Supply Chain Now
Episode 740

Leaders of organizations are looking at everything, not just how to attract the talent, but then the benefits to retain that talent, the pay structures, the entire, 'How are we organized?' 'How do we keep them safe?'

-Barb Sexton, OMNIA Partners

Episode Summary

Who’s headed back to the office – and who’s hoping to stay “WFH” for life? The answers may surprise you – but they will also empower you as we all try to wrap our heads around the new world of work in which we live and, well, work. To help us better understand the latest shifts in the workforce, and how companies can best adapt to ensure a smoother supply chain, we’re joined by Barb Sexton and Tim Holland of OMNIA Partners – the largest and most experienced purchasing organization for public and private sector procurement. Listen in as Barb and Tim help us unpack the latest trends in labor, why staffing is no longer the exclusive domain of HR – and how organizations like OMNIA partners can deliver crucial insights and best practices to help your organization navigate the new normal.

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:31):

Hey, everybody. Scott Luton and Greg White with you here on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s show. Hey, we’re broadcasting from Connections 2021 right down here in Miami, Florida, the magic city, with our dear friends from OMNIA Partners, right, Greg?

Greg White (00:46):

Yeah. Dear friends. As a matter of fact, we’ve known Barb forever, and this is our first time meeting here.

Scott Luton (00:52):

And you’re letting the cat out of the bag.

Greg White (00:55):

I’m sorry. I did it out of order again, didn’t I?

Scott Luton (00:58):

That’s okay. Hey, a big shoutout, OMNIA Partners have been wonderful hosts, very hospitable – I can’t believe I nailed that word. I had trouble with it yesterday.

 

Greg White (01:05):

That was pretty good.

 

Scott Luton (01:06):

But what’s been one of your favorite parts about this conference before we interview our guests?

Greg White (01:11):

I’d have to say Sarah being our Sherpa for this thing. She makes sure everything happens. If we need anything or if we need any info, seriously, that’s been a great part of it. But, truthfully, I think the discussion we had with Kevin Heath and with Paul Noble at Verusen yesterday, just a great perspective. Getting some eyes on what they’re seeing in the marketplace and what’s going on. And some great guidance on how companies can really tackle the issues that they’re seeing today. One of which we’re going to talk about with you two today.

Scott Luton (01:48):

Massive issue today.

Greg White (01:48):

Massive issue. And, you know, some good pointers on what to do about it.

Scott Luton (01:52):

Agreed. So, folks, if you want market intel best practices, how to move forward with you and your organization, this is a great event to be at, Connections 2021. And it’s largely because of people like our two panelists here, esteemed panelists. So, Greg, my feeling is that although Kevin and Paul threw the gauntlet down yesterday, we have a challenger for best episode yet.

 

Greg White (02:12):

I think so. I really do think so. And they’re much funnier. We already know that.

Scott Luton (02:18):

Barb Sexton, Vice-President, Partner Development of Corporate Services with OMNIA Partners. Hello, Barb. How are you doing?

 

Barb Sexton (02:26):

Hello. Hello.

 

Scott Luton (02:27):

Great to see you. We’re going to chat about how it all started in a moment. And Tim Holland, Contingent Workforce Solutions Specialists also with OMNIA Partners. Tim, how are you doing?

 

Tim Holland (02:37):

Good. Good to see you. And thanks for making me part of the column here.

 

Scott Luton (02:39):

Oh, you bet. We’ve enjoyed the pre-show conversation so much already. Hopefully, we were recording that. We’re going to get to the good stuff though. So, Greg, we want to kind of get to know our guests first and I want to start with Tim. So, Tim, tell us a little bit about yourself. And give us the good stuff now, Tim.

 

Tim Holland (02:56):

Well, let me start by saying I’m married, and I haven’t been allowed to make a decision since then. So, that pretty much sums up my life. Other than that in a professional basis however, I’ve been with OMNIA Partners for seven years. And a curious, interesting thing in college, I never expected myself to be in this contingent workforce world. Fresh out of college and walking down the street and saw a temp agency, and that’s how I got involved in the industry and never left. And that’s all I’ve done ever since I left college.

Scott Luton (03:35):

And we hear Tim’s a bit of a labor whisper, is that right?

Greg White (03:43):

I thought he was a comedian. [Inaudible].

Tim Holland (03:50):

Is that someone [inaudible] whisperer?

 

Scott Luton (03:50):

One final point, you were a fellow Atlantan for a long time.

 

Tim Holland (03:54):

Was.

 

Scott Luton (03:55):

Was. But now you’re up in Chattanooga, I believe. Is that right?

Tim Holland (03:59):

I am in Chattanooga, yes. Once again, going back to my original point about I really don’t make decisions anymore. Both of us now enjoying remote work and allowed us the opportunity to move somewhere that you wouldn’t normally move to from a job perspective.

Scott Luton (04:19):

And here we are.

Tim Holland (04:19):

She loves the mountains and the river. And she told me not to be gorging and to also be doing outdoor stuff. And so, I’m trying to balance right now the gorging versus semi-gorging.

Greg White (04:32):

So, you’re living some of the topics we’re going to talk about today.

Tim Holland (04:35):

I am. I am.

 

Greg White (04:37):

You’re experiencing it from both sides.

 

Tim Holland (04:38):

Near and dear to my heart. Absolutely.

Scott Luton (04:40):

So, that’s just one-half of the dynamic duo we have here today. So, up next, Barb Sexton. Barb, before you tell us about yourself, it’s important to note we’ve enjoyed a variety of conversations and collaboration with OMNIA Partners, and it all largely started from an interaction we had with Barb on a livestream and then a conversation a couple of years ago. And we’ve been tracking you as well. And by the way, I love your glasses – if you’re checking out the video. But, Barb, tell us a little about yourself.

