Supply Chain Now
Episode 1023

My advice to those of us that are going to be shoppers is, have a solid Plan B, right? If you want Widget X, be ready to settle for Widget Y. And be okay with that. I think as organizations we also need to have thoughts around, if I can't get enough inventory to supply my customers in X, what can I offer them?

-Mike Griswold

Episode Summary

As we head into the holiday season, retail has plenty to contend with: rising costs, increased employee turnover, somehow managing inventory and more. In this episode, Gartner Vice President of Research, Retail Mike Griswold joins Scott and Greg to review key strategies for successful S&OP planning, break down the big merger between Kroger and Albertsons, dive into advice for the holiday season and more.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:32):

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

Greg White (00:41):

Exceptionally well,

Scott Luton (00:42):

Man. So,

Greg White (00:43):

Just a surprising day, surprising, and I don’t know, encouraging. You saw my commentary today, one of my least favorite retailers, I think one that me and some other professionals believe probably shouldn’t even be in business today, right?

Scott Luton (00:57):

Is

Greg White (00:58):

Changing supply chain and merchandising together in a way that should have been done decades ago, is hyper encouraging and frankly, something that every retailer, I mean, they’re not just changing their business, they are changing the business, in my opinion, just the way that they’re approaching it. So, super, super encouraging. Macy’s

Scott Luton (01:19):

Outstanding. I’ll tell you, I love it. I love your commentaries. Monday, Wednesday and Friday every morning on LinkedIn. Y’all check that out. It is not to be missed. Uh, and today, speaking of things I love, we’ve got one of our longest running series, most populous series, it’s supply chain today and tomorrow with Mike Griswold with Gartner, Greg, today’s gonna be a bit of a unique hour with Mike as we’re gonna be walking through some of the leading headlines from, of course, inflation to Amazon and employee turnover there, Uh, Kroger’s and Albertson’s, their merger news, and of course, some bold predictions for the holiday shopping season from a supply chain standpoint. And Greg, since we get asked all the time about, you know, how to get ahead in your career, we’re gonna go ahead and pose that both of y’all in today’s show. So it is a jam packed episode.

Greg White (02:06):

Oh, boy, <laugh>. Yeah, it’s, I mean, it’s, and always great when Mike stops through. He is, he’s the consummate professional. I think, uh, the last show, the one I missed where you guys actually got to talk, uh, he talked about what his role is and how people interact with him, which I think is incredibly valuable. Pro a long time coming, right? Probably, probably should have shared that a little earlier, but I’m glad he got the chance to do it anyway.

Scott Luton (02:32):

Completely agree. I think a lot of folks are mystified with what industry analysts do, especially Hall of Fame analysts like, uh, Mike, who’s also been a practitioner, uh, which is important. So y’all check that out. That was the last, last month’s episode, and the replay’s always available. Now we’re gonna share a couple quick events, say hello to a few folks, and then we’ll be swooshing in Mike Griswold. But I got a quick trivia question for you. Do you know Greg, what took place one year ago? Let’s see here, One year ago today, And this might be a clue.

Greg White (03:03):

<laugh>. Wait, what? Oh, oh, let me guess. Uh, lemme think about that. The Braves won the World Series.

Scott Luton (03:09):

Yes. Yes. And despite their collapse this year against affiliates, which are given the Astros all they want, then some, right?

Greg White (03:16):

I mean, the Astros can’t even cheat their way to the World

Scott Luton (03:19):

Series. Oh, gosh. We’re gonna get some hate mail today about, we

Greg White (03:23):

Give up four dingers yesterday. Not that I wanna rub it in, but I think it was like three dingers and one inning. Is that right? Something?

Scott Luton (03:30):

Yeah, I think you’re right. <laugh>. We’re gonna hear a lot from Macy’s folks and from the Houston Astros folks, but that’s okay. Uh, all in good fun. Okay. So yeah, we celebrate, uh, one year ago today, the World Series was won by the Atlanta Braves is still the only team to win a World Series Championship in three cities, Atlanta,

Greg White (03:50):

And still World Series Champion.

Scott Luton (03:52):

That is right. Thank you. You’re making my day now. Now I’m on Greg’s level. All right. So kidding aside, I wanna share a couple of quick learning opportunities and really volunteer service opportunities. And I want to start with our ongoing leveraging logistics for Ukraine, uh, initiative, right? Led by our, uh, friends over at Vector Global Logistics. I’ll tell you what, they give so much for the good things and, and do good initiatives out across the world. Lately, though, the recent wrinkle or twists in this initiative is they’re, they’re soliciting letters written by kids letters of support, like one’s pictured here that they wanna bundle and send over to school kids in Ukraine. Now, Greg folks may like roll their eyes at that, but you know, Greg, back in the day when you get something in the mail, I mean, that made your day, maybe made your week, and that’s kind of what we’re trying to do here, right? Some meaningful support. Your quick, uh, thoughts here, Greg,

Greg White (04:43):

I did. It made you feel significant, right? That somebody would actually address something to you. Now, everything is addressed to you all the time, but rarely in actual physical form. And I think that’s really, really powerful. It, it is probably Scott more powerful than it even was when we were kids, right?

Scott Luton (05:01):

Yes. That’s great point.

Greg White (05:03):

I mean, there’s so many other ways to communicate these days.

Scott Luton (05:06):

Yep, great point. So it’s all about, you may hear Mike and the Gartner team talk about business outcomes. Little twist on that. This is focused on humanitarian outcomes, and so far over 500,000 pounds of relief supplies have made it across the pond to Ukraine and Poland and folks in need. Now, all of that is governed and driven by our planning sessions. And the next one is November 15th at 11:00 AM Eastern Time. There’s no obligation. You can come put your mic on mute and just listen and learn kind of what’s going on, especially from a practitioner’s standpoint, what the need is, what’s being done. There’s no obligation. Of course, if you can give, like Greg says, give big, give small, but just give, It’d be great if you can support our efforts. But, uh, check out the link. They dropped the comments, and we’d love to have you be a part of our efforts. Okay? And then really quick, our next webinar, Greg, November 9th, we’re gonna be talking with our friends at Omni Partners about how GPOs not GTOs. I bet Carl can, can help us maybe not mitigate

Greg White (06:05):

GTOs not gonna help you mitigate risk <laugh>. That’s right. But GPO is,

Scott Luton (06:09):

Yeah, beat me to it, as always. Yes. But check out November 9th session at 12 noon with our dear friends at Omnia Partners, how GPOs can help mitigate your risks. Okay? And that link is in the comments as well. Before we bring on Mike, Greg, let’s say hello to a few folks. We’ve got, uh, a good friend back with us, old PB Peter Bole all night and all day he says, Sweet. Finally catching a chat with Mike again. Hope you had a great golf season, Mike. We’ll find out. Get Mike’s up. Update on golf, huh?

