Supply Chain Now
Episode 1169

You can do everything right with regard to forecasting, but if the stuff can't actually get off a boat onto a truck and to a store, then we've kind of lost the battle.

- Mike Griswold, Vice President of Research, Gartner

Episode Summary

Every day of the year is associated with multiple special interest topics. September 6th is National Read a Book Day, Fight Procrastination Day, and National Coffee Ice Cream Day – not to mention Piggly Wiggly’s birthday. This year it was also Discuss Top News Stories with Mike Griswold Day!

Mike Griswold is the Vice President of Research at Gartner, specializing in retail with a particular focus on forecasting and replenishment. He is responsible for Gartner’s annual Top 25 Supply Chain ranking and joins Supply Chain Now on a monthly basis to discuss the latest in retail supply chains from an analyst’s perspective.

In this episode, Mike discusses four recent news stories – some of which feature companies from the 2023 top 25 supply chain ranking with co-hosts Scott Luton and Greg White:

• Why recent activity involving U.S. West Coast dockworkers continues the ideas that 2023 should be declared the “Year of the Workforce”

• HP’s decision to shift significant laptop production from China to Thailand, Mexico and Vietnam

• How Amazon Shipping is shaking up the world of parcel delivery yet again, with their recent relaunch

• Mondelez International’s plan to apply entrepreneurial startup power to your next tasty snack

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:00:03):

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 (00:00:31):

Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you are, Scott Luton and Greg White with you here on Supply Chain. Now, welcome to today’s live stream, Greg. How you doing today?

Greg White (00:00:41):

I’m doing very well sitting here in what must look like Darkness on your end, but <laugh>, it’s pretty bright.

Scott Luton (00:00:48):

It looks like you’re at the, the White House, about to give the Oval Office address or something. That’s

Greg White (00:00:52):

It. Yes. <laugh>.

Scott Luton (00:00:55):

Yes. Well,

Greg White (00:00:56):

My fellow Americans, <laugh>,

Scott Luton (00:00:58):

We’re gonna keep on going. Uh, before we get that, that, uh, white House talk gets too dangerous, so, right. We got a great show teed up one of our fas. Oh,

Greg White (00:01:07):

Yes. <laugh>.

Scott Luton (00:01:09):

Uh, we’re continuing a very popular series here at Supply Chain now entitled Greg Supply Chain Today and Tomorrow with Mike Griswold with Gartner. And today we’re gonna be sharing, as always, uh, developments across global supply chain, global business that you gotta keep your finger on the pulse of. And we’re gonna get Mike and Greg and all of you pro probably to weigh in with, uh, with, with what’s going on and what you gotta know. So, Greg, always a big and intriguing conversation when Mike Griswold stops by. Huh?

Greg White (00:01:40):

It is. I can’t wait to hear more.

Scott Luton (00:01:44):

That <laugh>. That’s as succinct as I’ve ever heard You, uh, Greg. Oh, I mean,

Greg White (00:01:48):

I always like having Mike, you know, it’s funny because I happen to know, ’cause I get previews what the fun question of the day is, and Mike is particularly gifted and skilled and appropriate to ask this question to. Did you do that on purpose?

Scott Luton (00:02:05):

I may have. I may have. Okay. Okay. So thank you, Greg, for teeing up, uh, and teasing our fun warm question, which we’re gonna gonna be posing to, uh, to, to really the whole panel and all of y’all here today. So stay tuned. But Greg, before we bring on our esteemed guest, Mike Griswold, we wanna share resources with folks as always. And while the whole with that said, team took Labor Day weekend off, I wanted to share the last with that said newsletter, which was, uh, all about what the space program, in particular, the US Space program, all the goods, or at least some of the goods it is, uh, created for those of us on earth.

Greg White (00:02:47):

Wait, do you mean goods? Goods or good goods? Do you mean like products?

Scott Luton (00:02:52):

I, I mean products, advancements, innovation. Yeah. Uh, we just scratch the surface with, uh, what we mentioned in this newsletter, didn’t we?

Greg White (00:03:02):

A lot of goods, really, goods came out of it and a lot of good came out of it.

Scott Luton (00:03:09):

Uh, I’m with you. And, you know, I think, uh, one last one.

Greg White (00:03:11):

Get the goods on the goods and the good <laugh>. Well, that said,

Scott Luton (00:03:17):

Y’all check out whatever, take some version of what Greg just shared, uh, and check out our latest with that said newsletter. Because Greg, I think in this era of this new space era we’re in, I think a lot of folks are questioning the investment and the, uh, the, um, resources and everything, everything’s being spent. But we really wanted to remind folks what, um, uh, uh, all the space achievements, what it’s really meant in very practical terms for the human race. And, and, well,

Greg White (00:03:48):

I mean, yeah. And, and in a, in a certain way. Um, honestly, what do we have to say about how somebody else spell spends their money? Well said, right? Because now it’s not the government using tax dollars, or at least not very much, right?

Scott Luton (00:04:03):

It is an interesting, and, uh, I think just a exciting time when it comes to what’s going on in space. So, almost as exciting, Greg, as a conversation, we’ve got teed up with the one and only Mike Griswald here today. Are you ready?

Greg White (00:04:19):

Yes. Let’s beam him down. Scotty <laugh>.

Scott Luton (00:04:22):

Alright, so welcome him in. With no further ado, Mike Griswold, vice President Analyst with Gartner. Mike, how are you doing? Hey,

Greg White (00:04:30):

Mike.

Mike Griswold (00:04:31):

Hey. I do well. I do well. I, I, I love the lead in. Um, I needed to start, uh, reading that newsletter because where would we be without Tangs <laugh>?

Greg White (00:04:40):

I mean, Tang

Mike Griswold (00:04:41):

People will probably have to look that up. Catherine will have no idea what I’m talking about.

Greg White (00:04:45):

<laugh>, Velcro, Mike. I mean, think about it. Where would we be without Velcro, which was a space program product, right?

Mike Griswold (00:04:52):

So yeah. Start your day with Tang. Oh

Greg White (00:04:54):

Yes, I remember it.

Scott Luton (00:04:56):

Mix it extra, extra good. Otherwise it can be a little bit gritty. Yes. I’ve never had any, yes, I, I don’t know. I had a million glasses of that as a kid, but

Greg White (00:05:05):

In the South they made Sun Tang, Mike <laugh>. <laugh> was that. So it wasn’t all gritty, like, you know.

Scott Luton (00:05:12):

Oh, <laugh>. Well,

Greg White (00:05:16):

I love that grid on the bottom. Yes. By the way, just leave just enough water in there, so it’s like, you can chew it on the way down. Sorry.

Scott Luton (00:05:26):

Alright. So Greg and Mike, I’m so glad that we’re all space enthusiasts. Um, it, it’s an interesting time. We’ll see what is to come, but we got a lot to get into here today, folks. Yeah. A lot to get into today. And I wanna start with, this is gonna be a fun warmup question. So folks, if you’re with us, last week, you may recall the T-shirt that Greg was wearing. Well, so today, Mike Griswold bringing it back, bringing it forward. Today it’s national. Read a book day, it’s Fight Procrastination Day. Maybe we’ll save that for tomorrow. Uh, it’s national. Oh, butter <laugh>. Nicely done. Yeah, it’s very well done. Simple things in life, right? It’s National Coffee, ice cream day. Right? But today is also a big birthday for a retail chain. We all know and love. Piggly Wiggly was founded on September 6th, 1916 in Memphis, Tennessee.

Scott Luton (00:06:20):

And folks, some of y’all may not know, Piggly Wiggly was very innovative. They brought a lot of things to the industry, including, at least here in the States. They were the first self-service grocery store, right? So instead of you giving a list to a clerk, the clerk brings back all your stuff. That was not the case at Piggly. Wiggly shoppers for the first time would take a wooden crate and would walk through the store and pick up their items themselves. So with all of that as a background, and we’re not doing the Piggly Wiggly story justice, I wanna ask, and Mike, we’ll start with you. What is the grocery store that you and your family went to most when you were a kid?

