):
It certainly is. I mean, I think we certainly have a long way to go in terms of giving, you know, women and in all, you know, diversity type of, of candidates as much, much exposure as we can. I think, you know, in person certainly helps facilitate that in terms of just being there, being seen, being recognized, having those, you know, those small topic conversations. So I hope that we find a way if that research does pan out, hopefully we can find a way to continue to keep everyone connected and keep people top of mind so that we don’t miss out on opportunities. Just because someone isn’t in a physical, the same physical location. Yes.
Scott Luton (49:40):
As the author of the memo, men to hurt hurts, I believe said let’s make work, work for everyone. And, and, and you know, as this whole climate of, uh, this harbored environment continues to play out and we learn, you know, there’s going to be some things in a blind spot leadership’s going to have to adjust for so that everyone is taken care of. So great call out here, Amanda, I want to wrap one final question for you, and then we’re going to wrap here. Um, Mike, and this comes from Dave and we’ve got to start a campaign, um, hard David. David’s a great, great individual, a member of our community and he and his lab has done a lot of manufacturing work. He says, what kind of challenges do you see with the remote working climate for someone that in the process of a shifting careers, uh, rather than not just a change of business or venue in any?
Mike Griswold (50:31):
Yeah, I th I think when I look at that question, the thing that comes to mind first and foremost is, is just being aware of how different industries and segments industry segments have embraced this idea of remote working. If you think about, you know, retail, I would have argued was probably one of those that would have fought remote working the longest and the hardest and would be the, the first to dismiss it when the pandemic was over. And I think all of all of that is untrue. You look at someone like REI, who’s basically selling a brand new office complex because they want people to work at remotely. Other retailers have really embraced this idea of hybrid and remote working. So I think looking at, you know, what are the tendencies of a particular industry where they already ahead of the curve when it comes to remote learning, uh, remote working, um, and just using that maybe as a guide to say, Hey, you know, this fits in with the culture of the industry, whereas maybe it’s not quite as prevalent, but I think everyone, you know, every industry is going to have to embrace it in some form or fashion.
Scott Luton (51:40):
Yeah. Uh, well said, you know, so much good stuff. We’re gonna have to dedicate a whole hour next, go round to work for us and hiring and recruiting and the kind of stuff I should. A quick programming note. I misstated earlier, Minda Harts is the author of the memo and she just released her newest book called right within. So y’all check it out like this stuff there, as Aleia says, I would hate to see the efforts that were made towards equality in the workplace waste. Excellent point. Um, okay. Well, I hate as much as I hate to bring this conversation. We’re close here. We’ve got to do so for the sake of time, Mike, we’re looking to get an hour from Mike once a month. He is busy individual, but Mike, how can folks connect with you and, and certainly, um, you know, download a copy of the top 25 and you name it.
Mike Griswold (52:28):
Yeah. So a gardner.com, we’ve got a landing page for the top 25 clients or no client. If you’re not a client, you can access that. I’m taking a crawl, walk, run approach to LinkedIn. I’m still in the crawl stage. I am getting better to responding to people. So please keep reaching out to me on LinkedIn. It forces me to kind of move from crawl to walking. Uh, I enjoy the conversations. I enjoy connecting with people, but as you’ve probably already figured out, I’m not as savvy in LinkedIn as, as most everyone on the planet, probably so, but it’s, it’s, I enjoy spending time with everyone here, Scott. So I appreciate you having me
Scott Luton (53:06):
Well and vice versa. We really enjoyed, we’ve gotten a ton out of our conversations here and got a ton of feedback, both from our team. And of course, from across the community, we did just drop the direct link. Uh, as Mike mentioned, you can download a copy of the supply chain, top 25 for 2021. Y’all do that. I did it, um, a lot of good stuff there, a lot of key takeaways, garlic of the size of the company you work in. And, uh, Mike Griswold, always a pleasure. Uh, Mike Griswold, vice president analyst with Gartner really appreciate your time here today. Thanks everyone. Talk to you next month. You bet. So everybody. Hey big. Thanks to Mike big. Thanks to our team back behind us, Amanda and clay and Natalie and the rest of the team. Hey, uh, Godspeed to Greg and Vicky as they venture to Chicago for the big event and his keynote hope this finds you well, hope you have a great rest of the week, wherever you are, but most importantly, Hey, do good gift forward and be the change that’s needed. And on that note, we’ll see here, right back here at supply chain. Now again real soon. Thanks everybody.
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Mike Griswold serves as Vice President Analyst with Gartner’s Consumer Value Chain team, focusing on the retail supply chain. He is responsible for assisting supply leaders in understanding and implementing demand-driven supply chain principles that improve the performance of their supply chain. Mr. Griswold joined Gartner through the company’s acquisition of AMR. Previous roles include helping line-of-business users align corporate strategy with their supply chain process and technology initiatives. One recent study published by a team of Gartner analysts, including Mike Griswold is Retail Supply Chain Outlook 2019: Elevating the Consumer’s Shopping Experience. Mr. Griswold holds a BS in Business Management from Canisius College and an MBA from the Whittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire. Learn more about Gartner here: www.gartner.com
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.
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.
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.
Director of Communications and Executive Producer
Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys. She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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
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.
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, 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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vice President, Production
Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.
Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research. Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. 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.
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 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 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.
Director of Sales
Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.
With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.
When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!
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.
Principal & CMO, 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.
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.