Supply Chain Now
Episode 948

I was in a recent conversation with a colleague and customer. He said, before the pandemic, my customers were really banging on the table about good service on time in full. And now, post-pandemic, customers are thinking, thank you for taking my order.

- Valerie Tardif

Episode Summary

Between climate change disasters, new tariffs and the “Great Resignation,” today’s supply chains are facing constraints like never before, and it’s high time supply chain professionals reevaluated their use of data and technology to stay ahead of the curve. To that end, Scott and Karin join Valerie Tardif, Vice President of Product Management at Infor, to discuss how companies can begin to upgrade their planning prowess. Tune in to get Valerie’s expert take on why data and analytics must be tailored by industry, how customized technology can give you a competitive edge and what you need to do to prepare for a growing number of cybersecurity attacks.

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 (00:33):

Good morning, Scott Luton and Karin Bursa with you here on supply chain. Now. Welcome to today’s live stream. Hey Karen, how you doing?

Karin Bursa (00:41):

I’m doing great. It’s good to see you,

Scott Luton (00:42):

Scott, you as well. We’ve got a huge show here today. Really excited. Uh, we got a special guest we’re gonna be talking about and really diving into the good news and the bad news for supply chain planning in this new business environment that, Hey, we all find ourselves in whether we like it or not, right. Karin

Karin Bursa (01:00):

Absolutely. And you now I love these good news, bad news, right? I wanna look at both sides of the equation, so I can’t wait to hear what our guest has to share.

Scott Luton (01:09):

Uh, completely agree, but Hey folks, out there in cheap seats in the sky boxes, whatever we wanna call it here today. Uh, you’re part of the conversation we wanna hear from you too. So we hope you’ll be sharing your, your takes and your thoughts, your POV, your expertise, you name it throughout the next hour on our discussion. And we’re gonna share as many of those comments as we can get to. I already see a few folks, uh, chiming in Karin before we bring in our guest. Let’s welcome in some of these folks where they’re tuned in from looks like round, round the globe as always. You ready?

Karin Bursa (01:40):

I’m ready.

Scott Luton (01:41):

All right. So, you know, we can’t have a live stream conversation without our, our hard hitting production team. Big thanks to Catherine and Chantel and Amanda that you name it. Hey clay, the diesel Phillips is with us here as well via LinkedIn. Great to see you, clay and Catherine AMI is tuned in via LinkedIn. Hey, let us know where you’re tuned in from and make sure, Hey, if I get y’all’s name wrong Karin, they gotta keep us honest. Right. They gotta make sure we, uh, we get that right. Correct.

Karin Bursa (02:08):

Absolutely. With a name like Karin, I’m very sensitive to it. So, um, so please correct us if we get it wrong.

Scott Luton (02:16):

That’s right. Let us know where you’re tuned in from there. AMI Bo GBO, Bo Cabo, I believe, uh, tuned in via LinkedIn. Good evening to you. Great to have you here. Let us know where you’re tuned in from. Hey, Jonathan is back with us via LinkedIn. Jonathan don’t tell me, I think he is he hails from Louisiana. Karin. I believe we may just sneak some food discussion in here today. <laugh> and Hey, good food in Louisiana. Those things are go hand in hand, right? Right

Karin Bursa (02:44):

In hand. Yes, sir.

Scott Luton (02:46):

But Jonathan, great to have you back, uh, look forward to your perspective today. Hey, Daisy, watching from Kenya via LinkedIn. Great to see you here today. Wonderful. Yes. Uh, and, and, and thanks for letting us know where you’re dialed in from. We love making these connections, right? Cor

Karin Bursa (02:59):

Absolutely. Absolutely. The world is getting smaller and smaller and we love to know. And thank you for spending time with us. I know it’s late in the day for you.

Scott Luton (03:09):

That is right. Daisy. Great to have you. Hey, Bo Gabo is from South Africa. Thank you for sharing that. I was just on this morning, on this week in business history with our good friend, Jenny fr who hails also from South Africa, we kind of, uh, Corrine. We completely kind of history, geeked it up a bit. This morning had a, had a blast, but uh, welcome in to you, uh, naan tuned in from India via LinkedIn. Great to see you here, naan. Hey, Dr. Julio is back with us Corin.

Karin Bursa (03:39):

Nice, wonderful from Florida too,

Scott Luton (03:41):

Right. That’s right. And we may, we may talk about Florida a little bit here in a minute, but uh, always enjoy your perspective. Ju here today, let’s see Marley tuned in from Brazil via LinkedIn. Great to see you. Kevin tuned in from New Jersey via LinkedIn. Thanks for joining us. Hey GP, Jean pleasure is tuned in from Northern Alabama. Great to see you, gene, Josh, goody, Jean, Josh, Julia, Jonathan, all these regulars. So good to have him. Josh has already given us a weather report. Karin sunny, look at that. Sunny

Karin Bursa (04:13):

70 in Seattle, 70. I mean, that sounds like a winter day compared to, uh, what’s happening in the rest of the world right now,

Scott Luton (04:21):

Man, you are so right, but Josh always keeps it real with us here. So Josh looking forward to your perspective throughout the hour, we got so much to get into. We have a great guest we’re gonna be bringing on in just a minute. I wish we get everybody man, deep via LinkedIn. Thanks so much for joining us here today. Colette, from chiro via LinkedIn, Kali, probably rather great to have you here today. Hey, Dr. Rhonda is with us here today. She says, good morning, lovely humans taking a break to listen in and learn today. Karin, lots of learning’s gonna happen here today, right?

Karin Bursa (04:53):

Absolutely. And Dr. Rhonda, we are always glad when you can make time to join us. So thanks for being here.

Scott Luton (04:59):

That’s right. One last thought Rhonda and I hooked up. Uh, let’s see. Today’s Wednesday. I think on Monday as we were prepping with, uh, the Redwood logistics team for our veterans and logistics event, July 26th, I mean next week, Rhonda has been gracious enough, generous enough to show up, be a part of our steam panel and talk about mental health balance and wellness tips. So really appreciate that, Rhonda, we owe you one and we’ll see you next week. Okay. So welcome everybody. And we’re gonna try to get through as many comments as we can. We got a great show teed up. So keep ’em coming, but cor with no further due, we, I think we gotta welcome in our, our big time home run guests here today. Are you ready?

