Supply Chain Now
Episode 1205

You can't just throw technology over the wall and hope that your suppliers are going to adopt it. The technology has to be easy for them.

-Jeff Schwartz

Episode Summary

Take a look at mitigating supplier risk through effective supply chain business networks in this episode of Supply Chain Now! Hosts Scott Luton and Greg White welcome Jeff Schwartz, Vice President, Solution Consulting with Infor Nexus to the show, as they discuss the crucial role of transparency, data exchange, and process alignment in achieving an optimized supply chain.

Listen in and learn more about:

  • The need for businesses to understand their supply chains beyond the first tier of suppliers due to the risks associated with not knowing suppliers’ suppliers
  • The importance of data collaboration and business processes in supply chain success
  • Solving supply chain collaboration challenges through the development of networks that allow for seamless collaboration and execution among partners while keeping their own enterprise data

Success depends not only on data but also on the way of doing business and the ability to push business processes to meet demands. Learn how business networks can address the need for a multi-enterprise business supply chain collaboration platform, replacing the inefficient point-to-point systems of the past.

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 (00:32):

Hey, hey. Good morning, good afternoon, good evening wherever you are. Scott Luton and Greg White with you here on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s live stream. Greg, how you doing today?

Greg White (00:43):

I’m doing good. I’m wearing my swag. I’m coming off of whatever is trying to kill the world right now. But yes, doing well. How’s everybody else doing?

Scott Luton (00:52):

We’re doing great. You look great. I love that quarter zip.

Greg White (00:57):

Thank you.

Scott Luton (00:57):

We got more swag coming. We’ve got truckloads and trains, container ships full of it. So, stick —

Greg White (01:01):

As long as I get mine first, that’s what I care about.

Scott Luton (01:05):

That is right. Well, it looks great. And Greg, looking forward to today’s conversations. We’re going to be talking about a really big topic that’s gotten even more attention in recent years, that’s supplier risk. So, we’ll be talking with a business leader that will be offering up, undoubtedly, been there, done that sound perspective and best practices for not only mitigating supplier risk, but also optimizing your financial supply chain. Greg, it should be a great show, huh?

Greg White (01:32):

Yes. I mean, what have we been talking about for the last three years? It seems like risk, risk, risk, risk, risks. So, I think we’ve discovered some — the intensity of some of the fragilities in the supply chain, right? So —

Scott Luton (01:46):

Yes.

Greg White (01:46):

— getting paid is the most important thing, which we both know really well.

Scott Luton (01:50):

That is right. And I like how you put that, the intensities of fragilities, if I said that right?

Greg White (01:57):

That’s hard to say. I had to think about it as you could see, I’m sure, right?

Scott Luton (02:01):

Well, I’m looking forward to it. I got a great guest, great topic. Greg and I are back after probably too much turkey and stuffing, but I hope everyone out there is doing well. And hey, we want to hear from you. So, get involved. Drop your take in the private chat as we work our way through this live conversation.

Scott Luton (02:17):

So, Greg, with no further ado, I’m going to bring in and welcome in our featured guests here today, Jeff Schwartz, Vice President, Solution Consulting with Infor Nexus.

Scott Luton (02:29):

Hey, hey, Jeff. How you doing?

Jeff Schwartz (02:31):

Good morning. I’m well, thanks. How are you?

Scott Luton (02:33):

Great to see you. Greg, we had a lot of fun and appreciate with Jeff, didn’t we?

Greg White (02:37):

Yes, we did. We learned a lot about Jeff. We learned that he is not a former or related to a former NFL lineman, so that’s good. We learned that he did know who the Canadian NFL lineman for the Chiefs was, which is very impressive.

Scott Luton (02:52):

Right.

Greg White (02:52):

So, yes, I think we know all we need to know about Jeff.

Scott Luton (02:56):

And we also learned he’s yet to be drafted in the NFL. So, we’ll see if that changes —

Greg White (03:01):

And still five years of eligibility for college, so.

Scott Luton (03:04):

That is right. Well Jeff, hey, kidding aside, welcome in. I really have enjoyed our conversations. I can’t wait to get you to share some of your expertise with our global audience. But, Jeff, before we get there, we are talking about something in the pre-show and we’re going to start with a little fun warmup question because today folks out there, especially for any of our video game enthusiasts out there, it’s a vibrant market.

Scott Luton (03:26):

On this date, back in November 1972, Atari introduced what was their first ever product and it was a bit of a hit, Pong. P-O-N-G. Pong was released on November 29th, 1972. Of course, the global popularity of the game was a catalyst for both Atari’s success in the ’70s and ’80s. Everybody had probably an Atari, 2,600 I think it was. As well as it was a big catalyst for the video game industry as a whole. And Greg, you and I have talked plenty about PlayStation 5s and just how popular that and Nintendo Switch and others are this holiday season.

Greg White (03:59):

Xbox, yes, all that.

Scott Luton (04:00):

Yes, that’s right. Ben’s ears are — my son, Ben’s ears are buzzing, as we say all those things. But hey, Jeff and Greg, I want to get both of you all to weigh in. Jeff, what was one of your favorite all time electronic games, whether they’re video games or otherwise?

Jeff Schwartz (04:14):

Yes, I was not much of a gamer, but I did spend a lot of time on buses running up to camps, day camps. And I don’t remember what it was called. There was a game, it was a handheld. We played against the machine, a football game. And all I remember was that the key to success was you had to actually do nothing for about 10 seconds, just kind run around in the backfield and then all of a sudden the defenders opened up like the Red Sea and you could kind of go through and run for endless touchdowns. So, it was great. A lot of fun.

Scott Luton (04:45):

Jeff, I love that. And Greg, that was bringing back memories for you and me in the pre-show, wasn’t it?

Greg White (04:50):

Yes, it was. We’d go head-to-head football was something my brother and I did a lot. And then I think we had the — I think he’s talking about the — I think you’re talking about the Mattel version. I can see it, right?

Jeff Schwartz (05:00):

It’s big, right? Couple little easy to operate.

