Supply Chain Now
Episode 1076

Attitude is contagious. If you come to work with a good attitude, everybody around you will probably have a good day. If you come to work with a bad attitude, everybody's going to have a bad day.

- Mark Preston, Founder and CEO of Lean Applications

Episode Summary

Some of the Supply Chain Now’s teams favorite episodes are conversations featuring longtime friends who have achieved amazing things in their personal and professional lives. This episode features one of those special colleagues, Mark Preston, Founder and CEO of Lean Applications.

Mark is a published author, a continuous improvement guru, and a sought-after keynote speaker. He has been driving positive change in manufacturing and sales environments for over 30 years, impacting people and organizations in equal measure.

In this episode, host Scott Luton welcomes Mark back to the show to discuss:

• What Lean really means to him, and what kinds of waste it truly eliminates

• His five-step checklist to help organizations reinvigorate their Continuous Improvement Programs in 2023

• How we can all resist the ‘drama’ and become more focused and productive

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:31):

Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening. Scott Luton here with you on Supply Chain. Now welcome to today’s show. Now, today we’ve got a very special episode. So, you know, when I look back on the, um, almost 1100 podcasts that we’ve dropped, uh, over the last three or four years, some of my favorite shows to do are those with old friends and colleagues that I think really highly of. And today I’m very fortunate to have that opportunity once again. So, our guest today is a global business leader. He’s a published author, a continuous improvement guru, sought after keynote speaker, a former business partner, and a really good friend. And that’s just scratching the tip of iceberg. So get this, our guest has been really driving positive change in manufacturing and sales environments for over 30 years. We’re not supposed to say over 20, I think me and Greg White made that <laugh> that decision here age ago, but Mark’s been at it for, uh, quite some time driving real change and impact, right?

Scott Luton (01:28):

Impacting organizations and people. So he started with TDK Electronics. Do you remember all those cassette tapes we all had back in the eighties and nineties? It was in this critical early role that our guests was able to study Kazan Manufacturing techniques in Japan, right? He’d go on to work at organizations such as Respironics and Acuity Brands Lighting. Now at Acuity, uh, our guest led the, uh, lean deployment really across the company supply chain. We’re talking 16 plants, five distribution centers, and 14 supplier development programs. Lots of rattlesnakes killed, which we’ll, we’ll reference <laugh> a little later on in the conversation. Where, so that makes sense. Currently, our guest is a lean champion for the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, and also serves on the national board for AME as well. So, hey folks, you’re in for a treat today. With all that said on welcome in, my dear friend, Mr. Mark Preston. Mark, how you doing?

Mark Preston (02:23):

Good, Scott. Thank you very much. Looking forward to it.

Scott Luton (02:25):

You bet, you bet. Well, a ton of experience, a ton of impact, ton of outcomes and bottom line results. And of course, you’ve got a big love for working with people, right? Uh, to not only make the processes and organizations better, but, but to develop the people too, right?

Mark Preston (02:41):

It’s about the people. You know, I remember starting my thinking towards, uh, even in, uh, high school. I had a job on the night shift at Bandag Tower Retreads in Griffin, Georgia, okay? And I remember being on the floor with cramps in both legs, thinking to myself, man, I gotta do something about this. I gotta do, I gotta go to college. I gotta do something. And so here I am, uh, many, many years later, and, uh, still love working with people and making their jobs better and making companies better.

Scott Luton (03:15):

Well, you know, uh, I’m, I’m so glad you started there because that’s one of the most important things we can share via this episode, right? Um, it is all about the people, even in this, in this techno, uh, technology driven world we live in. It’s about the people. And, um, and you also beat me to the punch. So I wanna, I know you really well. I’ve had a chance to, um, you know, watch in action, you know, do some of it with you, um, have, you know, break bread and hear a lot of your stories. So, uh, I’m delighted to be able to share a lot of that with our audience. So let’s start with, you just referenced Griffin, Georgia. Is that where you grew up? Mark

Mark Preston (03:50):

Grew up in Griffin. Uh, interesting. I was adopted at three days old to older parents and ended up, um, meeting my birth mother last year, uh, uh, and actually, uh, found out I had a full brother and a half-brother and a half sister. And it’s like, I have a whole new family now in my fifties. And so it’s been a really exciting, uh, journey for me in that regard. But growing up in Griffin, always living in Georgia, you can tell I have the southern accent. So, uh, you know, I, uh, I love the south and I love, um, the food of the South, the barbecue. And I know you love the barbecue here in the south too,

Scott Luton (04:29):

Man. We sure do too much, mark. We love it too much. Um, I was just talking about open air barbecue, uh, the other day, which is a legendary place. Been around since I think the twenties. Okay, so Mark, one, before we get into the, the, the main part of our discussion here today, got two quick questions for you. Number one, where did you get, where did your love for driving? Good, change begin. And number two, one of my favorite questions I’m gonna ask you is, what do folks get wrong about lean?

