Supply Chain Now
Episode 1148

Supply Chain is evolving and it's evolving faster than most of us saw five years ago. We've got more problems, we've got bigger issues. So now, we need to evolve as professionals to actually meet those challenges... and we've also got to make sure the people follow along with us.

-Alastair Taylor, Netstock

Episode Summary

In this special episode of Supply Chain Now, we continue coverage from the annual SAPICS 2023 Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, as host Scott Luton interviews the best and brightest supply chain changemakers that are literally building bridges and making a difference across the continent of Africa.

Listen and learn more about:

  • The need for increased utilization of the rail network for a more sustainable future
  • The importance of a circular supply chain and the integration and adaptation of sustainable processes throughout the supply chain
  • How evolution is essential within a business and good communication is key

Featured Guests:

MJ Schoemaker- ProscE2E Pty Ltd – Pro Supply Chain

Alastair Taylor- Netstock

Deborah Dull- Genpact & Circular Supply Chain Network

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 everybody. Scott Ludden with Supply Chain. Now here at Safe Picks annual conference 2023 in gorgeous Cape Town, South Africa. I’m joined by a repeat guest, uh, the wonderful MJ Schumacher with say picks. How you doing mj?

MJ Schoemaker (00:45):

I’m good. How are you doing, Scott? It’s so good to see you in the flesh. I had to keep touching you cause

Scott Luton (00:50):

I’ve only seen you on the screen. Pinch. You’re a believer, right? Yes. Well, it, it is so nice to see you again, uh, in person as you, as you, you said it. And what a great vibe here at St. Pete’s 2023. Right. We’ve had, uh, already, uh, a plethora of outstanding conversations and this is gonna be another one. So mj, I wanna, I, but I wanna take us back first before we dive into a lot of your thought leadership here and what you’re doing. You joined Jenny Freeman, I, for a wonderful episode on supply chain. Now back probably around the height of the pandemic. Yes. Right. We’re all like locked down, couldn’t go anywhere and couldn’t connect like this. That was episode 8 32 that we released in February, 2022. I believe you shared a ton of good stuff. We, I think we laughed a lot. I got my 17 pages of notes in, uh, you shared food,

MJ Schoemaker (01:38):


Scott Luton (01:38):

Food, wine, supply chain, <laugh>. There you go. Got all,

MJ Schoemaker (01:42):

All related, all linked <laugh>.

Scott Luton (01:44):

So you also, um, you shared an important message on that episode about how you were con you had a conviction that supply chain can build a better South Africa, build a better Africa, and even build a better world. And my hunch is you still believe that. Absolutely. So tell us why.

MJ Schoemaker (02:03):

Well, you know, when, if we think back at Covid and, and when the supply chains actually broke down and had to change, it wasn’t suddenly realized, how am I gonna get what I normally get? Because without a supply chain, they’re not gonna get it. So it’s so, so important that we as a world and not just as South Africa work together to see how can we do it better and how important it is. Since that time supply chain has been on the agenda. Before that people didn’t even know what it was about. Right? If you say, I work in supply chain, they go, what does that mean? You work with like lengths of a chain or what is that? And now everyone knows what it is, right? And everyone’s interested to make it work. And I think that’s what is driven, that that change and that, that, that, and you can see I’m still passionate about it, by the way I speak about it, is that without supply chain, nothing will get done. We need it.

Scott Luton (02:52):

I’m with you. Oh, we are. Uh, two, two, uh, we might be second cousins, who knows? But we’re, we’re, we’re very kid peas and a pod <laugh>. Lots of kindred spirits there, right? Yeah. Lots of kindred spirits. Yeah. So let’s talk about, um, some things you’re doing about acting on this conviction, this passion you’ve been serving on the board for Saex. Yes, sir. For, uh, over four years now. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I think the last two as president of the organization. So that is outstanding. So for the handful of folks out there that may not know, uh, tell us a little bit in, in a nutshell, what does saex do?

MJ Schoemaker (03:25):

So Saex is a community based organization. So what we strive for is actually reaching out to the community. So you become a member of Saex and we strive to ensure that supply chain professionals are, get, uh, exposed to education, that they’re elevated and empowered. Cuz when a person’s not empowered, they cannot elevate themselves in their career. So we will coordinate. If they say, I want to learn something, we’ll explain. We even help them to say, what is the best course that you can take to move forward in your career? We arrange visits to warehousing, to factories. We did one recently here in Cape Town where we make our own lithium batteries for solar. Okay. And, uh, we show them that this exists. And these, these companies also say, wow, thank you for showing the people how that supply chain works. So we are completely based to, and, and, and our, our target is to help the supply chain community. And, and I think it’s a, it’s a very honorable thing that we do. Um, and I love doing it because I just think that, you know, when you become part of a community, things happen.

Scott Luton (04:27):

Yes. Agreed. Yeah. So let’s, let’s talk more about that. Uh, how you love what you do. What is one of your favorite aspects of your role as president of Stix? Besides

MJ Schoemaker (04:36):

Talking to you?

Scott Luton (04:37):

Yeah. Oh, okay. <laugh>. I’ll take that. I love talking to, I think,

MJ Schoemaker (04:41):

I think for me, because I’ve got over 30 years of experience, um, it’s such a pleasure in, in an environment like this, or even when we talk to potential students that want to learn things, that I can share what I did and that’s fun. Mm-hmm. You know, and to actually say to them, this is, this is a fun, fun career. You know, uh, you have your finger in every pie of the organization. And that’s the part I really enjoy. Not so much jumping on stage, but that’s part of it. Um, but really spreading that passion.

Scott Luton (05:09):

All right. So it’s a great segue. You, you talked about all of your experience, 30 years of experience moving mountains across Indian supply chain. Uh, a ton of expertise there. Let’s talk about, uh, and, and you lead your own consultancy now as well, right? So as we found out in this last interview, mj, you love the planners. Yes. You love the planners. And, and I’m with you. I think that is a, a under, under-recognized underappreciated role and it’s so critical to everything that global supply chain does. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So what is one thing about the planning profession that you wish more business leaders would know and appreciate?

MJ Schoemaker (05:45):

So, first of all, one thing is, is difficult to stick to, but I’ll try. So I’ll start by saying it’s better to be partially right than completely wrong. And that’s what planners have to deal with. So planners work very closely to sales and marketing, and they need input from all those different departments. And when I talk to supply chain leaders about the planner, they say, oh, why didn’t they get it? Right? They’ll say, well, don’t look at them. Look at how your organization is run. What kind of input did they get and appreciate that they got, they got it partially right because you did make your sales. But they are also the gatekeepers and the planning profession is hard. You gotta have a tough skin to be a planner cuz it’s always your fault. But if supply chain leaders can teach the organization that it’s not the planner who’s responsible for the forecast, it sales and marketing are also responsible for the forecast. And you all need to work together to find out what are we gonna sell and let’s make it happen.