Greg White (05:04):

Yes, yes. I did not learn that trick. I was playing it the old-fashioned way. I like — you are an offensive genius, and I think I’m going to give Andy and Reed [phonetic] a call and see if he’s got an opening.

Jeff Schwartz (05:16):

Can I — can you see if he can pick one of those up?

Scott Luton (05:18):

All right. Next time —

Greg White (05:20):

Show me how to run the offense with it.

Scott Luton (05:21):

Right. Next time you join us, you got to bring that with you, Jeff. So, Greg, when you think back of whether you spent time on buses to day camps, as Jeff said, and we’re looking to kill some time, what was one of your favorite games from back in the day?

Greg White (05:35):

I was a big Gallagher fan. So, I actually went to arcades, that’s how old I am. And I was a big Gallagher fan and I set what then was what I called the world record. I have no idea what the world record was, but on Gallagher, so. And actually, we have a Gallagher machine now.

Scott Luton (05:54):

Really?

Greg White (05:55):

So — I got it for Vicky for Christmas one year, so.

Scott Luton (05:57):

Man, we know —

Greg White (05:58):

I wouldn’t say we are gamers, but that game is a lot of fun. There’s nothing like standing in front of a video game at a party and having everybody, you know, huddled around you.

Scott Luton (06:10):

Yes, as you hit those all-time high scores, which I can — you paint that picture, I can see you doing that, Greg.

Greg White (06:15):

While people try to distract you from it, yes. I mean, depending on how good a friend they are, the better friend they are, the more likely they are to try to mess up your game.

Scott Luton (06:23):

Well, speaking of those arcades, Greg and Jeff, as the rumor goes, Pong was introduced out in a bar in Sunnyvale, California. And the bar owner, after it being there for a couple of weeks, he reported that it was malfunctioning. But as a technician went out to check it out, it was because it was overloaded with quarters, it was that popular. So, we’ll have to have some more video game flashbacks later on.

Scott Luton (06:46):

We got a ton to get to here today, Jeff and Greg, but thanks for taking us all back. By the way, Clay Phillips, the Diesel is in the house. Look at that snazzy quarter zip, Clay says. Great to see you, Clay. Richard Miller is listening in from Richmond, Virginia. Richard, welcome. Looking forward to your takes throughout the show. And Cindy listening from Dallas. Welcome in Lindy via LinkedIn. Looking forward to hearing your take here today.

Scott Luton (07:10):

All right. So, Greg and Jeff, we’ve got a lot to get into today. We’ve got to get beyond video games. I was —

Greg White (07:16):

We got to get to work, right?

Scott Luton (07:18):

Yes.

Greg White (07:18):

Scott Luton (07:19):

I want to start with some guidance —

Jeff Schwartz (07:20):

Bagging that swag.

Scott Luton (07:21):

Yes, Jeff. We could talk about swag for days, could we? I want to talk about some — giving our audience some valuable context. So, that’s where will start, Jeff. So, tell us if you would briefly about what Infor Nexus provides and a little bit about your background.

Jeff Schwartz (07:36):

Sure. Happy to. So, I guess, when — I could start by talking about Infor Nexus as a cloud-based, multi enterprise business, supply chain collaboration platform. But I don’t know if that would really help anybody. So, let me frame it up maybe a different way. You know, Jeffrey Moore, in his book “Crossing the Chasm”, a lot of us are familiar with. He talked about this idea of systems of record and systems of engagement.

Jeff Schwartz (08:04):

And really the problem that he was describing that we set out to solve about 25 years ago was this idea that every enterprise has its systems of record, right? So, think about ERPs, WMS, financial systems. They need those systems. Those are kind of inside their four walls. The problem in a supply chain though is that buyers and shippers have a ton of partners. So, logistics partners, vendors, suppliers, banks, agents, customs brokers, transportation partners. And they’ve also got their own systems of record that sit inside their four walls.

Jeff Schwartz (08:38):

And the challenge has become, as international supply chains have kind of expanded that most of the data that’s needed to solve a problem or for anybody to execute on sits outside of their four walls. Studies have shown that 80% of the data resides in somebody else’s system. And so, the need and, you know, necessity is the mother of all invention. People basically develop different types of point-to-point systems to try to overcome that EDI web portals, spreadsheets, manual processes, phone calls.

Jeff Schwartz (09:11):

And that was the problem that we set out to solve. It was a — we saw it as a network problem. And the way that we started to solve it 25 years ago was to create a network solution which is, how do you connect parties, allow them to keep their own enterprise data, create a seamless, kind of, pane of glass or a collaboration environment where people can come, operate, collaborate, execute where they need to on key business processes from order delivery through production and shipment tracking, all the way through payment. That was the problem we set out to solve 25 years ago.

Scott Luton (09:44):

So, Jeff, before you tell us a little about yourself, Greg, I’m going to get you to weigh in there because we’ve talked about crossing the chasm numerous times. The ecosystem that Jeff is kind of painting. Your thoughts as Jeff, kind of, laid out what Infor Nexus is up to?

Greg White (09:57):

Well, I mean I think that’s one of the great denials of being in supply chain for so long is that it is in fact an ecosystem and that we are so interdependent and dependent on our trading partners of every type. And being able to have access to what they know about their business and know about our business and know about the business is really critical to being able to do business.

Greg White (10:19):

So, it — I think it’s critical to have that kind of interconnectivity. And I think about — I think you missed one means of communication there, Jeff, and that was fax machines with — believe it or not, still happen from time to time. But I think having that need and then having sort of a clearinghouse for it, for lack of a better term, to be able to access that data and share that data and to utilize that individually and jointly is absolutely critical to success and supply chain.

Jeff Schwartz (10:46):

Yes, and I would say —

Scott Luton (10:47):

Well said.

Jeff Schwartz (10:47):

— it’s not just the data, right, Greg? It’s also, kind of, the business process because so much of what you depend for the delivery of goods is based on a way of doing business and a way that you’d like your partners to do business. And being able to extend out governance and business rules as a way of pushing your business process to meet the demands the way you need it met is critically hard. That’s hard with just the movement of data. And I think that’s why, kind of, collaboration platforms that provide visibility are so critical.