Greg White (06:37):

Yeah, let’s check out his handicap. I’d like to see some actual verification of that as well. Peter

Scott Luton (06:43):

<laugh>. That’s right. Mario is with us. Great to see you guys. I like the positive vibes here. Greetings from Dallas. Did I say Mike? I met Mario. I’m part of thinking, Mike, you

Greg White (06:53):

Said Mario.

Scott Luton (06:54):

Oh, did I? Okay. Yeah. Mario, great to have you here. We lean into positive vis and, and positive thinking. And, uh, hey, how about them cowboys, Greg. How, how are the Cowboys doing?

Greg White (07:04):

I don’t know. That’s a i I mean, they had the potential for a real quarterback, right? Controversy with Cooper.

Scott Luton (07:12):

I’ll go with that. Yeah.

Greg White (07:14):

Although I’m a huge Dak Prescott fan. I loved watching him play in college. I think if they can get an offensive line in front of him, right? Um,

Scott Luton (07:24):

I think he’s gonna be back. I think he’s getting healthy, uh, maybe this week or next week. Uh,

Greg White (07:29):

Well, he was available last week. I think they played a Sunday night or a Monday night game. That’s embarrassing. I’m sorry. I’ve been woefully deficient in watching football this

Scott Luton (07:39):

Season. So Mario, let us know, and great to have you here. Appreciate the, uh, the great feedback there. Of course, Catherine, Amanda, behind the scenes helping to make production happen today. Big thanks. All that y’all do there, Reggie, you’re welcome. For the invite, we try to have the movers and shakers with us on all of these live streams. And glad that you’re here. Let us know where you’re tuned in from. Uh, helmet. Great to see you, Scott and Greg, you’re our supply chain champions, <laugh>, little sports analogy, like that helmet.

Greg White (08:04):

Yeah.

Scott Luton (08:04):

Greg, Uh, any thoughts? <laugh>, how would you res, how would you respond?

Greg White (08:08):

Well, thank you. I appreciate it. I mean, I think we’re, uh, maybe coaches, right? Of hopefully champions and future champions.

Scott Luton (08:15):

There we go. I like that. And great, always great to have you with us, Helen. I appreciate what you do. I think especially in the procurement space, your procurement thought leadership. Okay. So with no further ado, Greg White. We’ve got one of our favorite guests who’s been with us, probably, I think we’re going on year three of this series, if I’m not mistaken. It’s evolved,

Greg White (08:33):

Put up with us for so long.

Scott Luton (08:34):

Me neither, <laugh>. But I’ll tell you what has not changed is the feedback we get when Mike joined us and what he shares here. So y’all are in for a treat. So, with that said, I wanna welcome him in the one only Mike Griswold, Vice President Analyst with Gartner. Mike, how are you doing?

Mike Griswold (08:52):

Hey, great. I’ll give you real quick. Dallas Cowboy’s update. Cooper Rush was the Rush

Greg White (08:57):

Cooper Cups to,

Mike Griswold (08:59):

Sorry. Dak has, Yeah, Cooper Cup is the guy from the Rams. Uh, Dak has been back for two weeks. They beat the Lions and they beat the Bears. Now they’re on a bi week, so they’re doing all right. I mean, we had, myself included, when, when Dak got hurt against Tampa Bay, the season looked like it was over. Yeah. Cooper Rush came in, played really well there, there was never gonna be a quarterback controversy despite what people like to stir up. And the buy comes at a good time, but they still need to beat some good teams. And they haven’t done that yet. They, they lost to the Eagles. And now the opening season loss to Tampa Bay, if I, if I put my college basketball hat on, that’s a bad loss. It’s

Greg White (09:36):

Not a quality loss.

Mike Griswold (09:37):

You’re right. No, it is not a quality loss the way Tampa Bay is playing. So, we’ll see. The defense is playing well, I think the offense is, is

Greg White (09:43):

Starting. You’re a Cowboys fan.

Mike Griswold (09:45):

Oh, yeah, yeah. Long time fan. Long time.

Scott Luton (09:50):

I didn’t

Mike Griswold (09:51):

Know that. It’s great to see everyone, great to be here. This is one of the highlights of my month for sure, is, is spending time with, with all of you and, and the people that are kind enough to, to carve an hour out of what I’m sure is a very busy day, to spend an hour with us. So I, I really appreciate

Scott Luton (10:05):

All that, man. Learn something new every day. We’re gonna have you on our supply chain nerves talk sports, uh, show soon, Mike.

Mike Griswold (10:12):

No, that would be great.

Greg White (10:13):

About basketball, of course. But now, yeah, I mean, we, Yes,

Scott Luton (10:17):

Coming up soon, we’re overdue. Uh, we’re gonna have our friend Albert from the Atlanta Gladiators, uh, in a, um, a hockey franchise. Oh, okay. Who are overdue for that. They just kicked off their new season and they put on it, put on a quality show. So we’ll have that, uh, get ready for that coming up soon. Uh, okay. So Greg and Mike, as we get down the business, we’ve got some great news headlines to walk through. I can’t wait to get y’all’s take on some of those things as well as some advice for, uh, folks fighting to climb up that career ladder. But I wanna start with kind of a fun warmup question, kind of fun and kind of serious at the same time, you know, between all the pressures of the post pandemic, world inflation, supply chain pressures, you name it, it’s all about stress all too often, then the holidays on top of it. But today is national stress awareness day, right? So Mike and Greg, Mike, I’m gonna start with you. What is one thing that you do to de-stress and kind of recharge the batteries a bit?

Mike Griswold (11:11):

Uh, it’s usually something around exercise. You know, whether it’s running, whether it’s using the tonal gym we have in the house. I, I find exercise, for me, running in particular is, is a great way to just kinda not think about stuff. You know, I, I find when I run, you know, I, I think about, okay, you know, what are some things we wanna do in practice today for basketball? Or if I’ve got, you know, a research project I’m working on, what, what might I wanna think about that? So for me, it’s usually something exercise related. And, and it, as much as I, you know, I have this huge disdain for running. It tends to be my go-to thing though, when I wanna get some exercise and I wanna just kind of forget about

Scott Luton (11:52):

Stuff. Mm. Sounds good to me, Greg.

