Supply Chain Now
Episode 783

Both major brand ERP systems said that they could handle our rebates and we quickly found out that they could not. A system like that can manage to pay 3% back to our customer. But is it five locations? Is it one location? Are you paying to one address or are you sending five checks to five locations? Given the complexities of the programs in our evaluation, the ERPs simply were not capable of that level of complexity.

- Bob Gay, Rebate & Incentive Program Specialist, Advance Auto Parts

Episode Summary

Sometimes, in order to get the best deal available for everyone involved, the details are very complex. This has prevented rebates from being applied to contracts for a long time. No one on the buy side or sell side of a deal has time to manage complicated details, but that doesn’t have to be a roadblock to contract rebates any longer. Rebates can now be administered and tracked through a digital platform specifically designed for the purpose – and that works alongside an ERP.

Bob Gay is a Rebate & Incentive Program Specialist for Advance Auto Parts, Scott Weir is the newly retired Vice President of Purchasing for Thos. Sommerville Co., and Oisín Cooke is a solutions consultant at Enable. Their platform maximizes the performance of B2B deals by centrally modeling and managing complex rebate programs.

In this episode, Bob, Scott, and Oisín join Supply Chain Now co-hosts Kelly Barner and Scott Luton to discuss:

  • Real-world examples of the frustration that has been caused by poorly managed rebate clauses
  • Why rebates can be a very effective way to reward and incentivize specific buying patterns and behaviors
  • The realistic limitations of ERP systems to manage all necessary business processes – even if they try to indicate that they can

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:32):

Hey, good afternoon, Scott Luton and Kelly Barner with you here right here on supply chain. Now welcome to today’s live stream, Kelly, how are you doing? I am doing great.

Kelly Barner (00:42):

This is such a treat. I’m so glad to be here for supply chain. Now main channel livestream,

Scott Luton (00:47):

Wait one on the only Kelly Barner procurement guru supply chain pro, uh, and we’re talking one of our favorite topics, the art of the deal and the art of how, uh, deals and rebates have been evolving, right? We’re not talking about 1982. Are we killing?

Kelly Barner (01:06):

Hopefully not. Although there may be a few people still using spreadsheets. That’s a little 1982.

Scott Luton (01:14):

Well, but you know what, though, we can do everything with spreadsheets and Excel, right? Excel saves the world and Hey, it’s still, it’s still a big part of where we are as global businesses, but Hey, one of the big questions we’re going to be answering Kelly is how are business leaders optimizing their deal management approach to ensure you can add more to the bottom line. So we’ve got a home run panel joining us here momentarily to explore that and a lot more folks buckle up and get ready. We want to hear from you as well. Okay. So Kelly, if you’re good to go, we’re going to say hello to a few folks as they pop in here today, where we’re going a little bit earlier. Uh, th I’m glad that we all set our alarm clock a little bit earlier because typically we go at 12 noon, but we had so much stuff to cover today. We couldn’t, we were too excited to wait. Right? We had to go 30 minutes early.

Kelly Barner (02:00):

We are ready. Let’s

Scott Luton (02:01):

Go. All right. So with that said, Kelly, I want to introduce our guests and we’re going to be switching them in. You’re ready. I’m ready. All right. So first up, we’ve got Bob Gay managing manager, customer profitability for rebates and incentives with advanced auto parts. We’ve got joining Scott. Weir retired vice president of purchasing at Thomas Somerville company and joining their boat is Oisin Cooke solutions consultant with enable. Hey, Hey, Bob Scott OCI. And how are we doing today? Good, thank you. Well, good to see. Each of y’all really enjoyed our prep conversation. We touched on tax minimization strategies. We touched on some football, we touched on some travel, and now we’re going to be talking about the art of the deal, how deal-making has evolved as well as rebates, right? And rebates have come a long way. I’m looking forward to kind of getting each of your takes as long with Kelly’s frankly, what we’re seeing and how companies can get better at it and offer more.

Scott Luton (02:57):

So with all to go though, we’re going to start with a fun, warm up question. So as I look outside here in Metro Atlanta, it has gotta be 70 degrees sunny here in mid November, right before Thanksgiving. Right. And it, uh, we’re ready for that brisk weather, but whatever it is, it’s gorgeous. I’d love to be outside today is national take a hike day. It’s new to me, new to me. So I want to ask each of y’all, if it’s not hiking, what is your favorite outdoor activity? And I want to start with one of our repeat guests here, ocean cook. So ocean, what do you like to do outside? Well,

Oisin Cooke (03:35):

I recently moved to London, so the big city, the big capital in the UK and, um, outside space is kind of a premium, so we don’t have too much of it. So when I can get outside, I like to sit down with friends in the evening, just sit around a campfire or a, you know, a fire pit and enjoy a few drinks and the chill out and the outside spokes.

Scott Luton (03:56):

I love it. Okay. And probably not high seas or Kool-Aid, what’s your favorite drink to consume around the fire pit?

Oisin Cooke (04:03):

Oh, I think, yeah. Yeah.

Scott Luton (04:06):

Wonderful. All right. I’m ready to hang out with you for a weekend coming up. All right. So let’s go to you, Bob, Bob, they’re living in North Carolina. Uh, what’s one of your favorite outdoor activities.

Bob Gay (04:17):

Probably say anything having to do with, with my immediate family is my biggest hobby, but also anything sports related and then happened to be a hopeless golf addict, loved the game, loved to play. You’re not the best at it, but steel absolutely loved to play it.

Scott Luton (04:36):

I love that. And I love that, you know, golf is such a, uh, humility inducing, right? So 1, 1, 1 quick followup question. What’s your favorite course?

Bob Gay (04:48):

Oh my goodness. I had the opportunity to play Sawgrass once and it was incredible, but incredibly tough. But if I had to lay my finger on any one particular course, that’s both tough and satisfying. It’s tobacco road here in North Carolina.

Scott Luton (05:04):

Love it, man. So that 17th island green and saw grass, uh, uh, any video footage of your attempts at that visit exist anywhere.

Bob Gay (05:12):

Oh my gosh. You could not have served that up any better actually card that whole

Scott Luton (05:16):

Man. Okay. All right. So tips for golf with Bob after today’s lesson. Thanks for joining us, Bob. That’s awesome. All right. And finally, Scott we’re. Uh, so we, uh, first off, congratulations, uh, y’all notice that we inserted the word retired as we were introducing Scott 21 years with the Thomas Somerville company. So congratulations, Scott you’ll have a lot more time for outdoor activities. So what’s one of your favorite things to do well,

Scott Weir (05:42):

Uh, thanks for the congratulations on my retirement. I’m definitely enjoying the beginnings of it here. Um, but I would say, you know, I can’t really, I, it was having a hard time trying to decide on what my real favorite is, but I would say preretirement income. It was a road racing I’m into automotive road racing. Sure. Which is just the most fun I could possibly ever have outside. Uh, now that I’m retired, my income has changed a little, um, what I’m going to enjoy the most is walking on the beach.

