All effective distribution centers are hubs of high-stakes activity, and that has been even more true with the rise of eCommerce and increased supply chain disruption. For mature companies, however, it is not enough to merely manage the madness – they also want to optimize their costs and ensure that targets such as increasing sustainability or reducing waste are not forgotten.
James Malley is the Co-founder and CEO of Paccurate and Jerry Spence is the Director of Engineering – Supply Chain from Crate and Barrel, as they discuss modernizing e-commerce fulfillment operations. Their two organizations have been working together to make sure Crate and Barrel’s distribution centers are as environmentally efficient as they are operationally effective.
James and Jerry join co-hosts Greg White and Scott Luton to share the story behind their partnership:
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 (00:33):
Hey, good morning. Good afternoon. Good evening. Wherever you are Scott Luton and Greg White with you here on supply chain and welcome to today’s live stream Gregory.
Greg White (00:43):
Very, very well. Scott just learned about a certain parade that’s happening tomorrow, and I think there might be a few million people making plans for that. Correct.
Scott Luton (00:56):
Well, as we talked about yesterday with, uh, the one only Mike Griswold with Gardner, what a special experience playoff journey, a season and the huge significance to the city of Atlanta. So it’s really cool to see one last question. Are you going?
Greg White (01:12):
I think so. I mean, um, yeah, I think so. I just got the information on what the details are and the top secret code to get into the stadium, which I will share with you.
Scott Luton (01:24):
Okay. Okay. Awesome. I felt like part of the club now. Hey, but more importantly today, Greg beyond kind of reminiscing about game six and the playoffs, we’re gonna be talking about modernizing e-commerce fulfillment operations. How about that? We’re going to be featuring one of our favorites. Repeat guests, old James Malley from pacura. Everybody loves James new. Sit-com coming to NBC this fall, I think. And he’s bringing a friend Jerry spent with Creighton barrel, which we enjoyed the pre-show and Greg, according to Amanda and all of her research, crate andWbarrel is one of the world’s most admired brands. How about that?
Greg White (02:06):
I have no doubt. Uh, you know, I’ve done a little work in that industry in the, in the past, the long distant past, but, um, yeah, they’re highly respected company and really strong performers
Scott Luton (02:19):
Agreed and they fill up our kitchen, which Amanda reminded me. So I think our team was excited for this conversation here today. Hey, really quick. Cause we want to get to James and Jerry very shortly. We’re going to say a load to a few folks and we’re going to do like the lightning round. Hello? Are you game Greg? Go, go. Okay. Crystal Davis is with the stay Krista. We look forward to you being back with us on the show very soon, have enjoyed your LinkedIn lives. Peter bowler. Hey, Peter is a movie star. Now he was on the sourcing hero podcast with our friend Kelly Barner, Greg.
Greg White (02:52):
Oh, that’s right. I saw that. I haven’t tuned into that one yet, but I saw that that happened.
Scott Luton (02:57):
I’m adding that to my review lists of Peter bowler all night and all day. That’s awesome to see Kyle Garcia, Kyle hope this finds you well up in the Portland area. Go Braves. I’m with you there. Nerf. Greg, what would you share with Nerf this morning? Okay.
Greg White (03:16):
I’m curious why he’s back now, back in why he was ever gone. So what’s what to share with us. You don’t have to do it on the air, but I have to.
Scott Luton (03:28):
So Nerf, you got some reporting to do with Greg one-on-one perhaps, but Hey, regardless. We’re glad you and your sense of humor are back with us. Let’s see here. This is a hello from Memphis. I’ve got a couple of guests who this is, but clay and Amanda y’all tune. Uh, let me know. They’re Hugo from Mexico via LinkedIn. Great. And see here.
Greg White (03:51):
So maybe connect them all up.
Scott Luton (03:55):
We sure need to Kevin Bell, where, where has Kevin been forever. Greg
Greg White (04:01):
Used his quote in way too long. Have we?
Scott Luton (04:04):
You and I let you share it
Greg White (04:06):
To take advantage of a situation. No opportunistic opportunity without being opportunistic. Is that right? Kevin, you got,
Scott Luton (04:19):
Yeah. Kevin dropped that in there. Uh, Kevin is quite, there’s a lot of work as an attorney in the supply global supply chain space. So that is a really cool, uh, so great to have you here. And of course diesel is where this diesel, these clay diesel Phillips, because his motor folks never stops running.
Greg White (04:37):
And you put some strain on his motor on, on Tuesday night and he’s recovered like a lot of Atlantans. Did they may have taken the morning off on Wednesday?
Scott Luton (04:50):
Well, Hey, hopefully not once in a lifetime, but it was ritually deserved richly.
Greg White (04:56):
Well, so far it’s once in a millennia. So,
Scott Luton (05:00):
And that was Jake by the way, Greg Jake from Memphis. A great Jake. Great to have you with us here today. Okay. Welcome everybody. Great to have you. We’ve got a home run panel here today. I want to move fast and I want to welcome in James Malley CEO with PAC Jaret and Jerry Spence director engineering supply chain at crate and barrel. Hey, good morning. Good afternoon, Jerry James, how are we doing? Doing well, thank you.
Greg White (05:28):
Very good. Thanks for
Scott Luton (05:29):
Having me back. You bet. Well, we had a great time in the warmup. In fact, we almost were late Greg, because we were enjoying James and Jerry’s company so much. Huh?
Greg White (05:39):
Well, we may have been doing a little shopping at crate and barrel too, but all of that all at once.
Scott Luton (05:45):
So before we get into the heavy lift, we’re going to start about talking with Jerry about supply chain tech and how it’s evolved. And, and before we get to the heavy lifting, I got to share this wonderful picture that we got from James teen. And this is James and his family at Halloween ketchup mustard. And that’s the cutest little bottle of relish you’ve ever seen.
Greg White (06:06):
We realized too, as it should be.
Scott Luton (06:10):
Oh man, we got to say that hope for a whole different discussion, but James, I love this. I love such a great dad activity here. Tell us really quick, James, and then Jerry, I’ve got a question for you, James, what was the highlight of your evening here?
James Malley (06:24):
Well, so I live in Brooklyn, so we were kind of walking around amongst like really hip people and we were not winning any, uh, maybe coolest looking for costume awards, but uh, our son didn’t care. He was just once he figured out that he raised, he could raise a bucket and get candy in it. Um,
Scott Luton (06:44):
Love it. Alright, so that begs the question. I appreciate you sharing James. When you share a picture with us, you know, we just have to share it with our, our family here. Jerry question for you. We have a neat pre-show conversation around this and I think you and I are kindred spirits to some degree, but tell us what’s, what’s your favorite aspect of how
Jerry Spence (07:03):
The kids’ excitement, right? Like you said, we’re kindred spirits. It’s not one of my favorite, but seeing the joy on my 75 year old running around getting candy they want and just playing with their friends, all dressed up. It’s, it’s a joy to see kids smile in any circumstances and see him and see my two young ones with my travel, with, with work. And then, you know, we all travel a lot with work sometimes. So those moments are special. It’s nice to be home for them, but yeah, just the excitement. And then obviously getting back to the house and we all did this. We were kids right. Then negotiation Negotiation, where you can eat and then also trading with the siblings. Right. You know, I’ll give you two packs of Skittles for your Kit-Kat. So that’s that’s the, the, the bargaining is hallways a always fun and entertaining.
Scott Luton (07:47):
I love that. All right. So Greg, I bet you won all the candy as a kid. That’s my hunch.
Greg White (07:53):
I don’t recall that. Honestly. I don’t remember. You know, there, we always went in a huge pack and it would be pretty hard to stand out as a kid. My favorite time, much like Jerry was going with my kids and maybe with a few adult treats, uh, along the way as the kids were running to the front door
Scott Luton (08:15):
So much more, they’re so much more there, but we’re going to keep striving for the time being
Greg White (08:21):
For all Scott.
Scott Luton (08:22):
It is just, just pack an extra cooler and extra a red wagon and alternative. All right. So we could probably have a lot more fun. I talk in candy and candy negotiation as Jerry was talking about, but let’s get to supply chain technology, right? One of the hottest spaces on, in the universe right now. And Jerry, I want to start with you. I know we’ve got limited time. I know you’ve got a bunch of things going on in hard-stop. How have you seen supply chain tech evolve over the course of your career?
Jerry Spence (08:51):
Yeah, so that evolved dramatically for me. You know, when I started in the industry, it was, it was fairly manual and it was okay to be manual. You know, a lot of paper processes, things along those lines. And I’d say over the last, you know, I’ll just round it up and say 10 years, the labor market’s getting more difficult. Keeping staffing is becoming more difficult costs are increasing. So the automation of the technology has to keep pace with that. And that’s the biggest thing I’ve seen is from a technology standpoint is being able to transition between different associates, but also limiting the associates required for certain aspects. Right? I don’t think you’ll ever be able to eliminate the human element within the, within our business, but you definitely can limit the impact of individuals within our business. So that’s the biggest thing I’ve seen just from software to just mechanical hardware items, interfaces with, with different technologies, it’s all to limit the amount of people required to run the system.
