Supply Chain Now
Episode 1133

Promises need to lead to actions. They need to be operationalized into something tangible, something measurable, and something that drives accountability.

- Matt Anderson, Vice President of Logistics as a Service (LaaS), e2open

Episode Summary

Many promises are made in logistics and supply chain every day, from shippers and freight forwarders, to customers and their stakeholders. As everyone has experienced over the last few years, making those promises is much easier than keeping them, with steep operational and financial consequences.

E2open Director of Product Management Ritu Rooney has over 30 years of experience in the supply chain software industry and Matt Anderson, their Vice President of Logistics as a Service (LaaS), has been with the company for 12 years. They have both seen promises made and promises kept – as well as promises broken.

In this episode, Ritu and Matt join host Scott Luton to talk about all of those transportation ‘promises, promises’ being made:

• How shippers and freight forwarders are leveraging technology and professional services to optimize transportation activities across modes and regions

• The types of promises shippers and freight forwarders make to their customers

• 4 tips that will help shippers deliver on the promises they make to their customers

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:31):

Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, and wherever you are. Scott Luton here with you on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s show. Hey, we’ve got two wonderful guests here with us today. As we dive into a discussion focused on ways, we can help shippers and freight forwarders improve visibility, ease and efficiencies, and reduce transportation spend. And of course, all of that, a lot of times we will result in better customer service, right? So, stay tuned as we dive into these topics and a whole lot more with a couple of guests that bring a truckload of experience and expertise to the table.

I want to introduce our featured guests here today. Join me in welcoming first up Ritu Rooney, director of product management with e2open. Ritu, how you doing?

Ritu Rooney (01:11):

I’m doing great. Thanks.

Scott Luton (01:13):

It’s so nice to meet you here today. And you brought a colleague, Matt Anderson, vice president logistics as a service with e2open. Matt, how you doing?

Matt Anderson (01:21):

Doing fantastic this morning. Appreciate you having me on.

Scott Luton (01:22):

Absolutely. All right. So, Ritu and Matt, I want to get to know both of you all a little bit better, and I’ll start with Ritu.

So, Ritu, you are based in Liverpool, and you are a big fan of the Liverpool Football Club. I’m assuming you go to those games and all, Ritu? I heard there’s — those are big affairs.

Ritu Rooney (01:39):

Yes, big affairs, and always great atmosphere there and fields. Always brilliant.

Scott Luton (01:43):

Well, I look forward to taking one in when we’ll have to share a beer and a football game in the future down the road a little bit. But hey, for our music lovers that are listening in, man, there’s a lot of them across the — our global listening audience. Tell us about the cool site that you live near, Ritu.

Ritu Rooney (02:01):

Yes, I’m really lucky, actually, living in Liverpool, home of the Beatles. So, I live in a little village outside the city, and it’s called Walton Village. We’re really lucky here because we have a lot of history of the Beatles here. It’s where John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met way back in time, I think it was 1957 or something. And they met at the local church fate here, and the rest is definitely history.

I’m lucky enough to live right directly opposite John Lennon’s childhood home. So, it’s preserved as a national trust and it’s kept as it was in the 1950s. So, fantastic to look around. You’re welcome to come and have a look.

Scott Luton (02:44):

We’re going to do it. Now I also understand you’re going to be singing your favorite Beatles song later in the show today. Is that right, Ritu?

Ritu Rooney (02:51):

I wouldn’t dare.

Scott Luton (02:54):

Well, great to have you here. Thanks so much for sharing. Really cool.

And switching gears. So, Matt, you’re from the Upper Peninsula of the state of Michigan. You played sports for the Grand Valley State Lakers, both track and cross country. So, what is one thing that most folks don’t know about competitive track and cross country, especially at the collegiate level?

Matt Anderson (03:16):

Yes. So, if you think about college sports, there’s typically some pretty large competitive gaps between the divisions within, you know, collegiate athletics, you know, division one, two, three. And it’s, you think of the major sports, you know, a division one football team playing against division two football team. I mean, that’s not much of a competition typically there.

It’s a little different with competitive running track and cross country. There’s not a large gap from a competitive perspective. So, you know, division two teams can compete with division one. You know, back when I was running at Granite Valley, we, you know, competed heavily with Michigan State and Michigan. And frankly, one of the better teams in the state of Michigan at the time was a division three school, Calvin College, in the Grand Rapids area. So, it’s a very tight-knit, new community. And, you know, there’s not that competitive, you know, step that you’d see in other sports.