Scott Luton (06:13):

Love it, man. But you know, the auto racing that is intriguing, we’ll have to chat more about that. And I guess you can want to do that outdoors. So you’ll have a lot more time on your hands to explore both of that, those passions there. Okay. Hey really quick. And well, you know what, Kelly, you’re not getting out of this question. What’s your favorite thing to do outdoors?

Kelly Barner (06:33):

So close. So I actually have an answer that aligns with a lot of what everybody else has said. I have this little plaque that my family got me that says, I’m outdoorsy. I drink wine on the patio, but I do have a fire pit. So my favorite outdoor activity is red wine by the fire pit on a cool evening.

Scott Luton (06:52):

Okay. And a lot of folks don’t know that Kelly has a motorcycle. And so they’ll do some biking. We’ve got some pictures that I couldn’t find here today. We’ll save for another time. Thank you, Amanda. Okay. Hey, let’s say hello to a couple of quick folks. Clay Phillips of course is with us clay, diesel Phillips, uh, cause the engine is always running their clay. Great. Great to have you here today, along with Allie and Amanda at Victoria, all the folks behind the scenes helping to make the production happen. Marty is tuned in via LinkedIn from Dubai man. It’s some really cool things happening in that part of the world. Somebody great to have you here today. And of course Amanda is with us. I’m with you Kelly wine on the porch talking about outdoors. That’s right. Okay. So Kelly, where are we starting with this esteemed panel here today as we get into the, some of the work, right?

Kelly Barner (07:40):

Absolutely. So we’re going to start by getting a little bit of context and we’re going to benefit from Scott wears many years of experience in supply chain and purchasing Scott. What have we seen change over the course of those two decades when it comes to rebates and contracting?

Scott Weir (07:55):

Well, I think the biggest change that we’ve seen in the last 20 years is, is things have gotten more complex. You know, it seems like 20 years ago, rebates were easy to calculate and the management wasn’t as critical about being exact on what they projected values were going to be. Those things are radically different today. We’re looking for quarterly projections and then as you get towards the end of the, for us, it was a calendar year, but towards the end of the fiscal year, it’s monthly projections, even looking to what do we think is going to happen on all the, the, uh, incentive growth programs and all that. And trying to get within a minor, a percentage point of accuracy, you know, to within 1% of accurate on what our year end, um, uh, rebates are gonna be. Um, so that’s, you know, more complex and, um, where accuracy is, is where we’ve gone in the last 20 years.

Kelly Barner (08:48):

Oh, would you say Bob, same thing from your experience, have you seen anything different?

Scott Weir (08:54):

I remember having to

Bob Gay (08:55):

Deal with 2025 years ago or very simple programs that were primarily at the wholesale level and it could have been from where a particular customer were. They, they were in the top 5% of a, of a vendors customers, and they, they deserved a, a little bit larger discount at the end of the year. Now it is progressed in complexity to the point where you have someone who has basic manufacturing, a product, you have a product for a price, and it goes all the way down to the end user. And there are industries where those incentives are managed, calculated from the manufacturer to the wholesaler, to the distributor, to the dealer, then down to maybe not even the DIY customer, but retail and then in consumer. And you can take it from an acre of farmland to a, an automotive product. And there are, you have to work that through the entire supply chain. And so it really has gotten the most complexity.

Scott Luton (10:00):

Yeah, I really quick Kelly, I want to say hello to a few folks as folks are trickling in here. Victor is tuned in via LinkedIn from Tijuana, Mexico. Awesome. Wednesday. Hey, I hope we all have an awesome Wednesday, so great to have you here, Victor. And one of our dear friends, David from Canada is tuned in and whenever he’s not solving manufacturing and supply chain issues, he’s, off-road in his Jeep and then off-road on Saturday repairs on Sunday. Okay. So Kelly, I think we were going to get Oshins take as well. Right? We are

Kelly Barner (10:31):

Mean if there’s one word that jumps out at me from what both Scott and Bob said, it’s complexity, right. Is, does that align with what you’re seeing in the rebates and contracting space?

Oisin Cooke (10:42):

Absolutely. Absolutely. I think one of the things that cause, cause, cause definitely we see complexity being on the rise. So as time has gone on and you know, we’ve been in this game for a good, a good period of time. Now that complexity definitely has, but I think what, what drives that? Or in some cases, at least what drives that is it is a shift in attitude towards it. So it very much seemed to be, you know, from a few years ago that the attitude was, well, sometimes we’ll give a rebate because it’s nice. Or sometimes as Scott said, you know, we need to, you know, give somebody a little bit more of an extra discount or an extra incentive or something like that. But now very much more. So we’re seeing rebates and complex discount structures and complex kind of trade agreement structures being put in place really to try and help drive behaviors on a proactive level rather than just a kind of, oh yeah, we’re going to reward somebody a little bit at the end. It’s more like, okay, we need to build out these programs in this particular way because actually we want to control this behavior at a more granular level throughout the year. We want to develop the way that the purchasing habits or the buying habits or the sales habits of being, uh, being kind of, you know, used from, from month to month, which is why, you know, much more granular reporting and much more kind of frequent and accurate information about it is, is so crucial.

Scott Luton (12:00):

I love that. Okay. So now that we’ve kind of set the table a bit and quit really quick, I’m going to say low to moderate radars tuned in via LinkedIn from a bet warm and sunny Phoenix. Great to have you here today, Montel, we’re talking about the art of the deal, how deal-making has evolved, but also how rebate management has a ball. So we welcome your POV and repeat a former guest. Chuck Johnson’s tuned in via LinkedIn from Bentonville Arkansas course home of one of the dominant retailers and, and bigger and bigger e-commerce players. So great to see here, Chuck look forward to reconnecting with you soon. Okay. So I want to follow up to this conversation question for you, Scott we’re. So Thomas Somerville, tons of different products. And I would imagine that rebate contracts differ not only based on the partner, but also based on product dimensions, a slew of other factors. So Scott, how important are the minor details of contracts and how in the world do you keep track of all those details?

