Supply Chain Now
Episode 1243

As a leader, I think the most valuable thing that you could ever have is experience from the lowest levels of the corporation. Nobody understands manufacturing better than someone who's worked on the shop floor. No one understands forecasting better than a demand planner. So wherever you are in supply chain, don't be anxious to get out of your role. The role you're in is giving you experience that will benefit you years down the road.

-Allen Jacques

Episode Summary

Allen Jacques knows a thing or two about the world of life sciences and the various nuances that characterize the medical and pharmaceutical supply chains. Today, he serves as a Thought Leader at Kinaxis, a cloud-powered supply chain insight platform that combines human intelligence with AI and concurrent planning to help companies plan for the future, monitor risks and opportunities, and keep up with the speed of change.

In this episode, sponsored by Microsoft, Allen sits down with hosts Scott Luton and Kevin L. Jackson to offer his take on a range of trends, issues, opportunities, and challenges relating to supply chains, drawing on his experience from the biopharma world.

Listen in and learn more about the complexities of the pharmaceutical industry- including manufacturing challenges, regulatory constraints, and how these contribute to lengthy lead times- and how technology is helping supply chain professionals within the sector. Allen highlights the evolution of various digital and AI-powered solutions in improving supply chain transparency and efficiency, and the value of data-driven decision-making, and also offers some sage advice for those seeking to advance their careers and develop leadership credentials.

Want to hear what else Allen has to say? Tune into the full discussion now!

Episode Transcript

Intro/Outro (00:03):

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

Scott Luton (00:32):

Hey, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, everyone, wherever you are, Scott Luton and Kevin L. Jackson with you here on Supply Chain Now. Welcome to today’s show. Kevin, how you doing today?

Kevin L. Jackson (00:41):

Hey, I’m going great. It’s happy Friday Eve.

Scott Luton (00:46):

Happy Friday Eve. Happy month of February, wherever all of our listeners are. And most importantly, folks, we got a great show teed up today, right? There’s a reason why Kevin’s over there smiling and is giddy. We’ve got a great show. We’re going to be diving into a critical component of the global economy and worldwide industry, but it’s one part of global business that I bet a lot of folks don’t know much about. We’re going to be diving into the pharmaceutical industry and we’re going to be doing so with a guest that spent years in global leadership roles in that industry making it happen. So stay tuned for an informative and entertaining conversation here. Kevin, should be a great show.

Kevin L. Jackson (01:25):

Pharmaceuticals have been sort of top of all list for a lot of reasons. Don’t go there.

Scott Luton (01:34):

You’ve got a list. We all have a list to help us keep moving forward.

Kevin L. Jackson (01:38):

Yeah, caffeine is my pharmaceutical of choice.

Scott Luton (01:41):

Ah, we’re getting the goods, Kevin. But, folks, today’s episode is presented in partnership with our friends at Microsoft who’s doing some pretty cool things out in industry, helping to move us all forward successfully. More on that to come. But with that said, I want to introduce our featured guest today, a dear friend, frankly. We really enjoyed his previous appearances with us here on Supply Chain Now. Our guest has a long successful track record when it comes to planning, operations, leadership, and more. He has served in senior leadership positions with companies such as LEO Pharma, Pfizer, FusionOps, Baxter, and Wyeth to name a few. In fact, he holds a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of Maryland. Go Terps. He also has conducted grad studies and biochemistry at Johns Hopkins. Man, we’re pleased to welcome repeat guest and friend, Allen Jacques, industry thought leader with Kinaxis. Allen, how you doing?

Allen Jacques (02:32):

I’m doing great, Scott. Great to be with you and Kevin again.

Scott Luton (02:35):

Oh, it’s so great to have you. Now, Kevin, I knew Allen was highfalutin already, but I didn’t know about these academic pursuits. Goodness gracious, Allen, I didn’t think you’d get any smarter. And you go, surprising me here, huh?

Allen Jacques (02:48):

Yeah, well, what I knew back in those days has long disappeared.

Scott Luton (02:52):

I don’t believe that.

Allen Jacques (02:52):

I’m not as smart as I was when I was doing my degrees.

Scott Luton (02:56):

Oh, I don’t believe it for a minute, but —

Kevin L. Jackson (02:58):

I used to be a pilot, but I forgot it. I wouldn’t be near any airplane controls today.

Scott Luton (03:06):

All right, but here’s the deal. Here’s the upfront contract. I’m asking Allen and Kevin. I’m the slow non-technical one, so you are going to have to bring the conversation down to the right altitude and help me keep along with y’all two gurus, okay?

Kevin L. Jackson (03:19):


Scott Luton (03:20):

Before we dive into all things pharmaceutical, Allen and Kevin, I want to get to know Allen just a little bit better. I got a couple questions here. So, Allen, you grew up on a farm with a hundred cows. So, I want to ask you, what’s one life lesson from that upbringing that sticks with you here today?

Allen Jacques (03:37):

Well, the thing you learned at a very young age is when you’re walking around, always be looking down. When you ever wonder why a farmer’s looking down, it’s because they’re trying to avoid stepping on something.

Scott Luton (03:51):

Right. And I’ll tell you, that’s a great business leadership lesson. We got to be careful what we step into and pick and choose our battle, so to speak. Kevin, you were about to add something.

