TEKTOK
Episode 48

In today's dynamic world, your supply chain must be agile, flexible, and fast to value.

-Robert Zwerling

Episode Summary

Ready to get back into the supply chain driver’s seat? Tune into a conversation with respected author and Managing Director of the Finance Analytics Institute, Robert Zwerling. Get his recommendations and insights on how agile analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) are paving the way for automation and scenario planning to help you anticipate a range of future possibilities. The exciting outcome? You will enable your business to transform from reacting to the future into a business that is able to orchestrate the future.

 

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:01):

Welcome to TEKTOK Digital Supply Chain Podcast, where we will help you eliminate the noise and focus on the information and inspiration that you need to transform your business, impact supply chain success, and enable you to replace risky inventory with valuable insights. Join your TEKTOK host, Karin Bursa, the 2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year. With more than 25 years of supply chain and technology expertise and the scars to prove it, Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Join the conversation, share your insights, and learn how to harness technology innovations to drive tangible business results. Buckle up. It’s time for TEKTOK, powered by Supply Chain Now.

Karin Bursa (01:13):

Welcome back, supply chain movers and shakers, to the TEKTOK Digital Supply Chain Podcast. I am your host, Karin Bursa, and I am here to help you replace risky inventory with valuable insights. And today I am joined by Robert Zwerling. He is the author on the hot, hot, hot topic – that’s three hots – of predictive analytics. He’s also the co-founder of the Finance Analytics Institute. Robert and I are going to be talking with you today about agile analytics driven demand planning. More agility, more analytics to get you a better demand plan. This should be really interesting. If you’re a fan of the show, I want to ask you to subscribe to TEKTOK, that’s T-E-K-T-O-K, and leave us a review. And don’t forget to follow us on both LinkedIn and Twitter.

Karin Bursa (02:07):

Now, here’s something that I’m sure that you’ve thought a lot about over the last two and a half years, and that is how agile or how resilient your business really is. Now, although these two terms are used interchangeably, they do mean different things.

Agility is the ability to pivot and change quickly, or at the very least, quicker than you’ve been able to in the past. Agility is essential to help mitigate disruptions, but it’s also important because it gives you the ability to exploit some unplanned opportunities that you may see in the marketplace as well.

Resiliency, is the ability to avoid, contain, stabilize, or recover from a disruption. And we’ve been doing a lot of that over the last two and a half years.

Agility and resiliency for your supply chain are not just nice to have – they are critical to your business’ ability to thrive. However, Gartner tells us that only 40% of supply chains are set up for resiliency. That’s right, four – zero – only 40%. And I’ve got to tell you, I think they’re being generous with that number, but that means 6 out of 10 are structured for one thing.

Karin Bursa (03:34):

Sixty percent of supply chains are structured for predictability and cost efficiency, not resiliency, and certainly not agility. And the bottom line is that makes our businesses fragile, not agile. Clearly, we need another approach, which is why I am so glad to have Robert Zwerling with us today. Robert is going to share some of his recommendations and insights on the topic of agile analytics and incorporating artificial intelligence into the way you plan for the future. The exciting outcomes are going to be that your business is going to transform. And you are going to move back into the driver’s seat as your business transforms from simply being reactive to what’s happening around you, to actually orchestrating where your business is headed, and harnessing the latest and greatest demand signals. So, Robert, thanks for joining us today on TEKTOK.

Robert Zwerling (04:39):

Thank you for having me here.

Karin Bursa (04:41):

Robert, you have co-authored numerous articles and research papers. You’re very prolific on this topic of business analytics and have also written two groundbreaking books, Implementing an Analytics Culture for Data Driven Decisions. And I know that word culture is very important. We’re going to come back to that shortly. The other book is AI-Enabled Analytics for Business. Now, both of these are published by Wiley, which is very well regarded in the marketplace. Congratulations on these two books! You’ve also founded the Finance Analytics Institute and the Analytics Academy. So, I’m not sure when you’re sleeping, but it is safe to say, Robert, that we are going to get some expert insights here today. How did you get into this field of AI-enabled analytics?