Greg White (11:55):

I just internalized it and bottle it

Scott Luton (11:57):

Up. <laugh>, <laugh>,

Greg White (12:00):

Sorry. Yeah, I, um, I don’t know. I really, it depends on the day, honestly. Yesterday I went to get fish and chips and sat down next to a couple who had their own stress problems. So after they left, I might have had a cold beverage because they actually did not help me de-stress <laugh>,

Scott Luton (12:20):

You

Greg White (12:20):

Know, sometimes just get a bite, do a lot of nothing. Watch the sunrise. I like Mike, despise running. Absolutely despise it. Still manage to do a walk or run, walk almost every day. And then I’ll quit for a while, because did I mention I despise it? Yeah. But I, you know, it, it just depends on the day. I mean, honestly, I kind of am really good at just shrugging stress off. I usually try to resolve whatever is cause causing me stress in some way.

Scott Luton (12:52):

Okay. Um, all right. Uh, I liked your first answer

Greg White (12:56):

About, just

Scott Luton (12:57):

To be clear, in case

Greg White (12:58):

Was left,

Scott Luton (12:59):

I like your first answer. Balling it up reminds me of that movie from, uh,

Greg White (13:04):

Way down deep inside there. Yes. We talk about it again.

Scott Luton (13:08):

There’s that Michael Douglas movie back from the late eighties, uh, what was the name of that? Falling Down? Down? Yes.

Greg White (13:16):

Actually, that was from Ricky Bobby from,

Scott Luton (13:18):

Oh, Was Night

Scott Luton (13:19):

<laugh>. Wait, uh, y’all let us know. Uh, so Catherine’s talking about running is her go-to for de-stressing beautiful views on the trails up there, North Georgia, where she lives. It’s a great pretty picture. Ts squared’s talking about how price gouging is also adding to the stress is a great point there. He was talking about, I think, Little Debbie’s or Honey Buns yesterday, but great to have you with us, a Squire holding down the Fort Force on YouTube. You know, I think spending time with the kids, you know, some folks that might be, that might add stress and some days, but I like, one of my favorite things to do when I have time is picking up the kids from school and being the first people they talk to as they get in the car. And, and hearing, sometimes hearing their daily challenges makes mine just kind of melt away. All right. So, Reggie, you’re tuned in looking for some information on locking in freight contracts. We may be able to touch on that today, but we’ll definitely be touching on it on future episodes. And yes, we’re all growing some gray hair based on some of the things we’re seeing out there in the freight end supply chain space. So we’ll try to get that. Great to have you here today.

Greg White (14:17):

Uh, I just got some news that should reduce stress for anyone who is an NFL fan.

Scott Luton (14:22):

Okay.

Greg White (14:23):

The Snyder family has just hired a Bank of America’s securities team to explore selling the commanders.

Scott Luton (14:31):

Wow. Okay.

Greg White (14:32):

Getting the Snyders out of NFL football is a boon to every single football fan.

Scott Luton (14:39):

All right. Around the world, man.

Greg White (14:41):

When we just get rid of the Dolphins owner, also

Scott Luton (14:43):

<laugh>. So come here for your sports update. You go for Cowboys updates and your football business news updates as well. Uh, thanks to Mike and to Greg <laugh>. Uh, so we’ll see. We’ll see how quickly that happens. So I wanna switch over to something of course, that everyone’s talking about. Everyone’s feeling, you know, we just rolled off probably one of the most expensive Halloweens of the year. I’m scared to even look at the estimates of what your average Thanksgiving meal’s gonna cost this year, inflationary environment. So a quick data point that most folks should already be familiar with, uh, as reported by our friends at NBC News through last September. So, uh, September, 2022, the 12 month inflation rate hit 8.2%. Right? So, I wanna start with, Mike, What are some of the things that you’re seeing companies do to navigate this inflationary environment?

Mike Griswold (15:35):

Yeah, there, I if, if I can figure out how to post one of our articles on LinkedIn, I will do that. We’ve written a lot on supply chain and in, and inflation and, and the R word, right? With the recession word. Mm. Two things. As I was looking at my notes from one of the short notes we wrote around this, that, that really resonated me. The first is around the sn o p process, and how can companies bring the cost element into your S N O P discussions so that as you’re thinking about, you know, medium to long term planning, that process now has cost considerations into it and the potential of changing costs. And how might that change how you think about matching demand and supply. The second one that is a little bit, probably a little bit more tactical, which is get rid of discretionary inventory.

Mike Griswold (16:25):

Now that presupposes that companies have gone through the exercise that, that says, this is the classification of inventory that I have. You know, here’s some healthy inventory, here’s some unhealthy inventory. Right? Companies need to get rid of that discretionary unhealthy inventory as quickly as they can. And then they need to be smarter around where are we gonna invest in upcoming inventory? And, and, and I’m sure this will be obvious to everyone, but try to avoid investing in inventory that has some link to market volatility, right? Try to invest in inventory that’s gonna be relatively stable, even if we go through an increased, um, you know, pricing environment that we’re in today. So the one that I thought was the most interesting was the S N O P one, especially, and Greg will appreciate this. If we think about retail, right now we’re just kind of sorting out the sn o p process. And for us it’s primarily around quantities. How much do I need? Where do I have it? When do I need it? We haven’t really matured into that financial element of sn o p, all the other industries that are a lot more mature than in, in sn o p should really be thinking about that costing component. Is it baked into your s and o p process? And how is it forming decisions in the medium to long term?

Scott Luton (17:41):

Hmm. Greg, what would you add to that?

Greg White (17:43):

Well, I like Reggie’s kind of off THEC cuff comment on that topic there. Some of them are thrown outta business.

Scott Luton (17:51):

<laugh> Richie tells it like it’s huh

Greg White (17:54):

Uh, Yeah, Right. I mean, more will I, I, you know what, I think what I haven’t seen that I think a lot of of consumers are starting to get frustrated wish, which will shift demand, is they’ve continued to see inflation and corporate profits rise, which means the retailers, the manufacturers, the brands, they are not sharing in the pain that the consumer is seeing. And I don’t know that I would expect them to, but ac margin, do I want to be clear for those who are angry about this out there, margin dollars are increasing for retailers because we keep paying the price, by the way. And the, but margin percentage is not increasing in a lot of cases. It’s just because the volume, they’re, they’re making the same gross market. 26% on $2 is bigger than 26% on $1. So it in dollars, I should say. So I think that that is one thing that I’m seeing is I’m starting to see a little bit of consumer backlash on that and starting to see some awareness of retailers on that. So I expect us to have, if you’re a, oh gosh, what was the, the movie anyway, expect us to start having some schooner tuna, uh, commercials. The tuna with heart, Right?