Jerry Spence (09:56):
And, you know, that’s, that’s the biggest thing I look at is how can I make the associates life easier, but need less, less associates to manage the work. Right? We always have doers, but as, as a, as a leader in our, in our company and in, in the industry, you know, we have to be able to make that happen and continue the, the workflow given all the crazy we’re going through. Right. And yet the last couple of years highlight that with if a one associate goes out, cause they’re sick. Now you have 15 associates out because they were exposed that cripples businesses, that cripples operations. So I need to develop an operation that can adapt with the technology support to be able to take those peaks and valleys of, of people in and out of the building. And I think that’s the biggest steps I’ve seen us be able to handle and do is overcome those obstacles.
Scott Luton (10:45):
I love that, man. You’re coming in hot today. It’s like, you’re bringing a bunch of Kit-Kats to the conversation. I love that James coming to you next respond. What’d you hear there Jerry say, or weigh in and how you’ve seen supply chain tech evolve.
James Malley (10:59):
Yeah. Well, I think it’s interesting, particularly with a large organizations, the technology that they’ve been leveraging even the past five years, there’s been more emphasis on kind of microservices, even, you know, working with startups a lot more who are like hyper specialized in one specific thing. Whereas I think in the past, maybe like five, 10 years ago, the kind of modus operandi was to just get one platform that did everything like kind of good, but so you see now today, you know, and just the last few years, this has changed, um, you start to see more sort of specialized tech being
Scott Luton (11:35):
Integrated, very nicely put, uh, Greg,
Greg White (11:39):
Y you know, one of the things aside from tech specifically is the shift in technology from being completely cost minimization based to handling other optimizations, things like brand equity, sustainability, supplier compliance, um, I mean, accurate is a great example of sustainability. You try to put as much as you can in the most efficient way in a, in a box that minimizes packaging, which I know we all share the same frustration for all that excess packaging. So that to me is the big shift. And the other thing, and we’ve talked about this before. I think we talked about it sometime before this week, and that is that automation and autonomous are now mandatory, right? It’s we don’t, we don’t need, as I think we said, when we were talking to Mike Griswold with Gardner yesterday, we don’t need to apologize for taking anyone’s jobs. Most of the autonomous, autonomous and automation in the marketplace is for jobs that people don’t want now, anyway, right. And people have retired from, and the new generations don’t want these jobs. So it’s really a significant paradigm shift there. I said it, oh my gosh, consulting days, going back in that, there’s nothing to apologize anymore for any more because those, those jobs might never be filled again. If they’re not filled by automation,
Scott Luton (13:02):
Right. We’ll put, uh, alright, I’m gonna get a couple of comments here from our audience. Peter, going back to Halloween said we had a one youngster, maybe three walk up to the graveyard we built. And he said, love the lights. I’d like some treats please with such a smile and confidence and made their rainy night awesome
Greg White (13:20):
For that kid someday.
Scott Luton (13:23):
I bet that was James valley. Back in the day, Kevin Bell says you got it. The pursuit of opportunities by companies without being opportunistic well set. And then finally more to point what we’re talking about here. Peter says I started with an inventory cardiac system in the seventies to card system, yellow for inventory levels and a two-sided green or red card. You could see, you could see through a hole in the top right corner for all good. If green or red, if an order, an add a stock, we would pull the red green card and add our recommendation to buy for procurement action. Now, Peter probably is on his phone as I’m trying to decipher exactly what he is sharing there, but it paints a picture, right? We’ve come a long way since these, these card punched systems. Huh?
Greg White (14:10):
Well, I think that speaks to the advancement in technology that Jerry and James are talking about is the first technologies where essentially an automated car decks. They didn’t even really do any optimization or economic analysis. They just represented that on a computer screen. Actually it was all in, it was all in one color then,
Scott Luton (14:31):
Oh, no hole where
Greg White (14:35):
It was buy now or don’t buy now kind of thing, but technology’s come a long way so that it can say you can wait two more days to optimize, you know, to optimize your economics and, and minimize your risk of out-of-stock by preempting stockouts as these days and a whole lot more. So, I mean, I think that goes to how the manual processes that Jerry was talking about evolved into rudimentary and then ultimately very, very advanced technology
Scott Luton (15:03):
Well said. And I think David’s back with us here at Dave and grit and see here today. I think he was agreeing with you one of your earlier points, uh, Greg, about, uh, how the job market has evolved and how we’ve got to embrace technology unlike ever before, but more to going back to you, Jerry, what I’d love to, you know, we’ve talked about kind of evolution, all three of you all have. I want to talk about current opportunities. Cause you know, there’s always opportunities. There’s never a finished line and innovation, like in real continuous improvement. So what are some of the opportunities you see in the warehouse for technology to still improve where it hasn’t yet?
Jerry Spence (15:37):
I would say interfacing with the actual people using it. So right now we’re actually in, uh, opening a new building out here in Illinois and you know, the change management aspect because of the learning curve sometimes associated that. So really getting an interface with the user, that’s easy to understand, easy to navigate. You don’t need a PhD to do it. Right. You know, I consider myself a decently intelligent human being and I strive and, you know, just trying to get through screens, I struggle sometimes it’s, it’s really making the software or the technology for the people using it. Right. And I think sometimes it’s forgot let’s they over-engineer things. They make it so fancy and beautiful. It’s not really actually usable. So really getting that piece of equipment, that technology, the software down to what you actually need to be successful at your, what you’re trying to use it for. Um, you know, we, we run into that, a lot of issues. It’s like, that’s great. You can do that, but I don’t need all that. I just need an a and B and not C through Z.
Scott Luton (16:35):
Well said, James.
James Malley (16:37):
Yeah. I mean, I think that’s sort of a representative of the state of a lot of emerging technologies because a lot of it’s super exciting, but doesn’t have the same kind of sophistication that maybe a B to C product might where they’re putting pouring a lot of resources into making sure, you know, they’re doing a ton of testing on the people. I think, you know, not just supply chain, B2B products in general, uh, we’ll have to start paying attention to, uh, the humans in the equation. Um, if they want to succeed,
Scott Luton (17:08):
Greg coming to you next, it’s not just exciting as James says, it’s super exciting. Right? So Greg, what’s your take here?
Greg White (17:17):
Scott Luton (18:44):
I like that. T-shirt isn’t as the third one here today, I got to bring in Crystal’s comments here. She says, Jerry is spot on. And it’s important to present the data information to the user that helps them to manage at a glance and to make effective real time decisions. Crystal. Awesome. Love that. Okay. I want to circle back Jerry, before we move into the technology integrations and the warehouse and some of the cool things you are doing with packet, anything else to add in terms of the opportunities that exist here today, I’ll give you the final word here.
Jerry Spence (19:15):
Opportunities that exist today. You know, I, I fish think is we, we continue to build the season and create relationships and all those things. It’s going back to just about the people doing the work it’s about our customers, about people in the work, you know, and finding partners that we can work with. Well, you know, James is, was, uh, when we got introduced to him, uh, his company’s phenomenal. They, they, they helped out a lot and I’ll get into why we went with them in a little bit, but opportunities to just continue to push forward, right. That there’s no status quo right now. The sky’s the limit, right? I think the last year and a half has put such a highlight on how important supply chain is. You know, how important that truck driver is that some of these jobs are forgotten about people don’t realize what it takes from that click of the mouse to something get into my doorstep and people are starting to see all that and see the nuances, the interest facies, how difficult our jobs actually are.
Jerry Spence (20:10):
People like, you know, my wife, for example, she’s a school teacher and w what do you do? Don’t you just pick something, put in a box and slap a label on it. And it’s, it’s not that simple, right? There’s so much more that goes into those things. I’m excited for how the industry is under the microscope right now, because so many people are excelling. There’s so many companies out there and I feel supply chain is just going to continue to grow, is continuing to evolve. And there’s a lot of smart people in the industry. And I’m excited to see what the next five to seven years look like with the technology. The interface is how buildings are designed, right from designing buildings five years ago, to how we design buildings now, night and day difference. Right? And that’s, and that’s what I I’m excited for honestly, is just to see how we evolve and continue to service our customers the best to our ability and, and get our product across all brands, not just skirt and barrel, but everyone to our customers in that timely, safe manner.