Barb Sexton (05:11):

All right. So, also married. So, apparently, we’re off the market.

 

Greg White (05:17):

If one of the audience [inaudible].

Scott Luton (05:17):

I’m waiting for signs and go up to something, but off the market, folks.

Barb Sexton (05:26):

Yes. Yes. Military family, lived all over the nation, came from the human resource, HR, background. And I did some time in the staffing business before landing at OMNIA Partners, and I’ve been here going on 11 years now.

Scott Luton (05:51):

Military family, what particular branch do you gravitate towards?

Barb Sexton (05:55):

It has been 21 years Army; oldest son, four years Army; youngest daughter, six years Air Force.

Scott Luton (06:03):

So, your daughter’s a heck of a golfer, isn’t she?

Scott Luton (06:08):

One for Greg. One for Greg. Well, thank you. You know, families sacrifice to do exactly what you just described and kind of sometimes that stays in the blind spot, but we are very grateful for your husband, son, and daughter’s service.

 

Greg White (06:22):

Yeah. Yeah. Thank you.

 

Scott Luton (06:23):

Okay. So, now, we’ve got a little flavor for Barb and Tim.

 

Greg White (06:29):

We know we’re having fun.

Scott Luton (06:30):

We’ll have a blast. We knew he would though. We really enjoyed our pre-show conversations. Let’s level-set a bit. Now, we’re going to be talking about labor challenges, not as much the future of work, but kind of the current state of work, and some of those challenges there.

 

Greg White (06:47):

The now of work.

 

Scott Luton (06:48):

The now, yes. So, Tim, I’ll start with you. When it comes to hybrid and remote work, what are some of the things you’re seeing and perhaps living?

Tim Holland (06:56):

Yeah. And I think it’s not necessarily going to come as a shock to many, right? You’ve got organizations that primarily are still in the mode of looking to continue to maintain the remote work for an indefinite period of time, but really morphing into – I don’t know if you would say at this point the majority of companies are doing it, but a higher percentage than not – looking to make hybrid and remote a permanent thing. And, in fact, many companies that we know of coming in now, the hybrid could be anything from a couple of days a week on a rotating basis to, perhaps, meetings and things in more centralized spots then you don’t have offices necessarily. And so, it’s really changing from top to bottom because that happens. It changes, really, anything that happens and affects an office because you really don’t have specific spaces anymore.

 

Greg White (08:08):

No water and cooler conversations. All minds of dynamics have shifted.

 

Tim Holland (08:14):

And, again, is it permanent? Generally speaking, it is permanent. It’s on a spectrum, right? We went from zero to a hundred. Will we ever go back to zero? We’ll never go back to zero. We’ll go back to 50, probably vacillate in that 50 to 100 percent kind of spectrum. It’s going to change back a little bit, but it’ll never go back to where the way it was.

Scott Luton (08:39):

And you got a number of things you’re balancing there. Of course, the needs of the business but also the employee experience, the EX, where they feel comfortable, where we can maximize not only what they want to do, but also with their productivity, right?

Tim Holland (08:55):

Well, yeah. And it’s interesting because I think that the conversation also leads to who’s going to be more interested in going back into the office? Who can be more productive in an office setting? It’s interesting. So, my wife, who I started out speaking about –

 

Scott Luton (09:13):

What’s your wife’s name, by the way?

 

Tim Holland (09:14):

Her name is Marie.

 

Scott Luton (09:15):

Hello, Marie.

 

Tim Holland (09:15):

She’s an HR. And, by the way, even though I’ve been technically in HR my whole career, she tells me to tell people that I’m not an HR. Because she’s an HR and she never believes that I’m an HR.

 

Greg White (09:29):

She knows where the line is and you are not there.

 

Barb Sexton (09:29):

She does not approve. And I agree with her.

Tim Holland (09:33):

I don’t know if she thinks I got a squeegee on corners, like, wiping people’s car windows. So, at any rate, I digress on that. But it depends also on the workforce. So, what we’re seeing and what we’re hearing is different sectors of people that are in the different age groups and the different generations, some of those generations more likely to want to go back in versus others. You know, I think the trend is the older the worker, the less they want to go back in a traditional office.

 

Greg White (10:05):

Really?

 

Scott Luton (10:05):

We were just talking about that.

Greg White (10:07):

The less they want to go back.

Tim Holland (10:07):

The less they want to go back.

 

Greg White (10:09):

Wow. I guess I would have thought the opposite.

Barb Sexton (10:12):

Yeah. The baby boomers, the working parents wish to stay remote. It’s the college, the millennials, and the Gen Z, they want to be back in the office, collaboration, face-to-face. They’re more social. They’re more interaction. They need that personal feedback.

Greg White (10:33):

That’s a stunner to me. I mean, I can see both cases, of course, as you talk about that. But I guess I would have thought the workers who had kind of the tradition and the history of doing that kind of work would want to stay. And I can say I’m not a baby boomer but very close Gen X, I’m kind of working remotely and being able to work from anywhere. But I really guess I thought, you know, it would have been the younger generation. That’s really interesting.

Tim Holland (11:03):

Yeah. Well, and the people that never worked remote because a lot of the baby boomers and the next generation, there wasn’t a lot of remote work back when they were in the midst of their careers.

 

Scott Luton (11:17):

I couldn’t bag groceries back in high school remotely, for sure.

