Supply Chain Now
Episode 1106

In terms of leadership, I think you need to be in the arena with your people supporting them, not sitting in an office.

-Gladis Araujo, Global Supply Chain Strategy Vice President at Mattel, Inc.

Episode Summary

Supply chain leaders have certainly proven themselves to be fighters over the last few years. Gladis Araujo, Global Supply Chain Strategy Vice President at Mattel, believes they have earned the label ‘gladiator.’ They face many opponents: psychological challenges, physical challenges, constant pressure, and unfavorable conditions. And, like gladiators, supply chain leaders are unbeatable when they fight as a team.

Gladis is a global business leader with over 25 years’ experience in quality and supply chain. Today she is responsible for the global quality digital transformation, licensing, nearshoring initiatives in LATAM, and logistics at the number one toy company in the world. Gladis is also dedicated to a number of initiatives and community organizations aimed at supporting women all over the world.

In this livestream-based interview, Gladis speaks with Scott Luton and guest co-host Astrid Aubert with Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now En Español about:

• The complex regulatory requirements that must be satisfied when manufacturing toys and products for children

• Why companies and their suppliers have to work collaboratively to satisfy challenges like sustainability without raising costs for customers

• Changing dynamics that make manufacturing a global exercise – and a highly localized one

• Quick tips for becoming the best supply chain executive you can be




Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

Welcome to Supply Chain. Now, the voice of global supply chain supply chain now focuses on the best in the business for our worldwide audience, the people, the technologies, the best practices, and today’s critical issues, the challenges and opportunities. Stay tuned to hear from Those Making Global Business happen right here on supply chain now.

Scott Luton (00:31):

Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, Scott Luton and special guest, Astrid Aubery, here with you on Supply Chain. Now, welcome to today’s livestream, Astrid. How you doing today?

Astrid Aubery (00:43):

Good. I’m really excited about this. Thank you for this invitation. I’m ready for do this.

Scott Luton (00:49):

<laugh>, we have a big conversation today, right? Yes,

Astrid Aubery (00:51):

Yes, we have. We have an amazing guest. So I’m, uh, very excited about this.

Scott Luton (00:57):

Oh, wonderful. If you can’t tell, Astra and I both are excited about, uh, a wonderful repeat guest, an extraordinary repeat guest we’re having back with us here at Supply Chain. Now, back, as we’d like to say by popular Demand. So we have Gladis Araujo with Mattel, who’s gonna be joining us momentarily. Now. Now, Astrid, as you know, we’re gonna be diving into Nearshoring trends, career advice, uh, some of the things that are going on in Ukraine, but, but, uh, some of the good things to help folks in that region, um, and Astrid, what it means to be a supply chain gladiator. So it should be an, uh, intriguing conversation. I’m, I’m, I’m looking forward to getting that defined, aren’t you, Astrid?

Astrid Aubery (01:38):

Yes, this is, yes. Uh, really excited about this talk with Gladys. So I’m more than ready for learn and to know about her.

Scott Luton (01:46):

Astra, do you know it? Remind, when I hear the term gladiator, I, I think of like a, a, a, um, an armor. Armor. You gotta have on to do supply chain in 2023. But we’re gonna find out from Gladyis. And folks, we want to hear from you as well. So we already got a couple of folks. Hey, I, I gotta go ahead and pull in one Astrid, cause this is my mom. This is Leah Luton. I know she’s got a lunch with some friends coming up. So she popped in early. She says, Hey, Astrid, nice to meet you. Hey, Scott. Uh, so Astrid’s, good to have your mom, our mom with us here, huh?

Astrid Aubery (02:18):

Yes. Yes. Hello. Mom.

Scott Luton (02:20):

<laugh>. That’s right. Uh, and Nuria, hello to you from Bristol. I bet that’s Bristol, uh, I guess Bristol, North Carolina, maybe. But Nuria great to have you via LinkedIn, uh, confirm that. We love, we love connecting dots where our listeners and viewers are tuned in from. But, uh, and so we wanna hear from y’all. Y y’all keep it coming. Astrid, really quick before we get, uh, Gladys in here, and we all experience the Gladys Factor cause it’s coming. And, and I tell you, you’re gonna leave here in an hour, and you’re gonna have, you’re gonna look so much differently at the rest of your day. You’re gonna have a spring in your step, I promise. But before we get there, Astrid, I wanna give a shout out to all of our friends at Vector Global Logistics. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, doing great work across the globe in particular, love the work You’all doing with, uh, logistics, with purpose podcast, uh, supply chain, now in ESP Spaniel podcast programming.

Scott Luton (03:11):

You and Sophia, many others do great work there. And Astrid, I know you and I both want to invite folks to be part of this, leveraging logistics for Ukraine Initiative. This has been going on for over a year, uh, led really created and led by the Vector Global Logistics team, um, Astrid, Christie, and Maureen and Enrique, and a ecosystem, a community I’ve built. Uh, and if I’ve got the numbers right, Astrid, at least the last numbers I had, uh, over the last year, over 600,000 pounds of humanitarian aid have made it across the Atlantic to families in need in Ukraine, Poland, and elsewhere. Is that right,

Astrid Aubery (03:51):

Astronaut? Yes, you’re right. Totally right. Uh, I’m a witness that this effort, uh, make a positive impact to, to the people who are living in this horrible situation that the world. Uh, so I encourage to all the members to join us in this, uh, leveling, logistic every, every month and to, to make, uh, a positive impact for them.

Scott Luton (04:14):

Yes, Astrid. That’s right. It’s just that simple. And so, when Astro’s talking about each month, these are planning sessions that drives everything. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, the next one’s May 9th at 11:00 AM Eastern Time. We’ve dropped a link in the chat. And folks, you don’t have to commit to giving anything to show up at these. You don’t even have to say anything. No. You can show up and just observe and learn. And I’m telling you, you’ll leave those meetings with a much better and informed, um, appreciation of what’s going on, the tragedy, the need, and you’ll be informed on how you can help. And we’re gonna touch on that later in today’s conversation. Thank you, Astrid. Delighted to have you here. Um, thank you. So we’ve had, let’s see, O L K. Larry Klein is with us here today. It’s going great, Larry. Uh, and let us know where you are today. So, Astrid, um, have you, have you ever been to, uh, south Georgia here in the States?

Astrid Aubery (05:03):

No, not yet. Okay. I need to go soon. Hopefully

Scott Luton (05:06):

We’ll have you down there soon. So Larry, typically dials in from, um, uh, what is the town down, Larry, you’re gonna have to refresh my memory. The town down in South Georgia always mispronounce it. But, uh, anyway, great to have you back and let us know where you’re tuned in from. And of course, clay Phillips <laugh>, the diesel is back with us. Welcome. All. Excited to reminisce on childhood toys. We might just do that, uh, d we’ll see how it goes. Uh, but Astrid, I am ready. I bet you are.

Astrid Aubery (05:35):

Yes, I am.