Karin Bursa (05:41):

I’m ready. I’m ready. Let’s do it. I think this will be her first ever swoosh. So really, you know, make it a good one.

Scott Luton (05:47):

I remember mine. It’s simple things in life folks. So with that said, we’ll welcome in Valerie. Tardiff vice president product management with for supply chain planning. Hey Valerie. How you doing?

Valerie Tardif (06:01):

I’m good. Thank you. Thank you. That was awesome. Great swoosh. <laugh>

Scott Luton (06:06):

Again. Welcome. Welcome. It’s a simple things in life. You know, we get the swoosh, Valerie, you’re the star of the show, but that swoosh, I think he or she already has an agent cause it gets everybody’s attention. So Hey, so it’s uh, we love the simple things, but swoosh aside, Corin and Valerie, we’ve got a really neat starting point before we get into the good and the bad, uh, with supply chain planning for 2022 and beyond, uh, we’re gonna have a lot of fun with a couple topics here today. So it is Corin and Valerie national hotdog day today

Scott Luton (06:40):

Who would’ve THK right now last night was major league baseball’s Allstar game. Unfortunately I think for this audience here, the American league team won again. I think that’s nine or 10 in a row, but that aside we’ll stay on a good, good side. We all know that baseball and hotdogs go hand in hand baseball and good food goes hand in hand. So Valerie little birdy told us that you grew up a big Montreal expos fan. I think you lived in Montreal. So what did those trips to the expos games involve? Especially from a food standpoint?

Valerie Tardif (07:10):

Oh, for me it was, uh, such great fun. I mean, you know, back in Montreal a little bit, couple, you know, five, six years after the Olympics, uh, the games were held at the Olympic stadium, huge place. Sometimes it’s hard to, to pack it in, but uh, for me as a teenager, it was, uh, it was a great time to go. $1 would get you in the bleaches. Wow. And, uh, and we got to sit and uh, of course, you know, enjoy hot dogs. And uh, my favorite players back then, you know, it was, uh, Gary Carter and Tim rains and Andrew Dawson, you know, who, who could go wrong? <laugh> this was a great, uh, great time.

Scott Luton (07:51):

I love it. Uh, one other name I noticed from those early eighties, Tim Wallock, Tim Wallock must have played for like 50 years in the major leagues. He was still around in the early nineties. And then one of the, one of the little fact toy and Andry would coming to you next, but this ballpark stayed Olympic. Is that right?

Valerie Tardif (08:10):

Yeah. The state Olympic.

Scott Luton (08:12):

Yes. Yeah. So good baseball, good food, great memories, great value. A buck to get you in. Valerie. It sounds like you could write some book on those early baseball days. Right.

Valerie Tardif (08:23):

And on those hot summers, you know, there’s just the perfect place to go. It was an adventure for us. You took the subway, you know, you got to walk through the Olympic complex to get there. Wow. And, and those holidays.

Scott Luton (08:36):

All right. So we, we could speak for a whole hour about Valerie’s uh, I think ballpark days, but Karen, you’ve got some interesting memories growing up in Palm beach county, Florida, right?

Karin Bursa (08:46):

Yeah. Yes. I’m born and raised in south Florida, Northern Palm beach county. But my expos connection is that they did their spring training. That’s right at the stadium in west Palm beach. So it’s like the west Palm beach municipal stadium. And I think that the expos train there for spring training from like 61 to 72, and then again from like 81 to 1997, and guess what they had to share the facility and guess who they shared it with. They shared it with the Braves really. So we got to double dip and would get to go to expo games and to Braves games. So I had very divided loyalties as a child because, you know, like Valerie mentioned, it was very cheap to get in. I, I honestly think my parents would just drop me off there with my older brother and say, okay, we’re coming back in three hours and you know, and then pick us up afterwards. Wow. So, um, they’d give us a couple of bucks for popcorn or hot dogs and a soda, and we’d sit out there and roast and watch baseball all day long. It was awesome.

Scott Luton (09:55):

I love it. Karen Corin and valor. We’re gonna have to, we’re gonna have to dedicate some time to talk sports memories and journeys maybe after the show, but Hey, really quick, cor you were sharing something pre-show that I thought we all thought was really special. You and your family were actually watching live when Hank Aaron, the hammer broke babe Bruce record. That is really cool.

Karin Bursa (10:14):

Yes. Yeah. 46 years ago today. So happy anniversary to hammer and Hank for all he achieved with his 755 home runs,

Scott Luton (10:25):

Man. And that is really, uh, we all know the impact he had. So, uh, going way too soon, but nevertheless, Karen in Valerie, thank you for indulging us. Uh, with little bit of food, a little bit of baseball, a little bit of sports really quick before we get started here today. I wanna welcome in, Hey Jim from Pennsylvania. Great to have you here via LinkedIn. Uh, Josh goody makes a great point. Can’t believe the heat wave in Europe. He says, hope that everyone’s doing okay last summer. It was 108 degrees with 60% humidity. And as we were talking pretty soon, no one owns an air AC unit up there. So you all have my sympathy and empathy, Josh and, and we, we completely agree with you and God speed, best wishes to all the folks getting through this really tough time. And then finally all Pitocin is with us here today, via LinkedIn from Nigeria.

Scott Luton (11:13):

Great to have you back, uh, always enjoy your perspective here. Dr. Ronda grew up in south Jersey, huge Philly’s fan. She says love watching our fighting Philly baseball players while enjoying some baseball favorite foods. She was in the cotton candy pretzels with lots of yellow mustard. Ha <laugh> the good old days. She says, love it all. So y’all keep the comments coming. We’re gonna try to work through all of them as we have, uh, a great chat with Valerie and Karen here today. Let’s get started. Let’s get to work. So Valerie, uh, wanna get your thoughts initially, as we kind of level set with what has changed in this new world of supply chain plan? Let’s start there.

