In this episode of Digital Transformers on Supply Chain Now, hosts Kevin L. Jackson and Scott Luton welcome Dan Reeve with Esker to the podcast.
Welcome to Supply Chain Now, the voice of global supply chain. Supply Chain Now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues, the challenges, and opportunities. Stay tuned to hear from those making global business happen right here on Supply Chain Now.
Scott Luton (00:00:32):
Kevin, good afternoon. How are you doing, sir?
Kevin L. Jackson (00:00:36):
Hey. Afternoon. Afternoon. It’s Thursday. I got one more day for this week. I’ll tell you it’s been one of those ten-day weeks. How about you?
Scott Luton (00:00:44):
About the same. Same here. Same here. But a great week. A great week, Kevin. Great to see it. And I love those new glasses, my friend.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:00:50):
Why, thank you. Thank you. Eyebobs, they did me well. This is part of my wardrobe for my television show a couple of weeks ago.
Scott Luton (00:01:06):
I love it. I love it. And nice jacket, too.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:01:08):
Scott Luton (00:01:08):
But, hey, your look is almost as nice as our guest we’re going to have here today. So, what’s today’s show part of?
Kevin L. Jackson (00:01:13):
Well, actually, today we’re going to talk about digital transformation.
Scott Luton (00:01:20):
Kevin L. Jackson (00:01:20):
Imagine that. How supply chain is really being transformed by technology. So, Dan is really a leader. He has this culls on how organizations are driving change and capitalizing on these massive opportunities. You know, the globalization is sort of like a yo-yo, right? We had to bounce out to connect globally, Then, we had COVID, and everybody wanted to talk about nearshoring. And, now, we’re trying to find that right size of the supply chain. So, I think Dan and Esker is going to have a lot of good things to say.
Scott Luton (00:02:02):
Agreed. And, you know, Dan is rocketing up the charts in terms of number of appearances here. He’s going to be vying for that world championship belt sooner, this is his fourth appearance, which we love. Like Kevin and I, he’s also a fellow veteran so he’s made an appearance on Veteran Voices. And this is his third appearance here on Supply Chain Now. So, Dan Reeve with Esker is going to be sharing a variety of market updates, observations, challenges, best practices, all kind of tie back to what Kevin shared, digital transformation especially in supply chain. And better yet, Dan’s going to be offering practical advice on how to get started, those critical early steps.
Scott Luton (00:02:42):
So, we’ve got a bunch of folks tuned in. Kevin, we’re going to say hello to everybody in just a moment, including Tony Sciarrotta, who’s listening to us on the road to Asheville, North Carolina. What a wonderful town that is. But we got to make a few announcements before we bring in the heavy hitter, Dan Reeve, right?
Kevin L. Jackson (00:02:57):
Yeah. I think so. You know, one of the things I mentioned that people need to listen up to what Dan says, because a lot of companies don’t know how to get started, and that’s exactly what he’s going to really focus on.
Scott Luton (00:03:11):
I’m with you. And just like Nadia shared on a podcast a month or two ago on Digital Transformers, don’t let the fear keep you. The human transformation is what drives digital transformation. And I can’t remember that equation she shared that kind of calculates the fear factor, but I agree we have to keep it.
Scott Luton (00:03:31):
Let’s share a couple of quick announcements before we dive in with Dan. First up, of course, we want to invite you all to join us at the Supply Chain Insights Global Summit. Supply Chain Now is the exclusive provider of the virtual programming. You got to register. But it’s going to be here quick, September. They’ll be here by the time the Braves get in first place in the National League East, we’ll see. But join us for this event, homerun speakers, Kevin will be part of the programming as well.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:04:00):
Yeah. I’m looking forward to it.
Scott Luton (00:04:02):
Yeah. We’re really looking forward to it. A ton of diverse perspective from across industry. Also, we’ve got a great webinar coming up with our friends from Esker, which we’re going to touch on later in the show on July 27th. So, you’ll hear from Dr. Swink with Texas Christian University and Dan’s colleague, Nick Carpenter, on – just what Kevin said and you got to listen to Kevin – how digital transformation accelerates and strengthens your supply chain. So, a timely message there.
Scott Luton (00:04:31):
And you know, Kevin, we had a great webinar. Everybody’s got webinar fatigue these days because there’s thousands of them. But when you get a really good one and it’s really offering up honest, genuine, perspective, it’s homerun stuff. We had our friends from Ping, the golf club company, join us on a webinar earlier this week. And just really quick, you know, golf club demand has just skyrocketed throughout the pandemic because you can do that while socially distancing.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:04:58):
And it’s really kind of hard to practice those drives in your living room, right?
Scott Luton (00:05:02):
That’s right. Well, it’s hard everywhere for some of us, Kevin. But we got a really neat insider’s look on how they are transforming their supply chain. So, y’all check that recording. It will be available soon. But don’t miss the July 27th webinar with our friends from Esker and Texas Christian University.
Scott Luton (00:05:20):
Hey, really quick, Kevin. You’re ready to say hello to a few folks?
Kevin L. Jackson (00:05:23):
Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. It looks like a crowd out there today.
Scott Luton (00:05:26):
I tell you what, we’ve got the one and only Davin with us, Davin Kozsan from Canada. I always forget about what part of Canada you’re in, Davin. But great to have you here. Anamary, who is in Atlanta, is with us here today, a fellow supply chain practitioner. Hello, Anamary. Praveen is tuned in via LinkedIn. Praveen, welcome back. Tell us where you’re dialed in from, what part of the globe? Now, you know, Kevin, we can’t do a live stream without Peter Bolle all night and all day, right?
Kevin L. Jackson (00:05:54):
Is he still on the payroll? I was wondering. Hi, Peter. What’s up?
Scott Luton (00:05:59):
The check is always in the mail. But Peter, on the TECHquila Sunrise live stream yesterday, we have some great t-shirt-isms and Peter always helps us capture those. Tony Sciarrotta, the fearless leader of the Reverse Logistics Association, as I mentioned, listening as he is on the road to Asheville, I think enjoying his soon to be vacation. Maria is back with us. Kevin, I can’t remember if you were with me.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:06:26):
Scott Luton (00:06:26):
Kevin, I think it’s about midnight in the Philippines right now if I’m not mistaken. So, Maria, up late making it happen. Welcome, and we look forward to hearing your take here today.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:06:38):
I’ll tell you, I lived two years there in the Philippines at the Cubi Point Naval Air Station. I was stationed there. So, Olongapo, and Manila, and Cebu, and Baguio. I love the Philippines.