Tim Holland (11:19):

Exactly. So, as they got used to staying at home, “Wow. I didn’t realize how much more time I had on my hand and how much more productive I’ve been.” And even sectors like HR, you would think HR, employee relations, got to see the person, got to be in front of individuals. Even HR is morphing. Again, going back to my whole personal comment, is that, even my spouse, she was the last person to want to do remote. The very last person. She loved the interaction. Now, if she didn’t have to go back to the office even one day a week, that would be fine with her. It’s amazing that the transformation of those kinds of people versus I was always mostly remote.

 

Greg White (12:07):

Kind of how you’re going to keep them down on the farm now that they’ve seen [inaudible].

 

Tim Holland (12:12):

Yeah. You can’t unsee what we’ve just seen.

 

Greg White (12:16):

That’s a really good analysis.

Barb Sexton (12:17):

And from a talent acquisition perspective, that’s really been the trend, is, how do we now attract that talent if we want to go back to the workforce. Or if we want to go back to the office versus have a hybrid model versus remote.

Scott Luton (12:32):

You got to compete in different manner. So, let’s go there. So, Barbara, I appreciate some of the statistics and your last comment there. But what else would you add, especially when we open it up to the overall labor supply and outlook? What else would you add to that?

Barb Sexton (12:48):

There’s an extreme shortage.

Scott Luton (12:50):

That’s right. That’s right. Call it what it is, right?

Barb Sexton (12:54):

It’s absolutely across the board. So, the shortage in the industry used to be in your skillsets, right? The mechanical, the trades, the technical.

 

Greg White (13:02):

The supply chain.

 

Barb Sexton (13:03):

And now it’s supply chain. Absolutely. And now it’s just across the board.

Tim Holland (13:08):

Well, people have short-term memory. If you think about it, 2019, before this all happened, it was a historic shortage of people anyway. States and cities like Minneapolis at that point were gyrating between 1.7 and 1.9 percent unemployment rate back in 2019. Now, you fast forward, you go, “Where are all the people? Where did they go? I mean, I’ve had, like, ten conversations, the same question. It’s where do they all go? It’s well, obviously, the stipends and the stimulus is help those people stay on the sidelines. Now, most of those are starting to dwindle, right?

 

Tim Holland (13:42):

So, as they dwindle, you would expect that all those people would come out back out of nowhere, back in the workforce. It’s not happening for two reasons. Is that, one, don’t forget, they just weren’t there in mass before this happened. Because you had an aging population. Even they’re saying right now that the birth rate isn’t keeping up. Like, there’s a higher death rate first time in history, supposedly, or close to first time. The death rate is exceeding the birth rate in many cities. So, you’ve got the fact that you didn’t have people before, you gave the population incentives to avoid potential workplace, or help them to whether this situation. And then, even though it’s over, some of these folks, they’re also concerned on the safety parts still. So, they don’t want to go back into a busy work environment.

Scott Luton (14:40):

You got a perfect storm brewing, for sure. And some traditional elements to the labor equation, but also some very new elements. We want to talk about the great resignation in a moment. But before we do -and, Greg, I’ll throw you in here – anything else to add in terms of what else you’re seeing before we specifically kind of define what this great resignation is, Barb?

Barb Sexton (15:04):

That would be perfectly it, the great resignation.

Scott Luton (15:06):

That’s what we’re seeing day in and day out.

Barb Sexton (15:08):

We’re just going to have a vicious circle and it really is just talent pool and availability. And it all leads back to the workforce and the environment, attracting and retaining talent.

Greg White (15:22):

I think this has been a big awakening for people, as you said. So, two generations or at least two generations in the workforce had hardly worked remotely at all. Now, they’ve seen what it’s like.

 

Barb Sexton (15:37):

They got that taste.

 

Greg White (15:36):

And they have an incredible appreciation for it. I mean, you know, Atlanta, it’s not uncommon to have a 32 mile commute to work. That’s just one example. I mean, LA, New York, there are many that are much, much longer even. And, now, that people don’t have to endure that. They’ve seen the productivity and the life quality that they’ve gained back from not having to have that. And it has been, I would say, an awakening from that standpoint. Once people’s eyes are open to it, like you said, you can’t unsee that. And also people were locked at home for months on end and that gave them a lot of time to think about how they wanted to live their life when they really couldn’t live their life. And they really had not a lot to do, but think for a month or two or some even more.

Tim Holland (16:27):

Well, it gave people a chance to experience the tradeoff that they always wanted to experience. And that they were always locked in their 15 and 20 year jobs and fearful about what would happen if they took that chance, “You know what? I want to go and I want to live in an island somewhere. I’m an outdoors person, I want to live in a mountain. I can’t have my job anymore and do that.” And, now, they’ve obviously found a way to do both. And here’s the really curious part, is that a good percentage of those folks, even if everything switched back to what was the previous semi-normal, they wouldn’t go back. They would say, “You know what? I’m so far along and I’ve experienced this, I’m going to find a different job and I’m going to leave.” That leads to resignation.

 

Barb Sexton (17:18):

Which is [inaudible] the great resignation.

Scott Luton (17:20):

Right. And that’s speaking to the impact, because employers and business leaders have to address just that. Not only are we losing the labor, but we’re losing the tribal skillsets and tribal knowledge organizations, is that right?

 

Barb Sexton (17:35):

Yes, we are.

Tim Holland (17:36):

Well, yeah. And so, people are even either getting out, or, as they’re making the change, so people are moving now. It depends also on the type of work you do. You know, where is this happening? Well, I would say two things that are really dramatic trends. One, we’ve never ever seen this, not in my lifetime and I don’t think in history, where there was a dearth or there was a shortage of folks that were in that entry-level role and that unskilled role. I’ve never seen it before where there’s a shortage. Now, there’s been a shortage of IT. There’s been a shortage of engineering. There’s been a shortage of almost any other skillset you can think of. But somebody that doesn’t perhaps even have a high school degree, no work experience, there’s a shortage of those folks willing to come to work.

