Supply Chain Now
Episode 1270

Challenge people to ask, "Do I have the right tools, technologies, and resources for my people to be successful?" Because you can build all the strategies you want but if you don't have the right tools and resources to execute it, it's going to be wasted.

-Chris Kupillas

Episode Summary

In this new episode of Supply Chain Now, hosts Scott Luton and Billy Ray Taylor are joined by Chris Kupillas and Carly Bly from BlueGrace Logistics to unpack effective supply chain management and discover strategies that lead to significant cost savings and enhanced operational efficiencies.

Listen in as Chris and Carly discuss the importance of a customer-centered approach to logistics, emphasizing transparency, and communication in identifying and mitigating cost drivers in transportation networks. They share expert insights on simplifying processes to maximize efficiency, leveraging technologies, and fostering collaborative relationships with key supply chain partners.

This episode also features a unique segment on Blue Grace’s creative approach to marketing and stakeholder engagement, including a fascinating glimpse into a comic book designed to highlight “villains” in the supply chain. Tune in to learn how aligning business strategy with customer needs and internal capabilities can transform your supply chain operations.

Episode Transcript

Transcription

SUPPLY CHAIN NOW   |   BLUEGRACE LIVESTREAM

[00:00:00] Scott W. Luton: Hey, good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Wherever you may be Scott Luton and Billy Ray Taylor with you here on Supply Chain Now, Billy. How you doing today?

[00:00:42] Billy Ray Taylor: I’m doing wonderful Scott. How about yourself?

[00:00:44] Scott W. Luton: doing wonderful. We’ve done our weather check this morning in the green room. We had a great, uh, great session there. Everybody’s eased into a cooler spring temps for the most part. I know Houston down there where you are, Billy, getting a little bit warm today, but it’s still a beautiful day, especially in global supply chain. Am I right?

[00:01:04] Billy Ray Taylor: It is getting hot in here as they stay

down here. But in the green room, we had a great discussion, some game changing discussions. I’m excited Scott about today.

[00:01:14] Scott W. Luton: I am too, my friend. So, Hey, great show today as we’re diving into the big opportunities that exist when it comes to truly optimizing your logistics operations, Billy, we’re going to be diving into how to capture and utilize data effectively and

successfully how to lower transportation costs, no matter what kind of market we’re in those critical steps to implementing change, change that sticks and a whole bunch more should

be a great show, huh?

[00:01:39] Billy Ray Taylor: Absolutely. I kept hearing innovation, innovation, innovation. It’s the way they do business. It was exciting. So I’m looking forward to it.

[00:01:46] Scott W. Luton: I am too, my friend. And of course, if you enjoy today’s show, be sure to find it. Uh, be sure to share it rather with a friend or your network, Billy. They’ll

be glad you did. Right.

[00:02:08] Billy Ray Taylor: Absolutely. Absolutely. There’s going to be key takeaways today. I’ll tell you what to put in their portfolio of how to move their business forward. So I’m looking forward to it.

[00:02:17] Scott W. Luton: All right, man. Well, with no further ado, then I want to get to work. be welcoming in our featured guests here today. starting with Chris Kupillas, vice president of sales, managed logistics with BlueGrace logistics and colleague Carly Bly, senior director of carrier relations, also a BlueGrace is welcoming them.

Hey, hey, Chris, how you

doing?

[00:02:38] Chris Kupillas: doing?

well, Scott. Thanks for having us.

[00:02:41] Scott W. Luton: You bet. Great to see you and Carly.

Wonderful. See you as well. How you doing?

[00:02:45] Carly Bly: Create a Rio.

[00:02:46] Scott W. Luton: Wonderful. Wonderful. We are just about coast to

coast here today. We’ve got the, uh, United States supply chain

market

corner. Don’t we, Billy?

[00:02:55] Billy Ray Taylor: Yes, we do. Yes, we do.

[00:02:57] Scott W. Luton: So before we get into all a great conversation here.

I want to pose a fun, warm up question to

Chris, Carly And Billy, Now, most folks may know it’s a poached egg or eggs, Canadian bacon, all on the English muffin with Hollandaise sauce on top, man, it makes me hungry. So

get this, it’s origin

story varies based on who you talk to. Some

tie it back to a Pope Benedict way back in the 18th century. Others tie it back to a wall street broker named Lumel Benedict, who was searching simply for a cure for a hangover.

How about that?

so nevertheless, Chris, Carly and Billy, whether it’s eggs, Benedict or some other dish,

where is your go to breakfast joint for really good

grub? And Chris, let’s start with you.

[00:03:41] Chris Kupillas: It’s gotta be, uh, eggs and things here in Thousand Oaks, California. great food, great services. It’s the spot to go.

[00:03:48] Scott W. Luton: Okay. Eggs and things

in thousand Oaks, California. Okay. That’s a great start. Carly, how about you?

Okay.

[00:03:57] Carly Bly: locally here, there’s a little place called the biscuit. little spot, little joint, often a wait to go, but food and service are top notch. Eggs Benedict Clear is phenomenal.

[00:04:08] Scott W. Luton: Eggs and things, the biscuit. These are very simple, straightforward. You know what you’re getting these places. So that was the biscuit up in Holland, Michigan. Is that right? Carly?

[00:04:17] Carly Bly: That’s right.