Scott Luton (21:06):
Jerry, you got us ready to run through the wall back behind me. I love what you bring to the table here. So in your limited time left with this here, I want to touch more on, you know, as, uh, Evelyn says in the comments, there’s always opportunities in particular, as we’ve seen the last couple of years, there’s there’s new opportunities to partner and collaborate for real bottom line impact. So tell us, Jerry, we’ll stick with you here. Tell us a little more about your partnership with James and Patrick.
Jerry Spence (21:30):
So, um, open up a new facility. One of our biggest things is obviously packaging and Greg mentioned sustainability. It’s a huge thing. Crate and barrel takes very, very seriously. And we’re, we have a ton of initiatives to, to improve that across multiple different aspects. Right? So one of one that we wanted to attack that we have the opportunity was, was with our packaging and our outbound shipments three call. And, you know, we, we had some going recommendations for accurate. Uh, so we met, we talked through and really what we were trying to do at create is exactly what Greg described. I want to put as much as I can in the smallest box possible and ship it safely and effectively. And, you know, we had our own internal logic that we used, uh, that was developed, but really it was, it was a home run across the board create saves money.
Jerry Spence (22:20):
We use less dunnage, we use smaller boxes and we were sustainable with that. So, you know, it was, it was, it was a really slam dunk. The software fit really well within our, our system. You know, one of the features they also did was a, was an awesome analysis for us on what boxes do we need? We carry too many. And so they were able to say, Hey, Jerry, based on your order profiles and this and that, they actually were able to remove boxes from our inventory, which is also a great thing. We’re using less dunnage, ordering less, you know, all those things. So for us, it was for the customer, it was for sustainability. And then, you know, I’ll say the last added benefit was we saved a little money,
Scott Luton (23:01):
A bit, a lot of folks, and a lot of businesses out there could relate to that. Prior state, prior to that partnership, you know, some of the challenges you shared there, Hey, before let’s talk about James as if, as if he’s not here, let’s do it because a lot of, a lot of what Jerry just shared there, what we’ve heard in previous conversations with James. So Greg, what what’d you hear there from what?
Greg White (23:22):
Well, I think the most encouraging thing I’ve heard, and I continue to hear this as I do research and talk to companies in the marketplaces cost-saving was the last, not the first consideration of what Jerry and crate and barrel were trying to accomplish. Right. And I think that is a critical shift in supply chain in general, because this has largely been a cost saving exercise, frankly, at the expense of everything else, including resilience and agility, which we’re now talking a lot about in the supply chain. And of course, cost saving often comes at the expense of due diligence around supply chain, around human capital, fair trade. Non-conflict all, all of those kinds of things that now people and consumers are very aware of because they know what supply chain is. You don’t have to explain it every time you sit down with somebody, you just have to mention the great toilet paper shortage of 2020. And so I think that that is encouraging as every, as anything is that not only, not only our sustainability and, and consideration for the humans who are in the process and are the consumers who are humans, who in the process as well, but that cost saving is now recognized as just one of the risks, not the primary goal of watching.
Scott Luton (24:47):
That’s such a great call-out Greg great call out. Um, and unfortunately our time with Jerry is just about to come to an end. James, I’ll get you to weigh in on y’all’s partnership. And
Greg White (24:58):
We’d like to hear what you think about Jarrett.
Scott Luton (25:01):
Let’s say Jerry James would love for you.
Greg White (25:05):
James thinks about Jerry. Yeah.
James Malley (25:08):
Right. Well, I don’t want it, uh, to see, seem like I’m sucking up to jury in public here, but just on this point, working with him and his team was incredible. We were, you know, embraced and, and frustrated into the sort of problem solving environment and creates really amazing at, you know, there wasn’t a lot of like politics. It was like everybody was there to solve problems. And it was really, it ended up being really fun. Um, you know, through the, through the problems we had to solve and through, you know, kind of celebrating the wins and stuff. So Jerry, thank you for, for that opportunity. So
Scott Luton (25:45):
What I heard there, Jerry, and, and we want to make sure folks know how to connect with you in a minute, and then if you want to throw James’ phone, but Hey, Jerry, seriously, what I hear there is cultural. You know, it seems like to me, hearing you talk earlier and what James just shared there, the culture at crate and barrel leans into these challenges to find ways of not just as Greg said, it, not just finding, you know, bottom line savings, but what’s most important for our consumers and our employees.
Jerry Spence (26:14):
Yeah, absolutely. You know, it was a good partnership. The team I’ll call I’ll call a scrappy. Right. I think that’s one thing about any distribution center, any supply chain, you know, you’re, you’re solving problems on the fly a lot of the times and trying to get good partners who you all come to the table, there’s no egos, there’s none. There’s no other, you know, agendas. It’s just, here’s our problem. Let’s sit down and let’s talk about the good, the bad, the ugly. Right. And I think that’s what this partial partnership was. We came and said, here’s her issue, please help. And they brought their a game and they, like I said, they really helped us out. And you know, we’ve gotten a lot of feedback from our associates doing our packing for operations that it’s going really well. Right. And that’s the best part. It was a successful project, but yeah, it’s all about the partnership is all about just come to the table with an open mind and just creating that awesome team environment and building relationships.
Scott Luton (27:08):
Love that. Okay. So Jerry, now that we’re at a time with you and folks stick around, we’re going to, uh, we have a little after show with James and Greg here momentarily, but how can folks connect with you if they want?
Jerry Spence (27:19):
Yeah, absolutely. LinkedIn is probably his way for me. So just send me a note, send me a letter, whatever you want to do on LinkedIn and I’ll reply. So that’s the easiest way for me to get hunted down.
Scott Luton (27:32):
I love that. That reminds me of a old song. I have to think of that. I’ll think of it. Maybe sing it to Greg and James in a minute, but Hey, Jerry, really appreciate, I really appreciate you taking time out of your crazy schedule to pop in with us for a few minutes and, uh, all the best to you as you get back eventually to the hometown Livermore, California.
Jerry Spence (27:54):
Yes. Beautiful wine country out there. So bay area, trust me, this cold weather in Illinois does not, uh, agree with my California, my California. So I, I appreciate the time I appreciate the conversation you guys are awesome. Um, I look forward to hopefully, uh, getting back here someday with y’all
Scott Luton (28:13):
Thanks, Jerry Spence with crate and barrel, man. That was awesome. Really enjoyed it’s in his bones did y’all you could, as he was describing, not just y’all’s work together, but how they get stuff done at Creighton beer, how they innovate, how they move forward. Manny, he could be marshaling, a big old band of troops there, Greg, uh, across the Atlantic. Huh? Okay.
Greg White (28:37):
Yeah. Well, I think that goes to why crate and barrel isn’t a highly admired company, is they perform, they always have, and frankly are one of the leaders in e-commerce because they started out back in the day when it was called mail-order. So they have, they have, unlike some of the prior, whatever you want to call it, top companies and mail order have, have really made the transition. Well, and both their retail operations and their e-commerce operations are top top-notch and they have the right spirit. Right. Which is to serve the calmer customer to do it in, in a responsible way. And, um, and lastly, right. To bring as much profit to the bottom line as they can.
Scott Luton (29:21):
James Malley (29:22):
That enthusiasm that you see, that’s not like he didn’t put that on for the show. He’s just like, always like that. And it’s super contagious. Um, so I was glad you guys got
Scott Luton (29:34):
Outstanding. All right. So we’re going to move on to the second half of our livestream here. The day we got another half hour with James. Yes. Everybody loves James James. I’m going to ask you a heavy hitting question for starters, right. And it’s going to be a heavy hitting question before we get to the rest of your market expertise. What we all want to know is were you channeling Hunt’s ketchup or Heinz ketchup in this, in this costume? That’s we got to know which one
James Malley (29:59):
It’s a good question. You can’t see cause of the T or hats are kind of out of frame, but they’re kind of lopsided, you know, like if you go to a hot dog stand there’s those catch-ups and models. So whatever generic, you know, secondhand catch up, uh, they put in those bottles, that’s probably the not canceled clearly. Not certainly not certainly not.
Scott Luton (30:24):
Well, you know, it’s funny, I worked for Cisco foods way back in the day. And part of what we do is we do cuttings between brands, right? Especially as we are trying to serve our customer the best, right. Mainly independent restaurants. And I never really thought about it growing up, but man hunts, ketchup and Heinz ketchup, which are probably the dominant two brands in the U S yeah, it is night and day. Hunts is so sweet. Don’t get my hot dog has got to have a splash. No, no, no, wait a second. I don’t put ketchup on the hot dogs. Where am I thinking James and Greg, but if gimme that Heinz vinegary type ketchup, that’s the only way to go. James, do you agree?