Scott Luton (00:06:55):
Well, we’re going to have to dive into that in a future Veteran Voices episode, Kevin, you got some stories to tell. Gary Smith is with us from Long Island. Gary, I hope this finds you. We got to get you back this week on Business History. Clay Phillips – of course, Clay and Amanda, and Natalie are all behind the scenes helping to make production happen, so welcome. And, Clay, how about them Hawks? Atlanta Hawks had one heck of a game in the first round of the Eastern Conference Finals. Srinivas – welcome back – from India. I hope this finds you well. I’m looking forward to your POV in today’s live stream. Dr. Vyas is back with us. It’s been a little while. And he is dialed in via LinkedIn from Bangalore, India. Great to see you here. And, Brandie, hello. And then, Memory.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:07:38):
Hey, Memory. I had a long conversation with Memory after the show earlier this week. I hope I was able to get you the information you needed, Memory. I’m always here for you.
Scott Luton (00:07:49):
We’re talking about the cattle supply chain and blockchain applications there, it’s really cool. But, Memory, I tell you, yours have had to be burned in because with our new supply chain ciao, we were really looking forward to getting your culinary input from all of your culinary pursuits. Memory is in demand, by the way. Kevin, Memory is in demand, so we’ll see.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:08:13):
You never forget memory, right?
Scott Luton (00:08:16):
That’s right. Oh, boy. Well, hey. Let’s welcome in, Kevin, if you’re ready. And hello to everybody. I think we hit just about everybody there. We’re looking forward to y’all’s POV here today. But, Kevin, I want to welcome in who’s become a good friend of the show and always has a fresh perspective to share on each of his appearances. Are we ready to introduce our guest today?
Kevin L. Jackson (00:08:37):
Scott Luton (00:08:38):
Let’s do it. So, we want to welcome in Dan Reeve, Director of Sales and Business Development with Esker. Hey, Dan. Good afternoon. How are you doing, sir?
Kevin L. Jackson (00:08:48):
Dan Reeve (00:08:49):
Hey, guys. Great to be back on the show. But, gee, with that big up, I’ve almost got stage fright. You set me up so big.
Scott Luton (00:08:59):
With you and Kevin, we can knockout, we can probably solve just about any problem we need over the next hour. But we enjoy your appearances. We enjoy your fresh, genuine take, and looking forward to diving in and kind of getting the latest here today. I want to say a couple other folks tuned in. We got Rama. We have Rhonda. Dr. Bampinza Zimmerman is back with us. Jose Montoya also, he’s tuned in via Southern California. So, great to have you here today. Okay.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:09:27):
Dan is bringing in a global audience, right?
Scott Luton (00:09:32):
Yes, he is. And we’re going to give you more stage fright, Dan.
Dan Reeve (00:09:34):
Right. All good. I wasn’t chuckling because last night I was in a Dick’s Sporting Goods and it looked like the Old Mother Hubbard story – sorry, Dick’s. But I was in there, hardly anything in the store, and all I wanted was a little golf club for my daughter. I couldn’t find it. Nothing.
Scott Luton (00:09:52):
You know, that’s been kind of par for the course – no pun intended. It’s been very difficult keeping a variety of skews. In fact, Amanda was putting together a salad for lunch and the store didn’t have a certain type of olive that they typically have. Less skews, folks. Just trying to channel and focus those energies of available capacity. But we’re going to dive more into these observations that impact your life, whether you’re in supply chain or not. So, stay tuned. But before we do –
Kevin L. Jackson (00:10:17):
Oh, no. There’s a problem there. If they’re running out of blue cheese stuffed olives, my wife can’t have her martinis. There’s going to be a problem in our house.
Scott Luton (00:10:29):
Kevin, man, I’m a big fan of the same olives. Blue cheese olives were a match made in heaven. All right. So, we’re going to warm up the conversation here today. We’ll save the food talk probably for a little bit later because you’re all making me hungry. So, here’s a little note that most folks may not know. So, all three of us have served in the Military. You know, Kevin was a naval aviator and that came up in our planning call a month or so ago. And it came to find out that Dan and I both – and Kevin is too – were big military aviation – I’ll admit I’m a nerd – in the Air Force. I loved the F-16 and the F-15 in particular, and many other aircrafts. And Dan shared his passion for military. In fact, he’s got a neat little story from when he was a kid. He almost kicked off an ejection seat being in the plane. Dan, elaborate more on your passion for aircraft and tell us your favorite one.
Dan Reeve (00:11:30):
Well, yeah. That in the background is a SEPECAT Jaguar. The French, the Brits, the Indians used them. My dad worked on them before he moved to the Tornado. I tried to pull the ejection seat and the pin was in, and the supply chain officer pulled me out and shouted at me and my dad. And so, I wasn’t allowed to sit in there while they worked on the aircraft again.
Dan Reeve (00:11:49):
But I particularly like the SR-71 Blackbird. Growing up in England, in Norridge, Norfolk, only about half-an-hour or 45 minute drive to Mildenhall. And so, you’ve got Mildenhall, you’ve got Lakenheath. And I always enjoyed seeing the Blackbird because, one huge, huge jet, fast, but so loud. And, you know, it felt like it was cooking your insides when it passed you. Everything was rumbling. And even as a kid, you knew it was like, “Wow. This is special.” And it wasn’t just the fact that I was on an American Air Base. When you drive onto an American Air Base in England, what happens is suddenly the world transforms, cars on the wrong side of the road, American fire hydrants, American style buildings, the biggest and best burgers and fries and food. And you’re like, “Wow. I’m in America.” You know, it’s amazing how it transforms. And then, you get to see the Blackbird. So, that was always a highlight for me.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:12:50):
Yeah. Well, I tell you, I used to go to Kadena Air Force Base on Okinawa, and the Habu, SR-71 Blackbirds, were stationed there at Kadena Air Force Base. And those things, you would roll out to get ready to take off and the tower would say, “Okay. All aircraft stop in your place.” And then, you hear this loud noise and the SR-71 will be coming around, swooping around, and it land. And this big red parachute will come out the back of the plane to slow it up. That was always so beautiful. I have to share your admiration of the Blackbird there, Dan.
Scott Luton (00:13:32):
I’m with you. Fascinating aircraft. And, Kevin, touch on really quick – before we move to the next question for Dan – what you flew in the Navy.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:13:42):
Yeah. Most of my time was in a E-2C Hawkeyes, the airborne early warning command and controll. The one with the big dome on top. And I also flew the COD, Carrier Onboard Delivery, the C-2A Greyhound. But I was also an LSO in the Navy. So, I had time in a lot of different aircraft, S-3, the F-14. My first trap actually was in an F-4 Phantom. And I’ve flown A-6s and A-7s, plus some of these old airplanes that, you know, I’m showing my age.