Mark Preston (04:57):

So the first question I love, I’m a people persons and I love to, to work with people, and I love to see the light bulbs go off in their eyes when they see that it’s not just a, a job a robot can do, but it’s something that you can use your mind with and really come up with creative solutions. And so that engagement factor really drove me to, to driving, uh, improvement in, in companies that are world class, have engaged employees, they don’t have, uh, people that are not engaged. And this is a real true factor in, in manufacturing that I see it. Second question, how do people get lean wrong? Well, lean is not about eliminating people. You know, a lot of people are like, they come from companies, oh, we’re gonna lean out the company and they cut 20% of the employees out.

Mark Preston (05:47):

Well, that’s not what Lean is about. That’s not lean transformation at all. Lean is about eliminating waste. And I don’t know of anybody except for my daughter’s ex-boyfriend, uh, that’s a waste, you know? And so other than him, people aren’t waste. And you’ve gotta really think about what waste can I drive outta my job to make it better? What waste can I drive out of the company? And so my acronym for Lean is living engaged attitude now. Hmm. So people think, oh, lean’s something you do at work. No, are you living lean? Are you living it? Can you find your keys in five seconds or less? Or are you looking for ’em? When you wasting time when you could be with your family and hobbies? So are you living there? Are you engaged? Are you just working for a paycheck? Or are you also working for, to improve yourself and to improve the company? So how are you engaged in what you’re doing? Attitude is contagious. You know, you come to work with a good attitude, everybody around, you’ll probably have a good day. You come to work with a bad attitude, everybody’s gonna have a bad day. Mm-hmm. So attitude is so important in this thing we call lean. And then now is the end. There’s no better time than now to improve. So think about are you living engaged attitude? Now? That’s what I think about when I think about lean and eliminating waste.

Scott Luton (07:15):

Yeah. You know, um, I’ve seen you in action. You know, we go back quite some time, um, and I’ve seen you working with companies that implement Lean the right way, and then it creates a growth opportunities. It actually creates jobs, right? Um, which goes counter kind of prevailing to what some of the folks, uh, out there that make assumptions around what Lean in. So I love that we started with the right definition there. So, uh, mark, um, let’s move into our checklist here. Our powerful checklist, uh, right, um, five ways that organizations can reinvigorate their Continuous Improvement Programs in 2023. So what’s the first one on your checklist?

Mark Preston (07:55):

I’m gonna start with the first three. All involve learning to see how can people see waste better? How can people see how to be more efficient? How to be better quality, how to have better safety. So the first three that I’m gonna talk about is really geared toward helping people see, learning to see. And the first one is gonna be rattlesnake hunts.

Scott Luton (08:21):


Mark Preston (08:22):

And so it’s not a real snake that I’m talking about, <laugh>. It’s, it’s really, uh, something that will bite you. If you see it bite you, if you hear it, if you’re around it long enough, it’ll bite you. It could be a safety issue, a cord that you’re gonna trip on. It could be a quality issue with mixed labels that you’re gonna put on the box wrong, or it could be something that’s not organized that might turn the customer off as they tore the plant. So these are rattlesnakes that are gonna bite you, you know, eventually. And so we call this a rattlesnake hunt, and it’s a three day event that actually is like fives on steroids, a fives,

Scott Luton (09:04):

And really quick. Yeah, mark, I’m glad you’re, you beat me to the punch. What’s fives for some of our listeners out there?

