Supply Chain Now
Episode 1196

Companies are always going to receive change orders because the demand is constantly changing. They happen. So you have to build a process around them.

-Graham Smith

Episode Summary

By industry definitions, a change order is when a customer requests a change to a parameter on an existing order. It will often change the requested delivery date, quantity, maybe the product itself, requesting an alternative. As today’s guest shares, they regularly happen, and you have to build a process around them.

In today’s livestream-based episode, Business Development Manager with Esker, Graham Smith joins hosts Scott Luton and Greg White to discuss the complexities of change orders in B2B customer service and the impact they have on customer satisfaction and business operations. Listen in and learn:

  • the necessity and challenges of managing change orders effectively
  • how to adjust policies and practices related to managing change orders and employing modern technology to streamline the process and improve the overall customer service experience
  • the importance of aligning people, process, and technology to execute operations, and much more.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:32):

Hey, hey. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you are. Scott Luton and Greg White with you here on Supply Chain Now. How are you doing today, Greg?

Greg White (00:41):

Just hopping down a bunny trail. I’m doing great. How are you?

Scott Luton (00:45):

We’re doing great, man. It is gorgeous here once again, and we’ve got a wonderful discussion —

Greg White (00:50):

And here we are locked inside, is that what you’re trying to say?

Scott Luton (00:53):

Maybe. Maybe. Well, you know what? If we got to be inside, we might as well have outstanding conversations with folks out there doing great things in the industry. And of course it’s always neat —

Greg White (01:03):

Undoubtedly, yes.

Scott Luton (01:05):

Yes, we’re looking on the bright side, right?

Greg White (01:07):

Yes, let’s go with that.

Scott Luton (01:10):

Let’s go — well, hey folks, we continue one heck of a stretch of programming with our conversation here today is we’re going to be talking about change orders, which, you know what, if you don’t manage them effectively, they can wreak — wreak — is it wreak or wreak havoc? Wreak havoc?

Greg White (01:27):

It’s wreak havoc.

Scott Luton (01:29):


Greg White (01:29):


Scott Luton (01:31):

Thank you very much.

Greg White (01:33):

Wreak, wrought, have rot.

Scott Luton (01:35):

Ah, OK. Well back to my —

Greg White (01:37):

I know that’s the hard part, the wrought part. That wrought havoc, not wreak havoc —

Scott Luton (01:42):

Wrought — man, you just blew my mind.

Greg White (01:45):

And wrought havoc.

Scott Luton (01:46):

Well, back — so back to my point. If we don’t manage these change orders effectively, they can wreak havoc on a team and a business. And then today we’re going to dive in a little more into that. But in particular, Greg, what I’m looking forward about to here today is we’re going to be talking with a — about really in the B-to-B customer service environment. Some new ways of really leveraging technology to not only better manage change orders, but drive overall optimal performance. Greg, it should be a great show, huh?

Greg White (02:16):

Yes, agreed. Yes. And you know, with one of our favorite groups, our friends at Esker, and some people honoring November. So, stand by for that.

Scott Luton (02:29):

Oh, I thought you were going to say, stand by and listen up, Greg, and —

Greg White (02:33):

Oh, and listen up.

Scott Luton (02:34):

There you go.

Scott Luton (02:35):

All right. Now, we’re checking the box. Checking the box. And I’m getting some English lessons from our production team as well.

Greg White (02:40):

I see that. Thank you, Catherine.

Scott Luton (02:42):

Big thanks to Catherine and Amanda behind the scenes soap. So —

Greg White (02:44):

See, they said wreaked.

Scott Luton


Greg White (02:46):

But it’s not wreaked. It’s wrought.

Scott Luton (02:48):

You know what? I’ll defer to everyone else on the English language. But I do want to welcome in our outstanding guest here today, looking forward to talking with Graham Smith, business development manager with Esker.

Scott Luton (03:01):

Graham, how are we doing?

Graham Smith (03:02):

Doing well. How are you doing, Scott? How are you doing, Greg?

Greg White (03:05):

Good. Welcome aboard, Graham.

Scott Luton (03:06):

Appreciate that. No, we’re doing wonderful. So, do you want to weigh in on the hard hidden English topic of wreak versus wreak?

Graham Smith (03:14):

Yes, I would say wreak havoc.

Scott Luton (03:16):


Greg White (03:17):

Yes, unquestionably.

Graham Smith (03:17):

But I’m not an English major, so I could definitely be wrong.

