Supply Chain Now
Episode 862

I chose supply chain because I really enjoy seeing a process start and finish. So just watching the entire thing and seeing what areas you can improve on and reduce waste. I love continuous improvement projects and [it's] one of my favorite things to work on, and the ability to apply those concepts to different business and everyday situations.

-Madison Buchter

Episode Summary

Are you an undergraduate student in search of a major? A supply chain executive who has always wondered what it would be like to teach? Then tune in as Scott sits down with College of Charleston Adjunct Professor and retired AT&T Executive Keith Connolly to discuss his career trajectory and approach to leading the next generation of supply chain professionals. Plus, you’ll hear from two such budding professionals, Madison Buchter and Elizabeth Petner, as they share their perspectives on emerging trends and challenges, including the move to cloud, the evolution of delivery systems and more.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:33):

Hey, good morning, everybody. Scott Luton here with you on supply chain. Now, welcome to today’s episode on today’s show. We’re diving into the stories of a savvy global supply chain leader that has moved mountains as well as a couple of bright students that are already making their mark the business world, even before they graduate, which is right around the corner. So it’s pay tuned rather for an intriguing conversation. So with all that said, I wanna introduce our guest here today. First up, we’ve got Keith Connolly a global supply chain executive with significant experie making things happen in the corporate world, including 25 years at, at and T. He now serves as an adjunct professor at the college of Charleston and a strategic advisor to C T D. I we’re gonna learn a lot more about that, Keith. Good afternoon.

Keith Connolly (01:15):

Hey, good afternoon, Scott. Glad to be here.

Scott Luton (01:17):

Great. Great to see you really enjoyed seeing you in Vegas and, uh, great to have you here a long with a couple of your best friends here and students. Next up, we’ve got Elizabeth. Petner a senior at the college of Charleston where she’s studying supply chain management, global logistics and transportation. So good afternoon, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Petner (01:36):

Good afternoon. Happy to be here.

Scott Luton (01:38):

Great to see you. And finally clean up Peter here. We’ve got Madison booked her also a supply chain management student at the college of Charleston and interesting note, both Elizabeth and Madison have already gained valuable experience in a variety of internship roles. So they are primed and ready to do big things in industry Madison. How you doing?

Madison Buchter (01:57):

Good. Hello. Thanks for having us.

Scott Luton (01:59):

You bet. Well, I’m delighted. Finally, you know, we’ve been working on this for a while. It’s so new need to connect with Keith and Madison and Elizabeth. So let’s dive right in and we’re gonna start. We’re gonna put, Elizabeth’s gonna be our lead off hitter. If you’re a big Braze fan, she’s gonna be our Otis Nixon or hor Jorge Solay, uh, today. So Elizabeth, tell, tell us a little about yourself, maybe where you grew up and then we’re gonna ask you about your why, but tell us about yourself first.

Elizabeth Petner (02:24):

Sure. So again, my name’s Elizabeth Cutner, I’m from the small town of dairy in Connecticut, so I’m a big fan of bagels. Nice Italian combos pizza. Nice. You name it. Um, I, my parents now live in North Carolina and I’m a senior here at the college of Charleston, South Carolina. I’m majoring in supply chain management and minoring in global logistics and transportation, which is a mouthful, but

Scott Luton (02:52):

It’s a lot, Hey, a lot going on. Well, Hey, so moving from Connecticut to going to school now in Charleston, which some people call the, the holy city, right? It’s a pretty popular place. How do you, from a weather standpoint, have you enjoyed the adjustment?

Elizabeth Petner (03:06):

Absolutely. I was actually up in Connecticut a couple weeks ago and it was the high was like 36 or 37. Meanwhile, it was in the seventies and eighties here. So man,

Scott Luton (03:17):

Well, it’s a great place and I bet y’all really enjoying your time there at the college of Charles and you get the rub elbows and learn from, from great and been there, done that. I hate to say teacher, cuz it, you know, Keith, you come from industry practitioner slash professor will call it that. But uh, thank you for sharing Elizabeth. One quick follow up question before go to Madison and then Keith, why supply chain Elizabeth?

Elizabeth Petner (03:40):

Uh, that’s a great question because when I was five years old, that was definitely not what I was telling people what I wanted to be when I grew up. Um, so I started college as a marketing major. Um, I knew I wanted do something in business, but I wasn’t sure what specifically. And so I remember I was in an international studies class for one of my gen gen ed assigned and we learned all about globalization and supply chain and I thought it was so fascinating and I spoke with my advisor and she brought this up and then I said, sure, that sounds great. So I signed up to do supply chain and global logistics and then a year later COVID happened. So now everyone knows supply chain.

Scott Luton (04:19):

It, you know, it really is true. And the silver lining, you know, despite how challenging for a lot of, you know, the world the last couple years have been part of that silver lining is the visibility it’s given to the profession of global supply chain, which is, you know, never had the recognition, especially all the people that, that make it happen. So wonderful story sound like an open, a great door for you. And you’re graduating just around the corner, right? Elizabeth?

Elizabeth Petner (04:43):

Yes. Two months from now, actually from today I will be starting my full-time job, so.

Scott Luton (04:48):

Awesome. Awesome. Well, well early congrats. And we look forward to maybe having you back you and Keith and Madison, maybe after y’all graduate to kind of get the, the pre-graduate view and then the post-graduate view. We’ll see. All right. So Madison, so Madison, same question. Tell us a little about yourself, where and where you grew up. And then we’re gonna ask about your why.

