Digital Transformers
Episode 57

Supply chain executives are trying to identify problems and minimize risk before they happen. The only way to achieve that is to use automation and intelligent workflows.

-Jose Paredes Hernandez, Global SAP Consumer Industry Leader and Distinguished Engineer, IBM Consulting

Episode Summary

Building a leading supply chain tech stack is a journey, not a destination. The transformation process requires internal and external collaboration, a keen understanding of the customer experience, and solid integration between applications. If anything, or anyone, can speed up that transformation journey, it is a win. Jose Paredes Hernandez is a Global SAP Consumer Industry Leader and Distinguished Engineer at IBM Consulting. He has extensive experience leading transformations of GTM and global services organizations. Listen in as he joins host Kevin L. Jackson – in person at SAP Sapphire in Orlando, Florida – to talk about how ISM and SAP are using intelligent workflows to connect the power of people for competitive advantage.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:01):

Welcome to Digital Transformers, the show that connects you with what you need to build, manage, and operate your digital supply chain. Join your host in a timely discussion on new and future business models with industry leading executives. The show will reveal global customer expectations, real world deployment challenges, and the value of advanced business technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, and robotic process engineering. And now we bring you Digital Transformers.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:32):

Hello, everyone. Kevin L. Jackson here in sunny Orlando, Florida at SAP Sapphire. I’m joined here by the IBM SAP consumer industry leader.

Jose Paredes Hernandez (00:45):

Yes.

Kevin L. Jackson (00:45):

Thank you for joining us. I guess the day’s been kind of busy here at Sapphire. Are you meeting all your customers and clients?

Jose Paredes Hernandez (00:53):

Yeah. No, absolutely. First of all, thank you for having me and inviting IBM into this session. It’s a pleasure to be here and, yes, it is a busy day today, most likely it’s going to be tomorrow, but there was also a lot of preparation and work in the weeks before the actual event.

Kevin L. Jackson (01:12):

Okay. So, Jose Paredes Hernandez, right?

Jose Paredes Hernandez (01:15):

That’s correct.

Kevin L. Jackson (01:16):

Did I get that right?

Jose Paredes Hernandez (01:17):

Yeah, you got it right. You got it right at this time.

Kevin L. Jackson (01:21):

So, tell me more about IBM consulting because – I mean, everybody, you know, IBM business technology and they’ve been doing consulting for quite a while, but I think what’s unique here is that IBM and SAP have a like 50-year relationship. How did that happen?

Jose Paredes Hernandez (01:39):

Well, I think IBM, first of all, we always think about our customers, what is the best thing for them. And when I look into the consumer industry, which is the area that I have my responsibilities, SAP is one of the key players, right, for, not to say the player. Right? And because of that, we always think about SAP and how we can help our customers to implement SAP and to enable new business processes, new capabilities and things like that. So that brings us into a needed, most needed partnership for our customers. Right? And we have very great relationship with the retail that we use, also the CPG retail [inaudible] that we use that make it more simple, right? When we work together, we have the same goals from our client’s perspective that simplify the work, right? Sometimes, you know, we disagree in certain areas, but we focus on the areas where we can do collaboration, where we can innovate, and where we can bring the next generation of solution for our work clients.

Kevin L. Jackson (03:02):

One thing, little known fact, SAP was founded by three IBM [inaudible].

Jose Paredes Hernandez (03:08):

Oh, yes, yes. The same thing happened with Microsoft, right?

Kevin L. Jackson (03:11):

Wow. Something – the genesis of all great companies is IBM. Is that – no. Okay. So, your role as global SAP consumer industry leader, that sounds like it’s pretty big. What do you do?

Jose Paredes Hernandez (03:29):

Well, it is a very important role from an IBM perspective. I basically manage our practice, and I consider my key responsibility in three areas, right? Number one, to work very closely with SAP, to define those areas where we want to collaborate, we want to define the next generation solution for consumer industries, and that also make us work very closely with customers, right, with our clients so that way when we create solutions, those solutions are going to have a landing with some of our clients because this is what they need. The second part is about helping our teams to make the solution available to our clients, right? I mean, we can create great things, but if the customers, they don’t know what they are, that is a problem.