Karin Bursa (11:51):

Wow. I mean, you know, we

Valerie Tardif (11:52):

Live in unprecedented times, right? I mean, if you, even before the pandemic, we were dealing with new tariffs, we were dealing with supply chain disruptions. Now we have, uh, you know, global climate changes and um, and that’s just changed the way supply chains really, you know, can operate. Uh, we see, we see so much, you know, with our, our customers and our customers, the companies that I work with are facing, you know, kind of new new disruptions and, and it’s just, uh, it’s just made, uh, supply chain operations, supply chain planning, I think completely, uh, you know, completely different.

Scott Luton (12:32):

Yes. Uh, we got some of the old challenges still with us. We got new challenges still with us. Karen, what, based on what Valerie just shared and some of your thoughts, what’s your take here with what has changed this new environment?

Karin Bursa (12:43):

Yeah. I’m, I’m with Valerie. I think it’s just coming at us faster and we have to be much more responsive in how we plan and we need to evaluate multiple scenarios for the business. So, so Valerie, as you, as you’re helping companies and working with them, what’s changing from a planning perspective to really address some of these challenges.

Valerie Tardif (13:06):

Well, one of the things that we see almost everywhere, irrespective of industries is that, uh, it seems to be much more supply driven than, uh, than in the past, right? I was in a recent conversation with a, a colleague and customer. He said, uh, before the pandemic, you know, my customers were really banging on the table about good service on time in full. And now as you know, as post pandemic, customers are thinking, thank you for taking my order. <laugh> just so what a change. Right. And it just changes our focus from, of course, doesn’t take away the need for, for meeting demand and for delivery. But, but it means that, you know, with the variable supply that we have, uh, we need to be more creative and sometimes do more with what we have.

Karin Bursa (13:56):

Mm yeah. Value. I mean, there, it, it is so accurate to say there are more constraints today than we’ve ever seen. Right? So whether that constraint is around product supply or whether it’s about, you know, distribution capacity or the ability for the ports to handle volume that’s coming in or capacity as we think about talent, right. Mm-hmm <affirmative> and having available talent to address all these new challenges, what are some of your thoughts on how we make talent productive sooner, more, you know, or take some of the routine activities and automate those? What, what are you seeing in this area?

Valerie Tardif (14:38):

I love that you bring it up because for me, uh, you know, working with this new talent that’s coming in is, uh, you know, is, is really a great challenge, but, you know, it’s really a great fun, you know, we saw the great resignation. Now, a lot of our supply chains are trying to bring, bring people back, but it’s, it’s a new type of work. We know more people are working from home, so they need digital tools, right. They need to be able to access data and information wherever they are sometimes, uh, it’s with a lot of newer, newer talent as well. And the newer talent brings new, uh, new skills and, uh, new capabilities. I think I, of course, I’m the mother of some, uh, young children, uh, young, young adults now, so they’re not children anymore. And I see how they work and, you know, it’s really amazing, much more, you know, native and much more able to handle, you know, massive amount of data, more analytical. Do you see the same? I’d love to hear our audience. Right? What do they, yes. What do they see?

Scott Luton (15:42):

Valerie, that’s a great call out. So folks, we’d love to kind of hear what you have to say and what you’re seeing, whether when it comes to what’s new in this supply chain planning environment, or when it comes to talent, what do you see there? I would just add Karen. I’d love to hear your thoughts too, but you know, new data’s coming out, that’s showing more and more burnout, uh, in the supply chain profession, right. Regardless of, of talent, right. Cause there’s been, as we all know, a lot more pressure on people, on systems, on technology, we’re gonna touch on that later. But Karen leaders, you know, they’ve got old challenges, but they’ve got a lot of new challenges based on this environment too, right?

Karin Bursa (16:19):

Oh, absolutely. And, and burnout’s a very real thing. I mean, we, we have, have all lived through this heightened sons of urgency and supply chain has taken center stage, which, you know, I believe is fantastic. Right? So now we, we need to continue to kind of command that center stage and be very active and guiding business strategy, but that’s been a lot of pressure. And, and we’ve asked a lot of our planning teams and our execution teams. And I think to Valerie’s point, you know, yes, we’ve got these digital natives that are entering and, and gaining good authority around the planning practices and they embrace technology and we cannot do the things that need to be done to transform global supply chains without technology. Right. And so I think it’s even more important today because Scott, you know, I say this phrase all the time, but we need to replace risky inventory with valuable information yep. And valuable insights and elevate what that talent is doing so that we can really take advantage as we attract and retain top talent. They wanna use new tools that are gonna help them see the analytics and use their creativity yes. To solve problems.

Scott Luton (17:46):

Hey, one quick comment, Valerie and cor, I was just sitting down with a, a couple of incredible supply chain students and a wonderful professor, former practitioner at, from Western Michigan university. Right. Top 25 on the Gartner list. Yep. Great school. But one of the things that came up that I loved, uh, Valerie in Karen is one of the students was talking about her role in the internship. And she was talking about this experience. She had, I think with her supervisor and she was asking lots of questions and including why do we do it that way? And the supervisor was like, Hey, you ask a bunch of questions. And she’s like, you’re right. I do. And I’m like, keep asking questions until it makes sense. And Valerie and Quinn, when I think about that, that is a wonderful development. Right. Imagine all the innovation and, and the new ways of, of solving problems. That’s gonna come with these not only naturally curious, but like passionately curious professionals, Valerie, how would, how does that sound in your ears?

Valerie Tardif (18:44):

Yeah. So sometimes I call them impatient <laugh> so they, they no longer have, you know, the, the, the time to read, you know, thick manuals or to follow instructions, they’re much more intuitive. I think in the way they’ve solved problems, very collaboratively as well. Right. I mean, they’ve, they’ve grown up on discord and, and, you know, and slack and teams. And so they ask each other, you know, all the time about questions. It’s a constant conversation yep. In our products at, at, in four, we’re very passionate about, you know, learning and working with this new, uh, early talent. Right. How do they think, how do they work? Yep. And how do we weave this into all of our different technologies to be, you know, to make them productive and therefore to make our organizations more productive.