Mike Griswold (00:06:57):

So, I, I grew up in a, in a small town in Western New York. We had one supermarket at the time, it was a star market, not affiliated with the star markets that, you know, were up in the, in the northeast. Right. But that was our, our local independently owned and operated grocery store. My, my endearing memories, and again, people will have to Google this, is they gave out SS and h green stamps. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So you would go to the store, you would pay for your groceries. The clerk would go to this giant box that looked like a rotary phone that had three little dials inside. So if you spent 9 99, it was 9 99, and I would spit the little green stamp. Okay. And then you’d put them in a book, you’d collect the books. And then when we had enough books, there was a catalog for those of you, you know, and the younger generation. This was a physical catalog, not something you could look up online. Right. <laugh>. And once you collected your s and h green stamps, you could find something in the catalog you’d like. We would get in our station wagon, we would drive to the, to the catalog store, slide over our s and h green stamps and say, this is what I want, man.

Scott Luton (00:08:04):

Yeah. Okay. Well, Greg, that’s gonna be tough to top.

Greg White (00:08:09):

Yeah. That’s the original Affinity program, basically.

Mike Griswold (00:08:13):

Yes. Yes.

Scott Luton (00:08:14):

So Greg, so the star market, s n h, green Stamps, getting that, that free stuff after you collected millions and millions of green stamps at the catalog store. Yeah. Uh, what about you, Greg?

Greg White (00:08:25):

Well, I’m from Kansas, so, uh, Dylan’s, which was acquired by Kroger and their c e o became the c e o of Kroger was founded in a very small town, Hudson, Kansas. And that’s where we lived. And they were kind of all over the state. So everywhere we moved, my dad was a teacher when I was that age. So whenever we’d move to a new school, it was always Dylan. In fact, I have an aunt who still works in a Dylan store in Emporia, Kansas, in the butcher shop is what they call it. Wow.

Scott Luton (00:09:01):

I appreciate that. When I, you know, two years in Wichita, I, I shopped at Dillon’s all the time. And it’s gotta add Greg Hutchinson, Kansas, a k a Hutch is what I heard. Yes. <laugh>. Thousands.

Greg White (00:09:12):

Those people call Hutch. That’s right. <laugh>.

Scott Luton (00:09:15):

All right. We got a few folks. So Mike and Greg, y’all bringing back memories, uh, of course my mom Lee Luton’s with us. Winn-Dixie, she says, oh yeah, my dad, my granddad was the manager of the Winn-Dixie in Winnsboro, South Carolina. Great time spent there with dad. And my mom collected those green stamps, as did Gino says. Now that’s a blast from the past. Very much remember SS and h So great to have you mom and

Greg White (00:09:40):

Gino. I can still visualize the Ss and the H ’cause we’re a very distinctive Ss Yes. It almost looked like an ampersand, huh?

Mike Griswold (00:09:47):

Exactly. Yes, you’re right.

Scott Luton (00:09:49):

So Mike, we’re gonna have to have you back on a future episode and we’ll dive into, uh, the best catalog items you got and how long they lasted, <laugh>. Alright, so I’m going to, we got a lot to get into here today. A lot to get into today. And I wanna start with our first story, Greg and Mike. And that is what’s really good news. So we got four stories we’re gonna be walking through here today. And, uh, comment on getting Mike and Greg’s take, and of course, getting all of y’all’s take out there. And a couple of the stories we’ll walk through have companies that are ranking that ranked in Gartner’s global supply chain, top 25 for 2023. So stay tuned for that. But up first, as some have called. And Mike, you might have called this last time you were with Greg, and I can’t remember, as some have called 2023, the year of the workforce.

Scott Luton (00:10:34):

So more news, good news via Reuters. As US West Coast stock workers have ratified a six year labor contract. Couple of points here. This new deal comes after 13 months of negotiations. It increases pay and benefits for about 22,000 of its employees, members of the unions at 29 ports across the US West coast from California to the state of Washington. And one last thing, Mike, before we get you to, to, to, to weigh in here, do y’all know what this is a picture of? Of course. Lemme share. This is, this is Air Wolf, the, the, the famous tv, uh, helicopter from the eighties. Right? And that’s over Jan

Mike Griswold (00:11:14):

Michael Vincent.

Scott Luton (00:11:14):

Yes, that’s right. Over the port of Long Beach. So how cool is that? But anyway, back back rou, Mike, what’s your thoughts on this, uh, on the deal here?

Mike Griswold (00:11:23):

You know, we, we tend to, to focus on, on kind of some of the macro challenges of supply chain. And we, we oftentimes lose sight of kinda where the bottlenecks really are in the supply chain, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you can do everything correctly on the demand and supply, right? You can do everything right on your on, on forecasting, but if the stuff actually can’t get off a boat onto a truck and into a store, then we’ve, we’ve kind of lost the battle. So I think focusing on some of those bottlenecks is, is really important. Great to hear that that situation has been rectified. I think it also ties into some research we did last year around just frontline workers in general. And the emphasis that companies and the more emphasis that companies are placing on, on frontline workers and trying to provide the same opportunities around things like flexibility that say more traditional office workers have, I think is really important.

Mike Griswold (00:12:24):

You know, we talk a lot about the impact the pandemic had on things like remote working and, and all that kinda stuff. I think what our research tells us is there’s opportunities for companies to do some of that flexibility that we’ve done for offices for our frontline workers, whether it’s the dock workers, whether it’s factory workers, plant workers, things like allowing, you know, um, schedule, uh, shift swapping, more flexibility around the shifts, all those types of things. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I think what I liked about the story are two things. One, we, we’ve, we’ve at least appeared to solve a bottleneck, a potential bottleneck, which I think is good. I also think it highlights an opportunity for us to think more about the frontline workers and what are some things we can be doing for them to create things like flexibility. Yeah.

Scott Luton (00:13:13):

Well said. Uh, Mike, a lot of their special loved your emphasis around the frontline workers because even though technology continues to and continues to be leveraged more to get around the labor issues of our time, still those brave and hardworking folks that still are creating value, we’ve gotta, we’ve gotta look after ’em and make sure that, um, that we empower ’em and they can be successful. But, uh, Greg, your thoughts on this labor, uh, contract that’s gonna keep the West Coast, hopefully, uh, humming right along. Well,

Greg White (00:13:42):

It is, isn’t it? I mean, it, the contract goes a good long while and it’s 32% pay increase, so there shouldn’t be much to complain about over the next, was it through 2028, Mike? I think it, I

Mike Griswold (00:13:54):

Believe so,

Greg White (00:13:55):

Yeah. So, I mean, I think people are getting paid. They got that, uh, little bonus kick for working during the Panda Pandemic that we talked about. So I, I mean, it, it should stabilize things in the ports. You never know. Unions have to earn their keep every year. Mm-hmm. So there will be much, um, gnashing of teeth, I’m sure over the years. But yeah, I mean, I think it’s important. This is the, this is the biggest port that, uh, in the states, right? So we have to make sure that this one operates. And obviously it wasn’t operating very well. So they’ve done some things, they did some things with human capacity, but they’ve also done some things with technological capacity that have allowed them to kind of get up to snuff. And it’s a, it’s very important there. Mm-hmm. Right. I know it affects more than Long Beach, of course. But Long Beach is the, is obviously the pivot point of the West.

Mike Griswold (00:14:49):

The other thing I wonder, Greg, ’cause your observation on, on the, the capacity is an important one, particularly on the people side. You know, you, I’m, I’m hoping that as this gets resolved, that it potentially could be a career opportunity for people that maybe weren’t necessarily thinking about this. Because at the end of the day, while this contract is in place, we’re still going to need enough bodies to, to Greg to your point, right? Yeah. As the stuff comes in, it’s still gonna have to get unloaded. And if it’s delayed because we don’t have enough people to run the equipment or run the technology to get the stuff off the ships, then we haven’t necessarily solved the bottleneck that I referred to. So hopefully Right. This now also could serve as maybe an impetus to get more people into the workforce, particularly in this area. ’cause it’s, it’s an incredibly important area for us to make sure we have enough people. Yeah.

