In late January 2022, hundreds of heavy-duty trucks headed for Ottawa, Canada. They parked in front of the national legislature building and in nearby streets. Period. They parked. Those drivers shut down most of central Ottawa for 23 days in protest of the nation’s vaccine mandates and related requirements.
But did you know that just a couple of weeks ago there was another truckers strike, one that had the potential to drive even more global business and supply chain disruptions?
In this week’s Dial P audio podcast, Kelly Barner shares the details of the recent heavy-duty truck driver strike in South Korea:
• What drove the drivers to go on strike
• Which global industries were affected and how badly
• The impact and outcomes of the strike
Welcome to dial P for procurement, a show focused on today’s biggest spin supplier and contract management related business opportunities. Dial P investigates, the nuanced and constantly evolving boundary of the procurement supply chain divide with a broadcast of engaged executives, providers, and thought leaders give us an hour and we’ll provide you with a new perspective on supply chain value. And now it’s time to dial P for procurement
Kelly Barner (00:31):
In late January of 2022 hundreds of heavy duty trucks headed for Ottawa, Canada. They parked in front of the national legislature building and in nearby streets, period, they parked those drivers shut down most of central Ottawa for 23 days in protest of the nation’s vaccine mandates and related requirements. Dubbed the freedom convoy. These drivers seized and held the world’s attention for nearly a month. Now let’s consider a few surrounding details. Ottawa in January is not exactly a balmy place. Average temperatures range between six and 22 degrees Fahrenheit the imagination of the world, not to mention their attention and their funds were seized. And part of that actually fed into the energy of the movement. Crowdfunding efforts turned away and money was returned to donors, creating additional debates and locals tried to get involved by bringing in gas and food to help the convoy stay in place as long as possible.
Kelly Barner (01:44):
Now say what you will about the disruption, the inconvenience or the driver’s position, but there is nothing more powerful than individuals willing to put it all on the line for what they believe in these drivers were not wealthy. They were not unionized. We know they weren’t comfortable. And yet for 23 straight days, they changed how the world saw supply chains at the individual human level. Now I’m positive. I wasn’t the only person in the world wondering what kind of precedent the convoy might set. It certainly changed how the world saw drivers in supply chains, but I suspect it changed how drivers and supply chains saw themselves. And yet the convoy faded from the headlines, like everything else. The world moved on to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the baby formula shortage, and the Amber heard Johnny Depp trial of all things until a couple of weeks ago, I was reading the wall street journal and I came across some images that grabbed my attention.
Kelly Barner (03:04):
They had a familiar nature to them and although they were a little bit less colorful than the pictures of the freedom convoy in Canada, they were scenes of a driver’s strike taking place in South Korea in early June, a much quieter strike, much further away from the United States than Canada is brought together between seven and 8,000 south Korean truck drivers, their strike, which lasted eight days threatened a number of domestic industries and companies as well as global industries and supply chains. In my opinion, those drivers in South Korea were actually more successful in getting what they wanted than the Canadian drivers were. So the question that I’m left with is why didn’t the south Korean driver strike garner more attention. And what can we as business people, supply chain professionals learn from how it was resolved. I’m Kelly Barner. I’m the owner of buyers’ meeting point. I’m a partner at art of procurement.
Kelly Barner (04:15):
And I’m your host for dial P here on supply chain. Now I’m constantly scanning the news for interesting complex articles we can discuss. And of course, to see what we can learn from these news stories. Before I continue, I have a quick favor to ask. We’re building out dial P’s independent following. So if you like what you hear today, please, first of all, go explore other episodes. This is just the beginning. Give us a review, a comment, maybe some stars, maybe share an episode. I’m incredibly grateful for your interest and attention. And I definitely wanna hear what you think. So thank you in advance for sharing your time. All right. Now, where was I? Let’s talk about the start of the strike on June 7th nationwide, south Korean drivers went on strike over two very core issues, fuel costs and wages. They didn’t necessarily park in the streets the way the freedom convoy in Canada did, but they did refuse to drive.
Kelly Barner (05:27):
Now, one of the key differences that we see right off the bat between Canada and South Korea is that the south Korean drivers were unionized. The cargo truckers solidarity union represents specialized drivers. They focus on transporting containers and cement. Now the strike actually started with a failed attempt to occupy a liquor plant in ancient, South Korea. And I think it’s fair to speculate that if they had been successful, their strike might have ended up looking a little bit more like the Canadian one, but let’s take a look at the numbers. There are between 22 and 25,000 drivers in the union, depending on what source you consult. 30% of their members reportedly showed up to demonstrate at various locations throughout South Korea. And as I mentioned, this was all about wages and fuel. These are fundamental workers’ rights issues. Fuel currently represents between 30 and 50% of the total driver transport fees.