Scott Luton (19:31):

So, Hey, really quick, I’m gonna pass it back to you. But a slight, Valerie was taking a snapshot of my three or four screens, and then the apps I’m on right this minute, Valerie, like you’re looking over my shoulder, but Hey, really quick. Jenny says at the, and Jenny, great to see here today, uh, at the university of Wisconsin, Madison, we are certainly seeing more interest in the supply chain field. Wonderful. Now that it’s in the headlines, that’s wonderful. Shahi great to have you back from the UAE, uh, via LinkedIn. Thanks so much for joining us. Doug says we’re seeing huge constraints in direct labor and warehousing since this role needs to be on site. Thus leaders placing a focus on technology and automation to augment current labor dynamics and shifts. Great comments there, Doug. And thanks for joining us here today. Jean dividends from good supplier relationships paid many times over fundamentals are even more important.

Scott Luton (20:22):

And on that note, cor I wanna throw it over to you with this one observation. I was watching a supply chain leader on Twitter. Uh, one of our, uh, friends of the show earlier today, or maybe his last night. And he was talking about how folks that were calling on him, especially shippers before the pandemic, and then disappeared the last three years. And now they’re trying to, you know, grab lunch with him and, and that kind of stuff. Nope. If you can’t take care of me, you know, in these crazy challenging times, you know, he was really making a point to Gene’s point about these critical relationships through the good, through the bad, through the easier times through the tougher times, those are what gets us all, you know, further down, uh, this journey, but Karen, where are we going next with, uh, Valerie.

Karin Bursa (21:06):

So Valerie, I do wanna kind of tie these two ideas together because you talked about in this, this new world, right? This post COVID world, we’re grappling with constraints in the area of supply, right. Which changes our mindset in how we plan. And then we have this new, um, talent pool that’s coming to the table with, um, arms wide open, ready to embrace technology. Talk to us a little bit about how those, you know, how the planning practice has changed, um, a as a part of those two elements coming together.

Valerie Tardif (21:46):

So one of the things I, I feel strongly is that this, this new talent, and of course, you know, in supply chains, even people that have been around for a long time, want to want to make decisions that are data driven, but there’s a lot of data. And a lot of, you know, sometimes, you know, people are say buried in data and, and can’t find really the information. And so I think that planning and supply chain systems will have to change to be bringing this data forth in an intuitive manner so that we can and recommend decisions. I think it’s, it’s no longer just about, you know, go through the analytics and, and figure out the answer, but it’s about what are the system recommending? What are your peers doing, um, you know, across your organization and how do you, you become more efficient. So it, to me, it ties the data and analytics, it ties, you know, be more systems, have to be more collaborative, you know, and allow you to share your notes and your thoughts process. So, and really supporting the decisions in a much more, I think, intuitive way. And, and that’s a big area where at Infor, right, we’re looking at is how to make our products, you know, sensing the disruptions and analyzing what, you know, what needs to be corrected and then helping customers, uh, correct their plans, make them, you know, more feasible plans, especially when you have supply constraints more, uh, more efficient, more, uh, oriented toward profit and not so much cost and so on.

Karin Bursa (23:21):

Yeah. I, I think that those are all really, really valuable points because we are modeling multiple scenarios now and elevating, um, that data or those analytics, but you just mentioned something really important that I think is so natural for your conversation, that you don’t realize how important it is. And that is the ability to degrade the outcomes to go back and see, how did we do mm-hmm <affirmative> was our plan feasible, feasible? What was our performance? What do we do differently in the future? And this is an area where technology is starting to really drive additional incremental value for businesses. So I think that’s very exciting.

Valerie Tardif (24:04):

I, I agree. I think that through something we’ve never seen before is that we’re modeling processes through technology more and more at first it was, you know, capturing the process and the transitions, but now it’s following, how are people operating, you know, do doing the processes a lot of really great user analytics, tell us, you know, where are users clicking? How are they, you know, are they finding the information quickly and, and delivering this, you know, delivering the information that they need, whether it’s, uh, as you said, you know, how am I doing, you know, how, what should I do or even, you know, what, uh, what’s the, the best optimal way to, to go forward.

Karin Bursa (24:46):

Yep. Yeah. Now that’s some really interesting points that you just made when we think about how the planning process has changed, you know, in this post COVID world, if you think today, Valerie, about the requirements or the important attributes of the successful planning process, what do those look like? Or what would you encourage our community to look at or dive deeper into as they look at transforming their supply chain performance?

Valerie Tardif (25:16):

Well, I think, uh, one of the thing that’s very important is, uh, you need to have a process that is really tailored for the industry and, and the, and the type of business that you’re doing. You know, whether you’re, if you’re a manufacturer, you know, if you’re a food manufacturer or beverage manufacturer, it’s very different than if you’re, you know, many, you know, producing computers or sensors or, or automotive components. And so for us at Infor, we’ve made a conscious decisions to really focus on key industries, but to provide, you know, essentially what we very complete set of capabilities to support, you know, our key industries, mm-hmm <affirmative>. And that, for example, you know, in, in the food and Bev, uh, industry, we work with customers that are produc milk producers, such as, uh, or organic milk. They, they not only use our planning tools to plan demand and, and supply, but they’re looking at how to do the most, how to optimize their recipes with the milk components that they have. Right. You could make butter, you can make buttermilk, you can make yogurt

Scott Luton (26:22):

Valor, just one quick question. They are big proponents of pairing that milk with Oreos, right? Valerie, that’s the main dollar question <laugh>

Valerie Tardif (26:30):

Of course, of course. And, uh, wanna bring the hot dogs in here by

Karin Bursa (26:38):

<laugh>

Valerie Tardif (26:39):

Hot dogs and milk. Maybe not,

Scott Luton (26:41):

Oh, maybe not today, but, but,

Valerie Tardif (26:43):