Scott Luton (05:36):

<laugh>, we ready to bring Gladys in?

Astrid Aubery (05:38):

Yes, of course. Let’s do it.

Scott Luton (05:41):

Well, alright. So Larry got back to us, uh, Alban Alban, I think is how I pronounce it. Larry, uh, uh, check me there. Alban Georgia down in real south Georgia, just above the Florida border. There’s some great manufacturing, um, uh, plants and people, uh, down in that part where it’s, it’s gorgeous too. So, Larry, hope you’re well. All right. So, as promised Astrid, we have a big, big guest here today, a repeat guest, one of our faves. I’m so glad we had to go through her rock and roll agent to get her booked. Um, but so glad I’m a welcome in. Gladis Araujo Global Supply Chain Strategy, vice President with Mattel.

Gladis Araujo (06:23):

Hello, <laugh>.

Scott Luton (06:27):

It is so good to see you. We’ve enjoyed the pre-show conversations. It was, I was delighted to meet you through our dear mutual friend, um, Alison Krache Giddens a year and some change ago. Alison’s a dynamo too, but Gladys, so great to have you here today.

Gladis Araujo (06:42):

It’s my pleasure to be here again in supply change now. I’m so excited for that conversation.

Scott Luton (06:49):

Well, Astrid, we got so much to, to, uh, tackle with Gladys today, but hey, we’re gonna have a little fun first, right? Okay. And so for Gladys Astrid and, and Jessica, who’s tuned in from Akron, Ohio, Larry, you down in Albany, clay, we’re gonna talk dessert. First, we’re gonna have a fun little warmup question. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we’re gonna make folks hungry, so mm-hmm. <affirmative>, um, Astrid and Gladys. Um, it is today, it’s National Peach Cobbler Day here in the us. Oh, and I gotta tell you, I love this stuff, but I gotta have it with vanilla ice cream, or you can have it back, and I, I only eat it with ice cream. So, with that as a backdrop, and Gladys, I’ll start with you here. What is your favorite dessert?

Gladis Araujo (07:30):

Uh, chocolate cake.

Scott Luton (07:31):

Okay. Chocolate cake. Uh, and do you have to eat yours with ice cream?

Gladis Araujo (07:36):

I would love to. With vanilla ice cream would be lovely. And of course, with a diet Coke, you know? Yes. To balance the calorie, to balance the calories, <laugh>,

Scott Luton (07:46):

That’s the right. Gladys. I love, I love how you think, um, Astro, that’s be tough to top. Um, what’s your one of your favorite desserts? Aspen.

Astrid Aubery (07:53):

Oh, the same than Gladys Chocolate in all formats, bringing dessert. Bye. Love it. Everything but chocolate.

Scott Luton (08:01):

So, sign. So y’all like this. So, I’m a big dark chocolate fan. I love Dark Chocolate Astro. Is that a winner in your book?

Astrid Aubery (08:07):

Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Dark

Scott Luton (08:09):

Chocolate. And Gladys, are you a dark chocolate

Gladis Araujo (08:11):

Fan as well? You used to be my favorite dark chocolate. Now I sleep to, to milk chocolate.

Scott Luton (08:18):

Okay. All right. Um, well, now that y’all really made me hungry, let’s do this a little more. So Amanda says, and yes, she’s great at making a delicious peach cobbler. She uses her mom vow. Mom’s ma name is Val famous recipe, and yes, you know, Amanda don’t make any tonight. We’ve already cheated. I I’ve been cheating on my diet all week. We can’t make any <laugh>. Uh, Larry says, red velvet cake and black coffee. Huh? Beautiful. Uh, hey, Josh, Goody’s with us from the West Coast up in beautiful Seattle. Josh, hope you’re well. He says, Dutch oven, German chocolate cobbler. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> with cherries. Oh, man. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Um, alright, so as promised, we made everybody hungry, um, Astrid and Gladys. Um, so Astrid, as we dive into, as we switch from all these desserts that we can’t have too often to, uh, kind of the, uh, some of the key topics we’re gonna be walking through with Gladys and everyone. Where are we starting, uh, with Gladys today? Astrid,

Astrid Aubery (09:13):

Uh, how about if I ask, uh, Gladys, what are you doing in Mattel? Tell us about what you do.

Gladis Araujo (09:20):

I am having a lot of fun. <laugh> No, just, uh, to give you a little bit of background for the audience, uh, Mattel is number one toy company in the world. We have over 400 amazing brands, and our iconic brands is Barbie Hot Wheels American Girl feature prize. And we are so excited because you have to put it in your calendar. July 21st. Okay. It’s coming. Our first movie of Barbie with Margo, Robbie and Ra Joceline. Then it’s a lot of excitement, exciting going on in the company. And I, I know in the world about this, and also a little bit of background of our industry, um, our industry is highly regulated because our customers have the most vulnerable that you can have that is a baby and children. Mm-hmm. And you have like 10 industry, single one, because you have to think about toys. The basic is chemical industry, because we have ings and pigment transformation, and we have electrical industry electronics, including in Internet of things, artificial intelligence, the fashion, but all about fashion food because we have many things that are, uh, moldable for the kids cosmetics, even furnitures for babies and automotive.

Gladis Araujo (10:40):

Then what is happening in our industry is, besides having our toy industry requirements, we have in top all different industry requirements. Could be ul, FDA and so on, and even which share same of these suppliers that in, in this industry. Many of our people listening today are also facing, uh, challenges with many of them as well. And what I do here, I have been having fun for over 25 years, um, in, I will say end-to-end supply chain. It’s like being in four or five different companies, working in different, uh, parts of the world, enjoying working with multicultural teams. If I can put it in. Four buckets will be logistics and planning, sourcing and supplier development, manufacturing, engineering, and very heavily in quality and compliance. And of course, along those lines is also about, uh, opening new markets in terms of contract manufacturing in India, Brazil, nowadays in Mexican, south America, integrating new business when we secure new, new companies or opening new manufacturing facilities or to around facilities whenever it’s necessary. Then I’m having a lot of fun working, uh, globally with many different initiatives nowadays, in terms of a strategy is all about digital transformation, I think, as everyone else in, in the audience and also about nurturing initiatives. But we can say at bottom line is developing, uh, a resilient and a supply chain, eh, with a lot of agility. Hmm. That’s a little bit about me. <laugh>.

Astrid Aubery (12:23):


Scott Luton (12:24):

Gladys, man. So, Astrid, did you hear there, the Gladys factor has gone global, right?

Astrid Aubery (12:29):

I know.

Scott Luton (12:30):

And clearly she doesn’t get any sleep at night. Did you hear everything that she’s got that she’s driving and, and working and, and leading at Mattel? <laugh>? I wanna go back to, to one point though, Astrid and Gladys, uh, because as, let’s see here, um, as Katherine points out, she’s really excited for that movie first ever, if I heard that right. July 21st. Is that right? Gladys?