Kevin L. Jackson (04:00):

Yeah, I thought people looking at their smartphones.

Scott Luton (04:05):

Oh, no, we’re looking down and avoiding what we step into as Allen put it. Here’s a second thing that I picked up earlier. So, Allen, I didn’t realize you had a big dream growing up of playing professional basketball. So I want to ask you, what was one of your role models back in the day that you grew up idolizing that really nurtured that dream of yours?

Allen Jacques (04:25):

Yeah, there’s so many, Scott, and I’m old enough to remember a lot of players that you may never have heard of.

Scott Luton (04:32):


Allen Jacques (04:33):

But the one I always loved to watch was Tim Duncan. I loved the Bank Shot. I loved kissing the glass, and I loved his demeanor. I mean, he never got excited about anything. He just went out there and played and he was a fantastic player.

Scott Luton (04:51):

Oh, yeah, definitely, Hall of Famer and a great, great athlete to watch. So, well said. So, Kevin, why don’t you talk about Tim Duncan before I let out one of your cool secrets?

Kevin L. Jackson (05:01):

Well, actually what popped into my mind wasn’t Tim Duncan, but when you said John Hopkins, the first thing that popped in my mind was my very first professional basketball game. And I saw Wes Unseld play for the Baltimore Bullets.

Allen Jacques (05:23):

I remember him. I remember him very well, rebounder, outlet pass.

Scott Luton (05:28):

He went on to coach, and I think he had a decent or a coaching career as well. So about that. Well, speaking of name dropping, Allen, I shared this with you pre-show, but Kevin played pickup games with an NBA Hall of Famer, David, the Admiral, Robinson. Kevin, is that right?

Kevin L. Jackson (05:44):

Yes, absolutely. Actually, we were both at the Naval Academy during the same time. He was junior to me, but not on the basketball court. When he came there — I mean, of course, he was a star at Naval Academy, but the big question was, would he get so tall that he wouldn’t be able to go into the Navy? He wanted to fly, and we always wondered if he even become a pro basketball player or not. But I tell you, he’s not only an excellent player, but he’s an awesome person and I really enjoyed working, playing with him and calling him a friend. And in fact, years later I went down to San Antonio for a business trip and got to see him again. So, he’s one that I really look up to in many ways.

Scott Luton (06:38):

So, Allen, I’ll give you a chance. You and I both were kind of nodding as Kevin was describing all of that and rubbing elbows with the Hall of Famer, your thoughts on David Robinson, Allen.

Allen Jacques (06:46):

Well, I envy you, Kevin, having met him and even played with him. I think if I were playing one-on-one with David Robinson, I would just hand him the ball.

Scott Luton (06:56):

Same. Same. All right, well, as much as I’d love to dive more into all things basketball and farms and getting to know you even better, Allen, but again, great to have you back. We really enjoyed your previous appearances. For context, as we got to get into the conversation, we’re all here and talk about a really important industry. For context, I want to make sure folks connect the dots and understand what you and the Kinaxis team do. Let’s start there. Level set with us a little bit, Allen.

Allen Jacques (07:20):

Sure. So Kinaxis is an end-to-end supply chain planning, supply chain management solution that starts from forecasting demand runs through distribution requirements planning, gets very deeply into manufacturing capacity and capacity balancing, all the way to what we would call MRP or procurement. The beauty of it is it’s all in one platform. So that means that you can do very fast what if simulations. If there’s an issue, you can identify the root cause quickly and then you can collaborate across a vast network to resolve the issue. So collaboration is key, especially in a large company across many geographies. And we’re in all the verticals, automotive, high tech, CPG, my vertical life sciences, that’s where we’re the strongest, and it’s all the same platform for all those companies, all those industries.

Scott Luton (08:16):

Love it.

Kevin L. Jackson (08:17):


Scott Luton (08:18):

Previously, we’ve enjoyed talking about the symphony, the supply chain symphony that you and the team are conducting over at Kinaxis. I had a lot of fun.

Allen Jacques (08:26):


Scott Luton (08:27):

Yes, orchestrating. That’s the word I was looking for. Kevin, when you hear that and that orchestration across global supply chain that Allen, the Kinaxis team are doing, of course Microsoft plays a role in a lot of that as well, what comes to your brain? Do you picture that conductor with the baton leading that supply chain orchestra, Kevin?

Kevin L. Jackson (08:44):

Well, actually when I think about that and the fact that they’re in so many different industries, it’s the thing that pops through my mind is the learning, the shortcuts or the best practices that you can take maybe from automotive and put it into life science or from distribution and then put it into life science or automotive, when you are sort of at the top looking at all these different business models and seeing the maybe shortcomings and failings in one, and you can basically get the answer from another. And I think that’s powerful. That’s extremely powerful, and I think that’s what Kinaxis actually brings to their customers and clients.

Scott Luton (09:35):

Excellent point. Regularly, almost without fail, Allen and Kevin, as we go out and meet between the shows, between the conversations with supply chain leaders in every kind of industry, we regularly hear the value of bringing in a group of leaders from all sorts of sectors, all sorts of functional areas, and that cross-functional cross-industry, cross-sector information sharing is so powerful and it can really move mountains, Kevin. Allen, I see you nodding your head. You tend to agree, huh?