Scott Luton (11:16):

Well said. It’s all hard —

Greg White (11:18):

Yes, that’s a good point.

Scott Luton (11:19):

— all hard stuff. So, Jeff, before we move forward, just give us a couple — little bit about your journey —

Jeff Schwartz (11:25):

Sure.

Scott Luton (11:25):

— and where you’ve been and what you do.

Jeff Schwartz (11:27):

Yes. So, I grew up in Montreal and there was a lot of manufacturing there. There was a lot of apparel and furniture manufacturing actually. And for a variety of reasons, a lot of my misspent youth and teenage summers were spent on shop floors manufacturing stuff or distribution centers, you know, picking and packing stuff. And I intended to go to law school and I kind of took a wrong turn somewhere. I took a gap year and I ended up working for a men’s suit company that produced outerwear domestically in Montreal. And I ran their domestic manufacturing. So, I was working with suppliers and getting goods out the door. And a couple months in, we shifted over to an offshore model. And next thing I knew we were producing goods in Ukraine and Czechoslovakia, which kind of dates me a little bit.

Jeff Schwartz (12:15):

And to your point, Greg, around faxes, I was delivering purchase orders by faxes, and I was waiting for production updates to come in over an e-mail in a spreadsheet. And if I wanted to find out what the status of something was in production, there was delays and it was a challenge. And part of it was hard to get information.

Jeff Schwartz (12:34):

So, one day, I — in that gap year, I plugged the phone line into the wall and next thing I knew I was on this thing called the internet, and I realized you could talk to people around the world and that was it. I was hooked. And I realized then and there that technology was going to transform business. And my interest had always been in business problems and how to solve them. And I took a path towards technology. So, I worked for a variety of ERP companies, mostly in different manufacturing verticals and sectors. I did a number of different things in sales professional services. And then solution consulting became a passion because solution consulting to me sits the intersection of supply chain, business process and technology. And it was a great passion.

Jeff Schwartz (13:17):

I came back to the industry and I didn’t want to be in the ERP space. So, I specifically sought out a company that was doing something a little differently. I found this company called TradeCard, which ultimately became Nexus. And they had this idea of a network. This idea that if you are going to engage with supply chain partners, those partners are out in the ethosphere somewhere. And having them actively engaged with you was going to be critically important, and the means with which you use technology to get to them was also going to be critically important.

Jeff Schwartz (13:48):

And I’ve been here going on 17, almost 18 years now. It’s been a great run. I get to work with hundreds of customers over the year, talking about this kind of stuff.

Scott Luton (13:56):

17 glorious years. Well, hey Greg, really quick. So, if I’m keeping track at home here, Jeff started maybe as a toddler on the shop floor, worked his way up to leading manufacturing operations across the U.S., and became infatuated with technology, and then in particular how technology can revolutionize business. And that’s what he’s been doing with hundreds of companies. Greg, I bet that can — I bet a lot of that — lot of aspects of that journey really resonates with you, huh?

Greg White (14:24):

Yes, well said. I mean a good old fashioned family business, where basically you breed your own slave labor. And — like our family did, probably shouldn’t express that. And it becomes a training ground from the breakfast table to the workplace to the dinner table where you talk about it over and over again. And I think so much valuable experience and knowledge is gained just by conversations over dinner and whatnot.

Greg White (14:50):

So, to have that ingrained in you at a really, really young age gives you such a special ability to discern what is right or wrong with a business, and how to address it because you’ve experienced it either through your family or yourself and then discussed it with your family to kind of reconcile your knowledge. It’s sort of like ongoing college, right? And you have such a great ability to assess these things. It’s like if you started playing like Jeff, I know you talk about your misspent youth, and if you had started playing football and talked about football over the dinner table all the time, you would be equally as good at that, right? I mean, at — to some extent, I know size comes into it, we’ll not go into that. But —

Scott Luton (15:34):

He’d be drafted.

Greg White (15:34):

— but it’s similar. Anything that you engage in that early in life gives you an ability to discern and to ideate around those things much, much more easily. And I think that is an important thing to understand. When you select a career, like Jeff has, and you have the capabilities that you do, you can build the viewpoints that he has from that experience. And just, you know, no matter when you actually start it, drink in that experience and archive it and use it and challenge it to develop new ideas is things change. Because one of the things, Jeff, you said was there was this lack of information. Now, that we have this wealth, incredible wealth of information, everything you’ve learned about what can and should be done for a business is much, much easier to apply.

Scott Luton (16:19):

Well said. All right. So — by the way, Barath [phonetic] listening from India. Tanvir, Peter Boley, all night and all day are all with us. Hey, welcome and looking forward to hearing your take throughout the conversation.

Scott Luton (16:31):

Hey, Jeff, so you mentioned on the latter part of what you described about your journey, you know, you’re working with hundreds of organizations to help them to optimize supply chains, make stronger businesses, make better decisions in these environments. And what are some common themes that you’re seeing out there in supply chain leadership circles, Jeff?

Jeff Schwartz (16:48):

Yes, you know, when you get a chance to talk to as many companies as we do, you definitely get to see some trends. I think there’s a couple, one is certainly just this whole idea of knowing your supply chain. You know, CEOs, I think we talked a little bit earlier about the fragility of supply chains and lessons learned the last couple of years. It’s really hard for CEOs to actually know who they’re doing business with. And I think that’s one of the big things is how do you manage your trading partners? How do you get to know them? Some of it has been around inventory and capabilities. A lot of it’s actually been around supply chain finance and the need for liquidity in supply chains. Kind of related to that is ESG, everybody’s talking about it. No, CEO wants to have her company headlined on the news trailer about what they’ve failed to do or what they’ve not done well.

Jeff Schwartz (17:39):

So, everybody’s talking about ESG and how do you make it come to life? What does it really mean, and how do you action it? And I think that the last one that I hear a lot about lately is technology and, kind of, where does technology fit going forward? And if I think back a couple of years ago, everybody was talking about blockchain, which felt a little bit like a solution looking for a problem. I think now we see a lot more machine learning, certainly predictive models and now — and a lot of leaders are talking to us about where does it fit and what are the practical uses and practical applications for technology going forward for supply chains.