Greg White (00:15:43):

I think a lot about Mike Row who has for Yes. Nearly a decade now, been encouraging people to get skilled jobs like this.

Mike Griswold (00:15:52):

Yes.

Greg White (00:15:52):

And I am starting, I mean, you know, I have two Gen Zers as, as children now, well, they’re both adults now. And I’m starting to hear more and more people of that generation saying, yeah, why go to college? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, right? I can, I can get good pay in skilled roles like this. And this is another evidence of that, right? I mean, we have to encourage folks to do these jobs that have to be done. And if it takes pay, it does. Yeah. So, right. You know, people will, people will change their minds a lot about hard work when the pay is much better. Right.

Scott Luton (00:16:29):

Or they do it.

Greg White (00:16:30):

It’s not, it’s not that different generation by generation, honestly.

Scott Luton (00:16:34):

So, well, not, it wasn’t in the Reuters article, but, but as I was reading in other publications about the, this, this done deal now, uh, that the port directors, uh, including the Port of LA director, shifted their attention to clawing back the business they’ve lost from other ports. And of course, there’s the, the, in, in some cases, some of that business will be easily won back. But in other cases, based on infrastructure and how the southeast and certain, um, uh, plants have been building out because of these shifts and these challenges, that’s gonna be tougher to get back some of that business loss. But we’ll keep our finger on the po uh, on the pulse. I’m gonna say finger on the port, no finger on the pulse <laugh> of, of what’s to come here. Um, all right. And Louise, thank you Luis and Mike and Greg. I think you may have been an Airwolf fan. Luis nailed it. Yes. Airwolf, I watched every episode of Airwolf back in the day. Could not get enough of that show. Uh, so Luis, looks like you’re a fellow fan. Alright, so Mike and Greg, shifting over to our next story.

Greg White (00:17:39):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>.

Scott Luton (00:17:40):

So, uh, the electronics industry, HP is planning to shift significant production of its laptops from China to Thailand, Mexico, and Vietnam. Now, as reported by Thailand Business News, first time here on one of our shows, the move is being made to reduce HP’s reliance on China, given, of course, the geopolitical concerns and rising manufacturing costs in the country amongst other reasons. Also, uh, industry heavyweight Dell, a competitor to HP, already had launched an initiative to not only make 20% of its laptops in Vietnam in this year, but also to exclude computer chips that were made in China. As many of you know, HP and Dell are both members of the Gartner Global Supply chain, top 25 for 2023. So, Mike, you know, both of those companies, uh, more than most, I would argue, uh, your thoughts on the, these production shifts.

Mike Griswold (00:18:36):

Yeah, I, I think it is, it’s a theme that we’ve been seeing for, for a while. We’ve been writing about it from, from the Gartner perspective, uh, really as this China plus one strategy where, you know, China, at least for, for the, the last couple of years has been seen as kind of your, your primary source of manufacturing. And there’s always been this discussion, but you need a plus one. Right Now, what I’m wondering is some of these countries that you highlighted, Thailand, Vietnam, Mexico, as their infrastructures start to ramp up to be able to handle some of this, I’m wondering if we’re gonna see more and more of this happening. Now, I don’t know that we’ll ever get to a point where there is a China zero strategy. I, i just don’t think for the foreseeable future, I just don’t know that that’s, you know, realistic given how much has already been invested in that country.

Mike Griswold (00:19:36):

But I, I’m seeing more and more, uh, companies expanding into these other areas. Now, the concern I have, uh, there’s actually, there’s a couple. One is, as more and more companies, especially in specialized industries like the high tech, as they start to move into these countries, is there enough local expertise to handle the influx of companies, especially in a specialized environment like high tech, right? You also wonder just from an overall infrastructure, water, power land, is there enough of those resources to support, you know, growth into these areas? Uh, and then certainly when you think about that Asia Pacific region weather, right? I mean, all it takes is for a, a, a cyclone to come through Thailand and your, your, your China plus one strategy puts you right back to China. So I applaud all of these companies. I think it’s the right thing to do to kind of hedge your betts, but you also, I think, need to keep an eye on who else is hedging their betts in that same area.

Mike Griswold (00:20:47):

And start to ask yourself, does that now put a different set of risks on us, um, around those, those locations? Because if you think about, you know, a lot of those countries were, uh, probably, if I think of Thailand, and my, my initial guess would be their number one industry is tourism, right? So how, if I’m Thailand, how do I start to shift from my number one industry was tourism to now something that’s probably on the complete opposite end of the spectrum in terms of what the country needs to provide in terms of resources for, for this type of manufacturing. If my number one industry is tourism, basically the only resource I have to provide is good weather <laugh>. Well, guess what? Right? When, when you’ve got Dell and these other folks coming in, right? That’s now not what you need to provide. So, uh, I think it’s a great strategy support, a hundred percent. I just think there, just think there’s things, there’s definitely first mover advantage for these companies, right? To get into Thailand and Vietnam and Mexico first. But think about other industries. The apparel industry is moving to Vietnam for, for apparel manufacturing as an example. What does that do to resources? So there, there’s, there’s a lot of, of kind of other considerations I think people need to have in the back of their mind as they’re looking to diversify in general, their manufacturing strategy.

Scott Luton (00:22:14):

Yeah. Well said. Uh, Mike, and you know what? We temporarily at least have lost Greg, and I bet it’s because I love talking any story involving China with Greg White <laugh>, and I think as he was getting ready to bring it today, we may have overloaded, um, his technology connection. So we’re gonna try to get Greg back, but I would just add, um, two quick thoughts. Mike Griswold. I think one, I think we’re seeing, uh, especially these large companies, they’re hedging their betts, you know, it’s like, uh, Dell, I think it was, they’re moving 20% of their laptop business. It’s like they’re taking several steps to kind of see the ripple effect, uh, and hedge those betts to see what’s next, right? Rather than pay, of course, which is the next impossible pickup en mass, you know, rip it out by the roots and move it.

Scott Luton (00:23:01):

And, and I think that will be a continuing, um, trend that a lot of companies follow. And secondly, but secondly, I, I’ll tell you, just practitioner, consumer, American, you name it, I’m really, tensions are extremely high right now in that part of country. It goes about being said. And now we’re starting to see other conversations and technology swaps between different countries. Uh, we’re still seeing a ripple effect of the u the, um, the us, uh, ensuring, uh, that companies don’t sell top end technology and chips to China. I just, I hope we can navigate through these waters, um, peacefully and find a way to negotiate and, and not, you know, not, uh, potentially create what would be the largest disruption we’ve, we’ve seen in, in modern history. So, uh, Greg weigh in, we’re talking about production shifts, and that last story from Thailand business news, your thoughts.

Greg White (00:23:53):

You know, the reading this article was fascinating because they talk about burying the lead. The lead is the very last line of the article where they say, however, after they say all of this stuff that I’m sure you guys have talked about, the supply chain for notebook computers is deeply rooted in China, making it difficult for companies to completely shift away. So to the, to the point you were making around Dell, it’s not even feasible to believe that they could shift away. And the truth is, even if they build them somewhere else, they’re still getting the chips from China. I mean, China is in control of 90 plus. Mike, did you give the actual number? Okay. It’s 90 plus percent of the, i, I, I don’t know what the number is above 90, but it’s way, way up there of, of the sourcing of all, all semiconductors, because all the way from the rare earth minerals all the way through the production of these, they have the greatest capacity on the planet.