Kelly Barner (06:34):
And just like in America, fuel costs are way up in South Korea. They’re actually up 50% year over year. Now wages is a slightly different issue between 2020 and 2022 South Korea established a two year minimum wage plan because of COVID 19. They called it the safe wage system. And it was put in place to prevent the drivers from being tempted to engage in risky practices. So overloading their trucks, driving too many hours, generally doing unsafe things in order to get by and cover not only their operating costs, but also their costs of living. So we know from that, that this is an industry and a group of workers that have been receiving attention, least in South Korea. And we also know they don’t have enormous margins, the drivers and, and this is interesting. According to the BBC, there are 420,000 drivers in South Korea, and they’re nearly all considered self-employed workers.
Kelly Barner (07:46):
So they’re independent contractors, which means they are not eligible for the same job protections as other workers are. In addition to that, they’re expected to invest in their trucks to meet the sustainability standards of corporations worldwide. Now, one of the interesting little complications about the negotiations that would follow between the drivers union and the south Korean government is that the government did not recognize the cargo truckers solidarity union as an official trade union. And so it actually led to a delay in communications, starting the macroeconomic conditions in South Korea clearly come into play here. We’ve talked about the minimum wage protections because of COVID 19, we’ve talked about surging fuel rates, and of course we know worldwide supply chains are already disrupted and they’re struggling to come back. Online inflation in South Korea is currently at a 25 year high of 4.8%. And their national growth forecast has been cut this year from 3% to 2.7 from an industrial standpoint.
Kelly Barner (08:59):
I think some of the industries that are strong in South Korea will sound very familiar. We’re talking about automotive steel, cement tires and petrochemicals, which if you are like me, that might not be familiar to you, but think semiconductors, think memory chips. Now that’s starting to resonate. Overall. South Korean exports actually fell 13% year over year during the eight days of the driver’s strike. 90% of national cement shipments simply stopped. 90% of those petrochemicals from 32 companies stopped threatening an overwhelming majority of the world’s memory chips, a related statistic, wireless communication device exports fell by 27%. Now I also mentioned a couple of other industries, steel production, more specifically steel wire and cold rolled steel 450,000 tons were delayed as was the delivery of well over 5,000 vehicles. The export of cars from South Korea fell by 35% and those are broad industries. There were also some specific companies that were impacted.
Kelly Barner (10:31):
In fact, it’s interesting. The labor union specifically targeted not only industries, but companies because they knew where they could have the greatest impact on the economy and the world shares of Hyundai. Stock fell by 5.4% semiconductor company production halved. In fact, one company, south Korean semiconductor pro producer, high Nicks. They were forced to store inventory in parking lots and eventually stop some of their operations. Now, a more familiar name, Samsung their production lines for solid state memory were affected or were they, I found an article in the guardian little insider tip, always read to the bottom to see if there’s a correction. Sometimes the corrections are the most interesting part about an article. One of their articles was amended on June 14th to remove a reference to Samsung electronics. After the Korean international trade association contacted the site and asked them to issue a correction saying that Samsung’s production had not been affected.
Kelly Barner (11:46):
So don’t worry about us world. We’re all set. All of the drivers have stopped driving, but we are good, no problems here. Now the drivers didn’t go as far as they actually could have. If they had engaged in a complete blockade, it would’ve included them stopping shipments of coal to the country’s power plants. So they stopped short of that. And we’ll talk about public opinion in a minute, but that may have been a key component. These drivers in their union have been very savvy. A few of the key events in the timeline on Sunday, June 12th, South Korea enterprises foundation, and 30 other business groups spoke publicly about needing to end the strike. The next day, Monday, June 13th, 44 of the striking truckers were detained. Although only two were actually arrested on Tuesday, June 14th. The day that the strike was actually resolved 6,800 truckers rallied at various sites across South Korea.
Kelly Barner (12:54):
And two more drivers were detained. The total fallout in terms of cost was about 1.2 billion us dollars. The country’s 12 major ports dropped to one third of their normal operating pace and bus on port. One of the world’s 10 busiest, which accounts for 80% of south Korea’s container activity while their dwell time increased from three to four days on average to 11 to four days, that’s four X the wait time. Mostly this strike had a domestic impact, but it certainly threatened global industries and supply chains. Now I mentioned that I thought the south Korean drivers were more successful than their Canadian counterparts. What did they get in terms of concessions from the government or the transport ministry? It took five rounds of negotiations in total, but they got an agreement from the government to keep the minimum wage agreement in place. Now, an interesting thing is that it’s government agreed, but shipper funded, they’re willing to review the expansion of government paid fuel subsidies to help with those additional costs.