Scott Luton (18:15):

Jeff — Greg, in the last two minutes, Jeff dropped a bunch of things we — I know we’re passionate about. We’ve talked a lot about. Your response to what Jeff’s just said as the — these common themes that a lot of supply chain leaders are really focused on?

Greg White (18:29):

Well, I mean, thank you. You hit all the hashtags. So, this will really rate when we drop this thing in the feed. So, thank you for that. No, I mean, I think your analysis is spot on. I even fell into that trap a little bit with blockchain of going. Well, could we use blockchain for this or rather than going, here’s the problem we have, blockchain’s the only solution. And I think the recognition of CEOs — first of all, that there is a supply chain and there are people tied to it. It’s not just get that junk here as fast as you can, as cheap as you can. And we know nothing will ever fail, which used to be the perspective of the C-suite regarding supply chain.

Greg White (19:08):

Recognizing that there are fragilities and that there are outside influences. And then thinking about what those problems are and what the best solution is. Even just the C-suite and especially CEOs starting to think about that sort of thing is really incredibly valuable for advancing the supply chain because it used to be that sort of dark magic that they stuffed weird people in a corner to solve, right?

Jeff Schwartz (19:33):

Yes.

Greg White (19:33):

Guilty. But I think — and one of the recognitions that people need to have is that we’re able to utilize this wealth of data and wealth of information to solve problems that otherwise we would’ve had to solve, sort of, iteratively as human beings. And that’s really where A.I. comes in, is it’s — it learns like a human, but it never forgets like a human. So, it — and it never applies emotion like a human or mitigates because of political circumstances at work like a human. So, it just can do the right thing. And I think that’s one of the recognitions that I think we need to have in business. To help people understand how to apply some of these technologies.

Scott Luton (20:15):

Well said, Greg. All right. So, now we’re going to get into kind of the center plate portion of our discussion here today. We’re going to be really focused on getting Jeff to share that perspective and expertise that’s going to help our listeners and our viewers out there really mitigate supplier risk, which as Greg mentioned, we’ve been talking incessantly over the last three years, in particular three or four years. And beyond that really optimizing your financial supply chains, which is really important.

Scott Luton (20:41):

So, we’re going to work our way through four topics in particular. So, if you’re listening at home or in the office or whatever, there’s four topics coming up. And we want to start, Jeff, with mitigating supply disruptions, assuring supply, avoiding those costly stockouts and beyond. Your thoughts on this first one, Jeff?

Jeff Schwartz (20:57):

Yes, I think it seems almost too foundational. The, you know, go back to use a sport analogy of blocking and tackling, but you’ve got to know who your partners are. You’ve actually got to know your supply chain. And it is still amazing to me after all these years how hard it is for so many companies beyond, kind of, name, rank, and serial number, who they talk to, what the address is, who they actually operate with. And how do you manage those suppliers? How do you onboard them? How do you get to know who they are? How do you know the financial condition of them? Are you doing business with bad guys? And getting beyond the typical, kind of, transactional relationships, I think is one of the first things. And it’s about providing value to them that comes in a number of forms.

Jeff Schwartz (21:46):

I think that the other part is visibility and collaboration. And I use those two terms specifically because when there’s greater visibility to yourself and your supply chain partners, and Greg touched on all the data, it’s great if you can see something. But if you can’t actually action it and make decisions, it’s hard. And I think for us, we think about visibility starting with orders, right? So, when you drop an order, can somebody confirm it? Can somebody make a change to it? Let you know if they’re going to have some type of disruption. Do they maybe need to split a line? What’s happening in production?

Jeff Schwartz (22:24):

So, long before, kind of, goods end up on a transit mode, on a ship, or on a plane, visibility matters. And being able to assure supply and make sure that demand can be fulfilled is fundamentally important. And I think the other part is the earlier you got visibility, the — problems don’t get better with longer. They just get stale. I had a C — a chief supply chain officer a couple years ago say to me, you know, what I hate hearing from my team is, it’s OK, it’s OK, it’s OK. It’s not OK. Because the — you know, you could have seen a problem. The cheaper it is sometimes, and the more opportunities, the more options you have to resolve it.

Jeff Schwartz (23:06):

And then I think the last thing is just thinking about, you know, long-term looks or the — think about supply chains from the standpoint of how do you provide more value to your suppliers? Sometimes it’s by directional that visibility is important for suppliers when they’ve got earlier visibility to forecast your orders, they can plan their own upstream raw material buys. But what are the dependencies of component parts or key raw materials, and being able to collaborate on that and get the information that you need from your supply chain in real time and get it into those core enterprise systems. So, how do you revamp planning systems? How do you revamp and restate information sales for customers to know?

Jeff Schwartz (23:47):

And then it’s — the financial supply chain piece comes into it because at the end of the day, none of this works, that was my experience. And part of the reason I ended up where I did was you can’t just throw technology over the wall and hope that suppliers are going to adopt it. The technology has to be easy for them. It’s part of the value that they get in terms of wanting one experience. And then what are their supply chain needs from a liquidity standpoint?

Jeff Schwartz (24:14):

So, as we start to think about that financial supply chain piece, they’ve got their own businesses to run. They’ve got workforces to pay. They’ve got materials to buy. And understanding a little bit about how we can inject financial supply chain programs into — for them is one of the key things that I think helps the stability and eliminates or mitigate some of the risks from the fragility of supply chains.

Scott Luton (24:36):

Excellent point. Greg, Jeff’s getting — he’s throwing fire right out of the gate. A lot of stuff there. Your thoughts on the first topic?

Greg White (24:43):

Yes, I mean I think the first thing is you’ve got to know who your — what your supply chain is. And I think so many companies are stifled beyond the first tier of suppliers. They don’t know who their suppliers are, and that creates a tremendous amount of risk. So, that transparency and that sharing that Jeff is talking about is important so that as you understand not just their financial needs but their workflow process needs, you can provide them with better information and request better information around their risks.