Scott Weir (12:56):

Uh, the minor details are very important, especially as the rebate deal, the rebate contract has gotten more complex. Some of the deals that exist out there are pretty simple. It’s, you know, there still are the vendors that are, you know, you get an X percentage for buying from them. Yeah. You know, that’s an easy one to do. You don’t necessarily need software to project. What’s going to happen with that. But when you get to manufacturers that are a little more discerning with their rebate values, they may, you know, break it down as, uh, uh, give you a percentage based on purchase cost, but give you different targets based on the weight of the product. Certainly one of the manufacturers we had that had a very complex deal structure that it had, I think it was probably 10 different sub categories of products. And you got your rebate based on the weight of how much you bought.

Scott Weir (13:46):

And then you’ve got rebated based on the cost. So trying to just figure out what is the right weight to have. We actually, it took an awful long time to find out that the manufacturer didn’t publish what they were measuring us on publicly. We were getting the weights off their public information from their website. So we assumed that was the weight that they were going to judge us on. It turned out that all the weight on the website was packaging, weight, package, weight. So the shipping weight of something, whereas our targets and the values that we had achieved through the year were based on the production weight. Of course less packaging totally makes sense. But even our regional sales manager had no idea. He, you know what we, you know, we’re using the software and we’re comparing the numbers, my money, you know, the dollar amount is exactly on, but my target, I thought I had hit it. Well, no I didn’t because I was using a higher weight because it was in a box, you know, and they had to actually go to it to get the information out of the system because they didn’t have the public available. So it was one of those things that you wouldn’t expect initially until you started into the details to figure out why is there a number of different from ours? So that’s definitely one of the, you know, one of, one of the things that you have to keep your eyes out.

Scott Luton (15:00):

Yep. So Bob, I’m coming to you next, but really quick Kelly, you know, kind of along the lines of somewhat Scott shared there just yesterday, we had a great live stream conversation with our friends at risk methods and you know, that definition and the alignment around definition and the alignment around what success looks like and having, you know, if you’ve got this master equation, the whole team has to be, have the same definition of each, each constantly, each variable, right? So the master of the quadratic equation or something of supply chain or rebates Kelly, but based on what you heard Scott share, what’s between your ears here.

Kelly Barner (15:33):

Interesting. Because if there’s anything that we can all probably agree to is that there’s never a good thing. That’s a surprise in business, right? You don’t want anybody to be surprised, but in this area, as I was listening to Scott talk, it actually makes me think this is one of those areas where suppliers, sales, reps and procurement or purchasing are very much aligned because the supplier wants their rebate structure to drive desired buying behavior. Right. And procurement wants to make sure that if we have this agreement put in place with certain rebate incentives and we factored that into, you know, what we think the overall value of that contract is going to be. We also want to make sure that we hit those targets in a strategic way. And so it’s actually trying to make sure that everybody’s aligned because the supplier wants you to get there for the sales point of view and procurement want you to get there for the savings point of view. It’s trying to work together to motivate the behaviors of the people actually doing the buying. It’s one of those rare, great opportunities that might lend itself to some natural collaborations.

Scott Luton (16:35):

I love that. Uh, we got avoid the tug of war. So Bob coming, your next, your take on, you know, how you, uh, see the increasing need to not only manage the rebate programs, right? Kind of the, at the higher altitude, but to analyze them to determine what programs are working, where they’re falling short and where in the world, where, where should we find those levers so that we can make the changes to make them more successful? What’s your take on all that?

Bob Gay (17:01):

Oddly enough, exactly. What Kelly just mentioned on Scott’s comments was the notes that I was taking is it’s a lot about visibility. It’s a lot about projecting, um, the goals and, or, uh, the behavior that you’re trying to drive. And it, the, the key thing behind any rebate and or incentives, not just a rebate, but the incentives as a whole they’re capable of so much. It all depends on how you design it, how you implement it, how you provide the visibility to the customer to make sure that everyone from procurement to the sales team, to the customer are on the same wavelength driving towards the same goals of being mutually beneficial. So in that instance, you’re, you’re going to try and new and or different things, and insent on delivery metrics volume. It could be very well. The Scott mentioned the weight of deliveries of how he was receiving it. So you must analyze those programs and find out what’s working. Because if you, if you do build a program, that’s simply not driving the behavior you’re after, then you need to adjust that program, cancel the program, pull that customer off that program, put them onto another. So it’s a constant state of adjustment. It’s a constant state of analysis. You can’t just put it into a system and hope it works, or else you’re simply throwing boards or darts at a dartboard, hoping that it works.

Scott Luton (18:27):

Yeah. Right. Hope is not a strategy. Uh, or at least if it is one it’s a really bad one, but also it’s not, we talked about in the pre-show we’re talking about infomercials and stuff. This is not a Ron Popeil set it and forget it. Right. You’ve got to set it and then management manage it to make it more effective. Right. Oh, sheen. I want to come to you next, based on what Bob has said and kept some, you know, the comments thus far, any additional observations, OCI.

Oisin Cooke (18:52):

Yeah. Just to pick up on something that, that Bobby just mentioned. So, you know, I really, we see that all the time we really do. And I think one of the key things too, that people often forget is, you know, it’s not about just doing that analysis once and kind of saying, okay, what’s working right now. This thing’s working, we’re going to cancel everything else and roll out to everyone because everybody’s different. You know, whether it’s, whether you’re on the supply side or the, uh, or the buy side or whichever end of the table, you’re looking at, you know, all of your trading partners, your suppliers, your customers, your everybody’s going to be slightly different. And if you’ve got a program that works really, really great grateful for one customer or one type of customer or one group of customers, that’s, that’s great, but it might not work as well for everybody else.

Oisin Cooke (19:37):

And having that kind of constant iterative process of actually this is going to be a regular audit that we’re going to do. Where are we going to look at everything, analyze, what’s working, break it down in as many different ways as we can find that and accept that, you know, it doesn’t have to be the same across the board for everybody because maybe that’s not what everybody wants. And it’s about building those, you know, those bespoke agreements between you and a group of customers, or even a specific customer or supplier, you know, and, and, and making sure that it is mutually beneficial and you’re improving those relationships, you know, not just kind of a, you know, an across the board record of, uh, everything looks the same, so it’s fine. Right.

Scott Luton (20:17):

Okay. Anyone else can envision, if you’re like me that there’s fire pit conversations, ocean oceans around, there’s a lot of intellectual conversation and perhaps even some white boards as they solve global business ills. I mean, goodness gracious, OCI. And I love that with beer, the beer and the beer. Hey, really quick. Before I come to Scott to get his final observations before Kelly takes his talking ERP and stuff, I want to make sure folks know about the white paper that talks about the evolution of rebate management that our friends at enable and oceans team have put out. If we can Amanda play Allie, you name it. If we can drop that in the comments and make sure that’s really easy for folks, that’d be one click away from some of the stuff in case they’re visual learners. Like many of us are. Okay. So Scott we’re any additional observations around, you know, the details, constant tweak, some of the things that Bob and ocean have talked about before moving to more of the technology.