Gladis Araujo (12:52):

Correct. All theaters globally.

Astrid Aubery (12:56):

Okay. I know. I love the marketing campaign that you make with the filters in Instagram with the Barbie fashion. Ah, yeah. So it’s an amazing campaign. Congratulations.

Gladis Araujo (13:06):

Yeah. That has been a bureau. Everyone wants to have their background and everyone is putting their Barbie background. And so it has been a, an amazing, uh, uh, process.

Scott Luton (13:18):

Well, so clearly, uh, the Barbie is one of those iconic toys that has, uh, impacted so many folks, kind of what Clay was saying earlier. So I’m gonna call Clay out. So Clay, if there are any Mattel toys in particular that really you remember from your childhood or any of our, uh, listeners, y’all drop ’em in the chat. We’d love to share those with Gladys and Astrid. Okay. So with that as a, we got, we’ve done some great level setting. We’ve made everybody hungry, and we’ve filled anybody in with all the cool things that Gladys is up to <laugh>. Um, so I’m gonna share a couple comments, and then we’re gonna drive into talking about supply chain gladiators. So, but I gotta share some of these great comments here. Um, Jessica’s a big fan, those peaches we talked about. Now she likes pumpkin pie. Now, I used to love pumpkin pie as a kid.

Scott Luton (14:00):

Not so much anymore, but Jessica, maybe I’m making it wrong. Uh, let’s see here. Larry says, excellent peach cobbler needs no ice cream. Okay, maybe I’m doing it wrong. <laugh>. Uh, let’s see. Donna peach. Cobbler is great, but give me a blackberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream, man. Sounds delicious. And uria, uh, sasher cake. I might, I might be saying that wrong. Let us know what’s in there. That’s a new one for me. Nuria, thank you for, for sharing and making us hungry. Um, okay. So, Gladys, so much to get to you with you and Astrid and so little Tom. Uh, astro time, uh, astronaut, both want to kind of pick your brain. Um, I love the supply chain, gladiator, global supply chain, gladiator, that, uh, that message and that, um, um, kind of the, the, the image that it, that paints in your mind, what, you know, what do you, uh, think makes up a global supply chain gladiator. Gladys?

Gladis Araujo (14:56):

Yes. In book time that we’re living today, high volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambi. I feel like everyone in supply chain, we are a gladiator. But let’s talk a little bit about what a glad means in, in my context, if you have ever watched a, a movie of a gladiator or a TV series, what you see is they have a lot of challenges. Um, they have psychological challenge. They have physical challenge. They are facing a different opponents. They never know what is gonna be coming. Uh, there is a lot of uncertainty and a certain degree, lack of control. What is gonna be coming out. They have limited resources, and they are under high pressure to perform for the audience mainly. And they, they play hard in terms on, on unfavorable conditions that they are dealing with. And, and also, uh, they need to have a lot of preparation, not only physical, also mentally.

Gladis Araujo (15:58):

And they, they need to be very skilled in a strategy mindset. They need to be, uh, a good on different type of weapons. I feel like it’s like in our supply chain environment, it’s our toolkit. Then I have my toolkit. I don’t know what is gonna be happening, but I’m gonna be thinking fast strategy, and I’m gonna be picking and choosing what is appropriate in that moment for, for fighting back. And, um, and I also, uh, gladiators, uh, sometimes for many times they play, uh, uh, uh, they, they fight for their life as a team, and they call fili. Then the fili is they help each other and support each other in the arena. And it’s where I feel more connected, because I think in terms of leadership, the way I I identify myself is, I always use this acron that is csr, that you need to be in the arena with your people, supporting them, not sitting in the office or somewhere else.

Gladis Araujo (17:03):

Yep. Really understanding what are the challenges that they are facing, helping with the strategy, helping to provide the right tools that they may need to be juicy, thinking ahead. Then what I meant with the CSR is, uh, number one is truly connecting with your people in terms of your mind and your heart. Yeah. Listening to them communicating what is, uh, what we are looking for, does the see as, uh, is about supporting them, whatever they need. We as a leaders, we need to serve them because if they’re successful, we’re successful, our business is successful, and the environment is an environment of, of trust and empathy. That is the new leadership that we need to play in a book. And r is, for me, the recognition. Uh, and I, I put high value on the moral recognition. It, it doesn’t need to be like monetary or fancy, just a photo, uh, uh, a recognition, a pitch or something, or a, a hamburger with the team together. But if you have one goal at a time, you’ll be, um, uh, reaching this goal and recognizing at every step of the process, then you create an environment that is easy to succeed and save the challenges that nowadays is everywhere.

Scott Luton (18:24):

Yes. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yes. All right. So, uh, if you’re keeping track at home, this, this csr, connecting, supporting, and recognizing, man, that those are great, um, uh, words and a mantra to live by. But Astrid, now, Gladys shared a lot of, there, a lot of it resonated with me. Um, you know, that she talked about the high pressure that our global supply chain workforce is under, and we gotta recognize that as leaders. Cause there’s lots of burnout, right? We gotta, we gotta find ways to make making the jobs easier and letting our people who wanna be successful, enabling and empowering them to be successful. That’s also part of our leadership responsibility. But Astrid, what’s one, one thing that that, that, uh, that made up, uh, Gladys’s gladiator definition that really resonated with you?

Astrid Aubery (19:05):

Well, uh, a lot of things, uh, every, everything that you already shared with us make me a lot of sense. But, uh, first of all, we will be the, the agility to adapt to the changes, uh, to have a very good and clear communication with the team clients and also, uh, suppliers maybe. And also the, to have a very clear objective to make a, a correct strategy to follow up. And of course, the final, the cherry of the, of the pie, yes. Will be the recognition that everyone needs the recognition to make, uh, and improve a better work.

Scott Luton (19:42):

Astrid Yes, and I love how you finished there because, uh, as Gladys mentioned, it could be as simple as grabbing a hamburger and sitting down with your people and really, you know, celebrating and getting to know ’em and spending them some time with them. Right. Now, there’s gotta be bacon on that hamburger, though, folks. I’m, I’m, I’m telling you, bacon and cheese <laugh>. Um, all right, so what a great start already, Gladys, I’m telling y’all the Gladys Factor is live. And well let, share a couple comments here. And, uh, man, everybody’s reminiscing. Larry and Clay’s talking about Hot Wheels, and, uh, Donna is talking about, hey, she’s in her sixties, but she’s still gotta have her Barbies. Uh, Jessica says her boys love the Hot Wheels, but she’s got fond memories of Mr. Potato Head. Clay talks about Uno, my kids love. They play Uno like every day.