Scott Luton (04:08):

So, as a follow up, Matt, beyond business, which I — I’m sure there’s a competitive fire that plays in there. But — so as a — as an athlete, what do you do now? Do you still play sports?

Matt Anderson (04:20):

I still remain active. I still like to run occasionally. You know, I think my body’s worn down a little faster than maybe, typical. You know, I’m told to have the back of a 50-year-old and so that — those miles, you know, take their toll. But, you know, still — once you kind of get into that space, it feels weird not to be active.

Scott Luton (4:41):

Right. I bet.

Matt Anderson (4:41):

So, it’s a big part of my life to stay active and stay fit. And, you know, it’s just going to evolve over time about what I do to scratch that itch.

Scott Luton (04:51):

All right. So, after today’s show, I’m going to have to get some tips from you about staying active and fit and being in good shape. So, we’ll save that conversation for later. But thanks for being here, Matt.

Scott Luton (5:01):

All right. So, Matt and Ritu, we got a lot to get into here today. And I want to start by — I think it’s important to level set on both of your professional journeys, right, so folks’ kind of get a sense of who they’re hearing from.

Scott Luton (5:13):

So, Ritu, you’ve spent over 30 years in the supply chain software industry. I’m completely breaking the rule. We don’t go over 20 years here at Supply Chain Now, but I’ve broken that rule in these conversations. Oh, the stories, I bet you could tell. Hey, tell us about, what e2open does in a nutshell, and then of course your role with the organization.

Ritu Rooney (05:33):

OK. Well, e2open is focused on delivering a comprehensive platform for end-to-end global supply chain. So, it’s a fully connected network and puts together solutions that are suitable for shippers, freight boarders, logistic service providers. All focused on the software, but all focused on delivering solutions that drive customer value.

Scott Luton (05:59):

And everyone is chasing after more and more and more value these days in these disruptive times. So, your role with the organization, Ritu, you’re helping customers realize that value? I bet.

Ritu Rooney (06:10):

Yes, indeed. As director of product management, I’m responsible for the TMS solutions, focused on the freight boarding marketplace at the moment, and making sure that we deliver solutions that fit the market, handle the market changes which, as you know, are plenty at the moment and have been over the last few years. We’re evolving, always technology changing and making sure that we keep up to date and innovate as we go through and deliver value for our customers.

Ritu Rooney (6:42):

It’s important that we make sure that the software is high quality and also make sure it’s easy to implement. So, these are the things that as product management we have to focus on as well as functionality that needs to be in the solutions.

Scott Luton (06:55):

Yes. Plenty of changes. Good and plenty. Remember that terrible candy we all got from the movie theaters back in the day?

Scott Luton (7:03):

All right. So, I want to switch gears here. So, Matt, your journey, you’ve spent the last 12 years here at e2open and a variety of operational and leadership roles. Hey, tell us about your current role as vice president of logistics as a service.

Matt Anderson (07:16):

Yes. So, I have responsibility for the LAAS group logistics as a service. We call it LAAS, it’s kind of our branded name for managed transportation services. So, we offer road and rail managed services along with managed procurement services and analytical services. So, everything from execution to helping our customers procure, you know, freights through RFPs and get the most out of the data and the technology. Our, you know, our homegrown TMS.

Matt Anderson (7:45):

You know, our combined teams manage, you know, over 3 billion in annual transportation spend on our platform. And we also, you know, as I mentioned, provide that resource support from administration, TMS administration, analytics and procurement perspective. You know, we leverage our TMS in a very interesting way compared to our competitors. It’s a shipper focused TMS and, you know, the last group really started 17 years ago when, you know, shippers came to us and say, hey, we love the technology, but we’re not going to have transportation management be a core competency for our business. We want you to run it for us. So that’s where LAAS started.

Scott Luton (08:21):

And just for our listeners benefit, you know, we love our acronyms, across global supply chain, LAAS, L-A-A-S is what Matt is referring to. All right, so we’re going to shift gears, Ritu and Matt. A big theme for today’s discussion is promises, promises, promises.

Scott Luton (8:39):

So, as I shared pre-ship [phonetic], when I was putting this conversation together, the song that instantly flooded my brain was this 1983 hit by Naked Eyes. Some of our audience may remember it because there’s this line that goes, you made me promises, promises. All right? So, I’m not going to be signed to any recording contract anytime soon, but I know for a certain portion of our audience, they know exactly the song I’m talking about.