Madison Buchter (05:09):

Okay. Hey everyone, once again, I’m Madison Booker and I am from Knoxville, Tennessee grew up there. My whole life went K through 12. I’m the biggest Tennessee volunteer span ever. So that is my little thing with Knoxville. I am a senior at the college of Charleston studying supply chain management with a minor in marketing in Spanish. Wow. So a little different take than Elizabeth, but yeah, it’s just a little bit about myself and

Scott Luton (05:38):

That’s a deadly combination, Madison supply chain and, and marketing. And by the way, being bilingual in Spanish, a Spanish language of all languages, you know,

Madison Buchter (05:48):

Yes. I found that it is applicable in many different situations. This past summer I worked down in Tampa at a manufacturing plant and I was able to use it to speak to a lot of the line workers that weren’t completely fluent English. So it has been such a great asset to have working.

Scott Luton (06:06):

So Madison, you went to the gemba, right where the value is and, and engage with people and could talk in their native language. How powerful is that? So I think I, I, I think, uh, I’m guessing some of your why, but let us, why supply chain for you Madison?

Madison Buchter (06:22):

So I chose supply chain because I really enjoy seeing a process start and finish. So just watching the entire thing and seeing what areas you can improve on and reduce waste. I love continuous improvement pro and one of my favorite things to work on and the ability just to apply those concepts to different businesses and everyday situations.

Scott Luton (06:46):

I love that man. You’re light years ahead for me. I was bearing pizza and y’all are really, you’re changing the world and, and to appreciate continuous improvement, you know, while you’re still an undergrad in, in college that is, uh, your light years ahead. So I love that challenging the status quo. So Keith man, I I’ve forgetting a little bit with Elizabeth and Madison. You’ve got like the best job in the world, huh?

Keith Connolly (07:10):

Yeah. I certain certainly do Scott. So, so first off again, let me say thanks to you, appreciate what you do on supply chain and now, and you heard from, uh, Elizabeth and, and Madison. I’m always embarrassed to give my background a resume because compared to what, uh, they’re doing, I was doing nothing at their age in terms of understanding supply chain and, and getting engaged. And so there, there are two of the, you know, better students at the college of Charleston. We’ve got a great program there. You and I are closer in age than Elizabeth, Elizabeth and Madison. And I think what you can appreciate as well. We’ve got two strong women in supply chain. When I started out in supply chain, uh, 1991, not, not many people didn’t look like like me, but your question, my, my background is yeah, was born in Boston, moved to New Jersey back to Boston, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, and ended up in Arizona. Uh, by the time I was in eighth grade following my, my dad’s career, went to high school and went to Arizona state in Tempe. And so certainly everything in my sports world is around, uh, the sun devils living here in S E C country. My biggest challenge in cartilage, uh, football season is getting the devils on, on TV. But, uh, we all have, we all have, uh, we all have issues in that, right.

Scott Luton (08:28):

Challenges. Well, so, uh, what did your father do?

Keith Connolly (08:32):

So my father worked for GTE. Interestingly enough, I went on to work for PAC bell, which then merged and became S BC and at and T. And so maybe following in my father’s footsteps, he worked the corporate ladder of, uh, of GT kind of followed, uh, them through his career.

Scott Luton (08:50):

I love that. Okay. One quick follow up question. Then I wanna ask you about a key position. I know you did a lot of big things at, at and T in your career there, uh, but, uh, grow, you know, growing up in all those different geographic locations, all the different states, you heard Elizabeth talk a little about food, right. And got us hungry, talking pizza and sandwiches and bagels. Keith, what was your go-to as a kid or one of them when it comes to food dish based on where you lived.

Keith Connolly (09:15):

Yeah. You know, it’s interesting, Scott, you asked that, I mean, post Arizona working for, uh, at and T I went on then to live in Northern California. Then I lived in San Antonio and then I, uh, lived in Dallas before, suddenly here post at and T and Charleston it, and really what my family did is adapt to, uh, the local environment and really enjoy it. So certainly here in, you know, Charleston for the last couple years, I’ve checked more oysters than in the previous 50 years. Right. And if you went back to San Francisco, the love of sourdough, you know, bread, and certainly in Arizona and Texas, the Mexican food. So I think we kind of followed, you know, the local environment in, in, in Charleston. I think we’re a quarter way down the list of restaurants on our to hit list a couple years in here.

Scott Luton (10:02):

Love it, love it really quick. Madison, you did not. You’re the only person that hasn’t mentioned a food dish. And when you talk about Tennessee, barbecue comes in my mind, but what really quick, what was a, a, a really one of your favorite food dishes growing up?

Madison Buchter (10:15):

Ooh,

Scott Luton (10:18):

Trick

Madison Buchter (10:18):

Question. Tough one. I would think honestly, just a good burger. We have a ton of different burger restaurants in Knoxville, and I think a burger is my favorite dish growing up. Cool. Always

Scott Luton (10:30):

Cool city. Knoxville’s a cool city. Great college town. And Hey, the VAs are coming back. I wanna say the balls won the, a SCC basketball turning, right.

