Dial P for Procurement
Episode 46

The reflexive reintroduction of border controls belies an inherent lack of trust between EU Member States on key policy domains… - Migration Policy Institute, August 2020

Episode Summary

On September 19th, 2022, the European Commission released a proposal for a new Single Market Emergency Instrument. The instrument, which is effectively a toolbox of options that can be leveraged in case of future supply chain disruptions, is one of the many changes the world has seen since the start of the pandemic.

The proposal includes flowery phrases like “unity and solidarity” and “cooperation and cohesion.” And they sound very nice – in theory. The question is whether they will survive both another macro emergency and also the provisions of the emergency instrument once invoked.

In this episode of Dial P for Procurement, host Kelly Barner reviews:

• The basic framework and provisions of the European Union Single Market Emergency Instrument

• The challenges associated with putting it into practice in the real world

• Objections and concerns that have already been voiced from EU member states

• A present day example of the power dynamics in Europe that may reveal the weaknesses of a “unified” approach

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:01):

Welcome to Dial P for procurement, A show focused on today’s biggest spin supplier and contract management related business opportunities. Dial P investigates the nuanced and constantly evolving boundary of the procurement supply chain divide with a broadcast of engaged executives, providers, and thought leaders. Give us an hour and we’ll provide you with a new perspective on supply chain value. And now it’s time to dial P for procurement.

Kelly Barner (00:31):

On September 19th of this year, the European Commission released a proposal for what they’re calling a single market emergency instrument. The instrument, which is effectively a toolbox of options that can be leveraged in the case of supply chain disruptions is one of the many changes the world has seen as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic. In fact, this is the European Union’s direct response to some of the supply chain disruptions that they saw. I’ve read parts of the proposal and the language includes flowery phrases like unity and solidarity and cooperation and cohesion, and they sound very nice, or I should say they look nice on paper. The question is whether they will survive both another macro emergency and also the provisions of the emergency instrument once invoked. In this episode of Dial P for procurement, I’m going to review the basic framework and provisions of the European Union single market emergency instrument, the challenges associated with putting it into practice, some interesting objections and concerns that have already been voiced and a present day example of the power dynamics in Europe that may show us the weakness or the improbability of such an approach.

Kelly Barner (01:59):

But before I go any further, let me pause and introduce myself. I’m Kelly Barner. I’m the co-founder and managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point. I’m a partner at Art of Procurement and I’m your host for I L P here on supply Chain. Now I’m constantly scanning the news for articles and topics that we should discuss things that are interesting but may escape people’s notice. And although I’m based in the us, most of today’s supply chains are global, meaning that something that happens in Europe like this emergency instrument will affect us too. And so we need to understand it. Dial P releases a new podcast episode or interviewed every Thursday so beyond the lookout for future episodes. And don’t forget to check out past episodes as well. Now before I get back to the emergency instrument, I have a quick favor to ask. I genuinely hope you find value in the time we’re about to spend together.

Kelly Barner (03:00):

If you do, here’s what I would ask. Find a way to engage. You can comment, you can share, you can post a review, you can give some stars. You can even just send this link or podcast directly to a colleague that you think should hear it. I’m incredibly grateful for the interest, attention and engagement of the Dial P audience and more voices means we all learn more. So let’s turn our attention back to the European Union and the single market emergency instrument. To start with just a few quick details about the European Union itself. So there are 27 member states and one of the primary advantages of being part of the European Union is being included in the trading block or the single market that it creates. This European single market was defined and made official in 1993 when times get tough, the idea is that these states should be able to ban together for mutual benefit, but trouble always reveals itself in the details.

Kelly Barner (04:09):

And this case is no exception because these are still 27 very different countries. The single market emergency instrument would allow the advisory group that’s made up of one member from each of the states in the European Union, and it would give them the power to order all of the states to reorganize their supply chains. It can require production of certain goods and it has the authority to stockpile other goods. The proposal seeks to ward off product shortages by closing ranks. It wants to monitor inventory and information, wants to create strategic reserves, and in some cases, to actually reorganize how supply chains work. One of the things that happened during the early days of the pandemic is that there were border closures inside of the single market. 17 of the 27 member states closed their borders to travel from neighboring countries at some point, and they all reopened on different terms and timelines.