Allen Jacques (10:05):

Oh, absolutely. I even have a good example, Kevin. We develop functionality around expiry, expiration dating shelf life for the pharmaceutical industry, and now we have a high-tech semiconductor company who wants to use that functionality. So, it is really cross-fertilization.

Kevin L. Jackson (10:24):

Oh, yeah. Absolutely.

Scott Luton (10:25):

Love it. Talk about a good industry to be in, the man at semiconductor industry. Goodness gracious, there’s some explosive growth there. So, let’s talk about the pharmaceutical industry though. And I think what’s important for this conversation, especially our listeners all around the globe out there, is I want to go back in time because, Allen, you’ve spent significant time doing big things in industry and as we were trying to put a show together to help our audience understand things, you’re one of the first names that popped in my brain. So, as we try to understand, to better understand your leadership experience in a pharmaceutical world, including major pharma players like Baxter and Wyeth and Pfizer and I mentioned some of those in the front end and the different functional areas you’ve played a role from supply chain manufacturing, tech ops, and more, from what you’ve seen and done, Allen, what are a couple of really unique elements to the global pharmaceutical industry? What are some things that might surprise some of our audience members.

Allen Jacques (11:17):

In the pharmaceutical industry, I’ve grown up believing that the complexity is almost all on the manufacturing side, the complexity, the cost, and the lead times. It’s a very highly regulated industry. It’s not just the FDA; there are FDAs all around the world. And so, you have a lot of regulatory constraints and so you can’t just change a product to improve the yield or the quality or whatever. When you want to make a change, you have to get approval all around the world to make that change. And of course, the timing is different everywhere. So that becomes a complexity that you have to live with and you have to manage it, especially in supply chain planning. The other thing I would say is lead times are long, and it’s not the manufacturing lead times, it’s really the quality lead times. So, I’ll give you an example.

Allen Jacques (12:10):

If you make an active ingredient, a biologic that we call drug substance, one of the quality tests takes 28 days before it’s done. So that means that you cannot release that drug substance for 28 days. Now, of course, things don’t happen perfectly. So the typical lead time is probably a couple of months. And then you put product into a syringe or a vial, then you have a sterility tested to minimum of 14 days. And so, average lead times are more like 30 to 45 days. So, really lead times are long. Lead time variability is high and that’s where you have to live with. So I’ve always felt that if you want to run a good pharma supply chain, focus on lead times and getting them down as close to those 28 days and 14 days as you can.

Scott Luton (13:00):

Man, Kevin, I’ve got a follow-up question. I’ll give you a chance to respond to that, to what the picture Allen’s already painted there. Your thoughts, Kevin.

Kevin L. Jackson (13:07):

Yeah, I guess when you’re talking about lead times, that means you have a strong dependence on your partners across your ecosystem as well because they probably have similar lead times and it takes a lot of communication so that you can manage that. So, the thing that comes to mind to me is communication across that ecosystem. How do you manage this lead time through communicating with your partners?

Allen Jacques (13:41):

Well, some of the lead time you see in the industry is because of communication. So, as you can imagine, especially in the older days, there were a lot of Excel spreadsheets, a lot of email, phone calls, things like that. So, sometimes I had a boss once that described it like a dinosaur. You step on its tail and three months later it says out. And sometimes when you look at — something happens in your supply chain, and just the communication lead time to get that message everywhere where it needed to be would take quite a long time and there’d be a lot of latency. So, yeah, that just adds to the physical lead times that I was describing.

Kevin L. Jackson (14:22):

What you’re saying, that’s your information in data supply chain, which is always critical that many people don’t think about. When they think about supply chain, it seems to be focused on the physical thing, but I really like the way you brought up that information. Supply chain can also cause lead times.

Scott Luton (14:44):

Yes. That’s a great point. And it reminds me, and I cannot remember the name of the company, it’s a food company, this leader, the CEO, that really helped it grow to being a dominant player it is today, had a regular mantra that kind of touches on what y’all both talking about. And he would say, “Give me good news fast, but give me bad news faster.” So, you’re not like that dinosaur who waits three weeks after someone steps on the tail. Okay. One quick question, I want to get it more into, I mean, you’ve already laid kind of a basis for why it takes so long for new drugs to be launched and come to market. We’re going to touch more on that in just a second. But I want to go back to now as, Allen, you’ve been involved in what y’all do in a variety of different industries, do you almost feel like you are liberated when you come out of pharmaceutical within that tight regulatory environment no matter where you’re in the world and you go to a different sector, you have a lot less regulation and you’re much freer to drive change and try new ideas? Is that kind of liberating for folks that come out of pharmaceutical into other industries?

Allen Jacques (15:45):

Well, not really, because other industries have their own complexities and they’re not complexities I grew up with. So, it takes me a while to get my head around it. And some industries like aerospace are just as regulated, if not more regulated than we are in life sciences. So we always like to think in life sciences that we’re special and we have the most to deal with. But as you get exposed to other industries, you realize there are other complexities that we never dreamed of or imagined. So there might be some out there that where I would feel liberated but not many.

Scott Luton (16:21):

Allen’s keeping it real.