Madison Buchter (10:39):

They sure did. First time since 1979,

Scott Luton (10:43):

Man. Big fan. Okay. Uh, we’re gonna have to have y’all back. We, we did this, this live stream. Haven’t done it in a long time, but we need to do it back, uh, supply chain nerds, and we, we call ourselves nerds around here, supply chain, nerds, talk sports. So we have to have maybe, uh, special college ion. We’ll see. But Keith, back to your background, as I mentioned on the front end, uh, a lot of executive level supply chain experience with at and T which your Abody, their brother and sister knows. What’s a key position though, during your time that really shaped your worldview there.

Keith Connolly (11:12):

Yeah. Yeah. And so maybe Scott as well, I’ll, I’ll let you know how I got into supply chain. And of course, you know, when I was there and this was in, uh, started college in 1987, it wasn’t supply chain. It was purchasing in, in materials management. Right. And, and I went into Arizona state because it was the college down the street. And I had got a scholarship there. A college searches that we tend to do today are, are much more robust than perhaps my family did in, in the eighties. And at the time in the late eighties, you know, we’re under a recession and there weren’t a lot of jobs coming outta school that Arizona state had this program purchasing and materials management, and was probably they in Michigan state and a few others that were into purchasing a materials management. And I noticed that the graduation rate and the number of jobs was higher there in any major.

Keith Connolly (12:02):

And so not knowing what purchasing materials management. Right. But man, if I go through college for four years and don’t have a job, uh, that’s not gonna be goodness. And so let me give it a shot. And so when went through that and Pacific bell was hiring quite a bit from Arizona state and the university of, of San Diego because they would’ve just been seven years removed from the BA breakup of, you know, the bell system. Right. And not having a, a procurement organization. And so they brought us in, you know, to pack bell. My whole career in, at, at and T has been in, you know, what’s now called supply chain. I, I actually left at and T for four years. And so my service is kind of bridged. And I went on and worked at two other companies, Galileo international and industrial control components, and then went back to, to, uh, at and T yep.

Keith Connolly (12:53):

And I made that because it was, it, it made an impact on me as an employee. And then later, as a manager, as a leader that you groom talent, you bring ’em on to the organization, but something’s missing and they look outside and maybe you’ve lost that talent that you’ve invested and then bring ’em back. Is there something you can do to kind of have really helped them along? And so in my career, certainly mentoring, working with newer employees has been a focus in terms of positions. Let, let me just mention too. I was a VP at, at, at and T for 17 years, from 2003 to, to 2020, the, the first half of it, I was doing network and it sourcing okay. Kinda a procurement job. And if you think of the timing of this 2003 to 2010 at and T had just gone through a series of mergers and acquisitions, PAC bell and SBC and Ameritech bell, south and singular.

Keith Connolly (13:54):

And when come companies go through mergers, um, they have to pay back the premium, um, that they, that they placed on the acquisition. And so they call that synergies often. And when companies are going through that, they’re looking for synergies and we learned quickly that supply chain or procurement at the time could be a competitive advantage to go after those synergies and say, now that we have these two groups coming together, how do we leverage the spend? How do we get the best practice? How do we get, you know, the best teams in place? And so for that period of time really was happy to see procurement, to get more of a leadership role. Elizabeth and, and Madison are coming into supply chain at a time that I think supply chain has, has been at the highest level I’ve I’ve ever seen in the early nineties supply chain and procurement.

Keith Connolly (14:47):

Wasn’t always one of the most, you know, sought after parts of the organization. Right. And so, and so when you were looking at that, how could you make your organization, the organization people wanted to come to, how could you make your organization one that was meaningful to the company? And so again, on this it and network sourcing time in the early 2000 post, uh, these acquisition, how do you make procurement a competitive advantage? How do you go after these synergies? And again, when I say synergies, I don’t always mean price reduction, although that’s part of it, but how you bring supply chains together as vendors together, uh, people together. The second one is I, I moved in 2011 to the consumer supply chain of at and T. So devices, broadband set, top boxes. And so more the end end supply chain from sourcing, planning and logistics.

Keith Connolly (15:38):

Right? And, and I think when I first started out coming from that sourcing or procurement background, we often managed the contract, not the vendor or supply chain. I had a big spend. I could wield a lot of leverage in the negotiations. And so we would have a contract and then we’d require our suppliers, um, to meet the requirements. And then we’d enforce the contract. And in hindsight, that might have been a little bit arrogant or naive, or perhaps both, right? Because you have to move from managing the supplier to the supply chain. You have to understand where is your supplier in terms of their supply chain. And things became more prominent on countries of origin component, shortages, intellectual property tariffs. And so the, the second big, you know, kind of pivot pivot for me was going from this procurement or sourcing manager that was work the RFPs and bringing contracts together to saying, wait a minute, really the value add that was a good phase, one value add, but phase two is gonna be managing the supply chain.

Keith Connolly (16:43):

And, and the last thing I’ll say this, and then, and then take a breath, especially if you think about it, if you think about the companies I was competing against many times, we were using the same OEMs and distributing the same products. Now we would often have our own marketing and engineering enhancing ’em, but, but largely the OEM list is similar. And so if that’s the case, how are you gonna have a competitive advantage against your competition? Well, I’m gonna get to the product to the right place on time and better in a better condition. And so managing that, that end end supply chain, uh, was just, I think the second kind of Eureka that, that I had in my career.