Scott Luton (06:39):

I love that. Uh, I love how the conversation needs to be holistic with, with uh, everyone from, from every, any functional area. Let’s come together because that’s how the org to your point, that’s how the organization operates. And, and the best laid plans, usually you can tie back to how holistic the conversation, the planning conversation was.

MJ Schoemaker (07:02):

Right. Why did things happen? Right? Did you tell me about that promotion you were going to? Ooh, I forgot. Well then how, that’s why I don’t have any stock, you know? Uh, and let’s, let’s carry the risk together cuz there’s always a risk. Yes. You don’t know if that promotion is going to, to bring anything for the business, but let’s carry the risk together.

Scott Luton (07:17):

And, you know, what’s old is new again, that timeless value of communication. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> communication. Communication, communication. Right? Yes,

MJ Schoemaker (07:26):


Scott Luton (07:27):

Whether you’re in planning or you’re, uh, part of that process, part of those conversations, or trying to, trying to address other aspects of the, of your global supply chain or enterprise communication, timeless,

MJ Schoemaker (07:39):

Just tell us,

Scott Luton (07:40):


MJ Schoemaker (07:40):

Tell us, <laugh>, why is that so hard?

Scott Luton (07:43):

<laugh>, why is that so hard? Talk about the being

MJ Schoemaker (07:47):

Question. Maybe it was scary. I don’t know. Maybe they’re scared of us. They shouldn’t be

Scott Luton (07:50):

<laugh>. All right. So let’s talk about, uh, I, I wanna kind of look back while looking forward at the same time here. Okay. So during the pandemic, you were chosen to lead a noble, noble mission, uh, to ensure critical me medicine made it to certain parts of South Africa. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Right. Um, as you look backwards and forwards, what is one or two of the most important lessons that global supply chain must learn from and act on from the pandemic?

MJ Schoemaker (08:17):

Number one, act quickly. I think if the pandemic hadn’t happened, a lot of things wouldn’t be happening now. So we will say, yeah, we’re gonna do it. We’re gonna do it. And the pandemic came and everyone had to like get together and make a plan. And that’s what happened in that, uh, uh, um, delivering the medicine directly to the patients. Cuz they weren’t allowed to go to the clinics. They made a plan. We partnered with the private sector and we said, help us get that stuff to those patients. Those are chronic patients. So I think Covid has, I always said Covid had a silver lining. Uh, there’s obviously some sad sides of it as well, but it’s actually torturer as a world that if we really put our, our mind to it and make an effort, things can happen very quickly. Right. We can make things happen.

MJ Schoemaker (08:57):

So why are we waiting? What, what, what, what are we waiting for? So definitely that. And I think also the, the fact that people had to stay at home, the human side of it, and a lot of things came out mental health, right? Mental health was always ignored. Or I’m not gonna tell anyone because I’m embarrassed because I’m depressed. There’s nothing wrong with being depressed, right? It means that something’s not right and you need help. And I think that is a very, very, very, um, priceless part of the pandemic Agreed. Is that we’ve actually brought that to the surface to say it’s actually kind of normal and, and reach out and get help. So there’s humane side and then there’s of course the technical side. Like just get on with it.

Scott Luton (09:36):

Yes. Well, so on the humane side and, and the human factor, I wanna uh, piggyback on that for a second because, uh, whether it’s mental health or other aspects of your workforce wellbeing mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I think the, the greater appreciation and, uh, visibility and attention we paid to the, the health, safety and welfare of our workforce, that’s something that’s gotta stick around for the remainder of the future.

MJ Schoemaker (10:03):

Absolutely. Right. No, yeah. Um, I think it’s always underestimated, right? And I think when people start to have to work from home, they actually realize the pressure of their spouses as well. How do they work in the same house? How do they talk in the, in the same, uh, uh, teleconference at the same time? Right. You know? So I think there’s many, many things that we had to learn as a human race and it was good. Yeah.

Scott Luton (10:23):

Agreed. Agreed. Okay. Speaking of things that are good, uh, were early on in say pigs conference here. Right. Um, so what, thus far, what is some of the best stuff, most inspiring conversations or moments that you’ve been a part of thus far?

MJ Schoemaker (10:40):

Okay. Well there’s, there were two keynote speakers that we had just now. Uh, the first one was about artificial intelligence and it was very much focused on the health, uh, stream of, of, of supply chain. And it was very encouraging to hear that, although you have to be careful with chat gpt, there’s some dark sides of that as well. Uh, don’t get them to write the laws for you, but they are making use of that to get to the patient faster and to understand what the patient needs. Cuz often the goods get there and it’s a very difficult process to get the, the medication exactly where you want and you find out you have the wrong one. So how do you make use of that artificial intelligence to make sure you’re serving the patient as you should be serving them? The other key note was about the private sector and the government working together.

MJ Schoemaker (11:24):

So I dunno how much you know about the, the infrastructure in South Africa, but the rails are failing, the roads are failing, lot of corruption, dark days, uh, uh, economies not doing well. And it’s also alo global problem. Right. We’re not the only ones. And this was a, uh, we actually had someone here from the government, he’s head of pmo and he’s in the, he actually reports indirectly to, to our president. And they have set up this committee and everyone always says, oh, lots of committees, nothing’s going to happen. But they actually showed up here and they actually said, we are going to work together and within the next year, this and this, and this is gonna happen within the next one to three, this and this is gonna happen. And it makes you feel passionate about this country that we, we can fix this country, we can fix the infrastructure, we can get it right.

MJ Schoemaker (12:11):

And one of the questions I asked them was, how are you gonna govern that this happens, that it’s executed? You know what it’s like supply chain. Everyone has great ideas, but no one executes. I’m with you. So they have a plan. So they are, they have promised to come back next year and they have a roadmap, which is all in ICU and uh, uh, uh, in recovery. So they made like a graph with all different colors and all of it’s red, so you know what red means, right? So they called it the icu and they promised to come back next conference, which is in a year’s time and say it’s gonna be green. So I’m gonna hold them to that.

Scott Luton (12:44):

There’s man that is really, it’s atypical, unfortunately of, of how governments around the world operate at times. And of course here in, uh, in the US we can also relate to infrastructure that needs to be overhauled and re and renovated because it’s certain components of it. It’s been ignored for so long. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And that doesn’t help any, anyone in global supply chain. Right. We depend on the infrastructure to make things happen. We

MJ Schoemaker (13:09):

Need it, we have to gotta have it, we need to get onto the rails in this country. We have one of the biggest rail networks in the world and we’re not using it. And we need to be a sustainable nation. Right. We have to look at our mother earth and say, how are we gonna help you? Why are all the trucks on the road? Mm-hmm.