Scott Luton (00:14:28):
You know, we could talk for hours. The Phantom, of course, legendary. I think one of its names is the Flying Brick, but it is a gorgeous aircraft. Tomcat, of course, was an iconic Naval aircraft for so long. Of course, it was the aircraft featured in Top Gun. But I’m going down a slippery slope. We could talk to both of y’all about aircraft for a long time.
Scott Luton (00:14:49):
Really quick, Rama is asking about, “How I can develop myself in the field of supply chains?” Rama, you are in luck. We get this question a lot. We’ve got a July 29th webinar that Peter Bolle and many others will be offering advice on your question. Amanda, if you get a chance, if we could drop the link for that webinar registration – it’s free – drop that in the comments, if you would. Thank you very much, Rama. Great question. Okay.
Scott Luton (00:15:15):
So, Dan, separate from aircraft, you’re in your Denver office right now, which has got a gorgeous view as we noted pre-show. But I believe you spent a little bit of your free time in a cabin somewhere in that area. Tell us about that and what’s your one favorite thing to do when you’re up in your cabin.
Dan Reeve (00:15:37):
Putting it down to one favorite thing is going to be tough. It’s been a dream, you know, a 20 year dream. I always wanted to get a place up in the mountains. I think, I particularly like behind the house – to wake up – there’s some public land. There’s a farm land behind the house, public land and then mountains. And if you get up and you look in the right direction, you can normally find the antelope. There’s a herd of antelope that hang out there. So, sometimes me and my daughter will sit on the deck – my eldest daughter – we’ll look at them. Sometimes I’ll coax her into, “Let’s go over there and stalk them.” So, it’s not hunting season, but I can at least get her to go with a camera on binoculars and, you know, I’m like, “Okay. Well, we’ll sneak through here.” She’s only seven, so don’t really have a crawling on a belly buckle for a mile or two just yet. But maybe I’ll save that for her birthday next year.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:16:27):
So, that part of a training program.
Dan Reeve (00:16:32):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I have an SOP from my wife, which is, don’t break our daughters or I’ll break you. So, I have to go easy. But I like that. I really like, you know, a little bit slow time and getting to see the animal and the nature up there. That’s certainly a top thing we enjoy.
Scott Luton (00:16:48):
Kevin L. Jackson (00:16:48):
Yeah. I spent some time up there in the winter, and it gets so quiet there, and the snow, and seeing animals, you know, act like they ignore you sometimes.
Scott Luton (00:17:00):
You’re just not a threat. They’re not used to it. But, Kevin, as much as we’d love to talk about aircraft, and cabin life and, certainly, wildlife, we’ve got to get some work done today, right?
Kevin L. Jackson (00:17:13):
Oh, well. Shucks. Okay. I was wondering, so, Dan, can you maybe give us a general market update? What’s going on in the marketplace when it comes to supply chain?
Dan Reeve (00:17:36):
Maybe what I’ll do is, I’m going to use that cabin up there in Granby as an example. And many of us have seen this, you know, house prices are on fire, lots of new builds, lots of renovations, lots of additions. I think what happened is, when COVID came along, a lot of people paused their buying, many companies downsized their staff or put projects on hold. We come out of it – okay. That’s a loose term. Possibly, hopefully, we’re on the other side of it, there’s all this pent up demand. I think a lot of folks perhaps have said, “Life is short. I’m going to do that vacation. I’m going to invest in a property. We can’t go anywhere.” And up there in Granby, you can’t get a plumber. You might wait six months. They’re not taking new –
Kevin L. Jackson (00:18:23):
Dan Reeve (00:18:24):
It is, massively. And I think that’s what’s going on in the supply chain. So, probably in our world, maybe one of our top sectors where folks opt to invest in SQL, deploy SQL, is the building material space. So, as I’m up there, it’s funny because I’m looking out on customers, their products being put into all these houses that are going up, roofing companies, brick manufacturers, siding companies. And one of the things that folks have said – I’ll give them a shoutout, TAMKO, who do siding and roofing materials They’ve been big on digital transformation and are doing some great things – I think what happened is, in our industry, we paused when COVID came along. Some companies – not necessarily TAMKO, but others – actually did a reduction in force. Now, suddenly, the demand is out. A lot of people have cash to spend. The tap is on full, but the pipe is still only that thick. So, there’s a massive demand.
Dan Reeve (00:19:19):
And I think a lot of these building material companies are struggling with it because, on one hand, brick manufacturers have said to me, “Dan, we are 70 percent year-over-year up on production and demand [inaudible] orders to where we worked last year. We think this will go on for another year or two.” Prices keep going up. Customers want products on time. They want to go to the yard, pick up the products. They don’t want to go to yard and be frustrated because products aren’t there. And so, as much as there’s a demand and there’s this need to meet that demand, you can’t just rush out and hire more people to do the work.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:19:58):
One thing I noticed, it’s not just building the houses, one of the companies that I actually work with, they do lawn furniture. And they use high density polyethylene, HDPE, and wood, plastic composite lumber. And they are desperate to get the raw material because the supply chain is just so choked up. And their customers are yelling at them because they want to sit on their lawn chairs, right?
Dan Reeve (00:20:36):
Right, right, right.
Scott Luton (00:20:39):
So, Dan, your point you’re making is, a lack of labor has been one of the challenges a lot of folks are dealing with. Charles mentions, COVID has helped change perspectives on life to really focus in on what’s really important. Excellent point there, Charles. But, you know, businesses are really struggling. And the manufacturing sector, in particular, is really struggling to find enough workers to make it happen. Right?
Dan Reeve (00:21:02):
Yeah. Another anecdote, so the VP of supply chain in one of the building materials companies, bricks, said, “Dan, so we want to be easy to deal with, both for customers and suppliers.” Compete through that, not just compete through your product and your price, but compete through the ease of doing business. So, you’ve really got to take care of your customers and your suppliers to enable this. But one of the things he said is, “Well, with the shutdown in Texas, that impacted us. Getting hold of polymers became even harder.” And this was interesting, he said, “You know, in our shared service operations -” for folks who are helping us with our order to cash processes or procure to pay – ” you can’t just rush out and find these folks. It takes time to train them. You can’t just give them mundane work anymore.”
Dan Reeve (00:21:46):
Again, post-COVID, people are leaving and going and pursuing the type of work they want to enjoy. And if you don’t do that, you leave yourself at risk of losing folks. You’ve got to be more flexible because some folks are still going to work from home a few days a week, at least. And, suddenly, there’s this price pressure. “And Amazon is a problem,” he said. I’m, “Really?” “Yeah. People can actually go and work at Amazon and get paid more money.” So, you add all that to the mix, and there’s a lot of pressure.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:22:16):
So, it sounds like there’s huge challenges that these business leaders need to address. So, we know there’s a problem with labor, but can technology help? How can technology really help address and attack and help solve some of these business challenges?