Mark Preston (09:08):

Fives is a tool for organization. It, it involves sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain. So if you have a cabinet and you’re wanting to organize it, you’ll sort it first because you don’t wanna set an order, something that you don’t use anymore, right? So you’re gonna sort it, then you’re gonna set an order, everything’s gotta place, everything’s in its place, and then you’re gonna shine. You’re gonna repaint the cabinet, make it look new again. Um, then you’re gonna standardize, maybe there’s some color coding that makes it easier to find things, and then you’re gonna sustain it, which means really going back and making sure it stays that way. So that’s the fives. But yep, a lot of companies do fives and it becomes negative. It becomes over months. Here comes the police. We better hide everything and then we’ll get it back out later. <laugh>, you know, it’s, there’s nothing on the to-do list, uh, to improve because it just becomes a check the box activity. Well, if you wanna reinvigorate your 5s or really help people learn to see, do a rattlesnake hunt.

Scott Luton (10:13):

So Mark, uh, I’ve been a part of some of your rattlesnake hunts, these, these work, so well, there’s a, there’s an esprit de corps and a camaraderie. There’s even some competition, and I’ve seen it. Um, and I love the, uh, so to our listeners, think of those rattlesnakes that, that, you know, mark just kind of gave some examples. Well, uh, I’ve seen war rooms that are dedicated to these rattlesnake hunts where folks are taking pictures of, of, in some cases, hundreds of rattlesnakes or opportunities for improvement. And then mark, as I, I believe during the three days, you kind of, the teams prioritize what to address, and then they, they, uh, drive real change right there during those three days. Is that right?

Mark Preston (10:52):

That’s correct. First day you go tag and take pictures of, you have three teams with three to five people on each team. And you each, each team has an area to go hunt rattlesnakes in first day, you actually go tag rattlesnakes. So their goal is 100 per team. So they’re gonna put a hundred, 300 pictures on the conference room wall, a hundred per team, and then they’re gonna label ’em, are they safety, quality fives? Then they’re gonna say, what are their top three? That evening after day one, you’ll have 300 pictures on the wall of, of snakes that we want to go kill. The plant manager or the vice president will come in and they’ll judge the biggest rattlesnake, the most rattlesnakes, the biggest safety, the biggest quality. We’ll spare no expense, go to dollar store, go get some candy bars and, and have some prizes the next morning, <laugh>. But it’s a little bit of the pride competition. Who’s got the biggest rattlesnake, right? And then the next two days, they have to kill 80%, which means take the after picture of it being fixed and put it up there next to the before picture. Now what does that give you? Three days, find 300 problems and fix 250 of them. That’s pretty incredible. I don’t think you’ll get that payback in many other workshops like that. And it’s a really great thing for people to get engaged and excited about it.

Scott Luton (12:16):

I love it. I love it. I think we’re gonna offer up a article with more information on rattlesnake hunts. Mark’s been leading them and doing ’em for quite some time, and it’s a really a proven approach. So, okay, so that’s the first one. The first of our list of five, uh, ideas for reinvigorating your continuous improvement. The first one’s rattlesnake hunts. What’s the second one? Mark.

Mark Preston (12:36):

See the big picture? So value stream mapping. If you don’t know how to do value stream mapping, you really need to look at the value stream map of the facility, because we are all in silos with blinders on. We don’t, assembly doesn’t know what shipping does or other departments do, but if you get that big picture of a value stream map, you can really see the product flow, the information flow, and all the data associated with it. So value stream mapping is a key to really understand, because if you don’t do it, it’s just who yells the loudest is where, what, what you’re gonna work on. And you don’t wanna do that, right? You wanna prioritize what’s the most important thing to work on in the whole facility. So you need to do a value stream map. Now, one of the things that I’m starting to do with value stream maps is layer on top of that a quality stream map. So you can imagine what’s the entire quality system look like on top of a value stream map, and it blows away ISO inspectors, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So you can see on one wall the entire quality stream for your facility mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And next I’m gonna put standardized work on top of that so I can see all the standardized work in the entire facility on top of the value stream map. So value stream mapping is definitely number two that will really take, uh, plants a long ways.

Scott Luton (13:58):

Mark, lemme ask a dumb question. Um, I think when folks hear the word standardized and standard work, maybe they make some assumptions, but what, what are we really after there? What, what is standard work?