Scott Luton (03:21):

Well, let’s shift gears here. Let’s talk about a seasonal topic before we get into all the good stuff we’re going to be getting into here today with you, Graham. So, here’s some history for you on this day, in 1721, the governor of the British Colony of Connecticut declared the day as a Public Thanksgiving. And then about 50 something, 67 years later, after getting families together for 67 years for Thanksgiving, Elijah Craig distilled the first bourbon whiskey from corn in Bourbon County, Kentucky.

Scott Luton (03:55):

So, combining those two historical milestones, I want to start by asking both of you, and start with you, Graham, are there any traditional or particular adult beverages that you’ll be enjoying with your family on Thanksgiving?

Graham Smith (04:09):

You know, we’re in Wisconsin, so it’s going to be Spotted Cow.

Scott Luton (04:13):

OK. It’s going to be what?

Graham Smith (04:14):

If you haven’t had it — Spotted Cow. Have you ever had it?

Scott Luton (04:17):


Graham Smith (04:18):

It’s anybody who comes to Wisconsin gets someone they get here.

Greg White (04:22):

Do tell.

Graham Smith (04:22):

I’ll try to send you some, Scott.

Scott Luton (04:24):

OK. So, what is it? I hate — is it a brand?

Graham Smith (04:28):

Each town — so, it’s a beer from New Glarus Brewery, which is about, I don’t know, 45 minutes away from Madison, but you can only get it in Wisconsin. So, typically when I have family coming in, when I have friends coming in, they’re ordering right up. Exactly.

Scott Luton (04:47):

Spotted Cow. OK. We’re going to look that up. And yes, I’d love to procure some of that —

Greg White (04:52):

Definitely we’ll have it on order before we’re off air, guaranteed.

Scott Luton (04:54):

That’s right. So, Greg, how about you? I don’t know if you can top Spotted Cow.

Greg White (04:59):

Well, first of all, I’d like to start by giving thanks for Elijah Craig. His amazing distillery that still operates, BY the way, if you’re not a bourbon drinker, you may not know that, but it’s ebbed and flowed and it is ebbing again. So — or whichever way is up. It’s good. Again, wine. That’s what my dad brings to Thanksgiving, is the wine. So, he doesn’t really cook and somebody needs to bring the wine. So, thanks, dad.

Scott Luton (05:27):

That is an important ingredient for happiness at a family gathering. So, I look forward to doing the same —

Greg White (05:32):

Well, he really does a good job at — I mean, of picking the right wine to pair with turkey and all of that delicious saltiness and yummy food.

Scott Luton (05:43):

Yes, man. Now, we’re starving, Graham and Greg as always. So, we got a lot of good stuff to get to. So, we’re going to move on from the good Thanksgiving food and spirits discussion. And as Greg mentioned, to give thanks to old Elijah Craig for introducing that.

Greg White (06:00):

Particular when you say it since he’s from the south.

Scott Luton (06:03):

I guess. But Graham, you know, as Greg mentioned on the front end, we have enjoyed a long running series of discussions with our friends at Esker. Appreciate what you are doing out in industry. But for our new listeners and folks who may have missed those earlier conversations, let’s add a little context to our gathering here today. So, tell us in a nutshell what Esker does and a little bit about your background, Graham.

Graham Smith (06:26):

Yes. Yes, definitely. And I’ll actually — I’ll start with me, right? So, why am I here today? I specialize with helping manufacturing and building materials companies to improve customer relations and eliminate any kind of productivity waste by leveraging A.I. automation in their customer service groups which leads us to that hot topic of change order management.

Graham Smith (06:47):

And then, you know, kind of, who is Esker in a nutshell? So, Esker has focuses with A.I. automation across the procure-to-pay segments, as well as the order-to-cash sides of the house. So, any kind of back-office operations that have many or repetitive steps, Esker can step in, help you to eliminate some of those manual tendencies within those processes. I’ve been with Esker for about seven years now. Absolutely love it here, and excited to talk about change orders today.

Scott Luton (07:14):

Graham, love that. And Greg, if there’s anything that we love talking about here and love talking with people that are doing this out in the industry is eliminating those boring, repetitive, manual stuff that really — who likes doing all that stuff, Greg?