James Malley (31:04):
Absolutely. I, I agree with everything you say,
Scott Luton (31:07):
Man. How about that, man? Maybe, maybe, uh, Greg, we’ll have to bring James on a little more often. Turn the tables a bit. Hey. All right. So let’s get, let’s get past catch up for a second. Uh, I want to talk more about this. Uh, James, I think this is your third appearance with us and we really enjoyed you being a part of our streams. And also sometimes in the, in the Scott boxes, uh, we all are big fans of Robin, Greg and Greg white had a great conversation with Robin Greg in a previous episode or tequila sunrise. James, tell us what is the latest with Packard what’s going on? Why is it a thing as, as we were talking about
James Malley (31:42):
Why is it a thing? Yeah. So just, just for some background where we have a class of software called cartonization. So if any anybody’s in the audience is familiar with that. It’s not a word in the dictionary, unfortunately, or load planning software. We’re kind of in that space. And I guess in the context of our, our previous conversation, uh, pack year, it is kind of a, a modern answer to that relative legacy kind of approach to containers.
Scott Luton (32:12):
It’s not in a dictionary yet, you know, and it’s not,
James Malley (32:15):
I’ve been writing them letters, Webster,
Scott Luton (32:19):
Well, you know, who corners of market and all things dictionary and encyclopedias funk. And Wagnalls, that’s, that’s the focus. That’s the duo you’ve got to reach out to. Is that right, Greg? Hey. Oh man. Nice. All right. So Greg, when it comes to pack your with what you heard just there and what we heard from Jerry and previous conversations, why do you think James has seen so much momentum?
Greg White (32:42):
Well, I mean, it’s, as he said, it’s something that’s time has come. We did a practically, a whole show Scott, about our frustration about all of the excess past packaging that we got last holiday season, which by the way, doesn’t seem like it was nearly a year ago. And I think that, you know, there’s so much emphasis on e-commerce of course that’s been a huge accelerant today. There’s so much awareness as we just talked about by the consumer to this kind of waste. It it’s the right time for this and stunning, frankly, that it, that it hasn’t come before. But I think, I mean, and James, you got to check me on this, but I think both the data availability and the technology capability are finally here that allow us to do it because this does take, it does take a lot of dimensionality. It takes some, uh, some artificial intelligence and a boatload of data to figure out all the possible configurations of, I mean, it’s like Jenga in a box, right?
James Malley (33:45):
Yeah. It’s like automated 3d, certainly on the data side, uh, even five years ago, um, companies were not, you know, they were trying to do it, but they weren’t taking it seriously. So even if they had dimensions or other data, maybe it was there, but it wasn’t what we would call healthy. Um, there are a lot of errors and stuff just in the last few years you’ve seen, you know, just so these companies can make use of a lot of them. Emerging tech, um, have really gotten serious about putting processes in place and, you know, analysis and all these things to make sure their data is healthy. And I just want to mention, cause you call that sustainability when we were talking to Jerry and this is maybe more of a personal observation. I I’m maybe a little bit cynical as a baseline. Um, and when we first started, you know, we were getting advice like, you know, lead with, uh, cost savings.
James Malley (34:37):
That’s all, anybody cares about, you know, sustainability, that’s like nice for PR, but they don’t care. They don’t actually care. And I’m pleased to say that that’s so not true at all. Um, these huge, you know, retailers, there are people there in decision-making spots that really really care and don’t have a plan for how to turn it into a marketing way. They’re making decisions based on this. Now, now supply chain is a good space for that because you know, sustainability is correlated with cost savings. So it’s, you know, in some other industries, there may be some challenges trying to say, okay, this is better for the earth, but it’s way more expensive. But that said, I just think I’ve just been so encouraged by the honest enthusiasm. Um, in the
Greg White (35:28):
It’s like you read my mind, James, I was going to ask you what if that, and if not sustainability, what was the primary driver of people using this? I mean, clearly there is cost savings in it, right. And clearly sustainability. So I was curious if that really took the four, but outside of crate and barrel. So that’s really
James Malley (35:51):
Well. I think it’s, uh, you know, it’s the new generation of leaders in that, in those positions, public companies, you know, if there are people that want to do is sustain sustainability initiatives, they’re getting support from the C level because the shareholders care. Now it’s now a totally mainstream position. So the shareholders are putting a pressure on these companies as well. So I think it’s all kind of converging and it’ll end up being the industry standard to do these things in a company.
Greg White (36:20):
I think more and more companies are starting to recognize that brand equity comes from things like doing good as well as doing well. And they recognize the longer term impact on profitability of the fact that you cut out, cut out a huge percentage of the marketplace from buying from you. If you’re not, if you’re not a socially environmentally responsible company. So that that recognition has come is, is good. And you know, I, you know, me, James, I am a little cynical. I always follow the money and I’ve walked, but you know, I’ve always encouraged consumers to vote with their wallets, vote your principles with your wallet, and that will drive the companies to do the things that you want them to do.
Scott Luton (37:06):
Right. So on that note, I want to go back to something you said a minute ago, James, but first Dave and says everything, James, in terms of agreeing with Scott on everything, that could be a very dangerous statement. I agree, David, not as
Greg White (37:19):
Dangerous as agreeing with me on everything.
Scott Luton (37:22):
That’s probably really
Greg White (37:23):
True. We already know James.
Scott Luton (37:26):
So James, you’ve been in this space for around 20 years. I think that’s what we’ve said earlier in, in logistics and supply chain almost 20 years. I think you were just talking a second ago about the advice you’d gotten when you were founding the organization and how that ended up not being, what you see you’ve seen out in the marketplace. When, when did give us a timeline, when did you found a Packard and how long ago was that?
James Malley (37:54):
I didn’t know. I was, I’m not, yeah, not the most popular high school. Um,
Scott Luton (38:03):
But look at us now, look at us now.
James Malley (38:09):
Are you like me now? No. Uh, my, uh, business partner, pat powers, he’s a, a brilliant engineer and we started working in supply chain tech, I think way back in like 2012 or something, 2011 and you know, managing, um, implementations for shipping software providers. And, um, we actually built a full blown shipping system at one point. And I think it, you know, it was the prototype a product that’s still out today. And we got kind of tired of that life, like running around, putting out fires all the time. And we saw, you know, people shippers were asking for something to help them pack beyond just like putting a post-it note on the warehouse wall saying use this box for this. And, um, yeah, we were lucky enough to have relationships with shippers because of our prior work. And, um, spent the first couple of years we’re finding the, you know, the engine, which, you know, eventually turned into something that we would consider to be artificial intelligence. And, you know, I would say 2020 and one of the pandemic came is when, uh, it became a critical issue instead of just like, uh, a nice thing to have. Um, and so we’ve really just been doing our best to keep up with, you know, supporting big customers like crate, um, as the, you know, costs increase and, and sustainability becomes more of a concern.
Scott Luton (39:30):
I love that. Okay. And send to us, you’ve got a great comment here. I’m going to share this. This is something we talked about earlier on earlier shows, not necessarily Jane’s, but others send to us via LinkedIn says, great talk. He’d love to understand how social sustainability of suppliers could be insured so that no kids are involved in the manufacturing of the very toys meant for kids. That is a great point. And that’s, you know, fortunately James and Greg talking about things that have come to the surface here in recent years, you know, and we talked about it just yesterday, uh, Greg slavery and industry, uh, even trafficking, you know, that thankfully is finally getting some meaningful action to eradicate it. So, um, a lot of things kind of coming to this intersection. All right. So James, along those lines, that’s a good segue. So Santos, thank you for making the segue for us because we want to go broader. Right. We’ve talked a lot about, you know, packaging, a particular, uh, sustainability, um, how that, uh, certainly how that plays a part. We’ve talked about the packer story a bit, certainly the crate and barrel story. What else, when you, when you survey, you know, global business, certainly global supply chain, what else are you tracking right now, James?
James Malley (40:38):
Well, I’m kind of a nerd. So I, you know, I follow a ton of, uh, technology as it’s developing and, you know, things that run alongside us sometimes are robotics, augmented reality. And those are things that while it’s very exciting, they’re still in their nascent stages and this kind of a throwback to the usability thing we were talking about, but like augmented reality, like in its current state, do I want to thing like hanging off my face, telling me what to do. I just think they’re, they’re representative of something really useful and really human centric that can be in the warehouse beyond that I’ve been interested in, you know, where we’re investment money is going. Venture capital, uh, has been, you know, pretty generous this year. I think $45 billion have been put into logistics startups compared to 34 billion last year. So if you want to kind of guess at the, the, the sort of collective investment thesis that these investors have and what they think the future of supply chain looks like. Um, I think looking at where they’re putting their money can tell a pretty interesting story,
Scott Luton (41:47):
Greg White (41:48):
It’s true. I mean, honestly, I was doing that research this morning and writing a paper to the limited partners of one of the VC firms that I’m working with. And we’re seeing by the middle of this year, Justin supply chain technology identified largely as SAS software as a service type technology over 50% more invested by the middle of this year, then the highest prior year of investment ever in supply chain. And it valuations that in some cases are a hundred percent higher than they, than they were in the first quarter of this year. So, you know, the value among the marketplace is recognized in supply chain tech and investors are plugging their dollars into that to, to capitalize on opportunities, opportunities without being opportunistic. So, yeah, there’s, I mean, there’s definitely finally, I feel like finally, because I have been in the industry since you were 16 and probably sick, frankly, James, so it’s been kind of a frustrating, slow burn to get to the 0.1 Scott, where supply chain is recognized end of sentence, recognized, appreciated, not looked at a scans. And you know, an actually is in the forefront of the minds of, of, uh C-suite and other executives. And finally they are making the commitment to technology that can change their business for the better and change the world. Likewise, for better supply chain can save the world. Whoever said that is not wrong.