Scott Luton (13:25):

So many of ’em empty. We gotta, that’s nothing we gotta do something about. But hey, we’ll save that for another episode. Sure. Um, alright. So I love, you know, one thing I wanna appreciate, uh, you and safe picks, of course. Jenny Froom, you know, for a couple years now, we have led our, uh, supply chain leadership across Africa series. It’s been fascinating. Mm. I’m not sure how many episodes we’re up to now, maybe three dozen or so, 20, 20, 25, 30, something like that. But it has been fascinating as we have really shared, uh, the brilliance that you find here across the continent of Africa, all the different countries and the people and the supply chain ecosystem. And I appreciate your, uh, partnership with that and, and for that matter, what say picks does to help connect ideas and people, governments, public sector, private sector, and going back to what you shared, helping folks succeed mm-hmm. <affirmative> individually, organizationally, no matter. So that is certainly noble mission. So how can folks connect with you, MJ and saex?

MJ Schoemaker (14:27):

So with Saex, it’s our website is www Uh, then if you go in there, you can see everything you have to know about. And you’ll, and if you look under, under the board, you’ll see my pretty little face. So you can go check that out too. <laugh>. Um, and for me, LinkedIn is the best place to go. So MJ shoe marker, not shoe marker like Mikhael, but Schumacher, uh, or if you search along mj, I don’t think there’s too many mjs. I actually haven’t checked that out. I should just make sure. Yeah.

Scott Luton (14:53):

Other than Michael Jordan.

MJ Schoemaker (14:55):

There you go. But he is size 16 feet. I don’t <laugh>. I heard that the other day. That’s crazy. So yeah, through LinkedIn would be the best. Uh, otherwise just through the SAP website, I’m there. Uh, we have a great team that can, can, can reach out. So I think really, you know, think about, you know, in closing, this is a fantastic continent. You know that in, in Europe and and other continents, there are a lot of elderly people. Mm-hmm. And then there’s less young people in the African continents, the opposite. Mm-hmm. So we have a lot of young people, educated young people that are just dying to get on with learning and working and, and, and changing. World changing. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So Africa’s here and we’re here to stay and we are gonna succeed.

Scott Luton (15:39):

Yeah. I agree with you. Well, hey, we’ve been chatting with MJ Schumacher, uh, president of the board with Saex. Thanks so much for what you do, your leadership, uh, both with Saex and out in industry. Thank you ma, MJ

MJ Schoemaker (15:52):

And thank you for your time, Scott. You bet. Good

Scott Luton (15:54):

To see you. Good to see you as well. In person,

MJ Schoemaker (15:55):

In person. <laugh>,

Scott Luton (15:57):

We gotta continue these conversations. As MJ shared, you gotta take action deeds, not words. Stay tuned for our coverage of Saex 2023. Everybody. Scott Luton with Supply chain. Now I’m here at Saex Annual conference 2023 in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa. I’m joined by Alistair Taylor with Netstock. Alistair, how you doing?

Alastair Taylor (16:24):

Very well. Very well. Fantastic To be in Cape Town.

Scott Luton (16:27):

I’ve already enjoyed, uh, I feel like we go way back. I’ve enjoyed a couple conversations. You’ve given him some snapshots of things. He’s done some interviews, big tv, big things in the industry. Alistair, you you can write a book, huh?

Alastair Taylor (16:39):

I could do, but no one would read it. So I’d use my local dialect and they wouldn’t be able to understand what I’m saying.

Scott Luton (16:45):

<laugh>, we’re gonna revisit that. Cause I, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t believe that for a second. But I wanna get down to, uh, some, some things in industry. You know, you’ve been, you spent over 20 years in industry doing big things, especially when it comes to tech technology, right? Um, that requires doing technology right? Requires, uh, requires lots of effective, detailed communication, especially these technology solutions. So what is one piece of advice you’d give our listeners out there when it comes to effective communication in the easier times or in, in the more technical situations?

Alastair Taylor (17:17):

I think the, the big thing for me is actually listening. So there’s, there’s two parts that conversation, right? There’s the suppliers conversation and there’s the, um, the customers conversation. And for me, on the supplier side, I speak as a supplier, right? Is you have to learn to listen. So one of the biggest things I have to work with my teams within technology over my whole time is effective listening. Right? So being able to ask a question, listen to the answer, clarify the question. So what does that actually, actually mean? So often, you know, you have to say, say back in your own terminology what the person’s just said, right? So you’ve got a real understanding and you both got that. And once you’ve developed that, uh, listening capacity and been able to show that you’ve understood, that’s when you can start looking at how you solve the problem.

Alastair Taylor (18:06):

Because until you really understand the, the problem people share the top layer, right? And the top layer, you’ve gotta then start to dig down through those layers. Because everything we do today is complex. Yes. Nothing straightforward, nothing’s as easy out the box. You actually have to dig through that. So that from the supplier side, a little side story if I may please. Yeah. So I used to do, um, some pre-marriage counseling. My wife and I used to do pre-marriage counseling. And when we used to do communication, so one of the big things in marriage is communication, right? Sure. Absolutely. And one of the things we did was how to have a communication about a difficult topic. Mm. And that was, we, we did it with a, with a cushion. Okay. And we had the cushion that person could speak, right? And then the cushion was held by that person. Yes. And the other person then had to say back what that person had said in their own language to show they’d understood. Then once they’d understood and the person had spoken and said, yep, you’ve understood, you could then pass the, the cushion across. Okay. So I think that’s really important, having a bit of structure around listening and empathy and understanding.

Scott Luton (19:07):

I love that. I love that. And, uh, going back to the middle of your response about willing to listen, right? I think that that simple lesson, if more business leaders, more teams would embrace that and it would lead to so much more effective communication and we get to the root of what we’re trying to do, rather than acting on what everybody thinks. Yeah. We’re trying to do. Right. Um, so I wanna, I wanna keep going down this thing. You know, you have, um, done a lot and been a part of a lot of teams when it comes to selection and implementation processes with technology and technology and technology. That’s the air we live in, right? But, but of course with that, the human factor, which is one of my favorite things to talk about, right? Right. That’s how we do technology, right? So when it comes to that critical selection and then the implementation process that follows, what’s a couple of best practices that you wish in all of your experience, more business leaders would embrace?

Alastair Taylor (20:03):

Well, I think it, it’s down to two elements. Okay. So it’s the, it’s the vendor and the, and the customer’s right side of this. So

Scott Luton (20:10):

You’re gonna answer

Alastair Taylor (20:10):

From both. Yeah. Unless both from both perspectives. I think the, the first one from um, the customer perspective is to be frank, open and completely honest about the situation. Yeah. And too often, you know, I’ve done so many tenders and RFPs where there’s a list of functionality that you have to have. It’s almost not do that. Okay. <laugh> is to say, this is my current state, this is reality in my business. I need to go on a journey where my new reality is this. And be open about it and be open about what happens in the middle. Cause often businesses come with a preconceived idea of what they need to do. Sure. Alright. From a vendor’s perspective, it’s about listening and questioning. Yep. Ask a question, listen to the answer, clarify that you’ve understood the question, then add a deeper level of questioning. Cuz you, what you need to do is you need to go through all the different layers of the problem. So who, you know, questions that we ask regularly is, okay, that’s the problem. How big is that problem? Mm-hmm. Who does that problem affect? What’s the knock on in the business? And then what’s the cost of that? Yes. And what is the value to the business to actually fix that problem? Um, and I think those are the two areas for me that would be the, the main areas that I would, I would look