Scott Luton (19:08):

Right.

Greg White (19:09):

And if anybody doesn’t know, you can just Google Schooner tuna and you’ll see the video.

Scott Luton (19:14):

Isn’t that Hamburger Helper, I think is the brand. It would put out that, uh, those tuna mills, Greg, is that what you’re saying? Remember the, the Hand with the Heart and it had a whole line of Hamburger helper products? Is that who you’re,

Greg White (19:26):

Uh, no, this is what, what is the name of the movie? It had Michael Keaton, I think. Okay. And, um,

Mike Griswold (19:32):

Oh, you’re, you’re thinking, you’re thinking night shift. We’re gonna, we’re gonna, yeah, we’re gonna feed the tune of Fish Bandaid.

Greg White (19:38):

You can’t feed Chili to a Baby is the other

Mike Griswold (19:40):

Famous. Oh, okay.

Greg White (19:43):

It was Terry Gar and either Michael Keaton or Tom Hanks. I cannot believe I still get those two guys confused. But, um, anyway, she goes to work because he gets laid off from his high paying job, and she just absolutely,

Scott Luton (19:56):

Oh, Mr.

Mike Griswold (19:57):

Mom, Mr. Mom,

Greg White (19:58):

Mr. Mom. There it is. Yes, yes. Thank

Mike Griswold (20:00):

You. That is Michael King,

Greg White (20:02):

Mr. Mom, the schooner tuna. Yes. We’ll reduce our prices during these difficult times, but as time, you know, as the economy relaxes, whatever, we’ll go back to our regular price.

Scott Luton (20:14):

Yep.

Greg White (20:15):

Good. Tune it, tune

Mike Griswold (20:16):

It with a heart. I, I think the other thing, the other thing that’s happening, I think is people are really having that need versus want discussion. Yeah. What do you always have with your kids? Right? Your kids? I need a cell phone. No, you don’t. You want a cell phone. So that need versus want is really, I think, climbing up the consumer decision tree. And I think we’re finding less energy on the want right now because of prices. And, you know, let, let’s now forget that inflation affects everything. So you’ve got people making trade off decisions between scooter, tuna and gas in the car. So I can go to work, Right? You’ve got, you know, gas in the car versus do I pay all the electric bill? So this whole need versus one thing I think is really ratcheted up and has been ratchet it up over the last probably 12 months.

Scott Luton (21:10):

Yep.

Greg White (21:10):

It’s a good point. Because savings are declining, right? People saved a lot of the stimulus check that they got. Savings are declining. Personal credit is increasing. The specter of unemployment is definitely out there. You know, we have high employment, largely because we have a bunch of volunteers who are outside the employment market. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we talked about this yesterday. 7 million able bodied men, and I mean, men, just men who are choosing not to work right now, even though they’re ample jobs available for it. You know, I think we all have this sort of question of why are there so many jobs available and yet so many people who aren’t working, not out of work, but aren’t working. So,

Scott Luton (21:54):

All right, so moving right along. I gotta bring teeth Squared’s comment back in here cuz it wasn’t honey buns he was talking about yesterday in some of the price gouging and inflationary pricing, it was Tasty Cakes and I believe it was $3 and 98 cents is what the going rate is

Greg White (22:08):

From like a Buck 60 or something. Yeah.

Scott Luton (22:10):

Right? Yeah. Uh, so ts squared, thank you for these, uh, these pulses in the market, uh, on these important products. I’m partial little Debbie’s, especially Fudge rounds, star crunches, Cosmic Brownies, Mike and Greg. Now we’re talking my language, my bringing, All right, so moving right along. So from, I appreciate y’all’s take on how companies and business leaders are navigating some of y’all’s initial observations there. I wanna move into this story about Amazon because some internal documents came out. This, this comes from our friends at Popular Science, which by the way, 150 years they’re celebrating. And if you ever got popular science, my favorite part as a kid was they would take a look back of the technologies that they forecasted was coming and they’d look back a hundred years, they’d look back 50 years and look back 20 years. And it was the best part, I think one of the best parts of magazine. But nevertheless, Amazon’s employee retention and their turnover rates in particular maybe costing the company some 8 billion as in Bezos per year. So, Mike, talk to us about this, uh, this report here.

Mike Griswold (23:13):

So let, let me preface all this by saying, right, this was not public made publicly available by Amazon, it was leak. So let’s, you know, in, in some ways, let’s maybe take it with a grain of salt, right? Having said that though, and, and I may need help with the math, right? 8 billion. This, um, as you read it was, was across multiple tiers of employee level. Everything from management to people down in the warehouse. So if you were to say, let’s just, let’s use a round number cuz I need easy math of a hundred thousand dollars, uh, uh, an associate that’s 80,000, thousand people, I think right? That Amazon is turning over. And even if we say that’s half right, it’s 4 billion, that’s 40,000 people. So there’s an issue there, right? And I think the issue for the broader population is, are we focused enough on attracting, but probably are we, are we over-emphasizing the retaining part within our workforce?

Mike Griswold (24:13):

Hmm. And we’ve talked a lot on here with some of our Gartner research around moving from location centric work to human centric work, recognizing through the pandemic that not everything has to be done in an office. Uh, even people like Amazon that have warehouse and manufacturing jobs, there’s things you can do within that environment to create more human-centric work. So to me, this is an, an indication of a company that is not alone in struggling with retention. And to me, if retention isn’t something the C-suite is talking about, then you’re gonna end up like Amazon. You’re not eight b I mean, there’s probably only one company on the planet that could afford 8 billion in associate turnover, and that’s Amazon. But other organizations will have order of magnitude that is it, that is impactful to them if we’re not focusing on retention. And to me, that needs to be one of the top of mind things for all organizations supply chain and the rest of the organization. How are we engaging our associates? What are we doing consciously to drive retention? And are we listening to our associates when they talk to us about the things they wanna do, their career aspirations and, and what do they wanna do about the job environment? To me, this would send all kinds of alarm bells off for me. Again, even if we say it’s only half true around major retention issues for, for people that aren’t named Amazon as well. Right. Greg?