Greg White (25:13):

And when you can help your suppliers alleviate their risks, which are inherently your risks, then you are — I mean, you’re providing such an incredible value to yourself that is obviously motivating to participate in an ecosystem like that. The other thing I think you really nailed, Jeff, is I was thinking about how companies so typically think of how their suppliers can serve them better, not how they can coordinate better or provide better opportunity for those suppliers to serve them better, or even how serving those suppliers better helps them serve us better, right?

Greg White (25:52):

So, the circularity of that is really, really important for companies to understand as a cultural or operational doctrine that really enables them to improve their business really significantly and relatively rapidly as well.

Scott Luton (26:08):

Good stuff there, Greg. All right. so moving right along. We’re going to hit the second topic here and that really focused on one of the things that, kind of, both of you are speaking to in many ways, investing in and supporting diversifying sourcing strategies. Jeff, tell us more.

Jeff Schwartz (26:23):

You know, a lot of people are talking about China Plus One or C+1. The whole idea of diversifying sourcing to mitigate risk, whether it’s political risk, whether it’s geographical risk. And the notion of dual sourcing strategies is becoming more the norm and introduces complexity, right? There are more partners in the ecosystems, there are more languages to deal with, there are more systems and ways of doing business.

Jeff Schwartz (26:52):

And so, one of the things that I think is — has become key is this whole idea of this network approach, right? And how do you offer to Greg’s point, how do you create this partnership with your suppliers that allows you to facilitate that type of a sourcing strategy? It used to be easier, we could — as a sourcing guy, you could hop on a plane, you’d go to Vietnam or head down to Latin America and you can find new partners. People aren’t doing that as much today.

Jeff Schwartz (27:19):

And so, I think technology becomes more important. But I think part of the technology, and I alluded to it earlier, one of the things that I realized early is that without the active engagement of suppliers from a technology and a business process standpoint, it’s really hard to get data, right? There has to be something in it for them. So, the technology has to be easy for them to adopt. And I think some of it requires a level of service. And what I mean by that is people talk about SaaS, Software as a Service. Sometimes I think about what we do as services as a software. And what I mean by that is offering services like onboarding. You know, it’s easy to say, well, you’ve got vendors out there, we’re just going to connect them.

Jeff Schwartz (28:03):

To the point we were making earlier, it is hard to do that, right? I worked with a customer a couple years ago, they had a team of about 15 people. They spent three years traveling the globe and they onboarded 40 partners at the end of three years. Because it was hard to do and they had nothing to offer them, right? So, part of it’s a technology component. Part of it, again, is that financial reward and that goes to adoption. So, understanding what it is that they need. I think certainly understanding the technology where suppliers are on their journey, treating them very much as customers. So, you know, buyers and shippers are the obvious.

Jeff Schwartz (28:40):

We were talking to the pre-show about focusing on prospects and customers. We think of the supply chain, the suppliers, all of the parties that are part of the supply chain that are part of our network very much as customers. So, we have to bring service levels to them and support levels to them and programs to them, not the least of which are things like supply chain financing and opportunities for them to get paid earlier that makes it easier for companies to go and take on these diversified sourcing strategies.

Scott Luton (29:10):

Greg, I loved — one of the things that he really hammered home there, Jeff did is adoption. We had a famous guest to join us a while back that shared no product, no program with a little twist on that. No adoption, no outcomes in many ways. Greg, your thoughts though on what Jeff was sharing about diversifying sourcing strategies and what it takes?

Greg White (29:28):

Yes, I think you have to think about your suppliers as having the same needs as you do, right? And those needs are technology has to be easy to use, has to solve the problem. It should always be an accelerant and not a hurdle. And then think about what their needs are. You know, we talked about that just a few minutes ago. Think about what their needs are or find out what their needs are and help them overcome that and give them a motivation to use this thing. Making it easy helps, making it accelerate. Payment always helps, right? Or to save them cost or risk or whatever their business desires may be.

Greg White (30:10):

I think that’s a critical understanding of it. And really, it’s kind of taking an outside in view of your supply chain. And looking at it from another person’s perspective rather than yours, which is not easy to do, I mean, you can tell the number of ways we’ve used different language to try to motivate people to do that very thing which, you know, you could argue should be second nature. But, you know, these are changing times, right? Your trading partner relationships are definitely not longer adversarial, but they are not yet fully partnerships, right? They’re not fully open and transparent and collaborative enough.

Greg White (30:47):

So, that’s what we’ve got to work on to be able to enable that. And, you know, to the extent that technology can support or enhance or enable, that’s a great opportunity to advance both your business and your suppliers.

Jeff Schwartz (31:01):

Yes, and I think one of the things too, Greg, that we hear a lot about is we want to have strategic relationships with our partners. But people don’t, kind of, actively support that initiative. And I think your — I see you laughing, we’ve all heard it, right? Is I want to be strategic with my partners, but I’m going to swap them out every year. I’m just chasing the lowest cost.

Jeff Schwartz (31:21):

And I think one of the things that I’ve seen over the years that is so important is — well, it’s twofold. One is thinking about the supply chain holistically, right? From the time an order has some visibility, it drops, what happens through production? How do you start to engage in that logistics network? How do you get visibility to orders and inventory and shipments? How do you create automation for the supplier so it’s easier for them to interact by creating documents and then creating visibility to getting paid in the payment process?

Jeff Schwartz (31:51):

And a lot of our customers talk about, and I’m sure you guys hear a lot of it with your guests, the supplier experience, but they don’t really do anything to facilitate it because they send them to three different systems and they’ve got multiple logins. And I think when you take a network approach and you think about the supply chain holistically, both in terms of the parties that take place, as well as the business processes that can be layered on one another.

Jeff Schwartz (32:18):

So, if you think about order rules being validated and confirmed, going through production, driving a pack and scan process and label creation and creating ASNs, talking about bringing on a vendor booking process, creating a packing list to an invoice to a payment, all of a sudden you start to layer on automation and visibility, and ease of adoption that isn’t so much just the technology. The technology becomes an enabler and a facilitator for really the governance of what your business rules are that you’re trying to push out. And I think that’s where a network approach becomes fundamentally different and where we see a lot of customers taking advantage.