Kevin L. Jackson (16:23):

Yes. The thing that jumped to my mind was tracking bolts at Boeing. Right?

Allen Jacques (16:30):


Scott Luton (16:31):

All right. So, let’s get into switching gears a little bit here and going back to some of the uniqueness of the pharmaceutical industry you were touching on earlier, Allen. So, according to McKinsey, over the past decade at least, it takes 12 years on average, just on average for a new drug to be officially launched. So you’ve already mentioned some of the quality testing and some of the lead times involved there and a few other aspects, but when you think of the factors that impact that long timeframe, what else have we not mentioned?

Allen Jacques (16:57):

Yeah, well, I don’t know where the clock starts ticking in that 12 years in the McKinsey study, but I would imagine it starts in drug discovery. So, obviously there’s a lot of lab work, bench work done in just identifying molecules that could treat a certain indication or a certain disease. And so, that takes a long time. That can take years and it’s quite expensive, a lot of manpower, a lot of hit or miss, a lot of guesswork and all that. I worked in a lab for quite a while, so I know what that’s like to be doing that. But once you’ve identified a candidate, once you have confidence that this molecule could work, and it could be a small molecule, it could be a monoclonal antibody, a very large molecule, and anything in between, once you’ve identified something that you believe will work, and I think we’re much better at that now than we were decades ago, then you have to get into your clinical studies.

Allen Jacques (17:53):

And the clinical studies are a big chunk of that time. And there are three phases of clinical studies. There’s phase one where you’re testing a product primarily for safety. Then there’s phase two studies where you’re looking primarily at what we call efficacy. Does the molecule work? So, you’re testing it in humans to make sure that you get the effect that you expect. And then, you have phase three, which we call our pivotal studies, and that’s where you have a larger population and you actually — you know the dose, you know the population, you have placebo, you have active, you might be comparing it to another drug. But that’s when you have a full-fledged clinical trial across many geographies, many ethnicities, just to generate the data that you’ll need to get that product approved. Now, depending on the product, so you can imagine an oncology product, that phase three study may spend several years. Maybe for other products it could be six months to a year.

Allen Jacques (18:52):

But that phase three is your key study and your most expensive study as far as what you’re investing in. And you can imagine that if something doesn’t make it through phase one, you want to kill it right away. And same thing with phase two. So if you look at what goes into clinical studies and what comes out as an approved product, the hit rate is less than 10%. And the typical product, when you look at the full cost, it’s the best part of a billion dollars. It may even be higher than that now. So, you’re spending a lot of money with a very low hit ratio. But once you get a product approved, then obviously that’s the best news you could ever get in the pharma industry.

Kevin L. Jackson (19:40):

I wanted to pull the string a little bit on the first phase, that research phase. Today, artificial intelligence is on the tip of everyone’s tongue and wondering how that’s going to affect my industry. And recently, you’re hearing about how artificial intelligence is helping your researchers to test different molecules and how they react to other molecules and to simulate enzymes and antibodies before they even go out of the lab. All this is done in a computer somewhere. My question is, is that really, I guess, accelerating drugs or is it just making it more dangerous because we’re trusting artificial intelligence instead of human intelligence?

Allen Jacques (20:35):

Yeah, I definitely don’t think it’s dangerous. I think the impact of that will be — because you’re looking at molecular structures, you’re looking at parts of the cell or body that they’re going to interact with, and you’re able to project, I think, better what that interaction will be like. So, I have to believe that that’s going to increase this hit ratio. So before you go into a clinical study, you have a higher level of confidence of what will make it. Now, I’m not in R&D, but I definitely believe it will help us in the science of putting a drug in test discovery into clinical.

Kevin L. Jackson (21:14):

Oh, that’s great.

Scott Luton (21:14):

It’s fascinating taking a peek into the pharmaceutical industry and just the phases and the lead time, all development, all of that work you described that high-end research-driven, data-driven — I was going to say doctoral-activity driven, that’s not the phrase I’m looking for — highfalutin activity-driven, I’ll say. And then about 10% of the time, you’re able to come up with a drug that’s safe, it’s effective, it works, and then we launch it to the market. So, Allen, I’m assuming you want to fail and fail really fast.

Allen Jacques (21:43):

Yes, absolutely. And a lot of times unfortunately, that doesn’t happen until you’re in your phase three study. That’s a study that’s big enough to really tell you with confidence what your drug is going to do.

Scott Luton (21:56):

Got you. All right. And now back to Kevin. Kevin, you’re talking about AI. It’s a great segue. I had to get that one more question in before we went into digital transformation and talk more about pharmaceutical supply chain, which is really where I think — Allen, if I’ve got it right, in supply chain manufacturing, the operational side, that’s where the bulk of your pharmaceutical industry experience was in, is that right?

Allen Jacques (22:16):


Scott Luton (22:17):

So when you think about digital transformation in the pharmaceutical supply chain, what’s some of your observations there? And if you would think about it kind of twofold, how the industry is already leveraging different aspects of digital transformation, because it’s everywhere, it’s been everywhere for years now, and then maybe some of the art of the possible of maybe what you would expect to see in the months and years ahead. Your thoughts there, Allen?