Greg White (25:49):

I think one thing you have to remember is this is a company that hires 120,000 people just for peak season. Yeah. So, yes, of course their turnover is gonna be enormous. Right? And a lot of the jobs that they hire people for are transitional transitory, even the warehouse workers. We’ve seen a a trend with people staying away in droves as I like to stay, say, from dark, dirty, dangerous, and dull jobs. And there are plenty of those in an Amazon warehouse. So I think, I don’t know if we should be shocked by this number, right? I mean, the company just receded below $1 trillion in valuation just yesterday. So $8 billion is a rounding error for them. Yeah. So I, I do think all of what Mike said, however, is true for Amazon and for everyone else. And it’s, it’s going to to be particularly important considering what we talked about just a few minutes ago with inflation and recession and whatever other economic transition we’re going to experience.

Greg White (26:54):

Yep. Uh, we’ve already started to see the trend of baby boomers coming back into the workforce because their stock portfolios got crushed, therefore their retirement has been crushed. And now they answer, they can now answer the question, What the heck am I doing this for anyway? So, and it is for, for the money. So, I mean, I think there’s a lot in transition here. There’s a lot of, I don’t know what I wanna say, activist employees at Amazon. And I’m not a huge, I’m not like a huge advocate of Amazon, though I am a shareholder, full disclosure. But I think I have 13 shares <laugh>

Scott Luton (27:34):

That’s out for the takeover from Greg White. That’s

Mike Griswold (27:36):

Right. That’s right.

Greg White (27:38):

But, but this is something that we need to be concerned about because we’re also in a transitional employment period where because people are staying away from certain jobs or they’re transitory in these certain jobs, those jobs are gonna go to automation and they’re gonna have to integrate with the people who have satisfying jobs and who want to stay in those jobs and who want to continue to do the kind of work that they’re doing. And they’re gonna be doing it instead of with human beings, with robots or other automation or autonomous. So you have to be very conscious of what is keeping or driving away people in your enterprise.

Mike Griswold (28:15):

Right. Yeah. I think maybe a couple other thoughts, Scott, cause I know you wanna move on. I, I think Amazon’s a good example. I think particularly if you think about the warehouse side of the house is what are you measuring? How are you incenting people? And and what, how does that drive the culture around whether people wanna stay or go mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I think that that’s not, I’m not saying that the way Amazon does it is wrong. All I’m saying is, as in any organization, you need to look at the measures and the metrics that you’re signaling are important. Yep. And how does that align with how people see themselves and how they value their job. The second thing is in the, in that, in that, um, note, it talks about regretted and unre regretted. I think the other takeaway from this is when you have, you know, unre regretted attrition, part of the exercise needs to be why.

Mike Griswold (29:08):

Right? And you have to be willing to hear the feedback around why people are leaving. And you can’t just gloss it over around, you know, some, some transitory type of things or, or or other kind of surface level reasons people are leaving. You need to dig deeper and really understand and, and be very reflective and be open to that reflectiveness around why people are leaving. I mean, one of the things we, we talk about at Gartner is when we think, think about this topic, and Greg, you hit on it, is why stay? So we spend a lot of time with people at Gartner saying, Why are you staying with us again? Not that we want you to leave, but we wanna understand why do you stay? What are the things you like about the job? What are the things that keep you wanting to stay with us? And I think more organizations when they, when they look at that regretted versus unre regretted should be thinking about why are people staying? To your point, Greg, and how do we amplify that? That to me, that that’s gonna be a huge issue for us over the next 12 day, 18 months, is this broader talent discussion.

Scott Luton (30:18):

Yep.

Greg White (30:18):

It’s too infrequent that companies ask the question what is going right? They always ask the question, what is going wrong or what’s gone wrong? But what is going right is critical to reinforcing the behavior or the, or the operations or the outcomes that you want to continue in your organization.

Scott Luton (30:36):

Right? The the employee, uh, the employee idea, uh, bucket isn’t good enough. Uh, Right. A little tip of the hat to Michael Scott, the office. Right. It’s not good enough. You gotta lean in, you gotta be engaged, you gotta seek out the information, whether it’s easy to hear or not. Yeah. Lean in. And then of course, once you gather it, you gotta take action and do something about it, uh, to protect the team you have and and, and to improve your overall talent management approach. So Mike and Greg appreciate your, your perspective here today. I just wanna point something out cause it just dawned on me. So going back to this graphic here, you know, Greg, we’ve done over a thousand shows on the main channel, hundreds of live streams and webinars, and this is the first time we’ve ever referenced a story at Popular Science.

Scott Luton (31:16):

Popular Science. Right? So kudos to that team for jumping into the Amazon news and, and sharing these reported findings. Uh, and <laugh> getting aside 150 years. That is something certainly to, uh, celebrate. Okay. So now we’re getting to, uh, an interesting story that’s not new. It’s been around for at least a few weeks here. Many outlets from the Wall Street Journal to hear in this case CNN Business have been reporting on Kroger’s plans to purchase Albertsons. Now here, the interesting twist on Couch, the perspective you’re gonna hear from Mike and Greg and myself, perhaps, we’re a big Kroger family, we’re in there every day. It seems like we live near by a one of their experiential big mega stores where they try all kinds of new things and kind of see how it resonates. So the, the good old Kroger Smart card, they’ve been gathering data for me for Amanda for decades it feels like. And Mike, interesting little take here. You were, I believe in supply chain at Albertson’s earlier in your career. Is that right, Mike?

Mike Griswold (32:11):

Correct. Just before we got bought by Super Value. Uh, okay. That was kind of the impetus for I’m not leaving Boise, Idaho for Minneapolis, Minnesota. And that kinda, that kind of golfing

Greg White (32:23):

Season is too short.

Mike Griswold (32:24):

I I, I don’t wanna upset, you know, I don’t wanna add Houston Astro fans, Macy customers and people that live in Minneapolis to the list of hate mail we’re gonna get. But I wasn’t making that move. Uh, and that, that was kind of the impetus to the whole analyst journey that we spent some time talking about last month. So yes. All right. I have had some experience with them.