Robert Zwerling (05:35):

Well, I think it goes all the way back to my college days where I was doing research in two-phase flow for nuclear reactor core re-criticality. So that heady kind of thing was really the application of mathematics and data to do predictions and find insights. And that’s a very important word, insights. I want to distinguish insights from information. Information we get by doing analysis. Analysis is applying arithmetic to data, add, subtract, multiply, divide. “Gee, our sales are up by 10%.” That’s analysis. It’s informative. Yes?

Karin Bursa (06:18):

Yes.

Robert Zwerling (06:19):

Analytics is applying mathematics on data. So, take something like we run a correlation. We find that consumer sentiment is a three-month leading indicator to men’s blue shirts in our San Diego department store. That’s an insight. An insight is something that we don’t know and when known will affect our decision-making. So, with that lead up, how do we get started, it just turned out – a number of years ago, I met a gentleman who’s become my colleague, my co-author, my friend, my collaborator. We’ve written those two books together. We’ve co-founded the Finance Analytics Institute and we built the Analytics Academy. And, it was all about our frustration. He’s a CFO for a software company in Europe. And we were frustrated about how everyone was talking about what analytics is and not how to do analytics. So, okay, I get it. I get what it is. Now, how do I do it? And so, we wrote the first book to really help the business analyst, manager, the director in implementation, and the second book we wrote for the directors and vice presidents and officers to give voice, vision and clarity to the value of analytics and learn how to implement analytics because 2 out of 3 analytics projects are failures.

Karin Bursa (07:48):

Did you say, “Two out of three analytics project fail?”

Robert Zwerling (07:50):

Yes, ma’am.

Karin Bursa (07:51):

All right. We’re going to dig into that a little deeper, I’m sure.

Robert Zwerling (07:55):

Yes, ma’am. And the whole idea is not what you have to do because I think we pretty well get the what; but now how do we do it? So, we convert that 2 out of 3 failures into a 100% success. So, that was the whole kind of journey to write the books, found the Finance analytics Institute, develop the Analytics Academy to teach how to, which is the book; the first book is the syllabus for the Analytics Academy and the second book is for the executives who, by the way, are the number one problem in analytics failures. Sorry, boys and girls, but it’s all on you. And, that’s the way it is. And so, we did a lot in the second book because everyone is writing about not only the what, but the successes. And we write more about the failures so people learn the mechanisms of failures. And there are three main mechanisms, which we call bandwidth, focus, and budget. But we’re not going to get into the book. The point is that was the journey on how to get here.

Karin Bursa (08:57):

That is a great background for our discussion. And I love your distinction on insights and understanding how to apply what we are uncovering in the marketplace and to predict what’s likely to happen in the future. Robert, you said executives are the “problem.” Right now, supply chain leaders, supply chain executives, are drowning in this environment of uncertainty and increased complexity. I was on the phone earlier today with a chief supply chain officer, and he must have said the word “chaos” five times in the course of our conversation. It’s chaos! There are too many moving parts. It’s too different from the way we’ve operated in the past. Tell me why NOW is the time that we should be looking to leverage more analytics-driven process to regain control of what’s happening in our global supply chains?

Robert Zwerling (10:05):

It really comes back to where we are in our technology journey. I mean, our technology or transactional systems, our demand planning systems, our ERP systems, our supply chain management systems, our CRM systems, all these systems were built upon a transactional concept and the overall business concept that we had stability in our supply chains and what we were seeking was financial efficiencies, right?