Allen Jacques (22:39):

So, I have to go back a little bit in the history. So, I’ve been around for several decades in the industry. Early in my career, we would kill for data just to know what the inventory of a product was in the country or what was happening in the manufacturing facility. We just did not have the connectivity. I remember a big milestone is when we went from monthly data from our marketing affiliates around the world to weekly data, that was a big deal. And so, we were starving for data and there was some cool stuff, even back in the late ’90s. We had statistical forecasting; we had optimizers; we had the first advanced planning solutions. They were all really cool technology, but we just couldn’t get the data to feed the beast. So, a lot of those efforts kind of fell apart because of that. And so every conference I went to until about five years ago, there was always a track with at least six talks that talked about end-to-end visibility. How do you achieve end-to-end visibility just within your own company?

Allen Jacques (23:47):

So obviously we’ve come a long way over the years with ERP systems, with Industry 4.0, I mean, the amount of data we’re getting out of a facility to optimize manufacturing operations and processes. I think the average U.S. manufacturing site generates, I think, it’s 1.3 petabytes of data every day.

Scott Luton (24:07):


Kevin L. Jackson (24:07):


Allen Jacques (24:08):

I think that’s the number. So, it’s incredible. And then obviously, with a digital twin of your supply chain, end-to-end visibility should now be a given. So, we shouldn’t be able to achieve a digital twin of variable enterprise and then obviously put the planning functionality, the transparency so that whenever an issue happens in a supply chain, you immediately see the impact everywhere. Early in my career in Pfizer, when I took over this — so I had the global planning group for Pfizer, we had an active ingredient, which we call an API, and we had shipped like 10 drums of it from Puerto Rico to China. And when they opened the drums, there was an issue with the API that we call caking. It’s like a white powder, but somehow moisture or something had gotten into the drums, and so it had solidified or came, and so we had to discard that full shipment. Issue was that API was for a product that in China alone was a $1 billion product.

Kevin L. Jackson (25:13):


Scott Luton (25:14):

Goodness gracious.

Allen Jacques (25:15):

I could tell you the name of the product. I’m not sure I should do that. So, you can imagine the email traffic that exploded after that, and my team had to determine what are we going to do about it. It took us a week to figure that out. It took us a week to get inventories from all around the world, put that together, look at what we could do at the manufacturing site and all that. And at the end of that week, we discovered we had inventory in Japan, we could ship to China. Everything was good. No stockouts, no issues, no loss of revenue. But the meetings, the phone calls, the email traffic and all of that that happened during that week was unbelievable. Today, with a digital supply chain, I could have gotten that answer in minutes. So, that’s for me the power of a digital twin and the power of the technology we have today.

Scott Luton (26:08):

Oh, I got a thousand questions, Allen. I love that example and your experiences there. But, Kevin, what a great comparison and contrasting of how business was done then for big successful companies. They were probably leveraging a lot of the modern technologies of that time to what we can do today, arguably, right in the palm of our hand with our phone. Right? Kevin, your thoughts.

Kevin L. Jackson (26:30):

Well, the first thing that popped of my mind was why didn’t you have a sensor in that barrel so that you can measure the moisture? Today, you could do that. So, you probably know there’s too much moisture coming into the barrel before the ship left port. You wouldn’t have to wait until it got to dock in China. So, the visibility is more than just what you can see in the port. It’s about the entire script that you can do, and you can monitor that on your smartphone. And that’s what you really need to think about when you are transforming your supply chain. It’s not just the normal points of presence, so to speak, that you can check your product; you can check it every day, all day, every second.

Scott Luton (27:25):

So true. Also, one of the things that came to my mind, and I loved how you said that back then, Allen, you would kill for data and how it was a big thing to move from, I think you put it, from monthly to weekly data cadences and cycles. Kevin, there is no — if there’s anything as Allen pointed out with the 1.3 petabytes, there is no shortage of data, but it’s what is the organization’s capability and ability to execute and really leverage all of this data that they have. That’s one of the questions of our time, isn’t that right, Kevin?

Kevin L. Jackson (27:58):

Yeah. How do you get insights from that data? It’s great that you have all this data, but what does it mean? And that’s the challenge today. How does that data affect the activities that you have to conduct as part of your business workflow?

Scott Luton (28:16):

Excellent point. And now, I want to pose that back to you because we talk a lot here at Supply Chain Now and Digital Transformers all the time about visibility more and more. Is it good enough? To Kevin’s point, we’ve got to have the insights. We’ve got to have the solutions, we’ve got to have the outcomes with what we do with visibility and data and technology. Your thoughts around that, Allen.

Allen Jacques (28:36):

Yeah. So, we call that transparency. So, you’re exactly right. Visibility isn’t enough. I know my shipment got blocked in the Panama Canal or the Red Sea or whatever. So, that’s visibility. But I need to know what that means to my supply chain, what that means to my customers. So, if I lose a batch of something at a manufacturing site in one of my pharma plants, I need to be able to see immediately, well, that’s going to impact Germany, Austria, and Denmark in about six months. And then, I need to start working with them on solutions on what we could do about it. And I need to be able to do that quickly. The longer it takes me to do that, the less relevant my decision is going to. Like you said, I want to know bad news faster, and then I want to know what to do about it faster. So, I need to be able to simulate and what if until I find that solution.