Scott Luton (21:27):

At. Love that. Especially going back on the vendor side. Um, man, taking surface level answers can be really dangerous and it can really help us not get to where we’re needing to go. Right. Exactly. All right. So I wanna keep driving here. So we’re here again, we’re at Saex 2023. Man, outstanding conversations. Love the vibe. Um, so you’re gonna be giving a keynote later this week, may maybe, uh, later today or tomorrow. Um, and it involves AI and inventory management and a lot of our opportunities there. So can you give us a sneak peek for folks, you know, around the world that can’t join Alister here at say, picks? What’s a couple of key takeaways you wanna leave with the audience? Well,

Alastair Taylor (22:07):

I think that the first thing to look at is evolution. Okay. Okay. Right now, I think we’re at a stage where we’re about to see a great leap forward in technology. So we’ve seen them throughout history, right? Everything from the wheel, the abacus, the computer, the mobile, it’s going phone, right? Yeah. I’m English, I’m history. Right? So we you’ve got this evolution and in, um, technology, we’ve got the same. And I think the AI is the next evolution. We’ve had the internet, we’ve had mobile applications, those sorts of things. So I think we’re, we’re about to have another one of those leaps, but it’s actually making that leap useful rather than just being a technology. So if you were here, you know, we had a, um, if you were here 3, 4, 5 years ago, people would’ve been talking about blockchain, right? Blockchain, nobody’s really implemented it, right?

Alastair Taylor (22:52):

It’s there, it’s a technology, it has its uses and it was gonna be the next big thing. But has it been implemented? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, no. So the big thing with AI is how do we make it useful to drive everyday business right across the business and improve people’s lives? That that’s, you know, you go to work. How do we make people work easier Yes. And more, um, interactive for them and direct them rather than they having to go and find out what they need to do today. Yeah. That’s the key for me, I think, with AI is usability of tools.

Scott Luton (23:25):

Yes. I love that. Uh, improving lives, of course, improving results for customers, but improving the lives of our team, right? Yeah. Making things easier. There’s, there’s so much pressure, uh, on folks really across a global workforce supply chain to be included, pressure, burnout. So I love stories where technology can make their days easier and more successful. Yeah. Um, all right. So looking forward to your keynote. Uh, I want to talk, so you’re, you serve as vice President sales for EMEA with, uh, our friends at Net Stock, which we’ve enjoyed some previous conversations with, like, like this one here. Yeah. Um, your company launched a new product, which powered by ai, uh, called the Opportunity Engine. So tell us what’s the, so what there, what’s, what’s, what’s gonna be the value that the Opportunity Engine provides?

Alastair Taylor (24:11):

So let’s, let’s see. You are a planner or a forecaster inside the business. Yeah. You’re, you’re somebody in charge of inventory for a business. Sure. Okay. Today, you go into the business, you open up your dashboard, you have to go and find your problems. Mm. Where am I gonna get the most bang for my buck today, for my time? Okay. That’s where we are today. You’ve gotta go, look, you’ve got these lovely dashboards and we’ve got a lovely dashboard as well as everybody else, right? <laugh>, um, and we’ve just released a new one for executives. So you’ve got a, a, you know, the worker bees, and then you’ve got an executive dashboard. Well, they’re great, but it doesn’t tell you what you need to do to improve the situation. Now, with our new tool, you go to work in the morning, you answer your emails, you have your cup of coffee, you sit down, you open up the opportunity engine, and you say, what are my big five things today?

Alastair Taylor (24:55):

Okay. So instead of you having to direct what you do, you can ask the ai, where is the biggest bang for my buck today? So I’ve gonna fix five things today. What are those five things? If I’ve got a, I’ve got five alarms gonna be ringing in the next three days, right? What are those gonna be? How do I do that? Love that. And, and that’s what it’s about. They said earlier in that earlier, uh, question that you had, it’s about making that person’s day easier. And it’s about de-risking, right? It’s about getting the most productivity you can out of your teams, but it’s also about de-risking your lives as a business.

Scott Luton (25:29):

I love that. I love the, uh, the time that it saves, um, the focus it can provide. Um, so the opportunity inching from our friends at Net Stock. Uh, and of course, I bet you’ll be, I bet you’ll be talking a little bit about that, uh, this week, huh?

Alastair Taylor (25:43):

That would be a wise shrewd

Scott Luton (25:47):


Alastair Taylor (25:47):

Observation, sir. Yes, exactly. All right.

Scott Luton (25:50):

Alistair, I love, I love your perspective and your sense of humor, and I’ll tell you, uh, if we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times, it’s that sense of humor that we’ve all had to maintain to get through the last few years. It’s so important. Um, alright, so let’s talk about, I know we’re early on in the conference here at St Picks, but what’s been one of your favorite moments? Your most inspiring things you’ve heard? You know, what, what’s really you, uh, eureka moment you’ve had or, or taken in that you said, man, I sure, I’m glad I’m here.

Alastair Taylor (26:16):

I think it’s been a couple of things. So, first of all is actually being face to face with people. So the world is opening up again. We can get to these shows where we couldn’t for a long time. Um, and I think that’s really, really key looking somebody in the eye when you’re having the conversation with them, rather than looking at their, their eyes on Zoom or they’ve gone off Zoom and they’re sending as the blank page with their name at the bottom cuz they’re switched off and they’ve gone to make coffee, um, is always interesting. So I think being face to face, I think the ai, I’m gonna say the AI conversation that we had this morning, the round table was fantastic. It looked at really what is ai, what is not? Should we be panicking about it? Should we not be panicking about it? But also the realization that we’re in an evolving business, right? So supply chain is evolving and it’s evolving faster than most of us saw five years ago. Yeah, sure. We’ve got more problems, we’ve got bigger issues. So we now need to evolve as professionals to actually meet those challenges. And technology goes so far, but we’ve also gotta make sure that people follow along with us. Yeah. They’re my two big takeaways,

Scott Luton (27:18):

Alistair. I love that. Uh, our previous guest, uh, MJ Schumacher with Apix, uh, uh, she was referencing a study of about 4,300 executives, and one of the chief findings was simple, evolve or die. Yep. Right? Uh, and that’s, that’s the challenges we have as leaders and as practitioners, we gotta lean into it and, um, and change and change industry for the better. And that’s one of the things it seems like you are helping with. So how can folks, so Alistair, whether folks want to talk football, uh, whether folks wanna talk ai, whether they wanna talk leadership and, and technology and some of things you’ve shared here today, not necessarily in that order. <laugh>,

Alastair Taylor (27:58):

You missed beer off as well. I missed

Scott Luton (28:00):

Beer. Okay. How can I miss beer? How, how can folks connect with you? Alister Taylor? So obviously

Alastair Taylor (28:04):

The websites,, um, find us on LinkedIn. Yep. We’re all over, all over LinkedIn. Um, and, uh, yeah, they’re probably the two quickest ways to, to get in touch with

Scott Luton (28:17):

Us. It’s just that easy. Yeah.