Tim Holland (18:26):

So, there’s that, but the resignation part is the folks that it’s happening primarily in the higher skilled roles, the engineering, where people were at pay rates in the $50, $60, $100. You know why? Because they’ve got built up wealth. And they still need to work, yes, but they’re willing to risk it because they’ve experienced what it is.

 

Scott Luton (18:55):

Freedom.

 

Tim Holland (18:55):

To be living in the mountains and going kayaking every weekend versus I lived in a subdivision outside of Atlanta. And they were fearful for 20 years to make it. But once they did, they’re like, “You know what? I’ll take a chance at almost anything. I’ll take a chance out of not having my job anymore and I’ll figure it out.”

Barb Sexton (19:14):

One in four is supposedly looking for a new career. One in four people is looking for a new [inaudible].

Tim Holland (19:22):

And some don’t even know they should be looking for a new job, frankly. You know what I mean? I’m just counting. There’s odds.

 

Greg White (19:30):

All right. [Inaudible] but it will be.

Scott Luton (19:33):

So, we have really spent the last 12 minutes talking about level setting, right? Getting the major issues of our time, at least from a labor standpoint, out on the table. Before we talk about how procurement leadership is responding to these challenges, anything else that you all would like to mention before we kind of talk about what leaders are doing about it?

Tim Holland (19:55):

Well, I’ll let Barb comment on this as well. But, obviously, this always used to be that’s HR. Sourcing, that’s HR. It’s too complicated for me. It’s not a commodity. I don’t know what to do with it. And then, the C level was always, again, the chief financial officers. Now, they’re getting involved because every part of the organization, if it’s not number one, it’s their second highest priority in every company. People drive companies. People do the work.

 

Greg White (20:27):

Boy, if we didn’t know that before, we know that now.

 

Barb Sexton (20:28):

We do.

Scott Luton (20:29):

Well, I heard on the news this morning – and maybe this percentage is inflated – but 70 percent of expense of an organization is on labor. Is that some things you’re seeing?

Barb Sexton (20:40):

Yes. It’s within the top three, with the other being the benefits of a program to support that labor.

 

Greg White (20:46):

It’s also Hippocratic.

Scott Luton (20:49):

So, the cost of doing nothing is massive. The cost of doing something is massive. And then, you got to get it right.

Tim Holland (20:57):

You can’t catch up in this case. So, doing nothing every minute, your 200 percent behind anybody else. Because they’ve already been doing stuff for months. If you just start now and say, “We have to have a strategy of labor management, a strategy of employee retention, a strategy of employee attraction.” You better not be figuring out right now. You better be on it right now.

Scott Luton (21:20):

And you better be with an expert that can look far beyond the four walls of your organization and really benchmark what other leaders and organizations are doing. You know what I like about Barb and Tim? It’s like we got college game day going. And we’ve got Tim kind of at the stage giving predictions. And Barb is like the bear bringing statistics to the table. Both are very, very important. So, we’ve got quite a [inaudible] show off.

Greg White (21:54):

[Inaudible].

Scott Luton (21:57):

Lee Corso. Greg –

 

Greg White (21:52):

Wait. Let me [inaudible]. Not so fast, my friend.

 

Scott Luton (21:58):

All right. So, we’re going to move into what are leaders doing about it. What are y’all seeing leaders doing about it?

Greg White (22:08):

It’s a tough situation. How are they tackling this?

Barb Sexton (22:10):

And leaders is a good word for it because it’s not just HR issue. This is an organizational issue. It’s not just HR. It’s not just procurement. Speaking to what is procurement doing about this, they’re asking to be looped in and engaged early in this situation. How can we look at the talent management strategy as a whole? So, how do we look at not only our full-time employee workforce, but how does that link up and fit with our contingent workforce? How do those mold? And how do we keep the full talent pool rolling? So, it’s definitely an organizational issue.

Scott Luton (22:54):

It really speaks to something that came up yesterday, and Bob’s mentioning again, procurement, like supply chain, fought for years to have a seat at the table. And while we consider kind of procurement to be part of really the end to end supply chain world, procurement now has a seat at the table, but it’s also valued more than perhaps ever before.

Greg White (23:14):

Yeah. Undoubtedly. And kind of the traditional borders of procurement have really shifted. I mean, staffing, as part of that, I know that’s an offering. We talked with Kevin Heath, your COO about it yesterday. But having an organization that is product and human capital sourcing, I think that’s got to be a relatively rare mix these days. But, man, you can see it. And it’s one of those things where, I’m sure, a lot of companies are going, “Why didn’t we think of that?” You mentioned commodities earlier, Tim, right? I’m not going to say people are commodities, but it is a very tight market, not unlike commodities these days. And having that kind of assistance has to be critical. Are you seeing people turning more towards staffing of the organizations [inaudible]?

Tim Holland (24:13):

I mean, that is the right question to ask because just before this happened in 2019, ’18, the trend was two years ago, by ’20, literally two out of every four hires was going to be what was considered to be a contingent worker. That’s an SOW. That’s a 1099. That’s a staffing employee. Two of every four, so what that’s telling you is, it’s changing the way that companies view the use of total talent, total labor. Because before it was, “I need my own employees. They have to be employees.” And they’re seeing that, that just isn’t a reality because before this all happened, freelancers was always the thrown out term. “I want to be a freelancer. I want to be a bank contractor.” And most people were going there because they already experienced a level of flexibility than ever before.