[00:04:18] Scott W. Luton: All right, Billy. I know you’re, you

were shortening your list and

[00:04:21] Billy Ray Taylor: I was laughing. I was laughing. because I was looking out for my wife you almost got me in trouble. Man, this is McDonald’s, sausage, egg, cheese, McGriddle, baby. I have times on my side. I’m getting there and getting out.

[00:04:35] Scott W. Luton: right. I’m with you. And I, and everyone knows here, hopefully that McDonald’s does make the absolute best French fries and all the land. But, uh, I’m going to throw in there, uh, Waffle House. Waffle House has been inseparable from my journey, patty melt plate on wheat, save a couple of calories, not Texas toast. That’s been a go to for decades for me. So, all right, now that we’ve made everybody hungry so Chris, Carly and Billy, we got a lot of good stuff to get to here today. I want, we’re going to start with offering up some context. So let’s start with you, Chris. Tell

us a little bit about Bluegrace, logistics and some of your

background,

[00:05:10] Chris Kupillas: Yeah, of course. So, BlueGrace is a non asset based third party logistics provider. we really focus on North American over the road transportation. And our aim with our clients is to really help solve business issues with some kind of transportation solution. They’re all a little unique And customized, but typically we’re trying to find ways to leverage technology for planning, automating manual processes.

And really to help capture accurate data for our customers and help them drive their transportation strategy. And I’m on the business development side for our managed channel, been with the company for 13 years. So I’ve got to see BlueGrace grow and change and evolve over time. And maintain its flexibility

when you’re building custom solutions.

It’s nice to have an organization and a leadership group that is always open to kind of unique solutions. And it’s been, it’s been a fun ride going on year 13 now.

[00:05:59] Carly Bly: Okay.

[00:06:09] Chris Kupillas: I usually do good the first two days of the first weekend, And then I always get crushed week two. So

[00:06:15] Scott W. Luton: Well, Hey, I love all the growth and we’ll

touch on this later, man. BlueGrace has been on the move

for those 13 years. And then some, uh, Carly tell us about yourself if you would.

[00:06:25] Carly Bly: Yeah, so I’m a little bit more newer to the blue

grace organization came here about a year ago, but I’m not new at all to the industry started in logistics about 15 years ago in Freight forwarding side, did international freight, everything from customs brokerage, and customer account management, um, and then moved over to the domestic side where I really launched a career specifically in the LTL industry.

So, here at BlueGrace, I oversee carrier relations and procurement, but primarily focused on the LTL side.

[00:06:55] Scott W. Luton: Oh, I love that. What a

great collection, Billy,

company itself, but also Chris’s and Carly’s background. I think we were teed up for a

great conversation. Huh?

[00:07:04] Billy Ray Taylor: Absolutely. And their leadership perspective. Not only about, you’re going to hear about tools and processes, but you’re also going to hear about superb leadership. Yep.

[00:07:12] Scott W. Luton: absolutely. . All right. So we got Chris and Carly’s background.

We know a little bit more about what BlueGrace is doing. I want to get into. Uh, our first topic here today, and we’re talking

data you know, as we all know, it’s the lifeblood, at least one of them, one of the

biggest ones of any organization. and it’s fueling global

supply chains around the world, of course.

So Chris,

let’s start with, what are some effective systems and

tools for capturing and analyzing supply chain data

Yep.

[00:07:51] Chris Kupillas: perspective is how do you close a loop on your data, right? So, you know whether It’s looking at the order level information or the sales information on that po And trying to tie it back to transportation Is really challenging lot of shippers So the tools I always recommend are there some sort of tms or transportation management system

now It’d be lovely if it’s integrated right because when you create manual processes even with a great tms You run the risk of lack of compliance.

You run the risk of, you know, a fat finger or a number or something. And so integration is key there just to kind of close the loop on the data. then I always recommend some level of auditing, whether you have a third party auditor, you’ve got a great process internally, you got to make sure the data has some level of integrity and accuracy.

And as a visual person, you know, business intelligence, in my opinion, critical. You know, being able to visualize data, understand it a little better also help tell the story right internally. A lot of people in organizations don’t have supply chain background. So being able to use data, use the visualization of it.

You really can, help start getting things done within the organization?

[00:09:00] Scott W. Luton: Excellent starting point, Chris, I love that and going back one of

your, uh, second point, Siri. Integration, Billy,

if we can help it, let’s not create hundreds and hundreds of new spreadsheets because amongst other reasons, you’d be surprised a lot of studies out there, but per thousand touches,

y’all be surprised.

Maybe not Chris and Carly and Billy, but some of our audience might be

surprised at just how many hundreds of errors there are per

thousand manual touches. Billy comment there. and

what we heard from Chris.

[00:09:28] Billy Ray Taylor: Well, Chris, really, I heard you describe really a connected business

model, right? It was in the end. And then when you said audit, the first thing that jumped in my mind was governance. Right. If you don’t have governance, then your systems will actually deviate from the standard. And so you have described a really unique connected business model, and you hold to the standards through your auditing process.

So that’s what, that’s what I see in organizations that tend to fail. They have short lived successes, right? They get those, those shiny pennies. But they don’t have governance to hold the results. So, that was my key takeaway. And really you’re explaining how to win.

[00:10:04] Scott W. Luton: Yeah, yeah,

[00:10:05] Billy Ray Taylor: And that’s what’s, that’s, what’s

important,

[00:10:07] Scott W. Luton: and systematize it and lock in those gains so you can build it on top of them. Good stuff there. Carly, let’s shift over to you. let’s move on to how shippers out there can identify opportunities within their data to gain some of these efficiencies and reduce costs. Carly, let’s, let’s start with your, uh, carrier perspective first.