That’s all out the window. So, we have two things, one exacerbating the other. One is transactional systems were never built for the analytics driven, AI-driven complexities of supply chains that we have today. And our transactional systems were never designed or built for the kind of, as you said, chaos that we have today. And we’re not going to be changing these systems. They’re too big, they’re too expensive. All our processes are built around it. We don’t have a chance, but we can’t rip out the engines to the plane while we’re up at 36,000 feet. What we have to do is surround the systems now with user-compatible analytics tools that supplement and can provide the kind of predictions and forecasts and scenario planning that’s needed to be more flexible and to be more future driven.

Karin Bursa (11:41):

Let’s dig into that for just a minute, right? Can artificial intelligence, modern day analytics really identify new demand patterns or use new demand signals, say things that have happened in the last three months or the last four months versus having two or three years of history in order to project future performance? Let’s talk about that for just a minute in how we surround – I like the way that sounds, right? Because we don’t have time to do a complete replacement of supply chain planning for every industry. Now, that may be necessary, you know, for a business over time. But I think the point you’re making is we need answers now, right? We need to move product to market today. How do we do that better? So, let me back up because I just threw three or four questions at you. So, first question, can artificial intelligence use these short-term demand signals to help improve the quality of the demand plan?

Robert Zwerling (12:47):

Yes. Next question?

Karin Bursa (12:49):

That’s a pretty quick “yes.”

Robert Zwerling (12:51):

It is. I mean, because you have long range, you can have artificial intelligence for the long range and short range and medium range. I mean, there are AI enablements for demand signaling that are using what I call more fresh or recent data to give you a signal in what direction the trends are going. Yes. There are also ways of applying AI and analytics for longer range forecasting. When I do that, I would say 3, 6, 9, 12 months. And I won’t get into the mechanics of it because we don’t have time to, but, yes, you can do it and you can get very high accuracy by doing it.

Karin Bursa (13:31):

So, Robert, we talk in terms of digital supply chain, which includes people, process and technology. However, today with the data available expanding exponentially, data has become a fourth leg of the stool, if you will. Data is critically important. But most companies don’t have the time or tools to do a huge data cleansing and data warehouse and still digest that data quickly to become more agile or more responsive. How do we get started? Is there a quick way to see value that we can then fuel more  momentum behind the effort for the business?

Robert Zwerling (14:22):

I wish, Karin, someone would write a paper called Agile Analytics-Driven Demand Planning. Well, wait a minute. We did that!

Karin Bursa (14:35):

Talk a little bit about that because, Robert, that’s how you and I met.

Robert Zwerling (14:38):

Exactly. You and I met because I was doing research for a follow-on book to AI-Enabled Analytics for Business and talking to supply chain leaders and thinkers. We met and then we decided we’d do this paper. And in that paper, we talked exactly about how to get fast value.

Robert Zwerling (14:59):

How do we get going today? And we had, you know, I think, it was five steps. The first step is always define the problem. Always. What are we trying to solve? We’re not boiling the ocean. What are we trying to solve for? Right? Are we trying to get better forecasting for the next quarter, next two quarters, next four quarters? What are we – and are we doing it at the customer level? Are we doing it at the customer product level? For example, what are we trying to solve for? Because that defines the data. It defines the data, the dimensions, the mathematics.

Robert Zwerling (15:30):

And the second part is to choose your, what we call the proof-of-concept software vendor. And as you know, this is not an IT function. Do not go there. Do not pass, go, do not collect $200. This is a user function because the only people that know their business are the users. And I always tell people, think of IT as the power company. You know, you don’t – power company doesn’t know your business. They know how to get power to your building and how to keep the lights on. Your IT knows how to build a network and knows how to build a computing infrastructure and keep it secure and safe, but they don’t know what the company does. Right? Only you know what you’re, if you’re in supply chain, what supply chain does, what you’re doing in inventory and what you’re doing in logistics. Only you know those things.