Alastair Taylor (28:18):

Outstanding. Why make things difficult?

Scott Luton (28:20):

No kidding. I’m with you, <laugh>. All right. So Alistair, we’re gonna have to go catch a game in a, in a, in a beer here in a minute. But Alistair Taylor with Netstock, thanks so much for joining me.

Alastair Taylor (28:28):

You’re welcome. Thank you

Scott Luton (28:30):

Folks. If you hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I have. I love Alistair’s mix of expertise and technology and been there, done it along with some humor, right? We gotta lean on our sense of humor to get through these times. But hey, whatever you do, hey, take something. He said, put it in action. It’s about deeds, not words. Uh, with that said, stay tuned as we continue our coverage of say, picks annual conference here at Supply Chain. Now. Hey everybody. Scott Lud with Supply Chain now here at Cix Annual Conference 2023 in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa. I’m joined by a friend of the show, Deborah Doll. Deborah, how you doing?

Deborah Dull (29:14):

So great. How are

Scott Luton (29:15):

You doing? Wonderful. It’s been a, it’s been a while. A you’re in fact, uh, I’m meeting some folks for the first time here in person. I rl Right. But you and I met on an earlier episode. You’ve been on a few here at Supply Chain now, right? I have.

Deborah Dull (29:28):

I love coming back. It was actually, I was just telling Scott my very first podcast ever in person. Yeah. Pre pandemic. Uh, and it was really lovely. And since then, thank you so much for having me back a couple of times.

Scott Luton (29:39):

Well, you bet. We admire what you, you do out in the industry make changing things for the better. That’s, it’s tough, but it doesn’t mean we can’t lean in and make it happen. So That’s right. We’re gonna be talking a lot about that here today. So I wanna start with, we’re both referencing some previous conversations and some of the big themes that came outta this conversations. One has been a lot of your work, uh, really across the continent of Africa, right. Uh, for years now. Um, and so I I wanna ask you, you know, when you think about all of your work coming up to this point, and of course you’ve been at, say, picks conference, I’ve been a a voluntary leader with the organization for quite some time. So been a lot of say picks events. But when you think of the global supply chain ecosystem across Africa, what’s one of your favorite components and what’s, what’s one thing that more business leaders out there across the globe should know?

Deborah Dull (30:24):

Absolutely. Look from a people perspective, maybe even taking off our work hats. The more I travel, the more I really believe that people are super kind mm-hmm. Everywhere in the world. And I think, uh, often daily life is just so much more normal than sometimes we see on the news. I think sometimes we tend to fantastic equalize, if that’s a word. I think that’s a word it is today, I’m going with it. Um, but in reality, you know, life is more or less the same everywhere, which I actually think is a pretty lovely thing to witness. Uh, and then that can in some ways translate to supply chain. And in some ways, of course it doesn’t. Um, something that’s striking me, especially today, being back in person in say, picks for the first time in a couple years now, is, uh, supply chain can be a shared language.

Deborah Dull (31:09):

And one of my favorite things is to drop into a country someplace else that I’ve never been to before. And all of a sudden we find our people and we can talk our shared language and we can get onto solving problems. Now the caveat, of course, is it can be a shared language if we use our shared language. That’s of course the score model. And since we were at Stix, I’ll give a nice plug to the new score model. It is now free for the first time. So really recommend folks to go and check that out. Uh, and if we can all put on our standards hat when we come together, then it allows us to solve problems a lot more quickly. And if you are a fan of solving tough problems, then uh, African markets ha have a different context. Of course, supply chain problems or supply chain problems with the context and the constraints are a bit different. Uh, so it’s a lovely place to come. And as we look to solve a lot of the problems that do connect our countries and our markets and our supply chains, uh, we’ve gotta solve ’em together. That’s right.

Scott Luton (32:04):

And we must, we must lean into that challenge at the mince challenge. I wanna go back to the first part of your answer though, cuz I love that your entire response. But people are people. And when you lean in and you start peeling layers back and you get past all the assumptions and a lot of, lot of the nonsense you hear out there and the news and this, that, and the other people are kind, and, you know, in our travels here, I also remind of that same thing. And, you know, it doesn’t matter. You find yourself on a plane and, and some folks are from here, some folks are from there. But we all eat lunch and drink water and, you know, need, need our lugs different places. And that bond that I think brings travelers together, um, is, is certainly a, um, simple things in life can also be the most beautiful. So I, I love the first part. I love your answer, but I, uh, that’s a good re encouraging thing to, uh, to understand. Right. So let’s, uh, speaking of good news, you’re given a keynote later today, right? Um, and you know, we’re gonna be publishing this episode long after say picks, but for folks that are gonna miss it, what’s the main theme and what’s one key takeaway that folks are gonna be running and ready running through walls as they leave your keynote here today?

Deborah Dull (33:14):

Well, I hope that’s the case. Uh, I,

Scott Luton (33:17):

I know that would be the case, Deborah.

Deborah Dull (33:19):

I have been invited to join a wonderful session from jsi. Uh, and they’re talking about the climate impacts of the global health supply chains, um, which is a phenomenal topic to cover. My Cobra Center. Edward will talk a lot about the health supply chain pieces, and I will be talking about the climate pieces through carbon. So the one key takeaway is that it’s possible to operationalize carbon data. It’s really hard. Uh, probably you and your organization are focusing on scope three right now if you’re out in supply chain someplace. Um, and that really focuses on two key questions. One, what are the activities in our supply chains that cause emissions? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So we’re gonna explore that. Spoiler alert, it comes down to three. Okay. Uh, energy use that’s in your warehouses, in your factories, or, uh, anywhere that you will turn a light on or use a machine.

Deborah Dull (34:08):

It’s the biggest one. The next is materials. How materials are extracted and, and transformed for us to use. That’s a close second. And then fuel, which is actually a bit lower than folks realize, fuel for supply chain vehicles is around, uh, 6% of a global emissions. Uh, and that tucks under a category of, of energy production, which is 75%. So as we start imagining how we can make a big difference, of course, this is why the focus on renewable energy transition is so high. So that’s the first half that, uh, I’ll be covering. The second is, uh, how do we measure this? So speaking of standards and coming up with a shared language, um, we can talk in billion tons, we can talk in tons and kilos, et cetera, right? But until we really operationalize this into the systems that we already use today to plan, to move, to make, uh, I think this, there’s gonna be a disconnect between supply chain professionals, those who have a lot of work to do to reduce this, um, and the carbon data that we need to make these decisions.

Deborah Dull (35:09):

So something that I’m working on in my day job is how to incorporate carbon data alongside what we already are doing. And there’s two interesting ways to look at this. One I call an emissions per unit. Okay? So just like we would have a cost per unit. Uh, so how can we estimate this almost like a living bill of materials or cogs, but a little bit more dynamic than what we do today so that we can start to understand the operational reality of one warehouse versus a different factory versus, uh, if a load was very heavy and there was rain that day, we can start to learn a little bit more about how to become more efficient. The second one, which I think is a really interesting comparison across companies, is, uh, an emissions intensity. So if we were to compare annual emissions for company to their annual revenue, okay, we can start to get in emissions per revenue dollar.