Greg White (07:29):

Yes, that too. I was talking about the money, but to me it’s all about the dockets [phonetic]. So — but yes, of course. I mean — and there’s money in everything, right? Repetitive, boring, slow, unreliable, all of those things are — they cost you more than just the delay in capital and capital costs. It’s a really worthy cause to get all this stuff squared away.

Scott Luton (07:56):

Well said. Well said. Well, so speaking of, Graham, I appreciate that context on the front end. Let’s talk about some of what you’re seeing out in the industry. What are you seeing business leaders prioritize or struggle with? What are some of the things you’re seeing?

Graham Smith (08:10):

I focus on the customer services side of the house. So, really, it’s a couple of things. It’s getting those orders in efficiently, right? There’s oftentimes a segment of your customers that has the highest cost to serve and probably produces the least amount of revenue. How are they sending those orders in? Oftentimes it’s PDF. Oftentimes they’re sending an e-mail that says, hey, I need 36 roles of X, Y, Z by Tuesday, which typically means there’s a lot of manual intervention that’s necessary, right?

Graham Smith (08:38):

And then other transactions as well. Any kind of customer inquiries, whether you’re requesting status, if you have billing questions, product questions, typically fairly manual process and even creating quotes or dealing with claims and discrepancies.

Scott Luton (08:51):

Greg, does any of that sound familiar?

Greg White (08:53):

Yes, painfully familiar. Yes, sent me flashbacks. Yes, man. Flashbacks to the ’90s too. So, I mean, some of these people just need to like welcome to the 21st century, right? But, yes, absolutely, all of that manual entry. And you think about the range of type of companies that people work with. Some are more sophisticated, some are less sophisticated, some you can’t even use the word sophisticated. And so, you get a varying level of performance there, and it’s really difficult. And like Graham just said, it’s really costly on your team to fulfill against or even pay against a lot of times.

Scott Luton (09:32):

Yes, good stuff. And manual intervention, if that’s not a show on the A and E, it should be. So, Graham and Greg, I want — where we’re going to go next is kind of getting more focused on the topic at hand, and that is change orders. So, Graham, to make sure everybody’s with us is tuned in, they’re watching, or listening, or you name it. Again, a little more context. Let’s define what we’re talking about with change orders. Help us out there, Graham.

Graham Smith (09:54):

Definitely. Definitely. So, essentially when we say change order, what we mean is when a customer is requesting a change to a parameter on an existing order. So, often that changes requested delivery date, quantity, maybe the product itself, requesting an alternative. Again, my background is, kind of, in manufacturing and building materials.

Graham Smith (10:14):

So, in manufacturing, that might be caused by demand planning, might be caused by their customers, right? And then on the flip side with building materials, a lot of times you’re dropping that product off at a site, there’s delays on that project. And the framers haven’t gotten in yet, well then you probably don’t want four pallets of shingles just sitting in the weather for a three-week period, right?

Graham Smith (10:36):

Long — to deliver.

Graham Smith (10:37):

Yes, exactly.

Scott Luton (10:38):

So, Graham, I can relate to some of what you’re sharing there. A big part of my background is manufacturing, and in particular sending product out to construction sites. For me, it wasn’t home as much as it was new retail centers, bus stations, even church construction. And to your point, you don’t want stuff sitting there for a variety of reasons, including, because they get misplaced really quickly. Can you relate to that too, Graham?

Graham Smith (11:03):

Absolutely, absolutely. It’s either you don’t know where it is, or unfortunately, theft is a major concern, you know.

Scott Luton (11:10):

That’s right.

Graham Smith (11:11):

I lived in California about 10 years ago, and they’re just developing new laws because people would go in and steal the copper right after the electrician went in there. So, there’s a lot of risk associated with having a product just sitting there, whether that’s because of the weather or, again, because of theft.

Scott Luton (11:26):

Yes, and of course theft is on the rise. We’re seeing it across. Folks stealing cargo, stealing freight, you name it. Greg, when you heard his definition of change orders and a couple of those examples that I bet make a lot of sense to some folks out there, whether you’ve been in the construction building materials industry or not. Some of your thoughts, Greg.

Greg White (11:42):

Yuck. You know — I mean, I think it’s something that happens but it’s, you know, so disruptive when it does. And the reasons for it are — kind of, go back to that — those stages of sophistication in a lot of cases. And also, to the industry, I mean, to — specifically to the construction industry. It just happens sometimes, right? And things get out of order and they just have to happen. But they’re so disruptive, and — I mean, we just keep going back to this so costly.