Scott Weir (21:11):

No, I think I’m both Bob and I’ve seen have, uh, really covered it pretty well. Um, there’s, you know, it’s, uh, it comes down to making sure that, you know, you internally understand what the vendor’s asking of you and that the vendor understands what you’re saying. So it’s, it’s that language back and forth so that you really need to understand each other. And as was said earlier, nobody wants to be surprised come to the end of the day. Whenever you, you think you’ve made a target and you didn’t, and then you have to explain why you didn’t know. So you want all those that you want, all that information up front, you want to be as accurate, as possible, as detailed as possible and make it not onerous so that everybody understands what each other is saying. And everybody can get to the same answer easily. Yeah.

Scott Luton (21:53):

I think I read the latest rankings of the top 100 worst conversations to have of all time and bad rebates, surprises. Number seven on the top 100 list. I believe

Kelly Barner (22:03):

Whatever you do, don’t bring that up at Thanksgiving dinner. Not saying as a holiday, like a debate about bad rebate management.

Scott Luton (22:10):

I love it. Okay. So own that note, Kelly, let’s keep driving. I think we’re gonna be talking technology then next we are.

Kelly Barner (22:17):

So Bob, I want to get your thoughts around finding the right tool to fix the problem, right? We’ve established complexity. We’ve established that this is a widespread challenging thing, but that there’s huge opportunity if you can effectively manage rebates. And so having the right tool for the job is critical when you were comparing what any ERP system can handle to what, something like a more specialized tool like enable can handle. What was your thought and decision making process there?

Bob Gay (22:43):

It was, there were several thought processes that went into it. And the initial thought many years ago, when we first started looking into systems to manage our rebates is that there simply was no system available. There was no company that was no system, nothing out there could manage the level of complexity that we had. And lo and behold enable rose to the top pretty quickly. Now, at the time we were also going into the initial negotiations and discussions of implementing a new ERP system, both major brand ERP systems said that they could handle our rebates and we quickly found out that they could not. And while they could, you know, you think of a, uh, company-wide organization, our or ERP system, that’s supposed to wrangle all of your financials. Of course, a system like that can manage to pay 3% back to our customer. But is it five locations? Is it one location? Are you paying to one address or are you sending five checks to five locations? The complexities of the programs in our evaluation, the ERP simply were not capable of that level of complexity. And then the implementation timelines are a lot longer with any ERP system compared to enable you need enable, has it almost down to a science and while they are incredibly flexible, they have a way of working that that is simply shorter than any ERP implementation, I think, any larger organization without

Kelly Barner (24:16):

Now. Oh, she does. That does what Bob shared sound like what you hear an awful lot. Do you hear similar challenges and people out there looking for solutions that they just can’t seem to find through their ERP?

Oisin Cooke (24:27):

Yeah, absolutely. You know, and, and it, I think this, this feeds into, to what we were talking about in terms of the increase in complexity over time and as the attitudes and the markets change that complexity grows, you know, and it often is that, you know, as Bob said, ERP systems are perfectly capable of handling a very simple rebate, or maybe it’s just an input field for what is the rebate, you type it in here, you know? And, and that’s, that’s fine if that’s where you, where you are with your, with your rebates and the kind of agreements that you have, if things are developing and things are becoming more complex and things are becoming more difficult, you know, what we often find when people kind of come and speak to us. So we’re kind of, you know, surveying the market is, is very much, you know, people will have their ERP system and then a whole series of spreadsheets that they’re using to support that, that basic functionality that lives within the ERP system.

Oisin Cooke (25:15):

So, you know, it, you end up saying, okay, well actually, we’re just going to do it on the ERP because we’ve got one system and that’s going to deal with everything. But then quite quickly you realize actually I might only have one system, but I’ve got one system and six manual processes and four spreadsheets and threefold. And it, it really does, you know, because that, as we said, the complexity increases the strain on something like that increases. And the likelihood that one system is going to be able to handle that as well as all of your other ERP stuff is, is just not, it’s not realistic.

Kelly Barner (25:47):

Well, especially when that one system wasn’t designed for this purpose, right? I mean, it’s, there are a lot of things. Sometimes I feel bad for ERP because, you know, there’s a lot of things that they do. There’s a lot of things they were designed to do, but business has changed so much whether it’s complexity or simply our approaches or even user expectations. How does enable actually work with ERP is to make sure that their capabilities aren’t necessarily lost that you’re not creating that side channel, but that you’re still meeting those expectations and addressing those needs around company.

Oisin Cooke (26:19):

Absolutely. I mean, we, you know, we don’t replace an LP because any is covering a whole, a whole bunch of things. What we do is rebate management, you know, and we, we very much stand on our own two feet and that space where a standalone system, where, you know, if you’re in that position where you’re struggling to manage things from that point of view, that’s what we’ve, we’ve been designed for from the ground up for that purpose. You know, what we then do is we then feed that back into the ERP. So that eventually all of your information is in one place, you know, and all of that information about what you’re accruing, what your projections, your forecast, your know performance of all of these different things is, can be fed right back into where you want it and where you need it. But, you know, we’re just removing that expectation that you’re actually going to calculate all of that in one place. Because as you know, we’ve said, it’s, it’s, it’s not realistic.

Scott Luton (27:11):

Yeah. You want to work with folks that jump out of the bed every morning to focus on whatever it need you have, right? Whatever value that you’re looking to bring in, you know, it’s like, if you’re the world champion Atlanta Braves and we’re missing one ACE in the rotation for next year, let’s go find someone that specializes in striking people out and starting baseball games. But the other thing, right, kidding aside. The other thing is when, you know, how often do you hear the word spreadsheets, especially in with amongst teams and thinking, oh, joy, we’re going to be moving faster because we have spreadsheets. Right. And it’s typically it doesn’t happen like that. Right. All right. So I want to, I’m going to share a couple of things here, and then I’m coming to you next to Scott for some recommendations. So Shyam says great stuff and business to business.