Scott Luton (9:05):

So, companies everywhere, Matt and Ritu, especially shippers or freight forwarders as we’re talking about it. They’re looking to innovative technology and services to automate and optimize transportation activities across all modes and regions. They’re looking to streamline their supply chain logistics processes to help them keep those promises they’re making to customers. That’s one of the most critical things we got to do is keep those promises because it protects the credibility and who we are as organizations, right? It’s a big part of the culture.

Scott Luton (9:37):

So, on level — I want to continue kind of level setting with both of you all. What are the types of promises shippers and freight forwarders are making to their customers? And Matt, we’ll start with you, especially from a shipper’s perspective first.

Matt Anderson (09:49):

Yes. So, I guess, you know, the level set a little bit on, kind of, how to think about promises that, you know, shippers make to their customers. You know, many are high level focused, you know, sometimes on execution or really some sort of end result, some sort of metric. But they can also be pretty subjective, more based on, you know, really desire for a process. So, that can really lead to a situation where you really need to better understand the client’s and shippers wants and needs and how those are — can be different.

Matt Anderson (10:20):

So, as a provider of software and services, it is critically important that you separate the wants and needs. Ensure that you deliver on the needs because that’s, in the end, you know, how you drive value for shipper clients. It’s also important to understand and ensure that these goals that come from these promises lead to actions within the shipper’s organization.

Matt Anderson (10:40):

A lot of cross-functional activity comes from those goals. And there’s many stakeholder groups within an organization that will have influence on delivering that promise. Absolutely, there’s a lot of interconnected activities that, you know, translate into how you deliver on promises to customers and, you know, supply chain technology in a connected network and services to complement that can, you know, really help an organization deliver on those.

Matt Anderson (11:04):

So, a few examples, let me — I’ll dig into on, you know, shipper focused goals and promises to their customers. You know, the big one out there right now is OTIF, On Time In Full. And that’s more the former example I use, more of a desired end result and it’s typically pretty black and white, it’s a very defined goal. I also say it’s more of a dictated promise that, you know, shippers make to their customers. They don’t really have a say in a lot of that and that can lead to some large financial implications if those goals aren’t met.

Matt Anderson (11:34):

And it’s been, you know, pretty challenging the last few years to deliver on those goals because this, you know, the Covid situation and how supply chains were impacted. You know, fluctuating customer demand and reliability of upstream suppliers and raw materials has really made it challenging to continue to meet those goals. And while, you know, some end customers have been a little lax on the requirements recently because they understand some of the transit, you know, the challenges that shippers have had, you know, they’re back to really having those high expectations now. And so, it’s more important than ever, because you know, shippers can deliver on those goals.

Matt Anderson (12:10):

The other large goal we see out there, which is more process focused is visibility. And it’s one of those more subjective promises because visibility can mean different things to different people, you know, from exception management, you know, just, just tell me when something’s going to fail to, I want to know where a truck is or a shipment is at any point in time. That promise more based on a process than an end result.

Matt Anderson (12:35):

And what really can make this difficult to manage from a shipper perspective is that it can sometimes be a moving target just based on what’s happening. And it’s going to require kind of firm alignment with, you know, between the shipper and end customer on really the who, what, when, and why and how to deliver on that.

Scott Luton (12:53):

Matt, I appreciate that. And you’re right, on time in full, that has become all — a constant mantra these days. Every day, every hour.

Scott Luton (13:02):

Ritu, I want to add in — get you to add in the freight forwarders perspective here. What are — what kind of promises are they making?

Ritu Rooney (13:08):

Yes. Well, I think they’re similar themes to what Matt has just said. The promises across this whole supply chain follow do — do follow similar themes. But I think from a perspective of delivering, it’s not just about on time in full. The freight forwarders, I’m more concerned about delivering responsibly and carefully for their customers. So, they are concerned about delivering environmentally sound ways of the cargo reaching its destination, that there’s such a drive now for understanding more about the carbon footprint and making sure that that’s included when you’re using software systems to get you the information you need at your fingertips to make those valuable judgements.

Ritu Rooney (13:54):

A lot of our freight forwarders customers are actually making that a prerequisite, especially now in Europe where there’s government grants available for that kind of thing as well. They have a focus on that and they want the systems to provide the options not only to see what the fastest way of getting the cargo there is or the cheapest way, but also the greenest way of getting something there. So, facilities like a dynamic rooting option within a solution can actually help the user can see exactly what’s — which way they can deliver that cargo to suit what’s been promised to the customer.