Greg White (12:13):

So, you have to either work to prevent them very diligently, which sometimes you’re not in control of or respond really quickly and efficiently when they inevitably have to happen.

Scott Luton (12:24):

Yes, absolutely. Well, you know, that’s a great comment there, Greg. And Graham, let’s continue going down the impact path of these manual change orders. And rather than, you talked about a couple of different ways of how this impact manifests itself. But the impact it has on the teams themselves, in particular B-to-B customer service teams. What are you seeing in there, Graham?

Graham Smith (12:45):

Yes, and I want to touch on something that Greg said as well, that oftentimes these change orders are inevitable. Whether that is some sort of outside change, maybe that’s the end customer. Maybe that is something with manufacturing. Companies are always going to receive change orders because the demand is constantly changing.

Graham Smith (13:06):

Oftentimes, I mentioned it earlier, that change order might be coming in the body of an e-mail. Hey, you know, P.O. number 123, I need to change the delivery date to Tuesday the 3rd. Oftentimes that’s a manual process. I need human eyes to look at that, decipher what that says. Now, I need to go into the ERP. I need to bring up that old order. Hopefully I have an order number or something that I can search by in that e-mail. If not, I might be looking through a list, reviewing by status. Going in there, making those alterations, maybe confirming with the warehouse, maybe confirming with my manufacturing operations that we can do this. We could deliver by this date. And then communicating back with my customer to say, hey, actually we already have that on a truck, so we’re not going to be able to change that. Or, hey, we don’t have the capacity to fill this. Would you like an alternative product or can we extend that date?

Scott Luton (14:02):

Yes. So — and Greg, one of the points he’s making there is change orders are — they’re — I’m not calling them necessarily evil, but they come with —

Graham Smith (14:10):

They are.

Scott Luton (14:11):

Thank you. I’ll let you say it.

Greg White (14:14):

They are.

Scott Luton Scott Luton

When it comes with making customers happy, right, and chain and where — we can be — consumers can be very fickle, right? They want certain things and sometimes they change their minds, and we’re out there to please them and make them into create raving fans. Greg, your thoughts?

Greg White (14:28):

Yes, emphasis on evil. Well, honestly, I’m dealing with a change order right now that was initiated by the supplier. So, order went in fine. They — I don’t know, got super inefficient internally. They had to change delivery date and now they’re here, of course, while we’re on air to deliver, when they didn’t schedule with me to deliver. They just announced at 11:00 last night that they would be delivering sometime today. So, it’s a well-known retail brand. Something about ceramic containers on a farm — in a building on a farm. And I would strongly suggest that you decipher that and decide to never buy anything online from them.

Greg White (15:10):

But I mean, that — it is — it’s incredibly disruptive to have these kinds of things happen. And ultimately, as we just discussed here, it’s about the customer satisfaction. And these days, if you can’t accommodate the customer, they will find someone who will, because everyone is competing against Amazon or someone like that these days. And the breadth of places that you can get, the breadth of products that any company can provide exists in so many places. So, you have to be both, again, preemptive and responsive, but also very cognizant of that customer experience.

Scott Luton (15:46):

Right. Well said, Greg. And, you know, I appreciate the case — the business case or the value proposition or the, you know, kind of the reasons why we’ve got to lean into a better way of taking care of these change orders. Because they’re part of doing business, and we need to act on them and execute on them, take care of customers while making it easier for our teams and put them in more successful — better positions to be successful.

Scott Luton (16:11):

And that’s what we’re going to, kind of, move to next, Graham, because there is a better way. So, we want to pick your brain. I think you’re — we’re going to walk through three different strategies that you’re seeing successful companies really, you know, mitigate the impact of these change orders. And again, with my favorite part of this whole conversation, I love taking care of customers, but I love when we can do some really cool things to, again, make our team’s day easier so they can go out there and hit home runs for their customers. So, Graham, what are you seeing? What’s the first strategy?

Graham Smith (16:43):

Right, right. So, I think it all comes down to people, process and technology. We have an eBook out called “The Digital Guide to People, Process and Technology”, right. And there’s always going to be those three pillars. If you don’t have one of those pillars, that is just going to fall, right.

Graham Smith (16:58):

So, the first thing that I want to touch on is really changing those policies that surround change orders and the behaviors associated with those. I think the old saying of the customer’s always right, it’s getting phased out because sometimes you can’t fulfill the requests of those customers. And one thing I’m going to add into this conversation last minute as well is order cancellations. So, I was talking to a building materialist company, I was on site two weeks ago, and they still have customers that will send out four orders to four different vendors, and whoever can fulfill that first, they are going to take that order and they’re going to cancel the other three.