Kelly Barner (14:10):
And there’s a possibility that going forward talks may allow for these terms to extend to other kinds of drivers. In other words, beyond containers in cement and beyond this specific union. And of course you don’t deal with something this large without the politicians getting involved. So how did political leaders in South Korea deal with these truckers? South Korea has a relatively new president UN Souk U, and he was hesitant to extend those minimum wage guarantees on Don K an economics professor at soul national university said the following. And this is interesting as well. Quote, the big companies are not foolish. They may hire truckers on their own if this kind of strike resumes or employ other shipping companies whose truckers are not union members. So interesting, not in the government, but a prominent academic. That certainly sounds like a threat. And if you need something, that’s a slightly more explicit threat transport minister, Juan.
Kelly Barner (15:20):
He young warned that the government might step in and either force the drivers to return to work or put them in jail. Now, this is starting to tread into the area of where public perception plays an important role in the outcome of the strike. And of course like any other issue, it really depends on which opinion or source you read or listen to in terms of how the public perceived the strike. There is also a division between how the union was perceived and how individual drivers were perceived as part of the action keeping in mind that these are all independent contractors. You’re really looking at one of the things that has to be resolved as the gig economy grows. So on the one hand, they do need some type of collective bargaining power in order to hold their own with large companies, global industries, governments, but those companies are also looking for these independent contractors to bear the costs of their high visibility sustainability initiatives.
Kelly Barner (16:25):
Now, if I look at this as a driver and I’ve actually featured a quote from a driver on today’s episode, page notes, here’s what he said. All we are asking for is to remove the uncertainty in our lives. When I think about that on an individual level, I can also see extensions for the relationship between large corporations and the much smaller suppliers that they often do business with. You don’t have to be an independent contractor to desperately want to remove the uncertainty in your business life. And of course, threats of jail are never a great look. I do think that social media played an important part in the south Korean driver’s strike, as it did up in Canada. With those drivers, the images were very different, but they were still powerful. That was originally what called my attention to this news story. There are pictures of south Korean drivers sitting neatly in rows and columns or walking near their parked trucks with flags flying up on bamboo poles.
Kelly Barner (17:36):
Now it struck quite a contrast between South Korea and Canada. Canada looked pretty. Rockus maybe fun, depending on what time of day you were there. There were publicized images and videos of the drivers singing the national Anthem and certainly making a mess, but something that both of these strikes have in common, they actually share with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that has been called the first social media war. And I would argue that these two driver strikes equally leveraged the power of social media to get the world’s attention, even if they couldn’t convince everyone in the world to share their point of view. These drivers, again, especially in South Korea are customers of the companies that expect them to drive as independent contractors. We’ve talked about Samsung consumer electronics are an enormous global market, and many of these drivers would have contracts directly with the company to move the goods that they as consumers and that their families and their community members would want to purchase bigger picture.
Kelly Barner (18:50):
We continue to learn more and more about our supply chains. First and foremost, they are designed to keep rolling no matter what they don’t stop and start very well. And it doesn’t take a whole lot to create a bubble in supply. This is especially true and can be leveraged if like the truck drivers union in South Korea, you’re smart enough to target specific companies or industries. They knew that Samsung was the way to get attention. They knew that focusing on semiconductors and automotive would get the world’s attention more quickly. And maybe we’re not as global as we think with Canada being just on the other side of the Northern us border, you couldn’t look at the news and not at the latest on the Canadian driver strike, but I would be willing to bet that the south Korean driver strike escaped a lot of people’s attention.
Kelly Barner (19:52):
Now, maybe we missed the story or maybe the south Korean driver’s union was just that effective. Remember it only lasted eight days compared to the 23 that we saw in Canada. And of course we saw the Samsung correction. No, no, we’re good. No problems here, no need to worry world. Now at the end of the day, I think you can agree or disagree with vaccine issues, wage issues, where fuel costs should be born. But we’re always going to have challenges where small companies or individual contractors are trying to figure out how they can develop and wield leverage to represent themselves and their interests when dealing with large companies. And I happen to think that both Canada and the south Korean drivers provide excellent lessons for us to study and consider. Now, that’s my point of view. Anyway, I’m sure that many of you listening in or reading summaries of this later will hold very differing and passionate opinions about these two driver strikes this like so many of the other issues that we cover here on dial P is complex.
Kelly Barner (21:07):
And there’s no simple answer, but that’s why it’s so important that we stop and read and get the facts and think about the implications that each of these situations has on our decisions, our companies and our industries, after all, we don’t know where the next driver strike will be. Do we, there’s a chance that South Korea was inspired by Canada, who will be inspired by South Korea for that. We’re just going to have to wait. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of dial P for procurement, but please don’t just listen, join the conversation and let me know what you think let’s work together to figure out the best solution until next time I’m Kelly Barner. And I’m your host for dial P here on supply chain. Now
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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.
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.
Data Analytics and Metrics Intern
Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Cisco, Microsoft, 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 University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier 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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.