Greg White (00:24:53):

Cumulatively, all of the countries in the world cannot provide as much rare earth minerals and, and labor and talent to build semiconductors as China can. So, uh, you know, to your point, I too bleed red, white, and blue. And, um, the, I would love to see it happen, but it’s not practical right now. It may be someday. And you know, right now, one of the challenges with semiconductors is the mining of these rare earth minerals, um, is incredibly destructive. And fortunately for the world, China doesn’t give any, give a about the, the environment. So they’re willing to, they’re willing to peel back the earth’s crust all over their country, right? Dig deep holes, whatever it takes. But if we want to have any chance of keeping up, we’re gonna have to go to where these rare earth minerals are and essentially destroy the planet in that spot.

Greg White (00:25:52):

So, you know, I’m a big believer, and I think it will have to come to this, that synthetics are the answer and need to be more rapidly developed. We know we can get the, a similar function from some meteorite minerals that can be reproduced apparently. Um, and they’re people working on those in deep dark holes, in deep, dark basements, right? But we need, we need to get that funding built up, lest we simply cha change, um, one form of earth’s destruction, fossil fuels for another form of earth’s destruction, which is the mining of, of all of these minerals. So, um, you know, we need to accelerate that. And that will also give us independence of Yes, Scott China. Yes. Right? <laugh>

Scott Luton (00:26:40):

Greg, man, you brought as just like, I, I mentioned to you, Mike, and as you know, uh, Greg brought it there. I maybe, who knows? And Mike, I get your response. What, and I love your comment there about synthetics, you know, maybe that, that that could be, uh, you know, the, the space program might bring a wrinkle back. Bring, bring an innovation back. There we go. And, uh, we’ll see how we can, we can really get away from the rare earth minerals. That’s, that’s to your point, Greg, so seemingly inseparable, uh, from the industry. Mike, your quick comment before we move on.

Mike Griswold (00:27:10):

Yeah. I think a couple, you, you are seeing some, um, of the high tech companies start to, to think about chip manufacturing here, right? To Greg’s point, it’s a long road. And I do think, you know, fundamentally, we have some really hard questions that we’re gonna have to answer the trade off between reliance on a particular country, environmental regulations, you know, long-term sustainability issues, right? We need to wrestle with those, and we need to be able to wrestle with those in adult-like conversations which are lacking mm-hmm. <affirmative>, which are lacking, right? So, yeah, that to me is going to be critical to our success is, is how do we have intelligent, rational, non-emotional discussions around some of the trade-offs that we’re gonna be faced with.

Scott Luton (00:28:00):

Yes. Well said. All stakeholders coming to the table, recognizing reality, taking the emotional out, and really finding a path forward. Mike, I agree with you. These adult-like conversations are in short supply

Mike Griswold (00:28:13):

<laugh>. Yes. Alright,

Scott Luton (00:28:15):

So Greg and Mike, man, great story there. We’re gonna shift. I wanna give a, you know, we were talking about resources, early resources, so important. We’ve got an upcoming session that we want to just, uh, give a quick blurb to September 26th. So folks, as Greg and I have talked about before, if you can do business with Walmart successfully, folks, you got a leg up. So if, whether you’re doing business with Walmart, you wanna do business with Walmart, or if you just wanna learn what makes those relationships successful, and you can apply it to, uh, all of your other business, hey, join us on the 26th September at 12 noon eastern time for three proven strategies to level up your business with Walmart and Greg, if you can do it with Walmart, man, that’s, that’s, uh, that’s what’s that song?

Greg White (00:28:57):

It’s like New York. New York, yes. <laugh>. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. Yes. Right.

Scott Luton (00:29:00):

Thank you, Craig. I was, my brain wasn’t moving fast enough, but New York, New York, uh, especially the Frank Sinatra version. All right. So moving, right? Only,

Greg White (00:29:11):

Only the Frank Sinatra version. Yes. <laugh>. There’s

Mike Griswold (00:29:14):

Only one version. <laugh>,

Greg White (00:29:15):

Right? That’s right. That’s right.

Scott Luton (00:29:16):

Fair enough, fair enough. All right. Keep me honest today, folks. Uh, all right. So we got, we did drop a couple links there. You can check out, uh, the session we were just talking about. We got Sylvia, Judy talking about how the Port of Charleston’s happy to assist any company expanding their business here in the States. I love that. Sylvia? Hey, the Port.

Greg White (00:29:32):

Hey, Scott. I did take a look at marine traffic. Yes, by the way. And Savannah has 10 ships anchored outside the port, and I think I reported some weeks back that it was down to zero. Yes. Let’s take a quick look if you proceed, and I’ll give you an update on, on Charleston.

Scott Luton (00:29:51):

Well, that’s perfect. Marine traffic.

Greg White (00:29:53):

<laugh>. Yeah. Sylvia can probably, yeah, it’s an app that shows you, or there it is. Uh, this is not a, this is not a paid endorsement, <laugh>, it’s not any kind of endorsement. It, obviously. Yeah, we got Don’t even focus. There you go. Wow. Okay. So it’ll show you like where ships are waiting, and I’m particularly sensitive to it because they ruin my view, you know, my view of the horizon when those ships are just over the horizon with all their lights on all night. Sounds selfish. Four, four chips outside of Charleston. Okay. So, so there’s room folks, if you want to go to Charleston, there is room. Come

Scott Luton (00:30:30):

On down to, so the, uh, the, the numbers there 10 outside of, uh, Savannah, four outside of Charleston. Is that right, Greg? 10 and four.

Greg White (00:30:40):

Uh, 10 out. Yeah. 10 and four. 10 and four, 10. Two and four. All right.

Scott Luton (00:30:43):

Well, and we’re gonna come, come back. So we’re gonna relaunch. So Mike, I don’t know if you remember, if you’re with us, uh, back before gr, Greg’s big European vacation, uh, uh, uh, or I should say, uh, sabbatical, uh, Greg sabbatical, right? ’cause you, it was all research driven and, and, um, that’s what

Greg White (00:31:00):

It was research driven, right?

Scott Luton (00:31:02):

Well, we had a knack, uh, Mike, where Greg had this index as he was reporting every time we went live with what was going on, uh, down at the, uh, ports of Georgia, just outside of Savannah. And I can’t remember what we called it, Greg, but it was about,

Greg White (00:31:16):

Oh, it had a dozen names. It was the, it was the global Hilton head port of Savannah, national, international Global, uh, index of, of port waiting or something like that. Who knows?

Scott Luton (00:31:33):

Oh, man. So you find on a Coolman Brothers movie or something, but good stuff there. But it, it

Greg White (00:31:36):

Got, it got up there, Mike. You know, when we were talking about, when we were talking about Long Beach, we started talking about Houston, Jackson, Savannah, and, and Charleston being, uh, alternatives to, to the, uh, jammed up ports in California. And it started jamming up ports all over the country, right? And then, uh, I think Savannah had a lift or two go down, uh, or maybe scheduled to go down, and that slowed them even a little bit. But they had just recently cleared all that. But I just realized, Mike, check me on this. I mean, it’s September, so Christmas. Oh, yeah. Goods are arriving now. Yes. Right? Yes. Yeah. Peak, sorry. We can’t call it Christmas anymore. <laugh> Peak season

Scott Luton (00:32:22):

On, on this show, we can, yes. It’s

Greg White (00:32:24):

Christmas. Yes. Right, right. Yeah. Right.

Scott Luton (00:32:27):

So we’re gonna look forward to those index updates and we’ll save the full name to a, a backend t-shirt coming to a store near y’all soon. Um,

Greg White (00:32:35):

It’s gonna have to be a double XL with the name

Scott Luton (00:32:36):

<laugh>. It’ll be alright. So moving, moving right along. Let’s see here. Our third store today, our dear friends at Supply Chain Dive who keep doing great work over there, they’re reporting on how Amazon shipping could really shake things up across the wild, wild parcel delivery world. Originally launched in 2020, if you remember, and then paused for a few years. Amazon shipping has relaunched in recent weeks, and the long awaited service offers to deliver goods in two to five days for shipments within the contiguous United States. I’ve always liked the word contiguous. Popular components that might drive growth are straightforward rates, supposedly no pesky add-on fees, and what’s promised to be a very fast claims resolution process. So, Greg, let’s get your thoughts here while we got you <laugh>.