Scott Luton (43:32):
Right. Lots of folks, right? Lots of folks. I think that’s, that’s where we are. And, uh, and, and really add a necessity, right. Based on what supply chain does every single day. Yeah. So, James, I gotta tell you, when you said you’re gonna, you’re a bit of a nerd and you’re talking about things hanging off your head that were going to tell you what to do. I went straight to the Borg star Trek Borg, and I thought, that’s what you’re going to go where you’re going, James, are you, uh, are you a science fiction fan?
James Malley (44:01):
You know, I’ve never admitted it publicly, but yes, that’s how
Scott Luton (44:05):
It is a big move. Thank you. That’s the transparency yet with James Malley? So what are you, so is it star wars? Is it star Trek? Is it something else? What, what is, what’s your, you know, top of the list?
James Malley (44:17):
I think star Trek, uh, because of my age star Trek, next generation was probably my intro and got, you know, where my love of scifi comes from. Cause watching it every, you know, Wednesday or whatever it was after a, uh, a full house,
Greg White (44:34):
Uh, Brian is that, oh, no, that’s not full house. That was that’s the twins. Right? Okay.
James Malley (44:41):
Yeah. The Olsen twins. Yeah. But anyway, that’s a, that’s a whole other livestream. I think go,
Scott Luton (44:47):
I love that way. The technology who knows, but we’ve seen, we’ve already seen personal communicators come to fruition. Right. We’re working on teleportation and we figure out teleportation
Greg White (44:57):
That that would be huge for the supply chain, obviously. Right. I I’m thinking of the port of long beach, right. This moment with teleportation instantaneously solve that problem. You don’t even need
James Malley (45:13):
Health. It would not be good for my waist size, I guess.
Scott Luton (45:19):
All right. So I got up, I want to pose this question. We get from Santos. You’re kind of on a different topic, uh, kind of with a, with an eye on the crystal ball, you know, in, in certainly, uh, the short-term future. But I would argue going into 2020, so Santos and appreciate you being engaged with us and being in sky boxes, he says, uh, should retailers, exercise hedging and anticipate, uh, anticipation of supply chain crunches ahead of any festive season. And Greg, I want to come to you first and then I’ll circle the,
Greg White (45:50):
Um, I started my career with a, with a principle and inventory that was essentially hedging forward buying. And, um, to answer the question it’s too late for this immediate festive season, but absolutely any peak in demand, they absolutely should assume. And this is again, one of the cynical mantras that somebody gave me when I was early in my supply chain career, assume that everyone will fail you, right? And the more you do that, the better off you’ll be in your supply chain. So you have to find those points of fragility, identify the risk there of, and, and, um, adapt assuming that that fragility will break next time through the supply chain. And, you know, there are statistical means of doing that, of course, but, but yeah, I think you have to anticipate much, much earlier. The truth is in a lot of cases in retail, the goods for the us Christmas holidays land in June, you know, and that they didn’t, in some cases this year has put us way behind the curve. And in some cases, those goods won’t be available for the holidays. And we’ve already talked about that. So yes, they definitely need to plan ahead. They should do so economically as well, because I don’t, I don’t agree with the federal reserve. Here we go, James, this will be something I don’t agree with. The federal reserve that inflation is transitory unless by transitory, they mean for the next two to five years. So
James Malley (47:21):
I don’t want to,
Greg White (47:25):
You know, you, you have to hedge against inventory and risk of fragility right now, unquestionably, I just bought, um, what otherwise would be four months of coffee, hoping to get past the issues that are currently occurring in that marketplace. And I can’t remember what else I bought on forward bought on
Scott Luton (47:46):
Soap, deodorant underwear, perhaps Greg.
Greg White (47:50):
No, but it feels like I’ve been for going on toilet papers since March 13th, 2020.
Scott Luton (47:55):
Well, Hey, really quick on a more serious note, uh, Santos mentions the festive season. I was so happy to all it to everyone out there that celebrates. I was reading a little bit about the history and it’s an intriguing history, the Wiley, uh, but one of the cool themes, one of the common themes, one of the many common themes that make up the holiday is celebrating the triumph of good over evil. And gosh, if that’s something we all can’t get around and celebrate, celebrate our own Dwelly I don’t know what we can. So, uh, happy to all it to everyone that celebrates this special time of year. All right, really quick. I’m coming to you, James, but I want to, I got to reference a couple of these teas where it says the next generation forever and it was on Monday. So T squared, thanks for bringing in a little star Trek into the conversation
Greg White (48:40):
And also a feller fellow founder T squared, um, Connect up.
Scott Luton (48:48):
Yeah, we gotta get y’all hooked up. Uh, James and he li Klasko one of the best in demand, transportation and logistics and beyond analyst, uh, he of Bloomberg intelligence and one heck of a live stream guest Lee says 3d printing is today’s teleportation. Okay. He ain’t wrong, James. So going back to the question, Santos initially had about hedging in anticipation of supply chain crunches ahead of any festive season. Any thoughts on your end or James,
James Malley (49:23):
I’m going to defer to Greg’s answer and completely dodged the question.
Greg White (49:28):
You should write her off the baby.
James Malley (49:31):
And it was truly a politician like way, but just sort of tie it to our earlier conversation and say, I think the trajectory of supply chain technology can tell us that in the future, and it might be 10 years, it might be 20 years, but all of the funding that’s going out there, all of the innovative routing technology analysis technology, we’re all headed to a place where the entire supply chain is linked and visible to everybody. And that’s going to sound a little next generation idealistic. I think probably to some of your very smart, uh, audience members, but
Scott Luton (50:08):
Resistance is that’s the few times
James Malley (50:11):
You will, we are born, you will be integrated. But I think that, you know, just think of some practical example, all these trucks coming out of the port of LA, you know, they’re going all across the country in Mo even to Florida. And in most cases they’re coming back empty. And so, I mean, it’s clear, I think of every problem through the lens of like usable space, uh, because of what we do, but, but just think about, you know, how our entire supply chain could change. If you didn’t need to worry about hedging because you you’ve got products here, they’re in the, you know, you’re doing last mile assembly, 3d printing, you know, all, we’re all headed to a place where a lot of these questions that we’re struggling with today could be answered by, you know, an, uh, an amalgamation of, uh, of this tech that we’re seeing.
Scott Luton (50:56):
I like that James and Greg speaking of songs, I heard James just referenced. Imagine all the good people, uh, w what songs that linen the Beatles imagine
Greg White (51:10):
Too, right? Yeah. Oh, well, imagine you mean the song. Imagine, yeah,
Scott Luton (51:13):
I couldn’t quite let coffee has kind of killed my throat this morning and I’m really, I’m a bad singer. Anyway, it’s being transparent. Thank you, James. Uh, you’re two con, which you kind of on the air here, but Hey,
Greg White (51:28):
Scott Luton (51:29):
That’s all right. Imagine a better day, a better day clothes that look kidding aside, and it’d be cheesy for a minute. You know, re imagining what the art of the possible is, is a big part of real innovation, not innovation of the innovation centers that are nearby plops out there. That’s part of the marketing exercise, but making supply chain happen differently in a way that not only serves the consumer as Greg and James and Jerry spoke to, but also serves the team members. The employees also serves the planet, and that is that’s the table stakes these days, uh, between those three were those three and others voices. Okay. James, we’ve had a wide ranging conversation here today, wide ranging, right? We, we rubbed elbows with one of the most admired brands. I think on the face of the planet, we’ve talked about star Trek. We’ve talked about ketchup. We’ve talked about packaging and doing packaging in a 20, 21 or maybe 2030 version, as opposed to 1982, Greg, we’re going to pick on 1982. Thanks. We always pickled that year. I’m not sure why, but James, how can folks connect with James Malley and the Packard team
James Malley (52:40):
And the audience during supply chain now streams giving quips and, and heckling Greg. Um, otherwise LinkedIn, I love chatting with anybody about supply chain stuff, particularly e-comm fulfillment. So please reach out otherwise pack your shit.io is our web
Scott Luton (52:58):
Wonderful. Uh, so we’re, we’re keeping Greg Greg, go ahead.