Kelly Barner (05:15):

What this meant was that trucks transporting food and medical supplies from country to country became stuck in incredible traffic jams and even got stuck in a middle country that they didn’t intend to stay in. As an August, 2020 article from the Migration Policy Institute pointed out, the reflexive reintroduction of border controls belies an inherent lack of trust between EU member states on key policy domains. Now, that point is going to be very important to the approval as well as the effectiveness of the single market emergency instrument, assuming it’s put into place because it goes way beyond keeping roads and borders open. It’s that reorganization of supply chains if that’s not making the hair go up on the back of your neck a little bit, it should be. Some of the provisions aren’t entirely unlike the Defense Production Act that we have in the United States. The DPA was originally enacted in 1950 in response to the Korean War, and it allows the federal government to wield and redirect labor and production capacity owned by private industries in times of public need.

Kelly Barner (06:33):

And we’ve seen it applied right up to this day. For example, President Trump invoked it in the early days of the pandemic to transition automotive manufacturing facilities to making ventilators. Now, unlike the Defense Production Act, the single market emergency instrument strives to direct companies in different nations to follow the direction of an international commission. And objections have already been voiced from within the eu. Some of the concerns are that companies may be forced to produce certain goods required to sell them inside the block as opposed to being allowed to selling them to their regular customers. Beyond it, there are worries that the business activity, the instrument compels, could breach contractual obligation, for instance by prioritizing certain orders in order to guarantee that products get to where they are needed most urgently from a European perspective, but that don’t actually align with the priorities of the company and their commitments to customers.

Kelly Barner (07:39):

The information piece of this is critical too. There are concerns that the instrument may force companies to reveal trade secrets to share more than they would want to share about levels of inventory. And the EU executive can request sensitive business information under the guise of this instrument. So one of the questions is whether the instrument is based on broad, generally available market intelligence or whether it’s going to require Brussels to monitor countries and private companies to an extent that is truly invasive because this is meant to respond to emergencies. There’s an implied need for speed and you can’t be quick if you don’t already have together the information that you need to facilitate decision making. So having real time information already centrally gathered in a certain way may have to start taking place long in advance of there to be any need to use it.

Kelly Barner (08:44):

Some of the terms that have been questioned are essential proportionality and crisis relevant goods. Now, regardless of how each one of us defines them, it really matters how the commission defines them and who is it that gets to make the decision on each case whether the term applies. This is definitely a very strong centralized power play. It may overreach, it may be overly interventionist, and there are fines if you don’t comply. Businesses that provide incorrect or misleading information risk fines of as much as 300,000 euros per incident. And companies that don’t abide by the terms of the instrument and don’t fulfill priority orders could be fined up to 1.5% of their average daily turnover. This is something to be taken very seriously now in a positive light, some in Europe and and the US as well, but specifically within this context, they’re starting to talk about supply chains as infrastructure, and I think that’s wise given how interconnected everything is.

Kelly Barner (10:01):

We really do need to think of supply chains as more than just single step handing goods from place to place. Now, where it starts to get troublesome is language that suggests that because supply chains are infrastructure like brs, bridges and roads, they shouldn’t be allowed to operate in isolation from public need or the public good. So if you believe as I do that a well built, well run, well managed supply chain does constitute a competitive advantage, looking at it as something that needs to be completely opened up to everyone for the public good takes away the incentive to invest in that competitive advantage. As with so many things, I find myself being worried about who is going to be making those centralized decisions, What constitutes an emergency? When does the instrument officially go into effect? When is the emergency over? And sometimes there are going to be judgment calls that look an awful lot like choosing between someone winning and someone else.

Kelly Barner (11:08):

Losing collective benefit is not the same thing as everyone having an opportunity to win. And when you start to think about applying it, it doesn’t take too long before you start to see the potential for trouble in paradise. So when I saw a recent news story that struck me as a good test for this sort of dynamic, I thought, Okay, let’s combine the good intent of this emergency instrument with the very messy real world circumstances of the Nord Stream pipeline. You’ve probably seen news that leaks have recently formed in the Baltic Sea. Now I say leaks have formed. There’s an awful lot of talk a sabotage, and there are multiple investigations going on in parallel. But regardless of the cause, European energy prices were already soaring because of the dependence on Russia and the desire to move away from buying oil and gas from Russia because of their invasion of Ukraine.

Kelly Barner (12:08):

This constraint on energy is forcing some energy intensive businesses to scale back their operations or even to close. So we’re talking about things like steel mills and aluminum smelters. Germany recently turned to France for help with energy supplies and France while trying to help is dependent on nuclear for most of its energy production. So this is not exactly the look most of Europe wants given their emphasis on sustainability and the desire to move towards renewable energy. So the European Union is weighing how to handle this, how does the EU intervene in these energy markets? And one possibility that’s been discussed is capping the price of gas used to make electricity. Now you say capping the price. There are multiple proposals currently before the eu, all of which talk about capping prices, but they all work differently. And as you can imagine, they benefit some countries and some industries more than others.