Maybe, Right.

[00:10:39] Carly Bly: weights, free classifications, that sort of thing, where we can actually tell a story about. The big picture, you know, from a 40, 000 foot view of what the business is doing and communicate that with our, with our partners of what they can anticipate the business to look like.

fortunately or unfortunately for us, sometimes the data is not good, Right. Um, we’d all love to have this beautiful, perfect data to send over. but that’s where players like BlueGrace can come in and really help clean up that data and help communicate that story to the partners to, you know, negotiate the pricing better.

[00:11:22] Scott W. Luton: Love that, uh, the story that data tells that just paints a picture and Carla to one of your last points. Hey, we gotta keep it real. We gotta lean into. The times when the data isn’t pretty, right? We can’t ignore it. We can’t go bury our head in the sand. You know, that’s not what leaders do. And I love also how you mentioned,

how BlueGrace can help tell that story. Right. Tell us what the data paint that picture, what the

data is sharing. Chris, let’s shift over to your perspective,

especially from that customer

perspective. what would be some of your thoughts there in terms of how shippers can identify

opportunities?

[00:11:56] Chris Kupillas: One of our main core values is to simplify. So let’s simplify the approach. What are the things that drive costs in the transportation sector, Right. It’s weight, it’s mileage, maybe provider selection who I’m using. So I would focus on some of those simple areas. How can I increase order size?

How can I eliminate wasteful shipments or multiple shipments to the same Consignee in a week, right? Look internally on your business model, where you’re set up. Are you set up around your customers? I mean, how many times have you seen a business that is focused on the West coast and 85 percent of their clients are East of the Mississippi.

Build your business around those customers and find ways to cut out mileage and reduce or an increased weight on those orders and you’ll find supply chain success. Probably

[00:12:40] Scott W. Luton: Love that Chris, you know, Billy, a couple of things are, I love simplify. First off, I’ll tell you, those leaders and those businesses, those ecosystem partners that can truly find that powerful simplification operations. Man, it’s amazing how much return that brings to the equation. And then the other

thing, big point Chris made there, Billy is being able to step back and,

And stop doing business, how business has been done and really reevaluate.

Hey, why are we doing this here? Why are we set up like this

here? You know, those fresh eyes is so powerful, whether you’re in supply chain or elsewhere, Billy, your thoughts

there,

[00:13:14] Billy Ray Taylor: but a customer centric approach. That’s the

first thing comes to mind when you’re talking about, you don’t only come up with the

solutions, but you do change with your

clients, not to your clients. and that’s one thing I heard. And I’ve read about that. You’ve been recognized and that’s why

you’re one of the fastest growing

companies out there. But one of the things you talked about

is the story being transparent.

Right. Right. I often say you

can’t manage a secret, right? You just can’t. And so what you were describing is how do you expose those things that need to be addressed and that’s done with the customer. So that was my key takeaway,

Scott, very well done.

and

that’s why you being

recognized, uh, as one of the best.

[00:13:53] Scott W. Luton: You can’t manage the secret, Chris and Carly now, Billy, is that something you stole from your mother that we talk about a lot because I know that impact,

right?

[00:14:03] Billy Ray Taylor: Well, what she told me about one of the things, once you know the story, right, you have to be willing to accept it. And one of the things I say, Don’t be afraid to call the baby ugly. That’s all I’m going to say. All right.

Not that literally,

not that it’s an ugly baby.

It’s right. It’s being transparent and being able to talk about things that are sensitive.

[00:14:22] Scott W. Luton: love that. It’s like

one of

my favorite Seinfeld episodes, but Carly, it goes back to your

point and what you and Chris both touched on, which a

every day, the data

is not going to be gorgeous, telling some

beautiful story and, it’s how folks work together,

both inside and outside the four walls on those tougher

days, when we’re trying to wrangle, you know, get a clear indication of what’s going on and tell

an accurate story.

So we could do something about it. Carly, quick comment on that before I

keep moving.

[00:14:47] Carly Bly: Yeah, So I always tell people, talk to the boots

on the ground. Freight, we’re talking

about the people who see the freight daily, the terminal managers, the people who are operating the

freight. There’s so much that data

does say, but also things it, doesn’t say. So, you know, we think the freight looks perfect and then there’s a cone on top, something that isn’t captured in the data and we can only get from actually seeing the freight and talking to the people who are handling and seeing that freight.

[00:15:15] Scott W. Luton: Excellent points. When you think about, strategies or advice that can help businesses lower transportation costs, proven ideas that work in an up market, a down market and all points in between, what would you suggest Carly?

[00:15:29] Carly Bly: Yeah, so this kind of goes back to what we were just talking about, right? Like, identifying those root causes of what is generating cost in a network. Cost, not only for the carrier, but for, for the customer as well. So, identifying those, fostering collaboration, not only with the logistics partners, but also those suppliers and distributors.

You know, who is handling the freight on the front end and who’s receiving it on the back end. Understanding how that flow works, and then sharing the data and communicating with all of those parties. So sometimes they don’t understand the impact that they have on the network and what’s driving that cost.

When we talk to a carrier and they can break down, you know, what percentage of the cost is in the pickup? What percentage of the cost is in the delivery?

[00:16:10] Chris Kupillas: challenge people To say, do I have the right tools, technologies, resources for my people to be successful? Because You can build all the strategies you want.