Scott Luton (17:23):

I love that. So with that said, Madison and Elizabeth, I want a little bonus question here before we get into kind of what you’re tracking across global industry. There’s so much there, Keith, that we could dive into. I wanna, I wanna Madison start with you. So when you become that leader, that supply chain leader out in industry, and you think, you know, Keith spoke to beyond supply chain management, uh, practices and, and what they did to really gain that competitive advantage. He, he kind of alluded a culture a couple times. So Madison, when you become that supply chain leader, what’s one thing that you wanna put your stamp on, on the organization’s culture. What, what, what what’s important to you? Madison,

Madison Buchter (18:03):

For me, I think diversity and inclusion, just making, um, that a very big thing in the making it known. I definitely experienced that this summer and it was one of the top things we strive to focus on. Mm. Um, and so that’s what I would pick is diversity and inclusion.

Scott Luton (18:18):

I love that. And it kind of goes back to Keith where, where he started, uh, where, where, you know, back in 1991, we didn’t have it. Wasn’t nearly as inclusive an industry as we’re making gains. And we still got some, a lot of more work to do, but, uh, a lot of good stuff there. Okay. Elizabeth, same question as a leader, where do you wanna put your stamp on a culture? What’s one place least.

Elizabeth Petner (18:38):

Yeah, definitely. I would say maybe training and communication, making sure everyone understands how systems work and operate, um, and all of that sort of thing. Cuz I feel like there’s a lot like a lot of techno technological Ava advancements at Carrie, but you need to understand how those systems work in order for them to be successful. And, but also to what Madison said as well, diversity and inclusion is critical for sure.

Scott Luton (19:06):

Yeah. Change is happening is speeding up so fast. That’s put it in a bigger burden on training and communication. Right. So the very powerful forces in the organization. Um, okay. So I wanna stick with Elizabeth that we’re gonna go the reverse route and, and then, um, Elizabeth and Madison and back to Keith, let’s talk, there’s so much going on, uh, across global supply chain. I’ll tell you, uh, no shortage of challenges, old challenges, but a ton of new challenges. And we’re seeing some things take place right now in Europe that we hadn’t seen in, in a very long time. And hopefully, uh, certainly know we all are praying for, uh, a ceasefire and into the, some of the atrocities we’re seeing take place in Ukraine. But that aside, when you get back to professional global supply chain, we’ll, what’s one thing, whether it’s a trend or a topic or development, Elizabeth, that you’re tracking more than others right now,

Elizabeth Petner (19:58):

Probably I would’ve to say kind of along with my previous answer, uh, education and training for these new changes, uh, I’m working with Keith this year on a whole paper, uh, that touches on delivery systems, data analytics, technology, cybersecurity, and corporate social responsibility. So wow. Main thing behind all these topics is making sure people are educated and trained to understand why these things are important in supply chain. So I think what,

Scott Luton (20:31):

So you pick that those are so some big meaty topics. I bet that’s gonna be like a 3000 page paper, I don’t know. But out of all, out of all those topics, what was your favorite one out of, out of the topics you just mentioned?

Elizabeth Petner (20:43):

Um, I think I’ve really enjoyed learning about delivery systems and how they’ve been evolving since COVID 19, they’ve had to adapt in ways that were unprecedented and not planned whatsoever. And so that’s been really interesting learning about different third party vendors and um, all of that,

Scott Luton (21:00):

Whatever it takes to get the job done right in this E in this, uh, I say e-commerce environment, but my by dear friend, gray, white says we gotta drop B cuz it’s just how commerce has done these days. So a lot of good stuff there, Elizabeth. Okay. Madison, same question to you as you survey global supply chain right now, what’s one thing that you’re paying attention to more than others right now.

Madison Buchter (21:21):

I think one new trend that I’m focusing on is the cloud based solutions. So the Cape capabilities would give the companies to have all of their data synced up. For example, our company has multiple different manufacturing plants and for all of that data to be synced in one place, instead of having to switch from this plant to this plant, I think that’s a really cool trend. That’s new and improving and supply chain

Scott Luton (21:47):

Agreed. And, and you mentioned your company, you’re talking about the company you’re currently interning at, is that right Madison?

Madison Buchter (21:53):

Yes, sir.

Scott Luton (21:53):

Okay. And as a quick follow up and Keith, I’m coming to you next, but if you had a cap, if you had Madison, a captive audience of the, of the, some of the world’s top CEOs and, and maybe they’re, they’re kind of hedging their bets on whether or not to really invest in internship program, what’s one thing, what’s one piece of advice you’d share with that captive audience.

Madison Buchter (22:14):

I would share, go for it. I mean, the hands on experience that the interns can learn, um, just being in the office, being surrounded by those top leaders and getting to see what the day to day activities look like in supply chain, such a learning opportunity and everything I learned in Mr Connell’s class, I was able to apply to my internship and then you move up in the class level and you apply what you learned in the internship to your upper level classes. Mm. So they’re there to work, they’re there to learn and do whatever. So definitely a great opportunity.

Scott Luton (22:49):

Madison Love that. Where were you when I was matriculating through school to share that simple concept they’re building blocks, uh, completely was lost on me as a, as a, a student also you’re describing all those experiences great for the intern, but of course you can use them as, as, as talent, uh, as a recruiting channels. Right. So a lot of good stuff there are related to an internship. Keith, you gotta be beaming yeah. From cheek to cheek to here, Elizabeth and Madison speak about, um, just offer up their perspective or valuable perspective, but also touch on, on their experiences with you. What are you, uh, tracking more than others across global supply chain? Keith?

