Dial P for Procurement
Episode 18

It is a way to take people’s wealth from them without having to openly raise taxes. Inflation is the most universal tax of all.

- Thomas Sowell, American economist, historian, and social theorist

Episode Summary

In this week’s Dial P audio podcast, Kelly Barner gets back to basics to address one of the dominating news stories and business concerns today: inflation. What is it, what causes it, and isn’t there SOMETHING we can do to make It stop??? Listen in for a refresher on the basics, some examples of how it connects all of the different major forces in the economy, and some strategies and tactics you can employ as a corporate employee to get through today’s heavily inflationary times.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:01):

Welcome to dial P for procurement, the show focused on today’s biggest spin supplier and contract management related business opportunities. Dial P investigates the nuanced and constantly evolving boundary of the procurement supply chain divide with a broadcast of engaged executives, providers, and thought leaders give us an hour and we’ll provide you with a new perspective on supply chain value. And now it’s time to dial P for procurement.

Kelly Barner (00:32):

Hi there, and thanks for joining me for Dial P for procurement. Part of the supply chain. Now family of shows, I’m Kelly Barner, a career procurement practitioner with a love for business news, and most of all good ideas, no matter where they come from. In addition to video interviews and live streams, I’ll join you each Thursday to share my point of view on a current news story that presents an interesting twist for business leaders or a new way of looking at a common challenge. Before I dig into this week’s topic, we’re are building out dial piece independent following. So no matter where you encountered this podcast, I’d ask you to subscribe or follow and even give us a review. Thank you in advance for being an active part of our listening community. I talk to people all the time that ask me what are chief procurement officers focused on right now for the last six months or so?

Kelly Barner (01:24):

That has been a very easy question to answer. They care about inflation, fuel prices and labor shortages. Yes, they have other concerns like supplier diversity and sustainability, but neither of those come anywhere close to their focus on inflation and since fuel prices and labor shortage is, are related to inflation. Most CPOs have a one track mind right now and who can blame them. Speaking of blame, did you know that you might be contributing to inflation all that talk and worry about inflation might cause inflation. Don’t worry. I’m doing it too more on that in a minute. We’re all so bombarded with news stories about inflation that we can’t deny its importance, but when was the last time you really dug into how inflation works? It has been a long time since I was in business school and warning flags go up in my mind, whenever something is sensationalized and politicized.

Kelly Barner (02:21):

And that seems to be everything these days let’s revisit the basics on inflation and then consider how our everyday decisions might actually be contributing to it. We are currently in the midst of the highest inflation spike in 40 years in March of this year, the inflation rate was 7.9% up by 0.8% from the previous month. Now any analysts expect that the March number due to be released on April 12th will be closer to 10%, which means that inflation is not only high, but its growth rate is also accelerating. Inflation is the overall increase in the cost of living or prices paid over a given period of time. In other words, it determines what your dollar or your paycheck will buy you compared to what the same amount of money could buy last month or last year in times of high inflation, like we are in today, prices are up and therefore the same dollar you held a month ago will now buy you less stuff.

Kelly Barner (03:22):

Inflation is measured and tracked through the consumer price index or CPI. This is a market basket consisting of consumer goods and services. The bureau of labor statistics is the government agency that tracks and reports on the CPI and inflation. It includes housing, energy, food, new vehicles, medical care, and services. Every month. The bureau of labor statistics releases the inflation rate from the previous calendar month. The largest percentage of the CPI is associated with housing, but housing is also typically pretty stable. Most of the volatility in the CPI and therefore inflation is associated with two F words. No, not those F words. I’m talking about food and fuel. So what exactly causes inflation? There are several things that can contribute to the inflation rate for instance, too much available cat Ash in the economy. Consumers sat on many of the stimulus checks they received during the pandemic as did states and local governments.

Kelly Barner (04:28):

And once life started going back to normal, everyone started spending leading to spikes and demand and an increase in inflation. The increase was small, but it was still worrisome. People started to take notice some organizations, including the San Francisco fed began voicing concerns about government decisions, overheating the economy by fueling demand that businesses couldn’t fulfill inflation was already on the rise in late 2021 when the American rescue plan was passed, but that increase was expected to be contained and temporary. For many Americans, the federal stimulus checks were a lifeline in an economy completely scrambled by the pandemic for others. They created an opportunity not to hurry between jobs. This is where we get one of our first points of connection. The cash that increased the rate of inflation, albeit subtly through surplus money is the same cash that drove and is still driving labor shortages, especially for Americans whose income can be close to replaced by the stimulus.