Scott Luton (32:43):

So I’m looking forward to get you and Greg’s take on why some of the why they would do this. Obviously a lot of folks are familiar with, uh, you know, Walmart getting more and more into the grocery game and Kroger and Albertson’s together. There’s a much bigger footprint, some of the reasons. But, uh, Mike just in general, and then Greg, Mike, talk to us about what you see with this potential

Mike Griswold (33:02):

Merger. Yeah, it’s interesting. My early days at amr when, when I would talk to, you know, Kroger and Albertsons and Safeway, who was by themselves at the time, you know, when, when, when you would overlay the map of the United States there, there was a lot of overlap between any two of them, right? But when you looked at all three of them together, which is now really what we’re talking about, they pretty much cover now the United States, which I, I think this is to your, to your comments guy. This is, this is a reaction to, you know, where Walmart has gone with grocery, uh, and, and the strength and the presence and just the share that Walmart has in grocery. You know, I think this is probably something that w that was inevitable and whether it was, although I think back in my AMR days, I would’ve thought it was more likely that it would’ve been Safeway who would’ve bought the other two than where we landed with Kroger.

Mike Griswold (33:58):

I think though fast forwarding today, I think the right company, Kroger of those three is the right one to now have kind of the control and influence over the three. Kroger has always struck me, whether it’s, it’s what you talked about in terms of the customer intelligence, they’ve always been pretty sophisticated for a food retailer in the technology space. A lot of investment. You talked about the innovation store, a lot of investment in technology. They’ve got a really good culture around innovation and technology. So I, I think overall the right company is now kind of shepherding these other two through the journey. There are going to be for those people that, that like to, to watch the ftc, this is gonna be a circus you’ve already started to re to read about what’s gonna have to happen in terms of divestitures. You’ve already heard, um, Albertson’s talk about to maybe get ahead of the divestitures spinning off similar to they did when they got bought by Super value, you know, spinning off a small 200 store chain that I don’t know where or what it’s gonna do.

Mike Griswold (35:06):

Right. But there’s a lot more, I mean, the people that are gonna get rich on this are the FTC lawyers for sure, which always happens in a merger. And acquisitions especially of this size. I’m excited for this because I do think if there’s someone that, that can give Walmart a run for their money relative to technology and innovation, it’s always been Kroger. I think there’s good infrastructure in Albertson’s and Safeway. I think culturally overall, I think it’s a pretty good fit in terms of the, the Albert and the Kroger culture in particular, I think are pretty well aligned in terms of, you know, acting locally, but trying to govern more broadly. Yep. So I I, I think this is gonna be a good deal once it finally gets sorted out. There’ll be a lot of chaos until it gets sorted out. But I think Kroger was, is the right one to come out.

Mike Griswold (36:02):

I don’t wanna say cow come out on top, it wasn’t really a competition, but I do think of those three big ones that you had. Yep. Kroger being the one that’s driving the bus, I think is a good thing. All right. Uh, and I think it’s a good thing for, a good thing for the market. I think it’s a great thing for the supermarket industry who’ve always been laggers with maybe the, except with, with the exception of Kroger for sure, when it comes to technology and innovation. So I, I, I’m excited to see where this goes.

Scott Luton (36:30):

Okay. So, you know, uh, really quick, Greg, I’m coming to you next, but, uh, Kroger’s also been leading the way in terms of rolling out those, uh, self checkout lanes that we’ve talked about before. I’m a big fan of, Cause we can purchase as many dog treats and little Debbie’s and not be judged for it, you know, cause we’re, we’re self check it out. So little, little, that little tidbit about how Kroger runs at stores. Greg, what’s your take on Kroger Albertson’s pending marriage?

Greg White (36:56):

I agree with the core precept that Mike talked about. The Kroger is the right company to lead here. So I’m from Kansas. There was a little tiny chain of grocery stores called Dylans. And when Kroger bought them, they elevated the CEO of this tiny grocery store chain, David Dillon to CEO role at Kroger. And to me, not only does that show a certain openness, but but a really kind of collaborative spirit that you see as well. Because they also allow some of their really premier brands to keep their label right here on Hilton Head, we have Harris Teeter, which is a legendary grocery brand in the southeast, particularly in South Carolina, and oh, well along the coast anyway, and Kroger stores. And they’ve allowed them to have their distinct personalities even within like five miles of one a three miles, I dunno, small island, whatever. They’re very close to one another.

Greg White (37:53):

And they did the same with Dylan for a good long while. And they did with fries and other companies that they have bought over time. And they’ve integrated them very well. And they have created the efficiencies with some local control that Mike has talked about. I just think they do it right. And look, this was largely a defensive move for the collection of other grocers other than Walmart, right? They have to get bigger to be able to compete with Walmart effectively because they need the volume discounts and whatever else that, that they can tackle. Plus they need to modernize how grocery is done. So much, much of the store is still done by merchandisers, right? It’s manual, it’s emotional. Here’s how much space I have, I’m gonna fill that space with Cheerios or whatever it is, right? They need to think a little bit more scientifically and they need to automate a lot of what’s going on.

Greg White (38:51):

And this gives them a scale that they can definitely do that undertake what I’m sure will be multimillion or maybe even billion dollar implementation of a technology that brings things like complete oversight and understanding of their stock status, of their mixes in the various, you know, product mix in the various stores and what their optimal inventory positions ought to be. So there’s a lot of room for improvement. And with the kind of scale that this gives these organizations, it’ll give them a huge opportunity to, to compete with Walmart, but also just be a better enterprise together than they are separately, right?

Scott Luton (39:30):

Yeah. But not Cheerios. It’s, it’s, it’s gotta be Fruit Loops, Fruity Pebbles, anything but Cheerios and especially not Honeynut Cheerios. Goodness gracious. Those things are horrible. <laugh>

Mike Griswold (39:39):

<laugh>, I, yeah, I’m, I I I would prefer a Frosted Flakes analogy than,

Greg White (39:45):

Oh my gosh. Anyway, you’re right. General Mills, right? Yeah. Frosted Flakes is a much better cereal.

Mike Griswold (39:53):

The, um, the, the point you made, Greg, I just wanted to amplify cuz it’s, it’s spot on, which is the things that Kroger does well, were already kind of building blocks that were in place in Albertson’s and in Safeway, I’ll take the loyalty as an example, right? Safeway already doing mining, you know, pretty much on par with what Kroger was doing. Albertson’s was, was in the early stages of that. So Kroger can elevate that there, there’s a lot of areas within those two companies that they already had been working on that I think Kroger can take them to the next level. The one challenge I do see with Albertsons in particular is the big challenge when you compete against Walmart is ultimately it does come down to price and service. Albertsons has tended to skew in their markets on the higher price side. And I think customers would debate whether they were getting service, the service equivalent for that.