But beer is another example, right? Hot dogs and beer. I mean, and you know, this is another industry that over and over again, our customers are selecting in for, because our deep knowledge in, in how to plan and schedule beer production. And in fact, sometimes, so we did the rough calculation and found that over almost one in every three beer in the world is actually scheduled or planned with an in four product. So that shows you how <laugh>, it’s very key how that this capability is, is key, right? And, and for something, I feel that that’s going to be a key component to succeed in this new world. What do we need to do? Well, we need to change our planning so that we consider what’s our competitive advantage. What are the type of, you know, what, what’s our industry, who are we competing with and how do we, we squeeze or find all of the different ways to be successful, you know, as a manufacturer or especially, you know, as a distributor, it’s

Scott Luton (27:49):

As a business leader really quick, Karen she’s shared a lot there and you and I both are probably licking our chops of what we wanna comment on. And we got some comments where we’ll get to, but first let’s just acknowledge based on the one in three, is that amongst many things that have allowed us to get through the last three years in four is taking care of that beer supply chain <laugh>. And we, we have, we have Valerie and the whole N four team and all those wonderful brew masters and that workforce to thank there. So Valerie, from all of the world of supply chain, thank you very much, but cor please share your kidding aside, please share your reactions of what Valerie just shared. And then I’m gonna get some, some of these comments here from a lot of folks, uh, in cheap seats.

Karin Bursa (28:27):

Yeah. Awesome. Um, because Valerie you’re right. First of all, Scott one in three is, is a pretty, pretty impressive statistic there. Right. Um, but Valerie, I think you’re making a really important point. We’re in a marketplace now where there is maturity and industry specific capabilities become differentiators for us, right? So you mentioned food and beverage, but at the same time fashion, right. And fashion is very different than food and beverage. And I know that those are, are two industries that in four really has a very nice, uh, track record in serving those challenges. And those are very different. You might still say, well, you know, there’s demand planning, there’s inventory optimization, and then we gotta make, move and deliver the goods, but it’s done differently. Right.

Valerie Tardif (29:18):

That’s right. That’s right. So, you know how you work with your suppliers, how you distribute the seasonality in the type of products, whether, you know, fashion is a seasonality in their demand. You know, food productions will often have a seasonality in the supply that they’re, that, you know, they’re counting on. And so really for us, it’s, it’s about, you know, packaging, all of those, those capabilities that you need in one solution suite from new soup to nuts, you know, from the, from the operation planning, supply, planning, operations, running your, um, you know, your distribution, and it’s really making our customers more successful because they, they have, you know, that, that solid system that they can count on, which has been tailored and designed for, for their industry and brings all of these things. As you said, Carrie, that we might not think about. So, you know, how hard can it be to make beer, but there’s a lot of complexities and it’s, you know, multimillion dollar yeah. Operations, these breweries. And so,

Scott Luton (30:22):

Um, massive demand, too massive demand, a whole different scale, but <laugh>

Valerie Tardif (30:27):

So, and the pandemic has brought a lot of different need for different products, right? We, we have discovered many different beverages, uh, you know, different types of beer. Um, and, and I think that’s another way where the world is changing the proliferation of, of new demands and of new products. It, it’s important to plan that, you know, efficiently and

Scott Luton (30:49):

Yes, Valerie, so many great, good points here. I think, uh, one final thought, and I’m gonna share some comments here. Uh, you know, we, we’ve seen mass customization as a preference on the consumer side. You both y’all touched on that. And then, you know, on the technology side, that one of the big points you’ve been making is that practical customization of the technology and the platforms that folks are using based on industry, based on operation, based on the needs of the business. That’s a really important point really quick. We’ve got some great comments and then Karen, we’ve got one, we’ve got another big question that we’re, you’re gonna be posing the Valerie here in just a minute. But, uh, going back to the talent side, Rhonda says, uh, I see some anxiety, honestly, in part, I attribute that to uncertainty in COVID 19 restrictions and social isolation, that was kind of glossed over because we were so busy trying to solve problems.

Scott Luton (31:36):

True. Now we can breathe a little and are noticing how the past two plus years impacted our, uh, psychological and physiological. Please don’t ask me to say those two words again, wellbeing, kindness, and support is all so important. Dr. Rhonda, Hey, you heard it from the expert. Great points there. And these are, these are big factors that leaders have to take into account regardless of supply chain or, or any industry Shahi shares. Karen constraints are so many COVID is gone yet close. Uh, we continue, he, he says to be affected with Ukrainian war. He mentions it’s getting tougher as we’re trying to all fix the puzzles. Great point there. He also says digitization, is it full swing with every organization? Cause it’s a wake up call for CEOs supplies, all the talk of town, boardrooms analytics and data science modeling is at the forefront. And then finally, two quick comments here and y’all keep these comments going. Wonderful. Jean says, analytics has been looking backward. Now we have to look forward where there aren’t precedent such a great point, gene. And then Russell says, Hey, just one comment. The leaders must be a hundred percent aligned with the supply chain, chief, uh, chief supply chain officer just technology alone cannot support the collapses. Excellent point there, Russell. Yeah. Okay. Karen, back to you.

Karin Bursa (32:59):

I, I wanna jump in on Russell’s point from the perspective of it is more than technology. We’ve gotta be looking at our processes and we have to look at data. So as we’re harnessing more and more machine learning or artificial intelligence or analytics, Valerie, as you are describing to get, not just backward looking as Jean said, but forward looking from a predictive and prescriptive, what should I do perspective, right? This, these are new and exciting areas where technology can really differentiate the business. Valerie, talk to us for just a minute about where some of those investments are going from an Infor perspective.

Valerie Tardif (33:44):

Right? So as, as we’ve all said, right, I perfectly agree with the technology. I often say it’s really a people process and technology, and technology’s the last in that list because that’s where it belongs. <laugh>, it’s a, we talked a little bit about people right about, I think key is, you know, recognizing that we need, you know, our people are the operators. There are the, you know, the, the people that run our supply chains and we need to have software and processes that meet them and that continue to grow with them. So at, in four, you know, we mentioned very people centric, building role based, uh, experiences that, uh, you know, a supply planner, uh, it might be some doing something very different than a, than a demand planner yet very different than their managers. And so how do we support their operations? How do we support the collaboration that they need?