Deborah Dull (36:02):

That’s an interesting one actually, to see who’s similar and who’s not so similar. Uh, and then I translate that into what does that mean? So if we’re talking about a kilo, uh, of emissions per revenue dollar, that’s, uh, the equivalent of maybe having a bottle of wine. We’re here in South Africa, I love South African wine, and that’s about a kilo ish, more or less, uh, of emissions. Or if we’re talking about, uh, 50 grams, which is another couple of examples I’ll be giving, uh, that’s like eating an apple, boiling a quart of water, uh, sending an email that takes you 10 minutes to write, you send it to a hundred people, it’s about 50 grams. And it’s, you know, we’re throwing these numbers out. It really doesn’t probably mean much, uh, because we haven’t developed what some people call a carbon intuition. So just like we can guess the cogs, we can guess calories in our meals, but we really can’t guess emissions. But this is a muscle we need to build. So as we operationalize this data, even if we don’t use it for decision making just yet, but somehow we can help to build this muscle among supply chain decision makers and planners and scenario planners, and maybe in an s and o p process, uh, then we build this confidence and this muscle that we’re gonna need in, uh, months and years to come.

Scott Luton (37:14):

Um, I love that. And, and, and you shared a lot there, but I want to focus in on, you know, the wine, uh, <laugh>, <laugh> because when you speak in, in, in plain terms like that, I think anyone can grasp it. Wines, apples, you name it. Uh, and then the other thing, you mentioned calories. You know, the consumer was in the dark for so much of food history, right? Because that, that label didn’t exist on all packaging. And then once, once the powers that be made that happen, you know, we were able to be much more informed. And, and for some of us, uh, me some days, some days not so much, we can, you know, better or make better decisions, right? Well, you’re equating that, which I love to the emissions, right? So the more visibility, the more emissions data, emissions per unit emissions intensity, all these different ways that we can measure, we can make hopefully better decisions, right? And empower our teams supply chain, uh, teams and otherwise for that matter, to make better decisions. We move stuff, make stuff, or what have you, right?

Deborah Dull (38:12):

Exactly. Exactly. And look, the data is not where it needs to get yet, but we know the way to make data better is to use the data, right? That’s a bit of a catch 22. Of course, we don’t wanna make bad decisions on bad data, but I think if we can align the data quality with, um, time horizons, so for example, I would be comfortable using the data to facilitate longer term discussions as part, again, of an IBP process or SNOP or maybe a quarterly strategy meeting. And then over time that data will improve. And I think this is a time that machine learning can really sit on our side of the table and help to solve this problem with us. And then we start to be able to support shorter and shorter time horizons mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So we can start, um, looking out a month, a week, a day, and ideally start incorporating this into, um, day-to-day moment to moment operations as we start to be able to optimize in real time with this idea of a self-driving supply chain. Yes. Which we’re just starting to get, uh, some initial proof points on

Scott Luton (39:13):

Yeah. Do more, do faster and you blink or maybe blink a few times and it becomes just part of how we do business. Right. Um, I love that. Lots of parallels there. So let’s move into, let’s talk circular supply chains. One of your other passions. I know that you’re doing big things in. Um, so for a few folks out there, um, two, two things here kind of def if you can just in a nutshell define what you mean when you talk about circular supply chains, and I’m a big good news advocate and fan. What’s some encouraging developments you’re seeing out there?

Deborah Dull (39:45):

Absolutely. Uh, so circular supply chains are something I found as part of a failed job, uh, interview process. So I have to thank that organization that I will not name right, uh, for introducing me to it. So I’ve been studying this space for five-ish years now, and the idea, a lot of people confuse circular supply chains with recycling, but there’s a pretty big gap. So the idea with, uh, circularity in general is instead of taking items from the planet, we take them from other supply chains and we circulate materials through our economies and through that we can reduce disruption and increase, uh, margins. And what that means for supply chain then is that we need to not source raw materials. We need to source finished goods first. So this is a really a repair first strategy. Uh, we wanna take that item, drop it into the shortest network we possibly can.

Deborah Dull (40:30):

So if we can keep it on site, that’s the best option, right? Our supply chains have gotten super, super long, which has served us pretty well through the 19 hundreds, and now we find ourselves pretty disruptable. So how do we keep our networks short, uh, closer to point of use, closer to the customer? I think partnerships are a great way to do that. And then the third is we wanna do as little to that item as we can to put it back into a value stream, right? So even if we’re doing repair, we’re gonna need probably spare parts who might need some lubricants or packaging, whatever. Um, and those items need to also come from a circular perspective. So if we think about, um, two different business models, one that might be a clothing repair service. I used to be a customer of many of these until it occurred to me that living in Seattle and getting a piece of clothing, one single piece ship to me by two day air from New York, and then I would ship it back via air and then they would clean it.

Deborah Dull (41:26):

Probably not with a green based cleaning solution. Correct? Right. But that’s not really a circular operation. It would look like a, a circular model, a business model on the front sharing model, but circular operations underneath, um, start to become a challenge in that model. Similarly, we can start talking about, um, electronics, supply chain, maybe a phone, right? And we wanna be able to sell a phone as new, um, that looks a little bit more like a linear model, but we can support that with a circular model. We can go and harvest parts, we can use more green inputs. Uh, and so we have decisions in supply chain that are actually decoupled from the organizations that we support, which I think is really important for us to start to look at. Sure. So generally speaking, um, source of, uh, uh, finished Good. Do as little to it as we can. That’s a circular supply chain. So,

Scott Luton (42:15):

So, and, and if I can add one more

Deborah Dull (42:17):

Thing Yes. Yes.

Scott Luton (42:18):

Because the circular supply chain network, right? I love, I visited your site, uh, which is a non-profit in, uh, startup incubator up in Seattle, right? Right. Yep. And what I love the example y’all used is the light bulb ministry from back in the, um, the old age, right? 19 hundreds. And some of the decisions that were made then and the ramifications of them. So y’all check that out. Um, and one other thing before you continue and share some good news and encouraging developments is you mentioned the, the role the consumers play. And if there’s anything that I hope any of our listeners, our viewers out there across, uh, the supply chain now Global fam has taken in, is, man, that’s our, that’s one of my mantras. Consumer, we all play a big part. You know, Greg has a famous quote, consumers that are start and the ending of, of, of supply chain, whether they like it or not, we have a challenge and we can play a good, um, healthy role in what happens or we can make things worse. And that the example you talked about, uh, very similar examples with just because you can get stuff in a day or two days or same day in some cases, doesn’t mean it’s good that you do, you know, and, and really ask yourself, do you really need X, Y, Z in less than two hours? Right. Plan a little bit more. You know, if consumers really lean into that challenge, it’ll be, it should make things a bit easier for us to drive the change that needs to take place. Would you agree?