Robert Zwerling (16:23):

So, those are things that you have to do. You have to select the tool. And, unfortunately you’re going to have to fight the battle where IT may come back to you and say, “Well, you can only use Power BI or Tableau or something like that.” You’re going to have to push back on them. Like I said at the beginning, it’s the difference between visualization and analytics. Power BI, Tableau, Qlik, those are visualization tools. They’re descriptive tools. They’re not prescriptive predictive tools. Go out and find a modern analytic tool. There are many cloud vendors out there for modern analytic tools. And you pick it, match it to your skillset. You know, if you have data scientists, you might get a more sophisticated tool. If you don’t have data scientists, you’re going to need a more user compatible tool. But you select it and then you do a proof of concept.

Robert Zwerling (17:14):

All proof of concepts are small. They should be in that three to six week range. Don’t boil the ocean. Now, step three, don’t boil the ocean. Make it small, but make it measurable. Make it measurable and significant, meaningful, measurable and meaningful. ‘Cause it doesn’t have to be large to be meaningful. And then after you’ve done that, you benchmark your skillset. What did we learn? So, once we know what we learn and what skills we need in order to run analytics, now we can scale. Now, we can go to the next project, the next project, the next project, next project. And all of them are these, you know, small-to-moderate-sized projects because you’re going to string along a whole lot of fast value because that’s where you have to be, agile, flexible, fast value. We can’t wait a year. There’s a wonderful story we have in the book, AI-Enabled Analytics for Business, about a company that hired 150 people and they got a billion and a half dollar return on their money and they spent $100 million. Now, how many companies can do that?

Karin Bursa (18:22):

Not a lot.

Robert Zwerling (18:22):

Exactly. There are only 20,000 companies that have over 500 people total in their company, let alone hiring 150 of them. So, that’s why I say even for the largest Fortune 500 company, small is better, fast value is better. Get your return and get those kinds of things that you need to be agile and resilient in your supply chain.

Karin Bursa (18:46):

Robert, I want to make sure that our listeners understand the differences in the terms “predictive” and “prescriptive” analytics. So, predictive analytics are future focused to predict what’s going to happen in the future, but prescriptive may be a term that they’re not familiar with.

Prescriptive analytics include the ability to “prescribe” or recommend a course of action, right? Based off of the insights that are available, these are the next logical steps or likely steps to take. Talk a little bit about prescriptive analytics because that’s unique and different. Today, most analytics are looking backwards. They are valuable but can be seen as fancy reporting, right? Or reporting with drill down capabilities. Here, we are talking about charting the future with additional insights about market performance or business response. Give just a little more flavor around these prescriptive analytics.

Robert Zwerling (19:52):

Starting with hindsight or hindsight looking. So, what does that mean? It means that we’re reacting to the future when it arrives versus predicting the future so that we can plan to make the future happen. Planning to make the future happen is prescriptive or proscriptive, right? And because if we can predict, then we want to prescribe, right? That’s the notion. And I do it in the concept of the five key questions that every business has to ask of analytics – what happened, where it happened, why it happened, what will happen, and how to make it happen. So, when you think about the first two questions, what happened and where it happened, that’s descriptive analytics. And that’s what we use our reporting and our visualization tools for. When we get into why it happened, predicting what will happen and prescribing how to make it happen, that’s when we get into our analytics tools and now we’re applying mathematics on data to gain insights to affect our planning and decision making.

Karin Bursa (21:05):

Yep. Absolutely. Now, another really important thing that you said – I’m taking notes as you are laying this down for us. So, another important thing is that this proof of concept is not an IT-driven initiative.

Robert Zwerling (21:17):

Yes.

Karin Bursa (21:18):

It really needs to come from the business or led by a business leader that understands the business, the context, and the questions that we’re trying to solve for here. That’s really important. We have seen over the last four or five years that supply chain roles are taking more ownership of the supply chain master data. And I think that this is an important reason around; it’s because they understand the context of the data and what it indicates into the future so we can help to train and harness that to really be more responsive or more agile in the marketplace.