Mike Griswold (40:47):

So I think one of the challenges Kroger might have is, is how do we bring kind of that lower price competitive dynamic within the Albertsons footprint. Safeway, I would argue, well they may have said they wanted to compete at the higher end of price. They were really a price competitor. So I think that DNA that Kroger brings is also gonna be good because at the end of the day, you do have to find a way to competitively compete on price against Walmart. And then where are you gonna provide differentiation like that targeted marketing and loyalty that, that Kroger has an incredible strength is. And I also agree, Greg Kroger of all the food retailers, certainly has been doing a lot of really exciting things around automation and innovation. And it was already, I think, think doing really, really well in e-commerce, which is gonna be that other battleground when it comes to food retailing is, you know, order online collect and store Kroger doing that really, really well and I think has another opportunity to elevate both Albertsons and Safeway in that area as well. So, again, agree with Greg. I I think that the right company is, is driving the bus in this

Scott Luton (41:54):

One. Yep.

Greg White (41:55):

Hey Scott, before we move off, Yeah, I have to, my mom is required that I do this. Whenever we talk about Dylan’s David Dylan to David Dillon. I just wanna apologize again for my dad giving you an f in speech class when you were in

Mike Griswold (42:10):

High school.

Greg White (42:11):

She, she, my mom literally, that’s, that’s the story she tells the next day David was carrying her groceries out from the store and she was so embarrassed and he said, and this is a talk about the words of a future leader. It’s okay, Mrs. White, I deserve,

Scott Luton (42:31):

So one last comment here. Natalie, uh, who lived in Cincinnati, I think she’s in the Charlotte area now, speaking to what Greg was talking about, kind of that local, uh, flavor. Natalie says Kroger does that within their own chain. They lived in Cincinnati for years. Each location was geared to the local, you know, five mile radius or so. That’s a good thing. Okay, so lot more to come on the Kroger’s Albertson’s story. I want to, uh, on this next, this, this is going to have to be a quick hitter. Um, there’s a great article here from Market Watch about kinda the supply chain outlook for the holiday shopping season that evidently we’re already in. It’s not even upcoming these days that we’re already in it. You know, what’s in stock, what’s not gonna be in stock. Uh, so Mike and Greg, just a couple quick observations cause I definitely wanna get to that final question about, um, uh, not only what’s what’s going on at Gartner, but also, uh, any tips for folks moving ahead in their career. So a quick observation around the supply chain outlook for the holiday shopping season, Mike.

Mike Griswold (43:26):

Yeah, I I I think it’s gonna be another tough one just because of some of the things you already talked about, inflation recession. I think we’re still dealing with supply constraints in general all across the supply chain. Yep. My advice to those of us that are gonna be shoppers is, is have a solid plan B. Right? If you want a widget X, be ready to settle for widget y Right? And be okay with that. I think as organizations we also need to have thoughts around, if I can’t get enough inventory to supply my customers in, in X, what can I offer them? And y so it, it’s, there’s gonna be a, there’s gonna need to be, you know, I think this holiday season, I would maybe under subtitle it the year of contingency planning for both shoppers and for organizations.

Scott Luton (44:17):

Excellent. Uh, Greg, your quick thought.

Greg White (44:19):

I agree with Mike, it’s gonna be a very soft holiday season and not just because of the difficulty of getting things, but it appears that everyone but Macy’s is gonna have this landscape of leftovers from products that didn’t get out on the shelf Yeah. Last Christmas or during the rest of the year because it arrived late. So maybe Macy’s is an actual, maybe a really big winner this holiday season, but I fear that hardly anyone else will be

Scott Luton (44:47):

<laugh>. Well, I, I would just add to all of our listeners out there, this could be a great year to focus in on presence with the P R E S C E N

Greg White (44:57):

  1. No, cce

Scott Luton (44:58):

N I might feel speech too, like David Dylan. Yeah. And not presence the, the objects, right? I mean, hey, going back to I think what Mike shared, just be grateful for what you get, uh, and not overly choosy, uh, because I’ll tell you between the supply chain of, you know, supply challenges we’ve seen on a variety of products to just how much everything costs. Goodness gracious, It’d be a good time to celebrate being with your family and loved ones. Okay, so I’ve got 1249. We’re coming down the home stretch very quickly, Mike and Greg. So we get this question all the time. We did, We happened as Murphy’s Law goes. We did not get it today, but that’s okay. We’re gonna answer anyway. Uh, so Mike and Greg, give me one thing. We always get the question special in this series, you know, how can I break into supply chain or how can I move up that career ladder? Mike, what’s one, one way that you’d encourage folks to answer that question these days?

Mike Griswold (45:49):

So, when I think about how we go through the, the analyst hiring process, you know, one of the things, and even as I think about we’re coming into our end of year kind of appraisal review season, one of the words or kind of collection of words we talk about a lot is behaviors. And what behaviors have people demonstrated. My advice to people that are early in the market or looking to, to move through the market is put yourself in situations where you can demonstrate behaviors. What’s happening is resumes and skills and education is all starting to look very similar. Hmm. So, you know, if your resume, you know, if you went to Michigan State, uh, with a supply chain degree, you’re not alone in that. Right? And if you’re in the top 10% of your class with a Michigan State supply chain degree, guess what?

Mike Griswold (46:42):

There’s 10% of you that that, that have basically a similar resume. What’s gonna differentiate people as behaviors? Where can you demonstrate to us those leadership behaviors, those ability to collaborate behaviors, those where you’ve been able to communicate maybe different idea behaviors? That’s my biggest piece of advice is differentiate yourself on experiences and behaviors. Don’t try to differentiate, differentiate yourself around what typically in the past may have been important on a resume. Kind of those very, this is where I went to school, these are the jobs that I’ve had. It’s about behaviors and experiences. At least that’s been my experience.

Scott Luton (47:26):

Yep. Well said Mike, Greg,

Greg White (47:28):

Uh, forget terms like, work your wage or act your wage and quiet quitting because you won’t have to quit or you won’t be working your wage either because layoffs are coming probably even in the supply chain industry. And those will be the people that will go first. I’m not saying to work in an 80 hour week either, but don’t shortchange yourself by not gaining the experience of hard work in the supply chain and the experience that you get from interacting with other human beings. So, to your point of presence, Scott Luden, be present. I, I mean, I think there, I love the flexibility of remote work, but you cannot deny even people who are huge advocates. We, I have this debate all the time. Even people who are huge advocates of remote work, recognize, acknowledge, and I think relish the opportunity to get in front of people and solve in two minutes something you’ve been working on for two weeks, even collaboratively mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but distance like this. So start to think about how you can make your job more satisfying by being present, being more engaged and, and being more active. And it’s hard to differentiate yourself other than that, in my

Scott Luton (48:44):

Opinion. Well, and also remember, uh, it’s easy relatively speaking to deliver when times are easy, but, uh, Mike and Greg are kind of both speaking to differentiations when times get tough, which you can really stick out with what you bring to the table. So Mike and Greg, wonderful conversation. I should just share T Square it says, Honey Nut Cheerios is a banga. Don’t slander that one. Now I’m new to Banga. I don’t know, uh, what,

Greg White (49:10):

That’s what he means. It’s a banger.