Scott Luton (28:00):

When we talk about consumer, then their shift in buying behavior where most of the companies are focusing on fill rate companies should have the agile approach of managing such changes, whatever it is, shipping prototyping, fill rates, you name it early supplier engagement, change management and supply chain management. Resilience are all pivotal. Those are some really big, big dots there at chime. You’re right. Supplier engagement, change management and supply chain management resilience are all pivotal, especially in this era that we’re fighting through the VUCA have. Y’all heard of VUCA yet the acronym. Okay. Okay. I can’t remember what I came here, what each of the letters stands for. It means it’s tough times right now navigate through these global supply chains. So shine, good stuff there. Okay. Scott, we’re I want to come to you next. Uh, cause we won’t talk about recommendations. Right? We’ve kind of spent the first half of our conversation today kind of talking observations, the evolution, the need of, of really getting in the details of, of working also with customized platforms. Right? And as you, as you look to upgrade, let’s get into some recommendations for, Hey, keeping up with the ever evolving rebate management landscape, because not only are you trying to bring more value for your customers and the consumers, but you gotta keep up with the competition. Right. Scott?

Scott Weir (29:20):

Yeah. I agree. One of the things, you know, as I’m sitting here thinking about the history of how long I’ve been doing this, maybe managing, you know, what, what did, how much should we buy? How much do we get, you know, for buying that stuff in the world of rebates is, you know, I did that all, all of the spreadsheets that Microsoft access queries and forms and templates and everything to try and do what we do today and enable, which is, you know, I’ve got variables between manufacturers and all the different ways that we are having to calculate things. So if you’ve got 150 to 200 different rebates to CA to deal with on an annual basis, trying to customize each individual query each individual spreadsheet to try and manage that subset of information is, is difficult. And, and it isn’t scalable. Uh, I’m an absolute example of that.

Scott Weir (30:13):

I mean, in, I think it was in 2019, um, whenever in late 20, 19, early 2020, when I first made contact with an enable. Um, and I don’t recall whether it was me finding something online or whether somebody cold called me, but it was like, I, you know, I don’t think we need the software to do this. I’ve got it managed. But then, you know, you get to the point where wait a minute, I can do other things. I don’t need to spend 50% of my time or 20% of my time managing rebates. How do I make this? You know, where I’ve created all this custom stuff to manage the rebates, how do we get that into one platform? I don’t think it can happen. Well, you know, it can, and I didn’t realize it could, you know, and most people would probably not realize the same, um, if they weren’t exposed to something, uh, that that can do it, you need to be able to, you know, different vendors, different parameters, different measurement basis, you know, take out the D the discount.

Scott Weir (31:07):

Don’t take out the discount. Uh, how many categories do you have to break it down into? Um, scalability, um, becomes the biggest problem with an individual doing this. Um, and then me communicating to the board of directors, or even to the president and CFO is here’s how these are calculated. You know, while I use this query that I wrote, um, you know, to do it for this vendor, but I do it differently for that vendor because they have different parameters. Um, but you know, and so I have had literally no documentation other than my own internal memory as to how I did each of those things, I tried to consolidate and make one way, but it doesn’t work that way because everybody’s different. Every vendor is different. Um, so you need software to help with that. And then the documentation that I never had, which was one of the things that we, when I looked at it and said, oh, I can print out this document that says, here’s how we defined the rebate in our system as to how we achieve these things.

Scott Weir (32:06):

Here’s the basis, here’s the, you know, what we’re getting to it and all that’s technology, right? I mean, and, and we didn’t have it. We didn’t have that technology in house. Um, we weren’t able to do that internally. And our ERP could handle a basis of basic rebate. Oh, you get a flat percentage on purchases. Great. Try and stack on top of that. You know, other things, that’s where the ERP is fall down. They just don’t have the ability. And some of it’s, that’s not their focus. Their focus is sales collecting money and shipping product, right?

Scott Luton (32:39):

So you dropped a lot of goodness there. Uh, Scott and Kelly out, a welcome your take. But one of the things that you touched on is how it’s great having the right system gives you a great tool in the boardroom, uh, to help the leadership team better understand how we’re leveraging rebates or really anything. If you have the right tool that helps you communicate so better decisions can be made at the highest levels and recognition of progress and wins that are taking place and why, you know, communicating the why behind it, uh, great point there, but Kelly, beyond that, what else did you hear Scott share there in his recommendations? Wow.

Kelly Barner (33:16):

I think the keyword that Scott shared is finance, right? So when purchasing procurement, anybody truthfully gets pulled into explain something to the CFO and, you know, he or she is looking for the most up-to-date information and the answer starts with, oh, you know, about like that usually does not instill a lot of confidence in the person delivering the message, even if it’s not their fault, that they don’t have the tool in place to get the right answer. But it doesn’t instill a lot of confidence in the number either. And so being able to very easily, Repole the most accurate and up-to-date information, that’s where you can actually walk into a meeting like that with confidence, you have confidence in it, the people hearing it have confidence in the message. And then ultimately the most important thing is what decisions does that empower, right. You’re trying to make good decisions on accurate information. And if Scott has to go rerun all of his queries really, really fast before he goes into that meeting, just to give sort of a ballpark or, um, I’m pretty sure, kind of an answer that is just not going to cut it, given the dollar value that we’re talking about in most of these situations.

Scott Luton (34:24):

Great point, great point. I’m going to come to you next, Bob. I want to share two quick thoughts. So first off, Eric, thanks for joining us today and how true a spreadsheet is certainly better than an Abacus, a

Kelly Barner (34:35):

Positive point of view, Eric, thank you. It is better

Scott Luton (34:37):

Than advocates. That’s right. And thanks for joining us here. They would love to know where you’re tuned in from via LinkedIn, but Hey, you know, w w we don’t want to beat up too much on spreadsheets. You know, they have their place, they certainly have their place, but we’re talking about the next generation of rebates management and where you can exact the most value in what can be, as we’ve laid out thus far really complicated stuff, where it may deserve a lot more than a spreadsheet, if you really want to make it a bigger, more valuable aspect of the business. And then I want to also share this from Sarah. So true, minding the middle between the spreadsheet and the ERP is constantly evolving. What a great comment there, a paperless environment that can communicate between the plant for a plant floor and the corner office is essential.

Scott Luton (35:23):

Excellent point, Sarah, Sarah, you need your own show. That is a great comment there. Thanks for joining us here today. Let us know where you’re tuning in from there via LinkedIn. Okay. Bob man, there’s so much that I’m sure you want to touch on what we’ve shared over last couple of minutes, but what would you add when it comes to general recommendations, but also two part questions, general, general recommendations, and any advice that you would give in terms of data preparation so that we can, again, it’s back to speeding the velocity, speeding up the process of onboarding a rebate management tool. Bob,

Bob Gay (35:58):

What else say general recommendations when dealing with keeping up with, with competition? I think we all realize that it’s absolutely essential and the incredible functionality for an ERP. And the reason I’m touching back on this was a question from Chuck earlier was the incredible functionality from an ERP is essential, but they also, they, it is relatively structured in the way they do things because it is so much data and they are capable of so much enabled builds in the flexibility to be able to compete from a point of view from when you looked at, you’re not always trying to grow a customer or grow their purchases, you may already have 90, 95, 100%, but you may want to move them over to maybe a different category of purchases, or you’re simply trying to maintain that volume or blunt the competition. Like I said, there’s so many things that rebates are capable of, but in that same instance, when we talk about Excel and what Excel is capable of, we have, we, we have gotten to the point where we have dozens of Excel spreadsheets that are 50 columns and 150,000 lines long, anything past a hundred thousand lines, it just gets incredibly unwieldily.