If you don’t have the right tools, resources to execute it, it’s going to be wasted.

[00:16:24] Scott W. Luton: Excellent point, Chris. Excellent point. All right. So Billy, we heard a lot of good stuff in there. Done that good stuff from Carly and Chris. Uh,

what stood out to you?

[00:16:34] Billy Ray Taylor: Well, I thought first I heard alignment, right? Get an alignment, not only with your customer, but with your people. And then once you get alignment ownership, Who owns what right? Because often one of my favorite quotes is in the absence of ownership comes blame. And last, what I really heard out of this year conversation that was outstanding to myself was y’all both were breaking the strategy down.

Separating who works in the business

that’s closest to the source and who should be working on the

business.

And so when you can get that alignment and that clarity,

now the strategy is built in the room. Right? Chris, you and Carly

are a big part of the strategy, but then what’s the big part of producing the goods and doing the job?

Those

are the people that work in the business. How do you connect those two? And that’s when you become Nick Saban,

Of supply chain. That’s when you become the consistent winner. Scott, I know you’re a big Georgia fan, but Nick

Saban has been doing it that well for a long time because of those things, alignment and

ownership.

[00:17:37] Scott W. Luton: That’s right. So close, a big Clemson fan Hey, we faced down Nick Saban plenty of times,

I’ll tell you, he just kept winning and winning, but to your point, to the analogy, Billy, I love that

we’re collecting, you know, in, in college football is trophies, in global

supply chain, it’s delighted customers. And in all of our conversations with Carly, Chris and her colleagues, I know that’s a big way they measure, um, how they’re doing as well. All right. So I want to switch over to change management because goodness gracious, if we’re have doubled down or tripled down in anything these days, it is how to implement change, but then manage it with, uh, this ever evolving supply chain landscape we’re in these days.

So Chris, I want to start with you here. How do you measure the impact of changes implemented in your supply chain strategy?

[00:18:26] Chris Kupillas: The first thing is starting with a baseline. I think Billy Ray said earlier, what’s the standard? You have to set a standard. if you don’t have a standard, you don’t have anything to measure against. And if we’re implementing change, uh, with no measurable goals, what’s the outcome, right? So being able to set that baseline and really understand the underlying drivers of that baseline, is really important.

And then I’m a big proponent when you’re managing change, you got to have all the voices in the room where a lot of these programs go to fail is when it’s pushed down from the top. And you’re not talking to the people in the dock, you’re not talking to the people who are making the supply chain decisions every day.

So, when you get different perspectives and different voices in the room about transportation, you build a really good strategy. And all I do 1 last thing on this is, we really focus on 4 pillars of the organization.

The users, The technical aspect, the financial aspect, and the executives. You get those four voices in a room to build a program.

You’ll come out with something special and measurable. At the end of the day,

[00:19:26] Scott W. Luton: Love that Chris. And yeah, we gotta establish a baseline so we can, have this valuable context and kind of know where we are. a lot of times we know where we want to go, but we don’t know where we are to start with. all right. So Carly, Let’s talk about the importance of collaboration.

You touched on this earlier I think we touched on it a couple of times. Chris, you kind of alluded to it, as well when you’re talking about bringing in all the right voices into the room. I love that, phraseology. So Carly, the importance of collaboration and building a plan for change that works and how shippers can effectively collaborate, successfully collaborate with partners, your thoughts, Carly.

Silence.

[00:20:03] Carly Bly: that’s a big thing, right? Getting all of the key stakeholders in the room, everybody that’s involved in the business. you know, naturally, a lot of people are resistant to change. So identifying where that resistance is going to be and addressing that from the beginning. Um, but then not only explaining the plan, but also the benefits of the plan for change and then creating.

actionable steps for that change and then measuring that along the way. So, there are things that we have done where, you know, again, communication is key. Everybody’s communicating, everybody that’s involved, and then making sure that that communication is regular. I always say this isn’t something we should be having a conversation about once a quarter or once every year when rate renewals are coming up, but we talk about what’s happening in the business regularly so that no one’s blindsided a year later when something is changing.

[00:20:52] Scott W. Luton: No one wins with surprises, right? Unless maybe you, you,

had the winning lottery ticket and

that’s the surprise maybe of a lifetime.

Right. um, a quick follow up question. You kind of touched on this, but I want Dig just a little bit deeper. And I love your comment about

consistent communication. Don’t just talk when

there’s a new project or don’t just talk when it’s

renewal time, or don’t just talk when, there’s a big problem, consistent communication throughout the year.

I love that. So when you think of how these relationships, suppliers, carriers,

other stakeholders, the whole ecosystem, right, how you can leverage that

to truly implement change and make it happen. So You can build

on it from there. Any quick thoughts there, Carly?

[00:21:32] Carly Bly: Yeah, well, any change

requires planning, coordinating and adaptability, right? So it’s

good again to have all the stakeholders involved and then, communication of the progress, but also

the feedback of when it does and doesn’t work And kind of closing that loop and reevaluating where everybody is.

[00:21:50] Scott W. Luton: So constant

reevaluation, constant putting

their finger on the pulse. Never said it and forget it. Right. Never said it and forget it. Right. cause change happens and change beyond Billy. I’m bringing you in here for a comment on what Carla is sharing here. change happens to the organization, even when we’re trying to drive change within the organization.

Right. We don’t get the control at all.

Billy, your thoughts about driving

change.