Scott Luton (29:34):

Excellent point. And, Allen, we had a little fun earlier, Allen and Kevin, talking about the cow farm that Allen grew up in. Hundred cows, that’s a big cow farm, at least in my book. And we’ve had a little fun with not being able to not step in it. But you also mentioned the scenario planning and the simulations and leveraging technology to take that to all new levels so you don’t step in certain things because you’ve already kind of worked through a wide variety of scenarios. Kevin, you’re kind of laughing. It’s really important, isn’t it?

Kevin L. Jackson (30:00):

Yeah, I think data and insights from that data allow you to foresee the future, and that’s really what you want to do. You need to work in the future.

Scott Luton (30:12):

That’s right.

Kevin L. Jackson (30:13):

Are you a time traveler, Allen?

Allen Jacques (30:16):

Not yet.

Scott Luton (30:18):

Not yet. That’s right. Not yet. All right. So, Allen, I really appreciate you sharing with our audience a variety of aspects of what goes on in the pharmaceutical industry from some of the very true unique constraints because every industry will say, well, we’re different and we’re different, this, that and the other. But truly, there are some very unique elements to what goes on to producing the drugs and the sciences that really help all of us live a better life. And equally as much, I love your walkthrough kind of how supply chain was done back in the day and still a lot of the important themes and abilities, a lot of those are the same. We can just act on them so much better here today. That’s the true art of the possible. Am I right, Allen?

Allen Jacques (30:16):


Scott Luton (31:00):

But it oftentimes comes down to leadership, and that’s where I want to kind of — as we start to wrap today’s interview, that’s where I want to focus in on. So, Allen, we’re going to have you back and we’re going to get all those stories and you’ll even be able to name those drugs. We’ll get all the lawyers to have our back. Right? There’s so much — I bet there’s so many stories. You ought to write a book soon about your industry experience, but leadership. So two-part question — and Kevin, you’re not getting off the hook. I want you to answer these questions, too. I’m looking forward to your perspective here as well. So, Allen, when you think of timeless leadership, best practices that you wish more folks, more organizations, more business leaders would embrace today, what’s one of those things that comes to your mind?

Allen Jacques (31:40):

I’ve spent time in manufacturing. I’ve spent time with major CapEx projects and then most of my time in supply chain. But what I really like comes from the manufacturing world, but it can be applied anywhere. That’s what we call Gemba Walks, and I’m sure you’re familiar with that expression. I’m sure everyone listening in knows that expression. But a Gemba Walk is basically when you walk the floor. So in a manufacturing environment, it’s basically getting out there, walking the floor, not just to wave to people and say hi, but to observe operations; like an industrial engineer, observe operations, see what’s happening on the floor. I remember in one manufacturing site, I used to walk by this piece of equipment every day. It was an early robotic that we were using. And I think one time out of 50 that I walked by, it was actually working. And so, you see something like that and you go, something’s wrong here. We obviously invested quite a bit of money in this piece of equipment, and I’ve seen syringe filling lines that are down and not operating. And I remember I had a boss once, he used to go through warehouses and look at the FedEx shipments, the overnight shipments, these pallets of materials sitting in the warehouse and he’d run his finger across the top of the pallet and see how much dust had collected.

Kevin L. Jackson (33:07):


Allen Jacques (33:07):

So, Gemba Walks are really helpful. And the way I applied that in supply chain was — so I had an organization of over 50 people, but on a regular basis, I would sit down and have my planners, each of my planners walk me through their supply chain. I do that individually with all of them. We’d have an hour. I’d want to see metrics, how the product’s performing, what the issues are, manufacturing bottlenecks. Inventory was a big one. How are we doing on inventory? Where do we have opportunities? But basically I would give them a chance to walk me through their supply chain. And then, I was the annoying one who asked a lot of questions. But that’s one way I applied that in the supply chain world, the planning world.

Scott Luton (33:52):

And that’s how we get better. I love that example. Kevin, if I may continue with this Gemba Walk, best practice that Allen shared before you share. I’ve been in and out of over 300 plants in my career, and it’s one of my favorite things to do is go to the Gemba, go to where the value is created and interact with those workers that are truly experts in their processes. Those are some of my favorite conversations I have. The good news here, especially to all of you audience members out there, the good news is you can apply that notion, that powerful approach, no matter what industry you’re in. I’ll tell you one recent example. I had dinner the other night with a dear family member of mine. He spent decades doing big things in the broadcast and media space. In fact, he’s a member of the Georgia Broadcasters Hall of Fame. How about that?

Kevin L. Jackson (34:33):


Scott Luton (34:34):

And he shared — we’re enjoying a delicious meal. He shared with me that every single day, as he was the general manager of this successful media organization, he would walk every part of that studio, of the offices and talk to every single person to see how their day’s going, what they’re up to. That was a big part of his management and leadership philosophy. And that’s a version of a Gemba Walk just applied to a different industry. And it’s such a wonderful leadership arrow to put in your quiver no matter what sector you may be leading or managing or just being a part of. Kevin, weigh in on what we heard there from Allen.

Kevin L. Jackson (35:08):

Well, first of all, I mean, they call it management by walking around, MWA. I remember that when I was going school.