Kelly Barner (05:34):

Transitory was the word frequently used to describe the increased inflation rate late last year and early this year. And that might have been the case if no other factors had contributed to its progression, but you just never know what’s around the corner like war in Eastern Europe. For instance, that brings us to another driver of inflation supply shocks supply shocks that disrupt production or increase input costs like fuel for instance, are bad for inflation. The war between Ukraine and Russia is driving up energy costs. And that in turn is driving inflation up far more than the stimulus checks did. And it’s having an impact on top of that already elevated inflation rate as consumers, we’re all subject to the pains caused by inflation. It costs more to fill our cars with gas, shop at the grocery store and pay rent. Also devalues any increase in pay we receive at work pay raises have to be larger than the rate of inflation to have an impact on our spending power and material quality of life.

Kelly Barner (06:39):

Now, this is not to say that someone can’t get a 10% increase in pay, but it certainly doesn’t happen all the time. A typical cost of living raise is about 3%. You may have heard that rule of thumb. Where does that 3% come from? That is the air quotes, typical rate of inflation. If the things you have to buy to live increase in price by a composite 3% annually, not getting a 3% raise means that you’re effectively making less when compared to your costs. So we’ve covered available cash, labor, shortages, and supply ch shocks. What about fuel prices? Fuel costs are definitely one of the top things. All executives are worried about energy prices in general and oil costs are very changeable. As of recording this podcast, a barrel of Brent crude costs about $110 a barrel, maybe a week ago, it was about $120 a barrel Wells Fargo’s team of economists recently sent out a paper about the implications oil hitting $200 a barrel, a number that sounds alarmingly high, but which is not unrealistic.

Kelly Barner (07:47):

In fact, they estimate that even if Russia’s oil production drops by 30%, we may hit $195 a barrel. What would the fallout of this be even higher and inflation? Of course. And if not a recession certainly reduced GDP and economic growth. Wells Fargo expects the inflationary impact to be different by country. With the us taking the worst, hit an additional 1.1% of inflation just from these fuel costs while China’s would increase 0.6% and the Euro zone would see 0.8%. Now, quick recap. Inflation is caused by fuel price increases, supply shocks, surplus cash, and how businesses and consumers respond to it. And news about it. The truth is we draw drive inflation, you and me and the lady who works at Dunkin donuts and the ups guy and everybody else, we are so good at driving inflation. We do it without thinking about it or realizing it here’s how starting at the highest level consumer expectations drive inflation.

Kelly Barner (09:00):

Now that’s your self fulfilling prophecy right there when people anticipate inflation or when they anticipate prices going up without thinking about it as inflation, they help drive inflation up by incorporating that expectation into negotiations for wages and into contracts for things like houses. Not only might we do that because we’re aware of the economic predictions for the rest of the year, but also because we feel the effects of inflation on our purchasing power. Before we change jobs or buy a car or buy a new house, we wanna be sure that the agreement delivers enough perceived value to make any cost, disruption, risk, or inconvenience worth it. And while that perception isn’t necessarily scientific and it varies person to person it’s bad for inflation, also bad for inflation switching jobs. It isn’t the mere fact to switching jobs that make inflation go up. It’s our collective individual decisions to seize these new opportunities.

Kelly Barner (10:01):

Usually at a higher wage that drives up the cost of filling those roles for companies, boom inflation in February, the labor department reported 4.4 million people had quit. Their jobs in that number was 4.5 million. And that was a 20 year high. There are currently 1.8 open jobs for every available worker, making the competition for talent, fierce and expensive. Higher wages are great for the individuals getting them. But remember what we said about justing power. If those people aren’t getting a 7.9% increase in salary from one job to the next, they are actually worse off and they’re contributing to inflation the war for talent. As some people are calling, it is creating great opportunities for some people, but increased costs for everyone. How else are we all driving inflation? How about where are we driving inflation? Like at the grocery store, remember that’s our other F word food.

Kelly Barner (11:07):

Conventional wisdom says that the best way to combat the cost pressure of inflation on consumer goods is by building up strong brand and customer loyalty. Add to that. The fact that supply shocks are making usually easy to get products, pretty scarce, and you have a perfect storm for brand switching. According to a recent wall street journal article brand loyalty takes a hit from inflation and shortages by J one Kang between may of 2020 and August of 2021, 70% cent of us shoppers reported buying a new or different brand than they would’ve purchased pre pandemic. I’m sure you remember, those days, get hand soap, any hand soap or buy breakfast cereal, anything so long as it doesn’t have berries in it. And if the only challenge had been the pandemic, as soon as our regular brands came back into stock, most of us would’ve switched back.