Kevin L. Jackson (04:24):

Education is a big part of your job.

Jose Paredes Hernandez (04:26):

Education. Yes. And I need to educate our IBMers. I need to educate also the SAP sellers. And then, when the project actually starts, where we are deploying the implementations, I also like to be involved with the teams so that way they can deploy the solutions the way that we intended to do. Right? So, that means that it is a global role. It is pretty demanding, but, you know, I’m a workaholic.

Kevin L. Jackson (04:56):

[Inaudible] workaholic.

Jose Paredes Hernandez (04:56):

Yes. So, I have very early calls with the team in Europe, and then I finish at night with our team in Asia Pacific.

Kevin L. Jackson (05:04):

Wow. So, what prepared you for this? What background prepared you for such a broad remit?

Jose Paredes Hernandez (05:13):

Well, you know, I was born and raised in Venezuela.

Kevin L. Jackson (05:19):

Okay.

Jose Paredes Hernandez (05:20):

And I started my career in 1995, BWC. And after that I moved to Puerto Rico back in ’99, in 2003, IBM, both in the consulting divisions and after that I have been always close to the consumer industry, also through the retail industry, specifically, and that brings me the need for sharing the knowledge that I have with a lot of people globally. And I like it, you know? I love to be on top of what is happening in the organization, how we can help our clients to do what they need to do. And I do really care about them. Right? And that’s maybe what is bringing me to have those very hard-demanding timelines during the day. But from a rewarding point of view, I can see the organizations growing, meeting their goals, and also my colleagues growing and moving ahead in their careers.

Kevin L. Jackson (06:28):

There’s a lot of change that’s going on in this industry. In fact, you know, during the pandemic, everybody saw the empty shells, especially in the consumer space. I mean, you know, you couldn’t buy [inaudible] necessities in life. Right? Many organizations really learned hard lessons during that time. But in 2023 they’re still experiencing some of these shortages. Have we learned our lessons? What are the key supply chain challenges today?

Jose Paredes Hernandez (07:07):

Yeah. Well, Kevin, I think that you see it every day. I mean, you have to go to the grocery store, and you still can see the empty shelf. Maybe it’s more difficult to see it in the fashion industry, but sometimes if you ask for that jacket in a different color, they may or may not have it. Right? But you can notice this in an empty shelf that you can see in the grocery store because of [inaudible]. But if I try to give you a very good example, right, if we look from a food perspective, food is being done through a global economy, number one, and it’s a very complex supply chain process that is also global. Right? And what happened is, is in this global economy, when you have any specific event that happened anywhere, it basically is affecting the entire supply chain.

Jose Paredes Hernandez (08:09):

Okay. So, when we look into what potentially are those events happening that they are impacting, still the empty shelf, well, number one, so as an example. When we look from the geopolitical situation, right, we still have the war in Ukraine that is impacting all the products that they typically were providing globally. If we look for weak perspective, that is one of the key products that they are not able to put in the market with the agility that they have in the past, when we look the impact of fertilizers. Right? Their prices have been increasing and that have been making very difficult for a lot of people to actually buy and procure the fertilizers. And that, again, is impacting farmers because they are not able to continue to do the production that they were having before climate change.

Kevin L. Jackson (09:10):

Does this really argue against globalization? I mean, a lot of people, you know, leveraged offshore suppliers in order to, I guess, get more variety, be able to better support their customers, and now they’re suffering because of this offshoring.

Jose Paredes Hernandez (09:36):

Yeah.

Kevin L. Jackson (09:36):

Is that true?

Jose Paredes Hernandez (09:37):

Well, I think that, to be fair, we need to look back maybe 20, 30 years ago when we didn’t have the same availability of products that we can find today in every grocery store. So, I will say that globalization has been a good benefit for everybody globally. The problem is, we were not expecting this kind of disruption that we are facing today. And that is forcing us to rethink how we can have a hybrid model where we are still embrace globalization but we also have the capacity to secure some of the production in a more regional way or a local way. So that way, if something happens in China or in Brazil or Chile, we are not as heavily impacted as what is happening today. So, I think that we need to have a little bit of balance on this globalization process that has been beneficial anyway.