[00:22:15] Billy Ray Taylor: Well, it’s changed the only constant of what we do, right? going to happen. But there’s two things as I listened to Carly when she was talking about being consistent and I thought of deliberate clarity. Right? Because communication is a core of any relationship, whether you’re at home or at work.

And that’s the essence of building trust. Why would I follow you? Why would I buy into what you’re doing? But if you’re communicating with me, I can get that type of buy in, that type of trust. And it goes back to Chris, when you said standard, again, one of my mom’s favorite saying, what you accept, you cannot change.

[00:22:50] Scott W. Luton: Love

[00:22:50] Billy Ray Taylor: what you accept that it’s not what you write down. That’s not the standard is what you walk by

[00:22:56] Scott W. Luton: Mm.

[00:22:56] Billy Ray Taylor: and do nothing about. That’s the standard. So when you look at those two things married together, that is change management, setting the standard and communicating it to everyone.

[00:23:06] Scott W. Luton: Yeah, I love your earlier comments as well around clarity and trust, if you can build trust with the team and communicate very clearly so that they’re, you know, answer every question, man, that’s when we can take the velocity of change that that’s successful from zero to 60 really quickly.

[00:23:25] Billy Ray Taylor: Huge

All right. So Chris, when it comes to change, change and more change.

[00:23:30] Scott W. Luton: Some of the common challenges in anticipating and managing the impacts of change in supply chain operations. How can those be addressed?

[00:23:40] Chris Kupillas: break down the silos. I mean, the biggest issue we see with organizations, they don’t, communicate, sales doesn’t communicate the reasons why want certain things. Production is not communicating issues or errors that are happening. and it all kind of falls on, on transportation. We’re talking about change.

It’s important to understand the perspectives, everybody that’s involved in it and the impact transportation has on their channel in the organization really understand why are certain decisions being made. and you know, the, the old adages we hear a lot, this is how it’s always been done.

you gotta have some, some hard conversations calling the baby ugly to Billy’s point. But, but getting those voices in the room, I think, is the biggest thing, for instance, when we do implementations, you’re getting multiple stakeholders involved and you learn a lot about kind of some of the things that have been swept under the rug in an organization over time.

And the more and more of those organizations can knock down barriers, knock down walls and communicate, those programs just become, you know, more, more valuable and beneficial to everybody.

[00:24:38] Scott W. Luton: Yes, well said, Oh, to be a fly on the wall, Chris and Carly, as you are implementing and all those skeletons in the closet are coming out. I bet y’all have to write a book, uh, later I’ll be the first one to buy it. Um, couple of quick

comments here from. Our audience. So, uh, Hey, Tony, great to see you from Michigan.

Michigan is a theme of today’s show. For sure. Let’s

see here. Rob, the one and only Rob Haddock is with us.

Rob. Great to see you He’s down here in ATL as a shipper for life, although retired. I love the conversation that group is having. I do

too. Take Chris and Carly and Billy. It’s like a,

one, two punch plus a bonus upper hook, uh, uppercut.

I mean, Billy, uh, Tyrone break the silos and let information flow. I bet it was the last word he was going to use there. And Hey, Brian Birdsong from Atlanta. Great to see here via, LinkedIn. Okay. well, Billy,

I’ll give you a chance where, you know, Chris just shared a lot, especially one of our favorite things, breaking

silos.

Your

[00:25:40] Billy Ray Taylor: I love it.

So Chris, what you said was silos. I work with companies all over the world, uh, and leaders all over the world. And you think about silos and one thing, the word is managing the intersections. When you have silos, those are managing

collisions. when you break those out and people know their roles and their lanes, those are now

functions and tiers that are

connections and those are

easy to manage.

And so mean, that’s a great point. Breaking down those silos building those, those aligned organizations. the silos are now connections, not collisions. So very good point.

[00:26:16] Scott W. Luton: excellent point. And gosh, Carly and Chris and Billy. We’ve known

for generations, the damage that silos can have.

within organizations, but yet we keep building them right. We’re busting them with one hand and building them with The

other. I’ll tell you what. all right, so let’s keep driving.

I’ll get into a few

examples. you know, we’ve touched on a lot of things and Carly and

Chris, I know y’all

have no shortage based on all the

work y’all do implementations and the

relationships y’all have. No shortage of examples. Carl, let’s start with you Any, case study success story comes to

mind for organizations out there that truly have simplified that supply chain and manage this change we’re

talking about very effectively.

Silence.

[00:27:04] Carly Bly: only the customer, but also with the carriers in the room. we

just broke down what They were doing, you

know, from beginning to end. and what we found is that there was a lot of costs on their

pickup side with their vendors. And, you know, the vendors don’t

necessarily know what they’re doing drives that cost. So they did a lot of vendor management. Um, And made some changes again.

They identified what was going on. They created a plan around it. They communicated not only what they were doing, but the outcome and then about a month later, we sat down with the carriers again and said, do you see your cost improving in the network now that these changes have been made? And they did.

So that was a great way for us to really dig into what the root cause was of What was driving this cost? What was driving a poor OR for the carriers on their side? And then again, have the customer actually work with their vendor. So it was a lot of parties involved, large collaboration effort. again, spoke with the booths on the ground, You know, what does the freight look like?

That was something that was really eye opening is that we found out there were vendors where the freight looked very different than what we thought it was. Looking like, because it was looking different when it was delivered. and so all of those things, again, a round table collaboration of all of the parties involved.