Valerie Tardif (34:42):

But also from the process perspective, I, I find it fascinating how we’re building more, you know, process mining and, and process intelligence so that, you know, we help our customers where they are today at the level of maturity that they have. Right. So they might be, you know, using, uh, still, you know, making some, you know, manual some using some manual tools. Still sometimes you can see Excel, but, but more and more growing in their use of, of analytics making it intuitive. And I call it, you know, natural as part of their processes. And then, but also working with them and, and suggesting what’s the next step, you know, in your process, what should you be considering highlighting some, some new observations, uh, that, that we see. So for example, in the demand planning area, we’re looking continually at what drives demand from an ex outside in like external perspective, is it driven by oil prices? In some, some industries, it is sometimes it’s driven by social media or consumer preferences. And so bringing these signals in, and then helping people maybe craft new promotions or, or maybe craft new, um, you know, new, uh, new forecasting mechanisms that help them leverage that.

Karin Bursa (36:08):

Yeah, those are great points. I think, and very practical from, from the perspective of we do have access to new data and, oh, by the way, post COVID, my history is not mm-hmm, <affirmative> now an indicator of future demand. We’ve got new demand signals as you were expressing Valerie. And so I think that puts even more emphasis on leveraging technology to uncover some of these new patterns, um, for our business and to get in front of those trends.

Valerie Tardif (36:40):

Exactly.

Karin Bursa (36:41):

Valerie, when, when, when a company is starting it’s supply chain transformation, where, where do they start, or, you know, what recommendations do you have about, you know, great places to get started or to make an impact quickly?

Valerie Tardif (37:00):

Well, I think that, um, you know, looking at, of course, looking at peers, uh, in your industry, uh, looking at what your, uh, you know, your competitors, but also kind of your other, your suppliers and your customers, what they’re doing in your ecosystem is, is really valuable. I mean, I encourage companies to, to share their roadmaps right, where they are and how they want to grow. And, and in for in fact, we’re part of the greater Coke industries conglomerate, and, and we have the knowledge, you know, knowledge, uh, sharing networks, where we share among each other, among the different companies, you know, how to, how to manage talent, uh, what are the technologies that we find exciting, how, you know, what are the problems most important to solve? And so, so to me, that that ecosystem brings really good, you know, support. And that includes in includes, you know, you guys bringing us new, new trends and new ideas and analysts and, and others, but then also, I think it’s, it’s important to look at what makes you as an organization who you are, right?

Valerie Tardif (38:07):

What’s your competitive advantage. And then really build on that. If that’s, if you are, you know, a food manufacturer making, uh, frozen meals or, or if you’re a manufacturer of components for, um, you know, into industrial manufacturing, it’s important to know what are the challenges and what’s most important to address and, and how to build and continue that competitive edge that you have. Cause every investment has to be evaluated based on, you know, its return mm-hmm <affirmative>. And, uh, and I feel that it’s, it’s not enough to be like everybody else, right? The software, the agnostic software it’s one size does, you know, fits none today. It really needs to be about tailored for you and for your challenges.

Karin Bursa (38:55):

All right. Yeah. I love that last statement. Yes. Wait a minute. One size fits none, right? It’s not one size fits all one size fits none because it does need to be tailored as you’re saying Valerie to the problems or the biggest constraints to be addressed, or I’m an optimist, the biggest opportunities that can be harnessed in that global network as well. That’s

Valerie Tardif (39:20):

Right.

Scott Luton (39:21):

Valerie, you gotta say that louder for the folks in the back one size fits none. Uh, you gotta make sure, as you’re saying, you gotta make sure the investment fits your operation. You gotta make sure it’s aligned with where you’re place other, you know, place in other bets. And, and gosh, that decision can’t just rest in the C-suite get out and, and make it, make those decisions with your people, not to your people. As, as someone said on an earlier show. So Valerie, a lot of good stuff. Let share a couple quick comments here. Yes. Uh, it’s it’s always interesting where folks gravitate to what topics cuz Valerie’s putting out a bunch of goodness, but he goes, uh, Rhonda says cheers to that beer revelation. Uh, Shahi says beer kept us going. Jenny says beer supply definitely essential in Wisconsin. Although I’m Milwaukee brewers do spring training out in Arizona.

Scott Luton (40:11):

That’s a great comment there, Jenny, uh, also says knowledge cheering upstream and downstream. So important. Completely agree with you, Jenny. And I’m gonna share this. I’m gonna share this question from Rhonda, um, before we’re gonna get into some resources that valor and N four team have, but both of y’all take look at this question we got here. What contingency planning is happening in the event of technology grid breakdown due to larger skill hackers or foreign attacks on our systems. So any, you know, both of y’all were talking earlier, as we know the modeling and scenario planning, contingency planning, it’s no longer a nice to have you, you gotta be doing it. Your team’s gotta be doing it, not to put both of y’all on the spot, but any, any thoughts around, you know, the technology, those types of threats in global supply chain right now, Valerie, any thoughts?

Valerie Tardif (41:01):

So, well, we feel, uh, I feel strongly that cloud in, you know, cloud systems are really, are gonna help us in the long term or even in the short term today with, uh, you know, with attacks and, and uh, with security problems, be, you know, when your system is in a cloud, it may feel, you know, for some industries or some companies, a little uncomfortable at first to let go. But, but then I feel that in a way, uh, it takes away a lot of the troubles, you know, of maintaining and you know, all that whole cost of ownership. Agreed. And then in addition to this, it really strengthens in your security because in the cloud, you know, systems are built by, by experts, right? That are looking at, you know, redundancy that are looking at keeping data secure that are looking at, you know, multifactor authentication and encryption and in a way a good cloud system, you know, and, and of course, you know, in four we pride ourselves on our technology and, and on the, you know, the experts that have helped us build that that’s that’s key and, and that helps take away the fears of many CIOs would have on there.

Scott Luton (42:12):

Well stated Valerie and Ronda. Great question. Corrin. Your thoughts.