Dan Reeve (00:22:38):
There isn’t a right way for me to answer this. I mean, it’s a loaded question. You never are going to say, “No. No. There’s no play here for technology.”
Kevin L. Jackson (00:22:45):
There’s no technology at all, right?
Dan Reeve (00:22:46):
No. No. No. No good. I’ll tell you what CIOs, finance leaders, folks in charge of the supply chain was sharing with us. I think there was a trend where a lot of companies got to the point and they’re thinking about, “Okay. We’ve got an ERP or system of record. We’ve had that in place five, ten years. And that was an opportunity. We were thinking about moving to the cloud or the ERP providers kind of nudging us towards the cloud. So, we’re headed that way anyway.” Now’s the time when many leaders are saying, “Okay. Let’s look at those tools.” Cassius King, once again, and companies trying to lower and mitigate risk.
Dan Reeve (00:23:24):
So, many of us said, when COVID hit, the first thing they did is they ran over to the bank and said, “Okay. Extend that revolver. Let’s make sure we can get through this thing. We need to bridge to get through COVID or what’s going to happen here.” I think companies then began to extend terms and began to focus on how can we send invoices, collect and chase money, make it easy for customers to pay and apply that cash. That’s important too. Just what happens if somebody has paid us and we don’t give them the credit they deserve and we hold them back? Well, they get frustrated. They can go buy from somebody else. So, on the order of the cash side, I think there’s a play for technology to free folks up to better serve the customer, make it easy for the customer to pay, and for you to make it so they can buy more goods and services subsequently.
Dan Reeve (00:24:09):
Or to procure the pay side, I think what happened is, companies also started to say, “Oh, we might need to buy for more folks.” Try getting yourself a bike or a bike frame. You know, I managed to walk in a shop and find one up in the mountains the other day, and text three of my friends, and they’re “Buy it now.”
Kevin L. Jackson (00:24:25):
Like, on Ebay, right?
Dan Reeve (00:24:26):
We won’t get it for two years, buy it right now. So, I think what happened is, a lot of companies came to this realization that they might need to have more options and more supplier possibilities to continue to provide the goods and services to the customers in preventing the SLA they were used to. And I think, also, there’s this concept now people are realizing – well, there was a while when you could say things are delayed because of COVID. And a lot of people are kind of getting frustrated by that. “Oh, yeah. I’ve heard all that before. But, still, Amazon’s doing it and getting the goods to me, why can’t you?”
Dan Reeve (00:24:54):
So, I think what a lot of companies have been doing is trying to minimize their risk. Let’s vet our suppliers. Let’s make sure they’re not bad actors or they’re not going to cause us problems. Don’t make it too burdensome for the AP department, or the procurement department, or the suppliers. Yes, you want to be able to control your spend. Again, this is cash management, whether it’s procure to pay or inventory or audit to cash. So, make it easy for the folks in the organization to bring on suppliers, and then track, “Okay. Could we get some early payment discounts?” We talked the Military, this is my favorite expression from the British Army, “If we move that invoice through the organization at the speed of a thousand gazelles, then they might offer us an early payment discount.” But if you’re a laggard and it moves through that, it takes 10, 15 days. Why are they going to pay you early?
Kevin L. Jackson (00:25:47):
I’m just trying to visualize a thousand gazelles. But one of the things that I’m hearing though, is that, it’s very important to have more visibility into your supply chain and more options. You briefly mentioned cloud, and cloud is famous for enabling better collaboration, better communications. And maybe in a supply chain, being able to identify more suppliers so that you would actually have more options. Is this a way forward with respect to addressing the customer concerns and their needs? And is this a route to the speed of a thousand gazelles?
Dan Reeve (00:26:39):
Well, yes, and the context is, normally, it was somebody yelling in my ear because I wasn’t moving fast enough. And I was being encouraged to move at the speed of a thousand gazelles. Later, I became that guy who was doing the yelling as I got promoted and went through the [inaudible]. But, yeah, I think visibility is key because, fortunately, Esker kept me around for 23 years. Nobody else would have me. But what I’ve observed during that period is, once upon a time it was, “Cloud. What is that?” Now, I almost see that many digital leaders and supply chain leaders will say, “Well, cloud is our default. Why wouldn’t we do that?”
Kevin L. Jackson (00:27:07):
Or do anything else? Yeah.
Dan Reeve (00:27:09):
I think COVID accelerate that because some CIOs I’ve spoken with have said, “We will always want 10 percent of our staff to work from home.” That’s an ongoing DR test in itself. We can make sure we’re ready for the next disruption or hurdle, which I think we all agree is looking at global economic and pandemic situations. You know, research, we’ll probably have some more of these. I’m not saying there’ll be a COVID, but increase in risk. And I think folks are starting to factor that into their supply chain planning.
Dan Reeve (00:27:35):
I also think with cloud, one of the things that CIOs have said to me is, “Dan, I don’t want 350 applications anymore. Order to cash, procure to place, supply chain inventory, I don’t want 350 applications.” Yes, we will try and build and leverage upon the ERP. But many are saying, “We will use best of breed tools for order to cash and procure to pay to almost accelerate, leverage the ERP. Make the ERP look even better.” So, what folks are saying, “Well, we have cloud options and these different order to cash, procure to pay operations, and that data can be shared, and it’s secure in a cloud model. Great. We can stand up quicker. We’re not having to sort of maintain and build that code. We don’t want to do that anymore.”
Dan Reeve (00:28:19):
And I think visibility is also key. Nowadays, one of the things we’ve started to see already is mergers and acquisitions. Because, for some companies, this is a big opportunity to go and buy companies, distressed companies. So, when the CFOs buy building material companies, for example – I’m going to stay on that track. I’ll try not to wander – they’re going to inherit new companies, new ERPs, new systems of record, and they’re going to want visibility of what are we buying, who are the suppliers we deal with, who are our customers, how well are we doing with invoicing, or aging, or collecting our money. And I’m trying to get our visibility across multiple shared services and ERPs, and countries even, how do I do all that?
Dan Reeve (00:29:03):
Cloud-based technology – not just ours – is a mechanism to make that a bit easier. Which I think is what we had referenced a big company in Atlanta, they said, “The CEO wants to go from 5 billion to 10.” That actually becomes really important for us to have technology on the backend. So, “We have the money to do it, to go make these acquisitions, Dan.” But we’ve got to make it easy to go and buy these companies and then have the supply chain and the finance tools so it’s actually not a huge effort to acquire these companies.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:29:40):
I think what you’re saying is that, cloud sort of future proofs your organization because it helps you deal with change, these mergers, these acquisitions, being able to change suppliers, being able to change delivery locations. So, it’s that dynamicism of the market that continually increases. And cloud services, like those provided by Esker, really enable companies to be more flexible and to be more dynamic in this dynamic environment where risk, if there would be risks – there’s always going to be risk. But the question is, which risks are you having to deal with today?