Tim Holland (25:10):

Now, you compound this by what just happened. And it just reinforced exactly what was happening and kept perpetrating it going forward. There’s nothing to stop now from encouraging people to be independent contractors because they see how great it is. And why should I go back and be an employee? But one thing that is happening that’s really remarkable right now – I’ve been in the industry doing this for 25 years – I’ve never seen the degree of outsource recruiting that’s happening right now. So, I have seen more and more companies go to what we would term a recruitment process outsourcing or similar concept. Let me put this perspective, I’ve been here for seven years at OMNIA Partners, six of those years in this last 12 months, I’ve seen probably 300 percent more RPOs than I’ve seen in any given year prior to that. In fact, I might even say the last three years prior, it’s 300 percent more than the three years put together. Because companies are looking and saying, “We went through this downturn. We let people go or people quit. We need help recruiting.”

Scott Luton (26:32):

And they look around, they see other companies taking this RPO approach and, “This is the way, I guess.” Let’s talk about this, Barb, I like how you put it when we talked about what procurement leadership is doing. They’re asking and getting paid. They got a ton of know-how and expertise and assistance and facilitation expertise in particular of how to approach it.

 

Barb Sexton (26:55):

Resources.

 

Scott Luton (00:26:56):

Yes. So, by extension, let’s talk about GPOs and, of course, OMNIA Partners. What are they leveraging in the battle for good labor?

Barb Sexton (27:08):

They’re leveraging the relationships that OMNIA Partners has worked with and are experienced with. They’re leveraging that relationship. You know, we talked about speed the savings or speed to a contract. In this, it’s just speed to resources in general. I think you mentioned earlier to hire somebody, to pull in because they’re limited in time and resources. You don’t have to hire somebody.

Scott Luton (27:36):

That’s a decision.

Barb Sexton (27:39):

Free of charge. Talk to us about that resource to work for that.

Tim Holland (27:41):

And I mean, exactly what Barb is saying, speed are already negotiated contracts. But what really people don’t know and what people can’t see, is that, don’t forget, we’ve got access to 600 to 800 world-class organizations. The who’s who of the Fortune list. These individuals interface with us and interact with us. And part of our process is a confidential sharing of information and knowledge that we are a repository. No other organization in the world has the access and repository of information, data, and best practices than anybody else does. Even the analyst’s houses, the Aberdeen’s – no disrespect to any of them – SIA, they’re not part of this organization that can speak daily to these Fortune companies. So, when a Fortune company asks me, McDonald’s approaches me and says, “What other best practices?” I can speak to them not based in analogy, not based on anecdotal evidence. I can say, “I just had a conversation with Cargill. I just met with General Mills.” It’s specific.

Scott Luton (28:52):

Here’s some golden nuggets.

Tim Holland (28:54):

That’s the beauty conceptually. Yes.

Barb Sexton (28:56):

Right. Here’s what we’re seeing in the marketplace and there’s no fee attached. Just conversations and resources.

Greg White (29:01):

I feel like there ought to be a fee attached to this episode, don’t you?

 

Scott Luton (29:05):

Agreed. [Inaudible].

 

Greg White (29:06):

Seriously, this is powerful stuff. It’s great insight.

 

Scott Luton (29:10):

It is. It’s a relationship and insights and information supply chain that y’all are really leading and offering in many ways. And it goes upstream and downstream. We got reversed, you know, we got a whole shebang.

Tim Holland (29:25):

So, talking about relationships, it is a too early to talk about divorce now or is that –

Greg White (29:32):

It’s too late now. You already moved. [Inaudible].

 

Tim Holland (29:36):

It’s too late. [Inaudible].

Scott Luton (29:39):

So, I want to keep going down this path. You know, we get a lot of feedback and folks are like, “Well, tell me more.” We got it on the previous webinar with OMNIA Partners. How can they help me? How can they help me, the president, or the chief HR officer, or a manufacturer leader, let’s go down that road a little more. So, relationships, clearly, speed the move, speed the contract, whatever phrasiology you look at, that market intel from 600 to 800 movers and shakers across global industry.

 

Barb Sexton (30:12):

I call it speed to knowledge.

 

Scott Luton (30:15):

What was that, Barb?

 

Barb Sexton (30:15):

Speed to knowledge.

 

Scott Luton (30:17):

Speed to knowledge. I like that. So, what else would you add to that list of resources that you are bringing to the battle, the war for talent?

Tim Holland (30:27):

Well, I think here at OMNIA Partners, we created an expertise and a portfolio that here to fore. Procurement organizations didn’t look at a procurement group like you’ve got that expertise. Our first supplier in the category has been with us almost 20 years. And so, even myself, coming from the industry we have – as Barb pointed out. Barb’s got a lot of experience – our staff have a lot of experience within the human resource category. A couple of quick examples, I will write RFPs if they choose to do so for some of the members.

Scott Luton (31:09):

Writing RFPs, is that what you said?

Tim Holland (31:10):

Writing RFPs.

 

Greg White (31:10):

I don’t even like reading them. I can’t even imagine writing them.

 

Tim Holland (31:13):

And then, I got to read them. And then, I got to score them. And so, I have been with our members on their committees to select the right supplier for them. And so, that’s the expertise to Barb’s point. We do a lot of things that are, again, not to disparage. In fact, I’m trying to mimic, it is like an Accenture type process, so when organizations look and they say, “This is a procurement organization. It’s a procurement group.” You can do that too. And, yes, we can.

 

Scott Luton (31:46):

You do it well.

 

Tim Holland (31:46):

And, by the way, as a feature of being a member, you don’t have to pay a six figured number for us to help you do that.

Scott Luton (31:54):

We heard something before the show, Greg, about how this dynamic duo hit the road. I think y’all open for – what’s a cool group right now?

 

Greg White (32:04):

Tedeschi Trucks.