Mark Preston (14:10):

Well, if it’s not written down, how do you improve it? That’s the question I would have, right? As a sensei. So you gotta start somewhere. What is your standard today that we want to improve? So when I talk about standardized work, it’s what we know is the best so far today in timing and, and efficiency. And what can we do to eliminate waste in that standard to make it a better standard and continue to improve. So when I look at standardized work, there’s a difference in standardized work and work instructions. Work instructions is all the details and all the pictures and everything to train someone. Standardized work is really what are we supposed to do it in? What, what’s the time we should do it in, and what’s the time we are actually doing it in, which is the cycle time. And so we do a really good analysis of that so you can see how you can improve and eliminate waste.

Scott Luton (15:07):

Love that. Oh, thank you. Uh, all right, so the first one, run snake hunts. The second one’s value stream mapping. And as Mark mentioned, there’s some things you can layer on top of that to make, uh, value stream mapping even more valuable. What is item number three? Mark

Mark Preston (15:20):

Playbooks all winning teams. I have a playbook. So if I go to the accounting department and I ask the accounting manager, can I see your playbook? You’re a winning team, correct? So I’d love to see your playbook, you know, will they be able to give me a playbook? And what is that playbook? Is it everyone’s job in the department? Think about what is the, um, we called it a cpoc supplier input, process output and customer of that department, which is a holistic view of that department. What’s all the processes that accounting does that are they mapped out? So if you create a playbook, you have a really good chance of improving in that department. So I use playbooks a lot of times, not only in manufacturing assembly areas, but also in, uh, the office areas. So a playbook is a really key thing to develop in purchasing customer service, accounting, you name it, any department.

Mark Preston (16:22):

And think about it this way, Scott, if you started a job and you go to accounting, you were starting an accounting and, and you go to, uh, the accounting manager, and this is my first day on the job, and that accounting manager gave you a playbook with all the processes mapped out with, uh, their metrics, their, uh, your job description, and what all we’re doing in that department, how much faster will you be, uh, up to speed in a new role? You know, one of the things we did at Acuity, we put in the back of the playbook, all the acronyms, and we had hundreds of acronyms. But think about a new person. How long does it take you to learn all those acronyms? But you got a playbook and you actually can refer to it. So I’d say the third one is learning to see through playbooks. And that means process, mapping your processes and really looking at what goes on in each department.

Scott Luton (17:16):

You know, I really love that one. And, you know, you mentioned the office environment about halfway through your response there. And I think one of the things that I think, you know, I think when some of our listeners maybe hear lean or contagious improvement, they’re thinking like a, uh, a factory floor or something. However, these are really our, it’s a mindset, as you mentioned on the front end. And these are really universal elements, I think of, uh, all the office environments out there and the filing system. I don’t know about you, mark, but I hate when it takes me 27 mouse clicks to get somewhere. It should take me one, you know? And, and, and that’s just like a, a universal opportunity for, for making things easier and more efficient in the days of, of, uh, of our employees’ lives, right?

Mark Preston (18:01):

It’s been, my experience is there’s just as much waste in the office as there is on the plant floor. The problem is you can see a big pile of inventory on the plant floor. You can see people waiting. You can see things on the plant floor that you can’t see in the office until you start mapping those processes. Why does, you know, getting a marketing brochure process take 10 people and five weeks? Why, why can’t we reduce that waste? So it only takes three days to do a marketing brochure. Those are the questions you have to ask. And until you map those processes, you don’t see that waste.

Scott Luton (18:40):

Love that. What a great example. It truly is universal. Um, okay, so we’ve got our first three. The third one there was playbooks. Um, what’s the fourth item for reinvigorating your continuous improvement in 2023?

Mark Preston (18:52):

Communication. So at, Wills was the owner of Sure Seal. And actually we actually, he was a supplier that I worked with on a 13 week Honda supplier development program. They ended up winning the, uh, association of Manufacturing Excellence AME award after five years of work together. And, uh, he said it best, people aren’t afraid of change. They’re afraid of uncertainty. And I think that’s totally true. If you knew what you’re gonna be doing and, and how it’s gonna affect your job, you aren’t as scared, right? So one of the things we did in communicating to that plant is and I and myself and some of the team created on a ping pong table, an entire Lego layout of the shop floor down to the people, the trash cans, the machines, <laugh>, the entire thing was in Legos. And

Scott Luton (19:49):

We, but that was an expensive model. Mark <laugh>,

Mark Preston (19:52):

Sorry, talk to us.

Scott Luton (19:53):

I bet that was an expensive, uh, model, wasn’t it? Legos are very proud of the products.