Scott Luton (00:30:25):
Right. Right. And the other thing I heard there is a lot of deal-making. Transactional velocity, you want to make sure that you’re making these big decisions and all the moving pieces that make up these big deals. So, when you got these platforms and these cloud powered technologies, it adds philosophy to these transactions in a meaningful way.
Scott Luton (00:30:46):
I want to share a couple of comments, and then we’re going to circle back, Dan, to your perspective here. A lot of folks are commenting on what you’ve already shared. Let’s see here. Let’s start with going back to kind of the labor, you know, pay is always going to be influential in the decision making process when it comes to job opportunities. Excellent point there. Ryan Wilson, this might cover you up. And if it does – okay. It’s not too bad. So, Ryan shares a lot here, using your main industry example, “Building, production, and supplying materials were redefined by COVID. You can’t supply what you can’t produce. If you can’t get it from trade, nobody can get it. We often forget it’s not just our companies and internal folks, it’s everyone worldwide.” He goes on to say, “No plastic and stone means no toys, no building stone for construction, no water bottles for the gym. We have to be humble with the process at all levels, from senior production down to customer. It’s hard.” Excellent [inaudible] from Ryan.
Scott Luton (00:31:44):
Anamary talks about the understaffed distribution centers that, of course, then result in lead time delays. David, welcome to the conversation. Let us know where you’re tuned in from. Welcome here today via LinkedIn. Amanda really liked, “At the speed of a thousand gazelles, sounds very British.” I can hear David Attenborough saying that as you were sharing it, Dan.
Dan Reeve (00:32:09):
I can’t mock his accent [inaudible].
Scott Luton (00:32:12):
Memory is talking about how they’re seeing huge delays on delivery of compressor spares from Germany, freight, and shipping is ridiculous. “We need -” as she says “- more simplified systems that are easy to adopt and reduce resistance to tech changes.” And then, I’m going to wrap with this question here that Charles is posing. And I’ll start with Dan if you want to have a take on this. Charles says, “How can we improve reliability and response time of data in the cloud for distribution type systems, local servers?” Any commentary there, Dan?
Dan Reeve (00:32:50):
Well, I was going to go back to a comment – I’m not sure I’m smart enough to answer that question, but I will try if I can. A minute ago, we were talking about visibility. Aand I’ll give a shoutout to Florida Crystals here. I think they’ve some interest on this. They said, “Okay. We need flexibility, Dan. There might be times where certain points of the year we might want to move our priority of where we ship from, our DC. We’ve got multiple DCs.” So, yes, we want the dynamic ability on the fly as orders come in to be able to recognize which of these orders as they flow in are the priority orders? Which of these orders, you know, use AI to look at who is the customer? Where does it need to be drop-shipped to? What is the SKU? Can we prioritize some of this stuff? And, “Hey, let’s reach in and grab that order and prioritize that order because there’s a cutoff time approaching.”
Dan Reeve (00:33:41):
They took a stage further into it and said, “But, Dan, we might want to put our own logic on top of that, not just to know if a particular SKU or priority is being ordered, but we might, say, for various different reasons, certain times of the year, we want to use this DC as the priority for two or three months. So, we need the AI to be able to capture the information of what’s being ordered, the sense of demand. But we need flexibility to then say, ‘Okay. That’s all good, but our priorities have changed.'” So, they and others in that space have used that as a way of saying, “Great. There’s another medical device company that was able to say, ‘Okay. Well, you know, if we do all this, well, guess what? Now, we can take orders one hour later.'” And that might not sound a lot, but for the rep who’s selling the medical device products or the building materials to be able to say, “Actually, we can get your order in and we can absorb that order. It will be a little bit easier than the guy down the street or the other lady down the street.”
Dan Reeve (00:34:38):
That’s competitive advantage. And I think that’s the sort of thing that people are looking. Then, on the back end, the supply chain leaders are saying, “Great. Dan, your job is to get me the demand. We’ve often optimized the ERP or the supply chain planning software, but the quicker you can get me the demand, even one day quicker, is huge. Because prices keep going up, you know, just get me the demand so we can know what to do with it.”
Scott Luton (00:34:59):
Right. One of the things he mentioned there – Kevin, I’d love to get your take. And I am no coder or technologist. But I tell you, I get plenty of AI driven communication and the inputs – folks take note – they spend no time tweaking those inputs. And then, what Dan mentioned there is how the situation changes. So, I would assume it’s really important to revisit the inputs that make up your AI driven systems to re-tweak that, right?
Kevin L. Jackson (00:35:28):
Right. Right. Yeah. Well, one of the things that no one has said yet, but it’s there in the conversation with respect to the Internet of Things. So, how do you know if something is changing? There’s a sensor out there that’s giving you the data that drives the artificial intelligence. How do you know that if you’re shipping something that the temperature is correct and it’s not being spoiled? There’s a sensor. That’s an Internet of Things. What about the truck that’s transferring or the container? There are sensors in those containers that tell you where the item is.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:36:10):
Like here in Washington, D.C., a truck hit a pedestrian bridge and cut off a major artery, Interstate 295. And every truck on that interstate is now slowed up or stopped. There’s a sensor there – that’s the Internet of Things – that’s sort of telling your artificial intelligence, “Okay. You got to change something in order to do.” And all that information, the data from the Internet of Things goes into the AI, which is run in the cloud, and then the collaboration that’s needed across your organization. Those are those collaborative tools in the cloud that we’ve all gotten used to using over COVID. And, now, the communication that you need to do across your business ecosystem to get another supplier or get another transport, this is the speed of decision that the systems like Esker provide to make it better.
Scott Luton (00:37:19):
I appreciate you sharing that, Kevin. I think that visual landscape you painted from a technology standpoint is very helpful. Dan, I want to circle back on something though, of the many lessons we’ve learned from this age of the pandemic, it is the immense value that supply chains have with their suppliers and that really important trusting relationship. And hearing you kind of talk about some of these market observations and also hearing Kevin’s input, I would assume that Esker helps strengthen those relationships between supply chain partners. Is that some of what you’re seeing?
Dan Reeve (00:37:54):
Yeah. I think, I’ll go there if you let me. I want to make a quick comment about cloud and benchmarking.