Kelly Barner (12:00):

When we add inflation on top of the supply shocks, the trend becomes more widespread and lasting brands that have in stock percentages between 72 and 85% have law, almost an entire percentage point of share of wallet. That’s a metric that measures brand loyalty and shows whether companies are gaining or losing buyers. The grocery store chain Kroger did a survey that found that more than 90% of consumers say they will buy another brand or item if their preferred choice isn’t available. Clearly as all of these factors, collide, consumers are learning to adapt. And as we’ve seen with the trend around working from home, some of these new trends become new habits and behaviors and they never switch back. The fact of the matter is brand loyalty may never be the same, but we’re here to talk about inflation. And here’s what I, I wanna know. Can’t somebody do something it’s not like inflation is new for answers.

Kelly Barner (13:01):

We look to the federal reserve and their management of interest rates. The Fed’s job is to roll out fiscal policies aimed at stabilizing prices and guiding lending and borrowing behavior. Interest rates usually move in the same direction as inflation. Although with the delay because interest rates are raised or lowered in response to rising or falling inflation, making money more expensive to borrow, decreases the consumer impulse to spend on risky or unnecessary goods. And it helps market prices cool down by suppressing our demand. It’s an imprecise science to be sure, but it’s the best we’ve got today, as you would expect, the fed is raising interest rates in the hopes of containing or slowing increases in inflation. Usually they wouldn’t raise interest rates by more than a quarter of a percent each time. Going back to that imprecise science idea, if they aren’t positive about the impact they’re changes, we’ll have more smaller changes are better than fewer bigger potentially harmful ones today.

Kelly Barner (14:02):

The concerns about inflation’s impact on the economy are significant enough that the fed has suggested they may raise rates by a half percent. Also sometimes stated as 50 basis points just to make all of this sound more serious and truthfully more confusing. And that’s just a half a percent at a time fed chair. Jerome Powell has hinted that we may see a total of 1.9% in additional increases over time before the year is out. Now, many of you, although not all listening to this episode of dial P work in procurement or supply chain. So you may be tasked with negotiating supplier contracts and prices for your company. As I’ve said, inflation is based on consumer prices and some of the inputs like fuel and raw materials are the same, but inflation doesn’t does affect companies a little bit differently. That is important for us to remember inflation mostly affects companies by affecting its customers, especially in B2C industries, as well as through the cost of capital that you get access to.

Kelly Barner (15:07):

We’ve already learned about the effect expectations have on with regard to inflation professionals must be careful not to follow the same approach in a corporate setting. We need to be looking at raw material indexes and building should cost models, analyzing market trends and talking to our key suppliers. We can’t afford to read consumer news coverage and just freak out the most important thing you can remember about inflation and the CPI is that they are measured focusing on consumer impact. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t address them or that we won’t feel them in the corporate realm. We just have to remember that inflation driven cost increases are measured and felt at the consumer level. That’s where they’re the most applicable. And that’s where the most accurate when consumer spending power is decreased because the cost of goods and services is up relative to people’s income. They will make different choices about how to spend their limited resources.

Kelly Barner (16:03):

This means that demand for essential goods, like the apps, for instance, food and fuel are less likely to be affected than purchases of new cars, but even within the category of food, which we know is just as volatile as energy costs, you’re more likely to buy milk and eggs and bread, no matter how much they cost, then you are to continue springing for lobster and steak companies need to be sensitive to their target consumers ability to spend and wear their or most profitable products or services fall on the continuum from essential to luxury. And if you are a B2B firm, try to figure out how many tier away from you. The first consumer is that will suggest both how soon and how much of an impact you’re likely to feel from inflation. The devil is in the de tails and inflation is no exception. I’m not suggesting that you refuse to pay more at the grocery store or that you pass on the opportunity to negotiate a great new job.

Kelly Barner (17:03):

Neither of those choices will contain inflation. And all of this is systemic. If you think about all the different ways that supply shocks and fuel costs and labor and supply of money or interconnected, it’s far more complicated than anything that any one individual or corporation can affect. But the more you understand about where inflation comes from and how interconnected the sources of it are, the less susceptible you will be to the breathless over hyped news stories about it. That’s my eye point of view. Anyway, thank you for listening to this audio episode of dial P for procurement, but please don’t just listen, join the conversation and let me know what you think on this topic or others. I can take it. Let’s work together to figure out the best solution until next time. This is Kelly Barner for dial P for procurement on supply chain. Now have a great rest of your day.

Intro/Outro (17:58):

Thank you for joining us for this episode of dial P for procurement and for being an active part of the supply chain. Now community, please check out all of our shows and event@supplychainnow.com. Make sure you follow dial P four procurement on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to catch all the latest programming details. We’ll see you soon for the next episode of dial P four procurement.

Hosts

Kelly Barner

Host, Dial P for Procurement

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Patch Reilly

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

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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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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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Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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