Bob Gay (37:19):

So when you try to pull all of your data together, you need to think about it from a perspective of what would I do to make this manual process better. I need to wrangle my exceptions. I need to reduce the exceptions and maybe create a new program group on group customers, factoring your products, whether you’re trying to make it on deliveries to drive the, the particular, um, behavior that that you’re looking for for the customer. But what it really is, is breaking down your manual processes and then any manual processes, depending on how long you’ve had to do that, you’re going to have exceptions, and you’re going to have five different people that did the exact same task, five different ways, and you must break that down. And it all goes back to the old adage of good data and good data out, but bad data in bad data. You want to have to go through this with an ERP system, but doing it earlier, implementing earlier with a product like enable, we’ll help you find your faults a lot earlier than an ERP implementation would and a lot easier.

Scott Luton (38:30):

I love that. Hey Bob, when, whenever we write a book around here, I want you to narrate the audio audio copy, right? Hello. I can listen to you talk, read the briefing dictionary. I think so you shared so much good stuff there. And by the way, ocean is back with us. And I want to make a point VUCA. I said earlier, V U a folks, this is the age we live in volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. Get to know that VUCA, VUCA acronym, things don’t happen. Like we want them to, um, so OCI, great to have you back. Um, anything you’d like to comment there on what Bob has shared and what you may have heard, uh, Scott share earlier when it comes to recommendations and, you know, moving forward, moving the organization forward.

Oisin Cooke (39:11):

Yeah, I think, I think it all comes back to those two, kind of, when you think about it competing ideas, right? We want everything simple. We want to make sure that things are defined and that everything is very clear and easy. We want a repeatable process for all people involved, but as complexity increases, that gets harder and harder to manage. You know, and, and as, as Bobby, you were just saying, you end up with spreadsheets that are enormously large. You end up with, you know, processes that, you know, can’t be repeated and you try and teach them to people. And everybody’s doing them slightly differently because of the way that it all works. And I think having that kind of defined set of parameters within, within a framework that will allow you to be as complex as you need to be, but also put the boundaries on, okay, well, you know, he need to do it within this framework.

Oisin Cooke (40:00):

You need to do it right in this way. And then it’s gonna, it’s going to allow you that kind of, best of both worlds, I think is, is the, is the way that it comes at that. And, you know, again, as, as, as Bob said, garbage in garbage out, you know, you have, you have to make sure that, you know, the point of which you’re starting from you’re, you’re, you’re saying, okay, let’s look at, look at everything that we’ve got here. You know, whether that’s from a data point of view, whether that’s from a, you know, a, a negotiation, a rebate deal, and analytics point of view, let’s make sure that we get it correct from the beginning so that, you know, further down the line, we can only get better,

Scott Luton (40:36):

Excellent point. And I want to pull out to one of the things that each of y’all has spoken to throughout, but Bob just mentioned, you know, you might have five team members doing the same thing, but doing it five different ways. Well, when it comes to velocity, when it comes to scalability, which Scott touched on earlier, and it really comes to digital transformation, quite frankly, we’ve got to automate some of this stuff, right. We’ve got to, to, to, to move faster and also have our team members, you know, where can, where can they add the most value? Where can we automate some of the blocking and tackling and really elevate the blocking and tackling, frankly, these are, these are the opportunities that I think platforms like enable and just, just digital transformation landscape that we’re all moving through. Those are opportunities that are out there. I want, I’ve got one more question for you. Oh, sheen. As we start to wrap up today’s conversation, uh, around, um, data, the data, the data, but Kelly, before we do that, uh, based on what we’ve heard just in the last 10 minutes, I think it was my favorite part recommendations between Bob and Scott and, and then OCI and kind of closes it. But what do folks really need to pay attention to in this, in this conversation around deal-making and rebate rebate management? Well,

Kelly Barner (41:44):

I think what I’m hearing is that it’s the value, as Scott said, it’s not necessarily in just getting to the number, getting to the information, it’s what actions that allows you and your organization to take. And so whether it’s going into the meeting with the CFO and having real confidence around an actual number that is right up to date, or truthfully, as Bob pointed out, this idea of automating so that you can manage by exception, exceptions are always going to exist because VUCA, right? So you’re always going to have that trying to say, oh, well, we’re just going to smash everything into that this box, ultimately that’s actually eliminating opportunity. So if we can automate things so that we’re dedicating our best resources, even if it’s fewer resources to just handling those exceptions in the best way possible, that is something we’re hearing across the whole source to pay line of processes, but I can absolutely see where it would apply to rebate management.

Scott Luton (42:41):

Excellent point. But going back to something you shared, man, don’t, we all wish we would have a Hawk every, uh, every, every so often. So we can’t smash things in global supply chain. Some of those days we need it, right. This little, little comic book reference for my son, Ben, who is, gosh, if you’re driving with Ben anywhere, you’re talking comic books and superheroes love you, Ben. Okay. Um, and yes, Jose 28 years of spreadsheets there. So fun, we can all relate to that

Kelly Barner (43:11):

20 years of somebody else’s spreadsheet. There’s nothing harder than trying to manage someone else’s spreadsheet. Cause our brains do not all work the same way. Right,

Scott Luton (43:20):

Right. Excellent point. Kelly and Jose, thanks for joining us. Listen to where you’re tuned in from, I see your Yankees hat, but let us know. Okay. So OCI and I want to get back to getting your observations around enabled customers that might find previous mistakes when you’re transferring all the data over from what can be older antiquated systems.

Oisin Cooke (43:41):

Sure. And, you know, I think just before I dive into this, I’m going to include spreadsheets and the antiquated systems things, because I think it’s, it’s just impossible to ignore, you know, I think in either way, you know, you’ve got to look at it, you’ve got to look at it from that complexity angle. You know, the exceptions thing is a really, is a really great point there, you know, you may get most things, right. But when you’ve got spreadsheets or systems or, you know, old, old ways of managing that, that haven’t been reviewed, that haven’t been audited that maybe you’ve got too many people in them doing things too many different ways, you know, just take a think about, you know, how much data and how much calculation and processing is required to calculate this sort of stuff. It’s not uncommon for us to see, you know, as Bob said, you know, a couple of spreadsheets that may have 50, 60, 50, or 60 different columns and then your, your row count will be in the hundreds of thousands, you know?