Scott Luton (00:38:00):
Dan Reeve (00:38:02):
So, I think there’s value. And I remember being in front of one of the largest ten companies in the U. S. I was in Kansas. And they were saying, “Well, we want to compete, not just through the way we treat the customer. We want to compete through the way we treat the supplier.” Easy to do business, pay them on time, alert them as to when they’re going to get paid, give them early payment opportunities, or earn ourselves early payment discounts by being able to pay early. And then, I think the other thing is, if there’s a reason that invoices they send us can’t be processed quickly or mapped into our ERP system – “And, by the way, we don’t do the mapping, Dan. That’s the sort of stuff we want you to do in the background. Make it easy for us, whether it’s invoices coming in from suppliers, orders coming in from customers, we don’t want to do that anymore. That’s the sort of stuff that you should provide as part of this cloud based service.”
Dan Reeve (00:38:54):
I think there’s a trend to both compete through having these multiple supply relationships and being able to really take care of the supplier and update the supplier, “Hey, you don’t need to keep calling me to find out when you’re going to get paid. I’ll let you know, proactively.”
Kevin L. Jackson (00:39:09):
Yeah. You’ll push out that information.
Dan Reeve (00:39:10):
Yeah. “I’ll push that information. I’ll give you a portal or push that information to your own portal. We’ll do joined up business.” So, I think that’s something that folks are asking for. If I go back, you were talking about cloud and the value of cloud. There’s something you made me think of there, Kevin. One of the things I think people are interested in, is, there’s all data flowing through the cloud. And one of the things I think finance leaders, digital leaders, are asking for now is, “Okay. We know there’s value in benchmarking.” I mean, if you ask any C-Level, “Do you folks feel you should benchmark your pair or your laggard? How are you doing according to Gartner, [inaudible], or Hackett group?” Most will say, “Absolutely. I think there’s value there. We should be doing that.” The problem is it takes a lot of time, and then you need relationships, or you need to engage with an agency and say, “I want to do benchmarking.” I think one of the things that these cloud-based tools can do is sort of they track how long it takes you to approve code invoices, pay invoices, how long it takes you to process an order, how well are you doing on orders on time in full.
Dan Reeve (00:40:10):
All these sort of processes attract. And so, not only can technology say, “These are where these things you can do.” Your sales team or your procurement team, they can call the supplier and say, “If you make this tweak, I could pay you faster.” Or, “Mr. Customer or Ms. Customer, if you could just make this tweak or clean up this data, I could serve you faster.” Bringing those insights, I think digital leaders now, business and IT, they want those insights so they can go, “Oh, right. Well, okay. How are we doing from a benchmark point of view?” “We’re not doing very well. We’re pretty good here. There’s room for improvement here.” But how do we actually sort of whittle that down? What are the incremental little things we can do?
Kevin L. Jackson (00:40:49):
Yeah. One of the things that cloud enables is this monitoring. But it takes the business leader to understand what data is important to the business model, what are the key performance indicators that enable you to identify how to pay someone faster or how to deliver quicker. And that’s why it’s so critical for the IT leaders and the business leaders to operate hip to hip. I mean, the technology is not about technology. It’s about the business model. So, you have to be an expert in how to apply the technology to improve specified key performance indicators, and I think that’s critical.
Scott Luton (00:41:38):
Excellent point. And every time I hear the phrase hip to hip, I think of the B-52s and their song Roam. What a great, great phrase there.
Dan Reeve (00:41:49):
I thought you were going break out a Love Shack there. What a great tune that is.
Scott Luton (00:41:54):
All right. So, we’re finding more –
Kevin L. Jackson (00:41:57):
Scott Luton (00:42:00):
That’s right. So, Dan, what I want to do – we’ve got about quarter-to-one here – I want to talk more about where and how business leaders can get started on their digital transformation. Believe it or not, organizations are already transforming. It’s whether they’re doing it deliberately or not, maybe. But what would you suggest? How can business leaders get started? What are some initial steps?
Dan Reeve (00:42:25):
Yeah. I think one can be, what’s going well? I mean, I know everything salespeople are just trained to ask, pain, pain, pain. But I think one of the things is, what’s going well? What do you want to maintain? There’s a certain way you operate and that’s a competitive advantage to you. What do you want to maintain? What do you want to avoid? “Well, we want to avoid our competitors taking over from us.” Or, maybe you say, “If we go about this digital transformation in 6 or 12 months time, how will we know that we achieved it? What will success look like? What will the supplier or customer say? How will success show up?” And they’ll be like, “Oh, it’s easy to do business with you guys. We’ve noticed our orders come in and you guys deliver faster than anybody else. It’s so easy to deal with you. We can chat with you offline, what’s going on?”
Dan Reeve (00:43:11):
So, I think that’s an approach where, Kevin, you said, don’t get suckered into the technology just yet. Focus on, “Okay. Ultimately, at the 30,000 foot level, what are we trying to do?” Now, anytime you can start talking about outcomes, “Great. Okay. We’ve got an idea of what we want to do. What tools have we got already? Are these the right tools? You know, what do these tools do for us?” I think there’s a big movement going on. In our world, it’s like somebody [inaudible], “I like this.” So, I was a combat engineer and I made a lot of bangs, they were great. They were big bangs. Everybody loves my bonfires because they’re normally pretty big. But, anyway, COVID was like somebody took a big can of gasoline and just threw it on the fire in our world, not just for Esker, but through our peers as well. COVID exposed those broken processes. COVID was like the chief digital innovation officer walking around saying, “Oh, that doesn’t work so well when people are at home.”
Dan Reeve (00:44:04):
So, I think there’s clearly opportunity. But, again, I said earlier, many of the CIOs have said, “Dan, I don’t want 350 applications anymore.” So, if you can think about outcomes, go and talk to other departments. And other departments are like, “That platform could help us both in supply chain, treasury, payables, receivables.” If you can get a couple of departments to say all that, that would actually help us too. I think it’s a lot easier than to go – because, now, you’re not trying to push yet another tool on the enterprise architects or the CIOs. So, that’s some of the things that I see companies doing. And, also, I’ve got to give a shoutout to TAMKO again. One of the things the lady there, who’s a rock star, said to me is, “If you can do one project with digital transformation, sometimes that catches the eyes of the rest of the organization.” People start to believe, “We can do this.” So, you almost have to sell it to the organization that change is possible. And these benefits are good for the employees.
Dan Reeve (00:45:08):
I saw that [inaudible], now part of Abbott, you know, originally I think in their auto management project. The users were a bit resistant. But then, after the project, the users are getting more time to go and be loaned out to other departments, even supply chain or IT. Or they’re getting more time and they’re actually getting career development and planning. Well, when people see that or that’s shared across the organization, I think, then you’re more likely to, “This digital transformation is not just going to eliminate my job. This is actually something I get to do better.” That’s got to be sold. Somebody has to articulate that it’s not just a threat.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:45:45):
Yeah. I think, unfortunately, it’s human nature to be afraid of change. They like things to be just the way it is. And digital transformation is change. But you have to somehow make people comfortable with change. And when others see that change actually brings a reward, brings value, and it’s not that hard, it’s not that scary, then people really jump into it.