Karin Bursa (42:16):

Yeah. I, I totally agree. And Ron, a great question, because guess what the cyber security is now on the agenda for the chief supply chain officer. So not just the CIO and the technology team, but that chief supply chain officer is thinking about cybersecurity as well. So, Valerie, I agree with you. I think cloud based systems are doing a better job than on premise systems in looking at measures and best practices to keep our access safe and make sure that that if, if an attack happens that there’s backup and strategy, that’s gonna get you back on board faster. Then most companies are able to do if they are still operating in, you know, an old client server environment or an on-premise environment for their business. Yep. Well said, that’s a very important point.

Scott Luton (43:17):

You know, the, the cloud technology, cause that’s what give to people what they want. And that shift has been taking place for years. It’s all about the cloud down as both, you are speaking to, it’s almost like, uh, self checkout links, you know, when they were a first initially introduced know everybody was like, eh, I kind of want to have that service now. They’re all the rage mm-hmm, <affirmative>, I’ve been in. I hadn’t talked to someone in the grocery store in like seven years, Karen and Valerie, you know, and, and that’s good for me. Uh, we were talking earlier this week about checkout a checkout less retail experience, which is now kind of the next generation. So who knows, it’s amazing times we’re living that. Um, alright. So Karen and Valerie really appreciate all of your thoughts here, Rhonda. Great question. I wish we could get to Muhammad’s question and Shashi’s question. Maybe y’all can connect with Valerie and Karen later, but let’s make sure. So Valerie, you and the N four team brought a resource today that I think will give folks a lot more information about all that you’re doing when it comes to supply chain planning in for tell us, uh, tell us about this first link that our team’s gonna drop into comments.

Valerie Tardif (44:21):

Yes. So at Infor, you know, we have a, um, very many different solutions to meet different business needs, but in particular I’m very proud of our supply chain planning tool, which, you know, uh, of course covers, uh, demand planning and supply planning has a layer for integrated business planning, support the S and P process and linked with our production scheduling. So again, you know, necessary for many of our industries is to take the supply plans and make sure that they’re, they’re, you know, they’re scheduled and that you get all of that, you know, the ability to manipulate schedules and to have scenario analysis and so on. So that’s, so that’s that first link, our brochure part of our,

Scott Luton (45:07):

Uh, the whole Angelo Valerie is what I’m hearing the whole Angello. You can learn more about all that, uh, the Infor supply chain planning team does, is that right?

Valerie Tardif (45:16):

Yeah, that’s right.

Scott Luton (45:17):

You know, we can’t get by without our food analogies, Valerie and Karen let’s see here and, and it looks like our team’s dropping that first link. And then the second link, if you wanna reach out, uh, to Valerie or the team in N four, learn more, have a conversation, compare notes, talk shop, Y y’all can tell Valerie, Karen, all of us are passionate and would welcome those types of conversations, but we’re gonna drop that link in there as well. Let’s see here, Josh making a good point here. When it comes to data, we have a less than ideal backup that requires a lot of manual entry, basically an Excel spreadsheet. We upload to compensate for whatever the system missed during the attack outage. Josh, you know, you’re probably speaking to a lot of organizations out there because as we can’t, you know, can’t have a supply chain conversation without talking about spreadsheets, cause they’re still prevalent. Right. But it’s time just like it’s time to change how we plan. It’s time to change how we lead supply chains and lead businesses. So y’all gotta take the advice and act on the insights we you’ve heard from Valerie and Karen here today. Great point, Josh. Okay. So Valerie, you’re given as we kind of come down the homes stretch here, you’re given a big keynote. We hear about tell us about that and tell us also how can folks connect with Valerie Tarif

Valerie Tardif (46:30):

Yes. So, well, uh, I’ll be co-presenting with, uh, colleagues at, uh, Georgia Pacific on our, uh, the transformation that, uh, Georgia Pacific is doing with, uh, supply chain planning at, uh, CS CMP, the edge conference in, in Nashville and September. So I’m really excited. We excited to present, uh, you know, their challenges and their successes. So we’ll be Alejandra and I from Alejandra, from, uh, from, uh, Georgia Pacific will be on, uh, on stage with me. And, uh, we’ll be at, uh, the Gardner conference in London as well, and then for group. So, um, also another way to meet with us. And of course I’m, you know, I’m on LinkedIn and I love to get connections and, uh, meet new people. That’s again, this is how the world has changed, right. From business cards to, to our ritual network. So, uh, feel free to reach out to me, or of course at, uh, Inforce website, we, you can reach, uh, reach us there as well.

Scott Luton (47:28):

Love it. Um, Hey, we have got, I wanna, I wanna share a little tidbit here since you’re heading to that conference. I switched over from, you know, printing out business cards to this one little card that when folks ask for a card, I just let ’em, I show ’em this and they can scan it with their phone and it, it lists every information you everyone know about me own, uh, my contact card in their phone. And I’ve tried this out a couple conferences and folks love it. So check that out, Valerie, as you head to these con conferences and, and for that man of cor everybody’s getting back in person, you know, conferences are, are coming back. It sounds like a great presentation that Valerie and her colleague from Georgia Pacific or given the other thing.

Karin Bursa (48:09):

Well, absolutely. And Valerie, we, we didn’t really dive into your role with Infor, but I think it’s come out in this conversation. It is probably worth just a brief description from you on where your role sits because your, you know, connecting market opportunities and customer needs and new technology innovation. So tell us what it means to be vice president of product, um, management within four. What, what does that mean to, you know, the typical person that might be joining us today?

Valerie Tardif (48:43):

Yes. I love to, it’s a great role and, and I love this role and I’ve been doing it now for, for several years because it really is. It’s about serving our customers right first and foremost, it’s about, you know, organizations around us, making them more successful and uh, more profitable. And so for me, it’s all about bringing, uh, making our customers, uh, more successful and some, you know, also increasing their level of maturity. So there’s a bit of education. There’s a bit of, you know, what does it take to be successful in this new world? And the way we do this is, uh, as product management, right? We we’re listeners listeners to the market listeners to what our customers need to what our comp, you know, what the competition, what everybody’s doing and, and making, you know, decisions on how to bring that most effectively in our technologies and in our services. Cause today we’re no longer just software providers, right? We’re service providers, we provide the whole enchilada. And so, um, so how do you do that really? Um, really well, it’s, it’s, uh, what, what I love to do

Scott Luton (49:51):

Clearly you can see the passion, it just exudes passion. You clearly love what you do, and you’re great at it. And I appreciate, uh, the insights and expertise you’ve dropped here, but Hey, we’re gonna surprise you, Valerie. Look at what Shahi has put in here into comments. He says in four has helped us a modernize our warehouse processes to fix service level agreements with the business to monitor inventory visibility and matrices. Hey, that was an unexpected little endorsement there, Valerie. Huh?

