Over the last two years, supply chain professionals have been thrown into the spotlight like never before. While all of that attention brings opportunity, it is also exhausting – and the challenges seem to be never ending, especially for leaders in the pharmaceutical industry.
Jim Cafone is the Vice President of Pfizer Global Supply Chain. He has responsibility for planning and delivery worldwide, including the company’s sales order management functions. Because Pfizer makes vaccines, solid dose tablets, and gene therapy treatments for rare diseases, they employ a broad range of technology platforms to support the people they think of as their last mile: patients.
In this interview, Jim talks openly about what it was like to manage Pfizer’s supply chain through the COVID-19 pandemic with co-hosts Kelly Barner and Scott Luton:
· How his team put a plan together to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine
· Some of the operational hurdles they faced and how they overcame them
· Examples of ongoing Pfizer innovation and his advice for new graduates entering the field of global supply chain
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Scott Luton (00:31):
Hey, good morning, everybody. Scott Luton and special guest host Kelly Barner with you here on supply chain. Now, welcome to today’s show Kelly, how you doing?
Kelly Barner (00:40):
I’m doing good, Scott. I’m always glad to be with you. And of course I wanna wish you happy wear your favorite light blue shirt today.
Scott Luton (00:47):
<laugh> it’s really a thing. It’s on the calendar. It’s on the global calendar, uh, uh, national holiday at the very least. Uh, but kidding aside, big, big show here today, as we’re gonna be interviewing the supply chain leader of an organization that has moved mountains in the last couple years, leading a noble mission and a global battle against the pandemic, Kelly should be an intriguing conversation, right?
Kelly Barner (01:08):
Yes. I’m sure we’re all going to learn a lot over the next bit of time.
Scott Luton (01:11):
Agreed, agreed. So with new, further ado on a welcome in our newest friend, Jim kaon vice president Pfizer global supply chain, Jim, how you doing?
Jim Cafone (01:21):
I’m doing well today, Scott and Kelly. Thanks, uh, for having me here today. I really appreciate it.
Scott Luton (01:26):
You bet. Well, we appreciate you carving some time out. I can only imagine Kelly, uh, how many plates he, how many full plates Jim’s got him and his team, but, uh, where we wanna start before we dive into, uh, kind of, um, our main topics here today, Jim, I wanna get to know you a little better, right? So, uh, we like starting our conversations with now tell us where you grew up, where you’re from and give us some anecdotes about that upbringing.
Jim Cafone (01:53):
Yeah, it’s uh, maybe I’ll start off with, uh, so I grew up, uh, small town in, uh, Northern New Jersey. Okay. About 10 minutes away from, uh, giant stadium. Uh, 15 minutes away outside the Lincoln tunnel town called Bloomfield, um, uh, blue collar town mostly. Okay. Uh, and uh, spent a lot of time there. I was 17 and then went on a university.
Scott Luton (02:22):
Well, so does that make you a giants fan?
Jim Cafone (02:26):
I’m always, uh, rooting for the underdog and I think the giant fans tend to be a little bit more elitist. So I’m a jet fan.
Scott Luton (02:33):
<laugh> <laugh> the New York jets. Love it. Um, yeah. Um, alright, so one quick follow up question. Uh, you left town to go to school. Where’d you go to school?
Jim Cafone (02:44):
I went to, uh, university of Rhode Island. So I completely got out of, uh, semi city living and then went up to the beautiful shores of, uh, the ocean in Rhode Island,
Scott Luton (02:55):
Man, Kelly. He paints quite a picture there. Huh?
Kelly Barner (02:58):
<laugh> I know. And actually, Jim, I wanted to ask you, cuz I think I have this right. Is it true that in the whole state of New Jersey, you’re not allowed to pump your own gas
Jim Cafone (03:07):
<laugh> that is true. That is true. We are the only state, uh, well new Jersey’s the only state and I guess you’re not, you still not allowed to do it. And nobody really understands why, but every time it gets brought up for a vote, for whatever reason, it still stands. So man, well
Kelly Barner (03:22):
Scott Luton (03:24):
<laugh> so <laugh> I had no idea Kelly, the things you learn here, little fun to it. Yeah. I’ve got some goo and do this afternoon, but uh, Jim, one final question about your upbringing, uh, from New Jersey to Rhode Island to wherever you are now. Um, what was one food dish in the CA phone household that was inseparable from your, your childhood
Jim Cafone (03:47):
Growing up? Uh, I would probably say lasagna. Okay. With an Italian last name. That would be it <laugh>. That would be it. That was the one that you always look forward to when you came home and you, uh, and mom had made it. Yep. That was it.