Graham Smith (17:32):

Because, to Greg’s point, if you can’t fulfill it, somebody else will, right? And I think, kind to that philosophy during the Covid-era really changed because of all the impacts and all the strain on the supply chain of I don’t have the loyalty that I used to. So, whoever’s going to do what I want them to do, that’s who I’m going to choose as my preferred supplier, right. So, changing some of those policies helps to make sure that you can efficiently manage those change orders. Because there’s so many effects throughout the entire organization, it’s not just customer service, it’s not just a warehouse. And there’s also a lot of siloed breakdowns between there, right.

Graham Smith (18:13):

So, I was talking to a company, this was probably a month ago, and they will allow a change order until that order goes on a truck. Now, if they’re getting ready to load that truck and they say, hey, we need to change this, they’ll say, OK, because it’s not on that truck. Well, now, maybe that’s already on a forklift. I’ve already taken it out of the yard, I’ve taken it out of the warehouse, well now I need to put that back. So, the cost of that change order is exponentially higher than, say, if you had a 48-hour cutoff time before we’ve done any of the planning to actually transport that item.

Scott Luton (18:46):

Yes. Graham, that makes a lot of sense. Greg, starting with calling time out, making sure we’re reevaluating policies and not just following policies we created in 1982. You see, I’m picking on here today. Greg, your thoughts?

Greg White (18:59):

Yes. Well, Graham has already enunciated that change orders are a fact. They happen. So, you have to build a process around them. You can’t be scrambling every time a change order happens. You have to expect them. You have to plan for them. You have to provision for them. Build processes, and of course support it with technology, but also have your people ready to manage these situations because they are exceptional. There are times when it’s going to fall on the edge of can technology even help us with this sometimes, right?

Greg White (19:29):

But yes, to the policies that, you know, that get you there, whatever your customer service policy is, you have to be able to provision for that. And Graham, your point, you have to accept the cost of that. If you’re willing to wait until it’s ready to go on the truck or it’s even on the way to the truck, right, you’re going to have to recognize that’s costly. And you’re going to have to deal with that too, a policy decision around that is necessary as well. What is our cutoff as, Graham, you were talking about?

Scott Luton (19:58):

Yes. Graham, in that example you used, was that a new policy change that they introduced because the business had evolved and changed or what?

Graham Smith (20:06):

It’s just something that they’ve always done. And I think the unfortunate truth is a lot of companies do scramble once they receive that change. They don’t have necessary policies in place, or another thing that I was going to touch on for one of those strategies is that they’re not willing to communicate or tell their customer, no, I can’t do this.

Scott Luton (20:24):

OK. Well, let’s go there. That is — that communication and how we’re communicating, that’s the second strategy I think we’re going to dive into. So, tell us more there, Graham.

Graham Smith (20:33):

You know, I think over the last couple of years, everybody’s gotten excited about this Amazon-like experience, right? I can order something online, I don’t have to talk with anybody. I know exactly when it’s going to be there. I can track it. And Amazon isn’t going to tell me no, right?

Graham Smith (20:47):

But unfortunately, in B-to-B customer service, you might not have that level of sophistication, either on the supplier or the customer side to be able to find that information easily. Which means oftentimes companies need to be setting better expectations with their customers. This is what we do and do not allow. And then also communicating, hey, I know that you requested this change by Tuesday, but unfortunately, I can’t fulfill that. How’s about this alternative product? How’s about pushing this out a week? Can you take a lower capacity?

Scott Luton (21:17):

And Greg, there’s an old phrase I like to share from the food industry. A business leader said, hey, give me good news fast and bad news faster. And that’s kind of, on a related note, to what Graham’s talking about. About — we got to communicate the good and the bad, and if we’re communicating the bad, we got to give them options or at least communicate how we’re remedying the situation. Now, all that and many other things roll up into an effective communication strategy. Your thoughts, Greg?

Greg White (21:43):

Yes, my thoughts are honestly that there is no excuse for any size business not to be able to do this technologically. I mean, it is so ubiquitous, the ability to set these policies, to train your people, and to have technology support this. If you are still living in the stone age as some of the companies Graham described, you’re about to go extinct because the expectations are now universal, not just among consumers, but among businesses. And the reasoning for that is very good, and that’s because we’ve been doing e-commerce since 1996, right, almost 30 years.