Kelly Barner (13:16):

Italy, France, Spain, and 12 other member states are calling for an EU wide cap on wholesale gas prices. Germany has a different idea now. They’re the primary economic and manufacturing engine in this single market trading block, and they’re especially sensitive to these surging energy prices because of all their industrial production. They want to be able to import natural gas from the US and they oppose a rigid cap because they’re concerned that companies won’t be willing to sell the gas at the price that it’s capped at. Their concern is, yes, we can constrain the cost, but if people aren’t willing to make the volume that we need available at that price point, it doesn’t actually help us how much it costs. Italy says that Germany’s approach will hurt the rest of the trading block, and there are questions about whether Germany’s approach gives them an unfair advantage over the other member states.

Kelly Barner (14:21):

So the potential impact that are, that’s being worked through, what happens if they put one of the cap structures in place and companies redirect their gas supplies elsewhere because they can sell it for more if there are limited supplies available, who makes the decision about how they get divided? And of course, the fact that the whole electricity system is interconnected always increases the risk of some members effectively subsidizing others. In fact, there was so little agreement around this that the block wide cap on natural gas import prices has been tabled by the European Union until later in October. The member states simply could not reach an agreement and to state the obvious winter is coming. Now, when we think about this in practice, let’s go back to those phrases from the the proposal that I read. Does that sound like unity and solidarity? Does that sound like cooperation and cohesion?

Kelly Barner (15:28):

I think the difficulty is there are so many different interests and so many different philosophies and so much to be won and so much to be lost that it creates these fractures even within the trading block. Now, this single market emergency instrument is going to put pressure on those exact same fractures and trust issues. Different states have different interests and resources at their disposal. So with regard specifically to the emergency instrument, a group of nine countries that includes Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Slovenia has already warned the commission not to go too far. They already see signs of overreach and over intervention. There are concerns among labor unions that this could prevent them from striking, and so that’s a concern as well. And then we come back to the information. How much information has to be centralized in order for this method of control and decision making to work?

Kelly Barner (16:33):

How much monitoring is going to be necessary on an ongoing basis to make quick action possible and directionally accurate if an emergency should be declared? One of the things that concerns me is how much control will companies have to see to an international body that’s not even located in their country? And of course, as we saw with the restrictions and the rules around the pandemic, what is the process for rolling such measures back Time plays an enormous role in this, and it goes with many of the advantages and disadvantages that we’ve talked about. Now I just happen to be fresh off of a supply chain now Buzz livestream with my co-host Kevin L. Jackson, and we talked briefly about this story before we wrapped my gut, and this was sort of my initial reaction when I first read about the emergency instrument, is that I may just be too American to buy into this idea.

Kelly Barner (17:33):

I’m instinctively against the idea of giving control over my private company, my supply chain that I’ve built, my competitive advantage, my customer facing decisions to a board of people that’s located many thousands of miles away in a different country. And yet I can see the concern if trucks were truly backed up like we saw pictures of and borders were closed and supplies weren’t getting through, clearly there’s a problem to be solved. The question that everyone has to think about and potentially answer for themselves is whether this instrument is the solution, and that’s a decision and a discussion that will potentially stretch forward through the rest of this year and into next. Now, that’s my point of view on this story, but I wanna hear your voice on this. Join the conversation and let me know what you think. I can see why European Union leadership would want to have the single market emergency instrument, but why would individual country, let alone the private companies based in those countries, support this measure and give up so much control?

Kelly Barner (18:43):

Maybe a more philosophical question is at what point do you cross the line between good for the whole and then the cost of individual economies and balance sheets that has to be paid in order to achieve that good? How much information should companies have to submit in order to make the emergency instrument work and remember those fines? Can the good intentions and the idea of unity and cohesion actually hold together and work when faced with the very real challenges and costs of messy reality? Thank you for listening to this episode of Dial P for procurement. Please find me on LinkedIn, find me on Twitter, and let me know what you think. Until next time, I’m Kelly Barner, your host for Dial P here on Supply chain now. Thank you for listening and have a great rest of your day.

Intro/Outro (19:40):

Thank you for joining us for this episode of Dial P for procurement and for being an active part of the supply chain now community. Please check out all of our shows and events@supplychainnow.com. Make sure you follow Dial P four procurement on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to catch all the latest programming details. We’ll see you soon for the next episode of Dial P four, Procurement.

Hosts

Kelly Barner

Host, Dial P for Procurement

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

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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.

Donna Krache

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.

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

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

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Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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

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

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

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Host of TEKTOK

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

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Host of Digital Transformers

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

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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.

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Administrative Assistant

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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