Scott Luton (00:46:21):
Excellent point. Hey, really quick to clarify, so, Dan, the TAMKO that you’ve referenced a couple of times, it seems like they run a great business. That is TAMKO with a K as in Kevin, right? T-A-M-K-O, is that right?
Dan Reeve (00:46:34):
Yeah. I’ve got to give them a shotout because I think they’re really forward looking organization and do really good things.
Scott Luton (00:46:42):
Awesome. And, folks, y’all can learn more at tamko, T-A-M-K-O, .com. I want to reference Charles’s comment here, because he comments on something you shared. He says, “Digital transformation in reverse logistics started in the early ’90s at Walmart. Digital transformation needs to be continually defined,” to your point, Dan. Excellent point. Rhonda was a big fan, she says, “Kevin Jackson, vivid picture and relatable case you made for how technology can be a powerful force for safety reasons.” Great point.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:47:13):
Thank you. Thank you, Rhonda.
Scott Luton (00:47:15):
And Memory says, “Marketing change externally as well as internally.” She likes that. A big fan there. Brandie says, “I was taught that I can define that pit of the stomach feeling as fear or excitement.” That’s an important distinction.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:47:29):
Assume it’s excitement. You got to assume it’s excitemen moving forward.
Scott Luton (00:47:35):
Okay. So, as we start to bring things to a close here, I want to touch on this great webinar – well, first off before we talk webinar. Let’s just make sure in a very small nutshell, Dan, let’s just clarify what Esker does and how Esker can help. So, in a 30-second sound bite, what does Esker do exactly?
Dan Reeve (00:47:54):
Well, when folks ask this question, I like to say, finance leaders, supply chain leaders, payables, order to cash, customer service folks will turn to us. Because they want to free their staff up to be rock stars. “Okay. I want to free up my customer service staff, my payable staff, my receivables, my procurement staff to go and make a difference.” And that means better serving the customer and supplier. “Because I’m stuck in doing manual work ten years ago. Manual data entry, which is boring. I don’t like it. And, therefore, free me up to go and do valuable stuff.” So, we bring AI machine learning to free up these folks to do audit to cash, procure to pay type activities so then they can go and enjoy their work.
Scott Luton (00:48:33):
I love that. We’re all feeling it. And if you haven’t feeling it yet, you will. Because in my three kids, I find things for them to do in our business or elsewhere. And if it’s the same thing over and over again, it is like pulling teeth to get them to do it a second time. And it goes to your point, you’ve mentioned a couple of times, you know, free your people up. Automate and use technology to take care of the blocking and tackling so you can free up these creative, brilliant minds that know your business to add value in different ways.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:49:02):
Yeah. Automation is your friend. I mean, if you leverage it properly, absolutely, it is your friend.
Dan Reeve (00:49:09):
Can I get your scripts that you’re using for your kids to cold call? Because I want to benchmark and see. My eldest is about ready.
Scott Luton (00:49:18):
It is such a huge lesson learned here in recent years, not just related to the pandemic, because what folks want out of their jobs had already started to change prior to the pandemic. And, really, it’s brought some things to the surface and it’s forced organizational leaders to find different ways of engaging and empowering their workforce. So, I love how you kind of talk about Eskers’s mission as it relates to that.
Scott Luton (00:49:41):
Okay. So, July 27th, we’ve got a great webinar session coming up. We’ve been planning it with our friends from Esker and – let’s see if I can pull it up here – with Texas Christian University. So, Dr. Morgan Swink is a pretty well-respected supply chain thought leader. Dan, have you ever met Dr. Swink?
Dan Reeve (00:50:03):
No, I have not. But, now, I see the connection. Nick Carpenter is one of our stars here in our sales team, and I know he went to TCU. I remember, TCU given my team, you know, Wisconsin Badgers, a good whipping a few years ago. But I didn’t realize these guys are teamed up. We’ve got to have some conversations here about this.
Scott Luton (00:50:26):
Yes, you are. Yes, you are.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:50:27):
Is there going to be an opening now at Esker?
Dan Reeve (00:50:30):
Scott Luton (00:50:33):
Kevin, we have really enjoyed our planning conversation, like we do with any webinar, or really any content. We jump on, we kind of figure out where the compelling, relevant issues to be discussed. And kind of find where the content needs kind of overlap with the expertise, you know, amongst the panel. We’ve really enjoyed a couple of planning calls here. When you think of how digital transformation is accelerating and, certainly, strengthening – which I love that second one as much as the first one – in our global supply chains, what comes to mind for you?
Kevin L. Jackson (00:51:08):
Well, what comes to mind to me is that ecosystem. Building communication across the ecosystem, not just understanding and communicating with your customers, but also understanding and communicating with your suppliers. Dan talked about that earlier, companies can build value across the supply chain and differentiation in the marketplace by making it easier for suppliers to work with them. And, you know, visibility, communication. And one thing I also like to mention is that leadership, digital transformation forces leaders to lead. So, that’s critical in this whole thing. And I think we’re going to talk a lot about that in the webinars coming up.
Scott Luton (00:51:58):
Agreed. So, y’all check that out, July 27th. We’re going to start an hour later than we typically do on our webinars, but that’s okay because we want to make sure it’s easy and convenient for wherever you are for folks to tune in. So, 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time on July 27th.
Scott Luton (00:52:12):
I want to add to what Kevin mentioned there. Having worked in manufacturing and operations, where we were pounded on by our customers, you got to take care of your suppliers. You got to find ways because the old reasons for doing business and supplying customers, that equation is changing rapidly and evolving. And I love what Dan shared here today about how the Esker platform kind of elevates and uplifts all the different ways you can really engage, and build, and grow your relationships with your suppliers these days. Especially, hey, who doesn’t like early payments? That’s been a neat thing we’ve seen here in the last 18 months is folks looking to strengthen and provide some stability for their suppliers. So, that’s wonderful.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:52:58):
Yeah. Absolutely. And one thing, I mean, Dan put so much good information out today. I want to make sure the audience can reach out to him and get some one-on-one information about, you know, how to do this digital transformation. So, Dan, how can the audience reach out and contact you before we go?
Dan Reeve (00:53:20):
Okay. You can reach me at email@example.com. Esker, E-S-K-E-R. So, that’s how you can find us. And we’ll find me Daniel Reeve on LinkedIn.
Scott Luton (00:53:31):
Wonderful. And if you want to run at the speed of a thousand gazelles, you better connect with Dan at Esker. Hey, Dan, so Kevin and I both kind of shared one of our favorite aspects of your message in what you shared here today out of our conversation. But if you had to leave folks with one final thing, what would that be?