Kevin L. Jackson (10:40):

This is putting a lot of pressure on supply chain officer. Right?

Jose Paredes Hernandez (10:45):

Absolutely.

Kevin L. Jackson (10:46):

How are they dealing with this in today’s world? I mean, you as a consultant, you are talking to them every day. What’s your counsel?

Jose Paredes Hernandez (10:56):

Yeah. Well, I think that supply chain executive, they have been taking into account a way of trying to identify problems and minimize risk before they happen. Right? And the only way to be able to achieve those capabilities is through the use of AI automation, intelligent workflows. And to be quite honest, the [inaudible] chief supply chain officers are the ones that have already utilizing their operations. So, they are able to get more data inside from the supply chain and empower people across the supply chain [inaudible] decisions more faster and easily. Right?

Kevin L. Jackson (11:47):

Well, but the customers, they are expecting more and more next day, same day, next hour with respect to supply. You know, right now everybody expects the drone to drop everything right on their porch, you know, within 10 minutes of their ordering. Are the supply chain officers dealing with these expectations, heightened expectations?

Jose Paredes Hernandez (12:14):

Yeah. And the funny part is, maybe three or four years ago, everybody was, “Oh, wow. We weren’t able to get something on Sunday. Right?”

Kevin L. Jackson (12:21):

Yeah.

Jose Paredes Hernandez (12:21):

But yes, yeah, I think that from an end consumer perspective, you know, expectations are high and the competition out there is doing whatever is possible for them to do it. Right? And one of the areas where companies need to be able to make this happen is they need to start working more collaborative. Right? And they need to look at the process from an end-to-end perspective. There is not anymore the front office capabilities versus the back-office capabilities, because if we are promising, hey, are you going to be able to deliver this product in the next hour? There are a lot of things that needs to happen from the backend perspectives to be in place. Right? The warehouse needs to be able to work, transportation, or the last mile delivery need to be in line to pick up the products delivered then to the end consumer. And also, we need to have availability at the distribution center, right? So, companies are starting to rethink the entire process all the way from the design of the products, the manufacturer getting the supply chain in line, to get the products into the DC and then also from the DC to the end consumer. And sadly, there is a lot of companies that they are still working in silos. And that’s what we are trying to solve with the next generation of implementation where we are implementing S/4 HANA and the new SAP capabilities.

Kevin L. Jackson (13:57):

Well, you mentioned data. You talked about artificial intelligence. You also said people and silos. What does all this have to do with like digital transformation though?

Jose Paredes Hernandez (14:14):

Oh, well, all of those components are part of the digital transformation. Right? Because at the end, people are the one that is going to need to execute. Right? I don’t think – when we talk about automation and robotics, we are not going to replace human beings, right? We are basically adding new technologies and capabilities that will augment what people can do. If we look into – an organization is creating humongous amount data with too much value in there. But there is so much that we can do, and we can see actually from that data. When we look for AI and machine learning and foundation and data models, it is to help people to be able to identify patterns that could reduce risk or situation in the supply chain, and those are things that they maybe are not able to see. And then, you know, intelligence workflows also are working and helping us to be sure that people is connected. So, when one action happens, the next step will happen, and everybody understands the process or how the process is supposed to be executed. And also, the important part is it’s not just about the internal organization, meaning the different departments, it’s also the collaboration across all the suppliers that we have so that way we can work together and be sure that products are in the right place at the right time.

Kevin L. Jackson (15:50):

So how does like S/4 HANA help in all this? I mean, this is very complex.

Jose Paredes Hernandez (15:58):

Yes. Well, S/4 HANA is definitely a key enabler. Right? From a technology perspective, it brings capabilities that we didn’t have before in the legacy SAP ECC. It opens the door for better and easier way to integrate with other applications, and made information available from an inside point of view. Okay. So, S/4 HANA is going to continue being a very important component from the back-office perspective, but it needs to be very well integrated with all the other applications around it from the front office perspective, other application from the supply chain suppliers, and I don’t mean the suppliers that they provide raw materials or finished product, I’m talking about transportation companies or 3PA or some things like that. So, that integration layer that now allows S/4 HANA to make this easier and faster is one of the key elements.