Greg White (00:33:24):

While we got you

Scott Luton (00:33:25):

<laugh>. It took

Greg White (00:33:26):

Me a little while to pick up on that. Yeah. While you still got me. Um, we’ve talked about this with some of the small and regional carriers that offer these services. The, um, you know, the ones that are specialty carriers or last mile or whatever. But the truth is that it’s a very, that is a very, very complex and obfuscated environment where you might not find out what it costs you to ship your goods until after they’re delivered. And that’s largely due to the way that the two other big carriers FedEx and U p s have their contracts set up, which is why freight auditing companies even exist is because they’ve made the, the fee structure so complex that people can’t even figure out if they’re being ripped off or not. But what they can figure out is that, you know, they can’t know what it’s gonna cost them some so very often until the goods are already delivered, and by then the margin is lost.

Greg White (00:34:21):

So Amazon proposes a, a solution, potential solution to that. Their fees are much more straightforward. They, they go everywhere. FedEx and u p s do. I can verify that. ’cause I’m literally at the end of the world and I, I see as many Amazon vehicles as I see FedEx and u p s, I’m in my little end of the street. So seriously, if you drove down my street any further, you’d be in the ocean. So, uh, I think that seeing that they can get to those fringe areas, obviously, you know, created by the ubiquitousness of their retail trade, they’ve turned, they have made a, a habit of turning those kind of services into globally available services. They did it with a w s, which is the biggest profit center in the company. They needed big servers to run these big stores and marketplaces online. They intentionally built in excess capacity as they built the hundreds and thousands of, of warehouses and delivery centers and all the other names they have form sort centers and whatnot.

Greg White (00:35:29):

They’ve intentionally built in additional capacity to be able to have, have a shared, uh, scale economy shared model where you can benefit from the fact that they’ve already got an up and running very efficient practice for unit shipment. And they’re doing the same thing with these, with, you know, throughout the entire supply chain. So I think they’re a very venerable force as if that needs to be said when you’re talking about Amazon <laugh>. Right. Well, um, and you know that for years I’ve been predicting that 10 years from now, <laugh>, I just keep predicting it every year and pushing out that 10th year, one of these three will not be around. I mean, it’s actually looking better for FedEx. It was looking really bad for FedEx. They looked like they were gonna be in big trouble over the last couple years, but it’s actually looking better for them. Um, but maybe we will have three primary carriers like this. Yep.

Scott Luton (00:36:24):

Alright, Mike, that’s quite a salvo from Greg. Your thoughts here on Amazon shipping, Mike?

Mike Griswold (00:36:28):

Yeah, I, I guess when I look at Amazon, you know, the, you you think about their ability to disrupt markets, right? That that is a core competency of theirs. The ability to, to have enough money and time, which a lot of companies don’t. Amazon does enough money and time to sort things out that are important to them. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I think that what, what I take away from this article is, is they have identified an opportunity to make things simpler, right? The fee structure that you talked about, there is enough demand, particularly from small to medium bus, medium-sized businesses. Greg, to your point where every penny matters, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, if I’m Walmart or I’m Kroger, or I’m these big retailers that still use FedEx and u p s, you know, a lot of this is gonna be rounding errors to them. The fact that they can’t sort out the fees is, is like not on their list of things to worry about.

Mike Griswold (00:37:30):

That’s not one of them. So I, I believe, Greg, that in 10 years there will be three, right? Amazon will be a very viable third, even if it’s to a, a smaller organizational size. Because at the end of the day, they figure out how to make things simpler, easier, and cheaper. That’s just what they do. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it may take them a little bit longer to get this sorted out, but I, I agree with you Greg. Um, and, and my house is a long way from the ocean, but I see, yeah, I see tons of the Amazon trucks, trucks, um, tons. And, you know, they’re really good at figuring out, you know, how to use an existing infrastructure that you mentioned. They’re really good at understanding capacity. So, so to me, if I was FedEx and U P Ss, I think it’s now time to figure out what do we need to do to keep them at arm’s length mm-hmm. <affirmative>, while you have some time. ’cause I think if, if we could have, you know, Mr. Peabody’s way back machine <laugh>, I, I think retailers would now recognize Amazon for the threat that it is, and make decisions vary differently than they made at that time. Things like online shopping, as an example. So, so I’m not surprised by this and, and I do not, I would not discount, uh, Amazon in this particular kind kind of industry.

Scott Luton (00:38:59):

Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. So I gotta go back. Yep. Mention that a FedEx, it’s been a long time since I watched Castaway, right? The Tom Hanks movie, late nineties. I’d forgotten just how prominently in like every third shot it feels like that FedEx was in that, including what I completely missed in the first movie, Greg. And my first time I watched Castaway is when Tom Hanks is coming back and he’s been rescued and he’s on the plane, private plane coming back, and they’re, they’re saying, okay, it’s gonna be a simple ceremony. Fred Smith wants to talk to you for a second. And then they even mentioned the exec, you know, Fred Smith in that movie. Um, so

Greg White (00:39:35):

That was great product placement. No kidding on their part, wasn’t it?

Mike Griswold (00:39:38):

Well, yeah, it was right until the plane crashed and then maybe not so much

Scott Luton (00:39:43):

And, and Tom was going through all the FedEx packages, so, you know, but yeah, <laugh>, nevertheless, uh, I like y’all’s predictions that 10 years from now, uh, I think that’s, uh, I think there’s a lot of truth there. And, and if both of y’all agree and stand on that prediction, folks, it’s gonna happen. Odds on you can place that bet down in Vegas. Um, alright, well

Greg White (00:40:03):

There will be three. Yeah, right there, there will unquestionably be three. I don’t know what three, right? I mean, the way I see it is any one of these smaller companies that we talk to frequently that are trying to fill this gap, and Amazon and maybe Walmart, who also has a similar service to what, what, uh, Amazon has. I mean, it could be anyone, but I think for the, the model to be sustainable, and this is where it becomes very difficult for old companies. It is, I think Walmart and or Walmart, I think U p Ss and FedEx, they have to rethink their pricing model and figure out how to be profitable in the way that hopefully Amazon is. Yeah. I mean, you know, the truth is Amazon can afford to lose money on this. So we never know which of these ventures are really profitable because they don’t make money on retail. Right. Amazingly, with all the fees and everything, they don’t make money on that. They make money on a w s there’s a possibility to make money on what they’re doing here. Yeah. But yeah, anyway, I think, I think there will unquestionably be three whether this is, as Mike you said, a real disruption. And, and I think it is, and it, whether u p s and FedEx can adapt to that or not, is yet to be seen.

Mike Griswold (00:41:26):

I mean, I, I think it comes down to, you know, Jeff just sends one less rocket to space, right? Right. And then he, he funds, he funds some more trucks here on Earth, right? Yeah. I mean, that’s what it comes down to.

Scott Luton (00:41:37):

There you go. I

Greg White (00:41:38):

Mean, if you think about it from that standpoint though, is Amazon still a tech company? If oh, predominantly what they do is rent servers Yep. And, and fill trucks. I mean, so you’ve gotta think about whether, and I think they’re starting to feel some of that pressure in their stock now, whether they get the big multiples that tech companies get, if they are effectively a logistics retail marketplace, we know what the margins are there. That’s pretty well established and, and, uh, you know, uh, I can’t remember even what we used to call it. But anyway, um, cloud services company, well,

Mike Griswold (00:42:14):

Sorry, I know you wanna transition, Scott, but one last point. I mean, you raise a great observation, Greg, as I think about my old top 25 hat, I mean, we, we continue to put Amazon in that retail category at some point. We probably have to rethink that. Yeah. Because you’re exactly right, right? Where their revenue comes from makes them look a lot more like Microsoft and those types of companies than they do a traditional retailer. So yeah, it’s, they’re a fascinating company to keep an eye on.