Keith Connolly (23:26):

Yeah. You know, when Scott, when we think about supply chain and we spent a little bit, uh, of this in the class as well, like I always want to kind of level set on what is supply chain because people use different, you know, terms and different frameworks. I I’ve got a bias towards the, the score framework, uh, originally a supply chain council. Now the association of supply chain, you know, management. So when we think about supply chain, we can think about, you know, the, the planning functions we can think about the sourcing functions we can think of, you know, make, deliver a return or logistics as we call ’em today or enablement. And, and I think over time I focused in, in different Gories. As I mentioned earlier in my career, it was kind of in the sourcing and the procurement. And I think there’s been, you know, great strides meant there.

Keith Connolly (24:12):

Great, great tools after that, I probably focused in the planning area and was so, you know, kind of enamored with how can we get that demand and supply forecast to match and, and how can we do that? Cuz that’ll be the, the key to it, of it all. And in fact, Scott, I was at a ASCM conference and said, someone said, we’ve been talking about forecasting for 40 years. We should stop. We’re gonna be wrong and just get over it. And the key, therefore to that message of course said, and J was really, you need to focus on logistics. And when you ask, what am I focusing on? You know, currently is spent, we think of what’s happened in COVID with all of the, you know, supply demand, mismas with all the bull whip effects, running all the shortages. COVID it really in my mind is the supply chain that can be the most flexible and the most resilient will win.

Keith Connolly (25:04):

Not that procurement’s not important, not the of planning’s not important, but I think you can overcome them if you have a resilient and flexible supply chain. And so the logistics area of saying, especially post COVID, where are we gonna stock and how much, and where, how are we gonna cut down the time? How much is going direct to consumer versus to bricks and mortar. And so for me, it’s this evolution of logistics post COVID post consumer habits. Uh, you mentioned, you know, when on, on e-commerce, um, taking a look at it and, and Elizabeth, you know, mentioned her papers. She spent a lot of time talking with, you know, leaders in looking at, uh, this logistic area, transportation last mile delivery, different stocking options. But, but I think that’s the area right now that I’d say, I used to say, you know, the best supply chain wins early in my career, the best procurement and sourcing. But I now think this logistics, flexibility, resiliency, um, is the area that I’m probably most, uh, interested in leaning and on

Scott Luton (26:09):

You. And certainly the rest of the world. It’s amazing to see the investment scope, uh, related to final mile in particular these days. So all good stuff there, Keith, I appreciate you sharing. I wanna circle back earlier, uh, Elizabeth, I’ll start with you. Keith mentioned alluded to those Eureka moments, right? There’s moments where something hit you like a ton of bricks and it’s like an aha moment. This can be related to supply chain Elizabeth or not, but what’s been a Eureka moment for you if you look at the last couple years.

Elizabeth Petner (26:39):

Sure. So I thought a lot about this question and I think it’s really interesting because there, like you said, so many different ways you can go about answering and thinking about this question. I know in one of my classes or reading a book called the new abnormal and it’s all about supply chain and how it’s been affected from COVID 19 and everything. And one of the points it was discussing was in the past two years, technologically speaking, we’ve advanced what would’ve maybe ordinarily taken 15 to 20 years of changing and adapting and evolving. And so I feel like the rate of adaption and that snowball effect of technology and supply chain and how we’re just moving so quickly. That was something that really kind of transformed how I view supply chain and how the next couple years, five years, 10 years. So on in my career gonna change, um, there’s gonna be a lot of evolving and I’m very excited and slightly scared to see where that goes. But

Scott Luton (27:42):

That means you’re in a right. You you’re, you’re in the right mindset. If you’re a little bit scared, it means typically it means you’re doing the right thing. Right. All right. So same question for you. Uh, Madison, Madison, what’s been a key Eureka moment for you the last couple years.

Madison Buchter (27:55):

So same with Elizabeth. I thought about it a lot, but the moment I chose was just right when the pandemic hit about two years ago, going to the grocery store. Wow. There’s no toilet paper for us to buy. Wow, there’s no paper towels. You know, that just really caused me to think about all the different processes that went on before COVID happened to get all the toilet paper out and challenged me to think of new ideas and new processes that could be implemented to, um, increase the production, to accommodate for all the demand that was missing. So I think that moment just really sparked in my brain, this is what the future’s gonna look like and how can I help create processes and idea

Scott Luton (28:40):

And improve ’em based on what you were sharing earlier, right. Madison.

Madison Buchter (28:44):

Yes.

Scott Luton (28:45):

Who would’ve thank that toilet paper. Would’ve gotten this massive shining moment in the sun, whether they liked it or not. It’s crazy that still sticks out as one of the craziest things related to his last couple years. Thank you for sharing Madison. I appreciate that. And Elizabeth, uh, Keith, you wanna add any other Eureka moment on your end?