Scott Luton (20:26):

Yeah. Um, and then Nuria, you know, asking, you shall receive. She’s talking about, we talked about Sasher cake. Uh, that nurse says dense chocolate cake with a thin layer of apricot Jan in between two halves coated in dark chocolate icing on top and sides. Wow. Okay. Uh, toys and desserts and supply chain leadership. You can’t go wrong with those things, <laugh>. Um, so let’s keep moving forward. Um, so Gladys, uh, and folks, if you don’t follow, uh, Gladys and ask her for that matter, but, uh, Gladys loves, she’s, she’s, you should have heard her travels as we’re getting on the pre-show. She’s going a lot of places leading, engaging, you name it. And she’s a great person to connect with and follow on social wealth and make that easy for folks. But Gladys, I saw one of your recent LinkedIn posts, you talked about this wow moment that you had while you were speaking at a conference in Amsterdam. So tell us what that wow moment was related to leadership skills required to navigating these VUCA times, huh?

Gladis Araujo (21:28):

Yeah, the VUCA times. Yeah. The topic was about, um, how to leverage inflation and, uh, this challenging time, as you say, the VUCA time. And what I was saying to the audience, uh, there are many, uh, business models out there from different well known companies about how to build a resilient and agility in your supply chain. And, uh, what I see and what I read, and I think everyone in this room is, is, uh, taking those actions, like having a stock inventory, uh, developing alternative route, uh, having a, uh, alternative warehouses and alternative suppliers and, and so on and facing now, um, the inflation, the scarcity of resources, the high cost of many of our raw materials for very long. And of course, other collateral issues like the war and also, uh, political situations around the globe, uh, covid or many other type of, of barriers is happening.

Gladis Araujo (22:31):

Then I see that everything is like adding cost. And, and then we cannot, uh, as, um, suppliers of the world for a saying, continu increasing our work because of our products. It’s gonna be a point that no one will buy your products because it’s in time. Then we need to find ways to leverage that cause in a way that we continue, uh, succeeding in, uh, in the market. Then what I was telling them in those, uh, business models, there are two elements that I think can help us balance, uh, this out. One is about, uh, localization and near, and the second one is about, uh, collaboration. And that’s where I’m gonna be focusing right now. Later, we can talk about nearing, then I was talking to them and, and I will tell you why it was a well moment in a minute, is that, uh, in terms of cost, it’s not more about the unit cost anymore, it’s about the total cost optimization.

Gladis Araujo (23:31):

But I will be adding collaborative total cost optimization. And the way I see it is the way we can overcome many of these challenges, because this includes also our responsibility for sustainability and also a responsibility for a s g that, uh, many people, oh, it’s also adding more cost, more constraints and more challenges. Then some of the examples that we were discussing. And that’s when, uh, the one moment it was happening, it was, uh, like an open discussion with the audience about how, uh, we can, uh, and how many of these companies, uh, there are worldwide companies, uh, such as Mattel, they have been using collaboration as a key strength. And the way I see it, the new role of the game and supply is collaboration. Collaboration, of course, internally needs to be happening. If you’re still working in a silo, you must need to fix it.

Gladis Araujo (24:30):

If you dunno how to fix it, just call me <laugh>. And then you need to go be full ecosystem. Your logistics, your competition association cluster, the government. Sometimes, uh, let’s say you are looking for a sustainable material, but no one will produce or, or make APL just for you. Then maybe you need to partner with your competition or with other, in the automotive industry. And then you will have the volume to have that sustainable material at, at a cost effective, uh, price for, for the manufacturing and the consumer. And also, eh, we were exploring, kind of brainstorming all the different factors beyond the unit price that is in the end to end value, network, logistics, eh, packaging that we need. Take a look, but what I, I was telling them when I see the most of the success and my experience through the years, even before the Booka time is truly make a collaborative event, then could be some companies call Iten, some companies call workshops, or you name it.

Gladis Araujo (25:37):

But, uh, when I was, uh, always having a challenge, let’s say, uh, we really need to demean, uh, to reduce the footprints of packaging. Many of the consumer goods have a lot of packaging, then it’s the cost in the product. It’s not sustainable. Right? And, and also, uh, the logistics is going up because you have more weight or more space than how to optimize. Then I, I don’t care. They are competition. All the suppliers on packaging all in the same room. Let’s figure it out. What is our 80 20? What are these products that we are selling the most? And they’re having the high impact in terms of, uh, uh, weight of packaging, right? And let’s figure it out how we’re gonna be redesigning, maintaining the quality and the safety of the product. And let’s move on. Putting in the room the full logistic team from end to end and figuring out what are our gaps, what are opportunities, what are move up, including internal, uh, scope three in terms of sustainability and maybe using recyclable packaging.

Gladis Araujo (26:39):

Maybe I’m, I’m asking too many deliveries instead of one delivery a month, right? And it’s feasible and it’s possible. How can we reduce the number of screws that we are using? Can we standardize the, the, the screws Instead of having 10 different screws for a toy? Can we have only one or two? And so on. Then once you start in that mood, also inviting the supplier to be bringing innovations to be a part of it, our, yeah. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> our success. Their success is our success. And by versata, then we have the, the, the ultimate goal together of making business as success in terms of, uh, uh, cause and also compliance and sustainability. Then we just need to work together. And I don’t see, uh, it’s, it’s happening as we speak, but we need to do it more than ever. Right? Uh, at that level of collaboration, among all sharing best practice, sharing opportunities, purchasing consortiums, maybe when I’m a strong in my, in my buying power, uh, uh, uh, uh, someone else is weak, and then we leverage the volume and then we move on, right?

Gladis Araujo (27:51):

Then get together with the cluster, get together with the associations, get together with the government, how they can be supportive. Then our running a way it’s gots changing as a supply is not a transactional or operational. It has to be more strategic and, and, and also more collaborative, then that’s what we were talking about. But was the one moment is because I don’t know if you have watched the quid game Netflix series from Korea. Have you seen that? Yes. And just for the audience is a kinda a weird Syria, but it’s very popular because you have always gained that you are between the life and death. Then we were watching, um, the, uh, the game of, uh, talk of rope. Yes. Uh, then, uh, you have like a, a precipice, an infinite precipice. And then we were, uh, uh, laughing in terms of making the analogies, okay, what is the other team representing in, in, in theca time?

Gladis Araujo (28:53):

What is, you remember the, the old guy and how everyone needs to be aligned and precise, and if they didn’t trust each other in, in, in the, doesn’t work. It didn’t work. Yeah. Then, uh, uh, it was that level of trust, right? And then that we need to move this way. We need to move this way. And, and then even the, I feel like the energy of, of, of, they were like, eh, putting a lot of, uh, eh, emotion when they were, uh, pulling the talk. Like even that rate of emotion is creating that, that you need for things to make it happen. Then when, uh, we were, uh, looking at that, um, I think two minutes episode, then the brainstorming, uh, on, on things that they were doing right, things that we can do more, it was flourishing. And then I think we need more of that happening today to succeed.