Scott Luton (32:58):

So, let’s keep moving for the sake of time. So, Jeff, you just spoke to a lot of things that I think will help us as we tackle our next topic, which is how to improve supplier ESG and sustainability performance. Your thoughts there, Jeff?

Jeff Schwartz (33:12):

I mean, it’s probably the three biggest letters we hear right now, right? Everybody is talking about it because nobody wants their face flashed across the screen. You know, it’s a risk profile, it’s a risk mitigation issue. And different companies, I think, have different innate commitments commit to doing it, but certainly people are trying to get their arms around it. And the irony, as we touched on a little earlier, one of the biggest things that is important is who are you doing business with? It’s hard to get your arms around environmental or social or governance issues if you don’t really know how your supply chain operates.

Jeff Schwartz (33:51):

If you don’t know, Greg touched on it earlier, first tier of suppliers, let alone tier two, three and beyond. And particularly in extended supply chains, when all of those partnerships are remote, how do you try to take technology and use that to extend your reach? And I think that’s one of the things that we’re seeing a lot of is how do you manage trading partners? How do you onboard them? How do you vet them earlier? How do you get visibility to, you know, what their capabilities are? What are they doing in the area of sustainability? What are their social responsibility capabilities in terms of adhering to your desires?

Jeff Schwartz (34:30):

And then I think this is also another area where thinking about financial supply chains as an integrated component of ESG is one of the things I’m so excited about these days because when we inject a network of financial institutions with this notion of mutual value for customers and suppliers, partners and shippers and buyers together, what we’ve seen is a couple of customers are actually pairing those two. So, we’ve got examples where customers are pushing out supply chain finance programs. Where rates are aligned with adherence to ESG standards.

Jeff Schwartz (35:09):

So, you know, this idea of a carrot works way better than a stick. And aligning those financial supply chain rewards and capabilities that are delivered through a network of financial institutions just — again, it’s about incentive and it’s about adoption, but that’s how you mitigate the risk. It’s visibility. It’s how do you onboard those vendors? How do you know who they are and what they’re doing? And then how do you make them true partners to align with your ESG initiatives?

Scott Luton (35:35):

Love that, Jeff and Greg. As Jeff started, it is tough for a lot of companies and a lot of business leaders to get their arms around ESG and how to drive real outcomes. Kind of, like, hugging a hippo. It’s not easy. But Greg, your thoughts on what Jeff shared there?

Greg White (35:50):

Yes, it doesn’t matter if it’s easy or hard because it’s mandatory now. I mean, there are countries, including the U.S. where you can’t even import goods if there’s even the slightest doubt. You cannot prove definitively that slave labor was not used to produce your product. So, it doesn’t matter how hard it is, it has to be done.

Greg White (36:10):

And we have a lot of conflagration and discussion about this in the United States, but I was talking to a chief supply chain officer yesterday and I said, it doesn’t matter whether it’s popular or whether it’s going to be mandatory in the States because you’re an international enterprise and it’s mandatory already in many countries, many large trading companies or countries in Europe and in the far East. So, it’s going to happen. This sort of ESG denial is a waste of time in my opinion. Whether you agree with it or not doesn’t even matter. You have to do it, right?

Jeff Schwartz (36:41):

Yes.

Scott Luton (36:42):

Right.

Greg White (36:42):

And of course, it’s for the betterment of the world. So, I think that you have to embrace it and then you have to figure out how to do it. Of course, it’s hard because business is hard. I saw a sign from a startup that was very honest. We didn’t start this business because we thought — because it would be easy. We started this business because we thought it would be easy. So, it’s an important distinction.

Greg White (37:05):

The truth is business is hard and these things are challenges. And we have a lot of questions about how to do a lot of this, how to execute a lot of this. And I think you just have to acknowledge and embrace that — and commit to issues like ESG and how to do it. And you will find a way. I mean, you will find a way. And technology is the key there that visibility into and through your supply chain, that collaboration with your supply chain, the ability to communicate and the ability to understand more than name, address, and contact of your suppliers or your extended supply chain is going to be critical to that. And there are technologies that can help you with that. So, you just have to make the commitment is my — that’s my take on it.

Jeff Schwartz (37:50):

Find partners that facilitate it, right? Because it’s not a core competency for most companies. If I go back to that example of that customer, it’s not uncommon for people to have teams that go around the world doing it. But they want to be focused on manufacturing great products, on not having downtime in their plans, of making sure that on time in full, you know, with quality goods is the beacon of their brand.

Jeff Schwartz (38:15):

And so, they want technology, but they need partners that are also there on the ground. I think that’s one of the biggest things too. It’s hard to go out and get somebody. The technology facilitates it, but I think it’s also a commitment to making sure that you understand how to reach those people and get the data that you can disseminate into other systems because it’s a starting point. You’ve got to vet those vendors first, but that data needs to reside in different systems because those systems of record need to be maintained. And I think the ability to go out and extend your reach beyond the four walls of your organization is just such a key component today, and it’s going to be even more so going forward.

Scott Luton (38:59):

Excellent.

Greg White (38:59):

Yes, it’s going to be mandatory going forward.

Jeff Schwartz (39:02):

Yes.

Scott Luton (39:02):

You know, going back to kind of the — both of you all are speaking to, it’s not easy and it’s hard. Kind of to paraphrase, President Kennedy, we do these things because they’re hard. Those are words that — some of the greatest value and advancements we can make, right? Whether supply chain or leadership or humanity, right, Greg?

Greg White (39:20):

Yes, I mean that’s where you get the rewards, right? There is no reward without risk. No risk it, no biscuit.

Scott Luton (39:27):

I’m going to write that down. Actually, before —

Greg White (39:29):

I didn’t make that up.

Scott Luton (39:31):

Oh, you didn’t?

Greg White (39:31):

I stole it.

Scott Luton (39:31):

Well, still —

Greg White (39:33):

Probably from a YouTuber, I don’t know.

Scott Luton (39:35):

No risk it, no biscuit. But I want to go back. So, Jeff, Greg said earlier, which I think is a T-shirt-ism for things beyond supply chain, be an accelerant, not a hurdle. I think there’s all sorts of ways we could apply that in our organizations.