Deborah Dull (43:43):

I do. To an extent. And Oh, perfect. You already, you already know my face. Okay. Yeah. You read that one. <laugh>. Uh, you know, I think we’ve put a lot of pressure on consumers. Um, I hear the sentiment a lot. I don’t disagree with it. I do think the decisions we make are really important as consumers. I think the decisions we make as supply chain professionals are far more impactful. And so if we can take what we’re trying to practice at home, which we’re all trying to do the right things, um, and translate that into the industrial space, whatever type of supply chain you work in, the decisions we make make a huge, huge impact. Um, so the, the principles are the same. Try to use less use from a green source, try to figure out how to reduce your waste, do something else with it, fine, but apply that now in a supply chain perspective.

Deborah Dull (44:28):

And the big number is over 90% of emissions come from supply chains. Not that there is a good huge chunk that are produced by municipalities. So I don’t want to diminish the role of municipalities. Um, but it’s important for us to understand the power that we have. And I don’t think that that’s a message taught in school. I don’t think it’s something we talk about at professional associations. I don’t think it’s a message we share at conferences and maybe we’re just too practical. Yeah. And we say, well, can you measure that <laugh>? Sure. And what am I optimizing for? But I think it’s important that we understand the power that we have in this, um, in this industry and this profession we’ve chosen. So agreed. I’ll do a yes and on that one.

Scott Luton (45:08):

Yeah. And, and those supply chains are gonna do whatever we enable them to do and make the choices to dos. Right? And, and there’s tons of opportunity there as you’re pointing out and along those lines. So let’s get to some encouraging, right? Uh, cause there’s plenty of work to be done. Plenty have lot more have left them to be done. But what are some encouraging signs when it comes to circular supply chain?

Deborah Dull (45:29):

Absolutely. I’ll share one story from my day job and one story from what I call my night job <laugh>. Okay. Uh, so by day I lead a sustainable supply chain practice at Genpact. And I have been super encouraged to see the breadth and strength of our after sales team. Okay. And the demand from the marketplace in something I didn’t expect. So what’s really cool, I’m saying this with a nerdy cool smile on my face, even though it’s highly disruptive to the people in these organizations, is that the forward supply chains have become so disrupted and it’s hard to get the components we need to keep our forward supply chains running. That some supply chains are starting to pull back assets from the market, harvest the components they need, and put those into new builds, thus starting a circular supply chain. So how do we bring an asset back source, a raw material, uh, sorry, source, a finished good, not a raw material, uh, harvest what we can do the best, do as little as we can to it, and then put it back into the marketplace.

Deborah Dull (46:27):

And so getting to the nitty gritty policies, contracts, rules, border crossings, what do we put on, uh, border documents? How do we manage the KPIs? How do you find partners to do this? Does it need to always be insourced? Can we possibly train local partners to do this work? Those are the questions really I’m excited about and I think is really good news, even if it’s a highly disrupted catalyst Sure. That we’re doing it for. But, uh, really excited about that work. And then in my night job Yeah. Running this, uh, nonprofit, you’ve mentioned the circular supply chain network. We’re part of the interview program at Sustainable Seattle, um, which is our fiscal sponsor. We have recently started a partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. And the good news here is I have been pleading with those in the circular economy community for the last four or five years to really take a look at supply chain operations and the role that we play in the transition to a circular economy.

Deborah Dull (47:23):

And so with this partnership begins, uh, a very serious dialogue across the El MacArthur Foundation member network. And we have been able to facilitate a few conversations across their network to understand the work that’s already happening today. What is our shared language? So as supply chains try to go out and work with their suppliers and their partners and their customers to create these ecosystems, how can they be all saying the same thing? Yep. Kind of cut to the chase. And what’s really exciting is that there’s so much work already happening. I find that supply chain professionals sometimes don’t know that it’s called circularity. And that’s okay. We don’t need to call it or label it something. Right. But it is nice to be aware so that we can share those best practices with each other and really start to build supply chains that are more resilient, that are costing us less.

Deborah Dull (48:10):

Um, if we don’t start from scratch every time, we can go faster and be cheaper. In theory, there are some market failures. We’re dealing with <laugh>. Yes. But, uh, the movement is, is further ahead than I anticipated. So I’ve been really encouraged by the commitment of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Um, I’ve been really impressed with, we’ve got about 15 team members in the circular supply chain network all working on this, um, in their spare time. So everybody has a day job and this is an, an area we’re all very, very passionate about, but we’re all located around the world and okay, we’re working together. And I’m very encouraged by the amount of work that’s already happening in these com. Big, big brands. Big brands. They’re really dedicated.

Scott Luton (48:45):

Big, big work, big, big outcomes. You know what? So as I piece this thing together based on, as we kind of come down to home stretch, you know, we all share these obstacles and problems on the front end of what you were talking about. We’re all people. There’s a lot, you know, blessed be the ties that bind. Right? So shared obstacles as we try to create a shared language so that we can share the knowledge and best practices and all that leads to shared change and shared good outcomes for all. Is that

Deborah Dull (49:14):

You nailed it.

Scott Luton (49:14):

Okay. It’s just that easy, right? It’s just that easy. Well, and then of course the work to make it happen is where the rubber meets the road. Um, alright, so let’s talk about, um, the Saex Conference. I know we’re early on, um, but if you think of the keynotes you’ve been a part of so far, if you think of the sidebar conversations, which are some of my favorite at any, any event like this or the sit downs or any moment in between cup of coffee, you name it, uh, nice South African wine. We’ve enjoyed a little bit of that so far. Um, what’s one of your favorite moments, inspiring moments so far at Saex 2023?

Deborah Dull (49:52):

All right, here it is. So, context to this is about eight years ago I joined the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Yeah. And started learning the international development space. And, uh, met, you know, organizations that give money called donors, normally big country governments, us, uk, et cetera. Then there is, uh, implementing partners who take that money and do work. And then there’s of course, the governments in the countries where this funding is going. And trying to get all of that coordinated, as you can imagine, is a huge challenge, trying to line up election cycles across however many countries and funding cycles and approval cycles. Uh, and it can be a real impediment to getting work done. So when I joined this space, there were a number of conferences that were just for international development and global health. And then there’s of course, saex, right? Uh, and other supply chain conferences of supply chain professionals.

Deborah Dull (50:45):

Uh, and I wished for a world where the two could come together that, um, the markets and the private sector and the knowledge base, uh, here could then help all the countries here to make some progress. And so, happy to see this year there’s a very robust global health track. Um, there’s some real thought leaders in this space, uh, opening the entire conference with an opening session with Ian Barton. Um, and I attended a breakout session led by Mave Magner, who has been in the space for a long time about coordination among not only donors, but also all the other partners in the ecosystem. She called out a lot of the, just honest Okay. Truths about She kept it real, huh? She did. And I was really, really, really encouraged to hear that and to see what’s happened these last couple of years. So for me, that was a bright spot to see all these different worlds coming together and say picks being the place, uh, to allow those conversations to happen. Yeah.