Scott Luton (29:52):

Agreed. Uh, alright. So you shared a lot there. I, uh, I would love to dive into, I, I counted about 17 things. I wanna speak to what you shared, Gladys. Uh, we’re gonna have to bring, we’re gonna, we’re gonna have a Gladys Factor series, is what we’re gonna build here. <laugh>. Um, Astrid, I’m gonna get you one of your favorite things and maybe, maybe one of your favorite leadership skills, but before I do, um, one of Gladys’s earlier points there, she was talking about a Kaizen event or, um, you know, Kazan Blitz is what we’ve called those before. And I think what’s helpful for folks, I wanna really play up. One of the things that Gladys said there is, it’s not a meeting, right? It’s not a meeting. There’s lots of communication, but there’s, there’s a lot of focus, right? On a singular problem. Mm-hmm.

Scott Luton (30:34):

<affirmative>, there’s a lot of communication around defining root cause, right? There’s a lot of, uh, discussion around the solutions that might can work, that they come to cons, they come to one that they’re gonna do, and they do it right. You do it right? And, and, and the action there is the focus and the action there are really important to, uh, Kaizen, a kaizen blitz, whatever you wanna call it. Um, it’s great call out. Gladys. Astrid, when we think about these, these times, all fighting through together, uh, what’s one important element to successful leadership skills, in your opinion?

Astrid Aubery (31:08):

Well, first of all, Gladys, that’s why you are a leader. You get it <laugh>, you know, that you need to trust, uh, in your team and in your collaborates. And for me, is the highlight was that we need to, to collaborate together, uh, to encourage the business to, to improve. So for me, one of the skills is the, it will be the, the trust. Yes. That will be one of the highlights to trust to, to, to the others, and to have these open mind to get, uh, different ideas, and then we can make a good conclusion.

Scott Luton (31:42):

Astra, that’s a great call out cuz you might, when you, when you when folks hear trust and being open minded, they may not think of skills, but those are skills you’ve gotta develop, right? Because sometimes you don’t naturally, you know, some folks don’t naturally trust, some folks don’t naturally have an open mind, and you gotta work those leadership muscles to, to get to where you can leverage those as, as, um, accelerants to doing, doing big things. The other thing, Gladys, as you were kind of walking through your response there, that came to my mind. Remember back in the eighties, uh, there was a, a brand of, um, plastic bags that made these iconic blue and, uh, let’s see here, blue and yellow make green. It was like a, this commercials, right? Yes. And Gladys, as you’re talking about bringing suppliers in, which is really important, we’re seeing more and more of that in the last decade or so, and breaking down those bo uh, uh, barriers.

Scott Luton (32:34):

Sometimes the only way you can make yellow, or, or sorry, make green is by bringing blue and yellow together, you know? So if you don’t bring suppliers in, you’re leaving out, uh, a certain portion of possible solutions and gains for everybody. So, Gladys love, man, we could make a whole, uh, series on that last response. I think Astrid and Gladys, I wanna share a couple comments here. Yeah. So, uh, when we’re going back to, uh, going back to, um, the Gladiator, um, uh, discussion. There is, uh, let’s see here, my mouse to work. So, hey, sometimes technology just fails. It’s my mouse just disappeared. I was telling y’all about that and appreciate, right, <laugh>, um, let’s see. Islam says, as he, as Gladys was defining gladiators, he goes, I would call them sales managers victims rather than gladiators, right? Cause gladiators, <laugh> haven’t respond to a lot of that.

Scott Luton (33:28):

Love that Islam. Uh, and Larry, I’m gonna share, I’m gonna read his, since I don’t wanna cover up, uh, Gladys Visually, Larry says, good talent needs to feel supported by management, right? You heard that from Gladys and Astrid earlier. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, if not, Larry says, your gladiators will desert you. Loyalty goes both ways. Top talent won’t stay in a situation based on loyalty. That common sense would tell them to leave. Larry says, my last sin has seen key leaders part to include himself to this reality. This, this lack of loyalty. Um, that’s a y y you know, there, there’s so many layers of the onion here, but you know, that loyalty does go both ways, right? Mm-hmm. Uh, I, I believe Gladys and Astrid. Um, all right, so let’s get back to the next topic for Gladys. So Gladys, you already kind of gave us a, um, a sneak peek there. You mentioned Nearshoring, there’s a lot of, um, you know, for, for a couple years now. I mean, really all this is cyclical in many ways, but there’s a lot of nearshoring initiatives going on. What’s a, a couple elements, Gladys, when it comes to some of what we’re seeing from a Nearshoring perspective that you wanna call out and share with our listeners and viewers?

Gladis Araujo (34:43):

Yeah, yeah. As I was mentioning before, uh, localization and near Cho is one of the key strategies to develop resilience. And I will go in a minute more deeper, uh, but I want just to make a parenthesis. Uh, when we talk about, uh, we have three elements on shore of shore in nearing, and now with Biden, they call French touring. Uh, and if we use, uh, US as our base, uh, will be on shore, is bringing business back to, to America, to US offshore maybe is manufacturing Vietnam, India, or far away and near shore is manufacturing close to your, uh, main market in this case could be Canada, could be Mexico, could be south, south America as close as possible. And that’s what we meant when we said, uh, nurturing. And, uh, I think it was a Q4 of last year when the Biden administration was, uh, putting into the news that now we have this story means, okay, we are looking for nurturing, but with France, because all the political, uh, uh, uh, issues, uh, they’re of, of America.

Gladis Araujo (35:50):

Then this is just kind of a background for the audience and, and, and what I see that is happening, and, uh, there are, um, really, uh, exciting moments that I think there are plenty of opportunities for the audience here. What is happening is, eh, globally, uh, US is by far the largest, uh, consumer, the highest c d P and so on. Then everyone and every part of the world is telling something to us, and also we know that because the war, the energy, the main power and some constraints with China, then people is looking for nearshoring. And in terms of nearshoring and number one, and, and number two is, uh, Vietnam and Mexico, who, who is, which are to countries that are, uh, uh, flourishing right now. And since a Mexican, I can give a little bit of more of background of what I have been seeing and what are the opportunities for the people that is here in the audience.

Gladis Araujo (36:50):

Um, what has been happening is, uh, companies from us are moving to Mexico because, mainly because the main power availability in Mexico, 70% of our population is between 18 years old and 45 years old. Then there is, uh, a big, uh, workforce here, eh, companies from, uh, Europe are moving also to Mexico to be closer to, to United States, and also because they have some constraints in terms of energy or, or gas, or even manpower as well, right? And, and, and also there is a, a big trend in which American corporations are also asking some of their partners in Asia to move closer, because the issues that we were facing during the Covid and this disruptions that we were having, we were having interruptions of our supplies, and many of, uh, Chinese, uh, Korean, uh, Japanese are, are moving in Mexico, and high interest also from Southeast Asia.