Oisin Cooke (44:36):

And, and you’ll be there hoping that there’s no, there’s no mistakes. It’s fine. If you can say yes. Okay. Sure. Most things are okay. But you know, with the kind of numbers that people talk about with the kind of volumes that people talk about a zero or two in the wrong place can mean a real, a real, kind of a real big, a real big problem. You know, you said earlier, there’s no kind of happy surprises. And we want to know, we want to know everything because we need the, the analytics. And I think, you know, it is, it is very common that people come to us and they say, yeah, we’re really confident. We’re really confident in, you know, here’s last year’s data. We’re getting up, we’re getting onboarded. We’re getting going with this last year is fine. Just use that as a sense check and we’ll produce a number and they go, wow, that’s different from our number. Um, it’s, it’s, it’s quite common. So

Scott Luton (45:27):

Well, you know, hope was mentioned again and, you know, hope again is a, it can be a very poor strategy, but in this Mooka environment, it’s even less effective folks. So you’ve got to take, you know, you gotta Nate into caught with right links, a few, uh, I guess about a month or so ago, shared a t-shirt isn’t with us. And he was talking, he was challenging folks to kind of do something different with their freight and kind of here we’re challenging folks to do something different when it comes to their rebate managements systems. And Nate said, folks, put those donuts down, get off the recliner, you know, put this thing in a headlock and take action because there’s opportunities to bring it a lot more value. So I love that. Uh, Nate, okay. So Kelly, we’re going to go around the horn and make sure everyone knows how to connect with Bob Scott, no sheen here in a minute, but what’s been, what’s been some of your favorite parts of the expertise that this panel has dropped on us here today.

Kelly Barner (46:19):

I think the thing I appreciate most, and again, I’m coming to this from a corporate procurement enterprise procurement perspective. Rebates are something that a lot of times is either official training or unofficial training. Like, listen, it’s such a hassle. It doesn’t come through, we can’t track it. It’s too hard. Don’t even consider it as an option. And that is a huge lost opportunity that sure. There is a lot of complexity that we started talking about, but with that complexity comes opportunity that if you can bring that as a lever into different types of negotiating strategies and account structures and contract formats, if there is a way to both incentivize your buyers and get your suppliers to work with you, to give you that, to work with as another type of result to deliver, I don’t think complexity is a good reason not to do it right, because as we’ve established, everything is now complicated. And so it’s no longer enough to say this is too hard. And so therefore we’re not going to consider it. I think the more viable path forward is finding the right tool for managing it effectively at scale, using automation where we can so that we bring that back onto the tables and option negotiations and contracts

Scott Luton (47:31):

Well said, you know, I bet folks, plenty of folks, total Malcolm McLean, we can’t do this. We can’t do any containerization of global freight, what too hard. Right. But as we all know that revolutionized freight still as we, as we have it here today. And while we still have plenty of challenges, it’s great that that aspect of standardization is part of the global freight system. Um, okay. No shortage of things to talk about. I want to go around the horn, uh, really have enjoyed, frankly, look I’m, I am not the rebate expert. I’ve learned so much, uh, in, in our conversations with [inaudible] through the previous webinar and in today’s live stream. And I really love hearing from the Bob and the Scott’s, um, uh, of, of, of the industry that are out there, you know, finding ways of using rebates and the next generation of rebate management to bring more value for their customers. I mean, that, that that’s some really good, good conversations there. So Bob gay, uh, who was mayor made sure that there was no corporate secrets on his whiteboard over his left shoulder before he came live. Um, how can folks connect with you and, and, uh, maybe pick your brain more on some things you’re doing at advanced auto parts?

Bob Gay (48:43):

Uh, the best way by far is, is LinkedIn. I have all of my information, uh, both company and personal email, as well as phone numbers on LinkedIn.

Scott Luton (48:53):

Wonderful. LinkedIn does make it really easy these days. Huh? All right. So let’s go to Scott Weir. So Scott, you may not want to be, uh, you know, after 21 years of, of, of making big things happen, uh, in industry and you’ve got a well-deserved break coming up. So, uh, folks, if Scott, doesn’t get back to you in a little while, I’ll give him a break and on the beach, right. Or racing, right. Auto racing. So Scott, how can folks connect with you?

Scott Weir (49:18):

Uh, they can get to me through LinkedIn or just email me directly at, uh,

Scott Luton (49:25):

Just that easy. Yep. Hey Scott, what beach do you, uh, what beach do you love walking on the most? Where are you? Where do you think you’ll what beach we’ll see, we’ll see the most of your time in 20, 22.

Scott Weir (49:37):

Um, somewhere in Ecuador. Actually.

Scott Luton (49:41):

I love that, man. I love that. Well, Hey, send us pictures. Let’s stay in touch and congratulations again on one heck of a career. I appreciate you sharing some of your expertise here today, especially on, on deal-making and the practical side and, and the, uh, innovative side of modern rebate management. Okay. Oh, sheen a repeat guest. We’ve gotten a lot of feedback around what you’ve offered here at supply chain. Now, going back to the webinar and now the live stream, how can folks connect with you and, you know, take advantage of the art of the possible in modern rebate management show,

Oisin Cooke (50:17):

Same way as before Scott. So you, um, you can get me on LinkedIn or you can email me Um, you can, you can share, um,

Scott Luton (50:29):

Handles out. Yeah. Let’s make sure, I think that’s in the show notes of the episode, if it, uh, of the livestream notes, if it’s not there, let’s go ahead and drop that in the comments. Uh, but folks will be wanting to share a cup of coffee with OCI as a plan for 2022. And as Bob called out in the comments, love what Kelly shared a moment ago. Rebates do not need to be a degradation of margin Kelly. Excellent, man. Again, it is the Anne rice of global supply chain right here, Kelly Parker. I love it. Um, all right, well huge. Thanks. And Kelly stick around for a second. I wanna, can I keep getting some of your key takeaways from this great conversation we’ve had with Bob Scott and OCI and big thanks to our panel. So Bob gay, again, manager, customer profitability, rebates and incentives with advance auto parts, Scott Weir, retired vice-president of purchasing at Thomas Somerville company and ocean cook a solutions consultant and excellent fire pit Tinder, uh, manager with enabled.