Scott Luton (04:04):
<laugh> man. Okay. Well, uh, I know what we’re having for dinner tonight. Uh, Kelly Barner making me hungry. All right. So Kelly, we’ve done, we’ve gotten kind of a little bit about, uh, Jen’s background. I’m sure there’s a lot more there. Uh, we’ll try to get to who knows what else might come out in today’s interview, but where are we going next with Jim? Kaon
Kelly Barner (04:23):
Sort talk a little bit about the bigger picture. Um, so given the leadership role that not only supply chains, but also the pharmaceutical industry has been in over the last couple of years, like to hear a little bit more about your past experience with leadership. Can you talk to us about one key leadership role that particularly formed your own worldview and, and maybe even impacted the trajectory of your career?
Scott Luton (04:49):
Jim Cafone (04:50):
Yeah. It’s a great question. So would I think the secret to your question is that the word worldview right worldview? So, um, probably one of the best roles I had from a global perspective, 2004 to 2007, I was responsible for, uh, I was vice president of our European manufacturing, uh, and supply division at a company called w pharmaceuticals w was eventually purchased by Pfizer. But I think that was my first time in a significant leadership role outside the United States, living outside the United States and having varying people, uh, in my organization where, uh, multiculture, um, and multilingual certainly. And you know, the interesting thing about being in, in the United States versus Europe, that I was fascinated me is in the United States, you drive a hundred miles. Everybody still speaks the same language. You still see, uh, target, you still see Walmart, you still see a lot of the same, uh, Starbucks and dunking donuts. When you drive, you know, a hundred miles or a hundred kilometers in Europe, you could drive through four different languages in six different countries. It’s amazing. Yeah. So that was probably the, one of the biggest assignments, my late thirties, early forties, where I really learned a lot.
Kelly Barner (06:12):
And you were stationed in Europe for that role?
Jim Cafone (06:14):
That’s correct. Yeah. I was one of the things, you know, Kelly, I, when, when, when I was offered that role, I didn’t wanna be doing that role from, so sitting in the United States, you know, your, your classic American companies, like to sort of give people responsibility for geographies outside the United States, but, you know, um, it, it’s always better if you can immerse yourself in is really what it comes down to, you know? Yeah. Time zones. And I think the other thing too, is I think people appreciate more of, you know, again, this is pretty COVID of being able to see you in their time zone and, and visit travel those sorts of things. Yes.
Kelly Barner (06:54):
Yeah. So now that we’ve sort of walk through your tour up to the current point, tell us a little bit, I mean, most people have heard of Pfizer, but if you would just start us by telling us a little bit more about how you describe Pfizer as a company, and then of course, tell us more about your role there.
Jim Cafone (07:12):
Yeah. So Pfizer and, you know, obviously it’s, uh, it’s, it’s one of the names nowadays that, you know, most, if not all people know, right. Um, fortunate or unfortunately due to, uh, you know, a pandemic, um, you know, but we are, um, a company that is probably one of the largest, you know, healthcare providers, uh, manufacturers and, and our purpose is, is breakthroughs that change patient’s lives. Our goal every day, every Pfizer employee comes to the office with the intention of we’re logging on their computer these days, right. With the intention of, you know, uh, supporting a patient. And, and it’s a pretty noble mission because each one of us, no matter who you are, uh, always, you know, fortunately, or unfortunately has, um, you know, a patient around them, right. We all know a patient. Um, the patient in some cases is ourselves, or it’s a relative or it’s a child or something along those lines, but that’s really what our goal is. So, um, you know, I can give you all the statistics, you can find it on pfizer.com, uh, sales products, all those great things, but that’s really, you know, Pfizer, what, what we are breakthroughs that change patients lives. Yeah.
Kelly Barner (08:31):
And how about your role?
Jim Cafone (08:33):
So I’m the head of our worldwide supply chain. So, uh, in the supply chain world of plan source manufacture deliver, I have responsibility for all the planning and I have responsibility for all the delivery globally, uh, including our sales order management functions. And then I have a peer in mine that does all of the, um, uh, procurement. And then I have multiple peers that do actually the manufacturing in our, in the Pfizer world. We don’t just make vaccines. We make solid dose tablets. We do work in, uh, rare diseases like, you know, for, uh, in gene therapy. So we have a multitude of technology, uh, platforms, um, and it’s, uh, so, you know, my team is again, responsible for the direct direct planning, and then also the delivery of those who are patients mm-hmm, <affirmative> the last mile,
Scott Luton (09:31):
You know, uh, I was really looking forward to meeting you here today, Jim, and learning more from your perspective, especially given the last few years, I had a chance, uh, probably about, uh, 10 years ago. Now, I think it was to visit your, uh, uh, Pfizer head of small operation at the time down in Al Albany, Georgia. And I think I said that right, Kelly, um, there’s all kinds of ways we can pronounce, uh, different towns in our, uh, great state of Georgia, but, um, it was fascinating to meet the leaders, to meet some of the team members to, um, see the operation. We had a, we, uh, led a small training class down there and so fast forward now to everything that has transpired and to be able to meet, you know, one of the, uh, global supply chain leaders. Um, and this is, this is really a treat for a supply chain nerd like me.