Scott Luton (00:42:45):

That’s

Greg White (00:42:46):

A good point. Yeah,

Scott Luton (00:42:46):

No doubt. Not where they started, which was exactly, of course, retail and to where they have vastly and quickly and successfully evolved. Great, great discussion here, Greg and Mike. Fascinating. All right. So we’re gonna speak to, in our four story here today, we’re talking about one of our favorite, longtime favorite companies and rest in peace, one, Sandra McQuillan. Uh, Sandra, your ears have been burning, uh, for years now, really, Greg, based on all of our conversations, uh, with her. But so Mon Lee’s Mon Lee’s International plans to significantly grow its investment and collaboration with startups in the months ahead. Now, according to Food Dive, the company’s Snack Futures initiative plans to grow its portfolio from five current companies to at least more than 10 by 2030. Mondelez says that Snack Futures Venture helps to boost growth, evolution, and entrepreneurial thinking across the enterprise. Greg, I’m really interested to hear your thoughts here related to, uh, this Snack, snack Futures initiative.

Greg White (00:43:46):

I mean, I, I think there’s a lot of opportunities out there. Uh, I gotta tell you, I’m not as tuned into food products as such, especially not snacks and the startup environment around that, but I know what the trying to do, right? They want to expand into other areas. Um, and Mondelez has typically, they’ve acquired their way to where they are, right? They didn’t create Oreos. They bought Oreos. What, and by the way, thank you <laugh>, because whatever it takes to keep Oreos around, yes. Um, I’d just love for you guys to put the middle back in it. Now, now that we’re past the pandemic, can you put, yeah. Anyway, but I, you know, a lot of companies grow by acquisition and now this thing called Corporate Venture, which is what, what Mondelez what we’re talking about here with Mondelez, that is a big, big thing because I think a lot of these companies, they feel like it’s been done, whatever it is, it all has been done.

Greg White (00:44:43):

And, and they’re in a position where it’s hard for them to innovate. And rather than be on the outside looking in with some of this innovation that’s happening with these small companies, they wanna be a pars part of it. And they’re willing to invest chunks of money here and there into a hundred or a thousand or whatever companies to have. I have the right to have eyes on that company, maybe even have first right of refusal if, you know, if something big happens or if the company goes up for sale or one of their products hits or whatever, and be able to continue to expand their business that way. So I think it’s a shift in strategy we’ve seen in other markets. It’s very active right now. I mean, Mondelez is just one prominent example, but I can tell you that in the wine and spirits in the beverage industry, it’s very hot.

Greg White (00:45:33):

And I think in the snack industry it’s similarly so, right? People see the generational shift happening where people want healthier products. And I mean, as much as I love Oreos, and I think anyone, if they were honest, would love Oreos. My brother who’s a vegan loves Oreos because while they’re basically murder in a bag, they are vegan. So they’re not great for you. They taste great, and they are vegan <laugh>. So, um, but I, but I think, uh, you know, as people, as people are leading healthier lifestyles, that’s gonna be something that’s gonna become part, a bigger part of the portfolio in the snack world. It already is. And, and Mondelez wants a piece of it. Yeah. So to speak.

Scott Luton (00:46:20):

Uh, well said Gray. Like that little last comment there, uh, a piece of it talking about food. Alright, Mike, your thoughts around this, this new story here,

Mike Griswold (00:46:29):

Uh, deep fried Oreos. We don’t need to talk anymore about that, you

Greg White (00:46:33):

Know, enough said, most state fair everywhere.

Mike Griswold (00:46:35):

Exactly. Yeah. Um, I agree with Greg completely. I I think one of the interesting, uh, and I’m glad you, you led with Greg because of his, his background and, and his entrepreneurial spirit. I mean, I think when, when I look across our supply chain top 25, this is not, this is not, as Greg alluded to, this is not new news necessarily, right? I think if you look at top 25 companies, a lot of them are well established. And what they’re looking for is how do we instill that entrepreneurial spirit in our organization that maybe has been around 150 years. And this is one way to do it, is to find these small upstart companies to, and, and to bring some of that either directly maybe through acquisition or indirectly through just cross experiences. How do we bring that, that more nimble entrepreneurial spirit into our organization?

Mike Griswold (00:47:33):

If I think about a different segment in a different company looking at this through that same lens as Walmart, I mean, if you were to Google the, the number of technology acquisitions that Walmart has made of small tech companies, this is the food equivalent of that, right? Where Walmart said, Hey, here’s some great technology. I’m not gonna invest my own energy in building this. I’m gonna go buy it. And I think when you look across food and beverage companies, there’s a similar mindset, you know, j and j Johnson and Johnson has a whole part of their business, which is looking at entrepreneurial, younger companies that they can bring into the portfolio. So I think when I look at some of these, these more well established organizations, which is code for long, you know, long and old, uh, uh, corporations, you need to be looking outside of your organization oftentimes for some of these new ideas. They’re gonna come from these smaller companies. And it’s how do you bring that spirit and those insights into your organization? And I think Mondelez is a really good example of that. Um, as is Walmart on the technology side.

Scott Luton (00:48:46):

Hmm. Uh, interesting stuff there. Greg and Mike, for the sake of time, for the sake of time. So Greg, you and I, uh, met with a chief supply chain officer this morning and had a great conversation. And it, it, he touched on generative AI at the very end and some really powerful things that they were doing in a week’s time that took ’em six months to do previously saved a ton, ton of money with impact while they were doing it. Um, along those lines, Mike, you, you, uh, you know, you talk and, uh, lead a a number of different initiatives in the industry. You’re often accused as being the, the smartest one in the room, uh, Mike, Greg, right? We’ve had a lot of fun with those conversations, but Mike, you got your finger on the pulse and talked with a lot of business leaders from time to time over the last month or so. What’s been one of the eureka moments you’ve had in connecting with industry?

Mike Griswold (00:49:32):

Yeah, and I think, I don’t know whether it was probably knowing you, Scott, it was planned, but, but it is generative AI topic. We’re taking that very seriously here at Gartner in terms of how we think about it as a topic to talk to our clients about. We’re thinking about it very seriously around how do we use it as a research company. But I think what I’m hearing from companies, uh, across Gartner is, is a recognition that, that this is now here, right? It’s not a, a fad, it’s not a flavor of the month. It, it is here to stay. How do we use it? What are the use cases? How do we use it to create value for our organization? A lot of those, frankly, are still questions, you know, even from us on the Gartner side, still trying to sort out answers. But I think the, the eureka moment for me, which is how you tease this, is organizations need to be thinking about it. They need to understand chat, G B T and the other kind of, you know, similar types of capabilities that are out there and start to think about how is this gonna change the way we work and the way we work is in, is unfortunately very broad, right? It can be everything from how do we design widgets to how do we answer customer calls, right? That’s a pretty wide spectrum where I think chat, G B T and generative AI are all gonna play at some point.

Scott Luton (00:51:06):

Mm,

Greg White (00:51:07):

Mm-hmm.

Scott Luton (00:51:07):

<affirmative>. All right. So Greg, uh, for the sake of time, your quick, uh, response to what Greg’s just, uh, Mike’s just talking about there.

Greg White (00:51:13):

I mean, the specific incident we were talking about replaced approximately 100 consultants for six months. So that’s the power that exists there and accomplished it in a fraction of the cost in a fraction of the time a week. So that’s the power that we’re talking about here. And that was a real, this was not the party trick that is chat G P T, right? Right. This was real generative ai, the way that he, he who probably can’t be named right <laugh>, but love said it, it was an incredibly complex project and they just made it happen. They were decomposing the products, all of the products in every, in every single store to identify the core components and raw materials therein, and then have a conversation with their suppliers about the difficulty in acquiring these, or the eth ethics of acquiring these, or the cost and how to deal with inflation and deflation around some of these, um, commodities. So genius stuff. Yep. Right. Um, so it’s real and it’s here.