Ritu Rooney (14:29):

Matt was also talking about visibility. And one of the things that has come up for the freight forwarders is delivering self-service visibility to their customers. So, they want us to help to deliver the option for their customers to be able to see for themselves where things are up to. And as Matt also said, provide the exception management. So, not only do they want to see what they need to do something about, whether they want to redirect cargo or make some proactive decisions about how to reroute something or change mode about — of a shipment that they want to deliver.

Ritu Rooney (15:08):

They can actually now go in and pin their favorite shipments or pin their most important customer shipments to actually then follow through on the promises that they’ve made. Whether it’s even outside of their normal working hours, people are always focused on making sure that the promises are met. So, they want access on their mobile phones and they want to be able to follow up at any time of day or night.

Scott Luton (15:31):

I love that. And one thing, one of the themes I heard in your response here, Ritu, is, you know, options, options, options are a wonderful thing as we’re looking to meet these demanding promises and commitments we’ve made.

Scott Luton (15:42):

All right. So, I want to keep going here. So, Matt, coming back to you. In your perspective and expertise, what should shippers be doing now to better meet these promises with their customers?

Matt Anderson (15:54):

Yes. I mean, these promises I mentioned need to lead to actions. So, you know, operationalize the promise into, you know, something tangible, something measurable, and something that can, you know, warrants accountability, ambiguity around what the promise is and how it will be measured is just — is the recipe for failure and it’s going to lead to dissatisfaction. So, it needs to be, you know, boiled down to something that can be measured and tracked, you know. As I will say, what — what’s measured as managed and what’s managed as measured, same thing applies here.

Matt Anderson (16:22):

I think taking a look at upstream supply chain goals as well. All the way down the line is — or, you know, are there conflict in those goals. And we — I’ve seen from time to time that, you know, certain particular area of the supply chains are particular part of the execution of that workflow has a diff different goal that may conflict farther down the chain, down the stream.

Matt Anderson (16:44):

And that can cause some suboptimal results. You know, a perfect example I’ve seen in my time is a warehouse staff that was held to, you know, detention. You know, it’s a common metric to — from a shipping perspective. We want to reduce detention, reduced, you know, cost there. But they were releasing loads half full. So, there was, you know, just waste that was created from that.

Matt Anderson (17:07):

So, you know, understanding where these goals play off each other and where there could be conflict is important. You know, we had a pretty disruptive supply chain event with the pandemic. You know, we’re, you know, customer, consumer habits and buying habits change and how inventory has been managed. So, you know, evaluating the weak points that existed and what didn’t fare well during the pandemic is an important thing right now.

Matt Anderson (17:32):

Especially as things have quieted down and a lot of supply chain leaders are maybe taking a breath, taking deep breaths and saying, well, that that was rough the last couple years. I’m glad that’s over. Now, is the time to double down and understand where were some of those things that were breaking. Do a root cause analysis. Is the root cause in the same area of where the impact is showing up? I think typically we see a lot of the inefficiencies upstream and supply chain activities roll down and show themselves in transportation and it may not be a transportation issue.

Matt Anderson (18:01):

So, needing to understand where the issue lies and work backwards to find the root cause is pretty important. And as I mentioned earlier, you know, different functional groups, different stakeholder groups are going to play an important part in delivering on these promises. So, to understand — those groups to understand their part of the process and how they can be measured and so overall success can be measured is pretty important.

Matt Anderson (18:25):

And really all this kind of flows into, you know, developing a longer term, go forward execution strategy to not only handle the next disruption well, but well to keep those promises when the next disruption happens. It’s not a matter of ifs, it’s when.

Scott Luton (18:40):

That’s right. Curveballs keep coming. That’s — it goes hand in hand to global supply chain. It’s what we do, right? It’s tackle and hit those curveballs out of the park. And I want to go back to something you shared on the front of your response. And Ritu, I’m coming to you next and get your take on his comments there because he shared a lot.

Scott Luton (18:57):

But the conflicting goals, that is such a great call out, Matt, more than ever, you know, we’re never going back to pre-pandemic. It’s long gone. So, for folks, for a small percentage out there that are hoping and praying and you know that now that we’re in the post-pandemic, it’s going to be the good old days. Folks, that’s not going to happen. It’s not going to happen.

Scott Luton (19:19):

But how we can gain that golden alignment across the organization, upstream and downstream, that’s how we can really deliver faster, we can fuel innovation, and we can really take hold of the art of the possible in a headlock and do more and really for that matter, transform the industry. So, Matt, what a great call out, because sometimes we put our own constraints on that as we create goals and make conflict across the enterprise.