Mark Preston (19:58):

He had a ton of Legos, so he brought ’em out of his closet, I guess, and started it, and it was good. Loved it. Now people are doing it with 3d, uh, models, right? So you can print it, do a 3D printer and make it up, but how important is it to see the entire layout? Then we got all the employees to come over and give their suggestions on how to improve the layout. Then we put a huge whiteboard in the plant with each month and all the events we were gonna do so that they could see when we’re gonna get to their area to improve it. You know, that’s the key is communication on your lean journey. What are those people talking about in the conference room? How’s that gonna affect my job? When are we gonna do something? And so they just want, whether it’s a newsletter or some kind of, uh, communication, another great way to communicate is to have a wall of fame in your plant.

Mark Preston (20:52):

So people really like their picture. I had something to do with the transformation of this plant. So if you were to submit a suggestion and do it, can you give the before picture, the after picture and your picture, and it goes on the wall of fame in the front of the plant? Not, not only does that communicate to the people on the floor, maybe they have an idea that same idea can be used in their area, but also think of this is a wow factor. A customer comes in, they see a wall of fame with hundreds of improvements, and they wish their company had that because they see the culture there. So it’s a game changer with just a wall of fame. Not only recognizing people, but also sharing ideas and also, uh, really showcasing what you can do as a wild factor to your customers.

Scott Luton (21:44):

All right, so Mark, I wanna ask you, I wanna jog your memory for a second here. You know, cause you’re, you’re, you’re talking about the power of the people. And we both know, um, some of the best ideas, if not, not all the best ideas come from the people for dry, you know, make an impact driving good change. You and I and a colleague grew up in the Pacific Northwest visiting a, a food plant that supplied a, a big chunk of, uh, French cut potatoes for french fries for one of the, uh, most well-known restaurants in the business. And they were telling us the story as we were on the plant talking with the people that one of the, um, this, this high-end potato cutting machine, uh, they were having product kind of spill out of it. And, and, and, uh, one point, one aspect of the machine. Well, one of the operators who knows, who knows it best, had this great idea, they presented a management, and I wanna say, I can’t remember the numbers exactly, but this one idea that was applied to not just that one machine, but of course all the machines, they cut down like 15% in terms of the waste of potatoes. And that was one of my favorite parts of that fa of that whole, uh, trip. You remember that?

Mark Preston (22:49):

Oh, definitely it was an amazing plant and that they still are. And it was just a river of potatoes running through that plant <laugh>. And, and honestly, it was the best break food I’ve ever had. If you remember, they brought out some fresh fried potatoes for us, Steve, ah, for, for break. And uh, but we did a value stream map of that facility. And, and I be back to what you were saying is it was amazing the engagement of the employees and, and some of the best, you know, the experts aren’t the people in the office, they’re the people that do it every day. And you get some of the best ideas from those folks. And this was one of those cases.

Scott Luton (23:25):

Yeah, that’s a, and and I, um, I was remembering those freshly fried, but, uh, wedge, uh, b uh, french fries, uh, the other day. That was one, one. Highlights that trip too. Um, okay, so we have gone through the first four. The fourth tip there was, was really investing in more, more effective communication on a variety of levels before, before french fries jumped in my mind here, mark. So, uh, who, what’s number five is round out this list. What’s the fifth, fifth tip?

Mark Preston (23:55):

The fifth one would be standards. We talked about it a little bit, but I want you to think about standards in a plant. Um, number one, do you have a non-negotiable list? And I say that because people come and work every day from other companies, they don’t know what not to do unless you tell ’em sometimes. And so I encourage every plant to have a non-negotiable list. And it can be as simple as no handwritten graffiti signs. You know, type it up, laminate it. If you’re in the south, if everything’s gotta be laminated, just don’t put a piece of paper up cause it’ll curl up and look terrible in no time. What’s world class look like? And that’s what you want to get embedded into your people. What does the non-negotiable standards, others are like, no flat surfaces above six feet. People put coffee cup on top of their locker, it stays up there for weeks, right?

Mark Preston (24:52):

And so why not put an angled roof on that locker? So you can’t put anything up there. Maybe, you know, no flat surfaces, but I would encourage whatever it is, you come up with your own non-negotiable list and really start off in new employee orientation by telling people what we expect not to see out there on the floor. You know? And so there’s several things that you can come up with, you know, labeling on all designated locations. Um, don’t put water or any liquids on top of electrical boxes. I see this almost every plant I go to. And you, you know, as well as I, if I drop one drop of liquid in my, on my computer, it’s done. But we have water bottles sitting on top of electrical panels and control panels in the plant. And these are million dollar pieces of equipment. So that might be one.