Scott Luton (10:18):
So where I wanna dive into next, uh, Jim, now that, uh, Kelly’s really, um, helped our listeners really level set with your background and kind of how you view clearly, uh, your priority. We just heard there, Kelly is on the mission. I mean, I love that about, um, about a lot of supply chain practitioners. So I wanna focus in, we all know, uh, the noble mission that a Pfizer team has been deeply immersed in, you know, moving mountains. I mean, really doing some things that we never thought could be done, uh, just a couple years ago, especially related to the COVID 19 vaccine. So, uh, a couple questions for you, Jim, first off, given all the complexities involved, right. Uh, we were talking pre-show about, you know, when you got a big problem, a lot of folks, I know I’ve done it before you kind of admire the problem. You compliment the problem. You’re kind of overwhelmed and you never get to, you know, doing something about it. So starting there, when it comes to, you know, disseminating a COVID 19 vaccine, you know, around the world, how did, how did you and the team, uh, put the plan together initially?
Jim Cafone (11:25):
Yeah, it’s a great question. Um, and you know, for me to really, I, I, I almost wanna walk you back to if I could, um, to, you know, I guess it’s early 2000 early, 2020, right. And, and, and if you could maybe, um, I wanna kind of like put you into the, like where we were at the time. Right? Sure. So, so, you know, in early 2020, basically what happened was, is, um, the Chinese government, it was January 12th, uh, uploaded the COVID SARS, uh, genetic sequence right now we, um, at the time, you know, were starting to see quite a lot of patterns around the world because, because of the broad based portfolio, we have, you start to see ordering patterns change, right? You start to see certain categories start to see a tremendous amount of, of uptake. And a lot of it was for our hospital emergency rooms settings, right?
Jim Cafone (12:36):
So January early February, we started to see that we also have, you know, manufacturing operations in China. And we started to get early hand, you know, on what was happening. Right. So Pfizer, as a company knew that it wanted to contribute to this, you know, that we, we never used the word compete, right? We used the words contribute, and there were a lot of ways that you can contribute during this sort of situation. You could go in it and try to prevent the disease through vaccine technology. You could try to treat the symptoms of the disease once people have it. Right. Right. And I think what, what our CEO was adamant about was trying to contribute anywhere we could. Mm. So when we, and this is specific to the vaccine, right. We didn’t really know what kind of vaccine technology we were gonna go with.
Jim Cafone (13:31):
And, and let, let me try to explain that a little further is there’s many different types of, uh, vaccine technology. You can, you know, there’s things such as like what I would call live attenuated viruses. There is inactive viruses, there’s viral vectors. And then there’s this new technology that we went with, which was mRNA, right. When we were talking about contributing, the question is your population in the world is 7.5 to 8 billion people. Right. We didn’t wanna just contribute in the Western world. We didn’t want to just contribute 10 million doses or a hundred million. We specifically, we’re, we’re driving ourselves towards really, you know, changing the entire paradigm of how you do this. So the point I’m trying to make is, you know, when you were asking the original question, Scott is in the first quarter of 2020, we didn’t really know what technology we were going with. And then it was our CEO working with, uh, another company by the name of Biointech, where we first struck a deal with them, for what we thought was this breakthrough technology that didn’t allow you to just have 50 million, a hundred million doses, you could have billions of doses. Right. That was the big,
Scott Luton (14:58):
Which would support, you know, world, the world. Yeah. And, and your as
Jim Cafone (15:01):
Many people as you could in the world,
Scott Luton (15:02):
Correct? Correct. And your desire to, to really not just make a small dent universe, but, uh, change a paradigm as you put it, Jim. Right.
Jim Cafone (15:10):
Exactly. Exactly. So, you know, you’re, you’re dealing, I mean, let’s, let’s, you know, remember, you know, you’re dealing with a worldwide health crisis, you’re dealing with something that was spreading around the world, exceptionally rapid, and you needed, you, you just needed a breakthrough technology in order to do so. We bet on this new mRNA vaccine technology, and we bet that technology probably in the March of 2020 timeframe. And we bet at that time that we were gonna hopefully try to get something on the market, but be able to scale it for billions of doses. So as we were going through that, we were, you know, with our Biointech partner and, you know, we saw our phase one phase two trials in April. And in may, we selected a final candidate dose in actually July, by the way, we had 42,000 patients in the clinical trial, right. A big clinical trial, maybe a thousand. This is 42,000.
Scott Luton (16:16):
Wow, wow. In a short amount of time as well,
Jim Cafone (16:20):
Short amount of time. And it was the most diverse trial we’ve ever, you know, conducted right from a female male cultural perspective all around the world. Right. Um, and to make a long story short, we, you know, had, we went through, um, our phase two phase three, and it was in sort of the March timeframe, I’m sorry, November timeframe, where, when we UN you know, unveiled all of our phase three trials, and that’s where we sort of knew we had a winner now, all in that parallel time from March until November, our team had just about every night was sleepless. Cuz we had to build a supply chain for billions of doses using a technology that we had never used before.