Scott Luton (19:43):

Ritu, Matt shared a lot there. What couple of your comments there. What comes to your mind?

Ritu Rooney (19:48):

Actually, you both shared a lot of good things there. And I think it’s one of those things where you look across the whole supply chain and you want to make sure that the promises that are being made are kept across the whole end to end chain. One of the key areas there is a promise that the freight forwarders make to make sure that they’re following all the compliance rules that are there and also ever changing today.

Ritu Rooney (20:11):

So, an offering that the freight forwarders often make is to deliver custom solutions. So, a global customs offering is essential when trying to make a connected network across the whole supply chain. I think it’s valuable that as a service that can be provided, but it means that that promise has to be kept. And so, the more streamlined that the freight forwarders can deliver that service, the better it is for everybody in the chain.

Scott Luton (20:37):

Well said, Ritu. And you know, it is so — you know, we’re talking about all these various promises and the expectations they create. And it is so critical that we protect our credibility and our brands and who we are as organizations and keep those promises, as you pointed out, Ritu. I know that goes without saying, but man, in this age that we’re living in, and as fast as we’re moving and all the disruption and uncertainty, you know, at the core is keeping those promises we’re making.

Scott Luton (21:07):

All right. So, Matt, we’re going to pick your brain more here. You’ve got lots — you all both have lots of expertise, but in particular this next segment. Matt, I will get you to share four tips that will help shippers deliver and keep these promises they’re making to customers. What would those four tips be? And let’s start — let’s take this one by one. We’ll start with the first one, Matt.

Matt Anderson (21:27):

Yes. So, I think, you know, technology is not just a nice to have anymore. It’s kind of critical in terms of, you know, managing your supply chain and managing these promises. So, fully utilizing, you know, proven transportation management system on a connected platform that kind of works with in conjunction with other, you know, upstream technologies is really, you know, I think critical to optimize your shipments, your costs, your service, your efficiency. And is the foundation for how you can deliver on goals and promises to your customers.

Scott Luton (21:59):

Yes. And you know, one of the thoughts comes to mind there is, you know, the islands of excellence have long been a — been part of industry, right? You know, for a long time, part of the operational side. But what we don’t want to do, Matt, to your point, is create islands of excellence when it comes to technology and make sure all the platforms that we’re using are well connected and play nice with each other in the sandbox is critical.

Scott Luton (22:21):

Ritu, any quick comment there on that first one?

Ritu Rooney (22:25):

Yes, I do think that’s essential. I think it’s, like, the whole way that things connect together is one of the focuses of are each open. And making sure that you have networks and partners that all combined to deliver that whole supply chain end to end is really vital, more vital than it ever has been in the past.

Scott Luton (22:46):

That’s right. All right. So, Matt, first one was technology no longer a nice to have, but a connected technology is critical. What’s number two?

Matt Anderson (22:54):

I mean, the — you know, how do you leverage that that technology is also critical. And the way to leverage technology is through supply chain talent and that is, you know, sometimes a challenge to get and keep. And so, to ensure that you’re getting the most out of the TMS, most out of the technology you’re using and the rich data context they can provide. You know, consider an outsource solution, consider managed transportation services.

Matt Anderson (23:19):

Now, that’s not for everybody. We need to, you know, evaluate your own organization, understand it. Am I going to build this expertise as a core competency or not? And if not, that’s OK. That’s why there’s services like logistics of the service out there to help with that. We can help, you know, translate promises into specific goals and actions and help drive the upstream change management required to get cross-functional alignment on how these — parts of these promises and goals kind of fall together. And so, that’s probably number two, you know, critical.

Scott Luton (23:51):

Yes. And I love how the beginning of your response there, it comes back to talent. All right. Technology opens up so many doors for talent across a really global business for that matter. All right. So, number three, Matt, let’s keep driving.

Matt Anderson (24:03):

So, we talked about the technology and the talent. And now it’s, you know, how you leverage those effectively. It’s, again, I keep coming back to cross functional upstream business processes and, you know, taking a modernized approach to that. So, it’s breaking down the silos, understanding the interconnected nature of how everything works together.

Matt Anderson (24:22):

And like I said, using this current, you know, transportation or freight market down cycle to prepare for that next disruption. Like I said, people are coming out of a really tough time and maybe saying now that’s time to really clamp down on the budgets and maybe sub-optimized short term because I’m being challenged. But now’s the time, I wouldn’t say to, you know, go crazy from a budget perspective, but you know, spend wisely and plan wisely because like I said, the next disruption’s right around the corner.