Greg White (53:02):
Can I ask one final question before we start to wrap here? I’m curious. And I, and James, this is totally out of the blue from an investor’s mindset. So w w where, where are you in your, if, if we talk about stages, we did talk about where investors are investing, but where are you? Are you ready? Are you raising right now? If you did raise, would it be a seed or an a round, or what, what, where would you,
James Malley (53:27):
Yeah, I, in terms of we are raising right now, uh, in terms of what to call it, it’s a bit odd because typically a seed that you have an idea, and then you take the money and you go see we have customers. So, uh, we’re calling it a seed though. Um, because we think there’s a lot more we can do. Um, in the future,
Scott Luton (53:46):
Undoubtedly, undoubtedly, James, we’ve enjoyed your appearance today. We’ve enjoyed your, your, uh, our previous chats together. Do anything really exciting? This upcoming weekend is, is a weather started to turn up in Brooklyn. Uh,
James Malley (54:00):
It has gotten a little, a little ch a little chili. Um, so getting out the door takes an extra 10 minutes of wrapping the coats over the kid. Yeah. Other than that, not just hanging out,
Scott Luton (54:11):
Just hang on to that sweet relish thing. And you plot that thing on it, make it easy. It’s almost like just scoop him up.
Greg White (54:18):
If you ever miss somebody just put on those costumes, find someone with a hot dog costing,
Scott Luton (54:26):
Or just staying next to a hot dog stand and give a very disapproving look whenever grabs the ketchup. No mustard. Hey. All right. So we’ve talked about, uh, James, uh, his weekend in Brooklyn and the course packer.io for more information also connect with James on LinkedIn. He’s a, he’s a great follow slash you know, some folks really believe in the social aspect of social media. And James is, is one of those great folks. So, uh, connect with James Malley there, Greg, you are wearing a shirt with double H on it, which could be a heart is harbinger harbinger of things to come apart, mispronounce that, but harbinger,
Greg White (55:06):
Scott Luton (55:07):
I’m not going to be spending any time down in Hilton head.
Greg White (55:10):
Oh, oh. So this is Helly Hansen. So, oh, hell yes. Sailing possibly in Hilton head. Yes, James, if it gets too cold, come down and see me. You in much better weather
Scott Luton (55:28):
For adult beverages in a red wagon. Now
Greg White (55:32):
Everything becomes an agreement after a couple of colons.
Scott Luton (55:37):
Well, folks, hopefully you’ve enjoyed this wide ranging conversation as much as we have here. A big thanks again to, uh, let’s see here, James Molly, of course, and packer, but Jerry spints with crate and barrel James and Jerry. Gosh, it, that threw me for a loop kind of throughout the hour here today, but really enjoyed our conversation. Of course, big, thanks to everyone that showed up in the sky boxes and everything, all the comments and questions. Santos. Great questions here today. Hope to see you on Monday for the buzz. Uh, Peter Boulay says it’s almost 32 degrees up in he’s in the Montreal area, right? Greg?
Greg White (56:13):
Scott Luton (56:14):
Greg White (56:15):
They’ll see us. So not much above
Scott Luton (56:19):
Way. Big thanks to Peter and everyone else has joined us. They’re big. Thanks to Amanda Jayda, Allie clay, all the folks that on the production side that helps make these live streams happen. Most importantly, folks on behalf of our entire team in James Malley, Hey, we challenging you to do good. Give forward, be the change that’s needed on that note. We’ll see you next time. Right back here at supply chain. Now, thanks for budding.
Thanks for being a part of our supply chain. Now, community check out all of our email@example.com and make sure you subscribe to supply chain now anywhere you listen to podcasts and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. See you next time on supply chain now.
James Malley, working in the logistics space since 2009, has helped create a variety of enterprise shipping technology. He spearheaded the design of an award-winning multi-carrier TMS. Since 2016, he’s been evangelizing the use of AI to achieve cost-efficient and environmentally sustainable packing. Connect with James on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jmalley/
Jerry Spence is an experienced Senior Engineering Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the retail industry. Skilled in Microsoft Word, Systems Engineering, Management, and Lean Manufacturing. He is a strong operations professional with a Master of Science (MS) focused in Industrial Engineering from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo. Connect with Jerry on LinkedIn.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Adrian Purtill serves as Business Development Manager at Vector Global Logistics, where he consults with importers and exporters in various industries to match their specific shipping requirements with the most effective supply chain solutions. Vector Global Logistics is an asset-free, multi-modal logistics company that provides exceptional sea freight, air freight, truck, rail, general logistic services and consulting for our clients. Our highly trained and professional team is committed to providing creative and effective solutions, always exceeding our customer’s expectations and fostering long-term relationships. With more than 20+ years of experience in both strategy consulting and logistics, Vector Global Logistics is your best choice to proactively minimize costs while having an exceptional service level.
Joshua is a student from Institute of Technology and Higher Education of Monterrey Campus Guadalajara in Communication and Digital Media. His experience ranges from Plug and Play México, DearDoc, and Nissan México creating unique social media marketing campaigns and graphics design. Joshua helps to amplify the voice of supply chain here at Supply Chain Now by assisting in graphic design, content creation, asset logistics, and more. In his free time he likes to read and write short stories as well as watch movies and television series.
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.
Vicki has a long history of rising to challenges and keeping things up and running. First, she supported her family’s multi-million dollar business as controller for 12 years, beginning at the age of 17. Then, she worked as an office manager and controller for a wholesale food broker. But her biggest feat? Serving as the chief executive officer of her household, while her entrepreneur husband travelled the world extensively. She fed, nurtured, chaperoned, and chauffeured three daughters all while running a newsletter publishing business and remaining active in her community as a Stephen’s Minister, Sunday school teacher, school volunteer, licensed realtor and POA Board president (a title she holds to this day). A force to be reckoned with in the office, you might think twice before you meet Vicki on the tennis court! When she’s not keeping the books balanced at Supply Chain Now or playing tennis matches, you can find Vicki spending time with her husband Greg, her 4 fur babies, gardening, cleaning (yes, she loves to clean!) and learning new things.
Founder, CEO, & Host
As the founder and CEO of Supply Chain Now, you might say Scott is the voice of supply chain – but he’s too much of a team player to ever claim such a title. One thing’s for sure: he’s a tried and true supply chain expert. With over 15 years of experience in the end-to-end supply chain, Scott’s insights have appeared in major publications including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CNN. He has also been named a top industry influencer by Thinkers360, ISCEA and more.
From 2009-2011, Scott was president of APICS Atlanta, and he continues to lead initiatives that support both the local business community and global industry. A United States Air Force Veteran, Scott has also regularly led efforts to give back to his fellow veteran community since his departure from active duty in 2002.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Allison Krache Giddens has been with Win-Tech, a veteran-owned small business and aerospace precision machine shop, for 15 years, recently buying the company from her mentor and Win-Tech’s Founder, Dennis Winslow. She and her business partner, John Hudson now serve as Co-Presidents, leading the 33-year old company through the pandemic.
She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia, a Masters in Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a Masters in Manufacturing from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Certificate of Finance from the University of Georgia. She also holds certificates in Google Analytics, event planning, and Cybersecurity Risk Management from Harvard online. Allison founded the Georgia Chapter of Women in Manufacturing and currently serves as Treasurer. She serves on the Chattahoochee Technical College Foundation Board as its Secretary, the liveSAFE Resources Board of Directors as Resource Development Co-Chair, and on the Leadership Cobb Alumni Association Board as Membership Chair and is also a member of Cobb Executive Women. She is on the Board for the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Northwest Area Councils. Allison runs The Dave Krache Foundation, a non-profit that helps pay sports fees for local kids in need.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now and TECHquila Sunrise
When rapid-growth technology companies, venture capital and private equity firms are looking for advisory, they call Greg – a founder, board director, advisor and catalyst of disruptive B2B technology and supply chain. An insightful visionary, Greg guides founders, investors and leadership teams in creating breakthroughs to gain market exposure and momentum – increasing overall company esteem and valuation.
Greg is a founder himself, creating Blue Ridge Solutions, a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in cloud-native supply chain applications, and bringing to market Curo, a field service management solution. He has also held leadership roles with Servigistics (PTC) and E3 Corporation (JDA/Blue Yonder). As a principal and host at Supply Chain Now, Greg helps guide the company’s strategic direction, hosts industry leader discussions, community livestreams, and all in addition to executive producing and hosting his original YouTube channel and podcast, TEChquila Sunrise.