[00:28:21] Scott W. Luton: Yes, love that. And well, you shared early in your response, getting the root cause, right? we gotta stop at surface level and stop using band aids and band aids. We gotta fix these problems so they don’t come up again so we can truly move on. Right, Carly?

[00:28:38] Carly Bly: Correct. Yep.

[00:28:40] Scott W. Luton: So Chris, as we think of anecdotes. Stories experiences where organizations, again, are really good at simplifying and managing, implementing change and moving on and building. I I’d call it, what comes to mind for you,

Chris?

[00:28:54] Chris Kupillas: We had a client that had 10 facilities, distribution centers that they were leveraging to support their customer network. and we started to look at what we call DC optimization. You know, are we shipping from the Right.

location? And what we started to see was this pattern where, you know, kind of looks like your three or four year olds crayon drawing on the US, which lines going everywhere with no real rhyme or reason.

and you ask some simple questions like, you know, is it an inventory issue? Well, no, you have all the same inventory each location. so why does this happen? And it turned out to a very simple thing is they didn’t have. The ability to allocate freight expense to a sales rep. So they allocated to the facility.

The rep was assigned to. So when you start to look at it and go, okay, if we threw that out, how would your network look and you look at the mileage reduction, the speed, the delivery, the increased service by using more regional carriers where It’s effective, and you actually improve your customer’s experience simply by finding another way to allocate freight expense.

Rather than just to a dc. Well, great capture a sales sales rep code capture a dc code Rethink your method of allocating freight expense and they ended up cutting out like two and a half million dollars of transfer Cost just transferring freight in between facilities. They had a massive impact on their carbon emissions They cut their service days down from average of 3.

7 and saved about four hundred thousand dollars You And the outbound expense as well all we have to do is unlock the why why are you doing things this way? And it’s a very simple, uh issue of just reallocating freight expense the right way

[00:30:36] Scott W. Luton: Chris, I love both of y’all’s examples and I’m sure we could be here all day with others. Billy. I’ll tell you 3 million, almost what Chris talks about. That is a dog that hunts in anyone’s book, I believe. And one of the thing that really stood out in Chris’s example, he’s talking about asking why, you know, you and I both are familiar with the five.

Why approach, right? Don’t stop. And Carly and Chris look like they are too. Don’t

stop with the first

answer. Why keep driving? That’s one of the ways helps us get to root cause, but Billy, what’d you hear there from Carly and

Chris’s examples,

[00:31:09] Billy Ray Taylor: Well, customer back approach. All right, and starting with the customer, defining what winning is at the customer perspective, and then looking at the waste flowing all the way back to the supply chain. could go as far as paying to merge for storing product on trucks. And Those are just waste.

That’s just money you’re spending and and streamlining the organization so that you can see the waste. And so, now, you know what to go target to improve. And that’s where those five Y’s really come into hand. Why is that there? Why is this happening? And if you can’t explain it, it’s a secret, right?

[00:31:43] Scott W. Luton: that’s

right. Secrets can’t be managed.

[00:31:45] Billy Ray Taylor: can’t be

managing. So y’all are very good at walking it all the way back from the customer perspective, and that’s the end game. And so Scott, that’s what I heard. Walking that whole system back, giving visibility to it. So, you know what to attack. So

[00:31:59] Scott W. Luton: said, learning to see waste

Carly, Chris and Billy. That’s so it can be really challenging for a variety of folks, especially if you’ve been doing things the same way for a long time and what, Carly and Chris and Billy, you kind of touched on this too, and Chris, you really did. Cause you were talking about four year olds. You know, drawing outside the lines, sometimes it’s really important. Although sometimes we can’t change everything we would like in any given day or week or month, but starting with a blank piece of paper really re imagining the business and how we address certain customers or run certain, aspects of our operations, I bet based on some of the results that both of y’all were sharing here, that was part

of the solution thinking a lot

[00:32:40] Billy Ray Taylor: Scott, I have to pause. It’s kind of, we’re in a green room. Carly and Chris, where were you at years ago when I was running operations as a young leader? and we talked about it when I was running, I just wanted numbers and Scott said it. I made tires and what round and black and out the back.

I wasn’t worried about the supply chain. I was just filling up those trailers. And so that was wrong. We should have been making what the customer ordered. And so you broke it down pretty precise. And I’m thinking When I was the, the young leader coming up. So that’s it, Scott. The

[00:33:14] Scott W. Luton: simplification where everyone knows exactly what the mission is in any given part of the day. And at the end of that day, when folks can answer the question confidently, if they had a good day, or in some cases, they had a bad day and Carly and Chris, a lot of what you are talking about here today from the communication and getting, very real with the data and what the story is to, uh, knocking out silos, building trust within organizations.

and to what y’all both have touched on, bringing all the voices into the room and, and making sure they’re heard and they can weigh in with their incredible knowledge and expertise. You know, oftentimes, you know, we talk about

going to the Gimba, right? Where that value is created.

So, so powerful and Carly and Chris, I love how that’s one of y’all’s big themes and y’all’s approach. all right. Couple comments here from the audience here. Malinga says, Hey, love the reminder on the five

Y’s, especially when you want to manage waste, excellent call out there. Great to have you here today.

Charles says, putting the customer in the center of the conversation. Love it. Helps drive relevant solutions and finding that root cause. Absolutely brilliant. Hey, Chris and Carly that’s high praise from Charles Robertson. Uh, let’s see here. Hey, Chris, welcome in from Cincinnati. Love the energy. I love the

energy, but I love the, the can do, I mean, you know, Chris and Carly and Billy, speaking from what they’re doing out there in industry.