 

Scott Luton (32:05):

There we go. You’re opening for Tedeschi trucks, whoever they are. Kidding aside, you’re going out and kind of going to the gemba, you’re white boarding. You’re kind of putting your finger on the pulse of what organizations need both in a common sense, but also very uniquely. So, if I look at sectors like manufacturing industry, one plant versus another plant, you can have vastly different needs. So, tell us about that, because that seems to be part of this Accenture styled approach.

Tim Holland (32:35):

It is. It’s available to all our members. A very consultative approach of a combination of things, white boarding, wage and rate assessments, and analysis. These are very in-depth studies that we can help them evaluate, especially where you are today in the spectrum of, do I have a healthy MSP? Do I need an MSP? Is it better to have a master supplier? Should I have more staffing companies or less staffing companies? All of that, we can help them in a process by which it’s non-intrusive, there’s no cost to them. And, frankly, it accelerates. Again, if you’re not doing it already and you don’t have the resources to get it started, that’s why we can be able to offer that to our membership.

Scott Luton (33:21):

We’ve covered a lot of ground in 30 minutes time or so with Tim and Barb. A lot of good stuff. I’m fighting myself to go a little deeper now.

Greg White (33:29):

I know. I know. Well, this is an important topic and it feels like there’s a lot we could go deeper on. But I just have to ask this question, Barb.

Scott Luton (33:39):

Oh, this is my favorite part. You never know it what that is about.

Greg White (33:44):

Some of the stuff that Tim has described, that’s a service that you perform at no charge – I just want to make sure I heard that – when they use you to help them with contingent workforce sourcing. We’re not actually putting Tim on the payroll at these companies. You’re just volunteering this additional work as a value added service, is that right?

Barb Sexton (34:12):

Yeah. I would say, even to go a step farther, if you’re not yet a member of OMNIA partners – which I wouldn’t understand –

 

Greg White (34:24):

That was very subtle. Well done.

 

Barb Sexton (34:24):

Did you like that? You could also rely on the resources of our organization and the specialties that Tim brings to the table to go through that process. You know, that might be something, just a white boarding session or [inaudible].

Tim Holland (34:40):

And we have a great stable of analysts that are world-class, so they can analyze our members’ data, they can produce reports that are usable. And so, we highlight –

Scott Luton (34:53):

Wait a sec, Tim. I love it. Did you hear that little additional phrase he added, not just reports, TPS reports that no one ever uses. But reports that you can use. The important data. Information.

 

Greg White (35:06):

Right. Actionable.

Tim Holland (35:07):

Exactly. Not just busy work. Exactly. And so, I would encourage anybody that is looking to take advantage of this, especially if they’re in the states or in the cities of Key West and Honolulu especially –

 

Greg White (35:19):

There he goes.

 

Tim Holland (35:20):

– I will be there for them. I’m there for them.

 

Greg White (35:23):

Will work for sunshine [inaudible].

 

Tim Holland

We don’t have enough members in Key West.

 

Greg White (35:28):

How about Miami? How do you feel about Miami? Would you want to work in Miami?

 

Tim Holland (35:31):

Well, it’s not bad.

Scott Luton (35:33):

Very nice. The magic city. All right. So, now we’ve got several hundred of our closest friends in the exhibition hall. We’re going to take some questions from them. I’m just kidding. I’m just kidding.

 

Greg White (35:44):

That’s good. I hope they caught my look on camera there.

Scott Luton (35:47):

So, think story time. You know, think of y’all’s time on the road. I know the last 18 months has been tough, but think recent conversations, think of some conversations you are having here. In a moment, we’re going to make sure folks know how to connect with you and we’ll get that out there. But what have we not talked about in terms of some recent conversations y’all had that further illustrates the value that you all bring to the table. And for that matter, the really cool conversations y’all been part of as a part of doing what you do day in and day out.

Tim Holland (36:25):

I mean, the strength of what we do and who we are is not only our internal resources. Really, it’s our suppliers. And it’s how we selected them, and how we have vetted them, and how successful they have been. So, one of the things that one of my key suppliers does, especially, again, to address the dire labor problems, is that, they’ve got analytics that are really quite awesome. They’re helping our members look at a market, determine things like how many openings are in the market, what’s the labor supply in the market, what are the wages doing. So that they are really providing actionable things. Again, what do they say? You’re only as good as your team behind you.

Scott Luton (37:13):

Or the day that you have access to. It seems like, to me – if I could interject for a second – one of the ways y’all are leveraging your suppliers is, again, it goes back to this information that you’re informing them in a way that they can act. And whether it comes to negotiations, whether it comes to job descriptions, whether it comes to whatever aspect of that attract, develop, retain talent strategy is, they’re more in the know. So, their action can be more successful. That’s what I’m hearing.

Tim Holland (37:46):

It is. And their databases for their particular company and industry and clientele base is powerful. So, if they can help a company go, “Look, if you want to be successful on the spectrum of wages, you need to be here,” is valuable stuff. Because they know. Again, I’m not big into anecdotal things anymore. I’ll tell you we can use interesting terms. But it comes down to what is really factual and what is actionable, and that’s what they come up with for a member so that a member’s like, “We’ve been struggling, struggling.” And sometimes companies don’t want to hear the reality of it. You know, the reality is, is that, you’re at $14, you should be at 19. Even if you increase $2, it’s not going to be dramatic. You’re not going to see anything dramatically change.

Tim Holland (38:41):

And so, they help our members to get to that point of success versus telling them what they want to hear. Right now, it doesn’t help anybody to tell you what you want to hear. It’s about the realities of this labor market, which, by the way, we’re in this for a good 6 to 12 months without, I think, any significant gyrations one way or the other. So, I think we’re in a period of at least 12 months before we see anything significantly change.