Gladis Araujo (37:49):

Then what is has been happening, and since Aji ago, every single week there are two openings or expansions. And, and specifically I will talk about noon. That is the state that is neighbor to Texas. And, uh, I will say that 50% of the increase of, uh, differentiate investment and the exports from Mexico are coming from noon. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, what is the beauty of noon is they have a highly qualified main power, because we have four domain universities in Mexican South America, and then we have over 100,000 engineers. We have very good vocational and technical schools. Then the main power is here, and the spirit of the people is just, uh, very hardworking and, and entrepreneurship. Then what I’m seeing, including Matt, where largest Megasite is here, same for healthy, same for Legos, same for, uh, the Korean, uh, home appliance company and name even Qantas.

Gladis Araujo (38:50):

And I think everyone knows what is going on. Nowadays, the largest manufacturing site from Tesla light is gonna be located here in Ion, and then what is gonna be happening is we’re gonna be having over 2,500 tier one, tier two, three coming. It’s gonna be like, uh, um, uh, um, a city of, uh, environment or an ecosystem that will be done of manufacturing. You need to have restaurants, you need to have hospitals. You need to have a school. You need to have, uh, hotel. A holistic approach. Yeah, a holistic approach. Then what I, what I’m inviting to the audience is thinking about this because this also carry on challenges. Uh, for example, uh, now that I’m working as many others in contract manufacturing, there is, uh, external manufacturing of your finished good. Many of these companies are looking, uh, either partnership with someone here and grow, or looking for contract manufacturing, or they are opening their operations, and they are many, uh, mechanisms in place to make it easier for the people with a partner to make it faster.

Gladis Araujo (39:58):

You just get the kids of your new plan by September with no liability, and you have your operation ready, right? Uh, but, but what I was going to say is, um, uh, to be truly 100% beneficial, because we just, we everyone knows here with U S M C A, it, it has been very successful. Our free trade, uh, agreement among Canada, US and Mexico is the largest by far in the world. Uh, Europe is, is 20 trillion, and our case U S M C A is 20 24, 20 5 trillion, and it has been established and flourish and, and, and, and growing through the year, right? Then, uh, but what is happening when I see the opportunities for entrepreneurs that are here for people who already has a business is, and, and that’s the challenge that, uh, including, uh, companies like us, we are, are having, let’s say, uh, we are either putting where manufacturing site in Mexico or we are, uh, eh, having a tier party manufacturer, contract manufacturing, but then many of us, we have a very long list of, of raw materials, eh, or tooling that we need to manufacture those goods.

Gladis Araujo (41:12):

Then if we don’t have the full change integrated or localized, then we still have the same type of constraint. Meaning if I’m still bringing, let’s say 50% of my raw material from China or from India, or, or you name it, then I’m still having delete and potentially the localization in full will not work right? Then, uh, I invite you, um, we have very well organized in Mexico in terms of clusters by industries mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, where, uh, very easily you can get like the connection of the whole country just getting into the heads of those clusters. Those clusters have perfectly identified the gap of what are the raw materials that we are lacking because they work in collaboration with all these industries, and it’s where you have the opportunity working with the secretary of economy or working with the cluster to see if your current business can fit now and, and flourish here to support this big ecosystem, and or you may want to open something that is missing here. And I, I was mainly talking about raw materials, but you name it, logistic service, transportation service, warehouse, four pl, uh, et cetera, and we are just neighbors, you know? Right. Then I think this is a, a brilliant opportunity. I will say one in a history time that we have been seeing, okay, maybe from since the recession that I think at least will be lasting 10 years, five to 10 years, then we need to take advantage of that

Scott Luton (42:48):

Once in a lifetime opportunity, folks. There’s lots and there’s lots op opportunity across the board for many as Gladys is a point now. Um, so, so Astrid, uh, I wanna shift gears here. So Gladys, so much to talk about. So little time. Um, I wanna switch gears for the second time and, and go back to Ukraine, and I wanna kind of, I, I wanna start actually with Astrid as we make this pivot, cuz I wanna, I wanna bring up this opportunity again and hey, we’re we, we’re gonna, we’re gonna keep shouting us from the mountaintops. There’s so much need that, uh, folks in need, and we’d love to have you join us. But this, this, as we pivot over to Ukraine, Astrid, this leveraging logistics for Ukraine, what has been your favorite part of working, uh, uh, on this humanitarian initiative?

Astrid Aubery (43:34):

Well, for me, it was a very, uh, simple, uh, campaign that we, we sent letters to the Ukrainian people, uh, made by, by kids. So, personally, personally, I encouraged to the school of my kids. So they draw a lot of letters and we sent to the, to the people in Ukraine. So it was a simple action that it makes a positive impact for them. So you usually need to do a big things, you can do small things that it really makes, uh, a positive huge difference for them.

Scott Luton (44:11):

Yes, huge difference. And it goes back to Gladys’s C s R that are, you know, recognizing try and, uh, and, and the yes. Supporting, and, uh, you arid you unique. A great point. And Gladys, uh, you may be familiar with this, but they, they, uh, encourage folks across, uh, the world really to draw letters and pictures for school children in Ukraine. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, right? Folks are in, in these combat zones, and they’re experiencing just, uh, something that most of us thankfully have never been a part of, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and, and just brightening their day with just some, some, some messages of, of, of hope and support and inspiration and such a great job there, uh, with what y’all are doing and the community of folks that want to help and find a way to help. And folks, we did drop, uh, if you wanna be a part of that, we dropped a link there in the chat. Um, Gladys, I know you’ve been a part of, of efforts, uh, that, that also mm-hmm. <affirmative> support those in need. The Ukraine, of course, the people Poland, have been amazing, welcoming and finding a way for all these refugees, these families, the displaced people as a result of, of, uh, the Russian aggression is just, it’s just heartbreaking. So, Gladys, what, tell us some things you’ve been a part of there. Uh, yes. Support Ukraine.

Gladis Araujo (45:23):

Yes. Uh, I think I would like to bring to the attention of the audience in case they wanna to make a difference as a leader. Uh, there are two, uh, in main initiatives that I can share about it. The first one that I get involved, and I invite the people to get involved, and we will provide the links that appropriate. You know, when the, uh, conflict started, uh, all the women and the children needed to go out the country mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and they lost their jobs then, uh, we have very talented woman professionals everywhere in the world that they’re looking for, uh, remote opportunities or face-to-face opportunities in terms of work. Then in European women’s board that are an active member, uh, we have a mentorship program in which we are supporting them in terms of maybe a grading their linking in profile, their tv, making sure that they have the right connections and, and, and, and helping them to navigate through this difficult time.

Gladis Araujo (46:21):

Just sometimes just to hear, uh, some, someone that is truly listening you with your car, it makes a significant difference. But of course, the ultimate goal is that you help them out to navigate until they find their, their, their way of living in the new place, wherever they are. Um, the other, um, group, um, that was recently launched at and is a platform that is open even for companies, uh, is a partnership and also, um, uh, an the advisory board of lean organization that is founded by Cheryl Sam, who used the former CEO of Meta. And, uh, eh, we support women, uh, eh, eh, to, to reach their aspirations in terms of a professional and personal development. Then in partnership with mackenzie, there is a platform where we are, uh, linking, um, uh, woman with employers to have a, a, a new life, uh, going on mm-hmm.