I love that. I had one more comment. I wanted to reference here a second

ago. all right. Malinga also says this. no animal farm kind of leadership

is required in this. do y’all remember reading Animal Farm back in the day?

Chris and Carly and Billy’s one of my favorite children’s stories.

Y’all know?

[00:35:03] Chris Kupillas: I can’t say i’m gonna have to I’m gonna have to go into my daughter’s bookshelf and try and find it

[00:35:06] Scott W. Luton: all right. Good. So go check it out. What Malenga is kind of referencing is how an animal farm, leaders start creating different rules for different people, right? And that can evaporate trust when you got one class here, the next class here, man, it is a culture killer. So Malanga, great, great call out there. okay, Billy, uh, you’re not on your hand. The culture I know is, is, is what you get jumped out of bed thinking about what you, uh, go to bed at night thinking about quick comment there about the

power of culture.

[00:35:40] Billy Ray Taylor: culture

sets the pace, right? It’s the pacemaker, right? It’s, it’s what you accept. It’s how your standards come to life, your way of living, right? It’s no different than when I come home, when I’m on the road, there’s a standard in our house. My kids follow it. I follow it. Right. Well, my wife gets the standard no, in all seriousness, the culture is established at the top.

And you talk about those standards, what other people get away with. Well, leaders control that. And once you set the standards, you build culture of holding people to those standards. That’s where the culture is. And then the last but not least, but don’t ever discount the value proposition.

That’s what people want more than anything.

When leaders can let people know that they’re valued, then that’s where the culture starts to be established.

[00:36:26] Scott W. Luton: Excellent point. And that kind of goes back to what Carly and Chris were talking about, bringing everybody into the table. And Carly, you’re talking about those ecosystems, creating those standards throughout, right. Whether we’re talking about a service level agreements or other different ways that we establish standards within our relationships and, supplier relationships, you name it. Um, all right. So Carly and Chris, we’ve got a couple of resources. We’re going to share with folks in just a minute, but you know, as you are out and about moving mountains out there in global supply chain, I want to make sure folks know how to connect with both of y’all. So Carly, I’m going to start with

you.

If folks want to. Talk shop with you. they want to bring you in, have you speak, uh, at their organization or maybe even find a better way for doing business. How can folks connect with you? Carly Block.

[00:37:17] Carly Bly: so you can connect with me on LinkedIn.

available there. And then also,

if you’re in the industry, and you’re familiar with

the conference, I will be

at SMC3 in Colorado in June.

[00:37:27] Scott W. Luton: Outstanding. great venue, great organization, And y’all can connect with Carly over at maybe a delicious Colorado micro brew.

Uh, Carly, how’s that sound?

[00:37:38] Carly Bly: That’s good. Sounds

great.

[00:37:41] Scott W. Luton: All right, Chris, that’s going to be tough to beat, man. She’s painting

that picture. beautiful conference out in Colorado. So Chris, how

can folks connect with you?

[00:37:47] Chris Kupillas: Well, I wish I could meet everybody at the micro brewery as well. But Follow me on linkedin would love to connect with you there we were just at modex. So we do a lot of obviously trade shows and things like that so as we You our great marketing, team kind of gets us into a lot more of those things.

We’ll publish it on LinkedIn and always available for conversations like this. So again, I appreciate you guys time today.

[00:38:06] Scott W. Luton: Oh, you bet. I love y’all’s approach. Uh, I really do really enjoyed our, pre show conversations in the whole last hour. Uh, so folks, Hey, connect with both Chris and Carly, whether it’s at a conference or on LinkedIn, you name it. And we’ve got some resources I’m going to share in just a minute. So Chris, you were talking about drawing and four year olds. Well, we’ve got something here that I love what your team came up with. and

I’ve got a visual here. How about this folks? Logistics powers unleashed. Now I came across this at Modex. Right. As I walked past your, y’all’s, um, great booth and met some of your team members. This caught my eye. This was genius stuff, right? Genius stuff on a variety of levels. I think it’s fun for industry professionals to use but Chris and Carly and Billy, as a father of three kids who I’ve been trying to introduce supply chain to since. You know, we brought them home from the hospital. This is really cool. So kudos to you and the team. Can I put you on the spot? what idea started this? anyone y’all can give credit to who came up

with

it?

[00:39:13] Chris Kupillas: Yeah. Well, Mark Dirks and Adam White who run our marketing team, started out with

A blueprint for managed logistics. And we were working on all these things like how do you build a foundation for a managed program? And the next year they had this great idea to talk about, like, what are some of the villains in supply chain,

and you know, the Excel sorcerer, invisible data man, Manual process, all these things that kind of like, are these little, issues with transportation. And they made it to these great characters, built a great story. And we had more people come up at Modex. Just to compliment our booth and our marketing. and they just do such a tremendous job being different in the space and really highlighting kind of how BlueGrace sets, the standard in the industry for managed transportation and marketing, obviously.

[00:39:56] Scott W. Luton: of these villains, my favorite, I think was the one you mentioned, Spreadsheet Sorcerer. And around where knowledge was power. And I can go ahead And

read it, but got all four villains on like second page and, you know, Chris and Carly, I think it’s brilliant because not only can practitioners and professionals kind of have fun while identifying some core challenges that pop up in any organization, but.