Greg White (22:21):

So, if you’re behind — you’re 30 years behind the curve, how much longer do you expect to survive? I mean, you got to do something. Step up to something here. I mean, if you can’t get yourself online and you can’t meet a reasonable lead time promise and reasonable, by the way, is defined by your consumer, yes, you got to dig deep, folks.

Scott Luton (22:45):

Dig real deep. All right. So, there’s good — and Greg, it’s like you’ve got a crystal ball like you always do because you know where we’re going next. Because we got policies, which was the first strategy that Graham — we’ve all spoken to. Communication, which is the second one. And then thirdly, automation, Graham. So, tell us more there.

Graham Smith (23:04):

Yes. And Greg nailed it again, right, because unfortunately, businesses can’t operate like they’ve always operated before, which is exactly why I’m having these conversations with suppliers about how they can better manage customer orders, customer change orders, enhance the communication with those customers, and deliver what the customer is asking with a lower cost to serve, right, and a higher accuracy, right?

Graham Smith (23:29):

So, in my world, what automating the change order process looks like. I touched on earlier that oftentimes these change orders are coming in are free text e-mail. Maybe they’re coming in via telephone. You know, oftentimes there’s not an EDI coming out that says, hey, I need to change these. That can be automated. Oftentimes, it’s a pretty manual step. So, being able to leverage something like natural language processing, a large language model. To be able to decipher what they’re asking for and then have something that can do those lookups into the ERP, and then facilitate those transactions, turn that into more of a OneTouch process so that you’re not flipping through multiple screens. You’re not looking at additional third parties to then be able to make those changes, because again, that’s just going to lead up that cost to serve and take a lot of time.

Graham Smith (24:18):

One of my customers is looking at our change order functionality right now. They already automate the entry of the orders with Oscar, which has saved them an incredible amount of time. About 70% of their day now is spent just changing the existing orders. And those orders oftentimes get changed between one in three times, which means that a customer service rep needs to spend five to 10 minutes, three times after the order’s already been entered, which is a lot of time. A lot of money that’s just being wasted on making changes.

Graham Smith (24:55):

And if you can reduce that time by 30 to 70%, now you can upskill those individuals to focus on more planning activities. To set better expectations with your customers. To review what shipments are going out. To be able to better learn about potentially alternative products or open them up to some outselling opportunities for some of the accessories that might go with some of those products.

Scott Luton (25:22):

Right. You can automate all sorts of different things, leveraging modern technology these days. But at a minimum, Greg, automating the blocking and tackling so you can free up your team’s time to focus more on the more human intensive aspects of an operation or customer service or what have you. Your thoughts, Greg?

Greg White (25:41):

Yes, set up your technology to do technology things, so humans can do human things, right? I mean, if it’s so repetitive and so rote [phonetic] that you could draw a rule around it or learn about it in A.I. and do it. And let your people deal with the exceptional cases, the exceptional difficulties, the exceptional problems that are out there. Or better yet, as Graham just described, let them do those things that are more profit oriented for the company. Upselling, right? Customer relations, all of that sort of thing that is so powerful and so much more satisfying for humans to do than this repetitive motion stuff, right?

Scott Luton (26:23):

Yes, absolutely. I agree. And I like your demonstration.

Greg White (26:28):


Scott Luton (26:28):

That repetitive motion. All right. So, Graham, you’ve covered three strategies here, from the policy side, to the communication side, to the best part. Our favorite part, probably, is the automation and the leveraging modern technology side. And that’s where, you know, you and your team over at Esker is doing a ton of work out there in industry, right?

Scott Luton (26:46):

So, how would you suggest — I’ll tell you, you are efficient today, Graham. We are shooting through a lot of the brilliance you brought here today. But if folks want to start a conversation with you and the Esker team, how would you suggest that — where do you all start most of your conversations?

Graham Smith (27:02):

You know, there’s a couple ways, right. I’m on LinkedIn, add me on LinkedIn, shoot me a message. Happy to have the conversation, right? Go to the website. Check out some of the content that we have there. See if it’s relevant. But I think even before that, ask your people on the ground floor what they’re struggling with. What’s taken the most time? What are some of the responsibilities that they have on their plate that they don’t have the time to get to, right?