Gladis Araujo (47:20):

<affirmative>. That’s, that’s one of the, uh, initiatives to support women. And then the second initiative that is going on that just couple of weeks ago, I was very fortunate to met, uh, Ole and Alvida. You can see the Post and Lincoln in, or I can send also the link, the link. Um, they, they are part of a consulting firm that they are focused on international trade and development, that is called d a i, and they are partnered with s USA eight, the economic resilient activity, uh, for the war. And then, uh, pa uh, if we put it in a simple way, if you see Ukraine, let’s say half of the country is in the conflict and fighting every single day, and the other half of the country is still, uh, uh, producing and manufacturing goods for the work. Mm. And, and many of the locations that were lost in half of the, of the country, they already successfully, with the support of these agencies, relocated.

Gladis Araujo (48:20):

Uh, they provide also support in terms of, uh, consulting and, and, um, eh, make them more profitable. And then they have opportunities for experience, supply change, uh, in the audience that they want to be an advisors of these SMEs in, in Ukraine, they can join the program. And secondly, uh, what is very interesting for us in supply chain, that where is gonna be where I’m gonna be, where I am right now, very active, right? Is what is happening is when the conflict has started. I think everyone knows, uh, what type of materials I’m talking about, that we were sourcing only from Russia and Ukraine. Then when the conflict has start happening, we lost those, uh, uh, alternatives then now they are back, let’s say, kind of in production, and they, and, and they have been, uh, very successful so far, but they’re looking for, um, uh, rebuild, let’s say the supply chains in terms of, uh, potential buyers. And also they’re looking for, uh, uh, sourcing raw materials because some of their original sources disappear for a say. Then there is an opportunity in terms of, uh, mentorship or consultancy, uh, uh, uh, supporting the SMEs, but also in terms of trading of, uh, finish good as well as raw materials. And that way we can support the economy to continue operating in Ukraine.

Scott Luton (49:50):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So no shortage of ways to jump in.

Astrid Aubery (49:57):

Yeah. We lost you, Scott. I can hear you

Scott Luton (50:00):


Gladis Araujo (50:01):

Yes. Now we jump back. We

Scott Luton (50:03):

Back. Okay. All right. My apologies. Uh, I was just adding, uh, there’s so many different ways that folks can jump in and support folks in need across Ukraine, across the region, really, and so many different layers and, and, and, and types of needs. So, uh, we’ll try to, um, of course, we want y’all to connect with Gladys. She can shed light on a lot of things she just mentioned there. Of course, we also want, invite y’all to be a part of, of the humanitarian aid leveraging logistics for Ukraine. The link there is in the chat, uh, do something, do something’s our challenge, uh, on behalf of Gladys and Astro to all of our listeners, just do something. Um, okay. I hate, uh, we’re kind of coming down home stretch here. I wanna, uh, get your, uh, Gladys, um, um, you’re a fountain of knowledge, a fountain of knowledge, <laugh>. I love that. I told y’all, I told everybody on the front end, the Gladys factor is alive and well, um, for, for perhaps some of our student listeners are folks that, um, are maybe earlier in their careers and they want to be into the executive suite like you, Gladys be, you know, senior executive supply chain leaders across industry. What’s, uh, what’s two or three tips that you’d offer up to them, Gladys?

Gladis Araujo (51:11):

Yeah, I think somehow we have been talking about them along the, uh, the program. First of all, uh, you should be a people leader, whatever transformation, whatever challenge that you have, if you are not a people leader, following the csr, uh, information that I shared, like connecting with the people, creating an environment of trust, supporting them along the way, and recognizing things won’t happen. If you hear many of the conference or postcards, everyone said, you can have the best technology, the best state of the art procedures, but people don’t accept, they will not follow. And the main challenge I always hear everywhere where I go is change management. But I think it’s so easy. It’s just connect with your people, support your people, recognize your people. Be a people, a people leader, a people, uh, that, uh, you serve your, your team. If they succeed, you succeed and the organization will succeed. That’s number one. Uh, number two, um, as, as, uh, we have been, um, uh, uh, saying today we are in ACA time. The BCA time will continue for, there is no estimation maybe the next 20 years, 30 years, it’s gonna stay here. Then since this, the model ofum, you need to be a gladiator. We already talked about when it’s a gladiator, you need to be working in collaboration, and that’s the only way to succeed in personal or professional life. Then continue practicing that. And lastly, but not

Scott Luton (52:51):

So glad, okay? Okay. Yeah. Hey, Murphy’s law is with us here today. Know it’s a global conversation and it keeps trying to disconnect us. It’s not gonna happen, Murphy. It’s not gonna happen.

Gladis Araujo (53:01):

No, no, no. Because it was the preparation for my last statement moment of Trump. You need to embrace a lifelong learning mentality. For me, lifelong learning, as you know, uh, we need to have a new series of skills. Automation technology is advancing so fast. You need to upskilling, reskilling. We’re expecting to have at least six different careers. You, you, you don’t know how many times I have been reinventing myself up to now, and I will continue that cultivate curiosity in a way that you are really eager to learn. And this is the only way you will continuous improvement yourself and your operations, because if not, you’re gonna be getting behind.

Scott Luton (53:53):

Oh, man, Gladys, I am so glad, <laugh>. I’m so glad. Yeah. Astrid, I’m with you. I’m so glad we saved that to the last part, because beyond the truth in all three of those things, um, it, it’s, it’s, uh, it’s, it’s never too late. It’s, there’s, it’s an optimistic message, a practical, optimistic message there. Uh, Astrid, out of those three things that, that Gladys shared, what was your favorite

Astrid Aubery (54:16):

Collaboration? Of course, collaboration is the key to have a, a good optimisation in everywhere.

Scott Luton (54:24):

Love that. And I would just add, I love that one, of course, um, the lifelong learner thing, because that means so many different things in so many different ways. And part of that meaning that I heard, uh, there, at least what it means to me is that beyond personally learning, it’s al also not sitting on your laurels as an organization, right? I think that’s human nature, the sit, it’s been working, it’s been working forever for years. Let’s not change it. And man, that’s a dangerous way of thinking. We, and unfortunately, we saw that, uh, come to fruition and bite us in many ways these last few years. Um, okay, folks, man, I told y’all, let’s see here. Larry added a few, set the example. You were more likely to be followed by your actions instead of your words. Ooh, that’s a good one. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And going along the third lines of what Gladys said, of being a lifelong learner, Larry says, don’t be scared of new technology. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and listen to your workforce. I love that, Larry. All right. We’re getting all kinds of good stuff here. So, Gladys, um, and Astrid, I’m gonna ask, ask, ask y’all both as actually, um, Gladys, if folks wanna connect with you and learn more about anything you touched on here, or, or any of the different ways you’re serving and leading industry, how can folks connect with you, Gladys?