Robert, can you give us a business example, of a quick win in this area because you said we need to look at three to six weeks. That’s fast! That is a rapid time to value. Share a story from one of your research initiatives or perhaps a company that you’ve worked with that has been able to gain an important insight or an important capability in such a short period of time.

Robert Zwerling (22:32):

Exactly. And I’ll give you one right out of the box. I mean, the $460-million-dollar CPG manufacturer. And they had demand forecasting software from one of the major suppliers, so they’re not without tools. But, you know, again, these systems, your average demand planning system has a 35% demand forecast error. They were running 49% average demand forecast error. And they wanted to get that down to 30%. And one of the things they did is they selected a new demand planning system, which was fine, but then they had the idea, “Could we get – could we do better?” And so, then they followed the five steps that I mentioned before. They said, “We want to do better. We want to do it at the customer level and we want to do it a year in advance. We want to have not just 30, 60, 90-day planning, we want to have do 12-month planning.” Right? “We really want to know what we’re doing so we can really get control of our supply chain.” So, they went out. The business organization selected their POC vendor, and I think it was in three or four weeks, they did a head-to-head comparison of their demand planning’s current demand planning system with using AI-enabled analytics cloud tool, and they were able to get 95% accuracy on average across their tier one customers.

Karin Bursa (24:04):

Wow!

Robert Zwerling (24:05):

So that’s a 5% error over 12 months. They had 95% average accuracy over 12 months. It was so good. It was too good. And they went back to management saying, “We can’t say that. We’re going to say we got an average error of 15%, so they’ll believe us.”

Karin Bursa (24:24):

That’s remarkable.

Robert Zwerling (24:26):

It is.

Karin Bursa (24:26):

In all the years that I’ve been in supply chain, I have not seen a company consistently leverage a customer-level forecast for all customers.

Robert Zwerling (24:34):

Right.

Karin Bursa (24:34):

Right. So, item, customer-level granularity. So, we’re not talking large numbers here. We are down in the nitty-gritty granularity of the plan, but a 95% accuracy rate. And honestly, Robert, an 85% accuracy rate would be impressive at that granularity.

Robert Zwerling (24:53):

Exactly.

Karin Bursa (24:54):

With them backing off from that, it’s like, let me give you a lower number and then I’ll overachieve that number.

Robert Zwerling (24:59):

Right.

Karin Bursa (24:59):

So, a little sandbagging happening maybe in that particular example?

Robert Zwerling (25:03):

It did because they didn’t want to make it, you know, too unbelievable. And again, the numbers range, you know, you could have a whole series of ranges from, you know, 90% to 99%, but, you know, you average it out in over a year and that was great results. And they had residual benefits they could do. Again, by continuing to apply the analytics, not only were they able to reduce their inventory on hand, they were able to do dynamic inventory management. So, in other words, rather than having static Min/Max levels, they did dynamic Min/Max levels. And then, by having also better forecasting, they also reduced their E&O and they also could reduce their charges, you know, shortage and fill rate fines. And so, you put that all together and they’re at a $100 million of avoided costs or cost that could be reallocated to growth. So, it was a tremendous, and it was, you know, talking about a three-to-four-week fast value. There’s a perfect example of it, all under the control of the user group.

Karin Bursa (26:09):

Yep. That’s substantial to have the ability to use a more accurate forecast to leverage dynamic inventory policies. Right? Dynamic safety stock policies for your business really allows you to reduce the working capital or where – I’m assuming it was a reduction in working capital over time, but it may be that I’m increasing inventory for higher demand than I expected as well. But the bottom line is I’ve got these new insights that are going to help us make those adjustments over time and really get to an optimal performance and intelligently reduce that working capital.

Robert Zwerling (26:47):

You said “optimal.” So often when forecasts are done, it’s one and done and it’s a point, here’s a forecast, which almost never happens.

So, you wind up spending a lot of time explaining why it (that single number) didn’t happen. In the realm of analytics, we don’t do point forecasts. We do forecast ranges, which is a probabilistic range so that businesses can optimize about a forecast range rather than a probable range rather than a point number.