Scott Luton (17:13):
Jim Cafone (17:13):
Let me put it until maybe one more perspective and I’ll, and then I’ll let you sort of, you know, an, um, ask me, you know, some other thoughts, but the number one vaccine at the time within Pfizer is a product called preor. So in 2019 we produced two, 200 million doses, 200 million in 2021, we produced just over 2 billion doses. And in 2022, all things being equal will produce roughly around three and a half billion doses. Wow. So the, the amount of scale that we went to based on this bet of the mRNA was I, I it’s was probably the greatest manufacturing feat since probably Henry Ford and the, you know, Ford production system.
Scott Luton (18:08):
Uh, Jim there’s. So man, uh, Kelly, I don’t know about you, but my mind is racing with, uh, different, uh, aspects of this story. And we’re just kind of getting outta the gate here. Yeah. But Kelly will give you a chance to respond to what, uh, what Jim just shared with us.
Kelly Barner (18:22):
Sure. So I guess the, the first thing that comes to mind given what we’ve discussed is that Jim, you started with us really kind of talking about how each person comes to work every day or turns on their laptop every day, knowing a patient, right. Sort of that singular motivating drive to want to make a contribution and to scale from that to the billions of doses. Right. And, and reproducing the vaccine on that scale. That’s an amazing thing. If you can connect sort of the detailed, personal connection with that, with that larger mission. Um, what I would love to know about, cause I remember this window of time that you’re talking about this was sort of when everybody was, well, everybody else was discovering supply chain for the first time. Um, and there was a lot of discussion around how cold it was going to have to be. Right. So people are learning about cold chain logistics. Um, and I would, I would love to know anything that you’re able to share about how your team was receiving new information during that time between, I think you said March and November when I’m sure things were relatively fluid because everyone was moving so fast trying to build a supply chain for sort of a moving target. Mm-hmm <affirmative> what was that time like for you and your team?
Jim Cafone (19:43):
Yeah. I, um, here’s the best way to sort of describe this. We optimized on volume, how much volume can we, you know, what, what is the, what is the patient population we could hit, right. And which is one of the reasons why, and again, you know, I credit our CEO for this and, and the, and the, our vaccine scientists is we knew the mRNA technology. And I can get into a little bit about what that is, but what that basically fundamentally is the software code. So Pfizer became a software provider overnight because what you do is, is that you take a piece of the DNA, uh, software out of the spike protein. You transcribe that into transcript that into RNA, and then you replicate the RNA, right? And I’m not a virologist, I’m not a scientist. I’m
Scott Luton (20:36):
That makes three of us. I think I can safely say that
Jim Cafone (20:39):
<laugh> but what it allows you to do is exceptionally efficient to grow large scale. Right. Here’s the challenge with RNA, which I think, I think you were, you’re, you’re getting at, um, Kelly is RNA. Doesn’t like heat, right? So like, uh, the analogy I always use is, you know, if you cut an apple and you leave it on your counter, you cut a banana and leave it on your counter. You come back an hour later, it’s browned out. Well, if you take a piece of, um, RNA and you’ll leave it on your counter, if you could do such a thing, it would brown out in about two nanoseconds. So the, when we, we were looking at the fact that if we were gonna manufacture this for speed and scale is we would have to go out with a deep frozen, and it was minus 80 to minus 90 Celsius.
Jim Cafone (21:30):
Wow. And, and, and you remember right in the first quarter of 2020, even into the second quarter, most people were stating it couldn’t be done or it was stupid to be done. Right. Right. So that was another big bet and a big, you know, again, um, another big, what I would call a bravery moment inside of Pfizer, because what happened was, is we could have gone out with perhaps a let’s call it less cold version, maybe something that’s not at minus 90, maybe it’s minus 20, maybe it’s two to eight degrees Celsius, but that would take time. Right. We’d have to reformulate, you’d have to put perhaps preservatives, there’s different things you may have to do. And again, I’m not, um, I’m not a, uh, you know, chemistry, uh, virologist. Right. Um, but we optimize on speed and we said to ourselves, if we can get this thing out, which we ended up as, you know, getting and out in 10 months. Yeah. Which by the way, the, the, the, the previous world record was around 10 years for a vaccine
Scott Luton (22:44):
Jim Cafone (22:45):
Right. Um, now I, you know, maybe I should correct myself. I think Ebola, uh, I think the Merck, which I have a great degree of respect from, I think they got theirs out in about three to four years, but this was nine months. Right.