Scott Luton (39:51):

OK. So, Jeff, we’ve tackled three topics thus far. And this fourth one before we get some advice from you on how folks can get started and make sure folks know how to connect with you. This fourth one is talk to us about how we can work with treasury to improve supplier health and working capital. Your thoughts here, Jeff?

Jeff Schwartz (40:09):

Yes, I mean, let’s start with the idea that how many supply chains and supply chain practitioners even think about treasury, even think about the role of finance in their supply chain execution. I think that’s one of the things that I love most about what I’m able to do is thinking about supply chains holistically. You know, I run into companies all the time, and to this day it’s still amazing to me how, you know, it’s divided between people that make stuff and people that move stuff. And sometimes those two worlds don’t cross.

Jeff Schwartz (40:42):

But there’s a third one which is, there are people that pay for stuff, and none of the first two happen without the latter. And I think that’s one of the biggest takeaways is thinking about supply chains holistically and recognizing that the financial aspect of a supply chain is very, very real and it is the grease that makes everything run.

(41:05):

And so, thinking about what the financial needs are of your suppliers is part of the equation. It’s part of the calculus. Not just what your own kind of financial needs are. So, I think that’s a mindset. And when it comes to treasury, cash is king. And I think we see a lot of consolidation. We’re seeing a lot of M&A out in the industry. People are looking to extend payment terms still. I think we certainly saw a lot of that during Covid. And I think that one of the things that is so important is when you make an impact to cash availability and to liquidity for your suppliers, it has an impact. And the idea is not to be punitive to them.

Jeff Schwartz (41:46):

And so, striking that balance is really critical. I think one of the things that I see out there is how do you accelerate payment decisions so that you can offer extended financing windows. So, if programs are offered, they become more valuable, right? The longer and earlier I can get cash is the more valuable is to me. And that way I’m willing to consider, you know, offering discounts or early payment terms at a discount force for shippers.

Jeff Schwartz (42:14):

And so, we start to think about the margin impacts and the cost of goods impacts to the financial operation of an organization. But I think, ultimately, it’s really about how do you bring even that network approach to the idea of treasury and terms extension. So, one of the things that I’m excited about us doing is that banks are — they own those really important treasury relationships that are out in the golf course. Those are — business doesn’t run without cash. But being able to do more and think about bringing different types of financial institutions, large networks of institutions. So, some of them are large global banks on our network, some of them are smaller regional banks, they’ve all got different jurisdictions.

Jeff Schwartz (42:56):

And lastly, I think it’s really important because a lot of these financing programs are often offered and they’re limited just to the really, really large suppliers. And that’s limiting. So, I think one of the things that’s also really important to think about is how do you get to the long tail? How do you, kind of, invoke and offer up those financial benefits and those rewards to partners, but across the supply base that you are working with?

Scott Luton (43:21):

Yes. Greg, weigh in there on how we can really leverage treasury and not just help our large suppliers on Jeff’s last point, but all of our suppliers and make sure they’re healthy, and the ecosystem can win. Greg, your thoughts?

Greg White (43:35):

Yes, first of all, acknowledge that they exist. Jeff’s point is very valid and that they’re an important part of this thing, right? And also acknowledge how you can run your business. I think of planning and forecasting and inventory optimization is a great impact on finance because usually, aside from real estate, if a company owns real estate, their largest asset is their inventory. And the more effectively you manage that and the more risk you take out of your supply chain, the better you can optimize and manage that inventory. More, I don’t want to say tightly, but that more closely.

Greg White (44:13):

You’re not trying to create risk by running inventory tightly, which most companies do. They just arbitrarily do that. But if you have technology or you have the capability to manage and optimize your inventory effectively, considering all of the inputs and all of the risks in the supply chain, which has been a — I mean, demand, planning and optimization has been a product for nigh on 70 years now. So, there’s something out there that can help you, then that is a huge benefit to the organization, right? It is optimizing that working capital, knowing when you want to spend it, knowing when there’s opportunity in increasing inventories that, you know, that brings greater profitability to the organization or optimizing those inventories to support demand and risk without excess.

Scott Luton (45:01):

All right. A lot of good stuff there, Greg. And to one of the points you made, I tell you it’s pretty risky to act arbitrarily in today’s environment. It’s a lot of good stuff there, Greg. And I’m going to take no risk it, no biscuit. Oh, I’m going to owe you probably some commissions there.

Greg White (45:18):

Not me.

Scott Luton (45:19):

All right.

Greg White (45:19):

But if you do that, you’re going to make me find out who I did get it from.

Scott Luton (45:21):

All right. So, Jeff, I hate that our time with you has almost come to a close. I can tell you, Greg, Jeff has talked a couple times about things that get him excited. I bet when Jeff gets excited, it’s contagious for his team and the companies he works for there. Jeff, as we wrap up, I want to ask you about leaders that are really wanting to lean into some of these opportunities that you and Greg and I, we’ve all spoken about and truly change the status quo and help their organization and help their teams, the team members that want to win. What’s some advice there that you’d offer them?

Jeff Schwartz (45:56):

I think it’s twofold. The first is Greg used the term outside in earlier, and I think that’s huge, right? We’ve talked a lot about just you’ve got to know who your partners are and there has to be a genuine commitment to mutual benefit. You really have to think about them as strategic partners and what can you do to offer them something. It’s got to go beyond just the transactional nature of how can I get, you know, the product that I want at the lowest cost?

Jeff Schwartz (46:26):

And then the second part is, I’ll invoke — I’m a huge Apple fan. I’ll invoke a quick Apple story from my — when I worked at Apple, I helped lead and stand up a business team in one of their retail environments. And at the time, Steve Jobs was still there and it was clear he wasn’t going to be around forever. And he was known as an innovator. He was a product guy first and foremost. And people wondered who would succeed him. And when Tim Cook started to get more on stage and it was obvious that he would take the helm, I think a lot of people were surprised because you would associate Apple with products and innovation and excitement.

Jeff Schwartz (47:01):

Tim Cook was a supply chain guy.

Scott Luton (47:04):

Right.