Keith Connolly (29:04):

Oh, it’s, uh, it’s been an interesting Scott for me post at and T that I’ve been working with companies that largely now are the vendor or OEM to customers like at and T. And so I’m seeing the supply chain from the other side of the table. And it’s been interesting because I, for me, I think there’s still an opportunity for information and sharing and collaboration between the customer and the supplier. And maybe I didn’t appreciate it when I was on the customer side, thought we were doing a good job on giving forecasts and the why, but now on the other side of the table, so to speak, I think maybe customers are too protective of information that they think deem is proprietary when it’s really necessary. And when I say the best logistics, the most resilient and fly supply, chain’s gonna win the Eureka moment for me. That’s only gonna happen if you’re really collaborative across these commercial, across these customer supplier walls. And I hadn’t seen it as clearly as being the recipient of the information. So I think the area of collaboration between customer, you know, in supplier, although we’ve been talking about it for, you know, 25 years, I still think we’ve got some work to do there.

Scott Luton (30:28):

Agreed. Uh, uh, I think I see big, big battles brewing already taking place with, uh, data privacy, data integrity. Certainly, uh, Elizabeth mentioned cybersecurity. I think we saw knock on wood that our global supply chains haven’t been been disrupted as they could have been from a, a cyber standpoint. So good thing. Really important work going on in that area right now. Um, okay. So speaking of Elizabeth, I’m gonna circle back to you here. Hopefully y’all brought your crystal balls to the table, cause we’re gonna, we’re gonna kind of predict the future a little bit it here. So Elizabeth simple question. What do you wanna do with industry and why?

Elizabeth Petner (31:07):

Great question. I do have my crystal ball with me today.

Scott Luton (31:13):

Hopefully it’s working better than mine his last couple years.

Elizabeth Petner (31:17):

So yeah, my current plan right now is to go into consulting. I’m gonna be working a business analyst for a small consulting firm in Florida. Um, and so we work with all sorts of different industries. However, recently, a lot of the problems that we’re helping them with has to do with manufacturing and supply chain. So it’s great that I’m gonna be coming on a, on board pretty soon, uh, but moving forward and, you know, we’ll see where the wind takes me of course, but I’ve always been very interested in sustainability. And so I think maybe in the future, working with companies to help them meet a good balance between like their finances, their impacts on like society and ethical standards, as well as environmental standards. I remember learning a about ISO certifications and professor Donnelly’s class last year and we focused on sustainability there. And so I found that to be really interesting and I think that making positive changes and implementations for businesses to sustain long term would be really great.

Scott Luton (32:21):

A lot of work to do there. Huh.

Elizabeth Petner (32:23):

It’s, it’s a full plate for, for sure, but I’m ready, job.

Scott Luton (32:27):

That is awesome. Uh, and congrats sounds like a very bright future and a lot of passion involved in, in some of your next steps. So we’ll be keeping our finger on the poll, Sarah Madison, same question to you. What do you wanna do in industry and why?

Madison Buchter (32:41):

So my current plan now, um, is I will be going into Danaher corporations, operations leadership program. So it’s a two year rotational program and every six months you’ll rotate roles within the manufacturing plant to give you that the experience. So one role could be in the engineering department. One could be on the floor, so really just gonna get the hands on managerial practice. So that’s what I’ll be doing for the next two years. And then after that, I really hope to go into the medical side of supply chain. I’ve always been passionate about medical industry and I understand its importance now and definitely its importance in the future. So that would be a goal of mine to go into medical supply chain.

Scott Luton (33:29):

That is outstanding. Healthcare is certainly gonna, uh, need some bright minds and, and some new ways of doing things in the years to come, you know, really quick. And Keith, I’m gonna come to you and maybe, maybe you’ve had the same observation. I spent a little time in my journey at a great consulting, small consulting group outta Cincinnati, and as they were hiring the best of the best when it came to the folks at drove change, uh, uh, you know, project leaders, Danaher had a very strong reputation, especially for lean and continuous improvement. Madison, gosh, sounds like you’ve got an outstanding opportunity to be in an environment that, that taps into some of the things you’d love to do. And you’re gonna learn how to do ’em even better. How about that?

Madison Buchter (34:12):

Yes, absolutely. And Dana, we Danaher has multiple different operating companies from industrial side in aerospace, where, where now to Beckman Colter diagnostics, which is their medical filtration. So lots of opportunities within them. And they definitely have a strong focus on lean six Sigma and continuous improvement, five S everything,

Keith Connolly (34:37):

You know, Scott, to that, that point when Madison got our internship, you know, we sat down, they gave her kind of the summer assignment and there were a couple of things that I really liked. One is not only do I mention it’s great to see women in supply chain. Madison was in the operations on the floor. And again, hearkening it back to my early days that that wasn’t, uh, a common enough occurrence, but they gave her a, a lean six Sigma project to take a look, uh, how, how she could cut, you know, hours out of the, the process. And so, uh, Madison and, and Elizabeth had been, uh, extremely, uh, kind to me in my, my professor capabilities. She understood the concepts around six Sigma and the jargon. This was real life and she got to roll up her sleeves. And so I was impressed by, you know, kind of their internship program. Then she was able to come back her senior year and get that final, you know, kind of year of academic to layer on, on top of it.