Scott Luton (24:52):

Yes. Well said, Matt.

Scott Luton (24:53):

Ritu, I love using the tougher times to get ready for the better times ahead. And, Matt, on the front end of his response of number three in terms of tips for shippers, how they can better meet these promises. Silo busting, one of our favorite phrases around here. Breaking down those silos. Ritu, your quick thoughts there.

Ritu Rooney (25:15):

Yes, really important. That is one of the key areas, I think. that everybody is trying to drive for. One of the ways in which you can do that is through the partner network. I think that’s a really important thing. Making sure that the systems that are behind the scenes enable those partners to connect seamlessly so that the customers get the best value without having to go to multiple places. I think that’s much more important now than it ever has been. And that’s what people are investing in. They’re investing in the underlying technology that allows you to do that without having to take care of anything in the background.

Scott Luton (25:55):

Well said, Ritu. And, you know, digital twins, of course, we’ve been talking and acting and implementing on that for years now. But barriers and silos also have digital twins, you know, physical barriers, digital barriers, and more. You got to take all of that into consideration as we’re looking for ways to help our team and our customers succeed.

Scott Luton (26:14):

All right. So, we have tackled quite a bit here. Technology, talent, breaking down silos, Matt, and using the tougher times to get to better. Get better for the good times ahead. What’s number four?

Matt Anderson (26:26):

Yes, I’d say as we look at the first three, you know, take a step back and think about it is pretty daunting about all the actions and things that could come out of implementing a technology and leveraging a team and, you know, cross-functional later [phonetic]. There’s a lot to do here. And then that’s true. There’s an awful lot you could be doing.

Matt Anderson (26:44):

So, it’s important to benchmark where you’re at from a performance perspective to understand what you should be working on. It’s really hard to understand as you’re looking at all these metrics, all these KPIs, all these goals to say, OK, I need to get better. But where — where is the — where should I be spending my time? What’s the biggest bang for my buck in terms of my, either my budget or my talent and my time? You can do that with, you know, benchmarking your performance against market trends. So, that’s this important context to help focus your activity.

Scott Luton (27:15):

Man, prioritization. What’s old is new and absolutely critical, again. All right. Appreciate both of you all’s perspective as we walk through those four tips on ways that shippers can help shippers deliver on their promises to their customers. But wait, there’s more. More promises. More promises.

Scott Luton (27:35):

Ritu, describe some of the promises that freight forwarders are making to carriers.

Ritu Rooney (27:40):

Yes, I think the — that is another angle on this as well. It’s not just the customer side of things. It’s who you are working with also, you are committed to in a lot of different ways. One example that I can think of is when you commit as a freight forwarder to a carrier for a contract, making sure that you get a certain allocation of Ts [phonetic], for example, across a trade lane.

Ritu Rooney (28:07):

Managing that commitment and making sure that you deliver on that commitment, you need help to do that because tracking that and making sure that you’re fulfilling it across your whole portfolio is a real challenge for the freight forwarders. So, if they make — if it was one or two carriers, that would be fine, but because they’re working across the whole supply chain, they have multiple carriers that they’re working with and they rely on systems to enable them to track all of those, manage the allocations against them all, and juggle the thresholds that are applicable across all of those.

Ritu Rooney (28:43):

So as the system can help you to drive where you should deliver your cargo, how you should deliver your cargo in order to meet your contractual commitments. As well as deliver the best service for the customers, it’s a definite art rather than a science, yes.

Scott Luton (29:00):

That’s right. And you mentioned a juggling act, and I’m not sure what the word juggling conveys, but in my mind, what I thought about is the most efficient, most capable juggling acts. Freight forwarders that can manage the juggling acts with folks that can deliver on the promises and grow throughout this cycle that we’re in.

Scott Luton (29:21):

All right. And of course, that juggling becomes more and more technology driven these days, for sure. Matt, let’s talk about some of the promises — well, first off, Matt, if you want to add anything to that when we talk about that freight forwarder perspective, but also let’s talk about the promises that shippers are making to carriers. Your thoughts, Matt?

Matt Anderson (29:38):

Yes. I mean, we talk a lot about technology and rightly so, but you know, there’s still a lot of relationships that are driving, you know, how successful shippers can be at managing their goals. And, you know, from a shipper promise to a carrier perspective, and I think overwhelmingly a promise they should be making if they’re not is being a good partner.

Matt Anderson (30:00):

So, are you driver friendly? Are you opening the communication lines and looking for mutual success, continuous improvement focuses on both ends? You know, if we learned anything over the past few years that, like I said, relationships are still big and both shippers and carriers rely on each other pretty heavily. And it — those relationships have been really tested the last few years, and we saw both ends of the freight cycle.