Kevin L. Jackson (17:06):

So, it sounds like you’re talking about the entire ecosystem around a company and its operations. But this is not something that you can do overnight. What does this journey look like?

Jose Paredes Hernandez (17:21):

Yes. It’s definitely not overnight. There is an important component from a chain management perspective, right, if we look from a simple point of view, right? The user experience that S/4 HANA provides is definitely, a very good improvement from an SAP perspective, but it’s different, right?

Kevin L. Jackson (17:43):

Yeah.

Jose Paredes Hernandez (17:43):

So, people are going to need time to be able to understand how they need to do things, how they’re going to work, but the same thing is going to happen from the business process, right? And, what we are doing from an IBM perspective to help those organizations to make this process faster is we have our preconfigured solutions across different industries. Of course, we have one for consumer products, one for the retail industry, too. And that helped organizations to – whatever it was supposed to take 5, 10 years, 20 years ago, we’re able to do that between 6 and 36 months, depending on the size of the organization and, you know, their willingness to be able to move as fast as we can.

Kevin L. Jackson (18:30):

Wow. That’s fast. And, how do you actually do it so fast, this complex thing? I understand there’s, like, magic or key pillars to meet this like need for speed and implementation.

Jose Paredes Hernandez (18:47):

Yeah, absolutely. Well, first of all, a preconfigured solution always helps, right? When we go to our clients, we are focused on – this is the business process that we need to follow to achieve that speed from a business perspective, right?

Kevin L. Jackson (19:05):

Industry best practices.

Jose Paredes Hernandez (19:05):

Industry best practices, right? And then, we focus on change and we are able to do that because the technology is already preconfigured. Right? And then, yes, we always identify gaps or capabilities that they want to include, and that’s kind of like the 10 to 5% personalization that we allow to make that happen, especially for the physical life, right? At the end, this implementation costs money, they cost time, but it’s the time to market what is important. We want to be sure that we can start thinking about the other things that we need to have in place because of the customer demands, right?

Kevin L. Jackson (19:51):

Right, right, right. So, humans you mentioned were important, but right now and some think that the human element is being replaced by AI and you mentioned AI and the intelligent workflows. Are we replacing humans?

Jose Paredes Hernandez (20:11):

No. No. I don’t think that is the case. I think that the intention is to use technology to augment what people can do, right?

Kevin L. Jackson (20:20):

Okay. Okay.

Jose Paredes Hernandez (20:21):

I tried to mention before, you know, if you are analyzing big data, most likely it’s going to be very difficult to get patterns and things like that. Only you are one of those beautiful minds that we can see things that we cannot, right?

Kevin L. Jackson (20:35):

You got all this pain floating in your head. Right?

Jose Paredes Hernandez (20:37):

Exactly. Exactly. But people are important and we want to, in some cases, refocus what people are doing so that way we can focus more on personal customer experiences. Right? And maybe something that is very repetitive and doesn’t add too much value to the organization is you can take that out from you and then you can take, hey, this is the actual information that I need to take actual decisions. That’s what we are bringing into the table. So that way people maybe needed three days to be able to take a decision, now they can take those decisions in 5, 10 minutes because they have the data available for them to make it happen.

Kevin L. Jackson (21:26):

So, if I’m focusing, I’m leveraging AI so I can do business faster, so I can have better margins, and I can better manage my supply chain so that I can have the supplies that I need, what about sustainability though? Do the chief supply chain officers – is that like just a nice to have?

Jose Paredes Hernandez (21:50):

Well, I will say definitely no.

Kevin L. Jackson (21:54):

Okay.

Jose Paredes Hernandez (21:55):

Right? I think that from an end consumer perspective, right, we think from that point of view, they still want the right prices, they still want the right quality, they want their products faster, but now they’re also thinking on values, right, what is important for them. A lot of customers are still focusing on health, right? Everything that happened, the pandemic opened a new point of view, and they’re also looking on, “Hey, you know, this is our planet and we need to be able to protect it going forward because the newer generations are going to pay the price.” And with that in mind, you know, organizations, they’re investing in sustainability, they are taking, a higher writing from customer loyalty, right? And that is important, right?