Scott Luton (39:15):

So, it sounds like –

 

Greg White (39:15):

Significantly change, what do you mean? [Inaudible]?

Tim Holland (39:18):

I mean, where you start to see companies not feel that absolute and significant upward pressure of wages. Where you see companies that don’t have 120 openings with a workforce of 500 employees. Those are the kinds of things that are so dramatic right now that very likely, based on what we see and what we have over the next 12 months, that’s not going to change dramatically. Nobody has a crystal ball, right? But even after that point, I think it will be a slow change versus after 12 months, it’ll be great. It’s not going to be great after 12 months. But it’ll get better. It is getting better.

Scott Luton (39:58):

We like good news, but the reality is what you just shared there about the labor market. The reality is, it’s even worse for the computer semiconductor market, right? We’re here at the end of 2022, beginning of 2023, you name it, but it is what it is. And I love what y’all bring to the table to help business leaders get through these incredibly challenging times. Hey, Barb, if you had one more thing to add before I make sure folks know how to connect with you, whether it’s a message you’ve already shared that folks need to make sure they listen to or something we’ve forgotten to bring up? You get one of the final thoughts here today, Barb.

Barb Sexton (40:37):

No pressure.

 

Greg White (40:37):

No pressure.

 

Barb Sexton (40:38):

Tim mentioned pay rates, pay. We spoke a lot about attracting talent, retaining talent. And I believe even the chip shortage. This all circles back to talent and people, and the value and the benefits that we place on those people, whether it’s from their work environment, whether it’s from their benefits package or their fee rates, it’s just a circular event. And so, you’ve got on top of the talent acquisition, the labor strain that we have today, those same HR or leaders, organizations, they’re looking at everything, not just how to attract the talent, but then the benefits to retain that talent, the pay structures, the entire how are we organized, how do we keep them safe. So, it’s just a lot going on that these organizations are dealing with. And we value that we’re able to provide a resource to help them.

Scott Luton (41:46):

But you got to have adults at the table in one place. You got to deal with the experts. And a lot of what Barb and Tim is sharing here today, that’s what I hear in my ears.

Greg White (41:57):

Nobody’s going to be surprised that I’m a big fan of this approach. I mean, look, I started a lot of companies. We’re doing a company right now where we’re outsourcing a significant number of talent. And we are experiencing in some areas exactly what you both have described here. We don’t know what the hell great is, and we don’t know how to get there. And having a resource that you can go to.

 

Barb Sexton (42:17):

We could help you with that, Greg.

 

Greg White (42:17):

I know. I know. Believe me, my head is spinning. But having a resource that can get you there instead of making that mistake for three, or six, or nine months, and fall months and months or maybe years behind your competition while they have a groove – I think you’ve talked a lot about speed, and I think speed is what a lot of what you all offer. But I think it’s even more fundamental than that right in this instant. It’s access. Simple access is what you can provide.

 

Greg White (42:50):

So, you can access those 600 to 800 potential suppliers or those recruiting resources or, obviously, talented people like this that can help companies get over the line to be that much better. And I think that is what is really important, is, a lot of companies don’t even have access to the talent or the resources that they need. And that’s why the supply chain and procurement and human resources have all stumbled during this time. And are probably not coming out of it as quickly as we could have, if we knew better what to do. And I think this is the time when organizations like this who already have accumulated this massive talent, massive speed, and massive access can really provide a tremendous amount of value to companies.

Scott Luton (43:37):

I agree. And I think it goes back to something Tim –

Greg White (43:40):

I thought you were going to say not so fast, my friend.

Scott Luton (43:43):

I agree almost wholeheartedly. I think it goes back to something Tim shared as to why it’s so challenging is because some of the foundational aspects of workforce management and the labor market management have changed because we have changed in what we want. And I like how you really spiked the football on that point because it’s a really important acknowledgement. So, on that note, we hate to bring things to a close –

 

Greg White (44:09):

You really hate doing this.

 

Scott Luton (44:10):

I really do. To your point, Barb, the people are the power. And in this day and age of technological innovation and you name all those disruptions, which are beautiful things, yet people are still what makes global business happen. So, let’s make sure folks know how to connect with you both. And, Tim, I’ll start with you. Not only are you clearly a contingent workforce solution specialist, but you’re a comedian and humorous on the side.

Tim Holland (44:38):

I make at least 20 bucks a week doing that.

Greg White (44:41):

I have a feeling it could be really good. Just the fact that you are also interesting.

 

Barb Sexton (44:47):

I’ve seen him perform. It’s good. It’s good.

Scott Luton (44:51):

Really? Oh, man.

 

Tim Holland (44:52):

Interesting, I think that’s really pushing it.

 

Scott Luton (44:54):

All right. So, how can folks connect with you, Tim?

Tim Holland (44:57):

So, they can reach me on LinkedIn, definitely at my profile. They can also reach me off of our OMNIA Partners website. And, certainly, I look forward to hearing from both our members and companies that are interested in membership.

Scott Luton (45:12):

Yeah. Wonderful. And that’s Tim Holland with OMNIA Partners. All right, Barb, how can folks connect with you?

Barb Sexton (45:17):

I am all over LinkedIn.

 

Greg White (45:18):

She is. We can verify that.

 

Barb Sexton (45:22):

So, feel free to reach out. And our website, www.omniapartners.com. You can find us.

 

Scott Luton (45:30):

It’s just that easy.

Greg White (45:30):

That’s the best representation of a website I’ve ever seen. That was awesome.

Barb Sexton (45:34):

I’ve been practicing for my personal debut.

Greg White (45:36):

That was awesome.