Matt Anderson (30:26):

And I think the ones that are most successful in execution and being able to meet goals to end customers are the ones that take that promise of being a good partner pretty seriously. And stick with those carriers during the, you know, good times and the bad.

Scott Luton (30:42):

Excellent comments there. And I got to just pull. I love how you mentioned drive being friendly to drivers. I mean, we can’t lose sight of our basic obligations as humans. And you know, the other thing that’s part of that overall equation you were sharing there, Matt, is as we learn, especially during the pandemic is really important to be a good customer, right?

Scott Luton (31:05):

Really important because more and more suppliers, carriers, you name it, service providers, they’re — especially those that are able to deliver on promises, they’re going to pick and choose. And they’re going to remember those bad days when the customer didn’t uphold their end of the bargaining. So, that’s a great call out, Matt.

Scott Luton (31:23):

All right. So, I want to — as we start to wrap today’s conversation, I want to talk about some of your favorite stories and experiences, anecdotes, you name it as to how e2open is helping its customers find success in these very difficult times. So, Ritu, I want to start with you. You’ve seen it, you’ve been there and done it through your time in industry. What’s been one of your favorite moments as you’ve been with the e2open team?

Ritu Rooney (31:51):

Wow. There’s a lot of great moments. So, I — maybe I’ll just share one of the more recent ones that we’ve just experienced. So, one of our key customers on the freight forwarding side has recently completed a global rollout of the solutions. We’ve — it’s always challenging when you do a global rollout because you have so many different nuances across so many different countries. And no matter what people say, that’s always a challenge. Not just from the software or tech side, but from people side, the culture side, the adoption, all kinds of things mixed in.

Ritu Rooney (32:32):

But one of the successful things that we’ve just had is a customer who has been able to roll out now even into China. We have lots of implementations in China, but this customer was facing quite a number of difficulties there with the adoption and it was really helpful for you to open to be able to provide local resources there and make software configurations there that would handle the local nuances and local specifics that have to be done when you are implementing in China, but don’t have to be done around other geographical areas.

Ritu Rooney (33:09):

What they were trying to do, this company, without naming any names, they were trying to make sure that the promises to their customers are kept no matter where they’re delivering cargo. So, the global standard that they’re trying to implement has now been facilitated by e2open. By making sure that local specifics, as well as the global standards can be adopted within the same solution. So, that’s a real success for them because they can now fulfill promises to their customers wherever they are, whatever kind of cargo they’re delivering, whatever time, whatever geography. It’s a really important factor that’s helped that implementation go really smoothly.

Scott Luton (33:54):

And we need things, more things that go smoothly in this day and age for sure —

Ritu Rooney (33:58):

Yes, yes. You’re right.

Scott Luton (33:58):

— across global supply chain. There’s a — there’s great demand for that. All right. So, that’s a great experience, Ritu. Matt, how about you? What’s one of your favorite points in time in your journey with e2open?

Matt Anderson (34:11):

Yes, it is difficult to narrow down cause similar to Ritu. You know, a lot of success stories, a lot of good stories working with our clients on this explosive growth to help with their brands or help launch new brands. You know, we’re tracking shipments that have a news crew waiting for the arrival of the shipment, and we’ve had that in the past.

Matt Anderson (34:32):

And then, you know, just, you know, more broadly just helping shippers and our clients with, you know, upstream change management that, you know, we talked about a little bit previously. I think my favorite story though is we partnered with a client to help them, you know, decide through the data we have and the expertise we have on where to build their new product — production facility. So, again, this was an explosive growth that they were going through. And again, the goal was being able to service their customers better with and handle that explosive growth.

Matt Anderson (34:58):

So, you know, a lot was considered through the cost of the manufacturing of the product, the transportation costs involved and, and indexing their rates against market rates. Understand what is the most optimal location. So, we helped them decide where to build that facility.

Matt Anderson (35:13):

Now, something that, because of the interest in the brand at the time was kind of a, you know, a worth newsworthy story and it was, you know, nice for us to know that, you know, behind the scenes we were the ones that helped, you know, drive that activity. And, you know, through data and our expertise allowed them to, you know, fulfill on really the end promise to their customers and delivering on time.