Jose Paredes Hernandez (22:54):

So, from the end-consumer perspective, from that angle, it’s super important to still continue doing that. And the other point of view is governments around the world that are also implementing regulations and company need to start providing information and reports of how sustainable they are. So, customers that they are not doing anything today, they’re going to have to start paying penalties or taxes or other implementation that governments are going to have, right? So, I think that not only the supply chain executives are looking into this, I will say that all the C-suite is seriously considering doing a lot of things from a sustainability perspective.

Kevin L. Jackson (23:41):

Well, we started off this conversation talking about some of the history and the fact that all these supply chains broke because they were too brittle. Where does resilience play? Is it just too brittle to have these outsourced global links? How does, you know, the chief supply chain officers create, build and sustain, in a sustainable manner, a resilient supply chain?

Jose Paredes Hernandez (24:13):

Yeah, absolutely. Well, I think the few steps that they need to do to make, to embed resiliency in the supply chain, is number one, I think that they need to, in every decision that they’re taking going forward, supply chain needs to be part of the conversation. It’s no longer about what I want to do from an end consumer perspective, from a B2B or B2C, or how I am producing the products. Supply chain needs to be always in the heart of those conversations so that way you can create end-to-end business processes. The other key area is today’s sustainability has one important component. Everything that we do, depending of the angle that we are taking, is going to help us to create some sustainable ways of doing it and make it more viable for the planet and for the products that we’re producing.

Jose Paredes Hernandez (25:15):

The other area that is really important is the extended collaboration and trust across all the different players in the supply chain internally and externally. Companies that are not considering their partners or the suppliers’ strategic components of the supply chain, they are putting their organization at risk and their reputation at risk.

Kevin L. Jackson (25:46):

Okay.

Jose Paredes Hernandez (25:46):

Okay. And I will say finally that it is important that they consider the adoption of technologies or the intelligent technologies to support all the activities across the supply chain. As I mentioned before, AI is a very important component to provide data in size and make agile decisions to reduce risk and identify situations that could happen, right? And then, the other area from a technology perspective is to provide intelligent insights, information to humans so that way they are also able to identify situations and also to empower them to take decisions and actions in timely matters.

Kevin L. Jackson (26:37):

Wow. Fascinating. You’re really giving us some great insight into the consumer industry and how in intelligent workflows can really support digital transformation. I know you have a very busy schedule this week, and I really appreciate you coming and spending some time. How could people reach out to learn more about how IBM and SAP really work together to support the digital transformation of their customer?

Jose Paredes Hernandez (27:08):

Yeah. Well, absolutely. For the next two days, I’m going to be in the IBM booth so they can find me over there if people are watching this conversation in the next two days, but they can definitely get more information at ibm.com. They also can look into my LinkedIn profile and there is a lot of information, and of course, they can send me a message through LinkedIn, and I will be more than happy to reach out to them and have a conversation about it.

Kevin L. Jackson (27:41):

Thank you. Thank you very much. With that end, we’re going to end another episode of Digital Transformers. I’ll tell you Jose and his team are really transforming the consumer industry marketplace with SAP leveraging AI in order to enhance the human in this entire process, focused on sustainability and resilient supply chains. So, thank you very much, and we’ll see you next time on Supply Chain Now and Digital Transformers.

Intro/Outro (28:17):

Thank you for supporting Digital Transformers and for being a part of our global Supply Chain Now community. Please check out all of our programming at supplychainnow.com. Make sure you subscribe to Digital Transformers anywhere you listen to or view the show, and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on Digital Transformers.

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Jose Paredes Hernandez is a Global SAP Consumer Industry Leader & Distinguished Engineer with IBM Consulting. He is an accomplished enterprise technology executive with proven experience delivering results at the highest levels in Fortune 500 corporations. Expert in leading comprehensive transformations of GTM and global services organizations. Strategic decision-maker who shapes the culture of organizations, recognized for building industry-leading teams that deliver world-class results. Continue to act as an adviser to senior client executives at strategic and global accounts. Connect with Jose on LinkedIn.

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host, Digital Transformers

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Vicki White

Controller

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

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Allison Giddens

Host

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

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

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Billy Taylor

Host

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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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Constantine Limberakis

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

Director, Customer Experience

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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