Scott Luton (22:57):
Jim Cafone (22:59):
So if we were gonna go out with something that, you know, cold chain, non cold chain, it would’ve taken us a lot longer. And then, you know, what happens when you delay therapies, the critical patients lives are impacted. That’s fundamentally. So,
Scott Luton (23:14):
All right. So much to talk about. So little time, uh, and Kelly, we’re gonna, uh, make sure Jim has an opportunity to speak to any other, you know, operational hurdles that came with this, this ma this massive game, changing world, changing mission. I mean, it really, there’s no different way that might sound dramatic, but it really lives were on the line. And things were being done in a way, and in a fashion that had never been done before. Um, but I wanna go all the way back to where you started your response there, Jim, you know, you talked about that you and the team wanted to contribute, not compete, you know, and that’s where, that’s one of my favorite parts about what we saw during the pandemic is we saw companies that were fierce competitors work together to serve humanity. And that’s gonna stick with us for a long time.
Scott Luton (24:04):
And, and that’s how we were able to working together to achieve, uh, and really make sure that the, the, the vaccine was widely available. Right. Um, beyond the sci science behind it. Cause I can tell you, uh, miss Beckham, hopefully you’re not listening, but, uh, I was not the chemistry, a student. Uh, so Jim, thank you for putting in terms that that most of us can, can approach, uh, one Le one other thing I think it’s really important not to get lost in shuffle is the 42,000, um, folks that were, that were part of the, the trials right. To, to, to mitigate the risk and, and to, um, and to make sure it was safe for everybody, Jim, you even said it, a thousand people make up a lot of those trials, 42,000 Kelly. Can you imagine that data, uh, you know, we talk about big data, uh, you know, can you imagine the, what had to be accomplished there, right.
Scott Luton (24:56):
To get that in the right hand. So the right decisions were made, we can move forward. And all of this, these are just a couple little, little tidbits, all this being done in that, with the backdrop that was 20, 20 and 2021. I mean, this is like fascinating stuff that, that businesses will be studying for, for, uh, decades to come. So Kelly, I’m gonna give you a chance to comment on, on kind of what we were just talk, what I was just sharing there, and then I wanna get back and, and talk any other operational hurdles that Jim wants to, uh, share with us, Kelly, your thoughts.
Kelly Barner (25:28):
Sure. No, I, I, I think it was a great unifying moment, right? It was like everyone had a role to play, obviously you and your team at Pfizer and the, the partners that you cooperated with, but it, it allowed certainly people watching from home to learn the power of supply chain, even beyond this particular instance. But then all the people Scott, that you mentioned that were, were part of the trials and were simply willing to be part of the solution. It really was an incredible unifying moment that I think the world needed against the backdrop of some very difficult circumstances.
Scott Luton (26:00):
Well said, Kelly well said, you know, we, we’ve got friends at ups and FedEx and to hear both leaders from both organizations mentioning each other’s company names yes. And same conversations that was, that’s unheard. You know, that stuff doesn’t take PLA that doesn’t happen. And, uh, so, uh, this will is one silver lining. That’s gonna stick with all of us for quite some time. Okay. So, uh, Jim, I wanna give you a chance to weigh in. There’s a couple of things we wanna chat with you about, uh, but any other operational hurdles and, and how the team was able to overcome them that you wanna share with our audience.
Jim Cafone (26:35):
Yeah. I, there, there was like four main things. We were, we were really working on Scott. One is, you know, we had to certainly build out a manufacturing process for billions. We had to build out a network and it wasn’t just steel, you know, stainless steel. It was, uh, a network of, you know, providers, as you said, you, you know, you said ups, FedEx, many different, uh, logistics providers around the world, many different suppliers around the world. Right. Um, uh, many governments cooperated, I mean, unbelievable collaboration and cooperation with, with just about every government that we had gone through. So we, we were really successful in, uh, pulling together what I would classify as, um, you know, a mosaic of partners in order to really get this job done. And, and the, and the, and the, um, you know, the great thing that we were able to do is, you know, really do this at the speed of science. That’s really what we’re up against is the speed of science. So we talk about supply chain, the speed of science dictated our supply chain. And, and, and let me tell you the, um, everything that we were doing, you know, inside of Pfizer at the time is, you know, trying to do this and what, you know, we called light speed. That’s really what we were doing.
Scott Luton (27:59):
Yep. Uh, well said, Jim, um, being able to operate the speed of science and have the operational execution to enable that is, is a, uh, intriguing part of this story. Um, Kelly, um, really quick, there was a great Harvard business review article. Uh, we were talking about earlier today with, uh, Greg white and Kevin L. Jackson. And it talked about how, um, uh, technology and supply chain it’s really, technology’s driving highly evolving relationships and partnerships, uh, in global supply chain. That’s kind of what Jim’s speaking to is what you and I were speaking to a minute ago. Uh, and it’s remarkable what, um, what good that would do for, uh, consumers and markets, like, um, one final thing for our turnover to Kelly, uh, kind of going down the innovation path. Jim, I wanna ask you about usre decor, you know, as we have interviewed countless supply chain leaders from other organizations that were involved involved in different ways, uh, in the noble mission to protect, uh, humanity, uh, whether it’s vaccine related or, or, or related in other, um, activities, you know, time and time again, Kelly, I remember a couple more interviews we did together.