Mike Griswold (00:52:24):

It’s

Greg White (00:52:24):

Here. It’s here now.

Scott Luton (00:52:25):

Yep. Well said Greg. Enjoyed that. Uh, Mike, thanks for sharing. And, and that wasn’t planned, believe it or not, wasn’t planned. I just think that’s, it’s so front and center with so many supply chain leaders that we’re talking to behind closed doors, in front of closed doors, you name it. Um, alright. Yeah. Final two questions for you, Mike, and I’m gonna pop up the top 25 again here. Um, what’s coming up next with Gartner? Uh, and then number two, how can folks connect with you?

Mike Griswold (00:52:49):

So, uh, we’ll do the, we’ll do them in reverse order, LinkedIn, uh, email mike doug griswold gartner.com. Uh, easiest way to, to get ahold of me. Um, and again, similar to last month, I’m gonna continue to, to, to bang the drum for our upcoming planning summits, uh, London and October, Phoenix in November. If you have any, um, touch points with the world of planning, those are two events, um, that you’ll wanna keep an eye on

Scott Luton (00:53:15):

London and October Phoenix in

Mike Griswold (00:53:18):

November.

Scott Luton (00:53:19):

November. Okay. So, but back to back. Okay. Yes. Outstanding. And folks, you can learn more about those events at the, uh, the Gartner, uh, website or reach out to Mike, who has continued to be going three, three years now. Greg, Mike has continued to get more competitive and utilize the LinkedIn application more. Is that right? Yes,

Mike Griswold (00:53:41):

Yes. Uh, I still have a long way to go, but yes, uh, I, I’m, I’m slowly working my way up the link, the, uh, LinkedIn food chain

Scott Luton (00:53:51):

Way. We appreciate it. We always appreciate your, uh, monthly visits with us and these conversations and, and these truckload of brilliant insights. So want to thank Mike Griswold, vice president analysts with Gartner, and we’ll see you next month. Mike.

Mike Griswold (00:54:03):

Thanks guys. Thanks Mike. Take care.

Scott Luton (00:54:05):

Alrighty. Take care.

Greg White (00:54:06):

Alright,

Scott Luton (00:54:07):

Greg, actually, from a timing standpoint, it was, we are right on time and we covered a lot of serious ground and added an extra news story here today with, uh, with Mike and with you. But man, y’all brought it today. So Greg, I wanna say hello first off, uh, to memory. Memory. Appreciate that. Great. Always great to have you with us. Yeah,

Greg White (00:54:26):

My gosh, it’s late her time, isn’t it? Yeah. Good

Scott Luton (00:54:29):

Night. Good morning. Wherever you are. She says memory, keep on doing big things out in the industry. Uh, Greg, it is fascinating to me as I’m, I’m still unpacking all the different ways that generative AI can be used. Uh, you are much more, much more, you’re a technological guru compared to, uh, my, uh, you know, hey, I’ll, I’ll ask, I’ll ask in computer science for a semester, Greg, and only barely by the skin of my teeth. So whether you touched on something there that we need to keep front and center or something else that you and Mike, uh, shared throughout the course of the hour, what’s your final thought here today?

Greg White (00:55:08):

Well, I think even what we were talking about there is just the tip of the iceberg for generative ai, because I think people have limited generative eye to thinking about reading content. Okay. So if you use the whole name, it’s generative adversarial networks. And what that means is you’re an AI bot and I’m an AI bot, and I say, Hey, the world looks like this and I run that up against you. And you go, no, it doesn’t look like that. It looks like this. And I go, no, it doesn’t look like. And these two things, it’s basically an argue phone <laugh>. These two, these two methodologies come to what can be proven based on data, right? Or in this case, in the case of chat, G p t, the available content out there in the Internets. Yep. So this is a learning AI tool. It continues to learn and it continues to rationalize by basically arguing with itself until it has eliminated all the fallacies in its argument. If only we could get politicians to do that, um, rather

Scott Luton (00:56:10):

Than just mention the names, but,

Greg White (00:56:12):

But that’s why it learns and operates so fast. It also can process all of that data. It can collect and process all that data virtually, instantaneously, and then rationalize it. So Yeah. It is coming and it will get more powerful and it’s gonna be incredibly helpful, uh, to us. Right? Like any ai we have to be concerned about, um, you know, about whether it could go off the rails, but I think there are a lot more mad men in terms of human beings out there that we somehow seem to keep on the rails. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And then if we can’t, the Navy seals take care of it. Thanks boys. So maybe we need a, a Navy Seals for ai. Yes. AI Navy Seals. So if anyone goes off the rails, they like sneak into their ecosystem and Zapper Yeah.

Greg White (00:57:00):

<laugh>. But I, I mean, I think there’s a, you know, there’s a, a good case for the fact that we are just scratching the surface. Yes. Chat. G P T is a party trick. Well, right. And what it’s meant to do is to give you, give, give a simple solution to people that allows just as common folk to conceptualize what it does and how it works. Remember when everyone, nobody knew what the definition of cloud was. Now everybody knows what that means. Right. It was very much a similar message and a similar kind of, um, media education, uh, exercise. So there’s, there’s a lot more power where that came from. Yep.

Scott Luton (00:57:41):

Two quick thoughts. I look forward to the Creator movie, uh, which I thought the trailer has been looking, uh, really, uh, interesting. Only in movie theaters. So we’ll be, have to, um, get the whole family out for that. And then secondly, uh, Greg, some to some of what you were touching on, I’m hoping that that as, as gen AI continues to get more powerful, more practical, more widespread, uh, more organizations embracing it, like the chief supply chain officer we, we touched on earlier. I’m hoping it’s gonna be easier to use and embrace and bring into an operational organization to achieve real outcomes. Right. Do you, you quick thought there, Greg, like, like for the, for the masses like Greg?

Greg White (00:58:22):

I don’t know. I mean, I, I think there’s, there’s always an application for these things. Uh, I mean, I think everything is about the masses adopting it. I mean, we had to convince people who will never even know they’re using the cloud, what the cloud was and that it was useful. Right. I mean, we have to do the same thing. And it’s mostly about creating comfort for the average person to be accepting of this new technology and not fearful of it. So, I mean, I, I think that’s, that’s probably the biggest thing. But the power, I’m sorry, I just can’t get off the power of it. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>.

Scott Luton (00:59:00):

Yep. That’s good. Good, good, good. Alright folks. Uh, fair. You’ve got a question? Yes. The recording. That’s a great question. It’s absolutely shareable. It’s shareable now. It’s shareable later. It’s shareable today. It’ll be shareable tomorrow. It’s gonna ride right across us.

Greg White (00:59:17):

It’s gonna be on YouTube.

Scott Luton (00:59:18):

That’s right. So find and share and fair, great to have you here with us today as well. Okay. We gotta leave it there. Uh, big thanks to Catherine behind the scenes here today. Thanks for helping to make production happen. Big thanks to Mike Griswold, the one and only from Gartner for the conversation. Greg Big, I really enjoyed your commentary and expertise you shared today. Safe travels as football season for the N F L kicks off in earnest soon. Right.

Greg White (00:59:47):

Kicks off in Kansas City tomorrow. Yes. At, uh, eight 30 Eastern and the Kansas City Chiefs play The Detroit Lions <laugh>.

Scott Luton (00:59:57):

I wish I, I almost had this c b s theme song, but I couldn’t quite get it out. But, and to our friends at C N Ss, hey, get those oysters grilled and ready. ’cause we are headed your way this afternoon. We’ll be right there.