Gladis Araujo (55:38):

Yeah. The faster, and this is way, will be through linking, uh, you just, I always answer any, any linking, uh, request. Then everything that you hear here today that you want to collaborate, know more about it, you are looking for an advice, please don’t hesitate and just send me a message. And also, many of the initiatives that I have been sharing here, you can find them very detailed information in my, in my link in, in my post. And then we continue the conversation. We need to work together. We need to support each other and, and be optimist’s. I like that from Scott. That’s my learning from you <laugh>.

Scott Luton (56:18):

We glad. Hey, hey, I owe you, I owe you about 5,000 eureka moments. Cause that’s what you’ve brought us here. So, um, but, uh, always a pleasure. We’re gonna have you back. And by the way, Nuria, you’ve got a great question there. I’m gonna encourage you to reach out to Gladys and hopefully y’all can get, um, a cup of coffee and exchange thoughts there. I appreciate that Nuria. Sure. Astrid, all the cool stuff y’all got going on at Vector and, and the podcast. Uh, and in the most importantly, a lot of the, uh, nonprofit purposeful work y’all do, big fan, I admire y’all. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I’ve shared that with our listeners time and time again. Astrid, how can folks connect with y’all?

Astrid Aubery (56:53):

Also by Linkin is the fastest way, and I’m really active, so just send me a message and I’ll be, I’ll be there for sure.

Scott Luton (57:02):

It is just that easy. And as I, as we shared earlier, not only do we share Gladys’s direct, uh, LinkedIn, y’all one click away from connecting with Gladys. You’re also one click away from connecting with Astrid and the team there. So y’all check that out. Um, man, it what a, uh, energizing last hour. I wanna thank both of you, Gladys Ajo, uh, uh, with Mattel. Gladys, thank you so much. The Gladys Factor was alive and well. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you brought it by the truckload. Uh, Gladys, we’re gonna do this again soon. Thank you for your time.

Gladis Araujo (57:35):

Thank you very much for the invitation. I enjoy our conversation as always with you as Scott and Ashley.

Astrid Aubery (57:41):

Thank you, Gladys,

Scott Luton (57:43):

And safe travels, uh, and your future travels. I know you’ve been very busy in that regard. Look forward to some pictures there. And Astrid, uh, thank you for your time here today. Had a blast. Uh, safe travels to you as, as, as you’re, uh, you’re in a beautiful city, right? This Bennett <laugh>, but Astrid Obert with Vector Global Logistics. Thank you for joining me here and be my co-host.

Astrid Aubery (58:02):

Thank you so much. Thank you so much for this invitation. I really enjoy to be here.

Scott Luton (58:06):

Awesome, awesome, awesome. All right, folks, man, uh, if that doesn’t inspire you, if that doesn’t give you ideas. If that doesn’t get some thoughts going and your juices going, you better check your pulse. I <laugh>. So check with your doctor. But hey, whatever you do though, it’s about acting on some stuff you heard here. Acting even the smallest actions, the smallest step will move you forward. Especially when you put, you know, a small step a day and you, you bring ’em all together. That’s how we collectively, we move mountains. So Scott Luton challenging all of y’all deeds, not words. Take action. Hey, be like these two, do good, give forward, be the change that’s needed. And with that said, we’ll see you next time, right back here on Supply Chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (58:49):

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Gladis Araujo is a global business leader with over 25 years’ experience in the field of quality and supply chain in 4 continents. She currently works at Mattel Inc. as Global Quality Vice-president in USA responsible for the global quality digital transformation, licensing, nearshoring initiatives in LATAM and logistics. Her previous assignment was in Malaysia. She was responsible for the quality of Mattel core brands: Fashion Dolls (Barbie) and Die Cast Cars (Hot Wheels) manufactured in China, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. She was also responsible for 52 global testing laboratories in the chemical, mechanical, and electrical fields. These laboratories are in China, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Canada, United States, and Mexico. She also oversighted the development of new markets in India and Vietnam. She has a bachelor’s in Chemical and Systems Engineering (Tecnologico de Monterrey), a master’s in Quality and Manufacturing (Tecnologico de Monterrey), a master’s in Organizational Development (Universidad de Monterrey), a master’s in International Management (Thunderbird University) and currently she is working in her dissertation for the doctorate grade in Business Administration in the University of Phoenix. She is the founder and president of several non-profit organizations supporting her communities in Malaysia and Mexico. “Lean In Network, Monterrey” affiliated to a nonprofit organization from Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO) aimed to empower women/girls to reach their full potential through circles, workshops, networking and mentoring opportunities. Senyuman (smiles in Malay language) is a play therapy program aimed to support hospitalized children to cope with treatments and long stays in the hospital. Women Center for Change “WCC value shop”. The center focuses in support Malaysian women victim of violence and their children Tenganitas. Organization focused in support women traffic. Gladis Araujo has been acknowledged by the Global Chamber of Commerce in Malaysia as the “2018 and 2019 Top Women Inspiring Humanity Award” for her contributions to her communities. She is the first ever non-Asian woman receiving this recognition.

She was recently acknowledged by the Tecnologico of Monterrey as the 2021 Tec Woman in the category of Transformational Power for her trajectory and contributions to her communities. Gladis Araujo has a vast global business trajectory and works tirelessly for her communities. Her contributions are inspiring and putting Mexicans, women, and their alma maters names in high recognition. Connect with Gladis on LinkedIn.

Astrid Aubert was born in Guadalajara, she is 39 years old and has had the opportunity to live in many places. She studied communication and her professional career has been in Trade Marketing for global companies such as Pepsico and Mars. She currently works as Marketing Director Mexico for Vector Global Logistics. She is responsible for internal communications and marketing strategy development for the logistics industry. She is a mother of two girls, married and lives in Monterrey. She defines herself as a creative and innovative person, and enjoys traveling and cooking a lot. Connect with Astrid on LinkedIn. 


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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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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


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., which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Vicki White


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

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Allison Giddens


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


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


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


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


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


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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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Luisa Garcia is a passionate Marketer from Lagos de Moreno based in Aguascalientes. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, Mexico. She specializes in brand development at any stage, believing that a brand is more than just a name or image—it’s an unforgettable experience. Her expertise helps brands achieve their dreams and aspirations, making a lasting impact. Currently working at Vector Global Logistics in the Marketing team and as podcast coordinator of Logistics With Purpose®. Luisa believes that purpose-driven decisions will impact results that make a difference in the world.

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Astrid Aubert was born in Guadalajara, she is 39 years old and has had the opportunity to live in many places. She studied communication and her professional career has been in Trade Marketing for global companies such as Pepsico and Mars. She currently works as Marketing Director Mexico for Vector Global Logistics. She is responsible for internal communications and marketing strategy development for the logistics industry. She is a mother of two girls, married and lives in Monterrey. She defines herself as a creative and innovative person, and enjoys traveling and cooking a lot.

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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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

Director, Customer Experience

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.

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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