Mark Preston (25:44):

But non-negotiable list is one form of standards. Another form of standards is what is the factory standards when it comes to color coding? What is the highway color? And so I usually go with the OSHA color code standard that you can Google and, and get, but you know, it’s usually yellow, uh, and it’s four inches wide. And these are the alleyways. So there’s standards that you can set in place. Um, the other standards are your metric boards. You know, if you have multiple plants, you know, I always think about if I’m the owner of multiple plants, I don’t want to have to go to a plant and figure out what’s going on on the board. I want some kind of structure and standard around are they doing safety, quality, productivity, delivery and cost, you know, in some form. And so why can’t that be the same everywhere you go?

Mark Preston (26:41):

So what is that standard? And then we talked about standardized work. You know, what is the, the best we know so far? Um, and can we copy that across the board if we’re doing the same operation in many places, we also do what is a model cell? Do you have one area that is almost like you’re testing ground? What is the best? We know this is the best cell or best line that we have in the plant and we’re really trying to make it better. Then we’re copying and pasting quickly throughout the rest of the plant, but we have this one experimental line that’s gonna be best and continues to get better. But that’s the standard. That should be our standard. Everything else should be pulled up to that. So I think standards is number five.

Scott Luton (27:28):

Love that. And you know, one of my favorite parts of senior in action when you, you hold these, uh, these great workshops is your collection of pictures through the years, uh, of folks doing, doing things the wrong way. And you know, it’s funny cause we’ll pass right by these things. You know, if you’re, if you’re there every day and you don’t stop to think about it, but man, to your point, there’s some dangerous situations. And then there’s some, there’s some others that may, may be harmless, but they communicate the wrong standard, especially if you think about the visitors that, that we bring through our factories and whatnot. So I love the fifth being standards cause it’s looking at him, it’s really looking at standards differently and how your facility communicate what, what it communicates and what it implies, right?

Mark Preston (28:09):

That’s right. That’s right.

Scott Luton (28:12):

All right. So, uh, um, you know, I need about six hours with you, mark. Uh, and then we, we, we at least have a more effective, uh, reconnect session. Um, as we start to wrap here, I wanna make sure we mention your book that you published a few years ago, which is entitled

Mark Preston (28:28):

Southern Sensei. Southern Sensei. Of course, I’m from the South. So every chapter’s got a Southern, uh, title waste is like kudzu. You can never stop killing it. And talks about the eight waste. Uh, if the barber goes under, give it a yank on visual trigger system. What causes you to, to reorder the next thing or do the next thing. Uh, going on a Rattlesnake Hunt is one of the chapters in there as well. But Southern Sensei is on Amazon in Barnes and Noble. And, uh, love for you to, uh, take a look at that and anything I can do to help

Scott Luton (28:59):

A lot of timeless, uh, classics there. Uh, and then I don’t know if you, I don’t know if you want to give it up yet in this interview, but I love your title idea for Your Secret, your, your, your next book. You wanna share that?

Mark Preston (29:13):

I’ll No, not right now. <laugh>. I think, well, I will, you know, I think it’s, it’s gonna be a bestseller and the title’s gonna be Drama is the Ninth Waste <laugh> because, uh, I, I think, you know, you have these eight ways, but there’s so much drama. It doesn’t matter what company or or store you’re in or wherever you are, there’s drama and how can you be more professional? How can you have a better vision as a leader? How can you focus better without negative pressures pulling you down and, and being proactive? You know, one of the things about a rattlesnake hunt that we did mention is that it’s about being proactive than reactive. Some of the best companies in the world are more proactive than they are reactive. They’re not always fighting fires, they’re actually killing snakes before they get bitten, right? And so that is a key thing, uh, that really distracts us and distracts our focus and causes a lot of drama in plants.