But, you know, pass this out to the kids. They’re gonna be figuring out what logistics is how to get into the industry. So y’all keep it coming. . secondly, A little bit more serious, a little more button down. We’ve got to have that stuff too. Hey, y’all check out this white paper here from the BlueGrace team that touches on the immense benefits of a managed transportation program. Some of what you heard both from Chris and especially Carly earlier today.

So we’re going to drop the link to that as well. We’ve heard a lot of feedback around that too. all right, so Carly. I’m put you on the spot is your favorite, the white paper or the comic book. I know what mine is. No offense to the people, the great people did a white paper, but the comic book takes home Nick Saban

trophy. Doesn’t it?

[00:41:03] Carly Bly: it really does. I mean, I enjoy the white paper information, but entertainment purposes. I love the comic

[00:41:09] Scott W. Luton: Hey, we got to make it fun. Got to make it fun while we move the

business forward. all right. So Billy, your favorite part, Chris and Carly brought a lot here, so it might be tough to narrow it down, but what’s your

favorite

takeaway here today?

[00:41:21] Billy Ray Taylor: But I got it when I sit there and then I’m going to ask Carly and both come in afterwards and add to one I took away was

that how we win. You clearly outline how we win BlueGrace and it starts with strategy and you talked about your transportation

management system.

Once you built a strategy, you did that with all the voices in the room

and you brought the key stakeholders in the room and being specific, you align that strategy with the user.

Technicians, the financials and the executives. So it wasn’t just a top down approach. You did a connected and aligned approach and last but not least communication, communication, communication, communication. You made sure that that strategy wasn’t a secret. You made sure the key stakeholders knew what the strategy was and what they owned in the strategy.

And last but not least, as I look at your pictures, what jumped off the screen for me. With the speed of trust. In a short period of time, you got Scott and I roped in, we bought in, you could see our smiles and so that you can’t buy. So with that, that’s how you win. So that’s my summary of what you do very well.

[00:42:30] Scott W. Luton: beautiful.

they brought comic books that always wins as Jared mentions. I think I picked up the comic book at Modex as well. It was well done, Jared. Excellent call out. I think a lot of folks, I saw articles written from Modex from y’all’s idea here, Kidding aside, my favorite part, probably, I’m a very practical thinker.

And Chris. Close to 3 million that y’all unlocked in that example that you shared, man, imagine what they were able to do with those savings and create a better organization, faster growth, the opportunities for their team members. I mean, when you unlock those types that logistics power unleashed, I mean, that’s the real deal Holyfield. So a lot of good stuff there. So folks, make sure you connect with Chris and Carly learn a lot more. I don’t take it from us. Ask the questions. they will be able to answer them. I can assure you. So big thanks, Chris Coppelius, vice president sales, manage logistics with BlueGrace.

. Chris, thanks for being here.

[00:43:28] Chris Kupillas: Thank you guys so much for having me Billy, that trust piece is huge for us. There’s a great book called getting naked by Patrick Lincioni. That is what we modeled our sales strategy off of, and it’s having tough conversations, being honest with customers. So you hit the nail on the head there.

[00:43:43] Scott W. Luton: Love that. And I’m not going to reference the Lewis Grizzard, book talking about, is it naked or naked? Cause there’s two different definitions as, as Lewis Grizzard once said, but Chris loved that getting naked by Patrick,

um, That’s right. good stuff here. Thanks for being here. Chris and Carly Bly, senior director of carrier relations with BlueGrace, a not so secret weapon part of the BlueGrace team.

Appreciate what you do and your background. So, thanks for being here today. Carly.

[00:44:13] Carly Bly: Yeah, it’s been a pleasure. Thanks for having me. And like you said, we, we really build trust through being, you know, direct, transparent and overall kind. So love the organization that I work with, proud to be here to represent them and thanks for having us today.

[00:44:26] Scott W. Luton: Love that. and I love how she rapped. mentioned kindness, you know, kindness as I share with my kids, PTK every day, patience, tolerance, and kindness. And that’s a big part of doing business right in my book, at least. Folks, the onus now is on you. We’ve heard some good stuff here from Chris and Carly and Billy, but you got to take at least one thing, just one thing. And put it into action, make it easier for your teams to get stuff done and get stuff done more profitably.

That’s what Chris and Carly and BlueGrace team do. So with that said, on behalf of the entire team here at Supply Chain Now Scott Luton challenging you do good, give forward, be the change that’s needed. And we’ll see you next time, right back here at Supply Chain Now. Thanks everybody.

 

 

 

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Featured Guests

Carly Bly has fifteen years of industry experience; began in freight forwarding handling Customs Import Brokerage and have held roles in Customer Retention and Development, international account management, intermodal pricing, and has spent the majority (10 years) of her career in LTL – primarily in Carrier Relations and Procurement. Recipient of the 2023 Women in Supply Chain award by Food Logistics and Supply & Demand Chain Executive. Connect with Carly on LinkedIn.

Chris Kupillas has been in the transportation space for 12 years mainly focused on building transportation solutions that solve business issues. 2019 Rockstar of Food & Beverage Supply Chain & current VP of Sales for Managed Logistics division of BlueGrace. Prior role, Regional VP, tasked with managing sales & operations with a focus on identifying & implementing continuous improvement for BG Managed Clients. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Billy Taylor

Host, Supply Chain Now and The Winning Link

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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

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

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

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

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

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Marty Parker

Host

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

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

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jake Barr

Host

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

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Marcia Williams

Host

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

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Constantine Limberakis

Host

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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Creative Manager & Executive Producer

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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