Principal, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain is Boring
Talk about world-class: Chris is one of the few professionals in the world to hold CPIM-F, CLTD-F and CSCP-F designations from ASCM/APICS. He’s also the APICS coach – and our resident Supply Chain Doctor. When he’s not hosting programs with Supply Chain Now, he’s sharing supply chain knowledge on the APICS Coach Youtube channel or serving as a professional education instructor for the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistic Institute’s Supply Chain Management (SCM) program and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Center for Professional Education courses.
Chris earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from Bradley University, an MBA with emphasis in Industrial Psychology from the University of West Florida, and is a Doctoral in Supply Chain Management candidate.
Host of TEKTOK
If there’s one Supply Chain ‘Pro to Know,’ it’s Karin. She’s earned the title for three years and counting – culminating in her designation as the “2020 Supply Chain Pro to Know of the Year.” Karin is also an award-winning digital supply chain, business strategy and technology marketing executive. A sought-after speaker at industry conferences, you will find her quoted in a variety of supply chain publications – and active in forums like ASCM/APICS and CSCMP.
With more than 25 years of supply chain experience, Karin spearheaded strategy and marketing for Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader and IDC MarketScape Leader, Logility. Karin has the heart of a teacher and has helped nearly 1,000 customers transform their businesses and tell their success stories. Today, she is a sought-after advisor helping high-growth B2B technology companies with everything from defining their unique value propositions to introducing new products and capturing customer success. No matter their goals, she makes sure her clients have actionable marketing strategies that help grow global revenue, market share and profitability.
Host of Digital Transformers
Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized Thought Leader, Industry Influencer and Founder/Author of the award winning “Cloud Musings” blog. He has also been recognized as a “Top 5G Influencer” (Onalytica 2019, Radar 2020), a “Top 50 Global Digital Transformation Thought Leader” (Thinkers 360 2019) and provides strategic consulting and integrated social media services to AT&T, Intel, Broadcom, Ericsson and other leading companies. Mr. Jackson’s commercial experience includes Vice President J.P. Morgan Chase, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and SAIC (Engility) Director Cloud Solutions. He has served on teams that have supported digital transformation projects for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the US Intelligence Community. Kevin’s formal education includes a MS Computer Engineering from Naval Postgraduate School; MA National Security & Strategic Studies from Naval War College; and a BS Aerospace Engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Internationally recognizable firms that have sponsored articles authored by him include Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix and IBM. Books include “Click to Transform” (Leaders Press, 2020), “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” (Packt, 2018), and “Practical Cloud Security: A Cross Industry View” (Taylor & Francis, 2016). He also delivers online training through Tulane University, O’Reilly Media, LinkedIn Learning, and Pluralsight. Mr. Jackson retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994, earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Carrier Onboard Delivery Logistics and carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Control. While active, he also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide.
Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español
Enrique serves as Managing Director at Vector Global Logistics and believes we all have a personal responsibility to change the world. He is hard working, relationship minded and pro-active. Enrique trusts that the key to logistics is having a good and responsible team that truly partners with the clients and does whatever is necessary to see them succeed. He is a proud sponsor of Vector’s unique results-based work environment and before venturing into logistics he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). During his time at BCG, he worked in different industries such as Telecommunications, Energy, Industrial Goods, Building Materials, and Private Banking. His main focus was always on the operations, sales, and supply chain processes, with case focus on, logistics, growth strategy, and cost reduction. Prior to joining BCG, Enrique worked for Grupo Vitro, a Mexican glass manufacturer, for five years holding different positions from sales and logistics manager to supply chain project leader in charge of five warehouses in Colombia.
He has an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and a BS, in Mechanical Engineer from the Technologico de Monterrey in Mexico. Enrique’s passions are soccer and the ocean, and he also enjoys traveling, getting to know new people, and spending time with his wife and two kids, Emma and Enrique.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Kelly is the Owner and Managing Director of Buyers Meeting Point and MyPurchasingCenter. She has been in procurement since 2003, starting as a practitioner and then as the Associate Director of Consulting at Emptoris. She has covered procurement news, events, publications, solutions, trends, and relevant economics at Buyers Meeting Point since 2009. Kelly is also the General Manager at Art of Procurement and Business Survey Chair for the ISM-New York Report on Business. Kelly has her MBA from Babson College as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College and she has co-authored three books: ‘Supply Market Intelligence for Procurement Professionals’, ‘Procurement at a Crossroads’, and ‘Finance Unleashed’.
Host, Veteran Voices
Mary Kate Soliva is 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.
Jeff Miller is the host of Supply Chain Now’s Supply Chain is the Business. Jeff is a digital business transformation and supply chain advisor with deep expertise in Industry 4.0, ERP, PLM, SCM, IoT, AR and related technologies. Through more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, he has worked with many of the world’s leading product and service companies to achieve their strategic business and supply chain goals, creating durable business value for organizations at the forefront of technology and business practices. Jeff is the managing director for North America at Transition Technologies PSC, a global solution integrator, and the founder and managing principal of BTV Advisors, a firm that helps companies secure business transformation value from digital supply chain technologies and their breakthrough capabilities.
Chief Marketing Officer
Amanda is a marketing veteran and entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience across a variety of industries and organizations including Von Maur, Anthropologie, AmericasMart Atlanta, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. In 2016, Amanda founded and grew the Magnolia Marketing Group into a successful digital media firm, and now she develops modern marketing strategies, social campaigns, innovative operational processes, and implements creative content initiatives for Supply Chain Now. But that’s just the beginning of her supply chain impact. Amanda also served as the VP of Information Systems and Webmaster on the Board of Directors for APICS Savannah for several years, and is the face behind the scenes welcoming you to every Supply Chain Now livestream! She was also recently selected as one of the Top 100 Women in Supply Chain by Supply Chain Digest and IBM. When she’s not leading the Supply Chain Now marketing team, you can find Amanda with her and her husband Scott’s three kids, in the kitchen cooking, or reading.
Business Development Manager
Clay is passionate about two things: supply chain and the marketing that goes into it. Recently graduated with a degree in marketing at the University of Georgia, Clay got his start as a journalism major and inaugural member of the Owl’s football team at Kennesaw State University – but quickly saw tremendous opportunity in the Terry College of Business. He’s already putting his education to great use at Supply Chain Now, assisting with everything from sales and brand strategy to media production. Clay has contributed to initiatives such as our leap into video production, the guest blog series, and boosting social media presence, and after nearly two years in Supply Chain Now’s Marketing Department, Clay now heads up partnership and sales initiatives with the help of the rest of the Supply Chain Now sales team.
Trisha is new to the supply chain industry – but not to podcasting. She’s an experienced podcast manager and virtual assistant who also happens to have 20 years of experience as an elementary school teacher. It’s safe to say, she’s passionate about helping people, and she lives out that passion every day with the Supply Chain Now team, contributing to scheduling and podcast production.
Host of Dial P for Procurement
Billy Taylor is a Proven Business Excellence Practitioner and Leadership Guru with over 25 years leading operations for a Fortune 500 company, Goodyear. He is also the CEO of LinkedXL (Excellence), a Business Operating Systems Architecting Firm dedicated to implementing sustainable operating systems that drive sustainable results. Taylor’s achievements in the industry have made him a Next Generational Lean pacesetter with significant contributions.
An American business executive, Taylor has made a name for himself as an innovative and energetic industry professional with an indispensable passion for his craft of operational excellence. His journey started many years ago and has worked with renowned corporations such as The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) leading multi-site operations. With over 3 decades of service leading North America operations, he is experienced in a deeply rooted process driven approach in customer service, process integrity for sustainability.
A disciple of continuous improvement, Taylor’s love for people inspires commitment to helping others achieve their full potential. He is a dynamic speaker and hosts "The Winning Link," a popular podcast centered on business and leadership excellence with the #1 rated Supply Chain Now Network. As a leadership guru, Taylor has earned several invitations to universities, international conferences, global publications, and the U.S. Army to demonstrate how to achieve and sustain effective results through cultural acceptance and employee ownership. Leveraging the wisdom of his business acumen, strong influence as a speaker and podcaster Taylor is set to release "The Winning Link" book under McGraw Hill publishing in 2022. The book is a how-to manual to help readers understand the management of business interactions while teaching them how to Deine, Align, and Execute Winning in Business.
A servant leader, Taylor, was named by The National Diversity Council as one of the Top 100 Diversity Officers in the country in 2021. He features among Oklahoma's Most Admired CEOs and maintains key leadership roles with the Executive Advisory Board for The Shingo Institute "The Nobel Prize of Operations" and The Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME); two world-leading organizations for operational excellence, business development, and cultural learning. He is also an Independent Director for the M-D Building Products Board, a proud American manufacturer of quality products since 1920.
Social Media Manager
My name is Chantel King and I am the Social Media Specialist at Supply Chain Now. My job is to make sure our audience is engaged and educated on the abundant amount of information the supply chain industry has to offer.