Scott Luton (35:34):

Matt, I love that. Ritu, you mentioned about the art and the science. I think you mentioned that phrase earlier. Site selection, man, there is a mix of art and science, a whole bunch more in that. And I love Matt, that example because in my mind, at least, as you all — as each open going above and beyond your kind of core business to offer your expertise with this whole slight — site selection process, which is critical. So, thank you for sharing that, Matt.

Scott Luton (36:00):

All right. As much as I hate to, kind of, wrap up today’s conversation, but we’ve covered a ton of ground. I want to make sure our listeners know how to connect with each of you. So, Ritu, I want to start with you. Ritu Rooney, director product management with e2open, how can folks connect with you?

Ritu Rooney (36:20):

I would say LinkedIn is probably the best bet, really. It’s — I’m not on Facebook, but I am definitely on LinkedIn and, obviously, through e2open’s website. You can find all of us through e2open’s website, and e2open have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the whole nine yards. So, yes, it’s easy to connect with us through e2open’s platform.

Scott Luton (36:44):

Wonderful. Wonderful. Thank you for joining us here today, Ritu. And Matt Anderson, vice president logistics as a service, the LAAS team with e2open, how can folks connect with you, Matt?

Matt Anderson (36:56):

Yes, same LinkedIn. We have a lot of content on e2open’s website, e2open.com. Yes, I am somewhat active on social media, kind of, part of the Facebook generation. So, still involved. There are probably still have a MySpace profile floating around there somewhere. Date me a little bit now.

Ritu Rooney (37:15):

Now, you’re all showing your age.

Matt Anderson (37:17):

Exactly. Yes.

Scott Luton (37:19):

Awesome. It’s just that simple. Well, Ritu and Matt, I had a great time. Hey listeners, you all heard that. You know, you can connect with them across social, especially on LinkedIn and check out the e2open website and that’s e, the numeral two, open.com. Lots of resources there.

Scott Luton (37:37):

All right. Well, big thanks to Ritu Rooney and Matt Anderson with e2open. Ritu, thanks again for joining us here today.

Ritu Rooney (37:43):

Yes, my pleasure. Thanks so much for having us.

Scott Luton (37:45):

And Matt, you as well, thanks for being here.

Matt Anderson (37:48):

Yes, thank you. Really enjoyed the conversation.

Scott Luton (37:50):

I did too. And hey, I hope our listeners, folks, hope you all enjoyed it as much as I have. I had a blast here today, learning a lot more about all these promises we’re making out there in industry and how we can collectively do things so we can meet those promises more consistently. So, critically important.

Scott Luton (38:08):

But hey, hope you enjoyed this episode. Be sure to find Supply Chain Now wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe so you don’t miss conversations like this one with Matt and Ritu. Hey, find us on YouTube, where it’s really easy to watch and listen to our shows. But whatever you do, most importantly, hey, take something that Matt and Ritu shared here today and act on it. Deeds not words, that’s the name of the game. And with that said, on behalf of our entire team here at Supply Chain Now, Scott Luton wishing you all nothing but the best but challenging you to do good to give forward and to be the change. And we’ll see you next time right back here at Supply Chain Now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (38:39):

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

Featured Guests

Ritu Rooney has over 30 years of experience in the supply chain software industry. As a Director of Product Management at e2open, Ritu is focused on e2open’s transportation and logistics products that help freight forwarders manage shipments for multiple customers across multiple modes and geographies. Ritu also oversees e2open’s customer booking and visibility portal which enables a seamless, automated workflow between freight forwarders and their customers. Ritu joined e2open with the 2021 acquisition of BluJay Solutions, where she served as Global Product Manager for over 14 years. Prior to BluJay, she managed a team of 150 professionals responsible for the design, development, and successful implementation of a new freight-forwarding transportation solution. Ritu also has proven experience in delivering effective go-to-market strategies for transportation management systems (TMS). Connect with Ritu on LinkedIn.

Matt Anderson, As Vice President of Logistics as a Service (LaaS) at e2open, Matt Anderson leads a team of transportation experts who manage over $3B in freight spend on behalf of their clients, leveraging a proven Transportation Management System (TMS). Over his 12-year career at the company, he has held a variety of operational and leadership roles and currently has responsibility for the road and rail operations, procurement services, and analytical services for LaaS. Matt also oversees the e2open Road Freight Market Index, a monthly publication of industry cost, service, and execution metrics. Prior to e2open, Matt held leadership positions in operations and implementation at UTi (DSV) where he was focused on transportation management and new technology implementations. Connect with Matt on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Mary Kate Love

VP, Marketing

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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Vicki White

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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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Allison Giddens

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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

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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Greg White

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

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

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

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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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