Scott Luton (29:11):
Um, you know, they folks would stop in the tracks and tell their leaders how, how this is different. You know, this is, um, this is, this is, I’ve got a whole new levels of purpose in what I do and the PRI Corps and the camaraderie that came out of that was just this, some of my favorite stories, Jim, speak to that. Uh, and what you saw happen amongst the Pfizer team, uh, as you, uh, went down and, and fulfilled this noble mission.
Jim Cafone (29:38):
Yeah. We, you know, so, you know, it’s like I, I said earlier, focusing on the patient, everybody knows a patient, right. And you know, that patient may have a healthcare challenge for one reason or another. What COVID did was COVID sort of said, wait, we have a pandemic. So 7.6, 7.7 billion people in the world could be impacted. So, um, so, you know, that was a great sort of, uh, gravity force for everybody in Pfizer. I think the other thing too is just, you know, again, you’re, you know, we’re headquartered in New York city and my God, the first quarter of 2020 in New York city was just tragic just to walk around and to see what was happening. Um, and then, you know, people were losing family members. There was a lot of different emotional things that were occurring all over that really made this, you know, the great sort of forcing mechanism for everybody advisor, you know, all 78,000 colleagues of ours. And everybody had some contribution, even if you weren’t part of the COVID vaccine, your job was to keep the base business running, um, operating rooms still needed to occur, right. Uh, hospital areas, doctors, pediatricians, all, you know, all the frontline workers that, that kept going. So, you know, it’s not like we were fortunate to sort of say, well, let’s put the entire company behind, you know, the vaccine and then we’ll stop everything else. No, that’s not what we could do. We had to do both things at the same time. Yeah. You know, so
Scott Luton (31:24):
Remarkable, uh, Kelly Barner, I’ll tell you, uh, I wish we had several hours and hours with Jim and the team, uh, cause of, I can only imagine the book that, that can, that could be written, uh, related to, um, uh, this mission, but Kelly, where are we going next with Jim?
Kelly Barner (31:42):
So we’re actually gonna find out how all the things that we’ve talked about up to this point continue today and into the future. So Jim, you’ve talked about the innovative potential that already existed within the ranks at Pfizer and how that was accelerated so that you could, I think you said move at the speed of science. You were working at light speed. You talked about how has that momentum around innovation continued to shape not only your team and your organization, but also what you can achieve going into the future.
Jim Cafone (32:15):
Yeah, so it, Kelly, it, it has forced us, you know, light speed and the light speed thinking has forced us to say, why can’t we do this for everything? You know, we, and, and, you know, I wanna give a little bit of just context during this whole project. We were our corporation. And I can tell you, you know, the corporation, in my particular situation, we, they never said, no, we put billions of dollars at risk walls were broken down. It, it was okay. Not being in a conversation. It, it broke down the entire paradigm of governance and how you should do things. Right? So now the question is, is, you know, now that we’ve done this for a product, and by the way, we’ve also it’s, it doesn’t get as much sort of focus, but we also had a second light speed project for a product we call PLI, right? So that is an oral, uh, antiviral medicine. It was also brought to the market and world record time. But what allows you to do is it allows you to say, well, if we can bring a vaccine to market in nine months, 10 months, why can’t we do this for everything? Cause at the end of the day, patients are waiting, right? Yeah. That’s, that’s really the way that it’s, it’s really fundamentally shifted the entire thinking, uh, at Pfizer.
Scott Luton (33:44):
Yeah. Kelly, I love that question. Why can’t we do this for everything? I mean, that is gonna be one of my favorite takeaways, uh, from this conversation, your thoughts, Kelly.
Kelly Barner (33:54):
Well, and it’s funny, Scott, because what I actually thought of as Jim was sharing that was Amanda. Um, I know your wife, Amanda has lots of inspirational quotes in the kitchen for, for you and the kids. <laugh> and what the little plaque in my kitchen says, what would you try if you knew you could not fail? And it’s, that’s a acute home kitchen wi but for Pfizer to do that as a global organization, that’s an entirely different lift. Um, and I have to think from a mindset standpoint and a risk tolerance standpoint, like you said, it completely broke down the paradigm and allowed you to rebuild it in a way that I’m sure we’ll be seeing positive echos from for years and years and years.
Scott Luton (34:40):
Agreed. Agreed. And I, I like that phrase. I’m gonna have to steal that one too. What would you try if you certainly could not fail? We’ll have to revisit that Kelly. Um, alright, so <laugh>, we’re gonna shift gears as we’re coming down the home stretch with, uh, Jim kaon from Pfizer Kelly, what’s one of the last couple of questions we’re gonna pick his brain on.