Scott Luton (51:30):

Great to see all of y’all have a great rest of your day. Thanks guys. Thank you. Thank you, Glenn, being here, what a great panel, what a great panel I love when, you know, clearly enable no pun intended or maybe pun slightly intended is enabling the next generation. Right. And it’s really cool that to have them back with us, but then to bring in, you know, Bob and Scott, who they probably have several full plates of things. So to find a way and kind of hear from them about how they have found that customized solution to not just do it, but do it better. I mean, this has been a pretty intriguing conversation for me.

Kelly Barner (52:06):

Well, and it was for me too. And it’s interesting. I actually haven’t thought about or talked about rebates in a while. I mean, this goes all the way back to my days of actually being a procurement practitioner, but I think it’s a valid reminder that for as many different types of products and services that we buy or types of suppliers, we partner with our contract structures, there is always another way to create more value that incentivizes the right behavior that helps the buy side and the supply side, I would be willing to venture that rebates are one of those things that a lot of procurement professionals haven’t necessarily thought about in awhile. And maybe it’s time to bring those back into the conversation, especially if there’s an easy way to manage it.

Scott Luton (52:45):

Undoubtedly, you know, um, there’s not much in this world. It’s not worth that, especially it hasn’t been revisited a long time. That’s not worth, uh, you know, a reintroduction or discovery conversation. So, uh, Hey folks, you can learn more really quick about enabled. They’ve got a really simple URL and let’s drop that white paper again, that you can download about, um, the evolution of rebate management, which you may look at and say, Hey, you know, it’s worth the conversation. So you’ll check that out. Um, Kelly on a different note, Dow P for procurement, right? Cause you’ve been that you’ve been there and done it as a procurement practitioner and now you’re helping other folks understand, not just procurement, really global business, but a lot of procurement stuff, right. What’s to come when it comes to dial P for procurement, uh, in the months coming up.

Kelly Barner (53:39):

Well, we were fresh off of two really great conversations, one around supplier diversity and the other one around supply chain risk. So I would actually say in the months to come given all of the VUCA we’re seeing in the supply chain, I think we’re actually going to see a lot more alignment between what’s happening around conversations in supply chain, as well as what’s happening around the same in procurement. You know, sometimes the two groups vary and talk about slightly different things, focus on slightly different things. I have a feeling in 2022, we’re going to be not only working in lock step, but pulling in the exact same direction. So this is a great time to be following dial pay if you’re just finding us,

Scott Luton (54:17):

It really is. And so this week’s been an interesting one on Monday, we talked cyber risks and across global business, certainly supply chain, that’s only going to grow, uh, yesterday. It was about risk management and also kind of the modern day approach to risk management. Right? And now today’s, uh, I think we learned a lot around the modern day approach to leveraging rebates and, and managing rebate program. So a great week of learning here today. Folks connect with Kelly Barner on LinkedIn and via, uh, DAPI for procurement and buyers meeting point, be sure to connect with ocean cook and the Ateam over at enable. You can learn big thanks and connect, uh, with Bob and Scott Mann run perspective from folks that are doing it. Uh, so big, thanks to both Bob and Scott for joining us here today. Most importantly, uh, whatever you do take action. Deeds, not words. Hey, do good. Give forward. Be the change that’s needed on that note. We’ll see you next time. Right back here on supply chain. Now. Thanks for your buddy.

Intro/Outro (55:20):

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Featured Guests

Scott Weir, Known for his love of speed, Road Racing and all things automotive, it was no surprise when Scott started his career at Thos. Somerville Co. in 2000, he took on not one but two roles. He was hired as the Purchasing Manager and to help complete the installation of the purchasing and inventory management software. Between 2004-2006, Scott also had a key role in the setup and integration of their Warehouse Management System. By July 2008, he moved into the role of V.P. of Purchasing. Scott has immense knowledge of inventory and warehouse management software as well as best practices for wholesale purchasing. After 21 years at Thos. Somerville Co., Scott has recently entered into the retirement life. Connect with Scott on LinkedIn.

Bob Gay is a skilled marketing and sales professional with more than 20 years of experience in general management, account management, and customer relations, with a lifelong background in agricultural and automotive industries. With a strong ability to identify market trends and new business opportunities, Bob found his home with Advance Auto Parts as the Manager of Customer Profitability and Rebates. At Advance Auto Parts, Bob manages customer relationships to ensure accuracy and effectiveness of rebate deals. Connect with Bob on LinkedIn.

Oisin Cooke has been with Enable for about 3 years now, working as a BDR, Account Executive, and now a Solutions Consultant. By starting off with Enable in sales, Oisin has been able to bring together industry knowledge and commercial experience to help prospects understand the technical use case and growth potential of using the Enable platform. In his free time, when Oisin is not working with Enable customers, you can find him playing the guitar or piano. Connect with Oisin on LinkedIn.


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Kelly Barner

Host, Dial P for Procurement

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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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Mary Kate Love

VP, Marketing

Mary Kate Love is currently the VP of marketing at Supply Chain Now focused on brand strategy and audience + revenue growth. Mary Kate’s career is a testament to her versatility and innovative spirit: she has experience in start-ups, venture capital, and building innovation initiatives from the ground up: she previously helped lead the build-out of the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific and before that, MxD (Manufacturing times Digital): the Department of Defense’s digital manufacturing innovation center. Mary Kate has a passion for taking complicated ideas and turning them into reality: she was one of the first team members at MxD and the first team member at the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific.

Mary Kate dedicates her extra time to education and mentorship: she was one of the founding Board Members for Women Influence Chicago and led an initiative for a city-wide job shadow day for young women across Chicago tech companies and was previously on the Board of Directors at St. Laurence High School in Chicago, Young Irish Fellowship Board and the UN Committee for Women. Mary Kate is the founder of National Supply Chain Day and enjoys co-hosting podcasts at Supply Chain Now. Mary Kate is from the south side of Chicago, a mom of two baby boys, and an avid 16-inch softball player. She holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

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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Vicki White


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

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Ben Harris


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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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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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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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., 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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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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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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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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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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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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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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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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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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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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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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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.

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Constantine Limberakis


Constantine Limberakis is a thought leader in the area of procurement and supply management. He has over 20 years of international experience, playing strategic roles in a wide spectrum of organizations related to analyst advisory, consulting, product marketing, product development, and market research.Throughout his career, he's been passionate about engaging global business leaders and the broader analyst and technology community with strategic content, speaking engagements, podcasts, research, webinars, and industry articles.Constantine holds a BA in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA in Finance & Marketing / Masters in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

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Mary Kate Soliva

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.

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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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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.

When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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