Social Media and Communications has been my niche ever since I graduated from college at The Academy of Art University in San Francisco. No, I am not a West Coast girl. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but my travel experience goes way beyond the garden state. My true passion is in creating editorial and graphic content that influences others to be great in whatever industry they are in. I’ve done this by working with lifestyle, financial, and editorial companies by providing resources to enhance their businesses.
Another passion of mine is trying new things. Whether it’s food, an activity, or a sport. I would like to say that I am an adventurous Taurus that never shies away from a new quest or challenge.
Lori is currently completing a degree in marketing with an emphasis in digital marketing at the University of Georgia. When she’s not supporting the marketing efforts at Supply Chain Now, you can find her at music festivals – or working toward her dream goal of a fashion career. Lori is involved in many extracurricular activities and appreciates all the learning experiences UGA has brought her.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator
Katherine is a marketing professional and MBA candidate who strives to unite her love of people with a passion for positive experiences. Having a diverse background, which includes nonprofit work with digital marketing and start-ups, she serves as a leader who helps people live their most creative lives by cultivating community, order, collaboration, and respect. With equal parts creativity and analytics, she brings a unique skill set which fosters refining, problem solving, and connecting organizations with their true vision. In her free time, you can usually find her looking for her cup of coffee, playing with her puppy Charlie, and dreaming of her next road trip.
Ben Harris is the Director of Supply Chain Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. Ben comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.
Host, The Freight Insider
Prior to joining TeamOne Logistics, Page Siplon served as the Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics, the State’s leading consulting resource for fueling logistics industry growth and global competitiveness. For over a decade, he directly assisted hundreds of companies to overcome challenges and capitalize on opportunities related to the movement of freight. During this time, Siplon was also appointed to concurrently serve the State of Georgia as Director of the larger Centers of Innovation Program, in which he provided executive leadership and vision for all six strategic industry-focused Centers. As a frequently requested keynote speaker, Siplon is called upon to address a range of audiences on unique aspects of technology, workforce, and logistics. This often includes topics of global and domestic logistics trends, supply chain visibility, collaboration, and strategic planning. He has also been quoted as an industry expert in publications such as Forbes, Journal of Commerce, Fortune, NPR, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, American Express, DC Velocity, Area Development Magazine, Site Selection Magazine, Inbound Logistics, Modern Material Handling, and is frequently a live special guest on SiriusXM’s Road Dog Radio Show. Siplon is an active industry participant, recognized by DC Velocity Magazine as a “2012 Logistics Rainmaker” which annually identifies the top-ten logistics professionals in the Nation; and named a “Pro to Know” by Supply & Demand Executive Magazine in 2014. Siplon was also selected by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential Georgians” for 2013, 2014, and 2015. He also serves various industry leadership roles at both the State and Federal level. Governor Nathan Deal nominated Siplon to represent Georgia on a National Supply Chain Competitiveness Advisory Committee, where he was appointed to a two-year term by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was then appointed to serve as its vice-chairman. At the State level, he was selected by then-Governor Sonny Perdue to serve as lead consultant on the Commission for New Georgia’s Freight and Logistics Task Force. In this effort, Siplon led a Private Sector Advisory Committee with invited executives from a range of private sector stakeholders including UPS, Coca-Cola, The Home Depot, Delta Airlines, Georgia Pacific, CSX, and Norfolk Southern. Siplon honorably served a combined 12 years in the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force. During this time, he led the integration of encryption techniques and deployed cryptographic devices for tactically secure voice and data platforms in critical ground-to-air communication systems. This service included support for all branches of the Department of Defense, multiple federal security agencies, and aiding NASA with multiple Space Shuttle launches. Originally from New York, Siplon received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering with a focus on digital signal processing from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned an associate’s degree in advanced electronic systems from the Air Force College and completed multiple military leadership academies in both the Marines and Air Force. Siplon currently lives in Cumming, Georgia (north of Atlanta), with his wife Jan, and two children Thomas (19) and Lily (15).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kristi Porter is VP of Sales and Marketing at Vector Global Logistics, a company that is changing the world through supply chain. In her role, she oversees all marketing efforts and supports the sales team in doing what they do best. In addition to this role, she is the Chief Do-Gooder at Signify, which assists nonprofits and social impact companies through copywriting and marketing strategy consulting. She has almost 20 years of professional experience, and loves every opportunity to help people do more good.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Kevin Brown is the Director of Business Development for Vector Global Logistics. He has a dedicated interest in Major Account Management, Enterprise Sales, and Corporate Leadership. He offers 25 years of exceptional experience and superior performance in the sales of Logistics, Supply Chain, and Transportation Management. Kevin is a dynamic, high-impact, sales executive and corporate leader who has consistently exceeded corporate goals. He effectively coordinates multiple resources to solution sell large complex opportunities while focusing on corporate level contacts across the enterprise. His specialties include targeting and securing key accounts by analyzing customer’s current business processes and developing solutions to meet their corporate goals. Connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Sofia Rivas Herrera is a Mexican Industrial Engineer from Tecnologico de Monterrey class 2019. Upon graduation, she earned a scholarship to study MIT’s Graduate Certificate in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and graduated as one of the Top 3 performers of her class in 2020. She also has a multicultural background due to her international academic experiences at Singapore Management University and Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg. Sofia self-identifies as a Supply Chain enthusiast & ambassador sharing her passion for the field in her daily life.
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Jose Manuel Irarrazaval es parte del equipo de Vector Global Logistics Chile. José Manuel es un gerente experimentado con experiencia en finanzas corporativas, fusiones y adquisiciones, financiamiento y reestructuración, inversión directa y financiera, tanto en Chile como en el exterior. José Manuel tiene su MBA de la Universidad de Pennsylvania- The Wharton School. Conéctese con Jose Manuel en LinkedIn.
Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol
Demo Perez started his career in 1997 in the industry by chance when a relative asked him for help for two just weeks putting together an operation for FedEx Express at the Colon Free Zone, an area where he was never been but accepted the challenge. Worked in all roles possible from a truck driver to currier to a sales representative, helped the brand introduction, market share growth and recognition in the Colon Free Zone, at the end of 1999 had the chance to meet and have a chat with Fred Smith ( FedEx CEO), joined another company in 2018 who took over the FedEx operations as Operations and sales manager, in 2004 accepted the challenge from his company to leave the FedEx operations and business to take over the operation and business of DHL Express, his major competitor and rival so couldn’t say no, by changing completely its operation model in the Free Zone. In 2005 started his first entrepreneurial journey by quitting his job and joining two friends to start a Freight Forwarding company. After 8 months was recruited back by his company LSP with the General Manager role with the challenge of growing the company and make it fully capable warehousing 3PL. By 2009 joined CSCMP and WERC and started his journey of learning and growing his international network and high-level learning. In 2012 for the first time joined a local association ( the Panama Maritime Chamber) and worked in the country’s first Logistics Strategy plan, joined and lead other associations ending as president of the Panama Logistics Council in 2017. By finishing his professional mission at LSP with a company that was 8 times the size it was when accepted the role as GM with so many jobs generated and several young professionals coached, having great financial results, took the decision to move forward and start his own business from scratch by the end of 2019. with a friend and colleague co-founded IPL Group a company that started as a boutique 3PL and now is gearing up for the post-Covid era by moving to the big leagues.
Host, Supply Chain Now
The founder of Logistics Executive Group, Kim Winter delivers 40 years of executive leadership experience spanning Executive Search & Recruitment, Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Corporate Advisory, Motivational Speaking, Trade Facilitation and across the Supply Chain, Logistics, 3PL, E-commerce, Life Science, Cold Chain, FMCG, Retail, Maritime, Defence, Aviation, Resources, and Industrial sectors. Operating from the company’s global offices, he is a regular contributor of thought leadership to industry and media, is a professional Master of Ceremonies, and is frequently invited to chair international events.
He is a Board member of over a dozen companies throughout APAC, India, and the Middle East, a New Zealand citizen, he holds formal resident status in Australia and the UAE, and is the Australia & New Zealand representative for the UAE Government-owned Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA), the Middle East’s largest Economic Free Zone.
A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. oasisafrica.org.au), which has provided freedom from poverty through education to over 8000 mainly orphaned children in East Africa’s slums. Kim holds an MBA and BA from Massey & Victoria Universities (NZ).
Host, Logistics with Purpose
Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.
Sales Support Intern
Alex is pursuing a Marketing degree and a Certificate in Legal Studies at the University of Georgia. As a dual citizen of both the US and UK; Alex has studied abroad at University College London and is passionate about travel and international business. Through her coursework at the Terry College of Business, Alex has gained valuable skills in digital marketing, analytics, and professional selling. She joined Supply Chain Now as a Sales Support Intern where she assists the team by prospecting and qualifying new business partners.