Kelly Barner (35:01):
We’re actually gonna kind of stay in a similarly spirited place. So Jim, given everything that you’ve seen and experienced and all the lessons you and your team have learned, if you were speaking to someone that were early in their career in supply chain, or who had recently shifted from another function to work into supply chain, what advice would you offer them?
Jim Cafone (35:25):
You know, the first thing I always like to say to anybody that’s young, you know, first starting out in their career is find your purpose and go work for a company that hopefully shares that same purpose. Okay. Um, you don’t have to work in healthcare. There’s plenty of supply chains for water, food, um, anything you can to contribute to society, right. Um, so it’s really finding your own personal purpose, your personal mission. Now that’s difficult at times for, for young, you know, graduates. Um, so what I always say is, is that don’t sweat that out too much either because you can’t really make a, a wrong decision in supply chain. Supply chain is a horizontal science. It’s not a vertical science now. There’s probably a lot of experts that would disagree with me on that. But <laugh> supply chain is a systems engineering world, right?
Jim Cafone (36:25):
You’re bringing together all sorts of people and you’re building that mosaic tile, um, that I, that I showed earlier. So try everything out and sooner or later you’ll find, you know, an organization or something you’re doing that fits the purpose that you want to do, but don’t expect it the first time out or the second job or the third job. Yeah. You just have to continue to keep trying it. And it’s one of the things that’s kept me in healthcare. You know, I talked to a young student the other day that just got a, um, a position with a company, a water company that’s, uh, you know, building filtration units for the emerging markets. I mean, there, there’s nothing better than, than water. You know, if you think you need a vaccine, the person you need when you wake up is water, right? So like there’s a lot of different things that people can do, but stay true to your purpose and, you know, accept the fact that it’s gonna take you a little bit of time to do that. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Cause at the end of the day, supply chain to some degree is supply chain. You know,
Kelly Barner (37:28):
I think that’s a fair add. I like the fact that you’re saying give it some time, you know, be on the lookout for your purpose, but I don’t expect it to be sitting on your desk your first day on the job, cuz it, it takes time. I know from my own journey, you slowly figure out how all these systems come together and operate. And so you may not even realize the total reach of the supply chain that you’re contributing to. And so you’ve really kind of absorbed how it all works together. So I, I think that’s a great piece of advice and I hope people take it
Scott Luton (37:57):
Agreed. And I like, I like your thought there. Oh, oh, it would be nice in this life. If you could show up on, on Monday morning at your desk and your purpose, be sitting there with a bone top, I know it’d make it so much easier. Wouldn’t it? Um, and coffee, what’s that joke?
Jim Cafone (38:12):
I said, it takes time, you know, look, I’m an engineer and I never thought I’d ever work at a pharmaceutical company and I wanted to do work in automotive. And um, you know, I did for a while. Um, but you know, through many zigzags through your career, you find healthcare. That was me, other people is different. So yeah, it takes time and, and that’s okay. There’s I have the, the time the fun is in the journey, not in a destination. Right.
Scott Luton (38:38):
Completely agree. Beautifully. A beautiful point to kind of wrap up today’s conversation with, um, really do you know, we’ve seen so much try not to be cliche the last couple years, you know, consumers have seen so much, consumers have really learned so much more about industry and let’s, Hey, let’s face it. Some things just didn’t work out. You know, we’ve, we we’ve talked a lot about, uh, some of the, some of the breaks and supply chain, different products. If you go in your local grocery store, you know, there’s no shortage of stories there, but you know, Jim really do appreciate, uh, what you and the Pfizers team and, and all the folks that made up the noble mission, you know, they told a much different story and educated and informed global consumers around why it’s so important to be able to do what we do in, in supply chain.
Scott Luton (39:26):
And, and of course just the, um, the front end of that, the pharmaceutical story there is, is fascinating. That just, that’s just, uh, another chapter to the story. So thank you for what you and the team continue to do, uh, and appreciate your time here today. All right. One final question. Uh, two final questions. First off Jim and, and Kelly. Kelly’s got it. Good. You know, she’s in Boston, um, Kelly, I believe you’re a Patriots fan and y’all have been spoiled, right. Trophy after trophy. Um, I’m in Atlanta, Jim. So, uh, the Falcons have had opportunities, but we’re kind of going through the, uh, a tough rebuild. So Jim, that brings me to, uh, a little fun question here. Are the jets gonna make the playoffs this year? Do you wanna offer up a fearless prediction?