Scott Luton (27:25):


Graham Smith (27:25):

Because I think, you know, that’s the starting ground, and really automating a bad process just makes a bad automated process.

Scott Luton (27:31):

Yes, I see you can relate, right?

Greg White (27:33):

Right. Destroy the company faster is what it does.

Graham Smith (27:36):

Yes, exactly. You know, so, I think the key is understanding some of those challenges, right, and then reaching out, having a conversation with us. You know, you can call our general line. Again, add me on LinkedIn. Shoot us an e-mail. Fill out our contact us form. We’ll ask you some more questions and see if maybe there is an opportunity to automate because the unfortunate truth is you can’t always automate everything, but if that opportunity is there, then it’s worth at least facilitating a conversation.

Scott Luton (28:02):

Absolutely. And you referenced earlier — because folks, Graham and the Esker team brought some resources here today, and this is this digital guide that you referenced.

Graham Smith (28:12):


Scott Luton (28:12):

Aligning people, process and technology and action plan for B-to-B customer service excellence. So, you know, what’s the WFM here? What — why would you suggest to folks to check this out, Graham?

Graham Smith (28:23):

You know, a couple of reasons. There are some challenges listed in there that companies are facing. If you can relate with those, then maybe automation can help you. And then also, there’s some stories about some of the successes from being able to automate some of these processes and things to look out for some of those outcomes that you might be able to achieve.

Scott Luton (28:40):

Outstanding. So, folks, check that out. We’re going to drop the link right there in the chat, you’re one click away to checking out that resource and hopefully put into work. And also, we’re going to be dropping Graham’s LinkedIn link there and connect with him. Talk Spotted Cow. Talk — you love to fish, right?

Graham Smith (28:58):


Scott Luton (28:58):

We got word — we’re getting some fish and best practices in the pre-show, you name it. And of course, how to streamline and put your team in a better position to find success. And Greg, when you think through our conversation here today, what’s your singular favorite takeaway that Graham has brought?

Greg White (29:15):

Well, just that there’s hope that even in a situation where virtually every order is an exception, as the one scenario where he described, you can still be better and save a pile of money, right? And you can plan for it, and provisioned for it, and align your people and your processes and your technology to make sure that you execute even in a highly disruptive environment as effectively as possible.

Scott Luton (29:40):

Well said. Well said, Greg. Well said, Graham. Folks, as we mentioned, the links there to the resource. We also encourage you to connect with Graham, bring your fishing stories, bring your supply chain stories. You name it —

Greg White (29:54):

The change order stories.

Scott Luton (29:56):

The change order stories.

Graham Smith (29:57):


Scott Luton (29:57):

That’s a good, right.

Greg White (29:59):

I bet there’s a lot of those.

Scott Luton (30:02):

And as Greg mentioned, there is hope. And there’s certainly a better way, and that is what’s going to power growth in the new year and then some. So, hey, Graham Smith, always a pleasure to reconnect with our friends at Esker, business develop manager over there. Appreciate what you’re doing. And I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with some of your favorite friends, family, food and —

Greg White (30:26):

Spotted Cow.

Scott Luton (30:27):

— adult beverages, and Spotted Cow, that’s right.

Greg White (30:28):


Scott Luton (30:29):

All right. Well, folks, big thanks to Catherine and Amanda behind the scenes. Greg, always a pleasure to knock out these conversations with you.

Greg White (30:35):


Scott Luton (30:36):

But now, folks, the onus is on you. Take these opportunities and these ideas and what Graham and the Esker team are seeing out in the industry, what successful business leaders and teams are doing. Take just one idea and put it into action, right. Deeds, not words. And with that said, on behalf of our entire team here at Supply Chain Now, Scott Luton challenging you to do good, to give forward and to be the change that’s needed. And we’ll see you next time right back here at Supply Chain Now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (31:04):

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

Would you rather watch the show in action?

Featured Guests

Graham Smith, As part of the Esker Business Development team, Graham Smith partners with Enterprise Customer Service and Supply Chain leaders to guide them in improving the customer journey. Graham has a background in industrial distribution and manufacturing, seeing firsthand the challenges of manual processes, and the detriments of their downstream effects Connect with Graham on LinkedIn.


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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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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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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Vicki White


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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

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

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Kim Reuter

Host, The Freight Insider

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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Mary Kate Love

VP, Marketing

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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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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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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Tandreia Bellamy

Host, Supply Chain Now

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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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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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 & CMO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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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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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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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

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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