Dan Reeve (00:53:52):
I told you I’d get stage fright. I think there’s a lot of opportunity out there. And I mean, to be pragmatic, I think many of the companies we speak to, they have some kind of tools. If I really overlay the many things that folks choose Esker for, there’s probably ten different modules. I think there’s an opportunity to have a look and say, “Okay. Are we getting all the advantages we would want to get from the current tools?” AI, machine learning, predictive insights. Tell me that a customer or supplier is not risky and I didn’t realize it. Tell me that they’ve been involved in some fraud or something in Europe, or Asia, or overseas I need to know about. Bring me that awareness. So, I think there’s an increasing trend where folks can just take a look and benchmark and say, “What you’ve got, is it enough? Is it serving you?” Or should you be thinking about, “Well, okay. I can get more advantages for the future and this would help the customer or the supplier.”
Scott Luton (00:54:53):
I love that. And I love how you said, “Hey, you got to start with identifying what’s working really well.” That’s a great counterintuitive question to be asking. But, Dan, I really enjoyed all that you shared in your latest appearance with us here this time on Digital Transformers on Supply Chain Now.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:55:11):
Thank you. Yes. That was wonderful.
Scott Luton (00:55:14):
Yeah. And, folks, make sure you connect with Dan. I think we’ve made it easy by putting his LinkedIn profile in the show notes. So, you’re one click away from connecting with Dan and all the cool things that he and Esker are doing. And, you know, they turn out a bunch of content, too, from podcasts, to white papers, to other things, so you check them out at esker.com. Dan, always a pleasure. Big thanks for joining us here today. And we’ll bring you back really soon.
Dan Reeve (00:55:37):
Yeah. Thanks very much, guys. I always, always enjoyed it. And you’re right, we could talk for many hours. So, yeah, really enjoyed it. Thanks.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:55:43):
Thank you, Dan.
Scott Luton (00:55:45):
We’ll have you back to talk Military aviation on Veteran Voices.
Dan Reeve (00:55:47):
Well, we’ll need a day. We’ll need a day for that.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:55:49):
A whole day.
Dan Reeve (00:55:50):
Scott Luton (00:55:52):
Thanks so much, Dan.
Dan Reeve (00:55:53):
Kevin L. Jackson (00:55:53):
All right. Bye.
Scott Luton (00:55:55):
All right. Man, I tell you, we got our money’s worth today. You spend an hour with Dan, you’re going to get up to speed and then some, aren’t you, Kevin?
Kevin L. Jackson (00:56:03):
Oh, yeah. Absolutely. We didn’t need to squish him out at the speed of a thousand gazelles though. I was having a great time. I’m going to remember that though. I’m going to remember that.
Scott Luton (00:56:16):
Speed of a thousand gazelles, I love it. I’ll share a couple of quick comments and then we’re going to call it a wrap. So, Ayodeji – I may have gotten that wrong. I apologize – he says, “Control measures need to be put in place.” Probably going back to the warehouse that Charles was referencing. “If we can identify the issues and take it as feedback, we can design a solution to resolve and make sure that solution suits the supply chain needs.” Excellent point there. Charles says, “Hey, do good every day.” That’s a great message to keep in mind. And, Maria, I appreciate your feedback. I know you’re asking about AI. Hey, I would encourage you, Maria – and anyone else that wants to talk anything related to digital transformation – to connect with Kevin after today’s show. I think we were talking at the beginning or talking to the pre-show about how Kevin and Memory had connected to talk about that article you’d shared on the buzz early this week. So, Kevin you’re open for –
Kevin L. Jackson (00:57:11):
Oh, yeah. I’m opened up. Just contact me, Kevin_Jackson on Twitter, or Kevin Jackson on LinkedIn, or just go to Supply Chain Now on supplychainnow.com.
Scott Luton (00:57:25):
It’s just that easy. And I think the latest podcast episode of Digital Transformers is going to be published next week, where you’re interviewing –
Kevin L. Jackson (00:57:31):
We’re targeting Monday. So, it’s Praveen Rao from IBM. He leads the Blockchain initiatives. He’s the general managers of some of the Blockchain initiatives over there at IBM. That was a wonderful discussion. If you’re really interested in learning how to leverage blockchain for your digital transformation, you need to look at that. But before we break, also, in the comment, I saw Brandie. She said, “Yes. Don’t forget your internal customers too.” That’s on me because I talked about the end customers and suppliers, and I forgot to talk about how important communication between internal customers are. So, thank you, Brandie, for highlighting that.
Scott Luton (00:58:22):
Yeah. That’s a good call out. Great call out. Also Mervyn says, “It depends from industry to industry and whether they are incumbents or entrance also matters when you enter the realm of visibility solutions providing a single live platform for end-to-end supply chains.” Mervyn, we’re going to have to dive in deeper into that commentary on the next show.
Scott Luton (00:58:42):
All right. So, folks, be sure to check out July 27th, the webinar. Be sure to register. It’s free to register. Join me, and Kevin, and Nick, and Dr. Swink. For Dan’s sake, we won’t talk too much about the TCU football team. But, hey, the Badgers aren’t too bad either. Wisconsin’s had quite a team the last 15 years.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:59:03):
I think we better wrap up. Amanda is yelling in the background. So, on that note, we probably should try to sign out. And ask our audience to check out a lot of variety of industry thought leadership at supplychainnow.com, and for them to find us and subscribe to wherever they get their podcasts from. So, unless you have something else to say there, Scott –
Scott Luton (00:59:36):
The same challenge. The same challenge everyday, Kevin, do good, give forward, and be the change. Be like Kevin L. Jackson. And on that note, Kevin, you always wish people a transformational future. I love that note.
Kevin L. Jackson (00:59:48):
Yeah. So, on behalf of the entire team here at Supply Chain Now, this is Kevin Jackson and Scott Luton, wishing all of our listeners a bright and transformational future. We’ll see you next time on Digital Transformers. Thank you.
Scott Luton (01:00:04):
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.
Dan Reeve is a Sales Director, approaching 22 years with Esker. Dan works to help companies free up front-line troops to be finance and customer service rockstars through the application of machine learning and AI.
Dan was fortunate to serve 10 years as a Combat Engineer in the British Army, then was attached to the Wisconsin Army National Guard. He traveled the world, served alongside Americans and many others, and learned everyone has a good idea, every Army unit thinks they are better, and what can you learn and apply so that you are indeed better prepared and more professional next time.
Dan’s career highlights include getting paid to represent the Royal Engineers in Army shooting competitions, being selected to Army Mountaineering expeditions (climbing Mountains, getting paid, seeing the world, and having a good time with the locals in Nepal, India, Scotland, Wales, France, Spain). Connect with Dan 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.
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.
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 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.
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.