Scott Luton (49:12):

Oh,

Greg White (49:12):

<laugh> banger

Scott Luton (49:13):

<laugh>. Gotcha. All right. How

Greg White (49:16):

You

Scott Luton (49:17):

<laugh>? And by the way, Jason joins today. Jason, hope your newest addition to the, uh, family, which is probably a couple months old now, is doing well. Okay. So Mike, before you leave us, and hopefully you give us just an extra second or two on the, uh, exit button, Mike, talk to us. What’s the latest going on with Gartner? What should folks be on the lookout for and how can folks connect with

Mike Griswold (49:37):

You? Yeah, so the, the usual connections, LinkedIn gartner.com, we are heads down now planning for our two supply chain symposium, early May in Orlando, first week in June in London, and I think it, or sorry, Barcelona, and I think I teed up last time. I also want people to start thinking about October and November. We’re gonna do, um, two planning summits. So smaller events geared specifically for people that do planning. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, we did one in 2019 pre Covid was incredibly successful in Denver and we had plans to roll them out, but then Covid got in the way. So right now really focused on what do we wanna deliver for our events.

Scott Luton (50:18):

Love that. And how can folks, uh, connect with you? I know you’re getting better and better incrementally at LinkedIn, right? Yeah.

Mike Griswold (50:24):

Incrementally is the key word, Scott. Yes. LinkedIn. And then, uh, really email mike duck griswold gar.com. I, I have turned off the fax machine, so please don’t fax me, but email, email is probably the best incrementally better at LinkedIn.

Scott Luton (50:41):

And if you put something golf related in a subject line, you probably have a slightly more better

Mike Griswold (50:47):

Yes. Or, or, or basketball. Yes. Yes.

Scott Luton (50:51):

Right. Always a pleasure to spend time with one of the smartest guys that we know here. Uh, Mike Griswold with Gartner. Mike, always a pleasure. If we don’t talk with you, have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and we’ll have you back in December. Looking forward to that already. Thank you, Mike. Sounds good.

Mike Griswold (51:04):

Me too. Thanks everyone.

Scott Luton (51:09):

Man, we covered around the world and then some in, uh, 50 minutes just about after our opening about Yeah. A variety of things. So, Greg, uh, other than hunting up Cheerios, you know, Mike dropped a ton of a truckload is always of, of great insights and expertise and things that consider folks out there. What was one of your favorite things he shared here today?

Greg White (51:31):

Well, I think his insights around getting into supply chain are particularly valuable. Who could know better than he does? Right? I mean, he talks to virtually all of the major employers in supply chain, whether they’re practitioners or service providers or technology providers. He knows what it takes to, you know, to make your way in supply chain. It’s not his job to know that, but he just talks to these companies about things like retention and hiring and what they’re looking for in people to make their organization more successful. That’s gotta be my, my favorite also, sorry, you said pick one, but I’m gonna pick two. I love it when we get to hear him talk about something he really, really knows intimately, like Albertsons. I mean, he worked there. Just fantastic that he get that he’s got the opportunity to do that. And I think a lot of people might have been a homer in that, and Albertsons should have been the surviving entity, but the way that he breaks down why it makes sense that Kroger is that, whatever you wanna say, surviving guiding entity in that makes perfect sense. So, and, and it’s, you know, it’s an incredibly mature position to take. So, which is nothing less than we would expect for Mike

Mike Griswold (52:45):

<laugh>.

Scott Luton (52:46):

Good stuff. I, I, the whole conversation was a, a neat, when I was excited as we were putting the, uh, kinda the framework of the show, uh, together earlier. A lot of good stuff. I enjoyed your perspective as always, Greg. Uh, you and Mike are quite the one, two punch. Always enjoy these monthly and folks, in case you don’t know, uh, and again, I think we, this is our third year, uh, but it’s the first Wednesday of each month, right? 12 in Eastern time. Now, say that because next month we’re getting a little exception and, you know, there’s plenty of exceptions in supply chain. Next is the first Thursday of December is gonna be, uh, Mike Griswold’s appearance here at Supply Chain now. So y’all check that out, tune in, bring your questions, bring your observations and be prepared for a great conversation.

Greg White (53:27):

But also come on Wednesday because we’ll have something pretty special that day as well.

Scott Luton (53:31):

That is right. And it’ll be a whole lot better than canned cranberry sauce on your Turkey sandwiches, which is no good. All right. So, uh, enough about that. Uh, thanks everybody. You know, Reggie teas squared. Jason, Natalie PB dropped in earlier. Uh, Scott Boudreau, great to have you here. Of course, Katherine Manda, all the folks we didn’t hit. Uh, y’all get ready. Be back with us Monday’s our next live show. Monday for the supply chain Buzz 12 New Eastern Time where we also walked through the latest and greatest some, the best, uh, most important news headlines of the day, Greg. Always a pleasure knock shows that with you.

Greg White (54:06):

Yep. Likewise, appreciate it. You are the master of not just ceremonies, but team discussion that occurs in supply chain.

Scott Luton (54:14):

Uh, you’re too kind, but folks, whatever you do, uh, hey, act on some of what you heard here today. It’s all about deeds, not words, right? Differentiate yourself. Find a way. There’s plenty of ways to find that, but most importantly, do good, give forward and be the change that’s needed. And with that set up, see you next time. Right back here on Supply Chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (54:33):

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

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

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

Donna Krache is a former CNN executive producer who has won several awards in journalism and communication, including three Peabodys.  She has 30 years’ experience in broadcast and digital journalism. She led the first production team at CNN to convert its show to a digital platform. She has authored many articles for CNN and other media outlets. She taught digital journalism at Georgia State University and Arizona State University. Krache holds a bachelor’s degree in government from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. She is a serious sports fan who loves the Braves. She is president of the Dave Krache Foundation. Named in honor of her late husband, this non-profit pays fees for kids who want to play sports but whose parents are facing economic challenges.

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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Greg White

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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