Scott Luton (35:15):

There you go.

Kevin L. Jackson (35:17):

But in the military – I was in the Navy – I was too young to really appreciate our chiefs in the Navy, right? I was a young officer of Naval Academy, so I know everything. But it was the chiefs in the Navy that really executed that MWA, that management by walking around, because they were always — wherever things were happening, they were there. They were watching the non-rated and the lower ranked people understanding what they were doing. But they were also interacting with the senior officers and understanding what they were doing. And just by walking around, they could see issues before they became crisis. Right? They could sort of visualize solutions before they were even asked for to do that. So, the chiefs and the Navy were experts at management by walking around.

Scott Luton (36:19):

I love that. Blessed are the chiefs. I think that was one of the beatitudes, I think. I’m mistaken. We’ll see. We’ll have to look it up.

Allen Jacques (36:24):

Were you saying that last Sunday night?

Scott Luton (36:28):

That’s a good Super Bowl reference there. I love that, Allen.

Kevin L. Jackson (36:32):

Got that one. All right. Yeah.

Scott Luton (36:33):

That’s a good one. All right. I wish we had a couple more hours with Allen and Kevin here. But Allen, just a couple more questions for you. I want to stick with leadership for a second. I think leadership is always relevant, always relevant, and I think more and more, especially now, I think of lip service leadership, right? Who’s got time for lip service leadership? No one does, right? Especially your people out there in organizations. So, for folks that are tuned in and listening to us and are watching us right now, Allen and Kevin, and they want to truly hone their leadership skills and be someone that folks respect, they get stuff done that empowers their team, takes organizations to new heights, since they’re honing their leadership skills, what’s one piece of advice that you’d offer based on all your success and your career, Allen?

Allen Jacques (37:14):

Well, as a leader, I think the most valuable thing that you could ever have is experience from the lowest levels of the corporation. Nobody understands manufacturing better than someone who’s worked on the shop floor. No one understands forecasting better than a demand planner. No one understands manufacturing scheduling better than a scheduler. So wherever you are in supply chain or maybe other parts of a company, don’t be anxious to get out of your role. The role you’re in is giving you experience that will benefit you years down the road. My advice would be that whatever you’re doing, be the best. Be the best at what you’re doing. Look for ways to innovate it incrementally or maybe more and be able to tell a story about what you’re doing, fact-based, clear, concise. And if you can do that and you can be really good at what you’re doing, you will get noticed and you’ll get a seat at the table and you will get opportunities to be promoted.

Allen Jacques (38:16):

I didn’t start my career off in supply chain saying someday I want to be the VP of planning or the VP of logistics or whatever. I’m not saying you should not be ambitious at all, but I didn’t spend my time thinking about that. I just was so fascinated by what I was doing and interested and got to do some really cool things and new things, and that got noticed. And then opportunities came along, and then basically I jumped at opportunities. But I didn’t go in saying, three years from now, I want to be in this position. So don’t spend your time thinking about the future, really focus on the present and really focus on making whatever you’re doing better so that several years down the road you’ll look back and you won’t recognize the way you used to do it.

Kevin L. Jackson (39:02):

Yeah, that’s great.

Scott Luton (39:03):

Allen, what a wonderful practical been there, done that advice to all of our listeners, no matter where they are in their journey out there. Kevin, same question to you, what would you advise folks on as they hone their leadership skills?

Kevin L. Jackson (39:14):

The best advice I ever learned as I try to become a leader was kind of simple. Listen more than you talk. Because you learn so much more when you keep your mouth shut and you can sort of understand the experience of others by listening to them relate that experience. And that in and of itself made me a better leader. So, that’s what I would tell my younger self.

Scott Luton (39:45):

I love that. Listen more than you talk. Timeless advice there, too. I would just add to what Allen and Kevin have eloquently shared, volunteer, volunteer, volunteers. That’s how you can gain some of those experiences and be a part of change, innovation and develop a wide variety of professional skills. Right? Certainly, we can’t get enough volunteers out there in industry, and that’s a great opportunity to stand out and gain what you need to advance. Okay. Allen and Kevin, man, what a great conversation. I wish we had a lot more time to dive into some of the things that you shared and get more of your stories out there, Allen.

Kevin L. Jackson (40:17):

That’s a good show.

Scott Luton (40:18):

It is. So, Allen, I know you do a lot of keynote speaking. Obviously, you’re working to help a lot of organizations out there advance and move on and tackle all kinds of things. I enjoy the content you put out as well. How can folks connect with you, Allen, and the Kinaxis team?

Allen Jacques (40:33):

Well, I’m on LinkedIn. I think I’m the only Allen Jacques, with A-L-L-E-N.

Scott Luton (40:39):


Allen Jacques (40:40):

So yeah, feel free to contact me, or

Scott Luton (40:44):

Wonderful. And we’ll make sure we include those notes in the show notes to make it easier for our listeners to connect with Allen and the Kinaxis team. All right. So, Kevin, before we wrap here today, we’ve got to touch on our friends at Microsoft. They’re doing some pretty cool things out in industry, including pharma and life sciences. Is that right, Kevin?