Karin Bursa (27:22):

That’s a really important point that you’ve drawn out. And certainly that’s a point that comes out in the article that we’ve collaborated on. Again, that article is called Agile Analytics-Driven Demand Planning. And you know what, we’ll put a link to it in the show notes as well. It’ll be easier for our TEKTOK listeners to access and download the article. Robert, you included really a roadmap to help get started quickly and then scale. And I know we’ve talked through a couple of the key points to help our listeners get a proof of concept done quickly – downloading the article will be a helpful reference as well. I love the fact that you and I are such strong believers in having these initiatives driven by the practitioners or by the businesspeople because they’re the ones that get the phone calls, right? Or, they’re the ones that solve the problems and face the challenges. We all know there are a lot of moving parts and parts of our supply chains are moving at very different rates than they have historically.

Karin Bursa (28:29):

When you are working with companies in this area, what’s standing in their way? What are the big stumbling blocks in really getting a proof of concept? You used the term POC which stands for proof of concept, POC. You’ll hear that term quite often as you are validating business use cases. So, Robert, question back to you. What’s getting in the way? What’s stopping supply chain professionals from embracing or doing a proof of concept?

Robert Zwerling (29:00):

Two things. One is their perception of their data. First is we need real, what they call real-time data or big data, or our data isn’t clean enough. And I can tell you that you have plenty of data. There’s no such thing as big data. It’s right size data. It’s whatever you need for what you’re solving. And there’s no such thing as real-time data. It’s right time data. Again, whatever you need for what you’re solving. If you’re doing demand planning, for example, on a weekly, monthly basis, you don’t need the data minute by minute or day by day. Right? And you don’t need a mountain of it. So, first is to stop the self-imposed “Oh, we can’t do it” before it even starts. The second big thing is the battle with IT. You know, they say, well, it has to do it or IT is forcing the tool on them, you know, like I said, and the tools tend to be your visualization tools and they just can’t – you know, they’re not – again, you can’t bring plumbing tools to do carpentry. Right? And the idea of bringing, and the use – by the way, the users know it. The users understand that these tools are visualization. They’re descriptive, they’re reporting tools, they’re not analytic tools. So, that’s the other big battle that has to be fought, which stymies a lot of projects even getting started. Those are the two things.

Karin Bursa (30:29):

I do think that focus on the predictive and prescriptive is important.

One other reminder is that if your company has the luxury of having a team of data scientists in it, you need to be aware that those data scientists enjoy solving a problem for the first time. They don’t necessarily enjoy doing that over and over, right? They want to be creative and exploratory in how they are evaluating a bunch of different business use cases. So, we need a way that we can institutionalize and get repetitive and momentum under our way that we’ve proven it works. We expand maybe the customer list or the products or the market or the channel, and then we get broader and broader in the way that we’re improving our overall demand plan. So, I think it’s a great use case in using agile analytics, but artificial intelligence or AI, which is just a fancy way of saying, new math and new methods to solving these business challenges.

I think it’s exciting! I really think, you know, it’s a great time to be in supply chain and it’s amazing to see the use of new science helping to not just solve the same old problems but address new data, incorporate new opportunities, and refine the process so that we can indeed be more resilient or more agile in the way our businesses respond.

Robert, I want to thank you for the opportunity to collaborate with you on the article. It’s been a lot of fun and great opportunity to get to know you. But if you could leave our audience with one final thought, what would that be on this topic of using agile demand analytics to really drive better decisions faster?

Robert Zwerling (32:35):

Right. I guess the best way to say is the Nike slogan, do it. Right? And then you do it. Don’t wait. Right? If you have to run a covert operation, run a covert operation. By the way, my research that brought us together shows that people are doing it from companies, whether they’re a hundred million or the top 50 Fortune 500 companies. They’re all doing it. People are engaged in surrounding their transactional systems with this kind of agile analytical thoughts and how to bring it to the table and how to solve the local problems with user-enabled tools that are analytic tools that they can bring. And they’ll learn them and they’ll find them and they’ll do them. And they are.