Jeff Schwartz (47:04):

You know, he kept the trains running. And part of the reason that they were so successful was because of the incredible success they had in optimizing supply chain. And so, this is kind of what I would leave people with. We used to think that companies competed product to product. And I think that the perspective that I’ve gained over the last 20 years is now companies compete supply chain to supply chain. It’s not who’s got the best product. If I can’t get that Nike shoe that I want because they don’t have my size or my color, if a component part isn’t available and a plant has to shut down and I can’t get something out to — for it to be transformed into a finished good and delivered to a customer, I failed. And the brand impact to those failures can have longstanding ramifications. So, you know, think about your supply chain holistically. Think about optimizing it and think about taking a network approach to how you do that.

Scott Luton (48:04):

Jeff, well said. Now you tell us you worked at Apple when Steve Jobs was there. We’re going to have to have you back and get some good stories there too. But I loved your last couple comments. Folks, stay tuned. I’m going to get Greg’s patented key takeaway from today’s conversation. But first folks, if you want to learn more about a lot of things that Jeff spoke about and what they’re doing at Infor Nexus, how they’re — him and the team are helping to put an end to end-to-end inefficiencies. I love that. And optimizing supply chain networks everywhere. So, check out the link. We’re dropping in the chat, one click away from learning a lot more about that.

Scott Luton (48:37):

And, Jeff, how can folks, if they want to connect with you, we had a couple of questions in the chat, how can folks, you know, connect with you, maybe have a tasty adult beverage as you all talk supply chain or your Apple Stories or anything else? How can folks connect with you, Jeff?

Jeff Schwartz (48:50):

Yes, one of the greatest networks that we all know, LinkedIn. It’s a great way to reach me and look forward to speaking with anybody.

Scott Luton (48:57):

Outstanding. I think we’re going to be dropping Jeff’s LinkedIn profile right there, you’re one click away. And as Korah Jose [phonetic] says — hello, Korah. Supply chain is your brand maker. Great Apple, take. Thanks for sharing, Korah. I hope you and the family are doing well.

Scott Luton (49:11):

OK. Greg, we have heard, as we knew we’d get from Jeff, a truckload of brilliance here today. So, Jeff, really appreciate that. But, Greg, if you had to boil it down to one key takeaway from today’s conversation, what would that be, Greg?

Greg White (49:25):

Your supply chain is your brand. It doesn’t matter what your brand looks like. It doesn’t matter what your brand representation or marketing or PR is. It doesn’t matter what your brand promise is. It doesn’t matter what your sales are. It doesn’t matter what you say to the marketplace. It matters what you deliver to the marketplace. And supply chain delivers not just your product, but also your brand promise. And you have to recognize that. That’s why things — some of these things that Jeff is talking about are so critical. What represents your brand out there?

Greg White (49:57):

Think about — we talked a lot about treasury here, right? I mean, how you pay matters, it represents your brand, right? How you deliver, obviously, matters and represents your brand. And the amount of interaction and collaboration that you produce amongst your supply chain either direct or extended, is critical to assuring that. And I think that is the realization that some CEOs have started to come to is that this is more about get it here fast and cheap. It’s about represent our brand in the best manner that we can to the entirety of the marketplace. Because if you promise Nike shoes and people can’t get them, they’re going to go to Adidas or On, or who even knows. I mean, New Balance, whatever, and find what is substantially to Jeff’s point the same or at least a similar enough shoe to get the job done.

Greg White (50:51):

So, it is absolutely critical. We’ve seen extreme examples. Peloton was crushed by their supply chain, right? A huge brand admittedly riding the wave of people being on lockdown, but then they couldn’t deliver and it absolutely destroyed the company. So, you know, it is that important to you. I mean, Peloton will go down in history as a massive, I mean, they may come back from it, but that incident or will go back — go for — will go down in history as a massive supply chain failure.

Scott Luton (51:23):

Excellent point. Cool commercials aren’t enough. Excellent way to finish up the episode here today, Greg. Really appreciate that. Jeff Schwartz, I’ll tell you, you’ve brought it as we knew, really enjoyed our conversation. You serve of course as Vice President Solution Consulting with Infor Nexus. We’ve dropped your LinkedIn chat — LinkedIn profile in the chat. So, Jeff, thanks so much for being here with us today.

Jeff Schwartz (51:47):

Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Scott Luton (51:49):

You bet.

Greg White (51:49):

Yes, thanks, Jeff.

Scott Luton (51:49):

And we’re going to have you back. That’s right. We’re going to have you back, talk about some of those Apple stories. Greg, really have enjoyed. I tell you, between you and Jeff, we had a one — a great one two punch here today. Had some great comments. But Greg, always a pleasure to knock out this programming with you.

Greg White (52:03):

Likewise. And yes, Jeff had some of those preach it moments, so appreciate that.

Scott Luton (52:09):

Preach it. We got to trademark that too, Greg. You’ve gotten Greg’s attention, Jeff. When he does a little preach it motion. I’ve seen it time and time through the course of 1,200 episodes or so. But folks out there, wherever you’re listening, we had a bunch of folks from around the globe here today. Whatever you do, take at least one thing, just one thing that Jeff shared here today and put it to work. Deeds, not words. You know what we do and how we do it around here. So, with that said, on behalf of our entire team, this is Scott Luton, challenging you to do good, to give forward and to be the change that’s needed. And with that said, we’ll see you next time, right back here on Supply Chain Now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (52:48):

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

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Featured Guests

Jeff Schwartz is the Vice President, Solution Consulting, for Infor Nexus. Jeff Schwartz is a global sales and strategy leader and supply chain technology expert with twenty plus years’ experience in both the physical and financial supply chain arena, as a practitioner from both industry and technology. His extensive supply chain experience with international vendor bases across a variety of industries in the CPG space helps shape his perspectives on the impacts of the financial supply chain on a company’s supply network. Prior roles include leadership positions in Professional Services, Sales and Consulting. Connect with Jeff on LinkedIn.

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Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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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

Controller

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

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Allison Giddens

Host

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

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

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Billy Taylor

Host

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

Host

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

Host

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

Host

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

Host

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

Host

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

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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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