Greg White (01:00:07):

<laugh>. Look forward to seeing you there,

Scott Luton (01:00:08):

<laugh>. I do too. Hey, thanks for being apart with us and I know we couldn’t hit everybody’s comment and question here in the, in the chat today. But thanks for being here. Uh, let us know what you think, you know, chime in, let us know what you think of our programming. We’re always looking for new ideas, angles, you name it. As we continue to cover global supply chain like no other. Hey, on behalf of our entire team here at Supply Chain now, Scott Luton challenging you to do good, to give forward and to be the change. And with that said, we see next time right back here at Supply Chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (01:00:38):

Thanks for being a part of our supply chain now, community. Check out all of our programming@supplychainnow.com and make sure you subscribe to Supply Chain now, anywhere you listen to podcasts. And follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on Supply Chain. Now.

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Featured Guests

Mike Griswold serves as Vice President Analyst with Gartner’s Consumer Value Chain team, focusing on the retail supply chain. He is responsible for assisting supply leaders in understanding and implementing demand-driven supply chain principles that improve the performance of their supply chain. Mr. Griswold joined Gartner through the company’s acquisition of AMR. Previous roles include helping line-of-business users align corporate strategy with their supply chain process and technology initiatives. One recent study published by a team of Gartner analysts, including Mike Griswold is Retail Supply Chain Outlook 2019: Elevating the Consumer’s Shopping Experience. Mr. Griswold holds a BS in Business Management from Canisius College and an MBA from the Whittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire. Learn more about Gartner here: www.gartner.com

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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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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Vicki White

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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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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

Katherine Hintz, MBA is a marketing professional 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 Reuter

Host

From humble beginnings working the import docks, representing Fortune 500 giants, Ford, Michelin Tire, and Black & Decker; to Amazon technology patent holder and Nordstrom Change Leader, Kimberly Reuter has designed, implemented, and optimized best-in-class, highly scalable global logistics and retail operations all over the world. Kimberly’s ability to set strategic vision supported by bomb-proof processes, built on decades of hands-on experience, has elevated her to legendary status. Sought after by her peers and executives for her intellectual capital and keen insights, Kimberly is a thought leader in the retail logistics industry.

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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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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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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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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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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

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

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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Tandreia Bellamy

Host

Tandreia Bellamy retired as the Vice President of Industrial Engineering for UPS Supply Chain Solutions which included the Global Logistics, Global Freight Forwarding and UPS Freight business units. She was responsible for operations strategy and planning, asset management, forecasting, and technology tool development to optimize sustainable efficiency while driving world class service.

Tandreia held similar positions at the business unit level for Global Logistics and Global Freight forwarding. As the leader of the Global Logistics engineering function, she directed all industrial engineering activies related to distribution, service parts logistics (post-sales support), and mail innovations (low cost, light weight shipping partnership with the USPS). Between these roles Tandreia helped to establish the Advanced Technology Group which was formed to research and develop cutting edge solutions focused on reducing reliance on manual labor.

Tandreia began her career in 1986 as a part-time hourly manual package handling employee. She spent the great majority of her career in the small package business unit which is responsible for the pick-up, sort, transport and delivery of packages domestically. She held various positions in Industrial Engineering, Marketing, Inside and On-road operations in Central Florida before transferring to Atlanta for a position in Corporate Product Development and Corporate Industrial Engineering. Tandreia later held IE leadership roles in Nebraska, Minnesota and Chicago. In her final role in small package she was an IE VP responsible for all aspects of IE, technology support and quality for the 25 states on the western half of the country.
Tandreia is currently a Director for the University of Central Florida (UCF) Foundation Board and also serves on their Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Previously Tandreia served on the Executive Advisory Board for Virginia Tech’s IE Department and the Association for Supply Chain Management. She served on the Board of Trustees for ChildServ (a Chicago child and family services non-profit) and also served on the Texas A&M and Tuskegee Engineering Advisory Boards. In 2006 she was named Business Advisor of the Year by INROADS, in 2009 she was recognized as a Technology All-Star at the Women of Color in STEM conference and in 2019 she honored as a UCF Distinguished Aluma by the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems.

Tandreia holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems from UCF. Her greatest accomplishment, however, is being the proud mother of two college students, Ruby (24) and Anthony (22).

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Marty Parker

Host

Marty Parker serves as both the CEO & Founder of Adæpt Advising and an award-winning Senior Lecturer (Teaching Professor) in Supply Chain and Operations Management at the University of Georgia. He has 30 years of experience as a COO, CMO, CSO (Chief Strategy Officer), VP of Operations, VP of Marketing and Process Engineer. He founded and leads UGA’s Supply Chain Advisory Board, serves as the Academic Director of UGA’s Leaders Academy, and serves on multiple company advisory boards including the Trucking Profitability Strategies Conference, Zion Solutions Group and Carlton Creative Company.

Marty enjoys helping people and companies be successful. Through UGA, Marty is passionate about his students, helping them network and find internships and jobs. He does this through several hundred one-on-one zoom meetings each year with his students and former students. Through Adæpt Advising, Marty has organized an excellent team of affiliates that he works with to help companies grow and succeed. He does this by helping c-suite executives improve their skills, develop better leaders, engage their workforce, improve processes, and develop strategic plans with detailed action steps and financial targets. Marty believes that excellence in supply chain management comes from the understanding the intersection of leadership, culture, and technology, working across all parts of the organization to meet customer needs, maximize profit and minimize costs.

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

Laura Lopez serves as our Supply Chain Now Marketing Coordinator. She graduated from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente in Mexico with a degree in marketing. Laura loves everything digital because she sees the potential it holds for companies in the marketing industry. Her passion for creativity and thinking outside the box led her to pursue a career in marketing. With experience in fields like accounting, digital marketing, and restaurants, she clearly enjoys taking on challenges. Laura lives the best of both worlds - you'll either catch her hanging out with her friends soaking up the sun in Mexico or flying out to visit her family in California!

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Jake Barr

Host

An acknowledged industry leader, Jake Barr now serves as CEO for BlueWorld Supply Chain Consulting, providing support to a cross section of Fortune 500 companies such as Cargill, Caterpillar, Colgate, Dow/Dupont, Firmenich, 3M, Merck, Bayer/Monsanto, Newell Brands, Kimberly Clark, Nestle, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Sanofi, Estee Lauder and Coty among others. He's also devoted time to engagements in public health sector work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At P&G, he managed the breakthrough delivery of an E2E (End to End) Planning Transformation effort, creating control towers which now manage the daily business globally. He is recognized as the architect for P&G’s demand driven supply chain strategy – referenced as a “Consumer Driven Supply Chain” transformation. Jake began his career with P&G in Finance in Risk Analysis and then moved into Operations. He has experience in building supply network capability globally through leadership assignments in Asia, Latin America, North America and the Middle East. He currently serves as a Research Associate for MIT; a member of Supply Chain Industry Advisory Council; Member of Gartner’s Supply Chain Think Tank; Consumer Goods “League of Leaders“; and a recipient of the 2015 - 2021 Supply Chain “Pro’s to Know” Award. He has been recognized as a University of Kentucky Fellow.

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Marcia Williams

Host

Marcia Williams, Managing Partner of USM Supply Chain, has 18 years of experience in Supply Chain, with expertise in optimizing Supply Chain-Finance Planning (S&OP/ IBP) at Large Fast-Growing CPGs for greater profitability and improved cash flows. Marcia has helped mid-sized and large companies including Lindt Chocolates, Hershey, and Coty. She holds an MBA from Michigan State University and a degree in Accounting from Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay (South America). Marcia is also a Forbes Council Contributor based out of New York, and author of the book series Supply Chains with Maria in storytelling style. A recent speaker’s engagement is Marcia TEDx Talk: TEDxMSU - How Supply Chain Impacts You: A Transformational Journey.

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Constantine Limberakis

Host

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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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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Greg White

Principal & Host

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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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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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 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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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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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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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

Creative Manager & Executive Producer

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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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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.