The best thing to do is do it. The best time to get started is now, and like I say, it’s low cost, it’s fast value, it’s high ROI. So, do it!

Karin Bursa (33:32):

Sounds pretty compelling. And that’s it for today for our TEKTOK Digital Supply Chain audience. Listen, I want to thank you Roberts Zwerling for joining me today and helping to inspire all the supply chain movers and shakers out there. Let’s make sure to check out the article that Robert and I collaborated on. It is called Agile Analytics-Driven Demand Planning. And I think you’ll really want this not only to inform your current initiatives, but it’s going to give you a few ideas for the future as well. So, Robert, what is the best way for our TEKTOK listeners to connect with you?

Robert Zwerling (34:08):

First of all, thank you for having me here. It’s been a great pleasure to be on this TEKTOK podcast. Great pleasure to work together. Look forward to doing more of it, and it’s easy to get a hold of me on LinkedIn at Robert J. Zwerling. And I’m there and you can say hello and we can then connect via email real fast.

Karin Bursa (34:29):

All right, terrific. Well, until next time, remember that this show would not be possible without all of the supply team movers and shakers in the marketplace and the fans of TEKTOK Digital Supply Chain Podcast. Please follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter and be sure to give us a comment or two on your feedback on today’s topic.

Our goal at TEKTOK is to help you eliminate the noise, focus in on the information and inspiration to help you transform your business and replace risky inventory with valuable insights. We’ll see next time on TEKTOK, which is powered by Supply Chain Now.

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Robert Zwerling is a high-tech serial entrepreneur with 30 years founding and growing software companies across telecommunication, manufacturing, distribution, high data availability, predictive analytics, and Artificial Intelligence. He is an accomplished business leader, globally recognized speaker on predictive analytics, inventor of the ground-breaking One-Touch AI for demand forecasting, and creator of Systematic Thinking™ the methodology for the application of analytics to solve business problems. He is at the vanguard of digital transformation and considered a thought leader in analytics. He has been a keynote speaker on AI and delivered highly rated lectures and courses attended by analysts, managers, and executives throughout North America, Middle East, and Europe. Mr. Zwerling has co-authored numerous articles and research papers in AI and analytics, as well as the groundbreaking books “Implementing an Analytics Culture for Data Driven Decisions”, and “AI-Enabled Analytics For Business” (published by Wiley). Mr. Zwerling is founder and managing director of Aurora Predictions, providing AI-Enabled analytics software with its intuitive/no-code platform and no need for data science/programming skills, which automatically delivers AI insights across the sales, finance, operations, supply chain, demand planning, and inventory organizations. He is co-founder of the Finance Analytics Institute, which teaches how to implement analytics through articles, research papers, surveys, benchmarks, and the Analytics Academy. FAI’s Benchmark Analytics Survey, is the first quantitative measure of the position and progress of an individual and organization on the Roadmap to an analytics culture. FAI’s Analytics Academy brings vision, voice, and clarity to the value of analytics and the Roadmap to implement a culture of data driven decisions. Mr. Zwerling’s career spans leadership and executive positions at Fortune 500 companies in power generation and high-tech. As founder and CEO of multiple software companies he managed global growth and exits to a major public company DXC Technology Company (NYSE:DXC), foreign public company, and a private party. He has a Bachelor of Engineering (magna cum laude) in mechanical engineering from Stony Brook University, and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (major in thermodynamics and fluid mechanics) from CSU Los Angeles. He is a member of the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society, and a licensed Professional Engineer, Mechanical Engineering, in California. Connect with Robert on LinkedIn.

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Karin Bursa

Host, TEKTOK

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

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

Controller

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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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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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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Greg White

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

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

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

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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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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.

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

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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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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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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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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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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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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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