Scott Luton (51:44):

Uh, that’s a great story and I, I appreciate the context behind it. Cause I think a lot of folks, um, I think the global health industry and some of the challenges there, um, that reside there, that isn’t a blind spot for so many of us, whether you’re in supply chain or outside of supply chain. And that’s come out in some of these conversations here as well as some of our, um, you know, we’ve been partnering with Jenny and, and the Safe picks, uh, organization for a while, you know, covering more conversations, uh, you know, taking the thought leadership and the challenges unique in common, you know, from across the continent of Africa and, and, and trying to amplify that you’ve been a part of some of those conversations. So, uh, I appreciate that call out. And it is nice to see worlds come together, right? Especially when there’s so much that’s gotta be done, uh, to keep, uh, anyone from being left behind. So, um, okay. So let’s make sure Deborah folks know how to connect with you. Daytime, nighttime, <laugh>, all points in between. How can folks connect with you?

Deborah Dull (52:41):

Uh, easiest ways on LinkedIn. I’m pretty active and I am not aware of another Deborah Dole on LinkedIn, but if you find her, let me know and we’ll be friends. Uh, but looking forward to any comments on carbon, on circularity, on how supply chains transition, communities of practice, how we work across industries, um, it’s an area I’m really passionate about. So, uh, happy to receive your messages, your thoughts, comments, and maybe even some partnership on any of these topics.

Scott Luton (53:06):

Outstanding. Uh, well, hey, make sure you connect with Deborah. Check out those organizations as especially the, uh, circular supply chain network that is a, a really interesting, uh, uh, initiative and nonprofit that you’re leading. Um, alright, so going back daytime, nighttime, what is that song I’m trying to think of about Ray Charles? It was sung, I think on an earlier version of a, of a sitcom, but that’s right when I said that, I’m like, you know what? We’re gonna have a nice music backtrack to this, but Deborah, a pleasure to see you here. Appreciate what you do out in the industry and what you’re, you’re doing here. And, uh, folks connect with Deborah dol. Debra, pleasure to have you here with us. Thank you, Scott. Thanks for having me. You bet folks, I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I have. That was a truckload of information, highly actionable information at that.

Scott Luton (53:50):

Uh, make sure you connect with Deborah. Uh, but most importantly, what we’ve been talking about, all, you know, all these chats, all these episodes, you name it, is you take an idea and run with it, act, take action, right? There’s so much there. Uh, but beyond it all, make sure you check out supply chain now, wherever you get your podcasts. But most importantly, on behalf of our entire team here, Scott Luton, challenging you to do good, to give forward and to be the change. And we’ll see you next time, right back here at Supply Chain now. Thanks everybody.

Scott Luton (54:16):


Intro/Outro (54:17):

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Featured Guests

MJ Schoemaker has extensive End 2 End Supply Chain and Business excellence experience through 30 years of international corporate exposure at companies such as Ricoh, Lego, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Johnson and Johnson. She has held international Global Executive positions across the pillars of PLAN, MAKE, SOURCE, DELIVER including Director of Global Demand Management and Sales & Operations Planning Centre of Excellence as well as being a member of the board. MJ is often a speaker at international conferences on End 2 End Supply Chain and Business Excellence and is the President of the Board at SAPICS (Professional Body for Supply Chain Management). MJ has been interviewed on various radio and television interviews and has written various articles about the state of supply chain. During COVID-19 she was tasked to support the Western Cape as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to ensure efficient delivery of chronic medication in South Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is seen as an expert in the field of supply chain management and has her own consultancy to help businesses grow across the pillars of people, process, and technology. Connect with MJ on LinkedIn.

Alastair Taylor has more than 20 years of proven software solutions sales experience in the manufacturing, supply chain, logistics, and authentication sectors. Alastair’s business and technical background gives him expert insights into today’s challenges in the supply chain industry. This allows him to better serve his customers as he has a deep understanding of their daily challenges. Alastair is a consummate communicator who can present to every level within an organization. Connect with Alastair on LinkedIn.

Deborah Dull is the founder of the Circular Supply Chain Network and the author of Circular Supply Chains: 17 Common Questions. She is VP at Genpact and their Global Supply Chain Sustainability Leader. Prior to that, she held various supply chain roles at Zero100, GE Digital, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Microsoft. Deborah holds Supply Chain & Operations Management degrees from Western Washington University (BA) and the University of Liverpool (MSc), with a thesis focused on the digital supply chain and is currently pursuing her DBA from Hariot-Watt University. Connect with Deborah on LinkedIn.


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

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

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Kim Reuter


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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Vicki White


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

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Allison Giddens


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

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

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Billy Taylor


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

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

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

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

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Tandreia Bellamy


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

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

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

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

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Marty Parker


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

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

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jake Barr


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

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Marcia Williams


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

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

Tyler Ward serves as Supply Chain Now's Director of Sales. Born and raised in Mid-Atlantic, Tyler is a proud graduate of Shippensburg University where he earned his degree in Communications. After college, he made his way to the beautiful state of Oregon, where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

With over a decade of experience in sales, Tyler has a proven track record of exceeding targets and leading high-performing teams. He credits his success to his ability to communicate effectively with customers and team members alike, as well as his strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.

When he's not closing deals, you can find Tyler on the links or cheering on his favorite football and basketball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his family, playing pick-up basketball, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland, his favorite place!

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

Mary Kate Soliva is a veteran of the US Army and cofounder of the Guam Human Rights Initiative. She is currently in the Doctor of Criminal Justice program at Saint Leo University. She is passionate about combating human trafficking and has spent the last decade conducting training for military personnel and the local community.

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

Amanda is a production and marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Amanda currently manages, produces, and develops modern digital content for Supply Chain Now and their clients. Amanda has previously served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah, and founded and managed her own successful digital marketing firm, Magnolia Marketing Group. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now production team, you can find Amanda in the kitchen, reading, listening to podcasts, or enjoying time with family.

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

Mary Kate Love is currently the VP of marketing at Supply Chain Now focused on brand strategy and audience + revenue growth. Mary Kate’s career is a testament to her versatility and innovative spirit: she has experience in start-ups, venture capital, and building innovation initiatives from the ground up: she previously helped lead the build-out of the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific and before that, MxD (Manufacturing times Digital): the Department of Defense’s digital manufacturing innovation center. Mary Kate has a passion for taking complicated ideas and turning them into reality: she was one of the first team members at MxD and the first team member at the Supply Chain Innovation Center at Georgia-Pacific.

Mary Kate dedicates her extra time to education and mentorship: she was one of the founding Board Members for Women Influence Chicago and led an initiative for a city-wide job shadow day for young women across Chicago tech companies and was previously on the Board of Directors at St. Laurence High School in Chicago, Young Irish Fellowship Board and the UN Committee for Women. Mary Kate is the founder of National Supply Chain Day and enjoys co-hosting podcasts at Supply Chain Now. Mary Kate is from the south side of Chicago, a mom of two baby boys, and an avid 16-inch softball player. She holds a BS in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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