Scott Luton (30:13):

Agreed. Uh, and I love that because with that drama, you’re creating friction. You know, we hear that that’s, that friction and frictionless has become almost cliches these days. Uh, but it, it really, it’s, it’s a real concept and we feel it, right? So I love the title of that book. I can’t wait for that bestseller. And, uh, it’s a pleasure to reconnect with you here, mark. Um, how can folks, so we’re gonna put some and your bio information on the, on the, uh, uh, uh, episode notes page. But how can folks connect with you? Mark,

Mark Preston (30:43):

Love to work with you. I’m actually, um, southern sensei Uh, you spell sensei, s e n s e i. And my phone is (404) 308-2898. And I have a website. It’s, my, my company’s lean application. So it’s short for lean applications. So

Scott Luton (31:10):

Love it. Folks connect with Mark Preston via those ways. Uh, you can probably find him on LinkedIn, check out his book, uh, convers you’ll leave any conversation with Mark, uh, much better off, much more informed, and probably, uh, chuckling a little bit at some of his stories. So Mark Preston, a pleasure to reconnect with you, um, and really have enjoyed your perspective here.

Mark Preston (31:32):

Thank you, Scott. Thank you very much.

Scott Luton (31:34):

You bet. Okay, folks, hopefully you’ve enjoyed this, what I think is a very practical, uh, episode here with, with these five very practical tips from someone who’s been there and done that, uh, in Mark Preston. So, hey, be sure to find Supply Channel now, wherever you get your podcast from, subscribe so you don’t miss any episodes like this one. You can find us on YouTube. That’s an easy way of connecting and engaging in our episodes. But whatever you do, as I bet Mark can agree, uh, it’s all about deeds, not words, right? Enough that lip service leadership go out and do something about it. So with that says, Scott Luton challenging you to do good, to give forward and to be the change. And we’ll see you next time, right back here at pache now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (32:16):

Thanks for being a part of our supply chain now, community. Check out all of our 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

Mark Preston has been driving change in manufacturing and sales environments for over 30 years using continuous improvement – lean. During his 11 years with TDK Electronics, he studied Kaizen manufacturing techniques in Japan during TDK Executive Sensei training. He later led the TDK Georgia Plant lean initiatives and increased videotape and startup recordable compact disc productivity. After TDK, Mark invested 7 years in various executive roles within Respironics Inc where he implemented Demand Flow Technology. Accomplishments at Respironics include leading the lean layout of a new Kennesaw, Georgia facility, creation of a new structured purchasing organization, improving the supply base by creating and implementing a 13-week supplier development program. As Director of Operations for the Asthma and Allergy Division of Respironics, he teamed with suppliers and engineers using Design for Manufacturing techniques to also launch the Mini Elite portable Nebulizer. In 2006, Mark became the Director of Acuity Business System at Acuity Brands Lighting. He led the deployment of lean in the Acuity supply chain for 16 Plants, 5 Distribution Centers and 14 Supplier development programs. During this time, he continued his personal training with Singijutsu in Japan and was promoted to Vice President of Supplier Development and Operations Excellence. Currently, Mark is a lean champion for the Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME) and is on the AME National Board where he leads the board’s Key Result Area for Enterprise Excellence. Mark is a keynote speaker for organizations across the US including APICS, CSCMP, MODEX, CME, SCOPE and IMPACT Manufacturing. As a founder, Mark is excited to continue his passion of teaching and sharing through Lean Applications. Connect with Mark on LinkedIn.


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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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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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

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

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Kim Reuter


From humble beginnings working the import docks, representing Fortune 500 giants, Ford, Michelin Tire, and Black & Decker; to Amazon technology patent holder and Nordstrom Change Leader, Kimberly Reuter has designed, implemented, and optimized best-in-class, highly scalable global logistics and retail operations all over the world. Kimberly’s ability to set strategic vision supported by bomb-proof processes, built on decades of hands-on experience, has elevated her to legendary status. Sought after by her peers and executives for her intellectual capital and keen insights, Kimberly is a thought leader in the retail logistics industry.

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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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., which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Vicki White


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

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Allison Giddens


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

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

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Billy Taylor


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

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

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

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

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Tandreia Bellamy


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

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

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

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

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Marty Parker


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

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

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Laura Lopez

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Jake Barr


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

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Marcia Williams


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

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Luisa Garcia

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Astrid Aubert

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

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

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

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Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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

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Chris Barnes

Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring

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

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

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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

Director, Customer Experience

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

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Mary Kate Love

Chief of Staff & Host

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

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

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Joshua Miranda

Marketing Specialist

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

Donna Krache

Director of Communications and Executive Producer

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

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