Scott Luton (35:30):

I love it. Who knows maybe Madison Elizabeth will be founding one of the most powerful consulting firms, quite the one to punch, uh, down the road. You never know, you never know, really excited to what both of y’all have the opportunities in the immediate future and, um, and moving forward. So we’ll, again, we’ll keep you, uh, keep our, um, finger on the pulse there. Keith, wanna shift gears here for a second as we come down to home stretch, gosh, I love our teachers. We’ve got teachers in the family would probably all do they, they do. They’re just critical to all of our journeys. And I love to see colleges tap executives, especially in supply chain. Been there, done that it can bring, you know, all of a wealth of knowledge and, and, uh, stories and experiences to a, a classroom capable students like Madison Elizabeth. So why do you love to teach and tell us also as a follow up you’re doing, you’re still doing some consulting. So tell us what you’re doing there too.

Keith Connolly (36:27):

Yeah. You know, Scott, and maybe the beginning of this along my, uh, you know, career at, at and T I also made sure I was doing things outside of at, and T I, things that kind of intersected, uh, my profession and, and my passion. And so one of ’em, I was on the Dallas Fort worth minority supplier development council for a number of years, including being the chairman. So here was an, a, an area to see, you know, firsthand, how can you help historically disadvantaged, uh, firms get into the community. Also, as I mentioned involved with the association of supply chain management, which allowed me to, you know, network with other, uh, you know, peers in, in different industry. And then lastly, I was in Dallas. And so I was on the university of Texas at Dallas’s supply chain advisory board, and it was my first kind of toe into, uh, academia.

Keith Connolly (37:17):

And so they allowed us to come over and look at their curriculum, meet with their students, you know, meet with their professors. And, and really what I liked about it. Scott is what you’re seeing here today with Elizabeth and Madison. Again, this is a guy who is not only started in supply chain before, was cool before it was even name, supply chain, right. Is, you know, purchasing a materials management. And so to see how it’s progressed and where it can go is so exciting. And so when I retired from at and T 25 great years, great company, uh, had a great team that’s, that’s, uh, doing great things since, since I left, um, I called different universities to see if there was a, you know, two chance to be a guest speaker on our advisory board. And then speaking with the college of Charleston, they said, Hey, we think we have an opportunity.

Keith Connolly (38:06):

Um, you know, as an adjunct role to teach, uh, one of the supply chain and purchasing class and to your point, and Elizabeth and Madison can attest, you know, we had a, um, you know, world class textbook my rose, my most, uh, re in class. We also supplemented it with the ASM procurement certificate. Hmm. But really what I tried to do is take it to the real world. And so I brought in colleagues and former colleagues and vendor to kind of bring the real life if we’re talking about supply and demand planning, Corey curse that our VP of, uh, operation at Samsung, and I would have a dialogue and say, okay, the book talked about qualitative and quantitative forecast here are the different methods, Corey hunt at work on this launch. Mm. Um, and so I, I like that because I think in top of, uh, the academic, um, work that the student and get bringing that experience that they can know, do I really wanna be in supply chain?

Keith Connolly (38:59):

Do I wanna be in procurement or planning a logistics? Do I wanna be a consultant or do I wanna work for a corporation? Um, but clearly, um, Scott, I, I get more than I give, you know, just because of the enthusiasm, you know, that I get from the students and really, uh, enjoy the, the college Charleston, um, on the other front, you know, still interested in, you know, staying active in, in supply chain. And so I’ve been working with C TDI for probably a year and a quarter now C TDI. I is a, um, couple of billion dollar 45 year old engineering, uh, technical repair logistics company. Hmm. Doing a lot of the repair refurb movement across network infrastructure set, top box and, and mobility components. And so, and as I mentioned before, it’s interesting for me to have been on the customer side, the large carrier to now work with, you know, the vendor side of it, the provider, and help them develop their processes and their systems. And so I’m enjoying staying a bit still in, in industry and in the flow, but also, uh, with the, with the students in the, in the college as well. So, so enjoyed my time at, at, and T a great company, great experience, but surely having a, you know, heck of a lot of fun and, and eating Charleston, see for being on the, peninsula’s not bad either.

Scott Luton (40:19):

You had me at oysters, you had me at oysters key. Well, and there’s so much more here, you know, I wish we had a lot more than the hour with, with, uh, each of y’all frankly, but we’ll, we’ll make it happen. We’ll have, we love our repeat guests around here. So we’ll have to do an update, uh, show on what you’re doing. So I wanna make sure though, folks can connect with you, you know, Keith, from my time in, in the classroom here and there, man being rubbing elbows with folks that bring new ideas and a different perspective and, and are fearless and asking the question why, and not just once, but at least at least five times, right? So I love that. And, and, and that’s the vibe I’m getting with Elizabeth and matters. And so no wonder, uh, I bet it’s a pleasure to be part of those classroom conversations. So with that said, though, some of our listeners may wanna connect with y’all Elizabeth, let’s start with you. How can folks connect with all the cool things that you’re

Elizabeth Petner (41:13):

I’m so E you

Scott Luton (41:18):

It’s just that easy. In fact, we’re gonna make it even easier by dropping that direct link in the show notes. You wanna click away from connecting with each of our guests, Madison, same question you.

Madison Buchter (41:27):

Yes, LinkedIn, I think definitely is the best way to reach me just under Madison Booker. And my last name can be a little tricky to spell. So that link will be your best. Be

Scott Luton (41:37):

Wonderful. And, and, and by the way, B U C H T E R. But again, you’ll find that link in the show notes, Madison, thanks so much. All right, Keith Connelley I think we initially met, uh, via LinkedIn if I’m not mistaken several years back, but how can folks can that with you?