Jim Cafone (40:10):
Well, as a jet fan, we always like to say they will, but we know deep down that it’s always a tough way. It takes, it takes some real true, uh, bleeding green to convince yourself that you may not make it, but that’s okay. We go to every game and, uh, you know, we always support the team. <laugh>
Scott Luton (40:30):
I love it. I love it. Wait, we’re all, uh, pulling for a return. What Vinny test the Verde leading the jets during one of their playoff runs years ago, but we’ll see how it plays out. I’m I’m glad, I think we’re all glad football is just about back with us. Um, finally, if folks wanna, uh, you know, connect with you, learn more about this fascinating story that, uh, you know, we scratch the surface on here today, or they wanna learn more about different elements of, of the Pfizer story. Some of the other things you mentioned, what’s the easiest way folks can learn more
Jim Cafone (41:00):
There’s uh, so a couple of ways. Uh, so first of all, you could just go to pfizer.com. A lot of what I said is already out there, uh, the second day, uh, secondarily, there’s a really interesting book that describes, uh, the entire vaccine story of Pfizer it’s called moonshot. Right. And, um, that was written by, um, our CEO and he describes basically, um, the, uh, this entire story. So it’s moonshot, uh, our, our CEO’s last name is Borla B O U U R L a. You can Google it, Amazon. It it’s a great, uh, read. Um, or you could certainly get a hold of me through LinkedIn, uh, email anyway, you know, to do that. And, um, like all of us at Pfizer, we’re, we’re really here for patients. So, uh, you know, anything we can do to help humanity in that way, we’re always willing to do so.
Scott Luton (41:56):
Love that Jim kaon vice president Pfizer, global supply chain. I gotta tell you, uh, Jim, thank you for your time first off.
Jim Cafone (42:05):
Thank you. It was great being here
Scott Luton (42:07):
Jim Cafone (42:08):
Could have talked to you all afternoon, too, right? I agree with you
Scott Luton (42:11):
So much more. We’ll have, have to have you back, but Hey, the automotive industry’s lost, but certainly, uh, healthcare’s gained. Uh, so I’m glad that, uh, you found your purpose when you did and, and just, uh, amazed at, uh, what you and the team have accomplished. So thanks so much for joining us here, Jim. Uh, while we still have Jim, uh, Kelly Barner, right? For our wrap here, I’d love to hear your favorite takeaway from what Jim has shared here today.
Kelly Barner (42:37):
I think my favorite takeaway was, and Jim, you can correct me on the wording, but you talked about brave moments, I believe was the word that you used earlier. You know, it’s, it’s easy for all of us to sit here today and talk back over the last two years and remember that it was real, I’m glad you took us back to what it felt like in March of 2020 Jim, cuz I think as a humanity, we’re wired to try to get back to some level of stability and normal, but the decisions that were being made and the unknowns that the world was dealing with, those were very scary decisions that had to be made. And just thinking about the shift of risk tolerance and keeping the eye on the ball. I think that moonshot is a great title for a book, understanding what was at stake and sort of making sure that the risk tolerance changed correspondingly. That is something that never ceases to amaze me. And, and I think it’s good for all of us to be reminded on occasion just how uncertain it all was. But we still got to this moment that we’re at now
Scott Luton (43:38):
Beautifully said Kelly can thousand percent. Uh, I know that’s not a mathematical possibility, but I agree with you wholeheartedly, what you just shared there. Uh, Kelly Barner appreciate what you do here and at, uh, dial P for a procurement art, uh, uh, art procurement, you name it, buyer meeting point speak, thanks to what you do and thanks for being here. Uh, so to our listeners, Hey one heck of a story. Goodness gracious. Uh, and we’re just scratching the surface. So as Jim suggests to check out those follow up resources, check out the book, uh, moonshot and learn firstname.lastname@example.org big thanks once again to Jim Kone with Pfizer, big thanks to my dear friend, Kelly Barner, uh, with the supply chain now team and, and do P for procurement. Make sure you look that up wherever you get your podcast from, but listeners, whatever you do. Gosh, there’s so many takeaways I got about 17 pages of notes from what Jim shared here today, but take action. Hey, do good. Give forward. Be the change that’s needed. And with that said, we’ll see next time, right back here at supply chain now. Thanks everybody.
Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now community check out all of our email@example.com and make sure you subscribe to supply chain. Now anywhere you listen to podcasts and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on supply chain now.
Jim Cafone was recently named the Vice President of Global Supply Chain, reporting to Mike McDermott, Chief Global Supply Officer, Executive Vice President. In his prior role as Vice President, Supply Network Design & Performance, Pfizer Global Supply (PGS), Jim was responsible for business development, supply chain network design, Pfizer’s production system, operational excellence & lean/six sigma, performance reporting, analytics, and decision science for worldwide supply. Jim has worked at Ford Motor Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, and Pfizer. Throughout his career, he has held senior line management positions within the manufacturing, supply chain planning, customer order management, physical distribution, customs compliance, integrated business planning, information technology, corporate and supply chain strategy, and business development. Jim holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering, and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, from the University of Rhode Island. He also holds an M.S. in Technology Management from the University of Pennsylvania, College of Engineering, and the Wharton Business School. Connect with Jim on LinkedIn.
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.