Valerie Tardif (50:21):

That’s awesome. Yes,

Scott Luton (50:23):

Very cool.

Valerie Tardif (50:24):

Really, really nice. Thank you. Thank

Scott Luton (50:26):

You for sharing. Very nice.

Karin Bursa (50:27):

Very

Scott Luton (50:27):

Nice. And Josh is also a lot of folks have, have mentioned, uh, the importance of, uh, Ronda’s question from earlier. I appreciate both of y’all speaking to that. Okay. So folks, if you’re in Nashville at the CS C and P conference, make sure don’t miss Valerie’s keynote with, uh, her colleague there from Georgia Pacific. Valerie. Please make this commitment that you’re definitely gonna get some Hatty beads when you’re in Nashville, Tennessee, can we, can we get a picture from you?

Valerie Tardif (50:57):

Oh yes. Yes

Scott Luton (50:58):

<laugh> okay. Uh, well it is been such a pleasure folks. You make sure you connect with Valerie via LinkedIn, check out those links. Karen, before we let Valerie go home run guests, as we promised here today. Right?

Karin Bursa (51:11):

Absolutely. Absolutely. Thanks for the insight and, and for the, um, you know, the baseball experience too. I, I can’t let that one go, but I love, um, your point of view and some of the things that you’ve shared with us, uh, today. So thanks so much for being with us, Valerie.

Valerie Tardif (51:27):

Thank you. No, it was my pleasure and I really enjoyed it. And, uh,

Scott Luton (51:31):

Thank you. Safe travels. Yes. To Nashville. You’ll wow. ’em there too. Uh, but big, thanks for your time with us over the last hour. We’ve been talking with Valerie Tardiff with Infor. Thanks so much, Valerie.

Valerie Tardif (51:42):

Thank you.

Scott Luton (51:43):

Home run. I’ll tell you, you can clearly tell that Valerie gloves, what she does. She brings a wealth of been there, done that knowledge, but also not just again, like one of the main points we made here today, not just looking back in the rear view mirror, looking ahead, changing new change for how we’re leading industry in a different spot. So a lot of good stuff there from Valerie, but what, what was, um, we’ve got two questions for you before wrap here. Karen, first off, what was one of your favorite things that Valerie shared here today, and then we’re gonna make sure folks know how to connect with you and tech talk.

Karin Bursa (52:15):

Yeah, I, I think Valerie did an excellent job of really tying together the fact that the world has changed. And so our technology needs to change as well. And oh, by the way, the people using the technology, our talent is approaching the problems in a whole different way, right? These digital natives are embracing technology and kind of helping to push it forward faster, I think from an adoption perspective. So we can’t plan the same way today that we did 10 years ago. It it’s time to really embrace what technology can do. And as one of our, um, listeners shared, you know, get out of the spreadsheets. Yeah. Get it into the system and start automating that process.

Scott Luton (52:59):

That’s right. Josh goody, thanks for weighing in here today. So much. All right. Really quick. Uh, a lot of folks have enjoyed Dr. Julio. Uh, PJA also enjoyed it via LinkedIn, uh, saying thanks to Valerie, Dr. Rhonda, Valerie hit a home run. As we knew hit a home run like Hank here today, but Karen beyond today’s conversation, let’s make sure folks know that I connect with you and the well recognized award-winning tech talk, digital supply chain podcast.

Karin Bursa (53:27):

Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. And, and I should have welcomed all of our tech talk movers and shakers who are gonna join us today. So thank you for being here and please share those, um, episodes of tech talk out with, with your community as well. And we’re seeing great growth and momentum, um, around those topics of digital supply chain. So it’s been a lot of fun and just a, a wide variety of topics to tackle in, you know, coming in the coming months. But you know what Scott I’m gonna be with you and Greg on Monday, right? I back for the buzz

Scott Luton (54:01):

Back for the buzz. And one of our favorite broadcasts who knows Valerie may, may show up for a buzz at some point soon. Uh, that’d be a really big buzz episode looking forward to that. Uh, me and you and Greg will be tackling some of the, uh, biggest stories taking place across global business on Monday every Monday at 12 noon Eastern time. So y’all join us for that. All right. Hey, Shaha we appreciate this comment here. Appreciate everything you dropped in the comment say, are you and all of your colleagues, a lot of goodness coming out of the cheap seats, uh, the sky box is here today. So I appreciate that. Uh Shahi okay. So Karen, we definitely want to make sure folks connect with Valerie. They connect with Karen Beso. We’ve got links, LinkedIn comment, uh, LinkedIn links in the show notes to make it easy.

Scott Luton (54:43):

Y’all check out, uh, the supply chain planning team at N four via that link, uh, connect the dots. Uh, I’m sure Valerie would welcome, uh, an opportunity to talk shop with any, uh, of our listeners, but Karen, whatever you do beyond all of that, right? Uh, on behalf and big thanks to our production team, by the way, for all they do. But on behalf of Karen versa, uh, this is Scott Luton signing us off here today, but challenging you to do good to give forward and to be the change that’s needed on that note. We see next time, right back here at supply chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (55:16):

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

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Featured Guests

Valerie Tardif has 20+ years in supply chain technology, innovation, and excellence; Driven by improving decision-making with data-driven analytics and intelligence; Passionate about delivering value to customers; Currently leading Infor’s Supply Chain Planning product suite; Based in Pittsburgh, PA. Connect with Valerie on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Karin Bursa

Host, TEKTOK

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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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