Keith Connolly (41:53):

Yeah. At this point, LinkedIn should be a paid sponsor of your program, because I’m gonna say the, the same Scott, I think I’m, I’m out there would, would welcome any connection request or just emails to talk about, uh, supply chain, but certainly the best way to get ahold of me

Scott Luton (42:07):

I’m with you. And that, you know, I wish they needed my help. That would be, uh, probably pretty lucrative, but, uh, regardless they’re doing a good, a good job there. Cause you know, it’s all, it’s all about, gosh, where will we be? As silly as this may sound, I’ll talk on the friend of mine. You know, I love Twitter. I love LinkedIn, you know, communication stories, but connectivity and imagine where we would be without that ability to connect digitally over the last couple of years. Right. So we’re counting our blessings for sure. But Hey, talk about blessings to have this panel here with us here today. Really enjoyed what y’all shared, uh, wanna first thank Keith Conley. It was great to meet you again in Vegas and be able to make stuff like this happen. We’ll have to feature some more of your students in the months ahead. Thanks so much, Keith.

Keith Connolly (42:49):

You’re welcome. Been great. Thanks Scott.

Scott Luton (42:52):

Uh, again, he’s with, uh, adjunct professor with the college of Charleston and a strategic advisor to the company, uh, referenced a few minutes ago, C T D I very active big thanks to two students that are right around the corner. Getting ready to graduate, go out and move mountains across Ry first, uh, Elizabeth Pitner, uh, senior college of Charleston and her colleague, uh, Madison booked her be C H T E R Booker. Also a supply chain management student at the beautiful college of Charleston. Elizabeth, thank you for your time.

Madison Buchter (43:22):

Thank you. Thank you so much. I really appreciate your time.

Scott Luton (43:25):

You bet. I had a, had a, a blast doing this with you and Madison. Thank you and congrats to your evolves, but uh, thanks for your time here today.

Madison Buchter (43:33):

Thank you so much. So the opportunity to come on and chat with you.

Scott Luton (43:37):

Absolutely. Okay. Well folks, hopefully you’ve enjoyed this Frank conversation, inspirational conversation. Gosh, the industry they’re in good hands. We got the likes of Elizabeth and Madison moving in big things, big innovation ahead, but Hey, check us out. Supply chain now wherever. Get your podcast from be sure to connect with our panel here. You’ll be better off for it. And if you do anything today on behalf of our team here at supply chain, now Scott Luton challenging you to do good give forward and be the change that’s needed on that note. We see next time, right back here at supply chain now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (44:11):

Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now community check out all of our, our programming@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.

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Featured Guests

Keith Connolly is a Global Supply Chain Executive with 30 years of progressive Supply Chain and Executive Management experience. His corporate career spanned 25 years at AT&T, 17 at the VP-level, the last 9 of those leading sourcing, inventory planning, forward/reverse logistics, and supplier quality for consumer products such as mobile devices, tablets, broadband gateways, and set-top boxes. Keith was responsible for all AT&T Logistics, including Mobility and Wireline Network Infrastructure. He possesses an MBA from San Jose State University, a master’s degree in Telecommunications Management from Golden Gate University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Purchasing and Materials Management from Arizona State University. He informed and advanced industry-wide in supply chain practices and as former Chair of the Association of Supply Chain Management and former Chair of the Board of the Dallas/Fort Worth Minority Supplier Development Council. He served on the University of Texas at Dallas’ Supply Chain Industry Advisory Board. Keith is currently an adjunct professor in Supply Chain at the College of Charleston, a Strategic Advisor to CTDI (a multi-billion dollar Engineering, Repair and Logistics company), and member of Charleston County Procurement Appeals Board. Connect with Keith on LinkedIn.

Madison Buchter is a Supply Chain Management Student with a Minor in Marketing and Spanish at the College of Charleston. Currently Intern at Pall Aerospace in Tampa, FL as a Material Management Improvement Engineer Intern. Connect with Madison on LinkedIn.

Elizabeth Petner is a senior at the College of Charleston studying Supply Chain Management and Global Logistics and Transportation. She started her supply chain experience working for a 3PL in which she would make cold calls to various businesses around the country to see if they were interested in their services of sourcing in low-cost countries. She did that until COVID-19 hit. During the Summer 2021, Elizabeth interned at Mondelez International as a Customer Service & Logistics Interns at their branch in Pennsylvania. There, she worked on collecting data of the warehouse order accuracy and helped design a new pick line in the warehouse. During the spring of 2021, fall of 2021, and this spring, She has been interning virtually for a small consulting firm. She started by doing marketing research and helping create a paper that outlined optimization techniques and processes, much of them relating to Supply Chain Management. She has since helped them with various clients doing data analysis, benchmarking, among other things. She will be working with them full time after she graduates in May of 2022. Connect with Elizabeth on LinkedIn.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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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Joshua Miranda

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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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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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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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Greg White

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

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Karin Bursa

Host of TEKTOK

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

With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.

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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 transitioning from active duty in the US Army. 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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Jeff Miller

Host

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

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Amanda Luton

Chief Marketing Officer

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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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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Billy Taylor

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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

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

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator

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

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Ben Harris

Host

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

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Page Siplon

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Alex Bramley

Sales Support Intern

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

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