Kevin L. Jackson (41:03):

Oh, yeah, absolutely. We touched on how technology is changing pharma. Well, actually it’s changing every industry. But in pharma specifically, it’s accelerating scientific innovation by modernizing discovery and manufacturing. We actually drive advancements faster. Technology helps to create value driven tear, those measurements by rapidly modeling new product development and reducing cost. And we talked about that with respect to modeling the molecules to create new product, but it’s also important to enhance the workforce experience. We talked a bit about how communications is important. So technology helps to enhance the experience of the healthcare team. This optimizes digital operations by connecting people, data, devices and processes in order to overcome skill gaps and improve communication and digitize these workflows that increases productivity and it makes us healthier. And finally, they’re using this technology, visual technology, for instance, to provide illustrative depiction of experiences. This really helps to build operational agility. It spurs life science innovation without sacrificing compliant. It allows organizations to actually iterate faster and actually fail faster, which is good for all of us. And this in turn increases the manufacturing productivity to reduce time to market for these lifesaving drugs. So, technology is integral to the pharmaceutical industry and making our lives healthier.

Scott Luton (43:02):

That’s right. This is the way indeed; this is the way. And let me just say, Allen and Kevin, I got to say this word molecules because I haven’t said that since 9th grade biology class, so I had to get that in here at the end. All right, really quick, Kevin, how can folks connect with you, all the cool things you’re up to, including our Digital Transformer series?

Kevin L. Jackson (43:19):

Oh, yeah, absolutely. Digital Transformers, always, or wherever you get your podcast. But you can reach out to me on LinkedIn or X, @Kevin_Jackson. I’m always there.

Scott Luton (43:34):

Always, always on, always making it happen just like Allen. Big thanks to Allen Jacques with Kinaxis. Allen, always a pleasure to reconnect with you and I really appreciate the stories, perspective, expertise related to kind of global business but especially pharmaceutical industry here today, Allen.

Allen Jacques (43:50):

Thank you. I love these sessions, Scott. Thank you so much for inviting me. And next time I’ll tell you a story about a Chinese hamster and how it became the backbone of the biotech industry.

Kevin L. Jackson (44:02):

Oh, wow.

Scott Luton (44:02):

Okay, man. Okay. I’m going to hold you to that, Allen. I’m going to hold you to it. Well, always a pleasure to reconnect. We’ll get that story next time. A big thanks of course to our collab partners over at Microsoft as well, helping us to bring these incredible stories and conversations featuring leaders like this out to our global audience. Big thanks there. Kevin, always a pleasure to knock out these episodes with you.

Kevin L. Jackson (44:23):

Yeah, I learn every time. I mean, the guests bring so much vision and so much information, and I’m dying to learn more about the Chinese hamster. Did it speak Mandarin?

Scott Luton (44:39):

We’ll find out. And maybe we’ll have a pickup basketball game too. Who knows. Hey, to our listeners out there, hopefully you’ve enjoyed this fun episode as much as we have. But, hey, the onus is on you to take one thing, take one thing Allen dropped here, Kevin dropped here and put it into action, right? Deeds, not words. That’s the name of the game, right? So whatever you do though, with that said, on behalf our entire team here at Supply Chain Now, Scott Luton challenging you to do good, to give forward and to be the change. We’ll see you next time right back here at Supply Chain Now. Thanks, everybody.

Intro/Outro (45:12):

Thanks for being a part of our Supply Chain Now Community. Check out all of our programming at 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

Allen Jacques is an Industry Thought Leader at Kinaxis. A veteran planning and operations leader, he has served as VP of Global Technical Operations & Biologics and External Manufacturing for Leo Pharma, VP of Network Supply Planning at Pfizer, VP of Pharma Supply Chain at FusionOps/Aera Technology, as well as holding Director level roles at Baxter and Wyeth. He holds a BS in Microbiology from the University of Maryland and did graduate studies in Biochemistry at Johns Hopkins. Connect with Allen on LinkedIn.


Scott W. Luton

Founder, CEO, & Host

Kevin L. Jackson

Host, Digital Transformers

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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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Katherine Hintz

Creative Director, Producer, Host

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

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Kim Reuter

Host, The Freight Insider

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

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Kristi Porter

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Sofia Rivas Herrera

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Demo Perez

Host, Supply Chain Now en Espanol

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

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Mary Kate Love

VP, Marketing

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

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

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Adrian Purtill

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Kevin Brown

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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Jose Miguel Irarrazaval

Host, Logistics with Purpose

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

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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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Allison Giddens

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.

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Billy Taylor

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.

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Tandreia Bellamy

Host, Supply Chain Now

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

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

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

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

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Mary Kate Soliva

Host, Veteran Voices

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

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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 & CMO, 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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Tyler Ward

Director of Sales

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

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

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

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Kevin L. Jackson

Host of Digital Transformers

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

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Enrique Alvarez

Host of Logistics with Purpose and Supply Chain Now en Español

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

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

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Kelly Barner

Host of Dial P for Procurement

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

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Constantine Limberakis


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

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Amanda Luton

Vice President, Production

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

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Clay Phillips

Business Development Manager

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

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Trisha Cordes

Administrative Assistant

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

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Chantel King

Social Media Manager

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

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

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

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Lori Sofian

Marketing Coordinator

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

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Katherine Hintz

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.

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