Scott Luton (45:39):

All right. So, that was Barb Sexton, Vice-President, Partner Development of Corporate Services, also with OMNIA Partners. As we mentioned, Tim Holland, Contingent Workforce Solution Specialist. Man, I am not envious of y’all’s roles. The challenges that you are helping organizations through. But it’s so important. It makes us feel so good that we have business leaders doing just that.

Greg White (45:59):

It could be worse. It could be the people that need Barb and Tim. Seriously, because what we’ve just discussed here is a huge impact on business. And it’s a huge hindrance to so many businesses right now. So, having a resource like this, you guys being able to dive in and help so significantly so quickly, and then also move on to the next company. That’s got to be a fun effort for you right now. So, we appreciate what you guys do.

Scott Luton (46:24):

Well said. Yes, we do. All right. So, folks, hopefully you enjoyed this conversation as much as we did. Be sure to check out omniapartners.com. Check out supplychainnow.com if you’d like more of these conversations. Hey, be sure to check out all the thought leadership that will be coming out of Connections 2021 right here in Miami. We are not going to share all the details. Some of it is confidential, right? Like mojitos –

Greg White (46:44):

What happens in Little Havana stays in Little Havana.

Scott Luton (46:48):

All right. But, hey, be sure to connect with Barb and Tim. And on that note, on behalf of Greg, and Amanda, and Vickie, and our Supply Chain Now team, do good, give forward, be the change that’s needed. And we’ll see you next time right here on Supply Chain Now. Thanks everybody.

Intro/Outro (47:04):

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

Barb Sexton, As the Partner Development VP of Corporate Services at OMNIA Partners, Barb is responsible for the retention and supplier relationship management of a portfolio of Supplier Partners within the HR, Travel, Finance, Marketing, Risk & Public Safety categories. Prior to joining OMNIA Partners, she was a Senior Consultant with Aon, beginning in their RPO (recruitment process outsourcing) division and eventually receiving her GBA (Group Benefits Associate) certification and moving into Employee Benefits & Human Capital Solutions division. Before joining Aon, she worked in the staffing industry after being recruited out of Human Resources. Barb sits on the Executive Board of Global Women Procurement Professionals, and she serves as the 2021/2022 Treasurer on the Board of Directors for the Institute of Supply Chain Management of Arizona (ISM-Arizona). Barb was selected as a Pro to Know by Supply & Demand Chain Executive in 2019 & 2018 and is an active member of ISM, SHRM and GBTA. Connect with Barb on LinkedIn.

Tim Holland, As the Contingent Workforce Solutions Specialist at OMNIA Partners, Tim uses his CWS expertise to help members address their unique requirements with flexible and qualified solutions. He identifies potential suppliers that would be most appropriate for your project while delivering the best overall value through an OMNIA Partners contract. Tim has been in his role at OMNIA Partners for more than 6 years.  As the head of our contingent labor practice, Tim has been instrumental in developing the most comprehensive and largest portfolio of contingent labor solutions in the group purchasing space. Prior to OMNIA Partners, Tim spent his entire career in Contingent Labor as an executive for many global staffing and MSP/VMS corporations. Tim is an alumni of Marquette University and holds an MBA. Connect with Tim on LinkedIn.

Hosts

Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Greg White

Principal & Host

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Joshua Miranda

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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.

Patch Reilly

Data Analytics and Metrics Intern

Patch is a fourth-year Management Information Systems and Marketing major at the University of Georgia. He is working with Supply Chain Now in data analysis, finding insights and best practices to increase company efficiency. Patch previously worked as an intern at AnswerRocket, a data analytics company where he gained invaluable knowledge about analytics, webpage SEO and B2B marketing best practices. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts, and watching movies.

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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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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, 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.

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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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Karin Bursa

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.

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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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Jamin Alvidrez

Founder & CEO, Supply Chain Now
Host of Supply Chain Now, Veteran Voices, This Week in Business History

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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Jeff Miller

Host

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.

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Amanda Luton

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 singing second soprano in the Grayson United Methodist Church choir.

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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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Allie Krasinski

Marketing Coordinator

Allie is currently completing a degree in marketing with a certificate in entrepreneurship at the University of Georgia. She got her social media start through an internship with Shred, a personal training app, and she’s been hooked ever since. She works to optimize our following base while assisting the team with content creation, influencer outreach and other marketing endeavors. Allie can’t wait to keep growing alongside Supply Chain Now.

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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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Jada Carson

Marketing Coordinator

Jada is a recent graduate of Old Dominion University, having earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications with a media studies concentration and marketing minor. Jada got her start producing content at 16 years old, while attending a radio and broadcasting journalism program in high school, and hasn't looked back!  She is an asset to the Supply Chain Now team as a media specialist, podcast and media producer, and production coordinator.  Outside of Supply Chain Now, Jada is a big Lakers fan, and also a music journalist and enthusiast.

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Ben Harris

Host

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.

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Page Siplon

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).

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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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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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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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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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Kim Winter

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

A triathlete and ex-professional rugby player, Kim is a qualified (IECL Sydney) executive coach and the Founder / Chairman of the successful not for profit humanitarian organization, Oasis Africa (www. 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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Nick Roemer

Host, Logistics with Purpose

Nick Roemer has had a very diverse and extensive career within design and sales over the last 15 years stretching from China, Dubai, Germany, Holland, UK, and the USA. In the last 5 years, Nick has developed a hawk's eye for sustainable tech and the human-centric marketing and sales procedures that come with it. With his far-reaching and strong network within the logistics industry, Nick has been able to open new avenues and routes to market within major industries in the USA and the UAE. Nick lives by the ethos, “Give more than you take." His professional mission is to make the logistics industry leaner, cleaner and greener.

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Alex Bramley

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.

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